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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Interview and Giveaway with Shana Galen

Interview and giveaway 
with 
Shana Galen's Miss Qwillen.

Lady Celeste Reads Romance is thrilled to welcome Shana Galen to the blog today. Shana Galen is one of our favorite authors, and Lady Celeste was fortunate enough to run into one of her characters, a Miss Qwillen the other day. Eliza Qwillen and Pierce Moneypence are secondary characters in Shana Galen's Love and Let Spy, and Lady Celeste was excited to find out that they have their own novella in the anthology, Christmas in the Duke's Arms.


My Dear Aunt Rose,

I have so much news for you! I was having tea at the fashionable Pembroke Hotel in Mayfair yesterday. They have the best scones in London. I spotted a friend of Jane Bonde, you know Jane, Miss Eliza Qwillen hurrying by and out of breath, and in a bit of a disarray. I waved Miss Qwillen over to the table, and took the opportunity to find out what was new with her. Auntie, I was not being nosy, just friendly.

Lady Celeste: Eliza, how good to see you! Ah, what happened to your dress? And gloves? And hair?
Miss Qwillen:Lady Celeste! How good it is to see you. I must apologize for my appearance. There was a small incident with a lamp and gunpowder in the offices this morning. I assure you, everyone is well. My dress bore the brunt of the damage, I’m afraid.

Lady Celeste: The feathers in your hat are so unusual ?? Can I touch them?
Miss Qwillen: No! I mean, I must advise against touching them. They’re special feathers, not because they might explode. No, no. My, ah, sister gave them to me. They’re not dangerous.

Lady Celeste: So, what exactly do you do?
Miss Qwillen: Embroidery. No? Would you believe needlepoint?

Lady Celeste: Can't you tell me a secret or two?
Miss Qwillen: Oh, Lady Celeste, I would dearly love to tell you a secret or two. I know so many delicious secrets. Alas, I am only able to tell you juicy secrets. One concerns our mutual friend Jane Bonde. She’s met a very handsome, very mysterious man. Dominic Griffyn. Do you know him? Quite the brooding type.

Lady Celeste: Is there someone special?
Miss Qwillen: For me? (blushing) No, no. I stick with my explos—my embroidery. No one special for me—

Just before I could ask her more, a young gentleman came and whisked her away. I believe I heard her call him, Pierce.

Hope all is well with you,

Lady Celeste

Her name is Bonde, Jane Bonde... "Galen raises the bar with Love and Let Spy. This book is a lively, fast-paced and wonderfully creative sensual romance between two extremely different characters." 4 1/2 stars, Top Pick!
—Kathe Robin, RT Bookreviews

Love and Let Spy: Book 3 in the Lord and Lady Spy series
An Amazon Best Book of the Month in Romance
Buy Links:


Christmas in the Duke’s Arms
an anthology of regency novellas

“The Spy Beneath the Mistletoe” 
a novella in Christmas in the Duke’s Arms
Fledgling spies Q and Moneypence pursue love and a 
highwayman in the Duke’s Arms
Available October 15, 2014. 


Kindle    Nook     Kobo


Excerpt:

The inn would be a difficult building to explode.

The thatched roof would burn easily enough, but the whitewashed fieldstone exterior looked to Eliza to have weathered a good many years and a good many winters. Colder winters than this one.

Although snow poured from the leaden sky and the windows of The Duke’s Arms glowed with the promise of a roaring fire in the hearth, she tarried in the yard. Her legs were cramped from days on the road, and she was happy to stretch them.

Her fellow passengers hobbled and stumbled past her into the cozy inn. Their cold, damp boots would soon be dry and warm. Beyond the inn, the coach road curved like a white ribbon, past hedges dotted with white and oak and maple trees, whose naked branches reached for the sky like sharp icy fingers. In the spring, the prospect would be far more pleasing. Flowers would dot the rolling green hills with spots of color, the oaks and maples would offer leafy shade, and verdant ivy would lend a swath of color to the pale walls of the inn.

The prospect today was not quite so charming. The gray sky matched her mood. Christmas was only a few days past, and a provincial inn on the Great North Road was the last place she wanted to be. Scratch that. The Barbican group’s Piccadilly office was the last place she wanted to be. Still, this inn, with its ragged holiday wreath on the door and a few browning sprigs of mistletoe hung near the window, depressed her. Not that she didn’t enjoy the Yuletide holiday. She’d spent it with her sister in London. The two of them, spinsters both, always managed to have a lovely, if quiet, Christmas and New Year.

Eliza hefted her valise and started for the inn. She could have refused the assignment. Baron’s brows had risen when she’d accepted. She’d surprised him, but was she to remain a weaponry engineer forever? She rather liked her work, and at one time she might have been content to pursue it forever. Now she wanted time away from her little workshop.

And a world away from Pierce Moneypence.

The Duke’s Arms hardly qualified as traveling the world, but it was a start. She would complete this mission quickly, return victorious to the Barbican, and Baron would recognize her talent and assign her more missions. Exciting missions in Paris or Milan or Budapest—wherever that was. Eliza stamped her numb, booted feet free of snow and pushed the door of the inn open.

The warmth from so many bodies and the blazing hearth rushed at her with a vengeance. She staggered back, momentarily overwhelmed by the scents of wet wool, tallow, and the cloved oranges left over from the holiday. Her gaze swept the room efficiently, looking for exits, threats, and allies. She was a spy and a woman traveling alone—though a plain, uninteresting woman—so she kept her head down.

A pair of tattered boots paused before her, and Eliza looked up into the face of a harried serving girl, who pushed a tangle of dark, sweaty hair from her forehead. “Welcome, missus. There’s a table there, if ye like.”

A small wooden table with two empty seats nestled in a nook. Now that her feet had begun to thaw, they itched, and she longed for the warmth of the fire. But spies weren’t interested in comfort. The back table offered a view of the entrances and exits and kept her out of the way. She squeezed past the throng of fellow travelers, eyes downcast, until she reached it. She dropped the heavy valise so it obstructed the path to the table and took a seat with her back to the wall.

No one paid her any heed. With her drab brown hair in a knot, her spectacles sliding down her nose, and rumpled but modest clothing, there was nothing much to see.

The inn was very much like any other she’d visited. This was the public room, and there would be a private area nearby for those who wished to pay for it. Simple wooden stairs led to the upper floors and the rooms for rent. The kitchen was in the back or downstairs, and her mouth watered at the smell of some sort of meaty stew.

The serving girl set down a tray with six tankards of ale one table over, which was crowded with men who spoke with the local accent.

“Do you care for refreshment, missus?”

The girl’s use of missus made Eliza feel old. She was too old to be a miss any longer, and the world seemed intent upon reminding her at every turn. Eliza’s age wasn't this maid’s fault. She was still in the blush of youth, with her ample curves, long, dark hair pulled away from her face, and lively dark eyes. The maid’s life was far from flirtation and frolic, though. The hands on the swell of her hips were red and raw from work.

“Tea, please,” Eliza said. “And would you tell the innkeeper I need to rent a room?”

The girl nodded. “I’ll fetch my father, straightaway.”

“Might I have the tea—”

The serving girl had already whirled away, and Eliza resigned herself to waiting. The stifling heat took its toll, and she loosened her scarf and tugged at her gloves. Above her, a sprig of the ubiquitous mistletoe drew her attention. She had the urge to cut it down.

A shadow fell over the table. “What are you doing here?”

Eliza caught her breath and schooled her features, sliding her hand under the table to reach unobtrusively for the dagger in her boot. Slowly, she lowered her gaze from the mistletoe.

“What are you doing here?” she sputtered.

She barely recognized the skittish clerk he’d been when she’d last seen him in London. He had the same lean form, the same rigid posture, the same stiff neckcloth, but his usually soft brown eyes were hard.

Moneypence folded his arms. He probably thought it made him look gruff and foreboding. He probably thought it made him look intimidating. And he would have been right. That and the day’s worth of stubble added a touch of the ruffian.

What would that stubble feel like under her fingertips…or against her lips?

Banish that thought. She’d never touch Pierce Moneypence again.


Add to Goodreads
Thank you, Shana, for stopping by with Miss Qwillen! Shana loves to hear from her readers and you can find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Goodreads and or at her website.

US/ Canada -Ebook giveaway!
What fictional character would you like to interview?
Comment below to win an ebook of Christmas in the Duke’s Arms 
and also an ebook of Love and Let Spy
from Shana Galen
 Winner Announced October 22nd.

37 comments:

  1. A very fun blog entry today Lady Celeste, I may have had to grab that peacock feather and ran...signed you BCF Kailyn. Mom is starting to put together her stack of Christmas reading, and I know she would love to add Christmas in a Duke's arms to the list. Thank you for stopping by Shana!

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    1. Thank you for stopping by, Karen. It is a gorgeous peacock feather, isn't it?

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    2. It looks so pretty. You would never know what it can really do, would you??

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  2. Silly Kailyn forgot to answer the question. What literary character would I most like to interview? Mr. Darcy of course :-)

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  3. Merlin!!..I would love to hear him cast a few spells...great blog! Thank you for sharing!

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    1. Ooh! That's a good one. I'd love to learn some magic spells.

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  4. I don't know if it took - but Wolverine! (Really, I just want Hugh Jackman).

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    1. It took! I wouldn't mind Hugh Jackman either.

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  5. I would interview Mr. Knightly. He is my other favorite Austen man after Darcy.

    Great and fun blog today!

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    1. I do love Mr. Knightly. Great choice, Missy!

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  6. Emma Woodhouse. Jane Austen rules!

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    1. If Missy does Mr. Knightly and you do Emma, we have the whole book (almost)!

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  7. Jamie MacLeod from Lynn Kurland's A Dance Through Time. Another yummy Highlander :-)

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  8. Thoroughly enjoying my time with your books. A very lucky day when I read a review and recommendation.

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    1. Thank you so much. That's very sweet of you :-)

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  9. Who would I like to interview? Good question. Since I'm very much into historical fiction (novels, fantasy, etc), I might choose Gengis Khan (yeah, I know, he's a real history character). But, if I stay strictly fictional, Merlin and The Lady of the Lake.

    By the way, love the peacock feather - really beautiful.

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    1. The peacock feather is all the bloggers at this site. So talented aren't they. What would you ask Genis Khan? I'm intrigued...

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    2. That's a good question. Truly, at this time of the evening, I don't know what I'd have asked him. I think I'll sleep on it and give you an answer tomorrow. :)

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    3. I've slept on it... sort of. And I've imagined a few things.

      "Why am I here?"

      "To answer questions."

      "What? Where are we?"

      "I am the one who asks the questions. You are in the limbs between heaven and hell and I have to decide where I'll be sending you. So now, sit down and answer those questions."

      1) In many history records-

      "What is this history records?"

      1a) I am the one asking the questions. So, as I said, you were depicted as a ruthless, heartless barbarian quick to dispatch whoever displeased you to kingdom come. What do you have to say about this?"
      (Now, I'll have to think about an answer from him... won't I?) LOL

      Another question might be: Who are you really? Yes, I know, you will say: I am Gengis Khan, the Ruler of the World. What I mean is you as in the "real you". What kind of man are you - and forget about being the Ruler of the World for one moment.

      Another question might be: Let's supposed you had not died of your wounds in 1227, what would have happened to the rest of the world?

      Oh gosh! That exercises has given me ideas for something... Got to remember those few tidbits... :) :)

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    4. Those are great questions! You certainly have done your research.

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  10. I have a hard time with that question. There are so many people from different times that I would like to interview. Like King Arthur, Mr. Darcy, and so many more.

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  11. There are so many because I read a lot of books but if I had to choose I think it would be fun to interview the Duchess of Roxburghe (one of Karen Hawkins characters).

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  12. Love Karen Hawkins books. Great choice, Julie!

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  13. Lois Lane. I cant understand how she thinks a pair of glasses and the parting ones hair on the other side changes a mild mannered man to the unrecognized alter ego of the love of her life!

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    1. That is a good one, and how can she be a reporter and not notice?

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    2. Obviously, Lois needs glasses! She would be a tough interview.

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  14. I would love to interview Blue. He has always fascinated me! If I had to pick someone outside of Shana Galen's worlds I would pick Jaime Fraser. I just love him to pieces!

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    1. Oh, I love Blue too. Good choice, Patti.

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    2. I cannot argue with either of those, Patti, though I doubt Blue would give you a straight answer or tell you anything truthful!

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  15. Thanks for the excerpt, I can't wait to read the rest of the novellas!! And just in time to start my holiday reads! :-) There are so many interesting characters I'd love to interview but at the top of my list would be Captain Hook from Once Upon a Time. I'm sure I would have lots of questions for him if I can get past staring into his eyes! LOL!

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    1. Oh, Anita! Fabulous choice! He's gorgeous! :-)

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  16. I would do an interview with Marvel Comic's Thor. Superheroes are so fascinating with their dual lives and he can dish on Iron Man, Captain America and the Hulk! The anthology sounds great, I'm adding it to my wish list!

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    1. Your list is growing, Ada. Great selections.

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  17. Thank you, Shana and everyone who stopped by and commented. A winner has been selected and notified.

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Thank you for stopping by!