Friday, February 3, 2012

Book Dedications by Shana Galen

There are two pages in every book I never skip, and those are the dedication and the acknowledgements. Often, even in a really awesome book, those pages are some of the most interesting. I like to know to whom the author has dedicated the book, and I like to know to whom they are grateful. Knowing those two things about an author also tells me a lot about them as a person. For example, it tells me who their friends are. Recently, I was thanked in the acknowledgements of my friend Ashley March's book Romancing the Countess. I have to tell you, it was fun to read the acknowledgements and see my name there!

Dedications often let me know what challenges authors faced when writing their books or who they are especially close to. I've dedicated books to my parents, my sister, my best friend, my critique partners, my daughter, and my husband. Last year my critique partner Tera Lynn Childs dedicated her young adult novel Sweet Venom to me. I was so honored and thrilled at the same time.

If you read the dedication for my new book, The Rogue Pirate's Bride, you'll probably wonder what was going on in my life at the time. The dedication reads: "For mothers, especially my mom Nancy and my mother-in-law Cheryl. How would I have done it without you?" I definitely couldn't have written my new book without both my mom and my mother-in-law. When I began the book I had a three-month-old newborn. I absolutely adored her, but she didn't sleep much, threw a fit every time I gave her a bottle (which was like ten times a day), and was basically one of the ten fussiest babies ever born.

I would never have have finished Bastien and Raeven's book if my mother hadn't stayed with me and cared for the baby for several weeks. And then my mother-in-law took afternoons off from work three days a week to help with my daughter for several months. Some days I didn't even write. Some days I just slept or enjoyed conversation with another adult.

I promise you when I finished the book I had no idea whether it was any good or not. I didn't even remember writing large chunks of it. But I have to say I was excited when I opened the page proofs months and months later--when my daughter had begun eating solids foods, sleeping through the night, and generally acting like a happy toddler--and read the following excerpt.

When the barkeep moved away, Percy studied his mug and murmured, “See the man in the far corner?”

Raeven allowed her eyes to roam lazily over the tavern until she focused on the corner he meant.

“He’s dressed as a gentleman—navy coat, white cravat, buff breeches.”

She saw him now and nodded. “A gentleman pirate.” She shook her head. “Contradiction in terms.”

“The rumor is he’s a deposed marquis whose family fled France during the revolution.”
She scowled at him. “Don’t tell me you believe that rubbish. All the pirates concoct romantic stories. Just because one claims he’s a duke, doesn’t make him any less of a thief and murderer.”

“Of course I don’t believe it. I’m telling you the rumor.”

But she could hear in his voice he had believed the story, and now that she’d set her eyes on Cutlass, she could see why. The man did have the air of the aristocrat about him. It wasn’t simply his clothes—any man could dress up as one of the quality—but there was something in Cutlass’s bearing. He was sitting at a table, his back to the wall, facing the door to the tavern. That much told her he was no fool. There was a man seated across from him, and Cutlass was listening to whatever the man said in a leisurely fashion. Cutlass’s arms were crossed over his chest, and his expression was one of mild interest. He had a glass of something on the table before him, but she hadn’t seen him drink from it. Nor had she seen any whores approach him.
He was doing business then. It would have better served her purposes if he’d been drunk and whoring, but she didn’t have the luxury of choosing when to strike.

Her gaze slid back to Percy. “He’s handsome,” she remarked and watched the purser’s eyebrows wing upward. “I hadn’t expected that.”

The reports she’d had of him rarely mentioned his appearance. Captain Cutlass was known for his stealth, his agility, and his slippery escapes. It was rumored he’d boarded over a hundred vessels. That was obviously exaggeration, but even if his record was a quarter of that, it was an impressive feat. Of course, he claimed he was a privateer, and she knew he sailed under the Spanish flag and with that country’s letters of marque. She didn’t care for privateers any more than she cared for pirates and made little distinction between them. Neither pirates nor privateers should dare attack ships of the British Navy. Neither should dare to kill a British naval officer.

She felt the anger and the blood pump through her and took a deep, calming breath. She couldn’t afford to be emotional right now. She had to put emotion away. And she couldn’t afford a schoolgirl crush on the man either. Yes, he was handsome. His dark brown hair brushed back from his forehead and would have grazed his shoulder if not neatly secured in a queue. His face was strong with a square jaw, plenty of angles and planes, and a full mouth that destroyed the hard effect and hinted at softness. But the eyes—the eyes did not lie. There was no softness in the man. She couldn’t quite see the eye color from this far away—it was something light—but under the sardonic arch of his brow his eyes were sharp, cold, and calculating.

A worthy adversary, and she’d spill his blood tonight.




I knew the book was going to be fun! I hope you'll agree, and if you're looking for an entertaining read to help you forget laundry, dishes, crying babies, or even the overflowing trash bin your husband forgot to take out, give The Rogue Pirate's Bride a try. I promise you, Bastien would never forget to take out the trash.

Anything a good book could help you forget today? I've got some bills I'd like to forget about.

30 comments:

  1. i don't have a book i can choice to help me forget about other thing when reading because when i read every book i will forget about other thing and sometimes my mom got mad with me and angry with me because i like being in my own world *sigh

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  2. I went through Wakeful Baby Syndrome for three years, but I can't blame the kid because our only quality time was in the middle of the night. Read tons and tons of romance between 2 am and 4 am in the rocking chair, book in one hand, infinck cradled in the other arm. Switch every twenty minutes.... Of course you dedicated a book to the grandmas. Of course you did.

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  3. The library was right across the street from my first apartment. My folks were all in another world called Oklahoma. Husband went to work at five a.m. and didn't get home until after six. The in-laws weren't too happy with him for marrying me or me for enticing him. I mean, after all, he was such a good boy and it was evident that I wasn't going to amount to a hill of beans. So in that very lonely first year, I must have read almost every book in that little library.
    Dedications and acknowledgements...oh, yes, they are personal tidbits from the writer to the reader. Bet the grandmas were so tickled that you honored them!

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  4. Eli, that's wonderful! I'm sure it can frustrate those around you, but it's so nice to be able to escape.

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  5. Oh, Grace! I cannot imagine. When mine was an infant, I also read lots of books rocking her. But then, thanks God, she started to sleep!

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  6. They were, Carolyn. I'm so glad we have a library close as well. I hope people continue to fund libraries!

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  7. I think I forget about most things when I am reading. That is either a VERY good thing or bad thing depending on your perspective. I have been known to forget about eating while reading..

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  8. Great post, Shana! Loved the excerpt!

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  9. Reading is the only time I can forget things so I always, always read before going to sleep. Otherwise I would lay there with lists and words going around and around in my head.

    My happiest times were when reading to my two girls. I have enough children's books to start a library lol.

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  10. Oh, I'm doing a happy dance here right now! I just heard from Heroes and Heartbreakers that I won a copy of your book! Can't wait for it to arrive in the mail!

    Unfortunately, when my son was an infant, he wanted to eat every 3 hours and took about an hour to do it so I slept in short naps day and night for about 2 months until I finally got him to take a bit of cereal and he started sleeping long, especially at night! He's 35 mow...wonder if he remembers the hell he put me through? Doubt it! LOL

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  11. Usually with each book I pick up to read that dramas, stresses, worries tend to melt away until I have to put the book down. Then all that comes rushing back until I can drown in the plot and characters of the book again.

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  12. Books are always my escapes from the stress and worries of the real world. That's why I insist on HEA books...otherwise, what's the point if I'm going to be more depressed when I finished than when I started the book! I love reading the acknowledgments and dedications, and I especially like to see how closely knit some of you are to each other...it's nice to see people bringing each other up rather than tearing down...so I am always thrilled when I see other authors' names in the dedications (I had no idea that it gives you guys a thrill too, lol).

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  13. May, I have forgotten to eat when writing (not when reading). I'll finish my pages and wonder why I have such a bad headache!

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  14. catslady, that's why I like to read before going to sleep too. Then I think about the book and not whatever problems are plaguing me that day.

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  15. Karen, that's awesome! H&H ship their contest books, and they already have mine, so I hope you get it soon!

    I'm sure your son doesn't remember the hell he put you through. Does he have kids yet? When he does, he'll appreciate it.

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  16. Raonaid, I suppose even a small escape is better than none, right?

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  17. Elf2060, that's exactly why I like romance novels, too. I like HEA. There's too much grief in the world as it is.

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  18. Hi Shana,

    Sorry to be so late! Loved this post. I pretty sure I thanked everyone and their sister in the acknowledgement section of my debut. LOL Just writing the dedication for book 2 choked me up. Like you, I have an amazing support system.

    Congrats on your latest release--picked it up last Friday!

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  19. That I'm sick! A book made me forget that today! For a little while :)
    my ankle injury is taking longer than everyone thought to get better =/ on top of that I got the flu yesterday :'(
    but if I got a good book it's all better for a little while, right? :)
    you're a wonderful mother Shana! Congrast and good luck in the future writing :)

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  20. I've always liked reading the dedication page to see who inspired and was there for the authors. Before I sit down to read the book, that's the first page I look at. Some day my dedication will be there. It is nice to know there are others like me. Thanks for the post.

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  21. What a blessing to have them near - not only to help - but to be a part of your daughter's life so deeply from the start!

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  22. Thanks so much, Tracey! I can't believe it was on sale so early. And I think if you get choked up writing the dedication, you're doing it right :-)

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  23. Marleen, I bet you already know how the dedication will go, too. I had like 5 planned, so i knew I had to write at least 5 books!

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  24. So true, Catherine. We're all so lucky.

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  25. Hi Shana, I am really touched with your dedication pages . It is true that life is hard especially as a new mom, my best friend gave birth to her son 3 years ago and I saw how she got so many difficulties when both her mom and mother in law even her husband don't want to help her. Being mom is one of the greatest experience but also the most infuriating experience lol. I am the kind of person who is very discipline in life . For me I have to brave my heart and finish everything by myself since I was 15 years old. My dad passEd away and I have to help my mom to take care of everything . Sometimes I do want to runaway to the life of a book but every now and then I realize books are fun but my life also fun:). Wish you all the best, aretha_zhen@yahoo.com

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  26. Aretha, it is hard when you don't get much help as a new mom--or as an experienced mom. I think all moms have days when they feel like they have to do it all. I'm so blessed to have had two great grandmas helping me. I'm sure your mom really appreciates your help.

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  27. I have always lost myself in books angering my family and infuriating my inlaws. I don't share their love of hunting unless it is in a book.

    I also like to read the dedications. I know writers can't write without help with the other aspects of their lives. Congratulations!

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  28. What a nice dedicataion, and reason behind it. I always make a point to read the dedications in books, and it usually makes me wonder who these people are to the authors and why are they mentioned. So its nice to have some back ground!
    Love the excerpt!!!

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  29. A good book helps me forget what's going on in the world.

    bn100candg(at)hotmail(dot)com

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