Monday, September 3, 2012

When You Give a Duke a Diamond Party + Giveaway by Shana Galen

I’m not picky about my gems. I’ll take rubies, sapphires, emeralds, even cubic zirconia! But when I was brainstorming a sobriquet for my three courtesan heroines in When You Give a Duke a Diamond, only one gem would do—a diamond, of course. One of the popular cant phrases during the Regency era was diamond of the first water. A woman or man referred to in this way was of the highest quality. He or she was simply the very best. That’s why my heroines are called The Three Diamonds. They are the most notorious, most sought-after courtesans in London.

Of course, not every man wants to be paired with a notorious courtesan. William Cavington, the sixth duke of Pelham would much rather not be associated with ladies of easy virtue. Unfortunately, the gossip magazines sell far more copies if they invent stories. Here’s a little excerpt featuring the moment Will realizes he’s been paired with Juliette, one of The Three Diamonds.

Fitzhugh’s face remained impassive, but Pelham could have sworn he was enjoying the moment. “You’ve been mentioned in the Cytherian Intelligence column of late. The writers of the Morning Chronicle have you paired with the Duchess of Dalliance.”

“The who?”

“Don’t pretend you don’t know who she is,” Darlington said, sipping his sherry. “Even a country bumpkin like you has heard of The Three Diamonds.”

“Are you speaking of courtesans?” He should have known. Darlington was always chasing after some woman or other.

“Now you’re following,” Darlington said, raising his glass.

“Then why do you keep calling her Duchess?”

Fitzhugh raised a hand before Darlington could speak again. Thank God. “The Prince Regent dubbed Juliette the Duchess of Dalliance. That’s the one you’re rumored to be madly in love with.”

Pelham stared absently at the fireplace blazing behind Fitzhugh. On the mantle, an ancient clocked ticked away the hours. Above it, a painting of a hunting scene in greens and browns dominated the dark-paneled wall. He thought he vaguely remembered glimpses of these Three Diamonds from afar. He tried to picture this Juliette. “She’s the dark one?” he asked.

“No. That’s the Marchioness of Mystery,” Darlington informed him.

Pelham shook his head. Had the Prince nothing better to do than invent titles? “Then she’s the pale one?”

“Right,” Fitzhugh said.

“I’d hardly call her pale,” Darlington corrected. “She’s blond, but her complexion has quite the pinkish quality. Most fetching.”

“Perhaps the papers should pair her with you,” Pelham said, lifting his spoon and tasting his soup.

“He’d like nothing better,” Fitzhugh said, swirling his port. “But the Duchess won’t have him.”

Darlington scowled at Fitzhugh, and Pelham paused in dipping his spoon in the soup. Now this was interesting. He couldn’t remember ever seeing Darlington scowl.

“Why won’t she have you?” Pelham said, tasting the soup again. “She’s a courtesan. I didn’t realize they were overly choosy.”

Darlington shook his head. “She’s one of The Three Diamonds, Pelham. She picks her own lovers, and she’s extremely choosy.”

“And why don’t you make the cut? Not rich enough?”

“No.” Darlington looked away.

“Too ugly?” Fitzhugh asked with a laugh.

“Not compared to some,” Darlington said with a pointed look at Fitzhugh, who shrugged.

“I’m not the one who can’t get a woman.”

“I will have her,” Darlington protested a bit too loudly. “I simply need to prove that…” He mumbled the last.

“Say again?” Pelham asked.

“That I don’t need a nursemaid.”

Pelham lifted his napkin, covering his smile. Fitzhugh wasn’t so kind. He laughed loudly. “Is that what she said?”

“Oh, stubble it.”

“Listen, Darlington,” Pelham said. “I have no designs on your pale duchess. I’d venture to say, she planted those stories in the Morning Chronicle herself.”

“She’s not like that,” Darlington protested.

Pelham almost felt sorry for the man, besotted as he was. “Of course she is. Probably needs to be set in her place.”

“I like her place,” Darlington grumbled.

“Find someone else,” Pelham suggested.

Darlington gave him a look of incomprehension. “I can’t simply forget her. I’m in love with her.”

“Oh, good God.” Fitzhugh rolled his eyes and finished his port.

“I don’t expect you two to understand. You have hearts of stone.”

“That’s not true,” Pelham argued. “In fact, I have reason to celebrate tonight. I’m about to sign betrothal papers. In a few short months, I will have my own duchess.”

“Lady Elizabeth accepted your suit?” Fitzhugh asked.

Pelham lifted his port and toasted.

“Lady Elizabeth.” Darlington snorted. “You’re not in love with Lady Elizabeth.”

“You know my rule,” Pelham told him.

“Ah, yes, Pelham’s Cardinal Rule. Never fall in love. It’s complete rubbish.”

Do you read any of the contemporary “gossip magazines?” I’ll admit, I couldn’t resist thumbing through People the other day. That story about Prince Harry in Vegas was simply too delicious. One reader who comments will win a copy of When You Give a Duke a Diamond.

Buy the book.

Read another excerpt.

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  1. I tend not to read the gossip magazines but sometimes cannot miss the little snippets that flash on the homepages of my e-mail providers. I was sorry to see that the prince is getting such flack from his indulgences while sowing his wild oats. Perhaps he thought the 'what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas' adage was actually true, poor guy.

  2. Shana, I was reading that excerpt and got so involved that I lost my Texas accent and sounded like your characters!
    Congratulations on your new release, for it making #1 on the Amazon list, and BTW, I LOVE that cover!

  3. Too funny, Carolyn! I do the same when I'm reading historical pieces. I mean, I don't have any kind of accent, but if I did, I'd be so lost in the old world accent, I could fit right in. Says me. LOL :) They probably couldn't understand a word I said!

    Congrats, Shana, on a great story, beautiful cover, and for making #!!

  4. I read contemporary gossip magazines like Us and Times, but I don't necessarily buy them. Congrats Shana for your new book! Pls. send my regards to Baby Galen! :D

  5. Elf, I try not to read them either, but like you, sometimes I can't resist clicking or thumbing through.

  6. Carolyn, I would like to hear you without that Texas accent, especially if you adopted a British one! Thank you :-)

  7. Terry, I have a horrible British accent, but I do use it when I read my work aloud (in private). Something about that accent helps me write the words.

  8. Thanks, Lory. Baby Galen is spending a little time with daddy today--at least until lunch. I'll give her a hug from you.

  9. I usually don't get past the headlines, any good bits (or really bad bits) I usually hear on the radio or such (though I admit to being bummed about missing those picks ;) as that doesn't translate well to radio) :) Enjoyed the excerpt, thanks for it & the chance to win a copy of your book :)

  10. I read the headlines while I am at the checkout counter at the grocery store, but I have never actually bought one. But if one is laying about, say at the Hairdressers, I might pick it up and glance through the stories. Now if it is People mag or Hello, yes I have bought them, but not the gossip mags..
    Congrats on your new release.

  11. This sounds like a fun read. I also want the dress on the cover; reminds me of Belle in Beauty and the Beast.

    I'm not a fan of gossip magazines. What celebrities do with their time isn't of interest to me. I feel bad for those that have their dirty secrets laid out for all to read. They deserve to have a private life like everyone else. I'd rather pick up a tech magazine or The Smithsonian if around. But typically, if I'm waiting somewhere like at a doctor's office or hairdresser, I have a book or my kindle with me.

    Thanks for hosting this giveaway and providing an excerpt of Shana's new book!

  12. Gamistress66, I don't usually have time to do much more than glance at the headlines, too. Sometimes my imagination is better than they story!

  13. Kathleen, the hairdresser or the nail place is a great spot to browse all those magazines you don't want to actually buy. I'll bring a book to read and then spend the whole time reading the magazines!

  14. Sarah, you're right! That dress is reminiscent of Belle's dress in Beauty and the Beast. I hadn't thought about that, mostly because my daughter is too scared of Disney movies to watch any right now.

  15. Congrats on the release of this gem! I enjoyed it and wonder if Lily and Fallon will be getting their own HEA? I may scan the headlines in line at the grocery, but don't pick them up to read.

  16. Oh, sounds wonderful. No, I don't read the magazine but I do catch some of the shows on TV that give you small bits about movie stars lol. And a gorgeous cover too!

  17. I can't wait to read When You Give a Duke a Diamond, it sounds delightful.
    I haven't read any gossip magazines lately, but I have read a lot of People and In Touch magazines in the past. Lately, I occasionally read celebrity gossip online, but I have to admit I can't look away from juicy stuff like a naked prince. :D

  18. I don't read gossip magazines.


  19. I occasionally read People but I tend to get my gossip via the internet. I like TVLine and The Hollywood 5 plus E News.

  20. I used to be an avid reader of People magazine. It seems like I get my gossip from the internet now.

  21. I don't subscribe to gossip mags but I devour them, specifically people, when I get my hair done.

  22. I don't really read gossip magazines but once a while, a headline may hook my curiosity a bit and I'll thumb through one. However, more often than not, I would realize that the "story" with an interesting headline really doesn't have much to it...


  23. Nise' thank you! Yes, both Lily and Fallon will have books. Fallon's will be out in March. It's IF YOU GIVE A RAKE A RUBY. Lily's will be out in Spring 2014, and it's SAPPHIRES ARE AN EARL'S BEST FRIEND.

  24. catslady, I'm the opposite. I only know what I read. I never know what they'll be talking about on TV, so I don't have it on around my daughter.

  25. Barbara, who could look away? And I was just thinking, Harry seems to have become more respectable. Um, nope!

  26. bn100, I just read the covers. They're tempting, though, but not tempting enough to part me from my money!

  27. Sheryl, even if you don't read gossip, you can't help but catch it when you get online.

  28. Carey, I don't really know any of the gossip websites. I'll check those out next time there's a juicy story I want to know more about.

  29. Jen, I mostly read the magazines when i get my hair done too. But they're usually 3 or 4 months behind, so I'm always behind!

  30. Winnie, I completely agree! The headlines are usually better than the actual story.

  31. I don't normally read gossip magazines. Although every now and then I can't seem to help myself. :)


  32. No, I don't read them!! I can't wait to read this one, it looks great and the cover is beautiful.

    mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

  33. Only when I'm standing in a long check-out line! Otherwise, Twitter provides me with enough gossip to last.

  34. No, I don't read magazines much in the 1st place; preferring to spend my $ on books. I have to admit to be fascinated by the British Royal family tho, if I come across an article in the news or online I'd probably read that.

  35. I read them in passing when I'm waiting in line at the grocery stores. I admit the headlines often catch my attention but I don't often believe them.

    Congratulations on your recent release!


  36. Congrats on the release! I don't read gossip magazines, I might flip through one at an office or something while waiting for an appt. but not often. I have to admit that I do sometimes watch shows on TV that are basically gossip, lol.
    manning_j2004 at yahoo dot com

  37. Julie, that's true. I always feel like I'm in the know when I hear something on Twitter first.

  38. Linda, I'm the same way. I could care less about the Kardashians, but give me some royal scandal, and I'm there.

  39. Na, I don't believe them most of the time either. I'm always shocked when they're true, like when Katie Holmes left tom Cruise.

  40. June, so funny to think there's a whole industry thriving on gossip--TV, internet, print. How can we not get sucked in once in a while?

  41. The randomly chosen winner of WHEN YOU GIVE A DUKE A DIAMOND is Kathleen O. Kathleen, check your inbox!