Tuesday, March 5, 2013

How to Shock Your Mother by Shana Galen

AKA the If You Give a Rake a Ruby Launch Party

My mother reads my books, but she’s pretty conservative. She’d rather I didn’t write about S-E-X so much. I think she skips those parts. In any case, she never mentions them. We can have a lengthy discussion about my new book, and you’d never know there was a love story in there.

So you can imagine my sense of foreboding when I started a new series about three Regency courtesans. How was I going to pitch this to my mother? I got around it for a little while. When you’ve written a few books, you can talk about your work in generalities. No one is all that interested in what the story is about. But finally my mother realized I had sold a new 3-book series, and she asked what it was about. I mumbled, “It’s about three glamorous Regency mumble mumble who find true love.”

“Courtesans?” She looked a little pale. “Aren’t those prostitutes?”

“Not really. They were independent women. They chose their own lovers and could be highly fashionable.”

She was not fooled. “But how did they earn their money?”

“They had protectors.”

“In other words, they had S-E-X for money.”

“I mean, that’s one way to look at it.”

So I was a little apprehensive when When You Give a Duke a Diamond was released. What would my mother think about my courtesan book? To my relief, she loved it. She was especially glad the courtesans weren’t too “courtesan-y.”

Now the next book in my Jewels of the Ton series is out. I do worry a little about what my mother will think of Fallon from If You Give a Rake a Ruby. She’s a little rough around the edges, compared to Juliette, the heroine from the first book. Fallon can handle herself, and she can definitely kick some ass. In fact, that’s how the book opens.

Kwirley was slower than she’d anticipated, and she had almost gained the towering mahogany doors before he caught her elbow and spun her around. “Not so fast—” he began.
Fallon kicked him in the belly, sending him sprawling backward. He knocked over a pedestal holding a jeweled lamp, and she had a moment’s worry because it was one of her favorites. But a quick glance reassured her the lamp was not broken.
The glance also revealed Kwirley was getting up. Blockhead. “Go home, my lord. I don’t want to hurt you.”
“Really?” He wiped his hands on his breeches. “Because I would like to hurt you. I don’t know who you think you are, but you’re going to pay for—”
She sidestepped him, spun, and booted him in his lower back. The blow set him off-balance, and she had a moment to grab a book and hurl it at him. Her aim was perfect, and the book’s spine hit him in the center of the forehead. “Ow, you little bitch!” He charged her, and Fallon shook her head. He wasn’t even thinking, simply acting blindly. She easily sidestepped him again, and he rammed into a settee, knocking it over. While he struggled to rise, Fallon dug her heel into the back of his neck and pressed him down.
“Had enough?” she asked. “Or would you prefer to go another round?” Because she was tired and wanted to go to bed, she ground her heel into his neck.
“Enough,” he mumbled.
“Good.” Without lifting her heel, she reached for a little silver bell and rang it. The sound tinkled softly in the room and the drawing room doors opened immediately to reveal Titus.
Titus was close to seven feet tall and easily twenty-five stone. He had a thick head of bright red hair, shocking blue eyes, and a mouth full of crooked teeth. His hands were as big as puppies and his legs tree trunks. He did not walk so much as lumber, and Kwirley began protesting the moment Titus entered the room.
“There’s been some sort of mistake. I didn’t intend any disrespect.”
Fallon sighed. “Titus, I might have known you would be standing right outside.”
The giant shrugged, his shoulders small mountains. “I like to make sure there’s no trouble, my lady.”
Fallon had told him an hundred times she was no lady, but he insisted on referring to her as such anyway. Who was she to protest? It wasn’t as though anyone else was clamoring to call her a lady.
She pressed her foot into Kwirley’s neck for good measure then lifted it and stepped away. “Would you be so kind as to show Lord Kwirley out?”
“I’ll show ‘em out,” Titus said. “But I won’t be kind about it.”
Kwirley gave her a panicked look, and Fallon was sorely tempted to shrug helplessly. But at the last moment, she took pity on the man. “Titus, be nice. Don’t throw Lord Kwirley farther than the lamp post.”

What does your mother think about you writing romance? If you’re not an author, have you ever shocked your mother or father? One person who comments will win When You Give a Duke a Diamond (US and Canada).

If You Give a Rake a Ruby by Shana Galen—in stores March 2013

Fallon, the Marchioness of Mystery, is a celebrated courtesan with her finger on the pulse of high society. She’s adored by men, hated by their wives. No one knows anything about her past, and she plans to keep it that way.

Warrick Fitzhugh will do anything to protect his compatriots in the Foreign Office, including seduce Fallon, who he thinks can lead him to the deadliest crime lord in London. He knows he’s putting his life on the line . . .

To Warrick’s shock, Fallon is not who he thinks she is, and the secrets she’s keeping are exactly what make her his heart’s desire . . .


  1. My mother passed before I got my first contract, but I remember the first book I wrote when I was 15, she was horrified at the idea of the characters french-kissings, said she didn't see the need for that and all.

    I swear I was a test-tube baby, for all my mother was missish about sex.

  2. I'd already lost both parents by the time I was published, but I think my father would love them. My mother had an eye for a handsome man, so maybe she would've liked them, too! Congrats on the new release!

  3. My mother skipped over those parts of my books, my dad would have loved them! He was editing my first book way before I ever got published, but died. He told everyone how I was nearly an author. Loved them both.

  4. Loved the excerpt, the cover, the whole package. My mother read my books, sex and all. She was one of my biggest fans before she passed on three years ago. After raising three kids on her own, not much shocked her!

  5. Loved the excerpt, the cover, the whole package. My mother read my books, sex and all. She was one of my biggest fans before she passed on three years ago. After raising three kids on her own, not much shocked her!

  6. Hi Shana!

    It sounds like your Mom is about my age so her introduction to becoming a "woman" was probably similar to mine so I understand her reaction to writing "sexy" books.

    If your grandmother was like my Mom her "introducing" me to womanhood was to leave a box of "feminine" pads on the bathroom sink. I guess she thought I'd somehow instantly understand what was going on! The "sex" word was never mentioned in my entire teenage years nor any cautions given. You just didn't talk about "those things" way back when!

    I can tell you that my sons on the other hand got the whole "scoop" and there was even times when a group of their friends (boys and girls) were over when they were in High School that the "ramifications" of a teenage pregnancy where discussed from both the female AND male point of view.

    Whenever I read a book about courtesans I'm always glad to see when "protection" is mentioned because I think it help educate some of the younger readers in a way that parents and schools today never talk about.

    PS: Sometimes it's the "kids", no matter their age, that are shocked - not the mothers!

  7. LOL, Tory! I guess there isn't a need for French kissing, but it can be fun!

  8. Cheryl, my dad is embarrassed by the books. he is proud of me, but I don't think he wants to know what I write about.

  9. Terry, that's very special. It's so important to have support from family.

  10. Carolyn, if your mom was anything like you, I think she would be hard to shock. I'm glad she was such a supporter.

  11. Jeanne, I do see the difficulty parents face in this area. My daughter is at an age where she asks questions sometimes, and it's hard to know what to answer. I have a feeling when she's about 10, I'll be embarrassing her with those shirtless guys on the book covers.

  12. Congrats on your new release. Sounds great. I love the cover. My mom was very conservative and I shocked her alot.

  13. You may have to start writing under another name lol. I've always been too honest for my own good so what I learned to do was to avoid certain subjects and since I was never asked...Frankly, I don't think she wanted to know everything lol. I'm more open with my two daughters and I don't think anything shocks me. I'd be happy if they took up your kind of writing lol.

  14. Sounds as if this book is just as delicious as the diamond book. Wishing you tons of success!


  15. I really enjoy your books and loved the post on how you have shocked your mother.

    Yes, I have shocked my mother. I went abroad for 3 months work study but was picked up for a training program by a larger company, met and married and stayed abroad for about a decade and a half further before moving back to our home city with hubby and kids in tow.

    little lamb lst at yahoo dot com

  16. Crystal, you don't sound too repentant :-)

  17. Oh, catslady, you have no idea how right you are. Moms don't need to know everything, do they?

  18. Lil, that sounds really exciting! Your poor mom thought you were never coming back, I'm sure.

  19. Ooh, great excerpt!

    My mum and I don't discuss my books that much, which is perfectly fine with me. My boyfriend's mum on the other hand... I think she tells everyone how 'raunchy' it is.

  20. Don't think I have.


  21. I can't recall ever really shocking either of them. Probably because they knew everything. lol
    I think though my claiming true everlasting love at 18 and wanting to marry did raise their eyebrows and concern,. :) They were right of course,the marriage only lasted 4 years. :)I love this series Shana and can't wait to read Fallon's story. Wishing you many sales.
    I truly love your books. I still have Armand from The Sons of The Revolution in my heart. :)
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

  22. I'm not an author and I don't think I ever shocked my mother or father! The book sounds awesome, I'm putting it on the wish list. Thanks for the chance.

    mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

  23. Shana, congrats on your new release! Absolutely loved the excerpt and can't wait to start reading RUBY. I gotta say--the picture of your book is beautiful, but it does compare to the beauty of the physical book. The red is just stunning.

  24. I used to share my romance books with my mother, and she never mentioned any of the racy parts, so I'm pretty sure she liked them. :D I imagine I shocked her a time or two with things I did, but my mom was pretty understanding and loved me anyway.

  25. LOL, Bec! I'll never forget the time my mother-in-law was asking me about 50 Shades of grey. I was like, this is not a conversation I want to have with you. I guess it goes both ways.

  26. bn100, you need to start living, girl! You have to embarrass your mom once in life!

  27. Carol, don't you hate it when mom and dad are right? Ugh!

    You are very sweet to mention Armand :-)

  28. Now Martha, I think you need to add another bullet point to your bucket list. Do something shocking!

  29. Thanks, Tracey! I was very surprised when I got my author copies at how beautiful the real cover is. The raised gold lettering is gorgeous.

  30. Barbara, my mom is a lot like yours. I know she reads those sections, but she kind of pretends I didn't put them in there.

  31. I once read a scene from a romance novel to my nana, a scene that I thought was hilarious, perhaps a little naughty. My nana was like, CHELSEA! WHAT ARE YOU READING??!!! Her cheeks heated. Which suprised me-- she watches True Blood! ;-)


  32. I've not doubt that I did, but she never showed it to me!

  33. Chelsea, that's funny! Maybe it was just the fact that you were reading it.

  34. jmcgaugh, she had a poker face. Maybe she thought if you knew you shocker her, you'd do it again.

  35. The randomly selected winner of WHEN YOU GIVE A DUKE A DIAMOND is Jeanne. She's been notified. Thanks to everyone who stopped by.