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Guest blogger: Shana Galen

7 October 2012

Girlfriends

I love my husband, but my girlfriends are the ones I turn to when there’s a real crisis—you know a fashion emergency or a child-rearing dilemma or when I feel like talking over a few adult beverages. I don’t know about you, but I’d be lost without my girlfriends.

As a romance writer, my books focus on the relationship between a man and a woman. When I do include other characters, they’re usually people causing the hero or heroine conflicts. But I made a conscious choice in my new Jewels of the Ton series to highlight female friendships. I wanted to show how those relationships can be as important to a woman as the relationship she has with her husband.

The Jewels of the Ton is a trilogy about three glamorous courtesans in Regency London. The women are the celebrities of their day. They’re considered diamonds of the first water and have been dubbed The Three Diamonds. They’ve each been granted ‘titles’ as well by the Prince Regent. In When You Give a Duke a Diamond, the first book in the series, which came out on 1 September, Juliette is known as the Duchess of Dalliance. Even though courtesans must have been in competition with one another to some extent, Juliette is best friends with the other two Diamonds, Fallon and Lily. All three women are mentored by the Countess of Sinclair, who turns out to be not only their friend but a powerful ally.

I know that my friends often tell me the truth even when I don’t want to hear it. They give me advice I need but don’t want. And they point out when I’m being ridiculous, and when I really need to step up and confront an issue.

Juliette, Fallon, and Lily are these kinds of friends as well. They protect one another, but they’re also willing to tell one another the hard truths. When Juliette falls in love with the unattainable sixth Duke of Pelham, her friends are the first ones to tell her he doesn’t deserve her. And they’re the first ones to help her devise a plan to win him over.

Do you have friends like The Three Diamonds? One person who comments will win a copy of When You Give a Duke a Diamond. Giveaway is open internationally. (The giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to Laurie G!)

When You Give a Duke a Diamond

He had a perfectly orderly life…

William, the sixth Duke of Pelham, enjoys his punctual, securely structured life. Orderly and predictable—that’s the way he likes it. But he’s in the public eye, and the scandal sheets will make up anything to sell papers. When the gossip papers link him to Juliette, one of the most beautiful and celebrated courtesans in London, chaos doesn’t begin to describe what happens next…

Until she came along…

Juliette is nicknamed the Duchess of Dalliance and has the cream of the nobility at her beck and call. It’s disruptive to have the duke who is the biggest catch on the Marriage Mart scaring her other suitors away. Then she discovers William’s darkest secret and decides what he needs in his life is the kind of excitement only she can provide…

Shana Galen is the national bestselling author of numerous fast-paced, adventurous Regency historical romances, including the Rita-nominated Blackthorne’s Bride. Her books are published all over the world and have been featured in the Rhapsody and Doubleday Book Clubs. She taught English at the middle and high school level off and on for eleven years. Most of those years were spent working in Houston’s inner city. Now she writes full time. She’s happily married to an incredibly supportive man she calls Ultimate Sportsfan, and she has a beautiful little girl she calls Little Galen.

You can find Shana at:

Website
Jaunty Quills
Peanut Butter on the Keyboard
Facebook

Twitter

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34 Comments
  1. 7 October 2012 9:16 am

    Hi Shana! Welcome to the ARRA blog. Lovely to see you here!

  2. 7 October 2012 9:19 am

    Hi Shana – welcome downunder. This book, and the series, sounds delicious. I have laods of girlfriends, many of them other writers too. We all support each other through life’s ups and downs. I love the cover BTW. Can’t wait to read the story.

    • 7 October 2012 12:05 pm

      Hi Brownwen! I love it downunder. Wish I was there in person. Thanks so much for the compliments. I’ve been lucky with my last few covers. It’s so important to have good girlfriends.

  3. helensibbritt permalink
    7 October 2012 9:38 am

    I so love your books Shana and I have the first one in this series on the TBR pile and it won’t be long before I fall into it and I am looking forward to it. Totally agree that girlfriends are the best I have quite a few who are always there for me and me for them

    Have Fun
    Helen

    • 7 October 2012 12:06 pm

      Hey, Helen! Nice to see you too. I just had dinner (it’s evening here in the States) with a good friend of mine, so this is a topic I’m thinking about a lot presently.

  4. 7 October 2012 10:18 am

    Hi Shana

    I love the sound of your three friends and am looking forward to reading about them.

    Girlfriends are the ones to have a few drinks with, get silly with and then drink coffee with the next day! It is even better if your teenage kids are all friends and they spend the next day consoling each other over how embarrassing their mothers are!

    Regards
    Kerry

    • 7 October 2012 12:09 pm

      Kerry, I love your description of a girls’ night out. I have some good friends with kids the same age as my daughter. I hope our kids can stay friends, and we can embarrass them in 10 years.

  5. loreleislitlair permalink
    7 October 2012 12:35 pm

    Girlfriends are the best. Just recently my BFF moved to California and I live in FL. I didn’t want to think how awful it was going to be not having her around, but instead focused on the thought that we’d never lose touch, with cell phones and Skype handy, we communicate that way and chatter away as if we still live close by. We plan on having Skype/coffee dates to SEE each other and we always have a shoulder or ear to lend.
    Love the details of your book Shana! Promises to be a great read!

    • 8 October 2012 5:12 am

      Lorelei, my sister was in Uganda for a year, and we talked via Skype every single week. I have even skyped with my great grandparents. I’m so excited for all this technology that can keep even far away friends close.

  6. Carol L. permalink
    7 October 2012 1:40 pm

    Hi Shana, I’m looking forward to starting this new series. Thanks so much for this chance. In my younger years I had such friends. Friends who always had your back no matter your decisions. Friends that you knew loved you no matter what was and wasn’t said.
    Carol L.

    • 8 October 2012 5:13 am

      Carol, good luck with the giveaway. The best thing about those kinds of friends is that no matter how much time has passed since you’ve seen one another, once you see each other again, it’s as if no time has passed.

  7. laurie g permalink
    7 October 2012 7:43 pm

    Hi Shana,

    your book looks really interesting. i haven’t read any of your stuff as yet but once i find a job i am going to buy that book!

    parisfan_ca@yahoo.com

    • 8 October 2012 5:14 am

      Thanks, Laurie! I know a lot of my books are also in libraries. Or maybe you’ll win the giveaway!

  8. 7 October 2012 11:46 pm

    This series looks fantastic. :)

    I do have some solid girlfriends I wish loved closer so we could get together for a drink & chat more often. Since we don’t we are happy to create google hangouts for the chatting or venting until the next time we manage to be in the same state/country. It’s important to have that and the internet had been great st letting me keep my girls no matter how far apart we get.

    • 8 October 2012 5:15 am

      Kanriah, I haven’t tried the Google hangouts yet, but I hear good things. I am so glad for the internet. It keeps me close to family and friends who don’t live nearby. My Regency characters didn’t have that luxury. They had to write letters.

  9. Sheryl N permalink
    8 October 2012 12:02 am

    I have some really close girlfirends at work. We see each other there and since we all work in different branches of the bank, we get together and have dinner as a group and talk about thing that is going on in our lives. They are very special friends and I am grateful that we all live so close and can hangout together as much as we want.

    • 8 October 2012 5:16 am

      Sheryl, work friends are some of the best. I used to teach, and I still have a teacher friend I see very often. Even though we don’t work together anymore, we still have that bond.

  10. May permalink
    8 October 2012 1:11 am

    I don’t have 3 girl friends like that. Just one. :) But yes, it’s nice to have people that you can depend on like that!

    • 8 October 2012 5:16 am

      May, one friend or 5, it doesn’t matter. We all need a good girl friend!

  11. Kim permalink
    8 October 2012 5:59 am

    Congratulations on the new series. Friends are great, but in an emergency, I tend to rely more on family.

    • 8 October 2012 7:17 am

      Kim, that’s true. I tend to rely on family in an emergency too. I’m fortunate to have a great family.

  12. Ileana A. permalink
    8 October 2012 6:25 am

    I love reading books with this kind of friendship in it! Girlfriends are the best of all! Is nice to have a couple of friends to hang out and fool around a bit! Thanks, Shana!

    • 8 October 2012 7:18 am

      Ileana, it was fun to write about the girls’ friendship. The love story is still central, but I wanted these girls to have best girlfriends too.

  13. sonalinaicker@hotmail.com permalink
    8 October 2012 8:18 am

    Hi Shana,

    I love your books and your Jewels of the Ton series sounds amazing. Can’t wait to read When you give a Duke a Diamond. I agree having girlfriends is so important. I am so thankful for my girlies. Don’t know what i’d do without them. We always make sure, no matter how buzy we are, to catch up regularly.

    • 8 October 2012 12:56 pm

      Thanks so much! It’s so important to keep in touch, especially when you are busy. When you’re stressed, your friends are even more necessary.

  14. aimskye permalink
    8 October 2012 10:00 am

    Hi Shana,

    Thanks for blogging! I totally agree re: girlfriends, I’m lucky to have meet some fabulous women thru ARRA and count them as some of my cloest friends!

    Aime

    • 8 October 2012 12:57 pm

      Aime, you reminded me of all the great friends I’ve made through RWA and other writing groups. Sometimes the people who love what you love understand you the best.

  15. 8 October 2012 2:03 pm

    Hi, Shana, I agree – there’s nothing like a girlfriend and the best thing is that distance doesn’t matter. Well, except that bit about sharing adult drinks… But, hey, who says you can’t have a glass of something while talking on the phone? Thanks for a great blog. The book sounds fab.
    maggie

    • 8 October 2012 9:33 pm

      Maggie, it is tough to chat over drinks when you’re not in the same town, but you’re right that you can always talk on the phone and have your coffee or something stronger at the same time. And now there’s Skype and Google hangout and so many ways to keep in touch!

  16. 9 October 2012 7:19 am

    Hi Shana,
    I think you’re absolutely right, there are some things you can only talk about with your girlfriends! I definitely wouldn’t want to be without mine and look forward to reading your books, they sound great!
    Christina

    • 9 October 2012 11:38 am

      Christina, I know when my husband starts to get that glazed over look, I should probably go call a friend. He’s great, but if it’s not a conversation about football, he doesn’t have the longest attention span!

  17. bn100 permalink
    9 October 2012 4:48 pm

    Nice post about friends.

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