Interview with Shana Galen + giveaway

We are excited to welcome Shana to our site today. Shana is a new to us author, and I have to say that after reading her book Lord and Lady Spy in one sitting she has landed on my keeper shelf.

SG: Thanks so much, and thank you for having me here today!

TBRG: It is our pleasure…we can’t wait to get you know you better.

TBRG: Who has been the biggest influence on your writing?
I would have to say Marsha Canham. I don’t know her personally, but I’ve read every one of her books, and many of them more than once. I love her style, her characters, her plots. She’s just awesome. I also like Julie Garwood’s humor. She was one of the first authors I read who made me want to become a writer. Marsha Canham’s writing intimidates me, but Garwood makes it seem so easy.

TBRG: What is the one thing your readers would be the most surprised to know about you?
People are always surprised when they learn I don’t have an English degree. I majored in Voice, then Psychology, then got a Master’s in Education. I never even thought of being a writer. I didn’t realize it was a career (not that it feels like much of one sometimes!).

TBRG: Where is the one place you have always wanted to go, a place on your bucket list?
: Hawaii. It seems like a great place to relax and sip fruity drinks.

TBRG: Who are some of your go to authors, and what are you reading right now?
I like Ashley March, Sarah MacLean, Sophie Jordan, Tera Lynn Childs, Vicky Dreiling, Eloisa James, Julia Quinn, Nora Roberts, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Diana Gabaldon, Anna Campbell, Joanna Bourne, Robyn DeHart, Vanessa Kelly, and more! Right now I’m reading Romancing the Countess by Ashley March, Salvation in Death by JD Robb, and The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton. I rarely read one book at a time.

TBRG: If you weren’t writing and keeping us in books (thanks for that by the way), what would you be doing?
Probably teaching. That’s what I did for eleven years before I became a work-at-home mom. But I’d like to keep writing full-ish time and not go back to teaching, if possible.

TBRG: Who is on your playlist when you are writing?
: I don’t usually listen to music when I write, but funny you should ask that because I have been listening to a playlist the last few days. It has some Erasure (“Breathe”), some Michael Buble (“I’ve Got You Under My Skin”), The Corrs (“Breathless”), and ABBA (“Mamma Mia”). An eclectic playlist, huh?

TBRG: What is your guilty pleasure?
Cookies! I love cookies, which is why I’m in fitness boot camp three days a week at 5 a.m.

TBRG: Where do your ideas/characters come from?
From writing. I don’t always have a character fleshed out when I start a book, but as I write about them, I get to know them, and they become real to me. I’m firmly with E.M. Forster, who said, “How can I know what I think till I see what I say?” Characters come alive on the page for me.

TBRG: Are you a planner or a fly by the seat author?
: In real life I am the planner of all planners. I have lists and more lists. I have lists of lists I need to make. But in my writing life, I am a total pantser.  I rarely even look at the synopsis after I give it to my editor. I always have to rewrite it when I finish the book because it’s never what I actually wrote. Fortunately, I have always had editors who either didn’t read the synopses or liked the finished product better than what I said I would write.

TBRG: Tell us about the new book?
Lord and Lady Spy is a fast-paced, adventurous Regency romance that’s based on the same premise as the movie Mr. and Mrs. Smith (husband and wife with secret identities). My hero and heroine are out of work spies who have to compete against one another and work together for a chance to become a spy again. It’s funny, poignant, and has lots of action.

TBRG: This isn’t your typical regency historical romance, where did the idea for this book come from?
I was watching Mr. and Mrs. Smith a few years ago and started thinking, what if this story took place in the Regency period? And what if the couple wasn’t trying to kill one another but was forced to work together to get what they want? It really intrigued me, and writing about a married couple was a new challenge.

TBRG: What do you want us to know about Adrian and Sophia?
They’re not cardboard characters. I think sometimes readers think, Spies. Oh, the heroine will be kick ass, and the hero will be all macho. But these are characters with real problems—the same kind of issues many of us or people we know deal with. The characters also happen to be spies, which makes it more fun to read about them.

TBRG: Using 3-5 adjectives describe Adrian and Sophia.
: Adrian—strategist, planner, confident, thorough, dedicated

Sophia—impulsive, intuitive, confident, devastated, smart

TBRG: How much fun did you have writing this book? I know that when I was reading there were times where I had to laugh out loud!
I had a lot of fun writing this book. Well, not initially. Initially, I couldn’t make it work and had to shelve it for a couple of years. But once I figured it out, it just poured out of me. I love books like that. I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

*** We have two copies of Shana’s book Lord and Lady Spy to giveaway. Just tell us who your favorite spy hero/heroine or couple is? Or ask Shana a question. Contest rules apply, follow both us and Shana on twitter, and like us both on FB. Open to US and Canada only*** 


 No man can outsmart him…

Lord Adrian Smythe may appear a perfectly boring gentleman, but he leads a thrilling life as one of England’s most preeminent spies, an identity so clandestine even his wife is unaware of it. But he isn’t the only one with secrets…

She’s been outsmarting him for years…

Now that the Napoleonic wars have come to an end, daring secret agent Lady Sophia Smythe can hardly bear the thought of returning home to her tedious husband. Until she discovers in the dark of night that he’s not who she thinks he is after all…




Shana Galen is the author of numerous fast-paced adventurous Regency historical romances, including the Rita-nominated Blackthorne’s Bride. Her books have been sold worldwide, including Japan, Brazil, Russia, Spain, Turkey, and the Netherlands, and have been featured in the Rhapsody and Doubleday Book Clubs. A former English teacher in Houston’s inner city, Shana now writes full time. She’s a wife, a mother, and an expert multi-tasker. She loves to hear from readers: visit her website at or see what she’s up to daily on Facebook and Twitter.



  1. Shana Galen (@shanagalen)

    Thanks so much for hosting me today! I’ll be back later to check in and answer any questions

  2. May Pau

    I like the original Get Smart. Not the Anne Hathaway version… I love her but the movie just isn’t the same as the original…

  3. Kendra Edens

    Tough question. I would have to say that there are way too many to name. There’s the classics TV from when I was a kid with shows like Remington Steele and Magnum PI. A newer, but quickly getting older show I enjoyed was Alias. And the Bourne movies were pretty fantastic also. As far as books, I haven’t read too many involving spies. It seems like the ones I have are more geared toward FBI or CIA. Not necessarily spy as much as protecting someone in danger. I did enjoy Julie Garwood’s Crown Spies series, but they weren’t all that “spy-like”. I have never read a spy story about a couple. I loved Mr. and Mrs. Smith. Not a big fan of Jolie, but she has some pretty good movies – did you see Salt? I thought it was very good. I am sure this book will be terrific; especially based on all of the rave reviews I have come across. I love that both the hero and heroine have a secret side. Can’t wait to read this book! Oh, I have been jumping around a lot. I guess I didn’t really answer the question. If I had to pick a favorite spy it would be Bond, of the Connery version. Can’t go wrong with Bond!

  4. Kendra Edens

    Geeze – sorry. I am out of it … its Monday! I have been following both of you on Twitter. Shana I have been following on FB as well. Just added BRG to my FB! Thanks so much for the giveaway!
    FB: Kendra St.Clair Edens
    Twitter @EdynzTrybe

  5. Snookie Mello

    Aloha 🙂

    I’ve read Celeste Bradley’s spy series as well as any other regency spy book I could find. I love it when there are women spies. I’m looking forward to reading your book Shana as this will be a first where the hero and heroine spy are already married! I’ve read some of your other books (the brothers trilogy) and when Dashing met Danger and loved them. Now that I have a nook, I can probably find some of your other backlist in ebook format 🙂

    Hope you’re able to continue writing and never have to go back to teaching.

  6. @shanagalen

    May, I like the original Get Smart too. I thought the movie was cute, and Steve Carrell did a good job. But the TV show was funnier.

  7. @shanagalen

    Thanks, Kendra! I completely agree with you about Jolie. I don’t love her, but she is good in many of the movies she does. And you’re right–you can’t go wrong with Bond.

  8. @shanagalen

    Thanks so much, Snookie! I hope I don’t go back to teaching either 🙂

  9. Sue P.

    Favorite spy – hmmm. Too many out there. Thought Arnold Swartzenegger and Jamie Lee Curtis were cute. Loved The Man From UNCLE. James Bond, but only with Sean Connery. The Corinthians in Stefanie Sloane’s books. Can’t wait to get my hands on this one of yours!

  10. Danielle Gorman

    I love reading spy stories. I can’t really think of a favorite couple. I can’t wait to read this book.

  11. @shanagalen

    Sue, I’m so glad you mentioned the Corinthians in Stefanie Sloane’s books. I love those too. Actually, all of your favorites are great.

  12. @shanagalen

    Thanks, Danielle!

  13. aurian

    I enjoyed reading the interview, thank you ladies. My favourite spies, well, those have to be the Stephanie Laurens heroes in her Bastion Club series.
    auriansbooks at gmail dot com

  14. Ora

    I love Stefanie sloane Corinthians too, especially James Marlowe. One of my recent favorite movie with spies is Red with Bruce Willis and Mary Louise Parker. One of my all time favorite spy comedy movies is Spies Like Us with Chevy Chase and Dan Aykroyd.

  15. @shanagalen

    Aurian, how could I forget Stephanie Laurens? Yes, the Bastion Club is fabulous.

  16. @shanagalen

    Ora, I like those movies as well, probably because they have humor. I like a little humor with my spies.

  17. TBRG (Post author)

    I love Remington Steele, anything with Matt Damon is a must. I love the Bastion Club series. I will definitely be checking out Stephanie Sloan.

  18. @shanagalen

    TBRG, I love Remington Steele. It’s one of my favorite shows ever. And I really like Stefanie Sloane’s writing. She’s fabulous.

  19. Diane Sallans

    I do have to go with James Bond – always love Sean Connery, but Daniel Craig in Casino Royale has become my favorite.

  20. Lexi

    Bond….James Bond.
    Yes it is a book too, but I prefer to think of my Bond as Sean Connery with his great accent.

    I heart Ashley March as well, a great writer that I know wont disappoint. Always good to have some fave authors like that.

    eyesofblueice (at) gmail (dot) com

  21. Johanna J

    I loved True Lies. That is probabbly my favorite spy movie couple. I know there is more I just can’t think of any right now! Thanks for sharing with us!

  22. @shanagalen

    Diane, although I do like Daniel Craig, Sean Connery is still my favorite. Thanks for the comment.

  23. @shanagalen

    Lexi, I can hear Connery’s voice in my head! Thanks for the comment.

  24. @shanagalen

    Johanna, I really think True Lies is my favorite spy movie. Maybe I should do a Regency True Lies…

  25. winnie

    I think it really shows that you had a lot of fun writing this book because of all the reviews I’ve read about it, pretty much everyone says it was a fun book to read. I’m looking forward to reading this myself 🙂


  26. Shana Galen

    Winnie, I really did have a lot of fun writing this book. Thanks so much for the comment.

  27. erin f

    I have been wanting this book *forever* I just caved this weekend and bought it for my kindle!!! Counting down to the weekend so I can read it! Thanks for such a lovely post. I love reading interviews about new to me authors and discovering their inspiration/likes and ideas.

    I’d have to say that my favorite spy is … Sean Connery as James Bond! Like the new versions, but his is iconic 🙂

    Have a wonderful day!!!!

  28. Shana Galen

    Thanks so much for the comment, Erin. Sean Connery is my favorite too!

  29. Lexi

    I don’t do fb or twitter, wow that makes me sound lame. I prefer to spend my time with my nose in the pages of a book!

  30. Shana Galen

    Lexi, thanks for your comment. I have a love/hate relationship with Twitter.


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