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Monday, September 12, 2011

Guest Blogger Shana Galen


The Best Scenes

Thank you so much for having me here today, Lady Scribes! I enjoy your blog and your books. It’s an honor.

Today I thought I’d chat a bit about writing my favorite scenes. My favorite scenes to read aren’t always my favorite to write. I love writing scenes with action and verbal sparring. The words fly from my fingers almost as fast as the action happens in my mind. I suppose that’s why I write adventurous historical novels. I love action and adventure.

In my new book, Lord and Lady Spy, I have lots of fun action scenes. Adrian and Sophia are out of work spies who must compete against one another for reinstatement into an elite British spy organization. Oh, and Adrian and Sophia aren’t simply rivals, they’re married—Lord and Lady Smythe. If you’re thinking this is a little like Mr. and Mrs. Smith—you’re right!

Here’s a scene from Lord and Lady Spy I loved writing.

The groom made a last attempt to thwart her, jumping in front of the phaeton. Idiot! Did he want to be trampled? It was probably better than losing his position when his employer found out he’d lost the carriage.


Sophia yanked on the reins and the horse cut to the side, barely missing the groom.


“I’ll have it returned to you!” Sophia called to the groom as she left him behind. He shook his fist and yelled something she assumed was not complimentary, and then she was directing the horse to take the opening on her left. But they were traveling too quickly, and the phaeton took the turn on only one of its two wheels. Sophia hung on, jouncing horribly when the airborne wheel hit the ground again. Up ahead was Conduit and her man. The street was rather crowded, far too crowded for her to emerge at this speed, but she’d rather take her chances than lose the shadow…or lose to Adrian.


The magnificent animal jumped onto Conduit, narrowly missing a cart full of charcoal. Sophia prayed both wheels would stay on the ground as she negotiated yet another sharp turn. She was standing in the box, her legs braced apart, searching the wide-eyed, slack-jawed pedestrians for the man in the brown hat and green coat. She sped past Lady Ramsgate, chairwoman of the society for something or other, and Sophia gave her a jaunty wave. No doubt Lady Ramsgate would be removing Lady Smythe from their membership roster after this incident.


No wonder she preferred working abroad. Far fewer complications.


Up ahead, Sophia spotted a man running and slapped the reins. He’d lost his hat and she frowned when she saw the dark blond hair. Why was Adrian running? Damn it! Had he caught their man already?


Adrian reached for the closed back of a gig cutting through traffic, and Sophia immediately understood. Their man had realized their plan and was trying to escape. She slapped the reins again, called a warning to a man about to cross in front of her, swerved, narrowly avoiding him, but jostling a cart and spilling potatoes in her wake.


“Sorry!” She gave an apologetic wave to the cursing farmer then turned back just as she came alongside Adrian. He’d missed the gig and had fallen behind. “Jump on!” she called.


For a moment, he stared at her as though he didn’t know her—that was a good sign, perhaps Lady Ramsgate hadn’t recognized her either—and then angled for her. She slowed just enough for him to grasp hold of the box and lever himself beside her.


“Where the bloody hell did this come from?” he asked.


“Providence. Is that our man up ahead?” She nodded to the gig, swerving through carts and horses.


“That’s him. Spotted me and stole it after a short tousle with the coachman.”


“I like him already.” Sophia slapped the reins and the phaeton gained on the gig.


“We’ll never catch him,” Adrian said, hanging on to the seat to keep from bouncing out. “You might be faster, but he’s carrying one and we’re—Good God! Watch out for the—”


But she’d already seen the maid carrying three hat boxes and swerved around her. The maid was unscathed, but the hat boxes went flying, spilling their frilly contents in the middle of the street. Too bad. The one with the lavender ribbons looked most fetching.


“We’ll catch him,” she assured Adrian. “I know how to drive.”


“That’s debatable.”


She glanced at him. “You’re welcome to try running again.”


“Keep your eyes on the street! Sophia!”

What are your favorite scenes to read? If you’re a writer, what are your favorites to write? Two lucky commenters will receive a free copy of Shana's book. (US and Canada only. Sorry.) Please leave your email address in your comment so we can contact you.

LORD AND LADY SPY BY SHANA GALEN – IN STORES SEPTEMBER 2011

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...

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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 http://www.shanagalen.com/ or see what she’s up to daily on Facebook and Twitter.

53 comments:

  1. I really enjoy the verbal sparring and also when something happens that catches the hero/heroine off guard by what the other one does.
    I finished the book Friday night and really enjoyed. It definitely is a must read.

    oeamis(at)carolina(dot)rr(dot)com

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  2. Shana,

    Thanks so much for being our guest today. I am so excited to read this book. It sounds right up my alley. I too like to read verbal sparring. As far as scenes I like to write? I love the really outrageous and funny scenes. :)

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  3. I enjoy reading the parts where they start to realize they are in love. It's sweet and funny at the same time, especially if they were so against it and the other person. Those are my favorites.

    macladie25 at yahoo dot com

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  4. Hi Ora, I'm so glad you enjoyed the book. Those verbal sparring scenes are really fun to write too!

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  5. Thanks for having me, Samantha. I'm looking forward to your book, and it was fun to meet you in New York.

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  6. kissablesweet1, thanks for your comment. Those are some of my favorite scenes to read. As a writer, they are tough to write and get right, you know?

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  7. Thank you for being at LadyScribes today. My favorite scenes to read and write are the ones full of humor. Your book sounds great. I look forward to reading it.

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  8. Hi, I loved that action scene you just wrote. Those are so fun! Looking forward to this one. Dee

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  9. I love all the verbal sparring... especically when there are so much romantic tension in the background!

    Sounds like a terrific funny and romantic book! :)

    May
    (maybe31 at yahoo.com)

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  10. I so love your books! I noticed how similar the story lines are to MR. and Mrs Smith. I shall enjoy reading this book. I also love your post and have watched Baby Galen growing up on your Face Book site.

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  11. Congratulations on your release, Shana, and I can't wait to read it. My favorite scenes to write are actually the darker scenes, even though I have a lot of fun with the funny or witty ones, too. :) Thanks for joining us here at Lady Scribes!

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  12. Hey, everyone!

    Don't forget to leave your email addy if you want to be entered into the drawing for a book! :)

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  13. What does it say about me that I love reading well written, plausible love/sex scenes? :-) Well, I do! But they must be physically possible! I hate reading scenes that cant possibly happen. Puts a damper on the whole rest of the book for me. And witty, interesting and maybe a little funny verbal interaction. When I can picture a facial expression in my head, that is a sign of well written to me. Not just hearing the words, but seeing the expressions as I am reading it.

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  14. Ok, so no matter how many times you reminded us, I still forgot to add it. lisakhutson at cox dot net

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  15. Here is my email address sorry, Scotland525@yahoo.com

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  16. When it comes to Regencies, verbal sparring is what makes them a good read. And reading the post tells me I'd love this book. It's whetted my appetite for more, and for the rest of the story.

    TerryParrish2010@hotmail.com

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  17. Excerpt sounds awesome :-) Congrats on the release!

    My favorite scenes to write are the action ones. Of course, they take the longest to get just right but they're great fun to write. My favorite scenes to read? Scenes after the characters got intimate. why? Because I hate writing them LOL

    Would love to win this book.
    Sandi
    sandra.sookoo@comcast.net

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  18. I always enjoy the scene where the hero & heroine finally, honestly admit that they love each other, want to be together & are officially 'a couple'; they then can relate to each other in a differnet way & get on with solving whatever task is before them - together.

    sallans d at yahoo dot com

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  19. Dear Shana,
    You're very skillful in writing novels and other books I know, though I've not yet read your favorite books. I hope to read them through e-book at least. Wish your property in publishing another new series of books in future.
    Your well wisher friend,
    Saha Asit, India.

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  20. What a great scene! My favorite scenes to read, and write, are full of sharp, playful, witty banter. I am hard pressed not to giggle out loud when reading those scenes, or people sitting near me look at me like I'm nuts. I have a feeling Lord and Lady Spy is going to be one of those books- and I can't wait to read it now! Thanks for the fun blog...

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  21. What fun, Shana! Mr. and Mrs. Smith is one of my favorite movies, so this is definitely going to be a must-read!

    My favorite scenes to read *and* write are the funny ones. The ones that have me giggling while I write them, and still giggling when I re-read them :)

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  22. Omgosh Shana! Another action junkie!! We are so much alike it's scary! They don't call me mistress adventure for nothing, ya know lol. I love this scene! I'm just starting to step into the regency world, most of my books are from other time periods. But this one sounds wonderful. I do believe you're my new best friend lol. I can't win a free copy but I can go pick one up. Looking forward to reading it.

    I love, love, love to write action scenes. One of my favorite scenes was a wagon chase through Port Royal in Wrong Kind of Paradise. So much fun. Thanks for joining us here on the Lady Scribes. I'm looking forward to reading your books.

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  23. Congrats on the release of your book. I look forward to reading it.

    I love to read sexual tension scenes, especially if they involve verbal sparring.

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  24. Hi Amy, I love reading humorous scenes as well. the thing about writing them is you never know if they're funny until later. Thanks for your comment.

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  25. Thank you so much, Gram. Action scenes definitely keep the writ5ing fun for me.

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  26. I love verbal sparring, too, May. If an author can do that well, s/he will have me hooked. Thanks for your comment.

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  27. Hi Debra,

    This book does share the same premise as Mr. and Mrs. Smith. It was fun to play on the movie but to diverge from it as well. One day when Baby Galen is teenager Galen she'll probably hate me for posting so much about her on Facebook. LOL!

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  28. Thanks, Catherine! I'm having fun. I certainly find writing darker scenes cathartic, but they are definitely draining.

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  29. krazymama, I know exactly what you mean about plausible love scenes. I read one once that took place on the back of a moving horse. I don't think so! Thanks for your comment.

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  30. Thanks, Terry. You definitely need a little verbal repartee in a Regency. I agree!

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  31. Sandra, there is something about reading those scenes you hate writing. I suppose we learn from them, though, right?

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  32. Di, you must love the end of books because usually the characters don't admit they love one another until then. I call that my sigh moment. Thanks for the comment.

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  33. Hi Saha. Thanks for commenting all the way from India!

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  34. Oh, thanks, Olivia. I love reading those witty books too. It will be completely silent in the house, and then I'll burst out laughing. My husband thinks I'm a loon.

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  35. AvonLadyJerrica, those are fun scenes to write. Any time I can giggle when I'm working is a good thing.

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  36. Thanks, Suzie! I was totally admiring your book cover earlier today. I love the feel of it.

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  37. Thanks for the comment, Jena. I love those sexual tension scenes too! I remember now why I had a hard time deciding on what to write for this blog. There are so many fun scenes to read and write.

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  38. verbal sparring - who does not love to read about it and enjoy the clever remarks?!

    I would love to read this book.

    tatiana_lwg(at) yahoo.com

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  39. I like to read scenes of making-up, so I guess some verbal sparring has happenend, they fight, then they make up.

    Eva
    evitap67(at)gmail(dot)com

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  40. You do a fantastic job of writing that particular scene though Shana! One more reason to love your books.

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  41. I absolutely love it when characters verbally spar! It's how people who love each other show their affection. ;)

    julieguan AT gmail DOT com

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  42. My favorite scene to write is when the heroine and hero meet for the first time. And it's my favorite to read as well!

    Thanks for guest blogging today and can't wait to read your book! :)

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  43. Thanks for the comment, Tatiana! Good luck with the drawing.

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  44. Eva, those make up scenes are so hard to write. is she being too forgiving? Is he being too wimpy? I love it when an author gets it just right.

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  45. Julie, that's so true. It's always fun to poke at your mate in fun ways, especially if you have fun inside jokes.

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  46. Marquita, I love writing those scenes too. I always like the beginning of books because the book still feels so shiny and new and full of promise. Thanks for the comment.

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  47. Shana ~ What an awesome excerpt! Like a lot of the other here, witty banter is my favorite. I grew up watching old movies from the 30s and 40s and there's something in the cadence of that dialogue that I love to both write and "hear" when reading. Congrats on the the new release. It looks amazing! ~Jodie

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  48. Loved the excerpt and I've been hearing such good things about your book. As to favorite scenes, I love them all but I especially like the ones that can make me laugh out loud or even cry. That's when I know I'm totally involved.

    catslady5(at)aol.com

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  49. Thanks so much, Jodie! And thank you for having me. I also love those old movies. Screen writers don't write like that anymore.

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  50. Catslady, if a book makes me cry, the author has really got me. I've probably only cried at a dozen books, but when I do, I can cry for an hour. Obviously, I much prefer laughing, but both are cathartic. Thanks for the comment!

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  51. I like the scenes with action, whether verbal or physical. Also the really funny ones. :-)

    Robin D
    robindpdx (at) yahoo (dot) com

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  52. Me, too, Robin. I love it when a book makes me laugh. Thanks so much for having me, Lady Scribes.

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