Friday, September 6, 2013

Let's Talk About Sex with Shana Galen + #Giveaway

It's always fun to have Shana Galen on the blog because every time she visits, she shares something new. Today we're getting a bit racy and Shana is talking about her books, of course.


Meet Shana:
Shana Galen is the author of fast-paced adventurous Regency historicals, including the Lord and Lady Spy Series, the Jewels of the Ton Series, as well as the Sons of the Revolution Trilogy. A former English teacher in Houston’s inner city, Shana now writes full time, and is working on more regency romance novels! She’s happily married to the Ultimate Sportsfan and has a daughter who is most definitely a romance heroine in the making. Shana loves to hear from readers: visit her website at or see what she’s up to daily on Facebook and Twitter.

One of the first things people say when I tell them I write romance novels is “Oh, those books.” I can only assume those is a reference to the love scenes—the sex scenes. Romance novels aren’t the only books with sex scenes in them. I’ve even read literary novels with—gasp!—sex scenes. So I can only assume that romance novels are known for sex scenes because romance authors write the best sex scenes.

My latest release, True Spies, is my fifteenth published book. That means I’ve written a lot of sex scenes. Like, a lot of sex scenes. Before I write a sex scene there are several factors I take into account.

Every character is different. If my hero or heroine is a virgin, he or she is going to approach sex differently than an experienced courtesan or a debauched rake. In True Spies, Winn and Elinor have been married for fourteen years. They have two daughters together. Obviously, they have made love before, but when the book begins, their marriage is strained to the point of breaking. They have not been intimate in some time. This definitely colored the way I wrote their intimate scenes. Here’s a scene early in the book, where the two of them are alone together.
He was standing across the room, shirtless, hair tousled, and he turned as she opened the door. The first thing she noted was the fatigue in his eyes. He’d always had the most beautiful, clear green eyes. He’d once given her a pair of emerald ear bobs, and she thought if he had been a woman, they would suit him better, for they matched his eyes perfectly.
The second thing she noticed was it had been quite some time since she had seen him without clothing. His chest was bronzed and hard. He had broad shoulders, powerful arms, and a flat stomach. When he’d turned to look at her, the muscles in his abdomen had bunched and rippled in a way that left her all but breathless. And she still hadn’t caught her breath, because she noted he had lost a little weight. His trousers were loose at the waist and hanging at his hips, where a line of dark hair trailed temptingly downward.
She had the mad notion to put her tongue on that trail and follow it down with long, wet strokes. She shook her head. Where had that idea come from? Elinor forced her gaze back to her husband’s face. He had a day’s worth of stubble and what appeared to be the beginning of a bruise on one cheek, and for some reason, it made him look rather rough and dangerous. That and the length of his wavy hair. How long had it been since he’d had it trimmed? She had never seen it this long. For a moment, she wished he were some dangerous stranger who would cross the room, take her in his arms, and kiss her until she forgot to breathe.

Elinor has been intimate with Winn before, and she desires him now. But they have a history, and that history impacts the way they relate to each other now. In fact, she wishes they had no history so she could act upon her impulses.

Sexual History
Since Winn and Elinor do have a history that was part of the way they interacted in their scenes together. Romance novels are all about falling in love. These two are falling in love again and rediscovering each other.
She tasted clean, of bathwater and silk, but underneath that, he could taste her—Elinor. It was a taste he would never forget. It was a taste he had not sampled in far too long.
Winn fitted his hands around her waist and lifted her. She immediately wrapped her legs about him, and he kissed her lips to keep her from exploring with them. She had never been what one might call an adventurous lover, but over the years she had certainly learned where to touch him and what sensations pleased him. He had to hold her at bay for just a little longer.
He kissed her deeply, drugging her with his mouth upon hers and slowly moving her backward. When he reached the dressing table, he set her on it and continued exploring her mouth with his tongue. He filled her, teased her, nipped, and sucked, and she gasped in response. He’d always been careful not to shock her before—not to offend his wife’s delicate sensibilities. But now he had no such qualms. Something about seeing her in Melbourne’s office, seeing her take charge in FoncĂ©’s cellar, made him throw away propriety. There was no room for it between them now. He wanted her, and on his own terms.
The difficulty in writing a book where the hero and heroine are married is making their love scenes fresh and new. In the previous scene, Winn acknowledges that in the past he was careful with his wife and perhaps restrained his passion in her bed. Now he is opening up to her and showing her his true self.

Finally, I have to take into account the setting. This next scene is in the dining room of the Keating town house. Since Winn and Elinor are married, it was not difficult to find ways for them to be alone together in the house. Moreover, they don’t have to worry about chaperones or being “caught.” That makes a scene like this possible.
“I wanted to speak to you privately.”
He must be one of the worst husbands in England to receive this response. Elinor did not even want to hold his hand, much less believe he wanted to speak to her. “Do I need a reason to speak privately to my wife?”
“Winn.” She loosed her hand. He let it go rather than engage in a tug-of-war. “Please stop being so mysterious. What is it you want?”
“You,” he said without thinking.
She blinked. “I don’t understand.”
“Another of my failings,” he murmured. She really did not know her appeal. He stood and pulled her chair back.
“What are you—?”
Before she could protest further, he pulled her out of the chair and into his arms. He remembered the feel of her. Her body was soft and feminine and ripe with curves. He did not remember it having been so rigid.
He put a finger on her lips. “Don’t speak. It’s been far too long since I’ve done this.” He lowered his mouth to hers and kissed her tenderly, gently. It was the kiss he would have given a new lover, a tentative, testing kiss, because he could not remember how she liked to be kissed. Or perhaps he’d never paid enough attention to know.
The difference between a romance novel’s sex scenes and the sex scenes in many other genres are that these scenes are integral to the character development in a romance. The love scenes in True Spies show Winn and Elinor’s strengths and weaknesses and how they change and grow throughout the novel.

Are there any authors you think write particularly good love scenes? What books do you remember as having been really sexy? One person who comments will win a copy of my new book True Spies.


Series: Lord and Lady Spy #2
Genre: Historical
Length: 352 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks (September 3, 2013)

He's weary of deception...
Baron Winslow Keating is honor-bound to finish one last mission as an elite spy for the Barbican group even though he just wants to go home and be with his family. But after years of secrecy and absence, his daughters hardly know him and his wife has given up on him. . .

She wants to try a little intrigue . . .
Elinor has had enough of domestic boredom. She contemplates an affair with a rakish spy, only to discover a world of intrigue and treachery that she never knew existed. Even more shocking, her neglectful husband is suddenly very attentive - quite the jealous type - and apparently there is much more to him than she ever knew . . .

Get Your Own Copy: Amazon | B&N | BAM | iBooks | indiebound | KBB
Book Extras: Read an Excerpt
Other Books in Series:

Wheee! Shana is giving away one(1) copy of True Spies. You'll want a piece of the action :) Here's how to enter:
  • Answer Shana's question: Are there any authors you think write particularly good love scenes? What books do you remember as having been really sexy?
  • Fill out the rafflecopter form below. You must leave a comment. All other entries are optional.
  • Please read our giveaway policy before entering.
  • Giveaway is for an ebook. Ends September 13th.

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