Monday, October 4, 2010

Guest Post and Giveaway: Shana Galen

Please join me in welcoming Shana Galen author of, The Making of a Gentleman, Book 2 of The Sons of the Revolution series. Sourcebooks has generously offered 2 copies of this book for giveaway. Please see the details at the end of the post.

Revolution and The Making of a Gentleman by Shana Galen

In another life I was a high school English teacher. I taught 10th grade, and where I taught that year was not-so-lovingly referred to as the Year of Doom and Gloom. Sophomore year seemed to be when the students read all the most depressing literature - Lord of the Flies, A Separate Peace, Julius Caesar, Fahrenheit 451, A Tale of Two Cities and more. If you don't remember your high school literature, lots of characters, including main characters, die in those books.

My favorite book to teach was Dickens's A Tale of Two Cities. Yes, Sydney Carton dies at the end to save the husband of the woman he loves ("It is a far, far better thing that I do than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known"), but the entire book is not a tragedy. A father and daughter are reconciled when the father is released from prison after eighteen years in solitary confinement. He was imprisoned unjustly and thought dead.

It was the story of the imprisoned man who rises from the "dead" that inspired Armand's book The Making of a Gentleman. Armand too is imprisoned unjustly
, and he is kept in solitary confinement for twelve long years. When he emerges, he's little more than an animal - he can't speak, bear light, and he's lost all sense of social manners and customs. His brother and sister-in-law, Julien and Sarah from The Making of a Duchess, hire a tutor for him, the beautiful and talented Felicity Bennett. But just as Felicity begins to bring Armand back to life and to fall in love with him, her own problems in the form of a greedy, violent fiance threaten everything.

The Making of a Gentleman isn't set during the French Revolution, but because so many of the secrets Armand hides stem from that period, I was able to write a few scenes during the chaos and bloodshed of that turbulent time. I tried to imagine what it would be like to live in that time. Riots broke out unexpectedly. Governments toppled. Men, women, and children, many of them innocent, died publicly in the streets - victims of the guillotine. The prisons were full of the accused and trials were nothing but spectacles. Judges were afraid to go against the crowd and based verdicts on the mood of the spectators.

It was a time of fear and a time of desperation. It was also a time for great courage. In The Making of a Gentleman, I wanted to show all of these aspects. I wanted to give the reader a glimpse of that period and glimpse into the private torments of a boy with a secret, hidden in the tiny windowless cell for twelve long years.

And like Dickens I wanted love to triumph in the end.

I've enjoyed writing about the French Revolution so much, I'm actually considering another series set entirely during that time period. What about you? Is there a time or place that intrigues you?


Two winners will receive a copy of, The Making of a Gentleman courtesy of Sourcebooks. The rules are simple:

1.) Two winners will win a copy of The Making of a Gentleman, directly from the publisher. U.S and Canadian addresses only!
2.) You must be a Google Friend Connect follower to participate.
3.) You must fill out the FORM.
4.) Please take the time to comment on this post with an answer to Shana's question.
5.) The Deadline for this giveaway is midnight EST, October 18th.


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justpeachy36 said...

One of the time periods that has always captivated my interest is the Tudor reign in England and also I enjoy reading and writing about the people who founded colonies in the new world....

Teril said...

I would really like to go back and visit the Renaissance time period for a week. Not during the plague and in some farm village.

Shana said...

Love your choice, justpeachy36. I've always wondered what America would look like before we cut all the trees and paved everything.

Good caveats, Teril. I always say I'd love to visit Regency England, if they added indoor plumbing!

justpeachy36 said...

LOL, Shana I hear that! I'm not exactly the outdoorsy-est person either!

Thanks for stopping by today!

k_sunshine1977 said...

a lot of the ancient cultures, especially egypt, greece and rome, intrigue me a imagine what life was like so long ago....and i also have a fascination with 20th century history, because we can still speak to those who have lived it...makes it come more alive for me!

k_sunshine1977 at yahoo dot com

Nancy Bristow said...

Is there a time or place that intrigues you?

The period of time when women start coming into their own beginning in the 1920's by obtaining the right to vote and the ERA.

To this day we have not reached full equality but we're getting there. I hope to live long enough to see the first woman President.

Shana said...

Thanks for inviting me, justpeachy36!

K-sunshine, I completely agree. I've read a lot about the ancient cultures. One of my favorite classes in college was called Greek Private Life. I thought it was fascinating. My grandparents are 92, and talking to them is always a history lesson. My grandma went to school in a one-room school house, and they had to go out and collect wood for the fire in winter!

Nancy, the role of women is one reason I really enjoy the 1940s. In wartime, women always seem to make advances. And I think we are getting very close to a woman president.

Hannah Marie said...

I have to say that I agree with everyone. I love historical fiction, so I guess that makes me a history junkie. But the French Revolution has always held me captive, right now especially since I just finished The Scarlet Pimpernel. Colonial America also captivates me; as well as the old civilizations. I can't really pick a favorite, but I have to say that Colonial America is one I've read the fewest books about. Thanks for the post, justpeachy. And thanks for taking the time to stop by Shana Galen!