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Galen, Shana [A pseudonym] (Shane Bolks)

Galen, Shana [A pseudonym] (Shane Bolks)

PERSONAL:

Married.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Houston, TX. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Writer and teacher. Has worked as a public school teacher in Houston, TX.

MEMBER:

Romance Writers of America (board member of West Houston chapter).

AWARDS, HONORS:

Beau Monde Specialty Regency Chapter of Romance Writers of America, first prize, 2003, for nontraditional category; Heartland of Georgia Romance Writers, first prize, 2002, for historical romance.

WRITINGS:

When Dashing Met Danger, Avon Books (New York, NY), 2005.

Pride and Petticoats, Avon Books (New York, NY), 2006.

No Man's Bride, Avon Books (New York, NY), 2006. Good Groom Hunting, Avon Books (New York, NY), 2007.

Blackthorne's Bride, Avon Books (New York, NY), 2007.

UNDER NAME SHANE BOLKS

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly Men I've Dated, Avon Books (New York, NY), 2005.

Reality TV Bites, Avon Books (New York, NY), 2006.

SIDELIGHTS:

Shana Galen is a pseudonym for Shane Bolks, who divides her time between writing and teaching writing. After eight and a half years of working as a public school teacher in Houston, Texas, Bolks published her first two novels in the same year, one under her own name and another under the pseudonym. On her home page, Bolks describes the novels published under her birth name as "hip, here, and now." She called the novels published as Galen "romances with impetuous heroines and heroes who are a bit more rogue than respectable."

When Dashing Met Danger is Galen's debut romance novel. Alexander Scarston, a spy for the Foreign Office, met Lucia Dashing at their siblings' wedding a number of years ago. When Lucia's brother goes missing, the pair works to find him and also find romance along the way. Reviews for the debut novel were mixed. Harriet Klausner, writing in Best Reviews, described the novel as "an exciting Regency romantic suspense starring two interesting protagonists." Writing in the Daily Texan Online, Lauren Schultz found the book "poorly written, barely edited, and boring." Joan Hammond disagreed, however, in a Romantic Times Online review. Hammond said that the novel provides a balanced combination "of dangerous political intrigue, nicely drawn characters, and some emotional intensity."

Galen followed up this novel with Pride and Petticoats. In this novel, Charlotte Burton leaves Charleston, South Carolina, for England during the War of 1812 to meet with family friend Cade Pettigru to ask for his financial assistance. She is captured and forced to pose as the wife of Lord Freddie Dewhurst in order to bait Cade. The two fight constantly but attraction grows between them nonetheless. Reviews were more positive for this novel. Kathe Robin, writing in Romantic Times, called the book an "utterly splendid, humorous, fast-paced gem." Writing in Romance Reviews Today, Sandra Brill noted that "as far as heroines go, Charlotte is one of the pluckiest. With her resilience and spirit, she's impossible not to like." In Best Reviews, Klausner concluded that the novel was "a superb Regency romance due to the strong lead couple and interesting multifaceted perspectives on the War of 1812."

The first book Bolks published under her own name was The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly Men I've Dated. Accountant and Star Wars fan Rory Egglehoff is helped by her friends to get a date with former jock Hunter Chase for their fifteen-year high school reunion. Rory doubts his sincerity so she hides her real life, friends, and family from him. She also does not even bother to break up with her current boyfriend. Hunter later finds out about her deception and causes a lot of explaining and high emotions. Roseann Marlett, writing in Romantic Times, commented that "Bolks' characters are unique and memorable." Klausner was concerned in a Best Reviews article, saying that "though the Star Wars references are fun, they after a time take away from a solid chick lit tale." Erin Dennington disagreed with this account in a School Library Journal review. Dennington thought that Star Wars fans "will enjoy the movie and character references and details, but they are woven in so subtly that anyone can enjoy the story."

In Reality TV Bites, Allison Holloway is a successful interior designer whose company enters a Japanese reality TV show, Kamikaze Makeover, where the object of the show is to make the design horrible. Allison gains popularity from the show but has difficulty with the embarrassing tests presented to her in front of the world. The only positive thing she finds from it is the European prince who is the producer of the show. She longs for the life of a princess but struggles over the issue of breaking up with her current boyfriend. Reviews were mixed. Booklist contributor Maria Hatton remarked that "Bolks has created a character with such depth and quirkiness we can't help but like her." In a Romantic Times Online review, Lauren Spielberg concluded that the "novel isn't perfect … but it's certainly timely and executed smartly." Reviewing the novel in BookLoons, Belle Dessler wrote: "A charming and often hilarious tale of love in our TV-driven modern world, Reality TV Bites is a sweet, frothy treat."

Galen told CA: "I was always an avid reader and made up stories in my head. After a while, I couldn't stop myself from jotting a few down. Most of my stories had a central theme of romance, so I started reading romances. But none of the stories were exactly what I wanted, so I decided to write my own.

"I've been most influenced by the works of Jane Austen, Margaret Mitchell, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, and Julie Garwood. Life and the funny situations and people I encounter influence my work as well.

"I'm a pantser, which means I don't plot or outline before writing a book. I work organically, allowing the story to tell itself to me as I write. I write the first three to five chapters quickly, then do a brief synopsis to flesh the story out a bit. I write quickly, going back and layering in details and revelations about characters as they come to me. My revision process is usually extensive as I have to work out problems in the rought draft."

When asked the most surprising thing she has learned as a writer, Galen said: "It never gets easier."

"Pride and Petticoats is my favorite book because I think I nailed the humor. The interaction between the hero, Freddie, and the heroine, Charlotte, was so much fun to write.

"I hope my books will entertain people. I hope [peopele] will read my novels, smile and laugh, and put aside the problems and worries in their lives for a little while. I also want to promote and encourage romance, fidelity, and lasting love."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, April 15, 2005, Maria Hatton, review of The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly Men I've Dated, p. 1436; June 1, 2006, Maria Hatton, review of Reality TV Bites, p. 33.

Houston Press, July 7, 2005, Julia Ramey, review of The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly Men I've Dated.

Midwest Book Review, August, 2006, Harriet Klausner, review of Reality TV Bites; September, 2006, Harriet Klausner, review of No Man's Bride; March, 2007, Harriet Klausner, review of Good Groom Hunting.

School Library Journal, October 1, 2005, Erin Dennington, review of The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly Men I've Dated, p. 198.

ONLINE

Best Reviews,http://thebestreviews.com/ (July 25, 2007), Harriet Klausner, review of The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly Men I've Dated; February 1, 2006, Harriet Klausner, review of Pride and Petticoats; May 1, 2005, Harriet Klausner, review of When Dashing Met Danger; Kristi Ahlers, review of Pride and Petticoats; DeborahAnne MacGillivray, review of When Dashing Met Danger.

BookLoons,http://www.bookloons.com/ (July 25, 2006), Belle Dessler, review of Reality TV Bites.

Daily Texan Online,http://media.www.dailytexanonline.com/ (June 6, 2005), Lauren Schultz, review of When Dashing Met Danger.

Romance Reader,http://www.theromancereader.com/ (July 25, 2007), Cathy Sova, review of When Dashing Met Danger; Mary Benn review of Good Groom Hunting.

Romance Reviews Today,http://www.romrevtoday.com/ (July 25, 2007), Carolyn Crisher, review of No Man's Bride; Sandra Brill, review of Pride and Petticoats.

Romantic Times,http://www.romantictimes.com/ (July 25, 2007), Joan Hammond, review of When Dashing Met Danger; Kathe Robin, review of No Man's Bride; Kathe Robin, review of Pride and Petticoats; Kathe Robin, review of Good Groom Hunting; Roseann Marlett, review of The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly Men I've Dated; Lauren Spielberg, review of Reality TV Bites.

Shane Bolks Home Page,http://www.shanebolks.com (July 25, 2007), author biography.

Shana Galen Joint Web log,http://www.jauntyquills.com/ (July 25, 2007), author profile.

West Houston Chapter of Romance Writers of America Web site,http://www.whrwa.com/ (July 25, 2007), author profile.

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