Friday, August 3, 2012

The DeMontforte Brothers series by Danelle Harmon - Virtual Book Tour and Giveaway!

Today we're welcoming author Danelle Harmon to the blog on her tour with Goddess Fish Promotions for the historical romance series, The DeMontforte Brothers.  I had the privilege of reviewing the first book, "The Wild One".  You can read my review here.

Danelle is giving away an eBook copy of book two, "The Beloved One" (note: are hosts eligible to enter?  *G*) one at every stop, and a grand prize of a $25 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour, so comment today AND follow her tour (if you click on the banner over there on the left, it'll take you to a list of her tour stops)! The more you read and comment, the better your odds of winning. You could be introduced to a great new author AND win a GC!

Thanks to Danelle for answering all my prying questions!

Why do you write in your genre? What draws you to it?

I love people, and I love history, and I love the ability to put people into historical settings and give them happily-ever-afters. There's so much pain and suffering in this world, but romance offers us hope and optimism and a happy ending that is a wonderful escape from the stresses and realities of daily life. I love that!

What research is required?

I usually immerse myself fully into a time period or setting in order to make it as realistic as possible; for example, I used to be a Revolutionary war re-enactor, complete with musket and tricorne, and since I don't live all that far from the historic battle sites of Lexington and Concord, would travel with my minuteman company there to "live" history, right where it happened. It was a wonderful way to really get a feel for what it might have been like.

Name one thing you learned from your hero/heroine.

I have learned something different from each and every one of them. Lord Gareth, the hero of the first book in my de Montforte Brothers series, has a heart of gold, boundless optimism, and an ability to persevere with good cheer even when the odds are against him; he lives life as it comes, with a happy, carefree spirit, and he's not afraid to be silly and fun no matter what others may think. Life is serious enough . . . I wish I could be a little more like Lord Gareth!

Any odd or interesting writing quirks, habits or superstitions?

I'm afraid I'm hopelessly ordinary in that respect, though I do find it fun to try and envision actors, both present and past, who might best play the role of each of my heroes if ever any of my books made it to film. I don't usually share that information (though I have my own very definite ideas!) because part of the magic of reading is that it allows each person's imagination (whether that person is the author or the reader) to envision a character exactly as they wish to envision it. I may paint a word picture, but when it comes to hard visuals, it's probably best left to the reader's imagination!

Plotter or pantser?

A little of both! I like to have a basic idea where the book is going (in fact, I usually have the ending figured out long, long before I even have the beginning written!), and a loose framework on which to hang the story, but otherwise, I like to be surprised!

Look to your right – what’s sitting there?

A picture of Red Sox pitcher Jonathan Papelbon, a book of quotes on what it is to be English, a Bee Gees album from the 1960s (I loved Robin Gibb's warbly voice!) and wallpaper from the 1970s showing scenes from Federal America, including an old sailing ship, a tavern sign, and a chest with an anchor. I write up here in a corner of an old bedroom of this old farmhouse, and this is the last room still in need of renovating. But I kind of like this old wallpaper!

Anything new coming up from you? What?

During my long sabbatical from writing, I received many emails from readers who wanted to know if, and when, Lady Nerissa de Montforte (the youngest of the de Montforte siblings) was going to get her own book. When we last saw her and Perry, the earl of Brookhampton, it might have appeared that the two were going to have their happily-ever-after . . . but Perry's ordeal in THE WICKED ONE has left him dark, damaged, — and dangerous — and Nerissa's brother the duke is doing everything he can to make sure his little sister doesn't marry this man he no longer finds suitable . . . or, safe. Will Perry's need for revenge against the duke overpower his abiding love for Nerissa? That's something even I have yet to find out! In the meantime, I'm in the process of re-releasing (with some light revisions and editing) my entire backlist of ten books for e-readers; look for a new title to be available every six weeks or so, with updates and news posted on my website ( and Facebook page at

Do you have a question for our readers?

Yes! I'd love to know which of the four de Montforte brothers was *your* favorite! Such information is always fun to know . . . and in the spirit of Question 4, which actor (from either past or present) would YOU like to see each brother played by?

Thank you so much for hosting me on this stop of my Blog Tour -- it has been a pleasure and an honor! Happy reading! -- Danelle Harmon

"The bluest of blood, the boldest of hearts; the de Montforte brothers will take your breath away."

England, 1776: Lord Gareth de Montforte is known as an irresponsible rake with a heart of gold. When he takes a bullet for boldly thwarting a stagecoach robbery, he is stunned to discover that the beautiful young woman he has heroically rescued, Juliet Paige, is his deceased brother’s American fiancĂ©e, accompanied by her infant daughter. Despite his brother the duke's refusal to acknowledge Juliet, Gareth is determined to do right by the courageous woman who crossed an ocean to give her baby her rightful name. But Juliet is wary of marrying this black sheep aristocrat, even while she is hopelessly charmed by the dashing devil. Never has she met anyone who embraces life so thoroughly, who makes her laugh, who loves her so well. And, even when it seems the odds are against them, Juliet has absolute faith that Gareth will go beyond the call of duty, risking his life itself to give her and her daughter a home — and a love that will last a lifetime.

The Flying White was bound for Oxford, and it was running late. Now, trying to make up time lost to a broken axle, the driver had whipped up the team, and the coach careered through the night in a cacophony of shouts, thundering hooves, and cries from the passengers who were clinging for their lives on the roof above.

Strong lanterns cut through the rainy darkness, picking out ditches, trees, and hedgerows as the vehicle hurtled through the Lambourn Downs at a pace that had Juliet Paige's heart in her throat. Because of Charlotte, her six-month-old daughter, Juliet had been lucky enough to get a seat inside the coach, but even so, her head banged against the leather squabs on the right, her shoulder against an elderly gent on her left, and her neck ached with the constant side to side movement. On the seat across from her, another young mother clung to her two frightened children, one huddled under each arm. It had been a dreadful run up from Southampton indeed, and Juliet was feeling almost as ill as she had during the long sea voyage over from Boston.

The coach hit a bump, became airborne for a split second, and landed hard, snapping her neck, throwing her violently against the man on her left, and causing the passengers clinging to the roof above to cry out in terror. Someone's trunk went flying off the coach, but the driver never slowed the galloping team.

"God help us!" murmured the young mother across from Juliet as her children cringed fearfully against her.

Juliet grasped the strap and hung her head, fighting nausea as she hugged her own child. Her lips touched the baby's downy gold curls. "Almost there," she whispered, for Charlotte's ears alone. "Almost there — to your papa's home."

Suddenly without warning, there were shouts, a horse's frightened whinny, and violent curses from the driver. Someone on the roof screamed. The coach careened madly, the inhabitants both inside and out shrieking in terror as the vehicle hurtled along on two wheels for another forty or fifty feet before finally crashing heavily down on its axles with another neck-snapping jolt, shattering a window with the impact and spilling the elderly gent to the floor. Outside, someone was sobbing in fear and pain.

And inside, the atmosphere of the coach went as still as death.

"We're being robbed!" cried the old man, getting to his knees to peer out the rain-spattered window.

Shots rang out. There was a heavy thud from above, then movement just beyond the ominous black pane. And then suddenly, without warning it imploded, showering the inside passengers in a hail of glass.

Gasping, they looked up to see a heavy pistol — and a masked face just beyond it.

"Yer money or yer life. Now!"


It was the very devil of a night. No moon, no stars, and a light rain stinging his face as Lord Gareth Francis de Montforte sent his horse, Crusader, flying down the Wantage road at a speed approaching suicide. Stands of beech and oak shot past, there then gone. Pounding hooves splashed through puddles and echoed against the hedgerows that bracketed the road. Gareth glanced over his shoulder, saw nothing but a long empty stretch of road behind him, and shouted with glee. Another race won — Perry, Chilcot, and the rest of the Den of Debauchery would never catch him now!

Laughing, he patted Crusader's neck as the hunter pounded through the night. "Well done, good fellow! Well done —"

And pulled him up sharply at he passed Wether Down.

It took him only a moment to assess the situation.

Highwaymen. And by the looks of it, they were helping themselves to the pickings — and passengers — of the Flying White from Southampton.

The Flying White? The young gentleman reached inside his coat pocket and pulled out his watch, squinting to see its face in the darkness. Damned late for the Flying White...

He dropped the timepiece back into his pocket, steadied Crusader, and considered what to do. No gentlemen of the road, this lot, but a trio of desperate, hardened killers. The driver and guard lay on the ground beside the coach, both presumably dead. Somewhere a child was crying, and now one of the bandits, with a face that made a hatchet look kind, smashed in the windows of the coach with the butt end of his gun. Gareth reached for his pistol. The thought of quietly turning around and going back the way he'd come never occurred to him. The thought of waiting for his friends, probably a mile behind thanks to Crusader's blistering speed, didn't occur to him, either. Especially when he saw one of the bandits yank open the door of the coach and haul out a struggling young woman.

He had just the briefest glimpse of her face — scared, pale, beautiful — before one of the highwaymen shot out the lanterns of the coach and darkness fell over the entire scene. Someone screamed. Another shot rang out, silencing the frightened cry abruptly.

His face grim, the young gentleman knotted his horse's reins and removed his gloves, pulling each one carefully off by the fingertips. With a watchful eye on the highwaymen, he slipped his feet from the irons and vaulted lightly down from the thoroughbred's tall back, his glossy top boots of Spanish leather landing in chalk mud up to his ankles. The horse never moved. He doffed his fine new surtout and laid it over the saddle along with his tricorn and gloves. He tucked the lace at his wrist safely inside his sleeve to protect it from any soot or sparks his pistol might emit. Then he crept through the knee-high weeds and nettles that grew thick at the side of the road, priming and loading the pistol as he moved stealthily toward the stricken coach. He would have time to squeeze off only one shot before they were upon him, and that one shot had to count…

Multi-award winning and critically acclaimed author Danelle Harmon is the author of ten books, previously published in print and distributed in many languages throughout the world. A Massachusetts native, she married her English husband while living in the United Kingdom, and both now make their home in Massachusetts with their daughter Emma and numerous animals including four dogs, an Egyptian Arabian horse, and a flock of pet chickens.

Danelle welcomes email from her readers and can be reached at , on the web at, or through her Facebook page at


  1. I was suggested to you by a friend, but haven't had the time to pick up one of your novels. I will say now that I can't wait to get one :) [ And I'm going to start with "The Wild One")

  2. I loved Robin Gibb, too--the BeeGees had so much great material, and so many people don't know most of it! Anyway, I'll have to read the books before I cast the brothers, but I'm looking forward to it.


  3. I've not read the books (yet); so can't respond to Danelle's question but even if I had I wouldn't imagine any actor playing a character from the books. I guess it's because when I read a story the characters appear as people in their own right to me.

  4. I've heard many good reviews about these books and look forward to learning more about them. :)


  5. I have all four books downloaded to my iPad and I am planning on reading them on my upcoming vacation. As to an actor to play the part of one of the brothers, perhaps Tom Hanks, although a little older than your standard romantic hero, still one of my favorites! Looking forward to reading about the Montforte brothers.

  6. Thanks, everyone, for the warm welcome; it's great to be here today!

    Ashley: at 99 cents, THE WILD ONE is a pretty good deal!

    Anonymous: Glad to find another Brothers Gibb fan! I especially like their early stuff (from the late 1960s/early 70s) from before the disco movement, when Robin was usually doing vocals instead of Barry. He was my favorite of the brothers ... I was so very sad when he died.

    Linda: I hear you! To be honest, I'd be very hard pressed to cast anyone for my books ... with the exception of two of my ten stories, it's wide open, even for me . And I like it that way. :)

    Rebecca: thanks for your interest in my books!

    -- Danelle

  7. I have not read the books yet so I can't answer the question. I am planning to read them, I love connected books.

  8. Lots to talk about today. Danelle, I can't believe it's the last day of your tour. I've had a blast following you and reacquainting myself with your books. I'll say again, I'm so happy you are back. Can't wait for Nerissa's story (why do I want to call her Nessie?)

    To answer your question about who I would like to cast to play the brothers? Here's my picks:
    Henry Cavill as Gareth
    Jim Caviezel as Charles
    Anson Mount as Andrew
    Pierce Brosnan as Lucien (he might be 50+ now but he ages well)

    It was probably a given, living in New England, that you would gravitate to historical romances. Early on when I began reading historicals, most were set during the American Colonial period or the American Revolution. Those times are just not written about these days and that's too bad because I'm sure there are talented story tellers out there who might have stories set in those time periods and they are being rejected by the PTB because 'they are not selling'. That always struck me as odd; how do they know what's not selling if they refuse to publish it? OK, off my rant for the day!

    Thanks again for a fun tour!

    kareninnc at gmail dot com

  9. Danelle! I've had such fun following you on your blog tour! Your books sound truly amazing, and I can't wait to begin the journey of your characters!
    Wishing you the best!


  10. Thanks, everyone. :) Karen, you have some interesting choices! And yes, I'm sure that being a New Englander, and surrounded by so much history, definitely makes for fertile ground. Interestingly enough, I feel far more inspired, here, than I ever did while living in England. It's like the stone and brick houses there, no matter how old they are, lacked the same "soul" and spirit that our 17th and 18th century homes here, possess. As if they were somehow ... empty. I can't quite explain it, but maybe it's just because this is my home and has always been my home and I'm connected on a deep level. Funny, that... !

    Chelsea, I'm glad to have you along for the ride! Thanks for all your support, and I hope you enjoy the de Montforte brothers (and, Damon!)

    Thank you to everyone who has bought or expressed an interest in my books, and thank you, It's Raining Books, for hosting me here today on my final stop! Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

    -- Danelle

  11. I like Gareth...What's not to love about a rake with a tender heart? I could see Gerard Butler playing him (although he might be a tad too old) or Ben Barnes. Christian Bale can play Andrew. Hans Matheson can play Charles. And for Lucien...perhaps Clive Owen?

    What a good question.

    catherinelee100 at gmail dot com

  12. Catherine: I love Gareth, too! He was such great fun to write. Aside from Christian Bale (oh my goodness, was he delicious in the new Batman movie!), I don't know any of the other actors ... I don't get out enough, ha! But you've got me curious, so off I go to Google them!

    -- Danelle

  13. Thank you so much for the excerpt. Nice set up to the situation and a great hook.

    Being a serious re-enactor is one of the best ways to learn about the time period and the people who live in it. Our daughter is currently involved in the civilian side of Civil War re-enacting. I am doing the sewing for her and having to be very careful to be accurate.

    I like your remark about creating your characters but the reader creating their own picture of them. It is one reason I do not care for covers with detailed pictures of the characters. For one thing, they often don't match the author's description. For another, I want to get to know the characters and see them in my mind's eye the way I imagine them. That is one reason I liked the covers that did not show the tops of the faces. So much of a person is shown in the eyes. If you don't show them, you don't show the person.

    I look forward to reading this series. Better late than never.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, Librarypat. Because I agree with you, and think it's important for the reader to create her own pictures of the characters, I purposely made sure the faces of the models who portrayed the de Montforte brothers weren't shown.

      Glad to meet another person connected to the re-enacting world! :)

      -- Danelle

    2. Danelle, I absolutely love your books... they're intelligent and fun. I always find myself simply devouring them. On the topic of covers, have you seen Christie Kelley's cover for Bewitching the Duke? It looks very much like yours for The Wicked One. Same photos used, perhaps?

  14. Loved the Bee Gees pre-disco -- amazing talent that often was overlooked due to their "Staying Alive" era.


So... inquiring minds want to know: what do you think?