*I’m in the process of traveling so please forgive me for re-blogging this post. It was originally shared on my blog tour at WriterSpace, but I hope you enjoy.
Thanks so much for having me today and for participating in my blog tour. I’m so excited about this new release. Today I want to share the first five from the first five – meaning the first five sentences from the first five chapters of Undercover With the Earl. Hope you enjoy!
It is a truth universally known that a girl entering her twenty-first year must be in want of a husband. But it was not a truth that Evelyn Marrington took to heart. She had no desire to marry now or any other time. Instead, she wanted to hole herself up in a sweet little cottage and write adventurous novels until her hair greyed and no one cared if she was a spinster. Due to her family’s financial straights and their middling social standing, Evie’s chances of doing just that seemed rather good.
“Ellis, what are you doing here in Epping? You rarely visit and you certainly have never brought guests,” Evelyn asked once they began their dance.
“Can a man not come out to see his favorite cousins?” he asked.
“I suppose, but you don’t. Or you have not until tonight.”
He chuckled. “You are a suspicious sort.” Then he gave a slight shrug. “Though I suppose in this situation your suspensions are not unwarranted. I came to speak with you.”
She stood from the swing and glared at her cousin. “What does he have to do with our agreement?” She looked up at the stranger towering over her. His blonde hair, pulled back in a queue and his blue eyes—so blue they very nearly made her forget to breathe—seared into her. Then it all fell into place. “This isn’t about some secret assignment, is it?”
“Stand and walk to the other side of the room,” he said.
“I beg your pardon?”
“I must evaluate how you walk.”
She gaped at him. “How I walk?”
“Do try and keep up, Miss Marrington. People will be watching.”
“Is there something wrong with how I walk?”
“Your walk is …” No. In truth, she walked with an unconscious grace and agility he found charming. There was nothing studied about her movements, nothing calculated. She managed to be both completely natural and totally bewitching, which was entirely beside the point. “Your walk is unstudied.”
They’d worked together at his townhome for two days before heading to Buckingham Palace. Potterfield had escorted them in only minutes before and currently had disappeared into the tunnels beneath the palace to meet with the head council of the Brotherhood, which left Bennett and Evelyn alone in the Queen’s private quarters.
Only time would tell whether or not Evelyn was ready, but Bennett felt certain she was, as ready as any woman could be under the circumstances, perhaps more so. She’d surprised him with her capableness and attitude. She was a hard worker and he could appreciate that.
As you can tell from these samples this book is about the heroine charading as the Queen, kinda like a Victorian Dave – y’all remember that movie with Kevin Kline? So what are your favorite books or movies where one character is pretending to be someone else?
Today is the day! The first book in my new Brotherhood of the Sword series is out and I’m so excited. So I thought I’d share five fun facts about the book.
1. The whole idea for the series came from my love of the Three Musketeers storyline. I wanted to do a spin on that in Victorian England and thus created my Brotherhood of the Sword, an elite organization devoted to protecting the crown.
2. I’ve always wanted to write a book where a character masqueraded as the monarch – this book presented the perfect opportunity. Kind of an historical Dave – remember that Kevin Kline movie? But it was fun taking a country miss and having her step into the shoes of the young Queen Victoria.
3. There were several actual assassination attempts on Victoria’s life when she first took the throne. People thought she was too young and inexperienced to be an effective monarch.
4. There have been so many retelling of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and I while I didn’t endeavor to do that, I did want to pose a question: what if the middle Bennett daughter, Mary, was the most interesting of the group? What if the wallflower among the bunch is the one who has the most to offer, the biggest adventure? So that’s what I did with Evelyn. And I even named the hero Bennett as a nod to the Austen classic.
5. I knew that the hero in this book needed to be a big guy, like bigger than most because his brute strength is part of his character strengths and weaknesses. So when it came to casting Bennett, I just went with the biggest fella I could think of…Thor! To see all my inspiration (with lots of pics of you know, Thor…) you can check out my Pinterest board.
You can also read an excerpt here and find all the buy links. Hope you enjoy!
I’ve always been a fan of the Three Musketeers. If they make a movie about it, chances are, I’ve seen it. Something about a the royal bodyguard thing just works for me. So I decided to write about such an organization and thus created my Brotherhood of the Sword, an elite and covert organization dedicated to protecting the Crown of England. In just a couple of weeks, the first book in that series, UNDERCOVER WITH THE EARL releases and I’m so excited! Here’s a little teaser to introduce you. Let me know what you think…
“Now then, I don’t know if you’ve already deduced what you’ll be doing for us, but I cannot stress enough the importance of your discretion. No one is to know, not your family, your friends, no one.”
His was formidable, there was no denying that, but she felt no fear in his presence. Instead, she found herself fascinated with the lines of his face, the square angle of his jawline, and the dimple that settled deep into his chin. He was ridiculously handsome, but his expression seemed permanently locked in a scowl. She wondered what a wealthy, handsome earl had to be so angry about.
He leveled his blue eyes on her. “Understood?”
He stood and walked around to her. He picked up a stray curl that rested near her ear, the strand curled around his finger as a cat’s tail wound around your leg when they begged for attention. She shivered against his touch. What had her cousin gotten her into?
“Have people ever told you that you resemble someone?” Earl Somersby asked.
His question nearly disappointed her, though she knew not what she’d expected. She frowned. “Once or twice I suppose.”
His brows rose. “Who have they said you look like?” He moved away from her then, sat in the chair adjacent to her.
“Well, one fellow in the market said that I was the spitting image of his Aunt Gertrude, but for the most part people say I favor Her Majesty, Queen Victoria.” Evie shook her head. She was loathe to admit that as she didn’t want him to laugh, so she quickly added. “Personally I don’t see it. Then again, I’ve never actually seen her, only portraits.”
“You and Her Majesty are about the same age,” he said.
“I am older, by two years I believe.”
He nodded, leaned forward, and braced his elbows on his knees. “Miss Marrington, I need to know that I can trust your discretion.”
“Yes, of course.”
“I work for the Crown, as your cousin told you. I will not detail how precisely, but suffice it to say, you have been chosen to assist on a very important task. We need you to pose as Her Majesty at an upcoming event.”
Had she heard him correctly? Certainly not. Charading as the monarch must be an act of treason. “I’m sorry, I thought you said that you want me to pose as the queen.”
I’m on deadline and have my kiddos home with me all summer as I’m sure most of you can relate – it’s hectic, to say the least. Needless to say I’m recycling a previous blog, but it’s a good one. Also here’s the cover for my upcoming release (August, but up for pre-order now!)
When I first started reading romance, many years ago, the majority of what was available was the traditional historical romance. What many referred to as the bodice ripper because of the sexy clinch covers. I fell in love with these books from the likes of Kathleen E. Woodiwiss, Johanna Lindsey and Catherine Coulter. And then I found Amanda Quick and her historicals were a little different. I suspect that she is probably my strongest influence, as a writer, because none of my historicals are what you’d call ballroom romps or even the lush historical dramas that Woodiwiss for known for.
With Amanda Quick, there were suspense subplots and her heroes were often scholars – something I have always been drawn to – is it any wonder that I married a college professor? ☺ Her heroines were smart too and unique. I never set out to immolate her, but when RT Bookclub compared my books to hers in a review – well, that was just about the coolest thing ever. So without further ado, I give you the 5 hallmarks of a Robyn DeHart novel…
1. A Robyn DeHart heroine is unconventional, whether she be bucking society by going to medical school to become a physician, as with Anna from The Temptations of Anna Jacobs or whether she be a blind sculptress, as with Mia from The Secrets of Mia Danvers.
2. My heroes are smart and almost always the pursuer in the relationship. Once they meet the heroine, no other woman will do. They fall hard and they’re loyal to a fault. Not to mention smoking hot! They also usually have jobs, even if they’re aristocrats, as with Drew in The Temptations of Anna Jacobs, is working undercover for Scotland Yard, or an antiquity hunter for hire as with Fielding in Seduce Me.
3. Don’t be surprised if there’s a murder at some point. Quite obviously the Dangerous Liaisons books have killings in them, even scenes in the Rippers point of view. But even in my other books, I sometimes leave a trail of bodies, not always gruesome though (for those of you who have an issue with violence). The Raven, the villain in two of my Legend Hunters books (Seduce Me and Treasure Me) is rather wicked and does away with more than one person. Even in my novella that’s currently out, a Regency spy story, No Ordinary Mistress, chapter one opens up with a murder.
4. Amidst the carnage you’ll often find humor. Some books are funnier than others, but even if you don’t laugh out loud, there are plenty of happy, smiling moments. There’s one scene in A Study in Scandal where the heroine knocks a door into the hero’s head and every time I read it, it made me chuckle. That’s saying a lot because as an author we have to read our own books a lot and by the end, they get really old. ☺
5. My books are full of snappy dialogue. Almost every review and reader email I receive comments on both my characters and the witty dialogue. It’s where the books come alive to me when I’m writing, where the characters live, in the words that they speak. Dialogue is super important to me and an integral part of all of my work.
Well, I hope this has given you a little taste of what reading a Robyn DeHart book is like. If you’ve read me before, what are your favorite parts of my books If not, what do you usually look for when picking out a new author?
So here’s where we are: we’re doing a Beauty and the Beast story, but we’re flipping it and having the Hottie (hero) and the Ugly Duckling (heroine) and we’re putting these two in a compromising situation/scandal which forces them into a marriage of convenience.
Then last week I asked y’all to decide on that external situation – that impetus of scandal that propels them into that marriage of convenience.
Here was the breakdown:
(a) she’s somewhere she’s not supposed to be and interrupts the hero’s romantic tryst (the other woman runs away) – 4 votes
(b) she hires the hero to “ruin” her so she doesn’t have to marry someone else – 4 votes
(c) someone (a 3rd party) traps them together – 6 votes
(d) he intentionally gets her alone b/c he thinks she has something/knows something – 5 votes
(e) he has a crush on her prettier, younger sister and tries to get alone, but heroine “rescues” sister – 1 vote
Since I will be the one writing this novella, I’m going to make the final decision here, but within the choices that y’all voted on. I am predisposed to like plot lines that send my characters on a quest or adventure or working together to solve a case – that’s the most fun for me. So I like the idea of him getting her intentionally alone because of some antiquity that he’s trying to find and he thinks she either has it or knows something about it. I don’t, however, think he’d schedule said meeting with the ulterior motive of getting her alone publicly in order to marry her – he’s a confirmed bachelor, after all. So for him, it’s all business. But I do like y’all’s favorite choice of having a third party intentionally getting them together and then found thus forcing that marriage of convenience. (what if it was one of their mom’s?!)
Let’s come up with some names for them. If you remember from last week, I cast the characters and you can see the pictures here.
Now, you should have a general idea of what this novella “feels” like to you. Can you see some scenes? Share your ideas. Don’t forget that at the end of the three blogs, I’ll pick three winners (at random) to win some goodies. So be sure to participate and often!