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Monday, September 24, 2018

The Fortress by Madeleine Romeyer Dherbey - Book Tour - Guest Post - Giveaway - Enter Daily!

Hello lovelies!  It gives me great pleasure today to host Madeleine Romeyer Dherbey and her new book, “The Fortress”!  For other stops on her Goddess Fish Promotions Book Tour, please click on the banner above or any of the images in this post.

Be sure to make it to the end of this post to enter to win a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble Gift Card!!  Also, come back daily to interact with Madeleine and to increase your chances of winning!

Thanks for stopping by!  Wishing you lots of luck in this fabulous giveaway!

The Fortress
by Madeleine Romeyer Dherbey


GENRE: WWII Historical



The war has not made much of difference in Alix’s life. Her father has seen to it that she grows up unaware, unworried, but safe in her tiny village under the cliffs of the Vercors. All around her he has built a fortress whose walls are impregnable—until the 27th of April, 1944. That day he makes a stupid mistake up on the cliff, and the walls of the Fortress start crashing down. Reality breaks into Alix’s life with unrelenting violence, unforeseen possibilities. From now on, every decision she makes will mean life or death.



Six weeks before D-Days, a thousand kilometers from the beaches of Normandy.

There are no generals in the French Vercors, just a handful of men and women against the Nazi war machine. They come from Bretagne, Paris, and Slovenia, and the villages up on the cliff. They are the Fortress.



“Honey, if anybody’s looking for it up here, it means you’re already dead. So it won’t matter to you. Listen now. People will call you on the other phone, the one downstairs, and give you coded messages. As a rule it will be about movements in our direction, Germans, Militia, or even new recruits for our camps. Remember, the security of Mortval depends on you. Here is a list of codes. You must memorize all of them and get rid of the list.”

She started to read. “The strawberries are in their juice. Your walnuts were wormy. You can’t put rabbit in the cassoulet.” She looked up. “Are they all about food?”

“No. Read the next one.”

“Yvette préfère les grosses carrottes. Well?”

“Well, it’s not about food.”

“Yvette préfère… Oh. I understand now. Did you come up with that one?”

“I thought it would be memorable.”

“It’s lovely. I bet the British are impressed.”



Five Reasons Why You Should Read This Book:

1.)  It is authentic.
First, unlike most, if not all, authors of books on the subject, I was born in the Vercors, I grew up there, and I am French before anything else. But it was when I emigrated to the USA in my mid-twenties, that I realized it, and it took many more years for me to finally be ready to share the experience. Second, my family was involved in the war. Three of my uncles were condemned to death for collaborating with the Vichy government, a puppet of the Nazis. Their sentences were eventually commuted to national disgrace, and ten years of forced labor—thanks to my father, who had fought with honor during the war and was able to litigate a lighter sentence with the subsequent political swamp of the liberation. My uncles had to leave the area to avoid being murdered, but we stayed. The book captures all the complexities of growing up in a small community torn by four years of war, occupation, and political strife, as the children of traitors.

2.)  It is a very interesting WWII chapter.
The Battle of the Vercors started with a dream of freedom. When Pierre Dalloz and Jean Prévost conceived of the Plan des Montagnards for the Vercors in 1941, France was defeated, its army disbanded, its people divided and demoralized. Yet three years later, a small force was growing beyond the cliff, entrusted by the Allies with a mission to disrupt German movements after Overlord in Normandy and Anvil on the Mediterranean coast. But the dream fell short, with no Mediterranean landing or backup. The paratroopers who did come were German. The small army of the Vercors, the first Maquis of France, its first free republic under Nazi occupation, was abandoned to its fate. For six weeks, they fought with fierce and sometimes desperate courage a force twenty times superior in size, equipment, and training. They were slaughtered, even tortured in the mountain’s sawmills. Hundreds were deported to their death. Yet the survivors regrouped and joined the FFI to continue the fight, eventually joining the liberation armies all the way to Germany.

3.)  It is not the usual French dish.
No haute-couture, haute-cuisine, or Cote d’Azur. And it’s very far from Paris, thank God. You will get to know a side of France you do not suspect. All the characters are modeled from people who were there, like Father De Rosa or Lovrenc the Slovenian, or people I have known, true Vertacomicoriens, as they are called, after the Celtic tribe that lived there when the Romans invaded Gaule. It is an insular people, jealous of their traditions, proud of their unique history.

4.)  It’s a war book, driven by a love story.
At least it started as a war book. Part of the plot is a product of the political and historical forces that shaped WWII in France. I wanted to do justice to the conflicting truths of men, women, families, rivals, religions, collaborators, communists, nationalists and simple French patriots during the Nazi occupation of my beloved Alp mountains. The story is simply a way to let them speak for themselves. I am very proud of my battle scenes, and I was told by a Vietnam vet that his favorite scene is the conversation that takes place near the end between two of the military commanders.

But there in the middle of my noble historical mission, a love story was born, and once it takes roots, it drives the narrative. Marc has pledged his life to defend the Vercors, and he is a man of his word. It is with genuine distress that he discovers his attraction to Alix, and he fights it. The tension that builds between them, driven by irrepressible attraction and conflict, is shaped not by the violence that unfolds around them, rather than superficial sexual drama. That love story made the writing almost hypnotic for me.

5.)  It will be your next vacation spot.
The story came to me when I lived on the Paris side of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It reminded me of my Vercors home. Look it up. Imagine yourself hiking along a canyon stream to the top of the cliffs. Listen to the waterfalls, the silence of the pine forests, stumble upon the ruins of an abandoned monastery, a marble plaque screwed to the rock where someone was murdered by the Nazis—there are many of those up there. Soon enough you’ll be wondering whose whispers you hear in the woods, and you may find yourself following a ghost’s footsteps on the steep trails.



Madeleine Romeyer Dherbey was born in the French Alps, moved to the United States twenty-five years later, and currently lives in the mountains of Virginia with her husband, two daughters, and Mikko.









Amazon Kindle:

Amazon Paperback:

Barnes and Noble:



Madeleine will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.

**This post contains affiliate links and if clicked and a purchase made I may receive a small commission to help support this blog.  This does not cost you anything, it just helps pay for all those awesome giveaways on here.**

This contest is sponsored by a third party. Fabulous and Brunette is a registered host of Goddess Fish Promotions.  Prizes are given away by the sponsors and not Fabulous and Brunette. The featured author and Goddess Fish Promotions are solely responsible for the giveaway prize.


  1. Madeleine ~ It is so great to have you here! Congrats on your new book and good luck on the book tour! :)

  2. I very much appreciate getting to find out about another book to read that my family can enjoy. Thanks so much for the info and the giveaway as well.

  3. Thanks for sharing and for the great giveaway!

  4. Are any of the characters in your book based off of real people? Congrats on the release. Bernie Wallace BWallace1980(at)hotmail(d0t)com

  5. What is your favorite book of all time? Congrats on the release. Bernie Wallace BWallace1980(at)hotmail(d0t)com

  6. I'm excited about it being authentic.