Wednesday, July 10, 2013

A Spear of Summer Grass by Deanna Raybourn

A Spear of Summer Grass
by Deanna Raybourn

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Just released: May 2013
Publisher: Harlequin MIRA
Genre: 1920s, Africa, Romance
Paperback: 384 pages
Rating: 5

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Paris, 1923
The daughter of a scandalous mother, Delilah Drummond is already notorious, even among Paris society. But her latest scandal is big enough to make even her oft-married mother blanch. Delilah is exiled to Kenya and her favorite stepfather's savanna manor house until gossip subsides.

Fairlight is the crumbling, sun-bleached skeleton of a faded African dream, a world where dissolute expats are bolstered by gin and jazz records, cigarettes and safaris. As mistress of this wasted estate, Delilah falls into the decadent pleasures of society.

Against the frivolity of her peers, Ryder White stands in sharp contrast. As foreign to Delilah as Africa, Ryder becomes her guide to the complex beauty of this unknown world. Giraffes, buffalo, lions and elephants roam the shores of Lake Wanyama amid swirls of red dust. Here, life is lush and teeming—yet fleeting and often cheap.

Amidst the wonders—and dangers—of Africa, Delilah awakes to a land out of all proportion: extremes of heat, darkness, beauty and joy that cut to her very heart. Only when this sacred place is profaned by bloodshed does Delilah discover what is truly worth fighting for—and what she can no longer live without.

Amusing quote:
Where are you going?
For a walk. Africa beckons.
- page 89, chapter 6

1920s series:
A Spear of Summer Grass
City of Jasmine - May 2014

Author bio:
As a sixth-generation native Texan, I grew up in San Antonio, where I met my college sweetheart. I married him on graduation day and went on to teach high school English and history. During summer vacation when I was twenty-three, I wrote my first novel. After three years as a teacher, I left education to have a baby and pursue writing full-time.

Fourteen years and many, many rejections after my first novel, I signed two three-book deals with MIRA Books.

"Sex, lies and awesome clothing descriptions" is how one reader described my debut novel, Silent in the Grave, published in 2007. The first in the Silent series, the book follows Lady Julia Grey as she investigates the mysterious death of her husband with the help of the enigmatic private enquiry agent Nicholas Brisbane. From the drawing rooms of the aristocracy to a Gypsy camp on Hampstead Heath, Silent in the Grave was my love letter to Victorian London.

The series continues with the second book, Silent in the Sanctuary (2008), a classic English country house murder mystery with a few twists and turns for Brisbane and Lady Julia along the way, while the third book, Silent on the Moor (2009), is set in a grim manor house on the Yorkshire moors. My favorite part of writing Moor was getting to spend time in Yorkshire, one of the most wildly beautiful places I have ever been.

March 2010 saw a departure from the series with the release of The Dead Travel Fast, a mid-Victorian Gothic thriller that chronicles the adventures of novelist Theodora Lestrange as she leaves the safety and security of her Edinburgh home for the dark woods and haunted castles of Transylvania. I returned to Lady Julia and her companions with Dark Road to Darjeeling (October 2010), this time delving into my most exotic setting yet in the foothills of the Himalayas. The fifth series book, New York Times bestseller The Dark Enquiry (July 2011) saw Lady Julia back in her beloved London again, while a digital holiday novella, Silent Night (November 2012) highlighted the March family festivities at Bellmont Abbey.

But 2013 introduces a new setting to my work—1920s British East Africa. In A Spear of Summer Grass (May 2013), disgraced flapper Delilah Drummond is sent to Africa to weather the storm of her latest scandal. There she meets Ryder White, a local legend for more reasons than one—and the perfect man to teach her about the continent he loves. Ryder was introduced to readers in the digital prequel novella Far in the Wilds (March 2013).

I am thrilled that 2014 will see another 1920s release, City of Jasmine (May 2014), and I am hard at work on my next project in my little pink study in Virginia with a doodle draped over my feet as I write.


My two-bits:
In-a-word(s): Black Velvet - champagne with stout
Loved how this story pulled me in by way of the independent spunky main character that is Delilah.

The ambiance of the time period is portrayed well. Got a nice dose of Africa in the 1920s with the lush descriptions of the land, animals and people.

--~ Book Giveaway courtesy of tour ~--

WIN a signed trade paperback!

Open to US and Canada only.

Offer ends: July 21, 2013

TO DO: (2-parts)

1. ADD this book to your Goodreads Want To Read list.


Tweet about this giveaway.

2. TELL me what you did in comments.
AND, leave your email (if I don't already have it)


Contest has ended - winner is here



* review copy courtesy of publisher

* featured in past event: Flappers at Floyd's

* part of A Spear of Grass tour - check out the other stops for more details on this book and goodies sponsored by France Book Tours


  1. added to GR (Susan Meikle) and tweeted

    meikleblog at gmail dot com

  2. Added to GR (erin f) I love this author! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Thanks for offering a copy of A Spear of Summer Grass. I tweeted a link to this post:

  4. Hmm, not sure if you have my email: carlscott(at)prodigy(dot)net(dot)mx Thanks again.

  5. I added to my Goodrears list.

  6. I tweeted the contest. Thanks for the opportunity to win a copy. Sounds good!

    sophiarose1816 at gmail dot com

  7. I added it to my goodreads list.

  8. Thank you for the wonderful interview and giveaway! I love Deanna's Lady Julia series and I am so looking forward to reading A Spear of Summer Grass ~ I added it to my TBR List on Goodreads as soon as I started reading the advanced reviews about it~ Sounds Wonderful~ and reminds me a wee bit of Out of Africa! Love the cover as well! Happy Reading and Writing~ Cheers~ Elizabeth MacGregor

  9. This sounds so good! I added this to my "Want To Read" list on Goodreads (Colleen Turner). Thanks for the giveaway!

  10. A Spear of Summer Grass is now on my Goodreads tbr list. Thanks for the chance to win it!


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