What would you do if your semi-scandolous life caught up with you and you had to leave Europe before things got out of hand? It's the early 1920s, and fun-loving Delilah Drummond has no intention of going to America, where she couldn't get a legal drink. Instead, she agrees to Kenya—to her ex-stepfather's lakeside property—just until things blow over, of course.
Don't believe the stories you have heard about me. I have never killed anyone, and I have never stolen another woman's husband. Oh, if I find one lying around unattended, I might climb on, but I never took one that didn't want taking. And I never meant to go to Africa. I blame it on the weather. It was a wretched day in Paris, grey and gloomy and spitting with rain, when I was summoned to my mother's suite at the Hotel de Crillon. I had dressed carefully for the occasion, not because Mossy would care—my mother is curiously unfussy about such things. But I knew wearing something chic would make me feel a little better about the ordeal to come. So I put on a divine little Molyneux dress in scarlet silk with a matching cloche, topped it with a clever chinchilla stole and left my suite, boarded the lift and rode up two floors to her room.—A Spear of Summer Grass by Deanna Raybourn (Harlequin / Mira, 2013, first paragraph)
- Setting: Kenya, at Fairlight outside of Nairobi, 1923
- Circumstances: there are questions about Delilah's inheritance after the death of her most recent husband; to avoid scandal and lawsuits she relocates to Africa
- Characters: Delilah; her cousin Dora; safari guide J. Ryder White; various ex-pats
- Genre: historical fiction with a love story
- Themes: love; staying true to oneself; conservation; prejudice; colonization
- Personal: I love this time period in Africa; a hundred pages in, the characters and setting fit with what I know of the place of the time; I'm sure I already know the ending but I'm hooked anyway
A sixth-generation native Texan, New York Times bestselling author Deanna Raybourn grew up in San Antonio, where she met her college sweetheart. She married him on her graduation day and went on to teach high school English and history. During summer vacation at the age of twenty-three, she wrote her first novel. After three years as a teacher, Deanna left education to have a baby and pursue writing full-time. Fourteen years and many, many rejections after her first novel, she signed two three-book deals with MIRA Books.
Deanna’s novel Silent in the Grave won the 2008 RITA® Award for Novel with Strong Romantic Elements and the RT Reviewers’ Choice Award for Best First Mystery. The Lady Julia Grey series has been nominated for several other awards, including an Agatha, three Daphne du Mauriers, a Last Laugh, four additional RITAs, and two Dilys Winns. Dark Road to Darjeeling was also a finalist for the RT Reviewers’ Choice Award for Best Historical Mystery as well as a Romantic Reviews’ finalist for Best Book of 2010.
Be sure to visit Deanna Raybourn's website and follow her on Twitter.
Thanks to Big Honcho Media and Harlequin, I am pleased to offer two of my readers a copy of Deanna Raybourn's A Spear of Summer Grass. The only restriction is that you must have a U.S. or Canada mailing address. Fill out the form, and I'll use a random number generator to pick a winner on May 15. Once the winners have been confirmed, I'll delete all personal information. Good luck!
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