In which it’s giveaway time!

Today wraps up our feature on SILENT IN THE GRAVE with a few extra goodies.

First, do you know how the character of Grim came to be? Well, when I was in London doing research for the first Julia book, I visited the Tower of London—I’m actually incapable of going to London without hitting the Tower. It’s a doomed queens thing. Anyway, I found a quiet corner, which was rather remarkable for a June day. It was a misty morning and I was enjoying the atmosphere and the silence when I heard a little voice say, “Good morning.” I looked around, and I saw one of the Tower ravens perched on a bit of stone edging a walkway. I stared at him, and as I watched, he opened his beak. “Good morning,” he said. And I’ll be DAMNED if it wasn’t slightly impatient, as if to say, “You know, it’s just RUDE not to respond.”

Just at that moment, a Beefeater came around the corner. He greeted me, and I pointed—with shaking finger—to the raven. “Did you know it TALKS?” He smiled patiently and told me he was the Ravenmaster. He introduced me to the raven, Hardy, and explained the fellow had a few dozen phrases in his repertoire, and best of all, would use them appropriately. He would greet people properly, and when the Ravenmaster gave him a treat, he would say, “That’s for me.”

I ask you, how could I NOT put him in a book?

Now, let’s say you want to get your Julia Grey on. First, set the scene! I always listen to music when I write, and here’s a playlist for SILENT IN THE GRAVE:

*”Wachet Auf” (Sleepers Awake) Bach

*”The Last of the Mohicans” soundtrack

*”The Jane Austen Companion” Nimbus records

*”The Piano” soundtrack

*”The Mask and Mirror” Loreena McKennitt

Next, you might want a drink and a nibble with your reading to make a truly indulgent afternoon of it. For SILENT IN THE GRAVE, it must be the classic tea and scones. I would recommend a good Earl Grey, and the scones ought to be lavishly dolloped with Devonshire cream and jam—either strawberry or raspberry.

Want to spread the word about SILENT IN THE GRAVE? Click on this link to my postcards page at Writerspace and send a virtual postcard to a friend who might like to meet Julia, Nicholas, and the entire March family!

And what if you don’t have a signed copy of SILENT IN THE GRAVE? We’ve got you covered! We’re doing a quick and dirty giveaway today and today only. Residents of the continental US can enter by leaving a comment on today’s entry. Please note that comments are in moderation. Your comment must be approved before it will appear, so please do not enter more than once. Also, the contest will be open to the first FIFTY entrants. Once fifty readers have entered, the contest will be closed and a winner selected. Good luck and happy reading!

UPDATE: Thanks to all of you who entered! The contest is now closed. The winner is KRISTIN BLANK! Kristin, please drop me an email at deanna(at)deannaraybourn(dot)com with your mailing address. Congratulations!

56 thoughts on “In which it’s giveaway time!”

  1. Gina D says:

    Good morning indeed! I can understand why this character got into the book!! I once had a parrot imitate my laugh as I was chatting with it. Talking birds are entertaining 🙂

  2. Donna Kurtz says:

    Grim is a most charming character! I love the bit of humor he brings to the story. I’m looking forward to seeing more of him in future books.

  3. Shelley says:

    I would have loved to have explored Julia’s study, the only place she felt at hime in her own home.

  4. sandyg265 says:

    Sounds like an interesting character.

  5. barbara cassidy says:

    I’ve read every one of your books, the only thing wrng with them is they don’t along fast enough. I just fell in love with that raven every since you added him.

  6. Kym says:

    I had no idea that ravens could talk! Fascinating, and I completely agree – Grim had to be a part of the book!

  7. Kristin says:

    Love, love, love these books!! I would love to see some drawings / maps of the layout of some of the different locations — Julia and Edward’s house (prior to burning!), the March Estate, and so on.

  8. Rebecca B. says:

    What a fascinating job it must be to be the Ravenmaster! Imagine wrangling more than one.

  9. Betty Hamilton says:

    A Ravenmaster! How wonderful!! This is a fantastic way to enrich your book.

  10. Kirsten Williams says:

    I love Grim! 🙂

  11. Barbara S says:

    I have just found a new book to be on my TBR list!

  12. Melissa Malm says:

    Thank you for the playlist. I think it will sound quite lovely coming out of my office. I drink Lady Grey tea and my favorite scones are the orange ones from Panera.

  13. Megan says:

    I love Grim for his personality and how he is treated as one of the family. I love this series – both book and audio. Can’t wait for the new novella!

  14. Meaghan Waller says:

    I’ve always loved Grim – he’s one of the fun, wonderfully quirky details that make me go back and read SITG and the other Julia books over and over again. (And they’re definitely starting to show the wear and tear for it!)

  15. Ashley says:

    I love Grim! In the ever-expanding menagerie, he is still my favorite.

  16. Nancy says:

    Thanks for the background info…love all things related to this series. I could use a new copy of Silent In The Grave. Mine has seen better days; it’s my most lent novel. I can’t resist sharing but hate the wear and tear!!!

  17. Connie says:

    I love reading the behind the scene details of your books, and thanks for the giveaways!

  18. How does the Last of the Mohicans soundtrack help with an English historical title? The others I can understand but not that one.

  19. Emma says:

    SILENT IN THE GRAVE sounds wonderful.. Please enter me in contest. Thank you for the opportunity to win.

  20. Jessica says:

    Love love love Deanna Raybourn’s writing. Can’t get enough of Lady Julia, Brisbane, the Marches or the mystery. Books paint beautiful pictures of scenes in my mind eye, cannot wait to be transported back again.

  21. Meghan says:

    I came across your books earlier this year, and could not stop reading about Lady Julia Grey!

  22. Bernadette Long says:

    I have been fascinated by Lady Julia Gray and her relationship with Nicholas. Thank you for giving us more details behind the stories!

  23. Bonnie Franks says:

    I have now read several articles/reviews of this book and cannot wait to read it! Selfishly, hope I win! But, regardless of who wins, thanks for the giveaway opportunity!

  24. Rebekah Frausto says:

    I love your writing style, and I absolutely adore your characters. So far, I haven’t found an author that makes me fall in love with their stories like you do!

  25. I was introduced to Julia by randomly happening upon the audio version on Sirius’ Book Radio–I was hooked on my morning commute!

  26. Tiffany says:

    Deanna, I can’t say enough about your work. This was the book that introduced me to you, and I will be forever grateful. Keep up the inspiring writing!

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  27. Sarah Liewergen says:

    Thank you for sharing your talent with the public, beginning with Silent in the Grave. I am now taking care of my future mother-in-law in hospice care, and I keep going back to my faith and my favorite book to pull me over our trouble spots!

  28. Pam says:

    I ordered Silent in the Grave after reading (and loving) The Dead Travel Fast. I saved it for a special treat and brought it home to the old family seat (it sounds so much more exciting that way) at Thanksgiving. I remember vividly settling down to bed with it, in my comfiest jammies…and not putting it down until the following afternoon (with tea, obviously). I knew I had to ration the (then) remaining three books out, both for the sake of my productivity and so that I wouldn’t get the shakes from the withdrawal, so it took me a few months to get through to Darjeeling, and it was utter bliss. I’ve just started A Spear of Summer Grass (another put-away treat) and am having a ball. Thank you for sharing these wonderful stories!

  29. Kristin H says:

    I love the background information on Grim. He has always been one of my favorite characters. After reading the first Lady Julia book you became an auto-buy for me. I love great characters as much as a great story, and you write great characters. Not one is a cardboard cutout throw away in your books, not even the most minor character.

  30. Sandypo says:

    It’s always a treat to get the “back story” on the characters you read about — thanks for providing that!

  31. Meghan says:

    I’ve so enjoyed learning more about Silent in the Grave! Thanks for the extra blogging.

  32. Jen says:

    I love the Julia Grey series. As soon as I read the first book, I had to read the rest. Grim is a great addition to the cast of characters. I’d love to spend a day reading about Julia & Nicholas sipping Earl Grey and nibbling on scones.

  33. Rochelle says:

    I love Lady Julia and Nicholas…. that is such a fun way to find a perfect character for your book! I want to go to the tower and meet the ravenmaster! How cool is that!? What kind of training do you need for that? Poe wasn’t too far off with Nevermore, huh? I think I’m going to have to go back and reread my Lady Julia novels, listen to the soundtracks, and long for more books about her and Nicholas.

  34. Milena Mutter says:

    I can’t wait for the release of Midsummer Night, Julia and Brisbane are among my favorite characters. Since I read Silent in the Moor I always wanted to know more about their wedding night.

  35. Rachel says:

    After I read this I had to go on YouTube to search for videos of talking ravens. Very interesting blog post this morning!

  36. Meghan Carter says:

    That story about the raven is too neat! But did you greet the raven back?

  37. Sherri says:

    Thank you for the background tidbits. I love Grim. Silent in the Grave is a wonderful book.

  38. Sam N says:

    I had no idea there actually was a talking raven, that’s really neat. 🙂

  39. Kristopher says:

    Oh how I would love to spend the day with Lady Julia and Nicholas. A day with Deanna wouldn’t be so bad either. 😉

  40. Courtney Roberts says:

    Love your playlist and (of course) the SITG!

  41. Suzanne Ryan says:

    Love the entire Julia Grey series, but Silent in the Grave is by far my favorite!

  42. Nicole says:

    Now I need to get a raven to add to my flock of parrots! 🙂

  43. Kathy says:

    I love all of your characters–male and female. Thanks.

  44. J.C. Gregorio says:

    That is fascinating! I never realized ravens could be trained to speak!

  45. Anna says:

    Love the Julia Grey series. My sister got me started your books and I think I’ve gotten ahead of her in the reading. 🙂 Also, love knowing the music you listened to while writing. When I re-read the book (whether I win it or borrow it) I will have to listen to the music in the background.

  46. Rebecca says:

    I prefer Lady Grey tea to Earl Grey. It seems more fitting!

  47. Cece says:

    Phew-that will teach me to work before play-I almost missed my chance!
    I would LOVE to start my rereading with a signed copy!

  48. Katherine says:

    Thank you for sharing your playlist! I hope you’ll continue for the other books, if you remember what you were listening to then. (And whoa, I loved Loreena McKennitt so much when I was growing up. Must find the tapes.)

  49. Tina says:

    London is a city I would really like to visit, once the nest is empty. 🙂 I enjoy animal companions in books. Sometimes they become just as important to the story as the main character! Grim is a fantastic bird and his uniqueness fits your novels very well.

  50. Raquel Muniz says:

    I visited the Tower of London last year and was very excited to see the ravens. Unfortunately I didn’t get close enough to hear them speak. Love the Julia Grey series.

  51. Melissa Terry says:

    I look forward to meeting all of these characters.

  52. Anna A. says:

    What a perfect character to add some dark humor to the novels.

  53. Lisa Gillespie says:

    I had no idea that ravens could really talk.
    I’m obsessed w/ Julia & Brisbane and cannot wait until their next adventure!

  54. Lynn Fitzpatrick says:

    Even if I am not able to be in the contest, I just want to thank you for the wonderful novels with characters who easily become part of my life! As a bookseller I always share your name with anyone I feel would love your work as much as I!

  55. Kim says:

    All the animals in this series seem to have a personality of their own.

  56. Desiree says:

    I love Grim for his personality and how he is treated as one of the family.

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