In which it’s time for something FUN

Because it’s January. And that means it’s either cold and dreary where you are–or it’s hotter than the hammered-down hinges of hell because you’re in the southern hemisphere. Either way, let’s amuse ourselves, shall we?

I am polling readers to find out your favorite quotes of mine–they can be from the Julia novels or novellas, A SPEAR OF SUMMER GRASS, THE DEAD TRAVEL FAST, or the blog itself. Even tweets and FB remarks are fair game! Just leave your favorite quote in the comments to win. Oh, and what am I giving away? A SIGNED ARC OF CITY OF JASMINE, THAT’S WHAT.

Contest is open to everybody–so hush, Canada, I told you I’d include y’all!–and here are a few guidelines: quotes should be short and pithy. If you see someone’s already submitted a quote here, on FB, or on Twitter, please don’t repeat it. The first entry is the one that counts, and since I have to organize the entries, it’s really just a kindness to me to choose a different quote. (And much appreciated!) I will leave the contest open until Friday evening my time, so you have approximately two days to enter. I’ll select the winner and notify this weekend, so please check back with the blog, FB, and Twitter to see if you’ve won. Alright, chickens–let’s PLAY!

Two quick reminders: this Saturday at 2pm I’m appearing at the Salem Church branch of the Rappahannock Library in Fredericksburg VA with Susanna Kearsley and Joanna Bourne. We’re chatting and signing, so come see us! And don’t forget to pre-order WHISPER OF JASMINE, the digital prequel novella to CITY OF JASMINE. It’s FREE!

51 thoughts on “In which it’s time for something FUN”

  1. Jenn P. says:

    Delilah’s “I am no one’s best example” has stuck with me more than any other.

  2. Jessica Collins says:

    “That isn’t meat, you mendacious tart.” I love you. 😉 Also, that may be a slight paraphrase, but you definitely called her a mendacious tart.

  3. Marsha Hubbell says:

    I would give up everything for you, Giulia”
    I smiled at him gently. “But you must understand. I should never want a man to give up anything for me. I should want him to feel in winning me he has won the whole world.

  4. Daniele Krug says:

    …religion was as intimate as lovemaking and ought to be as private.

    Not necessarily my most favorite line, but it came to mind quickly and there are so many to choose from.

  5. Milena Mutter says:

    The first quote is from opening scene of Silent in the Grave and it’s possibly the best opening I’ve ever read: “To say that I met Nicholas Brisbane over my husband’s dead body is not entirely accurate. Edward, it should be noted, was still twitching upon the floor.” The second is from Twitter: “Things I wish I had right now: lemon squares and cold champagne. These are also things I do not have. This is why I need MINIONS.” I love everything you write!

  6. Hallie P says:

    Either your post about Bitchkrieg needing to be a word, or the first line of SitG “To say I met Nicholas Brisbane over my husband’s dead body is not entirely accurate. Edward, it should be noted, was still twitching upon the floor.”

  7. Kari Wilson says:

    My favorite quote having been taken already, here is a gem from “midsummer night”: “Let’s have no more fornicating in the hedgerows, shall we? Sets a bad example.”

  8. Lesley Rollins says:

    From The Dark Enquiry:
    Brisbane: ” I never expected in the whole of my life that God would be so generous as to give me you. I did not think to ask for more.”

  9. Megan says:

    There are so many good quotes it’s hard to pick!! But this is one of my favorites from Silent in the Sanctuary – “Now I was more certain than ever of my decision. I could not love a man who did not love Jane Austen.”

    I love your books to death. Definitely some of my favorites of all time 😀

  10. Maria says:

    Hard to choose, but love this quote from ASOSG, and the whole passage about the rougarou, really:
    “The rougarou has a sense for wickedness, Delilah belle.” (…) “He can smell it out, same as you can smell new bread or the mud in the Mississippi. You can fool your grandpapa and you can even fool old Granny Miette,” (…) “but you cannot fool the rougarou. His nose follows pain, same as a hound follows blood. And when he sniffs you out, you can’t outrun him. You can try, chou-chou, you can run hard and you can run fast. But no one outruns the rougarou forever.”

  11. Christine says:

    I actually love that you refer to readers as “chickens.” It’s different, funny, and very light-hearted. It helps me create a mental image of you (along with the pictures of shoes you’ve posted on Facebook) as a take no prisoners kind of gal who speaks her mind. I feel like you should trademark it or something.

  12. Amy Kendall says:

    “I could not love a man who did not love Jane Austen.” from Silent in the Sanctuary

  13. Nicole C. says:

    I really enjoyed your tweet from last night, it made me giggle!

    If you’re worried your flirting might be harassment, ask yourself “Would Howard Wolowitz say this?” Yes? Apologize & run away.

  14. Laura Kay says:

    From twitter you wrote this and I just couldn’t agree more, “Sometimes the stupid on the internet is so strong I have to dose myself w/Jane Austen & Elementary & wine just to keep the bile down.” Jan 9. So so true!

  15. Holly Faur says:


    1. Holly Faur says:

      Goodness me. And that’d be from “A Spear of Summer Grass.”
      Best EVER claiming of a woman.

  16. Penelope Bullock says:

    “I stepped closer still. He closed his eyes again and covered my hand with his own. ‘You smell of violets. You always smell of violets,’ he said. ‘You’ve no idea how many times I have walked these moors and smelled them and thought you were near. On and on I walked, following the scent of you, and you were never there. When I saw you in the hall tonight, I thought I had finally gone mad.”

  17. Kim says:

    I’ll enter one of your Twitter comments: “Learning that you can’t say whatever you like w/out consequences isn’t so much a civics lesson as a kindergarten lesson.”

  18. Lynn Pernezny says:

    “To say that I met Nicholas Brisbane over my husband’s dead body is not entirely accurate. Edward, it should be noted, was still twitching upon the floor.” Thank you, Milena, because it is indeed the best opening quote of any book, ever, and my husband lent our copy to somebody and it hasn’t come home. Without your help, I wouldn’t have gotten it quite right. In music, we talk about the “hook” in a song. Boy, is that quote a hook.

    1. Milena Mutter says:

      That opening definitely “hooked” me on Lady Julia books. There are so many great quotes, now I want to reread these books again

  19. KayLynn says:

    “Because if we’re on the road to hell, we’re going to dance the whole damn way and give them something to talk about when we’re gone.”

    A Speer of Summer Grass

    1. KayLynn says:

      Spear of summer Grass – dang fingers 🙂

  20. Alleyne Dickens says:

    “To say that I met Nicholas Brisbane over my husband’s dead body is not entirely accurate. Edward, it should be noted, was still twitching upon the floor.” BEST. BOOK. OPENING. EVER!

  21. Ruba Sadi says:

    So many to choose from, but recently read “A Spear of Summer Grass” and this has stayed with me:

    “You have always been dazzling – the life of every party, the glamour girl who dances until dawn.”

    “Well, I am. But I’m dancing on broken glass. I’m Miss Havisham’s wedding cake, Kit. A frothy, expensive, mice-eaten confection. I’m the Sphinx’s nose, the fallen Colossus. I’m a beautiful ruin, and it’s time that has done the deed.”

  22. Raquel M. says:

    “Julia, what in the name of God is that terrible stench? It smells as if you have taken to keeping farm animals here,” my brother, Plum complained.

    ~~The Dark Enquiry

  23. Sarah says:

    Not a particularly happy quote, I must admit, but there is a particular bit from Silent on the Moor that has always resonated with me. To provide context, Julia has meddled again where she ought not, and although Brisbane is livid, he still unconsciously seeks her comfort.

    “But what I remembered most vividly was that even has his right hand gripped my chin so cruelly, forcing me to face him as he raged at me, his left hand had stolen into mine, clasping it with all the desperation of a drowning man.”

  24. Amy Kendall says:

    Because Megan and I had the same quote (I suspect her entry was caught in the moderation queue when I submitted), I’ll submit my other favourite from Silent in the Sanctuary: Life is either far too short or far too long to make yourself miserable.

  25. Lytania Mackey says:

    Portia and I are sharing, and the bedroom is furnished with a chamber pot. I shall draw a veil upon that delicate subject and leave the rest to your imagination. – Silent on the Moor (From the correspondence of Lady Julia Grey)

    ” I slid off the desk and onto his lap. What I said and what I did after that had no bearing on the situation at all except that by the time the housekeeper came to fetch the tea things, our clothes were tidied and the matter had been settled…We were going to Father’s for Christmas and Brisbane would play the part of St. George in the Twelfth Night revels. I tried very hard not to gloat.”- Silent Night

  26. Alice says:

    From “Silent on the Moor:”
    “I am leaving England for awhile.” “For how long?” “Until I am quite recovered from you.” “When will you return?” “Never.”
    If that doesn’t sum up Brisbane’s feelings, I don’t know what does!

  27. Robyn says:

    “Brisbane himself hovered on the edge of both worlds. He was neither fish nor fowl, for his Gypsy kin felt him too much a Scot, his Scottish family considered him a wild and savage Gypsy brat.” – from the Dark Enquiry

    Every time I read this line my heart aches. I’m half-Roma, too, though by way of Russia (and a quarter Scot, too, coincidentally), so I know how it feels being an outsider in your own family. I adore all of your indisputably awesome books, but I cannot tell you how much it means to find a character like Brisbane, written thoughtfully, intelligently, and without prejudice. Thank you!

  28. Shelley Masog says:

    Dark Road to Darjeeling:

    “Julia, we are Englishwomen. We are not cowed by a little authentic local flavour.”

  29. Monique says:

    “I do hope it was not the duck, milady.” I adore Aquinus & he often makes me laugh out loud.

  30. Milena Mutter says:

    From SITM: “I had a vision of you, the first time I stepped into Grey House, the night Edward died. That was why I kept staring at you while he lay on the bed, convulsing between us. I had seen you standing before me, your hand in mine. I could not hear what was said between us, but there was a sense of belonging to you, as if I had always known you somehow, and you had been waiting for me. It came as rather a nasty shock to realise you were already married.”

  31. Morgan Jones says:

    Once on Facebook you said something to the effect of “I’m contemplating bringing back the vapors. It’s a nice way of saying I’m going to go lie down with a cocktail.” Love that!

  32. mp_vadel says:

    From A Spear of Summer Grass:

    ‘I want to know your real name, not the one the white school gave you. The name God calls you.’

    He smiled. ‘I am Ole, Delilah.’

    ‘Ole,’ I said slowly. ‘Good. Because if I ever get to heaven, I want to know how to find you.’

    This quote not only makes me cry, but also makes me miss this world Deanna created for us.

  33. Betty Strohecker says:

    From The Dead Travel Fast:

    “Will you return then? I told you once I had nothing to offer you but a broken and imperfect man in a broken and imperfect place. But I am a better man now than I ever was, and if you will have me, I am yours.”

  34. Lisa says:

    From “Silent on the Moor”:

    This stood out for me because of my life circumstances: “I remember what it was like to have nice things.”

    But this line has become sort of a mantra for me, a remembrance to be grateful, to not be distracted and worried about what is beyond my control:
    “Everything I require is here.”

    This was really hard. I literally have two (2!) pages of quotes from this book. And more from others.

  35. Lynne says:

    Good grief, Deanna – how could you think there’s a favorite? Every book is filled with witticisms, starting with the first Lady Julia line, while standing over a dying Edward. But ” Hotter than the hammered-down hinges of hell” had me laughing for a good 5 min. Thank you for being so witty and having such a great sense of humor – and for sharing that in your books and blog.

  36. Katie says:

    Hard to choose, but I think it would have to be the opening of A Spear of Summer Grass: “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.”

    Runners up (from Spear and Facebook, respectively): “But if it’s true, if sorrow and loss follow us around like mean stray dogs, then that means somewhere, some fighting angel decided we were strong enough to take it.”

    “Just discovered that Siri knows how to hide a body. Life. MADE.”

  37. Patricia says:

    From “The Dark Inquiry”

    “Good Lord, Brisbane, you have the stamina of a farm animal.”

    Comment from Julia after making love to Brisbane most of the night.

  38. Angela says:

    From “Silent in the Sanctuary”:

    “Yes, it was a dangerous thing to do, but as it seems to have escaped your attention, I will remind you I am above thirty years of age, of sound body and mind, and in control of my own fortune. That means,” I said, moving closer still, poking his chest for emphasis, “I am mistress of myself and answer to no one. Not you, not even Father. I am fed up to the back teeth with being wrapped in cotton wool and treated like an invalid.”

  39. Katie says:

    From The Dark Enquiry:

    “I am counting. To one hundred. In Cantonese.”

    When I feel exasperated at work, this helps, a little. 🙂

  40. Shari says:

    Hortense talking to Julia in Silent Night

    “It is a very long time since I created a scandal. I am quite looking forward to it.”

  41. Karen says:

    From Silent in the Sanctuary, in discussing her cousin Charles, who showed up at a house party in his wife’s gown – “You may think it amusing, but to us, he is family. We will not hide him in the cellars and pretend he does not exist. We will welcome him with open arms, and very likely give him the name of our dressmakers” Love the Marches!

  42. Sandra Zajac says:

    Dark Road to Darjeeling…. Plum to Julia about Brisbane…..”Every morning when he wakes, he knows precisely why he gets out of bed. And every night he puts his head to the pillow knowing that he has done something worthwhile.”

  43. Nicole Sardinas says:

    I don’t remember WHERE you said it (blog, writer space chat, post, etc) but at one point you compared how Julia felt about Brisbane to how you felt about your husband. You once said that you felt like you and your husband had been in separate rooms just waiting for the right time to meet. I don’t have the quote…but I remember you saying it.

  44. Janice says:

    There are so many great quotes, but one that I really like is in Silent on the Moor, towards the end of the book, where Julia tells Monty to get down off his horse and shake Brisbane’s hand–they’re going to be brothers. (Sorry, I don’t have my book with me right now for the direct quote.)

    Now, having said that, I would also say that I sat down and ordered the whole list of then-published books based on the opening lines of Silent in the Grave.

  45. Michelle Turner says:

    From Silent in the Sanctuary:

    “What is the truth?….facts…are they the truth? No, for they do not tell you of the heart, and that is where truth lives.”

    ….and because I couldn’t pick just one quote:

    “Life is either far too short or far too long to make yourself miserable.”

  46. Eirene Ritznore says:

    My husband and I both loved this little interlude between Brisbane and Julia in Silent Night: A Lady Julia Christmas Novella (which we enjoyed reading aloud to each other this Christmastide). 🙂

    ” Absolutely not.”
    I turned to him. ” But, dearest, it is tradition.”
    ” I am not an enthusiast of tradition.”

  47. Meredith B. says:

    I was rereading Silent in the Sanctuary over Christmas, and surrounded as I was by my beloved family, one line resonated strongly with me: “The manager of the Grand Hotel, in an act of unprecedented kindness, assigned me a suite on a different floor from my family.” I love my sisters and my parents devotedly. I even live with one of my sisters. But–!

  48. Kay says:

    “But when I leave Africa I will know I left one of my secrets behind. Who knows? Perhaps I will travel more lightly because of it”

    Mademoiselle to Jude in FITW. I really felt something after this exchange that surprised me.

    I have many favorite quotes from all the books but wanted to pick something not represented yet.

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