Five Things Deanna Raybourn Didn’t Know She Needed To Know Before Writing CITY OF JASMINE

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My guest author today is Deanna Raybourn, and her new novel City of Jasmine is set in London, Damascus, and other exotic European colonial outposts of the 1920s.

COJ_Cover_2CITY OF JASMINE, coming out this March, is the captivating tale of a famed aviatrix who embarks upon a journey to see the world—and ends up finding intrigue, danger, and a love beyond all reason. Five years after losing her husband on the Lusitania, Evie embarks upon a flight around the world. In the midst of her triumphant tour, she is shocked to receive a mysterious—and recent—photograph of her husband that brings her ambitious stunt to a screeching halt.

Evie tracks the source of the photo to the ancient “City of Jasmine,” Damascus, and then sets off across the desert to retrieve a relic straight from the pages of history. Along the way, she comes to terms with the deception that parted her from Gabriel…

And, along the way, Deanna had to do a load of research!

Here’s a sampling of five things Deanna didn’t know she’d need to know before setting out to write City of Jasmine.

(Click on the question to reveal the answer)
[expand title=”1. How much distance will a trotting horse cover in 40 minutes?”]Approximately 5 miles.[/expand]


[expand title=”2. What is the volume of blood in the human body?”]It averages between 4.7 and 5 litres in a healthy adult of average size. A good rough estimate is 1/11 of the body weight.[/expand]


[expand title=”3. What does a lion smell like at short distance?”]Domestic cat urine. Male lions mark their territory frequently and the odor is very similar to that of a domesticated cat. This one I learned from personal experience after an introduction to a rather cranky lion in Florida.[/expand]


[expand title=”4. Which poison will kill by absorption through the skin?”]Monkshood—also commonly called wolfbane. The proper name is aconitum napellus.[/expand]

[expand title=”5. Is it possible to kill a leopard with your bare hands?”]Actually, yes. Carl Akeley, one of the founders of modern taxidermy and a scientist responsible for many of the exhibits still on display at the American Museum of Natural History, managed to suffocate a leopard by thrusting his arm down a leopard’s throat when it attacked him. After a struggle of some half an hour, the animal died and Akeley’s life was saved.[/expand]



Raybourn_DeannaA sixth-generation native Texan, New York Times bestselling author Deanna Raybourn taught high school English for three years in San Antonio before leaving education to pursue a career as a novelist. Deanna’s novel Silent in the Grave won the RITA® Award for Novel with Strong Romantic Elements and the Romantic Times 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 Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award for Best Historical Mystery as well as a Romantic Reviews’ finalist for Best Book. Her latest novel, A Spear of Summer Grass, chronicles the adventures of a scandalous flapper in 1920s Kenya. Deanna makes her home in Virginia, where she lives with her husband and daughter. Her next release, City of Jasmine—a 1920s adventure novel—will be released March, 2014.

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