Tag Archives: Rachel McMillan

Guest Post + A Giveaway! — Rachel McMillan, Author of The Herringford And Watts Series

15 Nov

Rachel McMillan is on the blog today helping me celebrate my 10 Year Blogiversary. Rachel is an author extraordinaire, an expert in the publishing business, literary agent, travel aficionado, and a must-follow on social media (oh the adventures she has!). She also is a lover of books. She reads voraciously and is always good for an outstanding book recommendation. Rachel’s guest post features one of her favorite (and mine) series, The Price of Privilege by Jessica Dotta. Thanks so much Rachel for sharing with us!

10 Reasons to Read The Price of Privilege

To try and pick favourite works of inspirational fiction, for me, is nearly impossible. I have read literally hundreds upon hundreds of them since I was 10 years old and discovered Vienna Prelude by Bodie Thoene for the first time. I decided that contributing to a blog series honouring the anniversary of a blog whose intent is marrying the right books with the right readers is best served if I expand the dialogue. Indeed, my favourite thing in the world to do is gush about books and find the perfect authors for the reader that will love them.  

And so I thought I would draw you into the world of my favourite Christian fiction trilogy ever written: The Price of Privilege series by Jessica Dotta.  

While many have heard of this trilogy or seen the scrumptious covers, and while Beckie has certainly spent time with it on her blog, I thought why not bring a look at a trilogy that inspires my faith and my inspiration as a historical romance novelist to a celebration of books?

So in honour of Beckie’s 10 year ( what a feat!!!!) anniversary of reaching the world through amazing books, here are 10 reasons why you need to put The Price of Privilege Trilogy at the top of your reading (or re-reading) list. A blend of My Fair Lady (there is a fabulous sequence where Julia is taken under the wing of the lord of the manor for lessons in pose and etiquette) and Jane Eyre with the intricacy of Dickens’ Bleak House, this is a series where nothing is as it seems, everything is at stake, and the final reveal at the end of a beautifully-plotted tale resulted in the most visceral emotional reaction I have ever had to a book. Sometimes I will wake up and just think about these books and the effect they continue to have on me.  In short, the best type of reading experience.

  1. Booklovers you love love this series: including Jocelyn Green and Melissa Tagg, Jamie Lapeyrolerie and Courtney Clark and, of course, Beckie ❤
  2. The Gothic feel of London House and the various estates such as Am Meer and Maplecroft are perfect for a cozy autumn read with candles and tea or cocoa. This is the right kind of atmospheric book just perfect for the fall. 
  3. The language is beautiful with moments that share the ironic wit of Jane Austen. For the drawing room scenes Austen excelled at in her most popular tales are captured herein as Julia begins to consider her inherited position as the Emerald Heiress.
  4. You will think of Charlotte Bronte and the atmospheric world of Jane Eyre. 
  5. The entire book is an allegory: from page one you are propelled into a story that functions rather like the journey of the Pilgrim’s Progress: but with far deeper emotional stakes.
  6. The villains are dishy and the heroes are complicated. There is something for everyone here and no one is pure black or white or a cookie-cutter character. 
  7. It is a profound love story: all natures of love from familial to friendship to romance to the way that God loves us though we turn from Him are deftly revealed in this carefully plotted and ultimately thematic treatise on the power of grace.
  8. Julia’s not perfect, and like all fallible humans stumbles on her way to learning the profundity of God’s grace.
  9. We should all aspire to be as convicted and passionate as Edward is about the Gospel. Julia’s childhood sweetheart is destined for a future as a clergyman, and Edward takes his passion for the word and his calling seriously. When questioned, he is determined to rise to the occasion and live his example.  
  10. Likewise we should live it in action like Lord Isaac Dalry whose patient grace and good nature allow him to see the best in everyone steers him to unforgettable moments of action.

I urge everyone who loves romance and brilliantly written stories to invest the time in The Price of Privilege. It is robust — like a three course meal — and no matter how many times I read it, I come away with something new.  

The right books impress themselves on us for years — with longevity and the delight in returning to them again and again — like the best book blogs. So I could think of no better way to honour the commitment of Beckie and her lovely blog than by icing it with a gorgeous trilogy. Book bloggers are the heart of the publishing industry. Word of mouth continues –- beyond ads and careful marketing — to be the most effective way to drive a book’s reach and popularity, and as an author I love the care, joy and sheer dedication of book lovers. But, first and foremost, as a reader I love seeking out the opinions of trustworthy bloggers to help me find my next read.  

Rachel McMillan is the author of The Herringford and Watts mysteries, The Van Buren and DeLuca mysteries and The Three Quarter Time series of contemporary Viennese romances. Her first historical romance, The London Restoration, releases in Summer 2020 with Harper Collins and takes readers deep into the heart of London’s most beautiful churches. Dream, Plan, Go (May, 2020) is her first work of non-fiction. Rachel lives in Toronto, Canada and is always planning her next adventure.

Twitter: @rachkmc
instagram: @rachkmc
facebook: rachkmc1
 
The Herringford and Watts Series
The Van Buren and DeLuca Series 
The Three Quarter Time Series 
Dream Plan Go (May 2020)
The London Restoration (Aug 2020)

 

Thanks so much, Rachel, for sharing today! Now I have to go back and read The Price of Privilege again! And if you haven’t read it yet, what is stopping you!?

 

Giveaway!

I am giving away a Big Box of Books to celebrate my 10 Year Blogiversary and included is a copy of Murder at The Flamingo, part of Rachel’s Van Buren and DeLuca mystery series. Click HERE for the link to the giveaway post.

 

10 Year Blogiversary Celebration!

1 Nov

I can hardly believe it has been 10 years since I started blogging! 10 years of books, authors, bloggers, and all the bookish goodness I could find. November is going to be one long party! I have lined up some friends to help me celebrate with guest posts about their publishing journeys, books they love, the blogging life, and much, much more. See the schedule below.

 

Of course you can’t have a party without gifts, so I am gifting one of my readers a big box of books and bookish swag. The box includes nonfiction, a variety of fiction genres, and even a cookbook! Some of the books are brand new, others are ARCs, and some are gently read. To enter the giveaway, just leave me a comment. (Please US residents only.)

 

I have to give a big thank you to all those who have read my blog over the years. Your encouragement to me is very appreciated. I have loved every minute of the blogging journey, and I count you all as great fellow travelers. 

 

Guest Post Schedule

11/4  Sarah Sundin, author of Sunrise at Normandy series

11/5  Carrie Booth Schmidt, blogger, Reading Is My SuperPower

11/6  Rachel Dylan, author of the Atlanta Justice series

11/7  Amy Green, fiction publicist Bethany House Publishers

11/8  Heather Day Gilbert, author of Belinda Blake And The Snake in The Grass

11/11  Lindsey Bracket, author of The Bridge Between

11/13 Courtney Clark, blogger, The Green Mockingbird

11/15  Rachel McMillan, author of the Herringford And Watts Mysteries

11/18  Janet Ferguson, author of the Coastal Hearts series

11/20  Iola Goulton, blogger

11/22  Susie Finkbeiner, author of All Manner of Things

11/25  Kimberly Woodhouse, author Daughters of The Mayflower series

11/26  Carole Jarvis, blogger, The Power of Words

11/27  Rebecca Maney, reviewer, Inkwell Inspirations

11/28  Olivia Newport, author of the Tree of Life series

 

 

Reading Roadtrip — Massachusetts

11 Sep

I am heading back east this week with a Reading Roadtrip to Massachusetts. I got a chance to visit Boston a couple of years ago — it was wonderful — but missed the rest of the state. Sounds like a real road trip is in the making 😉 . But for now, I have to content myself with a virtual trip in books. And that is certainly okay, because I get to time travel as well! You will find my list is heavy on the historicals. How could it not be with such an historic place? So travel with me to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts the site of the Mayflower landing, of revolution and freedom, and now the most populace state in New England.

 

 

The Mayflower Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse (Daughters of The Mayflower, book 1)

Mary Elizabeth Chapman boards the Speedwell in 1620 as a Separatist seeking a better life in the New World. William Lytton embarks on the Mayflower as a carpenter looking for opportunities to succeed—and he may have found one when a man from the Virginia Company offers William a hefty sum to keep a stealth eye on company interests in the new colony. The season is far too late for good sailing and storms rage, but reaching land is no better as food is scarce and the people are weak. Will Mary Elizabeth survive to face the spring planting and unknown natives? Will William be branded a traitor and expelled?

Phoebe’s Light by Suzanne Woods Fisher (Nantucket Legacy, book 1)

Phoebe Starbuck has always adjusted her sails and rudder to the whims of her father. Now, for the first time, she’s doing what she wants to do: marrying Captain Phineas Foulger and sailing far away from Nantucket. As she leaves on her grand adventure, her father gives her two gifts, both of which Phoebe sees little need for. The first is an old sheepskin journal from Great Mary, her highly revered great-grandmother. The other is a “minder” on the whaling ship in the form of cooper Matthew Mitchell, a man whom she loathes.

Soon Phoebe discovers that life at sea is no easier than life on land. Lonely, seasick, and disillusioned, she turns the pages of Great Mary’s journal and finds herself drawn into the life of this noble woman. To Phoebe’s shock, her great-grandmother has left a secret behind that carries repercussions for everyone aboard the ship, especially her husband the captain and her shadow the cooper. This story within a story catapults Phoebe into seeing her life in an entirely new way — just in time.

The Patriot Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse (Daughters of The Mayflower, book 4)

Faith Jackson and Matthew Weber are both working covertly to aid the Patriot cause. But will they be willing to sacrifice all for their fledgling country?

Faith Jackson is a wealthy widow, friend of George Washington, and staunch supporter of the Patriot cause. Matthew Weber is friends with both Ben Franklin and his son William, who increasingly differ in their political views; and Matthew finds himself privy to information on both sides of the conflict. When a message needs to get to a spy among the Loyalists, Faith bravely steps up and in turn meets Matthew Weber. Suddenly she believes she could love again. But someone else has his eye on the Faith she portrays in elite social circles. What will Matthew and Faith have to sacrifice for the sake of their fledgling country?

The Rose of Winslow Street by Elizabeth Camden

In the small town of Colden, Massachusetts, Libby Sawyer leads a quiet, predictable life. Yet beneath the surface, she is haunted by a secret.

Newly arrived on American shores, Michael Dobrescu is far from predictable, and his arrival in Colden is anything but quiet. Michael’s shocking claim to be the rightful owner of Libby’s father’s house immediately alienates him from the appalled citizens of Colden.

Despite her own outrage, Libby is unwittingly fascinated by this enigmatic man who seems equally intrigued by her. As the court’s decision about the house looms and the layers of mystery surrounding Michael’s past are unveiled, Libby’s loyalties are tested in ways she never imagined.

Murder at The Flamingo by Rachel McMillan (A Van Buren And DeLuca Mystery)

Hamish DeLuca has spent most of his life trying to hide the anxiety that appears at the most inopportune times — including during his first real court case as a new lawyer. Determined to rise above his father’s expectations, Hamish runs away to Boston where his cousin, Luca Valari, is opening a fashionable nightclub in Scollay Square.  When he meets his cousin’s “right hand man,” Reggie, Hamish wonders if his dreams for a more normal life might be at hand. 

Regina “Reggie” Van Buren, heir to a New Haven fortune, has fled fine china, small talk, and the man her parents expect her to marry. Determined to make a life as the self-sufficient city girl she’s seen in her favorite Jean Arthur and Katharine Hepburn pictures, Reggie runs away to Boston, where she finds an easy secretarial job with the suave Luca Valari. But as she and Hamish work together in Luca’s glittering world, they discover a darker side to the smashing Flamingo nightclub.

When a corpse is discovered at the Flamingo, Reggie and Hamish quickly learn there is a vast chasm between the haves and the have-nots in 1937 Boston—and that there’s an underworld that feeds on them both. As Hamish is forced to choose between his conscience and loyalty to his beloved cousin, the unlikely sleuthing duo work to expose a murder before the darkness destroys everything they’ve worked to build. 

Through Waters Deep by Sarah Sundin (Waves of Freedom series, book 1)

It is 1941 and America teeters on the brink of war. Outgoing naval officer Ensign Jim Avery escorts British convoys across the North Atlantic in a brand-new destroyer, the USS Atwood. Back on shore, Boston Navy Yard secretary Mary Stirling does her work quietly and efficiently, happy to be out of the limelight. Yet, despite her reserved nature, she never could back down from a challenge. When evidence of sabotage on the Atwood is found, Jim and Mary must work together to uncover the culprit. A bewildering maze of suspects emerges, and Mary is dismayed to find that even someone close to her is under suspicion. With the increasing pressure, Jim and Mary find that many new challenges–and dangers–await them.

Sarah Sundin takes readers to the tense months before the US entered WWII. Readers will encounter German U-boats and torpedoes, along with the explosive power of true love, in this hopeful and romantic story.

As The Light Fades by Catherine West

Sometimes we’re placed in the strangest of circumstances for the most important reasons.

After her carefully constructed life crumbles, Liz Carlisle finds herself back on Nantucket, picking up the pieces. With the family estate under renovations, the solitude she craves seems out of reach.

Matthew Stone intends to steer clear of his new tenant. She’s carrying a load of baggage, but as long as she pays the rent, he’ll let her be. He’s got enough to deal with caring for his wayward niece, Mia.

Liz doesn’t have time for teenagers and her track record with men is abysmal, but an unlikely friendship forms between the three.

When her former boyfriend is charged with assault, Liz is called to testify against him. But he knows the darkest secrets of her life—secrets she’d hoped to keep buried forever, and he’s ready to reveal them. Telling the truth is the right thing to do, but it may cost her everything she’s worked so hard for, and all she’s come to love.

 

Top 10 Tuesday — Book Title Mash Up

7 Aug

That Artsy Reader Girl is challenging bloggers to a Book Mash Up! We are supposed to take two books that combined together would make one awesome new book. I’m afraid my brain is a bit creativity-challenged, so I tweaked the topic this week to a Title Mash Up — two book titles combined to create a fun book with little in common to the originals. Won’t you join the fun by leaving a comment with some mashed together titles?

 

Top 10 Book Title Mash Up!

 

The Captured Bride Most Begrudging 

She really didn’t want to get married.

 

Carolina Reckoning at Gossamer Pond

Let’s move the action down South.

 

Chasing Secrets of A Charmed Life

Must discover that secret!

 

Dressed for Death in The Shadows

You have to look good!

An Endless Christmas Angel Project

A women’s project gone awry!

 

Imperfect Justice Betrayed

Justice just can’t catch a break.

 

Lead Me Home at Last

Can’t wait to get there.

 

Phoebe’s Light My Fire 

Sounds like a story of a racehorse.

 

A Rebel Heart Between Us

You just can’t trust the heart.

 

Rules of Murder at The Flamingo

Let’s make sure we follow the rules.

 

What are some more titles that make a good mash up?

 

Book Review: Murder at The Flamingo

2 Aug

“Maybe it was time to land straight in the middle of the adventure…”

Hamish DeLuca has spent most of his life trying to hide the anxiety that appears at the most inopportune times — including during his first real court case as a new lawyer. Determined to rise above his father’s expectations, Hamish runs away to Boston where his cousin, Luca Valari, is opening a fashionable nightclub in Scollay Square.  When he meets his cousin’s “right hand man,” Reggie, Hamish wonders if his dreams for a more normal life might be at hand. 

 

Regina “Reggie” Van Buren, heir to a New Haven fortune, has fled fine china, small talk, and the man her parents expect her to marry. Determined to make a life as the self-sufficient city girl she’s seen in her favorite Jean Arthur and Katharine Hepburn pictures, Reggie runs away to Boston, where she finds an easy secretarial job with the suave Luca Valari. But as she and Hamish work together in Luca’s glittering world, they discover a darker side to the smashing Flamingo nightclub.

When a corpse is discovered at the Flamingo, Reggie and Hamish quickly learn there is a vast chasm between the haves and the have-nots in 1937 Boston — and that there’s an underworld that feeds on them both. As Hamish is forced to choose between his conscience and loyalty to his beloved cousin, the unlikely sleuthing duo work to expose a murder before the darkness destroys everything they’ve worked to build. 

Rachel McMillan is a keen history enthusiast and a lifelong bibliophile. When not writing or reading, she can most often be found drinking tea and watching British miniseries. Rachel lives in bustling Toronto, where she works in educational publishing and pursues her passion for art, literature, music, and theater.

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My Impressions:

A new historical mystery set in the 1930s? I’m in! What I got from Murder at The Flamingo by Rachel McMillan, though, was beyond my expectations. This smart whodunit has a depth not often found in the genre. It is a highly recommended read!

From the outset, I knew this novel would be different. Main characters Hamish DeLuca and Regina Van Buren defy stereotypes of historical mystery fiction. These two came alive within the pages of Murder at The Flamingo and continued to develop and grow into dearly loved characters. Hamish is unusual in his challenges. He suffers from an anxiety disorder that has been misunderstood for years. And McMillan gets everything right about Hamish since she herself suffers from the same disorder. Kudos to McMillan for bravely shining a light on a once taboo subject. Perceived weaknesses are shown as strengths as Hamish gains perspective and a sense of self. Regina (Reggie) is the perfect compliment to Hamish with her New Haven upbringing and quest for independence. The novel develops slowly; the murder occurs well after half the book is read. But the great lead-up is what gives the book its depth of context and characterization. The reader comes to believe in all that occurs. The setting of the novel, Boston in 1937, is as much a character as Hamish, Reggie, and the others that populate its streets and squares. Hamish fell in love with the city, and you will too as you visit Charlestown, the North End, Scollay Square and Fenway Park all through Hamish and Reggie’s eyes. The mystery is fascinating and kept me on my toes. There’s plenty of glimpses of a criminal underworld beneath the glitz and glamor of the Flamingo. I loved how McMillan left a few things unanswered — hopefully that means many more adventures for Van Buren and DeLuca.

Fans of McMillan’s earlier Herringford And Watts mystery series will love references to favorite characters, however, Murder at The Flamingo is the start of a brand new series. I loved it and am eagerly looking forward to more from the intrepid detecting pair.

Highly Recommended.

Audience: adults.

To purchase, click HERE.

(Thanks to TLC Book Tours and Thomas Nelson for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

 

Blog Tour:

Monday, July 23rd: Reading Reality

Tuesday, July 24th: Book by Book

Wednesday, July 25th: Jessicamap Reviews and @jessicamap

Thursday, July 26th: Fiction Aficionado

Friday, July 27th: Blooming with Books

Friday, July 27th: Broken Teepee – spotlight

Monday, July 30th: Black ‘n Gold Girl’s Book Spot

Tuesday, July 31st: Running Through the Storms

Wednesday, August 1st: What is That Book About – guest post/Q&A

Wednesday, August 1st: Fiction Aficionado – author Q&A

Thursday, August 2ndBy the Book

Friday, August 3rdCheryl’s Book Nook

Monday, August 6thReader’s Cozy Corner

Tuesday, August 7thReflections from my Bookshelf

Wednesday, August 8thWrite Read Life

Friday, August 10thFrom the TBR Pile

Friday, August 10thThe Lit Bitch

Monday, August 13thBooks & Bindings

Tuesday, August 14thEncouraging Words from the Tea Queen

Wednesday, August 15th@ladyofthelibrary

First Line Friday — Murder at The Flamingo

27 Jul

Happy Friday! Today I am happy to highlight the first 4 lines of Rachel McMillan‘s newest novel, Murder at The Flamingo. Why 4 lines? Because you really can’t get the full impact without reading the whole paragraph. I am excited to read this book. Make sure you check out all the info below.

Meanwhile, leave a comment with your first line, then head to Hoarding Books for more fun first lines!

 

 

Hamish DeLuca has spent most of his life trying to hide the anxiety that appears at the most inopportune times — including during his first real court case as a new lawyer. Determined to rise above his father’s expectations, Hamish runs away to Boston where his cousin, Luca Valari, is opening a fashionable nightclub in Scollay Square.  When he meets his cousin’s “right hand man,” Reggie, Hamish wonders if his dreams for a more normal life might be at hand. 

Regina “Reggie” Van Buren, heir to a New Haven fortune, has fled fine china, small talk, and the man her parents expect her to marry. Determined to make a life as the self-sufficient city girl she’s seen in her favorite Jean Arthur and Katharine Hepburn pictures, Reggie runs away to Boston, where she finds an easy secretarial job with the suave Luca Valari. But as she and Hamish work together in Luca’s glittering world, they discover a darker side to the smashing Flamingo nightclub.

When a corpse is discovered at the Flamingo, Reggie and Hamish quickly learn there is a vast chasm between the haves and the have-nots in 1937 Boston — and that there’s an underworld that feeds on them both. As Hamish is forced to choose between his conscience and loyalty to his beloved cousin, the unlikely sleuthing duo work to expose a murder before the darkness destroys everything they’ve worked to build. 

Rachel McMillan is a keen history enthusiast and a lifelong bibliophile. When not writing or reading, she can most often be found drinking tea and watching British miniseries. Rachel lives in bustling Toronto, where she works in educational publishing and pursues her passion for art, literature, music, and theater.

 

 

Top 10 Tuesday — Summer TBR

19 Jun

It is definitely summer here in the sunny South. The humidity and temps are up and the bugs are out. But I can’t complain because I have some great summer reading — history, mystery, romance, and suspense all in varying combinations! What about you? What are you reading this summer?

Make sure to check out other bloggers’ summer reading lists at That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top 10 Books on My Summer Reading List

 

Cold, Cold Heart by Christine Poulson

Dead Drift by Dani Pettrey

The Death Beat by Fiona Veitch Smith

Falling for You by Becky Wade

The Linen God by Jim O’Shea

The Love Letter by Rachel Hauck

Murder at The Flamingo by Rachel McMillan

A Rebel Heart by Beth White

The Reckoning at Gossamer Pond by Jaime Jo Wright

Sons of Blackbird Mountain by Joanne Bischof

 

What’s on your Summer TBR?