Thursday, May 04, 2017
Wednesday, May 03, 2017
A tragic sequence of circumstances thereafter pricks at her constantly and she is but a shell of a person with really nothing to lose after life and love were ripped from her.
Tuesday, May 02, 2017
I had a full blown love affair with this book. It exceeded expectations I didn't know I had and then some.
Pre-order two copies at least: one for you and one for the person you will immediately ache to share it with. This story is a love letter and love letters are never meant to experienced in solitude.
With thanks to Pegasus and Netgalley for the review copy.
Wednesday, April 05, 2017
So delighted to announce some news about my BRAND NEW SERIES....
I am partnering with Thomas Nelson/ Harper Collins to bring you a brand new series!
I get to usher you to 1930s Boston: to tell the tale of a remarkable and special and anxious and smart and kind young man whose life truly begins when he arrives in the Revolutionary City. also, of a spirited young woman --a New Haven debutante--whose grand dream is to cross off every last "to do" in her "journal of independence." together, they will flirt with love and life and perfect the Lindy Hop.... they'll also solve a murder or two....
From the dazzling neon-striped nightclubs of Scollay Square to a crumbling office adjacent the Paul Revere House in the North End, we are going to Boston! beautiful, wonderful Boston!
Hamish DeLuca and Reggie Van Buren's first adventure releases in 2018!
Tuesday, March 28, 2017
I know! It's the best!
A Singular and Whimsical Problem is the first adventure published ( thought not chronological) and is a little Christmas jaunt with Jem and Merinda and an elusive cat named Pepper
amazon / barnes and noble / itunes / kobo
Of Dubious and Questionable Memory takes the girls to Massachusetts in pursuit of a missing woman whose mystery leads them to the heart of Concord and Orchard House, residence of Louisa May Alcott
amazon/ barnes and noble / itunes / kobo
Conductor of Light is my homage to my love of all things theatre and is a cozy closed-room mystery set at the Elgin and Winter Garden theatres here in Toronto.
amazon / barnes and noble / itunes / kobo
pre order WHITE FEATHER MURDERS:
amazon / barnes and noble / itunes / kobo
Tuesday, March 21, 2017
My next writing adventure takes me back to 1930s Boston so, of course, I am using any opportunities I can to head out to Beantown and its historical wonderfulness in order to immerse myself in the place and walk for hours. I stayed at the Omni Parker House: which will be familiar to readers of Of Dubious and Questionable Memory as one of the locations Jem and Merinda visit on their Massachusetts adventure.
|a few snippets from my recent adventure|
We also found ourselves in the Room Where It Happens seeing the amazing Chicago cast of Hamilton --including new addition Wayne Brady as Aaron Burr. note: I got these tickets the day the first block of Chicago seats went onsale last June. That's how long we waited.
|Chicago, you're so pretty|
|the Palmer House|
|Rachel and Allison|
speaking of Unlike Anything I have Ever Seen, I am a huge fan of Come From Away. I saw the original cast in Toronto last fall during their pre-broadway run and am absolutely thrilled that this small Canadian musical with a staggeringly beautiful story and infused with Maritime Canadian music is making a splash on broadway. Just read what the NYT had to say
As for theater in Toronto, I will be seeing Mrs. Henderson Presents straight from the West End next week so will keep you posted.
And this past week I was in the East Coast of our great country for work!
|love the Jelly Bean houses in St. John's, NL|
And from St. John's, I flew a tiny plane out to PEI. Last time I was in Charlottetown was in the height of summer--- it is decidedly more quiet at this time of the year.
So, that's what I have been up to. And it doesn't slow down a lot. I still have work travel for my day job and an Easter Weekend research trip back to Boston. But, I am also excited about THE WHITE FEATHER MURDERS which releases May 1
There's a nice review in the next issue of Romantic Times
order at Barnes and Noble Amazon Chapters
Thursday, February 16, 2017
Friday, February 10, 2017
Of course! I’m in the middle of edits for another book that is set in the same world as Piper’s and has some overlap, but is a separate story. I have ideas for another Piper book, and I’ve done a tiny bit of writing on it, but I really want to make sure that it’s the right kind of sequel.
Stephanie Morrill is the creator of GoTeenWriters.com and the author of several young adult novels, including the historical mystery, The Lost Girl of Astor Street. Despite loving cloche hats and drop-waist dresses, Stephanie would have been a terrible flapper because she can’t do the Charleston and looks awful with bobbed hair. She and her near-constant ponytail live in Kansas City with her husband and three kids.
Lydia has vanished.
Lydia, who’s never broken any rules, except falling in love with the wrong boy. Lydia, who’s been Piper’s best friend since they were children. Lydia, who never even said good-bye.
Convinced the police are looking in all the wrong places, eighteen-year-old Piper Sail begins her own investigation in an attempt to solve the mystery of Lydia’s disappearance. With the reluctant help of a handsome young detective, Piper goes searching for answers in the dark underbelly of 1924 Chicago, determined to find Lydia at any cost.
When Piper discovers those answers might stem from the corruption strangling the city—and quite possibly lead back to the doors of her affluent neighborhood—she must decide how deep she’s willing to dig, how much she should reveal, and if she’s willing to risk her life of privilege for the sake of the truth.
From the glitzy homes of the elite to the mob-run streets of 1920s Chicago, Stephanie Morrill’s jazz-age mystery shows just how far a girl will go to save her friend.
Wednesday, January 11, 2017
Oh my goodness, YOU GUYS! Have I got the book for you........
But first, a reminder that CONDUCTOR OF LIGHT is now available on all major e-readers for FREE. Publisher and I came up with the idea of a tiny little Herringford and Watts treat to tie you over before WHITE FEATHER MURDERS releases in May. It is a close-roomed mystery in Four Acts set amidst the tantalizing world of Edwardian Vaudeville. And there is a bit with a dog.
Back to gush.
Okay, SO I really, really wanted to read The Lost Girl of Astor Street the moment I heard about it and I was savvy to have it on my radar, it turns out, because it exceeded expectations and then some.
If you like Veronica Mars, the Roaring Twenties, plenty of plot twists and knee-buckling romance, then let me invite you into Piper Sail's fully realized world of flappers and mob-men, danger and high-class sleuthery.
Piper Sail is a renowned lawyer's daughter and resident of the upscale Astor Street in Chicago. She does a poor job of avoiding trouble at her prestigious private school but is tempered by the influence of her sweet friend, Lydia. Also peppering her world are her brothers, a rakish journalist named Jeremiah Crane ( you might want to start writing that name in your notebook and drawing hearts around it) and her long-time baseball-playing friend Walter ( ditto with the heart drawing).
When Lydia is reported missing, Piper learns that her friend was a pivotal aspect of a world now seeming to fray at the seams. Nothing is as it seems and with her amateur investigation into Lydia's whereabouts, she is springboarded into a season of self-realization.
While confronting the uneasiness of a world shrouded with privilege and slowly eking out shades of darkness in her own family, Piper is joined by the absolutely swoon-worthy young detective, Mariano Cassano.
And here, fair readers, I will go tangential with cheeks blushing and fingertips tingling....
MARIANO is a friggin' dreamboat. He respects Lydia and treats her as an equal as they launch each step of their sideline informal investigation. He has a dark, broody past that only reconciles with the tenacity and virtue of his present and he is dedicated to his job. He has a winning smile, a lanky build and every time he tipped his trilby or fingered his suspenders ( maybe I wrote that in..... I don't know if he fingered his suspenders but you all know I think suspenders are hot), I went to lala land ( now playing at a cinema near you).
The chemistry between Piper and Mariano snap crackles and pops from their first meeting when (SIGH) he arrives to calmly question her about Lydia ( DOUBLE SIGH) while, of course, being all dark-haired and olive-skinned and handsome as all get out.
( Later they dance under the stars after eating pizza in the park, I kid you not).
Mariano and Piper's relationship was, to me, the center of this well-spun tale but the romance does not overcrowd the mystery. As I preambled, there really are several twists---one that happens early on in the story and that earned my respect as a discerning reader. Chicago becomes a character---from its speakeasies to the L to the high townhouses and manicured streets owned by those who are willing to play into the powerplay world of two magnanimous families: the Cassanos and the Finnegans.
Another highlight of this excessively-readable book was Piper herself. Unlike Veronica Mars ( who I mention because there are several shout-outs to the tiny blonde one), Piper showcases a realistic insecurity. For as often as she straightens her shoulders and plunges in to danger for the sake of her friend, so she is uncertain in herself and the deductive abilities she is just beginning to find sure footing in. It was Piper's normalcy that jolted this story with a little something extra for me. She is winsome in her relatability.
The pages turned easily and while I sometimes found myself assaulted by a modern verve of speech or nuance, I was for the most part transplanted to a vintage whirlwind of murder, flappers and a sort of easy grace of a time past--- a world that doesn't quite know that while it speeds hastily to outdo itself, it is spinning itself on a dangerous axis.
I so hope that we get more of Piper's adventures. And more of Mariano. Because MARIANO is just music.
Music, I tell you.
With thanks to BLINK for the review copy.
Find Stephanie on TWITTER, FACEBOOK, WEB, INSTAGRAM
Friday, December 30, 2016
I also wrote a ton! I finished two full-length novels and three novellas and started another novel for an entirely different series.
|Schonbrunn Christmas Market|
I thought I would do a bit of a wrap up seeing as I got majorly side-tracked this past month with Christmas and with a spontaneous trip to Vienna, Austria (my favourite European City) to go to the Christmas Markets
In Vienna, I roamed and roamed for days and experienced the music that drips over the cobblestones and settles over the opulent decorations of the season. I sipped gluehwein under the spires of Stephansdom and saw a few concerts--- including Der Messiah at The Musikverein ( ironically, this was a spur of the moment concert and I had just seen the equally excellent Tafelmusik Messiah in Toronto the week before).
Favourite Books Read in 2016
Unmentionable, Therese ONeill
The Mark of the King, Jocelyn Green
The Devil in the White City, Erik Larson
Charlotte Bronte, a Fiery Heart, Claire Harman
Keeping the Castle, Patrice Kindl
From This Moment, Elizabeth Camden
Promised to the Crown by Aimie Runyan
Manchester- By -the Sea
Gosh, I saw a lot of theatre this year.
It's hard to pick a favourite from Stratford's high standards to Les Miserables at the Dubai Opera to the touring return of Phantom...... I loved the pre-Broadway Come From Away. Honestly, I don't think I could pick a favourite. All of my dozens of theatrical experiences this year were varied.
I covered a lot of ground in Canada and the US this year! And in other continents!
Victoria and Vancouver
Prince Edward Island
Abu Dhabi and Dubai
I didn't see a ton of TV in 2016 as I was way too busy. But I did love Poldark and Endeavour!
I had two full length novels and one novella publish in 2016 as part of the Herringford and Watts series:
The Bachelor Girl's Guide to Murder
A Lesson in Love and Murder
Of Dubious and Questionable Memory
I also published Starring Christmas with my co-author, Allison Pittman
Tuesday, November 22, 2016
I have, alas, abandoned you again. But, with good purpose.
I have begun working on an entire new series and I have been traveling and visiting with friends from out of town and working at my day job and watching baseball and editing White Feather Murders and .... OH MY!
A bit of what I have been up to of late:
I went on vacation in ABU DHABI and DUBAI and met some amazing camels !
While there, we saw an amazing production of Les Miserables ( my 15th viewing and my 3rd continent!) on opening night at the Dubai Opera. The composers, Boubil and Schonberg, were in attendance to celebrate.....
I saw Cuisine and Confessions at the Princess of Wales and was flabberghasted by the talent and acrobatics!
My friend visited from British Columbia and we had a fun time exploring Toronto and checking out the amazing sushi!, Le Papillon on Front Street and Cafe Moroc
And, in typical Rachel fashion, I have been watching as many Made for TV Christmas movies as time allows!
I am featured at Relz Reviewz today taking you behind the scenes of A Lesson in Love and Murder. Speaking of which, it is currently on a 1.99 sale on all e-book formats! Grab it while you can HERE
Oh and Conductor of Light is available for FREE pre-order
Over at Books and Beverages, you have the opportunity to win some Herringford and Watts
Finally, and something dear to my heart, it is 1 week until my next book releases: a Christmas novella set amidst the magic of made-for-TV Christmas movies and co-written with my friend and author pal, Allison Pittman.
Starring Christmas features two Christmas romance novellas ( magically connected) for one low price:
Falling for a Christmas Star Sam Medina has finally made it. A last minute casting change finds him en route to Toronto to star in the latest entry of the Serendipity Network’s annual Christmas movie extravaganza, My True Love Gave to Me. Finally, he will have the chance to shake off his reputation for supporting roles as the best friend or kind-hearted barista and prove that he is leading man material.
Merry Strathford is too busy for love. When she’s not pursuing a tenure track position in Medieval Women's studies, she’s serving plum pudding lattes at the Holly and the Ivy Café. Thus far, the only romance in her life occurs when she falls under the spell of her favourite made-for-TV movies. That is, until Sam Medina walks through the coffee shop door.
Suddenly, both Sam and Merry are living the romance of a Serendipity movie. But life isn't all snowflakes and sugar plums and real life ---and relationships---are far from cookie cutter shortbread.
Lone Star Christmas Lights by Allison Pittman
Mari Medina is in love…with her neighborhood. She’s converted her historic ancestral home into a cool coffee shop and party space, with an apartment upstairs big enough to share with her mother. It’s a comfortable, safe existence, even if it lacks the spark to fuel her unsuccessful attempts to break into the world of writing romance. Still, she’s always on the lookout for a new taste to bring to her patrons.
Larsen Clarke had everything that comes with a successful career: a luxury apartment, a flashy sports car, and his pick of society women. When hardship strikes his family, he gives it all up, trading for a room in his brother’s home, and a venture into creating craft beer. He’s traded his expensive suit for a plaid shirt, and the only risk he’s willing to take involves bold Texas-based brew.
When Mari and Larsen meet, it’s a collision of retail and romance. She’s looking for a story, he’s looking for himself. Together, they just might find a little lone star magic.
Thursday, October 20, 2016
|Sonja and I traipsed around BC for 10 days. It was amazing. I also checked up on Jem and Merinda all over the place in different bookstores.|
|Also went to Master and Commander weekend which was a Regency fest of food and fun featuring all manner of interesting discussions about Aubrey and Maturin. Held at Montgomery's Inn here in Toronto.|
Now,I return to you to tell you about the Nerdiest Thing I have Ever Done
|okay thanks to the Silver Petticoat Review for also sharing my love, but also providing us with fuzzy images|
|Just get married already|
Wednesday, August 31, 2016
A few weekends ago, I was part of the Huronia Arts Festival which was fabulous. I also got to meet up with the lovely Aggie who did my publicity photos for Herringford and Watts
I read a bit from Lesson in Love and Murder
Last week, I was out at a conference for my real job all week: but I did get to sneak in a Jays game AND the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see Barbra Streisand
|we're first in the AL East!|
I am off to British Columbia tomorrow for a week of holidays and to hang out with a good friend of mine.... follow my instagram for pics
A few books:
Lynn Austin Waves of Mercy: this was, without doubt, one of my most highly anticipated books of the year.... I love this author so much and after a short foray into Biblical fiction, it is nice to have some vintage Austin with a multi-generational saga. I am on Lynn's launch team for this book, so you will see my full review and more about it closer to its release date.
The Devil in The White City by Erik Larson: I had to read this book in installments because it scared me so much. I knew, of course, about H H Holmes and his mass killings and his depraved nature, but Larson is such an exceptional storyteller, that you felt his story unfolding as it does in a horror film, bristling the hairs on the back of your neck.
I love Chicago history and Larson did an exceptional, accessible and addictively narrative job of bringing its conception to life, threaded with the eerie and horrific murders than underpinned its grandeur.
The Secret Ingredient of Wishes by Susan Bishop Crispell If you like Sarah Addison Allen, you will love this book. It's about a young woman who is finding herself and accepting her past in a quirky town peppered with eccentricities. With the warmth characterization of Billie Letts and the narrative ease of Alice Hoffman, Crispell spins a tale of magic and loss in an artful and beguiling way. Rachel has an unusual secret: she can grant wishes. What seems like a blessing is more often a curse as she navigates a new community and the first flits of love. This is a book to savour, to press to your heart once you've sighed over a gorgeous line or two. Like this one: "I've come to realize that life is much more fun if you think anything's possible."
I highly recommend this for the evenings yawning into Autumn. An author to keep.
(with thanks to netgalley for the review copy)
And finally, A Lesson in Love and Murder releases tomorrow
"This was my favorite story so far in this fun series, with lively characters, snappy dialogue, action, adventure and historical figures in the mix. The quips and quotes at the beginning of each chapter, and in the footnotes, add the details needed to fill in references, and added narrative. Benny, the RCMP, was a sighworthy hero, giving Jasper a bit of competition, and shaking Miranda up enough to make it extra interesting. Ray and Jem had a lot to deal with for a newly married couple, and I found myself rooting for them, hoping they'd work it all out. Who hasn't struggled with money, family and communication problems? There are deeper issues underlying the fast paced storyline too, with political activism, domestic violence, faith struggles, and ethical dilemmas.