Wednesday, April 27, 2016


GIVEAWAY TIME!  Over at Relz you can meet the girls and here you can meet their guys! 

You need only visit here and comment and then go to Relz and comment 

The Bachelor's Guide to MurderGA

Character Spotlight @ Relz Reviewz

Brief physical description: Ray DeLuca
Ray is medium height ( the exact same height as Jem Watts. I wanted to make them equals in every way). He has dark black hair, long lashes and black eyes and always has ink on his fingers.   His ears stick out a little bit and his nose is not quite patrician, but close. He’s several years older than Jem so he is just starting to show a bit of grey at the temples.

Resembles: the DeLuca smile is definitely actor Chris Messina’s.  When I was first plotting the book, I had watched a film called The Giant Mechanical Man and I thought: there is a guy with an interesting smile ( it helped that he wears a bowler hat in it)   Not conventionally handsome, not someone who would stop you in your tracks; but who has a really dazzling smile when it’s full on. Ray doesn’t full on smile that often but when he does….  Jem falls off her chair

Strengths and Weaknesses:

Strengths:  Ray provides for his sister and his nephew sacrificing a lot of his salary and his attempts at finding personal happiness to take care of them.  Ray is a remarkably quick learner and picked up English fairly quickly when he arrived in Canada. Like Jasper Forth, he has strong convictions and believes in Jem and Merinda as equals deciding they can do anything they put their mind to.   Ray has a heart for injustice and the immigrant community and proves it by often undertaking long muckraking stints in prisons and flophouses to excavate some of the dirt therein and publish it publicly in the Hogtown Herald. Ray is also a romantic and a dreamer.  His dream is to work for the Globe and Mail. 

Weaknesses:  Ray has a temper.  He also writes terrible poetry ( but I think it only sounds terrible in English--- in his native language, I am sure we would all swoon).
Jemima is a major weakness for Ray ( but also his strength), their relationship is a guiding force of the entire series.

Your inspiration for the character: Like Watson and Mary Morstan, I wanted Jem Watts to find a love interest. Initially, I thought to create a police officer for her.  But, then I got this idea for a reporter. Someone who knows the ins and outs of the city and who fights injustice through words.  The more I spent time fleshing out Ray (who am I kidding, the guy started taking over the book), the more I recognized that he represents everything I love about my city.  He is an emblem of its progress and change, its perseverance and the immigration and multiculturalism that makes the city so unique.

Jasper Forth

Brief Physical Description:  Jasper is tall and broad-shouldered ( over 6 feet) he has dark brown hair and bright blue eyes. He is handsome in a boy next door kind of way. He especially looks dashing in his police uniform.    Note: Jasper is from Maritime Canada so he has a bit of an East Coast lilt to his voice.


(With most of the characters I have a really specific idea of what they look like based on my imagination; but with Jasper he is definitely British actor Andrew Buchan. When I first thought of him, I thought this fellow has to have an open, honest face. A face like Andrew Buchans.)

Strengths and weaknesses  

Strength: Jasper is a loyal friend –especially to Merinda. He believes in her completely no matter what society would say to her detriment as a lady detective. He is good at his job and is forever getting promotions before getting demoted thanks to helping Merinda out.  Despite his stints back on the King Street traffic beat, he will always find a way to help out.  He is also an honest cop in a corrupt police force: something that is explored more and more throughout the rest of the series.    He will do anything to protect his friends and find justice.

Weakness:  Jasper’s primary weakness is Merinda. He has been in love with her since they were at university and he will do anything to please her—even if it means getting in trouble.  He is also a very nice fellow. While he is very competent at his job, it can mean he is subject to teasing. Ray tells him that there are different kinds of strengths but the strength Jasper has is one of conscience and character and this is sometimes underappreciated by Chief Henry Tipton

Your inspiration for the character:   I wanted Merinda and Jem to have a connection with the police force and because Merinda is such a strong personality I wanted to pit her against a man who is very much like her friend Jem in so many ways. I love a man who is dedicated to one woman and who has been saving his salary for years for a home and family.  I also think Jasper represents the morals and ethics of the story in the most traditional way.   He will always follow the letter of the law.  Finally, I wanted a counterbalance to Ray, and an opposite to Merinda.  Jasper brings out a softer spot in Merinda in several instances (stay tuned) much as Jemima does. 

To enter:
  1. Post a comment here about what you love about what makes a strong hero; AND
  2. Pop over to Rel's blog, and leave a comment about Jem and Merinda and meet them there
A winner will be drawn on Sunday May 1st!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016


Some amazing books are releasing today!

Check them out!

A wildly entertaining and realistic contemporary romance set in New Zealand and with a brilliant Tolkien twist.  Kara Isaac's assured debut Close to You  is cerebral whimsical snark and is a firecracker new addition to her genre

Painstaking historical research coupled with a mesmerizing narrative, Promised to the Crown features three remarkable ( and remarkably different) filles du roi: navigating life, love and hardship in 17th Century New France

Flickers finds Slade back in Dust mode: with a creepy vintage feel and things that go bump in the night. A harrowing, haunted look with a cinemascope feel and a perfect 1920s atmosphere, he remains my favourite Canadian YA voice.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Jem and Merinda are out in the world.... and giveaways! and a party!

So you all know from my latest post how to buy The Bachelor Girl's Guide to Murder at all major retail outlets online.

If you are in America: Barnes and Noble has extended their promotion of Bachelor Girl's Guide to Murder for a few more weeks. So look for it on new release displays and if you feel so led, snap a picture....

CANADIANS! Guess what? Soon, soon, soon you will be able to find Jem and Merinda in the Mystery section of your Chapters and Indigo.   Until then, you can order online or from the kiosk in-store ( even pre-order A Lesson in Love and Murder while you are at it)

If you are in St Catharine's author Sandra Orchard will be signing copies of A Fool and His Monet and I will be signing copies of Bachelor Girl's Guide to Murder this Saturday at Heritage bookstore !

I was so excited to meet part of the Harvest House publishing team last night here in Toronto for dinner! Even though my publisher is far away in Oregon, I so enjoy being a part of the family there.

We are having an amazing amazing awesome and phenomenal GIVEAWAY thanks to our friends at Litfuse!   Check out the promo landing site here  This Murder Mystery Prize Pack was handpicked to reflect some of Jem and Merinda's favourite things:

In addition to this awesome giveaway, please come to our public (meaning EVERYONE is invited) facebook party which will give you an opportunity to talk to ME and learn about my BOOKS and Toronto and DEDUCTION but also give you the opportunity to win more prizes such as gift certificates and copies of Bachelor Girl's Guide to Murder.

Now, friends, everything you have (n)ever wanted to know about Jem and Merinda and Jasper and Ray and me are at your disposal.  Please come! You can RSVP here

Here's a blog I did for Lifeway on the Elgin and Winter Garden theatres ( a big part of Toronto history and a very special place for Jem and Ray)

I wrote about the conditions of the Ward for the Harvest House website

And guest posts and interviews galore:

At Litfuse

at Reading is My Super Power

At Lena Nelson Dooley's blog 

A peek at my writing desk at Inspired by Love and Fiction 

At Kelly Bridgewater's blog ( a Fictional Hogtown Herald article care of Ray!)

Friday, April 01, 2016

Happy Book Birthday Jem, Merinda, Jasper and Ray (aka The Shameless Self Promotion Post)

Debut of the Month!!!!! thanks, Library Journal 

OH NO! Temporarily out of Stock! Keep those orders coming ! WHEEE!

HEY LOOK! thanks Romantic Times 


that one amazing reader who named her baby chicks Merinda and Jem and made this ADORABLE graphic 

Fresh and beguiling, the Bachelor Girls are an engaging new addition to the mystery scene. They tackle criminals with a combination of unique moxie and an irrepressible sense of adventure. I want to be friends with the Bachelor Girls---Deanna Raybourn

In her fabulous debut, Rachel McMillan brings 1910 Toronto to rich and wonderful life. The intrepid Jem and merinda make a winning detective team. Full of romance and derring-do, The Bachelor Girl's Guide to Murder will keep you turning pages-- Nancy Herriman

Now, a lot of people got the book on NETGALLEY or through early amazon shipments, but today is ACTUALLY the release day of the Bachelor Girl's Guide to Murder.  YAY HURRAH!

So, I really think that you should consider going and finding this book and telling your friends!

Books a Million
Barnes and Noble

And we had a launch in the Distillery District here in Toronto ( where my fictional Hogtown Herald office is located)

thanks for the promotion, Chapters Indigo homepage!