Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Michelle Griep {Writer Wednesday}

A little bit about Michelle...

Michelle Griep’s been writing since she first discovered blank wall space and Crayolas. She resides in the frozen tundra of Minnesota, where she teaches history and writing classes for a local high school co-op. Her latest release is OUT OF THE FRYING PAN, but historical romance is her usual haunt. THE CAPTIVE HEART releases in October.

Connect with Michelle...

Website: www.michellegriep.com or www.writerofftheleash.blogspot.com

-->Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2754194.Michelle_GriepFacebook: https://www.facebook.com/michellegriep/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MichelleGriep
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/mmgriep/
Purchase: Out of the Frying Pan

Get to know Michelle...

You and Writing


-->I started writing when I first discovered Crayolas and a blank wall. Yeah. My mom wasn’t too happy about that. But I did eventually grow up and now a MacBook Air is my utensil of choice.
I write to figure out the world. As an author, I’m the god of my storyworld and can work out all the what if’s and how come’s in a safe environment . . . for me, that is. It’s never save for my poor characters.

Your Writing

Out of the Frying Pan is a zany romantic mystery.

Here’s a blurb:
Murder in Paradise whips life into a froth for FERN and ZULA HOPKINS. When the retirement center’s chef is found dead, the two ladies get folded in with the case. Their zany attempts to track down the killer land them in hot water with Detective JARED FLYNN. Should he be concerned about their safety—or the criminal’s?

But there are deadly ingredients none of them expect. Drugs. Extortion. International cartels. And worst of all…broken hearts, especially when the Hopkins sisters’ niece KC arrives on the scene.

Life at Sunset Paradise Retirement Village will never be the same.
Why are you/did you write it?
My writerly buddy, Kelly Klepfer, snagged me by the collar one day and asked me if I’d like to co-author this crazy story idea that she had. I said, “Why the heck not?” And the rest is history.
Do you have a favorite character in this work? If so, why?

Detective Flynn. The man is positively dreamy. Kelly wrote his perspective and let me tell ya, this girl can write the male point of view like none other. He’s strong and handsome but he’s also considerate, compassionate and ultra caring.

What was a challenge you faced while writing it?
Kelly stopped writing when we were only halfway through the story. Yep. Just like that. She was poke-a-fork-in-her done, done, done. I think it was a combination of things going on in her life, but I was persistent, kind of like a toenail fungus gone bad. I nudged her until she was black and blue, but she finally got her second wind—and wrote better than ever.
What's the most random thing you had to Google for the story?

I don’t know how random it is, but this is certainly gruesome. Because there’s a drug cartel involved in the story, I checked into the Mexican drug scene. Here’s a warning for you . . . do NOT Google image that. Eew.

Writing

How long did you write before you got published?
8 eternal years. It seemed like forever.

What’s your encouragement for younger writers aside from “keep writing”?
Rejection is going to happen. You will fail. But (and I’ve always got a big but) that does not mean that you are a failure. What you did failed. Not you. So change the way you’re doing things until you hit upon a writing style that’s successful. That takes time and a whole lot of perseverance.

How many rejection letters did you get before being accepted by a publisher?
Oh sweet mercy, at least a bajillion. Okay, realistically, probably at least 25-30 rejections before one took a chance on me.

What does your writing process look like?
I usually have a vague idea of setting and characters in mind, but before I start writing the synopsis, I figure out what the goals, motivations, and conflicts are for each of the main characters. Then I pen a synopsis, and finally plot out each scene just by writing a general idea on a sticky note. The sticky notes go on a huge canvas and I can move them around or change them as needed.

Do you listen to music when you write? If so, have a favorite artist or playlist to share?
Absolutely. I make a play list for each of my books. Whenever I come across a song that I think might work as inspiration, then I put that on my inspirational playlist. When I’ve got a new book to write, I go to that playlist and pull off songs that will fit. Spotify is awesome.

You

When you get an idea for a novel, what is the first thing that you do? 
I write down a sentence or two and save it in my “New Story Idea” file on Word.

September is Classical Music Month (who knew?). In keeping with that theme, do you have a favorite character from a classical novel?
Jane Eyre, the main character in Charlotte Bronte’s classic.

What is your favorite fall snack food?
Maple Walnut Scones with Apple Butter and a steaming hot Chai on the side.

What are you currently reading?
The King’s Folly by Jill Williamson

Emilie here: Thank you so much for being my guest Michelle! You're hilarious and I always enjoy having you on the blog :) 

 
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Monday, September 26, 2016

Sarah's Orphans by Vannetta Chapman | New Novel News

Sarah's Orphans
by Vannetta Chapman

Published: August 30, 2016
Publisher: Harvest House 
Purchase: Sarah's Orphans

Sarah Yoder belongs to a Plain community in Oklahoma, but her days are far from simple. Life suddenly gets complicated when a series of tragic events unfold, leaving her in charge of the household.

Alone with her younger siblings, Sarah is exhausted but finally at peace. Then she nearly runs over a small Hispanic boy with her buggy…and somehow finds herself sheltering two more orphans.

Paul Byler moved to Cody’s Creek to help his brother in a time of need. But now that Joseph has recovered from his heart attack, Paul’s ready for a quiet place of his own. The only problem? His new property lands him next door to the orphaned Yoder family—and a calling from God he can’t seem to ignore.

A story of extraordinary grace and love in the face of desperate need, Sarah’s Orphans is the third standalone novel in the Plain and Simple Miracles collection by Vannetta Chapman.


Get to know Vannetta...


Who is your favorite secondary character? 
In Sarah’s Orphans, my favorite secondary character is Mammi, the grandmother who arrives at Sarah’s door and insists that she’s staying as long as they need her. Sarah hasn’t had any dependable adults in her life, and it takes some time before she learns that Mammi’s love is both deep, wide, and dependable.

What’s one thing you must have/do in the morning? 
Coffee. I’ve cut it down from 2-3 cups to only 1, but those first few minutes of caffeine are very important. I also MUST take my dogs for a walk every morning before I sit down to work. Cola is 35 pounds and a beagle mix. Phoebe is 100 pounds and a Labrador.

Favorite place you’ve traveled to? 
I traveled to England/Wales two years ago and absolutely loved it. A few years before that I was able to go to Ireland. Both trips were awesome…and don’t be surprised if you see some stories come out of the places I visited!

Connect with Vannetta: 

http://vannettachapman.com
https://twitter.com/VannettaChapman
https://www.facebook.com/VannettaChapmanBooks
https://www.instagram.com/vannettachapman/

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Sunday, September 25, 2016

See the Newsboys in Concert with Adventures in Odyssey

newsboys 

Want to be entered for a chance to win a free trip for four to hear the Newsboys, the award-winning Christian music band, in Dallas? Sign up to be a part of the movement to protect religious freedom for future generations: Bring Your Bible to School Day! Students from kindergarten to college will be bringing their Bibles to school and sharing God with their friends on October 6.

By completing the information on this page, you're automatically entered to win the chance to see the Newsboys with Focus on the Family and Adventures in Odyssey. Don't miss out on the chance to see a fantastic band with your family!

Plus Sign Up for a Free Two-Week Trial of Odyssey Adventure Club

sept-oac-art-250x250 

Getting used to a new school isn’t easy, especially for someone as paranoid as Buddy Norman. In “A Predicament of Biblical Proportions” he envisions wacky worst-case encounters with townsfolk who seem like mobsters, snoops and fairy-tale tyrants—until he gets to know them. He’s also a little confused about Bring Your Bible to School Day. What’s it about? Should he participate? See Odyssey through Buddy’s eyes in this witty celebration of religious freedom.

Listen to this story through a two-week trial only on the Odyssey Adventure Club.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Siren's Song by Mary Weber | RE:View

Siren's Song is a story that will encompass you in its creative telling and leave you satisfied at the end. This is a story you don't want to miss!

I thoroughly enjoyed Nym's story through the last two books and this third and final installment was no different. Filled with fast-paced action, dire circumstances, and romance, Mary Weber creates a stunning ending to this thrilling fantasy trilogy.

The weight of her peoples future rests on Nym's shoulders. Filled with this sense of purpose and the release (kind of) from the dark power that consumed her in book 2, she is set on a course to save the kingdom, or die trying.

I found Nym's journey in this book to be intriguing. Aside from one "battle" (not really a battle) that she doesn't get to fight herself, she is in the midst of the activity and fighting to make things right. She's suborn, but smarter in her actions (to me at least) than she was in previous books--I attribute that to her growth as a character. The romance is also there, but stilted (not in a bad way) and filled with tension, which I tend to like. There were a few times I wished that Eogan was more communicative, and his silence just seemed silly. Like...say what you're thinking. Then again, guys don't always do that, so I get it (hehe).

Then there was the ending...I just...I loved it. *sigh* I won't go into details here, but it was just what I wanted. Filled with hopes, fears, excitement, twists, happiness, and so much more. I will say I wished some of it had been a bit more drawn out, but I am still completely satisfied with how it ended so it wasn't a "big" deal.

As a theme, I really liked how Mary incorporated the issues of slavery and cutting into this YA series. These are such important topics and very relevant to today's youth. I won't spoil the ending, but I love what happens regarding Nym's scars. Just beautiful!

I definitely recommend this whole series to lovers of fantasy (YA or not)! You'll find yourself swept up in the imaginative world Mary has created with its crazy animals, genuine characters, and vivid fantasy elements. (Oh! see what I did there? Elements! Anyway...) Go read this if you haven't already, friends!

P.S. I think Lord Myles is one of my favorite characters...Just saying!

My rating: 5*
Purchase: Siren's Song

Book Description
(from Mary's website)
After a fierce battle with Draewulf, Nym barely escaped with her life. Now, fleeing the scorched landscape of Tulla, her storm-summoning abilities are returning; only . . . the dark power is still inside her.

Broken and bloodied, Nym needs time to recover, but when the full scope of the shapeshifter’s horrific plot is revealed, the strong-willed Elemental must race across the Hidden Lands and warn the other kingdoms before Draewulf ’s final attack.

From the crystalline palaces of Cashlin to the legendary Valley of Origin, Nym scrambles to gather an army. But even if she can, will she be able to uncover the secret to defeating Draewulf that has eluded her people for generations? With a legion of monsters approaching, and the Hidden Lands standing on the brink of destruction, the stage is set for a battle that will decide the fate of the world.
This time, will the Siren’s Song have the power to save it?

_______________
I received a free copy of this book for review purposes, but was under no obligation to read the book or post a review. I do so under my own motivation and the opinions I have expressed in this review are honest and entirely my own.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Johnnie Alexander {Writer Wedesday}

A little bit about Johnnie...

Johnnie Alexander writes stories of heritage and hope while raccoons and foxes occasionally pass by her window. Where Treasure Hides, her debut novel and a CBA bestseller, won the American Christian Fiction Writers Genesis Contest. Where She Belongs, the first book in the Misty Willow Series, was a Library Journal Pick of the Month. She is marketing director for the Mid-South Christian Writers Conference and president of the ACFW Memphis chapter.

Johnnie lives near Memphis with Griff, her happy-go-lucky collie, and Rugby, the princely papillon who trees those pesky raccoons whenever he gets the chance. Join Johnnie at www.johnnie-alexander.com to experience the charm of country living, the love of ambling travel, and the joy of treasured memories.

Connect with Johnnie...

Her blog: Blog
Facebook: Facebook Profile (Friend or Follow!)
Facebook Page: Facebook Author Page
Twitter: Twitter 
Goodreads: GoodReads
Amazon author page:Amazon Author Page


Get to know Johnnie...

You and Writing

Tell us a little bit about your writing journey...
 The dream of writing has always been with me, but it was too big of a dream to do more than dabble here and there. After all, this was a dream that came true for other people—I never thought it would for me.

An important turning point happened in 2003 when I heard about a relatively new challenge called National Novel Writing Month. I joined other participants in writing a 50,000-word novel in the thirty days of November.

And despite ending up with an incredible mess, I loved how the characters came to life, did the unexpected, and became “real.”

A few more years passed before I decided that if I was ever going to make a go of this, I couldn’t wait any longer. (A milestone birthday probably had something to do with this “now or never” attitude.)

I attended conferences, entered contests, and wrote more stories. My debut novel came out in January 2013—a little over nine years after that first NaNoWriMo experience.

Your Writing

Let's talk about your book...

What’s the theme? How did you come up with it?
The hero of When Love Arrives is Brett Somers, the “bad boy” of the series’ first story (Where She Belongs). From what I already knew about him and as part of his character growth, I knew he needed a heroine unlike anyone he’d ever been attracted to before. Additionally, she needed to be immune to his famous dimpled smile.

In my thinking-about-how-they’ll-meet stage, I realized the heroine intensely disliked Brett because of something he had done. Though it took a long time—months in fact—to understand exactly what that was, the themes of vengeance and forgiveness were a natural part of the story.

Was there a passage of scripture you came across or used while writing it that you’d like to share?
Two Scriptures are important to the story. The first only appears at the beginning of chapter one:

Praise be to the Lord, for he showed me the wonders of his love when I was in a city under siege (Psalm 31:21).

Brett is definitely “under siege” in this story, and his eyes are gradually opened to the wonders of God’s love.

The second occurs in one of my favorite scenes. When Brett experiences his darkest crisis, his moment of confronting who he’d been, he is comforted by his cousin’s fiancée’s seven-year-old daughter. She tells him a verse she learned when her father was killed:

I trusted in the Lord when I said, “I am greatly afflicted” (Psalm 116:10).

This verse sticks with Brett and becomes a kind of mantra for him.

Did you get to do any fun research for the book?
I tried. One of the early scenes is set in the historic Ohio Theater, and I very much wanted to go inside and look around. But I live in Tennessee, and the timing didn’t work out.

I was only able to stop there one Saturday on my way to the airport and take photos of the exterior. Fortunately, one of my cousins had once taken interior photos which he shared with me. (Thank you, Tom!)

What’s your favorite snack while writing?
Twizzlers. And Coke. The closer I get to deadline the more Twizzlers I eat and the more Coke I drink.

Writing

Let’s talk about your writing life...

Are you a Panster or Plotter?
On that spectrum, I’m more of a pantser, but I prefer the term organic writer. I begin with a few ideas about the characters and things that should happen. Then I write and wait to see what surprises will show up. Sometimes it’s rough going, but the characters haven’t failed me yet.

However! My next contracts are for two cozy mysteries. The proposal for the first required a chapter-by-chapter summary. So now I’m writing my first story as a plotter. I’m eager to see how the process will be different.

What advice would you give to aspiring authors for writing and/or publishing?
I always answer this question the same way: attend writers’ conferences, enter reputable contests, and join a critique group. Each of these proved to be an invaluable milestone on my own writing journey. I learned so much from workshops, the feedback from judges, and my critique partners. Conferences are also a great place to network.

Are there any books or resources you could recommend to younger writers looking to grow in their craft?

Two of my favorites are Story Trumps Structure by Steven James and The Fire in Fiction by Donald Maass. Next up on my reading list is The Art of Character by David Corbett.

You

What's one chore you hate doing?

The litter box I do not like.
It makes my nose go closed.
But kittens go then go again.
“Outdoors! Outdoors!” I propose.
They stare at me with cattish eyes
While I scoop scoop scoop the gross.
And after taking a few cleansing breaths
A silly poem I compose.

What's your favorite chore?

I love to run errands.
To the post office, gas station and store.
The dry cleaners, the car wash, the vet.
B&N, Target, and more.
Then lunch with my Kindle
And the story du jour.

This is why I’m better known for my fiction than my poetry.

If your book became a movie, who would you cast for your main characters?
In Brett’s eyes, Dani is an adorable “slip of a girl” who is nothing like the women he usually dates. A brunette Shailene Woodley, the star of the Divergent movies, is perfect to play Dani.

But who is perfect to play Brett?
I haven’t a clue.

The guy is too handsome for his own good with blond hair, blue-eyes, deep dimples, and a charming smile. And he’s thirty years old. Any suggestions?

September is Classical Music Month (who knew?). In keeping with that theme, do you have a favorite character from a classical novel?
Oh, yes! One of my favorite novels is Les Miserables and its protagonist, Jean Valjean, is an amazingly complex character.

I’m also going to say Milly, Adam’s bride in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. The movie may not be classical music but it’s a classic musical. :)

What are you currently reading?
After watching the first season of Poldark, I got hooked on the twelve-book series written by Winston Graham. I’m on the eleventh one, The Twisted Sword. Mr. Graham also wrote Marnie which Alfred Hitchcock turned into a movie.


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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Author Chat: Sarah Sundin


Hello friends--Emilie here. I invite you to come have a chat with author Sarah Sundin and I! Go get some coffee (or tea) and sit back and relax while we talk about fall, books, and Sarah's novel Anchor in the Storm.

What’s your favorite fall drink and snack?
When I was in Boston researching the Waves of Freedom series, I bought some cranberry black tea. I will be severely sad when I run out. As for snacks, I’m not very seasonal. However, I love baking and I’m looking forward to cooler weather when I don’t feel guilty about heating up the house. First on my list: snickerdoodles and almond sandies.

Ooh yum! I love snickerdoodles. I'll be right over hehe! So, do you have any fall traditions?
This is my first year without kids to send back to school. I’m going into withdrawals not buying school supplies. I may have to hang out at the office supply store and live vicariously through others.

I hang out there and I don't even have kids (ha!). I bet that will be a big change for you. Becuase we're nearly there, what is your favorite part about fall?
Fall is my favorite season. School, cool weather, sweaters, football—I love it all. Living in California, we don’t get a lot of the gorgeous fall colors, but I adore those we have.

Ah yes, I remeber that from when I lived in Southern California. About the time it hit "fall" it was actually near Christmas. I'm looking forward to 4 seasons in Ohio! Speaking of fall and Anchor In the Storm, I thought we'd have a little bit of fun. I've got a few questions for your main characters, Lillian and Arch.

What fall activity do you think Lillian and Arch would enjoy doing together?
Living in Boston, I can definitely see them touring the New England countryside to see the fall colors. They love going on outings, and who can resist that riot of color?

Oh I bet! I'd like to tag along...But, along the way, if they stopped at a pumpkin farm to carve pumpkins, what would Lillian and Arch make their punkin faces to look like?
Hmm. This made me laugh. My first thought for Arch was a pirate, so I’m going with that. There are a few scenes in the novel to back this up. Ha! As for Lillian, she’s no girly-girl. I can see her making a frightening, sharp-toothed monster face.

Yes, I can definitely see that! Can you tell us a little bit about the research you did for this book?
My favorite research was on the ground—exploring Boston and the WWII-era destroyer USS Cassin Young. But most of my research is via books and the internet. For Arch’s story, I read about US destroyers and the U-boat war off the East Coast in 1942, including the war diary for the Eastern Sea Frontier. For Lillian’s story, I read about pharmacy in World War II. As a pharmacist myself, I was fascinated about how much the corner drugstore was affected by rationing, shortages, and scrap collection. Since I’m cruel to my characters, I had to read medical information about PTSD (called combat fatigue at the time) and prostheses.

Wow! That all sounds facinating! Can you share with us a little bit about your creative process when writing?
I’m very much an outline-oriented writer. I need a thorough map before I can take the road trip of the rough draft. Since I do a lot of pre-writing, my first drafts are pretty clean and I don’t have to do super-heavy editing. In my pre-writing process, I fill out character questionnaires, do a hero’s journey analysis, and fill out a plot chart. By the time I start the rough draft, I know my characters and the story intimately, and the story is bubbling out of me.

That's great. I know a lot of authors who write that way as well. It's funny how different all of our processes are. I know too that, during the writing process, its not hard to fall into a slump. How do you regain writing inspiration when you’ve lost it?
I read what I’ve already written, or I review my plot and character charts. These usually give me the kick-start I need. If not, I give myself permission to write junk. Just write something! I tell myself I can delete it later—I just need a running start. However, I often find those “junk” beginnings become my favorites.

Oh-that's a great idea! I think I'll try that the next time I'm stuck :-) What books are you looking forward to reading this fall?
I’m so far behind on my reading, it isn’t even funny. I highly recommend a novel I read for endorsement that’s coming out this week—You’re the Cream in My Coffee by Jennifer Lamont Leo—a fun but deep story set in 1920s Chicago. Next up in my reading pile: The Red Door Inn by Liz Johnson, The Ringmaster’s Wife by Kristy Cambron, and The Things We Know by Catherine West.

I'm also behind on my reading and have The Red Door Inn and The Ringmaster's Wife on my TBR list!

Do you have a verse or some sort of encouragement you can share with us as we transition to a new season?
The theme verse for Anchor in the Storm seems appropriate. We live in tumultuous times with too much anger and bitterness, and we’re tempted to despair. Hebrews 6:18-19 reminds us, “We might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast.” We have to cling to Christ, cling to hope, and refuse to give in to strife and despair.

Wonderful! Thank you for this fun chat Sarah. I always enjoy your novels and loved getting to meet you at last years ACFW conference. Can't wait to have you back next time for the releae of When Tides Turn!

______________________
 
Sarah Sundin is the author of eight historical novels, including Anchor in the Storm. Her novel Through Waters Deep was a finalist for the 2016 Carol Award, won the INSPY Award, and was named to Booklist’s “101 Best Romance Novels of the Last 10 Years.” A mother of three, Sarah lives in California, works on-call as a hospital pharmacist, and teaches Sunday school.
Please visit her at http://www.sarahsundin.com.
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SarahSundinAuthor
Twitter: http://twitter.com/sarahsundin
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/sarahsundin


Anchor in the Storm 
by Sarah Sundin

For plucky Lillian Avery, America’s entry into World War II means a chance to prove herself as a pharmacist in Boston. She loves the wartime challenges of her new job but spurns the attention of society boy Ens. Archer Vandenberg. As Arch’s destroyer battles U-boats along the East Coast, Lillian uncovers a black market drug ring. Arch and Lillian work together on the investigation, but can he ever earn her trust and affection?
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Monday, September 19, 2016

Jennifer A. Davids & Rachel McMillan | New Novel News

Brides of Ohio
by Jennifer A. Davids

Published: July 1, 2016
Publisher: Barbour Publishing
Purchase: Brides of Ohio


Visit Ohio in the latter half of the 1800s, when rebuilding the country also involves rebuilding lives stripped of hope. Katherine has lost her home, Adele has lost her husband, and Anne has lost her dreams. Can each have their joy restored when in romances with men who are also deeply wounded by their own pasts?

Get to know Jennifer...

If your book became a movie, who would you cast for your main characters?
I love, love, LOVE to cast my characters and Pinterest and IMDB really get a workout when I’m looking for faces to go with the names in my head. Since Brides of Ohio is three books in one I actually have six names to share. For Yankee Heart, Daniel is Bradley James and Katherine is Emmy Rossum. In Wounded Heart, Jonah is David Sutcliffe and Adele is Samantha Mathis. Finally for Restored Heart, Peter is Chris Pine and Anne is Deborah Ann Woll.

Favorite season?
I am completely and totally in love with autumn. I adore the changing colors, the cooler weather, not to mention all the pumpkin spice goodness and Ohio State football – that’s right I’m a Buckeye. I wish it was a season that could last all year.

Favorite place you’ve traveled to?
England. I am so blessed to have been able to tick this off my bucket list multiple times, three to be exact. My third visit was just back in July and I fall more in love with the country every time I visit. The highlights for me this past trip was eating at the Eagle and Child in Oxford, the same pub where JRR Tolkien and C.S. Lewis and the other Inklings used to meet, walking around Tintern Abbey, and visiting Puzzlewood which is a beautiful forest where the newest Star Wars was filmed along with Doctor Who and Merlin. We hope to go back again in two years.

Connect with Jennifer on her website.


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A Lesson in Love & Murder
by Rachel McMillan

Published: September 1, 2016
Publisher: Harvest House
Purchase: A Lesson in Love & Murder


From political danger to personal drama, life is about to get explosive...

The legacy of literary icon Sherlock Holmes is alive and well in 1912 Canada, where best friends Merinda Herringford and Jem Watts continue to develop their skills as consulting detectives.

The city of Toronto has been thrown into upheaval by the arrival of radical anarchist Emma Goldman. Amid this political chaos, Benny Citrone of the Royal North-West Mounted Police arrives at Merinda and Jem's flat, requesting assistance in locating his runaway cousin—a man with a deadly talent.

While Merinda eagerly accepts the case, she finds herself constantly butting heads—and hearts—with Benny. Meanwhile, Jem has her hands full with a husband who is determined to keep her out of harm's way.

As Merinda and Jem close in on the danger they've tracked from Toronto to Chicago, they uncover a sinister plot to assassinate presidential candidate Theodore Roosevelt. Will they be able to save the day and resolve the troubles threatening their future happiness before it's too late?

Independence, love, and lives are at stake in A Lesson in Love and Murder, the gripping second installment of the Herringford and Watts Mysteries series.

Get to know Rachel...

If your book became a movie, who would you cast for your main characters? 
I really love this question because although I see Jem, Merinda, Jasper and Ray very clearly in my imagination, I have found some pretty interesting real-life counterparts. Merinda: Kelly Reilly (the new Sherlock Holmes films) Jem: Erin Krakow (When Calls the Heart), Ray: Chris Messina –especially the smile (The Mindy Project), Jasper: Andrew Buchan (Garrow’s Law)

What's your favorite chore?  
I really like doing laundry because I feel productive while the machine does all the work and I am in another room, well, doing nothing. I don’t even mind folding it. Also, I love washing all my bedding because getting under the covers with that fresh dryer smell is a favourite thing.
 
If your main characters were animals, what would they be?  
Can I take a moment to say this is the best question of all time? I think Jasper is a basset hound, Ray a fox, Jem a refined Cavalier King Charles, and Merinda a Siamese cat.

Connect with Rachel here.