Today on Writer Wednesday we welcome Rachel McMillan, author of Murder in the City of Liberty.
Enter below for a chance to win a copy of Murder in the City of Liberty! Winner announced right here next week. Congratulations to, Megan Lakner, the winner of Denise Hunter’s Summer by the Tides! Please e-mail my assistant Christen with your mailing address! Note: This post contains affiliate links.
Writer Wednesday with Rachel McMillan: Books Authors Read
What was your favorite book as a child?
Perhaps not a favorite book but definitely an earliest reading memory was Black Beauty by Anna Sewell. There was a bit of a contest in school and if we read aloud to a parent every night and they signed our form we got a sticker and then at the end of a certain amount of stickers we got a prize. I won five shiny maple leaf pencils (I am Canadian, it goes with the territory) because I read Black Beauty to my mom every night. What’s more, I remember learning new words and pronunciations from that exercise. I’ve always been a voracious reader and it traces back to that book. But I also want to throw in another anecdote. When I was in Kindergarten, I signed out The Sleep Book by Dr. Seuss from the school library and took it home. My dad read it with the voices every night. I didn’t know as a little kid that you could sign out books again and again from the library. I honestly thought you were “one and done.” I took it back on the due date absolutely sobbing. I was so sad that dad couldn’t read it and do voices. Then I hugged the librarian tightly when she explained the system to me. Libraries are the hearts of community and compassion.
What book did you read that first made you want to be an author?
I think many people have already heard me talk about Vienna Prelude by Bodie Thoene because it is the book that introduced me to Christian fiction and really shaped my passion and now the industry that I work in as an agent and author. But more than the genre, it instilled in me a desire to create a flourished and detailed sense of setting. Reading that book –as a reader and a scribbler—I recognized that, like Thoene, I wanted my settings to be as dimensional and real as any of my human characters. The first time I went to Vienna, I could map my way around the city because Thoene had written it so beautifully. Now, as an author, research trips and immersion in the city I am writing are integral and I credit this book for that passion and precision. I spent a lot of time in Boston on several trips in the creation of the Van Buren and DeLuca Mysteries and now have three (and counting) contemporary romances set in Vienna where I have (thanks to my passion for that book) spent countless hours learning the architecture and Baroque streets. I always hope to do the influence Vienna Prelude has had on me justice.
What was the last book you read, just for fun?
I just finished reading Ellie and the Harpmaker by debut author Hazel Prior for fun. It is a gorgeously soft romance set in Southwest England and featuring a housewife who pines for poetry, romance, and adventure and finds it with Dan, a shy and introspective man who makes harps for a living. The attention to music and scenery, the beguiling chemistry between the two protagonists and Prior’s gorgeous and lilting prose created an unbelievable gift of a read that I am excited to share with friends.
What books are currently on your nightstand?
Right now I have The Number of Love by Roseanna White. I love White’s books and this one features codebreakers in WWI so I know it will be my jam! I love her romances and her heroes are always the surprisingly intelligent sort that makes my heart beat a few paces faster than usual. I also am midway through Charlie Lovett’s The Lost Book of The Grail which is set in fictional Barchester (made famous fictionally by Anthony Trollope) and is a love letter to books and the power of architecture. In the library of a beautiful cathedral, an angsty professor finds the secrets to his passion for the written word and a chance at unexpected romance with a brash and adorably curious American. Totally my type of book.
What upcoming release are you most looking forward to?
I am a huge fan of the Stalking Jack the Ripper Series by Kerri Maniscalco. A YA trilogy featuring two of my favorite things: a smart and acerbically witty hero and an intelligent young woman ahead of her time. When paired together, Thomas Creswell and Audrey Rose Wadsworth have sizzling chemistry, charm and fast-paced humorous dialogue that undercuts the dark, gaslit worlds of the crimes they are solving. The final installment in the trilogy takes us into the dark world of Chicago: one of my favorite American cities. I am excited for the atmospheric, suspenseful and inevitably romantic conclusion to the series.
Rachel McMillan is a history enthusiast, lifelong bibliophile, and author of the Herringford and Watts series. When not reading (or writing), Rachel can be found at the theater, traveling near and far, and watching far too many British miniseries. Rachel lives in Toronto where she works in educational publishing and is always planning her next trip to Boston.
More about Murder in the City of Liberty
Hamish DeLuca and Regina “Reggie” Van Buren have a new case—and this one could demand a price they’re not willing to pay.
Determined to make a life for herself, Reggie Van Buren bid goodbye to fine china and the man her parents expected her to marry and escaped to Boston. What she never expected to discover was that an unknown talent for sleuthing would develop into a business partnership with the handsome, yet shy, Hamish DeLuca.
Their latest case arrives when Errol Parker, the leading base stealer in the Boston farm leagues, hires Hamish and Reggie to investigate what the Boston police shove off as a series of harmless pranks. Errol believes these are hate crimes linked to the outbreak of war in Europe, and he’s afraid for his life. Hamish and Reggie quickly find themselves in the midst of an escalating series of crimes.
When Hamish has his carefully constructed life disrupted by a figure from his past, he is driven to a decision that may sever him from Reggie forever . . . even more than her engagement to wealthy architect Vaughan Vanderlaan.