Thursday, April 14, 2016

THE BACHELOR GIRLS GUIDE TO MURDER - Rachel McMillan - One Free Book, Plus More

Welcome, Rachel. What a lovely picture of you. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
It really depends on the book I am writing. In the Herringford and Watts series, it is a little easier to find me in my two heroines Jemima and Merinda. Merinda has a fierce independent side, which I definitely have, and Jem has a romantic nature, which I also have. They’re both two sides of the same coin and two sides of my personality.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I’ve traveled through Austria, Germany, and Switzerland on my own. Some people find that quirky. I once tried speed dating: where they line you up and a bell goes when you’re finished talking to the person across from you. It was pretty quirky. And actually pretty nerve-wracking.

When did you first discover that you were a writer?
When I was 9 years old and my brother Jared gave me a purple Precious Moments journal, which I filled up. I always told stories in my head. I had a huge imagination. Now, I write them down. I never stopped writing.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I read everything. I studied Victorian Literature in university, so I love Dickens and the Brontes and the classics. I read a ton of mysteries. I read a bit of everything. I also really like any novels set during the Napoleonic Wars and the Age of Sail. Anything on a boat! Patrick O’Brian’s books are favourites of mine.

How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I don’t! Kidding. I have a career and I am not going to lie, this first publishing contract of mine has had some tight deadlines. Tighter than any I had when my agent and I were preparing proposals for submission to publishers. I prioritize. I work on the subway on the way to work in the morning. I work over lunch break. I work evenings and weekends. I still make time for my family and friends but it takes a concerted effort. I am fortunate in that I don’t have a family relying on me. I am single and live by myself so if I need to eat Lucky Charms for dinner while typing away, I do.

How do you choose your characters’ names?
Again, it is really dependent on the story. Sherrinford Holmes was Arthur Conan Doyle’s original name for Sherlock Holmes when he was plotting his series. When I set out to write the Herringford and Watts series, I wanted a name that gave a nod to Sherlock Holmes and came up with the surname Herringford. Miranda is my cousin’s name and I initially thought I would use that, but I wanted something just a little odd and unique for my heroine and so Merinda was born. With Jem Watts, I again wanted to pull on John Watson. Jem is a name I am fond of especially because of To Kill a Mockingbird, and there was something about Jemima Watts that just seemed to invoke the Edwardian era.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Signing a book contract is a huge deal for me. Especially because for most of my life I was too scared to show anyone my writing. I wrote all the time: manuscripts and scenes and chapters – but I wrote for myself. I still find it hard to believe I worked up the courage to pursue publication and find an agent. It takes nerves of steel. Sometimes I have them, sometimes I am a marshmallow, but I persevered, and I found some guts and it took me less than two years from the time I signed with an agent to the time I signed with Harvest House. Those years of silent, timid practice led to something!

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I really, really love Basset Hounds. I would love one. They’re kind of dopey and slow but they have really good hearts. I am clumsy and the most unathletic person ever. If I were an animal, I would trip over my own ears.

What is your favorite food?
I love sushi and luckily in Toronto there are so many restaurants to choose from. I also really, really, really love popcorn. I could live on popcorn.

I love popcorn. My husband brought home a bag of dill pickle popcorn for me. I love it, but it is a strong flavor that you can only eat a handful at a time. What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
One of the biggest problems was one I mentioned earlier. I am too nervous to show people my ideas. Obviously, I am getting better and stronger but I have a lot of insecurities about my writing. The longer I am involved in the writing community, the more I realize how normal this is! We just keep plugging away. There are good days and bad days no matter what stage of the publication journey you’re at.

Tell us about the featured book.
The Bachelor Girl’s Guide to Murder is the first full-length novel in the Herringford and Watts series. A novella was released in December (A Singular and Whimsical Problem) and two more novels and two more novellas follow this book. In Edwardian-era Toronto, Canada, women are finessing their domestic skills in order to secure good marriages. Long-time friends and flatmates Merinda and Jem decide, instead, to solve murders and hone their sleuthing skills. They’re big Sherlock Holmes fans and try to use his methods and inspiration as they trip through danger, clues, and possible solutions. Of course, their (mis)adventures in murder and mayhem entangle them romantically with a muckraking Italian reporter named Ray and a stalwart police constable, Jasper Forth. In book II, you meet a Mountie!

I’m eager to feature that book here, too. Please give us the first page of The Bachelor Girl’s Guide to Murder.

I can do slightly better! Readers can read the entire first chapter on my publisher’s website :


Your father and I have decided that, after giving you several opportunities to prove you are pursuing a proper course for a lady of your station and background, we can no longer financially support your endeavors. While we applaud your dedication to your job at Spenser’s, we think it is high time you settled down. Your father and I have long tired of presenting you with eligible suitors, only to have you dismiss them to follow Merinda Herringford around like a bee to honey. We have long felt, and expressed, that she is not fit company for a lady of your potential.* As we seem to be making no headway in securing you a future worthy of your breeding, we can only keep you in our prayers and hope that soon you will see the error of your ways, return to your upbringing, and recognize that a lady of your not inconsiderable age (honestly, Jemima, four-and-twenty is hardly the age to be gallivanting about Toronto unwed) should be making prudent strides toward securing a husband. Please see the enclosed pamphlet suggesting appropriate activities for young ladies who are, as you should be, in pursuit of a proper husband…

How can readers find you on the Internet?

Meet best friends and flatmates Merinda and Jem, who launch their own Sherlock Holmes-esque consulting detective business in 1910 Toronto in Rachel McMillan’s The Bachelor Girl’s Guide to Murder. The deaths of young Irish women lead Merinda and Jem deeper into the mire of the city’s underbelly. Merinda could well be Toronto’s premiere consulting detective, and Jem may just find a way to put her bachelor girlhood behind her forever–if they can stay alive long enough to do so.

Rachel is celebrating the release of The Bachelor Girl's Guide to Murder with a Murder Mystery Prize Pack giveaway (details below) and an author chat party on April 28!


One grand prize winner will receive:
Enter today by clicking the icon below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on 4/28. The winner will be announced at The Bachelor Girl's Guide to Murder Facebook party. RSVP for a chance to connect with Rachel and other readers, as well as for a chance to win other prizes!


RSVP today and spread the word—tell your friends about the giveaway via FACEBOOK, TWITTER, or PINTEREST and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 28th!

Thank you, Rachel, for sharing your new book and the wonderful party with us. 

Readers, here are links to the book. By using one when you order, you help support this blog.
The Bachelor Girl's Guide to Murder -
The Bachelor Girl's Guide to Murder (Herringford and Watts Mysteries) - Amazon
The Bachelor Girl's Guide to Murder (Herringford and Watts Mysteries Book 1) - Kindle

Leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. You must follow these instructions to be in the drawing. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory. (Comments containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)

Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.

The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.

If you’re reading this on Goodreads, Google+, Feedblitz, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link:


Anonymous said...

Love a good mystery, such as Sherlock Holmes. :)

-Melissa M. in TN

Elly said...

Yay!! I'm so excited about this book! I've been waiting to read it! I hope to win, but either way, I can't wait to read it!
J.C. -Indiana-

Anonymous said...

angela in ky would love to win

Pam K. said...

I like cozy mysteries that are somewhat quirky. The Bachelor Girl's Guide to Murder sounds like it would fit this category. I'm looking forward to reading it. Thanks for the chance to win it.


Mary Preston said...

What a fun title.

Mary P


Cindy W. said...

Sounds like a great book.

Cindy W. from Indiana

Abigail Mitchell said...

Looks great! Please enter me.
Blanch NC

Raechel said...

This sounds like quite the intriguing book, and one I definitely would like to read!
Thanks for the interview and giveaway!
Raechel in MN.

Sandy Quandt said...

Love the story line. Sounds like a delightful take on Sherlock Holmes mysteries.

Sandy Q. TX

Susan P said...

I love this! It will be put on my TBR list. :)
Susan MI

Connie Porter Saunders said...

I love cozy mysteries! Thank you for sharing!
Connie from KY
cps1950 (at)gmail (dot)com

Loraine Nunley said...

This is one that I am looking forward to reading especially after hearing a few people say that it is like "Murdochs Mysteries" which I love! Thanks for the interview and the giveaway!

Loraine in TX

GrandaddyA said...

That is an intriguing title for a book. I would love to read it.
Edward A in VA

kim hansen said...

Looking forward to the 28th. North Platte Nebraska.

Winnie said...

I've heard so many great things about this book. It sounds so intriguing. I'd love to win a copy.

Winnie T from Utah

A Cooking Bookworm said...

Ooh, this sounds exciting! And, glad to know about the novella!

Binghamton, NY

mybabyblessings AT gmail DOT com

Sharon Richmond Bryant said...

Enter me!!
Conway, SC.

Caryl Kane said...

I am so excited about this series! I love the idea of a female Sherlock Holmes.

Caryl K in TEXAS

Terrill R. said...

I have been patiently (or not) waiting for this one to release.

Terrill - WA

Brenda Arrington said...

Sounds intriguing. Thanks for the chance to win a copy.
Brenda in VA

rubynreba said...

A female Sherlock Holmes will be fun to read about.
Beth from IA

Merry said...

I love this feminine sleuthing duo! Please add me to the drawing.
Merry in MN

Unknown said...

Oh I've seen this online and it sounds fantastic. I'd love to read it.

Deanne P. in PA