Coming this September from Koehler Books:


A Novel

Sometimes, uprooting the thorn-filled past is the only way we bloom…

Post-graduate Tessa Lewis is set to embark on a Big-Time Career and privately engaged to Toronto’s fastest rising lawyer who loves her to pieces. But life wasn’t always sunshine and roses, and when a visit to a childhood flower market sparks fragmented memories of the mother she lost too soon, Tessa puts her entire future on hold to work there, determined to come to terms with her past.

At the Blue Iris Flower Market, everything is in blossom except the rag-tag crew, each hiding deep scars of their own. When Sam, the beloved but troubled man in charge, takes off and leaves the market reeling, Tessa and her unlikely new friends come face to face with their hardest truths, uprooting lives carefully cultivated and just maybe, unearthing everything they’ve ever wanted.

Told from multiple perspectives, The Blue Iris is an intricately woven exploration of love tested beyond its limits, chosen family, and the beauty that grows in letting go.

Pre-order June ’23 from your favourite bookstore

Early Praise for The Blue Iris

A story of found family, impossible romances, and the ghosts of the past, The Blue Iris is a riveting page turner as stunning as the blooms that fill the shop at the heart of the book. Haunted and haunting, it keeps you guessing even as you cheer for Tessa and the broken but irresistible makeshift family she builds for herself. A story of growing up and deciding who you really are, it’s an unforgettable tale of roots in more ways than one.

-Grace O’Connell, Author of Be Ready for the Lightning

“In Stone’s deeply moving, tender, and original tale, a young woman leaves her big-time career opportunity behind to work in the Blue Iris Flower Market in order to come to terms with her traumatic past. … Stone imbues her characters with such depth and personality that by the time readers turn the last page, they feel like they really know all of them. Heightened emotions, palpable romance, and just the right amount of tension keep the pages flying. Stone delivers an intricate exploration of love and friendship with grace, resulting in a story that’s as heartfelt as it is poignant. Stone is a writer to watch.”


A gorgeous novel — Stone brilliantly captures the power of optimism, the allure of memory. Readers will fall in love with the Blue Iris Flower Market and the vibrant cast of characters they meet there.

-Stacy Bierlein, Author of A Vacation on the Island of Ex-Boyfriends

Riveting, soul-searching, and full of heart. A spectacularly told story. … Stone’s layered characters leap off the page: the cast is vividly drawn, and their struggles feel entirely authentic. The no-nonsense approach to both Tessa and Will’s relationship and the former’s struggles with her past trauma is refreshing, while subplots about love, passion, friendship, chosen family, and letting go add nuance and poignancy to the affecting story. Told in multiple characters’ voices, the narrative is riveting, with shocking surprises unraveling at a steady pace. The plot’s top-grade tension grows taut as Tessa works herself up to take the hard decision. Readers won’t want to put this down.

The Prairies Book Review

This is a special book. Rachel Stone has crafted a narrative that touches both the mind and the heart, carried along by some of the most memorable characters I have encountered – complex, relatable, and very, very human.  She writes honestly and clearly, with a delicate lyricism that lingers well after the final page is closed, and in so doing, she shines a light on our common challenge of finding the place where we truly belong.  The Blue Iris merits a place in the company of books to be read, reread, and cherished.

-Greg Fields, Author of Through the Waters and the Wild and
2022 Winner of the Independent Press Award for Literary Fiction

A fascinating novel that follows a young woman’s story as she faces her past and discovers a new future . . . Rachel Stone has penned an incredible work with complex, unique characters and an absorbing love story. Readers will love its engrossing storyline and unexpected ending.

Reader’s Favourite

In The Blue Iris, Rachel Stone shines as a gifted wordsmith. Her narrative is like walking through a lush garden; our senses explode with the beauty in her vivid descriptions. With each chapter, her rich cast of characters take root, grow, and evolve, Tessa most of all. Hers is a difficult journey–to ground herself in truth, she must peel away the façade that has sustained her. Tessa learns a lesson important to each of us: when we let go of dying things, it frees us to hold fast to that which nurtures us. The Blue Iris is an engaging, unique novel of love and chosen family—the best kind.   

-Carla Damron, Award-Winning Author of the The Orchid Tattoo

Tinged with romantic suspense, mystery, and an unquenchable desire for a different life, The Blue Iris guides readers along a heart-tugging adventure of healing wounds and planting roots.

-Independent Book Review

Readers and libraries looking for literary, accessible stories of the shifting, disparate lives of men and women who encounter magic in their perspectives and changing objectives will find The Blue Iris an evocative, compelling read Each character’s depth is probed in a story steeped in life and growth.

– D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review

Rachel Stone’s charming novel, The Blue Iris, captures a group of engaging employees working at a Toronto flower market as they come to terms with their individual pasts and as they contemplate their futures. These compelling characters work together steadily, with humour and occasional friction, surrounded by the beauty of the flowers, and they each confront and slowly resolve their own complicated lives. The Blue Iris is a joy to read.

-Michelle Berry, Author of The Prisoner and The Chaplain and Everything Turns Away

The writing was wonderful and the pace was great . . . I would 100% recommend this book to a friend and could see it making a wonderful book club book with a lot of discussions and perspectives.

– Advance Reader, The Good Book Collective

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