A Girl with a Knife 


Women could not be surgeons. She did it anyway.

After the heartbreaking loss of her mother and a cruel attack by her drunken father, Ella Parker decides that dishonesty is fine when it serves her needs. At a time when wealthy young ladies do little more than embroidery, Ella escapes her luxurious but lonely life, and meets an eccentric ship surgeon who—once she impresses him with her quick-thinking and empathy—allows her to assist him during a surgery.

Compelled by Ella’s intelligence and interest in medicine, the doctor prepares her for a medical career, but there’s a catch: in early 19th century England, women are not accepted into universities. To fulfil her dream of becoming a doctor, Ella must disguise herself as a young man. After changing her look and name, Ella finds her footing as she performs dissections, conducts experiments, and cares for patients. She also tutors Oli, a kind but struggling fellow student, but she must take caution. Even in her loneliest moment, she cannot trust anyone or make friends.

As Ella continues to excel in her studies, brilliantly saving the life of a patient, she becomes a top contender for the apprenticeship with a famed professor. Dogged by fear of discovery, she must choose between truth and lies, and distinguish between real and false friends, before her pretense is uncovered.

Praise for A Girl with a Knife
Finalist of the Illinois Soon To Be Famous Author Project and the Illinois Soon To Be Famous Author Manuscript Contest

☆☆☆☆☆ “A Girl with a Knife is a riveting, juiced-up morality tale, predicted blockbuster success!”

~ 9 Minute Books Review Team  

Illinois Author Project:  Judging Coordinator Gretchen Murphy, an adult services librarian at the Wheaton Public Library, said that Rubin’s “A Girl With a Knife” was praised by judges for its “immersive, realistic setting and (judges) were impressed by the medical and historical research that went into the book.”

"I could tell that much research was used for this. I think this would be a good miniseries or even series on Netflix." 

RW Biga, the bestselling author of Education of Adam and Fate's Collision

Available at online retailers:

Amazon – e-book    paperback    large print hardcover

Barnes and Noble – paperback

Bookshop.org – paperback – support indie stores!

Target - paperback 

Available at indie bookshops:

Book Bin at Northbrook, IL- visit the store
Sterncastle Publishing and bookstore at Newport, OR - visit the store

Reader reviews on Amazon and Goodreads.  Please leave a review!

Reveal day 1

Coming soon

Coming Soon - No Job for a Woman

Despite completing her medical education, Ella Parker fails to secure a job as a doctor's assistant and finds herself in trouble for helping a patient. Determined to practice medicine, she joins her mentor, Dr. Pesce, on the warship, Neptune. When the need arises, she steps up to the job of the ship surgeon.


Ella wants to help the sick and wounded, but the seamen are unwelcoming and suspicious, and lieutenant Jack Wyse is keen on making her leave. Humiliated by the cruel pranks and the ungratefulness, she considers resigning at the end of the voyage, especially when the handsome officer Robert Weston woos her. Is Robert’s declaration of love sincere and will he give her the freedom to pursue her calling? Ella must find out before her future sails away from her.