Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Guest Post from Melissa Bourbon, author of 'A Killing Notion'


  A Killing Notion
Title: A Killing Notion
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Author: Melissa Bourbon
Publisher: Penguin Group
Language: English
Pages: 320
Format: Ebook Amazon -Barnes and Noble - Goodreads 

Harlow Jane Cassidy is swamped with homecoming couture requests. If only she didn’t have to help solve a murder, she might get the gowns off the dress forms....  

Harlow is doing everything she can to expand her dressmaking business, Buttons & Bows—without letting clients know about her secret charm. When she has a chance to create homecoming dresses with a local charity and handmade mums for several high school girls—including Gracie, whose father, Will, has mended Harlow’s heart—she is ready to use her magical talents for a great cause. But when Gracie’s date for the dance is accused of murder, Harlow knows things won’t be back on course until she helps Gracie clear the football player’s name. If Harlow can’t patch up this mess before the big game, her business and her love life might be permanently benched.


You don’t know me (or maybe you do… that would be awesome!), but I’m a mystery writer.  I’m the author of the Lola Cruz Mystery Series and A Magical Dressmaking mystery series. A Killing Notion, book 5 in the Harlow Cassidy series, released today!

When you aren’t a regular on a blog, it can be hard to know what to write, and how to present it to a brand new audience.  Should I be funny, like in my books?  Serious, because murder is serious business?  Or some combination of the two, perhaps?  The truth is, I’m no stand up comedian (not by a long shot), but like any fleshed out character, I’m a combination of things.  I love a good mystery (cutting my teeth on Nancy Drew, graduating to Agatha Christie, and branching out from there), read the occasional romance (Julia Quinn makes me laugh), but stick mostly with women’s and/or literary fiction (The Help is a favorite).  

How, then, did I come to write mysteries, and why are some of my mysteries sexy and sassy (Lola Cruz) and some very down home (Harlow Cassidy’s A Magical Dressmaking mystery series)? 

The short answer is, I like the mystery device.  What better way to propel a plot forward than to have a crime to solve? 

The little-bit-longer answer is that crafting a puzzle that the sleuth and readers need to piece together is challenging--and fun; watching characters you love to spend time with grow and discover themselves--and each other--is rewarding.  Having humor and wit in a book is icing on the cake.

For me, then, the mystery is only half the story.  Lola Cruz, for example, came about long before the framework of Living the Vida Lola.  She came to me as a character who was at once sassy, smart, sexy, determined, strong, feminine, Latina, black belt in kung fu, idealistic, American, sister, daughter, friend, and so much more.  When it was time to figure out how I was going to tell her story, it made perfect sense to put her into an investigative role.  Elements of the mystery, I knew, could pit Lola against external conflicts, as well as internal conflicts, of which she has many.  It would force her to evaluate her life, her choices, her dreams, her desires, and her future (all in a funny, light way). Balancing her drive to be a detective, her traditional Mexican family, cultural expectations, her American sensibilities, and her love life is no easy task.  Add in a mystery, and it’s a wild ride!


Melissa Bourbon, who sometimes answers to her Latina-by-marriage name, Misa Ramirez, gave up teaching middle and high school kids in northern California to write full-time amid horses and longhorns in north Texas. She is the author of the Magical Dressmaking Mystery series (A Custom-Fit CrimeDeadly PatternsA Fitting End).


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