When I read the first book in this series Pleating for MercyI definitely felt the magic. Not only was it a wonderful debut to this series but it brought back some wonderful memories for me of my mother and grandmother who were exceptional seamstresses. I knew I had to invite Melissa to stop by here when her next book was released. A Fitting End: A Magical Dressmaking Mystery (A Dressmaker’s Mystery) was released on February 7 and Melissa is here today!! (Grandma, you would love these stories, no need to rattle the pipes, I know you can hear me ;))
“Every small town has their traditions. Bliss, Texas, is no exception. We have your typical holiday parades and summer concerts, sure. But the big deal on the annual town calendar in Bliss is the Margaret Moffette Lea Pageant and Ball. Or The Margaret Festival, as the locals call it. The event used to be one of the dividing lines between the haves and the have nots in our small town. If you weren’t a Margaret, you were a have not.
I was never a Margaret.”
So begins A Fitting End, book 2 in the Magical Dressmaking Mystery series. Although there is no such thing as the Margaret Moffette Lea Pageant and Ball, there is something similar. It’s Washington’s birthday celebration down in Laredo, Texas. The girls are called Marthas, in honor of Martha Washington. It’s a mutli-day event filled with food, music, and the culminating pageant.
Oh my gosh! The second I read about this event in Laredo, I knew… I KNEW I had to use the idea and bring it up to Bliss, Texas. I love infusing history and real events into my stories-Harlow Jane Cassidy is a descendant of Butch Cassidy, after all– so I had to research and make my pageant as authentic as possible.
So who is Margaret? She was the wife of Sam Houston, one of Texas’s favorite sons, the perfect bridge to the debutante festival I wanted to create. The girls in A Fitting End are called Margarets, and Harlow spends some time learning how to make these extravagant gowns.
The research for the festival was so interesting! $20,000 gowns (or sometimes more!); girls put on the atelier’s list as a baby so they will have a dress made; a bridge ceremony with the sister city in Mexico. There’s more, of course, but I can’t give away too much. Suffice it to say that the Margarets and the whole pageant, as well as gowns from Harlow’s grandmother’s girlhood in Bliss and the stories they tell, are at the center of the story.
To me, one of the best things about writing is weaving these threads of history into the story and creating something brand new, layered, and interesting. I’d love to hear your thoughts. What are some of your favorite cozy mystery hooks?
Come on over to my website and share what you think! I’m running a sweepstakes for a chance to win an eReader! Hope to see you there, and thank you, Lori, for hosting me today!
Your are so welcome!! I hope you stop by often!!
Connect with Melissa!
About This Author
Melissa Bourbon, who sometimes answers to her Latina-by-marriage name Misa Ramirez, is the marketing director at Entangled Publishing and is the author of the Lola Cruz mystery series: Living the Vida Lola and Hasta la Vista, Lola! from Thomas Dunne Books / St. Martin’s Minotaur, Bare-Naked Lola form Entangled Publishing (April 2012), and A Dressmaker’s Mystery series for NAL (Pleating for Mercy, 2011, A Fitting End, 2012, Deadly Patterns, 2012). She also has two romantic suspense novels, A Deadly Curse and A Deadly Sacrifice, and is the co-author of The Tricked-out Toolbox: Promotion and Marketing Tools Every Writer Needs, all to be released in 2012/2013.
A former middle and high school teacher, this blonde-haired, green-eyed, proud to be Latina-by-Marriage girl loves following Lola and Harlow on their many adventures. Whether it’s contemplating belly button piercings, visiting nudist resorts, or hanging out with seamstresses, she’s always up for the challenge. Melissa has two middle grade series for girls in development, is published in Woman’s World Magazine and Romance Writers Report, and GLOW Magazine, and has a children’s book published. She fantasizes about spending summers writing in quaint, cozy locales, has a love/hate relationship with yoga and chocolate, is devoted to her family, and can’t believe she’s lucky enough to be living the life of her dreams.
A Fitting End: A Magical Dressmaking Mystery (A Dressmaker’s Mystery)
Published by New American Library
A Division Penguin Group
2nd in Series
As Melissa told you above the pageant is the center of the story but every cozy needs a murder to solve and in this case it’s the local golf pro who has been very busy in addition to giving golf lessons. So Harlow finds herself wrapped up in another mystery. I don’t want to give too much away either 🙂
Melissa Bourbon has created some fascinating characters in this series. Yes, the Cassidy women are “charmed” but they are also charming, delightful and funny. Harlow stitches a little magic into each of her creations which leads to some very surprising revelations. Reading this story was pure joy.
There is a part when a huge piece of furniture is being moved, I had tears in my eyes from laughing so hard. The men is this series can be equally charming but are completely in the dark about what is really happening around them. This just adds to the fun.
A wonderful cozy carefully sewn together with love. The relationship between all these woman including MeeMaw’s ghostly interruptions make this a true must read. Bliss, Texas is full of magic, making this story a perfect escape.
Thanks to the people at Penguin I have
2 copies of this awesome book to giveaway
so be sure to fill out the form below to enter!!
Plus 1 set of both books
U.S. and CANADIAN RESIDENTS
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”