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!
Melissa Bourbon Ramirez on Twitter
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
You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.
***Remember GFC is going away March 1, 2012
so be sure you are following in a different way if you want to
continue to follow Escape With Dollycas.
Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.
Leave a comment for Melissa for 5 Bonus Entries.
If you publicize the giveaway anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.
Contest Will End March 7, 2012 at 11:59 PM CST
Winners Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winners Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here.
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.”
Comments on “Cozy Wednesday with Author Melissa Bourbon (Giveaway too!)”
Thanks for the giveaway and best wishes for success of the dressmaker’s mystery series.
I have this series on my wishlist! I have read such good reviews. Thanks for the giveaway.
My grandmother used to sew dresses and outfits, but I can’t sew worth a darn. This series should be interesting and reminiscent for me. Thanks.
Lori, I can’t thank you enough for having me here today, and for all your love for the Cassidy women, Bliss, and the Magical Dressmaking Mystery series. You have no idea how much it means to me that it speaks to you the way it does. You are awesome!
Great giveaway, thank you for hosting the giveaway. I used to sew a lot, but haven’t in years, maybe I should start up again.
I’ve read both books and LOVED them!!!!!!! I am ready for more!!!
I can’t sew a stitch—but I do admire those that can. Loved the story about the Martha’s–it reminds me of a dance that was a big deal in my home town—I can’t remember why but no Catholics were allowed—we all felt left out on that big weekend and tried to plan something special just for us.
The premise of this series is great (even though I’m a stitch and rip seamstress, lol) and I love the setting.
I borrowed a copy of Pleating for Mercy from my local library and loved it. I would be thrilled to be able to actually win a copy of A Fitting End for my home library, so my kids could also read it.
Well I’m a Margaret so I have to read this! Thank you for the giveaway. I’m keeping my fingers crossed!
Congrats on the 2nd book Melissa. I haven’t had a chance to read the first book, so I am hoping to win the combo. The two books sound great. I enjoy sewing when I have some spare time. I also enjoy reading cooking/food/coffee themed mysteries. Thanks for the giveaway Lori.
thank you for this giveaway. We really appreciate it.
This sounds like a wonderful series! I used to sew back in the 50’s-70’s and even wore out my 1st White sewing machine.
This sounds like a wonderful series. I would love to start reading it! I took sewing in junior high school, a long, long time ago! I remember wearing a red jumper that I made.
Thank you so much for the wonderful giveaways. I always love finding new authors, or new books that I have not discovered yet.
This sounds like a series I would love to delve into during spring break! Please let me win!!
These sound like great books. I had an aunt who loved to sew clothes for me, I never really
These sound like great books. I had to take sewing lessons when I was a little girl because my mom didn’t know how to sew.
It is so great to see so many people commenting and responding to the concepts behind this series! I love the Cassidy women and Bliss, Texas, so much, and to hear how it’s speaking to people is a real joy 🙂
Thanks for introducing me to another new Cozy author. Melissa’s books sound like great cozies and I just added to my wish list. Looking forward to reading them. Enjoyed your interivew Melissa. Thanks for stopping by to chat and share with us.
Thanks for the opportunity to enter giveaway.
Melissa, I absolutely love the idea of fusing a real life event and history into a story. I especially love it when it refers to beautiful dresses. I never would have qualified for such finery, but I am blessed to have a very talented sister-in-law who made all my pageant gowns when I was into that sort of thing. I could take several pictures to her and she would morph them into the most lovely gowns. Ahhhhh I digress. I have not read your first book in this series, but I intend to. It is already on my “Honey-buy” list. 🙂
Great interview and giveaway too! I love Cozy Wednesdays!
I love sewing and this sounds like a great series to read. I also love that you incorporated the real into fiction for this book.
Thanks for the giveaway!
Love the sound of this series, my grandmothers both loved to sew and made beautiful things.
Love to win your magnificent book, I really love a good mystery.
I would love to read this series. It sounds very good. Thanks for the giveaway. Tore923@aol.com
I had to laugh about the comment that the men were completely in the dark. Aren’t they normally?
lkish77123 at gmail dot com
What a great sounding series. I really like reading these types of books.
I dont know if bourbon is your real last name but it sure is a easy to remember last name LOL . Thanks for the giveaway
Ann, it IS my maiden name 🙂
No, i don’t sew…though i could if i had to save my life, but have an awesome seamstress would also loves to read. i read to relax, Phyllis sews to relax! would love to win these novels for her and me. Thanks, Melissa for the opportunity, and i wish you much success
I’ve always wished I could sew well. I’m able to fix a whole or sew a button back on- that’s about it! Good luck with your new book- it looks like a great read!
I haven’t read any of Melissa’s books yet but I looking forward to reading this series. Thanks for the opportunity to win!
a great posting…these novels sound great!
I’ve actually had my eye on Pleating for Mercy for a while now, and now there’s another in the series! I love finding new authors to enjoy, and this series is on my Wishlist!
Thanks for the giveaway!
I love to sew and I love mysteries. Such a wonderful combination!
I am dying to read your books because I love to laugh!!!! Thank you for writing them.
My mother was the seamtress in the family so I know that I would love a cozy with sewing.
This is one of my favorite new cozies!
follow via gfc
great give away
so excited about A Fitting End!!!!! congrats & good luck to Melissa!!!
thank you for this giveaway!!!!
Thank you very much kind lady!
I think that teachers make some of the best authors! Sounds great!
This series sounds delightful. Thank you so much for sharing with us today and introducing me to what sounds like a fun place to visit 😉 and for the wonderful giveaway opportunity.
Sounds like some wonderful books. I just love mystery. Thanks for this chance.
I like mysteries. These look like a good read. Keep up the good work.
Lately I have been enjoying mysteries with food themes.
These both sound like good books.
Kelly B, I love your story!
Thank you to everyone for the cozy love!
I like cozy mysteries set in needlecraft stores, this series sounds really good!
I’m a big fan of cozies and this is my first intro to you and your books, Melissa. I look forward to checking them out!
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