Posted in Cozy Wednesday Giveaways Guest Posts Reviews 2012

Cozy Wednesday with Author Melissa Bourbon (Giveaway too!)


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 ;))

Welcome Melissa!

Thanks Lori!
“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!

~Melissa

Your are so welcome!! I hope you stop by often!!

Connect with Melissa!

melissabourbon.com

On Facebook

Melissa Bourbon Ramirez on Twitter

Misa Ramirez on Twitter

On Goodreads

Email

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)
Obsidian
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 🙂

Dollycas’s Thoughts
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. 


Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

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.”

Posted in Alphabet Soup - A - Z Reading Challenge Cozy Wednesday Cruisin Thru Cozies Giveaways Literary Escapes Reviews 2012

Cozy Wednesday With Author Lucy Burdette (Giveaway too!)

Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!

I saw the cover of Lucy’s An Appetite For Murder: A Key West Food Critic Mystery and knew I was going to love it. The idea of escaping to Key West during a cold Wisconsin winter sounded like a grand idea. Plus the cat on the cover resembles my Sherlock 🙂

I was so excited that Lucy agreed to be a guest here. I had read her other series and enjoyed them so much. I am so happy she is back with a new series and here today to tell us a little bit about it.

Hi Lucy!

Many thanks to Lori for inviting me to talk about my brand new Key West food critic mystery, An Appetite For Murder, written by Lucy Burdette (formerly known as Roberta Isleib.) I’m truly thrilled to be joining the ranks of other culinary mystery writers, including the renowned Diane Mott Davidson. (I have to brag a little–her blurb is on the front cover of my new book!) So I thought it would be fun to talk a little about food, glorious food, as they sang in Oliver!


This is the launch of my third mystery series, but the first one focused on food. (Although any readers of the advice column mysteries will remember that the main character, Dr. Rebecca Butterman, was an excellent cook.) It’s such a pleasure to write about things I love–and food is certainly one of them. I love to eat, to read about new recipes, to cook, to eat out in restaurants, to read about food in both memoirs and fiction. This series has given me license to do all that with a vengeance! My husband likes to tease that “Isleib” means “is stomach” in German. His other fictionalized translation for my family name is “large lunch followed by a restful nap.” No telling what he’ll make up for Burdette…

Anyway, I don’t think I’d like to be a food critic in real life–when I go out to eat, I like to choose what I feel like eating, not what I think other folks want to hear about. And there are places where I’d draw lines that my character Hayley Snow, cannot. For instance, tentacles. Raw fish and meat. Slimy things. Like that:). That said, all the restaurants in the book really exist in Key West and I’ve had wonderful meals in each of them. The only fictionalized establishment is the one Hayley visits in Miami Beach. I suppose if she’s going to start writing bad reviews or if someone is actually poisoned in a future book in a restaurant, I’ll have to do more inventing.

One of the first readers of An Appetite For Murder commented on the way I have chosen to lead off each of the chapters with a quote about food, chefs, or eating. Finding the quotes was so, so much fun. I started with more standard citations that would be familiar to many people, for example Miss Piggy’s famous “don’t eat more than you can lift.” But then the more I read, the more possibilities I found so I could tailor the quote to fit the action and the characters in each chapter–foreshadow what’s to come in many cases. And I came across gems like this one from Dwight Garner: “It is possible to imagine him having a small meal of minor critics for breakfast, as if they were kippers…

I so hope you all enjoy An Appetite For Murder –would love to hear your feedback!

You can read more about the book and the series on my website: http://www.lucyburdette.com, or Facebook http://www.facebook.com/lucyburdette. And I’m always happy to see my writing and reading friends on twitter! http://www.twitter.com/lucyburdette

~Lucy

Thank you so much for being here today. Don’t you just love Miss Piggy!!!

An Appetite For Murder: A Key West Food Critic Mystery
Obsidian
Published by New American Library
A Division of The Penguin Group
A Brand New Series
A Key West Food Critic Mystery

Available Now

Haley Snow leaves New Jersey to follow the man of her dreams to Key West, Florida. Things don’t go as planned when Hayley learns she’s not the only woman in his life. She is determined to stay in Key West and since her entire life has revolved around food, cooking it, eating it, and writing about it, she decides to apply to be the food critic for a brand new magazine. Sounds good until Hayley learns her new boss would be the other woman in her ex-boyfriend’s life. Things get crazy when the police show up at her door to question her about a murder. The other woman is dead and Haley’s career as a food critic could be over before it has even begun.

Dollycas’s Thoughts
Key West – Paradise – The perfect setting!! for mystery and mayhem!!!

Lucy Burdette weaves us through the streets of this small island, a popular tourist spot, and a place loved by both Ernest Hemingway and Tennessee Williams. Key West’s culinary influences and offerings are as diverse as its population. Hayley has a variety of eateries to critique.

I have absolutely fallen for this character. I want to be this character. Even with the suspicion of being a murderer. She lives in a beautiful place, has wonderful friends and even lives on a boat. Her days are filled with eating yummy food, visits with chefs, a cat herder, a tarot card reader and did I mention she lives on a boat!

The mystery is divine, it is perfectly paced and the ending is a surprise. I have an appetite for much more from Lucy Burnette and the awesome life of Hayley Snow. This is very delicious debut of what will definitely be a delectable series.


Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

Thanks to the people at Penguin I have
2 copies of this wonderful book to giveaway
so be sure to fill out the form below to enter!!

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.

If you publicize the giveaway anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End January 25, 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.”