Thursday, August 4, 2011

Pleating for Mercy

by Melissa Bourbon

I’m so happy to be back with the girls of The Stiletto Gang today! Life is so busy, but this is such a great group and I miss them a lot so it’s a treat to visit.

I can’t believe that Pleating for Mercy came out on Tuesday! The very first book in A Magical Dressmaking Mystery series hit bookstores (on the tower in Barnes & Noble, no less!!) and online ebookstores for anybody who loves cozy mysteries, dressmaking, sewing, and/or anything crafty to read.

As I was thinking about visiting the Stiletto Gang, I got to thinking about why I write mysteries. All I could come up with is that they are close to my heart. Okay, truthfully, books of any kind are close to my heart, but mysteries, in particular. The mystery can be large or small. It can be the central focus of the story, or play a supporting role. It really doesn’t matter to me the scope of the mystery elements, as long as it’s there in one way, shape, or form.

My love of mysteries started, like most young girls of a certain age--ehem, we don’t need to talk about age, now, do we?--with Nancy Drew. From there I graduated straight to Agatha Christie. I have a distinct memory of going with my mom to our town’s library so she could check out the last Hercule Poirot novel, Curtain. She was crushed that it was to be Poirot’s last, and her love of these book intrigued me enough to start reading them.

I spent almost all of my high school lunches in one classroom or another reading.

Now, I should say that I’m a light-weight when it comes to these things. Horror movies and books are not for me. I threw Silence of the Lambs across the room once or twice while reading it, and I cover my eyes during certain parts of Dexter (though he and the show are morbidly fascinating and I LOVE it).

But I love the deduction.

So, of course, I when my passion for writing grew until it couldn’t be denied, it was no surprise that it manifested itself in the form of mysteries. I began with the Lola Cruz Mystery series, published initially with St. Martin’s Minotaur, and moving soon to a new publisher with the next three books in the series.

Then I wrote two romantic suspenses, which, of course, have strong mystery elements in them. They’re based on Mexican legends and these will be coming out sometime next year.

Finally, my cozies, A Magical Dressmaking Mystery series with NAL, have brought me full circle to the kind of mysteries I love the most. They are small town, feel good who dunnits. They are like comfort food. They just make me want to curl up in front of a fire and escape into the town of Bliss (if only we weren’t on our 20+ day of 100+ degree weather).

Mystery, mystery, mystery. The characters. The communities. The crime. The puzzle. The deductions. The justice. All of makes for such a satisfying read.

I’m particularly lucky to now be part of a dynamic publishing group. I’m the marketing director for the new boutique publisher, Entangled Publishing ( ). Here, I get to help market so many books, some of them romantic suspense or mystery, many of them paranormal, urban fantasy, and sci fi, most of them with some strands of mystery elements in them. There’s no better job, and I can’t wait for the release of our first titles, also this past Tuesday.

I’d like to know what everyone loves most on mysteries, and how heavy the mystery element needs to be in books you read.


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 amidst horses and longhorns in North Texas. 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.  She is the marketing director at Entangled Publishing, is the author of the Lola Cruz Mystery series with St. Martin’s Minotaur, A Magical Dressmaking Mystery series with NAL, and is the co-author of The Tricked-out Toolbox and two romantic suspense titles to be released in 2012.

Praise for Pleating for Mercy:

“Enchanting! Prepare to be spellbound from page one by this well-written and deftly-plotted cozy. It’s charming, clever and completely captivating! Fantasy, fashion and a foul play—all sewn together by a wise and witty heroine you’ll instantly want as a best friend. Loved it!”~Agatha, Anthony and Macavity Winning Author Hank Phillippi Ryan

“A seamless blend of mystery, magic, and dress-making, with a cast of masterfully tailored characters you’ll want to visit again and again.”~Nationally Bestselling Author, Jennie Bentley

“A crime-solving ghost and magical charms from the past make Pleating for Mercy a sure winner! The Cassidy women are naturally drawn to mystery and mischief. You’ll love meeting them! ” —NYT Bestselling Author Maggie Sefton

Visit Melissa at her website
And at Books on the House, a website bringing books and readers together!


  1. It's so nice to have you back for a visit, Misa/Melissa! You are a very busy woman! Best of luck with PLEATING and everything else you're doing. You'll have to drop in again in the future and keep us up to date!

  2. Thanks, Susan! It's fun to be back with the gang. :)

    Pleating for Mercy's doing great, and garnering some fantastic reviews, so I'm thrilled!

  3. Wow, Misa, you are one busy woman. I can see why you needed a break from regular posting on the Stiletto Gang, but this one was great.


  4. Hi Misa, So good to see you here! : ) I'm excited for your new book and will be getting it soon. But, did I read right? Is Lola coming back? I can't wait!! So looking forward to reading more.

  5. Thank you, Marilyn! It's great to be back :)

  6. Anjali, yes! Lola returns with Bare Naked Lola in February or March :) Working on finishing the book now.

  7. Misa, so good to have you back! We've missed you. I'm so glad that everything is going so well for you. Your new series sounds great and I'm really glad that Lola will see the light of day again! Maggie

  8. Hi Misa,

    It's good to see you here. I like the puzzles that a mystery brings to the reader.