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Sunday, April 6, 2014

A Killing Notion--Melissa Bourbon--Review, Interview, Giveaway

A Killing Notion: A Magical Dressmaking Mystery (Magical Dressmaking Mysteries) Cozy Mystery
Published by Obsidian (April 1, 2014)
Penguin Publishing Group
Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0451417206

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.

My Review:

This was probably the best book that I have read so far this year!!  It grabbed my attention and kept it the whole way through.  Melissa Bourbon's words flowed so well, making this a very easy and fast read.  I loved the small, hometown feel of the book.  And I also loved that it was set during Homecoming time in Bliss, which brought back memories.  This book had many, many twists and turns that kept me guessing till the very end.  I would think I had it figured out, and there would be an twist that made me think again.  Great job Melissa Bourbon, I will definitely be reading more from this great series!

I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.

About The Author
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 with Entangled Publishing, is the author of the Lola Cruz Mystery series with St. Martin’s Minotaur and Entangled Publishing, and A Magical Dressmaking Mystery series with NAL. She also has written two romantic suspense novels, a light paranormal romance, and is the co-author of The Tricked-out Toolbox, a practical marketing guide for authors.


The author has her own Rafflecopter, plus she has agreed to gift a copy either the first in this series, Pleating for Mercy, or the first in the Lola Cruz series, Living the Vida Lola!  To enter this giveaway, leave a reply and I will pick a winner on, Friday, April 11.  Tell me why you so want to read this series, leave your email so I can contact you.  Also enter Melissa's Rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


1.       How long have you been writing? 

Oh my gosh! I just counted the years, and it’s actually been a really long time. I started dabbling about fifteen years ago. I was teaching middle school Language Arts and was on my first maternity leave. I began a middle grade book (it was before middle grade and YA had taken off) and I was hooked!  It took another 7 years or so before I wrote what would be my first published book (Living the Vida Lola), so, yeah, I’m an overnight success ;)


2.      What is your favorite thing to write about?

Every single one of my books has strong family elements, and also strong female relationships.  These are two themes that I think I will always love writing about and incorporating into my stories. They resonate with me and create a foundation for whatever story I’m telling at the time.



3.      What has been your biggest inspiration when it comes to your writing?

This is such a hard question! I don’t know that I have a single hugely inspiring thing, but rather a lot of smaller inspirations that come when I need them. My family, of course, my husband, sewing (which became a huge inspiration for A Magical Dressmaking mystery series), food, which tends to factor into each book in one way or another (my favorite dish at the time tends to make an appearance!), Texas, which is where I now live…  Texas and the small town of Bliss, for example, give so much flavor to the Harlow Cassidy stories so inspiration is all around me.



4.      Who has been your biggest influence?

I think I would have to say that my husband has had the most influence on me in terms of encouraging me to keep going and not give up when things were rough and the rejections kept coming, and for his awesome support. After him, I think my family as a whole, particularly generations past and their history, has affected me most and continues to find pathways into my stories.


5.      Where did the idea for your Magical Dressmaking series come from?


The women in my family are sewers. I learned to sew when I was in fifth grade and made my first dress that same year. When I knew I wanted to write a cozy mystery series (because I love mysteries and knew that would be the framework of my series), it made perfect sense to make Harlow a fashion designer. It’s something I’m interested in and have knowledge about, and before long, Harlow had an entire backstory, her passion was clear, and those elements have informed the story so much.


6.      Besides writing, what are your other interests?

Sewing J Although I have very little time for anything crafty these days. I like yoga and walking (again, time is a factor!). I take a boxing class, which is SO challenging, but I also really like it. It’s a great way to burn through stress. I enjoy cooking, particularly healthy things. We have two kids with Celiac disease and one with type 1 diabetes, and I have a dairy allergy, so cooking can be quite an adventure. I do a lot from scratch and am really loving trying new recipes.


7.      Who are your favorite authors?

Sarah Addison Allen and Maria Semple are two that I enjoy. I’ve always loved Gone with the Wind, too.  “After all, tomorrow is another day” is a favorite quote. I have a necklace with that saying! I read pretty widely and love a lot of different authors!  Within the cozy mystery genre, I love Wendy Lyn Watson/Annie Knox, Paige Shelton, Heather Blake, and Juliet Blackwell.


8.      Where is your favorite place to vacation and where would you love to go that you have never been?

I’d love to go to Europe and hope to one day in the not so far future. Italy. Spain. Ireland.  I’d love to see it all!  We don't vacation a lot (with five kids, it’s too expensive), but we love a good beach.  This year we hope to go to Florida for the first time.

Thank you for having me!  Happy reading


~ Melissa

Connect with Melissa


Twitter: @MelissaBourbon