Thursday, April 17, 2014

Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour & Giveaway for A Killing Notion by Melissa Bourbon

Welcome to my stop on author Melissa Bourbon’s Virtual Book Tour for A Killing Notion, the fifth book in her Magical Dressmaking Mystery series, presented by Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours.  Please leave a comment or question for Ms. Bourbon to let her know you stopped by.  You can enter her tour wide giveaway by filling out the Rafflecopter form below.  You can also follow the rest of her tour here, the more stops you visit, the better your odds of winning. 

OMG! Plots are all around.  Let me tell you what happened last night (early April, actually, but last night for me as I’m writing this)…

I live in North Texas and spring here can be dicey. Thunder storms. Hail. Tornados. Not fun. Several years ago, about a year after moving here, our roof was totaled due to a hail storm. We’d never experienced anything like the golf ball sized chunks that plummeted from the sky.

Until last night.

My husband and I left our kids at home and we went to a little restaurant off the square in our town before we were to head to a community meeting to hear complaints from our neighbors about a construction project going happening on our street. We were at dinner for about 30 minutes when the tornado sirens started going off and the wind suddenly whirled outside, and for a moment it felt like we were in Kansas and Dorothy would be spinning by any second.

For a little while, we couldn’t even begin to think about going outside because the storm was so bad.  All we could think was that the kids were home alone, and the news had reported a tornado less than a mile from our house.  We called home and were able to get through to my son. They were huddled in the small, center bathroom with a neighbor, her two kids (so 6 people!), and three dogs (two of them ours, one of them hers). The poor cats were left to their own devices.

Meanwhile, we were able to make it to a neighboring building’s basement where we stayed for about thirty or forty more minutes.  It was scary, but the worst part was not being with our kids and worrying about them going through this without us.

As the first tornado passed us by, and before the reports of the second one came, we were able to hightail it home, braving the wind and rain and hail. We got everyone piled into the car and made it to the middle school where my husband is principal. But through everything, there was miscommunication and no one had the school keys!  It was a comedy of errors. Finally, we were able to get in touch with someone at the school who let us in and we found the safe room.


After a while, the danger passes and we were able to venture home again. We had a broken skylight and a leak in the roof, but no other horrible damage. The cars were fine. A lot of people weren’t so lucky; the hail blew out lots of windows. We were safe, if shaken.

And do you know what?  That community meeting—that was really more of a lynch mob against a family on our street and their construction—was delayed but was still going to happen! 

So my husband and I got the kids fed and settled, and then headed back into the elements to lend our support to our friends.

While we sat at that meeting, listening to the intensity of the talk, to the biting words of some of the people, to the disparaging and, frankly, libelous remarks, all I could think of (aside from the fact that these people were crazy!) was a murder plot for the next Dressmaking mystery.  The whole evening was the perfect set up. And I know just who will be murdered!

This is what it’s like to be a mystery writer. The wheels are always turning! I’m actually really excited to plot out this book and get started on it. Book 5, A Killing Notion just came out, book 6, A Seamless Murder, will be out in the winter of 2015 (January, I think), and so now is the time to look toward book 7.

As you probably know, cozy mystery titles are ‘punny’.  Here’s the list of books in the Magical Dressmaking mystery series:

Pleating for Mercy
A Fitting End
Deadly Patterns
A Custom-Fit Crime
A Killing Notion
A Seamless Murder.

So, given the plot above, what title ideas do you have for book 7?

~ Melissa

Visit my website:

A Killing Notion
By Melissa Bourbon
A Magical Dressmaking Mystery, Book 5

Publisher:   NAL (Penguin Group, USA)
Release Date: April 1, 2014
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Length: 312 Pages

Buy Links:  Amazon | B&NKobo | iTunes

About the book: 

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.

A magically gifted dressmaker, a small Texas town and a mysterious murder all take center stage in A Killing Notion, the fifth book in Melissa Bourbon’s Magical Dressmaking Mystery series.  Quirky characters, an interesting mystery and a light touch of romance kept me turning the pages to discover what would happen next.  While the sixth book in the series, I was able to read and enjoy this book without having read any of the previous installments.

Trying to pump up business at Buttons & Bows, her dressmaking business, designer Harlow Cassidy is in the middle of creating homecoming gowns and handmade “mums”.  Using her “magical” talents, Harlow has created a beautiful gown for Gracie, her boyfriend Will’s teenaged daughter, when a tragic “accident” claims the life of Gracie’s boyfriend’s dad.  Only the “accident” wasn’t really an accident and when Shane, Gracie’s boyfriend, is accused of killing his father, Harlow finds herself pulled into a murder investigation.

Ms. Bourbon does a good job developing Harlow’s character from the first page.  We learn about Harlow’s design background, and her brief experiences as a designer in New York, and what brought her back home to Bliss, Texas, the small town where her family has made their home.  We learn about the “magical” abilities passed onto each woman in the “Cassidy” family and where their magic originated.  We also learn that Harlow, and the ghost of her great grandmother, almost always seem to find themselves pulled into solving nearby mysteries.

The secondary characters, from Harlow’s boyfriend Will, the city architect, to his teenaged daughter Gracie, are well developed and add depth to Harlow’s character and color to the story.  We also meet several of Gracie’s friends, other young women Harlow is designing dresses and mums for and of course the family of the man that was murdered.  Giving us several different, and conflicting clues, Ms. Bourbon’s mystery plot takes several interesting twists and turns. 

Will Harlow be able to prove Shane’s innocence in time for him to take Gracie to the prom?  Or will Shane go down for the murder and take Harlow’s relationship with Will and Gracie with him? You’ll have to read A Killing Notion to find out.  I enjoyed it and look forward to reading more of Ms. Bourbon’s work.

My Rating:  4 out of 5 Crowns 

Author Bio:

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 Executive Publicity 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 and publicity guide for authors.

Connect with Melissa

Twitter: @MelissaBourbon

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Net Galley as a part of a book tour in exchange for a fair and honest review.. 

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