Pleating for Mercy

I am so  incredibly  thrilled to announce the release of  Misa Rameriz’s new book  Pleating for Mercy, A Magical Dressmaking Mystery  Series. Pleating for Mercy is written under her pen name, Melissa Bourbon and came out last week. It’s flying off bookstore and eShelves everywhere and the reviews have been amazing.  It’s even made a few appearances on the best seller list.  Way to go Misa, we are so proud for you!

Misa is a very special contributor here at She Is Dallas. Here is a little back story on the fabulously talented Misa Ramirez, that is if you haven’t heard of her. She’s famous. We know famous people.

This book is not her first rodeo, Oh no! I encourage you to check out her other fine books including  Living the Vida Lola  series the third  Lola Cruz Mystery, Bare Naked Lola, will be released in early 2012. Misa also has two romantic suspense novels (my personal favorite)  to be released in 2012 and it doesn’t end there.

I don’t want to give it all away, she is a mystery writer. I will leave you with a tease from an excerpt from her new book, Pleating for Mercy.

Chapter 1:  Partial  Excerpt, Pleating for Mercy

Rumors about the Cassidy women and their magic swirled through Bliss, Texas like a gathering tornado.   For 150 years, the family had managed to dodge most of the rumors, brushing off the idea that magic infused their handwork, and chalking up any unusual goings-on to coincidence.

But  we  all knew that the magic started the very day Butch Cassidy, my great-great-great grandfather, had turned his back to an ancient Argentinean fountain, dropped a gold coin into it, and made a wish.   The Cassidy family legend says he asked for his firstborn child, and all who came after, to live a charmed life, the threads of good fortune, talent, and history flowing like magic from their fingertips.

That magic spilled from the Cassidy women's hands into handmade tapestries and homespun wool, crewel embroidery and perfectly pieced and stitched quilts.   And into my dressmaking.   It connected us to our history, and to one another.

Butch hadn't wanted his family to be outcasts as he and Cressida had been, and so his Argentinean wish also gifted his descendants with their own special charms.   Whatever Meemaw, my great-grandmother, wanted, she got.   My Grandmother, Nana, was a goat-whisperer.   Mama's green thumb could make anything grow.

None of understood how these charms were supposed to endear us to our neighbors.   No matter how hard we tried to keep our magic on the down-low “so we wouldn't wind up in our own contemporary Texas version of the Salem Witch Trials “people saw.   And they talked.

The townsfolk came to Mama when their crops wouldn't grow.   They came to Nana when their goats wouldn't mind.   And they came to Meemaw when they wanted something so badly, they couldn't see straight.   I was seventeen when I finally realized that what Butch had really given the women in my family was a thread that connected them with others.

But Butch's wish had apparently exhausted itself before I was born.   I had no special charm, and I ™d always felt as if a part of me was missing because of it.

Being back home in Bliss made the feeling stronger.

Meemaw had been gone five months now, but the old red farmhouse just off the square at 2112 Mockingbird Lane looked the same as it had when I was a girl.   The steep pitch of the roof, the shuttered windows, the old pecan tree shading the left side of the house “it all sent me reeling back to my childhood and all the time I ™d spent here with her.

I ™d been back for five weeks and had worked nonstop, converting the downstairs of the house into my own designer dressmaking shop, calling it Buttons & Bows in honor of my great-great grandmother, Loretta Mae, but Bliss was not the same without her.   Maybe  that's  the part of me that was really missing.

What had been Loretta Mae's dining room was now my cutting and work space.   My five year old state of the art digital Pfaff sewing machine and Meemaw's old Singer sat side by side on their respective sewing tables.   An 8 foot long white-topped cutting table was in the center of the room, unused as of yet.   Meemaw had one old dress form which I ™d dragged down from the attic.   I ™d splurged and bought two more, anticipating a brisk dressmaking business which had yet to materialize.

I ™d taken to talking to her during the dull spots in my days.   Meemaw,  I said now, sitting in my workroom, hemming a pair of pants, it's lonesome without you.   I sure wish you were here. 

A breeze suddenly blew in through the screen, fluttering the butter yellow sheers that hung on either side of the window as if Meemaw could hear me from the spirit world.   It was no secret that she ™d wanted me back in Bliss.   Was it so farfetched to think she ™d be hanging around now that she ™d finally gotten what she ™d wanted?

I adjusted my square-framed glasses before pulling a needle through the pant leg.   Gripping the thick synthetic fabric sent a shiver through me akin to fingernails scraping down a chalkboard.   Bliss was not a mecca of fashion; so far I ™d been asked to hem polyester pants, shorten the sleeves of polyester jackets, and repair countless other polyester garments.   No one had hired me to design matching mother and daughter couture frocks, create a slinky dress for a night out on the town in Dallas, or anything else remotely challenging or interesting.

I kept the faith, though.   Meemaw wouldn't have brought me back home just to watch me fail.

As I finished the last stitch and tied off the thread, a flash of something outside caught my eye.   I looked past the french doors that separated my work space from what had been Meemaw's gathering room and was now the boutique portion of Buttons & Bows.   The window gave a clear view of the front yard, the wisteria climbing up the sturdy trellis archway, and the street beyond.   Just as I was about to dismiss it as my imagination, the bells I ™d attached to a ribbon and hung from the knob danced in a jingling frenzy and the front door flung open.   I jumped, startled, dropping the slacks, but clutching the needle.  …


Here are just a couple of ways to stay in the loop with Misa.

1. Sign up for her newsletter

2. Melissa Bourbon/Misa Ramirez on Facebook  and Twitter

3.  She  teaches writing at Savvy Authors  and  with Southern Methodist University’s CAPE program.

4.  and she  works with Entangled Publishing, a new boutique publisher.


Congrats Misa on your new release! I can not wait for the second book to come out.


One Comment

  1. Aw, you make me feel so special, Amber. Thanks for the shout-out! I’m thrilled to let you know that Pleating for Mercy actually hit #4 on Barnes & Noble’s mass market mystery bestseller list, and #19 on Bookscan’s list. That’s good! And exciting!


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