Friday, July 20, 2012

Guest Blog: Misa Ramirez (Bare Naked Lola)

Sometimes characters do little things that characterize them so perfectly.  The curmudgeonly man who rescues a dog from the pound.  The cyclist who frees a trapped goat from a barbed wire fence.  The teenager on a skateboard who stops to pick up spilled groceries for a neighbor.

When Lola Cruz was forming in my head, one thing I knew for sure was that there was a gray area in the lines she’d cross for her job.  How she got to that gray area was the interesting part.  Which led to me to the love of her life, Jack Callaghan.  He’s the catalyst for quite a bit of Lola’s character formation.  It’s because of him that she became a private investigator. 

Read on:
When I was fourteen years old, I snapped pictures of Jack Callaghan doing the horizontal salsa in the back seat of a car with Greta Pritchard. That’s when I knew for sure I’d grow up to be a private eye.”
That’s my favorite line in any of the Lola Cruz mystery books.  It so succinctly shows everyone who Lola is, and that she’s quite willing to cross a few lines in the name of…whatever it is she’s after.

Her career choice might have been inspired by newspaper man Jack Callaghan, but her drive and determination are all hers. She works for a small PI firm in Sacramento and is assigned to be the lead investigator on a missing person case.
Lola battles office politics, the reappearance of Jack Callaghan, her family’s cultural and gender expectations, and her own passion for crime-solving, never losing sight of her own values and who she is as a person. One theme that will run through each book in the series is just how far Lola is willing to go for her job. In Living the Vida Lola, one of the questions she faces is will she or won’t she get a belly button piercing or a tattoo?--all in the name of information- gathering.  In Bare-Naked Lola, the question is, will she or won’t she strip down to nothing at a nudist resort, all to catch a killer?
Other continuing themes are the cultural and gender expectations she faces. Lola is an American--born and raised in Sacramento. But she’s also Mexican and lives her family’s culture and all that embodies. How she is true to both sides of herself and is her own person makes her a three-dimensional character. I love her! I like to think that she is my alter-ego...if I were a little younger, sexier, Latina, and a detective.

I want to hear from you!  Should Lola go nude, or should she stay prude?  You’ll have to find out what she chooses by reading Bare-Naked Lola, but what do YOU think?!


About Sacrifice of Passion

Texas rancher, Vic Vargas, finds himself facing more than his stubbornly silent son when the chupacabra, a supposedly mythical bloodsucking beast, starts killing his livestock—and stalking Delaney West, the town’s newly returned veterinary assistant, the sensual woman who ran from the altar and broke his heart twelve years earlier.

Reluctantly, he seeks her help to get to the bottom of the disturbing animal mutilations, only to have her break through to his sullen son...and rekindle the love he’d thought was lost forever. But her refusal to share a terrible secret sends her running straight into the lair of the chupacabra, plunging her back into her worst nightmare, and forcing them both to confront the wrongs of the past—in order to stay alive for the future they desperately want.

Get your copy of Sacrifice of Passion at
Also available from Melissa Bourbon Ramirez: Bare Naked Lola

Going undercover is second nature for Private Investigator Lola Cruz, but she’s out of her league when the case of a murdered Royals Courtside Dancer leads her to a local nudist resort. Parading around the sidelines of Sacramento’s professional basketball scene in a barely-there cheerleading outfit is one thing—but parading around in nothing but smile? If she has any chance of hiding this from her traditional family and on-again/off-again boyfriend Jack, she’s going to have a lot more than her duct tape bra and killer dance moves to keep under wraps….

Get your copy of Bare Naked Lola at:


About Melissa Bourbon Ramirez

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 and Entangled Publishing, A Magical Dressmaking Mystery series with NAL, and is the co-author of The Tricked-out Toolbox and two romantic suspense titles.

Visit Melissa at her website | Twitter Page | Facebook Home | Goodreads | and Books on the House, a website bringing books and readers together!