Sirens of Suspense
I’ve always been fascinated by legends, and I have a natural-born love of the Mexican culture. My husband is Mexican-American, we try hard to instill the Mexican culture into our kids’ lives. When I starting writing, I wanted to bring in elements from this culture I so love being a part of (I like to say I’m Latina-by-marriage). I started with the Lola Cruz mystery series. Lola’s a Latina and who I imagine my daughter might be in a lot of ways. She’s Latina, but American, and I love her! No legends in the Lola series. But when I decided to try my hand at a romantic suspense, I went dark. DARK.
Enter chupacabra, and then the very dark la Llorona (respectively, in Sacrifice of Passion and Curse of Passion).
Chupacabra is an urban legend, and la Llorona is a cultural legend. Both are creepy and haunting.
Truth be told, I wasn’t 100% sure I could write a really great romantic suspense, but the legends drew me in and wouldn’t get out of my head and so I had to try. They were surprisingly fun to write! Writing a stand alone book is different than writing a series. With my Lola Cruz Mysteries (and my bestselling Magical Dressmaking Mysteries), everything’s about creating sustainability with the characters and their world. There’s never complete resolution with the main characters because their stories keep going.
With a stand alone romance, the happily ever after is a must and so the story has to be wrapped up, which means you go in fast and dig deep. And boy is that an experience. Getting into Ray and Johanna’s heads, delving into their backstories, making them real, living, breathing people was challenging at times, but so rewarding, and in the end, I absolutely love them. The same is true of Vic and Delaney (from Sacrifice of Passion). The reAnjana Vasa, a blogger, wrote in a review of Sacrifice of Passion: “Delaney and Vic are quite honestly, two of the most real characters I've ever come across, they're both imperfect and yet you can see what makes them special. I couldn't help but admire Delaney's strength through the entire novel, sure she has her weak and scared moments but she shows that you can make your way back from anything.”
To hear readers say you hit the mark with the characters in a book is the entire reason writers write. It’s a thrill! All I can say is that Mexican legends seem to be working for me, and for this book if the reviews are any indication. I guess I did okay with romantic suspense!
The Deadly Legends stories are epic. Intriguing. Evocative.
I hope you love them as much as I do!
Tell me: Have you heard of the legends of chupacabra or la Llorona, and do you think legends like this make good backdrops for romantic suspense novels?
About Melissa Bourbon RamirezMelissa 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 founder of Books on the House, the co-founder of The Naked Hero, and 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 two romantic suspense novels, and is the co-author of The Tricked-out Toolbox, all to be released in 2012/2013.
About Curse of Passion
The ghost of la Llorona is said to haunt the riverbanks, always searching for her drowned child. She also haunts high school teacher Johanna Rios, whose own mother believed so deeply in the legend she tried to drown her daughters. And now the ghost has become real, a young woman murdered, and the safe world Jo created is falling apart.
Since returning home from his last tour of duty to become a school principal, Ray Vargas has fought his attraction for his employee, the sensual woman who’d once been the girl next door. But the Llorona Killer will not stop until he claims his final victim—Johanna—and Ray will do anything to protect the woman he’s come to love.
With a serial killer out to prove the curse is real, will Ray and Johanna’s future be drowned in the ghostly waters of the past? Or will the power of their love give them the strength to stop a killer…and heal their wounded hearts.
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