by Melissa Bourbon
I was named after my great-great-great granddaddy, Butch Cassidy. Bet you didn’t know he had a child and descendants, did you? Not many people outside of Texas pay any heed to old stories about old outlaws. But he is related and it is thanks to him that I—and all the Cassidy women—have special charms.
Here’s the story. Butch was…well, he was an outlaw. He and the Sundance Kid had the Hole in the Wall Gang and they robbed stagecoaches and banks and did other dastardly deeds long before he and the kid escaped to Argentina. What he didn’t know was that Texana, the love of his life and his wife, was pregnant. She had a little girl named Cressida. When he found out, Butch made a wish in an Argentinian fountain for blessings to be bestowed upon the women in his life and his descendants. He also sent Texana a little trinket, or so the story goes, but that has never been found,
Ever since that wish was made, all the women in my family have kept the name Cassidy and held it up with pride. Myself included.
My everyday life isn’t nearly as exciting as Butch’s and Texana’s would have been. I don’t plunder or rob and I’m not on the run. But I do have a magic charm—when I make something for someone, designed from the initial glimpses of the garment all the way to completion, their dreams and wishes come true.
The catch? That sometime what people want and what they dream about are not good things. But they’ll get them, anyway. Mama has a green thumb, but she grows as many weeds as she does flowers. Nana is a goat whisperer, and thank goodness for all those goats. They keep Mama’s weeds down!
One thing about a small town is that you know everyone, but I truly thought I’d left all the crime and mayhem behind when I’d come back home to Bliss, Texas. No such luck. Murder after murder after murder has afflicted Bliss, and I’ve been in the thick of it each time. So I guess you could say I’ve turned into something of an amateur sleuth, but truthfully? I just want to design garments for Cassidy designs and sew.
You can read more about Harlow Jane in DEADLY PATTERNS, the third book the “Dressmakers” mystery series. The first book in the series is Pleating For Mercy.
**Melissa is giving away the first two books in the “Dressmakers” series: Pleating For Mercy and A Fitting End. Contest open to US residents only and ends October 27. Leave a comment to be included in the giveaway. The books will be sent directly from the author. **
Meet 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 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.
Books are available at retail and online booksellers.