Yesterday, I reviewed a cute mystery book called LIVING THE VIDA LOLA by Misa Ramirez. You can read my review here. I really enjoyed the book, and I thought it was highly entertaining (and very funny.) I am definitely looking forward in the next book in the series HASTA LA VISTA, LOLA which is available next month.
So without further ado, I'd like to welcome the author of the Lola Cruz mysteries, Misa Ramirez, to Booking Mama.
Thanks for hosting me today, Julie. Your site is such an inspiration. Books, books, and more books. What’s not to LOVE?!
I’m thrilled to be on a blog tour to celebrate the upcoming release of Hasta la Vista, Lola!, the second book in the Lola Cruz Mystery Series. Since Lola Cruz is probably brand new to most of you, I thought I’d launch right into how she came to be. I hope you end up loving her as much as I do!
There’s one thing that I’m asked (and sometimes not asked verbally, but with raised eyebrows) as a writer of a Latina mystery series. Bet you can’t guess what the question is. I’ll give you a hint. I’m not Latina. In fact, I say in my bio that I’m proud to be Latina-by-marriage.
So, the question is... drum roll...
“Why do you write a Latina character, and how did you manage to make her so authentic?”
The short answer is: “I’m a writer, of course, so it all comes so easily! Why not a Latina?”
That’s a complete lie (the part about it coming easy, not the part about me being a writer). Writing is hard work, and it’s true that you have to write about what you know. But, as I’ve already stated, I’m not Latina. I’m a white girl from California now living in Texas. But I married a smokin’ Latino man (almost 20 years married now) and I’ve learned so much about his culture through the years of our relationship so I do know Lola. I know her from the outside looking in. I know her though my children’s eyes. I know her through my husband and his family. His parents lived with us for several years, his sister is one of my best friends and is the sister I never had, and so many elements of the Mexican culture speak to me. So I write this series and write Lola because there is so much beauty in the Mexican culture and it truly speaks to me.
When we had children, it became even more important that we find ways to bring that culture into our American lives, to show the kids the culture that is part of their history, and for them to embrace that part of them. When the character of Lola Cruz (given name Dolores) came to me, it felt right because in so many ways I felt that this family that I’d created in my mind represented so many things I wanted to emphasize about the Mexican culture for my kids. The family, the faith, the language, the food... But I also wanted to show how these elements can be balanced within an American life.
Lola balances (or struggles to balance) life with the cultural and familial expectations placed on her with the her own passions and desires which stem from living as an American. I was particularly careful and conscious not to slip into stereotypes, and when people comment that my characters are so authentic and non-stereotypical, I take great pride in that!
So, who is Lola Cruz? Here she is in a nutshell:
Dolores “Lola” Cruz: Part Crusader, Part Swashbuckler, Part Sage
Stats: Lola’s single, a good Catholic girl (usually), but willing to do a lot to live her dream of being a detective. She works for muy misterioso Manny Camacho, has always loved old high school crush Jack Callaghan, and has a modern day rogue for a brother. The long and the short of it is that Lola can definitely hold her own in any situation, even when her mother’s berating her for having a career instead of marriage and children, when her mafioso grandfather has her doing ‘family’ work, and when her grandmother thinks she’s a ghost.
The Look: Long auburn hair with copper highlights, hips and boobs and curves to spare, stripper shoes (to go with her strip list), and a wardrobe full of clothes that Jack Callaghan can’t resist her in. A belly button ring…maybe. A black belt in kung fu and a love of yoga make her fit and strong.
Leading Man: Jack Callaghan, newspaper columnist with a past and some baggage that prevents him and Lola from moving forward. Who is Sarah, anyway?
The Bottom Line: Lola Cruz is a feisty heroine. She’s smart, sexy, and sassy. She’s a great friend, loyal, and kick ass. I like to say she’s my alter ego (if I were a super hot, sexy, Latina detective).
Lola’s next adventure has her investigating her own death–and Jack’s mysterious ex-girlfriend. There’s never a dull moment in her life!
So, that’s Lola’s story. What do you think? I’d love to hear!
Hasta la Vista, Lola! comes out February 2, 2010. Here’s the teaser:
What’s a girl to do when she finds out she’s been killed? Pinch herself to make sure she’s not a ghost, for starters. When Dolores Cruz comes home to her parents’ house to find every relative she has mourning her death, all hell breaks loose. With the help of on-again/off-again love Jack Callaghan, and juggling a new case thrown at her by muy misterioso boss Manny Camacho, it’s up to fledgling detective Lola to find out who’s behind the identity theft and suddenly wants her dead.
Click here to read an excerpt from the second installment in the Lola Cruz Mystery Series.
Living the Vida Lola, book one in the Lola Cruz Mystery Series
Dolores Cruz (Lola for short) loves shoes, chicken mole, kung fu (she’s a black belt) and her close-knit family. When her brother’s hunky old high school friend Jack Callaghan moves back to town, Lola falls hard. Now, after a year and a half as an underling at Camacho and Associates, a local private investigation firm, her oh-so-sexy and mysterious boss, Manny Camacho, assigns Lola her first big case: solving the mysterious disappearance of Emily Diggs. Can Lola juggle two men, her loving but demanding family, her PI exams, solve her all-important first case, and shop for fabulous shoes?
Meet the characters! Read Lola and her crew’s On-Line Dating profiles.
Join Misa’s mailing list at http://misaramirez.com
.There are recipes and more on her web site. Also, check out Chasing Heroes where it’s all about...heroes!
Thanks again for having me here, Julie! Keep Booking.
I'd like to thank Ms. Ramirez stopping by and sharing with us some information about her very fun Lola Cruz mystery books. Ms. Ramirez has graciously offered to giveaway a copy of her second book in the series HASTA LA VISTA to one lucky reader. To enter, all you have to do is leave a comment with a valid email address telling me one of your favorite female mystery characters. This contest will be open until Monday, February 8th at 11:59 p.m. ET, and I will notify the winner the following day. This contest is open to those of you with U.S. addresses only. Good luck!