Thursday, January 28, 2010

Guest Post: Misa Ramirez, author of the Lola Cruz mystery series

Today, I'm happy to welcome Misa Ramirez to Diary of an Eccentric.  Misa is the author of the Lola Cruz mystery series, which includes Living the Vida Lola and her latest book, Hasta la Vista, Lola!.

Misa is here to talk about the lengths she's willing to go in the name of research.  I haven't yet read any of the Lola Cruz books, but after reading this guest post, I've added them to my to-read list.

Please give a warm welcome to Misa Ramirez:

Writers are willing to do a lot in the name of research.  I’m no exception.  My name is Misa, and I’m a mystery writer.  Mysteries with a touch of romance, that is.

I wrote Living the Vida Lola, the first book in my mystery series, without having to do anything outrageous.  I visited the marina, took notes and pictures of the boats docked there, the rickety steps leading to the water, the color of the metal rooftop.  Tattoos figure prominently in the book, but I didn’t actually go out and get a tattoo.  A belly button piercing has a starring role, but no, I didn’t go out and get my belly pierced, either.

In book two, Hasta la Vista, Lola!, there’s identity theft. I didn’t go out and steal anyone’s identity (though I did become WAY more cautious about my own papers and private information as a result of my research) and no one stole mine. So far, so good.

Then came the planning of book three, Bare Naked Lola. Much of it takes place in a Nudist Resort, although I won’t reveal just what Lola’s willing to do, or how much clothing she’s willing to take off to solve a case. What I couldn’t quite research from the comfort of my own home was just what it was like to be in a nudist resort.

What’s a good girl to do?

Visit a real, live nudist resort, of course. And that’s just what I did. The place I visited was truly unique–and has the additional infamy of being the hiding place of Cary Stayner, the Yosemite Killer from 1999. Not a pleasant claim to fame, but it certainly makes for colorful history.

So, back to my story. I visited this nudist resort. They were quite accommodating, actually, bless their naked hearts. I saw a day in the life of nudists. Some do it part time, some 24/7. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so much skin in one place!

The thing about being a writer is that you never know what exciting adventure your story will take you on, and ultimately take your readers on. Ever hear of a little concert called Woodstock? My nudist resort has Nudestock. Seriously! I don’t think I could have made that up. I learned so much about how nudists live–and Lola gets to tell the story in the book I’m currently writing. So, tattoo or belly piercing? Nope, not necessary to experience. But seeing how the nude live? Yes, that’s something you have to see in order to get it right.

So here’s my question. What crazy thing have you good girls done that you never thought you would?

About the Author

Misa Ramirez is the author of the Lola Cruz mystery series: Living the Vida Lola (January ‘09) and Hasta la Vista, Lola! (2010) from St. Martin’s Minotaur / Thomas Dunne Books. A former middle and high school teacher, current instructor at Southern Methodist University’s Continuing Education program, and active CEO and CFO for La Familia Ramirez, this blonde-haired, green-eyed, proud to be Latina-by-Marriage girl loves following Lola on her many adventures. You can find her at or and on


Misa would like to offer one of my readers the chance to read a Lola Cruz mystery.  All you have to do is answer the question at the end of her guest post in the comments, along with your e-mail address.

The winner will choose either a copy of Living the Vida Lola or Hasta la Vista, Lola!

This giveaway is open internationally and will close Sunday, Feb. 7 at 11:59 pm EST.


justpeachy36 said...

Well, I had a "romantic" encounter, outside at a public park, albeit not very close to anyone LOL...

Please enter me in the giveaway.

Esme said...

I moved to Down Under when I was younger.

off course a boy was involved.

chocolate and croissants at yahoo dot com

Violet said...

Very catchy names and covers as well.

Mysteries around tattoos sound very interesting.

I once told my mom I was going at a friends place for a sleepover done and to get some project work, but we went out parting all night long.I really was a very good girl so this was a very scary thing for me :)

Please enter me

violetc dot books at gmail dot com

Serena said...

Sounds like an interesting book, and I've seen some very positive reviews.

crazy thing...probably staying out til 6AM in a public park that closes at sunset with my boyfriend when I was still in high school and coming home to find my mother going out the door on her way to work. -- no worries we were just talking and walking. LOL I was all very innocent then!

savvyverseandwit AT gmail

Sandy Nawrot said...

Sheesh, I don't know if I can say what I've done and ever come back here and show my face! Uhhh...well, how about a romantic encounter in the woods beside a river. Unfortunately a guy in a canoe was floating by. I still have nightmares about that one. rnawrot at cfl dot rr dot com

DarcyO said...

Crazy thing? A romantic encounter with my boyfriend in the restroom at the college library. Please enter me in this great giveaway. I'd pick Living the Vida Lola.

dlodden at frontiernet dot net

bermudaonion said...

I'm not very crazy, so I'll say I started a blog!

This post reminded me of a guy my hubby used to work with. He & his wife went to nudist camps all the time and he was forever giving my husband literature about them, in case I wanted to go to one. I was like, uh - I prefer to keep all of my clothes on, thank you very much.


Misa said...

Anna, thanks so much for hosting me today! You have some daring readers! Isn't *ehem* in a public place pretty high up statistically of wild things people do? I think I've read that somewhere. Pretty crazy, peachy!

Misa said...

Ah, Esme, enough said. Although moving down under is a LONG way to go for a boy! Was he worth it?

Misa said...

Thank you, Violet! I especially love the Hasta la Vista, Lola! cover. Something about the yellow.

There's a great belly button piercing scene in Living the Vida Lola. Sexy and fun!

Misa said...

And the Book List review came out yesterday, Serena.

“In Ramirez’s second novel featuring the feisty Latina detective, Dolores “Lola” Cruz is investigating her own death. That is, she is trying to find out why a woman who stole her identity ended up dead. With sexy reporter Jack Callaghan—her on-again, off-again love interest—by her side, Lola finds out that the other Dolores is actually Rosie Gonzalez, a single mother, whose young son has been missing since his mother’s death.

Now Lola’s search turns to finding the young boy, which leads her closer to home than she expected. Fans who fell for Lola in Living the Vida Lola (2009) will welcome her smart and snappy return. The suspense here revolves as much around the will-they or won’t-they romance with Jack as it does with the missing boy and mysterious death, leading up to a shocking ending that ties everything together.”

Needless to say, I'm thrilled!

Misa said...

That's hilarious, Sandy! Bet the guy in the canoe has sweet dreams. ;)

Misa said...

BermudaOnion! DarcyO! I feel like we're old friends!! Yeah, the nudist resort is a different world. There's something to be said for keeping the clothes ON!!

Darcy, O, those college days... ;)

Blodeuedd said...

So cool, I'd love the first book :)
They sound really funny.

As for crazy things, I am so boring, have done nothing at all. The only crazy thing I ever did was to swim topless

blodeuedd1 at gmail dot com

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I took a motorcycle ride once with a guy I had just met. He could have taken me off and murdered me for all I knew!

nbmars AT yahoo DOT com

Misa said...

bloduedd, swimming topless is pretty daring in my book! Was it in a public place?

Misa said...

rhapsody, you are lucky to be alive!!!!

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Hello, ladies! No need to enter me. I'm dropping in to thank Anna for the e-mail. I've got this posted at Win a Book for you both.

I'll give you a crazy thing I've done: jumped an airplane to attend a free Metallica show. And came home less than 24 hours later. All it cost was the airfare and some grub, but I laugh that the wildest thing about the experience was going into the Clinique store at the airport and buying a lipstick. (The better you know me, the less lame that sounds)

M. said...

crazy? moved to another continent with $100 in my pocket and whatever fit in my backpack - something i don't think i'd ever allow my kids to do now that i'm a mom....

here's a question for you: what's the difference between nudist and naturist? is see signs for both kinds of resorts by the side of the highway, pointed out as tourist attractions

attractive book covers, and the stories all sound good

Misa said...

"(The better you know me, the less lame that sounds)" !!! sounds like there's more to this story, Susan!

Yay for Win a Book. You Rock!!

Misa said...

M, I believe naturist is the more modern and appropriate term for nudist. In the research I've done so far, most places are called naturist. Nudist has more zing, though, doesn't it? :)

dsandyboy said...

I told my mother I was sleeping over at a friend's house, when I really wasn't.

FrankSandy said...

I became drunk one night and crawled into bed at home hoping no one would wake up and see me.

Misa said...

FrankSandy... at least you didn't crawl into be with someone else!!!!

Suko said...

Riding the NY subway home in the wee hours of the morning by myself wasn't just crazy, it was dangerous!


I enjoyed this guest post. Please enter me in this great giveaway!

Mystica said...

My parents were extremely orthodox and getting out of the house to go for a "mixed teenage" party was the most daring thing you could do in the 60s in Sri Lanka.

Like the covers of the books. They look so spiky, so full of fun!

mariska said...

What crazy thing have you good girls done that you never thought you would

I had spent 7 days alone with my BF : )

Never thought that i could do that !

uniquas at ymail dot com

Misa said...

Happy reading, everyone!

Anna said...

Thanks to everyone who has entered the giveaway so far. I've really enjoyed reading your responses. I feel like I should play along, since you're all revealing juicy bits from your past.

So my most interesting "bad girl" story would have to be during the time I lived with Serena during college, and my boyfriend at the time was dropping me off in front of her house. He gave me my Christmas present, then went to give me a kiss...and then the police pulled up thinking I was being violated. It was so embarrassing given that it was really honestly an innocent thing, but Serena and her dad were watching and laughing from the window and to this day I don't think they believe my side of the story. :)

And a big thanks to Misa for stopping by and responding to all the comments!

Misa said...

That's hilarious, Anna! The reputation you'll never live down. =)

Thanks so much for having me here. I love your blog!!!

Iliana said...

Crazy things? Oh dear, I can't spill all my secrets! haha... Actually I just can't think of anything fun right now but really enjoyed the guest post. Hadn't heard of Misa's books but they are going on my radar!

Hazra said...

Whoa! It sounds like the author had some pretty crazy adventures in the name of writing!
Honestly, I come from a conservative Indian family, so I haven't done anything really crazy. But you might call a 7PM to 4AM horror movie marathon crazy, if you were a sleepaholic like me, and had class at 8 the next morning!


Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews said...

Great post and thanks for sharing!

Hmm I'm quite boring but I did rent a movie with some naked parts and my grandma walked into the room just as one of those parts came on. She started lecturing me I shouldn't watch stuff like that! LOL!


lag123 said...

I married my husband two months after the day I met him. We just celebrated our 28th wedding anniversay!

Misa said...

Keep the crazy coming!

Beth (BBRB) said...

LOL! Skinny dipping... so far!

BethsBookReviewBlog AT gmail DOT com

Dawn M. said...

I'm not known for doing crazy things but there was the one time during college.... (Isn't it always?) My boyfriend and I decided to drive 3 hours across the state one night just to meet his best friend. We left at midnight. We got there, woke his friend up and then turned around and came home.

Unfortunately, this was before cell phones and we hadn't told anyone we were going. My roommate was frantic! She had no idea where I was or what happened to me. She was just about to call my family or the police. Oops. Didn't do that again. LOL!

librarygrinch at gmail dot com

holdenj said...

I don't know if I could ever top visiting a nudist resort in the name of research! Skinny-dipping is about as daring as I ever got! The books look great! Thanks for the chance to win!

minishoes1 said...

The books sounds like great reads! One time when I was a teeager, me and this guy fooled around under a schoolbus, when it was dark outside. jacquecurl1(at)gmail(dot)com

Bcteagirl said...

Glad I caught this contest in time, not sure I want to answer the question!

I am going to go with getting drunk on Rye when stood up on new years eve. Might not sound like much, but I am never drunk :P

CherylS22 said...

White water rafting is the craziest thing I've ever done & will never do again! My raft capsized and my life flashed before my eyes - I thought I was a goner.

Thanks ~ megalon22 at yahoo dot com

Anna said...

This giveaway is now closed. Thanks to everyone who entered and shared their stories, as well as everyone who publicized the giveaway in some way.

I'll be choosing the winner via and announcing him or her soon!