Books by Melissa Bowersock

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Memorial Day Sale

Again on Memorial Day, we remember all the veterans who have served our country both at home and overseas. In honor of all those brave souls, my non-fiction book, Marcia Gates: Angel of Bataan is on sale for just 99 cents. This is the award-winning true story of a courageous Army nurse and prisoner-of-war who just happens to be my aunt. 


This book was truly a labor of love. I had always heard growing up that my aunt was a prisoner of the Japanese during WWII, but not much more beyond that. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that the Wisconsin Historical Society had in their archives two scrapbooks that were created by my grandmother during my aunt's time in service, filled with letters, photos, news clippings, telegrams and every other bit of information from that agonizing time. I knew the story needed to be told, and I knew if I didn't do it, no one would. 

I've been hugely gratified by the way this book has touched others. It has garnered several awards and was featured in a TV documentary Our Wisconsin: The Military History of America's Dairyland. Here's a sample of some of the very nice reviews the book has received:

Nurse Gates' amazing valor and her mother's drive reminds us to never forget the human dimension of combat. A reminder indeed that loved ones suffer as much at home as those on the battlefields. Inspirational. 

Her spirit came alive on the pages of this factual account of her Japanese captivity.

Enjoyed this book from cover to cover.

If you like history, true stories, stories of dedication and commitment and humble bravery, you might enjoy this book. During this time of remembering and honoring our veterans, I believe it's important to keep their stories alive. I hope you will join me in honoring all the men and women who have served our country.

Watch the book trailer here

The Kindle version is on sale through June 1, 2016.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Family Stories: Leaving a Legacy of Words

Every family has them: stories of Great-Uncle Harold’s time in the trenches of WWI, Grampa’s side trip into bootlegging during Prohibition, Aunt Helen’s wanderlust that took her around the globe twice, Grandma’s ground-breaking work as the first female at Lockheed Aeronautics during WWII. These are the stories that may only get trotted out once a year or so, maybe at Christmas or the infrequent family reunion, but otherwise stay hidden away in shoeboxes at the back of closets or in the dimly-lit corners of an oldster’s mind.
My grandmother, Marcia Gates, reading to her four daughters.
And very often, the story and its teller are, eventually, lost for all time. Why? Because the stories don’t get written down.
There’s a Mandinka proverb that says every time an old person dies, it’s as if a library has burnt down.
I was lucky. My dad wrote his autobiography over the last 20 years of his life. After he died, I converted the typed pages to digital, added family photos, and published his story. I didn’t care if I sold a single copy; I just wanted the book out there. Surprisingly, I have sold quite a few, but that’s not even the point. The point is, his story will never die. It lives on. And I can’t tell you what a treasure trove it is for my family.
So a few years back on Veteran’s Day, I was thinking about my aunt who was an Army nurse during WWII and was taken prisoner by the Japanese in the Philippines. I had heard this much of the story all my life, but very few details. I began to do some research to see if I could find out more about it; hard to do, as she and all her generation are gone. I was shocked to find out that the Wisconsin Historical Society (she was from WI) had in their possession two scrapbooks that were created by my grandmother, filled to overflowing with letters, telegrams, news clippings, and photos of my aunt’s time in the service. It not only chronicled the events of her capture and imprisonment, it also told the story of my grandmother’s tireless efforts to find out information about her daughter and bring comfort in any way she could. It was a story of two women on opposite sides of the earth, each in their own way striving to push through extremely difficult times.
And it was stuck in a drawer in a back room.
I knew the story deserved to be told. And I knew I was the only one to do it. There are other writers in my family, but none that devote as much time to it as I do. So even though I’m a novelist by choice, it was time for me to write non-fiction.
I’m glad I did. Again, I didn’t care if the book sold at all; I just wanted the story out there. Surprisingly, it has touched a lot of people, won awards, was even featured in a TV documentary on Wisconsin’s military history. And it got me to thinking: how many stories are there like this, that never get told, that never see the light of day? A ton, I’m sure. And I think that most people believe publishing is way beyond their reach, but here’s the irony. It’s not. It’s fully accessible in our time. Okay, the writing part is never easy and that still has to be done, but the publishing? That’s a breeze. Using CreateSpace, you can do it for about $10, the cost of a proof book and shipping. Really, I mean it. Ten bucks. Indies Unlimited has more than enough information and tutorials in their archives to get you started.
I would encourage anyone — EVERYone — who has family stories to write them down. Get them out there! I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised, as I was, how they can touch people well beyond the confines of your family. Because these are not just family stories.
They are human stories.
And they deserve to be told.

Originally published by Indies Unlimited on April 22, 2014. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Good News/Bad News

First the bad news. My latest book, Finding Travis, did not get picked up by Amazon via its Kindle Scout program. Major bummer. And of course Amazon does not divulge how it makes its decisions lest someone learn how to game the system, so I'll never know why. 


The good news is, that's not going to stand in the way of a good book.  I've already published the book myself, both as a paperback and an ebook. And, just to kick off the new release with a bang, I've priced the ebook at only 99 cents, through May 22, 20116. I have to say: I love this book. It's my new favorite. Yeah, I know, I'm a tad prejudiced, but I just really, really like it. I think you might, too.

Here's the blurb:


Travis Merrill’s life isn’t going according to plan. He’s quit several career paths, his wife has left him, and his only solace is volunteering to portray a cavalry surgeon at historic Fort Verde in Arizona, a place where time seems to stand still. When a weird trick of time actually sends him back to the year 1877, he’s boxed into impersonating the post surgeon for real. Unfortunately, he finds his medical knowledge is no match for the primitive practices of the day, and he’s forced to make life or death decisions, not always successfully. He wonders if he will ever be able to return to his own time, or if he might find a life—and a love—140 years in the past.

So are you ready for a really fun time travel story? Humor, drama, tragedy, romance--it's all there. I would love to show Amazon that they missed the boat when they passed on this one. Wouldn't that be something, to have the book be a best seller and they let it go by? They might just rethink that Kindle Scout program. 

For all of you who voted for Travis, I send my heartfelt thanks. You guys rock. I hope you'll take advantage of this 99 cent sale and meet the real Travis. I know you'll like him.