Books by Melissa Bowersock

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Malapropisms: Writing the Wrong Word

malapropisms say what? selfie-413162_640“Texas has a lot of electrical votes.” –Yogi Berra
A malapropism (or acyrologia) is the use of an incorrect but similar-sounding word in place of the correct word. It was coined from the name of a character, Mrs. Malaprop, who constantly misused and abused her words in the comedy The Rivals by Richard Brinsley Sheridan. In turn, Mrs. Malaprop’s name ultimately descended from the French phrase mal à propos meaning badly placed or inappropriate.
There are two reasons writers (and others) may get their words mixed up. The first, of course, is the similarity of sound. In the quote above, Yogi Berra was actually referring to electoral votes, but electrical is pretty close. Close, but no cigar.
The second reason is that very often words get modified in common usage, especially old words whose original meanings no longer have a relevance for us today, yet the word has evolved into a new usage and often a new spelling. An example of this is tenterhooks.
Many people say (or write), “I’m on tenderhooks,” believing the word refers to the hooks used by butchers to hang meat so it can tenderize. Actually the word goes back much further than that, back to the middle ages when people used mainly woolen or linen cloth. As the cloth was processed and washed, it was stretched on wooden frames, called tenters, to keep it from shrinking as it dried. The hooks on the tenters that were used to hold the cloth in place were, of course, tenterhooks. The colloquial meaning came to allude to the tension of being forcefully tacked and stretched, and has now evolved to mean any kind of suspenseful tension.
Any word, however, can be accidentally twisted into an inappropriate usage. Some examples of malapropisms might include:
After a detailed investigation, the police comprehended two suspects.
I do believe that man is having a nervous shakedown.
King Omar is the exhausted ruler of his rich kingdom.
If you’re smart, you won’t upset the apple tart.
We had great fun riding together on a tantrum bicycle.
Many people have benefited from joining Alcoholics Unanimous.
Malapropisms amphibious pitcherThere is one place where malapropisms can be used and are not only appropriate but can add to a story, as well: comic relief. Mrs. Malaprop herself added this funny, if painful, dimension to the original story. Shakespeare has used similar characters in several of his plays. In my own satire of romance novels, Love's Savage Armpit, I have one very naïve character who constantly misspeaks, and the results can be quite comical. As with any tool, writers need to know the rules before they break them, but every tool has its exceptions.
So now let’s lay a reef on the grave of accidental malapropisms and make sure we’re using the correct words. Not sure you completely understand the meaning and spelling of a word? Look it up! No matter how many books we’ve written, we’re never too old to learn!
Originally published by Indies Unlimited on June 9, 2015.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

New Releases: Mystery Walk and Ghost Walk Audio Book

Happy New Year! I hope you all had wonderful holidays and are looking at a promising new year. I wish every one of you health, happiness and meaningful work. I can't think of anything more satisfying than accomplishing something that we feel passionate about. 

And speaking of that... I have two announcements to make. The first is that Book 16 of the Lacey Fitzpatrick and Sam Firecloud Mystery Series, Mystery Walk, is now available. This book is a slight departure from the others in the series in a very fun way. Here's the blurb:

When paranormal investigators Lacey Fitzpatrick and Sam Firecloud are on a case, they are all in, and don’t rest until the haunting is resolved. Now they’ve been invited to a Murder Mystery Weekend of role-play, sleuthing and fun. Lacey thinks they’ll have an advantage because they’re such practiced investigators, and the tangled trail of clues, motives and red herrings creates a fierce competition to find whodunit.  Lacey fully intends to solve the mystery and win the prize, but the weekend turns out to be surprisingly different on very many levels.

Sound like fun? I think it is. And to celebrate the new book and the new year, ALL the Sam and Lacey ebooks are just 99 cents thru January 13, 2019.  That's right; you can pick up the entire series for less than $16.00. Did you get a new Kindle or tablet for Christmas this year? If so,  here's your chance to load that puppy up with these paranormal mysteries.

In addition to that, I'm excited to announce the release of Ghost Walk, the audio book, now available on Audible and Amazon. Laura Wilson has done a fabulous job of voicing Lacey and Sam, and she's agreed to do the rest of the series as well, so we'll be adding a new audio book every few months. We're currently producing Skin Walk, Book 2 of the series, so stay tuned!

Finally, I want to thank all of my family, friends and fans for their support in the last years, and wish all the best to you in this coming year. Annie, my Airedale, hopes you take the time to play in the snow and enjoy the seasons!

Sunday, December 16, 2018

New Release: Ghost Walk Audio Book

And now for something completely different...


I'm happy to announce the release of Ghost Walk as an audio book! Ghost Walk was, of course, the first book in the series where Sam and Lacey first met and started working together, and narrator Laura Wilson does an excellent job of projecting all the wonder, excitement and tension of that time. If you haven't met Sam and Lacey yet, this is the chance to do so in a way that's alive and immediate. If you have been following Sam and Lacey's adventures, this is a way to revisit the original story in a fresh and different dimension. Let's go back two years to that fateful beginning...

Lacey Fitzpatrick is an ex-LAPD detective with an axe to grind. Tainted by the betrayal of her drug-dealing cop boyfriend, she's on a quest to prove to herself--and the world--that she's still a competent crime-fighter. In order to do that, she teams up with Sam Firecloud, a half-Navajo man who communicates with ghosts. With his talent and her research, they tackle troubling unsolved crimes, but their latest case is the toughest. They have to solve a murder--where no record of a murder even exists. Can Sam glean enough information from the victim's ghost to unravel the mystery, and can Lacey convince the authorities that the murder actually happened?

Ghost Walk has been garnering recognition and awards since it was first published, including:

2017 Finalist New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards
2018 B.R.A.G.Medallion Honoree
2018 Chill With A Book Readers' Award, Chill Premier Award, Chill Awards: PB Special Award

And the reviews from satisfied readers continue to come in: 

This is a well paced, well written book with characters you won't forget and is a wonderful start to a great series. If you like paranormal elements in your mysteries, you really need to check this series out.

This story grabbed me from the very beginning.I will definitely be reading more of this series, and from this author.

Enjoyed the well written paranormal book. I have now read all in this series which I seldom do.

I loved this book.

Great read!!!

I loved this book so much that I immediately purchased Book 2, Skin Walk!

This is the 1st book I've read by this author and I will definitely read more!!

I've read 10 of these 'Walk'er novels, and am pleased to discover there are a few more in the series. You will not be disappointed.

Can't wait to read the others in this series.

This is one of my favourite paranormal mysteries.

Up there with household names in detective fiction. Very much enjoyed this.

The eBook for Ghost Walk is always only 99 cents on Amazon. 

Stay tuned for audio versions of the rest of the books in the series. Next up: Skin Walk!