Books by Melissa Bowersock

Thursday, March 15, 2018

New Release: Castle Walk

I'm pleased to announce the release of Book 9 of the Lacey Fitzpatrick and Sam Firecloud Mystery Series, Castle Walk. This time Sam and Lacey face a completely new set of circumstances as they travel to the Emerald Isle to investigate ghosts in an ancient castle. 

Paranormal investigators Lacey Fitzpatrick and medium Sam Firecloud discover their reputation has spread around the world when they get a surprise call to investigate ghosts in an Irish castle. They’re even more surprised when they learn it’s the Castle Fitzpatrick, the ancestral home of the Fitzpatrick name, and Lacey’s hopeful she can uncover some of her own family’s history. But while they’re researching that and the ghosts that Sam’s walk has revealed, they get unexpected resistance from the castle owners. If Sam is wrong about the impressions he’s received from the spirits, the releasement won’t work, and the ghosts will be doomed to walk the castle forever.  

To celebrate the release, ALL books in the series are just 99 cents now through March 25, 2018. 

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Basic Marketing for New Authors

Okay, you’ve done the hard work of writing your book and publishing it. Now you can sit back and relax, right? Uh, no. Not even close. Now the real work starts: marketing.  I know, just the word makes you break out into cold sweats, right? What do you do? How do you start? Relax–sit back, breathe, and let’s talk about the first basic things you should do.
Take/Get some author portraits. You’ll need at least one good, professional-looking photo of your authorly self. If you or a friend is good at photography, you can certainly do it for free, or you can spring for a photo session at a local studio. Don’t take that pic with your cell phone; you need a hi-res photo. Not sure how or what to do? This Do-It-Yourself Portrait article will show you. It’ll come in handy for the items below.
Write a short bio. Matter of fact, write two or three. You’ll need one short one, maybe just one sentence long, but then another that’s a full paragraph. When you start navigating the various sites below, some will want the short one while others will have room for the long one. Once you’ve got the main points down, you can always adjust the bio to match a site’s requirements. Need a little more guidance? Indies Unlimited has it for you in Writing Your Bio.
Get a website. You need a “home” that is all your own, a place to which you can refer people, an address which you can put on your business cards and bookmarks. Don’t sweat it – start out slow by browsing other websites to see what others have done, and if you find a layout that you like, copy it. (The general layout, not the content!)
A few things to remember: gear your website to you, not your book. When your next book comes out, it may not be the same genre or have the same feeling to it, and you certainly don’t want to have separate websites for each of your books. You are your platform, not the books. They will ebb and flow around you. Make sure navigation around your site is easy and obvious. People don’t like having to search for things, and the fewer clicks that get them to the information they want, the better. One thing that drives me crazy is going to a website that has a splash page at the front and then you still have to click an “entrance” button to get inside. That’s just annoying. Welcome readers into your world; don’t annoy them by making them work to get to you.
You have a few choices as far as getting a site is concerned:
  • Pay to host/design a website. Luckily website hosting is very cheap these days, so much cheaper than when I started decades ago. It’s easy to do a Google search on website hosting services, and you can compare prices before you pop on one. I realize that many folks know zilch about hypertext and coding, but really, it’s not that hard. You can actually do your web pages on Word, on Internet Explorer or on any of dozens of software programs made especially for that. If you’ve already got Word and have been using that to write, you know about WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get), and it’s a simple enough matter to create your basic site by adding text and pics. If you want to get more creative, you can. If all this feels way over your head, you can hire a web page designer/administrator. The only things I would caution about going this route are (1) doing some price-checking on the services offered and (2) making sure you/they can update your site quickly and reliably. If you go this pay route, make sure to get a webpage with your own name. If people are searching for you but your webpage is, they’re probably not going to find you. Another perk to having your own web page is that you can then have your own e-mail addresses (i.e., not relying on your home internet provider or having your e-mail address change if you change providers.
  • Get a free website. There are lots of places out there offering free website hosting. They also have wizards to help you design your site. Wix seems to be a popular one, but if you Google “free websites,” you’ll get a bunch.
  • Use WordPress. You can pretty easily build your own website using WordPress. We know WordPress is also a blog (which will help you with the blog below), but you can also use the “pages” to make your own website. You can purchase your own URL (i.e., or you can use one of their 100% free platforms which would have a URL like Carolyn Steele wrote about using WordPress to make your own website here.
  • Use Amazon Author Central. If all this website stuff is just beyond you, you can always use your Amazon Author Central page as a website. It has a lot of features and is a great place to send people that will make it very convenient for them to purchase your books. More on that below.
Get a blog. This is where you will share your hard-won wisdom with the world. There are free blog sites like and, plus they have deluxe paid versions, as well. This might feel a bit overwhelming at first, but believe me, it’s not rocket surgery. Most of the blog sites have scads of layout templates you can browse through and offer plenty of information about how to go about it. Again, check some other blogs online and see what others have done.
DO NOT think you have nothing to say. You do. You’ve just published a book. What was your journey? What did you learn? What would you do differently? Keep your blog on topic (no politics or religion), but do give readers a glimpse into your life. Post a picture of your dog or cat, maybe one of your Harley or your latest knitting project. If you have a hobby like horseback riding, gardening, skydiving, video games, baking, etc., it’s good to include blog posts about these. Sharing these things do help to round out who you are as a person. You might even develop a following of people with similar interests who end up buying your book(s). It’s a known fact that readers will buy more books from people they feel like they know and have a connection with than those they don’t.
Get an Amazon Author page. As soon as your book is up on Amazon, claim it and set up your author page. There is so much you can do with this page; it is a hub for your social media, blog, and multi-media. It’s so important that we have a resource page dedicated to Amazon Author Central tutorials.
If you’ve also published through Smashwords, develop your profile there, as well, and take advantage of their author interview page. You can learn more about the features of a Smashwords profile in Getting the Most out of Smashwords.
That’s it for today. It may seem like a lot to work on, but it’s really not if you take it one thing at a time. If you haven’t published a book yet and need somewhere to start, you can check out this post on Marketing for Unpublished Authors
This was originally published by Indies Unlimited on December 16, 2014.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

New Release: Blood Walk

I'm happy to announce the release of Book 8 of the Lacey Fitzpatrick and Sam Firecloud Mystery Series, Blood Walk. If you've been following the series, you know the way Sam and Lacey work; he communicates with ghosts while Lacey does the research to lay the mysteries bare. Together they tackle the toughest cases. 

Here's the description:

The paranormal investigation team of Lacey Fitzpatrick and medium Sam Firecloud is keeping tabs on a serial killer case that’s baffling the LAPD: four murders in a month, with no solid leads or suspects. When Sam and Lacey offer their assistance, the PD reluctantly agrees, but Sam gets more than he bargains for when he visits the crime scenes. In addition to picking up impressions from the victims, he’s also receiving feelings from the killer himself. Sam’s unusual connection to the murderer’s mind may help them catch the criminal, but it could also lead the murderer to them. In a deadly race against time, Sam and Lacey piece the clues together to catch the killer before he catches them.

To celebrate the release, ALL books in the series are just 99 cents now through February 25, 2018. 

Monday, January 29, 2018

The Writer's Mind: Laser vs. Soup

I would guess most non-writers think that the minds of writers pretty much operate all the same way: you get an idea, you write it down, expanding as you go. Years ago, I might have thought that myself, but my last few books over the last couple of years have completely disabused me of that notion. Every project has illustrated to me in ever-greater detail that my mind can work in vastly different ways when doing this singular yet very complex thing – writing.
Generally I get the kernel of an idea, jot down somewhere between five and ten major plot points, figure out the chronology of what happens when, and start writing. As I’m writing, I go back and forth between the work itself and the story bible, adding details like the characters’ names, descriptions, background, and psychological make-up as they are revealed to me. (Yes, I’m as surprised by these things as my readers might be.) The story itself grows organically out of all this back-and-forth, stutter-step writing. There are times when the story leads me in a different direction than I had planned, and then I have to go back and amend my story bible, maybe reorder the timing of events. It’s not an exact science by any means. At least not for me.
Then in 2013, a story idea flashed inside my brain like a supernova. I mulled it around in my head for a few days, letting it evolve, but then it became too much and I had to start writing it all down. Every evening during my down time (watching TV, doing the dishes, etc.), I would get more and more ideas, more details, so every morning I would be pounding the keys to get it all down before it evaporated. I needn’t have worried. The story flashed out sudden, clear and concise, like a laser beam darting across the page. In 39 days it was done.
Whoa. How did that happen? I was as amazed as anyone I told about it. I’d never had a story come to me so fully, so clearly, so completely. And because I wrote it so fast, I just knew I’d need to go back and do some major editing, put more meat on the bones. But — no. It was about 95% done. It just needed a few tweaks here and there.
Now this is a form of writing I could get used to. No sitting staring at a blank page; no lying awake at night trying to figure the relationship angles, the story arc. Ideas filter down into the brain, put ‘em down on paper and — BOOM! — done.
Had I entered into a new phase of my writing life? Had I reached some pinnacle of efficiency? Was I going to be a writing machine from this day forward?
I wish.
The next book fell comfortably, if not happily for me, into my old process. Well, okay, I can live with that. This one had actually been about half-done and I had put it aside when that laser hit my brain. It only took three months to finish it and get it out there on the shelf. No speed freak, but not bad.
Enter my next WIP. BI got this idea to write about a female archaeologist who, while surveying a site, connects across 1,000 years of time with an ancient Sinagua woman who lived at that site. (I wrote earlier about doing some research for this.) After months of struggle, I was only on Chapter 3. Who turned off the laser?
This book, I’m finding, is more like a simmering pot of soup. It’s on the burner on low, quietly bubbling away, and every once in a while I add something to it. I’m volunteering at the archaeology center and actually learning artifact cataloging. I’ve completed one class on making cordage with local plant fibers, and the next class will be learning how to survey a site. All this goes into the soup. My husband and I periodically prowl the local sites near our home. We examine the pottery sherds we find (but put them back where we find them), and note the layout of the pit houses and cliff dwellings. More substance for the soup. I’m also reading everything I can find on the Anasazi (or Pre-Puebloans) and the Sinagua, the local north central Arizona line of that culture. More seasoning for the soup. The pot on the stove continues to simmer, the new ingredients melding with the original, the tastes and smells mingling as they assimilate. On a good day, I might get a paragraph or two written. The soup is just not ready yet.
It boggles the mind how one action — writing — can have such different processes and yet lead to similar conclusions. Obviously, story-telling uses many different parts of the brain. I suppose it’s all part of our human nature that this “simple” task can be so complex, so hard to pin down, and so surprising.
Update: Since this post's first publication, the particular "problem book" has been abandoned for other, more cooperative, stories. Will it ever be finished? Who knows? I certainly don't!
This post was originally published by Indies Unlimited on 11/25/2014.

Monday, January 15, 2018

New Release: Soul Walk

Want a great way to kick off the new year? How about reading Soul Walk, Book 7 of the Lacey Fitzpatrick and Sam Firecloud Mystery Series?  

Paranormal investigator Lacey Fitzpatrick and medium Sam Firecloud are making quite a name for themselves. When a TV network offers to feature them on a popular ghost series, they realize they could dispel misconceptions and bring credibility to their work. However, filming their process is more troublesome and complicated than they knew.  Their goal to research and release the ghostly tenants of a haunted bed and breakfast in Malibu is at odds with the studio’s penchant for sensationalism. On top of that, Sam finds his connection to one of the ghosts to be painfully personal, and he and Lacey struggle to keep their work, their relationship and their newfound stardom from unraveling.

All the books in the mystery series are on sale for just 99 cents each to celebrate the release of my latest installment.  If you've been following Sam and Lacey, you'll want to see what happens when they get their own TV show. If you're new to the series, try out the first book, Ghost Walk, for just 99 cents. You won't be disappointed.

Catch up on all the adventures of Sam and Lacey in the first 6 books.

Now all just 99 cents each through January 21, 2018

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Coming Soon: Soul Walk

The adventures of paranormal investigators Lacey Fitzpatrick and Sam Firecloud are about to take a radical turn. What's going to happen  next in their career, in their relationship, in their lives? Stay tuned. Soul Walk, Book 7 of the Lacey Fitzpatrick and Sam Firecloud Mystery Series, will be released soon. 

Paranormal investigator Lacey Fitzpatrick and medium Sam Firecloud are making quite a name for themselves. When a TV network offers to feature them on a popular ghost series, they realize they could dispel misconceptions and bring credibility to their work. However, filming their process is more troublesome and complicated than they knew.  Their goal to research and release the ghostly tenants of a haunted bed and breakfast in Malibu is at odds with the studio’s penchant for sensationalism. On top of that, Sam finds his connection to one of the ghosts to be painfully personal, and he and Lacey struggle to keep their work, their relationship and their newfound stardom from unraveling.

Watch this space for news about the release!

You haven't met Sam and Lacey yet? Don't forget, Ghost Walk, Book 1 of the series is always only 99 cents!