Books by Melissa Bowersock

Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Glow of Reading a GREAT Book

Over the past 6 or 8 months, I have read many books but none of them have really grabbed me. I don’t have a lot of time to read, so sometimes it might be a week before I can steal a few moments to catch up with my latest, and I was finding that it was difficult to re-immerse myself in the story each time. I wasn't sure, at the time, if it was due to the fact that I didn't have much time to really get into it or if the stories weren't compelling enough to call me back to my Kindle. I found myself skimming more than actually reading and then, of course, I’d miss things and the book would be less interesting than it was before. I was beginning to wonder if I were changing in some way, if I were failing to appreciate, to connect, to identify and relate.

Then an acquaintance recommended Susanna Kearsley's TheRose Garden.

I’m a sucker for a good time-travel story, so much so that I started a time-travel discussion group on one of my online forums. I was surprised when one of my forum-mates recommended books by this author I had never heard of. I checked the blurbs on Amazon and had to admit, they sounded good. So I downloaded The Rose Garden to my Kindle and began reading right away.

The first thing I realized was that the problem I’d had with the last I-don’t-know-how-many-books was not me! The Rose Garden is extremely well-written and hits the ground running. I was immediately appreciative of the style and immediately caught up in the story. The characters are well-defined and the setting—an old stone mansion in Cornwall—is a superb locale for time-travel. Descriptions of the home and the surrounding countryside are vibrant and incorporate all the senses; I actually felt like I could smell the sea air, feel the salt spray on my skin. I began to wish I lived in a place that was so deeply steeped in hundreds—thousands—of years of history.

So the very first day of reading I was able to get through about 20% of it (you know Kindle—no page numbers, just percentages). I was loathe to put it down, but the rest of my life was calling. As I reluctantly turned my attention to my other tasks, I realized I was looking out through the semi-transparent veil of great-book-residue. This is very hard to describe, but anyone who has ever been in the grip of an excellent book will know the feeling. It’s like looking through a window and seeing the world beyond, yet also seeing in the glass the reflection of the room behind you. You see one overlaid on the other and you can focus your attention on one or the other as you wish. This was what I was doing, seeing the real world around me, yet the feeling of the book overlaid it all, softening it, giving it a dreamy quality. While attending to what I needed to, I was also wondering what the characters were going to do next, what the turn of the story would be when I got back to it. It was luscious agony imagining what might happen but being unable to continue the story.

After my second long sit with the book, I went outside for a much-needed exercise break. It felt very much like dragging myself up out of a delicious dream when I would much rather have scrunched down under the covers and given myself up to sleep again. My immersion in ancient gray Cornwall jangled with my view of cactus and palm trees reaching up into the fiercely blue Arizona sky, their palm fronds rattling softly in the sun-warmed breeze. My “real” world felt unnatural to me, as if the book were the truth and my view of Tucson were the make-believe. I could not wait to get back into the story.

While reading, I found the book impelled me in three different directions. First of all, of course, I wanted to finish the book as quickly (or as slowly, see below) as possible. Secondly, I wanted to record my impressions here while they were fresh, even as they were forming. Thirdly, I wanted to get back to my own current work in progress, as The Rose Garden inspired me to paint my own words with the same glowing brush. I needed three sets of hands, three brains and three sets of eyes!

Reading a great book is like sitting down to a succulent meal; it’s a struggle to balance the desire to gobble up everything as quickly as possible against the need to savor every bite, to make it last as long as humanly possible. Wanting to know what happens next goads me on to read faster; the delicate descriptions of dappled shadows in the woods and waves breaking on a rocky coast invite me to linger. This delicious tension is the true mark of a good story; it holds us, it embraces us and carries us effortlessly toward completion.

And the completion of the story leaves us with a glowing satisfaction, tinged with sadness at the leaving.

But the good news is, I can go back any time and visit again. Granted I’ll know the story, know the twists and turns of it, but I’ll also know the characters, and seeing them again will be like seeing treasured old friends. Here I've only just left and I’m already looking forward to that next visit.

The Rose Garden, by Susanna Kearsley, is about as perfect a book as I could want. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Author Interview: Tammie Clarke Gibbs

Today we go behind the scenes with author Tammie Clarke Gibbs & her new Time Travel Romance, Sworn to Secrecy. 

Tammie Clarke Gibbs is the author of the #1 Kindle Best Selling Gothic/Time Travel Romance Island of Secrets which has been consistently on three of the Amazon Best Seller Lists for over eighteen consecutive months. She is the author of three novels and multiple non-fiction titles. Tammie resides with her husband, son, and a very spoiled Maltese in South Georgia. She loves to hear from her fans and can be reached at her website and via email.

Where did the idea for the book come from? 
I have a very interesting family history book. It's not on my immediate family name, but on my great grandmother's side. It's a little red book with an interesting crest on it (a bloody palm). Both  general ideas for both my first book ISLAND OF SECRETS and my newest book SWORN TO SECRECY came from this little book and the family, local folklore. Of course, I've embellished and added a romance to each of the stories.

Which character is your favorite, and why? 
This book has too many favorites, which is why I keep writing giving the supporting characters leading roles in future books.

Have your characters (in this book or any other) ever done anything that surprised you? 
Yes, they started rewriting the story. It's pretty spooky when you become the conduit for channeling fictional characters.

Time-travel stories are a pretty specialized, and well-loved, genre. What are your favorite time-travel books? 
Two of my favorite time travel romance authors are Jude Devearux and Lynn Kurland. I have all of their books.

What would you like readers to take away with them at the end of your book? 
That love can grow from adversity and has the power to conquer even when stuggling against all the odds.

What's next on the horizon for you? 
My next book will also be a paranormal but will be the first in a new series of books on lesser-known  legends. Readers will love this book because it will be reminiscent of the love across century's theme in Island of Secrets. I've been plotting this book for a few years now, and it's almost ready to be written.  Thank you for giving me the opportunity to visit with you on your blog.

A little something from Tammie:

Be sure to visit all of the bloggers and authors that are hosting me during the Book Launch Celebration for Sworn to Secrecy for your chance to win prizes and read more about me and my books. I have something special planned with each of them.
During the launch, you can grab a copy for just $0.99. After March 20th, the price goes to its list price of $3.99. 
An unlikely alliance...a love born from the ashes of adversity....Dak Bartholomew is a US Secret Service agent. When he wakes up locked in a dark room it's just another day until he realizes that he's not alone.
Elizabeth Porter would like nothing more than to plunge her knife through the stranger's heart for all the trouble he's caused. 

Together they'll take an unexpected journey to a time and place they could never have imagined and discover a secret they'll be sworn to protect.

Don't miss Tammie's other novels--
Buy on Amazon
   Click on the links below to visit participating Launch Partners & Read more…
Author Barbara Ivie Green - Live on March 12, 2013
Author Bill Hiatt - Live on March 13, 2013
Author SJ Byrne - Live on March 13, 2013
Author Michelle Hughes - Live on March 14, 2013
 Author Brian Bigelow - Live on March 15, 2013
Author Sheila Deeth - Live on March 16, 2013
Author Regan Black - Live on March 16, 2013
Author Pamela Foreman - Live on March 17, 2013
Author Olivia Martinez -Live on March 18, 2013 
 Wordlovers by Melissa Bowersock - Live on March 19, 2013
Author Andrea Buginsky - Live on March 19, 2013
Confessions of a Reader -Live on March 19, 2013
Author Gemma Wilford - Live on April 7, 2013

Click Here to go to the Giveaway Post and enter for some great prizes

Excerpt of Sworn to Secrecy Copyright Tammie Clarke Gibbs

Dak Bartholomew felt a trickle of blood run a cold wet trail down the side of his face from the open gash at his temple.
He struggled to open his eyes, and after several moments succeeded. Focusing on his surroundings took several more, but eventually, he could see the small, dank-smelling room in more clarity than he even desired.
The only light came from a single window, its panes blackened all but for one small section.
He pulled himself off the filthy mattress and felt his way toward the light. The window had been painted from the inside, and it appeared that someone had literally scratched at it until a small stream of light was allowed in from the outside. Instinctively, he reached into his pocket for his knife, but it wasn't there. Nothing was there.
There was a faint cry from the corner of the room. Startled, Dak stepped back into the darkness.
He felt his way along the bed until he came to what he thought was a wall.
The darkness was deep and black, and the light cut only a sliver through it, leaving the rest of the room engulfed in an ebony sea.
He was weak from having been drugged or loss of blood. He wasn't sure which. Either would have given him an excuse to forget he wasn't alone and cower, but the pitiful whimpers stoked within him a steely determination.
"You there," he called and waited for an answer.
The room was quiet in response. No whimpering. No breathing.
"Are you hurt?" Dak asked this time, and his voice was softer. Still there was no answer.
He took several short steps, feeling his way along the wall in the direction he'd heard the sounds coming from.
"I won't hurt you," he said, this time louder. "I …"
Dak felt a dirty hand on his mouth and something sharp at his side.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Author Interview: Lorrie Struiff

Today I have a post from guest author Lorrie Struiff. Welcome, Lorrie; what have you got for us?

Hi Melissa,
Thank you so much for hosting me today on your blog.
I’d like to let the readers and authors read what happened to Fat Phil Phillips the day he couldn't resist an interview.


“This is Newsy Persons at BTGN with all your oldies but goodies coming at you. Oh jeez, wait a minute, folks. I see the co-star of the Call on the Dead series, Phil Phillips, outside the window. Maybe he’ll give us an interview.” Newsy waves him in. “Great. He’s coming in folks, sit tight.”

The door opens. Phil peeks around the door. “Uh, are you waving at me?”

“Yes, yes, come on in, have a seat. You’re Phil Phillips, right?  Of the new COD series?"

“Yeah. Who’re you?”

Newsy settles back in his chair. “I’m Newsy Persons. You never heard of me?”

“Nope. ’Fraid not.”

“Well, I’m so fascinated with your co-star role in the previews of the upcoming series, would you mind if I ask you a few questions?”

 “Me?” Phil smiles wide and his chest puffs. “Really? Me?” He glances around the studio. The chair squeaks when he sits. “Sure, I don’t mind. I have some time.”

“Tell us a little about the star of the series.”

“Well, I’m the pres--”

“No, no, I mean Winnie Krapski.”

Phil shoots Newsy an angry look. “I thought you wanted to know about me.”

“Well, ahem, of course I do, Phil. Tell me what you do in the series.”

“I’m the president of our chapter in the world-wide organization of the COD club.” Phil slicks back the thinning hair on top of his head. “I recruit members who get the gift, assign them districts, and make sure they’re doing their jobs right.”

“What gift?”

Phil shakes his head. “I can’t tell you, it’s a secret.”

“Can’t tell me? We’re going to find out soon enough. Come on, you can tell me."

“Nope, Sorry, it’s a secret. I can’t tell you.”

"You’re a stubborn man, Phil. With a club named Call on the Dead, there has to be a big story behind it."

“Sorry, can’t tell you that either.”

 Newsy sighs. “Well then, tell us a little bit about Winnie?”

 “I can’t tell you, but I will say this. She is one bossy woman. When I go with her to a job, she has an evil knack of getting me into more trouble than I ever imagined. She always jumps before she thinks. Bam! Right into the thick of things. I've been shot at, gotten punched, froze my behind off and had to bail her out of jail. All because she can’t keep her big yap shut.”

Newsy leans forward. “You dislike her that much?”

“Naw, don’t get me wrong, she’s okay. In fact, we’re good friends. I just wish she was smarter, not so ditzy, and would stay out of trouble."

“You mean she’s whacky?”

“I can’t tell you that. You’ll have to indulge in the series to find out.”

“All we've learned is that you’re president, Winnie is whacky, bossy, stupid, and can’t stay out of threatening situations that she drags you into."

“You got it.”

“You’re not giving our listeners much to grab onto here.”

 Phil scratches his head and gives Newsy a puzzled look. “What do you mean listeners?” Phil’s eyebrows lift and his eyes go wide. “You mean we’re live? On the air?”

Newsy eyes the microphone between them on the table. He gives Phil a slow grin. “I can’t tell you that.”


Don’t worry, readers. You can find out for yourselves. The COD (Call on the Dead Club) is out now. Stories 1 & 2 are in the first volume and the newly released COD 3 is out now. At only 99 cents per download, don’t pass up the chance to get your two.

Mr. and Mrs. Bickerson are in a fatal highway accident. Both Phil and Winnie work their last requests. Strange that the dead couple want their requests kept secret from one another. Why? What are they hiding?

Winnie works the request and ends up in more danger than she can handle.
Yep, Winnie is in deep poo again. Find out more here.


Winnie went to the funeral home to pay her last respects to her dead bingo friend Cora. There Cora lay in her casket, and there Cora sat on a chair near her casket. Winnie fainted.


Come and meet Winnie Krapski who hugged a cherry tree during a lightning storm. The bolt slammed her, splitting the tree in half. The near-death experience bestowed her with a gift–-one she’d rather not have.
Drafted into the C.O.D. Club (Call on the Dead) by Fat Phil Phillips, her mission is to grant the newly deceased’s ghost one last reasonable request. Can Winnie honor her oath?

Well, she tries. But, not before she stumbles into situations that almost get her killed. She’s one spunky broad. Follow her adventures here.

Thank you for reading.  If you have time, please leave a comment. I love comments.

Other sites where you can find me. Have a peek.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Author Interview - Micheal Brookes

Today I am happy to interview Michael Brookes, who is making a blog tour to promote his new book. 

Michael, you’re releasing your latest book, Conversations in the Abyss. Please give us a brief overview of the book and how it relates to your last book, The Cult of Me.

In The Cult of Me we met a man who grew up with the ability to enter people’s minds and bend them to his will. His ability makes him useful to certain factions and he helps a secret church organization kill Lazarus, an immortal attempting to bring about the apocalypse.

He steals Lazarus’s miracle, gaining immortality, but only to discover that the miracle has a harsh price. An eternal fire burns within his flesh. For his crime he is imprisoned within the walls of a monastery. Seeking escape he delves deep inside his own psyche and hides at the border between life and death. There he discovers some of the secrets of the universe.

He also learns that the apocalypse is coming and once again he must stop it.

Your story spans 2 books so far and is poised to have a third. What was your process during the planning? Did you know the story was going to span multiple books, or did you write the first one and then realize you wanted to continue the story?

I knew that the story would span a trilogy, but only a rough idea of what would occur in each book. I conduct an extensive planning process before writing each book. The next one is going to be the trickiest. I have an idea of where it should end, but it might be a bit obvious so I’ll need to think of something different.

Writing about the Apocalyptic destruction of the entire universe seems like a daunting task. What was the inspiration behind your story?

The story is inspired by ‘Paradise Lost.’ For me, John Milton’s book is the greatest story ever told and there are aspects that interest me and made me think of writing a story based on the same events, but with a modern twist.

Your story concerns the classic battle between good and evil, between the forces of God and the forces of Satan. What influence, if any, did your religious background have on your writing?

In the book good and evil isn't quite as clear cut as it first seems. I've always had an interest in theology and religion in general.

Your stories tend to have a dark side to them. What authors and books have had the most influence on your writing?

For horror I think Clive Barker is probably my biggest influence, along with other classic authors like James Herbert. I also read a lot of science fiction, in fact Ian M. Banks is the author of my favourite novel  - Excession.

How would you define “success” for a writer?

For me hearing people reading my books and enjoying them.

What would you like readers to take away with them after reading your books?

I like to think that my stories encourage questions as well as provide entertainment.

You work as a producer for a game development company. Are the creative processes for gaming and writing similar or different? Do you find the two formats complement each other in any way?

There are similarities between the two. It depends greatly on the game, for the latest game we’re working on, Elite: Dangerous, the game is more about the setting than a linear narrative.

What other projects can we expect to see from you in the future, or are already out there?

I have a first draft that I need to work up. I've also been asked to write the official novel for our new game.

Is there anything you’d like to add?

I’d like to thank you for hosting this interview and taking part in the blog tour. I’d also like to thank my readers and I hope you continue to find my work worth reading.

How can readers connect with you?

Monday, March 4, 2013

2013 TFOB

The TFOB is coming! The TFOB is coming!

The what? What the heck’s a TFOB? (And no, it’s not that thing on your pocket watch. Oh, you don’t have a pocket watch?)

No matter. The TFOB is ….

This is the eagerly awaited and most exceptional book festival in all of Southern Arizona. In its second year, the TFOB became the third largest book festival in the country with over 100,000 attendees. In this, its fifth year, there is just no telling how many folks there might be, but it’s a celebration of books and reading the likes of which you have never seen.

And no wonder. With over 275 exhibitors and 450 authors, it’s a bibliophile’s paradise. There are workshops, panels, discussions, presentations and literary activities for the entire family. Some of the many well-known and featured authors this year are Pulitzer-prize winner David Wood, “Pearls Before Swine” cartoonist Stephan Pastis, John Sayles, and R. L. Stine. In addition to the recognizable names, there are hundreds of lesser-known but just as hard-working authors that are available to meet with folks for a friendly chat. I believe I can speak for most of them when I say that meeting our readers and talking with them face-to-face is extremely gratifying and great fun.

So when does all this happen? March 9-10, 2013 at the University of Arizona Mall in the center of town. Events start as early as 9:30am and go until 5:30pm both days. There is food, music, lots of free stuff and fun for all. If you’re in the neighborhood, I hope you’ll come on down. If you do, stop by the Author’s Pavilion West and say hello. I’ll be there from 9:45-11:45am on Saturday morning.

See you there!