The Day my Novel Got on Jeopardy!

jeopardy-full“I’ll take Thrillers & Mysteries for $200, Alex…”

So, on October 25th I get an IM out of the blue, from a friend. It goes something like this (shortened it a bit – but you’ll get the point):

Jen: Umm were you a question just now on Jeopardy???? A woman hunts for the murderer of her parents… in the mythical home of Kubla Khan…answer what is The Hunt for Xanadu !!!!
Me: WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT??? That’s impossible… You’re joking with me…
Seriously, stop. There’s no way, they are supposed to be questions that are mainstream.

Jen: I recorded it. I will try to show you give me a few
Me: How is that possible?! You’re pulling my leg. (I completely don’t believe her. Thinking she is entirely joking with me)

Jen: I Googled The Hunt For Xanadu and yours is only one I saw! I don’t care I’m telling all my friends that I have a friend whose book was the answer/question on Jeopardy just like Lincoln Child. Lol you are mainstream now!
Me: Hmmmmmm, I’ll believe it when I see it (this conversation went on in this vein for a while – still not buying it, but man that is a great joke)

But then, I sort of freaked out. Could this be possible? So I start searching and then contacting friends who are good at finding things. Frank Tuttle (a genius at stuff like this), found a fan site that keeps track of every answer and clue. And guess what? IT WAS THERE. Not a little there. Not “could it be my book?” It WAS my book. After I caught my breath, I had to track down my California friends and family to see if they could tape it for me, since Jen’s tape didn’t work, and sure enough, it was the first question of the night. The icing on the cake would have been if Alex Trebek had additionally said my name, but it’s still okay. I mean, MY NOVEL WAS ON JEOPARDY! Here’s the video clip. Thank you Lisa Jey Davis!

So folks, “I’ll take Thrillers & Mysteries for $200, Alex.” And they got it right.

I’ve been wanting to get my books to Hollywood, so I guess you can say, I made it!🙂

Feel like grabbing the book for yourself? It’s part of a series if you love spiritual thrillers.

Book #1 THE HUNT FOR XANADU
AMAZON: http://amzn.to/1CEvEab
UK Amazon: http://amzn.to/1Cp2awz

Book #2 THE QUEST OF THE EMPTY TOMB
US AMAZON: http://amzn.to/1EvXExO
UK AMAZON: http://amzn.to/1JSRNqT

Book #3 THE CALL OF MOUNT SUMERU
US AMAZON: http://amzn.to/1SUskAv
UK AMAZON: http://amzn.to/1nPF6TO

Amazingly, many of my friends watched the show, saw the question, but didn’t immediately connect it was my book. It was a “why do I know this answer?” sort of thing. Though my lovely Aunt Trudy told me she knew the answer right away!

So, Enjoy! (and Jennifer – you are the bomb! Thank you for catching this for me, or I never would have known!)

Results for my Horror BookBub Promotion for The Mannequins

Horror Novel - "I beg of you... stay away..."

Horror Novel – “I beg of you… stay away…”

Hey everyone! Last week I posted that I got selected finally for a BookBub promotion on September 26th for my horror novel THE MANNEQUINS. I was so excited, but I was really nervous, too. It was $330 for a $.99 cent promotion, that I ran internationally. I needed to sell 1100 books just to break even and I was concerned how that would go. First, this was a standalone horror novel, and second, the only other horror book in my library was a short story anthology called RICKET ROW.

Well, I’m here to report I broke even on Day #1. That Monday I sold a total of 1393 books. Most of those sales were THE MANNEQUINS, though quite a few sales of RICKET ROW came in and a few from other books in my library. Let me give you the rundown:

Day #1 – 1393 books sold (The Mannequins was at 99 cents)
Day #2 – 204 books sold (The Mannequins was still at 99 cents)
Day #3 – 21 books sold (The Mannequins is now at $2.99)
Day #4 – 18 books sold
Day #5 – 8 books sold
Day #6 – 7 books sold

So, yes, the numbers are starting to diminish, but I’m really excited about this. I was able to get over 1500 people to buy my books. No matter how hard I work to self promote myself, I may be good for 10-20 books a month. Usually for that, like this time, I’ll boost a facebook post and I’m good for a few sales, but if you really want to move the needle, only BookBub has really done it for me. For this type of exposure, it was worth the risk.

penderrankingNot to mention I got amazing screen shots. Some put me squarely next to my favorite authors and don’t think I didn’t send Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child a shout out on Instagram when my book was next to theirs on the Amazon rankings! Not to mention, RICKET ROW hit some nice numbers as well.

So, overall this was a really nice success. I keep plugging away to get my other books accepted. I try free, I try 99 cents, I tout my covers, the famous author who has given me a blurb – you name it. It took 24 tries across all my books for this promotion to happen. Just keep trying, you never know.

I’m going to give a little plug for Ricket Row – it’s doing pretty well and you guys might enjoy this creepy little read.

A collection of creepy horror tales...

A collection of creepy horror tales…

Terrifying things are happening to those in Ricket Row. Why do a set of grieving parents dig up a shoebox each week from their son’s grave? Who is that maniacal clown that follows a man home? Why do those teen boys chase after a ghostly girl they’ve never met before? This anthology is packed with tales both psychologically creepy and horrifying. You’ll meet a group of disabled orphans trying to survive a zombie apocalypse and a woman who is getting sicker and sicker, day by day, with no reason why. Or is there? Come enter the horrors of Ricket Row. You’ve been warned.

RICKET ROW: http://amzn.to/2dDnBpA

My Experience So Far with BookBub for THE MANNEQUINS

fb-ad-mannequins-with-textI’ve been trying to get a BookBub promotion for my Kelsey Porter Buddhist thriller series or my YA Deaf Flying series for well over a year. I’ve tried free, I’ve tried 99 cents, I’ve tried touting my professional covers, reviews, putting a famous author blurb on the front cover, I’ve touted that it’s a series… nothing has worked.

A collection of creepy horror tales...

A collection of creepy horror tales…

So, on a lark, I tried my standalone horror novel, THE MANNEQUINS at 99 cents… and it took. Sigh. One of the benefits of a BookBub is being able to sell other books in the series. With this being a standalone, I’m not sure I’ll be able to have much crossover. That said, I do have a horror anthology called RICKET ROW in my library of offerings, so possibly folks looking through my books could choose that as well.

I got the BookBub scheduled for 9/26. So, I put it out today (a day before) at 99 cents so I could be early, and I’ll keep it until Tuesday night/Wednesday morning. I’ve gone onto twitter, google+ and various horror facebook groups and promoted it. I boosted my facebook author post to horror and Stephen King fans, spending only $4 for the FB boost. But, the BookBub cost me $330 so I need to sell over 1000 books to break even on their ad. If I get any crossover sales, that will definitely help me to break even quicker.

So, next week, I will let all of you know how I did. Let’s hope I am able to grab some screen shots with some great top ten stats. I will say that I did get one sale today already from my efforts. Let’s hope another 1000 come in!

If you’re interested in a horror tale that has been described as “darkly imaginative,””creepy,” and “deliciously disturbing,” please check it out here on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2cusood It’s 99 cents until 9/27. I’d love an honest review if you have the time.

Happy Reading! (and keep the lights on…)

Taking a Facebook Book Promo idea to WordPress

So the other day I opened up my personal Facebook Feed to allow my writer friends to put up one of their books in the comments of that day’s post. You see, I try to keep my FB feed relatively free of constant promotional book posts. Not that I won’t tell my family and friends about my writing life, but I don’t want it to be filled with that. I use twitter, my author page, google+ and other social media means when I want to post more often. For FB, I really just love to keep my regular feed filled with poignant, slice of life events for all my friends and family to chat about.

Now, I happen to have a lot of friends that love to read, and with all the millions of books in the world, it’s just so hard for people to sometimes find these little gems. Especially when I know how hard everyone has worked on these. (though I will admit, I have not read them all) Still, these authors were keen on letting the world know about their work, so I wanted to showcase them a bit more. I’ll start with mine:

THE HUNT FOR XANADU Doug CoverTHE HUNT FOR XANADU by Elyse Salpeter
Genre: Supernatural Thriller
A girl on a quest for revenge to find her parent’s killers. Book #1 of 3.
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2ahjL12

H.E.R.O. – METAMORPHOSIS by Kevin Rau
This is a FREE, full-length ebook and kicks off the most extensive superhero novel (not comic book) series in existence!
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2aUHy74

TRUST by Pamela Kelley
Genre: Mystery/Suspense
What do you do when your fiancée becomes a murder suspect 3 weeks before the wedding?
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2a7kBR4

ardenARDEN’S ACT by Elizabeth Thomas
Genre: Historical Romance.
In the time of Charles II, the first women are allowed to act in plays. Arden West comes to London to do this, and finds romance and adventure along the way.
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2aHlyjD

A TIME TO TELL by Maria Savva
Genre: Family saga
A story about love and family relationships – history repeating itself.
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2aJpddT

BLUEWATER DRONE by Charles Dougherty
Eleventh book in the series about the adventures of two young women running a charter yacht in the Caribbean.
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2aqzHzP

THOMAS TALKS TO ME by Denise Vitola
Need a Writing Muse who has great ideas and tips? Let an angel help you.
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2aob6sT

chrissieAMONG THE OLIVE GROVES by Chrissie Parker
Genre: Historical fiction.
Love bravery and sacrifice on a Greek island during World War II.
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2aJoFos

An Anthology of Pet Tales with Ann Swann’s story SNAKEMAN
It’s an anthology of true pet tales.
Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/gu7mmzw

BATS by Fred Barnett
Protecting their all dead habitat from tourists. PLUS The Black Friday Shoppers
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2ak4oFm

BREATHE by Christine Grey
Genre: Fantasy Adventure with plenty of Romance
The Destiny Series, Book 1 Fantasy, PG-13 Girl meets boy while trying to kill boy.
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2aHnokR

jessieJESSIE by Rebekah Lyn
Genre: Young Adult.
Jessie is the 2014 winner of the Patrick D. Smith Literary Award for Florida Fiction. Jessie’s boyish ambition is to ride a rocket into space and he has plans to make it happen.
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2an0nUK

darkTHE DARK by David C. Cassidy
Genre: Supernatural Horror
IT KNOWS WHAT YOU WANT. IT KNOWS WHAT YOU NEED. Don’t miss this two-time award-winning novel.
Amazon: http://amzn.to/2aDgsnL

Want to check out some lovely poems by Tracy Meyerhoffer? She enjoys writing poems about the life experience. There is something there for everyone to identify with. Funny, thoughtful or quirky, my poems are like snapshots of someone’s soul.
Check out her website: http://www.TracyMeyerhofer.com

lisaMs. Cheevious In Hollywood: My Zany Years Spent Working in Tinsel Town by Lisa Jey Davis
It’s my memoir of my fun time as a single mom pursuing a job working in Television… and landing said job!! It’s filled with funny stories and foibles ala newly single mom… and also tons of a-list celebrity dish as well… I hope people enjoy! It’s available in paperback, hard cover and eBook:
Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/lisajeyd-book

BITE SIZE READS by Roseanne Baxter Frank
Slightly twisted, deliciously dark really short stories for people with very little time or very short attentions spans.” Sometimes what you read depends on how much time you have.
Amazon: Bit.ly/BiteSizeReads

Please feel free to check these out and if you get a chance to read any of the books above, there is no greater favor to an author than leaving an honest review. It means so much more than you know.

Happy Reading!

Today is my Birthday. Embracing myself, and my Curls.

Embracing my Curls

Embracing my Curls

Today I turned 49.

I have a hard time saying that without wanting to throw up a little in my mouth. 49. That means I’ll be 50 next year. When I was younger, I considered that old. But I don’t feel old. I feel like I’m 30. Not younger, because I’ve had kids, I’ve had jobs, I’ve lost people I loved. Life has afforded me the luxury to feel like I’m 30, but my body sometimes tells another story.

Those daily aches and pains getting up in the morning. (when did I start groaning when I got out of bed?) How I need to watch my sugar, watch my artificial sweetener intake, moisturize my skin, make sure I exercise and do everything I can so I “don’t get old.” I don’t want to become that person that just sits in a chair all day and watches the world go by. I don’t want to be that person that says, “I want to live my life the way I want to live and if that means eating jelly donuts when I have diabetes, that’s quality of life!” No it isn’t. That’s denial and I don’t want to live sickly and then die early because I chose to continually make choices that hurt me.

When I get to 50, I want to be fit. I want to be healthy. I want to do a photo shoot for everyone IN A BIKINI saying “This is 50!” (not that I ever really wore a bikini, nor probably should at that age, but I’d like to try). And I’d like to learn to embrace my curls instead of flat-ironing them all the time. I live in New York and straight hair is golden here. Heck, there are Dry Bars all over where you can go in and get a blow-out. But, it’s time to be me every now and then. For my birthday I just went out and bought all these Deva products for curly hair. Spent a small fortune, but NY humidity in summer is nothing to joke about, folks.

Boot Camp RopeI made a bunch of goals for myself when I turned 40. I was going to start publishing my books. (I did, and now have 9 out!), I wanted a famous author to read one of my books AND LIKE IT! (Douglas Preston gave me a review for THE HUNT FOR XANADU!), I was going to start Tae Kwon Do. (I did and 5 years later got my black belt!). I took a serious boot camp class for five months and wanted to be able to climb up the rope to the ceiling (did it!) And I wanted to travel someplace crazy with my family. (we went on an Alaskan cruise!)

But now I want to conquer a whole new group of goals. Some will take a few years, but some I want to do before my next birthday. So here they are:

I want to run a 1/2 marathon. I want to lose 15 lbs and get in good enough shape to do that bikini shot for my next birthday. I want to go to Italy and other places around the world I’ve never been. I want to visit my mom more. I want to take my daughter on a vacation somewhere, just the two of us. I want to be a raging success at my new job, and I want to publish the next book in my Kelsey Porter Series. I’d also LOVE to take singing lessons. I want to go to Karaoke one day and surprisingly be able to belt out a song by Celine Dion or Kelly Clarkson and shock the people around me who never thought I could sing. I think that would be a hoot.

So, remember… bikini shot at 50 next year. Put it out to the universe, do the work and just maybe it will happen. And what do you think of the curls? They work? I think they may be a keeper!

Getting Off Artificial Sweeteners… Without Ruining my Coffee!

coffee1So, recently I posted on Facebook how I “was totally ruining my perfectly good cup of coffee by forgoing any artificial sweeteners.” You see, the day before I was telling my co-worker about my “4 Splenda a day” habit. (which I thought was perfectly acceptable) She suffers from ulcerative colitis and was horrified I’d put two Splenda in my morning coffee, and then another two at about 3:00 pm. She literally begged me to get off artificial sweeteners. That “you’ll hate your coffee for a few days, but I promise you that you’ll get used to it.”

Sigh… I didn’t want to “get used” to any unsweetened coffee. I LIKED my morning cup just fine! But that said, I tend to get bloating, I tend to have joint pain and I tend to get high and low crashes during the day. Apparently all caused by artificial sweeteners.

I was told to just use regular sugar (turbinado, agave, etc), but I’ve been advised to cut my sugar as much as I can because a) it’s causing me to gain weight around my middle and b) my extended family is diabetic and I’m trying to be cognizant of adding sugar to anything.

So, I posted this on FB and “WOW” the conversations that followed! Apparently this is a very heated topic. But people were great and gave me a ton of suggestions on what to use instead of sweeteners and I’ll give you my feedback on what I tried this week.

Drink: Coffee (usually Starbucks made at home or a Keurig-like coffee in the office)… I use a generous serving of milk, creamer or almond milk.

Now, what I’ve added:

1) Cinnamon: I put a few generous shakes in and stir and stir and stir. Cinnamon is supposedly a natural sweetener and an anti-inflammatory. This is a fine addition.

2) Organic Butter: This is just okay. I used a pat of butter, though Kerrygold was suggested. I just didn’t have that brand handy. It seems fine, a bit fatty and not extremely tasty or sweet enough for me to add this regularly.

3) Coconut Oil: The flavor is good, but I find that it leaves a thick film of paste on my lips and I really don’t like that at all. Reminiscent of dousing my lips with vaseline. It was suggested to use a blender for this addition, but it’s way too much trouble and too loud at 5:30 am.

4) Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice: This is strangely good. My office has a squeezer and fresh oranges available. So, for my afternoon cup, I squeeze in fresh orange juice (sometimes a half, sometimes a whole). It is not bad at all and I may bring in cinnamon to add to this. One note, I find I now do not finish my afternoon cup, either. Now, it sort of sits on my desk and I do a few sips until I finish about half. Interesting.

5) Honey: This is also fine, but gives me a bit of a tea aftertaste. I don’t love it as much.

6) Cayenne Pepper: I added that this morning with my cinnamon. I love spicy food but I don’t quite like it with my coffee. I’m looking for sweet and this gives the exact opposite effect.

So, how has the full week been without sweeteners? Well, I still don’t LOVE and crave my coffee as much as I did, but now I don’t dislike it either. I like cinnamon as my additive of choice.

But, have I noticed anything with my health? Actually… YES!

The Crash: I don’t crash during the day any longer. Usually I’m dying for that 5:30 am cup and the 3:00 pm cup and desperately wanting this weird “rush” each cup gives me. I swear the sweeteners are playing some weird havoc with my body. Now I’m enjoying the coffee, but not getting that odd, hyper feeling each time I drink it.

Joint Pain: 50% of my joint pain has vanished. I was having pain in my hips, knees, sometimes wrists. That is pretty much gone. Oh, I still have aches and pains, but they are seriously cut in half. I was having an Aleve a few times a week. Maybe I took it once this week.

Bloating: It’s lessened. I still have to lose weight, but I got back into a pair of jeans that weren’t fitting me.

Queasiness: Nearly every night at around 10:00 pm I was getting rather queasy and “off.” I attributed it to the long day. The fact is, my stomach would be hurting a bit, my upper stomach would be a bit bloated and I just seemed “off.” That is nearly gone as well. Not completely, but definitely less.

So, my skeptical brain wants to say this is all coincidence, but I don’t think it is. I’m going to keep doing this because if it helps all of these conditions, why wouldn’t I do what’s better for my body, right?

As for my coffee enjoyment, I still have a ways to go, but it’s getting better. I still find I miss that sweet, yummy taste and that rush, but I can handle this just fine.

I’d love to hear other things I should put in to try! Please let me know what YOU use as an alternative to sweeteners. I’d love to hear.

When Your Teenage Son Reads Your Novel… and Critiques!

I have a fourteen year old son. He normally does not read fiction, and prefers non-fiction history books, or anything he sees on the internet, versus picking up a book. Fantasy and supernatural are not topics he likes, because “they are not real life.”

Book # 1 in the series

Book # 1 in the series

So, when he said he wanted to read Book #1 in my Kelsey Porter series, well, I was concerned. First, it’s a bit of a sexy theme and there’s violence. My son really despises “the sexuality of America.” The Kardashians and Miley Cyrus’s of the world confuse him. So I wasn’t sure how he’d like this novel. But, he said that he’d like to “see what it is that I’ve been doing all this time and was interested in the historical Buddhist aspects of these thrillers.”

So, I agreed to let him read it, as long as we discuss it chapter by chapter. So, that’s what we’ve been doing and it’s so nerve-racking I can’t tell you. He goes to his room, reads a chapter and then comes in and says “Ok, I’m ready to give you my synopsis of what happened in that chapter and then my critique.” Oh, did I mention he gives my book an overall rating at the end of this discussion, using the 5.0 scale and that I fluctuate on this scale based on how he felt about the chapter? Yes, that’s what I mean about nerve-racking.

To give a little background, these books are about Kelsey Porter, a young, beautiful woman who is on the hunt for her parents’ killers, who were murdered on their quest to find the mystical land of Xanadu. The series is steeped in Buddhist spiritual mysteries, all based on real lore, but I do twist the facts at times for my book’s needs.

This is my view of Kelsey Porter. My son is on the fence about this.

This is my view of Kelsey Porter. My son is on the fence about this.

I would say that he’s understood 90% of what he’s read, so I will correct or explain some things that were confusing. I have been ordered not to explain too much, lest I give away spoilers. So far he has said “it’s very well written and some of the chapters are really interesting.” When that happens, my rating is usually at a 4.5, or some moments the coveted 5.0. Of course, there have been moments that I’ve been demoted to a 4.0 for “excessive use of flashbacks, expositional prose (I didn’t even know what that meant at the time) and making my boy characters too clichĂ©.” I, of course, ask for explanation.

You see, Kelsey is a very sexual being, without being loose, but because of who she is, there’s this undercurrent where people are drawn to her. Yes, I make her beautiful with large bosoms, and my son was not impressed with that entire concept, though he’s giving me the benefit of the doubt as I’ve explained it’s a very true point to the plot.

He’s about 60% through and is digging the amount of research I’ve put into this. He says “it shows” and that as a result the book is now sitting at a 4.5 though “Mom, you can’t be upset if you drop points of course.”

Well, of course not. (shhhh… that’s just what I say!).

UH OH: He just came in and told me he didn’t like a chapter for the first time. He said, “the content was fine but it was too generic and scripted.” I had to ask what he meant. He said “it felt like you made the villain too stereotypical and were throwing around difficult concepts like astral projection too casually.” (wow, I actually thought this was a great, pivotal chapter in the book) My ranking strangely did not drop, though he had to think about it for some time to come to that decision.

Fingers crossed for the rest of the book as the threads are all starting to come together and he’s going to be delving into territory that is not a normal read for him. By the way, did I mention he found a spelling error? I spelled locales, “locals,” and I capitalized something that shouldn’t have been. Sigh… thankfully my rating did not drop because of that, either.

Want to read along with him? Here’s the link to all three books in the series! Enjoy!

Book #1 THE HUNT FOR XANADU
AMAZON: http://amzn.to/1CEvEab
UK Amazon: http://amzn.to/1Cp2awz

Book #2 THE QUEST OF THE EMPTY TOMB
US AMAZON: http://amzn.to/1EvXExO
UK AMAZON: http://amzn.to/1JSRNqT

Book #3 THE CALL OF MOUNT SUMERU
US AMAZON: http://amzn.to/1SUskAv
UK AMAZON: http://amzn.to/1nPF6TO

Kelsey Porter thriller series

Kelsey Porter thriller series