Archives

THE MANNEQUINS… Horror Tale for Just 99 Cents until Halloween

"I beg of you... stay away!"

“I beg of you… stay away!”

It’s the season to scare the pants off of you! With Halloween looming just a few days away, I wanted to offer a gift to my readers. Until October 31st, please enjoy my horror novel, THE MANNEQUINS, for just 99 cents. It’s about a film crew that enters an abandoned mansion… and disappears.”

You can purchase it here on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1Nl5ehS

A Review: ***** FIVE STARS: A Sophisticated Horror Story

By Baker Bronte on June 1, 2015

Ms. Salpeter’s The Mannequins was an unexpected treat. While many horror books rely on lots of predictable slasher/gore material to deliver a shock to the reader, The Mannequins provides a jolt of true creepiness through masterfully fleshing out common fears. I’ve heard several people mention the creep factor of dolls, but to take that fear and build on it, and craft a novel around mannequins? Well, that’s just genius. Imagine entering an alternate reality ruled by a sinister rogue simply called the Preacher. If you displease him, he’ll turn you into a mannequin, trapped within your own body and aware of it! Ms. Salpeter’s writing shines when she captures the atmosphere of the house as well as the desperation of the characters trapped inside. Especially enjoyable were the broad range of characters in this novel. Far from cookie cutter, they were true to life and very likeable. There were several I found myself invested in during the course of the novel, and before I knew it, I was repeatedly telling myself “Ok, one more chapter” just to avoid getting out of bed and turning off the light! This story is more cerebral than most books in the horror genre, and I’ve checked her blog and know she has a horror anthology, Rickett Row, coming out this summer. If you’re looking for a new author in the horror genre, I heartily recommend Ms. Salpeter.

A collection of creepy horror tales...

A collection of creepy horror tales…

I love psychological horror. The kind that gets into your mind. I mean, slasher fic and that good old “someone is behind you” trick is great for that instant scare, but I love when a scary story lingers in the back of your mind for days. The kind that makes you get freaked out when there’s a knock on the door. The kind that causes that trickle of fear when a strange smell wafts by. The kind that makes you scared to look in a mirror. I have my horror anthology RICKET ROW now available and you may want to check that out as well. You can purchase that here: http://amzn.to/1NngtpV

Here’s a review of Ricket Row:

**** 4 Stars Keep the light on when reading these!
ByMonica R.on August 2, 2015

These are some creepy stories! I don’t generally read horror, so I might be a bit of a wimp for this kind of story. After starting the first story, I decided this would be better read during the day. Ok, I am a wimp.

Many of these stories are very short, but manage to convey just enough to portray real horror. The first story, Inside, for example – the demeanor of the changed people was unsettling. The briefness of the story, leaving you to imagine how it unfolds, adds to its disturbing nature.
That is the way with many of these stories – short enough to set up a disturbing scenario and leaving you to fill in the blanks. Truly chilling. Some have a surprise ending, like Mr. and Mrs. Odd, that startle you at the last moment. Body Parts was appropriately creepy – until that ending! Did not expect that! I really enjoyed Mrs. O’Malley’s children. The tension was high from the start, good characters with just enough backstory. I even got a little emotional a couple of times. Great climax, and this time we got a good, if not happy, ending. All in all, a great collections of stories that will chill you and keep you up at night.

Happy Halloween, everyone!

A Healthy Halloween

Come on, even kids will eat this spooky snack!

Come on, even kids will eat this spooky snack!

Just the title of my blog post “A Healthy Halloween” sort of sounds sad, doesn’t it? I can hear people whining already,”What do you mean a healthy Halloween? No chocolate? No gummies? No high fructose corn syrup? What the heck are you doing to me, lady?” Work with me here. I’ve got some ideas for a Halloween Party where your guests will love the food and won’t be leaving with a stomach laden with artificial flavors and fifty ingredient fillers that they can’t even pronounce.
How fun is this?

How fun is this?

So, I started thinking… if I WERE to throw a healthy Halloween Party, or serve my kids fun spooky food, what would I serve? Here were some photos of super cool things I found on Pinterest that I think would be a hit for all age groups. While buckets of chocolates are cool, there are ways to integrate healthier food alternatives. Your guests won’t have any idea you just made a healthier choice for them. They’ll just think the food is “super spooky cool.”

Spaghetti as brains!

Spaghetti as brains!

Guacamole Brains via Cauliflower bowl

Guacamole Brains via Cauliflower bowl

I was also looking at a site called nuts.com and they have a host of foods as alternatives for the run-of-the-mill candy selection that Halloween is known for. Check out their site for some cool organic candies… I didn’t even know Gummy Bears could be organic! They also have gluten free, too!

A scary take on chocolate covered strawberries

A scary take on chocolate covered strawberries

I have so many ideas of foods I want to make. I’d make them for my kids but they’re suddenly “too cool” for this any longer. I swear, in 20 years they’ll look back and wish they’d let me do these things.
A new take on Deviled Eggs!

A new take on Deviled Eggs!

And for those of you who want to throw a Halloween Party with other cool ideas – here’s the entire pinterest page for you too look at. Seriously, I’ve been itching to throw one. I mean, we know how much I like horror books! Sigh, one day… https://www.pinterest.com/elysesalpeter/halloween-themed-food-ideas/

Yes, I Lived in a Haunted House

Mansion The Mannequins was modeled after

Mansion The Mannequins was modeled after

Growing up, I didn’t think it was unusual to move a lot. “My family moved us fifteen times before I was even fifteen years old,” was a funny little phrase I liked to say. Funny now, not so funny then. But one of those times we moved was actually because our house was haunted.

When I was in the seventh grade, we moved to Weston, Connecticut into a home we rented from the old-time movie actress, June Havoc. This house was incredibly eccentric. It was a huge split level ranch, with five bedrooms, four bathrooms, two random rooms with drains in the middle of the floor, bedrooms with two doors. Another bedroom with a sink and tons of closets everywhere. There was a third floor that stretched the entire length of the house and held just a sink and a tub (which was where the actress supposedly bathed her seven+ dogs). The third floor also boasted a tiny little room that reminded me of a room in the novel, The Amityville Horror. It was hot and stifling in there and I once remember seeing a dead fly on the windowsill (to a 12 yr old, dead flies are SO GROSS). But this room was awesome because Ms. Havoc had left it filled with trunks and memorabilia from her old Vaudeville days. She had asked if she could keep her stuff in there and I would go up and just look around now and again. I wish I had been older to have appreciated that room more, but as I was twelve, all I really did was look inside and usually just run right back out because it freaked me out too much. There were other oddities around the house. Outside the living room was an unused, broken indoor greenhouse and an abandoned stable, which is I think is where she kept goats.

But the house wasn’t just eccentric and creepy for no reason. It also had a history. June’s husband died in there (apparently in my bedroom because that’s where he slept) and on these lovely five acres there is a worn, wooden chair that sits on the edge of a trail and looks over the river that ran through the backyard. It was supposedly where he used to sit and relax.

And to further add to the creepy factor, this house was haunted. We would hear people running across the hall upstairs, and if you went upstairs, the running would commence on the third floor. My mother was known to have called the police multiple times because she’d be in the bathroom upstairs and hear people entering the house. There was one night my sisters and I and my dad all woke up and met in the hallway – and none of us knew why. My father looked at us and said “Go back to bed, girls.” There were the times the cat would “skitz out” and hiss and dart from the room. The time our six-foot, five inch tall friend was once house-sitting and was found slinking around the house with a kitchen knife in his hand, in the middle of the day, because he heard someone running around and couldn’t find them. And then there was the living room and that whole side of the house outside. We hated that room. My parents seldom entertained in there. Right outside the living room there was a wonderfully beautiful empty plot of land with no trees – the only place on the property you’d think we’d play, build snowmen, whatever. But no. For some reason we avoided it like the plague. I would bet you someone is buried back there. We lived there for about eight months and then we were out of there.

The Mannequins FinalYou’d think this experience would scare me off of horror movies and books – but not a shot. The Shining is one of my favorite movies. I have written a bunch of short horror stories and a dream prompted my newest horror novel. In the dream, this man was resting his hand on the back of a very little boy. They stood on a hill and were looking down at a decaying mansion. When I woke up, I had the idea for my quirky horror novel THE MANNEQUINS. It’s about a film crew that breaks into an abandoned house and gets transported to a different reality run by a man they call, the Preacher. I just launched it and I’ll have it for 99 cents through Halloween if you’d like to pick up your copy. The links on Amazon are here:

US Amazon: http://amzn.to/1Dcoirc
UK Amazon: http://amzn.to/1DMxxk3
Canada Amazon: http://amzn.to/10sWenD

Have you ever lived in a haunted house or experienced anything “supernatural?” Love to hear! If you’d like to join my newsletter for the next update in the Kelsey Porter or Flying series, please contact me here.

Halloween Food Ideas – the Party that isn’t Happening

Guacamole vomiting pumpkin

Guacamole vomiting pumpkin

One of my favorite holidays is Halloween. I’ve been waiting for my kids to get old enough to finally throw a real party. You know, the spooky kind where I transform the entire downstairs of the house into a dark nightmare with great themed music and put out crazy food. Playing a scary movie like The Purge or The Exorcist in the background. Where they can dress up and be creative. I’ve been collecting Pinterest ideas all year long and now I’m ready.

But, you know who isn’t ready? MY KIDS! My pre-teens have decided that it’s “not cool” and they don’t want me to throw a party. I’m stunned. Disappointed. Bummed. Crushed. You name it. One of the greatest joys of parenthood is the opportunity to act like a kid again. Trust me, when they wanted to play with Barbies, I was all in! When they wanted a tea party, I sat on that little chair and sipped water out of plastic cups and pretended to eat fake cake. When they wanted to play legos for hours, the real geek in me showed up and I eagerly sat on the floor with them.

beef jerky scabs

beef jerky scabs

But now this? No Halloween party? Sadly, this year, I guess not. But, for those of you who are interested, here is the link to the Pinterest Halloween Food ideas if you’re in need of your own great, disgusting and/or fun ideas. The meatloaf baby, the vomiting pumpkin, Jell-O worms made with straws and the bowl of beef jerky scabs are some of my favorites. Oooh, don’t forget using Nori sushi strips for Zombie skin, too! http://www.pinterest.com/elysesalpeter/halloween-themed-food-ideas/

So, to curb my disappointment, I’ve decided instead to decorate the entire front of my house. We do this every year and the kids “don’t seem to mind.” But, since they’re not letting me have a party, I think I’m going to take it to the next level and add some really cool sound and mist machines and really go all out. Ha! And they think they can stop me!

For those of you who love Halloween, keep your eyes out for my new horror tale, THE MANNEQUINS, which will be out this month. It’s about a film crew that gets stuck in an abandoned house and become prisoners in an alternate reality run by a madman I call the Preacher. The Mannequins Final This is a pretty cool cover and I think my cover artist did a really great job!

So, what are YOU doing for Halloween this year? I’d love to hear and live vicariously through you. My hope is that next year the kids think it will be “cooler” and then I can really party. Until then, eat lots of chocolate, scare a few kids (though not the cute little three year old princesses) and have a safe holiday!