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TITANIUM FLOW, my Collection of Science Fiction Short Stories

This has been a crazy year for all of us. I launched book #6 in my Kelsey Porter series with the release of THE JOURNEY BACK and now I’ve been playing around with a few other novels done in my computer that I haven’t published yet.

One of my novels that doesn’t get a lot of love, but really should, is my science fiction short story collection called TITANIUM FLOW. Gosh, I love these stories and I think they’re some of my best work. Some of these tales are sweet romance sci-fi, some speculative sci-fi and some hard science fiction. Some were featured in magazines and rights were returned to me as well, so these are some strong tales. And at 99 cents, I feel like it offers such a great read. Not to mention, I get a ton of compliments on this book, though there are only 6 reviews on Amazon, which is startling. It’s so very hard to get someone to write a review. They are so much more comfortable just to side IM me vs put it on the web for all to see. But, reviews are incredibly helpful.

Here’s the blurb on Amazon for just some of the short stories in the collection:

TITANIUM FLOW: It was supposed to be a simple mission. Mine the titanium on a deserted world and return it to earth. No one knew they wouldn’t be alone.

In A BAD DAY AT SCHOOL, find out what was in that jar that little Roger brought to school and why it terrified everyone.

In THE GARDEN, discover why a loving husband has walled up a section of his garden in the back of his property. And why he refuses to let anyone go near it.

And in THE FLIP, you learn how very important it is to drink all your tea… because if you don’t, you might simply disappear.

This collection will scratch all the sub-genre itches, from hard science, to speculative fiction, to romance. Discover a new favorite sci-fi genre today!

Happy reading!

When You’re Too Scared to Publish

So, I’ve written over 12 books and countless short stories, but I actually have two finished novels sitting in my computer that I don’t have the nerve to publish.

How weird is that, right? But it’s true. The reason is because these two novels have an angle to them that my other books don’t. #1 they are violent… and #2 they are “spicy.” So spicy and violent that I had an editor who worked with this genre read the one called A LIFE TAKEN and told me, “It’s good, but even I might have nightmares.” OMG. What exactly does that mean? Is that good? I have also had beta readers take a peek at the other novel, tentatively titled TAKEN, and they have nice things to say as well – that said, both books need some serious editing, but it’s the core of each of the novels that concerns me. What will readers think OF ME if they read them? So many times a reader thinks that the author truly believes in the things they write. Does that mean I love violence, love watching terrible things happen to people? I don’t, but we must always remember, this is a fictional story.

Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child get a lot of flack for the amount of dogs that seem to get killed in their books. I spoke to Douglas about it once at a book signing we attended together and he said it best. “No fictional dogs were actually killed in this fictional book.” We make things up. That’s what authors do.

It’s like an actor getting into a role. They can be the meekest person on earth, but then onscreen they are an extraverted vixen! It’s like that with writing. I had this idea in my head and said, “You know what? Write it, get out of my comfort zone, and see where it goes!”

So, they’re written and yet I don’t have the guts to publish them. But, here’s part of the beginning to A LIFE TAKEN. Its rough – REALLY ROUGH, Don’t bother editing for me. I just felt like if I started to tell the world about this novel, perhaps I’d get the guts to work on it and publish it.

A LIFE TAKEN is about a little girl kidnapped by an “evil entity/corporation” because her parents, who were spies working for them, were caught lying. This girl was sent to a location and schooled on becoming an assassin of the highest order. But, they had to break her down until she was nothing but a mindless killer. Until she had no more emotion left. Until she was nothing but a hollow shell.

Mommy!” That was all I could utter before a strange man me and picked me up hoisted me over his back. I felt my stomach thump hard onto his shoulder and I couldn’t breathe. He bolted out of my house and carried me like I was nothing but a sack of garbage while my father ran by his side and pleaded with him to let me go.

     My mother screamed and fell to her knees while the man hauled me into the car. The baby doll I carried dropped to the pavement and I heard the porcelain head crack and shatter.

     I kicked and shrieked, but a woman inside the car grabbed me by the shoulders and shook me. I tried to bite her and she smacked me hard in the face. Sobbing, I turned to the window, seeing my sister Elizabeth standing next to my brother and other sister, in shock.

     I shivered violently. It was cold that day and the man hadn’t bothered to get my jacket. The woman reached over and grabbed the harness and locked me in and I couldn’t move. I spit at her and she smacked me again, this time harder and I saw stars. The next few minutes were a whirlwind of horror. My mother racing to the car and throwing herself onto my kidnapper. Her raking her nails down his cheeks and him punching her. She fell to the pavement, got up and lunged again, swerving by him and slamming her hands into the glass window next to me. She beat against the glass, begging them to let me go. That she “was sorry.”

     I lifted my hands, calling for her through my tears. My father was behind her, fighting with someone and I saw one of them take a gun and hit him in his temple. Someone else grabbed my mother and threw her to the ground.

     Car doors opened and slammed as others filled the vehicle. One man shoved himself next to me and the other jumped into the front seat and took the wheel.  The man next to me took out his gun and trained it on my mother, who had yet again made it to the car door.  In English he spoke to my parents, in an accent I later learned was German. “It’s your own fault this happened. You have no one to blame but yourselves for this. Did you think they would simply allow you to go against them? Now she’s ours as punishment. If you don’t want to lose the rest of them, I suggest you start obeying orders. They won’t give any of you a second chance.”

     And with that, the car sped away and my life as I knew it was over. I had one last look at my family standing in the front yard of our house, my sisters and brothers stunned, my parents bleeding and crying. I remember the look in my mother’s eyes and it took me until I was older to understand what her haunted expression meant. Back then, I thought she was just sad, but I realized it was so much more than that. She was devastated, horrified and fearful for me. For she knew what the Dasien were capable of.     

And she would be right.

Well, folks, there is novel #1 put out to the universe. Now, let’s see what I do with it. Have any of you had this sort of quandary with your own work? Love to hear how you got the guts to release it to the world.

Who Loves Horror?

When I was in 8th grade, my mom took me to see The Shining. That started my love for all things horror. But not slasher horror (though I did used to go to all those types of movies with one of my cousins growing up), but more pschological horror. The ones that make you think, the ones that make you go cold in fear when you realize what’s happening. The ones that linger with you long after the story is gone.

Stephen King wrote this one short story called The Jaunt that has stuck with me for YEARS and I found it absolutely terrifying. There is no blood, gore, nothing like that. But at its core, it’s terrifying. All I’ll say is that this short story is about teleportation and people being sedated as they go through it. The short story collection is called SKELETON CREW and I highly recommend it.

I love writing short horror stories and for years I entered flash fiction contests and did entries for magazines. I compiled all of them into a short story collection called RICKET ROW. 28 Great Reviews so far with a 4.5 star rating. If you like creepy horror then you will enjoy this collection. Zombies, kids, babies, clowns, and other esoteric horror themes. And, it’s just 99 cents. Love to hear what you think of it and which of the tales is your favorite. One of mine is Mr. & Mrs. Odd.

Stephen King SKELETON CREW: https://amzn.to/2SG0BvY

Elyse Salpeter RICKET ROW http://amzn.to/2iNIAI1

If you’d like some other books and authors to check out, look at this goodreads list of Short Story Horror Collections. Ricket Row is there along with top selections from King, Barker, Poe, Bradbury. https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/31956.Short_Horror_SciFi_Collections

Here’s a few other collections that I have not yet read, but look great!

RB Frank Bite Size Reads: bit.ly/BiteSizeReads Bite Size Reads is a collection of 23 short stories of murder, revenge, time travel and creepy things, all flavor enhanced with a dash of irony and a sprinkling of humor.

Jordan Grupe NO SLEEP TONIGHT: https://amzn.to/2RQg5NW No Sleep Tonight “collection of scary short stories – the latest offering of terror for those yearning for a bout of wild-eyed insomnia.”

A.J. Spencer HAUNTED AND HUNGRY: https://amzn.to/3vBr5Ny Haunted and Hungry “five short tales of vengeful spirits, hungry creatures, and bizarre entities.”

Happy Reading Everyone… and don’t shut off the lights…

How do you Measure Success… before you Give Up.

That’s a pretty ominous title, isn’t it? I won’t lie, I’ve been grappling with a lot of things since Covid started. I mean, we all have. Now that life is getting back to some semblance of normal, I’ve had some big realizations of “how much time and effort” I continue to put into certain efforts that while some might say have achieved success, my personal mentality has it sitting in a lukewarm bath where all the bubbles have basically fizzed out.

Let’s talk books. I have been trying for 14 years to be a successful novelist. Am I successful? To some, sure:

  • My Kelsey Porter series is six books deep
  • The Hunt for Xanadu has a review by the amazing novelist Douglas Preston
  • The Hunt for Xanadu was a $200 Jeopardy! question back in October 2016
  • My books get really great reviews for the most part, which makes me happy
  • My FLYING TO THE LIGHT series was on a ton of deaf websites and now in deaf schools around the country

BUT, I’m not selling anything. Well, not enough to sustain an actual wage. In fact, there are some months I can’t even get a latte at Starbucks with my earnings. This month is doing pretty good, for me, but would appall someone trying to pay their mortgage. To be honest, I’m just ecstatic someone is reading my novels and even happier when I get that coveted review.

But, it’s exhausting folks. Just exhausting.

When Covid hit, I published Book #6 in the Kelsey Porter series in May 2020. And then, for the first time in 14 years, I stopped writing. I mean, I literally ceased. I used to write every day. But it was as if my brain went on hold and had enough. Part of me wants to get back to it, but another part of me is sad at the same time. I do have one completely finished, and professionally edited, and beta read, genetic thriller sitting in my computer, but I’m leery to publish it. My beta readers and editor came back lukewarm to my bad guys, and the book has some racial undertones. Due to the current social climate of the world right now, I’m simply not strong enough to publish and withstand any backlash, because I’m 100% sure there will be as people are so sensitive right now, so this 75K romantic thriller is just sitting in my computer. I have thought about it a lot over the year. Do I revamp the bad guys? Do I change my characters? I just don’t know. I’m just too exhausted to start over. I mean, I love the book as it is, but… well… do I trust those who have reviewed it? Yep. But at the same time, I’m conflicted. So, it just sits…

I’ve decided to simply let life happen to me as it happens. If I want to write again one day, I will. Even doing this blog post is a big deal. I’ve been lax with that, too. But I think it will come back again. Once the world rights itself and once I get a chance to stop having to manage and navigate the emotional stresses all around me.

Be safe everyone. Try to find your joy. Love to hear from you.

New Mystery Release by Scott Bury

Dead Man Lying: Book #3 in the Hawaiian Mystery series

Hi, everyone! I thought it would be a nice idea to let everyone know about a fantastic new release coming our way. Author Scott Bury has written a compelling mystery series that you should definitely take a look at. DEAD MAN LYING is Book #3 in the Hawaiian Storm Mystery series and is launching March 15th.

TORN ROOTS is Book #1 in the series to get you started and is where we meet Vanessa Storm for the very first time. You should definitely check it out.

So, what is DEAD MAN LYING about? Let’s take a peek!

FBI Special Agent Vanessa Storm returns to Maui’s rain-soaked coast to investigate the death of a once-famous singer. Teaming up with local police, she uncovers drug trafficking, stolen music and a string of mysterious deaths. As a savage tropical storm traps every witness, and suspect, in the singer’s rambling home, Vanessa learns that they’re all lying. But the biggest liar of all may just be the victim—the dead man, lying.

And here is a brief excerpt for your reading pleasure:

He looked at her through narrowed eyes for a moment, then unzipped his jacket and pulled out a satchel. He reached inside and pulled out the biggest revolver Vanessa had ever seen. Her heart pounded. There was no time to reach her trusty Walther before he could turn that massive weapon toward her. But he put it carefully on the kitchen table. It was an antique weapon—that was clear from the curved shape of the wooden grip and the fancy engraving on the cylinder. Where other revolvers had an ejector rod, under the barrel was a tube, bigger around than the barrel itself. And there was a strange external rod on a clip alongside the barrel. The bottom of the grip had an eye, as if it were meant to be hung on a nail. “Where did you find this?” she asked. “In the toolshed under Kaholo Iolani’s apartment,” he answered.

You can purchase the novels here:

 

Enjoy!

Authors doing TikTok – Use the Inverted Filter

I have joined a few author groups on TikTok that support each other by liking and commenting on posts, along with sharing tips and tricks to help each other gain exposure on this platform. After being on TikTok for a few months, I’ve learned a few things. Not that I have a huge following right now – I have all of 1795 followers, but I have learned some tricks authors should do. Tip for Today:

USE THE INVERTED FILTER. I can’t tell you how many authors are doing these really amazing videos but don’t take that extra step to allow us to see their covers properly. When you do a tiktok, it shows the mirror image, which means your book cover is backwards. I’ve gone on and mentioned it to some authors that their video is great, but they should invert their video. Some have told me it’s “no big deal.” I beg to differ and think it’s really a bit lazy, if I may be so bold to say so. If someone can’t read your title, or read your name, how have you helped gain exposure for your work? All you have to do is use the “inverted filter” on TikTok. You do that, and you’re golden. We have to do everything in our power to make our work shine.

@jera.bean has a great video that teaches us how to do this and I implore everyone to take a peek to make your videos better.

Click Here to view it: I’m going to be posting little tips and tricks that I think can help people. If you have any that you think would be helpful, please let me know! I love to learn!

I Set No Goals for 2021, But the Universe Answered Anyway

When 2020 ended, I was a little worried. Every single year I set goals. My friends and family will tell you that I’m constantly striving to do things, be it train for a sprint triathlon, or write and finish a book, or do a book event, go on a trip, learn something new, take a class… you get the idea.

But January 1st came and went and all I did was go for a walk and play on my phone. But then I had a conversation with one of my amazing aunts who said, “Just stop. Forget goals – forget about putting all that stress on yourself and just let the universe answer you.” I took that to heart… for a day, because the NEXT day two writer friends who I know but don’t speak to often, contacted me on IM’s. Those conversations morphed and took me in a brand new direction that two days before I hadn’t even thought about. It was like the universe really did have plans for me, just sitting off to the side and waiting to present itself until I was ready.

So what did I do? I decided to embrace the unknown. I’ve done twitter and google+ and FB and all those social media outlets for years. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to stop them, as they’re awesome for conversation and I’ve met some fantastic people. But the world is changing. New readers are jumping on other platforms. I have decided to learn tiktok better. I’ve decided to learn instagram reels and how to use them. I joined a private writing group that only days before I didn’t even know existed. So here is one of my TikToks where the well-know author Douglas Preston is actually promoting my book on his youtube channel. I just had to share. I’m going to try to mix the topics of my tiktoks up, between book promo posts, slice of life vignettes, food and exercising. Please feel free to follow me on tiktok here.

2021 is going to be all about doing things differently. Something new. I’m only a few days into it and going to just do things one day at a time and let the universe reach out to me to guide me. Step one will be to focus on my supernatural thriller Kelsey Porter series, starting with a “relaunch” of Book #1, THE HUNT FOR XANADU. It’s time I let Kelsey come forward again and reach new readers interested in a super sexy, brilliant woman who is more than she appears.

I’m also going to be doing a push for my YA Series, FLYING TO THE LIGHT and FLYING TO THE FIRE. I’d actually like to change the covers – I think that will really help the series get some more exposure.

Wish me luck on my journey folks, and I wish you luck on yours! Happy and safe 2021 and let me know what your plans are as well this year. I’d love to hear!

How Invested My Family is in ASL from Writing a YA Book

Millneck Book Talk

When I was in college at Stony Brook University, I took American Sign Language, for two years. It was just something that always fascinated me and I thought the language was beautiful.

Many years later, I had the idea to write a book with a young deaf boy as the main lead. That is how FLYING TO THE LIGHT was born. It is about a deaf child who knows a secret so big that everyone in the country is after him. I then began to do school talks about the novel and had the good fortune to be able to sit with students at a few different deaf schools. But, I didn’t want to just go into the school and have an interpreter. I wanted to be able to speak to the students myself. So I started classes at The Sign Language Center in NYC to refresh what I had learned so many years ago.

I did a few talks, some at Millneck Manor and St Joseph’s School for the Deaf. I did have an interpreter at

Me and my wonderful interpreter at St Joseph’s School for the Deaf

both events, but I did try my best to use my skills when I could. Both of those visits were eye opening for me. While in my novel the young boy, named Danny, is deaf and does not speak, I have his entire family using sign language to communicate with him. It didn’t occur to me that a parent would not learn sign language to speak to their child. Unfortunately, I heard from the students that most families DO NOT learn sign language to speak to their deaf children. We spoke about a lot of other things, but this really hit home. The conversations really helped me in writing the sequel called, FLYING TO THE FIRE. I changed some content of that novel specifically because of my conversations with the students at these schools.

FLYING – Young Adult Series

But what is really interesting is now my children are interested in ASL and both took the language for four years in high school. And now my son is continuing his education in Deaf Studies with the hope to either be an ASL Interpreter one day or perhaps work in a Deaf School.

I’ve been written up by so many different deaf websites and I thought it might be nice to list some here so you can learn about them. Please click on each one and it will take you right to the articles.

Sharon Pajka’s Blog – a professor at Gallaudet
able2uk
DeafNetwork
Michael Thal Review

FREE E-Book Promotion for THE HUNT FOR XANADU

Hi, everyone! As I finish up Book #6 in the Kelsey Porter series, I decided to do a FREE PROMOTION of Book #1 for those who are interested.

Starting TODAY until Friday (6/19-6/21) I have a FREE e-book offer going on for THE HUNT FOR XANADU, Book #1 of 5 in my Kelsey Porter series. This novel is about a young girl on a quest to find the people who murdered her parents, but along the way she discovers more about her own spiritual past than she ever thought possible. Link here: https://amzn.to/2EKG8fk

Some cool stuff – This book was actually a $200 Jeopardy! question back in Oct 2016! How crazy awesome is that?

It was also reviewed by the well-known author Douglas Preston who has written the amazing Aloysius Pendergast series. Here is his review below:

The Hunt for Xanadu by Elyse Salpeter is a remarkable novel, a fascinating and fantastical journey in time and space, and one of the most gripping novels I’ve read in a long time. It flies along at the pace of a thriller, with plenty of murder and mayhem along the way. But behind the thrill-ride is a spiritual story, an archetypal tale of mystery and darkness,riddled with fascinating and esoteric concepts in Tibetan Buddhism. Vivid characters, a truly appealing protagonist, unexpected twists, and crisp writing complete this unforgettable book. I can’t wait to read the next one in the series!

–Douglas Preston, #1 bestselling author and co-creator, with Lincoln Child, of the Pendergast series

Please feel free to pick up your copy here: https://amzn.to/2EKG8fk and if you enjoy the novel – I’d love an honest review. Thank you so much and happy reading!

The Kelsey Porter Series

How to Launch a Box Set of Ebooks: The Kelsey Porter Series

Kelsey Porter Box Set

Hi, everyone. I have great news! I’m excited to announce that I have learned how to launch a box set for those of you who’d like to jump into the Kelsey Porter series. Here are the first three ebooks all together, now available on Amazon for just $7.99. Please click here: https://amzn.to/2RV8eIY

How did I do it? Launching a box set is actually pretty easy… though I’ll need to caveat that you DO need to actually have multiple books written. I waited to do a box set until after I had 5 books in the Kelsey Porter series published. Then what I did was contact my formatter and she made me an ebook file of the first three novels. She put it all together in one document that I uploaded to Amazon. The only difference is you don’t need the added copy at the end of each novel, as the next book is already there, ready to go. But, at the very end of the ebook, I did the amazon link and the 1st chapter of Book #4 so the readers could continue the series.

Then, I contacted my cover artist, Laura LaRoche at LLPix Designs, and she created this really cool box set cover, as you can see here. She used the same “feel” as the covers of the series and I think she did a great job.

The Kelsey Porter Series

Now, why did I do only three? Because I heard you can’t do a box set on Amazon for more than $9.99. I heard that at a conference recently and frankly, I just didn’t want to have all five books available for that price. So I put the first three ebooks out for $7.99, which is a savings off of what they would cost if you purchased all three separately.

Then on Amazon, under the description, I put an opening blurb and then a recap of each book like this below:

A fast paced trio of thrillers. Kelsey Porter is on a mission to hunt down her parents’ killers, but soon finds her own life in jeopardy. Join her as she treks across the globe from Tibet and Colombia, to Egypt and Alaska, where she is swept up in Buddhist spiritual mysteries as old as time as she seeks justice from those that hurt her and her family.

THE HUNT FOR XANADU
After barely surviving the slaughter which killed her parents in Tibet, Kelsey has spent the last twelve years seeking vengeance. But before she can locate the murderers, she has to discover their motives for the brutal crime. Determined to discover the truth, she sets out on a dangerous journey with rogue cop, Detective Desmond Gisborne. As they hunt the killers across the globe, Kelsey learns that it is not she who is hunting… but the one being hunted.

THE QUEST OF THE EMPTY TOMB
Kelsey returns from Tibet with Desmond to begin a new life in New York City. But peace is not to come to her. One night, a stranger appears at her door with a note from a man from her past, begging for her aid. It involves her parents and Kelsey leaves for Egypt to learn the truth. But the truth is more than she bargained for. What secrets did her parents hide? Why is she now plagued with odd aches and pains and why is she having nightmares again? Kelsey must find answers and the only way to get them is to confront her demons and solve the ultimate mystery: The Quest of the Empty Tomb.

THE CALL OF MOUNT SUMERU
Kelsey Porter returns to NYC with her world turned upside down. Her brother has betrayed her, her boyfriend is missing, and she’s left with a mysterious manuscript no one can decipher. It’s not until she goes searching for the elusive legend of Bigfoot at a Buddhist Monastery in Alaska that she finds herself, yet again, thrust into situations that are seemingly beyond her control. Why are children suddenly missing across the Pacific Northwest? Where is Desmond? Are these mysterious creatures in the woods really Yetis? It’s these questions she pursues and this time it’s not her life that hangs in the balance, but the lives of an entire civilization.

If you love smart thrillers, steeped in ancient spiritual mysteries and filled with twists and turns to keep you guessing, you’ll enjoy this series. Just $7.99. Purchase it here: https://amzn.to/2RV8eIY