Getting the Courage to Change your Bookcovers

This has been a very big week for me. I changed the covers for my Kelsey Porter series right before Book #5 is going to come out in the next month or so. The first novel, THE HUNT FOR XANADU, was published in 2013. I worked with Laura LaRoche from LLPix to create it. With a series that oozed Buddhist spiritual mysteries, but was a thriller, we wanted the cover to include those aspects. With each subsequent novel, we wanted to keep the same theme that we did with the book before it. A cool image on the top focusing on the locale of the book (such as the mountains of Tibet or the pyramids of Egypt), a relevant background (such as a sand mandala or a sun dial) and then some objects that were relevant to the story (such as a phurba dagger, herbs, a gun).

Top Row New Covers
Bottom Row Old Covers

But I’ve been told by numerous people that the old book covers don’t scream thriller. That you can’t really tell what genre they are. I did a ton of focus groups and talked to a bunch of authors and PR folks and to be honest, the consensus was 50/50 to change them. Some folks liked them just fine, others wanted me to completely scrap them and others felt they just needed some tweaking.

So I tweaked. We kept the same artwork and played with the fonts to make them more eye-catching. Laura darkened the covers as well to give them more of a thriller feel. I think she did a fantastic job and this week I put the new covers up on Amazon, my website and on my facebook author page.What do you think? Would you pick these books up more now if you were scrolling through Amazon versus before? Love to hear!

Working from the Gym (and I don’t mean exercise)

This is the amazing cafe where I get breakfast, smoothies or lunch. Outlets at the big long tables.

So, I have a job where I have the opportunity to work from home and then commute to clients when I have meetings. It’s a great set up. My attic has been transformed to an office with a desk, printer, filing cabinets, a great ergonomic chair, laptop table, a couch… you get the idea. The only thing it doesn’t have is the ability to escape completely from other people if they happen to be in my house as well.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I love my family, but as the “mom,” it’s too easy at times to look for me… “can you help me find this? Can you make me something to eat? Can you take me somewhere?” The list goes on and on and yes, while I can stop what I’m doing, I find it very distracting.

One of the private manager’s offices they’ve let me use if no one is there.

So, I searched for an office space and found my local gym has ample room! It’s called Lifetime Fitness and it’s been really great so far. They have a fantastic wi-fi, a huge cafe, a conference room that when no one is in I can use. They’ve even let me use their private offices when I’ve had a conference call. I simply pack up my laptop bag with all my power cords, notebooks and head to the gym and work! I even squeeze a class in now and again.

It’s funny. I thought I’d be the only one working, but it’s hardly the case. A few days ago, a guy was walking around the lobby in the gym with his tank top and workout shorts, pacing and speaking on his headset having a conference call. Another time I was in the conference room and another guy asked if he could use the table next to me and it was like a “We Works” situation! Last week all of the conference rooms were being used and there were just too many little kids in the cafe, so I hunkered down in the empty cycle room. Literally sat on the floor and had a nice conference call and did a proposal for over an hour.

Besides helping me with my job at times, this gym is so amazing. They have a few swimming pools, I take cycle and yoga classes all the time and I even did my first indoor triathlon with them.

One of the salespeople there told me the new Lifetime gyms are actually putting in business centers for people like me. I sure hope they do that here. Not sure how, but it would be fantastic.

Not that working from the outside pool is such a bad thing… Hey, you gotta do what you gotta do, right?

Book #5 in the Kelsey Porter series… coming soon! PREVIEW!

Here’s a preview of the cover!

Hi everyone,
I’m so excited to announce that Book #5 in my Kelsey Porter series will be coming out in September, 2018! This book sums up everything that has been happening in the series and sends Kelsey on a soul searching journey answering all the questions you’ve had through out the storyline. Who is she really, why has she been played, who really are the Emperor and Empress? I think you’ll really enjoy it!

Have you started the series yet? Love to get your feedback. Feel free to check out the novels here:

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

Book #4 THE HAUNTING OF CRAGG HILL HOUSE:
US AMAZON: http://amzn.to/2pb1HyT
UK AMAZON: http://amzn.to/2pVJLGB

Thank you so much for joining me on this journey. If you’d like to connect with me on multiple platforms, feel free to click here: https://linktr.ee/elysesalpeter

Why Followers are so Important

Hi everyone,
As most of you know, over the years, I’ve been fortunate to have some of my novels with publishing houses, and some represented by agents. Unfortunately, the way the industry has changed has really made it difficult to sell books. That’s okay, life is challenging, but the question is, how do we attack this head-on to get exposure?

One way is to promote our books. Every month, for nearly two years, I’ve been actively trying to get my books promoted on a site called BookBub. It’s been accepted twice and I believe rejected over 70X! Talk about perseverance!

That said, they have a new option where you can follow an author and if a new release comes out, you can get an alert. So, my ask is this. Would my followers on here please follow me on BookBub as well? I’m not asking you to buy a thing. You may need to sign up, but it’s a wonderful site for free and bargain books and if you love to read, you’ll see amazing authors on there.

So please go here: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/elyse-salpeter

Really, really appreciate it! My hope is that with more people following me on there, they’ll accept my submissions more often.

For those authors who want to learn more about gaining followers on BookBub, you may enjoy reading this article by Christina Dodd who was a guest blogger for BookBub.

Thank you again!

In Honor of Halloween! Ricket Row for just 99 cents

A collection of creepy horror tales…

Hi friends! In honor of Halloween, I wanted to offer a special promotion of my best selling horror anthology RICKET ROW. I’m going to put it on-sale for just 99 cents for the rest of the month of October!

Many of these creepy tales were picked up on websites and magazines and then the rights were returned to me, so these are sure to please! http://amzn.to/2grmKIe

I love Halloween. To be honest, when I had kids, I thought I’d be the family that hosted a Halloween party every year. I was going to make the entire downstairs super creepy and for years I’ve been compiling spooky food recipes on my Halloween Pinterest Page. But alas, my twins thought a party would be lame. I was… crushed. I was going to do an adult party, but my husband is not into it either! What’s a girl to do? So I decorate the front of my house every year and call it a day. But, I do love Halloween and one day I will do a huge party and deck out my house to my heart’s content.

Please enjoy Ricket Row and let me know what you think! Happy Halloween. Bwaaaa haaa haaa!

Five Weeks on Paleo and the Inflammation is Gone! But, is it all it’s Cracked up to Be?

On a beach in Corfu, Greece

Hey folks! It’s been about five weeks on paleo. I’ve been pretty darn compliant, except when I went to Italy for about 10 days. I admit to having pasta two times (I mean, there is no way I’m going to Italy and not having their pasta) and I was terribly queasy on the ship, so I also had some small scoops of rice occasionally, but overall, I’ve tried to stick to the program all the rest of the time. I would say I’ve been 90% compliant and now a week home and pretty close to 100%.

I have good news. The inflammation around my L4/L5 herniations is gone. I was suffering from sciatica and that has ceased. Not eating dairy, breads, white flour and tons of sugar I truly believe has been the guiding factor here.

Zucchini Carrot Bread made with almond and coconut flour

Bad news? I feel like I’m still suffering from “carb flu.” You know, headaches, lack of energy, being exhausted all the time. At the same time, I’ve lost 4 lbs. I’m not sure if it’s from actually not eating enough, or being seasick on the ship. I think I’ll know more in a few weeks.

I “think” I’m seeing a turning point. I did sleep well last night and I did get up energized enough this morning to go for a 1.5 mile SLOW jog and do 100 sit-ups. Baby steps for me, but I’ll take it. Will continue with the plan because with inflammation causing so much pain, I’m very happy to be able to drop something on the floor and bend down and pick it up without an issue. I used to drop my sock on the floor and just cry… thinking “it was so far away.”

Just astounding tile work at the Ruins of Nora in Cagliari.

As you know, I love to cook and be accountable, so I made an instagram account of paleo recipes I’ve tried. Feel free to follow me there at @paleoinspired_

Love to hear if you have any issues with this, what you think and if it’s the “be all, end all.” I’m still working that out.

P.S. That zucchini bread above looked great – but what a strange texture. Hence, no recipe. Still playing around with recipes. Please feel free to share any recipes for baked goods that actually taste good. I did make a cherry pie with almond flour that went over really well. 🙂

My Paleo Journey So Far to Reduce Inflammation

Just cooking up some cauliflower rice!

About six years ago, I herniated my L4/L5 doing a pretty aggressive bootcamp exercise (let’s just say doing jumping jacks with a heavy bar over my head is not any part of my future plans). Add in being over 45 years old at the time, and I was ripe for a big injury and a boatload of pain. In fact, I suffer from inflammation and the inflamed muscles would press on those nerves surrounding the injury, sending sciatica pain down my legs. For nearly two years I was unable to really even exercise.

Fast forward five years later and I’m a lot better, though not perfect. I’ve spent the past few years strengthening my core, getting back into shape and now I can jog 3 miles at a time and do yoga a few times a week. But, I’m still plagued with inflammation issues. You know the drill, swollen belly, aches and pains at the injury site.

Last July I cut all artificial sweeteners in my coffee and that made a drastic difference. Three weeks after doing that, I was able to do burpees. (something I was never able to do before and here’s a good video example from Bowflex). I’d drop something on the floor and just cry that it was “so far away.” The idea of bending was horrific. Now, I’m 1000X better. But I could be even better. So that’s why I started Paleo.

I was never a big bread eater to begin with and I have a lactose intolerance, so this diet appeals to me. I love bacon. I love steak. I love vegetables. What could be bad? I do miss the pasta and rice, but this “diet” allows a few cheats in moderation a week, so I had a piece of birthday pie, and had a soup and didn’t freak that there were beans in it.

Steak, eggs and cauliflower/sweet potato mix

This diet has been easy and pretty clear cut. No grains, no legumes, no dairy. There’s a few other things to watch out for, but this is a great start for me. With a wee bit of planning, I have food in the house to keep me stocked and I simply modify my meals so they are paleo compliant.The trick has been to keep myself filled and to actually have “fat” at night so I stay filled, so at the dreaded 10:00 PM I don’t go downstairs and raid the refrigerator. I’ve not snacked at night for over a week and a cup of water helps me to sway those old bad habits.

I’ve made a few mistakes along the way so far. Adding some corn to a salad, which I learned was a no no, or adding a dressing to a compliant salad, and learned it had yogurt in it. I try not to freak about it and know that I’ve done my best. Everything is a learning experience and so far, just removing dairy (well, most of it) and grains has already reduced my inflammation and the sciatica pain I was experiencing recently has ceased again. I haven’t lost any weight yet, but I’m hopeful that will be an added benefit at some point.

So if you’d like to follow my journey and see the recipes I’m making on instagram, follow me @paleoinspired_

Love to hear how you are doing on your own dieting or paleo journey.