Tag Archive | short story

The Launch of Titanium Flow

I’m excited to announce that I finally launched TITANIUM FLOW, a collection of cross-genre science fiction tales. I have a funny story about this book. Two of the stories I felt were “serious hard science.” I researched things like metaparticles, radiation poisoning, gamma rays, star systems, etc… and thought I had sound stories. So much so, that I was seriously proud of myself and a little pumped up at my ability to pull this off.

Well, not quite.

My 16 year-old son decided he wanted to beta the collection for me right before I was going to launch it last year. Literally two paragraphs into my first hard science tale he turned to me and gave me the “hairy eyeball.” You know, where his expression gets all cock-eyed, one eyebrow goes up and he appeared like he just sucked on a lemon?

“What?” I said, horrified. Did I forget a comma or spell something wrong? (he’s pretty critical that way). But no, it wasn’t that innocuous.
“Mom, you call yourself a hard science fiction writer? I don’t think so.”

Ok, now it got real. He read the rest of the tale as I nervously watched.

Finally, “What’s wrong with it?”
He shook his head. “Everything. How in the world do you expect anyone to walk on this planet with three suns those colors? How can liquid creatures exist in your desert climate without exploding? How can your astronauts just take off their helmets in a cave and be fine? Have you even thought about gravity, and the length of their days? You know, mom, you should really just stick to your fantastical science fiction tales, because they’re good and you can make stuff up, but hard science? I don’t think so.”

And you know what? He was absolutely right. If I couldn’t pass off my science to this kid, how was I going to do it to the fans I so desperately wanted to reach? So, I went back to the drawing board and fixed each of the things that my son said would throw off anyone who was a serious science fiction fan. It took me a long time. After a few months he beta’d it again and deemed them, “not perfect, but I guess acceptable.”

Gee, thanks kid. I guess that was as good as an endorsement as I was going to get!

So, please enjoy Titanium Flow for just 99 cents. My favorite story in there is THE SUN AND THE STAR which is a sweet, romantic science fiction short story and appeared in the Timeless Anthology. I think people will love it.

I just got my first 5 Star review, too!

“I honestly can say I haven’t enjoyed Sci Fi this much since I first dove into my first copy of Asimov’s SF magazine! The stories are well-written, the plot is character-driven, and the action never stops. Buy. This. Book!”

Pick up your copy here: TITANIUM FLOW https://amzn.to/2D8QG8V

Enjoy! I’d love to hear if you think I pulled it off!

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Why I Wrote a Horror Anthology

Coming Summer 2015

Coming Summer 2015

Do you ever feel like you have a thousand things going on at once? I’ve got a full-time job, a pretty demanding family and I have all these side things I love to do. I know people who devote their efforts to one book at a time. When I’m in the zone I can do that, but right now I’m sort out there doing a ton of things instead. I’ve started both Book #3 in the Kelsey Porter Series, Book #3 in the FLYING series and I edited a romantic supernatural thriller I’ve for some insane reason been sending out to agents. (who, by the way 18 out of 25 of them have not responded after 3+ months). So, while I’ve been working on committing to something, I thought about all of the horror short stories I have in my computer, just sitting there. Most I’ve sent out to magazines for consideration. Many got very nice responses, but weren’t picked up. I then said, “why don’t I compile them all together into a book?”

And that’s how RICKET ROW came to be. I took all my horror, vampire, zombie and just plain creepy short stories from 2K – 5K words in length, and the shorter flash fiction pieces that are about 1500 words max, then added the micro flash fiction of 100 words each and then for fun, threw in my 140 character horror twitter tweets. And that’s how I got the anthology together.

It’s at its second beta reader right now, then it is off to a final proofer and formatter and hopefully will be out into the world early summer. My feeling was, I wrote a horror tale called THE MANNEQUINS and it’s a creepy little book that’s getting some really nice responses. So, if folks enjoyed my horror novel, they’ll be sure to like this. Not to mention, now I’ll have another book in my inventory.

If you’d like to check out my horror tale THE MANNEQUINS and get a taste for how I write, feel free to check it out here: http://amzn.to/1DV9Z9V

And if you love the cover for Ricket Row, check out THE COVER COLLECTION. I was simply surfing through the web one day and came across this site and saw their pre-made horror covers, saw how reasonable they were and it was like an epiphany went off to get this book done. They were SUPER NICE and SUPER easy to work with. Seriously, the process with them was painless. I wrote them with three covers I liked, and the copy I wanted the cover to have and asked them for their advice. They responded with which ones they felt would work best. I chose this image and then they sent back 8 different designs with different fonts. I ended up with “design #7.” After I told them I loved it, within about 10 minutes I had the final JPEG version in my hands to use for promotion. Once the book is formatted and I know the page count and get the back blurb together, they will also work on the create space cover for me. All paid through paypal.

So, stay tuned for release news and feel free to check out my other works at my newly revamped web page at http://www.elysesalpeter.com

If I Had a Scented Tattoo…

tattooI love tattoos and think they are super cool. But, I love them from afar. You see, I’m scared out of my mind of getting one and putting something so permanent on my body. I have my ears pierced, but I can switch out the earrings every day. A tattoo is there for life.

But, I’m a bit of a prankster and there’s a crazy side of me that would love to get a tattoo just for “the joke.” You see, I love lilacs. They are my favorite flower in the world, and I always thought if I ever got a tattoo it would be a very small spray of lilacs right above my right hip. I actually have a cousin who is a freakishly talented tattoo artist and if I ever got one, I’d go to him. I once asked him if tattoos could be “scented.” He stared at me for a very long time, thought about it and finally said, “I don’t think so…” You see, if I get a tattoo of lilacs, I want it to actually smell like lilacs. So, I figure if I ever got a tattoo of lilacs, EVERY single morning I’d dab lilac essential oil on it and when people ever asked me “do you have a tattoo” I’d say “Sure, and it’s scented, too!” Then I’d raise my shirt and let them take a sniff. The joke would be that I’d never tell them that for that single solitary, momentary joke, each morning I put perfume on just that tiny spot. Yes, I’m crazy.

The sun coverBut, tattoos intrigue me and for most people they have incredible meaning. It could be for something spiritual, in memory of a person they love, or just something that makes them smile. It could also be something more sinister. What if your tattoo determined “who you were in a particular culture?” That concept intrigued me and I wrote a short story called THE SUN AND THE STAR. This story was chosen for a published anthology, but then they went out of business and I got the rights back, so I wanted to share it with the world. It’s about a prince who falls in love with a commoner, something which is looked down upon in their society. In their culture, people are tattooed at early ages to denote their class system. This is a poignant, sweet, lovely little romance sci-fi story. Think Romeo & Juliet, with a twist. I sell this tale for just 99 cents if you’d like to take a peek:

US: http://amzn.to/1uuKvMz
UK: http://amzn.to/1tq3awP

Check out these great reviews:

I thoroughly enjoyed this short love story. “The Sun and the Star” grabbed my attention right from the first page to the last. It starts off with the shocking discovery of a beautiful young teenage girl in a farmer’s field in the early 1900’s. When and how she got there is part of the mystery and allure of this well-written love story with an unpredictable twist.

This is not your everyday love story. Full of twists and turns. Great read from Central Park to outer space!!!! Elyse has a real way with words.

I have more books and novels coming out this year. If you’d like to be part of my mailing list, please click here: CONTACT ME

Do any of you have any tattoo stories you’d like to share? I’d love to hear! And if you need some tattoo ideas, I found a couple of really cool sites to check out:

http://tattoo-ideas.us/
http://youqueen.com/life/top-10-best-tattoo-designs-for-women/ (some of these are SO pretty!)
http://www.menstattooideas.com/best-tattoos-for-men/
http://oddstuffmagazine.com/more-then-50-best-tattoo-designs-2013-for-men.html

FREE 1/26 and 1/27 A YA Sci-Fi Short Story about Young Love – THE SUN AND THE STAR

The sun coverI love short stories. Sometimes I just don’t have time to read an entire novel by an author, but I do have time to read a smaller tale. On 1/26 and 1/27 I’m offering my YA Sci-Fi love story THE SUN AND THE STAR, for free. It will offer readers a flavor of how I write and hopefully a nice little escape for a while. It is FREE Here: http://amzn.to/1fljMvU

Here’s a sample chapter to “wet your whistle:”

THE SUN AND THE STAR

By Elyse Salpeter

1913, in a Kansas field

An October dusk settled over the hundreds of rows of withered corn stalks standing like sentries in the Kansas field. The full moon was rising and a brisk wind whistled through the dry shoots, creating a noise like paper crinkling, and drowning out the sounds of the young girl crying.

No one was working in the field that day. It was Sunday, the one day I gave my farmhands off. My own homestead was but a few trots down the road on the only hill this side of Kansas, but everyone in any direction could see we were home that evening from the smoke swirling from the chimney. I always wondered what the girl did that long cold night while my family and I slept. Wondered why she didn’t come and seek our help.

We wouldn’t find her until late the next afternoon when the workers had returned to pull the stalks and ready the field for winter. I remember exactly where I was when they found her.

“Boss, help!” The farmhand ran out from one of the rows frantically, carelessly stomping through the dead plants. If it were summer, I would have docked his pay for doing something so flagrant, but I knew this man. He was a good worker and was a family man. It must be bad.

I rode up on my horse. “Langston, what’s the problem?”

He leaned over, his hands on his knees, wheezing and trying to catch his breath.

I stood up on the stirrups, able to peer over the stalks and saw a group of my men converging in an area about a quarter mile down the rows. Great, it was probably a cow from the McKensey farm next door that had wandered over and died in my field. It had happened before.

Langston stood up, huffing. “Boss, we found a little girl.”

Dread ran through me. “Is she dead?”

He shook his head. “No, she isn’t, but she’s sick. We gotta get help.”

I yelled at my foreman to run to my house and call for my wife and then jumped off the horse and raced with Langston through the rows toward the child. Thoughts competed in my head. Why would a little girl be here? Did someone hurt her? Did an animal drag her here? Images of my own three children coursed through my brain and made me run faster, but when I pulled into the clearing the men had created, everything I expected was shattered.

This wasn’t a toddler. It was a young girl of about fifteen, curled into a ball and lying in the dirt in the middle of my cornfield. Strangely twisted and charred hunks of metal smoked in the field around her, creating a clearing. The air reeked of scorched corn and burnt oil, and as I stared at the boulder sized lumps glowing red-hot in places, they reminded me of the color of the branding irons we used on the bulls in stock.

The men squirmed nervously. “Extraterrestre,” they mumbled. You could practically smell their fear.

“Don’t be ridiculous. It’s just a child, nothing more,” I admonished, trying to convince myself as well.

I leaned down next to the girl, her long white-blonde hair covering her face. Pushing the locks away from her forehead, she turned her ice blue eyes to mine and something in her stare shook me to my very core. To this day, I couldn’t tell you exactly what it was about her, but it was something. Her face was heart-shaped, her features petite and mystically beautiful, but she was hurt. Bruises covered her forehead, cheeks and arms. Her plain white dress was filthy from ash and dirt and there were blisters forming from burns on her bare legs. The child craned her head to the sky and I could see little tattoos of stars and musical notes scattered on her neck, directly under her right ear. Her eyes bubbled with tears as she stared at the rising moon. She seemed so lost, so terribly alone. I tried to take her hand, but she clutched a strange instrument to her chest and refused to let it go. They told me later it was a musical instrument, resembling an ancient Greek lyre. To me it just looked like a small harp.

Instead, I patted her hand, surprised at how warm it was and thought she might have a fever.

“It’s okay, miss. We’ll get you out of here. Langston, have one of your men hook up the wagon.” I picked up the girl, contraption and all, and cradled her in my arms. She was but a doll, so slight. As we moved to the main road, she made the slightest of noises in her throat, but I couldn’t tell what she was saying. In fact, no one could.

We brought the girl to the local hospital but no one could identify her. She talked gibberish, crying and sobbing incessantly, humming haunting melodies and playing her instrument. But every few minutes she tried to get to the window to look out, always trying to look outside and stare at the sky. The staff was so concerned she was going to jump, they moved her to the psychiatric ward and that’s the last I ever heard of her.

As for the charred chunks of metal? By the time we got back to the field to remove them for plowing, the strange stuff had burned itself away. Except for some blackened ash, I wondered if it had been there at all.

************************************************************************************

If you enjoyed this excerpt, please feel free to download the entire story. It is FREE on 1/26 and 1/27 on Amazon here: http://amzn.to/1fljMvU. If you’re able to do a review when you’re done, it would be so very much appreciated!

If you’d like to check out another story of mine – albeit a bit darker, check out my YA Fantasy series THE WORLD OF KAROV – book #1 is just $0.99. Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1fe4Amj

And, if you’d like something a little more adult, my fantasy thriller THE HUNT FOR XANADU might be right up your alley. You can check it out here: http://amzn.to/1boS1zz

Lastly, I’m participating in my very first Fantasy Blog Hop Event with eight other great authors. Please come on over and join our event February 1st-8th to Fill that Kindle for Valentines Day. We’d love to see you there! Great Fantasy reads all 3.99 and under- (I’m going to be dropping the price of THE HUNT FOR XANADU to $2.99 for the event) Fantastical Reads Event. https://www.facebook.com/events/205889079615386/

Why You Should Publish a Short Story In-Between Novels

The winning cover on FB

The winning cover on FB

I was in a quandary. Book #1 in my fantasy series came out last year. Book #2 came out earlier this month and I’m deep in the edits for an adult thriller that I’m hopefully going to launch in January or February. But what do I do in the meantime?

Besides social media and promoting the heck out of the books, I was advised to publish a short story to Amazon. The results would do many things. It would boost the amount of titles I have on Amazon and boost my search statistics. In addition, I could use the short stories to promote the other books by including excerpts and links in the back of the file.

I hadn’t thought of that idea and jumped at the chance to try it out. I had a YA science fiction tale, THE SUN AND THE STAR, that had been published in an anthology that is now out of print and rights had been returned to me. So, that book had already been professionally edited. I simply updated the dates and changed some character names.Then I was going to pay for a professional cover, but I decided to try my hand at making one myself on Amazon’s Cover Creator. I made two and then appealed to Facebook by doing a poll, asking my followers which one they liked better. (thus increasing my activity on FB analytics, as well as engaging my readers). Then, rather than paying someone to format the short story for me, I learned to do it myself, uploaded it myself and priced it at $0.99. Lastly, since this is a YA tale about young love, I included an excerpt from THE WORLD OF KAROV, specifically highlighting a scene about two teenagers in love–and then included the link to buy the book.

This endeavor cost me nothing but time and now I have a great little short story up on Amazon with a very cool cover. Only advice? Make the short story meaty. I’ve heard readers feel short-changed if you give them a flash fiction piece and make them pay for it. I’d recommend a story over 4K at the least. (just my two cents) If you’d like to grab your copy to see how it came out, please see below:

THE SUN AND THE STAR:
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/172kooL
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1bDY9Ff

I’d like to thank Dana Beth Weinberg for the great idea! She’s a social scientist whose newest project is exploring the experiences and careers of writers during this incredible digital revolution. She can be reached at http://www.danabethweinberg.com (don’t think I won’t be hitting her up for more awesome ideas! 😉 )