Tag Archive | The World of Karov

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/

THE RUBY AMULET is now Available on Amazon

The Ruby AmuletI know it’s not Monday, but I have great news! I was able to launch THE RUBY AMULET nearly three weeks early. Maybe this should be a blog post about patience, since I had scheduled the release for November 25th, but the edits were done, the cover was completed, the upload went seamlessly, so… why wait? So without further ado, if you’ve had the chance to read THE WORLD OF KAROV, Book #1 in the series, please feel free to check out THE RUBY AMULET, Book #2 in the Children of Demilee series.

Now, I do quite a recap in Book #2 for folks who haven’t read Book #1, so you shouldn’t get lost, but, I’m a purist. I’m one who always believes in reading a series in the order presented, but either way, you should be fine.

Links to THE RUBY AMULET
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/16H9rZl
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1hmlOB4

The World of Karov

The World of Karov

Links to THE WORLD OF KAROV (Book #1 is living at $0.99 on Amazon)

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1aa2VuC
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/1hPLZhb

And if anyone has time, a review would be most appreciated. Thank you so much for all your support and Happy Reading!

My Free Promotion Results – My best yet – here’s what worked….

Screenshot2I just completed my free ebook promotion on Amazon for my dark fantasy tale, THE WORLD OF KAROV, and I had my absolute best showing ever. I’ve done these promotions before and gotten 350 – 450 downloads each time. I was extremely happy to get those and figured with the dark fantasy genre, it was the reason I wasn’t seeing numbers in the thousands.

I’m rethinking that. This time I got over 3000 downloads and I believe it’s because I did a few things differently.

For starters, it lasted four days, whereas the other promotions were two days each. Second, the book finally received its 20th review. Twenty seems to be the minimum criteria for many of the free promotional sites to take your book on to promote it on their sites. #3, the book had a 4.5 star rating. That was another criteria. #4, I started promoting the book to these sites over two weeks ago. Many need advanced notice and the more time you give, the more likelihood they’ll pick your book up.

There are too many to list, but here’s one site to get you started that has a listing of many of the ones I hit up. http://bit.ly/SwVN2g I sent queries about my ebook and filled out the forms for most of them easily two weeks out. At that same time I also listed a Goodreads event and a Facebook event about the free promotion. Then the day before I started hitting up my social media sites where authors help authors by tweeting and posting. Then the day of, and the three days following, I updated the event on my blog, hit up every single FB promotional site I was a member of (easily 25-30 sites), I posted on Linkedin and Google+ and on Twitter I tweeted nearly every one to three hours. I posted on FB my updated rankings when they were good, included screen shots, kept hitting up twitter and I’m proud to say I did not land in Facebook or Twitter jail. (this is an unfortunate circumstance if you post too often – these companies consider it spamming so you need to spread everything out) I did spread everything out over hours and days. Many of the sites picked me up on various days of the promotion so my download numbers remained pretty even. On twitter you can also type in special hashtags and call outs to folks that if you put them in your tweet, they’ll retweet you. Lastly, for $5 I boosted my facebook author page post and got 2200 more views virally. It was the only paid advertising I did.

I had a little over 1000 downloads by Sunday morning, was coasting between #3-#5 in Epic Fantasy and Dark Fantasy lists and mostly hovered below #1000 on the rankings, sitting mostly in the #300’s – #700 range. I was extremely happy and then on Sunday, the last day of my promotion, ereadernews picked up my book on their site and I saw a huge jump in downloads. In fact, I ended up over with over 3000 downloads. I really believe they were integral to my numbers moving up so much on the last day.

So, my advice is, pre-promote, get your social media platform flushed out, hit up all the sites where readers congregate, and keep tweeting and promoting yourself.

So now it’s over. I changed the price of the book to live at $0.99 since it is Book #1 in a series and Book #2 is coming out next month. If you missed grabbing your free copy, come on over and get it here: http://amzn.to/16Gqif6

Thank you all so much for your support – I can’t tell you how much I appreciate all of you. And if you did get the book, and have a chance, I would love a review. Again, thank you so much!

Freebies – Oh, how times have changed….

The World of Karov

The World of Karov

Think back to twenty years ago. Do you remember famous authors ever giving away their books for free? I remember them occasionally writing an original short story for a magazine and it blew me away when they’d do that. I always felt like I was getting something quite special. But times have changed. The Freebie is now the norm and even famous authors are jumping on this bandwagon… You see freebie short stories on their sites, chapters of their upcoming books on their newsletters, free contests and give-aways… The question is, why?

Is it because we’re all just trying to build fan bases? Trying to eek through the clutter of the millions of books out there? Is it because the big publishing houses are making it even more difficult for new authors to make a splash in the literary world? Is it because literary agents are taking on less and less clients? I think it’s all of the above.

I love the idea of getting my new book release in the hands of readers who may never get a chance to know me because I personally don’t have $10,000+ dollars to advertise like the big houses would. What’s disappointing though is that nowadays the dream of making a living as a writer has dwindled, especially when the majority of our “sales” are “free.” I’ve heard of authors whose promotions were so successful they gave away books in the thousands. I’m not talking 1,000, or 5,000, or 45,000, but over 100,000 free copies of their novel. And these are excellent books that twenty years ago readers would have happily shelled out $25 for a hard copy and $6.99 for a soft cover paperback had it been backed by a big house. Can you imagine a publishing house’s reaction to a 100,000 book download in a single weekend? If an indie can generate that kind of success, no wonder they’re scared. How do the big houses compete and get people to pay for their books if we’re willing to give ours away for free? It’s a catch-22. Of course, we’re doing this to generate fans so that they hopefully come back and purchase our other books. Other books we’re still selling for only $2.99 or $3.99 max.

So, that said, I’m jumping in and doing another freebie (Oct 10 – Oct 13) of Book #1 in my epic Dark Fantasy series. It’s called THE WORLD OF KAROV and I’ve gotten 20 wonderful reviews and I have Book #2 in the series, THE RUBY AMULET, launching in November.

Please come on over to my author page at http://www.facebook.com/elysesalpeterauthor for updates and follow me on twitter at http://www.twitter.com/elysesalpeter. And if you do download the book, I’d love it if you could give it a review on Amazon and Goodreads. The most valuable gift a reader can give a writer, besides purchasing and reading their book, is to write a review or share the book with others. You have no idea how helpful it is. It helps with analytics, google searches and enables the author to get on specific websites because their books have a certain number of reviews.

So thank you, I hope you come over and get your copy. 10/10 – 10/13 on Amazon! Here’s the trailer to learn more about it:

FLYING TO THE FIRE… it’s coming March 2013!

Well, I’m starting to get excited. FLYING TO THE LIGHT, my first YA novel with Cool Well Press, has been out for over a year and I’ve had such a great response to it. I’ve been able to visit a bunch of schools, did some library chats and was hosted on a bunch of different websites and blogs. It’s been a lot of fun.

the world of karov AaThen, I decided to self publish my dark fantasy tale, THE WORLD OF KAROV. Hey, it’s been sitting in my computer for years, the sequel is also written, so why not? I figured it would force me to really immerse myself in social media and the experience has been great. I did a free promo of the book and over 450 people downloaded it! It was very exciting.

But, the newest news is the March 2013 release of my upcoming thriller, FLYING TO THE FIRE. It is the sequel to FLYING TO THE LIGHT and takes our main character, Danny Anderson, who was only 6 in the first book, and now he’s 13. Here’s the teaser and blurb:

One looks up… and the other looks down…
An evil black mass is attacking Danny Anderson in his dreams and in his waking life. Attacks so vicious that if it weren’t for his birds, he would have died. Danny soon realizes that this monster is not coming for him, but for his little sister-because while he can see up to the place of light and peace, Katie can see down into the realm of darkness and cruelty. Danny must fight to save Katie before the creature steals her away… and she is lost to him forever.

Yep, there’s now a little sister. But don’t worry, Michael, Gary and Maddy are there too… along with a few surprises! FLYING TO THE LIGHT
If you’d like to read FLYING TO THE LIGHT, please feel free to get it here: http://www.amazon.com/Flying-to-the-Light-ebook/dp/B00666JMOM/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1360790495&sr=8-2&keywords=flying+to+the+light

Thanks everyone! Happy Reading!

My new book launch THE WORLD OF KAROV

the world of karov AaI’ve been writing for twenty years now. I’ve got seven books under my belt and at least fifty short stories and for the past twelve years I’ve been actively trying to sell all of them. I’ve been fortunate to have my short stories published in various magazines, online sites and anthologies and I was super fortunate to have my young adult novel, FLYING TO THE LIGHT, picked up by Cool Well Press in November, 2011.

But what I really want is my other books to see the light of day and that keeps eluding me.  You see, the very first book I wrote was called THE RUBY AMULET and I created this entire fantasy world rife with rules, different realms and a huge back story. Very epic of me. I tried to get it agented and not a one would take a peek at it. (of course, it was my very first book, terribly written and that probably was the real reason.) So, I hooked myself up with the amazing Denise Vitola – an editor/teacher who helped me become the writer I am today and we cleaned up that book and she taught me how to write. Over the years I’ve tried to get it agented and looked at again, with no luck, so, I decided to write another book in that series and THE WORLD OF KAROV was born. I tried to get THAT agented and read, and again, no takers. So I wrote more books and sent them out, too.

Rejection letters are frustrating, aggravating and defeating. But, it’s the letters and inquiries you send out that get NO reply that are even worse… did they get it? Is it just sitting there? How long do I wait? So, with self publishing being so accessible to authors, I thought I’d give it a try with THE WORLD OF KAROV and see how it goes. I figured at the very least, I’d immerse myself in the indie commuty, learn the social media ropes, and make some great friends. And I’ve achieved all that so far. I’m pretty up to speed on FB, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and a bunch of other sites. I know how to upload books to Amazon, I’m learning how to format to print. I’ve worked with editors, illustrators, beta readers and other authors and it’s just been an incredible learning experience. So what is next? Learning to put my heart on the line, apparently.

THE WORLD OF KAROV is a dark fantasy novel. “Haunting and sad,” has been floated around. My beta readers liked the book, but are conflicted on the ending. Will people like it? I don’t know. I hope so. But what I do know is that I wanted to get this story out so I can continue with the sequel and wherever else I’d like this to go. Taking the plunge is hard, leaving yourself esposed to criticism even harder, but I’m at a point in my life where I don’t want to NOT do something because I’m scared or self conscious. So, my fellow readers, I’ve decided to jump in, feet first. Here’s a teaser and blurb from the book:

Teaser:
An ancient race of children hidden away, a set of identical twins who can speak to animals, and a ruby amulet with the power to rule the worlds…
Blurb:
Adam and Alec look like identical twins, but their personalities are as different as possible. Adam is gentle and kind, whereas Alec is the essence of nightmares. Always jealous of his twin, Alec does everything he can to destroy his brother’s happiness, including kidnapping Adam’s fiancée on their wedding day and disappearing with her deep into the Canadian mountains. Adam searches for them for months, but he never finds them. Just when Adam is at his most grief-stricken point, a stranger appears and offers him a chance for a new life in a land filled with magic, gems, and powers unimaginable; a world mysteriously led by a special tribe of children who have hidden themselves away from a great evil that is seeking to destroy them. Adam takes the chance and goes with the stranger, but his past is never far from his mind. Eventually, reality comes back to haunt Adam, resulting in a final showdown with his brother…. and this time, only one will win.

If anyone would like to read some sample chapters of the novel or purchase it on your e-reader (until I figure out how to format to print) here is the link. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and have a wonderful New Year!

http://www.amazon.com/World-Karov-Children-Demilee-ebook/dp/B00APJ6Z6Y/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1356108028&sr=8-1&keywords=the+world+of+karov