Special Guest Charles A Salter

Guest Author (and My Brother)
By Jeff Salter

I’ve hosted nearly 20 Guest Foxes during the 93 weeks we’ve had Four Foxes One Hound up-and-running, but this week it’s a special treat to host author Charles A. Salter.  Not only is Charles my co-author in several non-fiction projects, but he’s also my valued and extremely helpful beta reader.  Even more importantly, he’s my brother … and friend.

GIVEAWAY!
Another special treat today is my very first blog GIVEAWAY!  From a list of each individual who posts a comment [see particulars at the bottom of this blog], I will draw names for a hardcover, paperback, and digital copy of my brother’s new novel.  So each person commenting has THREE chances to win a free book!
Without further ado, here’s author Charles A. Salter to give some back-story on his newly published novel:

Backstory on The eBay Plot
By Charles A. Salter
The eBay Plot is based on a true story from the era of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, one never revealed publicly until now.  At the time, I was an active-duty Army officer at the Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute (AFRRI) in Bethesda, Maryland, which is the primary military lab devoted to medical defense against nuclear and radiological weapons.  I was the director of the Medical Effects of Ionizing Radiation course taught world-wide on U.S. and allied bases of all military services, as well as to the Public Health Service and first responders.  Two months after terrorists destroyed the World Trade Towers in New York and also attacked the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, I and my team were invited by the director of the White House medical unit to come to the Old Executive Office building near the President’s West Wing to brief the entire medical staff on the current nuclear/radiological threats and to train them how to deal with the medical effects.
Among many threats that I discussed was one related to eBay.  Scientists at AFRRI had been screening radiation-related auctions on eBay to help prevent the spread of nuclear technology and radioactive materials among the public.  The first one that alarmed us was the sale of a radioactive radium source that we calculated to be strong enough to kill several people if used by terrorists towards that end.  The deeper we looked into online auctions related to weapons of mass destruction, the more concerned we became and ultimately turned over to the FBI the information we had gathered related to the radium auction. [I hasten to add that everything we saw was legal if purchased by scientists for legitimate purposes and not used for criminal or terrorist ends.  But how would we know unless the right authorities were informed and followed up?]
As I attended those staff meetings and examined all the numerous auctions myself, some related to biological or chemical warfare as well, I realized this was a story screaming to be written and published in book form.  For years I waited for the FBI to completely solve the mystery and connect all the dots, especially those related to the mailed anthrax attacks and the strange deaths of several key scientists who worked on medical defenses against biological warfare, but to no avail.  I finally decided to go ahead and write the first draft in 2007, sticking to the known facts as much as possible and working out a dramatized, fictional ending which tied everything together in one grand plot.  I waited years more, till 2011, before submitting the book to Tate, still hoping for the FBI investigation to produce a definitive resolution.  To date, that has not occurred, though you may remember from seeing the news over the years that the FBI had a “person of interest” and later a suspect in the anthrax case; though nothing was ever proven in court, the authorities focused on scientists from nearby Fort Detrick in Frederick, Maryland (where I also worked for years before going to AFRRI).
Perhaps the facts presented in this novel will lead to renewed interest and exposure of additional evidence which might finally solve the remaining pieces of the mystery.  And wouldn’t it be ironic if my fictionalized ending proved to be largely or even partially correct?

GIVEAWAY!
See details below for how to win one of THREE copies of The eBay Plot — one hardcover, one paperback, and one digital.

Bio Blurb:
Charles A. Salter holds five degrees, including a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania and a doctorate of science from HarvardUniversity. The eBay Plot is based on Salter’s experience as an active-duty Army officer and as the director of the medical effects of ionizing radiation course at the Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute.

The eBay Plot
The eBay Detective Book 1

by Charles A. Salter

Louella shivered again. Lots more to sell on eBay. But never again like this. Never before darting to work in the morning. Next time she’d choose a crowded place in the middle of the day. She didn’t even know what the buyer looked like, only that he would meet her at six a.m. and would arrive in a white Lincoln Continental.
Speak of the devil.

Brad Stout is a US Army major, an expert in radiation defense at the military’s premier radiation defense lab. He is assigned to monitor sales of radioactive products on eBay in an effort to prevent terrorists from getting their hands on illicit nuclear knowledge and materials that can make dirty bombs.
Brad has been on the trail of an eBay buyer who seems to be involved in a recent murder and who is prepping to make a dirty bomb. Brad is about to bring the situation under control when the tables turn and the eBay buyer is now stalking Brad’s activity.
In this compelling dramatization of the never-before-told true story of how military scientists used eBay to help foil a developing dirty bomb plot, national security is in jeopardy. Brad picks up on the trail, but can he prevent a weapon of mass destruction in the nation’s capital before it is too late?

Buy link:
http://www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore/book.php?w=9781621474920
Available in paperback or digital form

Giveaway!
To participate in the drawings for either a hardcover, paperback, or digital copy of The eBay Plot Vol. 1 … just enter a comment on this blog.  In your comment, be sure to include at least one phrase telling whether you’ve ever bought or sold anything on eBay.
Also include your email address, in this form:
jane3doe [at] cableco [dot] com
… so I can contact the winners.
Save a link to this blog because in a couple of days — probably Nov. 10 — I’ll announce the three winners.  [In this giveaway, have only one copy of each format, so the three winners will not likely have a choice of format.]

About Jeff Salter

Currently writing romantic comedy, screwball comedy, and romantic suspense. Fourteen completed novels and four completed novellas. Working with three royalty publishers: Clean Reads, Dingbat Publishing, & TouchPoint Press/Romance. "Cowboy Out of Time" -- Apr. 2019 /// "Double Down Trouble" -- June 2018 /// "Not Easy Being Android" -- Feb. 2018 /// "Size Matters" -- Oct. 2016 /// "The Duchess of Earl" -- Jul. 2016 /// "Stuck on Cloud Eight" -- Nov. 2015 /// "Pleased to Meet Me" (novella) -- Oct. 2015 /// "One Simple Favor" (novella) -- May 2015 /// "The Ghostess & MISTER Muir" -- Oct. 2014 /// "Scratching the Seven-Month Itch" -- Sept. 2014 /// "Hid Wounded Reb" -- Aug. 2014 /// "Don't Bet On It" (novella) -- April 2014 /// "Curing the Uncommon Man-Cold -- Dec. 2013 /// "Echo Taps" (novella) -- June 2013 /// "Called To Arms Again" -- (a tribute to the greatest generation) -- May 2013 /// "Rescued By That New Guy in Town" -- Oct. 2012 /// "The Overnighter's Secrets" -- May 2012 /// Co-authored two non-fiction books about librarianship (with a royalty publisher), a chapter in another book, and an article in a specialty encyclopedia. Plus several library-related articles and reviews. Also published some 120 poems, about 150 bylined newspaper articles, and some 100 bylined photos. Worked about 30 years in librarianship. Formerly newspaper editor and photo-journalist. Decorated veteran of U.S. Air Force (including a remote ‘tour’ of duty in the Arctic … at Thule AB in N.W. Greenland). Married; father of two; grandfather of six.
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68 Responses to Special Guest Charles A Salter

  1. jeff salter says:

    Want to extend a warm welcome to my Special Guest, Charles A. Salter, on the occasion of our very first blog together! I hope many of his friends stop by and ‘register’ for one of the THREE FREE BOOKS.

    Like

  2. Jeanne Theunissen says:

    Wow, I’m surprised eBay would even allow such things to be sold through them, since weapons of any kind are banned, and they don’t even allow tobacco products to be sold on their site! My husband and I pretty much live on eBay… If there’s something we are interested in buying, that’s the first place we look. We also have an eBay store where we sell numerous items related to hobbies–mostly radio control things and robotics.

    I never thought of eBay as a place terrorists would go to buy supplies, but I guess anything that has a legitimate use can also be used in some type of malicious attack as well, like airplanes, or even spray cans.

    This sounds like a very interesting book, indeed…

    Jeanne57 [at] gmail [dot] com

    Like

    • jeff salter says:

      Thanks for commenting, Jeanne. And you’re our first entry in the drawing for free books!
      I was a contented buyer on eBay for — gosh, I guess it was 3-4 yrs or so — some 300+ auctions. That’s how I built up my collection of artifacts, uniforms (& related), gear, etc. for my military veteran displays.

      Like

  3. Charles says:

    Following this incident, eBay changed its policies many years ago to prevent a re-occurrence. Dangerous amounts of radioactive substances can not currently be bought and sold on eBay. It may interest you to know that up until about 1999 (I forget the exact month and year) you could buy and sell firearms and live ammunition on eBay. But no longer. They constantly update their policies.

    Like

    • Jeanne Theunissen says:

      I wondered after I posted this if eBay had changed its policies in response to this. Many of the freedoms Americans once enjoyed have been taken away as a result of the “war on terror.” I am an American citizen, but I’ve been living in Australia for nearly five years now.

      Oh, and let me take this opportunity to say thank you, Charles, for serving our country so diligently, and helping to prevent what most certainly would have been a devastating catastrophe.

      Like

  4. Iris says:

    Nice to meet you via Jeff’s virtual loungeroom, Charles! Congrats on your book. It certainly sounds like a very interesting read!

    Like

  5. Charles says:

    Jeanne,
    Thank you for your kind words. I believe you are blessed to be living in Australia. Their government brought me and my team over to the Sydney area in 1998 and 2000 to teach our course to medical officers of all the uniformed services and also to first responders. They treated us like royalty, and we had the best time ever. Later, many Australian officers came to my lab–AFRRI–and I had the opportunity to return the favor. Say “hi!” to that gorgeous Sydney Opera House for me!

    Like

  6. jbrayweber says:

    Wow! Very intriguing, both in real life and in fiction.
    Yes, I use eBay,. Not often, but often enough. There really are some great deals. But sometimes, when you get into a bidding war, I feel like I’m gambling. Ha!

    Throw me in the drawing Jenn@ jbrayweber (dot) com

    Like

  7. OMGOSH! I used Ebay for years selling my paintings and still purchase quite a bit there today. This is scary stuff! So glad to hear it’s been shut down. Thank you so much for serving and protecting this country, Charles!!

    Congratulations on your book! Sounds like a very suspenseful read! My favorite! 🙂

    mdohnoutka@ yahoo.com

    Like

    • jeff salter says:

      Melissa, I didn’t recall knowing about your painting. I hope you’ll post something on your FB wall — if you haven’t already — with a sample or two.
      Thanks for visiting today.
      You’re entered in the drawing for one of the three free books.

      Like

    • Charles says:

      Melissa,
      Thank you for your kind comments and interest in my book! I hope you enjoy the suspense from the first page through to the end.

      Like

  8. Charles says:

    I have been involved in bidding wars, both as a buyer and a seller, and it is definitely more fun when you are the seller and you see that final price going up and up! In fact, over the past 14 years I have been involved in about one thousand eBay auctions. All but one described in the book were real eBay auctions where I was either the buyer or the seller or was monitoring something related to weapons.

    Like

  9. Pam Harding says:

    I am loving this book! I’m nearly finished and eagerly anticipating the next one. I have never used eBay, but we are in the process of getting set up to sell some paintings. I already feel as though I know a few things about it since reading the book. It’s comforting knowing we have a real expert close at hand.

    pamelaharding@ymail.com

    Like

    • jeff salter says:

      Thank you, Pam, for commenting today. I apologize it took so long for yours to appear, but my internet has been down since mid-morning and this is my first successful log-on since that time. Good luck with your painting sales on eBay.
      You evidently already have a copy of this book, but you’re still in the drawing for one of these 3. If you win, you’ll have a gift copy on hand!

      Like

    • Charles says:

      Thanks, Pam, for logging in and commenting. Glad you like the book.
      Charles

      Like

  10. Welcome,Charles, to our blog…Jeff has been bringing in a lot of guest “Foxes”;it’s nice that he brought in a “Hound”…and may I add, ‘Litter-Mate”? (LOL! My husband is one of 15 and I say I got the “pick of the litter”!) We’ve heard so much about you,(all good; Jeff is a good brother,I’m sure.)
    I was born on the Maryland side of D.C.(P.G.Co.); grew up on the Virginia side,(Fairfax, Co.) We always knew there was more around than was general knowledge; #1:My parents had worked for a ‘war plant’ in sensitive areas,)my father moved on into some government projects with another company) and #2:Rumors fly in the area and generally, they are on target.
    Well, good for you , keeping us all safe and sound.I am sure the inspiration fell on fertile ground! Nice to meet you!

    Like

    • jeff7salter says:

      Thanks tonette. My internet is out & I can’t get my phone to the spot to moderate any new comments.

      Like

    • Charles says:

      Nice to meet you, too, Tonette! I have been impressed with your joint blog from the beginning. You had a clever name from the start and built wisely upon that with some great postings which I have enjoyed. No one could ask for a better brother than Jeff. We have been as close as can be from Day 1 and support each other in everything! A lot of my work friends live in P.G. County. In this region if you ask someone where they work and they can’t quite tell you, it’s a good bet they work for one of the MANY secret agencies around here such as the NSA or CIA.

      Like

      • jeff salter says:

        Just to echo what Charles said above, one of the publishers in a collaborative effort (a signed article in a specialty encyclopedia) called Charles and I the “dynamic duo” after reading our entry.

        Like

  11. jeff salter says:

    Okay, folks, I’m back and FINALLY able to log-on again. My internet had been out from mid-morning to just a few minutes ago (3:30 p.m.). Do you think the cable co will issue a refund for those missing hours? Ha.

    Like

    • pjharjo says:

      Very Interesting blog, Charles! Your book will also be a very interesting Read! I have never bought or sold on ebay, but my bf has. My email address is Janette_Harjo@Hotmail.com. What’s with Jeff keeping you such a secret?! LOL!

      Like

      • Charles says:

        Secrets make great suspense, do they not? Early on, the reader of Book 1 knows what the villain can do, but not who he is. The lead character knows neither…but he finds out when everyone he cares about is threatened. Suspenseful? I think so!

        Like

  12. What a fascinating plot! I’d love to be entered in the drawing. My uncle worked in Army intelligence from the 1960s until he retired, but I’m sure his work didn’t include anything remotely as technical as what you’ve dealt with. Thank you so much for your service, both Mr. Salters!

    Like

    • jeff salter says:

      Delighted to have you visit again, Patty.
      You might be surprised at the kinds of things your uncle may have worked with. A lot depends on where he served and at what levels, of course.
      Yes, you’re in the drawing, but just for the sake of the contest stipulations, have you ever bought or sold on eBay?

      Like

    • Charles says:

      Thank you, Patty! I’ll bet your uncle loved Okinawa. I and my team were invited down there to teach our course twice. Once was at one of the Marine Corps bases there (Camp Kinser, I think). The second time was at Kadena Air Force Base in Okinawa. The traffic is awful, but it really is very beautiful and aptly considered the Hawaii of Japan. I don’t want to give away the ending of Book 1, but some elements of it are based on some things I observed in Okinawa.

      It is amazing to me that you mention your uncle was in Army intelligence in the 1960s. Book 2 in my series, which should be out in a few months, starts with a true story of an Army nuclear catastrophe that occurred in 1961. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if your uncle had some inside knowledge of that when it happened.

      Like

  13. Dianne says:

    Hello Charles and Jeff! What an interesting story! I have sold some stuff, but mostly bought on eBay. I am always in the market for pictures and movie posters that mention my uncle (an old time country western singer) and have found a lot of them. He also designed a Gibson guitar. A couple, signed, have come up for sale, but way outside my price range. I like to look at gemstones, plants, and, like Jeanne, it is the first place I look when I am planning to buy something. I can’t wait to read your book, Charles.You have led an interesting life!

    Like

    • jeff salter says:

      Great to see you here again, Dianne. I remember seeing some pix you posted with your Uncle. He sang in the movies with Roy Rogers, didn’t he? Or was it Gene Autrey?
      I’m delighted to enter you in the drawing.
      Charles may not realize (from your first name alone — here) that you are the same Dianne W. we both knew in Covington!

      Like

    • Charles says:

      Wow, Dianne, how nice to hear from you! I’m glad Jeff let me in on which Dianne you are. It’s been decades since I’ve seen you, but I remember well our joint days in Covington. I hope all is well with you and your family.

      Like

  14. Llewelyn Tucker says:

    Greetings, Jeff and Charles! What a treat to have both of you at hand again. The last time I was this fortunate was about 1965 or so at CHS. I am intrigued by the descriptive bits thus far and would love to be entered in the drawing, please.
    I have sold a few books on eBay and bought a few more than that there. Most of the activity was several years ago but I still browse for entertainment or information purposes now.
    I will echo several of the other commenters and say “Thank you” for your services in our nation’s defense. You can reach me at sailmaker51 [at] gmail [dot] com. My birthday is tomorrow and I feel lucky!

    Like

    • jeff salter says:

      Happy birthday, Llew! I’d sing a few verses for you, but (as you may remember) I’m not that much of a musician. Wow. Hard to believe we’re getting older.
      Thanks for visiting again, and for posting a comment.
      Yes, you’re in the drawing for one of the 3 books.

      Like

    • Charles says:

      Happy birthday, Llewelyn! And thank you for your kind thoughts.

      Like

  15. jeff salter says:

    Winners of the 3 FREE BOOKS:
    In order to insure total objectivity, I assigned numbers to each of the valid entries and then put all numbers in a small bowl. My wife drew the numbers, with these results:
    Hardcover = Iris Blobel
    Paperback = Judy S. Holliday [entered through FB rather than this site]
    E-copy = Dianne W. Blaikie

    I’ll be in touch with each of you very soon to get necessary addresses.
    Congratulations!

    Like

    • irsi says:

      Wooohoooo !!! Thanks Jeff …. and Charles! I look forward to reading it.

      Like

      • jeff salter says:

        and if you’ll tell me what color licourice you prefer, I’ll add that for ballast.
        Note: has to be licourice available at typical grocery store, cuz I ain’t driving to Lexington to some speciality Licourice shoppe.

        Like

      • irsi says:

        Well, see, there’s a problem already …. how can you ask me about a colour (with the ‘u’ please!) when it come to licorice …. IT’S BLACK …. everything else is NOT licorice! LOL … I dont know what you guys have in the US, so it’s going to be a nice surprise to have licorice from possum trot’s general store 🙂

        Like

      • jeff salter says:

        LOL. I’ll put Denise on the trail. She also likes black licourice.
        I prefer the red stuff myself.

        Like

  16. I TOTALLY agree with irsi…the black candy is LICOURICE!That is the flavo(u)r,and hopefully the ingredient)! The red things are ‘Twizzlers’ or ‘Red Vines’.

    Like

  17. What an awesome premise. Sounds like a great read. Wishing you lots of sales!

    Like

  18. Pingback: Welcome Back, Charles Salter | Four Foxes, One Hound

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