By Jeff Salter
We have an ‘open’ week here at 4F1H, so it’s only natural that I’d use Hound Day to talk about my upcoming novel, Called To Arms Again, scheduled for release by May 30. Of the seven novels I’ve completed so far, this was my third, so it’s quite fitting for it to be my third fiction book published.
C2AA has been through a lot! I began writing it in fall of 2007 and finished the first readable – though very rough – draft on Apr. 2, 2008.
Partly because this story was so interwoven with my father-in-law (who died the day I finished that initial draft), I was unable to return to this novel for some 14 long months. Beginning with May 30th of 2009, I resumed work on it and wrote solidly on this story until it had grown to some 164,000 words, which is nearly double the typical length of published fiction.
Sending it to numerous beta readers, I learned that the pace was too slow in the beginning third and several of my plot threads – which related to other books in my Somerset Series – made it difficult for readers to jump in and enjoy the main story. So, (in December 2012) when I finally found time to get it ready for submission, I knew I had to do a lot more than revise and trim that verbal forest. I needed to go after it with a chainsaw and then bushhog what remained. Whacked away some 50,000 words!
The result is a lean, brisk 115,000 word story of a newspaper reporter looking for a new angle for her Veterans Day special section. Who better to give her a fresh perspective than a bunch of old war dogs who’d been there and back? Not only does Kelly Randall learn what the Greatest Generation was made of, but she soon discovers a great deal about her own mettle.
My story has action, comedy, romance, and an unashamedly healthy dose of patriotism. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll cheer.
I’m not allowed to reveal the cover until release day, which is a shame, because artist Elaina Lee did an outstanding job. So, until some time next week, here’s pretty much all I can share about Called To Arms Again.
Called to Arms Again
By J. L. Salter
Grit doesn’t fade away … it just becomes crusty. With harrowing elements right out of today’s headlines, this story reaches back into the sturdy heartbeat of people raised during the Depression and tested during World War II. Though the old uniforms haven’t fit in many decades, their resilient spirits still have that same intensity which helped save democracy.
Needing only a fresh angle to write her Veteran’s Day special, Kelly discovers first-hand that the Greatest Generation still has enough grit to fight back. While all the authorities are occupied during a massive Homeland Security drill, an urban gang of thieves targets an isolated retirement subdivision … figuring the crippled geriatrics would offer no resistance.
Though Kelly’s widowed boyfriend came along only for a post-funeral luncheon, Mitch soon finds himself leading a mis-matched flanking team. Kelly’s good friend Wade has his own assignment, with a home-made mortar and lots of illegal gunpowder.
Maybe it’s difficult to remember everyday things like taking pills, but these octogenarians have never forgotten it was up to them to defend family, home, community, and country. The outcome of their courageous stand depends on the resolve and resourcefulness of an unlikely ensemble of eccentric elderly neighbors, several American Legion members, and others spanning four generations.
I haven’t gone ‘all-out’ with promotion of my first two novels – romantic suspense and romantic comedy – but the sky’s the limit on promoting C2AA.
If you’re a Boomer — your parents, aunts, and uncles were members of the greatest generation. Buy this book and read it yourself, because you’ll recognize these characters. If you’re the child of a Boomer Generation parent, you need to read this so you’ll understand what your grand-parents (and their siblings) went through and how they prevailed.
If you were born before about 1929, you ARE part of the Greatest Generation and you’ll find yourself and your friends in my story!
Read it! Pass the word! Get this story into the hands of everyone who loves America!
Who in YOUR live is (or was) a member of the Greatest Generation?