Ever Reached Cloud Nine?

Or… Are You Stuck on Cloud Eight?

By Jeff Salter

It’s free week here at 4F1H, so I thought I’d share a bit more about my humorous novel – Stuck on Cloud Eight – released in November last year by TouchPoint Press.


[The setup: an injured Rusty Battle is leaving the chiropractic clinic where Keri Winter has been applying his therapy. Keri assists him to the waiting room where they both encounter Dudley Poe.]

From the end of Chapter 2

Dudley’s eyes darted from his friend Rusty to his former neighborhood playmate Keri and back again.

Rusty also looked from face to face. “Have you two met?”

“Long time ago,” said Keri. “Grew up together ‘til he married a high school sweetheart and moved. Dud was the only boy who didn’t treat me like a leper.”

Dudley grinned.

“So you two came here together, I gather,” Keri said.

“Yeah, didn’t think I could drive. Plus Dud was responsible for my accident.”

Dudley began laughing. “Only the first part…”

“Yeah, yeah. The entire debacle was set in motion by you.”

“So what happened anyhow? I think I missed the whole story.” But she felt like smiling anyway.

“Too embarrassing,” replied Rusty.

More laughter from his driver.

“So nobody’s going to tell me?”

“Nope. But thanks again for your help, Keri.”

Love the sound of my name on his lips. She nodded and turned back toward the door to the therapy area. “Bye.” Keri watched as Rusty trudged out the door, Dudley chattering as they went.

Natlee zipped up beside her. “So what did you think?”

“About what?”

“The dreamy guy.”

“Just another patient in pain,” said Keri.

“You’re kidding.”

“I’ve worked on tall ones, short ones, fat ones, skinny ones.”

“But you’ve never worked on anybody that fine.” Natlee pointed toward the parking lot. “And he’s single, too.”

“How do you know?”

“I heard him talking with Suellen.”

“You can’t eavesdrop on patients, Natlee. That’s a HIPAA violation.”

“Turn me in, Keri. He’s fine, he’s tall, and he’s single.”


With considerable pain and several yelps, Rusty made his way through the parking lot and situated himself in the passenger side of his truck.

“What was she doing with your keys?” Dudley patted his pockets absent-mindedly. “I thought I had them.”

“You do — or you did. I gave you the spare I keep in my boot.”

Deep in his front pocket, Dudley finally located his key to Rusty’s truck and sniffed it gingerly. “You say this stays in your boot, Hoss?”

“Up near the top. I had a little pouch sewed inside my work boots. Got tired of locking myself out.”

“Should’ve told me.” Dudley took another sniff. “That’s nasty.”

“Well quit sniffing and drive.”

“You sure are bossy today.”

It’s the pain talking.

Dudley started the truck and eased around a small pothole where the parking lot emptied to the street. Then he picked up speed.

“So you know that girl?” Rusty asked again.

“Sure. Like she said, from way back.”

“What was she like?”

“Just a pestersome tomboy — skinny and flat-chested.”

“Not anymore.” And he’d spent a good while establishing her current credentials.

“You’re wasting your time, Hoss. She doesn’t date anybody. Hasn’t said boo to a man since she got home from college.”

“How long is that?”

“Don’t recall. I’ll ask Accolade.”

“Your wife knows her too?”

“Accolade knew her family. Keri lost her mom… her dad’s remarried and lives somewhere else.”

“That’s no reason not to date. Must be more to it.”

“Don’t mess with her, Hoss. She lives in a tree.



            Since Keri Winter’s tomboy childhood dream had been to one day possess her own tree house, it does not bother her one bit to be known as Tarzana after she actually builds her home in a tree.

With a steady job she enjoys, Keri invests most of her late mother’s insurance policy into the design and construction of the only inhabitable tree house in Greene County. The house is a marvel, both in its construction and everyday operation, and attracts significant attention. So does its only occupant.

But most of the young men in town hold no interest for her at all. In fact, she seems pretty unapproachable – literally and figuratively – with her head up in the clouds. It would take a mighty tall man to reach Keri’s level and attract her romantic interest.

And even if the right man could reach her, would Keri trust him?

Rusty Battle figures he’s got the right stuff, but in order to prove it, he has to get Keri’s attention.

They’re about to learn proximity can sometimes make the heart grow fonder…or it just might drive Keri crazy.

It’s difficult enough to get to know someone on even ground. Can she start over at a higher level?


Previous blogs:

Here’s a bit about the origins of the concept (and my love of tree houses):


Here’s my first announcement, along with two of the earliest reviews:


[JLS # 299]



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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10 Responses to Ever Reached Cloud Nine?

  1. jbrayweber says:

    Sounds like so much fun, Jeff! Great cover, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Patricia Kiyono says:

    I loved the premise of this when it first came out, and it’s making its way up my TBR list. I’ll get to it soon, I promise!

    Liked by 1 person

    • jeff7salter says:

      thanks, Patty. You are so faithful about reading books by colleagues.
      I tend to revert to the literal stack of books in my office on military history, mainly WW2.
      Just finished a Jeff Shaara novel and just started a 1000-page Rick Atkinson non-fiction account — # 2 in his WW2 trilogy. It’s a hardcover and so heavy it takes both hands to hold it.


      • Patricia Kiyono says:

        I think it’s an attention difficulty that makes me stick to reading light-hearted romances. For the serious stuff I’d rather watch a documentary. And I enjoy reading things by people I know!

        Liked by 1 person

      • jeff7salter says:

        I do too, but when I was in a history book club, I bought dozens and dozens of books are they are literally stacked up in my office, on the floor. I feel an intense obligation to read them and move them along the pipeline.


  3. I really enjoyed this book. I always know to turn to one of your books when in need of some good humor. This is probably my favorite.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Yes, this one will be a reward for myself when I get a few things done!
    “Accolade”? There must be a story to that one!

    Liked by 1 person

    • jeff7salter says:

      it’s not explained in the story how Dudley’s wife got her name, but as I was completing the first draft — which is usually when I try to settle the characters’ names — I had decided Mrs Poe would be either Allocade of Accolade. The first version sounds more feminine in its first half but the second version sounds more feminine in its second half. My gut told me to go with Accolade.


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