Welcome Back, Charles Salter

Author, Co-Author, and My Brother

By Jeff Salter

It’s always great to have my big brother drop in on me for my Hound Day blog, but I’m especially pleased to be able to feature his newest novel, The Flight of the Schimmerplotz — released last month by Dingbat Publishing.

As Charles explains in his dedication, the primary characters of this new novel were born out of one of his short stories in our collection – Death Do Us Part – released a year ago, also by Dingbat Publishing. Our publisher so enjoyed the interplay between Dr. Brains and Mr. Brawn, that she suggested Charles feature them in a further adventure… a complete novel. And the result is the title I’m spotlighting today.

Back Cover Blurb

The Flight Of The Schimmerplotz

            When a shimmering, threatening window suddenly opens in the park and envelopes his young daughter Sara and partner Brex Herndon, what’s a secret agent to do? Brex, alias Dr. Brains, is the smartest human in the world, while Agent Jack Rigalto, alias Mr. Brawn, is his bodyguard. Both work for the recently opened United States Space Force in its top secret Cosmic Intelligence Group.

            Soon they uncover the most ghastly plot ever to conquer the world, one which has been in the works for thousands of years, since the Tower of Babel. The shimmering Schimmerplotz window carries them back and forth in time where they must unravel the conspiracy, unmask the diabolical creatures behind it, and save civilization, battling primitive savages, humanoid giants, and monstrous creatures along the way.

            Can Brains and Brawn succeed?

            The most exciting and funny new buddy action team of heroes in years!

Author bio

Charles Salter has been a writer all his life. A professional member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors, he has published about two dozen books and hundreds of articles in magazines and newspapers, as well as numerous U.S. Government Technical Reports. His adult mystery novels and juvenile non-fiction books have earned excellent reviews and won various awards. Currently retired, he served for 28 years as a Medical Service Corps officer in the United States Army.

Excerpt

Suddenly I saw them both staring into some kind of void. I don’t know how it happened, or even what happened, but there was something suddenly hanging in the sky in front of them.  

I looked up and made out a vague shimmering, like a mirage in the desert, but with a defined border. A large window in the sky which suddenly appeared, displaying something within which had caught their attention.

I was 25 or 30 yards behind them and could not see into the window, but I tried to angle around behind it and see what lay on the other side.

There was no other side. Behind it I saw only the same trees, bushes, and sidewalk as before, only from a different angle. I watched in astonishment as both of them appeared to be standing there, just staring into empty space — mesmerized, totally engrossed in what they saw through it and on the other side.

Then a strange but loud and angry voice emanated from the void. “Ur dicto bhaggrot.”  

At least that was the way my ears perceived it. I had no idea what the voice actually said, but my brain picked up the signals from my ears and tried to translate them into English lettering. I also had no idea what it meant, if anything. For all I knew, it held no more significance than a dog’s bark, a walrus’ grunt, or a clap of thunder.

I heard Brex answer back, “Nidrasan per geblin! Nid!”

Then Sara screamed.

Brex shouted, “Run, Sara! Run to your daddy! I’ll stop this guy.”

I bolted to the front side of the window and saw humanoid hands, dirty and covered in coarse hair, emerging from it and grabbing Brex around the neck in a chokehold.

Crying, Sara flew towards me and leapt into my arms.

My Review

As one of my brother’s frequent beta readers, I had eagerly read one of the earlier drafts of this manuscript… back around a year ago, I guess. I think many readers enjoy a great “buddy” story and this one features two individuals who could not be LESS alike. Polar opposites, as a matter of fact. Yet, throughout their lives – since childhood – they’ve been best friends. Each knows the other almost as well as the other knows himself… and their opposite strengths are a superb complement to deal with each unique situation they face. Now, “Dr. Brains” is something of a national resource… and “Mr. Brawn” has been engaged – 24/7/365 – to protect him.

This novel also features Agent Jack Rigalto’s loving wife, Sara, and their daughter… plus their wonderful family dog.

Brex Herndon [Dr. Brains] is currently single, and sometimes wonders if his superior intellect and inferior physical attributes might prevent him from ever finding a female match. Are there any ladies out there who could love Brex for his brains and personality (despite his scrawny appearance)?

My second reading of this story was the finished novel and I had forgotten enough from my earlier exposure that most of it felt fresh and new. This is a fast-paced mix of action, intrigue, science, and humor… with LOTS of history! [There were times – as I read the earlier draft – that I’d come to a historical reference and contact my brother with the question, “did that really happen?” In every instance I can now recall, his answer was YES it DID!]

The creative fight scenes are vivid and intense… and the reader can legitimately wonder how on earth will Jack’s brawn and Brex’s brains work together to enable them to survive?

In contemporary times with so many dysfunctional family situations in view, it’s refreshing to witness Jack’s devoted relationship with his loving wife and their precious daughter. His wife’s twin sister is also on hand to baby-sit occasionally and her presence sometimes creates other interesting situations.

To me, it’s also heartening to see the deep patriotism of this dynamic duo. Next to their loved ones, they are most devoted to their nation, America — and they’ll sacrifice nearly everything to come to its aid.

I think it’s a normal part of growing up (among many young boys) to crave to BE the heroic alpha male who stands tall and firm when others quake and falter… even if the closest you ever get to it will be through viewing an action film or reading an adventure tale. But there’s also something quite captivating about being the “smart” guy in the mix… the one who can think faster and better than the bad guys and come up with strategies and devices that work in concert with the buddy who has all the brawn.

As a flesh-and-blood person, I have neither brawn nor brains — at least not to the level of these two terrific characters, Jack and Brex. But in reading this tale, not only do I root equally for each of them… but at times I can imagine what it must be like to BE either one.

Amazon Buy-Link

https://tinyurl.com/y5z9lmbe

Previous Visits

I’ve hosted my brother, Charles, at least twice on my 4F1H blogs and at least once on “Take Two on Romance.”

His previous appearances were:

https://fourfoxesonehound.wordpress.com/2012/11/07/special-guest-charles-a-salter/

https://fourfoxesonehound.wordpress.com/2016/12/15/new-series-for-children/

http://taketwoonromance.weebly.com/jlrsquos-blog/guest-author-charles-salter

Charles’ Question for Readers

“Do you like a buddy team of heroes who can make wisecracks as they face mortal danger? In real life crises you have faced, do you appreciate someone who can break the tension with humor?”

[JLS # 523]

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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26 Responses to Welcome Back, Charles Salter

  1. Charles Salter says:

    Good to be back! Thanks for having me. I just love your review of the book. You clearly see all the facets and ingredients that I intended to be there, and seem to like them as much as I do! I hope other readers feel the same. One further thing I’d like to mention. I finished the rough draft during January and February of 2020, and by May of that year, some of the things I foresaw as part of the plot against America started coming true. I sure hope the rest doesn’t! I meant this to be fiction, not prophecy….

    Liked by 1 person

  2. kathleenbee says:

    That’s exciting that your brother writes, Jeff.
    Congrats, Charles, your book looks great fun to read.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Charles Salter says:

      Thank you! Jeff and I both have been writers from the beginning. Even as young children we wrote brief little plays and, along with our sister, acted them out in front of our parents. By our teen years we were writing short film scripts, using friends and neighbors as actors, shooting them with 8mm film, splicing and editing until we had a short 10-15 minute film to show in groups. For us, writing is not something we choose to do–we can’t NOT write. It just runs in our blood.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Jeff Salter says:

      Kathy, our dad wrote for much of his adult life… so we probably picked it up from him.
      He wrote poems, skits, short-stories, plays, and a few novels.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I do like the idea of REAL history in your book. I get truly mad at writers who play fast and loose with facts and destroy truth to fit into their stories. I qwish you success in this and all of your works.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Jeff Salter says:

    Great to have my brother back.
    And I hope today’s blog readers will find time to click on those links to his previous visits.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Charles Salter says:

      We have written together short family plays, neighborhood-produced film scripts, nonfiction books, chapters in nonfiction books such as encyclopedias, and fiction anthologies. Our first book together, about 33 years ago, was hailed by its publisher as one of its “bestsellers” for a couple of years. It got several excellent reviews, and one reviewer dubbed us a “dynamic duo.” I have always cherished that designation..

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Jeff, it’s great that you and your brother are writers and even collaborate on stories.

    To answer Charles’ question, I love humor, even in the most dangerous circumstances in a story. That’s why I add it to my tales. And having a sidekick who can crack a joke or even make a sarcastic statement that winds up making them both laugh is priceless. Just added that scenario to my work in progress yesterday.

    Arnie and I will both read your book in turn. Him first, of course. But you’ll have to be VERY patient. LOL

    Liked by 2 people

    • Charles Salter says:

      Oh, I like your attitude about humor in fiction! I must read the work in progress that you are alluding to. Please let us know when it becomes available. I definitely want to read it!

      Liked by 2 people

      • It’s in all my books, Charles. The work in progress will probably be available this coming summer. I don’t have a title for it yet, but the story takes place in O’ahu. An Army Major, about to retire, goes missing and his daughter is determined to find him regardless of who gets in her way. Thanks for the encouragement.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Charles Salter says:

          Wow, I’ve got to read the one set in O’ahu! During my Army career, I went there several times on temporary duty, not only as a captain and later as a lieutenant colonel, but also as a major in between. You’ve definitely piqued my interest with that one! Once I worked at Schofield Barracks, but most times I went it was to teach for short periods at Tripler Army Medical Center.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Arnie says, “You mean “Crippler? :)” But he says it really is a beautiful place and he went weekly every Friday for lunch at the cafeteria. Keep in touch with Jeff. He’ll know when the O’ahu book comes out. He can’t help but know when all my advertising on our Facebook forum and my timeline. LOL

            Arnie’s looking forward to starting your book.

            Liked by 2 people

            • Charles Salter says:

              Definitely–that is a must read for me. I can’t wait to dive in!

              Yes, Tripler (AKA the Coral Palace) is stunningly beautiful when you look up at it from lower elevations. And when you are up near the top of that hill looking down at the ocean, that view is just outstanding as well. I don’t remember the food being anything special, but it was definitely Army standard and we always ate lunch there.

              Liked by 2 people

            • Arnie served at Ft. Shafter.

              Liked by 2 people

  6. Patricia Kiyono says:

    Welcome back, Charles! I can’t wait to dive into this story. Thanks for the sneak peek!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Elaine Cantrell says:

    Welcome, Charles! The story sounds great. It’s nice to have two writers in the family.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Charles Salter says:

      Thank you! Yes, it is wonderful to have another writer in the family not only to collaborate with on specific projects from time to time, but also to serve as a beta reader for each other. Jeff always has terrific insights on how I can improve a manuscript, and I try to do the same for him. It’s at the point now where I am almost scared to show a new project to anyone else before Jeff can first have a go at it and help me straighten out the major problems.

      Liked by 2 people

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