Posted by: Author | June 21, 2012

Superstar Guest, Jeff Salter

Jillian: My friend, Jeff, has a great new release with a fantaztic premise. Welcome him to the ole blog today and be sure to say hello!

Introducing “The Overnighter’s Secrets”
By Jeff Salter

JEFF: Delighted to spend a day with Jillian Chantal to talk about my new novel, “The Overnighter’s Secrets”, published May 24 by Astraea Press. I’ve been calling it romantic suspense; my editor said it’s suspense with romantic elements. Suffice it to say that my story has mystery, danger, murder, action … and romance. Call it what you want.

I also enjoy being here with Jillian because we’re colleagues on the group blog, Four Foxes One Hound, which was launched some 16 months ago, primarily by Jillian’s momentum.

The inspiration for this story came from examining the varied contents of an antique suitcase — which my friend acquired (some 16 years ago) from dumpster divers in Calif.
We were able to connect a diary, a family photo album, numerous Vaudeville programs, and photos from silent movie sets … all to one person — Lizette Thorne. Internet research revealed that she was an actress in nearly four dozen silent movies and spent one year (1916) in the same studio as Charlie Chaplin. By the time I’d written some 77,000 words in my first draft, my earliest research finally put me in contact with the granddaughter of that actress!
So how did an actual silent movie actress (and her belongings) inspire the fictional plot and characters of a contemporary novel of romantic suspense? This excerpt and blurb will give you an idea, but you’ll need to invest $3 in an electronic copy to really appreciate it!


[From Chapter 28]

The smell of freshly baked pizza entering a small cottage makes your mouth water. Especially when the thoughtful individual added an order of succulent bread sticks, so warm that the steam was still rising.
Beth awkwardly hugged Shane as he clutched the boxes.
He put down the meal, then turned and embraced her properly. “I thought about you all day.”
It warmed her, but she couldn’t let down her guard. “I saw you less than two hours ago.”
“I forgot to tell you then.” He bit the end off a breadstick.
She eyed him narrowly. Something was different. Beth located disposable plates. When she opened the lid of the larger box, she nearly swooned. Anybody who wanted to seduce her needed only fresh, hot pizza. No anchovies.
Shane scooped up two slices and looked around. “Table or couch?”
“Couch. I mean, table.” She caught a string of hot cheese on her chin. “Doesn’t matter. You get comfortable and I’ll join you.”
With the breadstick clamped in his mouth like a fat cigar, Shane carried his plate in one hand and the half-full plastic cup in his other. He placed both on the coffee table and sat on the sofa.
Before she joined him, Beth watched from the kitchen as Shane sipped tea and took a large bite of pizza. It took a while for him to chew it down sufficiently and Beth continued to monitor as she ate her own delicious wedge.
He noticed. “What, Bethany?”
“Huh?” She took her seat on the couch.
“You’re staring. What’s up?”
“Oh, nothing.” She lied. “Well, yeah…noticing you’re different somehow.”
When Shane smiled, a morsel of crust fell onto his lap. He located it just below his buckle and plopped it back into his mouth. “Different…how?”
“Not sure.” Beth squinted. “The word that comes to mind is ‘calmer’…but that’s not exactly right.”
Shane chuckled. “Calmer?”
“Okay. Then maybe more mature…or something.”
“Well, I am a bit older than I was…”
“No, I don’t mean older.” Beth picked up another slice. “Never mind.” She bit off a sizeable chunk.
Shane studied her. In a moment, he reached way over, plucked a strand of errant cheese from the corner of her mouth and placed it on his own tongue.
Beth’s eyes widened. This was a new Shane. The old Shane would just point and grunt.
“Maybe I have matured a bit, Bethany. If that means it knocked me flat and sobered me up…when I lost you.” His eyes glistened.
Beth dabbed a pizza-stained paper napkin at her eyes. “I wasn’t lost, Shane. I had to move.”
“I know, Bethany, I know.” He moved his plate to the low table. “If I had a brother or sister who needed my help, I guess I would have gone away too. But I couldn’t see it back then. It hurt too….” He choked up.
Beth hurried to the bathroom sink to wash her face. She stared at the woman in the mirror and barely recognized the image. That person had aged six years in the past three…and another full year in the ten days since her break-in. The woman in that looking glass had left her lover, lost her confidence, buried her brother, and now stayed constantly frightened. Who was she and what had she done with Bethany Muse?

When Beth left suddenly, it broke two hearts … but she’d had no choice. Shane, a rugged, ex-Airborne biker, handled it badly … but so had she. Three years later and 2000 miles away, she desperately needs her ex-lover’s protection from a violent menace with ‘bad history’ who’ll do anything to reclaim a mysterious suitcase Beth possesses.
Long before Shane acquired that overnighter, a silent movie actress kept secrets there … and now several lives are in jeopardy. An ambitious female state senate candidate hires a ruthless investigator to eliminate potential campaign problems like her dark family secret — a bizarre 1889 murder.
Is Beth’s terrifying ordeal simply because she unwittingly possesses the overnighter’s secrets? Or is it due to the meth-fueled dumpster-diver’s unfinished business?
Shane will likely return to California after he resolves this Tennessee situation … so Beth struggles to resist her reawakened feelings. But before she can sort out their renewed relationship … Beth is kidnapped! To rescue her, Shane enters an obvious trap in a dilapidated hotel. Only with Beth’s help can both survive the violent struggle against her kidnappers.

Buy links:

Bio Blurb:
My early background was in photo-journalism and editing. I served on active duty in the U.S. Air Force and active reserve in the AF Reserve and Army National Guard. I worked in librarianship for nearly 30 years before taking an early retirement and relocating to Southeast Kentucky. I’ve been writing since grade school, though novels only entered the picture a little over five years ago.
Though I’m previously published in non-fiction and poetry, my seventh completed fiction manuscript became my first novel to be released.


  1. I jumped over to support my Fellow Fox and our Hound, even though I was one of the first to buy The Overnighter’s Secrets,(Sorry, Jeff,I have not wanted to rush through it so I’m only a quarter of the way through.I enjoy savoring the way words are put together, no rushing through stories for me…how to’s, news? I’ll zip through them quickly!) However,I scrolled down and MAN! Yes,MAN! and food and flowers…Jillian has me more than intrigued!
    I’ll be back!

    • Tonette, thanks for visiting me “off-site” (so to speak) since this is my first guest appearance. Jillian runs a classy joint, so I’ll try to behave.

  2. Thanks for being here today, Jeff. Wonderful excerpt.

    • You’re welcome. and thank YOU for inviting me. I’ve been here a few times poking around, but I guess it’s been a while. I like what you’ve done with the place.
      Seriously, I appreciate you helping promote my first published novel. When I was published in non-fiction, we just sat back and waited for reviews in the half dozen national journals which Librarians gravitated to. I didn’t do any ‘promotion’ in ’88 and ’91.
      So this is new territory for me.

      • Thanks for the compliment on the site, Jeff. Still not happy with the homepage but as Scarlett Ohara says, tomorrow is another day.

  3. You claim there’s a problem in defining THE OVERNIGHTER’S SECRETS? Not really. I call it ‘good’? *grins*

    Great interview and I liked the excerpt! Sorry I missed the launch on Sizzlers. I seem to be locked out! lol Can’t wait to read more of your work, Jeff!


    • Runere- what’s up with being locked out of sizzlers? Let me go see if I can fix that.

      • She’s prob. locked out until she gets a shower … after wrangling the neighbor’s livestock all morning.

      • LOL Jeff!

      • You know I throw my fingers up to form a cross when it comes to techie stuff! lol Will hunt ghosts, but run screaming from computer issues!

    • Thanks, Runere. Yeah, I wondered where you were last Sat. Figured you had you hands full with chilluns, critters, and vittles.

  4. Dang. I need more time to read. I haven’t gotten to this yet, but every time I read more about it, I want to yank it out of my large TBR pile. Congrats on the release, Jeff!

    • It DOES sound wonderful, doesn’t it, Laurie. It’s in my TBR as well.

      • Thanks, Jillian. Y’all are gonna make me blush.

      • Yay. Blushing men are so cute!

      • partly depends on why they are blushing

      • depends on WHY they are blushing …

      • nope. Cute any way! LOL!

    • Thanks, Laurie. On one hand, I wouldn’t want to upset the balance (or order) of your TBR pile.
      On the other hand — forget about all those other titles … just read MINE !
      LOL … you know how it is.

      • lol a bunch. Yes, Jeff. I know how it is. 🙂

      • My own TBR piles are formidable. I literally have piles of real books on the floor … plus some 100 titles in my new Kindle.

  5. see, the Kindle on my PC…a real downfall….to many, too tempting!

  6. Jeff: congrats on your release! The story behind the story was fascinating. Jillian: thanks for hosting.

    • Glad you could visit. I appreciate your interest.

    • thanks for commenting, Shay! Love ya, girl!

  7. thanks for hosting me here yesterday, Jillian.
    We didn’t exactly knock the doors off the place, but some good folks showed up.
    I appreciate the promo help.

    • we actually did knock the door off- my peeps don’t always comment but we had over 125 hits.

      • cool. I hope a few of them are book buyers. Ha.

      • Amen!

  8. Just because people don’t post doesn’t mean they didn’t read it..a lot of people don’t answer,I have noticed.

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