Fiction author Charles J. Schneider
“My most treasured memories of childhood involve books: riding my bicycle to the bookstore in sixth grade to buy Dickens, London, Dumas, and Poe; sitting under my favorite tree in the summertime reading Tolkien, Lewis, Asimov, and Heinlein; and lying awake at night, the bedside lamp on, enjoying just one more chapter of Fowles, Barth, Conrad, and Verne.
My love of the written word extended well beyond childhood. I received a well-rounded education with a focus on Literature, History and the Classics while studying at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts; followed by a comprehensive Liberal Arts experience at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut. I discovered my love for Science during those years; and although I eventually pursued a Medical Degree from The University of Chicago rather than a writing career, I recall with nostalgia my passion for Literature and the Arts in high school and in college. At Andover, my favorite courses involved novels, poems and drama; and at Wesleyan, my electives were always literary. Shakespeare, Marlow, O’Neill, Williams, and Ibsen took the slots that were not occupied by Darwin, Watson, and Crick—and so, I graduated with a Major in Biology and a Minor in Literature in 1984.
I never took a course in creative writing; but the years of medical writing and publishing, along with a continued interest in reading fiction in my spare time, eventually evolved into something that has admittedly become more than just a hobby.”
Dr. Schneider is a practicing oncologist at Medical Oncology Hematology Consultants at the Helen F. Graham Center (Christiana Care Medical Center) in Newark, Delaware. He lives with his family in Landenberg, PA.
Extensively revised and re-written in a more professional and experienced style, Double Dragon Publishing proudly presents these second-edition versions of Charles J. Schneider's two debut novellas in a single volume. United by the common themes of romance and tasteful sensuality but contrasting sharply in fiction motifs, CYTHEREA provides light-hearted and witty entertainment while WITH TOWER AND TURRETS, CROWNED leads the reader into a dark realm of treachery and witchcraft.
CYTHEREA, positioned in the forefront of this anthology, tells the tongue-in-cheek tale of Jamie Broussard, a Professor of Anthropology and Mythology at Yale, who finds himself drawn into a digital relationship with Cytherea Sagapo, the author of an obscure treatise on the legend of Adonis and Aphrodite. In due course, the curious professor decides that he must meet her, and travels to Cytherea's hometown of Paphos, Cyprus, in order to do so; but when he arrives, it seems clear that his virtual girlfriend is actually the real Aphrodite and that he, surprisingly, may be the reincarnation of her one and only true love, Adonis! This unique story, which teeters between reality and a surrealistic dream until the very last page, features portrayals of the ancient Greek deities set in modern day, and will appeal to lovers of paranormal fiction and mythology alike.
WITH TOWER AND TURRETS, CROWNED takes place in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland during medieval times, where a powerful Gaelic warlord named Rhian MacDomhnuill falls deeply in love with Gwyneth, a beautiful and sultry peasant maiden. This tightly plotted tale of passion and demonic sorcery begins and ends in the highest room of Dunyvaig Castle's tower, where Rhian must face his spiritual nemesis embodied in his frigid wife, Sif: an Icelandic princess with a dark and evil soul. Although the action takes place in a brief five-hour timeframe on a cold January night and plays out exclusively within the confining walls of Rhian's stone fortress, a rich two-and-a-half year back-story is related creatively by the author in a series of flashbacks, memories and dreams. Based loosely on an old Scottish legend, WITH TOWER AND TURRETS, CROWNED is a historically-based psychological fantasy filled with intrigue, seduction, and magic.
Susanne Bruante awakens to find herself in an impossible place: the past. And not just any past, but the very time in 19th century Paris when her double, Nicole Bruante, had lived. That is, before Nicole exchanged places with Susanne and shot through a time-shell to the 21st century. And now everyone, even Nicole’s own mother, believes that Susanne is Nicole.
Continuing the intriguing time-travel story begun in A Portrait in Time, The Vale of Years follows Susanne as she faces a dilemma that soon becomes a challenge for the clever imposter. Somehow, the former Assistant Director of Acquisitions and Special Exhibits at the Musée d’Orsay must insinuate herself in the lives of famous painters of the time. By lying and deceit, she creates a clever scheme that will ensure she won’t just survive, but inherit a fortune from a painter she studied in her former life.
Her plan includes posing in the nude for—and seducing and sleeping with—such famous Impressionist painters as Renoir, Degas, and Manet as her true self, while her alter-ego, a prim and proper woman who goes by the fictitious name of Charlotte Bernier, gives the outward appearance of perfect propriety. In fact, “Charlotte” will scheme her way into the last will and testament of another famous painter, Gustave Caillebotte, ensuring that she one day will own all that he has.
But first, she has to figure out how to kill the man who has taken her as his mistress—and get away with it.
What if God is not at all what people envision? Imagine a powerful energy portal that stretches from one end of the galaxy to another, the sustaining reservoir of life for Earth as well as a connected sister world where the ancient deities actually live and breathe. What if Satan is actually a renegade thread of this interplanetary gateway; and the future of two worlds, and three dimensions, rests entirely on one single human being's actions?
When Lan MacCamhail unexpectedly inherits an estate and a multi-million dollar legacy overseas, he hopes this stroke of good fortune will give him the chance to make a fresh start in Ireland. The terms of the mysterious bequeathal, however, require that he must find an enigmatic amulet before he can claim his rightful inheritance. Loosely based loosely on the Celtic legend of Oisin and Niamh, Lan's saga, mirrored by his father's strangely similar story from three decades earlier, takes a sinister turn when dark forces intervene. Lan is guided in his quest by the memories of his father, the beautiful Larne attorney Sidney McVie, an ancient shape-shifter, and the spiritual guardians of another world.
Conceived as a genre spanning mythological fantasy, UNDER THE FORGOTTEN OAK's poetically-sensual and pleasingly-literary story-line will stretch the boundaries of the imagination in a creative philosophical journey that explores the concepts of love, honor, and selfless sacrifice.
A contemporary thriller that delves deep into a surreal psychological drama complete with art, love, ancestry and time travel.
A beautiful naked woman and the grotesquely crushed body of a man mysteriously appear in the main gallery of the Musée d’Orsay, the famed Paris art museum. There’s no trail of blood and no external clues. The man is naked and has no I.D.—but the body appears to have been crushed by tremendous external forces. The man’s fingerprints turn up nothing: he doesn’t seem to have ever existed.
The only clue Paris detectives have is a fleeting glimpse of someone else on the museum’s surveillance video. Someone who looks identical to the museum’s own assistant director, Susanne Bruante, a woman with a sterling reputation in the art world. And a rock-solid alibi, but one she may not want to make public: Susanne is involved with the museum’s own executive director, a married man, a relationship meant only to further her own career.
With Inspector Michèle Crossier of the Police Judiciare on her trail, Susanne finds herself a prime suspect in a murder mystery that grows more bizarre by the hour. Who is the mystery woman, if it isn’t Susanne herself, and where is the woman hiding? Where did the body come from, and how could it have been crushed within the museum without leaving any other evidence behind? And how does the apparent murder tie in with Susanne’s news-making and controversial theory about a certain nude model in the nineteenth century—a theory that, if proven, could make Susanne’s career?
Forced to come up with answers or face more scrutiny from the police, Susanne must call in favors from some of the people she’s loved and left, including an old boyfriend who happens to be doing research—on time travel.