NEW BOOK PREVIEW: Introducing Kate and Archie

As the newest Sherlock Holmes novel continues to work its way though the publishing process toward its debut in November 16, I am posting previews from the book — introducing you to some of the irregulars featured in the Irregular Lives: The Untold Story of Sherlock Holmes and the Baker Street Irregulars.

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Irregular Lives tells the true story of Holmes’s relationship with the band of street-urchins who became is allies over two decades. This week, I’ll preview Kate & Archie, two of the irregulars Doyle never mentioned by name. So, let me introduce you.

Kate was an orphan who came to the irregulars when she was an adolescent girl — dressing as a boy to protect herself. Archie, one of the gang, eventually fell in love with her. Here’s a scene from the story:

As Kate ceremoniously dressed, Archie watched her from the bed. To Archie, she embodied the best of femininity without any hint of frailty or vulnerability. Her strength was apparent in her sure movements and piercing green eyes.

Uncomfortable and flattered at the same time, Kate chided Archie: “What you lookin’ at, boy?”

“The most beautiful gel in Clerkenwell.”

Archie laughed, which made Kate happy. She had been happy since the day they met. Prior to that, her family had consisted of a rag-tag gang of boys who had befriended her a dozen years ago.

She had been attracted to Wiggins, the leader of the gang, not with a grand passion, but with affection. She screwed up enough courage one day to kiss him. He looked hurt. “Aw-w, Kate! Don’t seem right, do it. You and me bein’ pals, an’ all.”

He was right, of course. Wiggins usually was. Her motivation, she realized then, was not to charm the man himself, but rather to ensure his continued care and protection. Spitalfields was a dangerous place for a girl coming of age. She was aware that, unless she snagged a fellow, she would likely find herself strolling the streets and alleys at the upper end of Haymarket. She had seen herself in the faces of the prostitutes who waited, bare-shouldered in daring décolletage, for a graceless young gentleman to buy them a drink and more. Kate knew that she teetered on the edge of that life, and was determined to maintain her balance. She even dreamed of finding herself in Mayfair, or some other posh neighborhood in London.

The last touch was a comb she placed in her auburn hair that pulled her curls to the side of her left ear. She did not have delicate features, but her eyes were large and fierce. Her body was thin and tanned, which gave her a sultry appearance.

She swung around to face Archie. “There, wot do you think?”

“You beauty! I pity the poor men of the city. ’Elpless they will be before the charms of lovely Kate, the Siren of Swinton Street.”

She laughed and walked to the bed, bent low, and kissed Archie. He reached up and pulled her closer.

“Stop it,” she scolded. “You’ll wrinkle mi dress.”

Archie swung around to place himself on the edge of the bed. He put his arms around Kate’s waist and pulled her between his legs. “I’ll wrinkle more than that, mi lovely.”

A knock came to the door at that moment.

 

I hope that you will follow this blog in the coming weeks as I introduce Benjie, and others. You can catch a glimpse of Wiggins, Ugly and Snape in previous posts.

While these sneak previews are fun, they are not a substitute for reading (or listening to) the entire adventure. I’ll let you know the moment it hits the bookstores in November 16 — but you can PRE-ORDER NOW on Amazon.

MYSTORICAL FICTION – What is it?

CHECK OUT Geri Shear’s blog today that carries my article on Historical Fiction Mysteries — some call it: Mystorical Fiction – HERE.

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Geri is a widely acclaimed author. Her first novel, A Biased Judgement: The Sherlock Holmes Diaries 1897 topped Amazon’s Bestselling Sherlock Holmes novels’ list for months after its 2014 release. Put it on your list, if you haven’t already read it.

The “mystorical fiction” niche is one which Geri, I and others are endeavoring to grow. Both of my novels: Sherlock Holmes – The Golden Years, and Irregular Lives: Sherlock Holmes and the Baker Street Irregulars — fit that genre. Irregular Lives launches November 16 . . . counting down.

First Review of Irregular Lives!

While Irregular Lives will not be out until November 16, “review copies” have been sent out, as is the practice. The wonderful review by Elizabeth Varadan begins the launch on a good note.

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If you want to read some else’s unbiased opinion of: Irregular Lives: The Untold Story of Sherlock Holmes and the Baker Street Irregulars, then check it out.

BTW: Elizabeth’s blog: Victorian Scribbles is exceptional. So, add it to your list!

Amo lettori italiani!

I’m going to have to set my next Sherlock Holmes novel in Italy as I seem to have some fans there. Most of the stories in my first novel: Sherlock Holmes – The Golden Years, have been picked up my a publisher (Delos) who is publishing them in Italian. Lo adoro!51k7icnxj5l-_sy346_51dysntJYuL.jpg53e0ab50b9584d330324a101cc929821.jpg

NEW BOOK PREVIEW: Meet Snape on of the Baker-Street irregulars

As the newest Sherlock Holmes novel continues to work its way though the publishing process toward its debut in November, I am posting previews from the book — introducing you to some of the irregulars featured in the Irregular Lives: The Untold Story of Sherlock Holmes and the Baker Street Irregulars.

irregcover-lowres

This week, I’ll preview Snape, one of the irregulars Doyle never mentioned by name. So, let me introduce you.

Irregular Lives tells the story of how Holmes met Snape — a blacksmith’s son, who forged a life from the rubbish in the Thames. Snape was a soft-hearted bruiser who tried his luck in the rough and tumble sport of bare knuckles boxing. Here’s a scene for that story:

The bell clanged. The two pugilists cautiously approached the center of the ring.

Sambo’s arms and hands remained at his side. He put his chin up, inviting a blow. Snape knew better than to take a swing that would throw him off balance. Instead, he snapped a jab to the African’s gut.

Sambo sprang to life and moved toward Snape, throwing light punches, sizing up his opponent. His right arm was cocked as he continued to jab with his left. Snape easily deflected the punches, waiting for the big one. It came fast! Snape twisted his head and body away as Sambo’s fist grazed his left temple.

Sutton immediately closed in and grappled with Snape, delivering jabs to Snape’s kidneys. The boy pushed him off with both fists. As he did so Sambo swung another hard right. Snape ducked low and returned a punch to Sutton’s ribs.

Snape had been knocked off his feet twice in the preceding five rounds. Sutton delivered a crushing blow in the fifth, and then walked to his corner as if the fight were over. The crowd, whose mood had shifted slightly onto Snape’s side, let out a communal groan. A smattering of applause and table banging was hushed as Snape rolled over and got up on one knee.

Sutton sneered. He walked slowly toward the boy. Under the reformed regulations it was a foul to hit an opponent who was down, or had one knee and one glove on the mat. Snape looked at Wiggins who was waving from the corner. Wiggins held up his hand with his little finger and index fingers pointing upward—then sharply turned them down. Danger. Snape got the message. He placed his other glove on the canvas and, with one quick push, rose, shoving his body forward into Sutton who was unable to throw a punch.

The crowd cheered as Sutton became incensed and struggled to disengage himself from Snape’s hug. The referee pried the men apart. The two men locked eyes as they separated. Blood was trickling from the corner of Snape’s mouth. His knuckles were black, blue and bleeding.

“You’ve never been closer to hell,” Sambo Sutton growled.

“And I’m takin’ you with me,” Snape replied.

I hope that you will follow this blog in the coming weeks as I introduce Archie, Kate, Benjie, and others. You can cartch a glimpse of Wiggins and Ugly in previous posts.

While these sneak previews are fun, they are not a substitute for reading (or listening to) the entire adventure. I’ll let you know the moment it hits the bookstores in November — but you can PRE-ORDER NOW on Amazon.