Thursday, June 17, 2021

NBtM Book Tour and Giveaway: Sherlock Holmes and the Remaining Improbable by Susanne M. Dutton

Welcome to my stop on the NBtM book tour for Sherlock Holmes and the Remaining Improbable by Susanne M. Dutton. This book tour was organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. On my stop, I have an excerpt from the book as well as fascinating guest post. There's also the tour wide giveaway for a chance to win a $50 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card. Be sure to visit the other stops along the tour for more content. Enjoy!
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Title: Sherlock Holmes and the Remaining Improbable
Author: Susanne M. Dutton
Publisher: Propertius Press
Publication Date: June 1st 2021
Genre: Mystery
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The game is not afoot. The Better-Every-Day world of 1895 is gone, even hard to recall as WWI ends. From his rural cottage, Holmes no longer provokes Scotland Yard’s envy or his landlady’s impatience, but neither is he content with the study of bees. 

August 1920 finds him filling out entry papers at a nearly defunct psychiatric clinic on the Normandy coast. England’s new Dangerous Drugs Act declares his cocaine use illegal and he aims to quit entirely.

Confronted by a question as to his “treatment goal,” Holmes hesitates, aware that his real goal far exceeds the capacity of any clinic. His scribbled response, “no more solutions, but one true resolution,” seems more a vow than a goal to his psychiatrist, Pierre Joubert. The doctor is right. Like a tiny explosion unaccountably shifting a far-reaching landscape, the simple words churn desperate action and interlocking mystery into the lives of Holmes’ friends and enemies both.

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EXCERPT:
Watson speaks:

“For God’s sake, then, I must be the one to venture out to him! I know Holmes like no one else. He will not be surprised, or at least not angered, to see me here. He will be relieved. You must trust me on this.”

Joubert’s shook his head. “That was my plan. Just so, mon ami. That is exactly what I believed, and why I sent for you, John. But my speculation did not extend to this.” He gestured toward the windows. The only remaining piece of window glass, a shard big enough to slice off a foot, fell and shattered on the brick floor. I granted myself a sideways glance at Joubert as we both put our chins down and covered our heads again.

An uneasy suspicion took root in my mind, only a seed at first, but an idea that sprouted quickly. If Holmes was angry with this Joubert, then Holmes had reason to be. The detective, as I knew him, was disinclined to speak of his family. It was not impossible that a sister existed or had existed, though I had not seen one in the genealogy upstairs.

Further, how was I to know that the man next to me in the dark was truly the Pierre Joubert of high repute? Even if Holmes had returned to the cocaine, hadn’t I better treat this fellow’s explanations with wariness? Holmes’ addiction had never before affected his ability to adjudge good and evil. Unerringly, Sherlock Holmes recognized the enemy of the just.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Susanne Dutton is the one who hid during high school gym, produced an alternative newspaper and exchanged notes in Tolkien’s Elfish language with her few friends. While earning her B.A. in English, she drove a shabby Ford Falcon with a changing array of homemade bumper strips: Art for Art’s Sake, Forgive Us Our Trespasses, Free Bosie from the Scorn of History. Later, her interests in myth and depth psychology led to graduate and postgraduate degrees in counseling.

Nowadays, having outlived her mortgage and her professional counseling life, she aims herself at her desk most days; where she tangles with whatever story she can’t get out of her head. Those stories tend to seat readers within pinching distance of her characters, who, like most of us, slide at times from real life to fantasy and back. A man with Alzheimer’s sets out alone for his childhood home. A girl realizes she’s happier throwing away her meals than eating them. A woman burgles her neighbors in order to stay in the neighborhood.

Born in Des Moines, Iowa, Susanne grew up in the SF Bay Area, has two grown children, and lives with her husband in an old Philadelphia house, built of the stones dug from the ground where it sits.

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GUEST POST:
The Second Most Famous Address:
Quirky Hidden Holmes History I Stumbled Over in Research for 
“Sherlock Holmes and the Remaining Improbable.”
by Susanne M. Dutton

“What’s the most famous address in the world?” she asked—and retreated to the other side of the room as the dispute erupted. “Surely, we speak of the western world;” someone tried to add, without success. Then a less dangerous question was put forth. “What’s the most famous fictional address in the world? Or at least the western world?” When a stranger insisted on the North Pole, subdued nods followed, but I maintained that next up must be 221B Baker Street, with other challengers far behind. In the mid 19th C, the neighborhood earned the term “genteel,” in John Fisher Murray’s designations for old London neighborhoods. Not exclusive, in other words, or fashionable. Picture shops, pubs, and “mansion blocks,” i.e. multi-dwelling buildings, crowded its streets, not palaces or museums.

Soon after Holmes and Watson took rooms together, or decided to “share a suite,” the public’s hunt for 221B Baker Street commenced. Unfortunately, no such address existed in that year, when the numbers stopped at 84.

Questions were raised. Answers flooded in. What if the doctor and detective actually lived in York Place, more recently a part of Baker Street? No doubt Watson, whom we’ve blithely trusted on this, simply wanted to protect his own home from the sort of risks notoriety brings. Regents Park, the end of present day Baker Street might do, though the numbers system fails again, going only so far as 54.

Life finally caught up with art after the final original Holmes story was published in 1930. Baker Street was extended and renumbered. An entire city block became 219 to 229 Baker Street—as well as the headquarters of the Abbey Road Building Society, and then in 1989, the Abbey National Bank. Meanwhile, so many letters arrived pleading for Holmes’ help that the bank made answering them a priority and part of someone’s job description. I have to hope this person wasn’t expected to actually chase down bad guys. In any case, confusion about the coveted addressed continued when the Sherlock Holmes Museum set up in 1990 at 239 Baker Street, a more appropriate-looking address. To settle the matter, the museum petitioned to get their address changed to 221B. Permission was flatly refused in 1994. In a wily move, the museum simply registered as a business, legally called 221B Limited, and inscribed the name over the door. So there.

The bank moved away from Baker Street in 2002, retiring in good grace when they installed a fine statue of Sherlock Holmes at nearby Baker Street Tube Station.
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GIVEAWAY:
Susanne M. Dutton will be awarding a $50 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card to one randomly chosen winner via Rafflecopter. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

103 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. I'm glad All The Ups and Downs decided to publish this guest post--and the photos, too! Susanne M. Dutton

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  2. The title really draws me in, a must on my TBR list. Beat of luck with the tour.

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    1. Hello Michele.Sorry about the deletion previous. "Attie Straight" was the name of a character in another book, a name I used sometimes for anonymous entries. The Remaining Improbable is the best title. It's a little hard to say, but when Holmes comes to what's remaining in his life, this story tells that mystery.

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  3. Congratulations on the book release. Sounds like a wonderful book.

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    1. Thank you, Peg42! Finding a publisher like Propertius Press and working with them to the finished book was wonderful. The creme on the cake is the release. Susanne M. Dutton

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  4. Sounds very interesting, this one will keep you guessing.

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  5. I liked the excerpt, thank you.

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    1. Hi Rita. I'm glad someone chose to use that excerpt: Holmes' doctor and his colleague, trying to figure out what the detective can possibly be doing.... Susanne M. Dutton

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    1. Thank you. You must be the one the crowd goes to for book tips! Susanne M. Dutton

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  7. I enjoyed the excerpt. Thank you for the giveaway!

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    1. Hi Debbi! Thank you for participating and for reading the excerpt. Susanne M. Dutton

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  8. This sounds like a very good book.

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    1. Hello Sherry. Thank you for participating. I tried answering your comment earlier, but it didn't stick. I do appreciate your comment. Susanne

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  9. Sounds like an interesting read. Thanks for the giveaway.

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    1. Hi Elizabeth! I once had a boss who used the word "interesting" about things that the rest of the staff found stomach-turning... I think you mean something else, but I always think of that. My book does have some hair raising moments, but I hope it's interesting in the way that will hold a reader's attention. Thank you for participating. Susanne

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  10. I love a great mystery. Good work.

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    1. Hi Paige. I love mysteries, too. I must have read hundreds, maybe a thousand? (I'm pretty old.) Thank you for participating. Susanne Dutton

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  11. congrats on the book this sounds awesome

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    1. Hi Wendy. I aimed at the Holmes we all know and love, but confronted with the kind of challenge that he'd never faced. Thank you for participating. Susanne M. Dutton

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  12. It sounds like a very detailed book. I'm sure it would be great to read.

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    1. Hi Jen. You're right. I think details bring stories to life, especially if related to our five senses. The more outrageous the fiction, the more important. Thank you for participating!

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  13. congrats on the book it looks so amazing keep up the great work and thank you for a chance to win :)

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    1. Hi Zelda! I've met a Zelda who runs great writing workshops, as well as being a great writer. Are you her? Of course, there could be TWO of you! Anyway, thank you for the compliments and your participation. Susanne

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  14. Sounds like a great book. I like the cover and the excerpt.

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    1. Hello Susan. I was called Susan all the way through grade school because my parents spelled Susanne with an "s." I don't believe it's as common a name as it once was, but it'll come around again. I have Propertius Press to thank for the cover. I only gave them a google image of an old clock as a basic idea. I'm glad All Ups and Downs chose that excerpt, too: Holmes' doctor and his colleague Watson, under intense pressure! Susanne

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  15. nice book cover and the book sounds interesting. :)

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    1. Thank you, Deb. The book took me to unexpected places, but I'm what's called a "pantser." I work first of all from an image. Strangely, I understand Stephen King does so, also. He has an image of a boy flying a kite on a beach....then it moves and someone says something. No-way-out situations follow, so I wait some more and then I do brainstorm and explore solutions, but those are only intriguing openings along the way, not real problems. I know what the book will say in the end, but not exactly how it will be said. The cover was the work of Steph and the graphics team at Propertius Press. I like it, too. Susanne

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  16. It's nice to see your book tour. Best wishes. Sherlock is awesome.

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    1. Hello Calvin. I'm enjoying it. It' interesting to see the other books out there right now. Susanne

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  17. How long was the writing process?

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    1. This was three years in the writing, Deborah. I did finish a couple other short stories during that time, as well. Thank you for participating. Susanne

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    1. Sure. The chance of winning is always fun to have at the back of your mind. It's not a grand prize, but I think it's a good thing to have going on at the same time. Susanne (Attie Straight is a name I use on Google, taken from another book. Sorry for the confusion.)

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  19. I line any book with references to Scotland Yard. Thanks

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    1. Me, too. I particularly enjoy the non-fiction Yard films now available. Holmes is no joiner, but he'd appreciate the Yard today. Susanne

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  20. The excerpt is interesting. Thank you for sharing it.

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    1. Thank you. It's a tough thing to choose excerpt that don't give the "Game" away, as Holmes would say. Susanne

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  21. David HollingsworthJune 18, 2021 at 7:48 PM

    Sounds like a really good book!

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    1. Thank you, David. I tangled long and hard with this story. I had an idea of what the end had to convey, but getting it there took time. Still, I never enjoyed writing anything so much as this one.

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  22. Love any thing to do with Sherlock Holmes, nice angle of reuniting Sherlock and John.

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    1. Hi Kimberly. Yes. I thought making sure something different happened between our colleagues was important. Thank you for participating. Susanne

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  23. What an interesting angle to Sherlock Holmes which brings him more down-to-earth with flaws. This looks like a good read with a backstory that keeps making an appearance throughout the story.

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    1. Wow! I think I could use your words for one of those "elevator pitches" I'm supposed to be able to produce. Thank you. Yes. Not only does Holmes show some flaws, but he also shows that as he has aged, he has grown wilier, smarter, and wiser than ever. I always wondered why the the Conan Doyle stories didn't exhibit very clearly how Holmes was "the best and wisest" man John Watson has ever known. Susanne

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  24. Replies
    1. It's certainly a Holmes mystery with all the classic Holmes weirdness, but with a different kick-in-the-pants for good measure. Susanne

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  25. About how long does it take you to write a book?
    Suppose it varies?

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    1. Hi Barbara! This one was about three years, but I was busy actually moving twice during that time and also writing and publishing two long short stories. It does vary. This required lots of research.

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  26. I always enjoy learning about authors and books that are new to me!

    Nancy
    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

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    1. Hello Nancy. This is my first Holmes book, but I'm working on another. I like to write about basically good people confronted by circumstances they had not expected. A man with dementia who realizes he wants to take a bus to his childhood home, a girl who realizes she feels like throwing her meals away rather than eating them, a woman who begins to steal small things from her neighbors and selling them on ebay (in order to be able to stay in the neighborhood.) Although my Holmes book shows the reader the classic Holmes, he is confronted by circumstances he had not expected. That's life, after all. Susanne

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  27. This sounds like an interesting read!

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    1. Thank you, Jenn. The book does have its intense scenes and the excerpt here is one of them, but "Sherlock Holmes and the Remaining Improbable" has some comedy, too. Susanne

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  28. Where is your favorite place to write?

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    1. Hi Slehan. Thanks for that question. Picture a room that was used as a roomy closet by the last people who owned this 1925 house. There are two windows. I can imagine it was also once a nursery. Hardwood floors with light brown vertical striped wallpaper make it nest-like, even in this last frigid winter. My desk is something I bought new in about 1990, once white-painted, and now turned to an ivory color. My chair is an upholstered slipper chair that supports my back and keeps my feet flat. I am using a ten year old MAC that is slow--but it keeps coming to life in the mornings, so I keep it. Susanne

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  29. Hello Leela. Thank you for participating. I'd say the story is the classic Holmes we all love, but the underlying motivations are unique, and told with a sense of humor. In my humble opinion, of course. What other opinion can I give you? Anyway, thank you! Susanne

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  30. Replies
    1. Pleased to say my book is now available on Amazon, as well. Check it out!

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  31. David HollingsworthJune 29, 2021 at 11:06 PM

    This looks like a book I would love to read!

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  32. Thank you! The book is available on Amazon now, in paperback and ebook of whatever kind you need. Best wishes. Susanne

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  33. Do you have any advice for new writers?

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    1. Hi Jamie. You've heard of the advice about real estate? Location, location, location. For writers, it's read, read, read. If you can read something more challenging, then that's better. I ended up loving Anthony Trollope (1815-1882) and having a sketch of the old guy on my wall. More challenging than Dickens or Conan Doyle or Jane Austen, way less than Tolstoy. Someone like Stephen King, who is a great writer, is doing something else. I still think Trollope is more worth reading. He changed me. What did I know about him? Not much. Now I know his work sinks deep into the stories, deep into the lives of the characters and the cultures in which they live. Even when his situations seem foreign to me, the humanity he portrays is real. The fact that the characters and the culture are very removed from me is fine. He "informed" my writing, though I'd never think I could touch by miles what he accomplished. The other thing is to notice the state into which your writing transports you. If you get into the zone, where time passes as you take on the characters and their lives, then that makes writing a real magnetic draw, makes it a hard place to get to sometimes, but a wonderful, easy place to stay. I appreciate your question. I love to talk about writing. Thank you! Susanne

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  34. Where did you go on your favourite vacation?

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    1. I actually went to Assisi, Italy, in order to take a course, but certainly it was my favorite travel destination. I would sit in a little chair overlooking lovely hills and old farmhouses with their red tile roofs and think, "Well. I could stay here a long time...." Thank you for participating! Susanne

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  35. What inspired you to become a writer?

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    1. I really don't know. I just found myself doing it, a long time ago. I kept a little notebook as a kid, copying poems from the encyclopedia, writing some of my own. In fourth grade I wrote a story about three witch sisters. I still recall the last line: "So they danced witch dances and sang witch songs, all the whole night through." The important part is that my mother asked me if she could type it up for me. Now that's inspiration. Thank you for asking and participating. Susanne

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    2. Omg that’s amazing. I actually won a writing contest in 3rd grade statewide between all the elementary schools. I always wanted to be a writer, but I just haven’t took the plunge. I read a lot, but writing just doesn’t come to me as easily as it used to. Need to get back that young imagination. Thanks for sharing!

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    3. Hi Drea! Here I am on vacation and flicking through the 81 comments on this blog site and I saw this just now. I'm sorry I didn't catch it. I was interested in writing by 3rd grade, too, writing little poems and hiding the notebook under my mattress. As you say, the beginning is reading, reading, reading. I never would have written anything back then if I imagined anyone would ever read it. No way! Susanne

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    4. Lol I always hear writers say that! I get it too! The beginning is like the rough drafts and not your best work. I’ve always wanted to be a writer, but I’m not sure I’ve got the talent.

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  36. Hello Drea Drake, I love 4th of July and the fireworks, too. I wish it weren't such a big bad day for dogs (or at least the dogs I know." Anyway, Cheers! Susanne

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    1. I agree the poor dogs hate the fireworks and vets they are beautiful but there’s a big down side to them too

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  37. Love the cover and the excerpt sounds amazing.

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    1. Thank you for participating, Thomas Gibson. Sherlock Holmes and the Remaining Improbable actually sold out at Amazon, but is still available at www.propertiuspress.com both as an ebook of any kind and a print book. Susanne

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  38. Do you write while on vacation?

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    1. Yes. I am part of a very large family, and we meet at a beach in the summer. I lost count of the number, but it's at least six houses full of siblings, cousins, grandchildren and a few friends, too. At the end of the afternoon, I retreat to write (i.e. get some alone time) and I'm refreshed for the evening, unless I'm cooking. The very early morning is good, too, with the advantage of coffee. Thank you for your question. Susanne

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  39. Hello Drea. It looks like another hot one, but I'll be in my "garden," anyway. I actually think of it as a "yard," but I like the idea that I'll be in the garden. Gardens are the sound of running water, lavender flowers and butterflies. No wasps, please. Actually, if I keep the weeds down, I give myself a nod. Thank you for participating. Susanne

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    1. Well... some grass with bushes around it. I'm a good pruner, keeping the bushes from invading my neighbors. Thank you for participating! Susanne

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    2. That actually sounds lovely, I’ve always wanted to start my own garden! The bugs would drive me nuts though!

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    3. Hi Drea. I didn't start my own garden. I only inherited it from the former owners, but at least I've kept it going. Susanne

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    4. That’s still a fete in itself! I’d love to have one regardless!

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    5. It's work, for sure, but it's "grounding." (Ha,ha!)

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  40. Do you listen to music when you write?

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    1. No. I don't try to make things silent, but I prefer the usual sounds of home, which is pretty quiet. These days, the sound of a ceiling fan is perfect! Susanne

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  41. I love Sherlock Holmes. This book sounds like something I would enjoy reading.

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    1. Hi Alecia. I did my best to be true to the original Holmes and Watson characters, but aimed to give them both completely new challenges. I believe I succeeded. Try it!

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  42. What inspires your book plots?

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    1. Thank you for your question and for participating, Traciem. I start with the characters, not the plot, though in this case, a plot bloomed up in my head while I was visiting a collection of 18th Century French art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. I realized that the artists were the Vernet family of artists whom Arthur Conan Doyle designated as Holmes' ancestors. An invitation for a story!

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  43. Hi! I am a journalling fool, first thing in the morning. All kinds of images and ideas come from those pages. The Holmes book had another input, however, from an exhibition of French art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Many of the pieces were the work of the Vernets, a 18th century family, who, in the supposed biography of Holmes, were his ancestors. Apparently there was a London exhibit of work by this family in the 1880's, which was noted by Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Holmes. That experience came together with many others to make the plot, which grew and morphed over a three year period. Thank you for a good question! Susanne

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  44. There was a post a couple of days ago about how often we can do comments for your giveaways?
    Would you please repeat it?
    I did not understand.

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    1. https://www.facebook.com/alltheupsandowns. Hi Barbara, I saw that too, but I don't see it here now. That was written by the blogger (not me) and I believe her concern was repetitions of the same non-book or author/writer related questions or comments. I did look for a place to ask her about it, however. Her Facebook page link is here and and it has a very prominent MESSAGE button. https://www.facebook.com/alltheupsandowns. Susanne

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    2. Thanks Susanne =)

      Hi Barbara,
      Another person complained to Goddess Fish about comments being repetitive and not having anything to do with the books and author. This person was very upset because she wasn't winning the giveaways which is why she complained. Anyway, Goddess Fish Promotions wanted me to let people know that comments need to pertain to the actual book and/or author.

      Hope that helps. =)

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  45. It's the last day of vacation for me and I aim to make it count, though much time will be spent packing up the kitchen that has had to feed seven people for the week, including a one year old. I aim to make it count anyway. Tonight, there's a full moon. Susanne

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  46. On vacation, that sounds fun! Where to? Also, if you could go anywhere in the world where would you want to go?

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    1. Well. It's over now, but I went to a beach in North Carolina, watched a red sun come up and then an orange-red harvest moon 12 hours later.

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    2. Hi DreaDrake. I'm writing another Holmes adventure now. I need to do research. I'd visit London in 1895, not to stay, mind you, but simply to observe... Susanne

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    3. That’s awesome I’m in Kentucky and I missed the red sun! Hope you had a great trip. I love Sherlock Holmes & I’d love to visit there too or to that time!

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    4. If you ever find out a way to do that, let me know. There is Jack Finney's "Time and Time Again," a wonderful time travel novel that features multiple trips to the 19C. It's New York City setting, but you'd might like it. Susanne

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  47. Do you ever use your own experiences to write a book?

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    1. I find it's almost impossible to not to use some of my own experiences, but they may need disguises. You remind me of a question posed to writer Norman Mailer on this subject. A journalist asked, "Do you write about your wife?" His answer: "Never my present wife!" Thank you for participating in this magnificent busload of comments,Barbara. Susanne

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  48. I like the cover and would love reading it too.

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    1. Thank you,Laurie! If you order it from the publisher, Propertius Press an ebook is available, as well as the printed book. I was lucky enough to have a choice of four covers from from their graphics team. Susanne

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