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New Novel First Draft Complete…

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Since “Sherlock Holmes and the Body Snatchers” came out last March, I’ve been diligently working on the last installment of the Whitechapel Vampire Trilogy, as yet unnamed, and have at last completed a rough first draft.

A few editorial notes about the trilogy. The first book, “Sherlock Holmes and the Whitechapel Vampire” was written entirely in third person point of view (POV) and I took my fair share of criticism for that as it was not in the Watson first person POV of most of the canon. That didn’t bother, though, as the original concept for the book wasn’t a Sherlock Holmes story, but was conceived as ‘what if Jack the Ripper were really a vampire’. Because of the time period involved, I worked Sherlock Holmes into the story, at first as an ancillary character. But I enjoyed writing the Holmes parts so much, I beefed up his role, which caused me to consider first person, but thought I’d wait.

The second book, ‘Body Snatchers’ was written in first person POV, but from varying characters. I thought it served the story and I was hesitant to attempt a full pastiche by having Watson’s POV be the only one in the book.

But now, in the third and final installment I’ve decided to go all out and write it as Doyle might have. The final book of the trilogy follows Watson throughout and will, I hope, give the reader more than a few surprises along the way. This final book takes place many years after the first two, which took place in 1888, first in London, and then New York. The action in the third takes place again in New York but in the year 1913, long after Holmes has retired to beekeeping in Sussex.

So, this trilogy has several arcs for the reader to follow. The story arc spans some twenty-five years, from 1888 to 1913, and each character in the story, I think, has his or her own arc of change. Finally, the writing itself has an arc from third person POV to multiple first person POV and finally to the first person POV used most often by Doyle, that of Watson. My hope is that aficionados of writing and of Sherlock Holmes will take note and enjoy the varied styles and mostly will enjoy the story from beginning to end.

Short story with MX Publishing…

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I forgot to post that I have submitted a Sherlock Holmes short story to MX Publishing that they say they will publish as an ebook. The story is titled “SHERLOCK HOLMES and the RAVEN’S CALL” and is a pastiche in the true sense. It is set shortly after Holmes has retired to raise bees in Sussex. It is after he purchases his new digs that he discovers the deceased previous owner may not have died accidentally as reported. I think it’s a very good tale and perhaps reminiscent of Poe in some respects. I’ll post as soon as I know it’s available. It should be a $2.99 ebook when it comes out.

Ravens call Adventure

Sherlock Holmes and the Whitechapel Vampire on audio…

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I’ve just learned that my book, Sherlock Holmes and the Whitechapel Vampire, is now available as an audiobook.

My publisher, MX Publishing, surprised me with an email yesterday, but I only saw it tonight. I was ecstatic as I have a friend who is blind and I’ve been toying with the idea of recording the book myself, but I don’t have the right equipment to make a really good recording. Now I don’t have to.

Thanks MX Publishing, and especially Steve Emecz, for making this happen!

Get an autographed copy…

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My second giveaway on GOODREADS is now underway. There are only two copies available for this one, so you’ll want to get in on it quickly. It’s timed that I will have enough time to get the books to the winners for CHRISTMAS. What better than to read a novel that includes Sherlock Holmes, Jack the Ripper and a blood-thirsty vampire as you prepare for the holidays!!

EVERYONE SHOULD READ THIS BOOK!!
IT WOULD MAKE A FANTASTIC MOVIE, DON’T YOU THINK??

Completely Sold Out…

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Today’s book signing at Warwick’s Books in La Jolla was a roaring success…I completely sold out my supply of books in two hours…I will be adding a new post with pictures tomorrow, or very soon.

THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO SHOWED UP AND ESPECIALLY TO THOSE WHO BOUGHT A BOOK!!!

Sherlock Holmes Society Review…

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The Sherlock Holmes Society, that venerable group headquartered in London, England, a literary and social Society for study of the life and work of Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson, has seen fit to present a review of my book in the summer edition of their Journal, which I quote here:

Sherlock Holmes & the Whitechapel Vampire by Dean P Turnbloom (MX Publishing, www.mxpublishing.com; £10.99/$18.95/€12.99) is robust pulp fiction, imaginatively identifying Jack the Ripper as an aristocratic Italian undead bloodsucker. Fact and invention are so mixed that it’s easiest to imagine all this happening in an alternative version of our history. The narrative rushes along, carrying you with it, in the best tradition of the thriller. And at the end (a good touch, this) Sherlock Holmes still doesn’t believe in vampires!

Reader reviews on Barnes & Noble…

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Here are two reader reviews from Barnesandnoble.com:

AnonymousPosted June 26, 2012
“Sherlock Holmes and the Whitechaple Vampire” is a must read!
“Sherlock Holmes and the Whitechapel Vampire” is a must read. I couldn’t put it down. Dean Turnbloom has an acute knowledge of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. A great summer read. I hope to see many more books by Dean Turnbloom. J Cromwell, reader at large.

Anonymous

Posted April 25, 2012
Great book
If you like vampire books plus Sherlock Holmes this is the book for you. I couldn’t put this book down. Highly recommended.

Story fragment…

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I just wanted to share this beginning to a short story I penned a while back…the title is “The Fog”

Captain’s personal log, USS Cyclops (AC-4), 13 March 1918

The ship is en route from Bahia, Salvador, with a full load of manganese ore bound for Baltimore, MD, and the munitions factories. We’ve been sounding fog signals fore and aft every two minutes. The fog’s been with us for two days. Unable to raise anyone by radio and no beacons have been sighted to get a navigation fix. I suspect the compass is unreliable. By the dead reckoning track the ship should have made landfall yesterday. In all my years sailing these waters I’ve never seen such a thick, cold fog.

“Captain to the bridge!” came the call from the loudspeaker, squawking like a noisy parrot perched above Captain Worley’s cabin door. He didn’t need to be called twice. Anytime he was summoned to the bridge something serious was afoot and with this fog he knew it could easily mean his ship was in danger. Grabbing his bridge coat from its hook by the door, Captain Worley moved his six feet, four inch frame hurriedly along the length of the ship. It took him less than two minutes to get from his quarters to the bridge, traveling the length of the ship and up two ladders. On his way he scrutinized the ocean on the side of the ship he traversed.

“What’s the trouble, Mr. Higgins?” he asked, out of breath and sweating, despite the cold, from his efforts to get to the bridge quickly.

“Forward fog watch reports what he says looks like a boat in the water ahead, tracking across our bow,” Higgins answered but his eyes continued their attempt to penetrate the veil of fog.

“Where away?”

“Two points off the port bow, sir. I’ve slowed to bare steerageway.”

“Very well.” Captain Worley’s eyes sifted the fog, then, “There she is…crossing our bow, dead ahead. Go all stop, Mr. Higgins, then back down to take all way off.”

“Aye, aye, Captain. All stop,” he ordered.

“All stop aye, sir,” answered the lee helmsman as the engine order telegraph bells chimed away. A moment later he announced, “All engines answer stop, sir.”

“Very well, all back one-third,” came Higgins next order.

“All back one-third, aye, sir,” came the response from the lee helm followed by, “all engines answer back one-third.”

As the lee helm repeated his order, Higgins moved to the port side of the bridge where he could observe out the porthole the water alongside the ship, making a judgment on when to give the order to stop engines that would leave the large ship motionless in the sea. “All engines stop.”

“All engines stop, aye, sir,” came the reply followed almost immediately by, “sir, all engines answer stop.”

“Very well,” answered Higgins. Turning his attention back to the captain he asked, “Your orders, sir?”

“Hail them. Find out what the devil they’re doing out here without sounding fog signals and why the hell they didn’t respond to ours. I’ll be in the bridge office.” With the immediate danger to his ship passed, the captain was at liberty to vent his anger. Nautical rules of the road commanded ships and boats to sound signals in fog whether navigating or at anchor. To ignore those rules put all vessels at risk. It’s something mariners take very seriously.

Thirty minutes later there was a knock on the door of the small office just off the main bridge. This is where Captain Worley spent most of his waking hours while at sea when he wasn’t physically on the bridge. His more comfortable quarters aft were used primarily for sleeping, which came in short supply. “Come,” barked the captain.

“Captain,” said LT Meisner as he opened the door, “she looks to be abandoned. We hailed her with lights and bullhorns. No response. None on VHF either.”

“That’s strange; she looked as though she was under power when we first came upon her.”

“She’s adrift now, sir.”

“Very well, Lieutenant, take the whaleboat over for a look. Let’s see what’s going on over there.”

“Aye, aye, Captain.”

“And Paul,” the captain added using the young lieutenant’s first name in an unusual breech of decorum, “be careful.”

Giving the captain a smile that spoke of the lieutenant’s youthful confidence he replied, “Aye, sir,” and turning left the captain alone.

Taking his pen in hand, Captain Worley entered the following in his personal log,

‘Came across what appears to be a derelict vessel drifting in the fog. I can’t explain it, call it a Dutchman’s intuition, but I have an uneasy feeling about this boat. When I first saw it, the thought came to me from nowhere—death boat.

The captain spent the next hour and a half awaiting word back from the boarding team. He had the utmost faith in LT Meisner. He’d been Worley’s Executive Officer, or XO, for the past three years, an unusually long period for peacetime, but with the war on, transfers for career officers were rare. Worley had begun to think of the younger Meisner as a son. This, and the inexplicable unease he felt over the adrift vessel, made the waiting difficult.

Signals were exchanged at regular intervals between the ship and the boarding party, but the sparse information received back was negative. After an hour and a half the signalman delivered this message to the captain:

‘Returning to ship. Entire crew and all passengers missing except one.’

As he awaited the boarding party’s return Captain Worley paced the bridge. With each trip across he stopped to check the launch’s progress—now it was tied alongside the derelict vessel; now it’s bow turned back toward the ship, the bow-wave barely discernable in the fog; now it was halfway between the derelict vessel and his own ship, more clearly visible, though not distinct enough to make out faces. As the boat pulled alongside, aft by the accommodation ladder, the captain made his way to where the boatswains were securing the rigging for the ladder. He wrung his hands together in nervous anticipation, his earlier uneasiness increasing to dread, dread of the unknown. Who was this last remaining survivor, crew or passenger, survivor or murderer, friend or fiend? When he reached the top of the ladder he called down to LT Meisner, “Report to my cabin; bring your charge.” He didn’t wait for a reply. Without further word he walked aft to his quarters.

It was a full thirty minutes before the XO knocked on the captain’s cabin door.

“Come,” called the captain. He didn’t know what it was he expected to see, but whatever he expected, it wasn’t what accompanied the Executive Officer into his cabin. Standing there, shivering in a too large foul weather jacket was what looked like a ten-year-old girl, her dark curly hair spilling out from under a watch cap donated by a crewman. The jacket he recognized as belonging to the chief boatswain’s mate who’d been coxswain for the boarding team. The captain’s heart was instantly touched by the innocence of the young eyes peering up through the curls.