Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Haunted Halloween Spooktacular: Warlock Holmes Series, by G.S. Denning

Welcome to the blog tour for
The Warlock Holmes Series,
sponsored by
Bewitching Book Tours!

For my stop, I'm featuring a Guest Post by the author, G.S. Denning!

There's also a tour-wide giveaway!!

What do you think of when someone mentions Sherlock Holmes? The epitome of fictional detectives? A series of stories so timely and so visionary that they revolutionized police-work, the world over? A deerstalker? A pipe? Benedict Cumberbatch’s perfect cheek-bones?

You wouldn’t be wrong.

But in this season of fun-filled frights, let’s take a moment to reflect on one oft-overlooked aspect of the world’s favorite detective:

He’s really creepy.

No. Seriously. Just pleasantly-but-sometimes-right-to-the-edge-of-discomfortingly creepy.

Do you know where the modern tradition of Halloween takes its roots? Dartmoor. Arthur Conan Doyle repeatedly set his adventures out upon the moor in abandoned hallows filled with lethal peat-bogs, fog, reeds and wisp-light. Want to see Holmes and Watson chasing a seemingly-demonic hound across moonlit moor? Well then, it’s no wonder The Hound of the Baskervilles is amongst the most popular of Doyle’s original 60 stories.

Now, if you want to see them chasing an actually-demonic hound across a moonlit moor, you’ll have to check out my second book: The Hell-hound of the Baskervilles. And for those of you who just rolled their eyes at how easy it must have been for me to come up with that angle: yeah, that’s sort of my point. You don’t have to work hard to make Sherlock Holmes macabre. It’s there already.

One of the less-known stories is titled The Adventure of the Sussex Vampire; it features a mother who’s been caught sucking blood out of the neck of her own infant. Even in 1898, not great parenting.

Or how about The Adventure of the Engineer’s Thumb? It features not just the aforementioned disembodied thumb, but also its owner, trapped in a room-sized hydraulic press, debating if he should stand up, or sit down or lie face up or… Well, just what exactly is the least-painful way to be slowly crushed to death? It’s ironic that the modern detective story is attributed to Edgar Alan Poe, because in moments such as these, Doyle absolutely equals Poe’s famous brand of dark introspection. 

Or maybe you’d just like to see Sherlock murder a dog. Would that be nice? Dog murder, anyone?

Because that’s how he unravels his very first case, A Study in Scarlet. Yep. No lie. To figure out if the pills he’s recovered are poisonous, he steals his neighbor girl’s dog and feeds it half of each pill. 

Guess what? (1887 spoilers follow…) Totally poison. There is something uniquely Halloween-ish about a character who thinks that is acceptable behavior. Oh yeah, and half the people he meets seem to think the only way he could possibly know the things he knows is through dark magic. They’re wrong. 

He’s not magical. But he is probably sociopathic. And he’s definitely not on the ASPA’s top 10 list of great guys.

So if Halloween makes you think about goblins, vampires, demonic possession and soul-binding magic… Well, pick up a copy of my first book, A Study in Brimstone. It’s all in there.

But if you’ve got a little time to kill before All-Hallow’s Eve, and if you’ve got a mind for the classics, here’s what you do:

You pull your favorite chair up to next to a window on a rainy night. You get some fleece pants and a comfy blanket. You brew up a nice cup of tea. Light a couple candles. Then snuggle down and spend a little cozy murder time with the undisputed-number-one-original-king-of-creepy-daddy-detectives, Mr. Sherlock Holmes.

A Study in Brimstone
(Warlock Holmes, Book 1)
G.S. Denning
Trade Paperback, 336 pages
Titan Books, May 17, 2016
Classics Retelling, Humor, Mystery, Paranormal Fiction, Thrillers, Urban Fantasy

Synopsis: Sherlock Holmes is an unparalleled genius who uses the gift of deduction and reason to solve the most vexing of crimes.

Warlock Holmes, however, is an idiot. A good man, perhaps; a font of arcane power, certainly. But he’s brilliantly dim. Frankly, he couldn’t deduce his way out of a paper bag. The only thing he has really got going for him are the might of a thousand demons and his stalwart flatmate. Thankfully, Dr. Watson is always there to aid him through the treacherous shoals of Victorian propriety… and save him from a gruesome death every now and again.

An imaginative, irreverent and addictive reimagining of the world’s favourite detective, Warlock Holmes retains the charm, tone and feel of the original stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle while finally giving the flat at 221b Baker Street what it’s been missing for all these years: an alchemy table.

Reimagining six stories, this riotous mash-up is a glorious new take on the ever-popular Sherlock Holmes myth, featuring the vampire Inspector Vladislav Lestrade, the ogre Inspector Torg Grogsson, and Dr. Watson, the true detective at 221b. And Sherlock. A warlock.

Purchase Links
Amazon US/Amazon UK/Amazon CA

  The Hell-Hound of the Baskervilles
(Warlock Holmes, Book 2)
G.S. Denning
Trade Paperback, 320 pages
Titan Books, May 16, 2017
Classics Retelling, Humor, Mystery, Paranormal Fiction,
Thrillers, Urban Fantasy

Synopsis:  The game's afoot once more as Holmes and Watson face off against Moriarty's gang, the Pinkertons, flesh-eating horses, a parliament of imps, boredom, Surrey, a disappointing butler demon, a succubus, a wicked lord, an overly-Canadian lord, a tricycle-fight to the death and the dreaded Pumpcrow. Oh, and a hell-hound, one assumes.

Purchase Links
My Grave Ritual
(Warlock Holmes, Book 3)
G.S. Denning
Trade Paperback, 432 pages
Titan Books, May 15, 2018
Classics Retelling, Humor, Mystery, Paranormal Fiction, Thrillers, Urban Fantasy

Synopsis: "If you ever wondered how much better Sherlock would be if people could hurl hellfire at each other, well this one is for you." -- Starburst Magazine on A Study in Brimstone

Warlock Holmes and Dr John Watson find themselves inconvenienced by a variety of eldritch beings, and the fact that one of them has goat legs. Christmas brings a goose that doesn't let being cooked slow him down, then they meet an electricity demon, discover why being a redhead is even tricker than one might imagine, and Holmes attempts an Irish accent. And naturally Moriarty is hanging around in some fo
rm or other.

Purchase Links
Amazon US/Amazon UK/Amazon CA

G.S. Denning furiously studied reading and math until he could play Dungeons and Dragons. His love of DandD expanded to a passion for all things in the sci-fi and fantasy realm, particularly when spliced with comedy - Douglas Adams, Terry Pratchett, Monty Python, Red Dwarf, Black Adder, Whose Line Is It Anyway, Dr. Who, and the holiest of holies: The Princess Bride.

He learned his story-telling skills on the improv stage as a member of Orlando Theatersports, Seattle Theatersports, Jet City Improv, and as a Disney Performer at Epcot. G.S. also worked for Nintendo and Wizards of the Coast

Finally, after realizing that humanity had not used the pun "Warlock Holmes" yet, he sat down to begin his first novel series: a dark-comic retelling of Arthur Conan Doyle's classic Sherlock Holmes stories. 

G.S. Lives in Las Vegas with The Best Wife and The Best Children.

Amazon Author Page

You can access the complete blog tour schedule by clicking on 
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  1. "Warlock Holmes, however, is an idiot." Hahahahaha xD

    1. Hi, Steph!

      Well.....this certainly gave me pause, at first. To be honest, I really don't like Sherlock HOlmes being portrayed as an idiot. However, I bought the Kindle edition of the first book, "A Study in Brimstone", to see if I would like it, and so far, Holmes seems to be just like the original. He's definitely VERY observant. So let's see what happens..... If I like the book, then I'll buy the paperback edition. You know how I am about printed books!!

      Thanks for commenting!! <3 :)

  2. It’s certainly true that Sherlock Holmes is not someone you’d want to go to the pub with, and if a flatmate of mine shot holes in the wall or played the violin at all hours, I’d be looking for other accommodation! A genius, yes, but not a nice man. I prefer Hercule Poirot, who is Agatha Christie’s Holmes. Basically kind, if a bit weird, and you could share a flat with him quite safely, if you didn’t mind his OCD habits.

    1. Hi, Sue!

      You know, I read the original stories (some, not all, though), when I was around 12 or 13, so I don't remember all that much about Holmes's personality. I think I might have read "sanitized" versions adapted for kids. Lol. I certainly don't remember him being all that unpleasant, or having a cocaine addiction. Yikes!! :) :)

      I haven't read Agatha Christie, I must sheepishly admit..... :( I do want to, and have been meaning to, but you know how it is..... I must make a New Year's resolution to do so!! (Yeah, I'm getting a bit ahead of things here, but heck, this year has gone by SO FREAKING FAST!! LOL.

      Anyhow, thanks for the great comment!! I promise to read one or more Christie novels next year! Lol.

  3. Yes... it's worth going back to the original Sherlock Holmes stories. Holmes is definitely driven and somewhat anti-social - but some of the more extreme examples of his behaviour have definitely been hyped up. I do like the sound of these one, though... Thank you for the interview, Maria:)

    1. Hi, Sarah!

      Oh, I DEFINITELY want to re-read the originals! I really don't remember some of his anti-social behavior, but, as I stated in my reply to Sue, I think I read a kids' adaptation. Lol. Now I want to go back and read the ADULT, uncensored stories. Lol. But, on the other hand, you might very well be right, and his objectionable actions and traits could have been hyped up. Only a reading of the originals (without any abridgment, or censorship) will let me know for sure.

      I like this take on Holmes, too! I thought, after having read the synopses of these books, that their author had turned Holmes into a bumbling nincomcoop, but I haven't seen that so far. I've just started the first book, "A Study In Brimstone", and Holmes is just as observant as ever! Crossing my fingers....

      Thanks for the nice comment!! HUGS!!! <3 <3 < 3:) :) :)


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