Baker Street Irregulars

What if Sherlock Holmes was born in a different body in a different time and place? In this new series, Pocono Writer Michael A. Ventrella teams up with New York Times Bestselling Author Jonathan Maberry to edit a series of short stories twisting Sherlock. The game is afoot!

Contributors include Maberry as well as NY Times Bestselling Author Heidi McLaughlin, Hugo and Nebula Award Winning Author David Gerrold, and many other well-known and popular science fiction and fantasy authors, including Keith R.A. DeCandido, Jody Lynn Nye, Gail Z. Martin and Ryk Spoor.

It is published by Diversion Books and is available in paperback, ebook, and soon in an audio book as well.


Here’s what Kirkus Reviews says:

When has Sherlock Holmes changed so much that he’s no longer Sherlock Holmes? In this aptly titled collection, 13 new adventures of Holmes and Watson, more or less, push the envelope far beyond Baker Street.

Not surprisingly, fantasy mavens Ventrella and Maberry (who alone published Kill Switch, 2016, etc.) have one and a half eyes out for outlandish, often futuristic incarnations of Holmes, and so do their contributors. Jody Lynn Nye’s Holmes is a doglike alien “a bit addicted to shag”—carpet, that is. Jim Avelli posits a dystopian world in which Holmes is arrested for shooting his ex-wife, Irene Adler. Martin Rose presents a robotic Holmes, a failure as a medical surgeon, who gets a new lease on nonlife as a nosy detective. Editor Maberry’s reimagining of Holmes as Mother Frey, who investigates miracles for the church, drives perhaps the deepest into fantasy territory. Meanwhile, back in the past, Austin Farmer puts Holmes and Watson to work as violinists in Beethoven’s orchestra. In the present, Gail Z. Martin reinvents Sherlock as Shelley Holmes, a transgender Charleston sleuth who works for store credit at an antiques shop; Hildy Silverman reveals that Holmes and Watson (and Irene and Godfrey Norton) are vampires; Heidi McLaughlin makes Holmes an insecure college coed whose first case leads to her first kiss; Mike Strauss imagines Holmes as a particularly annoying reality show host; and Ryk Spoor dramatizes Holmes and Watson’s painful awakening to their status as fictional characters. In the three most successful stories, Beth W. Patterson makes Holmes an unusually reflective parrot, David Gerrold festoons his cyber-Holmes and -Watson with some hilarious acronyms, and Keith R.A. DeCandido scores with a surprisingly faithful update of one of Conan Doyle’s most treasured tales.

Less notable as independent creations than as provocations to think about Holmes and the Sacred Canon in innovative ways bound to lead to next year’s anthologies.


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Workshop for New Writers

We’re proud to announce our 2017 Liars Club Workshop for New Writers:  A free, informative gathering for fiction writers who wish to become published authors, but don’t necessarily know where to begin.

This will be held on September 23rd at the Hughes Library. You must reserve a spot. To sign up, click here.

Here’s the schedule:

9:00: Registration

9:30: Meet Greet Introduction

10:00: Workshop: A: Character Development OR B: Start Writing/Finish Draft

11:00: Break

11:15: Workshop C: Hooking Your Reader OR D: Self-Publishing

12:15: Lunch [Please bring a bag lunch and drink; there is a grocery store next door and other fast food places nearby, however ]

1:30: Workshop E: Writing Dialogue OR F: Plot Development

2:30: Break

2:45: Question & Answer Panel

4:00: Closing remarks/cleanup

NOTE: When you sign up, be careful not to reserve two panels at the same time. Choose A or B, C or D, and E or F.


A: Character Development: Laurel and Alex Wilczek

B: Start Writing/Finish First Draft (Organizing and Planning Your Work): Sahar Abdulaziz

C: Conflict and Suspense (Hooking Your Reader): Michael A. Ventrella

D: Self-publishing (Knowing If Indie Publishing is Right for You): Belinda M. Gordon

E: Writing Dialogue: Kelly Jensen

F: Plot Development: Laurel Wilczek [Tentative]

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Upcoming Conferences

Announcing our upcoming free conferences, to be held at the Hughes Library in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania:

The Liars Club Workshop (September 23, 2017):  As our annual conference evolves and becomes geared toward the more experienced writer, we felt that it would be appropriate to have a workshop geared toward the starting writer. Members of the Liars Club will hold smaller group sessions to go over specific issues geared toward those who have not yet been published, with plenty of question-and-answer sessions.  More details will be forthcoming, but place this on your calendar now!

The 5th Pocono Writers Conference (January 20, 2018): We are working on obtaining our speakers for this event and will announce them shortly. As usual, the conference will be free but you will also be able to sign up for inexpensive critique sessions with our panelists. Details will be coming, but make sure you keep that weekend open.

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Pictures from the 2017 Writers Conference

…and here’s a link to a very nice review of the Conference!

Click on a picture to enlarge it

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Block and Strike

Pocono writer Kelly Jensen‘s latest book has just been released!  Block and Strike is from Dreamspinner Press and is available in paperback or kindle.bscover600

Jacob Kendricks is three months out of prison, estranged from his daughter, and ready to get his life on track. Taking care of the bum curled up on his doorstep isn’t part of the plan. When he realizes the man has been assaulted, Jake takes him to the hospital, where he learns that Max is his downstairs neighbor… and that he could really use a friend. Keeping Max in the friend-zone would be easier if he wasn’t so damned cute.

Maxwell Wilson has been bullied for years and the only person who ever cared lives too far away to come to his rescue. Now his upstairs neighbor is offering support. Max remains cautious, suspecting he is little more than a project for the handsome Jake. When he learns Jake has had boyfriends as well as girlfriends, Max has to reevaluate his priorities—and muster the courage to take a chance at love.

Just when a happy future is within their grasp, life knocks them back down. A devastating blow leaves Max lower than ever and Jake wrestling with regret. They both have to find the strength to stand on their own before they can stand together.

For more details, visit Kelly’s website.

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A Bard Act to Follow

Pocono writer Michael A. Ventrella‘s fourth collection of short stories that take place in the magical world of Fortannis (the setting for his fantasy novels) has just been released:  A Bard Act to Follow, from Double Dragon books. Pocono writer Derek Beebe also has a story in the collection.

“Michael Ventrella’s Fortannis setting has produced a lot of fine fantasy fiction, and the fourth collection maintains a high level of quality throughout,” says Ryk Spoor, author of the Balanced Swords trilogy.abardacttofollow-510

“Some of the stories are simply amusing (Curso and the Wizard’s Apprentice), some tragic (The Consistency of Small Minds), and others heartwarming (The Mutiny of Broken Things and Ventrella’s own Remembering the Future). Our protagonists range from courageous knights and cynical adventurers to an absolutely chilling, self-justifying sociopath. Taken together, they give us a picture of a living, immense world which can cover the span of human (and biata, dwarf, elf, ogre, and goblin…) endeavor and passion.

“A Bard Act to Follow does not merely continue the fine tradition of Fortannis; it elevates the written world to the next level, and indeed, as the title plays upon, will be a hard act to follow!”

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Nine Lives

Congrats to Pocono Author Geoffrey Mehl on his latest book, Nine Lives!ninelives375

The adventures of Tommy Kane and Mandy Owens continue in Nine Lives, the sequel to Stray Cats. A trail of murder unravels a stunning conspiracy with the global economy hanging in the balance.

He’s a southern rascal with a ton of money. She’s a classy New Englander who knows how to use it. He’s into troubleshooting. She’s into social justice. Their crew: street-wise misfits who can’t stand each other. It adds up to high style, huge stakes and lots of sizzle.


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