The Delightful Sherlock Holmes

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For us here in the U.S., the premiere of Sherlock Season 3 is this weekend. I’m absolutely on pins and needles, like I have never been about a series on T.V. And, being the reflective sort (and it being Sherlock Holmes), I wanted to share my thoughts on why I love it so much.

For me, it comes down to the characters.

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Sherlock is one of the most delightful characters I’ve encountered in fiction (whether books or TV or film). He’s brilliant…and yet incredibly, hopelessly, impossibly stupid. Really. He’s keen and notices everything — except realities that are right in front of his eyes. It’s the classic case of missing the forest for the trees.

One of my favorite lines is from the Baskerville episode, when Sherlock tells Watson, in desperation, that he has always been able to trust his senses…but now they are betraying him. He’s afraid…and he wants to know why. He wants a rational explanation, something that can be figured from evidence, something logical (which is why it makes so much sense for him to quote Spock in this context). But human emotion — especially love and friendship — seems to continually elude his detection. The mystery of the human heart is Sherlock’s unsolved case.

There’s something pitiable about Sherlock — his brilliance and lack of tact often leave him isolated and misunderstood. I think he often misses friendship and love because, at bottom, he doesn’t feel himself worthy of it. He doesn’t see himself as lovable…or as a good friend. And this is why the final episode of Season 2 is so incredibly poignant: he shows himself to be capable of so much more than just analyzing facts and events. We know for a certainty that he loves…and loves incredibly deeply.

And then there’s big-hearted, solid, common-sensical John Watson. They’re a perfect team because Watson usually misses the trees for the forest. They balance each other out in a beautiful way. And Watson sees what’s lovable in Sherlock…he looks past the prickles and the annoying bad habit of overanalyzing details, and he is loyal to what he finds there.

Incidentally, I think it’s a fairly sad commentary on our society that everyone in the show mistakes the friendship between Holmes and Watson for a romantic attachment. We’ve lost something in our understanding of friendship, I think — of the love that binds friends together and has nothing to do with romantic love. Remember Frodo and Sam from the Lord of the Rings? Or think about the bond between soldiers — for film portrayals, think Lone Survivor or Black Hawk Down. In many ways, true friendship is a deeper love…it has nothing to do with physical attraction and everything to do with the bond between souls: the esteem and appreciation of who another human being is on the inside, and being willing to lay down your own life for that person. It’s incredibly beautiful.

So, for you other Sherlock fans out there, I hope you enjoy the premiere! And if you aren’t a Sherlock fan yet…you should be!  I’d love to hear your thoughts about the series! What do you love best, and what are you most looking forward to in Season 3? Leave me a comment and tell me!

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Artifex Release!

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The Artifex is now available for purchase!

You can find the e-book for Kindle here and for all other e-reader platforms at Smashwords here. The paperback version will be available at Amazon.com in the next few days.

If you’re interested in a free signed copy, please register to win one of two signed copies at Goodreads!

 

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Artifex by S.K. Valenzuela

The Artifex

by S.K. Valenzuela

Giveaway ends December 30, 2013.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win


I couldn’t be more excited about this release — to finish this trilogy has been an amazing process all on its own, but The Artifex is also the first title to be released under the brand-new SisterMuses imprint! You can head over to SisterMuses to check out more about our entire backlist of books.

I hope you enjoy reading the book as much as I enjoyed writing it — and please leave a review and let me know what you thought! I can’t wait to hear from you!

All the best,

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The Artifex Update

Well, I’m sure you’ve all been waiting for word on the upcoming release of The Artifex! I ended up behind schedule on its release, but it’s in the final stages of preparation now and will be out on December 15, just in time for Christmas!

To celebrate, and to give thanks for all my amazing readers, I’m announcing a special Black Friday pre-sale! This exclusive discount will be available this weekend only (November 28-December 1)! All three books of the Trilogy will be part of this package, so you can design your own deal! I’ll post all the details tonight!

Stay tuned this week as I reveal the cover design for the Artifex!

Heroes

This last Monday was Memorial Day, and I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about heroes since then. My dad played in a hockey tournament this past weekend — the Armed Forces Classic. It benefits Honor Flight, which is devoted to serving our veterans. The competing teams were veterans and current service members of the four branches of the military: Army, Air Force (my dad’s branch), Marines, and Navy. (Air Force swept the tournament this year! Woohoo!)

As part of the championship game, there was a small ceremony honoring some of the veterans attending the game. One of them was 95 years young and had survived the assault on the beaches of Normandy. As they filed out to thunderous applause, I was so glad that my boys were there to see it.e-pluribus-unum-from-many-one_l

We’re living in the midst of a war. But for a country at war, we sure act like we’re at peace. It’s almost as if we hear the word “hero” so often now that it’s become jaded. We should feel it like a kick in the gut. Without sacrifice, there is no hero.

Perhaps it’s coincidence that I also saw the new Star Trek flick, Into Darkness, this weekend. Don’t worry. I won’t spoil it for you if you haven’t seen it. But the movie, at its core, is about what it means to be a hero. It’s not recklessness. And it’s not cold calculation of odds and probabilities. It’s something much more human than that…and more Godly.

Heroism is the ultimate act of love.

Men and women have died that we may be free. Let’s never forget it.

Pass not this stone in sorrow,

But in pride,

And strive to live your life

As nobly as he died.

~The tomb of a British soldier in Monte Cassino

Photo credit: Randy Son Of Robert / Foter.com / CC BY

Helping a Friend in Need

Hi all,

For the month of May, I will be donating all proceeds from my book sales to help Ben Wolverton, the son of NY Times Bestselling fantasy author David Farland. Dave is an amazing author and a wonderful mentor — I had the great honor to attend his Novel Rewriting Workshop here in Dallas this past April. Ben was in a horrible accident and the family is working to raise money to help with the costs of his treatment (they don’t have health insurance). Please visit http://www.helpwolverton.com/ for more on his journey to recovery!

Here’s the link to my Amazon Author Page if you’d like to purchase copies to help the cause!

And if you’re Twitter inclined, please help us trend #helpwolverton! :)

All the best,

SK

Ten Quirky Things about S.K.

Hi all,

This has been a week of guest appearances for me…the first of many such weeks, I hope! On Friday, I was over at BestsellerBound Recommends for a “Tell Us One Thing” author interview. I got ten words starting with the letter “T” and had to come up with something about myself for each one.

So….

Would you like to know something terrifying or twisted about me? How about terrific? Or tedious?

If so, you can find the interview here!

Enjoy!

SK

Jazzing Up the Editing Process

Hi all!

I hope you’ll join me today over at Engelia McCullough’s blog, where I’m guest posting about the editing process! If editing gets you down or challenges you in unpleasant ways, I’ve put together some tips for taking the sting out of the process. I hope you’ll head over here and check it out!

Happy writing!

S.K.

The Lords of Askalon Book Cover Video

This is one of the coolest videos ever (I think)!  J. Leigh Bralick is my cover designer, and she put together this time-lapsed video of the behind-the-scenes process of creating the book cover for The Lords of Askalon. It’s a tribute to her incredible talent and the amount of work that goes into a project like this!

Enjoy!

The Lords of Askalon…Now Available!!!

It’s finally here, everyone!  So excited to announce the release of The Lords of Askalon, Book II in the Silesia Trilogy!  The ebook is available today on Smashwords!  The Kindle version should be out tomorrow and the paperback will follow shortly!

A few words of thanks are in order…

To my amazing husband and kids for being so enthusiastic and supportive of this project!

To J. Leigh Bralick, my SisterMuse, my beta reader, and my cover designer!  You are a treasure…and it is so much fun to collaborate with you!

To my parents, who always encouraged me to meet any challenge with chin up and a smile…thank you for giving me the confidence to follow my dreams!

And finally…a huge thank you to all my readers and fans who have waited so patiently!

The Lords of Askalon

Lords of Askalon Book Trailer

So excited to share the book trailer for The Lords of Askalon!  Enjoy!