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Monday, October 15, 2012

GUEST BLOG: Sandra de Helen


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Sandra will be awarding the winner's choice of a backlist eBook to a randomly drawn commenter at every stop, and a $25 Amazon GC to one commenter from the tour. Click on the tour banner above to see the other stops on her tour.

Lessons I learned from Shirley Combs:

. Observe, pay attention to details
. Get someone else to take notes so you can keep observing
. Have a day job that earns you money so you can pursue your true passion
. It'd be great if your clients in your day job can afford to hire you for your passion job too
. Network, network, network
. You don't have to wear high heels to make money
. You can impress people with your brain as much as you can impress them with your [fill in the blank]
. Science is totally cool
. People are so impressed when you can tell them about themselves from things you have simply observed
. Now you're going to expect me to dazzle you when we meet at a book signing. Me and my big mouth

10 things most people don't know about you

. I dropped out of school after 10th grade (well, I was kicked out for being preggers)
. I married at 15 (see above)
. I went back to school at 29, got a degree in Economics, finished a thesis towards my Masters
. I once lived at the bottom of the Grand Canyon on the Havasupai Reservation
. I've been to 4 continents, and 48 states
. I've taken the Nile River Boat Cruise (8 days)
. I've backpacked in the Olympic Mountains
. I've ridden a mule
. I've ridden a camel
. My sister keeps forgetting that what I write is fiction

About the Author:
Sandra de Helen lives and writes in Portland, Oregon. See more of her work at de Helen is also a proud member of the Dramatists Guild and International Centre for Women Playwrights.

Follow her on Twitter @dehelen
Read her blog
Like her on Facebook at

Tall, thin, androgynous Shirley Combs considers herself the world’s greatest living detective because she uses the methods and casebook of Sherlock Holmes to solve crimes of the gentry of the American city most closely resembling London, England -- in terms of the weather, at least. Sidekick/narrator Dr. Mary Watson both delights in and is frustrated by her partner’s behavioral resemblance to Sherlock. Combs is unemotional, analytical, and given to pacing through the night in the streets of the almost perfectly livable city of Portland, Oregon. Her ability to observe details and understand their relationship to a case is unmatched; her demands on Watson’s time are too.

Shirley Combs bills herself as the world’s greatest living detective, and why not? Taunted and teased as a child because her name sounded so much like Sherlock Holmes's, she developed an early obsession with the adventures and methods of Sherlock himself. She considered her fate sealed when she met up with Dr. Mary Watson. Shirley adds the technology of today to Holmes’s 100-year-old casebook and solves the mysteries of her much-beloved hometown. Mary Watson assists, and - of course - chronicles their exciting exploits. The planned series of novels incorporates and explores current events, types of people, social/economic situations that occur in Portland and the Pacific Northwest.

In their first documented adventure, Shirley is hired by 19-year-old Goldenhawk Vandeleur to investigate her wealthy mother’s untimely death. Timber heiress Priscilla Vandeleur Leoni, direct descendant of Sir Charles Baskerville, decides to spend the family fortune saving the old-growth forests of Oregon. She is a product of the 1960’s - former hippie and free-love advocate who gave birth out-of-wedlock, experimented with lesbian separatism, and married late. When faced with midlife, she tries to outrun her fears and give away her huge fortune. Haunted by a phobia of dogs, she is literally frightened to death by a pair of hounds.


  1. I love Sherlock Holmes, so I know I'm going to love Shirley Combs as well. THE HOUNDING will be a great read I'd say.


  2. What a great idea for a story. It sounds awesome.

  3. Interesting things to read about you. Thanks
    debby236 at gmail dot com

  4. Sounds like a great read.

  5. These were creative lists. My favorite being that you do not need high heels to make money.
    Thanks for sharing!