Clockwork Wonderland Author Guest Blog Post: Jaap Boekestein

The Tick, Tock Story

By

Jaap Boekestein

Like any text nowadays: spoilers ahead! Those who enter with be corrupted with knowledge.
I need to write. When I don’t write, when I don’t create I get unhappy and I die a little inside. The never-ending urge to evade death by creating. Dear Sigmund no doubt would have had to say some interesting things about that. Or not, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

Now am I in the happy circumstances I can purely write for fun. I make my living by doing things to computer systems and that allows me to be a non-commercial writer, photographer, and illustrator in my spare time. So basically I can be totally selective in what I write. For me, the theme for an anthology or magazine must be interesting, challenging or fun. Not too broad, not too restrictive and it must take me places in my mind I haven’t visited before.

Basically every evening I check a bunch of websites for interesting calls for short story submissions. When and where I first learned of Clockwork Wonderland I really can’t tell. Probably a few websites at the same time because there usually is a fair amount of overlap.
Alice in Wonderland…
Horror…
Time…

Now, that is interesting, I thought. Alice in Wonderland with Horror. ‘Real Horror’ said the submission if my memory serves me well.
Ah! And Time.
Aha!

Now does Alice in Wonderland lend itself easily for satire, adventure, humor even erotica (or porn, but you can turn everything into porn), but horror? For a good horror-story the reader needs to feel for at least one character. The reader must care so you can take grab that feeling by hairs and push it slowly towards the rotating blade of a lawnmower. (The blade is rusty, you feel the wind, you hear the engine. Slowly, slowly. You fight and scream, to no avail. What will be first? Your nose? How much will it hurt? And will that evil bastard push on, slicing up your face, breaking your jaw? How long will you feel before you pass out?). Yes, it is a dirty job to be a horror writer, but somebody has to do it. Sweet sadists like yours truly for example.

Anyway, I just didn’t see myself building up Alice as a character to care for. Way too much luggage, too many clashing images I had to overcome. Too many movies, books and games with Alice as the heroine. No, that wouldn’t do at all. But of course Alice needed to be a major character in the story, so I decided to make her the villain. What would happen to Alice when she was all grown up? A nasty, bloodthirsty, manipulative, murderous lady clad like a bad ass Dominatrix? Sure, why not. Always fun to write about your dream lady ;-).

The easiest way to get your readers to feel for a character is to use the love story. Or a slightly crooked but still sympathetic character. So I used both. Shot both barrels, so to say. Now I had the love story, I had Alice as the Big Evil, but I still needed to incorporate Time.

My twisted mind conjured up an image of a huge clock working like a kind of guillotine. Yes, I definitely would use that! Still, that was not enough. Time had to be part of the story, from the first to the last second. How?

Getting ideas for a story is just asking yourself a bunch of questions and finding original answers. It is not a big secret.
Anyway, when did Time play a role in the original stories?
Duh, right from the beginning! One white rabbit with a watch, remember?
Yes! But what to do with that nugget?
Well… I considered introducing Father Time somewhere, but the Alice movie that just came out around that time used that same idea. So no, that was out. Time, time, time…

That watch. What if it was a huge watch with people running around on it?
Or… What if it was a normal watch with a lot of tiny people running around on it? And when our heroes were hiding on that watch?
The story was born.
So dear reader, I hope you will enjoy or have enjoyed my story.
Let me know if you want more.
You can trust me.
I am a horror writer.
I will start the lawn mower.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/1544785518/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1493493560&sr=8-1&keywords=clockwork+wonderland

 

Jaap Boekestein

http://jaapboekestein.com

https://www.amazon.com/author/jaapboekestein.com

http://www.moordenmysterie.eu/

http://www.wonderwaan.info/

 

#NGHW Winner of Commercial Spoof: Timothy Huguenin

And the winner of the commercial spoof challenge….

SPOOF 6 MONSTERMATCH.COM by Timothy Huguenin

Crickets and other night noises can be heard in the background

WOMAN: What a nice evening for a walk.

MONSTER: Uuungh!

WOMAN: Those websites usually set me up with stuffy rich dates. I can’t get to know someone when I’m constantly worrying about how to to hold my fork. But this is nice, the open night air. We can really get to know each other, no superficial things in the way.

MONSTER: Uuungh!

WOMAN: I’m sorry, I can’t understand a word you say through that hood. Here, let me help you… Wait… you’re… you’re…

MONSTER: UUUUNGH!

WOMAN: [Runs away screaming]

ANNOUNCER: Are you tired of dating websites always matching you up with the wrong type?

MONSTER: [sadly] Uh-hungh!

ANNOUNCER: Well now your love problems are solved, with MonsterMatch.com!

MONSTER: [intrigued] Uungh?

ANNOUNCER: It’s true! We use a comprehensive 300-point questionnaire covering all the important things, from hobbies, to religion! Scales, skin, or fur! Even your blood type! With MonsterMatch.com, you can be sure to be matched with a date that won’t run away screaming—unless you’re into that sort of thing!

MONSTER: [excited] Uungh!

ANNOUNCER: MonsterMatch.com—Beauty is in the eye… or antennae… or tentacle… of the beholder!


Listen to the contestants battle for points this season on HorrorAddicts.net

#NGHW Top 8 commercial spoofs.

These are the top 8 commercial spoofs.

SPOOF #1 Dead Fresh air freshner by Fiend Gottes

A vampire father & young son are sitting outside under a full moon on a cloudless night, crickets are chirping, a wolf howls in the distance…
Son: Dad?
Father: Vhat son?
Son: Do you ever get that… not so fresh feeling?
Father: Bwahaha… but ov course! That’s why I use Dead Fresh.
Announcer: Do you struggle to keep the fetid stench of decay out of your clothes? Coffin? Your basement? Then Dead Fresh is just for you! Dead ten minutes? Ten centuries? Hiding one body or a thousand rotting corpses? Don’t worry, Dead Fresh kills even the strongest creeping stench of death! Just ask Pogo the Clown!
Pogo the Clown: I had dozens of corpses in my crawlspace for years and no one even knew! Thanks Dead Fresh!
Dr. West: Hi, I’m Dr. Herbert West inventor of Dead Fresh. My patented formula fights off stench by temporarily reanimating dead cells. It worked on my mentor Dr. Carl Hill and it will work for you!
Announcer: Get two cans of Dead Fresh all for the low, low price of $6.66! Supplies are limited so call 1-666-NO-STINK Today! Don’t let a little death ruin your life! Act now and get a travel size absolutely free! Smell as fresh as a daisy with Dead Fresh, it gets the dead out!

SPOOF #2 ERLKING by Jonathan Fortin

Narrator: warm, cheerful, happy-go-lucky vibe with a very slight wink in his/her voice.
Kid: can be boy or girl, but should sound young, impressionable, and enthusiastic.
Erlking: older male, with a voice that’s creepy, commanding, and regal.

NARRATOR: This fall, get your child the most magical doll of the year: ERLKING!

KID: Wow mom, this is the best toy EVER!

NARRATOR: Just pull the string, and Erlking gives your child words of wisdom.

ERLKING: I AM THE ERLKING. I WILL TAKE YOUR CHILDREN AND REPLACE THEM WITH CHANGELINGS.

KID: You’re so awesome, Erlking. I want to be just like you!

NARRATOR: Erlking can be your child’s best friend.

KID: Let’s go do something, Erlking!

ERLKING: OH YES…WE SHALL HAVE SO MANY ADVENTURES.

NARRATOR: He can teach your child poetry.

ERLKING: COME AWAY O HUMAN CHILD, TO THE WATERS OF THE WILD, WITH A FAERIE HAND IN HAND, FOR THE WORLD HAS MORE WEEPING THAN YOU’LL EVER UNDERSTAND.

KID: You’re the only one who understands my pain, Erlking.

NARRATOR: And even discipline!

ERKLING: OBEY ME, CHILD, OR SUFFER THE CONSEQUENCES.

KID: I love you, Erlking. I’ll do whatever you say!

ERLKING: KILL YOUR PARENTS.

NARRATOR (speaking super fast): Possible side effects include your child disappearing for 24 hours before returning and attempting to devour and/or copulate with you.

SFX: (childlike, inhuman roar)

NARRATOR: Erlking! The toy your kids will never forget.

SPOOF 3 The Spoof is Happening…We just don’t know when! by AE Kirk

Scene opens onto a simple garden. A neatly cut lawn. A pond on the right, with reeds around it. A flower bed with an assortment of plants on the left. Birds are chirping, the wind rustles the trees and reeds. A swing is dangling from a tree to the rear of the garden. A man with a Welsh accent comes into view wearing a blue shirt and dark blue jeans. He walks to the swing and takes hold of the nearest rope. He turns slowly to face the camera, a sullen look on his face.

MAN   Hello. Welcome to my garden. Do you like your plants? Well you sodding well ought to. It’s no laughing matter, especially when it’s happening. And when it is happening… no one tells you it is happening. The only way to protect yourself…is with this…

Cut to the front of the garden, where a 6 inch brick wall is built like a fort. It is lined with Garden Gnomes of all colours with various garden accessories attached.

MAN   I give you, a garden gnome. Now do not be fooled by this chubby little bugger. He can alert you to when it is happening and stops alerting you when its not happening. He does this by yelling out, “IT’S HAPPENING!” at the top of his silly little lungs. He will continue like this, until its stops happening. He has a durobell battery that lasts for the entire duration of whatever happens.

A Gnome is place by man, tied with a pink ribbon. Camera zooms in onto ribbon tied gnome.

MAN   If you purchase one today for $29.99, I can guarantee your life expectancy will go up. And if you buy two we’ll throw in a fishing rod and wheelbarrow for free.

Wind suddenly picks up, the swing creaks and the sky grows dark.

MAN   This gnome is designed to spy on your plants…

Cut to man holding a cheerful garden gnome.

MAN   So, buy today and save your life to live tomorrow before it happens and the poxy plant toxins kill us!

Gnome looks at the man

Man: Did you know that?

A bunch of flowers are thrown in his face from off camera.

The man screams in horror.

SPOOF #4 FANGBLINGZ by Jess Landry

Are you a blood-thirsty vampire looking to rekindle some of your human tendencies? Do you often wonder, is there a way I can be both the terrifying monster society expects me to be and the gangsta I feel on the inside, but I just can’t find the mouth gear to fit over my fangs?
Well, look no further!
Introducing FangBlingz, the first and only grillz made for vampires struggling with their identities just like you!
Strike fear into the hearts of your victims with your vampiric gaze…then open your mouth and light up the room like a disco ball.
Stalk your prey through the steam-filled back alleys of the city…then flash those gold suckers as you’re about to take a bite.
We guarantee your meals will be envious until the last drop of blood is drained from their bodies, or your money back!
Made from the finest gold in southeast Wisconsin, every package of FangBlingz comes with two sets: one for your human form, the other for your bat form. That’s right, now you can fly the night in style!
Whether by land or sky, FangBlingz will make you the “life” of the party.
FangBlingz, on sale now at Bat Blood and Beyond.
Not available in silver.

SPOOF 5. FULL MOON UNDIES by Naching Kassa

ANNOUNCER [Delivered as a quick spiel] Are you a werewolf? Do you wake up in the woods wearing nothing but your birthday suit? Are you tired of poison ivy and sumac rashes in private places? Are you sick of wearing pine boughs on the cross-town bus? Maybe, it’s time you got some undies…Full Moon Undies!
Full Moon Undies are light and stretchy. Made of one-hundred-percent titanium fibers, Full Moon Undies will not tear or rip during transformation. They conform to your figure and cover your naughty bits whether you’re in werewolf or human form. Just ask our satisfied customer, Mr. August Fogarty of Walla Walla, Washington.

Sounds of snarling and barking.

ANNOUNCER [In a low voice] Hey, Joe! Why isn’t he wearing the underwear?

JOE [Low voice] It’s a full moon. He changed.

ANNOUNCER [Low voice] Well, put them on him.

JOE [Low voice] You put them on him! Every time I try to slip them over his back legs, he snaps at me. He almost took my (Beep)-ing arm off.

ANNOUNCER [Low voice] Get his wife to do it then. Where is Mrs. Fogarty?

JOE [Low voice] He ate her.

ANNOUNCER [Loudly] And, there you have it! Another satisfied customer. Look for Full Moon Undies at your local department store. Also, for the ladies, try the Full Moon Sports Bra. Now, back to our show.

SPOOF 6 MONSTERMATCH.COM by Timothy Huguenin

Crickets and other night noises can be heard in the background

WOMAN: What a nice evening for a walk.

MONSTER: Uuungh!

WOMAN: Those websites usually set me up with stuffy rich dates. I can’t get to know someone when I’m constantly worrying about how to to hold my fork. But this is nice, the open night air. We can really get to know each other, no superficial things in the way.

MONSTER: Uuungh!

WOMAN: I’m sorry, I can’t understand a word you say through that hood. Here, let me help you… Wait… you’re… you’re…

MONSTER: UUUUNGH!

WOMAN: [Runs away screaming]

ANNOUNCER: Are you tired of dating websites always matching you up with the wrong type?

MONSTER: [sadly] Uh-hungh!

ANNOUNCER: Well now your love problems are solved, with MonsterMatch.com!

MONSTER: [intrigued] Uungh?

ANNOUNCER: It’s true! We use a comprehensive 300-point questionnaire covering all the important things, from hobbies, to religion! Scales, skin, or fur! Even your blood type! With MonsterMatch.com, you can be sure to be matched with a date that won’t run away screaming—unless you’re into that sort of thing!

MONSTER: [excited] Uungh!

ANNOUNCER: MonsterMatch.com—Beauty is in the eye… or antennae… or tentacle… of the beholder!

SPOOF #7: LIL BITES KIDDIE KOFFIN by Daphne Strasert

Finally! A coffin designed with your bubbly, bouncing, blood-sucking bundle of joy in mind! The Lil Bites Kiddie Koffin by Transylvania Tykes is the perfect solution for the vigilant vampire parent.
Our company knows that protecting the eternal undeath of your child is your top priority, so we make it ours too. That’s why the Lil Bites Kiddie Koffin comes standard with safety features like stake-proof plating, garlic screening ventilation, and asbestos-free fireproofing.
And, for a limited time, we’re including the patented Sunshine Auto-lock System with all coffins. Don’t rely on cumbersome bungee cords to keep your curious mini-monster out of the danger of ultraviolet rays! The Sunshine Auto-lock System ensures your toothy toddler is secure in their bed from dawn ’til dusk, even through Daylight Savings Time changes. Order today and upgrade to a luxury model to get integrated sound and video, so you can keep an eye on Drac Jr. no matter the time of day.
As always, our products are backed by the Transylvania Tykes Guarantee: “You’ll love your purchase or you can disembowel the delivery henchman for free!”

Spoof #8: HOMESTENCH PLUGINS BY GRAVE by Sumiko Saulson

LAUGHTER & VIDEO GAME NOISES CAN BE HEARD
Winnie Werewolf: “Walter! My girlfriends are coming over (for) book club! The den reeks of rotting flesh and wounded gazelle!”
Walter Werewolf: <WHINY HOWL > : “Mooooom! You said my friends could hang out!”
Cindy Chupacabra:“So embarrassed! I thought I brushed all the gazelle chunks from my fangs this morning!”
Zane Zombie <SNIFFING ARMPIT> : “Do I offend? I used Axe Wound Body Spray to cover up my decomposition.”
Winnie Werewolf: “No problem, kids! We’ll mask the fetid aroma of monster adolescence with Homestench Plugins by Grave!”
Narrator: <ROMANIAN ACCENT> “Nothing makes cave or castle cozier than Homestench. Plugins by Grave, in a variety of comforting fragrances: Primordial Ooze, Formaldehyde, Fetid Catacomb, Extraterrestrial Corruption, Putrid Swamp, Home Laboratory, and Ritual Bloodbath.
<DOORBELL RINGS>
Winnie Werewolf: “Come in, ladies!”
Georgia Ghoul: Your home stinks so good! What’s your secret?
Mary Mummy: “Look! It’s Embalming Linen by Grave!”
Winnie Werewolf: “That’s not Grave! It’s French. Grah-vay.”
Narrator: Homestench by Grave. Find the perfect reek for the little monsters in your life!


Listen to the contestants battle for points this season on HorrorAddicts.net

LIVE TWEET EVENT – Tonight May 20th.

Join us on Twitter TONIGHT!
for our LIVE TWEET EVENT

May 20th, 7-9pm PST
@horroraddicts13

In celebration of our new Alice-influenced Clockwork Wonderland book,
We’ll be watching
Alice, Through the Looking Glass
And tweeting our thoughts, suggestions on how it would be scarier, and want parts we like/dislike.
Follow us, watch with us and tag your replies with
@horroraddicts13 and #ClockworkWonderland.

One lucky participant will win a print copy of the new book!

*************

Clockwork Wonderland

From HorrorAddicts.net Press: Authored by Emerian Rich, Ezra Barany, Jaap Boekestein, Sumiko Saulson, H.E. Roulo, K.L. Wallis, Michele Roger, James Pyne, Jeremy Megargee, N. McGuire, Laurel Anne Hill, Jonathan Fortin, Stephanie Ellis, Dustin Coffman, Trinity Adler
Foreword by David Watson

Clockwork Wonderland contains stories from authors that see Wonderland as a place of horror where anything can happen and time runs amok. In this book you’ll find tales of murderous clockworks, insane creations, serial killers, zombies, and a blood thirsty jabberclocky. Prepare to see Wonderland as a place where all your worst nightmares come true. You may never look at classic children’s literature the same way again.

HorrorAddicts.net, 140 #NGHW Guest Judge: Tim Reynolds

Horror Addicts Episode# 140
SEASON 12 – The Next Great Horror Writer Contest

JUDGES:

Horror Hostess: Emerian Rich

Judge: H.E. Roulo

Guest Judge: Tim Reynolds

Intro Music by: Valentine Wolfe

———————

The top 8 / Spoof Commercials.

Find all articles and interviews at: http://www.horroraddicts.net

 

164 Days till Halloween

Intro of judges, prizes, and contest.

Read of the top 8 / Spoof Commercials.

 

Contestants: Feind Gottes, Naching T. Kassa, Jess Landry, AE Kirk, Timothy G. Huguenin, Sumiko Saulson, Cat Voleur, Quentin Norris, Jonathan Fortin, Adele Marie Park, JC Martinez, Harry Husbands, Riley J. Pierce, Daphne Strasert.

 

HA.Net News:  

*Michele Roger talks about Alice in Wonderland: the Bridge Between Reality and Fantasy

*Kenzie Kordic brings us…Ghastly Games: Dead of Winter
*Crystal Connor reviews the movie Lavender
*David interviews Clockwork Wonderland Author Interview: James Pyne
*Jesse Orr’s new installment of The Scarlett Dahlia

*PR: The Fourth Monkey by J.D. Barker
*Nightmare Fuel by DJ, LEAP CASTLE.

*Kbatz reviews The Munsters -Season One
*David’s Haunted Library features Monsters In Our Wake by JH MONCRIEFF and Beatrice Beecham’s Cryptic Crypt BY DAVE JEFFERY

*HorrorAddicts.net will be having a release party for Clockwork wonderland at baycon, May 27th, 4pm at the San mateo marriott. Meet writers Emerian Rich, Michele Roger, Ezra Barany, Trinity Adler, Jonathan Fortin, Laurel Anne Hill and Sumiko Saulson.

*#NGHW News by Adelise M. Cullens

*By the Fire by David Waston

Find all this and more at HorrorAddicts.net

 

Dead Mail

Brad P. – Night’s Knights casting

Leslie C. – Night’s Knights casting

Jeff G. – The Norm Virus

Cindy F. – Criting on air #NGHW

Mary B. – How long do the #NGHW peeps take.

Gary R. – #NGHW fav. authors?

 

Next challenge announced.

Winner announced.

 

“Broken Pieces” by Valentine Wolfe

http://valentinewolfe.bandcamp.com/track/broken-pieces

HorrorAddicts.net blog Kindle syndicated

http://www.amazon.com/HorrorAddicts-net/dp/B004IEA48W/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1431022701&sr=8-1&keywords=horroraddicts.net

HorrorAddicts.net Facebook group.
https://www.facebook.com/groups/208379245861499

 

———————–

Write in re: ideas, questions, opinions, horror cartoons, favorite movies, etc…

horroraddicts@gmail.com

————————

h o s t e s s

Emerian Rich

s t a f f

David Watson, Stacy Rich, Dan Shaurette, KBatz (Kristin Battestella), Mimielle, D.J. Pitsiladis, Jesse Orr, Crystal Connor, Lisa Vasquez, Adelise M. Cullens, Kenzie Kordic.

Want to be a part of the HA staff? Email horroraddicts@gmail.com

b l o g  / c o n t a c t / s h o w . n o t e s

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#NGHW – Guest Judge : Tim Reynolds

This week, we welcome guest judge, Tim Reynolds. Tim will be helping us judge the commercial spoofs!

 Tim Reynolds

timrTim Reynolds isn’t just a fan of Jaime Lee Curtis, she went to his high school…or at least she did for her Prom Night, and Reynolds was there in the cafeteria to watch as a killer stalked her to the beat of bad disco music. The villain of his first novel, The Broken Shield, is Lucifer himself, while the heroine of his latest novel, Waking Anastasia, is a ghost. He’s worked in haunted hotels, reenacted the breakfast scene from ALIEN using real flesh, bone, and blood, and spent two years living a horror he still needs therapy for some thirty years later — teaching Third Grade.

David’s Haunted Library: Monsters In Our Wake and Beatrice Beecham’s Cryptic Crypt

Some people think of space as the final frontier but we have another unexplored area that is a lot closer to us. The deepest part of the ocean is still a mystery and who knows what kind of creatures live down there. In the deep waters of the South Pacific an oil drilling ship is about to find what lurks bellow and they will be very sorry they disturbed it. The ship lowers its drill into the territory of  a family of Nokkens who hate humans with a passion.

The Nokkens are more intelligent than humans think and in their minds its the humans who are the inferior creatures.  In retaliation for invading their space, one of the Nokkens attacks the ship leaving it disabled and thousands of miles away from anyone who can help. Now the humans are starting to turn on the lone woman on the ship, marine biologist Flora Duchovney Flora begins to wonder if the worst monsters are on the ship or in the depths of the ocean.

The first thing that sticks out about Monsters In Our Wake by J.H Moncrieff is that the book starts from the monster’s point of view. Right off the bat that made this book better than your average horror novel. The point of view shifts from the Nokken to Flora, to the members of the ship’s crew. The big question in this book is who really is the monster? The Nokkens, the humans, or both.

The who is the monster theme lasts throughout this book. We get to hear about how the Nokkens hate the humans because of the damage they have done to the ocean and its creatures. Another reason why the Nokkens think of humans as monsters is because they kill each other, which to them is insane. We see this start to play out on the ship as well when the crew become desperate. The Nokkens show how they can be monsters too though as they teach the humans lessons in respect.

Flora was my favorite character in the book because despite things being bad for her she is the strongest character. When things go wrong she takes the blame whether it was her fault or not and at one point she even gets labeled as a witch because the rest of the crew believes she summoned the monster. What I found most interesting about her though is when we see her having an anxiety attack as she wonders about how she will survive and get back to her son at home. Though when things get worse on the ship she does what she needs to do and has no problem with her anxiety.

There was a lot to like about Monsters In Our Wake, the book is a lot of fun. While it’s mostly a horror novel with a deep meaning to it, it has a little humor to it also. There are some unanswered questions about the creatures that I would like to know, but it didn’t take anything away from the overall story. The characters have a lot of depth to them, they are shades of gray instead of black and white. The Nokkens have done some terrible things to the humans, but also show compassion. On the other hand, some of the humans have shown that they have a heart but do some evil things as well. The only one who can be described as good is Flora and she comes across as the most interesting character in the book. Despite some minor flaws, this was an entertaining read and I’m hoping to read more from J.H. Moncrieff in the future.

Dorsal Finn is a strange place sitting on the shore of the Atlantic Ocean. Weird things seem to happen there and it has its fair share of odd characters. For one thing, there is a dark entity living under the bizarre little town and it seems to have created a magnet for people who have evil agendas. Luckily, 15-year-old Beatrice Beecham and her friends are on the scene and ready to solve mysteries and stop evil, dead in its tracks. Beatrice and her friends call themselves the Newshounds and they are a force to be reckoned with.

This adventure has its beginnings way back during World War 2 when two young girls rescue a German scientist who is working on an invention to change the world. The scientist didn’t survive the war but a part of him may have. Flash forward to the present, one of the young girls who saved him is now an elderly woman and is hearing the scientist’s voice in her hearing aid. Underneath the Dorsal Finn Library lies something that can change the world and someone sinister is looking for it. To make matters worse, an organization called the Blue Thunder Foundation is having a strange effect on the town. It’s up to Beatrice and her friends to figure out what’s happening in Dorsal Finn.

Beatrice Beecham’s Cryptic Crypt by Dave Jeffery is a complex supernatural mystery novel aimed at a Y.A. audience. There is so much going on in the plot that its hard to describe it without leaving things out. This is a book that both adults and kids will like and it will really test your ability to pay attention. Because if you blink you will miss something. What I really enjoyed about this book was how the senior citizens and the kids work together to save their town. I also like that there is a historical fiction aspect to the book as it gets into the history of the Nazis and their dealings with the occult.

This book has several themes running throughout it and most appealing is the importance of friendship and how to deal with bullies. There were a couple of scenes where Beatrice and friends stand up to adult bullies and bully their own age. In one case the newshounds help a deaf girl who is being mistreated by the town bully and accept her into their group despite her differences. It doesn’t work out as they planned which was my favorite part of the book that I don’t want to give away, but the main point is that nothing keeps true friends apart.

The only problems I had with this book was I kept wondering if kids are really this nice, some of their conversations are so nice that it seemed unreal to me. Also, there was a point about half way through the book where I felt the author was adding way too many complex ideas to the story and he really needed to add a little suspense. The suspense comes though in the last third of the book as the story goes from historical mystery to action adventure. Beatrice Beecham’s Cryptic Crypt is a good book to give to a teenager who doesn’t like reading. With the great adult and kid characters and the excellent story, it’s almost guaranteed to get a non reader to start a love of reading.