Monthly Archives: July 2013

Love this Goodreads review of Precocia!

“Before I go on, I want to let everyone know that I am, in fact, a KID. Thirteen years old, to be exact. And, odd as it may be– not to mention extremely rare– I understood all the puns, Biblical references, mythical references, cultural references, and general not-from-the-twenty-first-century-puns/knowledge/background information jokes. This is because not only did both my parents spend time telling and showing me movies, stories, and pop culture references from ” back in their day”, I also read constantly and pick up background information from other books. To most kids my age, the AWESOME Heck books would be confusing and possibly boring, unfortunately. However, I love these books because of that!! Before, I used to ask my mom why she made me watch I Love Lucy and made me listen to Jesus Christ Superstar, and she would say,” So you can talk to adults”. And even though I love adults and all (sadly I communicate with them more proficiently than with my own friends sometimes) whenever she told me that I used to think, Why THE HECK DO I CARE AGAIN?? But now I’m glad she did that because I can enjoy these books while my friends go, Huh? What the crap is that?– and there’s something satisfyingly hilarious about that. Sorry, friends. I’m not gonna lie. I love these books- in fact, these are my favorite books! At times Precocia was a bit confusing– what with the constant reality switches on Milton’s side of the equation– but other then that, it was another wonderful book in a wonderful series. Hopefully this will continue to be the result in books to come- and I have no doubt it will! Lipptor– now ‘ Wise Acres’- sounds really exciting! Also I’m hoping Zane will come back; its been two books with no sign of him. In conclusion, it was an awesome book and I’m glad a bought it. Oh, by the way, my favorite book in the series was Rapacia, although Heck and Fibble were close competitors. Hopefully Wise Acres will be my new favorite- who knows? :):):D” — MAGGIE

The Hardly Boys Mysteries: The Best-Not-Trifled-With Occurrence

Screen Shot 2013-07-12 at 9.42.19 AMChapter One: A Good Day for Staying Out of Trouble

Frank and Joe Hardly clutched the grips of their padded scooters and stared in horror at the oncoming jalopy. 

“He’ll hit us!” Frank shrieked.

“Or she’ll hit us,” Joe corrected. “We mustn’t rashly assume gender.”

“Whomever is driving could very well hit us upon passing. They could succumb to a sudden stroke, be fiddling with the radio, or simply bear a grudge against two impeccably clean young men out for a brisk stroll after being told to get some fresh air by their irritable governess…”

“We’d better cautiously ascend this hillside, taking our time as to avoid injury!” Frank exclaimed, as the boys started up the mild embankment, the training wheels of their scooters grumbling over the gravel.

To their amazement, the car passed without incident. 

“Wow!” said Joe. “Let’s go back home before that crazy guy—“

“Or girl.”

“—comes back to finish the job.” 

 On their right,  an embankment of plush moss sloped gradually to an ambitious puddle. From the opposite side rose a small blackberry bush.

“Watch your step, Frank, or Dad’s papers won’t get delivered.”

Frank reached into his jacket pocket to be sure several important legal papers were still there. Relieved to find them, Frank chuckled and said, “After we help father with his latest personal injury case, he ought to set up the firm of Hardly and Sons.”

“That would be very sensible of him,” Joe replied with a respectable grin. “Isn’t he one of the most famous claims adjusters in the country? And aren’t we meticulous and content to spend our days assessing the amount of compensation that should be paid after a person has made a claim on their insurance policy too?”

Just then, the two boys heard the gentle clatter of a car approaching from their rear. 

“An ice cream truck!” Joe burst out.

“Good night!” Frank replied, clearing his throat. “I’m already getting all phlegmy.”

At once the Hardlys stopped and pulled as close to the edge as they dared.

The ice cream van ambled slowly past. 

“Whew!That was close!” Frank gasped. 

“If I ever meet that driver again,” Joe muttered, “I’ll -I’ll…have the butler deliver a strongly worded reprimand!” 

Perhaps we should entrust a proper carrier with these papers,” Frank said.

“Yes,” Joe agreed meekly. “Better safe than sorry.” 

“We can stop off at Chet’s.”

Chet Morton, who was a school chum of the Hardly boys, lived on an estate about a mile out of Cravenport. 

The two boys laughed.

“Just kidding,” Frank added. “Chet is disgusting.”

Beyond the tall bushes was a flaming, overturned wreck with wheels cast upward. 

“Egad!” gasped Frank in terror. “Do you think we should—“

“Most definitely,” Joe interrupted. “Run home as fast as we can and make a detailed report!”

The brother climbed carefully out of the culvert and rode home at a sensible speed upon their padded scooters. 

“After we phone the authorities,” Frank said, his voice quavering with fear, “perhaps we can relax with a game of Chinese checkers.”

Joe blanched.

“Perhaps something less…exotic. Like regular checkers.”

“Capital idea!”

 

 Chapter Two: A Calming Sip of Not-Too Hot Chocolate…

 

Nancy Druid and the Altered Altar!

Screen Shot 2013-07-01 at 9.17.11 AM

Chapter One: Rites and Wrongs

Nancy Druid peeled off her rabbit skin gloves as she ran up the steps of the temple to answer the shrieks of the oracle, Vortigern.

“Hello?” Nancy said as she stood in front of the trembling old woman.

“Hiya, Nancy!” the oracle replied, her eyes rolled back into her head, deep in possession as she relayed the caller’s message. “This is, like… Helen!”

Although Helen Troy was three years older than Nancy—18, with only 9 children—the two girls were close friends.

“Are you tied up on a case?” Helen asked through the oracle’s quivering lips.

“No. What’s up? A mystery!?”

“Yes! The human sacrifice for the upcoming Samhain ceremony has disappeared!”

Nancy sat down on the sheepskin pelt before the swaying oracle.

“Gosh! The terrified, pre-teen human sacrifice gone missing before their gruesome ritualistic public execution? How horrible! Tell me more!” the fifteen-year-old detective/sorceress begged excitedly.

“Pliny the Elder was in the Sacrificial Altar, preparing a ritual to blight the crops of the Roman marauders who have been kidnapping the Celts—“

“Those Romans have a lot of Gaul,” Nancy seethed.

“And, when he was in the Holy Chamber of Ages, Fenra the Virgin was gone! Many strange, mysterious things have been happening there recently. I told him how good you are at solving mysteries, and he’d like you to come out to Salisbury Hill and help him!”

“O blessed Odin, it certainly sounds intriguing!” Nancy replied, her eyes dancing. “I’ll meet you on the moor when the shadows of the oaks are long!”

Nancy dumped a bucket of cold water on Vortigern’s head, breaking the oracle’s connection. Nancy sat lost in thought for several minutes.

Since solving the Unhinged at Stonehenge mystery—now available wherever fine stone tablets are sold—Nancy had longed for another case. Here was her chance!

Attractive, blond-haired Nancy was brought out of her daydreaming by the sound of a goat bleating. At the same moment, the Druids’ servant, Onatah, came down the front stairs.

“I’ll deal with Pago, maiden Nancy,” the toothless peasant replied.

“No one gets my goat but me!” Nancy spat. “Back to your cupboard! I will deal with Pago!”

Nancy clambered out of the temple and summoned the goat.

“Aww…how’s my little Pago?” Nancy cooed sweetly. Suddenly, brandishing her dagger, Nancy swiftly slit open the goat, letting the steaming entrails empty upon the mossy ground. She began the Sacred Ritual of the Afore-telling.

In the eye of the Crone who guides me in wisdom, 

Through thy gift of nature, O Goddess,

Bestow upon us fullness in our need. 

As the Ageless Ones do in Gwynfyd;

Each shade and light,

Each day and night,

Each moment in kindness,

Grant us Thy Sight!

For hours Nancy danced around the goat carcass under the hot sun. Sweating and exhausted, Nancy fell to her knees, sorted through the entrails and assessed the telltale liver. Gripped by a fever trance, she raised herself up and uttered the prediction, her voice two octaves lower than her typical, girlish chirp.

Though this news is cold and bleak, 

Nennius Druid is the man you seek! 

His devotion, it will falter.

 Don’t believe me? Check the altar!

“Oh, my goddess no!” Nancy gasped as she came out of her trance. “Father is in great danger!”

Chapter Two: The Road to Rune…