Hendrik van Oordt
Dutch sculptor and occasional writer. Two non-fiction books (Le
lexique bilingue d'analyse financière, Accent
International, France and Bloemen, Taal & Symboliek;
Elmar, Netherlands), some loose stories, a romance under the
pseudonym Alicia Holland (The Woman's Story, Wings
ePress, United States), a storybook for young children under
the pseudonym Mols Hoop (Van Beesten en Monsters; Free
New Title(s) from Hendrik van Oordt
Congratulations to Hendrik for being in the top ten in the Children's novel 2011 P & E Readers Poll
for The Mystery of Whale House.
Click on the thumbnail(s) above to learn more about the book(s) listed.
||Shipped off to an aunt and uncle
on remote Rew island while their parents are moving house,
Frank, Dana and Martin are bored to death in a place without
internet or even proper cell phone reception. All the locals
talk about is the lobster catch. But just when our city-bred
heroes decide to start boycotting their aunt's fish soup,
they hear a story about a mad woman and her son living in
Whale House, a gothic monstrosity perched on an isolated
peninsula up north. Cut off from the remainder of the island
by a sudden storm, the three teens are forced to seek refuge
in Whale House, where they discover a terrible secret. After
considerable adventures, they come face to face with their
captors, who cannot afford to let them escape…
Pages to Print: 112
File Format: PDF
Price: $ 3.99
|Cellist Kim Chalmers is in Paris preparing for a
world tour when her fiancé, yaughtsman John Dunesne, is caught in a
storm and reported missing. Haunted by John's loss and a failed
childhood love for which she still feels responsible, Kim gets deeply
depressed and ready to give up a promising career.
Agent and friend Anne Moorecroft discovers the whereabouts of Kim's
childhood love, Will Evans, now a wild-cat oil operator in the Sahara,
and tries to rekindle the fire between Kim and Will. Just then John
Dunesne is found alive on the Irish coast. Kim's heart is in a turmoil.
She is faced with a terrible choice. Will she make the right decision?
Word Count: 59400
Pages to Print: 211
File Format: PDF
Mystery of Whale House
| Whale House
stands at the end of the world. Everybody on Rew Island has
heard the story of the boy who tried to cross to the House for a
dare and was swept away by the waves and drowned. For most of
the year it is blanketed in fog and rain, making it impossible
to reach. Even when the weather is fair, the ocean washes over
the slippery causeway at high tide. And fair weather never lasts
long over there. Aye, it is a dangerous place to visit.
Thus began the story Mr. Buirr told Frank, Dana and
Martin one morning in the little harbor of Rew.
How the children hated Rew! They were on the island
under serious protest. They disliked everything about it,
particularly the total absence of internet connections. In fact,
they considered their holiday a punishment and a ploy to get
them away from their computers and their mp3 downloads.
Of course, the trip was not meant to be a punishment.
It was merely a practical solution to give their parents the
breather needed to decorate the family’s new home. But try
telling that to a boy who has to trade his videogames for
old-fashioned board games or a girl who can no longer spend her
evenings chatting online with her girlfriends!
Only Martin, who was the youngest, had liked the idea
of going to stay with an aunt and an uncle they had never met.
He enjoyed adventure stories and he was sure Rew Island must
have loads of hidden treasure. He had therefore been deeply
disappointed when Uncle Robert told him laughingly that no
pirates had ever visited the coast.
“The only treasure we have is the oysters in the bay,”
Uncle Robert said. Martin secretly disagreed. Oysters were no
treasure. They looked disgusting when you opened them and they
Even worse, Uncle Robert and Aunt Nelly expected you to
eat everything on your plate and somehow, when Aunt Nelly looked
at you, you didn’t dare to object that you’d rather have a
hamburger than some slimy animal from the sea.
Yes, Frank, Dana and Martin couldn’t wait to go home
after their first few days on Rew Island.
And they had just resolved to write their parents
(their aunt had no telephone and mobile phones just didn’t seem
to capture a signal on the island) when they met Mr. Buirr. They
immediately forgot all about their plans to go home. It was the
start of an adventure, though they didn’t know it yet.
Aunt Nelly had become so tired of their hanging around
the house that she had said, quite crossly, “It’s a beautiful
day and I’ve got work to do. Why don’t you go and see Mr. Buirr?
He’s that old man with the pipe down by the harbor and he’s got
all the time in the world to tell you stories and keep you
“What kind of stories?” Martin asked eagerly.
“Oh, I don’t know. He loves telling stories. Ask him
about Whale House; that will keep him talking. After all, the
whole island’s been on about it forever. Now, off you go!”
She had only said it to get them out of the house, but
she had been right. When they saw Mr. Buirr they were delighted.
He was the best thing they had come across so far on the island.
Even Dana, who was really only into animals, had to admit he was
He looked as if he had sailed every one of the Seven
Seas. You just knew that he must have lots of interesting
stories to tell. In fact, he could have stepped straight out of
a television series with his weathered face and deep blue eyes.
The only thing missing was a parrot on his shoulder.
And so they said politely “Good morning” to the bearded
old sailor and stood waiting patiently while he finished mending
his net, secretly hoping that he’d talk to them and tell them a
thrilling story about Shanghai (which Martin wanted to hear),
wonderful animals (Dana’s wish) or life on board a ship (Frank’s
Finally he put down his tools with a sigh, took out a
pipe and said, “You’re the kids staying with the Coulders, ain’t
The children nodded eagerly.
The old man lit his pipe and, between puffs, said, “I
guess Mrs. Coulder told you I’ve been round and about, right?”
He chuckled when they nodded. “Well, I’ve seen a scary thing or
two in my time and I didn’t have far to go. Them winter storms
can put fear into the strongest fisherman. Aye.” He puffed
quietly for a few moments.
Before he could open his mouth to continue Martin
interrupted, “Please, sir. What is Whale House?”
The old man frowned unexpectedly in annoyance. “Who’s
been telling you about Whale House? Your aunt, is it? Don’t she
know better? Them women chatter far too much. They’re garrulous
creatures and talk about things best left alone. Don’t you go to
the House, I’m telling ye! It’s a dangerous place.
“And the folks there don’t like visitors. They never
did. Aye, the House is at the end of the world. I went there
when a lad. I weren’t older than you,” (here he pointed his pipe
at Dana, who was thirteen) “and I were that scared. The waves
was crashing all over and when you saw one coming you had to run
like the Divvil to miss it. I was nary swept away twice. These
days the weather ain’t what it used to be.
“You kids could cross now and no harm come to you but I
wouldn’t recommend it! The House is a strange place. And it sure
is the end of the world. Now you listen to me because I’m going
to tell you a secret. But you’ve got to keep it secret, mind!”
The children nodded enthusiastically, thrilled by Mr.
Buirr’s hushed voice. They were ready to promise anything to
hear his secret. The old man looked at them suspiciously, as if
not certain how far he could trust them.
“Tell us, please!” said Dana, who felt she would die if
Mr. Buirr didn’t reveal his secret.
“All right then. Ye won’t believe what I’m about to
tell you and yet it’s the solemn truth, so help me!”
Back to The Mystery of Whale
Will and the Way
“You didn’t bring any bedding?” Will Evans sounded almost
sympathetic in his perplexity. “What did you expect to find
here? A hotel?”
A smile briefly lit up his face, and Anne could once again feel
the powerful attraction exuded by this man. But he didn’t
explain the reason for his smile and it was gone in an instant,
leaving the same handsome mask as before. He had probably been
laughing at her.
“I’ll give you my tent for the night.”
Anne didn’t argue. She was a modern woman who valued her gender
equality, but she was far too scared of what was happening to
protest that she could sleep under the stars as well as any man.
She had never camped out in her life and she had already come to
the conclusion that she would never ever do so again. Something
was rustling somewhere, and something else was calling to the
moon. Away to the right she could make out the silhouettes of
the men talking quietly among themselves. Meekly she followed
Will Evans to her quarters, a triangular tent so low you had to
crouch to get in.
“No extra blankets, I’m afraid. You better keep your clothes on.
The tent is insulated, but it’s a lot colder out here than at
He took out his bedroll, which he dumped right in front of the
“This is where I’ll be sleeping. If you need to go to the
bathroom, it’s back there.” He pointed beyond a hillock and
looked at her with an amused air. “Just don’t expect a
“It’s a good thing your parents don’t know I’m here.” The girl
The boy and the girl were running through the orchard by
Hardwood River. Ahead rose the old boathouse, derelict and
abandoned since the construction of the new shed near the manor.
It was raining heavily. Both adolescents were drenched. The
boy’s heart ached at the sight of the running girl in her
bedraggled summer dress, clinging wet to her skin as though it
never wanted to let go. It was the way he wanted to hold onto
When they reached the door, she turned and smiled through the
wet strands of hair plastered against her cheeks and forehead.
She took the boy’s face in her hands and kissed him.
“You look so serious,” she whispered. “I want you to tell me
your problems. But first I want you to make love to me. That’s
all I want from life. Happiness. You.”
“No!” The boy tore himself away, staring wide-eyed at her. “No,”
he said again. He was crying soundlessly. “Laetitia knows and is
threatening to tell Mom.”
The girl sagged to the ground against the building. “Aunt Mary
will kill you,” she said, “if she finds out.”
He shrugged, unable to express himself. How could he explain
that he wouldn’t mind whatever punishment his mother had in
store for him as long as he could have her?
“I’m leaving home,” he said softly.
The girl looked up sharply. After a moment she laid a hand on
his knee. “And me?”
He shook his head in silence. She scrambled to her feet.
“I’m coming with you.”
“You can’t stop me.”
No, but society can, he thought sadly. “You’re seventeen,
without a passport, and you’re my cousin. If we ran off
together, Laetitia would be sure to tell Mom what was going on
between us and the police would haul us back in no time. Your
life would no longer be worth living. And if I stayed, we’d try
to continue what we’re doing. We wouldn’t be able to stop
He stood looking at her for a long time, unable to tear his eyes
away from her face.
“I love you, Kim,” he said at last. “I’ve loved you forever, it
She took his face again in her hands and whispered, “Make love
He closed his eyes against her searching look. She was scanning
his face as if she wanted to reach inside his mind for an
argument that would convince him to stay. She bit his ear and
put one of his hands on her breast. “Make love to me,” she said
He took her hand in his and kissed it long and desperately.
“I’ve signed up on an oil rig for the season. I’m flying out
tonight. I’ll be stationed in Greenland. I’ll write.”
The girl began to cry, burying her face in his chest.
The neighborhood had that old-world charm you find in so many
European cities, with deep courtyards, alleys at odd angles, old
and rather dusty shops, bars and restaurants everywhere, and far
too much traffic for the narrow streets.
It was a beautiful day in Paris, and Kim Chalmers stood lazily
watching a couple of teenagers from her second-floor apartment
window, enjoying the heat of the late summer sun on her face and
upper body. The two kids in the street below were flirting
heavily, laughing and showing each other pictures on their cell
phones, with just enough body distance to suggest that they
might not yet be together. It wouldn’t be long before they found
each other, she thought. They would make a cute item. If John
were here, he would have concluded cynically that they were
negotiating a temporary truce between the sexes. But that was
John, and she loved him for what he was, macho warts and all.
For all his outward display of cynicism, she knew him for a
softy who could not get enough of her and who would stand by her
come hell or high water. Literally. John had seen enough rough
weather and human misery while sailing around the world on his
yacht to be ready to fight for the true things in life, and for
reasons she could only marvel at, he thought she was the truest
thing in his life.
She thought they would soon be married, if his parents had
anything to do with it. His people were the type to keep pushing
and arranging until everything was boxed tidily and prettily
where it belonged, with the lid on and a neat label, ready for
sailing on the great ship of life. Kim and John definitely
belonged in the box labeled marriage. John’s mother kept saying
so, and Kim had to admit they made a handsome couple. If she had
qualms about the freckles on the bridge of her nose and a
constant fear of growing fat, she had no doubts at all about
John’s physique. He was easily one of the best-looking men she
had ever seen, with the sort of carefree walk that made him
stand out from the crowd wherever he went; dark, with untamed
eyes that made any woman’s heart race faster, and a smile that
opened all doors for him.
The sun had dipped behind the buildings across the street, and
the kids below her window had moved on, absorbed by the shadows
and their own private world. She turned toward the room,
wondering what life was all about anyway. All day long she had
been feeling strangely nostalgic and rebellious. She loathed
anything smacking of self-pity and nostalgia, and yet she was
feeling homesick for a past that was utterly irrelevant to her
life and future. Perhaps it was the two kids with their cell
phones or the burnished copper of the setting sun, reminding her
of an Indian summer just like this when she had passionately
loved and lost. More likely, the growing pressure on the part of
John’s mother highlighted her own doubt that marriage was what
she wanted right now with her career taking off. But wherever
she looked, things seemed to be throwing up memories of years
She sighed and looked at her reflection in the mirror and at the
comfortable room behind, with its pleasant clutter and spacious
dimensions. Even if she did not share John’s unbridled
admiration for her looks, the mirror told her she was
good-looking by any standard, while her apartment spoke of a
life without financial worries. In the words of the magazines,
she had it all—talent, beauty and, if not wealth, enough money
to lead an independent life. She had no reason to feel sorry for
herself. She was twenty-seven and engaged to a dashing
adventurer, a once-in-a-lifetime man who was also a gentleman in
this graceless day and age, with a circle of friends that was
equally glamorous and wild. A man who paid the daily compliment
of telling her she was the most beautiful woman in the world and
who backed it up with endless gifts. She had no right to indulge
in that sort of nonsense.
Resolutely, she turned on the light, took her cello from its
stand and placed it between her knees. With just three months to
go before a series of concerts that would take her to major
concert halls around the world, on the verge of an international
breakthrough, this was not the moment to pretend a mid-life
crisis. Besides, it was extremely unfair to John. The past was
over and done with. She had cried enough to fill a bathtub after
Will’s departure and it hadn’t brought him back. For years she
had thought she would never forget him and now, when she had
finally forgotten, a red sunset and a few rose-colored memories
were going to bring him back and spoil the party? Teenage love.
Never again, thank you very much. Look at the puppy love of
those kids passing below her window. Think of the tears they
would shed, only to go off and make an entirely different life
with someone else, all promises forgotten.
Angrily she tightened the bow of her instrument, snapping
“Stupid girl,” she muttered, anxiously eying the wood for
cracks. Her bow was a beautiful example from a 19th-century
maker, a gift from her teacher when she graduated with honors
from the conservatory, and she’d never forgive herself if she
damaged it. “No man is worth your ruination, you hear?” she
crooned as she loosened the screw. “Not John, not Will, not any
She played old folk tunes of the kind that wailed about broken
promises and impossible loves, until the professional in her
took over and she settled down to playing scales. She had been
at it for over an hour, almost satisfied with the blur of her
fingers as they slid, stopped and vibrated across the
fingerboard, when the doorbell rang. She wondered who it could
be. She did not encourage unannounced callers when practicing.
The Will and the Way