Author:  Rene Gutteridge
Title:  Boo Humbug
Publisher:  WaterBrook Press

The town of Skary, Indiana has fallen on hard times since its leading citizen, horror author Wolfe Boone, quit his genre and became a married man. But the residents of Skary aren't the only ones whose fortunes have fallen since Wolfe's departure from the horror scene. His agent, Alfred Tennison, hit rock bottom when Wolfe found Jesus and lost the bestseller list drive.  He's now a freelance editor, making enough money to afford a modest place in Manhattan. But for reasons Alfred can't fathom, Skary keeps luring him back, where he'll stay for indefinite periods. Hard to tolerate the rest of the year, Skary is becoming unbearable with all of its way-to-early-for-Alfred Christmas cheer.

Alfred may be Scrooge in disguise, but for Lois Stepaphanopolis this will be a Christmas like no other. An epiphany during her community college acting class shifted her creative gears into overdrive. Skary will do a Christmas pageant! Lois, the play's director and brain child, is also the sheriff's girlfriend, and she's a genius. The play will be based on A Christmas Carol, a little known work by the underappreciated writer Charles Dickens. Lois is determined to rectify this grievous wrong by producing her own play. With her vision. And no one on the face of the earth has vision like Lois. It's safe to say no one will recognize her interpretation of Dickens – not even Dickens himself.

Scrooge Alfred even gets involved in the play. Blackmailed by the sheriff into participating, Alfred's New York survival instincts kick into gear. Here's a chance to put his promotional skills to work and make a few dollars for himself on the side. It is also his way to avoid participating in a play that scarred him in childhood. When Lois agrees to let him be the play's public relations director, his New York assumptions collide with the locals' and miscommunication on a grand scale begins.

Not everyone needs to be coerced into helping Lois. One willing participant is her cousin, Ollie. Another participant, one not quite so willing, is Skary's resident author, Wolfe. But both are new fathers and are breaking under the stress of new fatherhood with its stomach turning baby foods, diapers that could repel an invading army, and sleep deprivation. Acting in a play requires hours of commitment—all of which take place outside of home. But their attempts at self-preservation while trying to maintain the façade of calm fatherhood implode when their wives discover their real reasons for their sudden interest in community involvement.

Word begins to spread about Skary's upcoming Christmas production. Not until it’s too late does Alfred realize what he's been promoting and what the citizens, who are coming by the busload, are expecting couldn't be farther apart. As the time for the curtain draws closer, Lois is left in a bind. Perform her vision or abandon it to put on a pageant done myriad times over the years?

Boo Humbug is the fourth book in the Boo Series (Boo, Boo Who, Boo Hiss) and continues the humorous look at the small town of Skary, Indiana. Full of quirky characters, miscommunication, and other idiosyncrasies of small town living, Boo Humbug is a fun novel. At only one hundred and eighty pages, it’s a great size for a chilly afternoon read.

     
© 2007 Infuze Magazine
.  All rights reserved.  Used with permission.