Life’s little echoes

“Everything that’s worth having is some trouble…”

-L. M. Montgomery, Anne of Avonlea

Could truer words be spoken?  The story might be fictional, but the words are true.

After the catastrophe of Dracula, I needed more mental fun fluff.  I enjoyed the first book in this series, Anne of Green Gables, that I had already downloads several more books in the series when I found them for free.  Anne of Avonlea is the second book in the series.  It is a delightfully written as the first.

It’s an easy read.  Some stuff is predictable, other stuff leaves you wondering what is going to happen next.  It’s interesting to see Anne growing up, still getting into some mischief, but also witnessing Davy getting into his own.  She understands but doesn’t.  Her eyes are slowly opening to adulthood, but she is still a child, whimiscal and fun.  You see love developing through Anne’s eyes, though her mind isn’t consciously aware of romance for herself yet.

I love this book.  I kept this on my iPad mini to reread when the mood strikes.  It’s fun, lighthearted, entertaining.  I hope my children discover this series while they are young instead of in their 30s such as myself.  This is on my favorites shelf permanently.

Anne of Avonlea by L. M. Montgomery

(Book 2 of Anne of Green Gables series)

Barnes & Noble link:

Goodreads link:



“The motto of all the mongoose family is, “Run and find out,” and Rikki-tikki was a true mongoose.” – Rudyard Kipling, Rikki-Tikki-Tavi

I must admit that even as a 30+ year old, if I see the cartoon Rikki-Tikki-Tavi on tv, I stop.  Always. Thus, the booknerd in me was super excited to see this book as a free download through iBooks.  To quote that annoying commercial, “Awesome-sauce!” No, this book wasn’t written with 30 year olds in mind, but I loved it as much as the cartoon.  Truth be told, I don’t know if I’ve ever read a book that the movie so closely followed.  I could be biased though. I can’t wait to share Rikki-Tikki-Tavi with my children.  It can teach hard work and determination, as well as showing love between a family and how that definition of family can grow. This was a short book, so I’ll keep my review as READ IT.  We all need an easy fun read from time to time.  This is it.  Go read it.  Now. And then you too can say he Rikki-Tikki-Tavi‘d that ass.  🙂

Rikki-Tikki-Tavi by Rudyard Kipling Link to Barnes & Noble store:

Bippity-boppity-boo OH MY

“Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.”

–Marie Hall, Kingdom Series Collection: Books 1-3

Kingdom Series Collection: Books 1-3 by Marie Hall is a collection of the first three books in her Kingdom Series (Bad Five), starring the bad boys of your childhood fairy tales.  This series includes the titles: Her Mad Hatter, Gerard’s Beauty, and Red and Her Wolf.  I was expected a dark twist when I started book 1, Her Mad Hatter…


I quickly realized 1) I apparently had forgotten the premise of the book or had misread it, 2) this was certainly going to be interesting, and 3) even the bad boys need a happy ending too.

I absolutely could not put this down for the first two books.  I slightly delayed reading book 3, as the prologue didn’t suck me in as much as the previous two had, but was sucked in even faster in that one.  Not only am I wanting to read this entire series now, but I want to re-read these.  I LOVED THEM.

I’ve been telling everyone about them, which can be kind of awkward when you are telling a male colleague you don’t exactly know all because you two connected over a Mad Hatter coffee cup (which I now own) and Cheshire Cat.  I’m following the author on Facebook and Twitter, and I hope to email in to get some freebies once we close on our house.  I LOVED them THAT much.

I’m not a sappy, romance girl, but I love dark twists.  These books have them from the start.  Who wouldn’t love a fairy godmother for bad boys!?!  I will warn you-you will want to slap the “head” fairy in her bippity-boppity-boo face.  Fairies are supposed to be good, but hey, let’s add a twist in there.  And then let’s have all the stories start entwining together, so you get the main story you are reading but more of the others too.

Twist here, insert there, fold back here, push through here, etc.  You never know where this story is going to twist, turn, pop up, or “explode”.  “Wink wink.”

Oh, and there’s RECIPES!!  Too bad I am not exactly known for my cooking skills.  I might need to work on this.

I cannot praise these books enough.  Just know they are A-MAZ-ING and I love them.  Thus, READ THEM.

Free link for Nooks!

Purchase option:



Costly secrets

“They seek him here, they seek him there
Those Frenchies seek him everywhere
Is he in heaven or is he in hell?
That demned elusive Pimpernel”
–Sir Percy Blakeney, The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Emmuska Orczy

I love this quote.  It fits the character, Sir Percy, PERFECTLY.  Dern him, I couldn’t help but to love this “inane fop”.
Honestly, I delayed reading this book, and I mean DELAYEDDDDDDDDDDD.  I just didn’t see how a book with a type of bread in the title could be good.  I know, I know–1) Don’t just a book by it’s cover, and 2) GET SOME GLASSES.  Pimpernel is a type of flower, NOT pumpernickel bread.  Go me.  Anyways, I was trying to decide if I was finally going to read this book to hush my friend and her ” you must read this” when she hasn’t read my book yet (ahem, hint hint) and another classic when I read the comments on Goodreads.  Apparently, this book is the rough basis for Batman, which I love, well, the 70’s BAM!  SLAP!  BOOM! Batman.  I was immediately intrigued and decided to appease my friend.  It was a decision I have not regretted.
The story resolves around Sir Percy and Lady Marguerite Blakeney in England in 1792.  These two each have their secrets and are divided as a couple, though society wouldn’t know.  As the story develops, you learn with Marguerite just how costly secrets can be a marriage and a family. 
The killing of aristocrats by the French is central to the story, so there is a bit of history to be learned through this story as well (double bonus).  You don’t have to experience the blood and gore, but that bit of history is touched upon throughout the book through various characters.  You “see” a part of the story from different view points, which adds to the story and character development as well as causes you to love Sir Percy even more.
I honestly want to own this book now.  I have kept in on my iPad so I can reread it as desired.  I recently finished it and already want to read it again.  This is an AMAZING book.  Everyone should read it.  I wish I had read it sooner, and I cannot wait to share this book with my children.

All in all, LOVE it.


Truly alone

“Enola spelled backwards is alone.” – Nancy Springer, The Case of the Cryptic Crinoline

I gave myself a break from WWII and listened to a fun mystery.  It was as fun as I had hoped.

The Case of the Cryptic Crinoline by Nancy Springer is book #5 in the Enola Holmes series.  I was a HUGE fan of The Boxcar Children series as a chlid, so a child solves a mystery premise was right up my alley.

Enola Holmes is the (much) younger sister of the great world detective, Sherlock Holmes.  Once her landlady is kidnapped, Enola is now very much alone in the world.  Her mother has disappeared and she’s run away from her brother to avoid boarding school.  Mrs. Tupper was her companion in her young world of fourteen.  Enola sets her mind to finding Mrs. Tupper, during which you can see genius must run in the Holmes’ family.  You can see the fourteen year-old mind fight against much more mature insight and instincts.  I’m not sure I’d have that level of a head in my thirties as Enola does at fourteen.  Actually, I know I wouldn’t.  My mom stepped on a piece of broken glass one time, and my stepfather joked he thought her foot was cut off by the way I described it.  Calmness isn’t something I embody, but Enola does repeatedly..

Until she’s about to be busted by her brother.  What teenager wouldn’t freak out then?

This was a delightful story.  I hope to introduce this series to my children one day.  I left this audiobook in my file to listen to again later.  I was sad when it ended, but I can repeat again later as desired.  Any story/book that makes me think that is a great book.  This is highly recommended for a fun break.

The Case of the Cryptic Crinoline by Nancy Springer
Narrator: Katherine Kellgren
Format: MP3 Audiobook
Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC
Source: Audiobook Sync
3 parts, 14 chapters
3 hours 8 minutes 51 seconds

Link for (physical) book purchase through Barnes & Noble:

The Hiding Place

“Corrie, if people can be taught to hate, they can be taught to love! We must find the way, you and I, no matter how long it takes.”–Corrie ten Boom, The Hiding Place

It’s apparently history month for me.  I’ve listened to another history book without intending to, and of course I didn’t pay attention to the cover.  Just as a FYI, I just downloaded 2 more free audiobooks from AudioSync.  They, too, are history books about WWII.

The Hiding Place is Corrie ten Boom’s experience in WWII.  She transformed from a watchmaker to a hero, a survivor, and an evangelist.  She helped save Jews via the underground, she survived Hitler’s camps, and she’s lived to tell her tale to others, helping herself and them find forgiveness.

This woman is amazing.  I haven’t been through a fraction of what she has endured, and yet it is my faith that falters at times.  I am in awe of her faith and perseverance.  She has survived literal HELL ON EARTH and still remains faithful to God and upbeat and optimistic.  I’m willing to bet most people get ill over a bad look, a cross word, or a bad driver.  She SURVIVED HELL and has a better outlook that us.

There is so much to learn from her.  We each need to learn this lesson in life, me included.  Her autobiography is a must read for everyone.  This story is a history lesson, a faith lesson that can be applied to all (to have faith even if you don’t believe in her God), a humanity lesson.

I just cannot get over all she accomplished.  She is very right, you know.  People are taught to hate, which means they can be taught to love.  We should all be trying to find the way to love others and ourselves instead of hating and tearing each other down.

Four little letters, yet we find them so difficult.  L O V E.

Read this book.  You won’t regret it.

The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom, John Sherrill, and Elizabeth Sherrill
Narrator: Bernadette Dunne
Format: MP3 Audiobook
Publisher: christianaudio
Source: Audio Sync
8 parts, 15 chapters
9 hours 23 minutes 50 seconds


Forgive Me

“You have no idea how many interesting people you’ll meet after high school’s over.  Your life partner, your best friend, the most wonderful person you’ll ever know is sitting in some high school right now waiting to graduate and walk into your life–maybe even feeling all the same things are you, maybe even wondering about you, hoping you’re strong enough to make it to the future where you’ll meet.”  from Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick


I wasn’t sure when I started this audiobook that I should be listening to it at the time.  Between stress at work, stress over home selling, stress over temporary living situations, stress over trying to buy a house that I think is the best combination of mine and my husband’s personalities we will ever find, stress over needing to introvert but can’t, stress over how to avoid having a panic attack, etc.  You get the idea.  I’m stressed.  Thus, listening to a book about teenage suicidal thoughts might not have been in my best interests, or was it?

In my defense, I forgot was the book was about and just picked an audiobook to listen to and get off my computer.  So, lesson one, since this is a reoccurring theme, maybe I should look up the summary of the audiobook to know what I’m getting into first.  Nah, what’s the fun in that?

Leonard Peacock, or LP as you hear throughout the book, is an outcast, much like any teenager feels, except there’s “more”.  You know he wants to murder Asher, his former friend, but you don’t realize why until later in the book.  As the pieces start falling into place, you are torn between feeling betrayed as Leonard or hurt for Asher and Leonard.  You wonder how you can save them both.  You are screaming for help for both in your head, reeling from Leonard’s pain.  You are applauding those that come to help.  You admire those who stand their ground. 

And you want to slap the shit out of those who don’t notice when they should.  You want to make them SEE, but you can’t.  You wonder if they will ever learn.

Suicidal thoughts are not to be taken lightly.  The quote above can apply to any situation and clique: high school, job 1, job 2, church, etc.  There is always hope, always something better.  Yet so many people just give up.  Their better day could have been right around the corner, but we didn’t see the signs in time.  Will we ever learn?

Forgive me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick left me with plenty to ponder.  It is not a feel good book, but it is a good book that leaves you thinking, feeling, deciding.  Read it for yourself, for your friends, for your family.  Just read it.

If you or anyone you know is dealing with suicidal thoughts, please reach out for help.  You are loved and cherished more than you know. It will get better one day.

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick
Narrator: Noah Galvin
Publisher: Hachette Audio
Source: Audiobook Sync
Format: MP3 Audiobook
6 hours 19 minutes 8 seconds
6 parts, 38 chapters