Blog – April 2023

Photo by Kristi Evans on

What’s Inside

  • Springtime Celebrations – Easter crafty projects
  • Book Review – (MG Fiction) The Children’s Horrible House by N. Jane Quackenbush
  • Photo Contest Corner – Jan|Feb|Mar|Apr 2023 challenge
  • Positively Said – Inspirational quotes

Springtime Celebrations

Happy Easter for those who celebrate and a joyous Spring to all!

In bringing out my lighter, brighter garments, I wondered when others put their heavier sweaters away in SoCal? Me? By April, I am s-o-o ready to stow them for another year. And Easter signals it’s that time… sundresses, short sleeves, and sandals sound about right!

Whether donning a fancy Easter bonnet, enjoying the egg decorating projects, reading an uplifting story to the kiddos, or perhaps indulging in a delectable holiday meal with family and friends, all signify a sense of gratitude for the holiday. With the warmer temps heating up Mother Earth, acts of kindness this Spring seem to be popping up everywhere. Now that brings a smile to my face. And so does this simple adorable Peeps House project.

Too quick to capture my masterpiece, I stepped back in admiration and gobbled a jellybean. Seconds later, I got the perfect shot of the hen house but bumped the table sending the wobbly, wiggly, wafered creation whirling. The lack of mortar (icing) between the wafers toppled the roof creating an upside-down, topsy-turvy, jumbled pile. Oops! Pretty sure my nieces could outwit their auntie. But then I started laughing out loud so I ate the evidence. Right? 🤣

BOOK Review | MG Fiction

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

The Children’s Horrible House by N. Jane Quackenbush

“Holly,” my mom called out, “time to make your bed.” Okay, see… there’s something you should know. I never made my bed. So why was my mother telling me to? “GRRR,” I groaned. I was too busy wondering what my older sister was talking about to her boyfriend. Yeah, her boyfriend. Isn’t that so sickening? Yuck. ~Opening Lines, Chapter One

From the onset, I was able to decipher the main character’s personality and temperament. Holly Spinatsch dislikes making her bed! And just forget about cleaning her room. Being the youngest of the siblings, she hasn’t suffered any consequences thus far for being irresponsible. A bit of a tomboy, she couldn’t be bothered with her wardrobe either. When her brother remarks that she’ll be headed to The Children’s Horrible House for not cleaning her room once again, her ears perk up with a shiver creeping over her, but Holly quickly laughs it off. He can tease and sing that scary song all he wants! Nonsense!

“The children’s horrible house, the children’s horrible house. Where you work all day, and never, never play. The children’s horrible house.” ~The Children’s Horrible House song

All is good and well until one morning, the men in dark suits summon Holly to get on the bus outside of her house. Scared, pleading, and confused, she eventually does as they ask and is escorted onto the eery bus. She soon figures out the muscle man’s name is Major Whoopins, and the bus driver’s name is Mr. Ree. Everything seems surreal and odd about the ride as though there’s been some kind of mistake until the vehicle stops, then drops her off in front of The Children’s Horrible House. Yup, her brother was right and by all indications, they have reached their final destination. With the creepiness of the manor, the surrounding monster-looking trees, and moving shadows, Holly’s thick, smudgy glasses try to assist in focusing on the weird details of the property. What she decides, ch-chattering away her fears is to j-j-just be a good girl and maybe, just maybe, her stay won’t be too harsh. But the longer she’s there, the more Holly is alerted to the pitfalls of the house and its rules!

When moans and cries echo throughout the long night, Holly and her new quirky friends sneakily locate The Dungeon, where they believe the noises are coming from. Perhaps the rumored ghost-like being lives inside. Uncovering clues from the old Hawthorne family book in the library, Holly relays to her cohorts that to truly understand this place, they need to delve deeper into the history of Hawthorne North Star and his children. Will they be able to outwit the administrators and move about the dark corridors without detection? The eye-popping, haunting tale for pre-teens is full of secrets, goose-bump scenarios, and daring bravery. The author’s inventive cast of characters and their respective names, an eclectic play on words, spins another dimension to this mind-bending adventure. And who wouldn’t fall in love with the young freckled-faced twins, Staniel and Danley?!

Tweens will gasp in delight as the plot twists and soars from relatable sibling rivalry and teasing to a castle-like manse full of unusual echoey sounds, obscure legends, and even a possible ghost. And what will become of Holly’s horrible band of misfits, especially her new pal, Coriander? Well, there are just enough loose ends to offer wonder and speculation to grab Author Quackenbush’s next book in this series, Book 2, The Return to the Children’s Horrible House.

Note: My reviews have no spoilers, and I am not paid to write my story analysis. This is a simple no-nonsense perspective of my reading experience.

Photo Contest Corner

Here is my updated Bingo card for Jan | Feb | Mar | Apr #2023picoftheweek and one of the more recent Saturday IG posts. Got one Bingo and getting close to two or more with just three weeks left in the photo challenge.


🌺 With an abundance of new spring buds, my Begonia is flourishing once again. Easy to grow and even easier to maintain. I stole this luscious pinky shot right after the showers kissed the petals. Sweet, huh? How amazing to see several raindrops sit poised atop the smooth, silky surface. Nature love.💚

Check out my fun posts on Saturdays with the story behind each unique snapshot on Instagram @thebrookelynnadventures or @tobyawilliams.

Note: I am not affiliated, only a participant, with the above-referenced photo challenge created by @ofmariaantonia.

Positively Said

You can see more on my Instagram @thebrookelynnadventures or @tobyawilliams.

To receive author updates and news, or if you have inquiries, please send the request via email below. We do not share email addresses and you may unsubscribe at any time. Thanks for hanging out for a bit today. Happy April to you all!

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Published by Toby A. Williams | Author

Children's Books | MG Fiction | Williams Writes Blog

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