Camping and Reading and Bears, oh my!

Published September 10, 2014 by chrisalys820

We went camping last week, I read a lot, had a run in with a 600 pound bear (story for another day) and had a lot of fun. :D

The Strange Message in the Parchment – Carolyn Keene


This is a Nancy Drew book that I had never read. It was enjoyable and I liked the characters that we met. :)

A sheep farmer receives a mysterious telephone call shortly after he buys a series of pictures painted on parchment. “Decipher the message in the parchment and right a great wrong,” the voice says. Puzzled, the owner asks Nancy to help.

With Junie, his daughter, Nancy tracks down a kidnapper and a group of extortionists. Clues weave in and out of several puzzles, two of which are linked with Italy. Is there a connection between the message in the parchment and a boy artist on another farm? And who is responsible for the atmosphere of fear in the neighborhood?

After several harrowing experiences, Nancy begins to tighten the net around a ruthless villain and calls on the assistance of her friends Ned, Burt, Dave, Bess and George to bring his nefarious schemes to a dead end.

The Ringmaster’s Secret – Carolyn Keene


This was also the first time I read this one and I couldn’t get to the end fast enough. I sped through this in about an hour and read most of it by campfire light.

Nancy Drew is given a beautiful gold bracelet and finds that one of the horse charms is missing. When she learns the unusual story behind the jewelry, she sets out to solve the fascinating mystery.

The Clue in the Crumbling Wall – Carolyn Keene


This is one of my old favorites. I love the house in it. I want to live there. I was happy to reread it.

While trying to locate a missing dancer who is about to gain a large inheritance, Nancy Drew finds a clue leading to the solution of yet another mystery.

Ruby Red – Kerstin Gier


I liked this one the first time I read it and it was just as enjoyable this time.

Gwyneth Shepherd’s sophisticated, beautiful cousin Charlotte has been prepared her entire life for traveling through time. But unexpectedly, it is Gwyneth, who in the middle of class takes a sudden spin to a different era!

Gwyneth must now unearth the mystery of why her mother would lie about her birth date to ward off suspicion about her ability, brush up on her history, and work with Gideon–the time traveler from a similarly gifted family that passes the gene through its male line, and whose presence becomes, in time, less insufferable and more essential. Together, Gwyneth and Gideon journey through time to discover who, in the 18th century and in contemporary London, they can trust.

Sapphire Blue – Kerstin Gier


I read this when it first came out and loved it. I decided to reread it because it was such a good book.

Gwen’s life has been a rollercoaster since she discovered she was the Ruby, the final member of the secret time-traveling Circle of Twelve. In between searching through history for the other time-travelers and asking for a bit of their blood (gross!), she’s been trying to figure out what all the mysteries and prophecies surrounding the Circle really mean.

At least Gwen has plenty of help. Her best friend Lesley follows every lead diligently on the Internet. James the ghost teaches Gwen how to fit in at an eighteenth century party. And Xemerius, the gargoyle demon who has been following Gwen since he caught her kissing Gideon in a church, offers advice on everything. Oh, yes. And of course there is Gideon, the Diamond. One minute he’s very warm indeed; the next he’s freezing cold. Gwen’s not sure what’s going on there, but she’s pretty much destined to find out.

Emerald Green – Kerstin Gier


I also read this when it came out but I couldn’t remember quite how it ended. So I reread it. I thought “might as well, I’m rereading the other two.” I’m glad I reread it.

Gwen has a destiny to fulfill, but no one will tell her what it is.
She’s only recently learned that she is the Ruby, the final member of the time-traveling Circle of Twelve, and since then nothing has been going right. She suspects the founder of the Circle, Count Saint-German, is up to something nefarious, but nobody will believe her. And she’s just learned that her charming time-traveling partner, Gideon, has probably been using her all along.
This stunning conclusion picks up where Sapphire Blue left off, reaching new heights of intrigue and romance as Gwen finally uncovers the secrets of the time-traveling society and learns her fate.

The Close Shave – Wilbert Awdry


This was one of Baby’s picks for bedtime story. I loved curling up with him and reading it. :)

THOMAS’ FRIEND DUCK likes to be Really Useful and Right on Time. One day, some Troublesome Trucks start pushing and they will not stop, and a station is just ahead! Duck works himself into a lather trying to brake in time, but ends up crashing into the station’s barber shop.

Go, Train, Go! – Wilbert Awdry


Another of Baby’s picks. I wasn’t quite so thrilled with this one. I can’t quite put my finger on why though.

Thomas is taking the judge to the train show! He speeds up a hill, across a ridge, through a tunnel, and over a bridge. But as soon as Thomas starts to go fast—screech!—he has to slow down. A goat is in the way, the wind is pushing him back, the tunnel is very dark, and logs are on the track! As soon as Thomas gets past each delay, he gets to go fast—at last! But will they reach the show on time? Go, Thomas, go!

Henry and the Elephant – Wilbert Awdry


Ahh, Henry and the Elephant. Baby’s third pick and an old favorite. :D

The engines are very excited when the circus comes to Sodor. Everyone wants to pull the special freight cars and coaches. Henry carefully pushes an empty truck into the dark tunnel to clear the track. Imagine his surprise when something starts to push back!

Ghost House – Alexandra Adornetto


This book was a typical haunted house YA book. Guy is dead, main character falls in love with him, sad sad sad when he finally moves on. I knew what would happen before it happened. I will probably read a sequel but it won’t be on my “I have to read this right now” list.

From the New York Times bestselling author of Halo comes the start of a beautiful and powerful new series.

After the loss of her mother, Chloe Kennedy starts seeing the ghosts that haunted her as a young girl again. Spending time at her grandmother’s country estate in the south of England is her chance to get away from her grief and the spirits that haunt her. Until she meets a mysterious stranger…

Alexander Reade is 157 years dead, with secrets darker than the lake surrounding Grange Hall and a lifelike presence that draws Chloe more strongly than any ghost before. But the bond between them awakens the vengeful spirit of Alexander’s past love, Isobel. And she will stop at nothing to destroy anyone who threatens to take him from her.

To stop Isobel, Chloe must push her developing abilities to their most dangerous limits, even if it means losing Alex forever… and giving the hungry dead a chance to claim her for their own.

Faces of the Dead – Suzanne Weyn


I don’t know if I liked this book because it was so well written or if historical fiction just seriously appeals to me. I never much thought about Marie Antoinette having kids, she was just someone who got her head cut off during the French Revolution. Marie-Thérèse was an enjoyable character and I thought it was cool that she switched places with a chambermaid. This is on my To Be Reread list.

When Marie-Therese, daughter of Marie Antoinette, slips into the streets of Paris at the height of the French Revolution, she finds a world much darker than what she’s ever known.

When Marie-Thérèse Charlotte of France learns of the powerful rebellion sweeping her country, the sheltered princess is determined to see the revolution for herself. Switching places with a chambermaid, the princess sneaks out of the safety of the royal palace and into the heart of a city in strife.

Soon the princess is brushing shoulders with revolutionaries and activists. One boy in particular, Henri, befriends her and has her questioning the only life she’s known. When the princess returns to the palace one night to find an angry mob storming its walls, she’s forced into hiding in Paris. Henri brings her to the workshop of one Mademoiselle Grosholtz, whose wax figures seem to bring the famous back from the dead, and who looks at Marie-Thérèse as if she can see all of her secrets. There, the princess quickly discovers there’s much more to the outside world – and to the mysterious woman’s wax figures – than meets the eye.

Suspicion – Alexandra Monir


This book had some serious potential but it skipped around too much and tried to cram too much in. It would have been fine as a supernatural romance or as an American Heiress takes control of her kingdom book. But it was just too much.

Mysterious. Magnificent. Creepy. Welcome to Rockford Manor.

“There’s something hidden in the Maze.” Seventeen-year-old Imogen has never forgotten the last words her father said to her seven years ago, before the blazing fire that consumed him, her mother, and the gardens of her family’s English country manor.

Haunted by her parents’ deaths, Imogen moves to New York City with her new guardians. But when a letter arrives with the news of her cousin’s untimely death, revealing that Imogen is now the only heir left to run the estate, she returns to England and warily accepts her role as duchess.

All is not as it seems at Rockford, and Imogen quickly learns that dark secrets lurk behind the mansion’s aristocratic exterior, hinting that the spate of deaths in her family were no accident. And at the center of the mystery is Imogen herself–and Sebastian, the childhood friend she has secretly loved for years. Just what has Imogen walked into?

Combining a fresh twist on the classic REBECCA with a spine-tingling mystery and powerful romance, SUSPICION is an action-packed thrill ride.

Stay awesome ♥ Christa

The Ruby Airship – Sharon Gosling

Published August 27, 2014 by chrisalys820


After reading the first one a few months ago, I found myself wishing for a sequel. When I saw this on Netgalley, I was excited. I read this yesterday. I sped through it in about 2 hours. I loved it! It was better than the first. I loved that the point of view switched between Remy and Thaddeus. That was cool. I am eagerly awaiting book 3.

In this sequel to The Diamond Thief, trapeze-artist Rémy has left the circus and her life as a thief, but she doubts that detective Thaddeus Rec will ever truly trust her. Feeling torn between her new life and her old, Rémy decides to return to France and her old circus with Yannick, an old friend who unexpectedly appears.

Meanwhile, Thaddeus is sure that Yannick is up to no good. He’s determined to find them and win Rémy back, even if he must risk a journey by airship to do so.

Stay awesome ♥ Christa

Portraits of Celina – Sue Whiting

Published August 27, 2014 by chrisalys820


I read this book between Sunday and Monday. It took me about 3 ½ hours to get through it. It felt like it dragged a bit in the middle and I almost walked away. I decided to give it another chance and I’m really glad I did. I loved the ending. I was kind of expecting the ending but the way it was written made it exciting. It is going on my To Be Reread list. :)

Make him pay, Bayley. Make him pay.
It’s as if the wooden chest is luring me, urging me to open it – daring me almost. Open me up. Look inside. Come on, just for a second; it won’t hurt.
Celina O’Malley was sixteen years old when she disappeared. Now, almost forty years later, Bayley is sleeping in Celina’s room, wearing her clothes, hearing her voice. What does Celina want? And who will suffer because of it? A ghost story. A love story. A story of revenge.

Stay awesome ♥ Christa


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