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Bestselling author Melody Carlson (Gone Too Soon, Diary of a Teenage Girl) finishes her Girls of Harbor View series, which explores the ups and downs of a group of friends who are determined not to let their life in a rundown trailer park define them. In fact, these diverse and talented girls are determined to overcome any challenge they face.
In this two-book bind-up containing Ski Trip and Secret Admirer, love is in the air, on the slopes and on the dance floor. Morgan, Amy, Carlie, and Emily—the Girls of Harbor View—are forced to navigate first crushes, growing up, and how to relate to each other as their relationships start to change.
In Ski Trip, their hard-earned school trip takes a downturn when Amy and her friend Chelsea go completely boy crazy. Carlie would rather snowboard. But when she takes out her frustrations with her friends on the slopes, she ends up putting herself in a lot of danger. And in Secret Admirer, Amy finds herself pursued by a secret admirer. As the notes pile up, and the Valentine’s Day dance approaches, Amy is wrapped up in dreams of love—but she may have her heart on the wrong guy.
- centers on girls from a variety of multicultural backgrounds and experiences
- realistically explores situations and experiences girls eight to twelve face every day with heart and humor—including shifting friendships, first heartbreaks, and growing awareness of the world around us
- is part of the Faithgirlz line of books
About the Author
Melody Carlson has written more than 200 books for teens, women, and children. Before publishing, Melody traveled around the world, volunteered in teen ministry, taught preschool, raised two sons, and worked briefly in interior design and later in international adoption. "I think real-life experiences inspire the best fiction," she says. Her wide variety of books seems to prove this theory.
Read an Excerpt
Secret AdmirerFaithgirlz! / Girls of 622 Harbor View
By Melody Carlson
ZondervanCopyright © 2012 Melody Carlson
All right reserved.
Chapter One"This has been the best Christmas of my entire life!" Carlie said happily as she helped her mom clean the kitchen. It was the day after Christmas, and according to Mom their house was "a big fat mess." Although Carlie didn't think it looked that bad. Still, she hadn't complained about helping this morning. Mostly she just wanted to get these boring chores finished so she could get to the clubhouse in time for this afternoon's meeting.
Her mother stopped scrubbing the countertop and peered curiously at her now. "What made this Christmas so special for you, Carlotta?"
Carlie paused from sweeping as she considered an answer to Mom's question. The truth was Carlie wasn't only thinking of Christmas with her family, although it had been nice enough. The truth was she was thinking about her friends too. She was thinking of the fun she'd had with them, and better yet the fun that was just around the corner. But if she said that it might hurt Mom's feelings. So she just shrugged. "I don't know ..."
"It was a nice Christmas ..." Mom continued scrubbing out the sink. "But we did the same things as always. Tia Maria made her same Christmas empanadas, we sang the same songs, you and your brothers and cousins did the same Posadas ... and Pedro put the baby Jesus in the same manger and we had a piñata ... all just the same as always. So tell me, mija, what made this Christmas your favorite?"
"I just mean that everything has been so great this year, Mom, and Christmas with the family was really good. But I was also thinking how this is our first Christmas living here in Boscoe Bay, and how it's my first Christmas in junior high. And how it's been fun doing things with my friends, like being in the Christmas parade and our Christmas party in the clubhouse ..."
"Oh." Mom nodded as if taking this in.
"But Christmas with family was great too," Carlie said quickly.
"And I suppose you're looking forward to the big snow trip with your friends?"
"Well, yeah ..." Carlie smiled sheepishly. Okay, so Mom had hit the nail right on the head. "That's going to be pretty cool too."
Now Mom's brow creased with worry. "Oh, mija, you must promise to be very careful up there. Tia Maria reminded me that she sprained her ankle on a ski trip in high school. We don't want you getting hurt or breaking anything."
"Don't worry, Mama. I'll be careful."
Mom nodded, but still didn't look too convinced. "And your friend Emily ... does she get to go on the snow trip too?"
"Yes, Mama." Carlie carefully swept the small pile of dirt into the dustpan. She knew her parents had been pretty upset over the recent situation with Emily and her family. They hadn't said much to Carlie, but she'd overheard them discussing concerns about Emily's dad and whether or not the neighborhood was safe with a man like that in town. Although, Carlie was fairly certain he was still safely locked up in jail after breaking and entering when he was trying to force his family to leave with him. Even so, Carlie had heard her father say that he was going to be on a special lookout ... just in case the creep showed up again. For that matter, the whole neighborhood would be watching for him. Carlie thought that was probably a good thing. No one wanted anything bad to happen to Emily or her family.
"And Emily's mother isn't ... well, she's not worried at all?"
"I think her mom is just thankful that they got back home in time for Christmas," Carlie said carefully. She knew that it was always best not to worry her mother. For some reason Mom worried a lot. She worried about other people's problems and worried about her house not being clean enough. Carlie mostly didn't get it. But that was her mom.
Just then Carlie heard her little brother Pedro screaming like he'd been hurt—probably pushed down by four-year-old Michael again.
"There they go again," said Mom.
"I can finish up in here," Carlie said quickly. "If you want to go check on the boys."
"Thanks, mija," Her mom peeled off the rubber gloves and handed them to Carlie. "What would I do without my girl?"
Carlie didn't answer that one, but she had a pretty good idea of what her mom would do without her. She'd probably pull out her hair and scream so loudly that Mr. Greeley would come running with his shotgun. Carlie knew that Pedro and Michael pushed Mom's patience to the max, but being the older sister of those wild little boys was no picnic for Carlie either. And even though Mom paid her for babysitting—sometimes anyway—Carlie could hardly wait to escape her rowdy brothers for three precious days.
She sighed as she washed the stovetop. In her mind's eye she could see the pristine mountain, not so different from the photo on the brochure that Morgan had first shown them. And Carlie could imagine the white snow and the peaceful calm of being outside. Better yet would be hanging with her friends. But the best part of all would be not having to wipe a runny nose or scrub a sticky face or tell a screaming boy to "just be quiet!" It would be so awesome to be at the ski lodge, hanging with her best friends and no little brothers. It sounded like heaven to her!
In fact, that's what today's meeting was about. The girls were gathering at the clubhouse to try on ski clothes and pack and plan for the trip. Fortunately, Chelsea had lots of snow clothing to share with the others. She had wanted them to come up to her big fancy house to try things on, but Morgan had talked her into coming to the clubhouse instead. And Carlie had been glad to hear that. In Carlie's mind, the clubhouse was their own special place ... and just because Chelsea didn't live in Harbor View shouldn't give her the right to try to change things. Sometimes Carlie felt like the original four girls—Morgan, Emily, Amy, and her—had to stand their ground with Chelsea. But she knew that wasn't a very good attitude. And really, most of the time she liked Chelsea.
As Carlie cleaned, she planned what she might take on the ski trip. Unfortunately, she didn't have much in the way of ski clothes, although her aunt and uncle had gotten her a pale blue belted parka for Christmas. She couldn't wait to show it to her friends. Really, this had been an awesome Christmas break so far. And it was only going to get better.
As she scrubbed the bathtub, tossing her brothers' tubby toys into the mesh bag, she mentally checked off what she might pack for the ski trip. Nothing fancy, of course, just some sweatshirts and her favorite jeans and maybe her Tommy Hilfiger warm-ups. Carlie frowned as she remembered how she'd been influenced by Chelsea last fall, being talked into spending way too much money for certain items of clothing. Carlie wasn't into that anymore. Wasting money on designer labels just seemed plain stupid now. Of course, she wouldn't say that to Chelsea.
Finally, it was nearly two, and Carlie was done with the bathroom that she shared with her brothers. Sure, it might not be as perfect as Mom would like—since Mom was, after all, the Queen of Clean—but it was close. And, at least it smelled good now. That was challenge enough with her two little brothers and their messy habits. As she went out into the hallway, she noticed that the house had gotten nice and quiet, and Carlie suspected her brothers were already down for their naps. She went to her room and threw some things in her duffle bag to take to the clubhouse. It seemed sort of dumb now, but Chelsea had insisted that they all bring what they intended to take on the ski trip. She said this was going to be a packing party. The best part was that Chelsea was bringing "refreshments."
"Running away from home?" asked Mom when Carlie nearly ran into her in the hallway.
"No." Carlie grinned sheepishly. "It's our packing party. Remember, I told you about—"
"Yes, I remember." Mom nodded. "Just teasing."
"Well, it is kind of silly ... but Chelsea is the fashion expert, you know, and she wants us to look our best."
"Nothing wrong with that," said Mom. "I always want my family to look nice." She ran her hand over Carlie's shoulder-length dark curls. "And I like my girl to brush her hair and—"
"I know, Mama." Carlie glanced at the clock. "But I'm already running late."
"Okay ... have fun."
Carlie quietly closed the door behind her and slung the strap of her duffle bag over her shoulder. It felt so good to be outside. Even with the damp chill and the brisk breeze, Carlie would much rather be out here than in a stuffy house. She breathed deeply, letting the sea-scented air fill her lungs, and holding it a long time before exhaling. Some people, like Mom, didn't like the smell of the ocean. Mom often said that it smelled dirty—like rotten fish and old seaweed, but Carlie thought it smelled full of life. In fact, Carlie sometimes thought she might like to be a marine biologist. Either that or she'd like to be a landscape designer, or maybe work in forestry. Whatever Carlie did, she knew it would be an outside job—and she would never have to comb her hair if she didn't want to, and she could get her hands just as dirty as she pleased.
"Hey, Carlie," called Amy Ngo as she jogged up to catch her. Like Carlie, she was lugging a bag too. "You're late."
"Just a few minutes," said Carlie. "But I'm surprised you're late." She grinned down at her petite friend. "Little Miss I Hate to Be Late."
"Yes, well, I had to work lunch at the restaurant today. My sister An took off without telling anyone."
"Where'd she go?" Carlie was curious. Of all of Amy's older siblings, Carlie liked An the best.
"No one knows," said Amy mysteriously. "She disappeared last night after work and never came home."
Carlie blinked. "Are your parents freaking?"
"A little. But, as you know, An is an adult—she's twenty-seven. I guess if she wants to take off, she should be able to."
"But what if something's wrong?
Amy giggled. "Well, Ly is saying that An probably eloped with her new boyfriend."
"Eloped?" Amy nodded with a sly grin. "But I don't think so."
"And you're not worried?"
"An has a good head on her shoulders."
"Yes," agreed Carlie. "But I hope she's okay."
"She's just teaching Ly a lesson," said Amy as they reached the clubhouse, which they'd converted from an old hippie bus. "They got into a big fight at the restaurant yesterday."
"Well," said Carlie as she opened the door. "That explains everything."
"Hey, it's about time," called out Chelsea as the two of them entered the bus. Carlie was glad to see that the others were already there. She took in another deep breath as she closed the door behind her. Like the sea air, Carlie liked the smell of their old clubhouse too. Oh, she was sure that her mother would not approve. She would probably think it smelled musty and in need of a good cleaning, but Carlie always thought the clubhouse smelled more like an adventure about to begin. And usually that was the case.
Excerpted from Secret Admirer by Melody Carlson Copyright © 2012 by Melody Carlson. Excerpted by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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