March's Book A Samantha Mystery, The Stolen Sapphire

Grab this months 2 book selections, a blanket and your favorite 18 inch doll friend, don't worry if you happen upon us mid way through, join us when you can and leave your comments here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com with any book club questions.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

T-shirt give away! Now until the end of March. Enter your photos today!

Today I would like to show you the T-shirt for our give away, commissioned by me and made by Peg of the Etsy shop  Doll Clothes by Peg .
To Enter to win this Doll sized t-shirt email me a photo of you or your dolls reading! Prize will be done by random draw at the end of March!
Email your entries at karenmowen@gmail.com feel free to enter more then one photo!
Tell your friends!
As with all my posts I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com

Monday, February 20, 2012

My new order has arrived from The Book Depository

I am so excited that the three books I pre-ordered from  The Book Depository  
has just arrived! My three new Mysteries have arrived and each book only cost me $5.22!
I am so excited to add them to my pile of books to read and review!

Don't forget our next book club selection begins March 1st! 
As with all my posts I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Chapter reivews Chapters 13-14 and looking back


Chapter 13 DETECTIVE WORK
I love this very quick chapter! In this chapter, Mr Winthrop is trying to harm the girls and Aunt Cornelia comes to the girls rescue. Hitting him over the head with her umbrella just as Martin arrives to aid assistance armed with a GUN! Martin Reveals himself to be a Pinkerton Detective and apprehends Mr. Winthrop. The girls quickly realize this is why Martin is always around when there is trouble. The girls explain all the accidents at Ravenscourt were all because of Mr. Winthrop. We find out that Mr Enderby has been paying him all along to cause the trouble!
Uncle Gard arrives as Mr Winthrop is being taken away. The girls explain everything to their Aunt and Uncle and the family decided to move home that very night!
Eloise is sadden to learn that the family is leaving, but shares with the girls that she has talked her father in to making real change at the tenements and Aunt Cornelia asks Eloise to come to tea next week. The girls start packing and are eager to hear of the surprise that Aunt Cornelia and Uncle Gard have for them.

Chapter 14 A SURPRISE ANNOUNCEMENT-
In our last chapter the family returns to their home and the girls are thrilled to see the changes for them in their new rooms. They find three small doll houses built for them with their names on two of them but one with out a name.
Nellie reveals that she was afraid that when the were left at Ravenscourt that the family no longer wanted her anymore. The girls are thrilled to find out that the reason that their Aunt had to leave was because of the Chicken Pox and the fact that she was expecting a baby! As she and her mother could not remember if she had the Chicken Pox as a child it could be quite dangerous to her if she caught them while she was expecting a baby. The girls are all reassured that they are loved and wanted in their big happy family.

Looking back
What did you like about The Curse of Ravenscourt?

What did you not like?

Did you have a favorite Character?

What was your favorite part?

Was the story believe able?

I would love to hear your thoughts and hope you will join me in reading our next selection. March 1st!
 As with all my posts I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Chapter reviews, Chapters 10-12


Chapter 10-A MIDNIGHT VISIT

This chapter begins with Samantha trying to summon the courage to get out of bed and find out what was on the paper!
Mary wrote that she has gotten the Chicken Pox and must leave. She also cautions the family to leave as it is un safe. After checking Mary's room Samantha slips out the servants entrance and down the stair cases!
HOW BRAVE in the dark of night she was!

Samantha called for Mary but heard no answer. Samantha hears a man talking to Mary, threateningly. Samantha, wonders if it is Mr. Winthrop or Martin. She over hears them discussing all the incidences that they have caused at Ravenscourt.
Mary brushes by Samantha on her way out and Mary slams the door.
Samantha finds her self alone so she thinks  and then finds that the Man has a pocket torch so she hides in the shadows.
Moments later the Managers Cat is staring Samantha down. She hears footsteps and worries that someone will find her. Then she hears two men talking, Martin and Mr. Winthrop. Soon Samantha takes her leave up the stairs carefully holding her skirt, "as if a pack of angry dogs were chasing her"
 Back in the apartment Samantha is scared half to death, huddled in her bed she hears the door open and thinks it is the man from the basement but thankfully it is Nellie. Samantha tells Nellie all about what she heard and that there really is no such thing as the Curse!  The girls try to figure out what to do next and who they can trust.







Chapter 11- FOOTSTEPS
The girls return home from school and try to keep their younger sisters occupied so as to not further upset their housekeeper. The girls take their sisters out on the balcony for some fresh air. They here someone walking on the roof and the girls decide to investigate. The girls go up to the roof garden and take a look around, the chapter ends with Nellie grabbing Samantha's arm and pointing to something in the corner of the roof.


Chapter 12- THE RAVEN FLIES
At first the girls think that it is a repair man on the roof but quickly come to realize that it is not a repair man and it is not Martin! The girls realize that it is Mr. Winthrop and they realize that he is destroying one of the Ravens, sending it crashing to the ground.
The girls are in trouble, Mr Raven comes after the girls and threatens them, saying he will blame the girls for breaking the statue!
The chapter ends with Mr. Winthrop, grabbing the girls by their collars.
The girls are being held against their will by Mr. Winthrop!

The girls find themselves in very dangerous situations in these last few chapters. Do you think their curiosity and investigation has gotten them into serious trouble.
 I would love to hear your thoughts on these chapters as we near the end of our first book. Please leave a comment below or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Chapter reviews, Chapters 7-9


Chapter 7 -CLUES FROM THE PAST
This chapter starts out with a telephone call from Aunt Cornelia. Samantha desperately wants  to ask her Aunt why she left but doesn't. Samantha worries about the "great danger" that Aunt Cornelia's mother mentioned on the phone. Mary seems to go out of her way to help the younger girls feel better, entertaining them with stories.While Samantha worries about what it will be like to visit the Poor part of town with Eloise Raven.
The girls dress in their oldest and plainest clothing for the journey with Miss Raven.
Eloise still believes that "this is all a misunderstanding" and is sure that the journey will prove the Nellie's story wrong. They travel to Macy's department store (which I have actually been in this store in New York! see photo below!)
The wooden slats are amazing on the escalators!
The girls pick Candy at Macy's and then they catch a cab to "Union Square" the driver will not drive them as far as they need to go, this surprises Miss Raven. The air is thick with smoke and the smell is awful. They also hear lots of foreign languages being yelled in the streets. The girls realize that others are looking and laughing at them. When they finally get to the building and knock on the door a young lady who Samantha seems to recognize answers the door and directs them to the Kildany family in 5C.

They learn that Grandma Kildany has passed away. When they reach the apartment they are surprised to find two young girls un attended in filth and squalor. The young girl explains that the older family members are at the factory. Samantha noticed that one of the young girl has Lice in her hair and offers her the Candy from Macy's.
Miss Raven asks why there is no fire and finds out quickly that there is no money for Coal, food or anything else. She gives the girl most of her money and asks her to buy coal and food with it.  They leave the building in a hurry! As they leave Samantha hears the pregnant lady laugh and realizes where she knows the lady from.



 Family resemblance is strong in many families, do you look like any of your cousins?
Chapter 8- A FAMILIAR FACE
Samantha, stops and asks if the lady knows Mary Crosby, and is surprised to learn that the pregnant lady is Mary's cousin. Eloise Raven seems to be very upset and angry, they hurry to the subway system, as Miss Raven has given away most of her money. Suddenly Nellie and Samantha spot Aunt Cornelia! They wonder why she is in town when she said she had gone to Connecticut.
They arrive back at Ravenscourt, and tell Gertrude that they went to Macy's which is only a half truth.
 They wash up and sit down to tea and reflect on everything they saw that day.
Their younger sisters,Bridget and Jenny tell the girls of their own adventures of the day, playing with Mary and then getting to ride in the service elevator.
Later Samantha and Nellie retreat to their room to discuss seeing their Aunt Cornelia. Samantha tells Nellie about what she heard Aunt Cornelia's mom say on the phone. The girls try to reason why they have been left alone at Ravenscourt.  They decide to make a list to figure out what is going on at Ravenscourt and list all the facts about the Curse and happenings. The girls wisely decide to carefully watch all the people at Ravenscourt.

Chapter 9- CRASH
The chapter begins with Miss Ravencourt knocking on the door to invite the girls on a walk through central park. Where the girls run into Rival Building owner Mr. Enderby. Who is smug and mentions the rumors regarding Ravenscourt.
On their walk Miss Raven thanks the girls for accompanying her to see her fathers other building. She asks the girls about what changes they would recommend if they were the landlord of the building. The girls add thoughtful suggestions for improvements that would greatly improve the lives of the people living in the building. The girls all return to Ravenscourt in time to hear the huge crash of the service elevator. The girls go up stairs and find that their younger sisters could have easily been in the elevator, and after discussion, the girls retreat to their room. Later while Samantha was sleeping the door to her room opens and a white hand reaches through her open door.

So what do you think about girls traveling to the least desirable parts of New York with almost a stranger, do you think you could be as brave as Samantha and Nellie? Would your parents have let you do such a thing?

If you witnessed and elevator crash would you be okay to get in it right away?

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

If you are enjoying our first book selection now is the time to get Book Number 2

If you are enjoying book number 1, start considering book number two for our next selection. I will start Book number two at the conclusion of our first book.
Samantha's next mystery The Stolen Sapphire  is sure to be an exciting adventure!
Be sure to check your library, local book store or American Girl.com  I ordered mine from The Book Depository.com as it is free shipping world wide!

I hope you are enjoying The Curse of Ravenscourt and I hope you will join us in our future book selections!

As with all my posts I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Book Club member Heather shares her Nellie with us!

 
 
One of our readers Heather, sent me a few of the photos of her Nellie.
 Heather says  "She was around $150.00 shipped, but came naked. Her hair however is in excellent (like new) condition and came with her hair bow in it's original style. I was able to purchase her meet dress in excellent condition from another seller, and found bloomers for her as well. The tights she is wearing are the white ribbed pair from Samantha's shoes and socks set (that I already had), and her shoes are from that set as well. All together, I probably paid a little under $200.00 for her and her meet outfit. If you are familiar with the prices a Nellie NIB or in "unplayed" with condition goes for, it was fairly reasonable."



Heather has been kind enough to share her advice for finding your own Nellie!
"My advice for those looking for dolls on the secondary market is, make sure the seller posts a clear picture of the doll's face that you are considering buying. There were other Nellie's in the similar price range as the one I got, that came fully clothed. However, after carefully examining their pictures, I noticed that a few had wonky eyes or they just seemed off. This Nellie, although she came naked (the poor thing), had a sweet expression, beautiful eyes and (the deal sealer) great hair. Sadly, decent Nellies are becoming harder and harder to come by on the secondary market as the time passes since her and Samantha's archival. If you know anybody that is in the market for a Nellie I would tell them to keep their eyes peeled for the right one to come along."

Please feel free to share you own photos of Samantha and Nellie by emailing me at karenmowen@gmail.com

As with all my posts I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com

Monday, February 6, 2012

Chapter reviews, Chapters 4-6

Today I thought I would do a quick chapter over view, I would love to hear your comments so do not forget to leave your comments below!

Chapter 4- A WARNING In this chapter Samantha there seem to be allot of warnings Samantha and her sister Nellie seem to face, warnings not to bother their Aunt, warnings about chicken pox, and of course the dreaded number 13 being painted on the wall...more warning about the incidences and the curse

Chapter 5- SUDDEN DEPARTURE In chapter 5 Uncle Gard is still away, her younger sisters come down with the chicken pox and Samantha mistakenly hears Mrs. Pitt warning Aunt Cornelia to leave Ravescourt at once! Samantha is confused as to why her Aunt leaves so suddenly and she wonders why she and her sisters have been left alone, wondering more and more about the curse!


Chapter 6- A DANGEROUS JOURNEY In this Chapter Samantha and Nellie encounter Rats and Miss Raven. Nellie is very brave in telling Miss Raven the truth about her fathers other buildings and how the curse came about.  Miss Raven, asks the girls to take her to these other buildings.

What do you think is going through Samantha's head when her Aunt and Uncle leave her and her sisters alone at Ravenscourt? How do you think Samantha feels when Nellie is with her sisters in their room and Samantha is left alone?
Do you have any fears of the number 13?

Please leave your thoughts and  comments about these chapters below. As with all my post I love hearing from you so please leave a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com

Sunday, February 5, 2012

How to Bring 6 inch Mini Samantha and Nellie home for a great deal!


So inspired by Dacia bringing Nellie home that I thought I would take a look at the wonderful world of the Mini dolls. They are so varied in price! In the American Girl store I paid $25 each! Here are some better on line deals. 
Samantha 6 inch doll shipped for $19.75 from The Book Depository. On American Girl she is $24 plus shipping! On Amazon she is $14.93 click here to see the listing, the great part with Amazon is that if you order both dolls you get free shipping!

Nellie from American Girl on line is $24 plus shipping. You can sign up to be notified on The Book Depository and pay $19.75 including shipping by clicking here 
I did find on Amazon.ca $14.93 for Mini Nellie  click here to see the listing
and when they get her back in stock you can always order her! Which is what I think I will do.
Let me know if you see any other really good deals!
I can not wait to review the next 3 chapters tomorrow!
As with all my posts I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Samantha and Nellie. Bringing Nellie home


Inspired by our first book selection Dacia, one of our book club members decided to welcome Nellie to her doll family.
Dacia was able to located Nellie in "un played" with condition on Ebay for under $120.00 shipped she really got a great deal!
I am so thrilled that Dacia let me share with you all these photos of Nellie's home coming.
If you have any photos of Samantha or Nellie you would like to share please email me at karenmowen@gmail.com

Friday, February 3, 2012

Chapter reviews, Chapter 1-3

Chapter 1 FEAR AT FIRST SIGHT
In this chapter we find Samantha looking everywhere for her adopted sister Jenny....
Why do you think Jenny was hiding?
Image of New York in the 1900's

Change is hard for anyone and moving even for a short time can bring on feelings of worry or stress. Why do you think Samantha was looking forward to the stay at Ravenscourt yet the O'Malley sisters we not?

This is an aerial view of New York in the 1900's

Chapter 2  ABOVE THE TREES
In this chapter the girls learn of unexpected occurrences at Ravenscourt.
We also learn that the O'Malley sisters have never been in a elevator before, they are staying on the "12th" floor and their are only two apartments on this floor, one belonging to the owner of the building and his daughter. 
When the girls see the apartment they are introduced to the the cook and a maid named Mary Crosby, and neighbor Eloise Raven what do you think each character thought of the elevator ride, the apartment, Mary Crosby, and Eloise Raven?
A Raven statue, not overly friendly looking!

Chapter 3-CURSED


In this chapter Nellie tells Samantha about some unpleasant things from her past including the old building that Mr. Raven owns in a very poor area of town, about the Kildany family who suffered terribly due to the conditions of the time, and their situation and Grandmother Kildany who put a terrible "curse" on Mr. Raven.

Do you believe in such "curses" or superstitions?
Why do you think people of this time were so quick to believe in "curses"?

In this Chapter Samantha seems to struggle with feeling left out with her sisters. Do you think Samantha handles her situation well? How would you feel if you felt left out in your family and would you speak up? In Samantha's time do you think it was as easy for people to speak about their feelings as we do today?

Feel free to leave your answers and questions in the comment section below.
As with all my posts I would love to hear from you so please leave a comment or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Get Caught reading! A Photo Contest!


 A photo of me reading our first book club selection The Curse of Ravenscourt!

I love this "Get Caught reading" idea and I thought it would be fun to have a book club American Girl Doll sized shirt to give away. The doll shirt will have this fun design on the front of it. It will fit any 18 inch doll.

To enter simply send me a photo of you (and your doll if you wish) reading one of our Mystery Books and I will do a random draw at the end of February 2012 to select  the winner!Email your photo to karenmowen@gmail.com. I will post the photos in our group as well!
As with all my posts I would love to hear from you so please leave me a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

READY SET GO READ!


The day is finally here! Begin reading your book if you have not already and get ready to discuss the first three chapters in the comment section on  Feb 3rd.
If you have already started and finished the book, keep checking back every few days to discuss the chapters! And get ready to read our 2nd Book Selection
The Stolen Sapphire 
This will be our 2nd book selection and you can view it by clicking here from American Girl
or if you are looking for free shipping try The Book Depository 
 Exciting contest coming up so check back tomorrow!
Happy READING!
As with all my posts I would love to hear from you so please leave a comment here or email me at karenmowen@gmail.com