I Heart Bloomberg (86 Bloomberg Place Series)

I Heart Bloomberg (86 Bloomberg Place Series)

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by Melody Carlson

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Kendall's managed to wrangle her grandmother's house—free and clear—except for the rules. No male roommates. But that's okay. With the right ad, she'll pull in some girls, their rent, and if she's lucky, she won't have to go to work anytime soon.

For their part, Anna, Lelani, and Megan all have their reasons for wanting to move in: Anna has got to


Kendall's managed to wrangle her grandmother's house—free and clear—except for the rules. No male roommates. But that's okay. With the right ad, she'll pull in some girls, their rent, and if she's lucky, she won't have to go to work anytime soon.

For their part, Anna, Lelani, and Megan all have their reasons for wanting to move in: Anna has got to get out from under her overprotective parents; Lelani can't take another day in her aunt's tiny crackerbox house overflowing with toddlers, and Megan needs a place free of her current roommate from Hades. Though they come with assorted extra baggage filled with broken hearts and dreams, they will discover they also have a vast array of hidden strengths.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

Anna wants to break free of her parents, Lelani has to get away from an overcrowded home life, and Megan just needs a sane roommate, so the three girls move in with Kendall, who has just taken over her grandmother's house. As they journey through together, their friendship and experiences will teach them all some important lessons. This is the debut entry in prolific author Carlson's (Ready To Wed) new "86 Bloomberg Place" series.

—Tamara Butler

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David C Cook
Publication date:
86 Bloomberg Place Series
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Barnes & Noble
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i heart bloomberg

a novel

By Melody Carlson

David C. Cook

Copyright © 2008 Melody Carlson
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4347-6588-8


Megan Abernathy

"Three female housemates wanted to share luxurious four-bedroom residence in upscale urban neighborhood. Classic historical house within walking distance of downtown, campus, and shopping. No smokers, no drugs, no pets. $550 a month includes all utilities. One-year lease, no exceptions. First and last, plus cleaning deposit required. Send résumé to Ms. Weis, PO Box 4721, Herrington Heights."

Megan Abernathy folded the newspaper in half and circled the ad with her neon green highlighter pen. Then she read the words again, more carefully this time. This place sounded pretty swanky. And it should be, at $550 a month for just a room! She glanced around her crowded and messy bedroom—one of two in a crummy little apartment she shared with three other young women.

To be fair, it was her roommate's half of the bedroom that looked the worst. Megan's side was relatively neat. Well, other than the plastic storage crates stacked against the wall. But that's what came from remaining in a less than satisfactory housing situation for so long. It had seemed like a smart move a couple years back—a real leap from dormitory living, but still on campus. Now it felt like a jail cell.

Megan kicked a stray flip-flop back to Bethany's side of the room. She had meant to find another place to live after graduation, along with a job. But then Dad got sick in early May. And the summer slipped sideways with his nonstop medical treatments, hospitalizations, and finally, after the doctors admitted they'd exhausted all options, his funeral in late August. Consequently she had no time to think about housing or job possibilities or much of anything to do with her future. And maybe it didn't matter anyway. Maybe she just didn't even care anymore.

"Don't become a martyr," her mother had warned when she dropped Megan back at the rundown apartment a couple of weeks ago. "Your portion of Dad's life insurance can easily help you afford a bigger and better place, sweetheart. You did so well in school, and we never really celebrated your graduation. I'm sure that Dad would've wanted you to—"

"I'll be fine," Megan had reassured her. "I just need to find a job." Her plan had been to get her feet under her before moving to a better place. Of course, she couldn't mention her regrets over not putting in applications for teaching positions last spring. That would only make her mom feel worse. Now it was the end of September, way too late to snag a teaching job. Instead, she told her mom not to worry. "I just want to take a year to figure things out," she said.

"A year can be a lifetime." Mom sighed, then gave her a kiss on the cheek.

"How about you, Mom?" Megan suddenly remembered that her mother was going home to an empty house now, a totally different lifestyle. "Will you be okay?"

"With God's help, I will." Then Mom frowned up at the dismal apartment complex behind Megan. "Just promise me that you'll at least consider another place to live. I worry about your safety in this neighborhood."

Now, just two weeks later, Megan wondered if her mom was right about this neighborhood after all. The headlines in this morning's paper reported that another college coed seemed to be missing. Since the sophomore had only been gone two days, a missing-person report hadn't been filed, but the girl's roommate felt certain that foul play was involved, and no family members had seen her either. This was the second female student to go missing in six months. And the truth was, it creeped Megan out. Not having classes to distract her only made matters worse and gave her more time to fixate on things.

More than that, she regretted not giving up her space in this apartment last June, back when she'd begun to suspect that her roommate was turning into a wild child.

Bethany had seemed okay when she moved in a year ago. She was a junior and fairly serious about school, but by springtime things started to deteriorate. Last summer, while Megan was gone, Bethany turned their room into a pigsty and, according to the other roommates, became even more indiscriminate about her male friends and partying habits. At this rate, Megan would be surprised if Bethany would even manage to graduate this year. Megan warned Bethany that her late-night partying could get her into serious trouble, not unlike the poor girl who had been missing since Friday.

Megan used her foot to nudge several stray clothes and mismatched shoes onto the skanky-looking pile of dirty laundry that seemed to be smoldering at the foot of Bethany's unmade bed. Then she liberally sprayed this festering mound with Febreze—her new best friend—and hoped that dirty laundry wasn't combustible. Satisfied that she was keeping the stench at bay, she returned to perusing the classifieds.

She had to get out of here. Whether to escape her raunchy roommate or the fear of some campus criminal, today, she decided, was D-day. D for determination. After slogging around in a slightly depressed slump for the past few weeks, she'd forced herself out of bed first thing this morning and went out to pick up the newspaper. Now Megan was determined to 1) get a job, any job, and 2) move out. And not necessarily in that order. After carefully searching the help-wanted section she had wandered on to the housing ads, which, typical of autumn and the beginning of school, were less than promising. But that one with the "luxurious four bedrooms" caught her eye, and it sounded surprisingly tempting just now. But to send a résumé? Just to rent a room? It seemed a little over the top.

Then again, the house did sound nice. Maybe it would be worth sending her résumé. How much trouble would it be? Just turn on her computer and pull up the doc and print it out. She needed to do this anyway if she was going to apply for those two jobs that she'd highlighted this morning. Easy breezy.

Of course, Megan never liked doing things the easy way. So, after she pulled up her résumé, which she'd edited just two weeks ago, she felt compelled to go over it again thoroughly, tweaking here and there to make sure it appeared impressive enough for this "upscale" and "classic" house that she suddenly felt desperate to inhabit. She imagined herself going to work from a beautiful home where she had a large closet with an organized and well-maintained wardrobe, not to mention a bedroom all to herself, perhaps a master suite? Maybe she would splurge on a bedroom set, even if it was simply from Ikea. And she'd get some cool bedding and bath linens and perhaps an area rug too. It was sounding better by the minute.

After about an hour, she was satisfied, or nearly. She printed out her perfected résumé on pale pink stationery, something she would never do for a job interview because it would look too girly; but she hoped this might get the homeowner's attention. Megan wanted to show this woman that she wasn't just the run-of-the-mill, unemployed college grad. She carefully folded the two pages and placed them in a matching pale pink envelope and, using her best penmanship, addressed it.

Then, not wanting to waste time—it was Saturday and noon was the last mail pickup on this part of campus—Megan hurried out to the mailbox in front of the apartments and slipped it in, pausing to silently ask God to give it his blessing.

"Hey, Megan!" The nasal sound of that voice was familiar—and it seemed there would be no escaping it. Megan turned to see Gwen Phillips, a girl she'd known since middle school, quickly approaching.

"Hi, Gwen," said Megan, forcing a smile.

"I haven't seen you around since graduation," said Gwen as she joined her. "I thought maybe you'd gone home to recover." She laughed. "Or have you moved off campus?"

"No," admitted Megan. She nodded to the dull tan building behind her. "I still live here."

Gwen made a face. "How can you stand that place?"

Megan shrugged. "Actually, I'm thinking about moving out."

"I'm thinking about moving too," said Gwen eagerly. "Especially after hearing about Rebecca Grant being missing now. Her roommate is certain that Rebecca was abducted."

"Do you know her?"

"Not really, but my roommate had a class with her, and she talked to Rebecca's roommate, so it feels like I do."

"It's too bad."

"And it's probably going to turn out just like Amanda LeCroix. Can you believe it was last March that she went missing and they still haven't found her body yet?"

"Her body?" Megan frowned.

"Well, she's obviously been murdered. And who knows what else? Anyway, I don't blame you for wanting to move off campus. I've still got two terms left, but I hate living in a dorm, and it feels totally unsafe. There's absolutely no security whatsoever."

Megan just nodded, trying to think of a way to disengage from Gwen. In fact, all her instincts told her to end this conversation ASAP. But today's morning devotion had included that bothersome little scripture about loving one's enemies. And while Gwen wasn't exactly an enemy per se—she was actually a fellow Christian—Megan did not consider her a friend. In fact, Megan usually went out of her way to avoid this obnoxious girl. She knew it was wrong, maybe even sinful, not to mention totally judgmental on her part, but Megan seriously disliked Gwen Phillips.

It might've started with that time in seventh grade when Gwen publicly disinvited Holly Benson from a sleepover because Gwen declared her "unsaved." Gwen was one of those Christians who thought if the Bible was a "sword," then she should use it to cut other people into little pieces—people who weren't "saved" anyway. Megan didn't have much patience for that sort of thing.

"Anyway, I've been considering moving off campus myself," said Gwen eagerly. "I mean I still want to be close by, but I've been doing some research and I've found that it's kind of slim pickings around here, not to mention spendy. But, hey, Megan, maybe you and I should consider getting something together. Maybe we could find a small house or a condo or—"

"I ... uh ... I've already got something in mind," said Megan quickly.

"What?" Gwen stepped closer and Megan stepped back.

"Well, it was an ad I saw, and I've already applied for it, actually." Okay, that wasn't completely true. But at least her résumé was officially in the mail now.

"Which ad?" Gwen queried doggedly. "Where was the place?"

"Oh, I don't know ... I mean it didn't have an address. Just a house, you know."

"Was it that four-bedroom, the one that sounded pretty shee-shee and uptown and all that?"

Megan shrugged as if she were unsure, although she was in fact not.

"Well, if that's the one, you might as well forget it. It sounds like everyone is trying to get into it. You won't have the slightest chance."

Megan smiled as if it made no difference. "Yeah, you're probably right."

"So you want to look into something with me then?"

Megan glanced at her watch. "Uh, actually, I need to get going. I'm supposed to meet someone right now, Gwen."

"Well, call me," urged Gwen. "You know my cell number, don't you?"

Megan nodded. "Oh, sure. I've got it."

"See ya then."

"Later," said Megan in a forced cheerful voice. "Take care, Gwen!" Then she turned and ran up the steps to the apartment, feeling a mixture of guilt and relief. She hated lying to anyone. But more than that, she couldn't bear to spend another minute with Gwen Phillips!

Still, she felt like she'd wasted her whole morning as she went back into her smelly apartment, kicking a wadded sweatshirt as she walked through the door. Gwen was probably right—Megan probably didn't have the slightest chance of getting into that luxurious house.

She flopped onto her bed and let out a big sigh. She knew that she should get out of this stuffy room, get some fresh air and some fall sunshine—maybe even put on her running shoes and take a jog. But ever since Dad had died ... well, she just wasn't functioning quite like she used to. It was hard to believe that friends had once called her a perennial optimist. Some had even made fun of her—calling her Pollyanna because she could find the bright side of anything. Until this past summer anyway. That's when skepticism had crept in ... when she'd started to change.

Megan's degree was in art education, but she'd almost majored in psychology and consequently knew enough about depression to know that perhaps she was dealing with it now. But Megan also knew that, unlike many unfortunate depression sufferers, she had God. Couldn't God stave off depression for her? For the past few weeks, she'd been reading her Bible daily, which was much better than ever before. Shouldn't that make a difference? But even as she told herself these things, she felt that familiar lump in her throat as tears of frustration gathered inside of her.

"Christians aren't immune to sadness," her good friend Jarred had told her recently. "Trying to pretend that you're not grieving won't make the sadness stop, Megan."

"But it's been weeks," she said. "And I know that Dad's with God. He was a Christian, you know."

"I know." Jarred had put his hand on her shoulder, probably practicing his counseling skills. "But you gotta admit that you still miss him, right?"

She nodded, knowing full well where this was going. Jarred was leading a grief therapy group as part of his master's thesis. More and more, he seemed determined to include her as one of his practice cases.

"Come to my group," he urged. "You'd be a real asset, Megan. There are only a couple of other Christians. We need you there."

"I'll think about it," she'd told him. But that was about all she'd done. She looked at the blue flyer he'd given her. It was still lying on the coffee table where she'd tossed it a couple weeks ago. Now it was partially buried beneath her other roommates' piles of junk mail and a couple of old pizza boxes. According to the flyer, the group met on Saturdays at five. She knew she should go, but she also knew that she wouldn't. And she knew that she should probably go outside and take a walk or a run or get a cup of coffee. But she also knew that she wouldn't. Instead, she went back to her smelly room and pulled down the shades and crawled into her bed. Maybe she would burrow in and stay there until Christmas.


Lelani Porter

"Another girl has gone missing!" exclaimed Lelani's aunt as she pointed to the front page of the newspaper. "That's horrifying! Oh, what is this town coming to anyway?"

"It's too bad," admitted Lelani. "But hopefully she'll turn up."

"That hasn't been the case with the last girl who went missing." Then Aunt Caroline told Lelani about another college girl who everyone suspected had been murdered.

"Oh," Lelani shook her head. "That's so sad." Then she held up the classifieds section, hoping to distract her aunt. "Listen to this," she said quickly. "Three female housemates wanted to share luxurious four-bedroom residence in upscale urban neighborhood. Classic historic house within walking distance of downtown, campus, and shopping. No smokers, no drugs, no pets. $550 a month includes all utilities. One-year lease, no exceptions. First and last, plus cleaning deposit required. Send résumé to Ms. Weis, PO Box 4721, Herrington Heights."

"You're not considering moving out, are you?"

"Well, maybe."

"Does it give the address of the house?" her aunt asked as she filled Lelani's cup with some aromatic Kona coffee, freshly brewed from what Lelani had brought with her from Hawaii almost a month ago. "It's not on campus, is it?"

"There's no address. Just the PO box." Lelani frowned as she reread the ad. "But they want a résumé. Just to rent a room? What's up with that?"

"I don't know, Lelani. And for that price—was it really $550?—it must be quite a place. I'll bet you could get a one- bedroom apartment for that price."

"Maybe in a nasty part of town."

"Well, for less than $550 a month, I'd make Daniel move in with his little sisters and you could stay in his room and pay me rent."


Excerpted from i heart bloomberg by Melody Carlson. Copyright © 2008 Melody Carlson. Excerpted by permission of David C. Cook.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Over the years, Melody Carlson has worn many hats, from pre-school teacher to youth counselor to political activist to senior editor. But most of all, she loves to write! Melody has published more than ninety books for children, teens, and adults—with sales totaling more than two million and many titles appearing on the ECPA Bestsellers List. She lives in Central Oregon with her husband and chocolate lab retriever. They enjoy skiing, hiking, gardening, camping, and biking in the beautiful Cascade Mountains.

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I Heart Bloomberg 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 25 reviews.
Linda__ More than 1 year ago
Loved it! Just a nice, feel good story - somewhat predictable, but so well done that I loved it anyway. I will watch for more by this author.
Deborah_K More than 1 year ago
I started off this series intending to read just this book for the day, and then ended up reading the entire series in less than 24 hours. It's THAT good, trust me. What I've always enjoyed about Melody Carlson's books is unique and fresh and just keeps you wanting more. While her stories may have Christian characters and do have faith elements sprinkled throughout, they are not preachy nor fall into the stereotypical Christian fiction trap. I think what I liked best about this book was that I could totally relate to the main characters (well 3 out of 4). They are all the same age as me and are in the same stage of life as I'm in. It wasn't that long ago that I was in the same situation concerning job and trying to find a place to live on my own. I enjoyed reading about their adventures and getting to know them. Megan, Anna and Lelani are three different girls with very distinct personalities yet they all blend very well together. They get along almost immediately from the start yet it's not fake friendships. They have a take charge attitude and since they are also businesswomen they are able to negotiate and make deals when needed. I also appreciated the diversity of the cast. It's refreshing to see this in Christian fiction and Melody is one of the key contributors to that. The romance in this book is light and not really a main factor but there's just enough to keep things interesting. Kendall, on the other hand, completely turned me off from the start. I know I shouldn't be judgmental on someone because of their looks but right from the moment Kendall was described I didn't like her. Then her attitude, actions and personality just validated my I wanted to slap Kendall so bad while reading this book. She was one of the most stuck up, spoiled, lazy, clueless person I have read in a book. Honestly, I had to put down the book and scream during certain scenes. She is the type of character that would fit right at home on a show like The Hills or just be paparazzi fodder. She just annoyed me so much that I just wanted her to be gone. Since I have read the other books in the series that she does change but it's a long and slow process Overall I really enjoyed this book. They are perfect for the twenty something group but even if you aren't that age, you'll enjoy the story. The relationship between each girl and her mother plays a key role throughout the entire series and in this book you begin to see glimpses of how each girl is shaped because of her mother. It's a fun, light quick read and once you start this book you're going to want to read the other so be sure to have the rest of the series on hand! This book is probably one of my favorite chick lit series of the year. HIGHLY recommended.
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Please help us spread the word of God to all nook users!! If ur interested please go to "revival for god" result one!!! Jesus loves u....†††
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A good easy read, I enjoyed it very much.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed the story, it was a good easy read. Would have liked an ending that went just a little farther with the story.
bookloverJC More than 1 year ago
It was an okay book. Maybe the sequels are better and tie it all together, but I wasn't impressed enough with this book to buy the sequels. Didn't care much for some of the characters or their interaction with each other.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
this was a good book for a lazy weekend.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of those books to read on a lazy afternoon. The characters were fairly well developed and I enjoyed the story line, but the plot ended without resolution. There were hints of suspense that never developed. It would be less of a let down if the author would go back and finish the story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
fun story
lcmitsu More than 1 year ago
Melody Carlson is my favorite author and this book was no exception to her excellence in writing.
Marilyn65 More than 1 year ago
An interesting twist on the plot. I enjoyed the book very much.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was a fun read.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I could not get into this book. I hate spoiled, entitled brats, and this was filled with them. The whole "Christian" thing was unnecessary and did nothing for the plot...if that aspect was not there, it would not be missed. Unlikable characters, mundane drama...not for me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed getting to know all 4 characters and reading how they got to know each other. I read the book in 1 day and I look forward to reading the next book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. I read it in 2 days because I wanted to hurry and find out what would happen next. I wil most deff get the other books. But, the ending seemed to end to fast, like it was rushed. Other than that LOVED it!!!
kchikka More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. I finished it in 2 days because I couldn't wait to see what was going to happen to the girls next. Can't wait to read the other two in this series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
harstan More than 1 year ago
Half-Hawaiian Lelani Porter, white Christian Megan Abernathy and Hispanic Anna Mendez are thinking of renting rooms at 86 Bloomberg Place. However, each expected a 'luxurious' house based on the advertisement of owner Kendall Weis, but 86 Bloomberg Place is more a fixer upper. Kendall barters with them and they agree to rent when she reduces their rent in return for helping renovate the home. --- Kendall turns out to be a lunatic with enough issues to fill an abnormal psychology class. The three renters consider moving out, but each decides to remain for now as their previous arrangements remain a motivation to stay and they even pledge to be nice to their neurotic landlady. --- The concept is fascinating as each of the four females has strong reasons to make their arrangement at 86 Bloomberg Place work. The characters are solid and seem fully developed although Kendall¿s psychological issues are overwhelming as there are too many for the audience (or the renters) to cope with. Still the story line is fun to follow as relationships begin to form, but the climax is abrupt and nothing important resolved as if this opening tale was to introduce the cast to the audience while affirming the importance of friendship. --- Harriet Klausner