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Excerpt - SO NOT HAPPENING by Jenny B. Jones

Today's Wild Card author is:





and the book:



So Not Happening (The Charmed Life)

Thomas Nelson (May 5, 2009)


New York's social darling Isabella Kirkwood just woke up in a nightmare: Oklahoma. Problem is, it's right where God wants her.

Bella Kirkwood had it all: A-list friends at her prestigious private school, Broadway in her backyard, and Daddy's MasterCard in her wallet. Then her father, a plastic surgeon to the stars, decided to trade her mother in for a newer model.

When Bella's mom falls in love with a man she met on the Internet--a factory worker with two bratty sons--Bella has to pack up and move in with her new family in Truman, Oklahoma. On a farm no less!

Forced to trade her uber-trendy NYC lifestyle for her down-home charm, Bella feels like a pair of Rock & Republic jeans in a sea of Wranglers.

At least some of the people in her new high school are pretty cool. Especially the hunky football player who invites her to lunch. And maybe even the annoying--but kinda hot--editor of the school newspaper.

But before long, Bella smells something rotten in the town of Truman, and it's not just the cow pasture. With her savvy reporter's instincts, she is determined to find the story behind all the secrets.

How can a girl go on when her charmed life is gone and God appears to be giving her the total smackdown?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:








Jenny B. Jones writes adult and YA Christian Fiction with equal parts wit, sass, and untamed hilarity. When she's not writing, she's living it up as a high school speech teacher in Arkansas.





Visit the author's website.







Product Details:



List Price: $12.99

Reading level: Young Adult

Paperback: 352 pages

Publisher: Thomas Nelson (May 5, 2009)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 1595545417

ISBN-13: 978-1595545411



AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:





One year ago my mom got traded in for a newer model.



And that’s when my life fell apart.



“Do you, Jillian Leigh Kirkwood . . .”



Standing by my mother’s side as she marries the man who is so not my dad, I suppress a sigh and try to wiggle my toes in these hideous shoes. The hideous shoes that match my hideous maid-of honor dress. I like to look at things on the bright side, but the only



positive thing about this frock is that I’ll never have to wear it again.



“. . . take Jacob Ralph Finley . . .”



Ralph? My new stepdad’s middle name is Ralph? Okay, do we need one more red flag here? My mom is marrying this guy, and I didn’t even know his middle name. Did she? I check her face for signs of revulsion, signs of doubt. Signs of “Hey, what am I thinking? I don’t want Jacob Ralph Finley to be my daughter’s new stepdad.”



I see none of these things twinkling in my mom’s crystal blue eyes. Only joy. Disgusting, unstoppable joy.



“Does anyone have an objection?” The pastor smiles and scans the small crowd in the Tulsa Fellowship Church. “Let him speak now or forever hold his peace.”



Oh my gosh. I totally object! I look to my right and lock eyes with Logan, the older of my two soon-to-be stepbrothers. In the six hours that I have been in Oklahoma preparing for this “blessed” event, Logan and I have not said five words to one another. Like we’ve mutually agreed to be enemies.



I stare him down.



His eyes laser into mine.



Do we dare?



He gives a slight nod, and my heart triples in beat.



“Then by the powers vested in me before God and the family and friends of—”



“No!”



The church gasps.



I throw my hands over my mouth, wishing the floor would swallow me.



I, Bella Kirkwood, just stopped my own mother’s wedding.



And I have no idea where to go from here. It’s not like I do this every day, okay? Can’t say I’ve stopped a lot of weddings in my sixteen years.



My mom swivels around, her big white dress making crunchy noises. She takes a step closer to me, still flashing her pearly veneers at the small crowd.



“What,” she hisses near my ear, “are you doing?”



I glance at Logan, whose red locks hang like a shade over his eyes. He nods again.



“Um . . . um . . . Mom, I haven’t had a chance to talk to you at all this week . . .” My voice is a tiny whisper. Sweat beads on my forehead.



“Honey, now is not exactly the best time to share our feelings and catch up.”



My eyes dart across the sanctuary, where one hundred and fifty people are perched on the edge of their seats. And it’s not because they’re anxious for the chicken platters coming their way after the ceremony.



“Mom, the dude’s middle name is Ralph.”



She leans in, and we’re nose to nose. “You just stopped my wedding and that’s what you wanted to tell me?”



Faint—that’s what I’ll do next time I need to halt a wedding.



“How well do you know Jake? You only met six months ago.”



Some of the heat leaves her expression. “I’ve known him long enough to know that I love him, Bella. I knew it immediately.”



“But what if you’re wrong?” I rush on, “I mean, I’ve only been around him a few times, and I’m not so sure. He could be a serial killer for all we know.” I can count on one hand the times I’ve been around Jake. My mom usually visited him when I was at my dad’s.



Her voice is low and hurried. “I understand this isn’t easy for you. But our lives have changed. It’s going to be an adventure, Bel.”



Adventure? You call meeting a man on the Internet and forcing me to move across the country to live with his family an adventure? An adventure is swimming with dolphins in the Caribbean. An adventure is touring the pyramids in Egypt. Or shopping at the Saks after-Thanksgiving sale with Dad’s credit card. This, I do believe, qualifies as a nightmare!



“You know I’ve prayed about this. Jake and I both have. We know this is God’s will for us. I need you to trust me, because I’ve never been more sure about anything in my life.”



A single tear glides down Mom’s cheek, and I feel my heart constrict. This time last year my life was so normal. So happy. Can I just hit the reverse button and go back?



Slowly I nod. “Okay, Mom.” It’s kind of hard to argue with “God says this is right.” (Though I happen to think He’s wrong.)



The preacher clears his throat and lifts a bushy black brow.



“You can continue,” I say, knowing I’ve lost the battle. “She had something in her teeth.” Yes, that’s the best I've got.



I. Am. An. Idiot.



“And now, by the powers vested in me, I now pronounce you Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Finley. You may kiss your bride.”



Nope. Can’t watch.



I turn my head as the “Wedding March” starts. Logan walks to my side, and I link my arm in his. Though we’re both going to be juniors, he’s a head taller than me. It’s like we’re steptwins. He grabs his six-year-old brother, Robbie, with his other hand, and off we go



in time to the music. Robbie throws rose petals all around us, giggling with glee, oblivious to the fact that we just witnessed a ceremony marking the end of life as we know it.



“Good job stopping the wedding.” Logan smirks. “Very successful.”



I jab my elbow into his side. “At least I tried! You did nothing!”



“I just wanted to see if you had it in you. And you don’t.”



I snarl in his direction as the camera flashes, capturing this day for all eternity.



Last week I was living in Manhattan in a two-story apartment between Sarah Jessica Parker and Katie Couric. I could hop a train to Macy’s and Bloomie’s. My friends and I could eat dinner at Tao and see who could count the most celebs. I had Broadway in my backyard



and Daddy’s MasterCard in my wallet.



Then my mom got married.



And I got a new life.



I should’ve paid that six-year-old to pull the fire alarm.

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