The Trouble with Weddings (Holly's Heart Series #4)by Beverly Lewis
Book 4 of Holly's Heart. Holly's determined to make this wedding unforgettable! Holly's mother is getting married, and Holly can't wait to help plan the perfect wedding�but their ideas couldn't be more different. When Holly's mom starts making "boring" plans, Holly pleads to have control over one thing: finding the perfect bridesmaid dress. How can you go wrong with… See more details below
Book 4 of Holly's Heart. Holly's determined to make this wedding unforgettable! Holly's mother is getting married, and Holly can't wait to help plan the perfect wedding�but their ideas couldn't be more different. When Holly's mom starts making "boring" plans, Holly pleads to have control over one thing: finding the perfect bridesmaid dress. How can you go wrong with a purple satin gown? And when Goofey, the family cat, is led down the aisle on a leash, Holly realizes this wedding is turning into a hilarious�and embarrassing�situation! Meanwhile, Holly has had it with preachy Danny Myers, her first "boyfriend." So when Holly's first crush, Jared Wilkins, reveals his true feelings for her, how can she believe he's stopped his two-timing ways? With a little bit of time, perhaps a creative test will reveal Jared's reliability.
Read an Excerpt
A bad case of curiosity caused me to tiptoe down the hall to Mom's bedroom. Holding my breath, I listened for the slightest sound of early morning activity. No way would Mom allow my snooping. Not in a zillion years.
My fingers touched the cool doorknob as I glanced over my shoulder, ears straining. All clear. Slowly the door glided open, and I crept into her rose-colored room, neat as always.
Scanning the room, I spotted Mom's latest greeting card from Uncle Jack. The pretty card stood on the antique pine dresser beside the lamp. I reached for it, a twinge of guilt tickling my conscience.
Pink rosebuds danced around the edges of the romantic card. Dying of curiosity, I turned to the inside. Just as I thought. The note at the bottom confirmed my suspicions. I read the words I'm counting the hours till I see you again, Susan. Love, Jack. A red ink heart twinkled up at me. Uncle Jack was no artist, but the happy face in the middle said it all: Jack Patterson was in love with my mom!
Creak! The steps! My heart pounded as I put the card down on the doily near the ceramic lamp. I crept to the door and peeked through the crack. Mom had reached the top step and was making the turn into the hallway leading to her room.
I stepped backward, away from the door, darting here and there searching for a hiding place. But where to hide? In a flash I scampered into Mom's walk-in closet. I spied her huge clothes hamper. She'll never find me here, I thought.
Then, slithering inside, I yanked the dirty clothes out from under me and covered myself with them as I waited, listening.
"Holly-Heart! Time to get up for school,"Mom called at my door, halfway down the hall. Lucky for me I'd left my bedroom door shut. Even if I didn't answer, she wouldn't call me again, at least not for a while.
I could hear her soft footsteps on the carpet as she approached her room. Inside, she hummed, swooshing the curtains aside. She's in some fabulous mood today, I thought, secretly congratulating myself for finding the perfect hiding place.
One of Mom's pet peeves was nosy people. She wouldn't be singing now if she discovered me snooping. I could almost see her, wearing one of her many wool skirts with a sweater or blouse to match, her shoulder-length blond hair swept up or back, away from her face. She was probably settling down for her devotions about now. I could almost hear the pages of her Bible turning as she found the verses for the day.
Mom loved her morning quiet time. It felt good to know she took time to spend with God before going to work at the law firm where she was a paralegal. It hadn't always been that way, though. But now all of us were Christians. All except Daddy ... and his new wife.
Good thing there were tiny slats in the side of the hamper, or I'd be suffocating by now. My legs were scrunched. How much longer? Sooner or later Mom would be wondering why I wasn't up and in the shower.
Br-r-ing! I jumped as Mom answered the phone. Lifting the lid, I eavesdropped. Mom would freak out for sure if she knew I was here.
"Good morning, Jack," Mom cooed.
In spite of the pain of being hampered in like this, I grinned. Things were perfect. Mom was dating my favorite living relative. His former wife, my aunt Marla, had been Daddy's sister. She used to be my all-time favorite relative, but she'd died of cancer last February, three days before my thirteenth birthday. It was a nightmare for all of us ... as bad as when Daddy divorced Mom.
Last month Uncle Jack surprised us when he moved his consulting business from Pennsylvania to Dressel Hills, our ski resort town in the middle of the Colorado Rockies. Best of all, Stan, Phil, Mark, and little Stephieour cousinswere only a few blocks away. And Mom was happier than ever. Well, at least as happy as when Daddy lived here.
"Tonight?" I heard Mom say. "I'll ask Holly first, but I'm sure she won't mind."
Mind what? I closed the hamper lid silently. My knees were frozen now, my neck stiff. If I didn't get out of here soon, I'd be late for school. I could almost see the principal shaking his head in disgust. No way would he buy the trapped-in-the-hamper story.
"Holly!" Now my little sister, Carrie, was calling me. "Wake up," she said, pounding on my bedroom door.
I gasped. This has to be the dumbest thing I've ever done.
"Mommy, Holly's still asleep," she said, coming so close I could hear her shrieking Mom's name inches from me.
"Just a minute, Carrie," Mom said. "I'm on the phone."
"But I can't find Goofey anywhere," she whined like a typical eight-year-old. "He's nowhere."
"I'm sure he's around somewhere," Mom said.
Carrie stomped down the hall calling, "Here kitty, kitty."
Scr-i-tch, scr-a-tch! Something was clawing the outside of the hamper. "Meow!" It was Goofey. He must have followed me in here. My heart sank. I'm doomed, I thought, crouching down even farther and covering myself with soiled laundry.
I heard Mom place the phone in its cradle. "Carrie, dear," she said as she headed toward the walk-in closet ... and me. "I think Goofey's in here, in my closet." She opened the door.
I held my breath. I'll never snoop again, Lord. I promise. Just please get me out of this mess!
Scr-a-a-tch! Goofey was pawing harder at the hamper.
"There's nothing to eat in there," Mom was telling our cat. Her knees cracked as she bent down to pick him up. "Here, I'll show you," she said, lifting the hamper lid.
After school I hurried to the gym. A line of girls was already ahead of me. Most of them had played volleyball last year in seventh grade. Danny had warned me that the competition would be stiff, but now it hit me hard. My throat turned as dry as cotton, so I darted to the drinking fountain.
Kayla Miller was there, too, getting a drink. Her twin sister, Paula, stood in the line waiting for tryouts. "I think I'm going to throw up," Kayla said, holding her stomach and looking pale.
"What's wrong?" I asked, convinced she could be sick by the expression on her face.
"Just nervous, I guess," she said. "I have to make this team."
"You made the team back East, didn't you?" Paula and Kayla's family had moved here from Pennsylvania last spring.
She nodded, her ponytail bobbing up and down.
"Then you shouldn't have anything to worry about."
She smiled faintly. "Hope so."
"Well, I've gotta run." I sprinted to the locker room, where I pulled on green shorts and a white top. Last year these shorts had haunted me with their ridiculously wide legs. Now, as I viewed them in the mirror, they almost fit. At last my scrawny legs were acquiring a shape. At long last.
The new coach, Miss Tucker, stood in the middle of the gym floor, blowing her whistle. I ran my hand over my right leg. Smooth. Andie had saved the day. She showed up just then with Danny Myers and Billy Hill. Billy was as cool as a guy gets. He'd helped me play a trick on Andie at my birthday party last February. Now he was her latest heartthrob and one of Danny's best friends. I waved them over to my side of the gym.
Danny lit up when he saw me. "How's the competition?" He leaned against the wall beside me.
"Like you said, lots of it."
"But you're ready, Holly." He flashed a smile at me. He was right. I was ready and had been for weeks. All those summer practice sessions with Danny had paid off.
Kayla Miller was called first. I watched her serve like a pro. I swallowed hard, nervous, as she did her thing on the court. And she'd felt like throwing up?
Danny must've sensed my insecurity because he turned to me and whispered, "Never forget, you're an amazing athlete. You really are, Holly."
Jared Wilkins wandered over. Something about the bounce in his stepand his crazy, fun-loving waysstill attracted me even though I hung out mostly with Danny now. I wished my heart would stop beating so wildly every time my first crush showed up.
"Hey, Holly. Good luck out there." Jared's blue eyes twinkled another message, too. I wasn't sure what.
"Thanks," I said, looking up at Danny's face, wondering if he'd noticed Jared's subtle flirting.
"Excuse me a second," Danny said, heading for the rest room.
Instantly, Jared came over and took Danny's place beside me. "You're a hard one to track down these days," he said.
I wasn't sure what that meant. But then Jared wasn't the easiest guy in the world to figure out. It was one of the things I liked about him. I pushed a stray strand of hair back into my braid. "I've been right here in the gym ever since school got out today."
"I don't see you around much anymore." He leaned closer to me.
"Well ..." I blushed. "Danny's been helping me get ready for the tryouts, if that's what you mean."
He arched his eyebrows. "Hanging out with Danny?"
"Well, I guess you could say that. Ever since September sixth at 7:15 p.m.," I announced, remembering when I'd answered Danny's very special question in a letter.
"Really? That long?"
Danny was back, and he slipped in between Jared and me. "Wait'll you see Holly do her stuff out on the court," he bragged to Jared.
Jared nodded, then he winked when Danny looked the other way. I blushed again. A girl doesn't easily forget her first big crush, even if he did turn out to be a rotten flirt.
The whistle blew, its shrill sound echoing off the walls. "Holly Meredith," called the coach.
I sucked air in too fast and almost choked.
"Remember Philippians 4:13, Holly. You can do everything through Him who gives you strength," Danny reminded me.
I smiled and headed toward middle court.
Andie shot me her famous thumbs-up. "Go for it, girl."
No matter what, I promised myself I'd keep my cool. And I did. Setting up, spiking, bumping the ballI was wired for this moment. Next I showed off my serve. After three good ones in a row, Miss Tucker asked me to put a spin on the next serve. And I did it!
Thank goodness Danny had insisted I drill this. I could hear his voice above the crowd. "Yes! Keep it up, Holly!"
Coach Tucker pulled me over after the rotation and patted me on the back. "Meredith, you're really good." She lowered her voice. "Be ready to show up for practice tomorrow ... three o'clock sharp." I wanted to hug her, but thanked her instead. It sounded like I'd made the team.
Miss Tucker blew her whistle. "Stan!" she called to him across the gym. "Cover for me just a second."
A tall blond boy emerged from the crowdmy cousin! "Good show, cuz," Stan said, shuffling the pages on his clipboard. "A little rough around the edges, but not bad."
I leaned over and pulled up my socks. "What're you doing here?"
"Didn't you hear? I'm the student manager for the girls' B team."
"Just great," I muttered as I walked off the court, away from him.
Andie yelled to me from the sidelines. "Holly, you were amazing!"
Danny, standing beside her, beamed his approval.
"Coach hinted that I made the team," I said. Excited, my friends gathered around. Andie did a little jig before she hugged me, and Billy gave me a high five. Jared congratulated me next, but his smile faded a bit when Danny moved in beside me. Was he jealous?
After everyone left, Danny went to get his jacket on the bleachers. "I'll call you tonight," he said, heading for the door.
"Okay. Thanks again for your help."
Danny nodded, turning around. Then he stared at me. Well, not really stared, just looked terribly pleased.
My heart skipped a beat as he waved good-bye.
The Trouble with Weddings (HOLLY'S HEART) by Beverly Lewis
Copyright � 2001, Author
Published by Bethany House Publishers
Used by permission. Unauthorized duplication prohibited.