Sneak Peek of So Over My Head

Omigosh, are the Oscar's over yet? Longest, most boring awards show in history. I couldn't even stick it out and just gave up. I think no matter who hosts, there should always be a Billy Crystal-like montage. And there should always be live performances of the Oscar nominated songs peppered throughout. And they should make more of it “awards given earlier include…”  I mean, do we care about the award for Best Digital Short Starring Monkeys, One Cast Member From 90210 and Your Russian Grandmother?  No. We don't.

Also I was really sad that Meryl Streep didn't win best actress. I LOVED, loved, loved Blindside. One of my favorite movies of 2009. And Sandra Bullock is one of my most favorite actresses, if not the favorite actress. How could I not love the queen of rom-coms? But Meryl Streep in Juile and Julia was acting on a level I'd never seen. I mean the woman is brilliant, and I didn't even love the movie. She became Julia Child. So I think she got robbed. But I was super excited for Mo'Nique. I couldn't watch Precious because I had a feeling it would be like reading The Lovely Bones–powerful but giving me everlasting ickiness. But that woman is a great success story. And she's not typical Hollywood. Yet.

Anyway, I had a weekend full of sunshine, and it was fabulous! I am officially over winter. Bring on spring.

Let us do a contest, shall we? It's almost time for the Race for the Cure again, which is of course a benefit for the Susan G. Komen “let's nuke breast cancer” foundation. We are all about us some Race for the Cure in my family and circle of friends, so it's a big deal. Last year we brought home the invisible gold for best t-shirts with our Boob Warriors shirts, created by me and my friend Snow Loving  Holly.
komen pic
The shirts say Boob Warriors: Big or Small, We Save Them All.

And the shirts were the hit of the race. Seriously, I haven't been that popular since I gave everyone at my high school ten bucks to vote for me for prom queen. So we really need to maintain our high level of t-shirt awesomeness. This is where you come in. To be entered to win a copy of So Over My Head (when it comes out May 4th), just leave a comment in which you give me ideas for our t-shirts. For each idea, you get your name in the hat one time. I have a few ideas I'm working on, but I don't feel that peace about them yet. That peace of the Lord that says, “This is boobtastic.” So dig deep into your WonderBras and throw us some clever ideas. You have until Thursday night before the first kiss in a lab room on Grey's Anatomy. Winner will be announced Friday. In fact, let's do two winners. I'll pick the one I like the best. And then I'll do a random drawing as well. Then it's all fair and square.

As mentioned, So Over My Head will be out May 4th, give or take a day (or week).  That's a question I've gotten a lot via email. So soon–the book will be out soon. I thought I would share some chapters this week. Here's a brief rundown of the story.

Newly single, stalked by a killer, and in desperate need of some chic clown shoes, Bella is one mocha frapp away from a total meltdown.

When the Fritz Family Carnival makes its annual appearance in Truman, Bella’s keen reporter instincts tell her the bright lights hide more than they reveal. Her suspicions are confirmed when one of the stars is murdered. Though the police make an immediate arrest, Bella doubts this case is quite that simple.

She needs her crime-solving boyfriend Luke more than ever, but his ex has moved back to town, giving Bella some murderous thoughts of her own. Then again, there’s no time for a relationship crisis when Bella's doing her best to derail her father's wedding  while staying one step ahead of a killer.

Is God sending her a message in all of this madness? With a murderer on the loose and her boyfriend's ex on the prowl, this undercover clown has never had more to juggle–or more at risk.

And now…chapter uno.

Chapter One

 

If my love life was the knife toss at a circus, I’d have Luke Sullivan speared to the wall with an apple in his mouth.

“Ladies and gentlemen! The Fritz Family welcomes you to the greatest show on earth!” A man in a top hat stands in the center of a giant tent, his curlicue mustache as delicate as his voice is strong. “Prepare to be amazed. Prepare to be wowed. Allow us to entertain you with sights you’ve never seen, horses whose feats will astound you, and death-defying acrobatics!”

On this first night open to the public, the crowd stands in a swarm of shouts and applause.

I stay seated and jot down some quick notes for the Truman High Tribune. Or at least that’s what I’m pretending to do. In actuality, it’s taking all my energy just to be civil.

“I just don’t see why you had to invite her.”

From his standing position, Luke glances down. “Are we back to that again?”

“You and I are working on the carnival story. Not Ashley.” Ashley Timmons, a new girl who joined the newspaper staff last week, has become my least favorite person on the planet. She’s not quite as awful as those on the top of that list—namely the handful of people who’ve tried to do me bodily harm over the last year. But icky nonetheless. Fresh from Kansas City with her brother, Ashley thinks she’s God’s gift to prose. She’s disgustingly cute, and worst of all, she’s Luke’s ex-girlfriend. She only moved away for two years, but I can tell she’s ready to rekindle anything they used to have. It doesn’t take a keen reporter’s intuition to see that. Just anyone with at least one working eyeball.

“We’ve hung out with them all week, Luke.”

“I haven’t seen Kyle in a long time, and he’ll be leaving soon for college.” Luke searches my face. “I’ve included you in everything. Have you felt left out?”

“No.” I just want her left out. I don’t mind the return of his friend Kyle at all. But where Kyle is . . . there you’ll find his sister. “Tonight isn’t about hanging out with your friend though. He’s not even here. You invited Ashley for the paper.”

“You’ve been ticked at me ever since your last article. But it was weak on verbs and lacked your usual creativity.” He sits down and trains those intense eyes on mine.

“Yeah, and then you proceeded to show me some piece of writing wonderment your new recruit produced.” Ashley came with glowing recommendations from her old journalism teachers. Everyone on our staff thinks she is, like, the greatest thing to writing since the delete key. Everyone but me.

“You know what your problem is, Bella? Number one, you’re jealous and insecure—”

“Of her?” I toss my hair and laugh. “Maybe I just don’t like the way she’s thrown herself at you from the second she stepped into the classroom. I’m not insecure, but I’m also not stupid.”

Luke’s mouth twitches. “I meant insecure of your writing abilities. But now that you mention it, you probably are jealous of my talking to her. That would fit.”

“Fit what?” A band of clowns ride unicycles in the ring, but I don’t even bother to watch.

“It would fit with the Bella Kirkwood pattern.” He lifts a dark brow. “You are completely distrusting of the entire male species. I guess one couldn’t blame you, given your dad’s history and your experience with your ex, but I have no desire to get back with an old girlfriend.”

“This is outrageous. I do not have trust issues with guys! And you know what else?”

“I’m dying to hear more.”

“I think you’re enjoying all the attention from Ashley.” All Luke and I have done is fight lately. While digging into other people’s business might be my spiritual gift, I’m beginning to think arguing comes second.

“Ever since we’ve been together, you’ve balked at my every comment in journalism. You can’t stand to be criticized—even when it’s for your own good. And”—his blue eyes flash—“you’re just waiting for me to cheat on you like Hunter. You think I don’t see that?”

Hunter would be my ex-boyfriend from Manhattan. This past fall I caught him doing the tongue tango with my former best friend Mia. And then not too long ago I considered getting back with him. He swept me up with this new version of Hunter Penbrook, told me he had started going to church, said all the right things, bought me coffee. It’s a little hard to resist a cute guy bearing a mocha latte with extra whip, you know? Luckily, at prom two weeks ago I saw the light and let that rotten fish off my hook.

“I’m not worried about you cheating on me, Luke. I’m tired of you bossing me around and acting all ‘I’m in charge.’”

“I am in charge. I’m the editor.”

“Not of our relationship.”

“I’m back!” Ashley chooses that very moment to flounce back to her seat. “I got you a cotton candy.” She hands the pink confection to Luke. “Bella, I figured you’re like most girls and need to watch your weight, so I didn’t get you anything. What’d I miss?”

Luke holds me down with his arm. “Don’t even think about it,” he whispers.

The crowd oohs and ahhhs as the Amazing Alfredo begins juggling two long silver swords. I applaud politely when he pulls a third one out of his hat and tosses it into the air with the rest. I’d hate to think where that sword was really hiding.

Like a distant relative, the Fritz Family Carnival comes to Truman, Oklahoma, every April and sets up camp on land that, I’m told, goes way back in the Fritz genealogy. They stay at least a month—working on additional routines, training new employees, giving the local elementary teachers a nice afternoon field trip—and don’t leave until they can ride out bigger and better than the year before. And while that might be odd, it’s nothing compared to the fact that I’m sitting on the bleachers between my boyfriend and a girl who has been openly flirting with him. This is a chick who needs to learn some boundaries.

“Bella, Luke said you might need some help with your article.”

He holds up a hand. “I just thought it would be interesting to get our three perspectives. Bella will still handle the interviews.”

“It’s been so great to work with you again, Luke.” Ashley’s smile could charm the shirt off Robert Pattinson. “Just like old times, huh?” Her eyes gaze into his. Like I’m not even there. “Kyle’s really enjoyed hanging out. Too bad he had a study session tonight.”

Luke leans close, his mouth poised near my ear. “Just because we’re dating doesn’t mean I’m going to slack off on your writing. You’re still a staff member. And you know I do not boss you around any other time. I have been nothing but respectful to you.” He returns his attention to the ring. “Did you write down the fat lady’s stats?”

“Of course I did.” I scribble something illegible on my paper. No, I didn’t get her stats. I’m too busy fighting.

“She’s seven hundred and twenty-nine pounds, in case you missed it,” Ashley chirps.

“Thanks.” Lord, help me be kind to this girl.

“You always act like I can’t handle the writing assignments,” I whisper for Luke’s ears only. “I think I have more than proven I can. Not only can I write, but I can crank out some award-winning writing while crime solving.”

After I moved to Truman, I accidentally became the Nancy Drew of Oklahoma. Now that I’m known for my mystery solving skills, friends and strangers want me to help them out. Just last week I tracked down a stolen iPhone and did a little spying for a suspicious girlfriend who thought her boyfriend Buster was cheating. It’s true he hadn’t been going to football practice like he said; I found him at Margie Peacock’s School of Ballet, lined up on the bar doing pirouettes and high kicks. I hear he makes a heck of a swan in Margie’s recital.

“I’m not doubting your writing skills.” Luke claps as the magician leaves, and Betty the Bearded Lady bows before starting her performance.

I’m transfixed by the hair on her face, and it suddenly makes me feel a whole lot less self-conscious about the fact that I didn’t shave my legs last night. The audience claps in time to the spirited music as the woman’s collie jumps through her hula hoop then dances to the beat on its hind legs.

I shoot a pointed look at his old flame. “Let’s talk about this later.”

Ashley reaches around me and puts her hand on Luke’s knee. “I forgot—I have my latest assignment on my laptop in the car. You told me to spice up my verbs, and I revised it. I wanted you to look at it.” She returns to clapping for the Bearded Lady.

“Yes, Luke. She wants you to check out her spicy verbs.

“At least she takes constructive criticism well.” His voice is just low enough for me to hear.

“That girl wants you back. Period.”

“I’m not Hunter. And I’m not your dad.”

“I have to go interview Betty the Bearded Lady.” And I stomp down the bleachers to find her trailer outside. When I glance back, Ashley has scooted down.

And taken my place.

*******

That's all for now! Stay tuned for more. And don't forget to leave me your Race for the Cure t-shirt slogan ideas! Winners announced Friday.

Have a great week-

JEN

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 23 comments
Katie P. - March 8, 2010

Pretty in Pink!

Race for a Cure

(Not very fancy, sorry!)

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Lydia Christian - March 8, 2010

FIGHT FOR THE CURE
let’s kick some boobty (like booty because I felt like I needed to explain)
it’s a little cheesy I know:-)

Reply
Em - March 8, 2010

I hope this doesn’t sound too vulgar, but I got the idea from my 12-year old sister…

No Lumps on our Bumps!
or
No Cooties on our Boobies!

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Lindsay - March 9, 2010

Busting our butts to save some boobs…I don’t know..

We like bras, so let’s save boobs…ok maybe that’s kind of wierd

P.S. So Over My Head sounds really good!!!

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Erin - March 9, 2010

I’m sorry I don’t have any ideas for the t-shirts, but I do have something far less interesting to say. On the summary of So Over My Head, it says Bella is ‘newly single,’ but she’s dating Luke. Just in case anyone cares…:)

Reply
Jae - March 9, 2010

Yeah, that confused me too!
I’m brainstorming, but I doubt that I’ll be able to come up with anything.
And I can’t wait until So Over My Head! 😀

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Kaitlin Jones - March 10, 2010

alright, you asked for slogans get a load of these:

-Say “Ta-Ta” to cancer

-These Girls Just wanna have Fun

-Busting Butts for Busts.. get it?

okay thats all i got, please enter me in thedrawing! can’t wait for the book to come out!

Reply
Cara - March 10, 2010

The Booby Prize: Race for the Cure

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Amy - March 10, 2010

Our boobs won’t settle for rip-offs. Race for the cure!

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Amy - March 11, 2010

I thought of a few more…
-Don’t be a n00b! Let’s save some boob!
-Baby, can’t you see? My boobs belong with me.
-No rests for these breasts! I’m racing for the cure!

😛

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Suzanne Schaffer - March 11, 2010

“These boobs were made for walking”

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Rachael - March 11, 2010

First off, I just finished I’m So Sure, and you’re an awesome writer! I loved the Katie Parker books, but I think I’m enjoying the Bella series even more. I brought I’m So Sure home from the library and didn’t leave my room till an hour and a half later, when I was finished with it!

And as for your new slogan….I love Suzanne’s idea! Hmmm…”Help us save our boobty, it’s all in the chest!” like…pirate booty…in a treasure chest…something along those lines…I dunno…
“Be BRA-ave and help us save: Boobs!” Haha…umm…no.

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Sharon B. - March 12, 2010

-Pink for Life!
-Use Pink to Sink Cancer
-Fight for a Cure
-Run to Save a Life

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Dejuanna - March 12, 2010

“Save the Ta Ta’s!” from my daughter’s male high school friend. (I doubt that’s very original.)

From me:

Run for Her Life!

Healthy Breasts in Every Chest!

BUST A MOVE FOR CANCER FREE BUSTS!

BUST A MOVE AGAINST CANCER
BUST A MOVE
BUST A
(Sorry. . . got carried away.)

BOOBS ARE BEAUTIFUL! (AS ARE THE HEARTS OF THE WOMEN BEHIND THEM – RACE FOR THE CURE!)

PRESERVING THE LIFE OF BEAUTY, TWO AT A TIME!

SO THE LEFT BOOB SAID TO THE RIGHT BOOB, “MOVE IT FOR CANCER, SISTER!”

BOUNCIN’ HIGH TO WIPE OUT BREAST CANCER!

I’m the mother of two daughters, and though I’ve not known anyone with breast cancer, I did lose a mother, aunt, grandmother and sister to other kinds of cancer. I’ll applaud every effort to wipe out all forms of these horrible diseases.

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Jenny B. Jones - March 12, 2010

Dejuanna, great suggestions! LOVE the “so the left boob said to the right boob…” So sorry cancer has robbed you of so many family members.

Sharon, Katie, Cara, Lydia,Lindsay, thanks for the ideas!

Em, cootie references are always funny.
Rachael, so glad you liked the book. That makes my day.

Suzanne, that was TOTALLY one of my ideas!

Kaitlin, loved “these girls just want to have fun.” That’s great.

Amy, I love “don’t be a noob…” That cracks me up.

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Madison - March 14, 2010

Dont be a boob just save one!

Roses are red, violets are blue if you have nothing to do go save a boob!

think of all the poor lonely bra’s if you dont stop breast cancer!

I know all of those our pretty lame but it’s the best I can do in 5 seconds!!

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Haley - March 28, 2010

Don’t have an idea for the t-shirts. But So Over My Head sounds so good!! I am craving for this book. Bella and Luke totally belong together. CAN’T WAIT TILL MAY!!

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julia - April 21, 2010

is there going to be a 4th book?
i mean i know the 3rd one hasn’t come out yet but i lovvvvvvvvvvve this series!!!!!!

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Juliana m. - April 21, 2010

This is my saying thing-ma-bob for the contest thing:

‘C the big picture?’

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Solomia - May 19, 2010

Hey Ican’t wait to read so over my head. It’s the first serious i was actually intrested in my life.Can you believe that?

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Solomia - May 19, 2010

I llllllooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooovvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvveeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee the books

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Solomia - May 19, 2010

I hate my life

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yashica - October 21, 2011

i cant wait to read this book. Just to more days to get my hands on it. hi my name is yashica and im 11 and live in Australia. I love your books and i really hope you write more and make a movie out of the charmed series.I want to be an author maybe when i grow up and ive so far started writng a story in a notebook which is called running for my life.Hopefully when i grow up i write heaps of stories not just one topic and i hope their will be a fourth book in the charmed stories.

Reply

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