The Jinxed BrideTalk about bad bridal juju. Carrie Evans is in Hawaii for a dream getaway wedding--with rain, a missing dress and absent guests. Is there enough Hawaiian magic to turn these nightmarish nuptials into the best day of her life?The Accidental BrideAspiring journalist Trish Avalon has just won a fantasy wedding in Manhattan. But there's a small problem: Trish isn't engaged. Getting to New York is her dream, though, so she'll convince her high school sweetheart to be her groom...just for the week!And the Reluctant BrideDayle Alexander is about to get married, so why isn't she jumping in the aisle? After all, her fiance is stable...unlike her unsettlingly hot business partner, Max Kinnick. But when business takes them to Venice, Dayle realizes she can't have the perfect wedding until Max becomes her perfect groom!
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June 09, 2008
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Excerpt from Destination: Marriage by Jill Marie Landis
"Please fasten your seat belts in preparation for landing. Please remain seated until the captain has unlocked the forward cabin doors and turned off the Fasten Seat Belts sign."
Carrie Evans locked her tray table into position, shifted in her seat and reached up to twist a wayward lock of hair back into the casual upswept knot she'd anchored atop her head with a chopstick. Not just any chopstick--a hand-carved rosewood piece with an enamel design--a new item she was featuring at Time After Time, her upscale, all-things-beautiful eccentricities shop on La Cienega in L.A.
Then she returned to reading a Spirit of Aloha complimentary in-flight magazine article that had caught her eye.
Ho'ailona, she read, was the Hawaiian word for signs and symbols, omens sent from the world of spirits to those discerning enough to recognize that they were far from natural occurrences.
"In Hawaii, it's believed that nature provides signs and omens that sound a warning for danger, misfortune, or trouble ahead on one's intended path."
Signs and omens.
Good thing she didn't believe in such nonsense. If she did, she might see the fact that her fianc�, Kurt Rowland, hadn't been able to make the flight for their wedding trip as a very bad sign.
Tossing the colorful airline magazine into her carry-on bag, she left the comfort of her first-class seat behind and smiled at an exotically lovely Hawaiian flight attendant in the doorway. The young woman's makeup was flawless. She wore a vanda orchid tucked behind her ear and both the flight attendant and the orchid looked as fresh as when they took off from L.A. five hours ago.
Carrie wished she could say the same about herself.
The young woman smiled. "Aloha and welcome to Kauai," she said, handing Carrie a map of the island.
"Thanks." Almost in disbelief, Carrie added, "I'm getting married on Saturday. On the beach. At sunset."
"Congratulations." The flight attendant wished her much happiness.
Southern California seemed light-years away as Carrie stepped out of the jetway and into the air-con-ditioned comfort of the waiting area at the Lihue, Kauai, airport. Exiting the building, she bumped along with the crowd toward the baggage claim, enveloped by the heady scent of plumeria blossoms floating on a blanket of sultry humidity.
Reality hit her as hard as the tropic heat.
I have a wedding to pull off in four days.
A wedding that was taking place two thousand miles from home.
And her groom, who should have been at her side, was still on the other side of the Pacific.
"It's not every day a guy gets the opportunity to be featured on the cover of the Los Angeles Times Sunday magazine," she'd reminded him that afternoon as he drove her to Los Angeles International Airport. She was proud and happy that Kurt been chosen for the honor, far more than she was disappointed that they couldn't be on the same flight.
After years of struggling as an unknown artist, Kurt's bold, primitive work was in high demand, but they were both realistic enough to know that fame was fleeting. However, right now he was hot and the Times article would really put him on the map. His massive creations graced upscale hotel lobbies and corporate offices all over L.A. Even A-list celebrities were commissioning him to work his magic on their mansion walls.
Carrie made her way to the baggage carousel and edged closer, braced to grab her bag as soon as it trundled past.
Ten minutes later, all but four people had exited the baggage claim area and those left behind were beginning to look forlorn. Carrie's suitcase hadn't come tumbling down the chute onto the carousel as expected. It wasn't oversize. It wasn't overweight. She had the claim tag.
But she had no bag.
Just then, her cell phone rang as if on cue. She glanced at the caller ID and smiled when she saw that it was him.
"You made it." He sounded as if he were right beside her and not an ocean away.
She glanced around at the nearly deserted baggage claim area. Across the carousel, some very pale tourists were helping themselves to complimentary Kona coffee from an air pot on a shelf against the far wall.
"The flight was easy. I took a nap, watched Spiderman 3 again and went through my folder of wedding plans. Now, here I am."
"Great. The photographer's assistant promised that he'd take care of getting me on the very next plane to Kauai. I'll catch the red-eye and meet you in the morning. Have some champagne on ice and we'll have mimosas and breakfast in bed."
"That sounds fabulous. There's only one little hitch. My bag is missing." She glanced at the ramp that was no longer spewing luggage.
"It'll show up." Kurt's optimism was one of the things she loved most about him.
"I know." She glanced around the baggage claim area. It was only March, but Kauai was extremely hot and muggy. Her parents didn't do hot and muggy well. "I'm beginning to wonder if this was such a good idea after all," she mused aloud.