Heather Gray

Flawed...but loved anyway.

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Wordy Wednesday

Welcome to Wordy Wednesday!  Share an excerpt fewer than 500 words from your family friendly book in the comments below.  Be sure to include the title and one buy link.  Then go spread the word about this post so even more people will find it.

Happy reading (and writing)!!

Here's a look at An Informal Affairwhich can be found in the Love at First Laugh box set,

Their waitress arrived and gave him a pointed look. He obliged with his order. “Double bacon cheeseburger, extra bacon on the side, please.”

The waitress turned her attention to Lia, who worked to keep her voice even as she ordered. Nothing was wrong with her order, but compared to Maverick’s… “Garden salad, dressing on the side.”

As soon as the waitress left, Maverick balled up a napkin and threw it at her. “Come on. You’re still upset about that?”

Two weeks ago, she’d met one of her online matches for a first date. Upon seeing her, he’d looked her up and down then smirked. “Your profile didn’t say plus-size.” That one still smarted. She’s already been struggling with her body image as bad date after bad date had piled up, but that one… She didn’t like remembering that date.

Lia did her best to force a casual shrug, not that anything ever really looked casual when forced. “Doesn’t hurt to be healthy.”

“You’re one of the healthiest people I know. Your job is physically active, you work hard, and you take the stairs when most of us slobs are happy to ride in the elevator.”

“I can afford to lose a few pounds.”

“Whatever.” The word came out on a breath as Maverick reached for another napkin. “But don’t blame me if some of my bacon accidentally falls into your dressingless salad.”

“I got my dressing on the side.”

“Which is girl talk for ‘I look fat so I’m not eating the dressing but I-don’t want anyone to know I’m self-conscious about my weight.’”

He had her pegged. There wasn’t much she could say to that. Which made it a perfect time to change the subject. “How’d your date go? Or did you have two this week?”

Maverick fell against the seatback and gripped the edge of the table as though holding on for dear life. “Two. Don’t ever let me do that again.”

“What was wrong this time? I’m beginning to wonder if you’re too picky.” Talk about the pot and the kettle…

“No way. Friday night’s date was supposed to be five-foot-seven with red hair and green eyes.”


“Five-foot-two with black hair and glasses so thick I couldn’t tell her eye color.”

“Being short doesn’t automatically make her a bad person.”

“No, no. I can forgive short and even accept it was an accident and not outright dishonesty that painted her about five inches taller. Then I asked about her work in avionics. Turns out she works at a hobby shop.”

“A hobby shop?”

“Yeah. She sells model airplanes. Which translated to a career in avionics on her dating profile and falls about three steps beyond where I draw the honesty line.”

Go Back

Whisper Willows (Fantasy, target age 8-13, written for children who would rather have their teeth cleaned than read)


"Is she dead?" Orin asked.

Wesley didn't know, but wanted to give him hope. Maybe a little hope for himself. "She's going to be just fine." He held his breath and lowered his head down to her nose. Nothing. Don't panic. He placed the heel of his right hand on her stomach and thrusted upward several times before water spewed out of Tally's mouth like a fountain. He rolled Tally's unconscious form to her side to keep her from choking. For someone so hot tempered and feisty, it pained Wesley to see Tally so lifeless.

A surge of desperation overcame Wesley as if he were fighting for his own life. He leaned over her and demanded, "Open your eyes!"

I've read An Informal Affair and absolutely LOVED it! I also read One of Forty and will try to get a review written tomorrow. I have Wendy's book The Duke Conspiracy, and Sweet Surrender sounds good. I'm familiar with Krysten Hager, but haven't read any of her books yet. All of these excerpts sound good. It's always nice to hear of new authors.

THE INHERITANCE is my new romantic mystery, a clean read for adults from Intrigue Publishing available in print and all e-book formats. Check it out at:

Here is an excerpt:

Late that afternoon as Jen left the house and started to drive away, a strange sound whizzed across the open front car windows from the driver’s side through the passenger side. She was startled by the sound. Her heart began to pound. Jen glanced over at the thicket of overgrown shrubs and trees to the side of the grounds that led back into woodlands. Had the sound been a bullet? If so, it had nearly hit her. Her hands shook on the driver’s wheel as she took off at high speed.
One block away she heard the police siren and saw the flashing lights. She groaned. Not again! He signaled with his hand, pointing his index finger for her to pull over. It was all she could do not to burst into tears.
Grant Coleman approached the car like a gunfighter in a spaghetti western. “I thought you learned something the first time,” he said. “Guess I was wrong. License and registration.” He held out his hand with a bored, impatient gesture.
“I have a very good reason for speeding.”
The smile was more of a smirk. The man was infuriating! “I’ve heard them all, but you can try.”
“As I left my grandmother’s house, a bullet passed through my car. I had the windows rolled down. So they weren’t broken, but it just missed hitting me.”
He stared at her. “Maybe it was a kid with a Beebe gun. Are you certain it was a bullet breezing by you? How familiar are you with weapons?”
“Not familiar at all, but I know what I heard.” Jen swallowed hard. “I think someone might have intended to shoot me.”
He let out a loud laugh. “In Bloomingvale? I doubt that very much.”
“So you’re not taking this seriously?” She folded her arms over her chest.
“Admit it. You’re just looking for an excuse to keep me from writing you another ticket.” His intense gray eyes bore into her like the steel blade of a dagger.
Jen raised her chin and stiffened her spine. “You are so wrong. Why don’t you check the area near the house, just to see if you can find anything.”
“Waste of time.” He leaned toward her and she felt his breath on her cheek which caused her to shiver. “Tell you what I will do though. I won’t write you a ticket this time because that’s the most creative excuse I’ve ever heard.”
“So glad I managed to amuse you,” she said.
Jen watched him drive off. He was probably still laughing, the sexy jerk. Several people had come out of their houses and were staring at her. Jen managed to restart her car and drove off before others gathered. She certainly didn’t want to make a spectacle of herself. Letting out a shaky breath, Jen wasn’t certain now if she’d really heard what she thought she had. A professional law enforcement officer didn’t think anything of it. She supposed it might have been nothing at all. Maybe it was a child with a Beebe gun as he suggested. But try as hard as she might, Jen couldn’t convince herself.

They all sound great, thank you for sharing.

An excerpt from Crawling to the Light

The audience was silent while Jimmy continued. “I can’t imagine what my life would be like if there had been something like this when I was your age. I would love to say that I spent every minute of my free time in church and went to fun, uplifting events like these. But I didn’t. Instead, I did drugs and alcohol, and in excessive amounts.”
I couldn’t believe what I just heard! He was on drugs? And he said so in church!
Was this the reason I was here tonight?
“It got to where I was doing both on a daily basis. I was living the kind of life I didn’t invite God in. My mom kept telling me to quit taking drugs. But the more she told me, the more I kept taking them. I was in a band at the time. Things were going well for us: we were playing just about every weekend and about to go on tour to open up for a major act. I just couldn’t do it. Something about it just didn’t feel right. Everyone else thought I had it made. But I felt so empty inside.”
I felt so empty inside-that makes two of us, Jimmy.
“I got home late that night, cried out to Jesus and asked Him to come into my life.” Jimmy got emotional and paused for a while. I cried with him. With a broken voice, he went on to talk about how he told everyone else in this band that he quit, they tried to make him change his mind, but he refused.
“Tonight might be the night you can ask Jesus to come into your heart. But you’re probably thinking that you’re too cool to do that. I’m here to tell you: you’re not. One time, I thought I was. I hoped it wasn’t too late for me to do so, because I had done more than enough to make everyone hate me. Then, for me to know it was my time to do it…I haven’t been the same since. So, don’t leave here tonight without doing that same thing.”
I don’t remember if Jimmy said anything else.
I was numb.
I cried even harder, to the point of hysteria. I couldn’t help it. If I disturbed those around me, I didn’t care.
“I’m breakin, I’m hatin’” ∆
I wiped away my tears on the sleeve of my jacket, where I hid my face to muffle my cries. My heart broke for Jimmy. I felt like he was my only friend.
The kind woman sitting close to me now had her arms around me, like a mother would.
“Replace this life I’m fakin.’” ∆

True Colors
(Clean fiction for preteens and teens) by Krysten Lindsay Hager

The competition was for girls between the ages of thirteen and seventeen, but it felt like Ericka, Tori, and I were the youngest ones there. I only saw a couple of girls from school, and the lineup looked more like something you’d see on a music video set. All the girls were gorgeous, and they had these curvy womanly bodies. I looked like a skinny little kid next to them. The first girl walked out, and I heard the judges say she “owned the runway,” and, “walked like a gazelle.” I was starting to feel ill. I wasn’t sure which way it was going to come, but I knew I had to find a bathroom — fast. I started to get out of line when Ericka grabbed my wrist.

“It’s almost time,” she said. A tiny bit of spit flew out of her mouth and hit my cheek.

I wasn’t sure why she was so intent on me going through with it, but she had a death grip on my arm, so I didn’t have much of a choice. Her number was called and she walked out to the stage. One of the other girls said she walked like a kid with sand bucket stilts on her feet, but she came back with a smirk on her face like she knew she’d get chosen.

“They said they had never seen such long legs,” she said.

Tori was next.

“She walks like a gorilla at feeding time,” said the girl behind me. I went next, and I tried to focus on not tripping over my feet. My mom’s pumps had a rubber sole on the bottom, which probably wasn’t the brightest idea seeing as my shoes were making squeaking noises as I walked. I was so nervous I couldn’t stop smiling as I walked. I looked like the plastic clown who blows up balloons with its mouth at the Pizza Palace. When I got to the end of the runway, I tried to cross my feet to turn like the other girls had, but I over rotated and ended up doing a full spin which made my kilt fan out and gave the mall walkers a view of my blue underpants. I tried to act like it was intentional and did an extra turn. One of the judges put her hand up to stop me, and I held my breath as she started to speak.

My #NewRelease, Sweet Surrender, is a sweet, regency romance.
Available now wherever ebooks are sold, including Amazon:


Julianna made a graceful curtsy and finally managed to raise her eyelashes and survey the room. It was not playacting that caused her sudden intake of breath as she saw her old beau again. In fact, it took all the force of will she possessed to keep her reaction within bounds. At that first brief encounter, she had been too surprised to take in his splendour. No one had told her the viscount had grown even more handsome in the ensuing years, the strength of his jawline more pronounced, and just the very slightest of grey at the temples in his nearly ebony hair. Forcing her jaw not to drop open in shock, Julianna felt her stomach flutter with nerves as she gripped tightly to her friend’s hand and tried not to cause an ill-bred scene in Catherine’s parlor.

Read more about it and see my beautiful cover on Amazon:

~ Happy Reading :-) ~

Today’s sample comes from One of Forty, on sale for 99 cents!

The people here were no different from people elsewhere. Did he really need to uproot everything to affect the Kingdom? Then again he hadn’t felt a call to do missionary work here. Maybe the remaining spot on the missionary team would be what he prayed about during early morning prayer time.


He blinked. A brunette with aqua-colored eyes rubbed her shoulder. Had he just run into her? Yup, he’d stayed up too late. He better apologize just in case. “I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to run into you. I was—”

“Distracted? Yeah, I could tell.” She held out her hand.

Um, he should take it, right? Her small palm fit perfectly into his.

“I’m Melody Watkins. It is nice to meet you.”

She was smiling. Maybe he hadn’t damaged her too badly.

He released her hand. It had felt oddly nice. He would need to think about that later. “Joshua Lowe.”

She rocked on her heels—her enormously high heels. The shiny red pumps must have been six inches high. How did she keep from toppling over?

She cleared her throat and he looked up. She was smiling. He’d been caught staring at her shoes. How embarrassing.

She hoisted a red strap higher on her shoulder. “I guess I better get inside. I’m not sure where to go. I’m new.”

He should have noticed the nervous flitting hands and the constant tugging on her purse strap. And the fact that he’d not seen her before. “I can show you, if you like.”

She bit her bottom lip. “You don’t mind? I don’t want you to be late.”

Her voice held genuine concern. Thoughtfulness was a good quality. “It’s not a problem. It is the least I can do for running into you.” Even if he didn’t remember the incident. He really needed more sleep.

“I would appreciate the help.”

They moved into the elevator only to be crammed against the back wall. He smiled but it felt awkward. Had he remembered his body spray? He hoped so.

The elevator shook with the load. The crowd let out a collective sigh, as if they’d been holding in their stomachs when they stopped on level one. People disembarked, and Joshua followed Melody into the lobby.

He pointed. “The main office is just down that hall. Turn right at the first intersection and you can’t miss it.” Could she see his finger tremble? She was really too pretty to pay attention to him. Maybe he should consider bumping into people more often.