Heather Gray

Flawed...but loved anyway.

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Wordy Wednesday

April 5, 2017

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 an excerpt from Ten Million Reasons

“So, Aunt Gen, you honestly didn’t know who he was?” When Genevieve shook her head, he said, “You’ve got to look him up online. His family grew up around here. Old money. Maybe back to Jamestown. Lots and lots of old money.” She raised her left eyebrow, and Max shook his head and laughed at her. “I know. Money doesn’t make the man. Blah, blah, blah.” After a second he asked, “So, was this supposed to be a date or a business meeting today? You never said.”

Right as Genevieve opened her mouth to tell her nephew it most decidedly was not a date, Richard’s voice came from behind her, “A date, of course. How many business meetings have you been to that include pizza and ice cream? Business meetings have boring foods like salad and steak and desserts you can set on fire because people are busy trying to impress each other.”

Is he out of his mind? Of course he is. Genevieve watched Max and said, “Not a word, you hear me?”

“Not a word about what?” Richard asked.

“Oh, come on, Aunt Gen. If I go to school tomorrow and tell people my aunt is dating the Richard Blakely, do you know how much my stock will go up?”

“Not a word. I mean it.” Max rolled his eyes, let out a loud, over-exaggerated sigh, and threw himself into the kind of relaxed slump that no one but a teenager could master. “Max…”

“Alright, alright, but if you make it to a third date, all bets are off.”

Genevieve shook her head in mock despair, her red curls gamboling with the movement. Then she looked over at Richard and did a double-take, “Since when do men eat girlie ice cream?”

Richard spied his colorful cone and asked, “Girlie ice cream?”

Max tried to warn him, “Don’t argue with her. Trust me. Let her lecture you and get it out of her system. Eat the ice cream as fast as you can. If she can’t see it anymore, she’ll get over it quicker.”

Richard inspected her, slowly took a bite of his cone, and said, “Did you just insult my ice cream?” Then, putting on a hideous fake western accent, he added, “Them’s fightin’ words, don’cha know?”

Max tried to hide his laughter as Genevieve, face dead-pan and voice matter-of-fact, said, “Only girls eat fruity ice cream.”

Richard eyed her ice cream cone and said, “You’re a girl, and I don’t see any fruit in your cone.”

“No man! You never say that,” Max said in sympathy.

“I, Mr. Blakely, Esquire,” Genevieve wound up, “am not a girl. I, Mr. Blakely,” she said his name with added emphasis, “am a woman of sophisticated tastes. You, on the other hand,” she waved her hand dismissively, “are eating girlie ice cream.”

Go Back

Excerpt from THE ROSE RING
(look for the sequel FINDING HOPE) later this month.

When Sky’s phone rang at nine-twenty the following morning, she picked up on the second ring. “Are you on your way?”
“Well, good morning to you too,” came the cheerful reply.
“Sorry. Good morning, Micah. Have you left the ranch yet?”
“I’m calling from the truck. I’m about to turn onto the main road, so I should reach your place in about thirty minutes.”
“Okay, see you then. Just honk and I’ll come out.”
She set the phone in its cradle and reprimanded herself for not having thought to cook for him. A nice quiet breakfast for two instead of a crowded restaurant held a lot of appeal. Surely it wouldn’t take much effort to whip up an omelet. A quick inventory of her pantry and fridge produced a near-empty carton of orange juice, one egg, some moldy cheese, two cans of tuna, and six boxes of macaroni and cheese. She sighed. “I need to plan better next time.” A chuckle bubbled from her throat. She was certainly reading a whole lot into one breakfast.
Her doorbell rang thirty-five minutes later. Sky opened it to find her handsome date standing there. “You were supposed to honk.”
He tipped his felt hat. “Sorry, ma’am, but I was brung up better’n that.”
“Yes, I can tell.” Grabbing her coat and pulling the door closed, they dashed toward the truck. After ten minutes — more than enough time to get any place in town — Sky asked about their destination.
“I’m taking you to Barnaby’s.”
“The new place in Three Peaks? To what do I owe the special treatment?”
Micah didn’t answer right away. He kept his eyes on the road before turning to her. “I have something huge to ask you, and I figured I’d better soften you up with a good meal first.”
“That sounds ominous.” She laughed nervously as any remaining thoughts of a romantic first date flew by as quickly as the trees that lined the road.
They stepped into the restaurant fifteen minutes later. Micah ordered a traditional breakfast of fried eggs, skillet fried potatoes, bacon, toast, and coffee. Sky wanted the Belgian waffles, but at nine dollars a plate, she couldn’t bring herself to order them. She settled for scrambled eggs and wheat toast. When the food arrived she forked a small amount of the eggs, but only managed to get it halfway to her mouth. “You sure know how to ruin a good breakfast. I can’t stand the suspense. You’re going to have to ask me whatever it is now.”
Micah swallowed and set his fork down. “I knew I should have kept my mouth shut.” He took a sip of coffee. “Okay, but I want you to know that I wouldn’t be asking if I didn’t care for, respect, and trust you. I’m in a tight spot, but I don’t want you to feel you have to say yes. I’ll figure it out one way or the other.”
“Oh, for Pete’s sake, Micah, just ask.”
He blew out a breath. “Okay. Will you marry me?”
Sky felt sure her heart had stopped beating. If she’d been able to move she would have reached for her wrist or neck to check for a pulse. But as things stood, she couldn’t budge. It took several long seconds for her to realize her lungs were working, which meant her heart must be as well. “Did you just ask me to marry you?”
He rubbed the back of his neck. “That wasn’t exactly the way it was supposed to come out, but yeah, I did.”
He pushed his plate to the side. “Because if I don’t get married in the next three months, I’ll lose the ranch.”
The heartbeat she couldn’t feel moments ago now reverberated throughout her entire body. For years, she’d dreamed of this moment, but a proposal on the first date — which obviously wasn’t a date at all — told her they weren’t only on different pages but in two completely different books. “Sorry,” she said, her voice clipped, “but if you expect any kind of an answer, you’re going to have to fill in all the blanks.”

Here's an excerpt from Soprano Trouble,

Summer gave a small smile. “Yeah, well, if he wants to talk to me on the phone, he’ll have to ask for my number."

Maddie laughed. “That’s what I would say. Hey, where on Earth did Brittany and Cammie go? They left for the bathroom, like, ten minutes ago.”

“They better hurry,” Summer said, peeking out the door. “Mr. Camp is going to be here soon.” Just then Brittany poked her head in the room.

“Hey guys, come here for a minute,” she said, breathless with a twinkle in her eye.

“Where?” demanded Maddie. “Mr. Camp will be here any second, and we have to be ready to line up.”

“Oh, just come on. The band still has two songs left.” Maddie and Summer followed her out the door.

“Hold this, and don’t drink it,” she said to Summer, handing her a cup of punch.

“Where did you get this?” Summer asked.

“From the table in the lobby. It’s supposed to be for the refreshments after the concert, but no one will mind,” Brittany replied.

“What’s it for? Where’s mine?” Maddie asked.

“You don’t need one. Oh, here they come. Act casual,” Brittany said, bouncing up and down. They looked down the hall to see Cammie and Pilar coming toward them.

“Maybe you could just show me this part in the music I keep messing up,” Cammie said to Pilar. “I know you can play it on the piano. I just don’t want to ruin the concert.”

“Oh, sure,” Pilar said, looking pleased at being asked to help. Just as Cammie and Pilar reached the other girls, Cammie jumped back, and Brittany knocked into Summer from behind, causing her to dump the punch all over the front of Pilar’s white blouse. Pilar, Summer, and Maddie all gasped.

“Oh no! Pilar, I’m so sorry,” Summer cried.

“Oh my! What a mess! Come with me, Pilar. We’ll clean that up in the bathroom,” Cammie said, grabbing Pilar’s arm.

Brittany muffled a giggle and ran beside them. “Yeah, some paper towels should do the trick.” Summer and Maddie followed behind, shocked. Pilar’s mouth hung open as she stared down at the red stain on her front.

Cammie pulled her forward. “Actually, there are paper towels in HERE,” she said, swinging Pilar into the janitor’s closet next to the girls’ bathroom. Brittany quickly shut the door, then gave Cammie a high five. The two girls burst out laughing.

“Hey! Let me out of here!” Pilar shouted from the closet.

“What do you think you’re doing?” Summer cried.

“This is so not funny,” Maddie agreed, glaring at Cammie and Brittany.

Jannette Spann

Excerpt from Right Time for Love

Indecision marked Gavin’s brow as they stared into each other’s eyes. If he

walked off, the friendship would be over… shattered like a cheap piece of

glass. They would still see each other at times, but the closeness wouldn’t

exist anymore, and that’s what Brandy treasured the most.

He lifted a hand to her face, a sad smile tilting the corner of his lips. “I’m

twenty-nine-years-old, and so help me, I’ve never met anyone like you.”

She blinked. “So… Is that good or bad?”

His forehead dropped to hers. A slight chuckle eased the tension. “I’m still

trying to decide.”

Taking his reply to mean maybe, she slid an arm around his waist and

guided him inside. “Come on, I’ll see if I can’t sway your opinion.”

"Incomplete" available from iTunes, Amazon, Barnes & Noble:

Sidewalks hold their certain amount of assurance — providing a path that is predetermined, safe, and strategic. But on those wild meadows, I studied the furtive murmurs of field mice, disheveled habits of shrubbery, and eager leaves flitting about the territory of wooden pyramids. Eyes wide open, night’s silence fluttered about, its cool panting a fresh relief to the ache that had so relentlessly pursued my ears.

Over, under, upon, and beyond, I pursued the Falls, coming to a steep slope down toward what sounded like a lapping lakeshore upon sandy shallows. Drawing up to an outcropping of trees, I studied the open air, overlooking the scene.

There it was. Digging through the pile of vague memories, I recalled the familiar scene before me. The deer had long since disappeared, and no audible clicking tapped upon my skull.

Somewhat slipping down the hill, I trotted to the place where the night vision had filled my sight, and found the spot beyond which I watched the creature extinguish an innocent life form. The Falls dithered along the bank, out of sight in the obscure dusk, but their brash pounding upon rocks couldn’t be suspended or ignored.

However, as I stood there, the breeze stroking my fingertips, the noise halted. A grinding filled its place for three — I counted to three — seconds, until the water began running once more, thrashing down upon rocks and a great pool of water below. Before I could adjust my focus, the clicking started, rap tapping away, and the squeal swung through my eyelids.

Ten of them.

Target acquired.

Read more of Saylor's fascinating adventure at
(Incomplete is Book 2 of the Insurrection series)

Here is an excerpt from Six Pack: Emergence, now available at Amazon:

Brad turned to Jessica. “What’s up?”
“I wanted to show you this.” She held up a clay pot. “I just finished painting it. Tell me what you think.”
He glanced at the object. “You sure you want me handling that?”
“Don’t worry, the paint’s dry. It’s OK to touch it.”
She handed the pot to him. He admired the detail on the flowery markings and her choice of colors. What a great artist she proved to be. Drawing and sketching, he knew how much she loved that, too. He suspected she focused on artwork as a way of dealing with whatever bothered her. No doubt what Tyler told everyone upset her. Everyone seemed to be in disbelief. At breakfast this morning, she told everyone how Tyler told her the night before, and she wasn’t sure what she should do. At lunch, she didn’t say much. He wondered if she had made a decision.
“Nice work. I like the detail in the patterns.”
She nodded and blushed. “Thanks.”
Brad handed the pot back to her. Now was as good a time as any to ask her.
“So, what were you going to do?”
“About what?”
“About what Tyler told us. What are you going to do?”
She sighed and bowed her head. “I’m not sure. I mean, I respect Tyler, I trust him, but…” She fidgeted with the pot, as if she didn’t know what to say next.
“But you don’t trust the professor?” he asked.
She bit her lip. “It’s not just that. It’s that I’m not sure if Tyler is making the right decision.”
“What would you do, then?”
She fidgeted with the pot again. “I think I would have pressed the issue. Not just let the professor shove me out the door.”
He folded his arms and leaned against the doorway. “That’s what you would have done last night. I mean, what would you do now, knowing what Tyler told you?”
She pulled her head up. “I guess… I’d want to know what everyone else thinks.”
“Well, you know Linda is already on board, although that’s maybe not surprising. She seems to be eager for any adventure. And it seems like Stacy will back Tyler.”
Jessica nodded. “So what do you think?”
Brad sighed. “I told him I’d go, but only because I trust him.”

Dating the It Guy by Krysten Lindsay Hager
(YA contemporary fiction)

“By the way, did you hear Lauren got into Senator Agretti’s old school?”

“Seriously? I wonder if she applied there because Brendon did,” I said.

Margaux snorted. “Duh, of course. Seriously, she might as well just pee on him to mark her territory.”

“Margaux, shut up,” Kylie said.

“Whatever. Anyway, the important thing is if Brendon knew she was applying there,” Margaux said. “Em, do you think he knew?”

I hoped Lauren was just trying to follow Brendon, but what if they had planned this whole thing while they were dating? What if he convinced her to apply there so they could go to college together, wear matching American flag sweaters with big scarves while drinking hot chocolate, and jump into leaf piles just like a preppy clothing catalog. At least now I didn’t have to worry about them reciting poetry to one another in South Bend, but still, what if they had made plans to go to school together?

“Don’t worry about it,” Kylie said. “She was probably trying to follow him—like she always does. She’s so pathetic.”

Kylie was trying to make me feel better, but Lauren was far from pathetic. After all, she was pretty much the “Most Likely to Succeed” poster girl. While she was out overachieving and saving the world without messing up her perfect, bouncy hair, I was trying to get through each day. I tried to push away the image of Lauren and Brendon holding hands and drinking hot chocolate under a stadium blanket.

Sweet Surrender - a sweet, regency romance
~ Can a lost love be rekindled? ~

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.

Available wherever ebooks are sold, including Amazon:

~ Happy reading ~

The Rose Ring sounds like an interesting story. I am looking forward to seeing what happens next!

I really enjoyed The Rose Ring, and am ready to read the next one in the series!!!

I love ❤️ what Lucie Ulrich wrote. It is interesting reading and she brings humor into it.