Heather Gray

Flawed...but loved anyway.

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Wordy Wednesday

Hi Everyone!

Welcome to Wordy Wednesday!  If you're an author, 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 more people will find it.  If you're a reader...enjoy!

Happy reading (and writing)!!


Nowhere for Christmas - Click to Buy

Ten minutes passed with no sign of Avery, and he began to worry. She could have fallen, encountered a wild animal, or gotten tangled up in barbed wire. I should have gone with her. With a soft snort, he whispered into the car, “Yeah. Like she would have ever allowed that.”

When another five minutes passed, Gavin started rummaging through his bag, hoping to find another flashlight.

He was about to wake Eli when the door opened, and Avery climbed into the passenger seat. Her teeth were chattering. Leaving the interior light off in deference to the sleeping teen, Gavin twisted in his seat and reached over to her. He took her hands in his own.

“You feel like ice,” he said, as he enveloped her hands and hoped his body heat would help warm them up.

“G-oing pee in the sn-ow is not f-un.” Her teeth were chattering so forcefully he had difficulty understanding her.

“I was getting ready to come find you. You shouldn’t have been gone that long. I got worried.”

“Fell d-own. Twice. In the sn-ow. You’re c-orrect. It’s a w-et snow. Either that, or someb-ody else had already used it for a

bathr-oom.” She shuddered. “Gr-oss. I don’t even want t-to think about that.”

“Nobody else is out here on the road. I’m sure you fell in wet snow.”

“I’ve got snow all ov-er my jacket. My p-ants, too. Maybe even inside of th-em. I can’t remember the last time I was this cold.”

Her hands started to feel a shade warmer, and Gavin let them go. “I’m going to take your scarf and jacket off,” he said as he again reached out toward her in the inky darkness of the car. “I’ve got a sweatshirt you can put on in place of the jacket, and then I’ll give you your scarf back if it’s dry enough. You can’t sit there in wet clothes. It won’t be good for you, and if Eli finds out I let you, he’ll throw things at me once he wakes up.”

Avery tried to help but eventually said, “I can’t get the snaps on my jacket. My hands are too st-iff.”

“Don’t worry about it. I’ll get the snaps. Just promise not to slap me for trying to save your life.”

“This is hardly life and death,” she said. He was relieved to hear the chattering fade, making her words more distinguishable.

“Of course not,” he said, grinning at her stubbornness.

“We’re stranded on the side of the road with spotty cell service in subzero temperatures. We have no way to get warm, no means of escape, and you’re in wet clothes.”


Go Back

The Duke Conspiracy -

A spying debutante, a duke, and a conspiracy - can love be found despite their feud?

Alex gazed at his old friend in admiration. If anyone had ever told him he would be standing in Burlington House surrounded by Elgin’s Marbles debating with Miss Rosamund Smythe about who might be conspiring to entrap him into marriage, he would never have believed such a claim. But here they were. And she looked mighty fetching as she gazed up at him expectantly. He had to make an effort to remember what she had said. Oh yes, something about ideas to investigate. He wondered absently what she could possibly know about investigations and clues and all that. But she was right. They needed to have a direction. The only trouble was he was drawing a blank about any possible ideas.

All he could do was shrug helplessly. “I am so sorry, Rose, but I have absolutely no idea where to start. To the best of my knowledge I have never had any dealings with Broderick. I developed an instant dislike of the man upon first making his acquaintance, but I cannot even tell you why, as we have barely conversed.”

The duke was clearly flabbergasted over this development and was even slightly ashamed to not have a ready solution. Rose must have realized this. She hastened to reassure him. “Never mind about that. We both agreed earlier that the best place for us to start is with Lady Anne. That will have to be my job, as you will just be walking straight into their plot if you try to do anything about it. Now, I really must be going, so we must hurry and establish another appointment to meet up to discuss any of our findings. In the meantime, you should speak to your solicitors or man of affairs or whatever you might have along those lines and see if they are aware of any issues Broderick might have with you. Those gentlemen might know more on the subject than you.”

“How did you get so smart about such things?”

Alex was intrigued by the blush that spread over her face at this unanswerable question. The only thing she could offer was “My father is a diplomat,” with as much dignity as possible.

Alex allowed the moment to pass and was rewarded by the look of relief on her face. He hurried to make an appointment as they saw her maid approaching. “Would it be remarked upon if you come here again tomorrow or the next day?”

“Probably not,” Rose answered. “My mother never rises before noon and is really only concerned with how I spend my evenings. But you had best give me at least one day to try to make the acquaintance of Lady Anne, so let us say the day after tomorrow. That gives me a day and a half to gather as much information as possible. I shall start with my friend Lady Elizabeth. She is a font of knowledge about the ton, as well as being friendly with Lady Anne.” While she was speaking she fumbled with her drawing supplies, finally tucking them under her arm. “Wish me luck,” she concluded as she once more faced the duke.

The duke watched a myriad of emotions chase themselves across his companion’s face. He was unable to identify most of them, but he thought she looked rather wistful as she offered him a brief curtsy before she hurried away without another word.

Alex stood in the same spot for several moments, watching her retreating figure, wondering if she would look back before exiting the building. He was unprepared for the profound disappointment that swept over him as she strode away with purpose, never once glancing back in his direction. Slowly bringing his focus back to the statue she had been sketching, the duke allowed the entire interlude to play itself out in his mind. Giving his head a shake to rid himself of the melancholy that had befallen him, he followed in her footsteps and strode from the hall.

~ Happy reading :-) ~

Everlasting is now in paperback! It's on sale until July 5th for $11.79 and then goes back to its regular price of $16.99. Amazon:*Version*=1&*entries*=0
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We walked closer to where Mandy and Matt sat, and I froze,
my shoulders tightening. My breathing bursting in and
out…explosive. I couldn’t speak.
Gathered around Mandy and Matt, in a tight circle, were the
eight black-cloaked men. They called out grotesque chants,
ramming spears and tridents in the air and taking sharp jabs at
Matt and Mandy. My knees weak, I struggled, almost collapsing.
Tate walked on, pulling me. I couldn’t believe he didn’t see them.
When we got nearer, a smaller cloaked one cavorted in the
center of them all. I stopped and looked closer, my head reeling.
My heartbeat raced, erupting. Lidia…it was Lidia Forester—the
lady from the plane. She danced around in the middle but wasn’t
jabbing at Matt and Mandy. It was at the cloaked men, like she was
trying to chase them away. The tight hood pulled in around her
face made it hard to see her, but the black mole on her nose made
her unmistakable.
Unable to hold it in any longer, I screamed, the full force of
my lungs and Tate’s ears taking the brunt.
Tate stopped, turning toward me. “What’s wrong? You
hurt?” He gripped my shoulders, coddling me into him.
“Don’t you see them…they’re right there….” I screamed
again, pointing. Then I buried my head into his chest, horrified.
“What are you talking about? It’s just a couple of empty
chairs.” His eyes blinked wide, but he held me close.
I pulled away, my mouth falling open. Dazed, I peered at the
two empty chairs where, just a moment ago, strange, horrifying
things had taken place. My quivering fingers touched my parted
lips as I stood there staring, unable to comprehend.
I shook my head. “I don’t understand…my friends…they
were here…. Evil, cloaked men danced around them…with spears
in their…” Tate looked at me, a dumbfounded, questioning look
rippling across his face. My brow wrinkled, my stomach queasy. I
placed my quivering hand to my forehead. What is happening?
Something had to be wrong with me when nobody else was seeing
the things I was.

Landry in Like (younger YA fiction)
by Krysten Lindsay Hager


Excerpt: I wanted to call my friends and tell them about being on the talk show, but Mom said we had to be at the TV station super early — even before school started. She said I could text them, but I had to turn off my phone and go to bed.

“I’m waking you up at four a.m.,” she said. “You have to be there at five-thirty.”

“Can I just call Peyton and Ashanti? Please?”

“Fine, but you have five minutes and then that phone is mine and you’re in bed.”

I dialed Peyton, but her mom said she was in the shower. I told her mom about the show tomorrow and said my mom wouldn’t let me stay up any later to call Peyton back.

“How exciting! I will make sure Peyton knows, and I will be watching you tomorrow. Good luck, honey,” Mrs. Urich said.

I called Ashanti next and told her.

“Get out. Get. Out. No way. This is so exciting!”

“I’m so nervous. My stomach is already doing cartwheels. I can’t do one, but my stomach can. Seems unfair. What if I throw up before I go on? I did that right before I went on at the statewide Ingénue modeling competition in Detroit, and my mom had to give me a cough drop to cover up the smell.”

“I’m sure you’ll be fine, but… just in case, take a cough drop with you,” Ashanti said. “Good luck. You’ll be great and I’ll go set the DVR now.”

I hung up and sent a text to Vladi, India, Devon, Thalia, Tori, and Ericka, so no one would be mad and feel left out. Then I shut off my phone. Mom poked her head in the door to make sure I was in bed.

“Night, hon. Try to get some rest,” she said.

Easier said than done. I stared at my ceiling while thinking about all the things that could possibly go wrong tomorrow. Seeing as the show was on in the morning, I never got to watch it, so I had no idea what the set was like — did it have super high chairs and I’d struggle to get into them? And what if it had those higher stools that were kind of tippy and my rear overshot the seat and I fell off? Or what if the prep questions got lost and the interviewer asked me random things like my feelings on nuclear war or asked me about some foreign political leader who I had never heard of before, and I appeared stupid? Why did I say I’d do this? I tried to get comfortable and it felt like I had just dozed off when I felt my mom shaking my shoulder.

“Rise and shine, TV star,” she said.