Heather Gray

Flawed...but loved anyway.

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Wordy Wednesday

Hi Everyone!

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)!!


Just Dessert, Click to Buy

Morning came long before anybody was ready. Mary lay in bed after she woke. Something was wrong. Heart constricted within her chest, it was a moment before she recalled what had occurred the prior day.

Pa was dead.

The terror she'd felt the day before at the thought of being in charge of her family's welfare and survival had faded. Sleep had cleared her mind, and she realized that she'd been in that role for years. The difference now was that she had sole responsibility and no longer needed to shield the rest of the kids from Pa.

Looking around the room, she saw Clive watching her.

Everyone else was still asleep. "What now?" he asked.

"Well," Mary said, matching his whisper, "we get up, go home, and start running the farm the way it ought to be run. There won't be any need to hide our work from Pa. As many fields as we can prepare, we plant. We can put a latch on the front door and get more chickens so we have more eggs to sell. Basically," she said with a hint of a smile, "we can do whatever we please."

"We got t' bury him, don't we?"

Mary cast her eyes to the ceiling and bit back the retort that almost spilled over her lips. Sighing, she said, "You're probably right. Ma would want us to do that for him."

"It'll matter to them, too," Clive said, pointing his chin toward the two young girls still asleep in the bed.

Go Back

by Jean C. Gordon

Seven years was a long time.

The walls of the room closed in on Dana with every step the nurse took toward the door. She folded her hands in her lap in a gesture of prayer, but no words formed on her lips or in her mind. Finally, she looked at Mac—really looked at him, not just the still form on the bed. Seven years was a long time. All she knew now of this familiar stranger was what she heard from her friend Sari Reynolds—a major motocross fan—and read in the racing magazines Dana couldn’t stop herself from buying.

A few cuts and scratches on his face from the accident only emphasized the look of a fallen angel that had first drawn her to him when he’d sauntered into the youth group meeting at church all those years ago. His sole purpose had been to get her attention, get her to date him to spite her father. It had worked better than he ever could have imagined.
Her gaze moved up his face. His hair! It was cropped close to his head. She looked for signs of a head injury, but saw none. He’d cut his hair. As long as she had known Mac, he’d worn his hair cheek-length in front, parted in the middle. When he’d bent to kiss her, the chestnut curls had brushed her face, tickled her chin. She raised her hand to her cheek—remembering.

Mac moved, rustling the sheets and bringing Dana back to the present. He groaned and slowly opened his eyes, as if the effort might be more than he could handle. “Dana?” His cracked lips silently formed her name.
She blinked back the tears that threatened to pour down her face and took his hand in hers. “Yes, I’m here.”

Competing with the Star (YA contemporary teen fiction)
by Krysten Lindsay Hager



Then the most beautiful sound in the world came along—the final bell. I grabbed my bag and rushed out the door to my locker, where I ran into Reagan O’Hara, Nick’s gorgeous ex-girlfriend. “Watch where you’re going, spaz,” she said, glaring at me. “Exactly where are you in such a hurry to get to anyway? I can’t imagine that you’d have plans.”

I could have said, “Off to meet my boyfriend, you know, the guy you used to badmouth me to,” but no, I took the high road and said, “Excuse me,” and kept going.

“Whatever, loser,” she said. My shoulders tensed. As I tried to ignore her and tell myself it was just jealousy, I couldn’t pretend that her words didn’t hurt. I had been considered kind of a loser at my old school in Goodacre. I had had one super close best friend who I did everything with, Lexi Irvin, and when she moved to Dallas, it was as if I had been abandoned. So yeah, I had felt like a complete loser in Goodacre, but now I was here in Grand Haven, with new friends and a new positive outlook on life. I had a new best friend, Charlotte Lidstrom, and had become friends with former teen TV star Simone Hendrickson and her best friend, Asia Milanowski.

It could be intimidating hanging out with Simone since she was popular, pretty, and famous. Sometimes I felt invisible next to her, and unfortunately, hanging with Simone sometimes meant spending time with people like Reagan or Simone’s other friends, Pilar Ito and Morgan Kemp. Morgan was the ultimate mean girl. I swear, even if she told me she loved my outfit and was hooked up to a lie detector test saying she was telling the truth, I still wouldn’t want to risk it and I’d go home and change. But today I was not going to worry about Morgan, Reagan, or any of that. I was just going to focus on my first date with Nick...Until I rounded the corner and ran into Simone, who was waiting for me at my locker with Morgan and Pilar.

“Hey, Hadley,” Simone said. “Wanted to return your lucky bracelet. Let’s hope it helped me pass my math test.”

She handed me my heart and natural stone charm bracelet and I slid it on my wrist. Morgan looked down at my hands and made a face.

“Why are you wearing such dark nail polish?” she asked me.

My face got warm. “I thought the color was pretty when I saw it in the store. I’ve never seen this shade of purple with so much blue in it.”

“Guys aren’t into weird nail polish colors,” Morgan said as she fluffed her long curly blonde hair with her red polished fingers.
Great, so even my nail polish was wrong. Could I do anything right?

“Here comes Nick,” Pilar said, and the girls all got quiet.

“Hey, guys,” he said, coming up and nodding at them. I started to curl my fingers under so he wouldn’t notice my dark polish—the color that up until a few minutes ago I thought was unique and beautiful was now making me feel like a little oddball.

“Cool color,” Nick said.


“I like the blue. It’s very you,” he said, and then he reached over and intertwined his fingers with mine. Take that, you dark nail polish haters.

“So are we all heading over to Scoops together?” he asked.

Simone played with a strand of her long blonde hair, but didn’t say a thing.

“Yup, we thought we’d go over with you guys,” Morgan said, smiling up at him with her gleaming white teeth.

Wait, what? No, not cool. This was our first date and I knew I’d feel awkward talking to him around a group—a group judging me on what I said, did, and apparently even the colors I wore.

- See more at:

These books all sound great!

The Debutante Bride ~ First comes marriage, then comes love ~ Available wherever ebooks are sold, including here at Amazon:

This is a sweet, regency romance

Short excerpt:

As she came to wakefulness, Beth held herself very still, momentarily surprised to find herself in a strange bed, but then it all rushed back into her consciousness. She was a married lady. A countess at that. And she had only met her husband thirty-six hours before.

The thrill of freedom flowed through her as she reminded herself once more that she would never again have to return to the house she grew up in unless she so chose. Of course, she would want to see her mother again, but she allowed herself to bask in the contentment she was experiencing. She wiggled her toes and stretched her arms, reveling in the new sensation.

The unknown factor of her new husband was obviously of concern, but so far he had been remarkably even tempered. She would even go so far as to describe him as kind, at least what she had seen of him in their short acquaintance. Beth could not decide how she felt about how handsome he was. He was deliciously attractive, but she was unsure if that could be trusted. No doubt other women would find it to be a point in his favor.

~ Happy reading :-) ~

Excerpt from The Case of the Secret Love, A “Justice” and Miss Quinn Mystery book three by Felicia Rogers

Now available for pre-order:

“You what?” Justin’s heart thumped madly between his ears. Could this day get any worse?

Hesper sat ramrod straight on the sofa. “I merely told my love that Miss Quinn’s status needed to diminish so society would understand your swift change in affections.”

He ran his hand through his hair. So he’d been labeled a money-grubber and Magnolia’s reputation ruined, for the love of Liam. He was going to be ill.

“I knew you would disapprove but I had no choice.”

He loosened his grip on the sideboard and glared at Hesper. He couldn’t wait to hear her next excuse.

“I sense your skepticism, but you must realize that the populace believes you and Magnolia are betrothed.”

“What?” The words rocked him to his core. Others believed it yet Magnolia had never expressed interest beyond friendship—and now she never would.

She shrugged. She’d changed his entire life and it meant nothing but a shrug to her?

“You are together constantly. Everyone detests your whispering.”
More likely she detested being left out of the loop. She was the queen of gossip.

She sighed and fell back against the cushions. “So now you see, none would believe you just grew tired of Magnolia Quinn, and I couldn’t exactly smite her personal reputation. She doesn’t have one blemish upon her record. Information about the events at Odell was all I had.”

Poor Magnolia.

“But you can fix it.”

He didn’t care what he had to do, he would help Magnolia. “How?”

“Pretend to love me and then I’ll restore her honor. I’ll say it was all a big misunderstanding, that the events at Odell were embellished, exaggerated, that nothing outlandish or discriminatory occurred that involved the good Magnolia Quinn.”

Justin faced the window. What was he going to do now?

Operation Space Cats
a children's book by Lesa McKee

Dawn came too early as Tebbs stretched on his side and yawned.

Ugh. Why did I stay out so late last night? He nestled his head
further into the pillow and prayed. Lord, I still have a decision to
make. Please help me make the right one.

Tebbs opened his eyes and flipped over. Darla’s gone.

He glanced across the room . So is her bag. Dog Biscuits! I
wanted to see her be fore she left. For a cat he was an awfully
heavy sleeper.

He straightened his silver fish tag, jumped off the bed, and
romped down the stairs. The smell of chicken, milk, and veggies
tantalized his tummy, putting a spring in his step. Mm. Darla made
my favorite, ch i cken a la crème. Sadly, there was no time to savor

Tebbs lapped it up and raced out the front door.

Tebbs paused on the front porch, eyeing the street. You can’t be
too careful. Never know when a dog might be loose. He shook his
coat and glanced toward the driveway. His ears perked up.
Granny’s car is gone. She’s dropping Darla off at Aunt Rose’s, no
doubt. He sighed. A t least I’ll have time to say goodbye to Kibby
and Dax. If I hurry. Granny will be back for me soon enough.

He ran around the house and skidded to a stop. Everyone was
already there. All eyes turned on him.

“Well, this is embarrassing,” he muttered to himself as he padded
along the sidewalk. I need an alarm clock.

Tebbs pounced onto the patio table and looked over his crew.

“I’m sorry to keep you waiting. I want to thank each one of you for
answering the call. Here are the two I’ve chosen for this mission.”
The first pick will come as no surprise. “Sir Cavias. It would be an
honor to serve with you.”

Sir Cavias stepped forward, his merry eyes twinkling. “Aye. I’m
lookin’ forward to it meself.”

Now for the hard part. “Farlo.”

Dax drooped his ears and dipped his head.

“Ah, scallyrat,” Razzie whined. “I wanted to ride the skies.”

“Fur real?” Farlo asked. “All right!” He leaped in the air and waved
his bushy orange tail. “We’re a trio not to be messed with. We got
brains, brawn, and beauty, and you can’t go wrong with that.” He
slicked back the fur on his puffy head.

“And which one are you, Furlo?” Spreet paced the patio, looking
like he wanted to scratch someone.
Farlo shrugged. “All of them, dude. Now that I’m on the team
they’ve got the whole package. Yah! Way! Zee!” He kicked and
karatechopped the air.

“Oh, brother,” Kibby groaned.

My sentiments exactly. Tebbs sighed. “Thanks for coming,
everyone. You’re dismissed.”