Heather Gray

Flawed...but loved anyway.

header photo

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)!!


An Informal Christmas - Click to Buy

“You should get your foot examined.”

Being angry at him would be easier if his voice didn’t make her think of sweet treats on hot summer days.

“A little boy is going for an NBD test, but he’s terrified. My job is to make it bearable for him, even if that means limping all the way there and back.”


“No Big Deal. The kids classify any procedure not involving needles, saws, or drills as NBD.” The children actually said needles or a scalpel. She’d thrown saws and drills into the equation to get under his skin. Looks like it worked. So why didn’t she feel good about it?


Rylie took a deep breath as the elevator eased down another floor. The time had come to start acting her age. Or even half her age. She wasn’t exactly getting off to a good start with this man.

She held out her hand. “I’m Rylie Durham, the Child Life Specialist assigned to the oncology unit.”

His hand enveloped hers in a warm grasp. “Zach York. I’m… the guy who knocks over boxes, gets himself jammed into elevators, and…” He rolled his eyes. “And apparently forgets his dolly up in the Child Life office so he has to go back for it later.”

It was a trial, but she afforded him a smile. “What brings you to us?”

His shrug was a study in nonchalance. “Another time, maybe.” He pulled something from his wallet and held it out to her. “Here’s my card. Drop me an email within the next day or two so I know how to get in touch with you. When I’m ready to order some items for next month, I’ll contact you and find out what y’all need.”

She took the card but doubted any communication between them would be as simple as he made it sound. This man had complication written all over him.

“Ignore my email at your own risk, Ms. Durham.” His molasses eyes glinted with a hint of mischievousness. “Or you might find yourself with more marbles instead of whatever children in the hospital actually need.”

Go Back

I loved this book!

I like both of these. Very interesting reading.

The Reluctant Debutante - a Sweet, Regency Romance
~ Are the possibilities worth the price? ~
Available through Amazon: (Free on Kindle Unlimited)


“Who is that ravishing creature entering the devil’s lair?” Bryghton Alcott, the fifth Duke of Wychwood, asked his friend, his gaze arrested by the slender figure climbing the stairs to a midsize townhouse as they rode past.
Turning in his saddle to gape at the young woman, Lord Lynster grinned, thrilled to know something his powerful friend did not. He turned back to face the duke. “You don’t know who that is?”

“Would I be asking you if I knew?” Bryghton said, with a wry twist to his lips.
His left eyebrow tilted at a somewhat haughty angle, the young baron finally answered with a touch of dramatic flair, “That, my good fellow, is the devil’s niece, Lady Victoria Bartley.”

“Really?” the duke asked, incredulity now echoed in his voice. “How did I not know that the devil had a niece? Surely this information could be used to my advantage.”

“I have no idea how you could have researched your enemy so thoroughly and yet not know that he is living in his niece’s house. I never thought to mention it since it seemed to be a matter of common knowledge. Of course, the lady was a child when the devil inherited her father’s title, so I suppose you took no note of her existence.”

Alcott’s face held a far-away expression for a few moments before his gaze sharpened on his friend’s face. “You said the devil is living in her house. What do you mean?”

“The earl only inherited what was entailed. The previous earl doted on his only child and left everything that was unentailed to his daughter, including the London townhouse we just rode past. The new earl, the young lady’s uncle, is her guardian until she gains control of her own fortune. As such, he and his family live with Lady Victoria when they are in Town. She lives with them in her former home when they are in the country.” Alfred, Lord Lynster, “Fred” to his friends, looked at Bryghton with a touch of anxiety, unsure of how his friend would use this information to his advantage. “The young woman faced much tragedy at a tender age, losing both her parents in that terrible carriage accident that made the devil the earl.”

“Yes, and no doubt she could use a friend, being stuck in the same house with Bartley and his family as she is,” concurred the duke, his handsome face darkened by a sinister cast.

Available now:

~ Happy reading! ~

This is an excerpt for "Watching Amy," my debut novel. And thanks for this- it's fun!

Chapter Six

Amy shivered and cursed Darren for being too lazy to get up early and drive her to school. She usually ended up walking to swim practice in the mornings. It was only about a mile and a half to school from her house, so it wasn’t usually that big a deal. But on days like this when it was so much colder than normal, Amy wished she had a car. And a driver’s license. Unfortunately, she had neither.

As she neared the end of her road she braced herself. The house on the corner was home to a particularly vicious Labrador retriever. Every time that Amy walked past the yard, the dog rushed to the chain link fence that surrounded the front yard and snarled and barked at her as if Amy were an intruder that had murdered the dog’s family. She hated that dog. Another annoying thing was the fact that the Labrador’s owners didn’t seem to mind that their dog constantly made such a commotion. Surely their neighbors had complained by now!

But today, as Amy approached the house, she was greeted only by silence. It was kind of strange. Was the dog gone? Was it inside the house? Had it died? Amy sincerely hoped so. The thing was a monster.
When she got near the yard, however, Amy saw that the dog was not missing. It sat at the edge of the yard, silently watching her through the links of the fence. This was such a change from the dog’s normal behavior that Amy stopped cold and stared back at the animal. It hunched next to the fence, completely motionless. At first, Amy was afraid that the dog might actually be dead, maybe killed by her own bad thoughts toward it. But no, she could see that the animal's sides rose and fell as it breathed. It was very bizarre.

Amy hesitated, then walked toward the fence so that she could get a better look at the creature. Was it sick? It looked the same as it always did. But the way that it was watching her— it gave her an uneasy feeling. A feeling that seemed somehow familiar. A little more hesitantly, she walked right up to the fence to get a closer look. The dog’s eyes followed her as she approached, but otherwise, the animal didn’t move at all. Not even a twitch of its muscles. Amy knelt down and stared directly through the links of the fence and into the Labrador’s eyes. She clapped her hands. The dog didn’t even blink. Only inches separated her from its head.

Then, with a vicious snarl, the dog suddenly lunged straight at her. Amy screamed and jumped back with a start. The formerly silent dog had, in only an instant, turned into a terrifying killing machine. Or in other words, it had returned to normal. If it weren’t for the fence between them, she was sure the dog would happily tear out her throat.

Amy quickly retreated from the fence and resumed her trek to school, almost running in her haste to get away from the monster. The animal’s barking and growling faded away behind her. Something weird had just happened, but it made no sense. Why had the dog acted that way? What would make it just sit there and stare at her for so long, especially since it had never done anything like that before? Was something wrong with the dog? Or was something wrong with her?

Here's my link:

I loved An Informal Christmas! I'm looking forward to reading One of Three. And Toni Shiloh is on my list of favorite authors, so I look forward to reading Returning Home. I'm also excited to read one of Kadee Carder's books Indelible. Keith Guernsey is a new author to me, but this book looks interesting.

Excerpt from INCOMPLETE, book two of the Insurrection trilogy:

Denise flopped down in the empty chair next to me. “I give

“It can’t be that bad,” I said, stuffing a forkful of crumbling, meaty deliciousness into my mouth.

“How did they mess up the entire order!” She sighed, planting her forehead against the table and exhaling into a grunt.

“Just play the song.”

"Play each record once. Pretend it’s different songs.” Tucker laughed.

Denise popped up, eyes wide, eyebrows wiggling across her forehead. She then narrowed her forehead, the wrinkles shifting together. “You know what.” She jumped up to her feet.

“Don’t do that.” I shoved my shoulders toward Tucker. “Seriously.” I softly punched the side of his arm. “She will do that that.” I shifted back to Denise. “Don’t do that.”

“Oh. You just wait!”

Giggling, I watched her flounce away, a red cyclone of determination, huffing toward the music stands to direct her orchestra.

Tucker laughed. “Oops. Could be a long night.”

Between smiles, nods, conversation about the food and the weather, and any new gossip about unclassified projects going on around the island, we scarfed down the delicious morsels melding together on our plates. Lulling to a halt, the music quieted while Denise fiddled with some boxes on a table near the stage, lowering the arm of the record player upon a black vinyl disc.

An invisible piano rumbled down the keys, and an electric guitar and bass rang out through the room, conversations stopping with the upbeat change of tempo.

The few couples already on the dance floor paused, staring toward the table. Denise held up her hands, twirling them in the air by her ears, shaking her hips to the quick, catchy beat. She pointed at me and nodded, a smirk on her lips.

Shaking my head, a laugh erupted, bubbling up above my hair and down to my toes. Denise continued nodding and waved me over, adding her other arm and waving at the rest of the room.

“I suppose we don’t want her to dance all by herself,” Tucker said.

I looked over at him, holding out his hand to me. “Warning. One-lesson dancer over here.”

“Like I said before. Let me lead.” He pulled my hand and scuttled the two of us to the center of the room.

The night became immortal. Effervescent candles swirled overhead, simmering conversation without, and giddy happiness within, rollicking around, bobbing its head, and shimmying its shoulders. Couples joined in, singles adding to the mix, as the song warbled and hummed.

Laughter and singing merged, with interwoven hands and stolen kisses, while reservations unsheathed for a few elated minutes.


Here's the song:

And here's where you can get your own copy of "INCOMPLETE" with starry-eyed hopefuls, crackling tech, and a fiery ending:

"We sat in stunned silence as the coaches gathered us in the mess hall..."
For more, please visit us on the web at;

I love all three authors who have left excerpts so far. Thank you for this post each week. Ir is wonderful to learn about these great books.

Returning Home
Available for pre-order at 99¢!

Evan Carter stared at his girlfriend, admiring her beauty. Brenda’s pixie haircut framed her pretty face and a soft smile graced her lips. She wore charm and gentleness like a cloak, as she gracefully changed lanes. She drove his new Altima like it was made for her.
He loved that Brenda suited every aspect of his life. She was a slam dunk in the girlfriend department. He ran his fingers over the velvet box in his pocket. Tonight was the night. The restaurant staff had been informed of his plans. With their help, his proposal would be flawless.
“Should I adjust the temp?” he asked.
“I’m good, sweetie,” she smiled at him, then quickly faced forward again.
Brenda would make the best high-school coach’s wife. His students loved her and, she loved basketball as much as he did. It was so easy to be with her.
“Evan, you made the perfect choice. This car is so quiet. I can’t believe we can’t hear the outside noise.”
“I know. That’s what sold me.” He pointed up ahead. “Make a right at the light.” He hadn’t revealed their dinner location. If he didn’t pay close attention, they’d miss a turn.
“Are you sure you don’t want to tell me where we’re going?”
“I’m sure. I still think you should have let me drive. Then it would really be a surprise.”
She laughed. “Of course, it would have been better, but I’ve been itching to get behind the wheel ever since you bought it.”
“Well now—”
A black truck swerve in and out of their lane.
“Baby, slow down. Watch out for that truck!”
There was nowhere to pull over, no way to avoid the impending collision. The two-lane road had no shoulder and the truck was picking up speed.
The black truck righted itself. Before Evan could even sigh in relief, the truck corrected, ending up in their lane, headed straight for them.
They were going to collide.
Evan held his breath, clenched his eyes, and braced for impact. Brenda’s scream pierced the air, but it seemed far away. His seat belt locked tight as the car came to an abrupt stop.
A weight dropped onto his leg. Pain exploded, smoke filled his nose. His body struggled to make sense of what happened. Finally, he closed his eyes and gave in to the darkness.

One of Three (on sale for 99 cents) Amazon Buy Link --

He never should have stopped.

She stared at him like he was an ungentlemanly scab. His last run. Why was this happening on his last run? He was so close.

He opened the door, hopped down, ran around to the passenger side, grabbed her suitcase—what was she hauling—bricks?—and threw it behind her chair, before running back around and climbing into his seat. The lady stood outside with a growing frown. He’d helped, so why was she upset?

He rolled down the passenger window. “You coming?”

“Shouldn’t we push the car off the road or something?”

“Into the ravine?” He shouldn’t have sounded so harsh, but he was losing time.

She bit her lip and climbed into the truck’s cab. “Don’t you have a CB or something?”

He did, but if he radioed for help then they would know he’d changed his routine, they might question if he’d picked someone up. He might get a penalty and be forced to serve longer before retirement, or lose his retirement benefits altogether. No, he couldn’t risk it. “It’s broken.”

Rule #2… no lying. She’d made him break two rules already. This wasn’t looking good.

“Oh, okay.” She clasped her hands tightly around her purse. “How far until I can get a cell signal?”

“About an hour or so. We’ll be out of the dense forest and you should be able to get one there. The service is a little spotty, but I’m sure you’ll find something.”

“So you aren’t headed for a big city?”

“Not today, sugar.”

He checked his mirrors and put the truck in motion. His companion was quiet. For a little while he thought she’d fallen asleep.

“I chose this route because it was listed as one of the top ten scenic routes to visit when crossing the US And look? I get stranded and rescued by a stranger, with no hopes of calling for assistance or another car, and worst of all I’m headed back the way I just came!” Breath rushed between her lush lips.

He needed to stop studying her like a woman and think of her as a helpless animal. That would help keep him out of trouble.

“Do you talk? If you don’t, I’m going to start worrying that you’re plotting my demise.”

More like trying to remember if he had duct tape. “I don’t have many passengers when I drive.” More like none, ever, in the last twenty years. That first one had done him in.

“Oh. I guess not.” She bit her lip. Why did she keep drawing his attention to her mouth?

Rule #3, rule #3.