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 an excerpt from Ten Million Reasons

Genevieve whirled to see a man standing there. She found herself at a disadvantage as he towered over her seated position.

How he’d gotten this far up in the bleachers without her noticing him was a mystery. Lost inside my own head again.

“Uh, hi there. And you are…?” Genevieve stood so she wouldn’t feel at such a handicap. This was probably Richard, but she didn’t want to assume. The situation already felt awkward enough as it was.

“Richard,” he said with a teasing grin. “You are Miss Mason, I presume?”

Yep. His voice is even more delectable in person than it was over the phone.

Holding out her hand for the customary shake, she answered, “Yes, I’m Genevieve Mason. Nice to meet you in person, Richard.” After he took her proffered hand, she added, “Please, have a seat.”

Once they were both sitting, Genevieve got right down to business. She needed to ferret out enough information to determine whether or not to get this man out of there within a half hour or let him stick around for Max’s tryouts. Notepad in hand, questions written down, and pen at the ready, she began, “So how long have you been involved in survey taking?”

“Three weeks.”

“What prompted you to get into this line of business?”


“Everybody’s got bills to pay, huh?” Build a sense of camaraderie and the interviewee will feel comfortable with you. Relaxed people reveal more.

“It’s not exactly like that.”

Genevieve raised her left eyebrow in question, a trick she’d learned years ago when caring for nieces and nephews. No one could fib to her when they saw the eyebrow go up. “Then how exactly is it?”

Richard stretched his legs out in front of him. He was wearing a grey suit but had taken the jacket off and set it nearby.

She was loath to tell him that what appeared to be quite an expensive suit jacket was probably lying on top of muddy footprints. As she waited for his answer, she took in the thick, dark blond hair, the tan that said he didn’t spend all his time indoors, and the broad-shouldered physique that spoke of someone who exercised regularly. From there, she let her eyes wander to his posh tie, crisp blue shirt, expensive-looking watch, and – Oh my goodness!

Are those silk socks? Everything about the man screams wealth. How did I not notice this when I first saw him? He’s no ordinary surveyor.

“How exactly is it?” she asked again, her voice sharper this time.

Looking relaxed, Richard answered smoothly, “I own the company that commissioned the survey. The survey center provided the workers who stood out in the mall inviting people to participate, as well as the space to use, but my personal assistant was the one actually conducting the survey.”

“Model-Talker belongs to you?” I did not just say that out loud, did I?


Go Back

I'm a bit late! Excerpt from Table for Two, part of the Romano Family Collection:

Mandy looked him straight in the eye, searching for signs of madness. After a moment, she said, “Breakfast tomorrow morning. And if I leave it without knowing more about you, that will be the last meal we ever eat together.”
Leo placed his hand over his heart as though he were wounded. “Well, it looks like I have this one chance to prove myself. Now, tomorrow morning—”
“You can meet me at Myra’s Coffee House in Park Meadows. This time, it’s my worthy choice.”
The surprised but pleased look on Leo’s face was almost better than dessert. Then, to Mandy’s disappointment, his cell phone rang and he left in a rush. A few moments later Angelina returned, placing a plastic bag with two Styrofoam boxes on the table.
“What’s this? I’m ready for the check, Angelina.”
“Oh no, Ms. Seymour. Your friend has paid for your meal. He also said that you’d like another plate of the Lobster Magnifico to go, along with a serving of the tiramisu. Here you are. I hope you have a lovely evening. It’s been my pleasure to serve you.”
Mandy looked at the plastic bag in shock, then back at Angelina. She tucked her notepad in her purse and thought of her review. “Wait, Angelina. Could you tell me the name of the head chef?”
Angelina froze in her step and looked at Mandy slowly. “The chef? Well, there were some changes regarding that this evening. I’m not sure if he’ll be here on a permanent basis, so maybe I shouldn’t—”
“That doesn’t matter to me. It’s just that the meal was excellent, so I’d like his name.”
“He has Mr. Romano’s full confidence. Most of the menu items will reflect our sister restaurant. There will be new items, of course. Like the one you had tonight.”
Mandy’s patience vanished. “Angelina, I’m a food critic for Denver Lifestyle magazine and website. I need the chef’s name for my review.”
Angelina sighed in resignation. “Leonardo Romano. You just had dessert with him.”

Season of Hope (The Seasons Book One) by Sara Jane Jacobs
A coming-of-age inspirational romance available at

“How are you and Sabrina doing?” Phoebe’s interest was genuine.

“Great, Aunt Phoebe. Sabrina is wonderful. We’re getting along very well.”

She watched the bartender, waiting for the right moment so he wouldn’t hear, “Should I tip him?”

“No, I’ll take care of it when I close out my tab. And, Amanda, just call me Phoebe. I don’t want you calling me ‘Aunt’ at work so you might as well start now. I’d like you to meet Geena Chiatti, a good friend of mine. She’s the editor-in-chief of Sei Bella. That’s a fashion magazine,” Phoebe added with a wave of her hand as if Amanda needed the explanation. “She has a photographer here who is going to take a few photographs of us. Meet us over by the wall fountain in twenty minutes.” Without waiting for a response, Phoebe disappeared into the crowd.

“Thank you,” Amanda smiled, as her beverages were placed in front of her. She picked them up, bracing for the task of making her way back to Sabrina, disappointed that she didn’t have the foresight to have Sabrina meet her at the bar. She turned, almost spilling her drinks on the photographer she had embarrassed herself in front of only moments ago.

“Good…night…” she said slowly, through clenched teeth, failing to hide her frustration while she fought to keep the drinks from sloshing out of the glasses.

“What? No ‘Bless Patsy?’” he teased.

Embarrassed all over again, Amanda avoided his piercing aquamarine eyes, glancing over his shoulder before meeting his gaze. “I’m really sorry.”

“For photo-bombing my shot of the mayor or almost spilling your drinks all over me?”

Amanda gave a nod of her head at the close distance between them. “You were kind of in my personal space.”

He gave her a sly smile before motioning to the bartender. “Can I get a Manhattan?”

She took the opportunity to step around him, but he followed, cutting her off. “Are you hurrying off already?”

Amanda wasn’t sure if he was flirting or just being a jerk. His glassy eyes and fashionable stubble were attractive, but he had a smugness about him that rubbed her the wrong way, not that she was interested. “My friend is waiting for me.”

“Well, I’ll let you get back to your friend. But I’m going to be looking for you.” He held up his camera. “Your photo-bomb came out great. I’d like to get some more shots of you if you don’t mind.”

“You’re a photographer at a gala. I don’t see how I can stop you from taking pictures,” she shrugged, moving sideways back into the crowd.

“Touché,” he nodded. “Then I’ll see you around.”

She smiled politely, his eyes still on her as she turned into the crowd, relieved to see Sabrina walking toward her.

The Governess' Debut - a sweet, regency romance novella
~ Can the governess charm both the spoiled child and the haughty earl? ~
Available for $0.99 wherever ebooks are sold, including Amazon:


Lord Victor Astley, the fifth Earl of Standish, was surprised by his own undisciplined reaction when the young woman was announced. He was always in control of himself and his environment. It was decidedly out of character that he would be unnerved by the presence of a young woman in his library.

“Miss Felicia Scott to see you, my lord,” Alfred, the earl’s aging butler, had announced in even tones, not revealing anything about his own reaction to the elegant young woman who had been recommended to fill the post of governess to the earl’s hoyden of a daughter.

The earl nodded to her from behind his desk, not bothering to come around to bow over her hand. “Thank you, Alfred. Please see that a tea tray is brought in momentarily.”

Miss Scott dipped into a respectful, deep curtsy, forgetting for a moment that her new position in the servant class did not require the varying degrees of courtesy. When it did cross her mind she dismissed the thought, surmising accurately that the haughty looking earl would consider the extra depth to be his due.

Felicia had made every effort to appear as serious and trustworthy as possible. Her sober gown of brown worsted material was just perfect for whatever activities she would be involved in while chasing after a seven-year-old child. Realizing she looked quite young, she had scraped her thick, curling, brown hair into the severest hairstyle she could manage, hoping it lent her an air of maturity.

Of course, in her innocence, she was unaware of the things that were impossible to hide – her obvious breeding was evident in her proudly erect carriage. Intelligence shone from her wide, shining, green eyes as she glanced around the earl’s handsomely appointed library.

Her own governess had done her best to prepare her but since this was the first time Felicia had applied for a position she was somewhat uncertain as to proper protocol. The earl was still gazing at her with a rather arrested expression on his severe, but still handsome face, so she surmised that he was waiting for her to say something.

“Thank you for agreeing to see me, my lord.”

The earl blinked away his momentary inertia. Despite the glowing recommendations he had received it was obvious to him she would be impossible for the position. He was uncomfortable with the strange reaction he had felt to her presence, besides she was much too young. There was no way she would be able to control his daughter. He supposed he still had to interview her.

~ Happy reading :-) ~

A Spring of Weddings Collection

Excerpt from A Proxy Wedding:
“You want me to do what?”
Carly James couldn’t believe her ears. She stared at her cellphone to ensure it wasn’t a prank call. One glance around her apartment told her Ashton Kutcher wouldn’t be jumping out to inform her she’d been pranked. Plus, the military phone number on the caller ID assured her it was her best friend, Brenda, calling.
“I want you to stand in for me at my wedding. You’ll be my proxy bride.”
“I’ve never even heard of such a thing.”
“It’s real simple. You say the vows as me and voilà, I’m married.”
Carly plopped down onto her oversized living room chair. Her head felt like she just jumped off a swing. “Why can’t you wait and plan a wedding like normal brides, Bren?”
“Because we both have orders that will only widen our separation. I’m headed to Alaska once this deployment’s done and Adam has orders to Japan.”
She bit her lip. That was a pretty far gap. Brenda had met Adam on a work trip to Las Vegas six months ago. Despite the fact they were only around each other for one month, it was enough for the two to bond and start a relationship. Now, they wanted to marry. She shook her head at the fastness of it all.
“So if I stand in for you,” she started cautiously. “The marriage will be legal and you can get your orders changed?”
Seems harmless enough. “Then only the bride has to have a proxy?”
Silence spanned the airwaves.
“Bren, are you still there?”
“Yes, I am. I, uh…the answer is no.”
“No?” Incredulity filled her voice. “What does that mean?”
“It means Adam should be having this same conversation with his best friend. We want both of you to stand in for us.”
Carly groaned. This had trouble written all over it.
“And I might as well tell you, it needs to happen in Montana.”
“What? Are you insane?”
“Carls,” Brenda whined, using her nickname. “Montana is the only state that does a double proxy wedding. We could have hired a service to take care of all the necessary paperwork, but that just seems so impersonal. We want it to be special even if we won’t be together when it happens.”
She squeezed her eyes shut. This was not happening. Had she rolled out of bed only to land in some alternate universe?

Excerpt from "Incomplete" of the Insurrection series:

After looking through about ten empty buildings, we came to one containing a couch that had been pulled apart, the faded floral cover shredded on its wooden frame.
“Perfect!” Tucker exclaimed, running to the lump and trying to lift it. “Now I need something to destroy it.”
“Sure, if you’re looking for a sunny summer getaway lounger. How is an old couch going to help us?”
“Wooden innards. It should burn like a wildfire.”
“We need to break it up.” Tucker inspected the element, kicking at the nearest sofa arm. The wood dropped off the connecting joint, banging against the floor with a loud crack. “Yes! That will do!” He kicked again.
Circling the furniture, I studied it for weak spots. The opposite arm looked like it could be separated from the backside with some extra force. Raising the X-11 over my head, I shoved down the hammer with a splintering crack. Shimmying through my arms, the hit felt so much different than when I’d practice on the mock oxinals. But the force took my breath away, in a relieving kick and a groaning, thunderous applause. A satisfied grin spread across my cheeks.
Tucker watched, stepping back.
I heaved the bat over my head, ripping it through the air and across the brittle lumber. Breaking apart, the entire side section of the sofa fell at my feet.
“Nice!” Tucker exclaimed, clapping gloved hands. “Remind me to nevah get on your bad side.”
I laughed and ducked my head. “I don’t think you could get on my bad side.” The words came out hushed, but as they did, I wanted to haul them back in. Locking my tongue in place, I busied my hands and grabbed the free section of the sofa.
If he heard the words, he didn’t answer, so I hoped they had been buried in the rumble of the downpour around us. We yanked, pulled, slammed, smashed, and ended up laughing and shoving the sofa against various sections of the walls trying to break it apart. He handed me a knife and told me to get the stuffing off so we could use the wood. Slicing the fabric apart, noises settled around us, the heavy rain diminishing to a drizzle.
We focused on the task at hand until at last Tucker took off his helmet, placing it on the floor next to him, and wiped his forehead with one forearm. “Hard work, beating a couch into submission.”
“Nevah surrendah!” I pumped my fist in the air above my head, lamely trying to copy his lovely accent.
His smile rippled across his face, those dimples deepening. A trickle of sweat, or possibly rain, dribbled down my temple, and I lost my focus.
I turned back to the sofa.
“I think we have enough for now,” Tucker said, interrupting the silence.
Dropping the X-11 into its holster on my back, I grabbed the pieces, scurrying quick as a crab, hoping for no lag time or unwarranted conversations. I was unstable and unscrupulous, lacking in temerity and temperance. I didn’t want to start something that couldn’t be finished, and I didn’t want to finish something that I wanted to start. Tucker’s hand appeared on my arm.

Purchase Insurrection, Incomplete, and Indelible for only $4.99 each at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, and more!

"I am more convinced than ever that..."
For more, please see page 117
Makes a great Father's Day gift!