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Heather Gray

Flawed...but loved anyway.

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Wordy Wednesday

May 31, 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 Reasonshttp://amzn.to/2naBSPN

Friday morning came, and Genevieve got dressed for a jog. She stepped out her front door and began walking toward her driveway only to find she was blocked in by a familiar, swanky luxury sedan. Richard sat there in the driver’s seat. Why isn’t he moving? Upon closer inspection, it appeared the man was asleep.

Genevieve tapped on the passenger window, and he jumped, hitting his head on the roof of the car. I’d say he’s awake now.

Richard climbed out of the car and stood there looking at her. “You fell asleep,” she said. He nodded. “In my driveway.”

Again, he nodded. “How long have you been here?” Eyeing his watch, Richard shrugged. “You didn’t call. I thought I’d wait till the sun came up at least before knocking. Didn’t mean to nod off.”

“You look awful.” Okay, I might need to work on my tact a bit.

The truth was Richard did look terrible. He had dark circles under his eyes, his clothes were wrinkled, his hair was mussed, and he’d lost weight. “Is everything okay?”

“You didn’t call.” It was a short answer, but there was a myriad of emotions in his words, scratching at his voice like a wool blanket on a hot summer day. The fractured look on his face pulled at her heart.

 

Go Back

Here's an excerpt from Riding the Wind
https://www.amazon.com/dp/0989948536

A noise in the hallway caught Dana’s attention. Several heads turned towards the door, straining to see through the small window. Her stomach lurched when a man walked by. It was the older, quiet officer that had come by Bo’s house. Bo passed by the window next, followed closely by Young, Arrogant cop.

Her heart thudded and her hands quaked furiously. Dropping the pencil, she looked desperately around the room. Twenty-three pairs of eyes stared back at her. She slid out of her desk, wove through the rows of desks, and threw open the door, ignoring her teacher’s reprimand.

“Bo.”

His hands were cuffed behind his back. He and the officers stopped and looked back at her.

“What’s going on?”

Bo’s jaw twitched, but Dana saw something in his eyes she’d never seen before.

“It’s nothing. A misunderstanding.” His slumped shoulders told her he didn’t believe his own words.

“It’s no mistake, Ma’am. We’re charging Bo Singer with the murder of Stacy Athens.”

She stared as they walked down the hallway and around the corner. The shaking trekked from her hands, up her arms, and down her legs. She squeaked out one word, “No.”

Then everything went black.

Readers are saying "Very moving...well written. Great Book” “Excellent read!”
Currently rated "4.70 out of 5 stars on Amazon
https://amzn.com/153338763X

thegurns2005@yahoo.com

From Come Eat at My Table
http://www.amazon.com/Come-Table-What-Difference-Makes-ebook/dp/B00BUUPW5M

The last day of school couldn’t come soon enough for either of the girls. Hope was excited simply because it was the last day of school. From now on she could sleep in at least a little bit. There would also be no more homework for a couple of months. Faith looked forward to the day because today was the day Mrs. Stancel would hand back their graded parent essays.
Faith had worked hard and put a lot of effort into hers. She was curious to see how that effort had paid off.
“Last day!” Karin sang as the girls came to the table for breakfast.
“Hallelujah!” Hope cheered.
“You get your essays returned today, don’t you?” Karin asked Faith, trying to smile. She hoped Faith hadn’t written anything in her paper that would be embarrassing to Karin. She thought she probably should have asked Faith to read it before it was handed in. But it was too late now. Any damage that could be done was already done.
“Yep,” Faith answered her mom’s question. “I hope I got a good grade especially since Mrs. Stancel decided to use them for our final exams.”
“I hope you both did well,” Karin smiled.
~
A little while later the girls were sitting in their English class. There was quite a bit more ruckus than normal. Mrs. Stancel allowed them to do pretty much what they wanted during their class time. She had told them since it was the last day of school and the English exam was completed; there was no point in trying to teach rowdy kids one more thing.
Mrs. Stancel walked around the room and chatted with all the members of her class as she passed back their essays.
“Excellent job, Faith!” she said as she handed Faith’s essay to her. “I really think you are a talented writer. I wonder if you could make a career out of it.”
“Thank you, Mrs. Stancel,” Faith said.
When the teacher had moved on to the next student, Faith opened the cover to her essay. Mrs. Stancel had written the same thing on the cover page that she had verbally told Faith. Looking through the pages Faith noticed there were no red marks on any of the pages. At the end Mrs. Stancel had made an additional comment.
“A nearly perfect paper. I feel like I know your mother intimately. You even made me tear up a couple of times. Excellent work. A+.”
Faith tried to control herself. She wanted to jump up and down, but she didn’t want to bring attention to herself.
The rest of the day seemed to drag on forever. She couldn’t wait to get home and show her mom. She hoped her mom would enjoy what she wrote just as much as Mrs. Stancel had.

FINDING LOVE
Pre-order: http://amzn.to/2r2NmFZ

EXCERPT:
“Welcome to The Maple Pit.” Her eyes widened as she took in his appearance.
Was it his six-foot-three frame, leather apparel, or scruffy face that did her in? Since his boots had hit American soil, he’d been growing out the hair on his face. Judging by the relaxing ambiance and dress of their customers, he’d bank on his appearance being the reason for the look of astonishment on the hostess’ face.
“Thank you, ma’am.” His voice sounded a little rusty as thirst pushed against his throat.
“Would you like to sit at the bar?”
Luke glanced around. Families were enjoying their meals in booths and tables. Was there really a point in taking up a table for just himself? He glanced at the bar. A tightness in his gut brought forth beads of sweat.
“Um sure.”
“Great, this way.”
She headed toward his right, a menu in hand. After placing it on the countertop, she smiled at him. “Your server will be right with you.”
He nodded, then straddled the stool and picked up the menu. Oh, man. The food reminded him of his grandmother’s cooking. In his opinion, Rosa Robinson was the best cook in west Texas. A small smile tugged at his lips as he thought about the petite woman who ran the Robinson men better than any four-star general ever could. Once the Army had released him on R&R—rest and relaxation—he’d hopped on his roadster and headed straight for Virginia. The need to make amends pressed down upon him. Now, he regretted not taking the time to see his grandmother before he left. She would have calmed him.
A mature African-American woman came out of the kitchen. A frown on her face etched deep lines across her forehead. She paused in front of him. “Excuse me, sir. Have you been helped?”
“No, ma’am.”
Her frown intensified. “I’m so sorry. I’ll go find your server.”
“No worries. I’m in no hurry.” He offered her a smile, despite the objection coming from his stomach.
“Thank you for your patience.” She rounded a corner and disappeared.
Was there a break room back there or a server hiding out?
His gaze landed on the menu again, skimming the offerings. They served Arnold Palmers, a sweet tea and lemonade concoction. His mouth salivated imagining the taste of the drink he hadn’t tasted in months. It would be the perfect way to quench his thirst.
A shadow fell across the bar distracting him from the list of entrees. He looked up into the most gorgeous brown eyes he’d ever seen.
“Delaney Jones,” he whispered.
Her eyes widened, wariness coloring her gaze. “Do I know you?”

The Seeker's Storm
Excerpt: “Never you mind,” sneered the sword-wielding villain. “You sit,” he tapped Oliver on the chest with the point of his sword, “quietly.”
Looking wildly towards the one woman-fairy in the group, who was approaching the desk, Oliver pretended to think aloud. “Mosley has an entire book of maps in…” He stopped when the sword point settled firmly against his chest.
“Maybe you can help us.” The woman-fairy did not look up from the stack of papers she was rapidly thumbing through. When she had finished scanning them, she dropped them on the floor. “What happened to those papers?” She pointed at the papers Harold had knocked over.
“I bumped into them.” Oliver answered without hesitation.
“Tsk, tsk.” The woman-fairy picked up another stack of papers and began flipping through them as she flew towards Oliver. “And you did not think to pick them up?” She allowed the papers in her hand to flutter down over Oliver, her eyes narrowing thoughtfully when he continued to meet her gaze. In her experience, fairies who were truly in the wrong place at the wrong time tended to exhibit fear. Spontaneously, and especially when their personal space was invaded. “Who are you?” she asked sharply.
Again Oliver gambled, aware that he had somehow given himself away.
“I am Prince Oliver Bijou, heir to the throne of the Sky Fairy Tribe.” He relaxed back into the comfortable settee, sensing that his indifference added to her pique. “Princes,” he smiled, “have servants to clean up after them.” The thought of expressing that sentiment to even one of the household servants at the Crystal Castle made him smile even more broadly.
“Indeed? A prince, eh?” She sounded more annoyed than impressed. “What a pity that you will not live to inherit that throne.”
“No?” Oliver held up one hand, palm towards the windows, as if examining his manicure. “Perhaps if I told you that the map you are looking for is even now being taken to the royal kitchen, to be read near a warm cooking fire,” he smirked up at her, “you would not be so arrogant.” This time the sword point pressed against his throat, so tightly that Oliver hardly dared breathe. “I assure you, you will never make it to Aureus.”
“Overstepped yourself there,” the man-fairy holding the sword growled triumphantly. “Why should we wait the winter out buried under snow?”
“Stupid,” snapped the woman-fairy, crumpling the last few papers in her hands. “Stupid, stupid, stupid! What else would you like him to know?” By now even the third fairy had stopped searching and was watching the scene play out. “They obviously know about the map. Which means,” she continued, her voice temperature dropping by the syllable, “that it is just a matter of time before the timetable, the routes, and the list of the council are in their hands.”

https://www.amazon.com/Seekers-Storm-Silver-Sagas/dp/0998967807/

“But you don’t go to church. Isn’t it hard to not have fellowship?”
“Who says I haven’t had fellowship? Papa says where two or more are gathered He’s there too. We’re fellowshippin’, aren’t we? Talking about Papa, listenin’ to his songs,” I say and point to the woods. “Papa doesn’t need buildings and potlucks and crowds. He just needs us and our willingness to listen and love on Him.”
Uriah clears his throat. “Lills, you always did have a way with words.”
“I don’t have a way with nothin’.” I take a drink and fix my eyes on what I hope is a tree in the distance.
“That’s not true and you know it.”
“I don’t know nothin’ either.”
Uriah’s chair legs hit the deck and he scoots himself closer. I can feel the heat coming off of him and it brings my attention to the fact that it’s kinda chilly. “Lills, look at me.”
“No.”
“Come on, look at me.”
“Why? It’s dark. Not like I can see anything. Neither can you.”
“There’s enough light from the kitchen I can make out a few things and so can you.”
The Borg in my head says resistance is futile and I drag my eyes to his. “What? What do you need to say that needs my direct attention?”
His face is soft in what little light there is. He brushes my hair off my shoulder and looks at me in a way that makes my bones feel all doughy like I could be baked and served with butter. “I don’t know what happened to you Lills. It breaks my heart seeing you hurt so bad. I know we haven’t talked in a real long time, but I love you just as much now as I did back then. I should have protected you from whatever did this to you,” Uriah says, his voice so soft and earnest it makes me ache.
“Uriah, I was serious. I’m broken. My pieces are just jagged and good for nothin’.” I try to keep the desperation I feel out of my voice, but it wavers.
“You know, for someone who talks to Papa so much you sure don’t listen too good.”
I sniffle and drink the rest of my soda. “What would you know?”
“Psalm 118:5: And in my anguish, I cried out unto the Lord and He rescued me by setting me free.”
Something inside of me breaks. The dam of tears I thought I’d already spilled come pouring down my cheeks quicker than I can swipe them away. Uriah gathers me in his arms and I can’t do anything but cry on his shoulder.
Oh, Papa, where have I been that I’ve been so deaf, I think to myself and the tears pour even harder, if that’s possible. I grab onto Uriah with all my might and he holds me even tighter. Maybe my pieces aren’t so jagged that he and Papa can’t fix them.

This scene is after Caroline has been informed of Charles and Darcy's engagement to Jane and Elizabeth Bennet.

CAROLINE: Pride & Prejudice continued... Book One

What was it about the men in her life that they became addlepated over a few plain country misses? Had they no sense at all? She blew out a frustrated breath and continued to pace.

She’d argued with her sister that although they would attend the wedding, there would be no convivial visits during Christmas. Louisa, the viper, pointed out they’d have to attend any and all christenings as Charles always stated he wanted a houseful of children. At that statement she almost brought back up her tea.

She stopped pacing and clenched her fingers into a tight fist. Why hadn’t Darcy kept Charles away from Jane, and more disturbing, why had he proposed to Elizabeth Bennet? If only Darcy and Charles had taken her with them, then neither would be marrying into that odious family.

Of that she was positive.

She pivoted from the window and sat on the settee near the fireplace. Her foot bumped something beneath the small couch and she pulled out the pillow she’d been stitching. Tension snaked through her body at the sight of her pitiful attempt to capture Pemberley in needlepoint.

She nearly tossed the unfinished reminder of her failure into the fireplace, instead, all her anger, frustration, all her tattered hopes and dreams coalesced into a fit of fury and she tore the pillow to shreds with her bare hands. Minutes later, fingernails broken and fingertips bruised, she threw the mangled mess to the floor. Great gasps racked her chest as she fell to the floor and sobbed.

http://amzn.to/2kCeJDH

The Debutante Bride - a sweet, regency romance - full length for $0.99
~ First comes marriage, then comes love ~

Available wherever ebooks are sold, including Amazon: http://amzn.to/1NkyfOO

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.

http://amzn.to/1NkyfOO

~ Happy reading ~

Season of Hope (The Seasons Book One) by Sara Jane Jacobs
A coming-of-age inspirational romance available at http://a.co/6U8g2VU

Amanda frowned when Sabrina needed the powder room again, leaving her with the duty of retrieving drinks. They stopped in the same spot, finalizing their plans.

“And get me a soda water,” Sabrina said.

“And you meet me at the bar!” Amanda added as they parted.

It was a smooth trip this time with no embarrassing mistakes. Amanda felt happy and confident as the bartender approached her. “Champagne and soda water?” he asked, without emotion.

“Two soda waters this time.” Her chipper attitude made him smile.

“You got it.” Grabbing the bar gun, he filled two glasses, placing them in front of her. “Enjoy!”

“Thank you!” Glasses in hand she turned, her personal space invaded once again. Robert Calloway stood there with his glassy eyes, smiling like the Cheshire Cat. “Do you know that you are incredibly photogenic?”

“Cool. Thanks. So, I’m off the hook for stepping into your photograph of the Mayor?”

“I wouldn’t say that.” He reached for her clutch, nestled beneath her arm.

“Hey—” she began to protest.

“I think you have potential.” He clicked open the bag, dropping a keycard inside. “I like to stay in the city when I work an event. I’m right next door in room 426. Why don’t you come by for a few minutes after the gala so we can talk about your future?” He winked, closing the purse and returning it to her care. “You are gorgeous.” His eyes swept across her face, continuing down the length of her dress. “You could be a star. I can help make that happen. I have the connections.”

Amanda felt disgusted. It took great restraint not to give him a soda water shower. The last thing she wanted to do was dishonor Phoebe by causing a scene. “You’re very bold, Mr. Calloway.”

“Looks like my timing is perfect!” Sabrina reached for one of the glasses in Amanda’s hand, not realizing the truth in her comment. She politely greeted Robert. “Hello, again.”

“Hi, Sabrina. Amanda and I were just talking about the great opportunities that are waiting in this amazing city.”

“I know, right?” she agreed. “I love New York. I believe Amanda is going to love it, too. She could have a great future here.”

“That’s just what I was telling her,” Calloway answered. He seemed to be enjoying the double meaning to which Sabrina was clueless.

Amanda was finished with his game-playing. “If you’ll excuse us, Mr. Calloway, Sabrina and I have some business to attend. We’re working on a little project tonight. Enjoy the rest of your evening.” She didn’t wait for the formality of his response. Grabbing Sabrina’s arm, she ushered her off to find an empty table.

Sabrina looked back to where they had left Calloway standing. “Amanda, that was kind of rude,” she said, trying to be delicate with her disapproval.

“Trust me, he deserved it,” she insisted without any remorse.

ROYALLY ENTITLED (Brides of Brevalia, book 1)
by Melody Delgado
http://a.co/2EXTadk

When her family’s cider business is ruined and other local businesses are vandalized, Anika Pembrie wonders if the recent bout of unrest is merely a result of rivalry between local merchants and noblemen or if something more sinister is at the root of the recent crimes. Along her journey Anika befriends Prince Valdemar, future king of Brevalia but their relationship hits many twists and turns along the way. Lady Winifred Paxel Flemming pursues the prince relentlessly. His grandmother, Queen Marguerite, expects him to wed whoever she thinks is suitable, even if it means marrying a foreign princess he’s never met. Anika’s mother, Lady Sarah, wants Anika to help ease the family’s financial burdens by marrying Erland Riccats, National Chairman of the Merchants’ Guild. Lady Sarah also harbors secrets regarding Prince Valdemar’s mother, Princess Karin, who met an untimely death years before. In the end, will both Anika and Prince Valdemar be forced into loveless mar-riages, or will they be able to outwit their enemies?



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