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)!!


An Informal DateClick to Buy


“I didn’t mean to upset you yesterday.”

Her lips dipped down in a frown.

“About the pew.”

They dipped lower.

“It might have sounded like I was judging you.”

And lower.

“I wasn’t, though. Sometimes I state facts and other people hear judgment.” He swallowed. “I’m sorry if that happened.”

Kimi nodded, and a tentative smile replaced the frown. “In that case, apology accepted.”

“Will you go out with me?”

Her eyes widened.

Owen sighed. “That came out wrong.”

“So you don’t want to take me out?” There she went with that whole rising-an-octave thing again.

He shook his head. “I do, but...” Owen set his coffee down. Thank goodness, no one else was thirsty this morning. “I’m required to attend this reception. I’m supposed to make small talk with the people from the FDA so they’ll approve the drug Makayla’s getting. I was told to get a tuxedo and a date.”

“What happens if you don’t?”

No way would Owen answer that question. Even the most socially inept person didn’t admit his boss had threatened to hire him an escort if he couldn’t score a date for himself.

He did what every educated American does. He sidestepped the question. “It’s this coming Thursday evening. Are you available?”

Her eyes filled with laughter, but somehow it didn’t feel like she was laughing at him. “I have study group that night, but I might be able to miss it this week.”

“What are you studying for?”

“I’m working on an art therapy degree. I’m in the home stretch. Thesis, internship, and all that.”

Owen’s head tilted to the side of its own volition. “You don’t need a study group for a thesis.”

“No, but you do need one if you want help preparing for your boards, which I’ll be taking as soon as I jump through all the right hoops and officially graduate.”

“When will that be?”

She frowned. “I hoped December, but I’m having a hard time getting in enough intern hours, so it’ll most likely be next May instead. We’ll see.”

He’d always suspected there was more to Kimi than a warm smile and hot coffee, but he hadn’t known how to ask without sounding like an inept stalker. So he’d stayed quiet. The questions bubbled up inside of him, though. Where was she interning? What was her thesis about? Did she expect her boards to be difficult?

Someone stepped into line behind him, and Owen forced his curiosity into submission in favor of the more immediate need. “Will you think about Thursday?”

She grabbed a napkin from the nearby holder. Pulling the pen from behind her ear, she jotted down a phone number and pushed it across the counter to him. “Call me sometime tomorrow and I’ll have an answer for you.”

He nodded and turned on his heel. She hadn’t said no, and even though he again stumbled over the cable protector, he didn’t spill any coffee on his lab coat. The day was getting off to a first-rate start.

Owen arrived back in his office before realizing why his coffee hadn’t spilled when he’d tripped. He’d left his cup sitting on the little counter at Kimi’s kiosk.

She was definitely going to turn him down. She’d be a fool not to.

Go Back

Excerpt from "Insurrection" by Kadee Carder

Purchase on Amazon Kindle (also available on iBooks, Nook, Kobo, Smashwords and Scribd):

“Sarcasm duly noted, but if I were you, I’d keep my mouth shut and praise the heavens I weren’t dead, chopped into pieces, and tossed to the sharks. Or thrown into a deep pit and forgotten until your bones were picked clean by buzzards, bleached white by the barren sun.” His words bit into the air, cursing the fact I remained in the room with him. When he finished, he reached up and pulled down a retractable chart over the chalkboard.

Silence filled the room like tar. Talk about intense. He couldn’t be much older than me, but he bore the weight of responsibility upon his starched shoulders.

“What does this mean to you?” he asked, pointing to the chart on the back wall. He refused to look at me. On the chart, a large round diagram appeared, something like an eyeball blown up to three feet in diameter.

“It’s an eyeball?” I asked.

He pursed his lips, raising his eyebrows. I continued analyzing the chart, unable to make sense of it. The round Thing consisted of several layers like an eyeball, except spikes poked out from the inside.

“Is it not an eyeball?” I asked as he walked over behind the teacher’s desk.

He bent down behind it, opening a small door. “You said you have played baseball before, right?”


“Have much training? How’s your batting?”

“I had to play in P.E. at school,” I replied, quite confused, “but my friends and I would play in the field when I was younger. I’ve hit a couple homers, but it’s nothing to brag about, I guess. My left-handedness served as a limitation—nobody could pitch to me most of the time. What are you doing?”

“Left-handed, huh?” he muttered to himself.

“Yeah. Yes. Sir.” I held no enthusiasm about where this was going, and I wasn’t too sure I wanted to find out.

He stood again, holding black leather gloves with black trim, then tossed them at me.

With a swift reach, I caught them and raised my eyebrow. “What.” Not a question. Not a statement. I just wanted some answers. And a waffle.

Escape the Pain to Survive (1 of 3: The New Waiver trilogy)

Christian YA action/suspense

All profits will be donated to the veteran organization 22KILL through March 31st.

Paperback (free ebook included):

Amazon kindle:

“I mean, why did you pick me as your test subject to take to church and . . . and try to save or whatever you call it?”

He squeezes the steering wheel a little tighter as if he’s trying hard to choose the right words before he speaks. “Sam . . . I’m really sorry to change the subject . . . but you in the mood for ice cream?”

I shake my head in disgust. Ice cream? Seriously? That was your profound response to my question? “Um . . . sure,” I spurt out, way harsher than necessary.

He glances at me, his eyes wide but not with shock or irritation. He’s amused by me. I gasp. My harsh, sarcastic tone seems to be intriguing him. I bite my lip, desperate to control my level of irritation building stronger and stronger by the second.

He pulls into a small ice cream shop on the corner. “Preference on flavor?” he asks, way too enthusiastically.

I shake my head in disgust once again, amazed by his ability to completely change the tone of a serious conversation into my preference on ice cream. Honestly, I can’t even remember the last time I had it. “Since I get to go out for ice cream so often, be my guest . . . surprise me!”

He smiles, still clearly unfazed by my tone as he walks into the shop. A few minutes later, he returns with two giant, double scoop ice cream cones. He hands them to me and backs out of the parking lot. “Hold mine for a second, please,” he requests in a playful, teasing tone.

I study the two giant towers of ice cream covered in crunchy chocolate coating and sprinkles. I pretend my mouth isn’t totally watering right now. “You really expect me to eat all this?” I mutter in disbelief.

He laughs. “Well, you still could use a few extra pounds, if that’s what you’re asking.”

I sigh and roll my eyes.

He pulls into a small, empty parking lot overlooking a stream. Stars stretch far across the sky and the moon glistens on the water. It really is breathtaking!

Desperate to get our conversation back onto a serious note, I spurt out the first crazy thing that comes to mind. “What? Are you trying to turn this into some kind of romantic date or something? Aren’t you just a bit too old for me?”

He grins and shuts off the truck.

I hand him his ice cream cone.

He takes a large bite out of it. “First off—” He stops dead in his tracks, apparently remembering his manners as he quickly finishes chewing before he continues. “I don’t even turn twenty-one for another month, so thank you for telling me I look old. Second, there’s nothing about me that knows anything about women, dating, or romance . . . so no.” He takes another large bite.

Wow! His sarcasm is as harsh as mine!

10 Steps to Girlfriend Status (Bird Face book two)

[Chapter 1, scene 1]

Who would’ve guessed that looking through old photo albums could get me into so much trouble?

It happened to be Friday—the day before the wedding. No, not mine! I’m only fourteen, and this is Louisiana, not New Hampshire.

I arrived on time at LeMoyne High School, via the Mom-mobile, wearing a skirt that made the best of summer’s leftover tan. Baseball-player and heart-throbbing hunk David Griffin leaned against a tree on the front lawn.

Steps toward achieving girlfriend status:
1. Meeting before school (Check.)

We’d known each other since last year, but at the start of ninth grade our friendship expanded like a Cajun cornbread hushpuppy in hot oil.

“Hey, Wendy. TGIF,” he shouted.

Man, his grin killed me. “TGI-uh-TD-uh-BTW,” I countered. It was really hard to concentrate when he was all I could see.

He burst out laughing and ran a hand over his curly brown hair. “What?”

“Thank goodness it’s the day before the wedding.” Like always, heat crept into my cheeks as I drew near him. I smiled big to camouflage the reason.

“Yeah, and I’ll be there with a tie and everything.” His green eyes dazzled me. “Unless you un-invite me.”

“Not a chance. I need all the moral support I can get.” I’d never tell him Mom allowed me to invite no more than two friends, and he was one of them. If he only knew how much I looked forward to seeing him away from his jock buddies.

We started up the steps to the main entrance as the first leaves of autumn danced across our path in the warm breeze.

“Well, I might mess up somehow and make you mad today.” He stuck an arm out and prevented someone who was coming down the steps from running into me.

“You won’t wiggle out that easily.”

We reached an intersection of halls and turned in opposite directions.

“See you later,” he said over his shoulder.

It took every ounce of willpower not to look back at him as he walked away. But too many pairs of eyes watched, belonging to too many of his friends and teammates who’d poke and tease him.

We weren’t a couple—at least not yet. Why invite ridicule or ruin my chances? LeMoyne was three times the size of Bellingrath Junior High, and to say there were a lot of pretty girls here was an understatement of gross proportions.

This is an excerpt from my mystery-romance that I'm posting for free each Friday on my website. Enjoy:)

Jared glanced at his watch and moved toward the front door. A sharp rap on the front door confirmed that Will was punctual as usual.
“Hey, come on in.”

His friend whistled as he entered the apartment. “This is definitely a step up, buddy. Better than your previous apartment.”

Jared shrugged. “It’s one of the perks of the job.”

Will ran a hand over the leather couch. “It came furnished, right? You’ve never had such nice things.” He eyed the television. “And a HDTV.”

“That was my lone contribution, but no satellite. The rabbit ears work pretty good, though. Do you want anything to drink? I don’t have anything stronger than a Coke.”

“Coke’s fine. No ice if it’s cold.”

Jared rounded the corner that separated the kitchen from the living-dining room combination. He grabbed two soda cans from the fridge and brought them into the living room, where Will had ensconced himself on the couch, his feet on the coffee table and the remote in his hand. He flipped through the TV channels.

“Make yourself right at home, why don’t you?” Jared handed him the soda. He popped the top on his can and sat down beside him.

Will clicked off the television and turned to Jared. He took a swig and reached into his messenger bag. “We’ve uncovered some new information that may have a direct connection to our case.”

Jared sipped his soda. “You gave me all the info about Wildcat.”

“This isn’t about Wildcat directly.” Will pulled out a thick manila folder held together by a rubber band.

“What’s all that?”

Will placed his hand on top of the folder. “Several of our field offices submitted requests for assistance on some fraud cases that were eerily similar. This is that data.”

“Similar to each other or to Wildcat?”

“The short answer is both. The fraud cases are alike themselves and have elements that echo Wildcat’s modus operandi.”

Jared tapped his fingers on the couch arm. “So is this an official investigation now?”

“It is and it isn’t.” Will pulled off the rubber band and opened the folder. “I moved to the fraud division in the FBI after your accident. It’s partly because of blowback from the events leading up to that, uh, incident and partly a promotion.”


“Let me explain,” Will continued. “Most of the cases I’ve received have been, well, routine.” He leaned forward. “When they assigned the Wildcat investigation to me, I knew the powers-that-be were still not ready to forget the last case. Then they dump this on me, and I think it’s going to be more of the same. That is, until I start delving into the paperwork. This one has an unusual twist. It’s run by a well-oiled machine of people who are scamming hundreds, perhaps thousands of people in the United States.”

“That does sound big. I’m trying to track down Wildcat’s identity through Mary—which isn’t going well. I’m not sure what else I can contribute to your other case. I’m a psychiatrist, not an accountant.”

Night fell over BWH as my second brain surgery was about to begin...

Next Door to a Star (clean teen fiction)
by Krysten Lindsay Hager


The school year should end right after spring break, because all anyone can focus on is summer vacation. You can’t learn anything new, because all you can think about is all the fun stuff you’re going to do once you don’t have to get up at the butt crack of dawn. Summer always seems full of possibilities.

Nothing exciting ever happens during the school year, but maybe, during summer vacation, you could run into a hot celebrity and he’d decide to put you in his next music video. Okay, it wasn’t like I knew anybody that happened to, but my grandparents did live next door to a former TV star, Simone Hendrickson, and Simone was discovered in an ice cream parlor one summer. Of course, she lived in L.A. at the time and was already doing plays and commercials, so the guy who discovered her had already seen her perform. But hey, it was summer, she got discovered, and that was all that mattered.

Amazing stuff didn’t happen to me. You know what happened to me last summer? I stepped on a bee and had to go to the emergency room. They’re not going to make an E! True Hollywood Story out of my life. I didn’t go on exotic vacations - like today, I was being dragged along with my parents to my cousin’s graduation party. Most people waited until at least the end of May before having a grad party, but Charisma was having hers early because she was leaving on a trip to Spain. I was dreading this party because I didn’t want to listen to everybody talk about how smart and talented Charisma was - making me feel like a blob in comparison - but my mom RSVP’d even though I said I’d rather die than go. My death threats meant nothing. But still, for some strange reason, I had a feeling this summer was going to be different.