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)!!


Mail Order Man - Click to Buy

Sarah heard a commotion to her left. Before she could even raise her eyes to see what was going on, someone came barreling out from the mercantile and plowed right into her. Sarah’s feet flew out from under her, and she landed out in the street, far from the boardwalk on which she had a moment ago been walking. Before she could take stock of the situation to determine if she’d landed in mud or manure, at least a dozen hands were reaching out to help her up.

Frightened by all of the men crowding in around her and not sure of their intentions, Sarah scrambled to her feet and backed up from the growing crowd. She did not recognize a single face from the group that continued to step closer to her.

As she scurried backward, Sarah ran right smack into a wall. She didn’t remember a wall being there in the middle of the street, but sure enough, she was trapped between the wall behind her and the wall of men walking toward her.

“Pardon me, gentlemen, but I think you have frightened the lady here.”

Sarah stiffened as she heard the wall behind her speak.  Her head whipped back and up. With the sun shining right into her eyes, she couldn’t see the face of her rescuer, but his voice was confidently calm, loud enough to carry to all of the men who had been reaching toward her without actually sounding as though he’d raised his voice.

“Miss, are you okay?” It took Sarah a moment to realize the talking wall was speaking to her.

“Y-y-yes, thank you.” Sarah struggled to get the words out past a suddenly dry and scratchy throat.

Go Back

The sun set near to the mountain when Adam climbed onto the log pile. He stood on a large springy limb hanging above the others. He bounced a bit and pushed branches aside. One hand held to the overhanging limb for support.
The thick limb on which he stood bounced as he stretched out for a chunk of dark red mahogany. He stretched farther and it bumped up and down. A loud crack echoed through the valley and Adam disappeared. I scurried to him as fast as I could. I drug broken branches away until I found him, lying on the ground. The limb he recently stood on recoiled above him, still attached to the tree, rebounding. Twigs and other debris covered him.
“What happened? Are you hurt?” I brushed away the dirt and leaves.
“A bit dazed,” he mumbled, his voice quivering. “I … think … the limb … flipped me.” He paused and took a breath.” Ooh,” he groaned. “I felt a … whoosh of air, then I … hit something … lots of something. … It … hurts.”
Wa1I leaned over him touching his back and moving my hand up his neck. “It looked bad. It frightened me.”
He tried to sit, but slumped down.
“Your eyes are not focusing. They look wrong.” I said tentatively touching the back of his head. “Oh. There are lumps on your head, here, here, and here.”
“My head hurts and everything spins.” He allowed a moan to escape.
“You must have hit it when you fell. Lie back. Let it settle.” I helped him lie down and watched his face. His color concerned me, even in the half-light it never before looked it so gray.
While his head stopped spinning, I examined the rest of his body, searched for injuries and felt for bumps. There were red scrapes on his back, sides, and legs. I found nothing else. How would I know? Nothing like this had happened to us.
Sparse, thin clouds reflected golds and oranges as the sun slipped behind the mountain. I marveled at their beauty as I waited. They lost color, darkening to gray.
Finally, Adam sat up. I could see his eyes still spinning. The light receded, leaving us in shadows. Still, we waited until his eyes looked better.
I helped him stand. “Are you still spinning?”
He put some weight on his hurt leg. “A little. My leg hurts.”
“I am sure it does. You fell on your side. Scraped it and your left leg and back as you fell. Lean on me.”
He allowed me to carry much of his weight as he took slow, deliberate steps. He groaned occasionally as we moved through the dusk toward home. “What was I doing? On a limb like that?” he mumbled. “Nothing there. Beautiful burl. Mahogany. Right size. Do not remember.”
His words slurred and my fear increased. I accessed the strength within me to stay calm, although a scream fought to escape.

Season of Hope (The Seasons Book 1)
Inspirational romance available at

“Why do you want to date?” Tyler’s confused look was not an act.

“I didn’t say I wanted to date. Debbie’s question just got me thinking.That’s all.” She studied Tyler. “Don’t you think you’re going to want to ask girls out on a date?”

“Not anytime soon,” he mumbled, reaching for his glass of sweet tea.

“Why don’t you both just focus on school?” Ethan suggested. “Sounds good to me,” Tyler agreed. “In fact, AJ, I say we make a pact to bypass the high school dating distraction. Let’s focus on school and have a little race to the top of the class.”

“Deal.” Amanda wasn’t about to pass up a challenge.

Ethan smiled across at both of them. “I’m glad that’s settled.”

Tyler concentrated on buttering his biscuits. “If I want to become a Navy SEAL I won’t have time for dating anyway,” he remarked.

His comment caught Ethan by surprise. “I didn’t know you were interested in becoming a SEAL, Tyler.”

“Yessir.” Tyler gave the man an unpretentious nod. “And I read that you should go out for as many sports teams as you can in high school since you have to be in top physical condition to become a SEAL.” He directed his next comment at Amanda. “And if I’m going to beat you to the top of the class and stay focused on getting into shape, I won’t have time for female drama.”

Tyler’s words evoked a smile from Amanda’s father. Glancing over at his wife, he caught her unamused look and quickly removed the smirk, turning back to commend the lad and deliver a surprise. “Hey, Tyler?” The boy looked up from his fork full of mashed potatoes and gravy. “That’s a very noble goal. You’re going to need some experience with a gun, too. I’ve already talked with your mother about taking you hunting this year, and she okayed it. Are you interested?”

“You bet I am!” Tyler’s enthusiasm was almost palpable.

Ethan was more than satisfied with his reaction. “Awesome. We’ll start making preparations for a fall hunting trip then.”

Amanda looked at Tyler, disappointment and worry twisting her innocent face. “You’re gonna kill a deer?”

“It’s food, AJ,” he said in his defense.

“They’re living, breathing creatures. I hate that people kill them.”

Tyler looked puzzled. “But you still eat the meat.”

“I don’t like to think about it, though. Just don’t show me any pictures.”

Ethan, seeing his wife’s pleading look, intervened. “Okay. Let’s change the subject before the girls lose their appetites.” He reached for his wife’s hand and gave it a gentle squeeze. “Amanda gets that tender heart of hers from her mother. Tyler and I will keep our hunting stories to ourselves.”

“Thank you,” Amanda said, relieved. “Pass the chicken, please.”

Tyler grinned. “You know, Amanda, that chicken used to be a—”

“Uh, Tyler,” Ethan interrupted. “Just pass Amanda the chicken.”

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Excerpt from A Match Made in Williamstown
LIBBY SCHUYLER KNEW she shouldn’t have answered her phone. There was a reason she’d assigned “Dangerous” as her sister’s ringtone.

“You’ve got to do something about Grandmother,” Stacey said without even a hello first.

Libby placed the mail on the table and leaned against the front door to her grandmother’s duplex. Whatever Stacey had to say couldn’t be good if she was calling their NeNe “Grandmother.”

“Mom and I thought you moved back to Williamstown to keep an eye on NeNe,” Stacey said. “She’s eighty years old, after all.”

Even at age eighty, Ellie Alexander could run rings around most people half her age. And Libby had moved back to Williamstown because Williamstown was home. She and Stacey had spent most of their childhood here. Libby had gone to college here.

“What’s NeNe done?” Libby pushed away from the door and began pacing to counter the expected agitation her sister’s latest rant would cause.

“She’s got a boyfriend.”

“What’s wrong with that?”

“Aside from her age, she met him through a supposedly Christian online dating service and not one of the big ones.”

Libby stifled the laugh that bubbled up inside her. NeNe could be doing—and had done—far more outrageous things.

“What’s wrong with her dating? Before I left for my training presentations in California last week, NeNe was lamenting how her circle of close friends has gotten so much smaller the past few years.” Libby shrugged. “So, she wanted to meet new people.”

“This isn’t something that developed since last week. Evidently, it’s been going on for some time.”
Libby heard a car slow down and speed up out front.

“He’s not anyone that anyone we know knows,” Stacey said. “I checked with my friends in Williamstown. He’s from Pennsylvania.” She voiced the last word as if she were saying Mars.

To Libby’s way of thinking, NeNe needed more protection from Stacey and Mom trying to stifle her free spirit than from an online dating match. “I don’t see the problem. She’s a grown woman who’s taken care of herself for the past twenty-five years and in a lot more exotic places than Pennsylvania. But I’ll talk with her when she gets back.”

“Gets back from where?” Stacey’s voice rose.

“A medical conference.” Libby swallowed. In Philadelphia. But Stacey didn’t need to know that. “I’m feeding her cats until she gets home Monday.”

“She’s probably seeing him,” Stacey started in again.

And what if she were? Far worse things could happen to NeNe than a long-distance gentleman friend. Footsteps on the front porch closed Libby’s mind to anything else her sister was saying. “I’ve got to go. Someone’s at NeNe’s door.”

“But, but,” Stacey sputtered.

Libby synchronized her end call with the knock on the door, smiled, and went to answer it. Anyone, even a vacuum cleaner salesperson, would be preferable to continuing her conversation with Stacey. She put her eye to the peep hole. Anyone except Jack Parker, the man standing on her grandmother’s porch.

Sea of Crystal, Sea of Glass


The patriarch brought the drink in a goblet, pressing it into Einur's hands with nauseous attentiveness. He then sat across from Einur and watched the boy drink the water. As he finished, the patriarch leapt up again. “The youngling wishes to know about the Lost Tribe?”

“Yes, father, if you'd tell me.”

“What do you wish to know, youngling?”

“Well, really, anything you know about them. But mostly where they are now. Do you know where they went after the Rebellion?”

The patriarch grinned, a nasty smirking grin that didn't reach his eyes. “Why do you want to know that, youngling?”

“I'm curious.”

“There was a queen once with a cat that was always curious, and that same cat listened in to state secrets and ended up under the executioner's axe. That's what comes of curiosity, youngling.”

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?”