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

Right then Claudio and Cesar came through the door. Both boys chimed a "Good morning!" in Sarah's direction as they headed straight for the coffee on the stove. Sarah saw their intent and inwardly cringed. Not only was she not sure about how many scoops of grounds she'd put in, but the coffee had been percolating much longer than normal because she got distracted with the letters.

Samuel had his back to the stove and did not see the boys as they each poured a cup of coffee. Sarah was about to warn them as Claudio, the middle boy at age 16, took a big swig of the hot brew while Cesar, the youngest, opted to blow on his first. Claudio’s eyes grew wide as he swallowed. “Miss Sarah, I do believe that’s the best coffee you’ve ever made. That’s the kind of coffee vaqueros drink!”

Samuel visibly perked up at the mention of coffee. Sarah was sure he couldn’t know a vaquero was a Mexican cowboy and that they drink their camp coffee strong. If he understood what the boys were saying, he definitely wouldn’t be in a hurry to get a cup of his own. Cesar finally took a drink of his coffee. Sarah could see him trying not to make a face as he swallowed the brew. “Vaquero coffee for sure, Miss Sarah. Papa would be proud.”

Sarah had barely started to warn, “Uh, Samuel…” when he took a big gulp of the coffee Claudio had poured for him. She watched the shock on his face as he first paled and then grew red. His eyes flew wide as he tried desperately to swallow the coffee. He finally ran out the front door and spit the coffee out over the edge of the stage platform.

The boys could not contain their howling laughter as Samuel walked back into the stage office, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand.

Go Back

Dating the It Guy by Krysten Lindsay Hager
(YA contemporary fiction)

“By the way, did you hear Lauren got into Senator Agretti’s old school?”

“Seriously? I wonder if she applied there because Brendon did,” I said.

Margaux snorted. “Duh, of course. Seriously, she might as well just pee on him to mark her territory.”

“Margaux, shut up,” Kylie said.

“Whatever. Anyway, the important thing is if Brendon knew she was applying there,” Margaux said. “Em, do you think he knew?”

I hoped Lauren was just trying to follow Brendon, but what if they had planned this whole thing while they were dating? What if he convinced her to apply there so they could go to college together, wear matching American flag sweaters with big scarves while drinking hot chocolate, and jump into leaf piles just like a preppy clothing catalog. At least now I didn’t have to worry about them reciting poetry to one another in South Bend, but still, what if they had made plans to go to school together?

“Don’t worry about it,” Kylie said. “She was probably trying to follow him—like she always does. She’s so pathetic.”

Kylie was trying to make me feel better, but Lauren was far from pathetic. After all, she was pretty much the “Most Likely to Succeed” poster girl. While she was out overachieving and saving the world without messing up her perfect, bouncy hair, I was trying to get through each day. I tried to push away the image of Lauren and Brendon holding hands and drinking hot chocolate under a stadium blanket.

TRY ME, I AM JESUS: A Muslim's Journey with Christ
by Syed Ibn Syed

It was nearly nine o'clock on the night of December 24, 1990. I was seventeen years old, sitting alone in a park, contemplating the recent turn of events. My mind was racing back and forth between incidents that could potentially have a very debilitating effect on my entire family. Wave after wave of emotions crashed through my soul. I was feeling angry, upset, sad, and lost. Yes, that was the word, lost. I had no one to turn to for help. The future seemed so bleak, and the more I thought about it, the more it seemed to be slipping away into oblivion. Everything was so confusing; a host of questions bombarded my mind. Why were these things happening the way they were? Ours was a very good, God-fearing family. Then why these problems? Was Allah not pleased with me? Had I failed in any of my duties toward Allah? I had tried to keep my eyes and thoughts focused on the Almighty and had striven to fulfill the requirements of Islam to the best of my knowledge. Then why had this storm brewed in my family? I cried out toward Allah, the Almighty, Most Beneficent, and Merciful, yet the heavens seemed strangely distant. As I sat deep in thought, one question superseded all others. What use is this life after all that has happened?

An excerpt from INDELIBLE, book three of the Insurrection trilogy:

“I’m tired of hitting things. I want to build something,” Micah said.

“Okay. Build an empire with me. I’ll knock stuff down, and you can build it up better than it was.”

Micah glanced up at me. “I don’t want to be jealous.”

“Don’t be. I’m certainly nobody to be jealous of.”

“But you seem to accomplish the things I want to, right before I do.”

I nodded, pursing my lips. “It might seem like that. But I’m just standing next to you on the field, trying to find my footing. And I’m literally on fire. I’ll be your cheerleader, no matter what you accomplish, or when.”

“You’re not literally on fire,” Denise interrupted. “But you’d make for an interesting cheerleader.”

“Ha, you’d like to see it, wouldn’t you?” I asked Denise.

“The little pleated skirt and poms? Yes.”

“I’d rock it, too.”

“You most certainly would.” Denise nodded. “Although, now I’m feeling left out. You two have all of these crazy talents, and I’m like, sweeping the floor in the background.”

“Denise, you will never be a background person,” I argued, shaking my head. I threw my arms around her shoulders. “You’ll always be the girl at the record player, playing several boxes of the same song over and over and over.”

“It was supposed to be tons of records!” Denise yelled. “It was to be a lyrical symphony of rock, shock, and roll!” She wailed in exasperation and Micah chuckled.

“No.” I sighed, throwing my arms around both girls’ shoulders. “We are a shooting star, ladies. Resolute and brilliant, bursting along wildly, in the very moment we need to be seen.”

“Quite philosophical,” Micah stated.

“Wouldn’t be me if it weren’t,” I said, winking at her. “Otherwise I’d just be a girl who liked to hit stuff.”

“You don’t just hit stuff,” Denise argued. “You’re very good at falling down as well.”

Sniffing a laugh, I consoled her. “I love you, too, Denise.” I twisted, climbing down the edge of the boulder. Dusk had settled around us and we’d need to go suit up soon. Micah stood, facing the expanse.

“Hey,” Micah spoke up, looking down at me. “Saylor. Don’t slow down or hold back because of me.”

I tilted my head to see her lengthy shadow towering above me.

“I’m glad for you. I honestly am. You’re kind of the glue that keeps us together. Don’t give up on us, and don’t think less of yourself in the process. You’re tough. Kind of like a shield. We need that.”

I grinned up at her.

“Saylor!” Denise called out. She clapped. “Imma make you a pleated skirt! Add that to your uniform. With orange glitter on it. And like, yellow tulle.”

“Don’t forget sequins,” Micah added. “Red sequins.”

Adventure, action, friendship, and loyalty: Grab the INSURRECTION trilogy on Amazon, Nook, iTunes, Kobo, Smashwords and more, and join the epic journey today!

Find out more and purchase INDELIBLE here:

PROVIDENCE: Hannah's Journey: (inspired by II Kings 5) An interrupted kiss in a cave...

His lips descended upon hers. His desire consumed her. A geyser of pleasure burst within her belly.

Oh God, Do not take him from me.

Noise interrupted their kiss. Rebukes.

“Where is that Hebrew?” A man bellowed.

Flickering light split the darkness.

Gil turned and wedged her into the nook with his body. They were trapped. His bravery was useless.

“Hannah?” Reumah’s summons was like a luxurious soak in eucalyptus oil. “Mereb insisted she was in here. Where is my servant?”

A torch flame bathed Hannah and Gil in light. The fire bearer unsheathed his sword. “She is here,” he announced.

Two soldiers tore Gil from her. He thrashed in defiance.

She gasped at the blood and dirt covering his body. The darkness had been kind to spare her his plight.

“I dream of spilling your blood,” a soldier said, scratching at Gil’s dried wounds.

“Stop,” Hannah shouted for all of Damascus to hear. “Let him be.” She stepped closer to the light bearer. “If you touch him, I will awaken your gods with my screams.”

“What if I touch you?” The torch flickered in her direction. A wicked grin crossed his face.

“Mistress! I am here. Save us.”

The flames moved closer to Gil’s curly hair.

“Bring her to me.” The tremble in Reumah’s voice hinted her patience had waned. “She was a gift from my husband.”

She stretched to her full height and glared at the guards as if she were Naabak’s daughter. Pointing at Gil, she said, “I will not leave here without him.” She would not abandon Gil in this filthy cave.

"I am more convinced than ever that..."
For more, please see page 47
Thanks for taking a look, Keith

Here's an excerpt of my YA fantasy adventure, The MirrorMasters. I'm running an Amazon giveaway, and in case you don't win, It's on sale for just $0.99 through September 1!

Giveaway Link:


The cool water invigorated me as it splashed against my skin. I wiped my hands and patted my face dry with a towel, meeting my eyes in the mirror. In the florescent lighting, my complexion shone snow-pale, ghostly pale, even though I’d already started working on a "summer tan." It was a hopeless cause.

Jenny should have showed by now. Kevin should have, too. He didn’t have to babysit tonight. My nerves would ease, at least a little, once all my friends arrived. I wanted to hear Kevin say he didn’t notice anything strange by the cemetery. It would start there, if anywhere, and he lived the closest to it.

The lights flickered, then went out. Startled, I jumped. Darkness and the scent of cucumber-melon air freshener enveloped me. My breaths quickened. Limbs trembling, I groped for the light switch and managed to find it, but flicking it up and down did nothing. Midway toward the doorknob, my hand paused as a bright flash in the mirror caught my gaze. I froze.

Where was that light coming from? This bathroom didn’t have a window.

It was coming from the mirror.

Transfixed, I saw the images in fragments. A soft glow of white light amid the trees. A blonde girl struggling out on the church grounds to protect herself and her sister — the Stanford twins! — against a man with ice-blue eyes. Strange symbols on his weapon that flashed, faster and faster, and hummed, higher and higher in pitch until it emitted a burst of green energy. One sister crumpled, while a boy with those same ice-blue eyes chased the other into the woods.

Then a wave of a hand, and shattered glass reassembling itself. Lightning bolts of electricity from a dark, cloaked figure striking a brunette girl. Her body, small and slender, falling to the floor — Jenny?

A hole in the ground, surrounded by headstones.

I stepped back, toward implied safety. That did not just happen. Oh, blazes, it did. The last trace shadows of a freshly dug grave, now covered, lingered in the glass.

"What is that?" My voice sounded small and tight to my ears in this enclosed space. I rubbed my arms in a vain effort to warm myself. Goosebumps prickled all along them. Dread seized me, settling like lead in the pit of my stomach.

I blinked as the images disappeared, leaving me in complete blackness again. Heart pounding in my chest with a desperate need to escape, I fumbled for the doorknob, barely restraining the impulse to pound the door like a crazy person when my fingers failed to find it. Out in the game room, I heard the patio door slide open. Kevin said something to David and Kara, but his words were muffled, indistinct, worried. A jolt of fear shot through me. What if Kevin told them Jenny had been hurt — or worse — just like the mirror had shown?

"Leah, come on," David called.

"Coming!" My hand finally grasped the doorknob. When I turned it and pushed, the bathroom door wouldn’t budge. I pushed again, harder. The door still didn’t move. "Guys, wait! I’m stuck."

Their only reply was the sliding glass door slamming shut.