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 a look at His Saving Grace

Separate rooms. He'd booked them into separate rooms. She didn't know whether to be relieved she would not be spending her wedding night with a bitterly angry Thomas or vexed she would be spending it alone. He's trying to hurt me on purpose, and it's working.

The woman, no doubt the proprietor's wife, showed Grace her room, then excused herself. Looking around the small chamber, Grace realized she'd not thought to ask about dinner or a bath or even her belongings. A hard knock at the chamber door drew her attention. "Who is it?" she asked.

"Your husband." The voice was stark and commanding.

She opened the door, a smile pasted on her face. The smile died within seconds. Thomas's appearance matched his voice. His eyes remained glacial, and his mouth was drawn tight, lips thinned. He wouldn't even look at her. "You are to remain in your chamber until someone fetches you in the morning to leave. It's not safe for you below." He didn't even wait for her to acknowledge his words. As soon as he was done speaking, he shut the door on her. His steps quickly receded down the hallway. Grace was left with nothing but a sinking feeling. The longer she stood there at the closed door, the more that feeling grew, urging her to let it transform into blistering anger.

It was safe enough below that you had no qualms about deserting me there when you went to your chamber. Now that you're going to be below stairs, I'm confined to my room. It's not about safety. This is about you wanting nothing to do with me! At least be honest about it.

Hunger gnawed at her, but she decided to lie down and try to forget about it. Surely Thomas would order a tray sent up to her. He's not a cruel man. He's behaving this way because he's angry. He's not cruel…

Go Back

Secret Angel by Cherry Christensen

“I’m not sure about this color,” Naomi, the preacher’s wife, informed Hannah. “I look like a wad of pink chewing gum.”
“No you don’t.” Hannah tied a brown snowflake scarf around the woman’s neck. The color brought out the richness of her dark eyes. “Lovely,” she said as heavy footsteps sounded on the wooden floor behind them. Turning, she spotted Jasper coming their way. “I’ll be right with you.”
“Take your time,” he said.
“Hmmm. I was wondering if you’d run into him yet,” Naomi said, backing into the changing area. “I’ll take the sweater and the scarf,” she announced.
“Pastor Amos will do a double take when he sees you at the candlelight Christmas Eve service.” She laughed, envisioning the older man letting out a low whistle for his wife. Married forty years, they still managed to maintain an endearing fondness for each other.
“Speaking of the service, you’re still planning to help us decorate the church, right?”
“I wouldn’t miss it,” Hannah said, strolling over to a small table where Jasper was thumbing through a stack of woolen socks. “See anything you like?”
He lifted his gaze. “As a matter of fact, I do.”

The Duke Conspiracy - a sweet, regency romance
~ A spying debutante, a duke, and a conspiracy. Can love be found despite their feud? ~


Alex gazed at his old friend in admiration. If anyone had ever told him he would be standing in Burlington House surrounded by Elgin’s Marbles debating with Miss Rosamund Smythe about who might be conspiring to entrap him into marriage, he would never have believed such a claim. But here they were. And she looked mighty fetching as she gazed up at him expectantly. He had to make an effort to remember what she had said. Oh yes, something about ideas to investigate. He wondered absently what she could possibly know about investigations and clues and all that. But she was right. They needed to have a direction. The only trouble was he was drawing a blank about any possible ideas.

All he could do was shrug helplessly. “I am so sorry, Rose, but I have absolutely no idea where to start. To the best of my knowledge I have never had any dealings with Broderick. I developed an instant dislike of the man upon first making his acquaintance, but I cannot even tell you why, as we have barely conversed.”

The duke was clearly flabbergasted over this development and was even slightly ashamed to not have a ready solution. Rose must have realized this. She hastened to reassure him. “Never mind about that. We both agreed earlier that the best place for us to start is with Lady Anne. That will have to be my job, as you will just be walking straight into their plot if you try to do anything about it. Now, I really must be going, so we must hurry and establish another appointment to meet up to discuss any of our findings. In the meantime, you should speak to your solicitors or man of affairs or whatever you might have along those lines and see if they are aware of any issues Broderick might have with you. Those gentlemen might know more on the subject than you.”

“How did you get so smart about such things?”

Alex was intrigued by the blush that spread over her face at this unanswerable question. The only thing she could offer was “My father is a diplomat,” with as much dignity as possible.

Alex allowed the moment to pass and was rewarded by the look of relief on her face. He hurried to make an appointment as they saw her maid approaching. “Would it be remarked upon if you come here again tomorrow or the next day?”

“Probably not,” Rose answered. “My mother never rises before noon and is really only concerned with how I spend my evenings. But you had best give me at least one day to try to make the acquaintance of Lady Anne, so let us say the day after tomorrow. That gives me a day and a half to gather as much information as possible. I shall start with my friend Lady Elizabeth. She is a font of knowledge about the ton, as well as being friendly with Lady Anne.” While she was speaking she fumbled with her drawing supplies, finally tucking them under her arm. “Wish me luck,” she concluded as she once more faced the duke.

The duke watched a myriad of emotions chase themselves across his companion’s face. He was unable to identify most of them, but he thought she looked rather wistful as she offered him a brief curtsy before she hurried away without another word.

Alex stood in the same spot for several moments, watching her retreating figure, wondering if she would look back before exiting the building. He was unprepared for the profound disappointment that swept over him as she strode away with purpose, never once glancing back in his direction. Slowly bringing his focus back to the statue she had been sketching, the duke allowed the entire interlude to play itself out in his mind. Giving his head a shake to rid himself of the melancholy that had befallen him, he followed in her footsteps and strode from the hall.


The Duke Conspiracy is only $0.99 wherever ebooks are sold, including Amazon:

~ Happy Reading :-) ~

Excerpt from "Insurrection" by Kadee Carder (YA adventure/sci fi)

“I have to stay with my sisters. Protect them. Are you serious, is this a lifelong contract? How about we settle for a two year?” I leaned back in the chair.

A half smile crossed the Commander’s face. He looked amused. He was pleased? “Private, any moment on the field could be your last. Do you understand that?”

“I do, sir.”

“You choose to join the ranks of the elite?”

“I refuse to be toast.” Sitting up and throwing back my shoulders, I let my own smirk play on my lips, recalling my first harried day of training.

His jaw set in place, in a familiar habit. Those navy eyes searched mine.

My lungs filled with vigor and valor, as well as a smidgen of oxygen and a hint of audacity.

“Very well, then.” The Commander sighed, as if he were content from a large meal. He reached down to the side of his desk and pulled open a large drawer, taking out a manila envelope. Withdrawing a long sheet of paper, he placed it on the desk in front of me. “Here are your papers. I am advancing your rank to Private First Class. You are assigned to Echo Company Bravo, effective today. Lieutenant McConnell will remain your supervising officer and provide further instructions at Front Deck.”

I bobbed my head up and down, glancing at the piece of paper. The blanks had already been filled out. He knew what I would choose.

“Sign at the bottom on the back page,” the Commander said, placing a pen parallel to the top of the paper.

I read through the legal jargon, picking up the pen, and scanning the lengthy words. Henceforth. Litigate. Propagate. Disseminate. Prohibited. Deceased.

He leaned forward. “Once we accomplish our goal, we will move on to the next assignment, and then the next, regardless of how long it takes. You do not get to leave this island unless you opt out right now.”

With a flourish, I signed my name. “Then I suppose I need to go suit up.”

Available on Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook, iTunes, Kobo, Scribd, Smashwords and more! Only $4.99. Grab a copy at

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:

Suddenly with no warning, the floor falls out from under me. I shriek in sheer terror as I plummet into darkness.


I scream again as I quickly stumble to my feet, fumbling around in panic as I attempt to turn on the flashlight attached to my rifle. A hand clamps tightly over my mouth, so tightly I can’t even make a sound. I look up at where I fell from and see nothing but darkness. It closed back up! Fear grips every part of me. What is this place? Where am I? What just happened?

I struggle to get away, desperately reaching for my weapons, but it’s no use. He has me in some sort of death grip hold. He clamps tape over my mouth and blindfolds me; not that I could see in the darkness anyway. He already snatched the rifle from my hands, and now I feel him remove the handgun from my leg. He binds my hands behind my back securely with rope. From the time I fell into this dark pit until now was less than thirty seconds. He must be some sort of expert kidnapper.

He escorts me into the darkness, following a winding path. I listen closely and hear another set of footsteps walking with us.

“Come on, dude, what is this? What are ya  .  .  .   the poe-lease or sumthin’?”

No one answers the unknown, angry voice. I start losing it. My breaths grow fast and shallow. Having my mouth taped shut makes it ten times worse. Stop! Stop! I can’t panic now. “God help me!”I whisper in my mind. But this is it! There’s nothing left I can do. I don’t know where I am or what’s going to happen. Will I die in here?

The unknown voice continues his complaints, his rough language getting increasingly more vulgar the longer he waits for a response. I start thrashing about like a maniac, trying to kick the kidnapper holding me. I slam my head into him and drop my feet out from under me, but he just grips me around my waist and carries me, completely unfazed, like a robotic machine.

I panic. I can’t breathe. I lose all control, about to fade from conscious reality, sheer terror coursing through my veins. My heart pounds so hard, I swear I can feel it in every muscle of my rigid body. Tears consume my eyes as I desperately strain to scream through the tape clamped over my mouth.

He stops.

Is he frustrated that I’m panicking? Does he realize I’m about to lose consciousness? Maybe this is where I can make my escape!

He rips the blindfold away and shines a blinding light into my eyes.

I grunt through the tape.


In celebration of Valentine's week, here is an excerpt from The Long Road Around the Corner of Hope

A Sunday morning that Jenna was off, and she had no desire to go to church. Although she was off two Sundays a month, she slept in, rather than go to church. The church she had attended placed a lot of emphasis on marriage. Jenna was one of very few single women who went there.
Since this was the Sunday before Valentine’s Day, Jenna knew it would be all about love today. If she were to go, everyone else would tell her that God could be her Valentine. More than any other time, she resented that. She wanted a very special man to be that; it would make more sense.
Jenna woke up to rain on Valentine’s Day. In defiance, she put on a solid black knit shirt and a pair of black pants. Her hair was just the way she wanted it-unwashed for two days now, but still presentable.
She didn’t mean for this to happen, but she walked into work looking like she had been drinking. Given how she felt, she might as well have been drunk.
As she expected, Tracy came in dressed as much for success as love, the latter of which Jenna knew she was going to get from Jeff tonight. Her long, red hair was pulled back tightly with a clip, and she was dressed in a candy apple-red sweater that hung slightly off her shoulders and black slacks that really did justice to her figure.
“Good morning, Jenna. Happy Valentine’s day.”
She couldn’t look Tracy in the eye, let alone stand to be around her all day. She just slightly nodded her head.
“Jenna, I know you’re feeling down today. But I’m sure we’re going to have a busy day with last-minute shoppers you won’t even think about how you’re feeling.”
Easy for you to say, Tracy.
Noticing that her words didn’t make Jenna feel better, she put her arm around her shoulders. “You might not have any reason to celebrate today, but just remember you’re very special.”
Nothing but red and pink was all around the store, as if Cupid himself came by the store overnight and spray-painted it. This was especially in the ladies’ and lingerie departments-negligees, socks, sweaters; there were endless racks and shelves of it. Worse yet, there were many men buying items from those very places. One of them asked Jenna if they had a red dress in the store. He hoped so, and it would be in her size, because she was coming home tonight after being away for a few days on a business trip. He wanted to surprise her with a red dress she had seen here, that she wanted so bad she could taste it.
How romantic was that! Jenna tried not to resent having to help this man. Why wasn’t some other man like him doing something similar for her?

"I am more convinced than ever that..."
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Landry in Like by Krysten Lindsay Hager


I wanted to call my friends and tell them about being on the talk show, but Mom said we had to be at the TV station super early — even before school started. She said I could text them, but I had to turn off my phone and go to bed.

“I’m waking you up at four a.m.,” she said. “You have to be there at five-thirty.”

“Can I just call Peyton and Ashanti? Please?”

“Fine, but you have five minutes and then that phone is mine and you’re in bed.”

I dialed Peyton, but her mom said she was in the shower. I told her mom about the show tomorrow and said my mom wouldn’t let me stay up any later to call Peyton back.

“How exciting! I will make sure Peyton knows, and I will be watching you tomorrow. Good luck, honey,” Mrs. Urich said.

I called Ashanti next and told her.
“Get out. Get. Out. No way. This is so exciting!”

“I’m so nervous. My stomach is already doing cartwheels. I can’t do one, but my stomach can. Seems unfair. What if I throw up before I go on? I did that right before I went on at the statewide Ingénue modeling competition in Detroit, and my mom had to give me a cough drop to cover up the smell.”

“I’m sure you’ll be fine, but… just in case, take a cough drop with you,” Ashanti said. “Good luck. You’ll be great and I’ll go set the DVR now.”

I hung up and sent a text to Vladi, India, Devon, Thalia, Tori, and Ericka, so no one would be mad and feel left out. Then I shut off my phone. Mom poked her head in the door to make sure I was in bed.

“Night, hon. Try to get some rest,” she said.

Easier said than done. I stared at my ceiling while thinking about all the things that could possibly go wrong tomorrow. Seeing as the show was on in the morning, I never got to watch it, so I had no idea what the set was like — did it have super high chairs and I’d struggle to get into them? And what if it had those higher stools that were kind of tippy and my rear overshot the seat and I fell off? Or what if the prep questions got lost and the interviewer asked me random things like my feelings on nuclear war or asked me about some foreign political leader who I had never heard of before, and I appeared stupid? Why did I say I’d do this? I tried to get comfortable and it felt like I had just dozed off when I felt my mom shaking my shoulder.

“Rise and shine, TV star,” she said.