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Sunday, December 18, 2011

A NIGHT FOR MIRACLES by CHERYL PIERSON



Christmas has always been a miraculous time for me. It still is. When I was younger, it was because of the presents, and the anticipation that came with the season. My parents were not wealthy, but we had the necessities and a few of the luxuries. My mom was a great manager. She could make the smallest thing seem of the greatest value. She could transform our house into a marvelous Christmas haven with her decorations, wonderful cooking and a few well-wrapped packages. When I became an adult, the torch was passed, but the anticipation merely shifted. The excitement I felt was not for myself, but for my children–the joy I could bring to them.

Once I had written A Night for Miracles, I began to think about my heroine, Angela Bentley, and how I might have reacted had I been in her place. I would like to think that I would have done what she did–transformed her small cabin into a memorable Christmas castle that none of the children would ever forget, simply through a good meal, a warm fire, and a gift. But it was all of these things that made Angela’s “gift” — the gift of her heart — special. She put herself out on a limb, having been emotionally wounded before.

I thought about the old legend–that Christmas Eve is a “night for miracles” to happen. Angela was not a rich person by any means, but she gave what she had, freely. She took in the stranger and the three children from the cold, gave them warm beds and fed them. But then she went even further. She gave her heart to them, although it was a huge risk. She comes through with physical gifts, but the true giving was in her spirit. And that leads to a miracle.

A Night For Miracles is one of those short stories that I didn’t want to end. I love a happy ending, and this is one of the happiest of all, for everyone in the story.

Blurb for A NIGHT FOR MIRACLES:

Legend says that miracles happen on Christmas Eve. Can a chance encounter between a gunfighter and a lonely widow herald a new beginning for them both? On this special night, they take a gamble that anything is possible–if they only believe! Available now!
Cheryl's Amazon Author Page:
https://www.amazon.com/author/cherylpierson

EXCERPT FROM A NIGHT FOR MIRACLES:

Angela placed the whiskey-damp cloth against the jagged wound. The man flinched, but held himself hard against the pain. Finally, he opened his eyes. She looked into his sun-bronzed face, his deep blue gaze burning with a startling, compelling intensity as he watched her. He moistened his lips, reminding Angela that she should give him a drink. She laid the cloth in a bowl and turned to pour the water into the cup she’d brought.

He spoke first. “What…what’s your name?” His voice was raspy with pain, but held an underlying tone of gentleness. As if he were apologizing for putting her to this trouble, she thought. The sound of it comforted her. She didn’t know why, and she didn’t want to think about it. He’d be leaving soon.

“Angela.” She lifted his head and gently pressed the metal cup to his lips. “Angela Bentley.”

He took two deep swallows of the water. “Angel,” he said, as she drew the cup away and set it on the nightstand. “It fits.”

She looked down, unsure of the compliment and suddenly nervous. She walked to the low oak chest to retrieve the bandaging and dishpan. “And you are…”

“Nick Dalton, ma’am.” His eyes slid shut as she whirled to face him. A cynical smile touched his lips. “I see…you’ve heard of me.”

A killer. A gunfighter. A ruthless mercenary. What was he doing with these children? She’d heard of him, all right, bits and pieces, whispers at the back fence. Gossip, mainly. And the stories consisted of such variation there was no telling what was true and what wasn’t.

She’d heard. She just hadn’t expected him to be so handsome. Hadn’t expected to see kindness in his eyes. Hadn’t expected to have him show up on her doorstep carrying a piece of lead in him, and with three children in tow. She forced herself to respond through stiff lips. “Heard of you? Who hasn’t?”

He met her challenging stare. “I mean you no harm.”

She remained silent, and he closed his eyes once more. His hands rested on the edge of the sheet, and Angela noticed the traces of blood on his left thumb and index finger. He’d tried to stem the blood flow from his right side as he rode. “I’m only human, it seems, after all,” he muttered huskily. “Not a legend tonight. Just a man.”

He was too badly injured to be a threat, and somehow, looking into his face, she found herself trusting him despite his fearsome reputation. She kept her expression blank and approached the bed with the dishpan and the bandaging tucked beneath her arm. She fought off the wave of compassion that threatened to engulf her. It was too dangerous. When she spoke, her tone was curt. “A soldier of fortune, from what I hear.”

He gave a faint smile. “Things aren’t always what they seem, Miss Bentley.”
A Night For Miracles is available at The Wild Rose Press, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and many other outlets where books are sold.

I also have another Christmas short story, a FREE READ, available at TWRP, Until the Last Star Burns Out http://www.thewildrosepress.com/until-the-last-star-burns-out-p-1065.html

For all my other CHRISTMAS SHORT STORIES, see my Amazon author page!
To find out more about Cheryl, visit her website or her Blog.

14 comments:

jean hart stewart said...

Love the bad boy isn't really so bad type of hero. Nice excerpt. Thanks. Jean

Tina Donahue said...

A Night for Miracles sounds wonderful, Cheryl! :)

Sarah J. McNeal said...

I loved this story. It is just the kind of heartwarming story that prepares the spirit for Christmas.

Cheryl Pierson said...

Hi Jean,
I love Nick in this story. I have often thought of going back and writing this into a longer version.
Thanks for coming by!
Cheryl

Cheryl Pierson said...

Thank you, Tina. It was one of my favorite stories I ever wrote. I know people say that sometimes about all their stories, but really and truly, there was just such angst in this one that I was so glad to bring it to a very happy end.
Hugs,
Cheryl

Cheryl Pierson said...

Sarah,
Thank you so much for all your support. I appreciate you, and I'm so glad you loved A NIGHT FOR MIRACLES so much. It's truly one of my favorite Christmas stories because it ends so well.
Hugs,
Cheryl

Maggie Toussaint said...

You write the best heroes, Cheryl. Nick is another "keeper."

I enjoyed what you said about your mom and Christmas. Sometimes we don't even realize the torch has been passed until we find outelves doing all the stuff our moms did.

I don't know how my mom got everything done with five kids. I had trouble keeping up with two.

Merry Christmas!

Maggie
http://mudpiesandmagnolias.blogspot.com/

Cheryl Pierson said...

Aw, thanks so much Maggie. I know you are busy as heck. I appreciate you coming by to comment. I'm so glad you enjoy my heroes--I really loved Nick, so much, I hated to let him go. LOL Oh, I don't know how your mom did it with 5 kids, either. I only had 2 and that kept me hopping--still does sometimes, even though they are grown. LOL
Have a very Merry Christmas!
Hugs,
Cheryl

Fiona McGier said...

How do moms of lots of kids do anything? You just give up sleep and do what it takes to make the kids happy. I had 4 in 5 years, and they are close friends. They are all home now for the holidays, and I joke that our house is now a 24/7 party-zone, with most of the really good stuff happening after husband and I go to sleep, since we are getting too old to be up all night anymore! But they have all worked since they were 14, and they all are getting as much education as we can afford to help them get. And Christmas has always been a time for quality family-time, so I'm glad to do the cookie-baking, the decorating, the shopping and the wrapping, while I work 2 jobs! Family is everything!

Cheryl Pierson said...

Fiona,
Sounds like you have a wonderful houseful! I always wanted more, but my husband had 2 by his first marriage to 2 was it for us. Thanks for coming by and commenting!
Cheryl

Mona Risk said...

I grew up in a family where Christmas was not about gifts, but family being together for a great Christmas dinner with songs and jokes and good mood. We loved these family reunions. And I kept the tradition, inviting all the extended family members who are ready to drive, or fly, and share family time.

Love your excerpt.

Caroline Clemmons said...

Cheryl, you are just burning up the keyboard. Keep them coming!

Cheryl Pierson said...

Mona, that is wonderful that you keep the tradition alive for your family. In my family, we always got together at Christmas, no matter what. But my husband's family wasn't that way. Now that my parents are gone, and my oldest sis is in a nursing home, my other sis and I have our own families that we spend Christmas with. My kids live nearby and that is a blessing. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas, and thanks so much for coming by and leaving a comment. I know you are very very busy right now.
Hugs,
Cheryl

Cheryl Pierson said...

Caroline,
Thank you! And look at you! Number 2 on the Amazon Historical Romance list--is that right? That is just awesome! Congratulations!
Hugs,
Cheryl