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Thursday, July 14, 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 by CHERYL PIERSON



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 with THE WILD ROSE PRESS!



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, shefound 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, but today I'll a copy give away. Simply leave comment for a chance.


Until the Last Star Burns Out http://www.thewildrosepress.com/until-the-last-star-burns-out-p-1065.html

For a complete list of all Cheryl’s work, go to her Amazon author page at:
http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B002JV8GUE

To find out more about Cheryl, visit her website or her Blog.

11 comments:

Bekki Lynn said...

I'm like you, I get the biggest joy from watching the kids on Christmas morning. I love hearing their laughter, the oohs and aws, the surprise when they received something they didn't expect, yet wanted.

I'm such a sentimental fool when it comes to Christmas and my boys. Oh, heck, I'm the biggest fool over them all year. lol

Celia Yeary said...

Ahh, Cheryl. I didn't want A Night for Miracles to end either. I adored that story. Especially, I was very intrigued by the gifts she came up with for the children. I won't tell--others can read this beautiful story and find out for themselves.
You know something? I'm really liking this "Christmas in July" thing! Celia

Savanna Kougar said...

Cheryl, it is a joy to watch children on Christmas morning. My biggest joy is when someone truly enjoys the gift I've chosen for them.

Wonderful excerpt.

Cheryl Pierson said...

Me, too, Bekki! I have always loved Christmas. My family used to joke about me waking everyone up at 2:00 a.m. wanting to see what Santa brought. My mom would say, "Let's wait a little while! He probably hasn't had time to get here yet." After I had my own kids, I figured they had probably just gotten to BED by 2:00 a.m.! LOL
Cheryl

Cheryl Pierson said...

Celia, thank you so much for your kind words and support. I appreciate you so much! I don't know why that story stayed with me--still does to this day. I think at some point I'm going to go back and re-work it somehow to revisit it, in a longer form. I love the Christmas in July thing, too.
Hugs,
Cheryl

Cheryl Pierson said...

Savanna,
I feel the same way. Especially when the kids get the things they are really hoping for. I have to tell you, though, after my stepson was killed, I stopped waiting to give the kids the things they wanted until Christmas. When I went in and cleaned out my closet and found things I'd put up for Russell for Christmas, and knew he'd never receive them, I decided that when the kids wanted something in June and if we could afford it THEN, I would get it then. Christmas wouldn't be so huge anymore, but they would have the things they wanted and needed all year round. I always loved to make handmade things for my mom and sisters, too. Those were the things they loved, and were so appreciative of. One year I made everyone a crocheted afghan. EVERYONE was thrilled that year. LOL

Thanks so much--I'm glad you enjoyed the excerpt.
Cheryl

Cheryl Pierson said...

SAVANNA YOU ARE MY WINNER FOR A NIGHT FOR MIRACLES! If you would please send me your e-mail addy, I will forward it on to you. I'm at
fabkat_edit@yahoo.com
CHERYL

Teresa K. said...

Cheryl,

The blurb for your story sounds amazing. It reminds me that we all can show our compassion. Just that tiny taste of this blurb makes me want this book for my Christmas collection.

I always love to pull out my beautiful stories of Christmas miracles and read them when the season is coming, it gets me ready and I see all the good that is around me than. Not to say that I don't now. It just amplifies that effect.

Thank you for this insight again. It seems we have this season in common. We love providing the magic.

Teresa K.
tcwgrlup41(at)yahoo.com

Cheryl Pierson said...

Hi Teresa,

Every Christmas story I write seems to have something of a "miracle" of some kind in it--I think because it's just that SEASON that brings miracles. A NIGHT FOR MIRACLES is one of my favorite stories I've ever written. It was one of my first fiction short stories, and the characters just grabbed me and wouldn't let go. It's available through The Wild Rose Press or through Amazon. You might also enjoy the two other historical short stories I wrote for the anthologies at Victory Tales Press, HOMECOMING and SCARLET RIBBONS. They're available in the Christmas anthologies from VTP through Amazon, or in the Christmas anthologies at Victory Tales Press, or you can order them as "stand alone" short stories (with a JIMMY THOMAS COVER)LOL through Amazon. Each of these stories involved a miracle, too. I know what you mean about the season "amplifying" the good--that's a great way of putting it. Thanks so much for coming by and commenting, Teresa!
Cheryl

Lindsay Townsend said...

Cheryl - touching excerpt. I love gift-giving and receiving gifts and when chosen with love it makes all the difference - a true Christmas moment, whatever the time of year.

Cheryl Pierson said...

Hi Lindsay,
I love gift giving, too, and you know, to me the most precious gifts I've ever received were the handmade ones. The little gifts my kids made for me in their growing up years, and the things my family has made from time to time.

I'm glad you enjoyed the excerpt. That gift giving we were talking about is a huge part of this short story, and there's a surprise twist at the end.

Cheryl