A NIGHT FOR MIRACLES by Cheryl Pierson

As a child, I remember how my mom used to shake her head every year as the stores put their Christmas decorations out earlier and earlier, each trying to get the jump on the others. If she were here today, she and I would both be shaking our heads together. Last week, I went into Wal Mart and noted that they had nearly completed their Christmas decorations in the lawn and garden center. Christmas trees were lighted and fully decorated. A mechanical Santa waved and said, “HO HO HO.”

That very day, when I came home, I had a notice from Amazon in my inbox with my short story, WHITE CHRISTMAS at the top of it along with many other Christmas short stories by other authors. It declared that Christmas was almost here and this would be a great time to pick up some holiday reading. My sales for that story rose overnight. I e-mailed my publisher and asked if we might hurry up the release of two more .99 Christmas stories that were nearly ready to go, and yes, I was shaking my head.

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. This story was previously released with another publisher a few years back, but I have to say, I love it in its newly-edited format and the cover by Karen M. Nutt is just gorgeous. I WILL BE GIVING AWAY TWO COPIES OF A NIGHT FOR MIRACLES TODAY! Just leave a comment about one of your own very special Christmases.

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 WESTERN TRAIL BLAZER PUBLISHING!

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 Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and many other fine e-book retail outlets for only .99!

To find out more about my upcoming releases, visit my blog: www.cherylpiersonbooks.blogspot.com

VISIT MY AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE TO SEE ALL MY SHORT STORIES AND NOVELS.

http://www.amazon.com/Cheryl-Pierson/e/B002JV8GUE/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

Cheryl Pierson
A native Oklahoman, I've been influenced by the west all my life. I love to write short stories and novels in the historical western and western romance genres, as well as contemporary romantic suspense! Check my Amazon author page to see my work: http://www.amazon.com/author/cherylpierson
I live in Oklahoma City with my husband of 37 years. I love to hear from readers and other authors--you can contact me here: fabkat_edit@yahoo.com
Follow me on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/cheryl.pierson.92
http://petticoatsandpistols.com/sweepstakesrules

33 Comments

  1. Cheryl, this book sounds wonderful! I love a good Christmas story – ANY time of year. And yes, I’m one of those who shakes my head at the merchants skipping over Thanksgiving and splattering Santas everywhere when it seems waaaay too early. But I don’t think it’s ever too early for a good Christmas tale. 🙂

    I’ve had a few really special Christmases in my life…none of them because of the presents. What makes Christmas special is always the love. One year in particular, I know my young children would not have had a Christmas at all had it not been for my brother and his wife, who made it happen with a lot of love and my sister-in-law’s ever-amazing ingenuity. It was probably the leanest Christmas ever for us, but by far the most memorable, and the one that represented the true spirit of Christmas best. I love when that happens!

  2. I love Christmas stories!!!

    I,too, am troubled when the Christmas items and decorations seem to come out earlier and earlier every year.

    Trying to remember the reason for the season, our family has helped a church that feeds anyone who wishes to come to the church on Christmas Day. There is a gift for all children and the churches poinsettas are given to anyone who wishes one. The feeling of graditude wraps everyone in warmth. Hopefully we will be able to help again this year.

  3. I also hate to see how the shops sell Christmas items earlier and earlier eacht year.
    My most special Christmas was when Santa gave me a little dog that was all mine. I had to feed him, groom him, teach him… He’s still with me today and I love him! 😀

  4. Cheryl,,,love the post,I read Christmas books all year long,,I love them they are my all time favorite,I like the way they make you feel after reading them,great post! really enjoyed reading t

  5. Hi Cheryl! I just love one-click shopping for Kindle. “A Night For Miracles” is on its way… sounds like a wonderful, heartwarming story–my favorite kind.

    About Christmas coming earlier every year–there’s something about a Jack o’ lantern with a Santa hat that gives me the creeps. It’s just not right, but Christmas stories are different. I can read them all year round. As the song says, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year.”

  6. I like reading stories about Christmastime. Your book sounds really good.
    My favorite Christmases were when my sons made something for me. Both were very creative and artistic so i got some neat thing over the years.

  7. Oh, Cheryl, with everything else going on and now you remind me Christmas is breathing its frosty breath down my neck! :o)

    Seriously, I LOVE Christmas and always have, and I really love an amazing Christmas story and NIGHT FOR MIRACLES fits that bill.

    One memory that always stands out at Christmas is making up stories with my Uncle. He was in charge of entertaining my cousin, brother and me on Christmas Eve, so he would make up a story and then the three of us had to. I still remember one of my favorites that he told. :o)

    –Kirsten

  8. Christmas yet? And me not even ready for Halloween. Because of the stress and the overhyped commrcialism, Chrismas has never been my favorite holiday. I admire those who manage to keep the true spirit.

    Your story sounds wonderful Cheryl. Miracles are the true stuff of Christmas.

  9. Hi Cheryl – oh, I know what you mean about the stores, jumping the gun with holiday decorations and cards out so early. I’m one that refrains from Christmas until after Thanksgiving. But the way you described your story, makes me want to dive right in. It’s cooler out this week in CA and I want to snuggle in and read a good book…about Christmas!!

  10. I have to start my Christmas shopping soon!
    Christmas memories… being able to see my granparents… knowing they were near always gave me such a warm happy feeling… they have been gone for years now and are truly missed.

  11. Cheryl, I loved A Night For Miracles! Such a good story. Nick was a very special hero.

    Christmas is such a wonderful time. It’s full of hope and good cheer and love. It’s a time for counting your blessings and remembering that life is exactly what you make it. I remember a Christmas when I was about 6 years old. My daddy had been in a horrible explosion at a construction site. His face and entire upper body was covered with third degree burns. I was so scared he was going to die. But on Christmas Day we got the good news that he’d make it. I remember how happy and thankful I was.

    Wishing you lots of success, Filly sister!

  12. After the kids were grown up and in their 50s, we all decided to stop the Christmas gift to each other and donate the money to our local food banks.. We all lived so far apart and it had ended up being either a gift card or sent food item… So now, we call each other up and just share our lives.. or rather, facebook… etc..
    The very small children still get ‘stuff’.. but after having cleared out two elderly relatives homes… who needs more stuff..
    But I adore the whole Christmas season, carols, stories, etc. It is a season of hope and miracles!

  13. Hi Delia,
    You are so right about it not being because of the presents, but because of the love. It sounds like your brother and sister-in-law really came through for you at a time when you needed it most. That’s a wonderful memory for you, and I’m sure for them, as well-being able to do what they could for your family.
    Cheryl

  14. Connie, your church sounds like a very caring place. I wish more churches would do that! One of the news stations here in Oklahoma City really put a push on the media coverage for the food bank of OKC and they instituted a backpack program for kids who would go hungry over the weekends if not for the food in these backpacks. It’s amazing that there are so many children here in AMERICA that go to bed hungry at night.
    Cheryl

  15. Stefanie, that little dog had to be the best present you ever got in your life. I always wanted a dog so much, but my parents had given my sisters dogs in the past that had gotten run over (back then there were no privacy fences as there are now) and they didn’t want to go through that again, so I always had cats. I was a cat person until I grew up and actually had dogs. Now I’m definitely BOTH. LOL
    Cheryl

  16. Vickie, you sound like me. I can listen to Christmas music year-round, and read Christmas stories year-round as well. I love the feeling at then–Christmas stories always have a very happy ever after, don’t they?
    Cheryl

  17. Vicki, I am laughing, picturing the Jack-o-Lantern in the Santa hat. LOLLOL Yeah…that’s a creepy image all right. LOL I really do wish we could separate the holidays a little more. I usually DO put my tree up the day after Thanksgiving, but that’s because Christmas has always been my favorite holiday, and my husband still says I’m a “big ol’ fourth grader” when it comes to Christmas. LOL
    Cheryl

  18. Joye,
    I have a son and a daughter who are creative like that. My daughter was always more the one to make things for me, but my son always came up with something funny to write on the name tags of his presents. I think I’ve kept everything they ever gave me. LOL
    Cheryl

  19. Some of my favorite Christmastimes were spent on my grandparents farm in Colorado when I was little. Since we lived in Arizona where there was no snow on the desert, it was always great fun to see and play in snow on Christmas day.

  20. Kirsten,
    Believe me, I was shocked to receive that notice from Amazon, and then the double whammy came when we went to WalMart. But you should be all moved by the time Christmas rolls around, girl! LOL What a great memory about your uncle. That reminds me of something my cousin and I did one year…we’d all gather at my grandmother’s on Christmas day and for a lot of us it was the only time we’d see one another until the summer rolled around, since everyone was scattered. My cousin Julie and I were always into something. This year, we were about 11 or 12, and we opened up the refrigerator and saw SIX Milky Way candy bars (our favorite!) We snuck those candy bars out and ate them. We were both sorry, because by the third one we were feeling sick. But we managed to cram them down, three each. When we got back to the house, my aunt Joyce was sooooooo mad. She could tell by looking at us that we’d taken them and eaten them. She had bought them to make a “Milky Way Pie” and back then, nothing was open on Christmas Day. There was no Milky Way Pie. But we still laugh about that today, even though at the time, everyone despised us. LOL
    Cheryl

  21. Elizabeth, I know what you mean. I try to just remember Christmases past, good family times, and how thankful I am to have what I have. I try not to get caught up in that commercialism. I never to the Black Friday thing. To think of going out and running and grabbing and all that…I just can’t do it. My kids are very “minimalistic” in their thinking–wanting to recycle and reuse and go green, etc. So I have gotten to where I just get them gift cards or give them money. That way, I don’t buy them things they don’t use, and I suspect a lot of the time they are using that money to live on.
    Cheryl

  22. Char, this is just a little novelette, so it won’t take you long to read it. But it is one of my very favorite stories I’ve written, and so many times I’ve wished I’d made it longer. LOL It’s cooler here in OK, too! After those scorching 100+ temps for so long this summer, I can say this is the first year I’ve been ready for fall.
    Cheryl

  23. Colleen,
    I remember so well our times at my grandparents’ houses. I was the luckies one in my family–both sides of it–as one set of grandparents lived at one end of the small town, and the other set lived at the other. So my cousins and I ALWAYS had someplace to walk to! LOL There was an old old country store there, and we’d stop in and buy us a bottle of pop out of one of those old coolers with the sliding lid and the ice inside. I’m sorry my kids won’t ever know those kinds of days. But what good memories!
    Cheryl

  24. Linda,
    I can only imagine how scared you must have been as a little girl, thinking you might lose your father. Learning that he was going to make it had to be the very best Christmas present you ever got. I remember just adoring my dad when I was little, thinking he was the tallest man in the world! LOL Like you, I just have always adored the carols and the feeling of goodwill. I think my favorite Christmas song is Silent Night, but my favorite poem has got to be I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day, and it follows as a close second in the “music” department too. But Silent Night will always be my favorite, I think.
    Cheryl

  25. Cate,
    That is a wonderful idea. I think probably we’ll end up doing that same thing, when my kids are older. Right now, they both need help still. But I do think that’s a great way to celebrate. Our school system here used to have a program where you could adopt a family and provide them with their Christmas gifts. Some of the “wishes” were so pathetic–a new pair of shoes, or a bottle of perfume for “mama” etc. I always do the Toys for Tots thing, too.
    Cheryl

  26. Oh, Jackie, you must have been thrilled. Here in Oklahoma, Christmas is always a surprise. Some years it might be in the 70 degree range, and others (like a couple of years ago) we were under blizzard conditions, and there were people who actually were stranded in their cars and died of exposure. I remember one year, several of us got “toboggans” (those saucer sleds) for Christmas and our weather was so warm we could have worn shorts on Christmas Day. LOL
    Cheryl

  27. A delightful and lovely post. A memorable holiday was when family visited that we hadn’t seen for years. What a great time we had and so special.

  28. Hi Cheryl,
    I almost didn’t respond today. My Christmas’ over the years have never been very good. Maybe it’s because, now that I’m older and can see, we were always rather dysfunctional. That being, when I married, I didn’t know how a family was supposed to act at that time of year.
    Now that my daughter and I are ‘the family’, we have gone all out with the decorations. It is fun. Too bad It didn’t happen about 60 years ago.
    Having just read your other book…I’m sure this one is also a winner. Would love to read it.
    And, yes, California cooled off last night about 20 deg. from the day before. Overnight: FALL.

  29. hi Cheryl, you know how to put a gal in the holiday spirit! Even though I remember the pre historic days when NO stores put their decorations up until the DAY after Thanksgiving, I can’t deny my heart pitters a bit seeing all the pretty things
    already on display. At least in our corner of the world, folks don’t light their outside decorating until at least Thanksgiving weekend. Congrats on the story! Christmas tales and movies are my favorite! xoxo

  30. Anne, that was always a great time at my Grandma’s at Christmas, too–because so often, not everyone could get together at any other time but then. Family meant so much!
    Cheryl

  31. Mary, I used to have a t-shirt that said something like “I put the “fun” in “dysfunctional”. I had to try to just laugh about it. Our family was dysfunctional, but later on, I found out a lot of my friends’ families were, too. Back then, no one talked about it. I’m so glad that you and your daughter are able to enjoy the Christmas decorations and the season now, even though it took a while! Thanks so much for your kind words about Wolf Creek. I’m so glad you enjoyed it so much.
    Cheryl

  32. Hi Tanya! Well, I like to hear the music and read the stories, and I might even put up my Christmas decorations before the Thanksgiving holiday, just so I can enjoy it longer, but my husband wants to have Thanksgiving FIRST. LOL So we do. But barely. Thanks so much for coming by–I know you are busy with your books–I loved that new cover of yours!
    Cheryl

  33. Thanks to everyone who stopped by today! I posted the winners on the home page–DELIA and VICKIE C. CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!

    And thanks so much for all the very kind words about A NIGHT FOR MIRACLES and my hero, Nick Dalton. I enjoyed talking about Christmas with everyone, even though…yep, I know it’s a “mite” early!
    Hugs to all,
    Cheryl

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