Cheryl St.John: My Christmas Story and a Giveaway!

I just love writing novellas for the western Christmas anthologies and am always tickled when my editor invites me to participate. I’d wanted to do a train story for a long time, so when I got the call, I immediately started thinking about a train. Some stories are meant for novellas and others have enough plot for a full length book. A wise writer knows which is which. I often come up with a story idea and then tuck it away for the future, because the premise won’t sustain a full-length novel.

This time I didn’t go to those stored ideas, I sat down and brainstormed new characters. Characters always come first. Once they’re established, I know what they’ll do and how the plot will come together.

Jonah had a few other names in the process—names are a number one priority for my creative process. Without the perfect names I can’t move forward. I considered and dismissed Cole McAdam, Grady Neville, Ivan Kingsley and Jeremiah Thorpe among others. But Jonah Cavanaugh won out. He sounds like a duty-bound U.S. Marshal, doesn’t he? He’s inflexible, honorable, protective and always on the lookout for danger. With Jonah it’s all about duty.

Meredith was always Meredith. Her name came to me with the story premise, and she was the easiest to flesh out. Born into a well-to-do family with a railroad tycoon father, Meredith is living up to expectations. She doesn’t like to feel ordinary. Nothing is grand enough for her; she loves drama, and she has an adventurous spirit. She’s competent, bossy, headstrong and used to getting her own way. But while Meredith is fearless, she hides her lack of confidence regarding her true worth.

Now to get these two together.

Christmas = snow.

A few days before Christmas Jonah is protecting a gold shipment on a train pulling the Abbott’s luxury Pullman. When he spots a notorious bandit aboard, he knows there’s trouble coming, so he alerts the engineer and uncouples the last three cars, stranding the mail car, the luggage car—and the Pullman in a blizzard.

Little does he suspect the railroad heiress is traveling alone on her way to a Christmas Eve party in Denver, where her suitor will propose. Now, not only does he have a strongbox filled with gold to protect, but a pampered female—and before the day’s out—two stowaway orphans.

I had so much fun writing this story about the true meaning of Christmas and the promise of love that I believe it’s one of my favorites. If you’ve already read it, I hope you’ll leave me the gift of a comment or brief review on amazon.

If you leave an amazon review today CLICK HERE, send me a quick email: and I’ll add your name to a drawing for this beautiful 50” single strand bead necklace! (The round disk beads are pale pink, which you can’t see well in my photo.)

If you haven’t read Snowflakes and Stetsons yet, here’s the link to order:


If you order today, let me know and I’ll add your name to the drawing.

Among my favorites by other authors are Mary Balough’s Christmas anthologies. Many readers tell me that the novellas are their favorite Christmas reads and they buy them all. Are you one of those readers?

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27 thoughts on “Cheryl St.John: My Christmas Story and a Giveaway!”

  1. Your Christmas story sounds like a train load of fun, Cheryl! I love Christmas novellas. I already have two sitting in my holiday TBR pile – Give me a Texas Christmas, and a collection by Hannah Howell. I think I need to add Snowflakes and Stetsons to the pile. Gotta have enough stories to last from Thankgiving to Christmas, you know. 🙂

  2. I am going to see if they have this in town. I love reading your stories, and I love happily ever after, keep the books coming…:)Happy Holidays and an early Merry Christmas…thank you.

  3. Hi Cheryl!

    I loved Jonah and Meredith, and their story was the perfect Christmas novella combining action and warmth.


  4. What a great story, Cheryl. I’ve got it at home right now and planned to wait until closer to Christmas to read it. But you know what? I think I’m going to go ahead and read it now. 😀

  5. Hi Chery – I love novellas, especially Christmas novellas. I’m trying to wait until a little closer to Christmas to read this one. I always buy all the Harlequin western historical anthologies as well as the western historicals. Love them!

  6. Good morning, Donna, Kirsten and Terri. Thanks for dropping by this morning. So glad you have enjoyed rthe story, Kirsten.

    Hey, Mary! Big hugs. Kristin really enjoyed your plagues book. It’s on my nightstand now.

  7. I love anthologies and those for Christmas are favorites. I have one full shelf of a bookcase double stacked with them. I pull many of them out each year to reread favorite stories. There is something special about that time of year that brings out the best and sometimes the worst in people. It often has them looking at things in a very different light. Lucky for us authors can capture that and give us stories we can enjoy over and over again.
    Having been stuck in a blizzard for three days, I can sympathize with their situation. There is nothing quite like being stuck in a hotel room with two children, a husband, a dog & cat with snow blowing in around the door, all in one bed trying to stay warm in a room that never got above 55 degrees. It was -100 F with the windchill. It was an adventure that our girls still talk about it almost 30 years later.
    I will be adding this anthology to my collection. With three authors I like, how can I not like it. I will be enjoying it for years to come.

  8. hi Cher,
    WOW this novella of yours sounds like one I’m going to have to have. Jonah? I’m in love with him already! And I always love stories that have kids in them–gives the hero a chance to show his compassionate side. Can’t wait to see how Meredith and Jonah find common ground. That necklace is lovely, too, btw!
    Cheryl P.

  9. I ordered Snowflakes and Stetsons from eharlequin. Loved it. I also love the other two stories in the book.

  10. I just saw this book mentioned in Simply Books, that Harlequin puts out for the subscription memebers..
    I put it on my list to read…

  11. I LOVE Christmas anthologies and just now added this to my kindle! Wisho I had time to read tonight. Your story sounds wonderful!!

  12. Thanks for letting me know you loved it, Goldie. SMOOCHES!

    Me, too, Qulit Lady.

    Aw, Liz. You are so sweet.

    I haven’t seen Simply Books, Kathleen. I need to check it out.

  13. I *adore* Christmas stories (especially novellas) and already am planning this season’s reading! Snowflakes and Stetsons (and Give Me a Texas Christmas) are both on my Kindle 🙂

  14. I can’t wait to get this book, I looked for it at a few places but nobody had it so far at least local which usually doesn’t happen, but it seems like they are not keeping up with the books very good so I am going to order have a couple to get and you know I love all your books,

  15. I just ordered Snowflakes and Stetsons and can not wait to read it !!! Please enter me into the contest THANK YOU, Anne

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