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.

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 PRAIRIE ROSE PUBLICATIONS!

A HERO FOR CHRISTMAS is a collection of Christmas novellas that you are sure to love! These are all my own stories, A NIGHT FOR MIRACLES being the first of the bunch.



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.”

Have you ever had something unexpected happen around Christmas? What was it? 

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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 40 years. I love to hear from readers and other authors--you can contact me here: fabkat_edit@yahoo.com
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  1. My wife got me a 1904 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost one year; of course, it was a model but very detailed and the Silver Ghost has always been my idea of the perfect car. She had saved up for it and I was surprised.

  2. Christmas Eve, the year I was five, we got an unexpected snow. It was only about three inches deep and wasn’t expected to last very long. My dad had been gone for several weeks but we expected him home on Christmas Eve and all of us kids were waiting eagerly to see him. However bedtime came and Daddy hadn’t. Mama tucked us all in bed and admonished us to go to sleep or Santa wouldn’t come. I tried desperately to stay awake because I wanted to be the first one to hug my Daddy when he got there but eventually I drifted off. I was awakened sometime during the night by a loud noise on the roof and since it was very dark, I knew it wasn’t my Daddy. It must be Santa! I quickly squeezed my eyes shut and became motionless. I didn’t hear anything else and soon drifted back to sleep. We all got up very early Christmas morning and I was trying to tell everyone about hearing Santa. They all thought I was making it up but about that time my dad came in. The snow had delayed him but he finally made it. After everyone got hugs, I told him about hearing Santa on the roof and instead of laughing at me, he just said, “Well, let’s go see!” So we all bundled up in our coats and trooped outside to stare up at the roof. Sure enough, a large section of snow had slid off the roof. My Daddy looked down at me and said, “You know, I believe that’s where he landed his sleigh!”

    • Rhonda, how I remember those sleepless nights–the night before Christmas! OH MY GOSH! I thought I’d never get to sleep, and then suddenly, it was morning! There was my dad with the super8 camera and the light bar as we all stumbled out of our bedrooms blindly for the living room! LOL

      What a great memory of that Christmas when you thought you heard Santa, and how wonderful that your dad took you seriously and everyone went to look. Sometimes kids just need to know that someone is believing what they say, and for you, it was something you never forgot.

  3. After reading a series of books about the rodeo, I got hooked on rodeos especially the bull riding. A few years ago my husband and 6 children bought tickets to the PBR Global Cup and a meet and greet with the bill riders. I was so happy I cried. I told my granddaughter “I’m going to get my picture taken with Jess Lockwood”. He was the world champion at the time and when I asked him, he was so gracious and posed for a picture with me. It was something I will always remember.

    • Elaine, I remember the first rodeo I ever went to. Here in Oklahoma, they are pretty common, but my parents didn’t go to them, so one summer when I was staying with my cousin for a week her parents took us and her brothers to one–and guess who was there? LARRY MAHAN! OH MY GOODNESS. My cousin and I were about 9 or 10 and we thought he was the handsomest most daring man we had ever seen! Wish we had asked for pictures! LOL

  4. How precious Rhonda!

    Hey Cheryl! The only time I remember us not making it to my parents at Christmas was when it snowed! Yep, snowed in Florida! It happened once when I was a teenager. My brothers and I went outside and would get snow off the trucks and cars and make snowballs! Since it wasn’t enough for a snowman, we had snowball fights! Then, it happened again when my children were young. I enjoyed the surprised and happy looks on their faces! A white Christmas! The whole place was covered in white! What a sweet Christmas!

    I like the sound of that book Cheryl!

    • I just finished A Night of Miracles! Loved it Cheryl! Books with children in it make them very special! Many blessings to you Cheryl!

      • Tracy, I’m so glad you liked the story! It’s really tough to write a short story (and these usually must be a certain amount of words) and make it come out the way you want within the word limit. You don’t have a lot of time to go into details, so everything must count. I’m so glad to know you enjoyed it.

    • Tracy–what a wonderful surprise for you Floridians! White Christmases are pretty rare–I thought they were a lot more common, but was surprised to find out a few years back that they only happen in Oklahoma about once every 15 years or something–can’t remember now, but I was really surprised! For me, that is always a real treat for it to happen on Christmas, and I KNOW you had to be just fascinated for it to happen there in Florida–TWICE! I know your kids were thrilled!

  5. We have to travel some to get to where my family have Christmas which is where I was raised. Just this past year we had plans to go for Christmas but there was an ice storm so we where unable to attend Christmas with my family. It just didn’t seem like Christmas to me that year.

    • Oh, gosh, I understand that! We always had big family Christmases at my parents’ house every year, with both my sisters and their husbands and kids. When we moved to West Virginia, they even came out there for Christmas from Oklahoma! But the next year they could not come and my dad could not take off work to go to Oklahoma. So it was a very melancholy Christmas that year, and then when my parents moved back to Oklahoma and I stayed in WV with my hubby, that was the hardest year ever for me–the first time I’d not been at my parents’ for the big Christmas celebration. It is really hard!

  6. Christmas of 2004 was the last Christmas my family was altogether, and that was a miracle for me, as Christmas has never been the same for me.

    • Those times are the best and the hardest, all at once. We don’t have any grandchildren, but our kids live nearby and we always celebrate the holidays together–We do our Thanksgiving on Friday, to accommodate my d-i-l’s family, and then we do our Christmas on Christmas Eve, which is always so wonderful because I remember how excited they always were on Christmas Eve and we’d go look at lights with them bundled up in their pajamas and then drink hot chocolate when we got home. Now, we have a good Christmas dinner and open presents and then have a bit of dessert. I treasure those holidays together.

  7. I had an expected blessing. My second-born arrived a few days before Christmas. Had a few health scares during the pregnancy, but everything was perfect with him.

  8. I wish I could remember at least one Christmas with my mother, but she has been gone so long, unless I run across a picture of all of us, including her, my memories are never of Christmas, especially with her. Our family just fell apart after her passing. She took the heart out of Christmas celebrating. My dad’s second wife tried to fill the void, but for me, since I was away from home my mother passed, I wasn’t as open to the joys of the season. In fact, until the past 10 years or more, the real meaning of Christmas wasn’t there, except to attend church. We also would have oyster stew on Christmas Eve, after attending the evening service. I do not want this to come off as a bitter memory, as it truly isn’t. It just represents the hole I have carried in my life for many years. However, soon I will be with her in Heaven and all will be well. Praise the LORD.

    • Judy, I know that is very hard. Christmas is a very bittersweet time for me, too, as my dad, who LOVED Christmas, passed away on December 23, 2007, and my mom followed just three weeks later on January 12, 2008. That following Christmas, my sister suffered a massive stroke. You know, I just try to hold on to the fun times and the memories from the past, and make new ones with my kids. I miss my mom, too, and my dad, of course, but I do have a lot of really good memories of holidays with them both when I was growing up. When we lose our mothers, it does leave a huge hole in our hearts! I understand, my friend.

    • Maybe that is a good thing–one unexpected thing that happened in our lives was the year we had ordered Mexican food and my kids were going to pick it up that afternoon. They were going to close early–at 5:00 but a big snowstorm hit unexpectedly –and it was like a BLIZZARD. The restaurant was not too far from our house, so I called down there and asked if we could pick the food up early, and they said YES, because they were going to close even earlier! So my kids got in the car and drove down there and got the food and got stuck in the parking lot in the snow! The restaurant workers came out and pushed them out of the drift and they drove slowly, and made it home–but it made me think, I guess our “plan B” would have been bologna sandwiches for Christmas dinner if they’d closed early and we hadn’t called them.

  9. Many times! As a child, we often didn’t have enough to go around, so every day we made do with what we had. I (and my siblings) wore clothes that other ladies at church had given my mother, we regularly ate strange meals (canned tomatoes for breakfast, bread and milk for dinner, etc.), we usually had to choose whether to pay the electric bill or the phone bill, which left us broke even after only paying one of the two.
    Christmas was hard on my parents, and we didn’t get fun, big gifts. Usually we made or got something inexpensive that we knew a sibling or parent liked, but usually had to share, such as a can of olives or a jar of peanut butter. Those were treats! One year during my first year at college, I got a whole book of stamps! That enabled me to write home and keep in touch without worrying about the cost of mailing my letters home, and it was a welcome surprise!

    • Oh, Ami! What a wonderful surprise for you! Sometimes the most unusual gifts are the most welcome. One year when I was in college, one of my professors had been teaching a segment on Saul Bellow. At the grocery store, I saw (in a bargain bin) a book by Saul Bellow, one the professor had not mentioned. For $2.99, I took a chance that maybe he wouldn’t have it. I took it to him a couple of days later just before the Christmas break. He almost got teary. He didn’t have it and was so happy to get it! I had him for another class the next semester and it was only then he told me that his wife had left him just a few weeks before I gave him that book, and there’d been a death in his family and his car had been totaled, all within just a couple of weeks of when I gave him that book. He told me how much that meant to him that someone had thought of him and gone out of their way to be kind to him. I still think of that to this day!

    • Oh wow, Colleen! What a wonderful surprise that had to have been for you! I’ve been on one cruise–about 9 years ago, with my sister. She’d been many times before so I felt lucky to have someone who “knew the ropes” and made it so enjoyable. It was a wonderful time for the two of us!

  10. This is going back to 1960. My parents and all five children got pretty sick a day or two before Christmas. We think it was strep throat but whatever it was, we didn’t go to the doctor.

    My dad was a pastor and since Christmas was on a Sunday that year he made it to church to give his message and came right back home, I’m sure it was a short sermon and that he didn’t shake any hands. 🙂

    We were all bedded down in the living room and we managed to open our presents in the afternoon but we were so out of it we really didn’t care. There aren’t any pictures to commemorate that one haha but it is the one Christmas that all five of us remember the most.

    Not a miraculous happening (except for my dad making it to church, he was a minister well into his 80’s and I don’t think he ever ‘called in sick’) but it’s a sweet memory.

    • Oh, wow, Rachel. We had a Christmas like that–somehow, I escaped being sick, which was miraculous since I was taking care of two sick kids and my husband! We have no idea what that was but we all remember that Christmas, too, since it was just so miserable for all of us. And bless your dad for making it in to the service. That is true devotion.

  11. The first Christmas after my divorce, I had no money and I didn’t know how I was going to buy presents for my daughters. I got a call from my oldest daughter’s best friend’s mom, asking if we could come over to their house for a Christmas party. When we arrived, we were ushered into their front room, and found piles of gifts with our names on them! Her and her extended family had bought presents, not just for my daughters, but for me as well. I was sobbing and asking them why, and she said that she knew we were having a rough time, and when she approached her family, every one of them wanted to buy gifts for all of us! I am so thankful that our daughters have been best friends since 1st grade (they are seniors in high school now) and that I have gotten the pleasure to know and love her whole family. They have truly been a blessing to us.

    • Oh Kim! Not gonna lie, your memory made me break down and bawl like a little third grade girl! There are soooo many good people in this world, and people who can really make a difference — really each one of us can make a difference, even if it’s in some small way–but that family really did care for you and your children, and that was just such a blessing when you needed it so much. Thank you for sharing this story!

  12. The only unexpected Christmases I can think of revolve around surprise gifts I wasn’t expecting. It’s always fun to have something you never even thought of under the tree for you.

    • Megan, I agree! I love getting something I would not have thought of for myself, that I just know I’m going to to thoroughly enjoy. My mom was the world’s best at finding those kinds of gifts…well, except when she kept getting my daughter those porcelain dolls and my daughter was so creeped out by them. LOL But other than that… So glad you stopped by today!

  13. I was probably 4-5 years old. Santa came to our door to tuck me into bed. I did not know until after he died, but that Santa was my Uncle Mike. Thank you so much for sharing. God bless you.

  14. Hi, Cheryl,

    My family moved houses in the middle of December my 4th grade year: that dumped me from parochial to public school cold turkey, which also involved switching from Spanish to French (foreign languages were taught in elementary school back in the day…). Needless to say, it took an adjustment period for me to regain my usual enthusiasm for school. My siblings had to switch, too, but at that point I was the only one taking a foreign language.

    Not unexpected but rare nowadays, for many years our family used an aluminum Christmas tree that had an electric color wheel to project light on it.

    Happy Thanksgiving,

    • Mary, I know that had to be so hard. When I was in elementary school, I longed to learn another language. I’ve always been good at languages and really loved learning them. We didn’t get to take a foreign language until 9th grade. But when it was available, I took both French and Spanish, and truly did love it. I know that had to be such a shock from parochial school to public school! Very hard.

      We always had a real tree, but looking back at our Christmas pictures I realize they were “not the best” by any means. LOL Our neighbors had one of those aluminum trees with the color wheel. They lived right across the street and put it in their big picture window in the front, and sometimes at night I would get up and go look out our bathroom window just to watch that for a while. It was mesmerizing!

  15. Ordering this lovely book. Christmas is always a time I begin to think of miracles. I always have, guess I always will.

    The first thought I had was the year we went to a Christmas party at my Daddy’s work. The mechanics garage had been transformed into a Winter Wonderland. Lots of food. Games–I remember cheating to get an apple while bobbing for apples. But, it was the large chair and sack of wrapped gifts that got my attention.

    I was 11. I believed in Santa. Then, here came Santa Claus with a ho-ho-ho. He drew gifts from the bag and called out names. I began to notice Santa had a gold tooth like Daddy, his blue eyes sparkled like Daddy’s, and he was missing part of a finger like Daddy. My gift was even wrapped in paper like we had at home.

    Later that night I learned Daddy was Santa. I still believe and I’m now 72. It’s not about who Santa is, it’s about love and sharing.

    • Oh, what lovely memories! And to learn your own dad was Santa! That must have been so wonderful, and softened the blow of learning the truth about everything! You are absolutely right–I love Christmas because it truly is about loving and sharing and feeling that Christmas spirit–wish we could keep that going all year ’round! Thanks for coming by!

  16. I was born on December 22. I was my parents’ Christmas present that year — the only one they got, according to Mama.


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