Wednesday, December 16, 2009


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 THE WILD ROSE PRESS!

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 here at The Wild Rose Press.
I also have another Christmas short story, a FREE READ, available here, Until the Last Star Burns Out

To find out more about my other books and short stories, visit my website at


Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Cheryl,
What a lovely Christmas story, beautiful excerpt. You handle these scenes so well.

Tanya Hanson said...

Hi Cheryl, great post. I totally believe in Christmas miracles! Have a wonderful holiday season and continued success in your writing.


Cheryl said...

Thanks so much! I appreciate that. I'm so glad you enjoyed the excerpt--you know how I love dialogue and interaction between the characters. Thanks for coming by and commenting!

Cheryl said...

How in the heck are you! Boy, once things settle down some, we need to catch up. Thank you so much for coming by and commenting. I tried to get over to your blog post yesterday and my computer would not cooperate for some reason--don't know if it was yahoo or what.Will try again today. I hope you have a great Christmas--I believe in miracles at Christmas, too, and just finished another short story about that! Here's to a fantastic 2010 for all of us!

Deborah Schneider said...

What a lovely, magical story. It reminds us that it's really the simple things that count in our lives.

Cheryl said...

Hi Deborah,

Did you get to read the entire story? I have to confess, it is one of my favorites that I've ever written, because of the characters and what happens with them. Yes! I was trying to show that it was just simple things that brought them all such happiness--an "everyday miracle" for all of them. I'm so glad you liked it! Have a very Merry Christmas, Deborah!

Celia Yeary said...

CHERYL--did hou think I'd run away from home??? Here I am--running hither and yon, not my usual life pattern, but for the last weeks--yes, far too much.
Remember I read this short story? I can attest to anyone who wants a mini-review that it is a wonderful story. In fact, I think it's the perfect Christmas story. I loved how it ended.I hope anyone who wants a lovely Chrismas story will get this one. You will love it. Celia

Cheryl said...


I know you are busy!!! Thanks so much for coming over and commenting on A NIGHT FOR MIRACLES. I am SO glad you liked that story so much, because it's one that means a lot to me. Thank you so much for your kind words! I appreciate you!
Merry Christmas!

Kathy Otten said...

Hi Cheryl,
I love wounded outlaw stories. Great excerpt. Good luck with your sales.

Cheryl said...


Girl, I love wounded MEN stories! LOL They are the BEST! Now why is that? I don't know. But I finally wrote a short story the other day where they guy is not wounded--not a scratch! It was a first for me. LOL Thanks so much for coming by and reading and commenting! Hope you have a very Merry Christmas!

放假 said...


Tanya Hanson said...

Hi Cheryl, yes Wordpress can be persnickety. But thanks for trying.

I also love wounded outlaw stories. My first book LOL.

Thanks for the good wishes and yes to catching up. How do you get so many responders LOL? I think my blogs must be very lame-o. oxoxoxo

Cheryl said...

Hi Tanya,

You are cracking me up! NO your blogs are not LAME-O.LOL I just finished a short story where the guy is NOT WOUNDED!!!! I didn't know what to think--I was wondering if my "alien self" had come out to write! LOL It was very unlike me. I'm going to e-mail you over the holidays. Take care of yourself and have a very Merry Christmas!

Destiny Blaine said...

Hi Cheryl,

What a wonderful story. I can't wait to read more from you.

Destiny Blaine

Cheryl said...

Hi Destiny!

I'm so glad to see you over here. Thanks for the kind words--I appreciate that! You can go to my website at to find out about all my other books and stories and my WIPS. (Click on my blogs link for even more info!)

Thanks again so much for coming by and reading and commenting!