Guest Author: Anne Calhoun - Real Life Christmas Miracles (+a giveaway!)

Please welcome Anne Calhoun to the blog! She's talking about real life miracles and let me tell you, this one's a doozer. Get the hanky ready... 

            I am an unabashed sucker for a good Christmas story. I tear up every year when the Marine Corps Toys for Tots commercial comes on. Last year a friend told me a story. A single mom was on the ropes financially, barely making the mortgage let alone able to give her kids a Christmas. To make matters worse, she also needed a recommendation for a good, trustworthy repairman for her furnace, which had conked out. My friend directed her to a man she’d had good luck with in the past, told the repairman he might get a call, and forgot about it.

A week later the single mom called my friend in tears. Sobbing. She’d come home from work to find not a repaired furnace, but a brand new furnace in her basement with a note that said Merry Christmas. No bill, no payment schedule, no nothing. Just Merry Christmas.

Thea Moretti, heroine in my latest release, also needs a Christmas miracle. In this scene at a soup kitchen in BREATH ON EMBERS she gets a little one from the hero, FDNY lieutenant Ronan O’Rourke.

Thea pushed the sleeves of her fleece pullover to her elbows and made her way to the waiting pile of dirty pots and pans stacked by the double sinks. Cheerful yellow rubber gloves on, she was scrubbing crusted goulash from a pot when a tap on her shoulder startled her.
“Yes?” Thea asked, tugging the earbuds from her ears as she turned.
“Why didn’t you tell me what you’d arranged?” Nancy asked. Her eyes were wide, and shining.
Over her shoulder Thea heard not the typical low rumble of two-hundred people sharing a meal, but the excited chatter of children and a higher-pitched energy level. “What? Is Ronan here with the presents?”
“Oh, he’s here, all right,” Nancy said. She took Thea’s hand and pulled her through the empty kitchen to the swinging doors. Thea’s jaw dropped, and she slowed in the process of taking off her rubber gloves.
Santa Claus stood at the back of the fellowship hall, waving to the kids as FDNY firefighters in their blue uniforms passed big cardboard boxes of gifts along a human chain from a waiting ladder truck, down the stairs to a table hastily set up by Cooper Bensonhurst volunteers. At the tables the kids stared first at Santa, then at the firefighters. Word of the truck spread from table to table, and the wriggles and noise escalated once again.
It was a tiny Christmas miracle. She swallowed hard against the tears clogging her throat. Ronan came down the steps two at a time and crossed the hall, tossing “Get someone to clear that hydrant” over his shoulder as he headed for Thea.
“Sorry we’re late,” he said without preamble. He reached for Thea’s hand as he said it, and his warm, strong grip anchored her. “How do you want to do this?”
Thea found her voice. “This is Nancy Watkins,” she said. “She’s in charge. Nancy, Lieutenant Ronan O’Rourke. He brought the presents.”
“You certainly did, Lieutenant,” Nancy said. “Thank you.”
“You’ve got Santa and a fire truck for the next hour. After that we’re all back on call,” Ronan said.

            Thea’s bigger Christmas miracle comes later in the story, but this one’s nice, too. :) What’s your best holiday miracle? Share your stories in the comments and I’ll give a copy of BREATH ON EMBERS to one person who comments.

Oh, and for the record…we needed a new furnace the next winter. We gave our business to the man who gave a furnace to a struggling single mom.

Book blurb --

Christmas is the perfect time for Firefighter Ronan O’Rourke to take things to the next level with his sexually adventurous girlfriend. He knows she has feelings for him—and he’s sure of his feelings for her—but when Thea refuses his invitation to sample Christmas in New York City because what they share is nothing more than sheet-burning sex, Ronan sets out to change her mind.

Deep down Thea Moretti knows she cares for Ronan, but she can’t move past her grief over her late husband. Loud music and sex with Ronan are the only things she’s got that her feel alive, so she takes as much of both as she can get. She knows Ronan wants more, but during the darkest time of the year finding her way won’t be easy.
Ronan gambles everything and challenges Thea: one night of passion with him and another man. Can he prove to her that what they share isn’t just great sex but an emotional connection strong enough to last forever?

Anne's info --


Joanne said...

I didn't have my hanky ready, damn it and I needed it. That was a great Christmas miracle.
Breath On Embers sounds fantastic. Can't wait to read it.
My husband and I were driving to see his grandparents in Pennsylvania one Christmas. Of course it was snowing and it got so bad they closed the road. A nice couple yelled at us through their window to follow them home so we did. They fed us, kept us warm, and put us up in their guest room until the road opened. They sent us on our way with a thermos of coffee and pastries. That was our Christmas miracle.


JenM said...

I'm so looking forward to reading Breath on Embers. It sounds great. As for Christmas miracles, the only one I can think of was the year my mom was diagnosed with cancer. They found it in October and she was so ill that we didn't think she'd make it to the New Year. However, we got her into chemo in November and it bought her 5 or so extra months. It wasn't a long time, but I was so grateful for what we did get.


flchen1 said...

I love when real-life miracles happen! I'm drawing a blank on my personal remembrances, but every time someone is extra kind to someone, say, even at the grocery store, that is a blessing in action. It's the true spirit of the season!

Thanks for the peek at Breath on Embers--that sounds amazing, too!

f dot chen at comcast dot net

Lil said...

That is such a wonderfully touching excerpt. How could we not fall in love with that hero?

little lamb lst at yahoo dot com