Authors: Debbie Macomber
is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
Copyright © 2014 by Debbie Macomber
by Debbie Macomber
copyright © 2013 by Debbie Macomber
All rights reserved.
Published in the United States by Ballantine Books, an imprint of Random House, a division of Random House LLC, a Penguin Random House Company, New York.
and the H
colophon are registered trademarks of Random House LLC.
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS CATALOGING-IN-PUBLICATION DATA
Mr. Miracle : a Christmas novel / Debbie Macomber.—First edition.
eBook ISBN 978-0-553-39162-6
1. Guardian angels—Fiction. 2. Women college students—Fiction. 3. Man-woman relationships—Fiction. 4. Christmas stories. I. Title.
Cover design: Lynn Andreozzi
Cover illustration: Tom Hallman
Like many others, I’ve always been fascinated with angels. My father saw an angel shortly before he died. The angel arrived in the middle of the night in human form, dressed in farm clothes, and helped my dad back to bed. Dad described the angel in detail. Angels among us isn’t as far removed from reality as it might seem. Check out Hebrews 13:2 if you don’t believe me. It was that verse that inspired
and now … drumroll, please …
I owe a great deal to several people who made this entire project possible. First and foremost my agent, Theresa Park, and her incredible staff, Emily, Alex, Andrea, Abby, and Peter. And, of course, my two marvelous Ballantine editors, Jennifer Hershey and Shauna Summers, who encouraged and supported me through each phase of the writing process, along with my own amazing staff.
So now, my wonderful readers, it’s your turn. I hope you enjoy the story of Harry Mills as he discovers the delights and pleasures of life on Earth along with its temptations and limitations. And then, of course, there’s his mission with Addie and Erich … oh heavens (pun intended), there I go again. Okay, I won’t say anything more. The story is for you to unfold by turning the page. I hope that you’re charmed by
and that you, too, might find an angel or two in your own life.
Your feedback is important to me. You can contact me through my webpage at
or through Facebook. If you’re so inclined you can write me at P.O. Box 1458, Port Orchard, WA 98366.
Merry Christmas and may God bless.
Well, well, well
, Harry Mills mused as he glanced around the campus of Southshore Community College.
So this is Earth
. Students darted across the emerald-green landscape, scurrying toward their classes. The December sky was dark and overcast, threatening rain. Not uncommon weather for the Pacific Northwest, or so he’d been told.
This is exactly what I expected
, he thought a bit smugly. Until now he’d had, shall we say, a heavenly perspective. Yes, he was an angel, but unlike his fellow angels and good friends, Shirley, Goodness, and Mercy, he had the ability to mingle with humans without suspicion. What he enjoyed
most was the fact that the humans were completely unaware of who he was and the work he’d been given. Harry was on a God-given mission—a trial mission that was the opportunity of an eternity and one he hoped would become a permanent job if he performed well.
In preparation for his earthly visitation, Harry had carefully studied human behavior and had learned about ways to gently guide his charges. Of course, he knew all about free will, too, but frankly, he wasn’t overly concerned. Just how difficult could it be to give a nudge to those in need of a bit of subtle direction? Naturally, he was required to work under certain parameters—restrictions, actually—but he didn’t consider that a particular problem, either.
What did concern Harry was that he’d been assigned a mentor, which in his opinion was completely unnecessary. He didn’t need anyone looking over his shoulder, watching his every move.
As the spiritual coordinator for this part of Tacoma, Celeste Chapeaux had been assigned to oversee Harry. Her powers were above and beyond his own. While his role involved the students in his class, her sphere of influence reached far beyond as coordinator of an entire area, including the campus and surrounding neighborhood. Harry knew he wasn’t the only angel under her direction.
For now, Harry was willing to play by the rules in order to prove himself. In time, Celeste would realize an angel of
his knowledge and intelligence was capable of managing assignments on his own without supervision.
Making his way across the campus, Harry was enthralled to see the brick walls of the three-story building with the ivy climbing to the top of the second floor. A more modern structure loomed to his left and housed the cafeteria known as the Hub. Celeste Chapeaux worked as a barista at the latte stand there.
Catching sight of her, Harry paused. She was young. Very young. Too young. She wore her hair so short it stood straight up on end and was dyed the color of a pomegranate. And she had a diamond piercing in her nose! He’d been assigned the body of a middle-aged man. Well, perhaps even a bit over middle age, wise and mature. This couldn’t possibly be right. He knew that the bodies angels received were random, but still, it felt weird. He was expected to take direction from a woman barely out of her teens? This … this bejeweled, tattooed ruffian couldn’t possibly be his lead.
She met his eyes, and it appeared that Celeste recognized Harry immediately. Her crooked smile told him she’d read his thoughts perfectly.
“Welcome, Harry,” she said as she ground coffee beans. The scent of the roasted beans swirled around him. She pressed down the grounds and then twisted the small round container into the machine. She did this skillfully.
“Take a seat,” she instructed, nodding toward the stool at the counter.
Still befuddled, Harry frowned and muttered, “I’d rather stand.”
He arched his brows. “Whatever what?”
“Whatever you want,” she returned, with that same off-center smile.
The coffee machine made a horrendous noise, followed by a hissing sound that caught him unaware. Harry backed away before she set a freshly brewed Americano on the counter in front of him. He stared at the coffee, wondering what he was supposed to do with it.
“Take a sleeve; and be careful, it’s hot.”
“I don’t need a sleeve.” In fact, he wasn’t sure what she was talking about.
She shrugged, again showing a decided lack of concern. “You have all the information on your assignment?”
He nodded, raised the cup to his lips, and tasted the coffee. The liquid had to be close to the boiling point and burned his lips, not to mention that the cup was uncomfortably hot to hold. Too proud to let her see, he set the cup down and then jerked his hand discreetly by his side a couple times to shake off the sting.
Celeste automatically handed him a paper sleeve, and, grumbling under his breath, Harry took it.
“You’re stepping in, teaching the classic literature class.”
Harry was well aware of his assignment.
“Have you read Dickens’s
A Christmas Carol
?” she asked.
“Who hasn’t?” he responded nonchalantly, wanting her to know he was well versed in human classic literature. Although he had reservations when it came to this particular story, especially the author’s depiction of the afterlife.
“Who hasn’t?” Celeste repeated. “Probably ninety-nine percent of the students in your class.”
“That goes without saying. Anyway, you and I both know Dickens got it wrong. I have serious doubts about an author who so flippantly portrays heavenly spirits in such a manner. As far as I’m concerned, Dickens has taken far too much literary license. The description of Marley’s ghost and the three spirits is beyond ridiculous. Someone needs to set the record straight. Humans don’t actually believe—”
“Correcting misconceptions about heaven isn’t part of your job,” Celeste said, cutting him off.
Harry was tempted to argue, but changed his mind. He could see it would do little good. Clearly she was opinionated and most likely unable to see reason. He’d heard about angels like this, ones who were given an earthly assignment and lost their heavenly perspective. Sadly, they got caught up in the temptations of Earth. That wouldn’t be a problem for him, of course.
Celeste leaned against the counter, resting her folded arms there. “Am I detecting a bit of an attitude here?” she asked.
Rather than answer, Harry posed a question of his own. “How is it you’re the one in charge?”
“Do you have a problem with that?”