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The Miracle of Love

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Overview

When Erina O'Shea's son is born too early, doctors tell the lovely immigrant that there is little they can do to save young Colin's life--not in 1896 Texas. But then Erina's prayers are answered when she finds herself and Colin hurled 100 years into the future, into a world of medical wonders--and into the arms of Grant Kirby.
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Miracle of Love

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Overview

When Erina O'Shea's son is born too early, doctors tell the lovely immigrant that there is little they can do to save young Colin's life--not in 1896 Texas. But then Erina's prayers are answered when she finds herself and Colin hurled 100 years into the future, into a world of medical wonders--and into the arms of Grant Kirby.
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Editorial Reviews

Anonymous Reviewer
Miracle of Love is a beautiful, tender and touching story that is sure to delight fans of special author Victoria Chancellor. A wonderful reading experience. 4 Stars!
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780505521446
  • Publisher: Dorchester Publishing Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/28/1996
  • Series: Love Spell Series
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 6.79 (w) x 4.24 (h) x 1.01 (d)

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER ONE

October 8, 1896

Galveston, Texas

Erina O'Shea pushed open one of the tall, heavy wooden doors of St. Mary's Cathedral, just enough to see that the church was empty. Near midnight, the priests and Bishop Gallagher were no doubt snug in bed, safe from the unseasonably cold wind that whipped off the gulf and across the island like the screech of a witch. Clutching her bundle close, she eased inside.

Neither the priests, nor the bishop, nor any mortal man could help her. Only God, if he chose...

Candles burned at the Blessed Virgin's altar, dancing long shadows up the wooden columns and across the many stained glass windows. But the light didn't reach all the way to the ornate wood and smooth plaster of the ceiling. The night seemed to press down on her, even inside this sacred place, as though she couldn't escape its sheltering darkness.

She knelt at the back of the church, dipping her fingers into the holy water and quickly making the sign of the cross. Her breath came fast and shallow, or was it his breath, gasping in the night? She felt her heart hammering beneath her chest, pounding inside her head. As quickly as possible, she walked past the carved wooden pews to the front of the church, toward the only hope she could imagine.

Kneeling awkwardly with her bundle, she leaned briefly against the wide altar rail. The wood felt cool and smooth to her forehead. She wondered if she had a fever, or was the unnatural heat just a response to her fears?

After making the sign of the cross again, she lit a candle with a shaking hand and looked up into the eyes that seemed to blink and shimmerin the golden glow.

"Mary, Holy Mother," she whispered, "you are my only hope."

Beneath her breast, her bundle stirred weakly, then coughed. Erina looked down at the tiny, fragile body of her son.

"Hush now, Colin. I've come to pray for a miracle, and if the Blessed Virgin is listening, a miracle you shall have."

Even in the faint light, Colin's skin again looked blue. His eyes seemed heavy, although not with sleep. He was so weak, had been since his birth almost two months ago. The sisters at St. Mary's Infirmary had told her he probably wouldn't live. He'd been born a month early, a tiny baby who'd needed her love and care so desperately. The city physician wouldn't give her an authorization to admit Colin to the charity hospital because there was no hope. Inside his chest was a problem that no doctor or nurse could fix, since no one could operate on a beating heart.

She couldn't depend on the skills of man to save what God had made defective. No, she had to ask Mary for divine intervention. And even though Erina knew herself to be an unworthy sinner, perhaps the Blessed Virgin would intervene for the life of an innocent child.

With shaking hands, Erina placed her son on the altar rail, holding him steady with arms braced on either side of his body and hands clasped in prayer. As Colin breathed unsteadily and whimpered occasionally, she spoke aloud. "Holy Mother, you know what it is to lose your son. Please, save my baby. He's an innocent child, a victim of our sins, but innocent all the same. And you are my only hope."

She paused for a moment, watching Colin's nearly transparent, blue-veined lids close over his dark eyes. His tiny chest rose and fell with each breath. Two fists grasped his blanket, holding fast even in sleep. He was so perfect in every other way, such a bonny child--except for his heart. If only God would grant this wish and make him whole...

She looked up into the compassionate eyes of the statue, who seemed to stare back with calm assurance. "Please, Blessed Virgin, ask God to grant a miracle to save my son. Please, cause his heart to be healed. I ask this in the name of your son, who suffered as well, and as a mother who cannot bear to lose her own child."

Tears welled up in her eyes, but she blinked them away. She would stay on her knees all night and all day tomorrow if there was a chance of saving Colin. This was her only hope. The more he moved or cried, the worse his symptoms became. And he grew weaker every day.

Suddenly he began to cough, his little fists beating against his covers, his eyes squinted closed. Between his tears and the way he tried to draw his legs toward his chest, he could barely take a breath. Erina tried to comfort him, but he seemed past comfort or a mother's love. She wished she could somehow reach inside his chest and make his heart whole, but knew that was impossible. Not even a skilled surgeon could do that.

The skin around his mouth began to turn blue as Erina soothed him against her breast. She watched him grasp her finger with his little hand, as blue as his lips.

"Please, Holy Mother," she pleaded, tears falling down her cheeks, "grant a miracle. Save my son. Please, please. I love him so ... She squeezed her own eyes shut, unable to continue, unable to watch the life gasp and wheeze from Colin's tiny body. When he was gone, she would be all alone. She couldn't face life without her child.

"Please," Erina said one more time, gazing into the serene features of the Virgin Mother. "A miracle..."

Suddenly all the candles at the altar seemed to flare to life at once, surrounding her in a light so white, she could no longer see. She clutched Colin tight, frightened even as she dared to hope. Had Mary granted her wish? Was this healing blaze her miracle?

As abruptly as the light began, it ended. Darkness cloaked her, or was it just the absence of the miraculous light? Erina's eyes searched for details of the altar, the statue of Mary, even the wall sconces at the back of the church. But nothing looked familiar.

In her arms, Colin wiggled, then began to cry. "Hush, my little darlin'," she crooned softly.

Slowly, Erina's eyes adjusted to the darkness. Strange shapes filled the room, with faint light from some unknown source providing soft illumination. Strange, tall draperies framed a huge window that stretched across one wall. Odd boxes with shiny, black fronts were stacked on shelves. The only furniture that looked familiar were a sofa and two chairs, and even they seemed oddly formed.

She was no longer in the church, that was certain. But where was she? What had happened to them in that bright light? Had Colin been cured?

At that moment he jerked, his arms pumping, his legs drawn up to his chest, and Erina felt more tears form. He wasn't cured. How could his tiny body endure this any longer? And she knew the answer; it couldn't. Despite her prayers, despite her hope for a miracle, and the white light, he was still gravely ill. A miracle had occurred, only not the one for which she had prayed.

"Oh, my baby," she said aloud, trying desperately to comfort him. But he was past a mother's comfort.

Suddenly the room was filled with golden light, not as bright as before. And Erina sensed another presence, even before she heard his harshly uttered words.

"Who in the hell are you?"

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