Angels Daniel and Jefferson recruit a band of heavenly hosts to spread comfort and joy this holiday season after a rough year for all. The five stories in this anthology intertwine as the angels visits old friends and new, including characters from the authors’ best-selling stories Ghost Writer, Guilt and Innocence, An Arm and a Leg, Monsters, Let’s Hang Out, 21 Smiles, and Transitions, among others.
Which couples have wed? Who is set to play Tiny Tim and Dopey the Dwarf? Who gets to see his lover for the very first time? Which duos are raising children? Which pair welcomes a new one, and which couple has gone their separate ways?
Can Daniel and Jefferson spread enough holiday cheer to bring everyone a merry yuletide season and hope for the new year?
EXCERPT FROM "21 Angels and Their First Noel"
“Good morning.” Kit called around 6:45. “You okay?”
“Yeah.” Dillon stopped in his tracks in the kitchen, halfway to the coffee pot. “I’m okay. Why?”
“I was just talking to one of my nurse friends. We got a guy in last night. Someone beat him up.”
“Oh no. I’m sorry, Kit. Someone you know?”
“No,” Kit said. “Nothing like that. Someone knows him, though. We just don’t know who. Whoever rolled him, they took his ID. They left him lying on the side of the road. Luckily, some college kid happened upon him and called 911. The guy stayed with him all night. Good kid.”
“Someone is missing him, Dillon, ya know? Someone’s worried, and they have no idea what happened, because no one knows who to call. It’s one of those bad situations when you’re a nurse. You’re too busy during the scary parts to think about who you’re working on, but once we get him or her stable, then we think about the what if and the what’s next. Does that make sense?”
“It does, Kit.” Dillon still hadn’t moved from the spot halfway between his fridge and the stove. “Yes.”
“He’s alive, this guy, and that’s good news, except he’s still not conscious, so he can’t tell any of us who he is, so we can tell anyone looking for him where he’s at. Someone’s missing him, Dillon,” Kit said again.
“Someone’s missing him.” Jefferson knew.
Dillon put himself in the place of that guy’s loved ones, wondering how he would feel if he suddenly had no idea where Kit was when he was supposed to be home, maybe even beside him in bed, but not there. The thought of that shook Dillon worse than all the nonsense about Kit not being real. Way worse. Hell, it petrified him. Kit had been a part of Dillon’s daily life for all of six months, and Dillon couldn’t imagine -- he didn’t want to imaginevthings any other way, now.
“I love you,” Dillon blurted out. “I never want to lose you.”
* * * *
Nero Storm was anchoring that morning, five days before Christmas. He no longer worked at WTWN in Westchester. When opportunity arose to become on air talent for a major news outlet in Manhattan, though Nero balked, his friend and former producer, Frasier Bellamy, told him he’d be a fool not to jump at it. Since just before Labor Day 2019, Nero had been the Big Apple station’s roving reporter. Now, when all the well-known anchors were off at noon, or for the four in the morning show, when the big names were just getting out of bed, Nero got to sit behind the desk.
“Officials in Boston are asking for your help,” Nero said toward the camera. “An unidentified man was located on the side of the street near Brookline Avenue last night. He was discovered battered and unconscious just before eleven, by a Good Samaritan who happened by. The student who found the man should have already been home for Christmas break, but remained in Boston to play hockey with his college team, and only saw the lifeless assault victim because of his location under the big illuminated heralding angel suspended for the Christmas season from a light pole, police say. Authorities have released a photograph of the man hoping ...”
Nero turned white as the light snow already falling outside, when the image of the man reportedly near death appeared on the monitor.