Sharon's INSPIRATIONAL Short stories of Faith and Romance can be found HERE or visit her
Facebook Page, which also has the links in the comments.)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Oh Holy Night

Eight years ago I lost my vision after a long bout with progressive blindness. Devastated and despondent, I enrolled in a 16 week rehabilitation program for mobility, personal adjustment and the use of a computer with adaptive software. Part of the reason I was reluctant to enroll in a program for the blind and visually impaired was because I feared these people would be ignorant and uneducated. I was an artist, a legal secretary, a professional. What could I possibly have in common with “those people?”

I was wrong. They were all ordinary people with extraordinary problems, just like me. We were all thrust into a living nightmare due to circumstances beyond our control. I met doctors, nurses, teachers and paramedics, all with some type of eye disease that had or was robbing them blind. Many had the added burden of facing marital problems because a spouse could not accept the pending blindness. Through this program, we formed an unbreakable bond. We laughed and we cried. Together, we faced an incredible journey filled with endless challenge and heart-wrenching pain. Words can never describe the feeling of being fitted for a white cane, the fear of being in the onslaught of traffic without sight, traveling the long and bitter road from denial to acceptance.

As fate would have it, I was at the program during Christmas that year. We pitched in and had a party, all of us taking part in the celebration. In a huge kitchen, we made cookies and appetizers. But through it all, there was a silent humming that echoed off the walls…depression. For the most part, this was the first Christmas we were facing without vision. Some broke down, others lost their tempers and stormed out of the room, unable to cope with the dark depression and feeling of being segregated and alienated. But then something happened. One woman stood and walked over to the pianist and began singing like an angel, “Oh Holy Night.”
The result was miraculous. Her melodic voice sliced through the depression. When the song ended, there was a moment of silence where you could truly hear a pin drop. And then the applause rose to the heavens, bringing the house down in glorious exultation. Nothing will ever compare to the sheer beauty of that moment. Every time I hear O’ Holy Night, I tear up and remember a time in my life when what didn’t kill me made me stronger.

Oh Holy Night!
Oh Holy Night!
The Stars are brightly shining
It is the night of the dear Savior’s birth!

Long lay the world and sin in error pining
Til He appeared and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn!

Fall on your knees
Oh hear the angel voices
Oh night divine
Oh night when Christ was born
Oh night divine
Oh night divine

Led by the light of faith serenely beaming
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand
So led by a star so brightly gleaming
Here come the wise men from Orient land

The King of Kings lay thus in lowly manger
In all our trials born to be our friend
Truly He taught us to love one another
His law is love and His gospel is peace

Change shall He break for the slave is our brother
And in His name all oppression shall cease
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us praise His holy name.

T'was the Night Before Christmas

Every year at Christmas, my church sponsors a Sharing Tree for the less fortunate. The tree is decorated with paper angel ornaments. Anyone who wishes to participate chooses an angel, buys a gift and brings it back the following week, beautifully wrapped. These angels have no family, and whatever gift they receive from the church is their only present. While this is a wonderful tradition, as you might imagine, it can also present quite a challenge. We are given very little information about our angels. Let me share with you my first experience with this tradition.
The first year I participated in the Sharing Tree, my angel was an elderly woman, a 90-year-old shut in. The first problem I encountered was trying to figure out precisely what a shut in was. After doing a little research, I learned a shut in is a person who is unable to leave the house. I also learned my angel was in a nursing home and hated Christmas because she had no one to share it with. The nursing home was relatively close to where I lived, so I asked if it would be all right if I delivered it in person. I thought it would be a nice gesture to show her someone out there cared. The staff thought it a marvelous idea and said it would make her day. But that still presented the problem of what to buy a 90-year-old shut in.
She’d have no need for a warm scarf or a pair of gloves. And clothes were out of the question since I didn’t know her size. A toasty pair of slippers might be nice, but again. HMM. What size? There were books, stories of inspiration. But what if she had cataracts? Or maybe she didn’t like to read. What to do? Out of options, I decided on a Christmas coffee mug filled with chocolate candy. Pleased with myself, off I went to meet my angel on Christmas Eve.
The elderly woman sat upright in bed, all dressed up in a pink bathrobe. She was all smiles, her cheeks glowing with excitement. I introduced myself and extended my hand. Nothing. My heart sank. Slowly but surely, I realized she had no use of her arms. And here I was, ready to hand her a coffee cup filled with candy.
Asking God for guidance, I briefly panicked. But within a few seconds, it became obvious it wasn’t the gift that mattered to the woman, my angel. She wasn’t a child waiting for Santa. She was a woman waiting for a visitor, a friend, someone to share Christmas with. I set the gift down and said nothing. Then I recalled something the nurse had said when I told her I was coming for a visit. She said the lady was an angel, a patient who never gave the staff any trouble. She said if she was guilty of anything, it was her love of sweets. Then it occurred to me. The nurses probably fed her.
Unwrapping the gift, I showed it to her. Her bright blue eyes lit up, spotting the chocolates. Not wanting to go against any nursing home rules, I wagged my finger and told her she’d just have to wait until Christmas morning before she could open the candy. She smiled, a girlish giggle escaping her lips.
I left the nursing home feeling like I’d just visited an angel. She taught me a valuable lesson. It’s not the gift that matters. It’s showing that you care. We are all God’s angels. Let’s spread the cheer this Christmas.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Christmas Post

Lead us to the Perfect Light

With the frigid weather and the snow falling outdoors, it is beginning to look a lot like Christmas. At my house, we begin our Christmas Eve dinner by breaking wafers with each guest seated at the table. Not only is this said to bring good luck, but it is our way of sharing what we have with one another.
What makes Christmas special to me is the traditions passed on from generation to generation, instilling in me a strong sense of hearth and home. After the breaking of the wafers, the well wishes and cheers, and the feast prepared by many hands, we reminisce over coffee and dessert. Sooner or later, one of us will bring up the good old days when we were kids and put up our train set in the basement, our own little Santa village.
It all started on Thanksgiving weekend, the entire family trooping downstairs like little elves, each with a designated task. My dad and brother put up the platform, carefully nailing the track down, hammering away like Santa’s helpers. My sister and I were in charge of going through box after box of houses, telephone poles, street lamps and tunnels, dusting them off and making them shine for “Light up” night.
After a few hours, the insatiable aroma of sugar cookies wafted from the kitchen, and before long, Mom brought down a platter of the oven-fresh cookies, our family dog hot on her heels. We’d dust off our hands, turn off the lights and watch our little village come to life while sipping on hot cocoa and holiday treats.
A week or so before Christmas, the freshly cut tree went up, filling the house with the heady scent of pine. We strung popcorn and trimmed the plump tree with bright lights and shiny ornaments, icicles and the angel tree top. The Nativity Set was placed below the tree, the cardboard lid staying closed until Christmas morning when the Christ child was exposed, along with the Holy Family, The Three Wise Men and manger animals. Before we opened our gifts, we’d kneel down and wish the Baby Jesus a Merry Christmas.
One Christmas Day, we went to my aunts for dinner. To our amazement, she brought out a birthday cake with no candles. Her entire family sang “Happy Birthday Dear Jesus, Happy Birthday to you.”
This memory has burned a lasting imprint in my brain, one I often reflect on when holiday stress gets the best of me. How easy it is to get caught up in the madness of the season, the shopping, the baking, the business. Year after year, the true meaning of Christmas is lost in the shuffle.
I’d like to start a new tradition this year in honor of my aunt. In these trying times, let’s find it in our hearts to remember why Our Savior was born—to lead us to the perfect light.
“Happy Birthday Dear Jesus, Happy Birthday to you!”

Have a comment? Come leave one at my persoanal blog at:

My favorite comment will win a prize, so stay tuned for the date and details. Wishing you a wonderful and blessed Christmas.

Sharon Donovan

JANUARY 7, 2009

FEBRUARY 25, 2009

MARCH 18, 2009

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Fireside Appetizers

Chicken Enchilada Dip

2 skinless boneless chicken breasts, grilled and shredded
1 8 oz. Package cream cheese, softened
1 cup mayonnaise
1 8 oz. Package shredded colby-monterey cheese
1 4 oz. Can green chili peppers
1 envelope taco seasoning
Mix all ingredients and place in baking pan
Bake uncovered for 30 minutes at 350
Serve with tortilla chips

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Coming Soon

I'm excited to announce the edits are all complete for two of my rosettes in the White Rose line and will soon be giving a release date.
Here is a blurb for Touched by an Angel
On the eve of his wife’s death anniversary, Charles is as restless as the coming storm. Surrounded by the eerie stillness of the Mojave Desert, he contemplates suicide. But just as he is about to jump, he hears the sweet melodic voice of his wife, telling him it’s not his time.
Then Charles meets Emma who looks so much like his wife she could be her twin. Bewitched and bewildered, Charles is drawn to her. And when they discover their spouses have died on the same day and are buried side by side in the same cemetery, a spiritual bonding occurs that neither can deny. Is it fate—or is Cupid shooting arrows from the sweet hereafter?

Here is a blurb from Lasting Love for the Easter line

When Vermont florist Abbey Jordan’s nursery manager quits a few days before Easter, she is left up the proverbial creek without a paddle. But when she places it in God’s hands, she finds lasting love in a garden of roses.
Brady Jones has a daughter to raise, is out of work, and knows more about cultivating roses than anyone in rural Vermont. And when Abbey meets him and hires him as the horticultural manager of her Victorian floral shop, it seems like the answer to her prayers. But just on the brink of a budding romance, a fire destroys the nursery and buries all hope of love. Will their passion spark and resurrect – or stay unlit beneath the burning bed of ashes?

Thanks for reading.
Sharon Donovan

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Coming Soon

Touched by an Angel will soon be released as a White Rose Rosette
Here is a blurb from the book jacket:

On the eve of his wife's death anniversary, Charles is as restless as the coming storm. Surrounded by the eerie stillness of the Mojave Desert, he contemplates suicide. Just as he is about to jump off the rugged cliffs of the desert, he hears the sweet, melodic voice of his wife, telling him it's not his time. And when Charles meets Emma, who looks so much like his wife she could be her twin, he is bewitched, bothered, and bewildered. And when they discover their spouses are buried side by side in the deep, quiet earth, a spiritual bonding occurs that neither can deny. Is this fate--or is Cupid shooting arrows from the sweet hereafter?

Monday, July 14, 2008

First Edits

Today I received the first edits from my editor for Touched by an Angel, a White Rose Rosette and Lasting Love, a White Rose Rosette for the Easter season. It is an exciting time to be a part of two stories on their way to fruition! To read a blurb from each of these stories, visit my website at:
I look forward to your comments.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Cool Sugar Free Dessert

Sugar Free Chocolate Silk Mousse

Serves 4

1 4 oz. envelope unflavored gelatin
¼ cup cold water
8 sugar substitutes
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
¾ cup skim milk
½ cup low fat ricotta cheese
2 tablespoons vanilla
2 tablespoons rum extract
½ cup free Cool Whip
Fresh strawberries

In a small bowl, sprinkle gelatin over water; allow to stand 2 minutes to soften
In a medium saucepan, mix cocoa powder and sugar substitutes; stir in milk and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until very hot
Add gelatin mixture, stirring until gelatin is dissolved
Transfer mixture into medium bowl and refrigerate slightly; do not allow to gel
In a food processor or blender, combine ricotta cheese, vanilla and rum extract
blend until smooth
Transfer to small bowl. Add Cool Whip; stir until well combined
Gradually add ricotta mixture into cocoa mixture
Spoon into dessert cups; chill for 4 hours
Add fresh berries; optional

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy Fourth of July!

Before we grill our burgers, socialize over food and drink, and watch the fireworks, let's take a moment to salute our troops for keeping our nation safe. To all the veterans of yesterday and today, thank you!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


Welcome to my blog. I look forward to all comments. Today I am pleased to announce the sale of two short stories to the Wild Rose Press. Touched by an Angel will be available as a White Rose Rosette and Lasting Love will be available as a White Rose Rosette in time for the Easter season. I will post the release dates soon.
I also welcome any diabetic recipes you may want to share. As a type 1 diabetic, collecting sugar free desserts is one of my hobbies. With summer and all the picnics and parties ahead, I'm finding a lot of cool and refreshing treats. Here is one of my favorites:

Orange Chiffon Cheese Cake

1 Graham cracker crumb pie crust
1 cup orange juice
1 envelope sugar free orange gelatin
1 8 oz. cream cheese (reduced fat)
small Ricotta cheese (part skim milk)
small sugar free Cool Whip

Stir gelatin and orange juice in small saucepan over low heat until dissolved
Place in blender along with remaining ingredients
Whip for approximately 30 seconds
Pour into pie crust and chill for 6 hours
Optional: Place fresh orange slices on top or other fresh fruit of choice.