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Shannon Rouchelle

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Member Since: Jun, 2008

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Category: 

Holidays

Publisher:  Devine Destinies Type: 
Pages: 

37

Copyright:  Dec 1, 2009
Fiction

Dreams do come true if you believe.

Devine Destinies
Shannon Rouchelle
Devine Destinies

When Christine Monroe finds herself unemployed and homeless, she turns to a life on the street. One night as Christine is looking up at the night sky, she prays for a family and a better life.
 
Kent Peterson, a successful doctor, has recently lost his wife and is raising his little daughter, Sally, on his own. That same night, Sally prays for a new mommy to complete their family.
 
Soon their two worlds collide and a relationship unfolds.
 
Will their prayers for a happy family be answered in time for Christmas? Only time will tell.  
 
 
 
 

 


Excerpt

Star Gazer

Shannon Rouchelle © Copyright 2009

All Rights Reserved, Devine Destinies


She eagerly grabbed his hand and pulled him toward the sweet shop. "Can I buy a lollipop?"

He opened the door and the overhead bell sounded. "Of course, honey." He purchased a few goodies for his staff and bought Sally a handful of her favorite flavored lollipops. Kent opened up his wallet and handed the owner a wad of bills. Clutching the brown paper bag of purchases, they went to the nearest Italian diner. Sitting in a corner booth, he listened to his daughter chatter happily about the upcoming holidays. "Eat your spaghetti," he urged.

Sally twirled a long strand around her fork and slurped it up.

"Honey, what would you like for Christmas this year?"

Her eyes enlarged. She wiped her chin with a napkin and shrugged her shoulders. "There is only one thing I want for Christmas."

"What's that?"

Sally reached for a dinner roll and bit into it. She chewed thoughtfully. "I can't tell you."

Kent leaned forward with interest. "Why can't you tell me?"

"If I tell you, my wish might not come true."

"I see…" He glanced out the window and noticed large snowflakes fall. His eyes took in a slender form as it walked by. A woman dressed in a long overcoat stood outside the restaurant and gazed up at the neon sign. He saw her hesitate, glance down the street, then enter the building. He half-listened to his daughter prattle on happily. He strained to hear the woman speak.

She brushed the snow from her long, black hair and nervously cleared her throat. The words she spoke to the manager were barely above a whisper. "Are you hiring?"

The burly man scrutinized her appearance. He shook his head, disgusted. "You don't look like a proper waitress," he said.

"I'm a real hard worker," she replied. "Please…I have experience." She handed the man a ratty piece of paper.

The owner glanced briefly at her credentials. "Are you going to eat here? If not, get out." He pointed a finger at the doorway.

Kent excused himself from his daughter and approached the woman. "I couldn't help overhearing…" He gazed into her brown eyes and was speechless for a moment. "I'm…I was wondering if you would like to join us for lunch." He motioned to his daughter sitting in the corner booth.

"No thank you. I don't eat with strangers."

"My name is Kent Peterson, and you are?"

The woman looked down at her scruffy shoes. "I'm Christine Monroe."

He held out a hand to shake. "It's nice to meet your acquaintance. If you don't mind, I would like it if you took a seat."

She shook her head and moved toward the door. "I really should go."

Kent knew he wouldn't convince her. He left her side for a moment and rushed over to his table. Grabbing a couple of warm rolls, he handed them to her. "I want you to take these."

Christine eyed the rolls. She reached out and took the food. Meeting his gaze one last time, she thanked him and exited the restaurant.

Kent approached his table and sat down.

"Who was that, Daddy?"

"I don't know."

"She is pretty," Sally said.

"She sure is," he agreed. He glanced out the window and watched Christine walk across the street. He was enthralled by her beauty. Not taking his gaze off her slender form, he saw her bite into a warm roll. She closed her eyes to savor the taste.

Suddenly, a group of men came out of the alley. The street thugs had her blocked off. One guy punched her arm.

"What are they doing, Daddy?" Sally inquired.

Kent sat rooted to the spot, his eyes enlarged with fear. A couple of guys attempted to grab the bread from Christine. When she refused to give up her meal, a man slugged her hard in the face. She crumpled to the ground. The bread was confiscated by the thugs. The five guys took off down the back alley and disappeared from sight.








Professional Reviews

Night Owl Reviews
Author(s): Shannon Rouchelle Website
Genre(s): * Romance - A Night Owl Romance Review
(3.75 out of 5)

Christine Monroe never thought that one day she’d be living on the streets because she lost her job and couldn’t afford to pay the rent anymore. Unfortunately though, that’s exactly what happened to her. While desperately trying to look for another job to put a roof over her head, because she is homeless, no one is willing to give her a second chance at trying to get her life back in order again. That is until her path crosses Kent Peterson’s, a successful doctor who is eating at the very restaurant that Christine inquires about a job. From the moment he locks eyes on her, things will never be the same again for either one of them.

What happens when Kent meets Christine? Does she ever get the break she’s so desperately looking for so she could get back on her feet again? Does something more come out of the friendship that develops between Kent and Christine?

I found this short story to be an enjoyable read and it’s a very heartwarming account of how Christine’s life was once fine and due to downsizing of jobs because of the recession, her life plummeted into despair. My heart went out to her because of how her life was unbearable now since she was living on the streets. I felt that Kent and his daughter, Sally, were in the Italian restaurant at the right time and for the right reason for their paths to cross. From the beginning, I felt disdain for the maid, Elsa, but couldn’t put my finger on exactly why I felt that way. When she went out of her way to tell Christine that she was unwelcomed in the Peterson house, I immediately knew why I disliked her to the degree that I did. Overall, this was definitely a story that proves that dreams do very much come true if you wish hard enough for them. Nicely done, Ms. Rouchelle!


Manic Readers
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewer: Val


Christine Monroe has been drastically affected by the drop in the economy and finds herself homeless. No matter what she tries, she can't catch a break. With the kindness of Kent and his little girl, Christine finds herself in a warm home making sweet memories. She wished for a family to love and a warm home, can this be too good to be true?

The opening of Star Gazer broke my heart. It was such a sweet and touching prayer from a little girl and her daddy, Kent, which had such a touching explanation of where mommy went. The way the author contrasted the worlds between Kent and Christine was amazing. This story was a fast paced read that was very heartwarming and brought the true meaning of Christmas to light. I have read one other story by Ms. Shannon and have come to look forward to reading her short stories. If you are looking for a sentimental holiday read that can be read in a short amount of time, this is the book for you.


Long and Short Reviews
Devine Destines

Contemporary, Inspirational

Reviewed by Gianna

Star Gazer by Shannon Rouchelle
Publisher: Devine Destinies
Genre: Contemporary, Holiday
Joyfully Reviewed

Life has been difficult for Christine Monroe and she has had to live on the street with no food or money. But her future takes a turn for the better one day when she walks into a diner to look for employment and bumps into Kent Peterson.

Kent Peterson, a successful doctor is enthralled with Christine the moment he sees her. He is able to see past her worn clothes and senses that she is a good person even when everyone else mistreats her. Sally, Kent's daughter is quickly taken by Christine and hopes that her prayers have finally been answered and she will finally get a new mommy.

Shannon Rouchelle warms your heart with Star Gazer. This brief story makes you realize that not everyone who is homeless necessarily chose that life. Christine is a likeable character but with a very low self-esteem. Kent is patient with her and quickly finds himself falling in love. It was good to see the characters grow from the obstacles that were thrown their way. Although I would have like to have seen different facets to Kent Peterson, I found Star Gazer to be charming.





Length: Short (43 pages)
Heat: Spicy
Rating: 3.5 Books
Reviewed by Fennel

When Christine Monroe finds herself unemployed and homeless, she turns to a life on the street. One night as Christine is looking up at the night sky, she prays for a family and a better life.

Kent Peterson, a successful doctor, has recently lost his wife and is raising his little daughter, Sally, on his own. That same night, Sally prays for a new mommy to complete their family.

Soon their two worlds collide and a relationship unfolds.

Will their prayers for a happy family be answered in time for Christmas? Only time will tell.

Christmas may be behind us, but this is the kind of story I like to pick up, any time I feel I’m losing the magic of goodwill and friendships remembered.

In this story, author Shannon Rouchelle depicts the ease with which lives can fall apart. Although her heroine, Christine Monroe, has fallen on hard times she does not forget the importance of friendships, wishes and dreams and happily follows the childish rhyme to wish upon a star. But when she turns down an act of kindness from hero, Kent Peterson, she unknowingly sabotages her wish.

Every character in this story is fully formed and engages the reader in their particular way. The scene setting is brief and vivid and carries the pace fluently.

This story may be past its traditional ‘read by’ date, but don’t let that deter you from adding this charming story to your library.





Sizzling Hot Books

Marissa

5 Stars

Star Gazer is a charming story that reminds us that miracles and wishes do come true.


When Christine Monroe finds herself unemployed and homeless, she turns to a life on the street. One night as Christine is looking up at the night sky, she prays for a family and a better life.
Kent Peterson, a successful doctor, has recently lost his wife and is raising his little daughter, Sally, on his own. That same night, Sally prays for a new mommy to complete their family.
Soon their two worlds collide and a relationship unfolds.
Will their prayers for a happy family be answered in time for Christmas? Only time will tell.
Christine lost everything when the market crashed. She went from having a good job and a roof over her head to living in the streets with nothing. No one would give her a chance at a job because of the way she looked from living on the streets.

Kent lost his wife, and was left to care for his five year old daughter Sally alone. Both Kent and Sally were lonely and were wishing for a wife/mother. I found Kent to have a heart of gold and loved how caring he was. He took Christine home with him and offered her a job caring for Sally, and didn't know a thing about her.

I loved Star Gazer. I was happy that cute little Sally with her blonde curls got her wish for Christmas, a new mommy. Star Gazer starts off with two families that are missing something, and in the end they both find what they need with each other. Star Gazer was a sweet story, with the perfect setting at Christmas time.




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