About Once Upon a Word: We're a large group of multi-talented authors working together, to bring you the best romances.

Monday, December 5, 2016

RAFF'S CHRISTMAS MIRACLE BY Teresa K. Cypher @Teresa_Cypher @rebeccajvickery @KMNbooks #christmas

Let's give Teresa K. Cypher a warm welcome!

KAREN: Why don't you tell the readers a little bit about yourself.

TERESA: I grew up in the hills and hollows of western Pennsylvania. My husband and I live within sight of the family farm I grew up on. I love it most when the kids and the grandkids come to visit. Nothing is quite so heartwarming as having the whole gang together. I work outside the home for a biotechnology company. My escape is into fictional worlds I’m creating.

KAREN: Tell us your latest news. Do you have any current projects you're working on? 

TERESA: Thanks for asking. I do have a  work-in-progress, a scifi-ish novel currently called “Dai Klavven”—the name of which is likely to change before publication. 

KAREN:What is the name of your story and what inspired you to write this tale for the Let it Snow, 2016 Holiday Romance Collection?   

TERESA: I wrote Raff’s Christmas Miracle for VTP’s 2016 anthology.  I typed the first 3000 words while vacationing at the Outer Banks in North Carolina. Our second day there, after everyone went to bed, I had the upstairs to myself. In the (rare-for-me) solitude of those dark hours, listening to the wind and the sound of waves crashing in the wake of hurricane Matthew, I felt a touch of the loneliness that growing older brings… Old friends, family members, opportunities…gone, replaced with the bitter sweetness of regret. I soaked in the atmosphere, and the switch flipped on. Raff was born in my writer’s head, and he and I mulled in the murkiness of yesteryear. We decided that beyond regret, if Raff dug hard enough, he’d find hope—and a chance to find redemption, to take a bad decision from years ago and learn from it.

KAREN: When you were a child, what holiday story intrigued you the most? 

TERESA: Oh, it sounds weird, but A Christmas Carol. I’m not sure what version I saw first—but it wasn’t until my teen years that I got around to reading it.

KAREN: What do you think makes a good holiday story?

TERESA: Love. There must be love—and it’s made even better if there is redemption.

KAREN: What is your favorite holiday movie or book? 

TERESA: I absolutely love the book, The Polar Express. I tear up every time I read it.  Just for the record, the bell isn’t broken. I can still hear it ring.

KAREN: What is your favorite holiday drink or food dish? 

TERESA: I am known as the gingerbread lady in my small part of the world. I’m going to go with gingerbread cookies. As far as drinks go, I really like cranberry juice and mint ginger ale over ice.

KAREN: What makes you interested in the genre you write? 

TERESA: I write two genres, thus far. For VTP, I write holiday romance. I love Christmas—and I love love. Everybody could use more of both in their lives. Science fiction is the second genre I write. For me, it is complete escapism. It’s a fantastical sort of genre where anything—limited to perhaps only the laws of physics, can happen. Creating worlds is incredible. If I had a superpower, that would be it. Wait…

That is my superpower.


Raff, retired and alone, befriends Mandy-a single mother of two who lives down the road from him. The young woman reminds him of Angie, his high school sweetheart and the only girl he ever loved. He and Angie had planned to spend their lives together, but many years before, on the Christmas they announced they were getting married; her father whisked her away to find a good man, the "right" man.

Three months before Christmas, when the rat-infested mobile home Mandy rents, burns to the ground, he offers to let them stay with him in his big, old farmhouse.
Their short stay turns into a longer one, and Raff discovers that he likes having children in the house, and he likes Mandy's company. She's alone in the world, and he wants to help her and her kids get back on their feet.
As the holidays approach, while Mandy searches for her birth mother and then has to choose whether to meet her or not, Raff is forced to face his memories of the Christmas long ago when Angie broke it off with one phone call, and then she moved away.
Is there still room in his heart for the one true miracle of Christmas… the miracle of love?
Amazon /Amazon UK / Smashwords / iTunes /Nook

In Print:
Amazon /Amazon UK /Createspace / Barnes and Noble


~Enjoy An Excerpt from RAFF'S CHRISTMAS MIRACLE~

The main character, Raff, retired and alone, has taken in a young mother, Mandy, and her two children after their rental home burns. The kids are at school and he and Mandy are sitting at the table in his farmhouse having coffee and sharing stories.  Raff speaks first:

"My grandmother's name was Grace. Grandpa always called her Gracie, just like George Burns used to call his wife."

"I've seen a few George Burns reruns."

"Lord. Sometimes I forget how old I am." He laughed in spite of himself. "They lived here all of their married lives. Here with grandpa's parents. And his parents...let me see... Sometimes I lose track of the generations. His parents lost it during the depression. Yep, that was it, my great-grandad's family lost it during the depression, and he vowed to get it back. After he married my great-grandma, he did. As the story goes, though, she came from money. She was head over heels in love with him, but he only had eyes for the farm and for farming. She proposed to him, and told him how much money she'd bring to the marriage. Grandma said she actually drew it all out on paper, that she'd have enough to get the farm out of hock. The rest is history."

Mandy looked puzzled. "Not great history, though."

"Huh? What do you mean not great?" He took a slug of his coffee and plunked down the mug.

"I meant that it wasn't a great story for her, for your great-grandma. She had to buy love."

Raff laughed. "I see what you mean. I should have added that grandpa may have allowed a woman to purchase his name, but she stole his heart and there wasn't a thing he could do about it."

Teresa Cypher was raised on a farm in the hills and hollows of very rural, western Pennsylvania. She grew up during the era when Walt Disney was the Sunday evening show, and once a year, the TV networks aired The Sound of Music, and Cinderella. She was a teenager when Star Wars was first released, but she'd already daydreamed about romance in space after watching every episode of Star Trek that was ever made. So it's no surprise to those who know her best that she writes Romance and SFR. 
She treasures all things family, her husband, her adult children, and her grandchildren. Her Cocker Spaniel, Leo, is her writing buddy. She thinks she has the best friends a human could have. Though she loves what she does for a living, working for a global Biotechnology company takes up far too much of her time, and she's looking forward to the day when she can begin her full time writing career.

You can find the author online at:


  1. Teresa,
    Thanks you so much for being here today and sharing a little bit about yourself. I truly loved your sweet story as I'm sure other will too. I wish you and yours a wonderful Christmas.

    1. Thanks, Karen! It was fun. I am so grateful for the opportunity!

  2. Your story was a good pick to start the boxed set out with. I actually could see an older James Gardner playing the part of Raff. Do you ever have and actor or actress in mind when you create your characters?

    1. Thanks, Gerald! :-) I'm awfully proud to be sharing the pages with you, Nancy, and Barbara. :-)

      I can see him now that you shared your vision. I don't think I pictured an actor while writing the story. I actually did something far more risky, lol. I kept picturing people I've known, or people I do know. There's a little bit of a lot of people in Raff. Sometimes I saw my dad, or heard his logic escaping Raff's lips. Sometimes I pictured some of the farmer-type locals. There are bits of my father in law in there, too.

      I have one story, in fact it's a rather long book--the first book I wrote (still unpublished) and there is one character I could visualize the whole time I wrote. I always joked to my mom that when they make it into a movie, I want Michael Clarke Duncan to play that part. But, he died several years ago. He would have been so perfect...

      Thanks for visiting!

  3. Lovely interview, Teresa. There have been lots of versions of A Christmas Carol, but I think my favorite is the Muppets one :)

    1. Hi, Ian! Thanks. :-)

      I sometimes wonder if the version I saw was with George C Scott. For some reason, no matter the actor(s), that story connected to me and I took it to heart.

      The Muppets... It's been years. I so loved the Hecklers on the Muppet show. lol

      Thanks for visiting!


Comments relevant to the blog post are welcome as long as they are noninflammatory and appropriate for everyone of all ages to read.
Thank you for your interest and input.