EXCERPT: Truly A Miracle by Derrick Knight



trulyamiracle_fsTITLE: Truly A Miracle

SERIES: The Innkeeper Series

AUTHOR: Derrick Knight


LENGTH: 251 Pages

RELEASE DATE: October 25, 2016

BLURB: Dustin Hurst and Nathaniel Schmitt were happy when Nathaniel’s sister Natalie agreed to be their surrogate. Both men were elated finding out that she was pregnant with twins. Their dreams of becoming parents finally coming true, until one day, Natalie goes into preterm labor.

Diana and Niles Hurst-Schmitt enter the world over two months premature. Immediately they’re transported to a nearby children’s hospital where doctors soon discover both twins have life threatening complications requiring surgical intervention.

During their children’s hospitalization, Dustin and Nathaniel grow fond of the many talented healthcare professionals working to heal their newborns, including the attractive dietitian Matt Bachmeier. They think it’s only a matter of time before their babies are well enough to come home. Unfortunately, fate has other plans for the tiny infants resulting in Dustin and Nathaniel unexpectedly embarking on a terrifying journey witnessing their children fighting for their lives.

As their medical crisis continues to unfold, Dustin and Nathaniel pray for a miracle their family so desperately needs.


“I don’t have a baker for tomorrow morning.” Nathaniel reached inside his coat pocket for his cellphone. “I’m going to ask Mama if she could help.”

Dustin glanced at Nathaniel.

“It’s 1:30 in the morning. I’m sure Marie is asleep.”

Nathaniel shook his head, his trembling hands making it difficult for him to punch the speed dial button.

“Who else can I ask?” Nathaniel put the receiver to his ear. “My other staff is just part-time assistants, not trained professionals. They couldn’t decipher the recipes or handle the volume of pastries needed for the morning rush. Mama is the only person who could step into Natalie’s shoes without any problems.” After several rings, his mother answered. “Mama, it’s Nathaniel.” Nathaniel fidgeted. “I’m sorry for calling so late, but I have a dilemma. Natalie was admitted to the hospital earlier and gave birth to the twins. Don’t worry, she’s fine, but they were transferred to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in Oakhill. Dustin and I are heading there now.” Nathaniel felt a sharp pain in his stomach. His hands were shaking. “Mama, I’m sorry I woke you up, but I’m in such a predicament. You’re the first person I—”

“Breathe, Nathaniel. Everything is going to be fine.” Marie sounded so clear and coherent, not at all sleepy. Nathaniel wondered if his mama had been up waiting for his call. She continued. “Ray called Papa and me after he got her to the Emergency Room. I thought you might be calling me asking for my help. Don’t worry, I’ll take care of the bakery. Remember, I taught Natalie Marie everything she knows. I come from a long line of accomplished bakers. When I go in tomorrow, customers and staff will think it’s just another routine morning at Aunt Millie’s Bakery, I promise.”

Nathaniel sighed, collapsing back in his seat. “Thank you, Mama. You’ve really helped me out of a horrible predicament.”

“This is what mothers do for their children.” She paused. “I’d do anything for you. Just like I would for any of your brothers and sisters. You kids are my greatest contributions to this world.” Then her tone changed to one containing a hint of humor. “I’m going to let you go. After all, I’ve got to get up in a couple hours to get to my new job. And don’t worry, Mama Schmitt is coming out of retirement.”

Nathaniel laughed, surprising himself.

“Thank you, Mama. You’re the best!”

“No problem. Tell Dustin to drive carefully. I don’t want to visit your whole family in the hospital.”

Nathaniel chuckled.

“Papa and my prayers are with all of you. I love you, son. Take care.” Then Marie ended their call.

Nathaniel turned to Dustin.

“Please hurry. Our babies need us.”

“I’m already driving ten miles over the speed limit.” Dustin placed one hand on Nathaniel’s thigh. “We want to get to the hospital in one piece.

Five Fun Facts about Truly a Miracle

  1. The character Matt is basically my alter ego in the book.  Except, Matt isn’t as Type A as I am.

  2. Nora Guthrie was inspired by a fellow co-worker, except Nora is a much more subdued version of the real person.

  3. Matt’s infant formula idea was created by me and is actually used at hospitals throughout the United States.

  4. Nathaniel is a composite of two men that I know.  He’s one of my favorite characters to write about.

  5. The editing process of Truly a Miracle took longer than the writing the original story.


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Derrick Knight was born in Janesville, Wisconsin. Growing up, he always dreamed of becoming a writer. His grandmother got him hooked on reading mystery novels. It was in December 2011 that he purchased his first M/M romance novel. Instantly, he became hooked on the genre. After reading his first gay romance novel, he knew what type of books he wanted to write.

Derrick earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Dietetics from University of Wisconsin- Stout, and a Master’s Degree in Health Services Administration from University of St. Francis in Joliet, Illinois. He has worked in the healthcare field as a dietitian for over twenty-three years. For the past nineteen years, he has functioned as a neonatal nutritionist for a large Neonatal Intensive Care Unit in Central Illinois. Currently, he lives in Peoria, Illinois.

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Interview with Miracle on Mistletoe Lane author, Derrick Knight

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Miracle on Mistletoe-1800x2700  Cover Artist: Reese Dante

Author Interview

Hi Derrick, thanks for joining us and congratulations on your new book. I love a story with a Christmas theme so am very much looking forward to reading this one.

Firstly, the cover by Reece Dante is so beautiful. I love the idea of a white Christmas (being Australian, this is something I’ve never experienced). What is your favourite Christmas memory? Do you have the joy of a white Christmas?

I am originally from Wisconsin where most years I experienced a white Christmas.  My favorite childhood memory was when I was five or six years old my parents hired a man to play Santa Clause and come to our house on Christmas Eve night.  My sister and I were so excited! We joyfully jumped up and down as Santa opened his red velvet sack.  Santa Clause was real! Or so I thought at the time and some years later. 

Oh no, are you saying Santa Clause isn’t real! 🙂

And on the Christmas theme, do you have a favourite holiday movie?

Miracle on 34th Street.  Natalie Wood was perfect. 

Can you tell us a little more about Joe and his son, and how they ended up in such a tough situation?

Joe’s work history is working in construction.  He has difficulty keeping long-term employment because of being a single dad taking care of a medically complex child.  Joe and Joey become homeless after their apartment building catches on fire and burns to the ground.  Joe couldn’t afford renters insurance so they end up for a short period living in Joe’s old red pick-up truck. 

Who is your favourite character in the story?  

It is a toss up between Joey and Emily.  I love Joey’s innocence and Emily’s kind heart. 

I assume Joe and Sidney (and Joey) will get their happy ending. Will we be reading more about them in future?

There may be a sequel but Joe, Sidney, or Joey will not be in the sequel.   The next possible story will be with Emily and her loyal assistants.  They will be on another case helping a family in crisis. 

So here’s a bit more about the book itself.


Joe Koehler and his six-year old son, Joey, are down on their luck. Currently, Joe is unemployed due to a bad economy and taking care of a medically complex son.  Recently father and son become homeless due to their apartment catching on fire and Joe being without any insurance. They are forced to live in Joe’s old red pick-up truck. Eventually father and son take refuge at Hope House, a local homeless shelter, which is run by a kindly, yet mysterious, elderly woman named Emily.

Sidney Maier recently inherited his grandparents home but the house is in desperate need of repair. Skills Sidney greatly lacks. He befriends a fellow church member Emily who is the Interim Director at Hope House.  Sidney tells Emily that he needs help with remodeling his new home. Also, he confides in her, that he is lonely and wishes he could meet someone special.

Emily and her assistants orchestrate for Joe and Sidney to meet where an instant attraction forms between both men. Joe and Sidney embark on a journey of courtship, but soon a negative force learns of their budding romance and wants to stop it at any cost. Emily and her assistants must all use their special talents if Joe and Sidney are meant to live happily ever after.




When Joe lifted his head, he saw the man he had been fantasizing about since Joey was discharged from the hospital.  He quickly stood up then nervously swayed back and forth.  Partly because he was nervous seeing the man whom he secretly desired, but also because he did not want Sidney to know that he was living here at a homeless shelter.  He did not want Sidney’s pity.

“Oh, I…” Joe struggled to find the right words.

“The church hired Mr. Koehler to finish remodeling our library,” Emily said smoothly. “We needed someone right away and by the Lord’s work Mr. Koehler was available.   My assistants and I think he is a Godsend.”  Emily’s cell phone began to ring.  “I need to take this call.  It’s my husband.”  She looked at Joe.  “Would you be willing to give Mr. Maier a tour of Hope House while I take this call?”

Before Joe could respond, Sidney interjected.

“I would like that very much.”

The excitement in Sidney’s voice did not go unnoticed by either Joe or Emily.

“Good,” Emily said, taking her husband’s call as she walked away.

For a few moments Joe and Sidney just stared at each other, both men wanting to say something but too afraid.  Finally, Joe mustered up the courage to start the conversation.

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About the Author

Derrick Knight was born and grew up in Janesville, Wisconsin. Derrick earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Nutrition from the University of Wisconsin-Stout and a Master’s Degree in Health Services Administration from University of St. Francis in Joliet, Illinois. For the last seventeen years, Derrick has been employed as a neonatal nutritionist in a neonatal intensive care unit at the largest teaching hospital in Illinois outside of Chicago.

Growing up Derrick was an avid reader of mystery novels. Agatha Christie was his favorite author. Ever since childhood Derrick dreamed of becoming a writer. He planned on writing mystery novels until a couple of years ago he read his first gay romance novel and he became hooked on the genre.

When Derrick is not writing, he is working on restoring his Arts & Crafts home, tending to his garden, and being an advocate for improving infant nutrition. Currently. Derrick resides in Peoria, Illinois with his two cats Iris and Madison Grace.

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