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  • Angels at the Table
  • Written by Debbie Macomber
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A Shirley, Goodness, and Mercy Christmas Story

Written by Debbie MacomberAuthor Alerts:  Random House will alert you to new works by Debbie Macomber



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List Price: $7.99

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On Sale: October 23, 2012
Pages: 240 | ISBN: 978-0-345-53596-2
Published by : Ballantine Books Ballantine Group

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Read by Kimberly Farr
On Sale: October 23, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-307-93917-3
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ABOUT THE BOOK ABOUT THE BOOK
ABOUT THE AUTHOR ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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EVENTS EVENTS
Synopsis|Excerpt

Synopsis

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

In this joyous and whimsical holiday novel, Debbie Macomber rings in the season with the return of Shirley, Goodness, and Mercy, delivering laughs, love, and a charming dose of angelic intervention.
 
Shirley, Goodness, and Mercy know that an angel’s work is never done, especially during a time as wondrous as New Year’s Eve. With an apprentice angel, Will, under their wings, they descend upon Times Square in New York City eager to join in the festivities. And when Will spies two lonely strangers in the crowd, he decides midnight is the perfect time to lend a heavenly helping hand.      
 
Lucie Farrara and Aren Fairchild meet after bumping into each other—seemingly by accident—in Times Square on New Year’s Eve. They immediately hit it off and find they have a lot in common: Lucie is a burgeoning chef and Aren is a respected food critic. But just as quickly as they’re brought together, another twist of fate tears them apart, leaving Lucie and Aren with no way to reconnect.
 
A year later, Lucie is the chef of an acclaimed new restaurant and Aren is a successful columnist for a major New York newspaper. For all the time that’s passed, the two have not forgotten their one serendipitous evening—and neither have Shirley, Goodness, Mercy, and Will. To reunite the young couple, the angels cook up a brilliant plan: mix true love, a second chance, and a generous sprinkle of mischief to create an unforgettable Christmas miracle.

BONUS: This edition includes an excerpt from Debbie Macomber's Starry Night.

Praise for Angels at the Table
 
“This delightful mix of romance, humor, hope and happenstance is the perfect recipe for holiday cheer.”—Examiner.com
 
“Rings in Christmas in tried-and-true Macomber style, with romance and a touch of heavenly magic.”—Kirkus Reviews
 
“The angels’ antics are a hugely hilarious and entertaining bonus to a warm love story.”—Bookreporter
 
“[A] sweetly charming holiday romance.”—Library Journal

Excerpt

Chapter One

“This is really Earth?” Will, the apprentice angel, asked, lying on his stomach on a low-­flying cloud with his three mentors. His eyes widened as he gazed down on the crazed activity below.

“This is Earth,” Mercy informed their young charge with a tinge of pride. For all its problems, Earth was a fascinating place to visit with the tall buildings that butted up against the sky and people milling about with such purpose, most of them unaware of the spiritual world that surrounded them. More times than she could remember Mercy had lost patience with humans. Those who were considered the apex of God’s creations appeared to be slow-­witted and spiritually dull. Yet she loved them and treasured her Earthly assignments.

“It’s New York,” Shirley added, resting her chin in her hands as she gazed longingly below. “Oh, I do so love this city.”

“Manhattan, to be more precise,” Goodness clarified and ended with a little sigh, indicating that she, too, had missed visiting Earth.

The four hovered near Times Square, watching the clamoring crowds jockeying for space on New Year’s Eve.

Will’s eyes widened as he intently studied the scene taking place in the streets below. “Is it always like this—­so busy and crowded, I mean?”

“No, no, this is a special night. The people are gathering together to usher in the New Year.” Time was a concept reserved for Earth. In heaven it was much different. Consequently, the time restriction placed on the three Prayer Ambassadors when given Earthly assignments had caused more than one problem.

“Did Gabriel want us—­”

“Gabriel,” Shirley gasped, and quickly cut him off. “He doesn’t exactly know that we’ve brought you here. It would probably be best if you didn’t mention this short visit to him, okay?”

“Yes, please, it would be best not to let anyone know we’ve shown you Earth.” It went without saying they’d be in all kinds of trouble if Gabriel learned what they’d been up to.

“Gabriel means well but he tends to get a little prickly about these things,” Goodness explained to their young charge.

“Why is that?” Will stared at all three of them.

“Well, you see, we . . . the three of us . . . thought we should give you a bird’s-­eye view of Earth and these people God loves so much—­strictly for training purposes.” Mercy looked to her friends to expound upon their intentions, which were honorable if not a tad bit sneaky.

This Earthly visitation had been a spur-­of-­the-­moment decision. Mercy had been the one to suggest it. Naturally, Goodness was quick to agree, and after some discussion Shirley had seen the light as well.

Will, an apprentice angel, had been placed under their charge, and given this honor, it was only right that he get a glimpse of the trials and tribulations that awaited him once he started working as a Prayer Ambassador. The job could be a bit tricky, and the more Will understood the idiosyncrasies of humans, the better he would do once given an assignment from Gabriel.

Mercy was certain that under their tutorship, Will would make a fine Prayer Ambassador one day. He was young and enthusiastic, eager to learn about Earth and the role he would play.

As Mercy, who had falsely been labeled a troublemaker, had pointed out, theirs was a duty that required serious dedication. She wasn’t alone in believing this. Goodness—­oh, poor Goodness—­had gotten something of a reputation, too, and Mercy felt partially to blame, but that was another story entirely. Shirley tended to be a bit more on the straight-­and-­narrow path and had worked hard to reform her friends. In fact, Shirley, a former Guardian Angel, had done such a marvelous job, Gabriel had offered to let them train the promising young angel who was with them now.

Naturally, it was understood that if the three of them accepted this assignment training Will, then of course there would be no hanky-­panky, no tricks, no nothing. All three had agreed. This was a high honor indeed and their intentions were good.

Now here they were, New Year’s Eve in Times Square, in one of the most amazing cities on Earth. Mercy breathed in deeply, savoring the moment. Bringing Will had been a good excuse, but the fact of the matter was that she had missed visiting Earth. It’d been a good long while since their last assignment, and she missed the razzle-­dazzle of the big city.

“Isn’t Earth just marvelous?” Goodness said, her huge wings fluttering with delight. “Just look at all those neon lights. I’ve always been especially fond of light.”

“As we all are,” Shirley reminded them.

“Can we go down there with the people?” Will asked.

“Absolutely not.” Shirley’s loud protest was instantaneous.

“I don’t think it would hurt anything,” Goodness countered, her gaze still fixed on the bright lights of the city below.

Will glanced from one to the other.

“How will he ever learn about humans if he doesn’t have the opportunity to mingle with them?” Mercy asked, siding with her dearest friend. Shirley could be such a stickler for rules. Okay, so they’d originally promised not to get anywhere close to humans, but this would be a good teaching moment for Will.

“How will he ever learn how to work as a Prayer Ambassador if he doesn’t become familiar with humans?” Goodness protested.

Shirley wavered. While she might be opinionated on a number of topics, she could be easily swayed, which was the best part of working with her, Mercy felt.

“Well . . .”

“Do we hear the humans’ prayers?” Will asked.

“Oh, no,” Shirley explained. “Only God hears their prayers, and then He talks matters over with Gabriel and then . . .”

“Then Gabriel passes along those requests to us.”

“And we assist in answering them.”

“One of our roles is to help humans realize how much they can do for themselves with God’s help,” Goodness clarified.

“We try as best we can without interfering in their lives,” Shirley added quickly, glaring at Goodness and Mercy.

This was a warning and Mercy recognized it the instant her friend spoke.

“But first, and this is the most important part,” Goodness emphasized, “it’s our duty to teach these humans a lesson. Then and only then are we able to help them with their troubles.

“The real difficulty comes when they don’t want to learn.” Goodness shook her head because this aspect of the job was often a challenge. “Some people seem to want God to step in and do as they ask without making a single contribution to the effort.”

“It doesn’t work like that,” Mercy said, although she’d done a fair bit of finagling to help these poor witless souls. In theory, answering prayers didn’t sound the least bit difficult. Unfortunately, humans were sometimes completely dense.

“They can be so stubborn,” Goodness said, shaking her head again.

“Strong willed,” Shirley agreed.

“Oh, yes, and once—­” Mercy snapped her mouth closed. It was best not to reveal their past antics for fear it would mislead their young charge into thinking that perhaps he should follow in their footsteps. Gabriel would take exception to that.

“Once?” Will pressed. “What happened?”

“Never mind,” Shirley said, reading the situation perfectly. “Some things are best laid to rest and not discussed.”

“Can I go down and be with the crowd?” Will asked again. “I won’t say anything to Gabriel.”

“He isn’t the only one,” Shirley blurted out. “I mean, we shouldn’t mutter a word of this to anyone in heaven.”
Debbie Macomber

About Debbie Macomber

Debbie Macomber - Angels at the Table

Photo © Dane Gregory Meyer

Debbie Macomber is a #1 New York Times bestselling author and one of today’s most popular writers with more than 170 million copies of her books in print worldwide. In her novels, Macomber brings to life compelling relationships that embrace family and enduring friendships, uplifting her readers with stories of connection and hope. Macomber's novels have spent over 750 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list.  Eight of these novels hitting the number one spot.

In 2014, Macomber's all-new hardcover publications will include Blossom Street Brides (March), Love Letters: A Rose Harbor Inn Novel (August) and Mr. Miracle (October) and paperback editions of the #1 bestseller Starting Now (April) and her acclaimed Christmas novel, Starry Night (October).  

In addition to fiction Macomber has also published two bestselling cookbooks; numerous inspirational and nonfiction works; and two acclaimed children’s books.  
Macomber's beloved and bestselling Cedar Cove Series became Hallmark Channel’s first dramatic scripted television series, Debbie Macomber's Cedar Cove, which was ranked as the top program on cable when it debuted in summer 2013. Hallmark is now filming a second season of Debbie Macomber's Cedar Cove which will premiere this July 19.  

In addition, Macomber’s upcoming Christmas novel, Mr. Miracle, will be made into an original movie premiering on Hallmark Channel in fall 2014. Previously, Hallmark Channel has produced three successful Christmas movies based on Macomber's bestselling Christmas novels, Mrs. Miracle, Call Me Mrs. Miracle and Trading Christmas

Macomber owns her own tea room, Victorian Rose Tea Room & yarn store, A Good Yarn, named after the shop featured in her popular Blossom Street novels. She and her husband, Wayne, serve on the Guideposts National Advisory Cabinet, and she is World Vision’s international spokesperson for their Knit for Kids charity initiative.
A devoted grandmother, Debbie and her husband Wayne live in Port Orchard, Washington (the town on which her Cedar Cove novels are based) and winter in Florida.
Praise

Praise

“This delightful mix of romance, humor, hope and happenstance is the perfect recipe for holiday cheer.”—Examiner.com
 
“Rings in Christmas in tried-and-true Macomber style, with romance and a touch of heavenly magic.”—Kirkus Reviews
 
“The angels’ antics are a hugely hilarious and entertaining bonus to a warm love story.”—Bookreporter
 
“[A] sweetly charming holiday romance.”—Library Journal
Debbie Macomber

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Debbie Macomber - Angels at the Table

Photo © Dane Gregory Meyer

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