Saturday, June 15, 2013

A Giveaway & Celebrating the Release of By Appointment Only



It's a Sunday after-church tradition. Following Mass, my husband and I head straight to National Coney Island for breakfast. It's a family-style diner. There's dish clatter, a flood of conversation, kids laughing (and crying!) and folks wiping sleep from their eyes as they hunker in with a cup of coffee, some pancakes, or some bacon and eggs.


It's comfort, and comfort food, that's as familiar to us as a sunrise, and we've even gotten to know a number of the waitresses. When my husband had hip replacement, a few of them even made it a point to stop by and chat, wondering how his recovery progressed. I love this place, and it became the inspiration for my Sal's Place Series.
 
 
After all, can't you  imagine Jennifer strolling the aisles, taking orders and serving customers with a smile? Sal Cocossa hard at work cooking behind the flat top grill? Luke and Callie West having dinner together? Ryan Douglas stopping in for a quick cup of coffee while patrolling the streets of Detroit?
 
Today, Sal's Place has a new entry - By Appointment Only! I want you to get to know Matt Bellinger and Heather Cavanaugh - so, to celebrate, I'm giving away an autographed, print copy of Search & Rescue (Book 1) and Beautiful Music (Book 2). All you have to do is leave a comment, talking about your favorite spot to savor down-home comfort food and casual atmosphere. I can't wait to hear from you! Don't worry about reading the series in order, or being lost if you haven't read them all - these are stand-alone romances full of faith, hope, and love.
 
Giveaway winners will be announced next Saturday right here at the blog, so be sure to check back!
 
BY APPOINTMENT ONLY  ~ BLURB
 
Political dynamo Matt Bellinger understands he has an unyielding responsibility to work hard for the betterment of his community and the world around him. Life, he believes, should be built strictly on effort and tangibles, not an elusive faith.
 
But that belief is challenged when a bill to spearhead volunteerism leads him to canvassing efforts at Detroit's legendary diner, Sal's Place, and a meeting with Heather Cavanaugh. His polar opposite, the street-smart beauty challenges his heart and perceptions. She's the head stylist at Optiva, a trendy, upscale hair salon in downtown Detroit, as well as a tireless volunteer giving back to the city she loves in honor of the God she serves.
 
Love blooms, gradually shifting Matt's perceptions. But when a life-threatening illness in his family challenges that fledgling faith, will he be able to hold fast to his newfound beliefs? Will he discover that faith makes all things possible and love makes all things beautiful?
 
 
BY APPOINTMENT ONLY ~ EXCERPT 
 
Matt made it to the hospital in plenty of time to give Mandy’s untethered arm a gentle squeeze and dot her forehead with a kiss. He loved the way her eyes lit up at the sight of his gift—a big, pink teddy bear with get-well-soon balloons tied to its paws. Once the pre-operative sedative kicked in, Mandy became sluggish, so Matt followed his family out of the room. Only Rick and Stephanie stayed behind.
 
In the waiting room, the O’Connors and a few couples from Rick and Stephanie’s church that Matt had never met before convened to wait for word from the OR. As a group, they joined hands and murmured a prayer. Matt watched, compelled by the scene, and he thought instantly of Heather, of how readily and easily she had prayed at dinner, just like these people prayed now. She was comfortable with her faith and her beliefs, as well as the pattern of her life.
 
Matt felt a stab of yearning that had nothing to do with the love he held for Heather. Rather, the ache that swelled through his chest as the prayer session ended stemmed from the fact that he could feel the peace that flowed. He saw it in their eyes and in the more relaxed way they moved.
 
But he couldn’t taste it for himself. He was an outsider, hungry yet rootless, staring through plate glass at a feast meant to fill and quench.
 
How, he wondered, could he ever break through?
 
“Hey there, handsome.”
 
From behind, that quiet, subdued summons reached his ears…then entered his heart.
 
Matt spun, face-to-face with Heather who stepped straight into his arms and held on tight.
 
The love that washed through him was so powerful, words failed.
BY APPOINTMENT ONLY ~ PURCHASE LINKS
 
 
 
 

31 comments:

  1. Good luck to all the entrants, and I deeply appreciate your encouragement and support!! God bless!

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  2. I would love to win a book. We all have those favorite eating places that provide comfort. My husband and mine is Los Jacubes, a wonderful Mexican restaurant in the tiny village of Oakboro, N.C. Not only do they have the best Mexican food we've had in the States, but we get to practice our limited Spanish, too. And, yes, they know what we like, because we've been so much. : )

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    1. Los Jacubes sounds awesome!! I'm getting hungry just thinking about authentic Mexican food!! LOL!! I'm so glad you dropped by and named your spot! Blessings!!

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  3. I would love to win your books! The place for me would be Pizza Man! I remember taking my kids there, now I take my grandkids there!

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    1. Hi, Debbie - and thank you for the encouragement!! Pizza Man, eh? Sounds wonderful! I look forward to the days of treating my grandkids to meals at National. :-D It'll be a blast!! Thanks for stopping by! Blessings!

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  4. This book sounds like a wonderful read. I'm putting it on my TBR list. My favorite place is anything Mexican. I love cheese enchilladas, chips and salsa. Here in Houston where I live, I have several places. My all time fav is too far away now, but when we trek into that part of Houston, all the servers and managers still remember us. They take us to our special booth, and the singer always honors me with my song. I requested it years ago, and he always remembers without an additional request.

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    1. Hi, Gay! Thanks for the compliment! I appreciate it! Don't you love it when the staff begin to know you and acknowledge you as a regular? Makes dining a much more personal and fun experience, doesn't it? I'll be in Houston at the end of next week for my "other," 9 to 5 job. We're right at the Galleria... do you know it? (most folks in the area know the Galleria - LOL - I hear it's quite the upscale mall! :-D

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  5. Would really love to win a paperback copy of the book. Bonnie Traher momtr3@yahoo.com

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    1. Hi, Bonnie! I'm so glad you stopped by and said hello!!! Good luck in the drawing! Blessings!

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  6. Brooklyn pizza is comfort food to me.

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    1. When you say Brooklyn Pizza, I picture a quaint, brick restaurant front and outdoor seating with dim lighting inside and boths/tables with checkered cloths... :-D Am I way off base?? LOL!

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  7. Sounds wonderful! Can't wait to read it.

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    1. Aww, thanks, Jody!!!! Hope you enjoy!!! Thanks for the visit!

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  8. I would love to win! I love your books! A favorite place is back home at David's; it is a small town grocery store with a deli and they make the best tater wedges! When I go home, I get a whole box, a bottle of ketchup and eat them all! Thanks for the chance to win and can't wait to read more of your books!
    tscmshupe [at] pemtel [dot] net

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    1. Hi, Sally! Glad you dropped by - and what sweet praise!!! I appreciate you and your support so very much! Good luck in the drawing! David's sounds WONDERFUL!!!

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  9. Would love to win and read your book. I have to say the best place to eat is at Mom's house. Nobody can fry chicken like Mom. Great southern home cooking.
    Barbara Thompson
    barbmaci61(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Awww, Barbara, what a wonderful comment!! Love it! Nobody cooks like Mom!!! xo Blessings to you, and good luck in the drawing!!

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  10. My favorite comfort food is Mexican. There is a little Mexican restaurant in the next town that I love, El Mexicano. The best part is when I go my parents and sister usually come. what can be better to find comfort than good food and family. I just recently found your books, love them. inspiremichelle@yahoo.com

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    1. Great one, Michelle!! So glad you stopped by, and I'm thrilled you're enjoying my books! THANK YOU!

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  11. The place that I like to go for comfort food is family. I enjoy Sunday afternoons with family and eating with them.
    wsmarple/at/gmail/dotcom

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    1. I agree, Wendy! Family rocks!! Great comment!

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  12. I would love a chance to win. Thanks for this opportunity.

    clSwalwell@gmail.com

    We go to Traverse City every year and found a great Mom-and-Pop restaurant that has become our new favorite: J&P's Burgers. It was terrific - great atmosphere, great food. Can't wait to go again.

    In Him,

    Cheri :)

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    1. Traverse City is fabulous - love the hills and crystalline waters!! Thanks so much for visiting! Loved your comment! (I'll have to go to JP's some day!!)

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    2. Traverse City is one of our favorite yearly family traditions. When we go there, the stress melts away. There's no magic there - it's just a beautiful place where we can enjoy God's creation, the stress melts away, and our family can spend lots of time together outside, reconnecting. Love it there!

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  13. Looks like a couple of great books for me to add to my church library. Thanks for the review and for the chance to win.

    librarybooks at religious dot come

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    1. So glad you stopped by - what a wonderful campaign - stocking church book shelves. Love it!! God bless, and keep up the great work!!

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  14. Congrats on your newest release, Marianne. The series sounds like so much fun.

    My hubby and I just discovered a little diner right near our house, called "Wimpey's" (after the Popeye character). It screams the 50's with red vinyl booths and mini jukeboxes at each table, plus a full size version in the corner. The first time I walked in, I got chills because it looks exactly like the diner in one of my books, written long before I ever saw Wimpey's!

    I'm in Canada if that's all right, please enter me in the draw.

    Cheers,
    Sue
    sbmason at sympatico dot ca

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  15. I'll have to say our comfort food restaurant is a small sort of hole in the wall called El Michoacan. They call us by name and make the best Chili Rellenos.
    I'd love to win your book, Marianne.

    Mary
    marygalusha@ymail.com

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    1. Sounds wonderful, Mary!! Sometimes the small, mom-and-pop places that seem so unassuming from the street, provide incredible food and atmosphere! I'm so glad you stopped by!

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  16. It's time to award a print copy of Search & Rescue and a print copy of Beautiful Music to two of you fantastic blog visitors!!! Thanks so much to all of you for being so supportive and encouraging - I've also unearthed a few more great places to eat!! The winner of Search & Rescue is Barb Thompson!! The winner of Beautiful Music is Cheri! Blessings to you all, and happy reading!!

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  17. I would love to win this book. Thank you for offering it.

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