Category Archives: Debbie Macomber

Author Spotlight: Debbie Macomber

Debbie Macomber
(Image from debbiemacomber.com)

A Standout in Romance

Debbie Macomber has been a standout romance novelist for an astonishing 40 years. She’s written women’s fiction, full-length contemporary, and category romance. Her work has been adapted for the small screen numerous times, for both movies and series. Over 200 million of her books have been out in print.

Because I don’t watch too much television or read many modern romance novels, I had no idea how huge Debbie Macomber was. I merely thought of her as another category writer who had crossed over to be successful in women’s fiction.

Debbie Macomber is a 13-times #1 New York Times bestselling author. Her books have spent over 1,000 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. She is a publishing superstar.

Early Life

Debbie Adler was born on October 22, 1948. She graduated from high school but did not attend any university.

Adler married Wayne Macomber just before her 20th birthday in September 1968. They had four children together. At first, Macomber never dreamed of becoming an author, as she had learning disabilities that hampered her ability to read and write.

After she had children, however, she had so much time helping her kids in their education she felt confident enough to create a romantic novel. She spent years typing out a manuscript.

Starlight, Debbie Macomber, Silhouette, 1983, cover artist TBD

Category Romance Beginnings

The apocryphal story goes that Macomber attended a romance conference and submitted her book for review. A Harlequin editor publicly critiqued it and mocked it quite cruelly, to the crowd’s laughter. Wondering what she could do to make it better, Macomber asked for advice. The Harlequin editor told Macomber bluntly: “Throw it out.”

Rather than discourage Macomber, this made her determined more than ever to be a writer. She submitted her manuscript to Halequin’s then-competitor, Silhouette books. “It cost $10 to mail it off,” Macomber told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in 2000. “My husband was out of work at this time, in Alaska, trying to find a job. The children and I were living on his $250-a-week unemployment, and I can’t tell you what $10 was to us at that time.”

Silhouette made a habit of signing authors who were rejected or dismissed by Harlequin, like Nora Roberts and Anne Hampson. They quickly accepted the book for publication. That manuscript would eventually see the light of day as Heartsong in 1984, Book #1 in the brief Silhouette Inspirations line, which had religious themes. In fact, seven of the first eleven romances Macomber published were Inspirations. Macomber is a deeply devout Christian and many of her works are inspired by her faith.

The first novel Silhouette published by Macomber was Special Edition #128, Starlight. As a sign of future events to come, Starlight has a Christmas-based storyline.

Being a Successful Author

When Harlequin bought out Silhouette in 1984, Macomber would continue to write for both imprints.

In 1986, Macomber wrote a short Christmas-based romance titled Let it Snow. Most every year after that, she would release a Christmas-themed book. Her first romance for Harlequin was The Matchmakers. It was released under the (then) clean and sweet Romance line. In 1988, Harlequin asked Macomber to write a series of interconnected stories, which became known as The Navy series. Before long, she was releasing two or three titles per year.

By 1994, Macomber began releasing single-title novels. Her first hardcover was released in 2001. In 2002, Macomber realized that she wanted to write books focusing more on women and their friendships. Thursdays at Eight was her first departure from the traditional romance novel into contemporary women’s fiction.

Macomber’s novels focus on delivering the message of the story. She does not dwell overly long on sensual passages. Her stories give the reader a feeling of hope and optimism. Many novels take place in small, rural towns on the West coast.

A Publishing and Television Sensation

Among Macomber’s top-selling books are Touched By Angels, Buffalo Valley, 16 Lighthouse Road (the first in her Cedar Cove Series), The Shop on Blossom Street, The Snow Bride, and Groom Wanted.

We’ve reviewed a couple of her books here at Sweet Savage Flame, her Harlequin Romances Country Bride and Rainy Day Kisses, which were both very satisfying reads.

In 2013 The Hallmark Channel signed movie star Andie MacDowell to star in their series adaptation of Macomber’s Cedar Cove novels. The series was a rating favorite for three seasons.

Macomber is celebrated as “the official storyteller of Christmas.” Her holiday books are a special annual event for her readers. Five of her Christmas romances were adapted into original Hallmark Channel movies. She has served as a producer to these made-for-tv films.

Macomber serves on the Guideposts National Advisory Cabinet, is a YFC National Ambassador, and is World Vision’s international spokesperson for their Knit for Kids charity initiative. She and her husband, Wayne, live in Port Orchard, Washington, which inspired the Cedar Cove series. Besides her writing and multiple projects, they have many grandchildren to keep them busy.

As of 2021, Macomber’s new hardcover publications include It’s Better This Way and Dear Santa. In addition to writing romance and women’s fiction, she has published three bestselling cookbooks, an adult coloring book, numerous inspirational and nonfiction works. Macomber has written a couple of children’s books as well. She also runs a monthly magazine.

Is there anything this phenomenal bestseller can’t do? Have you read Debbie Macomber’s romances? What are your favorites? Drop a comment and let’s talk romance!

rainy day kisses

Category Romance Review: Rainy Day Kisses by Debbie Macomber

Rainy Day Kisses, Debbie Macomber, Harlequin, 1990, Will Davies cover art

Harlequin Romance #3076

SPOILER FREE REVIEW ūüôā

Four Stars

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Reviewed by Introvert Reader

I adore a love story where one partner is restrained and uptight and the other is open and free-spirited. Rainy Day Kisses, a Harlequin Romance by Debbie Macomber, depicts those elements perfectly. It’s about a woman who has no time for frills and silly moments enjoying life. She’s a no-nonsense businesswoman. Then she butts head with her neighbor, a laid-back kind of guy who loves flying kites.

The Plot

Susannah Simmons is the stereotypical career-woman with no time for romance. She has a five-year plan to rise to the top of her field. While she focuses on climbing up the corporate ladder to VP status, her family members are getting married and having babies.

She has zero patience time for neighbor Nate Townsend. The man bakes cookies, for goodness sake! Nate loves Seattle Mariners ball games. He’s all about fun and relaxing. His happy-go-lucky demeanor irritates Susannah to no end. Does the man even have a job?

Then Susannah finds herself wrangled into babysitting her niece. Have you ever seen that old Diane Keaton film “Baby Boom”? Well, that’s what this reminded me of. Susannah finds herself at wit’s end trying to deal with a crying infant. Who comes to the rescue, but her neighbor? Nate has a calming, soothing way with babies. He also has a way with adult women, as Susannah finds. For despite their difference, Susannah can’t help but be attracted to Nate.

He shows her a different side of life. If you work hard, you have to play hard, too. Susannah’s forgotten all about having some fun in her life. But is Nate’s playful nature a sign of immaturity? Or is he right and Susannah’s rigid plans mean nothing without some love and laughter added in?

Even though this is a traditional romance, I could see Nate and Susannah living a more “modern” life, where Nate stays home and takes care of the kiddos while Susannah goes off to work. I know several couples who live like this. So why can’t Nate and Susannah have love and family and career, as long as they work together to do it?

Final Analysis of Rainy Day Kisses

This was a breezy angst-free romance. Nate’s an adorkable hero. Susannah is icy, but not so much so that she’s an unlikeable heroine. You want to see these two get together and make it. Debbie Macomber writes sweet love stories, and if you’re looking for one, Rainy Day Kisses will hit the right spot.