Tag: Debbie Macomber

Guest Review: Starry Night by Debbie Macomber

Posted January 18, 2014 by Tina R in Reviews | 0 Comments

17910542Tina’s review of Starry Night by Debbie Macomber

Who doesn’t love Christmas? It is my favorite holiday, and every year I find myself getting all sentimental and wanting to read a big stack of Christmas-themed stories. Yep, I admit it….I am a sappy sucker for Christmas Romances!

Starry Night by Debbie Macomber is of course a wonderful little holiday read. How could it not be? It is written by one of the Queens of romance! I can’t think of any book that I have ever read by her that I haven’t thoroughly adored. And this one is definitely no exception.

It is the story of Carrie Slayton, who works as a society page reporter. She feels that she is wasting her talent doing this and decides to turn in her resignation and move back to her hometown to be close to her family. When her boss realizes how serious she is about leaving, he gives her a chance to prove herself by giving her a practically impossible assignment – to get a story on the reclusive best-selling author Finn Dalton. If she can get this, he will give her any story she wants.

Finn Dalton is not much on people in general. He has a lot of issues that have caused him to turn away from the public eye and settle into his own little world in a remote area of Alaska. He is estranged from his mother because he feels that she abandoned him and his father. He has no use for women or love either after a bad experience has blackened his view. And what does he dislike the most? Reporters. Especially female reporters who want to pry into his personal life.

Carrie arrives in Alaska over the Thanksgiving holiday to begin researching a way to find the elusive author. She feels a surge of hope after managing to track him down at his remote cabin. He is furious at the intrusion, and even more so when the two get stranded there together due to a blizzard.

That’s where it starts to get a bit predictable. Of course Carrie finds herself falling for the guy. And of course, he starts to have feelings for her – which he will go to great lengths to deny, even to himself. And while this a story of people learning to taking a chance on each other, it is also one about making the right choices. Does Carrie pursue her dream of becoming a great reporter, or does she follow her heart instead?

As I mentioned before, I am a die-hard fan of Debbie Macomber. I love her writing style,as well as her way of creating believable, charismatic characters. I also like that her books are written in a clean, old-fashioned type style. Debbie knows we are all adults, and doesn’t feel the need to spell everything out to us when it comes to romance. We can figure it all out for ourselves, and we appreciate that.

The holidays and romance just seem to go together, just like snowy days spent on the couch with a cozy fire and a heart-warming story. It is one of the things I always look forward to when the weather starts to change. So, if this is your idea of a great day as well, grab a copy of Starry Nights and take a little holiday vacation without ever having to leave the house. I highly recommend this sweet holiday romance.

I received this book through the Librarything Early Reviewers program in exchange for an honest review.

4 out of 5

This book is available from Ballantine Books.  You can buy it here or here in e-format.

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The Bet That Paid Really Paid Off

Posted December 1, 2011 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Publisher: Avon, Harper Collins
The Bet That Really Paid Off:
Aspiring Author Wins Writing Contest, will be Published in July 2012 Novel Headlined by #1 New York Times Bestselling Author Debbie Macomber
Avon Books Will Publish “The Bet” by Darlene Panzera as part of Debbie Macomber’s “Family Affair”

NEW YORK, NY, November 15, 2011 – Christmas came early for aspiring author Darlene Panzera: just in time for the holidays, Panzera learned that a veritable angel, in the form of #1 New York Times bestselling author Debbie Macomber, has selected Darlene’s novella, “The Bet,” to be published in the July 2012 edition of Macomber’s heartwarming book, Family Affair. Darlene is one of hundreds of unpublished authors who participated in Avon Books’ “Make Your Dreams Come True” writing contest, offering all those who participated the chance to win a golden ticket – the chance to be published alongside one of the most important authors in modern literature.

Avon vice president and executive editor Lucia Macro was tasked with selecting the top three entries for Macomber to judge. The choice was difficult: all of the entries were excellent and eminently worthy of publication. Macro says, “Each time I started reading one of the submissions, I felt like I was opening a present. And, believe me, making the decision for the final three wasn’t easy. I was truly impressed by the quality of so many of the stories, and that’s a testament to the talented writers who took the chance and entered.”

The finalists included “The Bet” by Panzera; “Miss Chance” by Cheryl Johnson and “Where There’s Smoke” by Amy Mullins. The manuscripts were delivered anonymously to Macomber, who read them without knowing who the entrants were, and what stories they wrote. The bestselling author says that she selected “The Bet” because it seemed like a good companion to her own story, Family Affair. Macomber says, “I read ‘The Bet’ with delight and found myself smiling at this classic romance many times. It was a pleasure to read; light-hearted and uplifting. The author shows a great deal of promise and I expect to see many more stories come from her.”

To Panzera, entering in this contest was truly a bet that paid off. In addition to winning a $500 cash prize, the opportunity to have her story on bookshelves (and e-bookshelves), packaged with a beloved Macomber tale, is something she’d never even dreamed would happen to her. Panzera, who graduated from the Writer’s Digest Advanced Novel Writing School and The Christian Writer’s Guild apprentice writing program, says that she spent six years trying to get her manuscripts published. “The dream to be a published author has been there inside me for a lifetime. When I found out I won Debbie Macomber’s “Make Your Dreams Come True” contest I couldn’t believe it. I still can’t!” Panzera will admit, like most aspiring authors, that her family has had more than their share of burnt dinners while she struggled to find the right words to put on paper. But, like Macomber, Panzera takes faith in hard work and perseverance. “If you work hard to improve your craft, connect with other writers, and believe in yourself, dreams can come true.” For more information about this fresh new voice, visit her website, www.darlenepanzera.com.

In talking about the results of the “Make Your Dream Come True” writing contest, an unparalleled opportunity generously afforded by Debbie Macomber to aspiring authors looking to break into publishing, Macro concludes, “This has been such a delightful experience for us here at Avon Books. Congratulations to the finalists and thank you so much to everyone who took the time to enter. And a special personal thank you to Debbie Macomber. I truly appreciate her gracious and always-generous support for ‘unknown’ talent.”

The paperback and e-book edition of Family Affair (ISBN 9780061997136: $6.99; on-sale 6/26/12), which includes “The Bet,” will be available everywhere books are sold July 2012 from Avon Books.

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Debbie Macomber Writing Contest, Deadline Extended.

Posted September 26, 2011 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Publisher: Avon, Harper Collins

Remember this post?

If you planned to enter the writing contest and it fell off your radar then you’re in luck because the powers that be, the ones running the contest have extended the deadline to enter the contest. The new deadline is October 15, 2011.

So if you’ve got a manuscript that fits the description and you want some professionals to take a look at it, send your writing in. They want to hear from you!

To recap what you might remember from the previous post that I put up, check it out:

Debbie Macomber Inspired Short Romance Fiction Writing Contest:

Winning Entry will be published as part of Avon’s “Family Affair” paperback and e-book in July 2012!

NEW YORK, NY, August 9, 2011 – To celebrate the 2012 mass market publication of Family Affair, a novella by #1 New York Times bestselling author Debbie Macomber, Avon Books is hosting a Debbie Macomber-inspired online writing contest! Aspiring writers who participate in the “Make Your Dreams Come True” contest may find themselves enjoying an “American Idol”-type moment, as the winner receives a cash prize of $500, and the winning entry will be published in the back matter of the paperback and e-book edition of Family Affair, going on-sale in July 2012. In addition, the grand prize winner may also be offered an Avon Impulse publishing contract!

“This is a great opportunity for a new voice in romance to be discovered,” says Liate Stehlik, Senior Vice President and Publisher of William Morrow/Avon Books. “It’s the publishing equivalent of ‘American Idol’ – entries will be reviewed by Avon editors, and the winner will be picked by Debbie Macomber herself. The possible exposure is amazing: the author is beloved by readers around the globe, and this short story could be read by millions of her fans.”

Avon Books executive editor Lucia Macro states, “We’re hoping to discover a new voice in romance. We’re so excited to work with Debbie on this contest, and publish the winning entry along with the heartwarming novella Family Affair.”

Contests entrants should go online to www.familyaffaircontest.com to submit their 20,000 – 25,000 word short story. Entries should be written in a style that complements Macomber’s own gentle, uplifting work.

Book Page attests, “When it comes to creating a special place and memorable, honorable characters, nobody does it better than Macomber,” and the Chicago Tribune notes that Macomber’s books “(glow) with genuine goodness and great emotional warmth.”

The Grand Prize of the “Make Your Dreams Come True” writing contest receives a $500 cash prize and is eligible for an Avon Impulse publishing contract. Three finalists will receive a collection of Avon Romances (approximate retail value: $100).

“Make Your Dreams Come True” Contest Rules and Entry Procedure:

No purchase is necessary. To enter, complete the entry form at www.familyaffaircontest.com. Entrants will need to provide a short story in the Romance genre, as well as their full name, postal address, e-mail address, phone number, and date of birth. Multiple entries are automatically disqualified, and only the first entry will be considered.

The contest is open to all legal residents of the United States, 21 years of age and older by August 1, 2011, excluding anyone who has ever received compensation in excess of $100 for publication of a work of prose fiction and employees and immediate family members of Avon, and its parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, assigns, advertising, promotional and fulfillment agents, attorneys, and other representatives and the persons with whom each of the above are domiciled.

Story Requirements

Story submissions must satisfy all of the following requirements:

  • The story must be in the Romance genre and have a low-level of sensuality without any explicit love scenes.
  • The story must not have been previously published in any form or media, including posting in any manner on the internet.
  • Prose romantic fiction only; poetry, plays, screenplays, and non-fiction are not acceptable.
  • English language only.
  • No less than 20,000 words and no longer than 25,000 words.
  • No images or illustrations of any kind.
  • No curse words or depictions of vulgar behavior.
  • An original work created solely by you without any material that violates or infringes another’s rights, including but not limited to material that violates privacy, publicity or intellectual property rights, or that constitutes copyright infringement.
  • The story must be in a Word or PDF file when submitted.

A submission that does not satisfy all of the above requirements will be disqualified without notification.

Avon Impulse further reserves the right to publish the story of the Grand Prize Winner and/or the other finalists as described above, but shall have no obligation to do so.

Entry Period:

The Contest will commence on August 9, 2011 (9 a.m. ET). The last entry will be accepted on October 15, 2011 (5:00 p.m. ET).

Selection and Notification of Winners:

Three Finalists will be selected by a panel of two judges, who will be professional editors selected by Avon. Entries will be judged based upon the following criteria: (1) Plot (40%), (2) Character Development (30%), and (3) Literary Style (30%). The three finalists will be chosen on or about October 15, 2011. All potential winners will be notified by e-mail. Potential winners may be required to sign and return to Avon an affidavit of eligibility and release of liability (the “Affidavit”), and, if the Affidavit is not returned within seven days of notification, the potential winner will be deemed to have forfeited the prize, and an alternate potential winner will be chosen.

Based on the judging criteria above, Debbie Macomber will select the Grand Prize Winner from among the finalists. The winner will be announced on or about November 15, 2011.


Each of the three finalists will receive a collection of Avon Romances. Approximate retail value: $100.

The Grand Prize Winner will also receive a cash payment of $500.

Total approximate prizing value for contest: $800.

Only one prize will be awarded per individual, family, or household. All prizes are non-transferable and cannot be sold or redeemed for cash. Avon may substitute a cash payment of equal or greater value for the prize. Any federal, state, or local taxes are the sole responsibility of the winner.

More information and complete contest rules available online at www.familyaffaircontest.com.

Don’t miss the opportunity to have your work seen by the professionals. This is a writing opportunity that you don’t want to miss!

Good luck!

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A Special Online Event for Debbie Macomber!

Posted October 20, 2010 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

How awesome is this? We got this from Harlequin and thought it would be something worthwhile to share with all of our readers. Check it out:

To help celebrate the release of Call Me Mrs. Miracle and to celebrate Debbie Macomber’s birthday, Harlequin will be hosting a special online event this Friday, October 22, 2010 at 3pm EST.

All you need to do to participate is register over at: www.MeetDebbieMacomber.com and you’ll be good to go.

During this event, Debbie will be talking about her latest book and answering fan questions. Other highlights include book giveaways as well as links to the Cedar Cove website, the iPod application page and Debbie’s Facebook page.

This sounds like it’s going to be an amazing event so you’re not going to want to miss this! Go forth and register now!

This book is available from Mira. You can pre-order it here or here in e-format.

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Publisher Spotlight Excerpt: Hannah’s List by Debbie Macomber

Posted May 19, 2010 by Holly in Features, Promotions | 0 Comments

Hannah's ListRead an excerpt of Hannah’s List by Debbie Macomber, available now from Mira.


I am not a sentimental guy. I’ve been known to forget Mother’s Day and, once, when Hannah and I were dating, I even let Valentine’s go unnoticed. Fortunately she didn’t take my lapse too seriously or see it as any reflection of my feelings. As for anniversaries and birthdays, I’m a lost cause. In fact, I’d probably overlook Christmas if it wasn’t for all the hoopla. It’s not that I’m self-absorbed… Well, maybe I am, but aren’t we all to a certain extent?

To me, paying a lot of attention to people because it’s their birthday or some made-up holiday is ridiculous. When you love someone, you need to show that love each and every day. Why wait for a certain time of year to bring your wife flowers? Action really does speak louder than words, especially if it’s a loving deed, something you do for no particular reason. Except that you want to. Because you care.

Hannah taught me that. Hannah. A year ago today, May eighth, I lost her, my beautiful thirty-six-year-old wife. Even now, a whole year after her death, I can’t think of her without my gut twisting into knots.

A year. Three hundred and sixty-five lonely days and empty nights.

A few days after her death, I stood over Hannah’s casket and watched as it was lowered into the ground. I threw the first shovelful of dirt into her grave. I’ll never forget that sound. The hollow sound of earth hitting the coffin’s gleaming surface.

Not an hour passes that I don’t remember Hannah. Actually, that’s an improvement. In those first few months, I couldn’t keep her out of my head for more than a minute. Everything I saw or heard reminded me of Hannah.

To simply say I loved her would diminish the depth of my feelings. In every way she completed me. Without her, my world is bleak and colorless and a thousand other adjectives that don’t begin to describe the emptiness I’ve felt since she’s been gone.

I talk to her constantly. I suppose I shouldn’t tell people that. We’ve had this ongoing one-sided conversation from the moment she smiled up at me one last time and surrendered her spirit to God.

So, here I am a year later, pretending to enjoy the Seattle Mariners’ baseball game when all I can think about is my wife. My one-year-dead wife.

Ritchie, Hannah’s brother and my best friend, invited me to share box seats for this game. I’m not fooled. I’m well aware that my brother-in-law didn’t include me out of some mistaken belief that I’m an inveterate baseball fan. He knows exactly what anniversary this is.

I might not be sentimental, but this is one day I can’t forget.

As a physician, a pediatrician, I’m familiar with death. I’ve witnessed it far too often and it’s never easy, especially with children. Even when the end is peaceful and serene as it was with Hannah, I feel I’ve been cheated, that I’ve lost.

As a teenager I was involved in sports. I played football in the fall, basketball in winter and baseball in the spring, and worked as a lifeguard during the summers. The competitive spirit is a natural part of who I am. I don’t like to lose, and death, my adversary, doesn’t play fair. Death took Hannah from me, from all of us, too early. She was the most vibrant, joyful, loving woman I have ever known. I’ve been floundering ever since.

Although I’ve fought death, my enemy, from the day I became a doctor—it’s why I became a doctor—I learned to understand it in a different, more complex way. I learned death can be a friend even while it’s the enemy. As she lay dying, Hannah, who loved me so completely and knew me so well, showed me that ultimate truth.

A year’s time has given me the perspective to realize I did my wife a disservice. My biggest regret is that I refused to accept the fact that she was dying. As a result I held on to her far longer than I should have. I refused to relinquish her when she was ready to leave me. Selfishly, I couldn’t bear to let her go.

Even when she’d drifted into unconsciousness I sat by her bedside night and day unable to believe that there wouldn’t be a miracle. It’s stupid; as a medical professional I certainly know better. Yet I clung to her. Now I realize that my stubbornness, my unwillingness to release her to God, held back her spirit. Tied her to earth. To me.

This book is available from Mira. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

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