How has Debbie Macomber inhabited bestseller lists for decades and sold more than 170 million books worldwide with nary a vampire, wizard, sadomasochistic couple, futuristic teenage dystopia or serial killer to be found in her pages?
Macomber leaves all that drama to others, instead offering readers stories that are as warm and cozy as a favorite hand-knit sweater — knitting being one of the Seattle author's enthusiasms. She writes about romance, family and friendship with a gentle, humorous touch, and her fans respond.
She has published more than 150 books, and Hallmark Channel's Cedar Cove, based on books in Macomber's series of that name, is the No. 1 cable TV series in its Saturday night time slot.
Her new book, Mr. Miracle, is her third this year and the 10th in her Angels series. It does boast supernatural creatures — one of its main characters is Harry Mills, an angel on his first earthly assignment, in the guise of a middle-aged community college English teacher.
Harry has studied humans and is confident about his ability to help them — maybe a little too confident. He chafes at having to report to a supervisor, even more so when he discovers her human form is that of a tattooed, pierced barista by the name of Celeste Chapeaux.
But he still thinks smoothing out the life of his subject will be a breeze. Addie Folsom quit school as a dyslexic teen and took off for Montana. Now, six years later, her own life a disappointment and reeling from the sudden death of her dad, she comes home to Seattle to spend Christmas with her mom — only to find Mom has already booked a holiday cruise.
Addie also hopes to get her education rolling again, which lands her in Harry's class, where she's nonplussed by how much her teacher seems to know about her. At home, she has to deal with Erich Simmons, the neighbor kid who used to tease her mercilessly — although both of them are all grown up now.
It won't come as a surprise to her fans that Macomber knits Addie's education — and Harry's — into a pleasing pattern.