Call Me Mrs. Miracle
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Call Me Mrs. Miracle

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by Debbie Macomber
     
 

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This Christmas, Emily Merkle (call her Mrs. Miracle!) is working in the toy department at Finley's, the last family-owned department store in New York City. And her boss is none other than…Jake Finley, the owner's son.

For Jake, holiday memories of brightly wrapped gifts, decorated trees and family were destroyed in a Christmas Eve tragedy years before. Now

Overview

This Christmas, Emily Merkle (call her Mrs. Miracle!) is working in the toy department at Finley's, the last family-owned department store in New York City. And her boss is none other than…Jake Finley, the owner's son.

For Jake, holiday memories of brightly wrapped gifts, decorated trees and family were destroyed in a Christmas Eve tragedy years before. Now Christmas means just one thing to him—and to his father. Profit. Because they need a Christmas miracle to keep the business afloat.

Holly Larson needs a miracle, too. She wants to give her eight-year-old nephew, Gabe, the holiday he deserves. Holly's widowed brother is in the army and won't be home for Christmas, but at least she can get Gabe that toy robot from Finley's, the one gift he desperately wants. If she can figure out how to afford it…

Fortunately, it's Mrs. Miracle to the rescue. Next to making children happy, she likes nothing better than helping others—and that includes doing a bit of matchmaking!

This Christmas will be different. For all of them.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
In this follow-up to Macomber's best seller Mrs. Miracle, Emily Merkle (pronounced like miracle, of course!) now works at a department store and becomes a matchmaker for her boss and a lonely young woman. Sure to be a hit with Macomber's legion of fans.
From the Publisher
"Call Me Mrs. Miracle is an entertaining holiday story that will surely touch the heart... Best of all, readers will rediscover the magic of Christmas."-Bookreporter.com

There's Something About Christmas is "a tale of romance in the lives of ordinary people, with a message that life is like a fruitcake: full of unexpected delights."-Publishers Weekly

"Macomber once again demonstrates her impressive skills with characterization and her flair for humor." -RT Book Reviews on When Christmas Comes

When Christmas Comes "is a sweetly satisfying, gently humorous story that celebrates the joy and love of the holiday season."-Booklist

"THERE'S SOMETHING ABOUT CHRISTMAS is a wonderfully funny, and at times heart-wrenching story of finding the right person to love at the most delightful time of year." -Times Record News, Wichita Falls, TX

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780778328193
Publisher:
MIRA
Publication date:
09/28/2010
Pages:
253
Sales rank:
427,706
Product dimensions:
7.36(w) x 11.12(h) x 0.93(d)

Read an Excerpt

Need a new life?

God takes trade-ins.

—Mrs. Miracle

Jake Finley waited impatiently to be ushered into his father's executive office—the office that would one day be his. The thought of eventually stepping into J. R. Finley's shoes excited him. Even though he'd slowly been working his way through the ranks, he'd be the first to admit he still had a lot to learn. However, he was willing to do whatever it took to prove himself.

Finley's was the last of the family-owned department stores in New York City. His great-grandfather had begun the small mercantile on East 34th Street more than seventy years earlier. In the decades since, succeeding Finleys had opened branches in the other boroughs and then in nearby towns. Eventually the chain had spread up and down the East Coast.

"Your father will see you now," Mrs. Coffey said. Dora Coffey had served as J.R.'s executive assistant for at least twenty-five years and knew as much about the company as Jake did—maybe more. He hoped that when the time came she'd stay on, although she had to be close to retirement age.

"Thank you." He walked into the large office with its panoramic view of the Manhattan skyline. He'd lived in the city all his life, but this view never failed to stir him, never failed to lift his heart. No place on earth was more enchanting than New York in December. He could see a light snow drifting down, and the city appeared even more magical through that delicate veil.

Jacob R. Finley however, wasn't looking at the view. His gaze remained focused on the computer screen. And his frown told Jake everything he needed to know.

He cleared his throat, intending to catch J.R.'s attention, although he suspected that his father was well aware of his presence. "You asked to see me?" he said. Now that he was here, he had a fairly good idea what had initiated this summons. Jake had hoped it wouldn't happen quite so soon, but he should've guessed Mike Scott would go running to his father at the first opportunity. Unfortunately, Jake hadn't had enough time to prove that he was right—and Mike was wrong.

"How many of those SuperRobot toys did you order?" J.R. demanded, getting straight to the point. His father had never been one to lead gently into a subject. "Intellytron," he added scornfully.

"Also known as Telly," Jake said in a mild voice.

"How many?"

"Five hundred." As if J.R. didn't know.

"What?"

Jake struggled not to flinch at his father's angry tone, which was something he rarely heard. They had a good relationship, but until now, Jake hadn't defied one of his father's experienced buyers.

"For how many stores?"

"Just here."

J.R.'s brow relaxed, but only slightly. "Do you realize those things retail for two hundred and fifty dollars apiece?"

J.R. knew the answer to that as well as Jake did. "Yes."

His father stood and walked over to the window, pacing back and forth with long, vigorous strides. Although in his early sixties, J.R. was in excellent shape. Tall and lean, like Jake himself, he had dark hair streaked with gray and his features were well-defined. No one could doubt that they were father and son. J.R. whirled around, hands linked behind him. "Did you clear the order with…anyone?" Jake was as straightforward as his father. "No." "Any particular reason you went over Scott's head?" Jake had a very good reason. "We discussed it. He didn't agree, but I felt this was the right thing to do." Mike Scott had wanted to bring a maximum of fifty robots into the Manhattan location. Jake had tried to persuade him, but Mike wasn't interested in listening to speculation or taking what he saw as a risk—one that had the potential of leaving them with a huge overstock. He relied on cold, hard figures and years of purchasing experience. When their discussion was over, Mike still refused to go against what he considered his own better judgment. Jake continued to argue, presenting internet research and what his gut was telling him about this toy. When he'd finished, Mike Scott had countered with a list of reasons why fifty units per store would be adequate. More than adequate, in his opinion. While Jake couldn't disagree with the other man's logic, he had a strong hunch that the much larger order was worth the risk.

"You felt it was right?" his father repeated in a scathing voice. "Mike Scott told me we'd be fortunate to sell fifty in each store, yet you, with your vast experience of two months in the toy department, decided the Manhattan store needed ten times that number."

Jake didn't have anything to add.

"I don't suppose you happened to notice that there's been a downturn in the economy? Parents don't have two hundred and fifty bucks for a toy. Not when a lot of families are pinching pennies."

"You made me manager of the toy department." Jake wasn't stupid or reckless. "I'm convinced we'll sell those robots before Christmas." As manager, it was his responsibility—and his right—to order as he deemed fit. And if that meant overriding a buyer's decision—well, he could live with that.

"You think you can sell all five hundred of those robots?" Skepticism weighted each word. "In two weeks?"

"Yes." Jake had to work hard to maintain his air of confidence. Still he held firm.

His father took a moment to consider Jake's answer, walking a full circle around his desk as he did. "As of this morning, how many units have you sold?"

That was an uncomfortable question and Jake glanced down at the floor. "Three."

"Three." J.R. shook his head and stalked to the far side of the room, then back again as if debating how to address the situation. "So what you're saying is that our storeroom has four hundred and ninety-seven expensive SuperRobots clogging it up?"

"They're going to sell, Dad."

"It hasn't happened yet, though, has it?"

"No, but I believe the robot's going to be the hottest toy of the season. I've done the research—this is the toy kids are talking about."

"Maybe, but let me remind you, kids aren't our customers. Their parents are. Which is why no one else in the industry shares your opinion."

"I know it's a risk, Dad, but it's a calculated one. Have faith."

His father snorted harshly at the word faith. "My faith died along with your mother and sister," he snapped.

Involuntarily Jake's eyes sought out the photograph of his mother and sister. Both had been killed in a freak car accident on Christmas Eve twenty-one years ago. Neither Jake nor his father had celebrated Christmas since that tragic night. Ironically, the holiday season was what kept Finley's in the black financially. Without the three-month Christmas shopping craze, the department-store chain would be out of business.

Because of the accident, Jake and his father ignored anything to do with Christmas in their personal lives. Every December twenty-fourth, soon after the store closed, the two of them got on a plane and flew to Saint John in the Virgin Islands. From the time Jake was twelve, there hadn't been a Christmas tree or presents or anything else that would remind him of the holiday. Except, of course, at the store….

"Trust me in this, Dad," Jake pleaded. "Telly the Super-Robot will be the biggest seller of the season, and pretty soon Finley's will be the only store in Manhattan where people can find them."

His father reached for a pen and rolled it between his fingers as he mulled over Jake's words. "I put you in charge of the toy department because I thought it would be a valuable experience for you. One day you'll sit in this chair. The fate of the company will rest in your hands."

His father wasn't telling him anything Jake didn't already know.

"If the toy department doesn't show a profit because you went over Mike Scott's head, then you'll have a lot to answer for." He locked eyes with Jake. "Do I make myself clear?"

Jake nodded. If the toy department reported a loss as a result of his judgment, his father would question Jake's readiness to take over the company.

"Got it," Jake assured his father.

"Good. I want a report on the sale of that robot every week until Christmas."

"You'll have it," Jake promised. He turned to leave.

"I hope you're right about this toy, son," J.R. said as Jake opened the office door. "You've taken a big risk. I hope it pays off."

He wasn't the only one. Still, Jake believed. He'd counted on having proof that the robots were selling by the time his father learned what he'd done. Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, which was generally the biggest shopping day of the year, had been a major disappointment. He'd fantasized watching the robots fly off the shelves.

It hadn't happened.

Although they'd been prominently displayed, just one of the expensive toys had sold. He supposed his father had a point; in a faltering economy, people were evaluating their Christmas budgets, so toys, especially expensive ones, had taken a hit. Children might want the robots but it was their parents who did the buying.

Jake's head throbbed as he made his way to the toy department. In his rush to get to the store that morning, he'd skipped his usual stop at a nearby Starbucks. He needed his caffeine fix.

"Welcome to Finley's. May I be of assistance?" an older woman asked him. The store badge pinned prominently on her neat gray cardigan told him her name was Mrs. Emily Miracle. Her smile was cheerful and engaging. She must be the new sales assistant Human Resources had been promising him—but she simply wouldn't do. Good grief, what were they thinking up in HR? Sales in the toy department could be brisk, demanding hours of standing, not to mention dealing with cranky kids and short-tempered parents. He needed someone young. Energetic.

"What can I show you?" the woman asked.

Jake blinked, taken aback by her question. "I beg your pardon?"

"Are you shopping for one of your children?"

"Well, no. I—"

She didn't allow him to finish and steered him toward the center aisle. "We have an excellent selection of toys for any age group. If you're looking for suggestions, I'd be more than happy to help."

She seemed completely oblivious to the fact that he was the department manager—and therefore her boss. "Excuse me, Mrs…… He glanced at her name tag a second time.

"Mrs. Miracle."

"Actually, it's Merkle."

"The badge says Miracle."

"Right," she said, looking a bit chagrined. "HR made a mistake, but I don't mind. You can call me Mrs. Miracle."

Speaking of miracles… If ever Jake needed one, it was now. Those robots had to sell. His entire future with the company could depend on this toy.

"I'd be more than happy to assist you," Mrs. Miracle said again, breaking into his thoughts.

"I'm Jake Finley."

"Pleased to meet you. Do you have a son or a daughter?" she asked.

"This is Finley's Department Store," he said pointedly.

Apparently this new employee had yet to make the connection, which left Jake wondering exactly where HR found their seasonal help. There had to be someone more capable than this woman.

"Finley," Mrs. Miracle repeated slowly. "Jacob Robert is your father, then?"

"Yes," he said, frowning. Only family and close friends knew his father's middle name.

Her eyes brightened, and a smile slid into place. "Ahh," she said knowingly.

"You're acquainted with my father?" That could explain why she'd been hired. Maybe she had some connection to his family he knew nothing about.

"No, no, not directly, but I have heard a great deal about him."

So had half the population on the East Coast. "I'm the manager here in the toy department," he told her.

Meet the Author

Debbie Macomber, the author of Hannah's List, Summer on Blossom Street, Twenty Wishes and the Cedar Cove series, is one of today's leading voices in women's fiction. A regular on every major bestseller list with more than 140 million copies of her books in print, the award-winning author celebrated her third publishing "triple crown" in September 2009 when the latest in her Cedar Cove series, 92 Pacific Boulevard, scored #1 on the New York Times, USAToday and Publishers Weekly bestseller lists. That same month Debbie Macomber's Cedar Cove Cookbook debuted on the New York Times list at #8, and her hometown of Port Orchard, Washington, on which her Cedar Cove series is based, welcomed readers from 42 states and seven foreign countries to the first-ever, five-day "Cedar Cove Days" festival. Debbie's popularity is worldwide with her books translated into twenty-three languages. Debbie and her husband, Wayne, are the proud parents of four children and grandparents of eight grandchildren. They live in Washington State and winter in Florida.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Port Orchard, Washington
Date of Birth:
October 22, 1948
Place of Birth:
Yakima, Washington
Education:
Graduated from high school in 1966; attended community college
Website:
http://www.debbiemacomber.com

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Call Me Mrs. Miracle 4 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 206 reviews.
Dollycas More than 1 year ago
MIRA Publishing Release Date: September 28, 2010 This story is a sequel to Mrs. Miracle, that was made into a Hallmark movie last year and you may see this book made into a Hallmark movie this year. This story is set up as Mrs. Miracle meets Miracle On 34th Street. Emily Merkle (call me Mrs. Miracle) is found working in the toy department of a family owned prominent department store in New York City. Her department manager is the owner's son Jake. Through a series of perfectly timed events, Jake meets the woman of his dreams, changes his feelings about Christmas, also helping his dad to see the "lights". A little boy gets the Christmas of his dreams and Mrs. Miracle has completed her job and travels on to her next assignment. Who knows where she will turn up next? This is a delightful Christmas story everyone will enjoy. The thing I like about most Debbie Macomber books is that while the characters may appear in many stories, each story can stand on it's own. With the exception of her Cedar Cove series, which I feel needs to be read in order, you can jump right into one of her books and feel right at home. It was a tall order to come up with a sequel after Mrs. Miracle, but this is an amusing little feel good story that is sure to put a smile on your face. I can't believe I am reviewing a Christmas story when it is 80 degrees here in Wisconsin, but Debbie writes so well you can almost hear the bells ringing and carolers singing despite the time of year. This book would make a perfect Christmas gift or a book to read as the holidays draw near to really get you into the Christmas spirit! Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Got it from the library and loved it!!! I just keep going back to the "romantic" parts!!! It is really cute and has a very happy ending!! I EXTREMELY recommend this book!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A tried and true story line. A little too syrupy for my taste.
aimlyss More than 1 year ago
Loved this sweet Christmas story. Most of it is predictable, but that doesn't take away from it being enjoyable and heartwarming. I'd highly recommend this to anyone that enjoys holiday stories ... even in June!
songbirdsue More than 1 year ago
Love, love, love this delightful holiday story. It is something anyone can read and feel the miracle of the season through it. It is heartwarming and uplifting.
Stuart Spector More than 1 year ago
I just watched the movie last week and loved it. Doris Roberts was great as Mrs. Miracle. I will certainly read this book now all the others. Keep the books coming. I love my Nook color!
BlessedByondMeasure More than 1 year ago
Mrs. Miracle works wonders...for families that need hope this is a good book. It touches on many aspects of the season. Grief, anticipation, hopelessness, and love, joy, and peace are found within the pages of this good storyline.
cookieMOMster713409HF More than 1 year ago
Mrs. Miracle books leave you feeling happy and like anything is possible! I highly recommend this book to those who have read and enjoy Mrs. Miracle and want a nice, heartwarming holiday read!
LASR_Reviews More than 1 year ago
"Aspire to inspire before you expire." ~Mrs. Miracle The only words I can think of to describe Call Me Mrs. Miracle is, delightful, funny, and inspirational. This is my first book by Debbie Macomber, but it won't be the last. Last year I watched a delightful movie on TV around Christmas time called Mr. Miracle, so when I saw that Debbie Macomber had a new Mrs. Miracle book out I jumped at a chance to review it. The author has a great way of blending great characters with a sweet storyline. You just fall in love with all the characters and get that great feeling at the end when it's over - but there is also that sadness for the same reason. It's a romance story but it has so much more to it. I would really call it a light romance and one of the things I love about it is the fact that it has no sex scenes at all in the book. Its not written as an inspirational book, yet I could without a doubt tell my Christian friends that it would be a great book for them to read for the Christmas holidays. I would most definitely recommend this book to anyone! It's a great light read. originally posted at: longandshortreviews.blogspot.com
harstan More than 1 year ago
Heir Finley's Department Store Jake Finley and his owner dad Jacob never celebrate Christmas although that is the critical business period. Unlike the jolly New York shoppers, father and son never forgot the tragedy that occurred two decades ago on Christmas Eve when his mom and sis died in a car crash; his dad especially refuses to celebrate. In Brooklyn, single Holly Larson struggles with having eight year old Gabe living with her. However, with her widower brother Mickey serving in Afghanistan for fifteen months and their parents in Haiti providing medical assistance, her nephew resides with the only option left for him, his fraternal aunt. Finley Department Store seasonal employee Emily "Mrs. Miracle" Merkle thinks Jake and Holly, who meet over coffee, are a perfect match; so she plans to live up to her nickname using a toy robot that Gabe wants as the matchmaker. Following the recent movie rendition of Debbie Macomber's Mrs. Miracle, Mrs. Merkle returns for another holiday matchmaking extravaganza. The story line is lighthearted inspirational fun though follows the obvious simplistic path that readers will expect to occur. Still Yuletide fans will enjoy a modern day Manhattan miracle on Thirty-Fourth Street. Harriet Klausner
Ronrose More than 1 year ago
If you love stories about the Christmas season, you will certainly enjoy this book. It has all the standard elements of a modern Christmas story. A small child, Gabe has had a family trauma. His widowed father has been sent on a tour of duty to Afghanistan, just prior to the holidays. Gabe, staying with his aunt Holly,looks forward to Christmas and a special toy, to brighten his life. Two adults, Holly and Jake Finley, the heir to the Finley department store, meet unexpectedly and instantly are enamored with each other, finding the solutions to their life's problems in each others arms. Jake's father, J. R. Finley, who has given up on Christmas because of a personal tragedy, finds solace in his son's new found love and the renewal of his observance of Christmas. A kindly sprite of a woman, Mrs. Miracle, mysteriously brings all the parties together for a renewal of love and faith in the Christmas spirit. There are no surprises here, but it is an enjoyable tale that will no doubt be made into a heart warming holiday movie.
Ladystorm More than 1 year ago
"Aspire to inspire before you expire" Mrs. Miracle Emily Merkle (call me Mrs. Miracle) is working at the Finley Department store in the toy section. It's a family run store and Emily's boss is the owner's son Jake Finley. Jake lost his mother and sister on Christmas Eve when their cab hit another car, since then his father and him have been doing there best to forget that Christmas ever existed. They always take a vacation through Christmas, the only realistic part of Christmas for them is they they know that they will make a killing on toys because of the season. Holly is struggling this year, her brother had to go to Afghanistan and she was the only one able to take care of his eight year old son, Gabe. Her parents are out the country also so she is feeling a little bit alone. At first its a little touch and go with her and her nephew, but things are starting to get better. When Jake and Holly meet at a coffee shop it just seemed fated that they would meet again later at Finley's department store. At the store is where Gabe tells Holly what he wants for Christmas, a Intelltron Robot. The only problem is, is the cost, Two Hundred and Fifty dollars. Mrs. Miracles on a mission to put Jake and Holly together because they are a great match. She is always encouraging them to do things together. She also has some things in store for some of the other characters as well as she pulls together what she told Gabe, 'Would be the best Christmas ever.' The only words I can think of to describe Call Me Mrs. Miracle is, delightful, funny, and inspirational. This is my first book by Debbie Macomber, but it won't be the last. Last year I watched a delightful movie on TV around Christmas time called Mr. Miracle so when I seen that Debbie Macomber had a new Mrs. Miracle book out I jumped at a chance to review it. The author has a great way of blending great characters with a sweet storyline. You just fall in love with all the characters and you just get that great feeling at the end when its over but there is also that sadness because its over. Its a romance story but it has so much more too it. I would really call it a light romance and one of the things I love about it is the fact that it has no sex at all in the book. Its not written as a inspirational book yet I could with out a doubt tell my Christian friends that it would be a great book for them to read for the Christmas holidays. I would most definitely recommend this book to anyone! Its a great light read.
Anonymous 11 months ago
Tephita More than 1 year ago
My husband and I enjoyed reading this book out loud together. Although we both like the Hallmark Channel movie, the book (as always) is so much better! You'll love it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have seen the movie before reading the preview of the book and I am a little disappointed. The movie doesn't match the book (it is way better). Jake Finley never takes a stroll in the park with Holly and he doesn't stock the store with the Intellytron, and Gabe's father never calls and in the movie Holly emails him one time and that is all that is really mentioned as far as contact with Gabe's dad until the end of the movie. Holly isn't reluctant to know that Jake Finley is the heir to the department store, it doesn't faze her at all. I don't think I would spend the money to buy this book, when after seeing the movie, I'd rather watch it a million times because it is a great story and I love the part when Jake's father realizes all that he's been missing out on for the last 20 years since his wife's death in a tragic accident. And the movie never mentions that Jake had a sister as is mentioned in the book. I think if you are going to make a movie based on a book, it needs to follow the story line, not look like a completely different story. Holly and Gabe don't bake cookies and his father never calls. I would recommend cosing up in front of the fire with hot chocolate and your special someone or the whole family and watch the movie, you'll enjoy it better.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A good book for something that is light and easy for the Christmas Season. The Hallmark move is much better than the book. I would not read it again or recommended it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Im not suppose to laugh at that but it is sooooooo funny
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lol yeah the kid jus ended up getting back on the mary go round eugt aftee i threw him to
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brwn_eyed_grlus More than 1 year ago
This sequel to Mrs. Miracle is a perfect complement to Christmas. Very well written, good characters, and a great story line. This is a holiday or a feel good must read. It has just the right amount of naughty and nice. Highly Recommend.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago