Mrs. Miracle

( 79 )

Overview

Seth Webster's heart never healed after he lost his adored wife. Now, with Christmas approaching, wild twin boys to raise alone, a home in chaos, and the latest in a long line of exasperated housekeepers quitting in disgust, Seth needs more than help to keep his family togethe...he needs a miracle.

And then a miracle arrives on his doorstep. Her name is Mrs. Merkle, but the kids call her "Mrs. Miracle"—and from the moment the warm, knowing, and very patient nanny appears, ...

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Overview

Seth Webster's heart never healed after he lost his adored wife. Now, with Christmas approaching, wild twin boys to raise alone, a home in chaos, and the latest in a long line of exasperated housekeepers quitting in disgust, Seth needs more than help to keep his family togethe...he needs a miracle.

And then a miracle arrives on his doorstep. Her name is Mrs. Merkle, but the kids call her "Mrs. Miracle"—and from the moment the warm, knowing, and very patient nanny appears, everything is different. Her sassy spirit is infectious, and it gives Seth the courage to approach Reba, a beautiful travel agent who's been hurt and betrayed, and is afraid to ever love again. Through the magic of faith—and with a little help from a children's Christmas pageant and a lot of encouragement from Mrs. Miracle—Seth and Reba might just be able to find a Christmas miracle of their very own: true love.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061083464
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 11/28/2009
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 398,606
  • Product dimensions: 4.18 (w) x 6.75 (h) x 0.88 (d)

Meet the Author

Debbie Macomber

Debbie Macomber has more than 100 million copies of her books in print, and her stories about home and family have a worldwide audience and have been translated into twenty-three languages. In addition to being a #1 New York Times bestseller in fiction many times over, she also has an enormous following among knitters as the author of dozens of pattern and craft books. In 2008, she launched a branded line of knitting products through Leisure Arts, the company that publishes her knitting guides. Debbie and her husband, Wayne, have four children and nine grandchildren, and split their time between Washington State and Florida. This is Debbie’s second picture book co-authored with Mary Lou Carney; their first, The Truly Terribly Horrible Sweaer . . . That Grandma Knit, was published in 2009.

Biography

Publishing did not come easy to self-described "creative speller" Debbie Macomber. When Macomber decided to follow her dreams of becoming a bestselling novelist, she had a lot of obstacles in her path. For starters, Macomber is dyslexic. On top of this, she had only a high school degree, four young children at home, and absolutely no connections in the publishing world. If there's one thing you can say about Debbie Macomber, however, it is that she does not give up. She rented a typewriter and started writing, determined to break into the world of romance fiction.

The years went on and the rejection letters piled up. Her family was living on a shoestring budget, and Debbie was beginning to think that her dreams of being a novelist might never be fulfilled. She began writing for magazines to earn some extra money, and she eventually saved up enough to attend a romance writer's conference with three hundred other aspiring novelists. The organizers of the conference picked ten manuscripts to review in a group critique session. Debbie was thrilled to learn that her manuscript would be one of the novels discussed.

Her excitement quickly faded when an editor from Harlequin tore her manuscript to pieces in front of the crowded room, evoking peals of laughter from the assembled writers. Afterwards, Macomber approached the editor and asked her what she could do to improve her novel. "Throw it away," the editor suggested.

Many writers would have given up right then and there, but not Macomber. The deeply religious Macomber took a lesson from Job and gathered strength from adversity. She returned home and mailed one last manuscript to Silhouette, a publisher of romance novels. "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."

It turned out to be the best $10 Macomber ever spent. In 1984, Silhouette published her novel, Heartsong. (Incidentally, although Heartsong was Macomber's first sale, she actually published another book, Starlight, before Heartsong went to print.) Heartsong went on to become the first romance novel to ever be reviewed in Publishers Weekly, and Macomber was finally on her way.

Today, Macomber is one of the most widely read authors in America. A regular on the New York Times bestseller charts, she is best known for her Cedar Cove novels, a heartwarming story sequence set in a small town in Washington state, and for her Knitting Books series, featuring a group of women who patronize a Seattle yarn store. In addition, her backlist of early romances, including several contemporary Westerns, has been reissued with great success.

Macomber has made a successful transition from conventional romance to the somewhat more flexible genre known as "women's fiction." "I was at a point in my life where I found it difficult to identify with a 25-year-old heroine," Macomber said in an interview with ContemporaryRomanceWriters.com. "I found that I wanted to write more about the friendships women share with each other." To judge from her avid, ever-increasing fan base, Debbie's readers heartily approve.

Good To Know

Some outtakes from our interview with Macomber:

"I'm dyslexic, although they didn't have a word for it when I was in grade school. The teachers said I had 'word blindness.' I've always been a creative speller and never achieved good grades in school. I graduated from high school but didn't have the opportunity to attend college, so I did what young women my age did at the time -- I married. I was a teenager, and Wayne and I (now married nearly 37 years) had four children in five years."

"I'm a yarnaholic. That means I have more yarn stashed away than any one person could possibly use in three or four lifetimes. There's something inspiring about yarn that makes me feel I could never have enough. Often I'll go into my yarn room (yes, room!) and just hold skeins of yarn and dream about projects. It's a comforting thing to do."

"My office walls are covered with autographs of famous writers -- it's what my children call my ‘dead author wall.' I have signatures from Mark Twain, Earnest Hemingway, Jack London, Harriett Beecher Stowe, Pearl Buck, Charles Dickens, Rudyard Kipling, Alfred, Lord Tennyson, to name a few."

"I'm morning person, and rip into the day with a half-mile swim (FYI: a half mile is a whole lot farther in the water than it is on land) at the local pool before I head into the office, arriving before eight. It takes me until nine or ten to read through all of the guest book entries from my web site and the mail before I go upstairs to the turret where I do my writing. Yes, I write in a turret -- is that romantic, or what? I started blogging last September and really enjoy sharing bits and pieces of my life with my readers. Once I'm home for the day, I cook dinner, trying out new recipes. Along with cooking, I also enjoy eating, especially when the meal is accompanied by a glass of good wine. Wayne and I take particular pleasure in sampling eastern Washington State wines (since we were both born and raised in that part of the state).

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    1. Hometown:
      Port Orchard, Washington
    1. Date of Birth:
      October 22, 1948
    2. Place of Birth:
      Yakima, Washington
    1. Education:
      Graduated from high school in 1966; attended community college
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

Mrs. Miracle


By Debbie Macomber

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2005 Debbie Macomber
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0061083461

Chapter One

A lot of people want to serve God, but only in an advisory capacity.

-- Mrs. Miracle

"I told you not to swear, you little shit." Seth Webster grabbed his sons by the scruffs of their necks in order to keep his squirming twins apart. It demanded all his strength to keep the two, fists flying, from attacking each other.

"Mr. Webster!" Mrs. Hampston, his housekeeper, the third in as many months, stood with her hands braced against her hips, her mouth thinned with disapproval. "That's hardly the example to be giving your children."

Truth be known, Seth couldn't have agreed with her more, but there was a limit to just how much one man could take. The minute he'd walked into the house, he'd discovered his six-year-old twins rolling around the bedroom floor, intent on murdering one another. The woman was no help. She'd stood with her back braced against the wall and barked orders, sounding incredibly like a Yorkshire terrier. Before he could fully judge the wisdom of his actions, Seth had entered the fray. Within seconds his patience was shot.

Judd swore. Seth swore. Mrs. Hampston gasped, shocked to the very tips of her toes. Jason stuck his tongue out at his brother and looked well pleased with himself.

Judd retaliated, his tongue resembling that of a Gila monster.

"Judd. Jason. Stop that this instant."

Both children squirmed. The fight went out of Judd first, and his shoulders slumped forward. "I'm sorry, Daddy." His son scuffed the toe of his Nike against the bedroom carpet, his gaze lowered to the floor.

The love Seth felt for his children tightened a band around his heart.

"I was wrong, too," he admitted, affectionately mussing the boy's brownish red hair. The last few months had been a trial for all three of them. His in-laws had raised the twins for the past four years following Pamela's death. Judd and Jason had been toddlers at the time of the traffic accident, needy and demanding. Seth couldn't care for them properly and maintain his engineering position with Boeing. Having the two move in with Sharon and Jerry had seemed the perfect solution. His own parents traveled extensively and were unable to help. With time and effort the twins had adjusted to life without their mother -- something Seth had yet to manage.

"I need to talk to you privately following dinner," Mrs. Hampston announced stiffly as she walked past him on her way back into the kitchen.

"She's gonna quit," Jason announced as soon as the housekeeper was out of sight.

"The same way Mrs. Cooper quit," Judd added.

"And Mrs. Larson."

And everyone else, Seth added silently. He felt as if the entire world had quit on him. It'd all started when Sharon had phoned last July and abruptly announced it was time the twins moved back with him. It was long past time, Seth suspected, but he'd grown comfortable leaving the responsibility for the care of his children with his in-laws, comfortable in his role of weekend "Disney" dad. With Judd and Jason due to start first grade in the fall, the time for transition was now. In the months since, Seth wondered if he was ever meant to be a father.

He appreciated his in-laws' help. They'd done more for him and the twins than he'd ever be able to repay. But Jerry had recently retired, and the two had already sacrificed four years of their lives. Their help had gotten Seth through the worst of the child-rearing years, or so he believed. He'd taken a crash course in this parenting business and discovered it wasn't nearly as easy as it sounded.

It shocked Seth how short his patience could be. Within five minutes of promising himself to set a good example, he'd referred to his own son as a little shit. Unfortunately the term fit Judd to a tee. The lad was full of piss and vinegar, into everything. Nothing was sacred. Jason was the follower. On his own he was quiet and shy, but with his brother forging ahead, he was quick to follow.

It had been much easier to consider himself a decent father when he was separated by a thousand miles. He called often, mailed the kids letters, and spent as much time with them as his schedule would allow. The lessons had come swiftly and sharply that summer when Judd and Jason had moved back in with him. The quick succession of live-in housekeepers was testimony to exactly how much of a failure he'd been.

"Are you gonna wash my mouth out with soap?" Judd asked, making a face as though he could already taste the unpleasantness.

Seth sat down on the edge of the bottom bunk bed and weighed the decision.

"He can't," Jason assured his twin, flopping down on the mattress beside him. "Dad said the S word."

"Is the F word worse than the S word?" Jason looked to Seth for the answer.

"The hell if I know."

Judd's eyes widened with warning and he whispered, "Watch it, Dad, Mrs. Hampston doesn't approve of the H word, either."

"It don't matter 'cause she's gonna quit anyway." This bit of wisdom came from Jason. The kid was probably right, too.

Sitting back against the wall, Seth draped an arm around each of his children's shoulders and released a jagged sigh.

"What are we going to do now?" Judd asked.

"We need a housekeeper," Jason added.

His son turned dark, round eyes to Seth, looking for him to supply the answers.

"Hey, she hasn't quit yet." Seth tried to sound optimistic but doubted that he convinced anyone. They'd seen it all too often before not to recognize the symptoms. The housekeeper wanted out.

"We tried to be good."

"I know." Seth was sympathetic. He'd done his best too and had repeatedly fallen short.

Continues...


Excerpted from Mrs. Miracle by Debbie Macomber Copyright © 2005 by Debbie Macomber. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 79 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(38)

4 Star

(27)

3 Star

(9)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 81 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 28, 2012

    Sweet

    This was a very sweet story. Its a kind of "make you feel good" read for the holidays. Although its an easy read, take your time to really enjoy the warmth in its words.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2013

    Highly Recommended

    It's one of those books you just don't want to put down once you start reading.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 6, 2013

    Great!!!

    Mrs. Miracle is a hoot. Reba was a little frustrating because she was so set on not forgiving and forgetting or even making sure she had the whole story for that matter. Seth was a believable single dad and easy to like and sympathize with. I was so glad Mrs. Miracle showed up to help him and the kids get it together. Great read in spite of Reba's stubbornness. Macomber is a great writer!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 13, 2012

    highly recommend

    I BOUGHT THIS AS A CHRISTMAS PRESENT BECAUSE I HAD READ IT A WHILE AGO AND THOUGHT IT THE PERFECT GIFT FOR A NUN THAT I WORK WITH - I ENJOY DEBBIE MACOMBER BOOKS AS A CHANGE OF PACE FOR THE MYSTERY BOOKS THAT I READ QUITE OFTEN - AND DEEP DOWN INSIDE YOU HOPE THAT SOMEHOW THIS STORY COULD REALLY HAPPEN AND THAT THERE ARE ANGELS WATCHING OVER US -- KEEP THEM COMING - GREAT READING FOR ALL AGES

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 13, 2013

    Very uplifting

    Nice story for the holidays. Easy and quick read.

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  • Posted December 2, 2013

    I enjoyed reading Mrs Miracle.  It was the warm and cozy type of

    I enjoyed reading Mrs Miracle.  It was the warm and cozy type of romance that I have come to appreciate from Debbie Macomber.    Her characters are usually flawed, but believable.   Both Seth and Reba had wounded spirits and needed a healing. It was inevitable that He could see what she needed to do in order to heal and she was able to determine what he needed in order to heal.   If they didn't change, each would remain half a person, and together make a whole...maybe.   I wasn't able to tell for sure, but I think Emily Merkle, the nanny, may have been an angel in disguise.   In any event, she had more than one mission to accomplish throughout the story.   And it was heartwarming to see how things worked out for everyone concerned.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2013

    Not as good as the movie by the same name.

    Saw the movie first. The movie left out a lot of things because they were not appropriate for a G-rated movie. I was disappointed with the explicit kissing and other sexual descriptions. The explicit descriptions are not necessary to tell us what is happening with two people. After seeing the movie, I was very disappointed in the book. I will not purchase any more books by this author.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2013

    i love everyone of her books

    i love everyone of her books

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  • Posted December 10, 2012

    HIGHLY RECOMMEND

    FANTASTIC BOOK! SAW THE MOVIE ON HALLMARK>
    THANKS FOR HAVING THIS BOOK AVAILABLE!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 9, 2011

    Well worth reading

    I really enjoyed this first book as well as I did the 2nd one. I love Mrs. Miracle's quotes at the beginning of each chapter. It is well worth the read.

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  • Posted January 30, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Sweet

    I thought this book is a good read for someone who wants to read a sappy story during the holidays. It is such a sweet story.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2010

    wonder just wonder full

    Wow! this book was amazing it was a perfect mix. It has romance but it also shows wondeful meanings of life. it was like reading pure magic that can change ones hear.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 22, 2010

    Recommended

    This did not have much romance, but the story was great and very heart warming. A perfect quick read for a nice holiday story with religious undertones.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 21, 2010

    My favorite!

    This book has become my favorite so far among the Debbie Macomber books that I have read! I've been suggesting to those that I know that they also read this book! It's one of those "feel good" stories! If you read it, be sure to read Call Me Mrs. Miracle after!

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  • Posted February 21, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Worth Reading

    I'll put a smile on your face.

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  • Posted February 10, 2010

    Wonderful cheerful book

    I enjoyed reading this book before the movie can out. they wer very close in plot and that made it enjoyable.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Mrs. Miracle

    This book was enchanting and a delightful read! Knowing it was going to be a Hallmark movie I wanted to read the book first and it didn't dissapoint! I'm an avid reader of Debbie Macomber's books and enjoy them all! I would say the book was better than the movie since they often leave out details in movies that are in the book and this was true in this case!

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  • Posted December 5, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Just watched the TV show; it was a really nice Chrismas Story and Mrs. Miracle played a great part.

    I have read several books in the different series.

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  • Posted November 8, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    ans will enjoy this lighthearted wonderful life tale

    Widower Seth Webster struggles to raise his rambunctious six year old twin sons Judd and Jason who drive off housekeepers at an alarming rate even when they make an effort to behave. He has never had time to grieve the loss of his beloved spouse as his personal life is in chaotic free-fall. Just before Christmas, the latest housekeeper leaves.

    A depressed Seth is at the end of his wits especially since there is no one else for the agency to send when Mrs. Emily Merkle miraculously arrives asking for the position of nanny. She brings a patient serene elan that encourages yet controls the two boys. At the same time she also quietly coaxes her employer to move on and courageously ask travel agent Reba Maxwell to go out with him. Reba has been destroyed by love, but a miracle occurs when she takes a chance on Seth. Still they will need the power of an angel to overcome their issues.

    This is a reprint of a terrific holiday romantic fantasy starring an angelic Mary Poppins character trying to bring a Christmas miracle to the extended Webster family (including his in-laws) and Reba. Ironically whereas the support cast like the twins and the in-laws are spirited protagonists with issues while the lead couple is each in a self made defense mechanism rut that requires several miraculous nudges to get them motivated in the game of life beyond caring for others. Fans will enjoy this lighthearted wonderful life tale, which is being made into a movie, while humming the tune All I Need Is A Miracle Mike and the Mechanics).

    Harriet Klausner

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  • Posted August 1, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Another fun, easy read, with typical outcome.

    As always, Debbie Macomber has a fun story to tell. Her characters are alittle too predictable, but I wish there was a Mrs. Miracle in everyone's life.

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