If You Like Novels By Debbie Macomber Try Reading These Authors Books
Fans of Debbie Macomber's Contemporary Romances and novels of women's lives prize her inspirational stories, domestic settings, and sympathetic heroines.
Debbie Macomber, an award-winning and prolific author, made her reputation with her old-fashioned Contemporary Romances at a time when many authors were adding more sex and violence to their Romances. After years of trying to get published, she finally found an editor who believed in her work, and in 1984 Heartsong launched Silhouette's new Inspiration line. In 2002 she made the transition from Contemporary Romance novels to Women's Lives and Relationships with Thursdays at Eight. Now, with more than 100 titles published, Macomber writes four books every year, including a humorous Christmas tale. Her many fans prize her sweet, inspirational stories, her domestic settings, and her sympathetic heroines, not to mention the humor.
Macomber's heroines — ordinary women from all parts of the country — win praise from critics and fans alike. These optimistic, but often naive, women explore careers, self-discovery, friendships, and romantic relationships in upbeat stories. Macomber populates her novels with genuinely nice people, sometimes caught in difficult situations. Despite these disturbing undercurrents, the characters remain optimistic through every adversity and face every challenge, listening to their hearts more often than their heads. Although her earlier titles focused on a single character and her situation, newer novels, such as the Cedar Cove and Knitting series, are more likely to include a cast of characters, and chapters alternate among the various points of view.
The dialogue in these gentle stories keeps the pace moving as the characters work out problems in relationships. The stories have that comfortable, small-town, neighborhood feel, even when set in larger cities. Macomber's books also reflect a strong Christian message, but she integrates her characters' faith so carefully that the books become more generally inspirational than specifically religious.
In the first of her Knitting series, Shop on Blossom Street , Macomber deftly combines the domestic pleasures of knitting with the compelling stories of her female characters: generations of women, including a cancer survivor (the shop's owner), who find satisfaction and resolution to life's problems under the spell of knitting, conversation, and friendship.
Cathie Linz, like Macomber, writes charming Romantic Comedies featuring humor and satisfying, if more sensual, romance. Linz also writes series of linked Romances, as does Macomber, so that readers can continue to enjoy characters they like as they appear in secondary roles in subsequent novels. In addition, Linz has a series of Fairy Godmother novels (The Marriage Makers trilogy) which will certainly appeal to fans of Macomber's angel books. Try Too Smart for Marriage, the third of that series, which pits a bright and brash children's librarian, blessed at birth with an overabundance of attitude and intelligence, against an overly sensible bachelor.
Mitford series, like Macomber's books, has a strong inspirational message. In a similar small town setting, Karon explores her characters' lives with humor and grace, and offers emotionally satisfying solutions as well as domestic pleasures and endearing characters. The series begins with At Home in Mitford, which introduces Episcopalian Father Timothy Kavanaugh, his congregation, and his comical dog.
Lori Copeland has written heartwarming contemporary novels that may interest Macomber readers. In Mother of Prevention, tragedy strikes and cosmetologist Kate Madison's husband is killed. Moving with her daughters to San Francisco for a new job, Kate discovers the value of friendship and faith, as she and her family start their new lives. Copeland's tender stories are upbeat and old-fashioned in ways that should appeal to Macomber's fans
Susan Wiggs is another author who has made the transition from Romance to Women's Lives and Relationships with her emotionally involving, character-centered novels. Although her style is more complex than Macomber's, readers will recognize and relate to the heroines and their stories of relationships with family, friends, and lovers. Start with The Ocean Between Us, which focuses on the troubled relationship between Navy Captain Steve Bennett and his wife Grace, tired of being a Navy wife for the past fifteen years and ready to create a life of her own.
Richard Paul Evans
Richard Paul Evans, famous for his stories that focus on love and family, beginning with The Christmas Box, Evans offers characters similar to Macomber's — nice people who have suffered setback or tragedy — as well as familiar themes: redemption, relationships, and the power of love. In The Sunflower, jilted Christine Hollister accompanies a friend to Peru to do charity work. There she meets Dr. Paul Cook, who has come to Peru to escape his own disappointments, and the two discover the healing power of love.