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4.5 out of 5 stars
Call Me Mrs. Miracle (Mrs. Miracle, Bk 2)
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42 of 43 people found the following review helpful
Format: Hardcover
"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.

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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Format: Hardcover
I may be one of the last people on the planet to have not heard of the author Debbie Macomber before reading this book. She's written a lot of bestseller books and I can see why. While this isn't usually the type of book I would read (I lean towards a lot of paranormal books), I thought I would give it a go as the storyline was appealing to me and I'm happy I did so.

The story is uplifting overall, even though there were a couple of scenes that had my eyes watering. The characters within the book are all written so well that they seem like people I know personally. All of the locations used within the story are described just enough that I can imagine them as places I've already been and already know as well. The writing style had me flying through the book, not wanting to put it down, and not realizing the time that went by as I was reading.

It's a perfect holiday story, so perfect in fact that Hallmark is making a movie out of it. Apparently there was another book previous to this one called Mrs. Miracle that was also made into a movie. Call Me Mrs. Miracle is set to air on November 27, 2010 and I plan on watching it since I enjoyed the book so much. (I'm hoping that they will be replaying Mrs. Miracle as well as I am sure I will enjoy it as well.)
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on October 2, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I can't say enough good things about this book. It was just completely entertaining and enjoyable from start to finish and I didn't want to put the book down.She does a wonderful job of creating that special warm Christmas feeling and the characters are real and relatable. This is the kind of book I'd give as a holiday gift and/or definitely pass around for friends and family to enjoy. I'll definitely be on the lookout for the movie too, which according to the book notes should be airing in December and I think will be starring Doris Roberts from Everybody loves Raymond, and who I kept picturing as Mrs. Miracle as I read this. Seems like perfect casting to me.

Everything I like about the best of Debbie Macomber's writing was in this story, family focused, with warmth and fun, and of course a great happy ending. You really can't go wrong with this one. Enjoy!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Format: HardcoverVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Call Me, Mrs Miracle by Debbie Macomber is everything I typically tolerate in a holiday movie and loathe in a novel. I don't like romance but I love Christmas. Take a mysterious albeit benevolent older woman, add a handsome heir apparent and a single woman who is sacrificing herself for the good of others and you have a typical romance cum Christmas novel. Add a few recipes (for cookies, chicken, and a salad), toss in a few aphorisms that are too often trite and read like church signs rather than deep truths, and you have this novel.

But I didn't hate it. I think I would have liked it very much as a movie. And apparently, Hallmark is doing just that-coming to a television near you, a sentimental bit of holiday schmaltz. Wait, this is a sequel? There's already a Mrs Miracle movie out there made by Hallmark you say? Why yes, apparently there is, which goes to show you that I may love Christmas but tend to avoid romance.

The thing is, this is not a bad novel. It's cute and, if you like this type of story, it isn't disappointing. A quick and relatively mindless bit of reading. It reminded me of Holiday Affair and I could see where, had I watched this on television one evening or afternoon, I would have sighed in holiday delight. So for these reasons, I'm not saying I hate the book. Remove the Christmas stuff and I would have disliked it much more. Remove anything else and I probably wouldn't have liked it much more . . . a delicate balance suggesting the novel meets expectations, doesn't exceed them.

Watch the movie if this is your cup of tea. Or, if you love romance novels, give yourself an afternoon of holiday themed escapism. As for me, I probably won't watch this or the other movie. Unless I am absolutely jones-ing for something Christmas and there's nothing else around. Given I have dvds and cds of my own, I doubt that will happen. But you never know . . .
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon December 6, 2010
Format: HardcoverVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Mrs. Miracle (a.k.a. Emily Merkle) is back. This time, she's helping Jake Finley, the scion of a department store owner, and Holly Larson, a young woman caring for her nephew because his mother passed away and his father was called to duty in Afghanistan. Several other characters have problems of their own, but with Mrs. Miracle around, it's a safe bet those problems won't last. And when the nephew decides that the one toy he must have for Christmas is the very robot that Jake stocked up on for the store (against his father's wishes), all the parts are in motion to bring everyone together.

As Christmas stories go, this one struck me as typical of the author's many Christmas books. Romance is at the center of Christmas, and romance will out. However, this book seemed to have much more of a heart than some of the others. The characters are still somewhat stock and it is obvious that Debbie Macomber is trying to pull certain emotional strings long before she actually pulls them--but this is a fun book to read and just enjoy, or it was for me.

One last note: I'm not sure why Mrs. Miracle would be so concerned helping a large store sell its stock of 500 $250 toy robots (total value: 1/8 of a million dollars), but the qualms I had about this plot element were not all that serious, certainly not so much so that I couldn't enjoy the book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format: HardcoverVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Debbie Macomber's CALL ME MRS. MIRACLE is a light-hearted story that reads like an episode of Touched by an Angel. While this is the first book I've read by her, it won't be my last. I'd recently had the chance to hear her speak at the RWA Awards in Orlando and her personal story of triumph over adversity is no doubt the root and reason for her having over 100 million copies of her novels sold worldwide.

Holly Larson's life has just become a bit more complicated. Her parent's have left for Haiti to volunteer and her brother has received orders to ship off to Afghanistan leaving her as the only candidate to care for his son, Gabe. Her life slowly starts to unravel as one disappointment after another befalls her, until one day, in a struggle to find change to pay for her Latte, a random act of kindness sets her life on a new and unexpected course.

What follows is a cheerful tale of how one woman's determination to not let life's unexpected twists and cruelties ruin Christmas, changes not only her own life, but the lives of those around her as well. Of course, she does have a little help along the way in the influence if one Mrs. Miracle.

Not only does Debbie treat us with an inspirational holiday story, but she also includes recipes for Holiday Sugar Cookies, Fried Chicken and Baby Arugula Salad with Goat Cheese, Pecans and Pomegranate Seeds from her Cedar Cove Cookbook.

This story lifted my spirits, tugged at my heart and made me feel something that I haven't felt for a long time--excited for the holidays. If you haven't read anything by Debbie before, then this is a great place to start and it will definitely set the mood for the upcoming holidays.

Final Verdict:

While the ending may cause some to roll their eyes with Debbie's traditional, over-the-top, everything-comes-together-perfectly style, you can't helped but be warmed by this tale of love and sacrifice that comes just in time for the holidays.

Look for the movie airing November 27th on the Hallmark Channel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 11, 2010
Format: Hardcover
To start with, I want to point out that this was a ridiculously quick read for me, as in, I finished it in under 3 hours. Also, from the author's note at the beginning of the book, the novel is a sequel to Mrs. Miracle, which I will admit, I've never read.

Holly Larson's widower brother Mickey is in Afghanistan for 15 months (including Christmas), and (as her parents are helping out in Haiti) Holly is the current guardian for her 8-year-old nephew, Gabe. Jake Finley manages the toy department of his father's department store. The two connect briefly over coffee (as Holly's credit card is declined, Jake kindly pays for his and hers), and both seem to feel that spark. With the help of toy store worker Mrs. Merkle (referred to as Mrs. Miracle, hence the title), who is more than what she seems, the two manage to spend time together and fall in love, bringing the joy of Christmas back into Jake's life, and further happiness into Holly's.

***Please note, I find cannot complete my complete review without spoilers. If reading the above is enough for you, then go forth and enjoy. If not, you've been warned.***

The story is often predictable, and often so sugary sweet, your dentist may worry for you. I enjoyed Holly, she was sweet, if not occasionally a doormat (her boss is a troll, and doesn't do her 180 until the tail end of the book). The adjective I keep coming back for, for almost all of the characters, as well as the situations, is cute. Cute, cute, cute. The main pair's interactions are cute, the way Mrs. Merkle ("Miracle") interacts with J.R. (Jake's father) is cute, Gabe is a cute little boy. I'm sure, if one is a Christian and enjoys religious themed books, the religious mentions and "quotations" could be considered cute. The fact that there are recipes connected to the story included in the book itself is cute. The message (love, family, the joy and spirit of Christmas) is well used and cute. One thing I didn't really find cute, however, was this: If I'd ever met someone like Mrs. Merkle ("Miracle") in real life, and she acted as she did in the book, I would think her sweet if senile, and do my best to avoid her as much as humanly possible. Sure, she meant things for the best, but she knew too much, and it would have creeped me out. (Spoiler: From what I can gather, even though it's never overtly stated in this book, she's an angel on a mission. Still. In real life, no.)

***End spoilers.***

I wish we'd gotten more back story of the main characters than we had, but, again, for light, fluffy reading, if you don't mind the religious overtones (or you happen to like them), this book isn't bad.

I'm giving this book 3 Stars, because it was... cute.

(This was edited from its original post on my blog.)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
When Holly Larson's widowed brother is called up by the National Guard and sent to Afghanistan, she quickly agrees to let his eight year old son Gabe live with her. Money is tight but she is saving every bit she can to get Gabe the toy robot he so badly wants. She loves Christmas, unlike Jake Finley and his father, owner of Finley's Department Store, who no longer celebrate Christmas after a tragedy. When Holly and Jake meet sparks fly - but Holly and Jake still need a miracle - Mrs. Miracle that is.

"Call Me Mrs. Miracle" is a sequel to Debbie Macomber's Mrs. Miracle and is an even more delightful read than the original. I was a little bit nervous about reading it because Macomber wrote it knowing it was going to be a movie and the producers wanted "the story to be the same...only different", but Macomber was up to the challenge and has come up with a book that is perfect for the holiday season and is bound to keep readers smiling. (Yes, there was some sadness in Jake's background story but even that has a "happy" ending.) Macomber's decision to have Finley's Department Store be located on 34th Street is an inspired one that adds a lot of charm to the story. The romance between Holly and Jake is very sweet, very cute, and just a bit magical. Gabe is a typical Macomber child - very good, although not above getting in a little bit of trouble (not on purpose) who is adjusting to the death of his mother and his father being away. Mrs. Miracle is one of my all time favorite Macomber characters (who now sounds just like Doris Roberts in my head) and it was nice to read another book about her - I'm crossing my fingers it becomes an annual tradition, much like the Cedar Cove books, to have a Mrs. Miracle book to read at Christmas (and maybe her friends Shirley, Goodness and Mercy could visit her). As an added bonus for her fans, Macomber includes some recipes from Debbie Macomber's Cedar Cove Cookbook (the fried chicken recipe sounds yummy).

"Call Me Mrs. Miracle" is another cute book by Debbie Macomber.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 10, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Nothing puts me in the Christmas spirit more than snuggling up with a warm blanket and a good book. This Christmas, and every Christmas after, I plan on snuggling up with this gem of a book. Call Me Mrs. Miracle is the sequel to the hit Mrs. Miracle written by Debbie Macomber, and I highly recommend this to all readers.

As a book reviewer I often get a book weeks before it is released to the stores to sell, so with that being said, I was given an advanced copy of Call Me Mrs. Miracle during the Summer, and to say I was not in the "spirit" to read a Christmas book is true; however, once I picked it up, I could not put this book down. I was enveloped by my imaginary snuggly blanket, sipping hot cocoa, and enjoying all the pleasures the holiday season brings with it. Macomber has an eloquent craft of placing readers in her books. With every page that I turned, I felt like I was right there with these characters. This is an attribute I look for in every (and all) books I read. Macomber received high marks in my books for this.

Jake Finley and Holly Larson are both in need of holiday miracles, and who better to grant them than Emily Merkle? Emily Merkle, whose name is cleverly mistaken for Miracle, works her magic once again in this book. Call Me Mrs. Miracle begins with Jake Finely, the young son of J.R. Finley, over estimating Finley's toy stock. He ordered hundreds of the toy robot called: Intellytron the SuperRobot (or just Telly for short) and is under immense pressure to sell them all by Christmas Eve. J.R. is none-too-pleased with his son's actions and threatens to fire Jake if all of the robots are not sold.

Holly Larson, the young fashion assistant and now step-in mother to her eight-year-old nephew Gabe, is strapped for cash and desperate to provide Gabe with a wonderful Christmas. Holly's brother Mickey, as the readers learn, was sent out on a fifteen-month deployment to Afghanistan with the National Guard. Not only is Holly's brother absent for the Holiday's, so are her parents, leaving Holly, alone, to take care of her young nephew. Call Me Mrs. Miracle begins with Holly and Gabe's strained relationship turning for the better. She is relieved she and Gabe are on better terms, and therefore, she is determined to provide him with a Christmas he'll never forget.

Where does Mrs. Miracle fit in? Well, Emily is Finley's new sales assistant. Who at one point has not dreamed of working in a toy store? I think it would be great fun to be able to play with toys all day! I will not give any details away from this point on, but I will say Jake, Holly, and Gabe become very close because of Mrs. Miracle and her involvement with the toy department. Gabe's one wish is to get a Telly for Christmas and he more than once finds himself, and his aunt, at Finley's.

Macomber has written a lovely Christmas story! I love how descriptive she was with New York City and Christmastime. I, myself, have never been to New York and through Macomber's writing, I felt as if I was riding in a carriage, taking in the decorations, or snacking on roasted chestnuts. I may have sighed in awe a few times through these sections. Bravo to Macomber!

To conclude, I wanted to give Call Me Mrs. Miracle a 5 star rating, however, I felt as if the last chapter was rushed and felt as if it could have been a little bit longer. Although there was one minor hiccup, Macomber wrote a fantastic Christmastime book and I highly recommended it be read, and then read again each year that follows.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon October 28, 2010
Format: HardcoverVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
If you're like me, you probably find at least one or two books every holiday season to get oneself in the mood for Christmas. This book fits the bill ... it's very darling and very predictable. While it will never make it as a literary book for my list, it is perfect for these hectic times when you just want to snuggle on the couch and read a sweet novel about the Christmas spirit. Macomber is perfect for this kind of writing (if you're not diabetic, that is, as it is really sweet).

This book is about Jake Finley who never celebrated Christmas since a tragedy struck his family 21 years previous. Ironically, he is heir to one of the biggest and most prestige department store in downtown Manhatten. Currently, his job is a manager of the toy department. Mrs. Miracle, aka Emily Merkle, is his able assistant. She helps smooth things over for Jake with his father who was outraged that Jake bought this extremely expensive robot toy for the holiday season. Not only that, she's as sweet and unassuming as a grandmother would be. Customers love her.

Then there's Holly, who is facing one of the toughest Christmases there is. Her brother has been deployed to Afghanistan, leaving behind his 8 year-old son, Gabe with Holly. Holly's parents are gone overseas on a mission trip so it is up to Holly and her very tight budget to make this first Christmas unforgettable for her nephew. Then she meets Jake.

It is a very predictable novel but if you like Debbie Macomber's books, you'll love this one. It really is darling and guaranteed to put one in the Christmas mood. At least it did for me.

10/28/10
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