Arts and Entertainment

Debbie Macomber's Cedar Cove comes to life

The author and the Cedar Cove map she and her publishers made for tourists visiting Port Orchard.  - Courtesy Photos
The author and the Cedar Cove map she and her publishers made for tourists visiting Port Orchard.
— image credit: Courtesy Photos

Local author’s uber-successful Cedar Cove Series, loosely based on Port Orchard, inspires town festival.

Debbie Macomber is a down-home kind of gal.

“Wherever you are, Debbie brings you home...” the masthead of her webpage reads.

A New York Times bestselling author, having sold more than 60 million books in her 31-year career, she's still well-versed in the matters of everyday life. She knits. She gardens. She flies kites on the beach with her grandkids. She likes tea and conversation.

She seems a master of life's simple pleasures — and its little quagmires.

Her latest book “Summer on Blossom Street” — which she’ll be reading from and singing at 6:30 p.m. May 7 at the Kitsap Mall Barnes and Noble and 5:30 p.m. May 9 at Bethel Avenue Books — finds “A Good Yarn” quilt shop owner Lydia Goetz offering a new class called ‘Knit to Quit.’

“If you need to quit something, what better way to do it than by knitting?”

It’s a class for those looking to quit something — or someone — and start a new phase in their lives.

Phoebe Rylander is trying to quit an unfaithful fiance. Alix Turner is trying to quit smoking so she can have a baby. Bryan Hutchinson joins the group to help deal with the stress of running the family’s business with a devious lawyer on his back.

Meanwhile, Goetz herself is coping with caring for her already frail mother, when she and her husband unexpectedly become foster parents to a defiant, angry 12-year-old.

It’s bound to be another patented Macomber romp through the drama of everyday life.

It’s the fifth book in Macomber’s Blossom Street series, marking more thn 125 books altogether, one in a number of series she’s written over the past 30 years.

In fact, while she’s out on a 17-city Summer on Blossom Street Tour this spring and early summer, the city of Port Orchard, Macomber’s home town, will be readying for one of its most anticipated events of the summer — Aug. 26-30’s inaugural Cedar Cove Days, based on another of Macomber’s wildly successful series, the town in which, Cedar Cove, is based loosely on Port Orchard.

The week of Macomber’s Kitsap readings — May 1-8 — Barnes and Noble will be hosting a digital book fair at its Silverdale branch and at branches nationwide to raise funds for Cedar Cove Days. Present book fair reference number 495861 before making a purchase at any Barnes and Noble branch and a percentage goes to the cause of “Cedar Cove” bus tours, tea time with Debbie and more slated for a mass amount of visitors expected in Port Orchard for the summer festival. Proceeds from the festival will then go to the Kitsap Literacy Council and the Port Orchard branch of the Kitsap Library.

More than 500 have already signed up for the tours and tea time, the Port Orchard Independent reports.

It all began, Macomber said, when her fans and readers were showing up in Port Orchard for Cedar Cove tours of their own. So many Cedar Cove seekers were coming, she said, that the Port Orchard Chamber of Commerce asked her if she could provide them a map.

“So my publisher hired an artist to do it and I paid for the printing costs... and then USA Today picked up on the story,” Macomber said.

In August, 2007 USA Today published a travel article on the effect Macomber’s Cedar Cove series was having on tourism in her hometown and soon thereafter, the idea for Cedar Cove Days, a brainchild of Jerry Childs, Macomber said, started gathering momentum with city leaders to the point where it became a full-blown festival with its own association and website — www.debbiemacomber.com,www.bn.com, www.bethelavebooks.com.

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