This past weekend, 400 fans gathered at Opryland Resort in Nashville, Tenn., for a three-day celebration of southern treats, dance and tea parties, and knitting circles with bestselling author, Debbie Macomber. Random House hosted the fan retreat, choosing Nashville because of its central location and Macomber’s fondness for the city. Attendees traveled from as far as Canada, California, and the Bahamas to spend time with the author. They were treated to tours of the Country Music Hall of Fame, Music Row, and the Ryman Auditorium, as well as morning and afternoon knitting classes, and a Saturday night Sock Hop.

Attendees were also given a special edition of Macomber’s latest novel, Rose Harbor In Bloom. “Random House partnered with Barnes & Noble to create a special edition of Rose Harbor In Bloom with a letter from Debbie Macomber and with Debbie's photo album from her visit to the set of the Cedar Cove series airing on Hallmark Channel,” said Theresa Zoro, senior v-p and director of publicity at Random House.

Among the attendees were mothers and daughters, nieces and aunts, long-time friends, and husbands and wives. Macomber, like many of her readers, made the retreat a family affair. “I think my greatest pleasure is seeing generations of families and friends enjoying this weekend and my books together,” said Macomber. “Grandmothers, mothers & daughters and daughters-in-law; friends together since grade school and now in retirement sharing the weekend together; family and friends who live around the country gathering here at the retreat.”

Macomber mingled and danced with fans, shared memorable reader e-mails, family stories, and posed for photographs during the retreat. Attendees were quick to gush over how attentive the author was, and how much her books, and the uplifting messages they provide, meant to them. “This is a special treat for us,” said Karen Duff, who drove over eight hours from from Oakland, Township, Mich., with her daughter Colleen Champine. “We just love her books.” Macomber noted her readers “are everything to me. I am a storyteller and without my readers there would be no books, no one to read the stories I love to tell on the page. It has been my dream come true to be a writer so without my readers I would be bereft.”