Breaking News… Random House Publishing Group chief Gina Centrello and Ballantine publisher Libby McGuire and editor in chief Jennifer Hershey have won an auction for the next six books to be written by Debbie Macomber, the prolific romance novelist who is leaving a run at Harlequin. Deal was seven-figures for each book, and came after an auction that brought Macomber in from her Washington home and pitted Random House against Grand Central and Simon & Schuster, the latter of which publishes Macomber’s non-fiction Christian-themed titles. It’s the second significant female author that Centrello, McGuire and Hershey have brought into the Ballantine fold, after they landed Janet Evanovich earlier this year.

Macomber is under the radar by contrast, but she certainly sells a lot of books. She’s written more than 100 so far, and has sold more than 130 million copies of her works. She’s best known for her Cedar Cove and Blossom Street series and four of her titles have debuted #1 on The New York Times bestseller lists. Deal starts in 2012, when Ballantine will publish three books per year for two years. That will include a new series the author will launch, based in her hometown of Port Orchard, Washington. Theresa Park of the Park Literary Group brokered a deal that covers hardcover, paperback, audio and e-book rights.