Bio: Carrie Fancett Pagels, Ph.D. “Hearts Overcoming Through Time,” is an award-winning Christian historical romance author. In 2015, Carrie’s novel Saving the Marquise’s Granddaughter will release with Pelican Book Group. Carrie’s Amazon Christian Historical Romance #1 bestselling novella, The Fruitcake Challenge, released September, 2014. Her short story, “Snowed In,” appears in Guidepost Books’ A Christmas Cup of Cheer (2013). She’s the Amazon best-selling and top-rated author of Return to Shirley Plantation: A Civil War Romance (2013). Her short story, “The Quilting Contest,” appears in Family Fiction’s The Story 2014 anthology. Carrie received Honorable Mention for the 2014 Maggie Awards for Excellence for her unpublished novel Grand Exposé. Former psychologist (25 years) and mother of two.
Welcome back, Carrie. Why do you write the kind of books you do?
For Christ. My message is because of Him. My tagline is “Hearts Overcoming Through Time” and intrinsic in that is—with God’s help. I write Christian historical romances because that is what I like to read, too.
Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
Giving birth to my first child, my daughter, Cassandra Rose, in 1989. God showed me how love can just keep growing in your heart, more than I ever thought possible.
How has being published changed your life?
I think the main thing it does is give some credibility to my writing. There are so many amazing writers out there. Many of whom aren’t yet published. People don’t take your writing as seriously until you have something out in print.
What are you reading right now?
I’m finishing a two-part Christmas novella by Angela Breidenbach and Valerie Comer, entitled The Snowflake Tiara. http://www.amazon.com/Snowflake-Tiara-Angela-Breidenbach-ebook/dp/B00N70PXZW/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1418773274&sr=1-1&keywords=breidenbach
I featured that book on my blog. I loved it. What is your current work in progress?
The Lumberjack’s Ball is the sequel to The Fruitcake Challenge. One of my heroine’s (Josephine Christy) brothers wants to be a master cabinet maker and furniture designer. He takes a side job from his lumberjacking to create stunning built-in cabinetry at a local mercantile. And the store owner’s daughter catches his eye! I also have a book due out in 2015 from Pelican Book Group that you’ve previously critiqued a section of,
Lena. It is currently
entitled Saving the Marquise’s
Granddaughter, so I’ll have edits due this winter.
What would be your dream vacation?
I’d love to stay on
for the entire season, staying in a gorgeous Victorian up on the bluffs.
How do you choose your settings for each book?
Usually it is someplace I love. With Saving the Marquise’s Granddaughter, however, I set it in
because of the history behind the story. So the second part of my answer is the
history of the story does determine where I normally will set it as I’m often
inspired by real life stories.
If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
Joyce Meyer. I’d love to “pick her brain” and hear about her vision for her ministry into the future. She’s been an inspiration to me.
My husband and I love to listen to Joyce. We also have read several of her books. We’ve seen her in person when we were in the studio audience for James Robison’s show when she was there. What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
Beadwork and travel, as my health permits for both. And of course snuggling with my 12-year-old son!
What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
I have multiple forms of arthritis. But I’ve found that when God wants me to be writing then He makes a way for me to do so. I believe I’m firmly in His will that way.
What advice would you give to a beginning author?
Don’t skip learning the craft. I’ve seen too many who have. Read, read, read all the comparable authors in your genre. Like
Lena and I were told some eight years ago or so, blog. It
has many benefits.
Your advice is very good. Tell us about the featured book.
Here’s the blurb:
The Fruitcake Challenge
When new lumberjack, Tom Jeffries, tells the camp cook, Jo Christy, that he’ll marry her if she can make a fruitcake, “as good as the one my mother makes,” she rises to the occasion. After all, he’s the handsomest, smartest, and strongest axman her camp-boss father has ever had in his camp—and the cockiest. And she intends to bring this lumberjack down a notch or three by refusing his proposal. The fruitcake wars are on! All the shanty boys and Jo’s cooking helpers chip in with their recipes but Jo finds she’ll have to enlist more help—and begins corresponding with Tom’s mother.
Step back in time to 1890, in beautiful
Michigan, near the sapphire straits of Mackinac, when the white
pines were “white gold” and lumber camps were a way of life. Jo is ready to
find another life outside of the camps and plans that don’t include any shanty
boys. But will a lumberjack keep her in the very place she’s sworn to leave?
Please give us the first page of the book.
1890 Mackinaw City, Michigan
Vast evergreens crowded the roadway on both sides of the wagon, towering over a hundred feet to the sky, almost obscuring the sunlight. Every time the dray hit a bump in the mucky road, Tom Jeffries grasped his crate of books in one arm and his boxy leather suitcase in the other. After the last spine-jolting rut had been crossed, he pulled out his father’s gold pocket watch.
Shouldn’t be too much longer now.
He swatted at the mosquitoes that swarmed the deep woods. No wonder the men at the mercantile had laughed when Tom had asked about purchasing arm garters to go with his new work shirts. He’d need to leave his shirt sleeves unrolled, even for summer, to keep the pests off him. Even that wasn’t working now, though. Tom draped his Hudson Bay blanket around his shoulders and pulled it up over his neck and then squashed his felt slouch hat down further to cover his forehead.
The vehicle slowed. Sitting in the bed of the flat dray, Tom swiveled so he could see the reason for their halt.
The drayman turned to him, as did his son beside him. “Here’s yer camp.”
Nothing but woods surrounded them. Tom hesitated. He wasn’t about to be dropped off in the middle of nowhere.
The barrel-chested man pointed straight ahead. “That there’s Boss Christy’s office and the cook shack is beyond.”
Tom hopped down, but left his belongings on the wagon bed.
How can readers find you on the Internet?
Return to Shirley Plantation: A Civil War Romance, Helping Hands Press (2013)
Giveaway:A copy of the book–choice of paperback or ebook (Kindle or Nook)
Carrie, thank you for sharing it and some of your life with us today.
Readers, this would be a good book for all of you who get a Kindle or a Nook for Christmas.
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