Bio: Carrie Fancett Pagels, Ph.D., is the award-winning author of fifteen Christian historical romances, including ECPA bestsellers. Twenty-five years as a psychologist didn't “cure” her overactive imagination! A self-professed “history geek,” she resides with her family in the Historic Triangle of Virginia but grew up as a “Yooper,” in
beautiful Upper Peninsula. Carrie loves to
read, bake, bead, and travel – but not all at the same time! You can connect
with her at www.CarrieFancettPagels.com.
Welcome back, Carrie. God has really been moving in your writing life. What do you see on the horizon?
Yes, God had kept me busy working on some stories. Although I am disabled from my Rheumatoid Autoimmune Disease, I’m grateful for the chance to do something for the Lord. I received a contract for another novella collection with Barbour Books. This one is a school teachers romance four-in-one with slightly longer novellas (25,000 to 30,000 words each). My story is set on
Mackinac Island, where many of
my stories are set, including my Maggie Award 2018 novel My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island: Maude’s Mooring.
Congratulations. I’m expecting another contract from them, too. Tell us a little about your family.
We have a 29-year-old electrical engineer daughter who lives the next town over and we’re so grateful to see her regularly. We also have a 16-year-old son who is a high school student taking advanced classes and who shares my love of writing. My husband is a marine mechanical engineer and he is also my “Handsome Chauffeur” for my writing events, driving me and my “Beast of Burden” carrying my stuff in and out! We have two grand-dogs, a 120 pound Black lab-Shepherd mix lap dog who lives with our daughter and a 50 pound two-year-old Aussie Kelpie who lives here with us and his master, Clark.
My husband is my chauffeur, and he also brings in my stuff and sets it up for me. It’s such a blessing to have a husband who completely supports the plans God has for us. Has your writing changed your reading habits? If so, how?
Yes. I used to read more like a typical Christian-fiction reader – as I found an author I’d get their books and read from the back list on. Now I read new releases that are “comparables” usually – books that are comparable to my own subgenre.
What are you working on right now?
I have a Women’s Fiction novel proposal that I’ve sort of set aside to begin work on the novella, which has a deadline of March 1st. My story is set in 1894 on
Island and is in the same time frame and story world of a bunch of
my other publications, which is super fun. Characters who have appeared in my
other stories may show up in this one, particularly little Jack Welling, who
was a fan favorite. The school teacher in my story is male and my heroine,
Maggie Hadley, named after my college roommate, is posing as one of her
brothers as a dray driver on the island. Because of my physical limitations I
will need to continue to work on it as I feel well enough, a little at a time.
I have wonderful critique partners, authors Kathleen L. Maher and Debbie Lynne
What outside interests do you have?
I bead, but mostly simple things now because of my hand pain. We attend church regularly and I enjoy reading the Bible and spending time in prayer. My husband and I enjoy watching mysteries, especially British shows. I like to bake, bead, read, and travel. We take dance classes (when my foot is cooperating.) I’m very grateful to be walking again after a five year period of time when I could barely walk without extreme pain. So my son and I walk our dog regularly now.
I’m so glad you’re back on your feet again. How do you choose your settings for each book?
Because I write in character, I like to place my stories somewhere that I would enjoy being and in a time frame in which I am interested. Since I love the Straits of Mackinac area in
, that’s often my go-to choice. I
live in Michigan
and have a number of stories set here, too, such as my Holt medallion finalist The Steeplechase. Virginia
If you could spend an evening with one historical person, who would it be and why?
I think you mean besides Jesus. Who wouldn’t want an evening with Him? So besides the Lord, I’d say James Madison. https://www.montpelier.org We’ve visited at
and from what we heard and what I’ve read about him, I believe he also suffered
with arthritis yet he overcame so much. Hopefully I’d also get to meet his
fascinating man servant and also Dolly! Montpelier
What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing novels?
Hmm, I was fortunate to have been given a lot of good advice from numerous authors as I began my career. But since I actually started writing novels decades earlier, but set them aside, I’d say probably that the craft work has to be done. Most writers can’t simply write a novel. Most of us need lots of craft work and that’s fine!
What new lessons is the Lord teaching you right now?
His timing. His writing ministry through me. His way.
We all need to remember that. What are the three best things you can tell other authors to do to be successful?
Listen to the Lord and stay anchored in your faith.
Tell us about the featured book.
In The Great Lakes Lighthouse Brides my novella, Love’s Beacon is set at the
lighthouse, which marks the entrance into Mackinac Island
and is in the Straits of Mackinac. This lighthouse opened in 1895 and a huge
restoration project was initiated when I was working on the island as a dessert
maker at Little Bob’s Restaurant in 1974. I actually contributed to that cause
(I think $1.00!) and there have been subsequent restorations since that time.
In my story, Valerie Fillman is the daughter of the lighthouse keepers – or is
she? When Valerie’s entire family perishes at the lighthouse due to illness,
her whole life takes a dramatic turn. I write in character and so I wanted this
story to have a more positive “feel” to it than it could have had. So there is
a strong mystery component as well as romance. The new lighthouse keeper, Paul
Sholtus, has longed to leave his farming roots. But with a young daughter to
raise, managing a lighthouse becomes a tricky proposition. I had a lot of fun
writing this story and my readers will also see characters from my novella The Sugarplum Ladies in The Victorian Christmas Brides Collection
(Barbour, 2018) and from some of my other Michigan-set stories!
Please give us the first page of the book for my blog readers.
Standing alone in the Island Pharmacy, Valerie’s hands shook as she removed the scrap of paper from her reticule. How strange to be here alone. If Ma and Pa weren’t so desperately ill, they’d never have allowed her to travel by herself from
. She’d pleaded
with them only days earlier to allow her to get medicine, fearing the worst for
Mary and Tim. They’d refused. Round
“May I help you, miss?” The young man behind the counter gazed at her, concern reflecting from his dark eyes.
Niggling anxiety nipped at her as she thrust out the list. The scent of camphor mingled with beeswax and a hint of bay rum. Alone here, her senses seemed heightened. The jingling of the doorbells startled her. She pressed a hand over her hammering heart as the clerk turned and went to the back to have the pharmacist fill her order.
A pretty blond woman entered, holding tight to a toddler’s arm. The child looked up, hazel eyes shining. Attired in a fashionable bonnet and matching coat, the young mother smiled at Val, and she realized she’d been staring. Val averted her gaze.
The clerk returned. “Mrs. Swaine, good to see you. I’ve got something for little Robbie’s sniffle.” After pushing his black sleeve garters higher, the young man bent and retrieved a paper-wrapped parcel from behind the counter.
“Thank you.” No payment was exchanged, which seemed odd. Perhaps the woman had an account.
The mother turned and faced Val, her blue eyes darkening. “Don’t I know you?”
“My father is the lighthouse keeper, ma’am.” Val cast her eyes downward, as her mother had drilled into her.
The toddler looked up at Val and held out his hands. Something in her longed to have someone reach for her like this. Just as Val was about to pick him up, the child’s mother lifted him onto her hip.
“I have never met Mr. Fillman. But I know I’ve seen your face somewhere.” For a brief instant, Val again met the beautiful young mother’s gaze. “We do come on occasion to the island.” The very rare occasion, and never unaccompanied.
The toddler sneezed. “Oh my!” His mother leaned away. “Bless you.” Val pulled a handkerchief from her reticule. “This is clean.” She wiped the child’s nose.
“Thank you.” Arms full, the young mother headed out as a tall man entered, holding the door ajar for her.
The pharmacist stepped to the back again and returned with several brown bottles. He quickly wrapped them in paper and then placed them gently in a bag before tying the parcel with twine.
Val accepted the medications and headed out to the docks for her return to
. A stiff chill
wind swirled her wool skirts even higher than their already short length. She
swiped at the coarse fabric, pushing it down toward her ankles. Round
As she reached the mooring place for the lighthouse boat, she spied the light-house inspector, Mr. Dardanes, arguing with Jimmy, the boy who’d promised to help her sail back to the island.
As she neared them, she caught his words. “Miss Fillman can’t return and that’s settled.”
She took several steps closer, clutching the medications to her chest. “What’s going on?”
Thank you, Carrie, for sharing some of your life and your novella with my blog readers.
How can readers find you on the internet?
Great Lakes Lighthouse Brides goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38746255-the-victorian-christmas-brides-collection
Christian Book Distributors https://www.christianbook.com/lighthouse-collection-historical-romances-beacon-hearts/lena-dooley/9781683227694/pd/227691?product_redirect=1&Ntt=227691&item_code=&Ntk=keywords&event=ESRCP
Barnes & Noble https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-great-lakes-lighthouse-brides-collection-lena-nelson-dooley/1128090023?ean=9781683227694
Book Depository https://www.bookdepository.com/Great-Lakes-Lighthouse-Brides-Collection-Lena-Nelson-Dooley/9781683227694?ref=grid-view&qid=1533948293060&sr=1-1
Barbour Books http://www.barbourbooks.com/product/Great-Lakes-Lighthouse-Brides-Collection,15088.aspx?Tab=Books&sj=0
Readers, leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of the book. You must follow these instructions to be in the drawing. Please tell us where you live, at least the state or territory or country if outside
North America. (Comments
containing links may be subject to removal by blog owner.)
Void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws.
The only notification you’ll receive is the winner post on this blog. So be sure to check back a week from Saturday to see if you won. You will have 4 weeks from the posting of the winners to claim your book.
If you’re reading this on Goodreads, Google+, Feedblitz, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or Amazon, please come to the blog to leave your comment if you want to be included in the drawing. Here’s a link: