Wednesday, November 14, 2018

LOVE'S BEACON (The Great Lakes Lighthouse Brides) - Carrie Fancett Pagels - One Free Book.

Dear Readers, here’s another author of one of the novellas in The Great Lakes Lighthouse Brides novella collection. Her novella is Love’s Beacon.

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 Michigan’s beautiful Upper Peninsula. Carrie loves to read, bake, bead, and travel – but not all at the same time! You can connect with her at

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 Mackinac 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 Costello.

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 Michigan, that’s often my go-to choice. I live in Virginia and have a number of stories set here, too, such as my Holt medallion finalist The Steeplechase.

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. We’ve visited at Montpelier 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!

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 Round Island 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.
Mackinac Island September 1897
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 Round Island. She’d pleaded with them only days earlier to allow her to get medicine, fearing the worst for Mary and Tim. They’d refused.

“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 Round Island. 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.

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?

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.

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Emma said...

LOVE'S BEACON (The Great Lakes Lighthouse Brides) by Carrie Fancett Pagels sounds wonderful. Thank you for the opportunity to win.PA.

Elly said...

Lighthouses have always fascinated me!
Elly -Indiana-

Robin in NC said...

Oh my gracious! I've got to find out why Valerie can't go back to her parents! Very exciting excerpt! Happy Thanksgiving Y'all!

Vivian Furbay said...

Loves Beacon sounds like a good story but with a sad background. Vivian Furbay of CO

Lori Smanski said...

This sounds like a wonderful story in a wonderful book. I really like Carrie's writing style.
I have always been fascinated with light houses. This is a great excerpt.
quilting dash lady at comcast dot net

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

Good morning, EMMA! I hope you'll enjoy this entire collection!

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

Hi ELLY! My first lighthouse outing scared me because my dad lifted me way up high into the top, to my (adult) cousin and I wasn't too keen on that! I was probably four or five years old! Blessings!

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

Hi ROBIN! Poor Val has had a really rough life! I've been so mean to her. The real life Valerie Fillman is a wonderful hair stylist in Newberry, Michigan! She has a wonderful mom! Blessings!

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

Thanks LORI! I'm so glad you enjoy my style! Lighthouses are so pretty! We did a Great Lakes tour of upper Lake Michigan lighthouses this past summer that was really interesting! Blessings!

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

Good morning Vivian! Yes, this story has a tragic background. But God always gives room to restore!

Kay Garrett said...

I would love the opportunity to read "The Great Lakes Lighthouse Brides" including the wonderful novella "LOVE'S BEACON" by Carrie Fancett Pagels. This story sounded amazing to me when I read the exceprt which just increased my desire to read the whole book.

I can relate to Carrie's medical problems. I have what they call and undiagnosed soft tissue disease. My numbers are all over the chart, but they haven't found the name for it - yet. On top of that I have osteoarthritis arthritis and major problems with the digestive tract including numerous ulcers. Which means that the normal medication they would give me for pain is off limits. It is amazing that with God's grace that we CAN carry on. It just means giving in to him on the bad days and praising him for the good days. <3

Thank you for the marvelous chance to win a copy of this book. I would love to read Carrie's amazing story in it.
Kay Garrett from Mountain View, AR
2clowns at arkansas dot net

Wendy Newcomb said...

Thank you so much for the chance to win a copy of "The Great Lakes Lighthouse Brides"! I love the collections books, lighthouses, and I really enjoy Carrie's books. It also looks like some new authors for me to 'check-out', lol.

Wendy in South Sioux City, NE

wfnren at aol dot com

Melanie Backus said...

Beautiful book! Melanie Backus, TX

Lane Hill House said...

I almost missed this! Loving historical fiction, these Barbour Collections are wonderful. I like how the same theme is followed throughout and often wonder and think about whether the characters might have passed each other or became acquainted. I think that would be fun! Like passing in the night, or around the next corner. My husband and I toured the lighthouses in Door County, Wisconsin, on our honeymoon. I especially liked Cana Island Lighthouse, so much so, that I almost fell backward into the water while standing on a rock boulder taking a photo of the lighthouse (large items don't change no matter how far you get away from them). I would love to read this wonderful sounding collection! Kathleen ~ Lane Hill House in Missouri

Shelia64 said...

love to win this book! Shelia from Mississippi

Karen G. said...

Great post! I love these Barbour Collection books. I'm really looking forward to reading this one.
Karen G., Troy, NY

Caryl Kane said...

I enjoy reading Carrie's stories! I can't wait to read this collection!

Caryl K in TEXAS

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

Hi KAY, WENDY, MELANIE, and KATHLEEN! Great to see you here. I think you would all love this collection, so if you don't win, be sure to gift yourself a copy for Christmas! Hugs!

Carrie Fancett Pagels said...

Hi SHELIA, KAREN, and CARYL! I'm so glad you enjoy my stories and Barbour collections! My writing ministry is something I pray brings glory to God! Blessings!

Connie Porter Saunders said...

This sounds like a great collection of novellas.
Connie from Kentucky

Sharon Bryant said...

Enter me in your awesome giveaway!!
Conway SC.

Teri DiVincenzo said...

You know how your writing fascinates me, Carrie, as well as lighthouses and especially the Great Lakes! Waving hi from Tropical Ohio!
Trdivincenzo (at) gmail (dot) com