Saturday, July 15, 2017

My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island - Spotlight Book Tour

Series: My Heart Belongs
Genre: Adult, Christian, Fiction, Historical, Romance
Publisher: Barbour
Publication date: July 1

Journey now to Mackinac Island where... A Tangled Gilded Age Love Story Unfolds. Although the Winds of Mackinac Inn has been in her mother’s family for generations, Maude Welling’s father refuses to let her run it without the guidance of a husband. So she seeks to prove her worth and independence by working incognito as a maid at the Grand Hotel. 
Undercover journalist Ben Steffans, posing as a wealthy industrialist, pursues a story about impoverished men chasing heiresses at the famed hotel. While undercover, he becomes attracted to an intriguing maid. By an act of heroism Ben endears himself to the closed-mouthed islanders—including Maude—and he digs deep for his story. But when scandal threatens, will the growing love between Maude and Ben be scuttled when truths are revealed?

ECPA-bestselling author Carrie Fancett Pagels, Ph.D., is the award-winning author of a dozen Christian historical romances. 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.” Carrie loves to read, bake, bead, and travel – but not all at the same time! You can connect with her at

1. Do you have any funny stories from fans meeting you for the first time?

I don’t think funny stories but I have been so blessed by the readers I’ve met, especially last year in Shepherd Michigan when Joyce Noyes brought her absolutely adorable granddaughters with her!

2. What did your writing process for My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island look like
Ohmygoodnessgraciousmeohmy! This was like having a problem child who needed a lot of therapy and rehab!

3. What type of research did you do for My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island?

Did you do any traveling for this research? I actually lived on and worked on the island as a teenager and grew up in the area. And I’ve been there often visiting. One of my close friends has family from the island and she inspired that aspect of the story.  We specifically stayed at both the Grand Hotel for research and at the Windermere, which is the inspiration for my heroine’s inn.

4. What inspired the idea for My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island?

I wondered what an independent miss, brought up by the strong women of the island, would do if her father resisted her becoming a business manager/inn manager which is her birthright but is at a time when young women were sheltered.

5. What do you want readers to take away from reading My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island?
The only inheritance you need to concern yourself with is that of being a child of the living God.

6. Do you have any advice you would give to other potential authors?

Don’t give up if you have a manuscript that is giving you fits, not if the Lord tells you to keep working on it. Hire the best freelance editors that you can and pray! This problem child became an RT Book Reviews Top Pick for July PTL!

What Inspired my Story

I lived on Mackinac Island, working at a restaurant there. I loved it! It’s a magical place and I’ve gone back many times since then! I was just there, today, in fact. Also, I have a dear friend, Rosemary Wellington, whose family is from the island and during a visit to the island with her, I got inspired to think about a story set there. Her cousin is mayor of the island and owns the Windermere Hotel. My husband and I stayed there a few years back to research the story and the beautiful hotel did inspire me to use it as a prototype for “Winds of Mackinac” in the novel.

​Also, while working on the core premise for this story, I was praying about the struggle I was having.  I call this book my “Problem Child Manuscript.” But God is good and faithful – while at church after praying, although my pastor (and also a write) Larry was stuck at an airport, trying to return from Haiti but Seth, our college student-age pastor, gave the sermon for Larry. And it was an amazing message inspired by Mark Twain’s The Prince and The Pauper! And that really reinforced what I was already trying to do but was struggling with.  You see, our identity has to stem from what it is in Christ. He calls us to a mission. And He gifts us to enable us and provides when we cannot do. Our King calls us His children. Wow! That makes us princes and princesses of the King.

One of the things I’ve you enjoyed most about writing this book has been getting to hang out in Mackinac Island story world even when I wasn’t there! I had major surgery one year and couldn’t go – but I still got to “visit” by writing about it! We’re here right now and it’s so beautiful in the summer.  The island, itself, is an inspiration for many more stories to come!

This is by no means an exhaustive list! I’m just including my current faves not all-time (like Lucy Maude Montgomery).

Ten of my Fave authors are:

Tamera Alexander, who gave me this beautiful endorsement:
Julie Lessman – amazing historical romance with strong family ties
Susie/Susanne Dietze – a rising star in CBA fiction!
Tracie Peterson – I love her audiobooks in particular!
Julie Klassen – especially her early books
Michelle Griep -- her Regencies are amazing!
Serena Miller – a lovely lady with equally lovely books – some set in Michigan
Debbie Lynne Costello – check out her medieval stories!
Rachel Hauck’s dual-time audiobooks are lovely
Suzanne Woods Fisher who gave me this wonderful endorsement:


  1. Thanks so much for having me on your blog! I'm hoping people will love Maude and Ben's story!

  2. Wonderful review! I'm going to have to put Mackinac Island on my places-to-visit-one-day list!

    1. Hi TRIXI, I pray you'll visit Mackinac Island and love it as much as I do! Blessings!

  3. Great review. I've read the book and thoroughly enjoyed it! So great that Carrie could "research" on Mackinac Island! Must have been sooooo hard!

  4. What wonderful pictures are included in this post! I am enjoying reading other people's thoughts on this great story.

    1. Thanks, Debbie, I am not very good about getting my pictures all off the camera right away but I enjoy taking them!

    2. Carrie took some beautiful pictures--I would love to visit Mackinac Isalnd one day. :)

  5. Sounds like a great book. Thanks for the chance to win.

    1. You're welcome Michele! Good luck on the giveaway!