I want to extend a warm welcome to Carrie Fancett Pagels. She's discussing Mackinac Island and her new book. She's also giving away a book: winner's choice of either My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island: Maude's Mooring (RT Book Reviews Top Pick) or Seven Brides for Seven Mail-Order Husbands (ECPA bestseller two months in a row!) (U.S. ONLY). You can enter by using the Rafflecopter link at the end of the post. (Giveaway ends August 31, 2017. If you are the randomly chosen winner, I'll contact you and pass on your information.) Now, here's Carrie...
The Blessing of Mackinac! By Carrie Fancett Pagels
The first time I went to Mackinac Island, despite living
just an hour away, was when I was sixteen and looking for a job. I was a little
nervous about both applying for work and living away from home. I’d been a
babysitter for years but had never worked in a business. My father had been
dealing with neurological complications (he later had a stroke) and had lost
his job, and things were tight at home. I had no idea what a blessing it would
be to live and work on Mackinac Island, nor that four decades later I’d have a
book published, set there! A book that received a Romantic Times Book Reviews
Top Pick even!
I lived in a large house, Pine Cottage, which was owned by
my boss’s mother-in-law. Located off the main street, up a steep hill, the
cottage had a lovely side yard. We had a rack out front for our bicycles, the
main form of transportation on the island. I initially shared a room with a
bunch of other girls, I think six of us in a large room, but these college gals
were way ahead of innocent Yooper me! Thankfully, the house mother put me over
with a different room with another roommate. My roomie was older but was a
quiet young woman who didn’t have as many wild “tales” to tell as the first
group I had!
On my days off, I always took a bike ride around the island
(about 7 ½ miles), stopping to wade out into the rocky-bottomed water which was
cold but refreshing. The gorgeous sights of the island and the water soothed my
soul. I also liked to go sit in the park and watch the tourists and look at the
yachts in the harbor and the ferries coming in. My lunch was usually grabbed at
Doud’s Market, a fixture on the corner near Fort Mackinac and the park.
It wasn’t until years later that a story percolated. I was a
psychologist and met up with my friend, Rosemary, whose family was from the
island. We made some visits around the island to places and she gave me some
background that fueled my imagination. Move forward a couple of more decades,
and that story finally made it onto the page. I am delighted this novel was
selected to be part of the “My Heart Belongs” series from Barbour. And was I
ever happy to sign eleven cases of books while I was up North all of July
promoting this book!
journalist posing as wealthy industrialist loses his heart to an heiress
working as a maid at the Grand Hotel.
anyone really who they say they are? Journalist Ben Steffan pursues a story
about men pursuing heiresses for their money. Abandoned by her fiancé, island
resident Maude Welling yearns to run the inn she’s supposed to inherit. When
her father refuses permission for her to take over the inn, she seeks to prove
herself by working incognito as a maid at the Grand Hotel, where Ben is
staying. Even Maude’s supervisor at the Grand isn’t who she pretends to
be—she’s a rich, reclusive eccentric—and Maude fears she plans to buy her inn.
Ben is within reach of an exposé that will launch him to his coveted position
of assistant editor. If Ben’s paper publishes his article then Maude, who has
captured his heart, may reject him. If Ben doesn’t deliver a scoop to his
editor, another journalist will receive the promotion. To claim her inheritance, Maude must marry
and live on the island, but Ben’s journalism career is at the Free Press in
Detroit. When scandal threatens to destroy them all, will they be able to
survive the truth with their love intact?
Thanks Leslie for letting me visit on your blog! I have a second book, which released in June, as part of Seven Brides for Seven Mail-Order Husbands, also from Barbour!
When a British dime novel enthusiast finds himself flat broke in Kansas, he
discovers what western life and true love are all about. Barden Granville IV
grew up at Cheatham Hall, Kent, England, devouring cowboy stories and dreaming
of the day he, with no prospects of inheriting estate nor title, could escape
to the American frontier. Educated and ordained an Anglican priest, his trip to
America is his “last hurrah” before accepting a vicarage in a small town far
from his aristocratic family’s estate. When a series of misadventures leaves
him without money and stranded, he must take up employment immediately.
After her father dies, widow Caroline Kane becomes the owner and proprietor of
a restaurant and inn. She also assumes responsibility for her five teenaged
siblings. Caroline’s busybody married sister insists that an Englishman who
purports to answer an ad for help, is the perfect candidate for Caroline’s next
husband. While she’s relieved to have help, Caroline finds Barden’s primary
asset to be his silver tongue. When his efforts finally bring fruit, Barden
receives word from England that could leave Caroline worse off than before, for
her heart will leave with him. Will Barden answer his heart and God’s call in
Kansas, or will his family responsibilities compel him to leave his dreams
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
Welcome to part two of websites pertaining to agents. As there are a number of useful sites, there will be one more post on this topic in two weeks.
Rachelle Gardner (http://www.rachellegardner.com/): Rachelle is an agent, editor, and publishing coach. She has a well-organized archive of posts covering a wide variety of topics (from blogging to publishing).
Bent on Books (http://jennybent.blogspot.com/): Jenny Bent shares resources on marketing and working with an agent. She has an Agents' Wishlist tab for a monthly update on what her colleagues are currently looking for.
Janet Reid, Literary Agent (http://jetreidliterary.blogspot.com/): Janet is a longtime literary agent. She offers advice on pitching, querying, and revising. She has a checklist and FAQ section which are useful for anyone pitching a book.
Jen Hatmaker continues to be a cheerleader for her
readers. This book is like sitting down and having a conversation with a good
friend. As is standard with Hatmaker’s books, this is an honest, yet hilarious,
book which contains stories that will be relatable to the average woman. It is
a wonderful collection of essays which remind the reader to live in the moment.
Numerous recipes are included throughout, as well as practical advice. Hatmaker
shares personal stories and infuses Bible verses throughout. My favorite parts
were the “How to” chapters, which are absolutely hilarious. The author points
out on a number of occasions that the reader no longer has to be who they once
were, which is a good reminder. This book is perfect for females of any age, no
matter how “together” they are. It’s okay to be who God designed them to be.
The reader may want to keep a pen and notebook, or a highlighter, nearby!
I received a complimentary copy as part of the BookLook blogger program. I was
not required to leave a positive review.
I want to extend a warm welcome to Kariss Lynch. She's discussing how to have a balanced writing life. She's also giving away a print copy of her book Shaken (U.S. ONLY). You can enter by using the Rafflecopter link at the end of the post. (Giveaway ends August 17, 2017. If you are the randomly chosen winner, I'll contact you and pass on your information.) Now, here's Kariss...
Writing Life Equals
You’ve heard the age-old story: Creative individual decides
to write a book. They sit down with paper and pen or keyboard and painstakingly
write that heart story. Sometimes it takes months. Sometimes it takes years.
When talking with their friends, you often hear them say, “Something just came
up. It isn’t quite right yet. I just haven’t had the time.”
It’s pretty clear that time is precious. In fact, outside of
my loved ones, my time is my most treasured possession. Since signing my first
contract in January 2013, I have learned an important writing tip, probably the
most important tip:
There is NEVER time, unless you choose to make it.
In fact, I’ve noticed one common trait among the published:
They make time to finish. After signing that contract, time to market becomes
important. And time to edit. And time to promote. And time to interact with
readers. Lot’s of time. So it’s important to figure out how to manage it.
Over the last few years, I’ve learned a few tricks to
maximize my time in every area of this writing journey.
Determine your best time of day to write or create and
maximize those short windows. I am a night owl and can write and create
relevant marketing content easier when my checklist for the day is
accomplished. It clears my mind to be creative.
Set a timer.
Write every day. Set the timer on your phone for an hour,
then put your phone on silent and put it on the other side of the room. Clear
your mind and write. I found when I did this, I could easily write over two
thousand words an hour, and I like the challenge of racing the clock.
Strategize for online
The internet is a wonderful tool, but managing our online
interaction can eat our time if not managed correctly. Block out thirty minutes
every few days to catch up on emails. Take a few minutes to respond to every
person who comments on social media (within reason of course). Know your brand,
what you are passionate about, and have character and author interviews on hand
for guest blog posts. Schedule our social posts through the week. Don’t
overthink. Just do.
Read, read, read
This one is important. Reading is as much a learning tool
for me as it is a brain break. I love diving into a story. Make time to see
what else is out there. Read books in your genre and in others. Read craft
books. Just read.
Managing time is as much mental as it is
physical. At the end of the day, be satisfied with what you accomplished and
leave the rest for tomorrow.
Bio and where to find Kariss online...
Kariss Lynch writes
contemporary romance about characters with big dreams, adventurous hearts, and
enduring hope. She is the author of the Heart of a Warrior series and
loves to encourage her readers to have courage. In her free time, she hangs out
with her family and friends, explores the great outdoors, and tries not to plot
five stories at once. Connect with her at karisslynch.com, or
on Facebook, Instagram, or Goodreads.
This week, I want to highlight some websites which may be useful resources for those of you who are searching for an agent. There are a lot of good websites, so this is just three of them. I'll list more in upcoming posts.
Between the Lines (http://www.booksandsuch.com/blog/): The agents at Books & Such Literary Management blog about a variety of topics (from platforms and branding to working with an editor and finding your writing routine). Their posts offer inspiration and encouragement.
Bookends Literary Agency Blog (http://bookendsliterary.com/category/blog/): This site is full of tips on perfecting submissions and figuring out how agents communicate. It's useful for writers at the submission stage.
Red Sofa Literary (https://redsofaliterary.com/): Agent Dawn Frederick shares clients' success stories as well as her best advice. There are numerous guest posts from authors and agents.
Q: What would you be doing if you were not an author?
A: I work as a teacher for the Deaf and hard of hearing.
Q: How did you get started writing?
A: I have always enjoyed writing. I
wrote stories and poems even as kid. I didn't try to write for publication,
however, until 2013. Harlequin had a contest called "So You Think You Can
Write." I finished that contest with my first full manuscript. I was
Q: What do you see as the hardest part
of being a writer?
A: Balance is the biggest challenge. I
have a family, a full-time job, and am active in my church. Making sure I meet
all my commitments requires some prioritizing.
Q: What advice do you have for new
A: Don't give up. Even with rejections
and revisions, there are often comments. Keep working and improving your story.
And when you finish one, start on another.
Q: What is your favorite
A: I have two that I love. Super Story
Structure by James Scott Bell and The Story Equation by Susan May Warren.
Q: What can you
tell me about your next project?
A: I am hoping
to continue to add a few more books to my Amish Country Justice series. Also, I
have hopes of writing some contemporary romance. Inspirational, of course.
Thanks so much for stopping by, Dana. I'm sure my readers enjoyed getting a chance to know you a bit better.
While she was on rumspringa,
Rebecca Miller was kidnapped, along with her friends, ten years ago. Now living
in the Englisch world, Rebecca finds
herself a target once again. Officer Miles Olsen is the only one of the force
who is able to communicate with her, as Rebecca is deaf. When the threats
increase and those close to Rebecca turn up missing, Miles questions his
ability to keep her safe. Is this related to the incident years ago, or is
someone else out to get her?
This is the second installment in the “Amish Country
Justice” series. I was happy to see Rebecca as the heroine, as I enjoyed her in
Plain Target. The fact that she is
deaf adds to the danger angle in this story. The action starts on the front
page. There is great chemistry between Rebecca and Miles, and the mystery keeps
you guessing throughout. Spiritual elements are woven in and are not preachy or
overwhelming. I look forward to reading the final book in this trilogy.
I received a complimentary copy, but I wasn’t required to leave a positive
Dana R. Lynn grew up in Illinois. She met her husband at a wedding and told her parents she had met her future husband. Nineteen months later, they were married. Today, they live in rural Pennsylvania with their three children and enough pets to open a petting zoo. In addition to writing, she works as an educational interpreter for the deaf and hard of hearing and is active in several ministries at her church. Dana loves hearing from readers and enjoys interacting with them on social media.