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!
One liner: A journalist posing as wealthy industrialist loses his heart to an heiress working as a maid at the Grand Hotel.
Blurb: Is 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!
Carrie Pagels Fancett: Dime Novel Suitor
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 behind?
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 www.CarrieFancettPagels.com.
Where to find Carrie online...