Let’s Chat! Author Carrie Fancett Pagels

Welcome, everyone!

Carrie Fancett Pagels, award-winning author of sixteen Christian historical romances, honors us with her presence this week. Not only does Carrie hold a Ph.D., but her books include ECPA bestsellers. 

Carrie served twenty-five years as a psychologist, but the years failed to “cure” her overactive imagination. A self-professed “history geek,” she resides with her family in the Historic Triangle of Virginia. But she grew up as a “Yooper” in Michigan’s beautiful Upper Peninsula. Carrie reads, bakes, beads, and travels – but not all at the same time! 

Meanwhile, Carrie’s giving away one of her books. So join the gab session below. 

Carrie Fancett Pagels: Life Outside Writing

Carrie Fancett Pagels
I
hail from
 Michigan’s beautiful Upper Peninsula, which qualifies me as a bona fide Yooper woman. I married the love of my life when I was almost thirty. Now, thirty years later, I have a 29-year-old lovely electrical engineer. And a 16-year-old creative techie junior in high school. 

I devoted 25 years as a psychologist to young people in many capacities. Then physicians diagnosed me with Rheumatoid Arthritis and other forms of arthritis. This arthritisended my career abruptly. As it turned out, God planned something else for me.

Eight years ago, I nearly died from a biologic (to treat my severe RA). For about five years I barely walked. I endured numerous interventions, including surgery. But God gifted me with lots of stories. Now sixteen of my romances appear in print! And, Praise the Lord, I walk today.

A Debut for Carrie Fancett Pagels

I joined in a multi-author ongoing Civil War series headed up by Murray Pura. A small press released my first title, Return to Shirley Plantation. Later, my rights reverted back to me. The talented Roseanna White designed a new cover. My novella released this past late Spring. It’s now available in audiobook form.

The staff of Shirley Plantation  supported and blessed me. The owners permitted me to read some of their ancestors’ original letters. Also, I assisted with a tour of the upper part of the Great House, which isn’t included in the regular tours. I helped conduct a tour with the wonderful Julian Charity, Shirley Plantation’s historian, a real highlight for me.

What’s Up With Carrie Fancett Pagels Now?

Carrie Fancett PagelsSince then, I released fifteen more books, some Indie and others traditional publications. So I claim hybrid author status. My latest, a novella entitled “The Sugarplum Ladies,” appears in the The Victorian Christmas Brides Collection by Barbour Publishing.

Currently, I am working on a women’s fiction novel, a change for me. When I joined ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) fourteen years ago, I wrote in this genre. 


expect our current visits to colleges with our son will take me away from writing for a while. Recently, we visited two universities in Virginia.

A Bit About Carrie’s Books

To Be Released November 1, 2018: The Great Lakes Lighthouse Brides

Along the Great Lakes, America’s inland seas, lighthouses played a vital role in the growth of our nation. They shepherded settlers traveling by water to places that had no roads. These beacons of light required constant tending even in remote and often dangerous places. Brave men and women battled the elements and loneliness to keep the lights shining. Their sacrifice moved goods and immigrants. Seven romances set between 1883 and 1911 bring hope to these lonely keepers and love to weary hearts.

“The Sugarplum Ladies” in The Victorian Christmas Brides

1867 Windsor, Ontario, Canada, and Detroit, Michigan
Canadian barrister Percy Gladstone’s aristocratic British family unexpectedly descends upon him for Christmas. So he relies on American social reformer Eugenie Mott and her fledgling catering crew for help.

My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island

Generations of her mother’s family claim the Winds of Mackinac Inn. But 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 poses as a wealthy industrialist. He pursues a story about impoverished men chasing heiresses at the famed hotel. While undercover, an intriguing maid catches his eye. By an act of heroism while digging deep for his story, Ben endears himself to the closed-mouthed islanders—including Maude.

But scandal threatens, and truths are revealed. Will the growing love between Maude and Ben be scuttled?

How to Find Carrie Fancett Pagels

Where to Find Carrie’s Books

Carrie Fancett Pagels

~ ~ ~

Father God, we declare You the Eternal Author of Love. First, You joined the original couple in the Garden. Then, Abraham and Sarah. And King Solomon penned his Song of Love. Today, Your children fall in love. And we look to the ultimate Love—the Groom and his Bride—at the heavenly Wedding Feast. You—Who are Love—provide the kindling. The flame. And the breath that keeps love burning. Now, please bless every word Carrie writes for You.
~ For Jesus’ sake

38 thoughts on “Let’s Chat! Author Carrie Fancett Pagels

  1. Paula Shreckhise

    I love Carrie’s writing. I look forward to reading the new books!

     
     
  2. Congratulations Carrie on your success in publishing so many stories. You are a generous encourager and friend.

     
     
    1. Hi, Janet. So good to see you. Thanks for stopping by.

       
       
  3. *Not an entry*
    I enjoyed the interview! You’re so talented, Carrie, and write amazing stories. Blessed to be your friend and sister-in-Christ.

     
     
    1. Welcome, Anne! What an encouraging word! I hope you’ll be a returning guest.

       
       
  4. Caryl Kane

    Wonderful interview! I love Carrie and her stories!

     
     
    1. Welcome, Caryl. Thank you for your encouragement.

       
       
  5. I enjoy Carrie’s writing. Her stories are great! Carrie is a great encourager. 🙂

     
     
    1. Thanks so much, Melissa! Congrats on your own debut in Christian fiction! Many blessings! You’re a super encourager, too! Hugs!

       
       
      1. Thank you. 🙂

         
         
    2. Hi, Melissa. You’re an encourager too!

       
       
      1. Thank you . 🙂

         
         
  6. Anne L. Rightler

    Thank you for sharing about Carrie! One of these days I am going to Mackinac when she is there so I can have lunch with her! Looking forward to reading the two new collections.

     
     
    1. Hi ANNE! I’d love to be up in Mackinac and get to see you in person! I hope you’ll enjoy these two Michigan-set novellas of mine in these two collections! Blessings!

       
       
  7. ~JJ

    Best of luck with all your writing endeavors.

     
     
    1. Hi, JJ. Love having you visit!

       
       
  8. Thanks for having me on your beautiful blog, Linda! I love how you do your set-up! Blessings!

     
     
  9. Joy Ellis

    Love Carrie and her books! She is an amazing author!

     
     
    1. Hi, Joy! Thanks for joining in the chat! Love your enthusiasm 😊

       
       
  10. Sherry Moe

    I really enjoyed reading this blog post and learning more about Carrie and her books. God certainly has blessed her.

     
     
    1. Welcome, Sherry! Thank you for joining us!

       
       
  11. Great interview!

    I’ve read so much about the UP in Carrie’s books that I hope to visit the UP one day (during the summer, if course 😉). I love Carrie and her books (I’m not entering, I have all of Carrie’s books). Carrie is such a sweet and friend, I am honored to be one of her Pagels Pals.

    Blessings, Tina

    ….my post didn’t post, so trying again….

     
     
  12. Great interview!

    I’ve read so much about the UP in Carrie’s books that I hope to visit the UP one day (during the summer, if course 😉). I love Carrie and her books! (I’m not entering, I have all her books 😊). Carrie is such a sweet lady and friend, I’m honored to be one of her Pagels Pals.

    Blessings,Tina

     
     
    1. Hurrah for Pagel’s Pals!! Welcome and please come back!

       
       
  13. Beverly Duell-Moore

    Great post! I’d love to visit the UP! I’ve seen photos and it looks like such a beautiful place. I’m looking to reading The Lighthouse Brides and The Victorian Christmas Brides.

     
     
    1. Hi Beverly! You would love a summer visit up North! Thanks for coming by!

       
       
    2. Hi, Beverly. I’m so glad you stopped by!

       
       
  14. Rita jarrett

    I used to live in the UP. I’m excited to read some of these books. K have read the first love letters romance collection and loved your book in it.

     
     
    1. Hi Rita! Where did you live I. The UP? I didn’t contribute to a love letters collection. Blessings!

       
       
      1. Rita jarrett

        It was called Chassell. Small town years ago. 😊

         
         
    2. Welcome, Rita. I love Texas, but I’d very much like to visit your neck of the woods. Please come again.

       
       
  15. Andrea Stephens

    I forgot to say, Please don’t enter me for the drawing. I have all of Carrie’s books.

     
     
  16. Andrea Stephens

    I love Carrie Pagels and I love her books! She writes such great stories. I am privileged to be one of her Pagel’s Pals. I hope to meet her in person one day.

     
     
  17. Perrianne Askew

    I had no idea you have a Civil War series. I’ll have to check that out! I thoroughly enjoyed The Victorian Christmas Brides Collection. (Not entering drawing)

     
     
    1. Hi Perrianne! I don’t have a Civil War series, but my debut (a novella) was with a small press who had a series going with multiple authors. I’m glad you enjoyed VCB! Blessings!

       
       
  18. Rita jarrett

    I like the fact Youre from Michigan. I lived in the UP for a a few years when I was around 8. I can’t wait to start reading your books.

     
     
  19. Melissa Andres

    Amen! What a fun blog post.

     
     
    1. Thanks MELISSA! It was fun to see this up! Blessings!

       
       

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Let’s Chat! With Yours Truly

Welcome, Readers! 

This week I’d like to visit with you myself. About family. This blog doesn’t meet the requirements of whoever makes the rules about optimal word length, but that’s OK. I’m not asking for their approval. I must warn you, however, that I speak in very explicit terms that may offend you. I hope you’ll read it anyway. And that you’ll share this link with every Christian parent you know.


I just looked at the calendar and can barely believe my eyes. Only five days until Christmas. Probably like you, I have boxes and bins full of Christmas memories. But our boxes and bins, plastic-covered larger items, and certainly a tree that in former years was decorated by our grandchildren long before now, remain in closets. No food coloring for sugar cookies on the grocery list this year. No tangled lights or bulbs needing to be replaced. No hiding of gifts.

Christmas 2017 is not the season to be jolly in a certain home I’m about to tell you about. Nor ours.

An Ordeal of Biblical Proportions


Because of the love my husband and I have for a dear family we know well, we have been enduring alongside them an ordeal of biblical proportions for nine months. And it’s far from over even now.

This sordid story involves the shattering of a stable, loving, Christ-centered home by organizationally incestuous government agencies whose employee rolls include  individuals who are biased against Christians. I’m not at liberty to reveal names, but you can believe me when I say our county’s Child Protective Services and our state’s Department of Family Protective Services are mis-named by calling themselves “protective.” CPS has destroyed—not protected—this family.

We have learned by walking alongside this particular family that our state’s Department of Family and Protective Services is a huge, unwieldy, bureaucratic agency with “policies and procedures” they check off as accomplished without true accountability. And that the title “investigator” is given to their least experienced, entry-level person who has the power to destroy a Christian home. The Department assigns “tenured” status to a case manager with only one and one-half years experience. And the “professional” counselors and therapists with whom the Deparment contracts, by and large, receive the lowest reviews by clients. In many cases, these professionals cannot make a decent living on their own, so CPS takes them.

Not only does the Department of Family and Protective Services fail to “protect,” it is inept, corrupt, and anti-Christian. They protect their own above all else. Certain of their employees want to destroy whatever vestiges still remain of Christianity in our homes. We crazy Christians are a dangerous cult, after all. And our family court system is in league with CPS. In recent days I witnessed a family court judge sweep away a family with Christian principles like so much roach droppings.

Christian Family


If you are a Christian family, be careful … be VERY careful … in reporting child abuse to CPS. See a Christian attorney before you make the call.

If you have crosses on your walls … or Bible verses on bulletin boards or refrigerators … If you implement a household behavior plan that’s connected in any way with your Christian faith … or if that household plan requires consistent accountability that ties in with God’s expectations and the history of God and His people … If you believe and teach your children that sex is a God-given blessing granted ONLY to a married man and woman … and if you protect your children from pornography and sexually-explicit movies and books but discover a certain someone outside your home has taught your children how to get around the password-protected security on your computer so the children can watch pornography … If that pagan someone has taught your children sex acts too graphic to describe here … even then, contact CPS only through your attorney. Why? Because you may be accused of abusing your children by coaching them in how to claim sexual molestation.


If yours or your loved one’s is a broken home where the other spouse has hooked up with a militantly atheist family who present the essence of today’s political correctness to the world and practice unheard-of incest in their home … If your life is the polar opposite of the ex-spouse’s (an ex-spouse who once claimed to be a Christian but now claims atheism and makes fun of the Bible TO THE CHILDREN) … If you or your spouse are a clergyman or -woman or professional counselor … be careful. Be very, very careful. They consider you dangerous.

Sex

If you learn your children or the children of anyone you love have been exposed to sex not in a violent way but as pleasurable and a natural way to express love between adults and children … if that sex has progressively included more and more acts over several years of the children’s development so that they no longer believe engaging in such activities is wrong … If those children have now turned on their Christian parents … and if CPS and the judge have been taken in by those disturbed children and given them to the molester, you are facing the worst trauma of your life.

‘Tis certainly not the season to be jolly.

My Faith


I’m a Christian. Have been since I was 12—60 years ago. I believe God is completely good. He is completely wise. Completely powerful. And He is limited by neither time nor space. His goodness lives everywhere at once.

I’m none of the above. Not one iota.

However, I believe Jesus is the Son of God and He died for my sins—the perfect sacrifice given on my behalf, which I’ve accepted and rely on for my eternal destiny.

That said, I know He is at work even while I crawl into bed, cover my head, and weep for this family. No one need tell me I can claim unshakable hope. I know my hope rests in the unshakable promises of God. I don’t understand why God allows such evil to prevail for a single day. But by faith and hope I know one day I will.

This Time of the Year


Even at Christmas, the love of God, the purity of Jesus, and the sweetness of the Holy Spirit do not erase this world’s evil. One day they will, but not yet. In fact, God’s children alone see the indescribable contrast between the two. And when evil has blanketed a family devoted to God with its blackness, that family sits in sackcloth and ashes while all around them people cover their homes with colored lights, set out lovely nativity scenes, hang mistletoe, loop garland around balusters and porch posts, and sing “O Little Town of Bethlehem.”

The Persecuted Church in America

Meanwhile, certain individuals who compose Child Protective Services and others who sit on family court benches will carve their turkeys, spoon their cranberry sauce, and compliment the cook on Christmas. So will the molesters.

If my body didn’t actually ache after being in bed for hours, that’s where I’d stay, weeping and praying for this wonderful, godly family. But I’m sitting at my computer composing a far-from-jolly message to whoever will read it. I’m sorry if it disturbs your sensibilities or interferes with your joyful anticipation of Christmas. I hope you’ll find it in yourself to forego such reactions and, instead, pray for persecuted Christian parents in America and elsewhere.

That’s exactly what we are.

Writing

Below you’ll find the reasons why I write from an explicitly Christian perspective. At present I’m not able to muster and organize thoughts sufficient to finish the last ten chapters of my second novel. But everyday I pray the Lord will help me accomplish it.

Meanwhile, between shopping and baking and gift wrapping, perhaps you’ll give a thought and prayer to those whose Christmas is saturated in misery even as they grasp at unshakable hope.

~ ~ ~

Family History: Why I Write Christian Historical Fiction 

11051920_978901955477707_2514510510571933600_o
Ella and W.T. Banks, Oklahoma 1910

Family history claims the heart of why I write Christian historical fiction.

First of all, as a child, I sat on my grandmother Ella’s lap for her stories about life in Indian Territorybefore Oklahoma oklahoma-43773_1280became a state. And her hardships decades later. Also my mother Goldie spoke of her life in Oklahoma and Texas during the first half of the 20th Century. 

Similarly, my own memories developed in the 1940s and beyond. Family tales of grit and faith overcoming hardship and heartbreak mesmerized me. I often imagined story lines based on memories. 

My “Before”

First, I was born the only daughter of a cotton farmer in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas in the 1940s. As a result, I experienced none of what other kids enjoyed—the neighborhood. Consequently, my first friends were the children of the kind, hard-working Mexican laborers on our farm. Then my circle expanded to include friends just down the unpaved road. Those farmers’ daughters constituted my neighborhood.

“Birth” as a Reader

Because school friends in town lived several miles away, I learned early on to love reading. As a preschooler, I enjoyed a book with audio accompaniment: Bozo Under the Sea. I wore out the book and record! Because Jack & Janet, Dick & Jane, and Tip & Sally fascinated me in first grade, come summertime, you could find me in the community library. books-942602_1280The air conditioning created a crisp, welcoming atmosphere. As a result, I wanted to stay all day. I can still feel the air and get a whiff of the distinctive scent of book bindings.

Certainly, by fourth grade my appetite for reading was insatiable. With a dictionary at my side, I read Little Women and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. In fifth grade, The Secret Garden and Anne of Green Gables. Similarly, in sixth grade I read Where the Red Fern Grows and The Red Badge of fern-489910_1280Courage. Likewise, by middle school, I was tackling Charles Dickens: A Christmas Carol, The Adventures of Oliver Twist, and A Tale of Two Cities. And Gone with the WindLater on, To Kill a Mockingbird  made an indelible imprint on my heart and conscience. I could go on, but you get the picture. As a result, I cared little about genre, setting, or plot. Above all, I treasured the characters and experienced their emotions, failures, and triumphs. 

“Birth” as a Writer: Family History

Due to attending Abilene Christian University five hundred miles away from home, I delighted daily in writing letters. I told Mother and Daddy and my brother Dale every move I made, no doubt with editorial embellishments. Then a quirky English professor asked if I’d ever considered creative writing as a career. In a word—No—but his discovering my secret longing intrigued me. You see, baring my soul in print—a reality I knew writing would entail—was more than I could consider.

Ella of The Calling of Ella McFarland is named for my grandmother (center), Ella Pyle Banks Knox. I called her Mama. She birthed 9 children and buried 5, as well as 2 husbands. She deserves to have the heroine of a novel named for her. (My mother Goldie is second from the left.)

Then, I wrote down family history. Mother’s clan migrated in 1923 from Oklahoma to the southernmost tip of Texas in a train of seven covered wagons, a novelty on the roads even then. So I set down for posterity my family’s recollections of their caravan journey. It turned out to be no more than a cataloging of who traveled in which wagons, where they stopped and for what purpose, and the spectacle they presented along the way. As a result, it ignited a desire to write historical fiction based in family history. I had a well spring from which to draw.

“Growing Up” as a Writer

Later, life took me elsewhere in Texas and Alabama and Germany, with fun-filled forays into Great Britain, South America, Europe, and Scandinavia. I was an Army spouse rearing children and living life. Therefore, my writing pen sat in a drawer. Years later, when my The Calling of Ella McFarland by Linda Brooks Davisdaughter struggled with an at-risk triplet pregnancy and her three 2 ½ pound babies fought for survival, a desire to release the storehouse of words I’d long bottled up tugged at my heart. I vowed would devote the rest of my life to them. And if disabilities didn’t plague them and they could read, I would leave them a legacy of faith in writing.

Nine years later, my story won the prestigious Jerry B. Jenkins Operation First Novel award. Thereafter, Mountainview Books released The Calling of Ella McFarland in December 2015. In August 2016 it won another prestigious award: American Christian Fiction Writers’ Carol Award.

Consequently, I’m certain these successes came from my faithful God who affirmed my vow: to leave a legacy of faith in writing. Rather than shy away from outright Christian faith, the presentation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is a must in my stories. 

Writing Well Spring: Family History

Certain ancestors and their experiences appear in my stories. First of all, there’s bit of my grandmother and a strong dash of my mother in one character. Then my father’s sterling qualities appear in another. In contrast, there’s a low-down family reprobate in another. Certainly, there’s cotton planting, hoeing, and harvest time. The glorious Picking_Cotton_by_Lewis_W._Hine,_1916_(LOC)_(491307954)aroma of fresh-picked cotton and the nothing-in-the-world-like-it odor from the pig pen. Similarly, our sewing machine whirring. The clink of a milk pail. A cow hollering to be milked. Likewise, summer’s sun on my face, the hearty South Texas wind in my hair, and the comfort of backing up to a wall heater on a cold winter morning. As a result, all find their way into my stories. 

palm-trees-360885_1280

Above all—my family’s history, my own life, and the kaleidoscope of lives in my storiesJesus appears as the golden thread linking the past to the present and beyond. Because Jesus turns an ordinary morning into a hint of the “Sweet By & By,” He adds the delicate aroma of the Rose of Sharon to the sultry stillness before a summer storm. Most importantly, He wraps the bitterness of grief and failure in the richness of His incomparable grace.

My Purpose as a Writer

Tales that reach beyond the ordinary to the extraordinary because of Jesus are the stories I write by His grace.

I pray each of you will enjoy a Christmas packed with love, peace, and joy and that you’ll come away from it saying, “This was the best Christmas of all.”

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8 thoughts on “Let’s Chat! With Yours Truly

  1. Marilyn R

    My heart breaks for you and all families involved. Prayers for all. Thankful our hope is in Jesus Christ even in the darkest valleys.

     
     
    1. I met a young mother from Switzerland recently. She said in their schools sex education begins in Kindergarten and it includes—get this—believe it or not … instruction in masturbation. Parents may “opt out,” if they choose, but I wonder how long that will continue. Come quickly, Lord! (Sorry if my frankness offends you. It’s just that the whole subject is so offensive that sometimes I think stopping short of using offensive frankness somehow takes away from the weightiness of the subject matter.) I also heard recently from a couple who have been seeing a counselor that the counselor—a contractee of CPS—believes sex education is the school’s—-and ONLY the school’s—responsibility. And that parents should NOT get involved.

       
       
  2. Carlene

    Heartbreaking.

     
     
    1. In the truest, deepest sense, Carlene. Come quickly, Lord!

       
       
  3. My dear friend, I weep and pray with you.

     
     
    1. When I consider the trauma and grief of this one situation—more than mere humans can withstand—I’m reminded that Jesus took on the sin of the whole world … every single lie, murder, betrayal, cruelty in every form, all grief and shame and regret, unfulfilled longings, tears and groans and screams … from the beginning of time until time is no more, I stand amazed anew in the presence of Jesus the Nazarene. Come quickly, Lord.

       
       
  4. Joyce Herron

    Neither of us could imagine that in our future when we were in the fifth and sixth grades in Raymondville TX the state of our world today. Christians have been under attack for several decades and the assault keeps increasing. CPS or whatever a state calls their agency, has gone off the tracks in their mission to protect children.

    Thank you for sharing this story. I will be praying for your family friends and those precious children.

     
     
    1. No, Joyce, we couldn’t have imagined it. The evil Satan is capable of is unimaginable. We are praying Jesus will take this horrid experience and use it to bring glory to His precious name. Come quickly, Lord!

       
       

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