Series: My Heart Belongs
Genre: Adult, Christian, Fiction, Historical, Romance
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 www.CarrieFancettPagels.com.
- What is the book about?
This is a Prince and the Pauper type of story in a way. We have to figure out that God, our heavenly King, is our Father and what really matters comes from Him.
- What inspired you to write the book?
I love Mackinac Island and I wanted a story that more reflected how I understood the island, which is different from some fiction I’ve read which didn’t seem historically accurate to me.
- Are your characters reflections of people in your life? Why or why not?
That’s not a good idea to get in the habit of doing. While bits and pieces of real people might slip in, it is not a good idea in fiction to be drawing too heavily from real people. My son was younger at the time I started this story and there’s a little bit of Clark in Jack but not a lot.
- What is your writing space like?
I work outside whenever possible. At home it is on my deck. Here in Mackinaw City, it is outside near the little garden in the front.
- How do you connect with your characters?
I write “in character” so I try to get into the mindset of and become that character while writing in their point of view. I play music from the era, have scents around me from their time, and I try to put myself in their location for research whenever possible.
- What is something you want your readers to take away from reading this book?
God gives you gifts and talents that He wants you to use – don’t let earthly distractions draw you away from His purpose for your life.
- Any words for your fans?
I am disabled from rheumatoid arthritis and from other physical issues. Anything I do or accomplish is from Him. So be His fan. I’m just a humble servant. God bless!
Maude Welling’s twelve-year-old brother, Jack, raced across the waxed wood floor of the soda shop, straight toward her, then skidded to a halt.
“Greyson’s back!” His loud pronouncement caused several people seated at nearby tables, to cease their conversation and look up.
Perched atop an oak stool at the counter, Maude choked, in surprise, on her cherry phosphate and struggled to maintain her balance. Finally, he was home—and she would see him face-to-face. She pushed the frosted glass away and grabbed the napkin from her lap and wiped her mouth, dread and excitement comingling in her gut. She looked down to inspect her white cotton pin-tucked bodice.
Finding a tiny spot above her waist, she frantically dabbed at the crimson dots. “I need some seltzer water, quick.”
Al spritzed some seltzer on a clean white cloth and passed it to her.
“Thanks.” Luckily the red stain began to blot up. “There. That’s better.”
Hands shaking, Maude slid her uncle’s reconciled account records across the marble counter to him. Soon Father would allow her to resume handling the Winds of Mackinac record keeping, once she was married to her childhood sweetheart. “Your books are all in order now, Uncle Al.”
He winked at her. “You need to get to the dock.”
Beside her, Jack shifted from foot to foot, his jaw muscles twitching. She realized that he hadn’t said another word since coming into the shop.
Something was wrong. Maude’s sweetheart had returned to Mackinac Island. Everyone should be smiling, happy for her. Even Maude’s own hands perspired, as they did when she was afraid, not when she was excited.
Jack drew closer and tugged at her mutton-leg sleeve. “Sis, he’s got someone with him—real pretty redhead.”
Maude stiffened from the top of her pinned-up hair, down to her tailbone. No word from Greyson in over a month. She glanced at her bare left hand. Snapping her mossy-colored short capelet up from the coat rack, she draped it across her arm.
“What would you know, Jack? He was probably just being polite to someone.”
Jack scowled. “Yeah, right. Thought he was gonna marry you—not some old carrot top.” Her brother ran from her, out into the street, the bell ringing as the glass-paned door slammed shut.
July 11–By The Book
July 12–Katie’s Clean Book Collection
July 14–A Baker’s Perspective*
July 15–Encouraging Words from the Tea Queen
July 17–Faithfully Bookish
July 18–Cafinated Reads
July 19–Baker Kella*
July 20–Reading Is My SuperPower*
July 21–Paulette’s Papers
July 22–Singing Librarian Books