Author Interview and Giveaway – Carrie Fancett Pagels – The Christy Lumber Camp Series

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Carrie Fancett Pagels is such a wonderfully sweet lady who loves to recommend books to readers (as you’ll see by her long list of recommendations and praises for favorite authors below!) and I hope you’ll enjoy learning a bit about her lumberjack stories! SEVERAL Giveaways at the bottom, don’t miss out on your chance for some good reading!


The Fruitcake Challenge

The Fruitcake Challege series cover canvaWhen new lumberjack, Tom Jeffries, tells the camp cook, Jo Christy, that he’ll marry her if she can make a fruitcake, “as good as the one my mother makes,” she rises to the occasion. After all, he’s the handsomest, smartest, and strongest axman her camp-boss father has ever had in his camp—and the cockiest. And she intends to bring this lumberjack down a notch or three by refusing his proposal. The fruitcake wars are on! All the shanty boys and Jo’s cooking helpers chip in with their recipes but Jo finds she’ll have to enlist more help—and begins corresponding with Tom’s mother.

Jo is ready to find another life outside of the camps and plans that don’t include any shanty boys. But will a lumberjack keep her in the very place she’s sworn to leave?

The Lumberjacks’ BallA decade after surviving a brutal attack, a mercantile owner’s daughter begins her life anew in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. A gifted craftsman wishes to leave the lumber camp and seeks employment at her new store. When his presence dredges up memories she wishes to suppress, the proprietress must learn to face her past and open her heart. When complications arise, will they overcome adversity in time for The Lumberjacks’ Ball?

Carrie’s WebsiteCarrie+pro+headshot+B&W+pm

Carrie runs the Overcoming with God blog

Make sure you put that in your blog feed.

Lots of Book Reviews and Giveaways there!


Questions about Carrie’s Story

Were there any historical facts that you discovered in your research that made you change something in your story?

Although my cousin’s wife, Jacqueline Williams (thank you Jackie!), told me that the Upper Peninsula was a bustling place, especially with hotels, during the turn of the century, I hadn’t realized that St. Ignace had become a vibrant small city with FOUR newspapers! So the smaller town that I pictured wasn’t correct. And even though I grew up near this town, and thought I knew our history in the Eastern Upper Peninsula, I did not realize.

Did you stumble upon anything in your research for this book that made you sad or that made you squirm?

YES!!! The original story was changed because I came across a lumberjack song that creeped me out. It was about a lumberjack going to a sweet young woman’s home, presumably his friend, taking her to the river and killing her. I’d had a different story in mind for The Lumberjacks’ Ball but when I came across that horrid song I added that information into this book.


Questions about Carrie’s Reading

What other Christian Historical Novels are similar to yours in setting or storyline?

Serena B. Miller’s series set in Michigan, in particular The Measure of Katie Calloway



Deanne Gist’s lumberjack story A Bride in the Bargain



And Jody Hedlund’s lumberjack stories, but I’m coming at it from a softer and gentler approach than Jody did.


Which books got you hooked on reading Christian Historicals?

Bodie Thoene’s books, particularly the Zion series, from over 25 years ago.  My best friend, Libbie Cornett, suggested Bodie’s books to me when I was recovering from C-section with my daughter. I got hooked and I also suggested them to my mother-in-law, who loved their stories and writing. I tell Libbie and Bodie that it is their “fault” I gave up being a psychologist and became an author 😉 (There were other reasons, like RA, but I like to tease!) I DID think—wow I would LOVE to write like her!!! Some day, maybe…. We’ll see if God can get me anywhere in the same stratosphere with Bodie Thoene!




What Christian Historical Novel taught you something about the craft of writing because it was so well done? And tell us a bit about what it taught you.


Ohmygoodnessgraciousmeohmy – I read a novel by Michelle Griep this winter that made me want to STOP writing because it was so good. I will be honest, it was so beyond me that I couldn’t really grasp how or why is was so different from mine because I was so immersed plus I was constantly thinking, wow, how did she do that.  Maybe I’ll read it again and see.


Tamera Alexander’s stories have taught me about telling your story, the unique story that must be told.


Julie Lessman’s stories have taught me about romance and characterization.


Julie Klassen’s are about making your story a little quirky and writing outside of the box.


MaryLu Tyndall has an inclusive approach that I love—she includes characters who are different and sometimes difficult.


Serena B. Miller has it all and some set in the great North woods where I grew up!


Jen Turano has taught me that spunky isn’t totally out of my realm—The Fruitcake Challenge was a spunky story, and I think it went well!


Which was the last Christian Historical Novel you read, and what was your favorite thing about it?

I just read a novella by Melissa Jagears that is part of a collection from Barbour. What I liked about it was that the characters were “mature”! I’d heard over and over you can’t have a hero and heroine over 35, and that is just ridiculous. So I was so thrilled with Melissa and Barbour for publishing a mature romance!

(Melissa says, Okay, I just have to say, if my next birthday throws me into the too mature to fall in love category…..stick a fork in me, I’m done!)


Carrie’s been nice enough to help me pile on the Giveaways! She’s offering both books of her series in any format to a reader, Jen Turano’s After a Fashion in Paperback, MaryLu Tyndall’s A Veil of Pearls in paperback and I’m giving away winner’s choice of ebook of any of the books mentioned above. So FOUR winners. (If the winner chooses Carrie’s books, I’ll buy both if desired.) Enter the Rafflecopter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Also Carrie has a virtual tea party scheduled that you should check out.

The Tea Party on Colonial Quills is the third Friday in May (15th). The Facebook Party is at this link from 3-6 pm EST. At the FB party, we encourage our readers to post pictures of themselves in their favorite old fashioned party clothing or tea party gowns. We also post pictures of our settings, recipes, music that fits with our new releases, etc. Giveaways are over on the Colonial Quills blog, though. The FB party is the place where we go to show off our party shoes, etc.!

The blog party is at this link that same day, all day till 9 pm EST. To ENTER, visitors MUST comment on the Colonial Quills blog.