My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island + 2 Giveaways



My Heart Belongs on Mackinac island
Written by: Carrie Fancett Pagels
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Month, Year: June 2017

About the Book:

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?

My Thoughts:

Maude Welling’s privileged life is suddenly upended when her intended arrives on Mackinac Island with a new woman on his arm…his wife. While heartbroken, Maude settles in her heart to avoid them both, which should be easy enough to do with an Inn to run. But when her father hears the news, he decides its time to sell the Inn and move to a farm, no matter that doing so means selling Maude’s inheritance. Determined to prove her mettle and business savvy, Maude secretly takes a job as a maid at a completing hotel. Things can only go up once you’ve reached rock bottom, right?

Ben Steffans smells a scandal waiting to happen and, posing as a wealthy industrialist, takes his intrigue to Mackinac Island to sniff out a story. What he doesn’t prepare for is meeting a gorgeous woman who steals his heart immediately upon arriving on the island. Its all Ben can do to stay focused on his many lies his undercover identity takes him when all he longs to do is be honest and open with Maude. But as trouble rise on the island, will Ben and Maude reveal their true selves to one another and allow love in?

My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island is a cute story with endearing characters, full of deception, bravery, and redemption. While the novel is part of a series, it works well as a stand-alone story. This charming book will keep readers intrigued with its plots and sub-plots, numerous characters, and beautiful descriptions of island life. In fact, after reading about this lovely place, I wish I was on Mackinac Island right now! 🙂

About the Author:



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

Interview with Carrie Fancett Pagels:

Do you have any funny stories from fans meeting you for the first time?
I don’t think funny stories but I have been so blessed by the readers I’ve met, especially last year in Shepherd Michigan when Joyce Noyes brought her absolutely adorable granddaughters with her!

What did your writing process for My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island look like? Ohmygoodnessgraciousmeohmy! This was like having a problem child who needed a lot of therapy and rehab!

What type of research did you do for My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island?
Did you do any traveling for this research? I actually lived on and worked on the island as a teenager and grew up in the area. And I’ve been there often visiting. One of my close friends has family from the island and she inspired that aspect of the story.  We specifically stayed at both the Grand Hotel for research and at the Windermere, which is the inspiration for my heroine’s inn.

What inspired the idea for My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island?
I wondered what an independent miss, brought up by the strong women of the island, would do if her father resisted her becoming a business manager/inn manager which is her birthright but is at a time when young women were sheltered.

What do you want readers to take away from reading My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island?
The only inheritance you need to concern yourself with is that of being a child of the living God.

Do you have any advice you would give to other potential authors?
Don’t give up if you have a manuscript that is giving you fits, not if the Lord tells you to keep working on it. Hire the best freelance editors that you can and pray! This problem child became an RT Book Reviews Top Pick for July PTL!

Guest Post from Carrie Fancett Pagels:

I lived on Mackinac Island, working at a restaurant there. I loved it! It’s a magical place and I’ve gone back many times since then! I was just there, today, in fact. Also, I have a dear friend, Rosemary Wellington, whose family is from the island and during a visit to the island with her, I got inspired to think about a story set there. Her cousin is mayor of the island and owns the Windermere Hotel. My husband and I stayed there a few years back to research the story and the beautiful hotel did inspire me to use it as a prototype for “Winds of Mackinac” in the novel.

​Also, while working on the core premise for this story, I was praying about the struggle I was having.  I call this book my “Problem Child Manuscript.” But God is good and faithful – while at church after praying, although my pastor (and also a write) Larry was stuck at an airport, trying to return from Haiti but Seth, our college student-age pastor, gave the sermon for Larry. And it was an amazing message inspired by Mark Twain’s The Prince and The Pauper! And that really reinforced what I was already trying to do but was struggling with.  You see, our identity has to stem from what it is in Christ. He calls us to a mission. And He gifts us to enable us and provides when we cannot do. Our King calls us His children. Wow! That makes us princes and princesses of the King.

One of the things I’ve you enjoyed most about writing this book has been getting to hang out in Mackinac Island story world even when I wasn’t there! I had major surgery one year and couldn’t go – but I still got to “visit” by writing about it! We’re here right now and it’s so beautiful in the summer.  The island, itself, is an inspiration for many more stories to come!

Seven Facts About Mackinac Island:

Did you include a real historical character or incident in your story?
Yes, I was told that Mark Twain had come to the island that summer. Also, the Round Island Lighthouse was being built that year.

Why did you choose the year your book is set?
My grandmother, Maude Carrie Williams Fancett was born in 1895. I never knew her. The poor dear died in her 30s from pneumonia when my father was 12-years-old (1930).

What research did you have to look up to make your character’s professional decisions authentic?
For Maude, because I grew up not far from the island, and know people whose families were from the island, I knew that this almost-Yooper woman could have and probably would have wanted to run her family’s inn – especially since this was promised to her. And although this was the Gilded Age, the setting is up in an island flanked by north woods at that time! Her father, though, grew up in lower Michigan and was more traditional.  For Ben, I had to look into what reporters were doing then, too. And for him to get ahead, he’d have been tempted to give into dirty or yellow journalism.

What research book or website used to write this book was your favorite to peruse?
Oh don’t start me on that! There are a gazillion books about Mackinac Island! I love them all! One of my favorites is by Phil Porter. He’s the Mackinac Historic State Parks Director and an author. I’m a Phil Porter fangirl and I’m looking forward to meeting him in person (squee!!!) when we are up there!

Did you stumble upon anything in your research for this book that made you sad?
The sicknesses that could kill you at that time are so preventable now. So there were people dying from ongoing bronchitis or pneumonia who couldn’t fight it.

Did you stumble upon anything in your research for this book that made you squirm?
The whole chamber pot thing. I ended up cutting out a chamber pot collection scene. It was just too ew!!!

Did you stumble upon anything in your research for this book that made you laugh?
The ladies’ outfits for bicycling! They were so wild!

Blog Stops:

July 10–Novel-ties*
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

Two Giveaways:

Grand Prize Giveaway – Kindle Fire + Mackinac Gift Pack Set: postcards from Mackinac Island, bookmarks, hand-made earrings, winner’s choice of a signed paperback of this novel (or an upcoming release or other book if you already have read My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island), and a Mackinac Island mug. Click on the photo below to enter.


Second Giveaway: If 10 or more unique commenters post on this blog, one commenter will be selected to receive a print copy of Seven Brides for Seven Mail-Order Husbands (US only). Leave a comment below to enter!


I was graciously provided a copy of this novel and compensated from Singing Librarian Books and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own. 


12 Comments Add yours

  1. Joyce J says:

    This book looks so romantic. Can’t wait to read it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Joyce, yes it is very romantic but also has a lot of history in it, too! I hope you’ll read Ben and Maude’s story soon! Blessings!


  2. Pam Graber says:

    I’ve been to Mackinac Island several times. There is a peaceful magic there that calms my spirit. The beauty grabs me and the history of the place is enthralling. Can’t wait to read this book and take myself back there!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Pam. There is something deeply spiritual about the island. It is a beautiful place, set in the Straits of Mackinac. I hope this story will take you back to the island!


  3. Winnie Thomas says:

    I’d love to go to Mackinac Island. Maybe someday I’ll make it. I’m excited to read this book.


    1. I hope you’ll enjoy this novel, Winnie, and be transported to another time and place! Blessings!


  4. Michele Hayes says:

    I’ve never been to Mackinac Island. Sounds like a great place and story.


    1. Thanks, Michele! I hope you get a chance to visit — either via my story or in person or both! Blessings!


  5. Trixi says:

    Carrie, I love how you describe your book as “Problem Child Manuscript.” I can see where some books might be like that when it comes to writing them. 🙂
    Lovely review! I’ve read about three of these books and enjoyed each one, I know I’d love this one just as much!


  6. What an exciting giveaway. I like finding so many authors to follow. This book idea has me intrigued too. I love historical romance. Thank you!


  7. lorsna says:

    The chamber pot aspect, yes, I don’t think I could have dealt with that! I can’t wait to read the book soon!


  8. Renee Riva says:

    I love this cover! it makes me feel like visiting the island…or at least reading the story!!


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