Writing Tips — Carrie Fancett Pagels, Ph.D

Today I’m happy to introduce Carrie to you…


ECPA-bestselling author Carrie Fancett Pagels, Ph.D., is the award-winning author of fifteen 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.

Website: www.carriefancettpagels.com

Blogs: Overcoming With God and Colonial Quills

Facebook Author Page

Facebook Personal Page





Amazon author page


Newsletter sign up


Choosing Joy

Thank you Darlene, for having me as a guest on your blog! I’m posting about making the choice to deliberately pursue joy. I was recently blessed with the ability to spend a month in Mackinaw City, with a few nights on Mackinac Island, too. We had such an amazing time! One thing I became very mindful of was of choosing joy. For someone with an autoimmune disorder (I’m disabled from Rheumatoid Arthritis that has never gone into remission) I’ve known for a long time that despite my pain I had to pursue joy with God. Joy in the Word. Joy in spending time with the Lord.

But up North, I became more mindful of the pursuit of joy in other ways. God surrounds us with people who can either uplift us or bring us down. This was the longest time I’d spent near the area I grew up in since I’d left for graduate school many years ago. And because Northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula are vacation destinations, you have a lot of happy people coming through because they are there to relax, decompress, and enjoy time with one another. Each morning, from our rental cottage, we’d hear the Shipler ferry dock personnel announcing the boarding times, on the hour. Another group of people were enjoying the opportunity to take a beautiful ride across the straits to magical Mackinac Island.

I have to say, compared to where I live, the people we encountered in the area were happy, upbeat, polite, and positive. The locals almost all either worked two or three hours or if they owned a business, they were putting in 12 hours days, seven days a week. They have to get their work in while all the tourists are there, about three months out of the year. There are only about 800 people who are year-round residents but on any given day, there can be 20,000 people in the area!

It seemed to me, that residents were choosing joy, and to be engaged with people. Where I live, I have to admit, I don’t see that quite so much. And I’ve become more cognizant of “psychic vampires” – people who suck the energy out of you. God doesn’t call us to a life where we continue to engage with such people. Sometimes if God has told us to choose joy in relationships, that means ending certain “friendships” with people who really aren’t our friends. God knows who they are. And sometimes He shows us, too.

Question: Have you had God call you to a life of joy? What changes has that meant for you?

Giveaway: A copy of My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island: Maude’s Mooring or one of Carrie’s other books.

My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island: Maude’s Mooring

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 Steffan, 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?

Links to purchase:

My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island: Maude’s Mooring (Barbour Publishing, July 2017)

Barbour Publishing http://www.barbourbooks.com/product/My-Heart-Belongs-on-Mackinac-Island,14733.aspx?Tab=Books&sj=0

Barnes & Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/my-heart-belongs-on-mackinac-island-carrie-fancett-pagels/1125051921?ean=9781683220886

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/My-Heart-Belongs-Mackinac-Island/dp/1683220889/ref=sr_1_16?ie=UTF8&qid=1481305286&sr=8-16&keywords=fancett

CBD https://www.christianbook.com/heart-belongs-mackinac-island-maudes-mooring/carrie-pagels/9781683220886/pd/220886?product_redirect=1&Ntt=220886&item_code=&Ntk=keywords&event=ESRCP

Book Depository http://www.bookdepository.com/My-Heart-Belongs-on-Mackinac-Island-Carrie-Fancett-Pagels/9781683220886?ref=grid-view

Target http://www.target.com/p/my-heart-belongs-on-mackinac-island-maude-s-mooring-paperback-carrie-fancett-pagels/-/A-52027933

20 replies
  1. Ausjenny
    Ausjenny says:

    I have read and loved this book. I want to go there. I always remember mum speaking in church just a short testimony about joy. She spoke about how the difference between being happy and joyful. Talked about even when bad things happen or you are not feeling well or having issues you can still have Joy if you love God and that Joy isn’t the same as happiness.
    I understand your chronic pain as I too have it as you know. I had someone say yesterday at church you are looking really well, when inside I am in so much pain I feel like crying, I have said looks can be deceptive and they made a comment that I was looking good because I was able to smile and look happy despite the pain. I think this is where Joy comes in. You can sit in a corner and sulk or you can accept life as it is and ask God to give you the strength to handle each day.

    • Carrie Fancett Pagels
      Carrie Fancett Pagels says:

      I agree, Jenny! I remember one of the first times I really “got” this about having joy even when in pain. We were living in New York state and I was in severe debilitating pain. The people at my daughter’s school would ask me every day how I was (I had to drive her to and from school because she’d had a skull fracture falling down the stairs of our rental home.) And finally I responded, “I have joy. No matter what, I have joy.” Blessings to you my friend!

  2. Connie Saunders
    Connie Saunders says:

    Hi Carrie. So fun to read more of your thoughts. I already have Mackinac Island and it’s a keeper!

  3. Diana Montgomery
    Diana Montgomery says:

    Beautiful blog. I love Carrie’s books. God’s joy gave me back my life. Through a time of deep depression it was through Christ I found joy and I healed. I can’t remember that whole year of my life but to have found God’s joy and my spirit back in my soul was a healing. It reminded me to keep my eyes on Him and not to think I can conquer everything on mine own. Very big trial and I hope I pleased the Lord through it.

  4. C_Patterson
    C_Patterson says:

    A fellow displaced Yooper here (Escanaba born and bred). I always love to see books on Michigan and especially Mackinac Island, such a magical place. You’re a new author for me and I’ll have to check this book out for sure.

  5. Rory Lynn
    Rory Lynn says:

    What you said is so very true Carrie..choosing joy makes life easier not matter the situation. I am so happy I got to visit the U. P. Again this year it is always relaxing..glad you had great promise with your book..would love to have a chance to win this book..thanks for a chance

  6. Mary Merth
    Mary Merth says:

    At this time in my life I needed to read your encouraging uplifting testimony and words. Dealing with autoimmune diseases such the life out of you some days. My scripture the Lord has given me through this time is In Christ I am strong and overcome because His grace is sufficient! In the Voice Bible I love the way it’s worded:
    2 Corinthians 12:1, 9-10
    Sincerity is a difficult thing to judge. The commitment that people have to a cause can only be determined over time. One test might be: do they persevere through hardships and challenges? In this regard, Paul is without equal. If the cause of Jesus were a fleeting interest or a halfhearted pursuit, then he would have given up after his first beating. But Paul’s compassion for those who did not know the beauty of the gospel was stubborn and unyielding. This persecutor-turned-emissary always had his critics. But who could call him insincere? Paul is speaking of himself in in an odd, third-person way. He writes cryptically for a purpose: to distract from the fact that, at least for the moment, he is boasting of something other than weakness. In heavenly journeys, Paul has seen amazing sights and heard amazing sounds—sights and sounds no human can or should ever speak of. But God adds something to keep Paul from being carried away by such ecstasies: He gives His emissary “a thorn in the flesh.” Perhaps it is a chronic physical or emotional illness he suffers. Perhaps it is the steady stream of opponents who follow Paul wherever he goes. In God’s wisdom, Paul doesn’t say because his listeners would likely fixate on whatever problem he has in unhealthy ways. That’s what humans do. Still Paul believes that God sent this unwelcome messenger, so he pleads with God three times to remove it. Why just three times? Why doesn’t he bombard heaven daily with his pleas? Well, it may be because he knows Jesus prayed three times in the garden for the cup of suffering to be removed. Ultimately Jesus surrendered to the will of the Father, and Paul does too: “Grace is enough, Paul. Grace is enough.” Boasting like this is necessary, but it’s unbecoming and probably unavailing. Since you won’t hear me any other way, let me tell you about visions and revelations I received of the Lord. and finally He said to me, “My grace is enough to cover and sustain you. My power is made perfect in weakness.” So ask me about my thorn, inquire about my weaknesses, and I will gladly go on and on—I would rather stake my claim in these and have the power of the Anointed One at home within me. I am at peace and even take pleasure in any weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and afflictions for the sake of the Anointed because when I am at my weakest, He makes me strong.
    Psalm 30:5
    “His wrath, you see, is fleeting, but His grace lasts a lifetime. The deepest pains may linger through the night, but joy greets the soul with the smile of morning.” Thank God for the Joy in the wee hours of the morning when pain tries to pull one down. The best part our Lord God loves to sing and dance over us in Zephaniah 3:18 I believe it is. Worship and praise bring Joy, healing and laughter daily. May God bless what you put your hands too. Thank you.


Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *