11 June 2019

Empty Nests & New Release!


When we returned from Europe recently, we soon found that a mother Robin had made a nest atop our front entryway light! An unconventional place for our yard (we have lots of nests in various huge mature trees we have in our yard) and I wasn't real happy with mama bird!
She had already deposited three beautiful blue eggs into her nest. I gave a big sigh and told my husband. We ordinarily go out the back of our house. Now going out our own front door was an issue because it scared mama bird off the nest. Another big sigh.
And if I accidentally came out the front door they started squawking as if I was mama bird and gonna give them some yummy worms to eat. Ummmm, not!!! The one on the right always had his or her little beak open when I accidentally exited through my very own front door.
Then I got this rather sweet sigh-worthy shot! The baby robins were maturing! They were getting ready to fly on their own! This was so cool!  Meanwhile, I had my very own book baby trying to make its way finally into the world.

Mercy in a Red Cloak is a story I worked on for almost a decade. Unlike these robins, the hatched notion for my baby took a long time from egg to flight! I feel like my hero, Shadrach Clark, has finally flown off on his own!

Then, one day recently when I took a picture of the nest with my iPhone, look what I found! The nest was empty! I told my husband. Shortly thereafter, my own book baby took flight off to Kindle world. I don't know where the robins are, but I do know that my story is now out there ready to fly all over the world!
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Giveaway: A Kindle copy of Mercy in a Red Cloak to one of my readers. Answer this question: Have you had a transition or a nest that has emptied recently? What kind of situation was it?

02 June 2019

Changes are in God's Hands -- and Reflect His Plans

Cameo Courtships from Barbour Publishing June 2019
You might be wondering what this cover form Cameo Courtships, by Susanne Dietze, Debra E. Marvin, Jennifer Uhlarik, and Kathleen Y'Barbo has to do with my topic of change. You see, this collection was originally pitched in a proposal that included me and several other authors. Barbour Publishing had been putting out amazing, and great value, collections with seven to nine novellas in each one. I've been in some of those collections, myself, and was blessed by it. You can imagine how expensive it must be to print those large (over 400 good-sized pages) with the beautiful deckle edges they had on them. Then things were changed up and the new collections were determined to have only four authors in them. So the leads for each proposal had to make adjustments. In this case, lovely Susie Dietze had to figure out how to go forward. This was not the only proposal that I was part of where the lead had to make corrections. I volunteered out of another, which will be published later this year. And I had one of my own (Lessons on Love) which will be published in October with three other authors including the fabulous Rita-finalist Susanne Dietze, who was the lead on the Cameo Courtship collection.

Change in life is inevitable, isn't it? Right now one of my author friends and I are working with four different possible proposals, multiple authors. We've already had two authors opt out of one of the collection ideas and another author join us. One thing that hasn't changed is that all of the authors serve God and all write for His glory. And that's what matters. Change will happen, but it's all in God's hands. We don't always like the changes that life brings, but when we trust God's provision, we'll be headed in the right direction.

Giveaway: I'm giving away a copy of this beautiful new release -- Cameo Courtship. Answer this question to enter: Are you surprised by changes or are you more likely to keep rolling on?

05 May 2019

Dreams Come True -- God's Mercies

Carrie Fancett Pagels on board the Emerald Dawn
Above is a picture of a dream coming true! That's me holding a copy of my novel, Saving the Marquise's Granddaughter (Pelican), which released in 2016.  When I was researching and writing this book, I prayed that I'd someday get to go to Europe and to the Palatinate of Germany and to France, where this story was set. Fast forward in time, and that hadn't happened but my book baby had received a starred Romantic Times Book Reviews review when it released. Then this winter, my in-laws offered to bring my husband and I on their Rhine River Cruise in Europe, which was such an unexpected blessing. And the wonderful cruise director, Michael, on the Emerald Dawn, allowed me to leave a copy of my book for their library in the lounge!

A trip like this was on my bucket list. Don't you love it when God is merciful and gives you these opportunities? We had satan throwing all kinds of obstacles in our way after my in-laws graciously gave us this offer. But the Lord made a path so we could go. Multiple problems were addressed. Then one of my dear friends, Rosemary, came and stayed with our son for the twelve days we were gone. I'd always dreamed of taking a copy of my novel with me when I went to the setting of the story. I'd never been to Europe and almost all of my stories are set in locations that I knew well. I only knew Suzanne and Johan's "world" from doing diligent research. Now I was getting to see it!

One of the places I most wanted to visit was Cologne Cathedral (Koln, if you are in Germany). Here's a picture of me with Joan and Don Pagels in front of this gorgeous building.

Joan, Don, & Carrie Fancett Pagels in front of Cologne Cathedral, Germany, April 2019

When I was going some genealogical research on Johan Adam Rousch, my ancestor, I learned some earlier ancestors studied there. I read about the massive statue figures embedded in the exterior walls of the soaring cathedral. I wondered what they would look like in person. I stood and gaped at them, when we got there. I was dumbstruck by the beauty of them. Check out some distance views and other aerial pictures on Wikipedia (click here.) The cathedral is stunning and I could have spent days here and at the other cathedrals on the trip. Here are a few pictures of the exterior statues of which there are many:





I'd also hoped to make it to Aachen Cathedral, which is included in my story (and is not on the Rhine River). Another dream for another day and more of God's mercies to come!!!

Giveaway: Take your own trip to Europe and the Rhine River by reading my novel Saving the Marquise's Granddaughter! I'm giving away a gently used copy to one of my commenters, USA only. Answer this question: When has God given you an unexpected blessing?

30 March 2019

Marjorie Vawter Top 100 Promises of the Bible & Giveaway

Author Marjorie Vawter

Over the years, I’ve written several devotional books. I wrote Top 100 Promises of the Bible in the middle of a move from SW Missouri back to Colorado. It was difficult to write, mostly because of not having our own home at the time. Friends opened their home to us, and for four and a half months we searched for a house to rent. (The housing in the Denver area is SO expensive and ridiculously out of line, but God provided.) The more I wrote, the more I realized how many of the promises we’d chosen to write about were being fulfilled each day. God truly revealed Himself as I struggled to find time to write. 

The back cover of the  Top 100 Promises of the Bible copy says, “The Bible is full of thousands of God’s promises, and here are the top 100 most powerful, challenging, and encouraging guarantees in scripture. These brief devotional readings provide thought-provoking inspirational takeaways and will encourage you to deepen your faith in God’s provision and steadfastness. Concise entries provide biblical details such as the circumstances surrounding the promise, the fulfillment of the promise, and how it applies to our lives today. Ideal for readers of all ages, The Top 100 Promises of the Bibleis perfect for personal reading or group study.”

God opened up an opportunity for me to teach the material to a small group of ladies at my church after I wrote the book. It was a perfect way to solidify His promises to each of us during the discussion time.

Bio:
Marjorie Vawter is a full-time freelance editor and writer. She is the author of many published devotionals, several devotional books, articles, and book reviews, plus five novellas and several nonfiction books. As the recently “retired” assistant to the conference director for the Colorado and Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Conferences, Marjorie has had the opportunity to work with publishers, editors, agents, and publicity directors, as well as other writers. An avid reader, she also judges for several prestigious awards in the inspirational and indie-publisher marketplace. Marjorie currently lives in the Denver, Colorado, metro-area with her husband, Roger, and cat, Sinatra, son, Randy, daughter-in-love, Nikki, and two grandchildren, Peyton and Jackson. You may visit her at www.marjorievawter.com


GIVEAWAY: Marjorie is the author of many other books, too, including Encouraging Thoughts for Women, now re-released with a lovely imitation leather cover. Check out Marjorie's Amazon Author Page for all of her releases. We're giving away a copy of winner's choice of one of Marjorie's devotionals.



24 March 2019

Overcoming Setbacks and Attacks in the Christian Writer’s Life -- By Author Kathleen L. Maher

Author Kathleen L. Maher
Overcoming Setbacks and Attacks in the Christian Writer’s Life
Guest Post 
By
Kathleen L. Maher 
D i s c o u r a g e m e n t
We all know the writing life promises glamour, recognition, accolades, and if you’re really good, a movie contract or two…. Oh, wait. Did I just hear the record scratch as all that romantic music was reaching a crescendo? 
I hope you’re laughing with me (and not at me—haha). You either laugh or you cry some days when the rejection letters are thicker than your billfold. When you’ve been giving it all you have, even for years, and nothing seems to be moving, it can get mighty discouraging. But that’s just it—if our expectations are set in God’s promises, we don’t have to be disappointed. He promises to give us what we need. 
Need…. Hmm. Maybe God knows best when he withholds multiple huge contracts in the midst of a crazy-busy season. Maybe we need to build some resilience first. Thick skin. We can practice sharing the truth and hope He has shown us to more intimate venues. We mustn’t despise the day of small beginnings. But I get it. Small beginnings can be a hard consolation when writing is both a ministry and a business. We do live in the real world, and there are real bills to pay. 
Good news. We have an even more real God who says, “before you cry, I answer you.” He says, “Let God alone be true and every man (and circumstance, and obstacle) a liar.” He says, “When we are faithless (full of doubt and unbelief and worry), I remain faithful.” What amazing promises! And this principle is also true—"Give and it shall be given, good measure, pressed down, shaken together and pouring out all over.” Whatever our expectations and motivations for writing, when given over to God, they will be sifted and refined until they come out pure. And our offerings given to God will land on good soil and produce a harvest in His perfect time. 
“Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie. Though it tarry, wait for it, for it shall surely come to pass.” Habakkuk 2:2-3
C H A O S  a n d D I S T R A C T I O N
One of the enemy’s tactics, at least in my home, is the little destructive foxes in the grapes. Do you know what I mean? The computer crashes not once, but five times in one day. Then when finally it decides to work, the dogs get into the garbage, or the phone rings with something urgent, or a meteor streaks down from the blue sky…. Constant interruptions. There is a real enemy who roams about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. There will be opposition to the work of the Lord. 
Sometimes it’s a crisis. Like a loved one in an emergency. Or a battle over finances, health, relationships… Times that try the soul and make you believe writing is the least of your priorities. Yes, there are moments when we must triage, but don’t put down your pen altogether, warrior, because it is a sword. 
We are not those who shrink back—we are overcomers! Sometimes you have to call in the troops and request prayer. Sometimes you have to play praise and worship and create an atmosphere where those trouble makers MUST FLEE at the name of Jesus. Take oil and anoint the doorposts (and keyboard—very lightly) and declare, “as for me and my house, we WILL serve the Lord.” 
And then, press on. Sit in the chair and write, trusting that the words will bring the breakthrough to whoever reads them. In fact, after all that warfare, you can be certain you’re carrying something vital—from the very heart of God—that must be released. 
I’ll leave you with a song that kicks opposition square in the pants:  Rend Collective, Every Giant will Fall
Write on, my friend! Nothing is impossible with Him.
___________________________________
Kathleen L. Maher has had an infatuation with books and fictional heroes ever since her preschool crush, Peter Rabbit. “Love Brick by Brick,” a novella with her hometown’s history, appeared in BARBOUR’s 2018 Victorian Christmas Bridescollection. Her Civil War romance The Abolitionist’s Daughterreleased six years after winning the ACFW Genesis Award. Another novella of hers will be in Barbour’s schoolteacher collection Lessons on Love in Oct 2019. And Book 2 in her Civil War series, The Chaplain’s Daughter, is now available on Amazon. Kathleen shares an old farmhouse in upstate New York with her husband, children, and a small zoo.
New Release by Kathleen L. Maher

Come join us at Kathy's New Release Facebook Party for The Chaplain's Daughter on May 25th at 4:30 PM. (Click here for the Event page.)

*~*~*~*~*~
Follow Kathleen 
on the group history blog the 8thof every month: https://www.hhhistory.com/

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GIVEAWAY: Winner's choice of ebook or paperback of either of Kathy's Sons of the Shenandoah novels or a paperback copy of The Victorian Christmas Brides collection which includes Kathy's novella. Answer this question: Have you ever faced spiritual attack for doing what God has asked you to do?




16 February 2019

In the Writing Cave

Copyright:Hillebrand Steve, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

In the Writing Cave

I'm down to the last twelve days before my novella, "In Dire Straits", in the Lessons on Love collection from Barbour is due to my editor, Rebecca Germany. This collection, a four-in-one with stories from my critique partner, Kathleen L. Maher, and wonderful authors Susie/Susanne Dietze and Rita Gerlach, will release in October, 2019.

That beautiful cave image, above, was downloaded from Google images (image credit notated), and looks to me like angels' wings! When I'm in my writing cave I really and truly feel the presence of God and His angels protecting and enveloping me. If you didn't know, I am disabled by Rheumatoid Arthritis and I have multiple other medical issues that God helps me cope with. I couldn't write anything without His help. So I always give the Lord credit in any book I've written, first and foremost. Being the weakened vessel that I am, I am well aware that anything I do has to come from Him and with God's provision. That builds even more gratitude into my heart and a humility with each project that He pulls me through, for I am well aware I can't do it alone.

Would you lift me and the other authors in this collection up in prayer as we finish our stories? And would you pray for the direction of this blog. God is leading me toward this being a monthly post about the ways God is working in my writing life. 

Giveaway: One commenter will receive a copy of their choice of any of my Barbour collections including this upcoming October release.

18 January 2019

Character interview of Brooke Hollen of Desolate Paths by Erin Unger


Hi everyone! Brooke Hollen here! I’m the star of Desolate Paths.Thanks so much for having me today, Carrie! I’m excited to talk to you.

Hello, Brooke. Tell us about yourself. How did you get into Erin Unger’s novel?
Ha-ha, funny story—well really a scary one—I got into trouble and the best help I could get was in rehab. But, man, I didn’t expect all the drama there. And I should’ve read the website closer. I didn’t know what I was in for when I arrived. Erin knew I’d make some interesting choices and liven up her story once I got to the rehab center.

Why did you choose Carrick Living Museum and Rehabilitation Center to help you through your addiction?
I saw the promise of authentic help and rest and relaxation. I didn’t read all of the details because all I wanted was to rest my way through rehab. Little did I know relaxation only happened the first few days. I should’ve picked up on all the pictures of people wearing period clothing on the website. Authentic is an understatement about Carrick rehab. But God knew exactly where I needed to be.

Oh, dear. What’s different about the center?
It’s a center where all residents work throughout their rehab. Cory and Dara Carrick believe in the importance of learning how to be a valuable member of society while rehabilitating. All residents have to wear period clothing and must do all chores and cooking the way people would’ve in the early 1800s. 

What’s so scary about your stay at the center?
Who would’ve guessed I’d be in danger at the center when it’s supposed to be a safe environment? There is a serial killer living amongst us.

Oh, that’s terrible. How are you handling it?
I’m trying to stay out of trouble and rely on my new faith, but I’m really scared. Kyle Reston, the person I want to trust, could be responsible for all the women disappearing.

Maybe you should rethink hanging out with him. Do you have anyone else you can trust?
I have a new friend, Willa, who has been trying to keep me straight. She’s a lot further in her journey to recovery. Hopefully, together we’ll make it out of the center alive.

Well, I hope you stay safe. Thanks for talking to us.
With God, all things are possible. And because of my new faith, I’ll rely on Him to get me through this dangerous time. It was fun talking to you, Carrie.

Brooke is putting her trust in God through a very difficult time. What circumstance have you been in this year where you could only rely on God for the answer? Comment below to win an eBook of Desolate Paths or a paperback of Desolate Paths.

Thank you to Erin Unger

Social Media Links: Facebook Twitter Instagram

Short Bio: Erin Unger was raised in the hills of Virginia, exploring abandoned houses and reading the scariest books she could find. After marrying so young it would make a great romance novel, she has enjoyed an exciting life with her hubby.But her fast-paced life sometimes rivals the suspense in her books thanks to all her mostly grown children and a couple grandkids.

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