My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island Review, Behind the Scenes, and a Giveaway!

About the Book 

Series: My Heart Belongs
Genre: Adult, Christian, Fiction, Historical, Romance
Publisher: Barbour
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?


My Perspective

This was such a wonderfully written story. From the very beginning I found myself attached to Maude’s character. I could see myself standing next to her while she waited for her beloved to arrive, and trying to comfort her when she saw him with another woman. In fact, I felt as if I was on Mackinac Island throughout the entire story. I could see the Grand Hotel, the Winds of Mackinac Inn, and even the doctors office. Carrie paints a vivid picture of life on the island. So beautiful in fact that I would love to visit it!

In addition to the beauty of the island, there is a lot going on in the book. People pretending to be someone else, a young lady hiding the fact that she is working somewhere, a mysterious love, and some family property in jeopardy. You learn that appearances can be deceiving, and just when you think you know what’s going on, along comes a twist that you didn’t see coming. Or at least I didn’t! The story is fast paced, and it is important that you pay attention to even the smallest details. They may give you clues to what unfolds later in the book! I caught them after giving it a second glance.

Historical fans will certainly like this book, but I think even modern days readers will find they enjoy it too. All the parts of the stories will hold your interest, cause you to gasp and laugh, and keep the pages turning until you reach the end! I received a complimentary copy of this book. I was not required to write a favorable review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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
Behind the Scene Facts About the Book!

1. We stayed at the Grand Hotel for me to conduct some of my research.
2. We also stayed at the Windermere, which is the inspiration for my heroine’s inn.
3. The owner of the Windermere is Margaret Doud, Mackinac Island’s mayor and I’d wager we could rightly call her Mackinac Island’s “First Lady.”
4. The Round Island Lighthouse was being built in 1895, as indicated in the story, but on my cover there are two lighthouses, which there weren’t then – but it’s still a gorgeous cover, isn’t it?
5. This is my “Problem Child” manuscript and I knew I wanted this story to matter so I called in the “big guns” to help me. Julee Schwarzburg, a top editor in Christian fiction, came in and consulted on the overall proposal and theme and some of the editing. Sue Brower, who had been at Zondervan for decades, helped edit the first three chapters for the Maggie Unpublished awards, which this story finaled in. Julie Gwinn, a wonderful editor who had switched to agenting but took my story as a freelance job, came in and did a great job of directing me in which way I should go – but she didn’t molly coddle me, and I needed for her to treat me like that – as if I could fix it, and I did, PTL!
6. Maude was originally a much more “neurotic” type of character in that she had some OCD stuff that her maternal grandmother had instilled in her. One of my consultants, not mentioned above, said she was too “crazy” and I should tone her down. So I did.
7. I went to Arch Rock a number of different ways and on different days, to get a feel for the special scene I have toward the end. On one of these, the transportation almost left without me!

8. Mackinac Islanders are considered Yoopers in that the island is counted as part of the Upper Peninsula. But they are really in a league of their own.
9. Would you be surprised to know that a number of owners of the fudge shops, even today, have the owner or the “heir” making the yummy fudge produced?
10 Believe it or not, at this time, there were resorts in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula that were considered more prestigious than the Grand Hotel and attracted a wealthy clientele.

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.
Enter the giveaway HERE.
Additional 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).
Blog Tour Schedule!

30 thoughts on “My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island Review, Behind the Scenes, and a Giveaway!

  1. I loved reading about your trip. I always enjoy reading about places I’ve never been.

  2. I hear so much about this book, I really need to get my hands on one. I have never visited Mackinac Island but it’s on my bucket list.

  3. I’m almost done with my review copy of the book. I remember reading the manuscript early on though. It’s even fun the second time around. 🙂 That’s a snazzy giveaway, Carrie! Can’t wait to see who wins. <3

  4. I am first a historical fan but love many modern day books as well. While it is technically historical, I think it fits nicely in-between both modern and historical. I loved the feeling of being a Mackinac Islander and a visitor as I read this book.
    *Do not enter me.

  5. Great review! I’m a huge historical fan and I’ve read so much about this book, I want to read it for myself 🙂

  6. Loved reading about My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island and the behind the scene facts. Can’t wait to get to read it. Thanks for the chance to win a copy of Seven Brides for Seven Mail-Order Husbands and the Grand Prize giveaway!

  7. Love the setting for this book! I laughed a little at how Maude was initially too OCD and you toned her down. What kinds of things made her a bit too neurotic?

  8. I did not know #10! I mean, it makes sense, the U.P. is gorgeous, but nowadays I think the island has its own charm and appeal. Either way, people should visit both if they get the chance!

  9. I’ve really enjoyed everything that I’ve read by Carrie. And, I just love the sound of this book, particularly the “appearances can be deceiving.” I always think I’d be a person that would see past appearances, but I’m not so sure anymore.

    I love hearing about all the people that have helped with “My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island.” It’s a beautiful example of how writing is not only a solo endeavor but a community one as well!

    1. Carrie is fabulous! She always grabs my attention with her writing. And I’m with you – we’d like to think we would act a certain way, but when the opportunity presents itself, sometimes we just don’t!

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