Character Spotlight: Carrie Fancett Pagels’ Maude & Ben

My-Heart-Belongs-on-Mackinac-IslandMeet a maid and a journalist in

Carrie Fancett Pagels

historical romance

My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island: Maude’s Mooring



The Story

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?

Introducing Maude & Ben

Brief physical description

Maude -Thick, long wavy bronze-colored hair (which she wishes was darker!), above average height, beautiful in a soft way and is average build.

Ben – tall, broad shouldered and muscular, clean-shaven, and thick wavy chestnut hair.


Jessica Alba and former pro-football player Benjamin Utecht (I’m not a football watcher but I saw him on the cover of Neurology Today and realized there was someone who looked almost exactly like I pictured Ben!

Here’s a link to my Pinterest board for MHBoMI.

Strengths and weaknesses

Maude – A mind for mathematics and music and loves helping people. Hard-headed and can be like a bulldog when her heart is set on something and can be heedless of others’ concerns.

Ben – he is a musical virtuoso, but because of his past circumstances he wouldn’t allow himself to consider a musical career. He loves the truth. He’s been working too hard to please his editor and get ahead as a journalist.


Maude – She gets a kick out of tormenting some of the cocky male seasonal workers and she has quite a bit of kid still left in her and some sass.

Ben – He despises travel by water because of losing his sister on the family’s transatlantic crossing.

Your inspiration for the character

Maude had to get some “therapy” to become a more normalized version of how I originally had her! She’s kind of a composite of many of the lovely “Yooper” women I grew up with. A Yooper is someone from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. I have to say, I agree with this suggestion now, especially since I started watching the latest version of Anne of Green Gables, which they added too many layers of mental health issues for this beloved character.

Background to the story

I had worked on Mackinac Island and I have a friend whose family is from the island. That story itself was kind of a Prince and the Pauper theme.  Also, one of the main characters was inspired by a real-life woman whom I’d read about who’d been the wealthiest woman in America but lived in poverty. I wondered – what would make her be like that? And I wanted to give her a happier ending than in real life!

Thanks Carrie!

Carrie headshot BW 2016ECPA-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

Relz Reviewz Extras
Visit Carrie’s website
Visit Carrie’s blogs: Overcoming With God and Colonial Quills
Connect with Carrie: Facebook Author Page Facebook Personal Page Twitter Pinterest Goodreads
Buy at Amazon: My Hearts Belongs on Mackinac Island: Maude’s Mooring or Koorong



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59 Responses to Character Spotlight: Carrie Fancett Pagels’ Maude & Ben

  1. Its nice hearing more about how the book came about. I love the book and story and its great hearing the behind the scenes story. Thanks Rel and Carrie

  2. AVID

  3. I’m an AVID reader of your books!

  4. I love your writing and because of that I am an AVID reader of your books.

  5. I am an Avid Christian book reader.

  6. I’m an AVID reader & reviewer…and Maude’s story is outstanding! Loved it so much…thanks for spotlighting Carrie’s work! Trdivincenzo (at) gmail (dot) com

  7. I am glad that I met you through AVID! I would love to read your book!

  8. I am an AVID reader and have been one since childhood! Love your books,Carrie. Thanks for sharing about your new creation!

  9. Love your books. AVID all the way.

  10. AVID reader! I love your books. I’m anxiously waiting for a sequel to My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island. 😊

  11. I am an AVID reader and really need a new book to read. I went to Michigan this summer and while my cousins got to visit the island, I didn’t get to.

  12. I am an AVID reader and looking forward to reading your books. This one sounds exciting!

  13. I think I would be an AVID reader of this book, it sounds so good!

  14. Hi, Carrie. I have enjoyed all your books that I have read and this one sounds like a fun read, also. Math, music, and Michigan, what can possible go wrong? Well…I’ll leave that one alone since i am an avid reader, but also an OHIO State fan. 😉

    Thanks for the fun interview.

    • Another Carrie, woohoo, but you have me guessing which Carrie this is! I’m a Yooper by birth and we have lots of Buckeyes who vacation up there — so enjoy your OSU games! Hugs!

      • Lol. Carrie Gould. You probably see me all over FB. I have one of your teapot necklaces, which I wear All. The. Time. :) I grew up in OH and will probably be moving back so my boys and I will have family close by. Right now I live in NC.

  15. I loved this book. I am an AVID reader.

  16. Hi Carrie! I won a copy of your book and enjoyed it very much. I am an AVID Christian reader. I like historical fiction best — with a bit of suspense makes it all the more enjoyable. Yours fits the bill!

    • Hi there Miss Paula! I just love your name! I still need to “borrow” your last name sometime for a character! OK I love that little bit of suspense too — have you heard about the Barbour Books Mayflower series? They will all be just like that with historical romance and suspense! I’m not in that collection but there are a bunch of great authors who will be writing novels for it! Hugs!

      • Well Carrie I guess you got enough of us AVID readers! You may borrow my last name ! Did I tell you that it means FEARFULLY HOT? ( hot tempered maybe) does that fit with the personality of a character? LOL!

  17. Definitely an AVID reader . . . enjoying this series, as well! Would love to read this one!

  18. I am sooo looking forward to reading this book! I love Mackinac!!! I am a Michigander residing in Texas. Unfortunately, I do not get to visit Mackinac this trip home.😢 I am an AVID reader.Loved the interview.💓

    • Hi Jennifer! When I don’t make it Mackinac Island on a home trip to MI I end up dreaming about Mackinac Island all year with nightmares that I was home but didn’t go to the island lol! Thanks for enjoying the interview! Hope you are ok in TX! Praying!

  19. I’m an AVID reader, and loved this book!

  20. I found you through AVID! I used to live in Michigan and would take vacations in the mackinac area.

  21. AVID! Can’t wait to read this one!

  22. I’m an Avid follower

  23. I am an avid admirer of Mackinac Island so would live to read your book about it! Your posts about it have made me want a copy of my own!

  24. I am an AVID reader and enjoy historical fiction.

  25. Fun post! I very much want to read this book. I’m an AVID reader as well. :)

  26. I am an Avid reader of Christian Fiction but have never read your books! I would love to give this one a try! Thank you so much.

  27. Hi Carrie and Rel,
    I’m an AVID reader. Thank you so much for giving the background on the story and for telling us more about Maude and Ben. This story sounds so good! I’ve never read anything from the Mackinaw Island yet. The book cover is beautiful.

  28. I’m am AVID reader of Christian fiction stories. I haven’t yet read one of your books, but love your inspiration and vision for this one.

  29. I’m an AVID reader and would love to read these!!

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