Guest Blogger & Giveaway: Creating Overlapping Story Worlds by Carrie Fancett Pagels

Over the course of the four years since I’ve made my debut in Christian historical romance, I’ll have created story worlds in colonial Philadelphia, Civil War era & Early American Virginia, turn-of-the-century Michigan, post-Civil War era Kansas and Michigan, and WWII era Michigan. By year five, I’ll have published fifteen Christian historical romances and my favorite thing now, in my writing, is to carryover characters from one story world to another. As a hybrid author, I have Indie-published one series (The Christy Family Lumber Camp Series) and have started another (The Christy Cousins Series) but I’ve been under contract lately for a number of novella collections and published a novel with Barbour Publishing. But I still like to “hang out” with some of the characters I’ve already developed even when I don’t have a series going!

So, what I did, so I could spend more time with my characters from other stories, is go back to some of their parents’ stories or to their siblings’ or other family members’ stories. I’m at the point that my wonderful web designer is going to be making another page for me so we can find favorite characters in a chart where is shows what books the characters are in. Right now, I am writing “The Sugarplum Ladies” which takes place in post-Civil War Detroit/Windsor for The Victorian Brides Collection (Barbour Publishing, September 2017). And I’m carrying over characters from “Dime Novel Suitor” in Seven Brides for Seven Mail-Order Husbands (June 2017) a double ECPA bestseller. And from my Romantic Times Book Reviews Top Pick Inspirational novel,  My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island, I’m carrying over a couple of my heroine Maude Welling’s family members into the story as well. Once I complete “Sugarplum Ladies”, I’ll be writing another novella, set on Mackinac Island in 1896, for the Great Lakes Lighthouse Romances (Barbour, November, 2018) and I’ll be popping Maude and her family members as well as Christy family members into that story. And I’m working on another couple of projects that include more time with my favorite characters as secondary characters in stories set on Mackinac Island!

I always love reading stories where characters I’ve already “met” show up. And spending more time in the same story world allows me to tell about the story world from different perspectives. For instance, in my upcoming release “His Anchor” in First Love Forever from Barbour (April, 2018) Maude Welling’s best friend,  Sadie Duvall, gets to tell her story. And since she’s from an impoverished and difficult background, she views 1895 Mackinac Island quite differently than Maude did in her book. Looking for more of Maude’s friends and family—check out my Maggie Award finalist in novellas 2016, The Substitute Bride, where Maude’s mother makes an appearance as does another key “mystery” character who plays prominently in My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island: Maude’s Mooring.

GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment about overlapping story worlds for a chance to win a copy of winner’s choice of any of my books.

Bio – Carrie Fancett Pagels, Ph.D.

Carrie Fancett Pagels, Ph.D., is the award-winning author of fifteen Christian historical romances, including ECPA bestsellers. 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

Links to purchase:

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

About the book:

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?

More from the author:

The Captive Brides Collection...

Love Brings Freedom in 9 Historical Romances

Journey along as nine historical women are about to make their escape from some of life’s greatest challenges. Can their captive hearts be freed to dream, to dare, to love?

Love’s Labours Found by Jennifer AlLee - Montserrat, West Indies, 1655
Temperance Simms only wanted a better life. Instead, she finds herself labeled a criminal and sold as an indentured servant. After a kind man saves her life, can Temperance trust that God will turn her sorrow into something beautiful?

His Indentured Bride by Angela Breidenbach - Pennsylvania, 1773-1776 
Leaving Scotland for a short indenture with her betrothed, Maire Greer’s contract is sold when disaster strikes her kindly owner, and then extended through cruel circumstances. Can Kirk Lachlan’s service in the American Revolution save her or will she lose love and freedom forever?

The Suspect Bride by Susan Page Davis - Oregon, 1890s
Verity Ames cooks at the restaurant where shy lawyer Jack Whitwell eats lunch daily. As Jack works up courage to ask her for a date, the sheriff walks into the restaurant and arrests Verity for murder.

His Golden Treasure by Darlene Franklin - San Francisco, 1873
Goldie Hatfield grows up on the Barbary Coast until her guardian demands she pay the cost of her upbringing—or work at her brothel. How far will Pastor Joshua Kerr go to set Goldie free?

Through Stormy Waters by Patty Smith Hall - Atlantic Ocean, 1745
Deported to the British colonies for her father’s crimes, Charlotte Singleton helps Captain John Randall when an epidemic breaks out on his ship. Can two battered hearts find love in the midst of a storm?

Moira’s Quest by Cynthia Hickey - New York, 1869
A quest for revenge ends in a marriage of convenience and a feisty Irish lass discovers that not everything is as it seems as family secrets are revealed. An Irish cop, bent on saving the fallen women of Five Points, New York, finds himself thrust into the role of husband with a woman determined to break down a notorious crime boss. Can these two pull together and find a love bigger than they are?

Love’s Escape by Carrie Fancett Pagels - Virginia, 1850
With her life in peril, Lettie seeks escape from slavery. When Nathan offers to “conduct” her North via an unusual segment on the Underground Railroad, will his efforts help or do them both harm?

Waltzing Matilda by Lucy Thompson - Sydney, Australia, 1821
Henry didn’t plan on a runaway convict masquerading as a shepherd. Or on the woman’s baby. Keeping them safe will cost him his freedom—or will it?

A Score to Settle by Gina Welborn - On the Missouri River, 1870
For JoJo the kiss was a means to an end—she wanted his wallet. For Cyrus her kiss changed everything. He vows to help her escape the snake oil salesman she works for, but exposing the man’s lies may mean settling a score at a cost neither JoJo nor Cyrus can pay.

Seven Brides for Seven Mail-Order Husbands Romance Collection...

Seven women seek husbands to help them rebuild a Kansas town.

Meet seven of Turtle Springs, Kansas’, finest women who are determined to revive their small town after the War Between the States took most of its men. . .and didn’t return them. The ladies decide to advertise for husbands and devise a plan for weeding out the riff raff. But how can they make the best practical choices when their hearts cry out to be loved?

Abigail’s Proposal by Cynthia Hickey
When her father never returned from the war, Abigail Melton stepped into his role as town mayor. The town needs men, and she needs a husband—and she has a big idea how to find both—but her first duty is to hire a sheriff. And drifter Josiah Ingram will do just fine.

The Kidnapped Groom by Susan Page Davis
Riding through the Flint Hills on his way to Dodge City, cowboy Sam Cayford finds himself the kidnapping victim of two children. When he meets their lovely mother, Maggie Piner—whom the kids insist he should marry—Sam starts to question God’s plans versus his own.
A Clean Slate by Susanne Dietze
Schoolmarm Roberta “Birdy” Green won’t marry any of the prospective grooms flocking to town. After losing her fiancé in the war, the only love her broken heart can bear is for her students. But then she takes on a new pupil—Drew Cooper, one of the gentlemen drawn to Kansas by the advertisement for grooms.

Sunshine of My Heart by Darlene Franklin
Debbie Barker longs to bring beauty to her new home on the prairie, where her family moved after the war, and seeks a husband to help her father run the ranch. Zack Gage returned home from the war to a life in ruins—family dead and business bankrupted. He answers the mail-order husband ad to seek a fresh start. But neither Debbie nor Zeke know what they are doing when it comes to ranching. . .or love.

Come What May by Patty Smith Hall
Chardy Stevens is at the end of her rope. Between running her late father’s store and tending to her four younger brothers, she barely has time to breathe, much less look for a husband to help her. The boys scare off most of her prospects and throw Chardy together with her childhood friend Luke, a disabled veteran who seeks her happiness above his own.

Dime Novel Suitor by Carrie Fancett Pagels
Widow Caroline Kane is the proprietor of a restaurant and inn—and responsible for her five teenaged siblings. But she has no plans of finding a mail-order groom. Britisher Barden Granville IV is on a “cowboy holiday” when he finds himself flat broke in Kansas.  When he answers an old “help wanted” ad, Caroline misconstrues Barden is there as a potential husband. Will the beautiful and fiesty widow cause the new vicar to make Kansas his home?
Louder than Words by Gina Welborn
After years of writing abolitionist pamphlets and chronicling soldier life during the war, J.R. Lockhart is bored and jumps at the opportunity to investigate an advertisement for husbands for an article in Godey’s Lady’s Book. Jane Ransome would like to help the charming-but-oblivious-to-life-out-West man chronicle the courtships developing in town, but she has her own husband to find—one who will fit perfectly in her picket-fenced Kansas home.


Jennifer Hibdon said…
Thanx for the guest blog by Carrie Pagels. Sometimes overlapping story worlds are fun! I always want to learn more about my favorite characters. It encourages the reader to follow up on more books from that author. Good for the author and good for the reader. Readers can trust getting a story they will enjoy!
Hi Jennifer! Thanks for coming by! I love to read more about fave characters, too. I think that is why I love series.
Michele Hayes said…
I enjoy reading stories that are linked by location or characters. It let us get to know the people and places better.
Crissy Yoder Shamion said…
I am excited about this giveaway!!! I love overlapping stories to see where the characters develop. Thanks for the giveaway!
Kimberly Daniska Villalva sent me this message: Loved your interview! I tried to post a comment about overlapping stories but google wasn't cooperating! :) Just wanted you to know how great your post was!

Becky said…
I LOVE that you are overlapping the stories! Some of my favorite books do that, and it makes me feel like I know the characters better. Really enjoyed this post, and looking forward to one day saying that I have read ALL of your books!
KayM said…
I love to read stories, where a character has been in a previous novel or novella that I've read! Sometimes I have to go back and read the first story to refresh my memory, which is always fun to do.
Connie Hill said…
love overlapping stories. They all seem to come together and flow beautifully.
Jewelz said…
I love overlapping stories! You get to bond
With the characters more!!
Elly said…
I LOVE overlapping stories! That way, even when I've finished a story, I don't have to leave all the characters I've come to love behind!
Elly -Indiana-
Hi Crissy! Thanks for swinging by all the way from Michigan's beautiful Upper Peninsula!
Hi MICHELE, I love getting to know a setting from different perspectives and all from the same author usually but some, like Seven Brides for Seven Mail-Order Husbands is fun because all seven of us wrote a small post-Civil War town from our own perspectives.
Hi BECKY! I hope you get to know ALL my characters some day too! Blessings!
Anonymous said…
Thank you for the interview. I love it when one book overlaps characters and a new series is born. But I like to read them in order. Thank you for the giveaway opportunity.
perrianneDOTaskewATmeDOTcom (no google acct)
Alison Boss said…
I like over-lapping story worlds. It helps me to get to know characters better and become more invested in their lives. It helps to better personalize the story for me. ~Alison Boss

Hi Carrie! I love your stories and I really enjoy seeing folks from other books. It’s like I need to see how they are — to keep in touch! paulams49ATsbcglobalDOTnet
I love overlapping story worlds, even if you don't make a series out of it, it allows me to "check in" on previous books' characters and get some peace of mind.
Meredith said…
I also love stories where those characters I've already met turn up. I also like where authors collaborate with surprise visits from characters from each other's series.

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