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Saturday, May 6, 2023

About the Book

Book: Lilac Cottage

Author: Carrie Fancett Pagels

Genre: Historical Romance, Christian Fiction

Release date: April 12, 2023

Inspirational Contemporary Women’s Fiction from Award-winning Bestselling Author Carrie Fancett Pagels

Lilac Cottage – set on Mackinac Island, Book 2 Mackinac Cottages Series

Out of options, after losing her job and apartment, Rachel Dunmara “camps out” at her deceased Grandmother’s cottage on Mackinac Island. Next door, her childhood nemesis, Jack Welling, is overseeing his family’s remodeling of their home on the West Bluff. When Rachel’s new boss, at a local coffee shop, pushes her to work as Jack’s assistant, for her second job, can they mend their rift?

Kareen Parker, widowed in the past year, returns to the island to share long-held information with her son and to transition ownership of her resort to her son. Her grandson befriends Rachel, who was banned by her family from associating with the Parkers.

After a summer full of secrets that are finally revealed, can three families be healed?


Click here to get your copy!


About the Author

Carrie Fancett Pagels is the award-winning author and bestselling author of over twenty Christian fiction books. Twenty-five years as a psychologist didn’t “cure” her overactive imagination! Raised in Michigan’s beautiful Upper Peninsula, you’ll find her most summers at the Straits of Mackinac—where many of her stories are set.

More from Carrie

Why I Wrote Lilac Cottage

I had felt the Lord nudging me to write a sequel to my first-ever Women’s Fiction, Butterfly Cottage (after writing 20+ Historical Romances in Christian Fiction). I travel up to the Straits of Mackinac each summer to do book signings, library visits, and to see family and friends. At several of my book signings at the Island Bookstore, on Mackinac Island, I had readers ask if I had a sequel planned for Butterfly Cottage. I met a lovely young reader at one of the signings, who worked at Lucky Bean, my fave coffee shop in the world and it is on the island. Rachel asked me about plans for the next book and I thought – what if I had a young heroine who worked at Lucky Bean for the summer? Ya know, most authors stories start with the what if. So, I also tossed around the notion of what if Rachel was actually camping out in one of the mansions, called “cottages”, up on West Bluff? That spawned my plot thoughts.


When I work, I percolate an idea. I also will not pursue writing a story unless God’s hand is on it. So, I first submitted my will to His. I got the go ahead. I also got a lot of other stuff: Norovirus, Covid, a root canal and crown, a bleed on an optic nerve, and also what I thought might be a heart attack but thankfully it was only my Rheumatoid Arthritis, oh and did I mention recurrent shingles? Yup—all that. So, I figure there must be a reason this book needs to be written for me to have confronted such opposition from the enemy.


This is my very first novel where the main characters are all saved and are all newbies as far as being refreshed in their faith. At my church, one of the pastors preached about how new Christians are so on fire for the Lord and how they are often different from those of us who have been saved for a long time. I wanted to have that reflected in this novel.


I know people have strong feelings about the pandemic. I wanted to make sure I had written something that included some reality of what the winding down was like in 2022, which is when the story is set. My father was born in 1918 during the Spanish Flu pandemic and I always felt that authors from that time didn’t include enough references to how this affected people. I didn’t dwell on Covid in this novel, but I did touch on it in I hope realistic ways, such as shortages of workers.


Whew! One other reason I wrote some of the characters in this book was to give one of my continuing characters, Mrs. Hampy Parker, some redemption. She’s been a Co-dependent in two of my books (Butterfly Cottage and Behind Love’s Wall) and it was time, since she’s now in her early 80’s, for her to get free from that. I enjoyed the new start her character got and it was inspired by one of my friend’s real life stories.


Thank you for being part of the tour!!! And may God bless and keep you!


I have to start my review by saying how gorgeous the cover is. It definitely will grab readers attention. Once they  start the book they will see how gifted the author is. Her ability to guide readers into the story with a feeling of being a part of it is something I admire. I like that the story includes real life issues like the recent virus and how the characters are all new Christians. Something the author wrote really woke me up. New Christians are on fire for God but sometimes those who have been a Christian for awhile seem to be lackluster at times. I want to get that fire again and be excited every day because Jesus is with me.

Now let’s move on to the characters. There were quite a few of them in the story so at times I was a little lost. I quickly caught on who everyone was and the story flowed easily for me. Rachel has found herself homeless and without a job. She needs to find a solution  fast. I loved how we travel to Mackinac  Island . The beautiful surroundings are peaceful and I’m so glad she decided to stay at a place that is special to her. 

The author highlights three families in the book and I loved that we discovered secrets, friendships that needed to be mended and family that held each other together as they walked through difficult issues. I could mention more about the different characters but I think I want readers to get acquainted with  them as they unravel the story that brings healing, hope and faith to our characters. 

I love the twists in the story and unexpected surprises that kept me glued to the book.  I was shocked at one particular secret that comes out. It was never something I picked up on in the story. What a oh my moment this was,  I loved how faith was at the center of the story and there is a good illustration of second chances and forgiveness.

“Forgiveness wasn’t for the person you forgave. It was for  yourself. To let it go. To get right with God.”

I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.

Blog Stops

An Author’s Take, May 2

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, May 3

Blossoms and Blessings, May 3

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, May 4

Betti Mace, May 5

She Lives to Read, May 5

Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions , May 6

Texas Book-aholic, May 7

Mornings at Character Café, May 7

For Him and My Family, May 8

Mary Hake, May 9

Happily Managing a Household of Boys, May 10

Connie’s History Classroom, May 11

Holly’s Book Corner, May 11

Sylvan Musings, May 12

Gina Holder, Author and Blogger, May 13 (Author Interview)

Locks, Hooks and Books, May 13

Books You Can Feel Good About, May 14

Christina’s Corner, May 14

debs book review, May 15

Books I’ve Read, May 15


To celebrate her tour, Carrie is giving away the grand prize package of $70 Amazon Gift Card, a copy of Lilac Cottage, and a copy of Butterfly Cottage!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. 


  1. I enjoyed the post. The book sounds great and the cover is lovely.

  2. Yet another stunningly beautiful review that brought tears to this Book Mama's eyes!!! Thank you so much Deana, for reading and reviewing and participating in this tour. One of the reasons I honed in on the newbie Christian theme was because of the pastor nudging us to regain that new Christian fire. So in story world I loved the idea that I could (since I write in character) reexperience that awe and wonder as I was in story world for this novel. Two years. It took that long. A while back, I could put out a full novel and several novellas in one year. Not now. But God is good and I pray His hand is all over this book! Blessings!

  3. Thank you for sharing your review of Lilac Cottage, the cover is so pretty and I loved the synopsis. This story is a definite must read for me and I can't wait to meet Rachel and Jack and all of the other characters

  4. Lilac Cottage will be not just a book for leisure reading, but it will help relight the fire and passion of first love.

  5. This sounds like a book that I am really going to enjoy. And Mackinac Island is an awesome setting for a book!