The Fruitcake Challenge by Carrie Fancett Pagels

Pagels, Carrie Fancett The Fruitcake Challenge

Series: Christmas Traditions Series, Book 3

Publication Date: 2014

Publisher: Hearts Overcoming Press

Purchased from





“God had other plans. Plans that included. . .”
Meet our main characters; Tom Jeffries, a handsome, strapping young lumberjack, better suited to be a schoolteacher and Jo Christy, the feisty, bronze haired beauty who cooks for the lumber camp. The camp is located in the remote wilderness regions of northern Michigan and the time period is 1890.

The story follows Tom’s arrival from Ohio and a budding career school teaching to the wilds of the lumber camp. He meets Jo, who immediately distrusts him because of his good looks and teasing ways. She is unhappy cooking for the camp and wants an opportunity to choose what her future will be. She feels trapped in her current situation and struggles to find a way to set herself free without hurting her family.

This novella is a short, charming story that definitely hits the right holiday note when Tom issues his Fruitcake Challenge. The fruitcake and snowflakes, as well as faith and hope put the reader in the mood for the holidays. Read the story to find out what plans God has for Jo Christy and Tom Jeffries!

5/5 for novellas





Filed under Book Reviews, Historical Fiction, Inspirational Fiction

12 responses to “The Fruitcake Challenge by Carrie Fancett Pagels

  1. Thanks so much, Mary! So glad you enjoyed Tom’s and Jo’s story! You made me smile with your assessment, Mary! Cute. Blessings!


  2. This sounds like a really great novella! Plus I love stories set in Michigan 🙂 I’m hoping to get a hold of the collection of stories. Christmas novellas are among my favorites.


    • Watch Carrie’s Facebook and blog for giveaway copies. It was a feel good story. Have you read any Jody Hedlund novels set in Michigan?


    • I think all of them 🙂 my review of her novella “Out of the Storm” was posted today. I’ve been so excited for her new series.


    • I’m originally from Michigan and my grandpa really did run a logging camp and my grandma cooked! I hope you’ll love the story. People have been very happy with it so far and I’m so glad because it is a story about hope–something we all need! Blessings!


    • Where in Michigan (if you don’t mind sharing). My grandmother also cooked in a logging camp in the UP for awhile. I’m currently working on a novel based-very loosely- on her life (there are a couple of stories from her life that I am using for my fictional character).


  3. Dana, That was in the Newberry area in central U.P. Apparently my great-grandfather must also have logged in lower Michigan because my grandfather was born in Traverse City, yet they were from Kentucky. Am assuming my grandmother must have performed some job there in the camp, too, but I dk. That would have been at the turn of the century. My grandfather ran a camp in the 1940’s and maybe early 1950’s.


  4. Sarah Richmond

    Cool, the story sounds and looks interesting, I would love the chance to read it!!! I have a friend who lives in Michigan, we met at summer camp!!!


    • Thanks for stopping by, Sarah! Michigan is a beautiful place. Fun story! Be sure and read it if you get an opportunity.
      Check out Carrie’s facebook page or her blog.



  5. Tina Rice

    I really enjoyed reading Jo and Tom’s story….great book Carrie!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.