The Fruitcake Challenge

The Fruitcake Challenge

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The Fruitcake Challenge

When new lumberjack, Tom Jeffries, tells the camp cook, Jo Christy, that he'll marry her if she can make a fruitcake, "as good as the one my mother makes," she rises to the occasion. After all, he's the handsomest, smartest, and strongest axman her camp-boss father has ever had in his camp--and the cockiest. And she intends to bring this lumberjack down a notch or three by refusing his proposal. The fruitcake wars are on!

Product Details

BN ID: 2940150544819
Publisher: Hearts Overcoming Press
Publication date: 09/12/2014
Series: Christmas Traditions , #3
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 177
Sales rank: 437,990
File size: 270 KB

About the Author

Carrie Fancett Pagels, Ph.D. ( “Hearts Overcoming Through Time,” is an award-winning Christian historical romance author. Carrie’s novella, The Fruitcake Challenge, released September, 2014. She is under contract with Pelican Book Group for a European/colonial novel to be published in 2015. Her short story, “Snowed In,” appears in Guidepost Books’ A Christmas Cup of Cheer (2013). She’s the Amazon best-selling and top-rated author of Return to Shirley Plantation: A Civil War Romance (2013). Her short story, “The Quilting Contest,” will appear in Family Fiction’s The Story 2014 anthology. Carrie finaled in the 2014 Maggie Awards.

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The Fruitcake Challenge 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 23 reviews.
ILuvBooks25 More than 1 year ago
This is the first book that I have read in the Christy Lumber Camp series and also the first that I have read of Carrie Fancett Pagels. I think that Carrie did a great job developing the characters and setting the scene in this book, especially being that the story was only less than 200 pages long. In addition to developing the characters and setting the scene I enjoyed how she incorporated romance and humor into the story. If there was one thing that I would maybe suggest changing or re-thinking it would be the cover of this book. I found that if I had saw this in the bookstore it may have misled me to this was more centered around christmas. I think this is a great read for readers who are looking for a short, light hearted romance. I would defiantly recommend it to readers who enjoy christian fiction as well. It is definitely a book that can be read in one day or just sitting on the beach somewhere. I am very interested in reading more in this series to see whose story she will be writing next.
amybooksy More than 1 year ago
The Fruitcake Challenge is a wonderful addition to one's Christmas reading. I loved it! 5 plus stars.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Such a pleasure to read. Makes me want to visit Michigan. Would like to read more by Carrie.
Bookworm_Debbie More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderful holiday novella. I have never read anything by this author before. I am so glad that I was introduced to her. This was a very entertaining novella to read. I love the main characters that she developed. She took the time to also create a variety of secondary characters that were equally enjoyable. The story is a light romance and a very quick read. As both Jo and Thomas are trying to figure out where they want to go with their lives, individually and possibly together, they each at times seek God’s guidance.  I will definitely look for more books by this author.
Heidi_Reads More than 1 year ago
I love reading books set in lumber camps in the north woods, and this novella did not disappoint. The characters were fun yet each had vulnerabilities, especially Jo. She is in a rough time in her life with the recent passing of her mother and wanting to strike out on her own yet feeling the emotional tie to her remaining family. Tom's arrogance is off-putting to her and she lets him know it! As they each mellow over time they learn to appreciate the sweetness in each other. Tom's fruitcake challenge turns out to be the impetus for other couples to make a match themselves.
Chaplain-Debbie_777 More than 1 year ago
A joy to read. The Fruitcake Challenge was a funny, sweet and inspiring story. Carrie introduced some very vivid characters that will stay with me for quite some time. I truly enjoyed the banter that went back and forth between Tom and Jo....kept me smiling throughout the whole book. Even though this is mostly a lighthearted tale, it has a very strong message of hope. A fast and fun read....I highly recommend it! 
NanceeMarchinowski More than 1 year ago
A Tale from Northern Michigan "The Fruitcake Challenge" discloses the late 1800s tale of a family logging camp and the people whose livelihood depends upon the magnificent white pines known to Michigan, both upper and lower peninsulas. These massive forests were cut for use in building growing communities.  The new axman to the camp poses a challenge to the daughter of the camp's owner. If she could make a fruitcake that was as good as his mother's he would ask her to marry him. This is a sweet story of family, faith and relationships between family and friends, loss and hope. It's a warm telling of a group of people working hand in hand toward the same goals. I could easily envision the area, and could feel the icy chill from the Great Lakes. There is both a serious thread throughout this novella that reaches the heart, and a touch of humor that warms the soul. I'd like to have seen this book developed with greater depth and character, but as a novella it was a warm and cozy read. Grab a copy of this short book and enjoy with a pot of tea or a cup of hot cocoa! Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own, and no monetary compensation was received for this review.
AnnE42 More than 1 year ago
This was the first book I have read by this author, but it won't be my last. This was a Christmas story that I thoroughly enjoyed. I was caught up in the story line and the characters from the first page and loved its setting in a lumberjack camp in Michigan. It is a delightful read and one I recommend to anyone who enjoys a good Christian romance.
KayMKM More than 1 year ago
This is a fun book to read. The hero is such an honest and forthright man that he was easy for me to love. His sense of humor is extremely appealing, though not always appreciated. His kindness and thoughtfulness come easy, and he is so genuine. He does, however, have some secrets, so he’s quite a mystery to Jo, the heroine. Due to Josephine’s circumstances, she has insecurities, when it comes to personal relationships with men. She isn’t really sure what to make of Tom, his refined manners, and his mysterious background. If you are looking for a historical, Christmas read, I’m sure you will enjoy The Fruitcake Challenge.
lsnlj More than 1 year ago
This is book 3 from the Christmas Traditions series, however it is a stand alone book. I have not read book 1 or 2 and had not problem knowing what was going on. I enjoyed this quick read. Jo Christy is the daughter of the owner of a lumber jack company. Since her mother's death she becomes the head cook for the camp. Even though she desires to be anywhere but there, she loves her family and cooking. When a new lumberjack comes to the camp Jo is not so sure what to make of him. He is too good looking for his own good. When he issues a Fruitcake challenge she figures it is a good way to teach him a lesson. Yet will it back fire on her? Tom Jeffries is not sure what to expect as a lumberjack. He needs the money it offers to help support his mother, yet loves teaching. When he spots the beautiful owners daughter his world is turned upside down. What is it God would have of him?  This is a good short read. I enjoyed the characters, family and love in this book.
BrittanyMc More than 1 year ago
The Fruitcake Challenge was such a fun and enjoyable novella! It takes place back in the late 1800’s in a lumber camp near Mackinaw City, Michigan. The author did a great job of crafting a sweet story, set in an interesting time period. The story was full of historic details that made me feel that I was back in time. I really liked the two main characters, Tom & Jo. The marriage challenge that Tom issues to Jo is a lighthearted thread that runs through the story. There are also misunderstandings and both of these characters must seek the Lord’s guidance and His direction for their lives. This is an uplifting Christmas story that brought a smile to my face.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Fruitcake Challenge is a cozy Christmas read, but a romance to enjoy for all seasons! In her lifetime, “Jo” Josephine Christy has had to put up with the shenanigans of many different fellows—big, hulking lumberjacks with everything from humble to aggressive personalities, men from all over the world. She was raised in a logging camp and grew up working alongside her now-deceased mother in the camp kitchen. But in all that time, no man has ever annoyed her so much as their new axeman, Tom Jeffries. He’s an arrogant, smooth talker who flaunts his intelligence and devilishly handsome looks like one who has never known rejection. Jo would like nothing better than to take the proud rooster down a peg. Especially when he issues a challenge: “I have decided I’ll marry any gal who can bake a fruitcake just like my mother makes every Christmas.” The audacity! The workers in the cookhouse rise to the challenge, and the men are caught up in the excitement. Obviously, Tom has instigated this challenge just to irk her. But could he be serious? Why does something in Jo’s heart wish it to be true? And why does she keep baking fruitcake after fruitcake just to prove she’s not one to back down from a challenge, even though everything within her longs to be freed of a life tied to a lumber camp. She wants a life beyond the one she’s always known and that most certainly does not include marriage to a lumberjack. She’s twenty-five years old and time is running out on her dreams. She’s about to discover there’s more to Tom Jeffries than what meets the eye. . . . I love this story! The Fruitcake Challenge is a well-written novella with warmth and humor. I enjoyed all the characters but especially Jo and Tom, in their confusion about their futures, looking for God’s guidance. I really enjoyed the unusual Victorian setting of a wintry, rugged logging camp in northern Michigan. There’s lots to enjoy in this heartwarming story—romance, family, yummy food, the scent of the pines and a crackling fire to warm you in the cold woods!
wfnren More than 1 year ago
A good short story that can be enjoyed by all  --   Carrie did a great job on this short story. I don't like fruitcake, my mom loved it and used to make it, but it made for a good storyline and I liked how everyone in the camp seemed to get in on the contest in one way or another. If you want something quick and fun to read I would recommend this to you. I was given this e-book as a gift from the author, she did not request a review be done. This review is my honest opinion of this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was so surprised and excited when I learned that this story was set in Northern Michigan! And I was even more pleased when I learned it was about the great logging boom in the late-1800's. Logging played such a huge role in Michigan. One of the reasons my ancestors settled in mid-michigan was because of the newly opened farmland made available by the logging industry, not to mention the much needed employment that drew many families to settle in this state. Anyway, I really apreciate the author writing about my dear state. And I really enjoyed the characters and the story itself. Can't wait to read more from this author!
RGNHALL More than 1 year ago
I am one of the weird people who absolutely loves fruitcake so this book was quite appealing to me.   It was great fun to read along as Jo and her fellow cooks and shanty boys tried to find the perfect fruitcake recipe to win her a hand in marriage!   I was very impressed with the research that obviously went into the writing of the book.  I was not familiar with the history of logging camps so I thoroughly enjoyed learning about it.  The scenery of Northern Michigan sounded breathtaking and made me want to plan a trip headed that way.   I also love historical romances and this one is set in 1890.  Grab a cup of coffee and ride along in the wagon as Jo and Tom head to town to shop and mail the letters for the camp.  Find out if Jo perfects the fruitcake that can rival that of Tom's mother.  I rate this book 5 stars and highly recommend it to readers.  I was given a copy of this book by the author in exchange for my honest review.  
WildflowerMom More than 1 year ago
A sweet, Christmas romance, set in the deep woods of a lumberjack camp in 1890's Michigan. Weaving elements of her own family's story into a novella, it's the perfect setting for a winter story, complete with burly lumberjacks, snow on the ground and a fruitcake baking contest. Only thing missing is the secret fruitcake recipe. Enjoyable read!
TSMathews More than 1 year ago
What A Sweet Treat to Set the Mood for Christmas! Once again it’s my favorite time of year; time to read all the new Christmas stories that are coming out. Last year Carrie Fancett Pagels blessed me with her lovely novella, Snowed In, which was included in the Guideposts Book A Cup of Christmas Cheer. The story she has written this year is another heartwarming one set in the magnificent woods near Mackinaw City, Michigan.      Tom Jeffries has left his home far behind to become a lumberjack with the Christy outfit. Is this Tom’s life long dream? No, but what he thought was his dream didn’t work out. Is this really where he wants to be? No, but this is what he needs to do to support his widowed mother. Jo Christy has been working extremely hard taking care of the cooking for all the men in the camp since her mother’s passing. Most days she longs to be anywhere but here. At her age most women are married and having babies but not her, thanks to her two overprotective brothers. There is only one man in camp they approved to spend time with her, but Sven and Jo both agreed they could never be more than friends. She has noticed the new ax man but he is way too cocky and there is no way she is going to marry a shanty boy! The more time Tom and Jo spend together, the more Jo realizes Tom is a really good man.  So, the day Tom waltzes in and announces he will marry the first woman who bakes a fruitcake like his mom used to make when he was a child, Jo is torn. Dare she even try? Wouldn’t it be better to find a job in town and forget about this life altogether?  Once again Carrie F. Pagels has written an utterly charming story; one that is guaranteed to touch your heart. If you are looking for the perfect read to get you in the Christmas Spirit look no further! It might even prompt you to do a little Fruitcake baking of your own! 
sunshineJB More than 1 year ago
What A Heartwarming Read! This novella will have you wanting more.  This is the first book I have read by author Carrie Fancett Pagels.  It won’t be the last. Life was not easy in 1890 near Mackinaw City, Michigan, especially if you were a lumberjack like Tom Jeffries, and life was not easy being a cook as Jo Christy was, feeding the men and their families in her fathers camp. I had quite a fondness for Tom Jeffries and Jo Christy.  They grew on me from the very beginning.  There were many other characters in this story that I enjoyed too. This story shows that faith and hope, go hand in hand.  When you put your trust in the Mighty hand of God, dreams can come true. So, just what does the title, The Fruitcake Challenge, have to do with lumberjacks and cooks?  I think when you find out, you will be smiling and rooting for the characters in this book.  I do hope you plan to read this novella.  The end had me tearing up.  I gave this book five stars all the way! I wish to thank the author for allowing me to read this great story!  The opinions expressed are mine alone. 
DianaFlow More than 1 year ago
In The Fruitcake Challenge, author Carrie Fancett Pagels sweeps the reader away to 1800s Michigan, where the scent of freshly cut massive white pines and the tantalizing aroma of baked fruitcakes and sugar cookies permeate the reader's senses! Jo Christy is the spunky cook at a lumber camp owned by her father, but has dreams of being on her own and running her own bakery. Although Jo is 25 yrs old, she is carefully guarded against the likes of the cocky, handsome new lumberjack, Tom Jeffries, by her two bulldog brothers -- Ox and Moose. Not that she needs to be babysat, however, as she finds the know-it-all Tom totally insufferable, and is quite capable of fighting off his advances herself. But when Tom puts forth a challenge that he will marry any woman who can bake a fruitcake as good as his mother's, Jo attempts to rise to the occasion for a joke...or is it? The Fruitcake Challenge is a heartwarming, Yuletide novella guaranteed to awaken the reader's senses with its descriptive imagery and the distinctive, tangible aura of Christmas! With a deep spiritual thread of hope throughout, and loveable, fleshed out characters -- readers will find themselves totally immersed in the lives of Tom and Jo. When I finish a story with tears in my eyes, I know that not only have I just concluded a satisfying read, but an anointed one as well! This would make an excellent Christmas gift for family and friends! Nicely done, Ms. Pagels!
chrisg21 More than 1 year ago
Carrie Fancett Pagels does it again. I give it 5 stars The story is set in Michigan at a lumber Camp Jo, the bosses daughter and the Camp Cook who wants to be anywhere but at the camp Her brothers who protect her, and set her up to fall in love the "teacher" who needs to earn money so he signs on as a lumberjack........and challenges Jo to a Fruitcake Contest.....that has a very interesting results God bless All of you A neat christian book I was given this book by the author so I could post my honest review Chris Granville
Britney_Adams More than 1 year ago
I opened the pages of this novella and stepped into a lively lumber camp of 1890! Carrie Fancett Pagels brings to life a delightful cast of characters, as well as the sights and sounds of Northern Michigan. There are so many things I adored about this delectable tale! Equal parts entertainment and encouragement, mixed with savory nuggets of history, dashes of sweet romance, and pinches of humor sprinkled throughout, make a perfect holiday treat! I loved The Fruitcake Challenge and highly recommend this novella!
Diana0 More than 1 year ago
The Fruitcake Challenge (Christmas Traditions Book 3) By: Carrie Fancett Pagels Another great story by Carrie. I loved the sweet romance. Tom Jeffries new lumberjack falls in love with Jo Christy who is the head cook after her mother died. On one condition will he marry her. She will have to make the best fruitcake like his mother makes. Other lumberjacks take the challenge with other ladies at the camp. Will Jo succeed in winning his heart with the best fruitcake? You will enjoy all the ladies go through to win these tuff guys hearts. I loved the characters well written. Who knows maybe we will see them again someday. If you like a good clean romance story you will enjoy. This is book 3 in the Christmas Traditions series.
AngiOakley More than 1 year ago
Jo Christy is tired of life in a lumber camp and wants to start a new one for herself in another location. Being the camp cook, she dreams of getting a job in a bakery and living on her own. But there’s a new man in camp and he’s determined to court her. Despite the fact that she gets annoyed with constant attention from the camp’s new lumberjack, she can’t help but feel drawn to his sweet nature. But when Tom Jeffries, said lumber jack, issues a challenge to her to make a fruit cake as good or better than his mother’s, sparks fly between the two. As Christmas approaches, it’s Tom’s desire to make Jo his wife…if only he can convince her. Carrie Fancett Pagels has written a sweet, fun Christmas story full of romance, humor, and hope. Get ready to snuggle under a blanket with a warm hot chocolate and a good book! I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.