Monday, February 13, 2012

It's All About the Roarin' Twenties.

JoAnn Carter writes stories
that will encourage your faith
through her inspirational romances.
She resides in Vermont with her
wonderful husband and four children.
JoAnn is available for speaking engagements to book clubs, reader groups, library groups, women's ministry events, school events and church retreats.

You can visit JoAnn's webpage by going to

SKC:  Welcome JoAnn. I've been blessed to have had the opportunity to read your recent book. So good. What books or project are you hoping to tell us about this week?

JC:   Thanks so much, Shirley for your kind words. It's a pleasure to be here! Thanks too for the opportunity to tell you about the project that I've been having so much fun with. Mercies in Disguise is the second book in the Roarin' 20's series. Here's the concept:

Abigail Madison, a gentle quiet spirit, has always dreamed of a life away from her mother’s controlling ways. Even more than that, she’s dreamed of finding someone with whom she could share her life with. However, her shyness is often taken as aloofness and no marital prospects were anywhere to be found. What was to become of her hopes?

Stanley Fisher, the Steamboat pilot of the Ticonderoga, was drafted and fought in World War I. The experiences he lived though on the battlefield left him wounded -- but not in a way that the naked eye could see. Yet, when he meets Abigail, he yearns for a love like his best friend and Captain of the Ti, Philip found in Ellie. However, with his recurring nightmares from war, what does he have to offer to this special woman?

SKC:  Sounds really interesting. Tell us about two things you believe are the inspiration behind how you come up with the books you write?

JC: For this particular story, actually a Sunday School class was the catalyst for the inspiration behind Abigail's character. Combine that with a song by Laura Story, "Blessings" and there you have it – all the inspiration one could want. J Both these things made me stop and think. Often it's those difficult times and things we face in life that can bring about the greatest spiritual growth. 

SKC:  Tell us about some of the authors who have given you insight on how to express your own voice, and have taught you the most about development of style

JC:  Writing, at least for me, is a growing endeavor. My writing buddies are a special group of gals. Clare Revell, Anne Greene, and Therese Travis help me see some holes that I might have totally overlooked.

That being said, I think the greatest boost to my own writing skills has been gained by becoming an avid reader. J

SKC:  I could not agree more. When you are in the middle of series and deadlines, JoAnn, would you say it cramps your creativity, or enhance it, and why or why not?

JC: Hmm. This is an interesting question. To be honest, before this historical series, I never contracted a story that wasn't already written. Yet, I believe this new experience was a real Godsend. Had it not been for the contract, I think I would have walked away from writing this year. (Life at home with four boys from the age of 15-11 is busy.) Some days when there's not much time to think, my creativity suffers. But those days are great for the more mundane tasks such as editing, or publicity... that kind of thing.

SKC:  What for you is the KEY to writing a good book?

JC I believe I need to write to the best of my ability and then humbly accept correction and suggestions with an open mind and heart from those critiquing/editing my work. 

SKC:  After you finish your present project what plans outside of writing do you have, JoAnn?

JC: A few things come to mind. I'd really like to clean out our basement. When I'm in between projects I try to do something big that's been put off. J

Another thing is, our church is planning a summer mission trip with our youth group. As one of the leaders of this group, I've been praying and asking God if this is what He'd have me do as well.

And finally, we're home schooling our 7th grader this year. As this project finishes, I'd like to take him on a few year-end field trips to explore things we've studied.

SKC:  As we close, please let us know which book you plan to donate to one of our readers, and share a reflection question that deals with reading material, or writing techniques, or whatever else comes to your mind.

JC I'd love to donate a copy of the first book in the series, The Floating Palace.

Hmm. For the reflection bit... at the end of each story, I've been trying to leave the reader with a little bit of 'food for thought.' I'd love to share it with our guests if you don't mind and then leave them a question. So here it is...

What rich history the Pine Barren's of New Jersey holds. I'm looking forward to sharing more about this area, their customs, and the 1920's time-period with you in the third book in this Roarin’ 20’s series, Shifting Sands. For those of you who are history buffs you may be interested to know that the Fairview sanitarium was indeed established in the early 1920's in New Lisbon, N.J but not by a Dr. Reily, but rather by Marcus W. Newcomb, M.D. It was one of the first of several in the area. They truly believed the air, cedar water, and natural springs in the pines were beneficial to the ill. Fairview was just a few miles from the New Lisbon train station, situated a short distance away from the Burlington County Almshouse, where the Buttonwood Hall Hospital now resides on Pemberton - Browns Mills Road.

As for the town of Brown's Mills, the Pig'n Whistle, where Stanley resides in this story was actually in operation until a fire claimed the facility in 1972. This community has seen many changes since the year 1923. The Springs are no longer in operation, and the tourist population has depleted. Therefore, hotels like the Pig'n Whistle are not available, the sanitarium is long since gone, people are not excited to swim in cedar water, and Camp Dix is now part of a mega base, McGuire-Dix.

However, some things haven't changed over time. The pine trees still grow, scrawny, yet thick in the Pine Barrens. The sandy soil will always make growing grass a challenge, and I imagine that the blueberry bushes will always love to grow there. Likewise, although Abigail and Stanley are fictional characters set in the past, the lessons they learn and the truths revealed within their story remains the same and unchanged. God does often bring us "Mercies in Disguise." We may be tempted to identify ourselves from our experiences rather than who we are in Christ. It is my hope and prayer that this book will give you things to think about and that in some way this story has bless your heart.

So here's my question for A Pen For Your Thoughts followers, in what ways do you, or have you, sought to identify yourself?

SKC: That's a GREAT question. How can our readers find you and also locate your books?

Thanks again for having me here this week. It's an honor to share a spot on your blog!

Okay, readers. You see JoAnn's great question for you. 

We really look forward to seeing your responses. We will draw the winner's name randomly in the next few days. Hope you win!


  1. Sounds like a great series and a wonderful new story. Your cover is spectacular. Lots of luck with the release.

  2. Thanks, Jillian for stopping by and leaving a comment. :)

  3. Wow!! Good question...1st I am my Father's daughter...both my Heavenly and Earthly Fathers..2nd I am a wife..a mother of 9...and a grandmother to 10...but that's not all that I am! I'm an avid reader and book hoarder who always wanted to be a writer but has never found that special story..yet:) I love this time period and would love to win a copy of your book...then I would HAVE to go out and buy the 1st one because I CANNOT read a series out of sequence...Wishing you the best with your book sales, JoAnn...margie at mijares dot net

  4. Margie,

    I hope one day you do find that special story to write!

    Thanks for stopping by.

  5. I think the way I best identify myself is when I think of my relationship with God.
    Thanks for the interview. I really like them. And your book sounds really good.
    Janice Ian

  6. Thanks, Janice. :)Shirley does an awesome job on her blog!

  7. It's here... release day! MERCIES IN DISGUISE is available at, B&N, and Desert Breeze Publishing.

    Oh, and if you haven't had the chance to read BOOK ONE: The Floating Palace, it is 20% off the retail price this week at CBD~ http://www.christia roarin-twenties- book-floating- palace-ebook/ joann-carter/ 9781612520605/ pd/24489EB? item_code= WW&netp_id= 979795&event= ESRCG&view= details

  8. Oh, I can;t wait to check it out. Good interview folks. Betty Fimple, windsor, california

  9. Betty, it's always nice to meet new folks.
    Thank you for stopping by.

  10. What a grand title, congratulations on your new release.
    I could write quite a list of identifiers because as a woman I fill quite a few roles. Child of the King came to mind first.

  11. LoRee,
    It's great to see you here! I like how you identify yourself first as a Child of the King. :)

    Folks, if you're wondering about the drawing, we'll be picking a name on Monday. So, if you haven't left a comment yet... it's not too late!

    Have a great weekend. :)

  12. First and foremost I am a child of God and I sing it out at the top of my lungs and share it with those who are willing to listen. I can strike up a conversation with any one and talk about my relationship with my God! I am a wife who adores her husband. I am a Mother of a Son and a Daughter. I am a Grandmother of a Granddaughter and Grandson. Reading is my passion and I have a book with me where ever I go. I like all Christian fiction and non-fiction. I have been a caregiver. My Mother lost her battle 3 weeks ago yesterday. She is with our Lord and Savior! I miss her so!

    JoAnn, thank you for your inspirational books. I love the name JoAnn. My Daughter's middle name is JoAnn!

    I would love to win a copy of your book.


  13. Very nice interview and I'm wondering how to answer JoAnn's question. First of all, I'd like to read her story of the roaring 20's. I've always enjoyed learning of that time period. Identifying myself has always been a diabolical question to answer. I've done so many things during my life to be, studying, ministering, being a friend and helper to others...having to overcome obstacles and always with the help of Jesus. I want to be what God made me to be...and frankly, I'm not sure what that is yet! LOL At 73..and walking again after 12 years of illness and immobilization, I have many choices to become...I now am a "want to be" writer. Thank you for this great giveaway and the chance to win a fine read.

    Barb Shelton
    barbjan10 at tx dot rr dot com

  14. Judy,
    I am sorry to hear about the loss of your mother. You'll be in my thoughts and prayers.

  15. Barbara,
    Wow, how exciting after years of being unable to walk, you are now walking. That's amazing.

    I guess by just committing each and every day to Christ and going where He leads... you'll be what God created you to be. :)

    Best wishes on your writing.

  16. Barbara,

    My son Josh just picked your name out of a hat as the winner of THE FLOATING PALACE. Congrats!

    Thanks everyone for participating.