As a Multiple Sclerosis patient, it has become necessary for me to reinvent myself. I have ... and continue to ... refuse to lie down and die, or in this case, follow the normally prescribed drugs and treatments that do nothing to defeat my disease. I am not only surviving by pursuing alternatives, I am thriving. I do the things specialists told me I would never be able to do. I walk and hope to one day even run regularly. I retain my cognitive and creative abilities for the pleasure of my readers. Although you may never see me on my daily walk, you are welcome to read my novel(s) and in doing so, come to ask yourself, "How can the 'out of the box' protocol she has followed, help my loved one with an autoimmune disease like Multiple Sclerosis?"

Shifting Sands with Jo Ann Carter

What happens when a self-taught environmentalist, who is very much into "natural" ways, meets a university graduate physician who's interested in the latest research and medicine, yet find themselves attracted to each other? Can such different people commit to love each other for a lifetime?

Welcome to book three of the Roarin' Twenties Series, SHIFTING SANDS... (A Historical/Inspirational series set in the 1920's)

This historical series has been my first for this genre. I can't even begin to tell you how much I've enjoyed this project! I have to admit though, in school I was never much of a history buff. Yet, as I dug into the setting, the people who surrounded it, and the 1920 years themselves, it came alive for me and... I fell in love.

For those of you who like to know a bit the of background and ground work to this particular story, I'd love to share with you the Author's Note I had written. There are two parts, the first tells a bit about the history and the second deals with where my thoughts had taken me while I was writing. So sit back, and let's take a peek at what was happening in 1920 in the Pine Barren's of New Jersey~

Historically speaking ~

The White's were a prominent family who lived at Fenwick Manor, in New Lisbon, New Jersey. The original farmhouse was built in the late 1820's. A west wing was added on and ornamental detailing and such was attached in the early 20th century. During this time, it was a 215-acre farmstead. (Currently, the New Jersey Pinelands Commission offices reside in this beautiful home and it is open to the public. Their goal is to protect "the natural and cultural heritage of this unique region.") * Photo seen was copied from

The White family also owned and maintained the Whitesbog village in Browns Mills. Even today, many of the buildings still stand. Some are preserved for historical benefit, while others were converted into year-round residence dwellings. The general store is open to visitors and they have different activities you can join in throughout the year. The most popular is the annual, "blueberry festival" which is held each June. If you'd like to see some photos, please go to

As for the characters, both Dede and James are purely fictional. Yet, I did try to stay true to the "typical" pineland people. These folks, while often gruff at first glance, have tender, caring hearts underneath, just as Dede did. You'll also notice the name, Elizabeth White, in this story. She is not a fictional being. Elizabeth was the eldest of three White sisters. However, unlike in this story, she was the sole woman who, with the help of Dr. Fredrick V. Coville, cultivated the first blueberries in 1916. Elizabeth never married and she owned and lived at Suningive, in the Whitesbog Village.

Fairview, the sanatorium, as seen in book two, Mercies in Disguise, has been portrayed as accurately as possible, to the best of my ability. Fairview did indeed have a fire, and the residents did move to Birmingham Inn, but I changed the date to fit the scope of this short historical series. Where fact from fiction deviates is, during the 1920's the sanatorium was never in danger of closing as in Dede and James's story. That's the fun part of writing historical fiction... you get to blend both reality and imagination together.

The real heart of the matter to me (and where the title, Shifting Sands came from)~

Is it wise to build a foundation on sand? Of course not, it moves right under your feet. Yet, in a way, as you saw -- that's exactally what Dede has done with her own life. (And at times, so have I.) Rather than building her foundation upon Christ, she's built her life upon her own strengths and perceptions. That suddenly "shifts" after meeting Dr. James Riley and the Lord. It is then that she realizes what she had considered her greatest strength was also her greatest weakness. Hence the title... Shifting Sands.

Perhaps today, like Dede, you're trying hard to do things in your own might... perhaps even earn your Salvation. God offers to me and to you -- to anyone who seeks him -- the same thing He offered to Dede, a solid foundation that can be found in Christ alone. Have you accepted His gift? If not, there's no better day than today.

As this series ends, I want to let you know I've been praying for you. I've been asking God to use these stories to encourage you and grow your faith. May God's face shine upon you.


So, after reading that, would you like to know more? Then here we go...

Dede White is going to shut down the Fairview sanatorium, no matter what. Her beloved aunt died because of doctors like James Riley and she’s not going to let him trifle with any more lives.

But -- James Riley isn’t what she thinks. Unfortunately, Dede doesn’t figure this out until she’s done her best to shut his sanatorium down. She might not be able to repair the damage she’s done, and even if she is, will he be able to love her back?

EXCERPT supplied by author

He drove down through the town of Brown's Mills in silence. As he neared the lake, he pulled off on a side road and stopped by a path that led to the beach. All the while, Dede stayed hunkered down behind his seat. "You can get up now."

She slowly raised herself up to the back seat and then peered out the window to double check. Apparently, she was satisfied. She sank down into the seat and sighed.

"Why are you in my car?"

"I told you..."

He held up his hand. "Dede, wanting to talk and hiding are two different things."

In a small voice she said, "I didn't want to damage your reputation any more than I already have. People are starting to talk... someone is spreading a rumor that the only reason I worked on the Thanksgiving program was to get my foot in the door of the sanatorium." She swallowed. "You know, to use things against you. But that's not true."

James closed his eyes. It was as plain to him as the nose on his face that Dede did not act vindictively against him, yet he could see how it would easily be construed as so. "Dede..."

"I am to blame for everything." Dede rested her hand on his shoulder. "Do you think you could ever find room in your heart to forgive me?"

A shock of awareness zipped through him. Now he was frustrated not only with the circumstance, but the attraction he still felt toward Dede. She's hurting, but why should I have to comfort her when I'm the one who has just lost everything?

A verse filled his mind. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

He sighed and turned around. "Dede, I know that you didn't set out to hurt me... that what you did, you did for your aunt... but it does affect me."

She kept her gaze fastened upon her clasped hands. "I realize that." She peeked up. The tears that filled her soft gray eyes were nearly his undoing. "So what now?"

He opened his door, stepped out, then opened her door, and offered her his hand. She took it and stood next to him. He bundled her up in his arms and rested his chin on the top of her head. "I think it's past time that we both lay our burdens down at the foot of the cross and seek the Lord." He looked out over the glistening water. "I've been real diligent to tell Him what I want... but not so much in asking what He wants." He lifted his head and looked down at her. "Will you do that with me? Ask Him to guide us."

She sniffled but then nodded. "I'd like that. Very much."

"Good. Let’s go to church together on Sunday."

Dede's eyes grew large. "But..."

He held a finger to her lips. "Shh. What others think about you or me is not what's important -- only what God thinks. If people want to talk, nowhere you go or nothing you do is going to stop that."

"Yes, I suppose you're right."

He tweaked her nose. "I like hearing you say that."

She gave him a wobbly smile. "Oh, James. I truly am sorry."

He leaned down and rested his forehead up against hers. "And I truly forgive you."


Purchase Link:

Also available at CBD, Amazon, B&N, as well as other e-book retailers.

You can win a copy of either book one: THE FLOATING PALACE, two: MERCIES IN DISGUISE, or three: SHIFTING SANDS by leaving a comment. A winner's name will be choosen Sept. 24th and post ed on blog blogs so feel free to check back. we will need your email addy to send you the book of your choice so be sure to check and if your name is drawn we will need your addy. Prize will be delivered via email.

Best wishes,
Encouraging faith though fiction
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