Please join me as I interview fellow ICFW blogger, Christine Lindsay, about her debut novel, SHADOWED IN SILK. An interesting note about the front cover of the book is that the model is Christine's daughter, Sarah, whom she relinquished to adoption and was reunited with 20 years later. Click here to read the story behind the cover.
Leave a comment and your email address at the end of today's blog if you wish to be entered in the draw for Christine's book.
SHADOWED IN SILK won first place in the 2009 ACFW Genesis for Historical under the title UNVEILED. SHADOWED IN SILK is being released by WhiteFire Publishing in 2 stages this year, first as an eBook on May 1, 2011, and as the printed version on September 1.
The Pacific coast of Canada, about 200 miles north of Seattle, is Christine’s home. It's a special time in her life as she and her husband enjoy the empty nest, but also the noise and fun when the kids and grandkids come home. Like a lot of writers, her cat is her chief editor.
She was invisible to those who should have loved her.
After the Great War, Abby Fraser returns to India with her small son, where her husband is stationed with the British army. She has longed to go home to the land of glittering palaces and veiled women . . . but Nick has become a cruel stranger. It will take more than her American pluck for Abby to survive.
Major Geoff Richards, broken over the loss of so many of his men in the trenches of France, returns to his cavalry post in Amritsar. But his faith does little to help him understand the ruthlessness of his British peers toward the Indian people he loves. Nor does it explain how he is to protect Abby Fraser and her child from the husband who mistreats them.
Amid political unrest, inhospitable deserts, and Russian spies, tensions rise in India as the people cry for the freedom espoused by Gandhi. Caught between their own ideals and duty, Geoff and Abby stumble into sinister secrets . . . secrets that will thrust them out of the shadows and straight into the fire of revolution.
Ruth Ann: Please tell us a bit about SHADOWED IN SILK and what inspired you to write it.
Christine: I grew up on stories from my mother of our Irish ancestors who served in the British Raj of India as soldiers and cavalry officers. As a Brit, I devoured the great MM Kaye novels, FAR PAVILIONS and SHADOW OF THE MOON, so I wanted to write a novel similar in vein. I love all the British military dash and pomp, and the exotic mysterious danger of India in that era. But I wanted my novel to have a Christian world view.
RA: Where can our readers buy "SHADOWED IN SILK"?
CL: It is available as eBook on various sites. Here are two links:
Click here for Amazon and here for Barnes and Noble.
RA: In a previous blog (click here to read) you mentioned making a missions trip to India. Did you have any funny or interesting experiences there? Have any of these found their way into your book?
CL: In writing SHADOWED IN SILK I had done a TON of research, so it was so wonderful to actually see the place and smell it. There was so much I recognized. There were moments on an Indian train—not in first class—but riding on dusty, hard seats and looking out on seemingly untouched India that I felt like my heroes, Amy Carmichael and Dr. Ida Scudder, 2 famous missionaries to India at the turn of the century. It was sheer magic.
Nothing changed in my story, but I was able to deepen the character of Eshana, my young Hindu widow who is now a Christian. She’s able to teach my main character, Abby, that when one believes in Christ they become a daughter of the greatest Rajah of all—God.
RA: How did you weave in a spiritual thread to make it relevant to your readers without being preachy?
CL: My characters think like I think when I’m struggling, especially going back a number of years before I yielded all to God. I am not perfect, and have been saved from much, so my thinking is what I call realistic. This is one of the reasons my book was passed over by the major houses—my main character Abby is not a Christian at the start of the book, and she contemplates doing something immoral. I wanted to relate to my readers when they’re struggling with temptation. However, I round things up by always bringing my characters to that point where they realize they NEED Christ. I guess you could say I wrote it from a sinner’s point of view, and that of a person who has learned from a gracious God.
RA: Did you have any particular Bible verses running through your mind as you wrote?
CL: One is what I call Geoff’s theme. The struggles my Major Geoffrey Richards has are quite different from Abby’s. He is a solid and honorable Christian man. His verse is from Psalm 27:13 “I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.”
RA: What do you hope your readers will take away from your book?
CL: Whether they are Christians or not one yet—that God sees them and hears them when they cry out. And that only Christ can lift away the veil of sin so that they may see God one day face-to-face and experience true life.
RA: Do you enjoy reading books with foreign settings? Any favorites?
CL: I love foreign settings. I love being whisked away to a place that also no longer exists—like the exotic era of the British Raj. So I read books by Jeanette Windle, Kathi Macias, and I re-read the great MM Kaye every few years. I also enjoy Biblical settings such as A STRAY DROP OF BLOOD by Roseanna White.
RA: If you were given an all expenses paid holiday anywhere in the world to research a novel, where would you choose to go? Why would you choose this location?
CL: I'd go back to India in a flash. We as North Americans know so little about the history of that country. It’s fascinating when you think of all the various influences on that country, not in the least the British Raj. Talk about a flamboyant era of English pomp and valor, as well as imperialism that hurt a great many. To me that beats the wild west any day because it’s so different. I also find the Indian people to be so warm. Their culture is so colorful. Look at the women’s saris.
RA: Please tell us about your current book/project.
CL: I’m currently working on SOFI'S BRIDGE which is a historical set in Washington State in 1910. A young woman doubts that God wants her to pursue her artistic dreams. She wants to build bridges. Not something you see in a woman at that time. She also falls in love with a man who hides his identity, and that he is a doctor.
Then I have to start the sequel to SHADOWED IN SILK , which is already called CAPTURED BY MOONLIGHT. It takes up the story of 2 secondary characters from SHADOWED IN SILK. One is my former Hindu widow Eshana, who lives as a Christian. She is captured and imprisoned by her in-laws. The other character is English nurse, Laine Harkness, who is captured by a fear to love again. She lost her fiancé during The Great War, and another man who died in SHADOWED IN SILK. These 2 women are captured and held, but the Love of Christ will release them. I promise. I always believe in happy endings. Although I don’t promise to not kill off the occasional character to get to that happy ending.
RA: Thank you for chatting to us today, Christine. I'm looking forward to reading SHADOWED IN SILK and your two other novels when they are published.
If you would like to entered in the draw for an electronic copy of SHADOWED IN SILK, please leave a comment for Christine AND your email address by midnight Friday 20th May. The draw is open to readers world wide. The winner will be announced in the Sunday Edition on Sunday 22nd May.
The giveaway is void where prohibited; the odds of winning depend on the number of entrants. Entering the giveaway is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international law.
Ruth Ann Dell writes children's stories and international Christian fiction from her home in a sunny South African suburb. She is a member of several writing groups including the American Christian Fiction Writers and Writer's Ink. Her desire is to craft gripping stories which draw her readers into a closer relationship with God.
Ruth Ann and her husband have lived in several countries and are renovating a cottage in the heart of Ireland.