Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Interview with Christine Lindsay

Narelle here. I'm delighted to have the pleasure of interviewing ICFW member Christine Lindsay today on our blog.

Irish-born CHRISTINE LINDSAY writes award-winning historical novels. In Shadowed in Silk and Captured by Moonlight, Christine delights in weaving the endless theme of the Heavenly Father’s redemptive love throughout stories of danger, suspense, adventure, and romance. 

The Pacific coast of Canada, about 200 miles north of Seattle, is Christine’s home.

Prisoners to their own broken dreams… 

After a daring rescue goes awry, the parched north of India grows too hot for nurse Laine Harkness and her friend Eshana. The women flee to the tropical south…and run headlong into their respective pasts. 

Laine takes a new nursing position at a plantation in the jungle, only to discover that her former fiancĂ© is the owner…and that Adam has no more to say to her now than he did when he crushed her years ago. Why, then, is she still drawn to him, and to the tiger cub he is raising? 

Eshana, captured by her traditional uncle and forced once more into the harsh Hindu customs of mourning, doubts whether freedom will ever again be in her future, much less the forbidden love that had begun to whisper to her. Is faith enough to live on? Or is her Savior calling her home? 

Amid cyclones and epidemics, clashing faiths and consequences of the war, will the love of the True Master give hope to these searching hearts?

Narelle: What was your inspiration for writing Captured by Moonlight?

Christine: Two characters from the first book, Shadowed in Silk, insisted I tell their story. They are Eshana, the young Christian woman who served in the mission, and Lieutenant Laine Harkness of the Queen Alexandra Imperial Military Nursing Corp. 

Eshana’s story of being a child Hindu widow needed to be told, so I had someone come out from Eshana’s past to capture and imprison her for being a Christian. 

Laine also needed to be imprisoned by her emotions for her former fiancĂ©, Adam. Things become interesting for her when she finds Adam in a refuge-like plantation in the thick jungle. 

But the overall inspiration was India, and the many Christians in India. Indian women like Pandita Ramabai who did so much for suffering widows and children, American missionary Dr. Ida Scudder, and Indian preacher Sundar Singh, who I wanted to share with modern-day readers.

Narelle: Does Captured by Moonlight include many characters from Book 1, Shadowed in Silk?

Christine: Captured by Moonlight includes Geoff and Abby in a tiny way. But the story is predominately about the adventure and danger that Eshana and Laine are thrust into when they must flee the north of India. The police are seeking these two women for rescuing young Indian girls from the sex slave trade, and the Hindu population is up in arms about that.

Narelle: What do you find most fascinating about the British Raj period of India’s history?

Christine: To me the British Raj is more exciting that even the Wild West is to the Americas. British Colonial India was a time caught in a capsule. It could not last, because it was built on an imperialistic attitude of Britain. But oh, such a time of memsahibs and sahibs, cavalry officers and their steeds, huge Indian armies, grand glittering palaces, beautiful women in saris, the grandeur and beauty of India. Color and spice. Romance in the desert or a flower-perfumed jungle. Need I go on?

Narelle: Captured by Moonlight touches on the historic sex trade in South East Asia. What inspired you to write about this issue?

Christine: You can’t study much about India before realizing the Hindu caste system is one of the cruelest philosophies in the world. It is the height of injustice to believe that some people are of more importance simple because of their lineage as a high-caste person, versus the horror and filth that the lowest class of people (the untouchables) must live with. Even Gandhi did his best to stamp this out. 

One of the practices of Hinduism is called Devadasi. This is where a young girl is “married” to a Hindu deity and dedicated to service in a temple for the rest of her life. Sometimes these girls were from high-caste families who thought they were pleasing their gods by giving them their daughters. Many times the girls were from the untouchable class, who were simply brought in to be prostitutes for Hindu men who came to worship in the temples. This practice is often debated that it really happened this way. But if you read the writings of women such as missionary Amy Carmichael, Dr. Ida Scudder, or Indian heroine Pandita Ramabai, then you know these horrible practices took place. These godly women were just a few who rescued young girls and women from the atrocities of the sex trade. 

I weave part of these truth injustices into Captured by Moonlight. The current-day sex trade is still as strong and still as horrendous as in the days of my fictional story. Something we as Christians nowadays need to be aware of and concerned.

Narelle: What faith issues do your characters struggle to overcome in the story?

Christine: Eshana has been happily living as a Christian and serving God in the medical mission that was built by her mentor, Miriam from Shadowed in Silk. After Miriam’s death, Eshana is convinced it is God’s will for her to administer the mission in her mentor’s footsteps. But God allows something terrible to happen. Eshana is captured by her traditional Hindu uncle and imprisoned for living a life as a Christian. He forces Eshana to be dressed in the course white funeral clothing of a widow and have her head shaved. 

Eshana must go through a sort of death to her own dreams and ambitions. She learns like I am learning—to die to myself so that Christ may live His life and complete His plans through me. Eshana learns that the Lord’s plans are far more wonderful than anything she or I could ever devise.

Narelle: How has your faith influenced your writing?

Christine: I would not be writing if it were not an opportunity for me to show in story format who Jesus Christ is, and what a yielded life to Him can accomplish. What I learn in my devotions at the feet of Christ is what comes out in my character’s journeys.

Narelle: Please tell us about your upcoming releases. Are you planning to write more books in the Twilight of the British Raj series?

Christine: I had always wanted to write a series that would take the reader from what is the beginning of the end of the British Raj and up to its total end in the Partition of India. 

Book 1 Shadowed in Silk starts out with the Jallianwala Bagh massacre that pushed the Indian independence movement into high gear. 

Book 2 Captured by Moonlight carries on with that and focuses on British people who had been born and raised in India. With the end of the Raj nearing they aren’t sure what nationality they are. They’re not truly India. Nor are they quite British. 

Book 3 Veiled at Midnight will finish this series. It will showcase all the glory of the British Raj leaving India. That leaving brings about the Partition of India into a new independent India and the new country of Muslim Pakistan. This was a brutal time in history. But through that I hope to inspire people that God can gather His people from all four corners of the world. No matter where you go in this world, He will find you and care for you.

Christine, thanks for providing us with a fascinating insight into your latest release, Captured by Moonlight. If you'd like to learn more about Captured by Moonlight or connect with Christine, please check out the following links.

NARELLE ATKINS writes contemporary inspirational romance and lives in Canberra, Australia. She recently sold her debut novel, set in Australia, to Harlequin's Heartsong Presents line in a 6-book contract. Her first book, Falling for the Farmer, will be a February 2014 release. 

She has published Bible Studies on Smashwords and blogs regularly at http://30MinuteBibleStudies.wordpress.com 

Narelle is a co-founder of the Australian Christian Readers Blog Alliance (ACRBA) http://www.acrba.blogspot.com 

To learn more about Narelle, please visit her website.


  1. Thank you for the interesting interview, Narelle and Christine. I've added this book to my wish list, it sounds like a fascinating and worthwhile must-read.

    Christine, are there any interesting facts about the cover for this novel? I remember there was a beautiful story to that of :Shadowed in Silk".

  2. Yes, Ruth Ann. :o) Because I had such joy using my birthdaughter Sarah as the model for Shadowed in Silk's cover, WhiteFire Publishing allowed me to use my daughter Lana for the cover of Captured by Moonlight. We had a hoot with the costumes and photoshoot. I've got tons of pictures on my facebook page---Christine Lindsay Author.

  3. Thanks for this fascinating interview, Narelle and Christine. Also for sharing about the cover. That is such fun!

    1. Narelle did a wonderful job on the interview as usual. Thank you so much Narelle.

  4. Hi Christine, Hi Narelle,

    Christine, I was very happy to find you recently and I've purchased your two books on Amazon. I very much look forward to reading and reviewing them. I too am a Christian and a writer and I simply love the idea of using your writing to how what you've learnt at the feet of the Lord.

    I have to say, that as the wife of a Hindu of caste, that many Hindus don't see caste so much as a way of keeping other communities under their yoke - it's more a way of defining different communities. In a multi-cultural society, you can easily pick out the people who belong to your community and with whom you would have most in common. Castes, as you probably know, were originally divided on the basis of occupations. They were originally flexible too. It was when the system became rigid and inflexible that abuses crept in. The matter of ritual impurity - well, remember in the Bible how the Lord instructed the children of Israel to set themselves apart and not to contaminate themselves with impurity? That was to keep the Israelites ritually pure so the Saviour could be born among them. Remember, after Jesus's sacrifice and returning home, Sts. Peter and Paul had to convince the Jews that ritual purity was no longer an issue now that Jesus had fulfilled the Law? Well, I would see Hindu ideals of purity in a similar way. I often tell my Hindu friends that I would see their rituals as no longer necessary now that the Saviour has redeemed us. The abuses that have crept into the caste system have come under severe criticism from many Hindus, including the great Mahatma Gandhi.

    Now as to the sexual abuse of women dedicated to Hindu Gods, that was never meant to happen. Again, it is actually the abuse of a system originally meant for good. As you know, there has been lot of sexual abuse in institutions in Christianity too and I wouldn't see that any way differently.

    Having said that, I have to say that I truly believe that Jesus Christ is the Way, the Truth and the Life. Hindu belief in it's true form is such that many Hindus actually accept Jesus quite readily, His Divinity and His Sacrifice I notice great interest in Jesus among Hindus when I speak about Him to them, whenever an opportunity arises.

    God bless you Christine and may you write many more books set in India which I look forward to reading. I was also born in Ireland and find your story fascinating.

    Narelle, I look forward to discovering your work too. Thanks for doing the interview and helping me get to know Christine better.

    1. Dear Maria, how wonderful to hear from you. And yes, I agree with you on every one of your excellent points. So hard to put it all into one tiny interview. But those are the kind of things I do try to explain more fully in the novels.

      As I have been writing this series set in India, I have tried to show that we can't lable a whole group of people or an entire religion based on a few facts or myths. There is so much good and bad in each culture and religion. Even Christianity has been misused countless times in the centuries, and the message of Christ warped by wrong thinking.

      Same with Hinduism, Islam, etc. Now, I'm with you---totally believing in Jesus as the only Way, the truth, etc. to God the Father. But I agree with you, there is so much lovliness and good in these other religions, and much of what they taught has been warped.

      Really looking forward to getting to know you better, Maria. I'm sure we have so much to share and discuss. Let's keep in touch. Here is my email.

      christine (dot) d (dot) schmidtke (at) gmail (dot) com.

  5. Ruth Ann, I'm really looking forward to reading Captured by Moonlight :)

    Christine, it's so cool that your daughters have been your cover models :)

    Shirl, I've enjoyed learning more about Christine and her book through our interview :)

    Maria, thanks for your insightful thoughts on the Hindu caste system. The corruption of religious practices can definitely be seen in all religions, and in many cases it leads to injustice and abhorrent human rights abuses. It's great to hear about your Hindu friends and their willingness to learn more about Jesus. Thanks for stopping by :)

  6. loved the interview and the different things you mentioned. I had hear of the untouchables and the way they have to give up there daughters to the temples and they become sex slave. My friend was talking about it a year or so back how she heard about it from an interview with focus on the family. It is sad that it happens.
    I look forward to reading this book.

    1. Hi Jenny, always a blessing to hear from you. Looking forward to the Australian blog tour.

  7. Great interview Narelle and Christine. I have Shadowed in Silk here. It arrived today to read.Wish I was going to be reading your book on Aussie blog tour but I don't have an E reader. Just have to wait for a print copy. All the best with both