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A Visit with Carolina Jessup from Kay Dew Shostak’s Next Stop Chancey

Next Stop, Chancey CoverInner Source is happy to again share some of our favorite titles with readers, allowing them not only to meet the author but also one of the main characters of the stories we are sharing. Our first guest this year is Carolina Jessup, the delightful heroine of Kay Dew Shostak’s Next Stop, Chancey.

Carolina, welcome to Inner Source, and thank you for being our first guest of 2016. I have to admit that I read the series out of order, but I didn’t miss a thing. The second story had me salivating to read the first. So I’d like to start with you telling us a little about where you find yourself in life right now, where you live, and what you find yourself doing these days.

Well, Fay, one advantage you have as a reader is you know my thoughts, so, I guess I’ll just be honest. Small towns are not all they’re racked up to be, and I’d promised myself I’d never get stuck in one again. Yet, here I am in Chancey, Georgia. Running a B&B, for crying out loud. Now, not only are the people that live here all in my business, but I welcome strangers into my home. I’m just not sure how I let all this happen. Usually with a little redirection, dragging my feet and good nature stalling, I can get out of things I don’t like. So, honestly? I’m still a little stunned I’m here and figuring any day now, this will all go away. That could happen, right?

Now, I want to tell you that even as I write this interview I am smiling because I found myself at times realizing that you and I have a lot in common. At all times, I knew where you were coming from. The way you handle life’s ups and downs with humor, your love for your husband, and those things that you want to avoid—those are all me. I found myself understanding myself a little better through your eyes. I hope that makes sense. I think I know this answer, but why do you feel that humor spills from your thoughts when you are dealing with difficult things in your life?

Really? You feel like you know where I am coming from? Great then, ‘cause you and I need to spend some time together. As for the humor, I try to keep that to a minimum since I tend to be not so nice sometimes. Are you like that, too? I’d love to be more honest, more straight-forward. Not have one thought in my head, and the completely opposite words come out of my mouth. Maybe that’s what makes me say funny things.

Am I just like you, especially in the “not so nice” area? Most of the time I’m Southern sweet. To share with our readers, I’m nice on the outside and churning butter on the inside so that I don’t tell someone what I think. However, when pushed too far, the butter I’ve churned is spat out in large portions.

Your husband, Jackson, travels a lot, and he’s moved you—no let me rephrase that—you moved your family to Chancey, Georgia, from the suburbs. First, I’d like to know if there is anything you miss about the suburbs.

Most times, everything! People didn’t assume so much about me in the suburbs. They just left me alone. It was easy to shut off access to me and my family. In Chancey, folks all have opinions on what you should do. They watch for the least little thing to comment on. And they have no qualms about commenting. And then there was my Publix grocery store in Marietta with full service bakery, deli, fish market. Great, now I’m depressed.

Oops, sorry. Didn’t mean to make you feel bad, but perhaps the next question will bring it more into perspective. You knew this was coming. Deep down inside, what did you think of those wonderful, crazy folks you found in Chancey? (My favorite is Missus—I love that crazy lady).

Well, now this would be much easier if you hadn’t already read the first book and knew some of my thoughts. I could lie and say Missus is a sweet old lady, and I feel honored to have met her. But, well, no. Missus is bossy and I really can’t think straight around her. Do you know people like that? Where you get so tongue-tied and even brain-tied around them you end up confirming to them that they are right and you’re an idiot? But, if you like her, then maybe I’ll try a little harder. Susan and Laney, I’ve got to admit, are really great. I’ve not made a lot of friends in my life (see that thing about wanting to be left alone above) but I kind of regret that now that I’m getting to know Susan and Laney.

If readers were to take one truth from the life of Carolina Jessup, what would you want it to be.

I’m beginning to think I might not know what’s best for my life. Maybe this God thing has some merit, because there’s no way I would’ve chosen to move to Chancey or open a B&B, but well, and don’t tell anyone this, it might just be the best thing that could’ve happened. But probably not. Sure, God could come up with making a platypus, but moving us to Chancey? Naw, that’s just too crazy.

Carolina, I enjoyed your honest answers. I look forward to speaking with your author on Wednesday. In the meantime, enjoy those trains passing by your home, that quirky little town, and that river that runs through your backyard. I hope to visit Chancey again very soon.

More About Next Stop, Chancey:

Looking in your teenage daughter’s purse is never a good idea. When Carolina does, she ends up accidentally selling their home in her beloved Atlanta suburbs to move into her husbands dream home. It’s a big, old house beside a railroad bridge in a small Georgia town. And now he dreams of her opening a B&B for Railroad buffs while he’s off doing his day job. Carolina’s dislike of actually saying “No” leaves an opening for the town bully who wears a lavender skirt and white gloves. Soon, of course, Carolina is opening the B&B with the aid of the entire town of Chancey, Georgia, and it all makes her hate small towns even more than when she was growing up in one. And did I mention there’s a ghost? Yeah, teenagers, trains, and a ghost. This stuff didn’t happen in the suburbs.

Chancey Family Lies frontAnother Great Read by Kay Dew Shostak: Chancey Family Lies:

Carolina is determined her first holiday season as a stay-at-home mom will be perfect. However …

Twelve kids from college (and one nobody seems to know)

Eleven chili dinners (Why do we always need to feed a crowd?)

Ten dozen fake birds (cardinals, no less)

Nine hours without power (but lots of stranded guests)

Eight angry council members (Wait, where’s the town’s money?)

Seven trains a-blowin’ (all the time. All. The. Time).

Six weeks with relatives (six weeks!!)

Five plotting teens (Again, who is that girl?)

Four in-laws staying (and staying, and staying …)

Three dogs a-barking (Who brought the dogs?)

Two big ol’ secrets (and they ain’t wrapped in ribbons under the three, either)

And the perfect season gone with the wind.

photo shoot pic blue croppedAbout the Author:

“A new voice in Southern Fiction” is how a recent reviewer labels Kay Dew Shostak’s debut novel, Next Stop, Chancey. Kay grew up in the South and graduated from the University of Tennessee. She then joined her husband moving around the country as they raised their three children. Always a reader, being a writer was a dream she cultivated as a journalist and editor at a small town newspaper in northern Illinois. After moving to Marietta, Georgia, Kay submitted several true life stories which appeared in a number of compilation books over the next ten years. In 2011, she and her husband, Mike, moved to Fernandina Beach, Florida for Mike’s job.

Seeing the familiar and loved from new perspectives led Kay to write about the absurd, the beautiful, and the funny in her South in both her fiction and non-fiction. While Next Stop, Chancey is her debut novel, she has completed two more in the series and is working on the fourth book. Chancey Book number 2: Chancey Family Lies is now available.

Visit Kay’s website  to sign up for her newsletter and to read more about her journey. Kay is also on Facebook and Twitter.

Author Interview: Betty Thomason Owens

Betty Owens 2Today’s guest is Betty Thomason Owen.  Betty lives in Kentucky with her husband, Robert. They have three grown sons living in the area, along with their daughters-in-law, four beautiful granddaughters (one more on the way!), and two handsome grandsons.

Betty is semiretired, and spends most of her time writing, studying about writing, and critiquing other peoples’ writing. She is an active member of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), where she leads a critique group, and attends regular local meetings. She’s also involved with Bluegrass Christian Writers, a lively group of Kentucky writers, who meet quarterly in a Lexington, Kentucky bookstore.

Betty has two fantasy-adventure novels, The Lady of the Haven and A Gathering of Eagles, in a second edition published by Sign of the Whale Books, an imprint of Olivia Kimbrell Press.

She also writes historical fiction. Her most recent release, Amelia’s Legacy is the first novel in the Legacy series for Write Integrity Press. In addition to the ’20’s era romances, Betty also writes contemporary stories as a co-author of A Dozen Apologies and the upcoming Love Boat Bachelor.

Visit her webpage or find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

Betty, I’m so happy to have you back again to discuss your latest release. Tell us a little about Amelia’s Legacy?

Amelia’s Legacy is the story of a young woman’s rebellion against what she believes is a blatant attempt by her grandmother to turn her into someone she isn’t. So Nancy sets out to derail that train and would have ended in a wreck, if not for Grandmother Amelia’s foresight and planning.

As the story begins, Nancy has a very selfish view of life. Amelia is concerned about the many lives in her care. Those livelihoods could be directly impacted by Nancy’s frivolity. This, along with a strong desire to protect her granddaughter’s reputation, is what steers Amelia’s decision.

Robert Emerson becomes the bridge between the two. His steady influence on Nancy’s life brings her to a point where she knows a decision must be made. As often happens, events collide at that intersection to change her life’s course and wrest the decision from her hands.

The story is set in the 1920s, and you bring that era to life. Is there a reason that you chose this era?

I have always had a fascination with the twenties, an era often compared to the sixties, because of the music, the short dresses, promiscuity, and substance abuse. The timeline of events is fascinating as well, especially when you have real life to compare with it. My dad’s mom was born in 1906 as revival took off across America. Then WWI came along and many women worked outside the home, often leaving young children to fend for themselves. As they grow to maturity, we see an era of increased promiscuity, followed by a financial crisis and a deepening depression. If you’re a history buff, that kind of thing really catches your attention. How did they endure it? I loved the stories Grandma told and some of those made it in to Amelia’s Legacy.

Nancy is a memorable character for me because she starts out as a naïve girl who has some growing up to do. She’s a dreamer and a bit headstrong, and that gets her into trouble. Though she doesn’t lose her flawed nature, she matures, but her troubles follow her. So, I have to ask: did you write Nancy from experience?

Aha. You’re on to me. I was a dreamer. I desired to be that rebellious one, and like Nancy, I was too cowardly to be really bad. There were times when my poor decisions and pig-headedness landed me in places that reflected badly on me. Don’t tell my granddaughters, though.

Nancy’s grandmother, Amelia, reminded me of my own grandmother. She was our family matriarch, and without a doubt, she was the most important person in my life. What about you? Did you have a grandmother like Amelia or a grandmother that in some way impacted you the way that Amelia surely impacted Nancy’s life?

Amelia is a figment of my imagination, or maybe a concoction of several women I’ve met in my life. I think my maternal grandmother would have been a lot like Amelia. Grandma was an elegant mixture of Austrian and American Indian who escaped the dust bowl by moving to Seattle. She died when I was two, so I have no memory of her, just the bits and pieces shared by my mother.

Amelia’s Legacy is the first novel in the Legacy series. Would you mind sharing a little about the series and about any other novels you are writing?

I am well into writing the second novel in the Legacy series, Carlotta’s Legacy. Nancy’s best friend Rebecca Lewis is the heroine. She has a strong character and a quick wit, so she’s fun to write. Nancy always envied Rebecca’s freedom, and Rebecca envied the fact that Nancy’s grandmother cared what Nancy did and how she turned out. Rebecca didn’t have that in her life. Her parents fritter away a vast fortune and end up with nothing. Rebecca must make a decision regarding her future that will benefit the parents who basically ignored her most of her life.

I like that these two women will have recurring roles throughout the series. Nancy’s daughter Amy will have her day in the third, as yet unnamed novel. When Amy seems to be headed in the same direction as her mother, her parents must find a way to steer her in a more positive direction. I think Rebecca will figure into the solution, as well.

Amelia's Legacy FRONT CoverMore About Amelia’s Legacy:

It’s the Roaring Twenties and anything goes …

Orphaned and living with her grandmother since the age of six, Nancy Sanderson desires only her freedom from her strict grandmother, Amelia Woods Sanderson, who divides her time between Nancy and a successful career. Her grandmother’s plans include a wealthy, smart, and well-connected young lawyer named Robert Emerson, who bores Nancy.

Instead, Nancy seeks the company of the wild-hearted Nate Conners. When her rebellion turns deadly and her dalliance with Nate leaves her in trouble, Nancy turns to Robert, who promises to protect her. But Robert has underestimated Nate’s thirst for revenge.

As hidden truths become known, can Nancy find the strength to forgive herself and gain true and lasting freedom?

Family Drama by Sydney Avey

LyreLambsFront_smallShakespeare tells us that all the world is a stage and we are merely players In God’s world, much of the drama takes place within the family and there is nothing “mere” about our performance. Our actions have eternal significance. Writing The Lyre and the Lambs brought this home to me.

Like my main character, we all struggle to reconcile our inner beings with how we would like to think of ourselves, how we want others to see us, and, if we are believers, with who God passionately desires us to be. Dee is a prickly person. Her first thought is usually not a generous one. Here’s an example:

“Laura missed Scott’s memorial service. News came from her brother in North Carolina that their mother’s cancer had returned and it was not likely she would leave the hospital this time. Something always seems to happen to separate Father Mike and Laura, I told Roger. He narrowed his eyes at me and asked if I thought her mother’s impending death presented Laura with an inconvenience. Father Mike would have pointed out my lapse in compassion in a gentler way, but Roger is right. He’s not being mean, but the sandpaper he uses on my edginess is coarser. I kick at him and we both laugh.”

In a family setting, we act on each other like different grades of sandpaper. We use coarser grades to knock off rough edges, finer grades to smooth and polish what is lovely. As we yield to painful rubbing or gentle buffing, we become more like Christ.

Dee learns to accept some painful rubbing. (It hurts to have our unlovely behavior pointed out.) More important, she learns how to gently buff others, calling Father Mike to account when he neglects his own heart after years of tending to the needs of others.

A setting for maturity  

The family provides a setting for our maturing. We can quit or friends but even if we leave our family, they remain in our blood.

The generations that come before and after us perform the role of a Greek Chorus. Collectively, they provide one generation’s perspective upon another. This allows us to take a longer view of our struggles. Individually, our family members may serve as sidekicks to our hopes and dreams or foils to our ambitions. They bring out the best and the worst in us.

In The Lyre and the Lambs, gathering several generations together in a Glass House seemed like the perfect stage for a group of people learning how to operate as a family. Both Dee and Roger came late to this party. Dee raised a daughter by herself and Roger had very little part in raising his son. Buried in their jobs, they had little sense of accountability to a family or a community. Although they were supportive of each other, their default was self-involvement until they committed to nurturing a family.

In close quarters, in a situation where stress mounted with the addition of each new arrival, they circled the wagons. That action gave the neighboring tribes a big target. Turns out, how we deal with our neighbors can be as important as how we negotiate the emotional territory of family.

A setting for intimacy

Writing intimate scenes, whether physical or emotional, put me in mind of my own tendency to withdraw from intense emotions. Pushing my way through highly charged exchanges gave me the fortitude to go through a painful experience recently when my husband and I flailed around for the words to tell his mom that she needed to go into assisted living. Remaining patient with her, adding our tears to hers, helped us get to the other side with our love for each other intact. I think I learned from Dee’s struggle to stay in uncomfortable situations and push through to a place of understanding and forgiveness.

To think of ourselves as people who enter this world, play our part, and after seven ages depart into oblivion, is a clever construct but a cold comfort. Christians worship a God who does more than just take note of our comings and goings on a world stage. He is intimately involved in the settings in which we are cast and the scenes in which we appear.

The author and finisher of our faith produces and directs our story as well. It is a generational saga, a familial tale, a drama with consequences. The Creator cares deeply about all the elements of His production. Whether we are raising children, tending our elders, shouldering our responsibilities alongside a spouse, or in a long season of singleness, a relationship with someone who connects us to those we consider our people is a precious bond.

sydauthorphoto_smallAbout the Author:

Sydney Avey lives in the Sierra Nevada foothills of Yosemite, California, and the Sonoran Desert in Arizona. She has a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of California, Berkeley, and a lifetime of experience writing news for non profits and corporations. Her work has appeared in Epiphany, Foliate Oak, Forge, American Athenaeum, and Unstrung (published by Blue Guitar Magazine) and Ruminate. She has studied at the Iowa Summer Writing Festival. Sydney is the author of two novels, The Sheep Walker’s Daughter and The Lyre and the Lambs. She blogs at sydneyavey.com on topics related to relationships, legacy, faith, and the writing life.

More About The Lyre and the Lambs:

A feast of family can be a plate-load of problems!

It’s the Sixties. Modernity and tradition clash as two newlywed couples set up house together. Dee and her daughter Valerie move with their husbands into a modern glass house Valerie built in a proudly rural Los Altos, California neighborhood. When their young relatives start showing up and moving in, the neighbors get suspicious. Then a body is found in the backyard and the life they are trying to build comes undone.

Father Mike is back to guide Dee through a difficult time with humor and grace, even as his own life is unraveling. Now he’s going to have to take some of his own advice about love.

bookcoverAbout The Sheep Walker’s Daughter:

A Korean War widow’s difficult mother dies before revealing the identity of her daughter’s father and his cultural heritage. As Dee sorts through what little her mother left, she unearths puzzling clues that raise more questions: Why did Leora send money every month to the Basque Relief Agency? Why is her own daughter so secretive about her soon-to-be published book? And what does an Anglican priest know that he isn’t telling? All this head-spinning breaks a long, dry period in Dee’s life. She might just as well lose her job and see where the counsel of her new spiritual adviser and the attentions of an enigmatic ex-coworker lead her.

The Sheep Walker’s Daughter pairs a colorful immigrant history of loss, survival, and tough choices with one woman’s search for spiritual identity and personal fulfillment. Dee’s journey takes her through the Northern and Central California valleys of the 1950s and reaches across the world to the obscure Basque region of Spain. She will begin to discover who she is and why family history matters.

 

What’s Under Your Beach Umbrella? by Kathleen Y’Barbo

Screen Shot 2014-06-03 at 1.08.56 PMDon’t you love summer? The sun, the sand, and oh…the beach reads!

Okay, so some of us—me included—do not currently live near a beach. Still…the idea of long stretches of time curled up beneath a beach umbrella (or some other spot of blissful solitude) with nothing to do but read is so very wonderful, isn’t it? Even if none of the above scenarios are plausible in your world, finding a summer beach read is!

While my criteria for a summer beach read does not require that the book actually be set in a beach town, I do love reading about these places. As I mentioned, I am currently landlocked due to love, a story for another day (or another book!), but during my childhood and most of my adult years I lived in close proximity to the Texas Gulf Coast. Stories of life in coastal towns are not only part of my past, but they are also part of the novels that fill my bookshelf.

Because I loved to read about these locations, I decided to create a series of stories set at the beach—Vine Beach, to be precise—so I could also write about them. Working on all three of my Vine Beach books, collected under the Love Inspired series Second Time Around, has been so much fun! Plotting, planning, and finally writing about a fictional Texas Gulf Coast town nestled between a lighthouse and nearby Galveston sent me back to my days of collecting shells at McFaddin Beach with my dad, of watching fog roll in at our now-gone (thanks to Hurricane Ike) beach cabin on Crystal Beach, and of all those rides across the Galveston Ferry from Port Bolivar to the island.

This trio of beach reads, starting with Daddy’s Little Matchmakers (January 2012) and then continuing with Her Holiday Fireman (November 2012), concludes with Their Unexpected Love (July 2014).  Each story features not only a Vine Beach, Texas setting, but also a widowed hero who finds love in the most unexpected way. While I love all the books in this series, this story of high school opposites who finally attract ten years later is one I’m so very glad I get to tell. Watching Logan (whose name was borrowed from my bonus son Logan Turner) and Pippa fall in love was like rewriting that chapter back in high school where the invisible girl finally gets noticed by the cool guy whose locker is under hers. Oh but now Logan isn’t dodging Pippa’s skateboard as it falls out of her locker anymore. Instead he’s dodging love. At the beach. Oh, yes definitely at the beach. Have I meantioned how much I love books set at the beach?

But I digress. Do you love beach reads as much as I do? Tell me your favorites so I can add to my growing list of summer reading!

Happy reading! Here’s to finding a little sand on your toes before Labor Day!

Photo on 2-11-14 at 1.25 PM.jpgAbout the Author: 

Bestselling author Kathleen Y’Barbo is a multiple Carol Award and RITA nominee of more than fifty novels with almost two million copies of her books in print in the US and abroad. A tenth-generation Texan and certified paralegal, she has been nominated for a Career Achievement Award as well a Reader’s Choice Award and several Top Picks by Romantic Times magazine.

A member of Romance Writers of America, American Christian Fiction Writers, and a former member of the Texas Bar Association Paralegal Division, she is currently a proud military wife and an expatriate Texan cheering on her beloved Texas Aggies from north of the Red River.

To find out more about Kathleen or connect with her through social media, check out her website at www.kathleenybarbo.com.

Her latest novel, a contemporary Texas beach themed romance called Their Unexpected Love, released July 1 from Love Inspired Books.

0714-9780373879007-bigwMore About Their Unexpected Love:

Widowed contractor Logan Burkett knows exactly what troublemaking teens need: discipline. A former rabble-rouser, Logan had his life turned around by firm guidance and hard work. But try telling that to Pippa Gallagher. The softhearted event planner runs a skate park ministry for troubled teens and thinks a place to be themselves is the answer. As he and Pippa work together renovating the space, they seem to disagree about everything. But when disaster strikes, Logan finds himself feeling very protective of the beautiful planner and surprised to discover they share one very special thing in common…love.

We hope you’ll also check out Monday’s interview with Logan Burkett of Their Unexpected Love and Wednesday’s interview with the author Kathleen Y’Barbo.

Author Interview: Alexis A. Goring

Author photoToday’s guest is Alexis A. Goring, the author of a collection of short stories she has entitled Hope in My Heart. Alexis is a college graduate with a degree in print journalism from Washington Adventist University in Takoma Park, Maryland. Writing is her passion. She hopes that her stories will touch hearts, bring smiles to faces, and inspire minds to seek God whose love for humanity is unfailing.

You can connect with Alexis at her website, on Facebook and on Twitter.

Alexis, thank you for joining us on Inner Source. The first question that I have is about the unique way you bring the collection of stories together. Each collection focuses on several different couples at one time. However, there doesn’t seem to be a connection to the couples in those stories. I’m thinking that the hope they need to embrace is the fact that they all hope for something. Would you elaborate on this for us?

Hi Fay! Thanks for hosting me on your blog!

You’re right, there is no connection between the couples in my stories that compose my novella and I did that on purpose. The way I see it, the lives and unique journey of each character mirrors real life here on Earth where we all may be going through something at any given point of time and share similar hopes and dreams for our lives but we do not always connect with each other. Case in point, when you’re shopping at the grocery store, you’re passing by many different people from parents and kids to couples and single people. Each of those people has their own unique story but they don’t always share their story with you or become a part of your life. Yet their stories are personal and important. So I guess you could say my not weaving a connecting thread between the characters in the three separate stories in my novella was my way of reflecting real life in the sense that as Shakespeare says—and I paraphrase—the world stage where we’re all actors.

I would like to add that while the characters do not connect with each other, the tie that binds the book is hope. All of my characters in each of the three stories are hoping for a dream of their heart to come true.

I think that often hope is what connects most of us. The hope of friendship, the hope of someone to depend upon. As a writer, do you identify with these desires and/or journeys of discovery your characters are making?

Yes, the theme of all of my stories in my novella is hope. My characters who believe in God know to put their hope and trust in Him. Take the story Peace and Love: There’s Kristine who is adopted and searching for her birth mom. Kristine’s faith in God helps her through the process. There’s Eric, a divorce attorney who’s hoping to resolve his issues with his parents’ divorce which happened when he was a teenager and there’s Elle who is the classic “starving artist” hoping and praying to land a steady job that pays her enough to make a living.

As a writer, I do identify with many of my characters’ desires along with their journey of discovery. Such as with Christina who’s a magazine photojournalist who covers the wedding of a rich politician’s daughter. My dream—one of my dreams—is to become a wedding and lifestyle photographer so it was sweet to see Christina live out my dream on paper and even sweeter to see her “discovered” by a very handsome, kind and eligible bachelor!

I’d like to add that a few readers told me that they identify with the character Joshua in “The Best Gift” (the middle story). One reader said she loved how Joshua transformed from being self-centered to becoming a passionate disciple of Jesus Christ. So that’s a journey of discovery I hope more of my readers will relate to and enjoy.

What advice would you give a reader who feels that their situation is hopeless?

My advice to a reader who feels like their situation is hopeless is, “Don’t give up, look up!” Look up to God, the Creator of the Universe who loves you unconditionally and cares about everything—big or small—that happens in your life. Read Jeremiah 29:11 and know God has a plan and a purpose for your life. God will take care of you. Continue to seek God and if praying about your situation and talking to a few trusted family/friends/pastors is not helping then you may want to seek professional help from an effective Christian counselor and a life coach who can help get you on the right track. God puts health care doctors in place here on Earth to help you. Don’t be afraid or ashamed of seeking help from a professional who believes in God and you.

In my interview with Brian, I asked this same question, but I’d love to know this question from his author. Is there a verse of Scripture that you hold to that helps you to remember where it is your hope emanates?

Yes. Jeremiah 29:11 is what I like to call my “life verse”. My mom made me aware of it when I was going through a tough time as a teenager and I’ve held onto it ever since. When times get tough or uncertain, I hold onto the truth that God knows the plans He has for me…plans to prosper me and not to harm me, plans to give me HOPE and a future!

Do you have any future projects in the works? If so, please tell us about those.

I do have a future project in the works. I’m working on three main stories as I decide whether my next book will be a novella comprised of three stories like my first or if it will be my first full-length novel. I cannot tell you too much because I don’t want to give away the book but I will say the story I’m working on now explores my passion for food as it revolves around four main characters who love this fictional five-star restaurant in Northwest, Washington D.C.

That sounds like a great project, Alexis. I hope you’ll come back and share more with us when it is released.

Media imageMore About Hope in My Heart:

Hope in My Heart is a collection of short, heartwarming stories with characters in need of hope.

In “Love Unexpected,” a car crash brings commitment-wary Sebastian and career woman Chandra together. Neither is looking for romance, but those around them see the potential, and Sebastian and Chandra discover that sometimes love shows up unexpectedly.

Christmastime is the setting for the middle story, “The Best Gift.” Christina desires to lose ten pounds so she can fit into her dress for her sister’s wedding. Jordan wishes her mom would stop trying to marry her off. And Joshua hopes to be reunited with his ex-girlfriend but eventually learns that the best gift this Christmas will be the restoration of his relationship with God.

In “Peace and Love,” three characters living in a metropolitan area are desperately searching. Elle, a starving artist, aspires to become a paid professional. Eric, a divorce attorney, wants to resolve his issues concerning his parents’ divorce. Kristine anticipates finding her birth mom before she marries Derek. All characters pray their searches will conclude this holiday season and fill their hearts with peace and love.

Besides the Amazon link given with the title, this collection of stories may be purchased at Barnes & NobleBooks-a-MillionChristianbook.comCrossbooks.com, and Lifeway.com.

If you didn’t catch our interview with Brian Henderson, a character in this collection of stories, we hope you’ll meet him.

Our Broken World by Susan J. Reinhardt

Susan J. ReinhardtWhat if we no longer enjoyed the freedoms we’ve taken for granted?

That question followed on the heels of the experience I mentioned in my earlier interview. As I meditated on the voices of the forefathers fading like dying echoes, I considered what it might be like to live in an America that was no longer the home of the free and the brave.

Free speech, freedom of religion, the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are aspects of life in America that we all hold dear. People will resist major changes, but the slow erosion of our rights can go almost unnoticed.

The story of a family, who experienced life unhindered by excessive control and now facing anti-Christian bigotry at its worst, flowed onto the page. Someone once said to me my story was too mild. Yet, I knew it would impact those of us accustomed to worshiping as we see fit, speaking our minds, and making decisions based on what was best for our families.

Recently, my mom’s baby sister, passed away at the age of 80. She’s with Jesus, and we know we’ll see her again. Death has a way of emphasizing that life is short – a mere blip in terms of eternity. I want my life to count for God’s Kingdom.

The Lord’s Prayer talks about, “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” This world is broken – not just our country. Jesus came to bring life and life more abundant. My desire is that my words would be containers of life, pointing the way to the Life Giver.

Will I always write stories like this? I don’t know, but I had to write this trilogy. Whatever the future holds, I know that my life is in God’s hands. We’re truly pilgrims passing through.

About the Author, Susan J. Reinhardt:

Susan J. Reinhardt’s publishing credits include her novels, The Moses Conspiracy, The Christmas Wish, and The Scent of Fear, as well as devotionals, short articles, and contributions to anthologies. She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers.

A widow, daughter, stepmom, and active church member, Susan resides in Pennsylvania. When not writing, she enjoys time with family and friends, reading, couponing, gardening, and finding small treasures in antique shops.

You can meet up with Susan at her blog, Christian Writer/Reader Connection on FacebookGoodreads, and Twitter. Susan is also on Google+, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

Susan’s other novels, The Christmas Wish and The Scent of Fear are also available.

More About The Moses Conspiracy:

In 2025, the Christian World is under attack!

Two seemingly unconnected events set in motion a diabolical plan. Ellie and John Zimmerman find themselves embroiled in a life-threatening investigation, fighting a shadowy enemy.

After a terrorist attack on Washington, D.C. in the near future, Ellie plans a trip with her young son, Peter, and they become separated. At the same time back home, John witnesses a buggy accident with unusual circumstances.

Caught between strained family relations and ominous warnings from a faceless enemy, the couple rely on God for wisdom and protection.

The truth of the past tragedy is revealed. While they may expose the culprits, will they survive the heartache it brings?

You can meet up with Susan at her blog, Christian Writer/Reader Connection on FacebookGoodreads, and Twitter. Susan is also on Google+, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

Susan’s other novels, The Christmas Wish and The Scent of Fear are also available.

And be sure to meet, Susan’s heroine, Ellie Zimmerman, in her interview from Monday, and also check out Susan’s interview from Wednesday.

 

Author Interview: Sydney Avey

sydauthorphoto_smallToday’s guest is Sydney Avey the author of The Sheep Walker’s Daughter. Sydney lives in the Sierra Nevada foothills of Yosemite, California, and the Sonoran Desert in Arizona. She has a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of California, Berkeley, and a lifetime of experience writing news for non profits and corporations. Her work has appeared in Epiphany, Foliate Oak, Forge, American Athenaeum, and Unstrung (published by Blue Guitar Magazine). She has studied at the Iowa Summer Writing Festival. Sydney blogs  on topics related to relationships, legacy, faith, and the writing life at sydneyavey.com.

You can also discover more about Sydney via her e-mail (sydneyavey@gmail.com), her website, on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn and Pinterest.

Sydney, thank you for joining us on Inner Source. When I read The Sheep Walker’s Daughter it was obvious to me that this 1950’s era historical is literary in nature and with the back ground of one of the characters, I realized that you must have an educational background. Would you care to share a little about yourself with our readers?

It’s true, Fay. I love literary fiction. I was an English major at U.C. Berkeley. I also love a page turner, a story that surprises me and makes me think. After I wound up my marketing communications career at Hewlett-Packard Co. and was finally free to pursue my creative writing passion, I thought long and hard about how to tell the stories I wanted to tell. I wanted to write for people who don’t usually read Christian Fiction, because it isn’t what I read. I wanted to get my fingers into the true nature of my characters without having to dress them up for church. And I wanted to present faith to as an organic part of my story, not as a sermon or an add-on.

I thought I would have to disguise my literary style in a genre if I wanted to sell it. Historical fiction seemed the most hospitable. I think change is in the wind on the division between literary and genre writing. Donald Maass has written a book, Writing 21st Century Fiction: High Impact Techniques for Exceptional Storytelling, in which he sees the lines between plot and character driven novels blurring. He puts a call out for great stories told with beautiful writing. He’s setting the bar high!

I’ll just put it out there. To have an impact, sometimes you have to risk offending people. I want my readers to see people they know in my characters—grandma who likes her martini, Uncle John who can get positively poetic when a fish slips off his hook, the people who shock us and help us become who we are, good, bad, but mostly a mixed bag.

I enjoy novels that educate me on unfamiliar history and culture. The Basque culture is well portrayed in The Sheep Walker’s Daughter. Does your knowledge of this culture comes from your personal background or from a study of the culture?

I have not one drop of Basque blood in my veins, and I’ve never known a Basque. Like Dee, I was unaware of my true ethnic and cultural background until my mother revealed our heritage shortly before she died. My grandfather was a Jew who escaped from a pogrom in Poland. I decided not to use my own story because there is so much baggage attached to it I chose the Basques because I have visited Barcelona, which is close to the Basque country and has some historical and geographical similarities. And because few people know the history of the Basques, myself included. I was curious.

When I discovered through research that there was a large Basque population in Bakersfield I got excited over the opportunity to do original research.  I’ve eaten in the restaurants I refer to in the book and sat at the table with sheepherders who told me stories of their lives in the early twentieth century.

In The Sheep Walker’s Daughter you tell the story of four unique women from three generations of a family. The oldest generation is a mother who made a significant choice of career over family. My heart ached for her two daughters, and you bring the emotions to the surface in a way in which I can relate. Is this something with which you have had firsthand experience or did you draw from other personal relationships to make these characters so multi-dimensional?

You ask great questions! My own family history is just as dramatic as Dee’s story, which is entirely fiction. That said, Leora is modeled after my great grandmother, whose story is legend in my family. She did leave a husband for a professional career. She left her son to be raised by her ex-husband and she took her two daughters. One died and one, my grandmother, was raised in hotels and left her mother at age 16 to go on the stage. Later, my great grandmother, grandmother and mother lived together in the very house on Lundy Lane in Los Altos that I described in the book. Creating multi-dimensional characters was not a stretch for me!

What is the main message that you would like your readers to take away from this story?

Ask God your big questions. Watch for the answers. I believe that God is the greatest storyteller of all. Life is a mystery that God wants us to solve and enjoy.

Do you have any future projects in the works? If so, please let us know what we can look forward to reading in the future.

The sequel, The Lyre and The Lambs, will be out September 3, 2014. Set in the 1960s, lonely Dee will be positively overwhelmed with family! Mother and daughter, both newlyweds, decide to set up housekeeping together. Dee and Valerie move with their husbands into a modern glass house in a traditional neighborhood. When their relatives start showing up and moving in, the neighbors get suspicious. Then a body is found in the backyard and the life they are trying to build comes undone. This book explores the passions that draw people together and the faith it takes to overcome trauma.

I hope you’ll come and bring one of your characters from The Lyre and the Lambs when the story is released, and thank you for sharing this unique story with me—and with our readers.

bookcoverMore About The Sheep Walker’s Daughter:

Delores “Dee” Moraga Carter, a Korean War widow’s difficult mother dies before revealing the identity of Dee’s father. As Dee sorts through what little her mother left, she unearths puzzling clues that raise more questions: Why did Leora send money every month to the Basque Relief Agency? Why is Dee’s own daughter so secretive about her soon-to-be published book? And what does an Anglican priest know that he isn’t telling? The Sheep Walker’s Daughter pairs a colorful immigrant history of loss, survival, and tough choices with one woman’s search for spiritual identity and personal fulfillment.

Be sure to check out Inner Sources interview with Sydney’s heroine, Delores Moraga Carter and check in again on Friday. This week Inner Source belongs to Sydney. Be sure to check out each of the posts this week and leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of The Sheep Walker’s Daughter. One lucky reader will be able to choose the book format they prefer.

ARE YOU READY TO WEAR FUNERAL CLOTHES? by Christine Lindsay

Sarah  Lana as bookendsFor a Christian, writing novels can be like teaching Sunday school—the writer or teacher always learns more than the reader or student.

What I learned while writing Captured by Moonlight is that in order to fully enjoy the plans God has for us, we need to first go through a sort of funeral.

I can hear the gasps. Please let’s not talk about funerals. Especially if you like to read romance novels. Let’s talk weddings instead, which are so much nicer. Here in the west our brides wear white, while in the east they wear other colors to show their joy, usually red. The color white in eastern cultures is for wearing to funerals.

Yet, people around the globe want the same thing—to experience the joy that weddings bring.

As a Christian, I’m looking forward to when Christ calls His followers home and we have that grand wedding celebration when the Son of God claims His bride, the church. That’s the happy ending to our story as Christians.

But in order to fully enjoy that wedding—that kind of joy—we need a funeral first.

I hear more gasps.

I hear the rumblings of voices that sound so much like the things I say. “But I want my plans. I want my agenda. I’m afraid that God will make me do something that I will really hate. And oh no…what if He wants me to suffer for a while?”

Do you ever have feelings like this?

I admit I do.

Can I really trust God with my life, knowing that there will be suffering? Death?

Oswald Chambers in the devotional book My Utmost for His Highest explains that as Christians we must have a sort of funeral for our life, our ambitions, our plans. We must wear the metaphoric funeral garments. Once our life is dead and buried, we can allow Christ to live His life through us. But can we trust God to give us joy when we give up our dreams, and say “Thy Will be Done?”

In my novel Captured by Moonlight my character Eshana has to do just that. Eshana used to be a former Hindu widow, who to please the Hindu caste system she must dress in course white cotton of her culture, shave her head, and had no joy in her life. She must remain out of sight so that her presence doesn’t pollute someone else. Living like a Hindu widow is like living in a continual funeral…a funeral for yourself.

As the books begins Eshana has been a Christian for about ten years. She no longer lives as a Hindu widow, but is passionate about following in the steps of her mentor. Eshana wants nothing more than to administer the Christian mission that her mentor began. And she loves to wear bright colors that express her joy as a follower of Christ.

But as the story progresses, Eshana is kidnapped by her fanatical uncle who is angry that she is living like a Christian. He imprisons Eshana and forces her to wear the course white garments of a widow, and to live that deathlike existence.

Eshana despairs. How could her Lord Jesus let this happen to her? All she wanted to do was serve Christ by administering the mission. Now her Lord and Master has allowed her to be dressed in funeral clothes once more.

Eshana asks in this book, the same thing that I have asked. What if the Lord asks me to give up the work that I really love, like my writing career, and do something else?

You might ask, “What if He wants to send me to the mission field or a life of singleness?”

What I’ve been learning—and sometimes the hard way—is that we can trust God’s plans. He will use our lives for His glory in more marvelous ways than anything we could ever devise. Even if it hurts for a while. Even if we have to put our preferred work on the shelf to obey the Lord’s schedule for our day.

You might be surprised after your funeral what God will do in your life. You may find to your surprise that dying to your dreams may eventually become a dream-come-true.

Romans 6:4 “Buried with Him…that…even so we also should walk in newness of live.”

Christine Lindsay Author picAbout Christine Lindsay:

Christine Lindsay was born in Ireland, and is proud of the fact that she was once patted on the head by Prince Philip when she was a baby. Her great grandfather, and her grandfather—yes father and son—were both riveters on the building of the Titanic. Tongue in cheek, Christine states that as a family they accept no responsibility for the sinking of that great ship.

It was stories of her ancestors who served in the British Cavalry in Colonial India that inspired her multi-award-winning, historical series Twilight of the British Raj. Book 1 Shadowed in Silk, Book 2 Captured by Moonlight, and Christine is currently writing the final installment of that series called Veiled at Midnight to be released August 2014.

Londonderry Dreaming, Christine’s romance novella set in N. Ireland released in Feb. 2014.

Aside from being a busy writer and speaker, Christine is also VP of Christian Authors’ Network.

She makes her home in British Columbia, on the west coast of Canada with her husband and their grown up family. Her cat Scottie is chief editor on all Christine’s books. 

She makes her home in British Columbia, on the west coast of Canada with her husband and their grown up family. Her cat Scottie is chief editor on all Christine’s books.

Readers can connect with Christine by dropping by her website http://www.christinelindsay.com/ or follow her on Twitter and be her friend on Pinterest , Facebook  and  Goodreads.

CAPTURED BY MOONLIGHT—by Christine Lindsay Finalist in Readers’ Favorite 2013 Christian Historical, currently a finalist for the 2013 Grace Award and The Word Guild Award. (Best book 2013 according to Author April Gardner. Top ten of Diana Flowers 2013 picks.

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 fiancé is the owner…and that Adam has no more to say to her now than he did when he crushed her heart 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?

Watch the book trailer for Captured by Moonlight.

SHADOWED BY SILK by Christine Lindsay

She was invisible to those who should have loved her.

After the Great War, Abby Fraser returns to India, 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 and a cruel father to their three-year old son. It will take more than her American pluck 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. 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.

Be sure to check out the Inner Source interview with the heroine, Laine Harkness, of Captured by Moonlight.

Be sure to meet Laine Harkness and Author Christine Lindsay.

 

Author Interview: Christine Lindsay

Christine Lindsay Author picToday’s guest is Christine Lindsay. Christine was born in Ireland, and is proud of the fact that she was once patted on the head by Prince Philip when she was a baby. Her great grandfather, and her grandfather—yes father and son—were both riveters on the building of the Titanic. Tongue in cheek, Christine states that as a family they accept no responsibility for the sinking of that great ship.

It was stories of her ancestors who served in the British Cavalry in Colonial India that inspired her multi-award-winning, historical series Twilight of the British Raj. Book 1 Shadowed in Silk, Book 2 Captured by Moonlight, and Christine is currently writing the final installment of that series called Veiled at Midnight to be released August 2014.

Londonderry Dreaming, Christine’s romance novella set in N. Ireland released in Feb. 2014.

Aside from being a busy writer and speaker, Christine is also VP of Christian Authors’ Network.

She makes her home in British Columbia, on the west coast of Canada with her husband and their grown up family. Her cat Scottie is chief editor on all Christine’s books. 

She makes her home in British Columbia, on the west coast of Canada with her husband and their grown up family. Her cat Scottie is chief editor on all Christine’s books.

Readers can connect with Christine by dropping by her website http://www.christinelindsay.com/ or follow her on Twitter and be her friend on Pinterest , Facebook  and  Goodreads.

Christine, thank you for being with us here this week to share with our readers the fascinating Inner Source of Captured by Moonlight. Please tell us about your novel. Where and when does it take place? Who are your main characters? What trouble do they get into?

Captured by Moonlight is the story of two friends—English nurse Laine Harkness, and Indian Christian, Eshana, who is a former Hindu widow. These two ladies are from the first book in my series, Twilight of the British Raj, but their adventures take them from the north of India to the tropical south during 1922.

Captured is the action verb of this novel. The story starts off with Eshana and Laine running away from the north of India because have been giving medical treatment to young girls in the sex trade. These young girls were basically slaves in a brothel hidden behind Hindu temples, an ancient Hindu tradition called devadasi. Not only are the Hindu priests and fanatics after them, but so is Eshana’s uncle. He has just discovered Eshana has been living like a Christian and not hidden away like a Hindu widow.

He attempts to kidnap Eshana, and this forces Laine and Eshana to escape away with the young girl they have rescued. But shortly afterward, Eshana truly is captured by her Hindu uncle. Unbeknownst to Laine, Eshana is imprisoned in the ruin of a palace in the tropical jungles of southern India.

Laine carries on to her new position as a nurse at a plantation in the same province. But Laine has her own feelings of being captive. For years she has continued to love the man who ended their engagement during The Great War. What a shock to find that the owner of the plantation she has come to work at is her former fiancé, Adam. Once again, Laine is captured by her feelings for him.

I love a book that has lots of adventure, history, but a big love story too.

While reading, I had to wonder if you were from or had ever been in India for a great length of time. I know that authors don’t always have to have firsthand knowledge of their locations, but you bring India so vividly into our imaginations, the question begs to be asked. Have you been to India, and if not, how did you bring it so vividly to the pages of Captured by Moonlight?

I was born in Great Britain, and as a child my parents immigrated to Canada, a British Commonwealth country. So I read more books set in British interests than those in American settings. As a young girl I devoured books written on British Colonial India, an era that many British people is as exciting as The Wild West is to Americans. Think swash-buckling cavalry heroes, and Englishwomen living in Indian bungalows serving cucumber sandwiches in flower-laden gardens.

After I wrote my first book in my series, Shadowed in Silk, I had the chance of a lifetime and traveled to India with a missions’ group. The places I visited are featured in the second novel of the series, Captured by Moonlight.

I was also fully engaged with the Hindu religion and how it is portrayed by both a woman who is not fully devoted to Christ, a woman who has been saved from the religion and the atrocities that they subjected women (especially widows) to, and by the complex way the people of India deal with the various religions. To your knowledge, do the Hindus still practice the temple worship, the shutting away of widows, and do they still operate under the caste system as they did in the early part of the 1900s?

The Hindus certainly do continue with their religion, and the caste system is integral to their beliefs. There are a lot of Indian people who are moderate in their beliefs today, but there are also a great many who are as vigilant as in the past.

I have visited the massive Hindu temples in the south of India and seen the various stone gods they worship. The shutting away of widows still goes on. So do the atrocities. With my own eyes I saw an elderly Hindu widow left to beg for her food on the stone floor of a temple. You can read about the continuing plight of widows in India in the news today. The caste system is still very much a part of Hindu life, even though Gandhi tried to soften its lines, for example by calling the Untouchables (Dalits) the Children of God and trying to improve the lot of widows.

Another interesting history that you presented was the cholera epidemics and how they killed so many because of the unsanitary conditions during that era. You describe the disease and the treatment by these nurses so well. Does India still suffer from these type of epidemics?

India is the place that cholera was born, and it’s also the country that has done a great deal of medical research on treatment. With medicines today, cholera is not as much of a killer as in years past, but it still happens. Medical missions still have to go into areas and set up treatment camps. In fact I based the physical setup of the cholera camp in my novel on that of modern day treatment centers.

Do you have any other projects that you’re working on? If so, please share those with us. I’m sure that readers who pick up Captured by Moonlight will want to read more from you.

I am currently finishing the third and final book to this series. The last book will be called Veiled at Midnight. Two children from Shadowed in Silk, who were still young in Captured by Moonlight feature as the main characters in the last book. Dassah is a beautiful Indian woman by now, and Cam is an English soldier just back from WW2.

Their love is torn asunder with the Partition of India. As Britain hands independence over to the Indian people, a new country (Pakistan) is carved out of India with a great deal of violence.

This volatile time, of great British pomp showing the Last Viceroy of India, Lord Louis Mountbatten is the setting of what I hope is a great love story.

About Captured by Moonlight 

CAPTURED BY MOONLIGHT—by Christine Lindsay Finalist in Readers’ Favorite 2013 Christian Historical, currently a finalist for the 2013 Grace Award and The Word Guild Award. (Best book 2013 according to Author April Gardner. Top ten of Diana Flowers 2013 picks.

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 Sarah  Lana as bookendsflee 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 fiancé is the owner…and that Adam has no more to say to her now than he did when he crushed her heart 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?

Watch the book trailer for Captured by Moonlight.

About Shadowed in Silk:

She was invisible to those who should have loved her.

After the Great War, Abby Fraser returns to India, 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 and a cruel father to their three-year old son. It will take more than her American pluck 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. 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.

Be sure to check out the Inner Source interview with the heroine, Laine Harkness, of Captured by Moonlight.

 

Character Interview: Laine Harkness from Captured by Moonlight

Sarah  Lana as bookendsToday’s guest is Laine Harkness, the hero from Christine Lindsay’s novel Captured by Moonlight

Laine, thank you for being with us today. I have to say, that I enjoyed your story tremendously. I felt as if I were in 1920s India with you. You have had a very interesting life. The era you live in, the area you live in, and the job you do are all fascinating. Would you mind telling our readers a little about yourself?

I’m proud to be a matron in the Queen Alexandra Imperial Military Nursing Corp serving in India. But then I was born in British Colonial India. The only time I lived in England was during the war. But we British in India seem to be more British—stiff upper lip and all that—than those who live in England. Strange, I agree.

I suppose one would call me a bit of a maverick. One doesn’t wish to brag, one should always do their bit, but it was quite the honor to receive the Royal Red Cross medal during The Great War for caring for soldiers for several days in a trench until help arrived.

Sadly, at the same time in my life, I received word that my fiancé had died. What a shock to find out he was not dead, but missing in action. I was overjoyed he was alive, but it quite stole the heart out of me when he promptly broke off our engagement.

Since then I’ve been filling my life caring for my patients, helping young Eshana give medical aid to poor Indian girls stuck in the sex trade, and then to have my life turned upside down again…gallivanting to the south of India because the Hindu population is out for our skin…only to discover the owner of the plantation clinic I’ve  just been hired for…is my former fiancé, Adam.

You guessed it—I’m as flabbergasted as a monkey with a stolen banana, to be sure.

Your story involves some missionary work to the different people groups of India, but especially to the Hindus. What is the most difficult part of your ministry?

If there’s one thing that frosts my morning mango, its cruelty to those less fortunate. When Eshana asked for my help in caring for young women caught in the Hindu sex trade I simply couldn’t say no. I love India…its exotic colors, spice in the air, glorious flora, the color of women’s saris…but I find the whole Hindu religion one of terrible cruelty. The way so many Hindu fanatics treat their widows is abominable—casting them out to beg on the streets for food.

And the way they treat the lowest of their castes—the Untouchables is quite beyond the pale.

You have a very special friend name Eshana. Her faith throughout the story, and the history that she has, is also very fascinating to me. Did seeing Eshana’s faith in action have an influence on your life in any way?

Eshana is—as we British put it—a brick. Wonderful young woman. I first met Eshana when Abby Fraser (of Shadowed in Silk) first came out to India, just after The Great War. Eshana used to be one of those mistreated Hindu widows, but she was rescued by an Indian Christian and soon became a Christian herself.

Watching Eshana in action as she emulates Christ has certainly made me pay attention. As a little girl I naturally went to church every Sunday, with my little white socks, pinafore, gloves and hat, but Eshana’s faith is so much more vibrant, more down to earth as she literally tries to be the hands and feet of her Lord.

It’s taken me a while—I’m a bit on the stubborn side—but I can’t ignore the Christ she is introducing me to. He’s not some distant, ambiguous being…is He?

Yours is a story of love lost. You thought you’d lost the man you love to war, and then he returns, but not to you. How do you recover from that type of rejection, or do you?

Losing Adam in the war ruined all other men for me. Good gracious, I’ve tried to pick up the pieces with other men, but each time I get close to them, and I hear the sound of wedding bells in their tone of voice, I’m afraid I flee for the hills. Here I am, at thirty, unmarried all because the one man I wanted to spend my life with has this atrocious secret.

It’s that which tears the heart and soul out of me. Why could he have not trusted me with whatever happened to him in the war? The only comfort I have found is in my work. Care for the sick and hurting.

It’s not enough for true happiness, but it will do.

Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose,” what good do you believe God brought to you through your journey, through Eshana’s journey, and because this question begs to be asked, what did the delay of the “good things” bring to your life when they finally arrived?

I suppose if all had gone well with my life…if Adam and I had married…and life had been as soft and gooey as peaches, I might not have paid God the time of day.

But being lonely, feeling the odd stick at a party because I’m a spinster, seeing the atrocities of what Indian women experience, and seeing Eshana’s faith up close, has brought me to a point in my life where I must seriously consider a relationship with this God who is reputed to have risen from the dead.

This is the crossroads my journey has brought me to. I may be a obstinate as a water buffalo at times, but trust me, I will make the right decision.

CAPTURED BY MOONLIGHT—by Christine Lindsay Finalist in Readers’ Favorite 2013 Christian Historical, currently a finalist for the 2013 Grace Award and The Word Guild Award. (Best book 2013 according to Author April Gardner. Top ten of Diana Flowers 2013 picks.

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 fiancé is the owner…and that Adam has no more to say to her now than he did when he crushed her heart 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?

Watch the book trailer for Captured by Moonlight.

SHADOWED BY SILK by Christine Lindsay

She was invisible to those who should have loved her.

After the Great War, Abby Fraser returns to India, 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 and a cruel father to their three-year old son. It will take more than her American pluck 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. 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.

Be sure to check out the Inner Source interview with the heroine, Laine Harkness, of Captured by Moonlight.

She was invisible to those who should have loved her.

After the Great War, Abby Fraser returns to India, 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 and a cruel father to their three-year old son. It will take more than her American pluck 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. 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.

Be sure to check out the Inner Source interview with the heroine, Laine Harkness, of Captured by Moonlight.

Christine Lindsay Author picMore About the Author:

Christine Lindsay was born in Ireland, and is proud of the fact that she was once patted on the head by Prince Philip when she was a baby. Her great grandfather, and her grandfather—yes father and son—were both riveters on the building of the Titanic. Tongue in cheek, Christine states that as a family they accept no responsibility for the sinking of that great ship.

It was stories of her ancestors who served in the British Cavalry in Colonial India that inspired her multi-award-winning, historical series Twilight of the British Raj. Book 1 Shadowed in Silk, Book 2 Captured by Moonlight, and Christine is currently writing the final installment of that series called Veiled at Midnight to be released August 2014.

Londonderry Dreaming, Christine’s romance novella set in N. Ireland released in Feb. 2014.

Aside from being a busy writer and speaker, Christine is also VP of Christian Authors’ Network.

She makes her home in British Columbia, on the west coast of Canada with her husband and their grown up family. Her cat Scottie is chief editor on all Christine’s books. 

She makes her home in British Columbia, on the west coast of Canada with her husband and their grown up family. Her cat Scottie is chief editor on all Christine’s books.

Readers can connect with Christine by dropping by her website http://www.christinelindsay.com/ or follow her on Twitter and be her friend on Pinterest , Facebook  and  Goodreads.