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I Wish I Had A Different Family by Christine Lindsay

Christine Lindsay Author picAs a kid, I wished I had a different family. Not all of us grew up with the loving dad who carved the Christmas turkey, took us on vacation to the beach, and fixed broken toys. In fact, my dad broke my toys—accidentally of course—but he broke my stuff more frequently than he gave things to me.

I was ashamed of my father, embarrassed if my friends saw him staggering home drunk.

My dad’s drinking robbed me of my childhood. From the time I was twelve I was looking out for my mother, watching that my dad didn’t hurt her too much. Helping to financially support her, myself, and my younger brother and sister with my babysitting jobs.

I often wonder how many families have been destroyed by alcoholism.

Thank God the heavenly Father didn’t leave me in that despair. From the time I entered my teens I began to learn how much the Lord loved me and He became my dad. It was also the power of a loving Savior that gave strength to my mother, to help her stand up to her abusive and neglectful husband. My mum and we three kids ran away from my dad way back in 1978. He never changed, and sadly remained an alcoholic to his dying day.

My mother’s story inspired Shadowed in Silk, the first book in my series.

As for my real life, I could have carried the despair and bitterness that my father’s drinking had done to us the rest of my life. For many years I did act like victim constantly fighting against the world, feeling sorry for my poor childhood. Even though I was a follower of Christ it took decades for the Lord to teach me what the love of a father was all about.

As time passed, things went well for me. I married a wonderful Christian man, and watching the way he loved our kids healed the last bit of bitterness about my own childhood. But sadly my younger brother and sister inherited the same addiction as our dad. Both my brother and sister succumbed to alcoholism even though they both believed in Christ. With despair and disgust I watched how the drink destroyed their lives.

And I was reminded again how much I hated the family traits that seemed to be passed down through our bloodline. It seemed the Spirit of God wasn’t winning against the natural traits in our family.

It took years of prayer, but three years ago I saw God change my brother and bring him out to a life of sobriety. I’m still praying for my sister. But as I watched my brother go through rehabilitation and choose sobriety for his life I was reminded of Romans chapter 7 “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do… As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing…20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it…

It had taken some time, but not only have I seen God’s work changing me, but I’ve seen him change my brother, and other members of my family.

Whatever the natural trait you inherited from your bloodline, it can be healed through Christ.

Bitterness doesn’t have to be your middle name.

A dark childhood can be changed into a bright and beautiful life.

I believe in happy endings in my writing because I’ve seen happy endings in my own life through the promises of Jesus Christ.

My entire series Twilight of the British Raj shows the healing of a family first tainted by a father’s alcoholism. In book 1 Shadowed in Silk, my heroine Abby Fraser stands up to her drunken and abusive husband. In book 2 Captured by Moonlight my Indian heroine Eshana stands up to her fanatical Hindu uncle who won’t allow her to live as a Christian. And in the final book 3 Veiled at Midnight my character Cam (who was a boy in book 1) and is now a man, faces his inner demons that he has inherited his father’s addiction to alcohol.

All sounds very dark and dismal. Alcoholism? Why would I ever want to read a novel about that, never mind an entire series?

How many of us have been hurt by our families? How many of us have been hurt by our father, our mother, or another loved one?

It’s because I’ve experienced the joy of a life cleansed and renewed that  I write not about drunkenness, but the tingling feeling of when God makes everything thing new. Humor, light, and hope shimmering within the pages.

I hope you’ll take a look at the multi-award-winning series Twilight of the British Raj, the historical, romantic, adventurous, exciting, and passionate, books Shadowed in Silk, Captured by Moonlight, and Veiled at Midnight.

Blessings on your new year.

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 the final installment to that series, Veiled at Midnight just released October 2014.

Londonderry Dreaming is Christine’s first romance which is set in Ireland.

Christine 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.

CONNECT WITH CHRISTINE:

Please drop by Christine Lindsay’s website  or follow her on Twitter and be her friend on Pinterest,  Facebook,  and  Goodreads.

VAM Polished coverMore About VEILED AT MIDNIGHT-Book 3 of the series Twilight of the British Raj

As the British Empire comes to an end, millions flee to the roads. Caught up in the turbulent wake is Captain Cam Fraser, his sister Miriam, and the beautiful Indian Dassah.

Cam has never been able to put Dassah from his mind, ever since the days when he played with the orphans at the mission as a boy. But a British officer and the aide to the last viceroy cannot marry a poor Indian woman, can he?

As this becomes clear to Dassah, she has no option but to run. Cam may hold her heart—but she cannot let him break it again.

Miriam rails against the separation of the land of her birth, but is Lieutenant Colonel Jack Sunderland her soulmate or a distraction from what God has called her to do?

The 1947 Partition has separated the country these three love…but can they find their true homes before it separates them forever.

Sarah  Lana as bookendsCAPTURED 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.

Author Interview: Christine Lindsay

Christine Lindsay Author picToday’s guest is author Christine Lindsay, author of Veiled at Midnight.  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 the final installment to that series, Veiled at Midnight just released October 2014.

Londonderry Dreaming is Christine’s first romance which is set in Ireland.

Christine 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.

CONNECT WITH CHRISTINE: Please drop by Christine Lindsay’s website  or follow her on Twitter and be her friend on Pinterest,  Facebook,  and  Goodreads.

Christine, I have enjoyed reading your books in this series. This particular story is The Twilight of the British Raj, and so much of India’s history was shared with this fascinating story.

I was struck by the fact that the British in India, many who called the country their home and who felt distanced from the British Isles would need to relocate. You brought that sadness home to me, and I wonder as a writer if you felt the sorrow of your characters?

Strangely enough, the majority of the British living in Colonial India were not brokenhearted to be returning to England, although it was a huge adjustment for sure. Most of the British were military folk, so moving to another part of the British Empire wasn’t too big a deal. Sadly, the majority were more miffed that they were losing their status as so-called upper-crust persons looking down on the natives. That insufferable bias toward non-whites is not something modern-day Brits are proud of from history.

There were those who did identify with the Indian people, and of course many in Christian circles felt a genuine love for India, and this is why many of those people stayed on long after Britain left. But the sorrow you picked up on in my book is shown in the heart of my Christian characters which reflects the sorrow of the Lord over a land that He loves—India.

As a Christian I relate to my Indian brothers and sisters in total equality. That’s one of the main points in this series. I hate racism, and so does the Lord Jesus. I hope my books make that clear.

Much of the history of that time involved relations between the Hindus, the Sikhs, and the Muslims. When I think of India, I do think of the Hindus, but they have had a violent history with the Muslims resulting in the events you portray in Veiled at Midnight. In the novel, the Muslims seemed to have been okay with the Christians while they fought with the Sikhs and Hindus. Today, though, when the fanatics scream “Death to the infidels” they are advocating the deaths of anyone who is not Muslim. Do you have an idea of why this has changed or maybe those Muslims felt differently than Muslims in Palestine?

The whole discussion on Muslims is so complex. In my novel I showed that at that time of the Partition of India the Muslims were sort of okay with Christians because the Christian population was such a minority, and of very little consequence to any of three major religions in India, Hindu, Muslim, and Sikh. It was the Christian’s lack of importance in India that has made it hard for them during the past fifty years.

Jinnah, the leader of the Muslim league in India and the father of Pakistan was also a fairly liberal Muslim leader compared to Muslim leaders today. While he wanted his totally Muslim state he also thought he could keep the other religions in his Pakistan safe. Jinnah wanted the world to approve of his new country Pakistan. Of course this blew up in everyone’s faces during the Partition.

For a time Christians were allowed to live freely in Pakistan, but as time went by that freedom was slowly eaten away. The Christian college Kinniard that I mention in my novel was eventually taken over and ceased to be a Christian institution. Christian missionaries continue to live in Pakistan, but as we can see from the news that liberal acceptance has eroded over the decades.

I mentioned this in Cam’s interview on Monday, but I felt that the story of Cam’s romance with Dassah mirrored his love for country. Is that what you intended? If so, would you elaborate? If not, what did you hope to bring out in this story?

You’re right, I did want Cam’s love for the Indian girl Dassah to mirror his love for India. I’m so glad you caught that undercurrent. As I already mentioned, racism is something I’ve tackled in this series. Cam is one of my Christian characters and I wanted his feelings about India to be in contrast to the general British population. At that time the majority of English looked down on the Indian people as lower than their white race, much the way Afro-Americans were looked down in the US at the same time.

Through my characters I tried to show what a Christian should feel for people with a different skin tone. So Cam in Veiled at Midnight is loving Dassah as his equal, the same way Christ wants His entire church with all its glorious skin tones to love each other.

Was there a Scripture of a Bible precept that God brought to you in your writing of Veiled at Midnight?

You bet. There is a scripture verse for all my books and usually a passage I refer to a number of times. The main verse is Romans 8:28, For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. But really the whole chapter is talking about living in the Spirit, and how our human spirit is in conflict with God’s Spirit. It’s so hard to fight against our human traits. This is shown in how Cam works so hard to fight against his addiction, but he too learns that even his struggle with drinking can’t separate him for the love of Christ.

I’d love to know what you’re working on next. Would you mind sharing with us?

I am currently writing the non-fiction book about my experience relinquishing my first child to adoption back in 1979 and our reunion twenty years later in 1999. Meeting my daughter Sarah when she was 20 years old brought back all the pain of giving her up in the first place. But through that heartbreak I learned the most precious thing of all—how much God loves me as a Father. It was the verse Isaiah 49:15,16a that taught me this. “Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands…”

That book will be released November 2015.

What a wonderful blessed event that arose from such a sad time in your life. I’m going to be looking for that book and many more to come from you, I’m sure. I hope you’ll come back and visit with us again at Inner Source.

VAM Polished coverMore About VEILED AT MIDNIGHT-Book 3 of the series Twilight of the British Raj

As the British Empire comes to an end, millions flee to the roads. Caught up in the turbulent wake is Captain Cam Fraser, his sister Miriam, and the beautiful Indian Dassah.

Cam has never been able to put Dassah from his mind, ever since the days when he played with the orphans at the mission as a boy. But a British officer and the aide to the last viceroy cannot marry a poor Indian woman, can he?

As this becomes clear to Dassah, she has no option but to run. Cam may hold her heart—but she cannot let him break it again.

Miriam rails against the separation of the land of her birth, but is Lieutenant Colonel Jack Sunderland her soulmate or a distraction from what God has called her to do?

The 1947 Partition has separated the country these three love…but can they find their true homes before it separates them forever.

Sarah  Lana as bookendsCAPTURED 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.

 

Character Interview: Cam Fraser from Christine Lindsay’s Veiled at Midnight

Cam memeToday’s guest at Inner Source is Cam Fraser, the hero of Christine Lindsay’s wonderful historical novel, Veiled at Midnight.

Cam comes to us from the mid-1940s India, an exciting time in his country’s history. Welcome.

Cam, I wanted to speak to you today because for me, you are an unlikely hero. At times in this story I wanted to smack you for the decisions you made, ones that hurt you and that hurt your heroine, Dassah. Looking back on those decisions, though, do you believe that, despite your sin, God ably turned all things to good as He promises in Romans 8:28?

I am no hero, and you’re not the only one who wanted to smack me. There was a time I wanted to end it all because of my sickening inability to be a decent man like my stepfather. But the disgusting human weakness of drunkenness came through my bloodline, from my natural father, and I ended up being enslaved to my mistress in a bottle.

The Lord knows how much I hated myself, but couldn’t seem to stop. I tried so many times…and failed miserably, like that natural man in chapter 8 of Romans.

That’s one of the good things that came out of my story. I learned that I cannot change myself. No matter how hard I fight against my human tendencies I fail. Only God can He change me.

And in a way, I’m grateful that my human sinfulness was easy to see—I was a drunk. If I had not had this very visible weakness, I might not have seen my need of Christ. As a man with a great military career, and the fact I knew how to act like a Christian, growing up in a Christian home with Christian parents, I could have just kept acting like a good person. But being a good person with a highly respected position can keep you from recognizing your need of the Savior.

So, the best of all things has been given to me—I am saved by Christ. I know who I am only in Him.

Well said. You literally had to fall flat on your face so that God could work in you. When you got to that point, what made you seek God?

I knew that if I did not surrender to God that I would truly die from drinking. As much as I thought I wanted to end my life, when it came down to it I yearned for life—the kind of abundant life that I saw my parents living.

I believe we all need to recognize that our human condition goes in one direction only—it shoves us toward death. I’m grateful today to be sober and feeling clean in my heart, mind, and soul. God rewarded me by my obedience. He renewed my relationship with my family, but most of all gave me back my precious wife.

Cam, your story is not only about a man’s love for a woman who convention tells him he should not love, but a man’s love for his country—one that is being taken away from him—is also very important to the story. Would you share with the reader what made you cling to the thoughts of Dassah throughout the years?

My stepfather taught me from a little boy that I should treat Indian people as my equals. That just because I was British and a member of the so-called ruling British class, that in God’s eyes this was nonsense. Black, white, brown, whatever the skin-tone, it is all from God and something He delights in. Learning to see India through my step-father’s eyes and through the eyes of God, I fell in love with India. And that love of India is wrapped up in the beautiful woman, Dassah. I love her culture, her voice, her language, her way of moving, the food she makes, and the warmth of her soul. She is a jewel in the great diversity of God’s creation.

Also, what is it about India and its people that endeared you to the nation?

Their smiles—such bright brown eyes. The aroma of their food, their music, the colors of their clothing, but most of all the people of India search for God with a passion I have never seen in any other race. They hunger and thirst for the truth about God.

In 1940, the culture in India was such that a British officer did not marry a woman of India. Looking back, I’d like to know how you and Dassah dealt with this type of bias throughout the years.

It wasn’t easy, even after the war. We made it to Canada, to the west coast of British Columbia where a large population of Indian people had fled to. In the Fraser Valley there was enough of a mixture of English, European, and Indian immigrants, that Dassah and I fit in. It didn’t happen right away. Even there, the stigma of an inter-racial marriage brought some tears to Dassah. I comforted her, and eventually after our third child was born things began to lighten in people’s minds. Also, people in our community began to take us at face value, people who love the Lord and seek to bring good to our neighbors.

Thank you so much for being our guest today, Cam. I’m so glad to see what God has done in your life. When you seemingly lost so much, He opened the door to more blessings. I look forward to the interview with your author, Christine Lindsay on Wednesday.

VAM Polished coverMore About VEILED AT MIDNIGHT-Book 3 of the series Twilight of the British Raj

As the British Empire comes to an end, millions flee to the roads. Caught up in the turbulent wake is Captain Cam Fraser, his sister Miriam, and the beautiful Indian Dassah.

Cam has never been able to put Dassah from his mind, ever since the days when he played with the orphans at the mission as a boy. But a British officer and the aide to the last viceroy cannot marry a poor Indian woman, can he?

As this becomes clear to Dassah, she has no option but to run. Cam may hold her heart—but she cannot let him break it again.

Miriam rails against the separation of the land of her birth, but is Lieutenant Colonel Jack Sunderland her soulmate or a distraction from what God has called her to do?

The 1947 Partition has separated the country these three love…but can they find their true homes before it separates them forever.

Sarah  Lana as bookendsCAPTURED 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.

Christine Lindsay Author picAbout 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 the final installment to that series, Veiled at Midnight just released October 2014.

Londonderry Dreaming is Christine’s first romance which is set in Ireland.

Christine 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.

CONNECT WITH CHRISTINE:

Please drop by Christine Lindsay’s website  or follow her on Twitter and be her friend on Pinterest,  Facebook,  and  Goodreads.

Through the Eyes of One of America’s Forgotten by Jennifer Slattery

sad lonely angry kid child tween grieving alone

I was completely blind-sighted and leveled, for some time to come. In fact, I’m not sure the ache God started years ago has ever left. That ache of knowing, really knowing, and feeling completely and utterly inept. More than that, of wrestling with what God might be calling me to do, and yet, erecting barriers to obedience before the prayer concludes.

Double-minded. Partially surrendered. Angered by the injustice of it all yet paralyzed by fear, selfishness, and uncertainty. Some problems seem just too big to tackle, and yet, God—the infinite, all-powerful, all-knowing, sovereign God, has a plan. If we’d but tune our ears and step out in obedience, to whatever He calls us to do. For some that means opening our home to broken children. For others that may mean acting like a support for friends who’ve answered the call to foster. The opportunities to help are endless.

And the need, urgent. There are so many reasons we can say now, but there’s a huge and pressing reason to say yes.

Through the eyes of one of America’s forgotten:

Kraigen stood in the doorway holding a large garbage bag that wasn’t even half full despite the fact that it carried absolutely everything he owned. Clenching his jaw, he braced himself for the worst. Based on the sappy faces and wide, almost teary eyes that stared back at him, this was gonna be one long night. He pretended to listen to the high-pitched chirping that pricked his ears, but in reality, his mind was a million miles, and neighborhoods, away.

He knew the drill. They were happy to have him, wanted him to feel at home, yah-da, yah-dah, yah-dah. He’d heard all that before. And he’d pretend to buy it, for now. Until they shipped him off somewhere else. Because they always did. This was his third home this year, the tenth home since those high-and-mighties down at children’s services shipped him off five years ago when they found his mother passed out on the living room floor, a used heroine needle dangling from her limp hand.

“Can I take your…um…bag for you?” A lady with a way too big smile and mascara caked eye-lashes asked, reaching for Kraigen’s things.

He jerked away instinctively and clutched the smooth plastic to his chest. The woman’s eyes went wide. The man beside her, tall with a thick shaggy beard and thick glasses, started to move forward. When Kraigen looked directly into the man’s eyes and squared his shoulders in his best, “Wanna piece of me?” stance, the man slackened and stepped back.

“Are you hungry?” The woman’s voice was shaky. “I made spaghetti and meatballs. Come with me.”

Kraigen followed reluctantly into a brightly painted kitchen with pink and purple flower curtains. A large, round table laden with salad, milk, steamed vegetables and hot spaghetti sat in the center of the room. Hen tightened his throat to stop his nose from inhaling the aroma of Italian sausage and roasted garlic. Last thing he needed was for his stomach to go growling like some wild animal. Yah, he was hungry. So what? He’d been hungry before, and he’d be hungry again. One hot meal, and a few nights in some Beaver-Cleaver home really wasn’t going to make that much of a difference. It was all temporary, despite their lofty promises.

“Here, have a seat.” The man pulled out a chair and patted the cushion.

Kraigen glanced at the clock. How long were these charades going to go on? But that was how the game was played. They’d do their part, give him a few hot meals, tell him how special he was, that it wasn’t his fault his mom was sick, like they had any idea what they were talking about. But then he’d mess up, or they’d get tired, whatever, and he’d be shipped off somewhere else.

“Like spaghetti?” The lady shoved a steaming hot plate piled high with soft noodles and dripping sauce in front of his face. “I made this just for you.”

An image of his mother passed out on the vomit-stained carpet, her thick, matted hair spread out across the maroon fibers like clumps of wool, flashed through his mind.

He cleared his throat to keep his tears at bay. “Thank you,” and began to push the noodles around his plate with a shiny silver fork.

The man with the thick glasses pulled up a chair, sat beside him and nodded for the lady to do the same. Kraigen pretended not to notice the pathetic looks of sympathy that were etched in their middle-class faces. It was like they were watching some mutated cat trying to lap up a pile of spilled milk.

“I know this is hard for you—”

Yah, right. You and your pretty little white picket fence and two-car garage? You don’t know And I know you won’t stick around long enough to find out. No one does.

headshot2013About the Author:

Jennifer Slattery writes soul-stirring fiction for New Hope Publishers, a publishing house passionate about bringing God’s healing grace and truth to the hopeless. She also writes for Crosswalk.com, Internet Café Devotions, and the group blog, Faith-filled Friends. When not writing, Jennifer loves going on mall dates with her teenage daughter and coffee dates with her handsome railroader husband.

Visit with Jennifer online at JenniferSlatteryLivesOutLoud. 

WhenDawnBreaks_N154102_300dpiRGBMore About When Dawn Breaks:

As the hurricane forces Jacqueline to evacuate, her need for purpose and restitution motivate her to head north to her estranged and embittered daughter and into the arms of a handsome new friend. However, he’s dealing with a potential conspiracy at work, one that could cost him everything, and Jacqueline isn’t sure if he will be the one she can lean on during the difficult days ahead. And then there are the three orphans to consider, especially Gavin. Must she relinquish her chance at having love again in order to be restored?

Read a free, 36-page excerpt here.

When Dawn Breaks is also available at Barnes and Noble and Christian Book Distributors.

BeyondIDocoverAbout Jennifer’s First Novel, Beyond I Do:

Will seeing beyond the present unite them or tear them apart?

Marriage … it’s more than a happily ever after. Eternally more.

Ainsley Meadows, raised by a hedonist mother, who cycles through jobs and relationships like wrapping paper on Christmas morning, falls into a predictable and safe relationship with Richard, a self-absorbed socialite psychiatrist. But as her wedding nears, a battered woman and her child spark a long-forgotten dream and ignite a hidden passion. One that threatens to change everything, including her fiancé. To embrace God’s best and find true love, this security-seeking bride must follow God with reckless abandon and realize that marriage goes Beyond I Do.

Author Interview: Jennifer Slattery

headshot2013Today’s special guest is Jennifer Slattery, the author of When Dawn Breaks. Jennifer writes soul-stirring fiction for New Hope Publishers, a publishing house passionate about bringing God’s healing grace and truth to the hopeless. She also writes for Crosswalk.com, Internet Café Devotions, and the group blog, Faith-filled Friends. When not writing, Jennifer loves going on mall dates with her teenage daughter and coffee dates with her handsome railroader husband.

Visit with Jennifer online at JenniferSlatteryLivesOutLoud. 

Jennifer, thank you for visiting with us again. I truly enjoyed the novel. I got wrapped up into the lives of these characters. I kept rooting for them, and I laughed and cried through the ups and downs. So, my first question that I want to know is: how did this story take shape for you?

I’m so glad you enjoyed the book, Fay. Having learned under you in Scribes for years, that means a lot. In regard to your question, much of it just flowed. I felt most drawn and connected with Gavin, but I loved Jacqueline and Jonathan, too. I knew I was introducing my readers to some tough realities, so I felt I really needed a lot of humor sprinkled throughout, to give them comic relief. Then I found I loved those comedic threads as much as the heart-wrenching portions.

Is there a Jacqueline Dunn or a Jonathan Cohen, maybe a child who resembles Gavin, Adele, or Jaya in your life? If not, how did you manage to draw such believable and heartwarming characters?

Yes to all of those. J If only I had the page space to expound on each character. I have always struggled with feeling loved—receiving love, so I really related to Gavin’s feelings of being unwanted. He so longed to belong, to hold tight to those relationships he had, and really, to be loved. But it seemed what he needed most kept evading him, and he was powerless to do anything about it. And yet, God continued to pursue him, through His children.

When I became an adult, after ten years of extensive healing by Christ, I looked back over my life and I could see how God had reached out to me, again and again, through others. The neighbor who invited me in for Vacation Bible School, the family that showed me kindness when ours came over for barbecues and such. The blind neighbor who allowed me to help her take out the trash then used that initial connection to form a relationship with me, one that resulted in me coming to her house daily in my elementary years. Or the numerous families that took me in, when I was a teen, when I felt hopeless and alone.

Though I felt incredible pain from things in my past, I saw that God had never left me. He was the truest, most faithful love I’d ever known.

This is the love I wanted to show, but I also wanted to show how God reveals that love through us, His body. Which is an incredible honor and responsibility—to think God trusts us with a wounded heart. Wow.

Well, I know a lot of folks who love you for who you are today and the kindnesses you show to them.

I’m guessing that either you know about foster care or you did a great deal of research. If a reader wanted to know how they could get involved, even if it is just volunteering and not fostering children—but certainly that as well—what would you tell them are some of the steps they can take to reach out to children in this type of system?

My sister has worked in the foster care industry for some time, first as a social worker and now as an in-home therapist, so I’ve learned a great deal about the needs and the miracle stories. (She also helped me a great deal with this novel!) There are so many ways people can become involved. They can foster, providing a loving, Christ-filled, and safe environment for these hurting children. They can foster to adopt, which is incredibly beautiful and a huge part of breaking the cycle of generational abuse and poverty. They can be a support for friends who do foster care, which is hugely needed!

They can become licensed to do respite care, which provides periodic breaks for those doing foster care, enabling them to stay fueled emotionally, physically, and spiritually. They can help spread the word, start a support group in their church, get involved in CASA, an organization that pairs adult advocates with foster children so the children have a stable relationship in their life throughout all the changes and moves they might go through.

A big one, I think, is training our children to be compassionate. Those “problem” kids in school who act socially awkward and are perhaps difficult to be around? They may be extremely wounded, shuffled from one home to the next, and our children can be a friendly, loving face at school that can help bring peace. And ultimately, people can pray. For foster kids, those who’ve been adopted, those doing foster care, the social workers whom are overworked and underpaid, a system that is ill-equipped to deal with the massive need…

I have to ask a hurricane question because I’m a student of hurricane history. Have you ever lived in a hurricane-prone area or have you ever had first-hand experience with a hurricane? If so, would you share? If not, I’d love to know about your research—just because the subject fascinates me.

I have. We lived in Louisiana during Katrina. It was such a crazy time! Louisiana and Texas weren’t equipped to deal with the level of tragedy, devastation, and need. It was utter chaos, and the local churches were the first to respond. Churches were housing people in their basements, putting them in mobile homes, giving them food, clothing, you name in. Our church in particular became a sort of warehouse of goods. We had so many donations; we lined them up in the pews, labeling each pew so folks knew what they contained. (We had various bags lined on the pews, all organized by similarity.)

The storm victims could come, get what they needed, without having to ask. This was huge as these people were already devastated, completely humbled, so this allowed them to retain some sort of dignity.

Our library was also packed each day. People sat on the ground, on chairs, waited behind computers, etc. Many were trying to find out FEMA and insurance stuff. I suspect others simply wanted a place to spend the day. I went, and noticed the empty—like so broken, there was nothing there—look on many of the parents’ faces, so I began to read to the kids, to give the parents a break and the kids a bit of joy. I still remember the look on one dad’s face when his daughter came to my side—it was teary gratitude. I believe he was grateful to have someone helping out with his child at a time when, emotionally, he couldn’t do that.

While researching, I read a great deal about what went on at the Superdome. Wow, that was bad.

Wow! I’m glad I asked. That’s an awesome testimony that you and your church have, and I can see where God used that time to teach you things that you could share about others regarding emergency shelters and the needs of those there. I have never gone through a Katrina, and the Lord willing, I don’t plan to do so.

And as always, I’d love to know what your next project will be.

Absolutely! How about if I give you the preliminary back cover blurb?

Abandoned by her husband, an organ procurement coordinator fighting to keep her job and her sanity encounters an old flame facing an unthinkable tragedy.

For Tammy Kuhn, being an organ procurement coordinator is more than a job. It’s a ministry. But when her husband of sixteen years leaves her for another woman, struggles with childcare, her absentee ex-husband, and an altercation with a doctor threaten her job. Embittered and overwhelmed, she fights to maintain her sanity when a late night encounter with an old flame stirs emotions long since buried but the ICU is no place for romance.

This novel is scheduled to release in October.

Thanks so much for having me, Fay! I always love visiting your site!

I love having you, Jennifer. Your friendship and watching your career is one of the joys of my life, and I hope that you will come back and visit us for the release of this next novel.

WhenDawnBreaks_N154102_300dpiRGBMore About When Dawn Breaks:

As the hurricane forces Jacqueline to evacuate, her need for purpose and restitution motivate her to head north to her estranged and embittered daughter and into the arms of a handsome new friend. However, he’s dealing with a potential conspiracy at work, one that could cost him everything, and Jacqueline isn’t sure if he will be the one she can lean on during the difficult days ahead. And then there are the three orphans to consider, especially Gavin. Must she relinquish her chance at having love again in order to be restored?

Read a free, 36-page excerpt here.

When Dawn Breaks is also available at Barnes and Noble and Christian Book Distributors.

BeyondIDocoverAbout Jennifer’s First Novel, Beyond I Do:

Will seeing beyond the present unite them or tear them apart?

Marriage … it’s more than a happily ever after. Eternally more.

Ainsley Meadows, raised by a hedonist mother, who cycles through jobs and relationships like wrapping paper on Christmas morning, falls into a predictable and safe relationship with Richard, a self-absorbed socialite psychiatrist. But as her wedding nears, a battered woman and her child spark a long-forgotten dream and ignite a hidden passion. One that threatens to change everything, including her fiancé. To embrace God’s best and find true love, this security-seeking bride must follow God with reckless abandon and realize that marriage goes Beyond I Do.

 

Character Interview: Jacqueline Dunn from Jennifer Slattery’s When Dawn Breaks

WhenDawnBreaks_N154102_300dpiRGBToday’s special guest is Jacqueline Dunn from Jennifer Slattery’s heartwarming novel, When Dawn Breaks. Jacqueline, I know that your life has become a very busy one, and I’m thankful that you can take the time out to stop in and share a little about your story. In the last year, you’ve been through a lot of loss. Your story is one that truly does show the truth behind Romans 8:28, that all things do happen for good to those who love the Lord … What I’d like to know is your take on that verse.

I’ve certainly see God work a lot of good out of my mess! And boy, am I thankful! I think Jennifer would get upset if I said too much, as I’d probably give parts of the story away without even knowing it! But suffice it to say, I’m learning to trust God more and more each day, to see He truly does have my best in mind—even when I’m smack dab in the worst storm, literally and metaphorically, I’ve ever experienced.

You lost your home, practically everything that you own in a hurricane. I live in a hurricane prone area. I’ve seen the devastation of hurricanes myself, but I want to know the emotional toll this loss took on you?

Oh, wow, that was hard. I’d spent my entire adult life building my career and assets. It probably didn’t make a lot of sense to plunk so much money into a beach home, but the market was doing so well. I really though I was making a great, long term investment. I learned how futile my plans are, and I guess, in the end, I learned that was a good thing. Even so, it was still hard to lose so much; so much I’d worked decades to build. More than that, I lost a lot of cherished mementos… but in the end, I gained things of greater value.

Broken relationships are a theme of this story. I do believe that everyone has at least one relationship that might have been broken by either that person’s actions or non-actions or by the actions of others. What would you say is the one Scripture or Biblical precept that helped you to cope with a relationship that you know only God can heal?

God really used Romans 12:18 to encourage me. I’ve since committed this verse to memory. It says, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”

This verse first and foremost encourages me to do everything I know to work toward peace. That means owning up to my mistakes and realizing, when I’ve hurt others, like I have my daughter, it might take time to earn their trust. But then the verse also reminds me that I can only do so much; it’s up to the other person whether they want to forgive, and they may not. That’s hard. That’s really hard. But it’s life. That doesn’t mean I wash my hands of the person or situation but rather that I release them and their response to God.

Another theme that I saw in the story was one of leaning on God, and trusting not in your understanding but in God’s promises. How difficult a journey was that for you?

Oh, my, is that ever hard for me! I haven’t been a Christian for long, and sometimes it’s all so confusing, and terrifying! I hear other believers talk about God speaking to them, telling them to do this or that, and I can’t help but stare at the sky and think, “Um… when will I hear God? What does He sound like anyway?”

So a lot of learning to trust in God is learning to recognize His voice, which usually doesn’t come via a megaphone. Haha. I suppose that’s why He gave us promises in Scripture; so we would rely on the truth we know rather on what we think or feel. Not to say God can’t or doesn’t speak to us directly, but my old pastor used to say, “Before you go asking God to speak to you about this or that, get busy doing what He’s already told you.” That stepped on my toes a bit, in a good way.

And lastly, I want to know how you’ve managed to cope with all of the changes in your life.

Hm… I’m not sure how well I’ve coped, to be honest, though I’m learning. To be more patient, more giving, more loving, more relaxed. I guess that comes from learning more about God, growing closer to Him, and staying around other believers. You know, I think serving has also helped.

Shortly after the hurricane ripped me from my home, I began serving in a shelter filled with other storm refugees—those who literally had nothing, not even family they could stay with. That really put my problems and pains into perspective. Not only that, I found I could still experience joy by allowing Christ to love through me, even when my life is hard—especially when my life is hard! I’ve heard it said, the more we focus on ourselves, the more miserable we become. But the abundant life Christ promised comes from dying to ourselves, honoring others above ourselves, and surrendering to Christ and His plan for our lives. I’ve learned through all this storm garbage just how true that sentiment is!

Jacqueline, it has been a pleasure getting to know you both here and in When Dawn Breaks. I look forward to the interview with your author, Jennifer Slattery, on Wednesday.

More About When Dawn Breaks:

As the hurricane forces Jacqueline to evacuate, her need for purpose and restitution motivate her to head north to her estranged and embittered daughter and into the arms of a handsome new friend. However, he’s dealing with a potential conspiracy at work, one that could cost him everything, and Jacqueline isn’t sure if he will be the one she can lean on during the difficult days ahead. And then there are the three orphans to consider, especially Gavin. Must she relinquish her chance at having love again in order to be restored?

Read a free, 36-page excerpt here.

When Dawn Breaks is also available at Barnes and Noble and Christian Book Distributors.

BeyondIDocoverAbout Jennifer’s First Novel, Beyond I Do:

Will seeing beyond the present unite them or tear them apart?

Marriage … it’s more than a happily ever after. Eternally more.

Ainsley Meadows, raised by a hedonist mother, who cycles through jobs and relationships like wrapping paper on Christmas morning, falls into a predictable and safe relationship with Richard, a self-absorbed socialite psychiatrist. But as her wedding nears, a battered woman and her child spark a long-forgotten dream and ignite a hidden passion. One that threatens to change everything, including her fiancé. To embrace God’s best and find true love, this security-seeking bride must follow God with reckless abandon and realize that marriage goes Beyond I Do.

headshot2013About the Author:

Jennifer Slattery writes soul-stirring fiction for New Hope Publishers, a publishing house passionate about bringing God’s healing grace and truth to the hopeless. She also writes for Crosswalk.com, Internet Café Devotions, and the group blog, Faith-filled Friends. When not writing, Jennifer loves going on mall dates with her teenage daughter and coffee dates with her handsome railroader husband.

Visit with Jennifer online at JenniferSlatteryLivesOutLoud. 

 

Author Interview: Therese M. Travis

Therese TravisToday’s special guest is Therese M. Travis, an author is who is also a wife, mother, grandmother, follower of Christ. She’s been writing stories since the age of eight, and “telling stories” (you know what that means) since long before. She finally figured out how to put those stories onto the page. She loves to talk about Jesus and His love for us, about her family, crafting, writing, and praying. You can connect with Therese at Pinterest and on Facebook.

Therese, thank you for being here today. I loved Annabelle’s story because my favorite heroes and heroines are those that are not absolutely perfect. In Annabelle’s case, her flaws are physical, and she sees herself as flawed and not at all the way God sees her. This flaw prevents her from truly living. Have you ever known anyone who suffers from what they would consider a physical flaw and allowed themselves to be ruled by their own fears of what others see in them?

Welcome, Therese. It’s so good to have you return and talk about your newest romantic suspense novel, Fixing Perfect. 

Thanks, Fay. I love visiting with you.

The first question I have for you is: where in the world did you get the idea for this great suspense story with its unique heroine?

Several years ago, I attended a baseball game with my daughter and her family. My grandsons were volunteer runners for several handicapped players, and I just knew I had to use that concept in a story. From there, a comment I heard (I don’t remember where) about the “tragedy” of being handicapped, and I had my heroine who had a much better attitude. As I wrote Kerry, I realized he was based on a friend of mine. Every time he’d talk, I’d hear a different voice…

Catalina Island is another unique feature of the story. Why did you choose the island? Is there a connection or do you have another reason?

I went to the island for my honeymoon, and have always wanted to go back. Someday….Everything I learned about it as I researched just added another great layer to the story.

Robin is a fiercely independent woman despite her limitations. Do you know someone like Robin or do you write her from your own personal experience?

I’m not handicapped in the same way, but I have three different chronic illnesses that sap my energy. So that aspect of what Robin faces is straight from my own life. Also, from a very young age, I’ve been drawn to people with disabilities as much as to anyone else. I’ve learned to see them as people just like anyone else, rather than someone whose eyes you try not to catch when they walk by—or roll by.

You write suspense very well. The story builds and builds while you’re rooting for Robin and Sam to overcome the frightening events that are taking place in their lives. Have you ever been exposed to a similar situation? If so, do you want to share? If not, please tell us the secret behind your ability to bring the fear to your reader.

Thank you! No, I’ve never been in a similar situation. But I have an active (and somewhat sinister) imagination, and I use it fully! I have to admit that I didn’t enjoy getting into the killer’s head, but once I had, it made the story richer.

What are you working on now?

Several children’s books (middle reader level) and a short story set in Vatican City, that I hope to pitch for the Passport to Romance line. Also, a series of mysteries with a neurotic heroine. She’s very close to my heart. We share a lot of the same OCD tendencies.

FixingPerfect_h11394_300About Fixing Perfect:

In the community of Avalon on Catalina Island, a psychopath is kidnapping children and perfectly posing and painting the bodies of adult victims to resemble disabled artist, Robin Ingram.

Robin struggles with feelings of imperfection, and knowing some madman has a macabre agenda—which includes fixing her—is unsettling. She’s relieved when paramedic Sam Albrecht steps up to help.

Sam believes he knows the identity of the killer, and he wants nothing more than to prove it in order to keep Robin out of danger. Then Sam is arrested as a suspect for the crimes, and Robin’s life is thrown into a fresh whirlwind. She may not know who the real killer is, but she does know Sam is innocent…and she will find the proof to set him free, or she’ll die trying.

Other Works by Therese M. Travis:

Therese is the author of some of my favorite works:

AFistfulOfGod_w11310_680 (2)A Fistful of God:
 
Note from Inner Source: I not only rate this novel among my top five young adult novels. I rate it in my top five all-time favorites. This story is for audiences of all ages.
 

She’s never taken a drink, but she’s recovering from alcoholism all the same.

After the death of her father, teenager Aidyn Pierce spends all her time cleaning up her mother’s messes. So when Mom announces she’s getting sober, Aidyn doesn’t believe her. Mom has tried before, and Aidyn knows there will come a time—a day, a week, maybe even a month from now—when the cravings will be too much, and her mother will start drinking again. So, when Aidyn is encouraged to attend support meetings, she refuses. No point in wasting her time when her mother’s going to drink again, anyway.

But what Aidyn doesn’t count on is the healing power of love and friendship, and the incredible strength of God to walk both mother and daughter through the dark valley of addiction and recovery.

AnnabellesAngel_w11882_680Annabelle’s Angel:

Annabelle Archer has been crushing on Rick Stockton for years. And now, when he notices her, it’s only because her brothers and sisters make it impossible for him to miss her. Annabelle still hasn’t decided if God’s will means she spends her life taking care of her six siblings, or if He has more in mind for her.Rick Stockton doesn’t mind that church activities and Annabelle’s brothers and sisters keep throwing Annabelle and Rick together. He just isn’t sure what it means. But as the kids keep trying to turn Rick into a snow angel—with sugar, baby powder, and more—he’ll work on figuring it out. Spending time with Annabelle’s family gives Rick a longing for one of his own…and an idea to make it happen.This Christmas, Annabelle may just find there’s a special angel in her corner, one that will stick around for a lifetime.

EverybodyLovesMickey_w11272_680Everybody Loves Mickey:

He’s a saint with a tarnished halo, and Aubrey Thomas can’t stand him…or can she?

Handsome fireman, Mickey Hurst is loved by all. He volunteers at the local parish where Aubrey Thomas works as an administrator. He sings in the choir. He leads the youth group. He even acts as the church handyman, but Aubrey knew him before he became Saint Mickey—when he told her he’d have to be drunk to kiss her…and he was. What’s so infuriating is that despite his horrible admission, Aubrey loves Mickey as much as everybody else.

Mickey doesn’t blame Aubrey for disliking him. After all, he kissed her when he wasn’t sober—and insulted her, to boot. Aubrey deserved a better man—a Godly man. But, since that fateful kiss, Mickey’s drawn closer to the Lord. With the intercession of God and the matchmaking parish staff, Mickey prays that this Christmas he will be able to prove to Aubrey he’s now the man for her.

 

Character Interview: Robin Ingram from Fixing Perfect by Therese M. Travis

FixingPerfect_h11394_300Today, we welcome Robin Ingram, the heroine from Therese M. Travis’s romantic suspense novel, Fixing Perfect.

Robin, you’re an island girl. Would you mind telling our readers a little about your life on Catalina Island?

I live with my grandmother in a beautiful house just a few blocks from the downtown area, nestled around Avalon Bay. Lucky for me, I don’t have to climb any mountains to get to the house, since I have only my golf cart to get there. I design and sew dolls for a co op gift shop, and I’m active in my church and with this great sports team. Everyone on the team has some sort of disability, but we don’t let it keep us from having a great time.

You’re an amazing woman. You live with disabilities, and you strive to help others. I know the title of Therese’s novel refers to you (without giving anything away), but I’d like to know from your perspective just how you view your disabilities.

I have disabilities? LOL. It’s something I’ve always had to deal with. Sometimes it frustrates me, a lot, but most of the time I’ve figured out a way around them. Some people seem to think I’m less of a person because I’m not exactly like everyone else. All I can say is, they’re wrong. If they want to find out why, they have to get to know me.

Your story is a suspenseful one, and I can just imagine the range of fears that you went through dealing with what was taking place on the island. How did you manage to even step outside your house?

God was with me every step of the way. He always has been. But yes, there were times when I was terrified. Sometimes I just had to close my eyes to what could happen and focus on what I needed to do. Just like in real life.

I fell in love with the hero of the story, Sam. He’s a topnotch guy. What would you say is Sam’s most redeeming quality—besides his heroism?

I fell in love with Sam, too! I think his best quality is that, while he has always acted as though I’m not disabled (at least most of the time), when he needs to, he just steps in and makes things happen for me. He’s always there for me.

You’ve been through a lot. What would you say is the most important precept you have learned through this ordeal?

I learned that I’m ok just as I am. I’m not less-than, less worthy, than anyone else. And I don’t need to be fixed!

More About Fixing Perfect:

In the community of Avalon on Catalina Island, a psychopath is kidnapping children and perfectly posing and painting the bodies of adult victims to resemble disabled artist, Robin Ingram.

Robin struggles with feelings of imperfection, and knowing some madman has a macabre agenda—which includes fixing her—is unsettling. She’s relieved when paramedic Sam Albrecht steps up to help.

Sam believes he knows the identity of the killer, and he wants nothing more than to prove it in order to keep Robin out of danger. Then Sam is arrested as a suspect for the crimes, and Robin’s life is thrown into a fresh whirlwind. She may not know who the real killer is, but she does know Sam is innocent…and she will find the proof to set him free, or she’ll die trying.

Therese TravisAbout the Author: 

Therese M. Travis is a wife, mother, grandmother, follower of Christ. She’s been writing stories since the age of eight, and “telling stories” (you know what that means) since long before. She finally figured out how to put those stories onto the page. She loves to talk about Jesus and His love for us, about her family, crafting, writing, and praying. You can connect with Therese at Pinterest and on Facebook.

Therese, thank you for being here today. I loved Annabelle’s story because my favorite heroes and heroines are those that are not absolutely perfect. In Annabelle’s case, her flaws are physical, and she sees herself as flawed and not at all the way God sees her. This flaw prevents her from truly living. Have you ever known anyone who suffers from what they would consider a physical flaw and allowed themselves to be ruled by their own fears of what others see in them?

Other Works by Therese M. Travis:

Therese is the author of some of my favorite works:

AFistfulOfGod_w11310_680 (2)A Fistful of God:
 
Note from Inner Source: I not only rate this novel among my top five young adult novels. I rate it in my top five all-time favorites. This story is for audiences of all ages.
 

She’s never taken a drink, but she’s recovering from alcoholism all the same.

After the death of her father, teenager Aidyn Pierce spends all her time cleaning up her mother’s messes. So when Mom announces she’s getting sober, Aidyn doesn’t believe her. Mom has tried before, and Aidyn knows there will come a time—a day, a week, maybe even a month from now—when the cravings will be too much, and her mother will start drinking again. So, when Aidyn is encouraged to attend support meetings, she refuses. No point in wasting her time when her mother’s going to drink again, anyway.

But what Aidyn doesn’t count on is the healing power of love and friendship, and the incredible strength of God to walk both mother and daughter through the dark valley of addiction and recovery.

AnnabellesAngel_w11882_680Annabelle’s Angel:

Annabelle Archer has been crushing on Rick Stockton for years. And now, when he notices her, it’s only because her brothers and sisters make it impossible for him to miss her. Annabelle still hasn’t decided if God’s will means she spends her life taking care of her six siblings, or if He has more in mind for her.Rick Stockton doesn’t mind that church activities and Annabelle’s brothers and sisters keep throwing Annabelle and Rick together. He just isn’t sure what it means. But as the kids keep trying to turn Rick into a snow angel—with sugar, baby powder, and more—he’ll work on figuring it out. Spending time with Annabelle’s family gives Rick a longing for one of his own…and an idea to make it happen.This Christmas, Annabelle may just find there’s a special angel in her corner, one that will stick around for a lifetime.

EverybodyLovesMickey_w11272_680Everybody Loves Mickey:

He’s a saint with a tarnished halo, and Aubrey Thomas can’t stand him…or can she?

Handsome fireman, Mickey Hurst is loved by all. He volunteers at the local parish where Aubrey Thomas works as an administrator. He sings in the choir. He leads the youth group. He even acts as the church handyman, but Aubrey knew him before he became Saint Mickey—when he told her he’d have to be drunk to kiss her…and he was. What’s so infuriating is that despite his horrible admission, Aubrey loves Mickey as much as everybody else.

Mickey doesn’t blame Aubrey for disliking him. After all, he kissed her when he wasn’t sober—and insulted her, to boot. Aubrey deserved a better man—a Godly man. But, since that fateful kiss, Mickey’s drawn closer to the Lord. With the intercession of God and the matchmaking parish staff, Mickey prays that this Christmas he will be able to prove to Aubrey he’s now the man for her.

 

Surrendered by Julie Arduini

Portrait of a happy middle aged woman enjoying lifeWhen I surrendered my fear of rejection and what others would think and promised God I would write for Him, it didn’t take long before I knew surrender would be the center of everything I do. When my fiction life moved forward I decided to make that my brand. Every reader can relate to a surrender issue, so each of my stories has one. Entrusted focuses on surrendering fear.

Entrusted shares a lot of my life with my husband. Jenna Anderson moves from Youngstown, Ohio to the Adirondack Mountains after one phone interview. For us, we were living in Upstate NY and the financial effects of 9/11 hit our area hard. His job transitioned from salary to commission with no benefits. My job ended. We had a kindergartner and a newborn who was chronically ill. Tom got a call from a company based in Sharon, Pennsylvania, and after ninety minutes, they basically offered him the job. We had to surrender everything and everyone we knew. I’d never moved far from home. My dad was terminally ill. Our baby was very sick. It meant new doctors. Finding a school for our oldest. A new church. The ability to leave at a moment’s notice to be back for my dad. Fear? I was bathing in it.

Jenna’s fear is wanting to belong. She moved quickly and once things slow down she realizes she’s homesick. She learns there is a culture shift she isn’t prepared for. Her stable car needs to be sturdy for Adirondack winters. Most Speculator Falls residents access the internet through the library. The church dress code is casual. It isn’t comforting when the only one who seems to understand her is Kyle Swarthmore, the mogul from New Jersey. Every time Jenna and Ben clash he reminds her of the one thing that unnerves her—she isn’t one of them.

Ben’s fear is change and loss. He’s had a lot of transition in a short amount of time. To him, it’s easier to shut down, literally. The senior center represents everything he lost, and too much change. If he never enters the doors again, he’s fine with that. With Jenna in the picture, he’s challenged. She runs the place he hates. The last director broke his heart. On top of that, he’s trying to follow his grandfather’s final wish and expand the store his grandparents started together. But that means more transition in an unstable economy. Jenna’s presence messes with him on several levels. She appears to have courage to try new things that he doesn’t have.

What I loved about writing Entrusted is there is a faith message that isn’t banged over anyone’s head and yet the truth that God can be trusted with our fears is evident. I believe readers will walk away encouraged because are funny and touching moments that will make them think about their own lives.

As for us, the day we moved to the area our daughter, delayed by illness, pulled herself to stand for the very first time. We claimed that as confirmation we had done the right thing, as scary and hard as it was. It’s now been over ten years since that move. I still have my Upstate NY roots but I can’t imagine any life but our Ohio one. God has done such a work in our daughter. Our son is a teen with solid friends and a great school. My husband loves his work and is choir director at church. Had we not yielded to His call, we would have missed these blessings.

And that’s my challenge for readers. As scary as it is, I promise trusting God with your fears is the best choice. He will take care of you. What He starts, He will finish.

I’m living proof.

melodylodgekoct132_editedAbout the Author:

Julie Arduini is an author with a passion to encourage readers to find freedom through surrender. Her first Adirondack contemporary romance, Entrusted, gives readers hope to surrender fear. A Walk Through the Valley will soon be available as an infertility devotional with five other authors. She blogs every other Wednesday at Christians Read and is a frequent contributor to Jasmine’s Place. To learn more about her writing and love of chocolate, visit http://juliearduini.com. She lives in Ohio with her husband and two children.

You can also connect with Julie on Facebook, her Facebook Author Page, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, Goodreads, and her Amazon Author Page.

Entrusted FRONT Cover_editedAbout Entrusted:

Jenna Anderson, sassy city-girl, plows—literally—into Speculator Falls with a busted GPS, arriving in town as the new senior center director. She has only one goal—that of belonging no matter how out of place she appears and how angry she makes town councilman and grocer Ben Regan.

Her new life is so rural there are no traffic lights, and when she learns her car isn’t equipped to handle the mountain terrain, Ben’s grandmother offers her late husband’s vehicle, further alienating the local businessman.

As she endears herself to the seniors at the center and creates a vision full of ideas, programs, and equipment, she ruffles Ben’s plans to keep Speculator Falls void of change, including the store his grandfather built.

The two work through community events and shared heartbreak only to face off in a town council meeting where Ben publically rejects her proposal for the senior center, causing Jenna to react out of her fears about belonging.

She returns to Ohio where she realizes she needs to surrender her plans for the center and fears about belonging and trust her Heavenly Father when facing fear, change, loss, and love.

Author Interview: Julie Arduini

melodylodgekoct132_editedJulie, thank you for being with us today. Entrusted is a sweet romance with a great message wrapped inside. The story is set in the Adirondack Mountains, and I know you have a special connection there. Would you mind sharing that with our readers?

I first visited the real Speculator, New York in the early 90s when my good friend from college invited me. I instantly fell in love with the area and looked to visit whenever I could. That same family was even gracious enough to give us their home for the week for our honeymoon. I’ve always felt such peace there, definitely a gift from God.

I mentioned the message above. For me, my take away was to let go and learn to trust the Lord for our future, to sort out the things of the past, and to surrender to Him our worries and our fears. Is trust something that the Lord brought to you while writing Entrusted or is it something you wrote from personal experience?

I think a little of both. I certainly battled fear, and for me it was fear of rejection. Jenna needed to belong and Ben kept her second guessing with his reminders she didn’t belong. I grew in faith while writing Entrusted because for years the lie I believed was I wasn’t good enough. I was always the mediocre English student. As Ben and Jenna transformed through surrender, I believe I did, too. I know I’m called to do this, and through that, God equips.

What impressed me about your writing from the very beginning when I was reading it in critique was the ease with which the humor flows. I know that writing humor is not as easy as you make it look. This will seem a bit contradictory, but I have found that whether humor comes natural to a writer or whether they have to work at it, the art of bringing a smile to a reader isn’t as easy as you make it look. I’d love to know your process.

I truly believe its God at work. I ask Him for the words because I know humor is hard to translate on paper. I also look at my writing from a reader’s perspective. I want to deliver books that I know I’d love to read. When I read Kristin Billerbeck’s Ashley Stockingdale, I knew sassy characters were more than okay to write. They could be embraced—because I absolutely loved Ashley. I felt like that gave me permission to write what I love reading—funny, sassy characters who are also growing in faith.

And I’d like to know if you are anything like your character, Jenna Anderson?

I would be a horrible senior center director. Although I spent a decade in the field, I love encouraging the director, not being one. However, I share Jenna’s love for a mocha and I can speak freely like Jenna without always thinking it through.

Tell us about the upcoming novels in your Adirondack Surrender series and any other projects that you might have in the works.

Entangled is Carla’s story and I can’t wait to share it. She’s creating split ends for the people she loves when she can’t let go of her past choices.

Thank you, Julie. I hope that you and Carly will join us here at Inner Source when the novel is released.

More about the Author:

Julie Arduini is an author with a passion to encourage readers to find freedom through surrender. Her first Adirondack contemporary romance, Entrusted, gives readers hope to surrender fear. A Walk Through the Valley will soon be available as an infertility devotional with five other authors. She blogs every other Wednesday at Christians Read and is a frequent contributor to Jasmine’s Place. To learn more about her writing and love of chocolate, visit http://juliearduini.com. She lives in Ohio with her husband and two children.

You can also connect with Julie on Facebook, her Facebook Author Page, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, Goodreads, and her Amazon Author Page.

Entrusted FRONT Cover_editedMore about Entrusted:

Jenna Anderson, sassy city-girl, plows—literally—into Speculator Falls with a busted GPS, arriving in town as the new senior center director. She has only one goal—that of belonging no matter how out of place she appears and how angry she makes town councilman and grocer Ben Regan.

Her new life is so rural there are no traffic lights, and when she learns her car isn’t equipped to handle the mountain terrain, Ben’s grandmother offers her late husband’s vehicle, further alienating the local businessman.

As she endears herself to the seniors at the center and creates a vision full of ideas, programs, and equipment, she ruffles Ben’s plans to keep Speculator Falls void of change, including the store his grandfather built.

The two work through community events and shared heartbreak only to face off in a town council meeting where Ben publically rejects her proposal for the senior center, causing Jenna to react out of her fears about belonging.

She returns to Ohio where she realizes she needs to surrender her plans for the center and fears about belonging and trust her Heavenly Father when facing fear, change, loss, and love.