Monday, February 24, 2014

New Voices: Author Christine Lindsay


Today we are honored to bring you a guest post by author Christine Lindsay.

BRITISH COLONIALISM TOUCHED THE GLOBE

—by Christine Lindsay

In Captured by Moonlight, Book 2 of my series, I was like a kid in a candy store researching The Queen Alexandra Imperial Military Nursing Corp. These nurses served all over the British Empire. Their gray ward dresses, starched white aprons and veils, and scarlet capes were the vision of hope to wounded soldiers. My fictional character, Laine Harkness in Captured by Moonlight, is one of those devoted nurses and decorated for bravery with the Royal Red Cross medallion


It was while researching for Shadowed in Silk, Book 1 of this series, that I grew interested in the terribly mutilated soldiers who survived WW1. These poor men would hide themselves away from society, often wearing tin masks. Benches were painted blue in parts of England, as a warning that the person sitting on that bench may be frightfully disfigured. The hero in Captured by Moonlight was the commanding officer to soldiers like these. While he himself remained relatively unscathed, Adam gives his life to protect his disfigured men by hiding them away in his jungle plantation. Unfortunately, this also hides Adam away from nurse Laine, the woman he used to be engaged to.
  
But British real life heroes aren’t the only ones featured in Captured by Moonlight. There is the great American missionary doctor, Dr. Ida Scudder who built the greatest private hospital in S.E. Asia. Her hospital in Vellore India is where the famous Dr. Paul Brandt learned about pain through his work with leprosy patients, and which was the focus of Philip Yancey’s book The Gift of Pain.

But the overall inspiration behind my series Twilight of the British Raj is the true-life Indian Christian heroine, Pandita Ramabai, who did so much for suffering widows and children.  Ramabai died in 1922, but her mission is still in existence today. In many ways Ramabai was the equal, if not even more outstanding than Mother Theresa.

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

One of the practices of Hinduism is called Devadasi. This is where a young girl is “married” to a Hindu deity and dedicated to service in a temple for the rest of her life. Sometimes these girls were from high-caste families who thought they were pleasing their gods by giving them their daughters. Many times the girls were from the untouchable class, who were simply brought in to be prostitutes for Hindu men who came to worship in the temples.

This practice is often debated that it really happened this way. But if you read the writings of women such as missionary Amy Carmichael, Dr. Ida Scudder, or Indian heroine Pandita Ramabai, then you know these horrible practices took place. I weave part of these injustices into Captured by Moonlight. The current-day sex trade is still as strong and still as horrendous as in the days of my fictional story. 
My series Twilight of the British Raj starts with Shadowed in Silk and takes the reader on a historical journey—the beginning of the end of the British Raj with the Jallianwala Bagh massacre that set the fuse for the Indian independence movement.

Book 2 Captured by Moonlight focuses on British people who had been born and raised in India, but with the end of the Raj drawing near they aren’t sure what country to call home.

Book 3 Veiled at Midnight finishes this series, showcasing Lord Louis Mountbatten, the last Viceroy of India, as he helps the Indian people through the terrible Partition of India and the birthing of the new country of Muslim Pakistan.

To my thinking, the British Raj of India is as exciting as the Wild West is to the Americas. A time caught in a capsule. But oh, such a time of memsahibs and sahibs, cavalry officers, huge Indian armies, British pomp in exotic India. 

ABOUT Captured by Moonlight
Prisoners to their own broken dreams…
After a daring rescue goes awry, the parched north of India grows too hot for nurse Laine Harkness and her friend Eshana. The women flee to the tropical south…and run headlong into their respective pasts.
Laine takes a new nursing position at a plantation in the jungle, only to discover that her former fiancĂ© is the owner…and that Adam has no more to say to her now than he did when he crushed her years ago. Why, then, is she still drawn to him, and to the tiger cub he is raising?
Eshana, captured by her traditional uncle and forced once more into the harsh Hindu customs of mourning, doubts whether freedom will ever again be in her future, much less the forbidden love that had begun to whisper to her. Is faith enough to live on? Or is her Savior calling her home?
Amid cyclones and epidemics, clashing faiths and consequences of the war, will the love of the True Master give hope to these searching hearts?

ABOUT 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.
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’s blog site www.christinelindsay.org or follow her on Twitter and be her friend on Pinterest and Facebook and GoodreadsPURCHASE SITES FORSHADOWED IN SILK AmazonSHADOWED IN SILK Barnes & NobleSHADOWD IN SILK KoboSHADOWED IN SILK Deeper ShoppingCAPTURED BY MOONLIGHT AmazonCAPTURED BY MOONLIGHT Barnes & NobleCAPTURED BY MOONLIGHT KoboCAPTURED BY MOONLIGHT Deeper Shopping

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