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Donna Fletcher Crow, Novelist of British History, has written more than 50 books specializing in British Christianity. These books include: The Monastery Murders, clerical mysteries; Lord Danvers Investigates, Victorian true-crime; The Elizabeth and Richard series, literary suspense; and Glastonbury, The Novel of Christian England. She loves research and sharing you-are-there experiences with her readers.

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Donna Fletcher Crow, Novelist of British History


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Donna Fletcher Crow, Novelist of British History

A traveling researcher engages people and places from Britain's past and present, drawing comparisons and contrasts between past and present for today's reader.

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Christine Lindsay Speaks for Immigrants

By Donna Fletcher Crow ~ April 30, 2016

 I’m proud to be a British immigrant to the “New World”, in my case Canada. Naturally the immigrant story resonates with me, and in my new release Sofi’s Bridge I enjoyed working with the various accents, brogues and dialects that make up the cultural melting pot in the US.  


Sofi is second generation Swedish living in Washington State. The hero however is Dr. Neil Galloway who hails from Ireland. As usual I had a blast writing the N. Irish brogue with its rising inflections, so different from that of Dublin. Here are a few samples of Neil’s Irish brogue


(This first sample is Neil helping Sofi through a panic attack.)


Morning sun flashed, and Sofi gasped for air. Neil Macpherson, who’d been weeding flower urns jumped to his feet as the pain in her chest almost bent her in two. Between the wrought iron tables and chairs, the gardener blocked her. He helped her straighten, his grave look holding hers as he steadied her by the shoulders. “Deep breaths, miss. Nice and slow. In . . . and out.”


Charles’s footsteps rang on the patio behind her. “Unhand her, man.”


Ignoring Charles, Neil Macpherson kept his gaze on her, his voice pitched low and lilting. “Pay no attention, miss, to anything . . . or anyone, but your breathing. Again . . . in . . . .and out.”


“I said, take your hands off her,” Charles bleated.


Neil shouldn’t be touching her. It was not his place. But for the life of her she couldn’t find the strength to tell him so. Her breaths began to slow. Deepen.


His cloth cap shaded his face, and a trace of a smile touched his mouth. Neil’s speech, a warm current, eddied over her, “Concentrate only on your breathing, miss. Aye, sure you’re doing grand.”



(This second excerpt takes place in the cabin high in the Cascade Mountains.)


“I need to apologize . . .” Neil started. “. . . what I said last night about your father.”


“We were both tired last night.”


He returned Sofi’s smile. “To a new day then.” He took a sip and held the cup away from him, crinkling his face. “My, how you Swedes like your coffee strong.”


Sofi’s eyes danced. “Too robust for your delicate tastes, Neil Macph—.”


“Not at all. We Irish like our tea just as strong.”


“But is the coffee to your taste?”


He leaned against the wall, his voice going husky. “ ’Tis grand. Sure I prefer it.”


“You prefer tea, don’t you?”


“I do miss a pot of tea, one where the leaves have been stewing so long the spoon can stand straight up in the cup. Does that satisfy ye?”


Their combined laughter lifted to the eaves. Their gazes locked. A faint flush caressed her cheek, and she glanced away.



While this book has romance, mystery, adventure, and so on, I really enjoyed writing the variety of accents throughout my secondary characters as well. One of my favorites is Sofi’s trusted housekeeper, Matilda, an immigrant from Scotland, and her dialogue in conjunction with the two Swedish housemaids.




“Matilda needed no further encouragement. She, Frida and Inga, began to cluck over their one chick, Matilda’s Scottish ‘R’s rolling, the two other women elongating their Swedish vowels. For now, Sofi would leave Trina in their capable hands.”


(And here are another 2 samples of Matilda’s Scottish demeanor)


Inside the nursery, Matilda waited in a chair by the window, a stiff, narrow-boned figure in her buttoned up Beatrix jacket. A straw-boater hat sat square on her head. “Are ye all right, lass?” she whispered to Sofi.



Matilda looked at Neil askance, but her dour mouth softened. “I suppose ye could bring out yon pot of water I have boiling on the stove.”



But Sofi’s family originally came from Sweden. Here is a sample of Sofi’s mother’s accent.


“What makes you think I know nothing of working hard for plain food?” Roselle snapped, glancing at the richness of carpets, paintings, chandeliers, fripperies that had made up her home for years. “As the child of poor Swedish immigrants I grew up on the old saying, ‘Manure and diligence make the farmer rich’. Freddie’s father made money from his timber business, but I came to our marriage with nothing but love.”


The look Charles sent her almost made her laugh. He acted as if she had uttered a vulgar oath. “I have never heard you speak in such a fashion, Roselle.”


“You mean like a farmer’s daughter, jah?” There was another word Freddie had not wanted her to use. It clearly offended Charles too. Always say yes instead of jah. Always say Mrs. Jones instead of Fru Jones. These men, when they made money put on such airs. She had known Charles for more than twenty years as Freddie’s partner, and it was as though he had never once seen the real Roselle, the girl she used to be.



(Another sample of Roselle’s Swedish accent.)


At least Roselle had made her husband happy. Freddie had been pleased that she spoke English so that only a little of her Swedish showed. He had been pleased with the way she dressed and comported herself. This farmer’s daughter had become a lady. But an old phrase of her mama’s kept running through her mind, ‘A piece of bread in the pocket is better than a feather in our hat’.


Her hands shook. It took all her strength to open the drawer in the small table, and take out the amber vial. Shame stuck to her like molasses. If Mama were alive she would have scolded. “Clean the chicken coop, Roselle. If you are having trouble sleeping at night, then arbete gör sömnen söt, work sweetens the sleep.” No, Mama would never approve. Nor would Sofi approve of her reliance on the laudanum. But Mama had gone to heaven long ago. And Sofi and Trina were . . . only God knew.



Sofi’s Bridge is set in a community nestled in the middle of Washington’s Cascade Mountains. Here is another of my immigrant characters, a favorite—Kiosho an elderly Japanese man. I tried to add a poetic Asian cadence to his dialogue.




Matilda set Trina in the rocking chair, where Trina sent a trace of a smile to Kiosho.  A moment later Trina’s face pinched as if she were trying to place him. The elderly man hunched down, took her hand and murmured, “Granddaughter, you are like your mama, a feeble tree, sheltered too long.”



Lastly, here is a snippet of dialogue flavored by Neil’s brother who just got off the boat from Ireland.


“Jimmy.” Neil’s face twisted with conflicting emotions. The younger man wrapped his arms around Neil so that they swayed together.


Sofi put a hand to her mouth. His brother.


“You look terrible,” Jimmy said to Neil.


Neil gave him a wan smile. “Aye, and I suppose I missed you too.” He set Jimmy at arm’s length. “What are you doing here?”


Jimmy puffed out his chest. “Sure there’s nothing wrong with me wanting to see my brother. And like you, I want to make me fortune.”


“Make your fortune? What about Alison? The child’s not due for another few weeks.” Neil dropped his hands from Jimmy’s shoulders. “Surely you didn’t leave her alone with a babe coming?”


Breath caught at the back of Sofi’s throat. Neil’s hands fisted at his sides. He’d freely volunteered that he had a brother. If Alison was a sister, why had he not mentioned her? Alison must be the reason for the lines of despair on Neil’s face.


Sulkiness overtook Jimmy’s grin. “Alison’s fine at home with Ma. Stop your nagging.”



Read for free the first chapters of all of Christine Lindsay’s novels including chapter 1 of Sofi’s Bridge at this link Christine Lindsay’s Books.





Pelican Book Group (Paper and Ebook)

Barnes and Noble (Paper and Ebook)


Christine Lindsay is the author of multi-award-winning Christian fiction with complex emotional and psychological truth, who always promises a happy ending. Tales of her Irish ancestors who served in the British Cavalry in Colonial India inspired her multi-award-winning series Twilight of the British Raj, Book 1 Shadowed in Silk, Book 2 Captured by Moonlight, and explosive finale Veiled at Midnight.

Christine’s Irish wit and use of setting as a character is evident in her contemporary romance Londonderry Dreaming and newest release Sofi’s Bridge.

A busy writer and speaker, Christine, and her husband live on the west coast of Canada. Coming August 2016 is the release of her non-fiction book Finding Sarah—Finding Me: A Birthmother’s Story.

Please drop by Christine’s website or follow her on Amazon on Twitter. Subscribe to her quarterly newsletter, and be her friend on Pinterest , Facebook, and  Goodreads



Donna Fletcher Crow, Novelist of British History, has written more than 50 books specializing in British Christianity. These books include: The Monastery Murders, clerical mysteries; Lord Danvers Investigates, Victorian true-crime; The Elizabeth and Richard series, literary suspense; and Glastonbury, The Novel of Christian England. She loves research and sharing you-are-there experiences with her readers.

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Reader Comments:

Thank you so much for being my guest today, Christine! Sofi sounds like a great heroine.
-Donna, May 2, 2016

Thank you Donna for having me as a guest, it truly is an honor. Hugs.
-ChristineLindsay, May 2, 2016

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