Today’s Wednesday Writers guest is Olivia Rae who will be talking about her Inspirational Historical Romance, Devotion and giving us some background on the book’s setting and how it came to be. Welcome, Olivia!
A Setting Can Lead to a Series
By Olivia Rae
I love to read about the past. If something is written over 50 years ago, I’ll pick it up to read. Once I read a story about a golden knight that saved the Cross of Solomon from the Muslims. I don’t know if the story was true or not, but it got me thinking. So I began to write Revelation, which is the second story in The Sword and The Cross Chronicles (Yes, the second story came before the first.).
However, the story did not have the depth that it needed until I went to London with my daughter and we went to the Temple Church. The Templars started building this church, which was their headquarters, in the 12th century. Walking into the church, it didn’t take me long to realize just how powerful the Templars were back then. At one time, the Templars were even in control of the royal treasury. This might be the kernel of truth that started so many Templar rumors and myths you hear about today.
As fascinating as all those stories might be, it was the stone effigies that are found in the floor of the church that really had an impact on me. Now I had a clear visual of what a Templar knight probably looked like. Granted my series takes place before the oldest effigy (William Marshall 1146-1219) was ever put into the floor. Yet, I couldn’t get their images out of my head. These knightly effigies gave testament to a very tumultuous time in history. The Templars originally were a warrior monk order whose main goal was to offer protection to pilgrims going to the Holy Land. Many of these early pilgrims were the infirmed and ill looking for healing in the water of Bethesda, and in some cases, the Sea of Galilee. As more and more Europeans came to the area cultures began to clash. More importantly, who was going to control the trade routes from the East? Like now, back then, power was everything. There were saints and sinners on both sides during the Crusades and which may explain why some were immortalized in effigies.
My book, Devotion doesn’t have an effigy, but it does tell the story of a knight who was severely wounded and disfigured (check out book five in the series) and a woman whose heart is hard and locked away in a stone, kind of like an effigy to her miserable life. But that is nothing a little faith and love can’t remedy. I do so hope you will check out Devotion. I really did save the best for last.
About the Author:
Olivia Rae is an award-winning author of historical and contemporary inspirational romance. She spent her school days dreaming of knights, princesses and far away kingdoms; it made those long, boring days in the classroom go by much faster. Nobody was more shocked than her when she decided to become a teacher. Besides getting her Master’s degree, marrying her own prince, and raising a couple of kids, Olivia decided to breathe a little more life into her childhood stories by adding in what she’s learned as an adult living in a small town on the edge of a big city. When not writing, she loves to travel, dragging her family to old castles and forts all across the world. Olivia is the winner of the New England Readers’ Choice Award, the Golden Quill Award and the American Fiction Award. She has also been a finalist in many other writing contests, including the National Readers’ Choice Awards and the National Excellence in Romance.