I'm very pleased to welcome guest author
to the blog today!
Look out below for a giveaway!
Immortal Hope, Fact and Fiction
Templar knights defied the archangels and unearthed the copper scroll, revealing the gates to hell. Cursed for their forbidden act, they forever roam the earth protecting mankind from evil. But darkness stalks them, and battles they fight bring them ever-closer to eternal damnation. One promise remains to give them salvation – the return of the seraphs.
Embittered by his purpose, Merrick du Loire must honor an ancient pact and bring peace to his cousin’s soul. When he stumbles upon history professor Anne MacPherson, he discovers she possesses a sacred artifact that marks her as a seraph. Duty demands he set aside his personal quest and locate the knight she’s fated to heal. As he struggles with conflicting oaths, Anne arouses buried hope and sparks forbidden desire that challenges everything he’s sworn to uphold.
Anne has six weeks to complete her thesis on the Knights Templar. When Merrick takes her to the Templar stronghold, he presents her with all she needs—and awakens a soul-deep ache, he alone can soothe. Yet loving Merrick comes with a price. If she admits she's destined for him, her gift of foresight predicts his death.
One of the things that intrigues me most as a reader is when authors employ speculative fiction as a tool to their writing. I did this somewhat with IMMORTAL HOPE, and I’d like to share some of those tidbits with you. Today I’ve released a new page on my website that will go into more of these, if you’re really interested. But here’s a few things that are factual, and a few that I tweaked for the purposes of my cursed Templar Knights.
- The Archangel Raphael’s historical purpose has been of healing. In The Curse of the Templars, he plays a warrior’s role, his skill with his sword equal to the fabled Mikhail (Michael). This deadly talent has placed him as the leader of the European Knights Templar. I also tweaked his appearance, depending on which description you adhere to.
- The building that houses the Knights Templar in North America, does in fact exist. It is the Odd Fellows home, in Liberty, MO, and it was also owned and founded by a secret society. To my knowledge, the Knights Templar do not have a temple beneath the dilapidated brick shell. But ghosts evidently linger on the premises.
- Anne’s house in Atchison Kansas is indeed on the city’s list of haunted attractions. It is currently unoccupied, and it is believed an “old witch” last lived in the house… her and her many cats. The tower room does not have power running to it. Yet often a light is seen on in the room. Cats have been heard purring inside, but no cats are in residence.
- There is a network of caves just outside of Atchison proper, running along the banks of the Missouri river. Locals will tell stories of how the caves were at one time, (or currently, depending on the narrator) used for Satanic purposes. A fitting setting for the entrance to Azazel’s realm.
- In Merrick’s history, he is the son of Geoffrey Martel, who is the brother of Fulk le Rechin. His cousin is also named Fulk – the first’s son. These people are historical people. Fulk I did imprison his brother at Chinon, thus claiming all Geoffrey’s power and property, and Geoffrey did stay in prison until near the end of his life. He did, in fact, die shortly after his release. However, Geoffrey Martel had no heirs.
- Chinon did house Templar prisoners after King Phillip’s forced Inquisition. There are Templar engravings in the stone walls where the men were confined. In recent years, documentation has been discovered showing that these particular men were given pardons from the Catholic Church for reasons unexplained. This pardon has been essentially ‘buried’ in Church history.
- The Copper Scroll is an actual artifact found with the Dead Sea Scrolls. It mystifies scholars today because it is written differently than the other items found with it. The descriptions are written in familiar language, such as “behind the red barn”, and it is believed to document, in some fashion, the lost treasure of Jerusalem.
- The Templar Code specified knights must maintain a vow of chastity. The punishment for not doing so was to confiscate the knight’s sword and surcoat until such a time that the leader decided to return them. At the time, it would have been a grave punishment – a knight is not a knight without a sword. However, given it is not logical to expect a man to remain chaste for hundreds of years, this was modified in IMMORTAL HOPE to reflect a minor oath and a futility of keeping swords.
These are just a few of the historic facts woven into the series. I’ll be keeping that page updated as the series goes along, and the entries there will have more detail than this short summation. But I hope you’ve found it somewhat entertaining! In the end, this is what all the work turned into:
In 1119, nine knights rode with Hughes de Payens to the Holy Land, becoming the Knights Templar. All were bound by marriage or by blood. Eight were recorded over time. The ninth vanished into history.
Beneath the legendary Temple Mount, the knights uncovered holy relics, including the Copper Scroll—a document written by Azazel’s unholy hand. For their forbidden digging, the archangels exacted a sacrifice. The knights would spend eternity battling the demons of Azazel’s creation, but with each vile death they claimed, a portion of darkness would enter their soul. In time, they would transform into knights of Azazel, warriors veined with evil, destined to fight against the Almighty.
Yet an ancient prophecy remained to give them hope. When darkness raped the land, the seraphs would return. Female descendants of the Nephilim would carry the light to heal their dying souls.
Centuries have passed. Azazel’s might grows to intolerable limits. With the acquisition of eight holy relics, he will gain the power to overthrow the Almighty.
Six Templars stand above the rest in duty, honor, and loyalty. But each is haunted by a tragic past, and their darkened souls rapidly near the end. As they battle both the overwhelming power of evil and the nightmares of lives they left behind, the seraphs are more than tools to victory.
They are salvation.
“Merrick, wait,” she called softly.
“Nay,” he answered on a hard swallow. “Nay, Anne. If I stay another moment, I will have you in that bed.” He shoved a hand through his hair and reached for the doorknob.
“But that’s where I want you,” she whispered.
He nodded once, a sharp dip of his chin. Pulling the door open, he answered, “I know.” Another protest, and he would turn right back to her waiting arms, cart her off to that oversized bed. When he finished with her, he would hate himself.
He entered the hall and shut the door.
Determination narrowed his gaze as he descended the stairs. He trained his thoughts to his cousin, focused on the oath he swore to Fulk. The very moment Anne discovered her intended, he vowed to leave. No sacred nail, no protected relic, no other oath would he honor until he fulfilled the promise to his kin. In so doing, he would free himself from this torment and lift his blade in Azazel’s name. It was a price he no longer feared to pay.
Before we close up shop – Everybody’s heard about the legend of the Knights Templar. What do you think they found beneath the Temple Mount?
Claire will be giving away a $25 Amazon.com gift certificate to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour, and a second $25.00 Amazon.com gift certificate to a second randomly drawn commenter at the end of the tour. Be sure to follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning! Click here for a complete list of blog stops.