Olivia is the winner of the Golden Quill Award, New England Readers’ Choice Award, Southern Magic Contest, and the American Fiction Award. She is an Illumination Award Gold and Bronze medalist. She has also been a finalist in many other contests such as the National Readers’ Choice Awards, and the National Romance Fiction Awards. She is currently hard at work on her next novel.
Welcome, Olivia. Why do you write the kind of books you do?
I write Christian inspirational fiction. Not only do I enjoy writing this genre, it is a way for me to express my faith and spread the love of Jesus Christ. I feel truly blessed to be able to write these types of books.
Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
I would have to say giving birth to my two children. They were a joy to raise, even though at times it was very trying. But in the end, they both came out okay. Both my children now live in
My daughter is happily married and my son has a great job in the tech industry. California
How has being published changed your life?
Being published has taught me to be organized and disciplined. Not only are you responsible for writing your books, but marketing them also. Becoming a writer is not a job for the faint-of-heart. It’s hard work every day of the year.
What are you reading right now?
Right now, I am reading two books. Queen
I by Milton Waldman for research, and I am also reading for fun, Heavenly Lights: Noah’s Journey by
Barbara M. Britton. Elizabeth
What is your current work in progress?
My current work in progress is the sequel to A Life Renewed. The book will be called A Life Redeemed. The story takes in
England and during
the beginning of Queen Elizabeth’s reign.
Not only will you meet actual historical figures, you get a plot with a
lot of twists that will keep you guessing until the end. A sneak peek of this book is in the back of A
Life Renewed. Scotland
What would be your dream vacation?
I have been to a lot of places because I love to travel. I think my dream vacation would be a trip to the
Holy Land. How
wonderful would it be to walk and see places that Jesus did all those years
ago. Another place I would love to go to would be . The Rome and the Sistine Chapel are
at the top of my list. Vatican
How do you choose your settings for each book?
Choosing my setting is one of the first things I do. Since most of my books have visits from historical figures, I usually start where they lived. Then the plot of my story and the religious theme of the story might carry my characters to new settings. As in A Life Renewed, Lady Jane Grey escaped from
England and then wound up in during
the reformation struggles. Here she learned a lesson that Catholics and
Protestants are more alike than different. They both believe Jesus Christ died
for their sins and are saved by His grace. Germany
If you could spend an evening with one person who is currently alive, who would it be and why?
Wow, who would I spend one special night with? That is a tough question. Besides my kids who live faraway from me, I can’t really think of anyone. Since I write a lot about the past I’m more interested in dead people. I am sure there are many great personalities living right now, but only time will tell if their decisions and advice was correct. So I guess I will abstain from this question.
With your kids is a perfectly okay answer to that question. What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
My other hobbies are hiking and biking. This year I hope to go to
and the Grand Tetons. Hitting all the national parks is on my bucket list.
Sounds like a wonderful bucket list. What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
Time is my obstacle. I don’t mean finding time to write. I am a slow writer. It can take me three hours to write a thousand words. Not because I don’t know what to write, but often I am back tracking and making sure the story is flowing in the right direction. Sometimes I have to stop to do additional research. Anyone who writes historicals knows exactly what I mean.
Yes, I do. I do a lot of research intermittently during my writing. What advice would you give to a beginning author?
Write what you love to read about. This is even more important than writing what you know. Plot out your story. Make sure you have a goal, motivation, and conflict for each character (villains too!). Then stick with it. Don’t stop until you write, “The End.”
I haven’t written “The End” on any of my books, except the first one. Tell us about the featured book.
The idea of my new book, A Life Renewed came when I took a trip to
and learned about the tragic
life of Lady Jane Grey. Her life was so disastrous, I just wanted to give her a
second chance at happiness. So that’s exactly what I did when she escaped her
execution instead of dying as she did in real life. My
greatest challenge in writing this book was picking a heroine that actually
lived. I had to do a lot of research in Lady Jane Grey’s life and her family.
It was very interesting. Lady Jane was what we would call a progressive
protestant. The conflicts between the Catholics and Protestants (The beginning
of The Church of England) was very real and very deadly at that time. What many
people don’t know is that Henry VIII was actually against many other Protestant
religions (Calvinists, Lutherans, etc.). He feared their religious influence as
much as he did the Catholic’s. His son Edward was more progressive, like Jane.
If he would have lived, Jane’s outcome would have been totally different. After
Jane’s death, Queen Mary went on a mission to turn England back to Catholicism. In her
reign, she killed over 300 Protestants. Hence later in history she was known as
“Bloody Mary.” England
In 1554, Lady Jane Grey, “The Nine Days’ Queen” was executed for high treason.
But what if, instead of feeling the blade on her neck she secretly survived?
Back Cover Blurb
Escaping execution, Lady Jane hides as a peasant girl in a principality in
She loves the simple life and never wants to return to Germany . But
her benefactor, a power-hungry German prince, wants to march on England London and place her on the English throne again, thereby
increasing his dominance in Europe. If she
doesn’t agree to his plan, her beloved childhood nurse will be put to death.
Desperate for help, Jane must put her trust in the mysterious spy Asher Hayes.
Asher Hayes is done rounding up Protestants for “Bloody Mary” and wants nothing more than to live a quiet life as a farmer and expunge the blood of many from his hands. Except Queen Mary isn’t done with him yet. She throws his father, mother, and sister into prison on false charges in order to force him to accept one last mission – find and kill Lady Jane Grey. But when Asher discovers Lady Jane isn’t a threat to the throne as he believed her to be, he faces a devastating decision – does he sacrifice his family for the woman who reigns in his heart?
Please give us the first page of the book.
February 12, 1554
John Feckenham, chaplain to Queen Mary, donned his heavy black cloak before clasping his sweaty palms together. He dropped to his knees and offered up one last prayer for the poor soul whose death this day would ease many minds. All this could have been avoided had Lady Jane Grey returned to the true faith. Perhaps then Queen Mary would have held off the executioner’s blade. Yet, she had not.
He would miss their lively doctrinal conversations, for Jane did have a quick mind. A pity they could not continue in this fashion for another month or so. But he had failed to make Jane see the errors of her Protestant faith, and she would not give up the Church of her great-uncle Henry VIII for the true Catholic religion. Jane even made Feckenham promise to give her prayer book to the queen when all was over and done, the hope being that Queen Mary might see the light and turn away from the Pope and Rome, thus saving her body from the flames of hell.
John placed his cap upon his head and slowly made his way to Gentleman Gaoler’s quarters where Jane had been staying since she had been deposed. Though a satisfactory place within the Tower, it still held an unfortunate view of the Tower Green where Jane’s scaffold had been constructed.
Sir John Brydges, Lieutenant of the Tower, was waiting by Lady Jane’s door. A grim line creased his lips. Within the house, the weeping and wailing of Mrs. Ellen and Mrs. Tilney, Jane’s attendants, twisted Feckenham’s heart. All knew their parts to play. The question was, did the fair Lady Jane?
John followed Sir Brydges into the room. “It is time, madam,” Brydges said kindly.
The woman flinched as if Brydges’s words were a hard lash. Dressed in the black gown and dark French hood Lady Jane wore at her trial, the dry-eyed woman finally nodded. In her hands she held a new prayer book and a crumpled piece of parchment, lest she forget the memorized words. As she departed the home and walked to the scaffold, her lips moved slowly, though no words could be discerned—almost as if she were rehearsing the lines to a tragedy.
Few were present to watch this spectacle unfold; after all, Lady Jane did have royal blood coursing through her veins and her death was not subject for public display. All walked on in silence until they stood at the scaffold steps. She turned; her gaze locked with his. “God grant you all your desires and accept my own hearty thanks for all your attention to me. Although indeed, those attentions have tried me more than death can now terrify me.”
Her words swirled through Feckenham’s head and tied his tongue. Before his voice returned, she had ascended the scaffold stairs. With haste, he followed.
How can readers find you on the Internet?
My website is: http://oliviaraebooks.com/
I am also on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram
Thank you, Olivia, for sharing this book with my blog readers and me. I’m eager to find out how she escaped.
Readers, here’s a link to the book.A Life Renewed (Secrets of the Queens Book 1) Kindle (The paperback book will be available soon.)
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