Thursday, July 01, 2021

My Story BEFORE The Story ~ Ashley Hayes ~ in ~ A Life Redeemed ~ by ~ Olivia Rae

God’s peace be with you this day. My name is Ashley Hayes and I hail from London, England. It is the year of our Lord, 1559. My life started out in a very merry way. I was born to a Catholic textile merchant in 1540. I enjoyed throwing daggers with my two older brothers, Robert and Asher in my father’s warehouse. My joy ended early in my life when my father started openly professing his Catholic faith in the era of King Henry VIII Reformed Church.

When young King Edward took the throne, things became worse. Many refused to work with my father because of his Catholic beliefs and often he was not granted permission to do business with foreign merchants. My father began to gamble and make risky ventures to keep his creditors away, but he failed and was destined for debtor’s prison.

The burden of Father’s folly fell to my brothers. Years earlier, Robert, the eldest, became a priest and later was killed in 1554 trying to bring about peace during Wyatt’s Rebellion. From then on, the family’s wellbeing became my brother, Asher’s burden. He would lie, cheat, steal, and sometimes sell tidbits of information to keep food on the table for my mother and me. One night he learned about King Edward’s death before anyone outside the palace knew. Asher took the news to Mary Tudor, who was about to step in a trap created by the powerful regent, John Dudley. Grateful, the new Queen Mary Tudor made my brother a royal agent, a spy. He paid off all my father’s debts, and though my father’s business was never the same, life was secure indeed.

Until one night, the door to our home burst open and my parents and me were dragged to prison on a trumped-up charge. Only once was it mentioned that Queen Mary had given the order so that Asher would go on a dangerous mission for her. The months in the cold, dank cell nearly killed my mother. Then one day we were released. I was taken to the court of Queen Mary and made one of her ladies-in-waiting. Often, I wondered why I was there. The queen ignored me and the other ladies would barely speak to me because I was a lowly merchant’s daughter. Then Asher returned for a short time. He told me he was leaving the country forever. I was to be kept at court as assurance he would never return.

In 1558, Queen Mary died. I was free. My father had died a year earlier and my mother was remarried to a farmer. Suddenly I was in a cottage with three step-siblings. I would have lived out my days happily there, but Queen Elizabeth has other plans for me. I am being sent to Scotland to check on the loyalties of the fierce Laird Gavin Armstrong. I cannot tell you how fearful I am for I am no spy, and Garvin is no fool. What will he do to me when he learns my true purpose for being in Scotland?

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Olivia Rae is offering 1 free Ebook (print copy is not available yet)
in drawing to be held Wednesday, July 7, 2021
You MUST leave a comment to qualify

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My Story Title:   A Life Redeemed

My Story Genre:  Christian Historical Romance Fiction

My Story Released:   June 16, 2021

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The Author of My Story:    OLIVIA RAE

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 days in the classroom go by much faster. After becoming a teacher, she decided to breathe a little more life into her childhood stories.

Olivia is the winner of the Angel Awards, Book Buyer’s Best Award, Southern Magic Award, New England Readers’ Choice Award, the Golden Quill Award, the American Fiction Award, and the Illumination Awards.

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  Get Connected:

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WHERE can the book be purchased?

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Judythe Morgan said...

Sounds like Ashley Hayes and Laird Gavin Armstrong will be a fascinating story.

Thanks, Olivia for sharing about A Life Redeemed with us.

Laura Scott said...

I loved this book! You're such a great author the way you bring history to life!

Lori Handeland said...

The best book! I'm a huge Tudor fan and I loved this.

Karin Beery said...

I love this Era!

Olivia Rae said...

Thanks to all of you for being here with me. Thank you to those who have read the book already. And thanks to those who would love to give it a try. I hope you enjoy it.

A big thank you to Joy for having me today!

Rebecca Trump said...

I am hooked!! I want to know what happens. Love this time period.

Rebecca Trump said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Rebecca Trump said...

Sorry didn’t mean to send a second comment. I hit something wrong and it won’t let me delete.

Natalya Lakhno said...


Brenda said...

Sounds interesting! I would love to win!
grandmama_brenda(at)yahoo(dot)com said...

Welcome to, Olivia and company!

I love seeing the comments here - I'm as intrigued by this story as those of you who've stated that.

I hope your 4th of July celebrations were safe and wonderful!

Olivia, thank you for your participation in this Story BEFORE The Story Theme.

You've given us a great glimpse of Ashley!

Blessings going forward with your writing. said...

Rebecca Trump - no worries - I've taken care of it as administrator.

Thanks for recommenting!

Hugs, said...


I will also email her about the win!