– ‘The Magic of Wor(l)ds’ blog is a hobby, reviews and other bookish stuff on this site are done for free. –
Today I’m on the ‘Angel of the Lost Treasure’ blogtour, organized by Rachel’s Random Resources.
To promote this book I have a guest post, but before I let you read it first some ‘basic’ information.
About the Author :
Originally from Lyon in France, Marie has lived in the Rossendale Valley in Lancashire for the past few years. She writes both contemporary and historical romance. Her novels include best selling contemporary romantic suspense novels LITTLE PINK TAXI and ESCAPE TO THE LITTLE CHATEAU, which was shortlisted for the 2021 RNA Jackie Collins Romantic Suspense Awards, as well as A PARIS FAIRY TALE and BLUEBELL’S CHRISTMAS MAGIC. Her latest novel, ANGEL OF THE LOST TREASURE, was released in February 2021. Marie also contributes to the best selling Miss Moonshine’s Emporium anthologies together with eight author friends from Authors on the Edge.
An ancient secret hidden within a mother’s song …
When young widow, Marie-Ange Norton is invited to Beauregard in France by the mysterious Monsieur Malleval to collect an inheritance, she has no choice but to accept.
But when she embarks on the voyage with her fiery-tempered travelling companion Capitaine Hugo Saintclair, little does she know what waits for her across the sea in turbulent nineteenth-century France on the eve of Napoleon’s return from exile. When she arrives, she is taken aback by Malleval’s fascination with her family – seemingly inspired by his belief they are connected to a sacred relic he’s read about in coded manuscripts by the Knights Templar.
As it becomes clear that Malleval’s obsession has driven him to madness, Marie-Ange is horrified to realise she is more the man’s prisoner than his guest. Not only that, but Hugo is the only person who might be able to help her, and he could represent a different kind of danger .
Guest Post :
Mixing history and fantasy:
ANGEL OF THE LOST TREASURE and the treasure of the Knights Templar
I am not the first author, and I certainly won’t be the last, to be fascinated by the history of the Knights Templar and to find inspiration in their troubled, secretive and dramatic past.
In ANGEL OF THE LOST TREASURE my heroine Marie-Ange must recover a relic hidden by the Knights Templar – the Cross of Life – which is rumoured to give eternal life. With the help of cuirassier captain Hugo Saintclair, she unravels an old family mystery before returning the cross to its original hiding place in the crypt of the chateau of Arginy in the Beaujolais region.
Whereas the Cross of Life is my invention, I had great fun interweaving the romance between Marie-Ange and Hugo Saintclair with myths and historical facts about the Knights Templar.
But who were they and what happened to them?
The Knights Templar was a monastic order founded in 1118 to protect pilgrims to the Holy Land, to defend the Saint-Sepulchre and fight in the Crusades. The Order grew in power and wealth and the Knights Templar, in their distinctive white mantles adorned with a red cross, were among the most skilled fighting units of the Crusades. They managed a large economic infrastructure throughout Christendom, acquired vast estates, became the French Kings’ bankers and built fortifications across Europe and the Holy Land.
The Templars’ existence was tied closely to the Crusades and when the Holy Land was lost, support for the Order faded and rumours that they indulged in heresy grew rife. In 1307, Philippe IV of France – also known as Philippe le Bel – had most of their members arrested, tortured into giving false confessions, and then executed. Cynics would perhaps mention at this point that the French king was deep in debt towards the Templar Order and probably hoped to get his debts written off and lay his hands on the order’s considerable fortune… Pope Clement V disbanded the Order in 1312, and the speculation and legends started.
One of them stems from the curse issued by the last Great Master Jacques de Molay as he was being burned at the stake in Paris. He supposedly predicted that the Pope would die within forty days, foretold Philippe le Bel’s imminent death and cursed all his descendents for the next thirteen generations. The Pope did die three weeks later, and Philippe le Bel eight months later. Some claim that the execution of King Louis XVI in 1792 put an end to the Templar malediction on the royal family, since Louis was the 13th generation of the Capet line.
King Philippe’s actions against the Templars didn’t make him a wealthy man since only a fraction of the Templar’s vast treasure was ever recovered. Some believe that the Templar Knights arranged for it to be shipped away to Scotland or Cyprus, or transported to a secret location, like the chateau of Arginy in the Beaujolais or Gisors in Normandy.
In ANGEL OF THE LOST TREASURE I chose the chateau of Arginy as the treasure’s hiding place. Arginy is a fascinating place indeed. It was built on an ancient Roman salt mine in the 11th century then extended in the 16th century. With its three towers and a dungeon, it looks imposing and mysterious, even to this day. Between the 13th and the 15th centuries the chateau belonged to the powerful Beaujeu family and to the man who was the twenty-first Grand Templar Master between 1273 to 1291: Guillaume de Beaujeu.
A few nights before his execution, Jacques de Molay, the last Grand Master, called his nephew Guichard de Beaujeu to his jail in Paris for a final meeting. Nobody knows what they talked about but shortly after Molay’s execution, Guichard removed the coffin of his ancestor Guillaume from the Paris Temple and transported it to Arginy. What was in that coffin? Beaujeu’s remains only or the Templar treasure that Jacques de Molay had asked his nephew to keep safe?
So the legend was born…Ever since the 16th century, treasure hunters have tried their luck at Arginy, but there were so many accidents or reports of ‘diabolical’ goings-on that people soon believed the chateau was cursed. In the 1950s the chateau’s then owner, Jacques de Rosemont, called in a team of occultists who decreed that the Templar treasure was indeed hidden in the crypt at Arginy, and that it was guarded by the ghosts of eleven Templar Knights.
The chateau is still privately owned to this day, but nobody has been looking for the treasure for a while…
With so much history and so many legends attached to it, it’s no wonder that Arginy plays such an important part in ANGEL OF THE LOST TREASURE.
The Magic of Wor(l)ds