My book club met last night to discuss Sandra Dallas’s PRAYERS FOR SALE. (If you like Jan Karon’s Mitford books, you’d love this one, I think. ) We had a great time, but I’ve caught some kind of cold, so I kept struggling to speak, my eyes ran, my nose ran . . . and it wasn’t even a sad story! 🙂

Back to the topic at hand.

The Cahira O’Connor series was born when Lisa Bergren, novelist and editor extraordinaire, was acquiring fiction for WaterBrook. She knew I was writing historicals, so she contacted me to see if I’d want to do a historical series for them. I was interested, but I told her I’d be bored setting an entire series in just one time period. So I suggested historical books that were linked by a theme . . . maybe from the medieval time period? (Since I’d already written three from that time.)

And she said yes, that would be fun. In fact, she’d been thinking about maybe a female knight. And I said that’d be really hard to pull off, seeing as how knights pretty much lived together round the clock. And all those feats of strength, you know . . .

And then that lovely serendipity thing kicked in and we started brainstorming. Maybe an entire series of women who leave the traditional female role to survive by their wits in a male world. Lisa laughed and said we could call it the “women in drag” series. And so we did (but only in a whisper).

And so was born the Heirs of Cahira O’Connor. Cahira is an Irish princess who, on her deathbed, begged God that her descendants would do amazing things . . . and so they did. Every 200 years, an O’Connor woman (marked by red hair with a white streak) leaves traditional womanhood in order to:

*become a female knight and fight in the Hussite Wars (1400s)
*sail the world in a voyage of exploration (1600s)
*fight in the Civil War (1800s)
*and record their adventures (year 2000).

From the back cover: The auburn-haired O’Connor women share a bond far deeper than their striking physical appearance. These courageous, high-spirited women all push against societal limits in this exciting historical, romantic novel that spans generations and countries from 13th-century Ireland to the excitement and mystery of 15th-century Prague.

For the Silver Sword, I looked for something interesting in medieval times . . . and discovered Jon Huss and the Hussite Wars. I’d never heard of them, but as I read about the struggle, I found myself in complete agreement with those who were rebelling against the corruption in the church. Jon Hus lived and preached during a time in which indulgences were bought and sold with impunity, and dissidents were punished with spiritual consequences. It was a fascinating and dangerous time, and I was eager to write about it.

Most of the dialogue in the scene of Huss’s trial comes directly from eyewitness manuscripts–the actual history was so fascinating and complete that I didn’t have to invent many details. And so I began to write and research a time before the invention of the printing press, a time when men and women who dared to disagree with the church leaders could pay for their differing opinion with their lives.


  1. Dana

    Did you “have” to travel to Prague to research this series? Hmmm… tough author’s life…


  2. Deborah

    ah i loved this series. looking forward to hearing how it all came together

  3. Anonymous

    This was my favorite book of the series; was fascinated by your in-depth recounting of the Jan Hus story. When I had the opportunity to go to Prague in 2005, I spent a lot of time in contemplation in front of a monumental statue of him in one of the squares. Clyde

  4. Charlotte

    I love this book series! If it had not been this book I would never have gotten in to Christian Fiction. To this day they are amoung my favorite books!


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