Infinite Devotion (Book 2)


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Maya continues to delve into her past lives after death, and strives to complete the tentative journey required to reunite with her loved ones in heaven.

She must relive and explore her former incarnations as the scandalous and misunderstood Lucrezia Borgia in Renaissance Italy; a young stowaway on the doomed Spanish Armada fleet; and the rebellious Irish Robin Hood, Count Redmond O’Hanlon.

Her companions prove truer while her enemies grow stronger as her bygone adventures spin forth. This time she must experience the trials of loyalty and endure the hardships that only supreme devotion brings.

You can find a sample reading from Infinite Devotion here.

Historical Background

I’ve included some direct links that will help the reader appreciate and understand my novel better. Some elements seem unbelievable and most readers would be surprised that many of the events and details have historical basis. Since I didn’t want to interrupt the fictional reader with footnotes, I’ve included actual ancient prayers, quotes, and poems that I featured in my novel below. If the reader would like to peruse the sources I used for fictional inspiration please scroll down to the bibliography. I highly recommend each one and thank them for all of their teachings.

Infinite Devotion

Renaissance Italy Life

More about Lucrezia Borgia here, here, and here.

Cesare Borgia

Pope Alexander VI

Juan Borgia

Giovanni Sforza

Sancia of Aragon

Alfonso of Aragon

Alfonso de Este

Isabella de Este

“Juan disappeared on June 14. He had been having dinner at your mother’s vineyard in the country with Cesare. Cesare has reported that Juan said that he must leave. Cesare, knowing it was not safe for a Borgia to travel alone in the midst of such enemies in Gandia, tried to accompany him but Juan would not have it. Cesare noticed a cloaked man follow closely behind Juan’s mule as Juan left heading toward the Ghetto.

Cesare waited for Juan by the bridge by the Piazza Judea, but he did not return. Cesare decided to wait until the morning, thinking that Juan might be out on another one of his brothel visits. When he wasn’t found the next morning, the word got out, and the whole city has closed up and armed in fear of a vendetta.

A week later, a timber dealer notified officials that he had seen two wary men emerge from an alley to the place where refuse is thrown into the river. The men signaled backed into the alley and a rider on a white horse appeared, carrying a body across the saddle. The two individuals on foot took either side of the body and flung it into the river. They then all disappeared into the alley whence they came.
I sent everyone I could, bought every fishing boat and fishermen to search for the body thrown in that night. First, they found a body of an unknown, but then we found Juan. He was still as beautiful as he was alive, fully clothed and gloved, even with the nine stab wounds. I am going to seek such revenge on whoever did this and fling him into the river like filth. I have closed myself away in my room without food or drink for four days.” Sarah Bradford, Lucrezia Borgia. (New York: Penguin Books, 2004) 60-63.

“What has begun at breakfast will be finished by supper.” “Lucrezia Borgia Biography.” Encyclopedia of World Biography. Web. 12 Dec. 2011. <;.

“I see Father move from window to window, waving at me, and I’ve a terrible feeling it’s the last time I’ll see him.” Bradford 111.

“I didn’t know that Don Pedro de Atares, lord of Borgia and pretender to the throne of Aragon, was directly related to us.” Bradford 116.

“I heard that the duke took the right hand and part of a man’s tongue off for spreading scandalous rumors about him!” Bradford 123.

“You must promise to send messengers every hour to let me know you’re safe. Make sure to write in your own hand so I know it’s you.” Bradford 141.

“There’s much rejoicing as we make our way through towns, and children dressed in my colors of yellow and mulberry are waving olive branches at our passing.” Bradford 145.

“Alfonso made a promise to God that if I lived, he’ll make a pilgrimage by foot to the Madonna di Loreto shrine, but as soon as I’m well, he decides to take a comfortable boat there instead.” Bradford 178.

“My vow to God is that I’ll only wear grey.” Bradford 178.

“Christmas morning, the news comes to Ferrara of how the former governor of Romagna is found decapitated and displayed in the piazza, his head impaled on a lance. Cesare proclaims that he carried this act out due to the improper treatment of the people of Romagna, but he writes to me another story:” Bradford 181.

“I have done away with him for personal reasons. I have found that he was plotting against me along with others, including the Orsini that plagues our lives. I enticed the conspirators to me, closed up all ways out of my city, and locked the gates behind them. I brought the Orsini into a house where Michelotto seized and tied them up and killed them one by one, the Spanish way.” Bradford 182.

“The shrew sent me a glowing letter of great praise of my bravery and the valor of me and my troops at Camerino. She sent with her messenger one hundred carnival masks for us to enjoy ourselves at carnival time.” Bradford 183.

“This month is fatal for fat men.” Bradford 195.

“He uttered his last words, “Wait a minute,” before expiring.” Bradford 200.

“Pope Julius II’s army captured Michelotto and Cesare’s cavalry on December 1st. He wrote to Cesare that he couldn’t wait to torture his infamous henchman to derive such ‘political skills’ to gain for his own personal use. Cesare, enraged by his threat, promised that he would negotiate, but once his messenger arrived, he had him beaten and dangled from one of the fortresses’ turrets. Furious, Julius had Cesare locked in the same tower Cesare had my poor brother murdered in. A week later, he was sent to a prison in Spain.” Bradford 211.

“Cesare was fighting for the King of Navarre when he was ambushed, stripped of armor, and left bleeding on the ground.” Bradford 270.

“The more I try to please you, the more you try me!” Bradford 270.

“It may please you to know that he died triumphant against my brother-in-law’s enemies.” Bradford 271.

“We have all come to the agreement that we must purge her of the bad material in her womb. It is killing her and needs to be emptied, or she may not live another day.” Bradford 363.

“I must yield to nature soon…” Bradford 364.

Golden Age Spain Life

La Coruna

Spanish Armada Invasion here, here, and here.

Horses Thrown into the Sea

Francisco de Cuellar

Spanish Armada in Ireland

Bishop O’ Gallagher: Redmond O’Gallagher (1521-1601), Bishop of Derry, the prelate who befriended the survivors of the Spanish Armada and was forced to disguise himself as a shepherd in order to escape the prevailing religious persecution, was eventually captured and became one of our Irish Catholic martyrs.

King James of Scotland

“So then an Englishman replies from the top of the mast with his sword in the air, ‘Good soldiers! Surrender on fair terms!’” He laughs. “And our musketeer gave him his answer with a bullet in the side of his head!” He can barely finish his story through his laughter. “And we all cheered as he fell from his great height.”
Pepe crushes a balled-fist. “I wish I was there for that.”
Andres and I exchange looks, unsure how we feel about the story.
“Well, the English retreated after, and we called them ‘Protestant hens’ and clucked and strutted around the deck.” David Howarth, The Voyage of the Armada: The Spanish Story.  (Connecticut: The Lyons Press, 2001) 180.

“Hold north-northeast until you reach sixty-one point half degrees. After that point, there is much peril of being driven onto the coast of Ireland, so take great care to run west-southwest until fifty-eight degrees, then southwest to fifty-three degrees; keep heading round the Cape of Finisterre south-southeast, and there you will be safe to land on Spanish soil at any port on the Galician coast.’” Howarth 202.

“I must put everyone, at every rank including myself, on starvation ration immediately. Every person shall receive half a pound of biscuit, a pint of water, and a half pint of wine a day.”Howarth 202.

Cromwellian Ireland Life

Redmond O’Hanlon here and here

“Did you buy every hair on their tails?”

“It is sweet to drink but bitter to pay for. When the drop is inside the sense is outside.”

“This one’s fit to mind mice at a crossroads.”

“Sláinte!”= cheers.

“Never dread the winter till the snow is on your blanket.”

“He that is born to be hanged will never be drowned.” Stephen Dunford, The Irish Highwaymen. (Dublin: Wolfhound Press, 2005) 116.

“…banked the his Treasure in the hearts of his people.” Dunford pg. 52

“…sees with many eyes and hears with many ears.” Dunford pg. 35

“An Englishman thinks, seated; a Frenchman, standing; An Irishman, afterward.”

“Here’s to a long life and a merry one. A quick death and an easy one. A pretty girl and an honest one. A cold pint—and another one!” 

“A bird with one wing can’t fly.”

“If you dig a grave for others you may fall into it yourself.”

“What would you expect out of a pig but a grunt?”

‘Let friendship and love reign’

“Two shorten the road.”

“She’ll steal the sugar out of your punch, she will.”

‘Truth in heart, strength in arm, and honesty in speech.”

“Melodious is the closed mouth.”

“It feels like a torchlight procession going down my throat.”

“Céad míle fáilte” = a hundred thousand welcomes.

“‘God made the Italians for their beauty. The French for fine food. The Swedes for intelligence. The Jews for religion. And on and on until he looked at what he had created and said, ‘This is all very fine, but no one is having fun. I guess I’ll have to make me an Irishman!’”

“’Tis better to spend money like there’s no tomorrow, than to spend tonight like there’s no money!”

“Be careful not bolt your door with a boiled carrot.”

“‘I have known many, and liked not a few”’—he turns to look at Síofra across the room—‘“but loved only one, and this toast is to you.”’

“Lift MacCahir Og your face
Brooding o’er the old disgrace
That black FitzWilliam stormed your place,
Drove you to the Fern
Grey said victory was sure
Soon the firebrand he’d secure;
Until he met at Glenmalure
With Feach MacHugh O’Byrne.”

“Curse and swear Lord Kildare,
Feach will do what Feach will dare
Now FitzWilliam, have a care
Fallen is your star, low.
Up with halberd out with sword
On we’ll go for by the lord
Feach MacHugh has given the word,
Follow me up to Carlow.”

“See the swords of Glen Imayle,
Flashing o’er the English pale
See all the children of the Gael,
Beneath O’Byrne’s banners
Rooster of the fighting stock,
Would you let a Saxon cock
Crow out upon an Irish rock,
Fly up and teach him manners.”

“From Tassagart to Clonmore,
There flows a stream of Saxon gore
Oh, great is Rory Oge O’More,
At sending loons to Hades.
White is sick and Lane is fled,
Now for black FitzWilliam’s head
We’ll send it over, dripping red,
To Liza and her ladies.”

“Better fifty enemies outside the house than one within.”

“May you be poor in misfortune, rich in blessings, slow to make enemies, and quick to make friends. And may you know nothing but happiness from this day forward.’”

“’Tis better to be a coward for a minute than dead for the rest of your life.”

“May the cat eat you and the devil eat the cat.”

“Remembered Joy

Don’t grieve for me, for now I’m free!
I follow the plan God laid for me.
I saw His face, I heard His call,
I took His hand and left it all…
I could not stay another day,
To love, to laugh, to work or play;
Tasks left undone must stay that way.
And if my parting has left a void,
Then fill it with remembered joy.
A friendship shared, a laugh, a kiss…
Ah yes, these things I, too, shall miss.
My life’s been full, I’ve savoured much:
Good times, good friends, a loved-one’s touch.
Perhaps my time seemed all too brief—
Don’t shorten yours with undue grief.
Be not burdened with tears of sorrow,
Enjoy the sunshine of the morrow.” 

“The earth has no sorrows that heaven cannot heal.”

“Aw, that’s the tune the old cow died of.”

“This one suffers from a double dose of original sin.” 

“he who keeps his tongue keeps his friends”

“There’s nothing so bad that it couldn’t be worse”

“It is a long road that has no turning.”

“What I am afraid to hear I’d better say first myself.”

“May you die in bed at ninety-five, shot by a jealous spouse!”

“‘May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
And rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.’”

“What would the cat’s son do but kill a mouse?”

“We might as well be whistling jigs to a milestone.”

“‘Don’t give cherries to pigs or advice to fools.’”

“An oak is often split by a wedge from its own branch.”


Bradford, Sarah. Lucrezia Borgia. New York: Penguin Books, 2004. Print.

Dunford, Stephen. The Irish Highwaymen. Dublin: Wolfhound Press, 2005. Print.

Francisco de Cuellar. Captain Cuellar’s Adventures in Connacht and Ulster. Corpus of Electronic Texts Edition.

Hanson, Neil. The Confident Hope of a Miracle: The True Story of the Spanish Armada. New York: Vintage Books, 2003. Print.

Howarth, David. The Voyage of the Armada: The Spanish Story. Connecticut: The Lyons Press, 2001. Print.

Island Ireland Documents. Island Ireland. Web. 12 Dec. 2011.

Joyce, P.W. English as we speak it in Ireland. Dublin: M. H. Gill & Son, LTD. 1910. Print.

Kilfeather, T.P. Ireland: Graveyard of the Spanish Armada. Dublin: Anvil Books, 1967. Print.

“Lucrezia Borgia Biography.” Encyclopedia of World Biography. Web. 12 Dec. 2011. <;.

McCallen, Jim. Stand & Deliver: Stories of Irish Highwaymen. Dublin: Mercier Press, 1993. Print.

Oggins, Robin S. The Kings and Their Hawks: Falconry in Medieval England. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2004. Print


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