A Tear and a Smile by Kahilil Gibran embraces Rania's story. "And so does the spirit become separated from the greater spirit to move in the world of matter and pass as a cloud over the mountain of sorrow and the plains of joy to meet the breeze of death and return whence it came. To the ocean of Love and Beauty—to God."
And so it was for Rania, a major persona in my new novel, The Seton Secret, which is nearing completion. Rania, who was introduced in my last novel, Mystery at the Thirteen Sycamores, was protected and nurtured by her Christian mother during her childhood from the darkness and evil of her father and half brother. Rania's mother had been kidnapped when she was a college student and sold into slavery to her Muslim father. Her father and half brother had passed over into the dark world of the Muslim Brotherhood and ISIL.
Even though her mother was held captive and lived in servitude, she passed her spirit of love and yearning for knowledge and wisdom to her daughter and protected her from tyranny. She encouraged her reading and embracing the wisdom gained through knowledge to have the ability to smile and make sense in the modern complex world and cherish the simplicity of love for each other enclosed in only a few words—embrace and treat everyone as you in turn would want to be treated.
Rania would always hold in her heart the image of seeing her mother's smile as she was handing a simple Christmas package containing a necklace to her daughter change into tears as she was gunned down on that wintry street in Sarajevo so long ago.
It was this image of her mother and the simple gold necklace with an ankh that she touched now as she huddled in a corner of the room where she was being held captive, thinking about her fate since she was abducted by two jihadi Muslims posing as priests. They had captured her just a few hours before. Her captors were now discussing the price she would bring in the slave markets of the Middle East, and she might never see her adoring husband again. A tear started to run down her cheek!
Rania plays a central role in The Seton Secret, a suspense/thriller that explores an ancient mystery of the Holy lands involving the Knights Templar and Order of St. John. Work on the novel is nearing completion and is set for a summer release serialized on my website and in paperback and Kindle formats. Stay tuned for more information.