If you’ve checked my website here in the last few days, you’re
probably wondering where you are. And no, I’m not changing my name to Oleander.
That’s the name of the new WordPress template I’m using.
Whether you’re getting new furniture, reorganizing your
office, remodeling, or simply repainting a room, it always looks worse before
it looks better doesn’t it? Same with a website revision. It’s a mess.
But slowly it’s straightening out. That’s in large part due to Solo Pine, the originators of this template. They’ve been incredibly responsive to my questions as I apply my pitiful WP skills to this project.
I think you’ll like it when I’m done. So please be patient. Thank you for sticking with me!
I’m so glad to announce the release of my new Eden Beach Birthstone Romance, The Listening Heart. Adding suspense, and a very creepy stalker/serial killer, was a challenge. I learned a lot about pacing.
In the process of writing, I re-read a favorite romantic suspense writer, Mary Stewart. I hadn’t revisited her books for years, but I’m glad I did. The first one I ever read was The Moonspinners. It’s still my favorite.
The Listening Heart doesn’t take place on an exotic Greek island, but in the small, imaginary town of Eden Beach on the southen California coast. My leading lady, Stacie Cappella, is not on vacation, but working hard as a bookkeeper/tax preparer while running a small crystal shop on the side.
Stacie was born on Valentine’s Day, but love doesn’t seem to be in her future, even though she wears an amethyst crystal pendant given to her by her great aunt. It’s an old family heirloom said to foretell the wearer’s true love. It broke when Stacie’s great, great grandfather, Tomasz, was murdered, and Stacie’s sure that, even if the legend was true at one time, the fracturing of the crystal destroyed it’s potent fortune-telling capabilities.
Quartz, of which amethyst is one variety, is a fascinating gemstone, and one of its properties is piezoelectricity–it responds to pressure by producing an electric current and vice versa. It was used in radio communication during WWII, and I took some liberties with what that property might mean for those psychically inclined. I had a lot of fun with it. I hope you’ll have fun reading it. For more about the story, see the book’s dedicated page here on my website.
Look at the cherry blossoms! / Their color and scent fall with them, / Are gone forever, / Yet mindless / The spring comes again.” Ikkyu
One of my favorite places to walk is an old cemetery not far from my home. Spring is a particularly favorite time, not only because of all the old trees coming into leaf, but because of the number of flowering trees planted there, especially cherry trees.
The cherries always remind me of a spring in Japan when I was grateful to be alive after an awful illness the previous winter. Every time I see the fragile blossoms of the cherries against the gnarled and weathered bark of a sixty-year-old tree, I’m reminded to hope.
Origin is another Dan Brown novel featuring Robert Langdon. Brown really hit a home run with the creation of this great character.
Langdon is everyone’s favorite professor, which gives Brown the opportunity to pontificate. He’s the voice of reason in situations that are usually very unreasonable, and even as he ages (Brown doesn’t tell us how old Langdon is), he’s a bit of a babe magnet. He’s also the kind of physically fit even young guys dream about.
John Dyer is one of several gemstones artists who have taken cutting to another level. This 68.49 carat amethyst is one of his Dreamscape™ series. Photo courtesy John Dyer & Co.
Perfect gemstone crystals, such a the breathtaking amethyst below, are the jewels of the mineral world. Because of the metaphysical powers attributed to crystals, as well as the real power of quartz crystals, I thought we’d look at that juxtaposition today. Continue Reading →
Finally! The second book in my Eden Beach birthstone series, The Listening Heart, is done and out to beta readers. It’s taken a lot longer than I thought. From some of the comments coming in, it will take a bit longer yet as I make it stronger. I’ve added a suspense element to this one, and that has made the pacing trickier.
This one has a stalker/serial killer who is shadowing my main female character, Stacie Capella. I’ve already had one friend tell me she won’t read it and that’s fine. But I wanted to try something darker. Not sure I’ll try it again, but I’ll have to wait and see.
Now, on to book three as I wait for the rest of the comments from beta readers. I’m determined this one will get done faster.
Bananas. I’m ready when you are! Photo Stuart Robertson/Dreamstime.
Happy Valentine’s Day! A day for hearts, flowers, chocolate, and, of course, love.
It’s Stacie Capella’s 29th birthday. Her wonderful friends have surprised her with a small celebration in her shop, The Bell, Book and Crystal, before opening. Eileen has brought a beautiful cake, which pleases the ever-hungry Colin, and a couple of Milk Bones, which are awarded much tail-wagging by Bananas, the labradoodle on steroids. Stacie is surprised and touched by the exquisite card Colin, a graphic designer, has created for them all to sign, and delighted with the lovely brooch Mir has made from repurposed costume jewelry. It is a wonderful surprise and Stacie enjoys it completely. Colin enjoys the cake. Continue Reading →
One tiny section of the vast Tucson Gem and Mineral Show in Tucson, Arizona. This is the Tucson Convention Center. Where do you even start? Photo Derrick Neill, Dreamstime.
It’s February. And while most people are thinking groundhogs, Valentines, or simply not freezing in a polar vortex, in the gem and jewelry world, the movement of dealers, jewelers, designers, and suppliers–not to mention TONS of rock–to Tucson is shifting the Earth on its axis. Continue Reading →
Gemstone crystals can connect us to the earth. But can they heal? Photo Somakram @ Dreamstime.com
If you need a reason to own your emerald birthstone, besides the beautiful color and rich history, you might think about its self-improvement properties.
Cramming for exams? Preparing for a big sales presentation? Dating a new love interest? Wearing an emerald might help boost your memory, give you the gift of gab, or let you know if that new someone is telling you the truth or not. Continue Reading →