The Enduring Allure of Gemstone Crystals

The color of this amethyst is extraordinary. 18k yellow and white gold pendant design by Deborah Spencer, Trios Studio, Lake Oswego, Oregon.

As I work on the revision of The Listening Heart–thank you Beta readers for such excellent feedback–I was tickled to find an article in the Ma

As I work on the revision of The Listening Heart–thank you Beta readers for such excellent feedback!–I was tickled to find an article in the March/April 2019 edition of Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist magazine entitled “Crystal Hues Persuasion.” It was by Deborah Yonick, whose specialty is jewelry style, and who writes a monthly column on jewelry trends for LJ. The piece describes how the “mystic beauty” of crystals has become a trend—or perhaps we should say has returned as a trend–in the making and marketing of jewelry. Continue reading

Birthstone Friday: Amethysts and Crystal Power

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 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 for today’s Birthstone Friday. (Okay, technically today is Thursday. But it’s the last day of February when amethyst reigns as the birthstone. Though, you can still celebrate amethyst until March 20th, since amethyst is also associated with the zodiac sign of Pisces.)

Gemstones are best known in their cut form. You see them in every window in every jewelry store and all over the Internet. (Check out Etsy!) If you go to gem shows, you’ll see thousands more. There are lots of good reasons gemstones are cut. Good cutting directs light into, around, and back out of a gemstone in such a way that light becomes an inseparable part of their beauty. Cutting gives stones their sparkle, can intensify the color, and make them objects of intense desire. Some gemstone carvers not only do all this but create miniature works of art. If you doubt that, simply look at gemstones cut by innovators like John Dyer. Continue reading

Draft of The Listening Heart Done!

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.

Happy Valentine’s Day

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 is 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

Researching the Mystical

Gemstone crystals can connect us to the earth. But can they heal? Photo Somakram @ Dreamstime.com

Gemstones have been attributed with a variety of mystical healing, protective, and self-improvement properties. But I was trained as a gemologist, learning all the “hard facts” about gemstones. However, I often want to use the mystical, magical, legendary properties of gemstones in my Birthstone Romances. For that background, I usually turn to two places. Continue reading

Jacob Albee Goldsmith

Trust Heart Sml

The cover of To Trust the Heart would not be nearly so beautiful without the work of Jacob Albee, a goldsmith and jewelry artist in Burlington Vermont. The piece presents a striking contrast between the rough, etched, literally out-of-this-world texture of a Gibeon Meteorite slice, the sharp precision of the golden spessartite garnet, and the smooth, cool surface of 18k gold. This combination, I thought, made it the perfect example of imagination that might have been used by a jewelry designer such as Cassie Franklin, the female lead in To Trust the Heart.

So I was delighted when Jacob gave permission for me to use his pendant, Yin Yang, on the cover, although this might have been one of the strangest requests for photo use permission he’d ever gotten. Continue reading

To Trust the Heart

Trust Heart SmlI’m so happy to announce that my first Birthstone Romance, To Trust the Heart, is now available.

I’m grateful to everyone who helped bring this to fruition, from beta readers with their invaluable insights, to proofers with sharp eyes, to cover designer Robin Ludwig who made the beautiful cover.

But I particularly want to thank two people. First, Jacob Albee for the spectacular spessartite garnet and meteorite pendant on the cover! It’s a privilege to feature the work of such a talented jewelry artist. And it’s a wonderful introduction to the multi-hued world of garnets, the underrated birthstone for January.

But without the support and encouragement of dear friend, superb knitter, avid hockey fan, and amazing author Devon Monk, I would never have tried this. Thanks, Devon!