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.

Only later does Stacie allow herself a touch of melancholy. She lingers that evening by a window that overlooks the coast of Eden Beach, gently rolling her amethyst crystal pendant in her hand. Family legend has it that, when she find true love, the crystal will turn warm and pulse, like a second heart. She smile ruefully, half wishing the legend were true.

But Stacie has resigned herself to a life alone, there is another gift that she inherited from her great aunt, Amelia, in addition to the amethyst crystal. Stacie has the gift of second sight. It has cost her friends, it has cost her jobs. It has cost her love. She fights to hide and deny it. She only wants to be normal.

Her gift, however, seems to be getting stronger. In the end, she may find, she needs it to save her life.

For more, read The Listening Heart. Coming this spring.

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!