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.

Tucson! The World’s Gem Market

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.

If you love gemstones, you owe it to yourself to try to get to Tucson once in your life. (Plan early. Hotels and other types of lodging sell out early. I expect that goes for RV space, too.)

It starts at the convention center but every hotel, every parking lot, every side walk, is filled with vendors. From the tiniest rubies to mammoth-sized geodes, it’s all here. You just have to find it. And if this isn’t enough, you can head down the road to Quartzite where things are quirkier.

The Tucson show, so called, is actually a number of overlapping shows, with varying start and end dates. The original is the Tucson Gem & Mineral Society show. They’re still buried in there.

Bring sturdy shoes, determination, and have some kind of idea of what you’re looking for, though you’ll want to be open to surprises, too. Oh, and be prepared to spend more than you thought you would. That’s a guarantee.

By the way, book three in the Eden Beach birthstone series, Sing Me the Rain, starts at the Tucson Show.