Friday, February 28, 2014

Gemstones and Story Icons

When I was a child, my pockets were always full of colorful and uniquely shaped stones. I still have an assortment of rocks collected over the years. It’s no wonder unique stones play a part in both of my published works.

In my first book PRINCE OF VAL-FEYRIDGE, gemstones have personal and political significance. In the icon the Prince is seeking, the Crown of Tolem, there were once four gemstones. The Kingdom Stone, a triangle-cut blue topaz, remains in the icon, the Crown. The other three princely or territorial stones have been broken out and the whereabouts of only the Tolem Stone, a round ruby, is known. The other two are believed to be a tiger-eye and a milky quartz. In addition, my heroine is a believer in the power of the birthstone, the one she wears around her neck that connects her to the deities.

In my current release BLOODSTONE I indulged my fascination for rocks and gems by making my hero a gem-hunter and my heroine’s father a gem-cutter (something like a jeweler). Consequently, my hero uses the properties of gems to describe the heroine, and the title object is desired for its unique properties. Besides being petrified drops of dragon’s blood, it reacts to sunshine with a burst of fiery red light, and my hero has a mystical connection to it. I called it bloodstone—for obvious reasons—but it isn’t at all like the real bloodstone gem. My bloodstone is actually inspired by a piece of volcanic glass known in the Southwest as an Apache Tear. The Apache Tear is droplet shaped and looks dull until you hold it up to a source of light. Then you realize it’s translucent. However, it doesn’t throw out bursts of fiery red light when exposed to sunlight like my fictional bloodstone.

When I was a child, I loved stories and stones. I had no idea I’d later be able to combine both loves in books. Even though “diamonds are a girl’s best friend,” what gems are you fascinated by or drawn to?

All the month of March, I'm participating in The Romance Reviews March Anniversary Party. A total of 450 authors are giving away books and other prizes at or click on the poster on the left. Hope to see you there!

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