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The Sirens of Suspense




Laura DiSilverio is the nationally best-selling author of fourteen mysteries. Her latest release, THE RECKONING STONES (Midnight Ink, 8 Sep 15) is her first standalone suspense novel. It tells the story of Mercy Asher who was molested by her pastor as a teen. She ran away from home the same night someone beat the pastor into a coma, and reinvented herself as the emotionally troubled but brilliant jewelry designer Iris Dashwood. When the pastor awakens 22 years later, she returns to Colorado to confront him and find the truth of what happened the night she left. She might be able to disperse old demons, rekindle family relationships and find redemption . . . if she survives.


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item1 A GEM OF AN IDEA item1

Few people know this, but I wrote my first novel-length manuscript in college (as a creative writing class assignment). It was a category romance I imagined Harlequin or Silhouette would snap up and I called it JEWELED TORMENT. My protagonist (whose name I forget) was a gemologist doing something for some reason in Bangkok, Thailand. The unpublished manuscript molders now in a box in my basement, but I still recall how fun it was to research the gemology bits.

Skip ahead three or four years. Soon after I joined the Air Force, I volunteered for a temporary (6+ months) assignment in Bangkok, Thailand. (I was part of a team investigating reports of living Vietnam-era POWs, but that's a different post.) While there, I indulged my fascination with jewels and I haunted jewelry shops, learning all I could about various gems. I bought a few, too, and wear them to this day.

So, it shouldn't be surprising that I finally found a way to work gems and jewelry into a book. The protagonist of my new standalone suspense novel, THE RECKONING STONES (Midnight Ink, 8 Sep 15), is Iris Dashwood, an emotionally troubled but brilliant jewelry designer. I had a blast researching jewelry making techniques and gems for this book.

I interviewed an award-winning designer in Colorado Springs, and learned how he goes from initial sketches to finished creation. I read up on the properties of various gemstones, and wasted (?) a lot of time reading the histories of some famous gemstones. Here are a few of the fascinating facts I picked up:

- The engagement ring tradition was introduced by Maximilian of Austria in 1477. He gave his soon-to-be wife, Mary of Burgundy, an ornate and expensive ring as a promise of marriage.

- The largest diamond ever found is "The Cullinan." At 1.3 pounds, it weighed one-third more than a baseball, a bag of coffee, or an alarm clock. Ultimately it was cut into more than 100 smaller pieces, nine of which belong to the British royal family.

- Speaking of the royal family . . . Wallis Simpson and Edward VIII lived an epic love story. He even abdicated his throne for the her. The two shared a love of jewels, and her engagement ring was exceptional. The centerpiece? A 19.77 carat emerald.

- The word emerald comes from the Latin smaragdus which means green.

- Most emeralds have inclusions (imperfections). It is extremely rare to find a natural emerald without flaws. That is why a top-quality natural emerald will often be worth more than a top-quality diamond of the same weight.

- The world's largest ruby is owned by a Chinese jewelry company. It weighs 8184 g (40,920 carats) and measures 5.11 x 5.43 x 5.70 inches.

- Marilyn Monroe wore the Moon of Barada, a 25.95ct pear-shaped canary diamond, while singing "Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend" in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.

Researching jewelry was so fun, it got me interested in making jewelry. So, I have signed up for a class on wire-working. Maybe I'll come back and post a photo of one of my creations! :-)




HAVE YOU EVER TURNED A RESEARCH INTEREST INTO A HOBBY OR CAREER? WHAT GOT YOU INTERESTED IN YOUR HOBBY? Tell us or leave a comment for Laura. on the blog below or on our Facebook page and you’ll be entered to win an advanced review e-book copy of THE RECKONING STONES! (US entrants only, please.)



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