Sunday, December 9, 2012

Topaz Eyes by Nancy Jardine



Today we welcome back guest blogger Nancy Jardine, on the occasion of the publication of her brand-new novel, Topaz Eyes.  The page is all yours, Nancy!

Emeralds

My latest mystery novel is entitled, Topaz Eyes. You’d be forgiven for thinking it should be all about topaz, but actually it’s not. I’m going to give no spoilers, since you need to read the book to get the connections, but what actually feature a LOT are emeralds. Why did I choose to invent a collection that I’ve called the Tiru Salana emeralds, which my main characters, Keira Drummond and Teun Zeger, have to search the world for?

In Topaz Eyes, I decided to have a special and mysterious collection of antique jewels be the focus of an inheritance quest –whereabouts of the collection unknown at the beginning of the novel. At first I thought of diamonds, and trawled internet jewellery shops to find really nice pieces. During those searches diamonds were quickly ditched when I saw some beautiful jewellery featuring emeralds. My imagination was kick-started.

Emeralds are stunningly beautiful, and green is my favourite color- the contents of my wardrobe will attest to that. My novel would be all about bringing together a large collection of antique emeralds. Although the items I saw in those internet jewellery stores cannot be shown on blogs, they gave me ideas for description. The photographs of emeralds that I’m able to share here today are all taken from Wikimedia Commons.  When faced with this emerald who could deny its beauty? The hue is fantastic, earthy, and yet simultaneously ethereally dazzling.

This photo was taken by Robert Reisman- Emerald Unguentarium

Gold really enhances the deep colour of emeralds but silver can be equally effective. The ring in this picture has a surround of diamonds but it gives the idea of what a silver setting might look like.


This photo was taken by Mark Somma - Description 18kt yellow gold ring set with one pear shape emerald and 12 diamonds.








And another lighter, more blue-green emerald is named the Chalk Emerald” 37.8 carats, ColombiaThe emerald is set within a cluster of 60 pear-shaped diamonds weighing a total of approximately 15 carats.


























The royal rulers of Baroda, a state in India, once owned the emerald, set in a necklace. In the 20th century, the emerald was set in a ring designed by Harry Winston. It was donated to the National Gem and Mineral Collection by Mr. and Mrs. O. Roy Chalk, and may now be in the National Museum of Natural History — Gem Gallery (U.S.).

Perhaps these stones will give an idea of why my invented collection, originally belonging to an invented Mughal emperor I’ve called Tiru Salana, is the focus of the search in Topaz Eyes. The big question then is how my main characters, Keira Drummond and Teun Zeger, manage to find the collection? How do they manage to survive desperate attempts to prevent this from happening?  How is it eventually mounted as a fantastic exhibition? And what is the mystery item they do not expect to find but which turns out to have the most value? A reading of Topaz Eyes is the only answer! 

Thank you, Alethea, for letting me share a little about Topaz Eyes today with your readers.

*Giveaway*
What details can you add about emeralds? It can be anything, so long as your answer includes the word emeralds!

Please leave your answer in the comment box, and your email address, to be entered into the draw for an e-copy of TOPAZ EYES.  (Draw will take place on 12th December)

(My mini blog tour posts also feature details about the stone TOPAZ, and the cities in the US and Europe that Keira and Teun visit to unearth the collection. If you’re interested please check my blog for the tour URLs. http://nancyjardine.blogspot.com)

Topaz Eyes Blurb:
A peculiar invitation to Heidelberg embroils Keira Drummond in the search for a mysterious collection of extraordinary jewels once owned by a Mughal Emperor; a hoard that was last known to be in the possession of Amsterdam resident, Geertje Hoogeveen, in 1910.

Who among the progeny of Geertje – hitherto unfamiliar third cousins brought together for the quest – can Keira rely on? Distrust and suspicion among them is rife.

Which one is greedy, and determined enough, to hire thugs to tail her… and worse… as she travels to Vienna and Minnesota?  Can Keira even trust Teun Zeger - a Californian she is becoming very drawn to – as they pair up to unearth the jewellery?

As they follow a trail of clues, will they uncover the full collection before the hired gun kills them? Details remain furtive and undisclosed until danger and death forces their exposure. And who harbours the ultimate mystery item that is even more precious than the Mughal jewels?

Greed, suspicion and murder are balanced by growing family loyalty, trust, and love.

Excerpt:
“Would you ditch the mystery, Jensen, and just enlighten me as to what you think I have that interests you? And tell me why you couldn’t have asked for it in the letter you sent to me? I came here of my own free will – granted – but I’m not hanging around any longer if you’re going to drag this out, for I’m damned sure I’ve no idea what you’re referring to.”
            Jensen’s reply lacked emotion, his face a blank screen, his gaze focused on Teun as Keira regarded the by-play.
            “Teun. It may come as a surprise to you, but you actually know more about this invitation than Keira. At least you knew from my letter I had something of family interest you might be glad to take back to the USA with you. Keira had no such suggestion made to her.”
            Tension rose in the room, which didn’t only radiate from Teun.
            Keira sat uneasy, also unwilling to be in the dark any longer. “Would you please explain why you think I may have something you want, Herr Amsel?” She found herself reluctant to use his first name, considering the antagonism now mounting.
            “All in good time, Keira. And please call me Jensen. I don’t set out to be anyone’s enemy. I believe each of you can provide access to items belonging to the collection. All the pieces are likely to vary in monetary value but, viewed as a complete entity, it will make an impressive display. It’s a historic set… and unique.”

Author bio:
An ex-primary teacher, Nancy Jardine, lives in the fabulous castle country of Aberdeenshire – Scotland. Her husband mans the kitchen, her offspring only an hour’s drive away. When time permits, ancestry research is an intermittent hobby. Neglecting her large garden in favour of writing, she now grows spectacularly giant thistles. Activity weekends with her extended family are prized since they give her great fodder for new writing.

A lover of history, it sneaks into most of her writing along with many of the fantastic world locations she has been fortunate to visit. Her published work to date has been two non fiction history related projects; two contemporary ancestral mysteries; one light-hearted contemporary romance mystery and a historical novel. She has been published by The Wild Rose Press and Crooked Cat Publishing.

Topaz Eyes is available in e-book formats and print from amazon.com  http://www.amazon.com/Topaz-Eyes-Nancy-Jardine/dp/1908910585/ref=pd_rhf_ee_p_t_1  and e-book formats from www.crookedcatbooks.com
Book trailer Youtube video for Topaz Eyes can be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UgPf5kTAyi4&feature=channel&list=UL

Other books by Nancy Jardine can be seen on amazon.com  http://amzn.to/wwaGCv  

8 comments:

Cher'ley said...

My husband and I panned for Emeralds once in North Carolina, USA. It was a lot of fun. I'd like to go back and dig for some. We did get a few small Emeralds. I think going in the mines would be different.

Renaissance Women said...

Of all the stones available to us I love Emeralds and Rubies. I read somewhere that Emeralds were even more rare than other stones. Guess I should verify that...

Interesting post, thank you.

Nancy Jardine said...

Cherley, I left a comment hours ago in response, but it has obviously vanished into the ether! I panned for quartz once in Scotland but was singularly unsuccessful! I'm glad you got some emeralds from your venture.
Rennaissance Woman -thanks for popping in. When writing the book I decided diamonds were too common and I wanted something more rare - hopefully emeralds were the best choice.

Nancy Jardine said...

I'm sorry, Alethea. Everything has gone wonky today, that could go wonky! Every single thing that I have a password for has been asking for verification and I have NO idea why it is happening! If I miss signing in again, the comments I'm making are vanishing!

Lorrie said...

I have an emerald pendant, bracelet, and one earring. Yes, I lost it somewhere and I've been crying ever since.

The treasure hunt in the novel sounds fascinating. Good luck with the sales.

Alethea said...

Hope your day got better, Nancy. Thanks for this excellent post.

Alethea said...

Showed up in my email but not here: Lorrie has left a new comment on your post "Topaz Eyes by Nancy Jardine":

I have an emerald pendant, bracelet, and one earring. Yes, I lost it somewhere and I've been crying ever since.

The treasure hunt in the novel sounds fascinating. Good luck with the sales.

Nancy Jardine said...

Hi Alethea. The name picked out from the hat for the ecopy is Renaissance Woman. I've contacted her already. Thanks for having me on your blog during my tour!