Sunday, July 7, 2013

Gemstones and inspiration for writing my scenes

I first discovered ammolites on a trip to Florida. I was annoyed with my dad for wanting to revisit a shopping area as he searched for a specific piece of jewelry for his girlfriend.

Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate jewelry. I’ll never forget my favorite childhood shirt, blue and sparkly, that read Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend.  But I keep it simple when it comes to my accessories, and that includes my jewelry. 

Needless to say, I groaned and groused at this shopping venture. I wanted to be on the beach sipping a mojito and even though I was an adult, we had all come together on this trip for a family member’s wedding, and we only had one vehicle. As hard as it was, we were trying to spend time and be together on this trip, even if it did include me missing out on the Florida beach and a mojito I felt I desperately needed.

As soon as my dad found what he was looking for and showed me, I fell in love. My life changed. Everything changed, and I knew I needed to know more about these gemstones. I didn’t care about the beach anymore (except to start looking for seashells) and sipping a mojito was the last thing on my mind.

Ammolites are gemstones that originate from the fossilized seashells of ammonites. Ammonites are extinct mollusks, some dating back even to the Devonian period (which is, wow, a really long time ago!) Certain dinosaurs might have even eaten them as a tasty snack. And some were able to grow 3 feet!

I had already been writing my story, Burn on the Western Slope, and I knew it would include a jewelry heist. But in my dad’s search for ammolites, I discovered the history and decided I needed to include these precious gems and the seashells they come from in my story. This discovery enriched my story and gave it a depth I never would have had if I had been sipping those longed-for mojitos on the beach and avoided that shopping adventure with my dad.

The villain in Burn on the Western Slope operates a nationwide jewel theft ring, but is a collector of rare objects, including ammolites stolen from museums. When one of his collections goes missing, he’ll destroy anyone in his path to get it back. Reagan McKinney, a suspect under investigation for her involvement in this crime syndicate, just happens to be in his path. And why not throw in a sexy undercover agent who works for the FBI’s Jewel and Gem Theft Program?

I consider every day an adventure, and every day can offer me perfect fodder for the next scene in my work-in-progress.  Sometimes it’s just watching the news or keeping up-to-date with current events.  And sometimes it’s a trip to a place I really didn’t want to go to.  I love those life lessons!

CONNECT WITH ME for a chance to win an Amazon gift card.  Burn on the Western Slope will be released July 15.  And please join me on July 31 for my blog tour with Goddess Fish!


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