Monday, 4 December 2017

FREE Gifts Galore in the #Crooked Cat Advent Calendar!

***Crooked Cat Advent Calendar***


Things have been pretty hectic for me lately and fitting everything in at all of the relevant places has clearly been unsuccessful.

I made mention of the Crooked Cat Advent Calendar on Facebook and Twitter since the 1st December but I've now realised that I didn't pop the details on here. I'm involved in two really important December promotions and one of them is the Crooked Cat Advent Calendar. (The other is the Diamond Tales mentioned in yesterday's post.)

Every single day in December till the 24th, Crooked Cat have a FREE novel for anyone to download. All you have to do is find the cute little Santa on the Crooked Cat Website, click on him to reveal the calendar and click again on the relevant day. Follow the directions to download your FREE copy of the novel.

One of my novels will be available for a FREE download but even I don't know which day so I'm going to be clicking every day to see if there are novels that I can send to my kindle, ones that I haven't read yet. As it happens, I've already read those that were available from Day 1 to Day 4, not a surprise since I truly have read and enjoyed loads of Crooked Cat novels of many different genres.

Keep checking this link every day and get your FREE copy for that day. Of course, if it's not a genre you normally enjoy you can browse the site to see the other kindle/ebooks to buy from Crooked Cat (mostly £0.99- £2.99 /$ dollar equivalents).

The links to both of the December promotions that I'm involved in should be on the sidebar for easy access, so look there and click through every day.

Happy clicking and happy reading!

Slainthe! 


Sunday, 3 December 2017

#1 The Hope Diamond

The information this month on spectacular diamonds is in addition to the wonderful reads you can find on the daily Diamond Tales  on the Discovering Diamonds Blog. 


For some lucky people a delightful diamond gift for Christmas might be what they receive, if they're very lucky and 'keep their nose clean' (as it were). For others, being presented with a diamond of any size would be completely unattainable so even thinking about it would likely be a waste of precious time.

However, historically speaking, the lure of possessing a spectacular diamond has sometimes been just too much of a temptation and some dastardly deeds have occurred in the acquisition of a fabulous one.

Today's example is 'The Hope Diamond'.

Mystery and rumour surrounds the origins of the spectacular 112 3/16-carat diamond that was said to have been a stunning violet colour ...but it may have been the case that a French Merchant named Jean-Baptiste Tavernier purchased it from the Kollur Mine in Golconda, India

The more dramatic tale is that Tavernier stole the gem from the eye of a holy Hindu statue damaging the stone slightly in its hasty removal.

However he acquired it, Tavernier  subsequently sold it to King Louis XIV of France in 1668. Some years later, in 1749, the stone by then known as the ‘French Blue’ was re-cut into a 67 1/8-carat stone by Louis XV’s court jeweller for the Order of the Golden Fleece. It remained in the possession of the French crown till 1792 when it was transferred from the Royal Treasury into the hands of the Revolutionary Government from where it was stolen during the tense upheaval.

An approx. 44 carat stone of ‘French Blue’ characteristics was owned by a London diamond merchant, Daniel Eliason, in 1812. It’s speculated that this diamond was acquired by the British King George IV but was likely sold after his death in 1830 to pay off the enormous debts that the monarch had amassed.

By 1839, the stone reappeared and was known as the Hope diamond, named after the then ‘owner’ Henry Philip Hope, a British financier and gem collector. It remained in the hands of the Hope family till around 1901 when it was sold to a number or people before eventually being bought by Pierre Cartier in 1909. The ownership changed a further two times to Mrs. Evalyn Walsh McLean of Washington D.C. who had it mounted on a headpiece surrounded by a three tiered circlet of white diamonds. She later had it reset again into its current presentation as the centrepiece of a pendant. After she died in 1947, her jewellery collection was bought by Harry Winston who donated the Hope diamond to The Smithsonian Institution in 1958, after it had been sent on a decade long world tour.

The Hope diamond is said to be the largest diamond in a US public institution and available for public view.

It’s interesting to read that it started out as a 115.16-carat diamond and is now assessed as being 45.52. It seems to me that there must be a lot of bits of the original diamond in lots of other jewellery and that mystery would be to know where the pieces are!


As to the curse? Well, if the story is true that Tavernier did steal the jewel from a Hindu statue he must have endured the curse that was set upon the thief by the vengeful priests who discovered it to be missing. What some claim as being a bad aspect to ownership is that King Louis XIV and his Queen Marie Antoinette were both beheaded. 

If you can bear with a site that has lots of adverts etc then you'll find a list of curse victims HERE

You can find more information about the Hope diamond HERE. 

Slainthe! 

Diamonds are delightful!

I've got some fantastic 'diamonds are delightful' news! 

There's a real treat in store for you throughout December, a tale every day from today onward that's just the right amount of reading for a FREE coffee break read. 




December is now underway and one of my daily December delights will be to dip into the Diamond Tales shared by my fellow author, Helen Hollick of the Discovering Diamonds blog. She is presenting excellent short stories and extracts written by a host of talented authors from today (December 3rd) onward all the way through to the 23rd of December.

All stories are original short stories or extracts from already published novels. The common link is DIAMONDS! To find out how diamonds are relevant to each story just click the link below.
(I'll be aiming to update the link each new day)
The very first story of the interlude before Christmas - Diamonds - from Richard Tearle can be read HERE It's a delightful, poignant read so don't miss it.

p.s. An extract from my novel Topaz Eyes will be featuring on the 18th December.



Follow the Tales…
and Discover some really delightful Diamonds

3rd December     Richard Tearle Diamonds

4th December     Helen Hollick  When ex-lovers have their uses

5th December    Antoine Vanner  Britannia’s Diamonds

6th December    Nicky Galliers  Diamond Windows

7th December    Denise Barnes  The Lost Diamond

8th December    Elizabeth Jane Corbett  A Soul Above Diamonds

9th December    Lucienne Boyce Murder In Silks

10th December    Julia Brannan The Curious Case of the Disappearing Diamond

11th December    Pauline Barclay Sometimes It Happens

12th December    Annie Whitehead Hearts, Home and a Precious Stone

13th December    Inge H. Borg  Edward, Con Extraordinaire

14th December    J.G. Harlond The Empress Emerald

15th December    Charlene Newcomb Diamonds in the Desert

16th December     Susan Grossey  A Suitable  Gift

17th December     Alison  Morton Three Thousand Years to Saturnalia

18th December     Nancy Jardine   Illicit Familial Diamonds

19th December     Elizabeth St John The Stolen Diamonds

20th December     Barbara Gaskell Denvil Discovering the Diamond

21st December      Anna Belfrage   Diamonds in the Mud

22nd December     Cryssa Bazos    The Diamonds of Sint-Nicholaas


23rd December      Diamonds … In Sound & Song


And as an added extra on some days I'll be adding a new post that about a special diamond. Look out for my next blog post on 'The Hope Diamond'.

Slainthe!