Monday, July 13, 2015
Cindy Spencer Pape: www.cindyspencerpape.com
I've always loved the deep scarlet hue of rubies. Although they come in a variety of tones from pink to crimson, the deepest red, or "pigeon blood" has always been the most prized, and the more clear it is, the more valuable the stone. (A ruby in any color other than a shade of red is called a sapphire--the two stones are the same, chemically.) A few years ago I bought a pendant and bracelet with opaque magenta stones that were called "Indian rubies."
At first I assumed these were another kind of mineral--in the western US, for instance, "desert rubies" are actually a totally different, if still pretty red stone called spinel that is much softer. I did some research, though and discovered these pinker, more opaque stones are actually just cloudy rubies (ones with a high level of impurities) and though not as valuable as their more clear counterparts, they are the same mineral. Of further note is that there are many legends of magical properties surrounding the ruby.
Like all the things rolling around inside an author's brain, I cataloged this knowledge, never knowing if it might come in handy. It did, when I began to write Ether & Elephants, book 8 of my Gaslight Chronicles steampunk romance series. Since the hero and heroine, Nell and Tom, have to go to India to solve a mystery. They needed to be searching for something special--something with magical properties. But how would something like a magic ruby hide in plain sight?
Well, now, maybe you have a clue. :)
Ether & Elephants releases from Carina Press on July 20, one week from today. You can preorder it now on Amazon, and it will also be available from Audible.com. Hope everyone is having a wonderful summer! (Or winter for those of you below the equator!)
Blurb: Sir Thomas Devere and Eleanor Hadrian have loved each other most of their lives—but sometimes love doesn't conquer all.
Their chance at happiness was ruined by Tom's hasty marriage to someone else. Heartbroken, Nell left home, finding a new life as a teacher at a school for the blind. But when one of her supernaturally gifted students, Charlie, is kidnapped, Tom reappears and her worlds collide.
Tom claims he hasn't seen his wife since the day of their marriage…yet he fears the missing student could be his son.
The deeper they dig, the more Tom and Nell discover: a deadly alchemist, more missing gifted children and long-suppressed feelings neither of them is ready for. A race on airship across England and India may lead them to answers—including a second chance at love—but only if all of British Society isn't destroyed first.