November is my birth month so it’s always been special to me. This year, however, it also represents hope and renewal. October was an especially brutal month for me personally. I’m still dealing with the aftershocks, but now that November is here, I’m trying to move on.
A theme for our November blogs is parties, as in who would you most like to party with. In my twenties and thirties, I was all about partying. God forbid we stayed in New Year’s Eve. Last year my birthday fell on Thanksgiving. Because it was a milestone birthday, I wanted to celebrate with the two people I love the most in the world, my husband and son, the only two people I need to make my party complete. My son lives near Las Vegas so my husband and I flew to Sin City for my Thanksgiving birthday. We had an amazing holiday dinner, but the best part was that the three of us were together. Family is what Thanksgiving is all about.
I used to fantasize about having an elegant family Christmas party where the women and girls were dressed in taffeta, silk, and satin, and the men and boys wore elegant suits. The table would be set with fine china and Waterford crystal and everyone behaved beautifully. Definitely a fantasy. If your families are anything like mine, we dress up for Christmas, but comfortably, and in most cases not in silk, satin, or taffeta. And what about Thanksgiving? Loose clothes are the order of the day.
Another theme this month is November’s birthstone, topaz or citrine. Since it’s also my birthstone, I love the gem in all its colors. I have a citrine ring, a pair of citrine earrings, a smoky topaz ring, smoky topaz earrings, a mystic topaz ring, a golden topaz ring which my grandfather gave me when I was a child, and a blue topaz ring.
Topaz comes in many colors which might surprise people. Here’s what I found on Wikipedia:
Pure topaz is colorless and transparent but is usually tinted by impurities; typical topaz is wine red, yellow, pale gray, reddish-orange, or blue brown. It can also be white, pale green, blue, gold, pink (rare), reddish-yellow or opaque to transparent/translucent.
Orange topaz, also known as precious topaz, is the traditional November birthstone, the symbol of friendship, and the state gemstone of the US state of Utah.
Imperial topaz is yellow, pink (rare, if natural) or pink-orange. Brazilian Imperial Topaz can often have a bright yellow to deep golden brown hue, sometimes even violet. Many brown or pale topazes are treated to make them bright yellow, gold, pink or violet colored. Some imperial topaz stones can fade on exposure to sunlight for an extended period of time. Blue topaz is the state gemstone of the US state of Texas. Naturally occurring blue topaz is quite rare. Typically, colorless, gray or pale yellow and blue material is heat treated and irradiated to produce a more desired darker blue.
Mystic topaz is colorless topaz which has been artificially coated giving it the desired rainbow effect.
Two gems are appropriate for November birthdays -Topaz and Citrine.
Citrine, the other birthstone for November is known as the "healing quartz". This golden gemstone is said to support vitality and health while encouraging and guiding hope, energy and warmth within the wearer. Citrine can be found in a variety of shades ranging from pastel yellow to dark brownish orange. It is one of the most affordable of gemstones and plentiful in nature. Citrine is found most frequently in Brazil, Bolivia, and Spain.
If you need a break from all the holiday eating, I recommend the delicious stories in Entice Me: Luscious Love Stories. I’m honored to be part of this anthology with so many talented authors.
My contribution is Capri Nights, a sensuous romance set on the bewitching Isle of Capri.
A San Francisco sous chef discovers she might have bitten off more than she can chew when a scrumptious Italian man stirs up a recipe for romance on the delicious Isle of Capri.
Sous chef Cat Connors has spent a lifetime feeling like a stale cracker on a plate of fancy hors d'oeuvres among her stepfamily. But when she travels from San Francisco to the sunny Isle of Capri, she’s determined to finally shed her dowdy image and spice up her life. She has big plans for her future as a chef. Those plans don’t include a yummy Italian with a mouth-watering body and a smile that melts her insides like gelato under the hot Capri sun.
When Alex Viteli retreats to his villa on Capri to escape the notoriety and legal troubles brought on by his family, the last thing he needs is a beautiful, tempting dish of a woman. Alex may be the scion of a wealthy Italian family, but that won’t matter if he can’t cook up a scheme to clear his father’s name and keep himself out of prison.
Though they fit together like strawberries and chocolate, Cat and Alex may not have time for more than a quick bite of romance. Cat’s future is in San Francisco. Alex can’t leave Italy. But the sultry Capri nights might tempt them both to savor just one more sweet taste of love.