A Passion for Pearls

HOUSE OF SHADOWS webNicola here, and today I'm talking about pearls. It's two months until my first timeslip novel, House of Shadows, makes its debut in the US and I've been having a wonderful time reminding myself of the themes and inspiration for the book and browsing through the amazing portrait collection at Ashdown House which gave me so many ideas for the story.

 

The mirror and the pearl that feature in House of Shadows are imaginary historical artefacts but like so many aspects of the book they are inspired by historical fact. The idea of the pearl came from the Craven portrait collection which features a number of 17th century paintings that Elizabeth of Bohemia, the Winter Queen, bequeathed to William Craven on her death. Included are paintings of four of her daughters, Princes Elizabeth, Princess Louise Hollandine, Princess Sophie and Princess Henrietta Maria. In all of these pictures and in the portrait of Elizabeth herself, the ladies wear a single strand pearl necklace with beautiful big and lustrous pearls. 

 

A jewellery historian who came to Ashdown specifically to see the pearls in the portraits Louise Hollandine told me that they were part of a necklace of seven strings that belonged to Elizabeth and had originally been Medici pearls inherited by Mary, Queen of Scots and passed down to Elizabeth via her father James I. Elizabeth would pawn this necklace and indeed her other jewellery, furniture and anything else she could lay her hands on when she was particularly short of money during her exile, and then buy the items back if she had a special state occasion to attend. On those occasions she would assemble all seven strands of the necklace to wear together, and very impressive it would have looked too.

 

On her death Elizabeth left one string of pearls to each of her daughters but eventually, as a result of inheritance, six of the strings came back together again. The exception to this was the string that had been given to Princess Henrietta Maria on her marriage to the Prince of Transylvania in 1651. When she died only 6 months later she was buried in her bridal gown, wearing the pearls.

 

The possession of the necklace was hotly disputed between the British Royal Family and the House of Hanover, both of whom were descended from Elizabeth and both of whom wanted the necklace. Not only did Queen Victoria quarrel with her German cousins over whom it should belong to but she also caused a diplomatic incident when she contacted the authorities in Romania and asked that the tomb of Henrietta Maria be opened to extract the extra string! When her request was refused she was not amused!

 

Elizabeth Princess PalatineThis picture shows Elizabeth's eldest daughter, also called Elizabeth, wearing her strand. This Elizabeth was considered one of the greatest beauties of the age and was known as "The Star of the North." She was also a great philosopher and correspondent of Descartes. It is said that the large drop pearl in this portrait is "The Bretheren" a famous pearl that brings bad luck to the wearer. Elizabeth of Bohemia was, arguably, a very unlucky Queen but it is easy with the benefit of hindsight to attribute this to her poor choice of jewellery!

 

Cursed pearls are not unusual and range from the story of the Roseate Pearl, said to have caused the sinking of the ship Koombana off Australia in 1912 to “La Peregrina”, which was discovered in the 16th century, belonged to Mary I of England and was bought in 1969 by Richard Burton for Elizabeth Taylor. Whether or not there is any truth in the stories of bad luck that cling to these famous jewels they are certainly great inspiration for a writer!

 

I was lucky enough to inherit a lovely little strand of pearls from my grandmother with, Golden pearls as far as I know, no curse attached! I'm not really a pearl girl although I do think they can look gorgeous.  Of course pearls are not the only jewellery to have tall stories attached. Many famous jewels seem to have an air of mystery that attracts tall tales! Do you like pearls or do you have a preference for other precious stones – or quite different sorts of jewellery?

120 thoughts on “A Passion for Pearls”

  1. Wonderful blog, Nicola! Having been lucky enough to read House of Shadows when it first came out on your side of the Pond, I know American readers are going to love it—I was fascinated by how your wove your cursed pearl into the story, and love having this background history on your inspiration.
    Jewelry with a backstory does have a special allure. I remember seeing the Hope Diamond at the Smithsonian in Washington DC and feeling chills run down my spine thinking of how it had once been touched by Marie Antoinette and Prinny (among others, of course.)
    Hmm, now making a note to self to try to work in a heirloom piece of jewelry to a future story . . . but maybe I will make it a lucky one!

    Reply
  2. Wonderful blog, Nicola! Having been lucky enough to read House of Shadows when it first came out on your side of the Pond, I know American readers are going to love it—I was fascinated by how your wove your cursed pearl into the story, and love having this background history on your inspiration.
    Jewelry with a backstory does have a special allure. I remember seeing the Hope Diamond at the Smithsonian in Washington DC and feeling chills run down my spine thinking of how it had once been touched by Marie Antoinette and Prinny (among others, of course.)
    Hmm, now making a note to self to try to work in a heirloom piece of jewelry to a future story . . . but maybe I will make it a lucky one!

    Reply
  3. Wonderful blog, Nicola! Having been lucky enough to read House of Shadows when it first came out on your side of the Pond, I know American readers are going to love it—I was fascinated by how your wove your cursed pearl into the story, and love having this background history on your inspiration.
    Jewelry with a backstory does have a special allure. I remember seeing the Hope Diamond at the Smithsonian in Washington DC and feeling chills run down my spine thinking of how it had once been touched by Marie Antoinette and Prinny (among others, of course.)
    Hmm, now making a note to self to try to work in a heirloom piece of jewelry to a future story . . . but maybe I will make it a lucky one!

    Reply
  4. Wonderful blog, Nicola! Having been lucky enough to read House of Shadows when it first came out on your side of the Pond, I know American readers are going to love it—I was fascinated by how your wove your cursed pearl into the story, and love having this background history on your inspiration.
    Jewelry with a backstory does have a special allure. I remember seeing the Hope Diamond at the Smithsonian in Washington DC and feeling chills run down my spine thinking of how it had once been touched by Marie Antoinette and Prinny (among others, of course.)
    Hmm, now making a note to self to try to work in a heirloom piece of jewelry to a future story . . . but maybe I will make it a lucky one!

    Reply
  5. Wonderful blog, Nicola! Having been lucky enough to read House of Shadows when it first came out on your side of the Pond, I know American readers are going to love it—I was fascinated by how your wove your cursed pearl into the story, and love having this background history on your inspiration.
    Jewelry with a backstory does have a special allure. I remember seeing the Hope Diamond at the Smithsonian in Washington DC and feeling chills run down my spine thinking of how it had once been touched by Marie Antoinette and Prinny (among others, of course.)
    Hmm, now making a note to self to try to work in a heirloom piece of jewelry to a future story . . . but maybe I will make it a lucky one!

    Reply
  6. I’m very fond of jewelry and pearls, in particular. The stories about cursed items are interesting but I wouldn’t buy a piece BECAUSE of the story. Rather it would be in spite of the story if I really loved the item.

    Reply
  7. I’m very fond of jewelry and pearls, in particular. The stories about cursed items are interesting but I wouldn’t buy a piece BECAUSE of the story. Rather it would be in spite of the story if I really loved the item.

    Reply
  8. I’m very fond of jewelry and pearls, in particular. The stories about cursed items are interesting but I wouldn’t buy a piece BECAUSE of the story. Rather it would be in spite of the story if I really loved the item.

    Reply
  9. I’m very fond of jewelry and pearls, in particular. The stories about cursed items are interesting but I wouldn’t buy a piece BECAUSE of the story. Rather it would be in spite of the story if I really loved the item.

    Reply
  10. I’m very fond of jewelry and pearls, in particular. The stories about cursed items are interesting but I wouldn’t buy a piece BECAUSE of the story. Rather it would be in spite of the story if I really loved the item.

    Reply
  11. I adore pearls. I wear them as much as possible, even if it’s just my earrings. I have one set of earrings that are real, the rest, and my strings of pearls are all simulated. I also love black pearls and they are much too expensive for my pocket so I have a strand of hematite that I wear much like I do my pearls. I think pearls are often seen as cursed, someone once told me that they look like tears and so are seen as a “sad” choice. Personally, I adore the colors, the shapes and the very “pearly” essence of them, plus they go really well with my penchant for hats and cardigans. LOL I have my grandmothers string but it wasn’t real, it’s very yellowed, but it still reminds me of another time. This book is on my radar to buy when it’s available! Pearls + timeslip…I’m in!

    Reply
  12. I adore pearls. I wear them as much as possible, even if it’s just my earrings. I have one set of earrings that are real, the rest, and my strings of pearls are all simulated. I also love black pearls and they are much too expensive for my pocket so I have a strand of hematite that I wear much like I do my pearls. I think pearls are often seen as cursed, someone once told me that they look like tears and so are seen as a “sad” choice. Personally, I adore the colors, the shapes and the very “pearly” essence of them, plus they go really well with my penchant for hats and cardigans. LOL I have my grandmothers string but it wasn’t real, it’s very yellowed, but it still reminds me of another time. This book is on my radar to buy when it’s available! Pearls + timeslip…I’m in!

    Reply
  13. I adore pearls. I wear them as much as possible, even if it’s just my earrings. I have one set of earrings that are real, the rest, and my strings of pearls are all simulated. I also love black pearls and they are much too expensive for my pocket so I have a strand of hematite that I wear much like I do my pearls. I think pearls are often seen as cursed, someone once told me that they look like tears and so are seen as a “sad” choice. Personally, I adore the colors, the shapes and the very “pearly” essence of them, plus they go really well with my penchant for hats and cardigans. LOL I have my grandmothers string but it wasn’t real, it’s very yellowed, but it still reminds me of another time. This book is on my radar to buy when it’s available! Pearls + timeslip…I’m in!

    Reply
  14. I adore pearls. I wear them as much as possible, even if it’s just my earrings. I have one set of earrings that are real, the rest, and my strings of pearls are all simulated. I also love black pearls and they are much too expensive for my pocket so I have a strand of hematite that I wear much like I do my pearls. I think pearls are often seen as cursed, someone once told me that they look like tears and so are seen as a “sad” choice. Personally, I adore the colors, the shapes and the very “pearly” essence of them, plus they go really well with my penchant for hats and cardigans. LOL I have my grandmothers string but it wasn’t real, it’s very yellowed, but it still reminds me of another time. This book is on my radar to buy when it’s available! Pearls + timeslip…I’m in!

    Reply
  15. I adore pearls. I wear them as much as possible, even if it’s just my earrings. I have one set of earrings that are real, the rest, and my strings of pearls are all simulated. I also love black pearls and they are much too expensive for my pocket so I have a strand of hematite that I wear much like I do my pearls. I think pearls are often seen as cursed, someone once told me that they look like tears and so are seen as a “sad” choice. Personally, I adore the colors, the shapes and the very “pearly” essence of them, plus they go really well with my penchant for hats and cardigans. LOL I have my grandmothers string but it wasn’t real, it’s very yellowed, but it still reminds me of another time. This book is on my radar to buy when it’s available! Pearls + timeslip…I’m in!

    Reply
  16. Fascinating about the Winter Queen’s pearls, Nicola! And rather ghoulish of Queen Victoria to want to exhume a dead princess to get the 7th string back. Vicky didn’t have enough jewelry already??!!!
    I’m with Joanna on preferring baroque pearls–so much more interesting. Regular strands of round pearls bore me. The Mayhem Consultant keeps offering to buy me a strand, and I keep resisting. *G*

    Reply
  17. Fascinating about the Winter Queen’s pearls, Nicola! And rather ghoulish of Queen Victoria to want to exhume a dead princess to get the 7th string back. Vicky didn’t have enough jewelry already??!!!
    I’m with Joanna on preferring baroque pearls–so much more interesting. Regular strands of round pearls bore me. The Mayhem Consultant keeps offering to buy me a strand, and I keep resisting. *G*

    Reply
  18. Fascinating about the Winter Queen’s pearls, Nicola! And rather ghoulish of Queen Victoria to want to exhume a dead princess to get the 7th string back. Vicky didn’t have enough jewelry already??!!!
    I’m with Joanna on preferring baroque pearls–so much more interesting. Regular strands of round pearls bore me. The Mayhem Consultant keeps offering to buy me a strand, and I keep resisting. *G*

    Reply
  19. Fascinating about the Winter Queen’s pearls, Nicola! And rather ghoulish of Queen Victoria to want to exhume a dead princess to get the 7th string back. Vicky didn’t have enough jewelry already??!!!
    I’m with Joanna on preferring baroque pearls–so much more interesting. Regular strands of round pearls bore me. The Mayhem Consultant keeps offering to buy me a strand, and I keep resisting. *G*

    Reply
  20. Fascinating about the Winter Queen’s pearls, Nicola! And rather ghoulish of Queen Victoria to want to exhume a dead princess to get the 7th string back. Vicky didn’t have enough jewelry already??!!!
    I’m with Joanna on preferring baroque pearls–so much more interesting. Regular strands of round pearls bore me. The Mayhem Consultant keeps offering to buy me a strand, and I keep resisting. *G*

    Reply
  21. I, too, love pearls, they lighten up the face, which, as one gets older, one appreciates! Personally, I prefer semi-precious stones like moonstones, garnets, turquoise, lapis lazuli, etc. to precious stones.
    And I definitely agree with Andrea/Cara, ‘House of Shadows’ is a wonderful book. I absolutely loved it.

    Reply
  22. I, too, love pearls, they lighten up the face, which, as one gets older, one appreciates! Personally, I prefer semi-precious stones like moonstones, garnets, turquoise, lapis lazuli, etc. to precious stones.
    And I definitely agree with Andrea/Cara, ‘House of Shadows’ is a wonderful book. I absolutely loved it.

    Reply
  23. I, too, love pearls, they lighten up the face, which, as one gets older, one appreciates! Personally, I prefer semi-precious stones like moonstones, garnets, turquoise, lapis lazuli, etc. to precious stones.
    And I definitely agree with Andrea/Cara, ‘House of Shadows’ is a wonderful book. I absolutely loved it.

    Reply
  24. I, too, love pearls, they lighten up the face, which, as one gets older, one appreciates! Personally, I prefer semi-precious stones like moonstones, garnets, turquoise, lapis lazuli, etc. to precious stones.
    And I definitely agree with Andrea/Cara, ‘House of Shadows’ is a wonderful book. I absolutely loved it.

    Reply
  25. I, too, love pearls, they lighten up the face, which, as one gets older, one appreciates! Personally, I prefer semi-precious stones like moonstones, garnets, turquoise, lapis lazuli, etc. to precious stones.
    And I definitely agree with Andrea/Cara, ‘House of Shadows’ is a wonderful book. I absolutely loved it.

    Reply
  26. Looking forward to House of Shadows.
    I don’t wear much jewelry. Bit I do love pearls, so I have a pearl necklace. I think they’re “cultured” but may be “paste”. My pearl earring are paste.
    Doomed jewels are not the type of fantasy that intrigues me. They don’t ruin a story, but they don’t draw me either. In general, I hate the idea of “preordained” which probably explains why curses don’t attract.
    But well-written stories can use any device; the good writing will allow me to bypass my prejudices.

    Reply
  27. Looking forward to House of Shadows.
    I don’t wear much jewelry. Bit I do love pearls, so I have a pearl necklace. I think they’re “cultured” but may be “paste”. My pearl earring are paste.
    Doomed jewels are not the type of fantasy that intrigues me. They don’t ruin a story, but they don’t draw me either. In general, I hate the idea of “preordained” which probably explains why curses don’t attract.
    But well-written stories can use any device; the good writing will allow me to bypass my prejudices.

    Reply
  28. Looking forward to House of Shadows.
    I don’t wear much jewelry. Bit I do love pearls, so I have a pearl necklace. I think they’re “cultured” but may be “paste”. My pearl earring are paste.
    Doomed jewels are not the type of fantasy that intrigues me. They don’t ruin a story, but they don’t draw me either. In general, I hate the idea of “preordained” which probably explains why curses don’t attract.
    But well-written stories can use any device; the good writing will allow me to bypass my prejudices.

    Reply
  29. Looking forward to House of Shadows.
    I don’t wear much jewelry. Bit I do love pearls, so I have a pearl necklace. I think they’re “cultured” but may be “paste”. My pearl earring are paste.
    Doomed jewels are not the type of fantasy that intrigues me. They don’t ruin a story, but they don’t draw me either. In general, I hate the idea of “preordained” which probably explains why curses don’t attract.
    But well-written stories can use any device; the good writing will allow me to bypass my prejudices.

    Reply
  30. Looking forward to House of Shadows.
    I don’t wear much jewelry. Bit I do love pearls, so I have a pearl necklace. I think they’re “cultured” but may be “paste”. My pearl earring are paste.
    Doomed jewels are not the type of fantasy that intrigues me. They don’t ruin a story, but they don’t draw me either. In general, I hate the idea of “preordained” which probably explains why curses don’t attract.
    But well-written stories can use any device; the good writing will allow me to bypass my prejudices.

    Reply
  31. I’ve read House of Shadows, since it got published in the UK a couple of years ago, and it’s a good read. You should all go buy it. The different time threads are woven together perfectly.
    Her next book, The Phantom Tree, which I suppose will be available in the US in the fullness of time, is also a good read.

    Reply
  32. I’ve read House of Shadows, since it got published in the UK a couple of years ago, and it’s a good read. You should all go buy it. The different time threads are woven together perfectly.
    Her next book, The Phantom Tree, which I suppose will be available in the US in the fullness of time, is also a good read.

    Reply
  33. I’ve read House of Shadows, since it got published in the UK a couple of years ago, and it’s a good read. You should all go buy it. The different time threads are woven together perfectly.
    Her next book, The Phantom Tree, which I suppose will be available in the US in the fullness of time, is also a good read.

    Reply
  34. I’ve read House of Shadows, since it got published in the UK a couple of years ago, and it’s a good read. You should all go buy it. The different time threads are woven together perfectly.
    Her next book, The Phantom Tree, which I suppose will be available in the US in the fullness of time, is also a good read.

    Reply
  35. I’ve read House of Shadows, since it got published in the UK a couple of years ago, and it’s a good read. You should all go buy it. The different time threads are woven together perfectly.
    Her next book, The Phantom Tree, which I suppose will be available in the US in the fullness of time, is also a good read.

    Reply
  36. Hi Andrea! Like you I am totally overwhelmed when I see a historical artefact and think about the people who owned or touched it, especially if it is something glamorous like a diamond! I like the idea of a lucky stone as opposed to a cursed one. It would be nice for it to have a positive effect!

    Reply
  37. Hi Andrea! Like you I am totally overwhelmed when I see a historical artefact and think about the people who owned or touched it, especially if it is something glamorous like a diamond! I like the idea of a lucky stone as opposed to a cursed one. It would be nice for it to have a positive effect!

    Reply
  38. Hi Andrea! Like you I am totally overwhelmed when I see a historical artefact and think about the people who owned or touched it, especially if it is something glamorous like a diamond! I like the idea of a lucky stone as opposed to a cursed one. It would be nice for it to have a positive effect!

    Reply
  39. Hi Andrea! Like you I am totally overwhelmed when I see a historical artefact and think about the people who owned or touched it, especially if it is something glamorous like a diamond! I like the idea of a lucky stone as opposed to a cursed one. It would be nice for it to have a positive effect!

    Reply
  40. Hi Andrea! Like you I am totally overwhelmed when I see a historical artefact and think about the people who owned or touched it, especially if it is something glamorous like a diamond! I like the idea of a lucky stone as opposed to a cursed one. It would be nice for it to have a positive effect!

    Reply
  41. Interesting, Kathy. Yes, you really have to want a piece of jewelry because you love it rather than for the stories, I think. A curse would put me off no matter how beautiful the piece! i’d try not to be prejudiced or superstitious but I think I’d probably still be influenced by it.

    Reply
  42. Interesting, Kathy. Yes, you really have to want a piece of jewelry because you love it rather than for the stories, I think. A curse would put me off no matter how beautiful the piece! i’d try not to be prejudiced or superstitious but I think I’d probably still be influenced by it.

    Reply
  43. Interesting, Kathy. Yes, you really have to want a piece of jewelry because you love it rather than for the stories, I think. A curse would put me off no matter how beautiful the piece! i’d try not to be prejudiced or superstitious but I think I’d probably still be influenced by it.

    Reply
  44. Interesting, Kathy. Yes, you really have to want a piece of jewelry because you love it rather than for the stories, I think. A curse would put me off no matter how beautiful the piece! i’d try not to be prejudiced or superstitious but I think I’d probably still be influenced by it.

    Reply
  45. Interesting, Kathy. Yes, you really have to want a piece of jewelry because you love it rather than for the stories, I think. A curse would put me off no matter how beautiful the piece! i’d try not to be prejudiced or superstitious but I think I’d probably still be influenced by it.

    Reply
  46. Oooh, black pearls! Yes they are gorgeous! I hadn’t heard the suggestion that they might be considered unlucky because of the resemblance to tears but I can see the connection. I think coloured pearls are lovely though and they do indeed look good with hats and cardigans!

    Reply
  47. Oooh, black pearls! Yes they are gorgeous! I hadn’t heard the suggestion that they might be considered unlucky because of the resemblance to tears but I can see the connection. I think coloured pearls are lovely though and they do indeed look good with hats and cardigans!

    Reply
  48. Oooh, black pearls! Yes they are gorgeous! I hadn’t heard the suggestion that they might be considered unlucky because of the resemblance to tears but I can see the connection. I think coloured pearls are lovely though and they do indeed look good with hats and cardigans!

    Reply
  49. Oooh, black pearls! Yes they are gorgeous! I hadn’t heard the suggestion that they might be considered unlucky because of the resemblance to tears but I can see the connection. I think coloured pearls are lovely though and they do indeed look good with hats and cardigans!

    Reply
  50. Oooh, black pearls! Yes they are gorgeous! I hadn’t heard the suggestion that they might be considered unlucky because of the resemblance to tears but I can see the connection. I think coloured pearls are lovely though and they do indeed look good with hats and cardigans!

    Reply
  51. Oh Mary Jo! Resisting the offer of a strand of pearls!!
    Yes, I think the Queen Victoria story is extraordinary but I can just imagine her stirring up a diplomatic incident because she thought she had a right to them and stubbornly hung on in there! The rumour is that the current Queen doesn’t wear them because of their history but as you say, it’s not as though they don’t have enough other pieces to choose from!

    Reply
  52. Oh Mary Jo! Resisting the offer of a strand of pearls!!
    Yes, I think the Queen Victoria story is extraordinary but I can just imagine her stirring up a diplomatic incident because she thought she had a right to them and stubbornly hung on in there! The rumour is that the current Queen doesn’t wear them because of their history but as you say, it’s not as though they don’t have enough other pieces to choose from!

    Reply
  53. Oh Mary Jo! Resisting the offer of a strand of pearls!!
    Yes, I think the Queen Victoria story is extraordinary but I can just imagine her stirring up a diplomatic incident because she thought she had a right to them and stubbornly hung on in there! The rumour is that the current Queen doesn’t wear them because of their history but as you say, it’s not as though they don’t have enough other pieces to choose from!

    Reply
  54. Oh Mary Jo! Resisting the offer of a strand of pearls!!
    Yes, I think the Queen Victoria story is extraordinary but I can just imagine her stirring up a diplomatic incident because she thought she had a right to them and stubbornly hung on in there! The rumour is that the current Queen doesn’t wear them because of their history but as you say, it’s not as though they don’t have enough other pieces to choose from!

    Reply
  55. Oh Mary Jo! Resisting the offer of a strand of pearls!!
    Yes, I think the Queen Victoria story is extraordinary but I can just imagine her stirring up a diplomatic incident because she thought she had a right to them and stubbornly hung on in there! The rumour is that the current Queen doesn’t wear them because of their history but as you say, it’s not as though they don’t have enough other pieces to choose from!

    Reply
  56. That is very true, Elizabeth. They do illuminate the face rather beautifully with the same radiance they seem to hold within.
    Thank you for your kind comments about House of Shadows as well. I’m so pleased you enjoyed it!

    Reply
  57. That is very true, Elizabeth. They do illuminate the face rather beautifully with the same radiance they seem to hold within.
    Thank you for your kind comments about House of Shadows as well. I’m so pleased you enjoyed it!

    Reply
  58. That is very true, Elizabeth. They do illuminate the face rather beautifully with the same radiance they seem to hold within.
    Thank you for your kind comments about House of Shadows as well. I’m so pleased you enjoyed it!

    Reply
  59. That is very true, Elizabeth. They do illuminate the face rather beautifully with the same radiance they seem to hold within.
    Thank you for your kind comments about House of Shadows as well. I’m so pleased you enjoyed it!

    Reply
  60. That is very true, Elizabeth. They do illuminate the face rather beautifully with the same radiance they seem to hold within.
    Thank you for your kind comments about House of Shadows as well. I’m so pleased you enjoyed it!

    Reply
  61. How interesting, Sue, about you disliking the idea of pre-ordination and therefore doomed jewels not appealing to you. I think I understand that; it does feel as though there isn’t any space for spontaneity or change in that sort of a story where the outcome is set from the start. It was those sort of superstitions that I really enjoyed challenging as part of House of Shadows. not all the characters believe in the concept of a curse!

    Reply
  62. How interesting, Sue, about you disliking the idea of pre-ordination and therefore doomed jewels not appealing to you. I think I understand that; it does feel as though there isn’t any space for spontaneity or change in that sort of a story where the outcome is set from the start. It was those sort of superstitions that I really enjoyed challenging as part of House of Shadows. not all the characters believe in the concept of a curse!

    Reply
  63. How interesting, Sue, about you disliking the idea of pre-ordination and therefore doomed jewels not appealing to you. I think I understand that; it does feel as though there isn’t any space for spontaneity or change in that sort of a story where the outcome is set from the start. It was those sort of superstitions that I really enjoyed challenging as part of House of Shadows. not all the characters believe in the concept of a curse!

    Reply
  64. How interesting, Sue, about you disliking the idea of pre-ordination and therefore doomed jewels not appealing to you. I think I understand that; it does feel as though there isn’t any space for spontaneity or change in that sort of a story where the outcome is set from the start. It was those sort of superstitions that I really enjoyed challenging as part of House of Shadows. not all the characters believe in the concept of a curse!

    Reply
  65. How interesting, Sue, about you disliking the idea of pre-ordination and therefore doomed jewels not appealing to you. I think I understand that; it does feel as though there isn’t any space for spontaneity or change in that sort of a story where the outcome is set from the start. It was those sort of superstitions that I really enjoyed challenging as part of House of Shadows. not all the characters believe in the concept of a curse!

    Reply
  66. Thank you very much, Janice. I’m delighted you enjoyed it. And yes, The Phantom Tree will be published in the US in July 2018. It certainly does feel like “the fullness of time” to me – a very long time!

    Reply
  67. Thank you very much, Janice. I’m delighted you enjoyed it. And yes, The Phantom Tree will be published in the US in July 2018. It certainly does feel like “the fullness of time” to me – a very long time!

    Reply
  68. Thank you very much, Janice. I’m delighted you enjoyed it. And yes, The Phantom Tree will be published in the US in July 2018. It certainly does feel like “the fullness of time” to me – a very long time!

    Reply
  69. Thank you very much, Janice. I’m delighted you enjoyed it. And yes, The Phantom Tree will be published in the US in July 2018. It certainly does feel like “the fullness of time” to me – a very long time!

    Reply
  70. Thank you very much, Janice. I’m delighted you enjoyed it. And yes, The Phantom Tree will be published in the US in July 2018. It certainly does feel like “the fullness of time” to me – a very long time!

    Reply
  71. What a terrific post. Like many things the Word Wenches tell us about, this post led me to go on the internet to read further about The Winter Queen and her children. Y’all lead me on searches quite often. I always want to know a little more.
    I think pearls are beautiful. They seem to have a gentle glow.
    Again, thank you for the post and I look forward to House of Shadows.

    Reply
  72. What a terrific post. Like many things the Word Wenches tell us about, this post led me to go on the internet to read further about The Winter Queen and her children. Y’all lead me on searches quite often. I always want to know a little more.
    I think pearls are beautiful. They seem to have a gentle glow.
    Again, thank you for the post and I look forward to House of Shadows.

    Reply
  73. What a terrific post. Like many things the Word Wenches tell us about, this post led me to go on the internet to read further about The Winter Queen and her children. Y’all lead me on searches quite often. I always want to know a little more.
    I think pearls are beautiful. They seem to have a gentle glow.
    Again, thank you for the post and I look forward to House of Shadows.

    Reply
  74. What a terrific post. Like many things the Word Wenches tell us about, this post led me to go on the internet to read further about The Winter Queen and her children. Y’all lead me on searches quite often. I always want to know a little more.
    I think pearls are beautiful. They seem to have a gentle glow.
    Again, thank you for the post and I look forward to House of Shadows.

    Reply
  75. What a terrific post. Like many things the Word Wenches tell us about, this post led me to go on the internet to read further about The Winter Queen and her children. Y’all lead me on searches quite often. I always want to know a little more.
    I think pearls are beautiful. They seem to have a gentle glow.
    Again, thank you for the post and I look forward to House of Shadows.

    Reply
  76. I’m also really looking forward to House of Shadows! I’ve got one small strand of real pearls I inherited from my mother. When I was younger I thought they were too sedate and old fashioned looking, but now I love them. Pearls are perfect with business wear, perfect with sweaters. When I had to go to work in an office, I used to wear them a lot.

    Reply
  77. I’m also really looking forward to House of Shadows! I’ve got one small strand of real pearls I inherited from my mother. When I was younger I thought they were too sedate and old fashioned looking, but now I love them. Pearls are perfect with business wear, perfect with sweaters. When I had to go to work in an office, I used to wear them a lot.

    Reply
  78. I’m also really looking forward to House of Shadows! I’ve got one small strand of real pearls I inherited from my mother. When I was younger I thought they were too sedate and old fashioned looking, but now I love them. Pearls are perfect with business wear, perfect with sweaters. When I had to go to work in an office, I used to wear them a lot.

    Reply
  79. I’m also really looking forward to House of Shadows! I’ve got one small strand of real pearls I inherited from my mother. When I was younger I thought they were too sedate and old fashioned looking, but now I love them. Pearls are perfect with business wear, perfect with sweaters. When I had to go to work in an office, I used to wear them a lot.

    Reply
  80. I’m also really looking forward to House of Shadows! I’ve got one small strand of real pearls I inherited from my mother. When I was younger I thought they were too sedate and old fashioned looking, but now I love them. Pearls are perfect with business wear, perfect with sweaters. When I had to go to work in an office, I used to wear them a lot.

    Reply
  81. Great post Nicola. Yes pearls are lovely to look at but I wouldn’t be a pearl girl either. I’d like to wish you all the best with the book in the States.

    Reply
  82. Great post Nicola. Yes pearls are lovely to look at but I wouldn’t be a pearl girl either. I’d like to wish you all the best with the book in the States.

    Reply
  83. Great post Nicola. Yes pearls are lovely to look at but I wouldn’t be a pearl girl either. I’d like to wish you all the best with the book in the States.

    Reply
  84. Great post Nicola. Yes pearls are lovely to look at but I wouldn’t be a pearl girl either. I’d like to wish you all the best with the book in the States.

    Reply
  85. Great post Nicola. Yes pearls are lovely to look at but I wouldn’t be a pearl girl either. I’d like to wish you all the best with the book in the States.

    Reply
  86. Hi Annette! I’m glad you were interested to find out more about the Winter Queen. She was a fascinating character and led such an extraordinary life. It’s wonderful inspiration for an author!

    Reply
  87. Hi Annette! I’m glad you were interested to find out more about the Winter Queen. She was a fascinating character and led such an extraordinary life. It’s wonderful inspiration for an author!

    Reply
  88. Hi Annette! I’m glad you were interested to find out more about the Winter Queen. She was a fascinating character and led such an extraordinary life. It’s wonderful inspiration for an author!

    Reply
  89. Hi Annette! I’m glad you were interested to find out more about the Winter Queen. She was a fascinating character and led such an extraordinary life. It’s wonderful inspiration for an author!

    Reply
  90. Hi Annette! I’m glad you were interested to find out more about the Winter Queen. She was a fascinating character and led such an extraordinary life. It’s wonderful inspiration for an author!

    Reply
  91. Thank you very much, Karin. It’s interesting how our taste in jewellery, like everything else I suppose, can change with age. Pearls can sometimes feel old-fashioned but I think they are actually very versatile and look gorgeous with so many things!

    Reply
  92. Thank you very much, Karin. It’s interesting how our taste in jewellery, like everything else I suppose, can change with age. Pearls can sometimes feel old-fashioned but I think they are actually very versatile and look gorgeous with so many things!

    Reply
  93. Thank you very much, Karin. It’s interesting how our taste in jewellery, like everything else I suppose, can change with age. Pearls can sometimes feel old-fashioned but I think they are actually very versatile and look gorgeous with so many things!

    Reply
  94. Thank you very much, Karin. It’s interesting how our taste in jewellery, like everything else I suppose, can change with age. Pearls can sometimes feel old-fashioned but I think they are actually very versatile and look gorgeous with so many things!

    Reply
  95. Thank you very much, Karin. It’s interesting how our taste in jewellery, like everything else I suppose, can change with age. Pearls can sometimes feel old-fashioned but I think they are actually very versatile and look gorgeous with so many things!

    Reply
  96. I was once told that the best things for a woman’s complexion are pearls and candlelight. Pearls are not as dramatic as gemstones, but they are lovely and have a warmth that stones do not. I also like them because, as was noted, they are versatile. You could wear them to go out in the evening or with a twinset and pants during the day. The one piece of pearl jewelry I won’t wear is a ring, because clumsy me would probably break it.
    Agree with Sue that I don’t like “fated mates” or curses or whatever. In a romance I know that there will be a HEA; it’s the journey to get there that is interesting. If preordained, then it feels like the characters have less agency. If they didn’t choose their True Love but it was somehow chosen for them, then it’s less romantic to me (YMMV).
    Nonetheless, it’s always in the execution, and I trust the Wenches to execute in a manner that makes me say “I don’t usually like this trope but in this book it works.”

    Reply
  97. I was once told that the best things for a woman’s complexion are pearls and candlelight. Pearls are not as dramatic as gemstones, but they are lovely and have a warmth that stones do not. I also like them because, as was noted, they are versatile. You could wear them to go out in the evening or with a twinset and pants during the day. The one piece of pearl jewelry I won’t wear is a ring, because clumsy me would probably break it.
    Agree with Sue that I don’t like “fated mates” or curses or whatever. In a romance I know that there will be a HEA; it’s the journey to get there that is interesting. If preordained, then it feels like the characters have less agency. If they didn’t choose their True Love but it was somehow chosen for them, then it’s less romantic to me (YMMV).
    Nonetheless, it’s always in the execution, and I trust the Wenches to execute in a manner that makes me say “I don’t usually like this trope but in this book it works.”

    Reply
  98. I was once told that the best things for a woman’s complexion are pearls and candlelight. Pearls are not as dramatic as gemstones, but they are lovely and have a warmth that stones do not. I also like them because, as was noted, they are versatile. You could wear them to go out in the evening or with a twinset and pants during the day. The one piece of pearl jewelry I won’t wear is a ring, because clumsy me would probably break it.
    Agree with Sue that I don’t like “fated mates” or curses or whatever. In a romance I know that there will be a HEA; it’s the journey to get there that is interesting. If preordained, then it feels like the characters have less agency. If they didn’t choose their True Love but it was somehow chosen for them, then it’s less romantic to me (YMMV).
    Nonetheless, it’s always in the execution, and I trust the Wenches to execute in a manner that makes me say “I don’t usually like this trope but in this book it works.”

    Reply
  99. I was once told that the best things for a woman’s complexion are pearls and candlelight. Pearls are not as dramatic as gemstones, but they are lovely and have a warmth that stones do not. I also like them because, as was noted, they are versatile. You could wear them to go out in the evening or with a twinset and pants during the day. The one piece of pearl jewelry I won’t wear is a ring, because clumsy me would probably break it.
    Agree with Sue that I don’t like “fated mates” or curses or whatever. In a romance I know that there will be a HEA; it’s the journey to get there that is interesting. If preordained, then it feels like the characters have less agency. If they didn’t choose their True Love but it was somehow chosen for them, then it’s less romantic to me (YMMV).
    Nonetheless, it’s always in the execution, and I trust the Wenches to execute in a manner that makes me say “I don’t usually like this trope but in this book it works.”

    Reply
  100. I was once told that the best things for a woman’s complexion are pearls and candlelight. Pearls are not as dramatic as gemstones, but they are lovely and have a warmth that stones do not. I also like them because, as was noted, they are versatile. You could wear them to go out in the evening or with a twinset and pants during the day. The one piece of pearl jewelry I won’t wear is a ring, because clumsy me would probably break it.
    Agree with Sue that I don’t like “fated mates” or curses or whatever. In a romance I know that there will be a HEA; it’s the journey to get there that is interesting. If preordained, then it feels like the characters have less agency. If they didn’t choose their True Love but it was somehow chosen for them, then it’s less romantic to me (YMMV).
    Nonetheless, it’s always in the execution, and I trust the Wenches to execute in a manner that makes me say “I don’t usually like this trope but in this book it works.”

    Reply

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