The Lion Emerald crystal, feature on Thorn & Vine blog with gemologist and author Elizabeth Van Tassel

Inspiring Emerald Gem Discovery

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There’s been some neat discoveries coming up on my radar as a gemologist, and I love to collect these tidbits for inspiration for stories, especially if it involves emeralds. I thought you’d like to share some of the most dramatic ones of late. My love of emeralds Emeralds have always fascinated me, even before I […]

Happy Birthday Narnia and Everything C.S. Lewis

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In honor of it being the birthday of The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe and Narnia, which is sixty-eight years old this week, under the magical gazebo for MMGM I wanted to share some memories of my summer C.S. Lewis study abroad program. I also have some great Narnia-themed products and books to share. […]

Helping friends with loss during holidays with resilience expert and author Elizabeth Van Tassel

Helping friends with loss during the holidays

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With the leaves beginning to turn and October in the air, I’m gearing up for a busy time of year and gathering thoughts for holidays. Yesterday, a small fire was put out near our new home in the Bay Area (thankfully!) I’m reminded of some basic things that were so helpful in those years of […]

Fall Delights! What’s coming from Thorn & Vine

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I’ve been collecting great ideas for a wonderful fall series and wanted to give you updates about what to expect and some recent happenings! Due to a death in the family and some tech hiccups, the blog has been a bit sporadic. Thanks for your patience as we fixed everything! And nurtured our family for […]

All the beauties including historic necklace, my character inspirations and setting for my middle grade fantasy with author Elizabeth Van Tassel

Pitch Wars 2018 #BOOSTMYBIO

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My WIP: LAUREN GOLDRAY AND THE CRYSTAL TIMESCOPE Middle Grade Fantasy This is my entry for #BoostMyBio for Pitch Wars 2018. Thank you to Auggie for hosting this great time to visit and meet other aspiring authors and get more involved in the fun of Pitch Wars, and everyone who makes this such a super […]

Mashka Jewelers with Gemologist and Author Elizabeth Van Tassel, books with gems displayed.

Mashka Jewelers, San Francisco

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I discovered wonderful Mashka Jewelers, truly a new favorite treasure by the historic area of Fisherman’s Wharf, where seagulls fly high, swimmers brave the brisk waves with Alcatraz in the distance, and fog burns away to reveal historic vessels and blue waters. I was with friends visiting San Francisco at the iconic Ghirardelli Square, the […]

Book review of The Door In The Wall with author Elizabeth Van Tassel

Great Reads: The Door In The Wall

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This week under The Magical Gazebo, where I like to sit for the reviews, is an old favorite called The Door In The Wall by Marguerite de Angeli, which won the Newbery Medal in 1950. The theme of being heroic despite circumstances is very appropriate for the upcoming Memorial Day Holiday, and I want to […]

Great Fake, Great Escapes – Royal Wedding Repost

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In honor of the Royal Wedding, I’m re-posting this fun tidbit about the royal crown. Did you know there’s a mystery right there? What are your plans for the wedding this weekend? Did you know that the large ruby, called the Black Prince’s Ruby, on the front of Britain’s Imperial State Crown isn’t a ruby […]

How Huey Lewis Taught Me The Art Of Possibility

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Recently I read that Huey Lewis, a great rock star with songs like “The Power of Love” from Back to the Future, “I Want A New Drug”, and “If This Is It” that were especially popular in the ‘80s, has suffered extensive hearing loss. I was remembering how he impacted my high school and early college […]