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 […]

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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 […]

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Makeover time!

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Thorn & Vine and my website ElizabethVanTassel.com are getting a makeover this month! If you tune in and things seem, well, a bit off or more creative than usual, or fonts are a bit sideways, I’m updating and simplifying a few things. Hold tight, we should be back to regular programming soon! The interesting thing […]

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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 […]

The Allure of pink diamonds with gemologist and author Elizabeth Van Tassel

The Allure of Pink Diamonds

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To celebrate spring, we’re starting a new series with a gem of the month beginning with pink diamonds. My personal favorite gem stone is very rare, and even a bit mysterious. Perhaps as a gem mystery/fantasy author, that’s why I like it so much. I first saw the gem while I was in school to […]

Candle, comfortable seating near a window with author Elizabeth Van Tassel

One little voice

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Can one little voice make a difference? I hope so. Having taken pause to notice a few things in the world, and help us craft our own world a bit more after our recent move, I’m going to be fine-tuning the blog and my social media in the coming months. A force for the positive […]

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Twitter takeover, great conferences updates, and more!

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Hi friends, I’m writing this like a newsletter since there’s a lot going on right now for the blog (my Twitter is taken over by Shilo Snow!) and also with some neat conferences I’ve been able to attend. Thanks for your patience while things have been getting updated, like upcoming articles and I’m lining up […]

Elizabeth Van Tassel, middle grade author, with a review of Tumble and Blue by Cassie Beasley, purple vines.

Great Reads: Tumble & Blue by Cassie Beasley

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This week under The Magic Gazebo, where I like to sit for the reviews, is a super middle grade adventure by best selling author Cassie Beasley. Rating 5 out of 5 stars. Clean story? Yes it’s great for middle readers into early teens. My review: Tumble & Blue by Cassie Beasley is wonderfully inventive and […]