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Today, please join me in welcoming my friend and fellow author, Betty Bolté, back to Preternatura. Betty is dropping by today to talk about the powers and legends of gems and crystals. More specifically, smoky quartz, as it relates to her upcoming series A More Perfect Union, which is scheduled to launch in October.
Betty Bolté writes both historical and contemporary stories featuring strong, loving women and brave, compassionate men. No matter whether the stories are set in the past or the present, she loves to include a touch of the paranormal. In addition to her romantic fiction, she’s the author of several nonfiction books and earned a masters in English in 2008. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, the Historical Novel Society, the Women’s Fiction Writers Association, and the Authors Guild. You can learn more about Betty by visiting her website. on Facebook and by following her on Twitter.
And now, let’s hear from Betty…
The Smoky Quartz Heart Legend
By Betty Bolté
If you’ve read my first book, Traces (Ghosts of Roseville Book 1), you know I enjoy a touch of the paranormal, the mystical, the inextricable. So, for my American Revolution series, A More Perfect Union, which launches in a few weeks, I needed something intriguing to weave through the stories. Now, many folks believe in the power of gems and stones to influence both mind and body. To me, there’s something rather mystical about how crystals and gems might affect other entities around them. Take for instance smoky quartz, which is one of the rare brown gemstones.
Smoky quartz is considered the national gem of Scotland and has been a sacred stone since the days of the Druids. Quartz crystal has been used in religious and shamanistic systems for thousands of years. Ancient people believed quartz was a manifestation of ice, which kind of makes sense, right? Interestingly, in the 14th century, smoky quartz crystals were engraved with the image of a man wearing armor while holding a bow and arrow because the stone supposedly protected the wearer and the place where it was situated.
Smoky quartz can often be found in shamans’ medicine bundles. In shamanic healing sessions, as well as home treatments, crystals are rubbed onto the afflicted part of the body to remove disease. The crystal can be placed on a painful part of the body and left there to rebalance bodily conditions and to remove blockages of energies, which many say result in illness.
I chose smoky quartz and its powers for three reasons: 1) it’s the national gem of Scotland, and thus important to Scottish pride and loyalty; 2) it supposedly protects the wearer; and 3) it purportedly possesses healing properties. (I hedge here only because I have not had any personal experience of these powers nor know of anyone who has.)
How did I employ the gem in my stories? Woven between the first three books is the power and legend (of my own making) of a heart-shaped smoky quartz pendant. This pendant, according to my legend, contains the symbolic heart of the people of Scotland, a group that migrated in great numbers to South Carolina, and is the source of their national pride. Because so many people of Scottish origin moved to South Carolina, there are both heritage and familial ties between South Carolina and Scotland. The quartz is said to remove uncertainty and, if two lovers hold it simultaneously, they’ll love each other forever. Should the pendant fall into the wrong hands, more unrest and riots will occur based on ideological differences between the Scottish and other nationalities in the frontier of the state as they resort to clan fights. Also, ongoing trade will stop and impact the overall economy of the state.
In the first book, Emily’s Vow (October 2014), the pendant arrives in South Carolina in October 1782, while the British are preparing to evacuate Charles Town. When Emily Sullivan lands in trouble due to her father’s privateering, patriot spy Frank must help her but his mission requires him to protect the gem. He must make a choice between risking the future of the state and rescuing his reluctant fiancée.
In Amy’s Choice (October 2014), the gem is accidentally lost by Benjamin Hanson even though he was supposed to be protecting it, then found by Amy Abernathy who puts it on for safe keeping, but then she is taken by renegades bent on her physical harm. Benjamin chases after her to rescue her, only to find himself on the wrong end of a renegade’s rifle. Amy manages to save not only herself but the other women in the manor house along with Benjamin, but not without significant emotional cost.
Finally, in Samantha’s Secret (coming early 2015) the pendant has found its way home but its work is by no means done! Benjamin lays ill, perhaps dying, from an infected gunshot wound while midwife/healer Samantha McAlester struggles to find a cure even as young Dr. Trent Cunningham works to prove her herbal simples and home remedies are inferior to his methods. The major question is, can they find a way to join forces to save their mutual friend before it’s too late?
Of course, the gem plays its role superbly throughout the stories, evoking its protection and healing powers when most needed.
What do you think? Do you believe in the ability of natural objects to affect the world around them? Can wearing different gems or stones cause different reactions in our bodies? Have you had any experience with such a reaction? Tell me about your experience, or if you’d like to have such an experience, for a chance to win a copy of Emily’s Vow (digital or paperback, winner’s choice) as soon as it is released!
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Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts and opinions!
Thanks, Betty. I’m looking forward to your new series. Sounds very interesting.
If you would like to win a copy of Emily’s Vow, leave a comment answering Betty’s questions.