I'm afraid that I've been too distracted by domestic things; in beta reading for other authors; and preparing guest posts for my AFTER WHORL -BRAN REBORN blog launch tour in December that I'm not managing to write any posts for my own blog.
Instead, today, here's a little excerpt from TOPAZ EYES for my Sunday Snip.
My protagonists have been gathered together and the details of the quest are being revealed....
Jensen cleared his throat. “We’ll move on to Martine.”
Focusing on Martine, Keira used the magnifier to inspect the necklace around the young woman’s throat. Again, it was spectacular.
Four strands of green beads wound round the back of Martine’s neck, the main fastening of the item sitting centrally below her throat. Very Indian in design, a huge white stone was encircled by a row of smaller ones. Because of the type of photograph, Keira could only imagine they were diamonds, but supposed they could have been some other light-coloured stone. Below the central circle lay another two partial circular rows, and below that a teardrop was suspended. The centre of the teardrop was another larger stone, encased by the outer row of smaller ones. The necklace was magnificent.
Dangling from Martine’s ears were teardrop earrings matching the necklace.
“I don’t believe there’s any doubt the necklace is part of the set, and also the earrings. This style of design is commonly known as Mughal, and very Indian in origin.”
“But of diamonds, rather than emeralds?” It was Zaan’s conclusion, but something Keira also wanted clarified.
Jensen nodded. “It would appear so.”
On one wrist, Martine wore the most fabulous gold cameo bangle. Enamelled onto a wide band of smooth gold, the cameo looked like carved ivory, the scrollwork around it delicate gold filigree, standing proud from the main band of gold which widened in the centre and narrowed at the underside of the arm.
“The bracelet?” Teun’s question came across hesitant, though he sounded hopeful. Martine, after all, was from his direct line of the family.
The shaking of Zaan’s head was very negative. “The design of it looks to be late 19th century. What do you think, Jensen?”
“It could be, but until looked at closely we could never be positive. It’s possible the decorative filigree, liked so well during the late Victorian period, may have been added around the cameo after the original band was created.”
Teun’s lips pursed quickly as Keira looked at him to gain his reaction to the information. He now appeared just as interested in the jewels as the rest of them.
“How could you tell something like that?” Her question sounded lame, but she needed to know. Knowledge of jewellery wasn’t her forte.
Zaan jumped in. “The added gold may be of a different karat value, though it would be unlikely. Compatibility would be more usual for a band of this calibre.”
Eyes drifting back to the photograph, Keira took in more detail. Martine also wore a very long chain which drooped over her generous chest, hanging all the way to the bottom of her wide waistbelt. Her fingers curled around a delicate fan and it was easy to discern the ring Jensen had recently acquired: the snake-headed, filigree emerald. Keira couldn’t prevent her admiring gasp, since the ring looked even more magnificent on the woman’s finger.
“From this photograph we can, perhaps, assume Martine was the owner of the ring now in your possession, Jensen. Do you have any idea how many owners there have been since her?” Awe peppered her hushed inquiry.
Jensen shook his head. “No idea yet, Keira, but I’m working on that one.”