Today we have Nancy Holzner stopping by as a part of her Bloodstone book tour! This tour was put together and hosted by Bewitching Book Tours.
Bloodstone: The Gem and the Novel
When I was developing the plot of Bloodstone, book three in my Deadtown urban fantasy series, I knew that Vicky's aunt, Mab, would need a talisman, a source of her power and longevity. So I did some research into different gems and their properties.
It's a fascinating topic. Many people use gemstones and crystals for meditation, balancing, and enhancing their intention. For example, jade may be placed on sore muscles to relax them. Black onyx, which supports changing in habits, may help people quit smoking. And some women wear green fluorite to alleviate PMS. It seems like there's a gemstone for every purpose. For my novel, I wanted to find a stone that's associated with healing and protection. Bloodstones have both of these properties. Plus I loved “Bloodstone” as a possible title.
The stone itself is green (chalcedony or jasper) with spots of red and yellow. The red flecks, made of iron oxide, look like spatters of blood and give the stone its name. Ancient warriors carried bloodstones into battle, believing the gem had the power to stop bleeding. The third-century Leyden Papyrus says that “the world has no greater thing” than bloodstones, crediting them with the ability to heal, open locked doors, and bring the bearer whatever he or she wants. Early Christians saw bloodstone as a symbol of Christ's crucifixion, representing red blood falling onto the green earth. In the Middle Ages, it was referred to as “the martyr's stone.” Alchemists believed bloodstones could draw poison from the body. Some even thought it could control the weather.
For centuries, bloodstones have been used in healing, treating everything from nosebleeds to circulation problems to tumors to serious hemorrhaging. This gem is said to purify the blood, increase physical strength, and dispel confusion, leading to clarity of mind. Bloodstone calms fear and augments courage. If you carry a bloodstone in your wallet, it's supposed to attract money into your life.
Many of these properties come into play in my novel. Mab wears a bloodstone pendant that has healing powers and increases her lifespan. She uses it in an attempt to rescue Vicky from a dangerous situation. I liked the idea that bloodstone is associated with courage and clear-mindedness, both qualities that define Mab.
At the same time, I wanted Mab's bloodstone to be unique. So instead of making her bloodstone the kind you might buy in a jewelry store, I made it an object that's very specific to Mab, herself. Here's how she describes it to Vicky:
“The bloodstone posses three qualities: it’s sacred, it’s powerful, and it’s personal. Centuries ago, the stone was chiseled from an ancient altar—that’s the sacred part. It was buried deep in the soil, where it absorbed power from the land. And it’s personal to me, infused with my blood—the blood of numerous lifetimes.”
Mab's bloodstone is literally a stone that has absorbed her blood, accumulating her power and returning that power to her from one lifetime to the next. It represents Mab's strengths and values, and writing about it helped me to understand her better as a character.
Plus, it really does make a cool title.
Bloodstone, the third novel in Nancy Holzner's Deadtown series, is now available. For information on Nancy and her books, visit her website. You can also find Nancy on Facebook and Twitter, and blogging with other fantasy authors at Dark Central Station.
BLOODSTONEBy Nancy HolznerBook 3 Deadtown SeriesPaperback: 336 pagesPublisher: AceRelease date: September 27, 2011ISBN-10: 044102100XISBN-13: 978-0441021000Boston’s diverse South End is known for its architecture and great restaurants, not its body count. So when mutilated human corpses begin turning up in the area, the entire city takes notice. The killer—dubbed the South End Reaper—uses a curved blade for his grisly work. And even though there’s no real evidence pointing to a paranormal culprit, the deaths are straining the already-tense relations between Boston’s human and inhuman residents.
As the bodies pile up, Vicky, her formidable aunt Mab, and her werewolf boyfriend Kane investigate, only to find that the creature behind the carnage is after something much more than blood…
Now for the Giveaway :) Nancy is hosting a tour wide giveaway for a chance to win a signed Deadtown novel of your choice. There will be 5 winners :) All you have to do is fill out this form. Don't forget to enter in my giveaway of Bloodstone as well.