Laura Haley-McNeil

1/20/19, Jewelry Research

Hello, Everyone!

When I plan a book, I usually have a list of questions I research so I can learn how things work or how things are done. Research is fun. I love learning new things, and it’s so easy with the internet. is a great source if you need a visual. If you want to see how something is done, someone has posted a video that will explain just about anything. Also, I’m in contact with a great group of writers who gladly share their knowledge.

Something that has always interested me is jewelry, also known as jewellery in some parts of the English speaking world, and I like featuring jewelry in my books. I’m especially interested in antique jewelry. My husband and I like to browse antique stores, and I always find my way to the jewelry case. I love staring at the jewel-studded necklaces, bracelets and rings and wonder about the beautiful young woman who one hundred and fifty years ago was presented the gift by a dashing young man as a token of his love. Where there’s jewelry, there’s romance.

I’m always curious about European royalty and what happened to the heirs of those titles. Many lost their fortunes and status because of World War I and the industrial revolution. We’ve all heard stories about these noble paupers who headed to America to marry a rich heiress. I had often wondered about the jewelry the noble women wore, which would be passed down from generations and could be quite extravagant. When we read about the wars where the soldiers looted and pillaged I wonder what happened to the jewelry these noble women owned. Was it stolen or secreted away?

That was the question I wanted to answer when I wrote A Ring Around Her Heart, Book 3 of the Crystal Creek Series. Giselle has inherited her great-grandmother’s ring, but how did her great-grandmother, who was a maid, own such an extravagant piece of jewelry? And why does Niccolo di Saluzzo claim the ring belongs to his family? He’s desperate to possess the ring, but he isn’t the only one. When it disappears, Niccolo’s and Giselle’s search takes them to the exotic island of Mallorca where they confront the deadly rival for possession of the ring.

If you’re in my part of the world, I hope you’re staying warm and snuggly and warming your hands on a hot cup of cocoa while you devour a romance novel. And if you’re enjoying summer, I hope your days are warm and sunny and filled with fun things to do.

Have a blessed week!