Thursday, 13 June 2019

Poison Rings...

Dainty ring could be used to conceal keepsakes. c.1880

Historic jewelry has always captivated me. When I was younger, I’d sift through pages of the encyclopedia looking at all the necklaces, rings, crowns and other jewels the Royals wore during the renaissance. There was something more than the mere flicker of a ruby that attracted me, something deeper that had my imagination roaming to faraway lands where the characters I write came to life. 

It is how I've always created stories...based on something real that has existed. But there was more...what has attracted me all these years with the baubles and wares, is who wore them, what was going on in the world at that time, and oh how I wished to be able to teleport there! Museums do the same thing to me—my mind runs a mile a minute at who, what and where the artifact has been.

When I wrote the Branded Trilogy, I had to do a lot of research dating as far back as the American Colonies during the 1700’s it was the first time I'd seen the Box ring. 

As I was rummaging through pages and pages of history for the most recent book I'm writing, I came across the odd, but very mesmerizing piece of jewelry again. The Box ring, or also known as a locket ring. What else is a writer to do, but delve deeper into the history of this charming piece of jewelry. 

These rings were popular throughout Europe during the 16th Century. The rings were used to store many things from perfume, a lock of hair, to messages and devotional relics. Fashionable and different, most of the wealthy owned one.

The locket ring came to Europe from Asia, Russia and the Middle East during the Holy Trade. However, there were other uses for these rings that had nothing to do with placing one’s keepsakes inside.

The Poison ring had been used long before as a means to an end for those in captivity or before being placed into confinement. The small compartment under the bezel of the ring would hide arsenic, cyanide or the poison of choice. While the captor awaited the noose, guillotine, or other ways of torment, he would take the poison, thus ending his life without such torture.

The Poison rings became sought after pieces of jewelry during the war to elude capture, but also if the opportunity arose to poison your enemy. Rulers used these infamous rings to hide arsenic and poison their political rivals.

Lucrezia Borgia, the daughter of Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia (who later became Pope Alexander VI) The Borgia family was very powerful and wealthy. The Cardinal used his daughter as a pawn of trade to further the family’s status on the political ladder. But some would say Lucrezia was not to be toyed with. She owned an array of poison rings using them often at family parties.

The Poison ring was made with intercut detail. How one wanted to dispense the poison from inside depended on the ring’s construction.

For example, some rings had a tiny hole drilled into the left or right side of depending on which hand you wore it on, where the poison could be dispensed into a glass of wine. The wearer would simply remove the inside finger covering the hole and dump the contents out. The victim being none the wiser.

Other rings had a lever that when pressed with the inside of the finger would open the top of the bezel.

During the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, a more morbid style of ring emerged. Jewellers began making coffin style locket rings with images of skeletons and death inside. These were called Funeral or Mourning rings and given to mourners to remember the departed.

I’m not sure I’d wear any of these rings…but I’d love to know where they’ve been!

Happy Thursday, Friends!

Monday, 13 May 2019

Cheryl Kaye Tardif and Lancelot's Lady!

On SALE $2.99
A beautiful nurse, a handsome recluse and an evil PI equals one deadly adventure.

When palliative care nurse Rhianna McLeod is given a gift of a dream holiday to the Bahamas from her
dying patient, billionaire JT Lance, she has no idea that her 'holiday' will include being stranded on a private island with Jonathan, an irritating but irresistibly handsome recluse. Or that she'll fall head over heels for the man. 

Jonathan isn't happy to discover a drop-dead gorgeous redhead has invaded his island. But his anger soon turns to attraction. After one failed marriage, he has guarded his heart, but Rhianna's sudden appearance makes him yearn to throw caution to the wind. 

To live fully in the present, Rhianna must resolve her own murky past, unravel the secret that haunts JT, foil the plans of a sleazy, blackmailing private investigator and help Jonathan find his muse. 
Only then can Rhianna find the love she's been searching for, and finally become...Lancelot's Lady. 

Buy Links:

Get to know...

Cheryl Kaye Tardif is an award-winning, international bestselling Canadian suspense author published by various print, e-book and audiobook publishers. She is best known for Children of the Fog (over 200,000 copies sold worldwide), Submerged, the Divine Trilogy and Whale Song. Many of her novels have been translated into various foreign languages.

When asked what she does, Cheryl likes to say, “I kill people off for a living!” You can imagine the looks she gets. Sometimes she’ll add, "Fictitiously, of course. I'm a suspense author." Sometimes she won't say anything else. 

Residing in West Kelowna, BC, in Canada’s beautiful Okanagan Valley, Cheryl is now working on a special project she hopes to sell to Netflix, Crave TV or Prime Video: twelve episodes of a television crime drama series set in the Okanagan. She’s also working on another thriller­—and a second children’s picture book.

Booklist raves, “Tardif, already a big hit in Canada…a name to reckon with south of the border.”

Cheryl's website:

Tuesday, 8 January 2019

Ramblings of a Crazed Writer...

A week into the new year and I’m already in need of a vacation. My head feels like it’s ready to explode. There are not enough hours in the day to do all of the things I need to get done. It’s my own fault really…I procrastinate and leave things until the last minute, and if any of you know me enough by now, you know that’s how I roll.
Deadlines to me are like the finish line to a runner, the last bite of dinner to reveal a clean plate and a full stomach.
I wait…I leave things until I cannot ignore them any longer and they press on my mind like a vise squeezing my brain.
Last year at this time my goal was to finish three books…I finished two and started another (it’s a series) and I left the one I’ve got almost done sitting in my folder waiting anxiously for me to write THE END.
Have I done it…NO!

I’ve got close to 62,000 words written, a good plot going on and some great characters. So, what’s my problem? Usually when this happens, I’m writing until I finish, but not this time.
Instead I’ve left it. Ignored the guilt, the nagging, the over whelming urge to pick it up and finish the damn thing. I’ve looked the other way, busied myself with other writing and researching and now here I am.
What is the problem?
Why can’t I finish this book?
Well, I’ll tell you. Something is wrong with it. I’ve known this since about 30,000 words in. There isn’t enough depth, emotion…or something else. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but I know it’s there, or maybe it’s my own way of saying wait. Hell, I don’t know and it’s driving me nuts. The thought of delving back into the story overwhelms me and instead of picking up the book, I find myself reaching for a glass of whiskey instead.
What’s a writer to do?
Most of my author friends understand what I’m going through. It is the creator’s way of finding perfection!

The book has to be seamless. I know this is not going to happen, but damn it the bloody thing needs to be close to it. I refuse to release a book my readers aren’t going to enjoy. I know some won’t like it, and that’s okay, but this is my career and I take it seriously. Yes, I write because of the passion inside of me, but I also write for them.
I must muddle my way through even though it will mean late nights, headaches, a lot of re-working, and even more whiskey. The finish line may be further off than I want it to be, but I will reach it—I have to!

And if all else fails…the liquor store is only a few blocks away!