I’m taking a break from my  vacation posts today to welcome fellow TWRP author Jennifer Coffeen.

Welcome, Jennifer!

Hi Lilly,
Did you wake up this morning with a case of Paraskavedekatriaphobia? If your doors are locked and Friday the 13th is circled on the calendar, you might be a candidate for this phobia.

Friday the 13th has long been a day of superstition, legends, and curses. No one is quite sure where the fear of this particular day began, but many attribute it to the evil surrounding number 13 combined with Friday, considered the unluckiest day as far back as the Middle Ages. Wherever the superstition comes from, nothing beats a good scare to add spice and intrigue to your writings.

My novel “Priceless Deception”, due out this summer on August 14th, is centered around the heroine’s search for the cursed French Blue diamond. The French Blue diamond has touched many famous people and events through history, though most people know it by its more modern name, the Hope Diamond.

The curse of the French Blue diamond began in 1642 by a Frenchman named Jean Baptiste Tavernier. The legend states that Tavernier plucked the enormous blue diamond from the forehead or eye of an idol during his travels in India. After returning to France and selling the diamond to King Louie XIV, Tavernier continued his travels to Russia where he was reportedly ripped to pieces by wild dogs as punishment for removing the stone. The diamond was later recut and passed down to Louie XVI and his wife Marie Antoinette. Both were executed by the guillotine during the French Revolution and many believe it was the diamond’s curse that caused such a violent end. After that the French Blue was stolen and remained lost until 1812, when it mysterious appeared for sale in London. There are rumors it was purchased by King George IV, and several paintings portray him wearing a very large blue stone in a pendant.

The French Blue eventually resurfaced in America in the hands of Henry Philip Hope where it got its name the Hope Diamond. The curse soon struck again, as the once wealthy Hope family went completely bankrupt after taking possession of the diamond.

In 1910 Pierre Cartier sold the diamond to Evalyn Walsh McLean who proclaimed it her good luck charm. According to some close to Evalyn, the wealthy woman was obsessed with the Hope diamond, refusing to take it off even for a goiter operation. Sadly, it not the good luck she wished for, and Evalyn’s family had their own share of tragedy. Her first born died in a car crash, her daughter committed suicide and her husband went insane and was confined to a mental institution. Many saw this as the long fingers of the diamond’s curse, but Evalyn stubbornly wore the diamond until she died. It was sold in 1941 to settle debts from her estate and purchased by Harry Winston. Winston wanted nothing to do with the diamond’s curse and later, some say for mysterious reasons, offered to donate the diamond to the Smithsonian Museum in Washington D.C.

Are you a believer yet? Though I wouldn’t diagnose myself with any phobias, you won’t catch me walking beneath any ladders today!

Jennifer Coffeen is a fellow TWRP author and if you can’t wait until until summer for the release of Priceless Deception, she has a hot release that’s available now. http://thewildrosepress.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=4449

Here’s a blurb and excerpt  from Jennifer’s April release, Lover’s Gamble.

Sophie Hartlend likes to play with fire.
The reckless and beautiful Miss Sophie has spent her young life doing whatever she pleases without much consequence—except for that one night when passions went too far with the maddeningly handsome Lord Rayburn.

Months after their encounter, Sophie’s newfound infatuation with gambling has landed her in trouble, threatening her precious independence. Lord Rayburn gallantly offers to help, but he insists the wild Miss Sophie do things his way. Once again they find themselves in a battle of wills, attracted but with opposing views.
Will Sophie relent when she discovers she must lay down all her cards in order to win Lord Rayburn’s heart?

(Pages 58) Spicy
Word Count 15000

Hugh shook his head, forcing his vision to clear. It couldn’t be. He simply had to be mistaken… But no, when he looked again there was no doubt. It was none other than Miss Sophie Hartlend, chattering away like she’d been gambling in Newbury House for years.

What the hell does she think she’s doing? It’s nearly two in the morning, and not a chaperone in sight! He had to admit she looked as stunning as he remembered her, like a long-worshipped Grecian goddess, her long hair curled artfully around her high cheekbones. He had a sudden vision of releasing that cascade of hair from its heavy pins, watching it flow down her naked back in waves.

With a sharp pang Hugh remembered the feel of it through his fingers as he kissed her that hot August night—nearly a year ago now, but a night he’d never forgotten. He’d fallen in love during that single night of passion and, stupidly, assumed she felt the same way. The next day he laid his pride at her feet, making an utter fool of himself over a woman.

Hugh’s hand tightened into a fist. After that day he’d never seen her again, until now. And suddenly here she was, in the most inappropriately low-cut gown he’d ever seen, gambling like a common bit of muslin.

And apparently quite bad at it, too.

You can find Jennfer at: http://www.jenniferanncoffeen.com/ and on facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jennifer-Ann-Coffeen/119223098153686

and check out her book trailer at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bYpv1MQGJU4

Thanks for sharing a bit of mystery and history with us today. And stay away from ladders. lol!