Skip to main content

Discovering Diamonds: An Entertaining Interlude for Christmas

I hope you’ve not been missing out on the Discovering Diamonds Christmas blogs – but if you have you’re in for a treat when you catch up!

This “entertaining interlude for Christmas by a variety of authors” organised by Helen Hollick on the Discovering Diamonds blog is a bulging Christmas stocking full of tiny treats. With stories that take you on journeys around the world and into different eras, it’s a bit like a tin of assorted chocolates with something for everyone.   

Follow the links in the titles if you want to read one of these stories.

The first Diamond Tale, a short story set in 1960s Friern Barnet. Who remembers Jet Harris, bass guitarist of The Shadows? A lovely tale on the power of a song to evoke memories. 

A rearranged excerpt from the third Sea Witch Voyage, Bring It Close, by Helen Hollick in which that devilishly wicked pirate Jesamiah Acorne calls on an ex-lover to help him gain access to the Governor of Virginia’s house – where he is definitely not welcome. 

In 1914 British officer Nicholas Dawlish reflects sorrowfully on previous conflicts on the day Britain declared war on Turkey.  

Two lovers arrange a clandestine meeting on a cold, snowy night in this beautifully realised tale – but will their plans succeed?

That dreadful moment when you look down at your finger – and it’s bare!

The power of Welsh legend and storytelling in a story about the great Welsh poet Taliesin.

A story set in London in 1744 based on fascinating characters from The Jacobite Chronicles and the hunt for a stolen gem.

To London’s East End now and the hard struggle for existence for many in contemporary Britain – and the hope a lottery ticket brings.

Through Anglo-Saxon Britain tracing the fate of a mysterious stone known as a Sunstone.

Two treats today following the adventures of a plausible con man with his eye on a string of diamond-clasped pearls. Only problem – they’re still around the owner’s neck.

In London 1918, we discover the lure of diamonds – forged a hundred million years ago and polished to make men richer – or poorer.

An excerpt from Men of the Cross, in which King Richard weighs up his chances of defeating Saladin.

Finally, Diamond Tales also includes an exclusive preview of the next Dan Foster Mystery, which I’m currently working on. 

In spring 1798, Bow Street Runner Dan Foster is called to his second murder case in a week – one he’s been told to prioritise because of the victim’s high-society connections. As if that isn’t irritating enough, the lead officer in the case is Principal Officer John Townsend – and he and Dan are not exactly on friendly terms...

And there are still more fabulous Diamond Tales to come, with stories from Susan Grossey, Alison Morton, Nancy Jardine, Elizabeth St John, Barbara Gaskell Denvill, Anna Belfrage and Cryssa Bazos. 

So make a morning coffee date from now until Christmas with Diamond Tales!


Popular posts from this blog

Dickens and Chickens

On 17 April 1860, in fields near Farnborough, Charles Dickens joined an audience amongst whom were the Prince of Wales and the Prime Minister, Lord Palmerston, as well as a number of MPs and clergymen, to watch the American John Carmel Heenan and England’s Tom Sayers (the Brighton Titch) beat one another blind and bloody in a bare-knuckle fight that lasted nearly two and a half hours. The fight ended in a draw when Aldershot police stormed the ring, forcing the fighters and their illustrious spectators to flee the scene. It was the brutality of this match that signalled an end to the bare-knuckle era and prompted the development of the Marquess of Queensberry’s rules. Dickens’s interest in pugilism was of long standing. In 1848 Dombey and Son , which had been published in serial form over the preceding two years, came out in book form. One of many of his novels that draws on the world of the prize fighter, it introduces the unforgettable Mr Toots, a would-be man about town, an

Spotlight On...Begbrook House, Frenchay, Bristol

On 11 November 1913, the head gardener at Begbrook House in Frenchay near Bristol discovered that the   building was on fire. The house stood in its own wooded grounds, and was said to have twenty rooms and a fine old staircase. Within a few hours the house was gutted. The fire caused £3,000 worth of damage. A copy of the WSPU newspaper, The Suffragette , was left at the site with the message, “Birrell is coming. Rachel Pease is still being tortured”.  Begbrook House Picture: Frenchay Village Museum Augustine Birrell was the Liberal MP for Bristol North, and a cabinet minister. He was frequently targetted by militants in Bristol. Suffragettes interrupted his meetings and two women once accosted him at Temple Meads Railway Station with their demand for the vote.    Begbrook House belonged to Hugh Thomas Coles, a wealthy banker. Hugh Coles was the son of   William Gale Cole of Clifton, who was also a banker, and was born in Clifton in 1856. Lik

The Bristol Boys: The Bare Knuckle Champions and The Hatchet Inn

The Hatchet Inn on Frogmore Street in Bristol is all that remains of a row of seventeenth-century timbered houses dating back to 1606 – making it one of the city’s oldest pubs. It was substantially altered in the 1960s, and these days it stands on a traffic island. But at one time it boasted extensive grounds – and amongst the facilities on offer was a bare-knuckle boxing ring. Plaque at The Hatchet Inn, Bristol The pub’s connection with Bristol’s boxing heroes is commemorated in a plaque illustrating five of Bristol’s champions – one of whom, Hen Pearce, features in Bloodie Bones: A Dan Foster Mystery. Hen Pearce (Detail) Bristol born Hen Pearce, The Game Chicken (1777 – 1809), a former butcher’s boy, became champion of England in 1805. He was a hero inside and outside the ring. In 1807 he climbed onto the roof of a building in Thomas Street, Bristol to rescue a servant girl from a fire. Always a popular figure, this courageous act inspired many eulogies in pr