This site is primarily about my fantasy novel, A Rumor of Gems, and the creative ground it grew out of: gems and mythology. Why gems and mythology? I suspect because both hold inherent mystery and intrigue for me. And perhaps because I'm an ex-New Yorker, living in the Sonora, the book also pays tribute to two wildly different but equally mysterious terrains: old waterfront cities and much older mountains.

The story begins in the fictional city of Arcato, where the powers traditionally ascribed to stones and crystals are very much alive, as are the gods who come into this port city on the trading ships. Gods, tricksters, and gems all create both havoc and magic for everyone they touch. A few of those characters will have to journey to the other realm, on the other side of the mountains, to find the source of the magic.

A quick guide to the site:

In About Ellen you'll find a bio, a press kit that can be downloaded, and contact information.

In Writings, you'll find more information on the novel, including reviews and quotes and an excerpt from the first chapter. One of my favorite parts of the writing process was researching gem lore from sources diverse as ancient Egypt, Pliny's Rome, Vedic and Tibetan scriptures, Chinese court records, and the fairy tales and myths that so beautifully illustrate the stones' magic. So in Writings, you'll also find a link to my article on Gem Lore, which was written for the Endicott Studio for the Mythic Arts. Finally, there's a bibliography of some of my other works, including short fiction and children's books.

I also wanted to give credit to some of the images and books that inspired and fed the story. In Sources you'll find images that sparked parts of the novel. There's also an Annotated Bibliography, listing a number of the books that make up the core of my reference library for the gem novels.

The Stones gives information on some of the stones and the beliefs connected to them that have been woven into A Rumor of Gems.

Journal is a link to my weblog, Gemstone Cowgirl, which deals with stone and gem lore, life in the Sonora, and this strange adventure of having one's first novel out there.

You'll find signings and events listed under News, and links to some of my favorite sites under Links.

Finally, you'll find photos of the main source of the inspiration — the minerals themselves — throughout the site, courtesy of photographer and website designer extraordinaire, Geoffrey Notkin.


Ellen Steiber
Tucson, Arizona


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