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A Jewel of a Rainbow

IN THE February 24 ISSUE

FROM THE 2021 Articles,
andMysteryrat's Maze
SECTIONS

by Ellen Byron

Details at the end of the post on how to enter to win a Long Island Iced Tina by Maria DiRico aka Ellen Byron, and a link to order it from Amazon and an indie bookstore.

I’m a relatively simple gal. Most of my wardrobe comes from Target and a local shop where nothing seems to cost over forty dollars. I’ve never coveted fancy stuff. Then one day I walked into a local jewelry store to ask if they’d donate to my kid’s elementary school silent auction and I saw… it. A slim bracelet made of sapphires in a variety of colors arranged by shade like a rainbow. I. Fell. In. Love.

The shop owner explained that the stunning piece of jewelry was called a rainbow tennis bracelet. On the high end, like the piece I was admiring, they feature sapphires because it’s a stone that comes in many colors. The bracelet’s price tag of four thousand dollars put it waaaaaay out of my price range. But it launched me on a search for a version I might be able to afford.

I discovered that less expensive versions of the bracelet are made from topaz, another stone that can be found in a variety of hues. Those bracelets were also too rich for my blood, so I continued the hunt. I came across versions made of crystal, some lovely, some cheap-looking. Even the best of them lacked the sparkle and shading of the original bracelet that inspired me, so eventually I gave up the search. Then I began writing Long Island Iced Tina, my new Catering Hall Mystery. I needed something that would help create the image of a flashy, competitive second wife with a mysterious source of income. And I recalled the gorgeous rainbow bracelet that had won my heart years earlier. To really sell the woman’s extravagant nature, I gave her not one but an armful of the bracelets. I also imbued Mia, my protagonist, with my own lust for one.

About a year ago, while waiting for a dance class to start at my gym, I told this story to a friend I’d made in class. Hope, a talented performer and writer, is a jewelry savant. But the term “rainbow bracelet” was new to her. I described it in a general sense, and she said, “I think I have one.” When we met for class the following week, she handed me a small gauze bag. Inside was a lovely, very unique rainbow bracelet. “It’s for you,” she said. “I never wear it.” I was so touched by Hope’s generosity, I almost burst into tears.

I wanted to wear Hope’s bracelet to every convention and conference I attended this year but Covid derailed my plan. Instead, I take it out sometimes just to admire its beauty. I may not have bought the bracelet I coveted ten years ago in the jewelry store, but that lovely rainbow of sapphires inspired both a story beat and a gift I’ll always treasure.

Readers, have you ever fallen in love with something you know you’ll never own? Comment to be entered to win a copy of Long Island Iced Tina, or simply enter by emailing KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “tea,”. A winner will be chosen March 6, 2021. U.S. residents only and you must be 18 or older to enter. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. Be sure to check out our new mystery podcast too with mystery short stories, and first chapters read by local actors. A new episode just went up.

You can use this link to purchase this book from indie bookstore Mysterious Galaxy, and KRL gets a portion of the sale:

You can use this link to order this book from Amazon. If you have ad blocker on you may not see the link:

Ellen’s Cajun Country Mysteries have won the Agatha award for Best Contemporary Novel and multiple Lefty awards for Best Humorous Mystery. She writes the Catering Hall Mystery series, which are inspired by her real life, under the name Maria DiRico. Ellen is an award-winning playwright, and non-award-winning TV writer of comedies like WINGS, JUST SHOOT ME, and FAIRLY ODD PARENTS. She has written over two hundred articles for national magazines but considers her most impressive credit working as a cater-waiter for Martha Stewart. You can learn more on her website.

Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Mary Holshouser February 25, 2021 at 8:16am

So called you ended up with your bracelet.
My dream is to go to Australia. I know
it will never happen – takes so long to
get there, my age pretty much precludes
an exhausting trip like that now, and I
don’t have a traveling companion.
would love to read the book.
thanks. txmlhl(at)yahoo(dot)com

Reply

2 Maria DiRico (also Ellen Byron)
Twitter: @ellenbyronla
February 25, 2021 at 11:08am

I’ve been there! It’s beautiful. I also loved New Zealand. I hope you get to live your dream, Mary.

Reply

3 Ellen Byron and Maria DiRico
Twitter: @ellenbyronla
February 25, 2021 at 5:21pm

Mary, I tried responding but I don’t think it went through. Thank you and I hope you do get to Australia. It’s a beautiful country. I spent three weeks there and loved it.

Reply

4 Glen Davis February 25, 2021 at 10:37am

How lucky!

I’ve never really found anything I just had to have, but there’s always tomorrow!

Count me in the drawing.

Reply

5 Ellen Byron and Maria DiRico
Twitter: @ellenbyronla
February 27, 2021 at 11:19am

Good luck, Glen!

Reply

6 Alicia February 25, 2021 at 3:04pm

Cute bracelet! There’s a ton of traveling I’d like to do, but I don’t know that I’ll ever have the money to get there.

Reply

7 Ellen Byron and Maria DiRico
Twitter: @ellenbyronla
February 27, 2021 at 11:20am

I hope you get that $$! And glad you like the bracelet.

Reply

8 Dianne Casey February 25, 2021 at 4:23pm

I’m sure there are plenty of things I feel in love with but knew I would never own,.I just can’t think of any right now.

Reply

9 Sue Stoner
Twitter: @Sue
February 25, 2021 at 4:25pm

Yes, I fell in love with a house. LOL, yes, I’m slightly pathetic. It was for sale a few years ago, with lots of pictures online. I drive by it every now and then, just to look at it.

Reply

10 Ellen Byron and Maria DiRico
Twitter: @ellenbyronla
February 27, 2021 at 11:22am

I do that on Zillow!

Reply

11 Sherry Brown February 26, 2021 at 7:16am

Beautiful bracelet and beautiful story! Such a wonderful gift to receive.
I love the book cover ! Thank you for the chance to win this wonderful giveaway!

Reply

12 Ellen Byron and Maria DiRico
Twitter: @ellenbyronla
February 26, 2021 at 5:45pm

Mary, I tried responding a couple of times. I hope you get this. And I hope you get to Australia. I loved it.

Reply

13 Sherry Brown February 26, 2021 at 8:51pm

The bracelet is beautiful!!!
The book sounds great and I love the book cover!
Thank you for the chance to win!!?

Reply

14 Ellen Byron and Maria DiRico
Twitter: @ellenbyronla
February 27, 2021 at 11:22am

Good luck!

Reply

15 Joy I February 27, 2021 at 10:36am

I always wanted to own a fancy Cadillac. Never going to happen-my husband is a believer driving Ford cars.

Reply

16 Donamae February 27, 2021 at 7:18pm

Happy you finally got a rainbow bracelet! Your book sounds interesting and fun to read. hope to read it very soon. I enjoy your other series. The Cajun one. Thank you for the chance I wanted a baby and it took me 4 times before I did. ?

Reply

17 Jaime Minter
Twitter: @schnappy2
March 4, 2021 at 8:17am

I’ve seen a few houses that I fell in love with and wanted but didn’t get to own. JL_Minter(at)hotmail(dot)com

Reply

18 Linda Leonard March 5, 2021 at 6:03pm

What a lovely, thoughtful gift. I once saw a print (unframed) of an elephant charging out of the brush. It was mainly a head shot, but so real. I couldn’t afford it at the time and have researched elephant prints to see if I could find it – to no avail. I know I’ll probably never find it, but I’ve never forgotten the image.

Reply

19 Lorie
Twitter: @mysteryrat
March 8, 2021 at 12:49pm

We have a winner!

Reply

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