The Jewel means wealth. The Jewel means beauty. The Jewel means royalty. But for girls like Violet, the Jewel means servitude. Not just any kind of servitude. Violet, born and raised in the Marsh, has been trained as a surrogate for the royalty—because in the Jewel the only thing more important than opulence is offspring.
Purchased at the surrogacy auction by the Duchess of the Lake and greeted with a slap to the face, Violet (now known only as #197) quickly learns of the brutal truths that lie beneath the Jewel’s glittering facade: the cruelty, backstabbing, and hidden violence that have become the royal way of life.
Violet must accept the ugly realities of her existence... and try to stay alive. But then a forbidden romance erupts between Violet and a handsome gentleman hired as a companion to the Duchess’s petulant niece. Though his presence makes life in the Jewel a bit brighter, the consequences of their illicit relationship will cost them both more than they bargained for.
The BFG by Roald Dahl
The Vampire Diaries or anything Law and Order
The Lord of the Rings trilogy (I know that’s technically three movies so if I had to pick I’d say the Fellowship of the Ring. But it’s so hard to choose!)
Skinny Love, but the Birdy version (not the Bon Iver one).
Cheese. Any kind of cheese.
Ah, do I have to choose only one? Ok, I’ll say Stefan from The Vampire Diaries, because Paul Wesley is who I (physically) based the character of Ash on.
“I do not wish to expiate but to live. My life is not an apology but a life.” Ralph Waldo Emerson, Essay on Self Reliance
Harry Potter. Books by Rainbow Rowell. The Vampire Diaries. Anything Loki-related. Anything Peeta-related. Anything—ok, I’ll stop now.
Again, unfair! I would like to say Roald Dahl, but I think he would be a real jerk to hang out with. And Tolkien could potentially be super boring, like one of those history professors who make an interesting event sound dull. So I’ll go with J.K. Rowling. Oh, and she’s alive too! A girl can dream…
Hi! As Book Addicts, I assume you are all amazing people. I’m so thrilled to be here. Keep reading!
The Jewel is about a city where young girls are auctioned off as surrogates to royal women who can no longer have children on their own. That’s what I always say when someone asks what the book is about. To add to that, it’s a book that combines beauty and cruelty—the Jewel is a glamorous, luxurious place, but the surrogates are abused, humiliated, and treated as property. It’s a book about choice, and how important it is to have the freedom to decide what happens to your own body. And it’s about friendship and forbidden love.
I definitely had to research IVF, which wasn’t crazy, but very interesting. There was a lot of research for the names too, since every circle in the city names its children according to certain rules. I did a lot of research for different names of colors for the Marsh and different gemstones for the Jewel.
Kind, brave, compassionate, talented and stubborn.
The Auction itself was so much fun to write because it’s so heightened, so emotionally charged, and all Violet can do is stand there and watch it happen. And I love the scene where Violet and Ash meet for the first time.
Oh, hands down the funeral scene. I still sort of hate that scene because it was so hard. There were all these people there, there was so much happening, and I wanted to make sure everything was clear to the reader while also maintaining Violet’s emotional state. It took me forever to write.
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Amy Ewing is the young adult author of THE JEWEL, the first in a trilogy from HarperTeen, coming out September 2014.
She grew up in a small town outside Boston, where her librarian mother instilled a deep love of reading at a young age. Amy moved to New York City in 2000 to study theater at New York University. Unfortunately, her acting career didn’t quite pan out. She worked in restaurants, as an administrative assistant, a nanny, and a sales representative for a wine distributor before the lack of creativity in her life drove her to begin writing.
Amy received her MFA in Creative Writing for Children from The New School, where she was lucky enough to meet a fabulous community of YA writers who keep her sane on a daily basis. She lives in Harlem, where she spends her days writing, eating cheese, and occasionally binge watching The Vampire Diaries.
Win (1) of (3) copies of The Jewel (Us Only)