Author * Speaker * Editor

Excellent storytelling, accurate historical reporting, and gritty, persevering characters

The Story behind A Beauty Refined by Tracie Peterson

I am so thrilled to be welcoming Tracie Peterson today. I’ve read many of her books and had the privilege of meeting her several years ago. She has a new release, A Beauty Refined with an interesting story behind it. Here’s a little bit about the book.

A Beauty Refined (518x800)What Does It Take to Reveal the True Beauty of a Hidden Gem?

Phoebe Von Bergen, the daughter of a German count, is excited to visit America for the first time while her father purchases sapphires in Helena, Montana. Little does she know, however, that her father’s intentions–both for her and the gemstones–are not what she thinks.

Ian Harper, a lapidary working in Helena, finds the dignified young woman staying at the Broadwater Hotel more than a little intriguing. Yet the more he gets to know her, the more he realizes that her family story is based on a lie–a lie she has no knowledge of. And Ian believes he knows the only path that will lead her to freedom.

Meeting Ian has changed everything for Phoebe, and she begins to consider staying in America, regardless of her father’s plans. But she may not be prepared for the unexpected danger that results when her family’s deception begins to unravel.

As always, Tracie, that sounds amazing. And what a unique profession for the hero. What inspired you to write A Beauty Refined?

A BEAUTY REFINED is the second book in the Sapphire Bride series. Each book stands alone and only has Yogo sapphires and Montana in common.  Living in Montana I often heard about the Yogo sapphires and thought it would be interesting to learn about them. Yogos are unique to Montana and their history is fascinating. Miners who were panning for gold kept finding these pesky blue rocks clogging up their sluices. Finally, one of the men sent a shoebox full of these stones to a friend who in turn put them in the hands of Tiffany’s in New York.  It resulted in a check for over $3,000 and introduced the world to Yogo sapphires. As I researched the history, the stories just seemed to pop out. I wanted to show a lapidary in A BEAUTY REFINED and correlate how we as Christians go through a refining process so that, like a gem stone, we can better reflect the light and show our true beauty.  I dug in and researched lapidaries and talked with some wonderful folks who cut and refine Yogos for a living. Added to this, I learned about the Broadwater Hotel and Natatorium in Helena, MT. It’s long gone now, but was created to be a luxurious spa that would bring royalty and the wealthy. The Natatorium boasted a 100’x300’ swimming pool with a 40 ft. waterfall at one end. It was heated by underground hot springs and was supposed to have healing properties.  The hotel was appointed with beautiful linen and china, each room had a bathroom which was quite unusual for that time period and location, and there were glorious stained glass windows throughout. Unfortunately, no one really thought about how hard it was to get to Helena, MT in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s and so the place failed. However, while it was here, it was an amazing retreat and I wanted very much to introduce the reader to it.  Another part of the story deals with the Yogos being substituted for what was considered the prize sapphires of the day – those from Burma and Ceylon. As the Yogos increased in popularity due to their unique quality of not needing to be heat treated to bring out their brilliant color, the situation reversed and the wealthy found themselves wanting Yogos instead.  All of this came together to help me create A BEAUTY REFINED.

Thanks, Tracie. That is fascinating. The hotel sounds amazing! If you’d like to win a copy of her book, please keep reading a little further for instructions.

TraciePeterson444 (1)Tracie Peterson is the best-selling, award winning author of over 100 books.  Her work in historical romance garnered her the Best Western Romance Author of 2013 by True West Magazine. She was given the Life Time Achievement Award from American Christian Fiction Writers in 2011 and the Career Achievement Award in 2007 from Romantic Times, as well as multiple best book awards.
Tracie has been married to Jim for over 35 years and enjoys working with him on historical research for each of her books.  They make their home in the mountains of Montana. They have three grown children and three grandchildren. They also have an adopted family in Africa that has given them another seven grandchildren – two of whom were named for Tracie and Jim.

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Thanks again for joining us, Tracie! It’s been very informative 🙂


  1. Very much enjoy Tracie’s books and many have read more than once! Which is my favorite gemstone is a difficult question – but since I have a small sapphire ring I guess that tells the story as to my favorite!

  2. Enjoyed the interview and the books sounds like a really good one that I would enjoy.

  3. I think the blue sapphire is beautiful. My favorite color is blue also. This sounds like a book I would enjoy reading.

  4. I like sapphires. Looking forward to reading this new book.

  5. Pearls are my favorite gemstones. They’re unique and go with anything.

  6. Sapphires. My mother had a star sapphire engagement ring that I loved. Thanks for the chance.

  7. I don’t really have a favorite gemstone. Never really thought about it 🙂
    Garnet is my birth stone and turquoise has always been the 2 I notice most.

  8. My favorite gemstone is Peridot. My birthstone! Thanks for the opportunity to win!

  9. My favorite gemstone is the Emerald, which is also my birthstone. Green is also one of my favorite colors.

  10. Amethyst. It’s my favorite color and my birthstone. I love Tracie’s book and I can’t wait to read this one!

  11. Blue sapphires are my favorite gemstones! Love them!

  12. Emerald is my favorite gemstone. It is also my birthstone. I LOVE green.

    Tracie is a new-to-me author. This series sounds wonderful. Thank you for the chance. 🙂