As mentioned in the backmatter of Secret Blend, the name for Old Garnet came to me because it simply sounded like a bourbon. I also happen to like garnets, with their deep, almost bluish red color they possess. I do have several pieces of garnet jewelry, all of them acquired before I even thought of the Bourbon Springs Series.

The word’s origin derives from granatum, latin for seed, and further derived specifically from  the appearance of pomegranate pips or seeds.


Antique pomegranate print

Antique pomegranate print; note the seeds in the cross-section image in the lower left corner

Strangely enough, when I was in Louisville in November 2015 to see the Prohibition Exhibition at the Frazier Museum, just across and down the street a little I saw an entire limo dedicated to the glory of the pomegranate. This was parked in front of 21C, a hotel. Affixed to the surface of the vehicle were small red jewel-like red discs; I wish I could’ve caught a picture of this thing in the full sun.

2015-11-11 10.52.58


2015-11-11 10.53.12

Yep, that’s a pomegranate

As a birthstone, the garnet can symbolize many things. For me, the most important concept the stone represents is a crucial theme throughout the Bourbon Springs Series.


When I think of that trait, I think of the Bourbon Springs characters, and how they are loyal to each other and their home. Home, and a sense of community and purpose found in a place and with particular people,  is a recurring idea in the books.