• About Elizabeth

Elizabeth has lived with diamonds, wildfires, and miracles. The Graduate Gemologist and communication specialist speaks to hundreds of people about adventures with heart. From South Sea pearls to South American emeralds, her work in gemology and writing have brought exciting travels.

But life is rarely all sparkle. Elizabeth lost more than rare stones or Faberge eggs as a wildfire survivor. Her family lost everything, save what the fire fighters put outside as a remnant. Determined to thrive, rather than just get by, now she spots potential as much as she finds inclusions in her microscope. Her creative eye and stories help others rise above circumstances, finding hope and courage. Using her background with gemology, ten years in corporate marketing and public relations, and youth ministry, Elizabeth explores current topics full of depth and intrigue for tweens and teens. She also speaks and blogs for adults and kids on living a diamond-resilient life.

You can see a list of her appearances and recent publications HERE
Elizabeth is a graduate of the Craftsman writing residency through the Christian Writers Guild, and holds a degree in journalism/public relations and minor in marketing and English from Baylor University. Previously, she worked several years in marketing, corporate writing, and public relations with Ernst & Young and tech companies. She also holds degrees in graduate gemology, graduate diamonds, and graduate colored stones from the Gemological Institute of America. She worked in the jewelry business for several years doing appraisals, a tad of designing, and selling fine jewelry.

Middle Grade author and gemologist Elizabeth Van Tassel with quartz gems.

Elizabeth's Favorites

  • Jazz from the 1940s through modern Jazz, all the Michael Bublé, lots of 1980s music, and I’m partial to The Power of Love since I was babysitting for Huey Lewis’s kids during that time!
  • Middle grade authors— I love reading fantasy, mystery, and adventures. Shannon Messenger, Neal Shusterman and Eric Elfman, Ted Bell, Polly Shulman, S.E. Grove, Ally Carter, and so many more.
  • Love C.S. Lewis—I got to study abroad with a special program in England reading all of C.S. Lewis’ fiction and nonfiction. I’ve seen where he was married and is buried, and my favorite—where he first had the idea of the character Aslan.
  • Avid reader of young adult authors, like Sara Ella, Mary Weber, Lorie Langdon and Casey Corp, Marissa Meyer, Morgan Busse, Nadine Brandes, and more. You can see some of my recent reviews HERE (points to book reviews) and even articles and YouTube video reviews HERE too.
  • Vacation spots—I love Hawaii and the coastal areas of California. I enjoy museums and historic homes, especially imagining what it was like to live there and what might happen if the furniture or walls could talk. I visited Engelberg, Switzerland twice—it means “mountain home to the angels” and is just so special. I hope to go there again someday. Or I may need to set a story there to visit in my mind.
  • Movies—Since I love mysteries, adventures, and fantasy some favorites are Wonder Woman, the Marvel movies (I have boys, so I’ve seen them all!), Indiana Jones, Mission Impossible, Narnia, Disney films like Moana, Frozen, etc.