Carn les Boel Michael and Mary Node

In September of 2013 I travelled to Cornwall and Glastonbury to visit some of the places that featured so prominently in Laurel`s Miracle. It was a magical journey. I got to stand on the node point at Carn les Boel where the Michael and Mary lines come to shore in Cornwall from their journey across the Atlantic from Brittany France. Foggy windy day, but still wonderful. Thanks to John Watts who guided us. I climbed the Tor on a windy evening as the sun was setting and came down in the darkness. Magic! Was lucky enough to spend some time in Chalice Well Gardens and wade in the pool in King Arthur`s Court. We visited the Men an Tol and Lanyon Quoit, spent some time wandering about Penzance, Newlyn and Mousehole (prounounced mouzel). I stood on the headland at Lands End and looked down into Sennen Cove after a short walk on a well maintained path through the heather and gorse. There is nice B&B in Glastonbury that is on the shoulder of the Tor and overlooks Chalice Well Gardens. You can hear the waters of the Red Spring and the White Spring(the White Spring is just up the lane a few steps from the B&B) Dion Fortune, the spiritual author used to live in the house that is now the B&B. Lovely place, we enjoyed it very much. Sitting out on the patio under the magnificent spreading beech tree listening to the voice of the springs and watching people come to fill vessels with water from the outlets into Well House Lane. Berachah B&B is lovely.    It was wonderful to walk the land and enjoy the energies. St Michael`s Mount was also a wonderful day. We walked out the cobblestone path and came back over the sandy expanse of the bay floor as the tide was coming in.        

Laurel's Miracle under it's new title of Laurel's Quest will be available in the fall of 2014 from Books We Love with a new cover and updated text. 

 

Have you ever wondered how you would handle it if  your mom was terminally ill?  What if you were sent to stay with people you didn't even know in another country because your father was at the hospital all day and night?

 

Laurel is faced with both of these realities, what she really wants is a miracle.  She wants her mom to be cured of cancer. 

 

Join Laurel as she searches for her miracle amidst the magic of the Cornish countryside.  She is aided by her new friends Coll, Gort and Aisling and helped along in her quest by the creatures of legend and myth.  Vear Du, the Selkie, Gwin Scawen, the Cornish Piskie, Belerion the fire salamander, Morgawr the flying sea serpent who does Vear Du a favour, and Cormoran, the last giant of Cornwall.  They must battle the odds in the form of bullies and confusing clues. Will they emerge victorious?  Will Laurel have the courage to solve the riddle and make her miracle a reality? 

Find the answers in the pages of Laurel's Quest.


Gort and GogMagog, from Laurel's Miracle, are back along with Aisling. Gort's Uncle Daniel makes a cameo appearance and is the catalyst that sends Gort and GogMagog into the alternate reality of the land before the flood inundated Lyonesse.

 

 Gort and GogMagog team up with King Arthur and the boys to rescue Aisling from the clutches of March, King of Cornwall and Lyonesse. Gort and his crystal stallion GogMagog, who is known as Ailim (silver fir), are swept into the magical land of  Lyoness and find they are one of Arthur's men, Gort is confused to be called Gawain, but gets over it quickly when he realizes that Aisling is the maiden that March has abducted.

 

Gort/Gawain concentrate on deciding how best to save Lady Aisling.They have to breach the fortifications of King March's Castle Arbray to save Aisling. Gort as Gawain and Aisling as the Lady Nuina are older in this tale and have the chance to experience a more mature relationship than the one they have in Laurel's Miracle. And of course it all comes right in the end. It's a rollicking good adventure!

 

Excerpt from A Step Sideways

 

Whoever it was that had him by the back of the neck lifted Gort off his feet and dragged and half carried him into a dark narrow lane. Gort tried to get his teeth into the hand that dug cruelly into his face, he was rewarded by a hard shake and a blow that set his ears ringing and bright lights dancing across his vision. It was full dark now and Gort couldn’t see where he was and his head was hurting so much he couldn’t see straight anyway. After what seemed like forever his captor set him on his feet and twisted his arms painfully behind his back. The man secured Gort’s wrists with a thick zip tie and then spun him around to face him. Gort narrowed his eyes trying to make out the man’s features, the light was behind the man and Gort only saw his silhouette against the light. Then the man spoke and Gort knew that his worst nightmare had come true.


“Ya young whelp, who do you think you are kissing the daughter of that trollop, right in the lane. It’s a good thing it is that I’ve come back to keep you in line,” Uncle Daniel’s whiskey roughened voice cut Gort as surely as a knife.
Gort forced himself to open his mouth to say something, anything. But nothing came out, just a faint croaking, like a squashed frog, which was pretty much what Gort felt like at the moment. Daniel’s yellowed teeth glinted in the bit of light that filtered into the shed. Gort fought to control the tremors that threatened to unlock his knees and drop him to the ground at Daniel’s feet. He knew where he was now, this was the shed behind Daniel’s house. He was just two streets over from Emily’s house, but it might as well have been miles. Gort made himself look up and meet Daniel’s drunken gaze, his heart shrunk in his chest at the anger he saw in Daniel’s eyes.


He’s going to put me in the cupboard, I can’t go in the cupboard, I won’t.

Gort shifted his feet and stood up a little straighter. Daniel narrowed his eyes at Gort’s show of defiance.
“Don’t look at me like that, boy,” Uncle Daniel snarled and took a quick step toward Gort.
Gort refused to step backward away from him and at any rate he knew from past experience that such a move would only make his uncle more belligerent. So he stood his ground and hoped that Coll would come looking for him soon. In answer to his prayers, Gort heard Coll’s voice hollering for him. Daniel looked over his shoulder at the sound of Coll’s voice and Gort took the chance and bolted for the door. Uncle Daniel swung back and lifted Gort off his feet by the collar of his jacket. Gort hung there in front of Daniel’s enraged face, his feet dangling a foot off the ground. His throat worked as Gort tried to draw air into his lungs. Daniel’s thin lips drew back from his teeth, his whiskey laden breath made Gort gag even more than the restricting collar of his coat.

 

Daniel whacked Gort hard across the face, his fingers leaving white stripes on Gort’s already pale face. Gort tried not to let the tears leave his eyes, but Daniel’s next blow knocked all his good intentions out the window. Gort lost count of the number times Uncle Daniel hit him in the face, his eyes refused to focus and his face felt numb from the hard slaps. Uncle Daniel threw him against the wall of the shed and then kneeled on Gort’s legs when he slid to the ground. Gort didn’t know how long Uncle Daniel beat on him, his body was one great pain and still Daniel continued to land blows on his head and his stomach and his back when Gort tried to curl up and protect his head.
“Set the law on me will you. Get some fancy lawyer to take away the money that’s rightfully mine and give it to that auld biddy Emily.” Uncle Daniel punctuated each accusation with another blow.


Gort finally just let himself slip into the comforting darkness where Uncle Daniel and the pain in his body couldn’t follow him. Safe in the encompassing darkness Gort reached up his searching hand and found his fingers entangled in the crystal strands of GogMagog’s mane.
“Thank the gods, you’re here Gog,” Gort’s voice trembled and he choked on his tears.
“I would have come sooner, but I was a long ways away,” Gog’s warm breath sent hope and strength coursing through Gort’s cold body.


“Come with me for awhile, leave what is for a time and travel with me to what was once,” GogMagog entreated Gort.
“Lead me to it,” Gort staggered to his feet and leaned on the warm crystalline shoulder of the great stallion. Without a backward glance Gort walked away from the pathetic heap of clothes and blood that Uncle Daniel was still beating on.
The farther Gort walked away from the dank little shed and Uncle Daniel’s rage the better he felt. The pain faded from his limbs and strength flowed outward from the warmth that grew in his chest. GogMagog, the great crystal stallion whose home was the caverns under the Glastonbury Tor, paced beside him. Rainbows of light flickered around the stallion and encompassed Gort in their radiance as well. Gort’s steps became firmer and steadier as a golden peace flowed through him. Gort felt his back straighten and a smile broke across his face when Gog curved his huge head back toward him and lipped his ear.


The darkness grew opaque and finally faded into a pearly grey, a diffuse nebulous light filled the sky above Gort. He tipped his head back and was startled to see the ghostly shape of gulls winging through the mist. The stallion stopped and shook the moisture from his sleek body, Gort laid his hand on the thick neck and then pulled his hand back quickly and held if in front of his eyes. Slowly, Gort waggled his fingers and looked in amazement as the large callused hand in front of him flexed its fingers. He turned and looked GogMagog in the eye and was further amazed that he could look him straight in the eye without looking up.


“What happened to me,” Gort’s voice sounded two tones deeper than he remembered.
“You are as you were once,” GogMagog said solemnly.


“Who am I supposed to be, though,” Gort fought down the panic rising in his throat.


“You are who you have always been,” Gog touched Gort gently with his muzzle.

 

Laurel's Quest has just been awarded a 5 Star review from Readers Favorite! 

Another great review for Laurel's Miracle-Feb 21, 2013

Follow the link and please feel free to leave a comment.

http://ladybug-lins-reviews.blogspot.ca/2013/02/laurels-miracle-by-nancy-marie-bell.html?spref=fb



Five Star Review for Laurel's Miracle

Posted on Barnes and Noble by saharad 

***** Cornish myths, legends, and magic make this a lovely coming of age story!

With a myriad of  myths, legends and magic, this story of a young girl's quest to save her mother's life is fresh, original and was a joy to readk! Finding herself in a new and unfamiliar place (Cornwall, UK), Laurel must not only solve a series of riddles steeped in Cornish legend, but she must find the courage to face an ancient magic that is quite beyond her imagination. Laurel quickly bonds with an unlikely trio, Coll, Aisling and Gort, and together they work hard to unravel the mystifying clues set before them, while meeting some most interesting characters along the way. Adding a deeper layer to this tale is the modern day difficulities each of the foursom face within their own daily lives, including prejudice, abuse and bullies. Laurel and her friends slowly discover their inner strengths which will ultimately transcend them beyond each of their fears. Once again Ms Bell has rendered the imagery of her setting beautifully, and furthermore, I was literally spellbound by the smashing climax and finish! Bravo! 

 

 

Laurel’s Miracle excerpt

There was a luminous glow on the horizon heralding the coming of the moon when Laurel slid down from Lamorna’s back.  Around her she could hear the rest of them dismounting as well.  It was hard to make anything out clearly, the mist was thickening and the sky was still lit only by the stars.  The glow on the horizon strengthened while they removed the tack from the ponies.  The ponies wouldn’t stray far from where they were and Laurel knew that Sarie and Emily would come and fetch them if Laurel and her friends didn’t come back.  Laurel still hadn’t figured out how to leave the rest of them behind yet.  At the moment she was too freaking scared to think about anything except her mom.   Aisling appeared out of the mist on her left and Coll and Gort came up on the right.

            “Right then, it’s time,” Coll said.

            Holding hands the four friends walked into the mist towards the low stones.  Laurel could feel Coll’s hand shaking in hers.  She tightened her fingers around his, as much to keep her own from shaking as to comfort Coll.  The rise that the Men an Tol stood on was clear of mist as they arrived, around them the mist formed a circle that rose high above their heads.  Above them the sky was clear and bright.  Aisling checked her watch again.  It was hard to see the horizon for the thick mist, but mist or no, the moon was beginning to rise.

            “I think you should start now, Laurel,” Aisling said softly.  She hugged Laurel tightly.  “Good luck, you,” she whispered.

            Laurel closed her fingers around Vear Du’s talisman and sent a prayer out into the night.  This has to work, it has to make mom get better I don’t care what it costs me.

Laurel smiled at Gort and Coll before she squatted down in front of the hole and peered through.

            “Does it matter which way I go through?”  Laurel asked Aisling.

            “Go sunwise, east to west, I think.” Aisling was worried. Why didn’t we think to ask that particular question before now?

            “Okay, here goes nothing!”  Laurel tried to joke, but her voice broke.

            Before she could chicken out and run screaming into the mist, Laurel stuck her head through the hole.  She wriggled through and landed in a heap on the dirt and grass on the other side.  Nothing felt any different, nothing looked any different.  Well maybe the mist was a little thicker and beginning to glow as the moon started to peep over the horizon.  Laurel repeated the process while Coll, Gort and Aisling watched anxiously.  Coll was seriously creeped out and wished that he had borrowed Old Joseph’s blackthorn cane.  Gort trembled and fought back his dinner that kept rising in his throat.  Aisling watched the hole intently and monitored the growing light of the rising moon.

            “One more time, Laurel, this is the ninth time through,” Aisling said encouragingly.

 

Laurel Rowan is determined to find her estranged grandmother. She wants answers to some questions she has after her visit to Cornwall. Laurel needs to know why her father is so angry with Gramma Bella. Arriving in the hamlet of Bragg Creek, Alberta, Laurel is disappointed to find the person she is seeking isn’t at home. A Christmas visit to her friends in Cornwall seems like a good idea, after all that’s where all the questions started. What she finds there is both exciting and disturbing and sends Laurel and her group of friends off on another adventure over the windswept moors and down the narrow winding streets of Cornish villages. The biggest question is: Where is Gramma Bella and what does Vear Du know about it?  

 

 

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