Megan's 5 star rated Contemporary Romance

Monday, 21 November 2011

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Nancy Bell is proud Albertan, horsewoman, wife, mother and grandmother. She lives on a farm near Balzac, Alberta with her husband, two horses, a pony, various dogs, cats and whatever else happens to wander into the yard.
Nancy had her first poems and short stories published while still in grade school. She is a regular contributor to Earthsongs ezine, her book of poetry, Through This Door, was released in October 2010.  Laurel’s Miracle (September 2011) is the first in The Cornwall Adventures series, A Step Sideways will release December 2011. The third book is a work in progress.

She enjoys writing poetry and stories, both long and short.
Nancy is an editor with MuseItUp Publishing Inc. 

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 Miracle.
From where do you get inspiration and what inspired you to write (your latest book)?
Laurel’s Miracle came into my life at a time I was struggling with a life changing injury, the germ of the idea came from some research I was doing to keep myself from going stir crazy. I also spent a considerable amount of time in physio therapy at the hospital. A young mother fighting cancer and whose name I don’t know inspired the idea of a child wanting to save her mother from dying. My interest in earth energies and ley lines led me to Cornwall and the Michael and Mary lines which cross southern England from Carn les Boels to Hopton in East Anglia. There is so much legend and lore in that mystical land it was easy to weave it into the story.  
How do you relate to the heroine?
Laurel’s a tough girl, a warrior when she needs to be. All of a writer’s characters are tiny bits of the author revealed through the story.
Who controls the story – you or your characters?
Well, I’d like to think I do. However, the truth is the characters in Laurel’s Miracle woke me up in the middle of the night many times and wouldn’t let me sleep until I got up and wrote down the next leg of the journey. 
What do you hope your readers come away with after reading the book?
A sense of hope, and the idea that the world is not linear as we usually envision it, but a multi-layered experience. Like peeling an onion and revealing layers upon layers, hidden until we uncover them. 
What do you like best and least about writing?
In a word-Revisions. Okay, and the process of tightening the story line. When I write the first draft I just slap it all down. Then comes the hard part, deciding what to keep and what to toss. Often a passage I really love has to go because it is a diversion from the flow of the story. It feels like ripping off a band aid <laughs>  
Anything special you require to keep the creative juices flowing?
Hot tea and music. I listen to a lot of harp and piano instrumental, but also The Travelling Mabels, Corb Lund and Ian Tyson. I’m just a country girl at heart. If I get stuck I take the dogs for a walk across the prairie and let the sky and the wide sweep of prairie inspire me.
What is the best writing advice you have ever received?
Believe in the strength of your words.
What can we look forward to from you in the near future?
I have two other books coming out shortly. A Step Sideways releases December 2, 2011 and my sweet romance, Christmas Storm releases March 2012. The romance is set in southern Alberta, Canada and centres around the prairie town of Longview which is a real place. The dog in Christmas Storm is a bit of a scene stealer and quite the character. This one was a ton of fun to write.
How do you like to spend your free time?
Playing with my horses and gardening. When I’m not writing.
What was your favourite book as a child/teen/adult? Are you currently reading anything?
As a kid my favourite book  was Black Beauty by Anna Sewell and Beyond Rope and Fence by David Grew, along with all Margurite Henry’s horse books- Black Gold, King of the Wind and the Chincoteague books.
Right now I just finished reading A Life Divined, the story of Hamish Miller, the renowned dowser and blacksmith from Cornwall. My favourite author is Charles de Lint, a Canadian author who writes urban fantasy mixed with Celtic mythology.
Any exciting plans for the near future?
My book signing/launch for Laurel’s Miracle is on November 13, 2011 at the Balzac Community Hall here in Alberta. On Oct 22nd I’m signing at the Surrey International Writers Conference in British Columbia. The weekend of November 4 I am attending the first annual MuseItUp Publishing Retreat in Montreal Quebec where a whole herd of us will be involved in a mass book signing at a huge mall.  Plans are under discussion for a signing and launch for A Step Sideways on December 3, 2011 in the Vancouver, B.C. area.  It’s going to be a busy fall.
Laurel sat on Lamorna and gazed across the moor as it ran toward the sea.  It was so much like her beloved Alberta prairie, except the prairie ran to the mountains.  Like the sea, the mountains had a power and life of their own; they were, after all, the bones of the earth.   The pony lowered her nose to the grass and took advantage of her rider’s preoccupation with the country before her.  This is Arthur’s land, she remembered Sarie telling her, echoing what Coll said earlier in the day, but it belonged to itself long before Arthur was born.

                 Laurel liked the idea of that. The country stretching before her seemed to shimmer with a life force which had nothing to do with what humans did or did not do to it.  She tugged gently on the reins and pulled the pony’s head out of grass. The wind coming across the moor from the sea carried music with it. It wasn’t a familiar music, but she seemed to follow the notes all the same.  It was a mixture of old cowboy songs sung around the campfire to keep the night at bay. It carried the shiver of mystery from the ancient stone works dotting the Cornish peninsula.  There was fiddle and harp and drum and guitar and harmonica. The music called up bird song, the voice of the sea, and the bass voice of the rock itself that held up the land. She could hear the reverberating sound of the bells in the lost land of Lyonnesse out past Land’s End.  She could hear words that were somehow inside her head and also part of the wind. The sound vibrated through the pony’s hooves and into Laurel.

          “The land lies dreaming under the sun,
So much different it is,      
So much the same it is.      
All things are one when the day is won.”

“Come and get some grub!” Coll’s voice broke through her reverie.
Laurel slid down from Lamorna’s broad back and led her over to the other ponies.  She removed Lamorna’s bridle, slipped on her head collar and left her with the other ponies to graze. She dropped down onto the grassy turf and took a ham sandwich from the pile Aisling set out. Everyone was silent while they devoured the sandwiches and cookies, which they washed down with sweet tea.
Once they were full, Laurel pulled the little book about the dragon line out of the waistband of her jeans.  She handed it to Coll, who looked at it in surprise.
“Where did you find this?” 
“Ash and I found it yesterday on Sarie’s book shelf.  I read it last night, and I think it confirms what you said about the dragon line cutting across Cornwall. See what you think.”
Coll skimmed through the pages and whistled softly between his teeth.  He handed the book to Gort who took it eagerly.
“It does seem to agree with what we found out yesterday,” Gort said.
“I think so, too,” Coll said.
The group was silent for a time; each following their own line of thinking with regard to the book and the dragon line. 
Finally, Coll got to his feet and stretched. “We should get a move on if we want to be back before dark.” He moved over to the ponies to bridle Arthur.
                The girls collected the bits of litter and the remains of their lunch, stuffing them back into the saddlebags.  In just a few minutes, they were all headed down the track back toward home.  The sun was warm on Laurel’s back making her sleepy.
                “Let’s trot!” She set off at a brisk pace with the wind at her back.  The others followed suit, and soon Laurel forgot about riddles and her mom’s cancer. She soaked in the feel of Lamorna underneath her and the sound of all the ponies’ hooves drumming the soft earth.  The wind lifted her hair and tossed it forward over her face. The ponies’ tails and manes were black streamers ribboning in the shifting currents.
                 She laughed in exhilaration. All the ponies quickened their pace until they were cantering down the track two abreast.  In no time at all, they were at Sarie’s gate and turning down her lane.  Sarie came out of the cottage to meet them as they trooped past the kitchen.
                “I was starting to worry you wouldn’t get home before full dark,” Sarie said as she opened the gate to the pony field for them.
                Laurel glanced at the dusky sky. “We went a little further than we planned.”
BUY links for LAUREL'S MIRACLE:    MuseItUp
This YA fantasy is an ideal Christmas present!
Watch out for Nancy's forthcoming release A Step Sideways. Isn't the cover terrific?
Visit Nancy's webpage 
You can find her on Facebook at
Read the great review on Goodreads 
and follow her on twitter: @emilypikkasso
$1.00 from each copy of Laurel’s Miracle sold between September 30, 2011 and December 31, 2011 will be donated to Dare to Dream Horse Rescue in Dalemead, Alberta
A big thank you, Nancy, for sharing with us today. It's a pleasure to host you and I wish you great success with both Laurel's Miracle and A Step Sideways.


  1. Hi, Nancy and Megan. Your book sounds intriguing. Will have to look into it. Waving from not yet November cold Missouri.
    Pat Dale

  2. This sounds like a wonderful book. I can't wait to read it.

  3. Lovely interview. I wish you much success with your books Nancy

  4. Great interview Nancy! I love how you described our experience here on earth, multilayered like an onion. I agree and can't wait to see the next depths and levels to come:)

    Hugs, Sara

  5. Nancy, I love your strong characters...sort of like the author herself. *smile*
    Congratulations on Laura's sounds like a feel-good story, deep-hearted.
    More hugs,

  6. What a great interview Ladies, and Nancy that's a fabulous book cover. Best wishes with A Step Sideways.

  7. Thanks for sharing with us, Nancy. I look forward to seeing A Step Sideways and I agree with Sherry it is a fabulous book cover!