The Butterfly Stone – Review


Laurie Bell’s debut young adult fantasy novel is a treat on so many levels. First off, it’s great fun – a rollicking ride that is a definite page turner with loveable characters (and some distinctly original and scary villains too…) and a plot that comes at you like a fast train, gathering you up and taking you along for a fantastic ride.

But it’s more than just that. Laurie has weaved a very original mythology that guides this novel and will provide a very intriguing through-line for future novels in the series (of which I hope there will be many). And she’s layered this with almost a political under-current – an acute understanding of what it is to be different in a society distrustful of difference.

In this her fantasy novel elevates to something more – an allegory of human nature and the very real need for diversity matched with an equally real difficulty in getting the broader group (or society) to support it. It’s very cool when a fun fantasy novel also makes you stop and think and reflect on your own attitudes to those who are different in some way. It’s a great message for the young audience the book is primarily aimed at, but it was equally compelling to this much more mature reader! And really, the writing is great and the themes universal, so this is truly a book for all ages (the young and the – hopefully still – young at heart)

Laurie’s heroine, Tracey Masters, is a magical girl in a world that doesn’t fully accept or trust magic, and she doesn’t fully understand or accept her own power either as it grows – often quite outside her own control and choice – through the story. It’s a lot for a fifteen year old to handle, on top of school and her burgeoning desire to be a private detective. Throw in school bullies, unrequited (possibly?) crushes, great loyal friends and a boisterous, very believable family and you’ve got a recipe for a rich story indeed.

Then meet The Shadowman and…well..just read chapter two for one of the most chilling and tension filled introductions to a ‘scary monster’ you’re likely to read anywhere…

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and would recommend it to all. Actually – I’m going to put this out there – I have a ‘feeling’ about this book. I think this series and its author are destined for great things. The story is about magic, but the book itself is magic. There’s just something about it….do yourself a favour and get your copy now.

Be one of the first to know…and believe.

Helen Valentina.

Posted in Prose | Tagged , , , , , , , | 7 Comments



Image credit: Zwiebackesser/

And he said rejoice
Great tidings do I bring
A prophecy
An offering
And music heralded across the sky
One time
One long, long time ago

Now he plays on city streets
He cries rejoice
To every stranger that he meets
A broken wing
As his music heralds across the sky
Here now
In this moment now

And might we recognise
This moment to rejoice?
His prophecy
Full circle comes
As music heralding across the sky
At last
At long long last

And he said rejoice
Great tidings do I bring
A prophecy
An offering
And music heralds across the sky
At last, at last again

(c ) Helen Valentina 2018

Posted in Air, Poetry | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

The Butterfly Stone – Out Now

Woo Hoo! Laurie Bell’s debut young adult novel is out now! Believe the magic! Get your copy today!!

Rambles, writing and amusing musings


Beware! Something is after Tracey Masters, a Mage-kind teen in a mostly non-magical world—a world where people like Tracey are often feared, and oppressed. Add to this stress a crazy family life, the schizo pressures of school, friends, and bullies, and working a boring job as an assistant at her uncle’s detective agency for magical types, and life is not just hard, it’s chaos! That is, until a mysterious woman walks through the door with a case about a missing necklace known as the Butterfly Stone.

The case seems to be the big break Tracey is looking for to prove herself, and her abilities as Mage-kind. But she unexpectedly finds herself dangerously connected to it when the evidence takes a turn that reveals secrets from Tracey’s past, and places her friends and family in mortal danger.

She also discovers that she’s being hunted by…

View original post 104 more words

Posted in Poetry | Leave a comment



Image credit: Evgeny Smolsky/

I always return to you
In the end
Steadfast you wait
Patient and calm
You know how I am
Wanderer in my soul
But I always return
To you

I know I came from you
At the start
You are my kin
Under scale and skin
But you know how I am
Independence’s child
Still I know that I came
From you

I’ll always return to you
At the end
When dusk is closing
Like life winding down
You know how I am
Wanting to come home
And I’ll always return
To you

(c ) Helen Valentina 2018

Posted in Earth, Poetry | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Trust (Part Two)


Image credit: Niyazz/

Trust me he says
His words so eloquent
A scriptwriter perhaps
Has brought him here
And PR pundits dressed him well
For all the things he’ll sell
Once again this year

He loves the crowds
They laugh at all his jokes
A comedian perhaps
Within conservative clothes
The banter suits him well
For all the things he’ll sell
For all that we know

Trust’s going cheap
Like all things are this year
A salesman perhaps
Has taught him here
A magician playing with a spell
It’s all just for the things he’ll sell
Once again this year

(c ) Helen Valentina 2018

Posted in Air, Poetry | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Forgotten Afternoons


Image credit: Honza Hruby/

Sweet forgotten afternoons
You don’t recall
But pressed within my memory book
I see them all
The way the light fell
Through the leaves
Upon your hair
And the messy, noisy children
Running everywhere
And how you’d say
“This season is beyond compare”
But it was you
It was you
Beyond compare

Years have passed from afternoons
You don’t recall
Now the light is dim and
No children at all
But the melody
Lingers in my soul
Like a trance
And in memories never
Made between us
I still dance
Till you’re singing
“Our love is so beyond compare”
Oh would that you
One moment too
Had sung this there!

And as I age those afternoons
You don’t recall
Give me comfort only
Tender, sweet, so small
The way the light fell
Through the leaves
Upon your hair
How when you turned
To look upon me
Hope would flare!
And how I’d yearn
For something so beyond compare
If only you
Had seen me true
Those moments there

(c ) Helen Valentina 2018

Posted in Poetry, Water | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Trust (Part One)


Image credit:

In you we trust
Waiting here
We must
World just falls to chaos
No sure anchor
Yet appears
We’re just waiting here
In trust

May your words
Yet be true
As you say
Belief is hard
Is it propaganda
All we’ve seen
And heard?
We’ve so much at stake
On your words

(c) Helen Valentina

Posted in Air, Poetry | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments



Image credit: Billion Photos/

And when we sign our name
The whole world changes
Not the same
Entering into
The big boys game
When we sign our name

And when we take a chance
We hear new music
For the dance
A bit of pride
And circumstance
When we take a chance

And with this promise made
A new door opens
Table laid
Ready for the
Price we’ve paid
With this promise made

And when we sign our name
Within we’re changing
Not the same
Lighting deep
The inner flame
When we sign our name

(c ) Helen Valentina 2018

Posted in Air, Poetry | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments



Image credit: Ianou Cristian/

When I am weary of the world
The clatter clutter of ambition
The surrender and submission
To the paper and the pen
To the dollar or the yen
Competition’s flags unfurled
I come to this most sacred space
Where art is hung with quiet grace
The beautiful scenes from artist’s eyes
Can yet becalm, delight, surprise
I find my home within the swirl
Of this beautiful, beautiful world

A simple portrait of a lake
A small boat tethered to the shore
Near autumn leaves is so much more
Than the paper and the pen
The dollar or the yen
So here my heart may still adore
And here I know beyond my daze
Beauty breathes free in coloured haze
And comforted I may rest awhile
Till deep within my soul I smile
These simple things are all it takes
A small boat idly on a lake
And then I know there’s no mistake
Such moments do a whole world make

(c ) Helen Valentina 2018

Posted in Earth, Fire, Poetry | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments

Cover Reveal: The Butterfly Stone

Woo Hoo! Check this out! Exciting new book by Laurie Bell about to be published with a gorgeous cover!

Rambles, writing and amusing musings



Look at this. I am absolutely floored by how amazing this is.

Without further delay… The Butterfly Stone cover

The Butterfly Stone

View original post

Posted in Poetry | 1 Comment