View Full-Size Image
A Step Sideways
2012 OKRWA International Digital Awards in the YA Long category
A Novel by: Nancy Marie Bell
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
RATING: L=0 S=0 V=1
Release: December 2, 2011
Editor: Antonia Tiranth
Line editor: Penny Ehrenkranz
Cover artist: Kaytalin Platt
Legend says that land once stretched from Lands End in Cornwall as far as the Scillies Islands thirty miles out in the Atlantic. To this mythical land Gort Treliving escapes when his Uncle Daniel beats him senseless. He steps away from his corporeal body and walks into the mist of oblivion, seeking only to escape the pain. To Gort’s surprise he finds he is Sir Gawain, one of King Arthur’s knights. He is also the partner of a wonderful grey war stallion who can telepathically speak to him.
While he is caught up in a wild chase across the countryside to rescue King Arthur’s kidnapped queen and her lady, Gort as Gawain, tries to puzzle out the strange visions of another life that assail him at the most inopportune times.
There is intrigue, mystery, sword play and a dash of romance. A Step Sideways is a rollicking romp of an adventure that borrows inspiration from the Arthurian legends with a decidedly quirky cast of supporting characters.
After the last page the characters will linger in your mind and you’ll wonder what happened next.
Whoever had him by the back of the neck half-dragged and half-carried him into a dark narrow lane. Gort tried to get his teeth into the hard flesh digging cruelly into his face. The action was rewarded by a hard shake and a blow which set his ears ringing while bright lights danced across his vision.
It was full dark now. There was no way to figure out where the man was taking him, his head hurt 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 backward. The man secured Gort’s thin wrists with a thick zip tie before spinning him around.
Gort narrowed his eyes, trying to make out the person’s features. The light behind the figure threw the man’s face into shadows. The dark figure spoke, and his worst nightmare became reality.
“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 I’ve come back to keep you in line.” Uncle Daniel’s whiskey-roughened voice cut as surely as a knife.
Gort forced himself to open his mouth to say something, anything. Nothing came out, just a faint croaking, like a squashed frog, which was pretty much mirrored his feeling at the moment. Daniel’s yellowed teeth glinted in the bit of light filtering into the shed. The youth fought to control the tremors threatening to unlock his knees and drop him to the ground at Daniel’s feet. He knew where they were now; this was the shed behind Daniel’s house. Just two streets over from Emily’s, but it might as well be miles. Gort made himself look up and meet Daniel’s drunken gaze; his heart shrunk in his chest at the anger in Daniel’s eyes.
He’s going to put me in the cupboard. I can’t go in the cupboard. I won’t.
The boy shifted his feet and stood up a little straighter. Daniel narrowed his eyes at the small show of defiance. Gort’s heart tripped in his chest as he fought the urge to cower from the rage emanating in waves from his uncle, refusing to listen to the voice of terror screaming incoherently through his mind.
“Don’t look at me like that, boy,” Uncle Daniel snarled and took a quick step forward.
Gort refused to step backward away from him, and at any rate, past experience said such a move would only make his uncle more belligerent. So he stood his ground and hoped Coll would come looking for him soon. In answer to his prayers, he heard his friend’s voice faintly calling his name. Daniel looked over his shoulder at the sound, and Gort took the chance to bolt for the door.
Uncle Daniel swung back and lifted him by the collar of his jacket. Daniel’s enraged face filled his vision as the man shook him roughly, his feet dangling a foot off the ground. Gort’s throat worked, trying to draw air into his lungs. Daniel’s thin lips drew back from his teeth, his whiskey-laden breath making Gort gag even more than the restricting collar of the coat. Daniel’s hand snaked out, his blow leaving behind a burning, stinging pain on his victim’s face. The boy tried not to let the tears leave his eyes, but Daniel’s next blow knocked all his good intentions out the window.
He lost count of the number of times Uncle Daniel hit him in the face, his eyes refused to focus, and his face was numb from the hard slaps. Uncle Daniel threw him against the wall of the shed, kneeling on his 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.
“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, his searching hand encountered and became entangled in the crystal strands of GogMagog’s mane. Relief at the stallion’s presence washed through him. Gog had been gone for a bit on some business not requiring his soul mate’s presence, so there hadn’t been an opportunity to discuss the recent troubling events.
Gort pulled himself to his feet and leaned heavily on the spirit stallion’s shoulder. Not for the first time, the teenager thanked the Goddess of Glastonbury Tor for the kinship of the Crystal Stallion. They became bonded the night Laurel successfully bargained for her mother’s life in the crystal caverns within the Tor. “Thank the gods, you’re here Gog.” Gort’s voice trembled, choked with his tears.
“I would have come sooner, but I was a long way away.” Gog’s warm breath sent hope and strength coursing through his cold body. The stallion glowed and shimmered with rainbow light; his large liquid eyes were as fathomless as the night sky. Powerfully built, the spirit stallion had a long, flowing heavy mane and tail and thick-boned legs. His broad short back and powerful haunches rippled with strength. He belonged to the herd of crystal stallions that wait beneath the Tor for Arthur to call them to battle on the day of Britain’s greatest need. Partners in many former lives, man and horse were re-united once again. In the everyday world, Gog appeared as a sturdy black Fell pony who never strayed far from Gort’s side.
“Come with me for a while. Leave what is for a time, and travel with me to what was once,” GogMagog entreated him.
“Lead me to it.” Gort stepped away from the warm crystalline shoulder of the great stallion.
I liked this continuation from the English kids we met in Laurel's Miracle (The Cornwall Adventures Series). This time, the focus is on Gort, a boy who is traumatized by the death of his parents and the abuse of a drunkard uncle. He's rescued in Laurel's Miracle from the uncle and is living with his friend Coll's family...It's a totally original Arthur story, no re-hashing of how Arthur becomes King, but a tale of Camelot in full power. 4STAR REVIEW-MARVA DASEF...READ FULL REVIEW
Also available by Nancy Marie Bell:
In Stock: 99
Usually ships in:
Customer Reviews:firstname.lastname@example.org (Sunday, 14 April 2013)
MarvaD (Saturday, 07 January 2012)
You may also be interested in this/these product(s)
Teachers Guides (15)
SHORT STORIES (79)
List All Products
Adobe Acrobat Reader for PDF
Adobe Digital Editions for Epub
Mobipocket Ebook Reader for Prc
New Muse e-books released on the first of each month!
What is an e-book?
It’s an electronic file that can be read on your computer or a handheld e-reader.
Why purchase an e-book?
You get immediate download satisfaction at affordable prices. With an e-reader you can carry hundreds of books with you instead of lugging only a few print books.
The Association of English-language Publishers of Quebec
All materials on this site © 2010-2012 MuseItUp Publishing and its imprints.
MUSEITUP E-BOOK CLUB
MuseItUp authors span worldwide and are eagerly waiting to meet you in our readers groups. Be the first to get a glimpse of their upcoming books, excerpts, author interviews, advance notice of any upcoming contests, time sensitive discount coupons…and have an all-around fun time!
Why not join one of our two groups today!
Facebook (Interaction and discussions)
Facebook (Discover our authors and books)
Elixir is fantasy at its best. Katie Caroll draws us into her world with ease, her well-polished writing style and flow holding us captive until the end. I especially liked the relationship between Katora and her sister Kylene, obviously drawn from real life. I can't wait to read the sequel.
I was pleasantly surprised when I opened this very charming and witty book to read on the skytrain. But I have to say it was kind of embarrassing. I couldn't stop giggling out loud at Maggie Lyon's humour. People kept looking at me, and I tried my hardest to hold in the laughter, but it was impossible. What a delightful story! What child wouldn't love this. It's a story for 6-10 year olds. It's a great book to read to your children when they're young or by themselves when they're older. If your child likes Geronimo Stilton, they'll fall in love with Dewie the little dragon and his friend Jones the toad. I hope Maggie Lyons will turn this into a series.
Joy Smith pulled me into the story on the very first pages. Fast moving, first I hated Victor, than I love him, than I hated until I loved him. And Marisol with her guarded heart had me hoping throughout that she'd open it again to love.
I loved her descriptions. They created such visuals, I felt I was traveling and discovering Colombia with Victor.
Ms. Smith writes believable, flawed characters that I wound up cheering and caring for on each page. I can't wait to read her next book. Goodreads Reader Review - Five Stars
"...murder, mystery and intrigue..plus did I mention our hero is a witch? Tex and his best friend Olivia are brilliant characters, really well written and I love tex's dad. Can't wait to read more about tex in the future! -Amazon Reader Review
I really enjoyed the twists and turns of the plot of this novel. From Annabelle putting her life in danger when running away from Boarding School where she has lived since the age of five to her tenacious pursuit in finding clues as to her origins.
She is rescued by Roland, who is too much of a gentleman not to help the intriguing young lady. I relished the suspense of the reciprocal desire between Roland and Belle which is thwarted by misunderstanding after misunderstanding and prevents them achieving mutual fulfilment. The reader yearns for the truth to replace the false pretences and for Roland and Belle to overcome each other's prejudices.
Rosemary Morris' major and minor characters spring to life. I sympathised with Annabelle and found Roland charming. Apart from this, Rosemary's great attention to every aspect of the Regency era is impressive.
False Pretences is a ripping read and I look forward to reading this author's next novel. - F.Way- Amazon Review