Laurel Mills





Laurel's Novels are also available as eBooks! You can purchase them at

Bella Books



Winner / Posner Poetry Award ?
Hidden Seed is the prequel to 2012’s Encircle Publication’s Chapbook Contest winning book Rumor of Hope

"Laurel Mills writes on a potentially sentimental subject, love for a developmentally disabled child. To her great credit, she succeeds brilliantly. She handles the subject forthrightly but with admirable tact, using metaphor and understatement at just the right times and allowing her sensitive observations of nature to convey much of the emotion indirectly.  In addition, she has an honest and interesting story to tell, from the moment of the daughter’s conception to the moment when the mother realizes that her daughter, now a young woman, has achieved an important measure of independence from her. The sequence of poems makes a compelling narrative, and I found it, unlike many contemporary collections of poems, impossible to put down for even a minute."
—Knute Skinner, author of Concerned Attentions and Fifty Years: Poems 1957-2007

"In these forthright poems Laurel Mills sings memorably of a mother’s love for her developmentally disabled daughter. From birth, when it becomes clear that 'a different child is here,' through young adulthood, Mills gives us a portrait of her daughter Beth in all her humanity—her determination, pride, anger, violence, and (wonderfully) her humor."
—David Graham , author of David Graham: Greatest Hits 1975-2000 and Stutter Monk

Online Orders: 






  • Winner / Encircle Publications
    2012 Chapbook Contest

    Winner / Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets
    2013 Chapbook Contest

    Winner / Wisconsin Library Association
    2013 Outstanding Achievement Award

    “This collection of poems is brave and poignant. Written from the perspective of a mother whose daughter has the rare genetic condition 1p36 Deletion Syndrome, the poetic voice speaks to any nurturer, any parent, any caring soul. The reader is brought to the edge of metaphoric cliffs of chaos, love—and hope.”
    —Cynthia Brackett-Vincent, editor of Encircle Publications

More praise for Rumor of Hope

“I read Laurel Mills’ Rumor of Hope over a quiet, late lunch in a near-empty restaurant, and in between the ordering of the meal and the packing up of leftovers I went on a journey like none I’ve ever been on; I walked back out on the street two hours later and the world was entirely different because I was different. I wept freely in that corner booth, reading Rumor of Hope, and I laughed out loud once or twice, and I looked away and then looked back again, with more clarity. Which is what this book is all about — about finding the courage to look at, and daring to name the things which we know might cause us pain. In this courageous, riveting, and sometimes remarkably honest collection, Mills finds a language for the almost unsayable. Using language that is at once practical and tender, she takes us to the brink of her daughter’s illness, and again and again reminds us that there is always grace, even though it might not look like what we expected. I was humbled by this collection; what I thought I knew, in the far reaches of my heart, was just practice.”
—Lisa Starr, WFOP judge, former Poet Laureate of Rhode Island
“These poems do not sugar coat the realities of caring for a grown daughter with a rare genetic condition. They are filled with essential details about the loving relationship a mother and grown daughter share. This collection will draw any reader into the world of this exceptional family. You will not be able to put it down!"
—Connie Post, Poet Laureate Emerita of Livermore, California

“In this prize-winning chapbook of powerful poems, Laurel Mills takes us through forty-some years of her daughter Beth’s life, from frightening seizures to anger outbursts that earn her time in locked wards, from prolonged childhood to halting words, from tricycle riding to carrying her own baby doll back to her imaginary husband, group home living. Sometimes the sun forgets her, writes Mills, in these moving, sometimes humorous, sometimes terrifying, poems; but her love for her daughter is as clear as her unflinching account of Beth’s difficulties and slow progress. In Rumor of Hope, Mills celebrates Beth’s delight in life on its own terms.”
—Robin Chapman, UW-Madison Professor Emerita of Communicative Disorders and author of Abundance (Cider Press)and the eelgrass meadow (Tebot Bach)

“From Sometimes the Sun Forgets: We commit our children to this life,/to the stringing of day on day,/the building of years. If we were/to see the bare truth, would we ever/let those cells multiply/in the pelvic cradle of our bodies?  This collection rings so true, giving us a glimpse of the difficult, unique, and wonderful journey of a parent of an adult with developmental disabilities. I read it straight through and then sighed for Laurel, for her daughter Beth, and for her resemblance to adults I worked with for many years. Then I got online and ordered another copy for my friend who directs the program I worked with. These poignant, accessible, and unflinching poems will open your eyes and your heart, and indeed leave you with a rumor of hope, so that you answer Laurel's question with a yes.”
tabbyweave, amazon.com review

Online Orders:  http://www.encirclepub.com/store/product/rumor-of-hope



For a Sell Sheet click HERE





Photographer Martha Felkins returns for the summer to the rugged Maine Island where she grew up. It has been nine months since her companion Grace died here in a strange accident on THE SYBIL, a lobster boat captained by Martha's brother. Martha has come back, hoping that being near her brother and his grown developmentally challenged son will help her heal from grief. Instead, she uncovers the shocking secret behind Grace's fatal accident, even the island doctor, Sue Whitaker, doesn't know.

Undercurrents has been re-released as an e-book by Intaglio Publications
and is available now at Bella Books.


For a Sell Sheet, click HERE

Taking Flight

Librarian Sydney Burke is an avid birder and outdoorswoman. She has been single for several years after a longtime relationship ended. She meets Michelle and falls in love with her. However, Michelle is married to Robert, an abusive husband, and is afraid of him. She wants out of the marriage to be with Sydney but fears what Robert will do to them. Will the women be able to break free from the dangerous Robert and build a loving relationship with each other? Can Sydney help Michelle take flight to a new and safe life?


"If you are an abused woman, know an abused woman, want to know more about abused women, or simply want to read a good story that happens to have an abused woman as the main character, then this is a book you'll want to read." -Pamela Bigelow, lambdalit.org


"Simply put... buy this book! This novel wraps romance, mystery and a serious social issue into a great read. I highly recommend it!" -kycoffin, amazon.com


"Readers will find plenty to like about this novel with its sensual love scenes juxtaposed against its chilling scenes of abuse and its carefully researched bird trivia." -Karla M. Huston

Undercurrents has been re-released as an e-book by Intaglio Publications

and is available now at Bella Books.


Racing Toward Providence

Samantha Warren has one passion in life: her painting. She moves to a secluded cabin in Maine where she can work undisturbed. But Kate Sinclair comes along, and Sam discovers another passion. Just as their friendship is developing into something more, a stranger begins threatening Sam. Then her eight-year-old nephew is suddenly orphaned and needs a home, which only she can provide. Samantha's solitary life as an artist is thrust into turmoil. What does providence have in mind for her?



All of Laurel's novel can be ordered

at any of these fine on-line bookstores!

Bella Books



| Home | Rumor of Hope| Hidden Seed| Laurel's Books | Pictures | Contact Laurel | Links |