I love Cornwall. All my novels are set in the magical area. The Moonstone series features an ancient Egyptian ring in the present day, whereas the Higher Ground co-written series is about teenagers in the future, who search Cornwall for a golden ring with magical powers.
Twenty miles off Lands End, a massive wave hit the container ship Tokio Express in February 1997, tipping overboard 62 containers. Five million Lego pieces were flung into the raging sea.
Okay—that might not be real treasure, but you never know what will wash up.
Here's an excerpt from Shattered Shells, the third novel in the Moonstone series which is almost ready for publishing. The plot: Fate sweeps three escaping people into St. Ives on the tide--a grieving woman, an entrepreneur and a prostitute on the run.
The regular pounding waves and the wind tugging at her hair, lulled Liliha. A quiet acceptance replaced her former rages against destiny while she followed her companion to a line of seaweed and shells left by the tide. Poor shattered shells. Once things of beauty, now unable to whisper secret possibilities--like her.
"Look at this plastic." Ellen lifted a piece of red material about the shape of a coin.
Liliha pulled her thoughts together. "Must have been a lid on a plastic bottle."
"Funny how the edges have gone."
"The constant pounding of the waves turns shells and rocks into sand. Even plastic might end up that way." While cool droplets of spume caught on her skin, Liliha drank in the view. Out to sea, the last rays of sunlight glinted on choppy water.
"Wouldn't it be great to have colored sand on the beach?"
"Everything changes over time." Liliha glanced at her bare finger. "You know I've lost my ring, Don't you?"
"I didn't take it. Honest."
"Don't worry. I never thought you did. I'm just talking things over, the way friends do. You see, I feel as if something's missing in my life. I got used to wearing it."
"Yeah. I guess you shouldn't count on things always being around," Ellen said. "Then it wouldn't hurt when you lose them."
# (a bit later, in Georg's point of view:)
With a sudden flash of inspiration, he squatted over a line of smooth rocks and shells and lifted a long strand of seed pods.
"Hi, Georg." Ellen bent and searched the seaweed beside him. A crab scuttled out of reach and dug a new shelter under a rock.
"Only just enough light to see. But I spotted something here."
"I saw it too."
Now he'd test Ellen's reaction. A quickening in his breath showed how much he wanted her to pass his test.
He opened his hand and exposed the jewel.
"Wow! You found a ring right here? Can I have it?" Ellen strained forward.
"It's Liliha's ring."
"The one she lost? But how could it...? You didn't take it, did you? I thought it was those men who drugged her."
"I managed to find something to swap. A bit complicated, but now I have it, I want to return it to her."
"I see what you're up to." One side of her mouth lifted in a grin. "I won't let on."
Liliha approached. With his left hand clenched, he used his right to move another piece of seaweed.
"Fancy seeing you here," Liliha said.
Georg's hands touched and he produced the ring, which he held cupped toward her.
"Did you just find that on the sand?"
"Caught up in seaweed, as you saw." He couldn't make out her features, although he suspected she frowned.
"You had it in your other hand."
"Why would I do that?"
"He's a magician," Ellen said.
"I don't know how you got it, but something's not right." Liliha bent closer. "You had to get the ring from somewhere. Did you send those two thugs to my door after you left?"
He shook his head, full of regret, and lowered his eyes. He deserved her suspicion. Never been strictly honorable with her--with anyone.
Ellen stood up. "He wouldn't, Liliha. Honest."
"How do you know?"
The minx frowned. "I just know. We're friends, aren't we? Well I've thought and thought and now I'm talking it over with you. He protected me when I needed help. You can trust him the way I did when he drove me to stay with you."
Liliha sighed and gazed out to sea in the gloom. At last, she faced him. "However it happened, I'd be glad to have my ring if you're offering." She said, "Seems a bit too easy though."
He rose from his cramped position and passed the jewel to her. "My lady."
"See, I told you." Ellen's eyes flashed.
Liliha accepted his offer and slid the ring onto her finger. "I can hardly believe it. Thank you." She pecked him on the cheek. "I'm sorry. I shouldn't have accused you. You don't know how much this means to me."