Damned Serpent


Suddenly I realise how the serpent got into the Garden

He must have got in through WhatsApp

Eve might have been looking on her smartphone

Checking data in the Heavenly libraries or perhaps the weather forecast

Deciding what fruit to eat must have been a challenge

Apples, mangoes, papayas, whatever

And suddenly, there he was

Someone might have added him to a group she was in

Where they chatted ad infinitum about the glories of the Eternal

Then on a whim, that ‘angel’ in the group opened a direct WhatsApp line

It’s so much more comfortable chatting Eve, without the rest of the group, no?

And she might have wondered who this Lucifer was, this angel of light.

But hey, he was a Seraph, so it must be okay

Don’t tell Adam, okay? You’re such a pretty lady, he’ll just get upset!

We wouldn’t want that dear, would we? No!

Silly, trusting, idiotic Eve,

How were you to know that everyone in the Heavenlies is not good?

Not everyone who preaches is sincere,

Not everyone who says ‘God is great” really means it.

Did he say you were pretty? That Adam must be jealous of anything that takes up your time?

Were you flattered Eve? Be honest, now. How did he get under your skin?

He reassured you, didn’t he? He used sweet words and turned your head.

You didn’t know what you were doing, but he did.

Your naive ignorance was no match for serpentine cunning

Result? The near destruction of humanity..


In The Cottage By The River



Sipping one’s supermarket sauvignon

In one’s local authority dwelling (so fortunately addressed)

One reflects on the vicissitudes of fortune

Yes indeed, one is truly blessed

Check the Instagram account and you’ll wonder why

I don’t dwell in a cottage by the river with the swans swimming by?

I don’t work for a living – perish the thought!

The world needs those such as me

To reflect, ruminate and do what I ought

Making artistic creations which I share with the world for free

See my creations and you’ll see they imply

I live in a cottage by the river with the swans swimming by


With Opened Eyes

Thought you’d fooled me, didn’t you?

Well, maybe for a while.

Your kind words helped a lot

When I needed a reason to smile.

But now, alas, I understand

You played a game with me

For you, I was a scapegoat

And now, at last, I’m free.

Thought you’d fooled me, didn’t you?

But you know, that couldn’t last.

Virtual charm is deceiving

I’m remembering the past.

Giving me tedious work to do

For a fraction of the rate,

I was your ‘cheap option’,

Well, that’s no more my fate.

Gone from my existence

I miss you not at all

Why needs a friend who turns on you

When on their help you call?

The laborer deserves his pay

So the good Book proclaims,

You think it fine to deny someone

Their legitimate fee? Oh, shame!

That bunch of silly stories

Of stately. Regency halls

Can carry on with the lunacy

Of enceinte ladies dancing in balls

Stiff upper lips proclaiming love

When never was it done

Not to humiliate themselves

They’ll pay right coin to get work done

Thought you’d fooled me, didn’t you?

Truth came out in the end

My owe will come back seven times

As karma is my friend.


Part 7

Luke McCord had lived in this area all his life, just getting by.  People had come and gone in his life but Hellsprings remained.  He wasn’t sure why.  He’d been an only child, his father had disappeared before he was born and he wasn’t a mixer.  Most of the people who had come into his life were transitory.   Girlfriends had come and gone, usually migrant workers from outside who had come to work in the local tourist spots.  That was just the way Luke liked it.  He wasn’t one for getting into commitment.  He stayed well clear of that.

Not that any woman would give him a second glance now.  The years had not been kind to Luke McCord.  He shrugged his well worn shoulders as he reflected on his current, lonely state.  When he’d been a young man and passably  good looking, getting women wasn’t a problem.  It was now, though.  His job didn’t help either, out of the environs of the town, the lone watchman for Hellsprings. Dang it, hardly anyone came here.  Yeah, a trip into town was on the cards.

He was a terrible sleeper so in many ways, the job suited him. Sitting outside his shotgun shack in the early morning, a large cup of coffee in front of him, he blinked his eyes in surprise.  Someone was coming.  Coming to the spring.  No-one usually did that outside the season.  Not this early.  Not even in the days when the town had been a prominent tourist destination in the region.

Luke observed a tall, dark figure emerging out of  the horizon.  What was more, the figure was hooded.  Good grief!  Some weirdo. Probably up to some kind of mischief, he reckoned.  He decided that he’d better check out what was going on.  That was his job, after all.

The tall dark hooded man, wearing what seemed like a heck of a long overcoat, paused in front of the spring, his gaze fixed on it directly.

“Hey, what’s going on?  You got some business here?”

“Yes,” came the reply.  To Luke’s dismay, the voice seemed somewhat other worldly.  Whatever that meant.

“Well, I’m sorry,” replied Luke. “But you don’t need to come back here until……yeah, nine o’clock.  Got that?”

“Please do not worry.  My work will only take a few seconds.  I shall not disturb you.”

“Now, hold on a minute. What exactly do you mean by that?”

“Stand clear.”

“Stand what?  What exactly did you say?”

“I said ‘stand clear’.  That means stand far away from me.  I don’t wish to hurt you or cause you any disturbance.  Now please get back.”  The commanding tone in the voice was unmistakable, but this was Luke McCord’s territory.  An outsider couldn’t just breeze in and take over….

“Wait a minute!  What do you mean by…..”

“Exactly what I said.  I’ve warned you.  The rest is up to you….”

An unexpected blast knocked Luke backwards.   There was a fiery radiation from the stranger’s direction.  Luke was thrown clear of the scene.  He was even unconscious for a couple of minutes.

And when he came around,the ground was scorched where the mysterious stranger had been standing.  The stranger was gone. And Luke had a thundering headache, not to mention an aching back and a pain in the neck.

Just what the heck is going on here?


Part 6

Oriel was back in his room.  He seldom booked into hotels.  He had places he could stay in if he needed.  Sometimes, so set on his mission, he didn’t even bother.  But today was different.  Tomorrow, he was going to enter the inside of the earth.  He was going to go down there and get Rebecca.  To say he wasn’t afraid would have been wrong.  He had no idea how to go about this. How long would this mission take?  Could he do this?  Was he crazy?  Every fibre of his being trembled.  He couldn’t do this. Yet he couldn’t not do this.

The room was bare.  He had no belongings to leave lying around.  No.  Oriel always travelled light. He absently opened the drawer of the locker beside his bed and there he saw it.  The Gideon Bible.  Here in Hellsprings!  He drew it out.  He loved the Word.  It was food and drink to him.  Yet he never carried it anywhere.  It was written in full on his heart.  Yet he felt the need to feast on the Word right now, like never before.

He opened the well thumbed book and went straight to Psalm 23.

Even though I walk in the valley of the shadow of death/No evil will I fear?For thou art with me

His thoughts wandered back to his last meeting with the Master. He had promised to be with Oriel and although he had not encouraged him to take up his Mission. He had promised to be with me, Oriel mused. I am not alone. The Word of God always comforted him in his dark days and today was one of those days. One of the darkest ever. He didn’t remember feeling this dark since before the Great Sacrifice. Or the time of the Great War of the Heavens, when he and his brother companion Caladrel……Caladrel! What had brought him to mind right now? He hadn’t thought of Caladrel for centuries. Caladrel, his brother and dearest friend. Someone he missed deep in his heart, even today. His beloved brother had been lost in the Great War. Oriel found it hard to believe that his brother had defected to the other side, but apparently, it was true. A moan escaped him. The battle between good and evil was ongoing and casualties were always there. If Caladrel was not alive and on this plane, where was he? Was he a prisoner of Hell, like Rebecca? Perhaps……

“Don’t doubt me, Oriel. I told you I would always be with you. You have a cloak of invisibility you can always use as you visit the pits……”

He looked up and found himself looking into the gentle and fathomless eyes of the Master. “Master…” He fell on his knees before the Lord, totally in awe and reverence. The Master had deep, penetrating eyes that did not blink.

“You know the cloak of which I speak?”

“Yes, Master. It’s the Word. Written on my heart…..”

The Master smiled, satisfied. “Even though you walk in the valley of the shadow of death, no evil will you fear…..remember how my earthly mother hid from the enemy before My Mission began…..she was surrounded by the Word and by Divine Love. That shield is available for you too, Oriel. Use it well…..” Oriel felt heartened by this Visitation….

Later in the night, he prayed for several hours.

“Almighty Father, in the name of Your Divine Son, forgiving all who have injured me……” He paused, recollected and continued.

“Your Holy Word says that whatever we ask for in prayer, believing, we shall receive……” Again he paused….

“I ask that You give me the strength to go down into the depths of the Enemy’s lair and bring back Rebecca….my child. She was taken there illegally.”

Then he let the heavenly language take over, the prayer of the heart, the prayer of the Spirit. He knew not what he said but he knew that his Lord did. Having finished his prayer, he fell into a deep sleep.


Part 5

Hellsprings.  The very name inspires terror or at the very least, a feeling of foreboding.  A town in the desert.  Known for its sulphuric springs which were unearthed by the first settlers, if nothing else..  Something which gives it a reason to be and helps at the same time has spawned and industry that has helped the inhabitants to survive.  The fact that some scientists had discovered that this was the site of an ancient volcanic added to the tourist value.

But those who know, know that there’s more to Hellsprings than just a diabolical name and a reputation for sulphur laden waters.  They say the town got it’s name from prospectors who had heard a rumour that that there was gold buried in the desert.  They’d dug for what seemed like an age and instead of gold, had found the springs instead, with water containing a higher than usual level of sulphur.  Much higher than usual.  The arid conditions of the place and the deathly heat led to their naming the town in disgust rather than joy.  Hellsprings!  Not exactly a name to inspire confidence was it?  That’s where Oriel was.  He’d reached there by stealth and he’d had to shake off more than a few followers on the way.  Because whether one knows it or not, every corner of this earth is under surveillance.  Hell’s minions abound and their lease on the earth is not yet expired.  Their population has tripled in the last few years alone.  Provided they don’t draw attention to themselves, these agents can live for years at a place. But they watch everything and no miniscule piece of information escapes them.  Oriel had attracted their attention at a number of places.  The man who keeps walking and never stops to eat or sleep.  He hadn’t had too much trouble shaking them off, but the fact that he’d had to was a grief in itself.

So.  Here he was.  And the next step?  Access to the underworld.  Oriel wasn’t looking forward to it.  But it had to be done.  And here he was, sitting alone in a bar in Hellsprings.  It wasn’t the only bar.  The town was quite prosperous, courtesy of the springs.  But he had to keep a low profile.  The last thing he wanted was to be spotted here.  This was the one place where he could walk straight into a trap.  They were everywhere.

“Stopping by or passing through?” came a voice, disturbing Oriel’s reverie as he lingered over his mineral water. An short, shifty looking man with a sibilant voice and rotten teeth had eased himself in beside Oriel.

“Both,” he replied laconically, with a nod of his head in acknowledgment of the fact that he’d been addressed.  He didn’t want to meet eyes or get involved in a conversation.  He had a mission to fulfil.  And he would fulfill it.

“What’s yer name?”  The local was a pushy type and didn’t give up easily.

“Eastman.  Andrew Eastman,” he replied quietly, not wishing to be perceived as unsociable.

“So what brings you here, Andrew?” Some people never give up, do they?

“I was in the area.  Thought I’d stop by and check the place out…”  As non committal an answer as one could possibly give.

The local stared at him keenly.  “You wanna meet some…..” He dropped his voice conspiratorially.  “Ladies?  For company?”

“Nope.”  The finality of the reply was unmistakable.  Oriel wished with all his might that he could grab the local by the collar and tell him to get the hell away.  But that would be playing into their hands and Oriel would never do that.

“You staying here?”  Oriel nodded in the affirmative, without meeting the local’s eyes.  Was this local in fact one of them?

“See you around, then,” the local said, moving away.  Oriel breathed a sigh of relief.  Thank God.  It wouldn’t be long now.  He finished up his mineral water and left it down on the bar.  He should be in his room.  Praying.  Getting ready for the morning.  For the moment when he’d leave the relative neutrality of the earth’s crust and go straight into enemy territory.  He needed to put on the whole armor of the Lord.  What had possessed him to come into a bar and put himself in the way of detection?  Was it a last minute need to linger among humankind?  The Master also loved human company.  Oriel, his servant, was no way different.  He too loved the human race and dedicated his whole existence to them, as his Master did.  And it was dedication to one human being that motivated him now.  Rebecca……..there was no way he was abandoning her to her fate.  No matter what.

He stood up and went to his room.



Giveaway and Interview – Valerie Parv on Love Among Aliens

ANNOUNCEMENT:  The winner of  Valerie’s contest is Teresa Ashby.  Congratulations Teresa.

Please welcome Valerie Parv to the blog today.  Valerie has come to talk to us about her new novel BIRTHRIGHT.  This is a romance novel with a difference – set in outer space

Romance is all about the characters

According to international best-selling author, Valerie Parv, the framework of any romance novel is so basic it’s often mistaken for a formula. Man meets woman. They’re powerfully attracted to each other but a major problem keeps them apart. Solving the problem while getting to know each other leads to their happy ever after. Valerie says what makes every story unique is who these people are and how they solve the problem to earn their HEA (that’s  authorspeak for ‘happy ever after’, in case you didn’t know).

Valerie, you’re primarily known as a contemporary romance novelist.  Why have you written a romance novel about space and aliens this time? 
This story has taken me to the stars, but it’s really not that big a stretch. I’ve always followed the space program, enjoyed science fiction, and been a Trekkie since forever. I have a big “thing” for David Tennant, the only Doctor Who that matters! And don’t get me started on Torchwood’s John Barrowman, the sexiest, most fascinating character in SF for years. They have all the qualities a hero needs.

So you’re big into science fiction?  I see.  I know about Star Trek and Doctor Who, they’ve been around forever, though I haven’t seen them in years.  Totally out of  the loop that way.  I had to Google Torchwood and John Barrowman, they’re a bit too recent to come in the area of my scant knowledge of all thing sci-fi. Yes, Barrowman is hero material for sure. Tell me something, Valerie.  Space and aliens – how do they fit into romance? 
As long as two…beings…are attracted to each other, and have a problem to solve before they can be together, it doesn’t matter whether they’re humans, vampires, werewolves or aliens. Modern romance has room for many different stories and characters, in my case, gorgeous foundling and resident genius, Adam Desai and sexy SF writer, Garrett Luken. Then there’s Elaine Lovell, a media psychic who tells everyone she’s an alien, although no-one believes her. While writing, I could see Charlize Theron playing her in a movie.

Your imagination is obviously fired by science fiction characters.  If you could be any science fiction character, which would you choose?
I’d probably be Amy Pond who gets the best of both worlds – to marry her hero, Rory, and have adventures with The Doctor in the Tardis who like the characters in Birthright gets the best of both worlds. What’s not to love?

The companion to the most recent incarnation of Doctor Who?  Fantastic serial.  I haven’t been able to get it in years, though I used to be a fan many moons ago. Yes, I get your point.  Thank you Valerie.







Former police officer turned deputy governor, Shana Akers, is used to handling high-stakes situations. But after learning that a space shuttle mission about to be launched from her island home may have a shocking secret agenda, she must turn for answers to the man who has challenged her mind and emotions for years.

Scientific genius and space center director, Adam Desai, is a truly self-made man. Found adrift at sea as a baby, he knows nothing about his origins until two VIPs attending the launch force him to confront the truth about his past, changing everything Adam has ever believed about himself.

Faced with a danger that threatens the entire world, can Adam and Shana find the strength to trust not only each other, but the mysterious VIPs whose unusual abilities defy logical thinking? Especially when it becomes clear that they’ll need all of their combined resources to reclaim humanity’s…BIRTHRIGHT.

Birthright a near-future romantic suspense available now on Amazon http://amzn.to/WDRPdW 


Valerie has very kindly agreed to give away a copy of Birthright for Kindle, personally authorgraphed, to one lucky commenter.