My sixth book is now available. As a Christmas bonus to my readers, this one is FREE!
THE VALLEY OF FLOWERS
by JACK DEY
Out of your heart the tears I keep and when I am no longer, your knowledge is complete.
Today was the worst day of my life. Mum dropped by to see Dad but I was hoping she’d come over to patch things up and move back in with us. My hopes evaporated when I peered through the curtains in my room and saw ‘him’ sitting in the driver seat of her car, waiting for her to finish talking with Dad. Turns out she’d only dropped by to deliver the divorce papers and she didn’t even take the time to stop by my room and talk with me.
I feel really hurt!
Things have been tense around Dad since she dropped her bombshell and moved out. The walls are so thin in this house and sometimes I hear him crying late at night in his room, although around me he tries to maintain his composure, but I can’t help thinking their breaking up is somehow my fault. Maybe if I had been a better daughter, not so moody or so fat, maybe if I was prettier or helped her more around here… IDK!
I ‘HATE’ coming home to an empty house after school too. It freaks me out and I check behind each door and in every cupboard, then lock myself inside my room once I feel kinda safe. Scaredy cat, maybe… I guess; I should stop watching horror movies before bed. It’s pretty late when Dad finally walks in from work and I’m sure I can smell alcohol on his breath. I try my best to take the load off him and I know I can’t cook to save myself, but he usually doesn’t want any dinner anyway – don’t blame him really. So I end up eating in my room… I feel so empty and alone!
Sorry, Diary, I smudged your beautiful pink pages with my useless tears. Don’t go away, Diary, I need to blow my nose… I’m back; did you miss me?
Tina knows something’s up, but I feel too embarrassed to tell her. She keeps asking me if I’m alright and I keep telling her I’m fine, but I know she knows something’s wrong and she won’t give up until she’s got the ‘gos’. She’s spending a lot of time with Danny Dickson lately, too. Yuk…! I can’t stand the guy, but Tina likes him and I think she’s intending to go all the way with him. I hope she thinks about it a lot before and isn’t making a big mistake. I don’t know what I would do without my BFF!
I just don’t get life and what it’s all about. It all seems so pointless and sometimes I feel like the world would be a better place if I just died! No one would even realise I was gone or miss me once they found out, I’m sure. Although! Mr Bryce stopped again to have a chat in the hallway at school; he’s always so positive and encouraging and I always enjoy talking to him. Wonder if he wants a daughter? No, I guess not! He reminds me a lot of Grandpa Dan; I wish he wasn’t so sick and we could spend time together again.
Why does everyone want to leave or get sick when I’m around?!
I should finish now, Diary; I still have some homework to do but I feel too depressed and can’t be bothered. It’s only maths and I can’t stand maths!
Elly Parker’s finger hovered over the start button on her small laptop, contemplating watching another horror movie before turning out the light and trying to sleep. The movies seemed to resonate with the horror of her short teenage life and in some strange way, the images on her screen shocked her into a fantasy world, leaving her own desperate world far behind and in the shadows. She drew in a long breath, holding it trapped in her lungs while she studied the outline of her pink laptop. In a moment of decision she released her breath, closed the screen with a click and checked the bedside clock. It was just after midnight and the passageway light was on, signifying her father was still up. She combed out the length of her long blonde hair, the hairbrush crackling with static electricity at each deliberate stroke. When she had finished preparing for bed, she reached for the bedroom door handle and cracked it open. In a raised voice she called to her father, “Goodnight, Dad!”… No answer.
She sighed and closed the door again then made her way to her bed and climbed in, pulling the blankets up to her eyes. Soon after making a mental check of her surrounds, Elly disturbed the neat blankets partially covering her face and reached for the bedside table, extinguishing the light and reducing her room into a confusion of darkness and shadows. With a sharp motion, she pulled her arm back into the safety of the blankets, her eyes slowly closing and soon she drifted into another world.
A distant rumble echoed up and down the steep green valley walls. Then a gentle breeze rippled across the valley floor stirring a patchwork of yellow, pink and blue, making the colourful tall stems of happy flowers seem to giggle softly and sway gently in the giddying silence. Patches of blue sky peered around the tall cliffs, partially obscured by lazy clouds hanging deftly and close to the rocky peaks. A monolithic giant, draped in the royal green velvet of deep rainforest, towered high above the trail and stood guard over the entrance to the enchanting scene, making sure only the invited found the secret, narrow breach.
Something was beckoning, tugging at her heart strings and drawing her onto the path, urging her to keep walking. Step by step the trail led her deeper into the valley, tantalising her senses with each guarded step and piquing her curiosity.
Where was she?
Suddenly, the valley erupted into whispered laughter, adorable impish laughter echoing across the valley floor and entangled among the swaying flowers. She searched around trying to identify the voices, but they remained shy and hidden from her view. Then the sky opened and a warm, gentle shower drizzled over her, flooding her mind with childish delight as she tasted drops of water sweeter than honey. The rain began to teem down on her and as it did, the impish laughter increased; she heard a giggle trickle over her tonsils and then an echoing laugh bubbled up from deep inside her and spilled out into the rain. In a moment of ecstasy, she peered up at the sky and the mountains surrounding her and twirled on the spot, pirouetting like a ballet dancer, lost in excited elation and sending her long white gown whirling around her.
As suddenly as it came, the rain stopped and a gentle breeze caressed her face, dancing with her, calling to her in a loving whisper, “Elly… Elly… come to me, pretty lady,” enticing her down into the valley while its call halted her ecstatic dance. The voice made her heart burn within her and she searched among the flowers until she saw a beautiful young man standing on the path, beckoning to her with an outstretched arm. She gazed at the gesture for a moment, hesitating and a little confused, but then his haunting green eyes peered into the depths of her heart and overpowered her emotions, gently pulling her towards him, desperate to experience the love he was offering.
A rasping clamour broke into her fantasy and before Elly knew what was happening, the scene had evaporated like a steamy breath into a cold atmosphere, sending her into a tailspin and searching frantically about the sunlit room for evidence of her intrigue and the green-eyed young man. She sighed, slapping the alarm clock into silence with an agitated hand and fell back to her pillow, exasperated and grieving for the lost opportunity for romance. It took her moments to realise she’d been dreaming, but the ecstasy she’d felt and the beauty of the young man haunted her.
If only she hadn’t hesitated…!
Even as she peered around her empty room, the emotional depths of her encounter still remained and she longed to return to the gentle enchanting world in her dream.
A gentle, easy read that will captivate your heart and hold it prisoner as it pleads with every word to take you deeper into an enchanted world of mystery, valour, romance and redemption.
“So did you ever work out Dramble’s riddle?”
Elly shook her head. “No, even to this day it puzzles me!”
“How does it go again?”
“Out of your heart, the tears I keep and when I am no longer, your knowledge is complete,” Elly recited verbatim.
“I think I just solved it.”
Release Date: 3 December 2015
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NOTE FROM THE EDITOR: When I finished reading The Valley of Flowers for the very first time, the only words I could find to describe this book was, “Wow, oh wow oh wow!” Papa God has given Jack a masterpiece with this one and shared His heart and His love with us. It was so breathtakingly beautiful at one point – stunning, actually – that I had to close my eyes to savour the moment, with my mouth opening in a silent, ecstatic, “ohhhh…” and then ended up rushing to find a tissue box before I could continue. This whole journey is to be savoured, but at the same time, I was not wanting to put it down. Whatever you do, do NOT peek ahead or it will spoil the ride for you. Just keep reading and roll with the punches. It started off gently enough, but was like climbing the mountains of Switzerland (emotionally – the setting is NOTHING like Switzerland) with the undulating peaks getting higher and higher. Actually, it was more like a rollercoaster ride of twists and turns and highs and dips! But each one getting bigger than the one before. Until that final, breathtaking (but subtle) moment of ecstasy, leaving you sobbing at Papa God’s feet. And then a gentle glide down to the finish, like the rollercoaster slowing down after a breathtakingly beautiful ride so everyone can get off… stumble off…! I went to bed lost in love and dreaming of Papa God that night. And the next day I was wrecked! I give you fair warning. :)
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