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Thursday, 5 May 2016

VBT & #GIVEAWAY - Serpents and Doves by G. Lloyd Helm


Literary Fiction



Stephen Mitchell did not know what he was getting into at a small church college in Tennessee. Sex, protest, friendship, and Civil rights. The title “Serpents and Doves” comes from the warning Jesus gave to his disciples as he sent them out to preach the gospel, knowing the dangers they were going into. He said “I send you out as sheep among wolves, therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.” Stephen Mitchell learns first-hand what that warning means when he goes to a Tennessee church college in the midst of the turbulent 60’s. He learns about friendship, war, protest, the sexual revolution, and civil rights.

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Ethan’s suicide rocked the school, but not nearly as much as Stephen expected. The New Jersey and New York folks mostly didn’t know anything about Ethan or the BSU so they noted the suicide as a bit of news, but it didn’t effect them much.  There was some anti-homosexual noise and the inevitable nasty jokes, but Ethan Patrick’s passing caused no more than a ripple for the most part.

There was some noise and protest from the Mason First Baptist Church when Billie Jo asked them to hold the funeral service, but finally they said they would bury him, but not in the church cemetery. They ignored the fact of his suicide and the reasons for it and held a small service. Stephen debated with himself whether he should go.   He had about decided not to when Cathy Powell cornered him and asked if he would go with her.  “I really don’t have the strength Steve,” she said. “I’m just a wreck. Can’t you please come with me?” 

Stephen seriously thought about saying, Why don’t you go ask David Hall? But didn’t say it.  “All right. I’ll meet you at the church.”

She smiled sadly, but Stephen thought he saw just the smallest glimmer of triumph in it.

The coffin was set across the aisle in front of the altar. Closed. It was silvery gray and looked more like a large tin can than a coffin. The congregation was small, mostly people from the BSU but a few from Beacon’s faculty including Dr. Conners and Dr. Marchant. Having the Pope there was no surprise. Probably here to make sure the sumbitch is really dead, Stephen thought, and then felt bad about thinking it.

G. Lloyd Helm will be awarding 10 paperback copies of the book to10 randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour. (international giveaway)

Can you tell us a little about yourself?
My CV-- 6'3", 68 years, Married for 45 years. Two sons. Been writing for many years--I call myself a ne'er do well scribbler. I've traveled the world on the coat tails of my wife Michele who is a now retired Air Force Master Sergeant. I have lived in Spain, Germany, and Italy. Also in Illinois, Virginia, Indiana, and now California from whence I started. I speak pretty good Spanish from having grown up in the San Fernando Valley with friends named Garcia, Martinez, and Gomez, Italian from having lived near Venice for three years, Pretty good German from living near Gross Gerau in Hessen--my German would be better but the Germans don't like you to murder their language so they speak English most of the time.
Liberal in Politics. Believer in the equality of all. Don't tolerate foolish conservatives. Grouch when I am working and interrupted. 
My Epitaph will read --"HE MARRIED WELL."

What do you do when you’re not writing?
Think about writing. Drives my wife crazy cause we can be doing something and I just sorta disappear and she says --"you're writing again." I also read voraciously and omnivorously, watch PBS and Science programs on TV.

Do you have a day job as well?
Not Currently. Over the years I have had a number of jobs including cab driver, night guard, clerk, Mail handler, librarian and a few dozen others that are less sexy than that like carpenter, ditch digger, cement finisher.

What was your favourite book as a child?
The first book I really remember was a book about Volcanos, but one of my favorites--I have many -- was a book by Robert Heinlein called "Door into Summer."  It is a time travel story. Then there is "Flowers for Algernon." I could go on for pages.

Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
Yes, run. Don't do it. It will hurt you and you will never make any money, but if you really have the writing sickness this won't stop you. In that case sit your rear end down and write. If you got the sickness, might as well exercise it.

What is your least favourite part of the writing or publishing process?
Selling the books. Most publishers, even the bigs, don't really sell books much anymore. Unless your name is J.K. Rowling or Stephen King or something you gotta get out there and sell  'em. But I even heard Stephen King grousing about  this. The publishers will place the books with Barnes and Noble and Amazon and a few other big outlets, but small independents don't have deals with them so if you want the Indies to carry your book you gotta get out there and sell 'em. I personally go to specialty fairs and swap meets and such throughout the year.

1. Light or dark chocolate

2. Favourite colour
Green, like money.

3. Dogs or cats
 Neither. I love animals, that's why I don't have any pets. My wife and I love to travel and often go at a moment's notice and that is just not fair to an animal. Maybe when I slow down and become more of a home body I will have a dog.

4. Tea or coffee
Coffee. I drink tea too but mostly of the iced variety. I love my Italian coffee. When we first moved to Spain I thought Spanish Cafe con Leche was the best  stuff in the world and then I went to Italy and found out what great coffee really was. We used to go walking in Venice and could hardly get a hundred yards without stopping for coffee again.

5. Light side or dark side
Depends. When I am not working I tend toward the moody dark side, but when I am working well I am a lot lighter.

6. Morning, noon or night?
Noon/night. Morning is just not for me. Too many years of having to get up early with babies and/or jobs. I found out recently that the old English navy--18th century--said that a day began at noon. I like that. Eight bells of the forenoon watch.

8. Drawings or paintings?
Like them both. Depends how they are executed. Loved Goya paintings and drawings. Love Picasso's paintings.

10. Books or movies?
You ask all these either/or questions and I am not an either/or guy.  I like movies and books. I have long since found out that if a movie is made from a book either see the movie or read the book not both and usually you are better to read the book to know what the creator really meant.

11. Pepsi or Coke?
Back in the days before I became diabetic it was mostly Coke. I drank a lot a Pepsi at one time and it got to the place I couldn't stand it anymore. My stomach just would not accept it anymore. Now, with the diabetes I am back to drinking Pepsi, but of the diet variety.

12. Chinese or Italian?
Both. I am an eater. If doesn't crawl off the table I'll eat it and if it does crawl it better crawl fast.

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here

 G. Lloyd Helm has been writing for 40 years, having published poetry in a wide variety of magazines and newspapers including “The New York Poetry Anthology,” “Stars and Stripes News,” “The Los Angeles Times,” “The Antelope Valley Press,” and “The Antelope Valley Anthologies,” among others. 

… Has published short stories and memoirs both in the US and in England in such journals as “Pligrimage” which published the memoir “Football” in spring 2005, and a second memoir “4 April, 1968” in the winter of 2008.  He has published short stories in “Citadel” the literary magazine of Los Angeles City College,” “Delivered Magazine,” which is based in London, “Short Story Library,” The University of S. Illinois’ “Eureka Literary Magazine,” “Tales as like as not,” and London’s “Black Gate Magazine.”  Recently published “Even Up” a Civil War Ghost story at, an English on line magazine, and the short story “A Lovely Elephant” in “Delivered Magazine” an English fiction journal. “The Other Fellows Shoes,” Pulp Empire III, Metahuman Press, Cedar Rapids, IA Nov. 2010. Is being published in an on line experiment from Alfie Dog Publishing in England. May 2012.

…Has published three novels in the F&SF field, 1) OTHER DOORS, From MousePrints Publishing, and 2) DESIGN from American Star. 3) WORLD WITHOUT END from Rogue Phoenix Press,  OTHER DOORS, originally published in 1997, was published electronically by Rogue Phoenix Press in July 2010. Also Published a literary Romance novel called SOMETIMES IN DREAMS, from Siren’s call. Most recently a volume of short stories called TRAIN WHEELS, FLYING SAUCERS, AND THE GHOST OF TIBURCIO VASQUEZ. Many of these stories appear on the Alfie Dog site.

…Is in process of publishing an adult literary novel called SERPENTS AND DOVES with Rogue Phoenix Press, which will be out in May 2016.


Tour Organised By: 

Goddess Fish Promotions


  1. Greetings Blog travelers-- This is the one G. Lloyd, Ne'er-do-well scribbler and part time genius. I'll be back from time to time to answer questions or comments. Meanwhile, if you want to order any of my books you can get them from Amazon, Barnes and Noble on line, Rogue Phoenix Press or directly from me