Today I am so pleased to welcome Kate Pavelle to Joyfully Jay. Kate is here as part of Beach Read Bonanza and has come to talk to us about her latest release, Landfall, Book 3 of the Fall Trilogy. We also have some great giveaways going on. Please join me in giving Kate a big welcome
Hi, I’m Kate and it was my pleasure to write a special, exclusive short story of “something that happened” in Landfall. When you read Landfall and get to that three-day time skip of the guys being marooned on a tropical island? Well, aside from the usual fishing and water gathering and waiting to light a fire in case a ship comes close by, this is what happened. All I can say is, hooray for coconuts!
“Stranded in beach paradise”
A side story from “Landfall” by Kate Pavelle
The incessant crashing of the surf was just a white noise backdrop by now, and the glaring midday sun chased them into the dappled shade of palm trees. Sean looked up warily. The green fronds of palm leaves were hazy despite the fresh ocean breeze. He saw them flutter, frayed outlines all fuzzy against the painfully bright azure sky.
He blinked to see if any coconuts threatened overhead, but try as he might,, he couldn’t focus.
Maybe the ones that were going to fall already did take their plunge during the last storm.
Sean glanced at Asbjorn, who was sprawled in the warm and shady sand just two feet away from him. He blinked, then blinked again. “My eyes hurt.”
Asbjorn stretched out, pointing his toes down and his fingers up. He wiggled into his bed of sand, knowing he’ll go in the water as soon as the heat breaks and the breeze changes direction. “Yeah?”
“Yeah.” Sean hated having to admit it, but his eyes have gotten scratchy and hot and sore. Keeping them closed was a blessed relief, except then they got stuck with this gross yellow ooze and when he fell asleep during their daily siesta, they got glued shut, just like this morning and the morning before that.
He hated his helplessness.
It was like going blind for a panicked minute or two as he’d rubbed them open with his hands, trying not to let too many ubiquitous sand grains in.
Asbjorn sat up, knelt, and took Sean’s face in his big hands. His palms and fingers spanned from Sean’s chin all the way past his ears, and Asbjorn took advantage of his superior grip as he tilted Sean’s chin peered into his husband’s eyes. “Look at me, Sunshine!”
Sean blinked. Scratchy eyelids, itchy eyes, and his vision was going to shit. The world got pale and hazy around him. Even Asbjorn’s sharp features, occasional freckles, wisps of his sun-whitened hair – all those fine details disappeared as though an old-fashioned photographer put a sheet of gauze over the world.
It scared him.
They were alone on this godforsaken island. No pharmacy, no doctor, no nothing. No fresh water other than rain and what their distillation setup extracted from the wet beach sand.
Not much hygiene, either. They had relied on the UV light of the incessant sun and on the abrasion of omnipresent sand – and the salt in seawater – to kill what germs there were on their hands before they ate. But suppose he got an eye infection? He’d go blind, and then he couldn’t help Asbjorn if something bad happened to him… and how would he spear-fish for their meals?
“Sean. Sunshine. Breathe slowly, baby. You’re hyperventilating.”
Sean closed his eyes and sank into Asbjorn’s embrace. This was a panic attack coming on, sure as day, and he was damned if he was going to let it. Seeing the world all blurred was bad enough.
“But everything’s hazy! Like in a fog.” He buried his nose into the crook of Asbjorn’s neck, inhaling his familiar scent. Gone was the familiar fragrance of shampoo and civilization. Instead, Asbjorn’s peeling skin smelled like the sun, like coconuts they ate, like hard-earned sweat.
“You’ll be okay. Your eyes are red. Where’re your sunglasses?”
Oh. “They’re getting scratched.”
“Wear them anyway. You’re getting snow-blind.”
Sean peeled himself off Asbjorn’s shoulder and took in his blurred face. “There’s no snow.” His voice sounded petulant even to himself, but petulant was a step up from panicked with fear. At least there was a name for this thing.
“Too much sun’ll get your eyes all sore. Didn’t you ever get it out in California? You spent all that time at the beach, right? Surfing?”
“Yeah, facing east. An’ I wasn’t out there all day long.”
“Exactly. So here we’re sort of stuck outside all day long, and you’ve been skipping out on your sunglasses ‘cause they’re getting scratched. So don’t. Just wear ‘em anyway.”
Sean blinked, working hard against the scratch of his eyelids. “So, what, this is normal?”
Asbjorn shrugged. “It happens. Your eyes are irritated. Give ‘em a break, okay? Wash ‘em out.”
Sean groaned. “Our water’s limited and the saltwater just makes it worse.”
Asbjorn’s voice drifted to him from afar, over the crashing of the surf and the gentle rustle of palm leaves high overhead. He settled on his back, his eyes closed, letting his tired limbs sink into the sand, deep and heavy, as though he was just a giant sandbag. He was one with the beach, one with the rock deep underneath, one with the vast ocean surrounding them.
A wetness woke him.
“Shh.” Asbjorn’s voice. They were, after all, alone.
A wet thing pressed on his eyes. It felt cool and soothing, weighing his eyelids shut like a healing embrace.
“What’s this, hon?”
“Your other T-shirt, clean off the line. UV-sterilized. Very high-tech.” Amusement warred with concern in Asbjorn’s voice. “I soaked it in coconut water. It has all kind of biochemicals in it. And it won’t sting like our distilled water would.”
“Mmmm.” Sean felt no desire to move. “Nice.”
“You could nap.”
Sean thought he might. Later. “You think this will help?”
“Yeah,” Asbjorn whispered as he settled in the sand next to him. “Stuff’s like magic. Just you wait. Two days of rest and of coconut water compresses, and your eyes’ll be good as new.”
Sean tried to sit up in panic, but the pressure of Asbjorn’s hand on his chest kept him down.
“Shhh. Kept still, will ya? I meant rest. You want anything? Food? Drink?”
Sean considered his options. “I’d kill for a beer and a ham and cheese sandwich right now. And ice cream. Is there any chocolate ice cream?”
Asbjorn’s stomach next to him rumbled. “Asshole. I thought we agreed not to fantasize about food.”
“Okay. As soon as we get off this lovely paradise island, I’ll get you whatever the fuck y’want. For now, there’s some charred fish left over from this morning. And fresh coconut meat.”
Sean was sick and tired of coconuts, he truly was. His eyes felt better already, though, so he took a deep breath and tried to relax. If he rested them, with compresses on, he’d be back to fishing tomorrow.
Maybe the coconuts weren’t all that bad after all.
“I could go for a chunk of coconut,” Sean allowed.
“I figured. Open up!” Asbjorn slipped a piece of fresh, still-wet flesh between his lips. As Sean chewed, mumbling his thanks, he felt the sand shift beside him, and soon Asbjorn’s fingers carded through his overgrown hair.
“Your eyes’ll be fine.” Asbjorn’s voice carried to him as though from afar, over the noise of city streets his dreamscape provided on the verge of sleep. “You’ll be fine, and I’ll be fine…”
We’ll be fine.
Sean drifted off knowing that, a heavy, wet cloth pressing on his eyes as Asbjorn’s fingers twined through his hair.
We’ll be fine.
Sean and Asbjorn’ s story of crime and revenge took place in Breakfall and Swordfall. Sean’s evil stalker is vanquished, the guys are married, but marriage takes communication – and that means actually talking to each other. In Landfall, a story of their redemption, our intrepid heroes take a much-needed tropical vacation. A boat trip to a nearby island leaves them stranded after a tropical storm. As they fight for survival, Sean realizes depends on him for a reason to live, and Asbjorn comes to understand that he doesn’t need to do the heavy lifting all the time.
Kate escaped from behind the Iron Curtain with her family while still a teen. Lots of moving, many adventures, an entrepreneurial upbringing – all that gave her a special view of the world and a healthy tolerance for adventure.
There’s a story in everything! She’s happily settled in Pittsburgh with her family now, where she rides horses and studies karate and kenjutsu, and writes wild books about adventures that missed her by just a hair. Follow her THURSDAY MORNING COFFEE BLOG on www.katepavelle.wordpress.com.
We have a whole mess of giveaways going on today! First, this post is part of our Beach Read Bonanza! Every comment on any Beach Read Bonanza post enters you to win the grand prize at the end of the month – an awesome beach bag full of goodies, including a kindle! Just leave your comment to enter. (Rules and full details can be found here)
In addition, Kate has brought has brought two books to give away! One is a copy of Landfall and the other is the Kickass Anthology. The Kickass Anthology was published by Kate Pavelle’s Mugen Press as a benefit for Eric Arvin, and consists of 12 illustrated stories where a seemingly weaker gay guy uses wit, grit, and guile to subdue a stronger opponent or beats incredible odds. To become eligible for either book, leave a comment at JoyfullyJay’s blog and tell us one difficult situation or emergency you overcame. Because deep down, we’re all kickass.
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