About the author
Evelyn was born in Western Australia and raised on a
vineyard in the Swan Valley grape-growing region of Perth. She also shares her
time on the Gold Coast in Queensland. Her experiences from living in a rural
setting, and numerous interests, including having travelled to many overseas
destinations have inspired this novel.
Evelyn’s attention was drawn to St. Thomas Island in the
Caribbean after having enjoyed its lush flora, peacock-blue waters and ambience
of colourful art, music and peoples.
From these experiences she brings us another exciting novel
of strong characters, whose lives on this tropical island, and beyond, highlight
their passion to succeed in business along with enjoying family ties.
Her readers are given the feeling of being at this holiday
destination with its thriving metropolis. Also highlights of the main characters
visiting other distant shores.
The author enjoys creating her novels from worldly events
and intriguing locations, which in turn comprise adventure, drama and romance.
This story is no exception as it conjures up emotions, desires and the constant
struggle to balance life, love and careers.
Read a sample:
St Thomas Island – USA Virgin Islands – Caribbean:
accordingly offers a pristine vacation environment; holiday seekers
arrive by cruise ships and aircraft in anticipation of enjoying this island’s
wonderful variety of activities. In this mecca of tropical waters and swaying
palms you will find excellent choices of accommodation from hotels, resorts, to
condominiums and units, enjoying a fantastic view across the bay to Charlotte
Amalie, the capital and main hub for business and shopping. Also dotted around
the island are beaches ideal for swimming and water sports. The people, cuisines
and music are diverse, as are the many languages spoken other than English.
‘Hi Dimitri, how’s business?’
‘Michael Andros... yah, all’s good, man. How about
you, haven’t seen you in the Havensight Dock vicinity for some
time. Have you swapped cruise ships?’
‘You’re right, I was sent on a different sector to fill in
while another guy had a vacation,’ Michael called back to Dimitri who was
leaning over the railing of his launch called The Buccaneer. He
continued, ‘Yeah, all sweet at the moment. Since then I’ve been
offered a superb deal, so I grabbed it. I’m now in charge of the art sales and
auctions on board this beauty moored next to you. Quite a challenge but I figure
the more experience I get in, not only in the art world, but learning
passengers’ likes and dislikes, the better opportunities I’ll have for achieving
a solid land job.’
‘Bravo. I’m not very clued-up on paintings.’ Dimitri waved
muscular arms into the air as he turned to look at his surrounds; he then rested
strong-fisted fisherman’s hands on his hips, saying, ‘Man, I see my ideal scene
here every day. When I take a group of passengers out fishing, the peacock
colours of the sea and the blue of the sky keeps me happy. How often will this
cruise ship you’re on be visiting this port?’
‘For the mid-season it will be here weekly. We also call
into a couple of other island ports before returning to Miami. I saw your
company’s fishing tour being offered by our ship’s excursions office. I know
there are always some keen anglers on board who want to have a go at deep-sea
fishing. The office told me you’re getting some business out of us each trip.’
‘Yeah, I sure am. In fact I’ve got a few of your passengers
on board now.’ Dimitri checked his watch. ‘OK, must shove off, but if you’re
free about three this afternoon when I come back with this load of sun-seekers,
I’ll buy you a beer. My crew know what needs to be stocked before we take off
again for Puerto Rico about four. There’s another cruise ship calling into that
island tomorrow, so I’m booked up again. Man, I’ve no complaints; I’m getting
plenty of business from you lot.’
Michael knew he would not be taking up the offer of
‘I’ll buy you a beer’ as he had already experienced the offering before.
Dimitri was a man of great talent as far as the sea and fishing was concerned;
however, Michael had already concluded that other than their backgrounds of
coming from completely different Greek families with the same surname of Andros,
they had nothing in common. He would let others experience his axe-handle
shoulders and fists like dinner plates; there was no doubt this tour operator
had a torso to put many a boxer’s physic to shame. It wouldn’t pay to get on the
wrong side of him.
Giving a casual salute, Michael simply called back, ‘Hope
you haul in plenty.’ He then turned to see another tour leaving the dock called
Atlantis Adventures, which gave passengers a submarine experience. Young
men and women were excitedly parading and gathering on its deck in their summer
gear. His eyes did not miss catching a group of scantily clad young gals and
guys splashing on copious quantities of sun-screen lotion. He quickly snapped
several photos of the overall scene to add to his collection of possible future
art compositions. One day he’d get back to painting again, but for now he had a
more important dream in the melting pot.
At that moment the four powerful motors on The Buccaneer
revved up for departure. The launch was well known by locals; Dimitri and
his crew had an excellent record of safety and great fishing knowledge. This
streamlined vessel, with excellent torque, now purred as she slowly eased from
the dock to edge her way out of the bay across the early morning mirrored waters
towards the open sea.
An hour later, with the launch anchored in a bay well away
from any main shipping lane, the crew continued their duties of assisting folk
with fishing tackle and diving apparatus. Dimitri, satisfied all was in hand,
slipped below deck to catch a few hours’ sleep; he rarely slept a full night on
land. Passing the large entertaining area where in a few hours’ time they would
provide a sumptuous seafood buffet lunch, he entered his luxurious cabin to
shower and doze.
Michael continued to walk further along the Havensight Dock
thinking how he would never consider a business like Dimitri’s. To live on a
launch travelling from island to island taking adventurous travellers on fishing
charters continuously took a great deal of dedication, and incredible stamina.
How long this pace could be maintained with broken sleep patterns for him, a
year maybe, probably not even that. His thoughts moved on to the possibility of
a wife and children – when would he ever get the chance to see them? Not much.
Turning away from the docking area he heard the calypso
band start up their fanfare of steel drum beats again, as passengers streamed
down the gangway from another cruise ship that had just docked at St Thomas
Island. Loud excited chatter was heard as they waited for the transporting
choo-choo road trains. The first one to pull in was called The Orange Blossom
Special; a surge of bodies dived to acquire a seat. Soon another arrived
called The Tropical Trolley, and the third now in sight, The Green
Giant, created a marvellous holiday atmosphere.
Michael’s camera clicked again as the last of the
stragglers rushed forward to claim the remaining seats, all eager to be driven
off to discover this island’s highlights. With the chaotic jumble of travellers
departing from the dock in the open-sided road trains along Veteran’s Drive
toward the shopping outlets in the town of Charlotte Amalie, Michael wandered
along the footpath to the Havensight Dock Mall, which also offered a huge
variety of shopping. Hands in pockets he observed many locals setting up their
wares all hoping for a day of prosperous trading.
Passing several shops and stalls he finally paused to take
a closer look at the men’s accessories in a window display. After nodding a
brief acknowledgement to a few other crew members passing by, he turned back to
the window to study what was happening behind him by checking discreetly the
reflections in the glass window. The prime purpose of this morning’s stroll was
to catch the attention of a young woman, who was also of Greek lineage. Jazzamyn
now appeared looking very attractive and fresh. She began to raise the
roll-a-door of the shop shared with her friend, Lahrina, who had a Spanish
Today, Jazzamyn wore an ankle-length, flowing red floral
skirt and an off-the-shoulder cream blouse, which suited her medium build and
olive skin. Her long, dark auburn hair was tied loosely back with a red ribbon.
Michael continued to watch, hankering to get more intimate with this girl, who
was a very talented artist. The big question was, would she agree to a chat in a
nearby café away from the shop, and if she did, what were his chances in winning
When she had completed setting up the shop entrance display
he slowly strolled toward her. ‘Hi, how’s my sugar sweet Jazzamyn today?’
Michael was a very likeable character; it was not unusual
for him to speak in an endearing way. His calm, well-controlled mannerisms were
well received by friends and colleagues alike. Recognising Michael’s voice she
turned. He then saw Jazzamyn’s smiling face and bright red lips – lips that he
longed to kiss – now focused in his direction. Jazzamyn thought of Michael as an
appealing hunk, a combination of raw masculinity and amazing grace, always
dressed smartly and smelling of a refreshing aromatic after-shave lotion.
‘Hi, Michael, you’re a pleasant surprise.’ Then she offered
the European style of embrace with a quick kiss to either side of the cheek;
this was her first indication of genuine friendship toward him. He’d been
longing for a sign from her, and this embrace indicated to him that after many
months of quick visits to the shop whenever the cruise ship was in port, she had
finally accepted him as a friend.
‘It’s great to see you again, Michael. I thought you must
have decided to take a land job on the mainland. I haven’t seen you in the
Havensight Mall for several weeks. What have you been up to?’
‘Good news, I got that promotion I was telling you about.
Yeah, I’m now on the company’s newest cruise ship in the fleet. Hey, just take a
look at her over there, she’s fourteen decks high, and we have a great new area
for displaying the framed art work for sale. And guess what – I’m the new art
auctioneer on board.’
‘Wow, that’s magnificent! Congratulations on your new
position. I’m sure your parents are very proud of your achievement.’ She then
popped her head out of the shop entrance to peer towards where the beautiful new
ship was docked. ‘Doesn’t she look grand? Oh, given the first early berthing up
front too, I see.’
With a bit of a shrug, Michael nonchalantly ran fingers
through his black curly hair. ‘Yes, we docked at five this morning; first in
line as you’ve already noticed. She’s a luxury floating resort, there’s no doubt
about that.’ Then after a slight hesitation, and with a voice wrestling with
hope, he asked, ‘I’m back in this port on a weekly turn around again, sooo –
what I was hoping is, could you squeeze me into one of your breaks for a chat
over a coffee. You know, away from here – more private?’
Beginning to clip an unframed oil painting on a display
line, Jazzamyn turned and smiled gently. Thoughts of Michael had definitely
crossed her mind many times, wondering why he hadn’t called to see her at the
shop in many weeks. The little chats they had shared over art on his previous
visits flooded back, and this request for coffee and a more private chat
indicated he wanted to be more than just friends. It was the next level he was
wanting, and this assumption appealed. She had received several offers of
courtship from other men who were employed locally, but had declined them to
concentrate on her career in art. However, there was something about Michael
that drew her to thinking it was time she let her guard down and enjoy having
someone to talk to who was interested in the same subjects as herself.
‘Yes, I would like that, but I can’t leave the shop until
Lahrina comes. We both watch each other’s merchandise – you understand.’
‘Sure, I catch your drift. I can come back at any time that
suits you, that’s not a problem.’
‘OK, I usually find time around one o’clock to take a break
and have some lunch. As you know the first part of the morning is our busiest.
Then the crowds drop off from about then until the passengers return from their
chosen tours around three o’clock. Then we’re busy again until the ships
‘Great, I’ll come back just before one.’ Michael gave her
waist a light squeeze and then trotted down the street to the convenience store
in a daze, finding it hard to believe she had accepted his invitation.
The convenience store was busy with various crew acquiring
personal items to enjoy in their free time on-board. He followed suit, then
raced back to the ship to put away his purchases. With another splash of
after-shave lotion and a quick comb of his hair, it was time to return to the
shopping precinct. Jogging down the gangway he still couldn’t believe he’d soon
be talking to Jazzamyn in private. Then his mind became tormented in hoping she
wouldn’t have a problem in getting away from the shop as planned.
About to proceed along the tree-lined road to the shops he
heard a few shouts from the maintenance crew who were dangling on ropes down the
ship’s bow. ‘You’re in a hurry, Mike, got yourself a hot date?’
He turned and gave them the thumbs-up sign, deciding then
to slow his pace down not wanting to show up all sweaty.
As he approached the shop he heard Jazzamyn call, ‘There
you are, I’ll be ready in two seconds.’
After short pleasantries with Lahrina, they commenced their
short walk to a modern coffee shop. Entering, Michael sussed out a quiet table,
and after the waitress had taken their order he felt more at ease without the
entire neighbourhood watching him trying to get closer to Jazzamyn. Knowing she
was concentrating on achieving a career in art, it was not wise to come on
heavy. The risk of being turned away because of amorous impatience was not what
he wanted at all. He was serious about them becoming involved, so he would have
to take it easy; let her make the first move.
Michael was twenty-seven and he knew Jazzamyn had turned
twenty-five. As far as a future together was concerned there was plenty of time
to contemplate that, as he also had an agenda that needed much attention before
considering a life-time commitment. When the time came for marriage he sincerely
hoped it would be him she chose.
Discussing the use of oils, faster-drying acrylics and
various well-known artists, all emphasised how much they had in common with
their chosen careers. Michael was also able to suggest other venues where her
paintings could be sold; hopefully this would give her the recognition and
ongoing support she was longing for.
Too soon their interlude was over and he reluctantly had to
say good-bye until the following week.