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THE LURE OF DISTANT SHORES




the lure of distant shores

A novel of adventure, drama and romance ......

Jazzamyn Tylun is an artist residing on St. Thomas Island, (one of the islands belonging to the U.S.A. Virgin Group of islands in the Caribbean). She is dedicated to painting the island’s kaleidoscope of diversity. Folk arrive here by cruise ships and aircraft, lured to this holiday destination by swaying palms and pristine waters. 

This career-minded young woman sells her art to the thriving metropolis of tourists who are eager to shop and explore, whilst she dreams of visiting relatives in Australia, and becoming a successful artist on the west coast of America  in Los Angeles’ world of art. 

Now in her mid-twenties, she finds herself caught up in a romantic folly, with several suitors vying for her attention. Dimitri – a fishing tour operator; Michael – an art auctioneer on a cruise ship and; Wade – an oceanographer. They soon discover this ‘wild swan’ has a very academic mind, and is driven to acquire prosperity in her artistic endeavours. 

As time drifts on, these romantic infatuations digress into a nightmare of entanglement and deception. These cause a treadmill of responsibility for her, and dealing with these stressful issues takes its toll as the men come and go from the island. 

When these emotional impacts retract, and her life is about to plateau once more, she wonders if the man she really loves will make contact, and if so, will he be willing to accept her back.

In Store Price: $26.95 
Online Price:   $25.95

 

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Ebook version - $AUD9.00 upload.

 

ISBN: 978-1-922229-71-7
Format: Paperback
Number of pages: 246
Genre: Fiction

Cover: Clive Dalkins

Other books by the same author  

THAT’S THE WAY IT WAS

(Zeus Publications 2004)

Florence Mary Eliza GORDON (nee Tondut)

1876 to 1976

Biography

Early days in Western Australia

ISBN: 978-1-920884-21-5 

 

SUDDENLY THE HEAT IS ON

(Zeus Publications 2005)

Fiction – Family Saga

ISBN: 978-1-921005-13-8 

 

MUSIC MAESTRO PLEASE

(Zeus Publications 2007)

Fiction – Family Saga

ISBN: 978-1-921240-08-9 

 

THE ATOLLS SHARE THEIR SECRETS

(Zeus Publications 2010)

Fiction – Family Saga

ISBN: 978-1-921574-34-4 

 

WALK TALL MY SONS AND DAUGHTERS

(Zeus Publications 2014)

Fiction – Contemporary - Trilogy

ISBN: 978-1-922229-22-9



Author
-
Evelyn Gordon Dyson
Publisher: Zeus Publications
Date Published:  2018
Language: English


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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.

CHAPTER 1

St Thomas Island … A Diversity of Peoples

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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 background.

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 her love?

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 depart.’

‘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. 

***

 


 

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