With the release of Pirates of the Withering Coast part II, I'm going to slip out some excerpts every now and then!
If you have not read The Siren's Call, then this is no doubt going to have some spoilers, so I recommend reading that first!
Anyway, here we go, into the excerpt! There is also going to be a game on this post for a chance to win a prize, so pay attention.
“Ilka, I…,” he started, but the remaining words were lost in his throat, and he turned away, focusing on the sunrise.
“What is it?” Ilka sat at his side, placing her hand on his shoulder.
Arjan stared at his hands, extending and retracting his nails tautly. “Um, if all goes well and settles, I would really like to…” He jumped, feeling her fingers playing with his turquoise braid. It was harder than he thought for him to tell her how badly he wished to remain with her. To stay in Zalophus Creek forever, not just because Selkies were the best company for one who wished for a life free of stress and trauma, but because of her. He twisted his body to face her, working up the courage to tell her his wish, but cruel memories of harsh words from the past played in his mind. His eyes glistened a little as they met hers, and he forced himself to smile. “Never mind,” he whispered.
Gently, she laid her head upon his shoulder. She was about to offer some encouragement when Ilka was interrupted by a loud groan from Trevor. She giggled at the grumbling that followed, then looked back toward Arjan, who let his cheek rest on her head. “Arjan, you are just like the sea,” she told him.
“I only wish I could be so unrestricted,” Arjan mumbled wistfully.
“Well, it has its borders,” she reminded him. “You are beautiful and tragic, with a wonderful song to sing, and you always have a shore to attach yourself to, yet once you do, you withdraw.” Her voice held deep sadness. “You do not have to withdraw.”
Arjan lifted his head, meeting her eyes, and as he did, he felt an instant calm. Ilka always had a way of filling him with peace. From the moment he met her, he had wished to spend the rest of his life with her. “If you are my shore, then I never want to withdraw, Ilka,” he whispered. “I want to…” He looked in her eyes, leaning closer to her face. “To… Ow!” he squeaked, straightening and reaching at his back.
Concerned, the Selkie ran her hand down the same area as Arjan now clutched. “What is it?”
He quietly chuckled as the pain subsided. “I uh, I guess, lying in a glass casket for eleven years is wreaking its havoc.”
Ilka, pushed a piece of his flyaway hair behind his ear and turned his face toward hers. “You were saying?” she urged.
“I was saying? I was saying that I—”
Trevor sat up, grumbling and rubbing his eyes. He looked ahead at Arjan and Ilka, then grinned broadly, leaping up and walking their way with a loud greeting of “Hi!” Standing before Arjan, he stretched slowly. “I feel good,” he announced to the Siren, a bit of surprise in his voice. “Energized. I think it’s the island.”
“This is good to hear. I believe it is you getting use to your Siren nocturnal side,” Ilka told him. “You are growing up.”
Trevor gave a bow before hopping on Arjan’s back. “You and Ilka can adopt me if you wish it,” he offered.
END OF EXCERPT...
Well, I hope you enjoyed that sweet scene! Now on to the game. See if you can find the corresponding art on @blueginghampublishing on Instagram! First one to find it wins a prize...just locate it and send it as a dm to Blue Gingham Publishing!
I hope you're looking forward to the next installment of the Pirates of the Withering Coast Saga!
The Willow's Weep is available June 6th, 2022...