Please welcome Kate Pavelle, who has a way of taking difficult topics and bringing life and joy out of them in the end. I asked about her new release, Hard Climb, Book 2 of the SwimBikeRun trilogy, which I have been following like the fan of sports and m/m love that I am.
The kind and effervescent P.D. Singer has been expecting this guest blog for quite some time. I’ve been meaning to write it, but every time I sat down and tried to focus on Jesse and Sebastian, and on the SwimBikeRun series, I stalled.
Nothing came to me.
Just the real world.
Upset and discord and all kinds of unpleasantness.
I just couldn’t focus on “Climbing Hard,” nor on its prequel, “Treading Water.”
Until last Friday, that is. I was in the pool, where my husband and I were getting our swim in before a margarita and chips date at a local restaurant (This triathon won’t train for all by itself, and a margarita with salt is like jacked-up Gatorade.) Few years ago, the utter boredom of crossing the pool back and forth had inspired me to think of a plot that would revolve around the sport of triathlon. I plotted as I swam, and as I swam, my characters were beginning to take shape in the water to my side, spun of the foam of my imagination and of the ephemeral bubbles that were kicked up by other swimmers. The guys helped me through a lot back then.
Last Friday, as I plowed through chlorinated water while pondering my real-life situation, they helped me once again. That is, I didn’t imagine them nearby and I didn’t try to evoke them. They didn’t show up. Instead, like a weird, delayed spark of bright illumination, I’ve come to realize that whereas a few years ago I have been a lot like Jesse, today I am a lot like Sebastian.
A bit spoiled, a bit entitled. Always wanting to do the right thing, but not always knowing how. Entangled in a family business I’d rather not be part of, and trying to get away to do my own thing. Much like Sebastian, I am now at odds with my father. Much like Sebastian, I’m also dependent on the family business income to an unhealthy degree.
And, just like Sebastian, I will stand up for myself and do what I am good at. What I love best. Those talents and preferences aren’t governed by common history and shared DNA. Neither Sebastian nor I will move back to Europe to run a company, and neither of us will be pushed into taking on a project we don’t see in a good light.
This discord, it is stressful. I used to be the “good daughter.”
This hurt, it’s depressing. I have no retort for sharp words flung in anger.
This growth, it is painful – but the ache of rebirth is a price I’m willing to pay.
I’m not sure of my own HEA, although I hope for the best. For you, the reader, I can only promise a firm and touching conclusion to the SwimBikeRun series in book 3, “Final Dash,” coming out in April 2016.
P.S. For those many of you who are reading these books, if you have a minute, drop me a review on Amazon! ~ Kate
Readers, I suggest starting at the beginning with Jesse and Sebastian, which is Treading Water.
Buffeted by the winds of fate, Jesse Hightower drifted far from his Crow reservation. Family issues, foster homes, and living hard on the street. Now his computer-jockey job got him out of shape, and a tough split with Renata threw him into depression. Even worse — to keep his job, he has to train for a mandatory, company-wide triathlon.
An heir to an ice cream empire, Sebastian Gillen was born with a silver spoon in his mouth and family expectations of an executive career. A brilliant swimmer, Sebastian had given up his shot at the Olympics for the sake of business. Meeting Jesse at the pool is an exciting breath of fresh air. Inspired by Jesse’s inner strength, Sebastian resolves to make this boyfriend thing work, even if he has to stand up to his family – including his sister, Renata.
“When it feels like it’s us against the world, let’s not forget the friends that have our backs.”
Jesse and Sebastian are together now – or are they? Sebastian is waging a murky corporate battle on his own. When his distance and stress turns Jesse into a mess, Jesse’s boss Tyler remembers what his own break-up with Sebastian felt like. He pulls a few strings to help Jesse, he hits Sebastian with a clue-bat. It works wonders, but the results are just a calm before the storm.
Sebastian’s plan to ease into living with Jesse openly dies as he’s outed and black-mailed. The ground under his feet crumbles. From a designer business suit to cheap construction boots, his life of privilege falls apart and only Jesse and the constancy of triathlon training keeps him sane. Sebastian’s goals are clear: They won’t be homeless. They’ll make ends meet. For Jesse, he’ll do anything.