Gabrielle and Devlin were the very first characters to talk to me. I waited for years...literally before I screwed up the courage to write their story. Once I decided that I wanted to write, I wanted the absolute perfect storyline line for them. I waited until the Spring of 2001. I was living in England and came home from work and flipped on the telly. I had the UK version of the History Channel on and they were talking about The Sepoy Mutiny. I was shocked and horrified about the details surrounding this historic event...and instantly the storyline for Devlin and Gabrielle came to life. All my stories are treasured and mean a great deal, but this one...well, it was the first, it was the start to this career I've been enjoying.
Here is an excerpt to GABRIELLE
Resting on her back, she floated for a moment. Fanning her arms at her sides, Gabrielle moved against the current of the river, fortunate this spot was free of a strong undertow. Her mind wandered from one thought to the next, like a butterfly flittering from flower to flower. Once she realized she’d drifted out further into the river than she wanted, Gabrielle stood. The bottom was slick and she slipped several times on her way to shore. When she had her footing, she stopped and gathered her hair and wrung out the excess water. A rustle of leaves startled her. She looked up on the bank and froze where she stood. Peering up she narrowed her gaze, trying to see into the dappled shadows. Her heart pounded furiously. She didn’t know what to do, should she drop into the water or boldly walk to the pile of toweling on the grass? Instead, she did neither of those things once her eyes settled on the man who intruded on her bath. Fury and excitement mingled inside her as she watched as Devlin moved down the small slope of land down to the water’s edge. A soft breeze brought the scent of horse, leather and Devlin to her. Closing her eyes she inhaled deeply. The knot in her stomach loosened. When she met Devlin’s gaze, the heat of his stare burned her. Licking her lower lip she said, “What are you doing here?” She moved through the water, closer to him and waited for his answer. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to interrupt your bath.” He ran a hand through his long dark hair, leaving it disheveled. “But I thought it too dangerous for you to be out here alone.” Gabrielle shivered. His voice was so deep, husky, and trailed like fingers of velvet over her nerve endings. As she stood, soaking wet, her chemise clinging to her body in front of a man she’d know her entire life, she was overcome with the need to reach up and kiss him. Not on the cheek, but on his mouth. A breathy sigh left her lips. Where were these feelings coming from? They were wholly unacceptable. Yet, this was the first time she’d felt even remotely alive since waking up to the fires and screams of the mutiny. Shaking her head, she motioned to the boulder Savita had placed her belongings. “Can you hand me the drying cloth?” She held her hand out and took it from him. Their fingers brushed and it was as if she’d touched hot embers. The sensations left her tingling. She gasped out loud and her eyes jerked back to Devlin’s. Emotions flashed across his face too swiftly for her to name any of them. It was enough to know he was as affected as she. He pulled back and a smile curved Gabrielle’s lips at seeing this strong man left off balance from a simple touch.