Recently, I was interviewed by Yel of the Itzel Library. The interview is available in English and Spanish and you can read it here.
Yel asked me about deleted scenes and outtakes from the novel, reminding me of a scene involving Richard and Grace that was cut from Gabriel’s Inferno.
She took her husband’s outstretched hand and followed him to the bed, divesting herself of her robe in the semi-darkness and joining him naked between the sheets. She positioned herself on her side, running her fingers through the light dusting of chest hair that decorated his upper body.
“My love.” Richard grabbed her hand and kissed it softly. “Tell me what’s bothering you before I make you forget your troubles. You’re driving me crazy.”
Grace laughed. He knew her so well. She would absentmindedly glide gentle hands over his still muscular body in order to help her think better, but it had the opposite effect on him.
“Sorry, dear. I was thinking about Julia.”
Richard sighed and waited for her to elaborate, but he knew what was coming.
“She won’t return my calls. She won’t return Rachel’s calls. Tom says she’s holed up in a tiny apartment near campus and she’ll barely speak to him. I was thinking about driving up there to see her tomorrow and taking a care package.”
Richard was a thoughtful man, a quiet man. He gave his wife’s words his full consideration as she waited to hear his opinion. They were that attuned to one another. They were that much in love.
“I don’t think that’s a good idea. If she’s retreating, it’s because she’s afraid. If you go to her home, you’ll be upsetting her in the one place in which she feels safe.”
Grace rested her hand on his heart. “You aren’t a psychiatrist.”
“That’s right. But we both know Julia is withdrawn and timid. If you threaten her security, you will be threatening her coping strategy. And then she’s going to have to find something else.”
“So what should I do?”
“Why don’t you write her a letter, expressing your concern. Give her some time to process things and respond. And then wait and see what happens.”
Grace rested her head on her husband’s shoulder. “I can do that, but I wish she’d talk to me – let me know what happened that made her want to hide from all of us. And then I could help her.”
“Rachel mentioned something about her boyfriend.”
Grace flinched. “I never liked the way he looked at her. He was proud of how she looked on his arm, but there was something in his eyes.” She reached over and planted a light kiss on her husband’s lips. “He never looked at her the way you look at me.”
Richard smiled at her and caressed the naked curve of her hip with his fingers. “No one looks at anyone the way I look at you because no one loves anyone the way I love you.”
Grace’s worries were momentarily interrupted by a passionate kiss and a pair of strong hands stroking her lower back.
“Julia would have been vulnerable when she started seeing him. Her mother had died, she was away from Selinsgrove. She likely tolerated whatever he was willing to give to her. And gladly.” Richard sighed deeply. “She’s a dreamy romantic, I think, not unlike her mother.”
“Don’t mention that woman to me. She nearly ruined that little girl. When I think of what she exposed her to and —”
He leaned over and kissed her again. “I know, my love. But there’s nothing we can do about it now.”
“I feel helpless,” Grace whispered. “She’s suffering and she won’t let me comfort her. I promised Julia I would be her mother. But she won’t let me.”
“She’ll come back to you when she’s ready.”
“You said that about Gabriel. He never comes home.”
Richard shifted uncomfortably. “He hascome back to us. He’s clean, he has a good job, and if we’re lucky, he’ll meet a nice girl and she’ll straighten him out. You lit a candle for him. Why don’t you light a candle for Julia?”
Grace kissed her husband, but her sadness over her eldest son radiated through her touch.
“Things will work out, my love. I promise. We’ll find a way.” Richard softly kissed her.
And when their contact grew more heated, he looked down at her and traced the soft line of her earlobe, pausing to touch the sparkling diamond in her ear, a gift from long ago.
“You’re upset. You’re sad tonight. I don’t think that we should —”
“Making love with you comforts me, darling. Please.”
He had never denied her any good thing. He could not deny her this. He hovered over her, staring deeply into her eyes. There was no need for words; their gazes said it all.
It was a slow, easy rhythm, the effortless, intimate coupling of a man and a woman who knew each other. The kind of love making that could last for hours or even a lifetime.
“I worship you,” he whispered against her neck, as she arched her back, her hands urging him deeper.
“I love you,” she whispered. “Always.”
The wave crashed over both of them, leaving them breathless and contented.
Grace’s last thought was a silent prayer that one day Julia and Gabriel would each find love.
And then she fell asleep wrapped up in the arms of her beloved husband…
Thank you to Yel for reminding me about this scene, which I’d forgotten. And to the moderators of the international SR accounts, who are providing the translations.
In case you missed it, you can view the cover design for the UK edition of Gabriel’s Redemption here. You can also preorder it through Waterstones or Amazon.co.uk.
All the best everyone and thank you for reading,