When I first introduced Gizelle in Tropical Tiger Spy, way back when I was a baby writer, I only knew that the then-nameless gazelle was going to play an important role. I didn't realize how important...and initially, I had no plans to pair her up with a mate of her own.
But readers asked, and I couldn't resist.
This was one of the hardest books I've written - it was a whole pile of tricky balances. Gizelle is innocent, but not at all a child. Conall, in some ways, is as damaged as she is...and she spent her childhood in a zoo! It was the first time I wrote a deaf character, and for the first half of the book, they can't even touch each other. Gizelle's growth and bravery - through this book and this whole series - is a big part of the Shifting Sands series.
I love this book so much. It's funny and hopeful even while it's sometimes heartbreaking, and I especially love how it shows how much love and support the Shifting Sands staff has for each other.
Although this is book 7, you can drop into the series from this book and read it without picking up any of the rest of them - it stands alone and the end is satisfying and complete. It's Gizelle's first Christmas! Discover the holiday, and the magic of love.
Originally posted at Dreamwidth: https://ellenmillion.dreamwidth.org/1778610.html (I'm more likely to reply to comments there!)