I'm especially happy to introduce this book to the world, and express my gratitude to the many people to whom I owe thanks. I began my first idea and research notebook for The Dark Before Dawn back in 2013, during a stay in the B.C. mountains (that’s British Columbia, for the non-Canadians out there!). Because of my commitment to the Fairchild series and some other group projects, I wasn’t able to seriously tackle the book until 2017, when my husband Jeff told me I should buckle down and write it—and that I should go to Vienna. Of course the trip was amazing. I’m so grateful to my friend Cindy for keeping me company, getting me on the right trains, and helping me find the right locations for the scenes I’d sketched out in my battered blue notebook. Many thanks to Jeff and to Cindy’s husband, Chris, for waving us off and keeping the homefires burning while the two of us had a wonderful time.
I can honestly say that the reading I did for this book was every bit as entertaining as my trip to Vienna. The Vienna Congress is a fascinating juncture in history. For readers interested in exploring the period, I recommend Adam Zamoyski’s Rites of Peace: The Fall of Napoleon and the Congress of Vienna, David King’s Vienna 1814: How the Conquerers of Napoleon Made Love, War and Peace at the Congress of Vienna, and in the realm of fiction, Tracy Grant’s excellent mystery, Vienna Waltz. For readers wanting to experience Vienna after the conference, Eva Ibbotson’s Magic Flutes and The Star of Kazan give wonderful pictures of the city.
I’m indebted to the friends, family, and other writers who generously shared their time and opinions to make this a better book. Regina, Cameron and Jennie rescued me from plot snarls time and time again, and Jennifer Stevens was patient and exacting with her editing.
I also want to thank my readers. I hope you enjoy this book—and that you will consider leaving an online review! It needn’t be long. In the age of online retailers and ebooks, your reviews are the endorsements that help my books get read.
And there’s more to come! Join my reader group for a sneak preview of It Killed The Cat, the sequel to this story.