To Scott, Prime Mover and Unshakeable Believer:

The best is yet to be.


To Ashlyn, Gwyneth, and Liam:

When I grow up, I will write a book titled: Everything I Needed to Learn About Reading I Learned From My Children


In my stubborn ignorance, I thought that I could sit alone and produce a fiction masterpiece that was the envy of friends and the beloved of publishing professionals all over. I have managed to achieve neither goal yet. Whatever I have managed to bumble and stumble my way through over the past few years has been greatly improved through the kind, patient reading and support from many friends, some of whom earn grateful mention here:


Alan Sloan, who took me seriously from the start, encouraged me to keep going, and took me to my first writers' conference.


Niki Bell, who read the horrible first draft while trying to pack her family up for a cross-country move and kept me going if only because I had to justify her sacrifice.


Greg Wilson, who read the whole thing and lied through his teeth when he said that it was powerful.

Rob James, who asked me if I'd written a book almost as soon as he saw me after a 20-year hiatus and then read and commented on it quickly.


Zhayda Reilly, una mujer muy inteligente, muy bella, y muy agradable, who read my novel and made sure that my Spanish was acceptable.

Chris Hughes. Well, Chris stands alone. What person, save the best of friends, reads every word of a manuscript—more than once—and tells the author in the bluntest of language what must be cut and what deserves to stand? Chris, I hope that you keep holding my feet to the fire even while you encourage me to write my very best.


Emmett Hamilton III, a freelance artist who created an amazing Goddess pendant for the front cover.