Edge of Dawn (Acknowledgments)

With thanks, as always, to my family, friends, and staff for all of the love, support, and patience (OMG, the patience!) while I am checked out from real life and happily immersed in my writing.

To my readers in the States and around the world, thank you so very much for your incredible enthusiasm for my books! I am continuously amazed and humbled by your kindness, friendship, and support. (((HUGS)))

To my worldwide publishing teams and support staffs, thank you for helping my books reach their audience, and for the care and effort you put forth to ensure my work is the best it can be.

Special thanks to reader Candice Brady, who generously contributed to a fundraiser held to assist a dear member of the romance community who suffered a tragic loss in her family. Candice's winning bid scored a special "guest spot" in this novel.


From the private history archives of the Order Washington, D.C., headquarters

December 26

The year no longer matters; neither does the date. After what's happening right now around the world, my guess is history will soon be explained simply in terms of Before and After. Before mankind realized vampires were real, and after. After a power-crazed vampire named Dragos freed scores of the most deadly members of the Breed – savage, blood-addicted Rogues – turning the incarcerated monsters loose on an unsuspecting, and obviously unprepared, human public. Even as I write this, I can hardly believe what I'm seeing.

The carnage is unspeakable. The terror unprecedented. It's hard to look away from the terrible news broadcasts and Internet video pouring into the Order's temporary compound in Maine. Every report brings footage of screaming men, women, and children, hysterical crowds stampeding on darkened streets, none of them fast enough to elude the predators in pursuit. Cities glowing bright with flames, vehicles abandoned and smoking in the ruins, gunfire and misery filling the air. Everywhere, there is bloodshed and slaughter.

Lucan and the rest of the warriors of the Order have mobilized for Boston to combat the violence, but they are barely a dozen Breed soldiers against hundreds of Rogues flooding into major cities all over the globe. By the time dawn rises to send the Rogues back into the shadows, the cost in innocent lives could number easily in the thousands. And the damage left in the wake of all this blood-soaked chaos – the mistrust between the humans and the Breed – may never be repaired.

Centuries of secrecy and careful peace, undone in a single night . . .

Day 345, A.F.D.

It's been almost a year since First Dawn. That's what everyone calls it now – the morning after the Rogue attacks that changed the world forever. First Dawn. What a hopeful, innocuous term for such a horrific moment in time. But the need for hope is understandable. It's critical, especially when the wounds from that awful night and the uncertain day that followed are still so fresh.

No one knows the need for hope better than the Order. The warriors have been fighting for twelve hard months to win back some sense of calm, some semblance of peace. Dragos is no more. The Rogues he used as his personal weapons of mass destruction have all been destroyed. The months of carnage and terror have ended. But too much hatred and suspicion still festers on both sides. It's a volatile time, and even the slightest spark of violence could explode into catastrophe.

In two weeks, Lucan is scheduled to speak on behalf of the Breed before all the nations of the world. Publicly, he will call for peace. Privately, he's warned all of us in the Order that he dreads man and Breed may instead find themselves swept into war . . .

August 4, 10 A.F.D.

Sometimes it feels as if there's been a hundred years of spilled blood and lives during the decade that's passed since First Dawn. The wars continue. Violence escalates around the world. Anarchy reigns in many major cities, spawning criminal activity from bands of rebels and other militants in addition to the relentless killing on both sides of the conflict.

Every day, the Order's headquarters in D.C. receives sobering reports from the leaders of its district command centers now situated around the world. The war grows worse. Blame for the bloodshed is slung from both directions, deepening the unrest and adding fuel to an already raging fire. Our hope for peace between man and Breed has never seemed further out of reach.

And if this is the state of things ten years into this conflict, I am afraid to guess at what that could mean for the future . . .