I dedicate this novel to Jim Tedford, my beloved husband of many years, for bringing my darlings back to me by first making it possible for me to read their stories again and thereafter for encouraging my writing this novel. Jim, thank you for the most precious gift. coming to love these folks as I do. Peter is right, some things do last forever.
To Josephine's and Elerde's creator, Laura, who prefers I call her The Muse. We have diverged widely but oh how sweet the crossroads.
No one could have a better supporter than my husband, Jim Tedford. In every way he encouraged, assisted, and cheerleaded this novel, putting almost as much love into it as I. He is my own personal Lawrence and Rory all wrapped up in one beloved.
I also want to thank Jack Graham and his Medieval History Club at King High School. When I needed help plotting battles, Jack and the club were there to help, becoming perhaps some of the first to throw names like "King Lawrence" around. They did a magnificent job, as these pages will attest. Jack alone is a treasure, and we enjoyed the time we spent together on battles so much we plan to co-author a novel or two in the near future.
There are many others. Lori Real Northon who taught me more than I could have imagined about Anglo-Saxon England. You will find her immortalized as Eormenthryth in these pages. I met her through a reenactment group called Regia Anglorum, and I want to single out Andrew Nicholson from that group and thank him for his tolerance and generosity.
Carla Nayland, author of Paths of Exile and Ingeld's Daughter, served as inspiration and ever-patient mentor.
Of course, I have to thank Sir Timothy Berners-Lee and the others who developed the Internet and specifically the web because without it I could have done little or none of this, including contacting all the people whom I asked questions about Lincolnshire, the Rivers Welland, Trent and Humber, about Grantham and its environs, about details of Anglo Saxon life. Don't blame any of them if I get something wrong. Chalk it up to having more data than space to store it in my head.
Thanks finally to all who encouraged me and helped me, in particular Greta Marlow, another novelist who proofed this book (twice) and thinks Elerde deserves his own novel, Barbara Rogers, Brandy Purdy, a terrific author (the remarkable novel The Confession of Piers Gaveston and The Boleun Wife) and my business partner at medieval-novels.com, and Barbara Weitbrecht and the others on Ghostletters (http://www.ghostletters.net/) who patiently read all the little stories as I crafted this book.
Before there was the novel, there were the stories...
by Nan Hawthorne, who also writes under Christopher Hawthorne Moss, Books and Stories b ChristopherHawthorne Moss at http://authorchristophermoss.vlogspot.com