Writing a book is never a solo effort. There are so many people who provide inspiration, consolation, and encouragement, not to mention cups of tea or coffee!

So, I would like to extend my heartfelt and eternal thanks to the following troupers for helping me win this battle:

In no particular order:

My husband of 35 years, Geoff, for putting up with all my fits and starts and more moods than any sane man could expect, and for never giving up on me – I love you more than you will ever know!

My son, Andrew, who created this fabulous website; Even though I know you are brilliant, you still manage to surprise me, and to surpass my wildest dreams for you! I’m so very proud of you!

My daughter, Tanya, my best friend and confidant, and the first person to read this story; thanks for your input – and for putting your Anthropology degree knowledge at my disposal – for your encouragement and for being my spelling Nazi – and for vanilla perfume and hot chocolate! Your indomitable spirit is an inspiration, not only to me but to everyone else in your life!

My son, David, for being my research assistant and for patiently looking up and printing numerous pieces of information, to help make this story feel more real – and for reading and critiquing it! I will always value your opinion. You have a real talent for seeing to the heart of anything and telling it like it is!

My friend of 43 years, Sharon; you are my rock, and the sister of my soul. Whenever I have doubts, you are the one who banishes them. Knowing you has made me a better person, and your steadfast belief in me has made this book possible. You are always in my heart!

And to Evie, Sharon’s daughter, for your input and encouragement and for sharing your stories with me; I feel very privileged to be sharing your journey as well.

To my friends, the very beautiful and talented sisters, Sam and Lina (the best nail technicians in Adelaide!); thank you for asking to read my story and for encouraging others to do so! I’m especially proud of Lina – who “doesn’t read books” – for giving mine a chance, and for wanting to read book 2 as soon as she finished book 1!

To Melissa, Leonie, Ruth, Lindy, Lilly, Anna, Jen and Kylie for wanting to read my books and for your feedback – thanks for your honesty and encouragement, girls! You rock!

To Paulina; your honesty and exuberance is infectious. Thanks for helping me believe I could do this, and for allowing me to include you as part of the story – you are an inspiration to everyone who knows you, gorgeous girl, and you’re the best hairdresser in town! How lucky am I?

To Lisa, my Southern Belle; you are one of those rare souls who – without even trying – motivate people to be the best they can be. I am so glad our paths crossed in Stratford-Upon-Avon, and even though we live on different continents, I’m proud to count you among my closest friends. Thanks for all those emails pushing me to keep going, especially during those times of doubt.

To my brother Mick, sister-in-law, Lorraine, and their kids, Alicia, Mikayla and Jayden – thanks for sharing my enthusiasm for fantasy and sci-fi and for providing the inspiration for several characters in these books.

To bouncy, sassy, outspoken Nirmala, for editing my book with such refreshing honesty; thank you babe, for giving my story the polish it needed – and for sorting out my tenses! Miss you, and our brainstorming sessions over coffees at Newman’s Nursery!

My wonderful friend, Vana, for all those Greek translations, and for listening so patiently as I carried on endlessly about my book, Ευχαριστώ!

To Nicole, for helping put together so many copies of the early drafts of my manuscript for everyone here to read and dissect, thanks so much!

To David Tennant, actor and all-round gentleman; though I have never met you personally, I have been privileged to witness several of your live performances in Hamlet, Loves Labours Lost and Much Ado About Nothing – not to mention avidly following your incarnation as Dr Who (I’ve been a fan since the show first aired in 1963!) – Thank you for creating exciting characters who in turn, inspired aspects of both Bane and Cameron in this story.

And to my beloved mum, Ivy; though you are no longer physically with us, I know you are watching over me and encouraging me as much as you ever did. These books are for you. x