Carpathian 17 - Dark Celebration
Cover art by Larry Rostant
Cover handlettering by Ron Zinn
Cover design by George Long
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A BERKLEY BOOK
Published by The Berkley Publishing Group
A division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
375 Hudson Street
New York, New York 10014
This book is an original publication of The Berkley Publishing Group.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental. The recipes contained in this book are to be followed exactly as written. The publisher is not responsible for your specific health or allergy needs that may require medical supervision.
The publisher is not responsible for any adverse reactions to the recipes contained in this book. Further, the publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.
Copyright © 2006 by Christine Feehan.
All rights reserved.
BERKLEY is a registered trademark of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
The "B" design is a trademark belonging to Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
First edition: September 2006
Berkley hardcover ISBN: 0-425-21167-3
An application to register this book for cataloging has been submitted to the Library of Congress.
Printed In The United States Of America
For my beloved daughter, Cecilia, who has always given us reason for celebration!
For My Readers
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Many thanks to Diane Trudeau for her help with the recipes. Cheryl Wilson, you know you are invaluable. Denise, Manda and Brian, thank you for your unfailing support and all of the work you do to help me put these books together.
Over the past few years, I have received thousands of letters asking for a reunion of the Carpathian characters. I resisted the idea for a long time, uncertain how one could bring so many vivid and larger-than-life characters together in the same book. It seemed a daunting task. Then one evening, I was sitting around a fireplace talking with some author friends about the mess we'd made of the dinner that night. We'd rented a house together to work, and unfortunately, some of us were a little lax on the cooking skills. (I'm not mentioning names here or raising my hand, but a few of the disasters depicted in this book actually did happen, sadly enough to say.) We were laughing so hard, and the idea of a Christmas party where the Carpathians cooked for their friends was born.
I pitched the idea to my editor as a special thank-you gift book at Christmas time for my readers. I was very excited to have a fun, lighthearted book to write. I was thrilled with the idea of adding in the Dark Desserts, and so many wonderful people from all over the world sent in the most scrumptious recipes. The concept was completely different than anything I'd ever conceived of writing, so it was going to be great fun! And then I sat down and
started to write it…
First of all, it hadn't occurred to me that there was no hero and heroine, and that I would have to find a way to transition each chapter smoothly. And second, and more important, I don't write fun and lighthearted. My characters tend to take over the book and run away with it, and this book was no exception. No matter how hard I tried, the book turned—yes, you guessed it— dark !
Once I called my editor and warned her that the book had taken on its own life and I wasn't going to be delivering that lighthearted book, I simply accepted it and allowed the characters free rein. They took over, and Dark Celebration became a huge part of the rich tapestry that makes up the Carpathian world. I had fun revisiting the characters and finding out how they were doing together and what their lives were like as couples as well as what the Carpathian society was like as a whole.
The book turned into something very unexpected, but in all honesty, I thoroughly enjoyed myself writing it, and I certainly hope you have just as much fun reading it. When I write, the characters definitely dictate the story, so several were very forthcoming while others hung
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