It is with deep regret that I announce the passing of several characters in the latest installment of the Foreign & Domestic series. As I near the conclusion on this part, it has become painfully obvious that this book has turned more thoughtful and introspective. On more than one occasion during the course of writing this book, a scene has quite literally made the author cry as he wrote it. I don't know if it's because of age and the realization that I have more funerals than weddings and child births in front of me, or if I'm turning into a softy, of if it was the sheer emotional toll that the scene conveys. Many of these scenes were more than difficult to write, but it needed to be done.