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I didn't realize 2009 was going to be about good-byes, and I certainly didn't think one of those farewells would be to 33-year-old Andy Hallett, who played Lorne on the TV show Angel.  Sorry as I was to see a nice guy die so young, I didn't plan on any memorials either.  Since late last week I've been wrestling with my latest Short Story of Doom and managing the parade of repair people it takes to replace a thirty-year-old furnace.  Besides, I didn't know Andy any better than any of the other journalists who interviewed him in his first blush of syndicated fame.  Anything I could've said would've been said better a lot sooner than I could.

Then I reread his Crescent Blues interview.  I'd forgotten what a butterfly he was--a not-so-little boy (he stood over a foot taller than me) let loose in the great candy shop of life.  Almost eight years later, the wonder and the joy still shine through.  In the words of "Lady Marmalade", his favorite song, Andy never had to go back home, doing 9 to 5, living a gray flannel life.  Which is only right, butterflies hate gray. 

So long, Andy.  I hope your next turn boasts satin sheets, sweet magnolia wine and lots of more, more, more.
 

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When Patty Briggs was kind enough to cite Lynn Kurland in her blurb for With Nine You Get Vanyr, I was flattered.  I loved Lynn's RITA-awardwinning novella "To Kiss in the Shadows" and interviewed her for Crescent Blues based on the strength of that story.  In the interview, Lynn talked about her then current novel, From This Moment On, and her love for and desire to write fantasy.  
Since I interviewed her as the first wave of the paranormal romance tsunami was beginning to crest, I didn't think a lot about the fantasy comment.  Everybody and their dog was selling paranormals.  Why wouldn't Lynn want to ride the wave?
I should've listened harder.  Lynn was talking about epic fantasy.  And she meant every word.
The proof is in her new book, Star of the Morning.  Run--do not walk--to your bookstore and buy this book.  Star of the Morning follows the adventures of Morgan, a practical mercenary swordswoman, who finds herself saddled with a magical knife, a growing party of minions--including a blustering king and his heartbreakingly wonderful wizard brother--and a destiny she rejects with every fiber of her being.  The characterizations are glorious.  The humor, especially the fish-out-of-water sections where King Adhemar tries to act like a regular guy, will leave you laughing so hard it hurts.  There be dragons, dwarves and a dash of elves too, but the book is so yummy, I refuse to hold that against it.  LOL  A perfect read to refresh the soul on a blustery winter night.
My only real complaint is this is the first book of the Nine Kingdoms trilogy, but I can't find anything on future volumes--not even when the next book will be released.  Arrgh!  But I did find two novellas set in the same world "A Whisper of Spring" from the anthology The Queen in Winter, and "The Tale of Two Swords" from To Weave a Web of Magic.  Not enough to hold me, by any means.
Well, I knew Patty's blurb was fabulous.  I just didn't know how fabulous.  Another one I owe her.  Right now my karmic debt is so big she owns a 30-year mortgage on my next life.
And it couldn't be held in kinder hands.  :D
Happy New Year, everyone!

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