Kathleen Givens

    Whatever I imagined the topic my first blog of 2010 might be, I hadn't imagined it would be this.

    I spent the weekend out of town, ringing in the new year with friends, and was catching up on my Facebook posts and email when I learned that Kathleen Givens, whose books I cherish, died suddenly this past weekend.

    I was just getting to know Kathleen on a personal level, but I've been a fan of her books since she was brought to my attention with a RITA win for Best Historical some years back. I love the depth of her historical research and her sympathetic characters. The quality of her writing was such that she quickly became one of my very favorites.

    After reading On a Highland Shore, I emailed her to tell her I loved it (it is one of very few keepers on my shelves). When she wrote back, I reacted with a fangirl squeal worthy of a teenage girl at a Twilight screening. She and I wrote back and forth several times. Not long ago, I sent her a copy of Ride the Fire — I don't know if she read it — and told her that I would be reading Rivals for the Crown (also a keeper), which I did.

    I'd been planning on running an interview with her about Rivals, which is sitting next to my computer, where I put it when I finished reading it a few weeks back. Now that will never happen.

    Her family and close friends will miss her horribly and must be completely heartbroken. My deepest sympathies go out to them.

    I will miss the person I was coming to know, and I, like her other readers, will miss the wonderful stories she will never write.

    Life is short.

    A new year has begun.

    You owe it to yourself and those you love to live it well.

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