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selling meteors to dinosaurs
daily archive: 01/04/2007
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Lyana in The People's Diner:
Crazy for Cranberries
'Cause Cranberries aren't just for Christmas!
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Greek food causes Dragons
A Review of Sarah A. Hoyt's Draw One In The Dark

There’s something special about Pete’s Kitchen in Denver. What other Greek Diner can boast that it’s the birthplace of a dragon, a panther and a lion?

Actually, the answer to that is easy. Pete’s is the favorite diner of Sarah A. Hoyt, author of Draw One in the Dark (Baen Books), an urban fantasy set in a fictional Colorado town. Born and raised in Portugal, Ms. Hoyt never knew such wondrous things as diners existed until she moved to the United States. Now, how she got shape-shifting dragons, panthers and lions – and even something that resembles a giant grub – from her favorite Greek diner is enough to make me want to make me want to read the book again but to also make a pledge to visit Pete’s when I’m next in the Denver area.

Goldport, Colorado, the setting for Draw One in the Dark, might be a “fictional” town but every reader will find something about it that will cause him to snap his fingers and say, “I know where that is!” That’s one of the magical elements of Ms. Hoyt’s writing. Fictional or not, every one of us has been through a town like Goldport and will recognize the people who inhabit it.

What makes Draw One in the Dark unique in a market filled with paranormal mysteries, paranormal romances and urban fantasies is the story itself. Ms. Hoyt has created a world populated by believable young men and women who face everyday problems – work, paying the bills, making relationships work – all the while learning to deal with that one secret part of their lives no one else can know about. She does this by not falling into the trap so many other writers have; she doesn’t make a person evil simply because they have this “animal” side to their existence. She recognized that there is good and bad in every person and it is up to each one to fight against the bad and promote the good.

And that is exactly what her characters try to do, with varying degrees of success, in her book. In short, the shifters of Goldport aren’t monsters simply because they are shifters. Those who are monsters are that way for the same reason any of us would be – greed, thirst for power, an overactive ego, etc.

With Draw One in the Dark, Ms. Hoyt has begun a series that is unique in both tone and style. Fast-paced and entertaining, she writes in such a way you’ll cheer for the good guys, hiss the bad guys and find yourself all but salivating at the thought of a sequel.

Of course, then you’ll remind yourself that this all began with Ms. Hoyt’s fascination and, shall we say, near-addiction to Pete’s Kitchen. If this book is the result of eating there, what could she come up with in an Italian diner, or Persian, or -- or -- ….

Is this sort of inspiration limited to Pete’s or is it something we all can tap into at any diner? The mind boggles. I may never look at my favorite diner the same again. Now all I want to know is what Ms. Hoyt has up her sleeve for the denizens of Goldport and those of us anxiously awaiting their next adventure.
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