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1999 stares us in the face. The entire year could be considered "New Year's Eve" to the new millennium. But that doesn't diminish 1999's newness or its promise.

To begin the home stretch of the 20th century, Crescent Blues offers two features about beginnings: how writer/producer/actor Stephen J. Cannell got his start in Hollywood, and how to restart your life through Feng Shui.

We also started a new feedback mechanism, which posts reader responses to reviews directly beneath the reviews. To date, readers (and a writer) have emailed us on the movie Beloved and Christine W. Murphy's novel Through Iowa Glass. If you're interested, check out the links at the bottom of every new review.

Meanwhile, Crescent Blues Senior Gargoyle Donna Andrews marks her own new beginning with her first published mystery, Murder With Peacocks. For obvious reasons, this is one book we won't review. But you can see what Kirkus Reviews and others have to say about this St. Martin's Press/Malice Domestic award-winning book by clicking on the book cover art at the bottom of our left navigation bar.

But expect to see many other reviews of books, movies and music as the days roll towards February. And a few surprises too. No, we can't say what -- that would be telling.

But I can wish all the best for you and yours in all the new days of 1999. Enjoy!

Jean Marie Ward