Barbara Seranella, author was 50

The best-selling mystery author from Laguna Beach died yesterday in Cleveland while awaiting a liver transplant. She had received two livers in 2005 and spent much time since at USC's University Hospital. On December 31, the LAT's Current section ran a piece from Seranella about her health issues and hope for a better 2007:

I have dedicated every shooting star, broken wishbone and blown-out birthday candle to the same thing during the last year: I want my health back. You see, I have been chosen. Don't get too excited or wish that it could have been you. I'm one of those people in the midst of a "courageous battle," the kind you read about in the obits once the battle is over (read: "lost")...

Please Mr. Wizard, I want to go home. I am ready to be healthy again. I am having another transplant soon. It will restore my health. I will no longer have yellow eyeballs, or hippopotamus legs. I will have the stamina to stay awake all day and play with my friends and my dog. I will travel and not need a wheelchair. I will be a sightseer in my own town and take walking tours of Los Angeles. I have never seen the Watts Tower or Disney Hall. I will go treasure hunting at the beach and maybe try to learn salsa dancing.

Oh, the places I'll go and the things I'll do.

Seranella's website. Her Munch Mancini books are rich with Los Angeles scenes.

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