Sara Reyes | What’s the Readers ‘n ‘ritas Conference?

If you’ve heard the rumors I’ll have to admit some of them are true. When I meet with authors and readers we have the reputation for closing down restaurants, as in staying past normal closing hours. I’m not sure where it began but I think it’s possible it was Bellevue, Washington at the only Emerald City Writers conference I attended in the ’90s. Yup, it’s been a long long time. And not just ‘odd’ places, I’ve managed to have the people in charge turn up the music, get the pregnant hostess to ask us to vacate and more. Amazing how easy it is to get a reputation. And why you might ask? Well, it’s because when I get with readers and authors we talk and talk and talk — about books! And we don’t want to stop. So many people told me over the years they’d like to be part of this “in” crowd that it only made sense a couple of years ago to give it a whirl. Our first Readers ‘n ‘ritas. The name is simple, I like readers and I adore margaritas, so the name made sense to me — two of my favorite things. The goal…

Sara Reyes | To Read YA or Not, That’s my question…
Readers , Saturdays with Sara / May 8, 2010

What a wild week I’ve had: three signings attended (if I was a woman with super powers I could have gone to seven of interest), two author dinners, one reader lunch and one reader dinner. Today I go to our monthly tea and we’ll have a guest, Marie Bostwick. But first all this gadding about is expensive and second fun and third, exhausting. Why exhausting? Good question, I’ll tell you! Because I bought a bunch of books and oh, my, even YA ones. And now I’ve got to read them! All right I can say I’ve read YA in the recent past, after all, you’ve heard our stories of being there for at least three of the final Harry Potter release parties, which I’ll always remember until I die. They were fun and I doubt ever to be replicated no matter how hard they try to make a book or series so “important.” HP has the magical quality of reaching all generations. And it was in all the media: books, audio, movies, games. Only thing I know missing is the television and since The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ is now open, they’ve covered the theme park version as well….

Sara Reyes | A Short Step Back…What was old is new…
Saturdays with Sara / May 1, 2010

It’s odd to think, but the 20th Century is really over, it’s history. can you believe it? We’re in the 21st Century. Even a familiar trademarks, “20th Century Fox” really shows its age. We’ve begun the second decade of the 21st century. Wow, put that way, I just feel old. The past week our Fresh Picks were all books set in the “World Wars” era. What exactly does that mean? For our definition we used anything between 1910 to 1946. Arbitrary but we do need boundaries. Many new books are being set from the early to mid 20th century: thrillers, mysteries, romances, coming-of-age and paranormals. A plethora of choices. But it made me think. When did what I was taught in school as “Modern History – 1870 to current” become old? Seriously it had to be forced to change because no one I know lived in the 19th century and very very few in the first decade of the 20th century hence we need a different set of years for “Modern.” So obviously there was a redefining of “modern age” and I missed it! Those old German power mongers have been replaced multiple times by other power mongers. The Russian…

Sara Reyes | New, Updated, Reissue…or a Cheat?
Saturdays with Sara / April 24, 2010

On Sara’s Bookshelf: Mary Balogh classics and latest from Jacqueline Winspear Last week I whined, moaned and generally threw a fit over something that usually doesn’t bother me too much — reading a series out of order. And let me tell you, my friends and acquaintances heard it over and over. I was SO unhappy and felt the need to share. Aren’t you lucky you only had to read about it? Trust me, you should be! But during all my whining I must admit that I continued to read Christine Warren‘s books. I’ve now finished all that are available (still missing the two which were released as e-book and not yet “rewritten”) and I’ve got some semblance of order in my mind. I’ve also had a few good hours of reading enjoyment. And in the end, isn’t that what is important? But my moaning to others brings to mind, how do you feel about books that are initially issued in a format and then re-written or expanded into another format and you as the unsuspecting reader purchase said “new” book? Are you upset? Do you take it in stride? Happy to have more material? Or do you feel the original…

Sara Reyes | To Read or Not To Read… Is It Work?
Saturdays with Sara / April 17, 2010

Reading…it’s something I’ve had to do every day since before I can really remember. Reading is so fundamental, to quote a literacy ad campaign, I can’t imagine life without it. In fact when my eyes shut down for a week I remember not the physical pain but the agony of not being able to read. I felt isolated, depressed, and very uneasy with life. So when I got a groaning sensation in my head because I had “mandatory reading” to do this week, it was time to reflect. And also time to think about books…in general I always read at least one fiction book a day. It helps me settle down so I can go to sleep. This is my shut down period and I’m seldom so tired I can’t read a good part of a book. Even if I’m up till 3am to finish some work. So. like so many addicted readers, I have a stash of books in most rooms I use in my house: kitchen, living room, family room, dining room, bedroom, bathrooms, and hall. You never know when you’ll have a moment to read so better be prepared is my motto. And I take advantage of…

Sara Reyes | Out of Order, It’s a Mess!
Saturdays with Sara / April 10, 2010

Look, I’m not usually cranky about reading books out of order, but thanks to a reading friend, I’ve discovered Christine Warren‘s world of The Others, and OMG, HELP me figure this out! It’s not that the books are bad…actually they are quite entertaining, but I’ve been spending SO much time trying to figure out the timeline and how all the stories fit together that it’s absolutely pulling me out of the stories. As I said before this usually doesn’t bug me, but this series is doing a real trip on me. Back story is…apparently the books were first issued as shorter ebooks and now that Christine has hit the best sellers lists, St. Martin’s Press is having her re-work the shorter ebooks into longer novels. But since I never read her ebooks, the tantalizing snippets of people such as Luc and Corrine, Danice and Mac confuse me. Then I’ve got to know whatever happened to Logan? He shows up in BIG BAD WOLF as such a great secondary character and then just disappears. But they keep mentioning he moved to Connecticut. Huh? It’s really annoying! And what’s with the demons and Fae, are they sticking around or not? And whatever…

Sara Reyes | Do You Glom?
Saturdays with Sara / April 3, 2010

I’ve been thinking about the characteristics or traits of a bookaholic recently. Maybe it’s time for introspection or I’m bored, no matter, I’ve been thinking about “stuff” and one of those is why do I call myself “addicted to reading.” I am. I read every thing. I read the paper. In today’s world that might be old fashioned but I enjoy fighting with the paper to get to the next part of an article. And it’s always a battle for me. The paper NEVER cooperates and folds nicely on the creases. I also read abandoned brochures. Sure some day I might buy that lake property in Arkansas, it could happen. I read any magazine left around unless it’s too grimy or in a doctor’s office. I never read magazines at a doctor’s office because I’ve got the theory stuck in my head the previous readers were sick and I’m sick enough thank-you-very-much. But I do read magazines when I’m waiting at the stylist. Those handlers when I think about it have just as many sick germs as the doctor’s office. Hmm. Well, most days while I wait I read my phone because it has email and NPR on it, so…

Sara Reyes | Best Tea Etiquette in Three Easy Steps
Saturdays with Sara / March 27, 2010

One of the burdens of being a coordinator for a book club that meets for a high tea is doing the research. Yes, the research of trying out new tea rooms or houses or restaurants touting their tea service. It’s a glamorous life you’d think but unfortunately because you can spell “tea” it doesn’t mean you can serve a “tea” I’ve found. Plus there is a price point that must be met as well. Our DFW Tea members have been meeting since 1995 and they, as I, have become very particular. There is nothing wrong with our tastes or our requirement that a tea shop delivers a great solid high tea. After all, we have a tea every month, it’s sometimes the highlight of our week, we enjoy meeting fellow members and author guests and we have FUN! This week I tried out a new tea room by attending a class on tea etiquette. Even though I’ve gone to teas for a few decades it never hurts to learn the etiquette or see what I’m doing right (or wrong in case I stray from the rules). Our instructor Cindy was a true conessieur of tea drinking and gave us a…

Sara Reyes | 5 Reasons to Get Out Of Town
Saturdays with Sara / March 20, 2010

One thing I learned at South By Southwest (SXSW) is to occasionally have blog posts with a number in the title. So, being I finally got home after an event-filled eight days, yes, I counted them, and thought, why there is my blog title! Woo Hoo! I originally wanted “Dead To Me” but thought definitely too negative. I’d really rather concentrate on the positive this morning. So here goes: Five Reasons to Get Out of Town. 1. Anticipation is to be savored It’s exciting to anticipate the journey. Sometimes the thought of leaving is so thrilling and adrenaline pumping it makes or breaks the entire trip. Be wise and temper the enthusiasm if you’re emotional, otherwise let ‘er rip! 2. Make New Friends Don’t be afraid to talk to strangers. If you need to give yourself an out, take a page out of Gwen’s playbook and “be the hostess” the one who performs the introductions, makes sure no one is standing alone, put out your hand, shake and introduce yourself. Ask about the other person. It works, trust me! 3. Be Flexible Rigid is not a good thing. So if the panel is full, or you meet someone who wants…

Sara Reyes | Off to the Festivals
Saturdays with Sara / March 13, 2010

I’m not quite sure what I should use as the label for South by South West (SXSW) or “South by.” It’s a film festival, a music festival and now more than ever an “Interactive” conference / festival. It’s the result of what’s happening in the “real” world. You know, the convergence of our lives and the stuff we do. Like we listen to music which is now almost all electronically stored on files, played in little devices that make us laugh when we think back to the days of the Sony Walkman, or even, bless me, the LP. We get our movies and shows on our computers and even on our phones which have become handy devices to entertain while we’re waiting or bored. We can see what’s happening in our worlds, check the weather forecast, listen to music, watch a film and read a book. It’s a wonderful gadget and almost every one has one type or another. So this gathering in Austin, the SXSW experience is amazing. I’ve met all ages, types, sizes and nationalities of people. From the geeks for tech to the nerds for film, to the secret readers of “trash fiction” (that would be what…