Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
‘Exclusive’: Live From the Plano Book Club with Mari Madison
Readers / March 17, 2016

On St. Patrick’s Day Eve our Plano book club hosted author Mari Madison, who many readers will recognize as Mari Mancusi. Her newest book, the first in a trilogy, is a contemporary romance set in the exciting world of a TV newsroom. JUST THIS NIGHT (An Exclusive Romance #1) holds nothing back when it comes to the intense relationships that can evolve between reporters and their photographers, but it also takes the time to develop the character’s love affairs and home lives. It’s a sexy read and it was a genuine thrill to have Mari take the time to call in with us. Mari started by telling us how JUST THIS NIGHT was one of the first books she ever wrote, pulling exclusively from her experiences as a TV news producer. Ultimately the book needed more time to cook and landed in a virtual file cabinet where it hung out for twelve years. We often hear from authors about the manuscripts they keep under their beds, but for Mari, JUST THIS NIGHT actually had a chance of seeing the light. Having a news producer call in also afforded us the opportunity to ask questions about her favorite stories (she won…

Sandi Shilhanek | Is It Just About The Decorations?
Sundays with Sandi / October 25, 2009

Wednesday night the DFWTea Readers met at my house for our annual Halloween dinner. I know that I’ve blogged about the group and the fun we’ve had before, but I thought it was time to do it again. The dish (and I just don’t mean the edible kind) is almost always delicious, and I use that qualifier because as my friends know I’m far from a cook, so I question when I host the dinner whether or not the food is good, but I think that this was the third year of my hosting and cooking and I’ve yet to kill anyone. While I’ve yet to scare any one off with my culinary skills my husband does his best to scare people with his decorations. This year he had to scale back, because as hard and fast as he was decorating our puppy, Travis decided things needed to be undecorated. Unfortunately, a few items were lost, but fortunately nothing of a real monetary value. To read more about Sandi’s thoughts on the Halloween dinner and to comment for a chance to win please click here. Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR. Visit to learn more about books and authors.

Sara Reyes | What’s a book club?
Uncategorized / January 24, 2009

Book club dynamics. Hmm, interesting topic. This past Wednesday I realized we’ve been meeting at my house for four years. A long time but something has evolved. As people come and go we have a core group of women who monthly come and spend three to five hours every third Wednesday at my house. First putting together a meal, followed by eating, followed by a talk with an author on a speaker phone then followed by lots more time “visiting.” I also watched as the dinner was put together. We’ve been meeting so long it’s like a family: everyone assumes a role, chore and position. And you don’t mess with the status too much. We’ve had new people come every month, so we have a “hostess” who makes them feel at home and puts a drink in their hand. Also gets them out of the temperamental chefs way. (I say this with GREAT affection, so if you’re one of those temperamental chefs you will NOT kill me in the near or far future! okay?) I’ve learned my place is to sit at the breakfast table aka my office desk and observe. I no longer make any comments about the cooking,…

Sara Reyes | Book Signings and Elvis
Uncategorized / January 10, 2009

The new year is here and book signings are starting to happen…I spent a whole day entering the local signings at our Book Club’s web site. We have a few (ha!) good ones coming up in 2009. Steve Berry was our first one for 2009. I managed to write down the right bookstore but insisted on driving to the wrong one. All was well since fortunately the bookstores are close together so we only missed the introduction. Whew. He was a great speaker and told the 50 or so of us there about the way he does research, how he picks the places and objects he weaves stories around and then what’s coming down the pike. He also enthused about the ThrillerFest organization and the annual meeting they have in NYC. It was a fun way to start an evening, which we had to top off with a late dinner. Buy today Dinner, that was a real challenge. Since I was “confused” on the location my favorite spot, Cheesecake Factory wasn’t close. So a new place had to be negotiated. Isn’t that the way it happens with other families and friends, the restaurant negotiation. Who’s on what diet, who’s hungry…

Sara Reyes | Search for the Best Books in 2008
Uncategorized / December 6, 2008

Our book club assignment is to list the best book we’ve read in 2008 — so far — because one of our members is trying to put together a list to share at our annual Holiday tea next week. So everyone has put on their thinking caps. In some cases, those with tidy and ordered minds, they’ve pulled out reading journals to consult, who knew about such things? While others of us are just trying to remember what we read last week. It was almost amusing if not painful to watch reactions of members when assigned at the last book club. There was even a follow-up on-line note which is unfortunate because I missed the pained reactions of others. Ah well. This week, I asked M how the list was going and she sighed…heavily…and told me she wasn’t very successful, not too many books were being forwarded to her. She reminded me that I hadn’t listed any either. So, I got to sigh in return. It got a little sad for a few moments. Then I confessed. I was one of those who “read so much I couldn’t remember anything except what I read in the past few weeks.” And…

Sandi Shilhanek | Trying a New Author
Sundays with Sandi / November 23, 2008

This last Wednesday our book dinner group got together. As always is there any better way to forget the horrors of the day job than by getting together with some of your closest friends to discuss not only the book or author of the night, but also what made the day so horrific. This time our author of the hour was Linda Howard. Of course who can resist Linda Howard and the chance to visit with her even if it’s over the phone, so we had new members to join our group for dinner. Overall the group tried really hard to be on their best behavior so that the newbies wouldn’t be scared off. I would say that for the most part we were very well behaved, though I can only behave for so long before I just have to blurt something! O.K. I digress Linda Howard was awesome. How could she not have been? I think it’s really hard to find an author who really appeals to a group as diverse as ours, and if I remember correctly everyone in the group had something they wanted to ask or just tell Linda. Every time I leave the book dinner…

Sara Reyes | Do You GLOM?
Uncategorized / October 25, 2008

The decorations at our back!Originally uploaded by freshfiction Yikes, it’s Saturday and I’m supposed to blog if I can’t find a fill-in. So, okay, an eventful week to recap! First we had our annual Scary Spaghetti Book Club at the Shilhanek house in Garland. LET ME TELL YOU, you needed to be brave to sit and EAT in this decorated to the gills house! Mike S. took his passion for scary stuff and over the years has a collection that is UNBELIEVABLE. Plus it moves, moans, walks, talks and is generally extremely frightening. Even going to the bathroom takes courage! TMI I’m sure, you’ll have to meet us in person to get all the “gory” bathroom details! THE ACCIDENTAL DEMON SLAYER by Angie FoxOriginally uploaded by freshfiction So, if you don’t believe me, check out our photos on Flickr…even my son was impressed! And you know it takes allot to impress guys when talking spooky stuff! BTW, the food was as always amazing and very fattening! The wine helped too *grin* Well, we had the scary atmosphere and our call-in guest was Angie Fox author of THE ACCIDENTAL DEMON SLAYER But the best for the week is my glomming of…

Sandi Shilhanek | Series
Sundays with Sandi / September 28, 2008

For the last couple of weeks I’ve been reading the Bakery Sisters Trilogy by Susan Mallery. People who know me best know that I love connected stories. I tend to horde the first and second book until the third becomes available, and then read them back to back to back.While for a short series that will release quickly this is a great plan, but for a longer series such as the In Death books this does not work. When Naked In Death by J. D. Robb first came out I bought the book even though I didn’t think it was truly my thing. I saved it knowing there would be more to follow. What happened? I’m sure you know. I kept collecting expecting an end to this series so I could finally begin to read, but that end is still nowhere in my line of vision. Finally I saw a website that was beginning a book of the month read, and offered people several choices to choose from, and amongst the choices Naked In Death. A few friends and I decided to all vote for Naked In Death and get one book or perhaps more should our choice win out…

Sara Reyes | Author Stalking
Uncategorized / September 17, 2008

AJ Jacobs and Gwen ReyesOriginally uploaded by freshfiction There are a few authors every reader follows as avidly as the film buff follows an actor or director, or the fan buys tickets for no matter the cost to see their band in concert. You know what I mean, it’s the book that comes out on a certain Tuesday and you’re there at the book store, money in hand as soon as possible to pick up it up. If you’re lucky you’ve got the book set aside waiting impatiently for you, with your name on a yellow sticky. You’ll even bribe someone to get there if possible in case the store runs out. I know I have a history of not even making it out of the parking lot before I’ve got most of it read much to my daughter’s dismay and her constant source of tattle tailing over the years. But on Tuesday I had the opportunity to watch her meet one of her writing idols. So the cheek was turned! A.J.Jacobs is a writer for Esquire and has written two books about his experiences trying out “new” things: the first was his year reading the Encyclopaedia Britannica from beginning…

Sara Reyes | Waiting for Ike..
Uncategorized / September 13, 2008

Saturday is my day to blog to tell you all about my week’s adventures…well, unfortunately, living in North Texas for the past few days we’ve been consumed by the approach of Ike. So, my attention has been scattered to say the very least. At least we are now very well stocked with lots of gallons of water, ice in the freezer and sandwich meats. If the electricity and gas go out, we’ll be using the grill for cooking. Fortunately, I guess, although I’ve always considered it not a blessing in the past, we don’t live in a low-lying area. No creeks or gulches or ditches near by and our trees are stumpy little things, so the only bad thing is loss of electricity and the possibility of the roof flying off. And no Internet. But I digress… Terry BrooksOriginally uploaded by freshfiction This week in books…we went to see Terry Brooks at the Star-Telegram Evening with an Author event at Casa Manana in Fort Worth. Getting from Dallas to Fort Worth on a week day evening is always an adventure through at least three bad bad traffic areas…and fifty miles. But some authors are worth the trek and our companions…