Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thursday Coffee Talk: Sabrina, webmistress of CHEEKY READS!

I met Sabrina at an RT convention and was immediately drawn to her genuine enthusiasum and smile.


When I found her again online at CHEEKYREADS , I could see that she runs her blog with the same sincerety and fun that exemplifies her persona!

Now I do have the coffeepot a perkin', but I have to be honest, this whole "peppermint mocha" thing Sabrina has going is looking mighty tempting!!  For those of you with Starbucks nearby, I suspect you already know what I'm referring to...for those of us out here in the rural heartland...well, we may have to settle for the bottled variety..*sob.

Noentheless, when its chilly outside and the weatherman even mentions the "S" word in a nearby state, its hard not to start thinking of the holidays! (never mind that most stores are already decked out--as it were--with boughs of holly!!)  And then there is that most famous parade of all--Macy's gearing up just around the corner in the states.

And yes, I admit, I have gone through one round of Yankee candle Christmas tree scent...I'm a sucker for pine trees (frasers to be precise)...but I digress...Reading Sabrina's blog today has sparked a new direction for me this year(I know, right? You'd think as an author I'd head straight for books!)

But her advise is not only timely, but smart as well--becasue a book is not only entertainment--but an investment!  So, I'm writing up my questions to ask Sabrina and hoping if we have any booksellers or former bookseller clerks in the crowd they will pipe up with their holiday gift ideas also!!

And so warm up your mugs of whatever is keeping you warm (they havent yet found a coffee brew to label, "man candy," have they?) relax with the fireplace to  keep your toes toasty and let's hear what Sabrina has to share with us today!

Hi everyone! Thank you so much to Amanda for having me here today.



I’ve got my peppermint mocha right here, a sure sign that it’s that time of year again, and I can’t wait to chat! For some, just the mention that the holidays are upon us will bring about groans of frustration. Most of the time those bad reactions are aimed at one thing…holiday shopping.

Well, this year there will be no groans coming from my direction and no last minute mall trip either. Why is that? Because I’ve discovered the ultimate save your sanity, holiday shopping idea – BUY BOOKS FOR THE HOLIDAYS.

I’m not joking. If you’ve never seriously considered the awesomeness that a bookstore can hold during the holidays then I’m here to help you out.


First off, book stores have such great ambiance. Ever been to a mall during the holidays only to feel more stressed out and confused about your gift selections than before you went? Take a peek into your local bookstore and you’ll hear cheerful holiday music playing, see festive holiday decorations and smell the aromas coming from the cafĂ©. It makes for one pretty awesome shopping experience.

I know what you’re thinking. “Well yeah, it’s got all that but there’s no way I can get most, or even all, of my shopping done in one place.”

Au Contraire, Mon Fraire!

Have a niece that loves Twilight? Most bookstores carry tons of Twilight items from cool bags to notebooks and everything in between. Even better? Check out the YA section and find her another paranormal series to sink her teeth in. Not only will you be crossing her off your holiday list, but you’ll be fostering a love of books that will last a lifetime.

(*Is your niece Kristina Cook/Astor, by chance?;))

What about that manly man in your life? Think he’s not a bookie? Has he always wanted to travel? Then a glossy travel guide or picture book of the places he dreams of going would be a great gift. Does he love beer? Trick question, I know. What about a Brew your own beer guide or microbrew connoisseur book? There are so many book themes that cross my mind – books on cigars, sports biographies, joke books, etc. Just think about it and I’m sure you’ll think of the perfect theme.

Have young children to buy for? What better gift than to introduce them to the classics you loved as a kid! What kid doesn’t love coloring and activity books? Most stores also carry very cool stuffed animals and toys that coincide with popular book series.



Your girlfriends will love you if you introduce them to a new-to-them romance author. Wouldn’t the holidays be a perfect time to pick out one book to buy for all your friends and invite them over to discuss it after the New Year? You’ll have jump started your very own book club with the coolest chicks you know and a book you’ve hand selected! It’s a gift that could keep on giving every month at book club meetings. Oh, and make sure the wine flows at your meetings, it’ll make the book discussions that much more fun!

See? You really could make a huge dent in your holiday shopping list with just one stop. What’s more, they’ll be personal gifts you’ve picked especially for your friends and family. You’ll be fostering a love of books and helping support your favorite bookstore! Oh, and one last plus – you’ll be supporting authors. It’s kind of like sending them a gift for the holidays too.

(* So true, so true! What an utterly mahvelous idea, darling!!;))  What? I was just agreeing...)


So, tell me who’s on your list this year that you think will be hard to buy for? I’ll be here all day to offer advice! I’ll be working on my own list as well and would love any suggestions you have.

I raise my mocha to toast to a happier holiday shopping experience.

Happy Holidays!
Sabrina @ CheekyReads
 Doesnt this look yummy?
Want more "yummy?"
To ring in the holiday shopping we're giving away a $10 Barnes & Noble gift card to one lucky commenter today!

Let's talk books!!  My thanks to Sabrina for stopping in today!

*Note: there will be no Thursday Coffee Talk on Thur. Nov. 25 so that we can all enjoy the holiday with family and friends. All the best of all you need this season! ~Love, Amanda

56 comments:

CheekyGirl said...

Good morning and thanks again Amanda!

A little secret – I think they make Peppermint Mocha Coffee Flavoring now and carry it at the grocery store. Buy some whipped cream and sprinkles and you’re all set!

I LOVE the Yankee Candle Christmas Tree Scent. It just smells like the holidays.

I can't wait to hear what others out there are doing for the holidays.

RKCharron said...

DO NOT ENTER ME IN CONTEST!
Hi :)
Thank you for the excellent post.
I really enjoyed it.
All the best,
RKCharron
xoxo

Heather Long said...

Peppermint Mochas -- my passion! They are carried year round at Starbuck's and I like to drink some every day -- maybe it's my Christmas in Coffee Cup! Great post Sabrina. I could live in a bookstore, thankfully, everyone in my family seems to have the same passion!

CheekyGirl said...

Hi Rob and Heather! Great to see you here.

Heather, I love that your entire family loves books too. I'm slowly working my hubby into it. He's not a reader, but challenged me to pick my all-time favorite (non-romance) books for him to read to see "what the fuss is all about." I'm crossing my fingers he catches the bug. :)

Amanda McIntyre said...

Okay, I have to say that I have scoured the stores here and may have to travel to the big city to find said Peppermint Mocha yumminess;)

That said--it also gives me the opportunity to browse a couple of my fav bookstores at the same time!
I keeping waiting for the company thats going to create a pocket reader that has the wonderful smell of a bookstore!

Amanda

Kristina Cook/Kristi Astor said...

HAH to Amanda for that cheeky comment about me and my YA reading obsession, LOL! Ahem, but if anyone IS looking for YA recommendations, I have two--WAKE and FADE by Lisa McMann, and THE HUNGER GAMES and CATCHING FIRE by Suzanne Collins. Those are my two new favorite YA series, and I'm desperately waiting for the third book in each series!

Interestingly enough, my hubby came home the other day and announced that he was going to do ALL the Christmas shopping for his family at Barnes & Noble--that he'd seen something great for everyone. I swear, I hugged him.

Yes, yes, people.....bookstores!! Thanks to Sabrina for sharing such a great message, LOL!

And now I might have to try a peppermint mocha!

Heather Long said...

Amanda,

If they could do that -- my life would be complete. I love e-books, I love book, books and I love peppermint mochas. Win, win, win all the way around.

Be sure to let us know what you think!

Gina said...

I make my own peppermint extract hot chocolate with chocolate-covered peppermint sticks. Can you say yummy?

As for books, I read constantly. This year, I plan on buying only for my godchildren, due to the wonderful economy. They are 3, 2 and newborn, so I am just building their library for when they are bigger. I am focusing on the classics this year. I want to buy books like: The Velveteen Rabbit, Alice in Wonderland, The Wizard of Oz, Rabbit Hill, Old Yeller and Black Beauty. They are all listening to "Your Baby Can Read", so hopefully, soon they will be reading along with me.

Amanda McIntyre said...

Oh I plan to Heather! Since Sabrina sent me that pic of this frothy yummyness, I cannot seem to erase it from my mind!LOL

Gina? Homemade? Hum...may..have to try that..just to tide me over until the w/e when I'll be near to a Starbucks!

I LOVE the idea of books for gifts! Especially to children! Thats my most favorite baby shower gift or birthday present as well--teh idea of "building a childs library" I think sets them on a wonderful path to the imagination !

Even now that my kids are grown, I have the majority of those books prominently displayed (and for ease at obtaining) in a vertical bookshelf on my stairwell landing--surrounded by the fav stuffed toys-

I oull out the seasonal favs and place them on the coffee table and the reading nook at holiday time, just as a reminder that its okay to keep that child-like imagination in you!;)

Amanda

Booklover1335 said...

Hey Sabrina and Amanda,

I read Kristina recommends for YA and am definitely going to be checking those out. I have two much younger sisters who I am trying to foster a love of reading (so far unsuccessfully) so am looking for great YA reads for them for Christmas.....any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated. (They are 15 and 12).

CheekyGirl said...

Hi Gina! I love the idea of making your own peppermint hot chocolate *adding to my shopping list for tonight*.

The classics will not steer you wrong and don't forget that a gift of a classic book to a child is also a gift to you - think about the memories you'll have of reading that book to them. Love it !

Booklover - I've heard of some great YA books for girls. Below are a few I've seen come highly recommended. If anyone has read these, please chime in!

For fairies/pixie lovers - Try Ballad or Lament by Maggie Stiefvater or the Wicked Lovely Series by Melissa Marr that got rave reviews.

I've also hear great things about the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead.

For general girl fiction, maybe try Graceling by Kristin Cashore or Hate List by Jennifer Brown.

Hope that helps!

Heather Long said...

I'd also recommend Rosemary Clement-Moore -- I just finished her The Splendor Falls and I was blown away -- it took my breath away.

CheekyGirl said...

Thanks Heather - I'll have to add that one to my list!

So I need a recommendation or two: I need a sweet romance for my mother-in-law. She's not a current romance reader, but two years after a messy divorce she's started dating again so I think she's be more open to it now.

Something sweet, with "behind closed doors" or "fade to black" sex, if any at all.

Any suggestions?

Amanda McIntyre said...

For YA, my daughter,who teaches eighth grade reading/language arts really enjoyed the Pride and Prejudice and zombies book, by Seth Grahame-Smith.

Insofar as options for your mom (and I can so understand where she is at!) just about anything from Fern Michaels is wonderful! SNOW ANGELS is a recent Christmas anthology thats out now!

Amanda

CheekyGirl said...

Thanks Amanda!

Anonymous said...

i just discovered your blog...it's great.

karenk
kmuka(at)yahoo(dot)Com

Anonymous said...

oops...i gave the incorrect email address on the above posting...sorry...it is...

karenk
kmkuka(at)yahoo(Dot)com

Dar said...

I've got this posted over at Win a Book for you! Really terrific post. No need to enter me.

Stacie said...

I would love to be entered.

simplystacieblog at gmail dot com

wheresmyrain said...

my father is impossible. he buys everything he wants and i always get socks for him, boring i know, out of ideas, maybe books?love to enter the contest

wheresmyrain(at)yahoo(dot)com

I Heart Book Gossip said...

Please count me in. I think shopping for guys in general is the hardest. Especially for my dad. He doesn't golf and isn't into sports so thats crossed off the list.

cindyc725 at gmail dot com

Genella deGrey said...

Confession: I love books more than I love shoes.

There is a GREAT plug for books in the movie 2010. (I just saw a screening today - WOW what an awesome movie!)

:)
G.

stacy stew said...

For your mother in law-I loved all of the Highlander books by Karie Marie Moning and if you do not think she will like that type of romance, then anything by Johanna Lindsey. And what about Twilight? My sister's mother-in-law argued that she would not like a vampire book, but she finally, reluctantly read it and loved it. Twilight is such a sweet love story between two people and the vampire part was secondary.

stacy stew said...

Oh, I forgot to leave my address, samnstacy@me.com

Moonsanity said...

I have always given books, especially to our own kids, nephews and friends. I can't imagine people NOT loving books, but some people don't read fiction. I know, it boggles my mind. I give cookbooks a lot, and gardening books. The hardest one to buy for is my 15 year old- he's the only one in the family who is a "reluctant reader", but oddly he loved to Kill A Mockingbird. A lot of adults don't want to read it, so it was an odd choice! Is there any books you can think of that might compare to it?

Cecile said...

I am late as always these days! Sorry!!!
***Waving to both Cheeky and Ms. A***
It is so good to see Ms. Sabrina here! Thanks for having her over Ms. A! I have seen her around here and there... but it is always nice to get to know someone a little better!
I hope all is going well ladies!

As far as the topic today.. I am very happy to report that I can buy for one person in book store, my daughter! She absolutely loves to read. Now as far as everyone else in my family... I do think my Mom is slowly coming around. She is into the inspirational books and so is my Mother In Law.
But hubby... It would be considered a miracle if I could get him to read the owners manual or directions to anything!! LOL!!! So a book... no go! But I will greatly revise my list and see who and what could I buy in a book store... And hey... you want what you get at Borders if you shop... for others of course... you can get a present for yourself while you are there... and you get to earn the points... **sssshhhh***
Have a great night ladies! And a great weekend!

Amanda McIntyre said...

Welcome to HOuse of Muse, Karen K! I hope you'll come by often to the house! You never know who might drop by for a chat! LOL

Johanna Lindsey! Good choice and doesn't Jude Deavereux have a new historical coming out?

Welcome to House of Muse, Dar and Stacie!

Amanda

Amanda McIntyre said...

Moonsanity, welcome to House of Muse! I love this topic that Sabrina has introduced!

I have twin sons(16) and they happened to like most of the Micheal Crighton books--specifically Jurassic Park and Next. Legend is another book they enjoyed--rather on the apocolyptic side of life, granted. He might also like John Grisham novels--like The Firm.

Amanda

Amanda McIntyre said...

And you have to include yourself as a voracious reader as well, Ms C!! All you lucky folks who have bookstores nearby, I'm insanely jealous!!

Amanda

Amanda McIntyre said...

Genella, I've wondered about that movie and I confess--one of the only draws to it for me is my long time secret crush on John Cusack! Brilliant actor! Looks like fantastic special effects though. Was it a book first?

Amanda

Amanda McIntyre said...

Hey Cindy
Does he read the newspaper? A subscription might be one idea...Travel? History? Anymore m there are soe many things that you can find in a bookstore--including music, games, magazines, pen collections...maybe get him a nice blank paged journal and say, I'd really like to have you write down things that you remember from your childhood. What did you want to be when you were young? Was he in the armed forces? What was life like when he were growing up? Those can be precious things one day down the road!
Just an idea...I was glad I sat down one day and asked my grandmother about her family and her childhood before she succumbed to alzheimers. That little notepad is precious to me now;)

Amanda

Linda Henderson said...

Books and a hot yummy drink, two of my favorite things. I would live in Starbucks if they would let me. I usually buy books for all the kids for Christmas. My grandkids love books. My sister is a book-a-holic like me so it's easy to get something for her. We both read just about any genre.

seriousreader at live dot com

Amanda McIntyre said...

Linda, you too, live near a Starbucks??? *sigh

Tomorrow...Im going to visit a SB tomorrow and get a fresh Peppermint Mocha..I can almost taste it!! LOL

For those who love pepermint sticks, may I recommend for the holiday season the small bags of Bobs SOFT suger peppermint sticks! I have only ever found them at Cracker Barrel restaurants and Walmart holiday candy.

These are the kind that you can stick in an orange and suck up the juice like its a straw? Also good dipped in melted chocolate!!

Did you know that pepermint--aside from other wonderful purposes--is a great stress reliever??

I want to thank Sabrina for her insights into the holiday shopping seaaon--dont forget all the great ideas you can find for folks at the bookstore and if nothing else,the gift cards they offer can give the recipient a wonderful afternoon of shopping and perhaps a peppermint mocha for themselves!

Amanda

CheekyGirl said...

Thank you Amanda!

I was responding to some of these comments last night, but the computer kept eating them!

I think everyone has great ideas - a trip to the bookstore might give them inspiration for someone they hadn't originally thought of.

And don't forget - a gift card to the bookstore let's them pick for themselves too!

Genella deGrey said...

Amanda - This movie was a calendar first.

LOL!!!


I took a peek at imdb.com and it doesn't look like it was an adaptation.

HUZZAH FOR ORIGINAL SCREEN PLAYS!

I love John, too. That man can deliver a funny line and make it STICK, baby!!

"Sorry your mom blew-up, Ricky."

HAHAHAHAHAHAH!


Oh, and sorry for calling it 2010 earlier - it's 2012, DUH! XD

Hugs -
G.

Amanda McIntyre said...

LOLOL! " CHRISTMAS...CHRIIISSTMAS" Oh now you have me started on thinking of all those great lines in John Hughs films....

and oddly I knew it was 2012.;) Wow! an original screenplay? Unheard of!

I thought of another great reading series for those who like a moderately sweet mystery and those are Andrew Greeley's Nuala Anne Mcgrail Mysteries-now these--Irish Gold,Irish Lace, Irish Whiskey, Irish Eyes would make a fantastic tv series, IMHO.

Your mom might enjoy these too, Sabrina!

Amanda

Cathy M said...

Both of my son's have special girl friends this year, so I really won't to pick something nice for each of them. Luckily one is a reader, and love the Sookie Stackhouse books, so I am going to pick up the latest release with all the short stories. Need an idea for a career woman, type a personality. No books for her, but she just moved into a new apartment, so maybe a new kitchen item.

Amanda McIntyre said...

Or maybe a book on entertaining? Feng shui decorating? Bookstores also carry a line of wonderful desk accessories and calendars.
Maybe a small gift basket tucked with coffees and reference books or a newspaper or her fav magazine w/ a years subscription?

Amanda

catslady said...

I have one daughter who is an avid reader like myself and she knows she will get books for Christmas. And although everyone knows I love to read, she is the only one that has gotten me books. I guess because we share the same passion. Other members of my family have gotten books but they aren't readers so I stick to tablebooks (not the Kramer/Seinfield kind lol).
catslady5(at)aol.com

etirv said...

! Teen girls and boys on my list are always a challenge. I always resort to gift cards or cash.

Today, I prepared a box of romance novels in different genres for my best friend who resides in another state. She stopped reading romances so this is sort of a return to romance reminder and gift!

delilah0180(at)yahoo(dot)com

Amanda McIntyre said...

You know there are some great coffee table books though. I love the ones on photography and exotic locales. These are also terrific gift ideas for the writers in your life. Aspiring to seasoned. Fabulous research books!

Amanda

Amanda McIntyre said...

Deliah , what a thoughtful idea! See, books really are the gift that keeps on giving!!

What about those avid readers who are collecting certain series of books--maybe discovering them late--and are looking for the earlier books in that series? That would be fun to give as well--not to mention be a possible challenge.

One of my fav authors is Anne River Siddons--her books are fantastic. LaVeryl Spencer is another who has some wonderful time-honored books out there.

Amanda

susan said...

I have trouble buying for men other than my hubby. He has friends and expects me to get a gift..I usually say..a gift card is fine. I think that's safe..the person can get what he wants then. susan L.

Ali said...

I love this post... this was actually my plan for this Christmas. In fact, I called my sister last week to let her know all my neices and nephew would be getting books. Last time this happened she didn't look too happy. This time, she tells me, "Good. They need more books." Amen. *bg* Now to spend hours shopping at my bookstore... hellacious, right? Not, lol

Emma said...

I enjoy reading your blog and comments.Please enter me in the giveaway.augustlily06(at)aim(dot)com.Thank you.

Mari said...

I love receiving books for the holidays. I always buy books for my nieces and nephews and godchildren, as I believe it is important to instill the value of reading early on. They really don't need yet another video game:)

Anonymous said...

I have always given books as gifts. My sons, my daughter-in-law, my niece, great nephews and this year I'll start a library for my first grandchild who will make an appearance any day now. ~grin~

My older son wore out 3 copies of Lord of the Flies by William Golding. He now has copy 4 on his bookcase. It's still his favorite book. And then there is his zombies obsession.

My younger son is a freshman in college. He's a Culinary student and loves cookbooks and anything to do with cooking. He also loves books about the mafia. His favorite fiction series is The Shadow Saga, a vampire series by Christopher Golden.

My daughter-in-law reads romance but she likes paranormal more. She loves the Bones series by Kathy Reichs and a paranormal shapeshifter series that I cannot recall at the moment.

My niece is the one who shares my passion for books. She's a senior in high school and is learning photography. She loves the Twilight series and the Hunger Games series. I used to buy and give her the books she liked but now I give her a gift card so she can go to the bookstore herself. That is the best part of buying books for a booklover!

Jan

Amanda McIntyre said...

Jan: that is fabulous! YOu can almost do one-stop shopping!!

does nayone klnow if someone has come up with a Trivial Pursuit game based on books?

Amanda

Amanda McIntyre said...

Mari: Amen to that! I keep trying to push back to the board games in this house. At least at the holidays--its become sort of a family traditon to pull out the Scattergories game after Thanksgiving dinner.

*my apologies for typos in previous email , not enough caffiene yet this morning;))

Amanda McIntyre said...

Thats wonderful, Ali!! There is sooo much value in developing a love for reading!

Do any of you have bookstores in your area that have a childrens reading program available or book club readings where authors come in and read their work and discuss it?

Amanda

Amanda McIntyre said...

Susan: I can see your dilemma!I'd have to agree that aside from baked goods that maybe a gift card would be the way to go.

Anyone figure out a way yet to reintroduce the love of reading to a very busy overscheduled college student , yet?

Amanda

Genella deGrey said...

Amanda - I didn't become an avid romance reader - or a reader of anything (it was all TV) until I was 28.

Not sure if you can get a non-reader interested in reading. To a non-reader, a novel looks daunting.

:)
G.

CheekyGirl said...

Wow! The comments just keep coming...I love some of these suggestions! Calendars do make a great gift and so do lovely coffee table books.

One way I found to introduce busy or non-readers to books - audiobooks! Personally, I have a long commute and hate the mornign radio talk shows. Now, I pop an audiobook cd in the car or download one to my ipod and I'm listening to someone read the story to me.

I think many techies might enjoy the audiobook experience.

Amanda McIntyre said...

and there are a lot of commuters these days! Are yoiu talking about the ones you buy in the stores? Or the ones that you can buy at places like Audible.com
those download onto Itunes *I think* I have to check...

Amanda

throuthehaze said...

yum..peppermint mocha! I have never tried that but it sounds wonderful

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