San Antonio’s Turkey Trot 2020 to go virtual this year

This year’s San Antonio Food Bank’s Turkey Trot will be virtual. Photo: google

It is time for the race that puts the “turkey” in Turkey Trot: the 10th annual San Antonio Food Bank Turkey Trot, presented by H-E-B. This year, due to the pandemic, Turkey Trot has gone virtual, but this only means participants can run anywhere, anytime on Thanksgiving Day. (San Antonio Food Bank, 2020)

Walkers and runners can receive a Turkey Trot tech running shirt, finisher’s medal and more as part of their registration. They also can opt to provide more than the one turkey provided from their registration. Registration is live and walkers and runners are encouraged to sign up early. The 2020 event on Thanksgiving will be virtual. Walk/run your 5K from anywhere in the world. Every registration provides a turkey for someone in need in our community. Registration information is available online.

Walkers and racers can post their day-of photos in their social media platform of choice and tag the Food Bank (safoodbank) or hashtag the race (#turkeytrotsatx).

“While we truly miss the annual event from the H-E-B headquarters and Commander’s House, this virtual event means that so many more can participate. We would expect more than 5,000 in-person, but this virtual option to run or walk a 5K (3.2miles or so) means that anyone can participate from anywhere they happen to be on Thanksgiving Day. We hope to see families participate with multi-generations that have never come downtown for the race. It could be huge. And it all benefits those facing hunger.” – Eric Cooper, President/CEO of the San Antonio Food Bank.

The San Antonio Food Bank is a 501c3 non‐profit organization providing millions of pounds of food to over 530 charitable organizations in Southwest Texas serving those in need. In addition to food distribution, the San Antonio Food Bank provides numerous programs that not only solve the immediate problems of hunger, but help individuals and families gain long‐term food security.


Upcoming release: ‘The Law of Innocence’ by Michael Connally

‘The Law of Innocence’ is Michael Connelly’s upcoming new Lincoln Lawyer novel. Photo: amazon

Michael Connelly is the bestselling author of over thirty novels and one work of nonfiction. With over eighty million copies of his books sold worldwide and translated into forty foreign languages, he is one of the most successful writers working today. A former newspaper reporter who worked the crime beat at the Los Angeles Times and the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, Connelly has won numerous awards for his journalism and his fiction. His first novel, “The Black Echo,” won the prestigious Mystery Writers of America Edgar Award for Best First Novel in 1992. In 2002, Clint Eastwood directed and starred in the movie adaptation of Connelly’s 1998 novel, “Blood Work.” In March 2011, the movie adaptation of his #1 bestselling novel, “The Lincoln Lawyer,” hit theaters worldwide starring Matthew McConaughey as Mickey Haller. His most recent bestsellers include “Fair Warning,” “The Night Fire,” “The Burning Room” and “The Gods of Guilt.” Michael is the executive producer of BOSCH, an Amazon Studios original drama series based on his bestselling character Harry Bosch, starring Titus Welliver and streaming on Amazon Prime. His new book “The Law of Innocence (A Lincoln Lawyer Novel, Book 6)” will be released on Tuesday, November 10, 2020.

In “The Law of Innocence,” Lincoln Lawyer Mickey Haller must defend himself against murder charges. On the night he celebrates a big win, Mickey is pulled over by the police, who find the body of a former client in the trunk of his Lincoln. Haller is immediately charged with murder but cannot post the exorbitant $5 million bail slapped on him by a vindictive judge. He elects to represent himself and is forced to mount his defense from his jail cell in the Twin Towers Correctional Center in downtown Los Angeles. All the while, he needs to look over his shoulder because as an officer of the court he is an instant target and he makes few friends when he reveals a corruption plot within the jail. Haller knows he has been framed, whether by a new enemy or an old one. As his trusted team, including his half-brother, Harry Bosch, investigates, Haller must use all his skills in the courtroom to counter the damning evidence against him. Even if he can obtain a not-guilty verdict, Mickey understands that it will not be enough. In order to be truly exonerated, he must find out who really committed the murder and why. That is the law of innocence.

San Antonio Book Festival 2021 will be virtual event

The 2021 San Antonio Book Festival will be an online event. Photo: San Antonio Book Festival, used with permission.

For the first time ever, the San Antonio Book Festival (SABF) will take place entirely online. Featuring three full days of free virtual programming, the 2021 Festival will run Friday April 9 through Sunday April 11. The festival will bring together thousands of readers and writers across Texas, the U.S., and beyond for engaging, enlightening and educational programming. Pending the pandemic numbers in 2021, the Festival could be somewhat hybrid with select in-person, socially distanced events, which will be announced at a later date.  (San Antonio Book Festival, 2020)

SABF is a free, family-friendly event that showcases both first-time and established, prominent writers, introducing attendees to new and well-known literary talents and connecting them with their favorite authors. The 2021 Festival will feature more than 75 local, regional and national authors participating in virtual sessions, including programming for adults, young adults, middle-grade readers and children. All festival writers will be announced in early February 2021.

SABF will be using the online platform called Accelevents to run the festival, which gives each event a clear, high-quality look. Accelevents allows the Festival to offer book clubs, groups of friends and classes the opportunity to chat privately among themselves during an event. There is also a “networking” capability to mimic the in-person festival, where attendees can meet one another and talk about which events they’re attending and enjoying.

For the first time, locally owned and operated bookstore Nowhere Bookshop will be the Festival’s official bookseller, a change from Barnes & Noble in previous years. The Book Festival’s singular fundraiser, the Book Appétit Literary Feast, featuring novelist Amor Towles, has been rescheduled to April 8, 2021 and will also be held online.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak and stay-at-home measures in the U.S., the San Antonio Book Festival has produced several online programs, including a virtual mini festival for kids and teens, in collaboration with The DoSeum and a handful of stand-alone author events. SABF is excited to continue providing additional online programming in the months leading up to and through the three-day virtual Festival, offering even more book discussions, author panels and interviews, bringing these inspiring conversations from celebrated and emerging writers into the homes of readers across Texas and the country.

The mission of the San Antonio Book Festival (SABF) is to unite readers and writers in a celebration of ideas, books, libraries and literary culture. SABF was first presented in April 2013. Founding partners include the San Antonio Public Library, the Southwest School of Art, the San Antonio Public Library Foundation and Texas Book Festival. This “Fiesta for the mind” is a gift to visitors and the citizens of San Antonio, free and open to all.

“While the uncertainty of the coming months drove our decision, we are embracing the potential to reach a wider audience and elevate the Book Festival’s reputation on a national scale. Are we disappointed? Of course. It’s another year that we don’t get to celebrate books in person with our Festival friends. But the safety of our attendees, writers, moderators, and volunteers is our first priority. If we have to be virtual, we’re focusing on ways to make the online experience as close to the real thing as we can.” – Lilly Gonzalez, SABF’s executive director.

Taco Cabana announces breakfast enchiladas and new $1 tacos

Taco Cabana has new $1 tacos and breakfast enchiladas available all day at San Antonio locations only. Photo: Taco Cabana, used with permission.

Taco Cabana is thrilled to announce the launch of four new $1 tacos and new breakfast enchilada items at all San Antonio locations starting Wednesday October 28, 2020. Taco Cabana guests can order the new breakfast enchiladas and $1 tacos all day, every day. (Taco Cabana, 2020)

The new $1 tacos include four different recipes, including Potato a la Mexicana (potatoes with pico de gallo), Potato Ranchero, Bean & Chorizo and Eggs a la Mexicana (scrambled eggs with pico de gallo).

The new Breakfast Enchiladas feature a variety of flavor-filled builds, including two cheese enchiladas topped with guest’s choice of Tex-Mex or Ranchero Sauce and scrambled eggs or chorizo and eggs – each $4.49. Guests can add potatoes or refried beans for $4.79 or add potatoes and refried beans for $5.09.

Taco Cabana, a subsidiary of Fiesta Restaurant Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: FRGI), was founded in 1978. The brand specializes in Tex-Mex-inspired food including enchiladas, fajitas, quesadillas, flautas, burritos, tacos, flour tortillas and a selection of made-from-scratch salsas and sauces. Restaurants feature open-display cooking, a selection of beer and tequila margaritas, patio dining, drive-thru windows, curbside pick-up and delivery. As of Jan. 1, 2020, Taco Cabana operates 145 company-owned restaurants in Texas.

Fiesta Restaurant Group, Inc., owns, operates and franchises Pollo Tropical and Taco Cabana® restaurant brands. The brands specialize in the operation of fast casual/quick service restaurants that offer distinct and unique flavors with broad appeal at a compelling value. The brands feature fresh-made cooking, drive-thru service and catering.

‘Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption’ now available as stand alone novel

‘Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption’ by Stephen King is now available as a stand alone novel. Photo: amazon

Stephen King is the author of more than sixty books, all of them worldwide bestsellers. His recent work includes “If It Bleeds,” “The Institute,” “Elevation,” “The Outsider,” “Sleeping Beauties” (cowritten with his son Owen King) and the Bill Hodges trilogy: “End of Watch,” “Finders Keepers” and “Mr. Mercedes” (an Edgar Award winner for Best Novel and an AT&T Audience Network original television series). His novel “11/22/63” was named a top ten book of 2011 by The New York Times’ Book Review and won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Mystery/Thriller. His epic works “The Dark Tower,” “It,” “Pet Sematary” and “Doctor Sleep” are the basis for major motion pictures, with “It” now the highest-grossing horror film of all time. His many accolades include the 2014 National Medal of Arts, and the 2003 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. Stephen King’s beloved novella, “Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption,” the basis for the Best Picture Academy Award nominee The Shawshank Redemption about an unjustly imprisoned convict who seeks a strangely satisfying revenge, is now available for the first time as a standalone book.
 (Simon & Schuster, 2020)

A mesmerizing tale of unjust imprisonment and offbeat escape, “Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption” is one of Stephen King’s most beloved and iconic stories and it helped make Castle Rock a place readers would return to over and over again. Suspenseful, mysterious and heart-wrenching, this iconic King novella, populated by a cast of unforgettable characters, is about a fiercely compelling convict named Andy Dufresne who is seeking his ultimate revenge. Originally published in 1982 in the collection “Different Seasons” (alongside “The Body,” “Apt Pupil” and “The Breathing Method”), it was made into the film The Shawshank Redemption in 1994. Starring Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins. This modern classic was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture and is among the most beloved films of all time.

New release: ‘Black Sun’ by Rebecca Roanhorse

‘Black Sun’ is the new release by Rebecca Roanhorse. Photo: amazon

Rebecca Roanhorse is The New York Times’ bestselling author of “Trail of Lightning,” “Storm of Locusts,” “Star Wars: Resistance Reborn” and “Race to the Sun.” She has won the Nebula, Hugo and Locus Awards for her fiction and was the recipient of the 2018 Astounding (formerly Campbell) Award for Best New Writer. Her new book, “Black Sun,” was released this month.  It is the first book in the Between Earth and Sky trilogy, is inspired by the civilizations of the Pre-Columbian Americas and woven into a tale of celestial prophecies, political intrigue and forbidden magic.

In “Black Sun,” set in the holy city of Tova, the winter solstice is usually a time for celebration and renewal but this year it coincides with a solar eclipse; a rare celestial event proscribed by the Sun Priest as an unbalancing of the world. Meanwhile, a ship launches from a distant city bound for Tova and set to arrive on the solstice. The captain of the ship, Xiala, is a disgraced Teek whose song can calm the waters around her as easily as it can warp a man’s mind. Her ship carries one passenger. Described as harmless, the passenger, Serapio, is a young man, blind, scarred and cloaked in destiny. As Xiala well knows, when a man is described as harmless, he usually ends up being a villain. Crafted with unforgettable characters, Rebecca Roanhorse has created an epic adventure exploring the decadence of power amidst the weight of history and the struggle of individuals swimming against the confines of society and their broken pasts in the most original series debut of the decade.

Book review: ‘Someone to Watch Over’ by William Schreiber

‘Someone to Watch Over’ is William Schreiber’s new novel. Photo: amazon

William Schreiber is an author and screenwriter who earned the 2019 Rising Star Award from the Women’s Fiction Writers Association for his novel “Someone to Watch Over.” The book was adapted from his original screenplay, which has won or been nominated for many competition awards, including the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ prestigious Nicholl Fellowship in Screenwriting, as well as numerous Best Screenplay awards at film festivals throughout the country. A life-affirming story about faith in second chances, “Someone to Watch Over” is the multi-generational story about Eleanor “Lennie” Riley’s quest to find her only child, secretly taken from her by a powerful family two decades ago; a journey that leads to a string of mysterious encounters in the Appalachian Mountains. It was inspired by the unexpected death of William’s father and his family asking him to write and deliver his eulogy.

“Someone to Watch Over” begins as Eleanor Grace Riley, aka Lennie, is returning to Mosely, Tennessee hoping to reconcile with her aging father and learn from him the fate of the now-grown child he forced her to give up as a teenager. She had a difficult childhood right from the start; her mother dies delivering her and at seventeen she leaves town with a terrible secret about her teenage pregnancy.  Before she has a chance to make contact with her father, her brother John informs her that he has died. Crushed, but nevertheless determined, Lennie sets out to find answers on her own.  After she learns about guardakin angels in a distant corner of the Appalachian Mountains who can connect deceased parents with their children, it renews her hope of finding her child. John has planned a road trip to recreate one of their father’s vacations when they were kids as a way to remember him but Lennie only sees the trip as a way to find a guardakin angel. John comes across as aloof and distant and his and Lennie’s relationship is strained but he hesitantly agrees to let Lennie come along. The trip is anything but a smooth ride, but along the way, Lennie learns what happened to her daughter Michelle and reconnects with her while she and John finally become a family again after being separated for twenty years.

No matter how happy and put-together families look from the outside, they all carry their share of baggage. Even though Lennie and John come from the same family, they each had different experiences growing up which included the relationship they had with their father.  Because of this, they grieve in their own way without taking into consideration what the other’s memories of the father could be. This is an important point to be learned from “Someone to Watch Over,” that we should always strive to consider other people’s points of view and experiences so we can better understand them. The story is narrated in alternate points of view between Lennie and John, so the reader is always aware of their thoughts and opinions. It reads like a modern day piece of American literature, with poetic language “She set her acoustic aside and ripped up her pages of poetry, letting the shreds fall like ashes to the bed” that flows through the pages and makes the action deeper and more meaningful. This feel-good, heart warming novel is a must read and deserves a spot among literature’s best-loved works. “Someone to Watch Over,” the story of one family’s hard earned reconnection after much needed healing and forgiveness, is highly recommended for readers who appreciate reading about second chances.

“Lennie leaned out the window as the tow truck slogged up a woodsy mountain road, the night air soothing her as the moon played hide ‘n’ seek among the towering trees.”

*The author received a copy of this book for an honest review. The views and opinions expressed here belong solely to her.

William Chris Vineyards announces Fall Pairing Guide

William Chris Vineyards. Courtesy photo, used with permission.

William Chris Vineyards introduces the Fall Pairing Guide 2020 written by Kelsey Kramer CMS level II, WSET II and a Certified Texas Wine professional. (William Chris Vineyards, 2020)

2019 La Pradera Roussanne, Texas High Plains – This first wine has been glistening next to our Chef, Josh Tye’s, original food pairings– 2019 Roussanne from La Pradera Vineyard. Not only does the rich golden hue of this Roussanne set the stage for any dinner table, it is also suggestive of the wine’s aromas and flavors. Is that honey notes that I am detecting, or hazelnuts and golden hay? Pair with roasted vegetables and anything savory that you would top with crushed toasted nuts. 

2018 La Pradera Cinsault and 2018 Hunter – We wait all year long to pull out the recipes for this season. Making it through all of them may sound like a challenge, but our 2018 La Pradera Cinsault has the unique ability to zap a palate back into action even after helping number three. Flavors of the pure red forest berries will uplift dishes like roasted loin of pork, green beans almondine and goat cheese salads. This wine will pair to the notorious challenge at the Thanksgiving table- cranberries. While this delicate and juicy Cinsault will act like a cherry glaze to pork, we have a complement to bolder delicacies like charred beef tips and Prime Rib au jus. Our newest release, 2018 Hunter, brings velvety fig and plum to a decadent table. Pair 2018 La Pradera Cinsault with your favorite fall-time table runner and a couple bottles of 2018 Hunter with dim lighting and a Spicewood fire.

2018 Texas High Plains Mourvedre – Sometimes the season brings so much food to the table that you just cannot pick what to pair to. Maybe your gatherings are potluck style and wine-pairing is a mystery. Select 2018 Texas High Plains Mourvedre as a universal wine for your table of veggies, potatoes, beef, and even soy-based Asian cuisine if that is your style. This wine blends Mourvedre grapes from several vineyards so that where one set of vineyard conditions might promote spice and depth another might promote fruit and brighter tones, leaving you with a little bit of everything that tastes like Texas in a single glass.

Wine lovers can also look forward to enjoying the 2019 Pétillant Naturel this holiday season. Pétillant Naturel translates to “naturally sparkling” and uses one of the oldest known methods for making wine called Mèthode Ancestrale. Whether enjoyed at Christmas or New Year’s Eve, It is the perfect wine to add a little sparkle to the end of the year. 

Veterans Day and First Responders Day freebies from Hopdoddy

Hopdoddy’s Classic Burger With Cheese. Photo: Hopdoddy’s Burger Bar, used with permission.

For National First Responders Day, on Wednesday, October 28, Hopdoddy Burger Bar at The Rim and The Vineyard are offering a free Classic Burger (with or without cheese) to all EMT, firefighters and police officers. First responders can show their badge or uniform to claim their free burger. This offer is redeemable for in-store dining or to-go orders placed by phone. (Hopdoddy Burger Bar, 2020)

For Veterans Day, on Wednesday, November 11,  Hopdoddy Burger Bar at The Rim and The Vineyard are offering a free Classic Burger (with or without cheese) to all Veterans and active military servicemembers. Qualified recipients can show their military ID or uniform to claim their free burger. This offer is redeemable for in-store dining or to-go orders placed by phone.

The Rim – 17623 La Cantera Pkwy, Suite 101, San Antonio, TX  78257, (210) 434-2337

The Vineyard – 1301 North Loop 1604 W, Suite 101 San Antonio, TX  78258, (210) 728-3800

New release: ‘The Silence’ by Don DeLillo

‘The Silence’ is Don DeLillo’s new novel. Photo: amazon

Don DeLillo is the author of seventeen novels including “White Noise,” “Libra,” “Underworld,” “Falling Man” and “Zero K.” He has won the National Book Award, the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, the PEN/Saul Bellow Award, the Jerusalem Prize for his complete body of work and the William Dean Howells Medal from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. HIs story collection “The Angel Esmeralda” was a finalist for the Story Prize and the PEN/ Faulkner Award for Fiction. In 2013, DeLillo was awarded the Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction, and in 2015, the National Book Foundation awarded DeLillo its Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. Just released this week, “The Silence: A Novel” is a timely and compelling novel set in the near future about five people gathered together in a Manhattan apartment in the midst of a catastrophic event.

In “The Silence,” it is Super Bowl Sunday in the year 2022. Five people are having dinner in an apartment on the east side of Manhattan. The retired physics professor, along with her husband and her former student, are waiting for the couple who will join them from what becomes a dramatic flight from Paris. The conversation ranges from a survey telescope in North-central Chile to a favorite brand of bourbon to Einstein’s 1912 Manuscript on the Special Theory of Relativity. Then something happens and the digital connections that have transformed our lives are severed. What follows is a dazzling and profoundly moving conversation about what makes us human. Never has the art of fiction been such an immediate guide to our navigation of a bewildering world. Never have DeLillo’s prescience, imagination and language been more illuminating and essential.