Something Like You

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The month of March ushers in the start of spring in America and elsewhere. Here in the Philippines, it heralds the beginning of summer. But whatever season it is named, March will always be extra special to me.

The third day, specifically. The day when heaven sent an angel destined to hold my hand and my heart forever. The day you were born.

Soft sunlight streaming through the dark green leaves of the tree above us touch her hair and I am instantly jealous. I lay my hand over her light brown crown, its ray instead hitting me with the morning warmth.

Before I met you, I was just. . . living. Taking everyday as it comes. Relationships went and passed me by, leaving me discontented and disillusioned. I found myself unconsciously, whimsically saying a silent prayer to an unseen God wishing for someone that will sweep me off my feet and make me forget everything except her.

Be careful what you wish for, they say—you might just get it. Well, I got my wish. But I’m not regretting it one single bit. Continue reading “Something Like You”

Pointers in Writing Romance (#2 in Series)

Disclaimer: I don’t profess myself as a great, even a good, writer. I’m learning to be a better writer of romance day by day. I just want to share what I learn, with the hope that you can get something good out of these too. Sharing is, after all, caring.

I hope you’ve read Pointer # 1 before coming to this article. If not, you can read it HERE first. It’s very important, so don’t miss it!

Now we come to Pointer #2 in writing romance novels. For this one, I’ll have to quote the great American writer and Nobel Prize laureate William Faulkner (September 25, 1897 – July 6, 1962):

Read, read, read. Read everything —trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You’ll absorb it.

Have you guessed what Pointer # 2 in writing romance novels? You got that right: Read romance novels. Continue reading “Pointers in Writing Romance (#2 in Series)”

Review: Better at Weddings than You

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Review: Better At Weddings Than You
By Mina V. Esguerra
eBook, 214 pages
Bright Girl Books

4.5 out of 5 Stars

“Easy reading is damn hard writing.”

American novelist Nathaniel Hawthorne must have Mina Esguerra in mind when he coined this phrase. Because if I were to describe my overall experience in reading her latest book, it’s none other than, “Now, that was easy reading!” I sincerely doubt, however, that Mina had a hard time writing it. On the contrary, I feel she breezed through every word and every chapter with effortless flair like the pro she is, until the very end of the book.

Page after page flowed easily through my eyes and mind, keeping my interest piqued and my heart at repeated swoons. The intricate depiction of a wedding planner’s work made me realize the pressure, the predicaments and the creativity of wedding planners. It’s not an enviable job.

Greg is a certified a**hole but one that has a heart for Daphne’s well-being. He also, inexplicably, truly and deeply loves Helen, his fiancee. That makes him a likeable a**hole — in small doses, of course. It’s Helen that is an enigma, tossing and turning between Greg and Aaron, accepting her defeat only in the end. But I still get the feeling she’s not very sure she wants to marry Greg, eventually. Make up your mind (and heart), girl! Continue reading “Review: Better at Weddings than You”

Now Kiss Me

A Twitter follower requested a prompt for a flash fiction where the hero is a psychotic spirit and the heroine is carefree and innocent with a shocking but hopeful ending. This is what I came up with, with a promise to myself that one day, I will write a full-blown story about these amazing creatures.

 

“You’re new.”

Red, bloodshot eyes stared sharply at her from under thick, black lashes.

She flashed him a radiant smile which lighted up the dreary, bleak box that was his prison.

“I just graduated yesterday at the Academy.”

Smirking, he drawled, “Let me guess. You requested this assignment, eager for a quick promotion.”

Her shoulders shrugged in an adorable manner. “Guilty.”

“Well, you’re in for a disappointment, lady.” And she did look like a lady, clad in a white lacy blouse tucked in a pair of black tailored pants.

There’s something in her smile, though, that tugged at his insides. Something’s off with her, he thought to himself.

“There’s nothing I have to say that I haven’t told the other agents before you. I alone killed those children. I killed them all by setting fire in the orphanage, by myself and myself alone. I have no accomplice. I will die by execution tomorrow standing by my confession.”

For a while, she just stared at him, smiling. He fidgeted under her piercing, yet, kindly eyes. Continue reading “Now Kiss Me”

Review: Promdi Heart

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Book Title: Promdi Heart
Authors: Georgette Gonzales, Agay Llanera, Chris Mariano, C.P. Santi, Jay Tria, Ines Bautista-Yao
Kindle edition
Published 29 March 2017

PromdiHeart is the kind of book that can very effectively showcase our beautiful country and its multi-cultural diversity and lure both tourists and expats to come here through the power of romance literature.

Each story brought out several endearing features of its setting, from the food, to the dialect spoken, to the provincial folks and their traditional way of life, even the architecture – woven into the universal language of love through the story-telling of six romantic relationships.

Distinctly Filipino, the stories were not the familiar instalove plots in today’s modern romance books. Instead, love bloomed and developed between two people through the passage of time as well as occasions of togetherness and separation. No steamy, naughty or tease-ful scenes here. Delightfully, you’ll find skillfully executed plays of words which tug deep at the heartstrings, creating a profound longing for a particular provincial setting while not lacking on adequate swoon levels.

I love that the women were not the timid, push-over, soft-spoken doormats usually associated with typical Filipina provincial girls. Instead, they were smart, strong-willed, assertive girls who speak their mind without being bad-mannered (except for Hugot girl in one instance which is completely understandable 🙂 and yet have a full grip of their emotions.

I love the guys too. Except for Son. But I expect he’ll come around and realize it’s always been Alice for him — give or take a year or two. 🙂

Out of all the stories, my favorite is Only the Beginning, Andi’s story written with humor and wit. The pacing was steady, the main characters relatable, the back story involving cultural mapping relevant and timely. It was a great start to pique interest for the succeeding stories which did not disappoint as well.

For the sake of our country’s tourist promotion and rekindling of nationalistic feels among us Filipinos, may this breed of romantic stories multiply.

I was given an advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review of this book.

For this and other Goodreads reviews, CLICK HERE.

The Gangster & The Socialite

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The Gangster & The Socialite is a romantic comedy story with a crime/suspense twist of two people from very different backgrounds whom fate has destined to meet out of a tragic serendipity.
Marie Megan Montecillo is a beautiful, smart socialite who had been sheltered and pampered all her life. Suddenly, she finds herself targeted for death for reasons unknown to her. Her life turns upside down as she constantly evades her killers until she discovers who is behind the plot against her. Worse, someone framed her for trying to murder her own grandfather.
Out of nowhere, Richard, a handsome, suspicious character saves her and makes it his mission to protect her at all costs and clear her name of all charges.

Despite their colliding personalities, Megan’s cold, icy heart warmed up to his arrogant yet caring attitude. Well, of course, on top of the undeniably explosive chemistry between them.
But what if he is exactly the kind of man she is running away from?
Will she survive with her life and wealth. . . and heart. . . intact?
This first in a series of romantic adventures of The Gangster & The Socialite will flutter your heart and excite you with suspenseful twists as fast-paced action interlope with sweet, passionate encounters.

This is a stand-alone book. Absolutely no cliffhangers for the next Book!

Buy Links: Amazon  Smashwords  Gumroad  Paperback

Review

Review: Bad Nanny

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Bad Nanny
By C.M. Stunich

5 out of 5 stars!

I ABSOLUTELY LOVED THIS BOOK!

This is a story of two very different people whose wide gap does not only include age but most importantly, personality and commitment issues. How they managed to bridge that gaping hole, is a discovery every reader shouldn’t miss!

Zayden Roth is a magnificent creature whose extreme magnetism jumps out of the pages and explodes in your eyes. He is rough, crass and crude, he is shameless, and he is a sweet, street-smart human with a heart of gold. Brooke Overland’s character is an odd yet real-life mixture of strength and weakness, logic and emotion, intelligence and naivete.

I lost count of the times I laughed reading this book. It’s definitely more than twenty! The kids and the animals were bratty and comedic, as well as the other minor characters. I find it awesome how the author made some of the sex act descriptions hilariously crazy at times because they didn’t come off as trashy, mindless depictions like some erotica books do. This book is easy and fun to read!

The love that Zay and Brooke eventually felt for each other was perfectly developed by the writer. Their love story may have started off in the wrong foot, but love does indeed slowly blossom in ways we never expect, nor want to. Brooke showed her intelligence and strength when she accepted it the moment she realized it and wanted to make it work. Zayden’s denial of his feelings and his desire to escape it at first didn’t make me think less of him. It only proved his selfless concern for her, which just goes to show that his love for her is not fleeting or temporary, but deep and lasting.

The author’s way of narrating the intimate scenes between Zay and Brooke involved not only their bodies but their emotional sensitivities as well, which helped justify the writer’s portrayal of the growing, deepening feelings they have for each other. Others would call theirs an IL (insta-love) but to me, it isn’t. Their love grew with their eyes open to each other’s flaws and weaknesses and learning to accept them wholeheartedly.

This book left me smiling and swooning. It also reminded me a lesson: that we really shouldn’t judge people by the way they look or dress or carry themselves, or what work they do. Underneath all his tattooed and pierced skin, Nanny Roth is one decent man. And Brooke’s exposed, stripper’s body is in reality, fully cloaked with a sense of responsibility and conviction for such a young age.

Definitely one of the best books I’ve read.

Many thanks to Xpresso Book Tours for granting me this review opportunity.

For this and more Goodreads book reviews, CLICK HERE.