Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Review | Another Word for Happy by Agay Llanera

Amazon | Goodreads

Growing up, I only encountered two Asian characters in fiction meant for people my age, the goddess Claudia Kishi from The Baby-Sitters Club and Cho Chang from Harry Potter.

Just two.

Pretty sad, I know. It's even sadder if you take into account that neither of them grew up in an environment remotely similar to mine.

I didn't know it then, but I desperately wanted to see myself--or someone like me, at the very least--in the books I was reading. Someone who has relatives who work in places like Saudi Arabia or Dubai to make life better for the people left behind. Someone who understands what it's like to grow up with overly religious Catholic parents/grandparents.

Enter Another Word for Happy by Agay Llanera.

It's about Caleb, a talented pianist with a penchant for colorful bow ties. He's been in the closet since the age of thirteen and has no plans of coming out. Until he meets intense, brokenhearted Franco and falls in love for the first time. But falling doesn't always mean someone will catch you, something Caleb learns in the most painful of ways.

Where do I even begin to explain my utter adoration for this book?

If Caleb were a real person, I’d want to be the cool older sister-ish friend who takes him shopping for bow ties and says wise things to him like, “Cheer up, kid. Heartache always gets better with time.” He totally won my heart the second he binge-watched videos of Franco’s spoken word performances online. A boy after my own heart.

Not that I do stuff like that. Ahem.

It hurt my heart to read about his struggles to fully accept himself. At the same time, though, I was thankful to be given the opportunity to walk around in Caleb’s shoes, to understand what it’s like to be afraid to be judged by people because of who you choose to love.

I think I broke down a bit—a lot, if we’re being honest—when he stood in front of the mirror and called himself all the names he imagined people would call him once he came out of the closet. Give me a minute to collect myself. I’m not okay, you guys. *sniffles*

And the characters! Another Word for Happy was a book populated by flawed and realistic characters. Franco and his self-destruction. Ginny and her ever-changing hair colors. Caleb and the bow ties that match his mood. Even the minor characters were interesting and all added something of value to the story. They all felt like people I could run into at my old university.

Although Caleb’s story is uniquely his own, Another Word for Happy feels like an accurate portrayal of what it’s like to be a seventeen-year-old in the Philippines. Unlike in other countries, most of us go to college in the same city we grew up in. This basically means we live with our parents beyond the age of eighteen. We’re still subjected to our parents’ coddling and strict rules at a time when we begin to feel like full-fledged adults. It’s something my friends and I personally experienced, and I was so glad to read about it for the first time in Another Word for Happy.

Filipino teenagers seriously need to read this book, even just for the sadly rare pleasure of seeing themselves reflected in it.

I would totally give Another Word for Happy ten stars out of five. It’s like that long-term boyfriend who can make you cry until you pass out at 2 A.M. but shows up the next day with a bouquet made of multi-colored roses and a poem he wrote for you. It hurts, but you know you’re not letting go. More please, Agay Llanera?

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Blurb Reveal | Keeping the Distance 2.6.17

I announced last week that Keeping the Distance is coming out early next year. This week, I'm very excited to share the blurb with all of you. In the meantime, you can add it to your to TBR on Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2gvqre8.

No bets. No fake relationships. Just a very real one that has to be kept under wraps.

Seventeen-year-old Melissa wants to dye her hair cotton candy pink and focus on her ukulele instead of Physics. But she can't. As the daughter of a Catholic school principal, living up to her model student image 24/7 is a must. Something's about to give under all the pressure. She only hopes it isn't her.

Getting involved with a troublemaking basketball player is the last possible thing she needs...

Lance is used to getting what he wants. With a pretty face he uses to full advantage and his role as co-captain of the basketball team, the easy way is the only way he's ever known. Until the day he notices the prim Melissa he's known forever is actually hot and decides to ask her out. He has no idea he's about to learn the lesson of a lifetime.

Not getting what he wants might exactly be what he needs...

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Title Reveal | Keeping the Distance 2.6.17

Facts about my next book:

❇ Title: Keeping the Distance

❇ Release Date: 2.6.2017

❇ Tagline: No bets. No fake relationships. Just a very real one that has to be kept under wraps.

❇ You can add it your Goodreads TBR here: http://bit.ly/2gvqre8.

I'm so excited for you guys to read this book. After I finished writing Prom Queen Perfect, I was a little lost about what to write next and found an unfinished manuscript I started when I was nineteen. The characters spoke to me, but it was the setting that convinced me to continue writing it.

Keeping the Distance is set in Iloilo, my hometown, a very chill place I hope you'll fall in love with. The book is currently in the editing stage, and I'll be sharing a few quotes in the next couple of weeks. Stay tuned.

Friday, November 18, 2016

The Emerald Pep Rally | Review | Settle the Score and Hustle Play by Tara Frejas


Synopsis

Settle the Score

College senior Garnet Figueroa lives and breathes basketball. A reliable asset to her varsity team, she is equipped with the skills and smarts to get the De La Sierra Lady Hunters closer to this year’s championship title. But Garnet soon finds out that her good friend (and long-time crush), cheerdancer Charles Crisostomo, is being cheated on by his girl, and she lets her emotions get the best of her.

Will she be able to come up with a game plan to save herself from heartbreak before the buzzer signals Game Over?

Hustle Play

Running on pure adrenaline and working with game strategies is something a basketball player like Garnet Figueroa is trained for. On the court, she is unbeatable. Off the court... that's a completely different story.

Because falling in love is trickier than a ball game, and Garnet finds herself fumbling over her feelings for Charles Crisostomo. The fact that her attention gets divided between him and rival school hard-court hottie Chris Barcelo doesn't help.

Or does it?

Review

I was never a big fan of the friends-to-lovers trope and instead preferred books where the characters went from driving each other crazy to being, you know, crazy about each other.

Tara Frejas, however, changed my mind with Settle the Score and Hustle Play.

Basketball ace Garnet and male cheerleader Charles won me over instantly. Garnet is the type of person who isn’t good with words. She prefers showing her feelings through actions, and this can be seen in the way she takes care of the people close to her. I loved her strength as a character.

Charles is also totally adorable. I was fascinated with his backstory, especially the part about how he became a male cheerleader. He’s charming and easy to be with, but he also has a tendency to make bad decisions. This makes him feel even more real, like maybe you could run into someone as swoon-worthy in real life. Haha.

I loved seeing how their easygoing yet steadfast friendship developed into something more. Yes, they were attracted to each other, but that was just the cherry on top of being with a wonderful, kind person. The sneak peeks into what I like to call their Pre-Messy Feelings Stage felt real and relatable. They supported each other through difficult times, doled out tough love when necessary, and laughed through, um, awkward situations. Charles and Garnet = #relationshipgoals.

People always make a big deal about instant attraction, but there’s a lot to be said about feelings that develop over time, about having faith that this particular person is always going to be there. Who knew falling in love with your comfort zone could be so freaking romantic?

On second thought, it’s always been romantic, and it’s my fault for not appreciating it until now.

Settle the Score and Hustle Play are perfect reads for when you’re in bed on a lazy Sunday. The book does have a love story that’ll make even the most bitter of hearts feel things, but it’s still firmly grounded in reality, you know? Basically, this is me telling you to go read it. Right now.

Related Links

AMAZON – bit.ly/GarnetLovesCharles
PRINT-ON-DEMAND – tarafrejas.com/orderform
GOODREADS - https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32312280-settle-the-score-hustle-play
LIVE READING (FROM #APRILFEELSDAY) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ge24XFvjNic

About the Author

TARA FREJAS is a cloud-walker who needs caffeine to fuel her travels. When she’s not in work mode, she keeps herself busy by weaving her daydreams into stories.

While not exactly a huge basketball fanatic, she does love and support the national team, Gilas Pilipinas (Hi, Gabe Norwood! Hee~) and has a tendency to get rather emotional watching their games.

In a parallel universe where she doesn’t have asthma, Tara played for her high school and college basketball teams as a shooting guard. She wore jersey number 21, and ended her college career with triple-double averages. In short, beast mode ang ate niyo. Pak.

Her other print-on-demand titles include Paper Planes Back Home, The “Forget You” Brew, and Scandalized.

Get in touch with the author:
Website: tarafrejas.com
Email: author@tarafrejas.com
Facebook: facebook.com/authortarafrejas
Twitter: @tarafrejas
Instagram: @tarafrejas

Want more indie romance books in your life? Go to romanceclassbooks.com for more than a hundred titles by Filipino authors!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Review | Well Played by Katrina Ramos Atienza

Synopsis

Amazon | Gooodreads

Patrice Reyes is starting her junior year at the University and she's convinced it's going to be the best semester ever. For starters, it looks like this is the year her team will win the regional football (soccer, for you Yanks) championships. Her subjects are looking good, and there's even a chance she might finally get somewhere with her rock star crush. But a new classmate—arrogant, cold math nerd—is seriously throwing off her groove. Will she ever get rid of him and have the awesome semester she deserves? Or is there truth to never judging (math) books by their cover?

Review

Reader reactions to retellings of beloved classics often fall under two camps.

A) The author gets the characters wrong, forcing the reader hurl the book in the direction of the nearest wall and scream, "NO! I don't care if this is a retelling. Elizabeth Bennett/Jane Eye/Sherlock Holmes would never do that shit!"

B) The author gets everything right. You get the sense that the characters are basically the same people you first loved, but you get to see them in a different setting. This might be the literary nerd in me talking, but that's what makes retellings so darn enjoyable.

Well Played by Katrina Ramos Atienza falls under B.

I adored Patrice and Paul, the book's versions of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy.

Patrice is a varsity player for her university's football team. It was wonderful seeing how she was so focused on her schoolwork, football, and her friends. Girl's got goals, something I always enjoy reading about. As a character, I enjoyed seeing her realize her impressions of people weren't always right.

And Paul! Sorry, Patrice, but he's my favorite character in the entire book.
There are plenty of love stories where the hero is charming but still a total alphahole. Paul is the exact opposite of that. He has no social skills whatsoever and comes across a jerk despite being a great guy.

Since the book is told mostly from Patrice's point-of-view, I enjoyed her reactions to his awkward attempts at flirting and cringed on his behalf. The boy has no game. At all. But it only made his efforts seem even more sincere.

The author made the setting come alive for me as well. I attended a university in my hometown, so I never had to live in a boarding house or a dormitory. As a result, I enjoyed living the dormitory life vicariously through Patrice and her friends--buying barbecue from a stall right outside, enduring a roommate's band practice on the terrace, and a bunch of other experiences depicted in the book.

If you want something sweet that'll reach inside your chest and tug at your heartstrings, I highly recommend this Pride and Prejudice adaptation with a setting that'll make you want to be a college student again. Crazy extracurricular activities and all.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Prom Queen Perfect is Free Until 11.13.16!

Prom Queen Perfect is *FREE* until November 13, 2016. Yay, right? You can get your copy right here.

Warning: It contains a sarcastic anti-heroine, one major makeover, red lipstick, and an exasperated boy said heroine might or might not hate. It depends.

Once you're done reading, I would highly appreciate reviews on Goodreads and/or on Amazon.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Attending Ines Bautista Yao's Writing Young Adult Fiction Workshop

It all started with K-pop.

One of my coworkers is a huge K-pop fanatic. Since we live in Iloilo and most concerts are held in Manila, she starts saving money months in advance—for tickets, airplane fare, hotel rooms, even official light sticks. The works. Now, you’re probably wondering what K-pop has to do with writing and, well, me. Don’t worry. I’ll get to my point.

When the aforementioned coworker left for Manila to attend a BTS concert earlier this year, I took a long, hard look at my life. Every time people from #romanceclass posted about a writing workshop or other writing-related event, I always came up with one excuse or another, some reason why I couldn't muster the courage to just go. I was too busy with work. Plane tickets were too expensive. I was too shy to interact with these amazing writers I only followed online.

After seeing my coworker invest so much time and money in something she was passionate about with a capital P, I decided to take the leap, too. Just in time, Mina V. Esguerra posted about a young adult fiction writing workshop, one to be taught by Ines Bautista-Yao who wrote the wonderful When Sparks Fly. I jumped at the chance and signed up right away.

So, last September 3, 2016, I found myself in O2 Space Solutions with about fifteen other people that included Mina V. Esguerra, Jay E. Tria (who I will forever associate with Kim’s leader-of-the-band voice), book bloggers, Wattpad writers, and even teachers from various universities.

Ines Bautista-Yao discussed various things about writing young adult fiction, like what questions to ask to get to know your characters better or how to figure out what you want to say through your novel. She even asked us why we want to write young adult fiction in the first place and what it means to us. Every time we covered one topic, we’d stop to talk about it and toss around some ideas.

Writing is often a solitary activity, so the discussions were my favorite part of the workshop. I loved hearing what other writers think about young adult fiction, but I loved listening to them talk about their works-in-progress and ideas for future books more. I’m not at liberty to talk about their ideas, but let me just say that you people have a lot of great reading to look forward to once they’re done.

A few things that stood out for me during the discussion:

1. I used to choose places for my scenes when writing without considering how they would affect my characters, but hearing Ines Bautista-Yao talk about a setting’s importance made me think twice.

The question she asked that’s still stuck in my mind: Where is the lighting coming from? The lighting in a scene, whether we’re talking about blinding daylight or cold fluorescent lights, can have a huge impact on its mood, on how it conveys what your characters are feeling. So cool.

2. One of the other participants asked if you can mention real places (restaurants, stores, malls, etc.) in your book without getting sued. Jay E. Tria then gave us all a brilliant piece of advice. Paint in broad strokes. If I remember correctly, she said that you can describe an actual place without naming it in your book.

For example, if I want my characters to stop by Starbucks on their way to work, I can describe a coffee house with a poster of a delicious strawberry frappe on the wall. That way, I can change certain details about the location as I see fit. Also, if I describe something incorrectly, readers who’ve been to the place I’m talking about won’t find it jarring.

3. Mina V. Esguerra warned us against using the word “typical.” We all define how things “typically” are based on our life experiences, education, and a multitude of other factors. It's not surprising that our definitions will be different. You might think a “typical” teenage girl is sweet and innocent. For someone else, it means someone who giggles and talks a lot.

There was one point where Mina V. Esguerra asked all the attendees from the Manila area what “typical” traffic is like for them, and they all said about 2 – 3 hours. When she got to me, the only person from Iloilo, I said about 30 – 40 minutes. Nothing could’ve been a clearer example. LOL.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Review | Weightless by Kandi Steiner

Hot damn. That was an amazing book.

Those were my first thoughts after I finished reading Weightless. When I purchased it a few months ago, I thought the cover was beautiful, but the back blurb was sooo vague. A brilliant decision on the author’s part. I went into the book without any idea what it was about.

And it completely blew me away.

Natalie Poxton has been dumped by her first love, Mason. When his skinny new girlfriend makes fun of her weight, she takes up her mother’s advice and decides that the first step toward getting him back/moving on (she hasn’t decided yet) is to lose weight. Her gym trainer turns out to be none other than Rhodes, Poxton Beach’s scowling bad boy. Soon, weight isn’t the only thing Natalie’s losing. With the bad boy’s help, she’s ditching her insecurities, too, and gaining confidence and maybe a new love in the process.

Yes, Weightless is indeed the story I summarized in the above paragraph.

It’s also so much more than that.

Natalie was such a frustrating character in the beginning. She was insecure, had no idea how to defend herself, and desperately wanted to get back some boy who wasn’t even that wonderful to start with. But the thing about sticking with frustrating characters is it’s so much more rewarding when they start changing.

You can’t help but cheer them on as they slowly grow a backbone, and that’s how I felt about Natalie. There were certain times when I wanted to beat her over the head with a Lost DVD (you’ll get the reference if you’ve read the book), but I clapped my hands together every time she took a self-improving baby step.

Rhodes and Natalie were scorching hot together and practically set my Kindle app on fire, but the author took their love story—the rest of the book, to be honest—to a whole other level.

I once read a quote about how relationships are supposed to lift you up, not weigh you down, and I thought of it while reading about Rhodes and Natalie. They were two damaged people who helped each other see beyond their issues.

The concept of another person “fixing” someone else usually doesn’t sit well with me, but I didn’t mind it at all in this book. In fact, I like the idea of a give and take relationship where you help each other become the people you’re supposed to be. Love in its truest sense.

Their relationship felt real. In all the right heart-hitting ways. Like something you might be lucky enough to find in real life.

And the ending! I love endings where seemingly unrelated pieces in the story come together and blow you away. There will be no spoilers in this review, but please believe me when I say that you’ll flip through the book again once you’re done reading it to marvel at all the seemingly unimportant details you missed.

Weightless was such a satisfying read. I can’t believe it took me so long to read it. I was sweating at the country club and falling in love with Rhodes (SA-WOON) right along with Natalie, and only a truly epic book can suck you into its world like that. Rest assured that I’ll read my way through Kandi Steiner’s backlist and purchase anything she comes up with in the future. I already have her newest book, A Love Letter to Whiskey, in my to-be-read pile.

Good times ahoy!

Monday, September 26, 2016

7 Lessons I Learned from Self Publishing My First Book


About two months ago, I published my young adult romance novella, Prom Queen Perfect, on Amazon.

The earth didn’t stop spinning on its axis.

I didn’t turn into an award-winning, critically-acclaimed author overnight.

Life went on as usual, but did that lessen the thrill of knowing my book was floating around the Internet and that someone could actually buy it?

Not one bit.

Self-publishing a book for the first time was such a whirlwind, not to mention rewarding, experience that I can’t wait to do it again. And again. And again for the foreseeable future.

But there are some things I’ll definitely do differently next time. Here they are, in no particular order:

Don’t hesitate to offer free copies in exchange for honest reviews.

Aside from the blogger who organized the virtual book tour for Prom Queen Perfect, I didn’t reach out to other bloggers—or even other people, come to think of it—to review my book. It was my biggest mistake and made my book launch not as successful as I hoped it would be.

My pride stopped me from offering free copies in exchange for honest reviews. It felt too much like I was begging people to read Prom Queen Perfect. A part of me hoped they’d discover my book, love it, and review it on their own.

In a perfect world, maybe something like that would’ve happened, but I failed to realize that it was my first book and nobody had any idea who I was. There was nothing wrong with making sure that as many people as possible realized my book existed.

I mean, how can people love it if they have no idea it exists, right?

Experimenting isn’t a bad thing.

During the weeks leading to my book’s release date, I started playing around with Facebook ads. I posted Prom Queen Perfect's cover on my Facebook page and boosted it with a budget of around 150 pesos. I used random keywords like Gossip Girl, young adult books, Sarah Dessen, etc. The photo got more than 300 likes.

More than 300 people knew my book existed and even took the time to like the cover! Yay!

It was a pretty cool experience.

List down all your mistakes along with what you should’ve done instead.

Remember what I said about experimenting with Facebook ads?

The one where over 300 people liked Prom Queen Perfect’s cover after I posted and paid to boost it?

I’m willing to bet none of the 300 people who liked the cover bought the book.

The post I boosted didn’t even include a purchase link or a link to the book’s Goodreads page. Most of the likers probably saw the cover, liked it, and went on to brush their teeth, eat ramen, or continue with whatever they were doing at the time.

They forgot about my book, because I let them. I didn’t give them a chance to think of it again by including a link or two that would ensure they REMEMBERED it.

At my big girl job, we’re taught to find the root cause behind a problem before even attempting to solve it. The root cause behind my Facebook ads’ failure to fully promote my book? I had no idea what I was doing and was in too much of a hurry to experiment with boosting a post to do any research. I used the first keywords that popped into my mind and had no idea which location or age group I was even targeting.

To misquote Cher Horowitz, I was totally, utterly clueless.

I’m going to learn from the experience and figure out how I can or if I should even utilize Facebook ads when I release my second book. Realizing your mistakes and figuring out how to rectify them is a priceless learning experience.

Know the rules before you break them.

Before I wrote the blurb for Prom Queen Perfect, I read a bunch of blurbs for young adult romance novels and called it a day.

Horrible, I know.

I discovered too late that there are certain patterns you need to follow when writing blurbs for young adult books. You have to mention the main characters' ages, and so forth, something I would've learned if only I'd done more research. A mistake I won't be making again.

Unless you have a ton of fans who’ll keep posting about your book, your big COVER REVEAL shouldn’t be too far away from your release date.

The cover for Prom Queen Perfect was revealed two months before the actual release date. Over twenty bloggers signed up for it, their posts all going up on the same day. I remember being so excited.

When the book was actually released, any buzz the cover reveal might've created had all but faded. I forgot to keep in mind that this was my first book, and that I was most likely going to be the only person who was going to keep posting about it.

My book will be on the Internet FOREVER.

I'm glad I learned this lesson early on from a blog post on The Creative Penn. It saved me from panicking about book sales and not getting enough reviews.

When your book is going to be available for purchase forever, you can promote it for as long as you want. There isn't a chance of copies running out, so people can always stumble upon it and, you know, love it. It may take a while, but the book will find it readers.

Attempt to stop being so awkward and make friends.

This is a thing I'm still working on.

I mean, how do you reach out to writers you admire without sounding like an overly enthusiastic stalker? Do you play it cool and pretend you didn't love their work... that much? Do you try to share their posts with witty, little captions? How?!?!

Somebody tell me, because I need to know.

I've taken baby steps by interacting with people from #romanceclass on Twitter and Facebook, but I'm still working up the courage to send a few of them overly enthusiastic messages. Haha. You've been warned, guys.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Review | When Sparks Fly by Ines Bautista-Yao

Amazon | Goodreads

*The author provided a free copy in exchange for an honest review.*

When Ines Bautista-Yao posted about her upcoming book on Facebook, I almost jumped and down from excitement. First of all, I’ve read her previous work, Only a Kiss and Plain Vanilla, and swooned over both. She just has a way of writing certain details in her books that result in a KILIG EXPLOSION, like a certain boy writing down his number on a coffee cup hoping you’ll give him a call. I’ll stop now before I spoil more things. Haha.

When Sparks Fly is about a twenty-four-year-old wannabe photographer named Regina. Out of all the guys in the world, she meets and ends up falling for Ben, the sportscaster who kinda sorta broke her best friend’s heart. Complicated doesn’t even begin to cover it.

I loved so many things about When Sparks Fly, but Regina was the highlight of the entire book for me. We’ve all been her at one point in our lives or another, a little insecure and comparing ourselves to other people who we think are prettier, smarter, and just overall better. We all know what it’s like to not fight for what we want, because we’re a little scared that we might actually deserve it. The boy, the job, whatever it is. Seeing her transformation from the girl on the sidelines to someone who fought tooth and nail for what she wanted was such a satisfying part of the reading experience.

When Sparks Fly also depicted a solid friendship that I couldn’t help but root for, maybe even more than the OTP. Haha. I’m sad to say this, but fiction nowadays usually depicts the female protagonist’s best friend as a horrible person. You end up wondering why this seemingly amazing character is friends with such a bitch in the first place, but I’m so happy that this wasn’t the case with When Sparks Fly. Lana and Regina are actually best friends, not because they grew up together or circumstances keep forcing them together, but because they like and care about one another.

*SPOILER* When the shit finally hit the fan, I was glad that they didn’t argue about who got to end up with the boy but about their apparent lack of trust in one another. I hate it when two amazing girls fight over one boy in books, no matter how gorgeous he is, and I love that Lana and Regina’s friendship didn’t go down that route. *END OF SPOILER*

Yay for positive portrayals of female friendships in books!

And the OTP, you guys! Ben and Regina have got to be one of my favorite OTPs in a long time. Maybe it’s because I’ve been reading too many books with alpha males that I found Ben refreshing as a character. Don’t get me wrong. I love alpha males, but it’s nice to come across a truly nice guy once in a while (even if he does seem like a player on the surface).

Overall, I highly recommend picking up a copy of When Sparks Fly. Great friendship + hot nice guy + side characters who deserve their own stories = AWESOME BOOK.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Excerpt | Crushingly Close by Stella Torres

Crushingly Close by Stella Torres
Amazon | Goodreads
Release Date: July 19, 2016
About the Book:
At twenty-four years old, Agnes Escueta has risen from the ranks to become a producer for Sports Tonight. No one can touch her, it seems—not even crush-worthy anchorman Daniel Ferrer, who she gets to work with every single day. When a road trip to Indonesia throws Agnes and Daniel together, they find themselves working in close quarters. It doesn’t take long before Agnes finds herself being charmed by Daniel, and her defenses start to melt with his touch. With deadlines looming and a big game coming, Agnes must figure out how to let Daniel into her life without risking her professional reputation—and without breaking her own heart.

Excerpt

Kelvin rewound the footage on the laptop. “How much of the speech do you want in there, Agnes?”

“Depends on how Daniel’s going to edit the script.”

“You’re asking me to edit my voice-over again?” Daniel said

“It’s only for a few more minutes,” I huffed.

Daniel flipped through his notepad and found his notes. “I’ll see what I can do.

I went back to my sandwich, but it took me a few seconds to realize that he had grabbed my iced tea by mistake.

“Daniel.”

“Yeah?”

My gaze fixated on the way his lips wrapped around the straw—my straw, where I’d wrapped my own lips around to suck down my iced tea. It was as if our lips had almost touched each other through that piece of plastic. “That’s my drink.”

“Nuh-uh. Your drink is on the nightstand.”

“Yeah, but I stuck a straw through mine.”

He looked down at the cup, and shock formed on his face once he realized his mistake. “I’m so sorry—I mean—“

“That’s all right,” I said “It’s yours now.”

“No.” He grabbed his tumbler from the nightstand, along with the paper-covered straw on the side. “Here, take mine.”

I swiped the tumbler and the straw from his hand, with my fingers grazing his knuckles. “Thanks.”

“It was an honest mistake.”

“And I forgive you. Now go back to your voice-over.”

He went back to his notepad, and I went back to drinking my iced tea—but not without thinking where that straw had been.

Oh, boy.

About the Author

Stella Torres is the author of Save the Cake and the short story “Be Creative” from Kids These Days: Stories from Luna East Arts Academy (Vol. 1)). She has a bachelor’s degree in English literature and worked briefly in public relations, but has chosen to pursue her post-graduate studies in the field of education. She loves dark chocolate, hates flyaways, and is constantly in search of comfortable shoes.

Connect with the Author

Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Monday, July 11, 2016

Playlist | Prom Queen Perfect by Clarisse David

Like most writers, I need to have some music blaring in the background whenever I'm writing. Music always gives me an extra dose of inspiration and helps me walk around a character's shoes a little better, especially when that character happens to be my complete opposite.

Alex dela Cruz, the protagonist of Prom Queen Perfect, is the girl at the top of the social ladder. She thinks nothing of dropping a ton of money on a Gucci dress. She can put you in your place without chipping her perfect manicure. In short, she's beautiful, smart, and honestly, kind of a bitch. I needed the right kind of songs to slip on her sky-high heels and strut my stuff in them without stumbling. Really get comfortable inside her headspace.

Here are a few songs that made the cut:

1. Blank Space by Taylor Swift

'Cause, darling, I'm a nightmare dressed like a daydream.

Oh, man. That line totally reminds me of Alex, and I love that about her. On the surface, she's the perfect society girl with her designer clothes and flawless makeup, but there's more underneath her pretty facade. So much more. A scheming mind. A manipulative plan or two.


2. Somebody to You by The Vamps ft. Demi Lovato

I used to wanna be
Living like there's only me
But now I spend my time
Thinking 'bout a way to get you off my mind
(Yeah you!)
I used to be so tough
Never really gave enough
And then you caught my eye
Giving me the feeling of a lightning strike


This playlist is starting to look like a list of songs you'd find inside a fifteen-year-old girl's phone circa 2015. I'm not ashamed of it, I swear. Well, only a little.

Somebody to You is basically about this person who's independent and doesn't have any plans of being in a relationship. Then, POOF! Love comes along and changes everything. If you'd like to know if that happens to any of the characters in Prom Queen Perfect, you can add it on Goodreads just in case. *wink. wink. nudge. nudge.*


3. Thinking Out Loud by Ed Sheeran

I'm thinking 'bout how people fall in love in mysterious ways
Maybe it's all part of a plan
Well, I'll just keep on making the same mistakes
Hoping that you'll understand


I didn't add this song to my Prom Queen Perfect playlist on purpose, but it was everywhere at the time I was writing the book. Playing on the jeepney on the way to work. Hummed by a co-worker while buying lunch at the cafeteria. Unsurprisingly, it seeped into my subconscious, and I couldn't resist adding it to my writing playlist.

Funny enough, there are certain lines in the song that perfectly fit Alex and Adam, the hot senior she might or might not be developing feelings for (it's all very complicated). She still has a lot of growing up to do with a ton of mistakes ahead of her. It's going to take a lot of patience--and exasperated sighs--on his end to make things work.


4. Devils Don't Fly by Natalia Kills

You know devils don't fly (fly, fly)
So don't expect me not to fall
Devils don't fly (fly, fly)
But God we almost had it all
But I got chains and you got wings
You know that life ain't fair sometimes


Devil's Don't Fly by Natalia Kills is the ultimate bad girl song. In my head. It speaks of wanting to be good but being unable to help being bad anyway. Totally reminded me of Alex. What I'm trying to say is, being good is a choice, and it isn't always the easiest one. I mean, do you think you can stop yourself from letting your snarky insults fly with this song playing in the background?

Yeah, I didn't think so, either.


5. Daddy's Girl by Natalia Kills

You messed up, yeah you messed up bad,
Rolled the dice on the life we had,
Played your tough guy game, you threw it all away...
(Money money)
We had diamonds and we had pearls,
Champagne life like a daddy's girl,
But the risks you take ain't worth the price you pay...


You can tell I was on a Natalia Kills kick while writing Prom Queen Perfect, can't you?

To be honest, this song doesn't have a significant connection to the plot. Its lyrics didn't lead me to an epiphany that helped me understand my characters--or life in general--more. The title reminded of Alex, even though she's really a Mommy's Girl, and I liked listening to the heartbreakingly desperate lyrics.

Sometimes, it's that simple, isn't it?


What about you? What songs do you associate with books you've read/written? I'd love to hear about them.

Clarisse David is a Young Adult and New Adult author from the land of epic heat waves a.k.a. the Philippines. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Literature and cannot survive without Taylor Swift songs, red lipstick, and books. When not hanging out on Twitter, she can be found working on her latest writing project.

You can find her online at the following places:
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Thursday, July 7, 2016

Prom Queen Perfect Release Day 7.7.16!

Prom Queen Perfect by Clarisse David

Amazon | Goodreads
Release Date: July 7, 2016

Being perfect isn’t supposed to be this hard.

Alex dela Cruz has it all. Looks, money, and a killer sense of style.

When the annoyingly gorgeous Adam Cordero calls her selfish, she decides to prove him wrong by transforming Christy Marquez from an invisible misfit into a ruling princess of Asia Pacific Academy. Great hair? Check. Flawless red lipstick? Check. Instant popularity? A slightly too big check.

But now, Alex is on the brink of losing the plastic tiara she’s supposed to get as prom queen, her best friend, and her heart to the unlikeliest of candidates. Too bad she isn’t letting anything—or anyone—get between her and that tiara.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

1 Day to Go Until Prom Queen Perfect by Clarisse David is Live!


Add it on Goodreads right here.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

2 Days to Go Until Prom Queen Perfect by Clarisse David is Live


Add it on Goodreads right here.

Monday, July 4, 2016

3 Days to Go Until Prom Queen Perfect by Clarisse David is Live!


Add it on Goodreads right here.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Excerpt | Prom Queen Perfect by Clarisse David

My young adult romance novella, Prom Queen Perfect, will officially be out in a few days (July 7, 2016)! I'm so excited that I decided to share a brief excerpt with you guys.

Without further ado, here it is:

***

If Asia Pacific Academy were a monarchy I, Alexandra dela Cruz, would be its queen. This institution of higher learning where the rich and famous sent their offspring?

It was mine for the taking.

I decided who the beautiful people were, and who had to sit on the cafeteria tables by the trash cans, forever branded as complete losers. It didn’t matter if my schoolmates were daughters of business tycoons or the grandsons of Iloilo City’s current governor.

I reigned over all of them.

Unfortunately, my social status meant nothing to Adam Cordero, this year’s student council president. The expression on his face, raised eyebrows and mouth in a straight line, told me I was in big trouble. I ignored him and strutted into the Student Council Office, my newest designer bag dangling from my arm.

“You’re thirty minutes late.” Adam pointedly glanced down at his leather watch.

“I know, and I’m so sorry,” I said, my voice whinier than usual to annoy him even more. I held up the paper bags full of Starbucks drinks for every single person in the room, from Adam himself to even the lowliest freshman class representative. “That’s why I bought coffee for everyone.”

“Thank you Jesus, Joseph, and Mary, and you, of course, Alex,” Stephen Ramirez muttered from one end of the conference table. In a blue shirt with the top two buttons strategically undone, he looked delectable this morning.

There was no doubt about it. Stephen was the prettiest boy in Asia Pacific Academy. Judging by the way he strutted around the halls like an overly colorful peacock, he knew it.

But since he was the student council’s treasurer, I needed him on my side whenever Adam and I had a disagreement about the budget. Beaming at him, I walked over to his end of the table. “Here’s your chai latte with an extra dose of sugar, Stephen. Just the way you like it.”

“I owe you one.” Stephen’s smile was so beautiful that you could almost imagine angels singing in the background. Trumpets blaring down from the heavens. The same smile caused the freshman representative to drop her pen and start crawling around for it on the floor.

I kept a smile plastered on my face and continued walking around the table, distributing everyone’s coffee and basking in their thanks. An americano for Sally the auditor, a caramel macchiato for the sophomore representative whose name I had forgotten, and so forth.

It paid to know little things like someone’s favorite Starbucks drink, because it made them feel special. And when you made people feel special, they were more than willing to do you little favors.

It was a fact of life.

“You’re the best, Alex,” Cory Santander said as I laid her strawberry frappe in front of her, her eyes drawn to my bag like two beady magnets.

With two cups remaining in my hands, I returned to the front of the room. When I placed the hot chocolate in front of Adam, he gave me a long, hard look that told me he knew exactly what I was doing.

It was such a shame that Adam was, well, Adam.

He was the only guy in school who could have given Stephen a run for his money when it came to making teenage girls all hot and bothered. A complete waste, in my opinion.

Adam had no time for deliberately messy hair and shirts with the top two buttons strategically undone. From the roots of his close cropped hair to the tips of his leather sneakers, everything about him was precise and in perfect order. His eyes were the only things that stopped him from being too stiff; they were deceptively kind.

“We were just wrapping up our discussion about our latest outreach program before you arrived, Alex.” Adam looked down at the open notebook in front of him, his brows furrowed in concentration. His handwriting was so neat it could’ve been a font for a yawn-inducing thesis. “Now, if there are no more interruptions, we can proceed to our next order of business which is—”

“Prom,” I finished for him.

Adam looked up so fast he almost gave himself whiplash. He narrowed his eyes at me. “Alex, I meant—”
“I knew exactly what you meant, Adam.” I took a maroon planner out of my bag, the same one Mommy, a real estate mogul, used for her business meetings. Before he could contradict me once again, I turned to face my fellow student council officers. “We all know that prom is an important high school experience, and it’s our duty to the juniors and seniors of this school to give them the best prom ever.”

A chorus of agreement followed my little monologue. Even the sophomore and freshman representatives were nodding in agreement, and they weren’t attending prom in at least another year or two.
But that wasn’t a surprise. They wanted to take my place when they became juniors, and the freshman representative whose name was Kathy or Kelly even had the same hairstyle I did, waist-length hair I straightened or curled into loose waves according to my mood.

Well, they both had big shoes to fill. Aside from being vice president of the student council and having the fifth highest grade point average in my year, I was determined to become prom queen, like my mother and sister before me. It was practically my birth right.

“After we decided on The Twenties as our theme, I proceeded to sort everything out, so you guys won’t have to do any work at all.” I opened my planner and smiled down at my notes. My handwriting could’ve been a font, too, but unlike Adam’s, it would be used for interesting things like wedding invitations and café menus. “I spoke to the manager at the Bayview Country Club. He’s willing to give us a great deal for—”

“Wait a second.” Adam held up a hand to stop the stream of words coming out of my mouth. “Bayview Country Club? Alex, our budget won’t stretch that far.”

“It will,” I said, confidence brimming from every syllable. “The manager knows my mother, and he offered us a huge discount on the venue and the food. They serve the most delicious paella, and we won’t even exceed our budget.”

That much.

“I’m still not sure about this.” Adam started jotting down notes. “I want to check out a few other venues before we make a reservation at Bayview.”

“But—”

Adam made my words retreat with a look that would’ve made any four-star general proud. I, however, refused to be cowed and rolled my eyes at him, sending the message that our discussion about the prom venue was far from over.

Things became less interesting after that. We started talking about things like recycling drives and the state of the boys’ bathroom on the second floor.

After we wrapped up our meeting at around 11:30 A.M., people began shuffling out of the room. Stephen gave me a mischievous wink before walking out the door.

Next to me, Adam let out a little snort.

He had passed me a note that simply said ‘stay’ fifteen minutes before the end of the meeting, so we remained in our respective seats. Once the freshman representative left and closed the door behind her, I crossed my arms over my chest and said, “Okay, let me have it for being late.”

Before answering, Adam took a sip of his now-cold hot coco. He hadn’t touched it during the entire meeting, which told me how annoyed he was. “Look, Alex, I know it’s a Saturday, and you’re busy planning your speech for when you win prom queen, but—”

“How do you know I want to be prom queen?” I closed my planner and turned to him.

“It was written all over your face earlier.” Adam smirked at me. “When you said you wanted to give this school the best prom night ever, you were, of course, talking about yourself. Like always.”

“Awww, you’re so cute when you try to be sarcastic.” I attempted to grab his chin, and he batted my hand away like I knew he would. This was standard operating procedure for us. “But you should try something with a little more venom next time, okay? Just a piece of advice.”

“Alex, trust me,” Adam said, holding on to his last bit of remaining patience. “If I wanted advice, you would be the last person I would ever ask. Since you’re clearly not letting this Bayview thing go, I’ll email you my schedule. We can look at other venues together.”

I decided to let our disagreement about the prom venue go for now, but there was no way in hell that I was letting Adam have the last word. Determined to piss him off even a little on a beautiful Saturday morning, I leaned forward on the table. “By the way, my mother’s having a garden party next weekend, and she specifically asked me to invite you.”

Adam stopped stuffing his notebooks into his backpack in an instant. I could almost see the wheels turning in his head as he scrambled to think of an excuse. In the end, he decided to go with the truth. “Forget it. I’m not spending another Saturday with a bunch of people I don’t even know.”

“You have to come.” I didn’t bother to pout this time, because that never worked on Adam. He had already seen every trick I had up my sleeve. And more. “My mother will be so disappointed if you don’t. She adores you, although only God knows why.”

“Your mother obviously has better taste than you,” Adam said in such a serious tone that I had to hold back a laugh.

If Adam and I were locked in a white room with no doors or windows, we would still end up arguing about the color scheme. As a result, most people often wondered why we still spent so much time together. I often had to assure them that there was a reasonable explanation for that phenomenon.

Four years ago, Adam’s older brother, Clay, married my big sister, Alice, in a spectacular wedding with a reception that involved fire dancers and fireworks. Since then, Adam and I had been stuck with each other at garden parties, anniversary celebrations, and other family occasions.

When it came to dealing with Adam, I had one policy: maximum tolerance. As much as possible, I tried not to argue with him, but dealing with someone who expected everyone around him to wake up at six in the morning everyday wasn’t easy.

We both stood up and headed for the door at the same time. Adam, who was considered the perfect gentleman by every female in Asia Pacific Academy, didn’t even bother to hold the door open for me.

On the contrary, he let it slam in my face.

More than a little annoyed by this, I wrenched the door open. I grabbed his arm and pretended to remove something from the back of his shirt.

“Oh, look, instructions,” I said, reading from an imaginary piece of paper. “In order for this machine to work properly, you must pull the stick out of its butt.”

In retaliation, Adam peered down at my forehead like he was reading something. “Oh, look, instructions. In order for this machine to work, you must feed it with credit cards and glitter.”

My brain was screaming at me to respond, but I was too shocked by the close proximity between Adam’s face and mine to come up with a decent retort. He had the longest eyelashes I had ever seen. No matter what type of eyelash curlers or mascara or combination of both I used, mine would never be that long.

God, Adam was gorgeous.

But then, he opened his mouth and said, “Don’t you ever get tired of being so selfish, Alex?”

“W-what?” I blinked a couple of times to get the image of his eyelashes out of my head. “What are you talking about? I am not selfish, like, at all.”

“You do want our school to exceed its budget just so you can have the perfect prom night you’ve always imagined.” Adam tapped the bridge of my noise with his pointer finger. “Think about that on one of your shopping trips.”

He turned around and left me standing there with my mouth hanging open, looking a lot like Cory Santander earlier when she saw my new bag. I tried to come up with something venomous, but to my utter horror, all I managed to say was, “You suck so much, Adam Cordero!”

Adam didn’t even miss a beat. Still walking, he turned around with an infuriating smirk on his face. “The feeling’s mutual, Alex dela Cruz!”

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

8 Days to Go Until Prom Queen Perfect by Clarisse David is Live!


Add it on Goodreads right here.

Monday, June 27, 2016

10 Days to Go Until Prom Queen Perfect by Clarisse David is Live!


Add it on Goodreads right here.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Blog Tour | Underneath It All by Ysa Arcangel


Underneath It All

A senior at Gates University, Agata Ferrero knows without a doubt that Reeve Gates is off limits… 

Students can’t date faculty, and Reeve has been appointed by his father as the new Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. But when a near accident with the front end of Reeve’s sleek sports car brings her in close contact with him, Agata can’t deny the flash of desire that consumes her. 


Reeve Gates is a man hell-bent on revenge… 

Abandoned in the care of his step-mother as a child, Reeve accepts the position at Gates University for the sole purpose of ruining his father’s career. What he didn’t expect was to be sidetracked by the sultry eyes of a student. 


Resisting temptation is even harder than it looks… 


When a sorority pledging incident leaves Agata stranded on campus in the middle of a treacherous storm, her better judgment falters and she accepts help from the young Dean she can’t get out of her head. Certain there is a beating heart underneath his stone-cold exterior, she escapes with Reeve on a romantic retreat away from prying eyes.

Blinded by retaliation… 
Reeve manipulates his dying father into handing over control of the university—and immediately threatens to shut down the school as a form of cruel payback. His scheme sparks a campus-wide protest that leaves one of Agata’s professors dead and her future hanging in the balance. 
Agata must fight to convince Reeve he is capable of forgiveness, and their taboo love is worth more than revenge. 
But is there really a bright future awaiting… 
Underneath It All









EXCERPT #1:

That night I was left alone in our dorm. The three of
them were off to the Pre-Thanksgiving party thrown by the student faculty.
They prohibited me from going and suggested I stay and
just rest for the night.
I stripped down to my panties; threw a shirt on over
my head and climbed into bed.
My phone rang, displaying an unknown number.
“Hello? Who’s this?”
“Agata.” The voice on the other end answered. My
stomach plummeted at the unmistakably deep resonance from Reeve’s voice.
“Hi,” I took an audible deep breath. “Where did you
get my number?”
“I’m your dean, Agata, I know everything about you.”
“I thought so.” I immediately caught myself smiling at
the sound of his voice.
“Did you attend the Pre-Thanksgiving party?”
“Nope. I just stayed in bed.”
He went quiet for a second. “What are you doing,
Agata?”
“Uhm, just…lying in bed,” I stated the fact,
unknowingly allowing him an opportunity to explore dangerous territories.
“What are you wearing?”
“Seriously?” I giggled at his question and the playful
tone of his voice.
“Yes, seriously. Tell me what you are wearing.”
Well, this could be interesting.
“I’m wearing one of my t-shirts and panties.”
“I wish I was beside you.” With those words, I tensed.
“Don’t tense, just listen.” As if he was seeing me through the phone. “I want
to kiss you just like I did in my room last night. You have no idea how much I
wish I could take your shirt and panties off and lick your whole body, paying
attention to specific areas.”
“Reeve. No.” A breathy voice left me.
“Shh. Just listen, baby.” He gave me a second to
decide whether to hang up or keep listening. “Have you touched yourself
before?”
“No.” I bit my lower lip.
 “Will you touch
yourself for me?”
I was frozen for a second, the sound of my breathing
growing rapid. My fingers inched under my panties and I touched myself, rubbing
gently as I listened to his voice.
I knew he could tell I obeyed by the change in my
breathing pattern.
“Close your eyes. Imagine my lips on your neck kissing
you the way I did before.” Heat flooded my body as I recalled it so vividly.
“My tongue moves farther down your neck and to your chest, where I take your
nipple into my mouth and suck gently.”
My fingers moved faster as the vision of being at
Reeve’s mercy sent crippling waves of pleasure through me.
“It feels so good, doesn’t it?”
“Yes,” I whispered letting him take every ounce of
doubt I felt about doing it because I could hear the ecstasy in his voice and I
knew he was touching himself too.
“I am stroking faster as I listen to your small moans,
Agata.”
My eyelids shut even tighter as I tried desperately to
feel him somewhere amidst what I was doing.
“I suck harder and nip at your breast. Do you enjoy
that?”
“Very much.” Small moans emanated from my throat as I
became lost in the sensations. The pleasure became addicting and the excitement
of it all heightened every sense I had.
“I drag my tongue lower, lingering at your belly
button, then continuing down until I reach your thighs. My lips and tongue kiss
inside your thighs before I replace your fingers with my mouth.”
I was breathless now and whimpering for him, making me
stroke myself even faster. I could hear him breathing hard now and I knew he
was ready to come.
“You taste so good, Agata. Feel my tongue and my warm
breath on you, licking faster.”
I could tell I was close by the way my breathing
rapidly increased. His breathing responded the same way.
“Reeve…” I panted, the sounds became muffled as I
buried my head into my pillow.
“That’s it, baby.” Reeve growled into the phone and I
knew he came too.
“That was good,” I uttered breathlessly, my eyes shut
to withstand the first orgasm I ever had.
“Never in a million years did I think I would be
having phone sex with someone I hadn’t fucked yet,” he voiced quietly. “Sleep
now, Agata. I’ll see you in my dreams.”
He hung up before
I could respond. I closed my eyes knowing tomorrow I would be a different
Agata, but tonight I would allow what happened to soothe me.
EXCERPT #2:
EXCERPT 2:
He walked up to the counter and prepared a glass of
orange juice. He grabbed a bowl and poured butternut squash soup into it. He
prepared a cup of coffee and reheated a box of pizza and a bowl of spaghetti.
“Let’s eat.” He ordered and sat across from me. He
stirred his coffee without taking his eyes off me.
“Thank you. It smells really good.” I gave him a
grateful smile. Knowing he cooked for me, intentionally, on a day that meant
nothing to the rest of the world, meant everything to me.
“Are you feeling better now?” he asked and shoved a
spoonful of spaghetti in his mouth.
“Yeah, thank you.”
“If you were wondering if I was the one who changed
your clothes, no. It wasn’t me, Tatiana did that; she was here earlier.”
“Oh, I see.” I nodded and began to sip my soup. I felt
the liquid pour down my throat. The warmth of the soup enveloped my lungs and
felt so good. “You shouldn’t have gone through all the trouble of bringing me
here. You could have dropped me off at my dorm and left me there.”
“If I want to fucking spend time with you, I will,
okay? I wanted to make sure you’re fine.”
There he went again changing moods. I swear there had
to be something mentally wrong with this guy. No other person in my life
frustrated me as much as he.
“Well, aren’t you sweet?” I smirked.
“So you want to tell me what happened this afternoon?
What were you doing out in the storm, Agata? Are you trying to kill yourself?”
One quick bite then he got down to business.
My breath caught in my throat. I really didn’t want to
tell him.
“I was…” I paused and bit my lip. I wasn’t sure how to
phrase it, “…finishing a task.”
Reeve paused with a fork halfway to his mouth. “Task?”
he asked with a raised eyebrow. I didn’t answer. “Sorority task?”
I mentally face palmed and nodded in confirmation.
“How long did I stay out there? You think I lasted thirty minutes out there?”
“I knew it,” he stated, shaking his head. “Agata, I
don’t give a damn if you finished that fucking task or not. You scared the shit
out of me; don’t you know that? You’re not joining the sorority.”
“I have the right reasons for joining.” I bit my lip.
“Reasons?” He gave me a confused look.
“The sisterhood is important to me.” I thought of
giving him some lame excuse.
The room grew still. He stared at me, his face blank,
and I couldn’t move.
“Are you kidding me?” His gaze was unyielding. “You
think the sorority will save you from dying out there? They don’t give a damn,
Agata!”
“It’s part of the process,” I reasoned out.
“That’s ridiculous.”
“You should have known it. You’re part of the
organization.”
 “That’s why I
don’t want you in!” He threw his napkin on his plate and shot up to his feet. I
remained silent and gazed at my food. “Agata, what’s gotten into you?” His
words almost forced me to look at him.
“I’m leaving.” I stood from my chair but he grabbed my
hand and pinned me to the wall. “For once, I wanted to do something for myself
without thinking of whatever people might say,” I spat.
He released a heavy sigh and ran his fingers through
his hair. “Agata, after three and a half years you thought of joining a
sorority? For what?”
My chest rose and fell erratically as I met his eyes.
“Once I finish my task and pass the initiation, I’ll be one of them. By that
time, I can tell if this guy who keeps giving me mixed signals really feels
something for me. They say he
only
dates
sorority girls. If he will not date me, then it’s confirmed—he’s only messing
around with me.”
I didn’t move a muscle as his eyes burned back into
mine. A shaky gasp escaped from my lips and I flinched as he reached for my
face. After pausing momentarily to observe my reaction, he went on to gingerly
brush my tangled hair from my face.
“Agata, you’re not the type I want to date.”
I couldn’t speak. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t breathe.
His words grated against my ears and it hurt like a bitch.
“You’re not someone I want to take out for dinner,
walk home, kiss goodnight, nor say goodbye.”
He didn’t stop tearing with the knife, and pierced
through the walls of my heart.
“Because you know what, Agata? I don’t want to just
date you and walk you home. You’re someone I want to come home to, someone I
want to cook dinner with, to sleep with, to kiss hard, and fuck harder.”
The words snapped out of his mouth quick enough to
petrify me. I looked up at him; his plump lips were pursed into a stern frown.
His eyes were darkened, no time for bullshit. I bit my lip, and with every
second that I didn’t reply his face grew more and more serious.
A small smile crept upon my lips and I looked away to
hide my flushed cheeks. I couldn’t contain my happiness. I wondered how my mood
had changed so drastically in this conversation.
He smiled, bringing his thumb up to graze my cheek.
“You’re blushing.”
I reached up and quickly wiped my cheeks.
“Now, are you still joining the sorority?”

He came closer.
Our noses were almost touching, his eyes never leaving mine. I held my breath.
I closed my eyes. He was going to kiss me. I could almost feel the touch of his
lips on mine, his breath in my lungs. He leaned down, then I heard my stomach
growl in hunger, which caused Reeve to chuckle.
 
“Hungry? Come on,
let’s continue to eat.”






Forever Night Stand: https://amzn.com/B019NK762C



Snippets of Memories: A Forever Night Stand Bonus Book (99 CENTS) https://amzn.com/B01ASFS4Q8

Ysa
Arcangel is a Filipino author based in Manila. She works as a Spanish-English
GDS Helpdesk by day and a writer by night. She is a loving partner to a chef
and a mom to three amazing kids. 
 She
enjoys creative writing and uses her obsessive nature by writing contemporary
paranormal and romance fiction with lots of laughs, tears and sighs showcasing
sweet, funny and badass female leads with raunchy and hot male love interests
whether human or supernatural.
 She's a
lover of coffee, tattoos, and giant dogs. She is also an extreme sports
enthusiast. When she's not writing, you can see her spending time with her
family, reading, or having TV series marathons.
–– FOLLOW YSA ––

© Clarisse David
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