Sassy romance with a dose of new release alerts and book recommendations.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Next Release | I Heart Iloilo #2 Title and Blurb Reveal

Hi!

I have two exciting things to share with you today, namely the title and blurb for the 2nd book in the I Heart Iloilo series. *throws confetti*

Are you ready? Are you excited?

I'm going to pretend I heard you say yes to both questions.

Without further ado, here are the details about my next book:
Making It Complicated (I Heart Iloilo #2) by Clarisse David

Release Date: October 16, 2017

No promises. No expectations. Just one night on a paradise island that could mean everything.

Nineteen-year-old Cam has a metric ton of emotional baggage and is in no mood to unload them on anyone. After her parents' marriage imploded, stress-free is the only way she wants her life to be. And what could be more freeing than spending the summer on Boracay? Absolutely nothing... until she bumps heads with Hunter, the hot drummer who screams incoming heartbreak from a mile away.

Hunter has grand plans, none of which include angry-at-the-world Cam, best friend to the girl he always thought he'd end up with. He likes his life steady, thank you very much. But steady has now become synonymous with boring. His grand plans don't seem so grand anymore. So when Cam comes home to Iloilo City and reaches out to him, he surprises himself when the one answer he can think of is... yes. Definitely yes.

Sometimes, complications are the only things that make sense.

What do you think? I honestly can't wait to unleash this book on the world, because so far, it's been the hardest book I've ever written. More raw than anything I've tried to write before.

Also, if you're still reading at this point, thank you so much! I appreciate it. Don't forget to add the book on Goodreads right here.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Next Release | I Heart Iloilo # 2

Can you believe it's the last day of May?

I sure can't. This is going to sound like such a total cliche, but it feels like 2017 is flying by, flapping sounds and all.

Before June officially starts, I wanted to give you an update about what I'm working on and what to expect from me in the future. Cool?

The second novel in the I Heart Iloilo series is currently in the editing stage, and I hope to release it by the first or second week of October. The title and blurb will most likely be ready by mid-June. Stay tuned! While you're waiting, you can add the book to your Goodreads TBR right here.

Yes, it's going to be about Hunter and Cam. You can expect plenty of Boracay scenes, a rowdy bunch of boys, and a ton of complications. Sounds fun, right? I'm going to pretend I heard you say yes. Haha.

I'm also in the middle of writing the first draft for the third book in the I Heart Iloilo series. I originally had this very specific idea in mind for the book, but it's not working out. The good thing is, I know how to fix it, so I'll get it done before the end of June. Probably. Online accountability always helps.

If you have any questions, you can contact me via email at clarissedavidwrites[@]yahoo[.]com or on Twitter.

Thank you!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Cover Reveal | Feels Like Summer (Summer Storm #2) by Six de los Reyes

Today is the cover reveal for Feels like Summer by Six de los Reyes. *throws confetti*

Full disclosure: I read and absolutely loved Beginner's Guide: Love and Other Chemical Reactions by Six de los Reyes. Kaya is one of my favorite heroines ever, and I wouldn't mind finding a Nero of my own. Ahem.

Before I start fangirling over the book, let me show you the cover of Feels like Summer.

Without further ado, here it is:


Isn't it pretty?

I'm going to pretend I heard you say yes.

If you're curious about the book, there's more good stuff below, like the blurb and actual purchase links. *wink. wink. nudge. nudge*

Feels like Summer (Summer Storm #2)

by Six de los Reyes
Release date: April 12, 2017
In print: April 30, 2017

Blurb

Five-minute girlfriend. This is what Jett signs up for when she meets Adrian and his band Arabella at beach music festival Summer Storm. One kiss and the attraction is too electric to ignore, but Jett has no room for love and Adrian is Mr. Relationship who's getting over his recent breakup. The solution? Keep it simple. Keep it casual. For three months (that's the rule about breakups, right?), Jett helps Adrian move on and Adrian shows up on Jett's bed whenever she wants.

Then the three months are up and neither of them are in a hurry to be the first to leave. Does Jett walk away from a potential disaster or does she finally let someone into her closely-guarded heart?

Buy Links

Amazon
Print (PH only)

Add it on Goodreads

Cover design by: Porcupine Strongwill

Follow Six de los Reyes:
Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Wattpad: @sixdlr

Author Bio:

Six de los Reyes has been reading and making up stories for as far as she can remember. In fifth grade, she learned to write about the stories she wanted to read. As a pretend grownup, she writes contemporary romance novels. Her day job doing science has something to do with being a part-time mermaid and a part-time labrat. She currently lives next to the sea.

Other works include:
Just for the Record
Beginner’s Guide: Love and Other Chemical Reactions
Sounds Like Summer

Anthology Contributions:
After the Moment, Taking Chances (#BuqoYA)
Nico Saves Christmas, Make My Wish Come True
Ocean Eyes, Summer Crush

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

How I Sold 50 Indie Print Copies of Keeping the Distance

This news is two months late, but I just wanted to share that Keeping the Distance (I Heart Iloilo Book 1) now has a print edition. *throws confetti*

For the first "official" print run, I decided to start small and ended up selling fifty copies, which is honestly more than I expected.

First of all, I only accepted orders from readers in Iloilo. That way, I gave myself the chance to build a local audience, generating interest in the romance genre by promoting a book set in the readers' hometown.

Who knows? Maybe that audience might like my book and decide to check out other #romanceclass authors I talk about on my author Facebook page and on my personal profile.

Next, shipping orders to readers outside of Iloilo required time I didn't have back in February and March. So many things were going in both my personal and professional lives that I couldn't set aside the required number of hours to process everything.

So, let me recap. I decided to start small... by focusing on Iloilo. Here's how I did it:

1. Before I even posted that I was selling the print edition, I shared Instagram and Twitter posts from readers on my wall as well as quotes from Keeping the Distance.

This worked in many ways, because some of my Facebook friends didn't even know I'd written a book. A few of them sent me messages asking where they could read it or how they could buy it. I replied right away and informed them that a print edition was already in the works.

Generating interest? Check.

2. I posted photos of the print copy and detailed order instructions on my author Facebook page, shared the post on my timeline, and asked friends to share it as well.

Before I go into detail about the whole order and confirmation process, let me tell you about my friend. His name is Dan. He designs T-shirts, mugs, and other merch under his brand BKNWA. His page now has over 27,000 likes and people from all over the Philippines order stuff from him... via Facebook Messenger.


I initially wanted to use a Google Doc form to receive orders, but he pointed out that using an order form people could copy and paste and send through Facebook Messenger gave me one additional advantage. People didn't have to leave Facebook to order my book. They could even order it on free Facebook data. Awesome.

In the future, I intend to use a Google Doc form and Facebook Messenger to receive orders, but since this was a trial run, I decided to go with it.

So, basically, if someone wanted to order a book from me, they could send my Facebook author page a message with the following information:
Complete Name
Facebook Name
Contact Number
Number of Copies
And they had to send it to me before a specific deadline. I posted a timeline as well, so people knew until when they could order copies and when they were getting the books. Here's the timeline I included in my post:
FEBRUARY 23 - MARCH 1 (Taking Orders)
FEBRUARY 28 - MARCH 1 (Order Finalization)
MARCH 2 - MARCH 15 (Printing of Books)
MARCH 23 - MARCH 24 (Release Date / Local Meetups)
As much as possible, I tried to stick to the timeline, because this first print run would set expectations on how I ran things. I didn't want people to say that they got their books late or that I was hard to contact.

3. Once I started taking orders for print copies, I kept posting about the book.

It would take about a month for the readers to get their copies since I still had to get the books printed and shipped from JMD Copy and Prints in Marikina. I didn't want them to forget they ordered the book and wanted to build excitement.

Even after I stopped taking orders, I still posted updates about it. When the 50 copies were finally delivered to our house, I made sure to take a video of me opening the package, so people would know they were getting their books VERY SOON.

4. I met up with readers at a local coffee shop.

This was one of my favorite parts of the entire process. I got to thank the people who bought my book in person and even signed their copies for them. Really one of the best things about being an author, indie or otherwise.

And that's how I sold 50 copies in month.

I know 50 copies doesn't sound like much in the grand scheme of things, but if you're an indie author, it means a lot. 50 copies means 50 different people who'll leaf through pages filled with your words. 50 different people who supported your dream and took a chance on you.

This whole experience definitely taught me a lot about time management, which social media platforms I should focus on, and a ton of other things. I could've done better throughout this whole process, but I hope this post still helps you if you want embark on your own self-publishing journey and sell print copies of your books. Good luck!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Playlist | Keeping the Distance by Clarisse David

Ever wanted to listen to a playlist while reading a book?

Like Keeping the Distance, for instance? (Hey, that rhymes!)

Okay, enough with the cheesy attempts to reel you in. Haha. Today, I'm going to share the playlist I listened to while working on Keeping the Distance. Over and over. The playlist is honestly a little weird with its mix of pop, country, and indie. (Wait, is Lauv considered indie? I'm sorry. My lack of music knowledge is showing.)

Time to press play.

*WARNING: MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD*

1. "Ugly Heart" by G.R.L.


This is basically the soundtrack to every scene where Lance acts like a huge asshole in the beginning of the book.

2. "One Night" by Matthew Koma


I can't remember a specific scene I wrote while listening to this song, but it reminds me of Lance. A lot. In ways that aren't positive. Do with that knowledge what you will.

3. "Reforget" by Lauv


When they both try to move on.

4. "Secret Love Song" by Little Mix


This is basically Lance and Melissa's theme song when they try to hide their relationship from her father, from everyone.

While I was writing Keeping the Distance, this song was EVERYWHERE. I honestly got a little sick of it, but I couldn't stop listening to it because it was so perfect. Writers are weird, I know.

5. "Perfect" by One Direction


This is just a very Lance-ish song.

And, yes, I'm still sad that One Direction is no more.

6. "Love Me Like You Mean It" by Kelsea Ballerini


This, I imagine, is Melissa's song for Lance before they actually get together, during that wonderful stage where she's having second thoughts about him. It's kind of perfect.

7. "Dibs" by Kelsea Ballerini


When you fall for that gorgeous, popular boy everyone else seems to want, what do you do? You call dibs. Haha. Sometimes, I lamely attempt to make jokes.

8. "For a Boy" by RaeLynn


If you've read Keeping the Distance, remember that scene where Mel records a ukulele cover for Lance and ends up playing it for him as her grand gesture? In my head, this is the song she played.

It's perfect for the two of them, because the song talks about all the things this boy does for the girl. She wants to do things for him too--little things, big things, doesn't matter--but she's afraid or maybe a little hesitant. At the end of the song, I think she breaks through her fear or hesitation or whatever is stopping her and goes for it. Kind of like Mel.

Bonus Playlist

If you wanted to listen to another playlist, the wonderful Sue made a playlist for Keeping the Distance right here. She has wonderful taste in music, and even if you have no intention of reading the book, I still highly recommending listening to it. Two enthusiastic thumbs up!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Excerpt | Waiting in the Wings by Tara Frejas


Waiting in the Wings
by Tara Frejas
Genre: Romance / NA / Contemporary
Release Date: February 21, 2017

Synopsis

At twenty-three, theatre actress Erin Javier has yet to fall in love or kiss a boy offstage, away from the klieg lights. She is the perfect leading lady—whose heart men would fight for, win, and protect—unfortunately, only until the curtains fall and the lights go down. In real life, Erin is a certified NBSB whose heart has been hoping for a song to dance to for quite some time.

But when two (two!) men enter from stage left and right, Erin is confused. Who deserves to take center stage in her heart—Mr. Theatre Royalty whose attention and displays of affection make her pulse race, or a good friend whose steady support has helped steer her to success and fulfill her dream?

BUY IT ON AMAZON
ADD IT ON GOODREADS

Excerpt

Erin’s first kiss was a guy named Timothy Matias.

She and Timothy—christened Mots by Kai—were both Teatro Lakambini rookies three years ago, and Chronicles of a Breakup was their baptism of fire. Even so, he wasn’t new to kissing.

Thankfully, Mots was considerate. He noticed her apprehension about the stage kiss and offered to fake it instead. But the scene had to be staged in a way that a fake kiss would have been so painfully obvious, and Erin just went “oh what the heck” and decided to go for gold. Mots obliged, and was nice enough to “mentor” her without being all judgey.

“Don’t pucker your lips” was his first tip. “Loosen your jaw” was his second. There were more, and they came in unexpected moments, like when they waited in the wings and he told her to “Press your lips against mine a bit harder before I push you away.”

It was an Act Two breakup kiss, what they shared. Erin’s character was desperate to keep his, but his just wasn’t into hers any longer. As they went through the scene five times a week for eight straight weeks, Erin felt as if her heart wasted away every single time she kissed Mots goodbye.

The feeling stayed with her for weeks after the show had closed that she had to ask him to sit down and talk about it one afternoon.

“I’m sorry,” she said. “Sometimes I look at you and I can’t think straight.”

The look on his face prompted her to clarify. “I’m not in love with you, Mots. It’s just that I’ve been this character for a while and it’s difficult to get her out of my system.”

He got it, he said. They hugged it out, and that was that.

Five months later, she was kissing Andres San Vicente under a dim streetlight in Sa Kanto ng Kaimito at Santol. It was a more innocent kind of kiss, one that would reduce the females in the audience to squeals and giggles. Erin liked their once-a-show kisses better because they were hopeful and held the promise of a blossoming new love. And at the back of her mind, she allowed herself to fantasize over that kind of love too—until Andres brought his boyfriend to the cast party and crushed her dreams.

The distinction of sharing the most number of kisses with Erin goes to Brian Castro and Johann Rivera. Alternating as Erin’s long-distance boyfriends in Minsan Tayo, the average number of kisses she received per show was twenty, not including the ones that didn’t land on her lips. But even if Brian and Johann played the same character, their kisses were completely different.

Brian’s was playful and tentative half the time and tasted like Tic Tac. Johann’s was more intense and tended to linger a little more. They didn’t taste like anything remarkable, but Erin recalled the one time his lips tasted like ginger tea.

By the time she got to act alongside Nathan Zalameda for Karaoke Queen, the tables were turned: He was the novice, and she was the pro. Recalling every relevant moment in her kissing resume, Erin taught Nathan everything he needed to know.

And he was a fast learner. So fast, Erin actually found herself feeling flustered more than once.
Thinking about all those kisses made Erin feel a little dizzy. There were okay kisses, and there were kisses that, whether she liked to admit or not, completely rocked her world.

Is anyone going to measure up? she wondered. More importantly, is there anyone out there willing to?

About the Author

Tara Frejas is a cloud-walker who needs caffeine to fuel her travels. When she's not on work mode, she keeps herself busy by weaving her daydreams into stories.

Aside from her obvious love affair with words and persistent muses, this full-fledged Piscean (who cares what NASA says?) is passionate about being caffeinated, musical theatre, certain genres of music, dance, dogs, good food, and romancing Norae, her ukelele. She owns a male bunny named Max who sometimes tries to nibble on her writing notes.

In another life, she wishes to be a musical theatre actress. Or a director, maybe. But in the meantime, she’ll continue being an avid supporter of the local theatre scene...one show at a time.

Contact Tara

Website
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
Subscribe to her newsletter!

Rafflecopter Giveaway


Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Cover Reveal | Waiting in the Wings by Tara Frejas

Today, we get to see the cover for Waiting in the Wings, a new book by Tara Frejas.

The author has been posting snippets on her social media accounts, and I've been eagerly gobbling up every little morsel. You can tell how I excited I am for this book, can't you?

So, without further ado, here's the cover:


Isn't it pretty?!?!

Waiting in the Wings

Tara Frejas
Genre: Romance / NA / Contemporary
Release Date: February 21, 2017
Book Cover Design by: Miles Tan
Synopsis:
At twenty-three, theatre actress Erin Javier has yet to fall in love or kiss a boy offstage and away from the klieg lights. She's the perfect leading lady—whose heart men would fight for, win, and protect—unfortunately, only until the curtains fell and the lights went down. In real life, Erin's a certified NBSB whose heart's been hoping for a song to dance to for quite some time.

But when two (two!) men enter from stage left and right, Erin is confused. Who deserves to take center stage in her heart—Mr. Theatre Royalty whose attention and displays of affection make her pulse race, or a good friend whose steady support has helped steer her to success and allowed her to fulfill her dream?

Add Waiting in the Wings on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34102210-waiting-in-the-wings

About the Author

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

Aside from her obvious love affair with words and persistent muses, Tara is very passionate about being caffeinated, musical theatre, certain genres of music, dancing, dogs, good food, and romancing Norae, her ukelele. She owns a male bunny named Max who sometimes tries to nibble on her writing notes.

Fun fact: She's a Piscean. Go figure.

Get in touch with Tara!

Facebook: http://facebook.com/authortarafrejas
Twitter: http://twitter.com/tarafrejas
Instagram: http://instagram.com/tarafrejas
Website: http://tarafrejas.com
Sign up for her newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/bRNfOr

About the Artist

Miles Tan likes inhabiting imaginary worlds, from fantasy books to sci-fi shows to cheeky mysteries to role-playing games. She works with websites, plays with graphics, and is now currently painting with words.

Finding X is her first published novella. Her short story, Something Real, is included in the YA Luna East anthology, Kids These Days.

Get in touch with Miles!

Facebook: http://facebook.com/MilesTan.Author
Twitter: http://twitter.com/maedinn
Instagram: http://instagram.com/maedinn
Website: http://milestanbooks.com

Monday, February 6, 2017

Release Day | Keeping the Distance by Clarisse David is HERE!

AMAZON: smarturl.it/KTDpreorder
GOODREADS: bit.ly/2gvqre8

Do you guys know what today is?

It's release day for Keeping the Distance! *throws confetti*

Where do I even begin to tell you about how amazing this journey has been? Keeping the Distance is the second book I released, but it feels so much like the first one in so many ways. I started writing it first (way back when I was a clueless nineteen-year-old). It's the first book in my first-ever series. Lots of firsts.

Anyway, before I start babbling, you can purchase Keeping the Distance right here. It's still $0.99 (I think). By the time you read the blog post, I've probably updated the price to $2.99, so I'm not sure how long it takes before the price changes.

I'm working on a few extras for Keeping the Distance--a 5 facts post, a playlist post, and maybe more. Haha. You'll see them soon enough.

If you've already read the book, all reviews will be highly appreciated. Thanks!

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Review | Someday With You and Other Stories by Ines Bautista-Yao

Amazon | Goodreads

Note: The author kindly provided me with an ARC I decided to review.

Let me take a deep breath before I start, because I have a whole lot of love for this book.

*inhales*

Okay, I’m ready.

Someday With You and Other Stories contains three short stories by Ines Bautista-Yao, all told from the points-of-view of the male central characters. Patrick comes first. He pines over the same girl throughout and even after college. What happens when he meets the one who got away again after all these years?

Next is Toby. He has a lot of unfinished business to deal with. I’m not going to say anymore. In my opinion, it’s best to go into Toby’s story knowing very little about it.

Andrew comes last. Like Patrick, he’s been pining over the same girl for years, but his story has a much more glamorous showbiz backdrop.

Ines Bautista-Yao’s stories often stand out for me for one reason. She creates characters and worlds that seem a little more perfect than ours. The settings are lush. The boys are cuter and definitely more romantic. The love stories have the best endings.

But they’re still grounded in reality. Despite the tint of perfection, you still get the sense that this—whatever wonderful thing her fictional boys say or come up with—can happen to you, too. You feel that these characters are people you’ll meet in real life. The shy boy from that one class in college who didn’t have the guts to talk to you. The rich boy with the fancy car who didn’t know how to change a flat tire. This only serves to make her stories more swoon-worthy than ever. I don’t know how she does it, but I wish she’d tell me her secret. Haha.

Toby’s story was by far my favorite. As a writer, I highly admired seeing his character growth in a few short pages. I’ve always struggled with pacing when it comes to character development and used to think I’d need tons of scenes to show how a character is changing. Ines Bautista-Yao’s writing smashed that belief into smithereens. It showed me that you don’t need a ton of pages to portray character growth. You just need a few key scenes.

This short story collection made me laugh, grin like a fool, and tear up. All in one sitting. I highly recommend this book if you want ALL THE FEELS and are looking for a short read.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Cover Reveal | The Paths We Choose by M. Hollis

Today is the cover reveal for The Paths We Choose by M. Hollis. The author and I became friends over Twitter, and she's an amazing person and writer.

So, without further ado, here's the gorgeous cover of her new book:


Summary

Lily Ferrari enjoys having control over every detail of her life. Ever since she left her parents’ house to gain her freedom, she decided to fully own her autonomy. But an unexpected visit from her little brother may change the path she chooses to follow.
Add to that a casual fling with the bright architect Mayte González, and Lily’s summer is turning out more interesting than she expected. It certainly beats the routine of working extra shifts at Johnson’s Bookstore.

A few weeks before her college life begins, Lily needs to figure out if she’s wrong about the past or if she should continue to protect her heart at all costs.

Sometimes moving forward is only possible if you have the right people by your side.

Author Info

M. Hollis could never decide what to do with her life. From the time she was a child, she has changed her ideas for a career hundreds of times. After writing in hidden notebooks during classes and daydreaming during every spare moment of her day, she decided to fully dedicate herself to her stories. When she isn’t scrolling around her social media accounts or reading lots of femslash fanfiction, you’ll find her crying about female characters and baking cookies.

Contact: lillactown@gmail.com

Links

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33299493-the-paths-we-choose
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6302358.M_Hollis

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Excerpt | Keeping the Distance by Clarisse David

Keeping the Distance will be out in less than two weeks! Right now, it's on sale for 0.99. The price will go up to 2.99 on February 6, 2017. If you want to grab a copy, I suggest you go get one now. *wink. wink. nudge. nudge* CLICK HERE.

Anyway, I thought I'd share an excerpt from the book with you today. It's a scene that literally made me laugh out loud while I was writing it.

Here it is:

***

“Sorry, but being another notch on your bedpost isn’t my lifelong ambition.” Melissa didn’t even bother to turn around. She merely leaned back on her chair and crossed her arms over her chest, the movement bringing her neck closer to his face.

The smell of lavender struck him with sudden force. His eyes were drawn once more to the constellation-shaped moles on her neck and wandered down to the vague outline of a bra clasp showing through her white blouse. That outline alone tilted his world on its axis.

If she could tell what he was thinking, she was going to wrap her fancy braid around his neck and simply pull.

He cleared his throat and shook his head even if she couldn’t see him. “I never said being a notch on my bedpost was your lifelong ambition, just your deepest, darkest fantasy.”

A squeak of indignation escaped Melissa’s lips, and the gravity in his world was restored. They were back on equal footing as her cheeks turned red.

His eyes were back on her neck again. He wasn’t doing himself any favors by sitting there and ogling her neck, like a thirteen-year-old who was getting his first look at a real pair of boobs.

Needing to get a grip on himself, he attempted to go talk to one of his teammates who sat a few rows away. Attempted was the keyword. He pushed himself off his chair, but it wouldn’t budge. It had attached itself to his slacks, some sort of superglue seeping through the fabric and latching onto his skin.

“You did this,” he said to the back of Melissa’s head, unable to keep the reluctant admiration out of his voice.

This time, she deigned to glance at him over her shoulder. Her face the picture of innocence, she said, “Prove it.”

Un-freaking-believable.

But all the smugness evaporated from her face when Mr. Rodriguez, their Physics teacher, walked into the room. No matter how smart you thought you were, there was always one thing you overlooked when you were new to the art of troublemaking.

Melissa forgot to plan for the aftermath. It showed in the way she nervously doodled in her notebook, each stroke leaving a deep dent on the pages. He didn’t have much of a choice since he was glued to his seat, but he was going to enjoy the coming fireworks show.

In fact, he was going to milk every minute of it.

Mr. Rodriguez soon filled the blackboard with equations and formulas that barely made sense to any of them. When he noticed that most of their eyes were glazing over, he stopped, his gaze bouncing around the room in search of his next target. His eyes locked on Lance. “Mr. Ordonez, you seem to be uncharacteristically quiet today. Why don’t you go to the front of the room and regale us with your answer to this problem?”

Lance knew as much about the class discussion as he did about his father’s daily life in Manila.
Absolutely nothing.

He gained a sense of satisfaction when Melissa’s face turned as white as the notebook page she was writing on, knowing full well he couldn’t stand up without dragging his chair to the front of the room.

“I’d love to, Mr. Rodriguez, but I can’t.” Lance tried to keep his voice even. He watched Melissa’s grip tighten on her pen, her knuckles turning white with exertion.

“And why not? Can’t you grace us mere mortals with your presence?” Mr. Rodriguez raised his bushy eyebrows.

“Melissa’s beauty is binding me to my seat.”

It wasn’t that far from the truth.

Under other circumstances and with any other teacher, the class would’ve tittered with laughter by that point, but their Physics teacher was like some dark, pulsating thing that sucked joy out of the atmosphere.

No one even dared to smile.

“I’m not kidding.” Mr. Rodriguez said, narrowing his eyes. “Come here and answer this problem before I make you.”

He shook his head. “I can’t.”

“Well, then, I don’t have a choice, Mr. Ordonez.” Mr. Rodriguez’s face hardened, a line forming between his eyebrows. “Get out of my classroom.”

He scratched the back of his head, looking at his teacher in exasperation. “I can’t do that, either.”
Then class went so still you could hear people breathing. It was common knowledge that no one in his more than twenty years of teaching had ever defied Mr. Rodriguez. The man had no mercy when it came to failing students and was quite trigger-happy with his red pen.

“And why not?” A dangerous look glinted in Mr. Rodriguez’s eyes. He started bouncing a stick of chalk in his left hand, almost salivating at the prospect of kicking him out of Saint Agnes Catholic Academy.

Lance had no other choice but to tell the truth. He sighed. “Because, Mr. Rodriguez, I happen to be glued to my chair.”

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Cover Reveal | Keeping the Distance (I Heart Iloilo #1) by Clarisse David

Today, I finally get to show you the cover of Keeping the Distance!

Are you ready?

Really?

Are you sure?!?!

Okay. Let's do this.

.

..

...

....

.....


It's gorgeous if I do say so myself. My friend, Dan, designed it for me. He's an amazing artist and totally got my vision for the cover. Maj and Carl, two co-workers, agreed to model. They even checked out my Pinterest board for Keeping the Distance, so they could pick out outfits my characters would actually wear. So, so thankful.


Aside from the cover reveal, I also have some news for you. Keeping the Distance is now available for pre-order and will only be 0.99 until release day (February 6, 2017)! I highly recommend getting a copy before the price goes up to 2.99. *wink. wink. nudge. nudge*

Thursday, January 19, 2017

3 Romance Writing Lessons from Korean Dramas


Korean dramas lure you in with seemingly simple premises, pretty boys, and hard-working but “plain” heroines you can relate to.

You tell yourself you’re only going to watch one episode, but emerge hours later looking like one of the undead. Before you know it, you’re telling your friends you’re busy on weekends, so you can stay in for a marathon.

In case you couldn’t tell by this point, I have a serious addiction to Korean dramas. I also happen to be a writer.

With those two traits combined, I often find myself overanalyzing my favorite Korean dramas in search of ways to further improve my writing. Why did the friends-turned-lovers trope work so well in Weightlifting Fairy: Kim Bok Joo? What was so great about Yoo Si Jin from Descendants of the Sun? Most importantly, why is Nam Joo Hyuk so HOT?!?!?!

Now that we have that out of the way, let me share some of the things I’ve learned about writing romance from Korean dramas.

MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD. You’ve been warned.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Book News | 2017 Publishing Schedule

This is a little late, but I still want to announce my grand plans for 2017.

Keeping the Distance will be released on February 6, 2017. If you follow me on any of my social media accounts, you’re probably sick of hearing me scream about it.

However, I failed to tell you that Keeping the Distance is the first book in my first-ever series. The series is called I Heart Iloilo, and it’s going to be a bunch of YA/NA novels set in—you guessed it—Iloilo, my hometown.

I’m proud of my first book, Prom Queen Perfect, even if it’s far from, well, perfect, but every time I reread it, I regret that I didn’t give it a stronger sense of place. There were no specifics about what it’s like to grow up in Iloilo, to eat oysters in Annie’s Talabahan, or to attend school here and end up seeing the same faces from elementary school until college.

True Story: About 20% of my high school classmates and I graduated from the same university.

Basically, Iloilo is a place that’s wonderful and suffocating all at once. I want to capture that feeling in a book. Whether I succeed or not is, of course, up to you, dear readers.

Keeping the Distance is obviously going to come out in a few weeks, and I hope you guys like it. I’ve finished the rough draft of the second book, and I’ve already begun editing it. The third book is currently in the outlining stage. It’s a wonderful time where I get to toss around ideas and the excitement to start writing builds.

I intend to release all three books this year. The first one in February, the second one in June, and the third one in October. Please don’t consider the June and October release dates set in stone, though, because life might get crazy.

Anyway, I’m very excited about the I Heart Iloilo series. It feels like I’m writing the stories I always wanted to read when I was a teenager and telling the stories I was always meant to tell. Let’s go on a wild ride together this 2017, okay?

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Review | Beginner's Guide: Love and Other Chemical Reactions by Six de los Reyes

Summary

Amazon | Goodreads

Falling in love is a chemical reaction.

Just ask Kaya Rubio, twenty-five year-old Molecular Genetics graduate student and research assistant. Fed up with her spinster aunts' relentless reminders and unsolicited advice regarding her Single Since Birth status, she designs a scientific, evidence-based methodology to find her a suitable partner in time for her cousin's wedding. As any good scientist knows, any valid experimental design requires a negative control. Enter the most unsuitable candidate for a potential boyfriend: the messy, easygoing, café owner Nero Sison. Her null hypothesis? Going out with Nero would establish her baseline data without catalyzing the chemical reaction she seeks.

But when Kaya's recorded results refuse to make sense, she is forced to come to the conclusion that there are some things in life that are simply, by nature, irrational and illogical. And that sometimes, chemistry doesn't always happen inside a lab

Review

Beginner’s Guide: Love and Other Chemical Reactions by Six de los Reyes is like that super smart girl at work you’re scared to make friends with but who turns out to be funny, relatable, and kind of awkward. In book form.

It took me a while to pick up this book, because I found all the science stuff intimidating. When I finally started reading it during Christmas vacation, I wanted to smack myself for waiting so long. Beginner’s Guide: Love and Other Chemical Reactions is beyond amazing. It’s everything I never knew I wanted in a book.

Kaya is one of the most unique characters I’ve ever come across. She breaks life down into processes and chemicals and experiments, things I struggled to understand. It’s no wonder I thought I couldn’t relate to her at first.

But when her spinster aunts started bugging her about her lack of a significant other at a family event? OHMYGOD. It was like I was reading a page ripped right out of my life. Soon, I found myself nodding along to certain passages, ones about how difficult it can be to be overly enthusiastic about something but the rest of the world doesn’t care. How it feels to drown in social situations and not know how to swim your way out of it. Isn’t it wonderful how fiction holds up a mirror and lets us see ourselves?

The OTP was definitely my favorite part of the book. I love it when the Love Interest gives little signs that he likes the Main Character, but she doesn’t have a clue, not because she’s too stupid to live but because she doesn’t have the required social skills to determine if he’s flirting with her or not. I squealed in delight every time Nero gave Kaya a compliment and it flew right past her head. I wanted to scream, “Look! He just said he thinks you’re pretty. Process this!”

SO. FUN.

I give 5 out of 5 starts to Beginner’s Guide: Love and Other Chemical Reactions. It’s a great read about how we can never predict or control love, no matter how much we try or how much scientific data we have on our hands.
© Clarisse David
Maira Gall