Monday, October 5, 2015

#JustWritePH Blog Tour: For the Win (Plus Giveaway!)

Welcome to the final week of the #JustWritePH Blog Tour! Each week we have featured a different story and author from each of the #JustWritePH bundles available from Buqo.

#JustWritePH: For the Win

Available on Buqo for US$0.99 (P45) from October 5 to 11
Regular price is US$3.99 (P180)

Insurmountable challenges from supernatural beings, political scandals in vast kingdoms, post-apocalyptic survival, and...dealing with the extended family? All in a day’s work for the characters in this thrilling bundle of stories about overcoming obstacles and testing their resolve. Features “Hunter Zero” by Viai, “The Seeker’s Inn” by Maita Rue, “A Solarpunk Fairytale” by Mary Beatrice Ponce, and “Her Highness, The Handmaiden: Ascension” by Saelynne G. LeClerk.

Our featured author of the week is writer and artist Viai, author of the suspenseful tale Hunter Zero. 


Hunters - people who exterminate supernatural elements from the world. A certain element, called the Nis, latches on to our main protagonist, Eri Geiju, a stern-looking high school student with a peculiar reputation. This catches the attention of two professional hunters, Eight and Ten and opens her eyes to the true nature of the Hunting business.

Follow the author: Facebook | DeviantArt


The air felt heavy as tension built up. We were behind an old abandoned building when it all happened. “Drag me into their world? What are you taking abo—” Eight slammed her hand on the wall, a hair’s width away from my face. I could feel my heartbeat getting faster. I didn’t understand the danger I was in, or the danger they think I was in. “I never bothered them, and they never bothered me… At least not until today.”

“Was there anything you did that might have caught this Nis’ attention?” Ten spoke softly. 

“I don’t remember.” I told the small-framed redhead. Her twin was a different story. I could see her toned arms up close after her hand had rushed beside my face. Eight had brute strength and agility, but Ten was so fragile. Small little thing she was and will remain to be. 

“It doesn’t matter. We just need to deal with this one like we always do.” Eight removed her hand and proceeded to walk towards a nearby forest. Hano was more forest than city, so there’s always a cluster of trees nearby. Ten just stood there, eyes hooded by her heavy set bangs. Her lips were moving but I couldn’t quite understand what she was saying. “Ten, let’s go! We’ve got work to do.” 

I followed the two deeper into the forest. “What are you planning to do?” I said as I grabbed Eight by the shoulder. She hesitated for a while then slowly turned towards me. 

“We’re going to hunt. You should go back now.” 

“We might need her, Eight.” Ten said meekly. “The Nis is attached to her.” 

“We can just lure it out. She doesn’t have to be here.” Ten leaned in closer to her sister and whispered something in her ear. Eight griped but seemed to agree with Ten, nonetheless. She headed towards me and grabbed me by the shirt, pulling me towards her. “Listen Eri. You don’t have to be here, but I know you. You’re going to force yourself to stay here, anyway. We don’t have time for that. I need you to stay still and follow what I say. If you don’t, you’re going to get us all killed. Yes, killed, you little halfwit.” I grumbled at that comment. She released her grip and pointed to the ground “Sit here while Ten and I wait for your parasite. If you start seeing white again, don’t move, don’t talk. Whatever you see after that is an illusion of the Nis. Try not to get pulled in.” 

(This interview was edited for clarity.) 

Name: Valerie Ira C. Balmoris (VIAI) 
Occupation: Civil Engineer 
Favorite time of day to write: Evening 
Favorite writing instrument: Laptop 
Favorite snack (and/or drink) while writing: Peppermint Tea

What inspired me to write: As I tried grasping the answer to this question, a mess of thoughts entered my mind, to be honest. There were a lot of things that went into writing this story. I think one driving force is my desire to create a world of my own. I have always been intrigued by the process of creating characters, creatures, places, history, language, and race, so what better way to do that than to write in a fantasy setting? Also, being an artist, another thing I’m excited about is the opportunity to create character art for my own story. 

Other than that, I also have this desire to create characters that people can get attached to. I won’t lie, I’ve asked myself a number of times what a certain fictional character would do during difficult situations. I pulled motivation from them and I was inspired by their stories. Hunter Zero has a number of characters, each having their own struggle in life. My goal is to break them from the stereotypical character molds and make them as human as possible. I want to show how complex each human being can be, and reflect that in my characters. 

The challenges I faced: I had a struggle with time management. This was my first time writing 15k words for a single story. I went in with the mindset of “do a little bit everyday so you won’t get overwhelmed at the end.” Of course I wasn’t able to do that, so I spent a number of sleepless nights writing my story to compensate for the days that I wasn’t able to write. I prefer not to rush a story, but I had to work with what I got. 

To me, not meeting the deadline was like admitting that I overestimated myself. I knew it was possible, and there was no good reason to fail. (I'd) already sacrificed a lot of time and sleep because of it, so I want something to show for all my efforts. I also needed my story to get out there at that time, because I might not get an opportunity like that again. Thinking about that kept me going. 

On feedback: I had a number of beta readers. One valuable feedback I got was about the original ending. “I would have loved to see the emotions presented more. What about the pain? What about the painful understanding after knowing what happened? It was a great chance to engage the reader.” I revised my ending because of that. It made me realize that the characters deserved a better ending. 

Another notable feedback was about a scene in my story where one of the characters is running while texting someone. “If it’s so urgent, why is she texting? She should call the other person.” I really didn’t think about that. Sometimes you overthink stuff, so simple things like that can escape you. It’s nice when someone can point that out for you. 

What I've learned: Technical stuff aside, I learned that writing is not easy. You have to fully immerse yourself in it in order to create a story that can move other people. Transforming thoughts into words is an excruciating process because you would have to somehow make sense of the abstract ideas forming in your head. You would have to spend a lot of time with your own thoughts, and that’s not something everyone is willing to do. I kind of understand why people say writers torture themselves, because you would have to pull from your own experiences and feelings if you want to write something believable. You have to remind yourself of the pain you once felt, and transfer that to the character. 

Also, writing a book involves A LOT of revisions, if you want to make it a good one. Next time, I will devote more time and effort for my story. I now accept that it’s not supposed to be an easy process, but it’s definitely worth it.

What's next: I plan on making Hunter Zero a book series. The first one released was more of an origin story, so the next one I’m going to write would be for the main story. I already have characters, places, history, and conflicts set up. All that is left is to fill in the gaps and write the story. I also plan on doing a web comic for Hunter Zero. It would have the same characters, but with different content. Personally, I love it when I see how characters are in their normal lives, so I might do that for the web comic. 


Here's your last chance to win free ebooks from Buqo! Just click on the Rafflecopter giveaway below for a chance to win one of three (3) copies of this week's featured bundle, #JustWritePH: For the Win. Good luck! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, September 28, 2015

#JustWritePH Blog Tour: For Redemption (Plus Giveaway!)

Welcome back to Week 4 of the #JustWritePH Blog Tour! Every week we will feature a different story and author from each of the #JustWritePH bundles available from Buqo.

#JustWritePH: For Redemption
Buy it on Buqo for $0.99 (P45) from September 28 to October 4
Regular price is US$3.99 (P180)

Redemption doesn’t come easy. It involves hardship, righting wrongs, and making tough choices. This four-story bundle showcases characters who made wrong turns in life, and want nothing more than to make things right. Features “Era” by Jesse David, “Turning Points” by Yeyet Soriano, “A Fateful Encounter” by Cali (Angie Sanchez), and Encyclopedia Mystique by Racquel Sarah A. Castro.

Our featured author of the week is Angie Sanchez, author of A Fateful Encounter, who also writes under the name Cali.


A Fateful Encounter is a story about a college computer science student, Samantha, who just got back from an eight-month holiday. Not a single soul knows why she left in the first place – not her professors, her best friend Aimee and her closest group of friends. She logs in an online chat site and meets Michael, an engineering student from the same university.

Connect with and follow the author through these channels: Facebook | Email:


I continued to argue with myself quietly. I want ice cream. Do I really need ice cream? No. But do you want ice cream. Yes. Is it right to put yourself in danger for the sake of ice cream? No. But you want one, right? Yes. There you go. And there goes my logic. But in order to dig into my cravings, I must find someone to go out with me at this time of night. Now who’s going to be my knight?  It would be wrong to ask for my friends after what happened earlier. My only available choice was Requiem. He offered to go out with me. Nothing’s wrong with accepting someone’s offer, right? I thought about it again. And again. It was unacceptable and irresponsible. Who goes out with a stranger, at night, for ice cream? I sat thinking of all the possible solutions for my dilemma. It wouldn’t be bad to trust someone, just this once? 

 [10:30 pm] Requiem: San kita pupuntahan?

 [10:35 pm] Me: Nakatira ako sa may apartment sa dulo ng Emerald.

 [10:36 pm] Requiem: Sige. Puntahan na kita. 

 [10:37 pm] Me: Ingat ka. Text mo na lang ako.

I suddenly became nervous. My heart started beating so fast that I could feel it could jump off my chest. Just because of a stupid craving, I invited a guy I didn’t even know over for ice cream. It was ridiculous. And idiotic. Aimee had already warned me before that nothing good comes out from meeting strangers. I could already picture out Aimee scolding me. I groaned. She is a very protective friend. 

My legs are shaking from panic. I could feel my hands getting cold and sweaty. I couldn’t think right. What if this guy were a poser who might think of kidnapping me and holding me for ransom? Or worse, rape me and throw my body somewhere? I promised my parents to stay out of trouble, but I’m directly putting myself into a mess. No one except for myself knows that I would be meeting him tonight – not my friends, my family – absolutely, not a single soul. If something bad happens, no one would even know. I walked to the living room, then back again to the kitchen. I suddenly had the idea to send him a message that I have a bad stomachache and couldn’t get up. I was about to text him through WeChat, but a message appeared.

 [10:46 pm] Requiem: Andito na ako.

 I frantically rushed to the kitchen drawer to get my Swiss knife and pepper spray. I’ve always kept these in case of emergency. I placed both of them inside my purse along with my phone, my wallet and sneaked a peek from my apartment window. There, I saw a person standing right outside the gate. For a while, I remained seated on the couch debating whether to go through with it or not. I gathered all my courage and closed the gates behind me. 

 “Hello,” a guy wearing a jacket and cap said.

 “Hi,” I replied nervously.

 “Tara na?” he spoke.   


(This interview has been edited for clarity.) 

Name: Nicole Sanchez aka Angie Sanchez
Occupation: MSc Microbiology
Writing experience: First novel, only writing for requirements (class and thesis), but had some experience back in high school for the school paper
Favorite time of day to write: night or when creative juices come
Favorite writing instrument: G-tech pen plus scratch papers
Favorite snack (and/or drink) while writing: milk tea, Coke, some snacks such as Piattos, candies

My inspiration: It was supposed to be a story (about) how I met my significant other. But then, I became a bit embarrassed and shy to tell our story, and quite afraid what others will think about it so I completely changed it to something else. I tweaked some parts of the story which resulted to an entirely different piece. I don’t really know why I chose to tell this story. My story is entirely a work of fiction, and I can say, it has a very unexpected plot.

What challenged me: Writing a 15k word story in a month was definitely a challenge. I had a different story in mind at the beginning, then changed it to another one, and another one. I have never done this kind of piece before. I guess, what kept me going was the feeling of fulfillment I will get after writing the story. Not everyone is able to publish their stories. And this was my chance to make it.

On feedback and critiques from beta readers: I had a few beta readers for my story. Their feedback, whether good or bad, was really useful. I love it when people critique my work. In that way, I could see where I went wrong and right. I really appreciated any kind of critique they had for my work. But the best was, they were asking me for a sequel to my book! It feels so overwhelming. This is my first ‘finished’ written piece and people are actually asking for more.

What I've learned: I learned that effort pays off. And to achieve something, you need to have your eyes set on the goal. You have to remain inspired and determined. It’s always okay to take up on a challenge, because all those sweat becomes something else that can never be taken from you and something you can be proud for the rest of your life.

What's next: I wish to continue on my writing during my spare time. I have actually been busy (these) past few weeks because of graduate school. I want to write a follow up or a sequel, but maybe in a few months.

A message from Angie: Thank you so much for the interview! I would like to thank everyone for making A Fateful Encounter possible. Thank you to #JustWritePH, and congratulations to my fellow authors.


Get a chance to win one of three (3) copies of the #JustWritePH: For Redemption bundle, courtesy of Buqo! Just click on the Rafflecopter link below and follow the instructions. Good luck! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, September 21, 2015

#JustWritePH Blog Tour: For Love (Plus Giveaway!)

Welcome to the third week of the #JustWritePH Blog Tour! Every week we will feature a different story and author from each of the #JustWritePH bundles available on Buqo.

##JustWritePH: For Love

Buy it on Buqo for US$0.99 (P45) from September 21 to 27. 
Regular price is US$3.99 (P180).

Love is never easy, but the journey to that happily ever after is what makes it worth it. Witness the struggles of these characters as they work their way through both new romances and second chances at love in this four-story bundle. Features “I Still…” by Beth G., “Sigh No More” by Carla de Guzman, “Velvet Valentine” by Giselle Bacalla, and “One Sweet November Day” by Amae Dechavez. 

Our featured author of the week is Beth G., who penned the sweet contemporary romance I Still...


Jamee is head over heels with Denmark. And after several years of not seeing each other, they meet again, and Jamee cannot deny the fact that after all those years, she is still in love with him. As their renewed friendship seems to progress, all while their common college friends hold a reunion for all of them, Jamee discovers the truth behind her heartache with Denmark years ago. Will she still surrender on how she feels for Denmark and give herself a chance on love? Or will it be too late?

Follow the author: Blog | Facebook 


I SHOULD not have agreed with Greg.

I discreetly looked out of the glass window. The evening lights were blaring on the street and people were busy going in and out of bars, though I could not see any establishment in this area that screamed BAR. It's Friday night, and instead of celebrating the end of a spectacularly tiring week, I was trapped in one of the tables for two of this seemingly high-end restaurant called Sernin’s, trying to hide my boredom. I haven’t been here, and I have never heard of this until now, and I was somehow grateful that I did. The food was superb and the ambience was great. Sitting across me was Carl. I just met him a few hours ago, and as much as I wanted to give him a chance to prove himself better, I was starting to regret agreeing into this whole idea of blind dating all together.

Earlier, I agreed to go out with Greg and Margot, two of my friends from Shön, the women's magazine where I worked. But when I learned that Alex was also coming with them, I backed out.

“And why?” Greg asked sternly.

“I don't want Alex pestering me the whole night,” I admitted.

“But Margot and I are planning to set you up with him!” he exclaimed.

“The more I shouldn't come then,” I shrugged.

Then Greg went in front of my desk, put his arms across his chest and gave me The Look. The one he always gave me whenever he thought I was acting dumb or playing stupid. The one of the many things about him that made him so gay.

“You know, Jamee, why don't you just go out with him and be done with it?”

I exhaled. I could not believe we were discussing The Reasons Why I Don't Want to Go Out with Alex all over again. “Because number one, he's not my type. Number two, he creeps me out. Number three, all the ladies here want him, and I don't want to be in the way of their fantasies.”

“Is that so?” Greg sounded unsure, just like he always did whenever we talked about the subject. It was as if he never believed everything I said.

Well, it's true. Alex had been asking me out, and I had been saying no. Sure, he's the tall, dark and handsome type of guy that every lady in the office craved for his attention. Lean and muscular, like he could be one of those nude statues in Rome. It’s not that I was all into physical looks or anything. But like I said, he's not my type. Or maybe it's his muscles that crept me out.

“Yes,” I said firmly. 

(This interview was edited for clarity.) 

Name: Beth G.
Occupation: Online freelance writer/editor
Writing experience: I've been blogging for a year now at I published my first book Destiny Cheated Me with Lifebooks. (Should I also include the random thoughts I write on the girls' bathroom walls whenever I get the chance? Hahaha!)
Favorite time of day to write: 2am
Favorite writing instrument: Boris, my desktop.
Favorite snack (and/or drink) while writing: COFFEE! And DARK CHOCOLATES!

My inspiration for this story: Honestly, I Still... is just a product of one of those late night Messenger conversations with my high school bff. I could no longer remember what we were talking about, but yeah. If you'd look at our chat box, you'd be amazed by how many plots for stories you can come up with.

Was I challenged by the amount of time that I had in writing the story? YES! Not to mention the amount of time I spent on stalling. Hahaha! But I told myself I have to finish it on time, because I had to see Mina Esguerra in (the) flesh. :-)

My beta reading process: I asked two of my friends to beta read it - one of them is that high school bff I was talking about and the other one is a guy (yeah, I persuaded him to read a romance story). And both of them said, "Beth, you can do more. I know that."

What I've learned from this class: I've learned a lot from this class. I've learned that characters should speak to the reader. I've learned that I don't really have a convincing story if I can't summarize it in just a sentence. I've learned that being an author, I have this big responsibility because of influence.

What's next for me: My friends want me to write a story about Alex, and I am thinking of pairing him up with Kelly, but I am not sure when's that gonna happen. Currently, I am waiting for another book to be published. It's under Lifebooks, and I think it can also be downloaded from Buqo so please watch out for it - you can follow me on Facebook at, Twitter @bethgstories or visit my blog at


Want to win free ebooks? It's simple! Just click on the Rafflecopter link below for a chance to win one of three (3) copies of this week's featured bundle, #JustWritePH: For Love. Good luck! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Today's Dispatch from the Manila International Book Fair

First and foremost, on behalf of myself, Agay Llanera, and Chris Mariano, I would like to thank everyone who came by the Visprint x Komiket booth today at the Manila International Book Fair for buying our books. It was a great opportunity to meet everyone--and for those of you who got your books signed by yours truly, I hope that you would enjoy reading them as much as I enjoyed writing Save the Cake. 

Special thanks to the good people at Visprint and Komiket for making this happen and being so awesome all the way. 

My apologies for not bringing a camera with me, so I'll let these tweets do the talking. Enjoy!

Monday, September 14, 2015

#JustWritePH Blog Tour: For Justice (Plus Giveaway!)

Welcome to the second week of the #JustWritePH Blog Tour! Every week we will feature a different story from each of the #JustWritePH bundles available on Buqo.

#JustWritePH—For Justice 

Authors: Michael Recto, EK Gonzales, Pau Castillo, and Mark Manalang 

Buy it from Buqo for US$0.99 (P45) from September 14 to 20. Regular price is US$3.99 (P180)

When justice calls, heroes rise. Follow the journeys of a fire programmer, two very unique detectives, and an unlikely partnership between a mortal and a ghost as they fight for what they believe in and even their very survival in this action-packed bundle of four stories from up-and-coming writers. Features “Eleven” by Michael Recto, “Expendable” by EK Gonzales, “Between Two Worlds” by Pau Castillo, and “The Seven-Day Detective” by Mark Manalang.

Our featured writer for the week is Michael Recto, author of the murder mystery Eleven. 


Detective Randall Dela Rosa is hot on the trails of a string of unexplained murders halfway around the world. There have been 7 victims so far, all of them murdered in creatively horrible methods, had the number 11 carved on their corpses, and were made to recite a cryptic in Filipino before their murders: "Mayroong isangdaan at dalawampu't isang dahilan kung bakit hindi para sa iyo ang kuwentong ito ngunit..." (There are one hundred and twenty one reasons why this story isn't for you but...) The latest victim, number 8, has lead him back to his father's home country, the Philippines. As an Interpol agent, he expected that his presence will not be welcomed. The local police deemed his "meddling" as unnecessary and a blow to the local force's pride. However, Detective Dela Rosa is ready to place everything on the line to stop the murders and finally stop the nightmares haunting him.


"Mayroong isangdaan at dalawampu't 
 isang dahilan kung bakit hindi para sa iyo
 ang kuwentong ito ngunit..."

I stood stunned and breathless while I read this. It was written in blood on a concrete wall just above a bludgeoned corpse. He was victim number 10. His arms were bloody stumps with strings of cartilage hanging loosely where the hands were supposed to be. The killer must have forced the victim to write the phrase on the wall with his bloody arms. 

The 9 victims before this were all made to say this phrase and then murdered in horrible ways before they finished. I followed this case halfway around the world. It has become my life for the past 8 months. I never imagined that this case would bring me back to my father’s hometown. 

Number 1 was impaled with an ornate knife to his nape. The knife was part of the victim’s antique collection, and other than the knife itself, none of the other expensive antiquities were touched. The body was found inside a museum which the victim frequently finances as a donor. 

Number 2 was pale white, had blue lips and was retrieved a washed by the River Nile. His limbs were bound by ropes one inch in diameter. When the corpse was autopsied, they found a set of keys in the victim’s stomach. We found out that victim number 2 has a collection of yachts; the keys he ingested matched all of those that he owned. He must have been forced by the killer to swallow all the keys, and then one of his yachts was used to carry him and throw him overboard to his death. 

Number 3 was immolated from the torso down with a “do it yourself” fire thrower, made using a sophisticated lighter and an insect spray. Number 3’s video was different in quality compared to the first two. Eventually, we found out that the deed was done in a TV studio, particularly one that is used for instructional shows and infomercials. The victim was the producer of the said show and even hosted a couple of episodes himself. The murder weapon was made by the victim himself, probably coerced by the murderer to make one. 

Number 4 had his body sliced open with a gaping laceration from his left shoulder down to his lower right rib cage. The weapon used was a rusted katana, a replica even. It was sharp enough to cut like butter through the lungs but struggled cutting through the bones. It was retrieved wedged between a mixture of his flesh and bone. Number 4 was some sort of super fan. The rusted sword was supposed to be a replica of an iconic sword in a very famous TV show that is set in Japan’s Sengoku era. In fact, victim Number 4 was killed in the same fashion as one of the show’s important supporting characters. Eventually, we learned that the victim was one of the show’s major financial backers. If it weren’t for his money, the show would have been cancelled prematurely and not given another chance for a 2nd season. 

Number 5 had several arrows that punctured through the gaps of his ribs, all of the arrowheads protruded through the back. She was found in an orchard, dangling down from an apple with a rope tied around her arms and her feet bound in duct tape. It’s obvious to infer that she was made a human target. She owned the orchard she was killed in.

(NOTE: Edited for clarity.) 

Name: Michael Recto
Occupation: Master of the spreadsheets by day, slave of the stories by night.
Writing experience: Wrote poetry and children stories during my college days. Finally had my first published story after the #JustWrite workshop.
Favorite time of day to write: As soon as I wake up. I learned that by doing this, I get to write anything on the first deluge of creativity brought about by a freshly rested mind. I also manage to get things done before the usual daily distractions start overwhelming me.
Favorite writing instrument: Good old pen and paper when planning and then I use a PC or typewriter when it’s time to squeeze out the story.
Favorite snack (and/or drink) while writing: Coffee is enough.

How my story began: My story was intended as an entry for an “Opening Line Contest” in Wattpad. The ambassadors assigned a phrase that we are supposed to use as the opening line. I noticed though that almost all of the posted works used the required opening line but “discarded” it afterwards to continue telling their story. I, however, wanted my entry to stand out so I decided to use the phrase as a plot element and not just simply use it as the opening line.

Upon brainstorming, the first image that came into my head was a concrete wall with the said phrase scrawled on it in blood. I then took the story from there. “Eleven” was an exhilarating revelation eventually.

I never knew that I was up to writing such a gritty crime thriller and it was my first attempt at such. Sadly, real life took over again and I was not able to finish the story on time for the Wattpad contest. The contest also required that the story must be within 2,500 words which was too just too cramped for the plot I intended. I was already in the middle of the #JustWrite workshop back then and after getting great feedback from my fellow writers when I pitched the idea, I decided to finish the story.

My greatest challenge: (Writing) was like landing in Normandy without checking if I had enough bullets :D. The story sounded great but underdeveloped. Thankfully, positive stress worked its magic. The action scene at the latter part of the story was born out of pure inspiration and imagination.

The beta-reading and editing process: I gave my manuscript to a co-worker and she acted as my beta-reader. Her feedback was vital in making sure that my story hooked anyone who reads through the first few paragraphs which what I really aimed for. Due to the time constraints though, I had to do all the line editing myself and I went through the story over and over again to make sure that I wrote the plot as logical as I can.

What I've learned from this class: Definitely some more research and planning. Particularly in the time management part. Liana (Smith-Bautista)mentioned that as writers, we should be adept at using our “busy idle time”. Writing doesn’t stop when you leave the PC or set down the pen. A writer takes the story everywhere he goes. He nurtures it, he plays with it, he coddles it, and whips it to shape. So that by the time he takes hold of the pen again or finds himself in front of the keyboard, the words won’t be as lost and confused.

What's next for me: Although I intend to revisit “Eleven” to give it the “Justice” it deserves, I was unsure whether to dabble into writing a crime story again. I was already planning another story (a RomCom in fact :D) and setting my sights on NaNoWrimo.

I was scouring the internet for any other workshop I can join when I came across #HeistClub in Facebook. It’s a crime novel writing workshop sponsored by Bronze Age Media.

So, there I go again. I’ll be working on another crime novel but this time, I’ll be ready. The bumpy ride that I took in #JustWrite, I’ll be taking even further in #HeistClub, with seatbelts, aviator glasses, and a finger on the nitro button this time. I’m happy if I can just be in an opportunity where I can tell a story and people will listen.

Wish me luck.


Time for another giveaway! Just check out the Rafflecopter link below for a chance to win one of three (3) copies of the #JustWritePH For Justice bundle. Hurry, because this giveaway won't last for long! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

#JustWritePH Blog Tour: For the Feels (Plus Giveaway!)

Welcome to the first week of the #JustWritePH blog tour! Every week we will feature a different story from each of the #JustWritePH bundles available on Buqo. Get to know the new voices in Philippine literature as they share with us their insights on the writing process!

This week, we'll be featuring the #JustWritePH bundle For the Feels. 

#JustWritePH—For the Feels

Buy it on Buqo for the special SALE price of US$0.99 (P45) until September 7, 2015!
(Regular bundle price: US$3.99/P180)

Authors: Lee Miyaki (Kim Derla), Maria Criselda Santos, iamloid, and Kristine Cuevas

The feels come in all shapes and sizes, with a million different unique stories for every kind. Experience bitter feels, forbidden feels, pretend feels and young feels in this four-story bundle that’s sure to tug at your heartstrings. Features "13th Prayer" by Lee Miyaki, "Never the Princess" by Maria Criselda Santos, "My Ampalaya Story" by iamloid, and "A Bump in Athena's Life" by Kristine Cuevas.

Our featured writer for the week is Christian Loid Valenzuela, also known as iamloid. He is the author of My Ampalaya Story, which is written in Taglish and named after one of the most hated vegetables in the Philippines

(NOTE: This interview was edited for clarity.) 

Name: Christian Loid Valenzuela
Occupation:  Published author on Buqo and a Wattpad Filipino Ambassador
Writing experience: I began my journey as a writer last 13th September 2013 when I officially joined a writing-reading site, Wattpad.
Favorite time of day to write: Weekend evenings around 8PM. My mind is more active at night.
Favorite writing instrument: Pen and notebook! A very vintage one. (laughs)
Favorite snack (and/or drink) while writing: Anything that is made up of chocolates!

My inspiration for this story: I wrote this story  when I got my very first heart break (laughs). I choose to tell it because I want to inspire many people, like, “You’re not alone. Together we stand!” credits to Avril Lavigne for that quote from her song – Keep Holding On. (Laughs)

What kept me going: I am super challenged! I have to manage my time as a student, as a workshopper of #JustWritePH and as an Ambassador! Despite of that, my main motivation for finishing this story is that I like to prove myself that I can! And I want to be a living proof that writing (and entering the publishing industry) is for everyone, ‘cause I believe that there’s no age limit in this. As long as you can write, finish your work(s) and have passion, you are a writer!

How I managed without beta readers: I am super challenged by the time allotted to finish this work so unfortunately I haven’t used any beta reader(s) and/or editor(s). But some of my (Wattpad) readers kept commenting on my story, so for me they act like my beta readers. So far, the most valuable feedback I’ve had is when some readers messaged me saying that they can relate with the protagonist - the way she portray her ‘bitter’ attitude, her fierce personality etc.

What I've learned from this class: Time management! (laughs) and writing in harmony – that’s were the lessons I’ve learned. I think for my upcoming works, I shall keep in mind that I should write in my own harmony.  And always beat the deadline!

What's next: Maybe I’ll take a break in writing for one year, I think. I should take a rest as a writer and study more to improve myself as a writer. Also, I’ll try to help beginners and aspiring writers (out) there. So if anyone of you knows someone that needs ‘writing approach’, you can refer them to me! Yes, I have a plan to follow up this story. As of now, on my Wattpad account I already have (the) second book. And the third book is on my mind. I am planning to do a trilogy eh. So, that’s it!

My Ampalaya Story by iamloid

Paalala ang kuwentong ito ay ‘di angkop sa mga mambabasang naniniwala sa forever at sa happy ending. Halina’t pasukin ang mundo ng ka-bitter-an kung saan walang ka-sweet-an na masusumpungan. Ito ang My Ampalaya Story. One of the most ‘ampalaya’ work published in an online writing and reading site.

(Warning: This story is not suitable for readers who believe in forever and happy endings. Come and enter a world of bitterness where there is no sweetness to be found. This is My Ampalaya Story. One of the most bitter works published in an online writing and reading site.) 

Connect with and follow this author via these channels:


GIVEAWAY TIME! Here's your chance to feel all the feels from Buqo and #JustWritePH! Check out the link below for a chance to win one of three (3) copies of the complete For The Feels bundle. Enter now!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, September 7, 2015

Save the Cake: The Print Edition!

Cover illustration by Jamie Bauza. Email her at or check out her portfolio here

Has it really been two years?

Two years since I first took Eloisa out of a dead manuscript and built a better story around her. Two years since I first pressed the "publish" button on Amazon and Smashwords. Two years of fielding questions on when "the book book" will be coming out.

And now, it's almost here.

Me? I feel so blessed. So happy to be surrounded by so many supportive people on the journey. So excited to see the cover and feel the book in my hands. This book and I have both gone through so much to get to this point, and I can't wait to share my excitement with you.

Save the Cake will be available for the first time in print at the Manila International Book Fair from September 16 to 20 at the SMX Convention Center at the Mall of Asia complex. The book is part of the #romanceclass series along with Agay Llanera's Vintage Love and Chris Mariano's Cover (Story) Girl, and will be sold for P190. After MIBF, the book will be available in bookstores within the next few weeks.

If you want to get your copy signed, I will be at the Visprint x Komiket booth on Thursday, September 17 from 3 to 5 pm. Come by and say hi--I'd love to hear from you!

See you at the book fair!