Thursday, September 18, 2014


The winners of the Buqo giveaway are:

Jennylyn Suguitan
Cy Valencia

Congratulations, winners! You will be contacted by email with instructions from Buqo on how to redeem your prizes. Thank you for joining!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Save the Cake: Now Featured on Buqo!

Check out my interview on the Buqo blog, where I talk about bakeries, mysteries, and my second book. Also a callback to Michael Fassbender, and this interesting tidbit:

I find my inspiration in other people’s stories, so I make it a point to talk to people every day—friends, family, sometimes the occasional stranger. I believe that you can learn a lot about a person from what he or she chooses to love, and you can get a lot of stories from people who talk about their passion. The more you put yourself out there, the more likely you are to find that one thing that will make your story “click” together. 
And if that doesn’t work for me: Jeremy Renner, David Gandy, and the Spanish football team. (Kidding! Sort of.)  

Don't forget that Save the Cake is still Buqo's Pick of the Week, so pick up a copy now! Or, if you would like to win your own free copy from Buqo, join the Rafflecopter giveaway on this blog - but hurry, because the giveaway ends soon!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Happy (Book) Birthday, Save the Cake! (Plus a GIVEAWAY!)

One year ago - almost to this very day - I pressed the big "publish" button and released Save the Cake to the reading public. Ever since then, the book has opened a lot of doors for me as a writer; I've been included in book bundles, attended conferences, and even became a best-seller on Kobo. I've also met a lot of publishers, editors, and distributors along the way, which gave me more opportunities to share my writing to a larger audience. 

One of the new discoveries that I've made this year is Buqo, which lets readers download and read locally-published books and magazines from their iOS or Android mobile device. Many mainstream and independent publishers have signed up with Buqo to distribute their works to the Filipino reader, from novels to comic books. This year, the folks at Buqo have made it easier for Smart's pre- and post-paid subscribers to purchase their books on the Buqo app, which makes it easier for Filipino readers to access their favorite reads. (Check out their tutorial here on how to use your Smart mobile number for Buqo purchases.)

As an independent publisher on Buqo, I have been able to reach readers who are discovering locally-published e-books for the first time. That's why I'm proud to announce that Save the Cake is Buqo's Pick of the Week, as a great big "thank you" to all the readers who have made my year. Look for Save the Cake features on, including a story on the Buqo blog.

But wait, there's more! Buqo and The Great Big Jump are giving away three (3) e-book copies of Save the Cake to three (3) lucky winners! To enter, just join the Rafflecopter giveaway below and leave a comment (any comment!) to win this special prize. The giveaway ends on September 18, so go out and spread the word!

(And the promo is also on my Facebook page, too! Just click on the Giveaway tab!) 

DISCLAIMER: This post and giveaway is sponsored by Buqo. 

Friday, August 22, 2014

Pick and Choose

This post is brought to you by Love Is Not A Triangle, a blog for readers who don't like love triangles.

Love Triangle Free Zone

I had the chance to think closely on what I said about the love triangle trope in last month's book review round-up, and why I've been tolerant about them in the past. Yes, it does seem like the ultimate fantasy - falling deeply in love with two undeniably desirable guys at the same time - and yes, I've let it pass without comment when it came to writer friends who have used the same trope. I'll also admit that they work well (to a point) in young adult fiction because of the push-pull that comes with discovering your first love.

But what about books that are written for adults, with adult characters going back-and-forth between two characters just because loving them seemed like such a great idea? That's where my intense hatred comes in. 

Here's the deal: For the longest time, my motto in life was "If you want to learn how to love, you've got to learn how to fight." I learned this the hard way by watching my parents go through challenging times in their marriage. I've never met a happily committed couple who hasn't had door-slamming fights during the course of their relationship. Some of them deal with it by accepting those moments as a part of life, and some, like my sister, view these moments as a reminder that relationships are fragile things that can't be taken for granted. I'm not saying that couples should pick fights with each other more often - abusive relationships are never romantic, and nothing annoys me more than the couple who argues in public - but I do believe that you don't have to be in love with the person all the time to show them that you love them. That's what makes relationships so hard: you have to keep asking yourself, every day, why you stay and fight. 

This view of relationships - of love, and commitment - has colored the way I view the world as both a reader and a writer. It also illustrates the biggest problem I have with most love triangles: they don't always give the heroine enough credit to pick and choose her own battles. I wouldn't go as far as to call them misogynistic, but most of the triangles I've encountered in my reading do make ninnies out of otherwise intelligent heroines who Just Can't Choose because They're Both So Equally Dreamy. Well, if they're both so great, and you're not into threesomes, then what on earth are you getting from stringing them along? Come to think of it, why is it important to have a man in your life in the first place?

As I mentioned in my previous entry, it's a lose-lose situation, because no matter what the author does, someone's always bound to get hurt. Seriously, authors, what is stopping you from calling the end game for just ONE true love? Are you being pressured by your editors and publishers telling you that you can't sell a book unless you get your readers to divide themselves into "#teams" who "ship" your characters?* Are you so enamored of your two male characters that you have to crowd-source your readers to "vote" for their favorites? Because if that's the case, then I'm sorry, but you're cheapening your story, and you've just short-changed that wonderful writer's voice that have earned you so many reads in the first place. And if you can't trust your own voice, then how am I supposed to trust you?

(*Note: I have nothing against fans who write their own endings for their "ships." In fact, I'm all for it, because fanfic is a wonderful illustration of the symbiotic relationship between reading and writing. My beef comes from the pre-determined expectation that readers will want to "ship" characters in the first place by taking away the endgame. And let's be honest here: unhappy fans lead to dwindling sales.)

Just this once, I'd like to read a book or a series about a heroine who picks her own hero, and chooses him time and again, without a third wheel to keep things spicy. Just this once, I'd like to read about a couple who gets tested, not by jealousy, but by priorities and communications and, you know, life

Just this once, I'd like to read about true love, from a couple who chooses to stay and fight together. Is that too much to ask, book world? 

Friday, August 15, 2014

WIP Dispatch, Special Edition: Fair Play (Camp NaNoWriMo 2014)

I used to have this feature on my blog where I talk about the writing projects that I plan to undertake during the year. Not all of those projects made it past the rough-draft stage (remember Cada Veces?) but for every project that never sees the light of Revision Land, there's a manuscript that would later be transformed into something else altogether. Thus, the case of World on a Plate, the precursor to Save the Cake.

This year's WIP falls under the latter, since it started out as a story for a project that didn't work out. I'm determined to see this one to the very end.


Title: Fair Play (subject to change to eliminate the chances of being mistaken for Katrina's book

Abstract (so far, taken from the Camp NaNoWriMo site): Agnes Escueta and Daniel Ferrer are fiery opposites in every way. She's a hard-working TV producer with a micro-managing streak; he's the alpha-male sports anchor who's a magnet for the ratings and the ladies. When they're assigned on a road trip with the Philippine football team in Indonesia, they're faced with the prospect of working closely with each other, round-the-clock. Their professional relationship will be tested by working long hours in the field, but the sparks that fly between them tell a different story altogether. Will Agnes and Daniel find out the real score behind their constant sparring? Or are they playing a game that no one can't afford to lose? 

Thursday, August 7, 2014

The Filipino Reader's Choice Awards: Nominations

Nominations for the Filipino Reader's Choice Awards are now open to books published between January and December 2013. This means Save the Cake is eligible for nomination in the category Romance in English. Show the love by filling out this form and putting in your vote for the book. Deadline for nominations is on August 18, so vote now! 

(And if you can't decide what else to nominate, check out the full list of self-published books eligible for nomination for this year's Filipino Reader's Choice awards, including some of your favorite #romanceclass titles. Major publishers are also represented.)

Friday, August 1, 2014

Love in Any Season: Out Now!

I am pleased to announce that Save the Cake is part of the Love in Any Season chick lit bundle, along with In Over Her Head (by Anne Plaza) and Just A Little Rain (by Jayen San Diego). The regular price for this bundle is 99 cents, but for a limited time you can get this for FREE. And who doesn't love free books?

Come and support your Filipino chick-lit authors! Click here to buy.


ERRATUM: We forgot to mention in our last entry that the blog tour for Kesh Tanglao's Gezellig series was organized by Dianne of Oops! I Read A Book Again. We apologize for any inconveniences caused by this omission.