Tuesday, February 9, 2016

BLOG TOUR + Excerpt (Plus Giveaway!): Don't Forget the Parsley, by Marie Claire Lim Moore

New year, new entries! This month, we're teaming up with Bookish Diaries Book Tours for special features on the latest books from Filipino authors.



We here at The Great Big Jump would like to welcome back author Marie Claire Lim Moore, who was featured not too long ago for Don't Forget The Soap. (That book got an A review from me--go grab it, if you haven't already!) Now she's back with another round of heart-warming stories about the international experience in Don't Forget the Parsley.



Don't Forget The Parsley will have a book launch on February 15 at Fully Booked in Bonifacio Global City! Get your copies signed and meet the author in person!


SUMMARY

Marie Claire Lim Moore builds on her first memoir, Don’t Forget the Soap, offering more entertaining stories about her family in this follow up. Like her first book, Don’t Forget the Parsley is a collection of anecdotes from different points in Claire’s life: stories from her second-generation immigrant childhood in Vancouver and New York City mix with recent expat experiences in Singapore and Hong Kong where she balances multiple roles as wife and mother, corporate executive and author. Her positively Filipino parents continue to have a big influence on her whether it comes to managing family and career, meeting heads of state and world leaders or simply making new friends.

From stray observations (everything is funnier at church) and midnight anxieties (if Jessica Simpson gets to go to the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, why shouldn’t I?) to life mantras (don’t let perfection hold you back) and litmus tests (would you serve drinks at my mother’s art show?), Claire’s warm and honest storytelling will resonate with readers and leave them smiling.

Links: Amazon | Goodreads 



EXCERPT

“Do what you love” (DWYL) has become the unofficial work mantra for our time. It has been considered the opposite of the monotonous corporate job. Between Steve Jobs, Oprah, and every speaker who delivers a commencement speech, doing what you love is the only way to live. 

Most people who DWYL have an integrated life. They don’t consider work to be work because they love what they do. What they do professionally is what they care about personally. Most people who DWYL also tend to have a little extra money. They’re not necessarily multi-millionaires but their lifestyle may be partly subsidized by a trust fund, their spouse may earn enough so they can pursue their passion, or they may know that one day they’ll inherit a $3 million dollar apartment that their parents bought for a fraction of that amount decades ago. 

There was a wonderfully provoking piece about DWYL written by Miya Tokumitsu for Slate. In the article, she submits the “Do what you love” mantra that elites embrace actually devalues work and hurts workers. In doing so, she underlines the idea that DWYL is for the privileged few with wealth, social status, education, and political clout. Tokumitsu writes, “DWYL is a secret handshake of the privileged and a worldview that disguises its elitism as noble self-betterment.” 

While DWYL is a lovely idea, it’s just not something most people have the luxury to do. But alas, instead of finding a job you love, you can learn to find meaning and success in the job you have. I want to share a few attitudinal tips that have helped me find my balance and DWYL in spite of (and sometimes even because of) my corporate job. 

Live a Life of Purpose 
One of the first things that struck me about Alex was that he was the first person I knew (aside from my very practical parents) who didn’t buy into DWYL. “No, you don’t need to do what you love; you just need to have a purpose,” I remember him arguing over caipirinhas at Posto Seis, one of our favorite restaurants in Sao Paulo. 

Alex grew up in a small town in upstate New York. To paint the picture of just how tiny of a town, he often tells the story about how his zip code changed after their postman retired. He and his three siblings could run around acres of land, they recognized every car that passed them by, and they were on a first name basis with everyone at the grocery store. While it was a wonderful place to grow up, he was always looking forward to moving to the city when he got older. He aspired to one day work on Wall Street, build a successful career, and have a big family. No one he knew from back home took this path so he never had one to follow. 

When he visited the West Point Military Academy, however, he saw how much it had to offer by way of exposure and access. He made it a personal goal to get accepted to the prestigious academy and he achieved it. Anyone who knows my husband well knows that he would be an unlikely fit at West Point. He never liked being told what to do, he would often challenge authority, and he was not exactly clean cut. But my husband can do anything when he knows it’s for a greater purpose. 

Today, Alex is the regional treasurer of Citi’s broker dealer business in Asia. He’s great at his job but I don’t know if he would classify it as doing what he loves. At least for him, equally important as loving your job is loving the impact your job has on others. This can mean the internal clients who benefit from the work his team is doing or it can refer to the family he is able to help support. 

My parents have a similar point of view. As new immigrants, they weren’t necessarily doing what they loved but they were doing great work and living a meaningful life. Their jobs supported our family, allowing us to spend time together and providing us with opportunities to give back to the community. 

Sometimes you have to do things you don’t want to do. My kids have to perform for guests, my husband has to go to church, and I have to wake up in the wee hours. A little sacrifice makes you a better person. Chances are you’ll never love 100 percent of your job. Even when I speak to people who are DWYL they still confess there’s a portion of what they do that they don’t enjoy in the least. Tracie Pang, who runs Singapore’s Pangdemonium Theater, doesn’t like fundraising. I haven’t met her but I’m sure Kristen Stewart hates doing interviews. I don’t love the evening calls associated with my job. Even if you can get to the point where you love 60 percent of what you do and find purpose in the other 40 percent, then you’re golden.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Marie Claire Lim Moore is a Filipina-Canadian-American working mother and author of Don't Forget the Soap. After spending the early part of her childhood in Vancouver, Claire moved to New York City and attended the United Nations International School. She went on to study at Yale, climb the corporate ladder at Citi and travel around the world. She met her husband, Alex, while working in Sao Paulo, Brazil and they married in Manila, Philippines shortly before moving to Singapore. Now Mom to Carlos, Isabel, and Sofia, Claire also manages the Global Client business for Citi in Asia.

Claire is regularly ranked among leaders in the Asian-American professional community and her experiences have been written about in The New York Times, USA Today, Smart Parenting, Good Housekeeping and People Asia. She enjoys juggling her thriving career and growing family, fundraising for Filipino community events and promoting work-family balance for women through her talks as well as her writing. Previous speaking engagements have been hosted by Standard Chartered Bank, The Financial Women's Association of Singapore, and MasterCard Asia.

In 2014, Claire received the 100 Most Influential Filipina Women in the World Award™ (Global FWN100™) that recognizes Filipina women who are influencing the face of leadership in the global workplace, having reached status for outstanding work in their respective fields, and who are recognized for their leadership, achievement and contributions to society, female mentorship and legacy. Claire is also featured in women's empowerment expert Claudia Chan's Remarkable Women Series along with female role models Arianna Huffington, Tory Burch and Zainab Salbi.


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GIVEAWAY

Time for a fun giveaway! Click on the Rafflecopter link below for a chance to win an Amazon gift certificate. Go! 

Monday, December 28, 2015

The Year In Review: Dreams Do Come True

Two years ago, when I finished Save the Cake, I said that my dream for my writing career was to see my books on the shelf at the airport bookstore, because I felt like I had a captive audience of potential readers who might want to read my brand of romance as an alternative to all the Tom Clancys and John Grishams that usually get sold at the airport. I was half-joking about this, of course, but I never forgot about that dream of people buying my book at the airport.

Then 2015 happened, and...there you go.

I never thought in a million years that I would get a contract with a major publisher. I never thought that I would someday see my book on the shelves at major bookstores. I never thought that people would buy my book and live tweet quotes as they read.

And, with the release of the Anvil edition of the Luna East anthology, I never thought that it would happen to me more than once.

Two books in one year. That's not a coincidence; it's a blessing.

So I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you who have been supportive of me throughout this journey: family, friends, writing buddies, and readers from all walks of life who have enjoyed my books since their release. I would never have gone this far without all of you.

As for 2016? Well, I can honestly confirm right now that there will be another book coming out, which is being edited as we speak and is scheduled to come out on the first half of the year. I'm pretty excited about this one because I had a lot of fun writing it and I feel like I've come out of this experience as a better writer than before. All I can share with you is that it's a workplace romance with new characters, and there are a lot of sweet moments that are guaranteed to make you swoon with joy. If you liked Save the Cake, I'm sure that you will love this new book too.

Here's hoping for a bright New Year ahead for all of us!


Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Guest Post: Ines Bautista Yao

Wow, two new book features in one week! I'm just happy to support these Filipino authors in getting the word out on their amazing books.

When I read Ines Bautista Yao's Only a Kiss, I was drawn in by the wonderfully-rendered storytelling that detailed the lives of Katie and Chris as they grew up from innocent children to professional adults who have not forgotten their first loves. When the opportunity came for me to read Just A Little Love (through a copy furnished by the author in exchange for an honest review) I went ahead and read it--and quickly fell in love with her characters. The stories in Just a Little Love are clean, feel-good reads, but they pack all the swoony romantic feels that would make you root for the characters. 

Anyway, here's our feature on Just A Little Love


Three short stories about three young girls: Anita, Ina, and Carla. Each one finding their lives disrupted by a boy. Maybe it’s because he wanders into the coffee shop where she works after school every Tuesday. Maybe it’s because he won’t leave her alone even if she has made it clear that she is crushing on his football teammate. Or maybe it’s because she’s spent one unforgettable afternoon with him—despite being oh-so-forgetful. Three small doses of love that serve up a whole lot of feels.

Buy it on Amazon and Buqo

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GUEST POST 

What I call my little book that could, Just A Little Bit Of Love, has three stories that can stand alone. But if you look closely, you'll notice that there is one name that comes out in each story.

Katie.

Who is Katie?

In the first story, “Watching, Waiting”, she's 14, a classmate of Anita. Someone Anita may have found intimidating at first but found to be kind and friendly over time.

In the second story, “On the Sidelines”, Katie is mentioned as the best friend of Chris. Both are in high school. Ina doesn't believe that Katie and Chris can be best friends because relationships like those don't usually last - they end one way or the other: in love or heartbreak. But Ina's best friend Robert says their friendship is the real deal.

In the third story, “Sticky Notes and Forgetfulness”, Katie is the office mate of Carla. The one who tries her best to track down the photographer who has captured Carla's heart.

Katie is the lead character in my book, Only A Kiss. She starts out as a nine-year-old girl who grows up into a young woman in her early twenties. She is the common thread of all three stories.

What I wanted to do was give readers a hint of Katie's life but not leave them with a cliffhanger (because I hate those!). I wanted to write three stories with satisfying endings that could stand on their own. But if a reader wanted more, the happy news is there is more: a whole book's worth in Only a Kiss!

Writing these stories was a lot of fun because unlike writing a normal story where you just pull ideas out of the ether, I had a world to revisit. I played the scenes in my head and tried to imagine who else could be in them. Who else could have been at that coffee shop when Chris, Katie, and Megan talked? Who else could have crushed so hard on Ethan? Who else could have an interesting story because of her quirky character? Carla is the only main character who is actually in Only A Kiss. I already found her adorable at the start and I loved giving her her own story.

I enjoyed doing this so much that maybe, just maybe, I’ll revisit my other books and look for characters who want to come out in future stories as well!

****

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ines Bautista-Yao is the author of One Crazy Summer, What’s in Your Heart, and Only a Kiss. She has also written two short stories, “Flashbacks and Echoes,” which is part of a compilation called All This Wanting and “A Captured Dream,” one of the four short stories in Sola Musica: Love Notes from a Festival.

She is the former editor-in-chief of Candy and K-Zone magazines and a former high school and college English and Literature teacher. She is also a wife and mom and blogs about the many challenges and joys of motherhood at theeverydayprojectblog.com. She has recently launched The Author Project, a section in her current blog devoted to the stories in her head.






Monday, November 23, 2015

Book Review: What You Wanted by Mina V. Esguerra


It's the classic one-night stand: Beach wedding, bridesmaid, groom's friend. When Andrea and Damon meet, sparks fly, and they give in to the attraction. Sounds simple, but Andrea's still getting over someone, and Damon thought he'd be hooking up with another person that night. It could still be simple, really, if they chalk it up to a weekend tryst and move on. 

But one night becomes lunch the week after, and then dinner the next weekend...and before they know it, Andrea and Damon are still together, dealing with the feelings they know they might still have for other people. How hard can it be to get exactly what you want? How do you even know what it is?

***Andrea and Damon met in prequel short story WEDDING NIGHT STAND, but this book can be read as a standalone.***


Buy it from Amazon (pre-order; releases November 25)

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REVIEW

(Note: I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.)

When I heard that Mina V. Esguerra was going to revisit the Chic Manila universe with the continuation of Andrea and Damon's story from Wedding Night Stand, I jumped at the chance to read their book and see what happened after their one steamy encounter in Batangas. I knew that (spoiler!) they had plans to get together when they got back to Manila, but a few questions remained: How were they going to manage the aftermath? Would they try to stay friends, or would they have a hard time getting out of each other's beds? And what if love enters the equation? 

Thankfully, What You Wanted gives us the answers to those questions and more. Andrea isn't exactly in a place where she should be in a relationship; she's getting over her ex-best friend/almost-boyfriend Thad, who had just gotten married to someone else. And Damon isn't exactly boyfriend material, either, since Andrea knows that he's still pining for his dream girl Geraldine. Yet, they enter this agreement with each other--not quite a relationship, but a little bit more than "just friends"--knowing that their presence in each other's lives is nothing more than a middle finger to the destiny that had denied them the person that they'd wanted in the first place. And yet, in true Mina V. Esguerra fashion, that doesn't stop them from doing things that couples do: public displays of affection, family get-togethers, even spontaneous road trips. Nothing is easy, nothing is clear, and all the boundaries end up blurring into a giant mess.

"You can't still love him," he whispered, still out of breath. "You can't still love him and be perfect like this with me."  
"Is that a question?"  
He shook his head. He wasn't angry. 
"I'm not saying I still love him," I said. 
"It wasn't a question." 

The more Andrea and Damon get to know each other, the more they question the point of their arrangement. And it doesn't take long before the feelings come into play--not the least which being love.

There's a lot to recommend about What You Wanted. There's a lot of room to get to know Andrea and Damon as characters; they're not exactly likable (as evidenced by their actions) but they have great chemistry and their journey to redemption is rendered with wicked wit, especially when it comes to the mini-conflicts that threaten to tear them apart. It's not too hard to imagine people in real life who would end up in the conundrum that these two face, but it's hard to look away as you watch everything go to hell in a handbasket.

There were scenes that made me laugh out loud, like the moment when Andrea enters an archery range and tries her hand at shooting arrows. There's a little bit of steam, too, but there are also moments that would leave you swooning. The spontaneous road trip that the two make toward the middle of the story is an example of that; they're still not a couple, but the intimacy is so prevalent that you have to wonder if they'll ever wake up to the truth about their relationship-of-sorts.

Along the way, we're also treated to guest appearances from other characters in the Chic Manila universe: Damon lives in the apartment complex from Welcome to Envy Park, and Andrea's sister Julie (from That Kind of Guy) is happily married to Anton. If there's any complaint that I would have about the book, it would be the fact that the villains are demonized too early in the story; it would have been more enjoyable if their dastardliness had been revealed more slowly, so there wouldn't be a big honking sign over their heads saying "Bad Person(s) Ahead!"

All in all, What You Wanted is an enjoyable read, and I would recommend it to anyone who likes their romances with a wicked twist of humor. It will be interesting to see what Mina comes up with next, especially if she decides to re-visit this universe again.

Rating: B+ 

Friday, October 23, 2015

#romanceclass: Now Available at National Bookstore! (Plus Direct Order Information!)

Here is the list of National Bookstore and Powerbooks branches carrying #romanceclass books on their shelves. Please note that not all bookstores might carry the titles, so it helps to ask customer service first if they carry the books. There are also reports of other branches carrying these books that are not on the list, so it always helps to ask first. If your branch is not on the list, or does not carry the #romanceclass titles, just ask customer service to put in an order so they can keep their shelves stocked. Thanks, friends!

National Bookstore Branches – National Capital Region
Rizal Avenue
Recto
Glorietta
Quezon Ave.
Greenbelt
SM Fairview
Robinsons Imus
SM Bacoor
Robinsons Ermita
Filinvest
SM North EDSA
Q Plaza
Southmall
Ever Rosario
Robinsons Ortigas
SM Sta. Mesa
Tutuban
SM Manila
SM Sucat
Robinsons Novaliches
Sta. Lucia East
Northridge Plaza
SM Bicutan
NAIA Northwings
C. Raymundo
Robinsons Cainta
SM Marilao
SM Dasmariñas
SM San Lazaro
SM Valenzuela
SM Molino
SM Mall Of Asia
Rockwell Center
Shopwise Sucat
Malabon Citisquare
Trinoma
Robinsons Metro East
Metropolis
SM City Taytay
Robinsons Place Otis
SM Muntinlupa
Victory Central Mall
Zabarte
Alabang (Acc)
Montalban
NAIA Southwings
SM City Rosario
SM Novaliches
SM Masinag
Las Piñas (Bestsellers)
De LaSalle Dasmariñas
One Greenhills
Victory Park & Shop Antipolo
Binondo
Antipolo
San Antonio Plaza
Ayala Imus
Alphaland
Fairview Terraces
SM BF Sucat
SM Center Angono
NBS - Fisher Mall
Central Mall Molino
SM Rob. Place Antipolo
SM San Mateo

National Bookstore – Provincial Branches
Dagupan
Batangas-Bay City
Pavillion Mall
Robinsons Lipa
SM Batangas
SM Sta. Rosa
SM Lipa City
Legaspi
Paseo de Sta. Rosa
SM City Naga
SM San Pablo
SM Calamba
Lky Sta. Cruz
Cabanatuan
Subic
SM Pampanga
Baguio-Abanao
Vigan
SM Lucena
SM Baguio
Gapan
SM Clark
Tuguegarao
CB Mall Urdaneta
SM City Rosales
Waltermart Sta. Maria
SM Baliwag
Marquee Mall
SM Tarlac
SM Mega Center (Cabanatuan)
SM Olongapo
Robinsons Place Calasiao
SM San Fernando
SM Hypermart Laoag
Robinsons Santiago
SM Cauayan
Agoo La Union

PowerBooks

Trinoma

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If you want your copies of #romanceclass books delivered straight to your home or workplace, Visprint Inc. now accepts direct orders for books. Just email them at bookorders@visprint.net with the following information: 

Name
Mailing address (Note: please ensure accuracy of address, because Visprint won't take responsibility for failure of delivery due to incomplete address or office addresses which do not accept deliveries at certain times. Should there be specific time of deliveries for the given address, please indicate.)
Contact Number
Title(s) and Quantity

You will then get an email back from Visprint with bank details for depositing your payment. Get your #romanceclass books now! 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

More #romanceclass Sightings!

#romanceclass is on the shelves at select National Bookstore branches!

SM North (photo credit: yours truly)

Greenbelt 1 (photo credit: Chi Rodriguez)
And SM Rosario! (photo credit: Kevin +Tomebound)


Just a handy note: If you can't find #romanceclass books at your nearest bookseller, just ask Customer Service or put in a request for a title. This ensures that your favorite books will be kept in stock!

Hugs and kisses to you all!