Love Your Frenemies by Mina V. Esguerra

Kimmy knows everyone hates her, but when she comes back after a long disappearance, she has a nagging feeling that things aren’t exactly what she thought them to be.

First of all, there’s her first love, the very sexy Manolo who used to have a nasty habit of breaking her heart. Then there’s her bride-to-be BFF whom Kimmy means to write out of her life right after the wedding. And there’s her mother who Kimmy can’t wait to abandon – again.

Is Kimmy headed for more disaster, or can a girl everyone hates finally get a clue and find happiness?

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My rating: ★★★★★

** spoiler alert ** My third Mina Esguerra book. I really love her books mainly because her characters are believable.

The main character of this book—Kimmy Domingo—reminded me of one of my best friends. For not only is she very good in marketing [she’s a natural], she was also a ‘bully’ [no, she didn’t bully classmates for assignments because she was very good in class, she just tease her friends mercilessly]. But most of all, she doesn’t take crap and nonsense, and while she doesn’t really do the ‘pakikisama’ thingy like Kimmy, she can overturn a decision the way Kimmy did [my best friend miraculously convinced my thesis adviser to allow me to go ahead and defend my work instead of doing it all over again: with three new topics/three agricultural products from three provinces in CAR—a load that I think can only be done by three people given the time constraint (it should be done in a semester only)! (Ah, those were the days, LOL!). Anyway, my best friend’s a total badass like that. ^_^

And of course, there are also Isabels and Chescas among my friends too.

But what I loved the most about this book is the reminder that we are not alone. That every time things go bad [sometimes even go worse], all we have to do is call a friend, cry on their shoulders if need be. That even if our family and friends frustrate us needlessly [sometimes], or tease us mercilessly, exasperate us endlessly, that all of these come with the package. One can’t just like all their good qualities alone and then drop them when it’s no longer convenient or when one is already sick of them… because underneath it all is the love that they alone, can give.

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About this author

Mina V. Esguerra writes contemporary romance and young adult novellas. She has a bachelor’s degree in Communication and a master’s degree in Development Communication, put to good use in her work as trainer and content management consultant. Mina lives in Metro Manila, Philippines, with her husband and daughter.

She finds inspiration in the lives and experiences of other people, so the answer to “Is this story based on you?” is always, always “No.”

Book Review on Paul: Tarsus To Redemption (Volumes 1 to 3) by Matthew Salisbury & Sean Lam

My rating: ★★★★★

This series was recommended to me by Sister Fatima of the Daughters of St. Paul.

Like every Filipino, I’m aware of St. Paul’s story. Reading it in the graphic novel form, however, brings a different kind of reading experience for me. Although it makes for a quick read, the book successfully conveyed how regretful Paul was for his transgressions.

The first volume of the series showed how remarkably good Saul was at his “job”: persecuting Jesus’ followers. He was not only very good at it, he was also very passionate about it for he truly believed that death is the payment for those who have “sinned”. He was a merciless man. He believed that death was the only way the “sinners” will be purified. Later on, he will change his ways but will be haunted by his former group due to his defection.

The first book of the series concluded by showing several kids who were reading (in awe) the passage that Paul has written about love specifically 1 Corinthians 13:4 which is one of my favorites if I might add. It said:

1 Corinthians 13:4New International Version (NIV)

4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.

Volume Two of the series is the story of how Paul formed friendship with young Timothy and Phoebe. It also relates how hard the life they have chosen is but how the fire in their hearts make them go on and do their mission in life.

The last volume of the series. This book was focused on Paul’s captivity–how Timothy and Phoebe tried to rescue him, and how, in the end, Septus patched up with him.

This story is about honor, courage, faith, perseverance, wisdom, love, sacrifice, and friendship.

Excerpt and Giveaway: The Boyfriend Backtrack by Dawn Lanuza

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Title: The Boyfriend Backtrack
Author: Dawn Lanuza
Date of Publication: October 3, 2014
Genre: contemporary romance

Blurb:

If they say that life flashes right before your eyes when you die, do you also get a flashback of your exes when your perfect boyfriend is proposing to you? At least that’s the case for Regina Cortez. There’s her dramatic high school boyfriend, her first college crush, the irresistible heart breaker, and the ever elusive one. By backtracking to her past, will Regina make it to ‘I Do’? Or will she just keep running away?

Goodreads link: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23292882-the-boyfriend-backtrack

Purchase link: http://www.amazon.com/The-Boyfriend-Backtrack-Dawn-Lanuza-ebook/dp/B00NZSL5D0

About Dawn Lanuza

Dawn Lanuza has been imagining and writing love stories since she was a kid. She works for the music industry by day, and writes about meet cutes and snappy comebacks by night. She writes short stories, chick lit and young-adult fiction. She has a degree in Development Communication from the University of the Philippines.

Bloghttp://www.indiesisiw.wordpress.com
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/dawnlanuza
Instagramhttp://instagram.com/dawnrunsfast
Goodreadshttp://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8638162.Dawn_Lanuza

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The Boyfriend Backtrack by Dawn Lanuza

My head is in a scurry and I could feel my heart thumping loudly. I cross my hands over my chest to hold myself together.

And then, with a quick glance, I see him strolling casually out of the arrival doors, pushing a trolley filled with worn-out bags and boxes. He is tan and fit, and his wild wavy hair is tamed by a red cap. He looks like a typical backpacker: cargo shorts, sneakers, and plain shirt. He looks quite rested and relaxed.

I suck in my breath, feet still cemented on the ground. The tall guy in front of me moves, giving me the full view. I watch him as he pushed the trolley forward. Then, he pauses, waiting for the woman walking behind him.

I feel my face burning. There she is. Long, luscious hair hangs on her back. She’s wearing a white sundress. She steps right next to him and he takes her hand.

I watch them closely. He’s now looking at her and I know then that this isn’t just some girl. Chase likes this girl. I’ve seen him look at Laura before, and he’s looking at her the same way: a good mix of amusement and adoration.

I feel the need to leave. What am I even doing here? Did I really think I could just show up and he would be happy to see me after years of not speaking to him? This is such a bad idea. I’m not even sure that he still considers me as his friend. I didn’t even know what he’s been doing until last week. What kind of a friend is that?

They were heading my way. I stand there, horrified. Shit. I made my way out of the crowd. Shit, why are they walking so fast? Shit, shit, shit.

Chase can’t see me. More importantly, I can’t see him now. Not like this. Not when I’m feeling like the biggest idiot in the world.

He pushes the trolley while her hands lovingly wrap around his arm. My stomach turns. I can feel a lump in my throat. I walk quickly behind a pillar. Shit. My heart is sinking. Shit, shit, shit.

Good job, Regina. What the hell are you even thinking? I slowly peek back and saw them pass the crowd. When they turn their backs, she places her right hand on his shoulder.

I look away. I take a deep, long breath. It comes out staggering when I exhale. I run to the public toilets and lock myself in one of the cubicles. Thomas said, take deep and slow breaths. I allow myself to let out one sob. Then I’m not able to stop.

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Giveaway: Dawn is giving away five (5) e-copies of THE BOYFRIEND BACKTRACK. It’s open internationally, peeps! Good luck! ❤

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/dc42906e255/

Mysticism & Myth Blog Tour!

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THIS SAMPLER IS A MUST READ FOR FANS OF THE MYSTERIOUS WORLDS OF GHOSTS, SEA DWELLERS, SHAPESHIFTERS & ENTICING STORIES THAT SPAN THE GLOBE!

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Pre-order your copy today – ONLY $0.99! Final price will be $2.99, so be sure to secure your order today.

Available through AMAZON

Release Date: December 15, 2015

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Bound By Blood (A Night Shift Novella)

By Margo Bond Collins

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Sometimes the monsters in the night are real.

Sometimes they live right next door.

As a child, Halili Banta ignored her grandmother’s cryptic warnings not to make friends with children outside their Filipino community in Houston. But she preferred to become a “real” American, down to the Americanization of her name, Lili. When many of those other children fell ill, Lili vowed to focus on learning everything she could about Western medicine, ignoring the whispers in her community that a vampiric aswang walked among them.

Now, as an adult and a medical doctor, Lili has returned to Houston to work for the Quarantine Station of the Center for Disease Control—but she is plagued by dark, bloody dreams that consume her nights and haunt her days. As a strange illness once again sweeps through the city, leaving hundreds of children ill and several dead, Lili races against the clock to find its source, and possibly even a cure.

But in order to save the city, she must first embrace her Filipino heritage, and acknowledge a sinister truth: A monster stalks the night—and it might be closer than she ever expected….

Isa: Gift of the Baloma

By Perri Forrest

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Isa: Gift of the Baloma is a fantasy tale created from a myth that derives from the Trobriand islands (today officially known as the Kiriwina Islands). Isa is the beautifully tortured soul who has never known love, and who has pretty much travelled through life alone. When tragic circumstances lead her into the depths of the sea, she has no idea what her fate may hold, and thus prepares for worst.

However, as in life, sometimes we have to go through our very worst to get to the place we were destines to be. Such is the case with Isa. Just when she thinks all is lost, she meets Chief Topileta, headman of the villages of the dead, and an unexpected love affair ensures. As Isa will soon find, nothing in her life stays peaceful for long, and before she knows it, she is separated from the only person to ever care for her. When tragedy strikes and Isa finds herself awake after two years of falling into a deep sleep, she is surprised to find that all thoughts are still with the man she has not forgotten. But has he forgotten her? Will he come for her? Will she find love again?

This is only the beginning of Isa’s story, in the full length novel that is set for 2015 release, readers will find out the many layers of Isa and be able to journey with her as she finds out about her lineage and the family she was sure did not exist.

Micco, Anguta’s Reign

By Dormaine G.

Micco (2)

Revelation can be a disheartening truth.

Micco, a captivating Native American man with a desirable physique and statuesque features, radiates a mysterious allure. Living on the reservation with his unapproachable father, he doesn’t believe in the old ways and works as a cop in the local town. The only reason he lives on the land is Nara, his childhood friend and the love of his life, who is married to a cruel reservation man.

Waking up in the heart of a murderous scene, he flees for his life, unfamiliar with his surroundings or how he arrived there. To his horror, he’s assigned to the case. As he works with the local detective, more murders transpire with unusual, terrifying sightings of wolves.

His behavior starts to drastically change, forcing others to take notice. Although trying to avoid the inevitable, Micco is forced to accept the undesirable truth, unable to fight what has been awakened, and all that he has forgotten is finally revealed.

Cursed: A Yorkshire Ghost Story

By Karen Perkins

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She’s back. This time no one is safe.

A skeleton is dug up at the crossing of the ways on Hanging Moor, striking dread into the heart of Old Ma Ramsgill – the elderly matriarch of the village of Thruscross. And with good reason. The eighteenth-century witch, Jennet, has been woken.

A spate of killings by a vicious black dog gives credence to her warnings and the community – in particular her family – realise they are in terrible danger.

Drastic measures are needed to contain her, but with the imminent flooding of the valley to create a new reservoir, do they have the ability to stop her and break her curse?

Carnem Levare

By Jaxx Summers

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We are born, live and eventually leave the mortal world. For Stefano Bonaro the same can be said, with a powerful exception. He was born to live and love in Venice, beyond death.

Stefano is passionately in love with Anastasia Soranzo. They grew up with the promise of a future together, through family bonds and emotional ties. Then suddenly their lives are torn apart by unforgivable deception. For the sake of family, Stefano and Anastasia can no longer have a future together. While Anastasia can easily move on, Stefano refuses to do so.

During Eighteenth Century Carnival, Stefano seals his faith when he commits a crime of passion that ends with him even taking his own life. But this is not the end for the jilted lover, when he is suddenly brought back to life a year later. Stefano’s spirit continues to hope in love, even as he becomes ruled by madness. But will it ever truly end for Stefano Bonaro?

The Life Keeper

By Abby L. Vandiver

Life Keeper Cover

The bloodline of Romania, older than the legend of the vampire, the strigoi are vile, evil creatures who suck the life from the people of the villages that line the impenetrable forests of the country. In this tale with a twist, Jessica Petrescu dotes on her grandmother and takes care of her family in the aftermath of the fall of communism in Romania. Her family is disrupted by a red headed, indigo colored eyes cousin, who turns her household upside down in his quest to discover whether a strigoi is living among his relatives.

 

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Connect:

Website: http://mythsandmysticism.wix.com/mam1

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mysticism-Myths/532514463552553

Margo Bond Collins

Perri Forrest

Dormaine G.

Karen Perkins

Jaxx Summers

Abby L. Vandiver

 

 

In Memoriam: ♥ In My Heart (Mom) ♥

A mother’s love
is the kind of love that transcends space and time.

But that was according to others
who have felt their mother’s love,

Frozen like my heart is this time of year. [Passing of Seasons taken by AJ Matt and used with permission]

Frozen like my heart is this time of year.
[Passing of Seasons taken by AJ Matt and used with permission]

unlike me

but then sometimes
when I fall into slumber,
I dream about you

somehow I feel your love
in my dreams, you are real
your hugs, your touch
your smiles, your laughter
you are very much alive

there you were
opening your arms to me
ordering me to come to you
hugging me
and letting my unshed tears flow
listening to me
letting me speak up
speak the words I left unspoken
letting me do the things I left undone
letting me bare my pains
that I’ve kept deep inside me
that I’ve tried to conceal

there you were
filling the emptiness in my heart
and willing me to struggle and hold on

somehow in my dreams
you were there
guiding me, helping me
teaching me as you’ve taught others
assuring me of things
that I felt uncertain of
telling me that everything
will be fine
that everything
will be alright
telling me things
that I long to hear

you were there
beaming a confident smile
telling me that I can do it
when I felt so unsure of myself

somehow you were there
trying to make me smile
when I felt like crying
when I felt so down

in my dreams
you are within my reach
within my arm’s length

in my dreams
I can hug you
I can say that I’m so proud of you
and most of all
that I love you

but when I wake up
I’ll realize my dreams were nothing
but a farce

but sometimes
when I feel the wind’s touch
in my face, blowing the strands of my hair,
somehow I knew it was you
touching me, toying with my hair, hugging me
and when I heard the wind’s whisper
and the rustling of leaves
I knew it was you
talking to me
and as rain pelted my back
somehow I knew it was you
crying for me
willing me to go on

or sometimes as I see the sun smiling
I felt it was you
promising the joy that the day brings
telling me everything’s going to be fine

or sometimes as I see the stars blinking
somehow I knew it was you
staring back at me
watching over me

somehow I knew you were somewhere
somehow I knew that you love me too
somehow I knew you were there…
very much alive…

Author’s note:

No matter how many years pass me by, I still feel the pain of the might-have-beens.

Happy 68th birth anniversary, Mom.

Or was it supposed to be 67th? Hell, I don’t even know the exact number. But, whatever. What does it matter? It’s not going to bring you back. What matters is that you are loved. And will forever be remembered through me… through us.

We love you.

Date written: March 06, 1998 – Friday 8:55PM – 9:30PM

This was written one month before my 19th birthday, one month and 10 days before my mom’s 19th death anniversary… It’s almost 16 years since I’ve written this, and yet, I still feel the same.

Mom, this is for you…wherever you are…I know you already found peace.