Real Neat Blog Award!

real-neat-blog-award

Thrilled that Cheryl nominated me for Real Neat Blog Award. Thank you, Cheryl, for the nomination. i❤fictionalpeople

Before I proceed to answering Cheryl’s questions, here are the prerequisites of this award:

  1. Put the award logo on your blog.
  2. Thank the people who nominated you, linking to their blogs.
  3. Answer 7 questions asked by the person who nominated you.
  4. Nominate any number of bloggers you like, linking to their blogs.
  5. Let them know you nominated them (by commenting on their blog, etc.)

Now, on to my answers:

1. What is your favorite genre and why?

My most favorite right now is MM romance. This genre is kilig inducing for me (Sorry, I have no direct translation for kilig. They say it means swooning while being thrilled or excited but personally I think there’s more than that, haha). The image below pretty much describes kilig (credits to the owners of the photo).

use of photo not meant to infringe. (Shin Min Ah on one of her TV dramas)

2. Where is your favorite place to read?

My bed. I love reading in bed.

3. What are you reading right now? What do you think so far?

I’m currently reading Latin for Beginners by Benjamin L. D’ooge. I think it’s awesome, I was prepared to not like it because I dislike studying, unfortunately I did. LOL. If I dislike studying, why am I reading it in the first place? Well, I’m currently working on a book trilogy, my memoir. It’s hard to write. An understatement. I figured if I do another thing alongside writing, something harder than writing which, in my mind that would be studying, I figured I’d ditch studying in favor of finishing my books.

To me, the probability of me learning a new language is lower than me finishing my books. Lol.

On deciding what to study? Well, my brother Joseph speaks Spanish as my niece Bea and my sister-in-law Ate Jen. Our father spoke Spanish. So, why not try Spanish? But then I reasoned to myself it will be easier for me to learn Spanish if I learn Latin first. Er, I’ve long ceased trying to figure out how I can arrive at such conclusions time and again. But there you go. I’m afraid I’d finish reading this book and learn new words and still not be done with my writing.

I’m also reading The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories by Marina Keegan. I’m not yet done with it. But that’s just it, if I really like the book I’m reading I’d finish it in one sitting. I won’t be able to put it down. There are some short stories there that I liked, but there are some I didn’t care for much. My favorite is the story about her struggle with celiac disease. It brought tears to my eyes. Marina’s mother is not only wonderful but a superwoman. My nephew has food allergies from soy sauce to mayo, chicken, eggs, seafood even fruits etc. It’s easier to remember the food he is allowed to eat like rice, pork, beef because that list is shorter. What if it were me? Now that’s something I don’t even want to imagine.

4. What made you want to start a book blog?

I wanted a blog where I could cross post my reviews in goodreads. ❤

5. Do you prefer physical books or eBooks?

I love both really, but I think I love being able to hold and smell the physical copy of the book more. Lol. Especially if it’s a favorite book as I tend to reread them.

6. Who is your favorite author?

This question is hard. I have a long list but right off the top of my head: Josh Lanyon, Megan Derr, A.F. Henley, Jamie Lake, Mina Esguerra, JK Rowling, Debbie Macomber, Judith McNaught, Masashi KishimotoEiichiro Oda and a lot more.

7. Favorite series?

Josh Lanyon’s Holmes & Moriarity

JK Rowling’s Harry Potter

Obviously there’s a lot more but I only listed the ones at the top.

Here are my nominees:

Claire aka Coffeeholic Bookworm

Coffee, Books, & Me

Kim’s Pensieve 2.0

Wynter Universe

Library Mistress

Blu Chicken Ninja

My questions: (I know there should only be seven, please feel free to skip the other questions)

  1. What is your favorite genre?
  2. What is your earliest memory on reading?
  3. How old were you when you started reading for pleasure?
  4. What is your favorite book of all-time?
  5. What makes you read a book?
  6. Do you read MM fiction? If yes, what made you decide to read one? If not, would you try reading one?
  7. Who is your favorite author and why?
  8. Do you read books with tragic endings? Why or why not.
  9. Ebooks or printed?
  10. Favorite rereads?
  11. Do you read memoirs?
  12. Standalone or series? Why?

Release Day Party: Blink by Caroline Easton

blinkbanner

About The Book

Blink Amazon (1)Title: Blink

Author: Caroline Easton

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Flynn Sullivan hasn’t had the easiest of lives, with his father absent and the death of his mother, he is desperate to give his younger brother the life he deserves. Flynn finds himself on the wrong side of the law and he knows he could lose everything in the blink of an eye, as he stands before the court awaiting his fate.

Harper Lawrence has been a major contender in the IndyCar circuit since the day she got behind the wheel of her very first car. Her life is turned on its axis after a tragic accident, leaving her locked inside her own body, all but switched off to the outside world.

When Flynn and Harper’s world’s collide the sparks begin to fly, but each one holds a secret they don’t want to share.

Flynn knows he needs to save the girl who’s stolen his heart, the problem is, Harper doesn’t believe she deserves to be saved. She doesn’t believe she’s been punished enough.

Author Bio

Caroline Easton lives in Leeds, West Yorkshire, with her husband and two of her three children. The eldest having flown the nest. She first began writing in 2012, and her first novel, Dancing in the Rain, was published in 2013. Other novels include Taking a Risk and Worth the Risk, both of which are rock star romances.

You can follow her on twitter, @carolinelou70 or check out her website, http://carolineeaston.wix.com/author to keep up with her ramblings and general life events.

Facts about Caroline

  • I am a huge super hero fan, Thor is my favourite!
  • I count in two’s in my head when I’m stressed.
  • I order diet drinks when I eat junk food, to make myself feel less guilty.
  • It took me 3 attempts to pass my driving test.
  • I hate driving.
  • I have no sense of direction, I get lost at the end of my street.
  • My favourite film is Cool Runnings.

Buy on Amazon (US) or Amazon (UK).

Giveaway

Enter for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card during the release for BLINK by clicking the link below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck! ❤

José Rizal, a Renaissance Man

Source: Wikipedia

So… yesterday was José Rizal’s birth anniversary, June 19. I knew, kinda. My friend at Pinoy Reads Pinoy Books (PRPB) even held a draw of this Pinoy book in celebration of Rizal’s birthday and I won, and still it hasn’t sunk in until I saw the daily quote in Goodreads featuring Rizal’s. Yes, I can be that dense.

In any case, Rizal’s birthday is not something Pinoys forget in the first place. I’ve been an admirer of Rizal since I was a kid, and I mean long before I can even read. My earliest memory of him was of my grandmother telling me about the things he did for the country. I was two.

Rizal was a polymath, a renaissance man. He was this guy who wrote and published poems, essays, novels, plays. I saw some of his paintings, sketches, sculptures, and woodcarvings in I think at least two museums in Manila otherwise I wouldn’t have been this impressed in his skills in art.

Because. He had serious skills and I believe he could have made a living being a sculptor or a painter like Juan Luna or Félix Resurrección Hidalgo had he not been too busy being an ophthalmologist, writing, learning other languages, curing himself of tuberculosis, discovering species (subsequently named after him), traveling, saving the country, inciting a revolution, and breaking the ladies’ hearts from each and every country he visited.

In addition, José Rizal was a Master Mason, an educator, farmer, historian, playwright, and journalist who dabbled, with varying degrees of expertise, in architecture, cartography, economics, ethnology, anthropology, sociology, dramatics, martial arts, fencing, and pistol shooting (Source: wikipedia).

He said in 1888:

“Man is multiplied by the number of languages he possesses and speaks.”

A large replica of Rizal’s The Triumph of Science over Death, also known as Scientia. The original work is a clay sculpture made by José Rizal as a gift to his friend Ferdinand Blumentritt.

Location: in front of Fernando Calderón Hall of the University of the Philippines College of Medicine

Photo source: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/f6/44/08/f64408e5f702174711ca3e4fbe9e19da.jpg

credits to the owner of the photo.

A polyglot, Rizal was said to be conversant in as many as twenty two languages, namely: Spanish, French, Latin, Greek, German, Portuguese, Italian, English, Dutch, Japanese, Arabic, Swedish, Russian, Chinese, Greek, Hebrew and Sanskrit; and the local languages Malay, Chavacano, Visayan, Ilocano and Subanun. Why Tagalog/Filipino was not included in the list, I do not know. Having been born and raised in Calamba, it’s got to be the first language he learned alongside Spanish.

Rizal wanted to be a lawyer, but because his mother was going blind, he switched to medicine (ophthalmology) and proceeded to perform a successful eye operation on his mother.

It was not surprising that he wanted to be a lawyer though. He wanted to fight for the rights of the Filipino people after all, and he did. In his own way he showed that the Filipinos deserve to learn, that our people have the capability, by being exemplary himself, at the cost of his own life.

At the age of 35, Rizal was executed by firing squad on December 30, 1896 at Bagumbayan, in Manila.

With that said, I want to end this post by enumerating some of Rizal’s quotes from his works that I love. The first two in the list never fail to bring tears to my eyes because of the painful truth it represents.

  • “Ang bayan po’y di dumaraing dahil siya’y pipi, di tumitinang dahil natutulog. Subali’t darating ang panahong malalantad ito sa inyo atmapapakinggan ang kanyang mga panaghoy. Pagsapit ng araw na ito,… sasambulat sa lahat ng dako ang mga naipongluha; himutok at buntong-hiningang matagal na panahong kinimkim sa puso ng bayan.” – Pilosopo Tasyo (kab. 25)

         English translation: “The people do not complain because they have no voice; do not move because   they are lethargic, and you say that they do not suffer because you have not seen their hearts bleed.” ― Noli Me Tangere (Touch Me Not)

  • “Mamatay akong hindi man lang masisilayan ang pagbubukang liwayway, kayong makakakita, batiin n’yo s’ya at wag kalimutan ang mga nabulid sa gitna ng dilim.” – Elias (kab. 63)

         English translation: “I die without seeing the dawn brighten over my native land. You who have it to see, welcome it … and forget not those who have fallen during the night!”

  • “On this battlefield man has no better weapon than his intelligence, no other force but his heart.”
  • “One only dies once, and if one does not die well, a good opportunity is lost and will not present itself again.”
  • “Tingnan mo ang mahinang tangkay na iyan. Siya’y yumuyuko kapag umiihip ang hangin na parang ikinakanlong ang sarili. Sapagkat kung siya’y magpapakatigas sa tayo, mababakli siya at malalagas ang kanyang mga talulot.  Kaya pararaanin  niya ang hangin sika siya muling tutuwid na taglay ang kanyang mga talulot. ” – Pilosopo Tasyo (Kab. 25)
  • ” … Ang karunungan ay para sa tao, ngunit huwag mong lilimuting iya’y natatamo ng mga may puso lamang.” – Gurong Pari (kab. 8)
  • “He who does not know how to look back at where he came from will never get to his destination.”

Want to know more about Rizal? Click the links below:

25 Amazing Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About Jose Rizal

José Rizal

Book Review: Out of the Blue by Josh Lanyon

Warning: ** spoiler alert **

My Rating: ★★★★★

I thought this book is hot, that and well, heartbreaking. It’s about World War I after all. The story revolved around British flying ace Bat Bryant whose lover Gene perished during one of their missions, and how he accidentally killed their mechanic Sid Orton who threatened him with exposure.

This book has been sitting in my audible for months as I was too nervous to “read” this. Because. Murder. No matter how accidental it is still murder. I know, I know, it is fiction. Still, I worried for the main character.

Then of course there was the war. The pilots drop dead faster than the flies and that’s saying something. Most often they lasted a day on the job then they’d be replaced by others who get replaced as well later on. Such a vicious cycle but that’s war for you.

As the story went deeper I dreaded the coming of a new day, because I knew another pilot will die. And that’s how good of a writer Josh is, he brings the readers right into the middle of the action, make them feel dread, make them experience the war, albeit vicariously.

I also loved the characters but I loved Cowboy the most. He’s smokin’ sexy. I could tell right away he was in love with Bat.

And did I say this book is hot, hot, hot? ^__^

Jho-sigstyledivAbout the book:

France, 1916. The Great War. High above the carnage in the trenches, British and German aces joust like knights of old for control of the skies. The strain and tension of living every day on the edge of death leads to dangerous choices and wild risks. When British ace Bat Bryant’s past catches up with him, he strikes out in panic and kills the man threatening him with exposure. But there’s a witness: the big, handsome American pilot Cowboy Cooper.

Cowboy, it seems, has his own ideas of rough justice.

GoodreadsbadgeAbout the Author

A distinct voice in gay fiction, multi-award-winning author JOSH LANYON has been writing gay mystery, adventure and romance for over a decade. In addition to numerous short stories, novellas, and novels, Josh is the author of the critically acclaimed Adrien English series, including The Hell You Say, winner of the 2006 USABookNews awards for GLBT Fiction. Josh is an Eppie Award winner and a three-time Lambda Literary Award finalist.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/359194.Josh_Lanyon 
Website: http://www.joshlanyon.com/
Facebook Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Josh-Lanyon-Fan-Page/107401402656849
Josh’s Blog: http://joshlanyon.blogspot.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JoshLanyon

Cover Reveal Party: The Secrets of Yashire by Diamante Lavendar

secretsyashirecoverreveal

About the Book

unnamedTitle: The Secrets of Yashire

Author: Diamante Lavendar

Genre: YA Fantasy

The Secrets of Yashire: Emerging From the Shadows is a young adult fantasy adventure that occurs within the framework of a young girl’s subconscious mind. The main character, Brianna, finds herself thrown into a world called Yashire where she is forced to deal with circumstances that are threatening Yashire’s existence. Against her will, she is sent on a journey to restore unconditional love back to the land while also contending with the evil force in the land, Zolan. Brianna is sent on her mission by Libban, Keeper of the Land. Along the way, Brianna travels with the mystical tiger, Angelos; a huge, whitish-tan tiger with thick black stripes who sings only the purest songs of love, and the wondrous little one-eyed bird named Abiba. During the journey, Brianna is also preparing to meet her soulmate—the one she longs to be with and the one who will bring complete healing back into her life. Together they travel through fantastic lands filled with magical creatures that could only exist in the wildest of imaginations. Through her treacherous brushes with danger and heartwarming experiences of love and acceptance, Brianna discovers many things. It is here, amidst the powers and phantasms of the mind that Brianna receives life lessons and virtues to help her. Will one of her greatest triumphs be achieved as she learns to believe in herself? For only then can she truly see all of the wondrous things that life has to offer.

Author Bio

Diamante Lavendar has been in love with reading since she was a child. She spent many hours listening to her mother read to her when she was young. As she grew older, she enjoyed reading novels of all genres: horror, fantasy and some romance to name a few.

She began writing in college and published some poetry in anthologies over the years. After her kids were older, she wrote as a form of self expression and decided she wanted to share her stories with others.

Most of her writing is very personal and stems from her own experiences and those of her family and friends. She writes to encourage hope and possibility to those who read her stories.

Diamante believes that everyone should try to leave their own positive mark in the world, to make it a better place for all. Writing is the way that she is attempting to leave her mark—one story at a time.

Links

http://diamantelavendar.com/

Google+: https://plus.google.com/107370618346077894159/posts

https://www.facebook.com/diamante.lavendar

Buy the Book:

Amazon

B&N

Release Day Party: Wishing Cross Station by February Grace

wishingrelease

About the Book

wishing-cross-station-by-february-graceTitle: Wishing Cross Station

Author: February Grace

Genre: Fantasy

A dark fantasy romance from the author of GODSPEED and OF STARDUST…

Don’t stay a moment longer than you have to. Don’t say too much. Don’t pollute the timeline.

When nineteen-year-old college library page Keigan Wainwright is sent to pick up a private donation of books for the school’s collection, he has no idea where one of those books will take him, or what it will take from him.

Retracing a powerful man’s footsteps through the past, Keigan finds himself caught in the same dangerous trap: falling in love with a woman he was never meant to know, and uncertain he will ever find his way home.

Author Bio

February Grace is an author, poet, and artist from Southeast Michigan. In previous novels, she has introduced readers to characters with clockwork hearts, told of romantic modern-day fairy godparents, and reimagined a legend, centuries old. Now, in her fifth novel with Booktrope, readers will board the special at WISHING CROSS STATION and embark on a trip through time. She is more than mildly obsessed with clocks, music, colors, meteor showers, and steam engines.

Links

Author Website: http://februarywriter.blogspot.be/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FebruaryGrace

Twitter: @februarygrace

Goodreads: Goodreads

Amazon (Paperback): Amazon (Paperback)

Amazon (Kindle): Amazon (Kindle)

B&N: B&N