Guest Post: My Writing Process for Better At Weddings Than You by Mina V. Esguerra

The thing about writing and how I do it: It changes, depending on what I happen to be doing, and where I am in my life at the time. I’ve written about my writing process before and I should preface this with how it’s probably going to change, again, once I have more or less time. In writing my new book Better At Weddings Than You, here’s what I did:

  • I outlined. I’m a fan of this method, because it keeps me focused! Sitting down to plan out a story’s major events doesn’t just give me a guide to help me write, but it solves many of the problems I’d encounter before I start.
  • I researched. Often I approach a story with a perspective I’m familiar with, but I also challenge myself to write about things that are interesting but not necessarily in my life. So this requires research, meeting real people who do whatever it is, visiting certain places.
  • I set a schedule and target word count. As I was writing this book, I was also involved in more reader community events that had to be scheduled on a weekend—which meant I couldn’t write on weekends anymore. So I adjusted my schedule and tried to set aside an hour every weekday, and when I did write, I sprinted. 1,000 words if I could. I wasn’t always successful, but the days when I did made up for it!
  • I wrote everything, even when it looked meh, and edited later. When stuck, I trained myself to just write whatever was coming to me, even if I didn’t like how it looked on the page. I know by now that I can’t expect consistently good stuff on a strict schedule—writing for me is warming up, and sometimes writing a bunch of crap first. Editing will and has fixed it later.
  • I promised myself I’d celebrate. Reaching “The End” is tough, so I motivate myself with treats. It also helps me determine an actual end, otherwise I’ll be putting it off and revising for too long.

Book description

Daphne Cardenas is the best wedding planner around, and everyone knows it. That’s why her friend Greg hired her as an emergency replacement one month before his wedding—because he fears his fiancée Helen is falling for the guy they first hired for the job.

Aaron Trinidad is new to the wedding industry but years of conference planning and loads of charm make him good at it. Really good at it. Planning the wedding of his friend Helen should be easy, and it is. To be unceremoniously fired isn’t good for his new career, but the chance to learn from the best might be the silver lining.

Aaron and Daphne have chemistry, but there’s history with Helen that at least one other person considers a threat. Who’s the planner who can fix this impending disaster?

(Part of the Chic Manila series, but can be read as a standalone.)

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Buy on Amazon: bit.ly/chicmanila9
$1.99 pre-order price until April 30
$2.99 starting May 1
Free on Kindle Unlimited
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AUTHOR BIO

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.”

AUTHOR LINKS

minavesguerra.com

twitter.com/minavesguerra

facebook.com/minavesguerra

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3014313.Mina_V_Esguerra

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Cover Reveal: Better At Weddings Than You by Mina V. Esguerra

Book description

Daphne Cardenas is the best wedding planner around, and everyone knows it. That’s why her friend Greg hired her as an emergency replacement one month before his wedding—because he fears his fiancée Helen is falling for the guy they first hired for the job.

Aaron Trinidad is new to the wedding industry but years of conference planning and loads of charm make him good at it. Really good at it. Planning the wedding of his friend Helen should be easy, and it is. To be unceremoniously fired isn’t good for his new career, but the chance to learn from the best might be the silver lining.

Aaron and Daphne have chemistry, but there’s history with Helen that at least one other person considers a threat. Who’s the planner who can fix this impending disaster?

(Part of the Chic Manila series, but can be read as a standalone.)

better3

Buy on Amazon: bit.ly/chicmanila9
$1.99 pre-order price until April 30
$2.99 starting May 1
Free on Kindle Unlimited

 

  Goodreadsbadge
better2
 Jho-sigstylediv

AUTHOR BIO

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.”

AUTHOR LINKS

minavesguerra.com

twitter.com/minavesguerra

facebook.com/minavesguerra

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3014313.Mina_V_Esguerra

Books, books, books! <3

MinaMy copy of The Year We Became Invincible by Mae Coyiuto which I won from Mina V. Esguerra (thank you, Mina! Yay! :D) arrived yesterday in spite of the raging storm. My husband (who received the package on my behalf) and I were amazed by the man who delivered it. Talk about dedication. I mean I would not have minded if LBC waited for a day or two. Book lover or not, the thought that someone was out there delivering my stuff in that wind and rain made me feel guilty but I guess that’s life for you. I wish I were able to talk to him and thank him in person though. So, to you Kuya, who delivered my book, thank you so much! ❤

With that out of the way, I wanted to talk about the books I won these past months.

Mae Coyiuto’s The Year We Became Invincible was released this month. You can check it out here: Goodreadsbadge

About the book:

Dear Future Reader,

If you’re reading this book, it’s either:

1. You’re my future partner

2. I’m famous and my writings have been immortalized

3. You’ve violated my privacy and these are not meant for you

Let’s hope it’s not the last one. Before this year, I had my life all planned out. This book contains the story of the year that changed my life (well, my life so far). It’s the year I learned how to be invincible. That wasn’t really specific, but I guess you have to read on to see what I’m talking about.

Love,

Camille

My package from Mina included a signed copy of Mae’s book, as well as  note that said:

Dear Jho,

Enjoy the book! Yay fast fingers.

Mina

Well, over a week ago I opened my email and saw one from her. I merely opened it, read it, and replied. Lol. The first one who replies gets the book, you see. Apparently I did it in three minutes. I wasn’t really expecting to win but there you go, I got the book! ❤ ❤

The package also has a synopsis from Mina’s book Playing Autumn and two stickers: the other merely enumerating the male characters in Mina’s books while the other said “Team Robbie” which made me happy because Mina remembered I was rooting for Robbie in her Interim Goddess of Love series.

Check out Playing Autumn here: Goodreadsbadge

And the Interim Goddess of Love series here:

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On the other hand, the left book seen on the picture above titled The Death of Summer by Rosario de Guzman Lingat, translated by Soledad S. Reyes is the book I won from Rise last June.

Check out this title here:

About the book:

The Death of Summer was an award-winning novel that powerfully dissects the anatomy of romantic, delusional love. Its protagonist, Victor, a firm believer in carpe diem, discovers that once the heat of passion has waned, the only thing that matters is family. The novel spans several decades—from the heyday of the carnival in the 1920s, to the horror of the Pacific War, until the great unrest of the postwar years.

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Last June I also won an ebook copy of Josh Lanyon’s Winter Kill.

About the book:

Clever and ambitious, Special Agent Adam Darling (yeah, he’s heard all the jokes before) was on the fast track to promotion and success until his mishandling of a high profile operation left one person dead and Adam “On the Beach.” Now he’s got a new partner, a new case, and a new chance to resurrect his career, hunting a legendary serial killer known as The Crow in a remote mountain resort in Oregon.

Deputy Sheriff Robert Haskell may seem laid-back, but he’s a tough and efficient cop — and he’s none too thrilled to see feebs on his turf — even when one of the agents is smart, handsome, and probably gay. But a butchered body in a Native American museum is out of his small town department’s league. For that matter, icy, uptight Adam Darling is out of Rob’s league, but that doesn’t mean Rob won’t take his best shot.

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When I held The Year We Became Invincible in my hands yesterday, it made me want to finish my own book—the memoir I’ve been talking about in my previous posts. I mean, I’m only five-six chapters away, how hard can that be? After all I did manage to write fifteen others before that. But I’ve been staring in my screen for these past few days to no avail and I try not to stress about it because it gives me fever and / or headache whenever I do.

I really hope I finish it by the end of this month so I can catch up on my reading. It’s really piling up. And I really, really want to reread Winter Kill. ❤

Thank you again, to everyone who gifted me with these books.

Here’s to reading, and writing! Cheers! ❤

 

Currently Reading: Properly Scandalous (Young and Scambitious #2) by Mina V. Esguerra

Properly Scandalous (Young and Scambitious #2) by Mina V. Esguerra

Some thieves get away with it, and appear to live the rest of their lives in comfort and luxury. But not without meeting twenty-something society brats Jane del Mundo and Gabriel Grande first. Jane and Gabriel are not in the business of apprehending them though, but in recovering what has been stolen, in very specific amounts.

How are society girl Elizabeth Madrid and young actress Truffles Marquez connected? Not in any way Truffles is aware of, until a government official with a very specific crush unwittingly becomes the next mark for Jane and the gang.

(10,500 WORDS / ADULT THEMES AND SITUATIONS / Story #2 in the Scambitious series)

 

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AUTHOR BIO

Mina V. Esguerra writes contemporary romance, young adult, and new adult novellas. Her young adult/fantasy trilogy Interim Goddess of Love is a college love story featuring gods from Philippine mythology. Her contemporary romance novella Fairy Tale Fail won the 2012 Filipino Readers’ Choice award for Chick Lit. Through her blog Publishing in Pajamas (minavesguerra.com), she documents her experiments in e-publishing.

When not writing romance, she is president of communications firm Bronze Age Media, development communication consultant, indie publisher, professional editor, wife, and mother. She created the workshop series “Author at Once” and #romanceclass for writers and publishers.

AUTHOR LINKS

minavesguerra.com
twitter.com/minavesguerra
facebook.com/minavesguerra
http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3014313.Mina_V_Esguerra

Currently Reading: Gifted Little Creatures (Interim Goddess of Love) by Mina V. Esguerra

23234855Maya, the goddess of the moon, is in human form as a college student for now — and she’s grounded. This doesn’t keep her from doing what she does well, manipulating the world and everything in it, from the home she can’t leave. (An illustrated short story set in the Interim Goddess of Love universe.)

You can get this free story here:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/476183

IGoL

Interim Goddess of Love series by Mina V. Esguerra

About Mina V. Esguerra

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 Excerpt and Giveaway: Young and Scambitious: Love, Lies, Larceny by Mina V. Esguerra

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Buqo Links:
Download the Android app: http://bit.ly/buqodroid
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***For readers 18 and up***

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YOUNG AND SCAMBITIOUS: LOVE, LIES, LARCENY

 Who is Elizabeth Madrid, exactly? She’s Manila’s latest It Girl—stylish, staple of the club scene, new best friend of famous-for-being-famous Chrysalis Magnolia. She’s also a jewelry clan heiress, a former model, an Ivy Leaguer… except no one actually knew of her until last year. Shouldn’t her new society friends be more suspicious? Especially “BFF” Chrysalis, who reportedly already lost an expensive ring to a friend who turned out to be a thief?

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Book Excerpt

Young and Scambitious

Young and Scambitious: Love, Lies, Larceny by Mina V. Esguerra

She saw him when she wandered over to the general fiction floor, because she usually picked up a mystery or thriller to dip into between the research. He was wearing the strangest shade of rusty red for a shirt, paired with ridiculous cargo shorts that made her notice his strong calves. Her eye sort of moved up from there, over to his profile, up to his head of dark hair, just long enough for the curls to start coming in. She leaned a little closer to the stacks and allowed her gaze to linger a little longer on his eye, the clean curve of his jaw.

And then he turned toward her completely and she quickly turned away.

Yeah, that was stealthy, she thought, and in her mind she gave herself a swift kick.

He made his selection and then left the stacks, passing directly behind her.

Jane sighed. He was probably over six feet tall. She was five-eight herself, couldn’t help noticing height when she looked at guys. But she knew what it was that made her really look. That thing about him.

He looked Asian but not quite, not enough to be clearly labeled from one country or another based on the stereotypes. Which meant, as she knew, that he fell under another one entirely. The half-something, like her. She actually found that fascinating, not surprisingly because of her own history with it.

It wasn’t a crime, to look. She did that all the time, “on the job” or not. Looking was as innocent as ogling a magazine cover boy. Jane admired, and then assessed, and then moved on her merry way.

That night, the merry way happened to be toward a quaint organic/vegan cafe a few blocks from the library. She walked all the way, enjoying the night air and that for once she was appropriately dressed for the tropical weather: nondescript white tee, a lovely print skirt that came down just to her knees, canvas walking shoes.

There was a glass case of vegan desserts and she was about to choose a strawberry cake when a flash of odd rusty red reflected in the glass and she nearly jumped.

He was expecting this reaction and motioned for her to join him at his outdoor table, a small and round one that didn’t match any of the other tables outside. None of the tables or chairs matched. It was that kind of place.

“Why are you following me?” he said, smiling, but not really joking.

His accent was vaguely American, vaguely New England, which revealed certain things about him at least in her mind. If that was his actual accent, because it seemed like he was neutralizing.

Just like she was.

“How would I know that you’d be craving vegan cake after a book?” she teased.

“No one does that,” he answered. “Except you and me, apparently.”

They did this for about an hour. They talked about the library, the books they looked at, the awesome building, the well-intentioned cafe. He was a tourist, which explained the cargo shorts, spending a week in the city before heading back home.

“Home where?” she asked, innocently.

“Graduate school,” he said, not answering the question. He did the same to a bunch of other questions that would have pinned him down to a region, a country, a city, an age. He looked older than her, but not by much. Twenty-eight, twenty-nine, tops.

Jane was, of course, lying through all of it too. Suddenly she was a recent college grad (which she would have been in June last year if she had stayed), enjoying a month of idle travel before settling down to find a job.

“A job where?” he asked.

“In a hotel, or something,” was her non-answer.

So it was actually just like a date, which was a scam of another sort. Jane was suddenly a sweet and smiley person, who said “yes please” when offered coffee. She smoothed down her skirt sweetly, not suggestively, when he asked about her day and complimented her fresh look despite the humidity.

He was a handsome scholarly type just passing through, in this part of the world to “visit a friend,” and “tour campuses,” his knees not at all intentionally brushing against hers under the table.

All the words were meaningless to her. Jane had learned not to trust them anyway, so instead she kept track of the passing of time. His coffee cup drained down to a tiny puddle. Her slice of cake went from a thick wedge to a tiny rectangle that she continued to poke without actually consuming. The occupants of the four surrounding tables began to change.

They talked about music, books, movies, and current events. She made up band names and authors on the spot when he asked for recommendations, playing off the slightly bohemian vibe of her skirt and giving him what he possibly expected. He looked interested, not guessing she was playing him, or maybe just too polite to say so.

“…boring, the pace was all wrong. I normally like my thrillers with more cliffhangers,” he was saying.

“Ugh, cliffhangers,” she said, figuring that the college student would think that. “Cliffhangers are manipulative.”

“Who does it manipulate?”

“Me. The general public. People who can’t help but turn the page even when they don’t care about the characters anymore.”

“I like it when a book knows my weakness,” he said. “I happen to like turning a page against my will.”

Were they talking about books? Jane pretended she didn’t just think that.

She also paid attention to how his body moved. And when she did, she had a hard time believing that he was in grad school, studying and touring. When did he have time to work on those shoulders? Did typing and reading produce those forearms? And why, unlike other grad school students she’d had the privilege of sitting at a table with for a night of lying, did he ask so much about her? And not go on and on about his fascinating field of study? Why did his hair look like it had product, on a random day?

Briefly she wondered if it was a trap, if Margaux was somehow testing her. But she seriously doubted that Margaux had access to this guy, all smooth and scholarly sounding, and would still hunt Jane down for “looking rich.”

Don’t be crazy, Jane told herself. It was a big city, a tourist hub. People came and went by the thousands.

“Walk me to my hotel,” she said.

“It’s the gentlemanly thing to do,” he said.

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AUTHOR BIO

Mina V. Esguerra writes contemporary romance, young adult, and new adult novellas. Her young adult/fantasy trilogy Interim Goddess of Love is a college love story featuring gods from Philippine mythology. Her contemporary romance novella Fairy Tale Fail won the 2012 Filipino Readers’ Choice award for Chick Lit. Through her blog Publishing in Pajamas (minavesguerra.com), she documents her experiments in e-publishing.

When not writing romance, she is president of communications firm Bronze Age Media, development communication consultant, indie publisher, professional editor, wife, and mother. She created the workshop series “Author at Once” and #romanceclass for writers and publishers.

AUTHOR LINKS

minavesguerra.com
twitter.com/minavesguerra
facebook.com/minavesguerra
http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3014313.Mina_V_Esguerra

 

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Join the giveaway by clicking the link below:

Rafflecopter Link:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/c30af117/

Good luck and happy reading! ❤

Book Excerpt and Giveaway: Wedding Night Stand by Mina V. Esguerra

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Buqo Links:
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***For readers 18 and up***

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WEDDING NIGHT STAND

 Andrea Crisostomo is no longer your Ms. Right Now, thank you very much. She’s had enough of guys who like her “free spirit” but then break up with her before things get serious. One guy in particular screwed her over so much that she now hates weddings, but she has to suck it up to attend her sister Julie’s big day.

Damon Esquibel enjoys the slow and steady chase, and it looks like his two-year pursuit of Geraldine is about to pay off. He’s at his friend Anton’s destination wedding only because of her. But then he meets the sister of the bride, who doesn’t seem to want to be there, and it’s enough to question his plans for the evening – and the rest of the weekend.

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Book Excerpt

Wedding Night Stand

Wedding Night Stand by Mina V. Esguerra

As luck would have it, she was also a sucker for guys who rocked a suit. So much that she watched hours and hours of crappy video on the internet of guys in formal wear, to desensitize and prepare her hormones for this day. She watched wedding videos, awards-night speeches, government press conferences. After that parade of unfit men, wearing ill-fitting outfits, sporting yucky facial hair, Andrea thought she would be ready for her sister’s beach wedding where a good percentage of the guests would be reasonably attractive, not related to her, and probably in that item of clothing.

It helped. She got through the ceremony fine, without being attracted to anyone. (Maybe being in a church helped with that.) But then the reception at the beach happened, and he took the seat beside hers.

Perfection! said her head, heart, and hormones. Her hormones especially. This was the longest stretch so far in her twenties that she’d been single, and the little buggers were pleading to be given something to do.

So to speak.

He had eyes that…she just needed to look at them. She had to find an odd angle so it wouldn’t seem like she was checking him out, but their eyes met anyway, and even more awkwardly.

Perfection!

“Excuse me?” he said.

She coughed. “Sorry. I have a throat thing.” And then she looked away, toward the orchid and tulip centerpieces.

Long lashes. Five o’clock shadow. Hair that was a day or two overdue for a haircut. Straight, broad shoulders, leading into what had to be toned arms, the way his suit draped respectfully on him like it was just happy to be there.

Andrea had never seen him before, and had to clear something up, before this got any weirder.

“Groom’s side?” she asked.

“Anton’s officemate,” he answered, a beat late, and like he wasn’t completely there. And then as his backside slid across the chair and made itself comfortable, he said, “My name is Damon.”

Of course it is. “Andrea,” she replied.

His eyes fixed on her and tracked up to the band of small orchids atop her head, and then to her neck exposed by the ponytail that snaked down one shoulder, and further down still to the section of her lower back that peeked out from the criss-cross back straps of her lavender dress. She knew it, felt it all, even as her eyes swept back to the centerpiece.

“You’re a bridesmaid,” she heard him say. His voice had a wonderful rumble to it, already calling up thoughts of being under soft linens. Or against hard surfaces.

Maybe it’s not him. Maybe I just haven’t been properly had. In ages.

When she braved another glance at him, he had turned somewhere else—Table 10, and that distracted look was on his face again.

That was refreshing. Maybe it was safe to look at him after all. Maybe he wouldn’t notice how hungry her hormones were.

“Yes I am. Sister of the bride.” There was a bit of movement over at that table, and someone stood up. Cute, regal-looking, gorgeous in navy blue. His eyes followed her too, almost intently.

Huh. Well.

“And she is?” Andrea said.

He knew what she meant, and the smile that came to his face was an unexpected softening of all those sharp edges. “Geraldine. You don’t know her?”

“Probably a friend of the groom. I don’t know the people on his side.”

Damon leaned closer, his voice dropping to a whisper. It wasn’t necessary, really; there was music, and the white noise of two hundred people finding their seats. But it gave her the excuse to tilt slightly toward him and expose more of her neck.

She is someone I’ve been trying to ask out. For a while now,” he admitted.

A small, light stab at her heart. That the rest of her ignored, because she was close enough to see his straight teeth and observe him lightly chew on the inside of his lip.

“She’s straight?” Andrea asked.

A smile, again. “Yes.”

“So what’s wrong with you?”

“What?”

“Why won’t she bite? What’s wrong with you?”

He laughed a little. “She just doesn’t know me that well.”

Oh come on. She had eyes. And blood, and a working reproductive system. The way just being within arm’s length of Damon had woken up her ovaries, this Geraldine had to have a reason for not wanting a piece of that.

Those eyes shot toward Geraldine’s direction, before coming back to Andrea.

“I don’t know,” he said. “Maybe it’s something you can enlighten me about. Female perspective and all.”

Damon didn’t know it, but he just wandered into her turf. She was the queen of the female perspective.

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AUTHOR BIO

Mina V. Esguerra writes contemporary romance, young adult, and new adult novellas. Her young adult/fantasy trilogy Interim Goddess of Love is a college love story featuring gods from Philippine mythology. Her contemporary romance novella Fairy Tale Fail won the 2012 Filipino Readers’ Choice award for Chick Lit. Through her blog Publishing in Pajamas (minavesguerra.com), she documents her experiments in e-publishing.

When not writing romance, she is president of communications firm Bronze Age Media, development communication consultant, indie publisher, professional editor, wife, and mother. She created the workshop series “Author at Once” and #romanceclass for writers and publishers.

AUTHOR LINKS

minavesguerra.com
twitter.com/minavesguerra
facebook.com/minavesguerra
http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3014313.Mina_V_Esguerra

 

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Join the giveaway by clicking the link below:

Rafflecopter Link:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/c30af117/

Good luck and happy reading! ❤