Guest Post and Giveaway: Keep the Faith by Ana Tejano

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Before marketing your book

When I finally decided to publish my book independently, I was told that going indie means we also had to work on the marketing. I knew it was going to be hard work, but I figured, hey why not? It should be fun, right?

A year after I published my first book, I took up a digital marketing certification course, which gave me a better perspective with regards to marketing. I never really had proper marketing training, even if I worked in the field so the course was eye-opening for me, and it helped me think of how I could use these lessons as an author.

So now that I’ve made myself credible (haha) – yay, you published your book! Now you want people – who are not your friends – to know about it. But before you start creating Facebook posts or tweeting up a storm on Twitter or adding all the #hashtags to your Instagram posts, here are some things that an author has to be very clear on first before jumping into everything:

Remember your WHY. Why do you write? Why do you want people to read your book? Your why will anchor all your writing and marketing efforts, so make sure you keep this in mind when you’re about to go out to the world with your book. People will buy and read your book because they believe what you believe. Or, they’re curious about why you believe what you believe. Knowing your why will also ground you, and help you to focus again when things don’t go your way.

Set your objectives and goals. And by this, it has to be something specific and measurable, and again, anchored to your why. Putting numbers on them will make it less lofty and will help you figure out how to reach it. For example – when I decided to put together this blog tour, my objective was to gain more reviews and create buzz for my book, and my goal is to have at least 20 bloggers to join. With those numbers clear in my head, it was easier to figure out what to post and when to post.

Understand your reader. Knowing your reader helps you to know how to reach them. While it’s tempting to say that your target market is “all readers,” remember that not everyone will like your book. Knowing your readers will help you know how to talk to them, find out where they are and then position yourself so they will be most receptive to your message. Knowing your reader is just like building characters: find out what they like, where they work, what are their online habits, what other books do they like to read? Once you have a pretty good idea of who your readers are – or who you want them to be – then it’ll be easier to strategize with your marketing.

Just like in writing, marketing your books can be a bit frustrating – but being hands-on with is a great learning experience. And just like in writing, don’t forget to have fun with it, too! Good luck, and happy marketing your book!

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Book Title: Keep the Faith

Release Date: July 31, 2016

Author: Ana Tejano

About the Book:

As a community development worker, Faith was quite familiar with heartbreak and recovery after all the time she spent on disaster relief missions. So when her five-year relationship ends right before she left for a mission trip to a typhoon-stricken town in Iloilo, she tries not to make a big deal out of it. How can she be broken up about a breakup when she’s with people who literally lost everything?

But now that she’s back, all Faith wants is for her life to go back to normal and have people stop looking at her with pity. Never mind that she still has a lot of questions about the breakup, or that she feels a tiny ache every time her ex comes up in conversations. She’s okay now, and happily distracted by Nico Tamayo, the attractive new guy at work.

With new possibilities in the horizon, Faith thinks she is well on her way to moving on. But when her past comes calling back to her, will all the good things in her present be enough to keep her on the path? Or will she finally learn that there was more to heartbreak and recovery than what she knows?

Links to Purchase:

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About the Author:

Ana Tejano has been in love with words and writing ever since she met Elizabeth Wakefield when she was in Grade 3. She has contributed several non-fiction pieces in print and online publications, and has been blogging for years. When she’s not writing, she works as a communications manager for a payroll outsourcing firm, and serves in CFC Singles for Christ in every other time that she doesn’t spend reading or sleeping. She lives in Metro Manila and is also known by another name in her other circles (but it’s not a secret identity, really).

Contact Links:

ENTER RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY HERE:

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Excerpt #1:

“Hi.”

I froze at the sound of that now all-too-familiar deep voice—now less sleepy—and my panic gave way to anger. I turned around slowly.

Nico’s expression was friendly, oblivious to my seething. “I just want to say sorry for sleeping on your desk. Alvin told me you were coming back but I thought it wasn’t until Monday so I didn’t transfer immediately.”

“Did you touch anything here?” I pointed to my cubicle’s walls, ignoring his apology.

“Huh?”

“You’ve been using my desk since you got here. Did you remove anything?”

He shook his head, his messy hair flopping on his forehead. He brushed it away with a hand. “No. Why would I remove anything? I only sleep at other people’s desks, but I don’t take anything.” He gave me a cheeky grin at the last part, an attempt to make a joke, but I was too worked up to play along.

“Then what happened to my pictures, huh?”

ktf-quote-02“What pictures?”

I felt a light tap on my shoulder. I turned, and there was April, holding out a small paper bag. “Hey. I almost forgot to give you this.”

“April, do you know—”

“I heard you. They’re in the bag,” she interrupted gently. “I took your pictures down, okay? It’s not Nico’s fault. He didn’t even see them.”

I took the bag from her and peeked inside, and found the smiling face of my ex-boyfriend looking at me, beside my own. I was unprepared for the stab of pain when I saw our matching grins, remembering exactly when that photo was taken (second year anniversary, right after he took me out to dinner).

“I thought it would help if I cleaned it up when you told me what happened. I’m sorry I didn’t tell you.” She squeezed my arm, and left to answer her phone that started ringing again.

Squashing the urge to sort through the photos and memories, I shoved the paper bag in my bottom drawer, shutting the drawer with a loud click. When I looked up, I saw that Nico was gazing at me intently, and my face burned with shame again. Twice now. I can’t seem to get off on the right foot with this guy.

“I told you I didn’t know about anything,” he said, amused.

Well thanks a lot for rubbing it in. “If you hadn’t been sleeping on my desk then I wouldn’t have asked you.”

“Didn’t you learn much from what you saw on my profile?”

“I wasn’t stalking you!”

A small line formed between his eyebrows as if I was a Math problem that he was trying to solve. I tried to stare back at him but his brown eyes were too intense. Then to my surprise—and frustration—I saw the beginnings of a smirk tug at the corner of his lips.

“Aren’t you going to say something?” I crossed my arms.

Then his lips stretched into a full-fledged smile, a dimple popping on his right cheek. “I’m sorry. I promise I won’t sleep on your desk again.”

“Good,” I said with a firm nod. Then I started to feel a little silly for my outburst, especially after he seemed so gracious. “I’m sorry, too.”

“Peace?” he asked, extending his right hand to me. I uncrossed my arms and looked at his hand warily before glancing up at him again. He was still smiling.

“Okay,” I said, just a little begrudgingly, and reached out to shake his hand.

“My name is Nicolas, but everyone calls me Nico.”

“Hi, Nico,” I said, trying not to think of how warm his hand was. “I’m Faith. Faith Alvarez.” I let go of his hand. Too much hand-shaking was weird.

There was that dimple again. “I know.”

Blog Tour: What About Today by Dawn Lanuza ~ Guest Post

Writing Habits that I Picked Up from Writing What About Today

What About Today is my second novella. It’s one of the products of Mina V. Esquerra’s class, #BuqoYA. We were given five weeks to finish our stories then, and I was able to finish on time (with a little bit to spare!).

As I was determined to finished a story for the class, I picked up a couple of writing habits that I still find handy with writing my next novels.

  1. Setting a clear deadline. Because we were in a class, we were given a clear deadline. When I was writing my first book, The Boyfriend Backtrack, I gave myself a deadline, but it was a bit loose, so naturally, I moved it around for a couple of weeks. I still struggle with this, honestly, but I think it really helps if you check your progress every once in a while and really circle a date in your calendar. Toughening it up with the deadline helps get the job done.
  2. Assigning Pegs. I found pegs very useful while writing WAT because I was writing in third person but was switching POVs. I didn’t want the characters to sound like the same person, so I’ve learned to watch videos of my pegs. From there, I get to pick up some of their habits and quirks, and this ultimately helped me get back to the groove and vibe of the character and the story.
  3. Having a writing routine/schedule. There are a couple of articles online that collated writers’ routines and rituals. When I was writing WAT, I pushed myself to write something every night (after dinner), even if I wasn’t feeling it. I’d get myself to write even a couple of sentences/ paragraphs, sometimes I’ll just let my characters talk. This helped me keep my momentum.
  4. Writing with the end in mind. I wrote the ending of this story while I was still in the middle of it. I’m not much of an outliner, I’m more of a pantser, but I think when you already know what kind of ending you want to have for your story, it’s easier to fill in everything else.
  5. Writing drunk, editing sober (that’s Hemingway, but internet says it’s not). I think it’s great that when you start, you get so drunk on your story that you just write it. You don’t think about the details so much, you just write, write, write. But once you’re ready to take a look at it with a different eye – right before you send it out to your beta readers/ editors, it’s better that you condition yourself to not get too attached to the material. There will be scrapping involved, there always is especially from a first draft, so I suck it up and stick with the bits that work, and get rid of what doesn’t.

And that’s it! I hope to you find at least one of these tips work for you- but if not, just experiment. It’s what I did, and am still doing. It also really helps to have a community aka a support group when you write, just so you don’t drive yourself mad in the whole process. Writing is a never ending learning experience and I think as long as you’re having fun with it, then it’s worth your time. 🙂

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About the Book

Aiden’s stuck working for his family’s amusement park, Funtastic World, for the whole summer. Nothing amuses him, until he met this terrified girl.

Gemma’s stuck in Funtastic World thinking she could handle the park’s rides. She couldn’t. Good thing she met someone to guide her.

As the day comes to a close, Aiden and Gemma ask themselves if one day is ever enough to decide if they were better off as friends or strangers.

* This story is currently available on BuqoYA Bundle 4: Heart Choices.

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Purchase Links

Amazon | iBooks | Kobo | Barnes & Noble | Buqo | Smashwords

Excerpt

Gemma glanced at her watch and remembered that she was supposed to catch the bus heading back home at 7 in the evening. It’s already 5. Did she really spend a lot of time staring at The Big Red Dragon earlier? Or did she take too much time at the gift shop to buy nothing?

She started feeling like two hours wouldn’t be enough to complete everything. Could she maybe extend? Then again, how would leaving play out exactly?

“Alright, I need to go” isn’t going to cut it. She and Aiden already had moments. Now they’re in this limbo between being strangers and friends. They weren’t exactly strangers, but they weren’t friends just yet.

Plus they’re in an amusement park. They just met. Did it count for something?

She wished this could be more of a train incident where people smiled at each other when one offered a seat and that’s the end of that. They all get off their stops.

And if she and Aiden were ever going to be friends, in the real sense of the word after today, how’s that going to work? They’re going to stay in touch by texting? Chatting online? It all seemed superficial. It was not like meeting someone in school; she’s required to see that person almost every day, which made being friends with someone almost compulsory. But meetings like these…what did one do with them?

File them to chance encounters. 

About the Author

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

Blog Tour~When Sparks Fly by Ines Bautista-Yao: Author Interview and Giveaway

Hello, Ines! I’m so happy to have you here at Cinderella Stories. Welcome to my blog and thank you so much for granting me this interview. First of all, congratulations on your new book, “When Sparks Fly.”

Thank you so much for having me! I’m so excited and happy to be here. 🙂

1. Would you please tell us about your book When Sparks Fly? How long did you write this?

When Sparks Fly really started out as a short story to promote Only A Kiss. It was my first time to self-publish a book and I wanted to put up a short story for free to entice people to read my new book. So I figured a prequel would be a good idea — about characters in the first chapter of Only A Kiss, Ben and Regina. When I started writing it, however, my friend Treena who reads everything I write while I write it (I think I need her to push me), told me that I couldn’t just keep it as a short story. She fell in love with Ben and Reg and she told me they needed their own book. Of course this threw me off because I had to go back and add scenes and I had to stretch the story — but the good thing was, I didn’t just stretch it, it grew on its own.

It took so long to write this book — almost two years — or a little more than two years — because other stories got in the way. I wrote five short stories and another book in between! But I realized I had to finish it because I owed it to Ben and Reg. 🙂

2. When did you first realize you wanted to become a writer?

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to be a writer. When I was a kid, I would keep notebooks where I would write stories. I even put stickers on the first page to act as my cover. One of my classmates saw me writing one of my stories and wanted to read it and then the rest of the class started passing my stories around. I was surprised when they were getting passed to the next class too! But that was awesome and it pushed me to keep writing.

3. Ms. Ines, you’ve got a ‘day job’, what is your work schedule like when you’re writing? How does that work? Do you have a daily word count goal?

My day job is being a mother. And that is a 24/7 job with no breaks ever. So yes, it’s really hard to write. I also freelance — I write articles and I edit magazines and books. So sometimes, my fiction gets pushed aside while I need to focus on other things. I write when my kids are asleep, in school, or when they’re willing to play with my husband (but if I’m there, they prefer to play with me!!! Groan. Haha!). So this leads to writing in my notebooks — I do this when we travel. Or writing in my phone — I do this when I don’t have my notebook or if I have a sleeping child on me and I can’t move.

4. What is your writing process, do you work on an outline first or just go write without one?

I was just complaining about this last night! I usually write without an outline. I’m a pantser. I love realizing where the story is going while I write. It’s so exciting. BUT I know this is not ideal and if I do write an outline, I will be able to write faster and I wouldn’t have to read everything I’ve written again — I used to do that and it took so long! I hardly have time to write and it takes so much time re-reading what I’ve written so far. Plus, when I read writing books or watch writing seminars and workshops, they ALL say you need to outline. The last time I outlined, I couldn’t write. I was stuck. I was so uninspired. I closed my outline and I was able to write my story. For my next book, I did it again! I wrote an outline. And now, I’m not touching my story. I seriously wonder if something is wrong with me. Because you know, I love following rules. I’m a nerd that way.

5. What is one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

One of the most surprising things I have learned while writing is that I can push and push myself and I can actually do something I was terrified of doing before. And I can do it while I’m tired, while I’m sleep-deprived, and while there is loud, high-pitched music playing in the background as my kids scream and jump all around me. Although when that happens, I need to edit really carefully afterwards.

6. What do you think makes a good story?

A story needs a lot of elements to work together to be good. It needs a plot that moves quickly and has no loopholes, it needs a setting that is believable, it needs characters that are authentic, and so on. But what I look for when I read a book are characters I can relate to, characters who are so real that even if they cannot exist in real life because they are demons or fairies, there is still something about them that tugs at your heart and makes you care about them and what happens to them. I also appreciate settings that make me feel as if I’m in the actual place. It isn’t enough for the author to say that she’s in a particular country. If I can’t feel, smell, taste, or hear that place, it isn’t enough. But of course all of these things must work harmoniously. I should stop now because I can write an entire paper on this haha!

7. Do you have other works in progress?

Yes! My YA book that isn’t getting written because I made an outline for it hahahaha! I have serious thoughts about ditching the outline and just writing again. Then I will refer to the outline when I get stuck. I swear, I don’t know what is wrong with me. It’s frustrating.

8. Your tips for aspiring authors?

My advice is to just write. And not to expect your first book to be good. It most likely won’t be. Even if your mom says it’s awesome. Remember she’s biased. But keep at it. Keep writing and keep working on ways to improve. Read books, ask for advice from authors you admire, join a critique group, a workshop, a class. Don’t let the fire die. And remember, with each story you write, you will get better as long as you try.

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Giveaway

Click the image below for a chance to win an ecopy of: When Sparks Fly, Only a Kiss, or a paperback copy of When Sparks Fly

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About When Sparks Fly

Twenty-four-year-old photographer’s apprentice Regina has always felt like the plain, dull orange next to the shiny red apple that is her best friend Lana. But then she meets Ben—the first guy to ever break Lana’s heart, and the first guy to ever make Regina feel that he only has eyes for her. As Regina finds herself falling hard for Ben, she also finds herself breaking all the rules of best-friendship. Will she give up the love of her life for Lana, or will she finally realize that she deserves her share of the spotlight, too?

When Sparks Fly can be read as a standalone novel, but it is also a prequel to Ines Bautista-Yao’s other book Only A Kiss.

Purchase Link: amazon UK

About the Author

Reading and writing are close to Ines Bautista Yao’s heart ever since she was a child. She graduated from the Ateneo de Manila University with a degree in AB Communication Arts. She has been a teacher at the Assumption College San Lorenzo and the Ateneo de Manila University’s English department.

Her debut novel One Crazy Summer was first penned in 2007 when she was pregnant with her first daughter Addie. Being a mother has taken much of Ines’ time so she was only able to write 13 pages of her novel. She completed her story in April 2011, while three-year-old Addie was sleeping and inspiration struck her again. Two months later her story was complete. After eight months, her dream of publishing her own book came true. The book was only launched last January 26, 2012, but Ines is already writing her second novel.

Most readers can remember Ines as the former editor-in-chief of K-Zone Magazine and Candy Magazine . At present, Ines is working as an editor of Summit Books. She is also married to photographer Marc Yao, whom she says she consults whenever she’s stuck in the middle of a story she’s writing.

Sources:
One Crazy Summer Author Ines Bautista Yao on Juggling Writing and Motherhood by Belle Yambao
Spotlight on Filipino Authors: Ines Bautista-Yao (less)

‪#‎BuwanNgMgaAkdangPinoy

Ang babasahin ko para sa ‪#‎BuwanNgMgaAkdangPinoy‬ ay ang  The Necromancer ni C.J. Dee.

Buod

Ako si Nero, isang nigromante. Alipin ako ng nekromansya at namuhay na parang ermitanyo sa loob ng tore.

Walang sinuman ang nakakapasok sa tore.

Sinigurado kong nakakandadong maigi ang pinto sa unang palapag at sarado rin ang mga bintana kaya paanong nandirito ang lalaking nagngangalang Linus? Para siyang multo na bigla-bigla na lamang susulpot. Baka panaginip ko lamang ito at parte siya niyon.

Pero bakit nga ba ako nag-aalinlangan na makasama si Linus? Buong buhay niya ay wala siyang ginawang masama sa akin. O baka kaya ako nagkakaganito ay dahil ako ang may ginawa sa kanyang masama noon? Sa sobrang sama n’on ay napanaginipan ko pa.

Paperback, 120 pages
Published 2014
ISBN 9789710271
Edition Language: Tagalog
Genre: MM, Fantasy, Romance

Crushingly Close Blog Tour ~ Author Interview: Stella Torres

Hello, Stella! I’m so happy to have you here at Cinderella Stories. Welcome to my blog and thank you so much for granting me this interview. First of all, congratulations on your new book, “Crushingly Close.”

– Thanks, Jho! I’m glad to sit down with you for this interview. I hope that I can share more about the book with your readers 🙂

1. Would you please tell us about your book Crushingly Close? How long did you write this?

Crushingly Close started out as a story written for #buqosteamyreads in 2014—at that time, I had this concept of a news producer and an anchorman working late nights and butting heads at work before realizing that they were meant for each other. I ended up not being able to publish at that time (for reasons related to my PhD) but I had the chance to rewrite it later in July of that year as a novella for Camp NaNoWriMo. This time, I was able to expand the story because I had just come back from a trip to Indonesia, and I was also into soccer and the World Cup.

It took me one month to finish the first draft, and two more years of polishing and rewriting in between my PhD coursework, but I managed to get it out—and here we are!

2. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I guess I’ve always known I wanted to be one ever since I was in elementary school. I liked telling stories, and I would always do things like rewrite fairy tales or draw “comics” with cartoon characters in adventurous situations. It wasn’t until I was in sixth or seventh grade when I realized that I wanted to write fiction, and I tried to work on my first novel back then. I was so ambitious!

3. Ms. Stella, you’ve got a ‘day job’, what is your work schedule like when you’re writing? How does that work? Do you have a daily word count goal?

Because my PhD is my “day job,” I’m lucky that I get to take semestral breaks to concentrate on my writing. For the remainder of the year, however, I’ve structured my days in such a way that I would have “office hours” where I would concentrate on my coursework and research during the daytime on Mondays to Fridays, so I can write fiction on nights and weekends. There are times when I deviate from the routine—say, when I have an important presentation that needs more of my time—but most days I can manage to get things done.

As for word counts, I had a goal of at least 1,000 words per day when I wrote this for Camp NaNoWriMo, since I wanted to come up with a 30,000-word story by the end of the month. The great thing about my Camp NaNo experience (as opposed to the regular National Novel Writing Month experience in November) was that I was able to set my own word count goals so I could take the pressure off myself. It’s good training when you’re starting out and writing your first draft.

4. What is your writing process, do you work on an outline first or just go write without one?

I used to write without an outline; the initial draft for my first book (Save the Cake) was written without one, and so were the first 30,000 words of Crushingly Close. It wasn’t until I started with the rewrites for Crushingly that I realized that the system wasn’t working for me: the plot was a mess, the characterizations didn’t make sense, and the scenes weren’t as funny or exciting as they were when I came up with them inside my head.

I had to go back and write a whole new outline for the book to guide me through the rewrites and check on how every aspect of the story worked together. The rewrites got easier after that, and now I can’t imagine writing (or at least rewriting) without an outline. My next two (!) books have outlines now, and they’ve made writing easier for me.

5. What is one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

One of the most important revelations that occurred to me while writing this book was the power of characterization. It wasn’t enough for me to say that my main characters were in a high-stress environment; I had to feel every emotion and every ounce of tension that they held in their body.

When I put this book through revisions, I worked on getting under my characters’ skins to figure out their motivations—what turns them on, what makes them tick, what keeps them awake at night. It got to the point where they were talking to me about where they wanted to go in the story. And I had to listen, because I felt like the story didn’t go anywhere when I had complete control over everything. That felt very freeing for me.

6. What do you think makes a good story?

That’s a good question! I’ve been reading non-romance books lately, and I find that the best stories are the ones where the author can make the reader care about what’s happening. The characters don’t always have to be likeable, but the plot must be steady and the writing has to be consistent. Also, the ending has to make sense—no use going all the way to the end of the book only to say, “What the hell did I just read here?”

7. Do you have other works in progress?

Right now I have an unfinished story that I wrote for another class, which I didn’t finish in time for the deadline but I’m planning on querying in the future for publication. It’s about a long-distance relationship between a call-center agent and a guy who works twelve time zones away—nothing too complicated, but it’s sweet and romantic and gives all the feels.

I’m also planning on joining NaNoWriMo again this November, but that story is still in the outline stages and I won’t be sharing any details about it until later this year. Of course, everything will depend on my academic schedule and how much I’ll be able to take for the next two years, but I’m hoping to have complete drafts for both of those stories by this time next year.

8. Your tips for aspiring authors?

Read, read, read! It’s the best way to discover who you are as a writer. You can learn a lot from other writers, not just in your genre, but from other genres as well. Don’t just study the “classics” in every genre—take them apart, piece by piece, so you can figure out why they’ve endured for years.

Also, don’t worry too much about what other people will say about you while you’re writing. It’s all background noise. Finish the book first, and everything will take care of itself.

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Book: Crushingly Close
Release Date: July 19, 2016
Author: Stella Torres

About the Author: Stella Torres is the author of Save the Cake and the short story “Be Creative” from Kids These Days: Stories from Luna East Arts Academy (Vol. 1)). She has a bachelor’s degree in English literature and worked briefly in public relations, but has chosen to pursue her post-graduate studies in the field of education. She loves dark chocolate, hates flyaways, and is constantly in search of comfortable shoes.

Connect with the author:

Blog: http://thegreatbigjump.blogspot.com
Facebook: http://facebook.com/StellaTorresAuthor
Twitter: http://twitter.com/TheStellaTorres
Instagram: http://instagram.com/stella_meimei

About the Book: At twenty-four years old, Agnes Escueta has risen from the ranks to become a producer for Sports Tonight. No one can touch her, it seems—not even crush-worthy anchorman Daniel Ferrer, who she gets to work with every single day. When a road trip to Indonesia throws Agnes and Daniel together, they find themselves working in close quarters. It doesn’t take long before Agnes finds herself being charmed by Daniel, and her defenses start to melt with his touch. With deadlines looming and a big game coming, Agnes must figure out how to let Daniel into her life without risking her professional reputation—and without breaking her own heart.

Links:

Amazon (pre-order): https://amzn.com/B01I5IXL9U or https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01I5IXL9U/ref=cm_sw_su_dp

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EXCERPT

“Anything you want with your coffee?” Daniel said. “Cream? Sugar?”

My gaze fell on the containers of sugar and creamer that Daniel had taken out of the cupboard. “I thought you took your coffee black?”

“I thought I’d take them out for you.”

I may not swoon at the feet of Daniel Ferrer on command, but I wouldn’t deny that he was handsome. His hair was short enough to keep the emphasis on his almond eyes and sharp cheekbones. His skin had the kind of glow that came from running at the break of dawn, which he always talked about as part of his regular-day workout routine. And while he cut an impressive figure whenever he showed up in his suit and tie on-screen, the jeans and polo shirts that he wore to work showed off his lean muscles, especially in his arms and chest.

And his abs.

And his butt.

There, I’ve said it. Daniel Ferrer had a hot bod. But his body was beside the point. First and foremost, he was a co-worker, and co-workers weren’t supposed to think of each other that way.

Right? Right.

He smiled like he knew how his presence would affect me. “You look like you’ve got a lot of things on your mind.”

Of course I had a lot of things on my mind. We had a show to produce tonight, and a meeting in two hours about our trip to Jakarta for the football friendly between the Philippines and Indonesia. Not to mention the text messages that I wasn’t getting from my mother and brother…

“You make this face whenever you’re worried,” Daniel said.

“What face?”

He pointed to my mouth. “See that? Your lips curve downward when you press them together.”

“No, they don’t.”

“You’re making that face again.” He cocked his head to the side and leaned forward. “See? Your lips press hard, and your eyebrows scrunch in the middle of your forehead. Then your eyes go blank, like you’re spacing out.”

“I don’t space out.”

“Really? Then why haven’t you stirred any cream and sugar into your coffee?”

I looked down into my cup, and—just as Daniel said—my coffee was still black.

“It’s getting cold,” he said. “Here, have a spoon.”

Book Review ~ Bumasa at Lumaya 2: A Sourcebook on Children’s Literature in the Philippines Blog Tour

My rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 out of 5 stars

Bumasa at Lumaya 2 is a resource and reference book on children’s literature put together by the the Philippine Board on Books for Young People (PBBY). The first one was published in 1994 and it wasn’t until this year, twenty-one years later, that the second book in the series came out.

Bumasa at Lumaya 2 indeed is a reference book on children’s literature. It discusses the status and history of children’s literature in the country from 2000 to 2013 and how far it had come since especially in the advent of picture book apps and ebooks.

It also contains a chapter titled The Writer’s Heart which basically discusses the things a writer must keep in mind when writing a children’s book, who the children are, and how they think. It also enumerated the challenges we face in retelling stories from days of old like the Filipino folk tales, myths, fairy tales, and Filipino legends.

Another chapter was dedicated for the various writer fora titled Writer’s Speak which mainly discusses how one became a writer, when, where, and how one writes; their influences and the publishing process; and most importantly the state of the publishing industry today. A section discussed how to write nonfiction books for the children.

A chapter on The Bookmaker’s Art makes the readers appreciate the growth of the children’s books in terms of illustration and design, the milestones in children’s book illustrations, the recognition that the talent and skill of Filipino illustrators has been getting, the support gained for illustrators throughout the years, and how – with the advancement of technology – everything had become a lot easier. A section on comic appreciation was also included and it discusses the Philippine Comics Industry, the Digital Revolution, recommended titles on comics for children among others.

Being a reader, my most favorite part of the book is The Reader’s Part. It has two sections: For Love of Reading – which discusses how we can encourage and nurture the love and habit of reading. It also discussed the challenge of getting children to love reading and the staggering realization that  how will they love reading if we don’t have books to learn to read with in the first place? To make these books available, Library Hubs was born in 2006 as did various other programs that encourages love of reading such as Sa Aklat Sisikat and Inquirer’s Read-Along Sessions with celebrity readers.

The next section for this chapter discusses the ways in which a librarian and other interested parties can organize a school and home library. This part I also loved because as a high school student, I dreamed of having my own library someday that I can share with the public.

The last chapter titled Book Reading and Learning shows a conversation with reading education advocates where they discussed the gaps in children’s literature, the lack of nonfiction books, the importance of using children’s books in the classroom among others.

I love this book because it delivered everything it promised. It is for the readers, the publishers, artists and illustrators, educators, librarians, authors.

Bumasa at Lumaya 2 shows us that we’ve come a long way but at the same time it also shows us how far we still have to go.

Five stars for Bumasa at Lumaya 2. Here’s to hoping that years from now, when the third book comes out, it will show how closer we’ve come to reaching our goals but for now, let’s celebrate the birth of this book – the one that will serve as everyone’s guide in getting us closer to that elusive goal.

About Bumasa at Lumaya 2

“Twenty-one years after its first ever resource and reference book on children’s literature in the Philippines, the Philippine Board on Books for Young People (PBBY) again offers readers a second look at where Philippine children’s literature is today: the huge strides it has taken and the many more fascinating destinations it has set its sights on.”

Contributors: Eugene Y. Evasco, Rene O. Villanueva (+), Neni Sta. Romana Cruz, Lara Saguisag, Christine S. Bellen, Ramon C. Sunico, Luis P. Gatmaitan, Mailin Paterno Locsin, Russell Molina, Carla Pacis, Augie Rivera, Zarah C. Gagatiga, Jomike Tejido, Beth Parrocha, Perpilili Vivienne Tiongson, Lin Acacio Flores, Ruben de Jesus, Liza Flores, Paolo Chikiamco, Ani Rosa Almario, Leonor Diaz, Dina Ocampo, & Felicitas Pado.

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Bumasa at Lumaya 2: A Sourcebook on Children’s Literature in the Philippines Blog Tour ~ Author Interview: Zarah Gagatiga

Hi, Zarah! I’m so happy to have you here at Cinderella Stories. Welcome to my blog and thank you for granting me this interview. First of all, congratulations on your new book, “Bumasa at Lumaya 2: A Sourcebook on Children’s Literature in the Philippines.”

1. Would you please tell us about your contribution in the book “Bumasa at Lumaya 2: A Sourcebook on Children’s Literature in the Philippines.” How long did you write this?

My contribution to BL2 is an article on setting up libraries and reading centers for young people. It took me two years to finish the piece. It’s the shortest piece in the collection but I labored in revising it. I think, if my memory serves me right, I wrote three articles. The first one was very academic and sounded like a paper meant to be presented at a conference for librarians. It received comments that, to this day, give me shudders. I tried my best to reframe my mindset. I removed myself from the article but I kept the comments of the editors to heart. Nasaktan ako, symepre. I had doubts on my capability to write a decent article. But my editors are, first and foremost, my friends in the industry. They always have the best intention at heart. It was then that I realize how lucky I am to have true friends in the industry. This is what I learned early on. Never compromise the quality of work over the personal. The ideals we aspire to achieve, the standards we envision to meet and the integrity we bring to our craft should be over and above our personal interests.

So I went back to the writing table.

My second article was epistolary. I used the persona of Pilar Perez, one of the Philippine’s prominent and influential librarians who championed children’s library services. In the letter, she gave tips to her nephew who is a new librarian and how he can serve children better.

It was rejected.

Because life happened, my final article was written sometime in 2014 with much coaching now, from Neni Sta. Romana-Cruz. I worked on the comments and followed through and it ended up as a DIY article. Very practical and easy to do.

Am I happy with what I wrote? No. Because, I just recently discovered a better way to approach the organization of library and reading centers. This came later on when one of the editors, Rayvi Sunico, engaged me in a convo over at Messenger with a friend who needs tips to organize a school library as she was a teacher with no library and information science background. It was Rayvi too, who pointed out that my tips were more appropriate for the BL2 collection. He encouraged me to go back to it and try sending it as an additional piece.

But, again, life happened.

I still hope that this “convo” piece will see the light of day. I have partially blogged about it. But putting it in a printed book is a different experience. Am I proud of what I wrote for BL2? Yes, to some extent.

2. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

When I read Judy Blume and SE Hinton. There was something in them, especially on Blume, that made me dream to be one. Blume gave me hope. Hinton showed me possibilities. I was 14 years old then.

3. Why write children’s books?

It’s fun! It’s a lot of hard work too. You learn from your team: the publisher, the editor/project coordinator, and the illustrator.

STARSkinder

4. What is one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?

I learned how little I know of the world of children. I learned to respect children more. I am always humbled to go through the process of creation. So every work or story I put out there must be carefully produced. Well thought out and lovingly crafted. But, book publishing can be messy.

5. What do you think makes a good story?

A good story speaks the truth of the reader – which changes from one reader to the next. A good story finds its place in the heart of both the young and the graying. A good story stands the test of time.

6. Do you have other works in progress?

Yes. I have two picture books in the works and laboring on two series for early readers.

7. Your tips for aspiring children’s book authors?

Find the stories that changed your life. A significant human experience. Tell it aloud first. Several times. Over and over. Then, write it.

We can talk about the messy part of workshopping a story and the steps into publishing later on. For now, write. Just write your story.

About Bumasa at Lumaya 2

“Twenty-one years after its first ever resource and reference book on children’s literature in the Philippines, the Philippine Board on Books for Young People (PBBY) again offers readers a second look at where Philippine children’s literature is today: the huge strides it has taken and the many more fascinating destinations it has set its sights on.”

Contributors: Eugene Y. Evasco, Rene O. Villanueva (+), Neni Sta. Romana Cruz, Lara Saguisag, Christine S. Bellen, Ramon C. Sunico, Luis P. Gatmaitan, Mailin Paterno Locsin, Russell Molina, Carla Pacis, Augie Rivera, Zarah C. Gagatiga, Jomike Tejido, Beth Parrocha, Perpilili Vivienne Tiongson, Lin Acacio Flores, Ruben de Jesus, Liza Flores, Paolo Chikiamco, Ani Rosa Almario, Leonor Diaz, Dina Ocampo, & Felicitas Pado.

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About the Author

Zarah first learned the magic of storytelling from her maternal grandmother. Her first reading teacher was her mother who also introduced her to the wonder of books. She married her first love and they live in a small house near the city. Her first born is a budding musician and her daughter always wants to be the first in everything she does.

Zarah blogs at https://lovealibrarian.blogspot.com

List of Works:

INTERNATIONAL PUBLICATION

Tales From the 7,000 Isles: Filipino Folk Stories by Dianne de Las Casas and Zarah C. Gagatiga, ABC CLIO/Libraries Unlimited, 2011

The archipelago nation of the Philippines is comprised of more than 7,100 islands on which over 170 dialects are spoken. This is not surprising given the many ethnic groups that have settled in the Philippines, each bringing traditions that have been assimilated by the Filipino people. One way to understand this varied nation is through its colorful folklore.

Purchase Link:

http://www.abc-clio.com/ABC-CLIOCorporate/product.aspx?pc=A3276C

LOCAL PUBLICATIONS BY LAMPARA HOUSE

A Tale of Two Dreams: a parable from Mindoro (2013)
Illustrated by Bernadette Solina Wolf

Two childhood friends meet again after many years of being apart. One stayed on the island while the other had adventures in far away lands. They chose different paths but both discovered the meaning of home.

My Daddy! My One and Only! (2013)mybooks_2016
Illustrated by Jomike Tejido

A narrative in verse celebrating the joys and delights of fatherhood. Tejido’s clean and colorful illustrations extend and further develop the context of the narrative.

Dear Nanay (2014)
Illustrated by Liza Flores

mybooks_2016

A little girl writes a letter to her mother expressing how much she misses her every day. This is an homage to the OFWs and their families they left behind.

Big Sister (2015)
Illustrated by Ruben de Jesus

A little boy ponders on how much his big sister (Ate) means to her despite the many ways she annoys him.

Start Right Reading Series Kindergarten Level (2014)
Illustrated by Bernadette Solina Wold

A learning package with resources and teaching materials for Kindergarten students, teachers and parents. It has 12 story books with accompanying teachers’ manual and parents guide. Ideal for classroom use and homeschooling session.