Chachic's Book Nook


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Giveaway: Interim Goddess of Love Trilogy

Interim Goddess of Love_digital coverQueen of the CluelessIcon of the Indecisive

Mina V. Esguerra’s Interim Goddess of Love trilogy is now available in an omnibus Kindle edition. This is a series set in a fictional college in the Philippines. It has a contemporary setting with some Philippine mythology mixed in. Mina has very generously offered a Kindle edition up for grabs, you just need to have an Amazon account (or be willing to sign up for one) to join. As always, I can’t embed the Rafflecopter widget on my blog so click HERE instead.

Summary of the trilogy:

College sophomore Hannah Maquiling doesn’t know why everyone tells her their love problems. She’s never even had a boyfriend, but that doesn’t stop people from spilling their guts to her, and asking for advice. So maybe it shouldn’t be a surprise when the cutest guy in school tells her that she’s going to have to take on this responsibility — but for all humanity.

The Goddess of Love has gone AWOL. It’s a problem, because her job is to keep in check this world’s obsession with love (and lack of it). The God of the Sun, for now an impossibly handsome senior at an exclusive college just outside of Metro Manila, thinks Hannah has what it takes to (temporarily) do the job.

INTERIM GODDESS OF LOVE: While she’s learning to do this goddess thing, she practices on the love troubles of shy Kathy, who’s got a secret admirer on campus. Hannah’s mission, should she choose to accept it, is to make sure that he’s not a creepy stalker and they find their happily ever after — or at least something that’ll last until next semester. (As if she could refuse! The Sun God asked so nicely. And he’s so, well, hot.)

QUEEN OF THE CLUELESS: If you’ve been feeling neglected by the Goddess of Love lately, don’t worry — Hannah Maquiling, college sophomore, is in training to take over. The Original Goddess is missing, but Hannah is Interim Goddess now, and she should figure out how to solve humanity’s love problems soon. Quin (God of the Sun) is still her mentor, still really hot, but apparently isn’t as honest about his other earthly relationships as she thought. It’s frustrating, and enough to make her check out possibilities with Diego (God of the Sea) and Robbie (Cute Human).

In the meantime, she’s decided to spend some of her precious training time helping to break up a relationship, instead of putting one together. Why? Because the girl in question happens to be her best friend Sol, whose boyfriend is stealing not just from her, but from other people on campus. Sol didn’t exactly summon the Goddess, but this is what power over Love is for, right? Surely it’s not just about matchmaking, but ending doomed relationships too. (Even when it’s not what people want.)

ICON OF THE INDECISIVE: College student Hannah Maquiling, also temporarily working as the Goddess of Love, has had enough of everyone asking for her help when it comes to relationships. It’s her turn to find romance! She deserves it, after serving as matchmaker and confidant to everyone else in Ford River College for the past year. She’s had a crush on handsome senior (and God of the Sun) Quin forever, but he’s destined to fall in love with an extraordinary mortal woman, so she’s figured her chances with him have pretty much dropped to zero.

It’s not like she doesn’t have any options for a classic college romance though. There’s Diego, God of the Sea and Quin’s best friend/enemy. And regular guy Robbie is stepping up, making sure she knows how he feels about her. How hard can it be for a goddess to find someone to love, and be loved in return?

My reviews:
Interim Goddess of Love
Queen of the Clueless
Icon of the Indecisive


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EWein Special Ops: Giveaway (Ebook and Signed Copies)

Maligayang Pasko! :) Merry Christmas, everyone! I hope you’re all having a festive holiday season with your friends and family. Ours is more subdued than usual because my Lola (grandmother) passed away a few days ago and we spent Christmas at the funeral home.

EWein Special Ops

I hope you’re all enjoying the guest posts for EWein Special Ops so far? To celebrate the blog event, both Open Road Media and Elizabeth Wein have generously provided copies of her books to be given away during this week. I thought Christmas is the perfect day to bring up giveaways. The three copies are:

  • One ebook copy of either The Winter Prince or The Sunbird from Open Road Media (winner gets to choose)
  • One signed print copy of A Coalition of Lions from Elizabeth Wein
  • One signed print copy of The Sunbird from Elizabeth Wein

Unfortunately, WordPress doesn’t allow users to embed Rafflecopter widgets in free blogs so please click on the links instead:

The giveaways are open internationally and the winner will be chosen on January 2. Good luck and please spread the word about it!


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Shoot That Book: The Book Thief

Shoot That Book combines my passion for books and my tendency to become trigger happy with a camera. My lack of photography skills is compensated by my enthusiasm. Basically, I like taking pictures of books.

I started reading The Book Thief by Markus Zusak a few weeks ago and I’m still not done reading it! I previously mentioned that it’s partially because I have the paperback copy and nowadays, it’s a lot easier for me to read on my Kindle (which is why so many of my physical books have remained unread) so that’s one reason. Another reason is that I’ve been really busy with work the past few days and by the time I get back to the flat at night, I don’t even feel like reading. But I will definitely finish it this weekend! Whether I’ll be able to post a review of it is another matter. In the meantime, here are a couple of Instagram shots that I’ve taken of the book:

The Book Thief plus latte

Last weekend: my copy beside a hazelnut latte

The Book Thief the Standover Man

I was pleasantly surprised by the illustrations inside the book.

The Book Thief Word

I also really like the definitions of certain words.

What about the rest of you, what are you currently reading?


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Shoot That Book: Foxing

Shoot That Book combines my passion for books and my tendency to become trigger happy with a camera. My lack of photography skills is compensated by my enthusiasm. Basically, I like taking pictures of books.

Last week the blog was pretty quiet because I flew home to Manila, this week I haven’t been able to blog because work has been so busy (overtime and late night calls). I want to post a review but I just haven’t had a chance to sit down and write one. I still don’t have the energy to write a review but I thought it would be nice to put up a Shoot That Book post since I haven’t posted one in the past few weeks.

I’ve talked about how I find it frustrating that I don’t have all of my books with me, where I’m currently based. What makes things worse is coming home to find that more of my books have started turning yellow with age and have spots called foxing. Don’t know what foxing is? Here’s a description from Wikipedia:

Foxing is a term describing the age-related spots and browning seen on vintage paper documents such as books, postage stamps, certificates, and so forth. The name may derive from the fox-like reddish-brown color of the stains, or the rust chemical ferric oxide which may be involved. Paper so affected is said to be “foxed.”

I grabbed my copies of Elizabeth Wein’s Lion Hunters series from my bookshelf in Manila and here are some pictures (with no Instagram filters) to show what foxing looks like:

Foxing

Foxing Telemakos

Foxing The Sunbird

This is another topic that I’ve also discussed in the blog before (here and here) but I haven’t been able to find a solution. I’ve tried covering books in plastic, storing them in bookshelves with glass covers, placing closet dehumidifiers in the shelves, etc. It just makes me sad to see books in this state because I feel like they would only last a couple of years before breaking apart completely. I need to keep reminding myself to be more mindful in buying physical books, I should probably buy more ebooks because they’re easier to keep. I’ve bought and ordered used books from the States and even though they’re older than some of my books in Manila, they’re in much better condition. So I’m assuming that the heat and humidity causes books to have this very vintage look. My books here in Singapore haven’t started foxing because I’ve only been here for a little over a year and I turn on the aircon every night. I wouldn’t be surprised if it starts happening eventually.

Do you worry about your books aging like this? Do you get foxing in your books or is it a problem on in hot and humid areas?


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Postcard Love: Washi Tape Postcards

Postcard Love Logo

I’ve talked about postcards and washi tape lots of times here on the blog but I realized that I haven’t talked about postcards made out of washi tape.

My current washi tape stash

My current washi tape stash

I usually just use board paper and then use washi tape to decorate it. I have fun making them and friends who have received these homemade postcards seem to like them. I started out with just using different designs and using them as strips to fill up a card:

washi postcard - Singapore limited edition

Then I experimented with this Singapore Zoo-themed postcard out of the zoo’s paper bag and the safari Singapore limited edition MT tape. I initially made it for someone who loves the tapir because I couldn’t find a tapir postcard from the zoo’s souvenir shop then I ended up making several for other friends as well.

washi postcard - Singapore Zoo

After that, I made a couple more out of gift wrappers and tape designs that go well with them:

washi postcard - tickets

Tickets

washi postcard - stars

Stars

I think one of the reasons why I like postcards and washi tape is because they’re little pieces of art. I can’t get over how cute or pretty some of the designs are and I just want to keep collecting them.

washi postcard - Picasso quote

What do you think of these washi postcards? Have you heard of washi tape before? More than a few blog friends have told me that they didn’t even know what washi tape was until I started talking about it. :P It’s almost midnight in this side of the world and as always, I’m wondering where did the weekend go. Hope you all had a lovely, restful weekend.


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Shoot That Book: Ritual Magic

Shoot That Book combines my passion for books and my tendency to become trigger happy with a camera. My lack of photography skills is compensated by my enthusiasm. Basically, I like taking pictures of books.

I haven’t done a Shoot that Book post in ages! I think that’s partly because I have been reading a lot on my Kindle lately so I haven’t had the opportunity to take nice pictures of books. Today’s shot is a Kindle edition so I apologize if it’s not that creative, there’s not much that I can do when taking pictures of ebooks. I’m currently reading Ritual Magic by Eileen Wilks, the tenth book in the World of the Lupi series:

Ritual Magic Kindle edition

I wanted to post this because it’s been more than three weeks since I started reading the first book in the series, Tempting Danger. Almost a month has passed! That’s quite a stretch, isn’t it? I feel like this series and I have been going steady so it seemed like a good idea to celebrate that by paying tribute Ritual Magic, which is the installment published this year. After I finish with this one, I have to wait ONE WHOLE YEAR for the next book. That will take some getting used to when I binged on books one to ten. Good thing I’ll have other books to distract me, huh? I’ll work on posting a review of the series as a whole when I’m done, I definitely need to convince more readers to pick this up.


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Giveaway: Cover (Story) Girl by Chris Mariano

Cover Story Girl wallpaper

Last July 30, 2013, my friend Chris Mariano published Cover (Story) Girl, a contemporary Filipino romance written in English about what happens when an assistant museum curator meets a Korean tourist with a secret or two. The novella features Boracay Island and Aklan prominently. It also contains about 40,200 words, including a glossary for Tagalog and Aklanon terms mentioned in the story. It was published independently.

From the Amazon page:

1) She has amnesia.
2) She’s on the run from herfather’s creditors.
3) She’s enjoying herlast days on earth.

Ever since Jang Min Hee walked into Gio’ssmall museum,she’s given him one excuse after another about why she’s vacationing atscenic Boracay Island. Rarely has Gio’s neat and organized world been shaken like this. Soon he finds himselfscrambling overrocks, hiding in dressing rooms, and dragging her out of bars. But howcan Gio tell what’strue from what isn’t? Their worlds are getting unraveled – one story at a time.

About the Author:
Cover (Story) Girl is Chris Mariano’s first published romance work, but her speculative fiction and poetry have appeared in Fully Booked’s Philippine Graphic/Fiction Awards Prose Anthology, Philippine Speculative Fiction Volume 7, TAYO Literary Magazine, and Ideomancer. When she’s not writing,she supports Eskritoryo Pilipinas, an organization that encourages kids to appreciate Filipino literature and culture. Chris divides her time between Manila and Aklan. Boracay is a two-hour trip from their home in Kalibo. She’s also a fan of Korean telenovelas, which is why common K-drama plot devices are referenced in the story. She’s already working on her next novella, also set in Aklan.

Follow Chris through Twitter or her blog.

Download links for wallpapers, in case you want them:
1280 x 960
1440 x 900
1600 x 900

Now for the giveaway! Five lucky winners will get an ebook edition of Cover (Story) Girl just by leaving a comment with an answer to this question: who would you want to go on a beach vacation with? Giveaway ends on August 24, I’ll randomly pick the winners the next day. Open internationally to anyone who has a Smashwords account.

Giveaway is closed. Winners have been contacted.


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Postcard Love: Singapore Philatelic Museum

Postcard Love Logo

We have a long weekend in Singapore now and I’m hoping that I will be able to work on some reviews. In the meantime, I thought it would be nice to put up a post about the Singapore Philatelic Museum, which I visited the weekend before last. I’ve been wanting to visit the place and didn’t get the chance to do so until my mom came here for a short vacation and said that she wanted to go to a museum. While I did have a small stamp collection when I was a child, I’m mostly interested in this museum because of its connection with postcards. If nothing else, I knew that the museum shop would probably have an interesting selection of postcards for sale.

Singapore Philatelic Museum

Singapore Philatelic Museum

What is a stamp?

Description of a stamp

SPM stamps

Various stamps

SPM mailboxes

Different mailboxes

SPM postcards

Description of postcards

SPM old postcard

An old school postcard

Like I predicted, there were some wonderful postcards in the museum shop and I had a hard time deciding which ones I should get. If you send a postcard from the museum, you just have to pay a certain fee and it gets this special Singapore Philatelic Museum stamp:

SPM stamp

I finally decided to grab these reprinted vintage postcards because I think they look cool. All of them are pictures taken in Singapore back in the day. I wish we had something similar to these back home in Manila.

SPM vintage postcards

It was a fun visit, my only complaint is that while they have a lot of old stamps for sale for collectors, they don’t have any philatelic stamps that can be readily used to send postcards. I’ve asked in several post offices and it seems like philatelic stamps in Singapore are only used for collections and they can only be bought in certain Singpost branches. This makes me a little sad since I used philatelic stamps in Manila whenever I sent postcards, I think those stamps added to the charm of sending snail mail.


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Novel Gossip: Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein

Novel Gossip

The bloggers behind Chachic’s Book Nook and See Michelle Read chatting about books, thousands of miles apart.

Novel Gossip is a new feature that my good friend Michelle and I started a few months ago. Our inaugural post was The Chocolate Rose by Laura Florand. We both loved Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein (my review, Michelle’s review) last year so Rose Under Fire was one of our most anticipated reads this year. Since it’s a book set in a concentration camp, we were pretty sure that it would be heartbreaking and that it would be a good idea to read this together so we can provide moral support as we go along. Click here to read our thoughts about this historical fiction novel. While we did our best to refrain from putting in spoilers, it’s pretty hard to have an in depth discussion without going into some of the things that happened within the book. If you’d rather go into Rose Under Fire without prior knowledge of its contents, then feel free to skip our discussion (although we hope you’d drop by after finishing the book).

Rose Under Fire UK and US

The UK and US editions, side by side

As always, we had so much fun doing this. It was an interesting conversation since I’m not familiar with concentration camp novels while Michelle has read a lot of them. Plus we grew up in different countries and had different history lessons concerning World War II. It’s funny how details like this affect our reading experience. Watch out for our next Novel Gossip title: Madam, Will You Talk by Mary Stewart.


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Postcard Love: A to Z Animal Postcards

animal postcards from woods in the books

I wrote a short post about the indie bookstore Woods in the Books back when I first visited the store. It’s a good place to buy books for kids. Whenever I drop by, I always end up buying these cute animal postcards worth SGD 2 each. I’ve sent them several times to friends all over the world and everyone loves them. I kept resisting buying an entire set for myself because at SGD 42 for 26 postcards, it’s not cheap. I finally gave in when I was there yesterday and I thought it would be a good idea to share pictures.

animal postcards 1

A to I animal postcards

animal postcards 2

J to R animal postcards

animal postcards 3

S to Z animal postcards

animal postcards 4

Back of the postcard

Each letter in the alphabet is represented by an animal, which also comes with a short description about it. Aren’t they cute? Which one is your favorite? I like the C for cheetah (for Chachic, of course) as well as the L for lion (it goes with my blog’s header design).

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