Top Ten Tuesday: romanceclass Recommendations

Top Ten Tuesday - That Artsy Reader Girl

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature previously hosted over at The Broke and the Bookish and have now been moved over to That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is a love-themed freebie. Since I’m always happy to spread the word about romance written by Filipino authors, I’m choosing to focus on my recommended romanceclass titles this week. For those who don’t know, romanceclass is a community of authors and readers who gather together to support indie published contemporary romance written by Filipino authors. If you’re new to romanceclass, here are ten titles that you can start with:

Ghost of a Feeling Submission Moves - ebook Beginner's Guide - Love and Other Chemical Reactions Feels Like Summer FLAIR You Out of Nowhere

Fairy Tale Fail 2017 Better At Weddings Than You cover One Night at the Palace Hotel Cover Story Girl Loveless Childless Clueless

Ghost of a Feeling by Celestine Trinidad
Submission Moves by Camilla Sisco
Beginner’s Guide by Six de los Reyes
Feels Like Summer by Six de los Reyes
You Out of Nowhere by Jay E. Tria
Fairy Tale Fail by Mina V. Esguerra
Better at Weddings Than You by Mina V. Esguerra
One Night at the Palace Hotel by Bianca Mori
Cover (Story) Girl by Chris Mariano
Loveless. Childless. Clueless. by Miren B. Flores

Special mention to these romanceclass YA titles that I don’t really consider romance but more of coming-of-age stories:

Another Word for Happy Choco Chip Hips
Another Word for Happy by Agay Llanera
Choco Chip Hips by Agay Llanera

This month, I’m hoping that I’ll be able to read a few more romanceclass titles from my TBR pile, these ones are high on my list:

Waiting in the Wings by Tara Frejas
If the Dress Fits by Carla de Guzman
Keeping the Distance by Clarisse David
Tame the Kitten by Bianca Mori
Swept Off My Feet by Ines Bautista Yao
The Princess Finds Her Match by Suzette de Borja

All of these books are available in Amazon, I believe most are available for free if you’re on Kindle Unlimited. Some are on sale and I’m linking to a Twitter thread I created which lists titles currently available for just 0.99usd:

What about you, how did you choose to spin this week’s Top Ten Tuesday? Are you rereading and recommending some of your favorite romances this month? πŸ™‚

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Ten Books I Liked But Can’t Remember Much About

Top Ten Tuesday - That Artsy Reader Girl

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature previously hosted over at The Broke and the Bookish and have now been moved over to That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is books I enjoyed reading but can’t remember much about. It sucks when I remember enjoying a book but can’t remember most of what happened in it! This usually happens when I don’t write a review for a book, I tend to forget what the story is about. Here are ten books that I really liked (rated 4 stars on Goodreads) but unfortunately, can’t recall most of the contents of the book:

Radiance Masque Warprize Cruel Beauty For Darkness Shows the Stars

Rise Carolina Dreaming His Road Home A Bollywood Affair Pairing Off

That’s five specfic romance (or specfic with romantic elements) and five contemporary romance titles. What about you, do you have problems remembering books that you enjoyed reading too? If you were to make a list like this, what titles would you include?

Book Haul: Signed and Personalized Copies

In yesterday’s blog post about resolutions, I mentioned that I need to incorporate more of my bookstagrams here on the blog. If you have an Instagram account and you’re interested in following me, I’m chachickenpie over there. I’ve been lucky enough to receive a few signed and personalized copies of my favorite books in the past month or so, and I wanted to share them here.

First is a lovely package sent by one of my favorite authors, Lucy Parker. Swipe left to see all of the photos:

@lucyparkerauthor is one of my all-time favorite romance authors. She writes witty contemporary romances set in West End, and I have so much love for her books.πŸ’™πŸ’š She's not just an awesome writer, she's super generous as well! Not only did she send me personalized copies of her books (together with fancy Whittaker's dark chocolates), she also sent a whole stack of signed copies to @minavesguerra, which were distributed to the #romanceclass community.πŸ“šπŸ« Everyone who got physical copies already have her books in ebook format, which goes to show how much we love them. Maraming salamat, Lucy! THANK YOU SO MUCH.πŸ’œπŸ’› Please visit us in Manila, promise we'll do something fun that's romance/theater-related.πŸ˜‰

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Next, my good friend Michelle of See Michelle Read had Megan Whalen Turner personalize The Queen of Attolia and The King of Attolia for me! Again, swipe left to see all of the photos:

So, so, so. In my last post, I talked about Thick as Thieves as part of my Best of 2017 list. Lo and behold, I get a notice to pick up a package from the post office and it's a Queen's Thief-themed one! THANK YOU SO MUCH to my generous friend @seemichelleread for thinking of me when she saw Megan Whalen Turner at Y'ALLWEST earlier this year!β€πŸ™Œ . . Now I have signed and personalized copies of two of my all-time favorite books: The Queen of Attolia and The King of Attolia. Perfect for all the times I'll be rereading these in the future (These are my fourth copies, I think? I have paperbacks of the old editions, ebooks, and my lending copies are with a friend). I love that Michelle wrapped them up nicely for Christmas.πŸŽ„πŸ˜Š So glad they arrived just before Christmas. Thanks also to MWT for including a message and bookplates for additional books! . . If you haven't read this brilliant YA fantasy series, you really should start on it ASAP. No one writes like MWT does. I will forever be in awe of how beautifully she pulls off plot twists and turns, and also how she delivers clever dialogue. Reading order: The Thief, The Queen of Attolia, The King of Attolia, A Conspiracy of Kings, Thick as Thieves. . . If you've read this series and have book recs for MWT fans, feel free to share them!

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Last but not the least, new-to-me author Alyssa Cole sent me a signed copy of her upcoming book A Princess in Theory:

Thank you so much for all of these, Lucy, Michelle (and Megan), and Alyssa! πŸ™‚ I actually have more books acquired in my Kindle, maybe I should do a book haul post for those sometime. What about you, what books have you acquired lately?

Ten Bookish Resolutions

Top Ten Tuesday - That Artsy Reader Girl

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme/feature previously hosted over at The Broke and the Bookish and have now been moved over to That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is bookish resolutions or goals. I wanted to participate because this is something I’ve been thinking about lately. Here are my book-related resolutions for 2018:

Keep blogging without pressure. I’ve been blogging since 2010 and not putting pressure on myself is something I’ve always been conscious of. In order to keep blogging fun, I need to blog without pressure. No pressure to write posts or review books if I don’t have the time or if I’d rather do something else, like read or rest.

Read more books from my TBR pile. I have so many books that I still haven’t read and I need to make more of a conscious effort to prioritize them, instead of buying new ones. This is actually easier said than done because I’m a mood reader and sometimes, I’m in the mood for new books.

Continue to actively participate in the romanceclass community. romanceclass is a community of readers and authors of indie pubbed Filipino romance in English. The community organizes several events to promote and market books, and to encourage more readers and authors to join the group. It’s been so much fun to have a sense of belonging in a local book community because I love books and I love interacting with people who love the same thing.

Don’t hesitate to DNF books. I’ve said it before and I’ll probably say it again, life is too short to read books we don’t like. But even so, I have a hard time DNF-ing books.

Read more speculative fiction. My two most favorite genres are romance and fantasy, but I noticed that last year I read a lot more of the former than the latter. I think it’s because romance is easier to get into than fantasy. But I really want to discover more books and new-to-me authors in fantasy.

My first read in 2018 was The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden, which came highly recommended by my friend Kristen (fantasycafe on Twitter). So glad this fantasy debut novel was a Kindle deal a few days ago, and I was able to buy it for just 2.99usd. It started off real slow, I feel like the first half could have been edited better. But the pace picked up and I enjoyed it overall. An atmospheric read that has a fairytale feel, set in medieval Russia, steeped in folklore of that era. I've been itching to read a good fantasy book and this hit the spot. The sequel is already out so I'm going to try a sample before deciding if I want to shell out 13.99usd for it or wait for another Kindle deal. Why are fantasy ebooks so expensive compared to romance ebooks?😭 . . . How about you, have you finished your first book this year? If not, what are you currently reading? Also, what was the last fantasy title that wowed you?

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Declutter by giving away and passing on some of my physical books. I feel bad when it’s been years and certain books are just sitting on my bookshelves without being read or reread. So I think it’s better to find new homes for them, where they could possibly make a new reader happy. An exception to this resolution would be signed and personalized editions, because of course, I want to keep those.

Buy ebook editions instead of physical copies. Again, this is related to decluttering but I’ve also noticed that I’m more likely to read a book in my TBR pile if I can read it on my Kindle. I find it more convenient to read on my Kindle nowadays because I can adjust the font size and style, and also adjust the Paperwhite’s light function.

I caved and bought The Bird and the Nightingale's sequel for 13.99usd because I wanted to read it while the story is still fresh in my mind. I keep hearing that The Girl in the Tower is even better than the author's debut novel so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I'd find it worth the purchase. I realized that I find it difficult to convince myself to buy pricey Kindle editions for fantasy titles because romance (the other genre I read a lot of) ebooks are a lot more affordable. The hardcover edition would have been about the same price, and I actually prefer ebooks nowadays. I think I just need to get used to this price range for fantasy, which I would to read more of. How about you, how much are you willing to pay for ebook editions? πŸ“· @ssshortzzz

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Be more conscious about integrating the content I create on other social media platforms into my blog here on WordPress. I’m very active on both Twitter, Instagram, and Litsy (username: Chachic), because it’s easier to update apps on my phone than open up my laptop to blog. So there are some conversations that happen on those other sites that I don’t share here on the blog. I want to change that in the coming year, and try to update WordPress more. As an example, I’ve included some of my bookstagrams to make this blog post more fun. I should do more of that moving forward.

Do more guest posts and host more guest posts. This is something I used to do more of, write guest posts for other people’s blogs and host fellow readers or authors on my blog. It’s a nice way of interacting with the book blogosphere and something I want to do more of in 2018.

Try something new. It can be a new blog feature, or doing something different like recording a video review. I’m clueless about video editing though so maybe I can try it on Instagram live or maybe I can ask friends to join me on Google Hangouts to discuss a book. An example of doing something new: last year I took part in two podcasts with my friend Kat from Book Thingo (click here and here to check them out).

Those are my bookish resolutions and goals for 2018, I hope I’m able to stick to them! What about you, what are your resolutions for this year?

Ten Books I Hope Santa Brings

Top Ten Tuesday2

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted over at The Broke and the Bookish. Hello from Manila! Where the weather is rainy but pleasantly cool for a tropical country. The Christmas-related gatherings have already started in this part of the world, and I can’t wait to catch up with more family and friends. A preference that would surprise no one is that I would love to received books as gifts – even ebooks! πŸ™‚ Actually, Kindle editions are better for me nowadays. I rarely receive books though, because I think most friends are not sure what are the titles that I have and don’t have yet. So it’s fun to make a Christmas wishlist so I can just share it on the off-chance that someone asks. Without further ado, here are the books that I would be delighted to receive for Christmas:

Queen's Game Submission Moves - ebook Don't Tell My Mother Sounds Like Summer Take the Lead

Hate to Want You Beginner's Luck An Enchantment of Ravens The Last Namsara Forest of a Thousand Lanterns

Four romanceclass titles, three contemporary romance books, and three fantasy new releases. These are basically the books that are at the top of my wishlist. I should also mention that I’d be happy to accept Amazon gift cards if that makes things easier for the gift giver LOL. What about you, what books would you like to receive this Christmas? πŸ™‚

Ten Hidden Gems in Filipino Romance

Top Ten Tuesday2

I haven’t done a Top Ten Tuesday post in ages! As always, Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted over at The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is a freebie, we get to highlight hidden gems in any genre of our choice. Since August is Buwan Ng Mga Akdang Pinoy can be roughly translated as β€œMonth of Filipino Authors” or even β€œMonth of Filipino Books”. I mostly read romanceclass books (Indie pubbed Filipino romance written in English) so that’s what I choose to focus on for this post. πŸ˜€

romanceclass-logo

There are a few romanceclass titles that have gotten international recognition, such as Learning to Fall by Mina V. Esguerra which was reviewed on Dear Author or Beginner’s Guide by Six de los Reyes which was reviewed on Smart Bitches, Trashy Books and was included in NPR’s Book Concierge last year. But most of the titles are more under-the-radar, which is a shame because I think they can have appeal to a wider audience. Here are five romanceclass titles that I consider as hidden gems:

Feels Like Summer Iris After the Incident Cover-Story-Girl One Night at the Palace Hotel

And here are five more that I haven’t read yet, but are high on my TBR pile because of recommendations… these books would be my introduction to these authors:

If the Dress Fits Songs of Our Breakup The Princess Finds Her Match What About Today Waiting in the Wings

All of these are available as Kindle editions on Amazon, so you can buy copies of them wherever you are. I actually created a Twitter thread of Filipino romance titles in English that are currently on sale, in case you want to go through the list which already has links to the Amazon page of each book:

Some of them aren’t 0.99usd anymore but still pretty affordable! Some will be on promo price until the end of the month. I’ve been adding titles to the thread as their prices drop, and I’ve also been one clicking like crazy and stocking up on books that have been on my wishlist. πŸ˜›

Have you read any romances by Filipino authors? Let me know what you thought of them. If you’re familiar with romanceclass and have read books from the community, please feel free to share your own favorites and recommendations in the comments section. πŸ™‚

Holiday Book Haul

I think I may be allergic to the office. I went back to work on Tuesday and then I got a fever and a sore throat that evening. I kept going to the office and just slept as early as I can at night but I lost my voice yesterday evening so today, I gave in and went to the doctor to get a medical certificate so I could take the rest of the day off to rest.

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While I was able to take a nap this afternoon, I wasn’t able to get any reading done. In fact, I should be getting ready for bed now but I wanted to squeeze in a quick post about my book haul during the holiday season. The order is kind of a mess but these were the books I acquired:

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Last Friday's brunch meet up with Filipino readers and authors: Celina, Chris, Mina, Honey and Kim

Brunch meet up with Filipino readers and authors: Celina, Chris, Mina, Honey and Kim

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Some other books I bought/downloaded for free, but were only posted on Litsy and not Instagram so I can’t embed them here:
Dark Horse by Michelle Diener
The Future Chosen by Mina V. Esguerra
Big Rock by Lauren Blakely
The Art of Deception by Stephanie Burgis
Alex + Ada Volume 3 by Jonathan Luna and Sarah Vaughn

I was also very excited to receive these review copies of my anticipated books:

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A new Laura Florand is always something to be happy about. She's one of my favorite romance authors. I've loved all of the other titles in her La vie en Roses series set in Grasse, France, featuring a family in the perfume business. I'm pretty sure I'll enjoy this one too. I couldn't resist taking a pic of A Crown of Bitter Orange with this bottle of orange blossom EDT (I bought the cologne version). Maybe I should have done this for Once Upon a Rose and A Wish Upon Jasmine too? πŸ“–πŸŒΉ FYI, Once Upon a Rose is on sale for just 0.99usd now. Such a good bargain! . . . #LauraFlorand #ACrownofBitterOrange #LavieenRoses #romance #bookblogger #reviewcopy #bookstagram #instabooks #bibliophile #IGreads #IGbooks #booksPH #Litsy #ChristineLhuillierParfumerie #fragrance #perfume

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When I woke up this morning, I saw the notification that @berkleyromance approved my NetGalley request for Julie James' latest novel. Thank you!!πŸ“–πŸŽ‰ One of my most anticipated titles in 2017 because she writes the best romantic banter.πŸ’– I'm always surprised (in a good way) whenever I'm approved for a review copy because as an international reader/blogger, my default expectation is to be rejected.πŸ˜‚ @fantaghiro23, we were just talking about this book yesterday! . . . #JulieJames #TheThingAboutLove #BerkleyRomance #romance #bookblogger #reviewcopy #bookstagram #instabooks #bibliophile #IGreads #IGbooks #booksPH #Litsy #NetGalley #Kindle #bookandlunch #CafeBreton #cafehopping #foodstagram #Manilafoodie #foodieManila

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I feel like this moment of my book blogging experience should be highlighted because I have review copies by my favorite authors: Ilona Andrews, Andrea K. Host, Julie James, Laura Florand and Lucy Parker! πŸ™‚ I’ve already read White Hot and In Arcadia (short review on Litsy) but I’m having a difficult time choosing which one to prioritize among the remaining three. Now I just need Thick as Thieves by Megan Whalen Turner and The Pearl Thief by Elizabeth Wein and I’ll be all set. πŸ˜€

I was also able to pass on some of the physical books that I have in my Manila bookshelf to friends when we had a get together. I really feel bad that my books have just been sitting neglected on my shelf and they’re aging fast because of heat and humidity. I feel better that they’re now with people who would potentially enjoy reading them. I think I’ve culled like half of my bookshelf back home, I’ve mostly kept signed books and the ones that I plan to reread.

I hope this post wasn’t too confusing with its mix of Instagram and Litsy links. As you can see, I’ve tried to be active on other social media sites but I know it’s also a good idea to consolidate all of those posts here on WordPress. I’m off to rest! What about you, have you received or bought any books recently? πŸ™‚

Ten Books I Wouldn’t Mind Santa Leaving Under My Tree This Year

Top Ten Tuesday2

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted over at The Broke and the Bookish. I made a similar list last year so I thought it would be fun to do it again. I was already back home in Manila when I did this Top Ten Tuesday topic last year but now I have to work until the end of the week before I can fly home. Counting down the days until I’m off to the Philippines for the holidays! Getting back to the topic on hand, I’ve already received two books from my book club’s Secret Santa but we all know that it will always be nice to get more books as gifts. These are the books that I wouldn’t mind receiving for Christmas:

Ancillary Justice The Keeper of the Mist The Start-Touched Queen rose-and-thorn heroine-complex

the-q Cloudwish tell-the-truth-shame-the-devil where-we-left-off-2 oracles-moon

These are basically the books that are at the top of my wishlist. What about you, what books would you like to receive this Christmas? πŸ™‚

Book Haul: Secret Santa Edition

Every year, my online book club (YAckers) has a Secret Santa gift exchange. And because we all love books, we tend to focus on those as gifts. I’ve previously posted my haul from past Secret Santas (2012, 2013, 2014, 2015) so I thought it would be nice to keep up with the tradition. These are the books I received:

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And I also took a picture of books I received from past Secret Santa exchanges that I still haven’t found time to read:

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Sigh, so many books, so little time! I find it interesting that most of the books I received from my fellow YAckers are fantasy titles. I guess we know what’s our favorite genre. I also have a box of Ferrero chocolates from the office Secret Santa (which I think isn’t that interesting haha) but that’s it for this year. Are you guys participating in any form of Secret Santa this year?

Ten Books I’m Looking Forward to In the First Half of 2017

Top Ten Tuesday2

As always, Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted over at The Broke and the Bookish. 2017 is going to be an epic reading year. There are so many books to be released next year that I can’t wait to read. In just the first half of the year, these are the titles I’m super excited to pick up… some of which I’ve waited YEARS to be published (yes, I’m looking at you, MWT):

breath-of-fire A Crown of Bitter Orange pretty-face a-conjuring-of-light-us strange-the-dreamer

the-thing-about-love the-pearl-thief thick-as-thieves White Hot words-in-the-deep-blue

I’m so excited to read all of these! What about you, what books are you looking forward to in 2017?