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™‚

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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:

Not my usual bookstagram, I initially posted this on Litsy then Ilona Andrews herself shared retweeted my tweet about this so I thought might as well share it here: I'm a small time blogger so I rarely get approved for review copies. It was such a surprise when I got approved for an advanced copy of White Hot! It was like receiving a Christmas present. Devoured it, loved it, got a book hangover. I didn't want to leave the world so I went back and reread Burn for Me (again). One of my favorite reads in 2017, full review closer to the release date.πŸ’–πŸ“– . . . #WhiteHot #IlonaAndrews #HiddenLegacy #BurnForMe #AvonBooks #romance #urbanfantasy #bookhangover #bookblogger #reviewcopy #bookstagram #instabooks #bibliophile #IGreads #IGbooks #Litsy

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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?

Top New-To-Me Authors I Read For the First Time In 2016

Top Ten Tuesday2

This is my first blog post in December (yay, the snowfall is back) because I’ve been on an unintentional hiatus the past few weeks due to work and real life getting in the way. Also, my laptop has been acting up so I haven’t been able to go online on it that much. I’ve been updating Litsy (I’m Chachic over there) and Instagram a lot because I can do that on my phone. But I couldn’t let this week pass by without participating in Top Ten Tuesday because I’ve done this topic in previous years (2015, 2014, 2013). As always, Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted over at The Broke and the Bookish. These are the books that introduced me to authors I was delighted to discover this year:

Monstress Amulet The Stonekeeper a-darker-shade-of-magic a-promise-of-fire The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms

fresh-romance Act Like It In the Middle of Somewhere the-hating-game romancing-the-duke

Looks like I have a pretty good mix of both fantasy and romance! It has been a pleasure reading these titles and for some of these authors, I’ve read some of their other books after being introduced to their writing. For the debut authors, I’m eagerly anticipating their next releases. What about you, who are the authors you’ve loved who were introduced to you this year?

Book Haul: Kindle Edition

bookWork has been consuming my life in the last few days but I wanted to do a quick book haul post before the weekend is completely over. I noticed that I’ve acquired quite a few ebooks in my Kindle after my last book haul post, so an update is in order. Some of these are freebies while some were bought at a promo price. In no particular order, here are the newest additions to my Kindle:

the-archived its-a-match beauty-and-the-blacksmith the-bollywood-bride the-courage-of-eli-jackson seven-days-of-friday a-fashionable-indulgence level-up prom-queen-perfect wyvern viking-warrior-rising underneath-it-all the-fifth-season

The Archived by Victoria Schwab
It’s a Match by Ana Tejano
Beauty and the Blacksmith by Tessa Dare
The Bollywood Bride by Sonali Dev
The Courage of Eli Jackson by Kelly Hunter
Seven Days of Friday by Alex A. King
A Fashionable Indulgence by K.J. Charles
Level Up by Cathy Yardley
Prom Queen Perfect by Clarisse David
Wyvern by Grace Draven
Viking Warrior Rising by Asa Maria Bradley
Underneath It All by Ysa Arcangel
The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin

See, this is why I don’t think I will ever finish the books in my TBR pile. I just keep getting more and more of them! And there will be more releases this month that I’ll be buying copies of. Have you read any of the books in this list, is there a title that I should bump up? πŸ™‚

In case anyone is wondering what I’m currently reading, it’s The Broken Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin which is the second book in the Inheritance Trilogy.

Top Ten Contemporary New Adult Books

Top Ten Tuesday2

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. We’re supposed to feature all time favorites of a particular genre and I choose contemporary new adult, because this was one genre (subgenre?) that I haven’t featured a lot on my blog and I also knew I wouldn’t have too many in my list. In fact, I had the opposite problem: I had to browse through my blog and my Goodreads bookshelves quite a bit in order to complete this list. I’m usually up for contemporary novels with a college setting but there aren’t that many titles that stood out for me. In no particular order, these are the ones I’ve liked best:

US paperback for The Piper's Son Summer Skin Raw Blue UK Learning to Fall Fangirl

The Understatement of the Year Him The Deal Easy Where She Went

Some of these are standalones while some are installments in a series – for the latter, I chose the ones I liked the most in the series. I would love to read more books similar to the ones mentioned above so please share your recommendations if you have any. Do you read contemporary new adult novels? Which ones are your favorites?

Ten Books I Wish Would Be TV Shows

Top Ten Tuesday2

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s focus is TV shows. I used to follow several TV shows at any given time. I would try the latest shows that friends rave about and then pick the ones I want to stick with. Nowadays, I feel like I barely have enough time to read and blog and do real life stuff (like chores, ugh) so I don’t get to watch TV shows anymore even though I want to! So my topic of choice this is week is Ten Books I Wish Would Be TV Shows. I mostly picked book series so each TV episode can represent one book. First book from each series pictured below, and linked to my reviews where I have them:

Daughter of the Forest Archangel TheThief The Winter Prince ebook Code Name Verity - UK2

Magic Bites new cover Touchstone Trilogy Black Dog new cover Once Upon a Rose Interim Goddess of Love_digital cover

That’s fairy tale retelling, epic fantasy, urban fantasy, historical fiction, sci-fi and contemporary. Pretty good mix! The problem with book to movie/TV adaptations is that the latter rarely lives up to the former. But I think it’s still awesome whenever a book I love gets extra attention because it’s being adapted. What about you, what books would you love to see made into TV shows?

Ten Books I Think Should Be Required Reading for YA Fantasy Fans

Top Ten Tuesday2

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week is a back to school freebie and I choose Required Reading for YA Fantasy Fans as my topic. Now I’m not claiming to be an expert on YA fantasy, it’s just that I’m a huge fan of the genre and these are the titles that I think can be used to introduce new readers to it. In no particular order, my picks are:

The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Howl's Moving Castle Ella Enchanted QueenOfAttolia

Crown Duel2 The Blue Sword Goose Girl_Alison Jay The Golden Compass Fire

What about you, what book would you include if you had to come up with a required reading list for YA fantasy? Do we share some titles?