#RomBkLove Day 26: New-To-Me Authors

RomBkLove Day 26 NewToMe

The theme for day 26 of #RomBkLove is New-To-Me Authors. For those who don’t know, #RomBkLove is a month-long celebration of romance books. The event was organized by Ana Coqui of Immersed in Books and you can check out her introduction post here. Various readers and bloggers have hosted each of the daily themes either on Ana’s blog or on their own platform. I have mostly been participating on Twitter, but I know some people have joined the conversation over at Instagram and Facebook. It has been so much fun seeing so many romance recs! I’ve been so tempted to one click a lot of titles.

I’m so excited to kick off today’s discussion about new-to-me authors because discovering new authors to enjoy and fangirl over is one of the reasons why I love being active on romancelandia. How new is new, you might ask? For the purpose of this discussion, let’s set it to authors you’ve discovered and loved in the past year or so. They don’t have to be new releases, just titles that are new to you. To start things off, here are some of the authors and books I’ve thoroughly enjoyed and would highly recommend:

Beginner's Luck Ghost of a Feeling Submission Moves - ebook

Beginner’s Luck by Kate Clayborn – Loved the slow burn romance between the heroine working in STEM and the hero trying to recruit her for his corporate firm. I found it really cute how they slowly got to know each other before acting on their attraction. Also the teasing and banter from friends and family were hilarious.

Ghost of a Feeling by Celestine Trinidad – The couple has such an unusual meet cute when the hero, dressed as a ghost for Halloween, stops the heroine from jumping off the building. Mental health rep! And an interesting look at how difficult it is for the heroine to build a medical career in the Philippines. The author herself is a doctor so everything feels very realistic.

Submission Moves by Camilla Sisco – Such a fun and steamy romance between a feminist heroine and a mixed martial arts hero who have a one night stand in Vegas, then meet a few years later. This is the only title that’s been written by this Filipino author and I keep hoping she’ll write more!

Captive Prince Queen's Game A Princess in Theory

Captive Prince trilogy by C.S. Pacat – I had the worst (or should I say best?) kind of book hangover after finishing this trilogy because it was SO GOOD! I loved this slow burn male/male romance between two princes of rival kingdoms. Enemies to lovers is one of my favorite tropes. So much political intrigue. And such smart writing. Exactly my type of fantasy series. Please feel free to rec anything similar but I think it’s in a class of its own.

The Queen’s Game by Carla de Guzman – The Filipino royal romance that we didn’t know we needed! Partially inspired by one of my dream vacation destinations in the Philippines: Batanes. A quick and sweet read featuring a romance between the prince and princess of neighboring kingdoms. I have expressed my desire for more books in the same setting and Carla has promised (putting it here for accountability) that there will be more.

A Princess in Theory by Alyssa Cole – Another non-European royal romance that I loved with a STEM heroine who first thinks it’s a joke that she’s betrothed to an African prince. Loved the worldbuilding and the witty banter in this one. Also, that gorgeous cover deserves a shout out! A custom African print dress on the heroine and a matching bowtie on the hero.

Slightly Dangerous Hot in Hellcat Canyon FLAIR You Out of Nowhere

Slightly Dangerous by Mary Balogh – I’m not much of a historical romance reader but this Pride and Prejudice retelling was so much fun to read! I love how the heroine blindsided the hero in this one.

Hot in Hellcat Canyon by Julie Anne Long – Really enjoyed this small town romance between two people who have such a strong connection in spite of the differences in their backgrounds.

You Out of Nowhere by Jay E. Tria – Last but certainly not the least, my introduction to romanceclass author Jay E. Tria’s writing was such a good one! This title has been fondly called tita (auntie) romance because of the older heroine. I was rooting for the couple right from their train meet cute.

These are the romance titles I discovered and enjoyed in the past year or so! I’ve been meaning to read more books from some of these authors, but I haven’t found time for that yet. Writing this post is a good reminder for me to start doing that soon. What about the rest of you, who are new-to-you romance authors you’d highly recommend? 🙂 Hope you folks enjoy participating in today’s #RomBkLove topic!

Chasing Mindy Guest Post: Paris Travel Diary

Last week, author Carla de Guzman shared her romanceclass origins and today, she’s here on the blog to share the location inspiration for her latest title Chasing Mindy. Paris is a city that’s close to my own heart and I love that Carla chose to set her book there. Check out what she has to say about this glorious city in relation to her book!

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Paris Travel Diary by Carla de Guzman

One of my favorite things about writing Chasing Mindy was being able to re-write my experience of Paris. It’s one of those places that you never, ever, ever think you’ll be able to visit. You dream about it and hear about it, but you can’t really picture yourself there until you’re actually there. Mindy’s awe over the things she saw was very much my own.

Honestly guys, this city though. It’s so pretty you want to hug it.

For my little stint here on Chachic’s Book Nook, I’m sharing my photos and a little travel diary of the places Mindy and Javier visited!

Chasing Mindy - Rue de Depart

Rue de Depart
Mindy’s first scene ever in Paris is here–on a street corner, looking at the golden light and cursing the city for being just so gosh darn perfect. And how could she not, if she was looking at this? This is the corner not too far from our hotel in Montparnasse. It’s my phone’s wallpaper!

Chasing Mindy - Metro

Paris Metro
Call me a nerd, but I like the Paris Metro stations–they’re all so different, and how fancy is it that the ads have a pretty sienna tile surrounding it? It even has Napoleon’s crest on top of each one.

Chasing Mindy - Shakespeare and Co

Shakespeare and Co.
You see this a lot in pictures, and I never realized it was just across the Notre Dame until someone pointed it out like, oh no big deal, there it is! The inside is crammed with books to browse, and there was a bunch of lavender growing in front of the store so it smelled so nice. I realized later on that there are lots of Shakespeare and Co. bookstores in Europe, but there’s just something special about that green awning!

Chasing Mindy - Square Rene Vivani

Square Rene Vivani
Javi makes Mindy frog march over to the park next to Shakespeare and Co where they sit and have their coffee. Look at that view of the Notre Dame! With the rose arch and everything. There were quite a few painters taking a rest there, and couples falling asleep on the benches–which is totally normal. This place had to appear in the book, just because of the roses!

Chasing Mindy - Saint Chapelle

Saint Chapelle
This church! You don’t run out of churches in Paris, but this one is lovely! I experienced it exactly the same way Mindy did, where she runs up the smallest staircase, thinking that this was a scam, (and we had to line up for an hour!) only to find this gorgeous illusion of light on top. I believe I used the words ‘HOLY CRAP’ in my travel diary at the time.

Chasing Mindy - Giverny

Giverny
When I visited Paris for the first time, I became a little obsessed with the Impressionists. I looked up their works and read up on their history, which is why I knew that the next time we went to Paris, I had to make sure we went to Monet’s home in Giverny. Imagine a garden of flowers and multiply it by like, a thousand. I could barely breathe I was so happy.

Chasing Mindy - Olympia

Olympia by Manet
Sorry for the sudden nudity, but this girl is my goddess, okay. Manet painted one of his favorite muses totally naked. I could go into detail of why he painted it and why this painting was one of the most controversial of his time (someone stop me!), but I settled for putting it in the book, for now.

Chasing Mindy - Eiffel Tower

Eiffel Tower
An excerpt from my travel diary, ‘Damn it, Eiffel Tower, I thought I was over you!’ The perfect last thing to do in Paris is to buy some food, sit in the Trocadero Garden and wait for the tower to light up. You half-expect there to be music. Look at it. So pretty.

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Chasing MindyBook Description:
Mindy and Javier are not friends, okay.

Despite their mothers’ matchmaking, they’ve managed to stay out of each other’s way. Until Mindy goes to Paris for a week, and her mother insists she meet up with Javier. He’s in Paris to study, really looking forward to see you, she says. Watch over each other.

No thanks. Javier is taciturn and boring, Mindy is dramatic and has a tendency to yell at things when her eight siblings are brought up. It’s not a great combination.

But things start to look a little different under the Paris lights, and what felt like hate feels a lot closer to love.

romanceclass origins: Carla de Guzman

romanceclass origins

romanceclass is a community of authors and readers who gather together to support indie published contemporary romance written by Filipino authors. Whether they’re a reader or an author, all community members have their romanceclass origin story… various stories of how and when they joined the community. romanceclass origins is a blog feature that highlights these origin stories.

Visit the earlier romanceclass origins posts here. Today, prolific author Carla de Guzman is here to talk about how she first started attending romanceclass events with siblings in tow. Please give Carla a warm welcome!

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1) How did you discover romanceclass?

In the summer of 2015, I wrote a book. Oh man, I thought I was so amazing. It was a book about different cities and different universes, and I didn’t know it at the time, but it was not romance. After I finished it, I thought I would find someone who might want to publish it. But there’s nothing more painful than being told “why don’t you publish your book on Wattpad first and gain a couple of thousand readers before we publish it?” Ouch.

While desperately Googling and querying, I stumbled upon Alyssa Urbano, who was my batchmate in school. I saw she was self-published and asked her about it. She told me about Bronze Age Media and encouraged me to get in touch. Tania Arpa talked to me first. Looking back I was very, very persistent, haha. After they agreed to help me publish Cities, Tania and I worked together on the cover. Layla Tanjutco finished the first book of mine she would edit. Liana Smith Bautista would later organize the blog tour. Then Mina V. Esguerra and I met in Coffee Bean in Greenhills. She showed me how Amazon worked. I remember she said, “Congratulations, you’re a published author now!” So surreal.

The next thing I knew, I was being added to this group on Facebook called romanceclass, and we were being invited to attend this ‘secret thing’ at The Study in Podium. Me being a very awkward turtle, I brought along my sister (I would bring siblings for at least the next two live readings) and we heard the very first live readings by Gio Gahol and Rachel Coates. I didn’t know anybody, and barely spoke to anyone. Up until April Feels Day 2016, I still had a sibling around! Apparently being in a small space with sweaty people buying each others books makes for great bonding.

Then there was workshop season, where I joined #SparkNA, #StrangeLit, #romanceclass2016 where I wrote If The Dress Fits and #romanceclasss2017 where I wrote Making A Scene. Whirlwind years, my friends.

2) What does being part of the romanceclass community mean to you?

When I first joined, I wasn’t sure what it was supposed to mean for me. At the time it was just a group of people, recommending books, talking about handsome guys.

But later on, romanceclass became a safe space. I can say “hey, that guy looks really really cute!” and not have anyone look at me oddly, in fact they would even nod and agree! That was so new to me. I could write smut and ask questions I could never ask anyone. I could say “hey, this book has a hot and grumpy British actor and maybe I’ll like it” and people will actually encourage that. I can say that I want to write a book about a plus size girl falling in love with this tall, cute boy and they’ll actually say “why not?” instead of “why?” You say you’re a writer and people look at you funny still.

Suddenly, here are all these people who just know things. Like how fun it is to watch a good musical when you’re with friends, what it feels to drown in feelings and what it feels like to suddenly find a community. Suddenly, I have… people. I never thought I would have people.

3) What are your recommended romanceclass reads?

WHY YOU ASK THIS? It’s hard to choose books because I love them all and in very different ways.

I think everyone should read Tara Frejas’ Waiting in the Wings and Like Nobody’s Watching because she writes with her heart on the page, and we all need that. I like soft boys and tough girls, which is why I would recommend Jay’s Songs To Get Over You. If you want to read Mina V. Esguerra’s books, start with No Strings Attached and That Kind of Guy.

And then I would hop on over to Bucket List to Love by CP Santi, Cover Story Girl by Chris Mariano and The Kitchen When It Sizzles by Chrissie Peria. And of course Feels Like Summer by Six de los Reyes for the lightsabers. And then you jump into One Night at the Palace Hotel by Bianca Mori, Submission Moves by Camilla Sisco are SUPER HOT. Ana Tejano’s Keep The Faith is fun and easy to read, and I round it all up with Choco Chip Hips by Agay Llanera because of the tears and the cookies.

I could recommend more, I could talk about these books all day.

Waiting in the Wings Like Nobody's Watching No Strings Attached_New Cover That Kind of Guy 2017

Bucket List to Love Cover Story Girl The Kitchen When It Sizzles - indie Feels Like Summer

One Night at the Palace Hotel Submission Moves - ebook Keep the Faith Choco Chip Hips

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Carla de Guzman

If you ask Carla what she does for a living, she will tell you that she’s not quite sure.

By day, she works a regular day job and writes for a lifestyle website. By night, she’s an author and an artist, spending her midnights at her desk and making these silly love stories. She loves to travel, coming home to her dog Kimchi and spending her weekends having dinner with her crazy family.

She’s currently on a quest to see as many Impressionist paintings as she can, and is always in search of the perfect pain au chocolat.

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Goodreads

March Bookstagram Reviews

Here’s a round up of bookstagram reviews I did for March. You can see my round up posts from previous months here: January and February.

What books have you read in March and what did you think of them? Any stand out reads?

Recent Book Haul

I haven’t done a book haul post in ages! I’ve done some bookstagrams for some of my newly acquired books so I thought it would be a good idea to put them all together in one page. One of my bookish resolutions this year is to buy more ebooks than physical books because I find it easier to read on my Kindle. I’ve been able to follow this resolution, so far! I attended the Book Binge Bazaar hosted by National Bookstore, and only bought one book for the signing we went there for:

The Last Line I’ll Write About You by Dawn Lanuza
https://www.instagram.com/p/BfBisX2lCV3/

And here are some Kindle editions that I either bought or received as gifts:

Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly
https://www.instagram.com/p/BfNzJGcFuNU/

The Dragon with a Chocolate Heart by Stephanie Burgis

The Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccarelli

Speak Easy Speak Love by McKelle George
https://www.instagram.com/p/BfdkjZyFvp1/

I’m planning to go to Komiket, a local indie comic book convention and I have a few titles on my wishlist so I’m pretty sure I’ll be adding more to this pile! Comics and graphic novels are the exception to my rule of buying physical copies of books.

What about the rest of you, have you guys bought or received any books lately?

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 “Month of Filipino Authors” or even “Month 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. 😀

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. 😛

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. 🙂