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. 🙂

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#BuwanNgMgaAkdangPinoy – Week 1 Round Up

It’s been more than a week since #BuwanNgMgaAkdangPinoy started! Find out more about the event here, and as mentioned earlier, I hope you guys take this chance to read books written by Filipino authors. Since I’m a supporter of romanceclass authors (Indie pubbed Filipino romance written in English), I made a thread on Twitter of books that are currently on sale for just 0.99usd. Go and browse through the list of more than 20 titles. More will be added in the coming days.

Look at that, I finally figured out how to center align an embedded tweet on WordPress, yay! Okay, moving on to the topic on hand… I wanted to do a round up of the posts I’ve made on Instagram so far. I wasn’t able to do posts on a daily basis, I missed a few days but hoping to do more in the coming weeks! Let’s see how it goes.

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#BuwanNgMgaAkdangPinoy: I had lunch with Honey and Tarie earlier today, two out of the three ladies behind the @lovethemidlist account. They pair midlist book recommendations with skincare products they love. So my post today was inspired by what they do. Cover Story Girl by @islandstorygirl is a fun beach romance set in Boracay Island, with a Filipino hero and a Korean heroine. Full disclosure, Chris Mariano is a good friend so I may be biased but I'm a fan of her writing. Skincare-wise, I absolutely love @vanderohe's no. 1 face serum: a blend of rosehip, grapeseed, apricot kernel carrier oils plus 8 essential oils. It's organic, smells amazing, feels awesome on my skin and has helped my face become smoother and clearer. One stop skincare solution in a bottle!

A post shared by Chachic (@chachickenpie) on

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If you’re interested in featuring or reading Filipino books, there’s still lots of time for you to join #BuwanNgMgaAkdangPinoy. What books written by Filipino authors are in your TBR pile?

Saturday Book Haul: October 10

Yesterday, I dropped by the library and today, I dropped by the bookstore. Tonight’s book haul:
Book Haul - October 10, 2015

Three Filipino romance titles published by Visprint, which my friend Chris Mariano got for me:
Cover (Story) Girl by Chris Mariano
Save the Cake by Stella Torres
Vintage Love by Agay Llanera

Three books from Kinokuniya:
Archivist Wasp by Nicole Kornher-Stace
This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki, Jillian Tamaki
Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

Funny story, my friends and I met up for dinner because they needed to pass along these books. Basically, they were kind enough to serve as book mules when they had a recent trip to Manila. After having dimsum for dinner, it was decided that we’ll drop by Kinokuniya because they’re having a weekend sale. I wasn’t really planning on buying anything, except maybe consider getting adult coloring books and colored pencils. But I was surprised when I found out that they had copies of Archivist Wasp – I didn’t think it would be available in Singapore. I couldn’t resist grabbing a copy because of its gorgeous cover, and also this review from The Book Smugglers. I was also surprised that the bookstore had copies of Nimona, and even Lumberjanes (which I resisted). I’ve been meaning to read more graphic novels so I had the perfect excuse to buy Nimona and This One Summer, I’ve heard good things about both of them.

My friends also bought books that they wanted so we all left the bookstore with heavier bags and lighter wallets. I haven’t even read the books from my previous hauls, and here I am getting new ones. What about you guys, have you visited bookstores lately? What are the books that you’ve recently bought or received?

Cover Reveal: Cover Story Girl by Chris Mariano

Cover Story Girl written by my friend Chris Mariano for Mina V. Esguerra’s romance class, was previously published independently. It’s a romance novella set in Boracay Island, one of the most popular beaches in the Philippines and features a Filipino guy who works as an assistant museum curator and a Korean tourist who visits the beach. It will be re-published by Visprint as part of their romance class series. Yay Visprint for publishing more Filipino romances!

The cover was illustrated by Jamie Bauza . I think it’s a good fit for the story and I like the summery vibe of the design. I also noticed that the design includes items that are significant to the story such as calamansi muffins.

New cover and blurb:
Cover-Story-Girl

Cover-Story-Girl-2

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. Chris will be at the Manila International Book Fair 2015 on September 17 to sign books from 1:30 to 3:30 pm, in case you’re planning to attend the event.

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.

New Release: Cover (Story) Girl by Chris Mariano

Tuesday was a good day in terms of book releases. Three titles that I was excited to be published came out yesterday, namely The Chocolate Touch by Laura Florand, Magic Rises by Ilona Andrews and Cover (Story) Girl by Chris Mariano. I’ve finished reading The Chocolate Touch and I need to work on a review for that. Magic Rises is already waiting on my Kindle, I want to finish rereading the earlier books before I start on it though – I’m still in the middle of Magic Burns. Since I’m planning to review the two other titles later on, I want to talk about Cover (Story) Girl.

Chris of Ficsation is a pretty good friend of mine. I was excited when I found out that she wrote a novella for Mina V. Esguerra’s romance class. I offered to be a beta reader and provide feedback on her writing. Since I was a beta reader for Cover (Story) Girl, I don’t think it would be fair for me to review it. It’s a light and fun romance set in Boracay and the surrounding areas. Boracay is one of the most famous beaches in the Philippines because of its clear blue waters and powder white sands. Chris’ writing made me want to visit the place again since I haven’t been there in ages. I also like that the main character is a Filipino guy who works in a small museum in Boracay while the love interest is a Korean tourist. I think that’s an interesting set-up. I think the cover is really pretty and fits the story well.

Cover Story GirlHere’s the summary from Goodreads:

1) She has amnesia.
2) She’s on the run from her father’s creditors.
3) She’s enjoying her last days on earth.

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

Amazon
Smashwords

It’s only USD 0.99 so I think that’s a pretty good price to try out a new author. Congrats, Chris! I’m so excited for your novella.