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

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romanceclass origins: Miles Tan

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, I’m delighted to have Miles Tan on the blog. She’s romanceclass’ resident tech support, graphic and cover designer, and the creator of the romanceclass logo! In case you didn’t know, the romanceclass logo is based on her handwriting. I’m also very grateful to her for designing the romanceclass origins logo (because yay, it’s consistent with the original one so that makes my feature legit). In true Miles fashion, this post includes some of her original artwork. Please give Miles a warm welcome as she shares her origin story!

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1) How did you discover romanceclass?

It was 2013 and I was struggling with a job where I thought I could stay and flourish in, but the hours and workload were pushing me to forget to take care of myself and my family. I was looking for any outlet that could help me just relieve the pressures of work.

It was also around this time that I had been playing online with friends on a text-based RPG message board. If you’re not familiar with this system, it’s a little like round-robin writing. A gamemaster would set the scenario and the player – characters would respond, and whole stories would unfold. This sparked my interest to get back into one of my first loves: writing.

Chris Mariano and Chrissie Peria (authors of Cover (Story) Girl and All Fair’s in Blog and War respectively) had introduced Mina V. Esguerra’s works to me and mentioned the class she was setting up. So what the heck, I already had the beginnings of what was going to be Finding X, and the rest is — as they say — history.

Miles Tan - sketch01

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

‘Found family’ is one of my favorite tropes, and I found one with #romanceclass. With the group I found a place that has a lot of heart and full of acceptance.

It is also a place of opportunities for anyone of any capacity. You don’t have to be a writer or a reader. Some of us have become beta readers, subject matter experts, editors, artists, event planners(!) and code monkeys, resources that are all available to the members when they decide to write their own stories. This is the most supportive community I found, and I love them for it.

I may have originally joined the group to write, but I’ve stayed because of the support. And I like supporting back. There’s art, there’s code, there’s showing up. Being given opportunities outside the group that are an offshoot of all these (a wider network, more art and coding jobs) is like extra cheese on an already hearty spaghetti bolognese.

It’s one of the reasons I designed the logo that way. It’s about and for a community that talks, writes, and does everything from the heart.

Miles Tan - sketch02(1)

3) What are your recommended romanceclass reads?

There’s so much! Here are good starting points though

Fairy Tale Fail by Mina V. Esguerra (not technically #romanceclass, but definitely paved the way for me)
Cover (Story) Girl by Chris Mariano
All’s Fair in Blog and War by Chrissie Peria
Blast from the Two Pasts by Kristel S. Villar
Beginner’s Guide: Love and Other Chemical Reactions by Six de los Reyes
Waiting in the Wings by Tara Frejas

Fairy Tale Fail 2017 Cover Story Girl All's Fair in Blog and War

Blast From Two Pasts_ Beginner's Guide - Love and Other Chemical Reactions Waiting in the Wings

While I’m in between the stories in my own head, I also live vicariously through the books I’ve done covers of. Keep the Faith, Midnights in Bali, Summer Crush, Young Love, Summer Feels, and Ghost of Feeling are just some of those!

Keep the Faith Fall Like Rain Midnights in Bali Summer Crush Summer Feels

Young Love Ghost of a Feeling Waiting in the Wings Like Nobody's Watching FLAIR You Out of Nowhere

Seriously though, I suggest browsing romanceclassbooks.com and you might just find a book you’ll love.

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miles-tanMiles Tan is a #romanceclass author, creative and tech support. And now also a pasta cravings instigator #StarchHere. She likes inhabiting imaginary worlds, from fantasy books to sci-fi shows to cheeky mysteries to role-playing games.

Finding X is her first published novella. Her short story, Something Real, is included in the YA Luna East anthology, Kids These Days.

Website: milestanbooks.com
Twitter: maedinn
Instagram: milestan.author

romanceclass origins: Clare E. Marquez

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, romanceclass author Clare E. Marquez, nicknamed Jang, shares how she first found out about the community. Jang is one of the sweetest people I’ve come to know through the group, she’s so thoughtful and always has something nice to say in any situation. Thank you for being a guest on my blog today, Jang!

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1) How did you discover romanceclass?

A friend of mine, Veron, told me about an online writing class that Mina V. Esguerra will facilitate in March of 2015. She was an avid follower of Mina and when she saw her advise, she thought of asking me to join her in this class. So I did and it was one of the best things that happened to me in terms of reviving my dream of being a writer.

Writing took a backseat after college for me. I had some scribbles here and there, mostly unfinished scenes, dialogues, stories that really never saw the light of day. I have notebooks since I was ten with all stories. My goal in attending Mina’s class was to just finish a full-length novel in less than 3 months – that was the length of the class – and that’s what happened. I was so happy about it.

Jang - Romanceclass 2015

So from Mina, I discovered this world of Filipino authors who write in English. I attended #AprilFeels in 2015 at the Pegi Waffles and met in person Filipino authors, experienced my first live reading of #GaHoates (Gio Gahol and Rachel Coates). It was so much fun but more than anything so meaningful to me. I was in awe and so impressed by everyone. It was a great place to be for people like me who loves to read – and write! – romance novels. I felt I was in a good place with the company of amazing people. So I started following other members of #romanceclass in Twitter, always checking out the happenings of the community.

When my first novel Simply Joei was chosen by Anvil as one of the novels to be printed from the 2015 class of Mina, I was ecstatic. It was nothing I expected but everything I hoped for. I learned a little about the ins and outs of traditional publishing when I was dealing with Anvil. Then I also learned about self-publishing and the #romanceclass people are the most selfless, supportive people one can find in this industry. All people I’ve messaged, whether I met in person or not, have helped me patiently, answered my questions and was so open to any other help I needed. So two months after Simply Joei was launched by Anvil in 2017, I launched my self-published book Just Kate in April 2017.

Again, the support of #romanceclass was unbelievable and I have never been luckier to find a place where I am so proud to belong.

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

To belong to a community that pushes you forward to be the best you can be, who accepts you for who and what you are and understands your passion – supports you selflessly – is a GIFT. #Romanceclass membership is a special gift to me, one I know I will forever be grateful for.

Being a member of #romanceclass means the world to me. It opened many doors for me, introduced me to awesome people (the best!) and I learned so many things about writing, publishing, (also food, k-pop, science, arts, politics, theater, Minola oil, among other things). When I participated in the #GoReadWrite2017 event at Raffles in 2017, it was so wonderful to share the experience with veteran and first time authors like me. I know for sure I would not have done anything I did in the last two years – writing, publishing, public speaking – without the #romanceclass community. I witnessed first-hand the unwavering, generous support the community has for each other. The community lift up each other and we have the pompoms to prove it.

My heart will forever be grateful for this world-class community and to be part of it is something I will always wear in my heart.

Jang - Go Read Write Panel 2017

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3) What are your recommended romanceclass reads?

There are A LOT of books written by #romanceclass authors and here are some of my favorites:

Learning to Fall by Mina Esguerra
Midnights in Bali by Carla de Guzman
All’s Fair in Blog and War by Chrissie Peria
Sounds Like Summer by Six de los Reyes
The Real Score by Kesh Tanglao
The Duke Takes a Bride by Suzette de Borja
Bucket List to Love by C.P. Santi
Keeping the Distance by Clarisse David

Learning to Fall Midnights in Bali All's Fair in Blog and War Sounds Like Summer

The Real Score The Duke Takes a Bride Bucket List to Love The Duke Takes a Bride

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Clare E. MarquezClare Elisabeth Marquez enjoys sitting in her pajamas while looking out the window from her amazingly massive writer’s desk, reveling in the glorious beauty of snow-capped mountains as she sips her warm, soothing coffee.

Then she wakes up. And writes.

A closet romantic through and through, C.E. Marquez is a voracious reader, writer, and dreamer, never failing to believe that dreams can come true for those who wait… and do something about it! Her towering piles of notes of handwritten stories (which she started collecting when she was ten!) are her well-kept treasures, tattered and bruised, but still waiting for their chance to see the light.

She writes about things that matter: love, life, and everything else in between.

You can contact her through authorcemarquez@gmail. com — but only if you want her to reply!

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Start Here Blog Tour: Short Story Blurbs and Quotes

This week is Start Here’s blog tour! Late last year, I shared the cover reveal for this Filipino romance anthology featuring male/male, female/female and female/non-binary short stories. Today, I’m here to share blurbs and quotes from each story and I hope these will encourage you to give this anthology a try. Both print and ebook editions are available internationally and links on where to order them are shared below. I already have a copy on my Kindle and I’m looking forward to reading it. 🙂

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Start Here - print cover

Start Here

Edited by Ronald S. Lim and Brigitte Bautista. Featuring short stories by Agay Llanera, H. Bentham, Ella Banta, Danice Sison, Yeyet Soriano, Barbie Barbieto, Katt Briones, Bobbi Moran, Motzie Dapul, and Brigitte Bautista. This anthology contains M/M, F/F, F/NB romance stories with happy endings. Some stories have a high heat level.

Release Date: January 27, 2018
Book Cover Design: Dani Hernandez

SYNOPSIS
There’s a first time for everything. Gatecrashing a KPop concert with an oppa in a business suit. Taking shelter from the storm with the girl you’ve been meaning to shake off. That kiss that blurs the line between friendship and something more. A one-night stand (or, is it?) with your best friend from across the hallway.

Dive into these 10 stories of first encounters – unapologetically queer, happy endings required, with a smattering of that signature #romanceclass kilig. Whether you’re recalling your own firsts or out there looking for one, there’s a story in here for you.

So, go on.

Turn the page.

Start here.

Add Start Here on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/37880247-start-here
Order Start Here on Amazon (int’l ebook and print): https://bit.ly/rcStartHere
Order Start Here on paperback (PH only): https://bit.ly/StartHere-PrintPH

Start Here - ebook

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In the Moonlight by Agay Llanera

Seventeen-year-old Caleb has been burned by a previous relationship. While on vacation, he meets Ezra of the sculpted calves and disarming smile, who surprises him with a moonlight kiss. Caleb retreats – and regrets his decision. Thanks to the internet, he knows where to find his summer crush, but the more pressing question is, will Caleb have the courage to bare his heart again?

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Come Full Circle by Bobbi Moran

You know you’re in love when you put somebody else’s happiness before yours. But waiting for fifteen years for someone to realize you are THE ONE may be taking this to the extreme.

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Gorgeous by Motzie Dapul

New love in New York with a twist!

Two home-grown Filipinos fall in love after a chance meeting on a train to Little Manila in Queens, NY. They learn, over time spent enjoying the colorful culture of New York City’s streets, that they are, by all accounts, perfect for each other — before some unexpected baggage and a surprising history threatens to tear them apart.

Some things just don’t heal with time alone, but sometimes it’s only when it hurts that you know it’s worth trying for.

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Shipping Included by Danice Sison

Two cute guys sneak into a K-pop concert. Neither one could be called a fan of the music, but by the end of the night, they might just find themselves with a new favorite song and a few romantic possibilities.

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Delubyo by Barbie Barbieto

Pebbles has a strict four-month rule when it comes to relationships. But she’s about to find out what happens when you meet a woman who defies all your ideas of how long the space between endings and beginnings should be.

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The Other Story by H. Bentham

A bored twenty-something goes to a sex club he frequently visits to while away the night and find that love sometimes comes at unexpected places.

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Blooms and Hues by Ella Banta

Experience love in color and flowers.

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Another First by Yeyet Soriano

Jess finally gets to have a long-delayed romantic get-away to Bohol with her hot but busy boyfriend Matteo. Beautiful resort, check! Romantic ambience, check!

But wait… Lily Rose, the resort’s resident singer and self-proclaimed mermaid, is distracting the hell out of everyone.

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Luck From the Skies by Katt Briones

Asher Lee knew from the beginning that he was going to win the teen model search, but didn’t expect to share the title with his biggest competitor, Chan Valiente. Previously threatened by his former adversary’s talent and looks, Asher kept his walls up, only to find them crumbling down with Chan’s charms.

Would Asher be brave enough to take the leap and actually find his chance at love? Or will he and Chan remain to be a fan-made bromance?

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Lemon Drop Friday by Brigitte Bautista

Tala has been secretly in love with her best friend Liv for years. Living right across the hallway, she has seen through Liv’s revolving door of Friday one-night stands. The rule: they always say goodbye in the morning. But, what happens when a rainy Friday night leads Tala to Liv’s apartment in what looks like another one-night stand?

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romanceclass origins: Chris Mariano

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. In my own romanceclass origins post, I mentioned that author Chris Mariano and I are “batchmates” because I knew her even before she became a romanceclass author. I’m thrilled that she’s here on the blog today, to share how she’s been a part of the community. Please give a warm welcome to Chris for her guest post for romanceclass origins!

Chris and Chachic - Jan 2018

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1) How did you discover romanceclass?
I participated in Mina V. Esguerra’s Author at Once workshop so I was already following her on Facebook. When she posted about organizing a ‘romance class’ to share her writing techniques, I didn’t want the chance to pass me by. My friend Chrissie Peria and I signed up, and the rest is history.

This is my idea of a good time. ☀️🌊📚

A post shared by Chris Mariano (@islandstorygirl) on

2) What does being part of the romanceclass community mean to you?
The romanceclass community is my people. It is a support group, cheering squad, critique circle, and book club all in one. When you surround yourself with people who not only share the same interests, but who are also genuinely encouraging and inspiring, then nothing seems impossible.

I have always loved romance, but I never finished anything I wrote (unless you count the Sweet Dreams-type stories I wrote back in high school). romanceclass made it possible for me to actually complete my own novella and self-publish it, and to do it alongside other talented writers who were also just figuring it out by themselves. I guess it always felt that we were all in this together, your-success-is-my-success, walang iwanan. I’ve always tried to be generous with what I’ve learned so far because that is what the community has been to me. I know that I couldn’t have gotten very far without it, and I will always be grateful.

romanceclass is a family of not just writers, but also readers, bloggers, and even live readers. I love that it has grown so organically from that small table of authors at our first class. I don’t think Mina went, “I want to build a community so by November 20XX, I should be done with Step 1: inviting readers to join.” People wrote, people published, people shared tips, people contributed, people did what they felt like doing – and here we are now. To mis-quote Field of Dreams, “If you build it, they will come.”

3) What are your recommended romanceclass reads?
A lot! I always dread having to pick favorites among my #romanceclass books because really, how can I choose? Some nice titles to start with include:
Keep the Faith by Ana Tejano
Dare to Love by C.P. Santi
What You Wanted by Mina V. Esguerra
No Strings Attached by Mina V. Esguerra
Waiting in the Wings by Tara Frejas
Chasing Waves by Bianca Mori
Choco Chip Hips by Agay Llanera
Promdi Heart (because love your own)

Keep the Faith Dare to Love What You Wanted No Strings Attached_New Cover

Waiting in the Wings Chasing Waves Choco Chip Hips Promdi Heart

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Chris Mariano - Author-PhotoChris Mariano writes contemporary romance and speculative fiction. Once upon a time, her short story “A Kind of Flotsam” won 1st Place in the 3rd Philippine Graphic/Fiction Awards and judge Neil Gaiman called it ‘beautifully done.’ She was also a fellow for Poetry in English at the 34th UP National Writers Workshop.

She is a freelance writer and editor living in Juneau, Alaska. She’s a member of Romance Writers of America and its Alaska Chapter. When she’s not reading an insane amount of historical romances, she immerses myself in armchair astronomy and tabletop roleplaying games.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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Character Profiles: You Out of Nowhere by Jay E. Tria

Earlier this week, the title, cover and synopsis for the first romanceclassFLAIR title was revealed. Click here to see the post about You Out of Nowhere by Jay E. Tria. Now for something fun, here are character profiles for the heroine and hero:

You Out of Nowhere - Kris

You Out of Nowhere - synopsis

You Out of Nowhere - Ringo

Join the You Out of Nowhere blog tour from November 13-17! Sign up HERE.

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About FLAIR

romanceclassFlairFLAIR (or #romanceclassFlair) is a new, ongoing project and it’ll bring you steamy contemporary romance (in English) by Filipino authors. There are four new titles from four different #romanceclass authors about to be released, and these books will be unapologetically sexy. What can you expect from Flair? HEAs, Filipino characters, fresh telling of familiar tropes, lots of heat.

Flair is not a publisher, but there is a single Flair team that is working with the authors on all the books. The team is composed of #romanceclass community authors, readers, editors, designers. Follow Romanceclass Books on FB, romanceclassbooks on IG, and #romanceclass on Twitter to get the updates!

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About the Author

Jay E. Tria is inspired by daydreams, celebrity crushes, a childhood fascination of Japanese drama and manga, and an incessant itch to travel. She writes contemporary young adult and new adult romance. Sometimes, paranormal fantasy too.

Visit her website http://www.jayetria.com.

Email: jayetria@gmail.com
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Wattpad: jayetria

romanceclassFLAIR Title Reveal: You Out of Nowhere by Jay E. Tria

A few days ago, I posted an introduction about FLAIR or #romanceclassFLAIR and now I’m thrilled to share more information about the first ever title from this project: You Out of Nowhere by Jay E. Tria! Cover and synopsis details below. Cover models are theater actors Bibo Reyes and Celine Bengzon, styling by Alex Lapa, photography by Chi Yu Rodriguez, cover design by Miles Tan.

I’m so excited for this title to be released out in the wild! Manila setting, train meet cute, age gap romance where the heroine is older, one night that can change everything, unexpected travel buddies, and lots of heat. What more can you ask for?

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You Out of Nowhere
by Jay E. Tria
FLAIR #1
Release Date: November 4, 2017

FLAIR You Out of Nowhere

At 31, Kris’s dating life is starting to resemble a reality show. So when she strikes up a conversation with a nerdy but gorgeous stranger on the train, getting serious is the last thing on her mind. Been there, done that, and she has the emotional baggage to prove it.

At 24, Ringo knows what he wants—and when a train flirtation turns into a night he can’t forget, he knows he wants Kris. But it’s clear she has other plans, and they don’t include him. So when they find themselves on the same flight to Seoul, it’s Ringo’s chance to turn up the heat, and convince Kris to take a risk.

In a new city, with someone new — the right someone — what could change? Maybe nothing. But also, maybe everything.

Join the You Out of Nowhere blog tour from November 13-17! Sign up HERE.

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About FLAIR

romanceclassFlairFLAIR (or #romanceclassFlair) is a new, ongoing project and it’ll bring you steamy contemporary romance (in English) by Filipino authors. There are four new titles from four different #romanceclass authors about to be released, and these books will be unapologetically sexy. What can you expect from Flair? HEAs, Filipino characters, fresh telling of familiar tropes, lots of heat.

Flair is not a publisher, but there is a single Flair team that is working with the authors on all the books. The team is composed of #romanceclass community authors, readers, editors, designers. Follow Romanceclass Books on FB, romanceclassbooks on IG, and #romanceclass on Twitter to get the updates!

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About the Author

Jay E. Tria is inspired by daydreams, celebrity crushes, a childhood fascination of Japanese drama and manga, and an incessant itch to travel. She writes contemporary young adult and new adult romance. Sometimes, paranormal fantasy too.

Visit her website http://www.jayetria.com.

Email: jayetria@gmail.com
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Wattpad: jayetria

Feels Fest 2017: a romanceclass event

FeelsFest

Feels Fest 2017 was a romanceclass event held last weekend. More than a week has passed by and I still don’t think I’ve recovered from the feels and fun brought by this event. And I’m not even sure how to articulate what went on but let me try! This was only the second Feels event that I’ve attended since coming home in June, the first was Feels So Hot. Feels So Hot was already different from previous romanceclass events because the excerpts read during the live readings were steamy scenes. But I feel like Feels Fest 2017 has gone up to a whole different level of awesome. It’s like the best kind of bookish party where it’s really a celebration of Filipino romance.

Some highlights and pictures that I posted on my Instagram account, swipe left to see all the pictures:

You know that feeling when you're with people who love the same things you do, who understand you and accept you for who you are and what you're capable of? A warm and welcoming crowd, everyone giving as much of themselves as they can, extreme appreciation of what is offered, conversations that don't quit, hugs all around. The very definition of being part of a community. That's what it means to be in #romanceclass. ALWAYS A BLAST! Kayo talaga yung dahilan kung bakit ako umuwi ng Pinas, cheret. Love you, guys.💕🙌 Thanks for being extra. #FeelsFest2017 . . . . PS: "Landian" in Filipino means "flirting" so #romancelandian is romance + flirting, a play on #romancelandia coined by @readbyher. Just add one more letter, totally different meaning.👌

A post shared by Chachic | Bookstagrammer (@chachicsbooknook) on

I won’t repeat what I said in the caption above, but that captures perfectly how I felt about Feels Fest. Here is a Twitter thread with even more pictures from my phone, click on it and scroll down to see a slew of pictures from the event:

I think it’s pretty obvious that I enjoyed the whole event, but there were new things that have never been done in a previous romanceclass event that I wanted to highlight. One was poetry readings, adapted by Tara Frejas from books by Dawn Lanuza and Layla Tanjutco:

Feels Fest poetry readings

Another one was a real theater production of a scene from Fairy Tale Fail by Mina V. Esguerra. During live readings, the actors usually read out the scenes from sheets of paper that they’re holding. But this time, Gio and Rachel acted out a scene from Mina’s book and A REAL KISS HAPPENED. My heart! And it’s one of my favorite romanceclass books too, my first ever Mina book.

Fairy Tail Fail - Gio and Rachel kiss

The other one is Fred and Vanya singing a song from the musical Dear Evan Hansen, that I absolutely loved. Both of them were amazing, but also the message of the song is filled with so much emotion. Now I want to watch Dear Evan Hansen! But I believe it’s only being shown on Broadway so good luck, not sure that will ever happen.

Last but not the least, fellow romanceclass ninjas April, Jothee, Kat and I had so much fun putting together a video of members of the international romance community sharing greetings and messages of hope and encouragement to the romanceclass community. I thought it was a lovely way of showing how the romanceclass community ties together with the larger international romance community.

Thank you so much, Lucy Parker, Lydia San Andres, Eloisa James, Courtney Milan, Laura Florand, Sarah Wendell, Sarina White Bowen, Jennifer Hallock, Rebekah Weatherspoon, Tif Marcelo and Beverly Jenkins!

As if we didn’t have enough going on during the event (or maybe because we’re clingy?), a huge group had dinner at a Korean restaurant, followed by drinks and a sleepover. SO. MUCH. FUN.

Feels Fest - Korean dinner

Definitely a weekend well spent! If you want to learn more about Feels Fest 2017, feel free to watch the videos in two Youtube channels I shared below. Also, you can go through the other recaps I’ve linked to. We all have different perspectives and pictures of the event.

Videos from the program of the event:
Gela Uy’s Youtube
Veronica’s Youtube

Recap from other event attendees:
Veronica at Brain Tabs
Ben at Idle Hands
Tara at her website
Fay on her blog
Mina at her website

romanceclass origins: A New Blog Feature

romanceclass origins

I’m thrilled to introduce a new blog feature called romanceclass origins! If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you would have heard me mention romanceclass several times. If you’re new here, romanceclass is a community of:
– Authors who attended romanceclass, the steamy reads, YA classes organized by Mina V. Esguerra
– Readers of the books by those authors
– Readers of English-language romance books by Filipino authors

Basically a group of authors and readers who gather together to support indie published contemporary romance written by Filipino authors. The first actual class was held in 2013. Since then, 78 authors have written and published more than 150 books (some have gone on to be traditionally published both locally in the Philippines and internationally). Alongside that growth, the community has also gained a solid readership base that will hopefully keep growing in time.

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. These are what I want to highlight with romanceclass origins. The blog posts would be interesting for community members, and would also serve as an introduction to romanceclass for those who aren’t familiar with it. I would like to thank Mina and Layla for helping me come up with the feature name when we recently met up, and for Miles Tan for creating the logo for this feature. I’m keeping it simple with three questions, and I thought it would be fun to start things off with my own answers. 🙂

1) How did you discover romanceclass?
I met Mina and have read her books before she started romanceclass. Authors Chris Mariano and Ana Tejano were book bloggers like me before their romanceclass books were published, so I feel like we’re sort of batchmates. 😛 I love reading and supporting books written by Filipino authors so that’s what I’ve been doing ever since romanceclass books have been released, and that’s how I started meeting other members of the community.

2) What does being part of the romanceclass community mean to you?
I’m very grateful to be part of the romanceclass community, in various capacities over the years. I borrowed my good friend April’s words and have called myself a romanceclass ninja, because I feel like that best describes and encapsulates my involvement in the community. I’ve talked about having a sense of belonging in the worldwide online book community in a previous post, and that’s how I feel about being a member of the romanceclass community. I feel like I’ve carved out a niche for myself, and I’ve found people who enjoy reading as much as I do, read the same type of books that I like (ROMANCE), and are more than happy to have discussions about these books. More than that, I enjoy actively participating in the various events that the romanceclass community has, or even just the impromptu meet ups with other readers and authors. I love that being involved in the community simply means putting your hand up when something is needed, or randomly volunteering to do something that you think would be beneficial to other people. I feel like the romanceclass community is such a supportive, warm and welcoming group. I have met so many wonderful people through romanceclass, and it will take way too long to list all of them. You know who you guys are, and I want to thank all of you for making me feel like I’ve found my people. ❤

Some pictures to show how much fun we have, swipe left to see everything:

3) What are your recommended romanceclass reads?
Here are some of the titles I’ve enjoyed reading, linked to my reviews if I have them:

Fairy Tale Fail 2017 Learning to Fall Better At Weddings Than You cover Iris After the Incident What You Wanted

Cover-Story-Girl Choco Chip Hips Loveless Childless Clueless One Night at the Palace Hotel Feels Like Summer

Mina is one of the most prolific authors in the group, so I’ve read and enjoyed the most number of books written by her, but there are many other authors in my TBR list. I actually feel bad that my TBR pile is longer than the list of books that I’ve already read. Forgive me for being a slow reader! I feel like romanceclass authors publish books faster than I can read them. All of these books are available as Kindle editions on Amazon, so you can get a copy wherever you are as long as you have an Amazon account.

Hope you guys enjoyed reading this first ever romanceclass origins post! I’m hoping to make this a weekly feature, but we’ll see how it goes. I’ll be asking some of the romanceclass authors and readers I know personally to join this, but please feel free to reach out to me if you want to participate. 🙂 To those joining the FeelsFest 2017 event tomorrow, see you soon!

Cover Reveal: Like Nobody’s Watching by Tara Frejas

Like Nobody’s Watching by Tara Frejas is an upcoming Filipino romance written in English, and the companion novel to Waiting in the Wings (learn more about that particular book here). I believe it can stand well enough on its own, but I plan to read Waiting in the Wings first to avoid any confusion. While I haven’t read any of Tara’s books, I have most (if not all) of them in my Kindle! Sigh, I have no idea when I’ll be able to conquer my ever expanding TBR pile but for today, I’m happy to be a part of the cover reveal for Like Nobody’s Watching. This book cover was designed by Filipino author and graphic artist Miles Tan, just like the cover for Ghost of a Feeling that I shared a few days ago. As always, Miles did a wonderful job with the cover design! The cover features Filipino theater actor Fred Lo as the model. Isn’t it awesome that a Filipino romance novel with a theater actor hero has an actual theater actor on the cover? 😀 Looking forward to reading this one!

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Like Nobody’s Watching
by Tara Frejas

Release date: October 24, 2017

It’s all fun and games until someone catches feelings.

If there’s something Pio Alvez is good at, it’s pretending to be someone he’s not. On stage and on-screen, the actor has mastered the art of becoming the characters he plays, and his new role should be no different. After all, how difficult would it be to pretend to be smitten with a beautiful, intelligent go-getter like Audrey Alonzo?

Perhaps it’s more difficult pretending not to be.

Add Like Nobody’s Watching on Goodreads
Pre-order Like Nobody’s Watching on Amazon

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tara Frejas is a cloud-walker who needs caffeine to fuel her travels. When she’s not on work mode, she keeps herself busy by weaving her daydreams into stories.

Aside from her obvious love affair with words and persistent muses, Tara is very passionate about being caffeinated, musical theatre, certain genres of music, dancing, dogs, good food, and romancing Norae, her ukelele. She owns a male bunny named Max who sometimes tries to nibble on her writing notes.

Fun fact: She’s a Piscean. Go figure.

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