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: H. Bentham

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.

First post for this feature can be found here. And today, we have author H. Bentham on the blog for his guest post for romanceclass origins. Please give him warm welcome!

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1) How did you discover romanceclass?

My first writing class was actually #StrangeLit in 2015 and although Mina V. Esguerra was one of the mentors, I didn’t really know of the community until after that class was over. See, I wasn’t able to finish my ambitious novella for that – it’s still in progress to this day, tbh – and as I was tweeting to cheer on everyone else, I got to talk to other authors who were part of this community. One of those authors was Jay E. Tria, whose Songs of Our Breakup opened the doors to this marvelous world of Filipino Romance for me. Other authors who welcomed me to the fold were C.P. Santi (Be Careful What You Wish For), Tara Frejas (Paper Planes Back Home), Ana Tejano (Fall Like Rain) and Chris Mariano (Cover (Story) Girl).

I will admit that I have not given the romance genre, and Filipino books for that matter, the time of the day before I got my hands on these, but now I don’t read much of anything else aside from romance and my favorite books are by Filipino writers.

Eventually, I joined #romanceclass2016 and finally got to finish a manuscript of my own! And while that MS will probably never see the light of day (I was deeply problematic back then, don’t ask) one of my other stories reached publication a year after, through Summer Feels!

H. Bentham - romanceclass origins

Ben’s first romanceclass TBR pile

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

It means I get to do the things I love most – reading and writing – alongside people who get it. The kilig and abs the community constantly deliver (from the books, to the live-readings, to the Facebook Group discussions!) is a wonderful bonus!

I am very grateful to everyone, especially Mina and all the other authors I look up to, for allowing readers and beginning writers like me have this safe space to discuss things we’re passionate about, while also supporting us in reaching our dreams. I mean, I knew what I wanted to read about, what I wanted to write about and I’ve joined a ton of reading/writing groups because of that but only #romanceclass allowed me to learn the HOW to do it. It allowed me to experiment, to make mistakes, and essentially, to be my true self.

Honestly, becoming an actual writer is an amazing thing to achieve, but having all these wonderful people and call them friends? That’s the best part. 🙂

H. Bentham - romanceclass origins

Author Jay E. Tria signs something for Ben

3) What are your recommended romanceclass reads?

The thing with #romanceclass books is if you enjoy even 1 short story in the catalogue, you’ll CRAVE to read more of it. And then you’ll discover each book has this special something of their own while still staying true to the trademark #romanceclass kilig! It then becomes impossible to recommend even a just handful. LOL. Still, here’s my attempt to list my favorites:

  • Chic Manila Series by Mina V. Esguerra
  • Playlist Series – by Jay E. Tria
  • THE MULTI-AUTHOR ANTHOLOGIES, OMG: Kids These Days, Make My Wish Come True, Summer Feels, Summer Crush, Promdi Heart, 12 Months of Romance | 24 Stories to Love, and the upcoming Start Here!
  • Another Word for Happy by Agay Llanera
  • Don’t Tell My Mother by Brigitte Bautista
Love Your Frenemies - 2018 edition Songs of Our Breakup Another Word for Happy Don't Tell My Mother

Kids These Days Make My Wish Come True Summer Feels Summer Crush

Promdi Heart 12 Months of Romance Start Here - ebook

That’s my top of mind faves. LOL. I’m pretty sure I missed out on some of my favorite authors but I’m pretty sure the anthologies more than cover up for it.

Thank you Chachic for having me in your blog (so cute)! I didn’t expect to answer that second question so dramatically, but what can I say? I love talking and writing about romanceclass so much!

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H. BenthamH. Bentham’s stories are inspired by daydreams and aspirations that are not entirely his own. He wrote “Guide for A Day” for Summer Feels, a #romanceclass Anthology; and “The Watch Repairman’s Son” in the multi-genre anthology Beyond Light and Darkness. Reach him: @bentchbites everywhere (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Wattpad) and authorh.bentham@gmail.com

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Cover Reveal: Start Here, a romanceclass anthology

I’m so excited to share the print and ebook covers for an upcoming romanceclass anthology: Start Here, Short Stories of First Encounters! This LGBT-themed anthology has 10 short stories from various romanceclass authors, and was edited by Ronald S. Lim and Brigitte Bautista. It will be released some time in 2018, and I really can’t wait to read it. The book covers were designed by Dani Hernandez, featuring cover models Migs Almendras and Fred Lo, and (real life couple!) Rachel Coates and Sam Aquino.

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Start Here: A #romanceclass anthology
Edited by Ronald S. Lim and Brigitte Bautista
Release date: 2018

Sign up for updates here.

Start Here - print

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.

Featuring stories by Agay Llanera, Bobbi Moran, Motzie Dapul, Danice Sison, Barbie Barbieto, H. Bentham, Ella Banta, Yeyet Soriano, Katt Briones, Brigitte Bautista

This anthology contains M/M, F/F, F/NB romance stories with happy endings. Some stories have a high heat level.

Start Here - ebook

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What do you guys think of these covers? I like how bright and colorful the rainbow design of the print cover is, and how fitting it is for the theme of the anthology… but I love the ebook edition A BIT MORE because it features cover models. A few months ago, I blogged about the cover shoot for this cover. Linking the behind-the-scenes shots I have here again, in case you guys want to check them out – swipe left to see all the Instagram shots and click on the embedded tweet to see the whole Twitter thread:

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