Ever since I joined the #StrangeLit workshop and wrote Bloodline Maharlika, I’ve been on a quest to get my hands on every reference book pertaining to Philippine mythology, history, and folklore. Acquiring these books took effort not just on the financial side, but on the logistics aspect as well. I consider myself lucky if I find one in mint condition or wrapped in plastic. I had to actively look for them book stores, but most of the time I’d find them in a dusty, forgotten corner, abandoned and ignored with creased pages and torn covers. Sometimes I’d go out of my way to brick-and-mortar book shops and I’d find rare gems. And there are moments when I’d score the last copy in mainstream book stores.
The Mermaid from Siquijor by Justine Camacho-Tajonera
I’m a sucker for stories dealing with Philippine mythology and folklore. There’s so much to explore and talk about in our own myths that I want to constantly look for stories that feed my wonder and interest in this topic. Justine Camacho-Tajonera’s The Mermaid from Siquijor was the perfect read–it was an intriguing story about mermaids/sirena and it had elements of mystery and romance. I was sold!
I heard about No Love Allowed* back when it was first called Warning! You Might Fall in Love With Me written by the fabulous Kate Evangelista. While I wasn’t able to read the story in its pre-published form, I had every confidence that Kate’s work will be picked up by Swoon Reads at the time she was crowd sourcing this piece for reviews and feedback. Turns out I wasn’t wrong because soon enough, it was soon considered for publication!
I’ve read all of Kate’s previous books from other publishers and what made each novel a worthwhile read was the fluid prose. It was so easy to get into the minds of the characters and feel whatever they’re feeling, even easier to read the entire book in one sitting. While I loved Kate’s paranormal stories, her contemporary novels are also something of note. Reading No Love Allowed made me live vicariously through the characters, and made me fall in love with the picturesque Dodge Cove.
Happy Lunar New Year, folks!
A lot has happened since the turn of the new year and yes, I have been lazy af to get you all up to speed. But first, thank you to those who’ve joined my New Year giveaway. I’ll be having more this year, so I hope you continue to watch this space for updates and other things.
So…to the business at hand.
I haven’t mentioned it in this blog (or during the time I was still using Blogger), but I also dabbled into book blogging in Will Read for Feels last year. I wanted to keep my work as a blogger and an author separate, hence I didn’t talk about that side activity in this space. The people who know me (aka my writer friends) are aware that I also read and review books, and it has been an awesome year. I learned a lot about my preferences as a reader, my limits (I barely made the half-mark goal I set for 100 books last year), and of course I also met and discovered great authors who are pretty much on my auto-buy list.
2016 is already proving to be a busy year! Here are some updates that I hope you’d be interested to support, especially for those of you who are into reading local romances.
1. The #romanceclass podcast is now on its 4th episode with a special author interview session. Here’s the list so far:
There will be 10 episodes and a few other extras, so why don’t you go ahead and buy the podcast album? It’s going to be worth your while, promise!