Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Backlist Revival Project 7: Once upon a Player by Agay Llanera

July is my birth month so I'm pretty excited for this month's Backlist book! In case you missed it, Mina Esguerra and I are doing Backlist Revival Project to help bring attention, new reviews, and new readers to books that are a few years old. We will feature a book per month and the featured book of the month is a contemporary romance that was published in 2014 or earlier. So, if you are interested to REVIEW books by Filipino authors, please let us know.
  The book of the month is Once upon a Player by Agay Llanera.
Once upon a Player
Publication Date: August 9th 2014 
Genre: New Adult Romance

Goodreads Synopsis:
Gorgeous college senior Val Fabian is a player in every sense of the word. She's the star spiker of her university's volleyball team, and she never runs out of dates. But it seems that this year, she has finally been bitten by the commitment bug. She sets her sights on an unexpected target--the unassuming yet ultra-cute Jake Clementia. Val is used to getting what she wants, and is sure she'll snag him before graduation. But in the process of winning his heart, she is sideswiped by a surprise move that sends her tumbling from her pedestal.




|| Add Once upon a Player on Goodreads ||


 
Interview



Tell us what is Once upon a Player about in a length of a tweet.
As Val struggles to win the boy of her dreams, she is forced to choose between stealing his heart and hurting the person dearest to her.
 
What's the inspiration behind this book?
I'm a huge UAAP volleyball fan, and while I was watching one of the games (live at the arena!), I had this sudden idea of writing a romance story built around a bitchy star player, who's used to getting everything she wants.

What character do you wish you could pull out of a book?
Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice, of course! I would like to see this dashing, reserved gentleman in the flesh, uttering the very same words he'd confessed to Ms. Benett: "In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.” (insert squealing here)

Can you think of 3 songs that go perfectly with your book?
Army by Elle Goulding to describe the friendship between Val and her best friend, Dessa
There She Goes by The La's to describe Val's effect on people
You're the Best Thing by The Style Council to describe the book's ending.


What was your favorite scene to write in  Once upon a Player?
I enjoyed writing the part when Val was at her bitchiest, about to execute the biggest betrayal of all. The words came out in a rush, and I had to type fast to capture the scene in my head.hat's another tough question. Writing the Macau chapters were very enjoyable because I got to relive my own experiences (The PIE! incident really happened, guise!), but if I had to choose just one, the Macau Tower chapter stands out because writing friendly banter is always fun, and I got to explain why the MC was named Five. It was also one of the most challenging chapters to write because I had to make my imagination work overtime! Confession time: I visited the tower but I did not jump.
About Agay Llanera:
Agay Llanera is a Manila-based freelance writer for television and video, and a published writer of children's books. Her novellas include Vintage Love, Once upon a Player, and the YA book, Choco Chip Hips. Contact her through the links below.


CONNECT WITH AGAY:


Monday, July 18, 2016

#HeistClub Tour: Soul Makers by J. Guibone

 
SOUL MAKERS
Publication Date: June 25th 2016
Kindle Edition,  53 pages

Goodreads Synopsis:
Set in the urban streets of Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines:

Sabrina told Bart not to do it, but he had. Now Bart is missing. And there’s a corpse in his apartment. Sabrina has no other choice but to solve all the clues he left behind, without getting arrested for trespassing, while keeping her OCD under control.

Newly minted NBI Special Investigator Lyla Dixon doesn’t expect to meet her old flame, now private investigator, Hans Blanco at the crime scene. But when the crime reveals more questions than answers, they both have to put aside old hurts and work with someone they’re not even sure they should trust, the enigmatic Sabrina Eugenio, if they're to have a shot at finding a killer they never thought they’d ever encounter.



|| Add Soul Makers on Goodreads ||


 
Interview


Promote your book SOUL MAKERS.
Don't read Soul Makers if you hate powerful female characters with a dark side. But if you want to solve some clues and read further mystery cases, then read on.
 

What's the inspiration behind this book?
I like watching Criminal Minds and I've always loved wickedly good female heroes and villains. Let's admit it, there are a lot of unsolved crimes in the Philippines, and sometimes it's because people just look for the easiest explanations to solve a crime. But what if it's more than that, and because we don't imagine beyond that, we leave ourselves unprepared? This story was a way to explore that series of questions and present a situation that might not be usual, but could still happen. It's when we're complacent that disaster strikes, after all. 

So, who's your favorite CM character?
Hehe, it's Dr. Spencer Reid. He's smart and sweet. Also, he's worried that his greatest strength (his mind) will also be his weakness and will lead to his ruin (mental illness). It's amazing how knows so much, but still has a lot more to learn about people. Plus he's adorable, c'mon.

Can you think of 3 songs that go perfectly with your book?
Ooh... that's interesting. I think:
- Smooth Criminal by Michael Jackson
- Demons by Imagine Dragons
- False King by Two Steps From Hell

If you could collaborate with any fictional character, who would it be?
Sherlock Holmes? I don't mind taking a back seat, as long as I get to see him in action. Aside from that, Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys! Teen amateur detectives? Bring it on!
What was your favorite scene to write in Soul Makers?
Well, I really liked the first two chapters. I had to research much about crime scenes, and it's a bit different in the Philippines. Unfortunately we don't have much information available online. Describing the crime scene, though, will always be a fave of mine. I think as a crime writer and reader the crime scene signals the beginning of the story in a way that says, "This is the puzzle. Solve it. Ready, set, go!" Everyone has to pay attention to how the crime scene looks like, and whether anyone can pick up one or two clues and riddles ahead.




a Rafflecopter giveaway


About J. Guibone:
After teaching for three years as a high school English teacher, I decided to pursue my lifelong goal of writing stories for a living. While obtaining a Master's Degree, I run a book blog, The Book Tales, while working on my stories. I spend my days studying the human psyche, speculating on unsolved mysteries, and devouring books on the strange and uncanny.

 
CONNECT WITH JEE ANN:


Sunday, July 10, 2016

Backlist Revival Project 6: All's Fair in Blog and War by Chrissie Peria

Can you believe it 2016 is halfway done?! This is the sixth BRP feature. In case you missed it, Mina Esguerra and I are doing Backlist Revival Project to help bring attention, new reviews, and new readers to books that are a few years old. We will feature a book per month and the featured book of the month is a contemporary romance that was published in 2014 or earlier. So, if you are interested to REVIEW books by Filipino authors, please let us know.
 For June, the featured book is ALL'S FAIR IN BLOG AND WAR by Chrissie Peria.
ALL'S FAIR IN BLOG AND WAR
Publication Date: June 2013
Kindle Edition, 109 pages


Goodreads Synopsis:
Five Cuevas @fivetravels
Three guesses to where I'm going next. Starts with an M. Ends with a U. Has a lechon named after it. #travel


Twenty-something travel blogger Five thinks she has hit the jackpot when she gets invited to glittering Macau for an all-expense-paid bloggers tour. Think majestic old churches, sparkling casinos, exhilarating bungee jumps, and the world's most unforgettable egg tarts. The trip is practically perfect, except for one little glitch. She gets assigned to be travel buddies with Jesse, the world's most infuriating photo blogger, and it's definitely war at first sight.

Will Five let Jesse turn her dream vacation into a total nightmare? Or will falling in love be on the itinerary?






|| Add All's Fair in Blog and War on Goodreads ||


 
Interview


Tell us what  ALL'S FAIR IN BLOG AND WAR is about in the length of a tweet.
A romance about feuding travel bloggers in a junket in Macau. Comes with egg tarts and #hashtags.
 
Where did you get the idea for this novel?
The place itself! I was very lucky to be part of a blogger's junket sponsored by Macau's tourism board, so I drew heavily on that for the junket parts of the story. Unfortunately, I didn't get to meet Jesse, but I got to taste a lot of the food they ate.

What made you decide to choose Macau as the setting? Is it because of the egg tarts?
I love egg tarts! The ones from Margaret's blew my mind and I still fondly remember that moment when I first bit into one. But that aside, I decided to write about Macau because it's not a common setting for romantic fiction which is a pity since it's such a lovely place to explore.

Can you think of 3 songs that go perfectly with your book?
Tough question!  All's Fair is a light-hearted story with lots of laughs and a sense of exploration. So it follows that I'll go with bubbly, uplifting songs about going after what you want. Here are some picks from my own library. Notice that they're all whimsical and about moving from one point to another.

Fly Me Away by Annie Little
A Thousand Miles by Vanessa Carlton
The Show by Lenka

What was your favorite scene to write in  ALL'S FAIR IN BLOG AND WAR?

That's another tough question. Writing the Macau chapters were very enjoyable because I got to relive my own experiences (The PIE! incident really happened, guise!), but if I had to choose just one, the Macau Tower chapter stands out because writing friendly banter is always fun, and I got to explain why the MC was named Five. It was also one of the most challenging chapters to write because I had to make my imagination work overtime! Confession time: I visited the tower but I did not jump.

If you're curious, there's a snippet of theater actors Rachelle Coates and Gio Gahol reading from the chapter up on my blog, but if you want to hear the whole amazing performance, I suggest subscribing to the romanceclass podcast, because it's coming up on one of the future episodes.
 








About Chrissie Peria:
When not obsessing over fictional people doing fictional
things, Chrissie chases after a tiny human, a curly-haired
dog, bacon, and all the sleep she has lost over the years.
An advertising copywriter in her past life, she now spends
most of her time writing, cooking, and guzzling coffee. She
has two dreams: to write more books and to teach her
daughter to eat vegetables.
CONNECT WITH CHRISSIE:


Monday, July 04, 2016

Dream Cast + Giveaway: Secrets, Lies & Scandals by Amanda K. Morgan


SECRETS, LIES, AND SCANDALS
by Amanda K. Morgan
Publication Date:  July 5th 2016 (Simon Pulse)
Genre: Young Adult, Thriller, Mystery

Goodreads Synopsis:
In the tradition of I Know What You Did Last Summer and How to Get Away with Murder, five teens must overcome their paranoia in order to keep their teacher’s death a secret in this fast-paced suspense thriller.
Nothing ruins summer vacation like a secret…especially when it involves a dead teacher.
Ivy used to be on top of the social ladder, until her ex made that all go away. She has a chance to be Queen Bee again, but only if the rest of the group can keep quiet.
Tyler has always been a bad boy, but lately he’s been running low on second chances. There’s no way he’s going to lose everything because someone couldn’t keep their mouth shut.
Kinley wouldn’t describe herself as perfect, though everyone else would. But perfection comes at a price, and there is nothing she wouldn’t do to keep her perfect record—one that doesn’t include murder charges.
Mattie is only in town for the summer. He wasn’t looking to make friends, and he definitely wasn’t looking to be involved in a murder. He’s also not looking to be riddled with guilt for the rest of his life…but to prevent that he’ll have to turn them all in.
Cade couldn’t care less about the body, or about the pact to keep the secret. The only way to be innocent is for someone else to be found guilty. Now he just has to decide who that someone will be.
With the police hot on the case, they don’t have much time to figure out how to trust each other. But in order to take the lead, you have to be first in line…and that’s the quickest way to get stabbed in the back.


|| Add Secrets, Lies, & Scandals on Goodreads ||

Kobo | AmazonB & N | iBooks | Book Depo |

Dream Cast



Sasha Pieterse as Ivy
Donald Sutherland as Dr. Stratford
Tyler Posey as Mattie

Anna Kendrick as Kinley
Ikuta Toma as Cade
Thomas McDonell as Tyler


I really like Sasha as Alison on Pretty Little Liars. She would be perfect as the ex queen bee. Donald Sutherland would make an excellent Dr. Stratford. He looks very serious and intimidating like his famous role, President Snow. I picked Thomas McDonell as Tyler because I think he would make the perfect rebel rock star based on his picture above. I also think he would look good with Anna Kendrick as his love interest. Meanwhile, Ikuta Toma would be great as Cade. I love him since his Hana Kimi days.

Follow the Secrets, Lies & Scandals by Amanda K. Morgan Blog Tour and don't miss anything! Click on the banner to see the tour schedule.



Rules & Conditions in the Rafflecopter | Open INTERNATIONALLY



a Rafflecopter giveaway
About Amanda K. Morgan:
Amanda K. Morgan is a freelance writer living in Nashville, TN. She covers events and works as a technical writer when she isn't working on her YA novels.

At age 15, Amanda finished her first novel and continued to write in college, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in English and an emphasis in Creative Writing.

Amanda is an avid volleyball player and spends time playing both indoors and out. When Amanda isn't writing, she enjoys being entirely too busy and trying new things. Endeavors as of late include appearances in music videos, TV, and movies, rock climbing, and attending as many concerts and shows as her schedule allows.

Amanda headed up the Do The Write Thing for Nashville Project (with co-organizers/authors Victoria Schwab and Myra McEntire), which tapped some of the biggest authors, editors, and agents in the industry for an online auction that raised over $70,000 for Midsouth flood relief.


CONNECT WITH AMANDA:

 
SITE DESIGN BY DESIGNER BLOGS