Brewed Thoughts: 2014

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

My 2014 Happy List

Photo from Katie: Normal Girl

There was this post that appeared in my FB (couldn't find the link) where you write down the stuff you're happy/thankful for in pieces of paper and put them in a jar. At the end of the year, you take them out, re-read them, and review all the good things that have happened to you for the entire year. I did something similar but instead of a jar, I wrote down those happy things in my planner. 

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

2014 Christmas Greetings

Photo from Google
I took my time off seriously after NaNoWriMo, but I wouldn't want to pass up the opportunity to greet everyone a very Merry Christmas! Have an awesome and meaningful celebration with the people you love. Have fun, folks! :)

Saturday, November 29, 2014

TGIO (Thank God It's OVER)!

Popping back in the blog after hitting 50k words in my NaNo novel.

YES! 50K!

But I haven't validated yet because of the discrepancy in my word processesor. I'll validate sometime later this week, but that doesn't mean I'm going to stop after reaching the finish line. I still haven't written "The End" to my story, so the writing doesn't stop just yet. But I'm just over the moon to have crossed the line because it has been worse than hell going through this month. 

Edit: I've finally written the ending, and I've clocked in a total of 55,078 words per NaNo word count verifier.

Monday, October 27, 2014

It's THAT time of the year again

...and I don't mean Christmas.

I look forward to November of each year with a mixture of excitement and trepidation as it usually means I'll have to go through 30 days and nights of anxiety, frustration, and euphoria, thanks to this yearly event called NaNoWriMo

And like every week before NaNo commences, I'm always left doing something else (like writing this blog post) instead of finishing my story's plot. 

There's a lot going for me this year as I take on this yearly writing challenge, most of which is work-related schedule conflict. Hopefully once I establish a routine after work, I can stick to it and accomplish my daily writing quota. I'll be doing Reverse NaNoWriMo again to get me ahead of my game. 

I'll be writing contemporary romance again, and I have good vibes with this story. I'm really hoping this euphoria lasts even beyond November, as I plan to hopefully get it published as well. Last year's NaNo novel is still in the process of being edited, but I'm also crossing my fingers I could get it all cleaned up and ready to be sent out to the world next year. 

Despite my not-yet-finished plot, I'm very excited to do NaNo again because of the local support group, PinoyWrimos, and the much-larger, global group of WriMos who'll go through the same roller coaster ride this month. 

And speaking of PinoyWrimos, the Kick-Off event was so much fun! It was one of the biggest turnout in terms of attendance, and it was great to see both new and familiar faces. That round-robin writing exercise was such a nifty game that I got to bond with fellow writers (we collectively call ourselves the Dino WriMos because of our strange affinity for prehistoric reptiles and a certain British supermodel). And I got to talk about Reverse NaNo too and shared my experience on how it helped me reach the finish line way ahead of the deadline. 

I'm definitely looking forward to the write-ins and participating in word wars. I'm going to make 2014 my (NaNo) year! 

And here's to hoping we all get our purple bars!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Filipino Friday: Have you ever wanted to write a book?

Hey, guys, it's Friday again! And that means another Filipino Friday meme! Here's my take on week 2.
As a reader, have you ever thought about writing a book? What kind of books/stories do you want to write? Or are you now a published author, and what compelled you to go fulfill this dream? How was your journey from reader to writer? How did you go about getting your book out there?

Friday, October 17, 2014

Filipino Friday: Intro Post & New Discoveries

It's that time of the year again, folks! The Filipino Reader Con is happening again this November and I just know it's going to be even more awesome than last year's. And as per tradition, the weeks leading to the big day would include a weekly meme every Friday. Here's the first Filipino Friday meme for the week:

Surprise, Reader! Hello, it’s the first week of Filipino Fridays 2014! Whether it’s your first time to participate or not, tell us a bit about yourself. More specifically, tell us about your favorite book discoveries for this year. Any author you started reading this year that you can’t get enough of? A book you didn’t think you’d like, but you ended up liking/loving? Any book series that you just have to get your hands on? Have you discovered anything new from Filipino authors this year?

Saturday, October 4, 2014

My Wallet Post-MIBF

Cool graffiti art at the convention lobby
Thank you again, life (and work), for making me such a delinquent when it comes to updating my blog. But even so, allow me to say that the MIBF this year was such a great experience. I had my friends come along, not to mention there were just so many books I wanted to buy. In terms of books and stuff I wanted to get my hands on, I could've easily burned all the money I had in my wallet. But of course, I still managed to reel myself from doing that. 

And because I am a lazy bum, I'm going to enumerate the highlights of my MIBF experience. Luckily, I took pics as well.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Once Upon A Player Blog Tour (Interview with Agay Llanera)

Amazon | Smashwords | Goodreads

In today's book tour stop, I get to ask Agay a few questions about sports, anti-heroines, and her thoughts about love teams. Read her answers after the jump!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Once Upon a Player Blog Tour (Review)

Welcome to my stop at the blog tour of Once Upon a Player by Agay Llanera. I'm really excited about this book as this is not only Agay's sophomore romance novella, but it's really such an amazing and enjoyable read. Many thanks to Dianne of Oops I Read a Book Again for letting me be part of this exciting (virtual) event.

Don't forget to read through the end of this post because there's a giveaway! :)

So anyway, let's get crackin'!

Amazon | Smashwords
About Once Upon a Player:

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.

Author Profile:

Agay Llanera is a freelance writer for television and a published writer of children’s books. She is a member of KUTING, a private, non-stock, non-profit organization, which aims to be the Philippines’ foremost writers’ organization for children.

Her first romance novella, Vintage Love is available on e-bookstores (Amazon, Kobo, Buqo, Smashwords).

Read the book excerpt and my review after the jump!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

September is MIBF season!

It is officially the start of the Christmas season here in the good 'ol Philippine Islands. But before Christmas (and my birthday..hehe) comes around, one huge event I'm looking forward to is the Manila International Book Fair (MIBF). As usual, it's going to be at the other end of the world, a.k.a. Pasay City, but this is one event I'm prepared to storm the ends of the earth (I just hope it doesn't rain).

Thursday, August 21, 2014

In Over Her Head Has Been Nominated!

Say what?

So…I got this nice surprise that In Over Her Head was nominated in the Romance in English category for the Filipino Readers' Choice Awards! To that person who nominated my work, I can't tell you how honored I am (and so grateful) that my book is part of the roster of equally-talented authors in the genre (#romanceclass peeps, yo!). Thank you so much! 

To vote, click on the FRCA online ballot link (Romance in English category is at page 3 page 2 of the ballot, methinks). You can also vote for your favorite Filipino books in the other 12 categories. Voting period is until September 10.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Pinoy Book Tours: Rin Chupeco Talks About Horror

Today, I have a guest post from Rin Chupeco herself! She talks about the nuances of East and West horror, as well as her fascination with the genre.

About Rin Chupeco: 

Despite uncanny resemblances to Japanese revenants, Rin Chupeco has always maintained her sense of humor. Raised in Manila, Philippines, she keeps four pets: a dog, two birds, and a husband. She’s been a technical writer and travel blogger, but now makes things up for a living. The Girl from the Well is her debut novel. 

Find Rin online: Website | Twitter | Pinterest | Blog

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Pinoy Book Tours: The Girl from the Well (Review)

This is my first time to join Pinoy Book Tours, a book tour site that promotes YA authors and their books to the Filipino audience. I'm very excited to take part in reviewing Rin Chupeco's The Girl from the Well. I've known Rin personally during my cosplay years (le gasp), and I was psyched to know last year that she had an upcoming book.

Without further ado, I invite you to check out my review as the tour takes a stop on my blog today.

About the book

Goodreads | Amazon

You may think me biased, being murdered myself. But my state of being has nothing to do with the curiosity toward my own species, if we can be called such. We do not go gentle, as your poet encourages, into that good night.

A dead girl walks the streets.

She hunts murderers. Child killers, much like the man who threw her body down a well three hundred years ago.

And when a strange boy bearing stranger tattoos moves into the neighborhood so, she discovers, does something else. And soon both will be drawn into the world of eerie doll rituals and dark Shinto exorcisms that will take them from American suburbia to the remote valleys and shrines of Aomori, Japan.

Because the boy has a terrifying secret - one that would just kill to get out.

The Girl from the Well is A YA Horror novel pitched as "Dexter" meets "The Grudge", based on a well-loved Japanese ghost story.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Gezellig 2: (un)breakable Blog Tour (Review + Excerpt)

Hey, guys! Apologies for the tardiness in getting this blog post up, but welcome nonetheless to today's blog tour stop for Kesh Tanglao's latest book, (un)breakable!

About (un)breakable:

Lorin Perez’s life is finally back on track after almost losing it six years ago. She knows meeting and dating sizzling hot professional rugby player Spence Clarke is a huge part of her healing process. But with her father starting a new family, she decides to follow her best friend Caitlin to UK–Spence’s home country–and start a new life.

However, moving to UK brings certain complications in the form of Gezellig band member Nigel Whitmore, a.k.a. the one who didn’t follow through three years ago. And even though Lorin is very clear about her no commitment rule, Nigel ignores this and pursues Lorin like never before.

Caught between the man who made her feel safe and the one who makes her feel alive, will she finally be able to set her heart free and make the right choice?

Author Profile

Kesh Tanglao is a full-time market researcher. When she’s not crunching numbers, she spends most of her free time watching TV shows, listening to music, and reading. Also a self-proclaimed fangirl, she likes cheering for her favorite sports teams and supporting her favorite artists.

Read the book excerpt and my review after the jump!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Updates (and then some)

So here's what's been happening lately:

  • I hit an all-time low last May. Still feeling the aftershocks and dealing with the consequences. As a result, I slowed down in editing my manuscript and I barely wrote anything. I'm still hoping for good news, but until then, I'm trying to get back on my feet. But it's a slow crawl. Well, at least I'm showing signs of life.
  • In order to deal with this unexpected bump on the road, I signed up for Camp NaNoWrimo. I figured a good push (i.e., a caffeine-induced-cram-on-writing-til-you-break-your-fingers month) would get me back on track. Not making any great strides word count-wise, but I'm meeting my daily quota. I'd like to think that's a good sign. 
  • One of my sources of comfort during the past weeks is reading. And this month, I signed up for not one, but TWO book tours! It's already a tall order for a lazy bum like me, but hey, I can't say no to books (and supporting local authors).
  • There may be a family trip in the works this month. *fingers crossed*

Anyway, I'm going back to reading, and later on, writing. Here's to a productive month ahead!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Review: The Possibility of Us

Let's kick off July with a New Adult read:  The Possibility of Us by Lisa Burstein is now available for just $.99.

About The Possibility of Us

One weekend together could change everything…
When her friend called to tell her about the funeral, Cassie wanted to say no. She had enough to handle with her own hollow existence. But she knew she should pay her respects to her old camp counselor…as long as her ex, Ben, wouldn’t be there.
Except Ben is there. Still gorgeous, still angry, and still able to penetrate her defenses with one intense stare. All the reasons they left each other in a flurry of heartache start to fall away over one long, snowy weekend.
But tough Cassie can’t truly open up to Ben when she knows confessing her secrets will leave her raw, defenseless. And the possibility of forever might not be enough to gamble on all the impossibilities of now.

Read my review after the jump.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Announcement from Entangled Publishing

Embrace said there was some exciting news to share and we can finally share that The Next Forever by Lisa Burstein is free for one week only! Be sure to pick up your copy and get ready to fall in love with Lisa Burstein's writing.

Pick up your copy:

Once you finish The Next Forever be sure to keep an eye out for Lisa's upcoming release, The Possibility of Us, available July 1 for just $.99.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Giveaway Alert!

Image from Tiny House Build

Pinay contemporary romance author, Mina V. Esguerra, is having a giveaway this June for my book, In Over Her Head. Sign up for her mailing list and you could just win ebooks, a $10 Amazon gift card, or a prize pack from me! :)

Monday, May 5, 2014

Review: Si Janus Silang at ang Tiyanak ng Tábon

Sa tournament ng TALA Online sa bayan ng Balanga, namatay ang lahat ng manlalaro maliban kay Janus. Sunod-sunod pa ang naging kaso ng pagkamatay ng mga kabataan sa computer shops sai ba’t ibang panig ng bansa. Kinontak si Janus ng nagpakilalang Joey, isa rin umano sa mga nakaligtas sa paglalaro ng TALA na gaya niya. Hindi inasahan ni Janus ang mga matutuklasan niya mula rito na mag-uugnay sa kanya sa misteryo ng kinahuhumalingan niyang RPG—at sa alamat ng Tiyanak mula sa Tábon!

As of this writing, I'm still reeling from reading the book. I didn't get to do anything "productive" yesterday as I just spent it glued to it, reading until I finally finished it today. I never thought to be so affected by something I was only remotely curious of when I saw a friend's pic of the book a couple of days ago. And now I have to say that I experienced the worst case of book hangover. Ever.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

What have I (not) been doing

Photos not mine; all Googled.
I'd like to apologize for the weeks of radio silence on this blog. So here's a short update of sorts.
  • I'm currently editing a novel I've written last 2012 that I'm hoping to release this year. Although I've released a novella and a short story the previous year and last February respectively, editing a 50k-word novel is like getting-a-tooth-extracted-without-anesthesia painful. I've procrastinated most of the time, but I'm pushing myself to get this done and fixed before submitting to my editor. I'm halfway through, so far.
  • I've written a "mature" short story that's now distributed in Buqo. I'll just leave it at that.
  • The Walking Dead season 4 ended a few weeks before Game of Thrones season 4.  So while I'm tearing my hair out in frustration at the lackluster season finale, part of me is thrilled to have the most bad-ass TV series back on air. Also, heads-up to the equally bad-ass showstoppers from House Martell.
  • I am on a reading roll. I've been buying books on a monthly basis and getting my reading quota up. Unfortunately (or fortunately?), my TBR pile is also growing. But I'm not really complaining. Currently reading Tessa Bailey's Unfixable and Karl De Mesa's Demons of the New Year. If this goes well, I'll be able to finish my Reading Challenge of 40 books early this year.
  • I missed Komikon. :(

Well, that's just about it. There's not much to tell as I'm mostly just doing editing/reading/procrastinating work. Hopefully I'll have something more significant to blog about (like finally getting this manuscript done).

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Fangirl Moment at the Til Death Book Launch

Chloe reads an excerpt from chapter 2 of Til Death.

I first encountered Kate Evangelista's books through the Pinoywrimo FB page last year and I've been reading her work since then. When she announced there was going to be a local launch for her latest book, I jumped at the chance to attend and finally meet her.

The Til Death Book Launch was held at the National Book Store in Glorietta 1 last March 15 and it was truly exciting to meet the author behind the books I've been reading. I'm a staunch supporter of local authors and Kate's success in the publishing world is truly an inspiration. At the launch, I got to see fellow author Mina V. Esguerra (who hosted the event), along with a few of my classmates from #romanceclass. Book bloggers were also there to show support as well as Kate's friends and family.

Supporters from Kate's alma mater
One of the event highlights was an excerpt reading of Til Death by Chloe, a ninth grader from Southville International Schools and Colleges (Kate's alma mater). I was amazed by how the school supported their alumna...complete with a streamer! There was also a raffle portion where Kate gave away swag bags of Taste and Savor.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Celebrating #LunaEast and #RomanceClass

Last Saturday, me and my fellow #romanceclass authors had our very first book launch and signing. It was quite a big thing, with most of us delving into writing and publishing for the first time. With the local publishing landscape evolving to bring indie publishing to the forefront, now has never been a better time to be an author and self-publish!
At the registration area with (l-r): Jayen, AC, Alyssa, and friend. :)
We had an abundance of sweets...and milk!

Friends and family members of authors Chrissie Peria, with Chris Mariano
What was even more amazing was that the party was held at the Ayala Museum, one of the swankiest places at the heart of Makati. The last time I was there, a friend of mine got married and we had a mini tour around the place.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

My First Podcast (Guesting)

I've always been an avid listener of the Five by Five Podcast hosted by Mina V. Esguerra and Tania Arpa since they restarted this amazing venture late last year. What's great about this show is that it features geeky things that I love (books, movies, TV series, pop culture, etc.)...and I'm guesting in it tomorrow!

Photo from

Hope you can tune in on February 6, 7:30 pm (GMT+8) for episode 7 where I'll talk about my writing projects. I'll also be geeking out on Supernatural! I'm very excited to share my thoughts and talk about my favorite TV series (and hope not to spoil the story for those who haven't seen it yet). If you're a fan of the show, tweet us using the hashtag #5x5podcast to ask your questions or just geek out with me!

I'm having a small giveaway during the live show as well. Looking forward to those questions and comments!

Friday, January 31, 2014

Happy Chinese New Year! + Luna East Cover!


Happy Chinese New Year of the Wooden Horse! Hope you guys spend this holiday to be with friends and family or just take the time to relax and do something you love. :)

I just took this screenshot of my horoscope so I can backtrack and check this out (if any of it will come true) by the end of the year. Hehe.


I just got word that we have a cover for our YA anthology! 

Two of my awesome artist friends have illustrations in this edition. You can still order your paperback copy! See you guys on Feb. 8!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

We're having a par-teeey! (And you're invited!)

Last year, I signed up to join Mina V. Esguerra's call for a romance novella writing class. After more than six  months, I finished writing and self-published my first contemporary romance novella, met new friends, and jump-started 2014 with more writing projects. A year after this amazing experience, me and my fellow #romanceclass writers are celebrating the anniversary of our writing adventure with the book launch of our YA anthology, #LunaEast!

I can't say enough how excited I am when we first started talking about doing a short story anthology of a fictional high school ala Sweet Valley High. What used to be just fun-filled discussions of our experiences and (mis)adventures in our yester-years yielded stories after stories of teenagers attending high school at this "co-ed non-sectarian private school, somewhere in the metro, a bit upscale but with a growing percentage of scholarship students".

The first volume of the anthology features the following stories:

Be Creative by Stella Torres
Senpai's #1 Fan by Anne Plaza
Love Lies A'Bleeding by Alyssa Ashley Lucas
Picture Me Naked by D. R. Lee
Something Real by Miles Tan
Wouldn't Change A Thing by Jayen San Diego
You Are the Apple of My Eye by Addie Lynn Co
The Letter by M. Protacio-De Guzman
Where Do We Go From Here by Jen Carpio
The Rumor About Me by Kristel S. Villar
He Loves Me...Not? by Athena Claire Duenas
Sitting in a Tree by Chrissie Peria
Yours Is the First Face That I Saw by Ron Lim
Fifty-Two Weeks by Mina V. Esguerra 

Join us on February 8, 6pm at the Ayala Museum and meet the writers behind #romanceclass and #lunaeast. We've got books, freebies, and stories to give away. See you there!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

2014: The Year to Write More

Image from Natasha Ngan

Wow, it's been a while since I last blogged, but I just gave myself a few days to get things settled so I could get back to my groove. Anyway, 2014 is already proving to be a busy year for me, which is always good. I hate to take it easy after last year's NaNoWriMo, but now that I've recharged (somewhat), it's time to hit the ground running!

Here are some great things to anticipate this first half of 2014:
  • Luna East Arts Academy (vol. 1) - Me and my fellow writers from #romanceclass are coming out with a YA anthology set in high school. We'll have print and digital editions and dig this...a book launch! I'll update you with deets about the event and how to get your copies of the anthology, so stay tuned!
  •  I've finished writing my second novel, Forever Sisters, and I'm currently in the process of editing and revising the manuscript. I'm hoping to get things done and release it by Q2, so I hope this works out for the best!
  • A short story anthology is up in the works with two of my #romanceclass classmates. I'm very excited about this project and we hope to get this done in Q1 to release  sometime within Q2.
  • #buqosteamyreads - I've joined yet another writing class, and hopefully this will take my contemporary romance work another notch. This is a short story writing class with author Mina V. Esguerra, sponsored by Buqo.

Just by looking at my list of to-dos, I just realize that wow, I really have a lot of things going for me. I guess the universe is telling me to stop procrastinating and start working. :) And yes, I will get these done!

Monday, January 6, 2014


See you in the next life, buddy. You will be missed.

I learned today that Coco, one of the stray cats I take care of, has passed away. The last time I saw him was a few days after Christmas, and he was lounging around near one of the neighbors' houses watching people pass by. Being a stray and an un-fixed cat, he would usually acquire a few wounds, but it was nothing fatal that he couldn't handle. I usually fed him, along with Scrappy and Momma Cat, in the afternoons, but I found it odd that I hadn't seen him around for the past couple of days. I thought it was probably that time of the day when he's in heat and he goes around the neighborhood looking for female cats. I thought it was just one of those things. But I was already feeling anxious.

My mom informed me today that the neighbors saw the body of a dead orange cat a few blocks away from our house. They thought it was a dead rat because of the bad smell, but found the body when they tracked it down. I'm not sure whether they threw the body away or buried it. What makes me sad is the thought that they may have thrown Coco to the trash instead of burying him; I know I would've if only I was there when they found him.

I've never felt a loss like this. We didn't have any pets growing up, and it was only until I was earning my own keep that I got to have pets around the house. I know they will eventually pass on, as all living things do, but I just feel bad not knowing what happened why Coco died so suddenly. I will miss the times he would look up and ask me to pet his head, or the times when I'd call the cats and he'd be the first to come running. He was the first stray who warmed up to me after giving them snacks and treats on occasion until I finally took to feeding them on a regular basis. I miss him already and I know his passing will leave a hole in my heart. I don't think I'd be able to look at a ginger cat and not think about Coco, but I hope wherever he is right now, he's also thinking about me. 

Safe travels and see you on the other side, buddy. I'll take better care of Scrappy and Momma for you.