Of Birthdays and Thanksgiving

Happy Birthday to me and Boracay Vows and Happy Thanksgiving to all!

In the Philippines, a child’s first birthday is among the best celebrated events in their life. Parties take on fiesta-like proportions with lots of food, including pancit and lechon, and oftentimes karaoke competitions. Having survived their first year, the child is expected to live a long life from then on.

As I consider Boracay Vows my first book baby, I’m celebrating its first birthday with so much joy and gratitude.

I am incredibly grateful for all the support from family, friends, and even strangers. My debt to those who bought Boracay Vows, and especially those who reviewed it, is something I can never repay. I can only try to return their generosity by sharing more of my stories and writing them with love.

My appreciation also goes to the romance writing community. I wouldn’t have been able to move forward in my writing if not for the tips and sharing of their time and resources by other authors.  

To my tribe: OSRBC, Writing Group, SARA, Indie Author Support, Romance Café, Lone Star Book Blog Tour, Romances That Sizzle, Love Romance Reads – Thank you very much for the inclusion, acceptance, and encouragement.  

To my wonderful family here in the US and in the Philippines, thank you. I love you.

I’ve been so blessed in my life, it’s only fair that I give back. For my birthday I’ve placed both Boracay Vows and its sequel New York Engagement on sale for only $0.99 each until November 28. I will donate all earnings from this period to the American Red Cross, my small way of helping those in need.

Buy links to the books can be found here: 

#Thankful – Boracay Vows

On November 21, I celebrated my birthday and the book birthday of Boracay Vows and it was awesome!

This has been an incredible year and I wouldn’t get here without the love, encouragement, generosity, and support of my family, friends, and even strangers.

My husband is a Rock Star. His belief in me is unwavering. I am not exaggerating when I say I couldn’t have accomplished this without him. He gave me the means to put this book together and have it published. Our son is my inspiration, my heart. I am grateful that at eight years old he can already prepare his own meals, otherwise he’d starve. Expert of things Stevie. Bad mommy.

I am ta novel byhankful for my book club OSRBC. They were there for me from the very beginning of this journey. Their encouragement propelled me to turn my two-pager opener into a full-length novel. OSRBC members informed me about the National Novel Writing Month and cheered me on as I pantsed my way into winning in 2016 with Boracay. They’re the first ones to pre-order my book and help me spread the word around. Best book club in the world!

My editor Linda Hill is from OSRBC. She saw me through dozens of drafts from December in 2016 all the way to proofreading in November. If there are mistakes in the book, they’re most likely things I changed after she gave the final manuscript back to me. Thanks, Linda.  Sorry, Linda. To my writer friends who are planning to publish independently, you are going to need an editor. I recommend you contact Linda ASAP.

Many of my Beta readers are also from OSRBC – Eva Moore, Rizalee, and Cecille. They’re the ones who pointed out what’s missing as well as what’s there that they loved. Thanks, ladies.

My cover designer also belongs to OSRBC. Lucy Rhodes of Render Compose was recommended to me by a common friend Leni Browne and I just marvel at how in sync we were while doing the covers. She’s in Australia, I’m in the US, but there were no barriers to our communication. Another note to my indie friends – ask me for Lucy’s contact information. You won’t regret it.

There are so many people to thank: my sister Myrtle and future brother-in-law R.G. Gallardo; one of my forever friends Chiqui; my first boss and fellow book-addict N; my Belarusian sestra Yulia; design consultant Celeste Odono; fellow Indie writer Rainne Mendoza; reenactors of my cover concept Renee, Tiara, Chippy, Lia, and Jonathan; my ARC readers, and my barkadas UNYLACE, CPP, and Burlesque. Thank you very much. Maraming salamat.

Special thanks to Tessa Dare for her wonderfully motivatTessa Dare noteing words at the beginning of the year. She told me, “Doubt not.” Sometimes I did, but I persevered and now I’m a published author.

And now, I’m thankful.