Happy Book Birthday – NEW YORK ENGAGEMENT

NYE e-book FINAL

Love takes you to unexpected places
Krista Lopez has traveled from the white sands of Boracay Island to the bright lights of New York City for love. Once again out of her element, Krista embraces Carpe diem as a motto. With her boyfriend by her side, she has confidence to take on The Big Apple and the prospect of …

Meeting the Parents
Blake Ryan won the approval of his girlfriend’s conservative family when they met in the Philippines. Now, he’s eager to introduce the woman he loves to his Irish-American clan. To share his past with her as he prepares to ask her to be part of his future. But an urgent call in the middle of the night reminds him that things can change …

In a New York Minute
A terrible crime and his family’s mixed reception of Krista conspire to derail their plans for a stress-free vacation. Will the circumstances cool Krista and Blake’s romance? Or will they seize the day and strengthen their bond?

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Now available from your favorite etailers:

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

To my husband, B, and our son, Stevie, for always inspiring and supporting me.

To my editor, Linda Hill, for giving me proper guidance. This could have gone so differently if you didn’t show me the way.

To Trish Smith, for brainstorming the plot with me.

To my high school kabarkada, Dr. Love Mariano and Grace Soriano, for the expert medical consult.

To my Beta Readers: Milly Bellegris, Gena Gilliam, Sue Schober, and Violet Olivo, for your invaluable input. They improved my story tremendously.

To my cover artist, Lucy Rhodes, for finding Krista in New York. I adore working with you. You’re so spot on and we’re super in-sync. I always look forward to our working chats.

To Tessa Dare, for giving me the idea for Krista’s back story.

Thank you all. Marami’ng salamat.

 

 

BORACAY VOWS Trailer

BORACAY VOWS Tours Boracay

I’m thrilled to present to you my very first trailer for BORACAY VOWS. I’m proud to have created this with the help of my sister Myrtle and her fiancé RG and improved by my friend Michael O’Connor.

These are scenes taken from the book.

  • Carpe Diem Chronicles  is the series title
  • Boracay Vows cover on paperback and smartphone
  • The grotto of the Blessed Virgin Mary, a famous landmark in Boracay
  • Kubo – The cottages at Perlas are modern adaptations of the indigenous dwelling
  • Pork adobo – Blake’s lunch
  • Ripe mango shake – Blake’s drink during their first meal together
  • Sinigang – Krista ordered the pork version for lunch
  • Buko – Krista had this coconut milk drink
  •  Jeepney – the most popular means of transportation in the Philippines
  • D’Mall – Boracay’s main commercial district. Krista and Blake spent Sunday here
  • Duyan – hammock. Chapter Eight’s setting
  • Hilot – therapeutic massage. In Chapter Twelve, they had a couples massage
  • Krista visited a tattoo parlor
  • On the beach
  • In the sea at sunset
  • Boracay Vows on ereader

Thanks again to those who’ve already enjoyed BORACAY VOWS. For those who haven’t read it yet, it’s available from your favorite etailers. books2read.com/Boracay-Vows

Credits: Google Photos Movie Assistant, The Clueless Gent

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NEW YORK ENGAGEMENT – Cover Story

Carpe Diem Chronicles 1 and 1.5

Krista Lopez, with her American boyfriend Blake Ryan, goes from the white sands and blue waters of Boracay Island to the bright lights and majestic skyscrapers of New York City.

From white bikini to red winter coat.

From sun to snow.

It’s important for me to show that NEW YORK ENGAGEMENT is a continuation of Krista and Blake’s romance and I believe the cover delivers completely. It certainly looks like the same girl on the cover. The hat and the way she holds it is an excellent identifier. The fonts, the colors, and the composition are all in sync with my Carpe Diem Chronicles brand.

Like the grotto in Boracay, The Empire State building is easily recognizable as a symbol of New York City. There was never any question that it would be on the cover of any book I write that is set in The Big Apple.

Many thanks to Render Compose for finding Krista once again and for being so easy to work with. This cover was done in only a couple of days – another quick turnaround considering my designer is in Australia and I’m in the USA. Thanks, Lucy.

I hope y’all like the cover of NEW YORK ENGAGEMENT as much as I do and grab a copy for yourself. .

 

 

Camp NaNo Winner Again!

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25,555 words. 100 pages. 20 days.

New York Engagement is the sequel to Boracay Vows. As I teased in the Author’s Note, Krista and Blake are in New York City to meet the Ryans, celebrate Blake’s birthday, and spend their first holidays as a couple. An unfortunate accident leads to secrets being revealed, leaving Krista with questions regarding her identity. I hope to publish this in May. Cover will be revealed here soon.

You’ve met Aidan Ryan in Boracay Vows. He’s here again in NYE being all autocratic. I’m excited to write about him and Maddie next for Singapore Fling. I’m targeting an August release for this one.

You’ll also meet Craig Ryan for the first time. He’s the hero of Samui Heat, Carpe Diem Chronicles 3. I was inspired by Jason Momoa when I started writing him. I wish I can write fast enough. I really want to share these stories with you.

There are more, but I won’t spoil you. Come back here next week for more details.

 

 

 

ARC Book Review – East In Paradise

I’ve read and loved thousands of romance novels for over thirty years. My biggest complaint and the reason I’m writing my own series is that I haven’t read MY story yet. Right now, I can honestly say Tif Marcelo’s East in Paradise, Book 2 of her Journey to the Heart series, has come the closest.

A Filipino-American heroine. Check. Military Veteran hero. Also check. Heroine has a younger sister. That’s me as well. Our first date was at Napa Valley, quite similar to the setting of Paraiso Retreats.

I can say though that you don’t have to be a Filipino to relate to the characters and enjoy this book. East has a feisty, resolute heroine in Bryn, who has a goal and knows what she has to do in order to achieve it. It has an admirable hero in Mitchell, who served his country and has a great sense of responsibility towards his family’s legacy. This book is about dreams, family, and love.

The conflicts are very current, very real in the world we live in today. The secondary characters are well-rounded with both good and bad mixed in. The hero and heroine are characterized realistically with strengths and weaknesses.

Where it might have faltered for me a bit is when Bryn appeared to be too aggressive and Mitch didn’t assert himself fast enough. I knew they were going to get their happily-ever-after eventually, but it was an uncomfortable feeling reading it so close to the end without their final and most explosive conflict being resolved.

Overall, I enjoyed East in Paradise, especially the celebration of Filipino culture in the food and relationships. I give it four solid stars.

Note: I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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About The Book:

When an entrepreneur and an Army reservist end up in their own reality show fauxmance, they have to decide whether their love exists just for the cameras…or if it’s for real in this warmhearted romance, perfect for foodies and wine lovers!

Bryn Aquino, the former manager of a Filipino restaurant, knows the value of hard work. With a shiny new MBA in tow and an investor, she’s ready to start her own business: a culinary retreat where visitors can relax, cook, and enjoy life’s simple pleasures. Dubbed Paraiso Retreats, she leases the childhood home of army reservist Mitchell Dunford—who returned from Afghanistan to revive his family’s vineyard—but finds herself in a bind when her investor pulls out of the business.

When the retreat catches an internet live stream producer’s eye through social media channels, Bryn is offered the opportunity of a lifetime—to document her journey in exchange for a hefty paycheck. Excited, Bryn happily agrees to the arrangement…only to find out that she’s going to have to fake an onscreen romance with her indifferent landlord in order to keep her audience interested.

As Mitchell and Bryn put on a show for the cameras, they find their romance isn’t hard to fake. They’ve got more in common under their bluster, banter, and doubts. As their relationship heats up and the cameras keep rolling, the line between show and reality blurs. And when the pressures of family, business, and the audience stack against them, will their romance survive internet stardom? Or was it just for show?

East in Paradise is available today from the following retailers:

Amazon
B&N
Kobo
iBooks

 

WhereLoveAlwaysWins

 

 

Sun And Moon

Today, August 21, 2017, there is a Total Solar Eclipse – the moon passes between the Earth and the sun, at one point totally covering the sun and turning day into night.

Today is also the 12th anniversary of our church wedding. For the special occasion, we put together a CD of our favorite love songs that we played during the ceremony and the reception afterwards. One of the songs is Sun and Moon from the musical Miss Saigon. American military husband, Asian wife – it fits. Of course, our story turned out better than that of Kim and Chris. For truly, we have been blessed, my husband and I.

 

KIM
you are sunlight and I moon
joined by the gods of fortune
midnight and high noon
sharing the sky
we have been blessed, you and I

CHRIS
you are here like a mystery
I’m from a world that’s so different
from all that you are
how in the light of one night
did we come so far?

KIM
outside day starts to dawn

CHRIS
your moon still floats on high

KIM
the birds awake

CHRIS
the stars shine too

KIM
my hands still shake

CHRIS
I reach for you

BOTH
and we meet in the sky!

KIM
you are sunlight and I moon
joined here
bright’ning the sky
with the flame
of love

BOTH
made of
sunlight
moonlight

 

 

Celebrating Loving Day Everyday

On June 12, we commemorate the 50th anniversary of Loving v. Virginia, the landmark decision by the United States Supreme Court which invalidated the state laws prohibiting interracial marriage.

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I celebrate because I’m a direct beneficiary of this decision. My husband’s American, I’m Filipino. He’s white, I’m brown. In 2005, we were able to marry legally because we could, because we were allowed. I celebrate not just on June 12, but everyday. Thanks to Richard and Mildred Loving. Thanks to the US Supreme Court in 1967.

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The Lovings’ story, my own story, and the stories of more than half a million interracial couples are the inspirations for my books. I’m also encouraged by the great multicultural romances I’ve been reading recently. Surely, they too have been inspired by real-life stories of mixed race pairings. Some of them are: Courtney Milan’s Cyclone series beginning with Trade Me (Chinese-American heroine); Alisha Rai’s upcoming Forbidden Hearts series with its first book Hate to Want You (Japanese-Hawaiian heroine); and Tif Marcelo’s North to You (Filipino-American hero), the first book of her Journey to the Heart series.

trade me hate to want you north to you

All of these books show love between two people, regardless of race or skin color. All of them prove that love is, indeed, color blind.

 

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Photo credits: Love is Color Blind – quotesgram.com, Loving photos – lovingday.org, book covers – Bing images, and Share the Love – RWA