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. .
I am so happy that several of the reviews for Boracay Vows have mentioned the food.
An Amazon customer titled her review, “Made me sooo hungry,” and proceeded to say, “I also loved the setting and learning a little about the Philippines and the amazing food that I HAVE to try!”
An iBook reader enthused, “Congratulations and now I want Filipino foooooooood!!!!!”
A photographer friend endorsed Boracay Vows on her page and inspired the quote I used here, “… it’s got plenty of steam and mouth-watering descriptions of food.”
In the Author’s Note, I promised I will post recipes here and I’m starting with Adobo, the unofficial national dish of the Philippines.
On Chapter Four, Blake and Krista had their first meal together. Blake ordered chicken and pork adobo, one of his favorite Filipino dishes and raved about it.
““Hmm, sarap!” The garlic saltiness of the adobo sauce and the perfect tenderness of the meat hit his taste buds and made him groan in satisfaction.”
With 100 Million Filipinos scattered over 7,100+ islands, it is not surprising that adobo is cooked in a variety of ways. Pork and chicken are most commonly used, but other meats, seafood, and vegetables can substitute as well. This recipe is the way I’ve cooked it for more than 20 years. It serves four and can be prepared in as short as 2 hours to as long as 10.
CHICKEN AND PORK ADOBO
- 1 lb. pork belly (loin for leaner option), cut into 2-inch pieces
- 1 lb. chicken (boneless/skinless for lower-fat), cut into serving pieces
- 2 tablespoons garlic, minced or crushed
- 4 pieces dried bay leaves
- 1/4 cup vinegar
- 1/2 cup soy sauce (low-sodium, if available)
- 1 tablespoon whole peppercorns
- 1 cup water
- salt to taste
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil for frying
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
- Combine first seven ingredients and marinate in the refrigerator for at least one hour. Best if left in a closed container overnight.
- Heat pot, put in meat, marinating liquid, and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for one hour, or until meat is tender. If necessary, add more water.
- Strain the meat from liquid, then set aside. In a skillet, heat oil over medium high heat. Add the crushed garlic. Stir in the meat and cook until all sides are browned. Pour the liquid over the meat and continue simmering until sauce thickens.
- Serve hot over rice or with your favorite pancit.
Boracay Vows is available in ebook from your favorite etailers and in paperback from Amazon.
Last week, I revealed the cover of my debut novel Boracay Vows and I’m so happy with the response I got from everyone who’s seen it. Some kept asking if that was me in the photo. I wish! I may have looked like the model twenty years ago when I first went to Boracay, but not now.
This has always been my vision of it from the beginning. A girl sitting on the white sand of Boracay facing the sea. When I was writing it during NaNoWriMo2016, this was my working cover.
Renee, my friend from high school, took it in Palawan and although it’s beautiful, it is not Boracay. So I pressed on.
In the past year, every time one of my friends would check in from Boracay, I’d send a message asking them to take a photo and explaining my concept. They were always accommodating. Here are a few samples from the ones I received.
Stunning, right? Whenever I get a photo, I was always envious that I wasn’t there myself.
Although great on their own, I wanted more of the recognizable Boracay icons on the cover. However, I’m not too proficient with photo enhancement softwares, so I consulted with an expert. Lucy Rhodes of Render Compose came to the rescue. After a few email and Facebook Messenger exchanges, we got it done. And it’s done very well indeed.
I really love it. I can’t wait for the readers to meet Krista and go to Boracay through my book. Coming very soon.
Photo credit: Renee, Tiara, Jonathan, and Chippy.