Tuesday, December 31, 2013

[Wrap-Up] 2013 Year-End Recap

2013 was a pretty awesome year for me! I gained new friends, learned new things and expanded my contacts! As per my yearly tradition, let me recount the highlights of the year 2013.


1.) Became a Blog Tour Coordinator for Book Junkie Blog Tours. Last July 2013, author Mina V. Esguerra came looking for someone with a stable internet connection, a working knowledge of Photoshop and a few hours of free time every day. I had those so I volunteered. Little did I know that it would be the start of expanding my contacts. So far, I've arranged 8 blog tours since July 2013, and hopefully, more blog tours to come in the year 2014!

2.) Published a short story on a whim. I first published She Caught Me on Amazon, but took it down and re-published it on Smashwords. It was actually an experiment. Just so I'd learn how Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing and Smashwords work. So far, I got what I wanted so I'd say it's a success.

3.) Joined author Mina V. Esguerra's #romanceclass. Didn't finish a novel on time due to academic load, but gained lots of friends and a support group for my literary endeavors.

4.) Joined and succeeded in NaNoWriMo 2013, for the second time around! haha! I, however, refuse to unearth the thing that was my Nano entry because it was pure gibberish and made no sense at all. But hey, I finished typing 50,000 words in 30 days so I'm good!

5.) Celebrated my book-blog's First Blogoversary! I've been doing this book-blogging thing for over a year now! Hopefully more books and more years to come!

6.) Had my first ever Podcast! I discussed blog tours, and the advantages of having one for your book. I decided to do this because blog tours seemed new to Filipino authors. I made it my personal goal to spread word about blog tours among Filipino authors. Hopefully, we get more exposure to international readers through blog tours!

7.) Gave back to the community through Relief Efforts in San Dionisio and Gift-Giving in Ivisan, Capiz. What little money I earned from arranging blog tours were put to good use through charity. =)

8.) Let's talk logistics. In the year 2013, I've read 150 books (according to my Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge) and wrote 78 reviews. Book Junkie Joint has a total of 373 blog followers on GFC, Linky and Bloglovin. It has 238 likes on Facebook. Then I have 308 followers on Twitter. Not bad, eh?


Back to You
The Archived
The Uninvited
Once You Go Demon
Courting Greta
The Mad Scientist's Daughter
This Girl
The Rosie Project
Don't Forget The Soap
Demon's Veil
The Temple Dogs
Claim Me


I'm looking forward to the final copy of the Luna East anthology. It might be out either January or February next year. *excited*

I'm also looking forward to working with two authors on a secret project. hihi I don't want to jinx or spoil anything so this is all I'm going to say about this.

Of course, I'm also looking forward to participating in #SteamyReads, another online writing class headed by author Mina V. Esguerra and sponsored by Buqo.

Next year, I also plan to self-pub my first novel. Hopefully, I finish writing it, have it edited, have a pretty cover designed for it, and finally have it on paperback. I'll also need budget for the self-pubbing thing so it's good that I have savings now.

Come at me, 2014! I'm so ready for you! ^_^

Sunday, December 29, 2013

[Book Review] The Last Kiss Good-bye

The Last Kiss Good-bye
by Karen Robards
August 13, 2013
Ballantine Books
Mystery, Suspense, Paranormal Romance


Dr. Charlotte “Charlie” Stone has dedicated her career as a psychiatrist to exploring the darkest territory of all: the hearts and minds of serial killers. It’s a job she’s uniquely suited for, thanks to the secret talent that gives her an uncanny edge—Charlie can see dead people, whose tormented spirits cry out to her for the justice only she can provide. This blessing—or curse—gives Charlie the power to hunt down and catch madmen and murderers. It’s also turned her love life upside down by drawing her into a hopelessly passionate relationship with the lingering ghost of charismatic bad boy Michael Garland. 
But there’s little time for romance with her supernatural suitor when murder comes pounding at Charlie’s door in the form of a terrified young woman fleeing a homicidal maniac. Saving her life places Charlie squarely in the cross-hairs of a sadistic predator nicknamed “the Gingerbread Man,” notorious for manipulating his victims like pawns in a deadly chess game. And now the queen this psychopath’s bent on capturing is Charlie. Refusal to play will only put more innocent lives in danger. Matching wits with this cunningly twisted opponent will require all of Charlie’s training and expert skills. But even with her devilish “guardian angel”—not to mention her favorite flesh-and-blood Fed, Tony Bartoli—watching her beautiful back, the Gingerbread Man’s horrifying grin might be the last thing Charlie ever sees.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

[Announcement] Book Junkie Joint's Christmas Giveaway Winner!

I apologize for the delay in choosing the winner. The holiday season is just too damn busy! Anyways, I'm here to pick the winner so without further adieu...

The winner of the #RockGodsofRomance 6-ebook box set is... Phoebe M.!!!

*An email has been sent to the winner on how to claim her prize.

Disclaimer: This giveaway is in no way affiliated with Blogspot, Facebook, Twitter or Amazon.

Friday, December 27, 2013

[Book Review] His First, Her Last

His First, Her Last
by Jonathan Sturak
September 3, 2013
Non-Fiction, Biography


Engaged couple Jason and Hazel travel across the world to meet her family in this true story of love and adventure. The moment Jason steps off the plane in the Philippines, an exotic island caught between the East and the West, the past and the present, grabs hold of this naive American and seduces him with its beauty, its places, and its people. Temptation looms as the best friend of Hazel tests their relationship and touches their souls. A deeply personal account of the conflict of culture between American excess and Philippine poverty, His First, Her Last explores the ability of love to transcend two worlds apart. But after an accident spills blood on the streets of a remote village, the lives of this couple flash before their eyes. Will he escape? Will she survive? Will his first trip be her last?

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

[Personal Update] Happy Christmas, Everyone!

I have so many things to be thankful for in my life. I'm so thankful for having a very loving family, a wonderful set of friends and a flourishing book-blogging hobby! haha!

Anyways, I'm here to brag about the books I got this Christmas simply because if you're a book blogger, it's obligatory to brag about the books you've acquired. Hee.

I got a copy of Ngumiti si Andoy from children's book author Xi Zuq! He even signed it and gave me book marks! My little brother was pretty ecstatic when I showed him the book. He added it into his collection of children's illustrated books.

Thank you so much, Xi Zuq! May you write more books that children could enjoy and learn from!

I also got a SIGNED paperback copy of The Real Score from author Kesh Tanglao! *squeeeee* She even included bookmarks, a blue journal and a pen for me to write on. I'll definitely use it, Miss Kesh! Thank you very much!

Napasaya mo rin ako at ang nakababatang kapatid ko, Xi Zuq! Maraming maraming salamat sa'yo at congratulations sa pagkaka-publish ng iyong kwento! (This is also proof that I only suck at speaking Filipino! HAH!)

Thank you, Miss Kesh! Your story rocked! It made me write hate-tweets at 3AM, that was how awesome it was! Don't you ever forget it! And I'm already looking forward to reading Gezellig2! Thank you for letting me read  your story! YOU ROCK!!

Last December 23, 2013, I also got a signed paperback copy of In Over Her Head by author Anne Plaza! She also sent me a postcard, a bookmark and a Japanese Wallpaper journal! =)

Have I ever mentioned I love notebooks and journals? The mere sight and proximity of a clear sheet of paper is comforting to me. Maybe Miss Anne and Miss Kesh share this fetish of mine, too, so they both sent me journals! I love them! Thank you!

And of course, here are the books I got because it's Christmas. I got a paperback copy of Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl from my Secret Pal in class (Thank you, Boss Jeorge!). I also got myself the complete Lord of the Rings set by J.R.R. Tolkien, a paperback copy of Philip Pullman's The Golden Compass, and a paperback copy of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams.

I could definitely say that my Christmas is very merry! How about you? What books did you get this Christmas? ^_^

Monday, December 23, 2013

[Personal Update] LLB-3A Christmas Party

The reason why I've been M.I.A. from my online life these past few days is this:
Me (in red) and Ate Apol with the kids from Sitio Looc, Basiao, Ivisan, Capiz. 
Last December 21, my section (LLB-3A) held our Christmas Party at Ivisan, Capiz. We went on a three hour drive from Iloilo City and gave gifts to about a hundred children from Sitio Looc.

There were only eleven of us who came, and there were more than a hundred of kids that day. The weather also didn't cooperate at the beginning as there was a downpour, but we persevered nonetheless.

LLB-3A with their kinda abnormal tyrant/dictator/supreme leader president in red.
Credits to Johanna for this picture.
credits to Johanna for this picture. ^_^
It was such a test of patience to handle the kids. They were constantly running around and were very noisy. Plus, there was no electricity so we had to use my laptop for our music. How futile that turned out to be. haha!

The kids finally settled down after getting some snacks. Then, we finally distributed the toys and goody bags we prepared for them. =)

When it was time for us to leave, it was such a great feeling to have children standing by the car we were in while waving their good-byes and Christmas greetings with smiles on their faces. It was priceless!

I feel so blessed to be in a position to give this Christmas. And I'm so proud of what our section did for our Christmas Party this year. I hope that we turn out to be the person that we are meant to be, and I hope we can help more people along the way. =)

Thursday, December 19, 2013

[Personal Update] Santa's Elves for a Day

Yesterday, December 18, 2013, I've been a little too occupied the whole day because of preparing for our classroom Christmas Party on the 21st.

As much as I like being a lazy-ass, I am the class tyrant/dictator/supreme ruler president of my section so I had no choice but to step up and play nice.

For a day, I and a couple of classmates and friends, had to journey through the downtown of Iloilo City to buy toys for 100 kids while on a budget. We also had to buy candies for the goody bags that we planned to give away, and had to prepare prizes for the games we planned to facilitate on the 21st.

To be honest, I was spent by mid-afternoon, but we accomplished a lot so I would say that our efforts weren't for naught. Also, we were like Santa's Elves for a day! We wrapped toys and candies and made sure that everyone had a little something. It was fun although a little tiresome. haha

Oh, and one interesting coincidence is that way back in November, I mentioned in one of my previous blog posts that I originally wanted to give out toys to the children in my neighborhood this Christmas. I had money saved up for it, but it never came through because typhoon Yolanda/Haiyan hit the Philippines. Instead of the toy giveaway that I was planning to hold, I donated what little money I saved up to the relief efforts for the victims of the typhoon. I even joined the relief operations organized by my school.

I was without any budget and I thought I would not be able to give toys to children this Christmas.

Coincidentally, when my section had a meeting about our Christmas Party, we decided that instead of having a usual party, we could just hold it in Ivisan, Capiz and do a good deed for the victims of the typhoon. Ivisan, Capiz is one of the areas that was badly hit by the typhoon back in November, and up until now, electricity still has yet to be restored to the area.

We also came to agree that our Christmas Party will be for the benefit of the children in Ivisan, Capiz.

Another coincidence was that a week before our meeting about the class Christmas Party, I was able to earn some extra money and was contemplating to revive my original plan to give toys to children for Christmas.

So by some very fortunate turn of events, I was given a bit of budget and an opportunity to give toys to children! It was like when I decided to do something good, the world moved and gave me a chance to do it! The coincidences are just whoah!

I could not help but think of that specific quote from Harry Potter by Luna Lovegood --- >

I lost the opportunity to give toys to the children in my neighborhood, but I was given a chance to give toys to the children in Ivisan, Capiz. I was alone in my original plan, but I ended up being with my classmates and friends for our Christmas Party good deed. =) Amazing, if I may say so myself.

Here are some pictures I've taken yesterday after we finished our tasks:

Oh, and before I get accused of being too kind or selfless, the truth is, I'm actually not. Hee. I made sure to give myself a gift this Christmas, too! =)

I got myself J.R.R. Tolkien's complete Lord of the Rings paperback set, and a copy of Philip Pullman's The Golden Compass.

After all, you could never really give love unless you love yourself first.

<--- This is me expressing my great love for myself because I love myself too much!! haha!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

[Book Review] Dead Sexy Dragon

Dead Sexy Dragon
by Lolita Lopez
August 6, 2013
Paranormal Romance, Fantasy, Erotica


The last thing dragon shifter Stig Wyvern needs is his dead friend’s kid sister showing up on his doorstep. He’s just minutes away from entering a mating phase. Sharing his isolated house with the young woman he’s desperately lusted after for quite some time is a recipe for disaster. 
But Cora Cardenas has nowhere else to go. She’s in deep trouble with some really nasty people and Stig is the only one who can protect her. That he’s deliciously sexy and makes her tingle with the simplest of smiles is just a bonus. 
Cora quickly realizes Stig is hiding something from her. To make matters worse, she’s plagued with breathtakingly naughty dreams starring a shadowed lover who bears a startling resemblance to her host. And just what the hell is going on down in the basement at night? 
Stig needs to get Cora out of his house but his inner beast has other ideas. He’s found his mate and she’s not going anywhere...

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

[Book Spotlight] Pieces For You

Pieces For You
by Genna Rulon
December 17, 2013
New Adult, Contemporary Romance


Book Info:
"The phoenix hope, can wing her way through the desert skies, and still defying fortune's spite; revive from ashes and rise.” -Miguel de Cervantes 
Samantha Whitney survived unimaginable tragedy only to discover she had been betrayed by a man who claimed to love her. Shattered, Sam spends months at a safe haven trying to piece herself back together. Ready or not, the time has come for her to return home. 
As Sam struggles to resume a life that no longer feels familiar, she finds unwavering support in an unexpected, familiar face. Confronting Sam’s raw emotions and open wounds head-on, Griffin manages to take two steps forward for every step she retreats.

But when Sam is once again threatened, Griffin must decide how far he is willing to go to protect the woman he wants…knowing the cost of her safety is the risk of losing her.
Pieces For You is a captivating journey of survival, healing, and sacrifice—teeming with honesty, humor, unexpected twists, and love’s unsurpassed endurance.
I made my way to the kitchen where I spotted Everleigh perched on Hunter’s lap as he fed her an omelet. I grabbed a Greek yogurt from the fridge before joining them at the kitchen table.

“I think I liked you better when you were all reserved and aloof…this touchy-feely Hunter is kind of freaking me out,” I teased.

In reality, I was overjoyed to see my best friend finally receiving the affection and love she deserved. Ev and Hunter’s journey to couplehood had been fraught with secrecy and delayed gratification. At one point, I had debated drugging them both and throwing them into bed together to speed up the process. I was getting sexually frustrated just watching their self-denial…I’m not sure how Ev didn’t combust.

“You are just jealous you don’t have one of Hunter’s famous omelets. My man has many talents—big, impressive talents.”

“Are you offering me a sample of Hunter’s impressive talent?”

Ev nearly spit the coffee out of her mouth.

“Paws off lady, I don’t share.”

“You always did monopolize all the good toys when we were kids, never sharing your Malibu Barbie.”

“For the hundredth time, you had the same freaking Malibu Barbie, along with her Malibu mansion, convertible, coordinating wardrobe, scooter, and whatever other accessories Mattel had marketed that year. There was no reason for you to want my Malibu Barbie,” Ev returned with exasperation. This was an ancient debate, which may pre-date the conflict in the Middle East.

“But your Malibu Barbie had a couture hand-sewn wardrobe and Meme painted Barbie’s nails with that little marker—so stylish…so me.”

“And then mom sewed a coordinating wardrobe for your Barbie and painted her nails. There was no difference.”

“But your Barbie was the first, the trendsetter. Mine was just a copycat wannabe.”

Ev threw her hands in the air dramatically. “I give up! Fine, you want my Malibu Barbie? We can switch. Will that make you happy and finally end this ridiculous debate?”

“No need, I switched them during a sleepover one night. I’ve had the innovative fashionista for the last thirteen years.”

“Are you freaking kidding me? You stole my Barbie? What is wrong with you?” she asked, no longer pretending to be annoyed by our age-old dispute…oops, I probably shouldn’t have fessed up to that particular truth.

I shrugged. “Sorry, but you really didn’t appreciate her. You didn’t even notice when I made the swap—what kind of mother are you?”

Ev lunged across the table and would have caught me if Hunter’s arm hadn’t locked around her waist and hauled her back into his lap.

“Why you—“ Ev didn’t get the chance to finish what was sure to be a scathing reprimand because Hunter’s mouth was on hers in the blink of an eye, distracting her with what I can only say was impressive technique.

When he finally broke the kiss, Ev was glassy-eyed and breathless.

“Would you like an omelet, Sam?” Hunter asked as if he had not just laid a scorching kiss on my best friend seconds before. Bravo, Hunter, bravo.

“You are not preparing breakfast for that…that…Barbie snatcher. Come on, Mr. FBI Man, can’t you drag her down to headquarters and charge her with something? She may have even departed the country with Barbie at some point. That’s a federal offense—do something useful with that badge of yours.”

Hunter rose, somehow managing to hoist Everleigh over his shoulder, and started down the hall.

“Excuse us, Sam. Your best friend evidently needs a reminder of how useful I can be.”

I could hear Ev’s half-hearted protests as Hunter shut her bedroom door. I laughed aloud at their antics. Ev was one of the most determined people I had ever met. She could easily steamroll over most adversaries. It was divine intervention that she fell head over heels for the one man who could best her. He challenged her and she loved every minute of it. They were a unit, stronger together than their individual halves.
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