December 14, 2015

Book Review: NOT OKAY, CUPID by Heidi R. Kling

Book:  Not Okay, Cupid
Author:  Heidi R. Kling
Publisher:   Entangled: Crush
Genre:  Romance, Teens & YA
Due Out:  January 11, 2016

Blurb via Goodreads:

Her wicked revenge, or his wicked heart...

Hazel McCallister loves her life. Perfect grades. Perfect best friend. Perfect boyfriend. Until her perfect boyfriend cheats on her with her perfect best friend. Now Hazel’s in free fall—until her best friend’s brother, Felix, gives her the perfect idea. Reclaim her power by taking revenge on her cheating ex.

Felix James loves his life. Casual relationships. Loads of surfing. He’s as drama-free as they come. But he can’t stand by when his sister steals her best friend’s boyfriend, and the dude insists it was Hazel’s fault. So Felix vows to help turn Hazel into a girl her ex can’t resist—so then she can break his heart.

With an alliance in place, Hazel’s revenge is all but assured. But with each piece of payback, she feels a stronger attraction to Felix, even though revenge will turn her into a girl Felix could never be with. And soon Hazel has to make an impossible choice: revenge...or Felix, the boy who’s stolen her heart.

My Review:

Fluffy. Frothy. Shallow. Light.

The story is not unusual.  Best friend cheats with the perfect boyfriend.  Cue devastation, tears, frustration and plans for revenge.  But as with every plot there is always a way to set it apart from others.  This one however, goes with the sea of sameness.  In other words, unimpressive.

Hazel and Felix are very different in that she’s a Type A girl while he is known as the La Playa, as in sleeping-around-with-commitment-issues player.  Yet, written with the two different points of view, they are practically the same person.  Sure Hazel is uptight as Felix is loose, but at the core of it all they are the same.  Which is pretty confusing.

There were many references to 80s movies and current pop culture that makes it so NOW, but it still didn’t distract me from the fact that it’s so long drawn out with the same thoughts, insecurities and questions going over and over and over again, sometimes taking up several pages.  Imagine one thought stretching to seven freaking pages! 

Nope…. Not a happy reader.  I had to flip through many “internal struggles” of the main protagonists just so I can still have the mental energy to finish the book.  It was like going through a loop with no end in sight.  The cuteness of the characters ended for me after the first three chapters, it was just downhill after that.

Much as I like reading light romances and Young Adult fiction, this one just doesn’t cut it.  I’m definitely skipping a reread.



December 12, 2015

Book Review: DEAL BREAKERS by Laura Lee

Book:  Deal Breakers
Author:  Laura Lee
Publisher:  LAN Fiction LLC
Genre:  New Adult, Romance

Blurb via Goodreads:

How were they supposed to know that one night would change everything?

Devyn has life all mapped out. She just needs to accomplish one more thing before graduating college and becoming a full-fledged adult—lose her virginity. And who better to assist her than her best friend, Riley?

Riley is the self-proclaimed king of fling. His college years have been filled with meaningless hookups until the one night that ruined him for all other women. The one night he spends with his best friend, Devyn. Right before he screws it all up.

Balls to the wall, baby!

Now five years later, Riley is determined to atone for his mistakes and prove that he can be the man that Devyn deserves. Little does he know that Devyn’s been keeping a secret from him all these years. A big secret. Now he has to figure out how to win back the only girl he’s ever loved while navigating the pitfalls of her unexpected revelation.

Deal Breakers is filled with lots of laughs, a sexy romance, and an overflowing swear jar.

My Review:

Fast and Easy reading this book was.  Really fast.  In a way it felt like I was on a marathon without volunteering for it.  The writing itself was fine enough.  I did get curious with the love story and I did like the main characters.   But for the most part I felt like it could have been better had it been longer with more depth to it.  It seriously lacked relationship development and the whole book is one big clichĂ©.  I really felt like the writer was rushing through telling the entire story.  A mad dash to the end.

The story is simple and have been done lots of times.  Best friends fall in love, best friends have sex, best friends have an accident and then some.  Devyn is funny in her innocence.  She is beautiful but with a bit of baggage while Riley is just overwhelmingly hot and stupid.... not stupid the intellectual kind but he was emotionally constipated and hard to read.  Oh so typical right?

So they get it on after being best friends for 5 years.  Then the very next day Riley disappears and leaves her on her own.  Another 5 years later Riley decides the time is finally right to get back with his one true love Devyn (say what?!?) only to find out that she is not just unavailable having a new boyfriend and all, but she also has an extra baggage that looks exactly like Riley, dimples and all! Oh the dilemma!

But like I said, this was an easy read for me.  Not too much drama.  No tears.  No heartbreak (for me that is).  No anger (for Riley’s stupidity). Nothing.  Just clean reading, all zoned out and relaxed for a couple of hours.  I say relaxed but be warned, there is very graphic sex here, though not the Fifty shades kind. 

So if you’re looking for a book you can find some excitement in and finish really fast with every single thing being predictable, then pick this up.


November 23, 2015

Are You Ready For Christmas?

A brief change of topic since it's nearly Christmas and I know many of us have not yet completed our Christmas shopping.  I personally prefer going to one stop shops where I can get many things for many people all at once.  One of these is National Book Store.
No matter how old or young the receiver, how pricey or inexpensive your budget, people can always find something to get and give.  
Here are some of the latest products recently launched at the National Book Store.
For readers who love to write, check out A NOVEL JOURNAL.  These are notebooks whose page lines are chapters of books in mini fonts.  With beautiful colorful covers, it’s perfect for those who love the classics. (ME!)
If you want to give personalized planners and notebooks, try LEUCHTTURM 1917.  These are absolutely gorgeous inside out.
For those who love drawing and calligraphy, consider Complete Drawing or Complete Calligraphy by Art Maker. 
How about using just one pen for different gradations of color?  With CHAMELEON it’s easy with no need to mix and blend. 
For the artist who wants no mess, you can give PAN PASTEL.  It’s highly pigmented, erasable and mixable with no drying time needed.
And don’t forget, a great COLORING BOOK can help people de-stress.  I’m giving out a few of these myself.
Kids get extra inspired when they use pens and markers that are not only vibrant but smell delicious too! There’s SCENTOS for that.
How about The Classics in beautiful leather covers? A set of eight that includes Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and Lucy Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables? SOLD!!!
For the Homemaker who loves experimenting with recipes…. There’s BAR TARTINE: Techniques and Recipes AND The Filipino American Kitchen.
My personal favorite and also on my own wish list is the Q&A A DAY FOR MOMS: A 5 year Journal.  Wouldn’t it be lovely if every day you could read what you were thinking the year prior and realize how fast things change?
As a mom who takes my kids on trips a lot, I’m sure to need (and highly recommend) Lonely Planet’s TRAVEL WITH CHILDREN.
For the exhausted parents who have kids who hate to sleep, give this book:  THE RABBIT WHO WANTS TO FALL ASLEEP.  After all, It’s not an international bestseller for nothing.
Kate Spade fans would be thrilled with her line of stationeries, planners, pens and office supplies
Challenge the creativity of your god kids with these TWISTIOS MINIS!
Here are other gift ideas available at the National Book Store.
 Special thanks to Ms. Aurora M. Suarez, Ms. Arlene C. Thay and Mr. JB Roperos of The National Book Store.






October 29, 2015

Book Review: ANYTHING FOR YOU by Kristan Higgins


Book:  Anything for You
Author:  Kristan Higgins
Publisher:  HQN Books
Genre:  Contemporary Romance;  Fiction
Due Out:  December 29, 2015

Blurb from Goodreads:

Before you get down on bended knee, you should be pretty darn sure the answer will be yes. For ten years, Connor O'Rourke has been waiting for Jessica Dunn to take their on-again, off-again relationship public, and he thinks the time has come. His restaurant is thriving, she's got her dream job at Blue Heron Vineyard—it's the perfect time to get married. 

When he pops the question, however, her answer is a fond but firm no. If it ain't broke, why fix it? Jess has her hands full with her younger brother, who's now living with her full-time, and a great career after years of waitressing. What she and Connor have
 is perfect: friends with an excellent benefits package. Besides, with her difficult past (and reputation), she's positive married life isn't for her. 

But this time, Connor says it's all or nothing. If she doesn't want to marry him, he'll find someone who does. Easier said than done, given that he's never loved anyone but her. And maybe Jessica isn't quite as sure as she thinks…
 

My Review:

The Blue Heron series by author Kristan Higgins is one I have been devouring many times over the past few years.  All the stories are well written, with very witty dialogues and extremely funny characters.   Two of them being the O’Rourke twins.  Much as I love the hilarious men and women who make up the town of Manningsport, there are none better than Colleen and Connor O’Rourke.  I have shared my opinion on Colleen’s love story (click my review here:  Waiting On You), now here is the story of her other half, Connor.

In previous books, Connor was always portrayed as someone stoic but very funny, loving yet sarcastic, hot (hubba hubba) and …uh…. Very good with his hands… because HE IS A CHEF guys! (Mind out of the gutter please hehehe).  Here we finally, FINALLY, get to see the other side of Connor, his patience, his kindness and his love for one woman and one woman alone, Jessica Dunn, the woman who has had his heart since he was 12 years old.

Connor is not complicated.  He is a hardworking bar owner and chef who wants to get married.  He has been seeing one woman for over a decade albeit secretly since the woman in question prefers it that way.  Connor wants to have a family because he truly and fully loves Jessica.  And while she has never uttered the words “I love you” to him, he has been the only man in her life for quite awhile. 

Jessica’s life is complicated.  Very complicated.  She practically raised herself and her brother since her alcoholic parents were less than useless.  She also has a reputation since High School that never quite disappeared….she is/was Jessica Does, as in Jessica does anyone who wants some.  Her life has changed for the better since getting her degree and working for the Holland family and their vineyard, and she has moved on and away from the trailer park, but a shadow has been cast and she believes she can’t be more than what she is.  She also has a big burden by the name of Davey, her mentally challenged brother who happens to HATE Connor with a passion because of an incident with a dog in their childhood.  So how can she plan a life with Connor when in her mind, there is nothing left to give him except for what they have occasionally?

One thing you’d have to understand about the Blue Heron series is that it does happen in a small town of Manningsport and as such, many lives, many characters are intertwined.  So the characters here in Anything for You are the same characters from the first four books which means a lot to readers like me because whenever I read a new Blue Heron book, I feel like I’m coming home and touching base with people who matter to me.  And yes, corny as it sounds, the O’Rourkes and the Hollands matter to me a lot and I need to see their happy endings.  So this book here is a gift.  If Connor had not been given a good one I would have been very pissed.  But as it is my entire face is smiling and I haven’t stopped rereading my copy since first receiving the ARC.  In fact, I went back to read ALL the 5 Blue Heron books the past few days just because I want to.  And Jessica.  Her character was always the aloof one ever since The Best Man (Blue Heron book #1) and I didn’t quite know if I liked her enough.  But Higgins has a way of making you LOVE her characters, even the most annoying ones, so here I was rooting for Jessica to end up with the perfect man, Connor.

To fully appreciate Connor (and his magical wit), you’d first have to know where he is coming from, and to do that you’d have to fall first for Colleen….which is why you have to read WAITING ON YOU before diving into this one.  Better yet, start from Book #1 for a better and clearer understanding of all these wonderful relationships and characters I am raving about.  Yes, I am Raving….I love this series.  In terms of romance and sense of humor, few can compare.  Higgins is an author who knows her audience well.  I am not yet ready to say goodbye to the good folks of Manningsport so hopefully there are a few more up her sleeve…..perhaps Ned and Sarah?  How about Charlie?  Heck, there’s always the next generation of the Hollands and O’Rourkes.  Do I hear a yes?


Please click the links for the reviews of the Blue Heron series:
The Best Man
The Perfect Match
In Your Dreams

October 18, 2015

Book Review: THE LIBBY GARRETT INTERVENTION by Kelly Oram


Book:  The Libby Garrett Intervention
Author:  Kelly Oram
Publisher:  Bluefields
Genre:  Young Adult Fiction, Romance
Due Out:  October 24, 2015

Blurb from Goodreads:

Libby Garrett is addicted to Owen Jackson's hot lovin'. But the sexy, popular college basketball player doesn't appreciate all of Libby's awesomeness. He refuses to be exclusive or even admit to people that they're dating. The relationship is ruining Libby and she's the only one who can't see it. 

When Libby's behavior spirals completely out of control, her best friend Avery Shaw and the rest of the Science Squad stage an intervention hoping to cure Libby of her harmful Owen addiction. They put her through her very own Twelve Step program—Owen's Anonymous—and recruit the help of a sexy, broody, hard as nails coffee man to be her official sponsor.

Adam Koepp has watched Libby Garrett for years. How could he not notice the sassy girl with the purple skateboard and helmet plastered with cat stickers? But in all the years he's crushed on her, Libby has failed to take notice of him. Why would she when he was just a nobody high school drop out who served her apple cider several times a week? Especially when she was hooking up with a guy like Owen Jackson—a guy with a college scholarship and more abs than Kyle Hamilton.

Adam finally gets the chance to meet Libby when his co-worker Avery Shaw recruits him to take Libby on the journey of a lifetime. With his ability to play Bad Cop and his experience with the Twelve Step program he's the perfect candidate to be Libby's sponsor. But will he be able to keep his personal feelings out of the matter and really help her the way she needs? And will Libby hate him when he forces her to take an honest look at herself?
This follow-up companion novel to The Avery Shaw Experiment can be read as a stand alone. (But where's the fun in that?) ;)

My Review:

Going into this I had two things in minds.  One.  Kelly Oram is a good author judging by the tears I shed while reading her book Cinder and Ella. Two.  I have no idea who Libby Garrett is.  Based on the blurb, I knew that Libby is a character from Oram’s other popular book The Avery Shaw Experiment which I’ve never read so I was wondering if I should or could skip that and jump into Libby.

I’m glad I did.

The Libby Garrett Intervention is a stand alone book dealing with losing and finding oneself.  Libby is a not so typical teenage female protagonist.  She is overweight, nerdy and sarcastic (oh I love that trait the most.  All these make her so relatable to me personally because I am all these myself so 2 points for Libby).  The problem with Libby is that she is addicted to a living, breathing drug, Owen, a gorgeous jock who wants nothing more from her than hook ups.  Or as a character in the book says, Owen treats Libby "like a prostitute he doesn’t have to pay".

Enter Adam, otherwise known as the Coffee Man.  He is a close friend and co-worker of Libby’s best friend Avery.  A tattooed high school dropout with problems of his own.  He has always had a thing for Libby, so seeing her change from a confident and funny person to a desperate, I-can’t-NOT-have-sex-with-Owen is more than he can take.  One public indiscretion by Libby and Owen sends Adam to suggest staging an intervention for Libby.

A 12 step program is not exactly a good way to start a relationship, but it is a great way to end one and to make Libby see what she has become with Owen, and in the process, it helps Libby realize that she is not as unlovable as what she has believed herself to be.  Addiction though is tough to beat.  Will she keep going back to her personal version of crack (Owen)? Or move on to the person who can help her get her old self back?

One thing I love about Libby is her wisecracking ability.  She is smart as a whip and can dish it out like nothing else.  The character is LOL funny with a side of sexy.  Yes I said sexy.  She is beyond chubby (based on the description and the beautiful picture on the book cover) but she is pretty (Again based on the cover model and descriptions in the book).   The thing is, I understand perfectly her need to be the object of such adulation from a beautiful man and her need for acceptance.  After all, she grew up bullied for how she looked her entire life so having the attention of a popular jock is like a dream come true for her. 


I like how Oram settled the issue by NOT making Libby change physically.  She didn’t make Libby go on an exercise spree to lose weight, nor did she write the story as if being Fat is the reason for her problems.  In other words she didn’t resolve Libby’s dilemma with a miraculous “ugly duckling turned into a swan” angle.  Oram made sure the readers would understand that the problem here is WHAT Libby thinks of herself….and it’s not a lot.  Libby put so much stock on being unlovable because she looked a certain way, she overlooked the fact that she is beautiful in every other way.  Fat is just fat.  In the end, it is how we are as people and how we treat others that define us.  And Libby realizes that with the help of wonderful and supportive Adam.
 
Oram didn’t make Adam the typical gorgeous, Edward Cullen type of guy.  He is the anti thesis of a male protagonist: drop out, tattooed teenager, skinny and thinks himself a loser.  My heart immediately went out to him.  Adam gets Libby because he has been through the same nightmare of addiction albeit indirectly.  He is, in his own way, the perfect hero.  Libby’s hero.

This is a good read with a huge helping or sarcasm, wit and laughter.  If you’re up for a book that will make you want your own Coffee Man, if not just your own coffee, then read this.   Now excuse me while I go get a tall drink of Frapuccino.

Photo Credit: All photos were lifted from Goodreads.com and the author's Facebook account



September 25, 2015

Book Review: HIDDEN HOPE by Amy Patrick

Book: Hidden Hope
Author:  Amy Patrick
Publisher:  Oxford South Press
Genre:  Science Fiction & Fantasy; YA Fiction
Release Date:  September 28, 2015

Blurb via Goodreads:

Ryann is torn between two kings… two brothers.

Lad, the king of the Light Court, is her first love. Nox, the new king of the Dark Court, came through when she needed him most and won her heart.
 

But Lad has revealed a secret to Ryann that devastates her and tears at her loyalties. And though Nox and Lad are fierce rivals for the girl they both claim to love, an even bigger problem threatens them all.

The unsuspecting human population of the world hangs in the balance of an approaching war between Dark and Light. Powerful fan pods have transformed the face of the country. It’s abnormal NOT to be in one now. 

The Dark Council’s plan is almost accomplished, and they are nearly ready to reveal themselves and take back rulership of the world, as it was in the old days, before the history books were written.

Ryann can’t believe the Nox she knows and loves would allow that to happen, though he is now deeply entrenched in the Dark Court and seems to be changing by the day. Is his love for Ryann strong enough to give him the strength to stand against his people and their plot?

Or should she side with Lad and the Light Court, who appear to have the welfare of humans in mind? He is fighting the looming danger hard as he can, fully involved now in the world of Fae politics he tried so hard to avoid. 

And what can Ryann-- only partial Fae-- personally do?

She will have to learn to balance her own Dark and Light sides-- and somehow make a the right choice between two tempting Elven guys-- or face the consequences of a wrong decision eternally and watch her family and the entire human world fall under the oppression of the Dark Court.

My Review:

Strange flutterings in my stomach came and went as I was reading this last book in the Hidden series, particularly when the scenes had anything to do with Nox, the new King of the Dark Court.  As I explicitly shared in my review of the 2nd book, Hidden Heart (click here for the review), I love Nox and am all for him getting the girl and his happily ever after.  Now the question in reading Hidden Hope is if it is the girl I’m rooting for that he gets the happily ever after with.  THAT one, I can not answer obviously as I do not want to spoil anything for you.

The story picks up about a month after it ended in Hidden Heart.  Nox is now within the Dark Court, navigating the dangers of it with Vancia, the former King’s adopted daughter and the current fiancĂ©e of Lad who now heads the Light Court.  Vancia is extremely beautiful and is openly devoted to Nox, who happens to be the boyfriend of Ryann, our main protagonist.

Ryann loves Nox and is trying her best to follow Nox’s instructions for her own safety which is to stay away from the former king of the Dark Court, who happens to also be her long lost biological father, Davis.  But trying and doing are two different things especially when Davis threatens the life of Ryann’s mother.  Davis is one of the most powerful Elf in the world, he has The Sway, which means he can make people do whatever he wants them to do.  The ability to influence at it's best and worst. What he doesn’t know and what Ryann is trying to hide, is that she inherited that power from him.  She also inherited the power of empathy from her mother’s side of the family.  She has two great powers which she believes are not useful enough…..or that she is not strong enough to use at least.

Nox wants Ryann but is unable to be with her since he is trying to keep their togetherness a secret from his world lest she be put in more danger than she already is.  Lad on the other hand, sees her as much as he can, despite being affianced to Vancia, the childhood friend of Nox.  This is no love triangle.  It’s a quadrangle filled with thrilling moments and sweet words that romantics would gobble up.  I sure did.

Much as I was sure in Hidden Heart that I wanted Nox to end up with Ryann, mid book I didn’t know where I wanted to go.  Lad is a dream, Nox equally so.  Vancia was an extra I thought I could do without….but no…. she is one of the most important “twists” in the series that I’m sure readers would also come to love. 

The Lad who was first introduced in Hidden Deep (click here for the review), the honest yet innocent Lad is back with a vengeance and all ready to finally fight for what or who he REALLY wants.  Nox is too... but at what point can one measure someone’s love in their world?  How can one understand where true love ends and elven glamour begins? Just who belongs to whom? Oh so very hard to answer indeed.

Overall, I love how the author navigated the plot points in the series.  Everything was put in their proper places and no question was left unanswered by the end of the book.  I was satisfied with the pairings as well.  However, should author Amy Patrick decide to write an alternate ending for those rooting for the OTHER team, I’m sure I would enjoy that as well (hint*hint**). 

Have I given you guys enough hints? No? well….take my word for it.  Read this series.  I happily recommend it.



September 18, 2015

Spotlight on Author CHRISTINE BRAE

From her warm and genuine smile, it was clear how author Christine Brae is enjoying being back home after having been away for two decades.  A triumphant return too since Brae, apart from being an author, is also a high level executive at an advertising agency in Chicago, where she resides with her husband and grown up children.

Writing is not her full time profession, but it is a huge part of her life which she now shares with all of us.  On my end, it was a thrill speaking to a Filipino author who has captured the imagination, not just of her fellow Pinoys, but readers from other countries as well.  The bookworm in me could not be any prouder.
Christine is sweet, friendly and exuberant.  A joy to speak to.  She reminds me of friends with whom I can chat the entire day about anything under the sun…..and chat we did.

Here is my conversation with Christine Brae:

Lyn: Welcome back to the Philippines! Gaano katagal ka ng wala sa Pilipinas?
Christine:  20 years! 

L:  So you’ve been in Chicago the whole time?

C:  Yes.  I married someone from there.  He grew up in Indiana so we just had the kids here and then moved to the States

L:  So how’s your homecoming?

C:  It’s crazy, it's great actually.  I was a bit nervous because I really kept my life separate.  I didn’t tell people here that I wrote a book
L:  Did you imagine when you left years ago that this would happen

C:  Never.  When I left I took Eco Accounting at La Salle.  I wanted a career as a CPA, which I am.  I didn’t think I’d become a writer but here it is

L:  You’re actually an executive at an advertising company in Chicago.  You still are.

C:  Yes.  And no I won’t give that up, I love it.  I do work at an advertising company and I get to travel a lot, see a lot of cultures and experience so many things so I wouldn’t give that up and that has helped me with the kids…send them to college….its my livelihood so I'm not giving that up

L:  So what has your family said about your book.  Have they read it?

C:  The younger ones are okay with it and my aunts and my older relatives…I was a little nervous because I'm still……

L:  Kamusta reaction nila? Because I read your books and wow….

C:  They thought it was beautiful….they said the words were beautiful…. That’s all they said… so I don’t know (laughs)
L:  Yes because it's very sexy…Not for the faint of heart

C:  Yeah you know why?  Kase that’s reality.

L:  It said in your bio that you wanted to write about your life and run away as far from it as possible.  Dare I ask which parts of the book is based on your life?

C:  You know I'm pretty open about it.  First of all, my mom died in 2010 and she died without me.  I flew in from Chicago too late na, she was gone.  And I was dealing with a lot of regret so I wanted to write a book that honored her…the imperfect her.  And I wanted people to see that could be the most imperfect mother and your child can still love you to death and your child could still want to be like you.

And when I was writing this book I realized that there were actually two guys in my life that influenced decisions that I have made and the drive that I have to succeed as I have in my career.  There were two guys in my life who influenced that so I kind of incorporated them.  Plus the fact that romance was a genre that people were reading.  So that’s how it came about. 

But the catalyst was really my mom, I wanted to write about her.  Sometimes when you read the book you think na no she’s saying bad things about mom but really I’m not.  I'm seeing that she was so imperfect and that she loved her kids no matter what
L:  But that’s all moms naman

C:  It's all families yeah

L:  I loved that Isa ended up with Alex.  Why did you make it so that the good guy is that one that wins the girl? 

C:  Because I have an Alex.  And that Alex was really in the background the whole time.  He would tell me you deserve so much more and you need to be yourself, you need to be able to grow and I wanted to honor….if you saw the dedication in front….I wanted to honor that, the fact that he really stuck by me.  Although the reaction by a lot of readers was no, we’re not buying it, she’s not over Jesse…..and that’s why I had to write the second book.  I had to close it.

L:  I think she would always love Jesse because of the 7 years but ultimately, it’s really Alex that made her who she is.  So……you are a full time career woman, a wife, a mother and a marathon runner

C:  Half marathon
L:  Still you run, you can barely drag me off the bed…. So how do you still find time to write, work and travel

C:  Well traveling is good for me because I have the airplane time, the hotel time…so I write whenever I can.  And my family has always been so supportive that I can basically lock myself up in the room for 24 hours straight and they’ll leave me alone.  That’s how supportive they are.  And writers…we live in our heads….and just the fact that I work for this company and I travel so much and have so much alone time really helps me find time to write.  But I have to tell you from the 1st book to the 2nd book, I lost 15 pounds.  I wasn’t sleeping.  I would schedule myself from 10pm to 2am to write every night.  That’s just how I accomplished the books

L:  Nag focus ako bigla sa 15lbs! (laughs)

C:  I didn’t even diet or anything!  The lack of sleep lang talaga….
L:  So could we expect more books with a touch of Philippines in it from you?

C:  Yes.  There always will be a touch of the Philippines, or a touch of our culture because I feel like the readership especially in the states who are housewives who stay home with young kids who don’t have the opportunity to travel at this stage in their lives, they want to sit and they wanna get away, so I always try to do that.  And you know, I got a lot of slack for writing from some Filipinos na it's too Americanized, that’s not Cebu…oh no Isa is too high class, she is not reflective of our life here….but at the same time it reflects our culture whether you’re rich or poor or middle class or whatever you are, the culture is there, the beliefs are there

L:  And the places we grew up with are there… Strumms…. Greenbelt…. D’Marks….. kaya it was familiar

C:  Yes!
FAST QUESTIONS on favorites:

L:  Dessert
C:  Bibingka

L:  Drink
C:  Gin and cranberry juice

L:  Book
C:  Thornbirds by Colleen McCullough

L:  Author
C:  Too many
L:  Vacation place
C:  Paris

L:  Relaxation
C:  Reading

L:  Hobby
C:  Shopping (laughs)

L:  Movie
C:  Splendor in the Grass
L:  Wow that’s so…
C:  I know!!! My kids are 26 and 25 na
L:  Talaga?  What did they say about the books?  Have they read it?
C:  They’re not allowed to read it and they're like mom, seriously?  How would you even know if we read it or not? But yes, my kids are grown so if they read it…they read it
L:  They just won’t tell their mom (laughs)  okay…last, what are your top 3 book recommendations?
C: I’ll tell you the good books that I've read lately.   HAUSFRAU by Jill Alexander Essbaum.  THE OPPORTUNIST by Tarryn Fisher and ADULTERY by Paulo Coelho.

You can catch Christine Brae, along with fellow bestselling authors Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher at their book signing event courtesy of the National book store this Saturday, September 19, 2015 at 5pm at the NBS booth at the Manila International Book Fair, SMX Convention Center. 
Limited to 200 slots only!  Registration starts at 10am for this event.  Only books purchased from National Book Store, NBS Express or Powerbooks will be accommodated


A special Thanks to Mr. JB Roperos and the National Book Store