#BuqoYA Bundle 2 Sweet Complications: Excerpts

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It’s BuqoYA time! Today is this blog’s tour stop for the Sweet Complications bundle. What can you expect from this bundle?

Would you do a set of dares to prove someone wrong? Would you risk your friendship so you can find love? Would you admit your real feelings? There are a lot of complications when it comes to finding love. Get the feels when you read these sweet stories.

From this bundle, I’m highlighting excerpts from Once Upon a Sticky Note by Kristel Ann Cruz and Plain Vanilla by Ines Bautista-Yao.


Once Upon a Sticky Note by Kristel Ann Cruz

Of course it also doesn’t hurt that he is nice to look at. I have always pegged Nate as a pretty boy, but his unassuming ways make him look more attractive. I like his thick eyebrows, his smiling eyes, and the dimple on his left cheek that mirrors mine. I can’t even tell you how many jealous stares I have fielded when we walk through the school together, or how my heart secretly swells seeing these.

It’s quite melodramatic to say that our lives have never been the same since we became closer because we are still very young, but that fact doesn’t make it any less true. I will feel so lost when the time comes he or I would have to go our separate ways. Graduation is coming soon and to be honest, I’m dreading college. I wonder if we will be as close as we are now or whether I will be left behind, a mere footnote to carefree high school days.

It was almost morning when I realized I am in love with my best friend.

About the book: 

Nate and Tanya have been talking all day, every day, best friends for years but on the eve of Nate’s birthday, Tanya realized she has started developing more-than-platonic feelings him. They’re going off to college soon so confessing anything that might make things complicated between them doesn’t sound like a good plan, especially now that Campus Sweetie Armi has entered the picture. What would Tanya do? Could she? Should she? Grab a sticky note and place your bets.

About the author: Kristel Ann Cruz

It boggles the mind how someone so shy and awkward found herself in Public Relations, but somehow Krissy makes it work. If she were a fictional character, shefd be a female Ted Mosby. Whether it be prose, poetry, a watercolor painting, or a craft project, she is happiest when she makes. Talk about books, movies, and lipsticks with her on www.krissyfied.com.

 

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Plain Vanilla by Ines Bautista-Yao

“But what about Margarita?”

“She sped off in another direction.” He shrugged, still pulling her along. But this time, he wasn’t holding her arm anymore. His hand found its way into hers. And she told herself she didn’t let go because it was dark and she didn’t want to trip on anything.

When they got to the covered courts, they didn’t bother to find a place to hide. It was so dark, it wouldn’t have mattered anyway. Paco sat on one of the benches and pulled Tempest down next to him. She was tempted to pull her hand away, but he still hadn’t let go. What was the protocol when it came to something like this? Do you let go when you’re about to do something like look at your watch or scratch an itch? Or do you just keep holding on till both your hands get too sweaty? And why did it have to be so complicated?

“I think this is awesome, what you’re doing.” He smiled at her. Or at least she assumed he was. It was too dark to tell.

“Sitting in the dark, holding your hand?” Tempest couldn’t pretend it wasn’t happening, so might as well call attention to it.

Paco surprised her by squeezing her hand and still not letting go. “Well, yeah, this too.” He laughed easily. “But I was talking about the dares. I mean, daring other people is something Marga and I do all the time, but daring yourself is cool. Why didn’t you tell me about it last night? I could have helped you do some of them while we were just hanging out. What’s on your list anyway?”

Tempest didn’t tell him that the dares had only materialized today because of him. “Well, nighttime hide and seek, sleeping under the stars, and glow-in-the-dark bowling are part of it. That pathetic excuse for chalk art this afternoon was too.”

“That wasn’t pathetic.”

“Whatever.” Tempest snorted. “There’s also doing a color run which I am seriously thinking of swapping with something else, running through sprinklers, flying a kite, making a slushie—”

“You’ve never made a slushie?” Astonishment.

“I lead a very dull life, okay?”

“Or flown a kite?” More astonishment.

“Fine, Mr. I’ve Done Everything Fun in the World, what haven’t you done? If you were to give yourself a list of dares, what would you put on your list?”

“Well, I wouldn’t mind breaking into an all-girls high school after dark and playing hide and seek.” She could hear the smile in his voice.

“Boring. I’ve done that already.”

Paco burst out laughing. Tempest’s insides began to feel all warm and gooey. It felt good to make him laugh. And to have his complete attention. And to still be holding his hand.

About the book: 

Despite her quirky name and equally quirky family, 16-year-old Tempest Juan knows she’s ordinary. After reading a comment on Facebook which likened her to vanilla ice cream, Tempest decides she has to do something about it or be forever branded as plain, lukewarm, and well, vanilla. It doesn’t help that the comment was made by Paco Lorenzo, her cousinfs cute friend (no longer cute in her book!). When she happens upon a book of dares, she decides to attempt each one, no matter how hard. This is her personality at stake, after all. But somehow, Paco, the cause of all this, finds a way to be at every dare Tempest attempts, confusing her and forcing her to question whatfs really going on inside her heart.

About the author: Ines Bautista-Yao

Ines Bautista-Yao is the author of One Crazy Summer, What’s in your Heart, and Only a Kiss. She has also written two short stories, ”Flashbacks and Echoes,” which is part of a compilation called All This Wanting and ”A Captured Dream,” one of the four short stories in Sola Musica: Love Notes from a Festival.

She is the former editor-in-chief of Candy and K-Zone magazines and a former high school and college English and Literature teacher.  She is also a wife and mom and blogs about the many challenges and joys of motherhood at theeverydayprojectblog.com. She has recently launched The Author Project, a section in her current blog devoted to the stories in her head: http://theeverydayprojectblog.com/inesbyao-author-project/

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Get Once Upon a Sticky Note and Plain Vanilla, as well as the four other stories in the Sweet Complications bundle (D’01 by Sassy Fova, One Lovely Summer by Amae Dechavez, Same by Charm Lee, and Travel of Two by Irish Fleurat Buqo. Purchase link here: Buqo.

Also, join the giveaway! Click here for the Rafflecopter link.

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Un-block that writer’s block: We ‘sing’ through it

Hi everyone!

It’s been a while (well, a couple of weeks) since my last post, and I’ve been trying to get over some sort of a hump. There are two types of people when it comes to writer’s block: those who believe in it and those who don’t. I fall under those who do, and I’m in one right now.

Okay, granted that I’ve been busy as hell and the only thing I’ve managed to churn out in months was that edited preview of Gezellig 3, Curtain Call (which you can still access here) and then nothing else. So to solve it (and to gear up for a couple of stories I’ve got lined up), I came up with this strategy: write some one-shots. Of course, I need to get inspiration somewhere else, and I turn to music.

THE BRILLIANT IDEA (which could backfire on me, haha): Why not write one-shots based on songs, and release one weekly? 

So I asked for suggestions on songs for inspiration both on Twitter and on Facebook, and I got the following so far:

  • Don’t Give Up on Me by Milo Greene [from Kristel — I am so curious about this song because I’ve seen her tweet about this]
  • Anaconda by Nicki Minaj [from Chrissie! This is interesting and quite challenging haha]
  • Over You by Ingrid Michaelson feat. A Great Big World [from Pearl. But this one is already used in (un)breakable, so sorry!]
  • Still Into You by Paramore [from Luna. I have to say aside from Proof, this is one of my most favorite tracks off their new album]
  • A Higher Place by Adam Levine, off the Begin Again OST [from my buddy Ico! I adore this movie and the soundtrack!]
  • Boom Clap by Charli XCX from The Fault in Our Stars OST [again from my buddy Ico… the movie OST also is <3]
  • Rather Be by Clean Bandit [I have to acquaint myself with this one, also from Ico]
  • Girls Chase Boys by Ingrid Michaelson [from Ico! Ingrid’s getting a lot of requests]
  • Close as Strangers by 5 Seconds of Summer [from Dinah. I told her this one is on Gezellig 3 playlist, so I won’t touch it yet.]

That’s what I have so far, enough to occupy me for about two months? I’m still open to song suggestions so hit me up! :D

Best,

Kesh xx

#TheRealScore turns 1! Book birthday, yay!

Hi everyone!

I can’t believe it’s been a year already! My first book, The Real Score, turns one today! *confetti*

To everyone who has bought a copy (or two, or more) of The Real Score, attempted to read it, got a sample, pirated it off someone (I don’t advocate this, but still….), and loved Marcus, Caitlin, and the rest of the Gezellig gang: THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY FANGIRL AND AUTHORLY HEART. <3

Now to celebrate the big one year of The Real Score, I have a couple of stuff lined up:

FREEBIE!

The Real Score is free (yes, free) for a limited time over at Smashwords! Just enter this coupon code: HP72D (not case-sensitive) upon checkout. This’ll last until September 6, 2014.

TITLE REVEAL.

The final book in the Gezellig series has a title! And it is….. *drum roll* CURTAIN CALL. (My previous working title was How It Ends, which also scared me a bit.) This book goes back to where we started: Marcus and Caitlin. If you’ve read (un)breakable, you probably have an idea or two as to where they stand. Lorin is taking a step back here, but she still has a storyline :)

TEASER!!!!!!

TEASER!!!! If you follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, I’ve posted teasers of the book three in the past couple of days. And we finally have it here. You can download the pdf here or check it out at my Wattpad page. Just a warning: this is a bit spoilery if you haven’t read the second book, so read at your own risk. You have been warned. Tweet, email, or message me anywhere for ‘feels’ on this teaser. :)

FRCA2014

And last but not the least: Filipino Readers’ Choice AwardsThe Real Score, along with a couple of #romanceclass novellas as well as Ms. Mina V. Esguerra’s works, have been nominated under Romance in English! It’s Hunger Games for us, haha, and if you liked The Real Score, really appreciate it if you could drop in a vote for it over here. Voting ends Sept. 10. :)

 

Whew, that’s it. :) Thanks again, and looking forward to sharing more stories with everyone.

Best xx,

Kesh

Book Two: #GZLG2unbreakable is out today!

Hello lovelies! xx

 

Hope you are all safe and dry after wild Glenda!

Anyway, we counted down for thirty days to get to this point, and finally… Gezellig 2 is out!

I never thought I’d get a book out before. I do enjoy writing and all that, but…putting out there, earning from it (no matter how big or small the earnings were), meeting people because of it, was something that a bit like a dream for me. So when I put out The Real Score, I told myself… okay, well, that’s a strange feeling. Strange but nice.

And then Gezellig 2.

Aside from Lie (a story I never got to finish, but whoever’s been there since Lie, the ending’s written already, I just don’t know yet how to get there.), (un)breakable was one of the toughest stories I’ve ever written. Maybe it was because I was going through a lot at the time that I was writing / revising / procrastinating about this, or I was busy, or it was just really tough to write about a love triangle, period.

Or maybe it was because I was scared of that damn sophomore slump.

But it’s here. Somehow we made it through the storm, battered and beat, but we made it.

Gezellig 2 (un)breakable FINAL compressed for webpages

(un)breakable is out now, at Amazon and Smashwords. Still working on getting it everywhere (Buqo, Kobo, etc.), and I will update soon on it. :) [If you’re also waiting for paperback copies… I’m also working out that one.]

Hope you enjoy reading the story. I’m letting it go now. :)

 

xx., Kesh

 

P.S. I just have to say this and get it out of the way. For the record, the guy on the cover is not the rugby player who inspired Spence’s character. Initial versions of this cover was strikingly ‘him,’ but I wouldn’t do that (because he knows, as someone made sure he would haha), so we switched it up. :) If he still looks like rugby player who inspired him, like everything else GZLG2-related, I’m letting it go. It’s for you to judge. :D [Personally, he looks like some Hollywood actor to me.]

P.P.S. The ending of GZLG 2. We settle that with a teaser of Book 3 (which already has a working title, FINALLY) on The Real Score’s book birthday on August 30. Watch out for it! :D

What is (un)breakable all about?: The Blurb

Hi everyone!

I posted this already on Day 13 of the countdown, but I’m doing this here, too. :) Below is the blurb for the second book in the Gezellig series, (un)breakable.

Lorin Perez’s life is finally back on track after almost losing it six years ago. She knows meeting and dating sizzling hot professional rugby player Spence Clarke is a huge part of her healing process. But with her father starting a new family, she decides to follow her best friend Caitlin to UK–Spence’s home country–and start a new life.

However, moving to UK brings certain complications in the form of Gezellig band member Nigel Whitmore, a.k.a. the one who didn’t follow through three years ago. And even though Lorin is very clear about her no commitment rule, Nigel ignores this and pursues Lorin like never before.

Caught between the man who made her feel safe and the one who makes her feel alive, will she finally be able to set her heart free and make the right choice?

What do you think? Will you be on #TeamSpence or #TeamNigel? Excited already to share this story with everyone! :)

Anyway, next week, The Real Score, goes on blog tour again. Watch out for giveaways and freebies!

 

Lots of love, xx,

Kesh

 

Countdown to Gezellig 2: 30 Days to (un)breakable

Hi, hey, helloooooo!

First off, happy Independence Day to the Filipinos out there, wherever you are :) It’s another holiday, so I may have a little bit of time to spare before I sit down and face some of my work backlog (actually writing this in an almost deserted office, awoooo).

So based on the title, you read it right: after a few months of delay, the second Gezellig story, (un)breakable, is finally coming out! Mark your calendars: it’s going to be out on July 16, 2014! :) (If you’re curious why on this date, all I’d say is that it’s a fangirl reason. That’s all. *zips lips*)

A bit of info on this book (some of which you probably know already if you follow me on Twitter):

  1. It’s definitely much longer than The Real Score. – Gezellig 1 is 42,102 words. (un)breakable is pushing 60k++ words, and I honestly wanted to compute how many % longer that is, but I’ll leave that to you. The mathematical side of my brain at the moment isn’t working too well. (Excuses.)
  2. It’s not about Marcus and Caitlin, but they’re in the book. – This one focuses on Lorin Perez, Caitlin’s best friend and a true-blue Gezellig fangirl. Of course a Gezellig member is involved (Nigel Whitmore, blue-eyed cutie), but to make things more fun, we add a rugby player to the formula, Spence Clarke (HOT. Haha). Who knows, there might be a wrestling match between these two men to win Lorin’s heart, I don’t know, haha.
  3. It’s only going to be out on ebook format… for now. – Well, yeah. There’s that. For now. Maybe if I get a whole boatload of requests for a paperback, we’d do one, but for now, it’s only going to be out as an ebook. :)

So… how would this countdown go?

Each day starting June 16, I will be posting stuff relating to the story. It could be Nigel’s Word of the Day, a song in the book’s playlist, a tutorial about rugby (Spence tells me to orient you guys on this — he’d do it himself, but he’s tied up in training, haha), a cover reveal, character profiles, etcetera, etcetera. There would be a whole week when The Real Score will be made free for readers along with another paperback giveaway (yay!).

The countdown rounds up in another giveaway! It’s not just the e-book; I’ve got some pretty neat stuff to include in the package, so please do join when this happens :) I’m still trying to get a blog tour organized, but if that doesn’t happen, if you’re a book blogger and you’re interested in reviewing or featuring the book in your blog, I’m open to send you guys an advanced reading copy :)

So there. Book 2’s going to be out on July 16, and I’m sooo nervous and excited and I’m just a bundle of emotions right now so I’d curl into a ball like a cat. (Or you guys could just give me hugs. That would work, too.)

Check back here, on Twitter, or on my Facebook page as we countdown to #GZLG2Unbreakable :D

Kesh., xx

#buqosteamyreads Excerpt Reveal + Giveaway: Inappropriate Entanglement by D. R. Lee

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Welcome to another stop of #buqosteamyreads over at Fun to Live the Illusion. :) Today we feature D.R. Lee’s Inappropriate Entangelment. 

Disclaimer: All books under the #buqosteamyreads bundle are for 18 years old and above only.

About the Book

Inappropriate Entanglement

On their first meeting, she ordered him to strip.

Kaye is the independent and workaholic creative director of an ad agency. She’s been single for five straight years but she still isn’t so keen on joining the dating pool anytime soon. Unfortunately, Matt, a hunky client she needs to please and appease, has other plans.

On their first meeting, he stripped.

Excerpt:

“Where are the models?” I asked.

“Oh, uh, they’re waiting for you in the lounge,” the receptionist supplied.

I was scheduled to meet the prospective male models for the ad campaign for which I prepared a presentation, and because I was already late, I was positive they’ve been waiting for me.

I easily spotted three men sitting by the lounge. One was fiddling with his phone, another was reading on his iPad and the third one was reading a newspaper. I’ve worked long enough with models to pick them out in just a glance. If their tall height and trim builds didn’t give them away, their stylish clothes did.

Two of the men instantly stiffened when they saw me, but I wasn’t in the mood for niceties. I stood in front of them, crossed my arms on my chest and scrutinized each one. I had to find a man that would serve as the face for top clothing company Onyx Apparel. I was already late and I intended to do this efficiently.

Hmmm… The first one looked too young. His build was perfect but he looked too much like a teen heartthrob. The next one was too thin, and he simply didn’t exude the manly vibe that I was looking for. The third one — as soon as I laid eyes on him, he looked up from the newspaper he was reading and met my stare full-on. I was pretty sure he couldn’t see my eyes as I was wearing dark sunglasses, but his stare was intensely penetrating. I involuntarily gulped and had the urge to look away. I knew then and there that I’ve found the man for the job.

“You,” I pointed to him. “Stand up and come with me.”

Stamping down the attraction that was creeping under my gut, I quickly shuffled on my feet and walked away, fully expecting him to follow my lead. When I looked back, he just stood there looking confused. As much as I liked watching the dumbfounded expression on his face, I didn’t want to be delayed further.

“Well? Aren’t you coming?” I scoffed.

My voice seemed to have broken his confusion, but he didn’t say anything. He just slung his gray backpack on his right shoulder and walked on.

A few minutes later, we were inside the confines of my office. I took up my position behind my desk and took off my sunglasses. As soon as I turned my attention to him, I instantly felt like I’ve been sucker-punched. If he was a looker under the tinted lenses of my sunglasses, he was even more stunning under bright lights.

The hard planes of his face were finely sculpted and refined. His head was shaved but surprisingly, he looked good. His eyes were the lightest shade of brown and they were framed by thick, dark lashes. His nose was straight and aristocratic, and his lips looked luscious and inviting.

You’d think after working with models for three years in an ad agency, I would’ve been desensitized to gorgeous people. Hell, after the first year of being star-struck with the models and celebrity endorsers, I’ve began seeing them like mannequins. I thought I’ve seen them all. But this one… He was different.

The curious thing was that he wasn’t even doing anything except stand there with his backpack slung on his right shoulder. However, his mere presence was making me all too conscious of the sparkly tingles erupting in my stomach.

I had to bite my lower lip to keep my composure intact.

When his eyes strayed to my lips, I felt my breath involuntarily hitch.

I knew I was gawking at him. And I knew that he knew I was gawking because one curious eyebrow rose as he stared defiantly back at me. A small smirk also tugged at the side of his lips in amusement. His stare was unabashed and so intense that I just had to look away after I felt heat creeping slowly on my cheeks. Although I may have found the perfect man for the ad campaign, I just wasn’t so sure I could handle him. Then again, he didn’t know that and I wasn’t too keen on letting it be known.

I cleared my throat and took a deep breath before speaking.

“What’s your name?” I’ve dilly-dallied long enough. It was time for business.

“Matt,” he replied curtly.

“Alright, Matt, I’m Kaye, the Creative Director in charge of the campaign for Onyx Apparel. I’m already late so we’ll take care of the trivial things later. For now, put down your backpack and strip.”

“Excuse me?” He looked surprised, but amusement still lit up his eyes.

“I said strip. I need to see your build,” I explained, trying to sound professional.

Matt smiled and shook his head slowly as if in disbelief while he dropped his bag to the nearby chair. I could tell he was trying to suppress a grin. I was a little intrigued about what it was exactly that he found so amusing, but I reined in my thoughts and did not say anything.

Matt ever so slightly tugged at the hem of his black V-neck shirt before slowly pulling it up. All the while, he kept his gaze locked straight at me. I gulped. Those eyes should be illegal. He sported a small smirk while he slowly lifted up his shirt as if he was the star in a strip-show.

Oh, Lord…

He was like unwrapping a Christmas present that I really badly wanted, but can’t get my claws on.

Off with the shirt, dammit!

When the shirt was finally off, I shamelessly gaped.

Holy David Gandy and the awesomeness of a thousand flying bacon! Those pecs! Those well-defined abs! I had to bite my cheek to stifle a squeal. He was perfect. His body was well-toned but not too bulky, and he had the right buns in all the right places.

I’m not a perv, but I would be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy his impromptu strip show and subsequent half-nakedness. In my defense, I am only human and thus weak against the personification of lust.

Oh, and what do you know, he has a tattoo. It was an intricate tribal tattoo covering his left shoulder and spilling unto his chest. It was mesmerizing to say the least and I felt a strong impulse to touch it. Unfortunately, before I could act on my abnormal impulses, I heard him speak.

“Um, do I need to…?” He pointed to his belt buckle.

Oh, yes, please… 

Get Inappropriate Entanglement over at Buqo:

Also, join the giveaway! Click here for the Rafflecopter link.