Sunday, February 26, 2017

Bookish Event Recap: Philippine Romance Convention 2017 + Book Haul

Last February 19, 2017 (Sunday), I attended The Philippine Romance Convention 2017 in Alabang Town Center, Activity Center. I had a lot of fun. I met a lot of authors with books that I have read and I've also discovered authors with books that I have not read and I was eager to try out their books thus breaking my book buying ban again. I also learned a lot of things especially about writing books and the process behind it. 

           I first attended the Sweet love discussion, which is a panel discussion on young adult, new adult, and inspirational romance. In this talk, the speakers were: 

Arelene Manocot
              She has written fantasy, suspense, and romance novels, She has also launched three books iin her Fangirling series in the span of a year. 

Clarisse David 
              She is a young adult author. She has recently released her book 'Keeping the Distance' in her I heart Iloilo series after her debut novel Prom Queen Perfect. This was my first time meeting Clarisse and I was so excited to meet her in person because we have only talked on twitter. 

Chinggay Labrador 
               She is the author of the Popped series and also a freelance writer, yoga instructor, and intuitive tarot reader. Furthermore, she has contributed to anthologies like Sola Musica, Coming of Age, and Friend Zones. 

Kate Evangelista 
                 She was a former English teacher and the author of the Dodge Cove series published under Swoon Reads and the Vicious Feast series (available from Anvil's spark books). This was my second time meeting her. The first time was during the launch of the first book in the Dodge Cove, No Love Allowed. 

The second talk that I attended was Steamy stories, which is a panel discussion on sexy romance. Let me just say that this discussion got a bit hot!. And in this panel the speakers were: 

Bianca Mori
 She started writing sweet romance but shifted to the steamy side with her book 'One Night at the Palace Hotel' and 'Tame the Kitten'. She also has romance suspense books with her Takedown trilogy.
Mina V. Esguerra 

With having written over 20 contemporary romance novels, she has written a variety of books with young adult, new adult, and adult genres, which were published traditionally and independently. She also heads the #romanceclass group of writers and readers.

Georgette S. Gonzales 
She writes steamy stories in Tagalog with 'My Special Valentine' as Edith Joaquin and English in her own name. Her collection of short romances inspired by Barry Manilow songs, Of Love and Special Things, launched in 2016.

Jennifer Hallock 
She is originally from New England but she has lived and worked in the Philippines. Her Sugar Sun romance series was called "intensely absorbing" by the Historical Novel Society due to the fact that her books about Manila, Dumaguete, and Bais during the American colonial period.

(Left to Right) Kate Evangelists, Clarisse David, Yeyet Soriano, Arlene Manocot,
Bianca Mori, Georgette S. Gonzales, Jennifer Hallock, and Mina V. Esguerra  

 In addition to participating in those panel. I got some of my books signed by the authors

Learning to Fall by Mina V. Esguerra 

“Go out with a stereotypical romance novel hero WHO ISN’T YOUR TYPE.”

Avid reader and art student Steph is participating in a monthly blog challenge to Live Like Fiction, and this was the task for October. When Grayson, former co-captain of her university rugby team, walks into her class, she knows it’s meant to be – she has to go out with this guy. Even if she’s never been attracted to big, hunky, athletic types. With Grayson’s “player” reputation off the field, Steph thinks he’ll be good for one date that’ll be worth blogging about, and that’s it.

But you know how it goes: Soon, it becomes more than just one date – and Steph and Grayson are caught up in “living like fiction.” How long can they keep playing their roles before reality steps in?

Playing Autumn by Mina V. Esguerra 
Haley Reese is going back home to Houston and she's dreading this trip. She volunteers as a mentor to young musicians at an annual festival, and the longer she's been doing it, the more she feels like a fraud. It's been years since the web videos that made her sort-of famous first came out, and she hasn't done anything else to pursue the career in music she's always wanted. Things start looking up when she shares a plane ride with Oliver Cabrera, music prodigy, rock star, and the reason why she picked up an instrument in the first place.

Oliver Cabrera hasn't called any place "home" since he started touring professionally in his teens, but Houston is as close to it as any. He's also nearly broke, his career just about over. When he gets the invitation to mentor at the Breathe Music Festival again, he decides, what the hell, he should finally show up. He meets Haley, Hot Piano Girl herself, and finds her fear of failure might be easier to fix than his own.
Relish by Kate Evangelista 
I left Lunar Manor broken, seeking comfort in the hands of Laurel "the Dragon" Hardy, the editor-in-chief of the Daily Gossip. Okay, I may have used him to ease the pain He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named caused by his confession of loving someone else. On New Year's Eve! Granted, he was drunk off his ass, but still! I stay with Larry mainly because the dreams are getting worse. Worse enough to wake me in the middle of the night needing the touch of another to save me from losing my mind.

Unfortunately, the handsome bassist of the uber successful indie rock band, Vicious, is never far from my mind. I thought I was rid of him once and for all only to have him show up at my hotel in London. Luka Visraya's power over me is intense. No matter how far I run, I always end up circling back to him.

If you think my story is just some romance about two lovers getting back together, think again. Little did I know that returning to Luka meant I'd be plunging myself into a world more familiar than I ever thought possible. Trust me when I say I didn't believe it either when the truth finally came out.

Keeping the Distance by Clarisse David 

Seventeen-year-old Melissa wants to dye her hair cotton candy pink and focus on her ukulele instead of Physics. But she can't. As the daughter of a Catholic school principal, living up to her model student image 24/7 is a must. Something's about to give under all the pressure. She only hopes it isn't her.

Getting involved with a troublemaking basketball player is the last possible thing she needs...

Lance is used to getting what he wants. With a pretty face he uses to full advantage and his role as co-captain of the basketball team, the easy way is the only way he's ever known. Until the day he notices the prim Melissa he's known forever is actually hot and decides to ask her out. He has no idea he's about to learn the lesson of a lifetime.

Not getting what he wants might exactly be what he needs...

See my full review of this book here 

Tame the Kitten by Bianca Mori 
Girl gets off cab, boy nearly runs her over.

Kit Torres can't believe her awful luck when she's assigned to babysit a motorcycling superstar for her boss. But sexy sparks fly when he teaches her all about the finer aspects of control. Can Kit keep her cool when the race starts to heat up?

Fab Magnani lives on the edge of disaster -- he makes a good living out of it as a pro racer. Will his instincts for squeezing out of danger serve him when he comes face to face with an Puerto Rican spitfire who takes an instant dislike to him?

 They were also selling books there and me having no self control I bought some.

So here are the books that I purchase in the event. 

Maybe This Time by C.P Santi
An accidental reunion . . . a sneaky plot . . . things finally falling into place.

Maybe This Time contains three heart-warming stories of love and second chances. Because when fate gives you a break, you grab the chance to finally make things right.

In Sweeter by the Second, when paintings conservator Rina David arrives for the Arts Festival in the heritage town of Jimenez, she’s reunited with Tony, the guy she once loved and lost. Now vice-mayor of Jimenez, Tony wants Rina back in his life and will do everything he can to convince her that they belong together.

Pamela Quiroz hatches a plot to get her parents back together in Exorcising my Ex. But will a romantic Valentine’s Day dinner succeed in reconciling Geno and Viv? After all, it’s been more than fifteen years since they first got together and they aren’t the hormone-driven teenagers they once were. Will wine and cheese balls still do the trick?

Torch, meet hand. Arne Weichmann has been waiting twenty-one years for Bea. Is it finally the right time to make his move and convince her that they are Meant to Be? He hopes so. Because he doesn't think he’ll survive losing the one person who brought warmth and sunshine to his life.

All's Fair in Blog and War by Chrissie Peria 
Five Cuevas @fivetravels
Three guesses to where I'm going next. Starts with an M. Ends with a U. Has a lechon named after it. #travel

Twenty-something travel blogger Five thinks she has hit the jackpot when she gets invited to glittering Macau for an all-expense-paid bloggers tour. Think majestic old churches, sparkling casinos, exhilarating bungee jumps, and the world's most unforgettable egg tarts. The trip is practically perfect, except for one little glitch. She gets assigned to be travel buddies with Jesse, the world's most infuriating photo blogger, and it's definitely war at first sight.

Will Five let Jesse turn her dream vacation into a total nightmare? Or will falling in love be on the itinerary?

Cities by Carla de Guzman 
Celia has dreams.
She dreams of going to Seoul for that scholarship she never took, of leaving everything behind and moving to New York.
In all those dreams, she finds herself attached to Benedict, the boy she has always loved, who didn’t love her back.

Ben believes in parallel worlds.
Worlds where the things you didn’t do come true—worlds where he went to London and fell in love with Celia, where he shows up on the day she needed him most. He believes that dreams are glimpses into that parallel world, and it’s not a coincidence that Celia’s been having them too.

It’s the day of Ben’s wedding, in the middle of a typhoon in Manila. How will these dreams and unmade decisions change their lives? Will they bring them closer together, or just drive them further apart?

If The Dress Fits by Carla de Guzman 
Martha Aguas kind of has it all--she's an accountant who loves numbers, an accident-prone puppy that loves her, and the perfect wardrobe.

Yes, she wears a dress size 24, her bras don't fit and she's never had a boyfriend, but so what?

It becomes a big deal when her perfect cousin Regina announces her engagement to Enzo, the only boy she's ever loved (he doesn't know, so don't tell him!) Suddenly Aguases from all corners of the globe are coming for the event, and the last thing Martha wants is to be asked why she still prefers her lattes with a waffle on the side.

Thank god for Max. Goofy, funny, dependable Max, who finds himself playing the fake boyfriend at the family festivities. But why does it feel like only one of them is pretending?

Keeping the Distance by Clarisse David
I only had the digital arc version given to me by the author but I wanted to buy the physical copy so that I can get it signed. 

I also won this goodie bag from Chris Mariano in the Raffle. Thank you so much PHRomCon2017! I had so much fun. 

P.S Comment down below your favorite Filipino romance novels, whether it may be written in English or Tagalog? 


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