“Kids These Days: Stories from Luna East Arts Academy, Vol. 1”

luna east 1KIDS THESE DAYS: STORIES FROM LUNA EAST ARTS ACADEMY, VOL.1
Author: Various
Read Date: 28 February 2014
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

The stories from LUNA EAST ARTS ACADEMY are about love. And also, friends, food, kissing, rumors, mean people, insecurities, birthdays, breakups, making up. We set it in an arts academy because we wanted everyone to have a talent, and know it. Because no one is ordinary, if you know them well enough.

Who are you, at LUNA EAST? Are you a popular kid, a wallflower, a drama club diva, a debate whiz? Visit lunaeastacademy.org to read more stories from #LUNAEAST, and submit your own. For readers 16 and up.

Luna East Arts Academy is a project of Mina V. Esguerra and the writers who were part of her online #romanceclass, but it is open to anyone who wishes to write a story. The school – Luna East – is a collaborative setting that Mina mentioned is a lot like the set-up for the Sweet Valley High series, where different stories establish characters, important events, the school structure, relationships, and other aspects of the world. The stories are Young Adult / Coming of Age, since Luna East is a high school.

The first volume contains 14 stories, most of which already make use of common characters and events. The collaborative aspect of the world-building seems to be working very well, and with continued editorial care and maybe the assignment of a continuity editor, hopefully that will not change (and only get better!) when the next volumes are published.

There are several very promising talents in this volume aside from those like Mina, who already have publishing credits. There are a few who are still a bit green, but I’m sure they will improve as they write more stories and as other more experienced collaborators give them advice.

The beauty of a project like this is that people are encouraged to start and finish their stories and are then given a medium by which to share them. When future volumes are published, though, I hope that more editorial direction (beyond just grammar checks) will be given to each story that will be included, and that there will be more variety in terms of the plot hooks and story arcs. I am aware that the setting will limit the variety a bit, but Sweet Valley was able to accomplish this to a certain extent, so I would really love to see the collaborators stretch their legs more.

My favorite stories in this volume are: Mina’s “Fifty-Two Weeks” (because the romance is really subtle), Ronald Lim’s “Yours Is The First Face That I Saw” (because indeed, Tyler and Sebastian’s story was kilig), Anne Plaza’s “Senpai’s #1 Fan” (because I can relate to the geekiness), D.R. Lee’s “Picture Me Naked” (because…well, I got valuable advice, ehem), and Stella Torres’ “Be Creative”.

Chrissie Peria’s “Sitting in a Tree” gets a special mention because of this dedication:

Sitting in a Tree

and because, hey, kissing booth.

And this calls for a Scoring the Book song (or Scoring the Story) because how appropriate is it that one of my favorite Korean artists, K. Will, came out with a collab song with Wheesung and the rookie group Mamamoo called “Peppermint Chocolate”? (He’s not in the video because he never appears in his music videos…except once, and then his character died…ummm, that’s another story.) So this is for you, Chrissie. 😉


English Translation, in case the closed captions don’t work for you: click!

2013 Retrospective: Books

This is so late. 😦 Work has been very hectic lately, what with my new responsibilities and management changes in the company. But I finally have a couple of hours to spare to get more pending blog posts out of the way.

★ ★ ★

Actually, I already posted a list of my favorite books of 2013 via my GMA News Online year-ender: ‘Daig mo pa ang telenovela’ award and more for the best books in 2013.

I read a few more books that didn’t make that list, though. Some were not released in 2013 either. But for what it’s worth, here are a few more honorable mentions:

  1. “The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle #2)” by Maggie Stiefvater – I love Maggie Stiefvater because her writing is so evocative and she creates very interesting characters. “The Raven Boys”, the first book in this new series, was good, but “The Dream Thieves” is even better. This one has more magic, more action, more character development (particularly for Ronan), and some forward momentum in the romance department. If “The Scorpio Races” deserves an award for the Most Romantic Non-I-Love-You Confession, this one deserves the Most Romantic Non-Kiss Award.
  2. “Unseen Moon” by Eliza Victoria – Horror and suspense are not my favorite genres, but Victoria really impressed me with this collection of short stories, and this made me a fan of her writing. Favorite stories: “The Viewless Dark”, “The Ghosts of Sinagtala” (not recommended for scaredy-cats), and “December”.
  3. “Pacific Rims” by Rafe Bartholomew – This was published a few years ago, but it’s relevant again this year because of Bartholomew’s mini-series in the National Geographic Channel called “Pinoy Hoops”. But hey, really, the book will always be relevant, I think, because we will probably always be a basketball-crazy nation. Bartholomew’s writing is also very engaging, and his anecdotes are fun to read, whether you are a basketball fan or not. He’s one of the authors I would really love to meet sometime.
  4. “Monstress” by Lysley Tenorio – I surprised myself by reading a lot of Filipiniana this year, and several of them focus on the immigrant experience. What stands-out about “Monstress” is the hints of secret histories and a very subtle touch of fantasy that frame what may otherwise just have been run-of-the-mill stories about being a Filipino living in another country.
  5. Kresley Cole’s “Immortals After Dark” series – This probably deserves a separate blog post. 🙂

Here’s a list of the other titles I read last year, as listed in Goodreads: click! My 2013 Goodreads Reading Challenge target was 52 titles, which I thankfully passed and even exceeded, thanks to my impromptu Crazy Kresley Cole Holiday Readathon (more on that later). My 2014 target is still 52 titles because I don’t trust myself to not get into another reading slump.

I also met a lot of authors this year (Thank you, National Book Store!), some of whom, I interviewed and wrote about.

Author Mina V. Esguerra also invited me to participate in the audio commentary of her “Interim Goddess of Love” trilogy, which is really good, you guys, so read them! 😉

It looks like 2014 will be another busy Bookworm Year, beginning with the author visits of Gayle Forman and Mitch Albom.

This year, I hope to be able to do more concrete things to further my reading advocacy. Back in 2012, when I wrote about a public high school book club’s challenges, I was thankful that that story paved the way for an NGO to donate books to the school. I really hope I will be able to do something more.

Happy new year, bookish friends! \(^o^)/

The “Interim Goddess of Love” Blog Tour: Author Interview and Giveaway (Int’l/PH)

IGoLHeader03

College sophomore Hannah Maquiling doesn’t know why everyone tells her their love problems. She’s never even had a boyfriend, but that doesn’t stop people from spilling their guts to her, and asking for advice. So maybe it shouldn’t be a surprise when the cutest guy in school tells her that she’s going to have to take on this responsibility — but for all humanity.

The Goddess of Love has gone AWOL. It’s a problem, because her job is to keep in check this world’s obsession with love (and lack of it). The God of the Sun, for now an impossibly handsome senior at an exclusive college just outside of Metro Manila, thinks Hannah has what it takes to (temporarily) do the job.

This is my first time to participate in a blog tour. I’m excited! Yay! I don’t normally sign up for tours because my schedule is erratic, and I’m worried that I will not be able to do my part after I’ve committed. But “Interim Goddess of Love” is special to me because it’s a great story, and I tagged along with both Mina’s and Hannah’s journey from the beginning.

Back when the first book came out, I was able to interview Mina for an author profile for GMA News Online. We talked about a lot of things, but the profile ended up mostly chronicling how she got published—both independently and traditionally—and her aspirations as a writer.

When we did the IGoL Trilogy Audio Commentary, it was Mina’s turn to ask questions. And so I still haven’t managed to ask her things about IGoL and other random stuff. I finally got another opportunity through this tour!

Continue reading

“Icon of the Indecisive (Interim Goddess of Love #3)” is out!

Yay! Mina V. Esguerra just released “Icon of the Indecisive”, the conclusion to her YA series “Interim Goddess of Love”! The e-book is now available on Amazon.

IGoL3.cover.02_600College student Hannah Maquiling, also temporarily working as the Goddess of Love, has had enough of everyone asking for her help when it comes to relationships. It’s her turn to find romance! She deserves it, after serving as matchmaker and confidant to everyone else in Ford River College for the past year. She’s had a crush on handsome senior (and God of the Sun) Quin forever, but he’s destined to fall in love with an extraordinary mortal woman, so she’s figured her chances with him have pretty much dropped to zero.

It’s not like she doesn’t have any options for a classic college romance though. There’s Diego, God of the Sea and Quin’s best friend/enemy. And regular guy Robbie is stepping up, making sure she knows how he feels about her. How hard can it be for a goddess to find someone to love, and be loved in return?

For those who have only just heard of this book or this series, it’s a YA romance trilogy set in the Philippines. Here’s a backgrounder:

College sophomore Hannah Maquiling doesn’t know why everyone tells her their love problems. She’s never even had a boyfriend, but that doesn’t stop people from spilling their guts to her, and asking for advice. So maybe it shouldn’t be a surprise when the cutest guy in school tells her that she’s going to have to take on this responsibility — but for all humanity.

The Goddess of Love has gone AWOL. It’s a problem, because her job is to keep in check this world’s obsession with love (and lack of it). The God of the Sun, for now an impossibly handsome senior at an exclusive college just outside of Metro Manila, thinks Hannah has what it takes to (temporarily) do the job.

 
Or if that was tl;dr for you, I made this:

Screenshot from “Rooftop Prince 옥탑방 왕세자”. She searched for her crush in the Joseon history section.  (I dropped this drama after a while, but that’s another story altogether.)

Screenshot from “Rooftop Prince 옥탑방 왕세자”. She searched for her crush in the Joseon history section. (I dropped this drama after a while, but that’s another story altogether.)

I’m proud to be part of what Mina calls the “First Edition Club” who read “Interim Goddess of Love” when it was first released. I was also part of a small group of readers who read this last book before publication to record an audio commentary on the entire series. You can download the commentary from Mina’s website: click!

I really enjoyed reading this trilogy. The romance is familiar (though some of the members of our usual “boyband” got seriously upgraded to deific proportions), but the incorporation of the Pinoy fantasy elements really made the stories something more than just your average teen love story. I love that it feels very contemporary (with a touch of the ancient in the “goddess dreams”) because our local myths are rarely appropriated in this manner, and I feel like this is a good way to get younger readers to explore those myths further and to make them relevant. I know this was not Mina’s intention—she really just wanted to experiment and expand her writing repertoire more—but I like to think this is a great fringe benefit.

Mina also mentioned that the fantasy in this series is intentionally on the lighter side because this is still a romance more than anything. But despite not massively world-building, I think the world of IGoL and its fascinating characters is rich with potential to give birth to even more interesting stories.

I also liked that while we’ll never become the Interim God/Goddess of Anything, Hannah’s troubles are still very real and easy to relate to despite being just a tad more fantastic.

And of course, there’s a lot of cute and sweet and thrilling and sometimes dramatic or tragic romantic stuff here that fans of Mina have already come to expect, and that will hopefully bring more new readers to the fold. If you want to take a break from all the heavy reading you’ve been doing, pick this series up! 😉

For details on how to purchase the books, visit Mina’s website: click!

From Cover to Cover: Thieves, Goddesses, and Sorcerers

There were a lot of cover reveals these past few days but these are my favorites.

First up: The much-anticipated sequel to Maggie Stiefvater’s “The Raven Boys”, called “The Dream Thieves”.

the dream thieves

There is no synopsis for this book yet, but Maggie announced that it will be published on 17 September 2013. And also, that’s Ronan on the cover, which is interesting, considering no particular character was featured on the cover of Book 1.

Next up: Mina V. Esguerra’s “Interim Goddess of Love” got a makeover for the release of its international print edition, as well as the 2nd installment, “Queen of the Clueless”.

IGoL.cover.600    QotC.cover.600

If you’ve been feeling neglected by the Goddess of Love lately, don’t worry — Hannah Maquiling, college sophomore, is in training to take over. The Original Goddess is missing, but Hannah is Interim Goddess now, and she should figure out how to solve humanity’s love problems soon. Quin (God of the Sun) is still her mentor, still really hot, but apparently isn’t as honest about his other earthly relationships as she thought. It’s frustrating, and enough to make her check out possibilities with Diego (God of the Sea) and Robbie (Cute Human).

In the meantime, she’s decided to spend some of her precious training time helping to break up a relationship, instead of putting one together. Why? Because the girl in question happens to be her best friend Sol, whose boyfriend is stealing not just from her, but from other people on campus. Sol didn’t exactly summon the Goddess, but this is what power over Love is for, right? Surely it’s not just about matchmaking, but ending doomed relationships too. (Even when it’s not what people want.)

The new covers were designed by the lovely Tania Arpa, and photographed/modeled by Rhea Bue. This is a great choice for the international editions because it immediately gives you that YA vibe, and it is rather eye-catching.

And this is the cover for IGoL’s Philippine print edition published by Summit Books:

IGoL summit

While this isn’t my favorite among the covers of IGoL released so far, it’s still cute, and when displayed with Mina’s other books that were released by Summit, this one blends in with the aesthetic of the others nicely.

This edition should hit the bookstore shelves today, while you can check buying info on the other editions here: click!

And last, but definitely not least: The 15th Anniversary Edition of “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone”! (But but but…I don’t even have the 10th Anniversary Edition yet!)

15thannivehpss

This was designed by author/illustrator Kazu Kibuishi. Scholastic plans to release a boxed set of trade paperbacks of all 7 books with covers designed by Kabuishi come September of this year. The hardcovers and digest paperbacks will still be published with Mary Grandpré’s art. Kibuishi talks about the covers here: click!

I like the look of Kibuishi’s art, and this actually makes me want to check out “Amulet”. I love that he picked the Diagon Alley scene to illustrate because it captures that sense of awe that Harry felt when he first set foot in the Wizarding World, which is what I felt when I read this book for the first time. The only thing that threw me off here is the color scheme, which immediately called to mind Grandpré’s “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” cover.

Valentine’s Day Giveaway: “Fairy Tale Fail” by Mina V. Esguerra (Signed)

This contest is CLOSED! Thanks to everyone who showed interest and to those who actually sent in entries. 🙂

✻ ✻ ✻

It’s the 1st of February and in a few days, it will be Valentine’s Day. It’s the perfect time to read a sweet love story despite what the cynics may say, so let me be your Book Fairy Godmother through this Valentine’s Day Giveaway! 😛

MECHANICS:

  1. Answer this question in the Comments: Regardless of your real life romantic circumstances, which fairy tale would you most like your happily ever after to be like? In no more than 3 sentences, share your ideal fairy tale with us and why it’s the kind of story you want your own love story to be like.
  2. Post a link to this giveaway in your social network accounts and/or your personal blogs. Include the permalink/URL of your social network post/blog entry in your comment. I’ll count just one entry per person no matter how many times you post a link to the giveaway, but your entry will not be valid without at least one linkback.
  3. All entries will be screened until the winners are announced, so don’t be alarmed if your comment doesn’t appear on the post. I will update or comment on the post when I receive a valid entry. In case your name is not acknowledged in the next update, let me know on Twitter (@almeldiel) or e-mail me at thegirlwhoread(at)gmail(dot)com.
  4. The winning entry will be chosen by Mina V. Esguerra herself. The winner will receive a signed copy of the Philippine print edition of “Fairy Tale Fail”.
     
    fairy_tale_fail_zps87bac711

    “Of all the twenty-something women who are hopeless romantics, Ellie Manuel is more “hopeless” than “romantic.”

    Even after her Prince Charming broke up with her, she just won’t give up … because fairy tale heroines don’t live “happily ever after” right away, silly, they’re tested first!

    Determined to pass the test, she spends the next year restoring herself to the girl Prince Charming had fallen in love with in the first place.

    Until she discovers that life without him might not be so bad after all: her career is taking off, her confidence is back, and the cute guy at work is no longer a stranger.

    So when is it okay to quit on a fairy tale?”

    Learn more about Mina and her other books on her website: click!

  5. You have until 12 February 2013 (11:59pm) to send in your entries.
  6. Barring any unfortunate interventions by conniving witches and evil stepmothers or distractions in the form of charming princes, I hope to be able to announce the winner by February 14th.
  7. This contest is open only to residents of the Philippines. If you live outside the Philippines but you have a friend or relative with a Philippine mailing address who will be willing to receive the prize and send it to you, then you’re welcome to join the contest.
  8. The winner must reply to the notification e-mail within 3 days from receipt of the notice, otherwise, the prize will be forfeited in favor of Mina’s second choice winner.

Spread the word, and May the Odds Be Ever In Your Favor!

Thank you so much, Mina, for sponsoring this contest. 🙂

❤ ❤ ❤

“Fairy Tale Fail” is now available at your favorite book stores, published by Summit Books. You can also purchase the e-book version on Flipreads.com or other online outlets.

Miscellany: Prophecies and Fortune Cookies

If I were to wake up one morning to find out that I have acquired a superpower worthy of Heroes, I’d accept almost anything except for the power of prophecy. It seems like such a useful power if you think about it, but it’s also a burden knowing what the future holds because a normal human cannot just sit there knowing what’s about to happen and not do anything about it.

But it’s fun seeing prophecy in action in fiction, though. And if it’s Laini Taylor who’s writing about it, then I’m on board!

Richelle Mead, Lisa McMann, Michael Grant, Meg Cabot, Laini Taylor, and nine more of the hottest YA authors to hit the shelves explore the concepts of prophecy and prediction in this story collection edited by NYT bestselling author of The Forest of Hands and Teeth, Carrie Ryan.

Have you ever been tempted to look into the future? To challenge predictions? To question fate? It’s human nature to wonder about life’s twists and turns. But is the future already written—or do you have the power to alter it?

From fantastical prophecies to predictions of how the future will transpire, Foretold is a collection of stories about our universal fascination with life’s unknowns and of what is yet to come as interpreted by 14 of young adult fiction’s brightest stars.

Laini Taylor shared her thoughts about the anthology on her blog, and she also shared the first line of her story, “Gentlemen Send Phantoms.”

Once, when the moon was younger than it is tonight and not as plump, three girls gathered by a hearth to bake a dreamcake.

Damn. I think I have to read this book.

★ ★ ★

Lauren Kate released a short story set in the Fallenverse called “Daniel’s Gift.” It ties nicely into the Daniel and Luce Valentine story in Fallen In Love.

 
It kinda hurts reading about Daniel when he’s like this. 😦

★ ★ ★

During the Authors as Readers panel in the 2nd Filipino Readers’ Conference, New Lit author Mina V. Esguerra spoke about the 3 kinds of characters from which most—if not all—love interests are molded from: The Unattainable Crush, The Best Friend, and The Jerk. She blogged about it in more detail here: click! If you like reading romance stories, do check out her post; it’s a revelation. 😉

★ ★ ★

Rick Riordan revealed one of the new characters that we will get to meet in The Heroes of Olympus #3: The Mark of Athena:

This is Nemesis, goddess of Revenge. *cue Temptation of Wife theme music* *yes, here come the Korean drama references*

When I first saw her, I was reminded of War a.k.a. Scarlett, one of the Horsepersons of the Apocalypse in Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett’s Good Omens. I don’t know why; maybe it’s the motorcycle. Because the Horsepersons don’t actually ride horses. Because horses are like so last century…so Book of Revelations. (But wait, the Book talks about the future, so horses are so…next century? Ummmm… Processing… Okay, never mind.) Or maybe they’re hippies or something.

Anyway. Nemesis is apparently a shape-shifter and Leo will have an encounter with her in which he does some bargaining. I have a feeling “bargaining” may actually mean “aggressive negotiations,” you know, like in Star Wars Episode II. Or maybe it involves fortune cookies because she’s holding one. Like “you can bargain with me, but first, have a cookie!”

*cracks open a fortune cookie*

*reads out the ambiguous Chinese philosophical sayings*

*interprets the fortune just as ambiguously and makes it twistier than Red Vines*

*announces that it actually means “Sorry, Leo, you lose! I get to beat you up!”*

*drags Leo into a dark alley*

*demigod vs goddess Boss Battle!!!!*

Oops.

Sorry, I got carried away. I don’t even know why I’m blogging right now when my mind is a mess from trying to hold in my fangirl squeeing (I am working in a public place right now) after watching some videos. If I did not make any sense at all, you can blame HIM.

 

Miscellany: While I was hiding out in Joseon-era Korea…

I’m back from Holy Week Semi-Hibernation!

Aside from participation in the usual religious ceremonies, my holiday also included a Korean drama marathon (The charming Sungkyunkwan Scandal and The-Show-That-Made-Me-Cry-For-1.5-Hours-Straight The Moon That Embraces The Sun ) and, unfortunately, much procrastinating on writing assignments.

While I was on that self-imposed internet blackout, these happened:

➳ Writer-producer-director Chris Weitz, otherwise known to me as the director who made a problematic Twilight book at least watchable (i.e. New Moon ), will soon add “author” to his résumé. Little, Brown and Company won the rights to publish Weitz’s The Young World, the first in an “epic, post-apocalyptic trilogy” set in a New York where only teenagers remained alive. [Source: click!]

It sounds a little too manufactured for my taste, to be honest. I can see where he wants to go with these teenagers who are left alone without adults and the comforts of life. I just hope it’s written well and that Weitz can bring something new to the post-apocalyptic YA sub-genre.

➳ As Lauren Oliver revealed when she visited last month, she’s writing her first adult novel. The Harper Collins website just revealed that the book will be titled Rooms, but offers no other details about the plot. (Duh.)

➳ One of my favorite authors, Brandon Sanderson, will release four shorts this year. I don’t know how he does it considering he’s working on other novels and is probably at the editing stage on A Memory of Light (Pub. Date: 13 January 2013). I think he’s a secret Mistborn and he must have found a previously unknown metal that can be burned to enhance writing efficiency. If so, I hope you can hear me, Brandon: will you be my Kelsier? 😛

Heuristic Algorithm and Reasoning Response Engine (with Ethan Skarstedt) will appear in the John Joseph Adams-edited military science fiction anthology, Armored. Mecha fans will probably love this! If you click on the title link, you’ll find a short excerpt on his blog.

Legion , meanwhile, is a modern sci-fi-ish mystery/thriller that will be released as a novella and e-book.

Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell   is included in an anthology called Dangerous Women, edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois.

The one that I’m most excited about is The Emperor’s Soul, which is set in the Branderson Cosmere (the core mythology will tie-in with the worlds of almost all of his adult fantasy novels). I love the premise of the story, and this promises to be another showcase of Brandon’s always-fresh-and-never-boring magic systems.

Shai is a Forger, a foreigner who can flawlessly copy and re-create any item by rewriting its history with skillful magic. Though condemned to death after trying to steal the emperor’s scepter, she is given one opportunity to save herself. Despite the fact that her skill as a Forger is considered an abomination by her captors, Shai will attempt to create a new soul for the emperor, who is almost dead from the attack of assassins.

Delving deeply into his life, she discovers Emperor Ashravan’s truest nature—and the opportunity to exploit it. Her only possible ally is one who is truly loyal to the emperor, but councilor Gaotona must overcome his prejudices to understand that her forgery is as much artistry as it is deception.

Skillfully deducing the machinations of her captors, Shai needs a perfect plan to escape. The fate of the kingdom lies in one impossible task. Is it possible to create a forgery of a soul so convincing that it is better than the soul itself?

➳ In other Branderson news, Writing Excuses is up for a Hugo this year and the Mistborn movie is moving forward!

They now have a working script for Mistborn that Brandon likes, and it’s being shopped around to studios along with this “mood trailer.”


 
Note: That wasn’t an official trailer; it’s cut from scenes from different movies that were put together to show studios what kind of film Mistborn is supposed to look and feel like.

I wish I had several million dollars to put into financing this film! (Actually, I wish I had several million dollars, PERIOD. 😛 )

➳ Mina V. Esguerra’s new book, That Kind of Guy–I mentioned this in my profile story about her–will be released this month! She’s hosting a giveaway on her site. Check it out: click!

➳ Lastly, if you are wondering why I never posted about The Hunger Games after seeing the movie, well…let’s just say I had so many things to say that I didn’t know where to start. I had a LONG conversation with my friend Frankie via the comments section of her blog post (click!), but I lapsed into procrastinating and lost a lot of the words that I wanted to write into the ether.

I eventually managed to put together a coherent review, which was published yesterday on GMA News Online: (click!) I’m sure it’s evident in the tone of the article that I had more to say about the movie, but I had a maximum word count to abide by and had to choose only the points that are most important to me.

I hope I can still make myself write a proper blog post about the movie, but re-capturing my train of thought despite extensive notes is going to be an uphill battle. After a marathon of 2 Korean historical dramas, I feel like my mind is stuck in another time and place where magical english subtitles appear when people speak. 😛

I really should take Jae-Shin‘s advice, eh? Don’t procrastinate often; it will become a habit. Lesson learned! (I hope.)

Snapshots: Meeting Mina

A wee break from all the The Hunger Games re-read posts.

I’m still transcribing my interview with author Mina V. Esguerra, which will appear in the form of a profile on GMA News Online – Lifestyle sometime this week or early next week. In the interim :P, here’s a snapshot of what she wrote on my copy of Interim Goddess of Love:

I enjoyed finally meeting Mina, who I’ve only ever corresponded with via e-mail and Twitter. She’s very passionate about her writing, and was very forthcoming when I asked her to share her thoughts and experiences about self-publishing independent publishing. I hope I will be able to capture that enthusiasm in the profile that I’m writing. 🙂

College sophomore Hannah Maquiling doesn’t know why everyone tells her their love problems. She’s never even had a boyfriend, but that doesn’t stop people from spilling their guts to her, and asking for advice. So maybe it shouldn’t be a surprise when the cutest guy in school tells her that she’s going to have to take on this responsibility — but for all humanity.

The Goddess of Love has gone AWOL. It’s a problem, because her job is to keep in check this world’s obsession with love (and lack of it). The God of the Sun, for now an impossibly handsome senior at an exclusive college just outside of Metro Manila, thinks Hannah has what it takes to (temporarily) do the job.

While she’s learning to do this goddess thing, she practices on the love troubles of shy Kathy, who’s got a secret admirer on campus. Hannah’s mission, should she choose to accept it, is to make sure that he’s not a creepy stalker and they find their happily ever after — or at least something that’ll last until next semester. (As if she could refuse! The Sun God asked so nicely. And he’s so, well, hot.)

Interim Goddess of Love is available via Amazon and Mina’s Multiply Store.

So I installed Kindle for PC…

 
…and it was as if it can read my mind and it wanted me to like it so much that it included Pride and Prejudice as one of my free books. (Bribe me with the prospect of more Mr. Darcy? I think I love you now.) Or maybe real live Amazons are magically behind it all, just as Rick Riordan imagined.

The first book I finished reading on the KfPC (within 24 hours of installation) was Mina V. Esguerra’s Interim Goddess of Love. It’s my first MVE book! I’ll write a longer review or maybe something else after my interview with her, but for now, I’ll just say that it was a fun, entertaining, and often kilig read. 🙂