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Smiles are good for you...


This made me smile, so I thought I'd share it. 

No matter how busy I get, it's always nice to feel the corners of my lips quirk up to brighten my serious face.

Okay, okay.

I see my editors leering at me for playing hooky. 

Back to work. 

Reading Funk

My dream shelf.
Okay, despite experiencing an all around busy schedule, I still get to read. Unfortunately, most of the books I've been reading lately I've given up on after a couple of chapters. For many reasons. Some I just can't engage with. Others the story just didn't grab me right away. This makes me super sad because I hate giving up on a story.

So, I need your help.

Get me out of this funk.

I welcome your recommendations.

In the comments section, please give me the title of the book and a reason why I should read your recommendation.

As they say, good books come from the recommendations of friends.

I look forward to your suggestions.

Time to Celebrate

It's a great feeling submitting a newly edited novel. No matter how many passes you get in the editing process, the feeling after each one is the same. At least, for me it is. Whenever I get editorial notes or line edits, the inevitable uncertainty sets in for a day. What will I do? Is it the right thing? Then when I get my head straight, I dive right in and keep going until I finish.

Some days, when I feel like I've gone through a hundred pages of edits, I reward myself. Little things. Usually French fries. Then I go for my nightly walk. It's simple, but it makes me so happy. Like I truly accomplished something at the end of the day. I've never felt this way about anything else in my life.

So, after finishing my edits for Til Death last night, I hit send and take a deep breath. Another task done, and ready for the new one to start.

Today, I start rewrites for a super secret project I submitted a while back. The planned release is this summer, so you don't have to wait long.

Anyway, I knew early on what the problems of the manuscript were. I didn't see them while I was writing the story at the time, but after having submitted it, the problems became clear. These problems were validated by the editorial notes I got from my awesome editor. We were thinking in sync, and after the most ah-mazing Skype conversation yesternight, I knew what I had to do. A complete and utter rewrite of the thing, and I couldn't be more excited.

With this little update, I leave you to enter my writing cave. I will of course check in from time to time and add some new posts. I just wanted to keep everyone in the loop.

Oh, and before I forget, for my peeps in the Philippines, new copies of Taste and Reaping Me Softly are not available for order. They are P600 each. Get both books or get your friends to buy with you and the delivery is free. You get the books the next day. So, if you're interested, send me an email and I'll give you the details.

Have a great week ahead, everyone!

Kate, over and out.

Singles Awareness Day

Source
I always find myself in a funk when February rolls around. Valentine’s Day doesn’t mean the same for me as it does for lots of other people. After watching Safe Haven, the ending—you know, when she reads the letter?—spurred me to write this post.

This Feb. 14th marks the midpoint. What I mean by this is that I’ve been out of a relationship for as long as I’d been in one. Not since him did I think of entertaining the thought of someone else. I don’t talk about him. It still hurts sometimes to think about it. Only those in my inner circle know about him and his presence in my life. He taught me never to talk about my relationships. I guess this is why a friend of mine was surprised when I mentioned an anecdote about him at dinner that I didn’t mean to come out. You know what she actually said to me? She said, “I never knew you had an ex. I always assumed you were the single since birth type.” Then she laughed. I shared the laugh, of course. Then I said, “Just because I don’t talk about it doesn’t mean it never happened.” That stopped the laughter all together.

So, on this midpoint of being out of a relationship as long as being in one, I’ve decided to open up…just a little. Only the parts that don’t hurt as much anymore.

Why here?

It’s easier this way. At least I don’t have to repeat myself. Whoever reads it will read it. The story will be for everyone and not just people I pick and choose. Life’s not that complicated for me anymore.

We met—like I’d like to think all couples meet—by accident. Way back when e-readers weren’t such a huge thing yet. I think I remember his watch the most. Chrome. The kind that looked bulky on the wrist. He kept pushing it up because it kept slipping down. Sometimes the habit annoyed me to the point where I’d tell him to just have the damn thing resized. He’d smile and ask, “What if I get fat? Then I’d have to loosen it again.” It made sense, but from the way he maintained his body? I didn’t think he’d get fat any time soon. I said so. His response? “You never know, some girl might break my heart and I’d have to eat my feelings.” I’d slap him on the arm then and laugh. He wouldn’t even flinch.

I guess I liked the way he made me feel. That was the most important thing to me. He made me comfortable with myself. And for a girl who spent most of her life wriggling in her own skin, having someone keep me still meant a whole lot.

We both loved watching movies. He was the one who taught me how to perfectly orchestrate a movie marathon in the theatres. “At home it’s easy,” he said, “but when you’re watching in the theatre you need to get the timing just right. Which movie to start the chain and which times correspond with each other. So the second you get out you’d have a couple minutes until the next movie starts.” Sometimes we’d race from one cinema to another, cutting it really close. He told me once that he could watch trailers all day. I think that’s when I realized I could spend the rest of my life with him.

I think my fondest memory of him would have to be Valentine’s Day. We had several of them. He always called it “Singles Awareness Day,” and up to this day I still called it that. He told me on our first Valentine’s Day that he wouldn’t give me flowers or chocolates. That we would have lunch (not even dinner!) then watch a movie. Can you imagine? When I asked him why, he said, “I don’t want to give you flowers and chocolates on a day when I’m supposed to give them to you. I want to give you chocolates and flowers whenever I want, not just on a specific day. I’ll give you chocolates and flowers every day if you want.” He said this all with a grin, a spark of mischief in his eyes. I had a feeling that if I challenged him, he’d actually go through with it. As much as I wanted to be showered with chocolates and flowers on a daily basis, the novelty would be gone in a week. I think it was the surprise factor that kept butterflies fluttering in my stomach every time I received something from him during the most unexpected moments.

My relationship with him seemed like a fantasy. He seemed so good to be true. But like all relationships, we had our real moments. Fights. Arguments. Screaming matches. He’d say it’s because we both had hot blood coursing through our veins. I agreed with him. With all my heart I did.

Not all romances have happy endings. The reality of it is, things change. Things happen beyond your control. It took me a long time to forgive him for what happened. And it took me just as long to find myself again without him by my side. Sometimes it’s hard to let go when you’re forced to let go. When the only good bye you get is from a letter. But there’s nothing I could have done to make him change his mind. Sometimes we really don’t have a choice.

So, this Singles Awareness Day, which marked the midpoint between being in a relationship and not being in one, I celebrated like we always did. I ate lunch. Watched a movie. But this time, something in me changed. Movies don’t always shift my perspective, but I’d have to say that the letter in Safe Haven did. Something about not being scared to find love again. I’m not sure when that will happen for me. It may never will. I’m not bothered by that. He wanted me to live my life. It took me so long to understand that when he couldn’t even live his anymore. Now I think I’m starting to get what he’d meant.

#PinoysTalkYA

My Bucket List
Got some awesome news for everyone!

I wanted to invite you and everyone you know to the #PinoysTalkYA happening this Friday, Feb. 15 on Twitter. I'm the guest author, but the chat isn't exclusive to stuff about me. It's really more about all things YA, and I thought you would want to participate. Here are the details of the event:

"The Twitter chat would go live every first Friday and third Friday of the month that starts at 7 PM until 8 PM. The chat will be moderated by yours truly (Von from Mr. Bookwonder) and the lovely ladies from Amaterasu Reads, Kai and Fragments of Life, Precious. There will be discussions about YA books of course, there will be giveaways, and the most exciting part of this chat is that we can invite authors too--both local and international! We are also in the midst of contacting National Book Store and Fully Booked regarding this. Hopefully, they will love this idea and join with us (along with their followers too)."

The time is in Philippine time, so check your time zone. We welcome everyone from around the world. I'm super excited to chat with all of you about all things YA.

During the chat, please use the hashtag #PinoysTalkYA during the event so we catch your tweets.

Any promotion you could do about #PinoysTalkYA is highly appreciated. I hope we can all meet up on Twitter this Friday and have a YA chat. *hugs*

Have a great week ahead!

Yey!

I'm in the middle of line edits for Til Death, but my nerves are in knots waiting for the Hudson Bay Area RWA's JABBIC results.

In case you haven't heard yet, the covers of Taste and Reaping Me Softly were finalists in the Young Adult category. I've been freaking out ever since I got the email.

They announced the results today, and guess what?

Taste wins 2nd place in the YA category!

*happy Snoopy dance*

Thank you, Liliana for the ah-mazing cover!

I was literally vibrating with happiness. I seriously had to force myself to calm down. The prize is a full-page color ad in the April Romance Writers Report. Way, way awesome! Okay, I'm vibrating again.

I'm going to go calm myself down before I continue my line edits.

While I'm away, click here if you want to check out who else won.

Warm Bodies … Zombies, hmm?

When a movie adaptation of a book comes out, I usually prefer to read the book first. I don’t like sitting in the theatre not getting what’s happening while a majority of the crowd is already expecting what’s going to happen next. I made sure to read the book first with Harry Potter and Twilight. Lately, I haven’t been able to do this. What with three novels to edit and another one I need to write and a ton of books backing up my To Read List … *shakes head* I will stop making excuses. The only reason I found out about Warm Bodies is because it was all over my Facebook feed. I watched the first 10 minutes and said: Need. To. Watch. Now!

So, I finally got to watch it today. Give me a romance and I’m pretty happy. I’m easy to please when romance is involved. Lately, I’ve been lacking in the heart pounding romance department. You know what I mean. The kind of romance where every time the hero comes into the page your heart leaps into your throat and beats there for the foreseeable future. I’m not saying the movie did this for me, but it certainly made me want to buy the book. I get the feeling the book is ultimately much better than the movie. Since this is mostly the case.

I couldn’t get past the fact that the actress who played Julie (Teresa Palmer) looked so much like Kristen Stewart. Damn. In some scenes I had to do a double take because they basically looked like twins. And since this movie was produced by Summit, who also produced Twilight, I’m pretty sure Palmer auditioned for the role of Bella once. Okay, this might not be true, but seriously, check it out for yourself:


Okay, the guy who played R? Nicholas Hoult. New crush. Can you believe he was the boy in About a Boy? Guy’s growing up nicely. Although, why it had to take him playing a zombie for me to like him says a lot about my taste in men. *scratches head* He even plays Jack in Jack the Giant Slayer. Can you imagine? Okay, now I’m seriously questioning myself. *walks off to stare at Ryan Gosling pictures*

The premise of zombies turning back into humans because of “love” was a bit of a stretch for me. Maybe the book will explain this more. It came out really shallow in the movie. Don’t get me wrong. I’m the “love conquers all” type, but in this instance, I couldn’t wrap my brain around it. Science is always attached to the zombie mythos. If you don’t explain why the zombie is turning back into a human properly, you’ve lost me. I mean, zombies are dead. Essentially, you’re bringing someone back to life. I’m all for the power of love, but I don’t think it’s that strong if not explain properly.

*epiphany* If being a zombie is a metaphor for not living life to the fullest and how love can make you believe in living again, then I get it. But as much as possible, I don’t like to get that deep when it comes to my movies and books unless I’m being graded on it.

The chemistry between Palmer and Hoult is passable. I mean, for a zombie/human romance, Hoult pulled off the awkward zombie just right. It’s Palmer’s similarity to KStew that I couldn’t get out of my head. The whole freakin’ movie I kept comparing the two. I half expected Robert Pattinson to make an appearance.

All in all, I enjoyed watching Warm Bodies. I didn’t expect to have my mind blown. But the movie did make me want to read the book, so that’s got to count for something. To those who’ve read the book and seen the movie, which did you like better? Did the movie live up to the book? Let me know.

JABBIC

Happy weekend, everyone!

A couple months back, I heard about the Houston Bay Area RWA's 2013 Judge A Book By Its Cover contest through one of the author loops I belong to. I clicked on the link provided and checked out the requirements for the contest. I thought it would be fun, so I entered the covers of Taste and Reaping Me Softly since all of you seem to swoon over the covers.

After entering, I promptly forgot about the contest. This happens to me a lot. I join something then forget that I joined it. *laughs*

Anyway, this morning, I got a wonderful email from the Judge A Book By Its Cover or JABBIC (for short) contest letting me know that Taste and Reaping Me Softly are both finalists. My heart jumped over the moon. When it landed and I started thinking straight again, I managed to read the rest of the email.

In the contest, there's a Reader's Choice section, where readers get to vote for all the finalists. The winner of this section gets their cover featured in the Houston Bay Area RWA website. What fun, right?

I'm not usually one to ask for votes, but if you would like to spend some time ogling all the marvelous covers and casting your votes for your favorite ones, here's the link: https://jabbic.hbarwa.com/readers/

Love or hate the reading of Taste or Reaping Me Softly, I hope you can share your love for their covers by voting for them. They are in the YA category. I will be truly grateful. *hugs*

Have a fun rest of the weekend!

Are you watching the Superbowl? Who are you cheering for?
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