Excerpt + Guest Post: #JustWritePH—For Love by Beth G., Carla de Guzman, Giselle Bacalla, and Amae Dechavez

Excerpt + Guest Post: #JustWritePH—For Love by Beth G., Carla de Guzman, Giselle Bacalla, and Amae DechavezFor Love Series: #JustWritePH
on August 22, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Love is never easy, but the journey to that happily ever after is what makes it worth it. Witness the struggles of these characters as they work their way through both new romances and second chances at love in this four-story bundle. Features “I Still…” by Beth G., “Sigh No More” by Carla de Guzman, “Velvet Valentine” by Giselle Bacalla, and “One Sweet November Day” by Amae Dechavez.

Available now from Buqo via this link!

I Still... by Beth G.

Jamee is head over heels with Denmark. And after several years of not seeing each other, they meet again, and Jamee cannot deny the fact that after all those years, she is still in love with him. As their renewed friendship seems to progress, all while their common college friends hold a reunion for all of them, Jamee discovers the truth behind her heartache with Denmark years ago. Will she still surrender on how she feels for Denmark and give herself a chance on love? Or will it be too late?

Sigh No More by Carla de Guzman

Beatrice and Claudia never thought they would see Benedick and Hiro ever again, not that they wanted to. But when the business opportunity of a lifetime hinges on Ben and Hiro's work, they find themselves head over heels and crashing into the boys again. But why did they ever have to be apart in the first place? Can Hiro win Claudia's heart back? Can Beatrice and Benedick ever stop fighting? This book is a modern retelling of William Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing.

Velvet Valentine by Giselle Bacalla

Elizabeth Mariana Hernandez Cruz, a freshmen in St. Agnes Integrated School has only one agenda; to live the life she always dreamed about in school. She grew up from a small town and studied in a small sectional school until now. As soon as stepping into high school, she vowed that things will finally change. As young, careless and naïve Elizabeth struggles her way through her freshmen year and that changed until the day she meets Isaac D. Rodriguez, a third year senior who always dropped by in her classroom. Little did she know that this boy would be the catalyst of change. After long years of house arrest, watch her adventure to discover life in a different light as she experience friendship, love and reality. “Excuse me, are you by any chance, Sakura?” “How did you know about me?” Velvet Valentine’s Elizabeth will bring you places and memories you thought you’ve long forgotten.

One Sweet November Day by Amae Dechavez

Nagtagpong muli si Ethan at Maylie. Sinong magaakala na pagkatapos nilang magkakilala at maging matalik na magkaibigan noong bakasyon sa Pila, Laguna ay magkikita silang muli? Sa saglit na pagkakalayo nilang dalawa ay lalong nilang napagtanto na mahal na nga nila ang isa’t isa. Kaya sa muli nilang pagkikita sa Unibersidad ng Pilipinas, Los Baños ay hindi na pinalagpas pa ni Ethan ang pagkakataon niya. Sinabi niya kay Maylie ang mga katagang “Mahal kita.” “Mahal din kita” ang naging tugon ng dalaga. Girlfriend na Ethan si Maylie—first girlfriend. Ngunit magtatagal ba ang pag-iibigan nila?

Excerpt from
Sigh No More by Carla de Guzman

 

Right. Morning outfit selfie. Here we go.

I really looked awful in the morning, all messy hair and puffy eyes. That last beer really was a mistake. I adjusted the angle of my phone slightly, before I gave the camera my brightest, still-slightly-sleepy smile. I hadn’t really thought about what I was going to wear today (horror of horrors) and I ended up with my loose, ripped drawstring jeans, my favorite chunky sandals and a loose white shirt. It was going to be another hot day in DC, so a pair of plastic cat eye glasses went with the outfit. I put my hair up in its usual half-topknot and grabbed Claudia’s peach lip tint to swipe over my lips. I looked into my vintage full length mirror and snapped the photo.

“Beatrice Noble: Up and ready by 10 am and I’m already working,” I typed out on the phone’s notes. “Had a back and forth conversation with our printer regarding our new greeting card line while in bed, now heading off to meet with Claudia at Petit Jolie.”

That sounded good, didn’t it? I frowned little at myself in the mirror. I widened my eyes until I looked crazy and puffed out my cheeks. Gaze into the eyes of an underpaid, overworked, under-slept self-starter!

Claudia Crowne and I quit our jobs two years ago to start our baby, the Noble Crowne Paper Company. We started out with small jobs, making invites for relatives’ weddings, postcards and notepads. Then the next thing I knew, my life turned into a whirlwind of printers and paints, clients and meetings. Suddenly my social media posts were more important than times in and out, my 9 to 5 had turned into 24/7, and the voice in my head telling my that there was something inherently wrong with doing what I loved had finally dulled into a whisper.

Was it scary? It was still, in a lot of ways. Sometimes I think that it’s all been a fluke, or a dream of some kind, but then I check my ratty old filofax and the list of things I have to do just make me feel happy. It’s so weird.

One of the lifestyle blogs Claudia and I religiously followed finally responded to Claudia’s emails and asked for a ‘day in the life’ article from the girls of Noble Crowne. It was a big deal for us, and both Claudia and I were determined not to screw it up.

Which was why, when I arrived at Petit Jolie, I wasn’t at all surprised to see that Claudia was wearing a short, sleeveless tunic printed with orange roses, mums and little red flowers that I used to pick from bushes as a child. Claudia made that dress from a pattern I gave her when I was first starting to paint. Now almost every piece that we produced in our little stationery company featured my hand painted flowers.

“You couldn’t be just a bit more subtle?” I teased, kissing my best friend’s cheek as we sat on our usual table of the corner cafe. Claudia and I lived within walking distance of each other on Kings’ Street in Old Town, Alexandria, a little neighbourhood in Virginia that still had wrought iron street lamps, twinkle lights on the main street, small Victorian buildings, shops and boutiques just by the Potomac River. I loved our neighbourhood. It was so pretty and quaint, despite being a stone’s throw away from Washington DC. Petit Jolie was a small boulangerie in the middle of an American street and smack dab in the middle of the town. It was also where the idea for Noble Crowne was born.

 

5 Books that Give Me the Feels
by Carla de Guzman

Hello! Carla de Guzman guest blogging here, and I’m hoping to do Liana, Anne and Marian proud with my short list of romance books that have had me squee-ing in delight. There’s a Japanese word, ‘tsundoku’ that basically means book hoarder, and as of late, that has been me to a t. My reading list is as long as my arm, so when I talk about books that give me feels, this is a list that can change almost immediatley with the next book I read.

So before I rethink my list and go up to ten books, here are my top five favorite romance books, in no particular order:

1. The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan

I was a big fan of their celebrity fashion website, Go Fug Yourself, and seeing their witty, laugh out loud humor translated into what is basically Will and Kate fan fiction. I loved every second of it. Nick and Bex’s love story was simple but so sweet, and it slowly got stronger as the craziness around them built up. Plus I’m a sucker for best friends falling in love. But more than that, I love all the secondary characters–Prince Freddie especially was so adorable, can’t I marry him?. They were all so quirky and unique, with traits that could have only been thought of by really funy people. But the love story is still very much the heart of this book, and I highly recommend it.

2. The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen

Romance in this book kind of takes a backseat, but it’s still present nonetheless. This is the story of a small town, where a giant lives in a house with wallpaper that changes to your mood, a young woman with a past bakes cakes that you can smell from miles away to bring home someone she loves, and weird, glowing lights dance in the evenings. Sarah Addison Allen is one of my influences in writing, the way she makes romance sweet and natural, but still have a touch of destiny about them is beautiful. I love the contrast of sweet, young Emily to the slightly more jaded and wounded Juila, the both of them struggling with love. It’s a sweet, Southern tale that really makes you believe in magic.

3. Lunch in Paris by Elizabeth Bard

When I was interviewed for the Will Read For Feels Podcast, I mentioned that this book was on my reading list, and I’m so happy I did! This book tells the ordinary love story of the author and Gwendal, she being an American and he being French. I never thought cross country relationships would be so difficult until Elizabeth described them–their attitudes, the way they viewed their careers. Elizabeth herself writes about her struggle to call Paris home, from speaking the language to just knowing how to get your own life together. But what I love abo this book is the food. Elizabeth is a chef and a food blogger, and she tracks her love story with food. Like the time she and Gwendal shared sausages and just knew it was love. Its a book that warms the heart and the stomach. The sequel, Picnic in Provence, is on my reading list!

4. Never Google Heartbreak/OMG Baby by Emma Garcia

I’m a sucker for straightforward, British chick lit. Add a sexy, brooding painter/best friend in the mix and I’m sold. Vivienne Summers is a lot less ditzy than the usual chick lit heroines, but she’s still completely oblivious to the feelings of her best friend, Max Kelly. Their banter and their bohemian lifestyle just kind of resonate with me, and even through the hard times, those two always had their backs. Oh, and it’s funny too. I keep reading back to random pages just for a laugh.

5. The Kitchen When It Sizzles by Chrissie Peria

I couldn’t write a list without at least one Filipino author, could I? Plus this book holds a special place in my heart as one of the first Filipino romance novel I’ve read. Olivia Nadal may be practically perfect in every way, but I found myself yelling at her like, ‘oh come on!’ When she found herself face to face with Nate Olivarez. Plus there’s cooking involved, he’s a chef, I’m in love. The combination is just too…delectable not to keep reading.

 

About Carla de Guzman

Carla de Guzman had horrible handwriting as a kid. That didn't stop her from writing, though. Riddled with too much energy and a vivid imagination, she started writing every midnight. She grew up with her toes in the sand and her bags packed and ready to go on adventures. Her books are chronicles of her journeys, with a little romance mixed in.

When she’s not sitting in a plane or working, Carla writes for her blog, Some Midnights, and for When in Manila. She'd love to hear from her readers, so feel free to shoot her an email at ck.deguzman@gmail.com.

 

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