Five years in the making…

Five years ago, I tweeted this:

I don’t remember anymore how exactly I came up with the plunny, although it’s possible that it’s mostly because I had Daniel Henney in mind as the love interest. He loves dogs, and so do I…and I’d never really written a story yet where the characters had pets, so I wanted to give it a try.

I’ve kept the idea for the story in my growing list of plunnies to explore, but only got around to writing it until sometime in late 2021, when I decided to put together an anthology of short stories that eventually became What If We Fall In Love? I shelved this story and instead included my NomCom submission, Your Heart, To Go, to complete the lineup. I thought it would take a while before I got to revisit the manuscript, but an opportunity to finish it came when submissions for Pawfect For You (then simply called Tropetastic 3) came along.

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New anthology alert: Pawfect For You!

Friends and lovers, listen up! #RomanceClass is back with another charity anthology, and this year, we are helping cats and dogs in need!

On National Pet Day (April 11), we did a cover reveal+ pre-order link drop for Pawfect For You: Tropetastic Kindness Bundle 3. It’s a collection of six all-new nakakakilig stories where the main characters are pet owners/pet lovers falling in love. Check out the wonderful cover below, illustrated by Liza S. dela Cruz.

We met Liza last year when she worked with #romanceclass authors Carla de Guzman and Celestine Trinidad for their KILIG anthology entries, and it was so lovely getting to work with her for this cover. Don’t you think it’s pretty? ^_^

Included in the anthology are stories by Danice Mae P. Sison, Ines Bautista-Yao, Tara Frejas (that’s me!), Celestine Trinidad, Angel C. Aquino, and Jay E. Tria. You may pre-order a copy of the book at US$7 (or the price you want) at kilig.pub/pawfect4u. Just like our previous charity anthologies, Pawfect For You is available for a limited time only (until June 29, 2023), so please make sure you grab this opportunity to get the book while it lasts.

Pawfect For You will be released on April 29, 2023. ALL PROCEEDS will go to Pawssion Project, a non-government organization dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation, and rehoming of cats and dogs in distress.

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What If We Fall In Love: A Short Story Collection

In case you missed the announcements on my social media accounts (and newsletter), my latest #romanceclass book What If We Fall In Love? is coming out on Saturday, December 31st—and yes, you may pre-order it now!

What If We Fall In Love? is a collection of three short stories, two of which are new, and one previously published as part of #romanceclass’ NomCom: A Foodie Romance Anthology, published in February of this year.

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[ Cover Reveal ] What If We Fall In Love?

I love cover reveals. I do. Especially when I know the author doing it and I trust them to “deliver the goods,” so to speak. And also when I’m the one doing the reveal.

In the #romanceclass community, we have a project called #romanceclasscovers where we (or actually, our resident photographer, Chi Yu Rodriguez) takes photos of Filipino models (sometimes they’re actors, sometimes they’re friends of friends!) and we put these photos on the covers of our books. It doesn’t sound quite revolutionary when you think about it, but it’s a statement. It says, loudly, that we want to see Filipinos on the covers of our books. We want to see not just faces, but faces with real emotion. Poses that entice and tickle the imagination. The whole she-bang.

It’s a representation thing. It’s an aesthetic thing. It’s a choice.

My choice for my upcoming book, What If We Fall In Love?, is a playful, happy photo of Gab Pangilinan and Gio Gahol taken way back in 2017, when we still did regular studio shoots for #romanceclass covers. It’s been hidden away for so long, I’ve just being waiting and waiting and waiting to see where I could use it, and the opportunity presented itself after deciding on releasing a romance anthology.

And here it is—the cover of What If We Fall In Love?:

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#RomanceClass Watch Party!

Last Saturday (the 4th of April), we had our very first #romanceclass watch party, featuring four of our favorite live readings from past events. This was actually us testing some tech for our upcoming April Feels Day event on the 25th, but we figured, hey—why don’t we make this fun? ^_^ And we did have a lot of fun at the chat room!

If you missed the watch party, here’s an edited version of what we viewed that day. And if you’d like to join us on April Feels Day, simply sign up here. No registration fee required. All you need to do is show up (online!) on the day of the event!

Watch #RomanceClass Watch Party! from RomanceClass on www.twitch.tv

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FREE EBOOK: Second Wave Summer

CLAIM A FREE COPY OF SECOND WAVE SUMMER HERE

Hi, everyone. I hope you are all keeping safe and healthy amidst all the uncertainty going on around us. Over here in the Philippines, the whole of Luzon is under enhanced community quarantine, and I believe even the Visayas and Mindanao regions are implementing their own regulations to keep more people from contracting COVID-19. I hope we can all do our part — even in our own little way — to help everyone cope and survive these trying times.

I thank everyone who has been dedicating their time and efforts in making sure our people are tested, treated, fed, and protected. Please please please stay safe.

In the meantime, we #romanceclass authors and fellow Filipino creators are sharing some of our work for free (on Twitter, mostly), for those who need to be entertained and fight off cabin fever. We hope you enjoy.

—T

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Music x Book Match: Ben&Ben

In mid-December, I started a Twitter thread that matched Ben&Ben songs with #romanceclass titles, and it garnered a bit of attention from my mutuals as well as people I don't know. Because that thread was made rather haphazardly, I thought of creating a new one with better visuals and stuff, but things got busy right before the holidays, and I wasn't able to continue/complete the thread at all. And because I vowed that I would try my best to finish things I started, here's a blog post instead! <3

(NOTE: I'm going to try doing this Music x Book Match a regular thing just like Pinoy Movie x Book Match, so wish me luck!)

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Places to See: Ili-Likha Artists Village, Baguio City

I first read about Ili-likha Artists Village in 2016, while I was poking around the Internet for Baguio City finds. You see, I’ve been coming back to Baguio for summer and Christmas vacations since the late 1990s, and I’ve had my fill of horseback rides, bike rides, and visits to the usual tourists spots my parents would bring us to. So for the past several years, I was happy to just lounge around at our home in Kias, watching movies or reading books while enjoying the cool Baguio air.

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