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Archive for April 2010

Blog Tour: Right Where I Need to Be by Wendi Zwaduk

So, welcome to another virtual book blog tour. This week, I am featuring Wendi Zwaduk, author of "Right Where I Need to Be." Comment on the post and one lucky commenter on all the sites that's featured in the tour may win an ebook from Wendi's catalogue.

So, without further adeau, Wendy's here with a guest blog on Being a Romance Author: Mirroring Life or a Total Illusion?

I’ve had stories in my head for as long as I can remember. When I was a kid, we had a tiny little grove of lilac bushes next to our house. My overactive imagination and I would play with my Barbies in the shade of those trees. I had a fascination for replaying and retelling the General Hospital episode I’d seen that day, but I always added my own twists. However, when I grew up (or told the world I’d grown up), I put the stories away and tried to be someone responsible. Not to say that telling stories is irresponsible, but I tried to be a 9-5 worker bee and found it wasn’t for me.
Then life intervened and I had the itch to start writing down the stories in my head. Once started, I never looked back.
So what can I say? Is being a romance author all it’s cracked up to be? You know, I really don’t know. I mean, yes, there are those authors who write their first book and make a zillion dollars. Will that be me? I’d love for it to, but I realize there is a certain beauty in being practical.
Has writing a book changed my life? Nope. I still drive my great big truck to get my youngling from school, I still have oodles of laundry that needs doing, and I have animals that choose when and where they want to cooperate and if they want to leave me...er... um... presents. I should probably spend more time on the treadmill and less time daydreaming, but what’s the fun in that? My life isn’t glamorous, but I kind of like it that way. I love romance, but I’m not a girly-girl, so if I had to be glamorous, I wouldn’t know what to do with myself.
But to ask if my stories parallel my life?
Yes and no.
Learning How to Bend is set in a little bitty town next to where I grew up. Crestline, Ohio is a real place one can go to visit. The Airlift Wing in Mansfield, Ohio really exists as well. I have a good friend who I used for a bit of inspiration for Seth, and yes, this friend of mine is in the Air Force. Between K and my hubby, I get all my plane and military information. The town Right Where I Need to Be is a conglomeration of a couple of towns I lived in while in college and right after. The library in the book is set up much like the library on my home town. One day I’d love to meet the inspiration for Logan, but I’d  have to leave my little bitty town in Ohio to do that.
Otherwise, my life is boring compared to my books. Not that it’s a bad thing. If my life really paralleled my books, then I’d never have time to write them because I’d be, shall I say, busy. I’d love to write the next big novel, a la Charlaine Harris, Lori Foster, or even Lora Leigh. Will it happen? I don’t know. What I do know is whatever will happen is what’s meant to happen and I’m going to enjoy the ride.
So maybe the life of an author isn’t always thrilling, but it’s mine and I love it.

Book Information --- below is a blurb of Wendi's book, "Right Where I Need To Be", now available at Amazon.

Sometimes the love of your life isn’t the one you expect, but he’s the one you need.
Cass Jenson needs an actor for her made for TV movie. The previous actor dropped out, leaving her stranded. Her savior shows up looking sinfully sexy and totally right for the part, but what part is she auditioning him for? Her movie or her bed?

 Logan Malone needs an acting job and fast. With his string of broken hearts, his professional life lies in shambles. To resurrect his career, he must audition for a television role which could be the job of a lifetime. That is, if he can work with distraction and Cass is a major distraction with a heart of gold. Is their budding relationship enough to survive separation, lies, and a couple zany fans?

For more info on the book tour, please click HERE

Personal Post

And so, last weekend was a bum day for me.

Instead of going out and enjoying, I spent the weekend at home, and in bed. Which I hate.

I was supposed to go to a book discussion of the Hunger Games last Saturday and watch a movie with a friend on Sunday, but turns when I woke up on Saturday morning with my head feeling heavy, I knew I was not feeling my usual self. Add the fact that the heat outside [ugh. Unbearable heat, if you ask me], was enough to make my head spin faster.

I tried to take a shower to ease some of the heat off, but no, it didn't help.

So I just continued to lie in bed, with my meds for company, and Goofy the dog ocassionally looking after me, drifting in and out of sleep.

Guess this is how stress gets to you, yeah?

And I realized.... I don't like my job anymore. I want to do something else.

Flicking on Discovery Travel & Living, I became so jealous at the travelers. That's what I want. I want to travel.

I wish July would come sooner so I could go back to HK and Macau and not think about work.

On another note: I am typing this in work, where yes, I came in. I still have a bad cold, but I have to make some moolah.

And all this, to pay for necessities, and what little I have to save up and to travel.

So, how was your weekend?
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Blog Tour: Nebula's Music by Aubrie Dionne

**Comment at the end of this post for a chance to win some goodies from the author!**

Hiya everyone! It is my pleasure to host a blog tour for the first time. Wheeee! So below is an interview with Aubrie Dionne and I hope you guys support her by getting her book "Nebula's Music"!

ficklefan: Where did you get your inspiration for your book?
Aubrey Dionne: I love the genre of Space Opera. I’m a big fan of Star Wars, Star Trek, Pitch Black, Serenity, anything that has romance and action up in space! Nebula’s music is my first foray into that genre and boy did I have a great time writing it.

Nebula is inspired by the character Data from The Next Generation. I watched star Trek growing up at 7pm and 7:30pm every night for about seven years. Data's journey to become more human fascinated me. There was one scene where he plays the violin and I marveled at the fact that he can take up an instrument and play it perfectly in minutes compared to a human that has to spend a lifetime perfecting their skills. But did his music have emotion? Probably not.

Nebula is not entirely an andriod. She's made from a real human and experiences that woman's past memories. In a way, she's closer to being human than Data can ever be, but can she break some of the barriers that he never could? Can she experience fear, triumph, or fall in love? Would a human reciprocate that love?

ficklefan: What book are you reading now, are you currently enjoying it?
Aubrey Dionne: I'm currently reading Shadowmarch by Tad Williams and I love it. It's epic fantasy on a grand scale. The books in my to be read pile are: The Boneshaker by Cherie Priest, and Me and Mr. Darcy by Alexandra Potter.

ficklefan: Do you set a writing time wherein you have to achieve x number of words written?
Aubrey Dionne: I try to get one thousand words a day, five days a week. Some weeks are better than others, but that seems to work for me. I end up writing a short story every month and a new book every six months.

ficklefan: Who are the authors you admire, and why?
Aubrey Dionne: I admire the old classics: Jane Austen (Pride and Prejudice), Lord Tennyson (The Lady of Shalott), and Charlotte Bronte (Jane Eyre). They set the stage for all of us!

ficklefan: After reading your book, would you have any suggestions on what to read next?
Aubrey Dionne: My next novel, Messenger in the Mist, comes out in July. It's about a messenger torn between two kingdoms, scheduled to deliver a letter that carries the assassination plans for the man she loves.

ficklefan: Do you have any guilty pleasures that you wish to share?
Aubrey Dionne: Chocolate, watching Pirates of the Caribbean over and over again, checking my email all the time, and watching Ghost Hunters.

ficklefan: Aside from writing, what are the other things you'd want to do?

Aubrey Dionne: I play and teach flute for my other career and I love playing in orchestras and playing for weddings. I'd also like to travel to England, Australia, and Aruba!

ficklefan: Can you relate in some ways with your main character? If so, why?
Aubrey Dionne: Oh yes! Every character that I write has part of me in them. Nebula is only a few years old, so she's socially behind. I was the youngest in my grade and so I struggled with the same problems all the way through high school. I was the last one to drive, I was the last one to wear makeup, etc etc.

Thank you for the interview!



Each note brings her one step closer to the truth.

When the cyborg Nebula plays the piano she experiences memories from a time before her creation. These memories—which involve a captive rebel fighter being held on their ship—bring with them complex human feelings and awaken a desire for her to discover her origins.

Radian is the long-lost love of the woman from which Nebula was made. He’s vowed to avenge his finance’s death and rescue her sister from the Gryphonites, a fierce race out to enslave the galaxy. Nebula grapples with her identity and how much of who she is comes from someone else’s past. She is not the woman that died, yet she is undeniably drawn to Radian.

Together Nebula and Radian seek to rescue his fiancĂ©’s sister and end the Gryphonites’ cruel reign. But can Radian learn to love again and can Nebula accept a past made from someone else’s memories?

Ilustrado Book Launch.

I find that there's not much book launches done here in Manila. I was absolutely stoked when I saw an ad from National Bookstore that Miguel Syjuco is launching his debut novel, "Ilustrado" on April 10th.
At first, I was a bit hesitant to go -- the heat is overbearing in MNL and well, that's the only thing that's stopping me. But then I realized: "How many book launches will I ever get to go this year?" And so I dragged myself from my comfortable bed and went to the event.

I was a bit early, I arrived around 1:15PM and it turns out that the press launch was at 1:00PM and the book signing was at 2:00. I was just in time! Yay! So, I listened to Miguel as he talked about his book to the media, how he had felt when he won the prestigious Man Asia Literary Prize and the Palanca Book Award, and where he got his inspiration from his books [ie he lifted some parts from his own favourite books]

This is the first time I attended [albeit accidentally] a press launch and I don't really know what to expect! I did manage to get some videos but please bear with me if I can't upload them now.

After the talk, there was a Q&A session and one of the cutest thing that happened was Miguel answering a difficult question his mum had asked him!

There was an autograph signing after the talk and I managed to get my book and a friend's book signed too. For those living in Manila, if you didn't get your book signed during the event, you can still avail of a 20% book discount to Ilustrado until April 30th if you buy the book from National Bookstore. Regular price is P385, sale price is now P308! That's quite a huge price difference, you can still use that extra money to buy sale books or commute! =)

Forgive the photos - i was seated way out back and I only brought my basic point & shoot camera with me to the launch.

April 2010 Readathon Wrap-Up

Hiya Everyone!

Sorry wasn't able to update the blog yesterday during the readathon. Well, as I was typing yesterday's blog, my mum and I had a row and so I kept to myself most of the time in my room, trying to complete the 24 hours reading The Hunger Games. I had a headache from sleeping and trying to read too!

So, final stats:

- Read 65 pages of the Hunger Games
- Read 100+ pages of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

And that's about it. Kinda slow, huh?

There was a massive bookshelf organization project that I also did yesterday which took up most of my time, and I cheated. I watched some TV too. I can't help it! =)

How was your readathon, guys? Hope your readathon was much more productive than mine! Until the October run!
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April 2010 Readathon Day Two Updates

Good morning everyone! I was kicked out by hour 5 last night from my mom's room where I had no internet nor computer so I just stayed in my room, relaxed, and read the Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I was making some progress until I got sleepy.

The sandman eventually got me at 1:30AM my time [1:30PM EST] and I woke up at 9AM my time [9PM EST]. What a riot. I forgot to turn on my alarm clock for 6:30AM. Oh well.

Anyway, I finally found some internet time now, after eating breakfast and relaxing a bit by watching telly so off I go to do my updates and also join in the mini-challenges and cheerlead a bit. I'm also converting some shows into mp4 format to put into my iPod and uploading photos and videos from a book launch I went to yesterday. Multitasking much?

MINI-CHALLENGE from The Lost Entwife

This mini-challenge asks us if our favourite book has been made into a movie and if not, to cast an actor/actress for our favourite character. Easy?

For me, my favourite book before was Confessions of a Shopaholic. I was more than stoked when I found out they were going to make a movie out of it, and lo and behold! Hugh Dancy was cast as Luke Brandon.

As I was reading the book before, I kinda pictured Luke to be the quintessential gorgeous British dude. And thank goodness they had cast Hugh Dancy into the role. Who could've been more perfect? If not him, I would also settle for Henry Cavill [The Tudors. Yum Yum].
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April 2010 Readathon Hour 3 Mini Challenge

Whee! I love these mini-challenges and I do try to partake in each and every one of them whenever possible :)

So, here's another mini-challenge hosted by Till We Read Again for Hour Three.

Its nominating our favourites in the books we've read. Excellent, yes?

Favorite Female Character in a book: For now, its Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Favorite Male Character in a book: Luke Brandon from Confessions of a Shopaholic.
Favorite Side Kick in a book: Ron Weasley from the Harry Potter series.
Favorite Couple in a Book: Rebecca Bloomwood and Luke Brandon from the Shopaholic Series [Sophie Kinsella]. I just love the both of them!
Favorite Book Series: Hmmmm...... Tough. For now, I'd have to say The Harry Potter series by JK Rowling.
Favorite Author: For now, Dan Brown.
Favorite Book Cover: The Luxe by Anna Godbersen. I love the gown!
Favorite Book of 2009: Cleopatra's Daughter by Michelle Moran
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April 2010 Readathon Hour Two Mini-Challenge

So I'm taking part in the Hour two mini-challenge hosted by Miss Remmers Review called the Kick Off of Champions. 
The challenge asks the readers what have they surrounded themselves in this early hours of the readathon? 

I don't want to type much detail on what I'm doing now so I'm going to let the pictures do all the talking whilst I do a bit of a short description on every photo. I'm running a bit behind and I can't believe Hour three is up!
So, first photo, this is my internet explorer screenshot. As you can see, I've got multitudes of windows up -- I'm cheering as well so some of the other windows in there are blogs of those that i'm cheering on. If you notice on the bottom there's a message "Low Disk Space". I don't normally go online much but when I do, I download some stuff online. This long amounts of online time means my hard drive is trying to cope up with all my downloads! 

Second photo -- these are the books that I'm currently reading. They're sprawled right on my mum's bed right now, but they'll be moving house to my room soon. 

Right now I'm seated in front of the PC in my mum's room but pretty soon I'll be moving to my room where I'll be reading propped up in bed! 

That's about it now :) Off to do some more reading and cheering and I'll be checking in the new mini-challenges for hour three now!
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April 2010 Readathon Updates - Day One

Hello everyone, it's another 24-hour readathon. This is the second time I've joined such an event, given that I had so much fun the last time :)

I've signed up for both a cheerleader and a reader this time so thank goodness for audiobooks.

The below are my updates. I'll continue to edit this post as we go from hour to hour so I'll only have one permalink up. Having too many can be confusing.

Now, I've just gone from a recent book launch so that post will have to wait until I could get all my readathon updates done! So, on to the updates. 

So, here's my list of books to read:
1. The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins
2. Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire - JK Rowling
3. The Girl Made of Cool - Alan Fox


Okay, I have a confession. I thought that the readathon was supposed to start at 9pm my time. But I forgot that DST is now finished so we're only 12 hours ahead instead of the usual 13. Anyway, I managed to get a bit of reading done, via an audiobook of course.


Where are you reading from today?
  - At the moment I am reading from my mum's bedroom where there's a good wifi signal. After 11pm our time [11AM EST], I'm gonna be kicked out and will read from my room.
3 facts about me …
- I love boybands. Absolutely positively love boybands.
- I am a hoarder
- I love to travel.
How many books do you have in your TBR pile for the next 24 hours?
- I currently have three for now. Which I'm not sure if I would finish at least one of them. 
Do you have any goals for the read-a-thon (i.e. number of books, number of pages, number of hours, or number of comments on blogs)?
- Nothing in particular, just trying to read as much as I can. 
If you’re a veteran read-a-thoner, Any advice for people doing this for the first time?
- Just enjoy and remember, the point of the readathon is to have fun, fun fun!


I've joined a few mini challenges now and I'm getting super stoked about them! I'm concentrating on Harry Potter & The Goblet of Fire but I haven't kept track of the number of pages i've read! eeeep!


My mum is currently reading Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer. I swear she now reads faster than I do. My gosh. I've joined yet another mini challenge. My back is now aching like crazy! Still reading Harry Potter & Goblet of Fire! I've cheered on a few participants from my assignment.


Right. My mum has now gone off to bed so I'm gonna be kicked out a few minutes from now. I wouldn't be able to provide updates until the morning [our time] then. I'm gonna be reading the Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins as soon as my mp4 file conversion is done and I need to move back to my room. I'm gonna wish you all a good night a few minutes from now. :)
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In My Mailbox #13

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren and inspired by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie.  It features bought, borrowed, or received books as well as other cool stuff from the mail. Isn't it fun?

I haven't taken a photo of the books I've received or bought recently so here's a backlog of books that I need to read! :) 

So I was at a used bookstore lately and I found the following: Blood Lite [by various authors] and Rivals for the Crown by Kathleen Givens. They cost around $3 each, which isn't too bad now, is it? I love that they look almost new, and considering that Blood Lite was released just a year ago, I would say I had made a good deal of it :) 
Next, a friend of mine recently bought some stuff from Amazon.com and the fangirl in me wanted to catch up with the latest DVDs and books of my favourite bands. So, to my left are DVDs of Boys Like Girls and the latest concert of Take That: The Circus Live, which was filmed from Wembley Stadium. Awesome! I wish I was there live as well. 

And last but not the least, included on our Amazon.com order was the autobiography of Girls Aloud called Dreams That Glitter. This is one of two girlbands that I like, and I love the cover of this book! It's got glitters all over the front. LOVE! 

So, what did you get in your mailboxes?



Hello April!

It's Maundy Thursday right now and I'm at work. Oh yeah. Not very pleasant, isn't it? But work is work and I have to earn some moolah sooooo *shrug*

Anyway, just want to share some upcoming events that I'm very very excited about!

-  The 24 Hour Readathon.
This starts on April 10th to 11th 2010 from 8PM Manila Time [We're GMT +7 now] and ends 24 hours later. You can sign up for either a cheerleader or a reader here: http://www.24hourreadathon.com/

I've made a list of books for me to read, mainly:
1. Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire - JK Rowling
2. How To Win Friends & Influence People - Dale Carnegie
3. The Girl Made of Cool - Alan Fox.

- A Long Holiday.
Oh yes. Since it's the Holy Week here in Manila, I am prepared to just have a nice, relaxing holiday at home. No travel plans for this week, just bumming around, surfing the internet, updating the other blog, reading and catching up on loads of missed out telly shows and movies. Busy week ahead!
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