NBS Read Out Loud Challenge

Happy Tuesday Everyone!

I’m excited to share this news from NBS as they officially launch the Read Out Loud Challenge today.

As part of National Book Store’s 75th Anniversary celebration, NBS is proud to launch the Read Out Loud Challenge A(ROLC) to further promote the love for reading throughout the country.

ROLC campaign invites all readers to support the advocacy.To join the challenge, each participant will be requested to upload their own ROLC video on their Facebook or Instagram account.

Here’s the suggested spiel and caption:

I am ________ and I’m doing the National Book Store Read Out Loud Challenge.

Now I challenge NAME 1, NAME 2, and NAME 3 to do the #ReadOutLoudChallenge


#ReadOutLoudChallenge accepted! Reading out loud my favorite lines from my favorite book, ____________ to spread the love for reading and to support @nbsfoundation.

For every 75 videos posted, @nbsalert will help set up one library in a public school until we reach 7,500. Together, let’s promote the love for reading!

Now, I challenge @name1, @name2, @name3 to do the same.

For every 75 videos uploaded, NBS Foundation will setup 1 school library until we reach 7,500 videos. These libraries can be an instrument in providing hundreds of opportunities for learning as well as fostering literacy to Filipino children in various communities nationwide.

By participating, you can help spread the love for reading to everyone you know, igniting and building a stronger reading culture.

Join this campaign by creating and uploading your ROLC video beginning today, March 14, 2017. You can upload more than one videos.

Watch sample videos below for your reference

* PR courtesy of National Books Store

Book Signing Tour : Lauren Kate back in PH with Harrison Gilbertson


Lauren Kate Book Signing Event

Join bestselling author of the ‘Fallen’ series Lauren Kate (@laurenkatebooks) for a book signing event on November 6, 2016 at 2 p.m. in The Gallery, Greenbelt 5. Plus! Meet and greet Harrison Gilbertson who portrays Cam in the movie adaptation of ‘Fallen’.

Registration starts at 11 a.m. The event is made possible in partnership with Raffles Makati, Pioneer Films, Greenbelt, and Ayala Center.


When and where are the book signings?
November 6, 2:00 p.m., at The Gallery, Greenbelt 5

Is there a registration fee?
No. There is no registration fee.

When will the registration be?
Registration opens at 11:00 a.m. on November 6 at The Gallery, Greenbelt. Each guest will be asked to fill out the registration form upon arrival. First come, first served. Guests must present their book to get a numbered Signing Pass. The book must have either of the following as proof of purchase: Price Tag or Official Receipt from National Book Store, National Book Store Express or Powerbooks.

How many books can I have signed?
Each guest is allowed to have a total of three (3) books of any of the following titles:
Fallen – one (1) copy only
Torment – one (1) copy only
Passion – one (1) copy only
Rapture – one (1) copy only
Fallen in Love – one (1) copy only
Waterfall – one (1) copy only
Teardrop – one (1) copy only
Unforgiven – one (1) copy only

One copy will be personalized and the rest are signatures only.

Is there a limit as to how many people can have their books signed?
National Book Store will take every effort to get as many books signed as possible. However, should there be an excessive number of guests, National Book Store reserves the right to limit the number of copies per guest or limit the number of guests in line.

Can I bring old books or other editions of the books?
Yes, as long as the books were purchased from National Book Store, National Book Store Express or Powerbooks. The books must have either the price tag or official receipt.

Do I need to buy on-site?
No. You can buy books before or during the event.

Can I have other items signed?
No. Only books will be allowed to be signed by the author.

Can we have our photo taken with the author?
Yes. There will be an official photographer from NBS who will take your photo with the author. However, we strictly allow only one photo per person.

How much are the books?
Fallen (Trade Paperback – P359)
Torment (Trade Paperback – P359)
Passion (Trade Paperback – P385)
Teardrop (Trade Paperback – P395)
Unforgiven (Trade Paperback – P399)

Only books purchased from National Book Store, National Book Store Express or Powerbooks will be accommodated.

Celebrating Debutantes 2016: After the Woods by Kim Savage (Character Interview with Alice + Giveaway)

Celebrating Debutantes 2016

So, I got the chance to corner Alice Mincus of After the Woods for a short interview today with permission of course from her talented creator Kim Savage. For those who haven’t met Alice, she is Julia’s next-door neighbor. She’s also the friend who didn’t make the middle-school cut, who was eclipsed by Liv’s magnetism somewhere around 6th grade and eventually dropped, about which Julia feels a lingering guilt. But Alice is Teflon: nothing sticks. She still considers them close friends, and sees herself as Julia’s strongest ally. She’s also recently discovered Jesus, and has WWJD (What Would Jesus Do?) Sharpie’d on her inner arm. It’s meant to remind her what to do when faced with questionable choices. And when Julia turns to Alice for help, she ends up pushing up that sleeve—a lot.

I hope you all enjoy the interview. Also, don’t forget to check the bottom of the post for the giveaway!

Character Interview with Alice of After the Woods

You told Julia you prayed for her every hour that she was gone. But Julia isn’t religious. At all. Do you think that still means something to her?

“We’re all works in progress. That’s what my mother says. Julia’s figuring out what means anything to her.”

How do you really feel about Liv Lapin?

(shoves sleep up to elbow and stares hard). “Next question.”

You once called Paula Papademetriou, the journalist who is reporting on the anniversary for the Shiverton Abduction, Julia’s ‘avenging angel.’ Care to elaborate?

I’ll tell you exactly what I told Julia: Paula wins all kinds of awards, and she’s gorgeous, and she’s powerful, and maybe if the local police and these guys in the state government did something wrong that put Donald Jessup out on the street, they should pay. I guess I want something good to come. Maybe that makes me naive. Or annoying. I think the laws ought to be toughened or something, so that nothing like this ever happens again. Paula is doing what Jesus would do…I think.

“Julia thinks you have a kind of immunity to evil, to the black thing in her belly, for example, and to the Donald Jessups of the world. Do you think that’s true?

(Cocks head, headbands slips over eyes, jams it back up again) I think there are advantages to keeping things simple, black and white. Julia’s always talks about gradations of black. Maybe by recognizing evil so easily, I stay safe from it. Yeah, I like that idea.”

Last question: Nick Jonas or Kellan MacDougall?

(blushes) Kellan is crazy about Julia, so that would be wrong. Nick Jonas, hands down. (fiddles with Promise Ring). Wait, is this going to be published?

Thanks so much Alice for dropping by here today.


Author Kim Savage

KIM SAVAGE is a former reporter who received her Master’s degree in Journalism from Northeastern University. She worked as a business journalist, pitching story ideas along the lines of “When Murder Kills Property Values.” You get the idea. Today, Kim lives in a town north of Boston, Massachusetts, near the real Middlesex Fells Reservation of After the Woods. Born directionally challenged, the fear of getting lost in that lovely, dark forest lives close to her skin. She and her husband have three children, each of whom beg to appear in her books. They shouldn’t.

Find Kim

Website | Instagram | Goodreads | Pinterest | Twitter | Tumblr


After the WoodsBook Details:

Title: After The Woods
Author: Kim Savage
Publisher: FSG/Macmillan
Publication Date: February 23, 2016
Pages: 304
Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Would you risk your life to save your best friend?

Julia knows she beat the odds. She escaped the kidnapper who hunted her in the woods for two terrifying nights that she can’t seem to fully remember. Now it’s one year later, and as Julia settles into her junior year, a dead girl turns up in those same woods. The terrible memories resurface, leaving the whip-smart Julia in a stupor at awkward moments—in front of gorgeous Kellan MacDougall, for example. Julia copes by recording facts: collecting statistics about abductions, drawing diagrams of the players, and making lists.

Her best friend, Liv, was also abducted by the same man, but she escaped while Julia was left behind. Is Liv’s guilt over leaving Julia in the woods the reason she’s starving herself? Is hooking up with Shane Cuthbert, an addict with a volatile temper, Liv’s way of punishing herself for not having Julia’s back? As Julia struggles to make sense of her friend’s self-destructive behavior, she realizes the one person she thinks she knows best—Liv—is the person she knows least of all.

Book Links:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books A Million | Book Depository | IndieBound | Goodreads


Kirkus calls After the Woods, “a riveting exploration of what it’s like when the enemy is much closer than you suspect.” (starred)



What’s up for Grabs?

  • One Hardcover copy of After The Woods

After the Woods Giveaway Prize

The Rules:

  • Open to US addresses only
  • There will be one (1) winner only
  • Winner will be chosen by rafflecopter
  • Winner will be contacted thru email & should response within 48 hours
  • Ends March 13, 2016
  • Prize will be sent by the author

To enter fill out the rafflecopter form

Good Luck!!!

Treat yourself to a complete #CelebratingDebutantes2016 experience. Click the image below for the full list of schedule and links to each feature post!

celebrating debutantes 2016 collage


Celebrating Debutantes 2016: The Big Rewind by Libby Cudmore (Author Interview + Playlist + Giveaway)

Celebrating Debutantes 2016

Today I’m super thrilled to welcome author Libby Cudmore to the blog to answer a few questions about her debut novel, The Big Rewind. She also share two fantastic playlist for us to listen too. I hope you guys enjoy the interview and listen to the playlist below. And be sure to check the bottom of the post for all the details on a fabulous giveaways!

Interview with Libby Cudmore

In writing this The Big Rewind, as a writer, did you feel like or did you discover that you were writing pieces of yourself or your personal experience in the book?

There are certainly little pieces from my life–I did live in Brooklyn and work at a temp agency, and a lot of the music is my own. But I found the more I wrote, the less personal it got. Jett became her own character, her life became her own rather than a wish-fulfillment version of mine.

How different was the first version of The Big Rewind from the final version? What changed?

Early drafts were a lot darker, a lot meaner. If you read any of my short work, it’s ugly stuff, but I wanted to write something that was a little more light-hearted, a little more fun. It’s still dark in places, but a lot of that ugliness is gone.

Did you encounter any challenges while writing the book? How did you deal with it?

Writing a book is always challenging, especially when you work full time. I write for a newspaper, so I write all day, then I come home and write some more. It can be exhausting, but this book went easier than any other I’d written. I think it took about eight months to finish a first draft.

How has your background working in record stores influenced your writing?

It surrounded me with music, good and bad, as well as made sure I was constantly talking to people, hearing their stories. Same with journalism. When someone locks themselves away from the world or only surrounds themselves with their exact friend group, you can see it in their writing–it’s static and, often, didactic. But having to be in public, overhear conversations, talk to people, you get a better sense that people’s lives are complicated, and it makes for more sympathetic characters.

Could you tell us about the hipster culture involved in the book?

It’s a loving mocking of hipster culture. I am a bit of a hipster myself, so for as much as I’m making fun of their decopaged tables and record collections, my coffee cup is currently sitting on a decopaged table and I live-tweet from my own vinyl collection every weekend (#RecordSaturday). And while Jett often rolls her eyes at what her hipster friends are doing, she also desperately wants to be part of that scene, to belong.

What kind of research, if any, did you do for The Big Rewind?

I haven’t lived in NYC in about 10 years, so I did a lot of research to make sure I was as up-to-date as I could be. For instance, the Grey’s Papaya in Greenwich Village closed while I was writing the book, so a scene where a character said they were going to go to Grey’s after dancing at a nightclub had to be rewritten so that she could lament the loss instead.

But ultimately I wrote the NYC I remembered, the feeling of living there in my early 20s. That will never change, no matter what buildings go up or come down.

Could you tell us about Jett? How did you mold her character?

I wanted to Jett to be curious and compassionate, but I didn’t want her to be a goody two-shoes. She screws up–a lot–but she learns from her mistakes. To me, there’s nothing worse in fiction than a character who a) Never makes a mistake or b) Makes a ton of them but never learns from them, and all the other characters just forgive her because she’s the super-greatest-most-awesome (aka wish fulfillment for the writer).

Could you confirm Jett’s age in this interview? There were reviews mentioning that there was no confirmation and we’re just curious. 

I’m surprised that so many people are so focused on her age! I didn’t give it much thought when I wrote her. I knew she was younger than 30 but older than 25. So pick a number that works for you and go with it.

If you had a past boyfriend remembrance box, what would it contain and why?

I DO have a Boyfriend Box! I got married last summer and we’re buying a house, so in that process, we’ve been purging a lot of stuff, and with that went a LOT of ex-boyfriend ephemera. But I’ve archived all my old love letters, and I will not part with the plushie James (from Team Rocket) that my high school boyfriend Martin had custom-made for me. I would run into a burning building to rescue it. Martin broke my heart, and although we’ve since made amends, for a long time, that doll meant the entire world to me. I probably stuck white pins in it at one time or another, trying voodoo to win him back.

I also keep all the mix CDs my former loves made me, soundtracks to our time together. Some of those tracks are in the book (but I won’t tell which ones!)

Thanks so much Libby for taking the time to answer all the questions above.


The Big Rewind Sid’s (click here to be redirected to Spotify)

Super-Romantic 80s Mix (click here to be redirected to Spotify)

I’ve been listening to the two playlist above ever since Libby sent us the link. I even added them to my music from Spotify and I’m just thrilled to finally share them to all of you. Though I haven’t get the chance yet to read The Big Rewind, I’m sure will be reading it soon with these songs in mind.


Author Libby Cudmore

Libby Cudmore worked in video stores, bookstores and temp agencies before settling down in Upstate New York to write. THE BIG REWIND is her first novel, and her short stories have appeared in PANK, The Stoneslide Corrective, The Big Click, Big Lucks, the HANZAI JAPAN anthology and others. She makes all her own writing journals and has a halfway-decent record collection.

Find Libby

Website | Twitter | Goodreads


The Big RewindBook Details:

Title: The Big Rewind
Author: Libby Cudmore
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Publication Date: February 02, 2016
Pages: 256
Format: Paperback, eBook

Jett Bennett moved to New York to become a music journalist. What she found was a temp gig as a proofreader, but at least she’s fitting in with the artists and musicians in the tragically hip Brooklyn neighborhood she calls home.

But when Jett opens up her mail and finds a mix tape meant for her neighbor, KitKat, a local queen bee renowned for her “enhanced” baked goods and retro videogame collection, everything changes. Jett drops off the cassette and discovers that it’s game over for KitKat: someone bashed her head in with a rolling pin… and left her pot brownies burning in the oven.

KitKat’s boyfriend, Bronco, is M.I.A. Her sister is so desperate that she asks Jett to snoop around. Then there’s that mix tape. Jett didn’t know KitKat well, but she knows music. And a tape full of love songs from someone other than Bronco screams motive—sending Jett and her best friend, Sid, on an epic quest to find KitKat’s killer through record stores, strip joints, vegan bakeries, and basement nightclubs—a journey that resonates with Jett, and her past, in unexpected ways.

Book Links:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | IndieBound | Indigo | Goodreads | iBooks | Kobo


What’s up for Grabs?

  • One hardcover copy of The Big Rewind (US) and
  • One eBook copy of The Big Rewind (International)

The Rules:

  • Open to US and International
  • There will be two (2) lucky winners
  • Winners will be chosen and announced by rafflecopter
  • Winners will be contacted thru email & should response within 48 hours
  • Ends March 11, 2016
  • Prizes will be sent by the author

To enter fill out the rafflecopter form

Good Luck!!!

Treat yourself to a complete #CelebratingDebutantes2016 experience. Click the image below for the full list of schedule and links to each feature post!

celebrating debutantes 2016 collage


Celebrating Debutantes 2016: Zero Day by Jan Gangsei (Movie Cast + Giveaway)

Celebrating Debutantes 2016
I’m super excited today to welcome author Jan Gangsei to the blog as part of Celebrating Debutantes 2016 event. She will be sharing her choice of actors/actresses to play for her novel, Zero Day! I hope you guys like Jan’s pick of actors. And be sure to check the bottom of the post for the giveaway! Trust me, you don’t want to miss the chance of owning a signed hardcover copy of Zero day and other swags!

Here’s Jan with the movie cast for Zero Day.

Hi everyone! It’s a thrill to be a guest here, putting on my director’s hat as part of Blackplume’s “Celebrating Debutantes” feature! I mean, what writer doesn’t love to envision who would play their characters on the big screen? So, without further ado, here are the actors I would cast to play the title roles in the movie version of my debut novel, ZERO DAY:


Kelsey Chow


Jordan Fisher


Elle Fanning

ELINOR WEBSTER: Stella Hudgens

Stella Hudgens


Siena Agudong


Dylan Minnette


Mark Ruffalo


Joan Chen


Michelle Rodriguez


Bruce Willis

KARL ERLANDER: Gustaf Hammarsten

Gustaf Hammarsten

So there you go, Hollywood—I did your work for you! Just have your people call my people and we’ll get things rolling… And thank you so much Maricar for having me here today. This has been so much fun. I’m ready to start filming!

Thanks so much Jan for sharing to us your movie cast pick! We surely want to see your characters in the big screen someday!


Jan Gangsei

Jan Gangsei grew up in small-town Vermont, reading Nancy Drew mysteries, putting on backyard shows with her best friend and dreaming about exploring the world. After college, she landed a job as a newspaper reporter covering politics and the police beat, and was astonished to discover she could actually get paid to write and tell stories. Since then, she’s lived in Key West, New York City, DC and Barbados. She’s now settled with her family in northern Virginia, where she writes full time with a cup of hazelnut coffee in one hand and a Jack Russell terrier named Watson curled under her legs. Her debut young adult novel, ZERO DAY, publishes with Disney-Hyperion in January, 2016.

Some random facts about Jan:

* Soon after she learned to walk she was stuck on a pair of skis (Vermont law), which she promptly removed and watched as they slid down the mountain solo — likely explaining her future love of physics (and staying safely in the lodge).

* She’s a graduate of the DIA’s attache program for spouses, where she learned how to properly set a table, wear an evening gown, and disable an attacker with a few well-placed kicks. She suggests you don’t ever sneak up on her in a dark alley, especially if she’s wearing heels.

* She has tons of favorite authors, but some of her biggest influences growing up include: Judy Blume, Margaret Atwood, Edith Wharton and Kurt Vonnegut. (Also, whoever wrote the copy for the back of her Cheerios box, which she’s pretty sure she’d memorized by third grade.)

* She loves meeting new people, and interacting with other readers and writers. Drop her a note and say hello here or on Twitter!

Find Jan

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads


zero day by jan gangseiBook Details:

Title: Zero Day
Author: Jan Gangsei
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Publication Date: January 12th, 2016
Pages: 365
Formats: Hardcover, audio, eBook

Eight years ago, Addie Webster was the victim of the most notorious kidnapping case of the decade. Addie vanished—and her high-profile parents were forced to move on.

Mark Webster is now president of the United States, fighting to keep the oval office after a tumultuous first term. Then, the unthinkable happens: the president’s daughter resurfaces. Addie is brought back into her family’s fold, but who is this sixteen-year-old girl with a quiet, burning intelligence now living in the White House? There are those in the president’s political circle who find her timely return suspicious.

When the NSA approaches Darrow Fergusson, Addie’s childhood best friend and the son of the president’s chief of staff, he doesn’t know what to think. How could this slip of a girl be a threat to national security? But at the risk of having his own secrets exposed by the powerful government agency, Darrow agrees to spy on Addie.

It soon becomes apparent that Addie is much more than the traumatized victim of a sick political fringe group. Addie has come with a mission. Will she choose to complete it? And what will happen if she does?

Book Links

Amazon | Barnes & NobleBook Depository | iBooks | IndieBound | Goodreads



What’s up for Grabs?

  • signed hardcover copy of Zero Day, along with a signed Zero Day mouse pad and bookmark

zero day prizes for giveaway

The Rules:

  • Open to US / Canada Only
  • There will be one (1) winner only
  • Winner will be chosen and announced by rafflecopter
  • Winner will be contacted thru email & should response within 48 hours
  • Ends March 8, 2016
  • Prizes will be sent by the author

To enter fill out the rafflecopter form

Good Luck!!!

Treat yourself to a complete #CelebratingDebutantes2016 experience. Click the image below for the full list of schedule and links to each feature post!

celebrating debutantes 2016 collage

E. Lockhart in Manila

Last Sunday I got the chance to attend Bloggers’ Forum with best-selling and award winning author, Emily Lackhart organized by National Book Stores. Emily wrote one of the most buzzed young adult book last year, We Were Liars and other young adult novels such as Ruby Oliver Series, Fly on the Wall, and The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks which won several awards like Michael L. Printz Honour Book, and Cybils Award for Best Young Adult Novel, and also a finalist for the National Book Award.

Lockhart's Books

The forum was held few hours before Emily’s public book signing so basically, we have an hour or two of Q&A and chatting with her. During the Q&A, Emily is so enthusiastic and “animated” (as what the other bloggers call it). She is also contemplative giving each questions pondering before answering them. And when she answer, she hold no barred, sharing everything even her personal life to us. For an award winning author, Emily is so down to earth and easy to talk to.

She answered every questions we throw at her without hesitation, even the silly ones. And it’s really fun watching her while she answered them. When she narrates how she start pitching her idea for We Were Liars to her agents/editors as “story about real estate” we are all laughing with her. She is so lively in front doing all the gestures and mimicking the reactions of her editors for us. It was so hilarious. Wish I captured that part on video so you all see what I’m talking here.

Basically, most of the questions are about Emily’s book We Were Liars and her writing process. I asked her about her inspiration for including fairy-tale stories in We Were Liars which she answered with her history of owning a huge collections of fairy-tale books from her Mom. As a kid she read a lot fairy-tales because they have these box full of hardcover fairytale stories which they kept on lugging around every time they moved places. Even if they didn’t have much furniture or shelf, this particular box of fairy tales books is always with them. Her mom loves these books dearly that every time Emily got the chance to read them her mom has to make sure Emily has clean hands before touching the books or watch her reading making sure she won’t damaged them. Later on she found out that these books are actually given by her Dad to her Mom during courtship, which makes her realized that they’ve been carrying around a box of “marital baggage” (Emily’s words not mine) and that she was symbolically asked to held her parents marriage dearly. With that childhood background, writing fairy-tales for We Were Liars came very naturally for Emily and it was midway writing the book when she started adding these fairytale stories.

Listen to the full Q&A through Jesselle‘s recording here.

E Lockart in Manila

Also, Emily is writing a new book which sounds so exciting. It doesn’t have a title yet but it is about an “international jet-setting nineteen year-old con artists” which will be out next year through Random House Publishing. When Emily said “con-artist” I just picture Matt Bomer from the TV series White Collar which is a favorite series of mine. I know Matt isn’t nineteen year-old but still. Anyway, I have to cut myself before I talk too much about Matt Bomer or White Collar which has nothing to do with Emily’s book or this post.

PHYABloggers(photo credit to Dea of Teen Readers’ Diary)

Watch Emily’s message after the Q&A:

“Well, you guys are all writers already. So I just applaud your spirit of inquiry and critique. I think young adult fiction especially, needs not only champions but critics. Who are willing to think intelligently and argue with one another and create an intelligent dialogue about literature for young people so I applaud you.”

Thanks you so much Emily for visiting us all the way here in the Philippines. It’s really a lovely and wonderful experience meeting and talking to you in person. Hope you got another chance to visit us again here. We are missing you already.

Thank you also to the people of National Book Stores and Powerbooks for inviting me to join the bloggers’ forum. It is always a pleasure joining your events.

Find out more about Emily Lockhart and her books through her website or Tumblr and follow her on Twitter for instant updates.