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Spark Books Collection – A variety of ways to fall, trip, or tumble into love

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This next one’s for people who like to indulge in the idea of actually enjoying romance. For the optimists who still believe in Forever or the realists who don’t, but know how to have a good time anyway! I just came home from the release of six new Spark Book titles:

The Kitchen When It Sizzles by Chrissie Peria
Submission Moves by Camilla Sisco
Once Upon A Player by Agay Llanera
Tame the Kitten by Bianca Mori
Savor by Kate Evangelista
The Boyfriend Backtrack by Dawn Lanuza

At the National Bookstore last October 25 at Glorietta 1 at Makati City, Spark Books, along with Anvil Publishing Inc. officially released 6 new novels all bearing eye-candy covers, and all circling around that oh-so timeless mistress: Romance!

Everybody knows Romance, although some know it better than others, but not everybody has the exact same experience with love and relationships. There always seems to be similarities, but at the same time, like sir F. Scott Fitzgerald famously said, “There are all kinds of love in this world but never the same love twice.” But it’s exactly these traits that make romance stories so much more interesting from one another: Variety! The same ingredients, but cooked in many different and equally enjoyable ways! And that’s what Spark Books has to offer you!

Spark Books brought together six homegrown, talented authors for their take on Romance. Each book written to a different tune from the rest. Variety.

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The book release at Glorietta today started with opening remarks by Ms. Gwenn Galvez of Anvil Publishing Inc.  Originally, all of the books released today were on Amazon before Anvil Publishing Inc decided to pick them up. It was “The first romance collection after a failed trial,” she said.  Anvil’s first attempt to release a collection of romance books back then might have been too cool for the times, but that aside, we’re all here now and times are definitely cooler!

After Ms. Gwenn’s introduction, the authors came up on stage to read an excerpt from their work. Chrissie Peria, food enthusiast and writer, read aloud a part from The Kitchen When it Sizzles. She described a morning from the story as the characters were making breakfast. She talked about Brioche, and milk, and then there was something being fried… and while she was talking I started regretting my decision to have light lunch.

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Agay Llanera came on stage to read from Once Upon A Player. The paragraph was long and descriptive and I don’t want to give too much away but one phrase got so stuck in my head that I ended up tweeting it. It goes:

“That was the first time that Val realised that eyes could smile.”

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Kate Evangelista went on stage to take the third chair. But before she could read from Savor, she did a double take. “I was going to read a part from a steamy scene,” she said, “but then I realised… my mom was in the audience.” The audience burst out laughing while trying to figure out which one of them was Kate’s mom.

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Dawn Lanuza then started reading from The Boyfriend Backtrack, which is actually also Dawn’s first published book! My brain-filter, as usual, activated and the words that struck me most were:

“He reaches into his pocket and squeezes out a blue velvet box. That IS NOT what I think that is.”

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Unfortunately, Camilla Sisco and Bianca Mori couldn’t attend, but that did not stop them from joining in the fun afterward!

The authors were more than happy to share their knowledge and tips when it came to writing. When asked how it felt to have people read their books for the first time, Dawn expressed the adrenaline of watching someone pick up her book in a bookstore while pretending like she wasn’t the author as she browsed beside them. Chrissie explained that simply having someone read their work is overwhelming enough.

“That itself is a reward. That somebody read it.”
-Chrissie Peria

And Kate talked about the tweets she would get of people asking for “Part 2!” and actually willing to follow wherever the story may take them.

“A goal of many writers is to reel in people enough for them to follow you…for the next book.”
– Kate Evangelista

“Are they from real experiences? Do you make them up completely?” A couple of laughs and hmms were passed around when the authors were asked about where they get their writing material. The answers were synonymous, though: It’s a mix of both life, imagination, and of everyone else’s experiences. And by everyone they meant everyone.

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“Beware the writer-friend.” -Kate Evangelista

“Magkwentuhan kayo. Makinig kayo sa chismis nila! You can use that as fuel.”
(Tell each other stories. Listen to their gossip! You can use that as fuel.)
-Chrissie Peria

Before we got to the giveaways (yes there were giveaways!) we asked the authors THE questions. Questions about romance and writing. We asked them what were some important ideals to keep in mind when writing about romance, and these were their answers: (You guys might want to write this down!)

“It’s not just about the sex. It’s more about the intimacy and the characters connecting.”
-Kate Evangelista

“Love is freely given. It’s about never forcing anyone to do what they don’t want to.”
-Chrissie Peria

“It’s the self-awareness.”
-Agay Llanera

“It goes through a process. A change in the main character.”
-Dawn Lanuza

After the forum, the authors had a giveaway where in they… well, gave stuff away! Audience members’ names were pulled out of a box and each author gave them goodies! Even Bianca Mori and Camilla Sisco had goodies for the audience even in their absence (That’s some hardcore author skillz right there).

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Then came the book signing where in people got hugs, and photos, and probably twitter handles. (Speaking of Twitter handles, here’s the 4/6 of them: @KateEvangelista @chrissieperia @agayskee @dawnlanuza)

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All in all the event was fun, homey, and I look forward to how our novelists will grow as writers! The written word is well and alive, and with publishers like Anvil Publishing Inc. behind independent authors, the future is bright and beautiful, and oh so full of love! Well… maybe not for people, but a love for books. Yes, that’s probably where I was going with that last sentence.

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