15 Authors Who Have Influenced Me

I’ve been tagged by Anna Urquiola Green to do this list. I have a unique list of Authors Who Have Influenced Me and I’ll describe or explain how, when or where they influenced me as a reader and as a person.

rick_riordanRick Riordan will always be on the top of my list. I was a reader back on my childhood days. I love to read everything my hands would grab on. I’m not aware back then but it is one the things that I love to do. Way back in my high school days, I was introduced to Rick Riordan. Specifically, his Percy Jackson and The Olympian Gods Series, I never imagine that I would be so inclined with that book. Picture this out: Even in midnight, I’m still reading the series. And that midnight? There was no supply of electricity. And I couldn’t put the book down. That was then my mother banned me from reading the book by confiscating them. Anyway, she couldn’t do anything. I was a fast reader back then. I read three books a day. And yes, it is difficult to believe but it was true. In the morning, I can imagine the characters are living within me. I remember having a dream with the characters of 39 clues which, I started when my mother confiscated the Percy Jackson series. It’s Rick Riordan and you read everything he writes.

“Bob says hello,” He told the stars.
The Argo II sailed into the night.”

Rick Riordan, The House of Hades

566Paulo Coelho is intimidating — more like his books are intimidating. I always hear my friends recommending him anywhere and with his book, The Alchemist. And I was like, “yeah.yeah..yeah… I know.” but I didn’t indulge myself with his book. Okay, I agree with them that The Alchemist is a good book but I wouldn’t say that it was one of his best. I still prefer his book Adultery. Paulo Coelho is compelling. He knows how to make his book stand out with everyone else. He inspires you with his words and made you realize that there’s more to life than what you are having now. You’ll never know that you were captured by his books. I would totally recommend Adultery and Veronika Decides to Die by him.

“Sin was not created by God; it was created by us when we tried to transform what was inevitable into something subjective. We ceased to see the whole and came to see just one part; and that part is loaded with guilt, rules, good versus evil, and each side thinking it’s right.”

-The Spy, Paulo Coelho

mitch-albomMitch Albom is one of my favorite authors! It started (again) on my high school years. It was the days when the teachers wanted her students to submit a book report and my sister doesn’t want to read a book. So, I ended up doing her book reports and that’s the time that I was introduced with Mitch Albom. His’ Tuesdays with Morrie. It was a mixture of emotion. I learned a lot with Morrie while reading the book.

“All humans are musical. Why else would the Lord give you a beating heart?”

Mitch Albom, The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto

711u-qk2q5l-_ux250_Kim Holden fascinates me. Her book, Bright Side was a recommendation by a friend. Back in 2015, I only read the book that will pierce through pain, emotionally. The Author herself is a manifestation of a kind and pure soul. She loves to hug people and love to stay positive despite on everything. And you can see it on her books too. Bright Side made me hate life less than I used to. I just know that you’ll just love her books just I loved them like how I love Kim Holden, herself!

“Don’t judge each other. We all have our own shit. Keep your eyes on yours and your nose out of everyone else’s unless you’re invited in. And when you get the invitation, help, don’t judge.”

Kim Holden, Bright Side

colleen-hoover-408567071_bannerColleen Hoover is the author that really made me hooked into Romance. I read Romance before — Jennifer Smith and John Green — but I didn’t really enjoy like how I enjoy my experience with Colleen Hoover. I never knew that it was a New Adult genre and it seems that it was my genre after all. I love how she constructs her words, how she includes different concepts with her books. So far, Slammed is always on the top of my list when it comes to her.

“Just because someone hurts you doesn’t mean you can simply stop loving them. It’s not a person’s actions that hurt the most. It’s the love. If there was no love attached to the action, the pain would be a little easier to bear.”

Colleen Hoover, It Ends with Us

christine2Christine Brae is one of the most generous and appreciative and stunning women I’ve known! Her books taught me that even the simple form of love can ruin you along the way. I had a chance to talk to her and to interview her and do you know what I felt when reading her answers? Surreal. Inspired. Overwhelmed. It was one of the purest forms when a person touches your heart through words. That was her. She was the kindest among I’ve known and I know that she will be loved along the way.

“Remember that the mind is a powerful thing. You can convince yourself of anything. But at the end of the day, it’s your heart that you have to contend with. It doesn’t bend as easily as your mind.”

-In This Life, Christine Brae

3433047Sarah J. Maas‘s books really had an impact on my reading. I am a fan of hers and I love her books. Her books made me think outside the box, out of my comfort zone. Celaena, her character, made me see the foreshadowing of life with little glimpses of actions. I wish I met her when she had a signing here in the Philippines.

“We all bear scars,… Mine just happen to be more visible than most.”

Sarah J. Maas, Throne of Glass


Michele Amitrani is one of those rare authors who are male and both at the same time has a male POV characters with their books and a Science-Fiction as a genre! It is surely one of my rare gems finds when it comes to a book. What really struck me with his books are his life teachings and how he tried to explain the concept of his book in the simplest way by using word play and putting teachings with his words. It feels like everything that he writes in the book is simply his character. And I just liked it. His book is one of the books that I wished I could read for the first time.

“Sometimes the final victory cannot be obtained without a calculated number of losses. A strategic retreat can sometimes be the best alternative to avoid total defeat.”

-Omnilogos, Michele Amitrani

ineruda001p1Pablo Neruda is my favorite poet! I never knew that I will both fall in love and hurt with his words. You could feel his longing and sorrow into his poems — devastating yet beautiful. Signifies the true meaning of life.

Because on nights like this I held her in my arms,
my soul is lost without her.

Although this may be the last pain she causes me,
and this may be the last poem I write for her.”

Pablo Neruda

71dsjtqhmpl-_ux250_Brandon Sanderson will blow your mind off with his books. One of the best things that happened in my life by reading his books. Not yet all but some. He will never fail you to be amazed and to look forward to his next books. I couldn’t describe how indescribable his books are but I tell you. Prepare your mind to be mindblown. I was influenced by his captivating writing style and unexpected plot twist. It will make you think to go out of your comfort zone and try everything that you could even if you don’t want it. You’ll learn from his books – a lot. Manipulation is his best asset. At least, that’s what I think.

“Sometimes, son,” my father said, prying my fingers free, “you have to help the heroes along.”

Brandon Sanderson, Steelheart


Romina Russell shaped my fantasy and science fiction craving when it comes to her Zodiac Books. I love her books as much as I love her. She’s so kind that she even sends a lot of love overseas! I discover her when I read Zodiac a few years ago — it captured my heart. Reading her book makes me be aware of what I want in life. I learned a lot of lessons from her books. I love Sage Ferez when he is giving his life Philosophies, Miss Trii and Lord Neith for their unusual and brilliant thoughts. Romina taught me that there’s no border between a reader and an author. You could both be a human being, a friend at the same time. No barriers. You can just love because you have a certain point of interest. I love you, Romina!

“Sometimes the best way to love someone is to let them go”

Romina Russell, Wandering Star

Mia Asher greatly influenced my thinking when it comes to love. She writes openly and very westernized book or what we easterners call liberated book. I don’t mind it. I once read Arsen and the book, specifically, the author taught me that there’s a lot of kinds of love and not all the love that you wanted will be the way it is. A lot of times, love is complicated. It will tear you apart, break you into pieces and often times, it will crash you to the point you don’t want to love. Mia Asher portrays the biggest heartache that I could ask for her books. It was devastating but I love it because it was so realistic that I grieve for the characters. Decisions may not be the best executed but what if even if you try to avoid it, that is the only outcome? Thank you, Mia!

“Sometimes not being in control, not being able to think, just losing yourself in the moment, is the greatest feeling in the world. It’s liberating. It’s addicting. It’s the most powerful high you’ll ever get. It’s a kind of freedom that tastes so sweet on your palate that you can’t help but want more each time you have it.”

Mia Asher, Arsen: A Broken Love Story

cynthia_hand_2014Cynthia Hand is a YA Contemporary Author that really struck into my mind because of her book The Last Time We Say Goodbye. I love it. It tackles suicide in a very different perspective and very timely for its awareness. Aside from 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher, this book literally nailed the YA stereotyping of love. Grab the book and learn from it. It was beautiful.

“You never know when it’s going to be the last time. That you hug someone. That you kiss. that you say goodbye.”

Cynthia Hand, The Last Time We Say Goodbye

23murakami1_span-jumboHaruki Murakami is an author that I looked up to and the best impression that I could offer is that he is an idealist and a philosopher. When I am reading one of his books, I could feel the depth that he sees through life. You could just dive in into his world and books and lost your way through because the information that you’ve been reading. As if, in those moments you are living in the past, present and the possible future all at the same time. It was scary but it was magnificent too. You will love Haruki Murakami. And until you do read his books, that’s where you will understand my feelings and thoughts of him.

“One heart is not connected to another through harmony alone. They are, instead, linked deeply through their wounds. Pain linked to pain, fragility to fragility. There is no silence without a cry of grief, no forgiveness without bloodshed, no acceptance without a passage through acute loss. That is what lies at the root of true harmony.”

Haruki Murakami, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage

mte4mdazndewnjazodm2otqyJack London is the very first author I think — I read a classic from or I don’t know. White Fang is one of his works and I considered it classic. I am so proud that I finish a book that I’m not used to reading. It was great and it teaches me that whatever your race is or whatever your blood line is or your character to the impression of you of others, you can’t judge someone by their physical appearance. They may be scary but sometimes an appearance are just an act of self-defense. They are hurting too at some point, but not all those who hurt are bad. I just love how Jack London writes it and trying to implicate the injustice system of human life.

“The aim of life was meat. Life itself was meat. Life lived on life. There were the eaters and the eaten. The law was: EAT OR BE EATEN. He did not formulate the law in clear, set terms and moralize about it. He did not even think the law; he merely lived the law without thinking about it at all.”

Jack London, White Fang


Book Review: Black Moon by Romina Russell

blackmoon-hiresIt’s been almost a year reading Wandering Star by Romina Russell, like Zodiac leaving me in a cliffhanger, Wandering Star leaves me in a state of realization where a lot of possibilities could happen in the next book. And guess what? Black Moon leave me in a state of shock. Not just shocked shock. I was like literally screaming at the last page of the book. How could Romina give us that one beautiful chapter and drop us a lot of unexpectable, twisted and unpredictable chapters ahead?

Thanks to my friend, Rommel from Pinoy Books Freaks United for getting me hype up on reading Black Moon because at first, I was intentionally refusing to read it because why not? After reading the latest book, what’s next? Waiting game. But the fan within me is so jealous that he already finished the book. So, I decided to read it in one sitting.


I don’t know what to feel. I said this to Romina that I don’t know what to feel — I have a lot of mixed emotions after reading that last line of the last page of Black Moon. It feels like Romina is so good at her writing style that I didn’t notice that I was at the end of the book. She’s that good! I am really impressed with her skills. She never seizes to amaze, distract, and of course stunned me with her words.

“A powerful man wants people to dream of him, but a leader wants people to dream of themselves.”

One thing I love about Zodiac Universe is that in every book you will learn a lot. Not just a glimpse of a life — you will learn that there’s more to life than you know, that there are much more things waiting for you at the other end of the world. I love how I acquire knowledge, lessons and Philosophy on every Zodiac Book that I’ve read and the best part of it are that I could sense that they are written not because Romina was forced to, she wants us to see the world beyond her imagination and learn from it. What’s the best in life is experience turns into words which became a Philosophy in time.

I couldn’t fathom how I will go with this book review but Black Moon is so good that I couldn’t put the book down. 4 hours? 5? or maybe, 6 hours? I don’t know. I just dive in and read it and finished it. I devour it whole. Chapter 19 was the best chapter for me. It drove me crazy because that was the sweetest and lovely thing that could happen to Rho Grace. But the voice inside my head is debating whether should I be happy or not? I know that happiness is side by side with sadness. I could feel the incoming of painful chapters of Black Moon.

And I’m not wrong. Not just painful. It will leave you shocked. Like, what the hell just happened? And the bombs that Romina Russell throws to her readers on every end of the chapter? My jaw dropped! I don’t know what to believe anymore. I just don’t know how will I react to the last line of her chapters. I am telling you. I am grateful that I am so stunned to the end that I couldn’t process what was happening or should I give Romina a poker face because how could her? What a way to great a book. 

“I have always found it interesting that the symbol for Justice is a set of scales; the implication being that to achieve perfect harmony, good and bad must balance each other out. Rather than eradicating one, both must exist in equal quantities.”

As I tell her, she perfected the art of writing the endings of her book.  It always leaves me hanging at the end. Wanting more of the Zodiac Universe. Both amazing and terrifying but what makes Zodiac Books good is because they are there to educate us.

By this point in time, I have no words for the covers, character development, twist, universe. They all exceeded my expectations. I’m just a little bit emotional because Black Moon is the third book of the Zodiac Books — meaning, one last book left for me to read. Then, I really have to say goodbye to Rho Grace, Hysan, and Mathias. I love them through and through.

Zodiac taught me to be brave, Wandering Star taught me to listen, and Black Moon taught me to trust myself more than others. Black Moon is intoxicating and manipulative in a good way. A fast-paced book that will drive you crazy, captivated and captured wholeheartedly. You will experience a lot of emotions and mixed feelings through your reading journey — you may feel hatred, or love, or fear but above all of everything. I assure you, Black Moon will teach you about life.

Thank you, Romina! Thank you for a good book.

“There is no universal right or wrong because there can be no universal judge. Existence is too complicated and nuanced for such simplicity. And that is why the bad must exist alongside the good…because to eradicate one is to eradicate both.”



Romina Russell

Romina Russell (aka Romina Garber) is a Los Angeles based author who originally hails from Buenos Aires, Argentina. As a teen, Romina landed her first writing gig—College She Wrote, a weekly Sunday column for the Miami Herald that was later picked up for national syndication—and she hasn’t stopped writing since. When she’s not working on ZODIAC, Romina can be found producing movie trailers, taking photographs, or daydreaming about buying a new drum set. She is a graduate of Harvard College and a Virgo to the core.

Interview with C.L. Schneider!

  • Aside from your dream to be an awesome writer (which I think you really are!), what made you write The Crown of Stones and how does it feels publishing your first book for the first time?

I wrote the Crown of Stones because the character of Ian Troy left me no choice! Once I created Ian, his words and actions, and the entire world of Mirra’kelan, just kept expanding and swirling around in my head. There was very much an obsessive quality to my writing of Ian’s story. I’d put off my desire to write full time and publish for many years. When the time came that I could finally devote myself to it, that’s what I did. Every spare minute was spent writing or plotting or thinking about my characters. Unfortunately, that hasn’t changed much.  Once I start a story, I become a little obsessive about it.  I could sit my laptop for hours, skipping meals and staying up ridiculously late. Thank goodness for my friends and family. Without them to pull me away, I could seriously become a hermit!

Publishing Magic-Price was the most amazing experience. It was equally exhilarating and terrifying. When the first copy came in the mail, I couldn’t help but cry. It didn’t feel like I was simply holding a book in my hands, it was years of hopes and dreams, and more than a little blood, sweat, and tears. Aside from my children when they were born, looking at that first copy of Magic-Price, I thought it was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen!

  • Ian Troy is selfless and he acts what he thinks is right, what trait of Ian Troy do you like the best and what personality trait of his do you like the least? Why?

I love Ian’s strength and his bravery.  If Ian was a person, I suppose the one trait of his that I would dislike is the snarky attitude he takes with his friends. This is especially prevalent in the beginning of the trilogy. Ian tends to shut out those who care for him. Generally, it’s done in an effort to protect them. He feels they’ll be in danger if they get too close to him. But often he lashes out in frustration and danger, and they bear the brunt of it.

  • I was introduced to a lot of fantasy book where the protagonist is female. I don’t have anything against with that but as a male reader, I also wish to read in a perspective of a male protagonist. So, as a female writer, what do you think the hardest part of writing a male point of view in a novel?

The hardest part about being a female and writing from a male perspective is worrying you won’t get it right. The writing of Ian itself wasn’t hard. I didn’t once think about the fact that Ian was male and I’m not—as I was writing him. Then, I fell right into the role and told the story like I was living it. It was after the fact that I worried he might not come across masculine enough. There were a few lines here and there where one of my beta readers marked it as being too feminine, and of course, I changed those. But other than those few instances, my beta readers and my editor both found it spot on.

I knew the real test would come from my readers, though.  So it was very gratifying, and very much a relief, when not long after book 1 was published, more than one reader reached out to tell me how amazed they were that I wrote a man so well. After that, my initial fear was squelched, and I never thought of it again when I was writing books 2 and 3. I knew Ian so well by then, it all just flowed out.  

  • How did you come up with the magic system of The Crown of Stones? It is so wide, boundless and unlimited. I couldn’t imagine how far the magic of your book could bring and I would love to read everything. Is it something you completely made out of scratch?

The bulk of my research for The Crown of Stones books was done in order to create my magic-system, which is based on new age/crystal healing. When a Shinree casts magic, they do so by sensing the aura or energy of a stone, channeling it (drawing it into their bodies), bending it to their will, and casting that aura back out into the word. Each stone can be used for multiple workings and the results are different depending on what type of Shinree magic user is doing the casting.

Every stone used in the books (and every spell) relates in some way to how those same stones are used in real life crystal healing. Most of my research wasn’t applied directly to the story. Rather, I used the information as a foundation and then twisted it to fit my needs.  For instance, if my research showed that topaz helps to clear the mind, a Shinree soldier might use it for creating confusion in his enemy, whereas a Shinree healer might use the same stone for calming a patient’s mind after trauma.  

  • Before you become a writer or maybe before Magic-Price, can you name few books that you think influences you as a reader and a writer, today?
  • The Mists of Avalon, by Marion Zimmer Bradley
  • Pretty much any book written by C. J.Cherryh  (I love her work!), especially her Morgaine Saga and her Rusalka series.
  • The Nightside books by Simon Greene
  • The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher
  • The Cheysuli Omnibus by Jennifer Roberson
  • How did you come up with the culture, races, identities, and even the history of The Crown of Stones? Is it based on a particular culture? Or totally, everything, made up? If then, how long did you polish the world-building and the magic system of The Crown of Stones?

The races and realms in The Crown of Stones books are entirely of my own creation. Most of the races/realms were built after I created a character and he/she needed a land to hail from.  It was important to me to have the races each with their own strengths and weaknesses, and their own secrets. In dealing with the prejudice and the divide and betrayals that had built up over time among these races, I needed them to be diverse and with their own goals. I needed them each to be broken in some way, as was the land after the quake that tore it apart and toppled the Shinree Empire.

Not every nuance was in place after the first book was written, though. Some of the details, especially the ancient history, were created and woven in as the trilogy progressed. The same goes for the magic-system. The bulk of it was in place before I even wrote a word in Magic-Price. But the extent and the laws of Shinree magic continued to evolve as the story did.

If you going to describe your book in five sexy words, what are they?






  • Each and every one of your characters has one thing common. It is their will to do something they want. Some of them have their own beliefs, some of them want power for themselves, some of them are hungry of magic, and some of them thinks for the sake of everyone. If there is one character in your book that you wanted to be, who will be that character and why? What do you think your chosen character will fight for?

I have thoroughly enjoyed writing every single character in the Crown books, but Ian Troy will always have a special place in my heart. I love his story arc. He has it hard, don’t get me wrong, but Ian is as vulnerable as he is strong. He’s not afraid to do what’s necessary or to take chances.  He has an inner strength that keeps him going long after many would have given up. I think Ian would fight for anyone in need.

  • I don’t like Draken and I’m pretty curious about what is happening on his end. Or how he planned everything with Jem for the destruction of Ian. Will there be more of Draken’s? As a reader, will we understand him? And as for Troy, should I prepare myself because the broken I knew on Book one is different to the broken Troy that I will encounter on Book two?

In an effort to avoid spoilers, I can’t tell you too much. But I will tell you that there will be more of Draken in Magic-Scars, book 2, and by the end of the trilogy, you will learn much more about the Langorians as a race, and about Draken. You will come to understand Draken’s motivations; like them or not.

And yes, if you’re an Ian fan, you might want to prepare yourself. Expect a lot of emotional roller coaster moments, and not just in the second book, in both the remaining books in the trilogy.  In Magic-Scars, book 2, Ian is definitely a different man than the one introduced in Magic-Price. He goes through so much in book 2, including some extremely difficult and heartbreaking decisions and a transformation that carries through to the rest of the trilogy. To heal the realms and save those he cares for, even to save himself, Ian has to endure many things. He must not only accept who and what he is, he must learn how to embrace it and to accept the consequences of doing so. By the end of book 3 (Magic-Borne), Ian must become the hero everyone else believes he can be—the hero he needs to be.

  • Random question: Name your Top 5 favorite foods!

Shrimp, pizza, chocolate, duck, ice cream.

  • What made you write a fantasy novel?

I’ve been fascinated with the medieval time period since I was a little girl. Growing up, I read a lot of historical fiction, which satisfied my interest. I read horror and sci-fi, but I didn’t start reading fantasy until after high school when my brother gave me a copy of The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley. I fell in love from page one. I read it cover to cover, back to back. My love of reading and writing fantasy novels started with that book. I’d been writing for years before that, but after reading The Mists of Avalon, I knew exactly what genre I wanted to write.  

  • Is there a particular song that you are listening to whenever you are writing a book? Or it is different songs on different books? Or you didn’t listen to a song at all when you are writing?

I love music, especially alternative rock or industrial metal, but I actually prefer to write in the quiet. If I listen while I’m writing, I end up singing along and listening to the song instead of writing. I find music very inspiriting, though, so I much prefer to listen to it before I sit down and write.  

If I’m up writing late at night, sometimes I’ll watch TV or put the movie on in the background. Usually, it’s a horror movie or something with zombies.   

  • Who is your character the most difficult to write? Could you elaborate, why?

I’m not sure any of the characters in the Crown books were difficult to write, not as far as their actions or story arcs go. The trick to being comfortable with writing a character is to know them, and I got to know them all very well.  By the time I was writing the third book, the dialogue felt like it was almost writing itself.  

When I don’t know a character well is the only time I have a difficult time writing them.  My beta readers can always tell if I’m still figuring a character out or haven’t fleshed them out fully yet. But even then, I wouldn’t say that makes the characters themselves difficult, just the process.

  • What was your childhood like? Any happy memories to share?

I grew up in a small town. We had a great old house in the country near a lake. I spent a lot of time outside, exploring, playing pretend, or playing with one of our many animals. We had this wonderful home library. The bookshelves were floor to ceiling with a big picture window in between. Everyone in my family read different genres and the shelves were packed. I used to love to sit in that room and loose myself in a book. It’s where my love for reading, and writing, was born.

  • Last question, your favorite quote from your book, The Crown of Stones: Magic – Price? And why you choose that quote?

There are so many lines of Ian’s that I love from Magic-Price, but one that always stands out to me is:

“I’m not a hero. I never was.”

To me, that one line sums Ian up perfectly.  He doesn’t see his actions as heroic or brave. He sees them as necessary.  He’s not looking for thanks or accolades. He does what needs to be done—so no one else has to. That’s who Ian Troy is.


7704723Born in the Midwest, I live in upstate New York with my husband and two sons. A huge reader since childhood, I penned my first full-length novel in high school on a typewriter in my parent’s living room.

Magic-Price, the first book in The Crown of Stones trilogy, was not only my first published novel but a lifelong dream come true. With the release of Magic-Borne, the trilogy is complete. Next up: Nite Fire, the first book in an urban fantasy series featuring shapeshifters and parallel worlds.

My stories tend to run in the realm of dark, adult, and epic. If I wrote about vampires, they most definitely would not sparkle.

You can learn more about me and my work at clschneiderauthor.com where you can read reviews, excerpts, sneak peeks and teasers, subscribe to my newsletter and follow my journey as an indie author on my blog, “Heading Down The Yellow Brick Road”. I love to chat with fellow authors and readers, so please come find me on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+, where I spend most of my time talking about books, zombies, coffee, and the wonderful roller coaster of a writer’s life.

Bookish Discussion: What are the reasons why readers DNFed a book?

This question sparked into my mind when a friend of mine tweeted on how do you shelf your DNFed books on Goodreads. Apparently, I became curious of why people DNFed. So, I asked again my bookish community, Pinoy Book Freaks United, the question:


  • Kane: It’s getting draggy.
  • Meryll: The book can trigger a book slump.
  • Jessa: It was boring because the reader is still in a book slump.
  • Joshua: Slow-pacing. Monotonous Tone. Or the reader just got occupied and got busy.
  • Princess: Unbearable Point of Views of the Characters. Laziness.
  • Jocelyn: Too long for their taste. Repetitive parts. Annoying Characters.
  • Sheryl: Cliche overload. I already read something similar to this plot, character or setting.
  • Danna: Too much hype.
  • Cresel: The conflict is so meh.
  • Morris: No character development. No reason behind the character’s personality. Interpretation keeps on changing.
  • Eriele: The characters are like so sweet to the point it gets annoying.
  • Lionel: The protagonist sounds like the last YA Protagonist from another book.
  • Jimbo: School, school, school and did I just say school?
  • Sasa: They don’t like the writing style. The book started great and eventually the satisfaction drops.
  • Hyacinth: The characters are always in pity party.


Bookish Discussion: How do you convince your bookworm friends to read your favorite book even if it was not his genre?

I came up with this question because JM from Revelations of Bookfreak doesn’t like any book that I suggest to him. Same with my friend, Erika from The Nocturnal Fey, who in any way, anytime, never ever read any of my recommendations. Feel me guys? FEEL ME? How sad, right? So, I asked one of my bookish community, Pinoy Book Freaks United, with the question:


  • Joshua: By reading something in his genre in return.
  • Joshua: Bribe with something he loves.
  • Cresel: “I will treat you an ice cream.”
  • Jessa: Shove the book on his face.
  • Jessa: Threaten his life.
  • Francine: Friendship Over or You will read the book?
  • Paula: “I’ll feed you Pizza if you read it.”
  • Sheryl: “I will give them a quote from the book that’s just so good they’d want to read it.”
  • Julie: I don’t. (Aren’t we Kill Joy here?)
  • Jimbo: “Read this book.” In a frighteningly calm voice. Be sure to let him feel the threat.
  • Erika: The more you convince them to read your recommendations, the more it will feel forced. The more forced it is, the more they’ll stay away from it…You’re putting too much pressure. But if you just recommend whatever book you want them to read, then give them the “time”, let them read it in their own accord, it would be more enjoyable.
  • Timotheos: Recommend the book in a simple way.
  • Hyacinth: “I will talk about it all the time.”

Yep! I think, Erika nailed it. She’s an expert like that. I know. I know. Readers like me want to talk about their favorite book. The reason why I want people to read my favorite book which is by the way — Omnilogos by Michele Amitrani, is that — I don’t have someone to talk to about the book! This is why it is really difficult to fanboy over an indie book.


Book Review: The Grownup by Gillian Flynn

26025580The Grownup by Gillian Flynn is shockingly confusing. I was struck by the beginning of the book and I don’t know what should I feel. Should I be disturb? Turned on? Disgusted? I really don’t know but this book leaves me hanging. I was confused whether to believe the woman or to the boy. Gillian Flynn has this kind of writing style that will captivate your thoughts and have your prediction turn it upside down — I was at the end, I don’t know who or what to believe. It looks like the author is creating a person who wanted to survive on the hardships of life and built a mind that could possess you through intelligence. Kind of bugging but this was my interpretation with her short novel. Intriguing. Terrifying. Creepy. Opportunistic. Few descriptions I thought about The Grownup. Manipulative of words and controlling of emotions. It is difficult if two people you have contact with don’t have the rational way of thinking. It is, indeed, scary.

“Feeling sad means having too much time on your hands, usually. Really. I’m not a licensed therapist but usually it means too much time.”


2383Gillian Flynn is an American author and television critic for Entertainment Weekly. She has so far written three novels, Sharp Objects, for which she won the 2007 Ian Fleming Steel Dagger for the best thriller; Dark Places; and her best-selling third novel Gone Girl.

Her book has received wide praise, including from authors such as Stephen King. The dark plot revolves around a serial killer in a Missouri town, and the reporter who has returned from Chicago to cover the event. Themes include dysfunctional families, violence and self-harm.

In 2007 the novel was shortlisted for the Mystery Writers of America Edgar for Best First Novel by an American Writer, Crime Writers’ Association Duncan Lawrie, CWA New Blood and Ian Fleming Steel Daggers, winning in the last two categories.

Flynn, who lives in Chicago, grew up in Kansas City, Missouri. She graduated at the University of Kansas, and qualified for a Master’s degree from Northwestern University.

Book Review: The Spy by Paulo Coelho

379916Realistic. Opportunistic. Euphoric. I was so immersed reading this book that I don’t even know that I was nearly at the end. I even almost ended up going pass through our house while on the bus getting a small vacation over the holiday. Anyway, I really am attracted to new release book especially when it comes to Mitch Albom and Paulo Coelho. I was once read Adultery by Paulo Coelho and remember that it was so mesmerizing that keeps me indulge and finished reading it over in a day on the New Year’s. Back to The Spy, I will never ever think that I will feel this way — to be fully immersed and read the book in one sitting. It is one of the best that I ever read this 2016. There is so much confidence in hope, satisfaction on wealth, diversity of fame and even finding love. Paulo Coelho discusses the life of Mata Hari in her perspective. You will feel what the author would like you to feel if you put yourself on her shoes. It looks like intoxicated, suffocated — struggling to survive through artistic passion and rising determination.

“Flowers teach us that nothing is permanent: not their beauty, not even the fact that they will inevitably wilt because they will still give new seeds. Remember this when you feel joy, pain, or sadness. Everything passes, grows old, dies and is reborn.”

I see a woman.  A strong woman who is independent and lovable but also someone who live a life full of lies. Strange as it is but I think Mata Hari just wanted her own freedom, someone who will love her unconditionally. Personally, it looks like to me that she has everything but this book will teach you that people are not contented with the things they have and we seek love with other people when in fact there is someone who is loving you in front of your eyes.

“My first piece of advice is the hardest, and it has nothing to do with your performance. Never fall in love. Love is a poison. Once you fall in love, you lose control over your life – your heart and mind belong to someone else. Your existence is threatened. You start to do everything to hold on to your loved one and lose all sense of danger. Love, that inexplicable and dangerous thing, sweeps everything you are from the face of the earth and, in its place, leaves only what your beloved wants you to be.”

She set standards to her own premise and it backfires on her. This outstanding book will keep you on reading and be informed of who Mata Hari is. You will love her. You will hate her. But above all, I know, you will take an interest in her. Like everyone else. 

“Sin was not created by God; it was created by us when we tried to transform what was inevitable into something subjective. We ceased to see the whole and came to see just one part; and that part is loaded with guilt, rules, good versus evil, and each side thinking it’s right.”

And this is where I realize the comparison between Paulo Coelho and Mitch Albom — Mitch Albom write inspirational novels in a positive approach that make his works as a masterpiece and Paulo Coelho write in negative approach that makes his works as a masterpiece.

“Love does not obey anyone and will betray those who try to decipher its mystery.”


The book is available on The Book Depository!


566The Brazilian author PAULO COELHO was born in 1947 in the city of Rio de Janeiro. Before dedicating his life completely to literature, he worked as theatre director and actor, lyricist and journalist. In 1986, PAULO COELHO did the pilgrimage to Saint James of Compostella, an experience later to be documented in his book The Pilgrimage. In the following year, COELHO published The Alchemist. Slow initial sales convinced his first publisher to drop the novel, but it went on to become one of the best selling Brazilian books of all time. Other titles include Brida (1990), The Valkyries (1992), By the river Piedra I sat Down and Wept (1994), the collection of his best columns published in the Brazilian newspaper Folha de São Paulo entitle Maktub (1994), the compilation of texts Phrases (1995), The Fifth Mountain (1996), Manual of a Warrior of Light (1997), Veronika decides to die (1998), The Devil and Miss Prym (2000), the compilation of traditional tales in Stories for parents, children and grandchildren (2001), Eleven Minutes (2003), The Zahir (2005), The Witch of Portobello (2006) and Winner Stands Alone (to be released in 2009). During the months of March, April, May and June 2006, Paulo Coelho traveled to celebrate the 20th anniversary of his pilgrimage to Saint James of Compostella in 1986. He also held surprise book signings – announced one day in advance – in some cities along the way, to have a chance to meet his readers. In ninety days of pilgrimage the author traveled around the globe and took the famous Transiberrian train that took him to Vladivostok. During this experience Paulo Coelho launched his blog Walking the Path – The Pilgrimage in order to share with his readers his impressions. Since this first blog Paulo Coelho has expanded his presence in the internet with his daily blogs in WordPress, Myspace & Facebook. He is equally present in media sharing sites such as Youtube and Flickr, offering on a regular basis not only texts but also videos and pictures to his readers. From this intensive interest and use of the Internet sprang his bold new project: The Experimental Witch where he invites his readers to adapt to the screen his book The Witch of Portobello. Indeed Paulo Coelho is a firm believer of Internet as a new media and is the first Best-selling author to actively support online free distribution of his work.