#GoReadWrite2017: Philippine Readers and Writers Festival + Giveaway!

The three-day literary event, Philippine Readers and Writers Festival, held annually and organized by National Bookstore in the country was yet another success gathering in Manila, Philippines. I would like to thank National Bookstore for making readers in the Philippines happy.


The schedule of the Philippine Readers and Writers Festival with the hashtag #GoReadWrite2017




I was able to attend the 26th and 27th event of the festival and I’m pretty satisfied with the outcome of the days I attended with as I discuss in detail of what happened there. If you are wondering why I wasn’t able to attend the first day of the event that’s because I slept for the whole day of the 25th. I went back from traveling. See pictures below for a little glimpse of proof.


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Book Review: Golden Son by Pierce Brown

Stressful. Shocking. Exhausting. This book completely wakes every nerve in my body while reading. It displays so much intensity, hatred, belonging, thirst, motivation, and friendship. It was a ride reading this book. I can’t believe that’s how Pierce Brown wrote this book – with so much compassion and mind-blowing scenarios that are still playing in my head. The intricate details of how composed Darrow when talking to Augustus, I felt goosebumps when the last line drop downs on the story.

The promises, the battle, the risks are being in line with on the revelations in the novel that I couldn’t even put the book down. It slowly drowns me in the story. It reflects one life to another, one life exchange of trust, one friendship needs to end because of what the society depicts to its leader. I think highly of Brown because he is not developing just a story, he is crafting a masterpiece that reflects so much in real life in the different universe of fiction that will stun you of how he embodies, rule, execute, display the right and wrong in the novel.

It outrages me to think that Pierce has had this way of showing too many emotions and evoking a lot of feelings to his readers. We couldn’t contain what was conquering inside our hearts because Golden Son is beyond what we expect, it exceeds Red Rising and I don’t know anymore what to expect with Morning Star. There are lines that I couldn’t cope up with because it was excruciating to think back of. How could you, Pierce? It was an emotional ride. He has this thing of making you forget what was the issue or at least the hint of the details of the past and then, before you know it, he burst you with a lot of unfathomable, unacceptable, unbelievable revelations that you could just grip and hold your breath and wish for what would be the best for the protagonist.

I couldn’t contain my feels with the story. It just drives me crazy, insane rather. The only thing that left in my mind is: Read this gorydamn book! You’ll be satisfied once you experienced what was happening on the Trilogy. Golden Son by Pierce Brown is not what I ought to be, it is beyond what I expected. It will leave you crying, it will leave you hanging and one of the crucial thing is, it will leave you in pain. Prepare yourself, physically and mentally, when you are going to start devouring this book because you will never know what you will experience along the way. There are so much more for a person to take. Hold your breath and grip hard to your sanity.




Pierce BrownPierce Brown’s first novel, RED RISING (Del Rey Books), debuts January 28, 2014. It is the first installment in The Red Rising Trilogy.

Pierce Brown spent his childhood building forts and setting traps for his cousins in the woods of six states and the deserts of two. Graduating college in 2010, he fancied the idea of continuing his studies at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have a magical bone in his body. So while trying to make it as a writer, he worked as a manager of social media at a startup tech company, toiled as a peon on the Disney lot at ABC Studios, did his time as an NBC page, and gave sleep deprivation a new meaning during his stint as an aide on a U.S. Senate Campaign.

Now he lives in Los Angeles, where he scribbles tales of spaceships, wizards, ghouls, and most things old or bizarre.

Note to the reader: Always feel free to contact him via his website, twitter, or facebook. He likes people. Except if you’re a trollish person. Then he merely puts up with you for the sake of manners and propriety.

IG @piercebrownofficial

Book Review: Red Rising by Pierce Brown

Unbelievable. Cunning. Outstanding. Red Rising displays so much sovereignty in the entire novel that exceeds comprehension of what a science-fiction and a dystopian should be. Specifically speaking, as may as dragging the first few chapters of the novel, it actually provoke and favor the 80% part of the book which made me hook after quite the first fifth part. I didn’t want to put the book down. I don’t want to let it go. It is speaking so much to me, to finish it, to consume it.

I was taken back by the slow progression at first and definitely confused by the slang words or invented words with no background or at least an introduction of what the words were. Nevertheless, I still commend  Pierce Brown because he executed the story so well that my physically stable body couldn’t cope up with the running mental exhaustion in my mind. I want to digest every word, to take all, to read them and I did it. Now, I want more of it.

They say Red Rising is a cross over of The Hunger Games, Divergent Series and Ender’s Game. I’m telling you if you think those dystopian novels are your favorites. You are undeniably wrong. Red Rising is more than that. It is a full-scale war of twelve houses that only one has to be a prime. I hold my breath, my reading speeds up, and I never knew that I was so immersed in the story that I badly wanted to know what will happen next.

It was full of politics, manipulations, betrayals, twist. It exudes so much pain and principle. Adequately provides us with the glimpse of how society is unfair, how to rule a society, and how to be strong in the process. When biomodification was taken place in the book – that’s where I start taking an interest because this is my kind of wavelength. It provides small details of the gray area of human experiment and adding capabilities to a person that has been acquired through technology.

My jaw dropped, as I applaud Pierce Brown, for writing the novel so well and implied the politics intricately brilliant that made me ask a question, “What will happen next?”. It is simple and yet beautiful. A lowColor wants to stand above everyone and proved that no color should be degraded despite their expertise, field, and role in the community. It speaks so much, ironically, of our society today and government that it procure variable mindsets in its readers.

Surely, this literature embodies what a friendship is, it shows true morale, conduct with pride on one’s race, it gives hope and depicts an outstanding role model and leadership to the sub characters. And every persona has their significance to play. It has been proved here that with the same technique, same sentiments, the same way – generation in the past can differ in the generation in the present. How the past lives could alter by the present. And that is how powerful a person is. Scary and yet brittle.

Also, in the book there are sensitive factors that have been discussed; there are sexual violence, vengeance, corruption, rage, inhumane violations that we will see in such circumstances that mirror the reality of the fiction. It was just stunning how Pierce Brown put everything into pieces and write the book in such addictive tone of the voice that there are so many things are going around – that you will never know what was happening and what is happening through the course of reading.

Vivid and compelling. Red Rising is just the beginning of what will happen in the Trilogy and I’m already taken interest reading the whole series. It shocked me to my core. It opens my heart to love science-fiction more. It will devour you and you will let it consumed you. There will be no regrets because the Reds are Rising.



Pierce BrownPierce Brown’s first novel, RED RISING (Del Rey Books), debuts January 28, 2014. It is the first installment in The Red Rising Trilogy.

Pierce Brown spent his childhood building forts and setting traps for his cousins in the woods of six states and the deserts of two. Graduating college in 2010, he fancied the idea of continuing his studies at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have a magical bone in his body. So while trying to make it as a writer, he worked as a manager of social media at a startup tech company, toiled as a peon on the Disney lot at ABC Studios, did his time as an NBC page, and gave sleep deprivation a new meaning during his stint as an aide on a U.S. Senate Campaign.

Now he lives in Los Angeles, where he scribbles tales of spaceships, wizards, ghouls, and most things old or bizarre.

Note to the reader: Always feel free to contact him via his website, twitter, or facebook. He likes people. Except if you’re a trollish person. Then he merely puts up with you for the sake of manners and propriety.

IG @piercebrownofficial
Twitter @pierce_brown

Interview with Anna Stephens!

1. What was it like after publishing your first novel, Godblind? And from those years of rejections, with 37 rejections, what lesson would you want to share with us?

Finally seeing Godblind in bookshops as a real book was one of the best moments of my life, without doubt. There were a lot of years of rejection and struggle to get to that moment, so I was determined to enjoy every second of my publication day. I was quite nervous before the launch party, but everyone was there to cheer me on and it was just a fantastic experience.
I’m glad, in a way, that Godblind was rejected 37 times, because every one of those rejections made me work on the book again to make it better – if it hadn’t been rejected so often, I would never have been so determined to make it the best book I could.
2. I know this question would be a total cliché but what inspires or motivates you to achieve your lifelong dream to become an author?

 I’ve always been a writer, ever since I was a young child. I’ve always made up stories, so it wasn’t really a question of whether I would write, it was whether I would get published, and those are two very different things. Even if Godblind had never been published, I’d never stop writing. I’m just incredibly lucky that people want to publish my work and other people want to read it! I can be extremely stubborn as well, so every one of those rejections just encouraged me to try even harder. I learnt a lot about myself as a person and as a writer over the years of rejections. They made me a better person, I think.

3. There are a lot of genres out there. Your first book belongs to the Dark Fantasy genre. Is this your preferred genre in the first place to write?

I do love the genre in which I write, but I like to read a wide variety of genres as well. Fantasy and historical fiction were my two first loves, but I’m not sure I could ever write a historical fiction. You have to stick to too many real life events for my liking. I would like to write sci-fi or alternative reality at some point; many of the short stories I produce for my writing group will be set anywhere other than a traditional fantasy setting. They’ll be an alternative now, or a far-future spaceship or a monster-ridden Victorian England. I like to experiment with different settings and places, but fantasy is definitely my first love and everything I write has an element of fantasy in it.

4. Random Question: If you are going to date someone, fictional or not, dead or alive, who would it be and why? What are you going to do on your date?

Tough question! I think I would go on a date with William Shakespeare. We would row along the River Avon and have a picnic and I’d ask him how he wrote all those marvellous plays – and where he gets his ideas from!

5. If you are going to give an advice to your 10-year old self, what would it be?

10-year old me was a book nerd, so I’d definitely tell her to keep doing that. But I’d also tell her to get outside more and play more with her friends, so that she doesn’t lose touch with other people and doesn’t get bullied for being such a geek.

6. I actually love the names of your characters; Dom, Durdil, Crys, Rillirin, Mace, Tara, Galtas, Rivil, Janis, etc. Are those made up or are they inspired by people in real-life? How did you pick the names of your characters?

For me, characters always arrive in my head before the plot does. So someone will walk up and tap me on the shoulder (in my head) and introduce themselves. I’ll get a sense of their appearance and main character traits, and then I’ll start thinking up random collections of letters – there are a lot of names in Godblind that contain the letters R and L, because I like the way they sound and the way your mouth moves when you say them. None of the names were inspired by real people, though I realised afterwards that Janis is spelt the same way as Janis Joplin, which is pretty cool.

7. Describe the next installment in ten words!

If you thought things were bad before, you were wrong!

8. What made you decide to write your book in multiple perspectives? Is there a challenge on writing it in multiple POVs? 

I don’t recall there being a conscious decision to write it in multiple POV – it was more a case of there were so many characters and all of them had unique ideas and voices and actions, that I couldn’t just pick one of them and write the story from their perspective. Who would I pick, anyway? Rillirin? Dom? Corvus? Durdil? They’re scattered across two countries and I very definitely wanted at least one POV in each place/camp so we could see what was happening there. Then it just grew and grew!
There is a challenge to writing that many POVs – the first is how your audience will respond to it. Many reviews have indicated they struggled with the number of POVs to begin with, and some have said they thought there were too many. The other big challenge is making sure every character has their own voice, their own way of speaking and looking at the world. Because we’re following things through their eyes, each of them has to be as individual as each of us.
9. There are quite a few sensitive themes that were mentioned in your book such as sexual violence, misogyny, homosexuality, and racial discrimination. If there are harsh criticisms towards your book or to you in person, how do you handle them?

Some people haven’t liked some of the content, and I absolutely understand that. There are some nasty things in there. I try to understand that some people may be upset by some of the events and of course I wouldn’t want to offend anyone. People who don’t like it because they hated the plot or found the characters boring … well, that’s a little harder to understand! But reading is a very subjective thing – if I hate a book someone else loves, then I can’t expect that no one will have that same reaction to mine. Mostly, I just try and avoid the bad reviews!10. Lastly, What was your favorite quote or phrase from your book and why is it

10. Lastly, What was your favorite quote or phrase from your book and why is it stand out from the others?

Another tough question! I think the one I always come back, that really sums up the character in question, is a little exchange between Crys and Durdil at their first meeting. Durdil tells Crys that right and wrong is for his superiors to decide. Crys replies that right and wrong is for every man to decide. I like that he recognises that although he is a soldier and has to take orders, he can still decide for himself whether those orders are correct.

Check out my book review of Godblind, here.


3868039Anna Stephens is a UK-based author of gritty epic fantasy. Her debut novel, Godblind, is published through Harper Voyager in June 2017, with the sequels coming in 2018 and 2019.

They say blood begets blood. In the country of Rilpor, if you spill enough of it, blood begets gods.

Anna has a BA (Hons) in Literature from the Open University and has wanted to be a writer for as long as she can remember. She much prefers the worlds she makes up to the real thing, even if most of her characters meet sticky ends.

Anna lives with her husband, a huge book, music and movie collection, and no pets. She intends to remedy this lack of furry friends as soon as fame and fortune strike.

You can help her realise her twin dreams of being an author and a proud dog-walker by buying her book. Thanks.

Interview with Lisa Maxwell!

Hi, Lisa! Thank you so much for agreeing on my Author Interview! I’m honored to do so and have these questions answered.

  1. How did you come up with the concept of the magic system in The Last Magician? I kind of hard to believe how well you execute parts of the magic. It was overwhelming and I want to know more.

It all started with the idea of a thief who could see in bullet time. From there, I started to build out—why she could manipulate time like that, how it works. I came up with the idea that magic is in the spaces between things, because I wanted the magic in the book to mirror scientific fact. There is a lot about how science and logic has replaced or killed off the old magic in TLM, and I wanted to make sure that the magic could work or be explained by science. I also wanted magic to be rooted in place. Magic is like a talent, but it’s also part of cultural memory for the Mageus. The way it grows and takes root varies from place to place and culture to culture. So there might be lots of Mageus that can bend light like Jianyu can, but coming from China and his specific part of the world, he learned and honed his skills in ways that are different from others like him.

I will say, though, there is a lot that’s not in the first book, because the Mageus don’t necessarily know everything about how their affinities work. They have stories passed down, but the truth of their magic is something that will be revealed more in the next book.

  1. If you are going to date someone, fictional or not, dead or alive, who would it be and why? What are the things that you are going to do on your date?

I think my husband would not be happy if I dated anyone but him…but assuming he was out of the picture, I’d probably date Dolph. And then we’d probably just sit there talking about how much we loved and admired our respective partners. We’d eat at an amazing restaurant and talk about books and how to resist.

  1. I read in one blog that Dolph Saunders name is based on a real person and also a con man, my question is, how did you find the name of your characters like Esta’s, or Harte’s or Viola’s.

Esta’s name came from a feisty older woman who goes to my church. I heard it and liked it, and then I met her and loved it. Harte’s is from Hart Crane, an American poet who wrote “The Bridge” (about the Brooklyn Bridge). He was friends with one of my favorite historical figures—Caresse Crosby—in the 1920s in Paris, and I love weaving in little Easter Eggs that amuse me from my past life as an academic. And Viola’s name was one I wanted to use in an earlier book. I wanted to have a character named Violet, because I like the name, but I kept typing in Violent, so I gave up. When I decided my assassin would be a woman, Violent/Viola just seemed perfect.

  1. If you have the easiest character to write, can you name the character of yours that you have a hard time writing?

Dolph was the easiest. He was the clearest to me, even though he is a very murky and gray character. Strangely enough, Jack was the hardest. I knew exactly how awful I wanted him to be, I knew I wanted him to be like fragile masculinity personified, but being able to pull that off without making him cartoonish, and therefore ridiculous, was really hard.

  1. Your book is in third-person point of view, what made you decide to write it in 3rd person?

Originally, it was going to be in dual first-person pov, but there was too much story for that. I needed the perspectives of the other characters, but jumping from 5-6 first-person narrators would have been really hard for a reader to follow. The third person lets the narrative itself seem consistent, and then I get to focalize through the various characters. I can tell more of the story (because it’s so much bigger than just Harte & Esta), but I can do it without the confusion of who is talking when.

  1. Aside from the research that you have done, what is the most challenging when you were writing The Last Magician?

Time travel inconsistencies. I knew what I wanted the twist to be, and where I wanted to be at the end of the story, but making sure I didn’t have inconsistencies in the time travel…ugh. Both me and my editor had headaches from that one.

  1. If you are going to give an advice to your 10-year old self, what advice would you give to her?

Don’t worry so much about what other people think.

  1. Time Travel and Fantasy is one of the things that stand out so much in The Last Magician, how did you come up incorporating time and magic all at once. And also, with that kind of twist! [I’m pertaining to Esta’s lineage.]

Once I realized the story was going to be in 1900s NYC, I had a problem: my main character didn’t really belong there. I had Esta first, and I wanted her to be this confident, badass heroine that didn’t take any sh*t from anyone…but trying to imagine that character growing up on the streets or at the turn of the century? I’m sure there have always been women like that throughout history, but Esta couldn’t realistically be the person I wanted and needed her to be if she had been born in 1894. Time travel seemed like the best solution, but I needed the time travel to be more than just a plot device. It needed to be necessary. Hence, the twist at the end.

  1. How does it feel to be an author at this moment? Is being an author a dream come true to you?

I never dreamed of being an author when I was younger. I just assumed I’d never be good enough. So, yes and no. Yes. It’s a total dream that people actually wanted to publish and then read my books, but since I’ve always approached it as work—a job—I try to keep myself grounded with the writing.

  1. Are there any future plans to The Last Magician or at least to the sequel of the book? How many installments would there be?

It is planned as a dualogy. But this is a great big story and a huge world, so I wouldn’t be opposed to writing more in this world.

  1. Random Question! Top 5 favorite foods!

Chocolate, pasta, bread, coffee, popcorn

  1. Describe The Last Magician in ten words!

Gangs of NY with Magic. Newsies meets Six of Crows.

  1. What books that inspire you and made you as a reader and a writer today?

How much time do you have? Seriously. I have a PhD in Literature, so there are wayyyy toooo many to name. I think it’s easier for me to talk about what I don’t like. But I love Toni Morrison, Fitzgerald, Faulkner, Tim O’Brien, Diana Gabaldon, Nora Roberts, Deborah Harkness, JK Rowling… I like a lot of stuff.

  1. If you are going to give a lesson to the whole world, what lesson would you impart to them?

I think the whole treating other people as you would want to be treated would cover most things, don’t you?

  1. What is your favorite quote in The Last Magician and why is it your favorite?

“You only think I have.”

Doesn’t sound like much, right? But people who have read the book will understand that line. It came to me in a flash and delighted me so much when I wrote it. I still love it.

Also read my book review of The Last Magician, here.


7246482Lisa Maxwell is the New York Times Best-Selling author of THE LAST MAGICIAN. Also of UNHOOKED, SWEET UNREST, and GATHERING DEEP. When she’s not writing books, she teaches English at a local college. She lives near DC with her very patient husband and two not-so patient boys.

Mini Review: Dystopia and Derelict Dreams by Arvyn Cerézo


It was beautifully crafted into a masterpiece. Each and every one of the poems. I like the tone or the voice that has been implied in the poetries. I like how you play those words. The illustrations are good! I like them. And the words that you have been using. It was so painful and emotional. Personal and transparent. I could see you on those poems but I could not see the YOU. There’s a fine line of what you want to give. And every last line, it keeps me wanting more of it. I just keep on reading.

If Part I is painful, expect Part II would be excruciating and deep. It feels like this is my kind of pain that I could relate to. Fragile and Broken.

I’m looking forward to the full poetry book.


ArvynArvyn Cerézo is a freelance copy editor, proofreader, and digital publisher based in the Philippines. He has a degree in English, and currently works as an editor at Anvil Publishing, Inc.

He has published Anvil’s backlist and frontlist to their digital formats on various distribution channels. Now, he’s publishing his own.

You can find him at @ArvynCerezo on Twitter and Instagram.

PH Blog Tour: Warcross by Marie Lu

Banner Warcross Blog Tour

I would like to thank Penguin Random House for giving me the opportunity to host the PH Blog Tour for Warcross. I loved Marie Lu’s Legend Trilogy and I’m eager to share to the world what Marie Lu has to offer with her upcoming book.

WarcrossFrom #1 New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu—when a game called Warcross takes the world by storm, one girl hacks her way into its dangerous depths.

For the millions who log in every day, Warcross isn’t just a game—it’s a way of life. The obsession started ten years ago and its fan base now spans the globe, some eager to escape from reality and others hoping to make a profit. Struggling to make ends meet, teenage hacker Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter, tracking down players who bet on the game illegally. But the bounty hunting world is a competitive one, and survival has not been easy. Needing to make some quick cash, Emika takes a risk and hacks into the opening game of the international Warcross Championships—only to accidentally glitch herself into the action and become an overnight sensation.

Convinced she’s going to be arrested, Emika is shocked when instead she gets a call from the game’s creator, the elusive young billionaire Hideo Tanaka, with an irresistible offer. He needs a spy on the inside of this year’s tournament in order to uncover a security problem . . . and he wants Emika for the job. With no time to lose, Emika’s whisked off to Tokyo and thrust into a world of fame and fortune that she’s only dreamed of. But soon her investigation uncovers a sinister plot, with major consequences for the entire Warcross empire.

In this sci-fi thriller, #1 New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu conjures an immersive, exhilarating world where choosing who to trust may be the biggest gamble of all.

Title: Warcross by Marie Lu

Publication Date: September 12, 2017 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

Genre: Young Adult and Science-Fiction


The tour will run from September 12, 2017 to September 15, 2017 with three (3) or (4) bloggers each day and will be given three (3) days to read the book and then one (1) day to pass it to the next blogger. There will be multiple copies of the book that will be passed on this tour. The book blogger must be willing to shoulder the shipping expenses to the next blogger and able to put a link to the rafflecopter giveaway on their blog post. This blog tour sign up is for Philippine Book Bloggers only. Tour sign up will end on August 31, 2017.

For interested parties, SIGN UP HERE.


4342215I write young adult novels, and have a special love for dystopian books. Ironically, I was born in 1984. Before becoming a full-time writer, I was an Art Director at a video game company. Now I shuffle around at home and talk to myself a lot. 

I graduated from the University of Southern California in ’06 and currently live in LA, where I spend my time stuck on the freeways.