Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Legacy (Andalucian Nights Trilogy FINAL Installment) Release Party + Giveaway! (Closed)

Whew, it's been just a few months ago when Masquerade (#2) was published and now we're down to the final installment of the Andalucian Nights Trilogy. If you can recall, Hannah Fielding, the author of this trilogy, guest posted in this blog talking about how she devised this work.

And now we're finally here: 

Legacy by Hannah Fielding
Legacy, the third and final installment of the series, is set to be published this month. So, in honor of this special event, Hannah is having a release party around the blogosphere through out August
A troubled young journalist finds her loyalties tested when love and desire unearth dark secrets from the past.Spring, 2010. When Luna Ward, a science journalist from New York, travels halfway across the world to work undercover at an alternative health clinic in Cadiz, her ordered life is thrown into turmoil.
The doctor she is to investigate, the controversial Rodrigo Rueda de Calderon, is not what she expected. With his wild gypsy looks and devilish sense of humour, he is intent upon drawing her to him. But how can she surrender to a passion that threatens all reason; and how could he ever learn to trust her when he discovers her true identity? Then Luna finds that Ruy is carrying a corrosive secret of his own…Luna’s native Spanish blood begins to fire in this land of exotic legends, flamboyant gypsies and seductive flamenco guitars, as dazzling Cadiz weaves its own magic on her heart. Can Luna and Ruy’s love survive their families’ legacy of feuding and tragedy, and rise like the phoenix from the ashes of the past?
Legacy is a story of truth, dreams and desire. But in a world of secrets you need to be careful what you wish for…
Aaaaaand, to top it all off, she'll be giving away a Karl Lagerfield "Choupette on the Beach" bag! This bag is worth around £155/$225, I think (converted to Peso, that is around 9,000+ converted from British pounds! woah! O.O) +  it looks cute AND cool.

Am I right? :D

Wanna join? It's easy. It's open to all via Rafflecopter!

If you want, you can also go to Hannah's blog for the giveaway. Just CLICK HERE.

This giveaway runs from August 1 to August 21, so hurry up and enter! It's very easy. :3

The book itself is currently available in ebook format, and for preorder in paperback by the end of August. 

Purchase Links:

Author Bio
Hannah Fielding is an incurable romantic. The seeds for her writing career were sown in early childhood, spent in Egypt, when she came to an agreement with her governess Zula: for each fairy story Zula told, Hannah would invent and relate one of her own. Years later – following a degree in French literature, several years of travelling in Europe, falling in love with an Englishman, the arrival of two beautiful children and a career in property development – Hannah decided after so many years of yearning to write that the time was now. Today, she lives the dream: writing full time at her homes in Kent, England, and the South of France, where she dreams up romances overlooking breath-taking views of the Mediterranean. 

Hannah is a multi-award-winning novelist, and to date she has published five novels: Burning Embers, ‘romance like Hollywood used to make’, set in Kenya; The Echoes of Love, ‘an epic love story that is beautifully told’ set in Italy; and the Andalusian Nights Trilogy – Indiscretion, Masquerade and Legacy – her fieriest novels yet, set in sunny, sultry Spain

Social links

Saturday, August 6, 2016

A Very Sudden Bookwormism Update (after a looong time)

Okay. So apparently, the last time I did an update on my reading challenge was last year.  Last. Freakin'. Year. O.O And it wasn't even intended to be that. Plus, I committed a high crime last year, namely: not posting a wrap up for 2015. Honestly, it's a bummer that I haven't been able to write these things. But that's life for you: sometimes things are too much you can't do anything about them -- except maybe, move on. So move on I did. At least I am still trying to keep this blog alive. :)

So, why now then? Even I don't know. Maybe I just thought I'd put things into perspective for once by checking how far I've come versus where I should be. I've been doing this for 6 years now. (Yeah, even I am surprised.) And with 2016 being the 6th year, I've finished 4 out of 5 of those challenges. Looking back, 2012 was definitely my most productive year -- both in # of books and # of pages read. Because of the wave of chaos brought about by work and all, sadly, these past years were filled of novellas and short what-nots. I am ashamed to admit that I try to set a lower limit in order to feel some sort of accomplishment every year. But still, we make do. 
Moving on... where are we? Currently down to 80% for this year's challenge, Yep, it's August now (we're 67-ish% done with the year) and I am 2 books shy of completing this challenge. 3 books ahead of schedule! I hope I can still do so much in the remaining months (147 days to be exact, per Goodreads monitoring >.<).

So let's run down things so far, eh?

  • This year proves to be no different as there's still novella presence going on. But, I've read more novellas than any other year this time: Happy Again, Queen Song, Steel Scars, and, just a while ago, I finished Hear the Wind Sing.
  • I've read only 2 full-bodied novels so far: After Dark and Forget-Me-Not. I suck.
  • Can you spy Murakami pieces? I've already got 2 Murakami, After Dark and Hear the Wind Sing, down this year and I AM BEYON ECSTATIC. :D
  • I am very glad to announce that I've introduced comics to my reading routine now. This won't come as surprise, I guess, since I've been known to be a huge sucker for mangas -- but this is the first time I am reading a legit comic book originally written in English. I've started with Neil Gaiman's classic: The Sandman Series. I got the whole series on file so I am updating piece by piece in volumes. I finished Death: The High Cost of Living in a blink! Still planning to make a decent review in the coming days when I get the chance but I can say: it was goooood. A great introduction to the series indeed.


My "currently reading" list at Goodreads is growing but the truth is I've just been able to pick up 1 book (max 2 books) at a time. >.< I'm not really sure but I have this habit of picking up a book and putting it down before I even finish it, then forgetting about it and picking up another one. It sucks. But maybe it stems from my thinking, much like things happening at a perfect time, I am meant to read a certain book at a right time. LOL. I am silly, I know -- but I mostly operate that way so what can I do? :) Nonetheless, some thoughts on why I haven't finished the following (yet):

  • Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard. Mare's inner voice is pissing me off for some reason. Currently, she's not exactly a heroine I am fond of. So I am putting it down until I can think straight and understand.
  • Another Day by David Levithan. Again, inner voice pissing me off. I don't understand since I really, really liked Everyday. But, y'guys, I guess I have my days.
  • A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms by George R.R. Martin. I really want to read this but I am waiting for the right state of mind to go deep into the ASoIaF series. This book deserves more from me.
  • Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom. I initially picked up this book because of a certain event last time when I was desperately searching for someone - something - to understand. And that event was finished (luckily) before I even finish this book. I put it down. And I'm not sure if I'll be able to stomach reliving the feeling. ;(
  • By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept by Paulo Coelho. I loved this book. I loved every minute with this book. I was almost finished with this baby when I lost it. I can't find it for some reason. ;(
  • Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami. I am not one to shy away from reading a Murakami especially when I already have a copy of one. I bought it almost a year ago. Again, I believe I read these books for a reason and with Kafka, it just doesn't fit. I am not meant to read it now. I am not ready.

Sooooo, there you have it folks. An untimely bookwormism update from yours truly. This post became longer than I initially expected but I enjoyed writing this, in all fairness. It's been a while since I did -- and it certainly brings back so many memories (and unwanted emotions, too). 

How about you? How's your reading challenge going? Comment up, and let's talk! :3
Got a Goodreads account? Click here to add me up! :3

Friday, July 22, 2016

Halcyon Days: Celebrate art at Buku Buku Kafe this coming July 23!

The moment I found this quaint little nook called Buku Buku Kafe, I knew I have to come back. Luckily, Buku Buku has been doing a lot of events these days and coming back is so not out of the question. From spoken word and open mic sessions to creative workshops, this cafe has come a long way in being a haven not only for bookworms but for artists as well.

This coming Saturday (July 23), we will be treated again to some magic as Buku Buku Kafe organized Halcyon Days, a day to celebrate art with some music, live art and, of course, some spoken poetry.

This is indeed a nice poster. 

The event features performances from Reese Lansangan (!!!), Hoochie Coochie Mikkie, Kim Allen, Pia Besmonte and Jasmine May Nabong -- and will be held from 4:30 PM to 9:00 PM on July 23 (Saturday). No door charges/tickets are required! But a minimum of order(s) worth 150 pesos is needed to attend the event. I repeat, that 150 pesos is consumable. Not bad, eh? 

So... if you're in for good music/poetry AND good food, OR if you don't have anything planned on Saturday and you just wanna chill... this is the perfect event for you! See you there! :*

Find and connect with Buku Buku Kafe on:

Shameless plugging: You can also connect with ME (while you're at it) on:

Quick fact!
A quick google search of "halcyon" revealed some interesting things:

Sunday, July 17, 2016

On self esteem and having a choice

Being in the middle of the work hustle and the city rush, deep thinking was out of the question. I can't remember the last time I ever truly did it. So when I embarked on a quick escape far south of the country last February, I was prepared to face my demons.

You know what I discovered? Being in an unfamiliar place really does something to a person. And I'm not sure what's with me one faithful day in that trip but I uncharacteristically snapped a picture of me (a selfie that is, which I haven't done in a while) and wrote something and posted it on my social media accounts.

A photo posted by Riza Ponciano (@rzzzp) on

First selfie in a very long while - at least something I am not feeling insecure to post at the moment. It sucks realizing how many hours I spend in a day trying to pick at all of my faults. I think too much, I am over-critical towards myself. I am obsessed at condemning myself for not being perfect and, to be honest, most days I can't even look straight at the mirror because I don't like what I see. But today, I am happy. And I snapped this one in hopes of freezing this moment to remind me that there are better days and I just need to wait for it - or in desperate times, create it myself. Such cliché, I know, and I might even delete this after a time (I hope I won't)... but yeah, here I am actually trying to make an effort to go easy on myself. Baby steps, baby steps. 😊 #cheesybaby

Well, that's me. Pimple scars, awkward smiles, and all. Not my best look, but in one of my best states of mind. It's weird - the way all my imperfections are magnified the moment I caught my reflection in any mirror:
Hair that don't seem to stay in place.
Puffy eyebags from lack of sleep.
Smile that never quite reach the eyes.
"You should give up looking for lost cats and start searching for the other half of the shadow" - Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore
This particular post from @PoemsPorns hit the hardest:
"The hardest person to love has always been yourself. 
You who sips your cup of black coffee every morning, you with the untamed hair and wrinkled sweaters, you with your habit of overthinking, you with your tongue of quirkiness and you with you weird mannerisms and you you you- 
You with the long quiet sighs when you're having a bad day. You with all you imperfections on the tips of your fingers and memorised like the back of your hand. You with insecurities that you at times think as ridiculous and you - you only being human. 
The hardest person to love was always yourself. 
Because in a world of colour and shapes; how could you even imagine fitting yourself in it like a missing piece to a puzzle? In a world of society rules and standards, how could you - you find a place for your imperfections to flow out and for your insecurities to fade into something along the lines of pride? 
You have to love yourself. 
Trace your lines of imperfection with gentle fingertips; breathe in your insecurities like the air of autumn and winds of spring. Be perfect in you own way; whispering how being you was being beautiful and how other people don't matter and how you were always so beautiful beautiful beautiful- 
The hardest person to love was always yourself."

I've struggled with self-esteem issues for years now --
     despite having my wants almost always being served in a platter
     despite the college degree and graduating with honors
     despite having a stable job
     despite having a decent life, family
--  despite everything.

But it's just that. There's nothing wrong with me physically but sometimes, I feel like, inside, I am an absolute mess. I go outside and feel so self conscious it's not even funny. It's like a mark - the way I feel like all the negative things in my head are seeping from my skin and has taken a physical form. The way they always feel so apparent, so concrete.

I may not be able to shake the feeling, at least not immediately -- but one thing that's different right now is that I AM FINALLY TRYING. It took years and years to realize that everything is just all in my head. That my issues are, somehow, self- imposed. That I can break free ONLY IF I want to.

I have the choice. When I let the negative come out, it's my fault. But, if I can be okay for at least a day, that means that my efforts are paying off -- even a little. Realizing I have the choice is still million ways better than accepting the fate to just drown as if you can't do anything about it. Because, in reality, you can.

Somehow, all of these are everything and nothing at the same time. It's like a seed, embedded deep in your brain, that grew so wild so deep that it's hard to get it out without damaging your head. Along the lines, it became a part of me. Almost a significant part of being myself that I cannot even imagine existing without it.

But it shouldn't be, right? It shouldn't.

So all the damage be damned, but I'll struggle to pull this out of my system. Struggling is fine. Struggling is a beauty -- especially if you're doing it to salvage whatever's left of yourself. Saving yourself can always be a choice. I know. Because I've been wanting to choose it over and over but always, always, fail in the process. But I'll succeed somehow - in time. So for the meantime, #HangOn, self!

Sunday, June 26, 2016

#WeekendChronicles: National Museum of the Philippines

And so, the weekly getaway continues. Next stop: the National Museum of the Philippines. It's a bit embarrassing to declare that it was our first time visiting the museum considering the fact that we live so close by... but hey, it's never too late to try. 

Besides, the National Museum extended its free admission throughout June because of the Philippine  Independence Day (June 12) and Dr. Jose Rizal's birth anniversary (June 19)! The free admission covers their flagship museums in Manila: NM of Fine Arts  and NM of Anthropology. It also covers the NM Planetarium, as well as those in the regions: Vigan, Kiangan, Kabayan, Angono-Binangonan Pteroglyphs, Tabaco, Bohol, Butuan and Jolo (Sulu). We visited the National Art Gallery

So if you haven't visited it yet, or you just have some free time to kill, better do it to appreciate the art and beauty of the Philippine history as seen through the NM's exhibits. Luckily, in line with this auspicious month for the Philippines, they also opened the Manlilikha ng Bayan (National Living Treasures) and "Remembering Joya" (which we absolutely loved!) exhibitions this month!

In transit.
We commuted from Cavite. It was a pretty quick commute, 1-2 hours tops.

Arriving at the Museum: It was a typical day, but there were many people, mostly students, because of their promo. I have high expectations for this is the first time I am visiting the site -- and  thinking that this big building houses so much memento of the Philippine history just about blows my mind. It is a really freaky, but amazing thing if you think about it.

Beyond this door lies the Philippines' Treasures!
This post will contain so many pictures, so beware. :D More of this after the jump! 

Saturday, June 18, 2016

#WeekendChronicles: Buku Buku Kafe

T'was a lazy Saturday afternoon and I was planning to convert our little bedroom corner into an office area but then electricity suddenly went off and boom - I've nowhere to go. Good thing I remembered this book cafe relatively near our place that I've been meaning to try since I saw it in blogs. So naturally, I picked up my things, got my sister to accompany me, and the next thing I know, we are positioning ourselves in this cute cafe.

Buku Buku Kafe is a book cafe located at The District Imus. This is such a pretty big deal for me because I've been looking for book cafes in the likes of those in QC and Makati here at Cavite. The thing is, most of the cafes (that serve decent to pretty good coffee) here are so mainstream. I've been craving that indie vibe, that comfy feeling. And now, we have it! Nice, nice. Now, I don't really need to go to Maginhawa or some far off place to experience authentic book cafe #feels.

More of this after the jump!

Saturday, June 4, 2016

#WeekendChronicles: Secret Lives of Books

Finally, an update in eons! Apologies, for blogging seems to take a backseat in my life these past few days. But hey, I'm here to at least water this dried up place. Here goes:

I remember RTing a article regarding this exhibit but for some reason totally forgot about it. But alas, Saturday errands accidentally brought us to this. Chanced upon the last day (look how lucky I was) of Karl Castro's Secret Lives of Books at Ayala Museum. It was a free exhibit, so we checked it out anyway. 

Karl Castro has been working on books for the 12 years now and has been collaborating with different writers in bringing their books to the public eye. It's weird, I realized, the way we give so little applause and interest on the persons behind these designs even if (I'm not sure if I am alone in this) this plays a significant part on the way we enjoy the book or even influence us to buy them in the first place. This exhibit highlights the fact that the book's design is as important as the contents itself -- which I quite agree on for I am a huge cover design judger since forever.  (sorry not sorry) 

Read more after the jump!


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