Sunday, June 12, 2016

#HeistClub: The Launch

Let’s write Crime! Filipino writers were challenged to write tales of dark pathways and mysterious psyches, misdemeanor and trouble, dread and doubt.  
#HeistClub was an online workshop facilitated by Mina V. Esguerra in the last quarter of 2015. The class was organized by Bronze Age Media and sponsored by Buqo and Enderun’s The Study.  
Each crime story had to be set in the Philippines, and it had to be written in English.  Each story should pave the way for a series, so it should be Case #1, with the next cases in the works for subsequent release. A foreign language needed to be incorporated into the story,  with our sponsor,  Enderun providing the writers free translation services.
The following mentors gave invaluable tips and lessons to the writers during the course of the workshop: Jennifer Hillier, F.H. Batacan, R.J. Taduran, Kevin Uy, Juliet Grames, and Andrea Pasion-Flores.
In the end, sixteen crime stories were produced.  They were released in three ebook bundles on the Buqo application early this year. The bundle names are: What We Fear, Why We Run, and What We Hide.
#HeistClub: Why We Run
·         Bayawak’s Trail by Justine Camacho-Tajonera
·         The Fraud Hunter Book 1: Chasing an ATM Schemer by Racquel Sarah A. Castro
·         The Retreat by Yeyet Soriano
·         Come With Me by Michael Recto
·         Inertia by Sette Luis
#HeistClub: What We Fear
·        Till Death Do Us Apart by Irene Recio 
·         Soul Makers by Jee Ann Guibone
·         Classified by Georgette S. Gonzales
·         High Stakes by Ana Valenzuela 
·         Dressed to Kill by Cassandra Javier
#HeistClub: What We Hide
·         Snakehead by Bianca Mori
·         Sampaguita by Mark Manalang
·         Let’s Play Murder by Farrah F. Polestico
·         Corpus Delicti by Porcupine Strongwill
·         The Flame Squad: Sly Prince by Jessica E. Larsen
·         The Gung Ho Lady by Arlene Manocot


On June 25, 2016, at 6:00 to 9:00 PM at Enderun’s The Study, located at 4th Floor, Podium, Ortigas Center, the sixteen stories will be officially launched to the public.  From the time they were released in their ebook bundles, some of the authors have refined, updated and enhanced their respective stories for release as stand-alone novels/novellas in multiple platforms: Buqo, Kindle, Smashwords, and print.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Maybe This Time: Stories of Love and Second Chances by C. P. Santi

Stories of Love and Second Chances by C. P. Santi

Title:                Maybe This Time: Stories of Love and Second Chances
Author:           C. P. Santi
Genre:             Contemporary romance / Short stories
Length:           16,000 words (3 stories of approximately 5k+ words each)

An accidental reunion . . . a sneaky plot . . . things finally falling into place.

Maybe This Time contains three heart-warming stories of love and second chances. Because when fate gives you a break, you grab the chance to finally make things right.

In Sweeter by the Second, when paintings conservator Rina David arrives for the Arts Festival in the heritage town of Jimenez, she’s reunited with Tony, the guy she once loved and lost. Now vice-mayor of Jimenez, Tony wants Rina back in his life and will do everything he can to convince her that they belong together.

Pamela Quiroz hatches a plot to get her parents back together in Exorcising my Ex. But will a romantic Valentine’s Day dinner succeed in reconciling Geno and Viv? After all, it’s been more than fifteen years since they first got together and they aren’t the hormone-driven teenagers they once were. Will wine and cheese balls still do the trick?

Torch, meet hand. Arne Weichmann has been waiting twenty-one years for Bea. Is it finally the right time to make his move and convince her that they are Meant to Be? He hopes so. Because he doesn't think he’ll survive losing the one person who brought warmth and sunshine to his life.



 Sweeter by the Second

“I like seeing you in my bed.”

I frowned at the man who stood by the foot of the bed, a smug look on his face. “You like seeing me bedridden?”

Tony laughed and sat down. “Oh, Rin. I’ve forgotten how literal you are.” Shaking his head, he traced the bedcover’s crochet patterns with a finger. “No, I mean I like seeing you here . . . in my house, in my room. Not bad after what—ten years?”

I smirked. “Talk about delayed wish fulfillment.”

“Well, you’re here now.” Tony looked me straight in the eyes and smiled.

At that moment, I swear I felt weak at the knees.

Er . . . not entirely true. I’ve been feeling rather weak for the past three days—the effect of a bad case of food poisoning (damned roadside shawarma craving).

Ignoring the way my heart hitched in my chest, I rolled my eyes at him. “I knew it. This was all a plot to get me here.”

Tony chuckled. “Nu-uh, this is all on you, Miss Piggy . . . wandering off by yourself . . .”

“I wasn't alone. Mimi was with me.” I was defensive. I’d just wanted a few hours by myself—to cope with Tony’s sudden reappearance in my life.

“Refusing my offer to drive you . . .”

“You had work!” I protested.

“And eating street food when a perfectly good dinner was waiting for you here.”

“I’m paying for my sins now. Happy?” Believe me, visiting the toilet every few minutes was torture.

“Tonying, stop pestering Rina.” Manang Dalma, Tony’s housekeeper came in the room and put a tray of steaming lugaw on the bedside table. “Here hija, see if you can keep this down.” She helped me sit up and handed me the bowl and a spoon. Frowning, she shooed Tony off, “Go and eat or your breakfast will get cold.”

Opo.” Tony saluted her before he turned to leave. “Take good care of my girl, Manang.”

Laughing, he ducked to escape the balled-up napkin I threw at him.

    Exorcising my Ex

I glanced at my watch just to make sure—my efficient, punctual daughter was officially ten minutes late. Smirking, I thought of all the mileage I’d get from teasing her about it. Pam got riled almost as easily as her mother did.

Just as if I had conjured her from thin air, a tall brunette appeared in the doorway. Her long hair was perfectly styled, and her sleeveless shift fit lovingly over her trim curves. Large eyes, framed by the longest eyelashes I’d ever seen, slowly scanned the room. The moment they met mine, they flared in surprise before narrowing.

I rose to greet her. “Viv. This is a surprise.” I bussed her cheek, lingering a moment longer than necessary.

She drew back, but not before I heard her sharp intake of breath. Glancing around, she asked, “Where’s Pam?”

“On her way, I suppose.” I helped her into a seat. “Didn't know you’d be here today, Viv.”

“I didn't know you’d be here either.”

“Hmm. I wonder if—” I broke off as both our phones vibrated.

Sure enough, it was a lengthy message from Pam:

sPam: Hi, Mom and Dad!

Yes, I’m with Tita Joy and I’ll be sleeping over at their place with her and Kesha tonight.

Yes, this is a setup. Happy anniversary! :-) Yeah, I know you never married, but when you were together, this was your anniversary (it was in mom’s scrapbook). This was also probably the day I was conceived fourteen years ago, so Happy Conception Day to me, too *\(ˆoˆ)⁄*

Anyway, I just thought that now Mom is back in town again it would be nice if you could catch up with each other.

I already paid for dinner. This took quite a chunk out of my med school nest egg, so you guys better sit and enjoy it.

I love you both!

P.S. I really, really don’t want to be grounded forever. I love you!

I shook my head. My girl was devious. Just like her Dad.

       Meant to Be

“So, why did you call me over?”
Tina jerked a thumb at Bea. “You free next weekend? Bea needs you to attend a wedding with her in Tagaytay. That ass Carlo will be there.”
Bea flinched at the sound of her ex’s name. They’d broken up over four months ago, but everything still seemed so raw. She turned to Arne. “You don’t have to . . .”
“Want me to beat him up for you?” Arne’s eyes weren’t smiling anymore. “Just say the word.”
Bea shook her head. “No violence necessary.” She managed a weak smile. “Though I could use a friend by my side.”
“Then you’ve got me.” Arne held her gaze.
Suddenly, Bea felt her heart skip a beat. Unable to look away, she felt trapped by the intensity of Arne’s gaze.
Despite what her sister thought, Bea had certainly gotten the memo. Arne was gorgeous . . . and out of her league. She’d firmly buried all her girlish fantasies about him ages ago.
Or had she?
The moment was broken when Tina groaned. “Toilet break, excuse me.” Arne stood up and helped her to her feet. She shooed him away. “No, no, sit back down, I’m fine. Stay and talk. I’ll be back in a bit.”
Preoccupied with watching Tina waddle away, Bea was surprised when Arne spoke.
“You didn’t tell me.” Arne had moved closer. Hands clasped, he leaned forward. His elbows rested on his knees and his eyes were intent on hers.
Bea’s smile was sad. “There was very little to tell. We broke up, end of story.”
“You guys were together for a long time.”
“We were.”
“What happened?”
Bea sighed. Apparently she wasn't getting out of this inquisition. “He met someone else.” Her laugh was hollow and without mirth. “I mean, we meet people all the time, right? But he said . . . he said it was different.”
Arne’s hands clenched. “Now I really want to beat him up.”
Bea shook her head. “Don’t bother. Maybe it’s better this way.”
But, still.
She’d wasted almost ten years on Carlo. Huh. That was a huge chunk of her life.
They’d been happy together . . . or at least she thought they’d been. But Carlo kept putting their wedding off. It had been almost three years since he’d asked.
A sigh escaped Bea’s lips. Sometimes she wondered if she should have done something . . . tried harder.
“Don’t blame yourself.”
Surprised, she looked into Arne’s eyes. He’d reached out and covered her fidgeting hand with one of his. He squeezed, as if he was trying to infuse her with his warmth.
“He was an idiot to let you go, Bea. You’re better off without him.”
Over the last few months, she’d heard variations of those same words from family and friends. But now, with Arne looking earnestly at her, she could almost believe it.

About C. P. Santi:

C. P. Santi is a Filipina author based in Tokyo, Japan. She is a wife to an engineer / indie songwriter and a full-time mom to two energetic boys. She loves cooking and baking, and enjoys feeding people, gorging on chocolate, watching J-doramas, belting it out in the karaoke box, and running around the house playing tickle tag. She also loves dreaming up stories about the people she meets.
In another life, she is also an architect and academic.

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