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Archive for the ‘Hardbound’ Category

Hi Guys!

You can have the chance to win a signed copy of my book, Amazed, by entering in my Book Giveaway in Goodreads. Amazed is a collection of inspirational essays and short stories on the wonderful facets of life.

https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/92075?utm_medium=api&utm_source=giveaway_widget

Closing of entries is on August 3, 2014.

Join now!

 

About the book

Life is nothing as it seems.

And yet its simple but profound wonders are the core that makes human existence all worth it.

In this candid collection of essays and short stories, the girl with the infinite pursuit brings to light her insightful, heart-tugging, and seemingly ordinary moments in the chase to unravel the exquisite marvel that is our lives.

Published by: Isshin Dream Publishing
Photo by: EdCel Photography | Maricel and Ed Dijamco
Cover design by: Joanne Crisner V. Alcayaga
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18761381-amazed?from_search=true

Amazed by Joanne Crisner V. Alcayaga

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“Bend your knees more.”

A voice from behind me echoed throughout the covered court. I thought I was the last person out here; after all, it was past seven in the evening already. The court was usually empty around this time. I decided to push myself a little further by staying behind to practice my freethrows and jump shots. After our epic semi-finals victory last Tuesday, our school’s women’s basketball team can define history by winning the championship this coming Saturday after waiting for 47 years in the sidelines. It had truly been a much anticipated event after this long and quite embarrassing draught. We had to make sure that we will bring honor to the school this time, and pride as well for the team. I had to make sure of that. Shannen Dela Vega, you better bring home the bacon or else I don’t know what I’ll do to you.

I turned around to see whose voice it was, though I already had a pretty close guess. His voice seemed to be everywhere. “You think I don’t know that? I’m just resting.”

“Of course you do, you’re the captain, right?” Tristan Marquez, my equal from the men’s basketball team teased, as always. I can’t pin-point what it was, but every time he was around, my buttons get pushed. My temper just flares up. Or maybe I know the exact reason why. I just didn’t want to acknowledge it.

For three consecutive years, Tristan Marquez has brought the highest glory to our school more than anyone we knew by winning championships year in and year out with his innate talent. The crowd goes wild for the guy and the Men’s Wolves. The girls go gaga over the so-called hunk of the town. Our school newspaper always reserves the headlines for them. The school will do anything and everything to fund whatever they need or at times want. While, we, the Lady Wolves were treated like the scums of the school, just scraping off the left-overs. I know, it’s a bit exaggerated but that’s just the reality of what I feel. Well that is, until last Tuesday. The day they finally noticed us.

“Yeah, I am the captain. But all hail the King of the Court!” I had to retaliate somehow.

“Why do you keep on doing that?” he asked, with a tone of exasperation. He walked closer and picked up a ball, dribbled and a whole in one from the three-point line.

“Keep doing what?” I distanced myself. Yes, I didn’t like the guy that much for all the fame and favors he received, but still, I didn’t want him to smell me. I stink after hours of practicing.

“You make it seem like I’m always the bad guy here. I didn’t do anything to you or your team. I didn’t ask the principal to give us that budget. Why are you blaming that on me?” he kept on shooting without breaking a sweat.

“Who says I blame it on you? I never said it was your fault.” That was sort of true. I try not to voice out my opinions directly at him because it would just turn into a whole debacle, and the tricky word there is “try.” But more than that, I really can’t blame the guy for playing so well.

“You didn’t have to.”

I stopped short from shooting and just looked at him from across the court. There was a certain look in his eyes, seemingly questioning, genuinely wondering what he did wrong. Why we ended up being quite the rivals.

Then, he slowly walked away, giving the court all to myself.

“Hey!” I called. “Why did you come here again?” I asked before he could close the doors on me.

“I wanted to wish you good luck this Saturday.” He said with a lopsided smile.

*****

To read the rest of the story, go to http://www.wattpad.com/50797362-the-player-and-the-pretty-dress.

My first venture into Yong Adult Fiction and Wattpad! 🙂

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The Light

Did you find it?

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Finding Light in “Brightest”

It’s not so often you get the chance to write a book, especially a book you love. So when luck introduced me to an emerging and homegrown publishing house, I couldn’t believe how chances can sometimes turn a dream into a real one.

Brightest, in truth, is a work of art by Johann De Venecia. I haven’t met him in person yet nor talked to him (as he is based in the U.S.). But even without the usual introductions, the beauty and depth of his art still resonated within me, which I’m fairly sure would be the same to everyone who reads this book. The story book, while captivating the visual senses of anyone especially the young, could just as easily be meant for adults who would soon find themselves relating to the meaning behind its wonderful images.

When Isshin Dream asked me to put the text along with the illustrations, I couldn’t really say no, since it is not too often that writers especially in the Philippines get to have the opportunity to be published, and to write about something so dear, so meaningful in their personal lives.

I feel truly privileged to have co-authored this book that I know will remain a classic for kids and their future families. Seeing my name on the front cover, in a book whose story cannot come any closer to the life I’ve lived, to the struggles I’ve gone through..well, it means everything. As the book narrates about a lost firefly trying to find his way, I pray that each one of you reading it, will be showered with enough inspiration, enough hope in your heart, than in this confusing and crazy life, you just have to believe that the effervescent light that you have been seeking for so long will eventually come to show you the way. And that in every lost road or cause or being, there is a purpose, a plan, and a person that could help to make you understand and realize who or where you are meant to be.

For you who, like me, have been lost at one time or another in this devastating yet incredible life, this book is our story. It is my wish that you never lose faith for a better and brighter life, and that you may also inspire others to find their own light.

Heart filled with hope,

Joanne Crisner

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Betting on Crusie

Too many similarities.

I will never be thin. (Not that I am really fat, at least I don’t think I am)

I like plain vanilla.

My mother always nags me to fix myself up so people will notice me.

Hmm, Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie was such a fun, silly, sexy ride all rolled into a contemporary romance. I have been enjoying some chick lit for a while now since I realize how fun and easy they all were. Well, compared to those intense books about loss, sadness and the like.

I discovered Crusie in Booksale when an old friend of mine just picked out the book and bought it for me. That book was entitled Faking It and at first I didn’t really get it. I mean, I was all confused with the names of the characters and the style of writing was quite new to me. It was fast, snappy, and witty. And the love story which was essential to all of her books had that tingling factor for two people trying to survive true love.

And so I became a fan. I found that a lot of people also liked her books and thought that Bet Me was the best one out there. So in one of those days when I felt like buying a book, I had this strong tug from somewhere in my bones to go to Booksale again. I had this anticipating feeling brimming in my heart that was about to get excited for a surprise ahead. I had a feeling that that day I would find some real treasure in those pile of bargain books. And I almost jumped from joy, when suddenly my eyes landed on the book I was pining for, Bet Me was in the shelf. And almost brand new as well! I couldn’t believe my luck. It was so hard to find the book you wanted in there and in pristine condition too.

And so, I finished Bet me in just a week because it was so fun, so easy to read, well despite that confusing characters who-said-what-game I always encounter when reading Crusie. Min Dobbs was like the average woman who wasn’t slender but smart enough to be her own woman. We had some alarming similarities and I could totally relate. Cal, the guy, was this perfect looking man, so slick, so handsome that he could sweep any woman off her feet with just a look.

It felt nice how someone who seemed perfect in the eyes of others had started to fall in love with a girl like Min. And who wouldn’t? She was funny, witty, sexy, and strong. I liked their friends as well who had their own views about love and life. Some were truly hopeful for a fairy tale, some were cynical, while some were smart when they cared (Tony!).

I remember one line from it, when Min said “I believe in love. But I don’t believe in fairy tales.” And I liked that this was true for me too. That was easier and more realistic since we are living in the real world. Maybe love with the hurt and all were part of the fairy tale because bottom line, you had love and that should be enough to make you happy.

I just wished that it had more of those heart-melting things why he started to develop loving her. I mean, I appreciate all the libido fun, I just wished it had more magical moments that could have made me cry. Haha, yeah I know I do cry when the guy realizes how much in love he was. Sappy but true hehe.

All in all, I look forward to another book by Crusie. I’m gonna bet it’s gonna make me smile, chuckle and melt all at the same time. Again.

P.S. Does anyone know if Crusie is a fan of John Cusack, I keep reading his movies in her books. 🙂

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Eat-ing, Pray-ing, Love-ing

I know I know, it took me a while to finish this book. Not because it was tedious or boring to read, I was just a little pre-occupied with other things recently. But finally, I’m done with this precious book!

I’d have to say that prior to reading it, I felt quite obligated to like the Italy part more than the other two. For those who know me, they’d immediately presume this would be my favorite part. And it was a lovely chapter indeed. 😀 If only I could have the luxury to pursue the art of doing nothing, then everything will be as pleasurable as well hehe. The food, tha language, the arts, all of it echoes the rich culture of this country. I’ve got to say, I have a number of similarities with Liz, quite scary hehe. One of the things I loved here was the comment when people ask why we study the Italian Language, and the answer was, can’t we study Italian for the fun of it? For art’s sake or because we thought it was beautiful?

The thing that surprised me the most in this book was that I loved the India chapter as well, if not more. It’s probably because in this chapter, Liz had to meditate so much, pray so much, and get to know herself fully that I enjoyed her stay here as well as Richard’s blunt & sarcastic wisdom in the ashram. This is where she learned to let go of all the heartaches, the shame, the guilt, and the fear for everything she had gone through in her life. My favorite line has got to be, “With all your heart, ask for grace, and let go.”

I have to say, I had the longest time reading her ventures in Bali, not that it wasn’t enjoyable, after all, she finally gained her balance in this chapter. Her time in Indonesia proved to be the point where she came full circle. This is where she learned to love again, be loved passionately by a Brazilian man,  enjoyed the teachings of a small Bali healer, helped give a house to a new friend, and revel in the sights and greenery of this archipelago. She is now ready to cross-over, “Attraversiamo.”

So many meaningful insights from this book, I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I did. 🙂

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Demystifying The Seven

One of the best things about reading a book is the fact that it keeps you longing, questioning, and continuously intrigued with the storyline to sustain your interest until the very last page of the final book. The Seven conjures up its own captivating world that fuses reality into the beauty of the mystical realm with a plot that will make readers wonder, imagine, and inherently hooked until the end has been revealed.

The book targeted for young adults explores on the fantasy that I’m sure everyone of us has thought about when we were kids. Filled with catchy names, unusual creatures and vivid settings, the book plays on the imagination of every reader no matter the age since in essence, everyone could relate to the characters and message of the story. With the endearing charm of Harry Potter, the unique world in Lois Lowry’s books, and the fierceness of the Lord of the Rings, The Seven tells the story of how goodness has and will always be tempted to fail upon the adversities of evil.

As protagonists are four young girls, the Favored Ones, chosen to defend humanity from Helle. Each of these four fearless characters carries a remarkable strength and identifiable quality that reaches out to every young girl or even boy out there.

Key of Credence marks the initial adventure of these girls into the fight between good and evil. Along the way, they are able to learn more about the worlds they live in, the resiliency of faith, and the huge responsibility they each have to take in their continuing discoveries.

As I turned the last page of the book, I can’t help but wonder how the next journey will take place or what aspects will be revealed that will connect the dots in my mind. I look forward to more adventures and also to a great story-teller whose beautifully chosen words have created an enchanting realm for the young and young-at-heart.

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