Blog Tour: Songs of Our Breakup – Guest Post and Excerpt

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I love books with songs. Books with Japanese actors, not so much, because I never really got into the Japanese thing even if I love the country. But I was willing to try this, and I wanted feels, so. You can read more about what I thought about this book in my review! :)

So, break-up songs. Or heartbreak songs, when it’s not really a break-up. when I went through something similar (but also not really, haha, long story) to Jill, my best friends supplied me with an entire playlist of sad/heartbreak songs to help me cope. I had them on repeat for weeks, because of course you need a soundtrack when you suddenly burst into tears in the shower! Or when you’re walking! Or…all those things! :D Some songs on my list: Breathe Again by Sara Bareilles, Call It Off by Tegan and Sara, Wanted You More by Lady Antebellum, and Out of My Head by Ben Rector. </3

So today I have Jay E. Tria, author of Songs of Our Breakup, on the blog to talk about her heartbreak songs. Check out her list below!

Top 5 Breakup/Heartbreak Songs

When I was tasked to choose a guest post topic, I jumped on this one figuring it would be easy. I mean people carry heartbreak songs around with them all the time. My karaoke roster for one is usually 80% heartbreak songs, and those are the best ones to sing!

But when I tried to compose the list of my top 5 songs of sadness, I sat there and watched the cursor blink a few dozen hundred times, my head a blank space. I remembered that I haven’t really been keeping up with new releases, relying solely on the millennial magic of Spotify. But I guess that shouldn’t matter much. Breakup songs usually endure.

So here it is: the list of my favorite songs of heartbreak, no recent hit in sight, in no particular order. Hit play, click shuffle, maybe feel a few things, and repeat. Breakup not required.

The Script, Breakeven

  • Why it hurts. Because it’s a truth universally acknowledged that love is not given in equal measure, and thus when it is broken, the divide is unequal too.
  • The lines that got me. ‘Cause I’ve got time while she’s got freedom /Because when a heart breaks it don’t break even.

Sandwich, Masilungan

  • Why it hurts. I like my Sandwich served raw—simple words and a lazy tune that builds into a violent barrage of feelings as Raimund Marasigan screams the gigantic question of why into my ears. Even the video by Quark Henares is awesome in its simplicity too. Shots of faces, profiles, and movement, proving that you don’t always need tears to evoke sadness.
  • The lines that got me. Wala natayo/Wala natayo/Bakit wala na tayo?

Ed Sheeran, Photograph

  • Why it hurts. You can argue this isn’t technically a sad song, but to me the words are asking someone to hold on to a promise, a blind hope. It makes me think that hope, while a positive thing, can be even sadder than a clean break because it leaves you hanging.
  • The lines that got me. We keep this love in a photograph/
    We made these memories for ourselves/ Where our eyes are never closing/
    Hearts are never broken/And time’s forever frozen still.

Arctic Monkeys, The Bakery.

  • Why it hurts. Alex Turner is a fricking lyrics genius. I’d like one hour to see a normal, everyday scene through his eyes. Here he makes the bakery seem like the most romantic setting for a boy pining over a girl. The line that killed my heart is actually the last one, but I’ll let you discover that for yourself. The following were heartbreakers too.
  • The lines that got me.The more you keep on looking/The more it’s hard to take/Love, we’re in stalemate/To never meet is surely where we’re bound.

The Smiths, Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me

  • Why it hurts. I can’t make a list of the best saddest songs without including the Smiths. Morrissey’s MO seemed to be to wrench sadness from the depths of broken hearts and make the display seem like the most beautiful thing. This song is short and simple in the wretchedness it brings, because hasn’t everyone had this dream?
  • The lines that got me. Last night I dreamt/ That somebody loved me/ No hope, but no harm/ Just another false alarm.


Songs of Our BreakupSongs of Our Breakup (Playlist Book 1) by Jay E. Tria
Published on August 22nd 2015
Genre: New Adult Romance/Chicklit
Goodreads | Amazon

Every breakup has its playlist.

How do you get over a seven-year relationship? 21-year-old Jill is trying to find out. But moving on is a harder job when Kim, her ex-boyfriend, is the lead guitarist of the band, and Jill is the vocalist. Every song they play together feels like slicing open a barely healed tattoo.

Jill’s best friend Miki says she will be out of this gloom soon. Breakups have a probation period, he says. Jill is on the last month of hers and Miki is patiently keeping her company.

But the real silver lining is Shinta. Having a hot Japanese actor friend in times like these is a welcome distraction. This gorgeous celebrity has been defying time zones and distance through the years to be there for Jill. Now he is here, physically present, and together he and Jill go through old lyrics, vivid memories, walks in the rain, and bottles of beer. Together they try to answer the question: what do you do when forever ends?


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Blog Tour: Paper Planes Back Home Excerpt

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Before this very bookish weekend ends, I’ve got something special on the blog! Today is my stop for the blog tour of Tara Frejas‘ first book, Paper Planes Back Home. Tara and I were classmates in the #SparkNA workshop, but only got to talk and hang out when we manned a booth at Eastwood’s Books & Brews. I got a copy of her book then, but I wasn’t able to read it because you know how many books and how little time we have, right? But it’s a good thing, too, because I had just enough time to read it for the blog tour!

But I’m not reviewing it just yet – I’ll save that later this week. :) Today, I’ll give you a sneak peek at this lovely, lovely novel.

coverPaper Planes Back Home by Tara Frejas
Published on February 21, 2015 
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Fantasy, Romance
Goodreads | Amazon | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble  | Kobo  | Apple iBooks

When Gianna wakes up on a cloud, she is disoriented yet fascinated. She thinks she’s only dreaming until she gets a storm of paper planes—”They’re thoughts of people who remember,” a man on another cloud tells her—each pleading for her not to leave. The man tells her these planes are the key to get out of there, and while she thinks it’s hard to believe, she decides everything is worth trying if it meant finding her way back home.



“What is it?”

Skylar looks up from the message on the unfolded paper plane, his expression that of uncertainty mixed with relief. “It’s just . . . I don’t know who this is from. But it’s really nice of them.”

They are silent for a while until he nods toward the new batch of planes around the newcomer.

“Don’t you want to read them?”

“I do.”

“Don’t mind me,” he says with a shake of his head, reading the reluctance on her face. “I’ll be okay.”

She picks up a paper plane, looks at it thoughtfully. “Is it possible to share paper planes?”

A pause. When she looks back at him, she realizes he doesn’t quite know how to answer the question. “Shall we try?” she asks, handing him the plane in her hand.

“No. I can’t do that,” he says, waving his hand dismissively.

“I have plenty to spare.”

“I don’t think that’s how this works,” Skylar points out, his tone unsure. It’s reassuring again when he says, “It’s fine, really. Don’t worry about me.”

She sounds defeated when she finally concedes, turning her attention instead to the plane she has just unfolded. “My name is Gianna, by the way.”

“It’s nice to meet you, Gianna.” Skylar lets his words hang in the air for a while before he asks, “So . . . what happened to you?”

I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. This is all my fault, I’m sorry. She runs her index finger over the words. She can almost hear Aaron say them. “Car accident,” she tells Skylar. “A crash. That’s all I remember right now. You?”

Skylar nods, noting a gash just above her eyebrow he supposes she got from hitting the steering wheel. “Just another day on the field. Only I wasn’t so lucky.”

“I’m sorry to hear that.”

He only shrugs in response and takes a look at his paper plane with a smile. It’s the small things that make a difference, son, he remembers Sam, the old man of about fifty, who had kept him company before he was able to fly back home, say. He was a lively fellow who always had stories and wise words to tell and perhaps, without him, Skylar would’ve already drifted off to sleep.

He stands up and walks toward the plane he’s building, only half-finished and crude-looking at best. There’s the base, the nose, and the tail, but nothing to support wings just yet. Glancing back at Gianna, he calls out. “Hey, do you want me to show you how to build your ride?”

About the author:

Author PhotoTara Frejas is a cloud-walker who needs caffeine to fuel her travels. By day, she works in project management and events, and she writes down her daydreams at night. She began publishing fiction for public consumption in 2004, posting her pieces on various online channels like fan forums and Blogspot, eventually exploring other avenues like Livejournal, Soomp!, Tumblr, and most recently, Wattpad.

Aside from her obvious love affair with words and persistent muses, Tara is very passionate about being caffeinated, musical theatre, certain genres of music, dancing, dogs, good food, and romancing Norae, her ukelele. She owns a 6-month-old male bunny named Max who sometimes tries to nibble on her writing notes.

Paper Planes Back Home is her first novel.

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook

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Songs of Our Breakup

Songs of Our BreakupSongs of Our Breakup by Jay E. Tria
Playlist # 1
Number of pages: 180
My copy: ebook

Every breakup has its playlist.

How do you get over a seven-year relationship? 21-year-old Jill is trying to find out. But moving on is a harder job when Kim, her ex-boyfriend, is the lead guitarist of the band, and Jill is the vocalist. Every song they play together feels like slicing open a barely healed tattoo.

Jill’s best friend Miki says she will be out of this gloom soon. Breakups have a probation period, he says. Jill is on the last month of hers and Miki is patiently keeping her company.
But the real silver lining is Shinta. Having a hot Japanese actor friend in times like these is a welcome distraction. This gorgeous celebrity has been defying time zones and distance through the years to be there for Jill. Now he is here, physically present, and together he and Jill go through old lyrics, vivid memories, walks in the rain, and bottles of beer. Together they try to answer the question: what do you do when forever ends?

As I mentioned in my Open Road Summer review, I like books with music and bands. So when Jay E. Tria’s book, Songs for Our Breakup surfaced in my radar, I was curious although I was a bit hesitant with the Japanese-sounding characters because I’m not a huge fan of foreign lead interests in my Filipino romance novels. I think I was in line at a bank without a book when I decided to read this, and a few pages in the book, I was hooked.

Jill and Kim have been together for seven years, until their break-up came that ended the relationship that Jill has known for a third of her life. It’s even more difficult to move on, because her ex-boyfriend is the lead guitarist of the band where Jill is the vocalist. And as expected, most of the songs they sing share memories of their relationship and Jill’s not sure how much her heart could take. Her best friend, Miki, stays by her side, picking her up when things get too hard, and then there’s their other friend, Shinta, a Japanese celebrity that they befriended during one music festival. Shinta provides the distraction that Jill needed, as she wrestles with the questions that the break-up has left with her.

Let me get the obvious thing out of the way: the book shares an almost similar title with the Piolo-Sarah movie that came out a few months ago, but like what other reviews said, it’s different from that. I should know, because I watched that movie. :P There’s so much more going on in Songs of Our Breakup compared to that movie, and it was made entertaining because of the fun cast in this book. I loved everyone in the band, Trainman, and how their friendship seemed to spring alive in every page. I loved their banter, how they played off one another and know each other so well that even if there’s this elephant in the room with them, the rest of them fought for their friendship and the band just to keep them together.

And then of course, there’s Shinta, who was a delight to read. I liked him, and perhaps all his screen time made me join his team early on in the book. I liked how he also felt like a member of the band because of his friendship with them, and how he was especially fun and gentle with Jill. His storyline wasn’t so surprising, but it was still a pleasure to watch that unfold and I was really cheering for him at the end of the book. However, I also can’t deny that my heart went out for Miki, the best friend, because…well, he’s the best friend, and I also have a soft spot for those characters! I liked him, and I wished that he did something different in the book to give him his share of the spotlight…but if he did, then we probably wouldn’t have book 2. ;)

As with every book with a band and songs, I wished the songs here were real. I’m not sure if Trainman would be the kind of band I would religiously follow, but I would probably enjoy their songs if I catch them in a gig or something. I liked how the songs in this book fit exactly with the major moments in the book. And because we’re all about heartbreaks and feels for this book, I have to say that the last duet kind of destroyed my heart (and made me almost waver with my team choice haha). If there’s any song in the book that I want to be real, it’s that duet. Please let that happen?

With all those points, plus the great writing, I thoroughly enjoyed Songs of Our Breakup. It gave me so many feelings after I was done (which I realized probably contributed to the feelings I had later that night when I watched Heneral Luna, but that’s another story) that I couldn’t stop thinking about it after. This book also made me kind of appreciate Japanese lead interests, because hey, if it’s someone like Shinta, then why not? :P Songs of Our Breakup is not exactly for light reading because of all the feelings, but there’s something pretty cathartic about this if you allow yourself to indulge and accompany Jill in her story. I can’t wait to read the next book (because Miki!), and really, just read whatever Jay comes up with next. :)


Favorite quotes:

“You don’t really stop loving someone…it’s just that you’re different now from the person you were yesterday. And you can’t go back. Even if you can, why would you want to?”

Why don’t they teach that in school? Emotional Safety 101. How to love without losing your sanity. Instead of people running around claiming they feel it, while not knowing what to do with it, how to handle it, how not to break it, how to keep it whole. It’s a terribly dangerous thing in the wrong hands.

“Oh, you’re not built for depression. You have too much sarcasm in your veins. That protects you.”

So I stand here on the train tracks,
Waiting for you to look back
Turn back
And see me
Sliding in the slipstream
Tumbling in this daydream
But you don’t see me
No, it’s never me.

Other reviews:
Will Read For Feels
Tara Tries to Write

Open Road Summer

openroadsummerOpen Road Summer by Emery Lord
Publisher: Walker Children’s
Number of pages: 353
My copy: ebook, from Scribd premium subscription

After breaking up with her bad-news boyfriend, Reagan O’Neill is ready to leave her rebellious ways behind. . . and her best friend, country superstar Lilah Montgomery, is nursing a broken heart of her own. Fortunately, Lilah’s 24-city tour is about to kick off, offering a perfect opportunity for a girls-only summer of break-up ballads and healing hearts.

But when Matt Finch joins the tour as its opening act, his boy-next-door charm proves difficult for Reagan to resist, despite her vow to live a drama-free existence.

This summer, Reagan and Lilah will navigate the ups and downs of fame and friendship as they come to see that giving your heart to the right person is always a risk worth taking. A fresh new voice in contemporary romance, Emery Lord’s gorgeous writing hits all the right notes.

I think I’ve said it here before: I like band books – Books with bands, books about music, books about friends with singers. My secret dream of being a roadie or a band manager is still hanging around, but because I don’t think I can handle the stress of all of that, I live vicariously through fiction. I’ve heard a lot of good things about Emery Lord’s Open Road Summer, but it’s been a while since I last tried a contemporary YA book from a new author. I like tried and tested ones, plus most of the contemporary YA now are NA, and I’m not a super fan of NA.

But I had  Scribd subscription that was about to expire, so I need to make use of it. I picked Open Road Summer from the selections, because of the good reviews, plus singers! The book tells the story of Reagan, who’s trying to turn over a new leaf by joining her friend Dee aka Lilah Montgomery, country superstar, on her summer tour. Reagan is nursing a broken heart, and so is Dee, so the summer was their time to bond and to help each other heal. But the music industry is a big, crazy ground for seemingly fragile Dee, so her management brings in Matt Finch, childhood friend and the guy who makes Reagan rethink her plans of a boy-free summer.

I enjoyed reading Open Road Summer because it was so easy to get into. It was so easy to feel like you’re in the bus with the girls, or in the audience or the backstage, and it was so easy to fit in the Reagan and Dee’s friendship. Figuratively, because if Reagan were real and you tried to be friends with Dee, I bet Reagan would have snapped at you. With all of Dee’s charm, Reagan is very abrasive to the point that it was almost annoying, and I wanted to tell her, “Chill out, girl. Not every girl is your enemy.” She was judgy, and at times harsh, but she had a heart devoted to Dee all the way.

Their friendship was my most favorite part of the book. I liked how they were for each other, and how even if they had a fight, they were still for each other. This kind of friendship is rare, and it’s really a good thing to have one in the midst of a broken heart. My favorite parts were always when the two of them were together, and how Reagan watched Dee stand up for herself, and how Dee pushed Reagan to be slightly softer towards Matt, and softer towards herself.

The romance was cute, in a slow-burn kind of way. I really liked Matt, and while I’m not a country singer, I would have probably been a fan of his given his description in the book. I liked how he sparred with Reagan, not backing down from her jabs, and how he stood up to show Reagan that he really cared. The grand gesture at the end really made me smile, too.

And as with any book with music, I wished the songs here were real! I really liked the lyrics, and I wished that they also released a soundtrack to accompany this. It’s just right for books like this, don’t you think?

Open Road Summer is one of those impulse reads that I don’t regret. I’m quite excited to read her next book, The Start of Me and You (lovely title) once I get my grubby hands on them. :D


Favorite dog-eared quotes:

This is the currency of friendship, traded over years and miles, and I hope it’s an even exchange someday. For now, I do what all best friends do when there’s nothing left to say. We lie together in the darkness, shoulder to shoulder, and wait for the worst to be over.

The exploration of guitar chords, Matt’s low voice, and Dee’s hoarse giggling make a summer soundtrack I’ll replay even when the tour is over—in the moments when I feel like being truly happy is an impossible puzzle, one I’m not meant to figure out. If you have a best friend you can laugh with and a few good songs, you’re more than halfway there.

It takes a long time to learn someone. It takes a long time to see a person as a whole spectrum, from worst to best—from the mismanaged heartache that lands them in AA to the pancake dinners, from the hurtful things shouted in a dressing room to the huge-hearted strength that only a best friend can understand. Once you get there, it’s forever.

Other reviews:
Chachic’s Book Nook
Love at First Page

Buqo YA 5: Perfect Moments Blog Tour – Interview with Sue Donymko


It’s the last blog tour for Buqo YA, and today, I am very glad to have Sue Donymko, author of A Moment Like This from Buqo YA 5: Perfect Moments bundle. :) Sue Donymko lives and works in Manila, Philippines. When she’s not writing or working, or working some more, she eats, watches a lot of television, sings — much to the neighbors’ dismay — and reads until she falls asleep. You can subscribe to her blog here and follow her on Twitter here.

* * *
Hi Tina,

Thanks for featuring me on your blog and for the mini interview. I enjoyed answering all the questions. Take care!

1. Who are your favorite YA authors? 

JK Rowling, Eoin Colfer, Gordon Korman, Rick Riordan. I generally like light and funny books, with the exception of JK Rowling’s tear-jerky Harry Potter series, and I know I don’t need to explain why!

2. What was the biggest challenge you had to face in writing your buqoYA story?

My biggest challenge was how to create a story that will capture that perfect moment that can establish something lasting or real between two individuals who only just met. I didn’t want it to be just one magical moment that would fizzle out once they were out of each other’s proximity.

3. Your characters enter the cafeteria – where would they sit?
Kris would either be in a separate table with one or two friends who are as chill and uncaring about popularity like she is. Noel, with his charm and looks, would definitely be with the cool but non-jock crowd.

4. Assuming you didn’t know the end of your story, what advice would you give your main character?
Wow, Tina, what a good question! Communicate. Take risks. You’ll never know until you try. :)

5. What song best describes your story?
Beginning of Something Wonderful by Orange and Lemons!

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6. What can readers expect from you next?
I’m finishing a New Adult novella, and maybe a spy/crime novella later this year!


Thanks, Sue! :) Her story, A Moment Like This, is part of the Buqo YA 5: Perfect Moments bundle, together with five other YA stories. You can get it (and the first four bundles!) here!


Sometimes you’ll meet your match: at detention, on the badminton court, in a resort hotel in Davao, at a lab, in a foster home, at an epic party. You’ll never know. But always keep your heart ready for that perfect moment. Read these stories and experience the bliss of first love.

A Moment Like This by Sue Donymko

Kris Mercado and Noel Abad are trapped in a posh resort hotel in Davao City during a particularly bad flood. After spending almost everyday together, they realize that they are undeniably attracted to each other. But reality bites as usual, and they now have to decide whether to chalk their romance up to forced circumstances or to explore what could be the sweetest love they’ve been looking for…

Anything You Want Me To by Audrine Pascal

Oh, Via. Such in a hurry to have a boyfriend. Now look who got dumped on social media, just before the epic party happening tonight.

So why is she hanging out with Franco Castañer? It’s all good – Via’s always been immune to all that yummy goodness, him being her best friend’s brother and all.

But is Franco actually being flirty? Or is she just reading too much into this? How exactly do you decode the species they call boy?

Vodka shot, anyone?

Something Real by Charm Jacinto

Hailey’s principle is heart over mind. It’s Rick or nothing at all. Brett’s scholarship comes first. His, was mind over matters of the heart. A laboratory experiment in Physics brought them together making their lives entangled with each other. From lab partners to having a crossfire of misread signals to friendship. Will they ever find the perfect formula when it comes to the principle of love?

Match Point Mishap by Madelyn Tuviera

“Shit happens to the best of us,” goes a saying, and Lester Torres, a now-starving student-artist, cannot agree more. The family business has reached a steady decline. His parents are distraught. His education is at the risk of being put on hold because tuition’s too expensive, impractical. Something they are no longer able to afford. Unwilling to give up, he tries to apply for an athletic scholarship in the hope of keeping the dream alive. He was in the high school badminton varsity team, after all. Might as well put his dormant skill to good use, right? He aces the first few matches, winning them in a breeze, and thinks that he’s got this scholarship in the bag already. Easy as pie.

Enter a talented player by the name of Wency David, and Lester lands the first missed service of his game.

Someone to Care by Jessica Larsen

After her parents die in an accident, Jennelle is passed around by her relatives. Hindi siya tumatagal ng isang taon sa piling ng mga kamag-anak bago siya itulak ng mga ito patungo sa iba. At fifteen, nalibot na yata niya lahat ng isla sa Pilipinas. Not that she cares, because she has learned from the moment she loses her parents that not getting too involved with anyone will keep her from getting hurt. Subalit nagbago ang lahat ng iyon nang makilala niya si Valentine, ang adopted son ng distant relative niya kung saan siya sunod na titira. Like her, Valentine has been orphaned at a young age, but unlike her, Valentine loves to keep everyone close—except her. And as if sharing a home wasn’t enough of a torture, they would also be attending the same school.

The Offside by KZ Riman

All I wanted was to move on to sophomore year. And, of course, to have Soccer God Mattheus Estevez back into my life, despite my brother’s incessant demands that I stopped dating jocks. What I didn’t count on, though, was to go through detention work with Geovanne Estevez, Mattheus’ identical twin brother, just so I’d realize both. And what I found baffling about it all was how Geovanne seemed to be putting a lot more effort into it than we had all bargained for, making this detention the best one yet.

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