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Tara Frejas

Writing Now

2016 – The Bookish Year That Was

It feels good to do this again, because it tells me that 2015 was not a fluke or a very vivid daydream, but was something that really happened and led to more things in 2016, writing and publishing-wise.

In 2016, I:

 

  • Wrote a children’s short story for Bayong ng Kuting called The Kitten She Didn’t Love, loosely based on the love-hate relationship between my sister and our indomitable male feline, Bing. This may be a trope.
  • Wrote a story spiral for Ines Bautista-Yao’s blog, starring Miki, because some days my feelings belong to him.
  • Attended a YA writing class organized by Bronze Age Media and facilitated by Ines, because I liked hanging out with the people and because my YA wheels needed oiling.

 

  • Participated in Manila International Book Fair on the first year that #romanceclass had a booth. It felt surreal. Until now I know my understanding of its significance remains dim and narrow. Suffice it to see though that our booth was right in front of National Bookstore, but our books were being bought anyway, such that panic-reprinting and restocking had to happen. Suffice it to see how the community came together, in manning the booth and playing tindera for the day and hollering mamser, pagibig? and recommending each other’s works to readers. There was already boundless joy and pride in that.
  • Felt kilig over and over again in live readings. In April Feels Day (special kilig because theater actor Jef Flores read as Miki from Songs to Get Over You), Feels Rush In, All The Feels, and Feels Fest.

 

  • Met wonderful new people—fellow writers, readers, both local and international. Saw a bit of how people in other places responded to my books, and got the happy surprise of seeing them accept my book people too.
  • Signed up for my second Mina V. Esguerra workshop, #romanceclass2017, a thing that is carrying me through to 2017. That and a fun project with #romanceclass chicas Six delos Reyes and Tara Frejas.

I ended my 2015 post with a list of goals, and I am happy to have checked them all off in 2016, at least at the minimum. So I thought a new list would be a good way of ending this post too.

In 2017, I will:

  • Write and finish my #romanceclass2017 manuscript. This is uncharted territory for me, because of the POV, the steam level challenge, and largely because this is a new universe, not the familiar terrain of my band boys and girl in the Playlist series. Scareciting. I’m building a Pinterest board as I write, because I do that now, apparently (visuals are important). Check it out if you’re curious? 🙂 https://www.pinterest.com/jayetria/where-this-takes-us/
  • Write one more book, maybe YA. Maybe Nino, or Kim, or someone yet to be imagined. Will see where my feelings will take me.
  • Publish one to two books.
  • Work on the fun, secret-for-now project with Six and Tara.
  • Go out and go places and do new things for feelings, special challenge dated 12-10-2016 in mind.
  • Rest and recharge haha because sometimes I don’t like to do this until my body breaks down and forces me to. And being forced to rest doesn’t feel restful at all, if that makes sense.

Every year is bound to be better than the last. That’s a good way to look at things, right? I’m going to keep that in mind. Hello 2017! I hope you’re ready for more of my words and feelings 🙂

Book Review

Review and Excerpts: Settle the Score / Hustle Play by Tara Frejas

Settle the Score

College senior Garnet Figueroa lives and breathes basketball. A reliable asset to her varsity team, she is equipped with the skills and smarts to get the De La Sierra Lady Hunters closer to this year’s championship title. But Garnet soon finds out that her good friend (and long-time crush), cheerdancer Charles Crisostomo, is being cheated on by his girl, and she lets her emotions get the best of her.

Will she be able to come up with a game plan to save herself from heartbreak before the buzzer signals Game Over?

Hustle Play

Running on pure adrenaline and working with game strategies is something a basketball player like Garnet Figueroa is trained for. On the court, she is unbeatable. Off the court… that’s a completely different story.

Because falling in love is trickier than a ball game, and Garnet finds herself fumbling over her feelings for Charles Crisostomo. The fact that her attention gets divided between him and rival school hard-court hottie Chris Barcelo doesn’t help.

Or does it?

***

Review

You can never go wrong with a Tara Frejas book. I love Garnet and Charles, and I love how Frejas explores the changes in their dynamics from Settle the Score to Hustle Play. Plus it’s a male cheerleader and a female basketball player! Set in the Philippines! If you live here too, you’d have an idea how intensely invested Filipinos are to both sports, especially on the collegiate level, and the switch from the usual gender assignments brings a new layer to this sports-oriented, friends-to-lovers romance. I really wish Frejas will write more stories from this universe 🙂

Read an Excerpt from Settle the Score Continue Reading

Writing Now

Author Interview: Tara Frejas

I think this is a good time to post this interview with #romanceclass author Tara Frejas, coming off of the #NatGioWeekend high of watching Rak of Aegis that she so lovingly organized. Okay so that’s totally unrelated to the topics in this interview, since here we talked about Kpop fandom and her latest release Roadie Romance #1:  Scandalized.  But theater is one of her fandoms too, and when you read through this and get to the part where she talks about her work-in-progress, you’ll see why our theater weekend feelings made me want to share this chat with you ASAP 🙂

Continue Reading

Book Review

Review: Scandalized by Tara Frejas

Let me just put it out there. Scandalized by Tara Frejas spoke to my sleeping K-pop/K-drama fangirl heart. It has admittedly been too long since I last indulged in a good 20-plus-episode binge or boy band concert spectacle (because time and oh my gosh the expense). But fandoms such as these don’t really ever leave you. You only need one push, a small spark to reignite the madness–and Scandalized was just that.

Fi Legaspi is living the dream working in Seoul as a road manager for one of South Korea’s hottest bands, East Genesis Project. Until she isn’t.

When she finds herself in the middle of a scandal and a hostile fangirl witch hunt, Fi seeks the comfort of home, and to her surprise, not the person she had been pining for for years. All too suddenly it’s no longer her career on the line, but also her heart. Will she walk away from everything that matters to her or fight to keep her dream alive?

Anyone who’s ever been a fan of Korean idols is likely to nod in quick understanding upon reading the blurb. It’s all very familiar–the pretty, untouchable boys, the crazy saesang fans, the endless stream of Internet vitriol, freeflowing in comment threads once triggered by the vaguest of blind items and the most obscure photographs. Frejas delves into this mad world with equal parts fascination and disgust at the glitz and muck of it all. Obviously, Frejas is a fan too, and she is very curious about what happens behind the scenes. Her passion for the pop culture seeps through her words, and that is what separates this story from raw fanfic scribbles. What makes it such an enjoyable read.

So go ahead and read it for the pretty boys with the pimped out drums and guitars. Read it for the unapologetic wish fulfillment (come on, she’s a Filipina roadie in Korea! She’s surrounded by hot guys who like to walk around shirtless! The magnae calls her noona! Bet your daydreams didn’t get that far). Read it for Daniel Henney, Frejas’ peg for the band’s PR exec Gabriel. Read it for that Styroboat-in-the-flood scene. Yep, even for just that.

Scandalized will go live on Amazon on May 5! Make sure you pre-order while the book is still $0.99 🙂

AuthorPhotoAbout the Author

Tara Frejas is a cloud-walker who needs caffeine to fuel her travels. When she’s not on work mode, she keeps herself busy by weaving her daydreams into stories.

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 male bunny named Max who sometimes tries to nibble on her writing notes. Scandalized is her second novel after Paper Planes Back Home.

Fun fact: She’s a Piscean. Go figure.

Facebook: facebook.com/taratriestowrite
Twitter: @tarafrejas
Blog: taratriestowrite.wordpress.com

East Genesis Project’s website: bit.ly/EGProject
Twitter: @eastgenproject

Book Review

Review: The Forget You Brew by Tara Frejas

tara-frejas-strangelit-the-forget-you-brewFor 20-year old Kyle Thomson, nothing in the world is more terrifying than the prospect of telling Allison Jeon that he loves her. That is, until he finds out that this mystical café in a peculiar place called Nowheretown had served her a cup of afforgeto—a brew for forgetting—a drink she ordered intending to forget him. Hoping to reverse the spell, Kyle reluctantly teams up with a bunny-eared hopeless romantic and a badass barista to retrieve Allison’s memory jar from the Repository of the Intangible. But when stealing back forgotten memories doesn’t quite turn out as expected, Kyle is left with no choice but to conquer his biggest fear.

Can the magic of Nowheretown supply him a fixer-upper, or will the magic in his steadfast heart be enough to grant them their happy ever after?

***

This is my first Frejas book, and reading it pretty much sealed the deal that she will be on my auto-buy list from here on out. The author is born to write urban fantasy, as proven by her debut effort, Paper Planes Back Home (but that’s a different review altogether). The depth of her imagination grabs you from the first page. It feels real and magical at the same time, and it’s the kind of strong pull that moves you to turn the page, to hungrily go through each word and navigate through each plot twist.

The Forget You Brew starts with the common enough quandary of a boy who felt he could never confess his love to a girl. It’s the kind of self-inflicted problem that makes me want to knock Kyle and Allison‘s head together to drive some sense into them. But factor in the fantastical world beyond the thick wall of bushes that is Nowheretown, a very helpful girl with bunny ears, a really hot barista in a motorcycle brewing exactly the kind of magical drink you need, and you’ve got a whirlwind of a story. Personally (and this is a topic for debate), the afforgeto is not my kind of brew, but I understand its intoxicating lure. And if you make the right decision to pick up this story, I’m sure you will too. Did I mention the barista is hot? Okay.

The Forget You Brew is part of the StrangeLit Killer Seasons bundle available on Buqo. Paperback copies are available direct from the author.

NEWS: Frejas is working on another book set in the Nowheretown universe and I can’t wait to read that!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Tara 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.

Links:
Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook

Book Review

Review: Paper Planes Back Home by Tara Frejas

Paper Planes Back Home

Published on February 21, 2015
by Tara Frejas 
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Fantasy, Romance

Links:
Goodreads | Amazon | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Apple iBooks

SYNOPSIS:

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.

cover

 

REVIEW:

I started reading Paper Planes Back Home days after I read the author’s StrangeLit story called The Forget You Brew. So I already knew I was going to get another imaginative story that would make several attempts at making me cry. Spoiler alert: the book succeeded in both points.

Paper Planes Back Home starts out on a cloud, where Gianna wakes up and meets Skylar, who patiently explains that they are in a form of limbo, and they need paper planes–manifestations of the thoughts of people who love them–to get them back home. As I flipped through each page, I grew more fascinated by the depth of Frejas‘ imagination, from the creation of this world between worlds, to the rules of the game, to the twists and turns of the intertwining stories. The characterizations were rich, and although the story introduced quite a bevy of characters, the author did not fail to keep my attentions on Gianna, Skylar, Aaron and Anna. The development of each of their stories got me hooked at each turn, and I rooted for them all until the end. At times I could predict where the story was taking me, but most times I was pleasantly surprised, and I consumed each word with my heart fervently hoping for a happy ending for them all.

The technical reader in me found a few things to note, however, from an abundance of adverbs to a few awkward sentences. But this was the author’s first ever novel, and in any case the kind of stories she weaved and the way that she wrote only told me that this was a writer who could only get better with each book she put out. And I cannot wait to read what she comes out with next.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Tara 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.

Links:
Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook

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