The Hometown Hazard (Excerpt)

Hello! It’s been a year since I released The Hometown Hazard. I remember writing this book; I was a bundle of nerves (because I chose to write a story with ~some mystery elements in it! Mystery! Why, Dawn, why?) and I was always close to setting it aside but at the same time, I couldn’t seem to let it go. It was a story I needed to write and it had characters that were talking inside my head (and a Kip who I really loved, heh).

Here’s an excerpt from the book:

I had Tony take me to the coffee shop for lunch. I hadn’t met the owner the last time that I was there, and today didn’t seem like the day for it either. A girl was at the counter instead. I waited for Kip who texted me five minutes ago that he might be a little late.

I didn’t mind. I like cafés. I used to spend a lot of time in them when I was studying, and I was thrilled that there was finally one in town. I pulled a book from my bag – a light read, nothing like what I used to bring – and ordered brewed coffee. I read for a couple of minutes until Kip showed up, barging into my table with a drawing tube.

I looked up. I had to put down my book when I saw that he looked frantic. “What’s wrong?”

“Your dad,” He said, plopping on the seat across mine.

“What did he do?” I asked, panic starting to rear its ugly head.

He opened the drawing tube and pulled tracing paper of it. “He just asked me to do this.” He jabbed his finger on the paper when he said that, so I looked at it. I saw some lines drawn on the paper but it was barely anything yet.

I gave him a puzzled look. “I’m guessing this isn’t a part of your conspiracy deeds?”

“Nope, no conspiracy today. Your father just assigned me to work with the big guys to design that environmental NGO office.”

“That’s a pretty big deal.”

He laughed, but I could tell he was quite nervous. “I know.”

I sat back on my chair, “Huh. So no conspiracy. This is you on an ordinary day.”

“Well, no, I don’t usually design buildings for an actual client on ordinary days. Fake clients, yes. But real projects?”

I smiled. “Then think of it as a fake client.”

His eyes widened, “That’s not going to work on me.”

“Fine,” I scoffed. “Feel the pressure.”

“Plus, I don’t usually work with someone watching me.”

“Mmm,” I took another sip quickly, “You could have cancelled on me if you have all of this.”

I meant all the stuff he dropped on the table. He wasn’t paying attention to me now, and he was starting to pull pens from his bag.

“Or I could go,” I offered.

“No,” He raised his hand. “Not what I meant. You can stay.”


“Yeah, and I can’t let you go home. Otherwise, you’d end up being stuck at home, and you know your mother’s about to go crazy arranging that party she has on for tonight.”

I gasped, “Oh God. That’s tonight?”

“For a person who lives there, you sure seem like your mind is somewhere else,” He sniggered.

“I wonder whose fault that was.”

Kip grinned, “Aw, don’t tell me I occupy all of your thoughts now.”

I frowned. He gave me that last look, holding back a smile before turning back to his work.

“I’ll be quiet,” I promised, shifting from my seat. “You won’t even know I’m here.”

“Ah,” Kip tapped the pen on the table. “You’re underestimating yourself.”

My brows knotted, “What do you mean?”

Kip lowered his head, pretending that he shifted his attention to the paper.  I tapped my hand on the table as well. Do I know where this was heading? Probably. Should I let him avoid that question? Sure. But I already tapped my hand on the table.

“You breathe really heavily,” He stated matter-of-factly.

“What?” That was not expected, at all.

“I don’t know, you’re just…” He pointed at me, “I think you try so hard not to relax around me.”

“Not true,” I blurted out. Well, true.

“Why are you so cautious of me?”

“I wouldn’t say cautious,” I stammered.

He placed his pen down and leaned back on his chair, “Fine. How would you say it?”

I racked my brain for terms. Scared. No, that was too extreme. Flustered? Too much. Nervous? Yes. But he might think something of it. “Careful.”

“Careful,” He repeated, enunciating the word.

“Yes,” I took another sip from the cup. “Careful.”

He sighed, “’Cause you think I’m still a kid and I’m always out to do something stupid.”

I shook my head even before he finished that sentence, “I don’t think of you as a kid. I’m not here to babysit you.”

I continued, “Do I think you’re kind of all over the place, running around, having fun in everything you do? Sure. Are you as annoying as you were back when we were kids? Pretty much.”

“You really think I’m annoying?” He raised his voice a little.

I shrugged, “Well, yeah. You just do whatever you want without much thought in it. Like what happened at the hospital yesterday? That was really…” Stupid. Reckless.

“Hey, that’s not true,” He narrowed his eyes. “Since you came back home, you’ve become the devil on my shoulder. Every time I’m about to do something, I think about what you’ll say. But then there’s just me on the other side.”

I let out a laugh, “Hang on. I’m the devil in that scenario?”

“You just look better in red,” Kip said quickly, as if that just slipped his mouth. I looked down but felt a smile spreading in my face so wide, I was just thankful that he tried to cover up his own slip-up, “I mean. And I look better in white too, so…”

“Sure,” I just said, clearing my throat.

“So, you think I’m annoying,” He repeated, as if recapping. “And I think you’re uptight.”

I pressed my lips together, holding back a laugh.

Kip blurted out, “Why the hell are we still sticking together?” He looked amused anyway, eyes lit up and waiting for me to answer.

My face broke into a grin, “I think we’re having fun.”


I answered with a nod.

Kip looked pleased, his smile warm and genuine to me. “Yeah, you’re kind of fun, just in a different way.”

“That sounds like a pity compliment.”

He smirked, “And there you go, raining on my parade.”

I tucked my hair behind my ear to give myself an excuse to look away, then adding, “I still can’t believe you think I breathe heavily.”

Kip laughed so hard, I couldn’t help but join in. As much as I wanted to bring up anything about the search or ask him what was in it for him ultimately, I couldn’t. Or maybe I didn’t want to. No conspiracy deeds today.

Maybe we deserved a normal day. Maybe we deserved having this.

The Hometown Hazard is available on Amazon for the week for $0.99. I hope you enjoy it.



Pre-order your paperback copy of The Last Time I’ll Write About You

In the words of the great Penny Lane,


You can now order paperback copies of The Last Time I’ll Write About You! 

The Last Time I’ll Write About You is my first poetry collection. It debuted #1 on Amazon’s Hot New Releases (!!!) and is still currently charting on Amazon’s Top 100 Best Sellers (THANK YOU!)

I’m going to do the print run in batches. The first batch’s pre-order and payment period is from December 29 to January 15, 2017. The book is P250. Shipping fees apply.

The book/s will be shipped to you on the first week of February 2017 (para sakto sa Valentine’s Day mo, uy!). This print run is only for Philippine residents. Paperback edition will be available on Amazon soon as well. 🙂

Again, thank you for your love and support! The book came from a place of loss and heartbreak, but it’s amazing how much love it’s receiving in return.

The order form is here:


Thank you once again for your support!



‘Tis the season for some feelings!

Hello! The Holidays are upon us. Since this is the season to give and  share and all that jazz, I’m doing another give away! YAY!

I’m giving away 6 #romanceclass titles/books for 6 lucky winners! Yes, 6. All you have to do is like my Facebook page, follow me on Twitter, and tweet about the giveaway to let all your friends know that all you want for Christmas is some feels. ❤

The titles for this giveaway:

Playing Autumn by Mina V. Esguerra (Indie edition)


Haley Reese is going back home to Houston and she’s dreading this trip. She volunteers as a mentor to young musicians at an annual festival, and the longer she’s been doing it, the more she feels like a fraud. It’s been years since the web videos that made her sort-of famous first came out, and she hasn’t done anything else to pursue the career in music she’s always wanted. Things start looking up when she shares a plane ride with Oliver Cabrera, music prodigy, rock star, and the reason why she picked up an instrument in the first place.
Oliver Cabrera hasn’t called any place “home” since he started touring professionally in his teens, but Houston is as close to it as any. He’s also nearly broke, his career just about over. When he gets the invitation to mentor at the Breathe Music Festival again, he decides, what the hell, he should finally show up. He meets Haley, Hot Piano Girl herself, and finds her fear of failure might be easier to fix than his own.

Choco Chip Hips by Agay Llanera (Indie edition)


Sixteen-year-old Jessie, a baking aficionado, is shy, overweight, and worries too much about what people think. But one summer, a family emergency makes her realize that life is too short to live it on autopilot. Taking her life by the reins, she embarks on a journey that involves ditching the apron for her tank top, as she hip-hop dances her way to new friendships, stronger family ties, and into her school’s most elite club.

The Bye Bye Bouquet by Chi Yu Rodriguez


Every month for the past year, like clockwork, Meile Simon has gotten orders at her shop for the same type of bouquet, from the same guy, delivered to twelve different girls. By the third month, she starts to take note.
Warren Leigh likes women. He does. He knows there are too many beautiful women out there just waiting to be plucked by the right guy. But he firmly believes that personal relationships with them must have an expiration date.
When the girl who likes to watch flowers bloom encounters the guy who’s only in it while the fragrance lasts, curiosity gets the best of both of them.
In the midst of intermittent weather, will their connection blossom or wilt?

All’s Fair in Blog and War by Chrissie Peria


Five Cuevas @fivetravels
Three guesses to where I’m going next. Starts with an M. Ends with a U. Has a lechon named after it. #travel
Twenty-something travel blogger Five thinks she has hit the jackpot when she gets invited to glittering Macau for an all-expense-paid bloggers tour. Think majestic old churches, sparkling casinos, exhilarating bungee jumps, and the world’s most unforgettable egg tarts. The trip is practically perfect, except for one little glitch. She gets assigned to be travel buddies with Jesse, the world’s most infuriating photo blogger, and it’s definitely war at first sight.
Will Five let Jesse turn her dream vacation into a total nightmare? Or will falling in love be on the itinerary?

The Hometown Hazard by this girl, writing this post, heh.


Jules Coronado has been away from her hometown for almost a decade but when an intruder breaks in to her childhood home, she finds herself coming back. Changes evidently took place in her small town, including her childhood best friend’s younger brother, Kip – now tall, slightly scruffed, all grown up and caught climbing into their garden wall.
Kip Villamor has a mission and despite Jules’ doubts, they team up: going on fieldtrips, tackling unsuspecting men, and trespassing offices to dig up dirt. But Jules has secrets of her own, one that might be exposed – unless she keeps her walls up. But climbing walls are Kip’s forte, remember?
Will her secrets keep her on his side, or will it force her to disappear again?

Marry me, Charlotte B! by Carla de Guzman


You are cordially invited to the wedding of the year!
Nellie Canlas loves her job. She loves being assistant to reality TV star and wedding planner goddess, the fabulous Charlotte Bertram, and she loves working with couples to make their wedding dreams come true. What she doesn’t love is having cameras following her all the time, especially when she’s crushing hard on the lawyer from another floor.
Robert Bertram doesn’t like planning weddings. He doesn’t like being on TV either. But when he finds himself in possession of Nellie’s diary, he thinks he can turn her into anyone’s dream girl. If he doesn’t fall for her first.

I’ll announce the winners on Twitter/ Facebook on December 21, 2016, 8PM. I’ll e-mail the winners – and we’ll just let the odds decide which of the six books you win. This giveaway is only for PH residents. 

To join, go here:

Good luck! And Happy Christmas!


Peace, love, and peppermint flavored hot cocoa,




COVER REVEAL: Make My Wish Come True, a #romanceclass Christmas Anthology

Hi everyone!

I’m so happy to share the cover of Make My Wish Come True, a #romanceclass Christmas anthology. Here’s more information about the book:

Make My Wish Come True

A #romanceclass Christmas Anthology

Romance, Short Stories
Release Date: December 10, 2016



Get ready for feels this holiday season with Make My Wish Come True, a Christmas anthology by #romanceclass authors. Join a Kris Kringle and receive the perfect gift, or learn how to survive your first Christmas in Manila and the steps you need to take to be with the one you love. Go to parties that will not go according to plan, feel the cold (and probably humid) December air as you explore city streets, and count down to five minutes to Christmas. Meet kind strangers and friends that remind you of home, and discover that the one who’ll make your holidays better has been beside you all along. With seventeen stories, there’s something for you here no matter what feels you want and need. Fall in love this Christmas with #romanceclass!


Featuring stories from:

Ysa Arcangel * Ines Bautista-Yao * Racquel Sarah A. Castro * Suzette de Borja * Carla de Guzman * Six de los Reyes * Mina V. Esguerra * Tara Frejas * Dawn Lanuza * Chris Mariano * Bianca Mori * Chrissie Peria * Chi Yu Rodriguez * C.P. Santi * Kate Sebastian * Miles Tan * Ana Tejano * Jay E. Tria * Celestine Trinidad


Cover design by: Miles Tan
Edited by: Rix Forto


Book Links:


About #romanceclass:

#romanceclass is a community of authors who attended various writing workshops organized by Mina V. Esguerra, readers of books by those authors, and readers of English-language romance books by Filipino authors. Visit to see the full catalog of books!


Author Links:


I wrote a short story here, titled: In The City of Angels. It’s set in Los Angeles on Christmas Eve with Leslie (from The Boyfriend Backtrack and The Hometown Hazard).


I hope you enjoy this one!


About The Last Time I’ll Write About You…

Last Saturday (November 5), I released a book titled The Last Time I’ll Write About You. This is my first poetry collection and the response has been pretty AMAZING.

The book was available for pre-order for a whole week, and has already started charting at the time. At the time of its release, the book has reached the #1 spot for Amazon Hot New Releases in Women’s Poetry. In other categories, it has been charting too, including Amazon Best Sellers in Poetry.

Can I just say, WOW.

I had hoped for this to do well – when I attended Mina V. Esguerra’s Author at Once workshop two years ago, what stuck with me was: to put a goal upon the release of a book. Since then, whenever I think about publishing a book, I ask myself, “What’s your goal?”

My goal for this book is to reach new readers. My dream for it is to chart on the Best Sellers list (cause I like stalking this section, haha!).  My hope is that it speaks to its readers.

This is what happened and is happening, until this very day. Hopefully, it continues on.

Before I end this brief post, I’ve got YOU to thank.

Thank you for taking a chance on this book. Thank you for taking a chance on me. Thank you for reading, reviewing and sharing. Thank you for helping out.

Lastly, thank you for letting me know that I am not alone. I hope I made you feel the same when you were reading this book – that what you felt or feeling, I felt or am feeling, too. That these feelings are real and true, and that no one can tell you otherwise.


Love and gratitude,


To get a copy of The Last Time I’ll Write About You –>


So this is something that I’m trying…

Okay, so I think it took me more than a year to fully get my head on straight that I am currently doing something else in my life*.

*Doing something else = writing books. Strike that, publishing these said books.

This is funny, but I realized while I was having a chat with fellow author Jay E. Tria, that when I published my first book, The Boyfriend Backtrack, I didn’t think about the whole being-an-author thing. I didn’t think about getting a pseudonym and all the other things this would entail, I just sort of wanted to get the book out, have people read it, and if they liked it, yay! And then that’s that.

Seriously, that was all I had in mind when I finished the book and clicked ‘publish’. I wanted to be read. That was my main goal for that book. I know, I know. Kind of rash. A little stupid. But hey, it was just one of those things, one of those I just want to see what that would be like whims.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always wanted to be published. I just didn’t ~really think it would happen-happen, but then again, IT DID HAPPEN (!!!), and then that’s when I started thinking: oh wait a minute, what about the other bits of my life aka my job, the other jobs i’ll be applying for when/ if i needed to do just that?

I talked to my friend Ilia about it, and she just replied with: what’s so bad about them finding out you got published?

Which is a great point.

So anyway, I went back and forth for the last year or so with this, cause honestly, I still feel like I have “other lives” because of this: I have my other work life, this life, and then there’s just my life. I can’t put them all together just yet, so I can live one straight life and feel like myself in all aspects, but I’ll get there.

ANYWAY, after that long intro, since I am ~fully on board with me being an author (and not that I have a choice – I like writing and I don’t think I’ll stop birthing books yet so you’re just gonna have to suck it up, other lives), I decided to change this blog into my website (I got a URL now, woo!), and decided to do this monthly thing:


I’m doing this because a) this is still my goal as it has always been from the very start: I wanted to be read; b) I do realize how important reviews are. I’m a review reader! I’m a Goodreads nut! and c) I wanted to keep spreading the love by offering a #romanceclass book gift.

Overall, I think it’s a win-win situation. If you think so too, just head over here to sign up.


Join the #BuqoYA Blog Tour

It’s happening!

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The stories we’ve produced from our online writing class are being bundled up in 5 collections – and Oops! I Read A Book Again is organizing the blog tour!

Here’s a full list of the stories included in each bundle:

BuqoYA 1: Taking Chances (April 27 – May 1, 2015)

Whether looking for closure, proving their worth, or wondering what happens after a moonlit night, the characters from these stories will invite you to take a chance for love. Will they find what they’re looking for? Or will their hearts get broken? Step into their shoes and find out.

1. A Portrait of Jade by Justine Camacho-Tajonera
2. Second Sight to Forever by Racquel Sarah A. Castro
3. After the Moment by Six de los Reyes
4. When a KISS Falls by Kaye Dee
5. Loving You All My Life by Rafael P. Pascual
6. Never Too Late by Jen Suguita

BuqoYA 2: Sweet Complications (May 4 – 8, 2015)

Would you do a set of dares to prove someone wrong? Would you risk your friendship so you can find love? Would you admit your real feelings? There are a lot of complications when it comes to finding love. Get the feels when you read these sweet stories.

1. Plain Vanilla by Ines Bautista-Yao
2. Once Upon A Sticky Note by Kristel Ann Cruz
3. One Lovely Summer Day by Amae Dechavez
4. Travel of Two by Irish Fleur
5. D’01 by Sassy Fova
6. Same by Charm Lee

Buqo YA 3: Finding Fairytales (May 11 – 15, 2015)

We all want the happy ending, the dream come true. But what if it doesn’t happen? How far would you go to get that “ever after?” Would you change who you are? Would you swallow your pride? Is the story really going to be as perfect as you think? Follow the path of these characters and see where they lead.

1. The Path of Us by Cassandra Javier
2. Love in the Time of Viral Videos by R. Linea
3. Fall for Grace by Anne Plaza
4. Just the Way You Are by Kat Sales
5. When Cocoy Became Kikay by C. P. Santi
6. The First Time They Met by Ana Valenzuela

BuqoYA 4: Heart Choices (May 18 – 22, 2015)

Sometimes it’s hard to choose. Do you stay or do you let go? Should you become friends, more than friends, or stay strangers? Would you risk love for popularity? You’re invited to explore these stories and find out each character’s choice from the heart.

1. Until the Race is Over by Lyka Caparos
2. In That Summer by Jayen San Diego
3. On the Outside Looking In by Claire Du
4. What About Today by Dawn Lanuza
5. Waiting for Whatever by Fay Sebastian
6. Barely Even Friends by Kristel S. Villa

BuqoYA 5: Perfect Moments (May 25 – 29, 2015)
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.

1. A Moment Like This by Sue Donymko
2. Something Real by Charm Jacinto
3. Someone to Care by Jessica Larsen
4. Anything You Want Me To by Audrine Pascal
5. The Offside by KZ Riman
6. Match Point Mishap by Madelyn Tuviera

Excited now? You can join the blog tour by signing up here: