This is How It Starts on Print!


You can now order print copies of This is How It Starts!

This is How It Starts is a a follow up to my first poetry collection, The Last Time I’ll Write About You. It is about self love and second loves. ❤ It is currently raking on Amazon’s Bestsellers in Asian and Contemporary Poetry. ❤

This batch’s pre-order and payment period is from July 28 to August 15, 2017. The book is P250. Shipping fees apply.

The book/s will be shipped to you before August 2017 ends. This print run is only for Philippine residents. Paperback edition will be available on Amazon soon as well. 🙂

Here are some photos that I took of it:

To order, kindly fill in the details here:

Again, thank you for your amazing support for this book. xx



#SayFeels! with Chase and Regina from The Boyfriend Backtrack by Dawn Lanuza

Hi guys! The Reading Belles is currently hosting #SayFeels, where #romanceclass authors (including me) wrote a Valentine’s Day outtake/scene from their books.

I wrote a scene from my very first book, The Boyfriend Backtrack. It was time that I revisit Chase and Regina, ask them how they’re doing and what their plans are for Valentine’s Day.


They were at the last stop of The Great Taco Hunt. Six stalls, one mission: to find the best taco in the city.

This was a gift to him, from his girlfriend, on Valentine’s Day.

Chase thought she would have wanted to be wined and dined, but Regina suggested this food festival with food trucks, tacos, beer and other cuisines.

She’s the best girlfriend, did he already mention that?

She is.

Regina walked around with a San Mig Light in one hand. She was wearing a shirt with the cover of Hatful of Hollow on print, the same one she grabbed from his closet, because she liked doing that- wearing his shirts because they were comfortable and they smelled good.

It was the fabric conditioner, she reasoned.

She stomped on the ground with her cherry Doc Martens before turning back to him.

“I really think we should just crown Taco Wacko.”

Taco Wacko was the third stop, and she was right, it was good. It was possibly the tastiest of the bunch- cured beef with cheese, peppers, onions, and their signature salsa. It was a soft taco too, the kind she preferred, because she still thought eating the hard shell was messy.

But the vegetarian taco they just had was also interesting. It was filled with spinach, mushrooms and cheese, with bits of corn, squash and peppers. He enjoyed it til the last bite.

“You’re full, aren’t you?”

Chase actually expected her to be tapping out at Stop #2. Regina was never much of a Mexican food fan, she found them always a bit too spicy for her liking. This is why he thought that this whole event was just for him.

“I could fit another one in,” Regina touched her stomach. “I have a food baby. Wanna touch?”

He laughed, “Do you want to get dessert after this?”

She was the desert type of girl. She liked sitting on coffee shops, lingering on a coffee cup, relishing on something sweet while sketching something. That was her. And he loved sitting across her. He would watch her smudge the edges, her fingers turning gray at the contact of lead or charcoal. She sometimes would look up at him and then laugh, like she just remembered that he was there.

She yawned, “Depends on what’s next.”

They approached the food truck and read the menu. They offered Carnitas Tacos, and he knew they wouldn’t be able to make that dessert stop. They ordered, let their tacos touch as if toasting, then ate with much gusto. They stayed at the food festival for less than an hour after that, crowned Taco Wacko the winner and ordered a couple to take away.

It was a successful date, considering he only had a couple of days to get away with his shifting schedule at the hospital. Today wasn’t exactly Valentine’s Day either, it was a couple of days later because on the actual day, he was on ER duty. Apparently, people still get sick and accidents still happen on that day.

Chase left Regina that morning with pancakes and Nutella on the kitchen counter, two dozen red roses on the vase, and a wrapped coffee table book containing the artworks at the Louvre just waiting for her.

That was what he could pull off then, but this day – this was theirs.


Read the rest of the story here:

Links to read The Boyfriend Backtrack here.


Happy Valentine’s Month, everyone!


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 –>