White Collar Finale

I’ve been a fan of the show White Collar since Neal Caffrey escaped prison. I’ve watched every episode to date and with each new twist in Neal’s story, I find myself just as eagerly anticipating a new episode each week as I did the first time around. Season three’s season finale didn’t disappoint one bit.

Where did Neal and Mozzie fly off to?

That is the question on every White Collar fan’s mind.

The lead up to the commutation hearing was subtle. It was hinted at in every episode since Neal and Peter captured Keller with the Nazi treasure. As a regular viewer, I suspected the hearing would take place as part of this season’s finale, but I never thought the series writers would end season three this way. Neal’s on the run, and all because of Agent Kramer. I guess I should have known better. During the entire season, Mozzie’s been trying to convince Neal to take the treasure and run away with him. I also should have known that Mozzie would find a way to keep some of the treasure for a rainy day. Did they make it to the island?

Speculation abound now that the season is over. At one point, while I was watching Neal on the plane, I thought White Collar was canceled. So, imagine my relief when I hit search on Google and found out there’s a season four returning this summer.

My suspicion is that Neal and Mozzie will meet up with Gordon Taylor, a legendary con who they got to work with in this season’s penultimate episode. Gordon hinted at a job in France that he wants Neal and Mozzie in on. Oh, what I could give to see Neal in the streets of Paris.

Will he return to his con ways? Or will Peter catch up with him at some point?

I have a feeling season four will be all about Agent Kramer. He wants to get his hands on Neal really bad. But I also speculate that Neal’s father will make an appearance, or at least, there’s a storyline seed planted in the final episode of season three to lead me to that conclusion. Everything is too interconnected in this series for little hints like that to go unnoticed. I personally would like to meet Neal’s father. Maybe even his mother. They’re both still alive after all. There has to be something worthwhile there.

In short, I can’t wait for season four to begin.

Cover Reveal + Interview

I just had to share. The lovely Jenny from Bookworm Mia wanted an interview to go with her cover reveal for Taste. It's the very first official interview for Taste! Hop on over to Bookworm Mia for exclusive information about our Barinkoff gang:

Ten Reasons to Watch The Finder

Just for fun since I LOVE The Finder.

Here are ten reasons why you should watch The Finder:

10. The episodes.

"Little Green Men" or episode 6 is my favorite episode to date. You don't know what's real and what isn't. The mention conspiracy theories, and this episode really plays on your paranoia. Need more reasons to watch? Well, read on...

9. The honor jar.

Since Walter and Leo are out most of the time finding things, The Ends of the Earth (Leo's bar slash dive) is left to its own devices. Hence it's self-serve. That's where the honor jar comes in. You serve yourself and pay using the honor jar.

8. The blackboard.

Always watch out for the blackboard. Usually they use it to show what the episode is about through philosophical arguments like Samurai vs. Ninja. Who would you think would win?

7. Walter’s vault.

See, this is the most awesome thing because no one really knows what's inside Walter's vault. Well, at this point in the series, two other people other than Walter know. But will the audience ever get a sneak peek? I sure as hell want to.

6. The cast.

I love the cast chemistry. Enough said.

5. Johnny.

I love Johnny! He's so funny. I hope they bring him back for more episodes. He's already showed up in two.

4. The way Walter answers questions.

The episode this preview comes from is called "Bullets" where Walter takes a psych test to determine if he is fit to consult with the FBI and other law enforcement agencies. Basically, the way he answers the questions in this scene is just the tip of the iceberg for him.

3. Sexy marshal with a gun.

The scene directly after this, she runs out with her gun in her hands just in her underwear. I love how confident her character is and how she handles the craziness that is Walter.

2. Leo

Michael Clark Duncan. Enough said.

1. Walter.

Basically, The Finder is a fun show to watch. At times you don't get what it's trying to be (maybe it's a hybrid), but I love Walter. He totally carries the show. Each week, I wait with baited breath for the next episode. I'm glad I took a chance on this one.

Cover Reveal: Tangi's Teardrops by Liz Grace Davis

Here's another cover reveal for you. What do you think?

When Tangi's father dies, he leaves her nothing but three empty bottles. A kind uncle takes the poverty-stricken girl and her stepsisters in, and for a time life gets better on his farm. But Tangi remains a lonely outsider; her stepsisters tease her for her crippled leg, and the housekeepers use her like a servant.

Just before her thirteenth birthday, Tangi learns the truth about her father's strange legacy: the three bottles aren't empty any more. They're filled with all the tears she's cried since her father died, and her tears are enchanted. She must use them to travel to Rosevine, the world of her dead mother. Tangi not only belongs there but is necessary to keep Rosevine alive.

Tangi's tears will save Rosevine, and Rosevine will save Tangi from a cruelty-filled life, except for one thing: Tangi's lost the bottles.

Available now in Amazon Kindle Stores:

Writing Fears

My second pass edits for Taste arrived yesterday, which means today marks the beginning of my second pass editing. Meanwhile, I would like to discuss writing fears with all of you.

Most of my character’s stories come in a series, which means a trilogy or more in some cases. When I first started taking my writing seriously, I told myself I would not start the second book of a series until the first book finds a home. Since the novels I’ve completed are finding homes one by one, I’m faced with the need to write the second book. Unfortunately, my reading is where my writing fear is coming from.

Have you ever read the second book of a series and it doesn’t stand up to the first? Or that the first book is better than the rest of the books in the series? That’s been happening to me lately. I’ve been reading a lot of second books in a series that don’t measure up to the first. Hence my current concern. My guess is so much work came into the first book that when it finds a home a certain laxity happens to the writer when it comes to writing the second book since it’s sure to have a home already. Does the drive to make the second book as good as the first disappear when you know the second book already has a home? That you don’t need to make it as perfect as the first?

I’m just thinking aloud in this case, finding an outlet to express my legitimate fear, which I look forward to facing in the coming months since I’ll be writing the sequel to ‘Til Death. Of course, we all know that there are second books out there that are better than the first. There are even trilogies where each book gets better than the last. That’s certainly something to aspire to and an incentive to keep working hard, to give each book just as much attention, if not even more.

So, before I head off to my editing cave, I want to leave you with this question: What are your writing fears?

Taking Character Risks

What kind of character risks are you willing to take?

The reason why I ask this question is because when I write, I like to push certain boundaries, see how far I could take my limitations based on the story in my head at the time. Sometimes, I look at different plot techniques to push myself further than what I’m comfortable with. For example, I would write something from three different characters’ view points when I usually construct a story shown through the eyes of only one character.

Another way I like pushing my writing boundaries is through the use of unusual characters. One character that appeals to me lately is the androgynous male or female. Someone who can play the role of both sexes flawlessly. I’ve always been attracted to the concept of androgyny. This is usually someone so good looking that you can’t distinguish if he or she is male or female. Here’s an example of what I mean:

Andrej Pejic is currently the most in demand model in the industry simply because he is different. As you saw from the video, he can flawlessly model as both a man and a woman. The masculine and the feminine are perfectly balanced in him that he’s attractive either way. It’s not just looks. There’s a charisma about him that draws you in.

Andrej is the kind of character I want to add to one of my future novels. I want to see where I can take an androgynous character. Or what happens when someone androgynous is placed into the mix. There are so many possibilities, so many creative outlets to explore. At the same time, the plot lines can be endless, along with the selection of genre. Can you imagine an androgynous character in a steam punk novel? I can. Just thinking about what’s possible excites me. As a writer, I want to keep learning, to keep evolving, to keep pushing. I want to explore all avenues and every different way I could play with a story.

What about you? Is there a character you want to see in a novel today? Or, if you’re a writer, what kinds of character risks haven’t you explored yet?

Add Taste on Goodreads

If you have a Goodreads account, you can finally add Taste to your To Read list by clicking on the button below the cover.

Cover Reveal: GRAVITY by Melissa West

In the future, only one rule will matter:

Don't. Ever. Peek.

Seventeen-year-old Ari Alexander just broke that rule and saw the last
person she expected hovering above her bed - arrogant Jackson Locke, the
most popular boy in her school. She expects instant execution or some kind
of freak alien punishment, but instead, Jackson issues a challenge: help
him, or everyone on Earth will die.

Ari knows she should report him, but everything about Jackson makes her
question what she's been taught about his kind. And against her instincts,
she's falling for him. But Ari isn't just any girl, and Jackson wants more
than her attention. She¹s a military legacy who¹s been trained by her
father and exposed to war strategies and societal information no one can
know - especially an alien spy, like Jackson. Giving Jackson the
information he needs will betray her father and her country, but keeping
silent will start a war.

Release: October 2012

Pre-order from Amazon:

Add to Goodreads:

The Art of Cosplay

I started my week attending The Art of Cosplay event at De La Salle University, Manila. It was so much fun going back to my old stomping grounds and seeing the old and the new coming together. The university is always evolving, and what I love the most about it is that no matter how much it changes, the feeling of walking it's halls is like coming home.

So, back to the cosplay event. It was so fun. So much fun in fact that I had to put together a slideshow made up of all the pictures I accumulated that day. So, without further ado, press play and see what I mean.

If you want to know more about The Art of Cosplay, you can visit its Facebook page. Lots more pictures there. 

Taste Official Cover

Here it is!

It's a full circle moment for me. Thank you so much, Marlene, for working hard on getting the cover. I hope you all can join me in a cover reveal for Taste on your blog. :-)

Singles Awareness Day

In celebration of Singles Awareness Day (or for those of you part of a couple, Valentine's Day), I'm redoing my now annual character date post. Last year, my character date came from Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr. I was so in love with Seth this time last year.

This year, I stepped away from characters from books and moved on to characters from TV shows. At the moment, I'm currently obsessed with The Finder, a spinoff series from Bones based on the book The Locator by Richard Greener.

If you're a fan of the show then you might know who I'm referring to. For those who are finding out about the show through this post, my character date is:

Walter Sherman.

He's an Iraq war veteran with brain damage that manifests itself in his uncanny ability to find missing people and objects. His tactlessness makes me laugh. I feel like he'd be an interesting date, that is when he's not finding something. Here's Walter in action:

What about you, who's your character date for Singles Awareness Day?

Movies and a Remembrance

I love watching movies.

Let’s let that idea set in for a second.


I use movies to escape my head at least once a week. I like going into the cinema, choosing a seat, and forgetting there’s a world outside the darkness of the theater for at least two hours. Once, a high school friend and I watched four movies in a day. It took great planning in terms of timing which movie to watch first so we had time to run to the next theater before the next movie started. That was an awesome day.

This week, it was a triple treat. I got to watch Safe House, The Woman in Black, and The Vow. These three movies represent what I love to watch.

Safe House brings together two of my favorite actors: Ryan Reynolds and Denzel Washington. Action, suspense, and the CIA plus Reynolds and Washington, I’m sold. I just wasn’t comfortable with the hand-held camera scenes reminiscent of any of the Bourne movies. My motion sickness isn’t happy when the shots are jerky.

If you’re looking for a scary movie, The Woman in Black is for you. For his first movie outside of the Potter franchise, I think Daniel Radcliff did a good job. Although, the Potter jokes going around in the cinema while we were watching ruined the viewing pleasure. I just couldn’t concentrate on the movie to fully appreciate it. Maybe if the maturity level in the theater I was in was a little higher, I would have been totally freaked out by this movie. I mean, children killing themselves when they see the woman in black is spine tingling.

Lastly, nothing could have stopped me from watching The Vow short of Armageddon. Channing Tatum in a romantic movie? I’m there yesterday. Plus, I love Rachel McAdams. Seen The Notebook? Sigh. Anyway, back to The Vow. I thought I needed tissue for this movie, but it wasn’t the case even if it tugged at my heartstrings. It’s such a sweet story though. I kept wanting Paige (McAdams’s character) to remember her husband. I’m definitely adding this one to the romance section of my movie collection.

Besides watching three movies, something else caught my attention today. Can you believe it? You go to sleep one night and wake up in the morning to find out someone really famous has died. I want to take this moment to remember the golden voice that was Whitney Huston.

Movie Marathon Challenge

I believe in giving one’s self a free day where you do nothing but laze about. Do you ever give yourself a day like that? I once spent a whole month like that. Didn’t sit well with me. Started to get crazy not doing anything for very long, so I came up with a challenge that I want to share with all of you. Try it out when you give yourself a lazy day.

I call this challenge the Movie Marathon Challenge. Of course, this is not just any challenge. There’s a twist. Here’s how it works:

You pick out a movie…let’s say Mr. and Mrs. Smith.

Once you’re done watching this movie, you have to pick the next movie based on one of the lead actors in the previous movie. Since Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are in Mr. and Mrs. Smith, you can go one of two ways.

Let’s say you went with Angelina Jolie (note hint of a bias here). The next movie you have to watch has to star her. So, for the second movie, I pick The Tourist, which has Johnny Depp in it. This then leads me to my third movie, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl starring Keira Knightley and Orlando Bloom

I’m guessing you get how it goes by now.

Basically, you keep going until you run out of movies to connect using the lead actors or you fall asleep. Either way, it’s a challenge. You can even mix it up a little and have someone pick out the first movie for you and then you work your way from there.

Like I said, it’s a day to be lazy.

Grab your favorite snacks. Worry about chores and going to the gym and work the next day. Try out the challenge; you never know what movie it’ll lead you to watch.

Alarm Clock

Some people wake up to a buzzer. Some wake up to the radio. I wake up to this:

‘Til Death News

So, it’s time to reveal the secret I’ve been keeping since January. Oh, gosh, you don’t know how hard it was. I had to tell some people because if I’d kept it to myself, I would have exploded and my poor mother would have had to clean up bits of myself from the floor and walls, maybe even the ceiling. Okay, I took that imagery too far.

Anyway, this morning when I opened my inbox, a special attachment had arrived:

What is this, you might ask?

Well, it’s a picture of two copies of the contract for a three book deal with Entangled Publishing that I signed, sealed, and delivered for another one of my babies.

Everyone, it is my pleasure to announce that ‘Til Death has found a home. And as a special bonus, her unborn twins go along with her.

You can’t believe how hard it was to keep it a secret. It was even harder than when I was keeping Taste finding a home a secret. As you may remember, much baking happened then. I’m happy to report, this time, no baking happened. The first pass edits for Taste has kept my nerves busy enough that the oven was given its much needed rest.

I have so much more to share with you, but that’s another secret I need to keep to myself for now. Those of you who already know what it is, please zip up. *laughs* Love you all for putting up with my insanity.

So, while waiting, please head on over to The Illuminari Society and sample the first three chapters because like with Taste, they will be taken down soon enough.

Twitter post: #Happiness is being able to share good news.

I wish everyone a wonderful weekend. And as always, please check back here for more news regarding my writing and whatever else I’ve been up to. You are always welcome with open arms.
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