Martes, Nobyembre 15, 2016

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Miyerkules, Pebrero 10, 2016

Blog Tour: The Hometown Hazard by Dawn Lanuza

The author of The Boyfriend Backtrack is back with a new adult, romance novel which she released last January 29. 

Here's what it is all about:

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?

To entice you more about this book, read an excerpt from the book!

I blinked when the lights in one of our rooms turned on. I can see the light peeking through the windows, even if it was covered by the curtains. I stood up and peeked inside, hearing the guests’ voices in the living room.
I could do a headcount of who’s missing right now, but I know who’s been loitering out of the group all night.
I went back inside quietly, closed the front door and eyed the room at the other end of the hall. The door is slightly open. The light is open. I took a quick look at the guests and confirmed my suspicion. A grin spread on my face for this, stalking toward the room.
When I reached the door, I lowered my eyes and stepped back. I can wait outside. Surely, he’ll get out of the room eventually, right? Closing my eyes, eager to hear anything that would give me a clue what’s going on in there, I leaned forward. It was dead silent. I eyed the knob, willing myself to grab it, and when I finally had the courage to do it, the door made a creaking sound.
“Shit,” I whispered, pulling my hand back.
Rusty door knobs, maybe. I looked if there was a sign of forced entry. None. But I knew for sure this door was locked.
Finally, I heard footsteps approaching the door. I felt a lump in my throat and chill bumps spread on my forearms. Should I just call out his name? Take the bull out of its horns? A part of me suspected something like this would happen but how did I ever not think about what’d I do when it did?
And then there was nothing. It was just quiet.
I took another step back. What the hell? I pressed my lips together until I decided to straighten my back and croak, “Kip?”
Two strong hands grabbed my wrists and pulled me in.

This is not your typical romance novel, it has an added hint of mystery by the way Dawn wrote it. 
Want more? Read on!

Sweat trickled down from my forehead. I craned my neck to find a store so I could get myself a bottle of water, but when I turned around, I saw Kip standing nearby. He was leaning on to a bright red motorcycle, weight shifted on one side, the other knee bent. His black pants were torn too, partially exposing his left knee. Ripped piece of clothing apart, Kip still looked well, and seemed like he had just stepped out of the shower, even with this heat.
Our eyes met. Then he frowned.
“You’re everywhere,” Was my form of greeting, voice loud enough for him to hear me as I crossed the street to get to his side.
There’s a slight breeze that made me realize that he even smelled like he just got out of shower.
His eyes were focused on the dancers, but responded to me with, “How am I everywhere?”
“You’re here.”
“And what are you doing here?” Kip asked.
“Same thing you’re doing,” And with that, I meant snooping on the dancers.
He finally looked at me, eyes narrowing, “So you’re here to do something sneaky?”
Kip straightened his back, licking his lower lip, “It’s because I live here, you know.”
I frowned, “Crispin, train of thought. I don’t follow.”
“I’m everywhere because I live here. You don’t.” I didn’t argue. He threw me a side glance, “Why? Does it bother you that I’m around?”
My mouth twitched. “Well, considering that I caught you doing things one shouldn’t be doing more than once since I got here and a part of you thinks my dad is a thief, yes. I don’t exactly find that cute.”
“Well, I wasn’t trying to be...” He crossed his arms over his chest, looking like he’s enjoying teasing me, “Do you think I’m trying to be cute?”

This book even has a playlist on Spotify.

But these are the top tracks and the author herself shares insights about how the songs relate to the book.

The Naked and the Famous – No Way (Quiet)

This is actually the first song that came to mind when I was writing the book. It’s a beautiful track and I think it matches a certain part of the book. If you read the book, I think you’d know where it fits.

Chicago – If You Leave Me Now

This song just reminds me of lazy Sunday mornings and I feel like that’s how Jules pictured her childhood home and her hometown.

Raleigh Ritchie – The Chased

Just because there’s a lot of running and chasing.

Tom Waits – I Hope I Don’t Fall in Love with You

In the book, I made Kip and Jules dance to a James Taylor song but when I was writing it, I was imagining it with Tom Waits’ “I Hope I Don’t Fall in Love with You.”

Tegan and Sara – Drove Me Wild

This is my Kip song. I think about him when I listen to this song.

The Head and the Heart – Let’s Be Still

This is the song that’s playing in my head when I imagine the beach scene.

Colony House – Learning How to Love

I think this song’s lyrics is spot on with Jules.

Imogen Heap – Entanglement

Last scene. I’ll leave it with that. ☺

While listening to these songs, why don't you read another excerpt from the book just to give you the feels. Which one would be the perfect song for this scene? Read on.

A couple of minutes later, the crowd started to pour out. I watched them all walk out, reminding me of people after watching a movie or a concert. Excitement oozed out of it.
And while they all walked out, scattered as they go about their own ways, the crowd acted in uniform. Except for that one man who was running, pushing everyone aside to avoid whatever it was he was escaping.
The crowd noticed, and I found myself following the man as he ducked, avoiding two conversing men. Trailing behind him, eyes not letting the man out of his sight, is Kip Villamor. I followed them chase each other, wondering what the hell was going on.
Did the man steal anything from Kip? It seemed so. He was determined to get away as much as Kip was determined to catch him. From across the street, I saw the man head for us, barely checking the road when he crossed it. A couple of horns blazed, but he remained unscathed.
A car stopped in the middle of the road, and the driver yelled curses at the man, and that’s when I caught Kip’s eye from across the road. He looked surprised to find me there, but his eyes quickly searched for the man who has now disappeared from our sight.
He turned back to me, and something inside me wakes up, like being tagged in a game of catch. I straightened my back and ran to the direction where the man went. I assumed Kip followed me, because he was running behind me, yelling, “What are you doing here?”
I glanced at my shoulder, “What are you doing chasing after some guy?”
The man was already panting in the corner. When he saw us, he started to run again, but I got to him first and reached out to him by wrapping my arms around his waist, tackling him.
We fell on the ground and he started squirming.
“Don’t even think about it,” I sat up, holding him up.
“Jesus,” Kip reached us, placing his hands on his knees. He said, in between breaths, “I was just going to ask questions.”

Dawn Lanuza is also having a giveaway! Join and you might just win!

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And because Dawn loves to tease, she wants us to read more from the book!

I sat next to him but kept a good distance between us. He studied me for a minute then sighed, “We’re on the same team, you know.”
I gave him a confused look.
“We’re after the same thing. So stop treating me like the enemy.”
A grimace formed on my face, “We are so not after the same thing.”
As if interrupting my thoughts, Kip interjected, “I’m rooting for your dad too. You’re protecting him. That’s why you found yourself looking for Elise Cabrera.” He paused for a minute before saying, “I’ve got a head start so you’re going to keep bumping next to me if you push through.”
I blinked, taking in what he said. He was right. He’s got a good head start. Whatever I find, he probably already knew.
“You know what they say, ‘if you can’t beat them, join them’?” Kip gave me a side glance.
Still not sure of what direction to take, I cupped my face and leaned my elbow on my lap. A part of me wants to say no right away because what he’s doing is bound to get him in trouble. But I was also getting curious. I wanted to know what this was about. Maybe my dad didn’t know about the whole thing. Maybe he ought to know.
I wrinkled my nose, “Fine.”
He paused for a minute then let out a laugh, “Wow. Did I just win my first argument?” I didn’t say anything back and just kept my face straight. “Do you know what this means?”
“It means less rash actions from you, more sensible ones from me,” I bit back. “And if we’re gonna do something wrong, we might as well do it right.”
Kip let out a snicker, eyes flicking back to me. “That’s…” He shook his head, smiling to himself.
“Less running too, I’m hoping,” I added.
He cleared his throat, “Just…one rule.”
“There are rules?” My voice hitched an octave higher.
“One,” He emphasized, like I haven’t been listening to him all along. “And you’re the one who’s all about the rules and the law and the plan. I thought you’d be psyched about this.”
Exasperated, I nodded, waving my hand as if saying, fine.
Kip shifted and caught my eye, lips tight, jaw clenching. “Don’t do anything behind my back. I’m going to have to trust you, okay? Maybe you should do the same for me too.”

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About the Author

Dawn Lanuza started writing stories when she was just a kid (they weren’t good or even finished). She works for the music industry by day and writes meet cutes and snappy comebacks by night. ‘The Boyfriend Backtrack’ is her first book. She currently lives with her family and an adopted dog.


Linggo, Hunyo 7, 2015

#SparkNA Journey to Bravery

I signed up for the #SparkNA online class by Ms. Mina Esguerra because it's been almost two years since I last wrote a full novella. I thought I should join the online class to motivate myself to finish and produce another novella after my second self-publish book Forget Me Not for #romanceclass.

What I really liked about joining these online classes was that I was given a deadline which motivated me to meet them and produce something significant by the timeline set for us. Also, we were given themes/ topics to work on in these classes which was good for me since I usually get writer's block when thinking of what to write about. Somehow I get to have ideas pop into my head from these themes. Although I think two months to finish a full novella with a minimum of 20K words was a very short period compared to what was set for us back in #romanceclass. So it was really one hell of cramming and daydreaming in my head. I wasn't even sure I was going to finish it because of some unexpected events.

Around the time we were already writing Act One of our #SparkNA novella, I got chicken pox and was really feeling unwell. At first, I thought, "Is this a sign from God that I won't be able to submit anything for the #SparkNA? Maybe it just isn't meant to be." But then, spending only two days locked up in my room and still 12 more days to go until I can go out and not be contagious anymore, I saw the situation more as an opportunity for me to actually write since I don't have to go to work. I literally spent the whole time in front of my laptop watching TV shows I have been keeping for future viewing and sleeping and resting. After only two days, I was really bored and restless that I needed to do something and get my mind off all the itchiness and redness. So I started to work on my #SparkNA novella for 4 hours every night before I go to sleep. Soon enough, I was able to complete my novella way ahead of the deadline. I was actually surprised that I was brave enough to see the disaster as an opportunity and something positive and dump the Nega Girl that I have always been. ;) I guess the possibility of getting published by Anvil Spark Books and getting my book to the bookstores was motivation enough for me to push through and not get held back by chicken pox and myself--my own worst enemy!

Since 'Be Brave' was the theme of #SparkNA, I, like my other classmates, also came to the conclusion that not only did my character became brave but also me. (I don't know if they'll get how my character was brave but this is how I was.) This was the first time I was really challenged to write something different and mature with regards to heat levels of a romance novella. Since it is a New Adult genre I thought maybe I should up the heat level in my writing but I was still not ready for Heat Level #5 so I went from 0 to level #2 only. That was still really something new for me since I have never written anything but 'clean' sweet romance. With my #SparkNA novella I braved new territory which I still don't know if I succeeded to make readers get the feels or not. In my opinion, I was able to do it quite better than I expected since I got a reaction from one of my beta readers. :p

Submitting this #SparkNA novella meant either achieving something (which was to get published and be in the bookstores) or getting a big fat rejection. I have had my fair share of rejections from a lot of publishers from way back when I was still in college and most probably it's because of my poor writing skills back then which I would like to assume that I have improved a lot on since. I was thinking twice about submitting because I did not really want to get rejected or left hanging without any response at all. I could always get my book out there by self-publishing it, right? Why do I have to let myself go through the pain of getting rejected again. But then I thought, maybe it was time to try again. Maybe this time, the outcome will be better. Am really crossing my fingers for me and my classmates that we all get approved by Anvil Spark Books. So I did what I had to do and submitted my manuscript and braved whatever may come--rejection or acceptance. Come what may. As my best friend told me, at least I know clearly in my head it was a rejection and not just a bunch of endless 'what ifs'. It was better to have an actual result. She was right so I hit 'Send'.

To sum it up, this #SparkNA class was a great experience for me. Being more active in the Twitter feeds than I was before made me meet new friends that could help me improve and be motivated knowing that I am not alone in this journey.  It was nice to know that we have someone to cheer us on and cram together with.

On to my next journey with #HeistClub! That if life permits it. Haha

Congrats to my #SparkNA classmates! 31 novellas were produced! WOOT WOOT!!!
Let's reach for the stars!

Artwork credits to Cherriuki

Miyerkules, Mayo 20, 2015

{Blog Tour + Excerpt}- BuqoYA Bundle#4- Heart Choices


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.

This bundle includes six stories written by Filipino authors for an online class hosted by Buqo led by Ms. Mina V. Esguerra.

Until the Race is Over by Lyka Caparos

Rico wishes Lianne back in his life, but because of that viral article that Traecy posted on their school paper's website, it appears to be impossible for them to be together again. Traecy on the other hand, had only one wish for her birthday, to spend it with the one she admires since high school – Rico Avila. How can fate bring the two together in a race that would definitely reveal small discoveries that can lead to two choices: either to tear them apart or hope for a more unexpected relationship?


“When I see her, I always feel na gusto ko siyang kausapin. I want to keep her nearer and nearer to my world. It breaks my heart whenever I saw her talking to someone else. Na parang naka move on na siya in just two damn months.” He said laughing though I know he’s deeply hurt, then continued, “She doesn’t realize how hurt I was. She doesn’t even care about me anymore. Ang daling kalimutan para sa kanya ang mga pinagdaanan namin. But for me, it hurts like hell.” Napayuko ako ng hindi niya makita ang reaksyon ko sa sinabi niya. Tama nga Traecy, gumising ka sa katotohanan.

Gusto ko siyang samahan kahit ngayong araw lang. Gusto kong pasayahin siya kahit para sa kanya corny. Gusto kong kahit ngayong araw lang, makalimutan niya ang sakit na nararamdamn niya sa babaeng ‘yon. Sa maswerteng babaeng si Lianne na hindi man lang na appreciate ang lalakeng tunay na nagmamahal sa kanya.

“Mahirap ang makamove on. Mahirap ang makalimot. Mahirap ang magbigay ng payo lalo na kung wala ka naman sa lugar. Pero gusto ko lang sanang sabihin sayo na… libre ang maging masaya Rico. It really takes a lot of time para makalimot, and it takes a lot of courage to stand up for yourself and to love yourself this time. Alam kong… hindi ako ang tamang taong magbigay sayo ng advice para sa ganyang bagay pero sana makatulong ako. Sana kahit hindi mo ako ganoon ka kilala, sana maalala mo man lang ang mga sinabi ko…”

“Looks like you’re good at advising ha. Sige nga, can you give me your final blow?”

I smiled and cleared my throat before saying anything.  “If you’ve given a great love to someone before and that person never gave it back to you… someone will.”

Lyka Caparos

Because I want something in my life that I think is better than pursuing a degree that is far beyond the expectations of my heart.

In That Summer by Jayen San Diego

Senior high school student Jane Enriquez is the ‘dream-girl’ of all male students at Southridge Montessori. Well, except the geeky student leader Sean Villamayor. Opposing from the start, Sean never expected Jane would become his partner for this year’s Summer Camp Immersion. Will this be their worst summer? Or will it turn out to be different?


“Ordinary? Are you really that blind, Sean?” Red asked.

Sean self-consciously adjusted his eyeglasses and added, “Well, she’s not that stunningly pretty. I even doubt if she still looks cute without her makeup on. She’s only here because she’s the chairman’s daughter.”

Red did not say anything, and Sean already knew that it was the end of their conversation.

“Are you done with the supplies?”

Sean was startled when he heard Jaine’s voice come from behind Red. He glanced at Red, who looked equally surprised by her presence.

Did Jaine hear what I said? Sean wanted to ask.

When neither of the guys answered her, Jaine added, “There are still a few boxes in the stock room. And Miss Darson said you should hurry up.”

“Yes, ma’am,” Red responded.

He gave Jaine a playful salute and his infamous smile. Other girls would have swooned at this. Sean noted that Jaine wasn’t even slightly affected. Maybe Sean was wrong. Maybe Jaine wasn’t like every other girl.

Red left, enthusiastically roping other basketball team members into helping him on his way to the stock room. Sean turned his attention back to his task. He expected Jaine to leave, having accomplished her task. But she stayed and stared at him.

He wanted to ignore her, but he was surprised to find he felt self-conscious. He then reasoned to himself that it was just because he wasn’t use to working with someone watching him.

“Do you need anything else?” he asked without looking up from his checklist of supplies.

He waited, but Jaine just continued to stare. Irritated, he finally stopped working and gave her the attention she wanted.

“Do you need anything else, Miss Jaine Enriquez?” he asked again, giving emphasis to his formal way of addressing her.

To his bemusement, Jaine smiled. Her whole face brightened up when she did. And Sean was reminded of this season, of summer. He knew she wasn’t ordinary. But Sean would never admit he’d been wrong.

Jayen San Diego

Who I am?

I'm Jayen San Diego, a twenty-something who writes stories mostly about love. I'm a news archivist by day, fiction writer by night and a self-confessed Fangirl in between.

Why I write?

“In order to write about life first you must live it.” 
― Ernest Hemingway

They say when we want a moment to last, we close our eyes. Well, for me, I prefer to write it down. Reliving the moments through writing is what I do.

What I write?

Sharing my thoughts about life and love and writing.

From personal anecdotes to life opinions, you can read it here. When my melancholic side is on, you can read poetic post but generally it is a mirror of what’s happening in my daily life.

On the Outside Looking In by Claire Du

Seventeen-year-old Freya Mahilum has always been in love with football hotshot Ezra Montelibano. Ezra, who’s too caught up with family pressures and his so-called girlfriend to pay attention to a geek obsessed with him. Freya knows she'd never stand a chance with him, but then fate conspires to bring them together. Will getting to know each other prove that love knows no boundaries or will they find that they're better off existing in two separate worlds?


“Come on! We need those points! Run for it!” someone shouted from the benches. I knew that was Ezra’s ever-supportive dad who cheered for him at every game. I’ve been to all of them, too.

“Duck!” another spectator shouted.

My eyes followed Ezra, and I saw that he was running toward me. He was looking right at me! I wondered why.


A football hit me in the face, blocking me from seeing the love of my life.

“Oww! That hurts!” So that was how people in Tube’s Funniest Videos felt. It wasn’t funny at all.

I held my face in my hands. It hurt so much that I thought my head cracked and I’d feel blood trickling on my arms. The football was there, lying innocently next to my feet.

“Hey, can you throw the ball back?”

Oh my freakin’ ball of fire. That was HIS voice. I composed myself and slowly raised my eyes. Unconsciously, I batted my eyelashes, so he could see how long they were. His hair was ruffled, his forehead glistened with sweat, and he had these lines between his eyebrows as a result of him frowning. But that face, with the thick brows, piercing brown eyes, and those lips that looked better when he smiled—that was the face I couldn’t seem to get tired of staring at.

“Here you go. And don’t worry, it’s totally okay. These things happen to people,” I mumbled.

I couldn’t stop from smiling widely even though I knew I had a big, red splotch on my forehead. Add to that my uncombed hair and the tears that were about to fall due to pain, and you have a good idea how pretty I felt right at that moment. Not.

Claire Du

Claire has been a bookworm ever since she can remember. Her passion for reading started when she met Archie Andrews at the Airport Bookshop. Aside from writing short stories, she also enjoys reading and reviews at, playing the keyboard, and just cuddling with her dog Frou. She's the author of He Loves Me... Not?, one of the short stories in an anthology called Luna East Vol.1 : Kids These Days.

What About Today by Dawn Lanuza

Aiden's stuck working for his family's amusement park, Funtastic World, for the whole summer. Nothing amuses him, until he met this terrified girl.

Gemma's stuck in Funtastic World thinking she could handle the park's rides. She couldn't. Good thing she met someone to guide her.

As the day comes to a close, Aiden and Gemma ask themselves if one day is ever enough to decide if they were better off as friends or strangers.


Gemma glanced at her watch and remembered that she was supposed to catch the bus heading back home at 7 in the evening. It’s already 5. Did she really spend a lot of time staring at The Big Red Dragon earlier? Or did she take too much time at the gift shop to buy nothing?

She started feeling like two hours wouldn’t be enough to complete everything. Could she maybe extend? Then again, how would leaving play out exactly?

“Alright, I need to go” isn’t going to cut it. She and Aiden already had moments. Now they’re in this limbo between being strangers and friends. They weren’t exactly strangers, but they weren’t friends just yet.

Plus they’re in an amusement park. They just met. Did it count for something?

She wished this could be more of a train incident where people smiled at each other when one offered a seat and that’s the end of that. They all get off their stops.

And if she and Aiden were ever going to be friends, in the real sense of the word after today, how’s that going to work? They’re going to stay in touch by texting? Chatting online? It all seemed superficial. It was not like meeting someone in school; she’s required to see that person almost everyday, which made being friends with someone almost compulsory. But meetings like these...what did one do with them?

File them to chance encounters.

Gemma betted that if they lived in a different time, this is the kind of thing that would produce a pile of letters, mailed back and forth within long intervals. It could take days, weeks, and months even. But people were cool back then. Now, relationships could completely end over a person forgetting to text or call overnight.

She didn’t want that.
Dawn Lanuza

Dawn Lanuza started writing stories when she was just a kid (the drafts weren't good or even finished). She works for the music industry by day and writes meet cutes and snappy comebacks by night. She currently lives with her family and an adopted dog.

Waiting for Whatever by Fay Sebastian

Denise knew pain at an early age. She has been waiting for her true love since she was 11, but she never gave up, knowing she'd meet him someday.

What she didn't know was that she already met the man she's been waiting for, and that he's sitting beside her at the airport. The thought never crossed her mind because she's seated between two guys who broke her heart before.


I’m not a big fan of waiting. Ayoko sa mga taong laging late, sa mga mahahabang pila, sa kahit anong delayed—flights, release dates, pag-ibig...


Ayoko sa delayed na pag-ibig, pero naghihintay pa rin ako. At maghihintay pa rin ako. Kahit gaano pa katagal, hihintayin ko siya. Si TL, si The One, si soulmate, si ano, whatever you’d like to call him. Basta kung sino man siya, kung sino man ang inilaan para sa’kin, hihintayin ko siya.

At dahil nga ayokong naghihintay sa kahit anong bagay, ayoko ring nagpapahintay. Nasa airport ako, naghihintay sa pagbubukas ng check-in counters. Maaga kasi akong nakarating, maaga pa sa maaga. I came here early because I’m extremely excited for my flight and because if there’s one flight I can’t miss, it’s this one.

I don’t want to be late for Paris.

Tita Mel gave me a roundtrip ticket to Paris as a gift for my 18th birthday. I’ll stay in the city of love for two weeks. Part of me wants to believe I’ll meet him there. Maybe while staring at the view from the top of the Eiffel Tower, someone would say hi and poof. Let the magic begin.

Nagdala ako ng babasahin kung sakaling matagal-tagal pa ang hihintayin ko. Dinala ko yung novels sa reading list ko, pero nasa maleta lahat yun. Isa lang ang iniwan ko sa shoulder bag ko. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen—may nagsabi sa’kin na ‘di raw ‘to nakakasawang basahin nang paulit-ulit. We’ll see if that’s true. Let’s put this book to the test.

There’s a vacant seat between two boys near the check-in area. I wanted to take a seat and start reading the book, but when I saw who the two boys were, something inside me made me think twice.

Fay Sebastian

Fay started writing stories since she learned how to write with a pencil, but she only rediscovered her love for writing when she was a high school freshman. Since then, writing has become her life.

Now a Speech Communication student at the University of the Philippines, she writes even during the busiest of days because writing prevents her from being a college zombie.

Why she holds writing instruments in an odd way will always be a mystery to the world.

Barely Even Friends by Kristel S. Villar

For pretty and athletic Emily Fonseca, nothing’s better than getting invited to join Luna East Arts Academy’s most popular crowd, the Elites. She only has to fulfill a list of dares to prove that she’s got what it takes. But will it cost Emily her rekindled friendship with language tutor and childhood friend Noah Calderon?


“Someone’s coming!” he announced, walking towards me in panic.

I quickly stuffed the paper inside my pocket and closed the drawer in haste. I watched Noah scan the room to look for a place to hide, and tugged me on my elbow when he saw a door at the corner of the room. He pushed me roughly inside just in time the front door opened.

We were in a dark and tiny broom closet. The air stank of floor wax, dust, and wood, making my nose itch. I reached up to rub my nose, but my elbow caught one of the shelves and it made a soft clatter. Noah seized my arm and cupped my mouth with his other hand, hushing me to keep me still.

“Hello?” the female voice asked. I recognized it as one of our substitute teachers, but I couldn’t remember her name.

We stood there for God knows how long as we listened to the shuffling of papers. I felt Noah’s chest rise and fall, and his hot breath on my forehead. I felt the way my small frame measured to his lean build, and the warmth of his hand holding my arm. I closed my eyes, feeling the skin of his palm on my lips and inhaling the scent of his cologne amidst the stench of the closet.

Stop it, Emily, I scolded myself.

The room fell silent a few minutes later. I pulled his hand away from my mouth and leaned over the door to get a better hearing but Noah pulled me back in his arms, perhaps afraid that I would make another noise.

“Do you think she’s gone?” I hissed at him.

“I dunno. I haven’t heard the door open yet. Keep still,” he whispered back.

Kristel S. Villar

Kristel S. Villar covers sporting events for a national broadsheet by day and tries to write fiction by night. In between, she takes care of her husband and son. She has penned "Blast from Two Pasts". a contemporary romance novella, and "The Rumor About Me", her first short story for the Luna East anthology. He second Luna East short story, "One on One" is featured in the quarterly online romance journal, Clara (

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