Event Recap: #NBSFeelsCafe Spark Books Group Book Launch and Discussion

Last February 18, I was able to catch the Spark Books Group Book Launch and Discussion, one of the many events lined up for #NBSFeelsCafe. #NBSFeelsCafe is a series of events hosted by National Book Store featuring local authors. Spark Books is an imprint of Anvil Publishing which releases romance new adult titles.

Photo: National Book Store FB Page

On the days leading up to the event, I was not really decided on going for trivial reasons: 1. I have a massive pimple breakout, ergo confidence crisis and 2. I don’t have anyone to accompany me. But I really wanted to meet the 2017 #SparkNA authors especially Carla De Guzman, author of Midnights in Bali, which is a novella I recently reviewed here on the blog. I was also hoping that Dawn Lanuza would also come to the event because I loved her YA book, What About Today. So what I did was hatch an excuse so I can get my lazy ass out of the house and go. My sister and I were planning to cancel our cellphone postpaid lines and shift to prepaid for the longest time so I asked her that Saturday if we can do so on the mall where the event was happening. I was planning to segue to the event after. On our way to the mall, it rained heavily and my sister wanted to go back home but I insisted. After dealing with a mediocre customer service representative and paying our outstanding bills, we found out that we could have done the cancellation of our accounts thru the customer service hotline. It was already past 2PM by the time we have finished so I hurriedly dragged my sister to the event. She was not happy because we were both drenched from the rain and all she wanted at the moment was to go home already. I convinced her that it would not take long and she tentatively agreed to come with me.

 We arrived just in time when the event is about to start. We registered our names and sat down with the audience. They did the group book launch first. #SparkNA titles were grouped according to their themes. Then the authors went on stage to talk and read the blurbs of their respective books. I took photos of them onstage but they were blurred or grainy so I decided not to post them here. After all the 2017 #SparkNA titles have all been introduced, they also called up on some previous year’s #SparkNA authors and lo and behold, Dawn Lanuza was among them!

After the book launch, they facilitated a Bring-Me game with prizes from Anvil Publishing. Then Mina Esguerra, the highly esteemed mover and shaker of #romanceclass and #SparkNA titles took the stage and spoke a little about the discussion topic which is about dealing with what’s yours and not yours. It was a short and sweet talk, then she went on and introduced a surprise part of the program: a live reading of some titles from the authors featured in the event. I was not able to catch the names of the readers but they both did a good job on breathing life to the characters. UPDATE: Thanks to Annete The Wicked's #romanceclass love post where I got the names of the talented readers: they are Gracielle So and Miguel Almendraz!

With Mina Esguerra

The live readers giving life to Spark Books characters

The first book that they read was Welcome to Envy Park by Mina Esguerra. I was so fascinated by their reading that I was compelled to buy a copy. I stood up and went to the area where the books are displayed for sale. I picked up Welcome to Envy Park by Mina Esguerra, The Boyfriend Backtrack by Dawn Lanuza and five other 2017 #SparkNA titles. I swear I would’ve bought all the titles in there if I have more money. While milling around the area, I spotted Dawn Lanuza. I approached her and introduced myself. She recognized my Twitter handle (yay!) and I fangirled all over her: asking her to sign my copy of What About Today and The Boyfriend Backtrack, asking for a photo with her and asking if she’s considering a sequel for What About Today because, as evident from my review here on the blog, I can’t get enough of all the feels from that book. Then the emcee introduced the next book to be read live and it was What About Today! Dawn commented that she did not know that they are doing her book. The readers lend their voices to Aiden and Gemma and of course, I was all smiles during the whole thing.

With Dawn Lanuza

Carla De Guzman and Six Delos Reyes were both standing near listening to the live reading. Some people were approaching and talking to them so I decided to do the same. Carla asked me if I am enjoying the event then she and Six signed my copy of Midnights in Bali and Sounds of Summer, respectively.

With Carla De Guzman
With Six Delos Reyes

I saw Kate of The Bookaholic Blurbs taking videos and photos of the event. Kate was one of the blogger panelists in last year’s Philippine Readers and Writers Festival. I said hi and talked to her for a bit after the program proper.

With Kate Manalo of The Bookaholic Blurbs

The 2017 #SparkNA authors sat down on their designated seats for the book signing and the swarming bookworms like me lined up to meet them.

With C.P. Santi

With Brigitte Bautista

With Chi Yu Rodriguez

With Clare Elisabeth Marquez
For the full list of all the #SparkNA Books launched that day, visit National Book Store's blog here. And thank you to National Book Store and to all the sponsors for making the event possible. Braving the rain, getting over my confidence crisis and dragging my sister was all worth it because I enjoyed getting new books and meeting their authors.

How about you? Were you able to attend any of the events lined up for #NBSFeelsCafe? Tell me about your own experiences in the comments.

P.S. I am not totally evil so I made it up to my sister when we got home by making chocolate pancakes for her for merienda.
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