Friday, July 31, 2015

Conversion and Renewal

Today is the feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola. A saint of conversion, I look upon him to guide me through my own life journeys that are brimming with opportunities for growth and renewal. While this sounds hopeful, it is not struggle free. But there is grace. And  to witness this grace, which comes like a deluge, is enough to restore my faith in myself and in humanity.

I have been reflecting on my work as a school librarian in the Academy. The first two years was a breeze. I know what I need to do and I did it quite well. Evidence of this is the physical and technical structures that I was able to set in place for intellectual growth and personal development. The third year was amazing. Enough said.

On my fourth year, that's where the challenges rolled in. Looking back, I can now say it was something I asked for. And boy, did I get it. Those who dare and risk will never know what hit them. What is the best thing that came out of it? A realization of what I can do and can't; what needs to be done and what battles to pursue; knowing the friends whom I can trust and count on; and getting a better understanding of human nature.

Today, and on wards, I choose to be kind.

St. Ignatius of Loyola, pray for us!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

A Message of Thanks

My heart is still full of joy from the success of the recently concluded NCBD Book Fair.

It was a success because the fair was well attended. It was a success because in three weeks time, PBBY, the Rizal Library people and librarian volunteers were able to put together and pull through a children's book fair that included seven book sellers and publishers, two groups of college students studying children's literature and young adult literature, one indie comic book publisher and a Filipino book club. If attendance and this coming together of reading advocates and book lovers is an indicator of success, there is the sales report to look at as another measure of it. More than the kaching-kaching of the  cash register though, it is good to remember the purpose of staging a children's book fair.

Here is my letter to the exhibitors a few days after the fair.

Dear friends,

Our NCBD Book Fair was a success! There were 576 visitors to the fair last Saturday. The booth activities you set up and conducted during the fair were all enjoyable. We in PBBY hope that you were able to know, or at least, got an idea about Filipino young readers of today - your audience. To see your authors, illustrators and storytellers interact with children, their parents guardians and teachers at the fair was a delight. Thank you for making the book and the reading experience come alive in the eyes and hearts of children and teens who visited the fair! Even the young at heart had fun!

As a librarian, I am happy to have done this activity with you in partnership with the Rizal Library librarians and librarian volunteers. Our job as librarians is to create mechanisms that will bring books closer to children and young adults. Your participation in the NCBD Book Fair helped this become a reality. I hope that your sales people were able to establish networks with school personnel, meet parents and NGOs working for the welfare of children and teens. May this experience of the book fair inspire you to create meaningful materials and resources in the coming years. 

We look forward to your produce! We will harvest your books and resources and make them accessible and available to young readers in our communities, as well as to the adults who care for them in one way or the other.

Maraming salamat!
          Zarah C. Gagatiga
          PBBY Board Member and Book Fair Director

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

NCBD Book Fair 2015 AVP

This AVP of the NCBD Book Fair was made by Miki Arispe, school librarian of Ateneo de Manila Grade School Department. This was used during the opening ceremony of the NCBD Book Fair at the Rizal Library, Ateneo de Manila University last July 25, 2015.

The slides used in the AVP were made collaboratively by Karryl Sagun and MJ Tumamac.

PPT: Creative Reading Programs and Activities for School Library Improvement

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Bookwatch #2 and A Good Review

These wonderful news made my Monday!

The article I wrote for Bookwatch about the PBBY Salanga and Alcala Prizes can be read in Issue no. 2. Copies of Bookwatch are available at the National Book Development Board's office in Ortigas. Some copies will be distributed in the Philippine Children's Book Summit too. That's tomorrow!

So, if you are going to the Summit, get a copy for your library!

And then, My Daddy! My One and Only (illustrated by Jomike Tejido, Lampara Books) is featured in Smart Parenting as one of the seven books that encourage father and child bonding.

Oh, let this be a forecast of good things to come this week!

Monday, July 20, 2015

NCBD Blog Tour: My Wish List

    Hulyo 20 – 25: Wish List
    What book for Filipino children and young adults do you wish was published?
There are no restrictions on the number of answers, genre, etc, and can be by a writer, illustrator, or publisher.
I wish to see:

1. More graphic novels and comic books that are written for kids and young adults by Filipino writers, artists and publishers.

2. Books on LGBT; kids growing up from dysfunctional families and mixed marriages; children and teens from indigenous cultures; historical fiction for kids and teens that have strong women characters; memoirs and biographies.

3. More wordless picture books; board books and cloth books; pop-up books that show Philippine art, culture and history; interactive books that foster creativity, play and kinesthetic development.

4. Books with digital versions that do not stray away from the original print version but extend the reading experience.

5.  More books that will make children, teens and even the adults who read them laugh more and live more! Our books are too serious though we claim to be a happy people.

Umuulan ng Libro! The 32nd National Children’s Books Day will be celebrated through two events. The Philippine Children’s Book Summit on July 21 at Elements Centris, EDSA, and the Children’s Book Fair on July 25 at Rizal Library, Ateneo de Manila University.

The Librarian’s Workshop: Creative Reading Programs for School Libraries Servicing K-12 Learners will also be held on July 25.

For more information about any of the above events, please email or visit Philippine Board On Books For Young People Page on Facebook.

Back at the Academy: Setting the Pace and Taking Perspective

Day 2 of In-Service: Learner Profile and ATL allignment
I was not excited to go back to work last week. In previous years, I used to feel giddy and optimistic at the beginning of in-service week. Gone are the blooming flowers and rays of sunshine that nestled in my heart at the start of work coming from a long vacation. I found this odd and discomforting. In order for me to sync back, I must "feel" it. I didn't feel anything. In fact, I started Monday with a very practical and pragmatic outlook on the work that is ahead. This bothered me.

It was good to see my colleagues again but the game we played reminded me of past experiences and present needs. There is so much to think about that I could not channel into my emotions to help myself ease in and do the work that awaits me. First day back at work and I was already stressed.

By mid-day, all I wanted to do was go back to the library and finish the annual report. Then again, no one misses the Head of School's address on the first day of work so I stayed on with no choice at all but to listen.

That was when the complete turn around happened. You see, our Head of School has an uncanny talent of making you see things from a different perspective. He does not force or impose. He presents and shows possibilities, what ifs, where we are and where can things can go. He makes you think and wonder. This can be empowering, if you let it.

The things he shared were not promises resting on false hope. These were experiences culled out from the daily grind. It was inspiring. It was amazing how he does so with so much conviction through telling stories. So, there. The power of stories. It got me. Hook. Line. And sinker.
Day 4 of In-service: This is a course outline. Yes?!

I got my groove back but it didn't end there.

When the Dean of Faculty gave a session in the afternoon I was reminded of familiar things and memories of happier days with teachers and mentors you don't mess around with. Hermosa. Ocampo. LDR. Villanueva. Padilla.  My desire to go back to school and study once more surfaced.

What started as a lukewarm Monday ended with a hopeful perspective on the mission I am set to do and a direction to continuously grow professionally. Reflecting on the week that was, I can say that I am fortunate to belong to a community who continuously learns and mentors its faculty and staff.

NCBD 2015: The Philippine Children's Book Summit & The NCBD Book Fair

Umuulan ng Libro: PBBY Celebrates the 32nd National Children’s Book Day

The month of July is dedicated to the promotion and development of children's books. Every year on the third week of this month, National Children's Book Day is celebrated. It is also a day in which we commemorate the anniversary of the publication of Dr. Jose Rizal's "The Monkey and the Turtle" in Trubner's Oriental Record in London.
This year, the Philippine Board on Books for Young People (PBBY) is having two events to celebrate the 32nd National Children's Book Day. On July 21, the National Book Development Board (NBDB) in partnership with PBBY is holding a literary summit called "Umuulan ng Libro: Philippine Children's Book Summit." On July 25, PBBY is holding a librarians' workshop called "Creative Reading Programs for School Libraries Servicing K-12 Learners" and a Children's Book Fair at the Rizal Library.

Philippine Children's Book Summit (July 21)

This whole-day summit will feature discussions on diverse topics such as Asian children's books, children's book illustration, best practices in copyright, children's librarianship, and Filipino comics. It will feature both local and international speakers.

Local authors and publishers who will be sharing their knowledge on children's content include M.J. Cagumbay Tumamac, author of Ngumiti si Andoy; poet and fictionist Kristian Cordero; Edgar Samar, author of the Janus Silang series; Blooey Singson, owner and writer of the blog Bookmarked!; Carljoe Javier, managing editor of Anino comics; and 2015 PBBY-Salanga Prize honorable mention winner, Cheeno Sayuno.

International speakers include the winner of the Illustrator's Award at the 2015 Sharjah Children's Reading Festival, Wen Dee Tan. Lili, one of Tan's picture books, won third place in the Macmillan Prize 2013, an annual picture book competition by Macmillan Children's Books UK. Joining Wen Dee Tan in the roster of international speakers is Mariko Nagai. Mariko is an Associate Professor of creative writing and Japanese literature at Temple University, Japan Campus in Tokyo, where she is also the Director of Research and Study Abroad Academic Coordinator. She has received the Pushcart Prizes both in poetry and fiction. Nagai's collection of poems, Histories of Bodies, won the Benjamin Saltman Prize from Red Hen Press, and her first collection of stories, Georgic: Stories won the 2009 G.S. Sharat Chandra Fiction Prize from BkMk Press.

The festival will be concluded by the awarding of the 2015 PBBY-Salanga Prize and 2015 PBBY-Alcala Prize.

The summit is open to authors, illustrators, publishers, educators, and librarians who are devoted in ensuring quality books for children. For inquiries about the summit, you may contact 352-6765 loc 204.

Librarians Workshop and Children's Book Fair (July 25)

This workshop to be run by PBBY member and librarian par excellance, Zarah Gagatiga, shall provide activities that will help librarians design and develop reading programs for students in the K-3; middle grades (4-8); junior high school (9-10); and senior high school (11-12) levels. Participants are encouraged to bring existing reading programs they implement in their school libraries. This will be followed by a presentation of recommended reads for kids and teens and a book discussion of favorite children's books.

A book fair, in cooperation with the Rizal Library of the Ateneo de Manila University, will feature local children's book publishers. Aside from launching their new titles, publishers will also hold exciting games and activities for everyone.

For inquiries about the workshop and book fair, you may contact 0939 934 6521.

The NCBD Book Fair Program

Come to the NCBD Book Fair dressed in your favorite Filipino book character and get a special treat! Play the NCBD Book Fair Game and win in the raffle! Meet and author and illustrator! View exhibits! There are lots to do and we hope to see you at the Rizal Library on Saturday, July 25, 2015!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Setting Up a School Library: Assessment (1 of 2)

I good starting point when setting up a library is to assess the readiness of the school for a school library. Areas to look at would be administrative responsibility, staffing  and manpower, finance and budgeting matters, physical and virtual structures, curricular offering, students and learners profile, community support and linkages.

Some questions that lead to assessment of some of the identified areas are listed below:

a. Administrative Responsibilities
- Are there national standards and guidelines on school libraries that are defined by the government?
- Where does the library fall under the school's organizational chart?
- Who is the librarian reporting to: academic coordinator or school principal?

b.  Library staffing
- Is the school capable of assigning a full time/part time library staff for the library?
- Is the staff knowledegable in keeping documents of library records?
- Is the librarian a trained professional?
- How big is the school population vs. librarian and staff?

c. Building and room that is accessible to all students and teachers
- Is the library space near or central to the school community who will use it?
- Is the library space well lighted and ventilated?
- Is the library space fire, flood and termite resistant?
- Is the library space near a fire exit?
- Is the library space big enough for 2 classes at a time?
- Is the library space near a computer room, comfort room/rest room, emergency exit?
- Is there a technology infrastructure that can be used to begin a virtual or digital service by the library?

d. Support from school leaders, teachers and parents
- How can parents support the library?
- In what way can community members show his/her help in the development of the library?
- Envision how the principal and teachers plan to use the library as a learning center.

e. Assistance from government and other organizations
-Are there programs by the government and civic organizations that can be tapped so that library will further develop?

PPT: Storytelling 101

PPT: Library Orientation for Teachers

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The Library Hub in Quezon Province

Last June 30, I was in Lucena, Quezon Province for a whole day workshop on storytelling with day care workers. Right after, Madame Rose Villamater whisked me away to the Quezon Province Library Hub. There I met Apol Mijares, librarian in charge of the library hub for the division; Ma'am Lorena Walangsumbat, EPS and Division Library Hub Coordinator; and Supervisor Ma'am Gerlie Ilagan.

The Quezon Province Library Hub is one of the biggest hubs in the region. It is well funded and staffed sufficiently. It has the basics of a physical library: storytelling area, a space for children to read, a meeting room, an AV section, a circulation counter and shelves stacked with crates and crates of books. The staff of the library hub organized a project to bring these crates of books to far flung schools in Quezon through the Hatid Dunong Project, a mobile library model. No wonder it was awarded as the Best Library Hub in the Philippines!

Last year, I have been to the Calamba Library Hub and yes, I was amazed at the zeal of the librarians working there. In the Quezon Province Library Hub, the administrative support is very evident indeed. If anything, these are indicators of success as far as operational functions of the library hubs are concerned. I now ask myself,  how is the library hub's relevance and impact evaluated. Its main purpose is to bring books closer to children. If access to books is already being fulfilled what measure of effectiveness does it have in strengthening reading habits, and in DepEd culture, improving test scores. I wonder if these factors were considered during the planning and conceptual stage of the library hub. 

We have merely scratched the surface. There is more to be done. And this needs a lot of thought. Creative thought.

Monday, July 13, 2015

NCBD Blog Tour: My Dream Date with a Filipino Author

We are on the second week of the NCBD Blog Tour. Last week, it rained children's books and young adult novels in many a Filipino readers' blog. This week, we are to write about our dream date.

If you could spend a day/night with a writer or illustrator, who would it be?
The writer or illustrator, living or deceased, should have works for Filipino children and young adults. There are no restrictions on the number of answers, genre, etc.
So, who is my dream date?

Nick Joaquin.

It is more of a dream interview, really.

We would be in a cafe somewhere in Quezon City, Cubao perhaps or a hole in the wall cafe in the Morato area. Manila isn't that bad too. Though I could not think of an artsy cafe in the Ermita-Malate. But anywhere where beer and coffee is served is fine.

 He would be drinking beer and I would be satisfied with cups and cups of brewed coffee. I would ask him questions about his series, Pop Stories for Groovy Kids. How the project was conceptualized. What was the reception of readers at the time? Because, in this day and age, if a library has a copy of his series, it is a gem. In my dream, he would reply something intellectual and I would be so impressed because it will take me days to unravel it.

Another question I wish to ask him is his belief on writing for kids and teens. How does he see writing for children and teens compared to adults? I read an essay he wrote for when he won the Ramon Magsaysay Award, saying in the essay that there really shouldn't be any divide between journalism and fiction writing. Or something to that effect.

Going back to reality, I have only his books, letters, essays and journals to read that are kept in select libraries. And to access these is not going to be easy since I am not a full scholar of his works nor do I have the time to visit such repositories. But I remain a fan who will read and reread his works.

This coming NCBD 2015, who is the author you are looking forward to meet?

Umuulan ng Libro! The 32nd National Children’s Books Day will be celebrated through two events. The Philippine Children’s Book Summit on July 21 at Elements Centris, EDSA, and the Children’s Book Fair on July 25 at Rizal Library, Ateneo de Manila University.

The Librarian’s Workshop: Creative Reading Programs for School Libraries Servicing K-12 Learners will also be held on July 25. For more information about any of the above events, please email or visit Philippine Board On Books For Young People Page on Facebook.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Children's Literature Talk and Librarians Workshop in the NCBD 2015

On July 21, we celebrate National Children's Book Day (NCBD). It is now on its 32nd year and the Philippine Board on Books for Young People (PBBY), the lead agency of the NCBD celebration has partnered with the National Book Development Board (NBDB) and the Rizal Library, Ateneo de Manila University for two events. One is the Philippine Children's Book Summit at the Elements in Centris, Quezon City on July 21 and the second is the NCBD Book Fair in the Rizal Library on July 25. This year's theme is Umuulan ng Libro (It's Raining Books!)

Both have an Event page in FB. The links are:

Umuulan ng Libro: NCBD Book Fair
 Umuulan ng Libro: Philippine Children's Book Summit

Visit the Event pages to know the activities lined up for you and the kids and teens you can bring along.

In the Book Summit, I am scheduled to talk about Children's Literature. Nothing heavy or serious. It is a session where we will simply talk about children's books and young adult novels. We will brush up on the important roles we play as school librarians in light of the children's books and young adult novels we like, we don't like and those we keep in our library shelves. It is only a one hour session, so I hope to inspire you to think of ways on how you, as a school librarian, continuously develop ways to love books that your students in the library read about or are not aware of that it exist.

Moving on,  July 25 at the NCBD Book Fair is where my workshop on Creative Reading Programs is scheduled at 9AM-12NN, 4th Floor, Reading Area of the Rizal Library. In the workshop, I will present prerequisites for planning and designing reading programs suitable for school libraries. Basic concepts on reading as developmental skill, its cognitive and social aspects will be presented. Then, we move to draft a school library reading program for a specific age group or grade level.

For inquiries on the Book Summit, get in touch via email to For registration to the Librarians Workshop, email or send a text message via 09399346521.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Invitation to the NCBD Book Fair 2015

NCBD Blog Tour: Favorite Books for Children and Young Adults

We begin the NCBD Blog Tour today!
Hulyo 7 – 13: Favorite Books
What is your favorite book for children and young adults?
The book should be written, illustrated, or published by a Filipino. There are no restrictions on the number of answers, genre, date of publication, language, etc.
My favorite children's books and YA novel are:

1. Alamat ng Ampalaya by Augie Rivera (Adarna House) - Because social justice is underrated.
2. Sandosenang Sapatos by Luis Gatmaitan (OMF-Hiyas) - Because life is not perfect and we are flawed beings. But our flaws and imperfections do not prevent us from loving. And this love, when it is real, can allow us to accomplish great things.
3. Chenelyn! Chenelyn! by Rhandee Garlitos (Adarna House) - Because we should be people for others, besides, this book is a good storytelling piece. The language and repetitive lines: Chenelyn! Chenelyn! make it so.
4. The Great Duck and Crocodile Race by Robert Magnuson (OMF-Hiyas) - Because one-upmanship is a paradigm or a mindset that must not be patronized. Collaborate instead. Cooperate and help each other out.
5. Shine by Candy Gourlay - Because I believe that words are powerful either when it is spoken or silenced.

So, there. Remember that July 21 is National Children's Book Day. See you in the Summit and in the NCBD Book Fair at the Rizal Library.

Umuulan ng Libro! The 32nd National Children’s Books Day will be celebrated through two events. The Philippine Children’s Book Summit on July 21 at Elements Centris, EDSA, and the Children’s Book Fair on July 25 at Rizal Library, Ateneo de Manila University. The Librarian’s Workshop: Creative Reading Programs for School Libraries Servicing K-12 Learners will also be held on July 25. For more information about any of the above events, please email or visit Philippine Board On Books For Young People Page on Facebook.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Storytelling and Basic Puppetry Workshop in Lucena City

Cheer! Cheer! Cheer!
My workshop in Lucena City last June 30 with 50 day care workers was a lot of fun!

We started out with a group game that got everyone talking in no time. I love a room that is functionally noisy! The game afforded the participants some time to loosen up and relax. In groups, they continued on working for their group cheer. When they presented their group cheer, it was about "things" Lucena is known for: Tinapa or Smoked Fish; Chamy - regular, special, tamis-angjang (It is a local noodle dish, pancit as we call it in Tagalog) Perez Park, Buena Vista; Pasayahan. It was during this activity when I learned that Lucenahin is what they call people who were born and who grew up in Lucena.

The morning session rolled on with input sessions on Storytelling and why we tell stories; the four macro skills in communication arts and how storytelling contributes to its development; different strategies and techniques in storytelling; and puppetry. During lunch break, I had an opportunity to sign books courtesy of Lampara Books, publishers of my books: My Daddy! My One and Only; A Tale of Two Dreams; Dear Nanay; and STAR (Start Right Reading) Kindergarten Series.

Easy to do puppets for busy teachers and day care workers.

In the afternoon, we had workshops on the different strategies in storytelling. From read aloud sessions, participative storytelling, kamishibai, draw and tell stories to group storytelling like Readers Theatre, the participants of the workshop plunge into each activity like children, ready to learn and to have fun.  But I can tell that participants had the most fun in the puppetry workshop. They had a wonderful time creating their own puppets. The easy to do puppets I showed them can be used for small to medium sized groups of children. Plus, the materials we used were also easy to find and inexpensive.

Head Librarian of Lucena City Library, Miled G. Ibias
The workshop was made possible by the librarians of the Lucena City Provincial Library. It was the library's 63rd founding anniversary. Two years ago, the Lucena City Provincial Library was awarded as the best in the country. Sadly, I had little time to stay in Lucena that I missed to visit the library.

Now, this gives me reason to return to Lucena.

The Lucena provincial librarians were also in full force that day. Finally, I met face to face friends in FB like Ms. Ria Salvador. I appreciate the help they gave me during my workshop.

These librarians  support the day care workers by not only providing books and reading spaces for children in day care, but also empowering them to read and engage these children in literacy activities, like storytelling and puppetry. Thank you to Miled G. Ibias and her team of librarians for making me a part of their project! Mabuhay tayong lahat!

Friday, July 3, 2015

PBBY Librarians' Workshop: Invitation

Interested participants can use this as invitation to the PBBY Librarians' Workshop. For further details, please send an email to

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Blog Tour: NCBD Book Fair 2015

Magandang araw!

Inaanyayahan namin kayong makilahok sa isang BLOG TOUR mula Hulyo 7 –25, 2015. Ang BLOG TOUR ay bahagi ng isang buwang pagdiriwang ng National Children’s Book Day (NCBD), na papatak ngayong July 21, 2015.

Ipinagdidiriwang ang NCBD tuwing ikatlong Martes ng Hulyo bílang paggunita sa pagkakalimbag ng “The Monkey and the Turtle” ni Jose Rizal sa Trubner’s Oriental Record sa London. Nangunguna ang
Philippine Board on Books for Young People (PBBY) sa pagdiriwang nito. Para sa impormasyon tungkol iba pang mga gawain ngayong buwan, bisitahin ang PBBY sa Facebook.

Bawat linggo, magpo-post ang mga lalahok sa BLOG TOUR ng sagot (sa anumang wikang ginagamit nila) sa mga tanong na may kinalaman sa mga Pilipinong aklat pambata at pangkabataan. Kailangang mai-post ito bago mag-6:00 NG dahil ibabahagi ito ng PBBY sa kanilang Facebook page nang mga 7:00 NG. Maaari namang gamitin ang mga hashtag na #UmuulanNgLibro #NCBDBookfair2015 at #NCBD2015 sa pagbabahagi sa social media.

Narito ang mga tanong sa bawat linggo:

        Hulyo 7 – 13: Paboritong Aklat

Ano ang paborito mong aklat pambata at pangkabataan? (Kailangang isinulat o iginuhit ito ng isang Pilipino. Maaari namang maglista nang higit sa isa pa.)

        Hulyo 14 – 19: Dream Date

Sinong manunulat o ilustrador ang nais mong makasama sa isang araw/gabí? (Kailangang mga aklat pambata at pangkabataan ang nililikha niya. Maaari ring maglista nang higit sa isa pa.)

        Hulyo 20 – 25: Wish List

Anong Pilipinong aklat pambata o pangkabataan ang gusto mong mailimbag? (Maaaring paksa, uri ng aklat, o ng isang manunulat o ilustrador. Maaaring maglista nang higit sa isa pa.)

Kung nais ninyong makilahok sa BLOG TOUR at tumulong sa pag-aanunsiyo ng mga gawain ng PBBY sa buwang ito, pakibigay ang sumusunod na impormasyon:
•       Pangalan (na gagamitin ng PBBY sa mga post nito)
•       Blog (pangalan ng blog at url)
•       Deskripsiyon (pagpapakilala sa isang pangungusap)
•       Mga Petsa ng Paglahok (isang araw bawat linggo, maliban sa Hulyo 21)
•       Tutulong sa mga Anunsiyo? (oo/hindi)

Umaasa kami sa inyong positibong tugon!


Zarah Gagatiga
School Librarian in Action

Xi Zuq (MJ)
Xi Zuq’s Nook

Goodreads Review: ARC of Dare Me Again

Dare To Love Series: Dare Me Again (Kindle Worlds Novella)Dare To Love Series: Dare Me Again by Cora Seton

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Dare Me Again is a novella set in the Dare to Love series by Carly Phillips. Though written by Cora Seton, Dare Me Again stays true to the trope and approach of the original series started by Carly Phillips. And Cora Seton adds more- her style and voice in writing contemporary romance.

What worked

The themes of family life and settling down after years of hard work is evident in the novella. Such themes are present in most of Seton's work so far. I like reading about such themes as it echoes my own dreams and wants. What is a decade or two of hard work and investments if there is no place and no person so share it with? Connor , the male lead seeks to retire from profession football and marry Carolina, the strong willed and independent social media entrepreneur. How Connor wins her heart makes the novella a steamy and exciting read.

The way the chapters were introduced through excerpts of blog entries by Carolina is a creative technique that helped me predict what the chapter is going to be about. It adds meaning to the entire novella as well since it speaks about life lessons and truths we believe in. A crafty technique as it sets the pace of Connor and Carolina's romance.

What did not work

It's just too short.

Over all, it is a good piece of work from Cora Seton.

View all my reviews
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