Hi guys! How are you? Been very busy with
my social life some stuff for the past few weeks so I wasn’t able to update my blog lately. But now I’m breaking my silence because I’ve signed up to join the Interim Goddess of Love Blog Tour! yay! I’ve always been a fan of Mina Esguerra so when I first learned about the blog tour, I did not hesitate to sign up because the Interim Goddess of Love Trilogy is one my favorites. So to satisfy your curiosity, I’m giving you some sneak peek of the IGoL books! 😀
Book 1: Interim Goddess of Love
College sophomore Hannah Maquiling doesn’t know why everyone tells her their love problems. She’s never even had a boyfriend, but that doesn’t stop people from spilling their guts to her, and asking for advice. So maybe it shouldn’t be a surprise when the cutest guy in school tells her that she’s going to have to take on this responsibility — but for all humanity.
The Goddess of Love has gone AWOL. It’s a problem, because her job is to keep in check this world’s obsession with love (and lack of it). The God of the Sun, for now an impossibly handsome senior at an exclusive college just outside of Metro Manila, thinks Hannah has what it takes to (temporarily) do the job.
While she’s learning to do this goddess thing, she practices on the love troubles of shy Kathy, who’s got a secret admirer on campus. Hannah’s mission, should she choose to accept it, is to make sure that he’s not a creepy stalker and they find their happily ever after — or at least something that’ll last until next semester. (As if she could refuse! The Sun God asked so nicely. And he’s so, well, hot.)
Disclaimer: I’m new at this.
It’s only been three weeks, I wanted to say. So if I do anything wrong, mess you up in any way, I shouldn’t be held responsible. But the girl sitting in front of me, she didn’t know that anyway. She didn’t know that by walking into the College Guidance Office, seeking something as abstract as “guidance,” she would instead find me, and be the first to summon me.
Quin told me that I would get better at the diagnosis with each “project.”
It helps if you’re familiar with the feeling, he always said. But it’ll get easier.
Kathy Martin had been sitting on the couch across from me for ten minutes, but I only noticed her there after a pencil rolled off my desk. I bent to pick it up and saw Kathy’s shoes. Ballet flats so orange, they looked like they were on fire.
“You scared me,” I said, or maybe something with more profanity. “I didn’t see you there.”
“I get that a lot.”
“Are they expecting you?” I asked, going into secretary mode.
Kathy shook her head. “No,” she said. “Should I have made an appointment? I thought I could just walk in here.”
I checked the calendars of the two guidance counselors who were in that day and saw that neither would be available for another four hours. And they were both out at the moment.
The disappointment on Kathy’s face was unexpected. No one ever wanted to see a guidance counselor that badly, at least not on the Tuesdays and Thursdays that I did filing work there.
“You could come back at five,” I offered.
“Do you work here?”
I didn’t, not in the way Kathy meant with her question. Located just outside of Metro Manila, Ford River College was a relatively new school (compared to the over-a-century-old ones put up during the Spanish and American periods), but it already had a reputation for being the place to send your children if they were very smart, or if you were very rich. I was there on scholarship, but I didn’t think that automatically put me in the camp of very smart. Maybe lucky.
One of the strings attached to the free education was that I had to work in a “relevant administration office” several hours a week. If Kathy couldn’t tell I was a student, I could guess why. Students of Ford River wore uniforms only on Mondays.
“I’m just a student employee,” was the gist of it.
“Oh.” More disappointment.
I could see what was coming, when her face lit up briefly.
“Can I talk to you instead?” she asked.
Could she? It wasn’t like I was idle. I had two hundred sheets of student personality tests to file, and they needed this yesterday. I was sure Kathy could see that, because they were all on top of the desk, a Great Wall of Papers between us.
“You’re fine that I’m just a student?”
She shrugged. “I just want someone to talk to. I’m Kathy, by the way.”
“Hannah Maquiling. What do you want to talk about?”
She sighed. “There’s this guy who likes me. I don’t know what to make of it.”
I sighed too. “Let’s walk to the cafeteria and you can tell me about it.”
“You don’t mind?” Her eyes were big and pleading, and I saw it, before I felt it pass my skin and get into my bones.
I knew that, longing. The act of identifying it seemed to make it worse, and it felt like it slammed into my chest instead of crept in.
“Nah,” I said, trying to sound casual and not at all like her emotion was suffocating me. “It’s my job, I guess.”
I was told that they would find me, wherever I happened to be, and they would want and need to talk about boys, and girls, and relationships, and what it all meant, and I had to make time for them.
For I am the interim goddess of love.
Book 2: Queen of the Clueless
If you’ve been feeling neglected by the Goddess of Love lately, don’t worry — Hannah Maquiling, college sophomore, is in training to take over. The Original Goddess is missing, but Hannah is Interim Goddess now, and she should figure out how to solve humanity’s love problems soon. Quin (God of the Sun) is still her mentor, still really hot, but apparently isn’t as honest about his other earthly relationships as she thought. It’s frustrating, and enough to make her check out possibilities with Diego (God of the Sea) and Robbie (Cute Human).
In the meantime, she’s decided to spend some of her precious training time helping to break up a relationship, instead of putting one together. Why? Because the girl in question happens to be her best friend Sol, whose boyfriend is stealing not just from her, but from other people on campus. Sol didn’t exactly summon the Goddess, but this is what power over Love is for, right? Surely it’s not just about matchmaking, but ending doomed relationships too. (Even when it’s not what people want.)
Peanut butter spaghetti sounded like something I would like, in theory. I liked peanut butter. I liked Filipino-style spaghetti, especially when it was unapologetically sweet and artificially red, with foreign elements like hotdogs thrown in. But now that I was chewing the mashup version, I wasn’t sure how to feel about the entire thing.
“Do you like it?” I asked dinner companion/date Robbie, who was chewing thoughtfully over on his side of the table too.
“Oh I do,” he said. “I’m just waiting for you to throw up, or something.”
“I’m fine,” I said super enthusiastically. “I don’t hate it… It’s just…”
“I get it.”
“I haven’t decided yet.” I didn’t want to be a whiner on my first date, ever.
Not that he ever said the word. And I wasn’t saying it either. But as far as I was concerned, it may as well be, since it had all the signs.
Weekend, no school or any school activity.
He picked me up from my tita‘s house.
I wasn’t wearing flip flops or sneakers.
He paid for the meal.
The fifth sign? He thought this was a date. He was thinking about it so much, I could hear it between chews.
It was probably why I wasn’t nervous at all on this momentous occasion. It kind of boosted the ego, knowing exactly how much he liked me. It was a relief too, after being friends with Quin for a year and not knowing why he was hanging out with me, what his intentions were.
On the other hand, regarding Robbie, all his intentions were being beamed right into my ear:
She looks perfect.
I want to kiss her.
I wonder if she’ll let me have her leftover spaghetti.
Transparent as the ice water in my glass. It was comforting. Some of his thoughts were kind of weird, but overall, comforting.
It just occurred to me that, if I stayed Goddess of Love all my life, I wouldn’t need to be nervous at a date ever again.
Book 3: Icon of the Indecisive
College student Hannah Maquiling, also temporarily working as the Goddess of Love, has had enough of everyone asking for her help when it comes to relationships. It’s her turn to find romance! She deserves it, after serving as matchmaker and confidant to everyone else in Ford River College for the past year. She’s had a crush on handsome senior (and God of the Sun) Quin forever, but he’s destined to fall in love with an extraordinary mortal woman, so she’s figured her chances with him have pretty much dropped to zero.
It’s not like she doesn’t have any options for a classic college romance though. There’s Diego, God of the Sea and Quin’s best friend/enemy. And regular guy Robbie is stepping up, making sure she knows how he feels about her. How hard can it be for a goddess to find someone to love, and be loved in return?
That particular Saturday would have been Introduce Robbie to My Mom Day, and I wanted it to be because I wanted to ask about the beach party, but it didn’t happen. Because she had plans.
She actually had plans! That was a good thing. She didn’t want to admit it, but I suspected that she was having fun. For the first time in years. She and my dad separated over five years ago, and though she eventually accepted it, she didn’t exactly start enjoying life right away. Before I went to college her life was all about me, and the things she had to do for me.
I missed her, but I wanted her to have a little fun too. It took almost two years of living alone again, but I think it was finally happening.
“Who are these plans with?” I teased. I called her on a Friday night, and caught her out with friends. I could barely hear her because there was something wailing a Bon Jovi song in the background.
“Someone at work. Can you not ask so many questions first? I really don’t know what to think of this yet.” To my knowledge she hadn’t summoned the Goddess of Love just yet, so whatever it was, she wasn’t feeling so conflicted about it. And I tried not to probe the hearts of people I actually knew, if I could help it.
“I trust you,” I said, laughing.
“I definitely need to meet Robbie though. He’s the basketball captain, right? The guy you were talking about last year?”
“No, Mom, that guy’s just a friend.”
“Oh, that’s weird. Anyway—the house is a mess, so let me just take him out for pizza or something. I’ll let you know when. Is he okay with that?”
“He’ll follow you anywhere, Mom.”
So that was how I got that Saturday just for Robbie and me, and we did something I had never done before.
I did math with a boy.
About the Author
Mina V. Esguerra writes contemporary romance, young adult, and new adult novellas. Her young adult/fantasy trilogy Interim Goddess of Love is a college love story featuring gods from Philippine mythology. Her contemporary romance novella Fairy Tale Fail won the 2012 Filipino Readers’ Choice award for Chick Lit. Through her blog Publishing in Pajamas (minavesguerra.com), she documents her experiments in e-publishing.
When not writing romance, she is president of communications firm Bronze Age Media, development communication consultant, indie publisher, professional editor, wife, and mother. She created the workshop series “Author at Once” and #romanceclass for writers and publishers.
Now for the giveaway part, get a chance to win copies of Interim Goddess of Love clicking this linky: a Rafflecopter giveaway
A big thanks to Dia of Book Junkie Joint for organizing this blog tour!