Summer Feels: A #romanceclass Anthology—Hearts, Hearbreak, Gratitude, and Giveaway
Category : News
It’s been one month to the day since Summer Feels: A #romanceclass Anthology launched, and boy, has it been an adventure! Not only did the book rank in its category on Amazon, but we sold about 200 print copies in 30 days—neither of which I had expected at all. But I’m getting ahead of myself. If you’re new here, hi! I’m Kate Sebastian, editor and contributing author of the Summer Feels anthology. Keep reading for details.
About the Book
Summer loving happens so fast, as you’ll find with Summer Feels, an anthology of 23 stories of love under the summer sun by #romanceclass authors. Savor the candied thrill of firsts—first loves, first kisses, first solo vacations—and the bittersweet triumph of second chances. Tour the Philippines as the stories take you to mountain retreats and island paradises. Let the magic of the hot sun, clear blue skies, and lots of love take you on a roller coaster ride of feels. With stories ranging from sweet to sexy, there’s sure to be something for any fan of romance.
Featuring stories by:
Elea Andrea Almazora • Erleen Alvarez • Ella Banta • Rachelle Belaro • H. Bentham • Halina Cabrera • Charlie Dio • Mina V. Esguerra • Elizabeth Galit • Georgette S. Gonzales • Ami Granada • Irene Jurado • Catherine Lo • Arlene Manocot • Bianca Mori • Eris Peñaluna • Farrah F. Polestico • Kit Salazar • Miel Salva • Fay Sebastian • Kate Sebastian • Yeyet Soriano • Marian Tee
Edited and compiled by Kate Sebastian
Cover and interior design by Miles Tan
#romanceclass is a community of authors who attended various writing workshops organized by Mina V. Esguerra, readers of books by those authors, and readers of English-language romance books by Filipino authors. Visit romanceclassbooks.com to see the full catalog of books!
About My Summer Feels Journey
I’ve always been a big believer in the idea that if you want something done and no one else is doing it, as long as you’ve the skill and the resources to get it done, then by god, go ahead and get it done. That’s basically how I approached my desire for an open-call #romanceclass anthology published on Amazon and in print.
I had three main reasons for wanting this to happen:
- I was convinced it would be a great way to cross-market both new and veteran writers from the group.
- It would offer new-to-#romanceclass readers a way to discover several authors via a single purchase/book/volume.
- An anthology of love stories set in the Philippines was just something I absolutely wanted to read.
Now, I’m not sure if I’d have been as on-fire to get this anthology out into the world had I known that two other summer-themed anthologies would be released this year, both before Summer Feels. I like to think I still would have pushed for it, but I don’t know that I would’ve done so quite as desperately as I did when I was all hungry in my ignorance. But I didn’t know about Summer Crush and Promdi Heart, and I did push myself to the limit to get Summer Feels out by April 30, and I’m glad for so many reasons.
One is that I learned a ton about editing anthologies, calculating costs and profit margins, editing writers of different skills and styles over a short amount of time, calculating costs and profit margins publishing independently, calculating costs and profit margins, drafting writers’ contracts, and, finally, calculating costs and profit margins. I swear, I did so much math to try to get this anthology off the ground, and I suck at math, not to mention loathe it with a vengeance. But as much as I hated math, I loved this book, even before all the revisions and editing were done, before it had a cover, and before I had an inkling of how it might be possible to publish this book the way I thought it needed to be published. I loved this book, and I believed in it.
But it wasn’t enough for just me to believe in it. I will be thanking my lucky stars for a long time coming that two other contributing authors were as willing as I was to put their money where their hearts were, and that all the other contributing authors have been amazing in their efforts to market and all-out sell the book.
For those of you reading this, I love you guys.
Moving on, I must accept that my Summer Feels journey has set my feels on fire in more ways than one.
First off, I had so many feels from reading the stories! And it was so hard holding all those feels in; I am sure that not being able to talk to anyone about them must have strained my heart strings for weeks and weeks. Every time someone would express interest in reading the book (authors included), I would just mumble-sing “just you wait” in the Hamilton-esque tradition. Now, a few weeks after the launch, I’m seeing so many positive reviews and a heck of a lot of feels (some with GIFs, which is just awesome), and my heart feels full to bursting.
Secondly, my feels from working with so many #romanceclass authors were a bit of a roller coaster, but ultimately all emojis I can think to use would be smileys. Some of the authors were completely new to me and took me by pleasant surprise (or, in the case of Catherine Lo, by heartbreaking surprise). Other authors had published stories I was pretty familiar with. Still others were idols of mine. So, yes, as doge might say: much kilig. So awesome. Many feels.
Thirdly, I have to say that as much as I loved and believed this book, I was just staggered by the response and support from everyone when the book came out. I’m not just talking about ranking on Amazon’s Fiction Anthologies category for a few days (although I was all “be still, my beating heart” over that. I’m talking about the overflow of positivity between the authors, between authors and readers, and between the authors or the book and people in general.
I have just had so much happiness, so many good vibes, and such affirmation in the weeks since the launch. It’s inspired me and humbled me and, most of all, left me feeling profoundly grateful.
So if you’re here, if you’re reading this, if you bought a copy of the book, if you are only just now getting curious about Summer Feels, I have one thing to say to you.
About the Stories
Want to learn more about the tales that deliver on feels in this anthology? Keep reading!
“All About That Bass” by Fay Sebastian
Erika Torres is determined to join her university’s a cappella guild to pursue her passion and to discover what fate has in store for her broken heart.
All the times she’s crossed paths with the guild’s bass leader Liam Lorenzo have made her think about the possibility of falling in love again. But with the scars of the past and the guild captain making it difficult for her to spend time with Liam, Erika must decide if the blind jump off the cliff of love is a risk her heart can take.
“Alter Christus” by Catherine Lo
When you fall deeply and helplessly in love with a seminarian, it becomes the happiest and saddest moment of your life.
Nobody knows this better than I do. For years, it’s always been Peter at the center of my heart, and we might have had a happily-ever-after if his higher calling weren’t there, stubbornly squeezing itself between us.
Now, in the summer of our last year in college, as feelings are shared involving an overly symbolic piece of rock, will Peter finally decide to choose me, or will I lose him forever to a life in robes and vestments?
“Fall for Me” by Miel Salva
Sixteen-year-old Yasmin San Carlos grew up basking in the admiration and respect of everyone around her. Except for Karlos Iñigo Vicente, who seems to be unaffected by her pleasing personality. Finding this an aberration to the natural order of her world and a telltale sign of failing her mother, Yas is determined to befriend Igo in hopes of making him fall for her.
But the plan is easier said than done.
“The Game of Twenty Questions” by Elizabeth Galit
Charlemagne Villegas hasn’t gotten over her breakup with Dave. But it has been three years since the breakup happened. Everybody (maybe except for her) has moved on. And so there’s nothing wrong in going to the beach with Dave and their old friends, right?
But what if Charlie discovers otherwise? What if like her, someone else hasn’t gotten over what happened three years ago? Would it be another heartache? Or a second once-in-a-lifetime chance?
“The Summer You Said Hello” by Ami Granada
Edward and Camille have been childhood friends since forever. Edward secretly loves her. They lost touch after graduation. By chance, they meet again, but Edward seems aloof. Seeing him again, Camille is sure of one thing—she is in love with him.
Camille calls him at the radio station where he works as a DJ. She pretends to be someone else by using another name. However, Edward knows her voice, clear as a silver morning.
“At the Bermuda Triangle” by Elea Andrea Almazora
There’s no way Messi Potenciano’s letting her problems ruin the wedding of her two closest friends. She’ll just get through the beach side ceremony and not get entangled in anything dumb.
Steve Caballero has no intention of staying for his clients’ wedding. He just wants to deliver the clothes he designed and get off the island resort.
Their sudden and staggering attraction and surprising connection are not part of the plan. But what else would you expect at a resort called the Bermuda Triangle?
“Beachin’ Summer” by Arlene Manocot
Childhood friends Summer and Jesse head to the beach after a traumatic incident leaves Jesse in need of a little rest and relaxation. He’s looking forward to catching up on his reading, and while she isn’t as avid a reader, she can’t help but be drawn in by his enthusiasm. When he shares his love of indie-published romance with her, she can’t help but wonder if he might be inspired to turn fictional love into something real.
“Buddy System” by Yeyet Soriano
Smarting from a recent breakup, Kit Estaquio decides to let loose during her company’s overnight summer outing. She enlists the help of her officemate and best friend, Carlo Manlapat, and they agree to set up a buddy system where Carlo will make sure Kit won’t do anything she would regret.
But when office babe Tanya de Leon sets her sights on Carlo and office player Javier Perez makes it known he has his eye on Kit, the lines between being friends and buddies blur until Kit and Carlo realize they may not be the best buddies for each other.
“Busy out of the Friendzone” by Charlie Dio
A summer beach wedding in a tropical paradise, a white button-up shirt with neon pink hibiscus prints, a handful of meddling relatives, and two friends at the crossroads of their relationship dynamics—what could possibly go wrong between Aidan and Gillian? Turns out, everything! Then again, there’s also a kiss, a hickey, and a man on a mission, so maybe things could turn right after all.
“Flying with You” by Rachelle Belaro
All that Arci ever wanted was to visit Lake Sebu with her friends. When they backed out at the last minute, she was forced to continue her trip alone. Then she met Blue Shirt Guy, and she kept bumping into him. He became her impromptu travel buddy . . . and maybe a summer fling.
Will the way he holds her hand tight be enough to turn this something into a real relationship? Or is it just a fleeting summer encounter?
“Guide for a Day” by H. Bentham
Delivery boy Jun meets vacationer Ricky at his hometown’s only hotel. It was an instant attraction for Jun, and when the city boy offers to hire him as a tour guide for a day, the provincial lad agrees. They go around town together, discovering more than just the town’s history, but each other’s as well.
“Ready to Run” by Kit Salazar
Chris Hastings was pretty happy with his life. He had a nice beachside apartment, good friends, and a job he enjoyed. He didn’t think he wanted anything more, until Lauren Ditas came into his life. She was outgoing, athletic, beautiful, and everything he thought he couldn’t have. Chris opened himself up to her, but then he realized that she wasn’t doing the same with him. Could they make things work if there were secrets between them?
“Secondhand Wanderlust” by Erleen Alvarez
Twenty-four-year-old April De Guzman has never traveled alone and for good reason. Until she finds her sister’s travel diary and impulsively books a two-day tour package to Calaguas Island. She doesn’t know how she will survive the boat ride, much less live in a tent. But charming tour guide slash photographer Leo proves a welcome distraction from her overthinking mind.
With a bag full of summer essentials and her sister’s diary in hand, April will go on a journey to find that missing piece inside her and discover that traveling alone isn’t as lonely as it sounds.
“The Search for the Kissing Monster” by Ella Banta
Vincent and his friends are excited for their summer vacation this year, especially because one of his friends will be getting married. Congratulations and drinking are in order. Only, Vincent can’t drink. Weird things happen when he drinks. Then his friends mention something about him and a kissing monster. Who—or what—is it? What does it have to do with Vincent?
“Anything Can Happen” by Marian Tee
Charlotte “Charlie” Perez is what people think as the “serious” type. Or at least that’s how her family has been describing Charlie her entire life, and so it must be true. But everything she knows or thought was true about herself is challenged one fine day in Boracay when she meets the gorgeous, mysterious Alexio . . .
“Four Basic Principles” by Bianca Mori
Everybody makes mistakes in college, but one night’s carelessness turned former friends, Cass and Gelo, into strangers. Seven years later, they are thrown together in scenic Moalboal, Cebu. The trip has them wondering: are people doomed to repeat the same mistakes, or can time thaw the ice between two former friends?
“Love after Summer” by Irene Jurado
Seine Vargas met a dashing groomsman one summer day in Boracay. She was appointed as a substitute photographer for a wedding photoshoot by her best friend.
There’s a sizzling connection between her and the groomsman, but can this summer fling turn into an all-year romance knowing they just spent only a day with each other in an island?
“Lucky in Paradise” by Farrah F. Polestico
After getting out of a failed relationship, Lucy books a weeklong stay at Villa del Carmel, a little corner of paradise where she can bask in the summer sun and forget about all her problems. Dean, the resident chef, catches her eye, but she doesn’t want anything serious. And Dean seems to want the same thing. So they take it one day at a time, reveling in the now.
But what if her heart starts asking for more than what Dean can give? Will it get what it wants, or is she in for another heartbreak?
“The Swimming Instructor” by Eris Peñaluna
Bound together by a scheming little girl, Jandro and Ariel try to come to terms with their mutual attraction for each other through lots of gauging and attack tactics, mostly from Ariel, much to Jandro’s chagrin.
In which Jandro learns to swim and Ariel learns how to take a plunge again.
“Wedding Night Stand” by Mina V. Esguerra
Andrea Crisostomo is no longer your Ms. Right Now, thank you very much. She’s had enough of guys who like her “free spirit” but then break up with her before things get serious.
Damon Esquibel enjoys the slow and steady chase, and it looks like his two-year pursuit of Geraldine is about to pay off. He’s at his friend Anton’s destination wedding only because of her. But then he meets the sister of the bride, who doesn’t seem to want to be there, and it’s enough to question his plans for the evening—and the rest of the weekend.
“An Overdue Adventure” by Kate Sebastian
Hilary Santos is pretty much the poster girl for a sedentary lifestyle, but this week, she’s out to fulfill her father’s last wish—that she go on a no-holds-barred adventure. Travel guide and family friend Roman Villaflor is determined to make sure she doesn’t chicken out on the adrenaline rush Cebu has to offer. But Hilary soon finds that the thrill of jumping off cliffs and swimming with sharks can’t compare to the one she feels in his arms. Dare she take the biggest leap of all?
“Buttered Sunset” by Halina Cabrera
Marisol thinks it might be too late for love. Her life has been the resort she runs together with her sister at Moalboal, Cebu. However, when Joe Bassett walks up to the reception desk to flirt with her while looking for lunch, she changes her mind. Maybe it’s time for her to work up an appetite for change. But does she have the courage to just say yes?
“Then Derrick Was Back” by Georgette S. Gonzales
Nadia and Derrick had the kind of relationship that was both hot and promising. But then Derrick had to leave and inasmuch as they worked hard to keep things normal between them, distance and uncertainty got in the way and she called it quits. Over a couple of years later, Derrick surprised her by coming back on the scene. Is Nadia prepared to pick up where they left off? Or will she remain indifferent considering the pain he made her go through when they were apart?
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About the Giveaway
Anthology authors (including myself) are giving away swag and an Amazon Gift Card to celebrate the launch of the book and this blog tour. Join the raffle below: