Tuesday, January 26, 2016


Hi, Readers! 

Before we delve into the interview proper, I would just love to share with you how this interview came to be. Actually, it was a few months back since I sent in the email which includes all of my interview questions for Queen J. Knowing that she’s a very busy person, what with her work and writing our favorite stories, sending it in didn’t mean I’ll really be able to snag an exclusive interview with her and that she’ll immediately be emailing me back with her answers. I took a chance. I was just happy with the thought that I have an email sitting pretty on her inbox. A message that hopefully she would be able to read and reply to once she has some free time.

Months have passed and on …

January 26, 2016.


I was already lounging in my bed, relaxing and getting ready to continue reading the book that I picked out that afternoon. That’s how my usual night life goes. When a notification suddenly popped on the topmost part of my phone’s screen saying that I have an email coming from Jonahmae Pacala.


I found myself abruptly standing up, opening and reading the content of her email. When I saw that she indeed answered all of my questions, I cannot help myself from constantly chanting, “What? Seryoso? Nagreply siya? Sinagutan niya?”.  I was shaking. I was fangirling so hard and I need people to talk to me. I ended up sending messages to some of my friends and sharing the news over the JSL main group and Bicol chapter about this blog interview.

I couldn’t believe it.

It may have taken her some time in replying to my email but it was definitely worth the wait. This surely is going down as one of my surreal blogger and fangirl moments: Interviewing one of my favorite authors. And it truly is a pleasure to share this interview with you, blog readers and Jonaxxstories Lovers.

Since I already formatted my interview questions in a conversation-type of way when I emailed it to Queen J, I won’t be editing it out (just a little tweak here and there) and I would really love to share it with you as it is. My questions, my thoughts and her answers – just out there for you to read. Let’s get started!


Amanda (A): Thank you so much for giving me and my blog this huge opportunity of having you here and at the same time interviewing you. If only I can squeal and be heard by my readers here in this blog just for them to know how I’m reacting to all this.  Seriously, I’m such a big fan of yours so this all seems to be so surreal for me. Enough of me and my fangirl ways, though.

I’ll start off this interview by asking you a little bit about yourself. You’re widely known as The Royal Writer, the Queen or Queen J by your royal readers, but what is it like just being Jonahmae Pacala? What are your favourite: songs, movies and books?  

Jonaxx (J): I have so many favourite songs and movies. Genres like EDM, slow love music, pop, and alternative. It’s difficult to mention it one by one. Haha! For movies, I like the Divergent, the Harry Potter Movies, and all movies with medievalish setting. And for books, I’ve read HP series and it was very nice. I am always amazed by how J.K. did it. She’s a legend. And then I also like Paulo Coehlo. I like books with deeeeeep messages.

A: When you aren’t writing, where would we most likely find you? What are your hobbies aside from writing?

J: Malling, sleeping, going out with friends, roadtrips, beaches… etc.

Friday, January 22, 2016


Author: Christine Brae (Website | Facebook | Twitter)
Publication Date: January 22, 2016


It started out so simply. Anna runs away to Thailand, drags her best friend Dante with her and spends a few weeks away, taking on other people’s problems while getting away from her own. She meets the enigmatic Jude Grayson, and for as long as it’s clear to both of them that it ends when they leave, she thinks she’s got the perfect fling planned out. 

Or does she? 

Anna returns home to find that her life is no longer the way it once was, and that she can’t stop thinking about him. She learns through tragedy that nothing she’s ever believed in has turned out to be true. The worst part? The people she loved were keeping a secret from her. And that no matter what she does, no matter how hard she fights against it, every path she takes keeps leading her back to Jude. 

This is a story about love, found in a faraway place by two very unlikely people. It is also a story about friendship and loyalty and fighting for what you have despite the illogical mystery of fate. And with the struggle between morality and guilt, faith and acceptance, there comes a learning that even the best-laid plans are powerless against the alignment of the universe. 

From the beaches of Thailand to the streets of New York, three friends, Anna, Dante, and Jude will learn the hard way that once providence steps in, there is nothing in the world that can change what is truly meant to be.

In this life, I hope you can take time and read In This Life by Christine Brae. It’s emotional. It’s real.

One of the simple joys that I have when I read all the works of an author is being able to witness the growth taking shape when it comes to their writing style. Just like her previous works, Christine Brae’s prose for In This Life is that of poetic and beautifully weaved truths. But this time around, her words packed a lot more punch which resulted for the emotions of her characters to freely flow to us, her readers. Brae’s thoughts and words is the perfect match to flawlessly execute such a plot line as with In This Life. It’s a story that truly requires a certain bravery and sincerity to radiate through the words and pages of the book for readers to fully feel and grasp its vital points. Aside from those, I do think that one of Brae’s strengths lies on how her words leave marks, make people think and reflect about their personal lives. In This Life may be about Anna’s self-discovery journey but a bonus to this is having our own self-discovery journey while reading the book and beyond that.  

“Don’t you ever just want to forget who you’re supposed to be and just be who you really are?”

Saturday, January 9, 2016

BOOK REVIEW | TRUTHWITCH (The Witchlands, #1) by Susan Dennard

TRUTHWITCH (The Witchlands, #1)
Author: Susan Dennard (Website | Twitter)
Publication Date: January 5, 2016
Publisher: Tor Teen


On a continent ruled by three empires, some are born with a “witchery”, a magical skill that sets them apart from others.

In the Witchlands, there are almost as many types of magic as there are ways to get in trouble—as two desperate young women know all too well.

Safiya is a Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lie. It’s a powerful magic that many would kill to have on their side, especially amongst the nobility to which Safi was born. So Safi must keep her gift hidden, lest she be used as a pawn in the struggle between empires.

Iseult, a Threadwitch, can see the invisible ties that bind and entangle the lives around her—but she cannot see the bonds that touch her own heart. Her unlikely friendship with Safi has taken her from life as an outcast into one of reckless adventure, where she is a cool, wary balance to Safi’s hotheaded impulsiveness.

Safi and Iseult just want to be free to live their own lives, but war is coming to the Witchlands. With the help of the cunning Prince Merik (a Windwitch and ship’s captain) and the hindrance of a Bloodwitch bent on revenge, the friends must fight emperors, princes, and mercenaries alike, who will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.

Purchase links: Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Book Depository

If you’re on Twitter, Goodreads and follow book bloggers around the world, surely you’ve encountered posts about Truthwitch by Susan Dennard already. There was so much hype surrounding this book leading up to its release date, January 5th. I even remember reading tweets from people who attended BEA ’15 lining up and sprinting just to snag an ARC of it. With my Twitter-BEA experience, I could definitely say that Truthwitch was one of the “It” books during that event.

Next thing I know, early reviews started to pop out and more people were raving about it. The hype’s continuously building and also having my hopes up that it would turn out so great, just like what they’re saying. But then all of us experienced reading an over-hyped book and ended up thinking that, “meh it didn’t live up to its hype”. So that factor made me quite nervous to read this one and also the reason why I decided to stop checking out reviews. I don’t what to build it up more in my head.

Well as I’m typing in this review, I understood now why the early readers of this book are gushing about it. All those excitement-feely tweets/posts, I understand you now guys. Oh hell-gates, Truthwitch is such an impressive series starter. There are just so many elements of the story that people needs to get excited about and go for it. Read it.