Totally Engaged (Six 32 Central #4)
Here is the cover and the buy links for my next book!
Rose Alban, 41, has been happily living alone and single in Manila. When her entire family moved to the US she became responsible for their house and since then she’s transformed it into her home, her sanctuary, and base for a new and more fulfilling career. She was even able to convert the garage into a studio apartment, that she’s now renting out to her friend’s brother Pascal Cortes, 39, former MBA professor who’s now heading operations at an exciting education startup at a nearby business district.
That’s not enough for her mother and well-meaning relatives, who want nothing more than to see her join them in the US by any means necessary. When they surprise her with a visit, Rose knows the only way they’ll finally stop plotting to get her a green card is if they see her settled down—so of course she asks the hot prof next door to pretend to be her fiancé.
Cover credits: Designed by Tania Arpa, photo shoot directed by Chi Yu Rodriguez/RomanceClass Covers, models Kirsten and Dre.
In case you were wondering: the “aging out” that happened to Rose is a real thing. It’s what happened to me, when a family petition filed when I was an infant was approved finally when I was 23 years old, and my status was determined based on the processing time that I had no control over.
My family went on to make a new life for themselves in Texas; I was in my early 20s and suddenly in charge of everything they left behind in Manila. But the similarities mostly end there. Without giving away too many personal details, I will say that I made different choices from Rose.
When you’re “aged out” though, that becomes a thing that connects you to fellow “aged out” friends, and by staying in touch with them you get to see possible versions of your life. What happens next for someone in our situation has a lot to do with what they need, and what they have access to. I chose differently, Rose chose differently, other people can and will do their own thing. But I hope I was able to add a new perspective to a very specific situation that’s used to pressure people into arrangements they might not want for themselves.
In 2002, the USCIS Child Status Protection Act went into effect, and that changed the way they calculated the age of a child whose family petition was being processed. That means “aging out” as I described in the story no longer happens as often. My “batch mates” and I are probably some of the last to have gone through it, in this way. This situation had very real “romance implications” for those going through it, because some petitions required people to remain unmarried. There are many stories of people who found love and lost love because of this.
Writing and producing a book in 2020 and 2021 is a different level of relying on people and for that I’m thankful for the help of Layla, Veronica, Tania, and Chi (core team for my books). Thank you, Kirsten and Dre for being our cover models, and thank you, Jo, for finding them.
About Six 32 Central:
Six 32 Central is named after “63” (country code for the Philippines) and “2” (area code for Metro Manila). The district as I’ve described it is mostly fictional, but based on real neighborhoods in Metro Manila. My plan was to write about characters who had chosen to live in “632” and how they were making the place better for themselves and other people.
Apart from the four main novellas in the series, I’ve written a short story called “Saved By Hope,” serialized in the Philippine Daily Inquirer’s premium digital edition in 2021. I may write a few more short stories, but Totally Engaged is the last novella-length book for this series. Ready to explore other “area codes.”
Thank you for supporting the series!
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