This or That: Valentines Edition with Tessa Barbosa

Valentine’s is almost here, and this is a little something to get you in the mood. Hi! I’m Tessa Barbosa, author of The Moonlight Blade, which will be out next month. Here are a few things that I think are romantic. What about you?


Dessert OR box of chocolates?

Weirdly, I am not a fan of chocolate. I will eat it, but it’s not my favorite thing in the world. A delicate mango sponge cake? Yes please! Crème brulé, or a fancy donut, I’m in! 

Flowers OR jewelry?

I looove flowers. They don’t last very long, but their ephemeral nature is part of why I think they’re so beautiful. You need to pause and appreciate them now, not later. Peonies are my favorite of all, and one of the hardest blooms to make last. 

Romantic dinner at a fancy restaurant OR romantic dinner in?

I will not turn down a homemade meal and will always welcome something thoughtfully prepared. Anyone can make a reservation at a fancy restaurant, but not everyone can set up a nice evening in. Bonus points for remembering my favorite foods or taking the time to decorate and dress up even though we’re just staying home. The effort is what will make me swoon.

Art museum date OR paint your own pottery date?

Either would be fun, but I’ll vote for a pottery date. You can laugh, be loud, and then you have something to take home along with the memories. Sometimes you need to get a little messy to have fun.

Couple sweaters OR couple tattoos?

Definitely couple sweaters. I’m in my cozy era these days. I love an oversized hoodie just to snuggle in. Give me yours or let me borrow it and I may just never give it back.

Getaway to a Tropical Island Resort OR getaway on an Alaskan cruise?\

I’m an island girl living in a cold country. February in Canada is usually still freezing, and sometimes snowy. Take me somewhere warm please! If there’s sand and the ocean to swim in, I’ll be happy.

Stuffed teddy bear gift OR silk teddy lingerie gift?

Silk just feels so nice on your skin. 😉



I promised my mother I would never come to Bato-Ko…and yet here I am.

Narra Jal is one of the cursed, cast aside her whole life, considered unlucky. But with her mother’s life on the line, she will return to the city where she was born to face the trials: a grueling, bloodthirsty series of challenges designed to weed out the weak, the greedy, and the foolish. Trials to select the next ruler of Tigang.

Narra has nothing. No weapons. No training. No magic. No real chance of leaving with her life. Just her fierce grit and a refusal to accept the destiny she’s been handed. Even the intense, dark-eyed Guardian she feels a strangely electric connection with cannot help her. Narra is on her own. But she’ll show everyone what the unlucky can do.

Let the bloodbath begin.



Tessa Barbosa is a Filipina-Canadian author who writes fantasy novels by night, and software help by day. She studied computer science and the fine arts in university, but stories were her first love, and she’s thrilled she gets to write them now. Tessa currently lives in Vancouver with her family and when she’s not at the keyboard, you can find her reading, making messes in the kitchen, or sewing things. Find out more at

You can follow Tessa on Instagram, Twitter, Tiktok, and check out her website!

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