Friday 9 June 2017


In this warmhearted and charming debut, a food truck chef and 
her long lost Army love clash when they cross paths in San Francisco.
Journey to the Heart #1
Tif Marcelo
Releasing June 5, 2017
Pocket Star

In North to You (Journey to the Heart #1) by Tif Marcelo, Camille Marino and Drew Bautista were very close back in High School. Yet, they lost touch, but now find themselves living in the same city again.  However, Camille already has too many responsibilities taking up too much of her time without adding a relationship with her high school crush to her plate. But the more time she spends with Drew, the more she finds herself falling for him all over again. Will they get a second shot at forever love, or will Drew's secret ruin any chance they have at happy ever after?

What an astounding and completely spell-binding read Ms. Marcelo has penned in this first book of her Journey to the Heart series, which encompasses the second chance romance trope, wonderful characters that have some tough obstacles to overcome and dialogue that had me hooked due to the restaurant wars type storyline that sees the heroine's feisty temper come to the forefront. Seriously, that saying of the customer is always right isn't always true, especially when they can't show a lick of respect for the person serving them. 

The way this story started had me liking the heroine immediately, as she needs to let her hair down -- so to speak -- and have a good time. But it's hard for her to do when she's the guardian of her sister and the owner of a food truck that has to compete for the right location. Will she find the perfect spot? What competition will she have if she does? How much grief will she cop from businesses where she parks her food truck?    

The dialogue was well-written and in the first person, which usually bothers me, but I found myself liking it. Because the words flowed really well and the storyline was more than enough to keep me entertained. So much so that I found myself not caring that it was in the first person. The dialogue was also a nice mix of intense moments and playful banter and I loved every moment Drew and Camille interacted, as she did her best to keep from getting too involved with the hero. How long will she be able to resist him for?  

Both the hero and heroine were riveting characters and had me hooked due to their back stories, especially that of the hero. He went completely against what his parents wanted him to do for his future, and it's hard for him to be around his father because it seems the man is disappointed in him. However, in saying that, I liked that Drew was willing to help his family out the way he does, because he knows he needs to try and repair the relationship between them. But what I liked most of all about the hero is how far he was willing to go to protect Camille when it came to her business. No way could he lose her after having her back in his life again. 

While the heroine, she goes through a lot in this story and has a few tough obstacles to overcome such as the possibility of losing her food truck, whether she can scrap together the money to pay for her sister's tuition, and what happens towards the end that tears apart her and Drew's relationship. Will Camille be able to forgive him? Moreover, she's strong, brave and I liked her fiery side when she's determined to stand up for what's right when it comes to people acting like jerks.

Finally, this story was a delightful read where the strong chemistry between Drew and Camille makes for entertaining reading and a story that I could not put down. The way this story ended was perfect, as Camille is determined to make things right with Drew. Especially since there's no way she can let him put so much distance between them without resolving what went wrong in their relationship and making him realize that she wants a future with him. However, it was the epilogue that wrapped this story up nicely, because of what's happened with Camille's business, the surprise Drew has for the heroine and how someone is determined to make things up to Camille after what they did. I would highly recommend North to You by Tif Marcelo, if you enjoy second chance romances.

Camille Marino has got a full plate. As the sole guardian of her eighteen-year-old sister and the head chef and owner of a food truck, she’s used to life being a juggling act. With food to cook, social media accounts to manage, and a little sister to look after, she doesn’t have time for much else.

That is, until Drew Bautista walks back into her life.

Drew is Camille’s former high school crush and he returns to San Francisco to repair his relationship with his father before he ships out for deployment. By helping his father renovate his failing Filipino restaurant, he hopes to win back his respect. But when sparks fly between Drew and Camille—his father’s major competition and sworn enemy—Drew is conflicted. Should he join his father in the war against her food truck? Or surrender to the woman who’s given him a second chance at love?


Above the low hum of the traffic, the people, and the planes passing overhead, a bell chimes. Then two, then three. Soon, surround-sound church bells, signaling the start of the new day, sweep over the breadth of my view.
“Wow.” The music becomes the backdrop of the city I thought I knew. My eyes follow the path of Market Street and the twinkling outline of the Bay Bridge. It scans to the Transamerica Building, which cuts the ombré of the night sky down to the yellow of the city lights. Sights now enhanced, brought to greater depth and meaning.
“Right?” he whispers next to me.
“She is definitely beautiful.”
My breath hitches at Drew’s statement. He leans against the barrier, his back to the city lights. His eyes are solely on me.
This man and I know nothing about each other as adults except for what we revealed in the last hour. He knows nothing of my dreams and hopes. I don’t understand the life he’s chosen. And yet I’m bound to him with leftover feelings that are so innocent and pure, feelings I’m not sure where to place now that they’ve been pulled from memories packed away.
One thing is sure. Right now is perfect.
I approach him, place my hands on his chest.
He rests his fingers lightly on my waist. “Camille—”
I stop him with a kiss. Tonight has been crazy, magical, fuzzy, and weird, and I don’t want to think about consequences, my overloaded plate of responsibilities, of everything waiting for me down there, in the city below.

Tif Marcelo believes in and writes about heart-eyes romance, the strength of families, and the endurance of friendship. A veteran Army Nurse with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a Master of Public Administration, she is a craft enthusiast, food-lover and the occasional half-marathon runner. As a military spouse, she has moved nine times, and this adventure shows in some of her free-spirited characters. Tif currently lives in the DC area with her own real life military hero and four children.


Describe yourself in five words or less.
Loyal. Dedicated. Empathetic. Enthusiastic. Cheerful.
What are 5 things you must have with you when you write?
I try not to get into the mindset that I need anything but a pen and paper/computer BUT:
  1. Coffee 
  2. My notebook 
  3. Something crunchy (almonds, cucumber rounds, Cheetoh’s—ha!) 
  4. My phone on silent  
  5. Marshmallow, Havanese-extraordinaire
What has been your toughest scene or book to write?
The “darkest hour” or also known as “the black moment.” It hurt my heart to bring these characters’ biggest fears to fruition. And then, to somehow recover from it was difficult because I wanted for it to come realistically and organically.
What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
Oh, hands down, it had to be the research! This book encompassed San Francisco (the city of my child and young adulthood) and food (Filipino food, most especially). I no longer live in San Francisco, so finding another eason to look back at old pictures and to look at maps of the City brought me back! And with food, it’s been a blast cooking and eating these foods just so my descriptions are accurate. The things we sacrifice! ;P 
A la Twitter style, please describe your book in 140 characters or less.
This was my agent story! I participated a PitMad Twitter pitch contest run by Brenda Drake. This is the pitch my now agent liked.
#dv #R Cami's found a 2nd ch @ love w/Drew, til she finds out it's his fam's restaurant that wants her food truck out of business. #PitMad
How long have you been writing, and what (or who) inspired you to start?
I’ve always been a writer, and my imagination have always run amok. Though I went to college and took up nursing and joined the Army, it never left me. I returned to writing through blogging when my second son was born, and continued to do so for over a decade. I began novel writing about six years ago, and was encouraged by my mother, my husband and closest friends. This journey has brought me full circle!
What do you do when you are not writing?
I’m a mom of four and a military spouse! Which means not only am I on the go every single day, as a family we are dealing with moving/deploying/temporary assignments quite regularly. Because of this, I practice yoga and run (very slowly). I love to read and binge watch shows I’m always behind on. I also craft! (currently, I’m cross-stitching something I’ve been working on for forever)
Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
First and foremost, make a commitment to yourself. Set long and short-term goals in your writerly life. Be kind to yourself.
Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?
Thank you for supporting this debut author! I hope you fall in love with NORTH TO YOU!




  1. Love this review and the answers to the author's interview. I will check this book out if I have enough book buying money this week.

  2. Thank you for the review and sharing today!
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