Crossed Out

Crossed Out

Friday, June 24, 2016

Friday Five

1. So here it is the second week of summer vacation.

Been writing almost every day!


2. Been reading too!


My YA Books Central review:

Teaser: Addictive criminal murder mystery that is loaded with secrets that will have readers guessing right to the last page. Well-written with a powerful insight into the lives of two friends that takes a tragic twist.

3.  Non-fiction must read:

Really loving this insight into a transgender teen.

YA Books Central review coming soon!


I really wanted to love this book.  Some pluses are the Parisian backdrop which the author does a great job in showing the readers.  I felt as if I was there.  What I was really disappointed in had to be how rushed the romance was to the very anticlimactic ending that I didn't buy at all.  

Le sigh.  But that's just my opinion.  If looking for a book that does a better job showing a teen in Paris?  I highly recommend Stephanie Perkins ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS.


I really love Yovanoff's writing and her latest is not a disappointment!

YA Books Central review:

Teaser: Addictive forbidden love story where opposites do attract with the help of an almost paranormal element. Readers will cheer for Waverly and Marshall even when society and others do everything to pull them apart.

**Guilty Pleasure:  Going to Irvine Spectrum and checking out the YA section at the Barnes and Noble store.  

Oh, and grabbing a tea latte at Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.  Today's tea was African Sunrise with NSA chocolate power and one shot.  Very yummy and PERFECT for the summer!

Friday, June 17, 2016

Friday Five

1. So this is the first week off from school but it's been crazy busy!

Monday signed son up for 10th grade.  Met his guidance tech and she went over what he needs to graduate.

Integrated science( come to find out biology is taken not in ninth grade but rather 10th)
World History

No AP classes...yet.

2. Then finally went and saw a dermatologist on a skin lesion that looked too much like one featured in the May 2016 issue of Glamour magazine.  The article is called,Your 2016 Sun & Skin Survival Guide.  There is some photos of precancerous and cancerous lesions.  Come to find out that yes, it's precancerous.  Doctor froze it off my nose(yes, it hurt but not as bad as I thought it would).

So thank you Glamour magazine for posting informative articles that could save your life!

3. Beyond horrific what happened on Sunday morning in Orlando.  My heart still feels heavy with sadness but now I'm also angry that guns are still so easy to get a hold of.  It's been nearing 20 years since that day I got the phone call that my sister had been shot in the head.  You'd think after this time, reading about shootings wouldn't be the, as Mario Rubio says, 'the norm'.

I refuse to believe and accept that.

Been wearing my 'Not One More' bracelet:

4. Excited to get this package from Penguin books!

Can't wait to read!

5. Got my YA Books Central package:

Also got my 'first' Ipsy package filled with makeup goodies!  **Love the bag's design!

**Guilty Pleasure:

Going to grab one of Starbucks latest drinks:
Photo courtesy of :;_ylt=AwrTcX_KCGRXQdMAZLmjzbkF;_ylu=X3oDMTBtdXBkbHJyBHNlYwNmcC1hdHRyaWIEc2xrA3J1cmw-

This is the caramel granita drink.  Instead of the half-half, I asked for soy.  Very yummy!

Thursday, June 09, 2016

Friday Five

1. First off:


No, maybe more of this:

2. Now I can focus more on my writing which kind of took a back seat with homeschooling this year.

One thing I have to say to those who homeschool teens?

You rock big time!

Homeschooling is hard and often times unappreciated.  It'll be nice for son to move on and experience public high school.  Fingers cross that he'll succeed!

3. Been catching up on SCREAM the TV series:

Yeah, it's kind of funny in a dark way and loaded with lots of sometimes graphic violence.  Still, not what I expected.

4.  Also my guilty summer watch has to be Unreal:

5. Books I've read:

My YA Books Central review:

Teaser: Disturbing glimpse into a small town where a horrific transphobic murder shakes not only the residences but a teen to the core. Readers will see the darkness that shadows hatred against others.

Currently reading: 

Really loving!  Think 1960s espionage with a Marilyn Monroe-like teen heroine set in Buenos Aires, Argentina!

**Guilty Pleasure:

Hope to read a couple more chapters of my revision and grab a iced tea latte!

Friday, June 03, 2016

Friday Five

1. This week has been hard as I've been battling depression.  I think it was brought on by not placing in one contest, scoring for a national educational firm, and culminating with the end of the school year.  I'm really hard on myself and sometimes feel as if I'm not 'good' enough.

Le sigh.

Need to slam that negativity to the ground:

Plus, will be around one person who isn't too nice to me.  This always gets to me but since she's an in-law?  I have to be nice.  That doesn't mean though that I have to just sit there and take the subtle and not too subtle nasty comments flung my way.

Double le sigh.

2. I did get a couple pieces of good news:

Publisher is working on a new cover to NO MORE GODDESSES.


I asked some teen girls what they thought of the current cover:

Most told me that they didn't like bugs and wouldn't read it.  But when they read the blurb?  They were interested.  Covers do make a difference in sales.  What I've seen so far of the tentative new cover?  It rocks!  Can't wait to share!

3. Also got feedback from my entry to the YARWA Rosemary Awards.  I didn't make the finalist list.  I won't lie.  That did bug me.  But the feedback I received was really good.  There was some very positive comments plus it got high scores from not one but two judges.


4. Finished reading THE ALMOST GIRL:
My YA Books Central review:

Teaser: YA Terminator meets Sliders with a kick ass heroine who finds out not all is what it seems to be. Futuristic adventure with hints of romance. A must read for fans of futuristic stories set on parallel worlds.

5.  Right now reading this contemporary murder mystery/thriller:

Lots of emotions going on. Av is a transgender teen in a small town. He runs up against his small town prejudice and bullying. Then when Mary, one of the few people that loved him, is found dead? He wants to know who would kill her. What he finds is chilling.

**Guilty pleasure:

Today is son's fifteenth birthday!  Omg, I remember when he was a baby!

He wants to go to Denny's and get his favorite breakfast.  Plus, go to the mall and get some new clothes.  Time goes by so fast!

Friday, May 27, 2016

Friday Five

1. This week has been not as crazy though you can tell the school year is winding down.  Why?  Well, I had to bang on son's door not once but twice this week as he wouldn't get up.  This meant he almost missed his classes and I wasn't in the best mood.

Plus, I'm over the whole homeschooling thing:

Kuddos to those who can homeschool high schoolers.  I can't.  I used to think this made me a failure considering I am a credentialed teacher(K-8) but teaching your own kid is so much harder than other kids.

This will be me the last day of school:

2. Have jury duty the end of June.  Hoping it won't be a conflict with RWA16 as I paid for the conference and really need to get away for a few days.  Need to call and see if I can push it off till the end of July.


Got this the other day from Penguin Teen.  So far it's really good!  

4. This book is amazing.  My heart goes out to transgender teens/preteens and the ignorance/prejudice/hate they have to deal with on a daily basis.

My YA Books Central review:

Teaser: The other huge plus of this book has to be Lily. It's basically her journey. I feel this story is important to tell especially with all the stereotypes and misinformation that continue to be out there. Information is power. 

Heart-wrenching, inspiring tale of two friends who overcome social prejudices with a dash of hope. Highly recommended. Also a great book club selection!

5. Got switched on educational project.  So need to review some materials before starting.  Trying not to get too stressed over it.

**Guilty pleasure:
Hope to grab a yoga session plus, later getting much needed hair cut/color job.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Friday Five

1. Crazy, busy week.  **What else is new, right?

I think this calls for a cuteness alert.

Here's some Damon for you all:

2. Only 2 more weeks of school left!

This will be me when it's all over:

Hopefully son will rock public high school.  Crossing fingers that I'll get at least a year off from teaching him.  **Confession: I've taught up to 34 bilingual students with little if no help.  I've had classes with challenging students but I'd take those any day over teaching my own son.  It's hard.  Really hard as you have to put on two hats: teacher and parent.  Plus, it'll be so nice to concentrate on my writing again.

3. Just found a really recent 4 star rating of NO MORE GODDESSES up at Good Reads.

**Plus, publisher let me know that there is a NEW cover in the works!

I got some feedback from teen girls on the current cover, and looks like publisher is listening!


Even though I have to work online 20 hours for an educational firm, I still need time to read!

4. Finished reading this amazing Sci-Fi novel:

YA Books Central review:

Teaser: Intriguing world building which includes the end result of humans trying to occupy an alien world. Here humans are the hated ones. There's lots of vivid images of this red sand world that reminded me a lot of Dune. Beyond The Red also has the court intrigues and power plays.

Court intrigue, forbidden love, rebel attacks, and vivid world building. This story has something for everyone. I can't wait for the next book!

5.  Right now reading this:

Loving the voice of sixteen-year-old Tal who lives the life of a grifter of conning those around her.  

YA Books Central review coming soon!

**Guilty pleasure:

Plan to take an hour or so and go to local mall to pick up some vanilla scented hand cream from Origins.  Plus, grabbing an iced drink from Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.

Friday, May 13, 2016


1. Almost at the end of this revision!

Tightening up some loose plot points.  Hoping to get this baby ready to query out next month! Have a list of 'dream' agents.  I feel I'm ready to move on from my previous not too great experiences.  Plus, since son is going back to public school this August?  I hope this opens up more time to not only peruse the more traditional publishing route but to finish up my more edgy YA and to dabble in a romantic novel.

2. Going to see my gynecologist today.  Send positive vibes my way!  Going to ask about using a more natural estrogen.  Plus, still worried about blood results and the whole more at risk for a heart attack/stoke.

But good news?  Cigna FINALLY approved me going to see a dermatologist.

I had a very strong impression not to get a chemical peel and see a specialist over a questionable spot on my nose.  Hopefully it's nada but I'm just happy that I can see a specialist and get another opinion.

3. Went and visited with elderly mother-in-law who announced she's thinking of moving back to Utah!

It's been really hard, stressful, and draining these past five years with her down here.  It'll be good for her to go back to Utah and be around her nurse daughter that can help her more than we can.

4. Having a hard time squeezing in some personal reading this week due to my commitment to scoring tests.  But you all know me.  I HAVE to read!

Le sigh.  I really, really wanted to love this.  It's set in Italy but the voice just didn't do it for me.  The whole mother-dies-and-leaves-a-journal-of-her-past is almost way overdone.  This one I even read over 100 pages, hoping I'd connect but sadly I didn't.  This is just my humble opinion though.

5. A sci-fi YA that is totally HOOKING me is BEYOND THE RED:

This one grabbed me right on the first page and didn't let go!  There's court intrigue, suspense, and a whole Dune like atmosphere.  LOVING SO FAR!

**Guilty pleasure:

Hope to read some more and go to a yoga class.  Yoga helps not only with the whole stress thing(having a demanding MIL and an almost 15 year old can up anyone's stress level), but with flexibility, and with combating osteoporosis.