Crossed Out

Crossed Out

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Friday Five

This week started off very stressful with Jenny, our cockatiel, having more mini seizures.  Took her to vet for another examination.  After getting a $146 x-ray, vet found an enlarged liver and what looks like some toxicity in her system.  It's not in her intestines, but still...

Jenny not happy with the situation.  In vet's office waiting.  Dr. Coward is an avian specialist, meaning his specialty is exotic birds.

So it's a round of liver supplements and immunity boosters for a while.  If that doesn't work, then we need to do another round to see what exactly the toxicity might be.  Send positive thoughts and prayers our way please!

2. Getting to the end of the first round of Cybils.  I'm on the first panel that needs to whittle down a list of 205 nominated books to the top 5-7 finalists.  Yes, this is challenging but the reason why I love doing this has to be working with other bloggers, librarians, and authors going over our shared love of books.

Here's some more teasers on what has been nominated for 2014:

3. This one really had my attention.  Imagine a world where a drug can give you a glimpse into heaven.  What would you do to have a taste of that?  But this story is much more than that.  It shows a very determined teen, who trains to get revenge against those who killed her best friend and ruined her life at 11 years old, and a mysterious boy that has her question everything.

YABC review:


I really LOVED the voice on this one about a circus family and a girl who wants to uncover the secrets behind the reason her family has been shunned from other circus actors.  A hint of the paranormal is woven throughout this very engaging, thrilling story!

I really enjoyed this collection of shorts that deal with monsters.  One of my favorites has to be Holly Black's short on 10 ways to be an interstellar pirate.  Plus Cassandra Clare's take on a vampire and a senior citizen's place is very engaging.


I'm really loving this tale of sixteen-year-old Leilani, who is half Hawaiian/half white, epileptic and living in Hilo, Hawaii.  While her father and her are at Oahu waiting to try an experimental treatment, a global disaster hits.  Can't wait to read more!

 Not a Cybil's nominated book but I downloaded the 'free' sample of WICKED and I'm HOOKED.

Purchased the $3.99 ebook for my Nook.  This is my 'treat' after reading the Cybils.  And omg, I think I finally found a New Adult novel that I'm loving but then again it's from author Jennifer Armentrout.   Why shouldn't I be surprised?

**Guilty pleasure:

Going to The Shops to 'choose' my Christmas present.  I want a Pandora bracelet.  Need to give husband 'ideas' on what charms I want.  Decisions.  Decisions!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Friday Five

1. This week has been busy with reading Cybils books.  I thought I'd share some of my reads!

**Can you see a trend here?

THE HIT by Melvin Burgess

This futurist world is set in a very depressing UK where only a select few make it while the rest are struggling.  Add to the mix a drug that gives you a surge of emotion/energy/life.  Wouldn't you want to at least try that?  But there is a condition.  The 'Death' drug lasts only for a week, then you're dead.

This unique take on the very satiated dystopia market kept my attention with all the twists and turns.

2.  THE BODIES WE WEAR by Jeyn Roberts

Another dystopia novel, with another type of drug, but this one 'promises a glimpse into heaven.

3. WINTERKILL by Kate Boorman

A futurist world in a commune like society.  Emm resists the urge to go into the forbidden forest.  The same forest that was her grandmother's downfall.  When the leader of the commune offers his hand in marriage, Emm knows this will wipe the slate clean of her family's shame.  But the forest still calls out to her...


When the exact boy of her dreams 'shows' up in her high school,  Annabelle, isn't sure what to think.  Things are amazing at first but then the nightmares come.


5. Today we are scheduled for a mega storm.  It hit yesterday up North in Sacramento/San Francisco area.  Send positive thoughts our way that this doesn't lead to more flooding.  Somehow son and husband think we should just wait and see what happens while I'll be sandbagging some more.

**Guilty Pleasure:

Not sure if I'll be able to do that today considering the huge storm and all.  Tomorrow though I did sign up to attend the December OCCRWA meeting.

Writing coach Lynn Lorenz will present “Front-End Load Your Manuscript” in the morning and “Plotting by the Seat of Your Pants” in that afternoon at the monthly meeting of the Orange County Chapter of the Romance Writers of America. It begins at 10 a.m. at the Brea Community Center, 695 E. Madison Way, Brea. $10 for members and first-time visitors, $20 for a second visit (limit two visits for non-members).

Friday, December 05, 2014

Friday Five

1.  Hard to get back into the swing of things after last week's break but in order to finish a book, I got to actually write!

Please, so nice to be DONE with family drama for a little while.

2. Cybil's books this week:

This one was just nominated as a Morris Finalist and I can see why.

Love the surreal feel to this story of a teen born with wings.  The writing is magical and I'm totally falling under it's spell.

3. Another Morris Finalist:

I met the publicist of this publisher at Kidlitcon and told her I'd love to read/review this book.

Love the voice of Gabi and totally can relate with her challenges including the whole 'not Latina' enough based on the stereotypical view the world has of us.

Must reads!

4.  Am I the only one disappointed with the midseason finale of SLEEPY HOLLOW?

Photo courtesy of

I'm a huge fan of this alternative history show.  Plus, I love the diversity.

What I didn't buy was how it ended.  I didn't buy it and felt it was manipulative and rushed.

Any thoughts?

5. Totally loving THE 100

Photo courtesy of

This Lord of the Flies meets Sci-fi/dystopia world is gritty and graphic at times but the story line has me hooked.

Plus, one of the writers, Kira Snyder, is one of my favorites!

**Also can't wait to read this, after the Cybils:

**Guilty pleasure:

Still have a 'free' Starbuck drink.  I have one of their gold cards which is so worth it.  After 12 drinks, you earn a free one.

After a Costco run, thinking I'll grab my favorite seasonal one:

**Peppermint mocha without the whip cream.


Friday, November 28, 2014

Friday Five

1. This week I've been catching up with not only my writing but reading some fab Cybils nominated books.

I'll try to share some teasers every Friday of some of the nominated books.


Really enjoyed this story of Tula, who is beaten and left for dead on a space station.  She has to learn to deal with the aliens there but what's different is she's really the alien as she's the only human there.

Can't wait to read the next book to see what happens next!


What happens if you find out that an experiment to replace your head on a healthy body does in fact work?

Love the voice of this story which takes place five years after sixteen-year-old Travis finds himself alive with a new body.  Listening to the audio and totally loving!

4. The whole Ferguson verdict left me so angry and upset.  An OC writer friend sent me this link to an upcoming rally to unite in protest of how Black & Brown youth are profiled and needlessly shot and killed:

5. Hope to finally see MOCKINGJAY.  I've been hearing it's pretty good!

**Guilty pleasure:

Just found this teaser for upcoming Star Wars movie next Christmas season:

I survived Thanksgiving drama!  Yay!  Which means a holiday drink treat!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Friday Five

1. Hate when some think because I'm a parent that I don't know about the educational system.

What happened is it was picture day at the student center.  So we got to the center only to find out that the photographer 'left' for the day.  The email said he'd be there from 8-1pm.  We got to the center around 10:20ish.

You'd think the office would have said, "Sorry, but here's the card and you can call or they'd reschedule."


The one aide was very abrupt with me and said it might have been a typo to "Call the director about it."

Well, the director showed up yesterday and I told her what happened and how I was frustrated and that it wasn't dealt with well.  That aide then proceeded to say she never said any of those things to me and even said that they were giving cards out on that day.

I came back at her, angry that she was basically calling me a liar.

Her story though didn't pan through as someone else in office said something else.  Director apologized and had them get a card and give it to me. She also said that the photographer will come back before Christmas.

I'm still fuming over how unprofessional the office was and how one of them denied her rudeness.

2.  So I then went to Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf to chill with one of their holiday drinks:

3. Here's Jenny.

She's doing better.  Last week we had a big scare as she was panting like a dog and I thought for sure she'd die.  She couldn't breathe.  Took her to the fab Dr. Coward, who's an avian vet(they deal mostly in bird problems) and she got a shot of antibiotics and something to help with her immunity system.

4. One thing that always makes me smile has to be getting books.  Since I'm a Cybils panelist, I've been receiving lots of packages filled with books.  Yesterday I got a package from the fab YA Books Central.

5. Right now reading another zombie book.  This one though is hilarious.  Reminds me a lot of WARM BODIES:

**Guilty pleasure:

Hope to see Mockingjay.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014


Congrats to Princess12250 for winning the Atlantia giveaway which included two awesome necklaces and a galley of the book!

Thanks to everyone who commented and entered the contest!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Friday Five

1. Let's start with the good news first:

Cybils books are a coming!

Love this part of being a Cybil's panelist!

2. Received GRIM:

So far loving this anthology of short YA tales that have a dark twist off of the Grim stories we heard as children.


A twist on Cinderella.

**See a theme here?

3. Last Friday went with son's Spanish class to Olvera Street.  Loved going as my bisabuela's family lived there at the tail end of the 1880s.

**A restored mural that had been 'whitewashed'.  Artist was a friend of Diego Rivera.

Couldn't resist this Frida coin purse!

Also found a Latina t-shirt.  Had to get!

Here's what the shirt says:

Cool, huh?

4.  Also can't wait to read SALVAGE:

Loved Beth Revis's ACROSS THE UNIVERSE and Beth highly recommended SALVAGE.  Plus, heard it has one strong feminist protagonist.


5. Okay, the not so great news.



It's official: I suck at it.  I ended up paying for an online class for son as I know I can't really teach this.  Well, he totally bombed his quiz yesterday.  We went over the chapter first too.  To make matters worse?  His teacher called and wanted to know what's going on.

What makes this all so flippin' frustrating is I've been trying to get help but no one believes that son has a learning disability or says I'm helping him too much so he's not confident to try.

Anyone have any suggestions, I'd love to hear them!

**Guilty pleasure:

I loved Starbucks Peppermint Mocha's even over Coffee Bean & Tea leaf's version.

I think after all this math drama, I deserve one.  Don't you think?

Photo courtesy of