Crossed Out

Crossed Out

Friday, August 26, 2016

Friday Five

1. Next Monday is the first day of school!   **Not that I'm counting or anything...

Here's me:

This will be the first time in seven years that I haven't been teaching.  I plan to use this time to finish my latest project and to start a new more adult novel set in Italy!

Crossing fingers that son does well in the public school system.  He wants to go, so that's half of the battle.

2. Finally finished copy edits on the sequel to NO MORE GODDESSES!

3. Finished reading WAKE THE HOLLOW by Gaby Triana:

YA Books Central review:

Teaser: Suspenseful jaunt through modern day Sleepy Hollow where a centuries old mystery is met with paranormal elements.

4. Picking up some graphic novels.  This one was on a recommend list from YALSA :

YA Books Central review:

Teaser: Rapier wit is woven throughout this graphic novel. Some is biting and others show how desensitized some people are to using drones in war. The bottom line is some will do just about anything for money.

Biting tale with a new heroine in a future that might not be too far off for us.

5.  Just starting this one:

This is one of those types of books I totally LOVE: a psychological thriller where a teen can 'see' who a serial killer will target during her sleep.  She decides to follow him and finds out not all is what she thought.

YA Books Central review coming soon!

**Guilty pleasure:

After I take son in to get his blood drawn, we plan to hit the nearest Starbucks for one of their yummy drinks!

Photo courtesy of

Friday, August 19, 2016

Friday Five

1. This week was crazy with high school stuff.  Tuesday night there was a Freshman orientation and parent meeting.  The meeting was held in the theater and was PACKED.  Then on Wednesday we had Mustang round-up where teen had to go and pick up his schedule, lockers, PE clothes, take photo, get student ID card, and books.

At the end, I stepped back and looked at teen's school.  Then it hit me: Omg, I'm now one of THOSE parents in a YA novel!

2. Also finishing up the last 'quick' read of sequel.  Can't believe I still was finding mistakes.  Just UGH.

3. Books for this week include:

Realized I need to read some more graphic novels!  This one was recommended by a library association as being one of the top graphic novels of this year.  ORANGE is about a teen who receives a letter from her future self, warning her to watch out for a new boy that comes to her school.  Kind of a Japanese graphic novel/time traveling book.

4. Another one is based on my all-time favorite TV series:

I started reading the 'new' Buffy comic books but quickly lost interest by season 10.  I think it's because the ones after high school/college aren't as interesting as when she was in high school.  This is a fun new series that will introduce Buffy to a whole new generation of readers!


My YA Books Central review:

Teaser: Unique twist on a demon slayer set in a post-apocalyptic world where nothing is what it seems. Add to that romance, suspense, horror, and action which make for one terrific read.

**Guilty pleasure:

Hope to go to Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf and grab one of their amazing iced tea lattes while FINALLY FINISHING THIS SEQUEL!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Friday Five

1. Almost to the end of these copy edits!

Should be done by this weekend.

2. Then it's back to CANDLE to go over Katie's feedback.  Goal is to get this project polished and ready to query out by the end of next month!

3. In the meantime, there's some serious drama going on with husband's family.

This is me during it all:

Trying not to say anything but man, it's hard!

4. Still had time to get some reading in:

Reading the second book in the Nevermore series.  Really loving the gothic feel of this unlikely romance between a Goth teen with a secret and a cheerleader.

5. Fun book has to be this adult coloring book set in Paris:

Yes, I've been coloring in it!  Love the very detailed pictures of Paris.  There's also one set in London.  Hoping for one set in Rome!

**Also finished reading book three in the ALIENATED series.

This was a bittersweet experience for me as I loved the first two books in the series something fierce.  This unlikely love story between a human and alien reminded me so much of STARCROSSED the canceled TV series.  I have to admit though that this final book wasn't my favorite.  It didn't feel the same somehow.  But that's just my opinion and it's all subjective.

**Guilty pleasure:

Hope to finish edits today at Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.  While there plan to have one of their drinks.  Love the tea lattes.

Friday, August 05, 2016

Friday Five

1. Working on copy edits for the sequel to NO MORE GODDESSES.  Over halfway through.  Lots of comments and feedback.

Yes, this one has more romance and is set in Paris!  That and the Greek Netherworld with another goddess of love.  This time it's Aphrodite.

2. Also having nineteen-year-old Katie Marciniak go over CANDLES for a final look through before I start querying it out.  My goal is to send this baby out this Fall.

Katie is amazing with her feedback and suggestions.  Her goal is to be an editor and maybe even an agent!

Her Twitter handle is: @MarciniakKatie

3. Sent over sequel to CROSSED OUT to editors.  This will continue the Rescuers saga of Stephanie and her friends in Sacramento.

4. Been reading too.

This book reminds me of my days as a bilingual teacher in South Whittier, Ca in the 90s. I taught a number of undocumented students. The fear of being deport rang true as I witnessed this with my students and their families during the English Only movement. A must read which shows the human side of immigration.

YA Books Central review coming soon!

5.  Another book I read that was amazing:

My YA Books Central review:


Fascinating glimpse into a world where 'Forgetting' comes every twelve years and the teen who refuses to stay passive on her search for the truth.

**Also have to give out kuddos to YA author Colleen Houck!  Loved hosting her Twitter chat yesterday.  I learned a lot including she has this amazing fan base in Brazil!

Her latest book deals with Egyptian mythology.  A fun twist!

**Guilty Pleasure:

Depending on teen, plan to go see NERVE with Emma Roberts.  Heard really good things about it!

Friday, July 29, 2016

Friday Five

1. Teen's at scout camp this week which means it's so much quieter!  Also, since husband took week off too, been really hard getting anything done.  Still working on copy edits.  Hope to have done before school starts back up on August 29th.

2. Went to House of Pancakes and had their famous apple pancake:

It's HUGE and so good!

3. Finally went to Pageant of the Masters in Laguna Beach, Ca.

This is where actors reenact famous paintings.  It's pretty spectacular!

My favorite paintings had to be the ones with the Frida Kahl and Diego Rivera theme:


Really enjoying so far!

5.  Finished reading:

My YA Books Central review:

What worked had to be the whole concept of a teen searching for her past even when her family tried to stop it.  One thing I did have issues with though had to be how misleading the blurb was.  There really isn't any horror element in this book like I thought.  Still, the idea of finding the truth behind secrets in your family past was intriguing.

**Guilty Pleasure:

Today plan to finish my guilty pleasure read of HOW TO HANG A WITCH and maybe grab a Starbucks drink.  Last day before teen comes home.  Going to enjoy!

Friday, July 22, 2016

Friday Five

1. Been going over copy edits on the sequel to NO MORE GODDESSES.  This is the second round of edits on this novel.  The copy editor found more than a few inconsistencies that I didn't catch the first time around.

This is a HUGE reason why it's so important to have others go over your novel before it's released.

But that doesn't mean I don't feel like this over while going over some of the feedback:

Originally posted by Virtualstars

Who ever said writing was easy, never actually finished a novel.  There's a lot that goes on from actually writing that first sh*tty draft to doing numerous revisions before it's ready to print!

2. Excited to get my July box of books from YA Books Central:

3. Right now reading a YA set in war torn Paris during WWII and the American teen who is is a spy.

YA Books Central review:

Teaser: Intriguing glimpse into a female agent in Nazi occupied Paris.  Fans of A CODE NAME VERITY are sure to enjoy this recent addition of a female heroine of WWII.

4. Also been working on the query letter and synopsis of CANDLE IN THE WIND.  Right now a fellow YA author is going over the first three chapters.  Hope to query this baby out this Fall!

5. Love Prisma!

Check out these selfies of my parrots:

Sunni selfie
Damon selfie
**Guilty pleasure:  Have to help finish getting things for son's scout camp which starts this Saturday.  He'll be going with his troops to Camp Chawanakee up at Shaver Lake, Ca:

Will grab a new Starbucks drink!  This one is a coconut milk mocha macchiato.

Photo courtesy of Starbucks Newsroom

Friday, July 15, 2016

Friday Five

1, Been going to library and coffee house almost every day this week.  Need to finish this revision so I can query it off to agents by September!

Right now working on the synopsis and query letter.  Plan to have one other YA author go over and then I should be ready to query.

2. Been reading more too!

SURVIVE THE NIGHT by Danielle Vega

This is one creeptastic horror tale with a Stephen King edge.

YABC review:

Teaser: This is a horror novel that delivers with fast-paced suspense where friends are racing to survive the terrors of being underground with some malevolent presence.


I'm a huge fan of Gwenda Bond and this is a comic adaptation of  her GIRL ON A WIRE series.  Loved the setting--Paris!--and Bond's writing is very addictive!  This is the first in a series of four comics set in Paris.

4. NEVERMORE by Kelly Creagh

Can't wait to start this paranormal series!  Ooh, strange things happen within one character's writing on Edgar Allan Poe.  I read the free teaser on my Kindle Fire and was hooked!

One big pet peeve though is how Barnes & Noble doesn't stock books unless they're fairly recent.  I had to special order the first two books in this series.  The third one will be coming out in paperback the end of this month!

5. Reading THE BELL JAR by Sylvia Plath for research:

Though some of the writing is a little dated, the other all story line of a college aged girl being torn by the social norms for women in the 1950s is something that still rings true for today.  Some have told me how depressing this book is but I don't feel that at all.  I feel her conflict and struggle to try to fit in and how the pressures of being the 'good' girl are at times over powering.

Been following her quotes on both Twitter and Pinterest.

My character directed me to Plath.  Personally, I never read any of her poetry and love Anne Sexton but that just didn't seem like a fit for this YA novel.

We'll see where this leads me...

**Also excited to be hosting YA author Beth Revis this next Monday, July 18th, at 5pm PST:

Loved her Sci-fi series and also right now reading her writing ebooks which give helpful tips on the writing biz!


5. Looks like the second round of edits for the sequel to NO MORE GODDESSES is done!  Need to go over the copy edits one last time.  Hope when this sequel comes out, the 'new' cover for the first book will be out!  I've seen it and LOVE IT.

**Guilty pleasure:

Like I mentioned before, one thing that bugs me about the local Barnes & Nobles out my way is what books they stock.  I know it's more a management decision on which books they carry and which ones they pass on.  One book that really surprised me had to be the sequel to Rachel Caine's amazing new series. I special ordered and it is in the store right now! 

Picking it up and then grabbing a Starbucks drink.  With a Barnes & Noble membership, not only do you get free shipping for the year(which is so worth it for someone like me that reads ALL THE TIME) but you get 10% off the drinks.