Crossed Out

Crossed Out

Friday, September 23, 2016

Friday Five

1. Great news!  I just found out that I'm on the YA Fiction panel of the Cybils this year!!

I've been wanting to be on this panel since FOREVER.  There's a lot of awesome YAs out this year.  Can't wait to start discussing titles with other Cybils panelists!

2. Almost done with final revisions on CANDLE!

3. Also got email with editor for the sequel to CROSSED OUT.  Should be getting a schedule soon!

4. Books I've read this week include:

This book has an intriguing premise that felt like the TV series JERICHO meets RED DAWN.  This is listed as a New Adult novel but I think it could very well be a crossover book. The book is pretty good but one thing pulled me out: the description of Mexican Americans which was at times stereotypical.  Some of the dialogue was cringe-worthy too.  I was curious if it was just me feeling this way on the dialogue, so I asked my Mexican national sister-in-law Angie her take.  She said that though it could be technically 'correct', no one spoke that way.

I thought this was sad because the novel is pretty good.  I almost wished the Mexican American element was taken out.

But that's just my opinion.

5.  Picked up a copy of ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES.

Been wanting to read this book and when it came out in paperback,  I ran out to buy it!

This is a YA contemporary that has FAULT IN THE STARS feels going for it.

**Guilty pleasure:

Love these chocolate covered blueberries:

This will be my treat for surviving the week and writing every day!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016


I'm excited to be a part of the BLACK FLOWERS, WHITE LIES blog tour!

Publisher: Sky Pony Press | October 4, 2016

Her father died before she was born, but Ella Benton knows they have a supernatural connection. Since her mother discourages these beliefs, Ella keeps her cemetery visits secret. But she may not be the only one with secrets. Ella’s mother might be lying about how Dad died sixteen years ago. Newfound evidence points to his death in a psychiatric hospital, not as a result of a tragic car accident as her mother always claimed. After a lifetime of just the two of them, Mom suddenly feels like a stranger.

When a handprint much like the one Ella left on her father’s tombstone mysteriously appears on the bathroom mirror, at first she wonders if Dad is warning her of danger as he did once before. If it’s not a warning, could her new too-good-to-be-true boyfriend be responsible for the strange occurrences? Or maybe it’s the grieving building superintendent whose dead daughter strongly resembles Ella? As the unexplained events become more frequent and more sinister, Ella becomes terrified about who—or what—might harm her.

Soon the evidence points to someone else entirely: Ella herself. What if, like her father, she’s suffering from a breakdown? In this second novel from award-winning author Yvonne Ventresca, Ella desperately needs to find answers, no matter how disturbing the truth might be.

BLACK FLOWERS, WHITE LIES:  Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound    


Yvonne Ventresca’s latest young adult novel, BLACK FLOWERS, WHITE LIES will be published by Sky Pony Press in October 2016.

Her debut YA novel, PANDEMIC, won a 2015 Crystal Kite Award from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. In PANDEMIC, a teen struggles to survive not only a deadly outbreak and its real-life consequences, but also her own personal demons. Ventresca's other works include the short story “Escape to Orange Blossom,” which was selected for the dystopian anthology PREP FOR DOOM, along with two nonfiction books, PUBLISHING (Careers for the 21st Century) and AVRIL LAVIGNE (People in the News).

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Goodreads

Here's my YA Books Central review:

Ella still believes her dead father looks out for her. But her mother and BFF don't believe in the paranormal. Ella's mother quickly remarries and estranged son of her new stepfather shows up. Around this time strange things happen to Ella like a hand print on her mirror. Ella 'thinks' it's her father trying to communicate and warn her about something. Her new stepbrother Blake is handsome but also seems almost too quick to become close to her. After their parents go on a Parisian honeymoon, this is when the strange factor increases to the point that Ella worries if she's losing it.

What worked: The author does a great job showing the subtlety of a psychopath. Nothing over the top or graphic but enough to give a psychological creep factor to this novel. I like how Ella tries to figure out what is really going on to the point that she questions her own sanity. Readers don't know what to expect either. To be honest, I thought this would be a paranormal thriller but it's much more than that. Suspense, mystery, and even hints of a romance.

Blake is hard to figure out at first but there's little hints woven throughout to let readers know that something's not quite right. He's handsome, charismatic, and uses that charm with Ella and others around him.

There's twists and turns throughout this novel that gives it a Hitchcock appeal. Subtle psychological thriller with a surprising ending twist. Sure to appeal to those who love a good mystery and thriller without all the graphic elements.

Welcome to Yvonne Ventresca’s BLACK FLOWERS, WHITE LIES official tour page! For this virtual tour, each host will be posting an exclusive behind-the-scenes fun fact along with their review, as well as tour wide giveaway. Many thanks to all our hosts for supporting Yvonne and helping us get the word out about this amazing novel!

Tour Schedule

Sep 21st – YA Book Central
Sep 26th – The Fake Steph
Sep 28th – Books, Dreams, Life
Sep 30th – All For Love of the Word

Oct 1st –
Oct 3rd – Book Lovers Life

Also there's a giveaway!

Friday, September 16, 2016

Friday Five

1. Been working on yet another round of edits for my latest project.  I'm at page 200!  Over halfway done!

My goal is to finish this by the end of the month.

My reward is to go see a movie.

2. So this whole public high school experience has been interesting.  Yes, son says he likes it and hopefully he'll do well here.

3. Finally got a copy of Sandra Cisneros's latest:

Love Cisneros's poetry.  A HOUSE OF MY OWN is a reflection of all the places that she has called 'home'.  Her lyrical writing is in each tale.



Reading this for a blog tour. Hints of the paranormal are woven throughout this suspenseful tale.

YA Books Central review coming soon!


Really loved the first book in this series!  THE REMNANT starts off right after Char has been arrested in space.  Can't wait to see what happens!

**Guilty Pleasure:

Later today will be packing for mother-in-law who is going back to Utah.  It's kind of hard to do this as I'm pretty sure she has the start of dementia. 

I do plan on going to Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf to get some more writing in and to have a yummy iced tea latte:

Friday, September 09, 2016

Friday Five

1. First off:

I'm a finalist in the 2016 Pages From The Heart Contest!

Espie would be proud!  **My Latina protagonist!

2. Now that son's in public high school, I'm able to get more writing in plus go to this amazing early morning yoga class.

Love Susan's class as she's trained on what yoga postures to use for bone loss.  My doctor highly recommended these classes.

3. Plus, there's more time to get some reading in.

A few books I've read this week:


This is a totally trippy roam through different dimensions in the multiverse.

My YABC review:

Teaser: THE TIME TRAVELER'S WIFE meets YA world. This addictive tale will keep you guessing and wanting more!


Omg, on the emotional roller coaster ride in this YA where an abducted teen is reunited with her family.  Only she finds she's not the only one who has changed.

YA BOOKS Central review coming soon!


It was so refreshing to finally read a book that deals with Dia De Los Muertos in a realistic light without glossing over it.  Zoraida NAILS the Latino culture in this magically world.  I was lucky enough to host her the other night and have to check out her Playlist she used for her novel.  I highly recommend this book!

**Guilty Pleasure:

Have you tried the latest Starbucks drink?  The Chile Mocha is to die for.  Very yummy!  Might grab one when I pick son up after school!

Friday, September 02, 2016

Friday Five

1. This is the first week of school.  Teen was both nervous and excited to be going to the local high school where most of his friends hang.

Knock on wood that he does well!  My biggest concern has to be how the public school system doesn't work with kiddos that deal with ADHD and other sensory issues.  One good thing is that the kids in our church go there too.  **They even have a lunch area where they hang.  It's called Mormon Hill.

So far it's been okay.

2. Since teen's in school, that means I have time to concentrate more on my writing.

Have a sequel scheduled to come out before the end of this year!  Also doing another run through with my latest project.  Hoping it'll be polished enough to send out by October.  Or at least before NaNo.

3. I've been going to coffee houses and libraries to write as people think that since I'm not homeschooling that means I have LOTS of free time.

 I hear this, "I can't do it as I have a job."

Uh, and I don't?

This is me when I get yet another text or call asking for me to drop everything.

3. Books I've read:

YA Books Central review:

Teaser: Psychological thriller on the aftermath of a girl being returned to her family after being missing for thirteen years. Twists on what might have in fact really happened that will surprise readers at the end.


I was really excited to read this one as I loved her book SMILE.  But something about this novel just didn't sit right with me.  The idea of a young sister with cystic fibrosis and ghosts works. What doesn't is the portrayal of Mexican culture and Dia de Los Muertos which felt almost as an after thought. Or as one of those 'cool' Mexican holidays that was glossed over. But that's just me.

I did one post where I mentioned that unless a writer does his/her research first--don't just plop in a holiday or piece of a culture just because it feels 'cool'.  I think if the author dropped the Dia de Los Muertos and just concentrated on a young girl and the ghosts, it would have worked better.  Or at least mention how this holiday is more than painted skull faces and skeletons.  

Ok, rant over!

**Guilty pleasure:

Plan to start reading:

Thursday, September 01, 2016


My September goals include:

Work on current project.  Go over at least 2 chapters a day.

If someone asks at the last minute to drop everything and do something for them, remember this:

3. Go to yoga at least 2xs a week.  Power walk at least 3xs a week.

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