Crossed Out

Crossed Out

Friday, October 21, 2016

Friday Five

1. Most of this week I've been checking Cybil's nominated books out from my library.

This YA of a teen that goes on a cruise with her family was unique as it deals with a current controversial subject: dying with dignity or as some called it euthanasia.

Pluses: LOVED the quirky voice of this story.  There's dark humor but also hope.  I really loved that.
But I admit, I'm still on the fence on whether or not to vote to have dying with dignity in our state but I haven't been in a situation that my quality of life has deteriorated to this point.  I love how the grandmother came up with the idea of having all of her family celebrate her life and the end too.  The emotions are real.


I was eagerly waiting for the release after reading a teaser that was in a magazine **Think it was either Teen Vogue or Glamour magazine.

The author NAILS the depression in this novel.  I love the insight readers get into a teen battling with bipolar disorder and the stigmas she continues to deal with every day.


This is another book I've been dying to read.  The format is a little different and it took me a while to really get over that but once I did, I couldn't put this book down.  Six children go missing and eleven years later show up.  That is all of them except one.  What happened behind their disappearance is intriguing and a big reveal took me off guard.

First off, I'm so glad that we're finally getting protagonists that reflect the GLBT community.  This one is about Amanda who moves in with her family in a small Southern Town.  She just wants to be invisible and survive her senior year and move on.  Amanda has a secret that if revealed in this town could be fatal.

Love Amanda and totally could feel her emotions of first love, having friends, and being accepted.


This one sounds really intriguing with a 'what if' women were drafted into WWII.  Can't wait to read this one.  

**Guilty Pleasure:

Going to Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf and grabbing one of their yummy iced tea lattes and try to do some more plotting for my NaNowrimo.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Friday Five

1. Starting to map out plot for my NaNowrimo project.

Hint: It's set in the Tuscany, Italy area.  I've been going back and forth between a 19 year old just in college to a 24 year old.

Also this will be the FIRST novel I've written without any paranormal/fantasy elements!

Gathering materials which include books, videos, and info from an Italian guy sister is seeing.

Photo courtesy of

2. Also going over sequel edits...again.

3. Really excited about being a panelist for the Cybils's YA fiction category.

Right now reading:

Quirky tale of a teen that goes with family on a cruise with her dying grandmother.  Love the voice and the whole coming to terms with the death of a love one.


I'm really excited to read this one of a teen with bipolar disorder.

5. Also loving this new bilingual publisher and their take on diversity.

This one deals with a boy and his two dads.  Love the text!  I'm usually not a fan of books that have text in two languages as sometimes the Spanish is a literal translation.  **No one talks that way!  No worries here though!  I love how effortlessly the text flows.

**Guilty Pleasure:

Going to Barnes & Noble to pick up:

This one sounds creepy, good!

Friday, October 07, 2016

Friday Five

1. Can you tell the setting of my NaNowrimo project:

2.  This week been working on my query letter and synopsis so I can start querying this baby out!

3.  Been going to McDonalds to pick up more DC Comics Super Hero Girls.

4. Isn't this adorable?  Friend put together a package with a Halloween 'orange' theme:

5. Right now halfway through reading:

Think YA meets FAST AND FURIOUS.  Really loving the chemistry between these two very unlikely couples.

**Guilty Pleasure:

Getting ready for tomorrow's OCCRWA Birthday Bash!

This is always a fun event!  Plus, I need to get away for a day and be with other writers.  It also helps recharge my writing.  I totally needing this right now!  Plus, I stay overnight at the hotel for the PJ party part.  This year I plan to go on one that goes over Instagram for writers.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Friday Five

1. Now that teen's in public high school I'm able to write every day!  I've been getting in over 2 hrs a day which is really helping me finish this latest project!

**As of 1pm, I finished this revision!

Goal for next week is to work on the query letter and synopsis!

2. I also am able to go to the 9am yoga class for bone loss.  My doctor recommended I take these classes as I have a little bone loss on my right femur.

3. Teen so far is doing okay at the public high school.  I've been trying to help him budget his time better and be more organized.  He has ADHD and gets frustrated really easily and is very shattered.  We also went to the specialist to help too.

Here's hoping he succeeds at the public high school!

4. I've been concentrating on finishing this revision, so I didn't get much reading in this week.

I did read:

Loved this modern day twist of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST!

YA Books Central review:

Teaser: Beautifully written tale that brings two together against odds that are stacked against them. Mostly though it's a story that shows that love is love, no matter who it is.

5. Also McDonald's Happy Meals have toys from DC Super Heroes Girls.  YA author Lisa Yee wrote one of the books.  Very exciting!  So yeah, I've been getting Happy Meals for the toys:

**Guilty Pleasure:

Having company over for dinner.  Not sure yet if we'll have In & Out or pizza.  Always nice to take a break and catch up on things!

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: