Crossed Out

Crossed Out

Friday, February 17, 2017

Friday Five

1. This past couple weeks I've been battling this barking cough.  It's been embarrassing at times(like when I couldn't stop coughing at yoga).  I can't sleep very well once a coughing fit goes off.

Le sigh.  Hoping I get better or I'll have to visit the doctor.

2. And seriously, omg, on that so-called Press Conference the other day.  I'm so embarrassed for our country right now.  The man in office can't articulate and loves that word, 'very'.  Plus, he's showing true signs of delusion especially when he said, “Chaos? There’s zero chaos,” Trump said. “We are running — this is a fine-tuned machine.”

That's frightening.  What's even more frightening is how he's been avoiding the whole Russia issue.

I'm continuing to stay active and vigilant even when some(like an experience I had the other day) tell me to shut up.  No, silence =condoning the very acts you abhor.

I just pray our officials come to their senses or continue to stand up against wrongs that are unconstitutional and violate our rights.

3. With all the 'fake news' and conspiracy theories out there, it's hard to know which is which.  Really loved this link I found over on Twitter.  Marjon Library posted the link.

4. Had a video chat with my fab editor Joanna!  Loved being able to bounce off ideas on plot points for the sequel to CROSSED OUT.

5. Finished reading this:

YA Books Central review:

Teaser: A must have for one who loves comic books and is fascinated with Japanese culture. This is an engaging, sweet journey of a teen revisiting the land of her youth.

**Guilty Pleasure: I was lucky enough to get an advance galley of Cindy Pon's latest:

Cindy NAILS the setting and characters in this dystopian novel.  Love Jason Zhou, who infiltrates the you society(the wealthy) in order to destroy the Jin Corp that produces suits that help determine whether you live or die.  The suits are mega expensive, so only the wealthy can buy them.  He's suppose to get close to the daughter of the CEO but complications arise when he starts to fall for her.


Friday, February 10, 2017

Friday Five

1. One reason why I really need to not just stay on social media too long is the prevalence of 'fake' news and 'alternative facts'.

In my case, I read of how ICE is rounding up anyone who fits the undocumented citizen profile down here in SoCal area.  There is in fact a post from a Ca Senate member who posted his concern on the rumors:

And the ACLU posted, in both English and Spanish, what to do if ICE does knock on your door:

How sad is it though that it's come to the point that you don't know what is 'real' or 'fake news'.

2. Excited to go to tomorrow's OCCRWA meeting!  Love going to this group's meetings!  There's a Valentine theme going on and I'll be donating a $25 Amazon gift card for the raffle!

3. Decided, after DeVos's confirmation that I will be more active on PTA board.  Just signed up to help out with an event.  I figure this way I can use my own educator expertise and stand up against any wrongs I see.  I will be active and vigilant.

Remember that is my theme for the next four years!

4. Excited to get a big box of books from YABC!

5. Went to a French themed church activity where they made Nutella crepes!  Love this part of research!  Not sure yet the exact date of the release of the sequel to NO MORE GODDESSES(most of it takes place in Paris) but will let you all know!

**Guilty pleasure:

Going out to breakfast with a couple friends.  Always nice to socialize and caught up on things!

Friday, February 03, 2017

Friday Five

1. Busy revising the beginning of CANDLE based on feedback from Wednesday night's critique group.

And then an agent on Twitter tweeted something that omg, actually broke through this wall I've had on this story.

I admit, I've been worried that CANDLE is too much like what's going on right now after Trump becoming leader of our nation.

But omg, I now know how I can re channel what my protagonist is facing.

This might work!!!!

2. Also still working on my romance set in Italy.  Been researching a lot on the Resistance during WWII.

3. Been reading THAT BURNING SUMMER:

This one tackles one subject I haven't come across: those who deserted during the war.  The author does a fab job addressing this coming of age story.

YA Books Central review coming soon!

4. Been waiting patiently for my February YABC box of books!

5. I admit, I've been having a really hard time with this new administration which includes daily alternative facts. It has really scared me.

This has been me these past two weeks, trying to get some serious writing in:

Husband sent me a link to help.  I think all of us need to take time for ourselves and not spend 24/7 on social media.  It's hard.  I know.  It seems like every bit of good news, there is 2 or more that isn't that great.

**Also been attending #writeon con.  This is so worth the $5 donation!

Check it out:

**Guilty pleasure:

One thing that has been helping me during the craziness of this nation is my yoga practice.  Plan to go to recenter myself.  Love this rock that one of my yoga teachers made.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Friday Five

1. I wasn't able to participate in the Women's March but I was there in spirit.  One woman at the Yoga Place, told me she went to the one in LA and was blown away at all that showed up.  "It was multi-generational.  It brought back my activism."  She highly recommended not to be complacent and to be, "Active and vigilant."  This is a woman who marched in the Civil Rights movement and says that Angela Davis was her mentor.  Then she corrected me, when I said, 'Women's Rights.'  "This is a case of human rights."

Stay active and vigilant when the world around us seems to be trying into a very bad episode of the Twilight Zone.

A quote from Hillary Clinton:

"Human rights are women's rights, and women's rights are human rights.  Let us not forget that among those rights are the right to speak freely-and the right to be heard."

Photo courtesy of

2. Been working on my WIP.  So far up to 38K.

3. Also reading more books that take place during WWII.  

This is the sequel to PRISONER OF NIGHT AND FOG.  Gretchen returns to Germany after Daniel goes back when he hears about the tragic death of his cousin.  There's lots of suspense, mystery, and a forbidden love between the former darling of Hitler and a Jewish journalist.


Loving this bittersweet look into the last ten years of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo's life.  The poems, essays are in Spanish but the translations are in the back.  I've been reading some of the Spanish poetry on Diego Rivera-her on again off again love-and can feel the pain and raw emotions.

Totally recommend!


My YA Books Central review:


The big message though has to be how Fish Girl gains the strength and determination to know she can do anything. That includes standing up to Neptune and the truth behind the aquarium.

The illustrations are nothing short of gorgeous. I love how they show Fish Girl's journey from being passive to a courageous heroine.
Magically coming of age tale of a girl who finds that she has the power to do anything.

**Guilty Pleasure:  Plan on grabbing some Peruivan food after we drop son off at church for his scout's high adventure in the mountains.

This lomo saltado is to die for!  Rice, french french, veggies, and chicken.  So good!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Friday Five

1. First off, tomorrow I won't be on the internet or watching TV.  This is my way to protest the election.  So for that reason I'm posting my 'Friday' five post a day early.

I won't get all politically here but feel strongly that I need to speak out against injustices and wrongs of this campaign.

I did get this yesterday, along with a quote from Hillary Clinton that I love:

"Please never stop believing that fighting for what's right is worth it.  It is.  It is worth it."

2. Exciting news:  Younger sister who is a paid genealogist connected with a family member.  Found out that our real Italian name is Baccelli and is pronounced: Buh-chel-ee.  Our family originates from Tempagnano.  This is a small village close to Lucca, Tuscany, Italy.

How cool is that?

Check out this site:

3. Here's some books I've been reading this week:

Love this collection of stories on women heroes of WWII.  Each of these women showed courage against injustices and wrongs even though they knew by speaking out, they might be killed.


Was excited to get this graphic novel from Clarion books.  Donna Jo Napoli is one of my all-time favorite MG authors.

Here's my YABC review:

Teaser: Beautifully illustrated, this graphic novel shows a girl that is hidden away and the loneliness she encounters. Fish Girl's life is in a tank where it's her job to only let paying guests see a little of her. Her owner is a man who says he's Neptune. He warns her that she's not to interact with anyone as humans are dangerous and will harm her. She believes him until Livia, an ordinary girl finds her. This is where the story is laced with humor--Livia tells her about pizza and even gets her to do yoga.

5. Really excited to get this book:

Yes, this is a Buffy the Vampire Slayer coloring book!

**Guilty pleasure:

Since I won't be watching the inauguration, I plan to read, write, and visit a friend.  Oh, and grab a tasty drink:

I really love these peppermint mocha iced drinks!  

Friday, January 13, 2017

Friday Five

1. Wow, this year has started off not that great as I had the dreaded stomach flu.  Teen and I both had it for five days!

Two weeks before we had a mild case of the flu bug.  And I had the flu shot!  All of us did!

I think it's because I've been battling with depression after the election.  I've been in a serious funk and it's been hard to bounce back from it.

It's like I've gone through most of the stages that are similar when you lose someone.

a. disbelief
b. numbness
c. depression

I love how the TV show BLACKISH shows EXACTLY how I've been feeling!

Right now I'm thinking of ways to channel how I've been feeling about the election results into something positive.  I also need to rise above it all.

Mostly I need to remember some wise words of advice from Pam at yoga who marched in the Civil Rights movement of the 60s in the South.

"Be active and vigilant."

2. I only started writing again this week with the goal of getting 500-1K in every day.  My story set in a small village in Tuscany, Italy is slowly coming to life.  I'm finding inspiration from the work my younger sister did in finding our roots there and connecting with distinct cousins!

Also Alana Morissette is on my Playlist along with Italian Popstar Carmen Consoli.

3. Even though I was sick, I was able to read!

This one reminded me what would happen if THE ORIGINALS collided with YA.  The biggest plus of this novel has to be the French Quarters setting in New Orleans.

My YA Books Central review:

Teaser: Magically, Gothic trip through the streets of New Orleans where a horrible secret is unleashed after the hurricane of the century.


My YA Books Central review:

Teaser: Suspenseful ride through the streets of Washington, DC where the ability to see the past through the objects of dead people might be the way to solve a personal mystery. Historical background on Abraham Lincoln add to this tale.


The protagonist of this YA just happens to be the niece of one of the most hated people of the world--Hitler. When she finds out that her father might in fact had been murdered by the very cause she once believed in, she searches for the truth.

**Guilty Pleasure:

Finally getting my hair cut and colored!  Thinking of having it be a little brighter this time around.

Also FINALLY enjoying one of my Starbucks gift cards!

Sunday, January 01, 2017

Top 10 YA books of 2016

I usually do a post where I share my top YA picks of the year.  I'm a little behind as I was mega sick but now I'm feeling better.

So here's my list!

10. RUN

Loved this story of an unlikely friendship and where one character is openly bisexual but that's not the theme of this novel.  Mostly this is a story of the strength of friendship.  Totally loved!


This novel brought back memories of 9-11.  What's a huge plus of this novel is how readers glimpse into the lives of two very unlikely people on that fateful day and how what happened still impacts family and friends today.  The author doesn't hide the racism that is still felt today.  But this is also a story of hope and forgiveness.


Lush, beautifully written dark urban fantasy that doesn't disappoint! There's alliances, betrayals, secrets, monsters, and an omg worthy ending that gave me chills! My only disappointment is I have to wait another year for the sequel!


A teen's struggle and fear with the recent news of being undocumented told in a real, authentic voice. I highly recommend this book to be included in libraries and high schools as it shows the human side of immigration.


There’s so much to love about this novel which includes how powerful love and friendship are to those who feel abandoned and lost. Also it shows how you shouldn’t give up on someone if you think that friend might be in an abusive situation. It takes courage to stand up for someone in that kind of situation. But by standing up and being a true friend, you might save a life.

Powerful, courageous story with two characters that stand up to insurmountable odds and end up saving each other.


Highly addictive tale of what would have happened if women served in WWII. 


The Giver meets Divergent where memories of the long dead are given to others in order to never truly die. This novel also addresses some deep questions like the purpose of faith and where it belongs in a society based on science. The ending hints at a sequel. I hope so as I can't wait to see what else is in store for Jennza and her community.


Fortunati nails the topic of bipolar disorder and gives a realistic portrayal of the depression side without falling back on stereotypes.  An honest voice with a cast of memorable supportive characters make this story a stand-out, along with its overall message of hope.


There are other parts in this story that are equally heartbreaking like when he finds out the 'truth' in front of the school. I wanted to shout, "Dylan, don't do that!" I also loved Jaime something fierce. I loved her spunk, honesty, and even the times she opened up. She's someone that isn't the victim but rather a strong, positive character that I know readers are sure to connect with. This story isn't about her sexuality but rather how two unlikely characters can get over the stereotypes and hate out there and be together. If not as a couple, at least as good friends.

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.


Intense, gripping portrayal of not only a shooter but others around him. Kuddos for the author for peeling back what might otherwise be an one-dimensional killer. What leads up to the massacre is shown in haunting details. I thought I'd have a hard time reading this considering I lost my own sister to gun violence. I had a really hard time for the longest time coming to grips with her murderer. THIS IS WHERE IT ENDS shows not only the hatred but the misunderstandings, hurt, pain, and sadness of a shooting.

**Shout outs to 


once again McCall delivers on a turn of the century Latino Romeo and Juliet story.  This story goes over an forgotten part of our history.


Southern Freak and Geeks meets The Perks of being a Wallflower. Bittersweet coming of age story.