Crossed Out

Crossed Out

Friday, December 02, 2016

Friday Five

1. Today is husband's birthday.

Happy birthday, Mike!!!

2. Didn't 'win' at NaNowrimo this year but I did finish 30K words!  I plan to finish this project by the end of this month.

Some more teasers on my project:

Photo courtesy of Pinterest
3.  Been reading Cybils nominated books.

Love this YA twist on Life of Pi meets The Mean Girls. Fab voice.


Omg, on the dialogue in KILL THE BOY BAND. Punchy, snarky, and hilarious. Dark humor at it's best!

This seems to be the year of the 'abducted child/teen only this book fascinates me as the one kidnapped child has autism.  So far I'm totally engaged as the book goes back and forth from the POV of the teen who was abducted when he was eleven years old and the sister of the autism boy.

**Added mention to former critique buddy Janet Simcic and her nonfiction book on traveling to Italy:

Janet has been to Italy a number of times and this book has helpful suggestions on what to do if you go over there.  Yes, I'm using as research for my NaNo project!

**Guilty Pleasure:

Need to do the monthly Costco shopping which is a mega pain.  Hope to grab an iced drink at Dunkin' Donuts afterwards.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Friday Five

1. Hope you all survived Thanksgiving!  We stayed home and celebrated.  So glad I didn't hit the roads as 1) it was snowing big time in Salt Lake City, where husband's family is, 2) the traffic out of LA area was gridlocked for a long time.

Yes, staying home was nice and less stressful!

2. Been writing everyday on this new project.  It's slowly coming along.  Totally a sh**ty first draft but I've given myself permission to do this and not stop and go back to edit.

Teaser on project:

3. Also been reading.  I have LOTS of Cybils nominated books to go through!

This one isn't out yet but reading it for YA Books Central.

Verdict:  Love this gut wrenching tale of two teens who find each other again and discover how the power of friendship can literally save a life.

Review coming soon!


Really love the voice of this debutante meets Pride and Prejudice.  Twenty year old Megan can't believe she has to be a part of the whole Texas debutante scene.  What she goes through in order to be a debutante is hilarious!


I'm a huge sucker for YA thrillers and this one looks really good!

**Guilty Pleasure:

Going to just stay home and write.  I hope to get some more words in before the end of this month.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Friday Five

1. Trying hard not to be too down on election results.

But it's been really hard.

Yoga has helped.  One older African American woman, who marched in Civil Right's rallies during the 60s told me to be centered but also to be vigilant and active.

2. Been writing 1K-2K words a day on NaNowrimo project.  This one isn't YA but a romance with historical flashbacks that involve the Italian Resistance.  Younger sister's Italian friend has been helping with some info on the Resistance and other things that are Italian.

Hint on what is in story:

Photo courtesy of

3 Also been reading more Cybils nominated books!


STILL LIFE WITH TORNADO is an unique take on a dysfunctional family.  The ending was totally wowza worthy.


I really loved this contemporary YA that begins now and then flashes back to 9-11.  What's great about this novel is that it shows the power of hope and forgiveness among the ugliness of hate.  Both times interconnect and how learning the truth of what happened to one brother on that fateful day brings a family back together.

Highly recommend!


I'm a huge fan of short story anthologies and this one totally is a must read.  There's fifteen short stories that show badass women through history.  One is a pirate.  Another is a paid assassin right at beginning of Civil War.  Yet another is a spy but not who you'd expect.

**Self-promo plug:  My YA paranormal is the featured book on my publisher's site!

**Guilty Pleasure:

Hoping to see latest Harry Potter movie!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Friday Five

1. If you missed my announcement, I'm excited to announce that my YA diverse thriller CANDLE IN THE WIND placed third in the 2016 Pages of the Heart Contest.  I'm excited as 1) I've never placed in a RWA charter contest 2) this is the motivation I need to help me continue my writing!

2. The other news is I'm kind of down that Hillary didn't win the election.  I've been numb and just disillusioned over it all.  Hope that Trump appoints good advisers and is humble to listen to their advice.  

3. One way not to get too down over the election is reading.

My YA Books Central review:

Teaser: Coming of age story that has three different heroines battle not only the enemy but their own doubts and struggles of what it means to be fighting in a war that isn't use to women being on the front lines. Mostly though this is a story of three girls who go on a journey that has them become strong and courageous at the end. Can't wait to see where their journey does end.


I'm a huge fan of A.S. King's work.  This story is a very unique twist of the dysfunctional family where a teen comes in contact with her future and past selves as she tries to find what's original in life.

5. I'm also a huge fan of Suzanne Young and was bummed her latest didn't come out in time to be a Cybil's nominated book.  

This one deals with a teen with angry management issues who basically takes care of her seven-year-old brother with sensory issues.  This topic is one close to my heart and I can tell you that Young doesn't disappoint in her portrayal of a teen who tries to keep her family together while outside sources try to tear it apart.

**Guilty Pleasure:

I really want to see this:

Friday, November 04, 2016

Friday Five

1. Just got some great news!  Can't share...yet but it has something to do with writing!

**Thought I'd start with something positive as these past few weeks, with all the campaigning going on, have really stressed me out.

2. I'll be so glad when this election will be over.

3. Been reading more Cybil nominated books.

My YA Books Central review:

Teaser: Emotional packed tale of that infamous day where through it all, hope refuses to be silent.

3.  Also really enjoyed WOLF BY WOLF:

My YA Books Central review:

Teaser: Engaging story set in an alternative universe where Hitler won and a girl that will do anything to bring down the man behind destroying her loved ones. Totally recommend for fans of alternative universes with paranormal twists.

4. I was so excited to get a galley of SILVER STARS!

5. Been writing everyday on my NaNowrimo project.  If you're also a part of NaNo, friend me!  I'm @ixtumea over there!

**Guilty Pleasure:

Going to coffee house and writing.  Plus, plan to grab an iced tea latte.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Friday Five

1. Been outlining my NaNowrimo project and doing some research too.  NaNo starts next Tuesday!!!
I'm @ixtumea over there if anyone else wants to friend me!

2. Been reading more Cybils's nominated books.  Just wow on the selection this year!  There's some awesome books out there!

Really devoured this alternative historical from YA author Michael Grant:

What would have happened if women served with men during WWII?  Love how Grant doesn't hold back with his realistic portrayals of the courageous women.  Can't wait for the sequel(which I'm getting from YABC to review!) as it's set in Sicily where my own grandfather fought.


This one I had mixed feelings on.  Pluses: strong protagonist that refuses to let a sexual crime make her a victim; fab BFF; wonderful support system; and great parents.  My only concern is that this isn't the norm whenever a girl is raped.  I think that if that's stressed, this book would be great especially with discussions on rape.


First off kuddos to author for NAILING panic attacks. I deal with anxiety every day.  A while back, after a string of local break-ins, I got to the point that I didn't want to leave the house.  It was crushing and overwhelming the fear that just wouldn't go away.  Whaley shows the very extreme of what I experienced with his protagonist.  Only he stays in the house for three years.  Enter an over achieving girl who wants to use his experience to her benefit on a college essay.  Add her boyfriend; Star Trek references; and struggling to make sense of what some would say was an illogical situation.


I'm excited that next Wednesday, November 2nd, I'll be hosting YA author Ryan Graudin for a YABC author Twitter chat.  This series has a paranormal element on what would happen if the Nazis did win the war.  **Can you see a theme with some of the books I've been reading?

**For Halloween this year, son decided to go 'Goth'.  Here he is at his first party.  He didn't put as much makeup on as it was a church party/dance.  

Guilty Pleasure:

Today I need to sit with my Sunday School class as they practice for a performance this Sunday.  I team teacher with my husband.  These kiddos are 5 years old and cute.

After the practice, I'm so grabbing a Starbucks drink!  My favorite seasonal one has to be the Mocha Chili one.

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.