Crossed Out

Crossed Out

Friday, August 28, 2015

Friday Five

1.  School started on Tuesday.  Son is now a ninth grader!

This is his last year being homeschooled as he wants to go to regular high school and try out for the football team.  Right now we need to concentrate on some things and then that means I can be a full-time writer again next year!


2. The whole Trump thing has really been getting to me big time.  I'm very proud of my Mexican heritage.  My bisabuela's family were migrant workers from outside of Sonora, Mexico.  No, they weren't citizens.  And no, Mr. Trump, they weren't murderers or worse.

Someone told me I shouldn't let it get to me or worse, not say anything, but I vowed to myself after a terrible experience I had back in college, that I would never not stand up whenever racism was happening.

And I do open my mouth and voice my concerns.

Actress America Ferrera nailed it:

3. Finished reading the sequel to KILLER OF ENEMIES from Tu Books.

My YA Books Central review:

Teaser: Gripping story that has readers re-enter the harsh post-apocalyptic world with a tough Native American heroine who's struggles to overcome her own pains, while guiding others to a place of refuge, make her a character all are sure to rally behind.

4. Right now reading Libba Bray's latest: LAIR OF DREAMS.  Love!

Libba is one author I actually did go all fangirly over when she signed a book for me at ALA12:

Libba is such a good sport.  She's all like mellow when I basically told her, "Omg, I love you!"

Her photo:

Really loving the sequel to DIVINERS.  I'm not usually a fan of multiple points of view but Libba nails it.  Loving this paranormal horror set in the roaring 20s!

5. At halfway mark of revision.  This is hopefully the last round before I sent over to critique buddy.  Then I plan to research agents and also outline my Nano project which is going to be a historical romance set in the 20s.

**Guilty pleasure:

After I do the monthly Costco run, play to just sit down and finish reading LAIR OF DREAMS.  Maybe I'll grab a nom-worthy Starbucks summer drink before the Fall ones come out next week!

Yes, I heard that the Pumpkin latte will be out!  Totally grabbing one!  Love the individual packs too.

Photo courtesy of

Friday, August 21, 2015

Friday Five

1. This is the last week before school starts up again!  Waiting for other charter school high school teachers to post their syllabuses up on Canvas so I can put together son's Fall semester planner.  Hoping they don't wait until the day before school.

2. Speaking of school, I know that TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD was on his 9th grade reading list so I had him read it this summer(which means he waited till this week to start it).  Well, I just got ELA teacher's pacing guide which lists MICE AND MEN as the first book to read.

Ugh.  **It would have been nice to get that this summer!  Oh, well!

My reads this week are filled with diverse protagonists!  LOVE!

3. Right now reading TRAIL OF THE DEAD.
 Think Native America protagonist meets MAD MAX.  Loved the first book in this series--KILLER OF ENEMIES.  The voice is authentic and the author NAILS weaving in Native American legends/folktales without it being story dump!

4. Almost done with  MOVING TARGET.  This is an fast-paced action packed ride through Rome where a Latina protagonist tries to find her missing father and a mysterious organization that is out to stop her from her destiny.

5. HOLLYWOOD WITCH is a fun paranormal with a kick-ass Latina teen who also happens to be the only girl witch slayer in town.  Iris reminds me of a harder core Buffy out to rid Hollywood area from witches that are more evil then good.  Add a cute guy into the mix and you have one must-read tale!

**Guilty Pleasure:

Hope to run to Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf for an hour or so and work more on finishing this revision!  Goal is to be DONE by the end of this month!

**Yes, that's the protagonist in my thriller romance!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Friday Five

1. Went to doctor to check a suspicious looking mole on my back only to find out it's really a skin condition called seborrheic keratosis that is a type of benign (noncancerous) raised growth on the skin. Seborrheic means greasy (often the growth is not greasy). Keratosis means thickening of skin.  **Taken from

Needless to say I was relieved it wasn't in fact skin cancer.  Doctor removed so now my back is itchy and sore but like I mentioned before, it could have been so much worse.

Another reason why to check yearly to see if you have any changes of your skin.  Prevention is the key!

2. Been kind of lazy this week.  Maybe because in less than two weeks, school starts up again.  Ugh.  At least I don't have to teach most of the subjects as other teachers will doing that.  The only big concern we have is if that one girl that son had issues with last school year, will be attending the student center again.  I wrote letters to both the principal and director of the charter school voicing my concerns on how a simple issue wasn't addressed back in April.  But of course I didn't hear back.  Figures. At least I documented the issues and one of son's teachers did too.  I HATE how people just assume that the boy is at fault.

Send good vibes that son does well this school year.  It's so draining being an advocate and standing up to harassment.  Sigh.

3. Read:

Contemp romance set in Rome where an actress filming a remake of ROMAN HOLIDAY lives her own version of the classic movie complete with 'hidden' Audrey Hepburn letters.

4. Right now reading ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS:

Loving the magic all over again!

5. Very excited to get a copy of ANOTHER DAY:

Really enjoyed the first book in this time traveling/Quantum Leap series.

Remember that series--Quantum Leap--from the 90s?
This book has the same feel only with teens.

**Scheduled time at the Coffee House to get in at least an hour or so of writing.  Really need to read through this revision one last time before sending off to critique buddies.

Friday, August 07, 2015

Friday Five

1. Can't believe summer is winding down.  First day of classes starts on the 25th.  Hoping this will be a good year!  Also hope son can do well enough to transition over to a public high school next year.  Here's hoping!

2. Just finished reading:

My YA Books Central link:

Teaser: Intriguing characters set in a haunted asylum with secrets!


This one caught my eye as it's a spin on the Les Miserables story only told in the POV of Eponine.

4. Excited about this novel:

I have to giggle a little remembering the numerous comments I got when I queried NO MORE GODDESSES and how some told me that no teen, or anyone else for that matter, was interested in a protagonist who loved Audrey Hepburn.

Here's yet another novel with a character who not only loves AH but is an actress cast to do a reenactment of ROMAN HOLIDAY.

5. Polishing the very beginning of my revision.  Hoping to get it in good enough shape to start querying next month.

Cross your fingers for me and send some positive creative vibes my way!

**Guilty pleasure:

I plan to go out by myself and write at one of my favorite restaurants.  Hope to spend an hour or so, polishing my revision while eating some nommy food and of course ordering my favorite fountain drink-

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

PAINT MY BODY RED by Heidi Kling cover reveal!

I'm really excited to be a part of Heidi Kling's PAINT MY BODY RED cover reveal!!!! I'm a huge fan of Heidi and can't wait for her latest.

Okay, ready for the reveal?





Here you go!

Paint My Body Red
Release Date: 11/02/15
Entangled Teen

Summary from Goodreads:
They think I'll be number seven. Unlucky number seven.

Dead teenager number seven. With the rash of suicides at my school, I've been shipped off to my dad's Wyoming ranch for “my own safety.” My mom worries I'll be next—another depressed teenager whose blood will end up on the train tracks. But she doesn't know my secrets...or what I did.

Everything has changed at the ranch since I was there last. The staff is gone, and there aren’t any visitors. The place is struggling, and ALS is destroying my dad. The one bright spot in this mess is his new—and only—ranch hand, Jake. He’s gorgeous, cheerful, healthy and sane. Shadows don't haunt his eyes and eat away at him in the night.

But the ranch and Jake can't save me from the darkness inside, or the knowledge of what I've done. This time, it's up to me to save myself...

About the Author
Heidi Kling writes fantasy novels set in a contemporary world and contemporary novels about girls in fantastic situations. The bestselling Spellspinners series (Coliloquy/Vook), is 9-book series leading with Witch's BrewThe Gleaning, Devil's Frost and Beautiful Monster are out now with more adventures to follow. Her debut contemporary, Sea (Penguin), was an IndieNext Pick, Northern California Book of the Year nominee, Gateway Reader’s Award choice and Scholastic Readers Pick. Her forthcoming contemporary novel, Paint My Body Red, launches with Entangled Teen Fall, 2015.
Told in dual narratives, several more installments are planned in this "Romeo and Juliet with magic" series readers compare to stories by  LJ Smith, Cassandra Clare and Melissa de la Cruz.

After earning her MFA in Writing for Children from the New School, she returned to her native California. She lives with her husband, two children and the cutest accidental puppy mix ever, Sailor Lily, just over the coastal mountains from the sea. 

Author Links:

Cover Reveal Organized by:
YA Bound Book Tours

Friday, July 31, 2015

Friday Five

1. Started week off with hosting a YA Books Central chat with NYT Bestselling author Rachel Caine--author of the Morganville Vamp series and a brand new series.  It was fast-paced and very fun!

YA Books Central review:

Teaser: There's suspense, adventure, the grittiness of war and loss, betrayal, secrets, and more! The build up to the final reveal has Jess confront the very thing he fears. 

Fascinating new series with an alternative history where the Library of Alexandria still exists and the few brave enough to stand up to the controlling power that means to silence them. Highly recommended!

2. Right now reading THE FIXER by Jennifer Barnes

Think YA meets SCANDAL with a dash of VERONICA MARS.  Really enjoying!

3. Younger brother went to a Frida Kahlo exhibit in Tijuana, Mexico and brought me back stuff!  His fiancee, who is a Mexican national, recommended.


4. Have to fix patio cover.  Looks like we have some dry rot going on.  Joys of being a homeowner.

5. Finally went and saw PAPER TOWNS at the luxury theater.  Really enjoyed though I thought Margo was a tad bit selfish.  Overall, though?  This is more a coming of age story.  Highly recommend.  **I also have a confession--I liked more than FAULT IN OUR STARS which I felt didn't feel YA at all.  The actors in PAPER TOWNS at least felt like seniors in High School.  Plus, liked the 'bro' factor between the friends.

**Guilty pleasure:

After yoga session in the morning with fab Linda, I hope to get at least a little more writing in.  I'm getting antsy to start another project.  One that isn't YA per say but a romance.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Friday Five

1. So I've been in a mega funk with my writing.  Need to motivate self to get up earlier, say 'no' more(during summer this seems harder to do), and just:

Tell self this:

Exactly?  What am I afraid of?  It's not as if I haven't had three books published so far( and one was a reissue).  Getting rejections is scary but one thing I've learned from being a Staff reviewer at YA Books Central is it's all subjective.  Someone might HATE my work, while another person might actually like it.

But it's very daunting to get out there.  I just need to:

And get through this:

2. Saying that, I am working on edits for my sequel right now.  I'm finding that I tend to overuse certain words and phrases.  Sigh.  But I'm trying to look at this in a more positive way by using this experience to help me hone the craft so my latest books will shine more!

3. I'm eighty percent done reading GO SET A WATCHMAN


Or don't read past here if you haven't read the book yet.  

So I finally got to THAT chapter in the story where Jean Louise finds out her beloved father is in fact a racist.  But the problem is it doesn't really say that but shows how she walks in at a meeting at the court house where a very racist man is sprouting off the most disgusting racism ever.  Her father is in the room.  He doesn't object or walk out but rather just sits there.  Jean Louise is horrified and it literally makes her sick.  It's then that she looks around her and realizes that the town hasn't changed but she has.  A meeting with her former nanny, Calpurna, also is hard as she sees a hardness in her eyes.  For once, Jean Louise feels 'white' and she can't reconcile this.

There's some very powerful insights into coming to terms with how  childhood hero worshipping of her father is shattered to reveal a flawed, individual.  Atticus isn't a racist per say but a product of his times.  He lives in a small Southern town in the 1950s right after the Supreme Court Brown vs. Board of Education ruling on desegregation.  One other reviewer nailed it when he stated that this novel feels more like an accurate portrayal of the South at that time then GO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD.

Not done yet, but will give my overall expressions of this novel, which is no first draft, when I'm done.

4. Finished reading:

YA Books Central review:

Teaser: Red herrings pop up when you least expect it. Just when you think you figured out who might behind the smuggling ring, you are proven wrong! I love when you have to figure out the mystery and don't know until the ending!

Fast-paced adrenaline ride through Turkey where danger is around every counter. Mystery, International intrigue, and hints of romance will make you want more! Another Diana Renn winning novel!

5. Shout outs to this paranormal with a Latina protagonist:

The only bummer is this is only available as an ebook.  You all know how much I LOVE protagonists that reflect my own culture, which in this case is Latino.  

**Had hair cut and colored.  Going more for an asymmetrical look.
Me minus makeup.  Hair is an inch longer on one side.

***Guilty pleasure:

Scheduled in Coffee House time so I can finish this dang revision!!!!  Send me positive vibes so I can get pass my fear and just complete this!