Crossed Out

Crossed Out

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Friday Five

1. It's been one of those weeks.  Call it the end of the year antics but the whole middle school drama I thought we'd avoided since we have son at a charter school?  Well, it caught up with us big time.

Basically son said a not too nice comment to a girl.

Girl got upset but didn't tell anyone until later.

Son doesn't get why she's upset as he says the same thing to his guy friends and they do the same with him.
**Doesn't excuse it but still...

Mother calls school and is very upset.

It just makes me want to throw my hands up in the air as I think this has been blown way out of proportion.

I had son email an apology and told him not to talk to the girl in question.  Well, apparently that's being seen as not caring.  Can't win for losing.

So when is school out again?

2. Then have to get son ready for the reenactment of the Mormon pioneer trek.  Got the paperwork on what he can wear and bring.  One thing it said: NO DENIM.

Omg, what teen doesn't just wear jeans?

Time to go on a Goodwill run.

3. Then, on top of all the drama?  My part-time job has been totally nuts.

4. I know, whew on YOUR WEEK.
But here's some books that helped.

This one was a hilarious read!

YA Books Central review:

Teaser: A fun mixture of humor, psychological insight, family dymanics, and having the faith to rise above a bad experience. Guaranteed to make you laugh and want the best for Audrey.

5.  Really loved this non-fiction memoir by a teen:

YA Books Central review:

Teaser: Enchanting journey of a real teen's popularity experiment that will have you laugh, smile, and cheer her on as she finds the real key to popularity. A must read!

**Guilty Pleasure:

Boy, after this week?  I totally DESERVE!

Plan on getting a much needed facial!

And finally, here's a little sunshine to help brighten the week!

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Friday Five

1. So testing is over but guess what I got?


2. So I've been reading... a lot!  Oh, and napping a lot too.

5 To 1 by Holly Bodger

My YA Books Central review:


Powerful insight into a community where an lofty goal of righting past injustices against women is manipulated into denying freedom and choices for all. A good book club candidate that is sure to fuel discussions on Utopian societies where roles have been exchanged with painful consequences.


YA Books Central review: 

Teaser: Engaging hilarious tale of a teen who finds out that his so-called future might not be what he really wants. Only when he takes destiny into his own hands can he embrace his future. Add a fun assortment of other characters and you have a winning story!

4. MODERN MONSTERS  by Kelley York

YA Books Central review:

Teaser: An haunting glimpse into a party gone bad and the real monsters who chose someone to take the fall without caring about the consequences. But mostly this is a story of a teen who ends up finding his voice and the courage to right his name in face of almost unbeatable odds.

5. POPULAR by Maya Van Wagenen

YA Books Central review: 

Teaser: Enchanting journey of a real teen's popularity experiment that will have you laugh, smile, and cheer her on as she finds the real key to popularity. A must read!

**Yes, it's been a great week for reading!!!!

**Guilty Pleasure:
Hope this stupid cold goes away or I can at least do something besides sleeping.

Already broke down and got one of these on Tuesday-before the cold came on.

Photo courtesy of

So yummy.  Make sure to purchased the cookie straw for .95 cents more.  Totally worth it.

Sunday, May 03, 2015

Happy Birthday Audrey Hepburn

Today, May 4th, is Audrey Hepburn's 86th birthday!

Love this icon so much!

In keeping with her birthday I thought I'd share a few books that have a little AH magic!

1. This humorous tale is filled with a protagonist who, after wearing the very dress Audrey Hepburn worn in Breakfast at Tiffany's, is caught up in her own version of Charades by taking on the Holly Golightly persona while mingling with celebs and the rich. Lots of fun insights into Audrey Hepburn's life including a few facts I didn't know! Fun voice and characters though I felt the ending was a tad bit rushed. Still, a fun read to include in must read NA contemporary novels.


Totally loved this coffee table book filled with just Audrey Hepburn covers and articles dating back to her early days to the end.

A must read for any AH fan!


Hilariously YA tale where a hypothetical question sets readers off on one modern day twist of Roman Holiday.


A fun and fascinating account of what went behind the making of the movie BREAKFAST IN TIFFANY'S.


What can I say? This just proves that yes, teens and kids aren't clueless on who Audrey Hepburn was.
Loved this pb that has a 60s feel to it and introduces a whole new generation to this icon.


I've been reading all I can about this icon for research with my YA series NO MORE GODDESSES. Let's just say I'm totally falling in love with Audrey. Her story is nothing short than amazing.

7.  And of course I can't forget my own GODDESSES series!

Jordan Lake discovers an ancient bracelet in her grandmother's house and uncovers a family mystery that links her favorite actress, Audrey Hepburn, a romantic movie, and an aunt she never knew. Jordan hopes the bracelet will bring her love. Instead, it brings one nightmare after another, unleashing Hathor, the Egyptian love goddess, who decides it's fun to mess with the McKnight High School social scene. Jordan holds the key to vanquish Hathor, but will she figure out what it is in time to save her school, one of her best friends, and get a date to the Valentine's Day dance?

**And the sequel follows Jordan on a true Audrey Hepburn like adventure in PARIS!

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Friday Five

1. This week son's been taking the CAASPP test.  This is the new Core curriculum test.  His accommodations due to his 504 plan mean he's with a smaller group of kids which helps with his anxiety level.

One more year of homeschooling and then he'll be attending the local public high school.  Trying to get him ready and get his skills up to par so he can succeed.

2. So while son is testing, I've been working at Ruby's Diner(they have the BEST foundation drinks).

Photo courtesy of

 Also been going to the Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.  Musing over these ending scenes, knowing I have to build them to a powerful climax and then end with a denouncement.  No easy task!

Been listening to LOTS of Ed Sheeran:

See?  Lots of feels I'm trying to capture in this revision!

3. Right now reading ROOK by Sharon Cameron:

4. Just finished reading CHILDREN OF THE EARTH (END TIMES)

My YABC review:

Teaser: Satisfying conclusion to END TIMES, this novel shows Daphne having to face her worse fear in order to save not only herself but Carbon County. Intense emotional roller coaster ride through one's vision of what the end might involve to a forbidden love that has painful consequences.

5. And a fun post I did for the Cybils' blog: 

Teaser: I’m very passionate about diversity in YA and children’s literature. As a former bilingual teacher, I found a huge discrepancy on what was out there during the 1990s/2000s especially stories with Latin@ protagonists. This was the driving force behind me writing Earrings of Ixtumea which has a Latina protagonist being thrust into a parallel world where she has to confront the heritage she shunned. Now though, there are a few more books out there, which is alittle step in the right direction.
Here’s a list of some YA/Children books taken from the Cybils 2014 nominated/finalist list. There’s a story about an undocumented Argentinean teen living in the New Jersey suburbs, a Mexican-American teen’s experience, a picture book with references to Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, to a Latino teen stuck on a cruise ship during a disaster. All these books and others on my list reflect the beauty of a culture I’m very proud to call my own!
livingThe Living by Matt de la Pena (YA Speculative Fiction winner): What starts as a way for Shy to earn money to help his family back in a small town close to the San Diego/Mexico border turns out to be a horrific ride when the dreaded ‘Big One’ hits the West Coast. Added to the mix is a deadly disease that has killed not only Shy’s grandmother, but others. The Living has a gripping plot featuring a Mexican-American protagonist and a cast of diverse characters. It starkly portrays racism and classism among the rich cruise patrons, and the greed that drives some in power to commit questionable acts. Sure to appeal to reluctant readers with its multi-layered characters and action-packed scenes, this novel nails the horror of being caught in a disaster and portrays the courage and strength that can come when people are faced with terrible odds.
Go to
to see what other Cybils nominated books made my list!

**Guilty Pleasure:
Hopefully I've be able to get back to edits on GODDESSES CAN WAIT!  With scoring and other responsibilities, had to push these aside but now have no excuses!!!!
Fab mock cover by Paper and Sage Design

Friday, April 24, 2015

Friday Five

1. Nothing like having the director of a math lab ask to speak to you alone.  Yup, some girl's mother called to complain that my son made an insensitive comment to her the day before at another school location and she didn't want to come to the math lab.

This brought up memories of a similar incident that happened way back in the third grade.


We spoke with son and hopefully he'll realize he can't talk smack to some who are very sensitive.  I also emailed the other school's teachers, who said they'd never heard son doing anything out of the ordinary.

So the whole middle school drama has begun.  Ugh.

2. I admit I've been in a funk these past few weeks.  Hate when depression starts to rise it's ugly head.  Love reading YA author Heather Brewer's posts as she also deals with depression.  I personally feel the more we discuss this issue, the less stigma will be behind it.

This is how I feel whenever depression comes my way:

3. One thing that does help is reading.  Books are a healing balm for me.

This is a real fun story of a fifteen-year-old whose dad wants to go to Greece to interview civilians on their take of the Greece upheaval.  Voice is fun and light and I'd say almost more upper MG.

4. Okay, I admit it.  I'm a huge fan of horror novels.  And I couldn't wait to download the galley to THE SUFFERING:

I'm at 60% done.  Lots of creep factor set in a 'lost' Japanese village with a deadly secret.

Yes, Japanese dolls are involved.  Plus, human cocoons.

5. Stuck with my revisions.  Don't you just hate when you know something is missing and it's just within reach?


**Guilty pleasure:

I'm going to try to go to a mediation session.  This has been helping my anxiety/depression.

Photo courtesy of YogaWorksSouthBay/photos/ 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Friday Five

1. Son is slowly getting better.  Doctor still has him on a strict schedule but 'bumped' his academic time to one hour segments and no more than 4 hours a day.  This isn't as hard to do as last week's thirty minutes per class time and only 2-3 hrs for the day.


His teachers and doctors are trying to stress the importance of wearing a helmet.  But you know teens.  They think they're okay and the exception.

I can't stress the importance of wearing a helmet.  One of his teachers showed him his FB with a friend who cracked his skull while skateboarding.  Love when others try to help me out with this as everyone knows, no one listens to Moms.

Love this site:

Photo courtesy of

2. Ugh, with more family drama.  Need to stay out of it even if I know this one person's choices right now will carry serious consequences.  Sigh.

3. Now with something I LOVE to do besides writing--read books!

Just downloaded the ebook galley of the sequel to THE GIRL IN THE WELL:

If you loved the Ring as much as I did?  You'll love this creepy, spooky series.  Let's just say you'll never look at a doll the same way again!


This one is about an Argentinean teen who happens to be an undocumented citizen.  It's her senior year in high school and while her friends are discussing college choices, she fears the MIGA-border patrol, which can deport not only her but her family.  She doesn't look like the stereotypical Latina as she's fair skinned with blond hair.  So far loving!


This one is about the end of Earth and a rebel teen who is 'forgotten' while a limited few are able to flee the upcoming disaster to a new planet.  She's able to get on 'The Ark', one of the space ships but stumbles on a terrible secret and a possible love interest who might destroy everything she's hoped for.

**Guilty Pleasure:

Went to an author signing and picked up THE FRENCH GIRL'S WAR by Herb Williams-Dalgart.  I really loved the submissions he shared when I was in his critique group a few years back and had to pick up the book!

Book blurb:

The year is 1939; Germany has invaded Poland and France has now entered the war.

Sophie Claveaux, an eighteen-year-old Jewish farm girl, carries a curse. Her mother died giving birth to her and her father has long suffered the loss. Blaming herself, she decides to change her fate and study art in Paris. But before she can enact her plan, her father joins the war, renewing her fear that her curse will always prevail.

Forced to abandon her dreams of Paris, Sophie is sent to live in safety with her grandmother—only to learn there are no safe places in a time of war.

Now, Sophie must fight to protect her grandmother, her new home, and the curious blind artist who could change everything.

A compelling coming-of-age drama set against the backdrop of World War II, The French Girl’s War is a story of unexpected courage and surprising hope.

Plus, it's always nice to socialize with other writers!

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Friday Five

1. Well our Easter weekend wasn't the best.  First, husband's Uncle Gene died after a prolong battle with prostate cancer.  Gene always to me was a great example of what a Christian should be.  He walked the walk and just didn't spout off against others who weren't Mormon but found goodness in everyone.  His loss will be felt but I'm happy that he is no longer in pain.  His funeral will be this Saturday.

2. Not long after that, I had a knock at the door.  Son walks in acting kind of dazed.  Just when I started to close the door someone cleared their throat.  I looked and there was a strange woman with a teenage girl.  Long story short-they 'found' son unconscious.  Apparently he took a turn too fast and hit a parked car.  She insisted to walk him back home.  We spent the night at ER where they did a CAT scan and Xray to check for problems.  Both came back negative.  Then had a follow-up visit with doctor who told us he has a mild concussion and to limit academics/computer time to no more than 2-3 hours a day.  He needs a week to 'rest' his brain.

Another follow up appointment this next Monday.

And no, son wasn't wearing a helmet.  Ugh.  Even now, after the visit to ER, and cutting his computer game time?  He still doesn't see anything wrong with not wearing a helmet.  Double, triple UGH.  Teen boys.

3. Haven't been getting as much writing done due to monitoring son's progress, so I've been reading a lot.

You all know I'm a HUGE fan and supporter of #weneeddiversebooks

This one has a diverse background and protagonist set in Egypt during the revolution.

YABC review:

Teaser: A coming of age tale that gives readers a glimpse into the Egyptian revolution as seen through the eyes of a teen confronting her own inner battles and how she's able to make peace with not only that but embrace her culture. 


OMFG, this book is amazing!

YABC review:

Teaser: Nail-biting action that keeps readers glued to the page as Ruth let's readers know exactly how Ruthless she is. Her fight to survive and determination to outwit her abductor will stay with readers long after they read the last page. 

5. And FINALLY getting to this book:

This one has a total Terry Goodkind feel going for it.  A seventeen-year-old girl witnesses her brother taken for treason in a ruthless Roman like society.  So far hooked!

**Guilty pleasure:

Thinking I'm going to redeem this Starbucks gift card and get one of their nommy drinks.  Not sure yet which one but it has to have mocha in it.  One of my favorites has to be the Java chip fraps with soy.
Photo courtesy of