Showing posts from 2016

Friday Five

1. Didn't blog last week as the plague hit our house big time.

It seems everyone I know has been affected including my stepdad Elwood who is in the hospital and also my mother.

Sent positive, healthy vibes their way!

2. Since I've been ill with this annoying cough, I've been reading lots.

I'm a huge fan of the Tudors and this book gives readers a glimpse of the volatile court during Queen Katherine's reign.

My YA Books Central review:

Teaser: Vivid glimpse into the volatile Tudor court where men held the power over everything, including the destiny of women. Readers see the courage of Elizabeth and how she takes destiny into her own hands


This book shows what happens when someone files sexual harassment charges in a college setting.  One of the problems I had with this novel was even through this was in fact Jenny's story of being raped, she felt disconnected and distant.  Instead readers…

Friday Five

1. This last week before the holiday break has been:


Been making candy for son's friends; going to a high school holiday choral program; Progressive dinner; and wrapping gifts to send to family up North!

Been going to yoga as I need the mediation part big time:

2. Also been reading!

Here's a couple Cybils nominated books:

This one has an unique twist on the whole 'abduction' trend this year.  I love when I don't caught on what really happened!


This one is a love story between two unlikely people.  One is known as the 'Fattest Teen' and the other has a problem recognizing people.  
Think Groundhogs Day meets Death.  This is an addictive, page turning tale about Death giving a proposition to a teen to stop a fellow classmate from killing himself.

This is a fun non-fiction book which shows some famous failures and how the inventors turned a bad experience into something more!  
**Guilty Pleasure:
I've been BAD with my writing this …

Friday Five

1. One more week of school and then it's Holiday break!

2. I didn't finish my NaNowrimo project but will use this month to do that.  My goal is to write at least 1K everyday so by the end of December I should have 50K.

3. This time of year is always hard for me but this year has felt even worse with the election.  So I've also been practicing more yoga and meditation.  Plus, read.  Reading always seems to help!

I really loved this Thelma and Louise meets YA story. This is mostly a story of an unlikely friendship and how each of them helps the other.



This one is about a homeless cutter and her journey to wellness.  There's some very dark things in this novel like her time in the institution after being found outside.  Also the relationship she has with a 27 year old guy.  It does address a sensitive topic-cutting-that I feel needs to be out there.
I admit, I've been craving lighter, fun tales and this one fits the bill.  YA romance about a girl who sta…

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:

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 pr…

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 throu…

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:

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…

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 cour…

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 …

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 especial…

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 stigm…