Showing posts from 2017

Friday Five

1. Been working hard on my NaNowrimo project. Now I'm at Act 2 of the story in which Sammi takes matters into her own hands and goes to Italy to uncover the mystery behind her beloved grandmother's past.

Plan to write out my story line and take to critique group next Wednesday night. Lou, my writing mentor, told me she's excited to see what I have. Plus, I really need some help brainstorming what goes on in Act 2 and Act 3 of my story. What does Sammi find out about her grandmother? In the process of that discovery, it will unleash her own resistance to moving forward in her life.

Samantha 'Sammi'


Lucca, Italy

2. Also been reading TONS due to the Cybils. Here's some teasers of books I read this week:

 I really loved this story about a girl who struggles with her faith after her mother's cancer comes back.  What's really great about this story is it shows the conflicts, struggles in a realistic light and how the protagonist learns from what'…

Friday Five

1. Going to leave little teasers on my NaNowrimo project:

My story is set in a small town in Italy. Here's my Grandpa Console who's father fled the Black Shirts(Mafia) and immigrated to the states where he ended up opening a very successful ranch where Grandpa would escort silent movie stars. His Mexican mother made authentic Mexican and Italian dishes.  I remember some of Grandpa's Sicilian dishes which he almost always put tons of red wine in.

**Guess what I'll be mentioning in this novel?

2. Been practicing yoga which has been helping with my anxiety attacks.

3. Still working on this revision. For sure, will query again in January.

4. Some more teasers of Cybils' nominated books I've been reading. But first an observation. I've been noticing more 18 year old protagonists in the books I've been reading.  Hmm, wonder if this is a new trend?


Kuddos to Miller for addressing the topic of food disorders for boys. As a moth…

Friday Five

1.  Love this altar that Angie, my sister-in-law, put together for Dia de Los Muertos. Angie is a Mexican national and celebrates this day. Love what she did for Mom.

She added some of Mom's favorite foods which were Sees chocolates and Pepsi.

If you don't know what this holiday is(and NO it's not just the 'cool' skeletons in stores) here's a link:

2. I'm doing NaNoWrimo this year!

Here's a teaser of my project:

I'm @ixtumea over there!

3.  Here's some teasers on some Cybils nominated books I've read this week:

This is a cute, sweet romance of overachiever seventeen-year-old Desi Lee who succeeds on just about everything, except cute boys. When she watches K dramas with her dad and realizes there's a formula, she writes it down and puts it to work in her own life. Really loved the voice on this one!


I really love Crissa's writing and in this novel readers get a glimpse into the world of the Amish. Lucy can't wait when the Old …

Friday Five

1. It's been a LONG week. Been dealing with 'issues' with sixteen-year-old. Does anyone have suggestions on how to get him up in the morning?  This is son almost every time I tell him it's time to get up:

5 minutes turns to 10 which turns up to us being 'late'.

Just UGH

And it's exhausting. Not sure what else to do.

2. On the plus side though, teen is doing well in school. So I guess I shouldn't complain.

3. Still working on this revision. NEED. TO. FINISH. SOON.

4. This week's reads include a few Cybils nominated books:

I know that my teen and I have our 'moments', but the premise of this book is what happens when your parents try to kill you off.  Fast-paced, suspense that will keep you guessing until the last page.


I'm listening to the audio of this powerful tale of a black teen who witnesses first hand the shooting of her friend by the police. The voice is so authentic and haunting especially when Star relates the horror of seeing…

Friday Five

1. Had a great time Saturday with other Indie and small press pubbed authors! The librarian did a great job!

I had little swag bags filled with bookmarkers, a 'What Would Audrey Do' buttons, and a Blow Pop( Selena's favorite candy!). The swag bags were a hit. So were the new covers to the Goddesses series!

2. Been reading!

Love this collection of short stories that deal with the theme of teen love triangles.


Think YA meets Talented Mr. Ripley. Twists and turns throughout this novel with a very twisty ending.


Totally loved this story of a teen who blames himself for the tragic death of his three best friends after he texts them while they are driving. Mostly though this is a story of forgiving, not only what happened, but yourself. Highly recommend!

Satisfying twist on the whole premise of murdered teens getting revenge. Fast-paced ghostly tale of not only revenge, but redemption.

**Guilty Pleasure:
Plan on getting reading for Saturday's OCCRWA Birthday Bash! L…

Friday Five

1 A reminder:

I'll be at the Anaheim Central Library this Saturday from 1-4pm

2.  Love when the feedback I receive from my critique group is positive. My writing mentor wrote this on my pages:

Excellent job!

The scene I shared had been driving me crazy. It really felt good to know I might be back on the right track with this story!

3. Thank goodness for yoga. It's been helping me so much during all the craziness going on with our country and world right now.

4. Been going over Cybil's nominated books! You can still nominate your favorite book of this year!

5. Books I've read:

My YA Books Central Review:



Really loved the twist on the whole idea of what would you do if you found out your grandmother might have been on the wrong side of WW2? And what if in fact she had been in contact with the famous Anne Frank? This story had me on the edge of my…

Friday Five

1. This week started off with the horrific news about the shooting in Vegas. You all know by now that I lost a younger sister to gun violence. Her ex-boyfriend stalked her, and then ambushed her and shoot her point blank in the back of the head numerous times. Then the coward went on a high speed chase through Sacramento, before killing himself in front of the police and his grandmother.

After Colette's murder, my views on the NRA and guns totally changed.

What made the Vegas shooting incident even more haunting was my younger brother and his wife were in Vegas that same weekend. I remember my husband waking me up around 11pm on Sunday, asking if my brother was in Vegas? And at a concert? Then he shared that there was a shooting there. I texted my brother but didn't get a response. The whole time I'm praying, "Oh, god. No. Not again."  I finally was able to get a hold of him. They left at 2pm and were safe.

Teen son's mother was at the concert and heard the g…

Friday Five

1. Excited to be a part of the Cybils again! This year I'll be helping whittle down the top YA Fiction novels of this year!

Here's more on who I'll be working with!

Cybils 2017: Young Adult Fiction JudgesSeptember 25, 2017
Round 1Kim Baccellia
Si, Se Puede
YA Books Central
@ixtumea Kelly Hager   KellyVision @Khager Jenn Hubbs
Lost in a Great Book @lostingreatbook
Kelly Jensen
Stacked @veronikellymars
William PolkingGuys Lit Wire @polking Haley Schaffer   
Teachers Who Read
Pam ThompsonYoung Adult Books What We’re Reading Now @PThompson_EMS
Round 2:
Dahlia Adler
B&N Teen Blog @MissDahlELama Rebecca Cahill
The Page Unbound @rebeccarcahill
Amanda Gernentz Hanson
Amanda Gernentz Hanson
@amandamariegh Suze Lavender

Friday Five

1. I'll be at here on October 14th:

I'll also do a book signing afterwards. I plan on bringing copies of GODDESSES CAN WAIT and a couple of NO MORE GODDESSES. Plus, some swag!

2. Just got the galley of CROSS FIRE!

Need to go over it and write up an acknowledgement and dedication. Can't wait to see the cover of this one!

3. Also working on revisions of CANDLE. Hope to be able to query this out by the end of next month!

4. One sad note: Sunni pulled his one foot and hasn't been walking very well. Took him to the vet and he had an xray. Doctor said the good news is it's not broken or fractured. The not too good news is he's not walking without using his beak to get around. Doctor gave me some inflammatory meds to help with the pain. Please, send some positive, healthy vibes his way.

5. I was beyond excited when Penguin teen sent me DEAR MARTIN:

Link to YA Books Central review:

Teaser: There's lots of to…