Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Review: Crossing the Line by by Ellen Wolfson Valladares

Dear Ellen,

I read your YA novel, "Crossing the Line", and despite my hairy knuckles, I kinda liked it. As a writer, I'm envious of your ability to plot such a clean story. I tend to meander, but your storytelling is dead-on with every paragraph.

I got lazy a few times, like we all do when we read, and I skimmed a few paragraphs only to find myself lost because something happened and I missed it. I can skim pages and pages of other authors, but you broke me quick of that bad habit.

See, I had to go back, slow down and read every word, because you didn't waste syllables clucking about someone's sock drawer and their pretty dresses and how they plan to wear their hair tonight. Lean and mean. Well played. Keep that voice.

And then you wove parallel now-and-then plot lines about two groups of teens into a seamless story that on paper must have appeared redundant. I bet it did, if you plotted on story cards or such, because there were overt similarities between the past v. present characters that bordered on cut-and-paste. Still, I somehow had to read every word of both stories, because there were nugget differences buried beneath the sand that when overturned, turned over everything.

I was pleasantly surprised on several occasions. It's like a jack-in-the-box. The book is predictably unexpectable, but even though you know it's coming, you jump anyway.

Oh, and on the ghost part, I have to admit you got me good. Seriously, and this is not a joke or an exaggeration, you got me. I was reading the end of the novel in Chic Fila, letting my toddler, strike that, young son (he's four, not a toddler by God!) play while I found some peace in the chaos to finish your book. Ah, the end.

The end. The sweet, sweet ending.

I won't spoil it, but it triggered me, because we, too, lost a toddler back in 2012, and when I read your afterward, and realized you are an angel parent as well, the ending of your novel made a bit more sense to me. I felt your heart in that scene, and I bet you did, too.

But back to Chic Fila. I had to step into the restroom and cry. True story. That's not a common thing after six years for a man who's emotionally constipated. Again, well-played.

Enough about that, let's move into technical considerations. The editing was fabulous. I can tell you and your editors worked hard on getting it just right. Pace. Structure. Grammar. Plot. Story. Characters. All first-rate, and what I would expect from a professional author.

And as for the story itself, it was interesting and consuming, and I had no trouble suspending my disbelief and settling into your story. The supernatural elements felt a little rushed at times, but that's the pace of a YA novel, and again it comes down to skipping paragraphs. You did not waste time beating bushes. Maybe that's what I mean to say. I'm not complaining about the rush, but I sorta feel like the book was written at high speed with the windows down.

Sure, like that, and on a smooth, straight road. That there's the definition of a fast read, my friend.

Anyway, I enjoyed "Crossing the Line", and I hope other readers will enjoy it as much as I did. Good luck on the shelf, and here's to making a good run of it.

Your friend and newest fan,
 - Eric

Ellen Valladares
Crossing the Line

Paperback:  300  pages   
Genre:  Fiction / Young Adult Novel
Publisher:    WiDO (March 2018)
ISBN-13:    978-1-937178-99-4
Amazon Link:

Laura, who died thirty years ago, enlists the help of a tenacious high school reporter named Rebecca, who is very much alive. Rebecca, although skeptical and conflicted by her supposed encounters with a spirit, determines to learn the truth about Laura’s tragic death. As the clues unravel and their worlds collide, Rebecca finds herself at a dangerous crossroads.

Laura, now pulled back into everything she left behind when she died – her old high school and memories of her life and death—has been in training for this exact moment. And nothing means more to her than succeeding at her assignment.

It is her one chance to make sure that what happened to her does not happen to anyone else, and especially not to her new friend, Rebecca.

About the Author:  
Ellen Wolfson Valladares is an award-winning writer/author, workshop facilitator, community volunteer, and mother. A native Floridian, she grew up in St. Petersburg and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from the University of Florida. She has worked as an editor, public relations professional, and freelance writer. Her first book, a children’s novel entitled Jonathan's Journey to Mount Miapu, received several awards, including a Mom’s Choice Gold Award and the 2009 Coalition of Visionary Resources Visionary Awards Book of the Year award. She also has a meditation CD, entitled "Healing and Manifestation with the Archangels."

Today, Valladares continues to work as a freelance writer. She also enjoys coaching high school students working on their college essays and helping other writers realize their dreams. She has been married to her husband, Manny, for 30 years and they have two sons, Gabriel and Michael, two dogs, Flash and Chili Pepper, and a crazy cat named Zelda. They live in Weston, Fla.

Find Ellen Online:

Twitter: @ValladaresEllen
FB: @EllenValladares444 (link: https://fb.me/EllenValladares444)


WoW! Women On Writing Blog Tour Dates

Monday, April 16th   @ The Muffin
Join us at the Muffin for an author interview and book giveaway for the fictional young adult novel by Ellen Valladares,  Crossing the Line.

Tuesday, April 17th @ World of My Imagination
Nicole Pyles reads and reviews "Crossing the Line" by Ellen Valladares. This is a fun young adult novel that readers will be sure to delight in!

Wednesday, April 18th  @  Beverley Baird
Beverley Baird reviews "Crossing the Line" by Ellen Valladares. Readers won't want to miss this fast paced young adult novel!

Thursday, April 19th @ Memoir Writer’s Journey
Ellen Valladares pens today's guest post at Kathleen Pooler's Memoir Writer's Journey. Don't miss this great post titled "Your Writer's Purpose -- how creating your purpose/vision can keep you on target" and learn more about Valladares' latest novel "Crossing the Line".

Thursday, April 19th @ Write Like Crazy
Mary Jo reads Ellen Valladares' "Crossing the Line" and shares her thoughts with readers at Write Like Crazy.

Friday, April 20th @ BookWorm
Anjanette Potter delights readers at Bookworm with her review of the YA Novel "Crossing the Line" by Ellen Valladares.

Saturday, April 21st @ Spark the Wizard
Brandi at Spark the Wizard shares her thoughts in a review of Ellen Valladares novel "Crossing the Line".

Monday, April 23rd  @ Bring on Lemons with Cathy Hansen
Wisconsin entrepreneur and school teacher reviews the latest novel by Ellen Valladares. Don't miss this opportunity to find out more about the YA Novel "Crossing the Line".

Tuesday, April 24th   @ Finished Pages
Today, at Finished Pages, readers have an opportunity to learn more about "Crossing the Line" the latest novel by Ellen Valladares. Don't miss Renee's review of this YA Novel!

Wednesday, April 25th  @ Reviews by Deb
Deborah Blanchard shares her thoughts after reading "Crossing the Line" by accomplished author and journalist Ellen Valladares.

Thursday, April 26th @ Digging with the Worms
Eric Trant reviews the latest novel by Ellen Valladares. See what Eric thinks of "Crossing the Line" and find out more about this great book and accomplished author.

Thursday, April 26th @ Phy Tallic
Phy reviews the delightful YA Novel "Crossing the Line" by Ellen Valladares.

Friday, April 27th @ Write Happy
Today at Write Happy, Cathy Brown will be interviewing Ellen Valladares about her latest novel "Crossing the Line". Don't miss this opportunity to learn more about this YA Novel  as well as hear some tips from the accomplished journalist and author Ellen Valladares.

Monday, April 30th @ Ellen Valladares
Crystal J. Casavant-Otto from WOW! Women on Writing reviews "Crossing the Line" by Ellen Valladares and shares her thoughts with readers at Valladares' blog.

Tuesday, May 1st @ I Just Want to Finish My…
Brittany shares her thoughts after reading "Crossing the Line" by Ellen Valladares. Don't miss this insightful blog stop for this delightful Young Adult Novel!

Wednesday, May 2nd @ Hott Books
Don't miss today's guest post at Hott Books! Distinguished author Ellen Valladares shares her post titled: 'The Inspiration Behind Crossing the Line'. You'll want to learn more about this delightful YA Novel!

Friday, May 4th @ Frasers Fun House
Melanie at Frasers Fun House reviews "Crossing the Line" by Ellen Valladares.

Monday, May 7th @ Word Nerd Media
Elizabeth at Word Nerd reviews the latest novel by Ellen Valladares. You won't want to miss a minute of this captivating YA Novel "Crossing the Line".

Eric W. Trant is a published author of several short stories and the novels WINKSTEPS and RISEN from WiDo Publishing, out now! See more of Eric's work here: Publications, or order directly from Amazon, or wherever books are sold.


Haunted by visions of a demonic angel and sold into servitude by his father, young Alberto battles to survive the horrors of a nineteenth century Sicilian sulfur mine. Suffering merciless brutality, Alberto must save not only himself but his deformed older brother, both pawns in their father's mad plan to overthrow a group of wealthy landowners.Bound by a death-debt to his hunchback master, Alberto discovers a door the miners call Porta dell'Inferno, the Door to Hell, deep within the sulfur mines. When he learns the demon-angel of his dreams stalks the caverns beyond the door, Alberto realizes a strange fate has lured him and his brother to the gates leading to the underworld.Now Alberto must face the creature from his visions and rise to become the man his father demands him to be, or remain forever trapped in a hellish world where none escape.