New Release and Guest Post: Crossing the Line by Author Ellen Wolfson Valladares - Inspiration for her new novel.

Crossing the Line
Genre: YA Magical Realism
Release Date: March 6th 2018
WiDo Publishing

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 her does not happen to anyone else, and especially not to her new friend, Rebecca.

Buy Links 

Guest by by Ellen Wolfson Valladares
Crossing the Line - Inspiration for the novel

The inspiration behind Crossing the Line was kind of twofold. Ironically, it started with local headlines about tragedies occurring to young adults. I say ironically because I live in the same school district as Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, and of course, the current headlines have been focused on this unimaginable tragedy. It does not compare, but at that time around eight years ago, there were some incidents in which kids did some unspeakable things to other kids. I was heartbroken and disturbed, and I thought if these kids had just taken a moment to stop and try to understand what was going on with the other person, they wouldn’t have made the rash choices they made.

Then one day, I remember I was sitting on an airplane, the idea popped into my head that a spirit who had died would come back to make sure that what happened to her didn’t happen again. I “saw” the first scene in my mind where these girls would be playing with a Ouija board and the spirit would connect with them. It wasn’t going to be scary, but instead about a unique connection between the spirit and a living high school girl. I knew it would be a converging of the past and present, two stories intersecting, begging the question, could history be prevented from repeating itself? Could making a different choice end in a different outcome?

Basically, I had a beginning and an end, and I could not have imagined the twists and turns the story and its characters would take. Inspiration is a funny thing. You can’t force it. It comes when you are least expecting it and when it does, it’s undeniable. Sometimes what feels like being stuck is just a message to let it rest for a minute. I remember starting to fall asleep one night and I got a burst of ideas that were totally different than where I thought I was going with the story. I had to get up and started pacing in circles, excited about the new idea, and then, of course, had to write it down. I had a similar thing happen just walking on the beach one day. It’s like wow, yeah, that makes sense. You have to trust yourself and your characters. They know where the story is going. You just have to listen.

It’s interesting and fascinating how a story and its characters develop out of a simple thought, and how the subtle messages we hope to convey get wedged between the cracks of an entertaining tale. That’s the beauty of fiction. You hope to entertain and if you’re lucky, you inspire along the way.


Chapter 2—Laura

I bolted out of my chair, ran out of the library, across the lawn, and up the twenty-some steps of Academy Hall. I couldn’t wait to tell Danny and everyone my good news. I looked up at the red brick bell tower and realized the bells hadn’t chimed. What was I hurrying for? Class wasn’t starting yet.

I sat down at the top of the steps. It was a gorgeous, sunny, breezy day, as always. Students were sitting by the lake, walking on the paths, and hanging out on the lawn. I’m finally getting used to this place, I thought. 

I looked over at the wide, green lawn area, remembering my first day here.


“You’ve been selected to attend The Academy,” a voice had said to me. Then suddenly, I was sitting on a big field of damp grass with a bunch of other kids my age. I was sure I had finally woken up.

“I guess it was a dream,” I said.

“What?” A boy sitting next to me had overheard me.

“Where are we?” I asked him. “The Academy. They didn’t tell you?”

I ran my fingers through the soft blades of grass. It felt so real. “Yeah,” I said. “But where exactly are we? This might be a strange question, but we’re alive, right?”

Then this boy, who was wearing a Members Only jacket, broke out into annoyingly loud laughter. He stopped abruptly when he saw that I wasn’t finding it funny. “Oh, no,” he said, catching his breath. “You’re still dead. I promise.”

“Oh.” If it was true, assuming this kid knew what he was talking about, it was just so different from anything I’d experienced so far. “Are you sure?” I questioned him. “Because this all looks so real. You look real. I think I can even smell the air.” I inhaled. “Yeah. That’s nice.”

He nodded and smiled. “I know. It’s amazing, isn’t it? I can’t get over it either. They want us to feel like we’re really in school. It’s like this agreed-upon visualization stuff they do in the Spirit world, I forget what they call it. Like the hospital I was in before here. Man, it felt real, ’cept no drugs or nothing.”

The boy reached out his hand. “I’m Gary.” “Hi. Laura.” When I shook his hand, I knew he was right. What I felt wasn’t the touch of another person’s skin. It was more like the subtle energy bumps I’d gotten used to in the Spirit world. Where I’d been was nothing like this place, though. After my death, some beautiful angels and my Aunt Rita, who’d passed away from cancer, had led me to this place called the Transition Zone. They told me I would rest and rejuvenate there. It was this vast oasis of light and all of us there were formless bodies of light within it. Strangely enough, while there were no physical bodies to distinguish us, we still had some individual energy that helped us recognize others. I was told by this important being of light to think about what I desired next. The options were endless, including going back to a new life in the physical world. All I knew was I wanted to help others and then I ended up here. Now I had a body again, and from what I could tell, I looked and felt pretty much the same. There were other people around me, and grass I could feel, and buildings in the distance, so much like the physical world. What the heck was going on?

Gary got up and put out his hand. “C’mon. Ceremony’s about to start.”

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 newest release, Crossing the Line from WiDo Publishing, is a young adult novel about a teenage spirit from the 1980’s who befriends a current-day high school girl in the hopes of preventing a similar tragedy from occurring again.

Her first book, a middle grade 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.”

After her first child was stillborn in 1995, Valladares became dedicated to helping families suffering a similar loss. She volunteered as a peer counselor to help bereaved moms, ran a support group called “Surviving Pregnancy After a Loss,” and helped create and run an annual event for grieving families. In addition, she is a past president of the Board of Directors of Healthy Mothers-Healthy Babies Coalition of Broward County, Inc.

Valladares has also taught numerous workshops in the South Florida area on a variety of metaphysical topics, including angels, intuition, meditation, and life purpose.

Today, Valladares continues to work as a freelance writer. Currently, she writes for several alumni magazines at Nova Southeastern University in Davie, Fla. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators (SCBWI) and a member and former Board member of the Florida Authors and Publishers Association (FAPA). She also enjoys working as a college essay coach for high school students and helping other writers realize their dreams.

She has been married to her husband, Manny, for close to 30 years (May 2018) 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.

Author Links


Popular posts from this blog

ALL IS FAIR by Dee Garretson ***Guest Post: Learn about the era-specific issues in her main character's world -- Giveaway***

KILLER LAWYER -- A New Thiller by Mark Nolan ***Guest Post: Learn fun Facts about Killer Lawyer -- Excerpt -- Giveaway***

THE SANDBOX by J.W. Patrick ***Q&A with the Author;See if she would want to live in the world she created. - Excerpt - Giveaway***