She teaches writing in them.

She's a former journalist who's faced threats from a killer's girlfriend, searches by guerrillas, and phone taps in Venezuela. She once posed as a nun to gain entry into a Caracas jail.

When not hiding in the trunks of cars to avoid Guatemalan soldiers, she speaks at writing conferences and wins book awards.


Skin of Tattoos gives readers a glimpse into L.A. gang culture and cuts through the stereotypes and sensationalism. It takes readers into Magdaleno's world, where the Cyco Lokos offer the prestige, brotherhood, and honor the wider world denies young men like Mags. When he returns home from prison after serving time on a robbery charge, Mags sincerely wants to reboot his life, but staying out of the gang and away from the law isn't that easy, especially when Mags's sister gets pregnant by a rival gang member and Mags's own relationship, with a fellow gang member's sister, is a gang taboo. 

Angelena Christina Hoag puts authenticity, a strong voice, and social awareness center stage in Skin of Tattoos.  

"Skin of Tattoos asks readers to cut through the too-simple sensationalism of a lot of gang-related portrayals. She takes readers deeper and asks them to peek into the complexity, the social web, of this world. It's a fast-paced ride through issues of crime, justice, honor, cultural identity, and family ties."

---Read Local 

Killer Nashville

Silver Falchion Award


Finalist in Suspense