Skin of Tattoos

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Christina Hoag

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Sometimes your best friends are your worst enemies. Magdaleno Argueta comes home from prison determined to get out of gang life, but his desire for revenge and respect gets him more deeply into la vida loca with disastrous consequences. The LA version of The Outsiders.


Crime, Drama, Suspense / Thriller,,Crime,Drama

Short Summary

Mags comes home from prison and finds his homie Rico who set him up on a gun charge is now shotcaller of his clica, a position that should rightfully be his. He tries to shrug off his envy, but Rico rubs his face in his newfound power. Mags slowly finds himself getting back into gang life.


Los Angeles, central

Based on a True Story


Plot - Premise

Overcoming Monster/Villain

Plot - Other Elements

Coming of Age

Mature Audience Themes

Substance Abuse, Language/Profanity, Language/Profanity

Main Character Details

Name: Magdaleno Argueta

Age: 20

Gender: Male

Role: Protagonist

Key Traits: Aspiring, Criminal, Masculine, Skillful, Aggressive, Power-hungry, Decisive, Empathetic, Honorable, Leader, Uneducated, Badass, Desperate, Strong Moral Code

Additional Character Details

Name: Rico

Age: 20

Gender: Male

Role: Antagonist

Key Traits: Criminal, Manipulative, Power-hungry, Masculine, Unapologetic, Uneducated, Badass, Crazy, Greedy, Insecure, Leader, Villainous,Badass,Masculine,Villainous,Narcisstic,Greedy,Power Hungry,Crazy,Criminal

Additional Character Details

Name: Paloma

Age: 19

Gender: Female

Role: Emotional

Key Traits: Beautiful, Faithful, Outspoken, Romantic, Sexy, Uneducated, Aspiring,Sexy,Faithful,Outspoken,Strong Moral Code,Blunt

Additional Character Details

Name: Blueboy

Age: 20

Gender: Male

Role: Sidekick

Key Traits: Strong Moral Code, Underdog, Uneducated, Badass, Faithful, Funny, Masculine

About The Author

Author Christina Hoag is a former journalist who has had her laptop searched by Colombian guerrillas, phone tapped in Venezuela, was suspected of drug trafficking in Guyana, hid under a car to evade Guatemalan soldiers, and posed as a nun to get inside a Caracas jail. She has interviewed gang members, bank robbers, thieves and thugs in prisons, shantytowns and slums, not to forget billionaires and presidents, some of whom fall into the previous categories. Now she writes about such characters in her fiction. Christina’s noir crime novel Skin of Tattoos was a finalist for the 2017 Silver Falchion Award for suspense, while her YA novel Girl on the Brink was named one of Suspense Magazine’s Best of 2016 for young adults. She also co-authored the nonfiction book, Peace in the Hood: Working with Gang Members to End the Violence, which is used as a textbook at UCLA, USC and other universities. She's a former staff writer for the Miami Herald and Associated Press, and wrote from Latin America for Time, Business Week, New York Times, Financial Times, Sunday Times of London, Houston Chronicle and other news outlets. Born in New Zealand, Christina grew up as an expat around the world. She now lives in Santa Monica, where she has taught creative writing at a maximum-security prison and to at-risk teen girls. She is a regular speaker at at writing conferences and organizations, book clubs and stores, and libraries.

Target Audiences

Age: 18-34

Target Gender: Male Leaning

Group Specific


Publishing Details

Status: Yes: self-published

Publisher: Martin Brown Publishing

Year Published: 2016

Hard Copy Available