I am absolutely delighted that Birthmarked has been chosen for the Amelia Bloomer Project 2011 and the YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adult 2011 lists.

Alice M. O'Brien

Alice M. O'Brien, my great aunt, (with her dough-messed hands hidden) served in the Red Cross in France during WWI. A feminist to the core, she would be proud about the Bloomer list.

The Amelia Bloomer Project recommends feminist literature for readers from birth to age 18, and I’m particularly happy that Gaia’s story, where a girl is strong because of her midwifery and her… Continue reading

Hidden Danger: Point of View (POV)

My happiest discovery about point of view (POV) happened back in college, when my professor assigned Lorrie Moore’s “How To Be an Other Woman” and I fell in love with 2nd person.  Moore’s irresistible story begins with the directive “Meet in expensive beige raincoats, on a pea-soupy night” and has a neglected, lovelorn protagonist who reminds herself: “You don’t have to put up with this: you were second runner-up at the Junior Prom.”

Some of us are not Lorrie Moore and cannot pull off 2nd person… Continue reading

Visiting Hogsmeade

When I visited the Wizarding World of Harry Potter Monday, it was so full that the area had to be blocked off for a time to prevent overcrowding.  Imagine, going all the way to Orlando, only to be barred from the place you’d gone to see.

Hogsmeade Village, January 3, 2011

Fortunately for us, our family arrived early enough to walk right in, and more than taking any of the rides, I liked just standing in Hogsmeade Village, looking up at the peaked roofs of the shops with… Continue reading

Tackling the Romance

Oops. Cliche.

Someone asked me recently how far my characters would go.  It made me laugh.  Gaia’s sixteen, and there are two more books in the trilogy, so theoretically, where she could go romantically and physically is pretty wide open.  I was thinking of ninth graders when I first wrote Birthmarked, so I was surprised when it was published for age group 12+ because I knew that meant that avid ten-year-old readers would find their way to my book, and they have.  Then again,… Continue reading

Detention: Leon at Twelve

The following is a bit story about a character from the world of Birthmarked.

Rita tapped on the schoolroom window and Leon looked up.  She waved to beckon him out, frowning.  “Come on,” she was saying clearly.

He shook his head, but a moment later she poked her head in the doorway.  Leon was alone at his desk in the back, rewriting the words he’d spelled wrong that morning: Attached, barrel, embarrass, necessary, thorough, tomorrow, wrong.

“You’ll miss the race,” Rita said.

“I can’t come. Not until… Continue reading

Solstice Solace

You Are Here

Some days, when the sun hovers over the horizon for barely nine hours, I can feel our planet swinging through its black orbit. The sunlight is a sparse, white, cloudy force coming from the south, replacing all that was once green with motionless gray and white, and I can feel the slow, huge, roll of the Earth.

I love the solstice. It’s one of the things I’ve been sure of since fourth grade, when I first learned the importance of December 21st, March 21st… Continue reading

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Audio Books

The audio books of BIRTHMARKED, PRIZED, PROMISED, and THE VAULT OF DREAMERS have been released by Tantor Audio. They're available through Tantor, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and
Book Trailer for Promised