True things

1. I have ten strands of grey hair. And feel, somehow, more legitimate.
2. The songs most often in my head are from My Fair Lady and Sesame Street Sing-alongs.
3. My first hardcore crush was on Michael J. Fox. I had posters, and only drank Pepsi to demonstrate my fidelity. I was already taller than he was.
4. Or maybe it was on black-haired Susan. In first grade I told her we should get married, and she said, “OK.”
5. Parsnips in soup taste like little sparks.
6. When I was twelve, I started playing guitar. Playing music written by other people has never really interested me. I’d rather hear them play it, and keep after my own.
7.  My favorite bedtime story is the Selfish Giant.
8. My dogs are relentlessly loyal to one another, and get upset if one of them is indoors and the other out. But if Latte is being naughty, Kali totally rats her out.
9. I was afraid I’d be a lousy mother.
10. When I’m nervous or lonely, I repeat poetry to myself. I wish I knew more Auden.
11. I’ve always wanted to be Robin Hood or Batman.
12. I cannot use scissors properly.
13. In the mornings, when I was supposed to be practicing piano, I’d read novels instead. My dad only caught me once.
14. I’d love to write a noir graphic novel.
15. My fingernails were inches long when I was thirteen. That was the same year I carried a purse.
16. Kites seem like perfect symbols.
17. When girls used to ask me out in school, I’d tell them I was a girl, and they wouldn’t believe me.
18. I wish I could hold my soul. Just for a minute. I want to know if it burns.
19. There’s a tree in my yard that wants to be climbed.
20. I laugh harder than I used to.
21. Gavin nicknamed me Pickle and himself Meerkat.
22. Cut flowers break my heart.
23. My great aunt told this story about getting a telegram that her first husband had been killed in WWII. She got in her convertible and drove until she ran out of gas and then she started running. In her heels and fur coat. She said she lost everything in the desert.
24. Mary always says she’s not dating her best friend. I know what she means. I married mine, and it was never enough.
25. At 4 a.m., the rooster went on and on in a strangled cry. Sometimes I think he’s calling to the night. His insistence comforts me. His defiant resolve. We should cry more. Louder. We should let the sound ring through us.

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Jill Malone

Jill Malone grew up in a military family, went to German kindergarten, and lived across from a bakery that made gummi bears the size of mice. She has lived on the East Coast and in Hawaii, and for the last seventeen years in Spokane with her son, two dogs, a hedgehog, and a lot of outdoor gear. She looks for any excuse to play guitar. Jill is married to a performance artist and addiction counselor who makes the best risotto on the planet.

Giraffe People is her third novel. Her first novel, Red Audrey and the Roping, was a Lambda finalist and won the third annual Bywater Prize for Fiction. A Field Guide to Deception, her second novel, was a finalist for the Ferro-Grumley, and won the Lambda Literary Award and the Great Northwest Book Festival.

Giraffe People

Giraffe People

Between God and the army, fifteen-year-old Cole Peters has more than enough to rebel against. But this Chaplain’s daughter isn’t resorting to drugs or craziness. Truth to tell, she’s content with her soccer team and her band and her white bread boyfriend.

And then, of course, there’s Meghan.

Meghan is eighteen years old and preparing for entry into West Point. For this she has sponsors: Cole’s parents. They’re delighted their daughter is finally looking up to someone. Someone who can tutor her and be a friend.

But one night that relationship changes and Cole’s world flips.

Giraffe People is a potent reminder of the rites of passage and passion that we all endure on our road to growing up and growing strong. Award-winning author Jill Malone tells a story of coming out and coming of age, giving us a take that is both subtle and fresh.

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A Field Guide to Deception

A Field Guide to Deception

In Jill Malone’s second novel, A Field Guide to Deception, nothing is as simple as it appears: community, notions of motherhood, the nature of goodness, nor even compelling love. Revelations are punctured and then revisited with deeper insight, alliances shift, and heroes turn anti-hero—and vice versa.

With her aunt’s death Claire Bernard loses her best companion, her livelihood, and her son’s co-parent. Malone’s smart, intriguing writing beguiles the reader into this taut, compelling story of a makeshift family and the reawakening of a past they’d hoped to outrun. Claire’s journey is the unifying tension in this book of layered and shifting alliances.

A Field Guide to Deception is a serious novel filled with snappy dialogue, quick-moving and funny incidents, compelling characterizations, mysterious plot twists, and an unexpected climax. It is a rich, complex tale for literary readers.

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Red Audrey and the Roping

Red Audrey and the Roping

Occasionally a debut novel comes along that rocks its readers back on their heels. Red Audrey and the Roping is one of that rare and remarkable breed. With storytelling as accomplished as successful literary novelists like Margaret Atwood and Sarah Waters, Jill Malone takes us on a journey through the heart of Latin professor Jane Elliot.

Set against the dramatic landscapes and seascapes of Hawaii, this is the deeply moving story of a young woman traumatized by her mother’s death. Scarred by guilt, she struggles to find the nerve to let love into her life again. Afraid to love herself or anyone else, Jane falls in love with risk, pitting herself against the world with dogged, destructive courage. But finally she reaches a point where there is only one danger left worth facing. The sole remaining question for Jane is whether she is willing to accept her history, embrace her damage, and take a chance on love.

As well as a gripping and emotional story, Red Audrey and the Roping is a remarkable literary achievement. The breathtaking prose evokes setting, characters, and relationships with equal grace. The dialogue sparks and sparkles. Splintered fragments of narrative come together to form a seamless suspenseful story that flows effortlessly to its dramatic conclusion.

Winner of the Bywater Prize for Fiction, Red Audrey and the Roping is one of the most memorable first novels you will ever read.

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