“I believe that myths, like every living thing, are born, degenerate and die. I also believe that myths come back to life.”—Octavio Paz

Consuela wrestled with an armload of jeans, trying to catch the hangers on insufficient hooks. Squeezing into the tiny dressing room, she tugged on the first pair. No good, she pulled them off. Tried another pair. And a third. Step-step on, step-step off; a ten-minute workout in a three-by-three space. It was as if the room was specifically designed to make her feel big. Consuela hated how she looked in jeans. It made her want to eat a donut.

Eventually she found two pairs that weren’t too bad; the question was whether they were worth buying. Consuela compared price tags. She didn’t like the jeans enough to buy both. It was tough to feel good when clothes were made for size-four white girls. She felt heavy, unsuccessful, and annoyed—the exact opposite purpose of her coveted shopping therapy break.

Screw it.

Consuela pulled her T-shirt over her head, unhooked her bra, and posed for herself a few times, half-naked in the dressing room mirror. She flashed a smile over her shoulder, feeling better than she had all morning. Perfect white teeth, no cavities—her smile was her best feature.

Getting dressed, she decided to keep one pair of light denims and hand the rest back with the two plastic, yellow #6 cards. She hung the remaining eleven hooks neatly in her palm for easy counting. The baggy old attendant had glared at her earlier as if she suspected Consuela of shoplifting. Like she could hide a pair of True Religions in her cleavage. She could all but hear her best friend, Allison’s, voice in her head: You know, you probably could! Allison could always make her laugh.

Consuela held her head high as she stopped at the dressing room exit. The old woman lifted her hangdog eyes.

“Find anything?” the woman asked, only because she had to.

“Yes, thank you.”

The gnarled, arthritic hands took the jeans as a sudden lurch of vertigo brought Consuela to her knees.

Excerpt© 2011 Dawn Metcalf

About the book:

Sixteen-year-old Consuela Chavez suddenly and inexplicably finds herself in the parallel universe of the Flow, where she and other teens with extraordinary abilities safeguard a world where they no longer belong.

What people are saying:

“LUMINOUS is a stunning debut, a remarkably original fantasy with a wonderful heroine that effortlessly mixes beauty and horror. I found LUMINOUS an utterly intoxicating, entirely magical feast, and I can’t wait to return to the vibrant world of the Flow.”–Karen Healey, GUARDIAN OF THE DEAD

Released: June 30, 2011

About the author:

Dawn Metcalf grew up in an old Victorian home filled with fairy tales, art supplies, magic, and love. Now she writes about myths that never happened and worlds that might have been. She lives in Connecticut with her two cats, two kids, and amused husband, raising the next generation of wild imaginations. You can visit her at