photo by Mary Noble Ours

Welcome! If you’re looking for L. M. or Laura Malone Elliott, you’ve found the right place. I have two bylines—L. M. for historical novels and my full name for the picture books illustrated by the amazing Lynn Munsinger.

Thanks to Chris Hample for designing such an imaginative site—a perfect example of the creative collaboration set in motion by books. Readers and educators add their own thoughts and imagination to my words, making a book a wondrous living thing.

Come on in to learn more about me, my books, the research/ writing process, and some fascinating historical time periods. And adults, there’s plenty for you, too! As commentator Stephen Colbert recently said, “YA books are just regular novels that people actually read.”

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Kind Words


It’s packed with action, intrigue, and suspense, but this novel celebrates acts of kindness and heroism without glorifying war. A gripping adventure.

ALA Booklist

A powerful novel of adventure and salvation. Readers, young and old, will be moved by this fine book.

Children's Literature

Elliott’s fluid style is woven together with vivid historical details. Fans of history, culture, language, or just good storytelling will definitely want to read this.



Elliott’s delicately beautiful novel is thoroughly researched, portraying three-dimensional characters in a lively atmosphere of love and art. Renaissance Florence breathes through this book, bringing readers to a fuller understanding of the portrait, the era, and an indomitable young woman.

Publishers’ Weekly Starred Review

...Elliott meticulously researched the 15th century to bring alive the affluence, art, and clothing Florence was known for—fully immersing readers in the time period. In many ways, this novel is a feminist piece. Ginevra lives during a time in which the only way for women to study philosophy and art was in a convent, and once married, women had little to no formal education, as they became the property of their husbands. Breaking this mold, Ginevra learns that her empowerment comes from within, despite the limitations put on her sex. VERDICT Add this gem to round out collections skewed toward 20th-century history.

School Library Journal

"The Italian Renaissance and its powerful Medici family serve as an intriguing backdrop as young Ginevra navigates her way through a patriarchal society focused on the creation of magnificent art and the accumulation of wealth. Rich in historical detail, and based on an oil painting located in the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., this story reveals much about the life of women in the fifteenth century. Descriptions of well-known works of art, complex societal protocols, and political power plays allow the reader to understand both the beauty and restrictions of Ginevra’s world...fans of historical fiction will find Italy’s Renaissance fascinating."

Lynne Farrell Stover, VOYA


Part Ken Burns' The Civil War, part Gone with the Wind, Elliott's third novel will be devoured by fans of historical fiction. Fiery, intelligent Annie remains a heroine to relish, and readers will find themselves pondering the soul-wrenching questions she asks: ´Had their war been a justifiable one? Could anything justify this much carnage?’

ALA Booklist

A strong and memorable heroine, romance, a rich portrayal of the everyday life, and an understanding of both sides of the conflict.

School Library Journal


This is both a poignant mother-daughter story and a comforting tale of the affection between a lonely young girl and an irascible but devoted old man. Readers will find poignancy, humor, and history in this story.

School Library Journal

The story is as beautiful as the roses that symbolize the tale of rebirth between mother and daughter. Readers will like spunky, resilient Alice. The setting provides a voice for the social conflicts of 1968 with frequent references to Vietnam demonstrations, Bobby Kennedy’s assassination, Martin Luther King’s influence, and the fragile acceptance of racial differences.



Elliott’s engaging and highly readable novel is well researched and sprinkled liberally with renowned patriots of the period. Particularly noteworthy is the way in which Elliott handles the paradox of colonial Americans fighting for their independence from England yet clinging to the practice of enslaving other human beings. She does not provide pat answers, and Nathaniel’s inability to reconcile what he sees around him promises to provoke thoughtful discussion. A rich and robust piece of historical literature.

School Library Journal


Elliott sympathetically addresses the prickly topic of peer pressure from a child's perspective. Munsinger's anthropomorphic raccoons are irresistibly cute and cuddly... Elliott does a remarkable job portraying how difficult it is for Hunter to resist Stripe's entreaties and later, not react to his teasing. Readers will readily respond to Hunter's dilemma and be reassured by his ultimate success.

Kirkus Reviews

Munsinger and Elliott sensitively convey classroom popularity dynamics and Valentine's Day butterflies; the moment when Sam realizes that it's Mary Ann he really likes should touch even Valentine's Day grouches.

Publisher's Weekly

Recent Blog Posts

Valentine's Day Activities!

Posted by laura on February 8, 2016

Historical #WCW: Artemisia Gentileschi

Posted by laura on February 3, 2016

Anniversary of the Joust

Posted by laura on January 29, 2016

Great Falls Friends & Neighbors Event

Posted by laura on January 14, 2016

My New Literary Friends to the North

Posted by laura on January 4, 2016

Ti Amo, Piombino

Posted by laura on December 28, 2015

The Holidays in Renaissance Florence

Posted by laura on December 23, 2015

Florentine Decorations

Posted by laura on December 15, 2015

Just in Time for Holiday Shopping!

Posted by laura on December 4, 2015

A Very Renaissance Thanksgiving

Posted by laura on November 26, 2015

NCTE Thanks

Posted by laura on November 23, 2015

#TBT: Another guest blog!

Posted by laura on November 19, 2015

Guest Blog: Researching DA VINCI'S TIGER

Posted by laura on November 17, 2015

NCTE 2015

Posted by laura on November 17, 2015

Exciting News!

Posted by laura on November 13, 2015

So What Did Leonardo Really Look Like and Act Like?

Posted by laura on November 9, 2015

Get Your Plato On!

Posted by laura on November 7, 2015

The Ambassador

Posted by laura on November 2, 2015

#TBT: My love of horses

Posted by laura on October 29, 2015

The Lady Behind the Portrait

Posted by laura on October 28, 2015

LORENZO, Il Magnifico: The defacto ruler of Florence

Posted by laura on October 26, 2015

Throwback Thursday: My first trip to Florence

Posted by laura on October 22, 2015

The Kick-Butt Abbess

Posted by laura on October 21, 2015

Santa Croce: The Site of the Joust!

Posted by laura on October 20, 2015

Meet Florence’s “Prince of Youth”

Posted by laura on October 19, 2015

Some Loves Start Early!

Posted by laura on October 15, 2015

The Duomo Bells

Posted by laura on October 14, 2015

Leonardo's Other Female Portraits

Posted by laura on October 14, 2015

6 Things You May Not Know About Leonardo Da Vinci

Posted by laura on October 12, 2015

Epic Reads Discussion Guide

Posted by laura on October 8, 2015

Talk at the National Gallery of Art!

Posted by laura on October 7, 2015

First Reviews for Da Vinci's Tiger!

Posted by laura on September 27, 2015


Posted by laura on August 13, 2015

YA Sync Free Download of Under a War Torn Sky LIVE!

Posted by laura on August 6, 2015

Mark Your Calendars

Posted by laura on July 6, 2015

The Beauty of Synchronicity

Posted by laura on May 18, 2015

70th Anniversary of VE Day

Posted by laura on May 8, 2015

Why Write A Trilogy?

Posted by laura on April 14, 2015

I discuss the inspiration for my WWII Trilogy that includes: Under A War-Torn Sky, A Troubled Peace, and Across a War-Tossed…

Valentine's Day

Posted by laura on February 8, 2015

Teaching Poetry and Creative Writing through Poetry!

Listening to the Audiobook of Under a War Torn Sky

Posted by laura on February 3, 2015

A Wonderful Fall

Posted by admin on October 29, 2014

What a wonderful Fall I’ve had, meeting so many kind readers and talented authors at various literature festivals. Thanks to…