{Excerpt/Giveaway} THE SILENT SWAN by Lex Keating

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I didn't quite manage to finish reading this one in time, so check back later this week for my review!

B O O K   T R A I L E R:

O F F I C I A L   I N F O:

Author: Lex Keating
Release Date: Out Aug. 26, 2013
(Though according to Amazon, it's delayed until September...?)
Publisher: AltWit Press


Once upon a time – better known as “now” - Gabriel Pritz reigns as king of his high school. Easy grades, perfect baseball season, a pretty date for prom—he's coasting into a golden future. Until his parents demand he cook dinner once a week. Caught between kitchen fires and ballpark withdrawal, Gabe is thrown into Tam Swann's orbit. Hostile, friendless, and stubborn, she's exactly the sort of person he'd prefer to avoid. 

Tam's sphere of influence expands beyond Gabe's sad domestic skills, rapidly invading everything from his favorite game to parts of his soul he didn't know existed. It's uncomfortable, it's hard work, it's...making him a better man. And that's just what she does to people she doesn't like. The better he gets to know her, the more he has to face the truth: this sharp, heart-breaking outcast is worth fighting for. How many families, fairy tales, and felons will he go through to ride to the rescue of the bravest person he's ever met?

An Excerpt from 
by Lex Keating

     “I need help with cooking.”
     “Take a class. Buy a book.” [Tam] did not look his direction.
     Gabe barked out a laugh. “Got several. Not helping. Don’t have time. Would you stop?”
     She turned and fried him with a glare.
     “You don’t owe me anything,” he said, trying to be reasonable. “I’m not trying to make friends here. I just need help. You seem to know what you’re doing, and I need to learn fast. I’m willing to pay—”
     Her hand shot up. “I don’t want your money.”
     Gabe would have smiled if he didn’t want to punch something.
     “I didn’t think so,” he said. “Which is why I’m offering to tutor you in return. Really. I’m good at math.”
     Tam Swann studied him for a long, quiet moment with one hip cocked. Not a muscle moved on her face, though her milk carton flipped over and over in her hand. He would have said more, but she probably knew more about him than he knew about her.
     He didn’t care to learn anything. He just wanted his baseball season.
     Finally, she said in a careful tone, “I need a 99. Can you guarantee that?”
     Gabe blinked. He had never heard of an overachiever taking “trig for dummies.”
     “Depends,” he said. “Are you stupid, or did you bomb last semester?”
     She nodded at the second option. She didn’t look offended that he’d asked, but none of her features had relaxed, either.
     In the spirit of fairness, Gabe figured he should explain his needs, too. “I have to have a meal on the table by six o’clock every Tuesday. And before you ask, yes, I’ve set the stove on fire.”
     Her eyebrows twitched.
     He still did not want to smile, but it was a little funny. He offered her his hand. “Deal?”
     She froze, staring at his hand. Her nostrils flared, her mouth twisting a little. “Did you touch Mishka?”
     Puzzled, he turned over his hand. Could she smell her brother on him? That was weird. “You mean Mike? Yeah. What’s the deal with the ‘no touching’ thing?”
     “Court supervised visits only,” she said, swallowing with difficulty.
     Remembering how Alex had felt about those kinds of meetings, he eased up. Not a line of questioning that would help anybody.
     Tam waved a hand and backed down the hall. She looked like she was having trouble breathing. After a couple steps, she turned and looked him straight in the eye. “You said Tuesday,” she said in a thick voice. “Tomorrow?”
     “Three-thirty?” he suggested. “We can set up a schedule after that.”
     She pulled open the Home Ec doors and nodded. “I’m in here. Scram.”
     Score. So long as he got the game—and the car—and the girl—he wasn’t particular.
Lex Keating has been engaged in a passionate affair with books ever since the Velveteen Rabbit wanted to be real. She graduated from a liberal arts college with a BA in literature, and currently resides near Charleston, South Carolina, in a swamp full of barbarians and all their cats. She has been a teacher, a paralegal, a computer programmer, and a hospice caregiver. She currently divides her time between studying old fairy tales and making up new ones.
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  1. I am loving the sound of this book! Thanks for the giveaway!


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