{A Twist in the Tail} Spotlighting THE SILENT SWAN by Lex Keating

(Sorry for the lack of posts in the past week or so, bookworms! 
I've been sick and have had no energy!
*hangs head*
Uhhhh...I'm back now?)
Love fairy tales and mythology?
Fans of mermaids, dragons, unicorns, and other mythical creatures?
Enjoy when a beloved classic tale is retold?
A Twist in the Tail Thursdays features all this and more!

Last month, I took place in the blog tour for THE SILENT SWAN and posted both the book trailer and an excerpt from the book. I've re-posted that information below so you don't need to look at two posts today ^.~

THE SILENT SWAN is a modern-day interpretation of The Six Swans, a Brothers Grimm fairy tale. In the tale, six brothers are turned into swans by their stepmother, and can only be saved by their stalwart sister. She must make a shirt for each of them out of nettle silently, without ever making a sound. While she completes this task, she is discovered by a king, who falls in love with and marries her. Unable to speak as she continues her task, she can't convey her journey, and her evil stepmother takes advantage and tries to destroy her. There are other interpretations of the tale as well, the most famous of which is The Wild Swans by Hans Christian Anderson.

My favorite retelling of this tale is Juliet Marillier's heart-breakingly emotional DAUGHTER OF THE FOREST. There are other retellings as well, such as my beloved Zoë Marriott's rendition, THE SWAN KINGDOM (though this isn't my favorite of her books, if only because I read Marillier's first). There's also a middle-grade version available for younger readers, PRINCESS OF THE WILD SWANS by Diane Zahler. 

All of these lean more traditional, however. THE SILENT SWAN is the first contemporary, modern-day retelling of the tale I've seen. In this version, something terrible has happened and all of Tam's brothers are split up in foster care. Tam must be "silent" in that she can't talk about certain things if she wants to reunite everyone. The "King" of her high school, a popular boy named Gabe, falls for Tam over the course of the novel despite not knowing her secrets as he ignores the disapproval of those around him, even in his own family.

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.


  1. I haven't read a retelling of The Six Swans yet, so I'll have to check these books out (and I love that The Silent Swan is contemporary)! :)

    Alice @ Alice in Readerland

    1. Now you have plenty to choose from! <3

      I love when fairy tales become contemporary and almost unrecognizable. It's more likely to make me read the book in the first place!

  2. Thanks for posting this! Very few readers have started from the point of knowing the original fairy tale...

    1. I wanted to do it so much sooner, but my Thursdays kept getting booked up!

      The fact that this was based on a fairy tale was one of the initial things that made me interested in the book to begin with, and I knew I wanted to spotlight that element! Thank you for merging fairy tales with contemporary novels for fantasy-prone gals like me! ^.~


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