(with an extra one thrown in for fun)
Tam's List of What Gabe Doesn't Know
11. I hate beets!
That's right, I said it. No borscht in my house...
10. Gabe is adorable when he cuts veggies.
Personally, I suspect he's a little afraid of knives. But he concentrates while chopping. Makes me want that attention...
9. His big brother knows too much.
I swear, that guy attended every call I made my senior year...
8. His ex bought a lot of underwear meant to torment him.
Mostly made of floss, I think, because she shredded so many in the wash. Never have I been so glad to see the back of somebody...
7. His mother bought me a Lexis-Nexis subscription.
This was right after Judge Nettles put that no-talking deal on the table. And she paid for it for the next three years. Hard not to respect someone who levels the playing field as best she can...
6. He smells like my dad.
Actually a very awkward thought, to entertain non-homesick thoughts about neatsfoot and mown grass...
5. His friend, the clumsy player, pulled this whole middle-school-my-friend-likes-you thing.
4. His adopted brother worships him.
Alex has this whole What-Would-Gabe-Do mantra for making independent decisions...
3. I saw him first.
At baseball camp, when we were ten. Mom and I took Dad his lunch, and Gabe was up at bat. Good form, and he was a repeat student. Which meant he liked dad. Which meant I liked him...
2. His mixed CD is a fragment.
The whole thing can be found here.
1. Failure is not an option.
Babushka blew up a prison. Dad chose Mom over money. Mom's baby brother, Pietr, works undercover for the CIA. I cannot drop this ball. Though I kind of think he gets this...
Title: The Silent Swan
Author: Lex Keating
Publication Date: August 26th, 2013
Publisher: AltWit Press
Word Count: 132,000
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance
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?
Tam Swann took a step towards the stairs, and then set the plastic case down. She turned and said “Macy” in that ultra-organized tone. Before either lady could do more than look up, she plucked a set of keys out of her escort’s hand.
“Hey,” said the dress, but the keys had already disappeared.
Down the front of Tam Swann’s misshapen sweater.
Dieter choked, and the council turned to watch him turn purple. He hacked and carried on, pounding himself in the chest, but Gabe kept one eye on the drama with the women. While Mrs. O’Neill looked like she’d swallowed a plate, the other lady had started to laugh.
“I need to talk to you,” Tam Swann said. She’d already picked up the case again. She took the stairs at a quick clip, not looking back when Mrs. O’Neill spluttered and the case worker raised her voice to say she had already seen Tam’s room.
Macy had an exasperated laugh that sounded almost like a sneeze.
“Gabe,” Shayna said tentatively.
He pulled his gaze away from the DSS drama and raised his brows, waiting, while Shayna put away her secretarial notebook.
“Is something up with Alex?”
“Always,” Gabe said, before he remembered that sometimes Alex didn’t kid. “Maybe. Why?”
She flushed a little and waved a hand. “Nothing.”
But the rest of the council heard her and wanted to know. Gabe, who lived with the charming scoundrel, could understand their curiosity. He just wasn’t participating.
He turned his head towards the entrance in time to see Tam Swann coming back down the stairs with a notebook in hand and this look in her eye.
Like she could have fun, if she wanted to.
“Give them back,” Macy sang, a smile plastered to her face.
Tam Swann stopped on the stairs, her mouth curving up, and then—
She held up her arms and did this—this shimmy that started at her shoulders, spent an interesting two seconds on her hips, and rolled down legs. A bump appeared on her thigh, traveling down her jeans’ inside seam to stop at her ankle. She made this hacky-sack kick and caught the keys midair.
Gabe couldn’t blink, much less breathe. So that was how trailer trash got dates.
Not that he had ever wondered.
“Your office or mine?” Tam Swann asked her stupefied case worker.
“Mine,” Macy said in a strangled voice. “Wash those!”
She finished walking down the stairs like a normal person. “Fair enough. Let’s mesh calendars.”
Gabe pushed to his feet and focused on his friends. He did not want to think about it. What kind of girl—? How did she—? And why didn’t she like him? He wasn’t smooth or cool, but he’d had all his shots.
There were people in this world who voluntarily talked to him.
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 (Sorry, fries are not available at this window…), 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.
Signed print copy + swag (US)
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