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Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Guest Post and Giveaway The Silent Swan by Lex Keating

Published August 26th, 2013

Description:

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?

GUEST POST
Thank you, Mrs. Lex Keating
SPOILER ALERT! Don't read this if you don't care about Tam's life when Gabe isn't around...

Taras Shevchenko University in Kiev hosted an adjunct professor in their radio-physics department, several years ago, who was fired and later jailed for selling university research. Though all his work was seized, he left in the university's computer mainframe an encrypted chatroom for his family's hobby. He and his fellow Eastern European spies still use this chatroom to relay intel back to the States. Or, in this case, to receive updates from his niece, who knows the passwords. Tam Swann's Ruskie, after all, had been a very good teacher, so his son (Pietr) and grandchildren cobbled together their own code for top-secret information. Translation is provided.

SECURE COSMOLOGY CHATROOM CONVERSATION, BEGINNING APR. 26, 2013, 10:23 PM EST
Sender
Message
Meaning
охотник волка
Anser sighting last night.
I am here. I am safe. I have time now.
Cygnet
Too cloudy, here. Stargazing this weekend.
Miss you. Court hearing coming up.
охотник волка
Telescope or binoculars? Any observations planned?
Family court or criminal? Tell me about your brothers' problems.
Cygnet
Telescope. But binoculars before that, if possible. Some observations will affect Cygnus X-1 research.
Family court planned. Related criminal activity has been exposed. Problem for me, not the boys, that affects the plan.
охотник волка
Gambling with Hawking?
[Expletive deleted] How bad?
Cygnet
Weird x-ray observations.
Money problems. I didn't cause it, but I have to fix it.
охотник волка
Compile and forward your data.
Do you need me to come home?
Cygnet
Hawking conceded on his own. You needn't waste your time on my project.
[Expletive deleted, yourself] WE ARE NOT PULLING A CIA AGENT OUT FROM UNDERCOVER RUSSIA TO HANDLE DSS. BABUSHKA WILL KILL ME.
охотник волка
Cygnus X-1 is worth the research. Especially if changes have occurred.
You matter, too, Swannie. Will you have to move again? That could cause trouble.
Cygnet
New telescopes provide better data. Let me follow up on that, first.
Moving is inevitable. Family court won't like it, but I have a bead on how to handle it.
охотник волка
I could look your numbers over.
Are you dead sure?
Cygnet
You know I hate numbers.
This conversation is boring.
охотник волка
Then tell me about your telescope plans.
You are the biggest baby, and I love you. What about family court and the boys, then?
Cygnet
Sadr is a little easier to see at a higher elevation.
Lexi was moved successfully. Sleeping better, and improved grades.
охотник волка
Continue. I'll wait.
Lots of questions and very little time. Get the whole family laid out for me first.
Cygnet
Albireo has been readily observable through binoculars. Earlier telescope viewing was far superior.
The twins have been fighting, public and private. I'd like to get to the bottom of why, because they were fine at their last family court hearing.
Cygnet
Rukh maintains excellent visibility.
Andre's enjoying baseball, and his new home. He's more balanced.
Cygnet
Gienah flared a bit in my telescope.
Mishka's foster mom hates me.
охотник волка
When does it not?
That is not news.
Cygnet
Brightness has never been obscured before. Might need to clean all lenses.
She's pushing him hard. He might need an escape plan soon.
охотник волка
In time for the Andromedids?
This year? And how will your Pritz take that?
Cygnet
Is this a good year for those?
She can take a back seat.
охотник волка
Always watch that chained woman.
Pritz is no one to underestimate.
Cygnet
She's not on my telescope list, actually.
She's no longer actively making DSS mind its P's and Q's. No part of her touches our constellation, anymore.
охотник волка
Not at all?
Oh, I don't like that. She's been fair and helpful, and you know it.
Cygnet
Remember your mythology.
We don't have a good history. And she's not forgetting her purposes, or what my weaknesses are.
охотник волка
Ah, yes. What about your Algol observations?
How's the situation with her son? Is she still using him to dig information on you?
Cygnet
Devil star, devil star. Been studying x-ray research on that system.
[Double negative==all e-vile allegations canceled] Alerted me to the cash problems. And took me to see Babushka.
охотник волка
Where's Hawking when I need him?
[Expletive deleted] That's a bad idea.
Cygnet
Miraculously still alive and working?
He's a god. And a sweetheart. And such a bad idea.
охотник волка
Not the point. Anything new on Cygnus A? And are you ignoring Deneb on purpose?
Stay away from that boy. Finish what you've started. How was Mama, anyway? And why haven't you mentioned Ilya? Did something happen to him?
Cygnet
Better receptors for the Cygnus A data.
New staff at Babushka's nursing home. Big improvement. No worries, there.
охотник волка
And your omission?
ANSWER THE QUESTION, YOUNG LADY.
Cygnet
Your observations on Deneb might be a big help. Lots of data.
Ilya's biggest problem is how easy your job would be for him. Sly, clever genius I can't keep up with. Why can't he do this? I hate talking in code.
охотник волка
Are you equipped for your next stargazing?
Can you do this? All? By yourself? Really?
Cygnet
I think so. Research has helped. Lots of data.
I must. My network and I have prepared for everything we could. I hate talking in code.
охотник волка
Don't forget, the Argo rotted on a beach by itself.
You can do this. Rewrite the whole, decrepit system if you like. I'd come home if I thought you needed me.
Cygnet
Yes, and clocked Jason good, too.
NOBODY WANTS YOU DEAD, DUMMY. Just keep saving the free world.
охотник волка
Then tell me you see stars.
I love you. I'm praying for your safety and victory.
Cygnet
Then tell me you saw Elvis.
I love you. I kiss the boys for you.
охотник волка
E.P. phoned home?
Love and family make the best home. You've got both. When do we talk again?
Cygnet
From his great sat phone in the sky...
Regroup Saturday? Let's talk about you. Until then, don't get caught...

CONVERSATION WIPED APR 26, 2013,10:46 PM EST

About the author:
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.

Author's US Giveaway a Rafflecopter giveaway

2 comments:

Daniela Ella said...

Pare draguta. Coperta e speciala, si imi place. Descrierea nu ma convinge in totalitate, dar as risca sa o citesc.

Valerie R said...

Such a cool giveaway.. so appreciate the chance... very thoughtful!!