May 5, 2016

Book Blitz & Giveaway: Wild Swans by Jessica Spotswood


Title: Wild Swans
Author: Jessica Spotswood
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Genre: Fiction 
Pub date: May 3, 2016
ISBN: 9781492622161
$10.99 
Trade Paperback 

  • Summary: The summer before Ivy’s senior year is going to be golden—all bonfires, barbeques, and spending time with her best friends. For once, she will just get to be. No summer classes, none of Granddad’s intense expectations to live up to the family name. For generations, the Milbourn women have lead extraordinary lives—and died young and tragically. Granddad calls it a legacy, but Ivy considers it a curse. Why else would her mother have run off and abandoned her as a child? But when her mother unexpectedly returns home with two young daughters in tow, all of the stories Ivy wove to protect her heart start to unravel. The very people she once trusted now speak in lies. And all of Ivy’s ambition and determination cannot defend her against the secrets of the Milbourn past…

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About the Author

Jessica Spotswood is the author of the Cahill Witch Chronicles. She lives in Washington, DC, with her husband, and works as a children’s library associate, with her husband. Visitjessicaspotswood.com.

Connect with Jessica Spotswood 

Praise for Wild Swans 
 Ivy’s journey is handled perfectly, and it’s her story at heart. For anyone who suffers from too-heavy expectations, Ivy will ring true in this engaging, nearly flawless coming-of-age novel. — Kirkus Reviews, Starred
“A thoughtful, relatable story about a young woman attempting to figure out her own worth against the ghosts of her past.” — Booklist
“A strong coming-of-age story.” — School Library Journal
WILD SWANS is the kind of thoughtful, summery book you’ll want to savor under starry skies or read on a porch swing with a glass of lemonade nearby. This compelling story of a girl trying to figure out who she is and who she wants to be vs. who everyone else expects her to be manages to feel both fresh and like a timeless classic. Highly recommended for Sarah Dessen fans.  —  Paula Stokes, author of Girl Against the Universe and The Art of Lainey
A beautiful novel about the complexity of family and the magic of first love.  I couldn’t stop turning the pages. — Lauren Barnholdt, author of Two Way Street and Heat of the Moment
A story of first love and self-discovery as sweet as it is compelling. — Jennifer Salvato Doktorski, author of The Summer After You and Me


Excerpt from Wild Swans:
Chapter One
Granddad says all the Milbourn women are extraordinary.
Amelia, the Shakespeare professor up at the college, says cursed.
Judy, the bookseller down at the Book Addict, says crazy.
Here in Cecil, girls are still expected to be nice. Quiet. All sugar. Maybe a little spice.
But not us. We Milbourn women are a complicated lot.
The Milbourn legacy goes back four generations. Folks were just starting to drive over from Baltimore and Washington, DC, to buy my great-great-grandmother's portraits when she tried outracing a train in her new roadster. It stalled on the tracks and she and her two youngest were killed instantly. My great-grandmother Dorothea survived and went on to win the Pulitzer Prize for her love poems-but she was murdered by the woman whose husband she'd been sleeping with for inspiration. Grandmother painted famous, haunting landscapes of the Bay, but the year before I was born, she walked out the back door and down to the water and drowned herself. My mother had a voice like a siren, but she ran away from home the second time she got knocked up, and we haven't seen her since.
And me? I don't feel crazy or cursed. But I've grown up in this house, haven't I? So I don't know. Maybe there's no escaping it.
I'm home alone tonight, and a storm is sweeping up the Bay. Through the open french doors I can hear the waves crashing against the shore. They make a frantic shh-shh, like a desperate mama rocking a colicky baby.
I hear mothers do things like that, anyhow. I wouldn't know.
I've been reading Jane Eyre for about the twelfth time, but I set it down on the coffee table and leave the warm lamplight to go stand in the doorway. The wind catches at my hair and flings it back in my face. I push it away and squint down at the beach.
Lightning hasn't split the sky yet, but I can taste it coming. The air's so thick I could swim through it.
Jesus, but a swim right now would be delicious. I imagine tearing off my blue sundress, running down the sandy path, and diving right into the cool waves of the Chesapeake. I could swim almost before I could walk. Part fish, Granddad says. But he doesn't like me to swim by myself. Says it isn't safe, especially for a girl, alone and at night. That's one of his rules. He's got about a million. Some of them I fight; some I just let be. Given how his wife killed herself, it seems reasonable enough to humor him on this.
Behind me, something rattles in the wind and I startle. Goose bumps prickle my shoulders in spite of the heat. Lately it feels like a storm's coming even when the sky's blue. Like spiders crawling through my veins.
My friend Abby tells me I need to quit worrying and relax. It's going to be golden, this summer before our senior year. There will be barbecues and bonfires and lazy days volunteering at the town library. She doesn't believe in family curses or premonitions of doom. Her family has its own troubles, but they're not town lore.
My friend Claire says "fuck the family curse; you're your own woman." Claire's all rebellion and razor-sharp edges-especially since her dad had an affair with his secretary and moved out (such a cliché). Claire doesn't believe in fate; she believes in making choices and owning them.
But she's not a Milbourn girl.
The rain starts with a fury. It pelts the windowpanes and drums against the flagstones out on the patio. The wind picks up too, sending the gray curtains spinning into the room like ghosts. I pad back toward the sofa, trailing my fingers across bookshelves stacked with Great-Grandmother Dorothea's prize-winning poetry. All along the walls hang Grandmother's landscapes-our pretty Eastern Shore transformed by twisting rain clouds. She only painted hurricane weather.
They were all so talented. Troubled, sure. But look at their legacy.
What will mine be?

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