Spring Countdown Blitz - Day 12: Swan and Shadow by Kaki Olsen

"Aislin is cursed. A regular college student at night and a swan during the day, Aislin can only break the curse by finding her true love. But when her beloved discovers the truth, will his fear override their love? This modern adaptation of Swan Lake will help you discover what love really means."


Kaki Olsen is always on the brink of another adventure. If she couldn't be a writer, she'd be a full-time musician or travel guide and she would take her lunch breaks at Fenway Park. Until that happens, she speaks both Spanish and English at her every-day office job, but she has vacationed enthusiastically in such places as Istanbul and Ireland. She has lived in five states, but will always refer to Boston as home.

She regularly contributes academic papers on zombies or wizards to Life, the Universe and Everything, a sci-fi/fantasy symposium originated at her alma mater, Brigham Young University. Her published works have appeared in such magazines as Voices and AuthorsPublish.

She is a doting aunt and librarian of two bulging bookshelves.

Q & A with the Author:

3.      What is the thing you struggle with the

most while writing? And how do you defeat it?  When I have a meaning to a

specific story, I stick with it and it's very hard to depart from that.  I

wrote this story to illustrate the bravery of the main character in choosing a

less-than-ideal life, but wound up writing a different choice for her that

showed her to be brave in a different way.  It's what my interpreter

trainer would call intra-lingual interpretation, where you have to look for

different meanings or definitions to express the same word when you can't

identify what you need to say.

4.      Which of your personality traits did

you write into you characters? (Deliberately or accidentally)  One of the

few things that I'm very good at in personal interaction is giving advice while

listening well.  Both of my main characters have that trait, but for one

of them, it doesn't manifest until she has to befriend someone she thought of

as her antagonist.  I also turned one character into a fashion enthusiast,

which is another one of my hobbies.

Connect with the Author:

Excerpt #1

"How was work?" I asked after another round of Crazy Eights.

I'd cleverly invented a summer job at a day camp to explain my sister's

long absences.  The fictional employer even had Fourth of July festivities

and was something of a slave-driver.

"You know," Aislin joked, "running around like a chicken

with its head cut off."

Everyone laughed at that and Sosi paused in mid-shuffle to respond.

 "I'm surprised you had to work."

"I get holiday pay to kid-herd," Ash said with a wave of her

hand.  "We made patriotic lanyards, listened to one of the counselors

do his George Washington impression..."

"Torture with benefits," Avril chuckled.  "I'm


"Why?" I teased.  "We had that lady who called the

fly-overs alien invasions."

"Are we sure they're not?" Ethan countered.

 "They're probably waiting for the 1812 Overture."

"What about the scavenger hunt?"

Aislin dug her list out of her shorts pocket and scanned it for effect.

 "I got everything.  The guy wearing a flag as a skirt was the

hardest one, but he was at the Charles/MGH stop."

"No fair," Ethan protested.  "We couldn't use the


"You had the whole Esplanade and worked in teams," my sister

pointed out.  "How did the petition go?"

"Ask the boys," I suggested.  "We were trying to

find a World War II veteran."

"One hundred and thirty-seven signatures and an offer to post on an

animal rights website," Darren announced.  "I bet we could have

gotten more if we hadn't stopped for lunch."

"And just what are we saving the Pacific narwhal from?" I


Darren and Ethan exchanged looks and said, in unison,


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