The Crooked Swan by Julie Helm - Giveaway and Guest Post
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About the book: What was Kayla thinking when she gave Narissa the solo in the Christmas recital? Caught in a world she thought she’d never be a part of, Kayla learns that what was given in a moment of frustration and pity cannot be taken back so easily…especially with Narissa. As Kayla recognizes within herself a great need to help Narissa dance, she discovers patience and forgiveness, and the beauty found within the soul of a little girl who is more angel than child…she discovers the healing power of love…and the joy found in truly caring for others.
Julie Helm speaks out about what inspired The Crooked Swan:
When I was a young girl I loved to dance. I’d lie in my bed at nights and imagine that I was the lead dancer in a world famous ballet company. My dreaming took me everywhere: On pointe shoes I danced into the waiting arms of a dreamy dance partner. He would lift me so high the stage lights forced me to close my eyes. It all felt so real. Leaping and whirling, moving gracefully on my toes, I danced until sleep claimed me and I could no longer think.
So I begged my mother for dance lessons. And though I danced my heart out in my classes, becoming a world-class dancer would never be part of my future. As I stretched and tried bending my young body into the limitless contortions my dance teacher tried teaching me, I realized that all I needed was to enjoy myself. Some bodies aren’t designed to be as limber as others.
Dancing became a lot of fun. I met other dancers, from time to time, who were more coordinated and obviously more talented than me. Sometimes it was hard to watch them because I wanted to dance perfectly, too. But I kept dancing…because I knew that if my abilities were ever judged by what was in my heart…I would be the prima ballerina, the most graceful beautiful dancer of them all.
Years passed, and dancing was put aside to raise my family. One night while I was lying in my bed trying to find sleep…I thought again of a young imperfect girl who wanted to dance as gracefully as other dancers…and The Crooked Swan was born. Though the main character’s story is not my own, there are many situations in the book that related to me as a young dancer.
A beautiful dance, one that is orchestrated to perfection, is never just about what the body is capable of doing, even with God given abilities and talent. It’s the combination of both heart and ability that make the truly great dancers.
I invite you to read The Crooked Swan. You will not be the same afterwards. The story takes you on an unforgettable journey into the world of dance, so that we may all appreciate and love The Crooked Swans in our lives.
About the Author: Julie G. Helm grew up in Idaho, lived several years abroad, and has spent the last twenty-three years living in Utah. She has been writing stories for children, young adults, and adults as long as she can remember. At present she has three books on the market, The Crooked Swan, The Lost Monster Tales, and Merlin for Sherman. She has belonged to one of the top fantasy and science fiction writer's groups in the area, acted as the liaison for the BYU Writer's Conferences, and worked as an acquisitions editor for Gibbs Smith Publishers. She won first place in an area writer's conference judged by the late Roger Zelazney. Along with raising her six children with a devoted husband, Greg, she continues to write stories to delight and thrill all those who read her books.