Anyone who regularly visits Linda’s Book Bag will know how much I love to travel. One of the places I have hardly been to yet is America (unless you count a cruise out of Miami and working in New York – which I don’t!). Consequently, it’s lovely to find authors who can transport me to America through their books and I have a feeling Milana Marsenich is about to do just that as we stay in together.
Staying in with Milana Marsenich
Welcome to Linda’s Book Bag Milana and thank you for agreeing to stay in with me.
Hi Linda, thank you so much for inviting me to Staying In With…you and your readers!
Tell me, which of your books have you brought along to share this evening and why have you chosen it?
I have brought my second novel, The Swan Keeper. The Swan Keeper is an historical, coming of age novel set in Northwest Montana’s Mission Valley, with a little crime and mysticism thrown in. Lillian Connelly loves trumpeter swans. Dean Drake is killing them and leaving their carcasses for the wolves and coyotes to ravage. On her eleventh birthday, a family outing to the marsh to see the swans turns tragic when Lilly sees Dean Drake hide in the trees and kill, not only swans, but also her father. She tells the town sheriff, Charlie West, that she saw Drake kill her father. Charlie doesn’t believe her, thinks that she is mixing up facts, and is just trying to make sense of a senseless tragedy. With tremendous courage Lilly sets out alone to bring Dean Drake to justice.
(Ooo. Sounds really good!)
What can we expect from an evening in with The Swan Keeper?
This book was based on my volunteer work with the Montana Waterfowl Foundation, where I met my first trumpeter swan. The trumpeters are stunningly beautiful birds. They can weigh as much as thirty pounds and have a wing span of 7 feet. In The Swan Keeper you’ll meet several trumpeter swans, take a trip through Montana’s Mission Mountains, and cheer for a young, brave, heroine.
(I love hearing where authors get their inspiration Milana – even if it does reinforce the fact I have no imagination myself!)
I’d like to share a review with your readers Linda if I may:
Author Milana Marsenich has penned a dramatic page turner brimming with authentic detail. She knows this Montana countryside inside and out, her vivid descriptions capturing the spirit of the craggy Mission Mountains.
Maggie Plummer, author of Spirited Away – A Novel of the Stolen Irish and Daring Passage: Book Two of the Spirited Away Saga.
(It sounds to me like reading The Swan Keeper is going to take me on my travels both into the past and geographically Milana.)
What else have you brought along and why?
I’ve brought along, what else, a picture of a trumpeter swan, and her cygnets, taken by John Jarvis at the Montana Waterfowl Foundation.
(What a smashing image.)
And of course, some povetica, the sweet bread you’ll find in my first novel, Copper Sky, and good coffee.
(Ooh! I’ve never had povetica before. That looks scrummy.)
Food, drink, mountains, and a large beautiful bird make for a wonderful evening of Staying In!
They certainly do. Thanks so much for staying in with me and making such an interesting evening Milana. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it.
The Swan Keeper
On her eleventh birthday, Lilly’s family visits the Cattail Marsh to see the newly hatched cygnets. The family outing turns tragic when Dean Drake shows up with his shotgun. Lilly sees him kill her father, injure her mother, and slaughter the bevy of trumpeter swans.
The sheriff, her mother, sister, and best friend all think Lilly is trying to make sense of a senseless accident by blaming Drake. But Lilly knows the truth. Left alone she must bring him to justice.
About Milana Marsenich
Milana Marsenich lives in Northwest Montana near Flathead Lake at the base of the beautiful Mission Mountains. She enjoys quick access to the mountains and has spent many hours hiking the wilderness trails with friends and dogs.
For the past 20 years she has worked as a mental health therapist in a variety of settings. As a natural listener and a therapist, she has witnessed amazing generosity and courage in others. She first witnessed this in her hometown of Butte, Montana, a mining town with a rich history and the setting for Copper Sky, her first novel.
She has an M.Ed. in Mental Health Counseling from Montana State University and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Montana.
She has previously published in Montana Quarterly, Big Sky Journal, The Polishing Stone, The Moronic Ox, BookGlow, and Feminist Studies. She has a short story included in The Montana Quarterly book: Montana, Warts and All. She has two published novels, Copper Sky and The Swan Keeper, both by Open Books.