Friday, May 2, 2014

GuestPost + Giveaway: Chantress Alchemy by Amy Butler Greenfield

I'd like to thank FFBC to let me be part of this blog tour. Today I have an excerpt for you and don't forget to enter the giveaway at the end.
You can see the tour schedule here

Series: Chantress Trilogy #2
Publisher: Margaret K McElderry Books
Release Day: May 6th 2014

Since defeating Lord Scargrave with her music, Lucy, the last Chantress, has lived by the sea, mastering the intricacies of Wild Magic. But now her quiet life is about to end: the wheat crop has failed, the people are rebelling, and Lucy is called urgently back to King Henry IX’s court. There she finds the Inner Council planning to save England by making gold through alchemy. But the golden crucible — the critical element in the alchemical process — has been stolen, its guards murdered. Lucy is charged with finding the traitor behind the attack.

Meanwhile, enemies old and new are gathering. Scargrave's brutal Chantress-hunter has become King Henry's closest advisor. Lucy’s beloved Nat has fallen out of favor and is shunned by his colleagues; their romance means trouble for both of them. Worst of all, something goes wrong with Lucy’s magic. The palace is a labyrinth, and there’s a monster at its heart — a monster who may have the power to defeat Lucy once and for all.

Amy Butler Greenfield returns to the beguiling world of Chantress for a suspenseful tale of courtly intrigue, music, and magic in Chantress Alchemy.
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A Day in the Life of Amy Butler Greenfield

My typical morning starts early because there’s the school run to do.  But then I catch my breath with a bit of meditation and stretching -- and I get down to work!  I often check mail first, but when I’m deep in a draft or close to a deadline I don’t even do that. I just plonk myself down and WRITE.  Usually I’ve left myself notes from the day before, which helps me get off to a running start.
            I usually take a tea break in mid-morning and another break for lunch, and somewhere in there I try to go for a walk, too. (The walk may be extra-long if I’m trying to solve a plotting problem.)  Then it’s time for the school pick-up, and for the next few hours it’s family time.  My wonderful husband usually takes charge of bathtime, so I try and squeeze a little extra writing in then. If I’m not on deadline, that might mean writing emails or tweets, but if a book is due, or if there’s a scene I’m dying to write, I just dive back into the story again.
            This year, due to deadlines, I’ve often worked very late, but a few months ago I started giving myself a writing curfew—a time when all work has to stop.  It’s been such a good move! I write better when I’m well rested, and I’m happier when I see more of my husband and my friends, and when I have more time to garden and sing and bake. 
Before I go to sleep, I like to spend a little time with a favorite book, sometimes something new, but often a re-read. After that, it’s lights out – and before I know it, it’s time to start a new day.

My cape snapped in the wind, and I stopped.

Norrie laid a mittened hand on mine. "Child, I know there are dangers, and of course I'm concerned about you. But I'm not sure you make yourself any safer by practicing till you're worn to a thread." She gripped my fingers through the woo. "Scargrave's gone now, Lucy. You've won the war. Yet you're still driving yourself as hard as you did when he was alive. Why not take things a bit easier?"

"And what if I have to defend myself? What do I do then?"

"Why should you need to defend yourself?" Norrie said. "The King would have the head of anyone who hurt you."

It was true: Kind Henry had sworn that the old days of Chantress hunting were over. Neverthless I lived in terror that those days would begin again - and that I would not be ready. Night after night I dreamed hunters were coming after me, only to wake up alone in the dark loft, heart shuddering.

I was pushing myself too hard, that's what Norrie would say. But she was wrong. My nightmares didn't come from working too hard, but from the terrible truth of my situation. The Chantress line is almost dead. We are hunted; we are prey. So my godmother Lady Helaine had warned me before her own untimely end. To be Chantress was to face enemies, for the worlds feared women with power.

"I'm glad the King wants to protect me," I told Norrie, "but I need to know I can protect myself. And my magic is too weak for that. It has too many holes. So I need to keep working. I need to make myself strong."

Norrie looked at me with a compassion that tightened my throat. "Oh, Lucy. You're strong already. Much stronger than you think. Can't you see?"


She waves me away. "Let's not argue about it now. You're turning blue, and I'm not much better. Come home, and we'll talk about it in front of the fire."

I'm not cold, I wanted to say. But it wasn't true. And Norrie's lips were pinched as if she were in pain. She's been out here too long, I thought with concern. Her back and hips had been bothering her lately, especially on cold, damp days like this one.

"All right." I pulled out my hood. "We'll go home."

We had only just started trudging up the shore when a sharp gust of wind swirled around us. It blew my hood back, and I heard the ocean humming again in its troubling new way. Had it been quiet all this time? Or had I just been too wrapped up in my wrangle with Norrie to hear it?

Hoping she wouldn't notice, I trained my attention on the drone, trying to understand it. With patience, I could usually unravel the basic meaning of a song, even If I couldn't fathom all its subtleties.

This time, though, the tune wouldn't yield. More, I pleaded.

As if to deny me, the strange song twisted in on itself and coiled into nothingness. But just before it vanished, I heard the meaning of the heart of it:


Amy Butler Greenfield was a grad student in history when she gave into temptation and became a writer. Since then, she has become an award-winning author. 

Amy grew up in the Adirondack Mountains and later studied history at Williams College, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Oxford. She now lives with her family in England, where she writes, bakes double-dark-chocolate cake, and plots mischief.

Win (1) hardback of Chantress Alchemy (INT)
Win (1) hardback of Chantress Alchemy (US Only)

If the thing that you love to do (singing, dancing, reading etc etc) could bring evil to you, what are you going to do?

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1 comment :

  1. Hola, me encantaría que te pasaras por mi blog, es nuevo. Muchas gracias por la atención.


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