*{Tour Stop! Excerpt! Guest Post! Interview! Giveaway!} CHANTRESS ALCHEMY by Amy Butler Greenfield

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 Check out my review of the 
first book in the trilogy, CHANTRESS!

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.
Visit Victoria on her website and find her on Twitter and Facebook!

The Inspiration Behind 

Chantresses and their Abilities
by Amy Butler Greenfield

What was the inspiration behind creating Chantresses and their abilities? 

I was drinking hot chocolate in a busy coffee shop when I had the first inkling of the idea that would lead to the Chantress Trilogy. I didn’t know then that it would end up as a trilogy, and the word “chantress” never crossed my mind. But here’s what I did know: I wanted to write a story that excited me. And this is the question I asked myself: If you were only allowed to write one more book, what would it be?

I’d been wrestling with writer’s block for months, but somehow that question set me free. Ideas started to swirl in my mind, and I quickly scribbled them down in my notebook: a spymaster, a ruby, a lost girl who could work magic… 

Somehow I knew this girl was a spell-singer. But what should I call her? I thought about “singer” and “enchantress,” but the first was too plain, and the second too frilly. And then, for some reason, I wrote down the word “chantress” in my notebook. Only later, when I looked it up, did I learn that “chantress” was an actual word, a very old one that has fallen out of use. It means both “singer” and “enchantress.” Seeing that entry felt like a sign: Write this book. 

After that, there was a whole lot to think through: I needed to get to grips with what kind of songs a chantress would sing, and how exactly the magic worked, and how it might have changed over time, and what kind of limits it had. I wanted a magic that was primal and wordless, a magic where all the power belonged to women, a magic with tough choices and secrets. Some of those secrets won’t be revealed until the very last book, but I had them in mind while I was still writing that first draft. 

But the real magic? For me it all came down to asking that first question, and trusting the answers that came to me.

Quickfire Stuff: This or That?

-Magical harp or magical flute?

A harp, because it’s what the bards of old had.

-Mermaid or unicorn?

Mermaid, because I love the sea.

-Live in a gingerbread house or a door-less tower?

A gingerbread house, because I could get out easily – and I’d always have a snack at hand!

Quickfire Stuff: Would You Rather...?

-Eat a poisoned apple (Snow White) or eat pomegranate arils/seeds (Persephone in Greek myth)?

I’m fascinated by the Persephone story, so I think I’ll go with the pomegranate seeds.

-Sleep for one thousand years (Sleeping Beauty) or tell stories for 1001 Nights (Scheherazade)?

Tell stories, please. (Unless you catch me during a bad week, in which case I might want the sleep!)

-Be cursed with 10 curses in a row or be cursed 5 times from now until eternity?

Ten curses, because I like to get bad things over and done with. (Even as a kid, I tended to save the best for last!)

B O O K   T R A I L E R:


And now...
 Here's an excerpt from 
coming out this Tuesday!

    "Run?" Hunched against the wind, Norrie turned startled eyes on me. "Why?"
    "Armed men," I gasped. "Coming after us." Her hand flew to he heart. "Are you sure?"
     "Yes. And I've had another warning, too... a song from the sea..." There was no quick way to explain. Instead, I grabbed her hand. "Come. We'd better run."     "Where?"
     "To the high cliffs." They were only a little way down the shore, and their tumbled rocks and shallow clefts would shield us from view. "I may need to work some magic, too. But I want us hidden before I start."
     Accepting this, Norrie followed my lead, but her run soon slowed to a hobble. We were nowhere near the cliffs when the sea shrieked at my back. Turning, I saw two riders and their mounts picking their way down the track that lead to the shore - and to us.
We needed to take cover. I pulled Norrie with me behind the only shelter available: a mass of spars and driftwood, not yer swept out by the tides.
     Too late. They had seen us. One soldier sounded his horn, another raised his spear.      My mouth went dry. Chantress hunters.
     "Lucy," Norrie quavered, "should we try to get to the caves?"
     "No." Even the closest cliffs were too far away. "We'll make our stand here."     Only my magic could save us now. But to work it, I knew I must quiet my terror. Magic might be in my Chantress blood, but casting a song-spell required all my attention. It couldn't be accomplished through rote recitation, for Wild Magic like nature itself, was never quite the same twice. The time of day, the weather, the direction of the wind, even the emotions inside me: all of these subtly affected the song I needed to sing. And if I missed those subtleties - whether through carelessness or panic - the magic could go terribly wrong.
I bent my ears to the sea's songs. Yet the more I told myself to keep calm, the more fear barraged me. I had schooled myself for a moment such as this, but practice was one thing, a real battle another. And even in practice, it was easy to make mistakes.
     The horn blasted again, distracting me. More and more riders were gathering on the shore. Were they about to charge?     Listen, I told myself. Forget everything else and listen.     Despite the blood pounding in my ears, I could hear songs shimmering in the sea. The most insistent one promised a great wave to knock them down. Tempting music indeed. But could I control such potent song? Did I have enough experience?     Doubting my strength, I fell back on a tune I'd sung before, one that often lingered along these coasts, a blurred melody of mist and fog. It was a weaker magic than the song calling up waves, but I was sure - almost sure - it was in my grasp.     As the men galloped toward us, hooves thudding on the sand, I started to sing. The salty air thickened between us.      A shot went up from the riders, and they checked their horses.      Pressing my advantage, I let the song swell in my throat and grow stronger. What Norrie made of this as she shivered beside me, I don't know. Eerie was a word she'd once used about my singing. Unearthly. Fair gives me the chills.

Author: Amy Butler Greenfield
Release Date: May 6, 2014
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books / Simon and Schuster

Lucy races against time and magic in this sequel to the “richly and thoughtfully written” (Publishers Weekly) Chantress. 

Lucy is the last Chantress, the only remaining girl who can sing magic into the world. Since she defeated the evil Lord Scargrave, England has changed—and not for the better. With crops failing and the people rebelling, Lucy is called urgently back to King Henry’s court. His Inner Council is convinced that making gold through alchemy will save England. But a critical element to the alchemical process has been stolen. Lucy is tasked with finding it with her magic… or else. And until she succeeds, the castle is on lockdown. 

Court too has changed. 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.

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

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