Thursday, February 19, 2015

Xpresso Book Tours Book Blitz & Giveaway: Sword by Amy Bai!!

Hello everyone!!

Welcome to release week's Book Blitz for Sword by Amy Bai, organized and hosted by Xpresso Book Tours!

Let me introduce you to the book and author and remember there's a book blitz wide giveaway going on!

Sword by Amy Bai 
Publication date: February 10th 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Sword shall guide the hands of men . . .

For over a thousand years the kingdom of Lardan has been at peace: isolated from the world, safe from the wars of its neighbors, slowly forgetting the wild and deadly magic of its origins. Now the deepest truths of the past and the darkest predictions for the future survive only in the verses of nursery rhymes.
For over a thousand years, some of Lardan’s fractious provinces have been biding their time.
Kyali Corwynall is the daughter of the Lord General, a child of one of the royal Houses, and the court’s only sword-wielding girl. She has known for all of her sixteen years what the future holds for her–politics and duty, the management of a House, and protecting her best friend, the princess and presumed heir to the throne. But one day an old nursery rhyme begins to come true, an ancient magic wakes, and the future changes for everyone. In the space of a single night her entire life unravels into violence and chaos. Now Kyali must find a way to master the magic her people have left behind, or watch her world–and her closest friends–fall to a war older than the kingdom itself.

About the author:

Amy Bai has been, by order of neither chronology nor preference, a barista, a numbers-cruncher, a paper-pusher, and a farmhand. She likes thunderstorms, the enthusiasm of dogs, tall boots and long jackets, cinnamon basil, margaritas, and being surprised by the weirdness of her fellow humans. She lives in New England with her guitar-playing Russian husband and two very goofy sheepdogs.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Interview with the author

1) What is your novel about? 

Sword is a coming of age high fantasy about a girl pretty much at odds with everything, including and especially herself. It's set in a fictional kingdom called Lardan, one with a long history of magic and war, and a population so complacent they've forgotten that either one ever applied to them. They learn differently when history begins to repeat itself: there's an uprising, the kingdom is thrown into civil war, and the royal family, of which my main character Kyali is a satellite member, is murdered. Kyali, her brother, and the princess are forced into exile with a small army of refugees. Kyali was badly hurt during the uprising, and comes out of that a changed person; unfortunately for her she's now the only person with the training to command what is left of the army, and her friends need her.

Sword is her story, how she learns to deal with what happened to her without shutting out the people she loves, and with the responsibilities she has to shoulder now that the older generation is dead and the kingdom is overrun. It's about loyalty and love, fate and family and politics. It's also violent, occasionally sarcastic, and unabashedly sappy.

2) What inspired you to write the story?

I had a very sullen young woman with a battered old sword and no patience kicking my frontal lobe. As motivators go, it was a pretty good one.

--Ok, so that's a little dramatic, but really not too far from the truth (except the part about the frontal lobe, of course). Kyali Corwynall started out as a patchwork of some of my favorite characters from books like Robin McKinley's The Blue Sword and The Hero and the Crown, and Patricia McKillip's Cygnet, going all the way back to Barbara Helen Berger's Gwinna, which I read when I was seven. My brain is like cosmic flypaper: the stuff I like (or hate) sticks, accumulates, eventually acquires a gravitational field, and before I know it light's bending around it and I'm up at 3 am mainlining coffee and my keyboard's broken. Sword was like that. One day I had scattered pieces, and the next I had a character with layers, flaws, goals, scars, and a complicated history. Stories always start that way for me, no matter how cool my premise may be (or how cool I may think it is, anyway) --my characters inspire and drive it, start to finish.

3) Since your novel is medieval-influenced, can you tell us a bit about your researching journey? 

Wow. How I'd love to give you a list of planned, organized steps I took. It would make me feel so much smarter! But no. I stumbled into the research for Sword much like I did the story itself. I think my research began the moment I realized I had no idea how heavy a sword really was, or how hard it might be to wear armor and, you know, walk at the same time. I remember thinking writing fantasy would be easy (yes, feel free to laugh at me). It didn't take long before I realized it was very, very obvious when I didn't know what I was talking about. So I went from looking up Irish baby names online to running to the library after work to find the Focloir Scoile or The Book of the Sword. I eventually learned to restrain myself, because research can be a wonderful excuse for not writing when you're stuck-- but overall, it was great fun.

4) What's your best revision tip? 

Remember basic dramatic structure when you're reading your draft(s). It definitely doesn't always apply, and definitely shouldn't always apply, but I've found it can be a great lens: I can look at the whole story, each subplot and character arc, each chapter, and each scene with that structure in mind, and I'll always find something to tweak. Or mangle. Or outright kill. ...Revision is a slightly violent process for me.

Blitz Wide Giveaway

A print copy of Sword (which comes with an extra short story and character sketches) and a poster of the cover.

a Rafflecopter giveaway



  1. AH! I don't think it will ever stop being a surprise when I visit a blog and see one of my covers. Totally surreal. And beyond exciting. I had the best time working with Amy on this one and I can't wait to get my hands on a finished copy and dive into this world. After getting to know Kyali artistically, I'm really looking forward to "meeting" her in her world:)

    1. It must be a fantastic feeling, you make the most awesome covers Jenny!
      If I ever needed a cover for anything, I'd totally hire you!

  2. Great post Pili :D I haven't heard about this book before now, but it looks pretty awesome :D The cover is gorgeous. <3 Thank you for sharing about it ;) And for the international giveaway, hih. <3

    1. I discovered it because Jenny from Supernatural Snark made the cover and shared it in her blog!

  3. Love the cover for this book and I loved how the author talked about the research she had to do to make it seem more realistic. Great interview Pili!

    1. Thank you, Jeann! I was drawn by the cover but now I'm very intrigued about the book!

  4. Great interview, Pili! This one's been on my radar b/c dat cover, but now I'm graduating it to TBR ;) And yeah, I can't imagine how not easy writing fantasy would be, LOL.

    1. Right? It blows my mind the amount of things fantasy writers have to juggle!!

  5. Cute cover! I LOVE high fantasy. Especially medieval fantasy - my favorite genre!

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

    1. Well, this sounds like up your alley for sure, Alyssa! ;)

  6. I absolutely love the cover to this one! I fell in love with it as soon as I saw it. That aside the fantasy world sounds intriguing and it seems like something I would like :)

    1. Yep, this book has a cover that draws you in and then it sounds fantastic!

  7. This one looks wonderful, just seeing the cover makes me want to read it! It sounds definitely like a me book.
    -Jon from Bookish Antics

    1. Right?! That cover says "GIMME!" for sure! Thank you Jon!


¡Muchas gracias por vuestros comentarios, leerlos me alegra el día!/ Thanks a lot for all your comments, reading them brightens my day!!