Hello and thank you for joining me on my stop on the SWORD AND VERSE tour hosted by Rockstar Blog Tours. Fantasy and Romance reads have always been a favorite of mine but to have both combined is a dream come true. Kathy MacMillan has created a world that is complex and distinct while being wholly romantic. A must read for anyone in search of adventure with a bit more to make your heart race. So, I am more than excited to share a tiny excerpt from SWORD AND VERSE and I hope you will enjoy it and then enter the giveaway at the end of this post. Good Luck!
About the Book:
Author: Kathy MacMillan
Release Date: January 19th, 2016
Pages: 384
Publisher: HarperTeen
Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook
Raisa was just a child when she was sold to work as a slave in the kingdom of Qilara. Despite her young age, her father was teaching her to read and write, grooming her to take his place as a Learned One. In Qilara, the Arnathim, like Raisa, are the lowest class, and literacy is a capital offense. What’s more, only the king, prince, tutor, and tutor-in-training are allowed to learn the very highest order language, the language of the gods. So when the tutor-in-training is executed for teaching slaves this sacred language, and Raisa is selected to replace her, Raisa knows any slipup on her part could mean death.

Keeping her secret is hard enough, but the romance that’s been growing between her and Prince Mati isn’t helping matters. Then Raisa is approached by the Resistance—an underground army of slave rebels—to help liberate Arnath slaves. She wants to free her people, but that would mean aiding a war against Mati. As Raisa struggles with what to do, she discovers a secret that the Qilarites have been hiding for centuries—one that, if uncovered, could bring the kingdom to its knees. 

Advance praise for Sword and Verse:

“I was completely enthralled by the fascinating and unique world that Kathy MacMillan has created.  The depth and skill she demonstrates with her ability to build an original mythology based on words and the power of language are highly unusual for a first-time novelist and I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough.” – National Book Award finalist Franny Billingsley

“A tense, romantic fantasy epic about prejudice, political struggle, and the power of words, SWORD AND VERSE kept me guessing at every turn. Kathy MacMillan is a writer to watch.” — R.J. Anderson, Andre Norton Award-nominated author of Ultraviolet

“Fans of Megan Whalen Turner will enjoy MacMillan’s debut novel…MacMillan explains the complicated political twists and turns clearly, and her characterizations are layered and believable.” — Publishers Weekly

“Literacy becomes the key to liberation in a thoughtful debut fantasy.” — Kirkus Reviews

“MacMillan’s love of learning, knowledge, and literacy shapes both plot and character development, while raising ethical questions with no easy answers. Beneath what appears to be a romantic fantasy, discerning readers will find complex, broader issues among the predictable comforts of the genre.” — Booklist

“MacMillan has created a believable world, complete with its own mythology.” — School Library Journal

 About Kathy:
Kathy MacMillan is a writer, American Sign Language interpreter, consultant, librarian, signing storyteller, and avowed Hufflepuff.  Her debut young adult novel, Sword and Verse, explores questions of power and prejudice in an epic fantasy setting, and has been called “fascinating and unique” by National Book Award finalist Franny Billingsley.  Kathy is the founder of The Sweet Sixteens ( debut group of 2016 middle grade and young adult authors, and serves as the Published and Listed Member Coordinator for the Maryland/Delaware/West Virginia Region of the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.  She is also the author of eight resource books for educators, librarians, and parents, including Little Hands and Big Hands: Children and Adults Signing Together (Huron Street Press, 2013). She lives near Baltimore, MD with her husband, son, and a cat named Pancake.  Find her online at or on Twitter at @kathys_quill.

A Little Bit of Extra Swoon from Sword and Verse

By special request, here’s a peek at an off-the-page moment between Raisa and Mati. In terms of the novel timeline, this snippet takes place in the time period summarized at the beginning of Chapter 12 of Sword and Verse. (To be exact, it happens on the first day of Fifth Shining in Year 15 of King Tyno’s reign.)
The moment the door closed behind us in the tiny, deserted meeting room, Mati pulled me to him and rested his head on my shoulder. He let out a deep sigh, and the dignified, distant prince he’d been in the corridor just moments before vanished. I hadn’t heard exactly what his father had said to him before stalking away with the western vizier, but I’d seen the set of Mati’s shoulders as he had absorbed it, had seen Mati’s strained smile all evening in the banquet room before that. Following him had been ridiculously risky – far more so than our stolen moments at lessons or even the nights Mati had climbed to my window – but I couldn’t regret doing so instead of going up to bed as Laiyonea had ordered me to.

Especially not when Mati wrapped his arms around my waist and kissed me, and I tangled my fingers in his hair and let him press me back against the wall. It had been days since we’d been alone. Even though this hadn’t been my intention, I couldn’t make myself break away from his lips long enough to ask what had happened with his father.

Mati’s hand brushed over my hair, reaching for the tie of my braid, and I made a noise of protest. He lifted his head and sighed, running one finger down my cheek. “You’re right,” he said. “We have to get back.”

I nodded. The little I could see of his face in the dim light still seemed sad. I kissed his lips, then his eyelids, and whispered, “I wish I could make it better, with your father.” It wasn’t something we talked about often – we usually avoided all talk of court, and the king, and the myriad reasons that we weren’t supposed to love each other. But I’d taken a huge risk already just being here, so maybe I’d grown reckless. For Mati, I was willing to be brave.

Mati went still for a beat, and then he pressed his face into my neck. “You make it better all the time,” he said, his voice muffled.

That was difficult to believe, but Mati didn’t let me argue; he cradled my face in his hands and kissed me breathless.

Then he let out a low groan and lifted his head. “We really need to go back.”

“When will I see you again?” I whispered. Lessons had been sporadic, with the rains making the sacred courtyard inaccessible of late, and after he had been spotted scaling the palace wall, he couldn’t risk coming to my room again.

Mati frowned. “I’ll find a way,” he said. “There has to be a place where it won’t be too dangerous.”

“It’s always dangerous,” I reminded him.
He looked at me apprehensively. “Too dangerous?” he asked. “Raisa, if it’s...too much, I mean, if you ever – ” He broke off and dragged a hand through his hair, looking thoroughly miserable, but he pressed on. “All you have to do is say the word, I swear, and I’ll – ”
“What I want,” I interrupted in a low voice, “is for you to kiss me again.”

Giveaway Details:

5 Winners will receive a finished copy of SWORD AND VERSE. US Only.

Rafflecopter Code:

Rafflecopter Link:

Don't forget to stop by the other stops on this tour

Tour Schedule:

Week One:
1/11/2016- Two Chicks on BooksInterview
1/12/2016- A Reader Under The SeaReview
1/13/2016- Tales of Ravenous ReaderGuest Post
1/14/2016- NerdophilesReview
1/15/2016- Dark Faerie Tales- Interview


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  2. Romance and fantasy are my faves.l Together in one book, this has shot to the top of my TBR pile.

  3. Whoo! Happy to know I found out about this just in time for release! I'm less of a romance reader and more of a fantasy reader, but a story without romance is like a story without CHARACTERS! Thanks for the giveaway :)

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