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Wednesday, June 26, 2024

Blog Tour- THE SWORD & THE SOPHMORE by @BPSweany With An Excerpt & A #Giveaway! @th3rdworld

I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on the THE SWORD & THE SOPHMORE by B.P. Sweany Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. Check out my post and make sure to enter the giveaway!


About The Book:


Author: B.P. Sweany

Pub. Date: July 9, 2024

Publisher: Th3rd World Studios

Formats: Hardcover, eBook, Audiobook (Read by Tami Stronach, The Childlike Princess from the NeverEnding Story)

Pages: 297

Find it: Goodreadshttps://books2read.com/THE-SWORD-THE-SOPHMORE

Check out the 3WS shop and get 15% off on EVERYTHING in the store! Use coupon code- twochicksonbooks

"Terrifically entertaining! ...a whirlpool of teenage hormones, high-school life and Arthurian magic. Hilarious and engaging!" — Diana Gabaldon, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Outlander series

Arlynn Rosemary Banson is an atypical sixteen-year-old—the cool, popular outsider, effortlessly straddling the line between divas and dorks. Her forever young mother, Jennifer, is dedicated to making her life awkward by trying to be her friend. Her father, Alan, is a workaholic history professor who barely acknowledges his family’s existence. Her boyfriend, Benz, the quarterback and homecoming king, has just broken up with her, while her best friend, Joslin, bears reluctant witness to Rosemary’s romantic drama. But nothing prepares any of them for a Welsh foreign exchange student named Emrys Balin. Emrys looks like a teenager, but he seems to act much, much older.

Rosemary discovers she is part of the Lust Borne Tide, children born to the royal line of King Uther Pendragon who are imbued with mystical powers after being conceived in lust. Rosemary’s parents are Guinevere and Lancelot, banished by King Arthur to twenty-first century suburban America prior to Rosemary’s birth as punishment for their affair. Rosemary is the third in the Lust Borne line, after King Arthur and his son Mordred, the latter of whom has traveled to the future to continue the line of the Lust Born Tide by retrieving Rosemary and returning her to the late fifth century to conceive a child with her. But Rosemary has other plans—plans that involve training under Emrys and kicking Mordred’s butt, as long as it doesn’t interfere with prom or getting back with her boyfriend Benz.

Packed with action, emotion, and humor, The Sword and the Sophomore goes beyond the Camelot you know with an Arthurian tale fit for the modern world. Combining sword fights and epic quests with the real-life teenage issues of fitting in, sexual agency, and profound personal loss; this fresh take on the classic story of what it means to wield Excalibur and all the power it entails will make you rethink the power of legend.



"A tongue-in-cheek, self-aware Arthurian fantasy set in a 21st century American suburb that’s anchored by an empathetic, hilarious, whip-smart, fierce teen protagonist. The Sword and the Sophomore almost makes me want to write a young adult novel. Almost.”— Pierce Brown, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Red Rising Saga

"Captivating worldbuilding and an irresistible main character. I couldn't put it down."— A.G. Riddle, internationally bestselling author of The Origin Mystery Trilogy and The Lost Colony Trilogy 

"What wonderful storytelling, for any age! Loved this book and especially the incredible protagonist—I would have loved to have known her in school! An excellent read!"— Heather Graham, New York Times bestselling author of the Krewe of Hunters series

"Dark forces from an ancient world descend on a high school near you. The Sword and the Sophomore is funny, scary, astute, and up-to-the minute. The pages turn themselves and you'll be cheering the unforgettable heroine on every single one."— Peter Abrahams, New York Times bestselling author of the Edgar Award-winning young adult mystery Reality Check and the Agatha Award-winning Echo Falls series for younger readers




Chapter 1  

Sixteen years ago, give or take a millennium.  

She stumbles outside the building made of reflective glass and red stone, the  contractions noticeably ripping through her body. Two steps. Three steps. She loses her  footing again, reaching for the wall beside the doors that slide open and closed of their  own accord. She catches herself before she falls, but just barely.  

I hide behind a tree as her water breaks. The people in aqua-blue vestments come  to her aid, unfurling around her beneath the portico that reads South Entrance Hospital  Pavilion.  

The baby is coming early.  

When the soon-to-be mother is asked her name, the reply catches in her throat.  She groans once, twice. “Jennifer,” she says. When asked the name of the baby’s father,  she answers, “My husband’s name is Alan.”  

Neither “Jennifer” nor “Alan” are their given Christian names, but I will maintain  this ruse on their behalf.  

I saw Alan earlier that morning. He and Jennifer were standing outside as I  walked by their house. Alan told Jennifer he was taking “a day trip sailing on the  Chesapeake Bay” with some “friends from the pub.” Jennifer nodded, saying something  in reply that I couldn’t hear from a distance.  

Whilst observing them these last few weeks, I’d pieced together that they arrived  in this place, in this time, roughly seven months ago. Right after Alan and Jennifer  discovered she was pregnant and their world turned upside down. Neither of them carried  around those personal communication devices people called “cell phones.” Jennifer  walked to the hospital because, I assumed, she could not yet afford a low-slung metal  carriage.  

Alan never had the time nor the inclination to sail when I knew him, but the water  had always been his escape. Not so long ago, it was Jennifer’s escape as well. When her  husband was away, she would often rendezvous with Alan at his lake cabin, far from  prying eyes. Even when Jennifer couldn’t make it to the lake, a passageway beneath the  stone bridge near her home allowed for many stolen moonlit kisses. 

Jennifer loved Alan, and Alan loved Jennifer. They thought they could carry on  with their illicit affair indefinitely, but theirs was the worst-kept secret in the kingdom.  They were always being watched.  

It seemed the water was no longer a shared experience for Alan and Jennifer.  Nothing in their life seemed shared, really. The conversation I witnessed this morning  was the same exchange they had every morning these last two weeks: Alan lamenting his  commitments, Jennifer silently suffering from loneliness. It was as if she could not  summon the courage to impose on him after he’d already sacrificed so much for her. His  best friend, his kingdom. All of it gone. Even in the short time I’d been here watching  them, I saw how that sacrifice weighed on Alan, in the way he withdrew from Jennifer’s  touch at times. I’d catch a wistful glint in his smoky blue eyes when he thought no one  was looking. His eyes to the east. Always to the east.  

This is not to suggest that Alan and Jennifer are alone in this world. The other  person in their lives is a man, or a boy, depending on your perspective. Jennifer is still  young, nineteen. Alan is in his thirties. Emrys Balin—that is what people call him here at  least—appears to be somewhere between the two in age.  

It is Emrys waiting for Jennifer at the hospital.  

I walk carefully behind a large man as I follow Jennifer into the hospital, using his  girth to shield me from view. I sit on the opposite side of the room of the sick people,  slumped in a chair, my face buried in a thin book of pictures that I grab off a nearby  table. I’m still within earshot of Jennifer and Emrys, but barely. I peer over my book. An  individual wearing the customary aqua-blue vestments taps her fingers on a board of  individual lettered cubes while looking at a bright rectangle of illuminated words and  asks Jennifer questions. Jennifer refers to Emrys as a “close family friend.”  

After a few more questions, Jennifer is surrounded by several more people in  aqua-blue. The one giving the orders is distinguished by a long white coat. She is the one  they call “doctor.” I hear someone call her, “Dr. Mirren.” They take Jennifer into the  delivery room. Emrys does not follow her. He stands watching as Jennifer is wheeled  away on a bed, then turns in my direction.  

I lean in close to the large man to shield me from view. The man looks at me,  fidgets uncomfortably. I know that Emrys will eventually sense my presence, but I am  not ready for our reunion. Not yet.  

The delivery was quick. Mother and child are resting now, attended to by a midwife. I  hide in the small basin room attached to their larger room; the door cracked open enough for me to hear their conversation. The midwife just asked Jennifer about her English  accent. I suspect the magical herbs they gave her during the procedure are doing the  talking, as Jennifer is now presenting an inspired, albeit completely imagined, biography.  She was a member of the British Archery Team before a surprise pregnancy derailed her  Olympic ambitions, forcing her to move to the States with her fiancé. Her competency  with a bow and arrow makes this lie believable. Jennifer is skilled with a lot of  weapons—swords, axes, slings, bo staffs… Her father taught her how to use them,  famously bragging to his friends on more than one occasion, “My daughter will grow up  to be more prince than princess.”  

Jennifer had a beautiful baby girl, as Emrys and I knew she would. She named her  daughter “Arlynn Rosemary.” The name carries sentimental value that is obvious to me,  although not to most. “Rosemary” is a version of Jennifer’s original middle name,  Rosmarinus. “Arlynn” is a combination of her two husband’s names, Arthur and Alan.  Arthur was Jennifer’s first husband and Alan’s best friend. Arthur didn't want to have any  more kids after his son was born. He didn’t mean to hurt Jennifer by neglecting to tell her  about the bastard he had with another woman—just as Jennifer didn’t mean to fall in love  with Alan’s best friend.  

Jennifer and Rosemary have fallen fast asleep after another successful feeding.  The nurse retrieves Rosemary, tucks her into her crib, and exits the room.  

I squint as I open the door and enter Jennifer’s room. My eyes have not adjusted  to these hard artificial lights, preferring the muted glow of a thick-wicked candle. If  Jennifer wakes, she might recognize me; there is only so much that can be concealed by a  white doctor’s coat, bright lights, and a pair of eyeglasses. Then again, maybe Jennifer  would not recognize me. We were always more acquaintances than friends. We never  frequented the same gatherings, Jennifer being mortal and me being—well, not.  

Ancient words come to me in an almost conversational flurry. The great secret of  magic is that it is not unnatural; you are merely asking the world a different question and  getting a different answer. I stand over Rosemary’s crib, on the side opposite Jennifer’s  bed. Arms raised over Rosemary’s sleeping form, I start to sway and chant. I hope I have  enough left in me to cast this spell correctly. If someone had walked in at that moment,  they might dismiss the vague buzzing sound as one of those flickering lights in the  ceiling. That is, assuming they don’t notice the tiny swaddled bundle in the crib glowing  like a giant ember.  

I open my eyes at his touch. 

“Hello, Fay,” the warm, familiar voice says. Too warm. Too familiar. Emrys  Balin cradles my head in his lap.  

Fay. Emrys is the only one who has ever called me that. It is a childhood  nickname. A nickname given back when all I ever wished was that Emrys look at me the  way he looks at my sister, Vivian. “I wondered when you and I would be reunited.”  

Emrys brushes my hair back from my brow. He is dressed plainly, in blue pants  and a shirt rolled at the sleeves. His eyes travel down to the small brass placard on my  white coat. “Dr. Mirren?”  

“She’s not using it right now,” I say.  

“I can see that,” Emrys affirms. “Should I be worried?”  

“The doctor is fine. It will be dismissed as a mere fainting spell.”  

“Looks like she isn’t the only one fainting around here.”  

His comment was probably sincere, not that it matters. If there is one thing on this  earth by which I cannot abide, it is a man’s pity. “Spare me your condescension disguised  as concern. I am still far more powerful than—”  

“How many spells, Fay?”  

“What do you mean?”  

“How many did you do?”  

I inhale a deep breath, then exhale. “Two.”  

“You shouldn’t have done that to yourself. A cloaking spell? Really?”  

“Never mind the cloaking spell,” I say. “It was the temporal displacement spell to  transport me here that about did me in. I’ve been here following you, Jennifer, and Alan  for weeks, and I’m still not what I would call dependable on my feet.”  

“Oh, my dearest Fay…”  

The look on his face confuses me. Concern? Remorse? Affection? Have we been  apart so long that I can no longer read his emotions? “I am struggling, Emrys, to recall a  time when I ever qualified as ‘dearest’ in your universe.”  

“Temporal displacement spells are dangerous, especially when they go horribly  wrong.” 

“You should know,” I counter.  

Emrys ignores me. “And to throw on top of that a cloaking spell?”  

“What else would you have me do?” Swatting away Emrys’s hand, I sit up  defiantly. “A cloaking spell will hide Rosemary’s powers. You of all people should know  he will not stop until he finds her. There’s no telling what might eventually come after  her—incubi, succubi. Those wretched demon scouts would have been already tracking  Rosemary by her smell. She has a unique signature. You know this. The cloaking spell  will mask that signature while limiting her powers.”  

Emrys has yet to break eye contact. He points back to himself and shrugs. “I’m  the magician here. I should be the one lying in your lap right now.”  

“You should be so lucky.” I hate it when Emrys does this, the flirting. To Emrys,  it’s innocent—the stroking of my hair, the staring. To me it, it is everything. Or at least, it  used to be everything.  

“I still have a trick or two up my sleeve.” Emrys’s assertion sounds more like a  hopeful guess than a boast.  

“By the looks of things, two tricks might be pushing it.” I reach up and rub his  peach-fuzzed face. Seeing him here now, looking so young, brings back the old feelings.  “Is it really you?”  

He smiles while squeezing my hand. “I ask myself that same question every day I  look in the mirror, expecting the man I was and seeing this boy’s face staring back at  me.”  

 I try in vain to ignore the pang of want at seeing Emrys, who I once adored as an  aged man many years my senior, now younger and even more attractive. “Oh, Mer—”  

“Please,” he interrupts, helping me to my feet. “It’s Emrys here.”  

“Of course it is,” I say. “My apologies.”  

“Took me a couple hundred years to get used to it. I’ll cut you some slack for not  nailing it on the first try.”  

“Cut me some slack? Nailing it?” They are sayings with which I am unfamiliar.  “Never mind,” Emrys says. “It’s good to see you, Fay.”  

I ignore the sentiment, reminding myself that I did not embark upon this quest to  see Emrys. “When did you know?” 

“That Jennifer was pregnant?”  

I nod.  

“The day I sent her away. How about you?”  

“Soon thereafter,” I say. “It has taken me this whole time to track you down.”  “So you have been in Maryland how long?”  

“As I said, a few weeks.”  

Emrys cocks his head. “And you waited until now to show yourself?”  “I had to be sure of your…” I trail off, the Fates whispering in my ear.  “My what?” Emrys asks, as if telling the Fates to mind their own house.  “Intentions,” I answer.  

Emrys presses on. “Does anyone else know you’re here?”  

“You think I’d go to the trouble of nearly killing myself traversing space and  time, casting these soul-sucking spells, just to let myself be followed?”  

“‘Soul sucking.’ You know that’s what you’ve done, right? The cloaking spell  gives the baby—gives Rosemary—a part of your soul to hide her identity. You’re  basically mortal now, even if you still retain a trace of your immortality. You might be  long-lived, but you can die from injury or disease a lot more easily. And temporal  displacement spells will diminish your powers for centuries. Believe me, I know. Is that  what you want?”  

“Please, Emrys.” I exhale dismissively. “I have lived a thousand lifetimes and  grow bored with the tedium. Perhaps knowing my life has limitations will make it more  meaningful. And besides, contrary to your earlier sentiment, you’re not the only magician  here. If they come for Rosemary, they’ll be looking for a donkey or a horse—but all that  they will find is a mule.”  

“So, she’s safe?”  

And there’s the Emrys I was once so accustomed to: feigning concern before  obliviously segueing to the next girl in the room. “Our mutual enemy will not be able to  find her, if that’s what you are asking. Rosemary will still be of course enhanced as a  child—a little stronger, a little faster. A cloaking spell can only do so much to diminish 

the magic inside this little girl. But to borrow a phrase from this world I have recently  learned, she will ‘remain off the grid’ as long as no one fully activates her gift.”  

“Her gift?” The Emrys I knew had always been good at disguising most emotions,  but this younger version of his self cannot contain his resentment. “I believe the word  you’re looking for is curse.”  

 I place my hand on his shoulder. “The moon shall beest from wh’re the flote  engluts the fallen son…”  

“You don’t need to recite the prophecy to me.” Emrys scolds. “Was I not the one  who the goddess Arianrhod came to in a dream? Was I not the one who first sacrificed  nearly all my powers to save Jennifer and Alan, to ultimately keep Rosemary away from,  away from…him?”  

“Then you of all people cannot deny the prophecy,” I said.  

“Sure, I can.”  

I reach for his hand. “I know you are well-intentioned, Emrys, but I think you  might be too close to this. Rosemary cannot hide forever. At some point, she will need  these powers, and the training that comes with them. Just think what would happen if he found her before she was capable of fighting him off.”  

“So eventually Rosemary will be a lot stronger and a lot faster?”  

“All that and more.”  

“Well, she’s going to need all that and more.”  

“I trust you to put her on the correct path, Emrys, to be her mentor and her—”  “Bestie?”  

“Her what?” I ask.  

“Bestie,” Emrys says. “It’s short for ‘best friend.’ Another word for it is ‘BFF,’  which stands for ‘best friends forever.’”  

“May I make an observation, Emrys?”  

He bows slightly. “By all means.”  

“Twenty-first century vernacular fits you like an ill-fitting codpiece.” 

“Don’t I know it?” Emrys smiles. “So what’s left for you to do here?” 

“Between finding you and cloaking Rosemary, I fear I am stranded for the  foreseeable future. I guess I am what you call a ‘tourist’ now. What can you tell me about  this place called Mexico?”  

Emrys shakes his head, smiling.  

I bow again, stepping well back from the crib. “Hwyl fawr, Myrddin.”  

It has most likely been centuries since anyone has spoken to Emrys in his native  Welsh. He nods in appreciation of the gesture. “Hwyl fawr, Muri-gena.”  

I kick off my white shoes. While comfortable, they are ghastly looking, also  borrowed from Dr. Mirren. I focus on my body’s movements more this time around,  lifting onto my toes and spinning like a top until my scrubs and lab coat become a blur of  blue-white light. I can feel my body starting to fall away, like a waterspout receding into  a spring.  

“Until we meet again,” I whisper. I am disappearing into the ether, saying  goodbye one more time to my dear Emrys. Leaving him to turn the page with a  disinterested father, a weary mother, a newborn baby, and a pair of ugly hospital shoes.  

“Uh, Fay?”  

I open my eyes. “Why am I still here?”  

“I told you those spells would tap you out,” Emrys boasts. He reaches down into  his pocket. “Allow me to help.”  

“Absolutely not,” I snap, grabbing him by the wrist. “I do not need you to cast an  enchantment on my behalf with whatever talisman or bauble lies hidden in your pocket.”  

Emrys wrenches his hand free from mine, retrieving his cell phone from his  pocket. “I was just going to call you a cab.”  

“What is a cab?” I ask.  

“It’s a mode of transportation,” Emrys answers.  

“So this cab would convey me to Mexico?”  

“Not technically. The cab will take you to a place where they have large vessels  that will then fly you to Mexico.” 

“I am flying?” This was a welcome, unexpected surprise. “So I am to be escorted  by this cab to a den of benevolent dragons?”  

Emrys laughed. “I guess you could call an airport that.”  




About B.P. Sweany:

A veteran of the publishing industry, B.P. Sweany has worked with many notable content creators, including Pierce Brown, Dean Koontz, Diana Gabaldon, Alice Walker, and Dolly Parton. The Sword and the Sophomore is the first in a projected trilogy. 

Website | Twitter | Instagram | TikTok | Goodreads


Giveaway Details:

1 winner will receive a finished copy of THE SWORD & THE SOPHMORE, US Only.

Ends July 23rd, midnight EST.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule:

Week One:


Writer of Wrongs




Review or Excerpt



IG Post


Two Chicks on Books

Excerpt/IG Post


Comic Book Yeti

Excerpt/Twitter Post


Daily Waffle


 Week Two:



IG Review



Review/IG Post/TikTok Post



IG Review


Lifestyle of Me



Edith's Little Free Library

IG Review/LFL Drop Pic/TikTok Post



Review/IG Post



IG Review

 Week Three:



IG Review/TikTok Post


Country Mamas With Kids

Review/IG Post


The Momma Spot




IG Review


A Blue Box Full of Books

IG Review/LFL Drop Pic/TikTok Post


Books and Zebras

IG Review



IG Review

 Week Four:


Kim's Book Reviews and Writing Aha's

Review/IG Post


Brandi Danielle Davis

IG Review/TikTok Post


Book-Keeping blog

Review/IG Post


Fire and Ice

Review/IG Post





More Books Please blog

Review/IG Post

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