Friday, May 6, 2016

Eolyn by Karin Rita Gastreich

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Karin will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Why do you write in your genre? What draws you to it?

I began writing fantasy because I wanted to tell the story of Eolyn, who dreams of practicing magic in a world where the craft is forbidden to women. Eolyn’s struggle to define her own path in the face of oppression and persecution resonated with me. It’s the sort of journey I think many people can relate to, even though it’s set in an imaginary, feudal realm.

I didn’t know much about fantasy as a genre when I began writing Eolyn, but I’ve come to love fantasy as an author. It’s a never-ending adventure in writing. There are tropes and guidelines, but no hard-and-fast rules. Every story brings something new and unexpected. As an author, I love this sense of uncharted territory.

What world-building is required?

The answer to this question really depends on the story you’re writing, and the world it’s set in.

In the case of Eolyn, the story actually grew out of one of my favorite pasttimes: reading about history, especially women in history. I’ve read a lot over the years about women in Renaissance and medieval times. Eventually, these readings inspired my novel, the story of a solitary witch in world hostile to women practitioners. So, rather than starting a novel and then doing the research, I let the reading I did as a hobby lead me to writing a novel.

One aspect of women in medieval times that interests to me is how they managed to wield power without ever picking up a sword, much less charging into battle. Learning how these women shaped events around them influenced my own women characters, many of whom who strive to defend their way of life, making a difference in the world without ever learning weaponry.

Name one thing you learned from your hero/heroine.

Love, courage, determination, and respect are powerful tools. More powerful, in the long run, than hate, violence, and oppression.

Do you have any odd or interesting writing quirks, habits or superstitions?

When I’m ready to focus on my writing, I often light a candle, usually a green one. A long time ago a friend told mean that green candles symbolize fertility and creativity. I think it’s always a good idea to petition for creativity when sitting down to the next scene. Does it work? Who knows. But I have a fondness for candles, and any excuse to light one is a good enough excuse for me.

Are you a plotter or pantser?

Both. I can’t start a novel until I have a solid idea of how it will end. That being said, during the writing, if my characters start pulling me new directions, I always follow their lead.

Look to your right – what’s sitting there?

A cup of tea, a writing journal, and two pairs of reading glasses.

Anything new coming up from you? What?

Yes, there is! First of all, fans of Eolyn will be happy to know that the next two books of The Silver Web trilogy are slated to be rolled out within a year. The Sword of Shadows (previously marketed under the name High Maga) is being revised and will be released this fall. Daughter of Aithne is complete and ready for release in the spring of 2017.

While we’re working on the final edits for these books, I’ve also started a new novel, The Hunting Grounds. After three novels in Eolyn’s world, I’m taking a break from medieval fantasy and trying my hand at paranormal romance. I’ve just begun unveiling this work in progress with my writer’s group, and I’ve gotten a very positive response. This is a short novel, so if I can get it polished and ready to go, I may have it out as early as this fall.

Do you have a question for our readers?

I would love to know what you enjoy reading, and who some of your favorite authors are. Also, do you have any other questions for me?

In a land ravaged by civil war, the Mage King Kedehen initiates a ruthless purge of the magas. Eolyn, last daughter of the magas and sole heiress to their forbidden craft, seeks refuge in the South Woods.

When she meets the mysterious Akmael, heir to the throne of this violent realm, she embarks on a path of hope, seduction, betrayal, and war. Desire draws Eolyn toward Akmael’s dark embrace, but fate binds her to Corey of East Selen, a cunning mage whose ambition challenges the limits of love and loyalty.

Can she trust either man?

Hunted in a realm of powerful wizards and brutal deceptions, Eolyn must find her own path to freedom or she will burn on the pyre.

"Vigorously told deceptions and battle scenes, with a romantic thread." -Publishers Weekly

Enjoy an excerpt:

Mage Corey closed the distance between them. His magic spread in a hush through fallen leaves, surrounding Eolyn, cutting off all retreat, and daring her to defend herself with a counter spell. He stopped just in front of her, his face a breath away.

“Sometimes I like to imagine you and I live in a world where we do not feel compelled to keep secrets from each other,” he murmured.

Eolyn’s throat went dry.

“Indulge me in this fantasy and tell me: Why do you desire to go to the King’s City?”

Eolyn willed her eyes to remain steady on his. “It is a child’s wish. I had a friend growing up. I believe he lives there. I wish to find him. That is all.”

Mage Corey studied her a moment. Then he stepped away and continued his walk. The autumn earth released Eolyn’s feet. She quickened her pace to catch up with him.

“A friend,” Corey asked, his voice a mask of idle curiosity, “or a lover?”

“A friend. We were only children when we knew each other.”

“I see. I am sorry, Eolyn, but I cannot take you to the city, not because I object to you finding your friend, but because I am averse to leading fawns into nests of vipers. Still…” Corey stopped, his expression thoughtful. “I know many people in the city. If you give me the name of this friend of yours, perhaps I could...”

Eolyn’s expression put a stop to his words.

“I see I am pressing too hard. Very well, Eolyn. We have had a fair exchange: one truth for one truth.” Touching Eolyn’s chin, Corey brought her gaze back to his. “Perhaps we can continue down this path when I return.”

About the Author:
Karin Rita Gastreich writes stories of ordinary women and the extraordinary paths they choose. She lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she is part of the biology faculty at Avila University. An ecologist by vocation, Karin has wandered forests and wildlands for over twenty years. Her past times include camping, hiking, music, and flamenco dance. In addition to The Silver Web trilogy, Karin has published short stories in World Jumping, Zahir, Adventures for the Average Woman, and 69 Flavors of Paranoia. She is a recipient of the Spring 2011 Andrews Forest Writer’s Residency.


a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?

    1. Wow, that's a tough question. So hard to narrow it down to just one. I think I'd like to meet one of the great women of the Middle Ages & Renaissance, but even there it's hard to choose. Maybe Eleanor of Aquitaine? It'd be great to hear her tell her own story.

  2. Thanks for hosting! And many thanks to Goddess Fish Promotions for organizing this amazing tour!

  3. The tour for Eolyn has been lots of fun to follow, I've enjoyed reading all of the excerpts! Thanks for sharing :)

    1. Thank you, Victoria! It's been a lot of fun for me, too. I hope to do another tour with Goddess Fish later in the year for the sequel to EOLYN, entitled SWORD OF SHADOWS. Hope to see you for more fun & excerpts then. :)

  4. Thank you once again for the giveaway and have a fun Friday!

  5. I'm looking forward to reading the book.

  6. I really loved your comments. I love so many authors, I wouldn't know where to start. Of course Nora Roberts. this one of yours sounds absolutely fantastic..

    1. Thank you! I'm happy to live in a world of so many great authors. Lots of inspiration to draw from. :)

  7. What do you find is the easiest way to get reviews on your books?

    1. This is a very good question, with no easy answer. You really need to cast a very broad net for reviews. Critique partners and writers groups are a good place to start; many of them like to support each other with reviews. I've also gotten reviews through free download events on Kindle and giveaways through Goodreads. I've solicited many, many reviews through book blogs and so forth, most of which have turned me down. But some have picked up the book, and enjoyed it, and that has paid off.

      At the end of the day, I think the most important part of getting reviews is to have a novel that readers get excited about and want to write a review for. That, and every so often I try to nudge my readers by reminding them the best way to support an author is to write a review.


So... inquiring minds want to know: what do you think?