HIGH MAGA Audio Book Giveaway and Blog Tour

HM audio cover final 5MB

Artwork by Thomas Vandenberg.

Summer has begun and so has the fun! Today I’m starting a month-long blog tour to celebrate the release of the audio edition of High Maga, narrated by Darla Middlebrook. We have many great stops planned on this tour. The full itinerary is below. AND I’m running a giveaway. Winners will receive their choice of the ebook, paperback, or audio edition of High Maga, PLUS a $5 Amazon gift certificate. It’s easy to enter – just scroll down to the bottom of this post for the link.

About High Maga

Sisters in magic, Eolyn and Adiana seek to revive a craft once forbidden to women. When war strikes at the heart of the kingdom, their fledgling community of magas is destroyed; its members killed, captured or scattered.

In hopes of defending her people, Eolyn tries to escape the occupied province and deliver to King Akmael a weapon that might secure their victory. Trapped by the invading army, Adiana is taken prisoner and placed at the mercy of the ruthless Prince Mechnes.

Even as their world is torn asunder, Eolyn and Adiana cling to a common dream. Courage and perseverance guide them toward a future where the Daughters of Aithne will flourish in a world set free from the violence of men.

“War propels the book forward, and the characters are at their best when the events engulfing them are at their worst.” –Publishers Weekly

Purchase Links:
Amazon (audio book) † Barnes and Noble † Kobo

Tour Schedule

May 20 – On Making an Audio Book. Interested in the behind-the-scenes process of making an audio book? Stop by for my interview with author DelSheree Gladden! I’ll give you the inside scoop on audio book production, and respond to any questions you have.

May 22 – Adiana Confronts Prince Mechnes. Adiana lays down the gauntlet against the nefarious villain of the novel, Mechnes. Read this sneak preview from one of my favorite chapters in the novel on Heroines of Fantasy. 

May 23 – Ghemena Plans Her Escape.  Eolyn’s youngest student, Ghemena, plots her escape from the imprisonment by Syrnte invaders.  Another sneak preview available on author Linda Ulleseit’s blog Books, Books, Books

May 25 – Women and WarSparks fly when author Will Hahn and I face off on the question of women and medieval warfare.  Join the debate at The Independent Bookworm

May 27 – Swords and Staves. Enough about war! Let’s talk about LUV. When the going gets rough, who do you want at your side: a brave knight or a cunning mage? Eolyn has both! Meet the men of High Maga, and choose your favorite, at Marsha A. Moore’s blog Illusions of Intimacy

May 29 – How to Make a Naether Demon. What’s that beast on the cover of High Maga? It’s a Naether Demon! Find out how to bake your own Underworld monster on author Christopher Gerrib’s Livejournal blog.

May 30 – The People Behind the Story. Meet me! and narrator Darla Middlebrook as we make another stop at Books, Books, Books

June 2 – The Villains of HIGH MAGA. Sexy. Passionate. Ruthless. Queen Rishona and Prince Mechnes light up the stage every time they appear in High Maga. Find out why on author Jeanne Bannon’s blog Beyond Words

June 3 – When Readers Write Back. What does it feel like to hear from people who have read your work? Honesty is the name of the game when I talk about the good, the bad, and the ugly of reader feedback. I also invite you to share your own experiences and insights at Tracy Falbe’s blog Her Ladyship’s Quest

June 6 – Eolyn and Adiana Tell It Like It Is.   Sisters in magic, Eolyn and Adiana, share the challenges, triumphs, joys and heartbreak of rebuilding women’s magic. Be the first to read this exclusive interview with Medieval Times correspondent Ian McFae, on Linda Ulleseit’s blog Books, Books, Books Eolyn and Adiana will be available on this stop to answer your questions, too!

June 9 – Eolyn Battles the Naether Demons.  Read the scene that inspired the cover art of High Maga, and learn what it’s like to confront these beasts up-close and personal, on author Jamie Marchant’s blog.

June 11 – The Accidental Trilogy. High Maga is the sequel to Eolyn, originally intended as a stand-alone novel. Now a third book in the sequence is on the way: Daughter of Aithne. How did one book morph into three? Learn about my very special journey with Eolyn and her world on L. Blankenship’s blog, Notes from the Jovian Frontier. 

June 13 – How to Make Your Characters Believable. Some salient tips for aspiring writers on crafting characters that have a life of their own. Read my final post for the tour on Linda Ulleseit’s Books, Books, Books

June 15 – Tour Wrap Up. Join me back here at krgastreich.com for a wrap-up and final reflection on High Maga’s Audio Book Tour and Giveaway. June 15 will be your LAST CHANCE to register to win a copy of High Maga and a $5 Amazon gift certificate.

Special Announcement!

For the duration of the audio book tour, ebook editions of High Maga’s companion novel, Eolyn, will be on sale for $2.99 (regular price $5.99) at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Take advantage of this price reduction and start the adventure today!

About the Author:

???????????????????????????????KARIN RITA GASTREICH writes tales of ordinary women and the extraordinary paths they choose. Inspired by a lifetime of exploring lush forests and breathtaking landscapes, Karin’s stories blend elements of epic fantasy, historical fiction, and romance. The worlds she creates are a strange amalgamation of medieval Europe and colonial Central America, with misty forests, vast savannas, and steamy jungles. They are populated by brave heroines, noble heroes, and twisted villains. From ancient woodlands to uncharted seas, readers will experience gripping battle scenes, heart wrenching loss, hard-won triumphs, and the ultimate magic of love. Karin’s fantasy novels Eolyn and High Maga are available from Hadley Rille Books. Her short stories have appeared in Zahir, 69 Flavors of Paranoia, and World Jumping. She runs an on-line discussion forum about women in genre fiction at Heroines of Fantasy. Follow Karin’s adventures into fantastic worlds, both real and imagined, at krgastreich.com.

You can also visit Karin at: Heroines of Fantasy † Facebook

Twitter: @EolynChronicles

About the Narrator:

Darla MiddlebrookDarla’s voice is a versatile instrument used with skill. It is a voice filled with intelligence and warmth. Her sound can range from mature to youthful female, and she can also produce convincing male timbres. Narrative is presented in a conversational, down to earth, matter-of-fact manner and also displays a broad emotional range across a large repertoire of characters (female, male, young, old and “creature”). All of that while still conveying a sense of wonder when telling the story.

With experience of 34+ years as a Speech-Language Pathologist, more than 20 years as a stage & film actor and over 20 years as a trained singer with knowledge and insight into the mechanics of the voice and speech, Darla Middlebrook brings a wealth of experience to bear to develop character voices (male, female, mature, extremely elderly, creepy, bright exotic, etc) with an impressive emotional range.

Currently, Darla is one of many voice actors who narrate podcasts for AIRS-LA (an audio internet service for individuals with visual challenges) in addition to narrating audio books.

Narrator Web Links:

Website: http://www.darlasvoice.net/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/damiddlebrook
Twitter: @GypsyCatVoice


Don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for your chance to win a FREE copy of HIGH MAGA!

Click the link below to enter:

a Rafflecopter giveaway



The sky’s the limit when it comes to envisioning your next story.

Needless to say, I had a wonderful time in Virginia Beach last week. Every year I go back, I’m awed at the amount of inspiration packed into those seven days. It’s the perfect storm for creativity: a community of amazing, supportive, and inspiring women; great food and conversation; wine and chocolate; the beach just off our back porch; and significant stretches of quiet time to think, meditate, and write.

Twelve days ago, I didn’t know what my next writing project would be. Now I’m 15,000 words into a new urban fantasy idea that promises to deliver a dark, sexy, and thoroughly entertaining story. How did that happen? I think it’s magic. Followed by blood, sweat, and tears of course, to make the entire manuscript a reality. But the moment of inception, when an idea takes root and suddenly bursts forth, is sheer magic.

My writing of course has slowed down this week as I settle back into life in Kansas City. I have many mundane tasks to take care of. End-of-the-year reports for Avila. (No, unfortunately, the sabbatical does not render me exempt from that!) Follow-up on presentations that we’re preparing for the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation meetings this summer. (I’m excited about this but still, it’s work waiting to be done.) Tax returns. (Aaagh!) I was granted an extension due to being out of the country, so now I have to get those done by June 15. Taking the car into the shop for routine maintenance. (That alone sucked up my entire day yesterday.)

And then there’s FUN stuff like getting back out in the garden, seeing my friends and colleagues again, Mother’s Day brunch with my family, and simply enjoying the lovely spring weather were having in Kansas City.


Women who inspire: this year’s Virginia Beach Dollbabies.

Next week, my blog tour for the audio edition of High Maga starts. Hooray!  I’m very excited about this tour. It will include some great interviews on topics as varied as producing an audio book and portraying women in war. I’ve got about fifteen stops lined up all in all; I will post the full schedule on Monday. And as part of the tour, I will be hosting a giveaway in which winners can choose between the audio edition, print edition, or ebook edition of High Maga. Be sure to stop by next week to find out more. 

We are also in the countdown to ConQuesT. Just 10 days left. I have my schedule of panels and readings now, and I will be posting that closer to the dates of the con. If you’re in the Kansas City area, please join us for the fun, August 22-24 at the Hyatt Regency in Kansas City. On-line registration is now closed, but you can still register at the door. We have lots of great guests this year, including the incomparable George R.R. Martin. Find out more by visiting ConQuesT’s web site.

Here’s some music to brighten your week: “Magic” by Coldplay.

Life After Epic

I won’t be getting this close to the dolphins, but it’s fun to imagine their smiling faces from afar.

Today the dolphins are dancing in the deep blue waters outside our beach house. Somehow the stay at Virginia Beach never seems complete until they appear. While I always expect to see them, that first (and second and third) sighting never ceases to inspire a sense of awe and privilege.

This is my third stay with the Dollbabies, an incredible group of women writers from all genres and walks of life, who come together once a year to dedicate a week to the craft, and to each other. When we aren’t writing, we eat amazing food, drink wine, walk on the beach, converse, read, and rest.

My situation is rather unique this time around. Usually this week falls at the end of a very busy spring semester. After weeks of students and classes and grading and committee meetings, I arrive worn out and starved for quality writing time.

This year I’ve been on sabbatical. I’m well rested, and I’ve dedicated more time than ever to writing in the past few months. When I arrived on Saturday, I had no pending projects, as I’d just wrapped up the final book of the Eolyn trilogy. (As an aside, you might like to know that the last time I was in Virginia Beach two years ago, I was just getting started on the first chapters of Daughter of Aithne.)

My main goal for this week has been to figure out what to do next. Eolyn has been my priority for so long, it’s really a very strange feeling not to have anything pressing left in her world. Not that I won’t ever go back. I have it in my head to write a prequel someday. And wouldn’t it be fun to dive into the world of the Syrnte or the realm of Galia for a new set of epic tales? Plus, there are the generations to come, Eolyn’s children and grandchildren, and all the challenges they will face. But Eolyn’s journey, for the moment, is complete. I must say, it is a great pleasure to savor that sense of completion.

I have for a while now wanted to go back to my short story Creatures of Light and build a larger tale around that world. My anti-heroine Selenia is demanding her own novel. (Demanding because she never begs.)  Yet Creatures of Light will be decidedly epic, a new and complex fantasy world set in a post-Renaissance Age of Discovery, probably involving multiple books to complete the series. It will be amazing, but having just finished with Eolyn, I am keenly aware of how much work it’s going to take.

The Country Club Plaza will be one of many Kansas City landmarks featured in my new urban fantasy.

The truth is, I need something lighter for the moment, a project that will keep me writing even as I recharge my batteries for the next epic journey. So this week, I pulled out an old story that I’d started long ago. An urban fantasy romance thing. There aren’t any vampires or werewolves in this contemporary world, but a host of dark (and sexy) angels promise to keep things interesting. My protagonist lives in my beautiful home town of Kansas City, which means I get to include all my favorite hangouts as scenes and settings. Her name is Helen, and she is about to embark upon a journey that will transform her understanding of the afterlife.

I’m envisioning this as about a 70,000 word novel (2/3 the length of my previous works), with a relatively limited cast of characters. Simpler than epic but still steeped in fantasy. I think it will be a fun break from Eolyn’s weightier (and much loved) medieval world. In looking over what I wrote several years ago, I’ve been able to salvage several workable passages. So far, I’ve accumulated about 8,000 words for the opening chapters. Not bad for a few days work. Now all I have to do is follow wherever it leads…

VAB, here I come!

Off to the beach tomorrow for a writing retreat with some of the most amazing women I know.

Before packing up and heading out, I wanted to share some fun videos that I’ve come across lately.

For all my fellow science geeks, the Taylor Swift Acapella Parody “Science STYLE”:

For a fun and feel-good tune, check out this wonderful interpretation of One Direction’s “What Makes You Beautiful” by the Piano Guys:

Last but not least, what is the beach without Bob Marley? Take a moment to relax and reflect with “War/No More Trouble” by Playing for Change:

Have some good music of your own to share? Send it my way!

I hope everyone is in for a good weekend.