Goodreads Giveaway for EOLYN

I promised a surprise by the end of the week, and here it is: I’m giving away 5 signed copies of the second edition of EOLYN through Goodreads!

It’s easy to enter if you’re a Goodreads member, and if you’re not, it’s easy (and free!) to sign up. The Giveaway ends on May 18. Click the link below to enter, and good luck!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Eolyn by Karin Rita Gastreich


by Karin Rita Gastreich

Giveaway ends May 18, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway


My Goddess Fish virtual book tour continues today at Writer Wonderland. Visit to find out how I like my story endings, and to enter yet another giveaway, this one for a $15 B&N/Amazon Gift Card. A full list of this week’s tour destinations can be found in my previous post.

Goddess Fish Tour: Week 2

VBT_Eolyn_Banner copy

AchaeolibrarianI’d like to thank everyone who helped spread the word about Eolyn’s free Kindle download for Earth Day last week. By the end of the promotion on Friday evening, hundreds of copies had been downloaded, and Eolyn had reached the #5 spot on Amazon’s list of epic and contemporary fantasy best sellers. I couldn’t have been happier, and I hope this means we will soon have many happy readers enjoying a new adventure in Eolyn’s world.

If you missed the free downloads, don’t worry! Eolyn is just $3.99 on Kindle – less than that cappuccino you like to order at the coffee shop! And if you subscribe to Kindle Unlimited, you can read Eolyn for free any time; no need to wait for special promotions.

Not into ebooks and hankering for a real paperback copy? You won’t have to wait long! Eolyn will be released in paperback on May 1 (this Sunday!) and can be pre-ordered today.

Goddess Fish has lined up a great set of stops for the second week of my virtual book tour. Remember that for every site you visit, you can enter to win a $15 B&N/Amazon gift certificate. Here’s the complete list:

April 25 – Achaeolibrarian has asked for a character interview, and I’ve obliged by having Eolyn answer all their questions. Discover Eolyn’s secret hopes and fears, and feel free to ask a few questions of your own!

April 26 – What’s your next dream destination? Find out mine in an interview at Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews.

April 27 – In a guest post at With Love for Books, I write about the importance of magic, not only in Eolyn’s world, but for fantasy in general.

April 28 – I like my story endings the same way I like my chocolate: bittersweet. This and more conversation about writing, publishing and life in general at an interview on Writer Wonderland.

April 29 – Find out whether some of my characters are based on real people in my last interview of this week, on T’s Stuff.

In addition to all these great stops, I have another surprise for you later this week. Tune in on April 28th to find out more!


Eolyn Available for Free Download

I’m celebrating Earth Day this year by inviting you to go paperless with Eolyn. Today and tomorrow only, April 21st and 22nd, you can download your own Kindle copy of Eolyn for free!

If you haven’t read Eolyn yet, now is your opportunity to learn about the power of the magas, whose magical traditions are grounded in knowledge of the natural world. Walk with Eolyn through the moss-covered corridors of the ancient South Woods, explore the towering pine forests of East Selen, and experience the fertile grasslands of Moisehén in all their glorious seasons. This is the vivid setting of an epic tale of adventure, love, betrayal and war. And you can have it at your fingertips today, free of charge!

If you’ve already read Eolyn, please take a moment to share the word with friends and family you think would enjoy her story. With your help and support, we can deliver this magical story to the hands of many new readers in the space of just a few days.

About Eolyn

Eolyn cover flat2 reduced 1 22 16In 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 vast and impenetrable 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

A “dreamlike, fairy-tale ambiance…immersive political machinations and grand-scale battles.” -Kirkus Reviews

“Masterfully written.” -The Kindle Book Review

Available for FREE download from Kindle, April 21 and 22.

The paperback edition will be released on May 1st, 2016, and is available for pre-order.


Goddess Fish Tour: Week One

VBT_Eolyn_Banner copy

Today I begin a 3-week virtual book tour, organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. In addition to promoting Eolyn, I’ll be doing interviews and writing guest posts about writing, publishing, and life in general. The tour includes a $15 Amazon/B&N gift card giveaway. Visit any blog on the tour, and you can enter for a chance to win.

Once a week, on Mondays, I’ll post links to all the tour stops for that week, along with a brief description of my posts and/or key phrases from interviews. This week’s list is posted below.  I hope you will be able to visit me at some of these sites; it’s going to be a lot of fun!

In other news, BookViral posted its spotlight on Eolyn just last Friday. They called it “a splendidly imagined tale that neatly sidesteps the stereotypical offerings relied on by much of the genre”. I was really happy to receive such a glowing endorsement. You can view the full spot light on BookViral.

Also – it’s official! The paperback edition of Eolyn will be released on May 1, 2016, and is available for pre-order now!

Now, without further ado, here’s the blog tour schedule for this week:

April 18: We kick off the tour with an interview at the blog of Christine Young. Learn how Gioconda Belli, with her memoir of the Sandinista revolution, inspired me in the writing of Eolyn. 

April 19: When I was a little girl, I had  dream that started my journey as a writer. Find out what that dream was in my interview with the SolaFide Book Club.

April 20: I write to keep sane. How about you? Join the conversation about all the reasons why we write at Kit ‘N Kabookle.

April 21: I didn’t know much about fantasy as a genre when I started writing, but I’ve come to love it as a never-ending journey of discovery. Share all the reasons you like fantasy at Long and Short Reviews.

April 22: We finish this week’s installment of the tour at The Reading Addict, where I talk about why I consider dance a form of magic.

Also, April 22 is EARTH DAY, and I will be celebrating with a very special surprise for friends and followers of Eolyn! Stop by later this week to find out more…


Cover Reveal: EOLYN in Paperback

paperback reveal2 RGB

This is it! The full cover, front, back & spine of Eolyn, Book One of The Silver Web. Please give Thomas Vandenberg a round of applause for the artwork and cover design. Woot! Woot!

The paperback edition of Eolyn will released on May 1, 2016, almost five years to the date since the release of the first edition. May seems to be Eolyn’s month! And May 1st, of course, is Beltane, known in Eolyn’s world as Bel-Aithne, a festival of magic, love, and passion.

The celebration of Eolyn’s release continues next week with a virtual book tour hosted by Goddess Fish Promotions. From April 18th through May 6, I will be visiting 5-6 blogs per week with interviews, guest posts, and hopefully a few lively conversations. The tour will include a $15 Amazon gift card giveaway.

Each Monday during the three week event, I will post  links to all my stops right here. Please follow me for a jaunt around the virtual neighborhood and join in our discussions writing, publishing, and life in general.

In other good news, Eolyn earned a mention this week on Feminist Fantasy, a blog dedicated to identifying fantasy novels with well-rounded female characters. I’m very proud to have Eolyn featured on Feminist Fantasy and to see her journey included on their list of feminist-worthy fiction.

There are many more surprises to come between now and May, so stay tuned. The adventure has only just begun!


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 vast and impenetrable 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

A “dreamlike, fairy-tale ambiance…immersive political machinations and grand-scale battles.” –Kirkus Reviews

“Masterfully written.” –The Kindle Book Review

FREE on Kindle Unlimited, or purchase your own copy for just $3.99.

Available in paperback starting May 1st!


I am so delighted today to welcome author Gudrun Mouw to my blog.

Gudrun MouwI met Gudrun through her editor, Erika Lunder at Raincloud Press. Erika contacted me about a year ago, wondering if I would be willing to beta read one of the titles they were preparing for release. The book was From Ashes Into Lightand I fell in love with it within the first few pages.

This story moved me on so many levels, I’m even tearing up now as I write about it! A novel that interweaves the fates of three characters, From Ashes Into Light speaks to the cycle of souls, the terrible wheel of human suffering, and the ultimate capacity we all share for hope and healing.

I’m compelled to add that when I first read this book a year ago, I had no idea just how relevant this story would soon become. Back then, I would have recommended From Ashes Into Light for all readers interested in history, World War II, Native American culture, and themes of spiritual renewal. Now, I’m recommending it to everyone. From Ashes Into Light is a timely reminder of the spiritual and human cost of hate, oppression, and authoritarianism. It is, as we have unfortunately learned in recent months, a must-read for modern times.

This week only, From Ashes Into Light is available FREE on Kindle. Please take advantage of this generous gift from Raincloud Press and download your copy today.

Gudrun has kindly agreed to answer some questions on my blog, so please read on to learn more about her remarkable work.

Please tell us about FROM ASHES INTO LIGHT.

From the time I was about one year old, I came to understand that my family’s strategy to survive an extremely difficult war and post war environment was to keep moving. Now, I have learned there are many different approaches to transcending authoritarianism, and I wanted to tell a story about three such journeys.

Your novel draws together three principle characters from very different backgrounds: Ruth, Saqapaya, and Friede. Tell us a little bit about these characters. What inspired you to weave their stories into a single novel?

Ruth, an Austrian Jewish girl, Saqapaya a California Coast Native American and Friede, an East Prussian Seventh Day Adventist are shown in very difficult circumstances in order to reveal a common humanity.

What do you hope people will take away from your writing?

I would wish to inspire a unifying vision of compassion, understanding and a sense of the transcending power of love over hate.

What do you find most challenging about the writing process? What do you enjoy most about crafting a story?

I enjoy the natural unfolding process of writing. I find it more difficult to work with preconceived structures.

What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

I yearn for those moments of recognition and insight that often come when I am breathing forest air.

Any projects in the works right now? Tell us what we can expect in the future.

I am writing notes for a new story right now. However, in the near future I may focus more on editing existing manuscript drafts.

Everyone has their own idea of what a successful career in writing is. What does success in writing look like to you?

I love this question. What would seem like success to me is to know that something I’ve written is personally meaningful to a reader.

More About From Ashes Into Light

Ashes into LightPages: 240
Genre: Literary/Visionary Fiction
Publisher: Raincloud Press

From Ashes into Light is a transpersonal tale of epic tragedy, spirituality, family, and personal redemption. It is told through three distinct voices: the haunting story of Ruth, a Jewish adolescent during Kristallnacht in World War II Austria, Saqapaya, a stalwart Native American from coastal California during the time of the Spanish conquest, and Friede Mai.

Friede is born during WW II to a Bavarian soldier and an East-Prussian mother. As those around her struggle with the inevitable chaos and paradox of war, young Friede opens her heart to gruesome enemies, at times helping her family members escape atrocities.

With war behind them, the Mai family immigrates to the US, where Friede, her veteran father and ex-refugee mother, struggle with reverberations of trauma, suspicion and prejudice. Upon leaving home, Friede meets her spiritual guide and confidant in her fiancé’s Rabbi, who helps her see that the voices from her past are teachers and the horrors of history also contain beacons of light.

For More Information

  • From Ashes Into Light is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.


About the Author

Gudrun Mouw was born in East Prussia (formerly part of Germany) in 1944. At the age of 7, she arrived in the United States as a displaced person. Mouw moved many times in the US before ending up in California in the 60s. There she studied at San Jose State University, receiving her Master’s Degree in English Literature in 1969. Mouw has worked as a college English teacher, a Stanford librarian, a columnist, a California poet-in-the-school, as well as a yoga and meditation teacher. She lives in Santa Barbara County, California and has for over thirty years.

Mouw wrote From Ashes Into Light beginning with a research trip to various locations in Eastern Europe, Germany, Austria and Switzerland (in the 1990s). Her research took her places like Dachau, the concentration camp, a Jewish graveyard in Prague, and the streets of Salzburg.

Mouw is a prolific and award-winning poet and her poems have appeared in literary journals such as Praire Schooner, Practical Mystic, The Chariton Review and others. Her collection of poetry called Wife of the House was published in April 2014. Mouw won first place in a short fiction contest at the Santa Barbara Writer’s Conference in 1992. From Ashes into Light will be her first published novel.

For More Information

From Ashes Into Light banner

The Power of One Review

Last week, we launched the Kindle edition of EOLYN with a book blast organized by Goddess Fish Tours. I want to thank Goddess Fish for doing such a great job; Marianne and Judy are very well organized and really kept on top of the 30 sites that signed up to participate. I also very much enjoyed all the questions people asked; some good conversations happened on line between Thursday and Friday.

By far, the most popular comment during the book blast was, What a great cover! But we already knew that, didn’t we? Thomas Vandenberg really outdid himself. Again.

We are putting the final touches on the paperback edition, and everything is on course to get the print version of EOLYN on the market by Beltane (May 1st). Sometime this week, I should receive a preview of the print copy in the mail. Assuming everything looks okay, we’ll be good to go. Watch this site for the cover reveal of the paperback edition; that’ll be coming up in about a week.

So much for updates. On to today’s topic…

I received a very pleasant surprise on Thursday when a new 5-star review was posted for EOLYN. In the midst of the usual publishing concerns of increasing sales, expanding readership, etc., I was reminded of the fundamental reason any of us publish: to find that one reader who is really into the kind of story we write, and to make them happy.

Some writers take a lot of abuse to achieve that. In fact, publishing itself is a kind of abuse, simply because it involves so many time-consuming tasks that the average writer finds onerous and distasteful.But when the joy of our readers comes back to us, through reviews and other comments, it washes away all the muck of publishing and leaves us with a bright jewel right at our fingertips.

Here’s some of what my new and happy reader had to say about EOLYN:

This high fantasy takes the genre by storm….what the author did do absolutely brilliantly was to create a strong female character who was willing to fight for herself, and fight for love.

…The pace was brilliant, as was the use of magic. I found that we were constantly kept on our toes, wondering what would happen next…

Not to boast (even though, as my friend Terri-Lynne DeFino would say, modesty is for suckers), but the review goes on and on like that. She really liked the novel, and I am so very happy because of it. You can read the full review on Amazon or Goodreads.

In the  moment I read this, all the work I put into the second edition of EOLYN was made thoroughly worth it. In the coming months, I’ll continue to work hard on marketing, and all the tasks and goals that come with it. I’ll keep trying to sell my book and expand my readership. But the truth is, after that one review, everything from this moment forward feels like icing on the cake.

That is a really nice place to be within the first week of a new release.

Come back in just two days time, when I feature an awesome new title in fiction, FROM ASHES INTO LIGHT, including an interview with the author, Gudrun Mouw.