Mourning Dove

mourning_dove_7As long as I can remember, I’ve used two different names for the exact same bird. The gentle dove, Zanaida macroura, has lived in my mind as both “mourning dove” and “morning dove.” I use the two names interchangeably, without any thought or notice of when I make the switch, or why.

It’s fitting, in a way. Mourning and morning are twin sides of the same moment. Mourning almost always precedes a new morning; and no morning dawns without some degree of mourning over what was lost the night before.

The aftermath of divorce is like this; light and dark mixed into one, each regenerating the other in a rainbow collection of abiding pain and bittersweet joy. The mind walks the path of the lost relationship from beginning to end, over and over, in search of that moment when a bad decision was made or wrong turn taken. Sometimes you find what you’re looking for: An answer. More often than not, you come up empty handed.

In the end, we cannot berate ourselves for decisions made in good faith. Mourning always brings us to this conclusion, though we never quite succeed in accepting it.

One of the decisions I made in good faith was to marry a man who did not want to be a father. I didn’t know this at the time I accepted his proposal. It wasn’t until a few years into our marriage, when I felt my biological clock ticking, that the situation became clear.

One day, I said to him, “If we’re going to have children, we should probably start trying now.”

To which he responded with an expression of mild surprise, “Children?”

Honestly, I never saw that coming. He was always wonderful with kids, especially with our nieces and nephews. It was easy to imagine him as a father, and it had never once occurred to me he might now want that.

The unexpected moment of truth initiated a two-year conversation, including work with a counselor, during which he tried to come to terms with the idea of being a father, while I tried to come to terms with the prospect of never being a mother.

I might have, through some other path, ended up not having children anyway. But deep down inside, part of me believes that if I’d married a man who wanted children, I would have almost certainly had them.

Of course, there’s the rub: I never met that other mythical man. Of all the men I knew and dated, my ex-husband was hands down the best match I found. I wanted to be with him and no one else. I wanted to enjoy life and grow old with him. When it became clear that choice might mean not having children, I set the dream of children aside in favor of committing my future to the relationship I’d found with him.

For years I was at peace with my decision. But then the marriage ended, and now this moment from our journey together has come back to haunt me.

I cannot berate myself for decisions made in good faith, but as I mourn the end of my marriage, I find I am also mourning, once again, the loss of the child I never had. I always imagined there would be at least one, and that she would be a daughter; bright and full of laughter. I even had a name for her: Eolyn.

When prospects began to dwindle that Eolyn would ever grow in my womb, I began to grow her in my head. I gave her form and beauty, magic and a world of her own. I gave her a forest to grow up in, and since she couldn’t be with her mother, a kind old woman to take care of her. I gave her true love in all its joy and pain. I gave her companions and adventure and suffering and triumph. I gave all of this to her because I had to give it to someone. The creative impulse of my heart simply could not be refused.

It’s impossible to know if the Eolyn of my flesh and blood would have been anything like the Eolyn of my stories. But drawing her as I did with pen and paper helped me find a morning inside my mourning. The words I wrote mixed dark with light and sunshine with rain, generating in their turmoil a small but lasting rainbow.

I miss the daughter I never knew. I will always love her.

 


Goodreads giveaways are running simultaneously this week for books two and three of The Silver Web, Sword of Shadows and Daughter of Aithne. Visit Goodreads to enter, or click on the links below. Good luck!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Sword of Shadows by Karin Rita Gastreich

Sword of Shadows

by Karin Rita Gastreich

Giveaway ends May 01, 2017.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Daughter of Aithne by Karin Rita Gastreich

Daughter of Aithne

by Karin Rita Gastreich

Giveaway ends May 15, 2017.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

 

Together At Last

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The thrill that never gets old: seeing your novel in print for the first time. 

I was so excited last week to receive my first ever print copy of Daughter of Aithne, Book Three of The Silver Web. Ironically, this was not the first print copy delivered, even though I ordered direct from the printer. Two critique partners of mine who ordered their copies through Amazon received Daughter of Aithne several days before I did. So there you go. Amazon delivers faster than the printer itself!

It was especially great to see Daughter of Aithne united with the first two novels in the series, Eolyn and Sword of ShadowsDon’t they make a handsome trio? Credit for the cover art and design goes to Thomas Vandenberg, who has been working on this project a long time and has done an amazing job!

Official release date for Daughter of Aithne is in just over a week, on May 1. The novel is available for pre-order in both Kindle and paperback formats; and apparently, if you order the paperback, you will have your copy inside of a few days – ahead of the release!

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Sisters united at last: Eolyn, Sword of Shadows, and Daughter of Aithne.

Interested in what readers have to say? There are already a couple of independent reader reviews posted on Goodreads! As these reviewers will attest, you can read Daughter of Aithne without having read the first two books in the series, but trust me: You will have a much richer experience if you indulge in the full journey by starting with Eolyn

 

Speaking of Eolyn, the Goodreads giveaway for Book One of The Silver Web ended earlier this week. The winners’ copies are packaged and ready to go to the post office. If you’re looking to try your luck again, I’m running a second giveaway for Sword of Shadows, Book Two of The Silver Web. Five signed copies are up for grabs. You can enter the giveaway by visiting Goodreads or by clicking the link at the end of this post.

On May 1, I will launch a two-week blog tour with Bewitching Book Tours. In addition, there will be a book blast with Goddess Fish Promotions. Both tours include gift card giveaways and other surprises, so be sure to check back for the full schedule. Summer is just around the corner, and it’s time to celebrate with some new reading!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Sword of Shadows by Karin Rita Gastreich

Sword of Shadows

by Karin Rita Gastreich

Giveaway ends May 01, 2017.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

 

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The Silver Web trilogy: A fine addition to any bookshelf. True connoisseurs will also recognize the first edition of Eolyn in the upper right hand corner. 

Democracy Is Alive and Well in the Heartland

KansasCity_177334516_1300x700-minKansas City, MO, held its municipal elections earlier this week. A number of important initiatives were approved by significant margins, all geared toward investing in the city and improving our community. Almost all of the bonds involved tax increases, but Kansas City voters took up the challenge with a resounding YES, putting infrastructure improvements, inner city investment, and even an animal shelter over their personal pocket books.

Especially noteworthy was the record turnout: twice the number of voters as is usually expected at a municipal election this time of year. Maybe I’m reading too much into things, but I can’t help but hope this is a small sign of a greater groundswell. I, for one, have sworn never to miss another local or state election for the rest of my life. Judging from the chatter on FB and the turnout at Kansas City’s polls this past Tuesday, I may not be the only one.

This reaffirmation of community commitment was especially refreshing in the middle of what, on a national level, has been a more bleak and divisive political climate. At least I can rest assured that in my home town, we’ve got each other’s backs. And we’re ready to vote to prove it.

In other good news, Daughter of Aithne is now available for pre-order in both paperback and Kindle editions! I’ve been working hard prepping materials for a Bewitching Book Tour and Goddess Fish Book Blast, both of which begin on the release date, May 1.

And – I got a great surprise this week when a review popped up on Goodreads for Daughter of Aithne. Who would’ve guessed I’d see some reader feedback this far in advance? Here’s what they had to say:

“…full of intrigue, magic, treachery, betrayal, love… All of the best ingredients in high fantasy…readers of Mercedes Lackey’s Valdemar series would likely enjoy these books, as well.”

I suspect this review is connected to one of my book tours, though I’m not sure which one. If you’d like to read the whole thing on Goodreads, click here.

I also may have cracked an important nut in the writing of The Hunting Grounds this week, but it’s too early to be certain. So I’ll save that story for later…

That’s all the news for now. Hard to believe I’ve got less than a month to go before the third book of The Silver Web hits the market! It’s been a long and arduous journey, but well worth it.


The Goodreads Giveaway for EOLYN, Book One of The Silver Web, is ongoing. Five signed copies are up for grabs. You can enter the giveaway by visiting Goodreads, or click the link below. The giveaway ends on April 16.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Eolyn by Karin Rita Gastreich

Eolyn

by Karin Rita Gastreich

Giveaway ends April 16, 2017.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway