Always a Booklover

The magic of books just enchants me. I love reading, what more can I say?

Blog Tour: Eolyn by Karin Rita Gastreich - Guest Post + excerpt

Hey guys! Welcome to today's blog tour stop! Eolyn is a fantasy novel published by Hadley Rille Books. It is 325 pages long with about 118,000 words. I've recently started reading it, and it seems really good so far! I think its certainly an enjoyable book:)


In a land ravaged by civil war, the Mage King Kedehen initiates a brutal purge of the Magas.
Fleeing his wrath, Eolyn, daughter of the last of the Magas and sole heiress to their forbidden tradition, seeks refuge in the South Woods. There she meets the mysterious boy Akmael, and forms a friendship that thrives on shared magic. Destiny leads them down a tortuous path of love, betrayal and war, until one day the Maga Eolyn takes up arms against the new Mage King.
Must Eolyn slay the man she loves in order to free herself and her people?
The answer lies in the extraordinary magic she commands, and in the hidden power of a Maga’s heart.

“Vigorously told deceptions and battle scenes. . . with a romantic thread." – Publishers Weekly

Buy it from Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Karin Rita Gastreich

KARIN RITA GASTREICH was born near Kansas City, Missouri. After living and working for ten years as a tropical ecologist in Costa Rica, she recently returned to her home town and is now a Professor of Biology at Avila University. Her past times include camping, hiking, music and flamenco dance. Karin's fantasy novel EOLYN was released by Hadley Rille Books in May, 2011. The companion novel, HIGH MAGA, is scheduled for release in 2013. Karin’s short stories have appeared in Zahir, Adventures for the Average Woman, 69 Flavors of Paranoia, and A Visitor to Sandahl. She is a recipient of the Spring 2011 Andrews Forest Writer’s Residency.
Visit her at the blog for Eolyn and at Heroines of Fantasy, co-authored with Terri-Lynne DeFino and Kim Vandervort.

Time for a short excerpt!

Akmael set the jewel on a polished oak table, next to the ceremonial mask he had confiscated from Eolyn when they had brought her to him as a prisoner. The silver web sparkled under the flickering light of the torches, and the folds of her mask seemed to waver with the shadows. After a careful search, Akmael found what he sought: a coppery strand of her hair, glowing with her magic and still bearing traces of her exquisite aroma. With a quiet invocation to Dragon, he wove the hair into the heirloom of his mother, snaking it tightly through the intricate mesh. When he finished a sudden white glow flashed through the medallion, fusing the strand of hair to the web and rendering it indistinguishable from the other threads. Satisfied, Akmael stood and lifted the circle by its silver chain. He drew a breath and began a new incantation, one he had worked meticulously by integrating the lullaby of his mother with a spell designed to separate the seam of a Maga’s ward.
Elaeom enem, eleaom enem
Sepoenem fae
Elaeom enem, elaeom enem
Renoenem mae

As he repeated the verse, the stone walls melted around him and soft loam rose to his feet. The web had taken him to a forest, ancient in aspect though illuminated by energies very different from the South Woods. The pale light of the new moon filtered through the canopy. A breeze shifted restless against the trees. He thought he could feel Eolyn’s essence on the wind, but she was nowhere to be seen. Disappointed though not deterred, Akmael lifted the medallion to try again. Just as he spun the web to begin his invocation, a soft rustle in the underbrush detained him. Eolyn appeared a few paces away in the shape of Wolf, her true identity betrayed by the full spectrum of her magnificent aura.
Akmael caught his breath and held very still. The Gods must have favored him, for she did not at first detect his scent. Stepping into the clearing, she searched the leaf litter with her snout, her awareness focused on some favored smell emanating from the damp earth. Her coarse gray fur blended into the shadows. The faint moonlight glinted against her black eyes. She continued oblivious to him, until in a sudden shift of attention she paused and looked up. She sniffed at the air, her muscles tensed. Her ears turned in Akmael’s direction. She growled then bolted into the forest.
Calling upon the shape of Wolf, Akmael charged after her.
As a girl, Eolyn had been a swift runner. As a wolf, she seemed impossible to catch. She hurtled through the bushes, managing with nimble turns a rough terrain unknown to Akmael. Branches caught at his fur and scratched his snout. Tangled roots threatened to trip his paws. More than once she gained enough distance to lose sight of her, yet Akmael kept tight upon her scent and did not give up. His muscles began to burn. His tongue hung limp from his jowls. He panted hot clouds into the air as he pushed his limbs to move faster and faster.
Without warning the undergrowth disappeared. Akmael skidded into a small clearing. The she-wolf paced a confused circle in front of him, her whimpers soft and high pitched. A steep wall of rock had cut her flight short. Upon sensing Akmael, she swung around to confront him and bared her fangs in a vicious snarl. They stalked each other, heads low and tails ominously still, quiet growls and sharp barks building in a tense duet. Eolyn sprang first, striking his shoulders and digging her claws deep into his fur as her teeth sought his neck. Akmael twisted his throat out of her reach, forcing his snout underneath her muzzle, leaving her snapping at his ears instead. Again he ducked his head, barely avoiding the tearing hold of her canines. He had never seen Eolyn so intent on drawing blood. Wedging his paws up through her hold, he pushed against her muzzle and spread his claws over her face. With a sharp yelp, Eolyn stumbled back, breaking their grapple. Recovering her balance, she lunged low, fangs flashing in the moonlight. Just as her jaws snapped shut, Akmael reared up on his hind legs, leaving nothing for her to take hold of. Coming down upon her back, he caught the nape of her neck with his razor sharp teeth and forced her decisively to the ground.
Eolyn went very still, though her muscles remained tense. After several moments she tried to shift her position, scooting a few inches along the ground. He tightened his grip with a low growl, sending a clear signal that the strength of his muzzle could break her neck. Again she paused. He felt her pulse against his jowls, rapid and strong. The intensity of their conflict had left her fur warm and damp at the roots. Her rich musk rose about him in waves, saturating his senses to the point of dizziness. His loins tightened with need. Every instinct of Wolf was urging him to claim her right then and there. Was such a thing possible, he wondered. Did the Mages and Magas of old partake in the pleasure of the Gods even when they shape shifted?
Eolyn’s muzzle sank between her paws. Her ears twitched and she whimpered quietly. Her pulse slowed. The tension drained out of her haunches and into the midnight earth. Interpreting this as a sign of submission, Akmael loosened his hold and stepped away.
In an instant, Eolyn rose to her feet, resumed her human form and kicked him full in the stomach. The force of her strike surprised Akmael. He hit the ground with a yelp, and the shape of Wolf deserted him. His hand went instinctively to where the blow burned against his side.
“You have lost nothing of your strength and skill,” he said, “but don’t you think that move was a little unfair?”

And now, let's welcome

What’s Next for Eolyn?

First of all, I just want to say that this has been a wonderful tour. Thank you to all my hosts, and especially Roxanne Rhoads at Bewitching Book Tours, for putting it together.

For my last post, I want to talk a little about the companion novel to Eolyn, entitled High Maga.

High Maga is a darker story than Eolyn, more entrenched in the reality of war.

Those of you who came to know Eolyn in the first novel will find her older and more confident. She is ready to assume greater responsibilities, face bigger challenges, and make increasingly difficult choices.

When the novel begins, Eolyn has founded her own coven in the highlands of Moehn. The girls she trains will, she hopes, restore women’s magic to Moisehén.

That hope is all but destroyed when a Syrnte army invades the province of Moehn. Rishona, Queen of the Syrnte, seeks to assert her claim to the throne of Moisehén, which supersedes Akmael’s. Once a member of Corey’s Circle and friend to Eolyn, the sorceress will do everything within her power to put an end to Akmael’s reign.

Under the command of Rishona’s uncle, Lord Mechnes, soldiers raid Eolyn’s school and burn it to the ground, killing and scattering her students. Aided by Borten, a loyal knight of the king to whom Eolyn is increasingly drawn, and the devious and enigmatic Mage Corey, Eolyn must escape the occupied province and deliver to Akmael the weapon that might secure his victory.

Their collective journey will test the limits of love and endurance, until Eolyn comes to understand -- perhaps too late -- that in order to protect the Kingdom of Moisehén, she must forfeit everything she loves: her dreams, her freedom, and most difficult of all, the bonds of friendship that built her coven.

The writing of High Maga has been a very different challenge from the writing of Eolyn. For one, villainy reaches new heights in High Maga. Rishona’s uncle Lord Mechnes is brilliant but ruthless, with an insatiable appetite for conquest and self-gratification. We also have the Naether Demons, vicious predators banished to the Underworld by the mages and magas of old. In order to aid her conquest, Rishona summons the demons back to the world of the living through the use of blood sacrifice.

If you liked Eolyn, you will be in for an even greater treat with High Maga. Many of your favorite characters return to the stage, and those we lost in book one have been replaced by a new cast of charismatic friends and dangerous adversaries.

Right now, the manuscript for High Maga is undergoing final edits. If everything continues according to plan, the book will be in print (and eprint) by early 2014. For updates on the road to publication and sneak previews of High Maga, follow my blog for Eolyn or “like” Eolyn’s page on Facebook.

While you are waiting for High Maga, treat yourself to the magic of Eolyn. With autumn drawing to a close and winter about to begin, the season is getting underway for curling up by the fire -- or under the covers -- with a great novel. What better way to escape the winter cold than immersing yourself in this medieval world of magas and mages, passion and danger, love, betrayal and war?

Enjoy the adventure, and have a magical holiday season.

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So yep, that's about it for today! Go here to check out the other tour stops! You'll find loads of awesome stuff on the other tour sites too! :D


Victoria, thank you very much for hosting me on your blog today!


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