"Vigorously told deceptions and battle scenes." ~Publishers Weekly review of Eolyn

"The characters are at their best when the events engulfing them are at their worst." ~Publishers Weekly review of High Maga

Friday, December 23, 2011

A Little Story Telling Magic

Time, once again, for my Christmas Eve fireside reading.  I was a little indecisive as to which scene I wanted to read this year, so I've asked readers of EOLYN what they want to hear, and the winning excerpt is the 'Gingerbread House' scene from Chapter 2.  This is one of my favorites as well, so it's been a delight to come back to it.  After listening to the excerpt, if you'd like to read the entire chapter, it's available on this site -- just click the CHAPTER TWO tab above.

No announcements this week.  Well, I suppose I could come up with something, but I'm not going to because it's Christmas; time to take a break and enjoy our weekend with friends and family, and to indulge in a little story telling besides. . .

Wishing all of you a wonderful Christmas and New Year's season, and many magical adventures to come.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

EOLYN on Adopt-an-Indie

I'm a little delinquent on my post this week.  The end of the semester has been particularly hectic at Avila this fall, but I'm done now and ready to enjoy the holidays.

Sometime in the next few days, I'll be posting my annual Christmas reading.  I haven't quite decided what I'm going to use yet, so if there's anything special that you'd like to hear me read from EOLYN, please just post your request in the comments.

I also noticed recently that I don't have an audio recording from the battle sequence up on this blog yet, which came as a surprise to me.  I thought I'd already posted one, but oh well.  All this means is that you will be treated to a battle scene at some point in the near future, perhaps in early January. 

This week, I'd like to point you toward something special:  the audio recording of Adopt-an-Indie's blogtalk radio show.   The show was hosted by Donna Brown just this past Monday, December 19, and included about ten authors.  I encourage you to listen to the whole show; I found it very interesting and came across some promising new reads to boot.  But if you're pressed for time and want mostly to listen in on my 10 minutes, look for them about half way through the show (about 55 minutes into it).  Here's the link:

Christmas Special:  BBCN Hosts Adopt-an-Indie Month

In other news, Donna Brown's blog Bookbags and Catnaps is hosting  a contest among indie novels.  Please stop by and show your support for EOLYN by 'liking' the novel.  There are many other great titles as well, and you can vote for more than one, so feel free to 'like' away. (I certainly have!) Voters have the chance to win a $25 Amazon gift certificate.  More details at this link:

Adopt-an-Indie:  Indie Book Love

That's all I have for you this week.  Thanks so much for stopping by, and please check back in a few days for the Christmas reading from EOLYN.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas Treats

Looking for a break from the holiday madness? Join us this week on Heroines of Fantasy, where author Kim Vandervort invites everyone to Pause, breathe and read.

Speaking of holiday madness. . .

Just when I thought EOLYN updates might be slowing down as we approach Christmas, I actually have a lot of exciting news to share this week.

New customer reviews have gone up on Amazon, including this assessment from SavoirNoir:

Eolyn...is quite a change in pace in the epic fantasy. For one thing, it's quite iconoclastic in its treatment of sexuality, especially women's. For another, it has a well-thought-out and different magical system that though reminiscent of Raymond E. Feist, but has made it all her own. The journey of the eponymous heroine is at times harrowing, amusing, sensual but always human. Add to that a spash of Spanish realism that at times feels like Marquez and you have a quite different first novel that satisfies, in its own way, the many various tropes of an epic fantasy; Babe in the woods (literally!), revenge, sweeping war, and coming of age, even as it plucks with a more modern tone at the concepts of love and sex.

To read more customer reviews, please visit Eolyn's page on Amazon. And remember, Kindle and Nook editions of Eolyn are available for just $2.99 through the holidays!

One week from today, on December 19, I'll be participating in Adopt-an-Indie's blogtalk radio show, starting at 8:00pm EST. There is a great line-up of authors for this event, including our recent guests on Heroines of Fantasy, Carlyle Clark and Suki Michelle. Clark's and Michelle's spot will be at 8:20 EST; my slot (really, EOLYN's slot) will be at 9:00pm EST. Please mark your calendars with the date and time, and share the news with friends.

Now for the really great news: I was delighted to learn this past weekend that a pitch I wrote for the sequel to EOLYN, entitled HIGH MAGA, won first place in the Best Pitch Contest at thenextbigwriter.com In drafting the pitch, I had a lot of great feedback from authors and reviewers at tNBW, so a big thank you to everyone for all your help and support.

To celebrate, I'm posting the winning pitch for HIGH MAGA this week.  I'd thought to put this off a little longer, but what the hey -- It's Christmas.  This marks the first official preview of the sequel to appear on this blog.  (Drumroll, please!)

HIGH MAGA follows the story of Eolyn, a courageous and fiercely independent woman whose struggle to restore magic is set against a complex background of political intrigue, impossible love and pending war.

Eolyn, the last of the High Magas, founds a new coven in the isolated province of Moehn. The young girls she trains will, she hopes, revive a millennial tradition of women's magic.

Akmael, the new Mage King of Moisehén, must defend his land against invasion by the Syrnte, whose witch-queen has summoned long-banished creatures of the netherworld to aid her conquest.

When the Syrnte army descends upon Moehn, Eolyn's school is burned and her students killed, captured or scattered. Aided by Borten, a loyal knight of the king to whom she is increasingly drawn, and the devious and untrustworthy 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 she also carries the shadow that could unleash Akmael’s doom.

. . .If you are among the growing number of readers anxiously awaiting the sequel to EOLYN, you'll be pleased to know that HIGH MAGA topped 90,000 words last week, and is scheduled for release in 2013. 

Thank you very much for stopping by.  I hope everyone has a great week.

Monday, December 5, 2011

EOLYN Past, Present and Future

This week on Heroines of Fantasy, I revisit one of my favorite holiday topics, ETA Hoffman's The Nutcracker Prince and the Mouse King Please stop by to read the post, and join authors Kim Vandervort, Terri-Lynne DeFino and I as we celebrate Stories of Christmas Past

Also, Hadley Rille Books is offering the Kindle edition and Nook edition of EOLYN for just $2.99 through the holidays.  Magical reading at a fantastic price.  Take advantage of this great offer while it lasts. 

December has only just begun, and already I am reflecting on 2011 and thinking forward to 2012. 

2011 has been a great year for EOLYN.  Since we celebrated her birthday with Hadley Rille Books on May 7, the novel has sold to an international audience in hardcover, paperback, Kindle and Nook format, including readers from North America, Europe, Central America, Australia and Asia. (And if there are other regions of the world where she is being read that I haven't mentioned, please by all means, let me know!)

Some particularly memorable highlights from EOLYN's debut:

In April of this year, Publisher's Weekly gave the novel the following review:  Though Eolyn becomes the hope of a rebellion, she never has to carry the whole weight of the story; Akmael, the "witch" Ghemena, and other characters develop many intriguing facets. Gastreich allows her heroes to have flaws--including moments of cowardice--and some victories bring new sorrows. Vigorously told deceptions and and battle scenes will satisfy fans of traditional epic fantasy with a romantic thread.   

At the end of that same month, students at Avila University received a special preview of the novel at our Pre-Launch Party. The Launch Party on May 7 was held at the Writers Place in Kansas City, Missouri, and attended by an enthusiastic crowd, including guests from Chicago, Washington DC, the United Kingdom and Germany. 

Since then, EOLYN has made appearances at several booksignings and conferences, including Powell's Books in Portland OR, Prospero's Books in Kansas City, Who Else! Books in Denver CO, the KU Bookstore in Lawrence KS, ConQuest, Bubonicon, the Campbell Conference, and the World Fantasy Convention in San Diego CA.  The novel has also been favorably reviewed by book bloggers and authors such as Eliabeth Hawthorne, Carlyle Clark and Dane Grannon, as well as by customers on Amazon, Barnes&Noble and Goodreads. (By the way, if you have read EOLYN but have not yet posted a customer review, please take a moment to do so.  Help other readers decide if this is magical medieval fantasy is the right story for them.) 

EOLYN has also been added to the collections of public libraries across the United States. (If it's not yet available in your library, please take a moment to request it.  Help make this epic fantasy, with its strong female protagonist, available for everyone's enjoyment.)

So, what do we have planned for 2012?

Well, I'm just beginning to answer that question.  I would like to visit some new cons next year, and have put LunaCon, ConQuest, WorldCon and MileHiCon on my calendar for the moment.  In the next few days, I intend to meet with my editor regarding book signing venues, and will keep you posted about that.  Also, watch for more editorial reviews of EOLYN in coming months.  And there will be some special events and surprises. . .that I have to keep under wraps for the moment. 

2012 is also the year in which I plan to finish the sequel to EOLYN, scheduled for release in Fall of 2013.  Interested in a sneak preview of book two?  Keep your eyes on this site. . .