"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

Monday, April 28, 2014

Meet My Character Blog Hop

Historical fiction author Louise Turner has invited me to participate in the Meet My Character Blog Hop. I met Louise through Hadley Rille Books. Her debut novel, Fire and Sword, is set in 15th century Scotland. I read the novel last fall, and thoroughly enjoyed it. Louise's blog hop post focuses on the character of Hugh Montgomerie, the wonderfully ruthless antihero of her story. To find out more about the world of Fire and Sword, visit Louise Turner's website. You can also read my Goodreads review of her work.

In my countdown posts for the release of High Maga, I never really did a character sketch of Eolyn, so I thought I'd devote some time to her today. Here are the blog hop questions, with my answers:

1. What is the name of my main character? Is he/she fictional or historical?

Eolyn is a fictional character, but many historical figures inspired her creation.

2. When and where is the story set?

The story is set in a medieval pagan kingdom called Moisehén, a place with a rich tradition of magic that dates back centuries. Eolyn was born in the aftermath of a great civil war that put an end to this tradition. During the war, the Magas, female practitioners of magic, rose up against the Mage King Kedehen. After crushing the rebellion, Kedehen forbade women to practice magic and set out to destroy the magas. Eolyn's mother Kaie was in hiding when she gave birth to her daughter, but eventually the purges consumed her life as well. 

3. What should we know about her?

Eolyn is the sole heiress to the tradition of the magas. She is a gifted and powerful maga, but cautious in her actions -- as well she should be, because any misstep could cost her life. Eolyn abhors violence but will do what she must to see her dreams realized.

4. What is the personal goal of the character?

She wishes to practice magic freely and openly, and to restore the tradition of women's magic to the people of Moisehén.

5. What is the main source of conflict; what messes up her life?

As a young girl, Eolyn befriends a boy, Akmael, who also studies magic. They develop a great affection for each other, though they are parted before that affection matures into love. When Eolyn again finds Akmael, she discovers he is Kedehen's only son and heir, a formidable and dangerous mage in his own right, destined to continue his father's legacy of oppressing women's magic. If Eolyn is to see her own dream realized, she must, against the desires of her own heart, take up arms against Akmael.

6. Is there a working title of this story and can we read more about it?

I am describing the main character of my first novel, Eolyn, which covers her childhood and the early years of her journey in magic. Eolyn has multiple reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. Its companion novel, High Maga, was just released this month. In High Maga, Eolyn is older, with greater responsibilities and even more complex challenges ahead of her. You don't necessarily need to read Eolyn before High Maga, but you will likely have a richer reading experience if you do.

7. When can we expect the book to be published?

Both Eolyn and High Maga are currently available from Hadley Rille Books. The third and final novel of the series, Daughter of Aithne, is in progress and will be available in late 2015.


Next week's bloggers for the Meet My Character Blog Hop will be Linda Ulleseit and DelSheree Gladden.

Linda Ulleseit is the author of several YA fantasy novels, including the Flying Horse series, and the historical fiction novel Under the Almond Trees. 

DelSheree Gladden writes YA fantasy that tends toward the dark side and incorporates mythologies of the American Southwest. 

Both of them are great story tellers, so I hope you will stop by their blogs to check out their work.  Look for their Meet My Character posts on or around May 5th!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Spring Fever

The Buffalo River in early spring.
My husband and I had a wonderful stay in the Ozarks last week. My only regret was that we had to return so soon.

We stayed at a lovely cabin near the Buffalo River, slept in during the mornings, went hiking in the afternoons.  Read, listened to music, watched videos, ate and drank as we pleased. We made a bonfire under a starry night, and then we went hiking some more. All in all, I couldn't have asked for a better trip. I am already scheming to see when I can go back.

I was also able to write, truly write for the first time in ages. Bringing High Maga to press without Eric T. Reynolds at the helm of Hadley Rille Books had gobbled up all my time for the last several weeks. But I found some breathing space in the peace and beauty of the Ozark Mountains, and that gave me a fresh start on my continuing project with Daughter of Aithne. 

AND - here is the surprise I promised you last week: I've been listening to the brand new audio edition of Eolyn!  

Darla Middlebrook is the reader. I am in awe of her work. Listening to the story through her voice has been like discovering Eolyn's world all over again. Every scene, every moment, every word seems fresh and new; and, if I may say so myself, the story very well written!  ;)

A view from our cabin.
The audio edition of Eolyn will be available through audible.com, as soon Hadley Rille editor Terri-Lynne DeFino and I give it a thumbs up. Judging by my listening rate, that will be in about two weeks. My personal goal, actually, is to see if we can have it released in time for Eolyn's birthday on May 7th.

In other news, historical fiction author Louise Turner has a great post up on Heroines of Fantasy this week about real medieval women. Many of my own characters are based on historical figures, so if you want to learn about the women who inspired the women of Eolyn's world, have a look at Louise's post.

Also, my Orangeberry Tour continues this week with author interviews, excerpts, and more. I hope you have a chance to visit some of those posts and say hi!

We're going into the last stretch for the semester right now, so things may be a little hectic over the next couple of weeks. I will be posting regularly, though, as there is a LOT happening in May, and I want to keep you up-to-date with the latest news.

For now, have a good rest of the week.  Enjoy the magic of spring!

Monday, April 14, 2014

The Adventure Has Begun

Launch party at Avila University.
I am very grateful for the outpouring of support and positive energy that has come with the release of High Maga. It's been a wonderful ten days, both on line and in the 'real world'.  The excitement of readers, friends, family, and colleagues has been contagious; welcome medicine after what was a fairly stressful two months in bringing the book to press.

Two positive and very thoughtful reviews of High Maga have been posted on line, one by DelSheree Gladden at The Edible Bookshelf and the other by David Hunter at Heroines of Fantasy

We had a great turnout for the launch party at Avila University. Hadley Rille Books editor Eric T. Reynolds was able to join us, his first foray into the outside world since a stroke took him out of commission about two months ago. I spoke a little about the inspiration behind the novel, and read several excerpts. And of course, I signed a lot of books. Unfortunately, in the excitement I forgot to record my readings, so I can't post them here. But I'll make up for that with some audio recordings in the coming weeks.

On Tuesday, April 15, I'm starting a blog tour with Orangeberry Book Tours.  There will be book features, author interviews, excerpts and more. To see the full schedule, visit my Orangeberry Book Tour page.

This will be a short week at Avila. The university is closed on Holy Thursday and Good Friday, one of the perks of working at a Catholic institution.  My husband and I will take advantage of the spring weather by heading to the Ozarks, where we hope to indulge in some well-deserved rest and recreation. 

When I return, I will have a very special surprise for fans and friends of Eolyn.

Until then, enjoy Eolyn's new adventure!

With Mom and Dad after the show.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Launch Day!

Here's a look at the full cover of the print edition, front and back.
The bird on the back cover has special significance, but you'll have
to read the novel to find out what it is!

High Maga has hit the market about a day before the official release date!  You can now purchase both the print and Kindle editions through Amazon. Here are the links:

I'll keep this short so you can purchase your copy and start reading. Thank you to everyone for all your support and enthusiasm as we've brought this novel to press. You've had a long wait; now it's payback time. Enjoy the adventure.

Remember that the launch party will be in the Whitfield Conference Center at Avila University on Saturday, April 12th, at 5pm. Books will be available for purchase and signing. Hope you can join us!