Tuesday, June 9, 2015

High Maga by Rita Gastriech

Today, welcome Karin Rita Gastreich, author of High Maga. Gastreich has just released an audio version of the novel narrated by Darla Middlebrook. Read about the book below and enter the  rafflecopter for free prices. As a female author of heroines, I was particularly excited to learn about the blog, Heroines of Fantasy. If you lack fantasy with strong female character as much as I do, be sure to check it out.

High Maga

Sisters in magic, Eolyn and Adiana seek to revive a craft once forbidden to women. When war strikes at the heart of the kingdom, their fledgling community of magas is destroyed; its members killed, captured or scattered.

In hopes of defending her people, Eolyn tries to escape the occupied province and deliver to King Akmael a weapon that might secure their victory. Trapped by the invading army, Adiana is taken prisoner and placed at the mercy of the ruthless Prince Mechnes.

Even as their world is torn asunder, Eolyn and Adiana cling to a common dream. Courage and perseverance guide them toward a future where the Daughters of Aithne will flourish in a world set free from the violence of men.

“War propels the book forward, and the characters are at their best when the events engulfing them are at their worst.” –Publishers Weekly

Purchase Links: 
Amazon (audio book):  http://www.amazon.com/High-Maga/dp/B00QMQLA3W/

Barnes and Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/high-maga-karin-rita-gastreich/1119380439

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/high-maga

About the Author:

KARIN RITA GASTREICH writes tales of ordinary women and the extraordinary paths they choose. Inspired by a lifetime of exploring lush forests and breathtaking landscapes, Karin’s stories blend elements of epic fantasy, historical fiction, and romance. The worlds she creates are a strange amalgamation of medieval Europe and colonial Central America, with misty forests, vast savannas, and steamy jungles. They are populated by brave heroines, noble heroes, and twisted villains. From ancient woodlands to uncharted seas, readers will experience gripping battle scenes, heart wrenching loss, hard-won triumphs, and the ultimate magic of love. Karin’s fantasy novels Eolyn and High Maga are available from Hadley Rille Books. Her short stories have appeared in Zahir, 69 Flavors of Paranoia, and World Jumping. She runs an on-line discussion forum about women in genre fiction at Heroines of Fantasy. Follow Karin’s adventures into fantastic worlds, both real and imagined, at krgastreich.com.

Author web links:

Karin’s web site:  http://krgastreich.com
Twitter:  @EolynChronicles

About the Narrator:

Darla’s voice is a versatile instrument used with skill. It is a voice filled with intelligence and warmth.  Her sound can range from mature to youthful female, and she can also produce convincing male timbres.  Narrative is presented in a conversational, down to earth, matter-of-fact manner and also displays a broad emotional range across a large repertoire of characters (female, male, young, old and "creature").   All of that while still conveying a sense of wonder when telling the story. 

With experience of 34+ years as a Speech-Language Pathologist, more than 20 years as a stage & film actor and over 20 years as a trained singer with knowledge and insight into the mechanics of the voice and speech, Darla Middlebrook brings a wealth of experience to bear to develop character voices (male, female, mature, extremely elderly, creepy, bright exotic, etc) with an impressive emotional range.

Currently, Darla is one of many voice actors who narrate podcasts for AIRS-LA (an audio internet service for individuals with visual challenges) in addition to narrating audio books.

Narrator Web Links:

Twitter: @GypsyCatVoice

Html Code for the Rafflecopter Giveaway: 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


The Scene That Inspired the Cover Art for High Maga
By Karin Rita Gastreich

In developing the cover for High Maga, I had the great privilege of working with Hadley Rille Books artist Thomas Vandenberg. Thomas took his inspiration from one of the early chapters in the book, when Eolyn and her allies confront a Naether Demon for the first time. Naether Demons are creatures that were banished to the Underworld generations ago. In High Maga, they are summoned back to the world of the living by the sorceress Rishona.
Today I’d like to share an excerpt from the chapter that inspired the cover art. I hope you enjoy it!

High Maga, Chapter 9 (Excerpt)

Eolyn burst into the adjacent clearing and stopped short at the sight of a beast that swayed on long glowing limbs, a set of gaping pits where the eyes and mouth should have been. In one ebony-clawed hand it held Sirena, her chest torn open from throat to sternum, the shredded bodice black with blood.
Eolyn’s vision blurred. Her heart imploded. She clutched at her ribs, breath reduced to ragged gasps, knees buckling beneath her. Sir Borten caught one arm and hauled Eolyn to her feet. Their eyes met.
All your senses open.
The knight released her and approached the monster with sword drawn.
Eolyn forced back the grief that had scattered her thoughts.
All your spirit focused on the task at hand.
Mariel crouched in the shadows, clutching Eolyn’s staff. Tears streamed down the girl’s face. Her shoulders shook like leaves on the wind.
“Mariel.” Eolyn’s voice was calm. “Set down my staff and climb the beech behind you, as quick and high as you can.”
“But Maga Eolyn—”
“Do as I say. If this goes badly, you are not to come down until dawn.”
 With a sob the young maga fled up the tree. Eolyn called the staff to her. The water crystal ignited, casting an ivory light over the dwindling fire, illuminating the creature in full. The beast groaned, a needy howl born of insatiable hunger.
Eolyn stepped forward, coming around to Borten’s left.
“Stay behind me,” he ordered.
“Your sword may not be enough,” she replied.
Sir Delric crashed out of the woods with a warrior’s cry. Borten sprang forward and they attacked as one, blades flashing in the silvery light. The creature reared up on hind legs and caught Delric in its clawed arms, ripping the stocky man’s throat open and tossing him aside.
Borten stumbled back, fear and confusion on his face.
“The swords,” he gasped. “The swords do nothing.”
With horror Eolyn realized truth of his words. Their blades had left no mark, though they had cut through its flesh many times.
The animal lifted its flattened face toward the sky, letting go a hollow scream. It charged Borten, who scrambled backwards, reduced to dodging blow after blow.
Ehekaht, faeom dumae!
Energy exploded from Eolyn’s staff. The creature stumbled away from the knight, shaking its bald head, striking at the empty air.
Naeom aenre!
Fire burst from her palm and consumed the animal in red flame. It fell to its knees, emitting an ear-piercing, torturous scream. The pressure upon Eolyn’s ears became intolerable. Her breath failed her. The magic slipped from her control. The flames dried up, and the creature struggled to its feet unscathed, its jade skin as luminous as ever.

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