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December 2017

Book Spotlight & Giveaway: Daughter of Aithne by Karin Rita Gastreich

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GENRE:   Fantasy


Karin Rita Gastreich will be awarding a $15 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.


Book Description


Betrayed by her own prodigy, Eolyn stands accused of treason. As power-hungry nobles dismantle her life’s work and honor, the desperate queen forges a risky alliance with the ruthless and cunning Mage Corey. Determined to defend her son’s claim to the throne of the Mage King, Eolyn prepares for her last and greatest battle, this time against her own sisters in magic.

Across the Furma River, Taesara of Roenfyn is drawn out of seclusion and into an ever-more vicious game of intrigue and war. Subject to the schemes of a shrewd uncle and the mysterious ambitions of the wizards of Galia, Taesara struggles to assert her own destiny, even as she takes up arms to defend her daughter’s inheritance.

In the climactic finale to The Silver Web trilogy, threads of love, honor, betrayal, and vengeance culminate in a violent conflict between powerful women, opposed to each other yet destined to shatter a thousand-year cycle of war.

“An enticing and elegant series finale, filled with magic and turmoil.” -KIRKUS REVIEWS



Book Excerpt

MediaKit_BookCover_DaughterOfAithne“Speak plainly, my Lord King,” Eolyn said. “I will not be subject to this cat-and-mouse game. If you do not trust me, if you do not believe me, then say so.”


“I trust your heart, Eolyn,” Akmael replied, “but your heart has led you to ill-advised decisions in the past. For this reason, I am not always inclined to trust your judgment.”


“For the love of the Gods! I am not the confused and frightened girl I was when my brother took up arms against you.”


“No, but you must understand the dilemma you have put me in.”


“The dilemma I have put you in?”


“If you knew of Ghemena’s plan and did not inform me, you were party to treason. If you did not know, then your authority over the magas is uncertain. Either way, the magas must remain bound and imprisoned until this conflict is resolved.”


Eolyn blinked and stepped away. “The magas have lived in peace in Moisehén for more than a decade. You cannot let the action of one woman—”


“Three women. The blatantly treasonous act of three women, all devoted students of yours. They have brought war upon us, Eolyn. Who knows how many others among your followers support them?”


“The magas who remain in my service have done nothing to merit suspicion.”


“All magas merit suspicion.” Akmael hesitated at her stricken look. He let go a slow breath and softened his tone. “There is a history here that we have not yet overcome, Eolyn. You, of all people, must understand that. Too many of our subjects still remember the war against my father.”


“And the purges that followed?” she shot back.


“The violence that tore this kingdom apart,” he conceded. “Right or wrong, the magas were left with the blame. We must manage this situation carefully, to protect you and your daughters. To see that justice is done.”


 Interview with Author Karin Rita Gastreich


author photoWhat inspired you to come up with the idea for your book?

I wanted to write a novel in the tradition of epic fantasy, but I wanted all the major players to be women.


Is there a character you’d trade places with? If so, why? 

I’d like to trade places with Taesara. She has had a difficult life, but her love interest, Prince Savegre, is sexy and charming and very charismatic. I’d love to spend a day (and maybe even a night!) with him.


How would you describe a perfect hero?

The perfect hero is flawed. This is true of all romantic leads in The Silver Web series (even Prince Savegre!). Each of them has a demon they are battling with (sometimes literally!), and/or some aspect of their personality that undermines their full potential as a partner in love. King Akmael is a perfect example of this. His love for Eolyn is sincere, but he is a product of – and loyal to – the patriarchal system that keeps him in power. As such, his worldview is destined to undercut Eolyn’s freedom as a woman of magic. This haunts their relationship from the beginning to the end of the trilogy. In Daughter of Aithne, the conflict between Akmael’s duty as king and Eolyn’s destiny as a maga reaches its breaking point.


How would you describe a perfect heroine?

Perfect heroines are intelligent, complex, and like perfect heroes, capable of making mistakes. Because they maintain a deep commitment to their personal truth, they rarely please everyone around them. Sometimes they upset not only other characters, but my readers as well!

By the third book of The Silver Web, for example, Eolyn has enjoyed her share of triumphs, but she has also suffered many losses. Most importantly, she looks back on certain choices with true regret. This does not weaken her character, but rather strengthens her resolve to overcome new and ever greater challenges, even to the point of defying her life-long love and taking up arms against former allies.


When you’re not writing, what are you up to?

Writing is something I squeeze in around the rest of my life. I’m an ecologist by trade, and I work full time as a biology professor. In my free time, I love doing anything that gets me outdoors – camping, hiking, cycling. I also enjoy dance, and have studied flamenco for many years.


What do you love most about writing?

Writing is a great escape. It’s just like reading, except that as a reader, we are always an outside observer, someone on the periphery of the character’s world. Writing allows me jump inside a novel and become an active part of my character’s lives.


Any tips to share with someone who wants to be published? 

Don’t do it!

I’m serious. Writing and sharing your stories can be a lot of fun, but publishing is a pain. It’s important to remember always that you do not need to publish in order to write and share your stories.


If you are hopelessly compelled to complicate your life by publishing, I can offer these tips:

First, never trust your critique partners if they say your novel is ready to publish. Critique groups are essential for any writer, but the job of a critique group is to help you hone the craft and to encourage you to keep writing. This is not the same thing as vetting a novel for the publishing market. Unless your writers group is made up of professional editors who work with legitimate publishing houses (and no, self-made free-lance editors who hire out to indie authors do not count), don’t listen to them if they say you should publish your novel. They have no idea what they are talking about.


Related to this first point, do not self-publish, especially if you are a first-time novelist. If you want to build a solid career, find a legitimate small press (or large press, if you can) that can pair you with a professional editor who is willing to invest the time you deserve in perfecting your work and placing it properly in the market. Let someone else assume the risk and investment while you figure out whether the hassle of publishing is worth your sacred time.


Third, reign in your expectations. In other words, keep the day job. Oodles of money are not going to fall into your lab the moment your book is on the market. In fact, oodles of money will probably never fall into your lap, no matter how much you publish. Yes, you may be the exception to this rule with that extra-special novel that just happens to catch fire, but chances are, your opus magnum will go relatively unnoticed in an already saturated market.


It’s important to remember that publishing is not the endgame in a writer’s journey. Writing carries many important rewards that have nothing to do with publishing. Learn to prioritize and appreciate these other awards before you jump into publishing.


Do you have a favorite genre you like to read (other than the ones you write in)?

My favorite genres to read are history and historical fiction. I’m especially drawn to stories of women in Medieval and Renaissance times, and to stories of the great naturalists of the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries.


What other books have you written? 

In addition to Daughter of Aithne, the first two books of The Silver Web trilogy, Eolyn and Sword of Shadows are available in Kindle and paperback. The series follows the inspiring and sometimes heartbreaking story of Eolyn. Sole heiress to a forbidden tradition of magic, Eolyn faces many battles and overcomes many obstacles in a life-long effort to restore women’s magic to her people.


Do you have a favorite book (out of the ones you’ve written)?

I love them all for different reasons. Eolyn, which begins with the story of Eolyn’s childhood, is filled with the innocence of magic and the hope of first love. Sword of Shadows takes a much darker turn, immersing a now-adult Eolyn in the complications of court intrigue and worse, the horror of war. Daughter of Aithne represents the ultimate triumph of women’s magic, putting the reins of power in the hands of multiple women, who together determine the fate of four kingdoms.



AUTHOR Bio and Links:


Karin Rita Gastreich writes stories of ordinary women and the extraordinary paths they choose. She lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she is part of the biology faculty at Avila University. An ecologist by vocation, Karin has wandered forests and wildlands all her life. Her pastimes include camping, hiking, music, and flamenco dance. In addition to THE SILVER WEB trilogy, Karin has published short stories in World Jumping, Zahir, Adventures for the Average Woman, and 69 Flavors of Paranoia. She is a recipient of the Spring 2011 Andrews Forest Writer’s Residency.



Twitter: @EolynChronicles



Purchase link for EOLYN, Book One of THE SILVER WEB:


Purchase link for SWORD OF SHADOWS, Book Two of THE SILVER WEB:


Purchase link for DAUGHTER OF AITHNE, Book Three of THE SILVER WEB:


Karin Rita Gastreich will be awarding a $15 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.


a Rafflecopter giveaway