Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Downloads from my website now integrate with Dropbox

Visitors to Brave Luck Books or Falbe Publishing who download either a free or paid ebook or audiobook will now have the option to download their files directly to their Dropbox accounts. SendOwl, the service that delivers downloads through my websites, has just announced this integration. I'm pleased by the upgrade and hope that my readers who use Dropbox will find this a convenient way to manage their digital items that they get from me.

Dropbox offers its customers cloud-based access to their digital files, including documents, videos, ebooks, audio files, and pictures. Using this service as a holding tank for digital files allows a person to access them from anywhere and on any device.

Ebooks or audiobooks sourced from my website do not have any digital rights management on them, so they are not restricted to certain devices. You can save them to dropbox or anywhere and access them as needed.

To try it out, go to the free ebooks page at Brave Luck Books and grab on one my ebooks. The first books of all three of my fantasy series are free ebooks.

Werelord Thal: A Renaissance Werewolf Tale - Free Ebook - historical fantasy

Rys Rising: Book I - free ebook - epic fantasy

Union of Renegades: The Rys Chronicles Book I - free ebook - epic fantasy

A note from Tracy Falbe: Be the first to know about my new releases and special sales at Brave Luck Books. Join the Readers' List. Ebooks and audiobooks available worldwide. Print in select countries.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Looking for some good fantasy on Smashwords? Try Savage Storm with this coupon

The Rys Rising fantasy series is a complete 4-book epic set in the world of the rys, a magical race that dominates the politics and religion of the human kingdoms. You'll find many exciting adventures within its pages populated by powerful characters. The story builds into a great clash of civilizations and is told from both sides of the conflict.

To begin the series, I recommend getting the first book Rys Rising: Book I. It's a free ebook at Smashwords, my website, and most other ebook retailers. It has earned many glowing reviews. Here's a blog post about a recent 5-star review it received in the Kindle Store.

And for a limited time, you can get the second book for $0.99 through July 5th. Savage Storm is normally $4.99, and yes people do happily pay that price because some people truly enjoy my fiction. If you use the coupon offer, you'll be getting well over 300,000 words of entertainment for a mere $0.99.

To get Savage Storm at Smashwords in the ebook format of your choice use this coupon code:


You'll see a place to paste in the code when you're checking out. Just update the total and the discount will be applied. The code is not case sensitive.

Here's an excerpt from Savage Storm that I'm sharing from a slideshare presentation about the book.

A note from Tracy Falbe: Be the first to know about my new releases and special sales at Brave Luck Books. Join the Readers' List. Ebooks and audiobooks available worldwide. Print in select countries.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Big List of Free through $2.99 deals at Google Play Books

The solstice is upon us, and a change of seasons offers an opportunity for new things.

Find something new to read on my big list of deals at Google Play Books. Browse these fine titles that have earned good ratings from readers.

Everything listed here is either a free ebook, $0.99, or $2.99. (Some of the prices might change in the future). Assembled here are fantasies, steamy fairy tales, dragons, dystopia, thrillers, an anthology, young adult, and even a free book bundle.

In this age when so much of our shopping experience is determined by your online history and algorithms, this list offers you an alternative way to find a new read: simple serendipity. Enjoy!

(Google Play ebooks are available in over 60 countries.)


Werelord Thal: A Renaissance Werewolf Tale

Tracy Falbe

Thal embodies the ancient magic of the pagan past. He challenges a world conquered by a spiritual system that denies the flesh and forgets the Earth.

He is wanted for Devil worship and shape shifting but still boldly walks the streets of 16th century Prague. Jesuits hunt him. Mercenaries fear him. Musicians sing his praise, and women are captivated by his alpha swagger.

Born of a witch and a sorcerer, he is summoned when his desperate mother casts the werewolf spell

before facing torture and execution. Burdened with her magical call for vengeance Thal seeks the men that killed her. His hunt is complicated when the Magistrate’s stepdaughter Altea Kardas crosses his path. Horrified that her community is burning women to death, she can confide her doubt and fear only to Thal.

He desires her greatly but knows he will bring ruin upon her. Across Bohemia and beyond people who are different are labeled heretics in a restless world hobbled by tyrannical ignorance. The Renaissance has thrown the Holy Roman Empire into turmoil. Printed books are spreading radical ideas. Firearms are triggering a new age of warfare. And the human spirit is shaking off obedience.

He awakens within Altea recognition of these truths. She believes any risk is worth loving him until she becomes the bait in a trap set by Thal’s enemies.

Enjoy this historical fantasy of werewolves and witches on Google Play.


A Fistful of Fire

Misti Wolanski

Tales of loathsome kings and prophesied saviors aren’t so appealing when you are a royal bastard of prophecy…

Evonalé Yunan is supposed to somehow free her grandmother’s enslaved people, but she’s merely a child, and her father is the powerful fire mage who subjugates the realm. She has therefore fled home, her half-siblings, and the father who really should’ve been her uncle.

Unfortunately, it’s the middle of winter. Fortunately,

following her mother’s directions has put her in another king’s hunting grounds. To Evonalé’s bewilderment, that king picks her up and gives her a place in his castle. The prince seeks her out to tease and befriend.

Then one of Cook’s daughters starts teaching her magic, and a scullery maid proves herself immune to poison.

Evonalé isn’t the only one with secrets. Followed by A Fistful of Earth

Contains some mature themes and responsible use of alcohol. The narrator's family is sadistic.

Read it on Google Play.

$0.99 - price good through August 15

Life First

R.J. Crayton

"The prospect of being the human parts drawer society reaches into to cure its neediest patients would drive anyone mad." - Kelsey Reed, Life First

Strong-willed Kelsey Reed must escape tonight or tomorrow her government will take her kidney and give it to someone else.

She’ll need the help of her true love, Luke, to make this dangerous escape. This dystopian future Kelsey lives in was forged by survivors of pandemics that wiped out 80 percent of the world's population. Here, life is valued above all else. The mentally ill are sterilized, abortions are illegal and those who refuse to donate an organ when told are sentenced to death.

Determined not to give up her kidney or die, Kelsey and Luke enlists the help of a dodgy doctor to escape. The trio must disable the tracking chip in Kelsey's arm for her to flee undetected. If they fail, Kelsey could be stripped of Luke, her kidney and everything else she holds dear.

This page-turning thriller with a touch of romance, is the first in the Life First dystopian book series. The thrills and romance continue in our dystopian future in Second Life (book 2 of the series) and Third Life: Taken (book 3 of the series).

* * *

"Life First is a poignant, riveting, thought provoking read that had me entranced from page one until the very end of the book."

-- 5 Stars, Griffin's Honey Blog

"Life First gripped you like King Kong and would not let go until you had finished the book."


~ A 2014 B&P Reader's Choice Award Nominee ~

~ BRAG Medallion winner ~

Read it on Google Play.


The Princess, the Pea & a Night of Passion

Rosetta Bloom

In this grown-up version of the famous fairy tale, Arabian princess Adara is running from her old life and a forced betrothal. Adara, an exotic beauty, wants love and passion, but knows she can't get that back home. When a raging storm halts her escape, Adara seeks refuge in the first dwelling she sees.

Prince Richard is tired of the trite, vain, frigid princesses his mother introduces him to in hopes he'll marry. On this stormy night, the blue-eyed prince is in the mood to love a woman, but he's all alone.

Adara arrives on the castle doorstep, saying she's a princess in need of help. The queen is doubtful and decides to lock Adara in a room with a pea to determine if the girl is as royal as she claims. Richard believes the beautiful, charming stranger, but he wants her locked in a bedroom for other reasons.

When Richard and Adara hook up, there's more than a pea-sized bit of passion involved....

Read it on Google Play.


The Ring and the Flag: Shard of Light 1

Will Hahn

Newly-graduated imperial officer Justin is convinced he has no future, and hearing the details of the secret mission he's assigned for the Emperor won't change his mind. Civil War threatens the North Mark. Justin must race against time to form a company, and lead his men into the center of the web; but what happens when his loyalty to the Empire means the death of those who follow him?

Read it on Google Play.


Dangerous Times

Phillip Frey

DANGEROUS TIMES is a multicultural crime-thriller with the pull of the unpredictable.

Psychopath Frank Moore has a diabolical plan. To finance it he must first commit a major robbery. He has now found the key to its success. Frank Moore has found his scapegoat, his look-alike, John Kirk, a close-enough double who lives in the harbor city of San Pedro.

John Kirk wants to get out of San Pedro and leave his troublesome relationships behind. His live-in sweetheart is fed-up with his station in life and has become unfaithful, his mother finds solace from the death of Kirk's father by embracing the bottle, and Kirk's boss at the auto shop is an overbearing, cheap son of a bitch.

These troubles fall by the wayside when Frank Moore switches their identities and fingerprints in government databases, an act that will send the innocent John Kirk through 48-hours of betrayal, violence and murder—while Frank Moore will learn the meaning of "The best laid plans…"

Read it on Google Play.


The First Dragoneer: The FREE Dragoneer Saga Novella

M.R. Matias

When two young men go on a hunt that they know will be the last hunt of their youth, they decide they want it to be an unforgettable outing.

When they cross a ridge leaving the protection of their kingdom behind, they find a cavern that looks like it needs to be explored.

In the cavern they find exactly what they were looking for. In this stoney hole lives something they will never forget!

Read it on Google Play.


Scribings, Vol. 1

Multi-Author Anthology

Scribings is a fabulous compilation of speculative tales by four Maine authors. The collection starts with one piece of flash fiction from each author. The rest contains longer pieces of fiction for a total of eleven pieces representing a range of styles and genres from fantasy to science fiction and beyond. Watch young gods learn their place, see what the afterlife is like, meet Dappil, taste the sweetness of revenge, feel the fires of judgment and more.

Read it on Google Play.


As the Crow Flies

Robin Lythgoe

For a thief, getting caught is never a good thing. Getting caught by a wizard is even worse. 'One more job' meant that Crow, a notorious thief, could retire with Tarsha, the woman of his dreams, but 'one more job' may just mean his life. When he sets out to abscond with that last brilliant treasure and seek a life of ease and pleasure with the jewel of his heart, Crow seriously underestimates his mark, the Baron Duzayan. Under threat of death by poison, Crow is coerced into stealing an improbable, mythical prize. To satisfy the wizard's greed and save the life of his lady love, he must join forces with Tanris, the one man he has spent his entire career avoiding. But what's a man to do when stealing that fabled prize could level an empire and seal his fate? From a dungeon black as night, to the top of a mountain peak shrouded in legend, a man’s got to do what he must. Until, of course, he can think of a better plan…

Read it on Google Play.


Sword of the Gods: The Chosen One: (Book #1 of the Sword of the Gods saga)

Anna Erishkigal

"It's like Star Trek meets Creation Mythos..." --Reader review

At the dawn of time, two ancient adversaries clashed over control of Earth. One man rose to stand at humanity's side. A soldier whose name we still remember today...

Angelic Special Forces Colonel Mikhail Mannuki'ili awakens, mortally wounded, in his crashed ship.

The young woman who saves his life has abilities which seem familiar, but with no memory of his past, he can't remember why! With his ship destroyed and a shattered wing, he has no choice but to integrate into her village.

Ninsianna's people have prophecies of a winged champion, a Sword of the Gods who will raise armies from the dust and defend her people against an Evil One. Mikhail insists he's no demi-god, but her dark premonitions and his uncanny ability to kill say otherwise. Even without the technology destroyed along with his ship, the sword he carries is a weapon of mass destruction to a people who still throw sticks and stones. When young women start to disappear, Mikhail must organize her people to fight back against an enemy who remains unseen.

Evil whispers to a sullen Prince. A dying species seeks to avoid extinction. Two emperors, entrenched in their ancient ideologies, cannot see the larger threat. As intrigues roil the heavens, a tiny Mesopotamian town becomes ground-zero for this fantasy fiction retelling of mankind's most epic

story about the battle between good and evil … the clash of empires and ideologies … and the greatest superhero to ever walk the Earth. The Archangel Mikhail ( Archangel Michael ).

Note: this book is NOT Christian fiction. The Sword of the Gods saga is an epic fantasy retelling of the wars in heaven at the dawn of time, the clash of ancient adversaries and empires, the myth of Lucifer, the fallen angels, and the soldier we now call the Archangel Michael, and the 3,500 b.c. humans caught in middle, similar in tone and style to books such as

Game of Thrones, Dune and Outlander, with a romantic undertone, all told with a science fiction / space opera twist.At the request of the publisher, this book is sold without DRM.

Read it at Google Play.


Price good through June 27, 2015

The Spanish Club

Danielle Burnette

2015 Reader Views Literary Award Winner (Young Adult Fiction)

When Brianna unearths a family secret, the life she’s known unravels. She trusts no one except Dana, her best friend. But Dana will move away at the end of the summer, leaving Brianna to face her senior year friendless and alone.

A last chance to bond with Dana lies in a summer trip abroad with the Spanish Club. Yet the promise of a once-unattainable first love, another painful secret, and Mexico—gripped in World Cup fever—threaten to rip the girls apart for good. As their lives hang in the balance, Brianna must find the strength and forgiveness to reconcile the friend she once was with the new person she desperately wants to be.

An honest coming-of-age, The Spanish Club chronicles the universal struggle to define oneself within the boundaries of friendship and love—even when the ones you trust break the rules.

Read it at Google Play.



Wodke Hawkinson

Brooklyn Parrish, a Denver socialite, appears to have a great life until she becomes the victim of a carjacking. In only minutes, her life is forever altered. She is taken, transported, and held captive for days by three violent men in a remote mountain location. She manages finally to escape only to end up barefoot, nearly naked, and hopelessly lost in the cold Colorado wilderness at the beginning of a brutal winter storm. Lance is a man who has shunned society. He lives like a recluse in a cabin high on a forested mountain. He prefers a solitary life. But his world is about to be turned upside down.Advisory: Contains violence and strong language.Contains bonus material: At the end of this book, the authors have included an alternate ending that begins at Chapter 49 of the original novel and takes the story in a different direction.

Read it at Google Play.


Harbinger of Doom: Three Book Bundle

Glenn G. Thater

This three book bundle includes the first three volumes in the acclaimed epic fantasy series, Harbinger of Doom. (The paperback versions total about 680 pages).
Mad wizards wrenched open a gateway to hell on Eotrus land. A gateway that's determined to stay open.
What is the young knight, Claradon Eotrus, to do when he discovers that the man he recruited to help him close that gateway is either the greatest hero
the world has ever known or the devil himself, thrown down from the heavens by the gods in olden days? Is he out to save Midgaard or destroy it? Does he serve the Norse gods: Odin, Thor, and the rest, or did he slay them? And if he's truly the harbinger of doom, how can Claradon stop him? How can he even survive him?
Claradon's Midgaard is a world filled of valiant knights, mysterious sorcerers, ruthless bounty hunters, complex political intrigues, monsters of myth and legend: the undead of this variety and that, gods and demons, and otherworldly evils so frightening you dare not read these books before sleep. But most of all, it's filled with stories that you will always remember, and characters that you will never forget.
"…a masterfully crafted epic fantasy about the ages old struggle between good and evil." --- Carol Marrs Phipps, author of Elf Killers
"…a must read for all fans of classic sword and sorcery. A blend of Howard, Moorcock, Wagner, with a twist of Lovecraft. Well written and hugely entertaining." --- An Amazon reviewer
"For a long time I have searched for a fantasy worthy of Lord of The Rings and I have found it!" --- An Amazon Reviewer
"The Harbinger of Doom Series is a masterfully written story with Epic Heroic Battles, Adventure and great characters." --- An Amazon Reviewer

Read it at Google Play.


Rys Rising: Book I

Tracy Falbe

Packed with primitive energy, the intertwining stories of this fantasy world will indulge your cravings for intrigue, bravery, desire, and freedom.
A young warrior ruined and near death is saved by Onja a mysterious rys female. Forsaking all that he was, he will take the name Amar and serve his new magical mistress. A lord among outlaws he will become, feared by kings and called the dro-shalum or curse demon by the common folk.
Onja nurtures his growing power among the tribal
kingdoms so she can strike against the tabre of Nufal. They are the ancient race of magic users that created the rys with their experimental spells, but they revile their creations. The tabre keep the rys hidden away while they rule over their beautiful realm. The key to Onja’s victory will be if she can win over the rys prodigy Dacian who is loyal to the ruling tabre order. Will he endure more dark abuses for the sake of peace or reach out to Onja and her growing army of allies?
Enjoy this free ebook on Google Play and discover an unforgettable fantasy series rich in adventure.

Read it on Google Play.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Join the Google Play multi-author promotional event

I know I'm not alone among authors who are connecting with readers at the Google Play Books Store. Since adding my titles in November, I've earned many ratings, reviews, and lots of sales too.

Because most of my novels are in series, offering readers a free first book works well. Although it's nice to be available at Google's store to readers in over 60 countries, it would be even better if I had some options for marketing my presence there.

I've heard that Book Bub, a popular book recommendation service, includes Google Play Books, but you have to pay a lot of money to appear on its lists, and that's if they approve your application. Rejections are common.

So, I've decided to reach out to other authors and create a humble online book marketing event so more readers will be able to browse and discover books at the Play Store.

My idea is to collect submissions from other authors so I can create a blog post listing their Google Play ebook deals alongside mine. A list with multiple types of books from different authors is more likely to compel someone to take a look than an offering from a single author. The blog post will also attract search engine traffic. It may not be much, but people interested in Google Play deals will trickle in over weeks and months. We can also build synergy by cross-promoting the event and alerting more readers online to our special offers by working together.

I'd like to launch the event on the solstice June 21st.

To participate you need:

  • To enter a title that is available on Google Play Books.
  • A title priced $4.99 and under, including free
  • To be willing to support the promotion by sharing it in social media and/or blogging about it at your own blog. 
After you sign up, I'll follow up with more information. My goal is to make this relatively easy for you to participate. I'm also interested in making connections with authors interested in participating in more group promotions like this for other retailers.

Signs Up closed.

A note from Tracy Falbe: Be the first to know about my new releases and special sales at Brave Luck Books. Join the Readers' List. Ebooks and audiobooks available worldwide. Print in select countries.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Free Fantasy Box Set at Nook gets 5 stars

The Beginnings Box Set at Nook combines the first books of my three fantasy series. It's a big box set containing Rys Rising: Book I, Union of Renegades: The Rys Chronicles Book I, and Werelord Thal: A Renaissance Werewolf Tale.

This is a lot of free entertainment. I promise you that. Its first 5-star rating was accompanied the by the message "too many pages." That's fair I suppose.

The other 5-star review is much more glowing, if somewhat hostile to the publishers that rejected me. However, it was immensely pleasurable for me to read it. To quote:

"How stupid are the publishers that refused to publish her books! I am 60 years old and have read sci-fi and fantasy my whole life and read alot of bad books and this is a GOOD BOOK. I am hooked and recommend you read this i will gladly buy her books"

Once upon a time, I spent 4 years trying to get a contract with a publishing company. I queried all the viable publishers and agents who dealt in fantasy. At one point I even received a terse reply from DAW Books saying that Union of Renegades had passed the first reading and had been given to a senior editor. Of course, I never heard back, but I pushed on and used this little snippet of information to send another round of queries to agents to try and get someone to look at me. One agent finally replied and requested sample chapters. He sent them back quickly with the comment that it didn't make him "have pictures in his head."

This comment has always galled me over the years because one of the most frequent comments I get from readers who enjoyed my books was that the reading experience was like a movie in their heads.

I don't miss the pointless querying of agents. I moved onto self publishing many years ago. I can hope to break out some day and maybe attract some kind of lucrative deal from a company that can bring something to the table. I am a fantasy author after all. I can imagine things that won't really happen.

But until then, if you're looking to get wrapped up in the big huge epic problems of other people who sometimes solve problems with violence, you can try the Beginnings Box Set: Three Fantasy Series Starters.

It's free at:


I haven't loaded the box set into Google Play yet, but each title is free individually there if you'd like to visit my author page and pick them up.

Additionally, all three series starters are also free at my website Brave Luck Books in multiple ebook formats.

Sorry, Amazon doesn't allow me to give it away at the Kindle store, and has not seemed inclined to price match competitors, but you can always ask.

Or pick up the Kindle format for free at Smashwords or Brave Luck Books. 

A note from Tracy Falbe: Be the first to know about my new releases and special sales at Brave Luck Books. Join the Readers' List. Ebooks and audiobooks available worldwide. Print in select countries.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

How to make any ebook an audiobook with text-to-speech conversion apps

Rys Rising - Books on Google Play

Audiobooks let busy people enjoy fiction or nonfiction, but not everything is produced as an audiobook. Fortunately, text-to-speech software technology allows you to convert ebooks into an audiobook. This opens up many more titles to audiobook listeners, and might even save them some money because ebooks tend to be priced lower than audibooks. Audio production generally costs quite a bit. This is why only two of my novels are audiobooks instead of all ten of them.

Now I can offer some solutions to frustrated audiobook listeners who'd like to enjoy more of my novels and works by other authors as well, even if audiobooks are not available.

The Free Route

Your Kindle, Android tablet, or iPad already has some text-to-speech capabilities. This functionality is built into ebooks at the Kindle or Google Play stores.

For example, you could download one of my free ebooks such as Rys Rising: Book I from Google Play. The app on an Android device that displays Play Store Books includes a "real aloud" feature. This is freely available, but the result is an audiobook as read by Stephen Hawking. The robotic voice does not allow for much of an audio experience. But this can be improved.

You can enable a "high quality" voice for your text to speech in Google books. This article at CNet explains how to turn it on. This text-to-speech capability is also freely included as part of the ebook.

Information on setting up text-to-speech on your Kindle tablet or app is also widely available. At eHow you can find some easy directions. For a Kindle ebook to work as an audiobook, you'll need to see first if its text-to-speech is enabled. This information will be in the product information section on the Amazon page. Many of the Kindle apps for various devices also have text-to-speech.

I started exploring text-to-speech options when one of my audiobook listeners inquired about whether I would produce more audiobooks. Matt had enjoyed Union of Renegades and The Goddess Queen and wanted to keep listening. Although at this time I cannot finance any more audiobook productions, I suggested to him that he look into the text-to-speech options. Then he could listen to any of my books by simply buying the ebooks. Because some of my titles are free, I told him to download a free one at Google Play or Kindle and see if he liked the experience.

He wrote back to me and reported that he had decided to go with a paid app that read ebooks to him.

The Paid Text-to-Speech Route

Matt informed me that he had chosen to use Voice Dream, at a cost of $9.99, because he found a narrator voice there that suited him. For an additional app charge of $4.99 he loaded "Amy" Ivona as the voice to read my novels to him. The app also gave him the ability to select words and fiddle with pronunciation. Names and some of my magical fantasy terms sometimes needed adjustment. He has subsequently gone on to buy the rest of my novels and enjoy them as audiobooks. Thank you, Sir!

After hearing about the existence of paid text-to-speech products, I did a little exploring. You actually have many options for converting ebooks to audiobooks. Some simply read the book to you. Others will output an audio file for you to use.

This article at TechRepublic provides a thorough overview of five text-to-speech conversion apps. Prices range from $30 to $50, but they usually offer free trials. If you prefer audiobooks, the investment in apps and specific narrator voices could offer a good return. You'll greatly expand the books available to you in audio and buy them at lower ebook prices.

If you'd like to start experimenting with any of the free or paid text-to-audio conversion resources, you can download three of my books for free from most ebook retailers.

To get ebooks without any DRM, I recommend downloading free ebooks from my website Brave Luck Books or visiting Smashwords. At both place you'll access multiple, DRM-free formats of my novels.

A note from Tracy Falbe: Be the first to know about my new releases and special sales at Brave Luck Books. Join the Readers' List. Ebooks and audiobooks available worldwide. Print in select countries.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

High Maga Audiobook release tour with Karin Rita Gastreich commenting on reader feedback

Today, I'm happy to feature on my blog, the talented Karin Rita Gastreich. She's promoting the audiobook release of her fantasy book High Maga. She's sharing some wonderful insights about interactions between readers and authors. Then you can read about her Eolyn fantasy series and enter the giveaway drawing at the bottom of this post for High Maga in ebook, paperback, or audiobook format plus a $5 Amazon gift card.

When Readers Write Back

By Karin Rita Gastreich

At the heart of every writer’s journey is the desire for readers. More than anything else, we want to share our stories. Many of us are avid readers as well; we know what an amazing experience it is to find a novel that moves us heart and soul. We strive to write those kinds of stories, and nothing gives us more joy than discovering that we’ve succeeded.

I’ve been very fortunate to have a devoted readership for Eolyn. My readers have been patient, supportive, and enthusiastic every step of the way. They’ve kept me going on new projects by constantly asking, “How is the novel coming along?” and then saying, “I can’t wait for the next book!” 

I especially appreciate it when readers take the time to write a review. I know this is scary for some readers; they may feel like they aren’t experts, or think they don’t know how to say what they want to say. But the truth is, just a handful of words and a thumbs up on Amazon or Goodreads can make an author’s day. If you ever want to thank an author for the gift of a story, reviews are one of the best ways to express your appreciation.

Of course, not all readers love our books. This can be a daunting part of the writer’s journey, especially for newly published authors. It’s important to keep in mind, when negative feedback comes through, that it’s not possible to please everyone. A negative review does not necessarily reflect on your skill as a writer. More often than not, it simply means that your story was not the right story for that particular reader. 

Some of my most memorable interactions with readers have resulted from critical reviews. A few months ago, I received a Goodreads review of High Maga that was very insightful in its critique. The reader was upset because she realized, correctly, that despite the feminist threads of High Maga, the choices given to the characters are messy and cannot be cleanly divided into “woman power=good” and “man power=bad”.  It’s rare that I come across a reader who has taken this much time to tease apart the deeper elements of the story. We had a great discussion about the significance of the events in High Maga, just one stage of a larger journey toward balance between male and female magic in Eolyn’s world.  I promised this reader that the resolution she’s looking for is coming with the third book in the series, Daughter of Aithne. That’s a promise I intend to keep.

Having the third novel in cue for publication has reminded me just how important interaction with readers is. Why? Because right now, I can’t talk to my readers about Daughter of Aithne, and it’s killing me! All of us have to wait until the book is released and they have a chance to read it. I feel the absence of that dialogue every time I sit down to write a blog post or check in on Facebook.  When people ask me about Daughter of Aithne, I can say, “You’re going to love it!”, and even elaborate a little on why. But I am so looking forward to the day when all of us can talk about the details of the third stage of Eolyn’s journey.

In the meantime, Eolyn and High Maga are on the shelves and being discovered by new readers every day. It’s great to be part of this growing community of friends and fans of Eolyn, and humbling, really, when I remember that the entire adventure started with a pen, a notebook, and an idea.

HIGH MAGA [audio edition]
Karin Rita Gastreich (author)
Darla Middlebrook (narrator)

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)

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

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