Monthly Archives: May 2012

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Princess of Dhagabad by Anna Kashina

The Princess of Dhagabad

by Anna Kashina

Giveaway ends June 03, 2012.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

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The True Origins of Djinns

Djinns are among the most authentic magical creatures in Middle Eastern tales. Djinns are usually portrayed as powerful wizards, sometimes monstrous in appearance, sealed in lamps or bottles for eternity.  If released, the djinns are destined to grant wishes to anyone who opens their container, and in many tales they are notoriously unhelpful in fulfilling those wishes. Djinns can be good or evil, angry or submissive, but overall they represent a genuine theme of the Arabian tales, and are notably absent from any other folklore.

The origin of the djinns precedes Christianity and Islam, and can be traced to Zoroastrian Persia and on, deeper into the ancient history. Overall, these creatures remain among the most powerful and mysterious characters in myths, legends, and fairy tales.

A new take on the origin of djinns appears in Anna Kashina’s fantasy, THE PRINCESS OF DHAGABAD. In this book, djinns are portrayed as all-powerful wizards who were once mortal, but chose a path of knowledge to achieve immortality and absolute power.  Once successful, they were enslaved by the ethereal god-like forces beyond this world, so that their absolute powers can be contained and pose no danger to human existence.

According to Kashina’s story, a djinn can return to the mortal world only as a spirit, a slave of its container, destined to serve the owner of the container and grant all his wishes. A djinn is exasperated by imprisonment and slavery, which can never end…

…Until one day, when a djinn, handsome and youthful in appearance and tortured in spirit, finds himself in possession of a young, innocent princess who has no idea about the powers that come into play when she first releases him from the bottle on the day of her age-coming.

May the gods have mercy on them both.

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Read more about The Princess of Dhagabad at Anna Kashina’s web site.

Sign up to follow our blog to follow updates about our new releases, including the sequel to The Princess of Dhagabad — The Goddess of Dance — coming out this fall.

TRIVIA QUESTION OF THE WEEK: What other names are djinns known by? Respond by leaving a comment to this post to enter a drawing for an autographed paperback copy of The Princess of Dhagabad. Or, just leave a comment to this post, and we’ll enter you into a drawing anyway!

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Author Introduction: Anna Kashina and her novel The Princess of Dhagabad

My name is Anna Kashina, I am an author of fantasy and historical fiction.  I grew up in Moscow, Russia, and moved to the US in 1994.  Currently I live in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  My novels and short stories have been published in Russia, Germany, US, and Australia.  My fantasy novel “The Princess of Dhagabad”, originally published in 2000, has recently been re-released by Dragonwell Publishing and is now available through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and other on-line retailers.  Dragonwell Publishing is also releasing its sequel “The Goddess of Dance” later this year, along with my dark romantic Russian fairy tale fantasy “Mistress of the Solstice”. My novel “First Sword” is coming out very soon from Wildside Press.

I have been writing since I was five, and most of the time I have been getting the ideas from my dreams.   When I was little, I used to think that I am just seeing things that happened somewhere – possibly not in the world that we know.

Once I woke up from a very realistic dream set in a city that resembled the ancient Baghdad from the Arabian Nights.  It was about a princess who fell in love with her slave – a djinn, an immortal wizard whose absolute power has been contained by magical forces outside this world.  I had an incredibly sharp image of her standing opposite him in a huge palace library at the very moment when she realizes that she cannot live without him, and that they can never be together, unless a miracle would free him from slavery.  I started writing it right away.

A year later, having done lots of research about the ancient Middle East, I have completed the first draft of the novel.  The story burned inside me, and every time I sat down to write I ‘remembered’ another detail from my dream – as if I have really seen a lifetime and was now unraveling it piece by piece.  It was very intense, like being in love.  And, while I started thinking about trying to publish my novel, I kept postponing the actual attempts.

One day I was on an overnight flight to London, sitting next to a very nice man.  We chatted on and off during the trip, and as we were coming out of the plane, I asked him about his occupation.  His answer was:  “I am a book publisher in New York.  By the way, I am looking for new authors with an unusual take on foreign settings.  So, if you happen to know anyone, please spread the word.”  My heart pounded as I opened my mouth to tell him that I wrote a novel, but what came out instead was: “Actually, I have a friend who writes fantasy.”  He smiled and handed me his card.  “Have this friend contact me,” he said.  And then, he shook my hand and left.

It took me another month to work up the courage to call him and confess that it wasn’t a friend, but I myself who was the author.  He only laughed.  “Send me your manuscript, and we’ll see,” he said.

The phone call came after another two months.  “I loved your book,” he said.  “I am going to publish it.”  I felt surreal – as if I was suddenly a part of a fairy tale.  But he was true to his word, and my book came out as a beautiful hardcover.

This story has taught me to believe in myself, and never be too shy to try and reach for my dreams.  Now, a few years later, I have written a sequel to the princess and the dinn story, published two other novels in Germany, and am eagerly awaiting the upcoming release of “The Goddess of Dance”, along with my adventure fantasy “The First Sword” and my Russian fairy tale fantasy “Mistress of the Solstice”.

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Welcome to Dragonwell Publishing Authors’ Blog

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