Monthly Archives: November 2012

Pre-publication reviews and giveaway of ONCE UPON A CURSE anthology


Step into the world of myth and magic, where fair maidens, handsome princes, and fairy godmothers are not what they seem and everyone shows their dark and dangerous side. ONCE UPON A CURSE anthology, edited by Anna Kashina, offers a great collection of stories, including those from such legendary authors as Peter Beagle, and those from the rising stars in fantasy fiction. From ancient Greece, to modern day America, this collection offers a variety of tales for fairy tale fantasy fans.

In advance of its publication on Winter Solstice (December 21), this anthology has received a number of great reviews. Those that have already been posted are listed below. More are upcoming from different venues.

Publishers Weekly


Portland Book Review

A step sideways

And, as an early bonus, we are raffling a prepublication copy at the following link:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sign up to follow our blog for more news about the anthology, upcoming posts from the anthology authors, and more giveaways from Dragonwell Publishing for the upcoming holiday season.

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Interview with the award-winning editor Ellen Datlow

Today we are thrilled to host an interview with the legendary science fiction, fantasy, and horror editor Ellen Datlow. Ellen has been the editor of short fiction for multiple anthologies, magazines, and collections, and, by our modest reckoning, has won four Hugo Awards, nine World Fantasy Awards, and a number of other highly prestigious forms of recognition in her field.

Ellen has been co-editing a series of anthologies with Terry Winding, including six bestselling anthologies of reinterpreted fairy tales. These collections have served as an inspiration for the ONCE UPON A CURSE anthology, upcoming from Dragonwell Publishing on December 21, and in advance of this publication we are posting this interview, focused on Ellen’s experience with editing these anthologies and her take on the fairy tale subgenre.

Please give a brief introduction of yourself in your own words.

ED: I’m a short story editor specializing in science fiction, fantasy, and horror. I was fiction editor at OMNI and OMNI Online for seventeen years, SCIFICTION for about six Years, and currently consult for, acquiring and editing some of the short fiction for their website. I’ve also edited over fifty original and reprint anthologies in science fiction, fantasy, and horror. I’ve co-edited the six volume adult fairy tale anthology series with Terri Windling. And also the middle grade fairy tale anthologies A Wolf at the Door, Swan Sister, and Troll’s Eye View, also with Terri.

How did you first start your series of fairy tale-based anthologies co-edited with Terry Winding?

ED: Terri and I were already co-editing The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror when her friend Tom Canty, the artist suggested the idea to her. From that came our first Volume, Snow White, Blood Red and the subsequent five volumes.

What is appealing to you in the fairy tale genre?

ED: I grew up with fairy tales –both my mother reading them to me and reading them on my own and I never tired of them. But the form is so rich with raw material that contemporary writers can use and reuse-the basic tropes are very flexible and thus conducive to flights of fancy and reinterpretation.

What qualities made each story seem like a good fit for the anthology?

ED: As with every anthology, we worked hard to create a group of stories that both “went together” yet were varied in the types of characters, tone, setting, etc.

What is the process of working on an anthology with another editor? How do you divide the work?

ED: I’ve only co-edited with Terri and once with Nick Mamatas. When doing so you lay out the ground rules from the beginning. With Terri, usually both of us have to love and want each story in the anthology although sometimes one of us might like the story more than the other editor. We rarely disagree. With Nick, we were each allowed one “free:” story, ie. If one of us liked a story and the other didn’t we each had a “free pass” to put in that story anyway. It never came to that with me and Nick.

Terri, usually writes the proposal and later writes the preface and introduction. Together, we create a list of writers we want in the book and dividing that list in half, we each contact half the writers to solicit stories from them. I usually do the substantive editing on a story, although Terri will occasionally. I do the final line edit before the whole ms goes to our in-house editor and I solicit the bios and afterwords (if there are the latter) and edit them. I handle contracts. Terri usually takes first shot at creating the order of the Table of Contents and I’ll give her my reactions. Later in the process, whoever has time goes over the copy edit of the ms.

Are you planning any more anthologies in this series?

ED: We’re thinking of doing a new original volume, yes. And we’re also thinking of doing a big reprint anthology of fairy tales.

What do you think is in the future for the fairy tale fantasy subgenre? Will it always be popular? And, how will it evolve to keep up with the modern readers?

ED: I think it’ll continue to flourish as new writers participate in its evolution and create new stories. And new readers will continue to discover those stories and enjoy them. Good stories and bad stories will continue to be written, just like in the vampire, zombie, and werewolf tropes of horror.

What are you working on now?

ED: I’m currently working on The Best Horror of the Year volume 5 and a new reprint anthology for Tachyon—Lovecraft’s Monsters, focusing on stories that feature or in some way refer to the various creatures that H.P. Lovecraft dreamt up in his works. I’m also awaiting an offer on an original anthology I’ve been wanting to edit for a long time (I can’t talk about it) and am planning on launching a Kickstarter for a non-theme horror anthology I hope to edit called Fearful Symmetries. I will be partnering with Chizine Publications and we should be launching in a few weeks.

And I’m now acquiring short stories (solicited only) for, the website funded by Tor Books.


(interviewed by Anna Kashina for Dragonwell Publishing)

Thank you, Ellen for a great interview!

To celebrate this occasion and the upcoming release of ONCE UPON A CURSE, we are holding a giveaway of the print copy of the anthology at the following link:


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THE CHOCOLATIER’S WIFE featured at Small Press Bookwatch

We just received great news that Cindy Lynn Speer’s THE CHOCOLATIER’S WIFE will be featured  in the November issue of Small Press Bookwatch, published by the Midwest Book Review. The review characterizes this book as “a riveting spin of drama and historical romance, enticing and very highly recommended reading”.

THE CHOCOLATIER’S WIFE is on special at Amazon and can be downloaded for Kindle for $3.95.

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A love story between a young, inexperienced girl and a powerful man is a theme that rarely fails, witnessed by the recent success of Fifty Shades of Gray and the Twilight series. For fairy tale fans, Anna Kashina has transformed this theme into an Arabian setting, bringing in a beautifully crafted love story between a young princess and her slave, an immortal and powerful djinn, set in a city resembling the ancient Baghdad of the Arabian Nights.

THE PRINCESS OF DHAGABAD and THE GODDESS OF DANCE by Anna Kashina, the two stand-alone novels in her Spirits of the Ancient Sands series, bring together power and innocence, youth and wisdom, pain and revelation, in a tale that Booklist called “Truly compelling”, Publishers Weekly characterized as “Evocative” and RT Book Reviews referred to as “Enthralling”. And now, with THE GODDESS OF DANCE giveaway, you can buy both books at Amazon for only $5.95!

Check them out at Amazon to download a free copy of THE GODDESS OF DANCE for Kindle today and tomorrow at:


And for a full set of this year’s Dragonwell releases so far, check out THE CHOCOLATIER’S WIFE by Cindy Lynn Speer, a charming fantasy mystery with elements of romance, now on special for a limited time at:

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Early Black Friday deals from Dragonwell Publishing — start your holiday shopping now!!!

THE GODDESS OF DANCE by Anna Kashina, a romantic Arabian adventure fantasy, will be free for Kindle in the Amazon stores worldwide today, tomorrow, and on Friday. Download your own copy at:


THE CHOCOLATIERS’S WIFE by Cindy Lynn Speer, a regency fantasy with the elements of mystery and romance, will be available on Amazon at a special 40% off discount, for $3.95 from now until Monday, November 26. Download your a copy at:

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THE GODDESS OF DANCE now available at your local Barnes&Noble bookstore!

THE GODDESS OF DANCE has been accepted into Barnes and Noble bookstore distribution. Visit your local bookstore to get your own copy. Don’t see it on the shelves? Talk to the sales personnel to order one.

Publishers Weekly has called the language in this book “Evocative” and RT Book Reviews characterized its cultural aspects as “Enthralling”. Multiple readers and reviewers have been fascinated by this enchanting romantic fantasy set in the exotic world of the Arabian Nights that explores an entirely original concept of the origin of the djinns.

Sign up to follow this blog for updates. And, visit the author’s blog ( to sign up for her upcoming series of posts with exotic and delicious Dhagabad recipes.

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New review of The Princess of Dhagabad: “a lush tale in the tradition of the Arabian Nights”

Laura Lehman from Bella Online Publishing just posted a great review of THE PRINCESS OF DHAGABAD by ANNA KASHINA. She characterizes the book as “a lush tale in the tradition of Arabian Nights” with vivid descriptions that “have a strong eastern fairy tale feel to them, pulling you into the story”. Laura says, “if you like Arabian Nights and fantasy stories that are a bit different than the tried and true medieval England, The Princess of Dhagabad by Anna Kashina is perfect for you. I look forward to the other books in The Spirits of the Sands series.”

Read the full review at:

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