Tag Archives: Russian Folklore

ONCE UPON A CURSE anthology is an Amazon top 100 bestseller

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The current sales ranks:



And you can still buy it for 99 cents until the end of today! Grab a copy of this anthology by award-winnning legends of science fiction and fantasy, mixed with some new voices in the genre. San Franscisco book review called this anthology “Gorgeous, haunting, and a wonder to read” in their 5-star review.

Click on the cover above to buy it from Amazon, or get a copy from Barnes and Noble or Kobo stores. And, don’t forget to check out these other stand-alone installments in the “Myth and Magic” series by Dragonwell Publishing, featuring stories and novels based on myth and fairy tales:

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Summer Solstice Sale: two critically acclaimed titles for 99 cents each!

To celebrate summer solstice, download a copy of Anna Kashina’s MISTRESS OF THE SOLSTICE” and W. B. J. Williams’s THE GARDEN AT THE ROOF OF THE WORLD for 99 cents at Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, or Kobo. Here are the links to the Amazon pages for the books:

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MISTRESS OF THE SOLSTICE by Anna Kashina is a dark romantic fantasy set in the exotic world of Russian fairy tales, the silver medalist in 2014 Independent Publisher Book Awards.

THE GARDEN AT THE ROOF OF THE WORLD by W. B. J. Williams is a medieval historical fantasy about the journey of maid Gwenaella and the unicorn Britomar to the mythical Garden of Eden.

Both authors will be attending ReaderCon from July 10-13, 2014, so if you are an attendee, this is also a chance to reserve your copies to have them autographed.

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MISTRESS OF THE SOLSTICE on Amazon’s bestseller lists

For the last three days Mistress of the Solstice has been steadily heading the sales in three paid categories, including Dark fantasy, Folklore, and Myth. Here are the rankings from one of these days:

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Product Details

  • File Size: 1622 KB
  • Print Length: 214 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Dragonwell Publishing (September 4, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00GU0T262
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:

Not Enabled

Thanks to everyone for support. And, if you did not yet take advantage of this promotion, there is still time! Download a Kindle copy of Mistress of the Solstice for the next 2 hours by clicking on the image above or following this link:


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ONCE UPON A CURSE on Amazon bestseller list

Happy New Year, everyone, and thanks for your support of our ONCE UPON A CURSE promotion on December 30 and 31, 2013. The anthology fared very well in the last two days of 2013, with the following sales ranks:

Here is the latest screen capture of the Dragonwell’s Amazon page, showing the anthology as the *1 bestseller in fairy tales:

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MISTRESS OF THE SOLSTICE by Anna Kashina: available now

Order a copy today at:


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November special: post a review of any Dragonwell title on Amazon to receive a $5.00 gift certificate to the Dragonwell publishing bookstore. PLUS, we will raffle a $5.00 Amazon gift certificate for every 10 entrants. To receive your rewards, e-mail us a link to your review at dragonwellpublishing(at)gmail(dot)com

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Happy Summer Solstice

Today is Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year, and the origin of many holidays and traditions throughout the world.

Anna Kashina, the author of The Spirits of the Ancient Sands trilogy, posted a description of the way Solstice has been celebrated in old Russia. This tradition has served as the inspiration for her upcoming novel, “Mistress of the Solstice”, rooted in Russian folklore and the slavic Solstice rituals. Check out her blog to read more about it and see the cover image of her upcoming book at:


And, don’t forget to order a copy of Anna’s “Goddess of Dance”, on sale at Amazon until the end of today:


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BOOK LOVER’S GIVEAWAY: enter to win Dragonwell Publishing print and e-books and other great prizes!

Free Book Dude is hosting a Valentine’s Book Lover’s Giveaway, with great prizes and freebies, including print and e-copies of THE CHOCOLATIER’S WIFE, THE PRINCESS OF DHAGABAD, and ONCE UPON A CURSE. Check it out and enter to win at: http://www.freebookdude.com/p/giveaways-and-contests.html

And, don’t forget to sign up to follow our blog to get first-hand information about our upcoming Valentine’s promotions!

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To celebrate Summer Solstice (June 21), here is a special sneak preview of Mistress of the Solstice by Anna Kashina, upcoming this December from Dragonwell Publishing:


I stood beside my father and watched the girl drown.  She was a strong one.  Her hands continued to reach out long after her face had disappeared from view. The splashing she made could have soaked a flock of wild geese to the bone. She wanted to live, but there was no escape from the waters of the Sacrifice Pool.

I looked at my father’s handsome profile.  His pale face, awash with moonlight, looked magnificent.  The power of the Solstice enfolded him.  It made me proud to be at his side, his daughter, his head priestess. He was the one who mattered. The only one.

The girl’s struggle ceased.  The rippling water of the lake stilled, glittering in the silvery light of the near-full moon.  We watched the flicker of the glowing candles set in the flower wreaths as they floated downstream.  A few of the wreaths had already sunk ―- bad luckfor their owners, who would most likely die before the next Solstice.  Maybe one of them belonged to the next Sacrifice Maiden?

I felt my father stir next to me, as he too peered into the amber depths of the lake.

“A fine sacrifice, Marya,” he said to me. “You did well.”

“Yes.” I closed my eyes to feel the familiar calmness wash over me.  I was detached.  I didn’t care.  I didn’t even know her name.

My eyes still closed, I sensed my father throw off his cloak and stand naked,his arms open to the cool night breeze.

Bring her to me, Marya,” he whispered.

I kept my eyes closed as I stretched my thoughts, seeking out her body tangled in the weeds on the bottom of the lake, seeking the spark of life that still remained there, trapped, beating in terror against its dead shell like a caged bird. I reached for it, brought it out, and gave it to my father. I sensed the moment the two of them became one, her virginal powers filling him with such force that the air around us crackled with the freshness of a thunderstorm.

He sighed, slowly returning to his senses. I kept my eyes shut until he found his cloak on the damp grass and wrapped it around his shoulders, once again becoming himself. The Tzar. The immortal. The invincible.

The undead.

We could hear people singing in the main glade. The celebration was at its full. Soon they would be jumping over the bonfire. As the night reached its darkest, quietest hour, they would break into couples and wander off into the forest. ‘Searching for a fern flower’ they called it. Fern has no flowers, of course. But blood of virginity spilled on the Solstice night glows like a rare, exotic blossom of true passion. Those who found their fern flowers tonight were blessed by Kupalo.

I could hear the whisper of every leaf, every tree, and every flower in the forest. This was the night when the powers of Kupalo roamed freely in the world; this was the night when everyone’s mind was clouded by Love.
Except mine. Love had no power over me. My mind was free.

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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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