Tag Archives: Siobhan Carroll

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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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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ONCE UPON A CURSE: on sale for 2 days

Happy Holidays, everyone!

To celebrate the New Year we are running a 2-day promotional discount for ONCE UPON A CURSE, an anthology of dark romantic fairy tales with stories by Peter beagle, Nancy Kress, Patricia Wrede, Cindy Lynn Speer, and many others. Download it today for $1.99 at Amazon.com, BN.com, and Dragonwell Publishing bookstore.

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And, download a copy of newly released Anna Kashina’s MISTRESS OF THE SOLSTICE, containing a novelized version of her anthology story SOLSTICE MAIDEN:

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Dark, Wicked, Gorgeous: excerpt from ONCE UPON A CURSE

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He was the handsomest man I’d ever seen.

Tall and slender, he wore his pale-as-snow hair to his collar, a perfect widow’s peak accentuating his aesthetic, almost lupine features. His eyes were the color of amber and sparkled strangely in the candlelight. Sometimes it was almost as if his eyes were on fire. I tried not to look him in the eyes too often. I didn’t know what he would read in mine.

He was always fashionable. Perfect clothing, tasteful and not ostentatious, perfect manners, perfect style. He followed the rules as if he walked on a knife’s edge, knowing just how long it was proper to touch, to stare, careful to never be alone with a woman longer than was proper. Managing to make one feel as if they, too, walked on the knife’s edge with him without doing anything that could be remarked upon as unseemly. He was wealthy, and while he did not have the highest of titles, he had all the things that allowed him entrance into the finest circles. Better yet, some would say, he had all these things and he was as yet unmarried.

But the ladies, from the maidens looking for good marriages to the widows desperate for a man’s protection, all avoided him. They flirted, yes, but only as far as safety allowed. No one would consent to marry him, it was said, no matter how fine the offer, no matter how beautiful the dowry gifts.

That’s not to say he hadn’t been married once already. And that was why, thanks to rumor and to superstition, it was said he would never marry again.

“What was she like, this Dona Meriania?” I asked my hostess, Dona Welicide. She was a second cousin who had graciously agreed to take me in after my guardian lost everything we had to gambling debts. He was in debtor’s prison in the capital, and there he could remain, really, for all I cared. He had tried to sell me once to avoid imprisonment and I figured better him than me.

Welicide brightened. I knew nothing of the local gossip, stories which, to her circle, were so overtold as to be threadbare. Now she could relate them to a new audience; in fact, I think it was half the reason she invited me, to have someone else to tell her stories to. “She was beautiful. As dark as he is pale, very much the lady of the moment. Everyone wanted her. She had a taste for rubies, I remember.”

I found myself smiling. “That’s all you can remember of her?”

“Oh, Tessa, I can remember much more than that, but I fear I did not care for the girl. She was my greatest rival, ever since we were little.”

“Did you fight over Don Joaquin?”

“Shhh,” she breathed. “I was already engaged at the time, so of course not.”

Don Joaquin had dipped his fair head to take a sip from the glass he was holding. He was across the room, a room filled with music and laughing people, but still he stopped when I whispered his name, and looked up at me, slowly, first from the corner of his eye, then straight on, meeting my gaze. I smiled slightly, taken aback by his intensity. I could feel the weight of his stare like a touch, over my cheeks and nose and mouth. He returned the smile just as slightly, then turned to address a man who had come off the dance floor.

“Oh, but that man frightens me,” my cousin said. I would have been inclined to agree, but the chills running down my spine felt too good to be wrong.

I lost sight of him for a time, until I went outside to get a breath of air. I chose one of the smaller balconies that stood open on the far side of the room. I saw him almost immediately; the light of the moon shone on his hair like a beacon. I paused at the threshold of the doorway, then continued onto the balcony. I leaned against the rail opposite from where he stood, but still, there was only a foot between us.

I imagined I could feel the heat of his presence radiating off of him.

“You are not afraid?” His voice was deep, like the forest at night. He seemed surprised, perhaps even amused.

“I am not afraid.” I realized it was true.

“You have not been in our fair country long enough, perhaps.”

“Perhaps. Perhaps I do not listen to rumors.”

“Or perhaps you simply do not listen.”

The coolness of his tone took me aback. What did he know? “I think that you rather like your notoriety, Don Joaquin. Maybe you enjoy being dark and mysterious and dangerous.”

He straightened up, cold dark eyes meeting mine. “No,” he said. “I do not.”

“I’m sorry,” I said, but I spoke to the air, for he had already pushed past the doors and back into the ballroom.

That was not the last time I saw him, though perhaps it should have been.

Order the book from Dragonwell.com or Amazon.com to continue reading this, and other wicked, and gorgeous stories featuring irresistible villains and dark, handsome Valentines.

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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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ONCE UPON A CURSE 5-star review from San Francisco Book Review

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“Step into a world of wonder, where things are rarely as they seem and the darker sides of fairy tales are brought to light. Cinderella’s fairy godmother is not as benevolent as you have been led to believe, Sleeping Beauty’s fate is much different than previous stories have dared to tell, and Death can be much more charming and courteous than can a room full of society’s best.

Full of fascinating takes on classic stories and a few whole new tales by such authors as Peter S. Beagle, Cindy Lynn Speer, and Nancy Kress, this collection is gorgeous, haunting, and a wonder to read. Though the stories are very different, each one is beautifully written and completely enchanting. If you like your fairy tales with a hint of darkness, a splash of melancholy, and a happily ever after that is up for debate, then Once Upon A Curse is the book you have been waiting for.”

Buy the book in the Dragonwell Publishing Bookstore, Amazon, or other online retailers.

Read the full review at:

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ONCE UPON A CURSE Author Imogen Howson: Frayed Tapestry

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Imogen Howson’s Frayed Tapestry is a spellbinding urban fantasy novella based on the ancient Greek myth about Hades and Persephone. Here is what Imogen says about the story and the anthology:

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When I wrote Frayed Tapestry, in 2007, I was kind of trying to find my way with writing.  I’d recently finished writing an 130,000-word epic-ish fantasy novel, I’d had no success finding an agent or publisher for it, and I was feeling really daunted about embarking on another long project with no guarantee of publication at the end of it.

So I’d taken a break and had written a few shorter stories.  A novella had been accepted by a very new, very small (and, as it turned out, very badly funded because it had to close fairly soon afterwards) epublisher, and a young adult science fiction story had been published by another very new, very small epublisher.

I was keen to build on my small success.  But having so far gone from epic-ish romantic fantasy, to not-so-epic-ish young-adult-ish romantic fantasy, to young adult science fiction romance, I wasn’t really sure what my niche was, or who my audience might be, or where to go from here.

Also, although I was happy to be epublished (seriously—five years later my daughters still remember how I jumped up and down and screamed when I was offered my first contract, and at least two subsequent contracts made me cry), I’d always wanted to see my work in print, and writing short stories and novellas wasn’t a great way to get there.  So I was hoping to write enough of the same kind of short stories to have them collected for a print edition.

As it turned out, Frayed Tapestry wasn’t really the same kind of story as any of the others at all. It’s more “new adult” than young adult, although in 2007 that categorization didn’t exist, it’s not romance, and it’s a very different sort of fantasy from the other books I’d had published.  But the idea came to me and by then it was too late to not write it.

I actually love the story—possibly more than the other two stories I had published around the same time—and I adored the cover that the publisher designed for it.  But I was pretty sure it was never going to see print.

Especially when that publisher, too, closed, and Frayed Tapestry returned to sit in a folder on my computer.

I’ve moved on since 2007.  I have seen my work in print—a full-length novel from a digital-first publisher came out early this year, and another book is releasing from a New York publisher June 2013.  The publishing industry has moved on too.  With a lot of successful digital-first publishers, digital-only imprints at many of the big publishers, and significant success for self-published books, print is no longer quite the holy grail I used to feel it to be.  After all, the first thing I do now when I hear about a book I want to read is download the sample to my Kindle!

But there’s still something about your words turning into an actual object, something that can be held and passed round the family and placed on a shelf.  And book covers look a whole lot nicer in physical form than they do on my black-and-white-only Kindle screen.

So, when Dragonwell Publishing chose to include Frayed Tapestry in an ebook and print anthology, it was the fulfillment of a dream.

My author copy arrived the other day.  Photographic proof below!

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Isn’t that a gorgeous cover?  It has a really nice feel, too, sort of velvety, as if it’s taken on the texture of the girl’s dress.  (I would like to point out that when I took the photo, my smartphone automatically focused on the girl’s face.  Quite possibly in preparation to use face recognition software on her and fit her to a contact (who?) in my address book.  Sometimes, I feel, my smartphone is a little too smart.)

So, five years after I wrote it, Frayed Tapestry appears in print. As it did the first time it was published, it sits slightly oddly between my last print release, another fantasy romance, and my next, a—yes, another—young adult science fiction.  But I still love the story, and it’s wonderful to see it not only in print but in the company of some pretty great stories.  If you buy it, I hope you enjoy them all!

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Imogen lives near Sherwood Forest in England, with her partner and their two teenage daughters. Imogen has published several novels and short stories. In the virtual world, she can be found at her website www.imogenhowson.com, blog imogenhowson.com/blog, Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/imogenhowsonauthor, and Twitter twitter.com/imogenhowson. She loves to hear from readers and can be contacted at imogenhowson@gmail.com.

 

 

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