Release Day madness

There is no better feeling than being the sole reason someone is still alive, but the second best comes when you release a new book, and this week I had to experience both.

First, there was my patient. A charming man whose symptoms didn’t appear dangerous or give any cause for concern, yet something felt off. I’m an old-fashioned doctor who always listens to my gut feelings, knowing even the best NHS guidelines won’t cover everything, and patients rarely present you with symptoms as they are written in doctors’ manuscripts. So I followed my gut. We did a CT scan and discovered a silent illness that would literally kill him in an hour.

I never felt so humbled facing such incredible dignity and good nature when I told him he needed immediate surgery. I still remember his name, and for an ED doctor, that means he impressed me enough to make him stand out among dozens of patients. Many of us do this ungrateful, demanding job for moments like this.

… and right after this, my third book went live.

It is funny how you click the button, letting the child of your mind fly into the wide world, hoping it will do well. My sales tell me it is, but my impatient self keeps twiddling my thumbs, waiting for the reviews to come, and each time I see the book is sold or a Kindle page is read, it just makes me want to write more, to do even better and challenge myself to deliver fantasy that everybody would like to hide under their pillow.

In the meantime, I can’t sleep, obsessing about reviews and dragging poor Mark downstairs to give me company while I’m staring at the screen with him muttering about giving us another full-time job, but hey, at least our books will make us immortal… well, sort of.

Two patients in a price of one – release week fog.

The release of Spring Blight is this Friday, and I admit I’m equally excited as tired about it. This and my endless week of covering the NHS doctors’ strike made my brain shut down to the point I doubted my sanity.

On the last shift, I picked up the patient, let’s call her Dawn Johanas (of course, a fictional name), gathered all the paperwork and went to see her. I was a little preoccupied with my thoughts, and if you don’t know how doctors’ and nurses’ brains work, especially in hectic environments such as the ED. I have to tell you we don’t have a memory of the names


It’s not that we don’t care, but if you are tasked to see four patients per hour who never or rarely come back to you, you just don’t remember them. Unless it is a tragic, heart-wrenching story, your spectacular diagnosis and successful treatment, or they are being an asshole and getting on your nerves, you just don’t remember. It is a simple coping mechanism that allows us to work and protect us from information overload

But I digress. So I went to see Dawn, introduced myself and, per English custom, called her by her first name, asking, ‘Dawn, can you tell me what are your health concerns?’

‘Oh, just call me Jo.’ she answered, creating the first dissonance. Then she told me her history, and I was just sitting there taking notes and having an inner dialogue. I was sure that I had picked up a patient with a stroke. But Jo kept telling me about her lung issues, and she was so lovely.

I know most of our patients come to the ED to get better( some don’t, but that’s another history), but you rarely encounter someone who wants to get better,  works with you to get better, doesn’t take their health frustration on you and despite their own problems they are like little sunshine brightening your day.

So I stayed, listened and arranged treatment for her all the time, thinking I must have misread the files because I was sure as hell I picked up the lady with a stroke of the system to see. When I finished and returned to the computer, it showed that … I was right.

I picked up a lady with a stroke; the woman I just saw was  Johanna Dawn( again, a fake name). And that’s how I get two patients for the price of one, but no regrets, as I had a really great time treating Jo.

Now I don’t know whether it was menopause fog, working two jobs or being too tired from picking extra shifts to cover the gaps, but I had another adventure to add to my collection.

Hope you enjoy it, and if you want to know more about us, click on the picture on the side and read the interview Stephanie had with us 😊

April Showers – get yourself books :)
I finished the series😊

And it simply feels nice. On Wednesday I put the last dot in Summer Veil book and with it I finished Ina’s adventures.

I must admit I’m very proud of myself. All is neatly tied up and our naughty hero will finally find her freedom.

The only caviat is, I feel tired but I still want to write. It feels like a strange compulsion, like if I stop the sky will come to crush me down. Maybe it is the endorfine addiction like when you do to much exercise? I don’t know, but I’m planning new books, this time something standalone. Maybe I will finish Magic and Medicine or I will start something new? I feel unsettled because things suddenly feels like areal work for real writer and the deadlines I’m pushing myself into are quite harsh but I would like to publish 3 or 4 books this year.

As you can see writing holiday doesn’t seem to be for me, also I’m doing few of the promo stuff so if you click on the picture you will have a chance to win 26 books in our gigant paperback giveaway. And if you have any idead what I sould write about let me know. I’m open for proposals as long as it is in fantasy romance genre. I simply like magic to much to write about anything else.

Anyone feeling EPIC?


Your step-daughter first boyfriend.

I’m packing my ARC promo packages today. A thank you card with few book aesthetics and illustrations on the bookmarks and fridge magnets. Nothing much but enough to show appreciation for my ARC readers.

My stepdaughter came back from school and as proper tenager with FOMO running high she decided to join in and help in case she was missing out on something so vital as putting things into the envelopes. That’s where she spotted a fridge magnet with one of our main characters and instantly grab it.

It took me a good moment to explain who he is and what he is doing in the books. From one word to another I was instructed he has to have more to say in our next book and best if he fell in love in her character. Because now with man like this I have to write her in the book and make a kissing scene between her character and him.

Yup, I have a first fan girl for our bad boy. With hard crash on his character. So hard she snatched the magnet and brought it to her room.

But I’m not going to write any kissing scenes between them.

Just no, she can write her own fan fiction.

Even I have some hard limits. 🤣

Wet Rat Saturday

Mark and I got a little writing crazy sitting at home and finishing the last book in Season’s War series, so yesterday, he dragged me out to town for shopping. Not the best timing because … well, it is Cornwall, and it was raining. Here, when it rains, it pours. It feels like a monsoon with rain going vertically and horizontally, and gods know whatever other directions.

Of course, it is never a deterrent if you live in this country, so armed with a newly bought umbrella; we strolled through Farmer’s Market buying a lot of cider and some excellent steaks for Mark.

In the end, wet as rats, we ended up in Charlotte’s Tea House in Truro. This is one of my favourite places in the town. Located in an old Coinage House full of books and antiques, just give you this right vibe. I love the charm of old places with stone walls and waitresses that still wear these funny outfits with black and white headdresses.

So after eating my egg royale with morning coffee and getting curious glances from other patrons when we discussed the best marketing strategy, I came up with a pitch for our April release

Of course, nothing can go wrong when a temperamental witch and stubborn nature mage embark on the journey to save the Spring. If only someone explained this to their ever-loving men, the winter goddess, and maybe the rest of the world, life would be much easier.

Spring Blight ( Season’s War: Book Three)

Netflix – you did it kind of right?

Did you ever read or watched something and kept thinking you were enchanted by the side characters, but the main one sucks big time? I had this experience recently with Netflix Shadow and Bone.

I admit I didn’t read the books, but I enjoyed the first series and decided to give it a go for the second. Still, I must admit I’m a little bit disappointed.

The side characters are delicious, full of wit, sass and humour, and I’m glad the action diverged from the main storyline because the main characters I found insufferable.

Of course, not the Darkling. Not only Ben plays him well, but this character has the motivation, the background and the charisma that makes him a very likeable villain, and frankly, I hope he will get the girl and do whatever he wants to do with the world.

Alina and Mal – should it be a romance? I’m asking because there is no chemistry between the characters. Nothing, it feels like two people forced to kiss in public ( it is kind of true ;p), but there is nothing on the screen that would make it at least a tidbit swoon-worthy.

As for the characters themselves. I am biased. I don’t like YA fiction. The immaturity of its characters rarely gives them a good ARC. This time it is no different. Alina is self-righteous, know it all with a world saviour complex and Mal – he is just a wet rag. Completely forgettable as much as she is irritating. Compared to Capitan Sturmhond, who is such a cookie, I wouldn’t spare Mal a second thought.

Will I be watching the rest of the series – well, yes, for Darkling, smexy Captain, the Crows and the heartrender, because they are the best one can find in fantasy.

Newsletter 17/03/23

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To be indie – not as I imagined

When I thought of becoming a writer, I imagined spending hours writing a book and many more editing and polishing it until it matched my standards. What I didn’t foresee was how many collateral things I would have to learn.

If you become a self-published power machine, you must do it all yourself until you earn enough money to hire PA or outsource your work. There are certain things you can’t scrooge. An excellent cover will sell your book, and sound editing gives you a review focusing on the story rather than grammar and language mistakes.

Illustrations – well, you can use an AI, but I don’t feel comfortable earning money by using even fragments of someone else work, even if it is compiled in something utterly different from my imagination. So I commission them from the artist.

Then there is everything else. Marketing is a bane of every indie author because when you have a head full of stories, you rarely have a head to do numbers, graphs, and trends. There come social media that will sell your book like no other IF you hit the right spot or get noticed by the right influencer.

Duelling with printing companies, releasing newsletters, networking with other authors, and doing many things you need to do to succeed but don’t have time or skills to do. You name it, and whatever it is, it is included in the indie package deal.

My yesterday’s achievement – learning HTML coding because I needed to update the EPUB files. It took me a whole day, but my eBooks are now updated with new info and look even better than on the release day.

And when I was pouring the eye drops in my red from staring at the screen eyes, I thought that there may be many excellent indie authors out there who simply don’t have the time, energy, or skills to do all those collateral things, and they little gem of the book is laying forgotten in the corner gathering dust just because of it.

Happy international woman’s day!

What it mean’s being a strong woman. You may disagree with me, but for me, it doesn’t mean being a Marvel character who can save the world with a snap of the finger or a raging feminist that feels the need to prove to everyone if a man can do it, she can do better and wearing heels.

For me, a strong woman is a person who can enjoy every shade of life, who won’t hesitate to ask for help when she needs it and who won’t allow life to break her no matter what difficulties are thrown at her. In Poland, we have a saying, ‘You can bend me but not break me’ that means a person can have a wobble under difficult circumstances, but their spirit is not broken and will spring back after a moment of doubt and self-pity. That is something I strive for myself and the characters I create to be.

I was raised by strong women; I saw them giving themselves a moment to cry in a dark corner before they sprang back and fixed some shit and fixed it well. This vision of female strength I’m trying to convey in my books, not balls of brass but the iron hand in the velvet glove with the perseverance of a wolverine.

The woman’s strength lies in knowing it is not a shame to have a weakness, that is not wrong to look for help when you need it, and that you can enjoy a good cuddle on your man’s (or any person you love) lap before you raise to fix the world for better. Because when a woman is truly determined, there is NOTHING in this world she can’t achieve.

The strong woman is a woman who walked through the fire and emerged proud of her scars, carrying the warmth of the fireplace in her heart.

That’s how I see us, my coven, now give your man a cuddle because as clueless as they are, I’m sure they are completely oblivious, that they should at least make you good coffee today.

Have a great day, Ladies all over the world, and on our special day, stop and think about those brave souls in Iran that now stand facing great adversity proving the female spirit can be bent but never broken.

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