Season’s War artwork

My pre-release anxiety resulted in AI- artwork I made for the series. Tell m what you think, and remember Winter Dragon release is in 24h

TV night with my fellow authors and some afterthoughts

I never considered group watching something I’d enjoy, but after joining a community of fantasy romance authors, I found out that there is nothing more amusing than watching a romance movie with people that write it for living.

We all gathered to watch “A Castle for Christmas” and OMG as they dissected the move by tropes, plot holes, hotness moments, and scores. When suddenly the main female character slipped and conveniently fell into the main male character and Elise Kova’s comment popped up, ‘slipped and fell 100 points.’ I almost bend in half laughing.

It was also an eye-opening moment, that people with careers you aspire to, share your sense of humour and approach to life, not to mention weird taste in movies.

It helps to find out you may actually have author friends that already walk the walk and talk the talk and you don’t have to reinvent the wheel but simply ask the question. It also helps when pre-release anxiety strikes. When you’re fretting if your ARC readers are going to post a review, if you get enough 5 stars to be spotted by Amazon algorithm, and if your series catches enough interest before the new book release.

I admit we write in a difficult genre – for many reasons, first because our books are not a typical romance, but also not a typical clean fantasy, second because fantasy romance dark or otherwise is an overcrowded market and to find your place you have to fight tooth and nail for every reader.

So I’m waiting for the 18th of December with goosebumps, hoping for the best. While enjoying the fun moments with people that feel the same.

What about you? Do you like movie-nights even if your friends are gathered online?

Another day, another round with Amazon plus Giveaway ;)

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Winter Dragon by Olena Nikitin

Winter Dragon

by Olena Nikitin

Giveaway ends December 23, 2022.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

First let me congratulate our Christmas with Olena Giveaway winners:

  1. Melissa Snow
  2. Deb Pelletier
  3. Katrina Dehart

You will get the email with information how to get the reward in the next few hours.

It is also my plasure to announce that we have running Goodreads giveaway if you would liek to join this one.

Now to the actual post. I feel like part of my writer’s life is pulling ropes with Amazon proving that I am me and have rights to my books. This time I have to prove I have necessary publishing rights and it looks like we finally will have to do a step forward and set up a sole trader business.

To be truthful I have knack to make our life difficult. First to accomodate both Mark’s and mine involvement in writing we are publishing under the pen name . Not to mention having Żmijewska on the cover would be a tongue twister for the english speaking world. Second because we intend to write in more than one genre I set up the imprint called Viper Dawn Press. Now I’m feeling as saint trinity having a name, pen name and imprint and Amazon getting bonkers about it.

To make our Winter Dragon available in brick-and-mortar shops I had to additionally publish via Ingram Spark who feed the metadata to Amazon … and now we have a coundrum I have to prove Ingram as Me and KDP as Me is, me.

I swear I’m growng ulcers because of it, but hey step we take for our readers. I will let you know how my setting up paperback and harback of Winter Dragon progressed with Amazon KDP.

To sweeten my morning battle we just get an awesome review from our ARC readers and I feel like I have to quote it.

I love, love, love this high action, dark fantasy book! 😍
It has so many mythical creatures, some of which are my favourite – dragons & elves!
The storyline was quite unique and unpredictable – my interest was peaked from start to finish!
I wish the romance in this book was a little more developed but it honestly made little to no difference – this book is an absolute page-turner!
P.S. there are plenty of spicy scenes for all my smutty lovers!
I also loved the world building and the characters and its safe to say this book is one of my newest obsessions! ❤

Mirella Ivanova(Goodreads)

I hope this review made you smile, it certainly sweeten my day, and with this thought I’m off to write fourth book. Summer… something. 😁 I’m still waiting for the moment of inspiration to get some catchy title.

You are such a good girl.

I just came back from work and I’m trying to rub two brain cells together to scramble and make a post for Sunday. It was a difficult day. We were heavily understaffed and patients came in such numbers we it was a Black Friday sale in ED. Still despite my registrar calling in sick, I managed to hold the department together.

The revolving doors were swinging, bringing more and more patients. Together with my junior doctors, we tried to process them all and, taking the lion share of the presentations, I stumbled on this one gentleman. Older, proper English gent, and very talkative. My experience says if you let patient talk for long enough, then somewhere within the verbal deluge you will pick out that vital clue that will help you diagnose their illness. So I let him talk and it didn’t take me long to find the answer to his complaint and once I retrieved his test results I arranged for his safe discharge. And that’s when he got me. As I was giving him the paper copy of his discharge notes, the man, without malicious intent said…

‘Good girl, so efficient.’

Yup, me, a 40 odd year old Emergency Medicine consultant, was called a good girl, and I bet I was just one inch away from being patted on the top of the head. It was so inappropriate and borderline offensive that I could only laugh it off.

I know that in the world these days, there is a trend of name and shame and taking offence to everything that makes you feel uncomfortable, and yes, his words made me feel awkward as fuck, but for me as a doctor and author, it is the intention that matters. If someone wants to cause offence, especially if they are intelligent, they can find polite words to express their disdain. Still, more often than not, you meet people with no social graces, whose awkward attempts at compliments make you cringe, and those I just laugh off.

Life is simply too short for being a fragile butterfly, whose wings lose their shine under a gentle touch.

As you can see, I’m a good girl, with just a little naughty streak, so when something makes me cringe I simply write about it.

One wet nipple 🤣

I have no idea what get into us to go to the town in the very rainy Saturday morning. The rain wasn’t just falling, it was pouring but when you live in Cornwall you know this won’t discourage people from going shopping.

While we were strolling between other soggy looking people Mark got the idea that since it is Black Friday weekend why not check if electronic shops haven’t got any intersting deal. After all we had to think about Christmas presents and such. We were already loaded with other shopping bags and although I could manouver my umbrella without hitting to many people’s in the face I was unable to cover much taller Mark and he resorted to trust his rainproof coat.

So we went to the shop and while I was browsing the merchandise Mark went to chat with the salesman and to sign the deal on the product we wanted. The shop was hot so he proceed to remove his coat and suddenly I heard the dialogue.

‘I have wet nipple? Why I have only one nipple wet?’

Yup it was my man, looking at his jumper and large wet patch around his left peck. Completely oblivious he directed this question to mortified clerk. The cha looked at him, than looked at me and blurted out.

‘Maybe because one is always bigger?’

I really thought I will piss myself laughing there. The man got the deal and whole shop got the entertainement from my delisiously inapropriate man’s question why his waterpoof coat didn’t protect his nipple.

I think he will be forever known between the mobile phone sellers as

“The nipple man.”

Should I follow this heartfelt advice?

The reality of author’s life, and what you can find in your email box.

There is a grain of truth in this random unsolicited email. The authors big and small strive for review. Review means validation for our craft, feedback from the reader that can make or break your day. Finally the sales. And sales matters.

If you want to give your readers a decent book. One with cover that catches the eye. Sentences that are cleared from clunkiness and make sence in the long run. When you want the plot holes to be plugged and you struggle with oxford coma you need to invest in the book and hope that in the long run it will pay off.

Reviews buy the book. Potential reader check the blurb than scrolls down to see what others think about it and that influence their decision to buy a book so authors, ask and brag with ARC and giveaway to have the reviews.

So as I said there is a grain of truth in this email but no self respecting author will pay for the reviews, and after a good giggle I moved this angry buisness proposal to the spam box.

And speaking of giveaways… Christmas is coming and we would like to celebrate with you so here it comes. Our nevest giveaway. Sign up and enjoy.

Writer’s news and Netflix recommendations

Yesterday I added another 2000 words to our third book that I started to call the never ending story. I planned it on 95k as the rest of my books in the Season’s war series, but this book just keep on giving and I’ve already crossed this threshold and still have at least three chapters to write. It looks like our Spring Blight have so many plot threads it will take a moment to tie them up.

We put Winter Dragon on NetGalley, and I admit I did it with a slight tremble as I heard readers there can be quite harsh but hey we got a 5 stars there and our very first Winter Dragon Review that says:

So, celebrating and to give myself a bit of rest before I will brace with the next chapter tomorrow, I decided to watch “1899” on Netflix. It dragged us in, but what a bonkers series it is. I can recommend it to you as a mind-boggling experience. Nothing is as it seems or as it supposed to be and although we were a little sceptic at the beginning, the series dragged us in and we bonged on all 8 episodes overnight. But I won’t give you any spoilers. Just watch it if you can.

Now, you have the post published in the middle of the night UK time, because I’m wide awake and cuddling with cats.

Cats and writing 😁

My cats are peculiar when comes to my writing. I have a favourite position. with laptop on the extendable table and cross legged. Somehow it suits me the most but so it does to my cats.

Especially my girl Zuza treats my writing position as esclusive invitation to cuddle and somehow she always picks the moment when I’m engrossed in writing some particular intense battle scene. The more focused I am the more persistent she is to flop on my lap and stretch herself all over the keyboard.

Rokita is no better but this little devil always come here and bother me because he knows in order to get him out of my lap he is getting his Thirve treats.

He is a big boy and loves his snacks so he pushing his big furry arse here quite often especially when I write sex scenes.

I guess everyone of them has their own little specialty. So if I have any delay in publishing third book now you know why.

When you forget you also have a doctor career 🤣

Yup, I forgot I am a speaker in the international congress

Writing takes most of my non clinical time lately and I think I found my secodn call in life, but being so engrossed in writing the stories I tend to forget one important thing. I’m also a doctor.

Sometime ago I was asked to be a speaker in the International Emergency Congress in Antlaya. We were very excited about it especially that it was around Mark’s birthday and I was hoping we could send some nice “couple” time there. Life got in the way and we couldn’t fly there as we coldn’t find a suitable catsitter for the time.

AND I FORGOT ABOUT IT

till few days ago I didn’t get a message from the organisers ‘are you coming?’ I shit you not in a hope we could fly there I forgot to cancel my appearance and to make matter worse, I compleatly forgot about it. I had no presentation, and I was expected to give a lecture on the Ultrasound in Resuscitation. So I spend last few days preparing the slides for the hybrid/zoom appearance only to learn due to time zone difference my presentation is at 5:30am.

I am a proper zombie at this time of night, so the next step was to pre-record the presentation because slurred speech and yawning might not be best recieved. Any way today I woke up at ungodly hour of 5am put my best jumper over my pijama and apply any online filter I could find to look more like a human being and played my presentation in front of massive conference audience.

It was so well recieved that the chairman forgot to mark the timing and I exceed my alocated time frame. I won this one in a proper ED style.

Tired, sleepy and under preassure on the night shift.

😋

Celebrating Movember with humor – Mark’s take on man’s health

With a birthday coming up this week, my body decided now would be a good time to tell me that I need to stop pretending I’m twenty one. How? You might ask.

Well, as a fairly active man I have a reasonably fit body and a little dad bod tummy that I’m sneakily proud of, yes this is a weird household, don’t ask. However these last few weeks that cute little paunch has been growing, and now I appear to be approximately six months pregnant, which would be a miracle given my age, and the fact that I’m a white middle aged man.


So off to the GP I toodle. For those that don’t know, Olga is a consultant in the NHS and during her working day often trains the junior doctors that are on rotation in her department. Rotation is the system all new doctors go through in order to learn about all the disciplines and determine where they want to work in the future.


You may be wondering why this is relevant and it wouldn’t be if it wasn’t for the fact that my new GP is or rather was, one of Olga’s protégés, from the hospital, a young lady that instantly recognised me, and, after going over my symptoms determined I needed a few tests. This included blood, stool, urine samples and, the ever embarrassing finger up the bum.


First thing I’ll say is I’m not easily embarrassed, and the second is that the poor doctor was professional and did everything according to the guidelines, neither of us looking at each other entirely in the eye. The guidelines however meant that we needed a chaperone, and as I said not easily embarrassed old git here. So my GP nips out and grabs another doctor to join us.


In walks the chaperone, this time its not just one of Olga’s female protégés, but one I know personally and that we’d actually socialised with. Queue the awkward hi how are you etc. Then me turning around, climbing on the trolley and exposing myself to a personal friend whilst the othe acquaintance rifled through my insides.


Needless to say the proceedings were wrapped up very quickly after that and now I await my results and am keeping my fingers crossed.

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