Countdown to Christmas Day 5

We are going to blow our own wind instruments a little today. My personal preference would have to be the Sax, but you may be more into the Oboe or French Horn. All welcome here. 

Danie Ware, author of the blindingly excellent urban alchemical fairy tale ‘Children of Artifice’ has been featuring heavily over at Damien Seaman’s blog this week with an Interview about her writing career and dayjob and the juggling act many of you raising kids on top of work and writing will be familiar with.

Then there was an in depth review which looked at the prologue debate, the core of family drama in the book and how Danie is a master craftsman when it comes to using description to move things forward and world build at the same time. 

From the review
The book is heartfelt and emotional, authentic and musical, a new mythology that draws its power from the old.

Maybe add this one to your Christmas reading list and don’t forget to drop us a line at submissions@foxspirit.co.uk if you want to share some of your own favourites on the blog this December. 

December Count Down to Christmas

Books make fantastic gifts, I get Papa Fox one every Christmas, it’s his annual book and he always reads it over the few days of Christmas while he has a few genuinely slow days. 

So with that in mind we are inviting anyone who would like to, to send us a review or a short list of recommendations of books people should be reading and gifting this year. 

There is a £5 payment and posts should come to submissions@foxspirit.co.uk
We will continue to accept new posts until around the 14th. Please include your paypal details. Also, for each post we will put £5 into a pot to go to booktrust.org.uk. That’s £125 if we get a post per day, so please do join in. 

To get things going a few Fox Spirit titles you might want to consider for Christmas gifts and stocking stuffers.

***

The Judgement Call / Along the Long Road 
by Simon Bestwick and Penny Jones
Two short rural horrors playing with the idea of just desserts. A double date goes horribly wrong in Along the Long Road and in The Judgement Call you have to wonder, would the bell toll for you?

Winter Tales
Anthology
A collection of dark stories to keep you under the covers this winter
Edited by Margrét Helgadóttir

Cover by S.L. Johnson

The Monsters Series
Edited by Margrét Helgadóttir

European, African, Asian and Pacific Monsters are all available now, with Pat 1 of American Monsters coming later this month. Collections of short stories and at in a coffee table format. 

Ghoulsome Graveyard
By G Clark Hellery
Something for younger readers from our Fennec line. Spooky adventures.

And if none of those appeal, head over to our buy links to browse a broad selection of genre treats.

Review of Children of Artifice

Tej Turner has been kind enough to provide an early review of Children of Artifice by Danie Ware. So for those of you wanting to know a little more, here it is in full.

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Children of Artifice is one of those novels where, from the very beginning, it is hard to know what to expect (and I mean that in a good way!).

Set within an enigmatic second world, where humans live within a secular city-state nestled within a gigantic crater, knowing nothing of what exists beyond the impassable ridge which surrounds them except for that they were placed there by a mythic race of mysterious beings known as the ‘Builders’ long ago, one could at first suspect that it is going to be a YA thriller of intrigue and discovery. The age it is set in appears to be historic, and yet the rich amalgam of technology and alchemy which sets the scene cannot be pinned to any particular age, and there is also magic. It has elements of fantasy and science fiction, but they have been blended together seamlessly and do not jar.

The author has described it as an ‘urban fairy tale’, which is very fitting. It does have that feel of old and new. It is quite gritty at times, and yet full of beautiful moments.

I do not want to say too much about the plot, because it is a novel which surprises you at every turn and right up until the very end, it is impossible to predict what is going to happen because there are always several paths it could take. So I will speak instead of its other features.

One of its focal themes is family – both the ones people are born with and ones they create for themselves – and the relationships between the characters are filled with nuances which are tender, tragic, uplifting and everything in between. Society – how it controls those within it, and the many ways (positive and negative) which people rebel – is another central theme, and there are some interesting parallels which can be drawn with our present day. It has a wonderfully crafted, vivid setting, and complex, believable characters that come alive from the pages and leave a lasting impression.

I am particularly pleased with this novel’s diverse voices. Both same-sex and heteronormative romances take place during the story but none are presented as bring particularly shocking and the characters are never given labels, and yet it still examines issues of identity, prejudice, and sexual fluidity which are relatable to a modern day reader. It is refreshing to read a novel written in such a way.

Children of Artifice has a fantastic story, one I would recommend to readers of any genre and age. It conjures beautiful imagery and puts you in a state of living dream, taking you on an emotional journey which stays with you. I am looking forward to the sequel.

 

Release Day : Children of Artifice

It’s Alive!! *lightning, thunder, torrential downpour*

Cover by Sarah Anne Langton

Children of Artifice is live and available on an Amazon near you. It will also be available through Forbidden Planet from Mid July. We will post more information on store based events as it comes in, but for now, Danie Ware will be at Edge lit on Saturday 4th July, easily identified by her badge that says Danie Ware and her general new book bounce. 

We will have copies of Artifice at Edge so you can get them signed, just pop over to the dealers room, or bring your own with you, or any of Danie’s books, we don’t mind, it’s just nice to see happy authors scribbling on people’s stuff. 

Anyway, a bit about the book…

An ancient city, sealed in a vast crater. A history of metallurgical magic, and of Builders that could craft the living, breathing stone.

Caphen Talmar is the high-born son of an elite family, descended from the Builders themselves, his artistic career ruined when his ex-lover broke his fingers. One night, gambling down at the wharfside – somewhere he shouldn’t have been in the first place – he meets Aden. An uncomplicated, rough-edged dockworker, Aden is everything Caph needs to forget the pressures of his father’s constant criticism. But this isn’t just another one-night stand. Aden is trying to find his sister, and he needs Caph’s help. Soon, they find themselves tangled in a deadly game of trust, lies and political rebellion. And, as Caph begins to understand the real depth of the horrors they’ve uncovered, he learns that Aden is not what he seems. And Aden knows more about the coming destruction than Caph could ever have guessed. 

Praise for Children of Artifice

“Danie does it again: a delicious tale that I didn’t want to put down.
All the people, all the detail, all the story – and none of the drag. A
one-sitting read of pure joy.” – David Devereux

“Slippery, smart and sexy: an heady alchemical brew of high politics and low magic that’s strong enough to lay anyone low.” – Simon Morden

“A skilful alchemy of raw emotion, renegade sensuality and emboldened fantasy. Ware tears out her readers’ hearts and dips them in molten gold, making every one of us a willing child of Artifice.” – Kim Lakin-Smith

“Children of Artifice has a fantastic story, one I would recommend to readers of any genre and age. It conjures beautiful imagery and puts you in a state of living dream, taking you on an emotional journey which stays with you. I am looking forward to the sequel.” – Tej Turner

 

Awards Eligibility 2017

Hello Fox Fans. I just discovered it’s a think to let our readers know what titles we have had out in 2017 that could be considered for awards.

Novels
Fool if you Think it’s over by Jo Thomas, the 3rd Elkie Bernstein Book, a fantasy series
Starfang by Joyce Chng, the first in an SF series 
The Hobgoblin’s Herald by Andrew Aston, fantasy genre
Into the Blight by Jonathan Ward also fantasy genre 
The Girl in the Fort by Tracy Fahey, fantasy, fairytales, (fennec)
Skytown by K.C. Shaw, fantasy, adventure

Novellas/Novelletes
Ghoulsome Graveyard by G. Clark Hellery fantasy, horror (fennec)
Got Ghosts by Fiona Glass, horror, romance, 

Anthologies
Tales of the Mouse and Minotaur edited by Adele Wearing, mixed genre
Respectable Horror, edited by K.A. Laity, horror, chills,
Pacific Monsters edited by Margret Helgadottir, horror, art,

Collections
Multiverse by Jan Siegel and guests, poetry

Debuts
The Hobgoblin’s Herald by Andrew Aston, fantasy genre
Into the Blight by Jonathan Ward also fantasy genre

Young Adult
The Girl in the Fort by Tracy Fahey, fantasy, fairytales, (fennec)
Skytown by K.C. Shaw, fantasy, adventure

Middle Grade
The Girl in the Fort by Tracy Fahey, fantasy, fairytales,  (fennec)
Ghoulsome Graveyard by G. Clark Hellery fantasy, horror (fennec)

Artwork
Any of our titles. We always include artists details on the book page.

HEMA
I don’t know if there are awards for fencing non fictions translations, but we released two in 2017.
Treatise on Fencing, Docciolini transaltion by Piermarco Terminiello & Steven Reich (Vulpes)
La Scherma : The Art of Fencing translation by P. Terminiello, C. Stewart & P. Marshall (Vulpes)

Publisher/Small or Indie Press
Fox Spirit is an entirely indie press, with no affiliations to larger publishers. A small team works around their day jobs to bring you the best books we can, and stories we believe in. 

Awards
Some of the awards we look at.
This is Horror
Starburst Brave New Worlds
British Fantasy Society
Clarke Awards
Gemmell Awards 
Shirley Jackson Awards 

This year with Pacific Monsters we are also looking at The Sir Julius Vogel Awards 

All I Want for Christmas Is Books

Well, and coffee, and time at home with my family of cats and Mr Fox. Books are always high on the list though. 

I thought it was about that time of year that we remind you that Fox Spirit titles make amazing gifts.

For the swordsperson in your life, we have translations of the Italian Masters in our Vulpes line.

We have novels for those who like to commit and novellas for those who only want to commit briefly. 

If you aren’t sure what they are into try one of our many splendid anthologies or collections including the stocking sized Fox Pockets. 

We even offer poetry and non fiction prose along with titles for YA and younger readers.

Our titles are hard to pin to a single genres, so we gave up on that entirely, so if the bibliophile in your life is bored of the same old tropes, try something a little bit foxy.

If we can’t tempt you with our wares, then we humbly ask that you consider small press purchases, there are many good ones, or sign up your loved ones to explore the indies with Ninja Book Box.

We also recommend the lovely Lounge Books if you are looking for inspiration on what to gift.

They’re Here! Pacific Monsters

Welcome to Pacific Monsters. Editor Margret has again risen to the challenge, researching and inviting authors who really understand the horrors of the Pacific Region, covering New Zealand, Australia and the Pacific Islands. The great joy of this series is of course that exploration of a regions own monsters and the way some horrors are both universal and extremely local. 

Today is the launch of the 4th Volume of Monsters, a collection of short stories, graphic stories and art. We hope you enjoy it and the blog posts from some of the authors that started yesterday and will continue for the next week. 

More on all our Monsters here.

 

Are you ready to join us in the Fairy Fort?

It’s here! All of us here at the Fennec Den are so excited to announce the publication of ‘The Girl in the Fort’ by Tracy Fahey, with the beautiful cover by Jacob Stack. 

Set in rural Ireland of the 1980s, The Girl In The Fort is a novel about fables, friendship, family and fairy forts. After her father takes a job abroad, eleven year old Vivian is sent from Dublin to stay with her grandparents in their ramshackle family home in the countryside. At first she fiercely resents abandoning city life and her friends – her grandparents don’t even have TV, just hundreds of books. However, she reluctantly finds herself becoming attracted to the strange fairy fort in a nearby field, and the odd secrets it holds. But spending too much time in the fort can be a dangerous thing, as Vivian and her new friends Katie and Tommy find out. As the long, hot summer unfolds, Vivian sees her grandmother’s folk tales come to life, experiences the complicated joys of witnessing the past, and forges new relationships with her family.

You can buy your copy now through Amazon or Aunty Fox will have copies at SledgeLit where Tracy is a guest speaker. 

We’ve all really enjoyed joining Vivian on her adventure and hope you do to. 

Fennec : New Release

We are so proud of our little sister Kit, the second title in her line for Middle Grade to Young Adult readers is available today!

The Girl in the Fort by Tracy Fahey

Tracy’s collection of short stories was shortlisted for this years BFS best anthology and in this full length novel seh delivers the same talent for story telling.

‘Your actions affect others; you are very powerful.’ For a second her eyes seem to glaze over, her voice deepens. ‘You hold a great fate in your hands, and no-one can tell what way it will turn. It is all within you, but there are dark shadows around you…’

After her father takes a job abroad, eleven year old Vivian is sent from Dublin to stay with her grandparents in their ramshackle family home in the countryside. At first she fiercely resents abandoning city life and her friends – but reluctantly finds herself becoming attracted to the strange fairy fort in a nearby field, and the odd secrets it holds. But spending too much time in the fort can be a dangerous thing, as Vivian and her new friends Katie and Tommy find out. As the long, hot summer unfolds, Vivian sees her grandmother’s folk tales come to life, experiences the complicated joys of witnessing the past, and forges new relationships with her family.

Book Launch : Got Ghosts

Halloween is nearly upon us! The pumpkins are carved, the cobwebs draped and the ghosts are dusting off their best hauntings. It is the perfect time to launch a spooky novella for a little Halloween fun. 

Welcome to Greystones. Do you believe in ghosts? You will.

Haunted manor house Greystones Hall is filled to the brim with ghosts.  It’s also falling to bits, and artist owner Emily doesn’t have the money to refurbish the place. When the makers of hit tv show ‘Got Ghosts?’ offer to pay for a weekend’s filming there she jumps at the chance, even though she and her ghostly grandfather Gramps have reservations.

The reservations seem to be misplaced when the film crew swing into action, and producer Carl turns out to be dark, handsome and very available.  But Emily soon starts to have doubts about the methods they use, which Carl won’t discuss. Then the show’s resident medium Stella stirs up a new and malevolent spirit, revealing a dark secret at the heart of the house that has been hidden for centuries.  And when Emily’s own safety is threatened, together with that of her ghosts and her beloved Gramps, will it be Carl who comes to the rescue, or someone much more unexpected?