Books you should buy for Christmas (and not just mine!) :D

It’s that time of the year again: the weather gets a little rougher, the nights are seeping into our days, and you start saying things like ‘I can’t believe it’s dark at four o’clock!’ even though you have experienced this strange phenomenon every year of your life… It’s actually my favourite time of the year, being an Autumn/Winter person rather than a Spring/Summer type person, and this is despite the looming stress of Christmas – what to buy? What for dinner? Who are we eating dinner with? What lingering family resentments need to be avoided? Posting cards this year or just pretending that I did?

So this year I offer the following to help with some of the Christmas stress. Have a fantasy reader you need to buy for? Or just need to alleviate the pain of buying presents with buying some for yourself? (I do this a lot). Then may I recommend, um, my books?

Here are some excellent reasons to buy the Copper Cat books:

The covers are really very beautiful and feature dragons. They will beautify anyone’s bookshelves and immediately convey a sense of good taste and gravitas.

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The books themselves are quite hefty, so you are a) getting good value for your money b) could potentially use them to batter an intruder with.

Some quotes from people who have enjoyed the Copper Cat books:

‘Tolerable. Needed more elves.’ – Aragorn, son of Arathorn*

‘I liked the bit with all the horses. Wait, which book was this again?’ – Shadowfax

‘There’s fighting, dragons, treasure. What’s not to like?’ – Beowulf

Alright, okay, some quotes from people who have actually read the books (and do really exist):

‘Near perfect fantasy-adventure… read it and remind yourself what made you fall in love with fantasy’ – Starburst Magazine

‘Williams has thrown out the rulebook and injected a fun tone into epic fantasy without lightening or watering down the excitement and adventure… Highly recommended’ – The Independent

‘Highly inventive, vibrant high fantasy with a cast you can care about’ – The British Fantasy Society

The Copper Cat books are sword and sorcery with a modern edge – adventure, snark, terrible dark deeds done in the name of magic, and a sprinkling of sexy times. You can buy The Copper Promise and The Iron Ghost right now, and even pre-order the final volume in the trilogy, The Silver Tide. However, if chunky sword and sorcery books aren’t your thing, then here are some other fantastic books from across the genre spectrum, all of which would be spectacular additions to the space underneath your Christmas tree:

The Boy with the Porcelain Blade by Den Patrick – a darker shade of fantasy, with delicious gothic horrors and lashings of swordfights. The sequel, The Boy Who Wept Blood, is also available.

Uprooted by Naomi Novik – a gorgeous fairy tale with probably the most beautiful depiction of magic use I’ve ever read. Also, it’s quite sexy.

Battlemage by Stephen Aryan – like magic that punches you in the face? This is the book for you.

Banished by Liz de Jager – if you have young people to buy for (or you just fancy a bit of ass-kicking adventure yourself) then may I introduce you to Kit Blackhart? She is going to knock your socks off. The sequel, Vowed, is also available now.

The Vagrant by Pete Newman – a book that defies description, but it’s likely you won’t have read another fantasy book like it.

Anything by Robin Hobb – You’re a person of taste and distinction, so you don’t need me to recommend Robin Hobb to you, but perhaps you know a burgeoning fantasy fan who hasn’t read Assassin’s Apprentice yet. You know what to do.

The Devil of Nanking by Mo Hayder – a sudden horror/crime recommendation for you. If you like unreliable narrators and unspeakable evil (and who doesn’t, at Christmas?) I can’t throw this book at you fast enough.

Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky – a science-fiction reader you need to buy for? Expand their minds with this and never look at spiders in the same way again.

I hope that one of the books I’ve banged on about here will tickle your fancy, and remember that the greatest present you can give an author is a photo of you gleefully hugging their book you have just willingly purchased with actual money in a bookshop, or even, praise be to all the little goblins, a review.

Wishing you the best of times at the best time of year,

Jen x

 

*please note, there are no actual elves in the Copper Cat books.

The Next Month in Book Events – come one, come all! And so on.

There’s so much going on in the next few weeks that I’m going to have to sum it up in a blog – not just for Useful Informational Purposes, but because I feel like my editing-addled brain might just forget something, and it would be fairly embarrassing to forget to turn up for my own launch. But it’s not all about me and my mead-fixation! A number of very cool books are about to smack you in the face with their awesome… Firstly though:

Wednesday 19th February The Copper Promise Launch at Forbidden Planet posting coverCome and join me (on my birthday, no less) in one of my favourite places in London as I launch my first ever book. Expect an awkward reading, progressively untidier dragons scribbled in copies of the book, and then later on, my tearful lurching out of the pub, possibly hugging a copy of my own book and telling passers-by how I’ve had a dream come true and it’s all amazing and where can I get a burger around here?*

Tuesday 25th of February The Super Relaxed Fantasy Club meet-up

Come to the Royal Festival Hall and hang out with like-minded genre fans, while we discuss/chat/gossip about everything going on in the SFF community at the moment. Assuming I don’t have a chest infection this time round (ye gods no) I will be doing a reading from The Copper Promise and then possibly answering questions about it. (Please note: I do not mind if these questions are of the “Would you like a drink?” variety)

Thursday 27th of February Banished by Liz de Jager launches at Foyles

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Kit is proud to be a Blackhart, now she’s living with her unorthodox cousins and sharing their strange lives. Especially since their home-schooling includes spells, fighting enemy fae and using ancient weapons. But it’s not until she rescues a rather handsome fae prince, fighting for his life on the edge of Blackhart Manor, that her training really kicks in. With her family away on various missions, Kit must protect Prince Thorn, rely on new friends and use her own unfamiliar magic to stay ahead of Thorn’s enemies. As things go from bad to apocalyptic, fae battle fae in a war that threatens to spill into the human world. Then Kit pits herself against the Elder Gods themselves – it’s that or lose everyone she’s learnt to love.

Liz is my agent bro and a very cool lady, and her first book is going to knock your socks off.

Thursday 6th March The Burning Dark and Hang Wire by Adam Christopher DOUBLE LAUNCH

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In The Burning Dark, Idaho Cleveland has one last mission before early retirement – decommissioning the Coast City, a distant research outpost orbiting the toxic star Shadow. Once there, Ida’s only contact with the outside universe is through his ham radio—which begins to tune itself to the banned and sinister dimension known as subspace. Fighting isolation and paranoia, Ida hears and records a disturbing transmission over the radio—a woman’s thousand-year-old mayday call. But, when the voice on the recording begins speaking to Ida just as the station is attacked by mysterious forces, Ida realises he is about to face an enemy far more evil and insidious than anything he’s ever faced before.
In Hang Wire, Ted Hall is worried. He’s been sleepwalking, and his somnambulant travels appear to coincide with murders by the notorious Hang Wire Killer. Meanwhile, the circus has come to town, but the Celtic dancers are taking their pagan act a little too seriously, the manager of the Olde Worlde Funfair has starting talking to his vintage machines, and the new acrobat’s frequent absences are causing tension among the performers. Out in the city there are other new arrivals – immortals searching for an ancient power – a primal evil which, if unopposed, could destroy the world!

Adam is writing books unlike anyone else at the moment, and this evening is the perfect opportunity to check out the sheer crazy variety of his books – from ghost story space opera to serial killer thriller – and get him to sign them for you.

Monday 10th March Den Patrick and Jen Williams Debut Fantasy Author Talk at Blackwells – featuring The Boy with the Porcelain Blade and The Copper Promise new Blade imageAn ornate yet dark fantasy, with echoes of Mervyn Peake, Robin Hobb and Jon Courtenay Grimwood, The Boy With The Porcelain Blade is a beautifully wrought story of a young man finding his way through the dark heart of fantasy state not unlike a Renaissance Italian city state. There’s an intriguing back story, terrifying levels of deceit and a horrifying secret at the centre of it all but the star of the piece is the brilliantly engaging hero: Lucien. Lucien de Fontein has grown up different. One of the mysterious and misshapen Orfano who appear around the Kingdom of Landfall, he is a talented fighter yet constantly lonely, tormented by his deformity, and well aware that he is a mere pawn in a political game.

Another debut fantasy author you’re going to want to get to know, Den Patrick’s The Boy with the Porcelain Blade comes out on the 20th of March, but you can pick up early signed copies at this event, as well as listen to us answer questions and waffle on. Hooray!

 

Well, that’s my social calender sorted for the next month. What will I see you at? 😉

 

* Not really, I promise to behave. And I know exactly where to get a burger.