In fact this is the very first review of our new anthology CALL TO ARMS – and it’s not a bad way to start! Our good friend Kazza K at On Top Down Under Reviews has posted a hugely enthusiastic review which examines the merits of each individual story – no small task, as there are seventeen of them! – and sums up with these resounding words:
“I really do love a good short story. If you can tell me a heartfelt tale in a limited word count I am in total awe, and that mission was well and truly accomplished. I also want to give mention to Heloise Mezen for meticulously compiling the anthology. I can’t recommend Call to Arms highly enough. 5 Stars!”
In return, we can say that we love a detailed review which lets us know when a book has met an appreciative reader: thank you, Kazza, we’re grateful for all the time and thought that went into your review – and very glad indeed that you enjoyed CALL TO ARMS so much!
A delightful first review has emerged of Farah Mendlesohn’s debut novel SPRING FLOWERING, by author Heather Rose Jones on her own blog, Alpennia.
An informed and thoughtful evaluation of the book concludes with these wonderful words:
If you’ve longed to read stories of women loving women in history with happy endings that ground their love and their happiness in the spirit of the times, then Spring Flowering will be a breath of fresh air and a hope for a new wave of lesbian historical fiction.
That’s a powerful recommendation, which we can only echo wholeheartedly; thank you, Heather, for your time and for your eloquent endorsement!
Reviews continue to read us in random order, including this response of 12 September by reviewer Michael Joseph to Chris Quinton’s intriguing novel COINS NOT ACCEPTED. The reviewer loved the set-up and world-building, and concluded with this paragraph:
Allan, Miles’ childhood friend, is our main conduit for information about the parallel world. His story comes out little by little but in the end his history is, sadly, not that different from what some young men still go through in this world.
We love Chris’s world-building and her characters, too, and we feel that if ever a book was ripe for a sequel it’s this one; thank you, Michael, for your time and your good opinion!
These are arriving in rather random order at the moment, so apologies for posting out of sequence, but it’s always delightful to know that one of our titles has made an impression.
Once again it’s Elin Gregory’s THE BONES OF OUR FATHERS which has attracted attention, this time with reviewer Maya at Gay Book Reviews, who – among other things – has this to say:
The pacing never let up and the book held my interest continually. I was impressed at how plot twist was resolved. There is constant give and take between romantic part and the main story plot. Both Mal’s and Rob’s insecurities are cleverly used to pave the road for the two to learn to trust each other. Neither of them had that kind of emotional support in their life before so they have trouble adjusting.
This is interesting and well-thought out story. […] I’m looking forward to more books from this author!
As are we all, Maya! (No pressure, then, Elin!)
The indefatigable judges over at the Rainbow Awards are still reading, bless them, and have now had a chance to look at Elin Gregory’s immensely popular THE BONES OF OUR FATHERS. In a long and thoughtful comment, the anonymous reviewer begins strongly:
The Bones of Our Fathers was delightful. The writing style is fluid and fascinating, almost like the voice of a completely separate character
and goes on to systematically enumerate the book’s many qualities, ending with these words:
An excellent read; I very much enjoyed it!
Thank you, unknown reader, we very much enjoyed your review, too – and well done, Elin!
Submissions for our Shakespeare anthology NO HOLDS BARD are due to close in a week’s time on 31 October, although we’re in a position to grant extensions if necessary. (We’d prefer to discuss this on an individual basis, so please get in touch with us if you feel this may apply to you.)
At the time of writing, we have space for a few more stories – it’s been our experience that anthologies tend to fill up at the last minute! – so if we haven’t already heard from you but you think you may have something to contribute we’d be delighted to know about it. Less-popular plays and characters are always welcome, but if you’re inspired in any direction by the thought of queering Shakespeare’s work please tell us about your plans: after all, the more the merrier!
Plays covered so far include TWELFTH NIGHT, THE TAMING OF THE SHREW, THE TEMPEST and TWO NOBLE KINSMEN (yes, all the ‘T’s – TITUS ANDRONICUS, anyone? TROILUS AND CRESSIDA?) but there are still several of the ‘biggies’ outstanding; we have no HAMLET, no ROMEO AND JULIET, no OTHELLO …
We look forward to hearing from authors who think they may have short stories suitable to add to our collection … and in case it helps you to decide, we’ll reiterate that this is a *paid* anthology and you will be offered a fee for your work. Follow the link above for further details!
Those wonderful people over at the Rainbow Awards are still reading, bless their hearts, and in the past week they’ve bestowed Honourable Mentions on a further two Manifold Press titles!
About Morgan Cheshire’s A TIME TO KEEP the reviewers had this to say:
This story speaks of memories gilded by the passage of time, of a nostalgia for better days before wars decimated men and left them as walking shadows. It speaks of hope most of all, how love endures even in the face of death, and how love can transform sorrow to happiness.
Their response to R.A. Padmos’s LIKE PEOPLE was rather more compact – but, really, Exciting historical novel. Enjoyed every word is everything a potential reader needs to know!
Once more we’d like to thank the Rainbow Awards judges for their time and their good opinions; it really is very gratifying to see our books making such an impression in the wider world!
Before we wow you tomorrow with news of our three newest titles, due to be published on 1 November, here’s a gentle reminder for all our author friends who are (we fondly hope!) merrily dipping goose-quills into oak-gall ink and scratching away industriously in attics by the light of guttering candles even as we speak…
Well, we may possibly be getting slightly carried away, but we know you’re out there!
Just in case there are any ‘undecideds’ among our number, though, this is a good moment to remind everyone that submissions for our Shakespeare anthology NO HOLDS BARD are due to close on 31 October. (We’ll probably be in a position to grant extensions if necessary, but we’d prefer to discuss this on an individual basis so please get in touch with us if you feel this may apply to you.)
At the time of writing this, we have space for a few more stories – it’s been our experience that anthologies fill up at the last minute! – so if we haven’t already heard from you but you think you may have something to contribute we’d be absolutely delighted to know about it. Less-popular plays and characters are always welcome, but if you’re inspired in any direction by the thought of queering Shakespeare’s work please get in touch and tell us about your plans: after all, the more the merrier!
A final reminder that ‘early bird’ registrations for QUEER COMPANY 3 in Manchester will be ending on 30 September, so if you’d like to register at the discounted rate of £50 you will need to grab the opportunity quickly.
Details of how to register are to be found here, but if you have any difficulty with the form or any other questions we will be only too happy to hear from you – contact us by e-mail or in the comments below.
We’ll be announcing more details of our plans for the event through the winter, so watch this space (or one like it!) for information as and when it becomes available.
We’re still counting the days…