Call to Arms – call for more!

by anthology editor Heloise Mezen

I’m delighted to say that I have received from their authors the first two stories of the Call to Arms anthology; the stories have been accepted and sent back to the authors with editing suggestions, and I’m eagerly awaiting them back again to send out to the proof-reader.

‘Proof-reader?’ I hear you saying. ‘When the deadline isn’t until May?’ Which is true, of course, but I am sure you’ll understand that nobody wants to deal with a spate of stories all at once;  a gentle flow is far more manageable!

So, if you have an idea for Call to Arms, stand not upon the order of its writing, but write now! Send it soon! I really am happy to receive stories whenever before the deadline they may happen to arrive.

Or, do you want to write a story, but are so far without an idea? I have read a fair amount round World War 2, so perhaps I may make an observation here: it really was a world war, and stories from all round the world could form part of the collection. For those of us in the UK it’s easy to think of it as a Western European struggle, and to forget that the Balkans (again) and Russia (again) were involved: civilians and fighters from Africa, Australia, Burma, the Caribbean, China, India, Japan … many places to choose from, and many sorts of people, whether refugees, evacuees, soldiers, sailors, airmen and women, prisoners of war or simply people trying to live their lives in unimaginable circumstances.

And here, just because I can, is a story.

I was with my father about a month ago, driving round North Norfolk looking for a World War One training camp (a long story, to do with my job) and Dad started reminiscing. Not about 1939-1945, when he was an evacuee (his mother with Civil Defence and his father with the Army), but about his National Service in the 1950s, when he was posted to Catterick on the North York Moors (which has been a military base since the Romans called it Cataractonium, and later when it may have been where the British called Catraeth). He and his platoon were out fire-fighting, because the moors are peat moors, and Dad remembered rather enjoying himself in the sunshine. Then he asked what my WWI trainee served as, and when I said “RAMC” he chuckled.

‘What’s so funny?’ I asked.

‘The RAMC had a little caravan up here, and they ran a brothel from it.’

I didn’t ask him whether he’d taken advantage …

Have you a story for Call to Arms? Or do you have an idea, and want to know if it’s suitable? See the call for submissions – and do feel free to contact heloise@manifoldpress.co.uk and talk it over.

It’s “Read an Ebook Week” on Smashwords!

Smashwords are celebrating Read an Ebook Week from 5 to 11 March 2017 – and what that means for readers is deep discounts on awesome titles!

Manifold Press is participating, with all of our titles, backlist and new, discounted by 25%. (The only exception is our charity anthology, A Pride of Poppies.) Now is the time to stock up that TBR pile, and maybe try some new stories you’ve been pondering.

Browse the Manifold Press catalogue on Smashwords – or browse the full catalogue of all the discounted ebooks across the site. We’re 100% sure you’ll find something to love!

New review of ARDENT

We’re very happy to find another very positive review of ARDENT by Heloise West, this one from Lisa at The Novel Approach.

… I was so eager to take on Heloise West’s Ardent. It’s not only set in a time not often covered in historical romantic fiction but is set in the Italian art community of the 15th century, incorporating a forbidden love story with murder and intrigue, and doing so beautifully.

Thank you, Lisa, and we’re delighted that you enjoyed Heloise’s story as much as we do!

Another review of ARDENT

We were delighted to see a new review of Heloise West’s novel ARDENT from fellow ‘history nerd’ Diane on the Hearts on Fire Reviews site.

… the story was very well written and the whole plot was so well crafted. These are great main and supporting characters, and of course the culture of the village and city play parts in this too. The book has a great pace and really gets hard to put down once all the cards seem to be in play, which is when the author introduces the twists!

Thank you, Diane! We’re very happy that you enjoyed this intriguing tale as much as we did.

Elin Gregory offers the comfy chair to Dorian Dawes

The unutterably charming Elin Gregory (author of the selling-like-hot-cakes ELEVENTH HOUR) has kindly let Dorian Dawes sit in the comfy chair. You can read the resulting conversation on her blog via the following link:

Thank you so much, Elin, for your support and all your insights!

Charlie Cochrane interviews Dorian Dawes, Jay Lewis Taylor and Heloise West

The inimitable Charlie Cochrane is a great friend of Manifold Press, and unstintingly supportive of our team members. She has interviewed the authors of the three recent new titles, and you can find the interviews on Dreamwidth via the following links:

Thank you so much, Charlie, for offering us space on your blog and asking such fascinating questions!

Release day review of HARBINGER ISLAND

Cheryl at Sinfully Gay Romance Book Reviews has very thoroughly reviewed our new title, HARBINGER ISLAND by Dorian Dawes. It’s true that, as Cheryl points out, this is not a romance. However, it is an immersive Lovecraftian tale of dark fantasy – and we suspect that fans of that genre will love it.

This was a real sit the edge of the seat, keep your eye on the shadows and trust absolutely no one book. After a slow start, I thoroughly enjoyed it and can recommend it to anyone who has a love for creeping horror, ritualistic murder and things with more tentacles than they’ve any business to have – oh and a damn sexy, green gorgon with scales.

Thank you, Cheryl! And, like you, we loved the intriguing range of LGBTQ+ characters, and also had our individual favourites for whom we were rooting with every shred of our beings.

Three new titles available today!

The month that passes between the day we announce our new titles and release day always seems very very long indeed – even to those of us lucky enough to have read the titles while working with the authors. But we’ve survived once more, and here we are on 1 February, with three new titles available now!

We are very proud of the two exciting new novels by authors who have recently joined the Manifold Press family, Dorian Dawes and Heloise West – and also of the new stories from Press stalwart Jay Lewis Taylor. These titles certainly do embody our wide range of quality fiction!


Self-described social justice witch and full-time gender disaster Dorian Dawes introduces us to the fascinatingly bizarre world of HARBINGER ISLAND, permanently under siege from manifestations of the occult and protected by a motley collection of academics and students.  It is a world in which nothing at all is certain – gender and memory in particular – and good and evil are never really as far apart as one might have imagined.

Buy links: Amazon US; Amazon UK; Smashwords; Barnes & Noble; Kobo.


In ARDENT, Heloise West takes us to the fascinating world of the painters of Renaissance Italy. A high value is placed on the work of master painters – and also on the dyes and pigments they use. In the turbulence of Medici Florence, this can mean life or death, even for the innocent let alone those who try to rig the system to their own advantage. Into this corrupt world arrives master painter Morello, who has yet one more deadly secret to keep – he has fallen hard for the workshop’s assistant, Benedetto, a young man as intelligent as he is beautiful. Can either of them survive the intrigues surrounding them … ?

Buy links: Amazon US; Amazon UK; Smashwords; Barnes & Noble; Kobo.


In addition to these, we’re delighted to have a new Espresso Shot from Rainbow Award winner Jay Lewis Taylor, following on from his successful novel ACROSS YOUR DREAMS. In BREAK OF ANOTHER DAY we follow further developments in the lives of Jack Townsend – still being blackmailed – and David Lewry and Alan Kershaw – close, but not yet close enough – as they begin to forge new lives for themselves in the aftermath of the war to end all wars.

Buy linksAmazon UK; Amazon US; SmashwordsBarnes & Noble; Kobo.

Our Espresso Shots imprint is designed for shorter works, with a more informal publishing schedule than for our ‘regular’ works. The imprint features the same cover for all its titles. Given that the cover will grace stories of any style and any genre, we chose an image that evokes the comforts – and the stimulations – of the reading experience itself.


We hope you’ll give one or more of these titles a go – and we’re pretty sure you’ll enjoy them, if you do!

Advance review of ARDENT

Kazza K of On Top Down Under Book Reviews with Substance has reviewed ARDENT by Heloise West, in advance of its release on 1 February 2017. Kazza concluded:

I’ve never read Heloise West before but I was impressed with this book. The writing is pretty tight – it captures the essence of the Italian Renaissance, the mood and the people, very well. … I would definitely recommend Ardent to those who want a well written and interesting historical romance that sets the right tone for the crime and the time.

We’re happy to declare that we wholeheartedly agree!

If you just can’t wait, you can pre-order ARDENT now:

Review of ELEVENTH HOUR

We were delighted to see a new review of the very popular ELEVENTH HOUR by Elin Gregory. Anya at Binge on Books says:

What to Expect: Delightful slow-build spy romance with a cross-dressing MC

What you will love: Intricate world building, intrigues and plot twists, sex scenes that will leave you HAPPY and wanting more, MILLIE is everything and Pritchard is the best manservant ever!

Thank you, Anya. We’re so glad you enjoyed this story as much as we do!