Elaine White has reviewed CARAVAGGIO’S ANGEL by Chris Quinton for Divine Magazine – and it seems fair to say that she was impressed! There are so many parts of the review that we’d love to quote here, but we’ll content ourselves with the conclusion:

Overall, this was a beautiful story of love, life, and self-discovery. Paul had one incredible journey, and I wouldn’t be opposed to reading more. The Caravaggio art work, history and the man himself were treated with great respect and care. The research was both well done and nicely twisted to fit the story. Fantastic!

Thank you very kindly indeed, Elaine! We’re delighted with your detailed response to Chris’s wonderful story.

Release Day review of ACROSS YOUR DREAMS

Mark and Sally at Sinfully Gay Romance Book Reviews buddied up to review our Great War charity anthology A PRIDE OF POPPIES, and now a year later they have done the same for the new title from Jay Lewis Taylor, ACROSS YOUR DREAMS. We first met the four main characters in this novel in Jay’s two stories in that anthology – though as Mark and Sally agree, the novel can be read as a stand-alone. They also agree that Jay knows how to tell a cracking good story!

I loved that very grown up attitude where they [Kershaw and Hamilton] had found a balance between love and duty. The romance between the two young infantry officers, posh Russ and more prosaic Lew, is newer and so more intense but they are also separated by duty. … Apart from being a superbly written book and a heart wrenching M/M romance this book for me belongs to those historical novels that illustrate the complete destruction, futility, aftermath and utter senselessness of young men on active duty. Just like the classic ‘All Quiet on The Western Front’ by Erich Maria Remarque, another classic that has to be read by any serious bookworm.

No author or publisher could wish for a finer response! Thank you for your time and attention, Mark and Sally, and we’re delighted that you feel it was well repaid.

Go forth and prosper, new titles!

It being the first of May, we are delighted to release our two new titles into the wild, boldly flourishing their beautiful covers! We feel sure they will find their way into many good homes.

ACROSS YOUR DREAMSJay Lewis Taylor’s new book ACROSS YOUR DREAMS deals with a web of relationships among a group of young gay men who meet, love briefly and then part again – for varying lengths of time – during, and in the immediate aftermath of, the Great War. It’s a tale of love and loss, of beginning again, and of finding something worthwhile to cling to in the rubble of a world destroyed. Readers who liked Jay’s two short stories in our anthology A PRIDE OF POPPIES will also enjoy this much more detailed portrait of some of the same characters.


CARAVAGGIO'S ANGELWe are fortunate to also have a book by Chris Quinton which was recently relinquished by another publisher. CARAVAGGIO’S ANGEL, now amended and extensively re-edited, is the story of Paul. Arriving in Malta to deal with the estate of his great-uncle, he finds himself drawn to the enigmatically beautiful Angelo – who, intriguingly, seems to have been both model and inspiration for more than one of the island’s successful artists.


It’s a Bank Holiday weekend in England, so we are hosting our regular Q+A on Monday 2 May – and this time we are trying something a little different, by hosting it on Facebook. We’d love for you to drop by for a chat with Jay, Chris and our other friends at the New release Q+A event, from 6pm BST / 1pm EDT / 10am PDT.

And of course we very much hope you’ll enjoy reading our new titles!

Our giveaway winners!

We’ve had two giveaways running, and I’m delighted to now announce the results. We held the draws this morning using

Author R.A. Padmos offered a signed paperback copy of her book RAVAGES, to be posted anywhere in the world. And the lucky winner is…

  • Carolyn

The Press offered our newsletter subscribers the chance to win a place at our Queer Company 2 event in Oxford in November. We’ll cover the delegate registration fee as well as contribute towards travel costs. And the lucky winner is…

  • H.B.

Congratulations to both! And thank you very kindly indeed to everyone who entered the giveaways. Julie will be in touch with H.B. very soon, and R.A. Padmos will be in touch directly with Carolyn. Please do sign up to our newsletter if you want to take part next time round.

And meanwhile, we’re wishing you all a happy Friday!

A PRIDE OF POPPIES, among other things

WWI anthology cover FINAL 200pxAs many of you would know, because we haven’t stopped talking about it in quite some while, our Great War charity anthology A PRIDE OF POPPIES was short-listed for the Historical Novel Society (HNS) Indie Award 2016. We are unbearably proud about being one of nine titles on the short list!

We recently received the news, however, that we haven’t progressed further. From the nine on the short list, four finalists were chosen by the judges. We are assured that the decision ‘was VERY close!’ which is a mighty fine compliment indeed.

We wish the remaining finalists well in the lead-up to the announcement of the winner and runner-up in September. Whichever titles are announced, we know it will be a well-earned honour.

RAVAGES - 200pxMeanwhile, our giveaway for a paperback copy of RAVAGES is still running. The volume will be signed by author R.A. Padmos and shipped anywhere in the world. We’ll need to close the giveaway within the next couple of days, however, so please do enter! After reading the recent glowing review of her novel IN THE PRIVACY OF THEIR HOME, I am sure you’ll feel it worthwhile to chance your luck.


IN THE PRIVACY OF THEIR HOMEWe were delighted to wake up to a very supportive review this morning, of IN THE PRIVACY OF THEIR HOME by R.A. Padmos. The review is from Mark at Sinfully Gay Romance Book Reviews, and I think it’s fair to say that he loved this tale!

I’m so happy I stumbled across this little gem of a book. … It doesn’t take very long to read but there is so much wonderful writing and emotion all crafted together in 123 pages it took my breath away and left me thinking about the story for days after. … Ms Padmos has a writing talent that struck every chord with me. A real wordsmith who crafts every subtle feeling, emotion and situation with an belletristic empathy that is a rare find.

We are certainly more than happy to agree that R.A. Padmos is a fine writer, with a particular gift in exploring not only her characters but also the times in which they live. Thank you, Mark! We’re delighted that this story, and how it’s told, resonated so deeply with you.

One more change … and it’s a big one!

March has been a very busy month for Manifold Press, in the run up to announcing our new May titles on 1 April. And, just in case you might wonder if it’s an April Fools’ joke, we want to take this opportunity to give you a preview of a change that will be implemented on that day.

This is the last of our significant changes for now, but it’s a doozy.

We are going to change our book cover design.

I know that many of you love our current designs, and have made a point of telling us so. Similarly, some people haven’t been so impressed, and have likewise told us! Our covers have certainly been a distinctive part of the Press’s identity. In professional wrestling terms, they have brought us a lot of ‘heat’! (Which is a good thing.)

However, after almost six years in business, it felt like time to make a change and try something a bit different.

We are hoping that those of you who love the current designs will stay with us through this change, as we wanted to broadly keep to our current approach. We’re still focussing on an image that reflects the setting or theme, as we believe this helps us emphasise that before anything else, story (and character) is what the Press is most interested in. For better or worse, we are still avoiding the more obvious romance tropes on our covers – and we still want to leave the appearance of our characters to our readers’ imagination.

We were delighted to work with a friend of the Press, Michelle Peart, in creating these new designs. She is also a writer, so she certainly empathised with what we’re trying to achieve. If you want to connect with Michelle, you can browse to her writerly blog The Copper River or follow her on Twitter @shellpeart.

Michelle created a number of draft designs, and we ended up choosing one of them, and then establishing variations that would help identify an individual title’s genre. The covers will vary depending on whether the setting is contemporary or historical, and on whether the story is paranormal.

I feel that the important distinction we’ll make via the covers, however, is whether the story is romance or fiction. We’ll be following this up with new tags on our website, but we’re colour-coding it into the covers as well, with romance indicated by a red strip and fiction by a blue. We know it’s important that the reader knows what they’re getting!

We had some real fun with the draft covers … The ideas we used were all for imaginary books – as written by Ewan Byge, one of the characters in my novel THE ‘TRUE LOVE’ SOLUTION. It seemed easiest to start with a fresh slate, and not worry about existing content or the comparisons inherent in using actual Press titles.

So … if you’re anything like me, you’re curious to have a glimpse at the draft designs. I’ve included four samples below the cut. I hope you like them! I have to say that I love them. And if it’s any reassurance, I think the covers for our real titles (that you’ll see on 1 April) are even stronger still.

Continue reading “One more change … and it’s a big one!”

Launching our new “Coffee Club” newsletter


MP Coffee Club Newsletter icon 200pxAs you will have gathered by now, we are implementing a number of changes at Manifold Press – one of which is to launch a quarterly email newsletter for our readers. The timing of it will tie in with our announcement of new titles, but of course we hope to also offer you news, short articles, exclusive giveaways, and other items of interest. The first issue will be sent out on 1 April 2016.

Staying with our coffee metaphors, the newsletter will be called Coffee Club. It will be run via MailChimp, so you know you can rely on all the appropriate Data Protection rules being met.

(Julie has just sent out an invitation email to a number of you who have bought a book, entered a giveaway or been in touch with Manifold Press at some stage over the years. However, we promise you that this was a one-off mailing, and if you choose not to respond, then we won’t contact you directly again!)

If you are interested in subscribing to the newsletter, please click this link

We hope you will join us! If there’s any news or information you’d like to share via the newsletter, we are always interested in considering contributions. And of course, if you have any requests, please let us know likewise.

Thank you again for your interest in the Press, its authors and its books!


Author R.A. Padmos talks about the first title she published with Manifold Press, back in August 2011. She is giving away a paperback copy to one lucky reader. See below for details!

Ravages, a few years later

RAVAGES - 200pxWriting RAVAGES started with a simple question. What would it take for a Premier League footballer, in the middle of his career, to come out as gay? This idea resulted in a novel about the consequences of the brutal violence of a few, the friendship of many and the love of one very stubborn man.

Ravages was published in 2011. I had hoped, perhaps even expected, that a hugely popular sport like football (soccer) would by now have at least one or two openly gay players active in any of the major European competitions. At the moment of writing this article, in March 2016, there are no such players. I guess the reason for that is a complex mixture of culture, imagined and real risks, lack of courage (hey, manly men in their twenties have as much right to be scared as anyone else), money and public image.

As a lesbian with a history of being out to pretty much everyone I ever met since the late Seventies, I’ve seen the price people pay for being in the closet. After all those years, and having met far more accepting straight people than homophobic ones, I have yet to meet the first heterosexual who truly understands the complexity of telling yourself it’s all private and half-believing it’s actually the honest truth, while at the same time feeling something in your reasoning doesn’t quite add up. Even if there are, obviously, situations in which you’d better keep your mouth shut if you prefer to leave home on your own terms instead of being kicked out by mum and dad.

To be honest, I don’t believe for a moment, that 100% closeted gay footballers active in the Premier League are the rule. Assuming that there are gay players at the highest level, and why wouldn’t I, my guess is that most have at least some friends, family, team-mates and others who are in the know. So, what keeps them so unanimously hidden from their fans?

It’s not my, or anyone else’s, business if or when any gay footballer of (inter)national standing fully comes out of the closet, let that be absolutely clear. To be honest, I would find the whole matter utterly uninteresting if I wasn’t so aware of the fact that being even partly in the closet in a society where homosexuality is neither a crime nor a shame, is perhaps not the best thing you can do for your mental health. After all, some heterosexual players might be more private than others, but none of them will go out of their way (including telling downright lies) to hide the fact that they are straight.

I don’t need public figures to come out to make the world easier for me. I even think there is an argument to be made that it’s the other way around. We, the mostly nameless gays and lesbians, paved the road that led to nice stuff such as the legalisation of same-sex marriage, and one famous individual after another being openly gay, lesbian or bi.

But I also don’t see why people who play professional football in any of the big European competitions, should exclude themselves from the wonderful feeling of trusting other people’s decency and learning that they are strong enough to handle the surprisingly few truly ugly minds.

I’m giving away one paperback copy of Ravages, signed with a message of your choice. I will ship worldwide, so anyone can enter. Simply enter via the Book Giveaways form (no one but the site admins Fiona and Julie will see the details). I will randomly select the winner, and contact them for further information. I’d also love to hear from you via the comments, though!

A PRIDE OF POPPIES is a Lambda Literary Award finalist!

WWI anthology cover FINAL 200pxWe were beyond delighted to discover today that our WWI charity anthology A PRIDE OF POPPIES is a finalist in the LGBT Anthology category of the 28th Annual Lambda Literary Awards.

Looking at the other seven finalists in this category, it is easy to see that we are in truly excellent company – and to have even made it this far as one amidst a grand total of 933 submissions is a great honour.

Congratulations to the Press and to all my fellow Poppies – including our indefatigable proofreader F.M. Parkinson – for all your hard work. This title was a real team effort, and I know you put your hearts into these stories. I am sure you are all feeling that this recognition is a terrific reward!

The winners will be announced on Monday 6 June in New York City.