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!

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!

New title: BREAK OF ANOTHER DAY

We’re sure many of you are eagerly awaiting the 1 February release date for our two new titles, ARDENT by Heloise West, and HARBINGER ISLAND by Dorian Dawes.

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.

BREAK OF ANOTHER DAY will be released on 1 February, but is available for pre-order now:

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.

Two new titles announced for February!

To start off the new year in style, we are proud to announce two exciting new novels by authors who have recently joined the Manifold Press family. Between them they illustrate the wide range of quality fiction that we love!

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.

Pre-order links: Amazon US; Amazon UK; Smashwords.

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 … ?

Pre-order links: Amazon US; Amazon UK; Smashwords.

These books will be released on 1 February, but are available for pre-order now.

Happy New Year! And are you subscribed to our newsletter yet…?

Manifold Press will be starting the new year off in great style tomorrow by announcing the two new titles that we’ll be releasing on 1 February. In fact, not only the titles are new, but the two authors are new to the Manifold Press team as well! We’re thrilled to bits by the intriguingly different stories they have to tell.

If you’re not already subscribed to our ‘Coffee Club‘ newsletter, you may like to do so now. We promise not to overburden you with mail! We issue one newsletter each quarter, to announce our new titles, and then another short one on the day they’re released. In return, you’ll have access to articles and giveaways that you won’t find anywhere else.

Tomorrow’s issue features fascinating articles by our two new authors, exploring the research and writing processes, and all the ties between those processes and life in general.

We’d love to welcome you on board! Please do subscribe here, if you’re not with us already.

And in the meantime, we trust you’re enjoying your New Year’s Eve celebrations, and we hope that 2017 proves to be overwhelmingly full of excellent friends and good books.

AllRomance eBooks closing down

As I’m sure most people in our community are aware, AllRomance eBooks is closing down with very little warning.

This is a quick post to let you know that Manifold Press titles are still active on the ARe site. We wanted to ensure that readers can spend their eBucks (which, after all, have already been paid for) and that anyone who’s already bought a book can download it. We’ll inactivate the titles at some stage tomorrow, 31 December.

As you probably know, if you spend money buying new books on the site, that money will go to ARe and will not be forwarded to the publishers and authors. We’re assuming most, if not all, readers won’t want to do that.

If you want to buy new Manifold Press books, can we please direct you to:

Thank you for your support! We’ll be in touch again in the new year with any further responses to this situation.

Queer Company 2: the round-up

Queer Company iconIt’s taken a couple of days to pull the accounts together (and to shake off the Post-Con Crud), but we’re now in a position to reveal that we made a minuscule operating surplus on the event last weekend. (Less than £20, in fact.) Adding that to a couple of ad hoc donations and the £125 raised by the raffle means that we are in a position to donate a total of £250 to our chosen charities. We will therefore be sending £125 each to:

GALOP (http://www.galop.org.uk/), the LGBT+ charity for those who have experienced hate crime, sexual violence or domestic abuse, and which also supports lesbian, gay, bi, trans and queer people who have had problems with the police or have questions about the criminal justice system, and

Opening Doors London (http://openingdoorslondon.org.uk/), which is the biggest charity providing information and support services with and for older Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans* people in the UK.

Once again, we’d like to thank everyone who contributed by making donations and buying raffle tickets; as the saying goes, ‘every little helps’.

Finally, and because it got lost in the shuffle at the end of a very full day on Saturday – for which we can only apologise – we would like to say a big ‘thank you’ to the sponsors who so kindly supported the event: Sue Brown/UK Gay Romance, Chris Ethan, our friends at Two Marshmallows (who helped to pay for the booklet printing) and of course the awesome Clever Baggers who donated those spectacular purple giveaway totes. This literally wouldn’t have been possible without the contributions all of you made, and we want you to know how very much we – and our chosen causes – appreciate your generosity.

And now, we’re all going to lie down in a darkened room until it’s time to start hunting for a venue for Queer Company 3 …

New anthology CALL TO ARMS open for submissions!

Keep it Up - CALL TO ARMSCALL TO ARMS
Modern LGBTQIA fiction
of the Second World War

As a companion volume to A PRIDE OF POPPIES, Manifold Press is seeking stories set during the Second World War (1939-1945) featuring LGBTQIA people as the main characters. What were their experiences during this war? In what ways were those experiences the same as or different from those of other people?

Stories may be set in the war zone or on the home front, in any of the countries affected by the Second World War. The characters may be of any nationality, serving in the armed forces or on home duty such as fire-watching or civil defence. They may be prisoners of war, doctors, nurses, land girls, factory workers, conscientious objectors, or simply members of the public caught up in events over which they had no control. Stories may deal (but must do so respectfully) with people on all sides of the conflict or none. The individual characters and their lives will be the main focus.

Romances and sexual encounters are welcome subject matter, but should be kept to a ‘mild R’ rating with an adult mainstream audience in mind. All characters involved in sexual situations must be consenting adults. Similarly, violence and the results thereof should be handled with both realism and restraint.

In acknowledgement of the time in which the stories are set, all proceeds from sales of this book will be donated to an appropriate charity (to be confirmed).

  • Editor: Heloise Mezen
  • All stories need to stand alone, whether or not they relate to any existing work.
  • Story length: In general, up to 10,000 words; longer stories will be considered on individual merit.
  • Submission deadline: 31 May 2017
  • Planned publication date: 1 Nov 2017
  • Enquiries and submissions to: Heloise Mezen heloise@manifoldpress.co.uk
  • Click here for a PDF version of this page.

Please note: All efforts will be donated to the project, with no financial return. Authors will not be paid either a fee or royalties. Manifold Press will cover direct expenses. All proceeds will be donated to charity.

Image: “Keep it Up – Buy Three Percent Defence Bonds”. WW2 poster, designer unknown, issued by the National Savings Committee. In the Imperial War Museum collection and obtained via Wikimedia Commons.

Article about Jane Austen the humanist

A CERTAIN PERSUASIONI have just had the honour of an article being published in The Jane Austen Centre‘s online magazine!

I am sure many of you will be familiar with The Jane Austen Centre in Bath, situated in a Georgian house not far from where Austen herself once lived. It is a lovely and fascinating place to visit, from the delicious treats to be had in the Regency Tea Room on the top floor, down through various exhibitions, and not forgetting the Gift Shop on the way!

One of the things I found most fascinating in a recent visit was a Regency-era dress that had recently been made up from a bag of ‘discarded material’ – which proved to be the pieces already cut out for a dress and then abandoned. The material is such a lovely raspberry and cream stripe, so delicate. I am only sorry for the poor young woman who missed out on wearing it at the time. … Hhhmmm, perhaps there’s a story there!

Anyway! Writing a story for the anthology, and working with the other authors, just wasn’t enough. I also wrote an article titled Universally Civil, and submitted it to the Centre’s online magazine – and I’m happy to say they have just published it!

You can find the article here: Universally Civil. I hope you enjoy it, but in any case would be happy to hear what you think!

jane-austen-center-logo

And please be sure to support the lovely people at The Jane Austen Centre, just as they’ve supported us. Exceedingly civil sorts, the lot of them!