New review of A PRIDE OF POPPIES

Over at Sinfully (formerly Sinfully Sexy) our friends Mark and Sally have joined forces to review our new anthology A PRIDE OF POPPIESwhich they’ve done by reviewing and rating each story individually, the average being a fraction less than four stars out of five. In addition, they’ve made some lovely and perceptive comments about the separate stories, and if we quoted one we’d have to quote them all; suffice to say that they’ve absolutely done us proud, and in particular have likened the book to ‘a box of chocolates’ which as chocoholics ourselves we’re definitely going to take as a compliment.

Thank you, Mark and Sally, we’re thrilled to know that you had such a high opinion of our work!

Interviews with our Poppies authors!

Historical novelist Elin Gregory is a lovely person and a very good friend of the Press – the latest instance of which is that she interviewed the authors of A PRIDE OF POPPIES, and posted the results to her blog over the past couple of weeks.

If you’d like to drop by Elin’s blog, you’ll find out about our authors’ inspiration, and about what else they’re working on now.

In reverse alpha, because I’m embarrassed about always coming first:

And please do share the love with Elin! She deserves every little bit of it, and every big bit, too.

New review of A PRIDE OF POPPIES

A lovely, enthusiastic review of our beloved anthology has been posted by Narelle Harris on her blog Adventurous Hearts. After some very warm and encouraging comments about individual stories – which we certainly agree with! – Narelle finishes her review with these words:

“The authors and publishing house all donated their efforts to this book, and a minimum of 60% of the proceeds are being donated to the Royal British Legion, which runs the UK’s Poppy Appeal. But don’t buy this wonderful anthology for that reason. Buy it because it’s a damned fine read which will break your heart, fill it with hope and remind you that love will find a way to grow, even under the harshest conditions.”

Thank you, Narelle – we’re thrilled that you liked it so much, and we really appreciate your recommendation!

Hooray, hooray, it’s the First of May!

It’s the day we’ve been looking forward to and working towards for such a long time – release day for our two new titles.

A PRIDE OF POPPIES is our long-awaited anthology of modern GLBTQI fiction of the Great War, all the proceeds of which will be donated to The Royal British Legion to assist in their excellent work with returned service people. Ten authors have contributed to this project, and our editor Julie has worked tirelessly to bring the project to fruition; we’re (we believe justifiably!) extremely proud of the finished result, and we’re absolutely sure you’re going to love it!

The authors include: Julie Bozza; Barry Brennessel; Charlie Cochrane; Sam Evans; Lou Faulkner; Adam Fitzroy; Wendy C. Fries; Z. McAspurren; Eleanor Musgrove; and Jay Lewis Taylor.

Alongside that, we are delighted to be bringing you another standout historical novel from Jay Lewis Taylor: THE PEACOCK’S EYE is a love story with a richly detailed background of the Elizabethan theatre and the complex political climate of a time in which nothing could ever truly be considered safe or certain. In such a world, trust will always be elusive – and love, perhaps, even more so. This is definitely a book to lose yourself in, and forget about the twenty-first century for a while!

We’re looking forward enormously to meeting those of you who are going to be joining us at our Queer Company event in Oxford next weekend. If anyone is still undecided, there are a few places left and just enough time to secure them – but registrations must close on Sunday 3 May – so register now, and don’t miss out on this ‘small but beautifully formed’ gathering for readers and writers in the Quiltbag genre!

New review of A PRIDE OF POPPIES

Another absolutely wonderful review for our A PRIDE OF POPPIES anthology, which is formally published on 1 May.

Reviewer Kizzia, writing on her blog Odd and Ends, says as follows:

“I cannot, hand on heart, say that each story accurately represents every aspect of the war that it includes, but I wouldn’t expect to be able to. In fiction the story is always the most important part and anyone who picks up a work of fiction expecting cold hard fact is always set for disappointment. What I can say is that I was swept up by the emotions of each story, concerned more for the characters than anything else, and I certainly didn’t find myself jolted out of any story thanks to any jarring incorrect portrays of life (whether in the trenches or on the home front) in WWI. Which is as it should be.”

From any reviewer this would be high praise, but coming from someone who so clearly knows her subject matter it’s doubly welcome. Thank you for your kind words, Kizzia!

Queer Company: the programme

We are exceedingly happy to announce the programme for our Queer Company event!

Please note that, due to the inexorability of Murphy’s Law, this programme was posted and then amended within 24 hours, but we trust this is about the shape of it now!

This one-day event will run from 10.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. on Saturday 9 May 2015. Please note that the doors of The Jam Factory will (literally!) open at 10.00 am.

The awesome Liam Livings will be our MC for the day!

Session 1: Clichés and how to avoid them
Liam Livings will be chairing this panel, ably supported by panellists KJ Charles, Morgan Cheshire and Heloise Mezen.

Book Launch: A Pride of Poppies
Charlie Cochrane, who wrote an utterly charming story for the anthology, will officially launch the volume.

Session 2: Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray: The First Gay Novel?
Our special guest speaker Iarla Manny will talk about this fascinating subject! Our genre has a few points of origin, I imagine, and Dorian Gray must be one of them.

Q&A: A Pride of Poppies
After lunch, Morgan Cheshire will chair this quick Q&A featuring Poppies authors Julie Bozza, Charlie Cochrane and Eleanor Musgrove.

Session 3: Sex scenes – how necessary are they?
Julie Bozza will chair this panel, with panellists Bruin Fisher, Fiona Pickles and Chris Quinton.

Session 4: A Duty of Care to our Characters
Our keynote speaker Charlie Cochrane will conclude the day on a lovely note with this thoughtful topic.

For more details, please visit the Programme page on the event website.

I hope you’re all looking forward to it as much as we are! Huzzah!

ETA: Importantly, please note that registrations will close on Sunday 3 May, or sooner if we fill up. That gives us a week!

New review of A PRIDE OF POPPIES

One of the very best aspects of this anthology is the way it’s making so many new friends out there in the blogosphere; we’re delighted to have been favourably reviewed by blogger Amos Lassen, who considers each story individually and in some detail (whilst at the same time gallantly refraining from spoiling the endings) and concludes with these words:

“This is an anthology in which every story is an excellent read and a look at an age that none of us experienced personally.”

Thank you, Amos; it’s a great pleasure to make your acquaintance, and we’re very glad you enjoyed the book so much!

A 5-star review day for the Press!

THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER WYEThe Press is enjoying not only a fine day of Spring weather – and on a Saturday too! – but also a couple of crackingly good reviews.

The well respected historical novelist Elin Gregory has recently read Adam Fitzroy‘s THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER WYE, and has made it her Saturday Recommendation.

If you like the more cosy sort of mystery and heroes more at home with kitchen tools or a trowel than a Glock and nicely drawn portraits of kids and dogs that aren’t the least bit cutesy-poo, then I think you’ll enjoy this book as much as I did.

We are as delighted by Adam’s ‘everyday’ heroes, Rupert and Jake, and the Wye Valley setting as Elin is – and we hope that you’ll enjoy their story too.

Our forthcoming Great War anthology A PRIDE OF POPPIES has received a heartening pre-release review from Kazza K at ON TOP DOWN UNDER BOOK REVIEWS. This anthology has been a real labour of love from all involved, and Kazza has certainly responded in kind.

A Pride of Poppies is a quality anthology. There isn’t one story I didn’t enjoy. The editing is superb and the writing exceedingly good to sublime. I had only previously read Barry Brennessel and Charlie Cochrane and I could not believe the depth and breadth of storytelling in each individual story.

We can only hope that all who give this volume a try will find something in it to move them just as Kazza was moved.

A PRIDE OF POPPIES will be released on 1 May, and is already available for pre-order on Amazon US and Amazon UK. All proceeds will be donated to The Royal British Legion.

It only remains for us to hope, Dear Reader, that you are having a Saturday as splendiferous as ours!

New titles for 1 May

Our next two books will be published on 1 May, and both are well worth getting excited about!

We’ve already been making a bit of a fuss about A PRIDE OF POPPIES, an anthology of modern GLBTQI fiction of the Great War. We hope that our readers will welcome this particular project, as all proceeds will be donated to the charity The Royal British Legion. Three of the ten authors involved are Manifold Press stalwarts, and we are delighted that their contributions are joined by those of seven authors new to the Press.

Our second offering follows on from last year’s DANCE OF STONE, with Jay Lewis Taylor bringing us another vivid historical with THE PEACOCK’S EYE. This time we visit the last tumultuous years of Queen Elizabeth’s reign, and we come to know and love the actor Philip Standage just as surely as we did Hugh mason. Jay deftly combines thorough research with a cracking good yarn, with the whole brought to life by his wonderful range of characters.

Meanwhile, tickets are still available for the new one-day event that the Press is hosting: Queer Company, in Oxford on Saturday 9 May. Everyone who loves this genre as much as we do is very welcome to join us! You can find the event website, including registration details, at manifoldevents.co.uk.

The final piece of the programming puzzle is just falling into place now, so we’ll have some more details available very soon!

A PRIDE OF POPPIES: The Grand Reveal!

We are so very proud to announce that A PRIDE OF POPPIES, our WWI anthology, will be released on 1 May, with a formal launch at the Queer Company event in Oxford on 9 May.

In the normal course of events, we would wait until April to announce the details and reveal the cover. This title, however, seems to demand a little more attention. And so in this post we are revealing the authors, the cover, and the charity to which all proceeds will be donated.

And so, with no further ado …

A PRIDE OF POPPIES features thirteen stories by ten terrific authors, including a few of the Press’s stalwarts, and many who are new to the Press. A more enthusiastic, professional and talented bunch, our editor couldn’t have wished for … (Oh, and she penned something for it, too.)

Our authors are:

  • Julie Bozza
  • Barry Brennessel
  • Charlie Cochrane
  • Sam Evans
  • Lou Faulkner
  • Adam Fitzroy
  • Wendy C. Fries
  • Z. McAspurren
  • Eleanor Musgrove
  • Jay Lewis Taylor

The cover is a particularly lovely riff on the distinctive Manifold Press style.

WWI anthology cover FINAL 200px

And we are deeply honoured to announce that all proceeds will be going to THE ROYAL BRITISH LEGION, home of The Poppy Appeal. It seemed clear from the start that this anthology must be a charitable concern, and it also seemed clear that the Legion must be our first choice of charity. We have rarely been prouder than when the Legion agreed.

You’ll be hearing from us again with more details between now and May. We will make the books available for pre-order as soon as possible. In the meantime, thank you very kindly indeed for your interest! We hope that our readers will be happy to support a worthy cause, and to receive something entertaining and thought-provoking in return.