More price reductions on old favourites

Continuing our year of changes throughout MANIFOLD PRESS, we’re introducing another set of permanent price reductions on classic titles.

BETWEEN NOW AND THENBETWEEN NOW AND THEN by Adam Fitzroy – now $4.95!

It’s 1991, and a group of English football fans are driving across Belgium; their trip takes them through the site of a former battle, and that’s when a strange sequence of events begins. For Dennis and Allan, colleagues who cordially dislike each other, this means journeying further still – into what appears to be the past, and into the lives of two men who travelled this way seventy-five years earlier, whose unfinished love-affair remains to be played out in full. As they move backwards and forwards in time Dennis and Allan have only themselves to rely on, no markers to show them where they’re going, and no real certainty of ever finding their way home again.

MONTANA REDMONTANA RED by Jane Elliot – now $4.95!

It’s out of the frying-pan and into the fire on the day Henry first meets Red. He’s happy enough at first to be having sex with a man – Heaven knows, it’s better than what he’s running away from! – but it isn’t too long before Red’s sexual extravagances are driving the two of them apart. It’s only when Henry’s trying to manage on his own again that he at last begins to achieve a little perspective – on inversion in general, on himself in particular, and even on his relationship with Red. That’s when he starts to wonder if maybe there isn’t a way back for them after all, but this time it will definitely have to be on his terms…

THE EAGLE'S WINGTHE EAGLE’S WING by Cimorene Ross – now $5.95!

Roman Gaul: Lucius Valerius Carus isn’t naturally impulsive; when he suddenly and unexpectedly buys a slave at a market it’s because he feels sorry for a man who has obviously been maltreated in the past. However he’s taken on far more than he bargained for with Keret – intelligent, educated, and a great deal stronger than he looks. Roman society wouldn’t think twice about Lucius using Keret for his sexual pleasure – indeed, it would be astonished if he didn’t – but it’s likely to be horrified if it ever learns that Lucius has started to respect his slave, and absolutely disgusted if it discovers that he’s gradually beginning to fall in love…

HUNTEDHUNTED by Liz Powell – now $6.95!

As a professional footballer it looks like Adam Hunter has it all, but when the secret of his affair with midfielder Louie Jackson begins to leak out he’s plunged into the depths of misery – prompting a desperate series of manoeuvres to conceal the truth. Injured, distrusted by his team-mates and plagued by personal tragedy, Adam goes from hero to zero – and by the time Louie’s transferred to a German side he’s running out of reasons to stay alive. If there’s any way back from the brink of suicide, it isn’t clear to him at the moment…

THE WALLED GARDENTHE WALLED GARDEN by F.M. Parkinson – now $6.95!

William Ashton, retained as a gardener by Edward Hillier, discovers his new master to be a detached and driven man. Over the years, as travail and tragedy bring them closer together, he understands that they have more in common than he first realised, but the affection they feel for one another will be sorely tested by boundaries both of class and of rigid Victorian morality. Like the private garden behind the high walls their love must flourish only in the strictest secrecy – or else it will not do so at all.

If you missed any of these diverse and fascinating titles earlier in their illustrious careers, this would be a wonderful opportunity of making their acquaintance!

New reviews of SMOOTHIE, IN DEEP

It seems to be either ‘famine’ or ‘feast’ when it comes to reviews, and this week it’s been ‘feast’! In addition to the Honourable Mentions in the Rainbow Awards which have appeared recently, we are now in a position to bring you two new reviews of our books – both from our friends at LoveBytes Reviews!

On November 7 (and we’re sorry to say we’ve only just become aware of it) a review by Roberta appeared for Jane Elliot’s SMOOTHIE, which gave it four stars and commented as follows:

I have to say that for a story over 200 pages, this story flew by and it didn’t feel as it took any time at all. I just sat down and didn’t stop until the book was done. I couldn’t believe it, this book just flew by and I didn’t even notice, I was that caught up in the story.

Thank you, Roberta, we’re delighted that you loved the book so much!

A few days later, on November 12, there was a review by Amber of Adam Fitzroy’s newest title IN DEEP, which gave it three stars:

As far as mysteries go this one was expertly told. The plot is solid, the landscape was beautiful in its description, and the characters were well developed. The whole place was so intriguing, the way the town worked and how they all were related somehow…

We’re very glad you enjoyed the mystery, Amber, and thank you for your comments!

More good news from the Rainbow Awards!

Once more, Manifold Press seems to have made quite an impression on the judges at the Rainbow Awards; we’re thrilled to have received two more Honourable Mentions in the latest batch to be released!

To take the books in both alphabetical order and chronological order of release, ESCAPING FROM HIM by Liam Livings drew the following response from the judges:

This is my first book by this author. From the beginning I was pulled into the world he created. I could not put this story down needing to see what would happen next and how the story would end. I will be looking for more from this author in the future.

RAINBOW AWARDS 2015
HONOURABLE MENTION

And secondly – but by no means secondary – here’s the judges’ verdict on SMOOTHIE by Jane Elliot, which was this Press’s first full-length female/female offering:

Must read page turner that will leave you laughing, gripping the arm of your chair, and cheering for the underdog right to the end. A fascinating read. True writer’s craft.

And there’s plenty more in similar vein, so once again …

RAINBOW AWARDS 2015
HONOURABLE MENTION

For a Press producing only eight books a year to have such a high proportion of successes in a very tough awards season is almost overwhelming; all of us here at Manifold Press would like to thank the judges and congratulate the authors. We hope we may be forgiven for being … just a little over-excited this morning!

AUTHOR GUEST BLOG NUMBER TWENTY – Jane Elliot

Eagle-eyed readers may have noticed that the regular Author Guest Blog Post is a little late this time, for which we would like to apologise – both to you and even more importantly to our author, Jane Elliot. It was simply a question of losing track of time, resulting in a panicked conversation late last night: ‘Hang on, what’s the date? Oh, bugger!’ We’ll try not to do this again.

It’s particularly embarrassing as this is such an important post from Jane, as you’ll see. Having said which, I’ll leave her to tell it in her own words.

– – – – –

It’s the End of the Trail for Me

For as long as I can remember, I wanted to be a writer. While other kids wanted to be astronauts or ballerinas, I wanted to be a bestseller. To me, the ideal future was one in which I wrote a seductively engaging book, passed it off to a dashingly clever agent and watched as the entire world was entertained by my words.

That dream carried me for nearly thirty years, as I learned how to write and found ways to share my stories. I spent a good decade of my post-college years working meaningless jobs to pay the bills while I wrote like a madwoman in the evenings and went through endless rounds of rejections from agents. I was so sure that all I had to do was get one book out there and my career as a writer would be made.

I still remember writing END OF THE TRAIL. It was a bit of a lark – I’d been writing m/m fanfiction for years, but all of my family and friends told me it was waste of time to write original gay fiction, as no one would publish it. Still, I was having fun with the characters and I’d been more than a little worn down by years of constant rejections as I’d tried to get my more mainstream books into an overcrowded market. Just like fanfiction, END OF THE TRAIL was practice for the Real Thing (i.e., the book that would eventually make me famous.)

It was pretty amazing when END OF THE TRAIL was published – for the first time I could tell all of my family and friends that those years upon years of work was worth it – I was an author! Supremely confident in my writing dream, I sat back and waited for the money to roll in, counting down the days when I could quit the drudgery of my job and start my career as a professional author.

(I can be very naïve at times.)

After a couple of years and a couple more books, I finally understood that most authors do not, in fact, make a living on their writing. Now that I was looking at spending the rest of my life working for a living, with writing as a low-paying side job, I realized that I didn’t want to spend the next thirty-five years doing something I hated, just so that I could afford to spend an hour or two in the evenings doing something I enjoyed. It was time to find a career that spoke to me just as much as writing.

I’ve spent the last three years in an employment program that allowed me to try out several different jobs. It was a tough three years, with very little income and a move every year to a new place and a new job, but in the end it paid off – I finally found something that I enjoyed as much as the written word. And, unlike the written word, it pays enough for me to live on.

With a new career in hand, it was time to take stock of writing and I finally came to the realization that my idealized dream of being a reclusive writer who did nothing more than put words to paper was never going to happen. These days it’s at least as important for published authors to be salespeople as it is for them to be writers, and I’m terrible at retail.

Fortunately, there are now myriad ways for a writer to connect to readers without going the publication route. Of course, they don’t pay anything. On the other hand, I now make enough money doing something I enjoy that I can afford for writing to be a hobby again, and it’s important to me to put as much passion into my new career as I put into all of those years of writing.

To that end, I’m announcing the retirement of Jane Elliot from published fiction. The novels I have written for Manifold Press will stay available, but going forward I’m going to focus on writing strictly for fun. For the next little while, at least, that’s going to mean fanfiction. If you’re open to pairings of all genders, I hope you’ll give my new works a try.

I want to end with some thanks. A huge, huge thanks to Manifold Press, which has been amazingly supportive to me over the years. Special kudos to Fiona and Julie, who have been the best friends a writer could ask for. And, most of all, I want to give my deeply felt gratitude to my readers – without you I’d never have made it so far. From the bottom of my heart, thank you!

– – – – –

What can we say in response to that, except that it’s been a joy to work with Jane – always professional, responsive and fully in command of her subject matter? Any editor or publisher with an ounce of intelligence would be thrilled to work with an author of Jane’s calibre, and we’ve had that privilege for almost six years now. While we totally respect and support her decision to move on to other projects, we can’t help being sorry that from now on life will be taking us on diverging trails. However we haven’t quite given up hope of maybe running across one another again in the future!

All the best, Jane, with whatever you choose to do, from everyone at Manifold Press!

New review of SMOOTHIE

SMOOTHIETo our great delight, Jane Elliot’s new title SMOOTHIE – our first female/female book, and a bit of a departure for the Press – has been most enthusiastically received on The Romance Reviews!

Reviewer Delta gives it five stars, having clearly liked the three central characters – Heather, Natalie and Jocelyn – and the fast-paced action of the book, and concludes by saying this:

Overall, this book was one action-packed adventure after another, and I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed every page of this book. Bottom Line: Female driven suspense novel with great action and dialogue and terrific character development. Highly recommended!

Thank you, Delta; we’re very glad SMOOTHIE was a hit with you, and we’re sure other readers will enjoy it just as much!

New review of SMOOTHIE

We’re pleased to find that our new releases are making friends around the world! Narrelle M Harris enjoyed Jane’s SMOOTHIE, the Press’s first lesbian romance novel – and she posted a review to her blog Mortal Words.

Heather is great, the supporting cast are mostly huge fun, and Smoothie is a rollicking good adventure of a love story.

A ‘rollicking good adventure’ sounds about right to us! We also appreciated what Narrelle had to say about how Jane handles Heather’s first-person narrative. We hope you, dear Reader, might give Heather and Natalie’s story a try as well!

Two new books released today!

It’s the first of August already!  How does that keep on happening with such amazing regularity?!

Casting hysteria aside, once more we’re proud to bring you two new books by two of our favourite authors:

In SMOOTHIE by Jane Elliot, the first in what we hope will be a new line of female-female adventures, we meet Heather, not the sort of girl you’d really look at twice, who reveals some unexpected qualities when she’s kidnapped and bundled into a series of high-octane adventures in the Florida Keys at the side of the mysterious – and devastatingly attractive – Natalie;

Over in Liam Livings‘ new title WRONG ROOM, RIGHT GUY we’re introduced to Simon, who’s struggling to be something he isn’t – conventional, boring, and an English teacher – when inside he knows he’s really a writer.  Blundering into the wrong room at his local Village Hall, he ends up with a group of recovering cocaine addicts rather than the creative writing group he was looking for – and that leads on to a whole series of misunderstandings which threaten to undermine the start of what could be a very promising new relationship…

These books both have a delightfully light-hearted quality, without skirting some of the more serious issues they both raise, and they each have leading characters who are flawed and struggling to overcome challenges life has thrown at them.  Watching them deal with their separate troubles will keep you thoroughly entertained and amused!

– – – – –

MANIFOLD PRESS is once again in the throes of moving to a new – and this time, we hope, permanent – home; our delicious year of exile at the sea-side is coming to an end, and we’ll shortly be relocating to our new premises in sunny Ellesmere Port.  If we’re a little quiet for a while, therefore, we hope you’ll understand why; normal service will be resumed as soon as humanly possible!

New titles for 1 August announced!

We’re a little early announcing our new titles this month but we’re not going to have access to the Internet on 1 July so here – a few hours in advance – are the details of the two new books we’ll be publishing on 1 August.

We’re delighted to welcome back Jane Elliot, one of our most stalwart authors, who in an exciting departure for Manifold Press brings us what we hope will be the first book in a new line of female-female adventures.  In SMOOTHIE we meet Heather, not the sort of girl you’d really look at twice, who reveals some unexpected qualities when she’s kidnapped and bundled into a series of high-octane adventures in the Florida Everglades at the side of the mysterious and devastatingly attractive Natalie …

And over in Liam Livings‘ new title WRONG ROOM, RIGHT GUY we’re introduced to Simon, who’s struggling to be something he isn’t – conventional, boring, and an English teacher – when inside he knows he’s really a writer.  Blundering into the wrong room at his local Village Hall, he ends up with a group of recovering cocaine addicts rather than the creative writing group he was looking for – and that leads on to a whole series of misunderstandings which threaten to undermine the start of what could be a very promising new relationship …

Both of these books have a light, fresh touch, and they take us on intriguing adventures with characters who are completely out of their depth; join us to see how, in their separate ways, Heather and Simon make sense of the bewildering situations they accidentally find themselves landed in!

New review of END OF THE TRAIL

END OF THE TRAILReviewer Sadie Forsythe took the opportunity recently to pick up a free copy of Jane Elliot’s title END OF THE TRAIL, and it seems she was very glad that she did!

It’s a wonderfully slow, angst free, subtle, Gay For You story and I very much enjoyed it. … I loved the way each man had his own personality and quirks. John and those chickens, for example. There was a lot to love in this book. … All-in-all, it was a great feel-good read and I’ll being looking for the sequel, as well as more of Jane Elliot’s work.

We’re delighted that Sadie enjoyed this title so much, and we feel quietly confident that she’ll love the sequel as well!

All good things must come to an end

Our present massive free book bonanza on AllRomance, Smashwords and related distributors will end on Friday 6 February. To those who haven’t so far taken advantage of it – now is the time!

The titles are

DEAR MISTER PRESIDENT by Adam Fitzroy
https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-dearmisterpresident-578559-149.html
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/328785

END OF THE TRAIL by Jane Elliot
https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-endofthetrail-578569-153.html
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/328791

FOOL’S ERRAND by Chris Quinton
https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-fool039serrand-578563-145.html
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/328800

HOMOSAPIEN by Julie Bozza
https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-homosapien-578562-149.html
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/341181

We’ll almost certainly be doing this again at some point, although when and with which titles we are not yet in a position to say; watch this space for further information!