Our three new titles for May are now available!

We’re very excited by our three offerings for your spring / autumn reading pleasure! We are honoured to be publishing new work from Jay Lewis Taylor and the award-winning Barry Brennessel, as well as our new Shakespeare-inspired anthology NO HOLDS BARD. These are all available now.


We weren’t alone in wanting to know more about the fascinating characters and setting of Barry Brennessel’s short story in our Great War anthology A PRIDE OF POPPIES, so we know we won’t be the only ones thrilled to read his ANH SANG novella. This expands and significantly develops the original story, in surprising and intriguing ways.

Barry has also adapted the story into a screenplay, which has won recognition in prestigious screenwriting contests. We’re proud as punch to be playing a small role in bringing you this tale!

Buy links for ANH SANG:


From Jay Lewis Taylor we have the story WHERE ANGELS FEAR, in which Richard, invalided home from the Navy, meets Les, a Lancaster bomber pilot still serving with the RAF. This story ranges from the intimately personal to the internationally significant, in carefully considering how war affects those most closely involved.

This volume also contains another story, THE MAN WHO CAME TO DINNER.

Buy links for WHERE ANGELS FEAR:


Following up on the success of our Austen-inspired anthology, we’re delighted to bring you NO HOLDS BARD, which takes its inspiration from Shakespeare and his works – and then runs off in several directions at once. Editor Fiona Pickles is thrilled by the variety brought to you by the ten authors, some already familiar to the Press and others new to us:

  • Julie Bozza
  • Siobhan Dunlop
  • Adam Fitzroy
  • Bryn Hammond
  • Erin Horakova
  • Molly Katz
  • Vanessa Mulberry
  • Eleanor Musgrove
  • Michelle Peart
  • Jay Lewis Taylor

Buy links for NO HOLDS BARD:


Three books which are absolutely perfect to curl up with, no matter what the weather!

NO HOLDS BARD on St George’s Day!

23 April is St George’s Day, the day we celebrate the patron saint of England and the birth of Shakespeare. It’s no coincidence that Manifold Press is just about to release our Shakespeare-inspired anthology, NO HOLDS BARD.

We’re glowingly proud of how this collection of stories has come together, burgeoning with intriguing ideas both weird and wonderful – and we’re very much looking forward to knowing what you think of it all, too!

It’s only a week now until release day on May Day. In the meantime, as The Man Himself said, “Cry God for Harry, England, and Saint George!” (We’ll return to our usual, somewhat less partisan selves on the morrow, I promise.)


NO HOLDS BARD
Modern LGBTQ+ fiction inspired by the works of William Shakespeare

Ten authors, twelve extraordinary stories. From a novel solution to the Plantagenet succession crisis to revelations about the private lives of Prince Hal and – separately! – Brutus and Cassius, plus a surprise ending for Twelfth Night, no play is safe. We have marriage proposals and murder; subtle scheming villainy; a missing manuscript; a haunting… Whether set within the framework of a play, or spotlighting actors, characters, or the Bard himself, these stories will have you viewing Shakespeare in a whole new light. It’s definitely not the kind of thing they taught us in school…

Take a deep breath. Dive in. Prepare to be astonished!

An anthology edited by Fiona Pickles and featuring authors:

  • Julie Bozza
  • Siobhan Dunlop
  • Adam Fitzroy
  • Bryn Hammond
  • Erin Horáková
  • Molly Katz
  • Vanessa Mulberry
  • Eleanor Musgrove
  • Michelle Peart
  • Jay Lewis Taylor

67000 words/262 pages
$5.95

Publication 1 May 2018

Amazon US pre-order link

Amazon UK pre-order link 

Smashwords link

Barnes & Noble pre-order link

Kobo pre-order link

THE STORIES

Couched in a Curious Bed
Erin Horáková
Having lost his youngest son, a shaken but still-living York is determined to bring the War of the Roses to a swift end – preferably one that will benefit his family. The Lancastrian queen and heir are dead, and, medieval diplomacy being what it is, the best hope for peace lies in a highly unexpected royal marriage.

The Lord and Christopher Sly
Vanessa Mulberry
Christopher Sly is a wastrel with nothing to his name but a handsome face, but he’s always intrigued the local Lord. When he finds Sly drunk outside an inn, the Lord decides to play a trick on him and give him a taste of a better life.

In Fair Verona
Julie Bozza
Adventures naturally befall Lord Byron while he travels through Europe, but all are deliciously surpassed when he is visited by an apparition in the book-lined parlour of an old palazzo in Verona.

Under the Veil of Wildness
Adam Fitzroy
It isn’t only contemplation that Hal’s obscured under the veil of wildness; also growing like the summer grass, wildest at night, is another personality – a female one, Arietta. When a French spy discovers Hal’s secret, trouble follows – but the sequence of events is not what either of them had been expecting…

Imitate The Sun
Siobhan Dunlop
Young actor Niamh Valentine is cast as Poins in an all-female production of Henry IV. The infamous Jessica Condell is playing Hal. Soon Niamh is balancing Hal and Poins’ relationship with hers and Jessica’s whilst preparing for opening night.

Lost
Michelle Peart
Jonas has given up everything in his relentless search for William Shakespeare’s lost plays. Now, in the tunnels under the Kremlin, they are within his grasp. Or are they?

But That He Sees The Romans Are But Sheep
Molly Katz
The nights Cassius and Brutus spend together as wolves have been growing fewer and farther between. Cassius is lonely for the man he’s loved since his youth – lonely and angry – and things must not continue as they are.

In A Dark House
Julie Bozza
Couples coalesce in happiness, while the lone ones are cast adrift… Feste is glad to see the back of Sir Andrew, is tempted to follow Antonio, a man of his own nature – but surprises even himself when instead he starts to search for the vengeful Malvolio.

Now You See Him, Now You Don’t
Adam Fitzroy
“You old romantic! Trust you to propose over a dead body – ” When obnoxious billionaire Duncan Moon is murdered in a Scottish country house hotel, investigating police officers Mal and Shawn find themselves curiously in sympathy with the killer… or killers…

My Mistress’ Eyes
Eleanor Musgrove
In a tender domestic moment with her high-flying girlfriend, Lexi, Jasmine reflects on their relationship. A flattering request from a local festival leads her to take inspiration from the Bard himself as she searches for the right words to ask a very important question.

After the Storm
Jay Lewis Taylor
An isolated farm in the borderlands. A circus whose horses bear the names of gods, whose chief attraction is the Aërial Curiosity. But the show is over; the showmaster is taking his daughter away to be married, and leaving the Aërial Curiosity behind – or is he?

The Last Play
Bryn Hammond
Shakespeare has written his last play – or most of it – as he faces retirement from the stage and from London. But he has one last thing to say to his public. If he has the courage.

Announcing our three new titles for 1 May!

We are very excited by our three offerings for your spring / autumn reading pleasure! We are honoured to be publishing new work from Jay Lewis Taylor and the award-winning Barry Brennessel, as well as our new Shakespeare-inspired anthology. These can all be pre-ordered now, and will be available on 1 May.


We weren’t alone in wanting to know more about the fascinating characters and setting of Barry Brennessel’s short story in our Great War anthology A PRIDE OF POPPIES, so we know we won’t be the only ones thrilled to read his ANH SANG novella. This expands and significantly develops the original story, in surprising and intriguing ways.

Barry has also adapted the story into a screenplay, which has won recognition in prestigious screenwriting contests. We’re proud as punch to be playing a small role in bringing you this tale!

Pre-order links for ANH SANG:


From Jay Lewis Taylor we have the story WHERE ANGELS FEAR, in which Richard, invalided home from the Navy, meets Les, a Lancaster bomber pilot still serving with the RAF. This story ranges from the intimately personal to the internationally significant, in carefully considering how war affects those most closely involved.

This volume also contains another story, THE MAN WHO CAME TO DINNER.

Pre-order links for WHERE ANGELS FEAR:


Following up on the success of our Austen-inspired anthology, we’re delighted to bring you NO HOLDS BARD, which takes its inspiration from Shakespeare and his works – and then runs off in several directions at once. Editor Fiona Pickles is thrilled by the variety brought to you by the ten authors, some already familiar to the Press and others new to us:

  • Julie Bozza
  • Siobhan Dunlop
  • Adam Fitzroy
  • Bryn Hammond
  • Erin Horakova
  • Molly Katz
  • Vanessa Mulberry
  • Eleanor Musgrove
  • Michelle Peart
  • Jay Lewis Taylor

Pre-order links for NO HOLDS BARD:


Three books which are absolutely perfect to curl up with, no matter what the weather!

The Refugee Council

A guest post by editor Fiona Pickles

As those who were involved in preparing our charity anthology CALL TO ARMS – and, hopefully, also those who bought copies and enjoyed them – may remember, all the proceeds from the sale of this volume go directly to the Refugee Council. We sent them their first ‘royalty payment’ at the end of February, and in return they kindly sent us a letter of thanks and a copy of their ‘Impact Report’ for 2016-17 to enable us to see where our contribution is likely to be spent.

Not only is it nice to be acknowledged by such busy people, it’s also very valuable to have some sort of picture of the work they do. On the whole we could probably have guessed most of it, but there were a few highlights which stood out and captured my imagination, so I thought I would pass those on to you.

In 2016-17, the Refugee Council supported 7,522 refugees and asylum seekers and 3,318 unaccompanied children. They helped 97 young people who had been trafficked – 77 girls and 20 boys. They pushed for refugee status and resettlement funding for Syrian refugees, enabling them to attend university in the UK – and also to apply for passports, so that they can travel abroad to see their families.

They support refugee children whose age is disputed, who are sometimes treated by default as adults and therefore put into unsuitable accommodation; they provide them with language teaching, help with socialisation, access to sports facilities and homework support. They also provide psychotherapeutic services for children and young people, and training and support for foster carers.

In addition to helping refugees with documentation and legal services and steering them towards suitable work and accommodation, they have helped a number of refugee doctors to retrain and requalify so that they can be employed in the NHS. It’s difficult to imagine anything more closely resembling a win-win scenario than this!

There is, too, an extensive programme assisting and supporting destitute asylum seekers who are otherwise forced to rely on the standard asylum support payment of £5.00 per day (about $7.00 US) – intended to cover food, clothes, toiletries, travel and in fact everything else the individual may require. The Refugee Council provides hot meals, showers, laundry and barbering facilities and – perhaps even more importantly – moral support and social opportunities for people who must at times feel very isolated by their position.

In fact, it probably doesn’t take too much imagination to put oneself into the position of an asylum seeker or refugee, hundreds or perhaps thousands of miles from home in a country where the weather, the language, the customs, the clothes and just about everything else are not only unfamiliar but potentially quite terrifying. Getting away from the threats, the violence, the famine or the fear in their home country and making a difficult journey half-way around the world is only the beginning of the story for them. Once they arrive in the UK, however, the Refugee Council is – together with Oxfam, Amnesty International UK, the British Red Cross and a number of other organisations with dovetailing remits – right there in the front line of people stepping up to welcome them and help them to settle in.

All in all, then, it’s difficult to think of a better use for our “ill-gotten gains” than to support the Refugee Council in their sterling efforts, and we look forward to sending them further payments every three months throughout what we hope will be the long lifetime of CALL TO ARMS.

You can find more information about the work of the Refugee Council on their website.

We’d like to thank anthology editor Heloise Mezen for nominating the Refugee Council as our chosen charity, and for undertaking all the initial discussions with them. Take a bow, Heloise; none of this would have been possible without you!

New reviews of A TIME TO KEEP, CALL TO ARMS

Once more we’re indebted to our friends over at the Historical Novel Society for some hugely encouraging reviews of our output. HNS reviewer Viviane Crystal has been considering two of our more recent publications, with highly gratifying results:

Speaking of Morgan Cheshire’s A TIME TO KEEP, the reviewer clearly enjoyed the author’s gentle tone:

This story of their love is depicted in serene, peaceful ways, highlighting the normalcy of their relationship

and concludes by calling it “[n]icely crafted historical fiction“, with which we can only concur!

The reviewer was also impressed with our Second World War anthology CALL TO ARMS, singling out some stories for individual mention – such as Megan Reddaway’s ‘The Man Who Loved Pigs’ and Julie Bozza’s ‘We Live Without A Future’ – before concluding that the book as a whole is “An interesting […] and memorably inspiring body of historical fiction.

Coming from someone who presumably by definition reads a great deal of historical fiction, this is quite an accolade – and one we’re immensely pleased with.

Thank you so much, Viviane Crystal and the HNS! We’re thrilled that you enjoyed our books so much, and grateful that you took the time to let us know!

What people think about TO THE LEFT OF YOUR NORTH STAR

TO THE LEFT OF YOUR NORTH STAR by Michelle Peart is a terrific story of an otherworldly pair of misfits on a road – well, a river trip. Edward just wants to go home to Earth, while Burn wants to see more of his own home planet Abaytor as they travel by raft down the Copper River. Does either of them get what he wants?

And how have people responded to this novel…?

TO THE LEFT OF YOUR NORTH STAR received an Honourable Mention in the Rainbow Awards 2017. The judges said:

This book was AWESOME. I was captured by the characters and story from the first page and was held captive until the last. The world building was vivid and captivating, the characters distinct and fully rounded. The plot moved along at a cracking pace as I went on a journey of discovery with Edward and Burn. Both of the boys worked their way into my heart and I eagerly await for more. What a debut!

On AmazonO.M. Carey Jones gave it five stars and said:

Very imaginative storytelling – an excellent read! … The story is so imaginative and different and so interestingly written that I did not know what to expect next as I turned each page. And the ending was completely unexpected, both sad and inspiring – I loved it!

Brightwood also gave it five stars and said:

This is an engaging, romping, rollicking adventure of two teenage boys on another world. As the river in this outer world tosses them about and challenges them to the limit, their inner worlds begin seismic shifts. The author’s use of descriptive language is beautiful and evocative – you are right in there with the boys – and I love the way the story unravels in unpredictable twists and turns, just like the river they’re riding, just like life. It’s messy, it doesn’t turn out how you expected or how you wanted it – but isn’t it interesting how it’s often just what you really need? A brilliant story, brilliantly told.

On Goodreads, Sabrina gave it four stars and said:

What a delightful read! Really did love the dynamic between the main characters a lot. Totally fell in love with the flirty Burn and the grumpy Edward right from the beginning.

While Rosie gave it five stars and said:

Loved absolutely everything about it. Desperate for a sequel now…


Does this romping, rollicking adventure sound like something you – or a loved one – would enjoy reading? This novel is suitable for people of all ages who are young at heart.

Manifold Press is currently offering five of our recent novels – including TO THE LEFT OF YOUR NORTH STAR – at discount prices on Smashwords. Follow these links, and then click the Buy with coupon buttons for the books of your choice. (Whether you then click the Give as a gift button is entirely up to you, but hey it is the silly season soon!)

Happy reading!

New review of CALL TO ARMS

In fact this is the very first review of our new anthology CALL TO ARMS – and it’s not a bad way to start! Our good friend Kazza K at On Top Down Under Reviews has posted a hugely enthusiastic review which examines the merits of each individual story – no small task, as there are seventeen of them! – and sums up with these resounding words:

“I really do love a good short story. If you can tell me a heartfelt tale in a limited word count I am in total awe, and that mission was well and truly accomplished. I also want to give mention to Heloise Mezen for meticulously compiling the anthology. I can’t recommend Call to Arms highly enough. 5 Stars!”

In return, we can say that we love a detailed review which lets us know when a book has met an appreciative reader: thank you, Kazza, we’re grateful for all the time and thought that went into your review – and very glad indeed that you enjoyed CALL TO ARMS so much!

Two lost boys on a journey

A guest blog
by Michelle Peart

The two main protagonists in my book TO THE LEFT OF YOUR NORTH STAR are Edward and Burn and I love the journey their friendship takes. They are much more than polar-opposites, they are planet-opposites. To the Left of Your North Star is an adventure, a fantasy, and a road trip, but at its core is the relationship between the two lost boys, Edward and Burn.

Edward is a spoilt rich kid with a huge chip on his shoulder. He lost his mother at a young age and has a rocky relationship with his famous father. His bravado is to cover up the fact that underneath he’s scared, alone, and neglected emotionally by his father. With his good looks and money, he was the boy that everybody at school fancied but Edward’s relationships never lasted long because, put simply, he was a complete ass.

Edward represents the boys that I used to watch from afar in secondary school, the boys that always had a flood of kids around them, popular, perfect, and trendy. As I was the weird kid that tried to disappear into the walls, I used to admire those plastic people. But, now I know the plastics weren’t perfect after all, in fact they probably had the same self-doubt that I had.

Edward has always believed, because that’s what he was taught, that the only valuable people in the world are the rich and famous. But he slowly learns that is not the case and I love the fact that he has to rely on Burn, a weirdo as far as Edward is concerned, for his food, shelter, and protection.

Burn is a simple boy from a simple life, different from the other villagers but intelligent, loyal, and loving. Orphaned from a young age he had to raise himself and that gave a quirky edge to his character.

At school, I always felt different; a vegetarian in an age where people couldn’t even spell the word never mind understand why some people refused to eat meat. I was the only vegetarian in the village (so to speak) and viewed with suspicion. It’s unbelievable to think of that now. I feel I unconsciously wrote a part of younger me into Burn.

Burn uses Edward’s desire to leave Abaytor as a way of experiencing his planet and expanding his horizons. Whereas Edward has a serious dislike for him, Burn likes Edward, he likes everyone, it’s in his nature, but he also has a naughty streak and decides to liven up their journey and seduce the sullen boy from another planet.

My teenage son and his friends have read the book and I overheard them all talking about who identified with Edward and who identified with Burn. I was so pleased that I had created characters that resonated with them and hopefully others.

I’m very proud of my debut book, it marks a steep learning curve in which I acquired new skills, new friends, and a new passion. I have a short story in the A Call to Arms anthology and one in the No Holds Bard anthology, and I’m delighted with both.

You can find me on my blog thecopperriver.wordpress.com blogging about anything from writing to theatre to travel to Merlin, or catch me @shellpeart.


Manifold Press is currently offering five of our recent novels – including TO THE LEFT OF YOUR NORTH STAR – at discount prices on Smashwords. Follow these links, and then click the Buy with coupon buttons for the books of your choice. (Whether you then click the Give as a gift button is entirely up to you, but hey it is the silly season soon!)

Happy reading!

Have you read TO THE LEFT OF YOUR NORTH STAR … ?

I had the privilege of acting as editor for this debut novel by Michelle Peart.

TO THE LEFT OF YOUR NORTH STAR is the sort of science fiction that prompts you to think about who we are and who we want to be. Edward Kemp, who has reluctantly accompanied his father on an expedition to the planet Abaytor, is certainly forced to consider these questions during his journey down-river with an off-kilter alien named Burn. This ‘odd couple’ relationship is rife with misunderstandings at first, but slowly Edward starts to view his other-worldly companion as less infuriating and more insightful, and perhaps even someone he can befriend and learn from.

This story takes place in an unfamiliar setting on a copper-coloured river, with an ever-surprising assortment of Abaytorian life challenging our all-too-human Edward – but the ‘road trip’ and ‘coming of age’ aspects will help you feel right at home.

If you’d like to join Edward and Burn on their adventure, TO THE LEFT OF YOUR NORTH STAR is currently on sale at Smashwords!


Blurb: The self-assured Edward has accompanied his father, famous explorer Herb Kemp, to Abaytor. Herb is on a mission to save Earth’s bee population, but Edward couldn’t care less and just wants the comforts of home. Burn, an off-kilter Abaytorian with a desire for change, is charged with escorting Edward down the Copper River to Herb’s spaceship. As they travel through perilous lands on a makeshift raft, they are in a constant battle with the river, themselves and each other. Edward’s problems with his father are laid bare as they are hunted, starved, almost drowned, and confronted by difficult choices. But, among the striking landscapes and colourful people of Abaytor, Edward slowly learns about trust, self-acceptance and love.

Word count: 63,300 words

Smashwords sale: $5.95 $4.95

Recognition: Honourable Mention in the Rainbow Awards 2017


It’s the season for thinking about gifts – for yourself and for your loved ones! Is there ever any better present than a book … ?

Manifold Press is currently offering five of our recent novels at discount prices on Smashwords. Follow these links, and then click the Buy with coupon buttons for the books of your choice. (Whether you then click the Give as a gift button is entirely up to you.)

Happy reading!

“Have you read … ?”

Manifold Press is known for a few things – which may well come up in discussion over the next few days! The thing I want to focus on right now, though, is our penchant for supporting new authors and publishing stories that do the unexpected. It’s a real privilege to be able to help authors take their first steps into the publishing world, and a real joy to share excellent new voices with our fellow readers.

During these last weeks of the year, and in the lead-up to the festive season, we’d like to focus on five such novels – and offer them to you at a merry old discount!

The links below will take you to the books’ pages on Smashwords, where each of these five novels is currently on sale.


ARDENT by Heloise West

Heloise West isn’t a debut author, but she’s new to the Press – and her novel ARDENT is a superb fit with us, being a beautifully written historical gay romance. The setting is Florence, Italy during the Renaissance period, with the Medici family providing a menacing backdrop. Heloise paints her characters Morello and Benedetto as vividly as they paint their world.

Click here to fall in love with ARDENT on Smashwords!

HARBINGER ISLAND by Dorian Dawes

Dorian Dawes is a force to be reckoned with, as is their main character, Professor Bartleby Prouse. The eponymous HARBINGER ISLAND is full of mysteries and unsolved murders, and it takes a full cast of LGBTQ+ characters to face the horrors there. This sequence of linked stories has to be read to be believed!

Click here if you dare to find HARBINGER ISLAND on Smashwords …

SUBMERGE by Eleanor Musgrove

At first glance, SUBMERGE offers a far more wholesome setting for its LGBTQ+ characters than HARBINGER ISLAND. The eponymous nightclub provides a safe and happy place for Jamie, Miles, Addie, Gina and their delightful friends. But as Eleanor Musgrove starts to cunningly reveal, there is something more going on just below the surface …

Click here to SUBMERGE below on Smashwords!

TO THE LEFT OF YOUR NORTH STAR by Michelle Peart

Michelle Peart takes us further afield, to a planet that is almost but not entirely unlike Earth. Edward Kemp does not want to be there, and certainly does not want to journeying down the Copper River on a ramshackle raft with Burn, the most annoying alien in this world or any other. But as the story matures in TO THE LEFT OF YOUR NORTH STAR, so – very slowly – does Edward.

Click here to travel TO THE LEFT OF YOUR NORTH STAR via Smashwords.

UNDER LEADEN SKIES by Sandra Lindsey

We find ourselves back in a more familiar setting with UNDER LEADEN SKIES, a wonderful historical story set during the Second World War. Sandra Lindsey has happily and thoroughly researched the Sunderland flying boats that feature in this tale – but her real love is for her characters, Teddy and Huw. Not to mention the irrepressible Cheeks!

Click here to fly UNDER LEADEN SKIES on Smashwords.


Like us, you’re probably inclined towards trying something new – and here’s a wonderful chance to do so! Follow those links, and then click the Buy with coupon buttons for the books of your choice.

But do it now … The discounts won’t last for ever!