The Goodreads M/M Romance Members’ Choice Awards 2016

We’re delighted to see the Press well represented in the Goodreads M/M Romance Members’ Choice Awards 2016. Elin Gregory’s ELEVENTH HOUR, in particular, has proved very popular indeed!

If you are a member of the M/M Romance group, then please head over to vote for your favourites – and no doubt add to your To Read pile(s) while you’re at it! These are reader-driven awards, so every vote counts.

Nominations for titles by the Press are:

Well done to our authors! We couldn’t be prouder.

Manifold Press well represented in the Rainbow Awards!

rainbow-awards-winner-200pxWe were delighted to wake early this morning to see how well our authors had done in the Rainbow Awards 2016! Of our five eligible titles, a very respectable four earned Honourable Mentions and were Finalists – and three went on to earn themselves places in the final results.

ACROSS YOUR DREAMS by Jay Lewis Taylor: This significant ‘Great War’ novel came first in the Best Gay Historical category, and was equal fourth as the Best Gay Book overall.

ELEVENTH HOUR by Elin Gregory: This delightful tale of derring-do came equal fifth in the Best Gay Historical Romance category, and was equal seventh as the Best Gay Book overall.

IN DEEP by Adam Fitzroy: This intriguing story set in the enclosed world of a remote Scottish island came fourth in the Best Gay Mystery / Thriller category, and was equal nineteenth as the Best Gay Book overall.

UNDER LEADEN SKIES by Sandra Lindsey: This dramatic Second World War tale was also a Finalist – of which we are very proud.

Hearty congratulations to our own authors, and to all the other authors and publishers who took part, making for such an obviously strong field of contenders.

Last but certainly not least, many thanks are due to Elisa Rolle and her team of judges for their indefatigable efforts!

New review of ACROSS YOUR DREAMS

ACROSS YOUR DREAMS paperbackVeterans’ Day/Remembrance Day offers the ideal opportunity for book bloggers to round up reviews of appropriate titles, and this was what happened recently over on the review blog Padme’s Library.  The reviewer, Heather, gave Jay Lewis Taylor’s ACROSS YOUR DREAMS a rating of five out of five and added the following comments:

“I truly loved the detail to the time frame as well as how the characters continued to develop throughout the entire book, that doesn’t always happen but as the war progresses and the Armistice is signed, we see them continue on to face life after war.  A true blend of war, love, drama showing that sometimes no amount of planning can replace just living. A really great addition to my historical shelf.”

(Scroll down to read.)

Thank you, Heather – we couldn’t have put it better ourselves!

Jay Lewis Taylor, paperback writer

An author guest blog
by Jay Lewis Taylor

If the stars are in alignment, if the wind is in the right direction, if CreateSpace and the Gods of Delivery do their job – there will be paperback editions of my books for sale at Queer Company 2.

Dance of Stone and The Peacock’s Eye arrived in the e-world with covers in Manifold Press’s early style. I have had the rare pleasure of being able to see them dressed in new clothes (not, I hope, in borrowed plumes like Aesop’s jackdaw) and, indeed, of being able to select some of the clothes myself.

DANCE OF STONE paperbackI have had my eye on the new illustration for Dance of Stone ever since I first mooted putting the book into paperback. This figure is the first illustration in a Bible in the Austrian National Library, and shows God in his capacity as Architect (or Builder, or Geometer, or Craftsman) of the Universe. I loved the colours and the brilliance (such a pity we couldn’t use real gold leaf, eh?) and was amused by the – dare I say it? – implied relationship between God and my Hugh, the mason. The mediaeval cathedrals were built as a mirror of time and space, and in that space Hugh could easily be accused of setting himself very high indeed.

For a while it looked as if the picture just wouldn’t fit into Manifold’s new cover format. Then Julie Bozza had the brilliant idea of flipping the picture round, at which point everything worked. True, it makes God appear left-handed, but if he is also omnipotent He will hardly mind that; besides, He gets to be right-handed on the back cover. I must say that one of the charms of the new covers is the way a detail of the front is shown on the back; Across Your Dreams has always had the new design front cover, but the appearance of the gleaming curve of river on the back makes me look at the whole picture again).

THE PEACOCK'S EYE paperbackThe second title being reissued is The Peacock’s Eye. I had hoped that one at least of the Renaissance painters might have painted a really good peacock, or a peacock-feather fan as an accessory; but no such luck. However, one of the glories of the Elizabethan age was the extent to which men and women could dress like peacocks, if not in colour, in brilliant arrogance of display, so finding an image was not too difficult after all.

The chosen cover image is a portrait of Sir Walter Ralegh, who isn’t in The Peacock’s Eye, and is barely mentioned. Sometimes there is no room even for national heroes to shoulder themselves into a book! He looks, as Lou Faulkner said to me in an e-mail, both menaced and menacing; most appropriately. Ralegh epitomises the Elizabethan world’s glory and vulnerability, from the search for the City of Gold to the executioner’s block in a few short years. Also, I was glad this was one of the portraits that showed him with an ear-ring – for reasons which will become apparent to new readers!

I cannot end this post without offering thanks to Julie Bozza for her endless patience in converting the files for all three books to CreateSpace format, and also to Shell Peart for the cover designs as a whole.

Paperback buy links:

ACROSS YOUR DREAMS paperbackAcross Your Dreams

The Peacock’s Eye

Dance of Stone

P.S. The books have just arrived, and they look magnificent!

Manifold Press in the Rainbow Awards 2016

Yesterday was a mighty fine day for the Press. Not only did we announce three new titles – each of which we’re rather excited about for various reasons – but we also found out that two of our earlier titles have earned themselves Honourable Mentions in the Rainbow Awards 2016!

Before we get into the details, though, I’d just like to add that for the first time, the Press has entered our book covers in the Rainbow Awards’ Best Cover contest. We’re proud of our new designs, courtesy of Michelle Peart, and we wanted to say that loud and clear.

The Best Cover contest is decided by popular vote, so do drop by and have a look at all the beauties on display. The only rule is that you have to vote for at least three covers. Somehow we don’t think you’ll have any problems finding enough to vote for … Indeed, Miss Bates was relieved to hear that this time there would be no difficulty, and she will not be limited to only three at once.

That link again: elisarolle.com/rainbowawards/covers.php

So, on to the Honourable Mentions!

IN DEEPFirst mentioned (honourably) on Elisa’s blog was IN DEEP by the always reliable Adam Fitzroy. Not one but three of the judges were very impressed!

1) Plot was a bit slow to get moving, as the reader doesn’t learn the protagonist’s goal/agenda for far too many pages, imho. Once that comes out, the stakes are clear and this complex “isolated village” story lights up. The fierce setting is a major character in the story, literally a force of nature. The nuanced and believable main characters are well drawn in a writing style both dense and elegant, especially the protagonist. I thoroughly enjoyed this poignant, measured, thoughtful read. A very satisfying mystery.

2) This was a carefully constrained story, unfolding step by step as the protagonist searches for answers in the death of his step son. Fitzroy does a beautiful job creating a world isolated both geographically and emotionally, the characters are roughly hewn from the landscape and finely detailed and nuanced in character so that everything, every step the protagonist takes, seems compelling and inevitable, and the love affair realistic.

3) I loved the writing style and the realism of the book. It was slower moving, but highly entertaining.

ACROSS YOUR DREAMSAnd then Jay Lewis Taylor was (honourably) mentioned in dispatches for ACROSS YOUR DREAMS – this time by four judges!

1) What a beautiful book! It is full of vivid imagery, well-drawn and unique characters, and the story–oh, so heartbreaking but yet appropriate for the times. War is hell, and it took its toll on the young men caught up in it. I felt like I was there with Alan, Lew and Russ, experiencing what they did right alongside them. I reveled in their stolen moments together with their beloveds, and cried for their devastating losses. This story will definitely stick with me for a very long time. I loved it. All the points.

2) I awarded top marks to this book because I thoght the writing was exceptional. I was transported back in time to the Great War. The sense of time and place were outstanding. The language of the book perfectly fitted the setting and the lives and opinions of the characters all felt true to time and place. An exceptional read.

3) This is a convincing, well-researched historical novel about a very closeted network of gay men who don’t have access to a community of like-minded people. The homophobia of the surrounding society is extreme, and so is their anxiety about sexual contact with other men, including kissing. The drama of warfare and the great flu epidemic, which together destroyed millions of lives, all seem true to life, and they could hardly be exaggerated. As a historical novel, this book is a solid achievement.

4) Touching and tender love story. A very real sense of the time and place. Excellent story.

Needless to say, we are very proud of these responses for two very fine books. Thank you kindly to Elisa Rolle and her team of judges for the honourables!

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.

ACROSS YOUR DREAMS buy links:


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.

CARAVAGGIO’S ANGEL buy links:


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!

Two new titles announced today!

CARAVAGGIO'S ANGELOur two new titles this time accurately portray the broad scope of our output! Once again we are fortunate to 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.

ACROSS YOUR DREAMSIn a very different vein, Jay 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.

Both books will be published on 1 May; watch this space – and our website – for further details!