Reviews for BUTTERFLY HUNTER and WHILE YOU SEE A CHANCE

We were happy to see a short but very positive review of WHILE YOU SEE A CHANCE by Alexa Milne, courtesy of Sue at Books Laid Bare Boys.

This book was quite simply beautiful. … I was left with a sense of peace that is hard to describe.

This romance features older main characters, which we would love to see more of in our genre – and with a response like that, maybe you’ll agree!

Meanwhile, one of our backlist titles – BUTTERFLY HUNTER by Julie Bozza – continues to make new friends, thanks to the support of Australian author NR Walker and her own tale of butterfly hunting, IMAGO.

Tori (Vicki) of Love Bytes LGBTQ Book Reviews was inspired by IMAGO to give my book a go, and I’m delighted to say she obviously enjoyed it!

I loved this book, the story was engaging even though it was simple. Just two men looking for butterflies in the outback. … I was concerned about Dave and Nicholas, and wanted this to work out so badly for them. I loved them as a couple and they deserve all of the good things!

Now is a great time to give either (or both!) of these titles a try, as all our backlist titles are 25% off at Smashwords, for the whole month of July.

We wish you happy reading!

The purpose of a butterfly

An author guest blog
by Julie Bozza

I had quite a conservative and sheltered upbringing (and am eternally grateful to my friend Cathe, and to The Rocky Horror Picture Show, for helping me begin the process of opening out!) but I always took the idea of marriage equality seriously.

I also took the idea very personally, despite being an (apparently) cisgender woman happily married from the age of 20 to a (definitely) cisgender man. (I am actually way more complicated than that, as I suspect many of us are, but people tend to relate to me as such.) Despite having what everyone assumed was a ‘traditional’, legally permissible marriage, I felt the issue of marriage equality had a great deal to do with me and my own choices.

When marriage equality was first becoming a matter of wider public debate, Australia’s prime minister was John Howard, a conservative both personally and in politics. Whenever asked, he always defined marriage as being ‘between one man and one woman – for the purposes of having children’.

I could just roll my eyes at the first part of the definition, as of course that was the actual problem we were all arguing about. But the latter part of his definition really stuck in my craw. ‘For the purposes of having children.’

Mr B and I don’t have kids, and that was a deliberate mutual decision made during the first few years we were together, that we’ve never regretted. But that doesn’t mean our relationship isn’t a ‘proper’ marriage. It doesn’t mean we’re not a ‘proper’ family, despite it being only the two of us. And fie on John Howard for suggesting otherwise. (I am still rankling, all these years later!)

Not everyone wants to get married, of course, but I strongly feel that those who want to should be able to. That includes anyone of any sex, gender identity or sexuality – whether they can or can’t have (their own biological) children, and whether they intend to have children or not.

Marriage is a partnership between individuals, and each relationship will be different, and will grow and change over time. As long as everyone involved is happy and willing, the state can and should offer support, but otherwise mind its own business. In my opinion!

Why am I getting on my soapbox about this particular issue in relation to my novel BUTTERFLY HUNTER…? Because the crux of the matter was really brought home to me while researching for the story.

As can be inferred from the title, the main characters Dave and Nicholas are on a quest in the Australian Outback for a particular species of blue butterfly. As part of my research, I often browsed The Complete Field Guide to Butterflies of Australia by Michael F Braby.

Butterflies go through quite a complex life cycle, which involves four very different forms: egg, larva, pupa and adult. It’s the adult form we tend to think of when we think of butterflies – the beautiful, delicate winged creatures, who might live only for months or even days. For different (human) cultures, adult butterflies have symbolised transformation, change, joy, colour, the soul, and death.

I realise we humans are imposing symbolic meaning, and our love of beauty, on creatures who do not share our ways of thinking. However, it really brought me to a crashing halt when I read the following sentence in Braby’s Field Guide:

The adult, also known as the imago, is responsible chiefly for reproduction and dispersal.

And I’m not saying he’s wrong per se. He’s obviously right at some level. I’m just saying that this reductionist approach to life horrifies me. There is so much more to our human lives than making babies and placing them somewhere useful. Maybe a butterfly isn’t conscious enough in itself to think about more than mating, and then laying eggs in good locations. However, the facts that we can appreciate a butterfly’s beauty, and attach culturally-relevant symbolic meanings to them, proves that there’s a whole lot more to being human.

And so I say again, fie on John Howard and his reductive definitions of marriage, and fie on his successors as well. All these years later, Australia still hasn’t signed off on marriage equality. Let marriage be about choice and love, about transformation and life, about souls and joy. Let it be about a dinky-di fair go for all.

Come on, Aussie, come on! It’s more than time. We are way overdue. Get it done!

Back from the abyss!

You may have noticed that we vanished from Facebook some time over the weekend. This was apparently because we’d originally set up our account as a personal one, not a business-type ‘page’, so FB deleted us without warning. (We’ll leave you to imagine the muttering and gnashing of teeth resulting from this decision.) Rather than mess about trying to appeal it/retrieve our information, we decided to bite the bullet and create a page from scratch. You can now find us at the new Manifold Press Facebook page.

To celebrate our return here’s a special offer; ‘like’ us on Facebook before 12 noon on Friday 16 September (UK time) to win one of four Manifold Press paperbacks: BUTTERFLY HUNTER or THE ‘TRUE LOVE’ SOLUTION by Julie Bozza, or GHOST STATION or THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER WYE (not due to be published until 1 October) by Adam Fitzroy. If you have a preference, please let us know in the replies to this post – otherwise you’ll receive a random book. We’ll pick out the four lucky winners as soon as we can after the closing deadline, but ‘like’ our page now to be included in the draw. As the saying goes, “You have to be in it to win it!”

[NB: people who have already ‘liked’ us are of course included automatically!]

Manifold Press paperbacks

The Press doesn’t issue paperback editions of all our titles, as the decision to do so is driven by the individual authors. That being said, we’re delighted with the twenty titles that have made it into print thus far! There are new ones on the way, so it seemed to be a good time to take stock of what we have so far.

A veritable rainbow of books from Manifold Press!
A veritable rainbow of books from Manifold Press!

Our current paperback titles are listed here, along with Amazon US buy links:

The Apothecary's Garden paperback coverAlways With Us by Morgan Cheshire

The Apothecary’s Garden by Julie Bozza

Between Now and Then by Adam Fitzroy

Butterfly Hunter (#1) by Julie Bozza

Of Dreams and Ceremonies (Butterfly Hunter #2) by Julie Bozza

The Thousand Smiles of Nicholas Goring (Butterfly Hunter #3) by Julie Bozza

The Butterfly Hunter Trilogy (incorporating all three novels plus the free short story Like Leaves to a Tree) by Julie Bozza

Dear Mister President by Adam Fitzroy

Make Do and Mend paperback coverThe Definitive Albert J. Sterne (incorporating the novel and the stories published separately in the eBook Albert J. Sterne: Future Bright, Past Imperfect) by Julie Bozza

Ghost Station by Adam Fitzroy

Homosapien … a fantasy about pro wrestling by Julie Bozza

Make Do and Mend by Adam Fitzroy

Mitch Rebecki Gets a Life by Julie Bozza

A Pride of Poppies Modern LGBTQIA Fiction of the Great War – anthology including stories by Julie Bozza, Barry Brennessel, Charlie Cochrane, Sam Evans, Lou Faulkner, Adam Fitzroy, Wendy C. Fries, Z. McAspurren, Eleanor Musgrove and Jay Lewis Taylor

A Pride of Poppies - paperback coverRavages by R.A. Padmos

Solemn Contract by Morgan Cheshire

Stage Whispers by Adam Fitzroy

A Threefold Cord by Julie Bozza

The ‘True Love’ Solution by Julie Bozza

The Valley of the Shadow of Death by Julie Bozza

We hope you’ll enjoy these paperback editions and – like us! – are looking forward to more titles coming soon.

Goodreads M/M Romance Member’s Choice Awards

We’re honoured to have been nominated in three categories this year!

A PRIDE OF POPPIES

THE PEACOCK’S EYE

40-N.png

DANCE OF STONE
and
BUTTERFLY HUNTER

Congratulations to all the authors involved – and particularly, this time, to our good friend Jay Lewis Taylor who wrote two of these books and contributed very strongly to the third – and thank you kindly to the person or persons who nominated us; we really appreciate your confidence!

New review of BUTTERFLY HUNTER

BUTTERFLY HUNTERIt’s always nice to find that our older titles are still out there making new friends. Judith at Binge on Books has been reading Julie Bozza’s BUTTERFLY HUNTER, and on the whole she recommends it!

Things you will love: HOT HOT HOT HOT; character development and personal character growth is well written and satisfying; rugged and exotic Australian Outback setting; did I mention how sexy and hot it is?!

It’s fair to say that Judith has her caveats as well, but who are we to argue with ‘well written character growth’… ? We hope that you, too, dear Reader, will find things to love about this novel – if you haven’t already!

New review of BUTTERFLY HUNTER

Delightfully, Julie’s BUTTERFLY HUNTER is still making new friends out there in the big bad world. This time it’s come to the attention of the Joyfully Jay review site and has been featured in an unusual review for their ‘Throwback Thursday’ blog – we presume on Thursday 21 May.

Dave must teach Nicholas everything he knows about how to survive in the Outback as the search takes them through uncharted territory as the butterflies remain elusive. The men work well together and Nicholas makes it known that he is attracted to Dave. Dave cannot wrap his head around what he feels for Nicholas as the sight of the man’s many smiles and long pale fingers calls to him. Just as a butterfly transforms and changes, so will Dave as Nicholas becomes a need for him that he cannot live without.

On the whole, it sounds as if the book wasn’t the perfect fit for reviewer Michelle, but she has some very nice things to say about it nonetheless; maybe we can find something that suits her better next time!

New reviews

Apologies to the authors for a delay in bringing these to people’s attention, but there is a small batch of reviews we haven’t yet told you about!

To start with, Gay.Guy.Reading has delivered a verdict on Liam’s new title ESCAPING FROM HIM:

I didn’t quit and enjoyed my journey. There were times I got lost in the words and really connected with Darryl. Those were the moments I just didn’t put it down.

The reviewer ended by calling it ‘an enjoyable read’, with which we totally concur!

In addition, Prism Book Alliance have been doing a ‘Julie Bozza retrospective’ – re-reading some of her previous titles. A reader named Lirtle posted three reviews, from which we quote below:

BUTTERFLY HUNTER:
Not even halfway through this book and I knew I’d want to spend more time with Dave and Nicholas. I knew I’d want more of the quiet and oh so lovely atmosphere surrounding and running through them.

OF DREAMS AND CEREMONIES:
Low angst, passionate, cheeky, and lovely. Wonderful! This is going on my comfort read shelf, without a doubt. I’m loving this series and this writing.

And also, for a change of pace:

THE APOTHECARY’S GARDEN:
Every bit of this story serves the characters. No grand schemes or setting changes in attempts to create tension and curiosity. Everything centers around Hilary and Tom. For me, this made for quite a satisfying reading experience.

That’s exactly what we’re aiming for, Lirtle; thank you for your comments!

To accompany these reviews, Prism Book Alliance also conducted an interview with Julie which you can read here. It’s all an absolute delight, and we’d like to thank our very good friends at the Prism Book Alliance for their time and trouble; we’re very glad you all enjoyed the books!

New review of BUTTERFLY HUNTER

We’re very much afraid this got lost in the shuffle when Megaheadquarters moved recently, but Elisa Rolle has posted a review of Julie Bozza’s BUTTERFLY HUNTER containing the sort of comments every author really dreams of!

Julie Bozza puts together an unlikely pair, but right for that, it was endearing to read how they fell in love, and the ending was almost fairy tale.

Apologies to both Julie and Elisa for not responding to this in a more timely manner, but we hope it’s a case of ‘better late than never’!

New review of BUTTERFLY HUNTER

We’ve said it before, but we mean it – we’ll never get tired of seeing reviews pop up unexpectedly for books which are a year or two old, because it means that a whole new set of readers have the chance to find a book which may have slipped out of the spotlight a bit. That wouldn’t be a fair description of Julie Bozza’s BUTTERFLY HUNTER, though – there always seems to be someone talking about it somewhere in the world!

This time, the review is by Breann at Boy Meets Boy Reviews:

I saw all the 4 and 5 star reviews. Sure, I knew that most of my friends loved it. But while I was reading I thought it was a nice enough story. But then, all of a sudden, my heart is breaking. And I realize that I have fallen head over heels for these characters and am smacked in the face with too much emotion.

We know just what you mean, Breann – it hit us that way, too, the first time we read it, and we’re very glad the old magic’s still working! Thank you very much for your kind comments.