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!

The “Coffee House” eBook Giveaway – Day Seven

MP Coffee House Blog giveaway

Welcome to the seventh and last day of our eBook Giveaway!

To celebrate our new blog, we’ve been giving away one free book per day, for the first seven days of March. The draws have been made as close as possible to 10.00 am UK time, starting on Wednesday 2 March.

We have the results for Day Six! Random.org has drawn Helena’s name out of the virtual hat. Helena chose a copy of THE PEACOCK’S EYE by Jay Lewis Taylor – which is already heading your way, Helena!

To enter the last day of this giveaway, click here for the Book Giveaways form. This will open in a new window or tab. You’ll be asked for your first name, an email address, which title you’d like, and in which format. All these fields must be completed before clicking the Submit button.

No one but we admin peeps will be able to see any of the details you enter via the form. Please note, however, that any comments made on this post are not screened other than via the usual WordPress security. All comments on this post will in effect be public.

All our current titles are available for the giveaway, but only in electronic formats.

If you are successful once, please feel free to enter again. You can win twice before being disqualified for the rest of the giveaway. This means that Andrea and Helena can enter again, but Chris and Jen, alas, cannot.

So, pour yourself a beverage of your choice and browse our titles. You might like to experiment with the work of a new author, or complete the backlist of a favourite.

Good luck and best wishes to everyone who takes part!

The “Coffee House” eBook Giveaway – Day Five

MP Coffee House Blog giveaway

To celebrate our new blog, we’re giving away one free book per day, for the first seven days of March. The draws will be made as close as possible to 10.00 am UK time, starting on Wednesday 2 March.

And we have the results for Day Four! Random.org has once more drawn Chris’s name out of the virtual hat. This time, Chris chose a copy of THE PEACOCK’S EYE by historical novelist Jay Lewis Taylor – which will be heading your way shortly, Chris!

To enter the giveaway, click here for the Book Giveaways form. This will open in a new window or tab. You’ll be asked for your first name, an email address, which title you’d like, and in which format. All these fields must be completed before clicking the Submit button.

No one but we admin peeps will be able to see any of the details you enter via the form. Please note, however, that any comments made on this post are not screened other than via the usual WordPress security. All comments on this post will in effect be public.

All our current titles are available for the giveaway, but only in electronic formats.

If you are successful once, please feel free to enter again. You can win twice before being disqualified for the rest of the giveaway. This means that Andrea and Jen can enter again, but Chris, alas, cannot.

So, pour yourself a beverage of your choice and browse our titles. You might like to experiment with the work of a new author, or complete the backlist of a favourite.

Good luck and best wishes to everyone who takes part!

Catching up …

THE PEACOCK'S EYEIn the mayhem surrounding the Rainbow Awards and the preparations for Christmas we somehow missed a review of Jay Lewis Taylor’s THE PEACOCK’S EYE which was posted on Elisa’s Reviews and Ramblings website and has since also appeared on Goodreads:

One of the best historical novels I’ve read in a while. The author captured late Elizabethan London perfectly. I could almost smell the ambience. Research has been flawless as far as I could tell. The tale was little rambling and diverting from its main storyline, but it was forgiveable to explore the reality of the MC’s 16th-century England. Interesting plot line.

We couldn’t possible disagree with that, and indeed we certainly wouldn’t want to!

We’d like to apologise to Jay for the oversight, which just goes to prove – as Holly says in Red Dwarf – that nobody’s infullible.

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

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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!

Rainbow Awards 2015 – the final verdict

It’s been a pretty enthralling 24 hours, but the results are now public at last – and it’s congratulations to Jay Lewis Taylor who achieved a Runner-Up (2nd) place in the Gay Historical Fiction category with

THE PEACOCK’S EYE

and to Chris Quinton who achieved a Runner-Up (3rd) in the Gay Historical Romance category with

UNDERCOVER BLUES

We’re seriously proud of both of you, and of our other authors who received Honourable Mentions and were also finalists: it was a really impressive success all round, and we couldn’t be happier for you all!

The Rainbow Awards strike again!

Still boggling from yesterday’s astonishing twofer in the Rainbow Awards, we went online this morning and found out that lightning had struck once more! This time, we can congratulate Jay Lewis Taylor on impressing the judges with THE PEACOCK’S EYE:

“One of the best historical novels I’ve read in a while. The author captured late Elizabethan London perfectly. I could almost smell the ambience. Research has been flawless as far as I could tell.”

So, once more, we have the opportunity of proclaiming that another of our books has received the coveted:

RAINBOW AWARDS 2015
HONOURABLE MENTION

We’d tell you how proud we are of everybody, but we have an idea you can probably guess!

New review of THE PEACOCK’S EYE

We woke up this morning to a lovely review of Jay Lewis Taylor’s THE PEACOCK’S EYE, with thanks to Prism Book Alliance and Lirtle.

Jay Lewis Taylor knows exactly how to manipulate the words and create a mountain-high fountain of literary chocolate, flowing and gorgeous and almost too much to handle. … If you really enjoy historical fiction, you will more than likely revel in this.

We couldn’t agree more about Jay’s fantastic use of language, and indeed the enjoyment to be had in taking your time with this feast of a novel.

New review of THE PEACOCK’S EYE

In a ‘Recent Release Review’ over on Love Bytes, reviewer Vicki has given us her response to Jay Lewis Taylor’s new title THE PEACOCK’S EYE:

Wow… What a beautiful book! Slow and gentle.

I really want to say this isn’t a romance novel, it certainly doesn’t follow the traditional pattern of boy meets boy, stuff happens, they fall in love and spend the whole book together, until at the end they live happily ever after. But it kinda does follow that pattern, just in a really round about way.

We love this comment! Jay’s story is definitely one in which the journey matters just as much as, if not more than, the destination; the rich detail of the characters’ lives is what keeps us enthralled along the way!

Thank you, Vicki, and we’re really glad you liked the book!

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!