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Manifold Press

Aiming for excellence in gay fiction

New review of BUTTERFLY HUNTER
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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 review of A PRIDE OF POPPIES
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Over at Sinfully (formerly Sinfully Sexy) our friends Mark and Sally have joined forces to review our new anthology A PRIDE OF POPPIES - which they've done by reviewing and rating each story individually, the average being a fraction less than four stars out of five. In addition, they've made some lovely and perceptive comments about the separate stories, and if we quoted one we'd have to quote them all; suffice to say that they've absolutely done us proud, and in particular have likened the book to 'a box of chocolates' which as chocoholics ourselves we're definitely going to take as a compliment.

Thank you, Mark and Sally, we're thrilled to know that you had such a high opinion of our work!

Special offer: UNSPOKEN by R.A. Padmos
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For the next few days we're running a special offer on R.A. Padmos's acclaimed World War II title UNSPOKEN, the tale of Stefan and Adri and their individual struggles in the unforgiving climate of Nazi-occupied Europe.

"Stefan and Adri’s love is heartbreaking, without chance and often tragic. But it’s a story that many should read, cause beyond the bittersweetness, you could taste also the authenticity and strength of it."

Review by Elisa Rolle 6 January 2014

UNSPOKEN will be available from now until the end of the month at the bargain price of $2.99, so this would be a great opportunity to grab it while it's hot!

New review of THE PEACOCK'S EYE
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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!

New review of THE APOTHECARY'S GARDEN
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Quite out of the blue, a new review of Julie's book has appeared over on Narelle Harris's book blog ADVENTUROUS HEARTS - penned by feisty guest reviewer Minion Beck.

"I usually read a book of this size in a few hours, but I didn’t want it to end and managed to drag the experience out over 4 days. This story of unconventional love is whimsical and almost magical in its purity. I cried, not because of the ending, but because it ended."

And if that wasn't sufficient evidence of enthusiasm, the review ends with these words:

"Julie Bozza has become an author I will automatically buy and be warned, dis her, or this book, and I may just frighten you with my response.

In summary … Just wonderful and highly recommended."


That's quite a powerful endorsement; thank you, both Minion Beck and Narelle Harris, for your enthusiasm and support!

Interviews with our Poppies authors!
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Historical novelist Elin Gregory is a lovely person and a very good friend of the Press - the latest instance of which is that she interviewed the authors of A PRIDE OF POPPIES, and posted the results to her blog over the past couple of weeks.

If you'd like to drop by Elin's blog, you'll find out about our authors' inspiration, and about what else they're working on now.

In reverse alpha, because I'm embarrassed about always coming first:

And please do share the love with Elin! She deserves every little bit of it, and every big bit, too.

New review of A PRIDE OF POPPIES
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A lovely, enthusiastic review of our beloved anthology has been posted by Narelle Harris on her blog Adventurous Hearts. After some very warm and encouraging comments about individual stories - which we certainly agree with! - Narelle finishes her review with these words:

"The authors and publishing house all donated their efforts to this book, and a minimum of 60% of the proceeds are being donated to the Royal British Legion, which runs the UK’s Poppy Appeal. But don’t buy this wonderful anthology for that reason. Buy it because it’s a damned fine read which will break your heart, fill it with hope and remind you that love will find a way to grow, even under the harshest conditions."

Thank you, Narelle - we're thrilled that you liked it so much, and we really appreciate your recommendation!

Hooray, hooray, it's the First of May!
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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!

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!

New review of A PRIDE OF POPPIES
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Another absolutely wonderful review for our A PRIDE OF POPPIES anthology, which is formally published on 1 May.

Reviewer Kizzia, writing on her blog Odd and Ends, says as follows:

"I cannot, hand on heart, say that each story accurately represents every aspect of the war that it includes, but I wouldn’t expect to be able to. In fiction the story is always the most important part and anyone who picks up a work of fiction expecting cold hard fact is always set for disappointment. What I can say is that I was swept up by the emotions of each story, concerned more for the characters than anything else, and I certainly didn’t find myself jolted out of any story thanks to any jarring incorrect portrays of life (whether in the trenches or on the home front) in WWI. Which is as it should be."

From any reviewer this would be high praise, but coming from someone who so clearly knows her subject matter it's doubly welcome. Thank you for your kind words, Kizzia!

Queer Company: the programme
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We are exceedingly happy to announce the programme for our Queer Company event!

Please note that, due to the inexorability of Murphy’s Law, this programme was posted and then amended within 24 hours, but we trust this is about the shape of it now!

This one-day event will run from 10.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. on Saturday 9 May 2015. Please note that the doors of The Jam Factory will (literally!) open at 10.00 am.

The awesome Liam Livings will be our MC for the day!

Session 1: Clichés and how to avoid them
Liam Livings will be chairing this panel, ably supported by panellists KJ Charles, Morgan Cheshire and Heloise Mezen.

Book Launch: A Pride of Poppies
Charlie Cochrane, who wrote an utterly charming story for the anthology, will officially launch the volume.

Session 2: Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray: The First Gay Novel?
Our special guest speaker Iarla Manny will talk about this fascinating subject! Our genre has a few points of origin, I imagine, and Dorian Gray must be one of them.

Q&A: A Pride of Poppies
After lunch, Morgan Cheshire will chair this quick Q&A featuring Poppies authors Julie Bozza, Charlie Cochrane and Eleanor Musgrove.

Session 3: Sex scenes – how necessary are they?
Julie Bozza will chair this panel, with panellists Bruin Fisher, Fiona Pickles and Chris Quinton.

Session 4: A Duty of Care to our Characters
Our keynote speaker Charlie Cochrane will conclude the day on a lovely note with this thoughtful topic.

For more details, please visit the Programme page on the event website.

I hope you're all looking forward to it as much as we are! Huzzah!

ETA: Importantly, please note that registrations will close on Sunday 3 May, or sooner if we fill up. That gives us a week!

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