Ready To Start. Self Portrait, 1917 by William Orpen
Despite having spent most of my life in Surrey and Oxfordshire, I now live in Somerset, within an hour’s drive of the villages where two of my great-great-great-grandparents were born. I have worked in a wide range of libraries in my time, but am in fact a thwarted medievalist with a strong arts background.
I have been writing fiction for over thirty years, exploring the lives of people who are on the margins in one way or another, and how the power of love and language can break down the walls that we build round ourselves.
From page one, I was luxuriating in the language. Not to worry, the story isn’t told in Olde English necessarily, but definitely in the cadence and terminology and colloquialisms of the time. It fits that and the characters. I was giddy. 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.THE PEACOCK’S EYE reviewed by Prism Book Alliance
The story takes more after a historical novel with gay characters than after an m/m romance in period costumes, which is noteworthy, and should please historical fans. Readers who favour elegance and delicacy in their stories should also enjoy it as long as they don’t mind the romance burning slowly in the back seat.DANCE OF STONE reviewed by Boys in Our Books
The characters are mature people with senses of humor filled with warm, wry natures. Happiness and sarcasm go hand in hand. By the middle of chapter three, character development was at an obviously high level.DANCE OF STONE reviewed by Prism Book Alliance
An officer never, ever goes adrift in the Gut, the most infamous street in Malta. However John Amery, Surgeon RN, loses his way, his innocence and his virginity there one December night of 1908 when he meets Pasco Teague.
From Malta to Devonport to Gallipoli, from the Mediterranean to the Channel to the Dardanelles, John and Pasco meet and part, in peace and war and peace again. Duty and Pasco are the fixed points in John’s life, but there comes a time when he has no power over either and must find his way to another kind of peace.
Seventeen stories, thirteen authors, a second war. Once again Manifold Press’s writers explore the lives of LGBTQ+ people and their war-time experience in cities, towns and countryside across the world.
Amidst war and peace, in the thick of violence or in an unexpected lull, these stories of the Second World War take the reader far and wide: through Britain, Europe, Asia and South America, from loss and parting to love and homecoming. As for home, it may be an ordinary house, or a prison camp, or a ship: but it is, in the end, where you find it, however far you have to go. Read this book, and make the journey yourself.
An anthology edited by Heloise Mezen and featuring authors:
The Great War is over. Jack Townsend, no longer a hospital orderly, is back at work in his photographer’s shop in Lewisham. But there is no peace yet; his blackmailer is still in business, and Celia Vavasour seems determined to manage his life. All his life; even his love-life …
Meanwhile in Sussex, David Lewry, former army officer, is still holding off from a closer relationship with Alan Kershaw, once in the Navy and now the village’s GP. Lew knows how much Alan wants him, but this last step is one he cannot take – not yet, unless something changes …
“I hope we’ll meet again on the other side of fear, but should this damn war choose otherwise then all we can do is bear it …“
Lew and Russ, Grant and Alan have been caught up in the Great War, which governs their coming together and their moving apart; which has sucked them into the machine and seems reluctant to spit them out. When at last the Armistice comes, three out of the four survive; but how many will survive the peace?
Philip Standage – half-Italian, Catholic, Kit Marlowe’s last lover – is one of the Admiral’s Players, the company that rivals Shakespeare’s. Once Nick Hanham wheedles his way in to the Rose theatre, Philip even has an apprentice to share his secure life. Secure, that is, until he is caught up in Sir Robert Cecil’s plans for the future of England, and more than England.
The last years of Elizabeth’s reign gleam light and dark like a coin spinning beside a flame: wealth and dirt, glory and revolt, high poetry and bloody murder. In this uncertain world nothing is what it seems, least of all men, least of all love. Who can Philip rely on? And if he makes the wrong choice, who can save him?
Ten authors – in thirteen stories – explore the experiences of GLBTQI people during World War I. In what ways were their lives the same as or different from those of other people?
A London pub, an English village, a shell-hole on the Front, the outskirts of Thai Nguyen city, a ship in heavy weather off Zeebrugge, a civilian internment camp … Loves and griefs that must remain unspoken, unexpected freedoms, the tensions between individuality and duty, and every now and then the relief of recognition. You’ll find both heartaches and joys in this astonishing range of thought-provoking stories.
Late twelfth-century England: a country of divided loyalties while the Lionheart is on crusade. Hugh de Barham, master mason at Wells, walks a dangerous path between Glastonbury and Wells as the two vie for supremacy, a path made more dangerous still by the fact that Hugh, if he could, would share his bed not with women but with men.
The only way to stay safe is to keep his head down, but building the church of his dreams is no way to do that: and then there is Arnaut l’Occitan. What does this stranger from Provence want with Hugh? And can he, or anyone, be trusted?