When I saw that Dreamspinner was doing a World of Love story collection, I got really excited. I wrote a plot outline for a story based around the Meguro Parasitological Museum in Tokyo and submitted it–only to find out that I was too slow! Japan was taken. Browsing the list of already claimed countries, I was shocked to see New Zealand already on the taken list—but not surprised when Anne told me that she and Lou had got in quickly to claim it! Since then, I’ve been waiting to see the finished story—so when Anne asked if she and Lou could visit the blog, of course I jumped at the chance to have them!
Land of the Long White Cloud
Thanks for hosting us. Lou Sylvre and I are stoked to be here today as part of our blog tour for Sunset at Pencarrow.
We have a Rafflecopter running as part of the blog tour so be sure to enter—which you can more than once. Use the discount code PENCARROW for 30% off Sunset at Pencarrow only from the Dreamspinner Press store from 31st May-30th June.
When Lou asked me if I’d like to co-write the New Zealand entry for Dreamspinner Press’ World of Love, I jumped at the opportunity. I’d already been tempted to write something, but with deadlines looming I didn’t think I’d be able to fit in writing a novella as well. Half a novella, though, would work.
So why had I been tempted to write a story set in New Zealand for this series? The simple answer is that I live in New Zealand, and I think there needs to be more stories set here. I’ve read a few stories, but apart from a couple set in Wellington, most tend to take place in other parts of the country. While I enjoy reading about other places in the world, I get a kick out of recognising places and references I know. Writing something set locally was a wonderful experience as I could write more about what I know. The thing I didn’t expect, though, was to have to double check details about a few places I hadn’t visited in a while or the idioms I use without thinking. So when someone—in this case my lovely co-author—asked me about them, I found myself second guessing myself. Growing up in a NZ/Australian household, some of my expressions reflect that.
New Zealand is a beautiful country, and I love the fact that we have a huge range of scenery here. We highlighted some of that in Sunset at Pencarrow. Nate and Rusty start out at the airport in the fog—a situation everyone who lives here will recognise immediately—before moving out to the suburbs. We’re surrounded by water here, and are never too far from either the ocean or a river. A short distance in one direction in the Wellington leads to the bush and the middle of nowhere with no mobile reception, and another to the beach, and/or the city. And of course no story set here would be complete without a reference to Wellington’s wind, changeable weather and tendency toward earthquakes.
I’ve loved being able to set a story in New Zealand, and in particular Wellington. Although this is the first time I have, it definitely won’t be the last.
Kiwi Nathaniel Dunn is in a fighting mood, but how does a man fight Wellington’s famous fog? In the last year, Nate’s lost his longtime lover to boredom and his ten-year job to the economy. Now he’s found a golden opportunity for employment where he can even use his artistic talent, but to get the job, he has to get to Christchurch today. Heavy fog means no flight, and the ticket agent is ignoring him to fawn over a beautiful but annoying, overly polite American man.
Rusty Beaumont can deal with a canceled flight, but the pushy Kiwi at the ticket counter is making it difficult for him to stay cool. The guy rubs him all the wrong ways despite his sexy working-man look, which Rusty notices even though he’s not looking for a man to replace the fiancé who died two years ago. Yet when they’re forced to share a table at the crowded airport café, Nate reveals the kind heart behind his grumpy façade. An earthquake, sex in the bush, and visits from Nate’s belligerent ex turn a day of sightseeing into a slippery slope that just might land them in love.
World of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the globe.
“I don’t bloody believe this.” Nathaniel “Nate” Dunn took a deep breath. “So, any idea when my flight might actually leave?”
The woman at the counter gave him what she probably thought was a pleasant smile. Instead it came across as condescending with a touch of oh help me, God, how stupid is this guy?
“I’ve already told you—” She glanced at his ticket. “—Mr. Dunn… Nathaniel… I don’t have that information. The fog will lift when it decides to lift, and we can’t begin to reschedule flights until that time. In the meantime, you’ll have to wait like everyone else.”
“You don’t understand. I have to be in Christchurch this afternoon. I have a job interview tomorrow.”
“Of course you do.” The woman seemed ready to dismiss him but then appeared to reconsider. “If you’re desperate, perhaps you can catch the afternoon ferry sailing to Picton and then a flight from either Blenheim or Nelson.”
“The ferries are full.” Nate read the name on her badge—Heather Rawlins. “Ms. Rawlins, I’ve already thought of that.” He waved his hand to indicate the very full airport. Many of those in line behind him were students. Several of them looked very young, and they had parents hovering around them. Probably their first time away from home, and not a great start to a course of study at either Canterbury or Otago universities. “Uni starts back last week of February. That’s next week. There’s only me and several hundred others trying to make it to the South Island.”
“You’d better settle in and wait, then, hadn’t you? This might take a while.” Heather looked past him. “Next, please.”
“Charming,” Nate muttered. Why the hell had the fog decided to pick today of all days to turn up? Beautiful weather for weeks, and on the only day he needed to fly out of Wellington, the bloody stuff foiled his plans. His flatmate, Amy, had warned him to be prepared for delays when they hadn’t been able to see the airport from across the harbor that morning, but he hadn’t listened. Fog in the morning didn’t mean the stupid stuff would hang around all day. Typical of his luck lately. “Windy Wellington” and today there wasn’t even a breeze to blow the fog out.
It was a conspiracy.
Much like the rest of his life. One could only take so much of pretending everything was hunky-dory and plastering on a false smile. He was sick of it. Bad enough that Glenn—who he’d thought was the “one,” the guy he’d be with forever—had dumped him, but to find out his job of the last ten years was finishing as well? And now this….
“Next, please,” Heather repeated.
“Excuse me, sir,” a man behind him said in an American accent. “There’s a line here, and I’m sure the lady has done all she could to help you.”
Buy Sunset at Pencarrow.
Anne Barwell lives in Wellington, New Zealand. She works in a library, is an avid reader and watcher across genres, and is constantly on the lookout for more hours in her day. Music often plays a part in her stories, and although she denies being a romantic at heart, the men in her books definitely are. Anne has written in several genres—contemporary, fantasy, historical, and SF— and believes in making her characters work for their happy endings.
Lou Sylvre loves romance with all its ups and downs, and likes to conjure it into books. The romantics on her pages are men who fall hard for each other, end up deeply in love, and often save each other from unspeakable danger. It’s all pretty crazy and very sexy. Among other things, Lou is the creator of the popular Vasquez and James series, which can be found at Dreamspinner Press, Amazon, and many other online vendors.
Lou and Anne’s shared Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/sylvrebarwellhoffmann/
Rafflecopter script and links:
We hope you’ll join us for the other stops on the tour. Click here to see the complete schedule and links to the blogs.
I’m really excited about Sunset at Pencarrow. As Anne says in her guest post, we need more stories set here!