release

Dead Wrong out…now!

One of the biggest challenges of being an author in New Zealand is that since our timezone is ahead of the US—and the US is where both NineStar Press and Amazon are based—release days arrive here sooner. After counting down to February 26th for what feels like ages, I’ve been waiting all day for Dead Wrong (Thorns and Fangs #4) to go live.

And it finally has!

NineStar Press | Amazon | Smashwords | Kobo | Barnes and Noble | Goodreads

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Nate’s no supernatural expert, but even he knows a murdered man coming back to life to kill him can only mean one thing—the necromancer is back and out for revenge.

Recruited by Department Seven in a desperate attempt to stop Peter before he claims new victims, Nate quickly realizes he’s in way over his head. His powers are failing him, he’s haunted by Peter’s ghost, and he can’t even remember how he stopped Peter the first time—or why he feels that someone very important is missing from his life.

Ben is fighting for his afterlife. Trapped in the supernatural version of solitary confinement, he knows freeing himself will destroy New Camden’s fragile peace—but what choice does he have? The longer he spends in his magical prison, the harder it becomes to resist his inner vampire. But if Ben wants to help Nate prevent Peter taking over the city, he has to prove himself to his sire—Saltaire, a thousand-year-old vampire with no qualms about using his immense power to suppress Ben’s free will.

As the casualties mount and the city descends into chaos, Ben and Nate must overcome their worst fears and impossible odds—or be written out of existence entirely.

New Release: Life After Humanity Out Now!

And it feels good.

I’m really fond of the Thorns and Fangs cast. Whenever I come back to writing this universe, it feels like catching up with old friends (and old not-so-friends). And I’m really pleased with the progress Nate and Ben make in this chapter of their story. While admittedly they take some steps backwards, they both end up coming to some really important understandings throughout this story, and one of them at least ends the story in a much better place.

I’m not alone in this opinion. Life After Humanity already has some great reviews on Goodreads. This one just arrived today:

From Mari Cardenas of Bayou Book Junkie:

This is a very plot-oriented book and there are several things going on in it, one thing is for sure, it will keep you on the edge of your seat with all the twists and turns. It’s brilliantly written and entertaining, action-packed and angsty, with great main and secondary characters. Each installment has been better than the previous one and I just can’t wait for the next book to see how it all will end! Highly recommendable!

Mari also adds (and I would agree with this): Life After Humanity is book 3 in the Thorns and Fangs series and it needs to be read in order or you’ll be thoroughly lost. Also, this book ends in sort of a cliffhanger, so if you don’t like those, just wait until the last book of the series is released in February, thankfully, it won’t be that long of a wait this time around.

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Ben is a recovering vampire determined to pick up the pieces of the life that came to a halt when he was murdered over a year ago—even if that means distancing himself from his few remaining friends. Nate, struggling to navigate his new identity as a Class 3 Unknown paranormal, knows it will take more than mastery of his affinity with plants to convince Ben they belong together.

When Ben’s application for human status is denied, he must fight to leave the paranormal world behind him while Nate’s generous impulses drag him into conflict with a werewolf pack with designs on ruling New Camden. As Ben’s vampire family draws closer to finding him, his vampire instinct awakens—throwing his continued existence into jeopardy. The hunt for the missing werewolf continues, and Nate and Ben become pawns in Councilor Wisner’s plans to take control of the city. Their only hope is each other—if they can see that before all is lost.

Purchase Links:

Ninestar Press | Amazon | Smashwords | Kobo

Life After Humanity: Exclusive Excerpt

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I’m feeling really good about this! The entire Thorns and Fangs series has been me challenging myself. Life After Humanity is no different. I’ve taken chances and written the story I wanted to write. I have second-guessed myself, worried myself, worried my editor… but now that release day is approaching I’m feeling really good about it.

On the theme of taking a chance, I’m sharing an exclusive excerpt today. It’s not user-friendly in that it probably won’t make a lot of sense if you haven’t read Thorns and Fangs (and contains major spoilers for the story), and won’t appeal to everyone–but it is a scene that has appeared in every single incarnation of this story (and there have been a few). It’s also one of my favourites. While saying you’ll either love it or hate feels like too big a claim, this one I think will leave you either really excited for Life After Humanity or faintly confused.

If the former, preorder Life After Humanity from the NineStar website now to get it on January 12th.

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Ben is a recovering vampire determined to pick up the pieces of the life that came to a halt when he was murdered over a year ago—even if that means distancing himself from his few remaining friends. Nate, struggling to navigate his new identity as a Class 3 Unknown paranormal, knows it will take more than mastery of his affinity with plants to convince Ben they belong together.

When Ben’s application for human status is denied, he must fight to leave the paranormal world behind him while Nate’s generous impulses drag him into conflict with a werewolf pack with designs on ruling New Camden. As Ben’s vampire family draws closer to finding him, his vampire instinct awakens—throwing his continued existence into jeopardy. The hunt for the missing werewolf continues, and Nate and Ben become pawns in Councilor Wisner’s plans to take control of the city. Their only hope is each other—if they can see that before all is lost.

Read on for the exclusive excerpt!

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Guest Post: Prelude to Love by Anne Barwell

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Fellow kiwi author and friend Anne Barwell has a new release out, and it’s set here in NZ! I asked Anne if she wouldn’t mind talking about some of the special locations in the story, and she obliged—with photos! I’ve really enjoyed hearing Anne’s thoughts about these locations, and am hoping to visit some of them when I catch up with her later this month. It’s going to be great!


Thanks for hosting me today as part of my blog tour for Prelude to Love, a Dreamspun Desire novel from Dreamspinner Press.

I have a Rafflecopter running as part of the tour so be sure to enter.

Prelude to Love is set in Wellington, and most of the story takes place in the Hutt Valley where I live. Most of the locations are real places or inspired by real places. The only one that isn’t is Avalon College where Joel is a music teacher. Avalon is a suburb in Lower Hutt, and there is an Avalon Primary and Intermediate but no college/high school. As the school and its inhabitants play a big part in the story I didn’t want to use a real place, but it is inspired by schools where I’ve worked or visited.

I also took care to use different locations from Sunset at Pencarrow—co-written with Lou Sylvre—which released in 2017. However, there were some locations which I had to reuse, such as Wellington Airport, and the Petone Esplanade. It’s difficult to get away from those, although I must admit Nate from that story lives only a few blocks away from Joel in this one!

I enjoyed being able to share familiar locations, and as an added bonus I didn’t need to use google maps. In fact at one point I was writing a scene, and couldn’t remember the specifics of that particular location so I went for a drive and took photos, and had a bonus cuppa with my daughter at the same time.

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An area alongside the Waiwhetu stream plays an important part in the story, and serves as a location for several scenes. I like the area because it’s peaceful and, as an added bonus, near a really nice café. Joel and Marcus visit that café in the story and, although I haven’t named it, locals will recognise it by its description.

When I was taking photos on the bank of the stream I noticed a rather unusual tree. Inspiration struck and I knew I could use it in the story.

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Joel spotted a familiar tree, one with a shape that had made him smile at the time. He’d never been sure whether the trunk had split in two very early on, or whether two trees had grown close together, giving the impression of one. Ivy grew up the middle, linking the two as they’d reached for the sun. 

“Interesting-looking tree,” Marcus said.

“Yeah. It reminds me of a relationship, of two people still doing their own thing but linked by their love for each other.” Joel crouched in front of it, checking the grass wasn’t too wet before he sat.

I love it when location inspires the story.

Oriental Bay at dusk

A story set in New Zealand has to feature a beach somewhere. We’re surrounded by water, particularly here in Wellington. So at one point Joel and Marcus share ice creams at Oriental Bay—a popular beach in Wellington close to the CBD (central business district).   I took this photo of the spot where that part of the story takes place, but while they visit during the day earlier in the year, this is a few months later and at dusk. To the left is the Wellington waterfront, and across the harbour is the motorway along the edge of the shore leading to the Hutt Valley on the far right. The larger boat is one of the Picton ferries heading toward Wellington at the end of its journey from the South Island crossing Cook Strait.

I enjoy being able to set stories in New Zealand, and share a bit of my country with readers, so am planning to do more of it—and across a couple of different genres—in the future.

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Blurb:

Music speaks directly to the heart.

Two very different men face turning points in their lives after the collapse of long-term relationships….

Joel is a music teacher who knows it’s time to forget his ex and move on, while Marcus runs a lawn-mowing business and has come to Wellington to escape the reminders of a recent breakup. Although they’re opposites, when Joel and Marcus connect, their romance has the potential to hit all the right notes.

Too bad neither of them feels ready for new love.

With family and friends in common, dating is risky—things could get messy if it doesn’t work out. The sweet song of possibility draws them to each other, though, and they share a kiss following a Chopin prelude. But it will take some practice and perseverance to find their perfect harmony….

Dreamspinner Press  | Amazon |Barnes and Noble  

Excerpt:

Although the room was sparsely furnished, Marcus hadn’t really noticed it before. Apart from the piano and the small table and chair next to it, there was only one sofa and a bookcase full of sheet music in the corner.

“That works.”

Nannerl pushed past Marcus and jumped up onto the sofa, sprawling out to take up the entire seat.

“Or not,” Marcus said. “I’ll take your usual seat.”

“You can shift her, you know.” Joel glanced at Nannerl. “I swear that cat has a mind of her own.”

“She’s a cat, and your chair looks comfortable enough. Besides, I can see better from here.”

Marcus pushed the chair back, stretched his legs out, and crossed them at the ankles. “What’s the music?” Not that it would mean much to him, but he still wanted to be able to put a name to it.

“It’s a Chopin prelude. I’ve always liked playing Chopin. I find it relaxing, as it’s easy to lose myself in the music, so I’m hoping that helps me not to stress out too much on the night of the concert.” Joel adjusted the distance between the stool and the piano and then began to play.

Marcus nodded. He’d heard the name Chopin before—probably from Joel.

Despite his intention to watch Joel play, Marcus found himself closing his eyes and listening to the music. It felt as though Joel projected some of himself into his performance. Nuances of emotion reached out to Marcus as the melody grew louder, in both volume and intensity, and faster. Then slower again, the melody taking center stage, with a repeating deeper note before the music finished, and Marcus realized Joel had stopped playing.

“Wow.” Marcus opened his eyes.

Joel still sat poised at the keyboard. He placed his hands on his lap, interlacing his fingers, his knuckles white. “Wow? Really? I still need to practice, and that bit with the—”

Marcus didn’t have the words to describe what he’d heard. He’d liked it. A lot. Not just for the music but the insight it gave him into Joel. He leaned over, gently brushed his fingers against Joel’s face, and when Joel turned toward him, Marcus kissed him on the lips. Softly at first, then deepening as Joel threaded his fingers through Marcus’s hair and pulled him closer.

Joel tasted of coffee and beer. He caressed Marcus’s lips with his tongue, and Marcus groaned. Why had he waited so long for this? Kissing Joel felt right, as though he’d found something he’d never known was missing.

When they finally broke the kiss, Joel leaned his forehead against Marcus’s. “Wow,” he whispered. “I should play for you more often.”

Rafflecopter:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

You can find the list of sites taking part in the blog tour here:

https://annebarwell.wordpress.com/2018/01/01/blog-tour-prelude-to-love/

(Or, if you prefer, here’s a coded list of the sites):

January 2 – Happily Ever After Chapter

January 3 – Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

January 3 – Gillian St Kevern

January 4 – Love Bytes Reviews

January 5 – My Fiction Nook

January 8 – Kimi-chan Experience

January 8 – Two Men Are Better Than One

January 9 – Boy Meets Boy Reviews

January 10 – Dreamspinner Press Blog

January 11 – Anna Butler

January 12- Nic Starr

January 16 – Aisling Mancy

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Bio:

Anne Barwell lives in Wellington, New Zealand. She shares her home with two cats who are convinced that the house is run to suit them; this is an ongoing “discussion,” and to date it appears as though the cats may be winning.

In 2008 she completed her conjoint BA in English Literature and Music/Bachelor of Teaching. She has worked as a music teacher, a primary school teacher, and now works in a library. She is a member of the Upper Hutt Science Fiction Club and plays violin for Hutt Valley Orchestra.

She is an avid reader across a wide range of genres and a watcher of far too many TV series and movies, although it can be argued that there is no such thing as “too many.” These, of course, are best enjoyed with a decent cup of tea and further the continuing argument that the concept of “spare time” is really just a myth. She also hosts other authors, reviews for the GLBTQ Historical Site “Our Story” and Top2Bottom Reviews, and writes monthly blog posts for Love Bytes.

Anne’s books have received honorable mentions five times, reached the finals four times—one of which was for best gay book—and been a runner up in the Rainbow Awards.  She has also been nominated twice in the Goodreads M/M Romance Reader’s Choice Awards—once for Best Fantasy and once for Best Historical.

Website & Blog: http://annebarwell.wordpress.com/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/anne.barwell.1

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/sylvrebarwellhoffmann/

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/115084832208481414034/posts

Instagram: https://instagram.com/anne.barwell

Twitter: https://twitter.com/annebarwell

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4862410.Anne_Barwell

Queeromance Ink Author Page:

https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/anne-barwell/

New Zealand Rainbow Romance Writers:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/491382394538058/

Sign Up For My Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/c6D9wP

New Release: The Charity Shop Rejects Live in Concert is, well, live!

I’m really excited to be bringing you the third instalment of the For the Love of Christmas! series: The Charity Shop Rejects Live in Concert! I hope you enjoy revisiting Jake and Dan, and I can’t wait to see what you think of Mikaal, Declan and Hiro.

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To celebrate the launch, I’ve got an excerpt for you. Guitarist Declan has strict rules about not mixing music and relationships. Front man Mikaal knows this—but the knowledge does nothing to stop his growing attraction to Declan. When an unexpected concert booking brings Mikaal’s chronic stage fright to the fore, his resolve is tested.


The Charity Shop Rejects Live in Concert (For the Love of Christmas! #3)

Mikaal Sarhadi has been in trouble since the moment he met guitarist Declan Hyde. Declan treats music like religion, setting high standards for himself and his bandmates. Mikaal struggles to even step on stage. He will do anything to justify Declan’s belief in him—even if that means ignoring the powerful attraction between them.

After a chance meeting with Brandon, Declan’s estranged brother, reveals just how much Declan will sacrifice for his music, Mikaal wonders if he can even call himself a musician. Worse, drummer Hiro’s visa application has been denied. With time running out for The Charity Shop Rejects, Mikaal must conquer his stage fright or lose music—and Declan—entirely.

Ninestar Press | Amazon | Smashwords | Kobo | Goodreads

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