A warm welcome to author Anne Barwell joining us today for her blog tour on “Comes a Horseman”.
Anne talks about following your heart in writing , shares and excerpt and there is a giveaway to participate in!
Welcome Anne 🙂
Following Your Heart
Thanks for hosting me today as part of my blog tour for Comes a Horseman, the 3rd and final book in my WWII Echoes Rising series from DSP Publications.
I have a Rafflecopter running as part of the tour so be sure to enter. DSP Publications also have the ebooks for Shadowboxing (book 1), and Winter Duet (book 2) on sale from 17th July-August 4th.
I’ve often been asked why I included two homosexual couples in my Echoes Rising series. One reason is that they were the characters who wanted their story told. The other is that each man approaches his sexuality in a different way. People get thrown together during war who usually would never meet, and it’s not just the couples in this story who are, but the men who make up this team. Given the time period, these couples probably wouldn’t have risked admitting their own feeling, but in a dangerous situation—and that’s without their sexuality factoring in—life can be short, and be over before it’s had a chance to be truly lived.
Since I began writing this series, there have been several discoveries about homosexuals during the war in the way of letters etc. Just because they had to hide their sexuality from others doesn’t mean they didn’t exist, and my characters are men who are thrown together from very different backgrounds. Their romance doesn’t drive the story, although it adds to the danger in which they find themselves. With a very short life expectancy and emotions being raw, snatch a little happiness where you can, as it could well be the only chance you have.
Kristopher’s been raised to think that his feelings towards other men are wrong. He backed off quickly from a close friend when he realised he was attracted to him. He’s already spent years ignoring who he truly is, and not just in that. He also shoved his passion for music to one side and followed science. So when he meets Michel, and realises there is a spark between them, he follows his heart once he knows Michel feels the same way. Michel, on the other hand, already knows he prefers men, and has had a sexual relationship before. Both men know that their relationship might be very shorted lived, and that even if they survive the war, they’ll only ever be able to admit how they feel to each other. They’re already on the run, and their survival rate isn’t high if they’re caught.
Matt and Ken’s reaction to their sexuality is quite different although they face the same issues in that they live in a time where homosexuality is illegal. Matt had a relationship with a woman, and convinced himself he was in love with her, until he realised he couldn’t keep lying to her, and to himself, so he broke it off. Ken on the other hand, never felt attracted to anyone until he met Matt. Theirs is more of a friends to lovers story. They knew each other for months before admitting their feelings—and that was after they came too close to losing each other.
Even if they survive the war, neither couple will be able to get a traditional HEA. The best they can hope for is to have enough privacy to safely act on their feelings, and to find the strength to continue the façade of being only good friends in public.
But first they need to get through the events of Comes a Horseman, and despite being careful to hide their feelings, they haven’t quite been careful enough….
Echoes Rising Book 3, sequel to Winter Duet
Sometimes the most desperate struggles take place far from the battlefield, and what happens in secret can change the course of history.
Victory is close at hand, but freedom remains frustratingly just beyond the grasp of German physicist Dr. Kristopher Lehrer, Resistance fighter Michel, and the remaining members of the team sent by the Allies—Captain Matt Bryant, Sergeant Ken Lowe, and Dr. Zhou Liang—as they fight to keep the atomic plans from the Nazis. The team reaches France and connects with members of Michel’s French Resistance cell in Normandy. Allied troops are poised to liberate France, and rescue is supposedly at hand. However, Kristopher is no longer sure the information he carries in his memory is safe with either side.
When Standartenführer Holm and his men finally catch up with their prey, the team is left with few options as they fight to keep atomic plans from the Nazis. With a traitor in their midst, who can they trust? Kristopher realizes he must become something he is not in order to save the man he loves. Death is biding his time, and sacrifices must be made for any of them to have the futures they want.
“He’s late.” Matt glanced toward the door again. Although he was trying to appear nonchalant, hiding his nervousness was growing more difficult.
Their journey to Gernsbach had gone too smoothly, and that made him edgy as hell. After one night there, he’d suggested they keep moving for a couple more hours until they reached Bischweier. He’d been to Bischweier years ago when he’d lived in Germany before the war. The local priest was an old friend of Father Joseph’s, the man who had run the orphanage where Matt had grown up in Pennsylvania after he’d lost his family in a fire.
“Not that late.” Michel shrugged. “If we’re not back by two, Ken knows not to stay in Bischweier.”
Michel and Matt had gone ahead to Rastatt to meet their contact in the back room of a local Kaffeehaus. The owner—a member of the local Resistance—had been kind enough to leave them some coffee to drink while they waited.
“They should be safe if they stay in the chapel,” Matt said. He hadn’t been surprised to learn that Father Markus was working with the Resistance. He was a good man, and Father Joseph had spoken highly of him.
“You didn’t trust our contact in Gernsbach,” Michel said. “Why?”
“Just a feeling.”
Now they were finally heading toward home, he kept expecting Holm or one of his men to turn up. Standartenführer Holm wouldn’t give up easily, and Matt doubted he would have spent all this time looking in the wrong direction. The last few weeks had gone too smoothly, reminding Matt of the way a cat played with a mouse, waiting until the right time to finally pounce.
“Holm is not going to give up until he’s captured his prey,” Michel said. “It’s better that both Kristopher and Ken stay away until we are sure it is safe here.” He offered Matt a cigarette, but Matt declined.
“Kristopher is the one Holm is after,” he said cautiously.
“Officially, yes.” Michel lit his cigarette and took a long puff of it. He wasn’t usually very forthcoming with information, and this was the first time he’d implied he knew about Ken’s history with Holm.
At least to Matt.
“What has Ken told you?” Matt asked. Until they’d met up again in Freiburg, he’d only met Michel briefly in Berlin. He still knew Kristopher better, as he was not as reticent. Matt had gotten the impression Michel didn’t have much time for social niceties. He was pleasant enough, though, and it was obvious as hell he cared a great deal for Kristopher.
“We spoke briefly in Stuttgart.” Michel shrugged. “Holm is a dangerous man, and once he has made up his mind to achieve something, he doesn’t let anyone or anything get in his way.
Do not be fooled by his manner. He’s the type who would shake your hand while putting a knife in your back.”
“I’m well aware of Holm’s less than charming nature, thanks all the same,” Matt said. His meeting with Holm was not one Matt would forget in a hurry, if ever. Nor would he forgive him for killing Elise. “He’s a cold-blooded murderer.”
“That’s a polite way of putting it.” Michel narrowed his eyes and swore under his breath.
Although Matt’s French wasn’t that good, he knew enough to appreciate the sentiment.
“I believe Ken was foolish enough to promise not to harm him,” Michel continued in German. “I take it you have no problem in doing whatever needs to be done?”
“No problem at all,” Matt said grimly.
You can find the list of sites taking part in the blog tour HERE
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 Authors Speak and Love Bytes.
Anne’s books have received honorable mentions four times and reached the finals three times 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 page: https://www.facebook.com/sylvrebarwellhoffmann/
New Zealand Rainbow Romance Writers: