Hi guys! We have Anne Barwell popping in today with the tour for her upcoming release Comes A Horseman, we have a brilliant guest post from Anne, a great excerpt and a fantastic giveaway, so check out the post and click that giveaway link! <3 ~Pixie~
Comes A Horseman
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.
Release date: 1st August 2017
Pre-order: DSP Publications ebook | DSP Publications paperback
The Influence of Friendship
by Anne Barwell
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.
Although there are a couple of MM romances at the heart of my WWII Echoes Rising series, it is very much an ensemble story. As the series progresses these men, who probably would not have met if the war hadn’t thrown them together, become good friends, and more than that, family.
When I began writing their story, even before I finished the first book in the series—Shadowboxing—I had a couple of scenes clearly in my mind. One was how the series would end, the other a crucial moment which would drive a lot of the action in Comes a Horseman. However, as I began writing this final book in the series, I realised my characters had grown as their story progressed, and so had the friendships within their group. Their experiences and their time together had changed them. While the Liang—the prickly Chinese/British academic, sent to verify the plans for the German atomic bomb project—might have reacted in the way I’d planned at the beginning of Shadowboxing, or even Winter Duet, he wouldn’t now. The scene, as I’d originally envisioned it, wasn’t going to work.
Despite his original intention to do the job he was sent to do, and then go back to his comfortable office at Cambridge, Liang discovered now thought of his companions as close friends. He wasn’t the only one. Everyone in their group had grown closer, despite the secrets they thought they had successfully kept from one another.
Splitting the couples up in Winter Duet so that they had to spend some time getting to know the others in their team, rather than staying with someone they trusted, had worked a little too well. So had travelling across Germany, while hiding out in a succession of safe houses together between the final scenes of the last book and the one I was now writing.
So what to do now?
I wasn’t going to abandon my original plan, but I needed to rethink the details. Enter some characters who weren’t in my original outline… I always end up with characters I hadn’t intended, who play an important part in the story. What’s up with that?
I think the story works better for the changes, but not only that, I still got to use my original idea, or rather Liang does. After all deceit works better when there’s some truth in it, right?
Matt nodded, his lips moving although he did not speak. He was counting, Michel realized, as they pulled away from shore, and using the rhythm of his movement to distract himself from the darkness.
The moon’s light highlighted the waves lapping around the boat—the water seemed to reach toward them before diving back again. Ken and Matt quickly settled into a unified motion, both focused on what they were doing, although Ken glanced at Matt a couple of times.
Frej signaled for Matt and Ken to change direction slightly and rest the oars. They did that for a few moments, letting the boat drift with the current. If Michel squinted, he could see the outline of the bridge in the distance and several shapes moving at either end of it. The guards on duty would hopefully stay focused on the bridge itself and not notice a small rowboat sneaking over the border. The area was well guarded, but as it had been secured for quite some time, they would not be expecting trouble.
On the other side of the boat, Liang quickly turned and leaned over the side. As soon as he started to make a gagging noise he shoved his hand over his mouth to silence it. If his seasickness got any worse, it would be difficult to mask the noise of him vomiting over the side of the boat. He was doing his best to silence his dry heaving, but his hunched posture suggested he felt miserable and unwell.
Frej leaned toward Ken and gestured. Ken nodded, rested the oars again, and then he and Matt changed direction. Matt was still counting under his breath, and he gripped the oar tightly.
“Who’s there?” The shouted question shattered the silence.
Kristopher glanced around, an expression of panic on his face.
Michel put a hand on his arm to calm him but didn’t dare whisper the reassurance he wanted to. He turned around and strained his eyes, trying to find the source of the disruption. Matt and Ken stopped rowing, the boat drifting back the way they’d come, caught by the current.
He heard boots against wood in the distance—the unmistakable sound of men running, probably over the bridge crossing the Rhine south of their position. “No farther or I’ll shoot,” one of them yelled.
Frej got down on the floor of the boat. Michel and Kristopher followed, then Liang. Matt kept hold of his oar, trying to keep it as still as he could. He leaned down into a crouch, as did Ken.
Gunfire sounded from the bridge. A couple of shots in succession before stopping. Michel heard an engine, a vehicle approaching. A door slammed, and then everything went quiet again. Logically he knew the bridge was a good few kilometers away, but Frej was right about noise carrying on the water. If felt too close for comfort.
Frej waited a few minutes. “Row,” he whispered urgently. “While they are distracted.”
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.
Win a $10 Gift Card/Voucher from DSP Publications!
Check out the other blogs on the tour!
July 31 – Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
August 1 – Two Men Are Better Than One
August 1 – Top to Bottom Reviews
August 1 – Genre Talk at The Novel Approach Reviews
August 2 – Love Bytes Reviews
August 3 – Andrew Q. Gordon
August 3 – DSP Publications Blog
August 4 – Nic Starr
August 4 – Alpha Book Club
August 7 – My Fiction Nook
August 8 – Divine Magazine
August 9 – Aisling Mancy
August 10 – Lucy Marker