GUEST AUTHOR: ANNE BARWELL #mmromance #mmholidayspirit #giveaways





Today my guest is Anne Barwell. Anne lives in New Zealand. Anne’s sharing a delicious recipe, a song, details of her holiday story, and her favourite charity.

Don’t forget to check out the giveaways.


Do you and your family/friends have any special holiday traditions?

These days we all gather together at one my children’s homes, and it’s very low key with the meal either being a pot luck or a BBQ or a mix of both. When I was growing up, my Dad and I always went for a long walk after Christmas lunch, which was more of a traditional large cooked meal then.  I always remember those walks this time of the year, especially since he passed away four years ago.

Christmas carols. Yes or no?

I love Christmas Carols.  When I was still playing for church services, the lead up to that season was busy with choir rehearsals. I’ve played piano for several children’s services, and that was a lot of fun. I started playing for church one Christmas season – I was singing in the choir and they needed someone to fill in as pianist. Once I did that, I kept being asked to do more. Unfortunately I don’t have the time now I’m working full time and writing so I’m keeping my music alive by playing violin with Hutt Valley Orchestra. Our orchestra did a Christmas carol concert last year—it’s a different experience playing carols on the violin as part of an orchestra instead of taking the lead on piano, but still just as much fun.

Do you have some of your concert on video? You should share it with us 🙂 Do you watch Christmas movies? If so, what’s your favourite all time holiday movie?

I don’t have a favourite, but I love the Hallmark Christmas movies, and often pull out a few to watch leading up to the Christmas season. Once a month some friends and I get together for a classic movie night, and the December one is Christmas themed. Last year we watched ‘White Christmas’ which I really enjoyed.

What inspired your current holiday story?

So far I only have one holiday story. ‘On Wings of Song’ came out in 2014 on the centenary of the WWI 1914 Christmas Truce, which begins the story.

Tell us a little about the main characters in your holiday story.

Aiden is British, and a singer with musical theater in London. Jochen is German, and a scholar. The two men bond over their shared love of literature during the truce, and then find each other again in 1920 after the war.

That sounds a lovely story. I will definitely check it out. Do you have a favourite  holiday recipe to share?

Christmas Mincemeat Muffins are a favourite Alison Holst recipe, and a nice change from the traditional mince pies:

Makes 12

1 3/4 C SR flour
3/4 C castor sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
1/2 C sour cream
1/2 C milk
1/2 tsp rum, whisky or brandy essence
1/2 C Christmas (fruit) mincemeat

Measure 1st 3 ingredients into a large bowl. In another bowl mix together with whisk until smooth: eggs, sour cream, milk and essence.

Without over mixing, add liquids to dry ingredients. 1/2 fill muffin pans with mixture. Using dampened teasp, make small indentation on top of each, and into it put 1-2 teaps of mincemeat. Cover each with a spoonful of remaining mixture trying to cover the “enclosed’ mincemeat.

Bake 200C 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Centres should spring back when pressed.

What does 2017 hold for you on the writing front? What can your readers expect to see from you?

The 2nd edition of ‘Winter Duet’ which is book 2 of my WWII ‘Echoes Rising’ series is being released from DSP Publications 27th December.  Lou Sylvre and I also have a contemporary romance set in New Zealand for Dreamspinner Press’ World of Love series called ‘Sunset at Pencarrow’ coming out June/July. I also have a couple of other works in the pipeline. Stay tuned!

Sounds busy!

Do you have a YouTube clip you’d like to share with our readers?

One of my favourite all time carols is ‘O Holy Night’ which is why I used it in ‘On Wings of Song’.  This clip is of Josh Groban.

There are many people who aren’t as fortunate as me and this time of year is always a time where I reflect on how lucky I am. It’s a time for giving back and I do so by supporting my favourite charity (Twenty10 who provide support for LGBT youth) financially and with their Christmas Hamper drive. Is there a favourite charity or not-for-profit organization you’d like to call out and raise the awareness of?

Rainbow Youth in New Zealand support LGBTIQ youth in Aotearoa.  Their motto is “Know Who You Are, Be Who You Are,” and you can find them here:

Check out one of Anne’s books…



Six years after meeting British soldier Aiden Foster during the Christmas Truce of 1914, Jochen Weber still finds himself thinking about Aiden, their shared conversation about literature, and Aiden’s beautiful singing voice. A visit to London gives Jochen the opportunity to search for Aiden, but he’s shocked at what he finds.

The uniform button Jochen gave him is the only thing Aiden has left of the past he’s lost. The war and its aftermath ripped everything away from him, including his family and his music. When Jochen reappears in his life, Aiden enjoys their growing friendship but knows he has nothing to offer. Not anymore.

Buy Links

Dreamspinner Press


Anne is giving away an ebook of the winner’s choice from her back list.

To enter just comment on this post and a winner will be randomly chosen after 12th December.


Click here to enter the Rafflecopter. The winners will be drawn at the end of the blog tour.

1st prize: $20 Amazon GC, 2nd Prize: $15 Amazon GC (courtesy of Meg Bawden), $10 ARe GC (courtesy of Beany Sparks), and 4th Prize is a bundle of 4 ebooks (1 back list title from Renae Kaye, Penny Brandon’s “His Heart’s Desire”, LJ Harris’ “The Haunting of Angus MacGregor”, and a backlist title from N.J. Nielsen)

About the author

pink-dragon_smallAnne 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.

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.




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25 thoughts on “GUEST AUTHOR: ANNE BARWELL #mmromance #mmholidayspirit #giveaways

  1. Thank you Anne for the interview. The blurb of your book sounds interesting. I put it on my TBR list.
    And your recipe of the mincemeat muffin must be delicious with all the booze.

    • Thanks, Tanya, and yes those muffins are lovely. They’re a good way of still having the fruit mince pies without fiddling around with pastry.

  2. Thank you for the recipe! I would never have thought of making mincemeat muffins. It sounds like a great way to change things up. Thank you also for the giveaway chance!

    • You’re welcome, Jen. I love mince pies at Christmas and this is a nice variation without having to fiddle around with pastry.

  3. Hi Anne, I enjoyed the interview every Christmas I give to “Help The Hero’s” charity which benefits soldiers and their families.

    • Thanks, Debby. The recipe is one I often take to Christmas functions/pot lucks as it’s a bit of a change from the usual fruit mince pies.

  4. Pingback: Holiday Spirit Down Under | Drops of Ink

  5. Thanks for the interview. My son asked me to donate to LGBT charities last year for Christmas in his name instead of buying him presents. His requests were the Trevor Project & the Mazzoni Center in Philadelphia. I also sent a donation to the LGBT clinic where he gets his medical care. I’m hoping he asks for the same this year. 🙂

  6. Thanks for sharing such an interesting recipe. I will have to look up some of the ingredients to see if we even have them here in the US.

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