FRIEND FRIDAY: Guest Post with Lou Sylvre & Anne Barwell #gayromance #FriendlyFriday

My Dreamspinner Press World of Love story, Runaway, was released in April. Perhaps you’ve had a chance to read it? My story was set in Australia. The collection of books appealed to me because each story is set in a different country, so it’s a great chance to see some of the world. My guests today, Anne Barwell and Lou Sylvre, have a World of Love story set in New Zealand.

I’m happy they’ve joined me today with a guest post, an excerpt and there’s a giveaway too.

Sweet As

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.

Sunset at Pencarrow is set in New Zealand and is part of Dreamspinner Press’s World of Love series.  Because of this, we were careful to walk a fine line between using the Kiwi idioms that are used here and ensuring international readers still knew what the characters were talking about.

As Rusty is American he could connect with the readers by asking questions about the idioms that wouldn’t be described in the narrative, but it would get boring quickly if he did too much of that. And after all, Nate isn’t about to explain expressions he uses every day when he’s narrating.

I figured “sweet as” would need an explanation—a word with ‘as’ tacked on the end is common here and is used to imply there is nothing to compare it with.  For example, hot as is very hot, cold as is very cold, and so forth.  Another common word is “munted” which means something is broken. There are a few stories circulating as to its origin, and it’s one I hadn’t heard growing up so is more recent, particularly since the Christchurch earthquakes.  We also use the words high school and college interchangeably so that was something that needed clarifying too.

It’s often the little things the locals don’t think about that causes culture shock for someone visiting from another country.  Driving on the left in New Zealand is expected, but watching someone drown their meal in tomato sauce—which is very different to ketchup—might not be.  I had overseas friends stay with me a few years ago and they were surprised that our takeaway shops sell Chinese takeout as well as hamburgers and fish and chips.  We dunk our chips—and a lot of other stuff—in tomato sauce, while they were used to mayonnaise.  I also managed to get them addicted to L&P—Lemon and Paeroa—which is a popular soft drink only available here.  L&Ps advertising jingle describes it as “world famous—in New Zealand.”

I was also surprised to find myself double checking some of our expressions, as being questioned about them led to me being unsure that what I use is actually what everyone else does. I blame that on the fact I’m half Australian so I grew up hearing both.  When I went hunting online for lists of New Zealand slang to check, they used words I’d never heard or very rarely.  I’m not sure whether those lists are a generational thing, or influenced by how we’re perceived by social media and movies.

We also share a few expressions with Australia, and with the UK but there are some which are distinctly Kiwi, such as those I’ve mentioned above.  Although Lou and I had fun popping in a lot of New Zealand references and showcasing the scenery, a lot of this country also reminds visitors of home.  We’ve become popular in recent years as “Middle Earth,” but sadly I have still to find any hobbits, despite visiting some of the locations close by where the movies were filmed.


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.


“Morning,” Nate said to Rusty. “Hope you slept well.”

“I slept really well, thanks,” Amy said. She grinned at him and then had the decency to at least look apologetic. “Sorry about last night. I didn’t realize you were bringing a date home. Thought you were supposed to be in Christchurch?”

“It’s not a date,” Nate and Rusty said at the same time. Nate felt his face flame but averted his gaze so he didn’t notice whether Rusty’s did as well.

“Our flight was delayed because of the fog,” Rusty explained. “Nate was kind enough to offer me somewhere to stay for the night. The airport chairs didn’t look all that comfortable.”

“Nate’s good like that,” Amy said, giving Rusty a huge smile. “He’s a good guy. I wouldn’t be flatting with him otherwise.” She put the cereal boxes on the table. “And your choice for breakfast this morning is… Weet-Bix or muesli. Or if they don’t work for you, we have toast with an amazing variety of spreads to go with it.” She turned back to the pantry. “Let’s see. Vegemite, Marmite—because some people have no taste—jam, and peanut butter.” Amy picked up the peanut butter jar and peered inside. “Sorry, no peanut butter. Someone used it all, put the empty jar back in the cupboard, and didn’t put it on the shopping list.”

“Ask your boyfriend,” Nate muttered. “He eats all the food and never replaces it. And,” he added, “there’s nothing wrong with Marmite. Not my fault if you eat that other stuff.”

Rusty looked as though he was trying not to laugh. “Whatever you have will be fine, thanks, although I’ll pass on the Vegemite and the Marmite.”

“You don’t know what you’re missing.” Amy added the three jars to the selection on the table and then busied herself popping bread into the toaster. “Unless you’d like scrambled eggs or something like that? Nate and I aren’t big breakfast eaters, but I think we have a couple of eggs left.”

“Toast and cereal will be fine, thanks,” Rusty said. “I need to call the airline too. See if I’ve got a flight.”

Amy buttered her toast and poured herself another cup of coffee. “I’m going to my room now.” She winked at Nate. “Sorry about the sofa last night, and nice to meet you, Rusty. I’m sure you guys have lots to talk about and you don’t need me in the way. Besides, I have stuff to do before work.”

“Right,” said Nate. “Stuff.” He poured himself a cup of coffee and put some bread in the toaster. At least Amy had the decency to make herself scarce, but she’d probably already done enough damage. God knew what she’d said to Rusty while Nate was in the shower.

“Yeah,” said Amy. “Stuff.” She nodded toward Rusty and gave Nate another wink, which he ignored.

“She’s very… welcoming,” Rusty said.

“That’s one way of putting it,” Nate muttered. “I hope she didn’t interrogate you too much.”

Buy Links

Dreamspinner Press  (Discount code PENCARROW from 5/31-6/30, 30% off, DSP store only.)

Google Books




Barnes and Noble


Click here to enter the giveaway

About the authors

Anne Barwell

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

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:


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.


Like this post and giveaway? Share it. Here’s a ready-made tweet.

Click to Tweet: 📘🌈👬 #gayromance set in New Zealand  👬🌈📘 @Sylvre @annebarwell #mmromance

Tweet: 📘🌈👬 #gayromance set in New Zealand  👬🌈📘 @Sylvre @annebarwell #mmromance


9 thoughts on “FRIEND FRIDAY: Guest Post with Lou Sylvre & Anne Barwell #gayromance #FriendlyFriday

  1. Pingback: Sunset at Pencarrow – A Couple More Blog Stops | Drops of Ink

  2. Fun post! I understand about the hobbit disappointment…I still secretly hope that I find Sesame Street if I ever get to Queens, New York…

  3. Thanks for giving us a look into New Zealand. I liked your comment about New Zealand slang and making sure it wasn’t Australian slang. I have friends in both places, one that grew up in Australia and lives in New Zealand now, who gets very funny looks because he sometimes slips and uses Australian slang.

    • Glad to know I’m not alone on that one. I’ve only been to Australia a few times as a child, and would probably notice the Australian slang more now than I did then. Thanks for commenting 🙂

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