I’m pleased to be joined by Anne Barwell today as part of her blog tour for her latest release. Judging from the excerpt, it sounds fabulous and there’s a giveaway!
Thanks for hosting me today as part of my blog tour for One Word, the 3rd book in my Hidden Places series from Dreamspinner Press.
In most mystery detective stories, there is a big reveal of the bad guy, and the heroes need to take him down. It’s also a good place in the story for the heroes to shine, and show how they react under pressure. Donovan and Ethan have very different personalities, and while Donovan has had experience under fire, Ethan hasn’t, so that put an interesting spin on things too. I also enjoyed being able to add Doug—an English copper, and Heidi’s boyfriend—into the action mix. He didn’t have much of a role in the first two books in the series, so it was great to be able to explore his character a bit more in this one.
Fight scenes are always fun to write, especially as I need to keep track of where everyone and everything is. I’ve never lived down the time one of my beta readers pointed out to me I’d lost a horse! I love my beta readers, especially when they encourage me to do things a little differently. When it came to discussing the big showdown with the bad guy in One Word, we debated drawing diagrams with paper and pencils but decided to do something much more interesting and fun!
So… cue choreographing the fight scene with plushies. It’s a lot of fun, especially when you add in the dialogue. We did this one in two stages, so there are two different types of plushies. We used what was available and we were in different locations.
In this first photo, the devil plushie is the good guy, and the poor sheep has been dealt with in true heroic fashion! It’s not exactly the way he goes down in the scene, but the photo was too good not to share.
In the second the dragon has been cornered by rabbits. But why is that one rabbit on the ground? Has he been injured or….? And that other bunny looks particularly menacing. Let’s hope he’s one of the good guys. And one of the other rabbits is coming up behind the dragon….
Silliness aside, it’s a great way of making sure everyone in the scene is where they’re meant to be, and of course it’s very important to take reference photos….
A Hidden Places Story
Ethan Leavitt arrives in the idyllic village of Oakwood to search for a missing friend. Having always prided himself on his ability to find rational explanations, Ethan’s trust in concrete evidence and logic is tested by the mystery of Oakwood and Tomas’s disappearance.
Donovan Campbell’s happy, sometimes flippant, exterior hides a past he’d rather forget. As he struggles with his memories and to hold on to the inn he owns with his best friend, the last thing Donovan needs is for some guy he’s only just met to start getting under his skin. When a bank robbery escalates into a dangerous situation, Donovan must embrace a part of himself he can no longer ignore in order to save a future that might never have the chance to exist.
Ethan learns that often the person you’re looking for is not the one you find. But have he and Donovan both realized that too late…?
“If you want to talk anytime, I don’t mind listening.” Donovan glanced at the screen, then back to Ethan. Everyone else in the room was focused on the movie, and he’d kept his voice low so they wouldn’t be overheard. “Not now of course, but later.”
“I’m fine,” Ethan repeated. He edged toward the other end of the sofa, away from Donovan. “Thanks, though,” he added quickly. He did appreciate the offer, but it wasn’t a good idea.
“Time for a break,” Heidi announced, grabbing the remote and hitting Pause. “Doug and Mikey, come help me make drinks and bring in supper.”
“I don’t—” Mikey started to stay.
Doug cut him off. “I don’t know about you, Mikey, but one of the first things I learned about Heidi is that she means she really needs help but doesn’t want to admit it.” He winked at Mikey. “I’m sure Indy wouldn’t leave a lady in need to fend for herself.”
“Well, if you put it that way, I suppose.” Mikey got to his feet and followed Heidi out of the room. “Heidi, do you think Dad would mind if I texted him to see how Granddad is?”
“I’m sure he wouldn’t,” Heidi replied. “I think it’s a great idea.”
“Nice psychology there, Doug,” Ethan said. He didn’t think for a moment that Heidi needed the help, considering how organized she was.
“About as subtle as Heidi,” Donovan murmured. “The two of you are a match made in heaven, I swear.”
“There’s nothing wrong with my hearing either,” Doug said, although he didn’t sound offended by Donovan’s comment. “I’m going to help out in the kitchen.” He collected the empty popcorn bowl. “We’ll be at least five minutes.”
“Yeah, real subtle,” Donovan said.
“Huh?” Ethan wasn’t sure what Donovan was on about. “I think it’s sweet that Doug likes helping Heidi in the kitchen. A lot of guys don’t, and one person in the relationship gets to do all the work.”
Another mark against Duncan.
Perhaps the long walk Ethan had taken that morning hadn’t been such a great idea. It had given him too much time to think, and reflection wasn’t something he did well, especially of late.
“Yeah, he looks after her. I’d be having words with him if he didn’t.” Donovan cleared his throat. “You seem real distracted this evening, Ethan. Did something happen?”
“I’m not distracted,” Ethan said. “I’m enjoying the movie.”
The last part of what he’d said was true, at least. It appeared there was something to the genre Tomas had spent years trying to get him to read and watch after all.
“Uh-huh.” Donovan put his hands behind his head and leaned back on the sofa, keeping his tone casual. “That’s what all the stuff about helping out in the kitchen was about. Doug and Heidi are both good at reading people. You’ve gotten more and more distracted and agitated over the past twenty minutes or so. I bet if I asked you what was happening in the movie before Heidi hit Pause, you wouldn’t be able to tell me.”
“I know exactly what’s going on,” Ethan said indignantly. “And weren’t you supposed to be watching the movie instead of me? Can you tell me what happened in the last five minutes?”
“I’ve seen it before. I can quote this movie in my sleep, so answering that question isn’t going to prove anything.”
“So you admit you were watching me?”
Donovan blushed bright red. For a moment, he seemed flustered as hell. “Umm… I mean…. You’re changing the focus of this conversation onto me.”
“So?” Ethan brushed imaginary crumbs from his jeans. He sighed. As much as he thought Donovan looked hot—
No, not going there.
“Look, I’m sorry,” Ethan tried again. “I appreciate your concern, but it’s not something I want to talk about. With anyone.” He attempted an olive branch, not because he wanted to, but because…. The last thing he wanted was to upset anyone, and especially not Donovan.
“Don’t worry, it’s not about Tomas. If I’d heard something, I would have told you, okay? I know you’re concerned about him too.”
“Okay.” Donovan raised his arms in mock surrender. “I won’t ask about your crap if you don’t ask about mine.”
“I was only being concerned last night,” Ethan protested. Surely Donovan wasn’t going to bring that up now, after pretending it hadn’t existed all day?
“That’s all I’m doing now,” Donovan said softly. “Deal?”
“Oh.” Ethan ignored the way his cheeks flamed. Donovan had neatly turned Ethan’s indignation back on himself. “Point taken.” He took a deep breath, knowing he didn’t have any option but to agree. “Deal.”
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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/
Dreamspinner Press Author Page:
DSP Publications Author Page:
Queeromance Ink Author Page:
New Zealand Rainbow Romance Writers:
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