Tell us a little about yourself!
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.
In Thirty Things, Nate and Finn check of a list of 30 things to do before Finn turns 30. What would be on your list?
The ship has long sailed for my before 30 list, so I've revisited it.
Catching up with all my house maintenance/renovations
Being able to cut my full time job down to four days a week so I have more time for writing
Hmm, there's really not much else. Not sure what that says. I'm kind of settled and found my niche and all that.
Tell us about something you've already checked off your list. Was it everything you thought it would be?
Being a published author was a big one on my list for a long time. Each new book is just as exciting as the first one. I never thought I'd get one book in print, and now I have eight. Wow.
While traveling the country, Finn and Nate visit some amazing places. Where have you been that has stuck with you?
I did a road trip of the West Coast of New Zealand a couple of years ago. Lovely countryside and very different. It still has an untouched wildness about some of it. Beautiful.
If you could only do one of the things on your list, which would it be?
I'm going to be really boring and say catching up on my house maintenance. There's a few things I'd really love to do to it like upgrade the kitchen, and I'm not planning to move again so I'd like it the way I want it.
What items would be on your writing bucket list?
I have so many stories I want to write, series I want to finish, and others waiting in the wings.
I've love to have time to eventually write all of them, but there are a couple of future series I'm really looking for to: Outliers (which is about a group of guys with psi powers who live in Wellington) and a magic punk (sort of AU steampunk idea but with magic) set in Wellington. Those are going to be fun, especially as they're set locally. There's not enough fantasy set in Wellington and I want to do something to change that.
Which books are on your TBR Bucket List?
Far far too many. I work in a library and that place is the den of temptation if you're a reader.
There are several fantasy authors I want to read and have just started the tip of the iceberg: Patricia Briggs, Mercedes Lackey, Kelley Armstrong... the list goes on.
I'd also love to catch up on all the graphic novels I'm behind on. I'm a big DC fangirl and just got into Marvel a couple of years ago. Add into that all the manga out there.
Not sure this one is an achievable goal...
Anne is writing 'One Word' the next in the 'Hidden Places' series, which is a side novel to her very first published novel, 'Cat's Quill".
Tomas Kemp has two successful novels to his name and the true belief that a successful sequel is only a matter of a little inspiration. When Tomas meets a mysterious stranger under the branches of an old oak tree, he feels compelled to tell him about a book he holds dear and the sequel he wants to read. But Cathal doesn’t share that deep belief that the sequel Tomas seeks ends happily. Cathal has seen enough of a world where stories are real to know that happy ever after is sometimes the dream that won’t come true.
But stories have never let Tomas down, and as he follows Cathal across the reality shift between their worlds, he learns that Cathal is right: Happy ever after is never just given—but sometimes, it can be fought for and won.
Buy link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=2369&cPath=55_426
Cathal wiped his palms on his trousers and then turned the page of the journal back and forth, his eyes scanning the words again. “Maybe I could help?” he suggested. “Can you tell me what the story is about so I can get more of an idea of what this kiss should, er… involve?”
“Involve?” Tomas’s voice sounded strained to his own ears. He coughed, clearing his throat before speaking again. “Umm, it’s about a writer who meets someone he thinks might be a muse.”
“I see.” Cathal nodded slowly. “Why does he think that?” He edged closer to Tomas, the book still balanced carefully on his lap.
“He’s drawn to this person he’s not long met.” The explanation sounded somewhat weak now that Tomas had to actually explain it to someone else. “It’s like they have a connection….”
“Like Alan and Roger in your other book?” Cathal frowned. “That doesn’t explain why—” He checked the name. “—Deimos might be a muse though, but then I haven’t read enough.”
Tomas opened his mouth to explain more, how Deimos seemed to appear and disappear out of thin air, how he seemed otherworldly, how Mark kept thinking about him all the time. Cathal placed one hand on Tomas’s knee, his breath warm against Tomas’s face. “Cat? What are you doing?”
“I’m getting into character.” Cathal reached over and brushed Tomas’s hair from his face. “You’re a writer, so you need to be Mark. That leaves me the role of the muse.” His voice was barely a whisper. “This scene is too good for it to be abandoned like the other one.” His eyes dropped to the page and back again. He licked his lips, his fingers tightening on Tomas’s knee. Tomas’s breath hitched.
“Yes, it is.” He swallowed again, reaching out his own hand to caress Cathal’s cheek, echoing Mark’s actions in his book. “I don’t want you to leave,” he whispered, his words following the script, his heart speeding up.
Cathal closed his eyes as he followed Tomas’s cue, slipping into a role that could have been written for him. “I think I’m in love with you,” he murmured.
Their lips brushed together, tentatively, awkwardly. Tomas pulled away, unsure, his breathing growing ragged, Cathal’s skin warm under his fingers, soft but for the slight stubble across his lower cheek, blond facial hair almost invisible. Tomas leaned in again, his lips parting this time in invitation as he pressed their mouths together. Cathal moaned softly, opening his own lips, leaning into it, his fingers threading through Tomas’s hair.
Wet skin, soft and inviting, tasting of coffee and something else Tomas could only describe as uniquely Cathal. It felt right, better than anything Tomas could have imagined. He whimpered, pulling Cathal to him, convincing himself for that moment they weren’t play acting, that this was real, that the man in his arms was someone who loved him.
The need to breathe drove them apart. Cathal’s eyes opened with a start, searching Tomas’s. “I’m sorry,” he whispered.
“Don’t be.” Tomas traced Cathal’s lips with his fingers, committing the scene to memory, allowing himself a photograph he realized he wanted frozen in his mind forever. “I’m not.”
Cate Ashwood's books on Goodreads
Keeping Sweets (Newport Boys, #1)
ratings: 1018 (avg rating 3.75)
Brokenhearted (Hope Cove, #1)
ratings: 764 (avg rating 3.72)
A Forced Silence (Zero Hour, #1)
ratings: 635 (avg rating 3.90)
Married for a Month
ratings: 407 (avg rating 3.80)
Wholehearted (Hope Cove, #2)
ratings: 458 (avg rating 3.51)