Giveaway + Blog Tour: Prelude to Love by Anne Barwell

Anne Barwell is here today with an excerpt of her latest Dreamspun Desires romance, Prelude to Love & she's brought along an excerpt & a giveaway too! ICYMI you can see our review of it HERE.

Operation Matchmaker

Thanks for hosting me today as part of my blog tour for Prelude to Love, a Dreamspun Desire novel from Dreamspinner Press.

I have a Rafflecopter running as part of the tour so be sure to enter.

Today, we’re joined by two special guests—Joel and Marcus from Prelude to Love.

A heated discussion can be heard off screen and when the camera comes back into focus there is a couple sitting on the couch, but....

“I could have sworn I asked Joel and Marcus to do this interview today.” The author scratches her head, then decides to go with the flow. “Today we’re joined by two special guests. Darin and Ella Prior. Darin and Joel have been friends for years, and Ella is Marcus’s brother.”

Ella smiles at the camera, and gives her husband a grin. “Sorry, for the last minute change of plans but Joel and Marcus were er....busy....and we thought it would be a shame if you didn’t have anyone to interview.”

“Yeah,” says Darin. “Something like that.”

“Uh huh.” The author glances at the questions she prepared earlier and decides they’re now useless. “So... what made you guys go ahead with what your daughter now refers to as Operation Matchmaker.”

“Joel and Marcus were both lonely,” Darin explains. “Ella thought they’d be great together, and she was right. Totally not our fault that they were so far in denial they needed some help to see what, or rather who, was right in front of them.”

“I noticed them react to each other when Joel came down to Hokitika for our wedding fourteen years ago,” Ella says. “But they were both with someone else, so....”

“Just because you’re with someone doesn’t mean you can’t admire....” Darin trails off, as though suddenly realising his wife is listening. “Anyway I never liked Reed. The guy tried to run Joel’s life and then got snotty when Joel finally decided to stand up to him. Joel deserves better.”

“Reed didn’t come to our wedding,” Ella remembers. “Joel said they were having some time apart. I did wonder at the time if it was already the beginning of the end of their relationship. On the other hand, I liked Garth, but he was a little possessive of Marcus, and they tended to bring out each other’s not so great side.”

“Where Joel brings out the best in Marcus, and vice versa.” Darin looks smug. He rubs his hands together. “I do so love it when a plan comes together.”

“Even if it takes time, ice cream, and serendipity,” Ella adds. “I still can’t believe that Marcus was going to—”

The author holds up her hand. “What have I told you guys about spoilers?” She turns to face the camera. “Thanks for joining us today. We hope you enjoy reading Joel and Marcus’s story.”

Ella clears her throat.

“Oh, yeah, and the important part these guys play in making Operation Matchmaker a success.”

Music speaks directly to the heart.

Two very different men face turning points in their lives after the collapse of long-term relationships….

Joel is a music teacher who knows it’s time to forget his ex and move on, while Marcus runs a lawn-mowing business and has come to Wellington to escape the reminders of a recent breakup. Although they’re opposites, when Joel and Marcus connect, their romance has the potential to hit all the right notes.

Too bad neither of them feels ready for new love.

With family and friends in common, dating is risky—things could get messy if it doesn’t work out. The sweet song of possibility draws them to each other, though, and they share a kiss following a Chopin prelude. But it will take some practice and perseverance to find their perfect harmony….

Buy Links:

Dreamspinner Press
Barnes and Noble


Although the room was sparsely furnished, Marcus hadn’t really noticed it before. Apart from the piano and the small table and chair next to it, there was only one sofa and a bookcase full of sheet music in the corner.

“That works.”

Nannerl pushed past Marcus and jumped up onto the sofa, sprawling out to take up the entire seat.

“Or not,” Marcus said. “I’ll take your usual seat.”

“You can shift her, you know.” Joel glanced at Nannerl. “I swear that cat has a mind of her own.”

“She’s a cat, and your chair looks comfortable enough. Besides, I can see better from here.”
Marcus pushed the chair back, stretched his legs out, and crossed them at the ankles. “What’s the music?” Not that it would mean much to him, but he still wanted to be able to put a name to it.

“It’s a Chopin prelude. I’ve always liked playing Chopin. I find it relaxing, as it’s easy to lose myself in the music, so I’m hoping that helps me not to stress out too much on the night of the concert.” Joel adjusted the distance between the stool and the piano and then began to play.

Marcus nodded. He’d heard the name Chopin before—probably from Joel.

Despite his intention to watch Joel play, Marcus found himself closing his eyes and listening to the music. It felt as though Joel projected some of himself into his performance. Nuances of emotion reached out to Marcus as the melody grew louder, in both volume and intensity, and faster. Then slower again, the melody taking center stage, with a repeating deeper note before the music finished, and Marcus realized Joel had stopped playing.

“Wow.” Marcus opened his eyes.

Joel still sat poised at the keyboard. He placed his hands on his lap, interlacing his fingers, his knuckles white. “Wow? Really? I still need to practice, and that bit with the—”

Marcus didn’t have the words to describe what he’d heard. He’d liked it. A lot. Not just for the music but the insight it gave him into Joel. He leaned over, gently brushed his fingers against Joel’s face, and when Joel turned toward him, Marcus kissed him on the lips. Softly at first, then deepening as Joel threaded his fingers through Marcus’s hair and pulled him closer.

Joel tasted of coffee and beer. He caressed Marcus’s lips with his tongue, and Marcus groaned. Why had he waited so long for this? Kissing Joel felt right, as though he’d found something he’d never known was missing.

When they finally broke the kiss, Joel leaned his forehead against Marcus’s. “Wow,” he whispered. “I should play for you more often.”

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 Love Bytes.

Anne’s books have received honorable mentions five times, reached the finals four times—one of which was for best gay book—and been a runner up 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
Facebook page
Queeromance Ink Author Page
New Zealand Rainbow Romance Writers
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Follow Along With the Tour!

You can find the list of sites taking part in the blog tour here:
(Or, if you prefer, here’s a coded list of the sites):

January 2 - Happily Ever Chapter
January 3 - Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
January 3 - Gillian St Kevern
January 4 - Love Bytes Reviews
January 5 - My Fiction Nook
January 8 - Kimi-chan Experience
January 8 - Two Men Are Better Than One
January 9 - Boy Meets Boy Reviews
January 10 - Dreamspinner Press Blog
January 11 - Anna Butler
January 12- Nic Starr
January 16 - Aisling Mancy

Enter to win a $10 DSP Store Credit. Giveaway ends January 17th. Good luck!

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