Prelude to Love by Anne Barwell Tour

Opposites Attract
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.

Opposites attract is a common romance trope, and one that works well for Prelude to Love. Choosing Joel’s occupation was easy as it was a part of the plot, and that the opening scene was inspired by the fact I used to be a music teacher.

Marcus’s occupation took a bit more thought. Lawn mowing franchises have become popular in the last few years as people work longer hours and have less time to spend on caring for their section. It fit his personality too, as he’s someone who enjoys the satisfaction of a job well done, and often uses physical labour to work through whatever problems come his way. It was also a job that would work for him in Wellington when he relocates from Hokitika. His home town is more rural than where he now lives. I visited Hokitika a few years ago when I did a road trip of the West Coast of the South Island, and loved it. The people were very friendly, and it’s basically one main street with shops, and the rest is homes and farms. Marcus is very much a man who likes everything in its place, and doesn’t deal with change, while Joel, while organised, is more spontaneous.

I thought it would be more interesting if one of them wasn’t from Wellington as it gives the other the chance to highlight local spots he enjoys visiting. However, it isn’t Marcus’s first trip to Wellington as he has family here. He reminds Joel of this when Joel warns him about the famous Wellington wind.

An ongoing joke in the story is Joel’s love of classical music, although he enjoys other genres too. Marcus listens to music but he isn’t a musician, and his tastes are more modern. Music plays a big part in this story, as Joel is a music teacher, and I also took the opportunity to introduce readers to New Zealand group, The Mutton Birds.

Although Marcus and Joel are opposites in many ways, they still find common ground and interests in which to connect, and building a strong friendship upon which to build their romance. One of the reasons I like the opposites attract trope is that both men bring something to the relationship with the opportunity to expand the other’s world view and experience.

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….

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Joel stood on the stage at the front of the orchestra. He looked up when the door opened, and smiled.

Several of the kids in the orchestra turned around to see what Joel was looking at. A couple of the girls sitting in the front row of violins glanced back at Joel and then again at Marcus, but didn’t say anything.

Joel cleared his throat. “Okay, let’s take that one from bar thirty. Everyone found that? It’s two bars before the first time bar, so we’re going to play from there and do the repeat. I’ll give you a bar for nothing.” He raised his baton. “One. Two. Three.”

The orchestra began playing one of the tunes Joel had been humming the week before.

Marcus found a seat at the front of the hall, next to a woman about his own age. She tapped her foot along with the music and kept her eyes on Joel more than the musicians did.

A few other adults sat around them, listening. One woman seemed absorbed in whatever was on her tablet, although she nodded in time with the music and looked up when the flutes began to play.

Probably parents come to pick up their kids.

Marcus suddenly felt the odd one out, although he didn’t regret coming. Joel had an intensity about him when he conducted that was missing when he gave piano lessons. Although he’d been focused on his students then too, this felt different. Conducting was something Joel clearly loved—it reminded Marcus of when Joel had played the prelude for him.

A trumpet blared, jarring Marcus from his thoughts.

Joel lowered his baton, and although most of the orchestra stopped, the kid playing the trumpet didn’t seem to notice.

“Quentin!” Joel called, and the kid suddenly stopped playing.

“Yes, Mr. Ashcroft?”

“I think you’re a couple of bars ahead of the rest of us,” Joel said. “You’re sounding great, but it doesn’t quite work if you come in at the wrong place.” He spoke softly, so it didn’t sound like a reprimand.

One of the boys playing clarinet grinned, and the girl next to him giggled.

“Everyone makes mistakes,” Joel said. “Next time it might be someone else coming in at the wrong place. Even me.”

The whole orchestra laughed.

“Now,” Joel said, “I think we can run this through from where we were before, but this time we’ll just keep going until the end of the piece. So play the second time bar instead of the first. Okay?”

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You can find the list of sites taking part in the blog tour here:
Blog Tour – <I>Prelude to Love</I>
(Or, if you prefer, here’s a coded list of the sites):
January 2 – Happily Ever After 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

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.

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One thought on “Prelude to Love by Anne Barwell Tour

  1. Pingback: Prelude to Love – 2 stops on the blog tour | Drops of Ink

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