BLOG TOUR: Double Exposure – Anne Barwell

Double Exposure Book Cover Double Exposure
Pōneke Shadows Book 1
Anne Barwell
Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy, Mystery/Detective, Romantic Suspense
LaceDragon Publishing
July 11th, 2022

Vampire Simon Hawthorne and his human partner Ben Leyton’s plans for a peaceful holiday with family are hijacked by the New Zealand Supernatural Council.

Tensions are on the rise in Wellington. Supernatural councillors are disappearing. Werewolves are suspicious of anyone human or vampire. If they don’t work together, their enemy has already won.

And no one with a connection to the supernatural world is safe.



Rupert looked mildly affronted. “I am not in hiding. The council were trying to get me involved, and I make a point of not getting mixed up in their politics, whatever the cost, considering that cost is usually too high for anyone but them.”


“You’re hiding from the council?” Ben asked. “I can understand that. They hijacked Simon’s delivery at Auckland airport, then blackmailed him into helping them.”

“If this is supposed to surprise me, you’re a few centuries late with that titbit of information,” Rupert said. “I have yet to meet a council I enjoyed doing business with. Though there was that group of werewolves in rural Japan a couple of hundred years ago that—”

“Why are you here?” Simon cut Rupert off before he could start on one of his stories. Although neither he nor Marion would admit it, they shared a predilection for embellishing stories about their pasts.

Rupert fished a large envelope from his pocket and handed it to Simon. “This is the information I have, but it’s not a lot. They cover their tracks well, apart from that massacre in Brisbane nearly ten years ago. There is someone in Wellington who provides a safe haven to anyone in our community who asks for it. Nothing much happens in the area that Elard doesn’t know about. You should talk to him.”

“You’re not going to help?” Ben asked

“Heavens, no.” Rupert raised an eyebrow. “At least Simon knows better than to ask that.”

“Rupert’s better at staying in the shadows and orchestrating things from afar. If we need help, I’m sure he’ll be there…” Simon glanced at Rupert. “… but only on his own terms. I’d ask him to join our team, but it would be a waste of time.”

“Totally a waste of time.” Rupert grinned and nodded towards both of them in turn. “Now, I must be off. I’ll be in touch. Watch yourselves, gentlemen. I don’t enjoy funerals.” He blurred towards the door. It opened, then closed behind him, and then he was gone.

“He’s kind of how I remember him, but not,” Ben said slowly.

“The not, would be because you didn’t know what he was then. He’s not hiding it now, though he’s never completely upfront about anything.” Simon emptied the envelope, took a pile of neatly typewritten sheets to read, and gave the rest to Ben to look through. “Rupert’s always had his own agenda. It’s how he’s managed to survive so long.”

“Uh-huh.” Ben shook the papers he held. “There’s something loose in here.” A small card fell to the floor. He picked it up and his eyes widened. “It’s a business card, so guessing it’s Elard’s.”

“And?” Simon asked, knowing there must be an ‘and’.

“He’s a Catholic priest.” Ben read the words on the card out loud. “Fr Elard Reith, St Ansgar’s Parish, Newtown. We help those who ask.” He groaned. “Oh great, I was hoping to avoid Uncle Martin while I was here.”

“Uncle Martin?” Simon asked. Ben had mentioned him once or twice, but he’d got the impression Ben’s father’s brother wasn’t that close to the rest of the family.

“Yeah. He lives across the road from St Ansgar’s and always acts like he knows stuff the rest of us don’t.”

“Perhaps he does.” Simon got up to pour some more tea.

“I hope not.” Ben didn’t look happy. “It’s starting to feel like however hard we try to keep my family out of all this, fate is making damn sure they keep barging in.”

From Anne’s Desk:

Thanks for hosting me. Readers of The Sleepless City series will remember Marion, one of the Boggslake councillors, who writes romance novels that Simon, Forge, and Declan know all too well.


Simon’s old friend, Rupert, also features in one of her novels…

Magnolia Memories
© Anne Barwell, 2022

Rupert eyed up the innocuous rectangular package sitting on his desk. Most of his colleagues had gone home to their friends and family, leaving him almost alone in the old building that housed the English Literature department at the university.

He made himself another cup of Earl Grey, and took a sip. Despite it being September, and spring in this hemisphere, the expected semi-regular package still made him uneasy.

Rupert was far from a creature of habit. After all, one didn’t survive 5000 years by being easy to find. Yet, wherever he settled, she always managed to find him, and one of those packages would appear on his desk, neatly addressed to R. Milne Esquire, or whatever name and title he used for his current persona.

He and Marion hadn’t seen each other in over fifty years, not since their latest divorce. How many did that make now? He’d lost track of the number of times they’d married, given their relationship a good go of about a hundred years or so, gone their separate ways, only to try again decades later.

They couldn’t live without each other, yet they struggled to live together.

Despite whatever argument sparked their separation, and although both of them took lovers during their time apart, they still kept tabs on each other.

They still remained friends.

She’d visited him shortly after he’d moved to New Zealand, seeking refuge in the colonies. He didn’t like the direction the Supernatural Council was heading in, so he left. She went back and joined them, convinced it would be easier to keep control from the inside. He preferred getting as far away from trouble as he could, and intended to survive a few hundred years more.

At the very least.

Ah, but their reunion had been sweet. Wellington in the spring. The sweet smell of magnolias, the two of them watching the sun rise over the harbour. Her head on his shoulder, her hair curling around his fingers.

The past was gone. The way forward, the future.

Rupert retrieved his letter opener—an unusual design and definitely not silver—and slid the blade under the fastenings. Not to his surprise, a slim paperback fell into his hand.
He read the title and groaned. Would she never learn?

No note, so he’d have to read the inscription. Marion always sent a personal message with her books, her words meant for him, but rarely addressed to him. The joy of not being married to a romance writer.

I thought it was time for our story. Reality is never the same as memory though, is it?
All my love,

The cover was tasteful, depicting a man and woman wearing clothing from the early days of the last century. They sat in a garden watching the sunrise.

The man held a magnolia blossom in one hand.

Magnolia Memories.

Rupert skimmed the first few pages. “Bollocks!”

That wasn’t what had happened that night.

Not at all.

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About the Author

Anne Barwell Author

Anne Barwell lives in Wellington, New Zealand. She shares her home with a cat with “tortitude” who is convinced that the house is run to suit her; this is an ongoing “discussion,” and to date it appears as though Kaylee may be winning. Anne works in a library, is an avid reader and watcher of a wide range of genres, and is constantly on the look-out for more hours in her day. She likes to write in series and even so called one shots seem to breed more plot bunnies. Her writing is like her reading – across a range of genres, although her favourites are paranormal, fantasy, SF, and historical. Music often plays a part in her stories and/or her characters are musicians.

She also hosts and reviews for other authors, and writes monthly blog posts for Love Bytes. She is the co-founder of the New Zealand Rainbow Romance writers, and a member of RWNZ. Her books have received honourable 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.

Anne can be found at the following locations:



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