Bleak Midwinter Quiltbag Funfest

Seasons greetings to you all!

A group of authors of queer historical fiction from the QUILTBAG Historicals FB group have got together with posts loosely (sometimes very loosely!) themed around the 12 days of Christmas.

There’s also a fantastic giveaway – the link is in the group.

Today’s theme is French Hens, but although I haven’t got anything hen like, the snippet I’m sharing is from Comes a Horseman, is set in France, and features a French man. This is book 3 in my WWII Echoes Rising series. I’m aiming to publish Book 2, Winter Duet, in January.

“I hope these are your friends,” Kristopher said. If not, they’d have to scatter and go deeper into the forest.

“So do I.” Michel whistled the first few bars of a folk song he’d taught Kristopher while they’d been hiding at St Gertrud’s.

After a moment’s silence, Kristopher heard the answering phrase—the final few bars of the song. A woman stepped into the clearing. She was about Michel’s age and had striking blue eyes. Wisps of brunette hair had come free from her headscarf, just enough to frame her face. When she saw Michel, her face lit up with an enormous smile and she lowered her weapon, tucked it into the waistband of her skirt, and ran over to them.

“Michel!” she exclaimed, and then spoke animatedly to him in French.

“German, please,” Michel said. “My friends do not speak our language well.” He smiled at her. “It is very good to see you again too, mon amie.”

They embraced, and Michel kissed her lightly on both cheeks. Although Kristopher knew it was a typical greeting, he still felt a pang of jealousy that he couldn’t show his feelings for Michel in public. He started to take a step closer but stopped. What could he say? He and Michel could only claim friendship, and besides, that was all this woman was to Michel. An old friend.

Read how the story begins…

Echoes Rising Book 1
Complete their mission or lose everything.

Berlin, 1943

An encounter with an old friend leaves German physicist Dr Kristopher Lehrer with doubts about his work. But when he confronts his superior, everything goes horribly wrong. Suddenly Kristopher and Michel, a member of the Resistance, are on the run, hunted for treason and a murder they did not commit. If they’re caught, Kristopher’s knowledge could be used to build a terrible weapon that could win the war.

For the team sent by the Allies—led by Captain Bryant, Sergeant Lowe, and Dr Zhou—a simple mission escalates into a deadly game against the Gestapo, with Dr Lehrer as the ultimate prize. But in enemy territory, surviving and completing their mission will test their strengths and loyalties and prove more complex than they ever imagined.

Buy Link

About Anne Barwell

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. In 2008, Anne 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 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. 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. Anne can be found at
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