In the Garden with Dianne Hartsock #gardening #fantasy #giveaway

I know April Showers brings May flowers is the proper statement but this month me and several author friends are going to shower you with fun tips to make the best of this Corona Virus Pandemic, crafts and or recipes plus there is a big giveaway at the end so read on and enter! Today’s guest iss Dianne Hartsock. Hi Dianne!

Hello and Welcome! I’m Dianne Hartsock, writer of paranormal, suspense, fantasy, m/m romance, and anything else that comes to mind.  Boy, has this been one crazy year so far. How you holding up? I know many of you have been staying at home during this time, and hopefully are finding ways to keep it fun. For me, unfortunately, I’ve been working full time again. I’m a floral designer at a local gift shop/garden center. Our other florist chose to quarantine with her children, so I took over her hours as well.

Let me tell you, it’s been a bit of a strain. Since I work with the public (pick-up or delivery only) I have to be extra cautious when I go out to the store or any other public place, in case I’m a carrier. I haven’t even been able to hug my own grown children for almost two months now. And what I wouldn’t give to go out for a nice meal at a favorite restaurant!

But what’s been keeping me sane through all this is working on my garden. I don’t grow vegetables, but have flowers surrounding the house and back yard. Every morning I’m not working, I go for a long walk, checking out what other people have done with their yards, what catches my eye, what new pretty flowers they’ve planted. While at work during the week I plan out what projects I want to do, then on my days off, I spend all the time I can outside, rain or shine, making our home a little nicer.

As you might have guessed, I enjoy being outdoors much more than being cooped up in the house. Housework has never been a favorite with me. I much prefer grabbing a shovel and digging in the soil, adding color to the bare spots in our yard. And it doesn’t take much to transform an area into something pretty. I’ll often start seeds indoors, in the kitchen window, then when there’s no longer any chance of frost, I’ll transplant them outside to an area I’ve prepared beforehand. Annuals are easiest, but I confess I’m lazy, and prefer perennials I can watch multiply every year. And if the seeds don’t take off, there’s always the starter plants at the nursery to try.

But if the weather doesn’t cooperate, I always have my writing to fall back on, my joy. My latest story, Belega, is a fantasy that takes place almost entirely outdoors, either in the forest or at the coast.  I think you’ll be able to see my love of nature in its pages.

Thanks for stopping in, and be sure to enter the giveaway!

Title: Belega

Series: The Karthagans, Book One

Author: Dianne Hartsock

Publisher: Solstice Publishing

Genre/heat: 2

Pages: 339

Blurb: The Karthagans have regained their ancient powers of manipulating nature, but at the price of madness. In their lust for control they’ve destroyed their island and most of their race. They come now to Belega where one of them, Camron, seeks domination over the known world. The Mage has come from the northern continent of Sennia to bring peace, but finding his strength no match for the coming struggle, he passes his abilities on to Natan, who only desires a simple life. Now only Natan has the ability to stop Camron, but the personal cost is more than he imagines. It is only with the combined strength of his friends, his Karthagan lover, Kavi, and his deep desire to bring peace to the earth, that he finds the courage to overcome Camron and restore balance to the world. The power of the mind is immense. In this world, mankind has learned to gather the energies of creation to use at their whim. But absolute power corrupts absolutely.

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Excerpt/heat rating:

Natan woke in the early morning and futilely wiped at the tears on his face. He’d dreamed of Kavi and the horror of the pit he’d been thrown into. He’d suffered. Natan should have protected him better. When he’d grown ill and the Mage had left him in Natan’s care, he’d sworn to protect the Karthagan. Bitter regret dripped into his heart. He’d failed.

He rose and stoked the fire, setting a pot of water on a few stones to heat for tea. Glancing in Kavi’s direction, he saw that both he and the Mage still slept, and he rested back on his heels. The Mage. Gregor said the name meant ‘teacher’ in his own land. Natan wondered what magics he’d taught Kavi in their time together. He knew Gregor had spent some months on the Isle of Wind. But Natan was still surprised he’d come back with a Karthagan as his apprentice. That people had been forbidden to return to Belega.

Natan called to mind the first time he’d seen Kavi, and his blood heated. When Gregor had stopped in Amara on his way to the Isle of Wind, he’d stayed with Natan several days. Natan wasn’t sure why the Mage had chosen him or what the magic user could learn from him. But Gregor had seemed content to walk in the forest or sit by the river, speaking or sitting in companionable silence. Natan had readily promised him a bed when he returned from his sojourn. But his shack on the river was tiny, with room for only two, with Gregor on the bed and Natan sleeping on the rug by the hearth.

When he’d come back, Gregor had ridden into Natan’s yard with the beautiful Karthagan sitting at his back, and Natan’s heart had thudded strangely. His first dazed thought had been to wonder where the man would sleep. Maybe he and Gregor shared a bed? Natan found he didn’t like that image at all, especially after the man slid off the horse and walked up to him, virile, lithe, the warmth in his eyes and smile enveloping Natan, though the man stopped short of touching him.

“I’m Kavi. Thank you for opening your home to a stranger,” he said in low, musical tones, holding out his hand. Natan blinked, losing his voice in a tide of yearning. He’d never seen a Karthagan before. Kavi was breathtaking, slim, strong, his olive complexion flawless. Black hair falling like silk to his shoulders. Dark gems for eyes, intelligent, questioning. Natan’s lonely heart reached for him, wanting the man for his own.

The Mage’s soft cough recalled him and he stammered through his greeting, blood rushing at the strength in Kavi’s fingers. His heart pounded. Natan felt awkward, callow, embarrassed by his poverty. He wished they hadn’t come. His solitary life had left him ill equipped for the longing that swept him. Kavi’s full lips lifted in a knowing smile and Natan dropped his gaze, mortified by emotions he didn’t know how to control.

As if sensing his distress, Gregor came up and pulled him into a quick embrace. “It’s good to see you again, Natan. I hope you don’t mind that I brought a guest. We won’t stay long. A few days, and with the weather this delightful, we’ll sleep under the stars.”

“Stay as long as you need,” Natan countered and felt the hot blood in his face at Kavi’s low chuckle.

“Damn the man,” Natan said now, poking at the fire. He couldn’t help looking again at the men slumbering close by. Bryon slept a little apart, near the prisoner, but Kavi had rolled against the Mage, a hand on his hip. Natan bit his lip, turning back to the fire and the simmering pot. He knew it meant nothing. Kavi was an affectionate man. But his body ached, remembering their glorious nights together and the bright smile on his lover’s face. He hadn’t known then that Kavi liked to play at love, giving freely of his body, but allowing no one near his heart.

“Good morning.”

Meet Dianne:

Dianne grew up in one of the older homes in the middle of Los Angeles, a place of hardwood floors and secret closets and back staircases. A house where ghosts lurk in the basement and the faces in the paintings watch you walk up the front stairs. Rooms where you keep the closet doors closed tight at night. It’s where her love of the mysterious and wonderful came from. Dianne is the author of paranormal/suspense, fantasy adventure, m/m romance, the occasional thriller, and anything else that comes to mind.

She now lives in the beautiful Willamette Valley of Oregon with her incredibly patient husband, who puts up with the endless hours she spends hunched over the keyboard letting her characters play. Dianne says Oregon’s raindrops are the perfect setting in which to write. There’s something about being cooped up in the house with a fire crackling on the hearth and a cup of hot coffee in her hands, which kindles her imagination.

Currently, Dianne works as a floral designer in a locally-owned gift shop. Which is the perfect job for her. When not writing, she can express herself through the rich colors and textures of flowers and foliage.

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JMS Books

May 23, 2020

Betrayed by a lover, Jamie rents an isolated cabin on Lake Huron, wanting only to be left alone. Instead, he is pulled from his solitary existence as an artist and tumbles headlong into the legend of Saint Nicolas.

As a young man, Nicolas accidentally killed a man intent on murdering three children, only to have the man’s malicious spirit rise up against him. Fleeing through the centuries from the Krampus, the evil troll-like creature that dogs his steps, Nico finds refuge with the young artist who takes him into his home and bed. But Jamie has questions. Who is Nicolas, and why does the Krampus want to destroy him?

When the Krampus begins to torment and torture anyone Nico comes in contact with to punish him, Jamie’s life is put in danger. And Jamie isn’t sure whether he can help Nico defeat his nemesis or if he’s merely a pawn in the Krampus’s game.


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Now for the prizes! Dianne is giving a way a copy of Belega for the grand prize winner and an ecopy of Nicolas to one lucky winner. There are also two grand prizes and lots of individual ones!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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