Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Guest post ~ please welcome Dianne Hartsock

This gorgeous cover is a good match for Dianne Hartsock's latest work - Nathaniel - a story of adventure, political shenanigans, family differences and a exciting tinge of magic!

Thank you, Dianne, for agreeing to come here and talk for a bit about your work and influences.


The Lure of Fantasy

Hi everyone! Elin, you asked me once what draws me to writing fantasy. Goodness, my love affair with the genre started way back in my early teens. Tolkien, of course. But like most teens, there was a dark patch in my life where the fantasy of Ursula K. LeGuin gave me the escape I needed. So did Anne McCaffrey’s ‘Dragon Riders’ series. And then I discovered C.J Cherryh, and I was hooked for life. Her heroes are so wonderfully flawed, brave and shy and powerful. They’re gentle people who are made into heroes by circumstance rather than desire.

I wanted to do that. I wanted to create worlds where readers could lose themselves, leave reality and enter the realm of fantasy and adventure and romance. Find worlds filled with enchantment and courage and magic.

The first fantasy world I created is like the one you’ll find in my current story, Nathaniel. It’s a world very much like our own, with a touch of magic and awe that lifts you out of your every day life and sets you in the midst of a battle between will and destiny. Which will conquer? It focuses on a race of people destined to go insane with power, but can they save themselves by learning to control their passions? This novel length book is currently sitting on a publisher’s desk, but it will be another month before I hear if it’s been accepted or not.

It’s the waiting that kills me.

With Nathaniel, I wanted to take this world one step further. Sure, there’s magic, but I wanted my hero, Taden, to be completely enchanted by my magic user. Nathaniel is beautiful and sensual and possesses powers far beyond anything Taden has encountered before. Taden is bewildered and captivated by him, falling hopelessly in love despite his better judgment. The story focuses on their love affair, weaving Nathaniel’s magic throughout the pages until Taden surrenders to his charms. This is an m/m erotic romance, after all!

Currently, I’m busy writing an m/m contemporary romance and also a stand alone fantasy story involving gargoyles and witches. But never fear! I have the outline plotted for a sequel to Nathaniel, which will be my next project. I hadn’t planned on doing a sequel, but now that Nathaniel is out, I miss him and Taden, Miranda and the gorgeous, deadly Corin. I find myself being lured back into the realm of fantasy, where everything is possible.

Thank Elin for having me as your guest today. Fantasy is a wonderful genre to lose one’s self in. I highly recommend it!

Feel free to contact me any time.

Dianne Hartsock

Etopia Press:

From the moment Taden rescues Nathaniel from the Sutherlin soldiers’ torture, he finds himself caught in the gaze of the most beautiful eyes he’s ever seen; amazing eyes that hold him thrilled and confused. The Sutherlins are planning to invade the beautiful Tahon Valley, but as Taden secrets Nathaniel from their reach, he finds himself drawn to the young man. Not only does he feel the urge to protect him, but he feels an ache he hasn’t felt in many long years.

Nathaniel claims to be a traveler from a distant continent, saying he comes in peace. True or not, the youth has powers beyond anything Taden has seen—control over men and animals and the very weather. Taden falls hard for the strange traveler, protecting him not only from the Sutherlins but from his own mistrustful people, who don’t understand Nathaniel’s powers and accuse him of being a witch…


Taden’s scalp prickled, a shiver running through him. He twirled, hand on his belt knife, and found Nathaniel standing inches from him. They were almost touching, and Taden watched, fascinated, as Nathaniel’s green eyes darkened under his stare. The heat from Nathaniel’s body wrapped around him, caressing him in that intimate moment.
“Miranda’s finally asleep,” Nathaniel told him shakily.
“That’s good. She appeared exhausted.” Taden didn’t ask who she was. At that moment, he didn’t care. He touched Nathaniel’s gold-flecked curls, as silken as he’d imagined them to be. Enthralled by the dimple at the corner of Nathaniel’s luscious mouth, he impulsively cupped his cheek, stroking the alluring hollow with a gentle finger. His pulses hammered at the contrast of pale skin and his own sun-darkened hand, picturing the exotic tangle of their bodies.
He slid an arm around Nathaniel’s waist as desire seared him. “Come with me,” he said huskily, aching to love Nathaniel as gently and tenderly as he could and drive the anxiety from his lovely eyes. Nathaniel lifted his shoulders but didn’t resist as Taden urged him into the trees.
Nathaniel remained silent as Taden spread the blankets on a fragrant carpet of pine needles. Taden gave him a close look. With a pang he realized that the young man stood passively, waiting for whatever Taden chose to do with him. As much as he hungered for him, Taden didn’t want Nathaniel like that, unresponsive. He reached for Nathaniel’s hand and pulled him down beside him on the blankets.
“I would never hurt you,” he said as he leaned into Nathaniel’s body and slid his tongue over his full lips. He played with the laces of Nathaniel’s tunic, loosening them further. Fire licked through him as Nathaniel’s chest rose on a quick breath. Taden slipped two fingers inside the soft fabric to stroke the lean muscles of Nathaniel’s chest.
He nudged Nathaniel’s lips wider and groaned as the young man’s tongue darted into his own mouth, jolting him with lust. He caught the tongue with his lips, sucking, wanting to swallow Nathaniel whole.
Taden lingered over his kisses, slowly undoing the rest of the ties on Nathaniel’s tunic. He shifted on the blankets and thrilled at Nathaniel’s sigh as he bared his chest. Taden slid his tongue along Nathaniel’s chin with a fond murmur, savoring the saltiness of skin and the prickle of unshaven hair. He kissed the slim column of his throat and paused to suck gently on a vein pulsing in the heated skin.
He glanced lower and suddenly leaned on an elbow, his eyes ravaging the intoxicating sight of small nipples sitting like jewels on white skin. A single mole, innocent, utterly provocative, lay within kissing distance and drew his lips. Taden teased it with his tongue, smiling slyly when Nathaniel made a startled sound and gripped his shoulders.
Taden circled each hardening bud with his tongue, tenderly kissing the fading bruises. He slid a hand across Nathaniel’s abdomen and felt his muscles tighten. He slid a finger along the edge of Nathaniel’s pants, then moved his hand upward to brush his thumb over a sensitive nipple. Heat slammed through him as Nathaniel arched his back with a guttural cry. Unable to resist the temptation, Taden dropped his lips to the free bud, flicking it with his tongue, nibbling and nursing on it until Nathaniel was panting, a pleading note in the sound.
The tone changed suddenly to panic, and Taden jerked his head up in surprise, clashing with eyes wide with fear and arousal. He watched a trickle of sweat follow the curve of Nathaniel’s cheek. Surely the Nathaniel wasn’t afraid of him?
“I won’t hurt you,” Taden assured him again. Unexpectedly, Nathaniel gave him a tentative smile and touched Taden’s hair. The shy, heated glance undid him, and he had to fight the urge to strip Nathaniel then and there and thrust his arousal deep into the enticing body.
Taden dropped his head on Nathaniel’s chest. “Give me a moment,” he whispered hoarsely, concentrating on control. He wanted their joining to be perfect. It was hard when Nathaniel continued to thread his hands through his hair. With a growl, Taden straddled him, pinning the wandering hands over his head. “Careful, or I can’t promise to be gentle.”
Nathaniel’s eyes were hooded, and Taden watched, enchanted, as the tip of his pink tongue slid across pale lips. “Do anything you like,” Nathaniel invited.


Dianne would love to know about your favourite fantasy author. Comment below to go into the draw for a PDF copy of Nathaniel.


  1. Hi Dianne-- I also adored the Dragonriders!So sad we lost their creator. Your stories sound great. Thank you for the wonderful interview. : )

    1. Hi Tara! I confess I had a crush on F'nor for a few years. It was sad we lost Anne, but what an amazing legacy to leave behind her. :)

  2. Nathaniel sounds great - I love fantasy too so it looks like an enjoyable read for me. Nice post Elin and Dianne

    1. Thanks for coming by, Susan! Don't you love how fantasy can take you right out of yourself for a time? :)

  3. I spy the castle of Neuschwanstein in that cover!

    1. How fun! I had no idea it was that castle. Isn't it lovely on my cover? :)

  4. Nice post, Elin and Dianne. The book looks terrific.

  5. I'm glad you stopped by, Ute! Thanks. :)

  6. Thanks so much for inviting me here, Elin! This is going to be fun. :)

  7. Enjoyed this post Elin and Dianne. Nathaniel looks great - and I reckon it's Neuschwanstein too!

    1. *waves* Hi Cat! So glad you stopped by and commented. :)

  8. Well As An Older Reader Coming To Reading Later in Life My Favorite Author Thus Far Has Got To Be The Author Who Got Me Hooked On Reading, And That Goes To Terry Goodkind, For His Series Of Books Entitled The Sword Of Truth And From There I Have Branched Out In All Sorts Of Ways And Directions Including Homoerotic Stories So If My Name Could Be Put In For The Competition It Would Be Great Thankz...

    1. Hi Boss. A friend mentioned Goodkind the other day. I'm going to have to give those books a try! Thanks for stopping by! You're name's added. :)

  9. I am going to have to check out C.J Cherryh, as well as the Dragonriders. Haven't heard the name before but always love finding "new" authors. Nathaniel sounds like a wonderful escapism. I look forward to reading it!

  10. Thanks for visiting, Marissa! You're in for a treat with Cherryh and McCaffrey.

  11. Dianne, I enjoyed your posting; it was quite an interesting read.

    And the Nathaniel excerpt ended to soon! LOL You know I've added it to my must have list.

    Tracey D

  12. :) you read everything I did! And it's so tough to choose a favorite fantasy author. I guess that would be the person I see in the mirror--though I don't write exclusively fantasy, I often put elements of fantasy in my writing.


    1. Thanks so much for coming by, Suz! There's so many good authors out there, it's really hard to pick a favorite. :)