An MM fantasy romance by Dianne Hartsock
Luka makes a desperate wish and the earth shifts to his will. Regretting it immediately, he tries to undue the sorcery, but it is too late. He asked for hope, and to his horror, all the hope in the world is given into his keeping. He desires nothing more than to return this gift to the world.
Aethan wants to get his hands on the Well of Hope in Luka’s keeping. If he can ransom out hope to others at his whim, the world will be at his feet. Where it belongs.
With the aid of his lover, Rhys, Luka stays one step ahead of Aethan. But Rhys has his own enemy in Aethan, his estranged father.
Rescued by Luka, his sweet, gentle witch, Rhys now stands with him against Aethan. They have vowed to return the Well of Hope to the earth despite all odds, or die trying. For what is life worth, for anyone, without hope?
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He missed his lover, though he’d been the one to send him away. Luka had wanted him to find a better life than he could offer, a solitary witch bartering his potions. And he had wanted Rhys safe from his enemies. But he may as well have cut out his own heart when Rhys had left.
Luka sipped his tea, enjoyed its comfort, then heat flushed his skin as he recalled his dream last night, the feel of Rhys in his bed. Rhys had been tender and passionate and welcoming. Luka had cried in his arms, overwhelmed with the joy of it. Had wept again on waking to find himself alone on the hearth, Rhys across the room, reading a book in the morning light spilling through a window, as far away as the years that had separated them.
A bird fluttered past, calling his attention, and Luka’s spirit flew with it, soaring into the sky. The rush of air exhilarated him, and he dropped with a smile back into his body. After hastily setting aside his tea, he pulled a crystal from a pocket and held it up to the faint winter sunlight. He marveled at the earth reflected in glass. Focusing his gaze, his essence slipped easily into the encapsulated world and flew along the pathways, flitting between trees and brush. He scampered with a family of squirrels along a branch, leaping with wild glee from limb to limb.
An Interview with Dianne Hartsock
-What inspired you to become a writer?
This is an easy question! I’ve been writing stories since first grade and telling stories before I learned to write. My family is all about reading, including me. Big bookworm here. But I think a lot of my passion for storytelling came from my older sister, Shari, who used to read us bedtime stories when I was really little. I think she sparked the love of books and stories in me and I’ve been hooked ever since. I began by making up stories for my younger siblings, writing them down when I was able, but it wasn’t until I won a writing contest for our local newspaper in high school that I really became motivated.
-If you could visit your book’s world for a day, what one thing would you do?Climb the steep trail to Luka’s cabin on the mountainside. I’d help him gather herbs to dry for his medicines, travel the myriad of pathways through the forest with Rhys as he instructs Tarian in the ways a person of power can heal the earth. In the evening I’d sit at Luka’s feet on the hearth and listen to his stories woven with knowledge and teaching and love, share a simple meal with him, and sleep with peace in my heart.
-It’s two in the morning. What does your protagonist reveal in confidence? (Don’t worry, we won’t tell.)Tarian has returned to town. Rhys is sleeping on the bed he and Luka built to hold them both. Luka and I are drinking tea at the hearth. Luka looks at me over his book.
“What do you think of Tarian?”
“Why do you ask?” I counter cautiously. Luka never says anything without purpose. His slight blush is adorable.
“I think he’s growing fonder of me than he should,” he says after a brief hesitation, his blush deepening. “Do I send him away?”
My jaw drops. This powerful witch is asking my advice? That’s both exhilarating and terrifying. “Listen to your heart,” Is all I come up with.
Luka studies me in the firelight, nods, then returns to his book.
-Which of your characters would you go out for drinks with?Ravan. Such an amazing woman. She has so much to teach me, and I’m sure she has some stories to tell, too! She can introduce me to her friends in the village and maybe I’d even learn some of the local lore.
-You’re in a tavern, and a dwarf challenges you to a duel. What do you do?Knock my chair back, pull my sword…and drop gold coins on the floor. While he’s busy picking them up I make a break for the back exit. Trolls bar the way, but since the sun’s coming up, I throw open the door and let the sun take them.
-Is there a genre you could never write? Which and why?That would be scifi. I enjoy reading science fiction, but as far as writing it, I can’t do the science believably. I could put my characters on a ship or colony in space and do the interpersonal stuff, but not explain how the ship flies or how the colony came to be. I wouldn’t be able to explain the fuel a ship would use, its design, in any credible fashion. How would a colony on another planet survive? Food? Oxygen? Indigenous people? One has to suspend disbelief in a story and I wouldn’t be able to do that.
About Dianne Hartsock
Dianne is the author of m/m romance, paranormal suspense, fantasy adventure, the occasional thriller, and anything else that comes to mind. She 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. She 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 warming 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.
Dianne Hartsock will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.