Today I am so pleased to welcome Dianne Hartsock to Joyfully Jay. Dianne has come to talk to us about her latest release, Nicolas. She has also brought along a great giveaway.  Please join me in giving Dianne a big welcome!

Merry Christmas! And if you don’t celebrate, Happy Holidays! Thank you so much, Jay, for hosting me on this very special day. I’ve always enjoyed the holidays, finding people a little kinder and more understanding than any other season of the year. I like to think of this as the spirit of Christmas, with Santa bringing gifts, not of material goods, but of peace and joy to a troubled world.

But to be honest, I do like the gifts! My family always started Christmas morning by going to church, to get it out of the way. Please don’t tell my mom I said that! Then once home, Dad would open the living room doors and we’d rush in to stocking and a huge mound of presents under the tree. I recall the glitter and excitement, the smell of candles and pine and coffee brewing for the adults. The joy when Santa remembered a favorite toy.

After I married, I adopted my new family’s tradition of exchanging gifts Christmas Eve, then stockings and presents from Santa Christmas morning. Fine with me! Extending celebrations into two days instead of one is always a plus. We still do this today, with our kids coming home Christmas Eve for dinner and presents at Grandma’s. They stay the night with us, waiting for Santa to come in the night with presents for the morning.

Funny, but I never thought too much about the tradition of Santa Claus. I knew he lived at the North Pole with his elves (and isn’t that a naughty thought!) And we hung stockings for candy, though I never knew where that tradition came from. It wasn’t until I started researching for my story NICOLAS that a lot of the mystic surrounding Santa Claus began to make sense.

Did you know that St. Nicolas was a real person? Born in Turkey early in the fourth century. He was a good, kind man, sharing his family’s wealth with the poor of his village, leaving gifts of food and money for the hungry and suffering. And when he died, the miracles attributed to him were ones that helped his fellow man, saving a ship lost at sea, raising three children who had been murdered from the dead. For me, this good man embodies the spirit of Christmas, the charity and kindness and love we should show each other, not just now, but throughout the year.

Do you have any special holiday traditions? I’d love to hear about them. These last few years have gone by in a blur, with me rushing through Christmas, sometimes not even bothering with a tree until the last minute. I’d love some ideas on how to slow down and enjoy this very special time of the year.

Here’s hoping your day is full of peace and joy. Happy Holidays!


Nicolas by Dianne HartsockBetrayed 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.


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 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. 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 has brought a $25 Amazon gift card to give away to one lucky reader on her tour. Just follow the Rafflecopter link below to enter. 

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FILED UNDER: Giveaway, Guest Post
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