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

Dianne has written some questions and answers to share with us today.

Are you a plotter or a pantster?
This is always a good question, because I never have a straight answer to give. Yes and No? I’ll start daydreaming about a story months or sometimes a year before I put the first word down on the page. I make up little scenarios for my characters and watch them react, see how they behave in any given situation I can think up. How compatible are my MC’s? Is the chemistry good? I mostly write erotic romances, so this is important. In Belega, as in my other stories, I started writing with a plot in mind—beginning, middle, end. Doesn’t mean my characters don’t run away with the story, sometimes completely changing the ending. But that’s the fun part of being an author. Sometimes we surprise ourselves.

What secondary character would you like to explore more? Tell me about him or her.
That would be Bryan, the Captain of the Guard in Amara. A grumpy coot, but a fierce and loyal friend as well. He had his heart broken by a careless maid in his youth, and remained stubbornly alone for many, many years. In fact, if he hadn’t stumbled on Natan, an orphaned child living alone in an old shack by the river, I’m afraid he would have ended up an angry hermit chasing townsfolk off his lawn. Making sure Natan had food, learned to read and write and do his numbers, gave Bryon the family he didn’t have and the purpose to get up each morning. I’d love to explore his life further. I think he has some fascinating stories lurking in his past.

Let’s talk to your characters for a minute – what’s it like to work for such a demanding writer?
Bryon gives Dianne the side-eye. “Gets her nose in my business.”

Natan laughs good-naturedly. “That’s her job, Bryon. I think she handles us quite nicely.”

“Better keep her hands to herself,” Kavi mutters, then smiles brilliantly and slides an arm around Natan. “She’s lovely, and discreet, especially with how she handles mine and Natan’s more…intimate, moments.” He laughs outright when Natan blushes.

Basal smiles indulgently. “She means well.” While Syros scowls at them all. “How are you being so calm? She knows almost everything about us. How do we know she’s not a damn spy?” He folds his arms on his chest and gives Dianne a defiant look.

What’s your writing process?
I talked a little about it above. When I’m ready to write a particular story, I already have it fairly well plotted out in my head, and am well acquainted with the MC’s, the ups and downs of their various love interests, likes and dislikes, etc. Though many times new characters will introduce themselves as I go along. For me, the first paragraphs of a new story are always the hardest to write. It’s a trifle daunting to have so many empty pages stretched out before me. But once I get going, it’s easier, one scene flowing into the next. Yes, I’m a linear writer, one scene building on the previous one. I’ve never been able to jump around like some writers. At most, I’ll jot a few notes down for future scenes, but every scene has to wait until I get to that point in the story. My first draft of a story is slow and painstaking, but once down, the next few times through are easy. It’s where I have the most fun, expanding the scenes and adding depth to my characters, getting right to the heart of everything.

We know what you like to write, but what do you like to read in your free time, and why?
I’ve been gobbling up m/m romantic suspense, mystery, and crime/drama books. I also enjoy books by Dean Koontz, Robin Cook, Michael Crichton, pretty much anything that keeps me on the edge of my seat. I like how these books pull me out of the every day into drama and intrigue. I’d be exhausted if I lived the way they do in these books, but it’s fun to pretend to be there for a time.

What was the first book that made you cry?
Little Women. I was Jo March, scribbling away at my stories, with no time for boyfriend nonsense. I was also shy and awkward, and related to Beth on many levels. I think I was thirteen at the time, and have been a hopeless romantic ever since.

What are you working on now, and when can we expect it?
I’ve finished the first draft of The Red Twins, The Karthagans Book 2, and have started my first read through. This story picks up 17 years after Belega. In this story, Niko is corrupted by power, the Red Twins are divided, and Nathan once again sets out to save the earth. I’m having fun revisiting this world, and hope to have The Red Twins out to you sometime in early summer. Fingers crossed!


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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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.


Dianne has brought $20 Amazon gift card to give away to one lucky reader on her tour. Follow the Rafflecopter below to enter. 

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