Dianne Hartsock has a new MM fantasy romance book out, The Karthagans Book One:
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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Heartbroken, shamed, Bryon never brought another woman to his cabin. That is, until he meets Kirstin. In this scene, he’s anxious for Kirstin to visit, doubting she’ll come, knowing he and his home were not good enough for her. And yet he hopes…
Bryon leaned on the handle of his scythe and looked critically at the cabin. He’d gotten there the day before and had set his plans at once into motion. He laughed wryly to himself, remembering the sweeping and dusting and airing out of empty rooms. His mother wouldn’t have known him for the boy she’d had to threaten to pick up after himself.
His smile dimmed at the weather-beaten look of his home. At least it was clean. He picked up the scythe and worked on the hillside until the sweat poured down his body and the ache had worked its way out of his heart.
The afternoon passed into evening before he quit. He’d reached the bottom of the slope and had even begun on the sides of the path. He felt pleasantly tired and was thinking of supper when a step on the path startled him. He watched in disbelief as Kirstin walked around the corner. She stopped when she saw him and Bryon remembered to breathe.
“What are you doing here?” were his first blunt words, but then he recalled himself and set the scythe carefully against a tree. He went to the girl and took her hands. She smiled timidly, and it amazed him that she seemed nervous of him. He couldn’t keep from touching her golden hair. Then he laughed, feeling ridiculous, and broke the spell.
“Come on, girl.” He put an arm around her and led her up the slope. “You can tell me all about it over super.” His steps faltered as they neared the cabin. What did he have to offer the girl after all but an old shack and a lonely heart? He swore bitterly under his breath.
Kirstin looked at his averted face in surprise then pressed her lips together.
“Bryon,” she chided and touched his cheek. Her fingers covered his eyes. “You’ve seen your home for far too long through her eyes. Look with your own.”
She removed her hand and Bryon cried out. His mother’s flowers sprawled in a mass of color against the gleaming white walls of the cabin while pines towered in the background. The well Father and he had dug close to the house for his mother sat in a lush field of grass. He caught a glimpse of the generous garden at the back. He walked up the porch steps and looked in awe at a home with polished floors and hand-carved and cared for furniture. Mother’s rugs and blankets added color everywhere.
“Thank you,” he whispered hoarsely. He looked into Kirstin’s clear eyes and without thought bent his head and kissed her. He drew back sheepishly and motioned to the open front door. “Won’t you come in?”
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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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Series: The Karthagans 01
Author: Dianne Hartsock
Length: Novel (288pgs)
Publisher: Solstice Publishing (February 10, 2020)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: 3 1/2 Hearts
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.
Product Link: Amazon US | Amazon UK
Review: Belega is a story about the Karthagan people with great powers who were forced out of their homes by others were terrified of them to the isle of mist. But the isle causes strife between them splitting them into two groups and war. They are all but decimated until Natan, who I really never understood who he was, retrieves them.
This story starts out fast with hardly any descriptions or background of who the many characters are throughout. I found myself lost trying to figure out who was who and what exactly was going on. It was not until almost halfway through that I understood.
Kavi was a very confusing character to me. He ran hot and cold through the story which irritated me immensely. I honestly didn’t like most of the characters in this book. I will say the powers the Karthagans had were intriguing.
Fast paced, action packed with twists and turns but not enough character details. The reader is thrown into the story without any lead ins. I felt like i was missing something from start to finish.
O.k. read for me.