by: Dianne Hartsock
Genre: M/M Fantasy Erotic Romance, Holiday
Release Date: December 18, 2015
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Betrayed 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.
The dream slammed into Jamie almost at once and he cried out, not wanting to be there.
The room was hot from the fire and sweat burst out on his body. He grabbed his brothers’ hands, both of the boys younger than he and staring at the large man, their eyes wide. The butcher seemed surprised by their appearance on his doorstep and the older brother quickly cleared his throat. “Please, could you spare some scraps from your table? My brothers haven’t eaten this day, nor yesterday.”
He ignored his own hunger. He’d promised Mama he’d take care of them. The man rounded the table he worked at and they took a step back, frightened by the blood staining his smock.
The man’s smile didn’t reach his cold eyes. “Don’t be afraid. Come in! Sit by the fire. I have some stew left over….”
The boy stared, rooted to the spot by fear as his brothers ran to the fire. He wanted to scream as the man came up to them, anything to stop the arch of the cleaver in his hand, but only felt the helpless tears wash down his face. He hadn’t saved them. At his turn, the sharp blade landed, slicing a path of fire across his tender throat. His breathing sputtered while he drowned in blood. The cleaver rose again, but he was already falling to the floor, his gaze imploring, turning to despair at the crazed look in the butcher’s green eyes….
Jamie woke, clamping a hand over the scream trying to force its way through his constricted throat. What a horrible dream! His heart thundered, and he lay a moment panting with fear, trying to calm the panic shooting through his body. It was only a dream. No reason to wake Nico. He rolled toward the warm body next to him, but couldn’t make out his lover’s features in the darkness.
With care he reached out a hand and touched Nico’s face. His breath caught, then settled back into the rhythm of sleep. Jamie listened to him for a moment, wanting to be held against his strong chest. He ached to make love, drive off the nightmare.
But more than that, he wanted to wake Nico up and talk to him. The man fascinated and frightened him at the same time. “What’s your story, baby?” he whispered, knowing there were depths to Nico he might never plumb. And who was Piter to him? He knew beyond a doubt they were linked together. He shuddered. The butcher in his dream had Piter’s eyes. Did that mean anything at all? Or was it his jealousy that gave the monster the same intense green eyes?
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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, 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.
Places to find Dianne Hartsock:
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