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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Flavor of Magic!

A man rose from the smoldering fire as they came up, slim and dark, his skin the color of cream and chocolate. Taden stopped, pinned in place by the man’s rich brown eyes, snared. He clenched his hands as something crawled across him mind, seeking entrance to his thoughts. But then Corin blinked and a mocking smile fleeted across the handsome face.
“I see my cousin’s put his mark on you,” the man drawled and Taden flushed at his derisive eyes. “He protects your mind from…well, men like me. Pity. They must be interesting thoughts to have captured his interest so quickly. Usually Nathaniel’s far more circumspect.”                                                                                      -Nathaniel

Magic. It comes in all shapes and sizes. Wizards, dragons, shifters, magic rings. But what if magic is far more subtle? What if the magic user looks like the beautiful, sensual man of your dreams, and his magic fulfills all your fantasies?

The prisoner lifted his head and Taden was caught in the gaze of the most beautiful eyes he’d ever seen, clear green with a starburst of gold at the pupils, amazing eyes that held him confused and thrilling. The look brushed against the lonely spot in his heart he kept deeply buried. Then the man blinked and Taden felt released, as if he’d been spellbound.                                                                                          –Nathaniel

How do you protect yourself from such a man? Would you even want to? Image a man who can slip into your mind and probe your dreams. Slide down your nerves. Should I touch you there? Would you like my tongue here? What tickles? Titillates? Arouses?

Taden dropped his head on Nathaniel’s chest. “Give me a moment,” he whispered hoarsely, concentrating on control. He wanted their joining to be perfect. It was hard when Nathaniel continued to thread his hands through his hair. With a growl, Taden straddled him, pinning the wandering hands over his head. “Careful, or I can’t promise to be gentle.”
Nathaniel’s eyes were hooded and Taden watched, enchanted, as the tip of his pink tongue slid across pale lips. “Do anything you like,” Nathaniel invited.

Taden’s enchanted. How can you resist a man who knows exactly how you need to be loved? He doesn’t hold out long!
But, even though Nathaniel’s a gentle man, what about the other side of the coin? What if this power that can bring such pleasure, is used by a cruel man, to cause pain?

Corin pushed away from the wall, the glint of anger in his eyes. “Like it or not, lord, Nathaniel is unstable and dangerous.” His voice softened to a caress, “He killed a man. Did he tell you that? In a jealous rage, and fled across the sea from those who would restrain him. But he made the mistake of bringing Miranda with him. And that’s why I’m here.”
“Why, if Miranda prefers your cousin?”
Taden had the bitter satisfaction of seeing pain in Corin’s dark eyes.
“She doesn’t love him. And he needs to answer for his lover’s death.”
Taden studied Corin’s expression. He’d heard a trace of doubt in his arrogant voice. The man was lying. “They weren’t lovers. What are you holding back?”
He flinched in pain at the illusion of sharp needles piercing his skin. The false impression was gone instantly as Corin visible controlled his temper, but Taden knew he’d been near death at that moment.
“He loved you?” he asked carefully.                                                   -Nathaniel

To me, the paranormal adds that spice of the unknown and thrill of danger to life. And really, who can resist those romantic as hell vampires, werewolves and shifters? Not me! In and out of a book, I like to think they roam the darker edges of the world.
            But more than these, I’m fascinated by psychic phenomenon. The thought of telekinesis and mind reading, the power of the mind over matter, fills my world with wonder. What if it is true? What if there are people whose visions are real and dreams foretell the future? It’s this feeling of amazing possibility I try to capture in my writing. 


The prisoner lifts his head and Taden is caught in the gaze of the most beautiful eyes he’s ever seen; amazing eyes that hold him confused and thrilling. From the moment Taden rescues Nathaniel from the Sutherlin soldiers’ torture, he feels responsible for the youth. The Sutherlins have invaded the beautiful Tahon Valley, and as Taden secrets Nathaniel from their reach, he finds himself drawn inexplicably to the young man. He protects Nathaniel not only from the Sutherlins but from his own mistrustful people, who don’t understand Nathaniel’s powers and believe him to be a witch. Will Taden convince Nathaniel to stay with him and live under his protection, or will the youth sail home and leave Taden in loneliness?


Taden slowly stretched, testing his bones. His shoulders and back were sore, and he felt bruised, but nothing serious. He lifted his arms over his head, arching his back to ease the discomfort, and caught Nathanial’s enraptured gaze on his movements. He slowly lowered his arms, heated by the smoldering desire in Nathaniel’s green eyes. The young man blinked and the color deepened under his fair complexion.
Taden didn’t have to follow Nathaniel’s glance down his body. There was nothing wrong with that part of his anatomy. His erection pressed against his pants. Feeling the fool, Taden took a few steps away from Nathaniel along a path leading to a rocky ledge. “Where are we?” He stopped at the edge and a delighted sound escaped his lips. “This is my land!”
“Yes, my lord.” Nathaniel stood at his elbow, a note of approval in his voice for the green and gold fields spread out below them. The stronghold was set on the knoll across the valley, its white stonework glittering in the sun.
“The captain brought us here. Corin bandaged your wound. He has some skill with healing, but Bryce insists that you be placed under the care of your own physician. I agree.”
Taden looked at Nathaniel and anticipation raced through him. “Will you come to my home?” he asked with controlled excitement. A vision of his wide bed filled his sight, feather soft, with Nathaniel’s sleek limbs twined with his in the sheets. He shivered pleasantly as desire heated his blood.
Nathaniel lowered his eyes, nibbling a lip as he stared at something on the rocky path. Taden’s heart smote him. Maybe Nathaniel had meant to go on his way without stopping. But then the green gaze swept up to meet his, dark with passion.
“I want nothing more,” Nathaniel assured him, his tone a caress. Taden reached for him, but Nathaniel slipped away from his grasp and started down the trail into the pines. Taden followed, impatient for the evening when the others were settled into the rooms he provided far from his own.
Lost in amorous dreams, he nearly collided with Nathaniel who’d come to a stop at the bottom of the path. Captain Bryce sat with Miranda on a log near the grazing horses, but Nathaniel’s eyes were fixed on Corin. His cousin stood several steps away, his rapt attention on the couple. Taden winced at the longing and despair betrayed in his dark features as Corin gazed on Miranda’s fair head.
Nathaniel coughed slightly and Corin’s brown eyes swiveled to them. They narrowed in anger and Taden braced, expecting pain, but Nathaniel stepped between them. “Leave him be, Corin. You’ve had your fun at his expense, and mine. Peace.”
Taden’s hand dropped to his sword hilt at the unpleasant smile that twisted Corin’s mouth. The man stepped closer to Nathaniel. For the first time, Taden noticed they were of the same height, though that’s where the similarity ended. Corin stood dark and proud, a lift to the arrogant chin, while Nathaniel shown fair and golden, his beauty catching Taden’s breath.
Corin unexpectedly turned his gaze on him and Taden’s mind flashed on a scene of the three of them together in some lavishly furnished room. Taden’s wrists were bound with silk to a bedpost. Strong hands gripped his naked hips as Corin pushed into his body from behind, hot, mind-blowing thrusts, while Nathaniel knelt in front and sucked and licked his balls before taking Taden’s aching cock into his mouth. He’d never experienced such pleasure…
On the verge of coming, Taden shoved the image away, fighting the burn in his scrotum screaming for release. With a tremendous effort, he covered the distance between them and grabbed Corin’s arm, his hold tightening as the focus return to the rich brown eyes.
“Do that one more time and I swear I’ll find a way to kill you,” Taden hissed, beset with anger and seething desires.
“I might kill him now.”
Nathaniel’s cold tones sent a shiver through Taden. For once, Corin looked equally shaken and faced his cousin with a grim expression. “I’m sorry—” he began to say, but fell silent at Nathaniel’s guttered oath.
“You’re cruel, Corin. You ran me to the ground and caught me. Isn’t that enough? No. You don’t care who you hurt, so long as you aren’t thwarted.” Nathaniel’s voice turned to silk. “Could this be why Miranda runs from you?”
Corin’s face turned white and his slim hands clenched into fists as his eyes flashed in warning. Nathaniel laughed, a fey sound on air suddenly crackling with energy. Taden’s scalp prickled. His hair lifted slightly with the kinetic energy gathering around them as the cousins faced each other, both breathing hard. Fear was a lump in his stomach. He believed that something terrible approached; a peril that couldn’t be recalled once unleashed.

Dianne Hartsock


  1. Thanks for having me as your guest today, Guys. :)

  2. Dianne, the more I follow this tour, the more Nathaniel is calling out to me.

    I enjoyed both the post and excerpts.

    Tracey D