Sunday, February 10, 2013

Special Guest Sunday- Dianne Hartsock

Hello everyone!  Please help me welcome Dianne Hartsock as she discusses how to keep the romance alive.


Keeping the Romance Alive

Hello! As the writer of m/m erotic romance, I'm often asked how I keep the romance in my stories and not let it fall into strict erotica, where it's all action and no passion. It's fairly easy for me to do. I'm a hopeless romantic! I couldn't possibly write a story without my men being very much in love.

For inspiration, I not only turn to my husband, who loves to romance and spoil me (I'm so lucky!). But I have an extensive collection of romance novels from 1880-1920's. Talk about romance with angst! These men go through fire and heartbreak and separation before they reach their HEA with the person they love. I've shed many tears over these sweet, pure love affairs.

I like to approach my stories with this same goal, having my men find true love by the last page. Of course they have to suffer first! I want my readers to feel and relate to their struggles, and cheer with them when they finally hear those beautiful words, I love you. 

I've been reading romances since I was thirteen, Jane Austin, Louisa May Alcott, Charlotte Bronte, all the classics. They write of love as a pure ideal, something to strive and sacrifice for. I like to think I take that romantic fervor and apply it to my own writing.

But I not only read these old classics. I love the m/m romance gender and gobble up every book I can find! They not only help sharpen my own writing skills, but if they can make me laugh and cry, I know I've found an author I can enjoy and who reminds me what love is all about.

In my newest release, WEE WILLIE WINKIE, Willie has fallen in love with a man far below his caste in society. The perfect setting for heartbreak, but also for true love to find a way to bring two lonely men together. Yes, I think being a hopeless romantic has made it possible for me to keep the
romance alive in my stories!


For the past three years William Wilkerson has led the life of the privileged rich. Head of his father’s shipping business, Willie indulges in the pleasures of Boston’s fine young men to his heart’s content. That is, until he meets Fredrick,, the one man who has captured his heart , again.

As his former tutor, Fredrick has been declared off limits by William’s father. Fredrick also believes he's beneath the attention of Wilkerson’s heir. Willie disagrees, but is he willing to throw away rank and privilege for the man he loves?

Fredrick held up his glass and stared at the candle's flame through the amber liquid. He took a sip, savored the rich, biting taste on his tongue. He welcomed the burn down his throat. This was the very last drink he could afford, and he had to make it last.

A giggle erupted from the booth in the corner, the one whose curtains were drawn against curious eyes. A smile tugged at Fredrick's lips despite the dire state of his wallet. The laugh had been carefree, joyous, naughty. Fredrick shifted on the cushioned bench. Only a few straggling customers remained in the dining room. He wondered if any of them would notice if he shifted his cramped cock as it throbbed in sympathy with the bright laughter.

Rather than risk it, he watched the fruit vender outside the window beguile a customer. Another giggle and stifled moan swiveled his attention back to the corner. A silk-clad foot and slim calf peeked beneath the curtain. He grinned even as the delectable sight emphasized his own loneliness. It had been far too long since he'd had someone in his bed.

"Excuse me. Sir?"

Fredrick looked up, distracted from his memory of lush lips and white skin and wide, hazel eyes, and blinked at the stout innkeeper at his elbow. "Yes?"

A frown fleeted across the man's homely face at another bout of laughter from the corner. "If they're disturbing you, I can have Wee Willie take his guest upstairs. Excuse me, I mean Mister Wilkerson." The man broke off, flustered by the slip of the tongue.

Fredrick's heart leaped on hearing the name mentioned. Is William really here? How could that be? The innkeeper coughed, and Fredrick frowned at the intrusion into his thoughts. The man was so damned serious about such a minor indiscretion. "They're no bother. In fact, I'm almost done anyway." He lifted his nearly empty glass. Hearing a shout, they looked over in time to see a young man tumble through the curtains onto the floor. Fredrick caught a glimpse of red hair and an embarrassed cheek before the gentleman crammed a hat on his head and strode passed them, face averted. The innkeeper shrugged and followed, likely to be sure he paid for his drinks.

Fredrick stared at the silk-clad foot still protruding from the parted curtains. He loosened his hold on his glass but had no way to stop the wild hammering of his heart. Before he lost his courage, he stood and swallowed the last of his brandy, then walked the short distance to the booth.

A grin tugged the corner of his mouth at his eagerness. It had been three years, after all, and they'd parted in anger. Would William acknowledge him? His hand trembled as he drew aside the heavy curtain and allowed his gaze to travel up the silky hose to bright blue trousers. Blood heated his face when he found the laces undone at the waist and the silk shirt open to expose white skin and rosebud nipples.

A sigh brought his gaze up to the pretty face that stirred his dreams. Rich brown curls surrounded lovely hazel eyes and full, pouting lips. He groaned when a delighted smile revealed the even, white teeth that had nipped his collarbone on more than one glorious occasion. "Freddie, is it you?"


Thank you so much Dianne for stopping by.  This looks like a really hot read!


  1. Dianne,

    I write sweet romance, and am always on the lookout for older books with the same.

    Can you recommend a few titles from your collection you mentioned above?

    Christi Corbett

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Christi! Oh gosh, so many good stories... By far my favorite author from that time is Gene Stratton Porter. Her book 'Freckles' and also 'The Harvester' are the most romantic, heartbreaking, joyful books I've ever read. Simple men who love their women with all their hearts. Big sigh... :)

  2. Thanks so much, Sally, for having me over today! So, does anyone have a favorite romance they'd like to share with us? I'm always on the look-out for a good cry!

  3. Although my stories are pretty hot there are only a couple I'd call erotic because they don't end up with the hea or the characters being/falling in love. If there's love and passion its got to be a romance. I'm with you on Jane Austen.

    1. SJ, your stories sizzle! Yum... :) Thanks for coming by!