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Monday, March 5, 2012


Long and Short Reviews welcomes Dianne Hartsock, whose latest erotic romance Shelton's Choice was released late last year. Shelton's Choice is the third book in her Shelton series, with the first two books entitled Shelton in Love and Shelton's Promise. She's currently working on the fourth book in the series, Shelton's Homecoming. I asked her to tell us a little about these two books.

"In Shelton's Choice, Shelton and Nevil have been together for a year, both doing very well in their respective fields. Shelton is finally offered the promotion he’s been working toward, and afraid of missing this opportunity, accepts the offer before consulting Nevil. Unfortunately, it requires that he move to another state and Nevil doesn’t want to go. I chose this theme for my story because it seems to be a scenario that plays out quite often between ambitious, successful couples. I wanted to explore the emotions and reactions involved when one of them is faced with a hard career choice. Nevil’s reaction is the best possible, I think, though neither is completely satisfied with the final outcome," she explained. "The title of the fourth book says it all! In this fourth Shelton book, Shelton’s grown tired of living a life separate from Nevil. So when Nevil is hurt in an accident at work, Shelton comes home for good. Feeling closer than ever to his lover, Shelton’s ready to make a lasting commitment to their relationship. But is that what Nevil wants? Nevil is less than enthusiastic when an old flame marries, leaving Shelton wondering if he’ll have to keep his dreams on hold indefinitely."

Dianne has published six short stories, erotic m/m romances and one ghost story. She's also published a paranormal thriller titled ALEX. She's also written two fantasy adventure novels, the first of which is being considered by a publishing house. The sequel has also been written with the third in the series already plotted out.

Her favorite?

"My novel ALEX. My romances are fun, titillating stories, but ALEX delves deeply into a young man’s troubled mind. Tortured by visions of death and murder, Alex is trying to hold on to his sanity in a world that doesn’t understand him. One reviewer summed ‘ALEX’ up for me very nicely. ‘Overall, I am left with a new definition of what love is: an emotion that can endure through life and death. Love isn't over-romanticized as something that will conquer all, but love makes life worth living.’"

Dianne was fourteen years old when she discovered Ray Bradbury.

"His stories changed the way I perceived the world. They’re filled with the wonder and magic and terror of childhood. His science fiction opened my mind to new possibilities. I decided then that I wanted to write like him when I grew up. I began then, penning short stories in all genres, trying to capture his feeling in my own work. It took a while, but I finally discovered my own style and have enjoyed writing ever since."

"Who is your favorite author and why?" I asked.
"Whenever I’m asked that question, I always have to come back with, which genre? I love the creepy scariness of Koontz; the subtle terror of medical thrillers by Robin Cook, Michael Crichton and Michael Palmer. I like the romantic adventures of Elizabeth Peters and the wonderful fantasy and scifi of C.J. Cherryh. But if you’re going to pin me down to one, it would have to be J.R.R. Tolkien. His books transports me out of myself to another time and place, and no other hero can break my heart like my dearest Frodo Baggins."

Dianne tends to develop both plot and characters almost simultaneously—she'll hear a bit of a song or catch something in a movie or in life that captures her interest, and her MC will walk onto the set.

"Hello, handsome. What’s your story? I’ll think about him for awhile, plotting a vague outline in my mind of what I want to have happen. I start to write. Characters introduce themselves as I go. The plot expands to encompass them. Seriously, the final story is as much as a surprise to me as hopefully it is to my readers," she said.

Her titles usually pop into her head about halfway through a story.

"Keep in mind, I have very short, simple titles to my stories, but they seem to work," she explained. "I love names. Shelton. Alex. Nathaniel. Eran. These are my main characters and I find a way to use their names in the title to their stories. Shelton in Love –when Shelton first falls for Nevil. Shelton’s Promise- when Shelton gives Nevil a ring, promising a committed relationship. Shelton’s Choice –when Shelton makes a career choice. Shelton’s Homecoming-when Shelton’s come back to Nevil. ALEX- my paranormal thriller novel. Eran’s Release- when Eran is freed from an abusive relationship. Nathaniel- a fantasy. Then there’s my ghost story Trials of a Lonely Specter- no one’s name, but the title just came to me!"

The hardest part of writing for Dianne is the transitional scenes.

"They have to be done, but they’re my least favorite part of writing. I’ve been known to create whole novels without them then going back and putting in all the little details afterwards. With ALEX, if I could have included a believable transportation device, Alex would have used it at every turn. So many exciting scenes lay ahead of him! But how to get him there without my readers banging their heads in boredom as he trudged across the street or town or whatever to reach that point was a problem. My solution? I threw obstacles in his path along the way until he begged me to just let him get there already. Now, whenever I’m faced with the blank page of a transitional scene, I try to think of a crazy wild thing to trip my characters up with and make the journey an adventure in itself."

Dianne doesn't use books as references when it comes to writing erotic romance.

"For my book Shelton’s Choice, I needed to research men’s toys. It was hilarious! I looked online at stores who sell a variety of vibrators, etc., and I tell you, the comments being made on the various items had me laughing far into the night. Very insightful and educational, and so much fun," she said. "And then there’s the issue of the prostate. Didn’t know a whole lot there, either. Sure, I’ve read m/m books from other authors, but I needed some pointers from real life men. I turned to the Goodreads M/M Romance Group for advice and true accounts of the pleasures to be had from this elusive part of male anatomy."

About the Author: Dianne 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.

She says Oregon’s raindrops are the perfect setting in which to write her tales. There’s something about being cooped up in the house while it pours rain outside and a fire crackles on the hearth inside that kindles her imagination.

Currently, Dianne works as a floral designer in a locally-owned gift shop which she says is the perfect job for her. When not writing, she can express herself through the rich colors and textures of flowers and foliage.

Find the author online at:





After a year of bliss with Nevil, Shelton is offered the promotion he's been working toward at the bank. Unfortunately the new position is in another state, and Nevil doesn't want to move. As tension mounts between them, Shelton is given another challenge in the form of a besotted coworker. Torn between the pressures at work and at home, Shelton has to choose his future. That is, until Nevil takes the decision out of his hands.


diannehartsock said...

Thank you so much for having me as your guest here today!

Havan said...

I just read the first two books this weekend and was going to ask Dianne Hartsock if there was a third...and now that I know OMG - this blurb is killing me! *heads desk* Can't wait to download it and read it...and the fourth one - I'll need that soon...along with a fifth and sixth *winks* Sheldon is just a gem of a character - the type that we all wish we can write!

Love this blogpost and thanks for the great reading material! :)

diannehartsock said...

Havan, you're such a darling! Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I'm so glad you like my Shelton. I have a tiny crush on him myself. :)