Monday, February 26, 2024

Excerpt Tour: Alex by Dianne Hartsock



Dianne Hartsock


Psychological Thriller


Alex is twenty and confused. He always is. The world presses on him with its horrors and pain, with scintillating auras that bewilder his eyes and drive the migraines deeper. He hears the cries of the children, sees the brutal images of tortured victims. He feels out of control and his mind slips…

Severely abused as a child, he is left with horrible scars on his body and even worse scars within his mind. Even though it puts him in danger, he’s compelled to help those who call to him. He’s driven, motivated by his visions to rescue them and hopefully uncover the killer. When he can, he helps the police; yet some detectives suspect he’s involved. Often, Alex finds himself alone and afraid in a world he doesn’t always understand.



Alex ran through the cemetery, not even sure how he’d gotten there. He didn’t feel the dry grass and stones biting into his feet. He stumbled into a crumbling headstone and stopped, leaning heavily against it, panting. 

“Where are you?” he yelled at the top of his voice. 

The boy was silent. Alex bit his lip until it bled. He stood for what seemed like hours. Then, he had a faint impression of… 

He moved forward. There were voices around him and someone clutched his arm. He shook them off in exasperation. The boy was close. 


A hand reached for him but he pulled away. He could almost feel the boy… 


“Jane!” He grabbed her roughly and set her purposefully aside. “Leave me alone.” 

He dropped to his knees close to the fence and dug into the dirt. “I know he’s here.” 

The soil was loose and gave him hope. He looked up with optimism, only to see Jane back away. A strangled cry broke from him as he watched her retreat. Still, there was the boy calling him. Tears stung his eyes as he dug into the black soil. 

Bill Edwards dropped by his side. “What are you doing?” 

He didn’t answer, tortured.  

Roger Criton joined them and started to dig with Alex, shoving his dark hair behind his ears, and the hole deepened. Alex could hardly breathe. Blackness welled up from the pit and entered his lungs, smothering his mind. 


There was no other thought left, and he dug until his nails broke and his fingers bled. The wounds on his wrists tore open, spilling blood into the dirt. He didn’t feel anything as he continued to claw at the earth. 

Ben eventually tried to pull him away. “There’s nothing there, for God’s sake.” 

Bill grunted, scooping dirt with both hands. “He’s been right before.” 

Roger agreed, digging furiously. “The ground seems to have been turned here recently. We’re not ready to stop until he gives up.” 

Ben put a hand on Alex’s shoulder. “What do you think is down there?” 

He gave Ben a vague glance, only to turn back to the widening hole. He forced his fingers deep into the soil, and with a cry of triumph, felt something soft. Bill barked in horror when he uncovered a child’s fingertips. Alex’s head reeled as the blood rushed from his heart. A wild shriek startled him and he turned toward the sound. Something heavy smashed into his head, and he fell, stunned. The world became filled with shouts and darkness as he lay in the dirt-covered grass. 


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 m/m romance, paranormal/suspense, fantasy adventure, the occasional thriller, 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.



FaceBook Author Page:





The author will award a $15 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner.


  1. Thank you so much for featuring this book and excerpt.

  2. Replies
    1. Thank you for stopping in, Rita! Do you have a favorite author?

  3. Thank you, Momma, for hosting ALEX today!

  4. Replies
    1. Thanks Marcy! I'm glad you made it by. Do you have a favorite thriller author?

  5. Looks like a very interesting book.

    1. I'm glad you think so, Sherry! Happy you stopped by. Do you have a favorite author?


The Darkest Light by Vicki-Ann Bush Virtual Book Tour

  Did you have a minor character who insisted on playing a larger role in the story. If so, please tell us about it. This is a funny questio...