Friday, February 23, 2024

Excerpt Tour + Review + #Giveaway: Alex by Dianne Hartsock @GoddessFish


Dianne Hartsock

GENRE: 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.

Purchase Alex on Amazon, JMS Books, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, and Smashwords


Alex was drowning. His eyes were wide open, but he couldn’t escape the dream that held him on the mattress and crushed his chest. Blackness gurgled up from his lungs, blocking his air. He gagged, tasting Pat Gibson’s rank kiss, as if her madness had slithered into his mouth and down his throat. It was rising inside him now, wanting control.

The boy screamed in his head and suddenly he was kneeling by an open pit. The rich scent of freshly dug earth sent a frenzy of excitement through him. Licking his lips in anticipation of the fun ahead, he leaned over the hole and dropped a few clods of dirt on a child’s upturned, terrified face …

Alex suddenly broke free of the nightmare and scrambled from the bed in terror. Jane still slept and he fled to the bathroom. The harsh light made him wince, but he went to the mirror and stared into his wide eyes. He couldn’t see any shadows in them. Just to be sure, he opened his mouth, but no black writhing mass escaped. He feared the thing was still inside him, though. He pressed his hands to his chest, over his thumping heart, and felt it there, twining about his ribs.

He sobbed in horror. In the dream, he’d been intoxicated by the boy’s fear and his own cruelty. He didn’t understand how Pat Gibson’s madness had gotten hold of him. But, damn it, he wanted it out.

Frantic, he clutched at his hair. Catching sight of the stitches on his wrists, he dropped his hands. Calmness stole over him as he remembered a sharp scalpel and the sweet bite of pain on his arms, bringing relief.

* * * *

Jane woke up to sunlight filtering through the bedroom curtains. She stretched languidly and reached for Alex. Her hand met a cold pillow and she sat up. “Alex?”

An unaccustomed uneasiness came over her. Slipping on some clothes, she went in search of him.

He wasn’t in any of the main rooms, so she checked his old room, where a glitter of metal on the bed caught her attention. She reluctantly approached and drew a hard breath. A bloody scalpel lay on the sheets.

Catching a low moan behind her, she turned to the closet. Blood smeared the door handle. It didn’t deter her. She grasped the knob and opened the door with apprehension.

Alex was crouched on the floor with his head in his hands. “I’m afraid,” he said in an emotionless voice as he rocked on his heels.


Her cry startled him and he cowered against the wall. Then he seemed to recognize her and put his hands to his bare chest to hide the start of an incision.

I stopped,” he gasped raggedly. “You told me not to. I stopped!” 

My Review:

Alex is a horrific and heart-wrenching story all in one. Alex will tug at your heart in more ways than one. Alex is a horrifying story about a man and his life. When Alex was a little boy he lived with his mother after his father left. Alex’s mother abused him.

She would burn him with cigarettes or whatever she was in the mood for that day. She would beat him until he was unrecognizable. She kept him locked in the basement. She would not let him go outdoors and play in the sunshine.

Alex has vision and hears voices about people being hurt. Alex helps the police solve crimes and find people who are missing. Alex is still being mistreated as an adult by people who don’t understand or don’t know what he has been through. The things that Alex feels and the things that go through his mind will tear your heart out.

Alex is a well-written story that will make you feel everything you are reading. I had no problem picturing it all in my head as if watching a movie. I can just see Alex in my mind as he is sitting in the doorway trying to make his way outside. I can just see him sitting there rocking back and forth when his arms hugging his legs.

Alex has some amazing friends who try their best to help him in any way they can to make his life a little bit easier. Friends that for him every time he has a migraine.

I would recommend Alex to anyone who likes a good paranormal thriller. Grab a copy of Alex today!

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

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.

Connect with Dianne Hartsock

Blog ~ Goodreads ~ Instagram

Facebook ~ Facebook Author Page 



$15 Amazon/BN GC 

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Marcy Meyer said...

Sounds like a good thriller.

Dianne Hartsock said...

Thank you, Marcy! I'm happy you stopped in :)

Dianne Hartsock said...

Thank you, Avid Reader, for hosting my Alex today and for your kind words. Alex has a special place in my heart <3

Sherry said...

Looks like a good read.

Kim said...

Thank you for sharing your review thoughts.

Daniel M said...

sounds like a fun one

Ally Swanson - FAB said...

Wow!! Fantastic review!! Already added "Alex," to my Goodreads TBR List and can't wait to read it!! Thanks for sharing!!