Title: The Mirror Maze
Author: Dianne Hartsock
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: November 25, 2019
Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex
Pairing: Male/Male, Male/Male Menage
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy, LGBT, mystery, menage, MMMM, aliens, Fairies, detective, immortal, interspecies, open relationship, carnivals
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Cory loves the carnival. Even as an adult, the lights and color, flashing rides, popcorn and cotton candy, all hold a special allure for him. Especially this year, when the men seem extraordinarily beautiful and Jules, the barker for the Mirror Maze, ran away with his heart from the moment Cory first saw him in his purple-satin and leather uniform.
For Jules, the carnival is life, the other carnies his family, friends, lovers. He can’t think of anywhere else he’d rather be. But the carnival has a secret that, if found out, could bring an end to their ideal existence. What with falling in love with a local man and a detective dogging their heels about the body found on the hill above the fairgrounds, his perfect life just might be changing, and he has no idea if it is for the better.
The Mirror Maze
Dianne Hartsock © 2019
All Rights Reserved
“You guys are with the carnival. I’m Detective Sundell. Mind if I ask you a few questions?”
Lex shrugged, undisturbed, and the two men pulled out chairs to join them. Amber sat next to Cory, pressing his thigh against him, warm and firm, and heat seeped up Cory’s leg to his groin. He glanced at Amber’s delicate profile, wisps of purple hair caressing his flawless skin. Was he also Jules’s lover? He pictured the two men in his bed, hot lips and talented fingers roaming his body. Lex looked at him and Cory’s lips parted on a soundless moan as he saw his own pale limbs twined with his dark beauty.
Michael got right to the point. “Do either of you know anything about the body found on the hill overlooking the fairgrounds?”
With his gaze still riveted on Cory, Lex replied, “Wasn’t he some tramp or something?”
“We’re not sure. But he was dumped there the same night the carnival pulled into town. You didn’t notice anything while setting up the tents and whatnot?”
“The carnie’s see to that,” Lex said dismissively. “I was in my hotel room the moment we hit town.”
Lex licked his lips. “Now where’s the fun in that?” he drawled while Amber dropped a hand on Cory’s thigh and squeezed lightly, nearly drawing another moan from him. The barista came up and set two compostable coffee cups on the table. Lex rose to his feet, Amber reluctantly following.
“Sorry we couldn’t be of more help,” Lex told Michael. “Drop by the carnival anytime if you have any more questions.” He turned his bright gaze back to Cory. “I’ll see you later,” he promised in a low tone that vibrated through Cory.
Amber lifted a strand of Cory’s hair, twisting the light brown lock around a finger. “Bye,” he said reluctantly and hurried after Lex. Cory tried not to stare at his sweet ass as they left the shop.
“Well, that was…interesting,” Michael opined, his speculative gaze on Cory. That was an understatement. Instead of replying, Cory took a sip of his sweet coffee, wondering if Lex’s tongue would taste as rich. And would Amber’s creamy skin hint at peaches? Everywhere?
He blinked, straightening in his chair. He had a boyfriend, for fuck’s sake. What was he doing thinking about those other guys?
Michael pulled a worn notebook out of a pocket and opened to a blank page. “You obviously have an in with the carnival folk. Seen anything suspicious? Has anyone been talking about the murder?”
Cory shook his head. “Not that I’ve noticed, but I’m mostly there late afternoons, after school, to give Jules a ride home.”
“About that. You hooked up with him damned quick, when it was months before you let me taste your dick. What do you really know about him, besides the fact he must be a good lay?”
Cory glared at him. “None of your fucking business. Can I go, detective?” He stood and grabbed his cup, intending to clear it to the counter.
Michael put a hand on his arm to stop him. “I’m sorry. Guess I’m ticked you replaced me so quickly. Never mind that. I’d like you to do me a favor.”
Cory raised a brow. “Seriously?”
“Yeah. I can’t get anyone at the carnival to talk to me. If we went to the hillside where the victim was found, maybe someone would notice—”
“I’m not spying for you,” Cory said in disgust.
“Of course not. But if someone saw you up there and started acting strangely… You can let me know that much, can’t you? Tell you what,” he added when Cory hesitated. “We’ll take separate cars. That way I won’t make you feel trapped, restricted. You could leave any time.”
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Meet the Author
Dianne is the author of paranormal/suspense, fantasy adventure, m/m romance, the occasional thriller, and anything else that comes to mind. She 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. There’s something about being cooped up in the house with a fire crackling on the hearth and a cup of hot coffee warming 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.
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