BLOG TOUR: Heart Wood by Katey Hawthorne (Excerpt & Giveaway)

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Blog Tour, Excerpt & Giveaway:
Heart Wood
By Katey Hawthorne

Heart Wood Cover

The Stone City and the Heart Wood: uneasy neighbors separated by the Bluebird River. In the City, Hendrik is about to lose the only life he’s ever known, the only love he’s ever wanted. In the Wood, corruption threatens the carefully cultivated ecosystem and Dagan’s way of life. Two worlds, fated to collide at last.

It could be the end. Or a new beginning.

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The man, now wearing a pair of battered leathers and a stained, sleeveless shirt, spun, holding a paring knife. “Who’s there?”

Dagan stepped into the clearing. Quickly, it became clear this was some sort of camp; a deflated sack hung on a nearby branch and a small shelter—a roof, really—had been constructed out of a ragged blanket and branches. A dirt pit with charred wood was clearly the cooking fire, and a rack made of sticks perched over it, hung with limp weed Dagan didn’t even recognize. Must’ve been from the sea.

He held up both hands and examined the pale man carefully.

The man waved the knife but with an efficiency that suggested he knew what to do with it. “Who sent you?” he asked in a flat-voweled accent.

“You’re from the Stone City.” Dagan had heard the accent before. “It’s alright. If I wanted to sneak up on you, I would’ve done it ages ago.”

“Is that meant to be reassuring?” The man’s brow crinkled. He had the most arresting blue eyes, bluer than Dagan had ever seen before. Like the reflection of a clear summer sky in the Heart Spring.

“Far more reassuring than the knife you’re waving at me.” Dagan said with a small smile. The man was, on closer inspection, young and fit. That said, there was enough space between them that Dagan could be long gone before the man ever reached him, if he took it into his head to attack.

The man said, “You’ve got a bow. And a much bigger knife.”

“Yes, but I’m not waving them at you. It’s not so much the existence of your knife that troubles me, more the waving of it.”

The man looked at him for a long moment as if confused. Then at the knife. He lowered the hand that held it. “Fair enough.”

“I’m a scout of the Heart Wood. Name’s Dagan, of the Black Walnut Grove.” He put a hand on his heart in formal greeting.

“I’m…” The man licked his lips and shook his head slightly. Then, after a brief silence, finished with, “Hendrik.”

“Of the Stone City,” Dagan repeated, just to be sure.

“No,” said the man. “Well, I was. How did you know?”

“The accent.” Dagan moved closer, examining Hendrik more thoroughly now the danger seemed mostly removed from the situation. Very tall and well-muscled despite the ragged state of his clothes and hair. A face composed of flat planes and angles that might’ve been carved from wood or stone and never quite polished off for softness, obvious even under the scraggly, brown beard. He was altogether handsome, Dagan decided, but the eyes were positively magical. “And the camp. You’re not used to this life, are you?”

Hendrik looked over his shoulder at the sad structure. “What’s wrong with it?”

“Oh, darling, everything.” Dagan gave a little sigh. “I can help you with a new one, if you like. Or you could come with me; I’m charged to bring refugees back to—”

“Refugee?” Hendrik cut in sharply.

Dagan frowned. “Are you not a refugee?”

“I’m no….” But he trailed off, shaking his head. “Refugees come from the other side of the City. From the wastes. Or the mountain. Not from the City.”

“Well, perhaps, when you’re actually inside the City. But as you can see…” Dagan gestured to the trees around them.

Hendrik nodded tightly.

Dagan waited for him to reply to the previous question about how he could be of service.

Hendrik just looked at him, up and down, and not in the way Dagan enjoyed being looked at by handsome men. His bright eyes were hooded, alert. Suspicious.

“What are you, then?” Dagan finally asked.


Dagan wondered if perhaps Hendrik wasn’t too bright. It was sometimes the way, with the big, burly types. The forest gods wouldn’t be so unfair as to endow one of their creations with every good thing, would they? How would the rest of them get anywhere in life? “What are you, if you’re not a refugee, Hendrik? I’m trying to decipher how I can assist you.”


“Because it’s my job.”

“What’s your job?”

“I’m a scout of the Heart Wood.” This time, Dagan spoke slowly, enunciating as if speaking to a toddler. “And if you’d be so good as to tell me what you are, that would be very helpful.”

Hendrik’s sharp jaw worked for a moment. Then he slipped the little knife into a makeshift sheath at his waist and said, “I guess I’m nothing, now.”

“And when did you come to the Heart Wood, little nothing?” Dagan slung the bow and then his pack off his back, then knelt before them.

Hendrik gave a snort. “I’m little?”

He was most certainly not, being a good six inches taller and far broader than Dagan, but, “Would you rather be a big nothing? That just sounds cruel.”

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Enter the Giveaway:

To celebrate the release of Heart Wood, Katey is giving away a $10 Book Voucher to the store of your choice!

Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for your chance to win!

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Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/cc0f2a57887/?

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Katey Hawthorne

About the Author:

Katey Hawthorne loves queer romance. Originally from the Appalachian foothills of West Virginia, she currently lives in Pittsburgh with her family of one other human and many furry creatures. In her spare time, she enjoys travel, comic books, B-movies, loud music, video games, Epiphones, and Bushmills. Her favorite causes include animal rescue and bisexual representation in media. She is an unashamed fangirl and collects nerdy tattoos like she’s trying to prove it.

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