I’m very pleased to welcome Diane to the blog today. She’s written a New Adult novel that’s going to (already is) get people talking because the story contains some controversial subject matter – incest between a brother and sister. I’ve read Love’s Forbidden Flower and I thought those particular areas weren’t handled salaciously; in fact, they seemed to be well-researched and I appreciated that there were some deep, psychological and social consequences.
Everyone has their own triggers and this book may not be for them. Please be aware that there will be discussion of those issues below.
Your book is about sibling soul mates. What drove you to write about such a taboo subject?
It’s the typical, “I didn’t choose it. It chose me.” situation. While watching a film, The Buttercup Chain, I became frustrated by a subplot that was tucked into the background. Two cousins, who were raised as siblings, have a very strong attraction. The girl is fine with the situation while the guy is freaked. Every time he came close to acting on his feelings he would back off with no explanation as to why. I kept hoping for some kind of gratification, but in the end I almost threw the remote at the television in frustration. Then I let my mind wander with “What if?” Before I knew it I was writing.
Did anything make you uncomfortable while writing?
Yes, and it’s not what anyone would expect. All of the statistics used in the book are true. When I researched the rate of genetic birth defects among siblings and found it was just a tad higher than if a woman over forty had a baby, it punched me in the stomach. If we blame the banning of sibling unions due to the rate of birth defects, then logic states that women over forty should not be allowed to have children. Well, if that were the case, I would never have been born. Also, the more I read about the biases towards sibling relations, the more I understood the truth is that the whole thing is really taboo because people think it is icky. Many people think eating snails is icky, but no one has banned that.
What effect do you want the book to have on your readers?
I hope people will walk away seeing the world through new eyes. I’m not trying to sell anyone on anything. However, far too often we look at situations as black or white, and we do that because we are told to. If readers question their beliefs, regardless of if they change, I’ve done something extraordinary. There are amazing stories out there, including that of a German couple where the man has served jail time for their relationship, yet they refuse to part. How strong is a love where the people involved are locked up for it, only to be released from jail and return to the same situation, knowing they will wind up behind bars again?
Are there any big surprises with the acceptance of this book?
Some of the reviews it is getting are nothing short of tear jerking. Some readers have told me that even though the concept of Lily and Donovan having a relationship freaks them out, they wind up pulling for them. I am constantly amazed by those who reach out to me and love every time they do. So many of them have been inspirational. I treasure each and every note.
What would you say to potential readers who are concerned if they can handle the subject matter?
If you read the reviews, the general consensus is that the taboo nature is not shoved at you. There is no grandstanding, just simple fact. I’ve actually had several people tell me they kept forgetting about the blood relation. Chapter one is posted on my website because I respect people’s comfort zones. I encourage people to take a gander. If you can handle the first chapter, you should be fine. If not, I appreciate the time you took to read it. Click here to read Chapter 1 at Diane’s Website
Tell us about your work in progress.
While Love’s Forbidden Flower can be viewed as a standalone book, there is so much more to tell. You can’t have two soul mates and end their story when they are 20. Lily and Donovan made life-altering decisions that will result in life-long consequences. Time’s Forbidden Flower will be released in late 2013.
Enjoying San Francisco as a backdrop, the ghosts in Diane’s 150-year old Victorian home augment the chorus in her head. With insomnia as their catalyst, these voices have become multifarious characters that haunt her well into the sun’s crowning hours, refusing to let go until they have manipulated her into succumbing to their whims. Her experiences as an actress, business owner, artisan cake designer, software project manager, Internet radio disc jockey, vintage rock n’ roll journalist/fan girl, and lover of dark and quirky personalities influence her idiosyncratic writing.
She is currently completing the sequel to Love’s Forbidden Flower.
Love’s Forbidden Flower (Forbidden Flower #1)
By Diane Rinella
Publisher: Midnight to Six
Publication Date: November 28, 2012
Genre: New Adult Contemporary
The heart cares not what society forbids.
Lily nurtures a secret love for a flawless man—the one who is her soul mate. Donovan is gorgeous, charismatic, and delights in all of Lily’s talents and quirks. Their innate knowledge of each other is almost telepathic. Together they interlock like fine threads creating luxurious silk.
But society dictates this picture-perfect adoration is the ghastliest of all possibilities.
As Lily embarks on a quest for the romance the heavens intended, her suitor turns reluctant. Desperate to uncover why Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hiding decayed from a tender-hearted gentleman into a ferociously self-serving, cocky bastard, Lily is prepared for battle when it comes to the salvation of her soul mate. However, Donovan traps Lily in a mental game of chess, leaving her to question his sanity. When Lily’s revelations about Donovan’s destructive alter ego lead to an inconceivable truth, can she help Donovan survive fate’s cruel joke?
Impassioned, witty, and deeply moving, Love’s Forbidden Flower is filled with stunning controversies that will forever haunt your heart.