Thursday, December 5, 2013

**Spotlight & Guest Post ~ Diane Rinella**

The Forbidden Flower Series, by Diane Rinella, is 
NOW available in all formats on Smashwords!
To celebrate, I'm spotlighting the series. I have a special guest post from Ms. Rinella, as well as a special excerpt from Time's Forbidden Flower. AND there's a giveaway, too!

*** Please note: This is a New Adult Romance novel involving two siblings who struggle with their emotions. This is not a work of erotica.***

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.

Click HERE to read chapter one of Love’s Forbidden Flower!

Society’s torch only illuminates our path.

Very disturbing or somewhat intriguing? That is the question Donovan asks himself over his soul mate’s latest idea for bedroom antics. Undecided, he enters into a bet. If Lily wins, Donovan will become a willing participant in an unsettling new adventure. If she loses… Well, does Donovan really want her to lose? 

Love’s Erotic Flower is an erotic, stand-alone, short story featuring the characters from the controversial New Adult Romance novel, Love’s Forbidden Flower. This piece is approximately 8000 words. 

Warning: This title contains graphic language and raunchy sexual situations. It is intended for those 18 years of age and older.

An eternity of passion cannot be quelled by society. 

Once upon a time Donovan assured Lily all of her dreams would come true. But how could he keep the promise of a fairy tale when her truest goals could not involve him, though her deepest desires did? Now, Lily has it all—love, passion, a family, and the career of her dreams—with Christopher. But something is lacking. She and Donovan have spent the last ten years living apart, and the soul mates are eager to reunite. Can Donovan keep his promise to give Lily all she desires, even with Christopher in the way?  

For Lily and Donovan, the past is a mirror to the future that cannot be shattered.  

Donovan is convinced Lily has been his love for all eternity. Determined to unravel the past, they embark on a journey to discover where it all began. For centuries Donovan has stolen Lily’s heart while forced to suffer for his love.

How much can a soul endure before the breaking point is reached and a monster emerges? Can the demons of the past be combated to pave the way for happiness in the next life? Or has the abuse suffered in this life already turned Donovan hell bound? Time and again, one woman has destroyed their happiness. It’s time to silence her once and for all.

The light of the alarm clock covers my face in a soft glow while its progressing numbers remind me that life is passing by. Finally, Christopher's breath deepens into a low snore. Like a paranoid ninja I slip out of bed and head down the stairs.

Is the frigidity of the knob on the library door brought about by the weather outside, or the betrayal I feel stepping through this portal, knowing a letter from a former lover awaits?

Grabbing the designated book off of the shelf, excitement and apprehension course through my nervous system. Hidden in the section on making gum paste lilies is a sheet of stationary that bares an uncanny resemblance to the stationary on which I once wrote letters to Donovan, sharing in the madness of an
alternate reality.

To My Lovely Lady,

You are, and will always be, the force that drives and inspires me. On my brightest days, you are the warmth that shines upon me. In the darkest nights, you provide the voice that soothes me. Because of you I face each day knowing who I am and the good I bring into the world. Because of you, I am whole.

Until the end of forever,

Placing the book back on the shelf, I head for the family room, unable to bring myself to return to Christopher. Curling up on the sofa I turn on the TV where the Christmas Story marathon continues. Quickly I change the channel, only to return to it, and then flee again. Finally I settle on an infomercial, staring blankly, striving to force myself into panic over the details of the New Year’s Eve party to come. The diversion proves to be a terrible idea. This will be the first New Year’s Eve Donovan and I have spent together since we split. How do I move past the impending pain of the night while finding a way to heal?

“Cannoli,” I softly mutter aloud. “I’ll switch from cream puffs to cannoli. Maybe I should stuff the cream puffs with cannoli filling…”

**Guest Post**
Facing Your Past
by Diane Rinella

We've all heard the expression regarding how who we have been effects who we will become, such as, maybe you got involved in sports early in life and as a result became an athlete. But have you thought about your unexplainable aspects? Maybe one day you woke up and said, “I’ve always felt comfort while kneading bread dough. How odd.” Maybe you find that notion akin to times where you have met someone with whom you have instantly hit it off, somehow unexplainably knowing what was going on in the depths of their mind.

In Love’s Forbidden Flower, Lily feels that Donovan is her soul mate. It’s a basic truth that she never questions. Eventually, Donovan not only accepts that theory, but also embraces its deeper meaning.

“No matter what transpires between us, in this life or in any other, I will be with you always. You really are my soul mate. We have traveled together before, and we will travel together again.”

Those words showed how much Donovan had matured from a confused boy into a man who was not only facing himself, but his situation on all of its complicated levels. Since he was at such a pivotal point in his life, one filled with harsh self-discovery, why should Donovan’s search for personal redemption be limited to the present?

I’ve always subscribed to the notion that our lives go far beyond the present, that there is a future for us after we die. Logically, by extension, there is a past as well. In my present there were people with whom I have a bizarre affinity in a way that I really couldn't explain. I saw a hypnotherapist who specialized in reincarnation. She told me that we travel in groups, that we make friends and allies whom we find time after time, life after 

In Time’s Forbidden Flower, Donovan is convinced that the special connection he feels with Lily has to do with the relationships they have shared in the past. Dreams wake him, and he's certain they are not mere fantasy. As a result, he encourages Lily to undergo past life regression. The findings are phenomenal.

Lily’s experiences under hypnosis when she walks down that stairwell, one step for each year of her life, are not unlike my own experiences.

If we've lived before, why don't we remember? That subject gets touched upon in my upcoming novel, Scary Modsters… and Creepy Freaks. Our brains store our memories. They are intricately attached to our bodies, which act only as shells for our souls. Thus, the brain and the soul are not directly linked. Therefore, when the soul moves on it doesn't take the brain’s vivid memories with it. It does, however, take the emotions—the core of who you were. These emotions make an imprint, which is why past life memories are more based on emotion than visuals. They stay with us, shaping who we will become for all of eternity.

**Excerpt ~ Time's Forbidden Flower**

From the bottom step of the metaphorical staircase that is now so familiar, I run for the farthest door. This time I’m going to see how it all began. Donovan’s recent actions are a full-on assault on my heart, drawing back the feelings I’ve spent years trying to push away. Has my time with the man I am destined to love forever always been a mess?

Without hesitation I throw the door open and step into the light. My mind wants to be ready for whatever hits me, but the truth is, my earthly body is scared rigid. As the light dissipates, dryness surrounds me, like that which is brought on by too much sun and sandy wind, yet my hands feel cool. “What do you see?” Susan guides.

My soul is in harmony with this life, and the answers to Susan’s impending questions are clear. “Clay walls. A dirt floor. Dust. Sand. A few stools. Pottery. This is Egypt. I’m wearing tattered sandals and linen.”

“You are a very old soul. It explains much about who you have become. Are you happy?” Susan asks.

“Immensely. My two girls make me smile. They dance around me as I knead bread. Near the oven a jar is fermenting old bread into beer.” How is it I can smell these things?

“Where is your husband?”

My heart races in happiness. “Bathing in the river. He’s been hunting and brought us a fox. I can’t wait for him to return. I’ve missed him so much.”

“What is his name?” Susan asks.

“Bes. It means protector. The name is perfect for him. My name is Tadinanefer. My husband—he’s home.”

“Tell me about him.”

“He’s perfect—strong, loving—so very gentle with me and the children. I could love him forever.” And I do. It’s Donovan. There’s not a doubt in my mind. “He’s sitting on a stool so I can rub oil perfumed with wood and flowers on his back. I’m anxious to touch him, but I also want this finished. His aroma is always best after the oils blend with his own musk.”

“Okay, Tadinanefer,” Susan interrupts. “Let’s see what else we can find. Try releasing yourself outside.”

“No. I want to cherish this moment forever. Just let me stay in his warmth until I die old in his arms.”

“Is that what happens?”


“Then let’s keep you there for awhile. Enjoy the love.”

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.


  1. Oh wow this sounds so different but really good! I'll have to check it out....I also love the covers

    Teresa @ Readers Live A Thousand Lives

    1. It is different, Teresa. But the story is sooo good and it's beautifully written. :)

  2. I would never in a million years think that's the story behind those covers! It just got extra "tasty" here!

    1. *ha* If I had known what the story was about, I may not have read it, Braine. And that would have been a travesty. I adore Lily and Donovan and their story. Ms. Rinella did a superb job in rendering it beautifully and tastefully. I think you'd love it too!

  3. Brandee, you have been so amazingly wonderful to me. Thank you for all of your support!

    Much love,

    1. *sniff* Thanks, Diane. I'm just so happy I read Love's Forbidden Flower. Lily and Donovan will always have a special place in my heart. <3 <3

    2. I really wish there were a like button here. :)

  4. I remember how much you love this series! I must admit, it's very compelling. Thanks for sharing!


Now you know what I think...what are your thoughts??