Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Special Guest: Genella DeGrey

Today The Cozy Page welcomes Genella DeGrey, author of erotic historical romance Love Divine:

In the Highlands of Britannia, 420 A.D., Aslyn, was raised a Druid by her late mother. Now Rome has returned, but in place of a legion of solders, a single man peddles a new Roman god.

Ryus Jorian was sent on a mission for the new religion. But instead of a cave of barbaric souls in need of saving, he finds an intelligent, beautiful, hedonistic distraction whom his Bishop finds equally delectable.

Ryus must choose between the salvation of his soul and the woman he loves. Aslyn must escape before she becomes the Bishop’s newest sacrificial lamb.

Love Divine has some very religious themes, many of which conflict. What inspired you to tell a story rooted in religion?

I didn't really set out to do a religious story, so to speak. It was the thought of how difficult it would be to have someone come in and disrupt what you and your kinsmen have practiced for so long—the worship of mother earth, the moon, the goddess, et cetera.

How do you balance the religious elements with the erotic aspect of the story?

Bono once said, "We are both spirit and flesh. How can we be just one or the other?" This quote has always stuck with me for years because of it's depth of truth.

The Pagan's didn't have restrictions on regular (or celebratory for that matter) sexual practices as later religions. The celebration of Beltane (May Day) for instance originated as the Germanic paganism celebration of Spring's renewal. And let's face it, the May pole is a very phallic symbol. ;) I know that's a mere generalization of this very old holiday, but I don't want to bore everyone with everything I dug up in my research. :)

Love Divine takes place in the Highlands of Britannia. What about both this time period and this setting compelled you to write about them?

420 was just about the time the Church of Rome would have started sending missionaries out into the wide world beyond their realm. When the idea of Aslyn, my Druid heroine, came to me, it just made sense to set the book in this time period.

The hero, Ryus, is a described as a "rogue-turned-missionary." In Love Divine, do these conflicting sides of his character cause unrest?

Oh, yes. On one hand, he really does want to change his old ways. You see, before we meet Ryus, he lived as a care-free bachelor, drinking and whoring as if tomorrow would never come. Then his view changed when someone from the Church tells him there is a tomorrow. But once he sees Aslyn, he is terribly conflicted. His conscious wars with his flesh and he knows it will be this way until he can speak with his Bishop regarding Aslyn in hopes of some sort of encouragement one way or the other.

Would you describe Ryus as an alpha or a beta hero? Why?

Ryus is a repressed alpha whose flesh seems overwhelmingly stronger than his spirit after he meets Aslyn. Now, is this because he's new to the faith and the idea of celibacy, or is it because he truly falls in love with Aslyn? ;)

The heroine, Aslyn, is a woman caught between two worlds - that of the Druids and that of a new Roman god. How would you say this impacts her character most?

Honestly, I don't think the difference between the Roman God and the goddess impacts Aslyn as much as it piques her ire that someone thinks they can tell other people whom and how to worship. The way she was raised allowed her to follow her heart when it came to her personal faith, so she feels that what and how other people wish to worship really is their own business.

What will readers identify with most about Aslyn's character?

Aslyn's mother was the high priestess of her village. She was a healer, among other things, as well as the person everyone came to for advice. When Aslyn's mother passed on, everyone expected her to take her mother's place. I don't think there is a single person who will read this story who doesn't have a parent, teacher or other relative who pushes them to be something or someone they don't feel they're called to be. From the beginning, Aslyn's main concern is that the people will be disappointed in her abilities or lack thereof. Nearly two-thousand years later, most of us experience this fear, as well.

According to your website, you have a passion for historical romance. Which authors of the genre have inspired you most?

My first historical romance reading consisted of Jude Deveraux, Judith McNaught, Julie Garwood, Johanna Lindsay and Heather Graham. It was Jude Deveraux's book, Remembrance, that really acted as the catalyst for my desire for a writing career.

You also have a fascination for spiritual places - "the older, the better." What are some of your favorite spiritual/haunted destinations?

As you know I'm crazy about history. And what's not historical about Tombstone, AZ and New Orleans, LA? :)

I've been to Tombstone many times, and I tend to believe it is because of the countless violent murders that the place is just crawling with spirits. Now did all these murders cause a rift in the veil between this earthly plane and the afterlife? Who could say? And I don't know if these spirits are stuck or staying because the want to – all I know is that in many buildings about town, I can feel a presence whether it's curious, angry, negative or whatever. It's so fascinating to me.

What more do readers have to look forward to from Genella deGrey in 2010?

I have another historical erotic romance coming out on June 8th from Resplendencepublishing.com which takes place during Carnival in Venice, Italy in 1795. I'm very excited about this story as it features two heroes and two heroines. Two HEA's – what more can you ask for? :)

Would you mind sharing a short excerpt from Love Divine?

Reaching up to entwine her arms around his neck, Aslyn’s heart raced when his mouth softly coaxed her lips part. She nearly toppled over when he groaned as her tongue touched his. The wood post which bordered the stable separated their bodies, and Aslyn longed to be rid of the thing.

Suddenly remembering that anyone who had a view of the stable could see them, she broke out of the kiss.

“We shouldn’t be—”

“I know, I’m sorry.”

Aslyn glanced over her shoulder and back up to Ryus. No one was about, but that could change at any moment. Her breath came out in a huff that may have been part laughter. “Let me finish. We shouldn’t be doing this here.”

She saw his eyes light up like flames. “Then where?”

“Come to me after sundown,” she whispered, unable to believe the words actually came out of her mouth. Oh, she was thinking them, but once they passed over her lips, the bones were cast. He would be leaving soon, and it would be good for her to take a few more memories with her to her grave.

Without another word, Aslyn pushed away from the stable fence and headed straight for her lodging.

She paced in her room and wrung her hands, the same way in she did just before she met Ryus in the ancient grove of Ardwinna.

Aslyn almost yelped when he came bursting through her front door.

“You have more faith in me than I do if you think I can wait until sundown.”

Thank you so much for having me — Namaste!

During Genella's virtual book tour, she will be giving away a digital edition of Love Divine to one lucky commenter! Readers, sound off with questions for our special guest today for a chance to win!


Genella deGrey said...

Thank you, Amber -
Great questions, BTW - You really made me dig deep!
Hugs -

Amber Leigh Williams said...

G, the interview was fascinating and I can't wait to read Love Divine!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Amber for the interview. I am looking forward to reading this book!!!

Way to go G!!!


Cheryl said...

Love the interview. Way to go *G*

Genella deGrey said...

Thanks for stopping by, Tam!!

Amber Leigh Williams said...

G, just for readers' reference, what's your next stop on the virtual book tour?

Genella deGrey said...

(((Cheryl))) Thank you for the comment!

Amber, my next stop will be on Thursday the 15th at: http://triciareads.blogspot.com/


brandy said...

Way to go, G! I can't wait to read it!