Please welcome today’s guest author Alyssa Palmer. Today Alyssa is going to plunge us into the time of prohibition — the years from 1919 to 1933 when it was illegal to manufacture, sell, or transport alcohol. The ban was ushered in by the Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution and ended with the ratification of the Twenty-First Amendment which reversed the Eighteenth Amendment. If you saw the Ken Burns documentary on this period in American history which aired a few months ago you already know it was a time of great social change…a wild time…a time which gave rise to organized crime.
Alyssa uses this time period as the back drop for her novel Prohibited Passion. She also uses Prohibition as a metaphor for the prohibition of love between certain types of people. I’m sure you’ll find her post intriguing. I certainly did.
One lucky person who comments on Alyssa’s guest post will receive a free copy of her novel Prohibited Passion.
by Alyssa Linn Palmer
The most famous prohibition of US history was the passing of the Volstead Act and the banning of the manufacture, distribution, and sale of alcohol, but that wasn’t the only prohibition I was thinking of when I wrote ‘Prohibited Passion’.
Homosexuality itself wasn’t illegal in the US, but many things surrounding it were, depending on the state (laws against sodomy, for example), until Lawrence v. Texas (2003), which struck down the remaining state laws. Societal views in the 1920s, though loosened with the advent of the ‘Roaring Twenties’, were conservative in comparison to today.
In ‘Prohibited Passion’, Ruth is an isolated young woman in a small town in Montana. She’s isolated because she knows she’s different. She has no one to confide in, no one to tell her whether her feelings for other women are normal. In a larger city she might be able to find someone like her, but with small towns, the chance of being shunned is far greater.
Her world is shaken up when she meets CeeCee, the flapper companion of a rum-running gangster. CeeCee is already a misfit, sticking out like a sore thumb with her drop-waist dresses and forward ways. When Ruth seeks her out, attracted by her daring, she finds out that CeeCee, like her, likes women too.
Imagine if Ruth were a man instead of a woman. Let’s call him Luke, just to stick with the Biblical names. The townspeople might frown upon Luke’s tastes, but they’d probably just shake their heads and murmur, “Boys will be boys.” He’d lose some face with the most conservative residents. The other boys would be patting him on the back, and the girls would be envying his choice of playmates. Unless he did something particularly shocking, like having sex in a public place, it’s very unlikely that he’d ever be turned out of his home or shunned.
There’s a good double whammy in Ruth’s case: she’s expected to toe the line and obey her father, and she’s expected to marry and have children. Not a good place to be when your own feelings go against everything you’ve ever learned.
I hadn’t intended to use Prohibition as a metaphor for prohibited love. It’s one of those things that becomes apparent after the fact. I wanted to write in the era, and the title was a catchy bit of alliteration. But Prohibition really does suit as a metaphor… both liquor and love are frowned upon, both are controlled by laws of the state, and both involve personal freedoms.
If you’re a writer, do you intentionally place metaphors in your work, or do they appear afterward?
If you’re a reader, do you find yourself spotting metaphors in the books you read? Do you know of any authors that use them purposely?
A lucky commenter will win a copy of Prohibited Passion.
The Blurb From Prohibited Passion:
Ruth wants to escape the boredom of Bandit Creek and the strict expectations of her father, the local pastor. Her life changes the day she meets CeeCee, a world-wise flapper, and an irresistible attraction develops between them. She’ll be disowned and shunned if anyone discovers their prohibited passion, but can they keep their growing affection a secret?
CeeCee is drawn to Ruth, but things become complicated when her gangster companion disapproves of their liaison. He’s in town to broker a deal with the owner of the local speakeasy, and he’s not above using them to further his own plans. Can CeeCee protect Ruth and their budding relationship?
As Ruth gets drawn further into their world, she must decide between her familiar life and a new, dangerous path with the woman she loves.
Prohibited Passion is available at many ebook retailers, including Amazon and Smashwords. (http://www.amazon.com/Prohibited-Passion-Bandit-Creek-ebook/dp/B006X28218/) (http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/119035)
About Alyssa Palmer:
Alyssa has many passions. Fortunately, none of them are prohibited. When she isn’t working, she’s writing dark tales inspired by mid-20th-century noir books and films, cooking up a storm in her kitchen, and reading. You can find her at her website (http://www.alyssalinnpalmer.com), and on Twitter (@alyslinn).
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