Welcome Julie Lynn Hayes to Friends Friday today!
A Priest in a M/M Romance Novel?
When it comes to books and films, there are generally two basic stereotypes used in the portrayal of priestsâ€”the genial, loving father and shepherd, or the perverted pedophile. When the Thorn Birds came along, we were presented with a third optionâ€”namely, that of the priest as seductive and forbidden fruit, as personified by Richard Chamberlain. Fast forward a few years, and this same tradition of blatant sexuality in the priesthood can be seen once again in Showtime’s series The Borgias in the form of Cardinal Cesare Borgia (Francois Arnaud) who is sex on legs.
There is something titillating about a man in skirts who is also unavailable because he’s taken a vow of chastity. Something that makes us want to see him in a sexual light. There is definitely a lot to be said for forbidden fruitâ€”the more we can’t have it, the more we crave it.
Therefore, turning a handsome priest into the object of a m/m romance novel seemed logical enough. And when I saw the picture of an Italian model named Raffael, I knew I’d found my Father Sergio. But where was my story? I wanted to do something different, so I began to picture the United States, but in a future form. After Armageddon. A time when the Church and State have become more closely entwined than ever. And there I placed my priest, Father Sergio. However, I changed up the usual story a bit, gave it a little twist. Instead of the priest lusting after the handsome young man, I have the handsome young man lusting after the priest. Will Father Sergio succumb to the blandishments and blatant seductions of Jerico James? Only time will tell.
This is something a little different for me. A futuristic, sort of a sci-fi tale about survival and endurance and the need for mankind to love and be loved. I hope that my priest has a happier ending than Father Ralph did in the Thorn Birds. Ironic that the actor who played the seductive priest should in real life turn out to be gay himself, although he was not out at that time.
In recent years, there have been many stories of priests revealed to be pedophiles. I have to believe that is, or should be, an argument against mandatory celibacy in the priesthood. After all, men are meant to be sexual creatures, whether their love is for women, or for other men. That which is denied must seek other outlets.
Romance novels abound in characters seeking love by their very natures. So is it so unbelievable to find a priest in that position? A man seeking love? I don’t think so. The combination is very inflammatory. And I’m exploring it to my heart’s content with Forbidden, my new series at Romance First Publishing.
Jerico didn’t want to go to Sanctum. He didn’t want to become no more than an unpaid overworked laborer, a servant of the state, toiling for the betterment of the poor and downtrodden, the huddled unwashed masses. But the alternative undoubtedly involved serving time in one of the federally mandated prisons. No one wanted that. Conditions had become so harsh, at least from the stories which had been gleaned from former inmates, that the mere threat of penal incarceration had become an actual deterrent to crime. There were whispers of punishments carried out within the high prison walls that went far beyond any treatment ever mandated by civilized nations, of tortures not seen since the days of the Inquisition. But no proof existed, and the stories were denied as being the tales of criminals. It was better to play safe than sorry. Money did still have its privileges.
“Dru.” He changed tactics, switching to his wheedling voice, the one which usually got him anything he desired from any woman he desired it from, even his sister. When Jerico was little, he couldn’t quite manage to say Jerusha, and his childish lips had run all the syllables into oneâ€”Dru he’d called her, and Dru she stayed, especially in moments such as this. “Dru, can’t Micah do something about it? Isn’t that why I pay him all that money, to handle these things?”
“Father pays him all that money, you mean,” she replied without batting an eye or giving an inch, “and he’s doing what he can.” Micah Caulfield was Jerusha’s handsome older husband. A close associate of their father, he was one of the best attorneys working for the government of what was now known as the Alliance of States. Or more precisely for its President, Alistair Boothe. Micah was also the one that pulled Jerico out of the trouble he invariably got himself into. His lifeline, as it were. But this time, Jerico had embroiled himself too far for even Micah to extract him. They threaded their way through the roiling masses of humanity, too focused on their own destinations to pay attention to the brother and sister in their midst. Wherever they were heading, Jerico was pretty sure it wasn’t where he was going. Not very likely, anyway.
It would be so easy to just skip out. To get on another bus, go to another place, and once there to lose himself in the crowds of that new city, become someone else and forget all this bullshit. But there were reasons why that couldn’t be. One was that he’d never supported himself in his entire life, and would be somewhat at a loss to do so. The second reason was that although he was walking side by side with Jerusha, he was more than aware that he had an escort just a few paces behind them. Someone whose sole purpose in being there was to make sure that Jerico James boarded the bus to Sanctum. The third reason was the chip which had been implanted in his left wrist by the court. If he were to go somewhere outside of the help center, he would set off alarms whenever he passed by any of the government sensors. And since no one knew exactly where those were located, just that there were an unknown number of them, the chances of being caught were pretty good.
All in all, Jerico had to admit he was pretty well screwed and without any choice in the matterâ€”apparently he was going to Sanctum.
Romance First Publishing: http://romancefirst publishing.blogspot.com/
Silver Publishing: http://silverpublishing.info/index/typefilter/book_authors/book_authors_id/88
Dreamspinner Press: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/index.php?cPath=55_222
Thank you for having me here, Victoria. I’d like to offer a copy of Forbidden One: Sanctum. All you have to do is comment, either on this blog or on my own. And don’t forget to leave an email address. I’ll announce a winner on Monday. Thanks for stopping by!