We’re so pleased to welcome author Laura Stone to TNA today, on the virtual tour for her new novel, And It Came to Pass. Laura’s here to chat about faith based LGBTQ romance, and there’s also a giveaway, so be sure to check out the entry details below.
We All Deserve Love
Hello! It’s so lovely of you to host me today on my book tour, so let me thank you first and foremost! When I’m not writing these emotional heart-rippers, ha, I’m the mother to three amazing LGBT kids. They are who gave me the courage to not only come out myself, but to write stories that better reflect the world I want to see. Which leads me to how excited I am to share my new novel, And It Came to Pass, with your readers.
There’s a real desire I’ve learned for inspirational romances that not only feature LGBTQ couples—in this case, two young men on a Mormon Mission in Barcelona, Spain—but LGBTQ couples who grapple with their faith and being gay. I’ve heard back from readers that they longed to read stories where not only was there desire burning up the pages, but that the characters were allowed to have faith, if perhaps not their religion.
(Which begs the question, why aren’t there more Unitarian and Episcopalian LGBTQ romances? They’re all for Marriage Equality!)
I was at the Romantic Times convention in Atlanta recently, and the first person to buy a copy of And It Came to Pass. was a young women dressed in a chador. For those not aware—and I had to educate myself on it as well—a chador is a head covering that often accompanies a cloak for modesty. She had the two affixed together with a gorgeous pin.
My book cover caught her eye, then what brought her to my table were the little chocolate scriptures/bibles I’d made with specific passages printed on them as table decorations. One refers to Jonathan and David’s love in the Old Testament and another comes from Jeremiah about love being everlasting. She asked me if my book was about two men of faith falling in love, and I answered yes.
She then narrowed her eyes at me and asked if they kept their faith. Without giving the story away, I reassured her that yes, they do not lose their love of God. She nodded at me and said, “I need this book.” Later, she left me an amazingly kind review on Goodreads thanking me for allowing two gay men to fall in love and keep their faith in God.
I think it’s so important to allow different stories in the world. We’re not all the same. I, for example, am no longer religious, but I understand intimately the need for spirituality, the desire to be connected to something larger than ourselves. I wanted to write a romance that allowed these two boys—raised to believe they could never have true love—to find the courage within themselves to have an everlasting love. And just as important, I wanted one of the character’s families to love these boys and respect that their feelings were real.
My hope is that the readers who so desperately need this representation will see that they’re not wrong for loving the same sex. (And while I’m on the subject, transpeople should be given the freedom to be themselves as well.) Representation is so important, and in this time of danger for our LGBTQ brothers and sisters around the world, stories of faith and romance have an important place at the table, as well.
We all deserve love. We all should be allowed to find and express love. Amen.
About the Book
Adam Young is a devout Mormon whose life is all planned out for him, by both his strict father and by his church. He follows the path they’ve established for him, including going off to his mission to Spain with mission companion Brandon Christensen—a handsome, enthusiastic practitioner of Mormonism. But as their mission progresses, they both realize they have major questions about their faith… and substantial feelings for one another.
As Christensen walked behind Adam to switch on the clippers, Adam shivered, closed his eyes and tried to stop the repetitive battle between thoughts of how this was wrong versus how desperately he wanted Christensen to get on with it. He wanted something to happen.
All thoughts were driven out when Christensen laid a strong, firm hand between his shoulder blades to hold Adam still while he worked. Everything, every thought and feeling, and heck, the very universe was centered on those minuscule points of contact between Christensen’s hand and Adam’s bared skin. Adam chanced a look after a while but shut his eyes again when he was confronted with his companion squatting directly in front of him, squinting at Adam’s sideburns to ensure they were the same length. Christensen’s breath moved over Adam’s lips, they were so close. He kept his eyes screwed shut; his heart beat a wild tattoo in his aching chest.
Christensen’s hand suddenly cupped the side of Adam’s neck, and, at the shocking sensation of a thumb sweeping softly over Adam’s pulse point, he let out a tiny gasp.
“Oh, my gosh,” Christensen said, his voice worried. “Did I nick you?”
“Hmm? Oh, no, no, sorry. It’s fine. You’re fine.”
Christensen laughed. His voice was still soft as he teased, “Oh! So, you’re just afraid I’m doing a bad job?”
“Then relax. You look like you expect me to punch you.” He patted Adam’s shoulder and gave him a squeeze. “Just need to taper this bit in the back and you’re all done.”
Christensen rubbed the palm of his hand over Adam’s head to dislodge any hairs. The friction centered itself in Adam’s skull, radiated in sensual ripples down his spine, then settled low with a pulse to match Adam’s heartbeat when Christensen leaned over to blow a few pale blond strays off the backs of his ears. Adam’s skin stippled with goose bumps. Was he imagining it? Was Christensen making an extra effort to get things just right, making sure every possible stray hair was carefully blown away or brushed off his neck and shoulders with the flat of his hand, merely in order to keep touching Adam? Or did Adam just hope so?
About the Author
Laura Stone, a descendant of pioneer polygamists from the early days of the Mormon Church and a former Gospel Doctrine teacher, now keeps busy as a media blogger, ghostwriter and novelist when she’s not raising her youngest child.
While the majority of her family still lives in Utah, she resides in Texas because it’s where the good tamales are. Her first novel, The Bones of You, was published by Interlude Press in 2014 and was named a finalist for a Foreword Reviews IndieFab Book of the Year Award. Her second novel, Bitter Springs, was published by Interlude Press in 2015.