Visiting Authors

AND IT CAME TO PASS by Laura Stone

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Summary

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.

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.

And It Came to Pass will be published by Interlude Press on May 18, 2017. Connect with author Laura Stone at laura-stone.com; on Twitter @StoneyBoBoney; and on Facebook at facebook.com/9LauraStone

Excerpt

“You’re quiet back there,” the Mission President said, catching Adam’s gaze in the rearview mirror. “Tired?”

“A little,” Adam answered. “Mostly it’s just…” He nodded out the window. “Overwhelmed by it, I guess?”

“It’s a beautiful country. Beautiful people, too. Family-oriented, like we are. These should be two of the best years of your life, son.”

Adam smiled weakly and sank back into his seat as the two men up front continued their discussion all the transfers happening in various districts. He pushed his fist into his churning belly and strained to see the ocean as they wove through traffic.

All of his life, his friends, family and church leaders had spoken of how amazing this moment would be, how life-changing this experience was for those who answered the call to serve. His friends had been laser-focused on how much they were looking forward to becoming missionaries; Adam had always smiled and nodded but never with the same zeal. Over and over returned missionaries spoke with passion about how they were overcome with emotion the first time they heard the thousands of missionaries at the MTC singing “I Hope They Call Me on a Mission” in unison. For Adam, that experience had just been a reminder that there was something wrong with him, because instead of feeling overwhelmed with the Spirit, he’d felt like a failure for not.

Character Bio

Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Laura Stone, author of And It Came to Pass.

Hi Laura, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.

Thank you so much for having me! I’m thrilled to be here and to share my book—especially to share Adam Young, our protagonist from the Mormon town of Provo—with you and your readers.

Adam is a lot like me and the kids with whom I grew up: devoutly Mormon, doesn’t talk back, does exactly what he’s told. Adam also has a secret, one buried so deeply he’s even kept it hidden from himself. He’s not sure what he believes. For a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, that’s not a long-term plan for righteous living, especially as when we meet him, he’s heading out to serve a two-year mission. He tells himself that he must get it figured out, fast.

Adam is a gentle-giant type and he’s immediately paired up with the Ultimate Mormon Guy: Brandon Christensen. Where Adam is taciturn, Brandon is full of good-humor and pearls of wisdom. Where Adam is nervous and unsure of whether or not his touch is welcome, Brandon is a man’s man, rough-housing the other missionaries, who welcome it with delight. Where Adam frets over questioning tenets of their shared faith, Brandon dives into research, even going so far as to write letters to his parents to seek answers.

Through all of this upheaval into the way Adam expected things to be, he begins to realize an even deeper secret about himself: He’s attracted to men. One in particular, the very one man he should not be attracted to. Brandon.

And It Came To Pass deals honestly with questions of faith versus dogma, the real pressures to be truly oneself that religion places on the shoulders of its LGBTQ members, but more importantly, offers hope to those who may not have realized that one can be queer and still have faith in God.

It was so important for me to write a story that reflected my friends who are both deeply spiritual while living happily as an LGBT person. It was equally as important for me to have these characters experience the joy of physical intimacy with someone they love while still maintaining their faith. (Those devout straight couples have sex, after all!)

I hope the reader comes away with a sense of joy and hope and the reminder that if there is a God, to remember how the hymn goes: God Is Love. It doesn’t say God is straight love. Just love.

Love is love is love.

Purchase Links

Interlude Press: https://store.interludepress.com/collections/and-it-came-to-pass-by-laura-stone

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2rbAJWi

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/and-it-came-to-pass-laura-stone/1126051142?ean=9781945053153

Target: http://www.target.com/p/and-it-came-to-pass-paperback-laura-stone/-/A-52227707

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/and-it-came-to-pass/id1224255746?mt=11

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/713843

Book Depository: https://www.bookdepository.com/And-It-Came-Pass-Laur-Stone/9781945053153/?a_aid=InterludePress

Indiebound: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9781945053351&aff=interludepress

 

 

 

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The Seafarer’s Kiss By Julia Ember

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THE SEAFARER’S KISS ~ SUMMARY & AUTHOR

Having long wondered what lives beyond the ice shelf, nineteen-year-old mermaid Ersel learns of the life she wants when she rescues and befriends Ragna, a shield-maiden stranded on the merfolk’s glacier. But when Ersel’s childhood friend and suitor catches them together, he gives Ersel a choice: Say goodbye to Ragna or face justice at the hands of the glacier’s brutal king.

Determined to forge a different fate, Ersel seeks help from the divine Loki. But such deals are never straightforward, and the outcome sees her exiled from the only home and protection she’s known. To save herself from perishing in the barren, underwater wasteland and be reunited with the human she’s come to love, Ersel must try to outsmart the God of Lies.

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Julia Ember is a polyamorous, bisexual writer and native of Chicago who now resides in Edinburgh, Scotland. The Seafarer’s Kiss is her second novel and was influenced by her postgraduate work in medieval literature at The University of St. Andrews. Her first novel, Unicorn Tracks was published by Harmony Ink Press.

 

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Connect with Julia Ember at Julia-ember.com, on Twitter @jules_chronicle, and on Facebook at facebook.com/juliaemberwrites.

 

EXCERPT

The taste of her was like an elixir of salt and courage and freedom.

* * *

Turquoise oil formed a perfumed cloud around me. It smelled sweet as baby kelp and sounded like the whisper of a summer ocean I could barely remember. When it diffused, I looked down and my heart leapt into my throat. My fins and tail were back, but they were different, enhanced. Before, my scales had been shades of royal blue, but now beautiful white and lilac scales were mixed among the palest shade of sky blue. My tail gleamed and shimmered like a pearl held to the light. Each fin was tapered and translucent and looked as delicate as the softest sea-silk. But I could feel the strength in them.

This tail would forever mark me as different, special. No one else under the ocean had such scales. Would that make me something to treasure or something to hunt?

Loki was bribing me, trying their hardest to make me feel gratitude, as if I could forget the horrors of the past months. I wouldn’t let myself be drawn into their snare again. I would take this gift and use it, but I would never agree to do anything for the trickster.

Wearing a smile that stretched my jaw, I flipped, pivoted, and spun, relishing the feeling of my nimble tail and streamlined fins. The storm above had cleared, and sunlight filtered through the water, making creatures from dancing light. The ocean stretched out around me, blue and endless.

Character Bio

The Basics:

What is your character’s name? Does the character have a nickname?

 Ersel, but often gets called Erie in the book by her mother and childhood friends.

What is your character’s hair color? Eye color?

 In Ersel’s underwater home, common human hair colours are rarely found. She has bright blue hair and blue eyes.

Where does your character go when she’s angry?

 Ersel finds life in her merclan very stressful, so when she’s angry or upset, she likes to get away from it. She either goes to one of the abandoned shipwrecks that litter the seabed around her ice fortress, or visits the local beluga pod she has made friends with.

When has your character been in love? Had a broken heart?

 Ersel was in love with her childhood friend, Havamal, for most of her childhood and teenage years. They dreamed about escaping the ice fortress and exploring other parts of the sea together. When Havamal joins the King’s Guards, Ersel’s heart and her dreams for their future are crushed.

Fun/In Depth Questions:

 What is one strong memory that has stuck with your character from childhood? Why is it so powerful and lasting?

 One of Ersel’s strongest memories it the first time Havamal took her to see a shipwreck. He woke up her in the middle of the night, and they snuck away from the ice fortress while their parents were sleeping. She remembers feeling scared of going into the open sea, but he comforts her. It’s an important memory for her because it sparked her curiosity about humans and it represents a time when her trust in Havamal was absolute. He betrays her in a lot of ways throughout the book.

It’s Saturday at noon. What is your character doing? Give details. If she’s eating breakfast, what exactly does she eat? If she’s stretching out in her backyard to sun, what kind of blanket or towel does she lie on?

In Ersel’s underwater Ice Fortress home, weekends as such do not exist. The mermaids don’t tend to eat breakfast, as when they wake up, they first need to visit the surface to recharge their scales with sunlight. The mermaids retain heat in their scales, which burns off as they sleep overnight. Ersel usually surfaces at the breathing hole of her favourite beluga pod. She would spend half an hour or so laying on the ice, as her body absorbs the sun’s energy. Afterward, she would return to the ice fortress and visit the dining hall for lunch. Her lunches would consist of fish, kelp, algae and small seabirds.

Purchase Links
 

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Huntsmen By Michelle Osgood

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Summary

Months after saving Jamie and Deanna from crywolf, Kiara and her brother Cole have moved into the city. While clubbing one night, Kiara is stunned to see her ex, Taryn, onstage. But before she can react, Jamie notices a distinctive tattoo in the crowd: an axe rumored to be the mark of the Huntsmen, a group of werewolf-tracking humans. The girls need to leave immediately—and since Taryn is also a werewolf, they need to take her with them.

The Huntsmen are more than a myth, and they’re scouring the city for lone wolves just like Taryn. Until the General North American Assembly of Werewolves lends a plan of action, Kiara’s small pack is on lockdown in a friend’s apartment, where she and Taryn must face the differences that drove them apart. Furthermore, the longer the group waits, the more it seems the Huntsmen haven’t been acting entirely on their own.

Ghosts & Ashes by FT Lukens

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Ghosts & Ashes by FT Lukens

Summary

Three months have passed since the events of The Star Host, and Ren is living aboard the Star Stream under the watchful eyes of the Phoenix Corps. Plagued by vivid nightmares that ravage the ship in his sleep, he struggles to prove he isn’t a threat and fears he has traded one captor for another. His relationship with Asher, whose efforts to balance his personal loyalty to Ren with his professional duties to the Corps are failing, fractures.

Adrift without an anchor, Ren must return to his home planet of Erden if he has any chance of reversing his dangerous descent into madness. There, he hopes search for his missing brother and salvage his relationship with Asher. What he nds is knowledge that puts everyone’s allegiance to the test.

Beneath The Stars By Lynn Charles

 

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Summary

 

Sid Marneaux puts his fashion career on the line when he returns home to care for his ailing father. When he meets the new fire chief Eddie Garner, their romance sparks hot, but Eddie harbors burdens of his own. Through the wisdom of a child and the connection of mothers-now-gone, the men redefine family, career, and most importantly, love.