Oh My Heck! Episode 10 – Fast & Testimony Meeting

A 12 year old girl came out to her Mormon church and they turned the microphone off. What’s that all about? And what was really going in her church that week? Listen to this week’s episode and learn what Fast & Testimony meeting is, and by the end you might be put off food and ready to stand and shout your fervent beliefs, too!

And remember, sharing links and leaving reviews keeps this (free for you!) podcast on air. And we (I) thank you for your support!

(I’ll no longer be posting to Soundcloud due to $$, so please refer to my podcast’s Complete Guide page to catch up on any episodes you may have missed!)

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My Grandmother’s Secret

It’s hard to keep a secret in a small town.

Even harder is keeping a secret in a deeply religious town where everyone keeps moral tabs on each other, and often under the direction of their religious leaders.

My grandparents had a huge farm in a small mountain town, Lehi, Utah. My father’s high school class of 1965 had eighty-six kids. When I lived with my grandmother during college, there were about 7,000 people in the whole town. Small. Everyone knew everyone else. Lehi is also deeply Mormon. It’s just up the Wasatch front from Provo, Utah, home to BYU and the Missionary Training Center.

Lehi Utah Mormon LGBT

“Now I gotta cut loose! Footloose!” Lehi’s claim to fame

 

For those unfamiliar, when you’re an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, it’s more than just attending Sunday meetings with your neighbors. You have morning Seminary for teens, daily Institute if you’re in college, Home Teaching, Visiting Teaching, Relief Society, Sunday night Firesides, Monday night Family Home Evening activities, youth activities on Wednesdays, and of course, Sunday service, which is three hours long.

It’s a lifestyle. Mormons prefer mingling with other Mormons, so you’re usually in each other’s pockets, especially in a small community like Lehi.

Secrets aren’t easy to keep.

In the early ’90s, my grandmother had a stroke, and I moved in to care of her. Those were some of the best months of my life, even though they were tinged with the knowledge that her time was coming to an end. I got to know her in a way most people never do with a grandparent.

She’d grown up the middle sister, her older sister a wildly dynamic and popular young lady. In her 20s, she developed a skin-disease–neurofibromas, raised tumors over her face and body-. It always left her feeling like the ugly duckling, leaving her ashamed to be out in public. She’d been the second wife to an older husband who spoke lovingly of his first wife. Due to a “quirk” in the Mormon faith, her husband was still “sealed” for time and all eternity to this first wife, which meant that my grandma would share her husband with his first wife, Florence, forever. Mormons don’t believe in “until death do you part”.

She’d become the caregiver for a rapidly declining husband thirty years her senior while taking over as the main breadwinner for our sprawling family. And through all of this, she always honored her church callings. She never failed to miss a meeting, visit the sick, or feed the hungry.

After her stroke, she was just tired. She wanted to be left alone and didn’t care for what felt like false sympathy from the neighbors she’d known for decades, able to see the performance for what it was. Instead of entertaining visitors, my job was to turn people away with kindness and help carry her to her Big Chair where she would read.

And this is when I learned of her secret. Continue reading

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AND IT CAME TO PASS: release day is here!

I’m so excited to birth this baby into the world…

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Want a copy of your own? AWESOME! Here’s where it’s sold (also appearing in the sidebar):

INTERLUDE PRESS (note: I’ve had people very kindly ask where to make a purchase that best benefits me. Buying straight from my publisher does just that! But hey, a buy is a buy is a buy and I love you.) AmazonBarnes & NobleApple/iBooks, TargetKoboSmashwordsBook DepositoryIndiebound

AND YOUR LOCAL LIBRARY. If they don’t have it, they will get it for you! Then you don’t spend a dime!

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Oh My Heck! Episode 9 – Mormonsplaining

Mormonsplaining, also known as Well, Actually culture and as I like to call it: faux intellectualism. Truthiness before Stephen Colbert coined the phrase. This is the mental headspace required to allow for some cockamamie ideas, like the doozy that the horses mentioned in the Book of Mormon were actually tapirs. Yeah. Tapirs. Ancient Aztecs astride their mighty, erm, steeds. That was a thing? Apparently?

Be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss an episode! Share with your friends, like, reblog, leave reviews or comments, and as always, when you do, an angel gets its wings and a puppy gets a nose boop, so don’t be a monster.

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Please take a moment to consider our LGBTQ brothers and sisters in Chechnya

If you have somehow missed the horrorshow that is the current climate in Chechnya, gay and bisexual men (in particular, but I fear this is just the start) are being rounded up, tortured and killed for the simple fact that they are not straight.

This is terrifying. This is also unacceptable. Several writers and publishers of LGBT literature have decided to do something to raise money and awareness for this dreadful situation.

BOOKS SAVE LIVES

There’s no question that access to information is life-changing. But also as important (and something many don’t consider) is the fact that just seeing yourself represented can be life-changing. In some cases, it can save a person’s life.

We’re taking that idea and raising money to help our queer friends in Chechnya as best as we can. David Lowery is hosting a fundraiser and charity auction from May 5 – 12th, whose proceeds will benefit vetted LGBT charities for Russians under attack. I’ll be donating 3 signed copies of my books.

Please follow the link to see all of the amazing authors donating books and services and see how you can help our community.

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Oh My Heck! Episode 8 – SEX

It’s time to talk about sex. Awww, yeah, we’re talking the talk now! Except you shouldn’t be thinking of sex! Oh my gosh, are you thinking about it right now? Oh, no… Stop it! I don’t know, sing a hymn at your crotch!* GO EAT A MAPLE-GLAZED DONUT. Did you stop thinking of sex? Well why on earth not? GREAT. There goes God’s plan. Thanks for nothing, buddy.

This week I’ll discuss the positively baffling and obsessive mindset Mormons have about sex. (I mean, you don’t get those big Mormon families from a handshake… Or do you?)

*Actual instruction from the Church for ridding oneself of an erection. Listen and find out more ways to control yourself, even while asleep!

 

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Current Books

And It Came To Pass, coming May 18, 2017 to a bookseller near you.

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Adam Young is a devout, young Mormon following the pious path set forth for him by his church and family. But when his mission trajectory sends him to Barcelona, Spain, with a handsome mission companion named Brandon Christensen, Adam discovers there may be more to life and love than he ever expected.

Drawing on my own experience as a once-devout Mormon from “pioneer stock,” this book is a love letter to many dear and closeted LDS friends who need to be reminded that there is hope in light of the recent “revelation” from the church’s leaders.

Never forget: Love is love is love, and God is love, for those who believe.

 

Praise for And It Came To Pass:

Stone tackles forbidden love between Mormon missionaries in this moving and hopeful romance. […] Adam’s confusion about his spirituality and sexuality ring very true, and the descriptions of his harsh upbringing by cold, demanding parents (unlike Brandon’s delightful, supportive ones) help explain his turmoil. As the two young men grow increasingly attached and intimate, they’re set on a collision course with Mormon leaders. ~Publisher’s Weekly

Their forbidden romance is perfectly set to the hot, wild backdrop of Barcelona—a location that complements their desire for each other. Given the nature of their religion, even fairly innocuous things (such as when Elder Young’s thoughts drift to a shirtless Elder Christensen doing push-ups) seem absolutely sinful; during prayer, as they kneel bedside next to each other, the reader hopes their hands will brush and set off a passionate embrace. […] It’s refreshing to see devotees of God who are struggling with their sexuality.

A fine romance with a touch of political intent. ~Kirkus Book Reviews

“And It Came to Pass is a raw and powerful story revealing two things: gay people fall in love just like everybody else, and we as Mormons have a long way to go in understanding this. Our own experience of love will not be complete until we do.” ~Carol Lynn Pearson, best-selling author of over 40 books, including Goodbye, I Love You

 

 


Bitter Springs, in bookstores now, is available everywhere fine books are sold (and even where a few crummy books can be found) including: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Smashwords and IP’s store.Bitter Springs Gay Romance,Historical Romance Bitter Springs,LGBT Romance Bitter Springs

“Highly recommended… Bitter Springs is a wonderful depiction of a lost period of gay life and history in the rural West of the 1800s”. —American Library Association, GLBT Roundtable

 

Stone deftly mixes yearning and hot passion with sweet tenderness and a love of nature in this engrossing and deep coming-of-age love story.  — Booklist

 


The Bones Of You is also available anywhere books can be found as well as at these locations:
Amazon B & N, iTunes, Smashwords, and the IP Store.

Stone’s sensitive debut reunites two lovers who were separated by both distance and expectations […] Stone plays the relationship with restraint, letting it unfold slowly and organically. — Publisher’s Weekly

 

It was difficult to pick up another book knowing Seth, Oliver, Moira and the others wouldn’t be there. My own life was enriched by this story and these characters. Laura Stone is an author to remember and follow. I highly recommend The Bones of You as a beautifully written book and a story to enjoy. —USA Today

I’m proud to announce that THE BONES OF YOU is an IndieFab Foreward Review 2014 Book Of The Year Finalist!

 

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Oh My Heck! Episode 7 – LGBT LDS wth?

Gay Mormons? (And Lesbian Mormons, Trans Mormons, Bi-Mormons, which does anyone even think they acknowledge bisexuality? Pfft!) Are there LGBTQ Mormons? How does that even work? Surprise! It doesn’t! Well, they’re trying, both the church and the members. Sometimes. Well, kind of? Listen to this week’s episode and let’s see if we can figure out what the heck and how the heck. (And you’ll get a little sneak peek at my upcoming novel, AND IT CAME TO PASS, about a missionary who realizes he’s gay while serving in Barcelona, Spain. Oh my heck!)

Be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss a thing! (And thanks for listening!)

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Oh My Heck! Episode 6 – Polygamy Pt. 2: the one with the top secret raid

We’re back with the final polygamy episode where I’ll go into some more detail about how groups like Warren Jeff’s YFZ Ranch came to be, how accurate the show Big Love was, and the (small) part I played with the Texas Rangers taking out a bunch of real low-lifes out in ElDorado, TX. Some of what I share has never been spoken of publicly… You won’t want to miss this one!

Be sure to subscribe and download–the episodes disappear! (That is, until I upgrade my podcasting host.)

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Oh My Heck! Episode 5 – The Polygamy podcast part 1 (the early Utah remix)

It’s finally here: the Polygamy Papers! Well, not paper, because it’s an audiofile. Podcast. WHATEVER. Look, it’s all the dirty details of how polygamy got started, and it’s so big a topic that we’re breaking it into multiple episodes. This particular episode is voiced by the one and only Kathleen Turner! By which I mean a congested me.

*No Kathleen Turners were harmed in the making of this podcast.

Be sure to share the podcast with friends–or your enemies! I’m not the judge of you!–and leave me comments or questions right here.

(The final episode of the polygamy series will have a list of resources and a reading list, should that be a thing you’re into!)

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