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.

 

 

 


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, how I love a taciturn man… in books (A Bitter Springs excerpt)

Most of my paternal family are a mix of ranchers, farmers and a coal miner or two, and they’re not known for running off at the mouth. I think there’s a type of man who delights in using as few words as possible. And as much as I love loud, take-no-prisoner type women, I also love a still-waters-run-deep sort of fella.

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Sweet Abuelita, an illustration in the book.

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Henry “Hank” Burnett, from the book cover


 

In my second novel, Bitter Springs, an historical Western set in Del Rio, Texas in the 1870s, I had a lot of fun with Henry “Hank” Burnett, the freed slave turned mesteñeros, stepping in as the quintessential cowboy. (And for more on how he absolutely was the quintessential cowboy–most likely not straight nor white–click here.) In the following excerpts, Renaldo is a young, coming of age horse-trainer (21) the baby of a boisterous, loving Texican family. He’s made a faux pas and… well, maybe it’s best you read it. (And get a glass of water, ’cause brother, Hank is dry.)
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New Release on May 18th, AND IT CAME TO PASS

My third novel. I’m so proud of this one–it’s based off a short story of mine from almost ten years ago. I wrote it for a family member who is deeply closeted with no sign of coming out, and honestly, for myself and for other LGBT Mormons I knew. Over the next few months, I’ll have a lot to say about how the LDS church treats its LGBTQ members (short story: it’s not good) and how I tried to walk the line between being respectful of the members of a religion who are just doing their best and openly criticising rules and mindsets that are doing real damage to a significant number of people.

For the record, Utah is leading the nation in teen suicide, and the vast majority of those teens are LGBTQ. It’s a horrific statistic. I feel like now more than ever a book that depicts the reality of life as a devout Mormon and how challenging coming out can be (with both positive and negative outcomes), this book needs to be. And it is!

May 18th. You can currently pre-order AND IT CAME TO PASS at Target, as they’re using our publishing house, Interlude Press, to “test” the market for literature featuring LGBTQ protagonists. And even better, they’re offering it at a massive discount off the cover price as a pre-order (with no detriment to me or my publisher!).

Stay tuned, and in particular look for “Mormon Mondays” with upcoming podcasts, interviews, and more.LGBT Mormons,November Policy,gay mormons,gay LDS

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Reader’s Question: no guns?

From Perryavenue on Tumblr:

Why didn’t Renaldo and Hank carry guns with them for protection? Eduardo had a gun when he was at his parents’ home, wouldn’t Renaldo and Hank carry guns when they’re traveling along open and rough terrain with potential predators (both animal and human)?

Fun (and probably shocking) fact, most cowboys didn’t carry guns! Turns out that’s a Hollywood fabrication. Guns were expensive, hard to maintain, and cumbersome as a guy on a horse. Six shooters? Super pricey. You had a rifle if you were a frontiersman (bear, wolves), and you had a handgun if you were a man of the law, but cowboys? They were the bottom of the barrel.

I cannot stress enough how low on the totem pole cowboys were at this time.  Cowboy = guy who literally rode next to or behind a herd of cattle on a cattle drive for very little pay.  They didn’t have the funds or need for such hardware. It was considered a dangerous practice to carry a pistol, and wasn’t something that was looked upon with positivity. (Not to mention that handguns were considered a luxury item.)

A dispatch from the Texas Live Stock Journal dated June 5, 1884, 14 years after Bitter Springs is set:

The six-shooter loaded with deadly cartridges is a dangerous companion for any man, especially if he should unfortunately be primed with whiskey. Cattlemen should unite in aiding the enforcement of the law against carrying of deadly weapons.” 

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Romantic Times Con: Las Vegas

VEGAS, BABY, my home away from home.  Well, for the week at least.

RTCon 2016 romantic times

WHERE: Rio Hotel and Casino, on Flamingo RD

WHAT: The biggest party in the world of Romance Writing. Agents, authors, publishers, bloggers, and more importantly: READERS all converge in a week long fest of good times.

ME: I’ll be signing books, attending events, drinking cocktails, and (most definitely) hitting the craps tables at some point, and I would love nothing more than to see YOU.

Book signings: Wednesday, 3:15pm (I’m with Tessa Dare, ahh!) in room AMAZON G.  I’ll also be at the Giant Book Fair on Saturday signing (I’m next to Damon Suede!) in the RIO PAVILION, and this starts at 10:30am and goes until 2:30pm on Saturday.

I’ll also have bookplates if you have a book you weren’t able to bring and still want my John Hancock. <3

There are so many great sessions this week, so the best way to find me (and please do!) is via my Twitter.  I would love, love, love to meet you guys, talk about the things we love and have the best time ever. Last year was a blast, and this year promises to be even better.

And guys? Guys?  I’m such a good luck charm at the table. No, really. You’re so money and you don’t even know it, baby. Let’s do this!

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Meet the characters of Bitter Springs: Renaldo Valle Santos

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This dashing gent (this is done in pencil, can you stand it?) is Renaldo Valle Santos, youngest son of Estebán Santos.  Like most kids who come tail end in a large family, he hasn’t had expectations put on his shoulders aside from watching out for his twin sister Canadarí­a and doing what his brothers tell him.

Life is pretty easy when that’s all you have to think about. And given the isolated nature of the family’s ranch out in San Felipe Del Rio, Texas, he doesn’t have to worry much about things like finding himself a wife. (Which is good, because that’s the last thing he wants.)

A wrench gets tossed in the works in the form of that handsome fellow in the bottom left corner, Henry “Hank” Burnett.

Turns out there’s a reason why Renaldo didn’t want a wife: He’d much rather have a husband. But seeing as this is a much different time than today, (1870, to be exact) how would that even work? Continue reading

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Meet the characters of Bitter Springs: Tsá-cho

As they crested a small butte, Renaldo could see another stream below, the ground fecund with growth and trees. Up here, they were at the edge of the tablelands, near where the land drove up sharply into the mountains of New Mexico. As they carefully picked their way down the side, the horses managing to avoid the scree and slippery portions with grace, Renaldo could see a solitary figure below. He looked to Hank to see what he made of this and made himself relax at the sight of the huge smile blooming on his companion’s face.

“Didn’t think he’d…” Hank cut himself off, shaking his head in what looked to be happy disbelief.

“Do you know him?” Renaldo asked.

“Very well,”Hank replied, his face splitting with a wide grin. He put his fingers to his mouth and gave three sharp whistles. The man in the distance replied with a high-pitched cry.

Meet Tsá-Cho, a.k.a. The Wrench in the Love Works. (Not what the name means.)

Native American LGBT History

Mescalero Apache actor/model Rick Mora, aka my choice in casting for Tsa-Cho, should HBO come knocking. 😉

You simply can’t tell a story about Texas in the 19th Century without Native Americans (or N’Dee, Nde, or The People as they would refer to themselves) in the story. Unfortunately, Native Americans have often been cast as savages, as dutiful side-kicks, or as set dressing. The European immigrants almost destroyed them and the Nde are still feeling the devastating effects, part of which is the consistent “othering” and dehumanizing Hollywood continues with respect to these people. They’re either your spiritual guide–an object to help the white person “learn something about themselves”–or they’re illiterate, ignorant simpletons, all of which is grossly insulting. Their rich history, their massive contributions to the Americas, and their incredibly diverse and accepting cultures are often left by the wayside, or worse, aren’t even known by the general public. Continue reading

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Book Recommend/Review: What It Takes, by Jude Sierra

As mentioned in my last blog post, it’s so crucial for authors not to just bang on about their own books, but to talk about the books they’re reading and the authors they admire.  And hey, I get to do both here! I was fortunate to get my hands on an ARC (Advanced Reader’s Copy) of Jude Sierra’s second novel, What It Takes. Jude has a background in poetry, and she has a lyrical writing style that I was really looking forward to reading.

LGBT literature m/m fiction

This is maybe one of the most intimate reading experiences I’ve ever had. Continue reading

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Psst! Ever wonder how you can read new book releases for free?

Look, books are expensive. I appreciate every one of you who buys my book in either print or eBook format, but I also get that it’s not cheap. And you’re probably a lot like me: a voracious reader. That habit adds up. So what do you do? Okay, there’s this place you can go and find new releases like, on the day they come out, and you won’t have to pay a freaking dime*.

THE LIBRARY.

WAIT. HEAR ME OUT.

Yeah, yeah, that seems obvious, but a lot of times your library doesn’t have genre fiction, especially if it’ a subgenre or from an Indie press like my publisher, @interludepress. So what now?

LIBRARIES LOVE TO BUY BOOKS. Here’s what happens when you ask your very excited librarian if they can get a copy of a particular book for the branch:

  • They go in the back room and hit the WE GOT ONE! buzzer, and all available librarians put on their party cardigans and do a choreographed dance number to I’M SO EXCITED
  • The winner of the dance off gets to approach the branch supervisor with proof that patrons want new books, DIVERSE BOOKS at that!
  • which, GEORGE (all crappy supervisors are named George. I don’t make the rules here, I just state them), is why you can’t reallocate the new book funds for a bigger parking space for yourself
  • they get all the relevant information (ISBN numbers basically) and put in an acquisition order and send that off
  • the books arrive at the library shortly after
  • the librarians breakdance in their pink satin jackets (yes, the men are wearing them too, because duh, they’re fabulous with appliqued glasses and hot pink lips on the back) and update the branch’s database with NEW BOOKS ARE HERE COME ON AND READ THEM
  • and now you and anyone else who comes into the library has a chance to read a new book

AND IT’S FREE FOR YOU, THE PATRON. The best scenario possible, really.

And who are you to deprive these book warriors their dance offs, huh? Why don’t you stop being selfish and think of the librarians? THEY WORK HARD.

library librarians books LGBT

FUN FACT: a lot of libraries have ONLINE REQUEST FORMS for people, if you might be a little adverse to going out in public and speaking directly to a person. I get it! It’s nerve wracking! So how cool is THAT? Trick question. Very.

(World Cat is the catalog for books in libraries, and you can see if YOUR library has the books you want.) Make a librarian’s day! (Janice won the last dance off, and your favorite librarian would just LOVE to make her eat it. The delicious treats she found on Pinterest, of course, and thoughtfully brought in to share with her fellow employees.)

*no dimes involved unless you don’t bring the book back on time.

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The Birth of a Notion

One question I’ve often been asked (and I love it!) is,  “Where do the ideas for your stories come from? What’s the kernel? The 4-1-1, as the kids say (if the kids are 33).” For Bitter Springs, I stumbled across something that led me to months of research into actual LGBT history and a proper education of our past, and not the straight-washed “everyone was murderered if they were even kind of homo back in the day” mindset most people hold.

First off, that’s not even how you spell it. Second, it is my utter delight to show all the ways in which that mindset is incorrect, this idea – that every single LGBT person was shunned, that they were hidden away inside attics and broken down sheds at the edge of their family’s farms*,  or basically forced to live their lives in misery until dying from their ‘gayness’, not unlike consumption**. Turns out, that’s not true. LGBT people lived long, happy lives with their partners, and often. Not everyone did, religion always messes things up, but enough folks did to make it a Real Thing.

Gay cowboys gunslingers Tombstone

I’d like you to meet, as I call them, “The Fellas.” Bobby Jackson, Frank Hart. Boothill Cemetery, Tombstone, AZ

*Let’s not act like the whole attic thing isn’t a completely rich, white straight thing for illegitimate children born on soap operas. Because that’s what that is. Yes, I grew up on All My Children and Days of our Lives, why do you ask?

** I use “gay” as a catch-all term to encompass the many beautiful and varied colors of the LGBTQIA rainbow because we still have a long, long way to go

But back to these gay gunslingers who couldn’t bear to be separated even in death… Continue reading

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