Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Blog Tour: And It Came To Pass by Laura Stone #Review #Excerpt #Giveaway

Author: Laura Stone
Book: And It Came To Pass
Publisher: Interlude Press
Publication Date: May 18, 2017
Length: 220 pages

Reviewed by Erin


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. 

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I am a huge fan of Laura Stone's. Her first book, The Bones of You, blew me away with it's gorgeous writing and even more spectacular cover. (It's really one of my all time favorites ever, so pretty!) When I read the blurb for her new release, And It Came to Pass, I knew I was in for another beautifully written book full of memorable characters and a story that would stick with me long past the end. I was right on both counts ... and so much more. And It Came to Pass kept me enthralled from beginning to end and I'm a better person for having read it. I don't say that lightly, believe me, but it's the truth. Don't let the subject matter give you pause, this is a moving, complicated, BEAUTIFUL story of love and acceptance and faith. 

Adam Young has been sent to Barcelona, Spain to perform his mission. He's a devout Mormon away from home for the first time and is enraptured by the beauty and wonder of the world. He's nervous and excited and a bit scared, too. You see from as far back as he can remember it's been reinforced that he would be called upon to serve and it's an honor he should respect with gratitude, but he doesn't, not really. He's in Barcelona because he's expected to be, not because he feels the call. His confusion and questions about his faith, about his beliefs really got to me. He's such an earnest guy and with his strict background and harsh family life, he's terrified to step out of line, no matter how conflicted he feels. When he meets and then subsequently becomes close to his mission partner, Brandon Christensen, that confusion grows ten-fold. Brandon ... this guy. Oh, man. Talk about a person who just glows, all the time. His outlook, his deep convictions, his huge love of his family just made him absolutely fantastic. But it's when he and Adam begin to develop strong feelings for one another that he really showed what he was made of. 

I haven't had much exposure to Mormonism, either in person or in books. It's a religion I find fascinating and troubling at the same time. I can understand Adam's growing confusion the more he sees and the more time he spends with Brandon. One of the things that got to me most throughout the entire book is even while both Brandon and Adam question some of the teachings and tenets of their religion, their faith remains strong. They're both so devout, and it's honest and real and it was so moving to watch these two young men try to find a place in a religion that says they can't be who they want ... or love who they want. I was totally captivated anytime Stone showed these two out in Barcelona, speaking to people and trying to spread their faith to a country that believes so differently than they do. 

And in case you were wondering, there is PLENTY of romance in It Came to Pass and it's just as beautifully portrayed as the rest of the book. Emotional and intense and so heartfelt, the romantic relationship between Adam and Brandon is so powerful. They are as reverent with one another as they are with their faith and it's just stunning. The way Laura Stone has balanced her personal connection to Mormonism and romance is truly brilliant. I really loved how she showed the struggle to be who you want while still believing and practicing your faith. It's not an easy balance, that's plain to see. I wish there were more books out there that addressed religion and queer people of faith. Especially if they are written with as much care and truth as It Came to Pass. Younger readers especially would find much to connect with, but really, this is a book for everyone. One in which so many of us will see things we connect with. I know I did. Read this book and be prepared to be moved, to have your soul filled and your heart warm and happy.


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. 

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.


Grand Prize $25 IP Gift Card + Multi-format eBook of And It Came to Pass // Five winners receive AICTP eBook

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1 comment:

  1. Oh, Erin, you are so kind!! First, thanks to Diverse Reader for hosting my book tour and giveaway, and second, thank you for this generous review! I'm so delighted to share Adam and Brandon with your readers, and I hope they enjoy the book, as well.