Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Mormon Erotica

Greetings Gentle Readers! Are any of you still out there? I'm back after a 2 year hiatus, much of it spent writing my new romance novel, Mormon Erotica. Okay, so "erotica" might be a stretch. But there is some hugging and kissing, a little PG sex, and plenty of romance -- just in time for Valentine's Day!

Over the years I've had a love/hate relationship with LDS romance novels. Because I used to be a Mormon, I want to enjoy a good love story set in a culture that I easily connect to. Only the LDS, Inc.  formula is so disappointing:
Boy swears off dating because he's bored with the selection at church. Then he falls for a nonmember or inactive Mormon because she's so different. Only in order to marry her he has to either convert or reconvert her, thus changing her into the kind of girl that bored him in the first place.
Was that good for you? I think my take on the genre offers more satisfaction, not to mention reality. And I love my central characters: Jim Maxwell, a devout LDS single dad, and Sadie Gordon, a lapsed Latter-day Saint and author of Mormon "erotica."

Holly Welker writes: "Mormon Erotica, the new novel from Donna Banta is a joyous page-turner...this post-Mormon twist on the romance novel is a breath of fresh air." Read her entire review here.

Leah Elliot writes: "Mormon Erotica is a quick read. It is funny, and the container of humor tempers some deeply poignant reflections on a universally human dilemma that is more important now than ever: How do we live with and love all of the people in our lives through the full range of both our commonalities and our differences." Read her entire review here.

Check out this excerpt. Jim and Sadie, having just reconnected at an LDS wedding reception, sneak out to Starbucks:

“Starbucks is just up the street,” I said, once my bishop’s youngest daughter had left with her signed copy of Laying on of Hands. “Follow me?” I pointed to my Prius. “Same model as yours.”
As I drove I remembered that Sunday School story about a job interview for drivers on a dangerous route. The first applicant said he could drive clear to the edge of the road. The second said he could drive partially over the edge. The third said he stayed as far from the edge as possible. Shaking my head as I pulled into a parking space, I felt myself drifting toward the edge.
But once safe inside the establishment where my sister claimed no decent woman could be found, my anxiety eased. I bought us a decaf coffee and a hot chocolate and then showed Sadie to my usual table.
She took a drink of her decaf. “Remember that pompous lecture you gave me when I ordered the Dr. Pepper?”
“I remember you threw it in my face.”
“I was so mad at you.”
You were mad at me?”
“I also recall how we made up.”
I blushed and swigged my chocolate.
Sadie used her napkin to dab the edge of my mouth. “Whipped cream,” she explained.
“I heard you got divorced. How come?” I asked.
“You still don’t beat around the bush.”
“Still a perfect Mormon, Jim?”
“Nope again. I’m a divorced single dad.”
“How many kids?”
“I have a fourteen-year-old daughter, Julia.”
Sadie grinned. “Oh my, a teenaged girl.”
“Don’t get me started.”
“Still a right-winger?”
“Nope. In fact, my sister claims I’m an eco-fascist.”
She ran a slender finger around the rim of her cup. “Excellent. Still a computer nerd?”
“Freelance nerd. I design mobile apps. Still cheat at Scrabble, Sadie?”
“I’ve never cheated at Scrabble, Maxwell. You still think a Woody Allen movie qualifies as porn?”
“I liked Manhattan Murder Mystery.”
“How about Vicky Cristina Barcelona?”
“Haven’t seen it. Let’s move on to music. Still a fan of Men Without Hats?”
Sadie burst out laughing, and in a manner so infectious it drew smiles from the people around us.
After a long breath, she answered, “I’m a Tony Bennett, Michael Bublé kind of person these days.”
“Why’d you get divorced, Sadie?”
“We were both Mormons at the time and only married because we were desperate to have sex. After that, there was nothing to talk about.” Her neckline slipped sideways to reveal her bra strap. It was silky and beige like her dress.
“No back and forth over politics? Woody Allen?”
“He only watched sports.”
“I’m sorry.”
“Don’t be. The sex was fantastic. We even kept it up after the divorce.”
My lips parted.
“But now he’s remarried. She models lingerie.”
All of a sudden I started sweating. I loosened my tie and undid my top button. “Kids?” I half-gasped.
“No. No kids.” Sadie leaned against the booth and the silky strap disappeared. “And I’m married to my work.”
“You don’t date?”
She shook her head. “You remember how much I hated those church mix and mingles.”
“But now you don’t go to them.”
“Yeah, I do. Only with alcohol. And it does nothing to dull the pain.”
I laughed.
“Besides, I’m still hopelessly attracted to Mormon men.”
“Really?” My pulse rose.
She shrugged. “At least I can write them into erotic scenes.”
My cheeks burning, I grabbed for my cup and nearly knocked it over.
“What’s your story, Jim?”
I took a long sip of chocolate, collecting myself as I swallowed. “After grad school I moved back here and met a pretty girl I liked. We lasted three years.”
“A pretty girl you liked? I’m surprised it lasted three years.”
“She wouldn’t let me touch her.”
Sadie stared at me. In this light her eyes looked more green than brown. “How’d Julia happen?”
“Whitney only let me violate her during ovulation. That’s what she called it, violation.”
“Sounds like she needed professional help.”
“She thought I was the one who needed help. Said I had a sex addiction. Kept prodding me to talk to the bishop.”
“Did you?”
All of a sudden I found myself making a conscientious effort not to look at her breasts. “Did I what? Have a sex addiction?”
“No.” She laughed and briefly squeezed my arm, sending a shiver of excitement through to my bones. “Did you talk to your bishop?”
“Sure. A couple of them, in fact. They sympathized with my situation, but couldn’t offer any advice other than to be patient with her.”
“What about Whitney? Did you ask her what she wanted in bed?”
“Gosh, yes. I even searched online for ideas. When I suggested some she went ballistic, claimed I was demanding she perform unnatural acts.”
Sadie set down her coffee cup and in a raised voice said, “For heaven’s sake, there’s nothing wrong with oral sex.”
The couple at the next booth smiled our way. I realized that someday I was going to have to reconstruct this conversation in order to understand just how we got to this point.

Want to know if these two can find lasting happiness together? Order your copy here.

Oh! And don't forget to vote in this year's Brodie Awards. There are some great contenders this year, including 2 of my own posts for Main Street Plaza, nominated in the "Best LDS Culture Piece" and "Best Book Review" categories. Vote here.

Happy Valentine's Day!

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