Losing Deseret

Losing Deseret

by Brice Bogle


Publisher Mirror Publishing

Published in Literature & Fiction/Coming of Age, Mystery & Thrillers/Mystery, Literature & Fiction/Contemporary, Mystery & Thrillers, Literature & Fiction

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Book Description


Losing Deseret is a sensual mystery thriller confronting hypocrisy and deviance in a small Mormon congregation in Iowa. It has components of a coming of age story as 17 year old Chris has to work through his relationship with two girls while questioning the central tenets of his faith.

Sample Chapter

As with almost all things Mormon, this all started in church. I was behind the pulpit, delivering the final talk of Sacrament Meeting when I saw her: young, maybe seventeen, possibly sixteen, wearing a soft white blouse and a bright pink short skirt, her ash blonde hair worn in a flip. She wore iri- descent aqua-toned glasses, and she smiled at me with perfect white teeth. Sitting on the aisle, her legs were crossed, her shoes the same shade of pink as the skirt.

I stuttered and played with my bow tie as I tried to find my breath again.

On the other side of the sanctuary, my best friend, Jesse, silently laughed at me. In a middle pew, Karen, the raven-haired girl with whom I had been involved for about a year, stared at me, her mouth open. Both saw where my eyes were focused. Karen shook her head, folded her arms and stared at thewall.

Yeah, I guess it was that obvious.

It’s dangerous to have teenage boys, even eighteen-year-olds,deliver sermons, and yet it happens every Sunday in Latter-day Saint meetings. Mormons have no paid clergy—not in the local wards anyway—and the members take turns each week. Fear of public speaking being what it is, there were many Saturday night illnesses amongst the speakers. It’s the bishop’s job to find someone to fill in on the spur of the moment. Jesse, a couple of others, and I could do this, so about once a month, one or the other of us found ourselves behind the pulpit filling time and sometimes we’d even find something good to say. So it happened early that Sunday morning—duringwhatInowknowtobeintheseasonofLentin1975— that Bishop Tanzer snagged me in the hallway before Sacrament Meeting and told me I was giving the fifteen-minutetalk.

The “Amens” said, Karen stood up, glared at me coldly, and left the

sanctuary. I started after her, but realized if I wanted to meet the new girl, my window of opportunity would not be open long.

I made my way to her pew before she could even gather her things and stand up. I stumbled over my first few words toher—”Hey, I’mChris. You new here? Or on vacation?”—And stopped.

“I know your name. Remember, you gave the fifteen-minute talk.”

I nodded and agreed with her, waiting, hoping she would tell me her name.

Her mother’s outfit was out of place, not only in a Mormon ward, but also probably the state of Iowa itself: an Yves Saint Laurent maroon knit skirt and knit mid-thigh sweater cinched at the waist with a butterfly clasp. Probably every woman in the sanctuary was sizing her up. Her hair was light blonde and pulled back into a tight bun. And she was impatient. With a child grasping each of her hands, she frowned and, glancing my way, said, “Please let us by. We take little ones to rest room.” Her accent said foreign, Eastern Europe, maybe, and had some force, some harshness, to it.

After I stepped aside, the mother said, “Svetlana, please, come with. I need help. Is inconvenient.”

Svetlana walked past me, trailing her fingers along my arm as she went. She smiled, pushed her glasses back on her nose, and walked away. I waited outside the women’s restroom. Weird, I admit, but a guy’s gotta do what a guy’s gotta do, and there is no end to what a guy will do when a female takes away his breath. I told Jesse to hit the road. He was an almost dead-ringer for David Cassidy, and when new girls saw him, it could be difficult keeping their interest.

“Please, call me Lana,” Svetlana said when she slipped out of the restroom and leaned against the cool wall. “We just moved here. Until the new house is ready, we live in a little house out near Northeast Lake.”

I knew the location. “So you’ll be around,” was all I could man- age, my tongue suddenly thick and my mouth dry. I leaned over the water fountain and took a long drink, thinking it couldn’t get any more awkward. Then I saw her long, shapely, well-toned legs. She caught me studiously gazing at them. I blushed, but kept drinking, hoping for something, anything, good to happen.

She smiled and took off herglasses,waiting for me to continue, but I got lost in her penetrating ice-green eyes, and, unable to find anything to say, leaned against the opposite wall and waited. For what, I don’tknow.

Her mother came out, saw me and frowned as if she read the less- than-noble thoughts in mymind. “Svetlana,we go now,” she said. “Papa is waiting.This is not proper. ”She stepped back and ordered, “Come. Now.”

To Lana, I said, “I’ll stop by in a couple of hours, OK?”

“But you don’t know where we live.”

“See ya, OK?”

She nodded and walked off to her mother’s call of “Svetlana Mikhailovna, now.” I guess middle names are middle names no matter the accent.

As a kid, sometimes we would go to Northeast Lake in West Lake Park for lazy days of swimming and grilling hamburgers and firefly catching. I drove around slowly, not wanting to raise the dust on the dirt roads and attract attention.

By sundown, Lana and I were together on their porch drinking the root beers her mother provided, but not before I got what might easilybe called the third degree from her parents.


Excerpted from "Losing Deseret" by Brice Bogle. Copyright © 2016 by Brice Bogle. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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Author Profile

Brice Bogle

Brice Bogle

Brice Bogle was born in Wimpole Park, Cambridgeshire, England. An Air Force brat, he went to nine schools in seven states before graduating high school. He originally majored in English, wanting to write and teach, but, life didn't have that in store for him. After a three year hiatus from college, when he worked in a record store in Fort Smith, he attended the University of Arkansas and is now a Certified Public Accountant living in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. Brice is a natural story teller. He would make up stories for his kids when they were little, and has never been able to stay away from writing for very long, no matter how crazy life would get. Losing Deseret was inspired by a real-life event from more than forty years ago—a story he has tried to tell many times. And, in the telling of the story of Chris and Jesse, Karen and Svetlana in Losing Deseret, the true event didn't make the cut. A version of it is in the second book with the same characters currently in the process of being written, with the working title, The Danite's Daughter. Brice can be reached at

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