Intimate Press Logo

Forgotten Dreams

Publication Date: February 14, 2012
Front cover

Susan Taggart is a 56-year-old Christian, long divorced, estranged from her only surviving child, and recently laid off from her job of 19 years. Alone and struggling, she faces a new set of fears when a stranger shows romantic interest, including the resurrection of an impossible dream. Then, just as Susan begins to allow herself to hope again, she's confronted by a sinister figure who threatens her life and everything she holds dear.

Forgotten Dreams is a simple love story that reveals insights into the full scope of the main characterís fears and feelings, including her sexuality. Susan isnít an epic heroine, and she doesnít change the entire world, but she does have faith, hope, and love.

Publisher's Foreword | Editor's Note | Author's Preface
Home | About | Contact

Publisherís Foreword

Publishing a novel that combines Christianity and sexually explicit descriptions in a novel is unusual enough to require some explanation. While Thomas Hardyís Jude the Obscure may have been the first work of Christian fiction to be attacked for including sexual themes (in addition to being attacked for other themes), it was not sexually explicit. Nevertheless, it was considered outrageous by many, and was so fiercely condemned that Hardy decided not to write any more novels.

Why then, publish a novel mixing Christianity and sexuality? Because novels are an excellent way to educate people, and not many people spend their evenings contemplating the Greek influence on St. Augustineís treatises on marriage. People like stories, and though many are intended for entertainment only, thereís no reason that stories canít be informative and sometimes thought-provoking, in addition to being entertaining. Due to the dual-nature of the content, Intimate Press novels have two purposes: If read by non-Christians who are interested only because of the sexual aspects of the stories, they may learn more about Christianity than they otherwise would; When read by Christians, they may gain ideas that can help them improve their own or their spouseís sexual satisfaction, or they may learn ways to cope with serious sexual problems.

As counter-intuitive as it might seem, we believe sexually explicit Christian novels will be worthwhile if there are some people who can benefit from them without harming anyone else. Intimate Press, therefore, strives to provide stories that have the potential to benefit at least some people, without harming anyone else.

In 1923, the reverend Herbert Gray wrote in the introduction to his explicit Men, Women, and God, ďIn the following pages, I propose to write simply and plainly about the social, personal, and bodily relations of men and women, and about the ways in which their common life may attain to happiness, harmony, and efficiencyÖ I do it all on the basis of one assumption, namely, that a God of love in designing our human nature cannot have put into it anything which is incapable of a pure and happy exercise; and in particular that in making the sex interest so central, permanent, and powerful in human beings He must have had some great and beautiful purposeÖ And yet even as I write the word Ďsexualí I cannot but remember that the mere word will for many good people produce a sensation of distaste. Partly because they have a sincere passion for purity, and partly because this whole subject has been defiled for them by the excesses and indecencies of mankind, they doubt whether it can be right or useful to think about it at all. They regard the facts of sex with a mixture of fear, perplexity, and shame, and take themselves to task if still some curiosity about them lingers in their minds. Therefore before I go any further I would like to ask such people to realize that they are denying my initial assumption. They have not yet come to believe that there is any divine and holy purpose enshrined in the sexual side of life, although God is responsible for its place in our humanity; and I would beg them forthwith to think this matter out.Ē

Likewise, the reverend Oscar Lowry wrote in A Virtuous Woman, published by Zondervan in 1938, that ďsome earnest Christians may feel that it is presumptuous and altogether out of place for a minister of the gospel to be dealing with sex life in the plain manner in which it is handled in the following pages.Ē But he then asks ďwhy should a minister of the gospel seek to be more nice than God, or modest than Jesus Christ and the Apostles who used the plainest possible language when dealing with the various phases of sex life.Ē He concludes that in order to declare the whole counsel of God (Acts 20), the declarations must include the topic of sex, and thus he was compelled to pen his rather explicit book.

Perhaps the most common objection to a sexually explicit novel from a Christian perspective would be based on the issue of lust. We believe this issue is resolved in Grandmaís Sex Handbook, which presents a strong case that sexual fantasy is not the same thing as lust. Until we published that book, it seemed almost universally thought that any sexual thoughts other than those for a personís spouse constituted the sin of lust, and therefore all literature that prompted fantasy sexual thoughts were harmful. Now recognizing the distinction between fantasy and lust, however, we believe it is acceptable for a Christian work of fiction to explicitly describe physical interactions between a loving husband and wife. For Christians, any sexual arousal that may be prompted by such fantasy will be fulfilled within their marriage, and happily so.

We believe that God gave us both imagination and sexual desire, and that the two can be perfectly compatible and help us grow into maturity in Christ. Most people enjoy good stories that are well-told, because they are entertaining, thought-provoking, and more. While many people may simply want to enjoy stories, people also usually learn something from them, and Intimate Press stories purposefully strive to provide satisfaction on all counts. We hope you enjoy this story, and that it entertains you, causes you to think, and helps you grow in your Christian faith and in your marriage.

We welcome your feedback, even if itís negative, as long as it is constructive and given in a kindly spirit. You may provide feedback through our Contact page.

Top of Page
Publisher's Foreword | Editor's Note | Author's Preface
Home | About | Contact

Editorís Note

Though my task was to polish, it was impossible to edit without getting involved in the story, and I love this story. The characters are well-written, the plot is interesting, and I love the way Georgia included so many details without getting the storytelling bogged down in them, and the interesting way she combined romance with drama.

Yeah, Iím a guy, but Iíve long been a big fan of Grace Livingston Hillís books, and this story has some similar characteristics, though the GLH books Iíve read were never sexually explicit, and always presented the Gospel of Christ explicitly. Maybe it was just the ones I happened to read (she wrote well over a hundred from 1877 to 1949), but the GLH books Iíve read focused on young women, and I like the fact that Forgotten Dreams features a woman in her fifties. Maybe thatís because Iím in my fifties.

I was embarrassed to edit Grandmaís Sex Handbook, but was even more embarrassed while editing this novel. However, as Anne Wright said in her familyís handbook, ďGod invented sex. Heís not surprised by it, and heís not embarrassed by it.Ē That seems consistent with the large amount of rather explicit sex in the Bible (e.g. Ezekiel 23:20), so Iíve been trying to adapt myself to Godís perspective, rather than expecting him adapt to my previous perspectives.

As a result, it now seems reasonable to me that this story, including the sexually explicit elements, could help some people. Iím sure others will disagree, but if this adult-oriented approach to story-telling challenges you to think about your faith, and the proper role of sex in literature or in your life, good! The apostle Paul complimented the Christians in Berea for questioning what he said, and for examining the Scriptures for themselves to see if what Paul said was true.

I hope you come to agree that this novel is worthwhile, but more importantly, I hope you come to agree based on good reason.

John Lambert

Top of Page
Publisher's Foreword | Editor's Note | Author's Preface
Home | About | Contact

Authorís Preface

Iíve always been a voracious reader, and Iíve wanted to be a writer most of my life. Though Iíd made many attempts to start novels over the years, I faltered in every case, and never even figured out what my problem was, let alone overcame it.

Then I heard about Grandmaís Sex Handbook, a project by my extended family to compile our collective wisdom about sex for newlyweds, headed by my cousin ďAnne,Ē and I got to read early drafts of many chapters. The chapter on Fantasy vs. Lust really surprised me, and either my Grandmother didnít pass that part down to me, or I forgot it completely in the fog of getting married. When I read the detailed explanation though, I was amazed, and it really stirred me to think about it, especially in light of my recent reading activity.

Now, I enjoy reading just about every kind of novel except horror stories, but Iíll stick with one genre for a year or so, get tired of that, and switch to another. As it happened, when I read the draft Fantasy vs. Lust chapter, I had been reading mostly romance novels lately. Romance novels, if you donít know, can have a level of sensuality from zero to constant, detailed sex. And I admit, though Iíve thrown away some of the books where a plot barely existed to provide a setting for sex, Iíve also secretly enjoyed some pretty spicy scenes in otherwise well-told stories. I had also worried that it wasnít a very Christian thing to do.

So after reading about the distinction between fantasy and lust, I reasoned that reading the sexual scenes in some novels was okay, as long as it didnít prompt me to want to actually cheat on my husband, since it was just imaginary fantasy. Something still bothered me, though, and then it hit me: The vast majority of the explicit sex scenes in romance novels are between unmarried couples, and they were frequently just one-night stands, or even between total strangers. Why werenít there any explicit scenes between happily married couples? I came up with an answer to that, too. Because there werenít any Christians writing explicit romance novels. But should there be? Might God want a Christian to write a sexually explicit novel? And even if so, who would publish such a daring thing?

I asked Cousin Anne about her plans to get GSH published, and she put me in contact with John Lambert, a friend of hers who generously helped me learn about self-publishing and print-on-demand. Armed with the knowledge that I could upload a word-processing file and have the manuscript become available as a print-on-demand book for free, I started toying with the idea of trying to write again.

Based on my track record to that date, I had little reason to have any confidence in being able to complete a manuscript, but I felt compelled to try anyway. And to my astonishment, I kept writing and writing. I liked my characters. I liked my story. Somehow, the word-count kept growing. Once I got to the point in the story where my protagonist was about to get married, I had written over 70,000 words, and I was starting to get excited. I had never gotten so far, and somehow, it just felt like I was going to be able to finish this story. Whether anyone else thought it was any good was, well, another story. I know a lot of authors have written stories they think are wonderful, but no one else does. I still didnít know if Iíd end up in that camp.

By this time, Johnís wife Carla had decided to create Intimate Press and publish Grandmaís Sex Handbook. So, I timidly asked John if he would review what I had so far and give me his opinion. He agreed, and I waited anxiously for his first comments. I guess he liked it pretty well, because he offered me a hundred bucks to finish the story just so he could read the rest. Even if he was teasing, that was very encouraging, and he said Carla liked it as much as he did.

Although the first part John read related a characterís explicit sexual thoughts, it didnít include any fictitious sexual acts yet. I actually hoped to avoid those, but the story just seemed to write itself, and it included substantial detail about the initial sexual activity of the main couple, including the middle-aged, just-married wifeís first-ever orgasm. (For those who think thatís too far-fetched, I assure you that while I hope itís uncommon, that aspect of the story accurately reflected the circumstances of a good friend of mine.) Now I was worried about what John and Carla would think of the additional material.

So, I talked to John, and he read what I had so far. Much to my relief, though he thought the additional material was pushing the envelope, he thought it was justifiable as integral to the character and plot development. And at his suggestion, I made a few revisions that improved some important plot issues and eliminated some logical inconsistencies.

And to my delight, Carla decided sheíd be willing to publish my story as the first-ever novel by Intimate Press! That was thrilling news, to be sure, but it also dawned on me what a great responsibility we were undertaking. A novel teaches people whatever it talks about, and teachers will be judged by God with greater strictness, according to James 3:1. With that in mind, we reviewed and revised the manuscript to try to ensure that itís Godly in addition to being interesting.

Though Iím sure there will be Christians who believe itís impossible to please God and discuss sex in fictional narrative, I obviously disagree. I hope this book is in line with the goal of Intimate Press that non-Christians who read it for the story will see a more abundant life than they know, and will be drawn to our wonderful Savior, and that it will help Christians who read it to enhance every aspect of their relationship with their spouse.

Having read some of the early reader comments about Cousin Anneís Grandmaís Sex Handbook, I hope this book encourages readers in an entertaining way as much as her book does in a factual way.

In Jesusí Name,

Georgia Wright

Top of Page
Publisher's Foreword | Editor's Note | Author's Preface
Home | About | Contact