Twlight series author Stephenie Meyer broke with horror-novel tradition when she created vampire characters impervious to the sun.
Deseret Book, however, has decided that Meyer's best-selling vampire romance books will no longer see the light of day -- at least on the shelves of its chain stores. Customers may instead request Meyer's 2005 novel Twilight -- or its three companion volumes, New Moon , Eclipse and Breaking Dawn -- by special order for either store pick-up or delivery by mail.
"We're never really given a reason for these things," said Steve Hartvigsen, manager of the Deseret Book store at Valley Fair Mall. "We just get a return sheet and send books back."
Owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the bulk of Deseret Book's business comes from the sale of religious titles. Meyer, who graduated from Brigham Young University after earning a bachelor's degree in English, is a member of the church.
Leigh Dethman, Deseret Book spokeswoman, wouldn't answer questions about the policy, but sent a company statement by e-mail: "Like any retailer, our purpose is to offer products that are embraced and expected by our customers. When we find products that are met with mixed review, we typically move them to special order status," the statement read.
The Twilight books are not found for sale on the store's Web site, although Meyer's 2008 adult novel, The Host , a science-fiction tale about aliens taking over the earth, is available both in-store and on Deseret Book's Web site.
Elizabeth Eulberg, director of publicity for Stephenie Meyer's books at Little, Brown and Company, said in a statement she had "not been alerted to any changes regarding the distribution of the Twilight saga at Deseret" and had no further comment.
According to an April 21 post by Meyer on her own Web site, the author debunks false reports that she was being sued by a woman named Heidi, who alleges the Meyer stole the idea of her book from a story Heidi had written about vampires while the two were roommates at BYU. Circulated on the Internet, the allegations claimed Peter Benton, chair of BYU's English department, backed the claims.
Edward S. Cutler currently serves as chair of the university's English department, while a search by The Salt Lake Tribune found no suits filed against Meyer in Utah courts.
"There is no professor in the BYU English department named Dr. Peter Benton (though there is a character on ER by that name)," Meyer wrote on her Web site.