I was offered a review copy of Good Sex, Great Prayers by Brandon Tietz as part of a Novel Publicity blog promotion tour. I read the description and got as far as “graphic, transgressive sex scenes” before shouting “GIMME!”
That said, the book was not what I expected. Yes, there was transgressive sex, and some scenes and dream sequences which had even me going ‘oh, ew… what the…’ but in a page-turning I-need-to-know-what-this-is-all-about sort of way. And I was not disappointed in that regard. But the book wasn’t ‘50 Shades of Pray’ or anything like that. It wasn’t about the transgressive sex. It was actually more about witchcraft.
The story starts with Father Johnstone, the local priest in a very insular, Mayberry sort of town. A town almost eerie in its isolationism, but full of people who seem friendly enough. Johnstone has served his flock for over 30 years, and the town loves him.
At least, they used to love him. Lately, things have been strained between him and his flock. Johnstone learns that he’s done things to upset them that he can’t remember doing at all. Giving out bad marital advice, changing his sermons to challenge the stories in the Bible, things that he can’t even imagine himself doing. And yet he can’t imagine the whole town is simply making these tales up.
He goes to see the town doctor, who can’t find anything wrong with him. Only town newcomer Madeline Paige has the information that will help the priest, and she needs his help to defeat a great evil that’s been chasing her for years. The plot thickens when she reveals the full extent of her powers.
I really enjoyed the characters, and the story was a thrill ride. In the beginning, it seemed a little disjointed, but hang in there because all the threads do come together neatly. In retrospect, this book puts me in mind of what Dan Brown would write if he had the guts to actually be subversive and stop trying to peddle his fiction as fact. There are revelations about the history of Christianity and the history of witchcraft that can’t be missed. And yet as subversive as those revelations are, they come not from a place of disrespect, but from an awareness of how the history of religion has played out. More a criticism of the people who have throughout history tweaked the facts for their own purposes. Madeline Paige offers a plausible alternate interpretation if the Gospels are to be taken literally.
This book should appeal to readers of mysteries, fans of urban fantasy, and anybody with a taste for the perverse. Tietz pulls no punches whatsoever with his antagonist, and doesn’t shy away from showing us the aspects of Madeline Page’s culture which seem deviant to mainstream society. I don’t believe he does this as much to shock us, as to maintain the authenticity of the character. She is likeable, and she has a dark side, but she was also raised with a tradition that’s unlike anybody else in the quaint little town. Things that are risqué and even sinful to them are normal to her. The author does a great job highlighting those differences without beating us over the head with them. The whole thing builds up to a climax of epic proportions, which puts the entire town at risk.
It was a fairly quick read, mostly because I couldn’t put it down, and it’s been firmly placed in my ‘would read again’ pile.
ABOUT THE BOOK – ABOUT THE AUTHOR – PRIZES!!!
Welcome to another exciting publishing house spotlight tour from Novel Publicity. Join us as three new titles from Perfect Edge–we’re calling them the Perfect Edge Trinity—tour the blogosphere in a way that just can’t be ignored. And, hey, we’ve got prizes!
About the prizes: Who doesn’t love prizes? You could win either of two $25 Amazon gift cards, an autographed copy of Good Sex, Great Prayers by Brandon Tietz, or an autographed copy of its tour mates, The Atheist’s Prayer by Amy R. Biddle and Subliminal Messiah by Anthony David Jacques. Here’s what you need to do…
- Enter the Rafflecopter contest
- Leave a comment on my blog
That’s it! One random commenter during this tour will win a $25 gift card. Visit more blogs for more chances to win–the full list of participating bloggers can be found HERE. The other $25 gift card and the 3 autographed books will be given out via Rafflecopter. You can find the contest entry form linked below or on the official Perfect Edge Trinity tour page via Novel Publicity. Good luck!
About the book: Pratt has fallen upon strange times. Father Johnstone, who’s served at the helm for the past thirty years, has begun to lose his flock. He dispenses poor marital advice and indulges in the company of lusting widows, both of which he can hardly remember doing. The pastor has never felt more unlike himself, and Madeline Paige—the town’s newest resident—believes she knows the reason. What she reveals will compromise everything Father Johnstone has ever known. Meanwhile, two men beyond Pratt’s county lines administer their own brand of faith. Billy Burke, the truck-stop preacher, tours the Bible Belt advising blue-collar workers how to properly assault a meth-hooker and the best way to protest gay nightclubs. He’s destined to meet a man that’s been operating out of Las Vegas under many different names, experimenting on a myriad of escorts using Christian lingerie, pious role-play, and Biblical paraphernalia. Together, they will push the threshold, and the town of Pratt will serve as the battleground for when faiths clash and lives hang in the balance. Get Good Sex, Great Prayers through Amazon or Barnes & Noble.
About the author: Brandon Tietz is the author of Out of Touch and Good Sex, Great Prayers. His short stories have been widely published, appearing in Warmed and Bound, Amsterdamned If You Do, Spark (vol. II), and Burnt Tongues, the Chuck Palahniuk anthology. He’s also a columnist at LitReactor.com.
Perfect Edge Books was founded in late 2011 to unite authors whose books weren’t “obviously” commercial. Our books tend to sit in various genres all at once: literary fiction, satire, neo-noir, sci-fi, experimental prose. We believe that literary doesn’t have to mean difficult, and that difficult doesn’t just mean pointless. We prefer to cultivate a word-of-mouth approach to marketing, and keep production as simple as we can. Learn more at www.PerfectEdgeBooks.com.
Learn more about Good Sex, Great Prayers‘s tour mates HERE.