Pete's picture
Pete from Detroit is reading Red Dragon April 1, 2014 - 9:31am

'Good Sex, Great Prayers' by Brandon Tietz

Discussion has officially started!

Synopsis: 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.

Author: Brandon Tietz is the author of Out of Touch and Good Sex, Great Prayers. His short stories have been widely published, with work appearing in Warmed and Bound (Velvet Press), Amsterdamned If You Do (CCLAP), Spark: A Creative Anthology (vol. II), and the upcoming Chuck Palahniuk anthology Burnt Tongues (Medallion Press). He is the winner of The Pitch Kansas City's 2012 reader's choice award for best local writer.

Tietz currently serves as columnist and contributor for LitReactor.com. He lives and works in Kansas City, MO.

Discussion has officially started!

What started out as a joke... Brandon, joking on facebook, kept pumping his Christian erotica. His publisher must have taken him seriously because they pushed him to write it and then they published it. I'm sure we'll be able to get the full story from him if we just ask nicely.

I've been excited to get my hands on a copy of this ever since. We'll post an amazon link here, but maybe you should go to your book store or library and request a copy. I mean, just think of the looks you'll get.

Check out his website here: http://brandontietz.com

Get to reading!

Purchase the Book Here

.'s picture
. April 1, 2014 - 11:30am

I wouldn't mind reading a Billy Burke spin-off. Maybe serialized? 

Brandon's picture
Brandon from KCMO is reading Made to Break April 1, 2014 - 10:25am

I've had this discussion with Wendy on multiple occasions. Believe me. On the one hand, he's probably my favorite character I've ever written. On the other hand, I think he only works well in small doses.

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Gordon Highland from Kansas City is reading Secondhand Souls by Christopher Moore April 1, 2014 - 10:28am

Swap out copies of this for the hymnals in your church pews.

SRead's picture
SRead from Colorado is reading Stories April 2, 2014 - 1:10pm

Just started this yesterday. I'm only about 30 pages in, but I'm sure glad I decided NOT to take this as my travel book when visiting my grandma in a few weeks. (That's a compliment, in case that wasn't clear.) Digging the virgin/mother/whore/widow setup and curious to see where it goes.

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Andrez Bergen from Melbourne, Australia + Tokyo, Japan is reading 'The Spirit' by Will Eisner April 2, 2014 - 2:14pm

Great choice!

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ReneeAPickup from Southern California is reading A truckload of books April 7, 2014 - 11:07am

I've had this discussion with Wendy on multiple occasions. Believe me. On the one hand, he's probably my favorite character I've ever written. On the other hand, I think he only works well in small doses.

 

Oh man... Burke with nothing else to balance him? You might ACTUALLY bring on the apocalypse.  And I'll hold my next question for later when more people have finished. I don't want to spoil anything since the book does such a good job of setting up questions and tensions right up to the end.

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Brandon from KCMO is reading Made to Break April 9, 2014 - 9:22am
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Yuan Khleint April 29, 2014 - 7:50pm

i am new here. hope i will learn from you guys... because english is my major. not major as in i am good of it... well english is my major defect...! jajaja please hopw to really learn. bless, yunkhleint from philippines...

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justwords from suburb of Birmingham, AL is reading The Tomb, F. Paul Wilson; A Long Way Down, Nick Hornby May 1, 2014 - 11:02am

Welcome! You should, if you haven't yet, read the Introduction to Litreactor. 

klaut's picture
klaut from London is reading Skeleton Crew May 2, 2014 - 2:20am

Just got the book. 

Looking forward to reading it!

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KellyWoestman from Carthage, Missouri is reading Isaac's Storm May 4, 2014 - 12:42pm

I noticed this on the discussion boards when I was roaming around LR earlier today and downloaded the book to my Kindle and began reading. The "intro" was a bit over the top for me but, once I read further in, it was actually a great hook. I'm about 2 hours from KCMO so Brandon's being a local writer also interested me. I like this approach to a book club!

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SRead from Colorado is reading Stories May 6, 2014 - 2:36pm

I'm just past half through. Hoping to finish this week, so I can start chatting. Really enjoying it so far! How on earth did they ever pick a genre for it??

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Natso from Mongolia is reading Moby Dick May 7, 2014 - 8:57pm

What the hell? I read the Amazon reviews, and it says it's horror and no romance/erotic? You had my curiousity, but now you have my attention. :)

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Tony McMillen from Mostly glorious Tucson Arizona but now I live near Boston. is reading Not, I'm writing May 10, 2014 - 6:55pm

I really dug this book. I haven't read Tietz's first book so I didn't know what to expect. Here's the review of Good Sex, Great Prayers I wrote for DigBoston:

http://digboston.com/boston-arts-theater/2014/04/review-good-sex-great-prayers/

When you folks have finished I wanna talk about some of the character names. There's some cool references and tributes with various character names. I got a couple of them but I'm wondering if anyone else has caught some more. 

 

SRead's picture
SRead from Colorado is reading Stories May 11, 2014 - 9:28pm

I just finished this morning! Killer climax. Uh...no pun intended. Really enjoyed it. I'll work on my review this week. :)

Pete's picture
Pete from Detroit is reading Red Dragon May 12, 2014 - 10:58am

Tony - don't worry about waiting for people. Just go ahead and post your thoughts. If there is something super spoilery, just post it with the SPOILERS tags.

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Tony McMillen from Mostly glorious Tucson Arizona but now I live near Boston. is reading Not, I'm writing May 14, 2014 - 6:20am

Cool, okay well in the book there is the character of Mason Hollis. When I saw that name I was like, "Okay, I know that jazz from something."  Then there was another character by the name of "Old Man Clevenger" which had to be named after the writer Craig Clevenger because that last name is too distinct; you don't just name a character that for no reason. So basically, I knew from that that Tietz was into naming the people that populate his fictional worlds after other people. So I thought about Mason Hollis again and bam, it hit me: Mason Hollis, reverse it and you got Hollis Mason which is the name of the original Nite Owl in the comic book Watchmen. Watchmen is probably my favorite piece of fiction in any medium so I was happy for the reference and also surprised I didn't figure it out sooner. 

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Vonnegut Check from Baltimore May 15, 2014 - 9:17am

When you folks have finished I wanna talk about some of the character names. There's some cool references and tributes with various character names. I got a couple of them but I'm wondering if anyone else has caught some more.

I haven't read Tietz's novel, but I know Chuck Palahniuk's Tell All has a character named Billie Burke. So there's another example.

EDIT: It's been a while since I read Tell All. I think I'm confusing this here. Maybe just a reference to an actress of the same name? I'll have to go back and have a look.

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Vonnegut Check from Baltimore May 15, 2014 - 9:20am

Yes, I just looked it over. Billie Burke is a brief reference in Tell All, so I shit the bed on that one.

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Brandon from KCMO is reading Made to Break May 15, 2014 - 10:55am

Billy Burke isn't a reference to anything. It just sounded good to me at the time.

Vonnegut Check's picture
Vonnegut Check from Baltimore May 15, 2014 - 11:37am

Right, Brandon, which is why "I shit the bed on that one." The name stuck out the first time I heard it due to the first page or two in CP's aforementioned novel where it is also used. But I see now, it just sounded good. And it does have a ring, no doubt.

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Tony McMillen from Mostly glorious Tucson Arizona but now I live near Boston. is reading Not, I'm writing May 16, 2014 - 4:11pm

I've never shit the bed, at least to my knowledge I've never shit the bed. Though one time my friend was house sitting for a family and me, him and some of our friends decided to all take mushrooms and hang out at this house. The family had a young daughter, I mention this because at one point in the evening I took more mushrooms than anybody else like an idiot and I became very loopy so my friends politely quarantined me off into this little girl's empty room. Then it happened. Some weird wave of shame and repulsion washed over me and I became convinced, terrified even, that I had shit in this little girl's bed. I called in my buddy, deeply ashamed of what I had thought I'd done, and told him to check the bed, because I was pretty sure I had shit in it. And he found nothing. Turns out my adrenaline was going so strong from the mushrooms that what I perceived as liquid pouring out of my body was just my body being cranked up to 11. So moral of the story: Turns out hallucinogens may make you hallucinate. But just to be safe, have a trusted friend check the bed you're laying down in, especially if it belongs to some poor kid who isn't home. You don't want them to come home and get blamed for your control issues and then develop some sort of bed shitting complex. 

Those were the exact worries I was having when I thought the shit was real. And it ate away at me as a person until I could prove that it wasn't real. 

Back to Good Sex, Great Prayers; every time Sheriff Morgan appeared in the book I pictured the actor who plays Porn-stache in Orange is the New Black. Anybody else have any actors or other people they cast in their mind-movies while reading this thing?

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ReneeAPickup from Southern California is reading A truckload of books May 21, 2014 - 10:16pm

I need to go through and refresh myself on the book, but I think everyone knows I love it. Even the parts that made my labia pucker.

.'s picture
. May 25, 2014 - 1:28pm

@Tony McMillen, last time I took hallucinogens, I almost smashed this guys tv with his guitar because I thought it was brain washing people. I suppose in a way it was, but I'm still glad I didn't follow through with it.

Something I loved about Good Sex, Great Prayers is the Stephen King style of it. There is so much detail and characterization. It is hard to pull this off without annoying the reader or completely losing them. I never thought I would read an erotic horror novel either!  

Tony McMillen's picture
Tony McMillen from Mostly glorious Tucson Arizona but now I live near Boston. is reading Not, I'm writing May 26, 2014 - 2:01pm

@jacks_username , dang. Also, I agree with you on the King style, I liked it a lot as well. 

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Gordon Highland from Kansas City is reading Secondhand Souls by Christopher Moore May 27, 2014 - 12:54pm

Finally, a book I actually read before or during its discussion month! My long-term reading retention is awful, but I remember really liking this and being surprised by the direction it took. I was expecting more of the Burke-type stuff, something irreverent with clergy scandals and slutty nuns or whatever. You get a taste of that during the interstital chapters, for those so inclined, but the main storyline felt pretty sincere. I remember hearing the title very early on, years back, so did you come up with that first, and the book flowed from there? I can certainly imagine that: starting off as more of a joke/satire, and then wanting to write something more substantive once you were balls-deep into it. How'd it evolve for you?

I grew up Catholic, so a lot of the early/middle explanations of Father's religious dogma felt overlong to me (being familiar already), but I wonder if that would not be the case for others.

I liked the townsfolk and community aspect in general. I've lived in those places. And the Yorkie, of course, which added some levity I could appreciate. Are you a Christopher Moore fan? Ever read A Dirty Job? That's my favorite of his, covering some similar ground. Er, from what I can remember. But the humor in GSGP was definitely subservient to the plot.

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Brandon from KCMO is reading Made to Break May 28, 2014 - 10:35am

I remember hearing the title very early on, years back, so did you come up with that first, and the book flowed from there? I can certainly imagine that: starting off as more of a joke/satire, and then wanting to write something more substantive once you were balls-deep into it. How'd it evolve for you?

Yep, the title came first, and then as time went on the idea slowly distanced itself from the beaches of satire to what it is now. I remember telling Phil that it was going to be this lighthearted romp of a novella poking fun at 50 Shades, but when I sat down to actually do it, the whole thing went in another direction and I just ran with it.

Are you a Christopher Moore fan?

Nope. Never read any Christopher Moore. I had an ARC of Sacré Bleu but Ray borrowed it and never gave it back to me.

Pete's picture
Pete from Detroit is reading Red Dragon June 6, 2014 - 4:29pm

I was finally able to finish this just a little bit ago.

This book was really hard for me to get into at first. And I think it's because the first few chapters were exactly what I was thinking it was going to be like. I thought with the title - it's just going to have a lot of shock for shock's sake. Pretty much what Palahniuk gets criticized for now days.

So, yeah, as a Christian I had a hard time with some of the beginning sex scenes with the cross and Bible.

But after that, the book really started to surprise me. The story went in a great direction. I spent weeks reading the first half and like 2-3 days reading the last half. As the pieces started to fall togehter, I really enjoyed it.

The writing was like nothing I've seen from Brandon before. His stuff is usually more minimalistic and way less discriptive. This is a lot more wordy. And I can see the comparisons to King. King has done the epic battle scenes like this has quite a few times. And I kept thinking of The Stand when I was reading that part.

And that battle scene, it was like one thing after another. Brandon - were you trying to write yourself into a hole to see how you were going to get yourself out of it?

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Brandon from KCMO is reading Made to Break June 7, 2014 - 9:38am

Brandon - were you trying to write yourself into a hole to see how you were going to get yourself out of it?

It felt like that sometimes. This whole thing was supposed to be a little novella and ended up being over 500 pages after the first draft. And, like always with me, I got to the middle and didn't know what the hell to do next, so there was a couple weeks where I had to slide the pieces of the puzzle around until I figured out what was going to work.

To answer the question, I think most authors try to avoid predictability...and in doing so, they dig their own grave without taking a ladder down with them. I always knew there was going to be a big battle scene at the end. The problem for me was getting there.

Not only were my two villains miles apart, but they were only given facetime every six chapters. Making their storylines work/come together under those circumstances was probably the biggest challenge.

Pete's picture
Pete from Detroit is reading Red Dragon June 8, 2014 - 4:38pm

And also why it ended up being such a long book compared to your last one. haha

Brandon's picture
Brandon from KCMO is reading Made to Break June 9, 2014 - 6:16am

It just kept going, man. Had to ask the publisher for three extensions.

klaut's picture
klaut from London is reading Skeleton Crew August 30, 2014 - 2:19am

Finally managed to get to this one. Finished it in 2 days! Enjoyed it a lot!

*Spoiler alert*

I like to think that the Pastor chooses to start again, this time as man in full capacity. If you know what I mean :)

Are you thinking to write a sequel? Or a prequel?

I'd love to learn more about Pullox!

Brandon's picture
Brandon from KCMO is reading Made to Break August 31, 2014 - 9:33am

@Klaut

Awesome, glad you dug it.

A sequel is definitely ready, but with the book business being what it is, a sequel would only be written if there was demand for it. I'm playing that one by ear and moving on to other projects for the time being.