Tag Archives: Books & Authors

Book Review by Becky – The Training House: Girl by Eden Bradley

The Training House: Girl by Eden Bradley

Every once in a while you have an author that stretches themselves into something just a bit different. There’s a moment when you start reading this new direction that you hope for the best, but wonder if it will hold to the standard of previous works. It was with this in mind that I started The Training House: Girl by Eden Bradley. Now let me take a moment to tell you that this is not your standard romance, nor is it an erotic romance. This is literary erotica not for the faint of heart along the lines of The Story of O by Pauline Reage, The Sleeping Beauty Series by A. N. Roquelaure, or the works of Anais Nin.

Holy fluffy bunnies Batman! The writing is exquisite, encapsulating the reader in the experience of ultimate submission as Girl discovers herself at The Training House. This is not a romance in the traditional sense, but it is a love story. Girl, through the view of a single character, is a literary love note to the kink community. By the same token it is also an open invitation into understanding the group psyche of the community itself and an invitation to discovery without judgment. While portions of the narrative may be uncomfortable for some readers at times the underlying depth of beauty and truth throughout the story is phenomenal. I would highly encourage readers to go to the author’s website via this linkwww.edenbradley.com to read the contract, which is also the prologue to the book, and if you find yourself longing for more click as fast as you can to  the button above this that says Buy Books & E-books  for your copy of Girl. (Or just click this handy link to take you right there  The Training House: Girl !)

– Becky
The Book Pimp

BOOK REVIEW BY C.A. YOUNG – The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains by Neil Gaiman

I’ve been reading Neil Gaiman’s work since around 1993, when a friend shared some of her Sandman comics with me. Since then I’ve formed lots of fond memories around his work: the time I found a first edition of Good Omens in a second-hand shop, the way Anansi Boys helped me really dig into the idea of creativity as a salvific force, the way my friends and I identified with characters from Neverwhere in my twenties, etc.

Gaiman has remained one of my go-to reads. Somehow, though, I’d managed until this month to miss that his short story, The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains, has been republished in an illustrated edition with art by Eddie Campbell.

It’s a satisfying thing, reading Gaiman’s illustrated work. He comes from comics — Sandman, The Books of Magic, etc. — and while his unaccompanied prose is still fantastic, his work shines with an accompanying visual, especially given that he’s well-enough connected to find the right artist for the job.

The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains is not a kind or gentle story. It is hard, like old fairy tales and myths are hard. It’s setting, too, is harsh. Gaiman utilizes the folklore and terrain of Jacobite Scotland, specifically the Isle of Skye. Think rough land, tough people, and short lives.

The narrator begins his story with an admission of guilts for which he is able to forgive himself — “For where I left him. For what I did.” — but also the one he can’t. For a year he hated his daughter for disappearing.

He doesn’t explain these guilts right away. Instead, he reveals them over the course of the story, which begins with how he sought out a man named Calum MacInnes to guide him to the Misty Isle. On the Isle, it is said, that there is a cave filled with gold, from which one can take as much as can be carried. MacInnes, it seems, knows the way.

MacInnes is suspicious at first — most interactions in this story are fraught, as in such a setting strangers are always considered dangerous — but he agrees to the journey. Over the course of their travels we learn more about the men, as well as the nature of the Cave. They meet other travelers, householders, and a ferryman. Over time, MacInnes speaks more about the Cave itself, and warns his client of its unusual price: It strips away a little bit of the person who enters.

Gaiman deftly weaves these details into a larger story that reveals both men’s secrets, both forgiveable and terrible, and like any good folk story it delivers an ending that fulfills its beginning. Campbell’s illustrations complement the story well. Like the rugged terrain of Skye, they are rustic: mainly rough paintings and jagged illustrations. The art is not pretty so much as it is haunting and harsh, more emotional than naturalistic.

While this book is slim and illustrated, don’t mistake it for a children’s book. Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains contains some mild coarse language, more than a little bit of death, and mentions of violence against women and children. The narrator, who is a little person, recounts experiences of being injured or treated badly on account of his stature. The story also contains mythological elements that are consistent with the tropes of the genre, but that some might find problematic in terms of ability and body types.

If you enjoy traditional folklore, or Gaiman’s dreamier stories, you’ll likely enjoy The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains. The hardcover edition is a nice pick for collectors, or readers who want to round out their graphic novel shelf with books that straddle the boundaries of genre.

My rating: Four unfortunately placed Scottish dirks of Five.

Book Review by C.A. Young-The Two Gentlemen of Altona by J.A. Rock and Lisa Henry

When Becky came back from her trip to the Romantic Times convention, I knew she’d come back with some Very Nice Things Indeed. One of those things was a copy of The Two Gentlemen of Altona by J.A. Rock and Lisa Henry, which I received for free from Village Books in exchange for this review.

The set-up: a con man working under the name Henry Page witnesses a killing by Dean Maxfield, his current mark’s mobster nephew. FBI agent Ryan “Mac” MacGuiness’ job is to secure Henry as a witness. Unfortunately for Mac, Henry has a flair for disappearing.

What starts as an antagonistic relationship morphs into a slightly star-crossed, not-quite-opposites attraction between the two men. Henry more than his share of justified fears — both of the law and of Maxfield’s hit men — that keep him running, while Mac’s attraction to Henry is complicated by professional expectations and frustration with Henry’s misbehavior.

While some of the initial chemistry between Mac and Henry felt a little bit forced, Rock and Henry (the author, not the character) hit their stride when our would-be couple go into hiding in Mac’s family’s cabin.

The Two Gentlemen of Altona is a fun, fast read that feels like good fanfiction: a fun scenario, relatable characters, even a dash of hurt/comfort. My main complaint is that it ended too soon, but given that it’s the first of three books in Rock and Henry’s “Playing the Fool” series, I’m willing to bet these two are just warming up.

If you like M/M romance on a modern action backdrop, The Two Gentlemen of Altona is a decent weekend read.

My rating: Three-and-a-Half illicit donuts of Five.

Young……..Christian Young

Hi there! My name is Christian Young, and I’m joining the blog team here at Village Books!

I’m a local author with a novella and several short stories under my belt (check out dimlightarchive.com for more info) as well as a fairly voracious reader. My tastes run broad: I enjoy traditionally published fiction and non-fiction, as well as what might politely be called “unauthorized media property spin-off fiction” (or, less euphemistically, fanfiction). My usual fare is urban fantasy, European history, philosophy and religion, and LGBTQ and paranormal romance, but I’ll happily read just about anything in the name of science. Feel free to let me know if you’re passionate about something and think I should give it a read!

As for what I hope to bring to the blog, I’ll be sharing reviews, recommendations, and other goodies. If nothing else, consider me that friend-of-a-friend who shows up to the party with a bottle of absinthe and winds up in the pool by the end of the night.

Here’s to a good read!

Ollie, Ollie Hex n’ Free by Liz Schulte

Liz Schulte,  one of Columbia’s more prolific writers returns this month with yet another entry in the Easy Bake Coven Series.  Be sure to drop by the store and pick up a copy today.
In the matter of a week Selene Warren will either have everything she has ever wanted or lose it all. Married to the man she loves with a child on the way, life should be going as planned. But as the election and her due date draw near, a dark witch rises up and threatens Selene’s happiness. The evil spirit possessing Jessica has made its move against them. Coming after Selene in public way, they can no longer keep the past hidden from the fae even if it means losing the election. Riddled with doubt and flagging strength, she will have to depend on her friends to defeat the witch—or not only will she lose her life, but her child as well.

http://villagebooks.mybooksandmore.com/web1/actions/searchHandler.do?key=9781511606400&nextPage=booksDetails&parentNum=13154

 

Click on the Buy Books & E-Books Button–We Dare You!

The holidays are upon us and whether you are shopping for the ones on your list or buying for yourself you should try shopping online with Village Books.  We offer an amazing discount on an even greater selection of New Books, E-Books, Music, and Movies than you could imagine!  So go ahead and click the “Buy Books & E-Books” button–We dare you!

https://villagebooks.mybooksandmore.com/web1/screens/homepage.jsp

Sheriff Sarah’s Comin’ Back to Town

She’s Back!

That’s right everyone there are people who actually are willing to come back for a second signing! (Actually to be fair there are more than a few, which is all do to you, our wonderful customers.)

Saturday, October 4th from Noon – 2 pm

we’re welcoming back Sarah M. Anderson.

We're not making fun of the hat, we promise! ;)
Sarah’s Signing in March 2014

Winner of RT Reviewer’s Choice Best Desire of 2012 for A Man of Privilege she has a special place as a contemporary western writer. As a writer for both Harlequin and Samhain Publishing she has quite the reach for her cowboys with kick as well as intriguing Lakota Indians. Her latest series in the Desire line, The Beaumont Heirs, debuts with September release Not the Boss’s Baby.

September 2014 Desire Release
September 2014 Desire Release

What the boss wants…

As the oldest son, Chadwick Beaumont has sacrificed everything for the Beaumonts’ company, but he swore he’d never follow in his father’s philandering footsteps. So, for years, he’s dutifully kept his distance from the temptation outside his office door—his beautiful secretary Serena Chase.

But now everything has changed. The family business is in jeopardy. His personal life is in shambles. And his sexy assistant is suddenly single…and flirting. Chadwick is tired of doing what’s expected. It’s time for him to go after what he wants. And what he wants is Serena—even if she’s expecting another man’s child.

And don’t forget the Men of the White Sandy in print!

Mystic CowboyMasked Cowboy

All Shades of Every Color You Can Imagine

By Becky Asher

There is a book for everyone. This is one of those things that I have always held as a truth. The down side is that not everyone will like the same book. As a bookseller I’ve also found it a truth that the sales of a book increase when it crosses out to expand beyond the printed medium. All of this leads up to “Oh my lands! It’s another wave of 50 Shades of Grey with the movie coming out.”

Like it, love it, or lump it one of the things that 50 Shades did was get us talking about sexuality in an open format again, and particularly in terms of literature. Mind you there were some really good books to induce conversation before and have been since the release of Ms. James book. We also have no problem helping you find all of these and more. This might, however, involve a bit of discussion. Please do not feel that we will judge any kind of conversation, we’re not those people. The bookseller’s creed is much like that of a pastor, doctor, or bartender… actually probably more like the latter, but the moral of the story is that we hear it all.

To help ease our way into these discussions allow me to relate to you a bit of personal experience. There was a lovely line of more erotic fiction coming out of England in the mid to late 90s from Virgin Publishing named Black Lace. (Virgin Publishing was brought into the UK division of Random House fold in 2007 so there have been reissues of most of their titles in other lines since.) I loved the Black Lace line. My Aunt loved the Black Lace line. We would talk about different books on occasion comparing favorites, sharing suggestions, and recapping certain scenes. This worked out really well for us until she brought up a scene in public… on Thanksgiving… with my father sitting between us and my grandmother, her mother, sitting opposite us. Not cool! Now to be fair she didn’t mention a title, author, or go into great detail about the scene. (Thank goodness.) Also I have to admit now that all three of those people have passed it is a fond, and funny, memory of mine. Still not so much at the time. So if I can get through that then you can talk to me as openly as you like about what draws you to any type of book.

Actually that is always one of the places where I start with recommendation because the Black Lace books had some of my favorite authors. Emma Holly wrote several books for them, all fantastic, but when it comes to more of a D/s relationship I would recommend Velvet Glove and Top of Her Game. Lucinda Carrington wins for having numbers in her title first in my book for Ninety Days of Genevieve.

Books published by more recent authors would include the Crossfire Series by Sylvia Day, really anything of Maya Banks that happens to be in a trade paperback is more on the sensual side, Olivia Cunning for hot rockstars, J. Kenner, Meredith Wild, Shayla Black, Mari Carr, Lauren Dane, and Christina Lauren.

I’d also single out by title Opal Carew’s His to Possess,

which like 90 Days of Genevieve, is (ahem) a book where there is a work relationship involved

The Ninety Days of Genevieve
She wants His business, he wants her.

and The Professional by Kresley Cole, which a friend of mine read several times in a row before being able to put it down.

In addition I would recommend the Smutketeers (R.G. Alexander, Eden Bradley, and Robin L. Rotham), not only because many of their books fall into this genre, but also because they are a group of authors dedicated to promoting a positive view of female sexuality.

 

Sometimes membership can be dangerously delicious

Eden Bradley was recently a guest on the podcast The Stylish Entrepreneur talking about her writing and the importance of having discussions openly about sexuality are to us as culture. (Here’s a quick link http://www.thestylishentrepreneur.com/009-eden-bradley-becoming-erotic-romance-author/ )

There is a book for you. We would like to help you find it, and in doing so maybe help you find a bit of yourself, a bit of your personal truth.