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Each week on Smart Podcast, Trashy Books, Sarah Wendell interviews authors, readers, reviewers, bloggers, publishing professionals, editors, and librarians about romance novels, which are among the most popular genres in fiction worldwide. Popular guests include: Ilona Andrews, Robin Bradford, NPR's Barrie Hardymon, Jaye Wells, and Rachel Aaron. Amanda, Carrie, Elyse, and RedHeadedGirl, the crew of reviewers at SB-TB.com, also make frequent appearances with maximum silliness. Frequent topics ...
 
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This week, my guest is Emily Henry, whose new romance Book Lovers is out this past week!We talk about slow burns, book tour, puppies, the inspiration for the lead character, Nora, and the Icy City Ex Girlfriend Trope.Thank you to Ann_Knee, Clairatrix, and the enthusiastic members of the Culture Study Discord’s romance channel who were very excited …
 
This week, Amanda and I catch up on a whole bunch of things, including college visits, airboats, and dating!We also have listener email, including recommendation requests and compliments galore!I know some of y’all love the episodes where Amanda and I hang out and talk books and everything, so if you like this one, let me know? Email, comment, twee…
 
Jess Michaels is celebrating the release of her 100th book, 100 Nights with the Duke! That’s a lot of books, and a long career of close to 20 years! We talk about how she’s celebrating this milestone, and we take a look back at how her experience of the romance industry has evolved over two decades.Along the way we cover:* Commemorative tattoos* Th…
 
Authors Lucy Eden and Katee Robert join me to talk about their very successful Kickstarter campaigns!Lucy’s is currently running and is fully funded: https://bit.ly/EdenKSLoveNotesKatee is in the midst of fulfillment of her Kickstarter, which was fully funded in about five minutes. We talk about why they went with Kickstarter, the essential element…
 
This is part two of the special crossover event with Bonkers Romance as we recap of A Lady of Rooksgrave Manor by Kathryn Moon. Part one with me, Melody and Jenny is over at Bonkers Romance, so hello and welcome Bonkers Romance listeners! I’m so happy to have you here today!Be Ye Warned - this episode is extremely nsfw and is a recap of the second …
 
Jesse Q. Sutanto joins me today to talk about the release of Four Aunties and a Wedding, and we talk about all the wedding drama we’ve experienced from behind the scenes and as guests. We talk about weddings with thousands of guests, runaway brides, cultural clashes and the weight of wedding expectations.I would love to know: Do you have a wedding …
 
My guest today is author Farah Heron, whose latest book, Kamila Knows Best, is an updated spin on the Jane Austen classic Emma! Along the way we talk about:Updating a unique, challenging characterAddressing the age gap between the charactersThe importance of hot wet sarisCurly hair care techniquesLipstick recommendationsWhat are your favorite Emma …
 
My guest today is Jane Buehler, author of The Forest Bride and The Village Maid. I have several favorite parts of this conversation, including our discussion of cozy fantasy, addressing and undoing misconceptions about sex in romance, and sourdough starters and bread making.So fantasy, writing, sex, and bread. Several excellent topics! What about y…
 
My guest today is Kate Spencer, author and host of the podcast Forever 35. Her new book, In a New York Minute, is out this week, and y’all, this book was so charming and fun.In this conversation, we talk about:* Vulnerability* Projecting narratives onto strangers* Vintage rom-comsShe’s a romance fan, and a rom-com fan, and we had a lot of fun. ...W…
 
It’s episode 501 - onward toward a thousand! I start with mini interviews with Shana and Elyse, and then Amanda and I have more listener email, questions, recommendations, and many, many jokes. Yay! Thank you for celebrating with us!...Key Questions:What should we do for our next merch opportunity?What SBTB phrases have stuck with you?What is the b…
 
We did it! It’s episode 500!Amanda and I have email and recommendations, your absolute favorite books, weird questions, and a LOT of mayhem. Plus mini interviews with Shana, Tara, Carrie & Elyse. There are so many great questions, clips, and conversations, you guessed it, there will be two episodes celebrating all the fun. ...KEY QUESTIONS:What wou…
 
Jeff and Will from The Big Gay Fiction Podcast are joining me for the Sweet Dreams Recap of book #9, Cover Girl by Yvonne Green.This cover, y’all. And inside! We have a rather gross boyfriend, and an even worse mom, and nature nerds! This is undoubtedly one of the greatest Sweet Dreams cover of them all.TW/CW: Chapter 10 is a little upsetting....Mu…
 
Happy Valentine’s Week! Amanda and I have voicemail messages, updates on tattoos, book and lip balm recommendations, and more! Come hang out with us and nosh on all that half price candy. What candy are you buying?Thank you to Nancy, Claudia, Jimmy, StylinsonBirds, Leslie, and Ann!…Music: purple-planet.comShow notes:…
 
It’s part II of our recap of The Invisible Goddess by AC Dawn, a retelling of the myth of Hestia, goddess of the hearth and home. Have you read it? Did you like it? I have some things to tell you! A NEW PODCAST! I’m co-hosting LoveStruck Daily with Alisha Rai! LoveStruck Daily is a new podcast from iHeartRadio produced by Frolic Media that will del…
 
Melody is back!Some of our most popular episodes are our crossovers with Heaving Bosoms, and we have a new one for you! We read The Invisible Goddess by AC Dawn, a retelling of the myth of Hestia, goddess of the hearth and home. We had a LOT to talk about, so I’ve divided this into two episodes.Here in episode one, we’ll recap about half the story,…
 
I follow Vanessa North on Instagram and after she posted a picture of her first completed project of 2022, I had to talk to her about knitting. So of course we also talk about gender, crafting, raising fearless trans teenagers, photography, and writing romance. Plus book recs, as always.LPT: Always Buy Extra Buttons!...Music: purple-planet.com…
 
Amanda and I catch up on her “lots of things to look forward to” plan, which now includes things that were done! We talk about anxiety, therapy, angsty books, trimming your own bangs, and we have book and video game recs, plus new year’s wishes from Elyse, Pudding, and Jane B!Do you like angsty books? Are there books that help you feel things catha…
 
Time to deep dive into another classic YA Romance: Sweet Dreams #7, Green Eyes by Suzanne Rand. Julie has a problem with the green-eyed monster, and it lasts for a lot of pages. We’ve got:Insecure teenagersSwim team!Yet Another Teen Hangout with a Fun NameJust Talk to Each Other for Goodness’ SakeJoin me as I struggle. Seriously, it’ll be fun.NB: I…
 
My guest this week is Olivia Dade! We had such a good time talking about fan supercuts, watching shows through gifsets, Game of Thrones spoilers, and writing characters with ADHD and learning disabilities.Highlight: we discover a vintage ship we have in common and we exclaim at each other.Thank you to Rachel, Alanna, and Kelly from the Patreon comm…
 
Amanda and I are saying goodbye to 2021, and looking ahead to 2022! We talk about exciting things coming in January, including the 17th anniversary of Smart Bitches, plus we talk about books that got us through 2021.Super bonus: we’ve got messages from Tara, Catherine, Sneezy, and Martin who have book recs, wishes for the new year, and lots and lot…
 
It’s time to recap Sweet Dreams #6, California Girl by Janet Quin-Harkin, also known as Rhys Bowen! Jennie is a swimmer with her eyes on the Olympics, and Mark is a grumpy loner on crutches who sketches Jennie one day in the cafeteria. We’ve got:Overbearing sports parentsSnark about Texas driversHomesicknessLots and lots of swimmingLearning to set …
 
My guest this week is Nalini Singh! I have reader questions from our Patreon community and publicist and past podcast guest Erin Galloway about Archangel’s Light, Nalini's latest release. We cover writing multiple series at the same time. We also talk about fan art, which she absolutely loves, and about reading slumps - and how to escape them.Thank…
 
This week, we have lots to talk about! First, some of y’all wrote fantastic epilogues to the very unsatisfying ending of Princess Amy, recapped in episode 486, and I share my ideas, too.Then, it’s time for Sweet Dreams 5, Little Sister. We’ve got:Big MisunderstandingsPlot Points that were in the cover copy so they’re not that dramaticSnarky sister …
 
Julia Quinn joins me to talk about The Wit and Wisdom of Bridgerton, a new release collecting quotes about the different characters, plus new commentary from Lady Whistledown. We talk about picking up Lady W’s pen after 20 years, looking back on the original series, her most embarrassing moment from high school, and the joyful romance fans in Brazi…
 
This is a weird one, y’all. We’re taking a trip back to the early 80s where fiction for teens and pre-teens came with some awful, upsetting messaging, but also some fantastic clothing choices, some excellent descriptions of weird children’s birthday parties, a cute boy and a very good dog. It's Princess Amy by Melinda Pollowitz!I figured I’d probab…
 
Hey, y'all! A special treat bonus episode for your American holiday week needs. Yup, there will be a regularly-scheduled episode on Friday, but here's an extra treat! I was a guest on Talking Simulator discussing...romance in video games. Isn't it weird when a topic puts itself in front of you so many times? Here's the description from host Jordan …
 
AC Arthur’s new book The After Party is out, and she joins me to talk about all things friendship, cocktails, murder, revenge, and more.Because it was inspired by the movie 9 to 5, we deep dive into revenge on bad bosses and movie nostalgia, too....Music: purple-planet.comBy SB Sarah
 
It's time for another Vintage YA Recap, this week with Laurie's Song by Suzanne Rand.Prepare yourself for some exhausting friendships, boring boyfriends, social stress, and some ~*absolutely outstanding*~ outfits and POETRY.Oh, yes. Poetry. This is a good one....Music: purple-planet.comBy SB Sarah
 
As I have been teasing in recent episodes, this is part two of our crossover episode with The Big Gay Fiction Podcast! Amanda and I connected with Jeff and Will and answered listener questions from our Patreon communities.The Big Gay Fiction Podcast released part one Thursday 4 November so you get all four of us being ridiculous together for two ep…
 
It's time for part two of the Sweet Dreams Romance Recap Project, featuring The Popularity Plan by Rosemary Vernon. Unlike P.S. I Love You, I hadn't read this one before, so it's an adventure for all of us. We've got some hefty social anxiety, friends with Plans (and wall calendars as seen on the cover) and some very classic dating tropes. Grab you…
 
Leslie Hachtel and Nikki Brock put together Love In The Mix: A Cookbook for Romance Readers to benefit ProLiteracy, and she joins me to talk about it. Leslie tells me all about the cookbook, how it came to be, and some of her favorite recipes. We discuss family favorites and family history through food, and then, as a bonus, I’ve added info about t…
 
It's time! It's time! This is the first of the Sweet Dreams Romance Recap Project, wherein I am recapping the first twenty Sweet Dreams YA romances, starting with Sweet Dreams #1, P.S. I Love You by Barbara Conklin.This book is a lot. It's angsty and tragic, but there are some moments I remember so very clearly, and I probably read this more than 3…
 
Amanda and I take a deep dive into interactive fiction with Rebecca Slitt from Choice of Games and Heart’s Choice. We get into the details of how interactive fiction works, and what the process of writing it is like - and we have some recommendations, never fear!...Music: purple-planet.comShownotes: https://bit.ly/478RebeccaSlitt…
 
My guest this week is author Ryka Aoki, whose new book Light from Uncommon Stars is out this week! We cover transgender identity, found family, space opera & The Brady Bunch, the liminal state of The Olive Garden, Chonky books, and what, and where, is the best donut? I really want to hear your donut recs: sbjpodcast@gmail.com! ...Music: purple-plan…
 
In our last collection of Patreon listener questions, we had two about the process of reviewing: what we look for, and what questions we’re trying to answer when we write a review. Shana joins Amanda and me to talk about the process of reviewing romance, how reviewing helps us identify what we most like to read, and how reading and review works for…
 
YA Author, reviewer, and editor Dahlia Adler joins me to talk about all the Badass Anthologies she’s editing, about her upcoming book, Home Field Advantage, and her latest, Cool for the Summer. And, inspired by a recent Instagram pic of her Bantam Love Stories collection, we also talk about vintage YA romances.Stay tuned for the outro where I have …
 
Amanda and I are answering one last round of questions! We cover day trips and all the places where it’s imperative that we eat fries, we’ve got book recs for fluffy contemporary romances, and we talk about table top games we love.Thanks to Tara, Christina, and Malaraa for the questions!...Music: purple-planet.comShow notes: https://bit.ly/474DayTr…
 
Amanda and I are arranging marriages between books and candy (we missed this part of Ellen’s question last week!) and we talk about what romances we’d want to see adapted into limited series, who we’d cast in our dream productions, and what we’ve learned over the years of working with the website.Thanks to Ellen, Kate K, Leslee, and Sue for today’s…
 
Amanda and I are back talking about recommendations, snacks, candy, and more! Sue asks about the behind-the-scenes part of running the website as a business, Ellen is looking for some recs to ease the wait for the next Tessa Dare novel, and recs for fantasy that avoid the problem of Too Much Plot/Not Enough Kissing.Thanks to Sue and Ellen for today…
 
Laura Nash of The Short Game joins me to talk about romance in short games - games you can play in 8-12 hours. We cover dating simulators and interactive fiction, and we rank the Dream Daddies. Laura shares some upcoming and very-brand-new games she’s hecking excited about, too! From Hatoful Boyfriend to Boyfriend Dungeon to genderfluid boarding sc…
 
My guest this week is Becky Chambers, author of the Wayfarers series and the new novella, A Psalm for the Wild Built.We talk about the book itself, and themes of caregiving and comfort, and the process of writing a book with the goal of sending a hug out into the world. Thank you to Malaraa and Molly from our Patreon community for the questions!...…
 
I’m joined by Morgan and Isabeau from the Whoa!Mance podcast! They are celebrating three years of podcasting, and their latest exploration of romance has been to look at category romances. I thought it would be fun to take a deep dive into a brand new contemporary romance, so we all read Awakened by the CEO’s Kiss by Therese Baharrie.This episode i…
 
Amanda and I are chatting about our favorite romance-laden RPGs, and our favorite characters to romance in Stardew Valley, Dragons Ages (all of ‘em), Witcher 3, and more. We compare romance options, discuss favorite pairings, and yup, we really like Dragon Age. Moral of this episode: Don’t Bring Your Tits to a Gunfight.This is the TikTok we chortle…
 
Tara joins me to talk about how reading lesbian romances helped them realize their sexuality after having grown up in a very conservative religious environment.Side trips include Robin Hood in many varieties, Don’t Stop Believing, and movies to watch while kinda stoned.Romances help people understand a lot of aspects of themselves, and I love heari…
 
It’s part three of what I called “AMA with AMAnda and Sarah.” We’re chatting about our favorite recipes, cooking blogs, and cookbooks, favorite french fries, seasonal re-reading, contemporary cozy mysteries with romantic elements, trends, and adventure romance recs. Plus, how to snowboard while holding an onion.Thanks to Bransler, Cheri, Norette, M…
 
We’re back! With more of your questions! We’re going to talk about tv shows we recommend, book recs of course, mayonnaise of course, summer treats, and middle school favorites.Thanks to Laura B, Karelia, Christina B, and Phoebe for the questions!...Music: purple-planet.comBy SB Sarah
 
Arielle Zibrak is the author of Guilty Pleasures, a new book in the Avidly Reads series from New York University Press. She’s also a former editor of romance fiction, and a professor of 19th century popular fiction. Her new book - which is terrific - examines the concept of the “guilty pleasures” and seeks to unpack and answer the question, “What i…
 
Today, we’re going to talk about food safety law, and the history of women who probably poisoned their husbands. Allegedly.Mikki Kendall, on Twitter as @Karnythia and the author of Hood Feminism, is an eager historian into the mysteries of what women got away with, and so we cover poison clusters, dying of fever, and the poisons hanging out in your…
 
I asked the Patreon community what they’d like to ask Amanda and I, and howdy damn, I got some really thoughtful and fun questions! In this conversation, we’re talking about astrology, apps, allergies, and all the book recs. If you like hanging out while we chat, this episode is for you. Thanks to everyone in the Patreon community for their questio…
 
Catherine and I chat with Lois McMaster Bujold (!!!) about The Assassins of Thasalon. If you like the Penric & Desdemona books as much as we do (which is a LOT) you’ll love this episode!We cover the origin story of Penric and Desdemona, how her retirement partially rests on self publishing, and how much manga she’s reading and watching - with recom…
 
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