Shelf Love
  • 021. Secret Baby in Romance with Kini Allen

    Jan 31, 2020

    Minisode! Kini Allen and I talk about the secret baby trope in romance novels, I share all the ones I forgot I had read, and then she shares some favorites. Then, listeners weigh in on the trope and I make the case for representing other reproductive choices in romance. This episode may not be for everyone. Content Warning: We talk about unintended pregnancy in the course of this episode, and in the outro I talk about contraception, abortion, and miscarriage in romance novels.

  • 020. Denise Williams on Teaching Romance Novels

    Jan 28, 2020

    Denise Williams (Golden Heart Finalist, author of forthcoming How to Fail at Flirting) and I discuss the class she’s co-teaching called “Moving Past Bodice Ripping Toward Shredding the Patriarchy: Romance Novels as Tools for Justice.” We discuss her work in student affairs and diversity training, how to fail at naming your debut novel, and how to silence your inner critic. Also: are the kids these days less snobby about romance novels than previous generations? Is romance an inherently feminist genre? Denise will be back in a future episode to discuss Teach Me by Olivia Dade and Cinnamon Roll heroes.

  • 019. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas with Penny Reid

    Jan 21, 2020

    Penny Reid (Knitting in the City Series, Winston Brothers) and I discuss A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas. It’s a dark fairy tale that blends Beauty and the Beast, the Hades/Persephone myth, and the Hunger Games. In addition to asking the deep existential questions - At what cost freedom? Freedom at what cost?! - we talk about how your first love isn’t always your last love, YA, and how there’s strength in being a marshmallow. Penny will be back in a future episode to discuss her new publishing venture, Smarty Pants Romance.

  • 018. Kennedy Ryan: The RITAs and Breaking Through

    Jan 17, 2020

    Kennedy Ryan, best-selling romance author, responds to this listener question: "How do you feel about the recent troubles at the RWA in light of being a RITA award winner and a woman of color?" (Question via Karelia Stetz-Waters on Twitter)

  • 017. An Unconditional Freedom by Alyssa Cole with Katrina Jackson

    Jan 14, 2020

    Katrina Jackson, erotic romance author by night, historian by day, joins the podcast. We read An Unconditional Freedom by Alyssa Cole, about reluctant spy partners working to bring down the Confederacy in the Civil War. Katrina shares her thoughts from her own research into love as an integral part of radical Black politics, the definition of “diaspora” and “interwar,” as well as all sorts of things you probably didn’t learn in history class. CW: We talk about the treatment of enslaved people in the Civil War, including a character’s PTSD as a result of being enslaved. This character has suicidal ideation.

  • 016: Sanctuary by Rebekah Weatherspoon with Norma Perez-Hernandez

    Jan 7, 2020

    Norma Perez-Hernandez, an assistant editor at romance publisher Kensington, warms my heart as we talk about working in publishing, how rom coms are returning to the city, and how people of color pursuing a career in publishing experience systemic inequality. Our Romance Worth Reading is Sanctuary by Rebekah Weatherspoon, which is part of the Beards and Bondage series. We discuss recovery, hating your job, sweet dogs, delicious romance tropes, and how this book is both like and very much NOT like a Hallmark movie.

  • 015. Listener Favorites Read in 2019 with B. And Her Books

    Dec 31, 2019

    2019 is the Year of the Ginger Beard! “Best Of” lists are extremely subjective, so leaning into the idea that “best” is really a personal measure, I proudly present the Superlatives Episode. My guest, Romancelandia Librarian B., joins me to share listener’s favorite romances and their very personal reasons for why these books were the best reads of the year. The only requirement was that they READ the book in 2019. Games. New Exciting Sound Effects. A Printable Reading List you can download if you sign up for the newsletter list. We are ending 2019 with a bang.

  • 014.5. Revisiting Courtney Milan's Writing in the Wake of RWA's Censure

    Dec 24, 2019

    In light of RWA's 12/23/19 censure of Courtney Milan for calling out racism, I revisit a conversation about power, fixing corrupt systems from within, and the patriarchy. New content includes a summary of the issue/themes in the intro, and previously unreleased bonus content and updated outro at the end. An edited version of episode 7 between 5:00 and 38:00. - Erin Leafe (Learning the Tropes Podcast) and I get deep into a discussion of power, privilege, the patriarchy, and pretending to be someone you’re not after reading The Heiress Effect by Courtney Milan.

  • 014. Equivalent Exchange by Christina C. Jones with Funmi B.

    Dec 17, 2019

    Funmi (romance reader, reviewer, aspiring writer), a fierce and passionate advocate for Black romance, shares her own story of becoming a romance reader, and we discuss who is worthy of a Happily Ever After. This week’s romance worth reading is Equivalent Exchange by Christina C. Jones. We discuss themes of therapy, health literacy, and what Black contemporary authors are doing to destigmatize mental health in their communities. We also talk about how books might not be for you...but why you should still read them.

  • 013. The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams with Steve Ammidown

    Dec 10, 2019

    Guest Steve Ammidown (BGSU Browne Popular Culture Library Archivist) joins the podcast to discuss The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams. Topics include Romancelandia’s history, Warm blanket reads, Men’s friendships, Men reading romance, Emotional idiots, What we give of ourselves in marriage, and Why The Bromance Book Club is a book worth reading.