Highly irreverent, wholly lovable Nicole Falls joins me to discuss imposter syndrome, how gifted and talented programs destroyed us, having the privilege to explore creative, personally fulfilling projects and the concessions we make to prioritize those projects, Danielle Steel's desk, incorporating the pandemic into contemporary romance, plant puns and plant bae, and how quickly and often people forget that not everyone has their worldview.
Aug 4, 2020
A Duke by Default by Alyssa Cole is our romance worth reading, and Tasha L. Harrison joins me once again to drop wisdom faster than a sword-making Scottish Duke can make our heroine forget that she definitely should not be making out with her boss. Our conversation is far-ranging - friends who aren't friends, parents who suck, figuring out how your brain works, and the horse your man smells like. Enjoy!
Jul 28, 2020
Tasha L. Harrison, romance author, editor, and lady about Twitter is my guest, and we discuss how Amazon's algorithm encourages the idea of "take and toss" literature, the white gaze in the romance publishing ecosystem, and why Tasha writes romance for Black people.
Jul 21, 2020
Who among us hasn't started a project and then realized that you've inadvertently wandered into a longstanding and contentious debate? I enlist the help of two experts to unravel why I started the Shelf Love Modern Romance Canon project. First, Katrina Jackson helps me unravel some of the ways my professional and educational background made me think this was a logical thing to do. Then, Eric Selinger gives some backstory into the academic and institutional reasons canons exist, and why those who study, read, and write the popular romance genre have been circling this question for decades and will continue into the future. It's a story of nostalgia, red tape, gatekeeping, search engine optimization, and my unquenchable thirst for knowledge.
Jul 14, 2020
Hannah Hearts Romance joins me to discuss The Rakess by Scarlett Peckham, a historical romance that asks the question: can women be rakes? And what would a rakess look like? Content warnings for this book are lengthy, and so I called in a mental health professional to help me unpack the brilliance of Seraphina Arden. - I think this book is brilliant and important - but it might not be for everyone: Content Warnings Provided by B. And Her Books, used with permission: Past miscarriage described on page, past death from pregnancy and a bad delivery, grief, alcoholism, addiction, gas lighting (not by hero or heroine), animal cruelty (birds killed and maimed and left for heroine to find to scare her), forced kidnapping and imprisonment of a secondary female character in an asylum, described torture in said asylum
Jul 7, 2020
Part 2! Romance novel authors and readers bust just some of the myths and misunderstandings about romance novels. Are romance novels easy to write, vapid, mommy porn? Um, no. If you’ve ever heard this podcast, definitely no. But listen on for responses from Tamara Lush, Charish Reid, Megan Erickson, and Rosie Danan.
Jun 30, 2020
Katrina Jackson never actually left: we talk about Scandal, why impermanence and entropy are the root cause for readers' desire for a happily ever after - or at least according to my theory, and how Katrina's research on Black romance as liberation is coming along. We also discuss Blind Date with a Book Boyfriend by Lucy Eden, a true romcom novella that turns the one-day courtship trope on its head. 03:05 - What Kat’s been up to. Scandal. Contagion. Growing jalapenos. 14:21 - Kat’s Research: Black Romance as Liberation 41:53 - HEA, HFN, Andrea’s grand theory of romance 50:53 - The fantasy of resolution 59:16 - Blind Date With A Book Boyfriend
Jun 23, 2020
Friendship in romance with romance novel experts Ruby Lang, Mia Sosa, and Jessica Van Slooten. The many ways friendship is explored in romance: Intergenerational friendship, found family, introducing us to future love stories, and friendship relationship arcs. This is the final Decameron Quarantine Romance Book Club episode that was recorded back in March 2020, at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. Stay safe, stay mad, and keep reading romance.
Jun 16, 2020
Jess, my guest, is Shelf Love's first and most prolific listener contributor, and minted the term Shelf Lovelies, so she's basically a legend around here. We normally choose one book to discuss per episode, but we couldn't decide between Rose Lerner's novel Listen to the Moon and her novella All or Nothing, so we decided to do a double-header episode. Between these two historical romances, we explore topics ranging from feeling out a polyamorous marriage, adulting and boundaries, daddy issues, Jewishness, and the big question: does it violate the laws of escapist reading to read about servants in a time period where there is so much manual labor involved? There is so much dusting, and it's somehow still so good!
Jun 9, 2020
Bree, half of the romance writing duo Kit Rocha, is my guest! She shares her thoughts on why romance novels are all about power and if now is a good time to read dystopian fiction. We discuss A Conspiracy of Whispers by Ada Harper, a romance with intriguing world building, a discussion of gender roles told through genetically modified dispositions, and a wary heroine who learns how to use her broken pieces to stab her enemies.