034. Fate vs. Free Will with Ruby Lang, Katee Robert, LaQuette

Apr 4, 2020

Decameron Quarantine Romance Book Club: part 3 of a 10-episode mini-series of short, casual conversations with romance experts, who are here to spread the joy of romance novels so that we can all stay home and NOT spread the Coronavirus. Tonight’s theme is Fate vs. Free Will and my guests are romance novel experts LaQuette, Katee Robert, and Ruby Lang. Stay safe, stay calm, and keep reading romance.


033. Romance Myths & Misconceptions: Kennedy Ryan, Emma Barry, Talia Hibbert, Tif Marcelo, and Suzanne Jefferies

Mar 31, 2020

Romance novel authors and readers bust just some of the myths and misunderstandings about romance novels. Here are the facts about the romance genre from the people who know it best. We address myths such as “they’re all the same,” “they’re not well written,” and “they’re vapid and lack substance or depth.” The myth busters in this episode are Kennedy Ryan, Emma Barry, Talia Hibbert, Tif Marcelo, and Suzanne Jefferies.


032. Angsty romance with Karelia Stetz-Waters, Katrina Jackson, Katee Robert

Mar 27, 2020

Decameron Quarantine Romance Book Club: part 2 of a 10-episode mini-series of short, casual conversations with romance experts, who are here to spread the joy of romance novels so that we can all stay home and NOT spread the Coronavirus. Tonight’s theme is ANGST


031. White Whiskey Bargain by Jodie Slaughter with Charish Reid

Mar 24, 2020

Charish Reid (author: Hearts on Hold: A Librarian Romance) is my guest, and we talk about why we should stop shitting on majoring in English and ah-ha! moments in teaching. The Romance Worth Reading (™) that we discuss is White Whiskey Bargain by Jodie Slaughter. Discussed: Low-angst romance, marriages of convenience, just once bed, owning land as the American dream. Plus: female leadership in a male-dominated field, people of color in Appalachia, and mutual self love.


030. A Seditious Affair by KJ Charles with Emma Barry

Mar 18, 2020

Romance novelist Emma Barry is my guest, and we read A Seditious Affair by KJ Charles. This male/male Regency romance features a cross-class romance that gets us discussing if there is an element of coercion in most cross-class romances. Plus, does this book end with a happily ever after, or just a happily for now? What is “ever after” anyway? What is permanence? It’s possible I had an existential crisis in the middle of recording this one, but thank goodness I had Professor Emma Barry to guide me through this discussion. We talk about how academics are intellectual colonizers, plus how one of the best oral sex scenes saved Emma from the trauma of the ‘90s, and I ask the question: Is it bad to read escapist trash?


029. Kink in Romance with Katrina Jackson, Katee Robert, Karelia Stetz-Waters

Mar 16, 2020

Tonight’s theme is KINK and my guests are Katrina Jackson, Katee Robert, and Karelia Stetz-Waters. Decameron Quarantine Romance Book Club: part 1 of a 10-episode mini-series of short, casual conversations with romance experts, who are here to spread the joy of romance novels so that we can all stay home and NOT spread the Coronavirus. Stay safe, stay calm, and keep reading romance.


028. Emergency Contact by Mary HK Choi with Kennedy Ryan

Mar 10, 2020

Longing, Connection, and Friendship as Foundational to Romance Kennedy Ryan is back to discuss Emergency Contact by Mary HK Choi, a book that LJ Shen (lovingly) forced Kennedy to read. It’s the story of two lonely protagonists who become obsessed with contact and their love story is about friendship, trust, and understanding as the foundation for a relationship. We also talk about meeting your writing heroes, Kennedy’s influences and her nomination for the romance canon, and why love is a hazard to your health. Plus, a cameo from Penny Reid. Also, did you know that tonight on March 9, 2020 it is the beginning of Purim? Whether you celebrate this holiday or not, you’re going to love this enemies to lovers rom-com Write This Book from Hannah Hearts Romance at the end of this episode.


027. Island Fling with the Tycoon by Therese Beharrie with Talia Hibbert

Mar 3, 2020

Talia Hibbert, best-selling author of romance novels like Get a Life, Chloe Brown, and Work For It, joins me to talk about how Disney’s 1998 film Mulan explores genderqueer themes, Talia shares her nomination for the romance canon, and we discuss how Therese Beharrie is a master of the condensed timeline, as explored in her sweet Harlequin romance: Island Fling with the Tycoon. Also, if you enjoy Derek Craven, puns and romance novels, you’re going to love a special surprise at the end of this episode involving my favorite Tweet Artist, Ash Dylan.


026. Teach Me by Olivia Dade with Denise Williams

Feb 25, 2020

Is power a pie that once eaten, disappears? What’s the opposite of toxic masculinity? And, most importantly, what is a cinnamon roll hero and why are they all the rage right now in romantic fiction? Denise Williams (How to Fail at Flirting) is back to discuss Teach Me by Olivia Dade, which is about two very passionate, mature, and respectful high school history teachers. It's a super hot romance between an emotionally-distant ice queen heroine and a cinnamon roll hero. Also: Preview of the April 2020 NECRWA Conference with Sionna Fox, and what options local RWA chapters are considering in the wake of the national chapter's massive failure to address racism and lack of diversity.


025. Wattpad - The Love Riots by Noora Zaroon with Tamara Lush

Feb 18, 2020

Tamara Lush (romance writer and AP journalist) and I discuss Wattpad and Radish, where you can find serialized fiction by writers and for readers that are international, young, and diverse. We also talk about pacing yourself as a writer and what’s troubling Tamara about indie publishing. The text we discuss today is a Wattpad story called The Love Riots by Delhi Belly, aka Noora Zaroon. This cross-genre story reminds us of the bonkbusters novels by Sidney Sheldon or Danielle Steel, and tells a gritty and sometimes uncomfortable story about a toxic inter-religious Romeo + Juliet relationship between a Hindu woman and a Muslim man in India. While this story explores a relationship, it is NOT a romance novel, and the ending is definitely not emotionally satisfying. We also discuss issues of dubious consent within the story.