Episode Archives

Ep. 50 Shayla Black and Lexi Blake: Masters of Menage

We’re joined by Shayla Black and Lexi Blake! They are two bestselling, prolific authors who talk all about their gloriously filthy stories, their writing process, and a slew of random topics!

Ways to listen:

Listen on Google Play Music

To find out more about Shayla, you can check out her website or follow her on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. And Lexi on her website, Facebook or Twitter.

Highlights from our conversation include:

  • Their first experiences going to RWA.
  • How they met and starting working together as part of an accountability writing group and discovered that they were compatible.
  • How they accidentally predicted current events in their Perfect Gentleman series.
  • What their joint writing process looks like.
  • How the Masters of Menage series came about…tequila!
  • Why “traditional menage” felt limiting to them.
  • “Let’s take tropes and make them really dirty!”
  • “She starts a virgin, but it doesn’t last long.”
  • “We’ll just give you more cock. It’s fine.”
  • “He finally did give her his penis, in case you’re wondering…”
  • How their husbands are the backbones of their businesses.
  • How they juggle all their many writing projects.
  • How they deal with writer’s block when their schedule doesn’t have room for it.
  • How their Perfect Gentleman series came about and how they developed it.
  • “Those things can be slippery suckers!”
  • Pickles, clowns, and pranks!
  • Why they don’t want to survive the zombie apocalypse

Books mentioned:

Ep. 49 What We’re Reading #4 with Eva Moore

In this fourth edition of What We’re Reading, we’re joined by special guest Eva Moore! Eva is an author and admin of OSRBC (Old School Romance Book Club) on Facebook and one of the founders of a new book club on Instagram called Romanced by the Book.

How has everyone been? We’ve been rage baking and fantasizing about punching all the dicks. Seriously, guys. Group hug.

Ways to listen:

Listen on Google Play Music

Recs we’re looking for:

  • Anything that smashes the patriarchyF/F romance

Life updates:

Sarah has been cat sitting and has started writing a new book (a science fiction Gothic romance!). Jenny took a whirlwind trip to Scotland to see family. Z got her first two teeth!

Books mentioned in this episode:

You can find Eva on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter!

  • The Beyond Series by Kit Rocha
  • Gideon’s Riders by Kit Rocha
    • Sarah’s rage read/therapy
    • Sexy post apocalyptic series
    • All the characters are trauma survivors finding happiness, but the writing doesn’t linger on the trauma
  • Earth Bound by Emma Barry and Genevieve Turner
  • Disorderly Conduct by Tessa Bailey
    • Contemp cop romance
    • cute, funny, outside of Sarah’s normal reads, but she’s enjoying
  • Vicious by V.E. Schwaub
    • Not a romance–fantasy exploring villainy
    • X-Men-esque plot with two super genius characters who begin as friends and become arch enemies
  • Uprooted by Naomi Novik
  • Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik
    • Rumplestiltskin retelling
  • Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
    • Jenny will discuss in next WWR episode
  • Skullsworn by Brian Staveley
  • The Duke with the Dragon Tattoo by Kerrigan Byrne
    • Book one features a deeply tortured hero who escapes prison and assumes a dead boy’s name. The boy was not really dead. He’s found with amnesia and is the hero of this book
    • He wakes up in a mass grave with no memory of who he is
    • Feels like he doesn’t deserve the heroine who saves him and he fixates on her
  • Magic Harvest by Mary Karlik
  • Scoring the Player’s Baby by Naima Simone
    • 3rd book in the WAGs series
    • Heroine who wants nothing to do with football players after her asshole football player exhusband. Has a one night stand with the hero without knowing he’s a football player and ends up pregnant.
    • EVERYONE loves this book.
  • Cherish Me by Farrah Rochon
    • Set in Rome
    • Marriage redemption plot
    • “Loving, kind book”
  • Hold Me Down by Sarah Taylor Woods
    • BDSM romance
    • Other people have called it one of their best books of 2018
    • Sexy, hot hero,
    • Angsty
  • Truth or Beard by Penny Reid
  • A Crown of Bitter Orange by Laura Florand
    • Set in the south of France in perfume territory
    • Cousins trying to hold on to the family land, family grows flowers and produces perfume
    • Follows youngest cousin, Tristan, who does adventure sports and is dismissed by everyone but has a phenomenal nose
    • Falls for woman who comes for a line of traitors to his family
    • Only one who really sees him for who he is
  • A Duke by Default by Alyssa Cole (check out our interview with Alyssa!)
    • Silver fox Scottish swordsmith hero
    • Heroine with ADHD who underestimates herself
    • Super sexy consent
  • A Girl Like Her by Talia Hibbert
  • The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
  • Long Shot by Kennedy Ryan
    • Dark, heavy, but super powerful story that revolves around domestic violence
    • Empowering
    • Set in the world of the NBA
  • Block Shot by Kennedy Ryan
    • Enemies to lovers sports romance
    • Kennedy Ryan is a fucking goddess
    • There are writers who push me to be better. And then there are writers like Kennedy Ryan who make me want to stop writing because I will never be that good!”
    • Curvy heroine grappling with insecurity
  • Single Malt by Layla Rayne
    • Three book series that follows the same couple
    • Eva trusts her implicitly to pick her back up after she’s been dropped off the cliff
  • For Real by Alexis Hall
    • Seasoned sub who has just gotten out of a relationship with younger, brand new Dom
    • May/December M/M
  • A Notorious Vow by Joanna Shupe (check out our interview with Joanna!)
    • Gilded Age romance with a deaf hero
    • Jenny’s favorite of Shupe’s books!
  • For the Duke’s Eyes Only by Lenora Bell (check out our interview with Lenora!)
    • Lady Indy’s story
    • super strong feminist heroine who does not give a fuck
    • Enemies to lovers feel
    • James Bond meets Indiana Jones with a badass heroine
  • The Governess Game by Tessa Dare (check out our interview with Tessa!)
    • Jenny’s favorite Tessa Dare
    • funny, heartwarming, sexy, emotional, exsquisite
  • All Chained Up by Sophie Jordan (check out our interview with Sophie!)
    • Heroine is nurse volunteering at a prison where there’s a riot and they plan on harming the her. Hero gets himself beaten to get back into the infirmary to save her.
    • Sophie Jordan brand: batshit plot point (woman being auctioned as a wife in the town square, family curse, prison riot) as a meet cute that then forms into an authentic narrative.
    • Bonkers Alpha hero who fulfills the classic damsel in distress trope
  • Thirsty by Mia Hopkins
    • Ex con who gets out and is trying to live by the rules
    • Ends up living in garage of single mom heroine
  • Ransom by Julie Garwood

You can find Eva on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook!

Ep. 46 Alexa Martin: Intercepted

We’re joined by debut author, Alexa Martin and special guest cohost, Maureen Lee Lenker! Alexa chats with us about her book, Intercepted, what it was like being a real life NFL wife, her love of reality TV, and much more!

You can find Alexa on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook! Maureen is on Twitter and Instagram!

Ways to listen:

Listen on Google Play Music

Highlights from our conversation:

  • How her husband felt about her writing in his football world
  • How becoming an author is her reclaiming her identity outside of being a wife and mother
  • How #pitchwars ultimately led to her becoming a published author
  • What her revision process looked like and how it led to her getting an agent and a book deal
  • How she hasn’t fully embraced her identity as an author yet and is still battling self doubt
  • Her gateway drug into romance–Fifty Shades!
  • Her relationship with football and how she struggles with the dangers of CTE, the risks to players, and the issues of domestic violence and culture around the sport
  • Some of the downsides of being a professional football player, especially being a football family
  • Her own adorable romance story with her husband
  • Her love of reality TV and how that trickles into her writing
  • What she’s working on next
  • How there can be a target on your back when your husband plays football

Books mentioned in this episode:

Intercepted by Alexa Martin

Crossfire Series by Sylvia Day

Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James

Ep. 45 Kennedy Ryan: Block Shot

We’re joined by Kennedy Ryan, a Top 100 Amazon bestseller, to chat about her newest release, Block Shot. We also fan girl over our love of Long Shot and talk about her deeply involved research process for that book and what it taught her about survivors of domestic violence.
Ways to listen:
>
Listen on Google Play Music

To find out more about Kennedy, you can check out her website or follow her on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

Highlights from our conversation include:

      • What inspired her to write something as dark and powerful as Long Shot
      • How she spoke to numerous survivors of domestic violence in an attempt to make the story as authentic as possible
      • All about her newest release, Block Shot, which is a standalone in the same world as Long Shot–it’s enemies to lovers between two competing sports agents!
      • Her other series that includes Flow, Grip, and Still
      • How sometimes the story or ideas just come to her and flow out of her
      • Her efforts to raise autism awareness and her foundation to support families living with autism

Books mentioned in this episode:

Block Shot by Kennedy Ryan

Long Shot by Kennedy Ryan

Grip by Kennedy Ryan

Flow by Kennedy Ryan

Still by Kennedy Ryan

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

Ep. 44 Helena Hunting: The Good Luck Charm

Our guest this week is New York Times bestselling author Helena Hunting. We chat about her latest release, The Good Luck Charm, what makes second chance romances so compelling, why she loves hockey romances, and so much more!
Ways to listen:

Listen on Google Play Music

To find out more about Helena, you can check out her website or follow her on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

Highlights from our conversation include:

      • Her earliest exposure to romance (Sweet Valley followed by Flowers in the Attic)
      • How she thinks she’ll introduce her daughter to romance
      • Her experiences as a high school guidance counselor
      • How she started writing on maternity leave because her daughter wouldn’t sleep
      • Why taking a toddler to the grocery store is like shopping with a friend who’s on acid.
      • All about her newest book, The Good Luck Charm
      • Why hockey is awesome
      • Why she uses running to clear her head
      • Why Belle is kind of a bitch
      • What she’s writing next (finally!)
      • What she does for self care to get a break from her busy writing schedule

Books mentioned in this episode:

The Good Luck Charm by Helena Hunting

Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews

Song of the Lioness by Tamora Pierce

Wicked Lovely Series by Melissa Maar

Twilight by Stepheni Meyer

Pucked Love by Helena Hunting

Pucked by Helena Hunting

Fall on Your Knees by Anne-Marie MacDonald

Fever Series by Karen Marie Moning

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

Ep. 43 Tessa Dare: The Governess Game

Our guest this week is New York Times bestselling author, Tessa Dare, who writes fabulously witty and charming historical romances. We talk about her latest book, The Governess Game, historical lady scientists, and the mating practices of both lobsters and ducks!

Ways to listen:

Listen on Google Play Music

You can find Tessa on her website or follow her on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram! Her brand new Facebook group is The Secret Society of Damsels Who Dare!

Highlights from our conversation include:

      • How we accidentally had Tessa play photographer for us without knowing it was her.
      • What it’s like to be readers’ “break in case of emergency author”
      • How authors who claim not to read reviews are lying.
      • Her marvelous new book, The Governess Game!
      • Awesome historical lady scientists.
      • Historical accuracy in historical romance and the concept of “historical rom coms”
      • How history is written by the Victors not the Victorias!
      • Her next book, The Wallflower Wager.
      • The backstory on her Girl Meets Duke series covers.
      • Her worst typo ever.
      • The specifics of lobster sex and why she felt it was the perfect fit for a romance.
      • Duck sex. More about duck sex and genitalia than you ever wanted to know.

Our favorite out of context quotes:

“I don’t know how to write a face eater!”

“Historical lube–how did we get here?”

“I want to tell a duck story that’s not about rape.”

Books mentioned in this episode:

The Governess Game by Tessa Dare

Books by Brenna Aubrey (Tessa Dare’s office mate)

When a Scot Ties the Knot by Tessa Dare

A Week to be Wicked by Tessa Dare

A Lady by Midnight by Tessa Dare

Romancing the Duke by Tessa Dare

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ward

Ep. 42 What We’re Reading #3

Our third iteration of What We’re Reading, featuring Jen Prokop from JenReadsRomance!

We give a few life updates on Sarah’s new book and Jenny’s adventures in motherhood. Also, dicksoap. We have thoughts.

We forgot to take a picture together, so Jen gets to be the silhouette lady in the middle of this one.

Ways to listen:

Listen on Google Play Music

  • Books we discuss in this episode:

    A Taste of Pleasure by Chloe Blake

        • Gorgeous cover!
        • “Ghost Chef” meets handsome Italian man at a wedding
        • Snappy dialog, great banter.
        • Jen considers it “perfect”

    Whiskey Sharp: Unraveled by Lauren Dane

        • Angst vs stakes
        • high stakes low angst (external conflict)

    Forbidden Hearts series by Alisha Rai

    Forbidden by Beverly Jenkins

        • Historical in which hero is passing as white
        • High stakes/high angst, but the drama is driven by the internal conflict

    Sparks Like Ours by Melissa Brayden

        • F/F surf romance
        • Friends to lovers with one heroine discovering her sexual identity

    My Lady’s Lover by Nicola Davidson

        • F/F historical novella
        • Lady’s maid falls for her employer
        • “spectacular”

    Vegas Top Guns Series by Katie Porter

        • Sexy kinks.
        • Exhibitionism at its finest
        • Bisexual showgirl and a photographer

    Long Shot by Kennedy Ryan

        • Dark story of a woman escaping an abusive marriage
        • Incredibly powerful story of a woman surviving and fighting
        • Basketball romance

    Burn Down the Night by M. O’Keefe

        • Motorcycle club romance
        • AMAZING heroine who is not here for your bullshit

    Judgment Road by Christine Feehan

    Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase

    Rules of Scoundrels series by Sarah MacLean

    Radiance by Grace

    Hidden Legacy Series by Ilona Andrews

    Kate Daniels Series by Ilona Andrews

    Guardian Series by Meljean Brook

    Anita Blake Series by Laurel K. Hamilton

    Everything Ravaged. Everything Burned. (short story)

    Recs We’re Looking For:

    Angsty Books!

    Vikings!

    Tortured Control Freaks Who Like to Get a Little Kinky!

Ep. 41 Avery Flynn: Butterface

Our guest this week is USA Today bestselling romance author, Avery Flynn, who chats with us about her previous career as a crime reporter, her transition from writing romantic suspense to writing romantic comedy, and her newest book, Butterface!

You can find Avery Flynn on her website or follow her on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook!
Ways to listen:

Listen on Google Play Music

Highlights from our conversation include:

      • How she got started reading romance.
      • Her experiences as a crime reporter.
      • How she embraced her sense of humor in her writing and started writing romantic comedy.
      • How Butterface explores embracing women exactly as they are and how powerful that is.
      • Our mutual obsession with enemies to lovers.
      • The story of the cat Sarah and Jenny had in college who liked to hide in the bathroom and attack men’s genitals.
      • Where her ideas come from.
      • How her career as a romance novelist began.
      • How she juggles motherhood with writing.
      • Why we love Scrivener!
      • How she deals with writer’s block.
      • How she’s grown as a writer and her craft has changed.

Books mentioned in this episode:

Butterface by Avery Flynn

Books by Johanna Lindsey

Books by Jackie Collins

The Charmer by Avery Flynn

Text Me When You Get Home by Kayleen Schaefer

Scoring the Player’s Baby by Naima Simone

The Governess Game by Tessa Dare

Rock Chick by Kristin Ashley

Dangerous Kiss by Avery Flynn

In the Woods by Tana French

Books by Xio Axelrod

Books by Kimberly Kincaid

Books by Robin Covington

Ep. 40 Laurell K. Hamilton: Serpentine

IMG_1272 2.jpgWe’re joined by Laurell K. Hamilton who is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Anita Blake and Merry Gentry series. We chat about her newest release, the 26th book in the Anita Blake series, Serpentine. We also chat about polyamory, what research into BDSM looked like in 1997, how she found out she’s allergic to mummies, and much more. She gives us an overview of the world of Anita Blake for readers who haven’t yet read any of the series.

Ways to listen:

Listen on Google Play Music

Highlights from our conversation:

  • How the world has changed in the 25 years she’s been writing the series in terms of feminism, representation, technology, and so much more–and how that has impacted her writing.
  • How social media has changed the world and our interactions with people whose views differ from ours.
  • Why her readers were so distressed when she broke two characters up in the aftermath of 9/11.
  • How she responds to negative fans and the criticism that her series has changed and now has too much sex.
  • Her experiences with polyamory and how it was through research for Anita that she learned about that world.
  • What her research into BDSM looked like in 1997 long before discussions of BDSM were mainstream.
  • Her hilarious first experience in a BDSM club when she knew absolutely nothing.
  • Why you’re safer at a BDSM event than at an average bar.
  • How she learned to balance motherhood with her own identity and her art.
  • Can you be happier?

Books mentioned in this episode:

Serpentine by Laurell K. Hamilton

Guilty Pleasures (First in the Anita Blake Series) by Laurell K. Hamilton

Different Loving by William and Gloria Brame

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Ruben

What You Can Change and What You Can’t by Martin E.P. Singleman

To keep up with Laurell, you can find her on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook–or on her website.

Laurell.jpg

Ep. 36 Robinne Lee: The Idea of You

robinneWe’re joined by Robinne Lee to discuss her powerful debut novel, The Idea of You. Robinne is a graduate of Columbia Law School and is also an accomplished actress. She has been in films like Hitch and Seven Pounds as well as Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed. We discuss her experiences as a writer and actress and the big themes from her book like ageism, the invisibility of “older” women, the madness of fame, and more!

Ways to Listen:

Books mentioned in this episode:

The Idea of You by Robinne Lee