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Smart Podcast, Trashy Books: Reviews, Interviews, and Discussion About All the Romance Novels You Love to Read

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Rank #142 in Books category

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Books
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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 include romance novels, the way the genre is changing, and the brilliant and interesting people who read, write, and produce it, and issues common among romance readers. Plus, we always recommend some books we're reading and really enjoying. Learn more at SB-TB.com/Podcast.

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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 include romance novels, the way the genre is changing, and the brilliant and interesting people who read, write, and produce it, and issues common among romance readers. Plus, we always recommend some books we're reading and really enjoying. Learn more at SB-TB.com/Podcast.

iTunes Ratings

282 Ratings
Average Ratings
246
24
5
3
4

I love Sarah

By Neil Plakcy - Dec 25 2019
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And I could listen to her for hours. Her podcasts are always fascinating and peppered with interesting insights, and she and her guests always have such a good time that I feel welcomed in as a listener.

Amazing podcast!!

By twinhck - Apr 02 2018
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Such a thoughtful and amazing podcast!!

iTunes Ratings

282 Ratings
Average Ratings
246
24
5
3
4

I love Sarah

By Neil Plakcy - Dec 25 2019
Read more
And I could listen to her for hours. Her podcasts are always fascinating and peppered with interesting insights, and she and her guests always have such a good time that I feel welcomed in as a listener.

Amazing podcast!!

By twinhck - Apr 02 2018
Read more
Such a thoughtful and amazing podcast!!
Cover image of Smart Podcast, Trashy Books: Reviews, Interviews, and Discussion About All the Romance Novels You Love to Read

Smart Podcast, Trashy Books: Reviews, Interviews, and Discussion About All the Romance Novels You Love to Read

Latest release on May 22, 2020

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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 include romance novels, the way the genre is changing, and the brilliant and interesting people who read, write, and produce it, and issues common among romance readers. Plus, we always recommend some books we're reading and really enjoying. Learn more at SB-TB.com/Podcast.

Rank #1: 395. House of Earth and Blood, With Courts of Thorns: A Conversation with Sarah J. Maas

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This week, a much anticipated book is out: House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas released on the 3rd. It’s the first in her new Crescent City series, and her first adult fantasy title. So we’re going to talk about everything - and we have some incredible questions from our Patreon community, too. They were as excited as we were about this interview, since many of them are massive fans of her Court of Thorns and Roses and her Throne of Glass series.

This is a longer interview, but it's so funny and thoughtful and very intimate, and I didn't want you to miss anything that Sarah had to say. I hope you enjoy it.

Thanks to Emily Fisher, Publicist at Bloomsbury, for coordinating all the pre-interview details!

Thanks to Molly, Olivia, Danielle, Agnes, Taryn, and Stephanie for their questions!

CW: We talk about panic attacks 55:00-58:00 and mental health care 45:00-60:00 minutes. 

Music: https://www.purple-planet.com

Mar 06 2020

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Rank #2: 344. Burnout – A Feminist Book about Stress: An Interview with Emily and Amelia Nagoski

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I am so excited to share this conversation with you. Today I am talking with Emily and Amelia Nagoski, authors of Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle. I think this might be one of those episodes you re-listen to, because what Emily and Amelia have to say is incredibly wise and kind and so empowering and soothing - at the same time. No kidding.

Their own description of this book might be the best one. On Amelia’s Medium bio, it says “A feminist book about stress” On Emily’s website, the description reads, It’s for women who feel overwhelmed and exhausted by all they have to do, yet worrying that they’re not doing “enough.”

Emily’s name you might recognize from previous podcast interviews. She writes romance fiction as Emily Foster, and is the author of Come As You Are, about the science of arousal and orgasm.

Amelia is a choral conductor, and during our conversation, we take a side trip into self awareness of one’s own voice, the policing of women’s speaking styles, and then the larger picture of being aware of one’s entire body.

The section on stress and emotional processing in Emily’s book Come As You Are partially inspired this book, along with the personal experience of Amelia and Emily using the information in their own lives.

We talk about how wellness has become an achievement and how we as individuals can allow wellness to happen

There is so much practical advice, too! Such as things we can do to smash the patriarchy a piece at a time - including and especially SLEEP. Oh, sleep is everything.

We talk a LOT about what stress is, what it does to your body, and what you can do to better handle the effects of it through the Stress Response Cycle. Short version: stress isn’t solved or dissolved by dealing with what caused the stress. Stress is a cycle that is completed by action, that we have to complete within and through our physical bodies, and incomplete stress cycles accumulate. But good news: reading romance is one way to help complete stress cycles and emotional cycles. To quote Amelia: “Romance novels are a nutritious part of this Burnout Prevention Strategy.”

Spoiler alert! At about 43:20 - 44:30: I spoil the ending of How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World as we talk about the importance of completing emotional cycles in the entertainment we consume - and yes, this is part of why cliffhangers are so deeply upsetting.

Basically, your body is trying to take care of you, and there’s a lot more we can do to help ourselves out. Learning to take care of one’s own body is difficult, and this interview talks about some of these concepts, but the book explores them in greater detail. If you read our review, and yes, I’ll link to it in the show notes, you know that reading this book changed a number of the ways I treat myself, talk to myself, and care for myself, to be more patient and gentle and understanding of what my body is trying to do. I can’t recommend this book more highly.

And I can’t recommend this interview more emphatically. Amelia and Emily are, in their own words, trying to encourage us to "change the world by caring for each other and not letting the world demand of us what we are unable to give."

Mar 29 2019

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Rank #3: 296. Acting, Narrating, and Writing: An Interview with Julia Whelan

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Today I’m interviewing Julia Whelan, author of the new book, My Oxford Year, which just came out this week, on April 24, 2018.

This is a full score production: dogs barking! Car horns! The street sounds of midtown Manhattan! We cover her start as a child actor, and how she moved through acting to audiobook narration to writing screenplays and then a novel.

Among the topics we discuss:

What makes a good narration?

What are the differences between screenplays and novels?

How does being an audiobook narrator and actor influence her writing, and vice versa?

I also ask some vague non-spoiler questions about the characters in My Oxford Year, and we get a teeny sample of her performance of the audiobook and some of the key characters. We also discuss my very strange idea that Gone Girl and YA have some elements in common, and of course, I ask what she’s reading.

I really enjoyed this interview - I almost titled it English Major Nerds Talking. I hope you enjoy it, too.

Apr 27 2018

1hr 8mins

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Rank #4: 310. Heroine Sociopaths and Emotional Suspense: An Interview with Victoria Helen Stone

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First: my apologies. In this recording, Victoria sounds terrific. I’m somewhere underwater, and predominantly on the right side. Egads. I’m not sure what I did wrong, but I apologize in advance. But hey, this conversation is so interesting because of what she has to say!

Victoria Helen Stone, also known as romance author Victoria Dahl, has a new book out, Jane Doe [bookmention slug="jane-doe"]. I read it in one sitting - it was terrifyingly good. Her heroine, Jane, is a self-acknowledged sociopath, and hanging out in her head was quite an experience as she gets revenge on someone who did irreparable harm to her best friend. In this interview, we talk about shifting from romance to revenge thrillers - or as Stone calls them, Emotional Suspense.

We also discuss:

The catharsis of addressing double standards and processing rage through her writing.

The enjoyment of burning shit down.

The use of genre terms such as “women’s fiction,” “chick lit,” “psychological thrillers,” and “book club fiction.”

The empowerment of women taking control, including when they lose control.

The freeing experience of writing Jane Doe, a sociopathic heroine who has zero self-doubt, and being inside the head of a person who is determined to exact complete and total revenge.

Among her recommendations, we talk about safe spaces to explore kink in romance fiction, and her frustrations with the horror genre.

Stay tuned to the end of the interview where she drops this fascinating idea:

“Romance and horror are the flip sides of the same human drive to survive.”

CW: We talk about gas lighting, harassment, school shootings, entitlement, the foundations of emotionally abusive relationships, and then have an in-depth discussion of sociopathy.

Aug 03 2018

53mins

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Rank #5: 318. Sharp Academics and Paranormal Romance: An Interview with Kelly Baker, PhD, and Tressie McMillan Cottom, PhD

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Today I’m talking with two nifty academics, so get ready to maybe take notes. I’m talking with Tressie McMillan Cottom, PhD, sociology professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, and Kelly Baker, PhD, who studies racist politics, sexism in the academy, white supremacy, and zombies.

Both are writers, and both are major fans of paranormal romance. They snuck paranormal romances to read during grad school, they hid their love of romances, and dealt with being shunned and shamed for loving the genre.

We talk about how reading fills in gaps in knowledge about culture and history, and we also discuss: 

- How romance and genre fiction broadened their understanding of worlds outside their own

- Their take on anyone who can or tries to remove the politics from anything - including historical romance

- The idea that history can somehow not be political (?!)

- The ways that romance, specifically fantasy and paranormal romance, interrogates race, society, gender, and colonialism - and the ways that it does not

- The politics of escape fantasy in different romance genres

- The politics of who is permitted to get angry in a written world

Plus we take a hilarious deep critical dive into Dr. Cottom’s love of Hallmark movies - and how they are talked about as “unpolitical” as well. She talks, after some prodding, about how she reads Hallmark films. Here’s a hint: they’re alarmingly similar to a very specific romance genre, and it’s not contemporary. Get ready to have your mind blown and also laugh a lot, too.

Sep 28 2018

1hr 9mins

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Rank #6: 295. Inclusive History, Magical Writing, and Fan Art: An Interview with KJ Charles

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This week I am chatting with editor and author KJ Charles about lots and lots of different things. She started out as a Mills & Boon editor and then moved to writing, so she has a lot of perspective on the writing and edition process. We discuss plot, character, use of language, editing, and writing romance, especially in various historical periods.

Some of the audio is a bit muddy in the recording, and my apologies for that.

We discuss what plot and structure are doing in a story, and spend even more time on examining what erasure does in historical settings. When people of color, people of different classes, queer people are erased from history, that has consequences, and Charles has a lot to say about those issues, especially why it matters right now that history is actively rewritten as entirely white, rich, cis gendered and heterosexual.

Other topics we discuss include:

Fan art, and works inspired by her books and characters - she has a gallery!

Use of magic in historical settings

World building rules that make for effective stories

Is there such a thing as correct use of a language? (Spoiler: not)

How being an editor influenced her writing, and vice versa

The importance of own voices in LGBT romance and in historical romance, and of representation of accurate history

The distinction between inclusion of diverse characters and writing experiences that are not one’s own

Big thanks to the Patreon community for questions and enthusiasm about this interview!

Apr 20 2018

1hr 1min

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Rank #7: 367. The Vagina Bible, Shoes, and Other Essentials: A Conversation with Dr. Jen Gunter

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Today I’m chatting with Dr. Jen Gunter, author of The Vagina Bible, and host of the new CBC show Jensplaining. Yes, it’s a Canadian show, and yes, I’m jealous. 

We talk about debunking junk science, and how pervasive bad information is about vaginas and vulvas. We talk about vagina pain, caring for trans patients, and sources for good information. And we take a long detour through shoes, because obviously. Priorities.

Key point from this episode: “Misinformation and disinformation about your body is the opposite of feminism.”

TW/ CW:
At about 12:00 there is mention of child death.

And at about 27:00 there's a detailed discussion of fat shaming , mental health shaming, and junk science messaging in Marianne Williamson’s books.

Sep 06 2019

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Rank #8: 284. Romance, Mystery, and the Cuban Revolution: An Interview with Chanel Cleeton

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This week, I’m interviewing author Chanel Cleeton about her new book, Next Year in Havana, a dual-timeline mystery and romance set in part against the Cuban revolution. Don’t worry - no spoilers! We talk about the cover, which we hosted a reveal for because it’s simply stunning. We discuss the origin of the book, the ways in which her family influenced the story, and the intricacies created by including political nuance and multiple historical perspectives in multiple timelines. Chanel tells us about some of this historical research she did while writing this book, and of course, she shares what she’s reading.

Feb 02 2018

58mins

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Rank #9: 354. Six Books Amanda’s Excited About, and Other Stories from BEA 2019

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Amanda was at Book Expo America 2019, and she has books to recommend, titles to squee about, and a definite predilection for candles and reading cover blurbs, too.

We talk about her impressions of this year’s BEA, who it’s for, and how it’s changed over her time working in various parts of publishing. We also talk about how much Amanda likes reading blurbs on the covers of new books.

We talk about so many upcoming releases that aren’t available yet, so we’re very sorry in advance. Key terms to listen for: “claustrophobic thriller” and “snakes are having a moment.”

Plus we talk about what Amanda’s reading right now.

CW/TW: Amanda tells some stories about wrangling snakes in her childhood - so if you’re not on board with snake discussion, heads up at 39 minutes in, when Amanda mentions snake stores, you might want to skip ahead about a minute total.

So, what about you? Would you want to attend BEA? Do you like meetings? Do you read blurbs from other writers on the covers of books? I'm curious!

Jun 06 2019

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Rank #10: 312. Unruly Women, Camouflaging Misogyny, and Controlling Our Narratives: An Interview with Anne Helen Petersen

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The paperback edition of Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud: The Rise and Reign of Unruly Women came out on August 7th, and I had the opportunity to ask author Anne Helen Peterson about the book, and about her work on celebrity, the narrative of image, and how women are seizing control of their own stories.

Her book is about unruly women who disrupt the world around them in unique and powerful ways, and our conversation is about how women continue to disrupt. We talk about political unruliness, celebrity unruliness, and the way young women are challenging the questions they are asked and refusing to tolerate behavior they don’t like is inspiring to us.

We also discuss the labor of constantly reframing the narratives around us to highlight the misogyny and sexism that inform them. Anne Helen says some truly incredible and thought provoking things about hiding and cloaking the ideology of misogyny - definitely the highlight of the interview for me. We also touch on what she’s working on now, including political coverage of the midterm elections from her base in Montana, and her interest in writing about country music.

Aug 17 2018

58mins

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Rank #11: 381. Our Favorite Books of the Year, Part One: Lara, Tara, Carrie S and Charlotte

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In the next few episodes, you’ll hear from the SBTB reviewing team as we talk about our favorite books of the year. Lara joins us from South Africa to tell us about the books, fiction and nonfiction, that she read this year that made her feel good about herself. Tara joins us from Calgary, Canada, to talk about romances she read that changed her perspective - and taught her some history of lesbian pulp fiction. Carrie S. revisits zombie horror she adored and books that helped her get out of bed to fight the good fight, and Charlotte talks about revisiting her reading over the past year and how many books she loved.

I hope you enjoy this reading recap, and that you share with us your favorite books that you read in the past year, too!

Right now, for a limited time, you can get 3 months of Audible for just $6.95 a month. That’s more than half off the regular price. Choose 1 audiobook and 2 Audible Originals absolutely free. Visit audible.com/TRASHYBOOKS or text TRASHYBOOKS to 500-500.

Dec 13 2019

1hr 4mins

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Rank #12: 304. “You Have a Type and it Might be Mullets” – Sarah, Amanda, and Elyse are VERY Silly About Books and Villainy

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If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like when we hang out in a room together, well, this episode is for you. And if you need a lot of silly laughter, this is definitely the episode for you.

While we were at Romantic Times BookLovers Convention in May, we recorded two podcasts, which I should not ever do again because it makes the editing quite a challenge. This is Part one, which is Incredibly Silly.

We recorded after dinner one night, s o we’re Sleepy and Goofy (and perhaps also Doc and Dopey - I’m definitely Dopey). We talk about books we are interested in or have seen at RT, and then we get really silly. Our discussion includes:

1. Why does Amanda have a weakness for Val Kilmer?

2. How does Amanda rank the Hemsworths in order of physical density?

3. How does Amanda rank the Real Housewives franchises in terms of quality?

4. How bad of a style icon was Anita Blake?

5. How many Alfreds were there in the Batman film franchise?

6. What fanfics are Elyse and Amanda’s favorite?

7. Which Backstreet Boy was Amanda and Elyse’s favorite?

8. Can Amanda and Elyse find a villain hero that interests me? (Spoiler alert: nope).

This is what happens when Sarah, Amanda, and Elyse get really silly, and stop making sense. And given that this has been A Rough Week, we hope you enjoy our completely bubbly, goofy, discussion.

Jun 22 2018

1hr 13mins

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Rank #13: 291. Encouraging Readers and Fostering Confidence: An Interview with Margaret H. Willison

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Today I’m talking with Margaret H. Willison, who is one of the Two Bossy Dames newsletter, a podcaster at Appointment Television, and a frequent fourth chair on NPR’s Pop Culture Happy Hour.

We talk about a LOT of different things. I want to start with a trigger warning as we have a discussion about workplace sexual harassment, especially in public-facing jobs such as in a library.

We talk about confidence, intelligence, and choosing the right handle on AIM and Twitter, we discuss the separation of professional job life and online life, and we look at the overlap of being a librarian in both spaces in two somewhat different ways.

We also cover:

- the fine line between emotional labor and informational labor
- the degree of professional training librarians receive in both
- the process of facing sexual harassment at the service desk as a librarian and in any service industry job
- the challenge of recognizing your own history with harassment

We also talk about what it’s like to do reader’s advisory, and why she thinks YA isn’t it’s own genre - a really interesting perspective that I hadn’t heard before.

You also get to hear my theory on parenting and entrepreneurship books, and Margaret’s work and advice for crowdfunding and “making public the hard work that you do.” That’s something I still struggle with. I almost made that the title of this episode

Special thanks to Jen, a podcast listener who wrote in with some questions about librarianship and the process of readers advisory, which led to our conversation about developing recommendations that help people identify themselves as people who enjoy reading.

Mar 23 2018

1hr 18mins

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Rank #14: 322. Breaking Up with Damaging Conventions in Romance: A Conversation with Kate Cuthbert

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Today I’m chatting with Kate Cuthbert. Until very recently, Kate was the Managing Editor of Escape Publishing, Harlequin Australia. This was recorded while she still worked in that position. She’s recently accepted a new position as the Program Manager at Writers Victoria, the Victoria Australia state-wide professional organization for writers. Congrats!

Kate recently gave a keynote speech at Romance Writers of Australia that received a lot of attention after it was posted online. She addressed the tropes that are damaging, toxic, and regressive, and explained that maybe it’s time we broke up with them.

I read her speech online, but because speeches are meant to be heard, I asked her if she’d both talk about the development of her speech, and read it again for you all.

It’s very thought provoking and affectionate while being critical and I think attentive to what the genre says to readers. She talks about dubious consent, making deliberate choices about writing, and what our defaults in tropes, character type, and cliche really mean, or actually say beneath the familiarity.

We also talk about hot fox characters (because reasons), and of course she recommends a book that’s been passed around the office to everyone who’s had a rough day. Stay tuned for that, for sure.

Oct 26 2018

1hr 6mins

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Rank #15: 380. Tropes and Good Books are Eternal: A Snortlaugh with Angela James

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Today my guest is Editor and Digital Grandmaster Angela James. Angie and I have known each other for a long honking time - over 14 years, we think. So in between snort laughing and talking about friendship, we talk about her new editorial venture and business following the elimination of her position at Carina Press. If you’re curious about editing and how that process works, get ready to learn all the things.

Music: https://www.purple-planet.com

Dec 06 2019

1hr 12mins

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Rank #16: 311. A Nerdy Bookish Deep Dive into My Oxford Year with Julia Whelan

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After we recorded our interview about My Oxford Year, author Julia Whelan asked if I ever did more spoiler-heavy analytical conversations about books after they’re published. Well, we do now!

In this episode, we do a deep-dive into the book, the themes and Easter eggs hidden within it, and the structural and stylistic decisions that went into the creation of the story. If you haven’t read it and you think you might want to, beware of all the spoilers herein.

We talk poetry, and the reasons to tell a story with a big twist. We talk about the ways information is hidden in first person present tense narratives, and why trust is a big component of making that narrative choice work. We talk about grief and the challenge of perseverance when facing and departing from loss, and how writers have communicated grief. I also have questions from folks on Twitter, and from the Patreon community as well. There’s a lot of nerdy literary talk, so if you’re a book nerd, welcome! Come join us! The water’s fine.

Thanks to folks who supported the podcast Patreon, and to folks on Twitter who asked thoughtful questions: Sarah Rider, Ellen Grafton, Cat McGuire, Hayley Ann Gienow-McConnell, and Megan Larsen.

Aug 10 2018

1hr 11mins

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Rank #17: 351. Hidden Gems in Romance and Listener Email with Amanda & Sarah

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Amanda and I are chatting about making recommendations on Instagram, and about hidden gems in romance that maybe don’t get enough attention or mentions. We cover a lot of books here. We discuss books that we love through the lens of nostalgia, and older titles we are wary to suggest to newer readers of romance. We talk about scenery porn, and I also use the word “charming” too much. Sorry.

We also answer listener email, and talk about traveling with siblings, plus we answer a question from a reader who has some questions about sexuality.

Stay tuned for bonus book and lipstick recs from Amanda at the end.

Thanks to Lauren, Paroma, and Anonymous for email!

May 17 2019

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Rank #18: 288. Tweeting About Romance History: An Interview with Elisabeth Lane of Cooking Up Romance

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This is a podcast episode inspired by Twitter. If it’s on Twitter, it’s not quite oral history but it’s close?

After a Twitter history thread of hers went viral within the romance community online, I asked Elisabeth Lane, the blogging and cooking genius behind Cooking Up Romance if she’d talk to me on the podcast about it. We start by talking about food and romance, her own recipe development, and her reading, reviewing, cooking, and blogging process.

Then we turn to her Twitter thread whic h was about romance generations of writers. It began as her own investigation as to when GLBTQ characters began to appear in published romances, which led to her questioning what the terms “old guard” and “new generation” of writers defined, and where different writers emerged from: category romance then fanfic.

The thread turned into a very active conversation online, and branched into Melissa Blue tracing the history of Black romance authors, and Corey Alexander examining trans and queer characters, plus Mina V. Esguerra tracing the evolution of Filipino romance authors. There’s a lot to examine in the history of romance, and I’m always learning from the people who examine it from different perspectives. I hope this is as interesting for you, too.

Mar 02 2018

56mins

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Rank #19: 358. Vajazzling Vageodes and Writing Romance with Abby Jimenez

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Amanda and I are chatting with Abby Jimenez, author of the debut novel The Friend Zone. Due to technical difficulties, Amanda starts the interview, and then I finish, but along the way we talk about many things, including what it’s like to be a Food Network champion, what it’s like to go truly viral with a cake that looks like a vagina, and how Abby wrote this book mostly with her thumbs. We also discuss The Friend Zone and the inspiration behind the story. Special highlight: meeting Tom Hiddleston, and vagazzling your own vageode.

Content and trigger alert:

During the course of the interview, we discuss menstruation and body parts, and the conversation frames the book from a cis-centric perspective given that the characters are cis-gendered. But we recognize and want to acknowledge that not all women have vaginas, have uteruses, or menstruate.

Also: we discuss infertility, fibroids, hysterectomy, and the painful pressure and hyperattentive focus on fertility that many people feel. I went through infertility myself for other reasons, and some of the discussion in the conversation was painfully familiar. So if this might hurt or feel bad, skip this one, k? Take care of yourself.

You’re awesome and wonderful exactly the way you are.

Jul 05 2019

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Rank #20: 398. Bitches Assemble: Recommendations for Comfort with Sneezy, Ellen, Tara, Maya and Aarya

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Need a break? We are back with some of the SBTB team, who offer more comforting recommendations, and extend their good wishes into the world. This week, Sneezy, Ellen, Maya, Tara, and Aarya want to tell you about new books, old favorites, and some games that are bringing them comfort.

We’re sending you good thoughts and many good book wishes from a safe and acceptable social distance.

TW/CW: The stress of witnessing global racism during Sneezy's interview.3

...

Music: https://www.purple-planet.com

Mar 27 2020

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406. The Mermaid, The Witch, and the Sea: Gender, Pirates and More with Maggie Tokuda-Hall

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Today, Tara and I are speaking with Maggie Tokuda-Hall, author of the new book, The Mermaid, The Witch, and the Sea, which we loved. We talk about who and what inspired her to write this book, how she explored gender identity among pirates, and the stories that define us.

NB: There are incidents of torture and violence in the book, and we mention them during the conversation off and on.

...

Music: https://www.purple-planet.com

May 22 2020

55mins

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405. Behind the Scenes in Publicity, Plus Reading Recs with Estelle Hallick from Forever

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Curious about being a publicist for romance? And how publicity is working during the Quarantimes? Today I'm chatting with Estelle Hallick, publicist at Forever. We talk about all the things, and I ask a lot of questions!

We also talk about the Hachette walkout, which happened in early March and seems like a year ago. We don’t go into the specifics of the memoir, but look more at what internally led to the walkout, what happened afterward, and how acting together made a big difference.

And then: reading recs. LOTS of ‘em!



Music: https://www.purple-planet.com

Looking for a new show to enjoy? Check out My Imaginary Friends with L. Penelope.

May 15 2020

1hr 8mins

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404. Cowboy Romcoms and Real Six Packs with Carly Bloom

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[bookaside slug="cowboy-come-home"] Today I’m chatting with author Carly Bloom about writing cowboy romcoms, small communities that include really annoying people, and the reality of ranch life. No one walks around with their shirt open and their abs hanging out. Can you believe that??

We also take a non-spoilery dive into her latest book, Cowboy Come Home, so if you’re looking for your next read, perhaps this will make you happy.

We talk a fair bit about her #homemadebookcover, which made me laugh. There's a link at smartbitchestrashybooks.com/podcast in the shownotes for episode 404.

...

This episode is brought to you by In To Her by JA Huss, available now at Audible.com. There's a sample of the audiobook at the end of this episode, too!

May 08 2020

57mins

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403. Amanda’s Birthday Surprise Pajama Jammy Jam With Christina Lauren and Kristin Dwyer

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This is a silly episode about cake, desserts, and in the middle, a surprise party for Amanda. She thought she was logging in to talk about cake. I surprised her with a virtual pajama birthday party with Christina Lauren and Kristin Dwyer - and a lot of pictures of Adam driver.

Zeb is begging throughout the recording. We talk about cake and desserts. We discuss strange food combos. We’re very silly. We get a super-surprise sneak preview of their latest book! Come celebrate with us.

You can see pictures of Amanda's birthday cake from Whiskful, who is taking orders for local pickup and delivery in Somerville, Cambridge, and the greater Boston area, and of Lauren's amazing Adam Driver shirt at smartbitchestrashybooks.com/podcast

Cake is the reward, and buttercream is the bonus.

What’s your favorite dessert? Cake? Cupcakes? Pie? Brownies? Cookies? I'm all about carbs so please tell me your faves! 

Music: https://www.purple-planet.com

May 01 2020

1hr 12mins

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402. Girl Indeed Gone Viral, with Alisha Rai

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Alisha Rai wrote a tweet about cake pops on Valentine’s Day that went holy heckin’ viral. It was on every social media platform. It was on tv. Morning shows spent 3+ minutes debating it. Then jackwagon men’s rights activists on YouTube ranted about it.

The cake pops are a metaphor, but the outcome of online virality and that level of exposure is very real, and very difficult. So we talk about what happened, why it happened, and why it’s so goddam threatening for marginalized women with platforms and opinions to be funny while criticizing the behavior of entitled people.

And in delicious, delicious irony, Girl Gone Viral, Alisha’s new book, is out this week.

TW/CW: harassment, like holy whoa. We’re talking throughout the episode about online harassment of a woman of color, and there are some shitty examples at different times in our conversation, so heads up.

Some people suck. You, however, are fabulous.

Music: https://www.purple-planet.com

Apr 24 2020

1hr 7mins

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401. Rewriting the Voice in Your Head: Creation and Inspiration with Dr. Nicole Peeler

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Dr. Nicole Peeler is an author of fantasy, and a professor of popular writing in the Seton Hill MFA in Popular Fiction Writing. We talk about SO MUCH and this is one of those episodes you might listen to a few times because it’s so inspiring and affirming. We discuss writing, confronting genre misconceptions, how one teaches popular writing and romance specifically, and writing your own catnip. Detours include vampires, sewing, hobbies, creativity that isn’t monetized, fashion, goals, and learning to love writing again and again.

NB: This was recorded prior to the dark winter of RWA, and was also recorded prior to the international quarantine. But creativity in any form is getting me through the quarantimes. What about you?

What’s your creative outlet, the ones you revel in? I’d love to know.

Music: https://www.purple-planet.com

Apr 17 2020

51mins

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400. A Four Podcast Crossover with Mayhem and Jokes

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Several members of the Frolic Podcast Network have gathered for group mayhem and silliness for your collective amusement! Laura von Holt from The Mermaid Podcast had the idea to do a group gathering of mayhem and merriment, so in this episode, we have me, Laura, Kelly from Boobies & Noobies, and Kelsey and Zoë from Tea & Strumpets.

We get very silly and invite you to join us. We forget to introduce ourselves. We tell jokes. We debate which Music Man version is superior. We, well, I learn about ranch dressing on pizza. This is a thing? I had no idea.

We talk about what we’re doing to keep our happiness levels up, too - books, dancing, studying botany.

What about you? Got a joke? What are you doing to keep yourself feeling content? I’d love to know.

...

Music: https://www.purple-planet.com

Apr 10 2020

1hr 8mins

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399. Bitches Assemble Part III: More Recommendations with Kiki, Catherine Heloise, and Shana

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We are back with Kiki, Catherine Heloise, and Shana from the SBTB team, with recs, good wishes, and...a CHEESE CONUNDRUM. We cover low-angst reads, scientific research, Let’s All Leave the Planet, SkypeSpeare, and CHEESE HULLABALOO.

We’re sending you good thoughts and many good book wishes from a safe and acceptable social distance.

...

Music: https://www.purple-planet.com

Apr 03 2020

55mins

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398. Bitches Assemble: Recommendations for Comfort with Sneezy, Ellen, Tara, Maya and Aarya

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Need a break? We are back with some of the SBTB team, who offer more comforting recommendations, and extend their good wishes into the world. This week, Sneezy, Ellen, Maya, Tara, and Aarya want to tell you about new books, old favorites, and some games that are bringing them comfort.

We’re sending you good thoughts and many good book wishes from a safe and acceptable social distance.

TW/CW: The stress of witnessing global racism during Sneezy's interview.3

...

Music: https://www.purple-planet.com

Mar 27 2020

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397. Bitches Assemble: Recommendations for Comfort with Carrie, Elyse, Lara, Amanda & Sarah

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Need a break? I’m connecting with each of the Smart Bitches writing team from around the world to see how they’re doing, collect some comforting recommendations, and extend their good wishes into the world.

Cozy up and join us for part one with Carrie in California, Elyse in Wisconsin, Lara from South Africa, and Amanda and I from Boston and Maryland. We have books to read and re-read, recommendations for resilience, and familiarity, and absolute fun. And we have CRUCIAL QUESTIONS about mayonnaise.

We’re sending you good thoughts and many good book wishes from a safe and acceptable social distance.

...

Music: https://www.purple-planet.com

Mar 20 2020

53mins

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396. Red Lipsticks and Murderous Relations: A Conversation With Deanna Raybourn

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My guest today is Deanna Raybourn, author of the Veronica Speedwell series, described as “Miss Fisher meets Sherlock Holmes.” Yup. Story checks out.

We’re talking about her latest book out this week, A Murderous Relation, and about Victorian sleuthing, connections to Schitt’s Creek, recognizing people when you first meet them, and the future of Stoker and Veronica - plus red lipstick and the power of being fully yourself.

Mar 13 2020

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395. House of Earth and Blood, With Courts of Thorns: A Conversation with Sarah J. Maas

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This week, a much anticipated book is out: House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas released on the 3rd. It’s the first in her new Crescent City series, and her first adult fantasy title. So we’re going to talk about everything - and we have some incredible questions from our Patreon community, too. They were as excited as we were about this interview, since many of them are massive fans of her Court of Thorns and Roses and her Throne of Glass series.

This is a longer interview, but it's so funny and thoughtful and very intimate, and I didn't want you to miss anything that Sarah had to say. I hope you enjoy it.

Thanks to Emily Fisher, Publicist at Bloomsbury, for coordinating all the pre-interview details!

Thanks to Molly, Olivia, Danielle, Agnes, Taryn, and Stephanie for their questions!

CW: We talk about panic attacks 55:00-58:00 and mental health care 45:00-60:00 minutes. 

Music: https://www.purple-planet.com

Mar 06 2020

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394. All Things Audiobook and Mountain Climbing with Nita Basu from Hachette Audio

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My guest today is Nita Basu, Marketing and Publicity Manager at Hachette Audio.

I love behind the scenes conversations, and today’s is partly about her work promoting audiobooks across genres and how audio can be adapted when the text is unique and very visual.

Who listens to audiobooks, and where do they listen? What are people doing when they listen?

Should you listen to murder books on the side of a mountain? Where do you listen to audiobooks? What are your favorites?

Music: https://www.purple-planet.com

Feb 28 2020

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393. All Consuming Books, and Vampire Murder Mystery With Renee Ahdieh

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Today I’m talking with NYT bestselling author Renée Ahdieh about her latest series. The Beautiful is out, and The Damned will be out in a few months - I just received a bound galley and woo, is the cover gorgeous.

We talk about writing vampire murder mystery, and writing what she refers to as an "Id book." We also discuss the empowerment and feminism inherent in becoming consumed by something we love, like a book or a series of books - especially when it's something we don't have permission or approval to be consumed by, mwahahaha.

We cover craft, character construction, conflict vs puzzle plots, fashion, food, and more writing - there’s a lot!

CW/TW: Discussion of Kavanaugh hearings, assault, violence, and plot spoilers from 32:00 to 36:00.

Music: https://www.purple-planet.com

Feb 21 2020

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392. Earth is Garbage, Space is Horny: Sarah & Amanda Look at Space Romance

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

Amanda and I are chatting about everything from bookstores and trade romance to her Reylo fanfic. Our conversation is inspired by a question from Jasmine, who is part of our Patreon. She wanted to ask us about sci-fi and space romances, and ask for recommendations. Amanda’s much more fluent in space romance than I am, but we absolutely have recs, suggestions, theories about required elements, and potential reasons why space is SO appealing right now.

This episode is brought to you by Best Women's Erotica of the Year, edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel, and published by Cleis Press.
Music: https://www.purple-planet.com

Feb 14 2020

53mins

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391. RWA One Month Later, Part IV: A Conversation with Courtney Milan

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Welcome to part four and the final episode in my series on RWA: One Month Later. We’ve heard from C Chilove, Laurel Cremant, and Diana Neal, the officers of CIMRWA, from past RWA president HelenKay Dimon, and from Jessie Edwards, Marketing and PR Manager for RWA.

Today, I’m speaking with Courtney Milan.

There’s a lot to process, and this is a somewhat emotional interview wherein we talk about what happened, her reactions, and what’s next for her. We also talk intermittently though non-specifically about the physical manifestations of trauma so please be aware going into this episode if that’s something difficult for you to listen to.

I’ll be taking this Friday, February 7, off, and I’ll be back on February 14 - Valentine’s Day - with Amanda. See you then!

Music: https://www.purple-planet.com

You can subscribe to Smart Podcast, Trashy Books at Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, or wherever you catch your favorite shows!

Feb 03 2020

46mins

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390. RWA One Month Later, Part III: Jessie Edwards, Marketing and PR Manager, RWA

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Welcome to part three of my four-episode series, RWA: One Month Later. Today, we’re hearing from RWA.

Jessie Edwards, Marketing and PR Manager for Romance Writers of America, joins me to answer questions about loss of trust, steps being taken to address member concerns, filling leadership positions, and what comes next for RWA, for the national conference, and for the membership.

Check your podcast feed tomorrow, February 3, for the other episodes in this series, including an episode with the officers of CIMRWA, and a conversation with RWA past president HelenKay Dimon. Tomorrow, February 3, you’ll hear from Courtney Milan.

Music: https://www.purple-planet.com

Feb 02 2020

42mins

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389. RWA One Month Later, Part II: A Conversation with HelenKay Dimon

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Welcome to part two of a special four episode series on RWA: One Month Later. We’ve heard from C Chilove, Laurel Cremant, and Diana Neal, the officers of CIMRWA, and today I’m speaking with RWA past president HelenKay Dimon.

I interviewed HelenKay in late September 2019 about the end of her term as president. Now we’re looking back on the past month since the RWA decision against Courtney Milan was released.

We cover a lot in this episode, and there are a number of questions - ones we don’t know the answers to. We might never know. But as someone who oversaw prior ethics committees, and who served on the board as President, HelenKay knows a lot of what is supposed to happen, what might have happened here, and what may have gone wrong.

Check your podcast feed tomorrow, February 2, for part three of this series on RWA: One Month Later, when I’ll be interviewing Jessie Edwards, Marketing and PR Manager for RWA. Then, on February 3, you’ll hear from Courtney Milan.

Music: https://www.purple-planet.com

You can subscribe to Smart Podcast, Trashy Books at Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, or wherever you catch your favorite shows!

Feb 01 2020

1hr 23mins

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388. RWA One Month Later: C. Chilove, Laurel Cremant, Diana Neal, The Officers of CIMRWA

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Welcome to episode 388, and the first of a four-episode special event: RWA: One Month Later.

I recorded this episode on the 23 of January, one month to the date when a decision from Romance Writers of America was delivered to Courtney Milan informing her that due to an ethics complaint, she was being barred from leadership for her lifetime, and suspended from RWA for one year. If you were online, you might have seen some mention of it.

In that month, a LOT happened. And while some major changes have taken place, there’s also a lack of movement, and a lot to discuss. So I wanted to create a time capsule of sorts to capture where we are right now, and more importantly, feature the stories and perspectives of those who were most intimately involved.

Because of the timeliness of these episodes, I’m doing a special miniseries: I’m releasing this episode on 31 January. Tomorrow, February 1, I have an interview with past president HelenKay Dimon, and then, February 2, I have a conversation with Jessie Edwards, RWA’s Marketing and PR Manager. Finally, on February 3, I have an interview with Courtney Milan.

Today, I’m speaking with C Chilove, Laurel Cremant, and Diana Neal, the officers of CIMRWA, the Cultural, Interracial, Multicultural Special Interest Chapter of Romance Writers of America. They created a petition to recall the sitting president of RWA - twice - in the two weeks after the decision about Courtney Milan was made public by Alyssa Cole. Their petition was ultimately successful and led to the resignation of Damon Suede.

I am so excited for you to meet the officers of CIMRWA. We’re going to hear about what happened from their perspective, and hear what a great team they are. They are incredibly inspiring to listen to as they support one another. AND THEN we end with KDrama AND book recommendations because obviously.

Don't forget, there are more episodes coming. Check your podcast feed on February 1, 2, and 3 for the next episodes in this special series on RWA: One Month Later.

Music: https://www.purple-planet.com

You can subscribe to Smart Podcast, Trashy Books at Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or wherever you catch your podcasts.

Jan 31 2020

1hr 11mins

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387. Comfort Food Romantic Comedy: A Conversation with Jill Shalvis

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A new grandbaby, horrific winters with nine-plus feet of snow, and BOOKS! Recorded in late 2019, Jill Shalvis and I talk about new titles that were about to come out - which are totally out now, so you can grab whatever sounds like your reading catnip.

We also talk about her career, beginning with writing category romances, writing single title and now women’s fiction - and how to define the combined elements of a genre. I almost titled this episode “Family is Where You Make It,” because we talk about that, too.

Jan 24 2020

56mins

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iTunes Ratings

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I love Sarah

By Neil Plakcy - Dec 25 2019
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And I could listen to her for hours. Her podcasts are always fascinating and peppered with interesting insights, and she and her guests always have such a good time that I feel welcomed in as a listener.

Amazing podcast!!

By twinhck - Apr 02 2018
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Such a thoughtful and amazing podcast!!