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A book-by-book discussion of Kresley Cole’s Immortals After Dark series, one of romance’s most long-standing and beloved paranormal series, co-hosted by romance novelist Sarah MacLean and romance critic Jen Prokop.

Sarah MacLean & Jen Prokop


    • Jan 25, 2023 LATEST EPISODE
    • weekly NEW EPISODES
    • 1h 11m AVG DURATION
    • 232 EPISODES

    4.9 from 563 ratings Listeners of Fated Mates that love the show mention: jen and sarah, fated mates, interstitial, immortals, great book recs, kresley cole, best romance podcast, psy, maclean, romance novels, romance genre, listening to sarah, tbr list, new authors, read along, love sarah, book club, book recommendations, show notes, sassy.



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    Latest episodes from Fated Mates

    S05.19: Homecoming Romance with Kate Clayborn

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 25, 2023 85:59


    Seven-timer Kate Clayborn returns to the Fated Mates studio (lol, jk there is no studio) to talk about about going home again in romance and to celebrate the launch of her new book, Georgie All Along, which you can get this week wherever books are sold! We talk about all the ins and outs of homecoming romances, what sends characters back to the beginning, what readers expect from these books, why they hit so hard and in so many ways, and how this trope intersects with small town romance. All that, and Sarah's brought an X,Y chart to class. Next week, we have an interstitial, and then it's Derek Craven Day 2023! Our first read along of 2023 (in February) is Tracy MacNish's Stealing Midnight—we've heard the calls from our gothic romance readers and we're delivering with this truly bananas story, in which the hero is dug out of a grave and delivered, barely alive, to the heroine. Get ready. You can find Stealing Midnight (for $1.99!) at Amazon, B&N, Kobo, or Apple Books.Show NotesWelcome Kate Clayborn. Her newest release, Georgie, All Along came out yesterday. She's been on Fated Mates so many times because we love to talk to her about romance. You can listen to them all here, but considering the time of year, might we recommend the 2021 Derek Craven Day episode?In case you forgot what your English teacher told you about theme.Here's Sarah's chart, as promised. Also, you can learn about all about the X and Y axis. And the Z axis. And coefficients. So mathy this week!

    S05.18: Harlequin Category Romance Interstitial: The Romance Industrial Complex

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 18, 2023 75:47


    We don't talk enough about category romances, and that is a big mistake. This week, we're changing that — discussing the power of the category romance, the skill it takes to write one well, and the love we have for the authors who are committed to this perfect morsel of the format. There are nuns and vikings, Italian billionaires, lady assassins and more! Next week, we have a special guest, but our first read along of 2023 is Tracy MacNish's Stealing Midnight—we've heard the calls from our gothic romance readers and we're delivering with this truly bananas story, in which the hero is dug out of a grave and delivered, barely alive, to the heroine. Get ready. You can find Stealing Midnight (for $1.99!) at Amazon, B&N, Kobo, or Apple Books.Show NotesHarlequin has an entire explainer about the ins and outs of category romance.The first romance Jen ever read was called Pink Satin, from a long-since defunct category line called Second Chance at Love.You can support the workers in the Harper Collins Union by donating to the strike fund, or sign the letter in support of the Union. I couldn't find the romance title generator, but I did find this sporcle quiz for the most common words in Harlequin titles—it's only up to 2012, and someone needs to update this. The word billionaire is barely on it! The Princess Routine by Tonya Wood (1985) was a favorite of both Jen and Caitlyn Crews. And right now, Jen is freaking out a little that she can't find her copy of it!

    05.17: Trailblazer Catherine Coulter

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 11, 2023 79:25


    We're thrilled to share our next Trailblazer episode this week—we had a great time talking with Catherine Coulter about her place in romance history as one of the earliest authors of the Signet Regency line—and the author who many believe revolutionized the Regency…by making them sexy. She tells a million great stories here, and we talk about writing historical romance, about sex in romance, about the way she thinks about plot vs. story, about the way she's evolved as a writer, and about revisiting her old books. All that, and Catherine has a lot to say about heroes. Thank you to Catherine Coulter for making the time for us.Next week, we're back with more interstitials, but our first read along of 2023 is Tracy MacNish's Stealing Midnight—we've heard the calls from our gothic romance readers and we're delivering with this truly bananas story, in which the hero is dug out of a grave and delivered, barely alive, to the heroine. Get ready. You can find Stealing Midnight (for $1.99!) at Amazon, B&N, Kobo, or Apple Books.Show NotesPeople Mentioned: publisher Peter Heggie, editor Robert Gottlieb, publisher Bob Diforio, publisher Phyllis Graham, editor May Chen, editor David Highfill, and marketing consultant Nicole Robson at Trident Media. Authors Mentioned: Georgette Heyer, Janet Dailey, LaVyrle Spencer, Linda Howard, Iris Johansen, Kay Hooper, Debbie Gordon and Joan Wolf

    S05.16: Snowed-In Romance Interstitial

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 4, 2023 66:35


    Happy New Year, Magnificent Firebirds! Our first episode of 2023 leans into winter — we're talking snowed-in romances! What makes snowed-in different than forced-proximity? Why is snow different from other situational nature stuff? Why are so many of these stories novellas? How do authors use snow as a plot device, a ticking clock, or a starting gun? All that, and a plea for more snowed-in romances without the holiday angle.We're gearing up for a year full of interstitials, more trailblazers and other fun stuff. We can't wait for you to see what we have in store. Thank you, as always, for listening. If you are up for leaving a rating or review for the podcast on your favorite podcasting app, we would be very grateful.Show NotesOf course we've talked about forced proximity romance in general, most notably with Christina and Lauren back in Season 2! But this time around, we're only talking about SNOWED IN. That being said, snowed in is no joke. Our thoughts are with the people of Buffalo, who experienced major blizzard conditions last week, including four feet of snow. If you'd like to help, here are some suggestions, but we've also heard good things about the organization Friends of the Night People, which helps unhoused people in Buffalo. A look back at that blizzard in Chicago, which was on Groundhog's Day in 2011. Don't miss our deep dive from Season 2 of Managed and Fall by Kristen Callihan.If you're in the DC Metro area, you can see Sarah and Kate talking about Georgie, All Along at East City Bookshop live or on zoom, Friday Jan 27 at 7pm.

    S05.15: Omegaversity: Class is Now in Session with AH2

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 31, 2022 123:58


    As is customary, we're celebrating New Year's Eve here on Fated Mates with some of our favorite people in a fully headphones-in episode! Pour yourself a drink and pull up a chair, because Omegaversity is in session with professors Ali Hazelwood and Adriana Herrera! Jen and Sarah get a crash course in this wild end of the romance/fan fic pool. We're talking about mating heat (!), knotting (!!), butt babies (!!!) and loads of body fluids (!!!!). Seriously, loads of them. When we say headphones in, we mean it. Enter at your own will, abandon all hope, and bring in 2023 right. Check shownotes for omegaverse recommendations, and enjoy, firebirds!Thank you, as always, for listening. If you are up for leaving a rating or review for the podcast on your favorite podcasting app, we would be very grateful.Show NotesWelcome Ali Hazelwood and Adriana Herrera, let's just call them AH2, shall we? The New York Times article about the Omegaverse, which is where a lot of us named Jen and Sarah first learned about so much of it. You can also watch this terrific series of videoes from Lindsay Ellis explaining the Omegaverse lawsuits: Into the Omegaverse: How a Fanfic Trope landed in Federal Court and Addison Cain's lawyer e-mailed me, and it only got worse from there. Also, the video essay The Rise (and Rise) of the Omegaverse by Rowan Ellis.Ali recommends reading this quick Omegaverse primer. Or this other list of how the Omegaverse worldexploded. You should read The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller, which is a good example of how there are books out there telling the stories we want about the characters we love.

    BONUS: Sarah's appearance on Failure To Adapt

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 29, 2022 73:36


    Sarah recently joined Red Scott and Maggie Tokuda-Hall on their excellent Failure To Adapt podcast to discuss the Jane Austen's Emma and Amy Heckerling's Clueless. We thought you'd enjoy listening to it here, and they were gracious enough to let us share it with you. The show's current season is dedicated solely to Austen adaptations. Follow Failure To Adapt in your favorite podcast app to get in on the action.

    Bonus: We Wish You a Merry Christmas...and a Happy New Year of Books

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 25, 2022 21:03


    Happy happy holidays — our gift to you this weekend is a little bantr, a lot of book recs, and a wish that you get everything you want this holiday season, and throughout 2023. We're so grateful for all of you…and we wish you the merriest, happiest, brightest, most joyful season. We hope you're staying warm…see you on New Year's Eve! xx Sarah, Jen & Eric Check out our holiday music playlist on Spotify and Apple Music.

    S05.14: Band Sinister by KJ Charles

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 21, 2022 73:34


    It's our final read along of 2022, and we're so excited to be talking about KJ Charles's Band Sinister — one of Jen's favorite books (she won the coin toss when we picked which of KJ's books we were going to read). This one has all the things we love: found family, sexy rakes, gentlemen's societies, meddling sisters, anonymous gothic novelists, hot doctors, and more. We talk about how KJ writes a beautiful book, that seems to use all the necessary words and nothing more, and makes us think differently about the world and our place in it. Do yourself a favor and read it right now. This is the last traditional episode of the year — Our next full length episode will be our New Year's Eve episode and it's a doozy — we suggest putting your headphones in right now to be prepared. Thank you, as always, for listening. If you are up for leaving a rating or review for the podcast on your favorite podcasting app, we would be very grateful.Thanks to Jaye Finer, author of Jane of Battery Park, and to Lumi Labs for sponsoring the episode. Visit microdose.com and use the code FATEDMATES for 30% off your order and free shipping. Show NotesBand Sinister is a stand alone romance published by KJ Charles in 2018. If you loved it as much as we did, go read Sarah's favorite, Wanted: A Gentleman, next.Publishing is on fire, or it least it seems that way. The USA Today Bestseller List is gone, at least until further notice, but the New York Times list lives on. In other news this week, Book Forum is shutting down, and so is Buzzfeed Books. Oh, and the HarperCollins Union is on strike (we stand with them, and will not be doing deep dives of HarperCollins books until the strike is resolved). So what we want to know is: Who is putting together Block Club Chicago and the Defector…but for books.What's a sawbones? Oh, so that's why Corvin, Raven, and Rookwood are called the Murder.There is a whole lotta Latin in the Two Cathedrals episode of The West Wing.

    S05.13: Here Comes Santa Claus

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 12, 2022 59:07


    It's the Holiday Season™️ and for some reason 2022 Holiday Season has brought romance a sleigh full of Santa romance, which may or may not be a thing you're into…but either way, here we are! Santa is doing all sorts of naughty business in these romances, and this one is definitely not for the kids. So headphones in, MFers! While you might not get it in time for the holidays, there's still time for you to buy the Fated Mates Best of 2022 book collection from Old Town Books in Alexandria Virginia, and get the eight traditionally published books on the list along with a Fated Mates sticker! The holidays are hard, but this box is great. And you deserve it. FYI, you can also throw in other books (or a signed Sarah MacLean book!) if you'd like! Let us know what you end up doing with these fabulous books, and don't forget to tag us on Instagram or Twitter when you unbox (#FMBestof22)! Our next read along will be KJ Charles's Band Sinister. We did not fight over which KJ Charles book to read because Sarah is all that is good and gracious in the world and she let Jen win. It is Scorpio season, after all. Get Band Sinister at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple Books, Kobo or from your local indie. Thank you, as always, for listening. If you are up for leaving a rating or review for the podcast on your favorite podcasting app, we would be very grateful.

    S05.12: Twinterstitial: Twins in Romance

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 7, 2022 68:00


    TWINS! For two romance readers steeped in 80s romance mythology, it's hard to believe that it took us five seasons to have an interstitial on twins (a Twinterstitial?)! Jen has a theory about a romance twin continuum and Sarah jumps right back out of a boiling twin pot. It's an exciting episode full of romance history, with plenty of recent titles to try. Just think: if you had a twin during the holiday season, someone else could deal with all your relatives for you! That's the real HEA. Buy the Fated Mates Best of Book Pack from our friends at Old Town Books in Alexandria Virginia, and get the eight traditionally published books on the list and a Fated Mates sticker! We love the idea of you gifting yourself this box, but maybe you'd like to slide into someone's text messages with the link as a very excellent gift for you! Or…you can do what Sarah does, and buy the box and spread the love around—sending each of the books to someone on your list. FYI, you can also throw in other books (or a signed Sarah MacLean book!) if you'd like! Let us know what you end up doing with these fabulous books, and don't forget to tag us on Instagram or Twitter when you unbox (#FMBestof22)!Show NotesYou might not be descended from people on the Mayflower, but according to the BBC, at least 35 million people are.People are getting taller over time, but someone forgot to tell Jen's DNA about it. Sarah's new oven has a proving function (not that kind of proving) She made chelsea buns not cinnamon rolls. Georgette Heyer's books are racist and antisemetic, so we don't often discuss her, but False Colors is one of the first twin romances. The 80s were thick with twins: Sweet Valley High, Flowers in the Attic, Twins, Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen from Full House, and The Parent Trap to name just a few. Twins take a lot of energy to film, and here is a really cool video from Movies Insider explaining how filming twin scenes has evolved over 100 years.

    S05.11: The Best Romance Novels of 2022

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 30, 2022 107:05


    The Best Romance Novels of 2022! It's the best and worst task of the year for us, because we read so many fabulous books over the course of the year, and choosing ten is hard for us, ok? But here they are — ten gorgeous books that we adored—books that delivered all the things we love in romance: sharp edges, sparkling dialogue, strong heroines and smoking hot chemistry. Buy the Fated Mates Best of Book Pack in one fell swoop from our friends at Old Town Books in Alexandria Virginia, and get the eight traditionally published books on the list and a Fated Mates sticker! We love the idea of you gifting yourself this box, but maybe you'd like to slide into someone's text messages with the link as a very excellent gift for you! Or…you can do what Sarah does, and buy the box and spread the love around—sending each of the books to someone on your list. FYI, you can also throw in other books (or a signed Sarah MacLean book!) if you'd like! Let us know what you end up doing with these fabulous books, and don't forget to tag us on Instagram or Twitter when you unbox (#FMBestof22)! Our next read along will be KJ Charles's Band Sinister. We did not fight over which KJ Charles book to read because Sarah is all that is good and gracious in the world and she let Jen win. It is Scorpio season, after all. Get Band Sinister at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple Books, Kobo or from your local indie.Thank you, as always, for listening. If you are up for leaving a rating or review for the podcast on your favorite podcasting app, we would be very grateful.

    S05.10: The Diamond Dogs Book Club: Romance Novel Recommendations for the Ted Lasso Cast

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 16, 2022 76:58


    Two seasons ago we promised an episode where we recommend romance novels for each of the characters in Ted Lasso. Sarah's brother is holding us to it! This week, we're filling the TBRs of every single member of the Richmond Team…and Trent Crimm, of the Independent. It is a very chaotic journey…but one we hope you'll enjoy. F*ck Cancer. Next week, we're taking a break while Sarah makes Thanksgiving dinner and Jen waits for hers to warm in the oven (definitely the smarter of the two choices). We'll be back on November 30th with our Best of the Year episode — Happy long weekend of sloth and excess to all those who celebrate! Our next read along will be KJ Charles's Band Sinister. We did not fight over which KJ Charles book to read because Sarah is all that is good and gracious in the world and she let Jen win. It is Scorpio season, after all. Get Band Sinister at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple Books, Kobo or from your local indie.

    S05.09: Hold by Claire Kent: There is Nothing Soft in this Book

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 9, 2022 70:48


    We've talked about this week's read along so much it's kind of impossible to imagine that we haven't read it with y'all, yet! But here we are, finally cracking open Claire Kent's brilliant novella, Hold. Set on a prison planet, this one dials forced proximity up to 11, and does the excellent job of answering just how horrifying a world can you write a romance in? The answer is very. Very horrifying. We talk about sex and consent and strength and humanity and how love blooms in even the darkest of places. Is it possible we needed this book this week? It sure is.Content warnings for the book and headphones in for the episode, magnificent firebirds!Get Hold at Amazon, free in Kindle Unlimited.Thanks to the Meet Cute Bookshop in San Diego, CA and Lumi Labs, creators of Microdose Gummies, for sponsoring the episode. Visit the Meet Cute website to browse their Space Romance list, and use the code FATEDMATES for 30% your order at Microdose.comShow NotesIf you like astrology, check out the CoStar app.Claire Kent also writes as Noelle Adams. Hold was released in 2015 and is the first book in a series, the next books in the series are Release, Fall, and Rise. It doesn't take much digging to find out about the inhumanity and injustice of the American Justice System. It is absolutely unjust and racist to the core.Alcatraz and Ellis Island are tourist destinations worth seeing, but also…who the fuck invented Alcatraz. Emma on TikTok and abolitionism and romance. Also here. Just follow her!

    S05.08: Trailblazer Iris Johansen

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 2, 2022 61:26


    Our Trailblazer episodes continue this week with Iris Johansen, who began writing category romance in the heyday of the format at Loveswept. During her varied career, she's written categories, historicals and now writes thrillers and crime novels. In this episode, we talk about the founding of Loveswept, about how she learned to write, and about the power of storytelling. We also talk about the way her career has grown and evolved—about transitioning to thrillers, about writing the Eve Duncan series for 28 books, and about keeping it in the family and writing with her son. We had a wonderful time hearing these stories. Thank you to Iris Johansen for making the time for us.Thanks to Callie Chase, author of Dishonor Among Thieves and Sara Wetmore, author of The Christmas Script, for sponsoring the episode. Our next read along is Claire Kent's HOLD. It's a prison planet romance, so…you know…enter at your own risk. Get it at Amazon or in Kindle Unlimited. Show NotesPeople Iris Mentioned: Loveswept editor Carolyn Nichols, Agent Andrea Cirillo, Sandra Brown, Kay Hooper, Fayrene Preston, Roy Johansen, Catherine Coulter, Linda Howard, Kathleen Woodiwiss, Johanna Lindsey, Jayne Ann Krentz, Ann Maxwell. The story of Roy Johansen's visit to the submarine at Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry.

    S05.07: Spooky Stuff! Halloween Romance Interstitial

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 26, 2022 64:42


    It's spooky season and that means we're reading spooky stuff! We recommend some of our favorite recent witches and demons and incubii and ghosts and vampires and others…and then we try to get to the bottom of why paranormal romance and monster romance doesn't feel like halloween romance to but these books do? This episode has it all: celebrity witch talk, a welshman named Rhys who isn't the one you're thinking of, a peek into Sarah's past that reveals a painting that just might have installed one of her buttons…she had a beer before we recorded, so stuff happens! This one's all treat, no trick…but headphones in, y'all. This one isn't for the kids.Thanks to Terri Green, author of The Swordmaster's Daughter and Alyxandra Harvey, author of How to Marry a Viscount, for sponsoring the episode. Our next read along is Claire Kent's HOLD. It's a prison planet romance, so…you know…enter at your own risk. Get it at Amazon or in Kindle Unlimited. Show NotesSpooky Shit Nitro Stout isn't a brand, it's a process.Although we've never done a Halloween episode before, we did have a monster romance interstitial in season 4 with guest Jenny Nordbak. Also, all of season 1, basically. We came up with a new rule for what makes something a paranormal, which is it's about whether or not the main characters are immortals or humans. Or, you know, the patriarchy. And now time for a celebrity gossip interlude: Are Gisele Bündchen & Olivia Wilde witches? It's possible. It has something to do with altars & healing stones, [the Don't Worry Darling controversy], Jason Sudeikis under a car, and Nora Ephron's salad dressing.We have two more Fated States phonebanks! Register here for Oct 29 at 3 eastern to Kentucky for Charles Booker, and Nov 5 at 3 eastern to Pennsylvania for John Fetterman. Did someone mention a Welshman named Rhys?Gather round and look at the painting The Nightmare by Henry Fuseli. Here's a cool explainer about the significance of the painting.As of Oct 25, 2022, the United States has 1,090, 632 dead from Covid. Worldwide, at least 7.5M people have died. Get boosted. Wear a mask.

    S05.06: Redemption Romance Interstitial with Christopher Rice

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 19, 2022 79:47


    In the very best version of “third time's the charm,” we are finally welcoming Christopher Rice to Fated Mates! A man of many talents, he writes fabulous contemporary romances as C. Travis Rice, and suspense, crime and supernatural thrillers as Christopher Rice. Today we're talking Redemption Romance in honor of his most recent romance release, Sapphire Spring. In this episode, we talk about how redemption romances and bully romances work, how tricky they are to write, and why so many of us are so drawn to redemption arcs — particularly when they involve sticking it to our childhood enemies. We had the best time with Christopher, who filled our TBRs…so get ready, because he's definitely going to fill yours, too. Thanks to Lumi Labs, creators of Microdose Gummies, for sponsoring the episode. Use the code FATEDMATES for 30% off and free shipping. Thanks, also, to emjoy for sponsoring the episode. Visit letsemjoy.com/mates for a 14-day free trial. Show NotesThis week's guest is Christopher Rice, who also publishes under the name C. Travis Rice. He and his best friend Eric Shaw Quinn host a podcast called The Dinner Party Show.The inspiration for the Sapphire Cove series came from Nora Roberts's Dream Trilogy. The first one is Daring to Dream.Jean Valjean is the main character in Victor Hugo's Les Miserables.A Molly House was a British term for a place where gay men could meet up. Like Victorian Grindr.

    Stop Book Banning: A Special Episode of Fated Mates

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 14, 2022 119:27


    In 2022, book bans in United States schools and libraries are at their highest since the ALA Office of Intellectual Freedom started collecting data. Bans are happening around the country, in every state, and disproportionately affecting books by and about LGBTQIA+ and BIPOC people. What's more, challenges are likely underreported, because librarians who are resisting them are facing unprecedented workplace retribution and in some cases physical danger.Book Bans are on the ballot on November 8th, in every state and local election, up and down the ticket. State legislatures, local town councils, county leadership and school boards are being overrun with candidates supported by conservative activists looking to limit access to books and ideas that offer identity, empathy, awareness, and power to young people around the country. We're concerned, so today, we're releasing a special episode of Fated Mates focused on book bans across the country. We interview three experts on what's happening, who is most impacted, and how we can all help. Show notes are extensive, and we hope you'll take a look at them. Thank you to librarians, teachers, and kids and families who are standing up and speaking out. We are proud to stand with you. GuestsJarett Dapier, librarian, activist and author of Mr. Watson's Chickens Lily Freeman, activist and student in Central Bucks County, PA. Read Lily's op-ed in the Philadelphia Inquirer and follow her instagram at ProjectUncensored.Melissa Walker, political activist at The States Project, journalist, and Middle Grade and YA author of Violet on the Runway, Let's Pretend We Never Met, Small Town Sinners and more. ResourcesThe Youth Censorship Database at the National Coalition Against CensorshipBook Riot's censorship coverage is excellent and updated almost daily. They have an excellent explainer for how to find and develop a local anti-censorship groupIntellectual Round Table Freedom Blog: an exhaustive list of links related to news about challenges, censorship, and banning incidents, developing issues, and controversies that is updated weeklyPEN America's data on School Book Bans and Index of Educational Gag OrdersAmerican Library Association's Office for Intellectual Freedom, full of resources and toolkits on challenges and how to combat themWhat's happening in Central Bucks County, PA is happening all over the country. Kids, families and educators are protesting loudlyAdvocates for Inclusive Education, for more information on what's happening on the ground in Bucks County, PAA map from ALA Banned Books week at the University of Illinois Library, and another from Red Wine & Blue. Teens around the country can get library cards from the Brooklyn Public Library. To apply for the card, teens can send a note to BooksUnbanned@bklynlibrary.org, or via the Library's s teen-run Instagram account, @bklynfuture. The $50 fee normally associated with out-of-state cards will be waivedLearn more about the Book Ban Busters at Red Wine & Blue.Ballotpedia is a resource for your local ballot and your local election mapsVote.org, to check your voter registration, locate your voting place and moreHow to HelpEducate yourself about the book challenge process in your school district: How it works, who sits on the book challenge committee, how those committee members are appointed.If there are book bans and protests in your school district, attend local school board meetings and support students, teachers & librarians who are speaking up. Tell your local public and school librarians they have your support. Write letters. Visit the library. Thank them for standing for intellectual freedom.Research school board candidates in your district. Vote accordingly. Consider running for something! Your school board and your state legislature need you! Consider this us telling you seven times! (We'll phonebank for you!) Vote to flip your state legislature blue. Rally your friends to join you in a Giving Circle at the States Project.Donate to organizations (listed below) that support intellectual freedom and combat book bans. Organizations to Support (and Volunteer with)You can join PenAmerica, and your membership helps defend free expression, support persecuted writers, and promote literary culture.Donate to the Freedom To Read Foundation and become a member. The Freedom To Read Foundation effectively conducts important first amendment legal work regarding book bans and censorship.GLSEN, Creating a Better World for LGBTQ StudentsIntellectual Freedom Endowment Fund at the American Library AssociationThe National Coalition Against Censorship, providing direct intervention for people and groups facing censorshipThe States Project, helping to flip (or keep) state legislatures blueThe Trevor Project, supporting LGBTQ young people 24/7, all year roundWe Believe in Education, a movement of parents and families fighting for students' freedom to learnThe Most Banned Books of 2021Gender Queer by Maia KobabeReasons: Banned, challenged, and restricted for LGBTQIA+ content, and because it was considered to have sexually explicit imagesLawn Boy by Jonathan EvisonReasons: Banned and challenged for LGBTQIA+ content and because it was considered to be sexually explicitAll Boys Aren't Blue by George M. JohnsonReasons: Banned and challenged for LGBTQIA+ content, profanity, and because it was considered to be sexually explicitOut of Darkness by Ashley Hope PerezReasons: Banned, challenged, and restricted for depictions of abuse and because it was considered to be sexually explicitThe Hate U Give by Angie ThomasReasons: Banned and challenged for profanity, violence, and because it was thought to promote an anti-police message and indoctrination of a social agendaThe Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman AlexieReasons: Banned and challenged for profanity, sexual references and use of a derogatory termMe and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse AndrewsReasons: Banned and challenged because it was considered sexually explicit and degrading to womenThe Bluest Eye by Toni MorrisonReasons: Banned and challenged because it depicts child sexual abuse and was considered sexually explicitThis Book is Gay by Juno DawsonReasons: Banned, challenged, relocated, and restricted for providing sexual education and LGBTQIA+ content.Beyond Magenta by Susan KuklinReasons: Banned and challenged for LGBTQIA+ content and because it was considered to be sexually explicit.

    S05.05: Moonstruck: A Wolf Without a Foot Redux!

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 12, 2022 94:49


    It's our 200th Episode and we're finally doing the thing we've been talking about doing for 200 episodes! A full deep dive into one of our favorite — or possibly our favorite! — romcoms…Moonstruck! Moonstruck was released December 18th, 1987, one day after Sarah turned nine…auspicious Sagittarius energy! It's set in Brooklyn, is a perfect romance novel on film, and features more than one wolf, bewitched by the full moon. It is everything.Go watch it (you won't be sorry), then come back here and listen to us wax poetic about it. Thank you for being with us for 200 episodes…you're the moonlight in our martini. Show NotesMoonstruck was released on Dec 18, 1987. It was nominated for several oscars. Cher won for best actress, Olympia Dukakis for best supporting actress, and Best Original Screenplay for John Patrick Shanley.Everyone loves Moonstruck and there are lots of fun listicles and essays about the movie. Here's a great thread from Vulture where a movie critic named Rachel Handler live-tweeted a rewatch.Most of the film's exteriors were filmed in Brooklyn, but many interiors were shot in Toronto.Sarah mentioned an essay by Emily VanDerWerff, Moonstruck: Life in the In-Between, about the beauty shop scene and how it can be analyzed as showing the power of the female gaze in Moonstruck.The last scene at the breakfast table is a good example of farce. An article about the making of Moonstruck and the ending scene played in the style of a farce, with lots of cool info on Loretta's grandfather, played by Feodor Chaliapin Jr.Jen liked all that moon stuff. When Cher won the Oscar, she was wearing a very memorable dress. May we all vow to live our 40s with her as our guide.

    S05.04: What to Read If You Liked The Love Hypothesis...

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 5, 2022 65:10


    Today we start one of our new features for Season Five: If You Liked…Read This! We begin with Ali Hazelwood's The Love Hypothesis, a book that took romance and BookTok by storm last year when it burst onto the NYT best seller list and hung out there for nearly a year, bringing so many new readers (and Reylos!) to romance. This one is full of tropes romance loves, and we take them topic by topic, recommending read alikes for everything from grumpy/sunshine, to academic romance, to STEM heroines, to that spicy sex scene that was a delightfully unexpected surprise! That, and we've got a bunch of Reylo fic recommended from Ali herself (check the end of show notes)!Show NotesTattoos are expensive! ReyLo is the ship name for Kylo Ren and Rey from the Star Wars movies. And the actor who plays Kylo Ren is Adam Driver. All about Pansexuality.Censorship on TikTok is so widespread is has its own wikipedia page, which makes it rife for misinformation about sex and sex education.Small point of order, Jen was at the LPI (Lunar and Planetary Institute), which is close to the Johnson NASA Space Center in Houston. Obviously, she wasn't at the JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory), because that's in California.

    S05.03: Marrying Winterborne by Lisa Kleypas: A Professional Driver on a Closed Course

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 28, 2022 91:26


    It's official! Sarah has broken the glass and taken Marrying Winterborne out of the vault and she has exactly as much to say about it as you expect! We're talking perfect heroes, heroines who deserve to be revered, brilliant writers and plots that require the kind of skill you only get with Lisa Kleypas. Rhys Winterborne is nearly crushed by a building and still shows up at traditional calling hours (with 30 minutes to spare) to propose. An absolute king.Thanks to Lucy Leroux, author of Making Her His, and Emjoy for sponsoring the episode. Visit letsemjoy.com/mates to access your 14-day free trial.Show NotesMaybe you'd like a very fast-talking man to describe the organization and countries of the United Kingdom to you, so watch this video Jen shows her students. Rhys Winterborne isn't the only one who thinks Wales is better than England.Along with being a guy you definitely wouldn't want to be your dad, the word Albion means England.They say Helen of Troy started a whole war, but probably a bunch of dudes were just looking for something to fight about. The state of Sex Education in America is bad and getting worse. The oathing stone in weddings, and Rhys's description of the word hiraeth, along with the TikTok Sarah mentioned.We partnered with The Bawdy Bookworms, and selected A Caribbean Heiress in Paris as the book! Check it out!Join us this weekend and every Saturday between now and the midterms as we phonebank for Democratic candidates.

    S05.02: Romance Novel Beginnings: Starting With a Bang!

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 21, 2022 75:40


    Not that kind of bang! We're talking about beginnings today, on the first interstitial of Season 5! This one edges into a bit more writing shop talk than usual, but we're still name checking lots of favorite books, many of which we've done deep dives on already! So consider this your nudge to go back and read some great books we've talked about! Also, Sarah has Covid, Jen's on the mend, Fated States is back, and next week, we're reading Marrying Winterborne. Thanks to Lucy Leroux, Eva Moore and Torie Jean for sponsoring the episode. Read Making Her His, Caught a Vibe and Finding Gene Kelly now. Next week, our first read along of the season is Lisa Kleypas's Marrying Winterborne. Get it at Amazon, Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, or at your local indie.Show NotesGet boosted!When a book starts in the middle of the action, it's called in medias resIf you're in MA, check out the Rom-Con, a full day celebration of “rom”ance at the “Con”cord free public library this Satruday, Sept 24, from 10-3. Tickets are free!Fated States has returned, and it looks like we'll be phonebanking every Saturday starting Oct 1 through the election.

    Fated States is back!

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 17, 2022 4:08


    Sign up to join us today at 3PM ET!

    S05.01: Season Five! Romance World Domination!

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 14, 2022 73:06


    Season Five starts today, you Magnificent Firebirds!Season One gave us a full lAD deep dive (if you've never read Kresley Cole's Immortals After Dark, general existential malaise is a really good reason to start), and Season Two gave us The Books That Blooded Us -- the books that made us the romance readers we are. Season Three was during a pandemic, so just let us live (but also, there was a Roy Kent episode). Season Four introduced the Trailblazer episodes, where we featured interviews with the people who have built the romance house over the last fifty years. Season Five will build on all this — Deep diving on books that are new and fabulous, old and transformative, and generally reveal how vast and magnificent the romance pool can get. We've got great interstitials planned, trailblazer episodes already recorded and waiting for you, and a few new episodes that will focus on the books that are putting romance on the map these days…and where readers should go from there. We're excited! Aren't you? Head over to your favorite podcasting app and subscribe so you don't miss a moment of it!In the meantime, today's episode covers some of the romance new that happened while we were away the publishing DOJ trial, the absolute explosion of great books on August 23rd, and what on earth is happening with TikTok? There's a new theme song! And Jen broke her arm! Next week is an interstitial, and our first read along of the season is Lisa Kleypas's Marrying Winterborne. Get it at Amazon, Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, or at your local indie. Show NotesIf you're in MA, check out the Rom-Con, a full day celebration of “rom”ance at the “Con”cord free public library on Sept 24.That skeleton in your high school might have been real bones. All about the radius and the ulna.Gross Anatomy was a 1989 movie starring Matthew Modine.The blood hand job from A Heart of Blood and Ashes continues to amaze new readers, and we are here for it.Parking at Chicago's hospitals is so prohibitively expensive that a grieving family created The Jackson Chance Foundation to honor the memory of their beloved son who spent all but 48 hours of his life in the NICU. The Jackson Chance Foundation provides parking assistance and transportation at three downtown hospitals where parking can often run almost $100 per day.A few useful explainers we found about the PRH vs DOJ trial, a breakdown of why the statistics about books sales are so confusing, and why Stephen King was the government's star witness.That NPR article about TikTok, Gen Z, and romance.

    Bonus! Fated Bosoms/Heaving Mates Crossover

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 5, 2022 88:21


    We're still on our break (back next week!) but this week we have two episodes coming to your earholes! Today, we're releasing our crossover episode with the brilliant Melody and Erin of the Heaving Bosoms podcast to talk Burn For Me by Ilona Andrews! Burn For Me is a longtime favorite of Jen's and the first book in the Hidden Legacy series and Sarah deeply regrets taking so long to read it because WOW IT IS GREAT. Here is one for the slow burn lovers in the group! We get to the bottom of sexy times at the mall, whether or not slow burns and lawn mowing go together, and we talk a lot about waterbeds. You're going to love it. Head over and subscribe to Heaving Bosoms! Season 5 starts next week! Our first read along of the season is Lisa Kleypas's Marrying Winterborne. Get it at Amazon, Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, or at your local indie.

    Bonus Episode! Fated Mates Live in Alexandria, VA

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 31, 2022 110:08


    We're on hiatus until September 14, when we'll start Season 5, but you won't miss us, because this week, we have the recording of Fated Mates Live, our first-ever in-person live! Headphones in for this one, y'all. We were joined in Alexandria, VA by Kate Clayborn, Adriana Herrera, Tracey Livesay, Naima Simone, Ali Hazelwood, Diana Quincy, Andie J. Christopher, and Sophie Jordan, and we had the best time! This audio is imperfect, but there's so much laughter here — we hope you'll join us for the next one (which will hopefully be in the spring)…stay tuned on that front! Be sure to subscribe to the podcast in your favorite podcasting app so you know the moment we return.Thanks to Fox & Wit, creators of the Foxglove Special Edition Book Box of Kennedy Ryan's Before I Let Go, available for preorder now. The box comes with a special edition cover of Before I Let Go, a signed book plate, and a letter from Kennedy herself.Season 5 starts in two weeks! Our first read along of the season is Lisa Kleypas's Marrying Winterborne. Get it at Amazon, Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, or at your local indie. Show NotesOur first in-person Live event was a smashing success! We welcomed Kate Clayborn, Adriana Herrera, Tracey Livesay, Naima Simone, Ali Hazelwood, Diana Quincy, Andie J. Christopher, and Sophie Jordan. Thank you to Old Town Books for partnering with us on this event. Thank you to the audience for their participation! We used a platform called Menti, which turned the screen behind us into an interactive platform (like an Instagram Live) where our audience could respond and comment. If we all have a reaction to something you can't hear....it's because someone in the audience said something brilliantly funny using Menti.The book Sarah accidentally interstitialed during the recording is C.M. Nascosta's Sweet Berries.

    S04.49: Heartbreaker: Meet the Hell's Belles

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 24, 2022 124:37


    Sarah has a new book out, so as is tradition for our last episode of the season, Jen is playing host, and Sarah is playing guest, and we're talking about journeys vs. quests, how being a romance heroine is political, and why Heartbreaker just might be Sarah's most romantic book. It's mostly a spoiler free episode, but you might prefer to finish your read before listening. Enjoy! And don't miss the first two chapters of the magnificent Heartbreaker audiobook, narrated by the incomparable Mary Jane Wells, at the end of the episode! If you haven't purchased Heartbreaker yet, you can get it at Amazon, Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, at your local indie, or signed and with special swag (and a Fated Mates sticker!) from Sarah's local indie, WORD in Brooklyn!Thanks to Alyxandra Harvey, author of How to Marry a Duke; to Amazon's Kindle Vella, publishers of Rebecca Zanetti's Knife's Edge, Alaska series; and to Lumi Labs, creators of Microdose Gummies, for sponsoring the episode. Use the code FATEDMATES for free shipping and 30% off your first order at microdose.com.This episode wraps up Season 4 of Fated Mates! Jen's returning Lil'Romance to college, Sarah's taking a break from social media, and we'll be back in September with Season 5, which will look similar to Season 4, with read alongs, interstitials, trailblazer episodes and some other fun things we've got cooking. Thank you, as always, for listening! Please follow us on your favorite podcasting app, and if you are up for leaving a rating or review there, we would be very grateful.Show NotesNext time you're in Brooklyn, check out The Center for Fiction. You can register (it's free!) to see Sarah and Adriana Herrera in conversation with Greta Johnson from the Nerdette Podcast at the Printer's Row Lit Fest in Chicago. The panel is at 11:30am on Saturday, Sept 10, 2022. If you're in MA, check out the Rom-Con, a full day celebration of “rom”ance at the “Con”cord free public library on Sept 24.Jen's planning a pilgrimage to The Book Barn in Niantic CT on Labor Day Weekend.Pick your local gathering spot: The Peach Pit, Central Perk, Luke's Diner, or in the MacLeaniverse, The Place.Every book in the Hell's Belles series has a cold open.Adelaide stole the tesseract!On TikTok, check out this amazing video by emmkick that compares MacLean to Kleypas, and friend of the pod Brittney has an entire TikTok series about the MacLeaniverse. Start with the first one here.What's a Himbo? I bet you're glad you asked.Speaking of Kleypas, our first read along for Season Five (what!) will be Marrying Winterborne, but we recommend that you read Cold-Hearted Rake first to get “the full Winterborne.”

    S04.48: J. R. Ward: A Trailblazer Episode

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 17, 2022 101:04


    The final Trailblazer of Season 4 is a very excellent one—we're welcoming JR Ward to Fated Mates! Best known as the author of The Black Dagger Brotherhood (a series that blooded Jen), JR began her career writing contemporary romances under the name Jessica Bird before turning to the vampires the romance world adores. In this episode, we talk about the twists and turns of her early career, about the influence of her mother and other powerful women in her life, about the business of being JR Ward, about her process of writing the Black Dagger Brotherhood, and about her relationship to her characters. We hope you enjoy this conversation as much as we did, and we are so grateful to JR Ward for spending some time with us.Thanks to Avon Books, publishers of Beverly Jenkins's To Catch a Raven, Blackstone Publishing, publishers of Nora Zelevansky's Competitive Grieving, and Alyxandra Harvey, author of How to Marry a Duke, for sponsoring the episode. Stay tuned at the end of the episode for an audio excerpt of Competitive Grieving.Next week, we finish out Season 4 as is traditional — with a deep dive episode on Sarah's summer release, Heartbreaker! Get it at Amazon, Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, at your local indie, or signed and with special swag (and a Fated Mates sticker!) from her local indie, WORD in Brooklyn! Show NotesWelcome J.R. Ward, author of the Black Dagger Brotherhood, a series of paranormal romances. She also wrote category romance under the name Jessica Bird.We did a deep dive of JR Ward's Dark Lover in Season Two. Listen here. People Mentioned: editor Hannah Braaten, publisher Jennifer Bergstrom, publicist Andrew Nguyen, editor and publisher Kara Cesare. Authors Mentioned: Sherilyn Kenyon, Laurel K. Hamilton, Christine Feehan, Kresley Cole, Nora Roberts, Kristen Ashley, Christopher Rice, and Gena Showalter.

    S04.47: Antiheroines in Romance Interstitial

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 10, 2022 67:36


    It's our final interstitial of Season 4 and we're talking antiheroines! If she's a criminal, a grifter, a villain or a generally bad dude, we're here for her, we support her, and we're rooting for her to fall in love! Today we're talking about the way antiheroines play in romance, about how we hold them to different standards than antiheroes (it's the patriarchy, that's why!), and about why they seem to be more prevalent in historicals and paranormals than they are in contemporaries. Please tell us about all the bad b*tches in books you love so we can love them, too!

    S04.46: Two Girls, One Microphone, Headphones In: Sarah and Jen at Apollycon

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 3, 2022 143:46


    You're getting the full banana this week, y'all, because we were together! Like, actually face to face, across a table in a hotel room! We're talking Apollycon and Fated Mates Live, answering your questions, recommending fun books, and generally being delightful in your earholes (listen, if we're not delightful, don't tell us, we had a great time)!Thanks to Grand Central Publishing, publishers of Farrah Rochon's The Hookup Plan, Blair Babylon, author of Rogue, and Amazon's Kindle Vella, publisher of Audrey Carlan's The Marriage Auction series, for sponsoring the episode.We've got interstitials and trailblazers coming your way this month, and we will finish out Season 4 as is traditional — with a deep dive episode on Sarah's summer release, Heartbreaker! Get it at Amazon, Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, at your local indie, or signed and with special swag (and a Fated Mates sticker!) from her local indie, WORD in Brooklyn! Show NotesYou can check out The Steam Box, which is a great romance + toy subscription box. A very funny twitter thread about what Mary Shelley might have to say to Joyce Carol Oates. Speaking of Joe Manganiello, he was in the news this week after finding out about his racial ancestry on the TV show Finding Your Roots.Sarah says the best feminist double feature is Magic Mike XXL and Mad Max Fury Road and you should try it and report back. You can not only watch Mad Max Fury Road, you can read about it, too. Don't forget to order signed copies of Heartbreaker from Word in Brooklyn.

    S04.45: Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 27, 2022 76:33


    This week, we're talking about one of our (and many of your!) favorite recent contemporary romances, Talia Hibbert's Get a Life, Chloe Brown. We've talked about Talia on a number of episodes before, and we're so happy that our final read-along for Season 4 is this one — which is a straight shot of sexy joy directly into readers' hearts. Also…these two are so thirsty for each other and it's great. We talk about artists and handymen and cats in trees and heroines with bucket lists who are just a delight. Sarah goes on a Seth MacFarlane tangent, and yes, we're still cataloguing the greatest romance grandmas around. Fated Mates Live, in person is happening — if you have tickets to the live show in Alexandria, VA on July 30th — let us know on our Twitter thread (and find friends!). If you didn't get a ticket, but want to order signed books from participating authors, you can do that at Old Town Books in advance of the event! Thanks to Alyxandra Harvey, author of, How to Marry a Duke, Kate McBrien, author of One Night Together, and Amazon's Kindle Vella, publisher of Nikki St. Crowe's Hot Vampire Next Door series, for sponsoring the episode.We've got interstitials and trailblazers coming your way in August, and we will finish out Season 4 as is traditional — with a deep dive episode on Sarah's summer release, Heartbreaker! Get it at Amazon, Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, at your local indie, or signed and with special swag (and a Fated Mates sticker!) from her local indie, WORD in Brooklyn! Show NotesGet a Life, Chloe Brown is the first book in the Brown Sisters Trilogy by Talia Hibbert. Here's a great interview with Talia Hibbert in Kirkus, written by Jen's editor Laurie Muchnik. Jen reviewed some of Talia's books for The Book Queen back in 2017.If you would like to help out with Kansas's constitutional amendment vote, you can phone bank on your own with the ACLU. Fated States will return in late August or Early September.You can still sign up for Sarah's “Mastering the Art of Great Conflict” class! Check out all these starred reviews of Heartbreaker from Kirkus and Library Journal. You can order signed copies from Word in Brooklyn. Um, there are a lot of songs with lyrics about heartbreaker, soulshakers, and lovemakers, but the one Jen was mangling was Don't Let Go by En Vogue.Here's the story about Seth MacFarlane oversleeping on 9/11. Here's a great twitter thread about ableism in fictional characters.Some great romance grandmas: Gigi in Chloe Brown, Grandma Frida in the Hidden Legacy Series, Genevieve in Lord of Scoundrels, and Grandma Carol from Every Road to You by Phyllis Bourne.Here's a quick primer on potential vs kinetic energy in case Jen's deranged cat explanation didn't make sense.

    S04.44: Daddy Romance Interstitial

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 20, 2022 74:29


    Four seasons in, we're just throwing caution to the wind now. It's Daddy week! Yes, that kind of daddy. No, it's not for everyone, but it is for us and we're talking about the whys and hows and wtfs herein. Headphones in, obviously. Fated Mates Live, in person is happening — if you have tickets to the live show in Alexandria, VA on July 30th — let us know on our Twitter thread (and find friends!). If you didn't get a ticket, but want to order signed books from participating authors, you can do that at Old Town Books in advance of the event! Thanks to Avon Books, publishers of Charis Michaels's A Duchess by Midnight, and to Juniper Butterworth, author of Priest Queen (Goblins & Cheese, Book 2), for sponsoring the episode. Next week, we've got another interstitial coming your way, but the final read along of season four, in two weeks, is Talia Hibbert's Get a Life, Chloe Brown. Get it at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple Books, or Kobo. Show NotesIt's Daddy week on Fated Mates. Here's a few classic articles and explainers that might help you understand the phenomenon: a Daddy explainer from Esquire, an advice columnist from The Cut helps you get over your feelings about Daddy Kink, a woman in a relationship with a Daddy helps you understand the appeal, and why it's totally find to think Oscar Isaac is the best (stern brunch) Daddy, even if he is having some sort of Daddy-off with Pedro Pascal. Sarah's newest release is Heartbreaker, and it comes out Aug 23, 2022. You can preorder signed copies from Word in Brooklyn.A local Chicago indie, [Women and Children First],7 sponsored a panel on historical romance. You can watch the recording of Adriana Herrera, Harper St. George, and Joanna Shupe in conversation with Jen.Tickets for both Apollycon and Fated Mates Live are sold out, but you can still get books signed and shipped from: Andie J Christopher, Kate Clayborn, Ali Hazelwood, Adriana Herrera, Tracey Livesay, Sophie Jordan, Diana Quincy, Naima Simone or Sarah by ordering from Old Town Books! If you are coming, we hope you'll say hi! You might also want to order an avatar button from the Romancelandia Shop. The TikTok where a woman calls her husband Daddy and he's surprised at how much he likes it. Here's Bill Pullman's speech from Independence Day, which is so weirdly hopeful I don't even know what to say about it.

    S04.43: [Sex on the] Beach Reads

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 12, 2022 65:38


    It's July, which means it is officially summer reading time in the northern hemisphere! We're so excited to share this week's episode, in which we talk about Beach Reads that aren't just beach reads but are actually beach reads, by which we mean, romances in which the characters — *ahem* — on the beach. It's all part of the service we provide here at Fated Mates. We're taking little trips to Spindle Cove and Lucky Harbor before we take a tour of some very naughty beaches indeed. We hope you've got

    S04.42: Brenda Jackson: A Trailblazer Episode

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 6, 2022 101:35


    Our Trailblazer episodes continue this week with Brenda Jackson, contemporary romance juggernaut, the first African American romance novelist to hit the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists, and the author of more than 140 romance novels. In this episode, we talk about her journey to romance writing — from writing in high school for her friends, while parenting, while thriving in a completely different career. We also discuss her career at multiple publishing houses including BET Arabesque, Silhouette Desire, Kimani, Mira, HQN, and now, with her own publishing company. We also talk about Brenda Jackson's legendary families — the Westmorelands, the Steeles, the Madarises and the Grangers — about her relationship to readers, about her writing, about covers, about why 36 is a magic age in romance, and about keeping romance alive beyond the pages. We are thrilled to share this incredible conversation with all of you, and we are so grateful to Brenda Jackson for taking time to talk with us.Thanks to Blair Babylon, author of Blair Babylon, author of Once Upon a Time, and Lumi Labs, creators of Microdose Gummies, for sponsoring the episode. Visit microdose.com and use the code FATEDMATESfor 30% off and free shipping on your order. Interstitial next week, but our next read along is Talia Hibbert's Get a Life, Chloe Brown. Get it at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple Books, or Kobo. Show NotesWelcome Brenda Jackson, author of over 140 romance novels, with more than 15 million copies of her books in print. Her first romance, Tonight and Forever, was published in August of 1995 and there was a short bio of both Brenda and author Angela Benson in that month's Romantic Times, and her 2001 novel A Family Renuion was the cover story. RT also covered the launch of the Kensington Arabesque line in 1994. Several authors mentioned in today's episode were also guests on the Black Romance Podcast: Brenda Jackson, Gwyneth Bolton, Rochelle Alers, In November of 2021, Brenda Jackson signed a deal with The Cartel to bring 25 of her books to the screen. You can learn more about Truly Everlasting, the film Jackson financed, here.People Mentioned: Romantic Times publisher Kathryn Falk, editor Monica Harris, publisher Walter Zacharius, General William Westmoreland, author Gwynne Forster, author Marcia King-Gamble, author Gwyneth Bolton, author Rochelle Alers, publisher and editor Linda Gill, editor Glenda Howard, and editor Mavis Allen.

    S04.41: Unputdownable Romance Novels

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 29, 2022 57:44


    We don't even know, y'all, so this week, we're doing a little bit of flailing and a lot of talking about books we found unputdownable when we read them the first time. We did our very best to avoid repeats — which is difficult this many episodes in! We talk about what makes a book unputdownable (we've got buckets!) and about other things too…like our annual reader survey and how skilled a musician Sarah is. Fated Mates Live, in person is happening — if you have tickets to the live show in Alexandria, VA on July 30th — let us know on our Twitter thread (and find friends!). If you didn't get a ticket, but want to join the wait list, you can do that at Old Town Books! The event is mask required, so plan accordingly!Thanks to Avon Books, publishers of Julie Anne Long's You Were Made to Be Mine, and to Leighann Hart, author of Darling Descent, for sponsoring the episode. Next week, we've got a Trailblazer coming your way, but our next read along is Talia Hibbert's Get a Life, Chloe Brown. Get it at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple Books, or Kobo. Show NotesAbortion is lifesaving healthcare. We are devastated and urge you to support the National Network of Abortion Funds, which removes financial and logistical barriers to abortion access by centering people who have abortions and organizing at the intersections of racial, economic, and reproductive justice. They partner with organizations already in place on the ground in places where abortions are banned to do the work of helping people who need abortions. We've talked about bodily autonomy in romance novels before, and in our trailblazer conversation with Elda Minger, she spoke extensively about what birth control and abortion were like for people back in the 70s.We remain Big Mad. Also, we are here for you, always. Find Jen (mostly) at Twitter and Sarah (mostly) on Instagram.Sarah broke her ukulele, which is a pretty cool instrument. It's Lizzo leading the charge to donate proceeds from her tour to Planned Parenthood, joined by (of course) Rage Against the Machine. Although Harry Styles did make a statement about the Dobbs decision.Don't forget to take our Season 4 listener survey!London Has Fallen is a deeply silly and very entertaining movie that absolutely does not even try to pass The Bechdel Test.Back when Jen read the first Scorpius Syndrome book, she did notice a funny thing about the main character's sense of smell.

    S04.40: Royalty Romance Interstitial #2

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 22, 2022 56:16


    We were going to do a deep dive this week, but then we read the book and decided that was a hard pass! So, we do a very shallow dive and then get to the good stuff this week…talking about Royal romances! We talk about the strange fascination the world has with royalty, about the way fake countries hit the spot, and about why it's so rare to see a gender-swapped Cinderella story. Sarah also offers a peek at her newest research project, preliminarily titled—Alexbastian: Is Name, In Fact Destiny? It's better than a deep dive, we promise.Fated Mates Live, in person is happening — if you have tickets to the live show in Alexandria, VA on July 30th — let us know on our Twitter thread (and find friends!). If you didn't get a ticket, but want to join the wait list, you can do that at Old Town Books! Thanks to Adriana Herrera, author of A Caribbean Heiress in Paris, for sponsoring the episode. Thanks, also, to Lumi Labs, creators of Microdose Gummies. Visit microdose.com and use code FATEDMATES to get free shipping & 30% off your first order.Show NotesTurns out we are not reading The Dragon and the Jewel…because yikes. Eleanor Plantangenet and Simon de Montfort were real people, but this 1991 romance is too problematic for a full discussion. Yes, we talked about royalty in romance with Nana Malone back in season 1, but there's always fresh content! The Oprah interview with Prince Harry & Meghan Markle is worth a watch, if you can stand all the commercials.The launch event for American Royalty will be in Richmond on June 28, 2022. Go check it out— Tracey will be joined by Kate Clayborn.There is a real His Royal Highness Prince Sebastian in Luxembourg, if you're into that kind of thing. Order an avatar button from The Romancelandia Shop! This is a great way to announce your presence at in-person events and help people find you. It really works!

    S04.39: Superhero Romance with Barry Lyga

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 15, 2022 83:56


    This week, we're talking Superheroes! Why is it so rare to see a great romance in a superhero story? Is there really no room for love and capes? Do heroes eat? (spoiler: obviously) — We're joined by author Barry Lyga, a comics and superhero expert, to discuss all this and more…and to chat about the new YA Superhero anthology, Generation Wonder, in which Sarah has a short story (it's a romance). We also recommend some great superhero romances and comics, because of course we do. Do yourself a favor — be sure to check out show notes this week. The visuals are a delight.Fated Mates Live, in person, is happening!!! We'll be in Alexandria, VA on July 30th — join us there! We'll be joined by a ton of our favorites…find more information about the event and get tickets through Old Town Books! Thanks to Penguin Random House, publisher of Andie J. Christopher's Thank You, Next, for sponsoring the episode. Thanks, also, to Lumi Labs, creators of Microdose Gummies. Visit microdose.com and use code FATEDMATES to get free shipping & 30% off your first order.Our next read along is Virginia Henley's The Dragon and the Jewel, a deep cut from Sarah's childhood. Check your content warnings and remember this one is from 1991, so we don't even know, honestly. We're flying without a net here. Get it at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, Kobo or your local indie.Show NotesThanks to Old Town Books, we are going to have a real Fated Mates Live event at Apollycon at the end of July. It will be Saturday evening July 30th in Alexandria. Stay tuned for details. Welcome Barry Lyga, comics author and editor of the YA superhero anthology Generation Wonder. Sarah has a story in the anthology, and we'll hope you'll buy one for the young reader in your life. There was no kissing in Doctor Strange, but we've been promised there will be in Thor: Love and Thunder. In fact, Taika Waititi said Mills & Boon, so...that's official.Back in the day, romance comics were just as popular as superhero comics. Check out the site Sequential Crush to see the history of romance comics. If after this episode you think you might want to check out more comics, Suzanne's site Love in Panels is the best place to start. Comics writer Mark Waid wrote about manhood and comics in an essay that is no longer available online, but Mark is also the author of Irredeemable, a comic about Superman turning villainous. Another essay about how modern superhero movies are romance and sex-free is called Everyone is Beautiful and No One is Horny.If you have little kids, check out the Mia Mayhem series of graphic novels. Jen was on Heaving Bosoms to discuss Cinnamon Blade.The TV Show about the superheroes going to work is called The Boys.Exactly one year ago (well, one year ago yesterday), Justin Halpern and Patrick Schumacker, co-creators of the DC Entertainment-HBO Max adult animated series “Harley Quinn,” told Variety that DC Comics removed a scene from the show of Batman "dining feline" (h/t bleedingcool for this delightful euphemism), saying "Heroes don't do that." As is right and just, the internet disagreed and #HeroesWhoEat and #BatmanGoesDown were born. It was a great day.For what it's worth, it wasn't just the internet that disagreed. Zach Snyder confirmed that Batman in fact does eat, with one of the greatest tweets of all time. At least, we think so. DC apparently did not care for it. While we like Snyder's version very much, here are some other NSFW images we like almost as much (eye headphones in): From artist @Mrs_Van_Damn; commentary from @realAgdtwinkie; from artist (with excellent commentary) @ArtKhobra; and this one, from artist @rpace, with special love for the pegging crew.

    S04.38: These Books Bang: The Sexiest Romance Novels

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 8, 2022 77:12


    This week's episode is thanks to Julie Block, the Fated Mates listener who won an episode of the podcast in the Romance for Reproductive Justice auction sponsored by The Meet Cute Romance Bookshop and Fizzery in La Mesa, CA. Julie made a generous donation to the Collective Power Fund at the National Network of Abortion Funds, and in doing so, got to pick the episode topic — Books that Bang! Headphones in, y'all. We have sixty-nine (that's right, 69, by pure unplanned luck!) recommendations for you this week — everything from bonkers to bloody to blazing hot…naughty bits that we believe deliver the whole banana (and sometimes no banana at all, if you know what we mean). Pencils ready…your time starts…now.Thanks to Melissa McTernan, author of Married to the Fae Queen, the second book in the Fairy Realm series, for sponsoring the episode. Thanks, also, to Lumi Labs, creators of Microdose Gummies. Visit microdose.com and use code FATEDMATES to get free shipping & 30% off your first order.Our next read along is Virginia Henley's The Dragon and the Jewel, a deep cut from Sarah's childhood. Check your content warnings and remember this one is from 1991, so we don't even know, honestly. We're flying without a net here. Get it at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, Kobo or your local indie.Show NotesThanks to Julie Block for suggesting this episode and donating to abortion funds for the Romancing for Reproductive Justice Auction, sponsored by The Meet Cute Romance Bookshop & Fizzery, opening fall of 2022 in La Mesa, CA. It is not too late to donate to the Collective Power Fund at the National Network of Abortion Funds.While we name checked some Fated Mates classic recommendations like Tessa Bailey, Jessa Kane, and London Hale, somehow we recorded this episode without once mentioning the name of Charlotte Stein. So raise a glass to her and all the other authors writing super hot books that we forgot to mention.Probably you want to see Jen Porter's illustrations of the drilldo. (PS. Protip: you might put "drilldo" in the search field of twitter thinking that Jen's tweets will come up, and that would be a mistake unless you want to see it real and in action. Ask me how I know.)

    S04.37: Groveling in Romance Novels

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 1, 2022 112:12


    If there isn't a grovel, is it even a romance? This week, we're getting to the bottom of one of our favorite moments in a romance novel — the grovel. Love it or hate it, some of the best loved books of the genre go all in on hero (because let's face it, it's almost always the hero) on his knees…and we are here. for. it. We talk about the hows and whys of the grovel, about the reasons we love it, about the difference between a grovel and a grand gesture, and about the books that installed this particular button for us. This episode is sponsored by Janna MacGregor, author of Rules for Engaging the Earl, and Adriana Herrera, author of A Caribbean Heiress in Paris. Our next read along is Virginia Henley's The Dragon and the Jewel, a deep cut from Sarah's childhood. Check your content warnings and remember this one is from 1991, so we don't even know, honestly. We're flying without a net here. Get it at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, Kobo or your local indie.Show NotesWe love a good grovel here at Fated Mates, and back in 2018, Jen wrote an essay on groveling for #RomBkLoveMerriam Webster is the world's greatest dictionary.We don't come from chimpanzees, but we do have a common ancestor. If you think a character hasn't suffered enough, you can leave them in cold storage. You have the power!Jen did the entire breakdown on Kiss an Angel with Erin & Clayton from Learning the TropesWe did a deep dive on Milla Vane's A Heart of Blood and Ashes because we love it so much. We also did episodes on Lothaire, Sweet Ruin and The Master. The first five seconds of the Sweet Ruin epsiode are a straight shot of Sarah's joy, if you are looking for that sort of thing. More about the problem of captive (and presumably lacking telepathic prowess) Tigers in America. Molly Bloom totally would love a good romance novel, btw.The American President is a pretty great movie, but it also came out back in 1995 when we some of us were still capable of positive feelings about politicians. Our next read along is The Dragon and the Jewel by Virginia Henley.Books Mentioned This EpisodeThe Day of the Duchess by Sarah MacLeanTen Ways to be Adored When Landing a Lord

    S04.36: Jude Deveraux: A Trailblazer Episode

    Play Episode Listen Later May 25, 2022 77:05


    Our Trailblazer episodes continue this week with Jude Deveraux, an early historical romance author who broke several publishing barriers over her more than forty year career. In this episode, we talk about her journey through the Wild West of romance in the late 1970s, her publishing career at Avon Books, Pocket Books and Ballantine. We talk about the judgement and misogyny that circles romance, the buying power of readers, and the way the genre and bookselling has changed. We also talk about her writing process, and what it's like to be Jude Deveraux. This one is a real joy for us, as we wouldn't be the readers or writers we are without Jude Deveraux. This episode is sponsored by Avon Books, publisher of Joanna Shupe's The Bride Goes Rogue, and Amazon's Kindle Vella, publisher of Eloisa James's The Seduction Series. Our next read along is Virginia Henley's The Dragon and the Jewel, a deep cut from Sarah's childhood. Check your content warnings and remember this one is from 1991, so we don't even know, honestly. We're flying without a net here. Get it at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, Kobo or your local indie.Show NotesLike many of our trailblazers, Jude Deveraux's first brush with romance was Kathleen E Woodiwiss's The Flame & the Flower. The publisher with “the prettiest covers” in the 1970s she references was Woodiwiss's publisher, Avon Books. Books of Jude Deveraux's that we talk about in depth include: The Enchanted Land (her debut novel), A Knight in Shining Armor (early time-travel romance), Sweet Liar, The Providence Falls series with Tara Sheets, The Girl from Summer Hill, Twin of Ice (the twins!!), and “The Matchmakers” a short story in The Invitation collection (featuring Cale & the angel sex scene).The Four Js were Jude Deveraux, Julie Garwood, Johanna Lindsey and Judith McNaught.People mentioned in the episode: Kate Duffy, editor at Silhouette Books and Pocket Books; Joan Schulhafer, publicist at Pocket Books; Richard Gallen, publisher & packager; Ronald Busch, publisher of Pocket Books; Robert Gottlieb, agent; Linda Marrow, editor at Ballantine/Doubleday/Dell; Kathryn Falk, publisher of Romantic Times Magazine; Kathe Robin, reviewer at Romantic Times Magazine.

    S04.35: Butterfly Swords by Jeannie Lin: Some Real Hero Sh*t

    Play Episode Listen Later May 18, 2022 81:32


    This week, we're talking about one of our favorite historical romances, Jeannie Lin's Butterfly Swords. This is one we've mentioned on previous episodes, and discussed at length during Jeannie's Trailblazer episode, as it is the first own voices Asian-set historical romance. Aside from setting the standard for adventure romance, it's also a near-perfect road trip romance with one of the hottest slow burns you'll ever read. We talk about all of it, including the absolutely devastating first kiss—one that should go down in romance history. TL;DR: We love this book hard.Thanks to Charlotte Howard, author of Secret Verses, and Mila Finelli, author of Mafia Mistress, for sponsoring the episode. Stay tuned after the episode to hear the first chapter of Mafia Mistress in audio!Our next read along is Virginia Henley's The Dragon and the Jewel, a deep cut from Sarah's childhood. Check your content warnings and remember this one is from 1991, so we don't even know, honestly. We're flying without a net here. Get it at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, Kobo or your local indie.Show NotesThis week, we're reading the debut novel Butterfly Swords by romance trailblazer Jeannie Lin. This is the first book in her Tang Dynasty series. It's not too late to see Sarah with Christina and Lauren in Connecticut on May 18th, 2022, or Jen with Christina, Lauren, and Sonali Dev in Naperville on May 19th, 2022.We're looking for an artist to draw us a magnificent firebird. Maybe it's you? So, it's classic Jen to get titles wrong. Farewell, my Concubine is a movie, and the third book in the Tang Dynasty series is called My Fair Concubine. But, that's not Li Tao's book, either–it's The Dragon and the Pearl. We talked about Road Trip romance back in season 1. Time for an interlude from The Princess Bride.Our next read along is The Dragon and the Jewel by Virginia Henley, first published in 1991.

    S04.34: Celebrity Romance Novels Interstitial

    Play Episode Listen Later May 11, 2022 66:42


    We're tackling one of Sarah's favorite tropes this week — the celebrity romance! We talk about all the ways that her buttons were installed (thanks Judith McNaught) and about how rare movie stars are in romance even now, all these years later. We discuss The Chrises, the appeal of celebrity/normal person pairings, the difference between film/tv romance and rockstar/sports star romance, and about why Americans especially love a celebrity. Oh, and we get into our own existential despair. Visit fatedmates.net/fatedstates for past episodes of us being Big Mad if you want some inspiration. Thanks to Avon Books, publishers of Eloisa James's How to Be a Wallflower for sponsoring the episode. Thanks, also, to Lumi Labs, creators of Microdose Gummies. Visit microdose.com and use code FATEDMATES to get free shipping & 30% off your first order. Our next read along is Jeannie Lin's Butterfly Swords. Get it at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple Books, or Kobo. Show NotesA leaked memo from The Supreme Court makes clear the fate of Roe V. Wade, and the other civil rightsthey're looking to eliminate next. We'll be reactivating Fated States soon, and you can listen to some of our previous episodes (RBG, bodily autonomy, elda minger) related to these topics. It's terrifying and feels like its all unraveling, so just fight where you can, remember we've been here before, and you should organize in your local community to help others. Check out the Auction for Reproductive Rights being organized by The Meet Cute Book Shop, and donate to an abortion fund near you. Good Chrises only, please: Hemsworth, Pine, Pang, and Evans. As we say, name is destiny. We feel bad about it, but both of us thought about the book Perfect after hearing about the shooting on the movie set Rust. Here is a timeline of how Alec Baldwin ended up with a live weapon.Perfect takes place is some part of Texas where it snows, and Judith McNaught partnered with Coors to raise awareness of and adult literacy. We love it when Normal people and movie stars get together.Harry Styles will be on tour later this year, everyone. I'm not sure why photographers love “the wet suit photoshoot”, but it's definitely a thing. If you think you've bought a book before on Amazon, but it's showing you the buy button. Go to Your Content and Devices and search for the book. You can also search your digital orders. Charlevoix MI is a cute tourist town on the shores of Lake Michigan, which is very big by the way. Unsure about whether or not merpeople live there, but there are lots of shipwrecks. The final girl is a horror trope.Our next read along is Butterfly Swords by Jeannie Lin.

    S04.33: Something About You by Julie James: Jack's A Good Name For A Hero

    Play Episode Listen Later May 4, 2022 64:58


    This week, we're talking about a beloved contemporary romance, the first in Julie James's FBI/US Attorney series — Something About You. This one is a fascinating look at a series connected by not the romance standard of friends or families, but by work. Set in Chicago, it contains all the mystery of a romantic suspense without ever straying from the contemporary romance path. The characters are sharp, the writing is clever, the structure is fascinating, and it will likely make you read the rest of the series almost immediately. Thanks to Avon Books, publisher of Lynsay Sands's Immortal Rising, and Kelly Cain, author of An Acquired Taste, for sponsoring the episode.Show NotesJulie James is the author of 9 books in the FBI/US Attorney series. They are stand alone novels in the world of the Chicago criminal justice system. The Hyatt Lodge in Oak Brook has a lap pool with lane lines in case you're into that sort of thing. The U.S. Attorneys are federal prosecutors and there are 94 districts. Saying out each letter separately “A-U-S-A” is in fact the right way to shorten this title. Jen confirmed it with Erin.The Peninsula is a fancy hotel in Chicago. Jen is unsure of whether or not it has a lap pool. After refinishing hardwood floors, you really do need to wait a while before walking on them! Vocation vs Career vs a bunch of other things.“Taste her blood in her throat” as someone (ahem, Nora Roberts) might say. You definitely want to see that scene Jen referenced from The Old Guard with Nicky & Joe. Unfortunately, Channing Tatum's stirring defense of romance in The Lost City is not yet available on YouTube. Watch thisas a placeholder. Or this. You're welcome. Christina Lauren is going on a book tour! You can see them with Sarah in Connecticut on May 18th, or in the Chicago suburbs with Jen on May 19th. Join us! Spiaggia has closed, but it was very fancy in its heyday. It's not weird pizza, okay.

    S04:32: EE Ottoman: A Trailblazer Episode

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 27, 2022 86:58


    Trailblazer episodes continue this week with EE Ottoman, the first out trans author of romance novels. EE joins us to talk about his journey into romance, about the evolution of trans romance novels, and about the importance of representation in romance. This is a fascinating conversation, and we're so grateful to EE for joining us to tell his story, and the story of trans romance to date. An important note: While books by LGBTQ+ authors have been targeted by book bans across the country for decades, the recent bans on books and language around queerness in schools and public spaces make this issue even more pressing. This episode was recorded in the fall of 2021, which is why this specific issue is not a part of our discussion. Thanks to Kelly Cain, author of An Acquired Taste, and Ava Wixx, author of Virtual Reality Bites, for sponsoring the episode.Our next read along is Julie James's Something About You. Get it at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple Books, Kobo, or at your local bookstore.Show NotesWelcome EE Ottoman, a romance trailblazer for being the first trans writer to write romance with trans characters. You can watch the RWA video of romance firsts here. People and publishers mentioned: Less Than 3 Press; We discussed the shifting landscape of LGBTQ bookstores during our trailblazer interview with Radclyffe and Oprah daily has an extensive list of LGBTQ bookstores searchable by state. The zine bookstore in Chicago is called Quimby's. EE Ottoman mentioned authors KJ Charles and May Peterson as being especially supportive on his journey through romance, and notes that Carina Press has been several trans romance titles. Books with queer characters continue to be the target of book banning across the country, and books with trans characters are the most likely to be targeted.

    S04.31: Vampire Romance Interstitial

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 20, 2022 62:48


    At the request of Instagram, we're talking Vampires today! We're doing some deep cuts, returning to Kresley Cole for a minute or two, and then digging into worldbuilding, morality chain, why these books lend themselves to massive series, and ultimately…why we love these big toothy jerks. If you're a paranormal reader, get your pencils ready — especially if you're new to it, because we're taking everyone way back to the beginnings of the subgenre! Thanks to Kelly Cain, author of An Acquired Taste, and Alyxandra Harvey, author of How to Marry an Earl, for sponsoring the episode.Our next read along is Julie James's Something About You. Get it at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple Books, Kobo, or at your local bookstore. Show NotesWe've talked about vampires on past episodes: Kresley's IAD vampires (Conrad is our favorite); Dark Lover by JR Ward; and last fall, we had Jenny Nordbak on for a monster interstitial. If you're in Brooklyn and looking for a bookstore that carries lots of PNR, try The Bookmark Shoppe.In film, after 9/11, the rise of the anti/superhero to reconcile America's participation in a war. After the economic downturn, it was the rise of zombies to justify the way America was leaving poor people behind. And in this TikTok by Virgolikebeyonce, she suggests we're about to see media that reconciles our obsession with work/capitalism. We at FM have been noting a rise of the regular, blue-collar hero, which would track with this.A hegemony explainer.Tessa Bailey hit #1 on both the USAToday and New York Times bestseller lists with Hook, Line, and Sinker.The Sherilyn Kenyon situation is truly weird. Even eBooks can go out of print, for example, The Faustian Brothers series by Evie Byrne.Our next read along is Something About You by Julie James.

    S04.30: Her Night With the Duke by Diana Quincy

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 13, 2022 75:14


    This week, we're talking about one of Sarah's favorite recent historicals, Diana Quincy's beautiful Her Night With the Duke, which was on our 2020 Best Romance of the Year list. This one fires on many cylinders, and the conversation it inspired covers a lot of ground. We talk about how you won't get a better Bridgerton read-alike than this one, about the third-act breakup, why it works and the work it does in a romance, about why widows are allowed to be sexy, about responsibility and aristocracy, about hot golf, and about how modern historicals are really doing the business. Thanks to Avon Books, publisher of Eva Leigh's The Good Girl's Guide to Rakes, and Kelly Cain, author of An Acquired Taste, for sponsoring the episode.Our next read along is Julie James's Something About You. Get it at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple Books, Kobo, or at your local bookstore. Show NotesDiana Quincy has written many romance novels, and she also published Regency era mysteries under the name D.M. Quincy. You can find information about her books on her website, on twitter, or on Instagram. Her Night with the Duke was one of our best of 2020 romances.Leela taking her knife to her evil brother-in-law's face was just as satisfying as this great scene with Inigo Montoya from The Princess Bride.Here's a brief overview of the history of the Arab community in Manchester, England.Craft in the Real World by Matthew Salesses dives into storytelling around the world, makes the case that conflict-driven plots are not universal and advocates for making diverse storytelling traditions welcome in literary spaces. This essay from LitHub is a good primer to his argument.

    S04.29: Nora Roberts: a Trailblazer Episode

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 6, 2022 101:30


    The Trailblazer episodes continue this week with the Queen herself! Nora Roberts joins us today to talk about her longstanding career in romance—from her extremely relatable roots as a mom going mad in a snowstorm, to her deep rooted work ethic, to the plagiarism that rocked the publishing world. We talk about her place in the romance pantheon, about the reasons she thinks her books are so beloved, and about that one time her publisher called to tell her she was writing too much. It was an absolute pleasure to have Nora Roberts personally explain things to us; we're beyond grateful to her for making time for Fated Mates. Thanks to Piper Rayne, authors of Sneaking Around With #34, and Kenya Goree-Bell, author of California Love, for sponsoring the episode.Our next read along is Diana Quincy's Her Night With the Duke, which was on our Best of 2020 year-end list! Get it at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple Books, Kobo, or at your local bookstore. You can also get it in audio from our partner, Chirp Books!Show NotesWe are thrilled to have Nora Roberts on the podcast today. Take a moment to read this 2009 New Yorker profile about Nora and her career. This 1982 article from the Washington Post, Sharpsburg Writer Turning Romance into Profits, is one of the earliest mentions of her career in the mainstream media. Nora's bookstore Turn the Page is located in Boonsboro, Maryland. She hosts a community of readers at her website Fall into the Story, which includes a definitive list of things Eve and Roarke will never do.Nora Roberts is a staunch defender of writers who have been victims of plagiarism, starting in 1997 when Janet Dailey stole from several of her books. In December 1997, Romantic Times wrote about the plagiarism scandal, and the previous month there were several letters to the editor from romance readers. More recently, Nora sued a Brazilian writer who plagiarized the work of more than 40 romance novelists authors.Nora Roberts took some time to explain the process to Debra.Listen to our deep dive episode of Nora Roberts's Born in Ice.Authors mentioned: Violet Winspear, Anne Mather, Phyllis Whitney, Victoria Holt, Mary Stewart, Janet Dailey, Kathleen E. Woodiwiss, Rosemary Rodgers, Ruth Langan, Dixie Browning, Patricia Gaffney, Mary Kay McComas, Elaine Fox, Mary Blayney.Other people on Nora's team: Silhouette editor Nancy Jackson, agent Amy Berkower, editor Isabel Swift, editor Leslie Gelbman, and publicist Laura Reeth.

    S04.28: Boss/Assistant Romance Interstitial

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 30, 2022 65:03


    We're on a roll delivering interstitials about all our very favorite wild tropes, and this week we're tackling boss/assistant romances! We'll unpack the problematic bits, discuss the book that installed these deeply troubling buttons in us both, and fill your TBR pile to overflowing. Get your wallets and library cards ready! Thanks to Avon Books, publisher of Nisha Sharma's Dating Dr. Dil, and Piper Rayne, authors of Lessons From a One Night Stand for sponsoring the episode.Next week, we've got a trailblazer episode! Our next read along is Diana Quincy's Her Night With the Duke, which was on our Best of 2020 year-end list! Get it at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple Books, Kobo, or at your local bookstore. You can also get it in audio from our partner, Chirp Books!Show NotesThe Scholastic Inc. succession drama is honestly deserving of it's own Netflix series. Learn more about it from The Wall Street Journal, the New York Times and Vanity Fair. Publishing loves drama but this is honestly almost too much.If you're not receiving the Bookbub daily romance deal emails, you should be. Follow Sarah while you're there!Killing the dog is a very bold writing choice.Harlequin Blaze was a high heat category romance line from Harlequin that published monthly romances from 2001 to 2017. It was replaced with Harlequin Dare, a high-heat digital line.Mystic Pizza remains a pure problematic fave here at Fated Mates, but we will always stan pouring fish bait in your rich boyfriend's Porsche. He should have told you he had a sister, Kat.

    S04:27: Nine Questions about Nine Rules

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 23, 2022 65:34


    It's a Very Special Episode™️ of Fated Mates today, celebrating the rerelease of Sarah's first book, Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake! We talk about the book that started Sarah's romance career, about why it still resonates, about new covers during a pandemic, and yes…we get to the bottom of the age old question: Will Benedick Ever Get a Book?You can buy the new Nine Rules at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Bookshop, and get signed copies at WORD. This episode is sponsored by Adriana Herrera, author of The Duke Makes Me Feel and The Romancelandia Shop.Our read along next week is Diana Quincy's Her Night With the Duke, which was on our Best of 2020 year-end list! Get it at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple Books, Kobo, or at your local bookstore. You can also get it in audio from Chirp Books!Show NotesThis tweet about Car Talk made Jen laugh. It really was the greatest NPR show of all time, and since they are no dummies, they have in fact made it into a podcast.Buy the books with stepbacks now, because we aren't sure how long they are going to last. Lots of folks participate in #StepbackSaturday on Twitter and Instagram to share their favorites. Sarah's agent at the time was Alyssa Eisner-Henkin, who is still a great YA and children's agent!Sarah's editor is still Carrie Feron, who has edited romance for her entire career. Authors she has edited include Lisa Kleypas, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Sally Thorne, Jude Deveraux, Elizabeth Lowell and Eloisa James. The name of the documentary about romance is called Love Beneath the Covers (2016), which is a fascinating look at the romance genre. Where's My Hero is a romance anthology that featured some of the good guys, and it's available in eBook and print.

    S04.26: Jeannie Lin: A Trailblazer Episode

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 16, 2022 90:20


    Our Trailblazer episodes continue this week with Jeannie Lin, one of the first authors to write historical romance featuring Asian characters set in Asia. Her debut romance, Butterfly Swords, is set in Tang Dynasty China. In this episode, we talk about the craft of romance, about preparing for and resisting rejection while finding her own path to publication, about how she honed her storytelling, and about the way cultural archetypes find their way to the page. We also talk about the lightning fast changes in romance over the last twelve years. Thank you to Jeannie Lin for making time for Fated Mates. This episode is sponsored by The Steam Box (use code FATEDMATES for 10% off) and Chirp Audiobooks.Next week, we're talking Sarah's Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake, which will release March 22 in a new trade paperback format. After that, our next read along is Diana Quincy's Her Night With the Duke, which was on our Best of 2020 year-end list! Get it at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple Books, Kobo, or at your local bookstore. You can also get it in audio from our partner, Chirp Books!Show NotesThis week, we welcome romance author Jeannie Lin, whose newest book in the Lotus Palace Mysteries series, Red Blossom in Snow, comes out next week on March 21, 2022. Hear us talk about Jeannie Lin's books on our 2020 Best of the Year episode, our Road Trip Interstitial, and our So You Want to Read a Historical episode.The Tang Dynasty lasted from 618-907, and Empress Wu reigned from 624-705. RWA's Golden Heart Award was phased out in 2019. Twitter was launched in 2006 and Goodreads in 2007. Goodreads was acquired by Amazon in 2013. Borders Books closed in 2011. People mentioned: author Jade Lee, who also writes as Kathy Lyons; author Barbara Ankrum; author Shawntell Madison; author Amanda Berry; author Bria Quinlan; author Eden Bradley of Romance Divas forum; author Kate Pearce; actor Tony Leung; Piatkus editor Anna Boatman; agent Gail Fortune.

    S04.25: The "Waking Up Married" Romance Interstitial

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 9, 2022 54:04


    We're still doomscrolling, so we're still releasing goofy, bantr-y episodes about tropes we cannot quit! This week, we're talking about a very specific one that we adore — Waking up Married! We talk about Vegas, about why you shouldn't drink and espouse, about The Hangover, and about how…when a trope ain't broke, you definitely shouldn't fix it.This episode is sponsored by Christi Caldwell, author of For Love of the Duke, and BetterHelp Online Therapy.Next week, we've got a trailblazer episode! Our next read along is Diana Quincy's Her Night With the Duke, which was on our Best of 2020 year-end list! Get it at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple Books, Kobo, or at your local bookstore. You can also get it in audio from our partner, Chirp Books!Show NotesYou might be wondering how Las Vegas became the wedding capital of America.Jen and Sarah have some strong feelings about phones! The rotary phone was a real trip. Back in 1996, when Jen was in Houston doing TFA, they added 281 to the Houston area codes (yes, she said zip code on the pod, but you know what she meant!), but by now we're over having area code pride. Meanwhile, we still want to know why international dialing is so expensive.I'm sorry to report that we don't ever think we'll have a Fated Mates Discord, and whatever Quordle is, that's not the way Jen's brain works.Help us make a Fated Mates glossary by filling out this form. You should all listen to On Being with Krista Tippet, which is a podcast dedicated to answering questions about what it means to be human.It's not wonder kid, it's wunderkind. Just ask Nate. Not that kind of Prince Albert. The Hangover is a very funny movie.

    S04.24: The London Hale Oeuvre

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 2, 2022 85:58


    Welp, we're back in a doom scrolling spiral this week, so why not take a visit to a small town full of hot single dads and firemen? We're reading London Hale this week, and talking about the appeal of the quick and dirty romance! We'll also talk about the value of a genuinely hot read and where all the stops are on the romance-to-erotica spectrum. We're also talking about kinks and why daddies are installed in so many of us. Basically, we're telling y'all to read these London Hale books so they'll write more of them for us. Thanks for listening! This episode is sponsored by Kennedy Ryan, author of Reel, and BetterHelp Online Therapy.Our next read along is Diana Quincy's Her Night With the Duke, which was on our Best of 2020 year-end list! Get it at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple Books, Kobo, or at your local bookstore. You can also get it in audio from our partner, Chirp Books!Show NotesAuthors Ellis Leigh and Brighton Walsh are the two authors who write as London Hale. Sarah talked about their books back on the Quick and Dirty interstitial in Season 2. You should read Circe. And Jack Reacher. If you've run out of Jessa Kane books, try Chloe Maine. There is not a Harlequin Presents called The Pregnant Billionaire's Italian Mistress, but you can find The Italian's Pregnant Mistress, The Italian Billionaire's Pregnant Bride, The Italian's Pregnant Cinderella, The Italian's Pregnant Virgin, The Italian's Pregnancy Proposal, and The Italian's Pregnant Prisoner. Robert Redford was a snack. So was Richard Gere both in Pretty Woman and in “the one where he's an Air Force pilot.” (An Officer and a Gentleman, and it was the Navy. Fine.) We also admire the silver fox good looks of Benecio del Toro, Idris Elba, and George Clooney. Andie J. Christopher coined the phrase “stern brunch daddy” and we're all better off for it. Unfortunately, she's the kind of person who deletes old tweets so you can't see that picture of Oscar Isaac with an eating utensil that inspired it, but luckily they talked about it on Reddit and Andie talked about it on the Wicked Wallflowers Podcast. We're constantly trying to explain the difference between Romance vs erotic romance vs erotica.The Great Stepbrother Explosion was mostly 2015-2016, but I'm willing to talk some more about it or cite sources if you have them.The 2020 Netflix movie 365 Days was originally released in Poland under the name 365 dni and was based on a book by Blanka Lipinska. Apparently, there will be a sequel. It doesn't have a release date, but we'll keep you updated, baby girl. Jo Brenner and her friends have a gray scale for dark romance, and I hope she'll explain it all on twitter so I can link to it. Does calling a stranger for phone sex still exist–I bet you're shocked to find out that there was an uptick in demand during the pandemic. In editing, TK means “to come” as in I'll fill it in later. In Fumbled by Alexa Martin, it stands for Trevor Kyle. Eucalyptus is native to Australia and was introduced to England in 1774. You should follow the Male scent catalog on twitter, and if you want to read more about it, check out the book Nose Dive: A Field Guide to the World's Smells.

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