19 episodes

Hosted by Ro (and the occasional guest host) I Talk Sh*t & Read is an uncensored podcast about all things book. Tune in as she gives into her urge to talk about books, bookish topics, film/tv shows and interview authors and fandom personalities. Ro's a book addicted, pop culture and film junkie always down to share her unique perspective on speculative fiction and push *ahem* share recommendations about what's missing from your TBR pile.

I Talk Sh*t and Read MTR Network

    • Arts
    • 5.0 • 2 Ratings

Hosted by Ro (and the occasional guest host) I Talk Sh*t & Read is an uncensored podcast about all things book. Tune in as she gives into her urge to talk about books, bookish topics, film/tv shows and interview authors and fandom personalities. Ro's a book addicted, pop culture and film junkie always down to share her unique perspective on speculative fiction and push *ahem* share recommendations about what's missing from your TBR pile.

    Ro's Reading List: 3 Must-Read 2023 SF/F Books (Part 1)

    Ro's Reading List: 3 Must-Read 2023 SF/F Books (Part 1)

    My TBR pile is out of control in the best of ways. I've had more time to read this year, but less time to review and share the gems hiding among the stacks littering my living room. Thus is born a new segment: Ro's Reading List. Where I'll highlight some of the books I've read recently that you're going to want to add to your TBR list. 

    Top Three Recommendations: 

    The Faithless by C. L. Clark 



    Pub Date: March 07, 2023



    Snapshot Review: If you've listened to the podcast before, then you already know I was all-in with C. L. Clark's Magic of the Lost trilogy before I hit the midway point of The Unbroken. The second installment, The Faithless, is here with more political intrigue, power struggles, and tumultuous relationships.

    Clark works all their strengths infusing this often brutal and gritty story with a simmering tension. The drama and angst between characters unravels in a painstakingly built world. Luca's locked in a battle to regain control of Balladaire from her increasingly reprehensible uncle Duke Nicolas Ancier who refuses to relinquish his regency in favor of her rule. And now Touraine must reckon with both her intense feelings for Luca and her complicated relationship with the empire that stole her youth and her freedom in order to protect the gains made by the revolution in Qazāl by being Luca's ally in truth, and in-person. Clark turns down the volume on the action to make room for deadly court intrigue. But this stellar follow-up offers enough murderous plotting and complicated heated relationship drama to be worth every single word put to page.

    The Faithless' a harrowing stone cold groove written by someone unafraid to drag you through your feelings, challenges your belief systems, and leave you with (problematic) favs. Nothing should be taken for granted, especially not victory in love, or war. Set aside some time. You're not going to want to put this one down once you start.  10/10 absolutely *recommend. 

    ***

    Blood Debts by Terry J. Benton-Walker



    Pub Date: April 4, 2023



    Snapshot Review: Terry J Benton-Walker's Blood Debts builds exactly the right tale of generational magic (and curses) set in a New Orleans you need. 

    Sixteen year old twins Clement and Cristina Trudeau, heirs of a powerful magical legacy, are in mourning for their father and caring for their sick mother. On the anniversary of the greatest magical massacre that saw their family thrown from power, the twins discover that their mother isn't sick, she's cursed.  If they're to save their family and avoid another massacre, this estranged duo will have to rebuild their trust that's been lost with the swiftness. Benton-Walker's New Orleans lives and breaths with fierce relevance.

    The Trudeau's intensely personal battle happens against a backdrop rife with political artifice and dangerous societal divides as unsettled gods and the undead lurk in the shadows. Debts' shifting points of view add narrative insight with a deeply relatable edge and a side of tension. The character development keeps pace with the deepening drama offered with witty dialogue rife with biting one-liners. The allegory's unapologetic and the cliffhangers stress-inducing. So go on ahead and put in a pre-order for the sequel, Blood Justice now. 

    If contemporary fantasy is your bag, then Blood Debts' blood-soaked tale of family drama steeped dangerous magic and life-altering generational trauma is absolutely it. *8/10 would recommend. 

    ***

    • 14 min
    Interview with Author Matt Wallace

    Interview with Author Matt Wallace

    A Conversation with Matt Wallace

    I had the opportunity to sit down with author Matt Wallace and discuss his epic fantasy trilogy. This epic opens with a seeming utopian society that relies on an expendable fighting force known as the Savages. Now there are plenty of books about empire building and fantasy worlds about a lurking evil beneath the surface of a seemingly peaceful society. But the Savage Rebellion offers action, intrigue, hidden dangers, and shifting loyalties bound up in an examination about the costs of ruling. 

    Listen in as I chat with Matt about how the Savage Rebellion came to be and writing metaphorically without off the rails. Then go read (or listen to) the three books in the trilogy. You'll thank me later. 

    Click the Image to buy Matt Wallace's Savage Rebellion trilogy: 



    Synopsis: They call them Savages. Brutal. Efficient. Expendable. The empire relies on them. The Savages are the greatest weapon they ever developed. Culled from the streets of their cities, they take the ones no one will miss and throw them, by the thousands, at the empire's enemies. If they live, they fight again. If they die, there are always more to take their place.

    Evie is not a Savage. She's a warrior with a mission: to find the man she once loved, the man who holds the key to exposing the secret of the Savage Legion and ending the mass conscription of the empire's poor and wretched.

    But to find him, she must become one of them, to be marked in her blood, to fight in their wars, and to find her purpose. Evie will die a Savage if she has to, but not before showing the world who she really is and what the Savage Legion can really do.

     



     

    Synopsis: A war has begun. Savages, the empire’s most valuable resource, have been thrown at their captors’ enemies long enough. If their rebellion succeeds, it will undo a nation. At the helm of this Savage uprising is Evie, the Sparrow General. It isn’t a title she asked for or particularly wants, but she is the last hope for several peoples at the edge of extinction. Back in the empire’s city seat, Dyeawan, a brilliant young strategist…

     

     

     

     



    Synopsis: The final war for the nation of Crache has begun. At the helm of the people’s rebellion is Evie, the Sparrow General. She has been captured by the Skrian, Crache’s vicious army, and is being brought back to the Capitol for punishment. But reinforcements are coming for her.



    Dyeawan, who has climbed from street urchin to Crache’s highest seat of power through clever schemes and ruthless bloodshed, finds trouble on every front once she arrives. The rebellion approaches, and there are whispers of a martyr within the city who holds enough sway to stage a coup. If she doesn’t act quickly, her rule will be short-lived.



    As the women who hold the nation’s future meet each other from different sides of the battlefield, will they be able to find a shared vision of Crache, or will they destroy each other first?

     

    The final book Savage Crowns releases June 13, 2023. It's a magnificent end to one hell of a ride 



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    • 55 min
    Interview with Author Kat Howard

    Interview with Author Kat Howard

    Conversation with Kat Howard 

    A Sleight of Shadows released April 25, 2023 and immediately made Ro's top five list of April books. Listen in as Ro and Kat discuss her inspiration, writing process and her unflinching willingness to be ruthless when the story calls for it. Because, If you ask Ro, the best urban fantasy stories are the ones where things are dark and complicated.

    Enter The Unseen World where the source of magic's been corrupted and it'll take more than a single confrontation to resolve the matter. Kat Howard confronts the price of magic by creating a world that makes you stare the real cost of winning, and happiness, directly in the eye with An Unkindness of Magicians. And now returns, six years later, with A Sleight of Shadows that forces you to wrestle with the question: how do you have a happily ever after if the world doesn't want it?

    Click the Image to buy Kat Howard's Unseen World Duology:



     

    Synopsis: In New York City, magic controls everything. But the power of magic is fading. No one knows what is happening, except for Sydney--a new, rare magician with incredible power that has been unmatched in decades, and she may be the only person who is able to stop the darkness that is weakening the magic. But Sydney doesn't want to help the system, she wants to destroy it. Sydney comes from the House of Shadows, which controls the magic with the help of sacrifices from magicians.

     

     

     



    Synopsis: After taking down the source of the corruption of the Unseen World, Sydney is left with almost no magical ability. Feeling estranged from herself, she is determined to find a way back to her status as one of the world's most dangerous magicians. Unfortunately, she needs to do this quickly: the House of Shadows, the hell on earth that shaped her into who she was, the place she sacrificed everything to destroy, is rebuilding itself.

    "The House of shadows sits on bones. All of the sacrifices, all of the magicians who died in Shadows, they're buried beneath the foundations. Bones hold magic."

    The magic of the Unseen World is acting strangely, faltering, bleeding out from the edges. Determined to keep the House of Shadows from returning to power and to defeat the magicians who want nothing more than to have it back, Sydney turns to extremes in a desperate attempt to regain her sacrificed magic. She is forced to decide what she will give up and what she will lose and whether what must be destroyed is not only the House of Shadows, but the Unseen World itself.

     



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    • 1 hr 2 min
    C. L. Clark on Debut Novel, 'The Unbroken'

    C. L. Clark on Debut Novel, 'The Unbroken'

    There are some stories that sneak up on you. Luring you in with subtle descriptions and a glimpse at a  character's inner-most thoughts. You think you're about to embark on a journey, and you are, but it's definitely not the one you think following a young woman home - to the land she was stolen from - is likely to take you on. 

    Instead of a slowly unfolding story about a soldier trying to find her footing, the character's almost immediately thrust into thwarting an assassination attempt on a princess and carrying out orders certain to leave everyone in this squad of conscripts feeling some type of way about this homecoming. 

    And that's exactly how C. L. Clark's debut novel The Unbroken begins.

    Picking a side is where the conflict starts...

    This military/political fantasy centers Touraine, conscripted soldier, as she returns to the country of her birth as part of the colonizing force's army and Luca an imperial princess determined to wrestle her throne from her uncle.

    To prove her worthiness to rule, Luca aims to stop an colonial uprising by convincing the rebels she wants peace...when what she really wants is the means to rule unchallenged. Through a series of bloody events, Touraine finds herself under Luca's authority and thrust into a world of diplomacy, intrigue and uneasy alliances that she's in no way prepared for.



    ...and a bloody adventure follows after 



    What follows is a skillfully designed North-Africa inspired world full action and adventure. Clark puts forward the kind of character dynamics and world-building that paints a vivid picture all while building to tipping point well worth reaching.

    The Unbroken will challenge how you view military forces, colonial/post-colonial North Africa, power dynamics, and a women's unconflicted willingness to be violent...and be hellaciously good at it. There's magic, mayhem, love and what drives every good rebellion, tests of loyalty. 

    In edition to simply being a fantastic story, the world The Unbroken is multifaceted and richly diverse. The lead women characters are queer; there are other lesbian, gay, and bi characters. There is also a trans side character (you'll definitely want to see more of). 

    If you only add one new author to your reading list in 2021, it needs to be C. L Clark. 

    A Conversation with C. L. Clark 

    I had the pleasure of sitting down with the author to dig into how The Unbroken came to be, how the narrative hit me versus what Cherae readers would take away, and the multiple reasons to be found in this story that explain why I'm excited it's the first of (at least) three books set in this world. Listen in and then be sure to pick up The Unbroken* that hit bookshelves March 23, 2021. 

    C. L. Clark graduated from Indiana University’s creative writing MFA program and was a 2012 Lambda Literary Fellow. They’ve been a personal trainer, an English teacher, and an editor, and is some combination thereof as they travel the world. When they’re not writing or working, they’re learning languages, doing P90something, or reading about war and (post)colonial history. Their short fiction has appeared in Beneath Ceaseless Skies, FIYAH, and Uncanny, and on PodCastle, where they are currently a coeditor. You can follow them on Twitter: @c_l_clark.



    *Ro received a review copy of The Unbroken in exchange for her honest opinion. 



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    Book Club: The Murders of Molly Southbourne

    Book Club: The Murders of Molly Southbourne

    I Talk Sh!t & Presents: B!tch it's a Book Club. This new segment will be a free wheeling discussion of books from various genres of speculative fiction. The set list's built around novellas and designed to introduce authors and/or stories some may not know yet. First up is horror novella, The Murders of Molly Southbourne by Tade Thompson. 

    The Murders of Molly Southbourne 



    Synopsis: For as long as Molly Southbourne can remember, she's been watching herself die. Whenever she bleeds, another molly is born, identical to her in every way and intent on her destruction.



    Molly knows every way to kill herself, but she also knows that as long as she survives she'll be hunted. No matter how well she follows the rules, eventually the mollys will find her. Can Molly find a way to stop the tide of blood, or will she meet her end at the hand of a girl who looks just like her?

    Listen in as we jump off a conversation cliff and unravel the themes that make Tade's horror the kind that creeps up on you and leaves you wondering what you'd do if confronted with a murderous version of yourself. 

    We have a lively discussion where horror, spycraft, and one epic existential crisis collide. No one's quite sure what to make of The Murders of Molly Southbourne. So it's a good thing there's a sequel for us to dig into next meet up. 

    Book Club Members: 







    Aaron 

    @ansfreeman

    He/Him





    Ereika 

    @EreikaWritesFic

    She/They





    Leslie 

    @bonitaflor21

    She/Her





    Tom

    @TomThurman3

    He/Him





    Bacon 

    @B4c0nzilla 

    They/Them





    Brent

    @brentclambert

    He/Him 





    TJ

    @kotodamaishiki 

    He/Him







    Read with us:

    I'm all about supporting independent shops so I've started a list on Bookshop.org where you can buy all the titles discussed on the show (this is an affiliate link so I get a small commission).  



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    @BookBlerd

     

    @TheMTRNetwork



     

    New Book Tuesday: October 13th Edition

    New Book Tuesday: October 13th Edition

    Tuesdays Means New Books 

    There really isn't a better time to snuggle up somewhere with a book than in the Fall. I read regularly (which is a hobby once again gaining popularity) but during the days of distancing, it's officially my go-to activity when I want to be outside in the sun but avoid people. 

    If you're trying to find things to do in what spare time you've got or are in need of some escapism well then Tuesday is ALWAYS a good day to think about buying (or putting in a request at your local library) some books. 

    Notable Oct. 13th Releases 











    Synopsis: 

    In the holy city of Tova, the winter solstice is usually a time for celebration and renewal, but this year it coincides with a solar eclipse, a rare celestial event proscribed by the Sun Priest as an unbalancing of the world.



    Meanwhile, a ship launches from a distant city bound for Tova and set to arrive on the solstice. The captain of the ship, Xiala, is a disgraced Teek whose song can calm the waters around her as easily as it can warp a man’s mind. Her ship carries one passenger. Described as harmless, the passenger, Serapio, is a young man, blind, scarred, and cloaked in destiny. As Xiala well knows, when a man is described as harmless, he usually ends up being a villain.



    Crafted with unforgettable characters, Rebecca Roanhorse has created an epic adventure exploring the decadence of power amidst the weight of history and the struggle of individuals swimming against the confines of society and their broken pasts in the most original series debut of the decade.

    Release Date: October 13, 2020









     

    Buy the Book: Indiebound | Bookshop | 

     











    Synopsis:

    In the Jim Crow South, white supremacy reigns and tensions are high. But Evalene Deschamps has other things to worry about. She has two little sisters to look after, an overworked single mother, and a longtime crush who is finally making a move.



    On top of all that, Evvie’s magic abilities are growing stronger by the day. Her family calls it jubilation—a gift passed down from generations of black women since the time of slavery. And as Evvie’s talents waken, something dark comes loose and threatens to resurface…



    And when the demons of Evvie’s past finally shake free, she must embrace her mighty lineage, and summon the power that lies within her.

    Release Date: October 13, 2020









     

    Buy the Book: Indiebound | Bookshop | 

     











    Synopsis:

     

    Emanuela Ragno has always gotten exactly what she wanted. The privileged daughter of the House of Ragno, her daring and sharp mind has kept her from being the traditional young lady everyone wishes she would be. What other people think of her is no consequence, though--she is about to marry Ale, her best friend and heir to the first house of Occhia, despite the fact that they are both secretly gay. Through Ale, Emanuela will be able to rule the city.

     

    However, Emanuela has another, deeper secret that could shatter her plans. In Occhia, the source of all water is the watercrea, a mysterious being with blood magic who requires all Occhians to give themselves to her when their first bruise-like omen appears on their skin. Throughout history, all Occhians have obeyed this rule.

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