150 episodes

Each week on Smart Podcast, Trashy Books, Sarah Wendell interviews authors, readers, reviewers, bloggers, publishing professionals, editors, and librarians about romance novels, which are among the most popular genres in fiction worldwide. Popular guests include: Ilona Andrews, Robin Bradford, NPR's Barrie Hardymon, Jaye Wells, and Rachel Aaron. Amanda, Carrie, Elyse, and RedHeadedGirl, the crew of reviewers at SB-TB.com, also make frequent appearances with maximum silliness. Frequent topics include romance novels, the way the genre is changing, and the brilliant and interesting people who read, write, and produce it, and issues common among romance readers. Plus, we always recommend some books we're reading and really enjoying. Learn more at SB-TB.com/Podcast.

Smart Podcast, Trashy Books: Reviews, Interviews, and Discussion About All the Romance Novels You Love to Read Sarah Wendell - Romance Novel Reviewer, Reader, and Author

    • Books

Each week on Smart Podcast, Trashy Books, Sarah Wendell interviews authors, readers, reviewers, bloggers, publishing professionals, editors, and librarians about romance novels, which are among the most popular genres in fiction worldwide. Popular guests include: Ilona Andrews, Robin Bradford, NPR's Barrie Hardymon, Jaye Wells, and Rachel Aaron. Amanda, Carrie, Elyse, and RedHeadedGirl, the crew of reviewers at SB-TB.com, also make frequent appearances with maximum silliness. Frequent topics include romance novels, the way the genre is changing, and the brilliant and interesting people who read, write, and produce it, and issues common among romance readers. Plus, we always recommend some books we're reading and really enjoying. Learn more at SB-TB.com/Podcast.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Happy Valentine’s Day!

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

    This episode is brought to you by Best Women's Erotica of the Year, edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel, and published by Cleis Press.


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

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

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

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

    Today, I’m speaking with Courtney Milan.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • 1 hr 23 min
    388. RWA One Month Later: C. Chilove, Laurel Cremant, Diana Neal, The Officers of CIMRWA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • 1 hr 11 min

Customer Reviews

Neil Plakcy ,

I love Sarah

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

LTCRyan ,

Love this!

Appreciate the wide range of topics, including a number that I would never have considered. Plus the humor, and the terrible jokes. Thanks, sarah!

Amanda in PA ,

Thank you Sarah Wendell!

I can’t begin to count the ways listening to Sarah & her guests each week have made my life better. I started listening for book recommendations as I tiptoed back into reading romance, but it’s become so much more. Sarah has legitimized so many thoughts & feelings about being a woman in this time and this country. Plus she ends every episode with a terrible joke that always makes me laugh!

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