We Need To Go The Bunker Now

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Jess and Trisha are joined by the wonderful Sarah Wendell of Smart Bitches, Trashy Books for a mid-year check in, and they discuss all things romance in 2019 so far – big news, breakout authors, and books we’ve loved and want everyone to read.

This episode is sponsored by audiobooks, Sourcebooks (featuring Kingdom of Exiles by Maxym M. Martineau), and Lifelines by Heidi Diehl.

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Sarah’s website and podcast will both add delight and books to your life.

Sarah talked about a 1997 lawsuit involving Nora Roberts, and you can read about it here and here.

Allow Courtney Milan to remind you about the #CopyPasteCris situation.  (You can also revisit some of our episodes from the spring.)

Listen to Sarah’s interview with Kristy (CaffeinatedFae) and Claire Ryan, and visit the website for Claire’s software in progress that will help detect plagiarism.

Here are a couple of links to remind you about what went very wrong with the RITA nominations, and a statement from the RWA Board about what they want to do differently.

The Bridgerton Series made some great casting announcements.

Here’s that Book Riot “Best of 2019 So Far” list we mentioned.

And here’s the episode of Smart Podcast, Trashy Books featuring Jess and Trisha.


Beyond Heaving Bosoms: The Smart Bitches’ Guide to Romance Novels by Sarah Wendell

Everything I Know About Love I Learned from Romance Novels by Sarah Wendell

Lighting the Flames by Sarah Wendell

These are the authors who are breaking out in 2019 (or who are about to!) along with where you can start with their books:

Linda Holmes – Evvie Drake Starts Over

Alisha Rai – The upcoming book is The Right Swipe

Jasmine Guillory – Coming this month is The Wedding Party, and the holiday book Jess mentioned is Royal Holiday

Anna Zabo – The Twisted Wishes series starts with Syncopation

We also talked about these books that we’ve loved so far this year:

The Key to Happily Ever After by Tif Marcelo

Wolf Pack by Abby Wambach (which is non-fiction, not romance…and while you’re at it with commencement speeches turned into books, also listen to Dream More by Dolly Parton)

Kiss and Cry by Mina V. Esguerra

The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman

American Dreamer and American Fairytale by Adriana Herrera

Can’t Escape Love by Alyssa Cole

The Ultimate Pi Day Party by Jackie Lau

A Prince on Paper by Alyssa Cole

Pride, Prejudice and Other Flavors by Sonali Dev

Ayesha At Last by Uzma Jalaluddin

Let us know what romance authors you think are having a big 2019 and what you’ve been reading and loving this year! Find Sarah online at or (for the podcast); on Instagram and Twitter @smartbitches; OR you can email her at! As always, you can find Jess and Trisha at the shiny new WIR email address ( or you can still catch us at trisha@riotnewmedia.comand You can also find us on Twitter (@jessisreading and @trishahaleybrwn), or Instagram (@jess_is_reading and @trishahaleybrown).