Whatcha Reading? December 2019 Edition, Part Two
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Articles / December 28, 2019

We have reached the last Whatcha Reading of 2019! Let’s pour one out for the books we’ve finished this year. SBTB hopes you’ve ended your year of reading with something good. If not, there are tons more books waiting for you in the new year! Catherine: I’m in the middle of Christmas madness (singing and culinary editions), so I’m sticking to rereads at the moment. In particular, I’m rereading the Penric and Desdemona novellas by Lois McMaster Bujold, because they are delightful and funny and kind and optimistic, all of which I need right now. And of course I have just finished my annual reread of All Seated On The Ground by Connie Willis, which is clever and funny and especially hilarious if you have spent a lot of your life in choirs and singing Christmas carols (the lyrics really are a lot more violent than you might think…). A | BN | K | AB Shana: I’m reading Full Disclosure by Camryn Garrett, which is about a HIV+ teen who loves musicals, and falls for a popular guy at school; someone tries to blackmail her into breaking up with him by threatening to tell everyone that’s she’s positive. YA…

Smart Bitches Happy Hanukkah Giveaway 2019 – Night Seven!
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Articles / December 28, 2019

Happy Hanukkah, 2019! Tonight is the seventh night, and of course we have another giveaway. Are you having fun? I’m having fun. Boatloads. Ready? Let’s do this! Today’s prize is: a Kate Spade Mavis Street Taden tote in Rose Gold! Of course I have pics! Isn’t it cute? AND ALSO SPARKLY? I confess, I went for a lot of sparkly things this year. Want some specs? The bag measures approximately 12.1″h x 13.3″w x 4.3″d It has a strap drop length of 8.5″. The top zips closed – very important to me, personally. The interior has two slide pockets, and one zipper pocket. IT SPARKLES ALL OVER. Want to enter? Yay! Just leave a comment telling us about one romance that is in your essential, most-read, absolute favorite list. Standard disclaimers apply: I am not being compensated for this giveaway. Void where prohibited. Open to international residents where permitted by applicable law. Must be over 18 and open to the option of fabulous bags, and also candles, chocolate, and jelly doughnuts (It’s Hanukkah after all!). Not responsible for how much awesomeness you can carry in this sparkly-great tote. Comments will close Sunday 29 December 2019 at or near 12pm ET, and…

Podcast 383, Your Transcript is Ready!
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Articles / December 27, 2019

The transcript for Podcast 383. Our Favorite Books of the Year, Part Three: Amanda, Kiki, Ellen & AJ has been posted! This podcast transcript was handcrafted with meticulous skill by Garlic Knitter. Many thanks. ❤ Click here to subscribe to The Podcast →

Smart Podcast, Trashy Books: Best of 2019
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Articles / December 27, 2019

We’re recapping all kinds of stuff this week, and today: our top ten podcast episodes from 2019!  Episodes toward the end of the year are at a slight disadvantage, of course, though my late-November conversation with Alyssa Cole in Episode 379 is one of the most recently popular and continues to be shared and linked (with good reason – it’s a great conversation). But looking at the year overall, these are the top ten most listened to Smart Podcast, Trashy Books episodes of the year – and thank you to everyone who listened, recommended, shared, and posted about the show. Special thanks to all our Patreon community members, who helped shape this season and keep the show going each week! #10 – 354. Six Books Amanda’s Excited About, and Other Stories from BEA 2019 (June 7) Amanda was at Book Expo America 2019, and she has books to recommend, titles to squee about, and a definite predilection for candles and reading cover blurbs, too. We talk about her impressions of this year’s BEA, who it’s for, and how it’s changed over her time working in various parts of publishing. We also talk about how much Amanda likes reading blurbs on…

Smart Bitches Happy Hanukkah Giveaway 2019 – Night Six!
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Articles / December 27, 2019

Happy Hanukkah, 2019! Tonight is the sixth night, and of course we have another giveaway. I love shopping for this week every year. Ready? Let’s do this! Today’s prize is: a Kate Spade Greta Court Ramey Glitter Crossbody in Black. Of course I have pics! Isn’t it cute? AND SPARKLY? Want some specs? The bag measures approximately 5.7″h x 9.4″w x 1.4″d It has an adjustable crossbody strap drop length of 22″. The top zips closed – very important to me, personally. The interior has one slide pocket. IT SPARKLES. Want to enter? Yay! Just leave a comment saying what book you most want to read in 2020! Standard disclaimers apply: I am not being compensated for this giveaway. Void where prohibited. Open to international residents where permitted by applicable law. Must be over 18 and open to the option of fried food and candles, plus very adorable handbags. Must also be open to how awesome you’ll feel carrying this bag – because it’s gonna be pretty awesome. Comments will close Saturday 28 December 2019 at or near 12pm ET, and winner will be announced shortly afterward. Good luck, Happy Hanukkah, and thank you for being part of Smart Bitches!

383. Our Favorite Books of the Year, Part Three: Amanda, Kiki, Ellen & AJ
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Articles / December 27, 2019

We’re recapping our favorite books that we read in 2019! Amanda and I talk about the loss of my coffee maker and about her favorites of 2019, including how glad she is that there’s more sci-fi romance for her to enjoy, and who is her new favorite historical romance sex puppy hero. Kiki talks about a book that transformed her way of holding her own body safely and gently, and her love of grumpy romances for grumpy people. Ellen sneaks six books into their top five, and looks at what makes Ilona Andrews’ world building so good, and AJ shares what authors and books rocked their world (hint: lesbian necromancers may have been involved). I hope you enjoy this reading recap, and that you share with us your favorite books that you read in the past year, too! You can subscribe to Smart Podcast, Trashy Books at Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, or wherever you catch your favorite shows! Listen to the podcast → Read the transcript → Here are the books we discuss in this podcast: We also mentioned: Our Rec League discussion of the term coined by Olivia Waite, “Sex Puppy Hero” YouTube: Ancient Library Room 10 Hours of Celestial…

Bestsellers: Charlotte Stein, Cat Sebastian, & More
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Articles / December 26, 2019

We’re kicking off our Best of 2019 with our bestselling sales! From today until Friday, we’re counting down the books that you all bought through our affiliate links (thanks so much for that). This isn’t a definitive list as we’re only including books that are still priced at $3.99 or less, but these books were the top sellers of the year. Congrats to the authors and to the readers who get to enjoy them! We also have the Best Reviews, Best Cover Snark, and Best Podcasts of 2019!  Sweet Agony RECOMMENDED: Sweet Agony by Charlotte Stein is $1.99! Elyse squeed about this one: I acknowledge that Sweet Agony won’t be for everyone. Some readers may just think Cyrian’s an asshole and that’s fine. For me, for my individual reading experience, it was perfect and I’m so happy I found it. New job, new boss, and he’s cold, strict, but terribly attractive. Does Molly Parker stay or does she go? Because beneath Cyrian’s chilly front, there may be a heat that’ll burn her up. Giving in was vicious bliss. The live-in position is an opportunity for Molly to earn and escape a problematic family. There’s just one drawback. Her employer is the most eccentric, aloof and…

Smart Bitches Happy Hanukkah Giveaway 2019 – Night Five!
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Articles / December 26, 2019

Happy Hanukkah, 2019! It’s the fifth night of Hanukkah 5780, and Elyse is hooking you up with some gorgeous yarn for upcoming knitting projects, plus books, too! Ready? Let’s do this! Today’s prize is: yarn and books! Limited edition yarn, plus a big ol’ box of books. Look how pretty! Elyse has some details about what’s included: Two skeins of Hedgehog Fibers Skinny Singles in the colors Lucille and Private Island. These are club colors and can’t be bought online or in stores. The yarn is a soft single ply and 100% Merino wool. The prize pack also includes a small Namaste project bag from Jimmy Beans Wool. And of course books! Elyse will include several books across varying sub-genres of romance. Want to enter? Yay! Just leave a comment and tell us about your favorite craft, hobby, or way to enjoy your time – and of course, the answer can be reading! Standard disclaimers apply: I am not being compensated for this giveaway. Void where prohibited. Open to international residents where permitted by applicable law. Must be over 18 and ready to get wooly. Not responsible for further acquisition of yarn beyond life expectancy. It’s a hazard of knitting, we…

Links: Cocktails, Kittens, & More
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Articles / December 25, 2019

Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah! Happy holidays! I tried to make this collection of links mostly feel-good, cute stuff if you need it today. We hope you’re able to spend your day doing something special for yourself. … Though this is a list of “Christmas cocktails,” I think many of these would be good for any season! … A Brooklyn cat cafe has a kitten cam! The kitties are rambunctious and so adorable. There’s a lovely bio of the two adult cats and their three kitten orphan charges. … If you’ve seen a bird referred to as a “birb” and are curious about the term, Audubon has a great birb 101 with pictures. … Both Sarah and I got the warm and fuzzies reading about the crafting community that came together to finish a woman’s quilting project. … Have you heard about the hot new boy band sensation Boyz II Menorah? … Don’t forget to share what super cool things you’ve seen, read, or listened to this week! And if you have anything you think we’d like to post on a future Wednesday Links, send it my way!

Bestellers: Lumberjacks, Tessa Bailey, & More
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Articles / December 25, 2019

We’re kicking off our Best of 2019 with our bestselling sales! From today until Friday, we’re counting down the books that you all bought through our affiliate links (thanks so much for that). This isn’t a definitive list as we’re only including books that are still priced at $3.99 or less. We also have the Best Reviews, Best Cover Snark, and Best Podcasts of 2019!  Hottie Lumberjack Hottie Lumberjack by Tawna Fenske is $3.99! I added this one to my TBR pile after reading this comment from Jenny on Whatcha Reading. Jenny says the covers in this series aren’t great, but she really enjoyed this one. In my romance book club, another member recommended the second book in this series, Chef Sugarlips, so I may have to bump these books up on my list. When Mark Bracelyn lumbers into Chelsea Singer’s cupcake shop with an axe, she’s poised to hit the panic button. But he fixes her door, praises her buttercream, and sends her skittish heart pounding like a hammer on a hollow log, so he can’t be all that scary. Chelsea’s sure there’s a gooey marshmallow center under Mark’s tough outer shell, though admittedly she’s been wrong before. Mark may look…