Samantha from Sex in the City, in a fireman's uniform, minus a shirt. Suspenders are covering her nipples.

That is the name of the podcast that I recorded an episode of on Friday with the host, Jaclyn Friedman. It is on the topic of feminism and romance novels. And, as the name suggests, it is not safe to listen to at work. Or anywhere that you don’t want people to hear you listening to two feminists discuss cunnilingus and anal sex in romance and/or erotica novels (among MANY other topics).

Here is a link to my episode of the podcast (which also has great links to go with it).

Here is the main site for the FWF podcast.

It would probably be helpful to read my post at The Atlantic on this topic before listening to the podcast but not a necessity.

Cover of Renaud's Question of Time

Congratulations Meredithea! We will be contacting you via email about how to claim your prizes.

Thank you to everyone who stopped by the blog this week, who read one or more of our posts, and who commented. It was a time-traveling bonanza!

Cover of The Geek Girl and the Scandalous Earl. Earl is in front with white, collared shirt open, exposing his chest. He is looking right at us. Geek Girl is behind him. We mainly see her face. She is pulling down her glasses to look at him over them. She has her hand on his waist.

This week you have the chance to win a digital copy of Joanne Renaud’s A Question of Time as well as an awesome Baggu bag. [NOTE: The winner of the bag is restricted to readers in the continental US due to cost of shipping overseas]

HERE IS HOW YOU WIN THESE THINGS:

This week, there will be four posts related to this contest (one each day, Monday – Thursday). They will all be labeled “WEEK-LONG CONTEST” in the post title. As long as you leave one comment on one of the posts before Thursday night at midnight (central time US), you will be included in the contest. Joanne will randomly pick on one of the names on Friday morning and we will announce it on the blog later that day.

Monday’s post introduced the contest and has an image of the bag.

Tuesday’s post was Renaud’s review of Judith O’Brien’s Ashton’s Bride.

Wednesday’s post was an interview I did with Renaud.


The Geek Girl and the Scandalous Earl, Gina Lamm‘s latest novel, was published on March 5, 2013. I received an advanced reader copy from Sourcebooks Casablanca.

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Cover of the City of Forever

This week you have the chance to win a digital copy of Joanne Renaud’s A Question of Time as well as an awesome Baggu bag. [NOTE: The winner of the bag is restricted to readers in the continental US due to cost of shipping overseas]

HERE IS HOW YOU WIN THESE THINGS:

This week, there will be four posts related to this contest (one each day, Monday – Thursday). They will all be labeled “WEEK-LONG CONTEST” in the post title. As long as you leave one comment on one of the posts before Thursday night at midnight (central time US), you will be included in the contest. Joanne will randomly pick on one of the names on Friday morning and we will announce it on the blog later that day.

Monday’s post introduced the contest and has an image of the bag.

Tuesday’s post was Renaud’s review of Judith O’Brien’s Ashton’s Bride.


After reviewing Renaud’s book, I had some questions for her about how she went about writing the story.

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Cover of Judith O'Brien's Ashton's Bide. A bouquet of pink flowers with purple ribbons hanging off of them in front of a pink background.

This week you have the chance to win a digital copy of Joanne Renaud’s A Question of Time as well as an awesome Baggu bag. [NOTE: The winner of the bag is restricted to readers in the continental US due to cost of shipping overseas]

HERE IS HOW YOU WIN THESE THINGS:

This week, there will be four posts related to this contest (one each day, Monday – Thursday). They will all be labeled “WEEK-LONG CONTEST” in the post title. As long as you leave one comment on one of the posts before Thursday night at midnight (central time US), you will be included in the contest. Joanne will randomly pick on one of the names on Friday morning and we will announce it on the blog later that day.

Yesterday’s post introduced the contest and has an image of the bag.


Today, in honor of Renaud’s time-travel novel, she reviews another time-travel romance: Judith O’Brien’s 1995 work, Ashton’s Bride.


Gone with the Wind—it’s an iconic movie, and arguably one of the greatest movies made during the Golden Age of Hollywood. The imagery of southern belles, soaring plantation houses and tragic yet scrappy Confederates fighting for a doomed Lost Cause are seared indelibly into the collective American memory.  It’s also influenced a metric ton of books, especially in the romance genre. One of the strangest books influenced by GWTW is Ashton’s Bride by Judith O’Brien, a time travel romance published in 1995 (although the book is set in 1993).

Now, when I was growing up in the ‘80s and early ‘90s, the Old South and the Civil War was everywhere. You had miniseries like North and South in 1984; North and South II in 1986; you also had Alex Haley’s Queen in 1993, and Scarlett, the misbegotten sequel to GWTW, which became a miniseries in 1994. References to southern belles and the antebellum south were also frequent in the books I read. Atlanta socialite heroine Amber in the teen spy series Charisma Inc. was frequently compared to Scarlett O’Hara, and both my favorite YA paranormal series, Swept Away and Teen Witch, featured time travel stories where the heroines are accidentally whisked back to the Confederacy. The books were called (respectively) Gone with the Wish and Gone with the Witch. Cheesy, but I ate it up. I especially loved when the girls, after their weird vacations in the past, returned to their comfortable 1980s existences. The past might be fun to visit, but who the hell would want to live there?

Of course, when I moved to the Atlanta metro area, this pop culture phenomenon of my youth was the first thing I thought of. But I quickly discovered that many people there were beyond fatigued with Gone with the Wind and its ilk. It seemed to me that Gone with the Wind was no longer a hot property; in fact, it seemed that it was no longer relevant or interesting to most people. I remember meeting a librarian at a party, and I tried to discuss just this with her, but her eyes glazed over, and she changed the subject to The Hunger Games.

I was exasperated, but in a way this perfectly illustrates my point. Zombies are all the rage in Atlanta now, what with the runaway success of The Walking Dead, and the Georgia settings for popular zombie games like Left 4 Dead 2. One may wonder about the significance and symbolism of the former heart of the Confederacy becoming (according to the New York Times) “The Zombie Capital of the World,” but this is a subject for another blog post.

Suffice to say, Ashton’s Bride was written at the height of Antebellum nostalgia, and it shows it. I have been a fan of Judith O’Brien’s books for years, but Bride is easily the weakest (and oddest) of her books.

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Cover of Renaud's Question of Time

This is the first-ever contest here at scATX Reads and I could not be more excited about it.

Back in mid-December I reviewed Joanne Renaud’s debut novel, A Question of Time, a time-travel romance that sees our modern-day heroine transported back to the 1980s. I enjoyed the book overall:

Celia does change the timeline. I don’t want to say exactly how or what the result of it is — some secrets should be kept — but it works. Renaud makes it work. She writes Celia as being as confused about the entire thing, which gives the reader permission to simply embrace the unknown about the situation. We, alongside Celia, are invited to wonder at the how and to just be pleased without the way it all turns out.

And how it turns out is sweet and it is heart warming.

(Read the full review here)


This week you have the chance to win a digital copy of A Question of Time as well as this awesome Baggu bag in one of these three colors [NOTE: The winner of the bag is restricted to readers in the continental US due to cost of shipping overseas]:

Screen shot 2013-03-11 at 9.41.26 AM Screen shot 2013-03-11 at 9.41.38 AM Screen shot 2013-03-11 at 9.41.57 AM

16″ high / 10″ wide / 5.5″ deep. 40″ adjustable shoulder strap. Snap Closure. Interior pocket. 16oz recycled cotton canvas.

HERE IS HOW YOU WIN THESE THINGS:

This week, there will be four posts related to this contest (one each day, Monday – Thursday). They will all be labeled “WEEK-LONG CONTEST” in the post title. As long as you leave one comment on one of the posts before Thursday night at midnight (central time US), you will be included in the contest. Joanne will randomly pick on one of the names on Friday morning and we will announce it on the blog later that day.

The other three posts this week will be:


Happy commenting!

I have a piece up today over at Bitch Magazine’s blog about the author Bill Spence, an 89-year-old white, cis, heterosexual man, and also the person behind the penname “Jessica Blair.” As Jessica Blair, he has written over twenty romance novels in the last two decades. When interviewed about this recently, there was discussion of whether writing romance novels affected Spence’s masculinity.

An excerpt from my piece:

Spence’s masculinity is a source of concern because romance novels are the most gendered of all literature genres. Romance has been derisively nicknamed “chick lit” or “mommy porn.” For a man to be a successful author of romance novels (which at 22 published Jessica Blair books, Spence is certainly successful), the implication is that he must shed his masculinity in order to be left with what is necessary to craft these tales: his feminine side.

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SQUEE!!!