Dear Bitches, Smart Authors Podcast

32. Serial Fiction in Romance

Podcast time! This week, Jane and Sarah discuss serial fiction, whether it works for us as readers and why it's a trend that's happening now. We talk about what we're reading and reviewing, plus the podcast begins with one of the best opening lines we've recorded yet.

Here are the books we discuss this week:

Neighbor From Hell - RL Mathewson Tall Dark and Lonely - RL Mathewson Because You are Mine - Beth Kery - Part I Because You are Mine Part II - Beth Kery
At His Service - Delilah Fawkes Dominated by the Billionarie I - Anything He Wants by Sara Fawkes Anything He Wants 2 - Sara Fawkes
An Affair with Mr. Kennedy - Jillian Stone A Dangerous Liaison with Detective Lewis - Jillian Stone A Private Duel with Agent Gunn - Jillian Stone The Seduction of Phaeton Black - Jillian Stone
Audrey's Guide to Witchcraft - Jody Gehrman Defying the Prince - Sarah Morgan
Secrets of a Wedding Night - Valerie Bowman Carla Neggers - Heron's Cove  Hearts of Darkness - Kira Brady 
Hearts of Fire - Kira Brady Riveted - Meljean Brook

This week's music was provided by Sassy Outwater, and this track is called “Dragons,” by a Parisian group called Caravan Palace. You can find their album, “Caravan Palace,” on iTunes, and you can find the band on MySpace and Facebook.

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Many huge thanks to Harlequin for sponsoring the podcast. They have things to tell you! Here's one:

Erotic Romance Tantalized by Fifty Shades of Grey? You’ll fall in lust in Megan Hart’s tales of unbridled desire. Find Switch, Deeper and Tempted at


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  1. 1
    DesLivres says:

    I really enjoy your podcasts. They are pretty much the only ones I regularly listen to.
    Re serials:
    FWIW in the USSR there were magazines which were basically chapters of different books published sequentially (I am explaining this very badly). I used to work in a university library where they were quite popular, and was told that was the way many people in Russia read books.

    This modern iteration of the serial novel that you describe in the podcast sound designed for slow readers, and those who are okay with dipping in and out of novels.

    I’m like you – if I like the book, I want to read right to the end right now, and cliff hangers are not appreciated.

    They also sound a bit of popular tv shows where people switch on the tv show for an hour or half an hour in part to spend time in that world/place.

  2. 2
    azteclady says:

    (The word you were looking for: installments)

  3. 3
    Ros Clarke says:

    This totally needs to come with a gross-out warning for the first six minutes. EWWWWWWWWWWWWWW.

  4. 4
    SB Sarah says:


  5. 5
    SB Sarah says:

    Oh, dear. Yes, yes, it does.

  6. 6
    Gen Turner says:

    The author may have gotten the menstrual pad idea from Memnoch the Devil by Anne Rice.  I won’t go into the details to spare everyone but it sounds very similar.  I will admit that I am ashamed I’ve remembered that after all these years.

  7. 7
    LJmysticowl says:

    My family had a bunch of these magazines lying around our dacha, so when I found them, I could go through issue by issue and read the stories without waiting. There was a kid’s magazine still active when I was little in the late 80s, early 90s, and if I remember correctly, that one might’ve had serial stories in it too.

    In general, I think serials work very well in a magazine format – you pay a subscription fee for the issues and then when you get it, it’s chapters from different stories plus whatever other content. Manga is published this way in Japan rather than the American comic book model of releasing each chapter as a stand-alone booklet. The “selling installments on Amazon” model doesn’t make as much sense to me as the magazine model. As Sarah said on the podcast, that adds up to a lot of money.

    You know what it reminds me of? Fanfiction. The original 50 Shades audience, the ones who’ve read it when it was a Twilight fanfic, read it chapter by chapter wherever it was posted. But fanfiction is free, so if the fic turns out disappointing in the end, then at least you didn’t spend 1-3 dollars on every chapter.

  8. 8
    Turophile says:

    I love the podcast! I only wish there were more.  I agree that this particular one could have used a gross out warning.

  9. 9
    Kmitc56 says:

    I think people may buy one of these thinking it’s a book for 0.99 and a good deal – not realizing it’s an “installment.”

  10. 10
    theNaughtyK says:

    Period blood is just ewww and the most dirties thing (its rubbish coming out of our vag… not the best blood but the dirtiest). Also I never knew there were Serial type publications, I’ve only read that type from literotica where the author publishes chapter by chapter on the website.

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