Smart Podcast, Trashy Books Podcast

176. Romance Around the World: An Interview with Alyssa Cole

Sarah interviews author Alyssa Cole about her series of articles for Romance Writers of America’s Romance Writers Report which focus on romance authors in different countries around the world. They discuss her upcoming books and her efforts to help readers diversify their reading lists. Plus, she has a movie recommendation for everyone everywhere. Special thanks to the birds of Martinique for making a background guest appearance.

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Here are the books we discuss in this podcast:

During the podcast, Alyssa Cole mentioned Ankara Press, and Mills & Boon India.

And this is VERY cool: big huge thanks to the Romance Writers of America for making a PDF download of two of Alyssa’s articles for the Romance Writers Report available to the podcast audience.

Click right here, and download two of her Romancing the Globe columns. That link will create an instant download, and the file is 523k. Thank you, RWA!

This podcast and all future podcasts are a production of Smart Bitches Trashy Books, LLC. Thank you for listening!

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What did you think of today's episode? Got ideas? Suggestions? You can talk to us on the blog entries for the podcast or talk to us on Facebook if that's where you hang out online. You can email us at [email protected] or you can call and leave us a message at our Google voice number: 201-371-3272. Please don't forget to give us a name and where you're calling from so we can work your message into an upcoming podcast.

Thanks for listening!

This Episode's Music

Our music is provided by Sassy Outwater. This podcast features “Celtic Frock” by a UK duo called Deviations Project, which features producer Dave Williams and violinist Oliver Lewis – they have their own Wikipedia page. This is from their album Ivory Bow.

Podcast Sponsor

The Wrath and the Dawn

This podcast is sponsored by Renee Ahdieh, author of The Wrath and The Dawn, published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers and available in print and e-book. Each dawn brings death. But can love change the story? This intoxicating retelling for A Thousand and One Nights will leave you begging for book 2, The Rose and the Dagger coming Summer 2016.

Every dawn brings horror to a different family in a land ruled by a killer. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, takes a new bride each night only to have her executed at sunrise. So it is a suspicious surprise when sixteen-year-old Shahrzad volunteers to marry Khalid. But she does so with a clever plan to stay alive and exact revenge on the Caliph for the murder of her best friend and countless other girls. Shazi’s wit and will, indeed, get her through to the dawn that no others have seen, but with a catch . . . she’s falling in love with the very boy who killed her dearest friend.

She discovers that the murderous boy-king is not all that he seems and neither are the deaths of so many girls. Shazi is determined to uncover the reason for the murders and to break the cycle once and for all.

This sumptuous and enthralling retelling of A Thousand and One Nights, will transport you to a land of golden sand and forbidden romance. She came for revenge. But will she stay for love?


Click to view the transcript

This podcast transcript was handcrafted with meticulous skill by Garlic Knitter. Many thanks.

Transcript Sponsor

Into the Fury

The podcast transcript this month is sponsored by Kensington, publishers of Into The Fury by New York Times Bestselling author Kat Martin. The first in a new series, Kat Martin is back with her signature spine-tingling suspense and unforgettable action as she introduces readers to the elite team of private investigators at BOSS INC. who are both hard-hitting and hot stuff.

A bodyguard, a bounty hunter, a P.I.–the men of Brodie Operations Security Service, Inc. are down for the job. . .

Sinners, whores, and sluts beware–your time is at hand: a faceless menace is threatening lingerie models on a cross country tour, and Ethan Brodie is there to defend and protect.

Ethan’s learned the hard way that beauty is no substitute for character. So even though Valentine Hart is one of the most breathtaking women he’s ever seen, he’s keeping his hands off and his eyes open. Or that’s what he tells himself.

Then one of the models is murdered, and the closer Ethan gets to the answers, the closer he finds himself to Valentine–and the hotter the pressure feels. There’s more to Val–more to the other girls–than he could have guessed. But one is keeping a secret that could kill them all.

On sale January 29th 2016.

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Add Your Comment →

  1. 1
    Hayden says:

    Hi Sarah, can you upload the podcast on Stitcher? It is the only way I can listen at work, lol. Thanks

  2. 2
    allyn lesley says:

    Another great podcast, Sarah/

  3. 3
    Melissa Blue says:

    Yeah. I have to chime in about Beyond the Lights. I was on board when I heard the same director of Love and Basketball was doing another movie. Love and Basketball is one of my top romances and movies in general. Then I saw the trailer and I could only squint. I did finally watch it and was so mad at marketing for screwing it up. If they promoted The Notebook as a romance then they should have definitely pimped this movie as a romance AND folks would have actually gotten that happy-sigh hit at the end. It really is a solid romance.

    Another movie Hollywood totally pimped wrong and that I loved is Love and Other Drugs. To me that is the last good “rom com” to come out. Otherwise it’s just a barren landscape with Nora Ephron gone.

  4. 4
    SB Sarah says:


    I just went over to Stitcher to see what was up – we’re there, but I have no idea why they aren’t picking up the latest episode. I’m sorry about that! If there are other services you use, please let me know and I’ll set them up for you. In the meantime, I’ve asked Stitcher to reset the feed, and I hope the new episode shows up in a bit. Sorry for the delay!


    Thank you!!

  5. 5

    Those who like Robyn Carr’s Virgin River series should try Beverly Jenkins’ Blessings series.

  6. 6

    I so enjoyed this podcast. I love Alyssa’s books and her articles in RWR. Thank you. Now I need to go watch Beyond The Lights and fix that I missed this movie.

  7. 7
    Kate says:

    Add my voice to the Beyond the Lights chorus! Such a fantastic movie. It’s grounded and sensitive but also sweepingly romantic. Loved it.

  8. 8
  9. 9
    Alina says:

    Still in the middle of listening, but I had to pause and consider what Alyssa was saying about difficulty googling for Russian romance. The problem is that Russia uses “roman” (from the French, I always assumed) to mean “novel” but it also means “affair” and its root is used for various romance-related words, like “romantic” in English. This is the kind of linguistic mess that Google translate just can’t deal with.

    I remember books of this genre being called “ladies’ novels” (damskiye romany), but that term looks to be outdated because googling it brings results that call them “lyubovnyye romany” (novels about love), this is also what the Russian Wikipedia page reflecting English Wikipedia’s “romance novel” page calls them.

  10. 10
    Alyssa Cole says:

    @Alina: Thank you so much for the info about Russian romance novels! And thanks to everyone for listening! 🙂

  11. 11
    Kareni says:

    Thank you for an enjoyable interview. And thanks once more for providing the transcript for those of us who prefer to read rather than listen.

  12. 12
    oftheshore says:

    This is such a great idea! I grew up in a country where both Russian and Polish romance novels were popular – there’s a number of incredibly popular Polish chick-lit/romance authors, whose books even occasionally get turned into films. I’d be happy to help with names/language. Also, a family friend has recently translated her romance novel (originally in Ukrainian) into English. The book itself not particularly amazing and very much a first effort of someone who usually writes song lyrics, but she could be a good local contact for the region.

  13. 13
    bookworm1990 says:

    That’s it. The next book in my TBR pile is getting pushed to the side because this is the third time this month I have seen Jeannie Lin’s name, so I totally need to read one of her books.

    I’m now sold on watching Beyond the Lights. I totally agree that there are practically no good rom-coms coming out these days. The only one I think I have enjoyed since I graduated high school (2008) was Baggage Claim. It wasn’t anything revolutionary, but it was super cute and a movie starring mostly Black people that isn’t about race, which, for an aspiring actress who does not act in the genre of black lady much like Weatherspoon does not write in the genre of Black lady, is quite refreshing. But 8 years and only one rom-com has been memorable and likable to me? Shameful. Thank God for Hallmark Channel.

  14. 14

    Another very off beat and little known movie that I saw on Netflix and absolutely loved, is “In Your Eyes.” Such a wonderful, romantic concept. A man in New Mexico and a woman in New Hampshire can see what the other is seeing and feel what the other is feeling. The problem is, the woman, Rebecca is married and the man, Dylan is on parole. This unusual empathy started when they were young children. Zoe Kazan plays the part of Rebecca and Michael Stahl-David is Dylan. No spoilers about the plot, but it’s truly a wonderful, romantic movie.

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