Ep #108

This week Sarah Jean hosts the podcast with special guest author Cat Sebastian as we conclude our October “Healer/Patient & Disability Rep” theme with a dopamine boost of Queer Romance


> SARAH JEAN (she/her) From the woods of Massachusetts, Sarah Jean has been reading queer romance for 12 years. She runs a queer book club called Rainbow Readers of Massachusetts (https://www.facebook.com/rainbowreadersmass/) that celebrates queer lives, joy, and empowerment through genre fiction. When not reading or listening to books Sarah is plotting her queer historical romances, cuddling with her cats, and planning her next adventure. Follow her on Twitter @queer_reader


> CAT SEBASTIAN (she/her) lives in a swampy part of the South with her husband, three kids, and two dogs. Before her kids were born, she practiced law and taught high school and college writing. When she isn’t reading or writing, she’s doing crossword puzzles, bird-watching, and wondering where she put her coffee cup. You can follow Cat on Twitter and Instagram @CatSWrites


> Title: The Soldier’s Scoundrel (Turner Series #1)
Author: Cat Sebastian
Relation to theme: disabled MC
Representation: Bi author, queer MCs, physical disability, white MCs
Content Warnings: blackmail, assault, off-page death, Napoleonic war veteran, PTSD, childhood poverty, past prostitution
Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29875088-the-soldier-s-scoundrel

> The novella Cat briefly refers to is A Little Light Mischief (Turner Series #3.5)
Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43386064-a-little-light-mischief

> Title: The Lawrence Browne Affair (Turner Series #2)
Author: Cat Sebastian
Relation to theme: neuro-divergent MC
Representation: Bi author, queer MCs, neuro-divergent, white MCs
Content Warnings: organized crime, childhood poverty, neuro-divergent, anxiety
Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30226770-the-lawrence-browne-affair

> Title: The Ruin of a Rake (Turner Series #3)
Author: Cat Sebastian
Relation to theme: MC with chronic illness
Representation: Bi author, queer MCs, chronic illness, white MCs
Content Warnings: malaria, lying, financial problems
Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32600210-the-ruin-of-a-rake

> Title: It Takes Two to Tumble (Seducing the Sedgwicks #1)
Author: Cat Sebastian
Relation to theme: dyslexic MC
Representation: Bi author, queer MCs, learning disability, white MCs
Content Warnings: dyslexia, coming out (not forced), sexual assault
Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35230501-it-takes-two-to-tumble

> Title: A Gentleman Never Keeps Score (Seducing the Sedgwicks #2)
Author: Cat Sebastian
Relation to theme: MC with PTSD
Representation: Bi author, queer MCs, PTSD, black MC, white MC
Content Warnings: PTSD from sexual assault, fire
Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35564594-a-gentleman-never-keeps-score

> Title: A Duke in Disguise (Regency Imposters #2)
Author: Cat Sebastian
Relation to theme: MC with epilepsy
Representation: Bi author, bi MC, epilepsy, white MCs
Content Warnings: epilepsy, off-page physical abuse
Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36501794-a-duke-in-disguise

> Title: Hither, Page (Page & Sommers #1)
Author: Cat Sebastian
Relation to theme: MCs with PTSD
Representation: Bi author, Queer MCs, WW2 veterans, PTSD, white MCs
Content Warnings: Multiple murders off-page, PTSD
Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44785311-hither-page

> Further Reading: George Chauncey’s Gay New York brilliantly shatters the myth that before the 1960s gay life existed only in the closet, where gay men were isolated, invisible, and self-hating. Drawing on a rich trove of diaries, legal records, and other unpublished documents, George Chauncey constructs a fascinating portrait of a vibrant, cohesive gay world that is not supposed to have existed.
Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/108295.Gay_New_York

> Sarah Jean mentions Lee Welch’s novel Salt Magic, Skin Magic
Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40722060-salt-magic-skin-magic

> Sarah Jean mentions Allie Therin’s novel Spellbound
Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43620442-spellbound

> Title: Brothers of the Wild North Sea
Author: Harper Fox
Relation to theme: Healer MC, injured MC
Representation: Queer author, queer MCs, white MCs
Content Warnings: religious/ethnic fighting, murder, death, religious tension
Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17433996-brothers-of-the-wild-north-sea

> Title: Seven Summer Nights
Author: Harper Fox
Relation to theme: MCs with PTSD, injured MC
Representation: Queer author, queer MCs, WW2 veterans, PTSD, white MCs
Content Warnings: PTSD, brain injury, suicide of former lover, period homophobia, murder, death, war flashbacks, period war treatments including shock therapy and lobotomy
Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33116450-seven-summer-nights

> Sarah Jean mentions Liv Rancourt’s Aqua Follies
Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34729900-aqua-follies

> Title: 11th Hour (The Carstairs Affairs #1)
Author: Elin Gregory
Relation to theme: ptsd and historical romance
Representation: gay/bi mc, genderfluid and or cross dressing mc
Content Warnings: murder, death, terrorist acts, attempted assault
Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30820566-eleventh-hour

> Title: Midnight Flit (The Carstairs Affairs #2)
Author: Elin Gregory
Relation to theme: ptsd and historical romance
Representation: gay/bi mc, genderfluid mc
Content Warnings: death,train bombing, murder, thinking someone is dead, terrorist acts
Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43714501-midnight-flit

> Title: An Unseen Attraction (Sins of the Cities #1)
Author: K.J. Charles
Relation to theme: MC with dyspraxia
Representation: Queer MCs, MC with dyspraxia, British-Indian MC, white MC
Content Warnings: ableism, bullying, childhood neglect, colonialism, racism, off-page torture and murder, arson, attempted murder
Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30517107-an-unseen-attraction

> Sarah Jean highly recommends the audio books for the Sins of the Cities series narrated by Matthew Lloyd Davies

> Title: Hexslayer (Hexworld #3)
Author: Jordan L. Hawk
Relation to theme: MC missing leg, MC with PTSD
Representation: Queer author, queer MCs, MC of color, white MC
Content warnings: ableism, racism, murder and attempted murder
Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36225312-hexslayer

> Jordan L. Hawk’s Hexhunter (Hexworld #4) is also mentioned in relation to disability rep
Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43532383-hexhunter

> There aren’t a lot of American-set queer historical romances, but Sarah Jean briefly mentions RomBkPod favorites E.E. Ottoman and and Alyssa Cole and their excellent novels The Doctor’s Discretion, The Craft of Love, and That Could Be Enough
Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35673510-the-doctor-s-discretion
Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42096849-the-craft-of-love
Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40524331-that-could-be-enough

> Title: In Pursuit Of… (The Worth Saga #2.5)
Author: Courtney Milan
Relation to theme: MC with ADHD
Representation: Asian author, queer MCs, MC with ADHD, black MC, white MC
Content Warnings: references to slavery
Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39962903-the-pursuit-of
Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36249994-hamilton-s-battalion

> CORRECTION: In Pursuit Of… was published in 2017 as part of the Hamilton’s Battalion anthology, and while it was Courtney Milan’s first historical queer romance, it was not her first queer romance. In 2016, Milan published Hold Me (Cyclone #2) a contemporary romance with a trans MC and a bi MC, which was recommended in RomBkPod episode #101 during our Back to School theme
Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24348034-hold-me

> On the subject of queer American Revolution set historical romances, Sarah Jean briefly mentions Silvia Violet’s series Revolutionaries
Link: https://www.goodreads.com/series/225172-revolutionaries

> If you follow Cat on Twitter then you’re likely already familiar with her devotion to fanfic and her soft spot for Steve Rogers/Bucky Barnes (Marvel) fanfic in particular. If you’re curious we’ve included a link to one example below
Link: https://archiveofourown.org/works/19482757/chapters/46377520

> First published in 1980, Gaywyck by Vincent Virga is regarded as the first gay gothic romance. The second novel Sarah Jean refers to, published 20 years later, is called Vadriel Vail
Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/516426.Gaywyck
Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1210918.Vadriel_Vail

> Per Cat’s reference, Mary Stewart is primarily remembered for her Arthurian Saga about the life of Merlin, but she originally made her name writing gothic romance suspense novels including Nine Coaches Waiting and The Moonspinners
Link: https://www.goodreads.com/author/list/15590.Mary_Stewart
Link: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/may/15/romance-suspense-novelist-mary-stewart-dies

> Sarah Jean refers to Gordon Merrick in passing, another gay romance pioneer, who’s primarily known for his Peter & Charlie trilogy
Link: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/321427.Gordon_Merrick

> When Sarah Jean refers to the first inter-racial lesbian romance and the first black lesbian romance being pubished by Avon, she’s referring to Ann Allen Shockley and the novels Loving Her and Say Jesus Come to Me, respectively
Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/777138.Loving_Her
Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/748619.Say_Jesus_and_Come_to_Me

> If you haven’t already, do check out the amazing RWA Romance Trailblazers feature, introduced at the 2019 RWA RITA awards ceremony
Link: https://www.rwa.org/Online/Awards/RITA/romance_trailblazers.aspx

> The gladiator romance Sarah Jean briefly references is Lauren Hawkeye’s My Wicked Gladiators
Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13559123-my-wicked-gladiators

> The 18th-century gay romance set in Holland Sarah Jean mentions is Mark Hamilton’s My Brothers Image
Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2089636.My_Brother_s_Image

> F/F historical romances Sarah Jean lists are: 

>> A Little Light Mischief by Cat Sebastian
Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43386064-a-little-light-mischief

>> Proper English by KJ Charles
Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44420645-proper-english

>> The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics by Olivia Waite
Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42117380-the-lady-s-guide-to-celestial-mechanics

>> Mrs. Martin’s Incomparable Adventure by Courtney Milan
Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44084867-mrs-martin-s-incomparable-adventure

>> The Sea May Burn by Rose Lerner (forthcoming) is not on Goodreads yet, but here’s a sneak peek at the gorgeous cover
Link: http://thebookvoyagers.blogspot.com/2019/07/cover-the-sea-may-burn-rose-lerner.html

> When Sarah Jean mentions “lesfic” she’s referring to fiction featuring lesbian characters that originates from a literary fiction tradition, as opposed to F/F romance which is grounded in a genre fiction tradition

> When Cat mentions Pembroke Park she’s referring to the novel by Michelle Martin
Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/600507.Pembroke_Park

> Title: Change of Address
Author: Jordan S. Brock
Relation to theme: MC with dyslexia, MC with PTSD
Representation: Bisexual mc, gay mc, adopted jewish character, acexual author
Content Warnings: intrusive thoughts, PTSD, homophobia, financial issues, adoption
Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31299879-change-of-address

> Title: Misfits
Author: Garrett Leigh
Relation to theme: MC with Tourette’s Syndrome
Representation: Polyam, gay/bi mcs, bisexual author
Content Warnings: ableism, childhood trauma related to murdered/missing parent
Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23312554-misfits

> Additional Garrett Leigh titles referenced include Strays (missing finger), Only Love (epilepsy), and the Lucky series including Cash the anti-fox hunting activist
Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32705576-strays
Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42432382-only-love
Link: https://www.goodreads.com/series/252180-lucky

> Title: Gays of Our Lives
Author: Kris Ripper
Relation to theme: MC with multiple sclerosis
Representation: Kinky, queer mcs, trans author
Content warnings: internalized ableism, murder in background, kink
Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29862883-gays-of-our-lives

> Additional Kris Ripper titles referenced include the Scientific Method series as well as One Life to Lose
Link: https://www.goodreads.com/series/126431-scientific-method-universe
Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29862982-one-life-to-lose

> Title: Nine of Swords, Reversed
Author: Xan West
Relation to theme: Disability
Representation: Fat, autisitc, chronic pain, ptsd, depression, genderfluid mcs, jewish mcs, trans author
Content Warnings: detailed list here https://xanwest.wordpress.com/nine-of-swords-reversed/
Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43298008-nine-of-swords-reversed

> Sarah Jean also mentions having West’s novel Their Troublesome Crush on her TBR
Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43321639-their-troublesome-crush

> Title: Moon Bright Tides
Author: RoAnna Sylver
Relation to theme: Autism, PTSD
Representation: Lesbian mermaid, lesbian witch, autisitc mc, mc with ptsd, nonbinary author
Content warnings: open water and drowning mention
Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38135846-moon-bright-tides

> Sarah Jean mentions Amelia C. Gormley’s novel Risk Aware which features a tattoo artist MC with hemophilia
Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29231360-risk-aware

> Title: Dead Ringer
Author: Heidi Belleau & Sam Schooler
Relation to theme: MCl with juvenile arthritis 
Representation: Gay mc, sex worker, disabled mc, queer authors 
Content warnings: ableism, homophobia, death, parental abuse, assault during sex work, abuse by caregiver, slurs, blackmail
Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25932559-dead-ringer
NOTE: Currently out of print, but access through some libraries 

> Just a big, comprehensive recommendation for all things Roan Parrish
Link: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14070842.Roan_Parrish

> Quick shout-out to the Irons and Works series by E.M. Lindsey which is set in a queer and disabled friendly tattoo shop
Link: https://www.goodreads.com/series/259870-irons-and-works

> Quick shout-out to the Bulletproof Spy series by S.L. Lahna
Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39292565-the-silver-bullet-affair

> Quick shout-out to the Dates! comic anthologies (1-3) edited by Zora Gilbert & Cat Parra
Link: https://datesanthology.com/
Link: https://www.goodreads.com/series/234379-dates-an-anthology-of-queer-historical-fiction-stories

> Which #QueerRomance favorites of yours did we miss? Let us know on Twitter or Instagram @RomBkPod

Happy Reading!

Music: “Lift Off” by Jahzzar
From the Free Music Archive
CC BY-SA 3.0