The Fresh Fiction Podcast

Conversations about what you’re reading, what you’re watching, and what you’re listening to

Pop Culture Weddings + Mia Sosa Interview

Posted by freshfiction in Author Interview, Movies, TV, Books

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It’s Spring Break and Danielle is in the thick of book 2 revisions! Also, everyone should check out ALL MY RAGE by Sabaa Tahir. Gwen is MOVING and by the time this episode airs, she will be in her new place!

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WEDDINGS!

Danielle got married at the height of Pinterest weddings and made all of her flowers out of paper and book pages. Gwen was 40 minutes late to her outdoor wedding in the hills of Virginia and it had a “movie” theme.

Memorable TV Weddings

Gwen: Kelly and Zack on Saved by the Bell, Luke and Laura on General Hospital, Jim and Pam on The Office, the Red Wedding from Game of Thrones

Danielle: Meredith and Derek on Grey’s Anatomy (the post-it note), All of Parks & Rec’s surprise weddings, David and Patrick on Schitt’s Creek, Ralph Angel and Darla on Queen Sugar

Wedding Movies

Gwen: All versions of Father of the Bride, My Best Friend’s Wedding, Bridesmaids, Sex and the City, The Little Mermaid, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End

Danielle: Also Father of the Bride, Crazy Rich Asians, The Wedding Planner, Monsoon Wedding, About Time

Pop Culture Moments: Meghan and Harry, Beyonce and Jay-Z, Serena Williams and Alexis Ohanian, John F. Kennedy Jr. and Caroline Bisset

Books: Nora Robert’s The Bride Quartet, Bridesmaids Behaving Badly series by Jenny Holiday, D’Vaughn and Kris Plan a Wedding by Chencia C. Higgins, Mia Sosa’s The Worst Best Man and The Wedding Crasher

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Interview with Mia Sosa

THE WEDDING CRASHER

THE WORST BEST MAN

Connect with Mia: Website | Newsletter | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook

Romance tropes that Mia loves: Friends-to-Lovers, Fake Dating, Grumpy-Sunshine

What’s making Mia happy: Love is Blind on Netflix

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Goals/Comfort & Joy

Danielle did not read a nonfiction book, but she wants to read You Got Anything Stronger by Gabrielle Union (she also finally cleaned her desk!). This week, Danielle wants to actually read a nonfiction book!

Gwen succeeded in packing up her kitchen stuff and needs to continue to pack because she is literally moving in 24 hours.

Danielle has been reading old school romances: Morning Glory by Lavyrle Spencer and Suddenly You by Lisa Kleypas. Gwen went to her local cookie kiosk!

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EMAIL US!

Thoughts or questions? Email us at podcast@freshfiction.com.

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SELF-CARE + KATE SPENCER INTERVIEW

Posted by freshfiction in Author Interview

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Gwen has been traveling and booked movers! Danielle has been going outside and started working on more book 2 revisions!

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Main Discussion

Self-care has changed so much and is incredibly personal. We’re discussing our own self-care practices and how we approach taking care of ourselves.

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Our interview with KATE SPENCER

IN A NEW YORK MINUTE

Kate’s Website

Kate’s Instagram

Kate’s memoir: THE DEAD MOM’S CLUB

Forever35 Podcast

Book recs from Kate: the entire Ice Planet Barbarians series (and spinoffs!) by Ruby Dixon, PEOPLE WE MEET ON VACATION by Emily Henry, ACCIDENTALLY ENGAGED by Farah Herron, A THOUSAND MILES by Bridget Morrissey (6/21), FUNNY YOU SHOULD ASK by Elissa Sussman (4/12)

Kate has a new puppy! The Encanto soundtrack is giving her entire household life. And she recommends the folk singer Henry Jamison, especially for writing!

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Goals/Comfort & Joy

Danielle did not clean her desk (and probably won’t now that revisions have started) but would like to read a nonfiction book. Gwen did not start going through her closets but thinks packing up her kitchen might be a better place to start.

Danielle loves her Old Skool platform Vans.

Gwen is reading and loving Daisy Jones & the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

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EMAIL US!

Thoughts or questions? Email us at danielle@freshfiction.com.

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Oscar Predictions + Kristy Woodson Harvey Interview

Posted by freshfiction in Author Interview, Movies, Books, Music

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It’s cold and dreary in both Washington and Illinois. Gwen has found a new apartment and Danielle hosted two events: a virtual event with Lauren Kate and a sold-out in-person event with Bob Odenkirk.

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Main Discussion

In just a few short weeks, this year’s Academy Awards will be handed out. Gwen and Danielle discuss if the Oscaras “matter” anymore, what goes into Oscar campaigns, and of course, our predictions for this year’s winners! We don’t over all the categories, but you can find a full list of nominees here: https://www.oscars.org/oscars/ceremonies/2022.

Danielle mentioned the podcast Fat Mascara, and in particular episodes with Cruella makeup artist Nadia Stacey and Gwen Stefani.

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Interview with Kristy Woodson Harvey

THE WEDDING VEIL will be in stores on March 29th! It is set at the legendary Biltmore Estate.

Kristy’s Peachtree Bluff series has been optioned to be adapted into a TV series! She told us about helping write the pilot and more exclusive details.

Reading is Kristy’s self-care! She recommends GILT by Jamie Brenner, REMINDERS OF HIM by Colleen Hoover, ONCE UPON A WARDROBE by Patty Callahan, THE HOMEWRECKERS by Mary Kay Andrews, and books by William Kent Kreuger.

Head to Kristy’s website, sign up for her newsletter, and find her on Instagram and Facebook. She’s also a part of the Friends & Fiction Facebook group!

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Goals/Comfort & Joy

We gave ourselves a break from goals last time! This week, Gwen wants to clean out her closet and Danielle needs to clean her desk! Danielle bought a huge tub of Stonefire Naan Dippers from Costco and has been enjoying them immensely. Gwen is loving the Salt & Straw Pot of Rainbows cereal-flavored ice cream.

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EMAIL US!

Thoughts or questions? Email us at podcast@freshfiction.com.

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Quote-Unquote Cool Girls + Mia P. Manansala Interview

Posted by freshfiction in Author Interview, Movies, TV, Books, Music

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It has been... a week, LOL!

Gwen is going to her first concert in a while—Eddie Vedder!

Danielle did a virtual event with friend of the pod Jessica P. Pryde with Books are Magic last week. Follow her on social media for the link the replay!

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Main Discussion

Some of the cool girls we discussed:

Gone Girl, and the Salon article

Everyone on Euphoria

Julia Gardner/Anna from Inventing Anna

Anne Hathaway/Rivka in We Crashed

Sarah Michelle Gellar/Katherine in Cruel Intentions

Mila Kunis/ Rachel in Forgetting Sarah Marshall

Megan Fox/Reagan from New Girl

Celebs: Glen Close, Olivia Coleman, Jennifer Lawrence, Zendaya, Billie Eilish, Betty White, Dionne Warwick

Books: Delilah Green Doesn’t Care by Ashley Herring Blake, Not the Girl You Marry by Andie J. Christopher

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Recs from Mia P. Manansala

Website: https://www.miapmanansala.com/ (sign up for her newsletter!)

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MPMtheWriter

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MPMtheWriter/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mpmthewriter/

All the food!

Celebration/common Filipino dishes: Adobo, Lumpia, Pancit

Unheard of dishes: Ginataang Bilo-bilo

Good starter dish for the home cook: Sinigang

Mia’s website has a ton of recipes from and inspired by her book!

Cozy mystery series Mia and her mom enjoy: Joanna Fluke’s Hannah Swensen series, Vivien Chien’s Noodle Shop Mysteries, Raquel V. Reyes’s Caribbean Mystery series

Mia LOVES candles. Bath & Body Works are among her favorites, but she also mentioned two small Filiapina-owned candle makers: Terra and Kilig

Mia is also a new romance reader and enjoys novels by Talia Hibbert, Alyssa Cole, and Sherry Thomas!

Goals/Comfort & Joy

Danielle has succeeded in making her lunch for work! Gwen hasn’t gotten around to exploring her neighborhood, but she has been taking Ronin (her dog!) on new walking routes.

And... we are taking a break from goals this week!

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EMAIL US!

Thoughts or questions? Email us at podcast@freshfiction.com.

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Black Romance We Love + Interview with Jessica P. Pryde!

Posted by freshfiction in Author Interview, Movies, TV, Books

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Gwen is busy but making lists, and took the time to relax by going on a long drive to see the snow. Danielle is being lazy on purpose but did some major Valentine’s Day crafting with friends.

Black Romance in Media

MOVIES

Gwen: If Beale Street Could Talk, The Lovebirds, Poetic Justice, Malcolm and Marie, Southside with You, The Bodyguard, Beyond the Lights, Cinderella

Danielle: Love and Basketball, The Photograph, The Incredible Jessica James

TV

Gwen: Insecure, Harlem (also Run the World), Black-Ish, The Wonder Years (new version)

Danielle: Insecure, Queen Sugar, This is Us, Living Single, Girlfriends

CELEB COUPLES

Gwen: Berry Jenkins and Lulu Wang, Oprah and Stedman

Danielle: Gabrielle Union and Dwayne Wade, Beyonce and Jay-Z, Barack and Michelle Obama, Rihanna and A$AP Rocky

BLACK ROMANCE AUTHORS TO CHECK OUT!

Beverly Jenkins, Brenda Jackson, Alyssa Cole, Tracey Livesay, Farrah Rochon, Vanessa Riley, Christina C. Jones, Rilzy Adams, Katrina Jackson, Tasha L. Harrison, Rebecca Weatherspoon, Chencia C. Higgins

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Recs from JESSICA P. PRYDE

BLACK LOVE MATTERS was in part, inspired by WELL-READ BLACK GIRL by Glory Edim, but with more romance!

Jess co-hosts a podcast called When In Romance, with Trish Brown.

Book recs: LOVE AND OTHER DISASTERS by Anita Kelly, YOU MADE A FOOL OF DEATH WITH YOUR BEAUTY by Akwaeke Emezi (May 2022), TO CATCH A RAVEN by Beverly Jenkins (Aug 2022)

What’s bringing Jessica comfort: Star Trek: Discovery on Paramount+

Find Jess on Twitter and Instagram

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Goals/Comfort & Joy

Last week, Danielle said she was going to deep clean, and whoo boy, she did NOT. This week, she wants to make her lunch at home to take to work. Gwen absolutely excelled at her daily yoga practice, and this week is going to explore a new part of her neighborhood!

Gwen is obsessed with water in all forms. Danielle highly recommends the Universal Standard Seine skinny jeans (and just about everything else on the site).

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EMAIL US!

Thoughts or questions? Email us at danielle@freshfiction.com.

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IT’S A VIBE!: Host check-in & Early 2022 Media Recs

Posted by freshfiction in Movies, TV, Books

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D and G are both feeling Mercury in retrograde. Danielle hosted a small family get-together for her husband’s birthday and Gwen made dinner at home every day!

Host Check-In: Danielle has a new job at a local independent bookstore. Not to worry, the podcast will continue! Gwen is committed to doing more creative endeavors this year!

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Early 2022 Anticipated Media

JANUARY

TV: The Gilded Age, Abbott Elementary

Books: Violeta by Isabel Allende, D’Vaughn and Kris Plan a Wedding by Chencia C. Higgins

Movies: Scream 5, The 355, The Tragedy of Macbeth

FEBRUARY

TV: Pam and Tommy, Inventing Anna

Books: Delilah Green Doesn’t Care by Ashley Herring Blake

Movies: Dog, The Tinder Swindler, Marry Me, Book of Love

MARCH

TV: The Dropout, Atlanta Season 3, Bridgerton Season 2, Barry Season 3

Books: The Bone Orchard by Sara A. Meuller, Savvy Sheldon is Feeling Good as Hell by Tag McCoy

Movies: The Batman, TUrning Red, Downton Abbey: A New Era, The Lost City

APRIL

TV: More to come soon!  

Books: The Wedding Crasher by Mia Sosa, In the Face of the Sun by Denny S. Bryce

Movies: The Northman, X, Aline, The Bad Guys

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Goals/Comfort & Joy

Danielle sort of made a writing schedule for the first part of 2022, but now really needs to deep clean her house. Gwen did journal but didn’t exactly set up her entire week (it’s a work in progress). This week, Gwen would like to start a daily Yoga practice!

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EMAIL US!

Thoughts or questions? Email us at danielle@freshfiction.com.

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Pop Culture, but Make It Fashion + Interview with Mimi Matthews

Posted by freshfiction in Author Interview, Movies, TV, Books

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Danielle and Gwen are both basking in the afterglow of taking time away over the holidays and disconnecting! Danielle has been taking care of her health and going to all the doctor’s appointments and Gwen has started eating more veggies at every meal.

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Main Discussion

Gwen’s Recs: Sex and the City (also And Just Like That), The Phantom Thread. Halston, FASHION CLIMBING by Bill Cunningham and The Times of Bill Cunningham (documentary film), GRACE by Grace Coddington

Danielle’s Recs: The Devil Wears Prada (with the most iconic fashion montage ever), The Mindy Project, Insecure, Project Runway, House of Gucci, IRIS APFEL: ACCIDENTAL ICON by Iris Apfel

We’re both obsessed with the anachronistic fashion found on Reign, The Great, Marie Antoinette, and Bridgerton

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Recs from Mimi Matthews

THE SIREN OF SUSSEX is now available!

Mimi wrote about Victorian Fashion in A VICTORIAN LADY’S GUIDE TO FASHION AND BEAUTY.

Mimi’s author and book recs: Lisa Kleypas, Evie Dunmore, Harper St. George, Suzanne Allain, JANE AND THE YEAR WITHOUT A SUMMER by Stephanie Barron

Find Mimi on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and on her website, https://www.mimimatthews.com/.

Look for the second book in Mimi’s series, Belles of London, THE BELLE OF BELGRAVE SQUARE, in fall 2022!

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Goals/Comfort & Joy

Danielle has finished her book 2 revisions and will send it to her editor soon. Her new goal is to work on a writing schedule for the first half of 2022! She is also obsessed with Soap and Glory Hand Food hand cream.

Gwen definitely enjoyed traveling over the holidays. She would now like to take 30 minutes every Sunday and set up her journal/plan for the week. Gwen is also loving the Showtime show, Yellowjackets (and Danielle rec’d a recent episode of Pop Culture Happy Hour that does a deep dive on this show).

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EMAIL US!

Thoughts or questions? Email danielle@freshfiction.com.

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Everything We Loved in 2021!

Posted by freshfiction in Movies, TV, Books, Board Games

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Danielle and Gwen both can’t sleep and are very tired. No one at Fresh Fiction told Danielle about her book’s cover reveal and it went really well; the cover of THE ACCIDENTAL PINUP is now out in the world! Gwen made two new recipes ahead of the holidays: beef pot roast stew and apple cranberry sauce.

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Our Faves of 2021!

Danielle’s Faves

TV: Only Murders in the Building, Ted Lasso, Virgin River Season 3, Insecure, Dickinson

Movies: Raya and the Last Dragon, The Mitchells vs. The Machines, In the Heights, Passing (Danielle mentioned a Reddit thread and Salon article about the book Passing by Nella Larson, how it relates to The Great Gatsby, and how perhaps Gatsby was passing, too)

Books: Sisters in Arms by Kaia Alderson, The Fastest Way to Fall by Denise Williams, Love in Colour by Bolu Babalola

Gwen’s Faves

TV: Tuca & Bertie season 2, Rick & Morty, Succession, Hacks, White Lotus, Insecure, Ghosts

Movies: King Richard, Tick, Tick, Boom; Malignant, Candyman, Barb and Star Go to Del Mar

Board Games: Fort, Abandon All Artichokes, Accension Realms Unraveled

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2021 “SENIOR SUPERLATIVES”

The Media that Saved You

Gwen: Podcasts and reality TV

Danielle: Graphic novels

Something That Made You LOL

Danielle: Nailed It! On Netflix; this clip of Prince Harry and Prince William doing obstacle courses set to Do You Remember 

Gwen: Noodle the Pug

Under the Radar

Gwen: Bo Burnham’s INSIDE

Danielle: We Are Lady Parts on Peacock (Premium)

Wild Card

Danielle: Romancelandia Stickers

Gwen: Alba Botanicals Natural Vegan Jelly

What We Want to See in 2022

What we hope to see in entertainment in 2022

Gwen: History, but not just what we’re already used to

Danielle: Diverse stories, more voices represented, and more HAPPY content.  

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Goals/Comfort & Joy

BIGGEST GOAL FLOP FROM 2021

Gwen: Drinking water

Danielle: Re-reading Austen

BIGGEST GOAL SUCCESS FROM 2021

Danielle: Anything writing related

Gwen: Uncrossing my legs at my desk

BIG GOAL or INTENTION for 2022

Gwen: Creating and finishing something

Danielle: ENJOY releasing a book! 

GOALS FROM LAST WEEK:

Danielle: Finish The Story of the Lost Child by Elena Ferrante by the end of the year—ALMOST DONE!

Gwen: Finish Christmas shopping—YES!

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Gwen’s New Goal: Enjoy the next two weeks of traveling

Danielle’s New Goal: Book 2 Revisions, round 1. 

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EMAIL US!

Thoughts or questions? Email us at danielle@freshfiction.com.

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Holiday Entertainment + Roan Parrish Interview

Posted by freshfiction in Author Interview, Movies, TV, Books

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Gwen is on a mission to get her cart back! She has not gone to jail and this is a major achievement. Danielle feels accomplished, but is still busy. And she has addressed and stamped her Christmas cards!

Candle Recs from Gwen’s Bath and Body Works haul: Champagne Toast, Campfire S’mores, Apple Hot Toddy.

Candle + Tea rec from Danielle: Winter Wonderland (it’s LIMITED EDITION at Target) and Winter Wake Up Tea from Trader Joe’s

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Main Discussion

Old School Holiday Entertainment

Danielle

TV: Star Wars Holiday Special, Pee Wee’s Playhouse: Christmas Special, Disney Christmas Parade

Movies: How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, A Charlie Brown Christmas, A Christmas Story, Home Alone 1 & 2

Books: The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson, Babysitters Club Christmas books

Gwen

TV Specials: The Spirit of Christmas

Movies: Muppets Christmas Carol, Mickey’s Christmas Carol, Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol.

Books: The Nutcracker

New School Holiday Entertainment

Danielle

TV: The OC/Chrismukkah, A Very Murray Christmas, The Kacey Musgraves Christmas Show, Mariah Carey Magical Christmas Special & The Magic Continues

Movies: A Christmas Prince, The Princess Switch, 8-Bit Christmas

Books: Christmas Miracle in Jamaica by Ann McIntosh, What He Wants for Christmas by Brenda Jackson, Just for the Holidays by Adriana Herrera, OMG Christmas Tree by Stephanie J. Scott, A Princess for Christmas and Duke Actually by Jenny Holiday, Lady Sophie’s Christmas Wish by Grace Burrowes. Also, there are a TON of sexy Santa romances.

Gwen

TV: The Office Christmas episodes!

Movies: A Castle from Christmas, a Clusterfunke Christmas

Books: The Matzah Ball by Jean Meltzer

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Recs from ROAN PARRISH

The Garnet Run Series: BETTER THAN PEOPLE, BEST LAID PLANS, THE LIGHTS ON KNOCKBRIDGE LANE

THE LIGHTS ON KNOCKBRIDGE LANE is the first Harlequin category romance to feature a same-sex main couple.

Smitten Kitchen “Craggy” Pumpkin Bread

Dear Romance Writer Podcast

Birding has brought Roan immense joy!

Coming soon: THE HOLIDAY TRAP (rom-com, house-swap, double romance; 9/6/22) and THE UNHAUNTING OF CASPER ROAD (final in the Garnet Run Series, Halloween romance, late September ‘22)

https://www.roanparrish.com/

https://twitter.com/roanparrish

https://www.facebook.com/roanparrish/

https://www.instagram.com/roanparrish/

 

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Goals/Comfort & Joy

Danielle has completed her Christmas shopping, overachieving on last episode’s goal of finalizing her lists. This week, she wants to finish The Story of the Last Child, the final book in Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan series. Danielle’s comfort: the return of the podcast For Colored Nerds

Gwen wanted to get better sleep and she is working on it! This week, she’d like to finish her Christmas shopping.  Gwen’s comfort: Salt & Straw Ice Cream

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EMAIL US!

Thoughts or questions? Email us at podcast@freshfiction.com.

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Thanksgiving + Listener Requests!

Posted by freshfiction in Movies, TV, Books

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Gwen is BOOSTED! And she is glad she has planned for Thanksgiving in advance.

Danielle is working through THE ACCIDENTAL PINUP’s pass pages and book 2 revisions, and had an awesome chat with Denise Williams on the 11/19 episode of the Boozy Book Broads.

Gwen is thankful for her move across the country, meeting silly dogs and pets in her neighborhood, and feel-good TV like Ted Lasso and Rick & Morty.

Danielle is thankful for the health of her family, her dream coming true of becoming an author, her pandemic hobby (watercolor painting), Harlequin Desire romance novels (we chatted with Naima Simone and Reese Ryan on the pod), and Ted Lasso.

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Main Discussion

Thank you to EVERYONE who sent in questions!

Best New-to-You Author

D: Edie Cay, Kaia Alderson, Bolu Babalola

G: Abby Collette, Olivia Dade, Preslaysa Williams

Holiday Book Recs

D: YA-Happily Ever Afters by Elise Bryant, Cookbook-Simply Julia by Julia Turshen, Historical-The Kat Holloway Mystery series by Jennifer Ashley or Bombshell by Sarah MacLean, Mystery/Suspense: The Final Hour series by Juno Rushdan

G: YA-a nice omnibus of a beloved YA classic series like The Hunger Games, Narnia, or Percy Jackson, Historical-anything by Lauren Willig, Mystery/Suspense: David Baldacci

Favorite thing about the podcast

G: having a creative outlet and building on our friendship

D: working with Gwen! And doing deep dives.

Holiday Shopping in 2021

D: we can actually go to stores, paring down on spending, and buying local as much as possible

G: more online shopping for me, and trying to be thoughtful about gifts

Movies We Are Looking Forward To

G: King Richard and Tick, Tick... Boom!

D: House of Gucci, Spider Man: No Way Home, The Hating Game, Downton Abbey: A New Era

Favorite holiday food and Tradition

D: Food-corn pudding. Tradition-Thanksgiving is the holiday we don’t go anywhwere!

G: Food-chunky mashed postates. Tradition-watching the dog show and the Macy’s parade

EBook Organization

G: Impossible. Although I do love folders, but I can’t ever find what I’m looking for again

D: I don’t! It’s chaos!!!

Guests on the Pod

D: dream guests-Beverly Jenkins, Brenda Jackson, Susan Elizabeth Phillips. We’ve been so lucky in our guests who have been so generous with their time, like Alyssa Cole, Talia Hibbert, Naima Simone, and Lauren Willig (and seriously, everyone else).

G: we’d love to interview industry professionals-editors, agents, cover designers, screenwriters, actors, more film & tv critics, etc.

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Goals/Comfort & Joy

Danielle watched a TON of TV (Succession, Dickinson, Call the Midwife, Only Murders in the Building, Howards End, Ted Lasso, Queen Sugar – goal achieved! This week she would like to finalize her holiday shopping lists.

Gwen started journaling daily because Danielle sent her a one line a day journal! Her new goal is to sleep 7-8 hours a night, and trying to go to bed by 10pm.

Danielle’s Comfort: Harlequin Holiday Romance Novels! Moonlight, Menorahs, and Mistletoe by Wendy Warren, Christmas at the Chateau by Rochelle Alers, What He Wants for Christmas by Brenda Jackson, Christmas Miracle in Jamaica by Ann McIntosh and breakup albums (Adele’s 30, Taylor’s Red, and Kacey Musgrave’s Star-Crossed)

Gwen’s Comfort: Cowboy Bebop, both the original anime and the new live action show.

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EMAIL US!

Thoughts or questions? Email us at danielle@freshfiction.com.

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