By Kelcie McKenney
Buckle up romance readers, we’ve got a Valentine’s Day treat for you.
Words and Whiskey, an intoxicating book club podcast, covers books that are worth reading and drinks that are worth drinking. Hosts Krossland Shaw and PJ Heller have been working their way through Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn as of late, but decided to spice things up with an episode covering the romance genre.
“That’s right, this week we’re tackling the ROMANCE Genre, and attacking it with as much panache as possible. Kross is joined by an incredible group of guests who really want to get your gears turning, and help you understand why the Romance Genre is as big and as important as it is.”
Those guests include a host of hard-core romance readers (including Catcall Editor-in-Chief Kelcie McKenney—hi!) who cover everything from soft and sweet YA and historical romance to, *cough*, well, monster fucking. So strap in and strip down for this two-parter romance ride (with Part 2 dropping later today!).
Listen to the Episodes
Meet the Guests
Lindsay Bell (she/her) is an under-slept writer, Capricorn, and legal content creator who is passionate about education, good food, and ending the prison industrial complex. You can find Lindsay reading, complaining, being late to things, and cuddling her huge cat at @lindsbaefundeen.
Addie Whelan (she/her) is a Chicago-based Minnesotan who lives and breathes social media. Through her job as a Social Media Manager and free time spent on TikTok, Addie can usually be found in front of her computer. When she’s not working, Addie obsessively reads fanfiction (Dramione > Everything), fantasy, and romance books. Addie dreams of the day that she meets her own Rowan Whitethorn and gets a nickname like Fireheart.
Tiff (she/her) is a nonprofit worker, grad student, and book devourer. Her first romance book was the Twilight saga, which fed her current-day love of fantasy, romance, and overly dramatic confessions of all kinds. She lives in Minneapolis with her husband, their two cats, and (maybe?) too many books crammed into her apartment.
Mary Myers (she/her) has been a teacher for two years and a reader for about twenty-one. The first book she projected romance onto was Meet Felicity: An American Girl. As far as she knew, Ben was the one. Mary quickly moved on to any Nicholas Sparks novel she could get her hands on. Then, because she’s just like other girls, Mary transitioned into young adult dystopian and eventually new adult fantasy. Her favorite books have a girl protagonist who has no idea why she is the “chosen one.” But any morally grey, tattooed, and dark-haired bad boy is always a bonus. Mary’s current read is From Blood and Ash.
Kelcie McKenney (she/her) is a writer, editor, and artist who is passionate about feminism, local activism, queer representation, and reading smut. Like all the smut. (Though sometimes you’ll catch her with a soft romance read.) She blames the knee hook scene in the Twilight saga’s Eclipse for her spice obsession. Kelcie is Catcall’s Editor-in-Cheif (hiiiiiiii!) and she works with Midwest writers and creatives to uplift stories about women, non-binary folks, the queer community, and allies.
Krossland Shaw (he/him) is the host of Words and Whiskey. He lives near the sun swept beaches of North Carolina, but tends to spend his time inside. Enjoying all forms of media, Kross enjoys being a critic of things and of people’s taste in things (especially when they’re incorrect). Particular favorites from a spectrum of media include Bioshock, The Thief of Always, and Looper. He also completed an Ironman, and will probably tell you about it whether or not you ask him.
Shop the Books
Here’s a quick-hit list of some of the books covered in the episode. Catcall Reads is powered by Bookshop.org, an online bookstore with a mission to financially support local, indie bookstores.