Getting Lit

Wendy and Ilana's Totally Excellent Podcast

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Who We Are

Rare visual evidence of the burgeoning friendship between Wendy and Ilana, codenames: Curly and Styx.

Present-day Wendy and Ilana

One fateful day in the summer of 2003, Wendy met a girl who brought her typewriter to Girl Scout Camp, and thought to herself, “we are going to be friends.”

Fast forward over a decade, Wendy and Ilana are still going strong. Despite never living in the same state, we have kept up with countless rambling phone calls, book reviews, and occasional visits through career changes and big moves that have spanned the US. Now Wendy and Ilana are two Pacific Northwest girls living in Mid-West-South states, Wendy in Little Rock, Arkansas, and Ilana in Lafayette, Indiana.

We recognize that our careers are ripe for being main characters in romance novels. Ilana, who is a business librarian, most definitely has latent magical sword fighting abilities, and Wendy, a graphic/web designer and marketing professional, is sure to any day now find herself in a love triangle between a modern day Darcy and an asshole.


About Getting Lit


Listen, romance novels are not about quality...

Ilana and Wendy come together over our mutual love of often times ridiculous, always entertaining, sometimes even good romance novels in this book club podcast. Every third Sunday of the month, we choose a book from a different subgenre (dukes, vampires, space, Amish, highlanders, hockey, etc.) to read and discuss.

Armed with signature cocktails inspired by the novel, we go to town on the plot holes, themes, and other weird things we notice. Sometimes we have guest hosts; we take particular glee in making our friends and loved ones read a more than usually bad romance.

In addition to the book of the month, we have a section called Wendy’s Rant (where we talk about awful romance tropes), as well as mention other books we are reading, and other things that come across our cocktail-influenced minds.

Quick Facts

Do I have to read the book to listen to your podcast?

No, unless you are one of those people that hate spoilers. We spoil everything indiscriminately.


Do I need to read romance novels?

No. Read whatever you want. Or don’t read. You do you.


Where should I start?

The podcasts are not sequential, so start wherever you want. We suggest starting at the latest and going backwards, though. As we go along, we are learning new tricks to podcasting quality, so please excuse the sound problems in the first couple episodes.


Any warnings I should know about?

We curse (sorry Mom!), but only in a fun millennial way. Also, let’s be honest, this is a romance novel podcast, so there are going to be discussions about sex. Trigger warning: some novels include rape, assault, and abuse, and we discuss those parts as well. BEWARE: FEMINIST RANTING.


Wait, though, aren’t romance novels just “Mommy Porn”, “Bodice Rippers”, and/or $2 Harlequin paperbacks that clog up Goodwill shelves?

Actually, no! Romance novels are a thriving, multi-billion dollar industry comprised of a wide variety of themes, concepts, quality, and interests. Like any genre, you will run into really “good” books, and really “bad” books in whichever way you define those attributes. Also, it’s kickass that it’s an industry almost entirely created, ran, and consumed by female-identified people. Bring on the female gaze! Romance has come a long way from its bodice-ripping origins in the seventies. These days, you can find any shade of feminist/non-feminist, gender/sexuality spectrum, tailored to your unique tastes. So, rock on, romance!

But if you don’t like romance novels, that’s okay, too.


I love it! How do I get involved?

Hooray! We love you for loving us. Please like, comment, and share on Facebook, through iTunes, or on the podcast episode page. Ask questions, or send us a note. Subscribe to our podcast, review in iTunes, give us a good rating! And stay tuned for more to come.

You can subscribe directly to our podcast via iTunes or Android. Check out Wendy’s biweekly post Books I Read, or peruse Ilana’s business blog.

Listen Now

For cocktail recipes, photos, and other fun stuff, visit the podcast episode pages below the player.

Getting Lit S3EP01: Scrooge McF*ck

By May Sage. This month, Ilana’s husband Matt joins us for a second time and wows us with his knowledge of remembering snowfall statistics. Wendy forgets that kidnapping is a crime, and Ilana comes up with the next big holiday: You’re Everything You Need Bagel Day.

Getting Lit S2EP12: Stud in the Stacks

by Pippa Grant. For season 2’s finale, Wendy and Ilana discuss “high” versus “low” literature, the outsider’s perception of the romance genre, as well as the real purpose and benefit of romance novels. We also laugh over the words “insertion” and “pink taco.”

Getting Lit S2EP11: the Tycoon’s Revenge

by Melody Anne. This month, our paperback romance adventure is a two-fer, billionaire AND secret baby! We drag our friend Rosie through the romance novel world, and find out her secret love of Goodwill bargain Harlequin novels.

Getting Lit S2EP10: Own the Wind

By Kristen Aishley. This month, Ilana and Wendy delve into biker romance! Which is, spoiler alert, just dudes in leather jackets talking about how much they love eachother! We are accomplished people! Ilana is officially an elected official, and...

Getting Lit, S2EP9: It Had To Be You

By Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Our special guest Katharine joins the podcast, introducing us to her favorite problematic beach read. We talk about the contextual history of consent in romance novels, the contemporary trope "emotional virgin," and...

Getting Lit S2EP8: Master of Ecstasy

  by Nina Bangs. This month, Ilana and I make the excellent choice of making my sister, who has a masters in linguistics, read a time travel vampire highlander viking romance novel. Is it as bad as it sounds? To that I say, "och aye!" Ye dinnae ken how...

Getting Lit S2EP7: Writing a Romance Novel for Dummies

By Leslie Wainger Ilana and Wendy have a great discussion about the writing process, both within the romance genre and without, as well as try to think of all the most popular romance novel plot lines. Did we miss any? Comment with your own list!...

Getting Lit S2EP6: The Wedding Date

By Jasmine Guillory This month, Ilana's mom Sandy joins us! Favorite quote: Sandy: "Who has time for hobbies?" Ilana: "You are right now in one of our hobbies."   "The Wedding Date"   Ingredients: 1/3 oz brandy 3 oz Brut champagne a...

Getting Lit S2EP05: Hot and Badgered

By Shelly Laurenston. This month, Ilana prepared for us some literary questions: Literary critics have said that Hot and Badgers is possibly the finest honey badger shapeshifter novel ever produced. Discuss: Is what ways are the characters of this novel both hot AND...

Getting Lit S2EP04: A Lady in the Smoke: A Victorian Mystery

By Karen Odden. Ilana's Drink: Train Wreck Special thanks to Guy Fieri for this round trip ticket to Flavortown! Ingredients: 1-ounce vodka 1/3 ounce orange liqueur (recommended: Cointreau but I used Triple Sec) 1/3 ounce creme de cacao Splash...

Getting Lit S2EP03: First Grave on the Right

By Darynda Jones In this episode, we have not one but TWO special guest stars: Ilana's sisters Suzie and Naomi! Naomi helped us trash the book, and Suzie brought the Shock Jock to Getting Lit by contributing sound effects. We discuss the trials of being a...

Getting Lit S2EP02: The Surrender of Miss Fairbourne

By Madeline Hunter. Highlights: "My husband: long time listener, first time stenciler." "The angstier the hero, the more he's an asshole." "You have to ask yourself: what level of asshole am I comfortable with?" "Walking, talking bags of money...and abs."...

Getting Lit S2EP01: His Precious Cargo

By Ava Cuvay. Highlights: "I just don't have much faith in humanity..." "A human rubix cube you solve with your vagina." "It's statistically unlikely that anyone you meet is secretly a prince." GETTING LIT WORLD TOUR RECAP The Spot...

Getting Lit S1EP12: Pirate Prince

By Gaelen Foley. Highlights: "You, fictional character from the land of Fae, are responsible for Brexit." "Laying it all out there: sex with reindeer, whipped in the face." "Ilana, you can't give this two stars just because of a cat!" "They are kind of...

Call for Questions

    Next Getting Lit episode, Ilana and I are thinking of having a segment to answer Frequently Asked Questions about the podcast. We need your help to fill out the segment!   Are you confused? Are you wondering what this weird thing is you...

Getting Lit S1EP11: Grimspace

By Ann Aguire. Special guest host: my sister Katy! Highlights: "I'm eating it like a Go-gurt because I'm a damn adult and I can do what I want." " the meth?" "I can only imagine him wearing puka shells." "Amishland: the worst theme park ever." "I'm...

Getting Lit S1EP10: The Amish Midwife

By Mindy Starns Clark. Highlights: "You guys are knee deep in amniotic fluid, and you get his whole CV!" "He has negative personality. He is a black hole of personality." "Tell me your deepest, darkest secret: I have kind eyes." "The 'Could Have Been Much More Sexist'...

Getting Lit S1EP09: How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire

By Kerrelyn Sparks. Special guest host Heidi! Highlights: "Edward Cullen makes me want to drink." "The unliving wage." "I think I have Stockholm Syndrome about Stockholm Syndrome." "That is good use of a sex doll there… in terms of other stuff…"...

Getting Lit S1EP08: Immortal Cowboy

By Alexis Morgan. Highlights: "What are kids these days doing with dry ice?" "...Spookifying EVERYTHING." "I like to think of this as a suspense novel about a very troubled young woman." "LAZARUS VAGINA!" Ilana's Drink: Ghost Cowboy...

Getting Lit S1EP07: Tender Wings of Desire

By Harland Sanders. Special guest star: Matt, Ilana's husband!   Highlights: "Aw, you guys are like The Notebook for nerds." "You go from dating guys named Glen to dating in glens." "Never say 'fleshy tubules' again." Ilana's Drink Getting Lit time! In honor of our...

Getting Lit S1EP06: Clean Sweep

By Ilona Andrews. SOUND MUCH IMPROVED! Oh man, I'm so excited about that.   Highlights of this episode: "I'll just single fist for now, thanks." "Should I make a threesome joke? The answer is always yes." "Fairies and elves can go fuck themselves." "Please quote me to...

Getting Lit S1EP05: Amish Vampires in Space

By Kerry Nietz. Special guest host: Justin Roberts from the podcast All Out of Ideas! Bonus rant is Vampires vs Werewolves! Which would you choose?   What Ilana's drinking... The Scraddlebox 2 shots gin 1 shot lemon juice 1/2 cup Calypso Ocean Blue Lemonade 1/4 cup...

Getting Lit S1EP04: The Iron Duke

In this episode, Wendy and Ilana meet IRL in St. Louis, Mo. to talk about the Iron Duke by Meljean Brook, realize they have the perfect professions for romance novel protagonists, and define VILF. The drink this time is 3 Buck Chuck (a bottle each) because we are out...

Getting Lit, Episode 3: Elf Hate

SPECIAL GUEST HOST: my mom! Lol. Most people call her Marilyn.   In this episode, we talk about the book The Flame and the Arrow, a categorically awful romance fantasy by Emigh Cannaday.     Also I made album art for the podcast! This is in preparation for me finally...

Getting Lit S1EP03: The Flame and the Arrow

By Emigh Cannaday. Side rant: women being friends. Special guest star, Wendy's mom!   In this episode, we talk about the book The Flame and the Arrow, a categorically awful romance fantasy by Emigh Cannaday.     Also I made album art for the podcast! This is in...

Podcast! Gettin’ Lit, Episode 2: Hashtag DukeProblems

Wendy and Ilana are at it again! This time with slightly better sound quality. In this episode of Gettin' Lit, Ilana and I talk about a favorite in the bodice ripper genre: The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie. Enjoy below! [soundcloud...

Getting Lit S1EP02: The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie

By Jennifer Ashley. Hashtag DukeProblems. In this episode of Gettin' Lit, Ilana and I talk about a favorite in the bodice ripper genre: The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie. Have you read The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie? Do you have something to say in response to this...

Getting Lit: S1EP01 Shades of Milk and Honey

PODCAST! My friend Ilana and I have decided to start our own podcast about... wait for it... Romance novels! Introducing.... Getting Lit with Wendy and Ilana Episode 01's page here.   It's a book club of sorts. We will be talking about a particular book while drinking...

Getting Lit S1EP01: Shades of Milk and Honey

By Mary Robinette Kowel. Now with better-ish sound! Side rant: it's not creepy if he's sexy. A big blotch of Bronte in the middle of my Jane Austen.   Highlights: "Melody seems unbelievable in the way that she was such a bitch." "Respect the queue!" "I have this...