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Episode 10 – Author’s choice

Jodi McAlister

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Joining me virtually for this episode is academic and Young Adult romance author Jodi McAlister!

Jodi is the author of the Valentine series, a young adult paranormal romance/urban fantasy series about smart girls, small towns, and scary fairies. There are three books in the series so far: Valentine, Ironheart, and Misrule , all published by Penguin Teen Australia. 

Jodi is also currently a lecturer in Writing and Literature at Deakin University in Melbourne. Her academic work focuses on the history of love, sex, women and girls, popular culture and fiction.

The pairings:

Pretty Face (London Celebrities #2) by Lucy Parker

It’s not actress Lily Lamprey’s fault that she’s all curves and has the kind of voice that can fog up a camera lens. She wants to prove where her real talents lie—and that’s not on a casting couch, thank you. When she hears esteemed director Luc Savage is renovating a legendary West End theater for a lofty new production, she knows it could be her chance—if only Luc wasn’t so dictatorial, so bad-tempered and so incredibly sexy.


Luc Savage has respect, integrity and experience. He also has it bad for Lily. He’d be willing to dismiss it as a midlife crisis, but this exasperating, irresistible woman is actually a very talented actress. Unfortunately, their romance is not only raising questions about Lily’s suddenly rising career, it’s threatening Luc’s professional reputation. The course of true love never did run smooth. But if they’re not careful, it could bring down the curtain on both their careers…

Jodi suggested two wines, one to pair with each main character:

For Lily Lamprey Jodi recommends the Clem Blanc field blend from Sinapius winery in the Tamar Valley as it is dry, light, floral and refreshing!

For Luc Savage Jodi recommends the mature, dry and juicy (but not heavy) Julius Shiraz from Z Winery in the Barossa Valley.

Bittersweet (#1 True North) by Sarina Bowen

The last person Griffin Shipley expects to find stuck in a ditch on his Vermont country road is his ex-hookup. Five years ago they’d shared a couple of steamy nights together. But that was a lifetime ago. At twenty-seven, Griff is now the accidental patriarch of his family farm. Even his enormous shoulders feel the strain of supporting his mother, three siblings and a dotty grandfather. He doesn’t have time for the sorority girl who’s shown up expecting to buy his harvest at half price.

Vermont was never in Audrey Kidder’s travel plans. Neither was Griff Shipley. But she needs a second chance with the restaurant conglomerate employing her. Okay—a fifth chance. And no self-righteous lumbersexual farmer will stand in her way.

They’re adversaries. They want entirely different things from life. Too bad their sexual chemistry is as hot as Audrey’s top secret enchilada sauce, and then some

Jodi suggests that only a cider will do for this funky, sweet and delicious read, specifically Willie Smith’s Wild Apple Cider as it is spicy, savoury and a little bit different!

Devils Bride by Stephanie Laurens

When Devil, the most infamous member of the Cynster family, is caught in a compromising position with plucky governess Honoria Wetherby, he astonishes the entire town by offering his hand in marriage. No one dreamed this scandalous rake would ever take a bride. But Honoria wasn′t about to bend to society′s demands and marry a man “just” because they′d been found together virtually unchaperoned. No, she craved adventure, and while solving the murder of a young Cynster cousin fit the bill for a while, she decided that once the crime was solved she′d go off to see the world. 

Justine would read this book sipping slowly at a sweet and delicious De Bortoli Noble One Semillon – apricot-y, marmalade-y, honey-like mead – this is a smooth and not sickly sweet drink!

This episode of Literary Elixirs was recorded via Zoom, please forgive any minor technical glitches! 

Into/Outro music is Mosquito Mojito by Rachel K. Collier. Sourced from Free Music Archive under a Creative Commons Licence.