Transcript: Track 43: Season 2

Episode 43 posted March 31, 2024
Links to all fics mentioned can be found on the main episode post.

[Intro music]

Ellen: [00:00:00] Hi, everyone. Welcome to the 43rd episode of Mixtape Book Club podcast. My name is Ellen.

MalMuses: And my name is Mal.

Ellen: And we’re back! I think we’ll start calling this our season 2 now like, now that we’ve had a bit of a break, we’re back into it.

MalMuses: Yes. Season 2, better effects than the first season, hopefully if we’re lucky. (laughs)

Ellen: Yeah. Well, in each episode of the podcast so far, we take an in depth look at a different trope or sub genre in the huge variety of Destiel fan fiction. But in this episode, we are back from break and we’re just going to have a bit of a catch up on everything that, what we’ve been doing and what we’ve been reading.

And yeah, see what, where we’re going from here on.

MalMuses: All right, so for those of you [00:01:00] who follow me on social media you probably know by now that our little unintentional podcast break was mostly my fault. So I do want to put that out there and apologize in a way that’s certainly nothing that could have been helped.

But I do want to apologize mostly because I missed you and I missed recording these and having an excuse to binge read tons and tons of fic that felt like it had a purpose as opposed to just me rotting away in the corner with my Kindle. So I did, I did miss that a lot, but thank you. So anybody who follows my social media knows that I did have some kind of ongoing kind of longer term health issues, which came to much more of a head towards the end of last year.

But I’m now doing very well, and things are good, and I’m tiptoeing back into social media and life in general. And I think podcasting is a pretty good place to start because it means I get to chat to Ellen for a few hours.

Ellen: Yay! I missed you too! [00:02:00] And I’ve had lots of people in the fandom who’ve been asking after you and making like, you know, asking how you’re doing.

And so I’ve, I’ve done my best to kind of say, she’s okay. She’s just taking the distance. But yeah, we’re really excited to get back into this and see if we can read and talk about some fics coming up.

MalMuses: Yes, and I really do want to thank all of the lovely listeners and people who follow me on social media who did reach out over the past, gosh, year altogether, probably.

And people have been so lovely and wonderful and supportive, whether it was just, you know, a message here, here and there with kind of no explanation of even responding, just, just a little “hope you’re doing well.” People have sent me lovely emails, comments, cards. [00:03:00] I’ve had things in the mail. Somebody handmade me the most amazing blanket.

I’ve had, people are just so lovely and I’m just so overwhelmed with how wonderful people in our fandom actually are. We’re a very, very good bunch of people.

Ellen: I’m glad to hear that.

MalMuses: Thank you everybody so much and I love all of you. All right, the sappy bits done now, we can talk about… (laughs)

Ellen: Ahhh the fandom loves you too! (laughing)

MalMuses: Yes, really looking forward to getting back to playing a much more active role in fandom. So yay. [00:04:00] Sappy stuff over. Whatcha been reading?

Ellen: I don’t have anywhere near as interesting a catch up to do from my side. I’ve just been, I think after we decided to take a break from like, after sort of, it started getting a bit too much for you and we decided that we’d take a little break, I think my, my brain just decided that it was time to have a break from everything. So I just like, didn’t do any fandom stuff for a few months.

MalMuses: That’s very, very healthy. Sometimes it is.

Ellen: I didn’t write anything. I didn’t, I hardly read anything. I have read some things, but which we’re going to talk about soon.

But you know, I think part, part of it was just every time I started doing some fandom things, I remembered how worried I was about how you were doing. So I was like, I can’t do this.

MalMuses: Aw!

Ellen: But no, no, no. I did. I did read some things and yeah, I don’t know. It’s been, it’s been a good break and I’m ready to get back into it as well.

So. Excellent. I’m so glad that we’re here. And part of the, part of the things that’s got me excited to get back all into it is that I went to Melbourne to the All Hell Breaks Loose convention [00:05:00] last weekend? No, it’s two weeks ago now. It feels like a really long time ago, but it’s only two weeks.

And I met lots of friends who I, some of them I’d met before at previous cons and You know, met some people who I knew online for the first time in person. So that was cool. I’ve got a bunch of like fic recs that I asked people to you know, recommend something to me and I recorded them.

So I’ve stitched them all together into a little package here. So here we go. Here is the people of the Australian ABHL con… AHBL con recommending you some fic!

MalMuses: That’s so hard to say! Out of all the conventions. That’s like the hardest one.

Ellen: Every time I say the acronym, I have to think about All Hell Breaks Loose. That’s the only way I can remember which way the letters go, because I [00:06:00] always say ABHL and that’s not right. But anyway, here we go. Here they are.

[recs from Melbourne AHBL con, March 2024]

Breezeranger: Hi, I’m Breezeranger on ao3, and my rec is I Love New York by followyourenergy. I love stories where Dean is an ingenue, first time in New York, first time without his brother or family, he’s discovering himself and New York, and there is Cas.

And it’s their journey, it’s gentle, honest, and funny, very endearing, five stars. Yay, thank you!

thatpeculiarone: Hi, I’m thatpeculiarone, or Jess. I’m EllenofOz’s con buddy for this weekend. What I recommend, which fic I recommend is Hunting for Faith by riseofthefallenone. With art by purunamuusa. It is a reverse-verse fic where Dean is, and Sam are actually angels and Cas is a priest who discovers them and has to help them with like the apocalypse, sort of kind of like what happened in season four, season five, but just with a twist and [00:07:00]it is so good.

It’s a very long fic, but one I highly, highly recommend.

Ellen: As we expect for riseofthefallenone.

thatpeculiarone: Yes, absolutely.

Leonie: Hey, I’m Leonie. I’m reccing today, The Soul Burns Brighter Than The Sun, by wow_thisiswheremylifeis. It’s amazing because Cas comes back from the Empty, doesn’t tell Dean, has been hunting with Claire for a few months, and Dean’s not too happy about that. And it’s awesome, because it’s just amazing.

Ellen: That’s all the reason that you need, hey.

Leonie: That’s all the reason you need it. It’s just amazing and it’s well written, like, it’s brilliant.

Macy: Hi, I’m Macy. So I read this fic like twice this year already and it is only like the first, first week in like March.

So it’s called Impression by Tia. MTV? Tiamatv. So it’s set in the Pern-verse, so [00:08:00] it’s like dragon riders and they grow up together like from kids, like they’re six or something like that, but like, it’s like very plot heavy, but, yeah. It just like sucks me in and I just, I love it. I love it so much.

Bex: All right. Hi, I’m Bex. And my, my rec is Whiskey & November by FriendofCarlotta and dothraki_shieldmaiden, which is a Dollhouse AU, and if you haven’t heard of Dollhouse, it is a Joss Whedon TV show, but the authors do such a good job of So if you’ve never seen Dollhouse before, you will still understand what is going on and appreciate it.

But if you have seen Dollhouse, the way that they integrate Supernatural into that world is just, it’s amazing. And I This was my first fic that I read as a wip and I went absolutely feral in their comment section as they were reading it and I highly recommend it.

Alice: Hi, I’m Alice or PurpleSkwid on a lot of socials.

I’m recommending [00:09:00] Sometimes You Have to Lose to Win by BizarreStars. It’s actually a trans Dean fic, but that’s just sort of, like, a background part of it. It’s Dean, knowing that he’s bi, but not being into guys at all until he meets Cas, and getting so mad that Cas is really, really attractive, and that he’s gonna have to sleep with him.

Even though Charlie and Sam are like, “you know you don’t have to,” and he’s like, “no, no. I have to.” A little bit of angst towards the end, but it all resolves really, really well and it’s just such a sweet fic and I’ve read it so many times and I never see it recommended anywhere so I’m trying to get the word out because it’s just so good.

Ellen: Awesome. Is it your new favourite?

Alice: Look, nothing’s going to beat Dean Winchester Beat Sheet.

Ellen: There we go, there’s some fic recommendations from the people in Melbourne. I know it was a bit of an abrupt ending there because I was recording them on my phone and it kept cutting out on me before I was ready for it to stop.

[00:10:00] So a couple of them got sort of truncated at the end there and I’m sorry to the people who had that happen. But next time I will know that I just need to turn off my data or something and stop my phone from being interrupted. But we have some really great recs there.

MalMuses: Yeah. There’s definitely a couple of fics in there that I need to read.


Ellen: We also spoke to Tia about Impression, the Pern AU. I don’t think we spoke about that in particular, but I did have a bit of a fangirl moment telling her how much I loved it. So,

MalMuses: yes. Yes. It’s a truly great fic. I think that was one of Tia’s that, was that one of the ones I hadn’t read until after we did that episode? I don’t know. I’ve definitely read it now. It’s wonderful.

Ellen: Yeah. It’s a great one. Okay. So I’ve got a few more a few more recs that I didn’t get a chance to record on the day. So people have sent them to me afterwards, so I’ll just read them out and then we can talk about some other ones.

So I got one from NannaT, [00:11:00] who is also an author on AO3 as well. And she says she’s recommending the Calla Lilies of Winchester by LittleAngelCassie. which is 50 chapters long, just over 130, 000 words.

And the summary goes: Love stories don’t exist in a bubble, floating high and away from reality, able to grow and mature without the outside world’s influences. It’s simply naive. The strongest, the purest of true love stories survive the worst and thrive in life’s bullshit. Dean Winchester learned the hard way. He would, he would never have guessed the awkward blue-eyed stranger on a bus would brighten his darkest days and define his happily ever after.

There’s a little bit more of, of that summary, but I’ll just summarize the summary, it’s a long one.

Nanna says that “I was hooked from the meet cute beginning through to the happy ever, ever after ending. [00:12:00] Normally I read the dark, pain filled fics, and this is definitely not one of those, but I gave this one a go in a weak moment and loved it. It just makes me feel warm and smiley every time.”

This is one that I’ve had on my to read list for a real long time. Like I think I’ve had it open in a tab for like years. Like, cause it came out like years ago, right?

MalMuses: Chaotic tab organization of fic. Yeah. I, I think I’ve got myself organized enough that I do have this on my mark for later instead of in a tab, but I haven’t read it yet either. And I don’t know why, because it’s like a good, like, I love a chunky fic and like 130, 000 words is a great, like, settle in for the weekend, gonna sit down and read this. [00:13:00] And it sounds like something I would love, so I’m not sure why I haven’t read this yet.

Ellen: I definitely had more than one person recommend it. So I don’t know.

MalMuses: Yes, definitely. So, and I think I’ve read other things by LittleAngelCassie as well. So, and if I’ve read something and I’ve enjoyed it, I’d probably subscribe to them.

So I’m like, I don’t know why I haven’t read this yet. I need to, and I will.

Ellen: Yeah. Okay. We’re going to have to make a video about it. Make it an episode where we have to really like this sort of thing so that we can do it. Yeah.

MalMuses: Yeah. We’ll have to make that happen.

Ellen: Okay. So Sarah, MsPhenom on Twitter who, who took like, you may have seen her photos from the day from the actual con on Twitter that they’d been doing the rounds cause she was sitting right in the front row and took some really beautiful pictures of Jensen mainly, but yeah, and the other guests as well. But she’s recommended…

MalMuses: [00:14:00] That’s something I need to catch up on, I need to go and catch up on all of the convention pictures that I have missed cause I’ve really not been on social media at all. And now I’m craving some pretty Jensen, so I’ll have to stop and look at Sarah’s pics.

Ellen: Lots of the guests on, from Melbourne, but also a bunch of the Jensen and Misha pics from the Burbank con, which was just last weekend. Cause they did a panel together because Jared wasn’t there. So, so yeah,

MalMuses: Oh! lovely pictures that I can insert into AUs in my head. Brilliant. Okay.

Ellen: Anyway Sarah has recced The Elevator Game by bexgowen. She says, “I’ve never read another fic like it. That’s not to say there aren’t other choose your own adventure style fics out there, but I adore this story. The story revolves around an internet legend known as the elevator game.

Wherein, depending on the sequence of floors stopped at, the players may end up in The Other World, with capital letters. [00:15:00] While investigating a teenage girl’s death after reportedly playing the game, Sam goes missing. Dean is determined to find his brother, whatever the cost. What he wasn’t expecting is to find Cas on the case too, since they haven’t seen or spoken to each other for weeks.

What I love most about this fic is its ability to make the reader really think and concentrate on the story as it unfolds. Being in control of the characters’ decisions means you can read and re read and re read again until you eventually find that elusive happy ending.”

MalMuses: Ooh, that sounds really good.

Ellen: I think this one was written for, let me just double check this, but I feel like it was written for like a horror bang or something.

Yeah. DeanCas Horrorfest.

MalMuses: Oh, then I can, I can guarantee that one’s probably already on my marked for later as well, because whenever any kind of spooky, creepy bang comes out, I pretty much just go through and bookmark everything. [00:16:00] So. So it’s going to be on there somewhere, but didn’t know that the lovely Bex had written one.

So off I go, I’m going to have to bump that up to the top of my list, I think.

Ellen: Yeah. So this one, it’s got major character death warn, like a warning, but obviously it’s choose your own adventure. So you, you may, depending on what you choose you might not get the MCD.

MalMuses: So you’re saying I can kill them if I want to. (laughs)

Ellen: Yeah. Or you can… if it happens, you can go back and choose a different way, you know, like choose your own adventures are good like that. But yeah, when this, I remember when this first came out and a bunch of people in one of the discord groups I’m in were making like maps and like You know, spreadsheets of where all the different decisions went because they were so into it and Bex herself was really excited about it.

She was like, I can’t believe there’s so much excitement about this fic. So, yeah, I think I haven’t actually read it myself yet either, but I, it looks amazing. [00:17:00] Yeah.

MalMuses: It looks brilliant. I’m gonna have to. And I think there are a few other kind of choose your own adventure style fics out in the fandom. So maybe that’s like a future episode one day that we need to do is try and find all of these choose your own adventure fics.

Ellen: Yeah! Well, I’ve always wanted to write one, but just the idea…

MalMuses: Me too, but like the planning?

Ellen: Yeah, yeah. The idea of actually writing several different routes through a story is just

MalMuses: Wouldn’t that be like a cool co writing project with like several different writers though, where you could all write like a different ending.

Ellen: It’d be cool. Yeah, you’re right. But also… (laughs)

MalMuses: Yeah. But again, the logistics involved

Ellen: logistical nightmare. Yes.

MalMuses: Yeah, definitely. Awesome. Okay. What else have you got for us from Melbourne?

Ellen: There’s, there’s one more, there’s two more in fact. So MishamigoHunk on, on Twitter, who was there as well that weekend. [00:18:00] She says, “My rec has to be Sand Dollars by followyourenergy. It is Omegaverse and it was actually my first experience with that world. It’s a testament to the author that I have returned to this beautifully deep, sincere, heartbreaking fic time and time again. If you read Omegaverse, I cannot recommend this highly enough.” That’s what she says about it.

MalMuses: I definitely second everything she said in that recommendation.

I think when we had the author on the podcast before I talked about this in that I’m not necessarily a big Omegaverse person. I will read it and I will write it and I will enjoy it, but it’s not my go to necessarily. But there are certain storylines where it really adds to the storyline. It’s not something that you feel like it’s just there because you know, it’s fanfic and that’s a trope we do, it’s like it, it serves a real purpose in the plot and the story and how their relationship develops.

And Sand Dollars is very much like that. The whole Omegaverse world is very important to that. [00:19:00] And it’s one of my favorite Omegaverse stories. Even now I’ve read it multiple times. Followyourenergy knows it’s not my, it’s not my absolute pinnacle favorite of their stories, but not because there was anything wrong with it, just because I’m really sadly obsessed with another one of theirs and read it a lot. (laughs) And like I reread it several times a year and occasionally leave embarrassed comments like, hi, we’re here again. Don’t mind me.

Ellen: Aw, she’d love that.

MalMuses: But yeah. But this one is very close up there to the top of the list. And it’s probably my favorite Omegaverse, I think I would say.

Just trying to think if there’s any others, Omegaverse that I reread to the amount I do this one and I, I don’t think so, not yet anyway, always open to more. So,

Ellen: yeah, I love this one too. I mean, it’s, it is very… it’s like very angsty. Like it hurts. It hurts a lot, but

MalMuses: [00:20:00] that’s probably why I reread it. Isn’t it? Love the pain. (laughs)

Ellen: Yeah, but it it gets better in the end, you know, everything’s, there’s a happy ending and you know, it’s worth it.

What else have we got? Okay, so we got one more that was sent to us by Antje, who is actually lived in Australia for, she’s from Germany. She lived in Australia for a while and she was… she came to the last con, the one where Misha came. When was that?

Like two years ago? 2022? [00:21:00] The one that I went to in Sydney. Two? A couple of years ago. Yeah. But she’s moved back to Germany now, but she’s sent and that she’s an honorary Aussie as you are. If anyone lives here for, you know, long enough, we just adopt you and you become an honorary Aussie. So thank you Antje for sending this one through.

Antje: Hi, my name is Antje and I would like to recommend Raise the Black by valleydean. It’s a Pirate AU that goes a little bit like this. Nassau 1717, Captain Dean Winchester of the Impala is a born and raised pirate, committed to disrupting commerce and civility on a global scale. After a battle at sea with the Royal Navy, Dean discovers a stowaway on his ship, Castiel Novak, an officer from Carolina with a secret.

As their relationship grows, so does England’s determination to end piracy in the New World. This is the story of how men become legends and how love can ignite a revolution. This was one of those fics that you just don’t want to put down. The writing is amazing, it has a captivating story, great character development, steamy moments, and a happy ending that feels so just well deserved after everything the characters go through.

So give it a read if you get a chance, and lots of kudos to the author.

Ellen: [00:22:00] The reason I left that particular rec till last was because Raise the Black is by emmbrancsxx0, I think. I don’t know how she pronounces that formally. But Mallory we, we had lined up to be our next guest on the podcast and talk to us about wild west fics, like cowboy fics.

And so we’re hoping that in the next few weeks we will have the chance to record with her and talk about those fics.

MalMuses: And anybody who’s been on social media knows that Mallory loves to talk about cowboys. So honestly, I’m just going to sit here and let her do her thing.

Ellen: Yeah,

MalMuses: it’s going to be amazing.

Ellen: Yeah. I’m looking forward to that. Those fics it actually really good. I’m, but I feel like I’m going to have to reread them before then again, because you know, it’s been a while. So

[00:23:00] I will just say before we move on, thank you very much to Breezeranger, Jess, Leonie, Macy, Bex, Alice, Sarah, NannaT, Luci, and Antje for all of those amazing recs. Thank you very much. And it was so lovely to see you in person and give everybody hugs. Not enough hugs because I didn’t come on the Sunday. So they, a lot of them went both days, but the way the Australian con works is that they have the same program on each day. So you only really have to go on one day if you, you don’t have to attend both days if you don’t want to.

MalMuses: Oh, that’s interesting. Okay.

Ellen: Yeah. So Jess and I just went on the Saturday and then we went to the you know, we got to see Jensen and Jared panels and all that stuff. Like they’re, they’re on both days and all the other guests. And then we went to the Louden Swain concert on Saturday night.

And then on Sunday we just kind of chilled and like went to the lovely bookshops in Melbourne and had a nice breakfast and it was good. [00:24:00] So, but, and, but all the others in the group, like went back to the con and like did it all again, you know? And so, yeah.

MalMuses: Oh, that’s very unique. I’ve never known a con run that way, but there are a lot of unique things about All Hell Breaks Loose for sure.

Yes. Yes. Definitely want to try and get there for the next one of those. I’m pretty determined that I’m going to force myself upon Australia for the next one.

Ellen: Well, we still don’t know, there’s no official word about who is coming to it, but. We have suspicions. We have suspicions.

MalMuses: Who cares? As long as you’re there.

Ellen: Listen, I would love for you to come and visit. That would be amazing. Yes. Anyway, we don’t know when that will be either. So wait and see. Watch this space. Okay. So not only do we have cowboy fics coming up. But we have a, a couple of other topics that we had lined up and we had some fics already [00:25:00] sort of in mind for.

MalMuses: the first one of those was I think true form Cas, which I’m not sure how this particular one ended up on our list.

There’s like a 95 percent chance it was a recommendation from me or, or that somebody probably with, with similar tastes to myself, maybe reached out we’ll have to dig around and find that recommendation. But I am very much looking forward to that one. You know, I love me some true form Cas, so

Ellen: I feel like we probably kept finding like reading fics that had true form in it and then just went, we’re just going to have to do an episode.

So yeah, that one’s coming up and the other one that we have in mind is a one about reunions where they were friends or boyfriends when they were younger and then they have, you know, we’re apart for a while and then they come back together. [00:26:00] So that will be interesting.

MalMuses: And we already have an author in mind for that one as well.

So this is all very exciting. Fun to get back to it. With such exciting tropes.

Ellen: Yeah. Alright, so do you have any fics that you’ve been reading recently? Lately that you want to talk about?

MalMuses: Yeah, actually, for, for a long time, I was really struggling to focus. I had a lot of issues focusing on screens.

So sadly I missed out on a lot of fic reading, but I have been dabbling back in recently by revisiting just some old favorites and, and a couple of new pieces. So I do have a couple of shout outs for comfort fics that welcomed me back recently. So the first one, the first one of those is again, a lovely person who we have had on the podcast and that is by FriendofCarlotta and it is Azzurro, [00:27:00] which is actually the fic that we talked about in an episode.

So we will get that episode linked up so you can get a, a lot of fangirling about this fic. But this is a wonderful story about a young Dean and Cas, kind of a, kind of a reunion, like we were just talking about, where they spent a summer in Italy together when they were young. Life and maybe a few background characters drove them apart for one reason or another.

And they get back together due to a website that reunites old friends. And a slightly underhanded character, which I won’t spoil, but it’s, it’s wonderful and it’s just perfect. The characterizations in this are amazing. It’s got a wonderful kind of two person love triangle kind of feeling to it. And.

We have a wonderfully tattooed Cas, which is also just something brilliant. And the other thing I really like about this one is the setting of it. [00:28:00] It’s one of those fics that is just so vivid. Like when you’re reading all the flashbacks to them in Italy and stuff like that, you, you feel like you’re in Italy.

It’s so good. So yes, so that is Azzuro by FriendofCarlotta, which was a reread for me. That was a comforting comeback. Another comforting reread, which is so different to the first one. It’s actually Build-a-Boyfriend Workshop by fullvoid. Oh, yeah. This is completely different other than it does have a kind of app or website kind of theme in it, maybe.

Yes. So this is a horror fic, it’s, it’s very well tagged. So as long as you read the tags and you’re okay with the tags, you’re absolutely fine. But it is horror. There is gore and blood and the stitching together of a boyfriend, as the title indicates, it’s, it’s brilliant. It’s essentially the building of a AI Cas and Dean deciding to find him a body.

[00:29:00] But it’s somehow it’s very warm and sweet and wholesome as well as being very horror-ish? It’s one of those things that’s very difficult to describe because you feel like if you just describe it as like a horror fic that’s full of blood and full of gore, it will put off a lot of people because of the, the body horror aspect and technically the limb harvesting and other things, but it is somehow,

Ellen: But it’s still romance.

MalMuses: It is! somehow very like wholesome and romantic and wonderful.

I think void would probably be, I’m not sure if they would just find it funny or just be annoyed that I’m describing this fic as wholesome after everything they put into it, but I think that might be something wrong with me. That’s fine. Yes, but that one again was a comfort reread. It’s 25,000 words. Definitely one to read the tags of.

MalMuses: Yep.

Ellen: [00:30:00] I mean, stories can both be. Both of those things, like they, you can definitely separate out the, the horror aspect from the romantic, soft, wholesome stuff.

MalMuses: It’s definitely both of those things. Like it’s supposed to make you uncomfortable, but at the same time, it’s wonderful.

Okay. Then I have just a couple of other very short, like little one shots which is kind of how I started to get back into reading. One of which is an old classic. Called 404 Error by JScribbles, which was written back, back during the days of 1518 airing and the Spanish dub. Everyone, everyone remembers, or even if they weren’t around at the time, they, they’ve heard about the Spanish dub era.

Right. So yeah, this is a very short one shot. It’s literally like 500 words, but it never fails to make me smile every time I read it.

Ellen: Yeah. It’s hilarious.

MalMuses: [00:31:00] Yeah, it is essentially a crack fic, and there’s not much I can describe about it because it is 500 words so I’m pretty much just telling you everything that happens in it, if I describe it at all.

But it’s a, an alternative crack take on what happened in 15.18 where Dean did not pass high school Spanish. So yeah, that’s 404 error by, 404, okay. Why can’t I say that? 404 Error by JScribbles.

And the other very short one that I wanted to recommend is Praise You by RedAmber79. This one was in my inbox for a long time.

It was one of the fics that was released while I was not able to read. And I remember squinting and kind of seeing the summary for it, that it was Castiel needing a fresh start after getting divorced. So he just drove and ended up at a B& B where Dean is and there’s, there’s some, you know, some angsty aspects and also some BDSM aspects and it’s, it’s very nice from the title you can tell there’s a lot of like praise kink type stuff in this.

[00:32:00] But it just sat there for a long time in my inbox because I couldn’t focus on reading it. And I was so annoyed. I was so annoyed that I could not focus on reading this fic from such a lovely author that I knew I was going to love.

Like just looking at the tags, it had all the things I wanted to read. So this was actually the very first thing that I read when I kind of came back from hiatus. So that’s Praise You by RedAmber79. It’s 11, 000 words, just a one shot, one chapter fic.

And then I do have one more to mention, just because I think some people would probably be surprised if I didn’t mention it, considering I have fangled about this series on this podcast far more often than is probably okay.

This is the it’s by the lovely author tiamatv. [00:33:00] So tia has this entire series based around Russian Cas and the Chicago outfit. It’s a kind of I won’t say it’s wholly just a kind of gangster type thing that Again, hard to explain. It’s very wholesome. It’s very wholesome. It’s wonderful. Yeah, there are some people who get shot now and again and things like that, but it is very wholesome, very much a romance with the most amazing, grumpy Russian Cas and a new installment of this fic… I knew that the series wasn’t technically closed, it hadn’t been kind of, you know, she hadn’t said specifically I’m done with this.

There was always a chance of, I might come back to this if something suggests itself. So I was ecstatic when I saw the, only a couple of weeks ago now, maybe it, [00:34:00] a new installment popped into my inbox. It’s definitely. You know, it’s a series of completely standalone one shots. You’re going to have some background information if you’ve read all of them.

But this one, which is called Beyond Boystown is what it’s called. It is part six of the South Side Swing series. So there are five other parts you can read before this. Some of which are more substantial and chaptered and then some of which are very small. Actually, I’m not sure if they’re chaptered.

They might just be longer. I could be lying. I apologize. This one is a lot of fun because it involves Dean essentially going to a Pride like celebration in an area in Chicago and, you know, wearing tiny little hot pants and makeup. And Russian Cas’s very enthusiastic response to that. That’s amazing.

It is. It’s so good. So yeah, that’s Beyond Boystown by tiamatv. [00:35:00] Have to talk about that one just because I know for a fact I have fangirled about the Chicago Mafia on here multiple times. So yes, if anybody hasn’t read that series yet, what are you waiting for? Go and read it. I actually don’t care if you think you don’t like Mafia Fics, go and read that one. (laughs)

Ellen: I’m, I’m hiding behind my hands because I have not read it still.

MalMuses: Not, not acceptable. Please, please go read it. Not only is Tia wonderful and deserving of your love because it’s just so well written and so entertaining, but I really do think you will enjoy the Cas in that series a lot. Yep. Okay. So what have you been reading?

Ellen: I have a few here to talk about, well I’ve got three in particular. So speaking of going to Melbourne, I did have like a, you know, two hour plane flight there and back. [00:36:00] So I read almost all of on the plane Willow by thatpeculiarone who is, that’s my con buddy, Jess, as you heard earlier. It, this one was from last year’s DCBB, so it has some really pretty artwork in it, which is by, how do they pronounce this? 7hunnyybunnyy7. That is the name of the artist. But the, this fic is the one we, as we mentioned before, this is like a reunion fic, so I’ll just read the summary and that will be a good, like you know… It’ll tell you what happens.

Castiel Novak had known Dean Winchester his entire life. Growing up together, the two friends worlds revolved around one another, each of them looking forward to their annual summer get togethers at the Winchester’s Farm and Winery, located in the rolling hills of Napa, California.

[00:37:00] I don’t know if that’s how you pronounce it, but Naper? Napa? I don’t know.

MalMuses: I think it’s Napa. I’m not, I’m, I apologize, I’m not native enough to know the answer to that. I think it’s Napa.

Ellen: So, however, it only takes one night for 17 years of friendship to all come crashing down when Castiel confesses his feelings for Dean.

His friend’s rancorous reaction sends him packing. Castiel leaves and stays away for 10 years. When Dean’s father John falls ill, Castiel begrudgingly visits the farm again for the first time in a decade. Castiel is nervous to relive, relive that night. He’s nervous to be back at a place that holds so many memories. He’s nervous to see Dean for the first time in so long.

So basically Cas is coming back to the farm, meeting Dean again and discovering that Dean… the freaking out reaction that he’d had all that time ago because he at the time he was going through some stuff you know, trying to work out his own sexuality and whatever and [00:38:00] has regretted the fact that he made Cas leave.

So this is a story about them getting back together basically. I’ve just given away the whole plot but you knew it was going to happen anyway, right? Yes, it is a really good fic after all. So it is, it is quite angsty for a little bit, just because they, both of them, they’re not, at first they’re kind of really not getting on at all, and then gradually they work out that actually they really do still love each other, they’re just, you know, they just have to use their words and work it out.

It’s gorgeous, really loved it, I couldn’t put it, this is like, I’ve read the whole thing on the plane, I couldn’t put it down. And even when we were doing that thing where, you know, when you get to the end of a movie and you’re trying to watch the end of the movie on the plane before you land and they turn off the systems.

And I’m like sitting there on the phone, like we’re, we’re landing the plane landing and I’m like, no, I have to drive home after this. Just let me read the end of the fic, please!

MalMuses: [00:39:00] Just stay in your seat. Even as the airplane’s clearing off, like, I don’t know, I’m here. I’m good.

Ellen: Yeah, that’s right. I think I had to finish it off the last couple of chapters when I got home. Like “nooo!” So anyway it’s great. So

MalMuses: that has been on my list ever since the DCBBs came out last year. Yes. So I will have to bump it up so that we can talk about it when we do reunions. You know? Yeah. Yes. I think we should.

Ellen: I also read a fic called Castiel’s Hidden Pussycat. Which is by Macy2me.

You actually heard Macy speaking earlier on the recording because she was in Melbourne as well. I didn’t actually pick these in order because they’re both by Aussies, but I’m glad it turned out that way. So, so this is this was also from DCBB last year, actually. I don’t know. I, I think I just, as DCBB fics came out, I just opened them all in my tabs and then I just have These are the only two that I’ve read, you know so far.

[00:40:00] But anyway, this one is, it’s a bit shorter than the other one, it’s only 41k, but it’s a canonverse. It’s sort of maybe season 13, 14 ish, I’m not sure if there’s a tag for, like, it’s, it’s before the ending anyway. But anyway. And Cas has been saved. He’s in a battle with some demons or something and he actually gets saved by this cat.

Like this cat jumps into the fight and like scratches the demons and saves his life. But he ends up bringing the cat home, like to the bunker because he like the, he doesn’t want to leave it in a shelter. And it sort of protests when he tries to get rid of it basically. So he brings it home. And has to hide it from Dean basically, because he, he doesn’t think Dean will let him keep it in the bunker.

And it’s, it goes on from there. It’s quite like, I, I wasn’t, [00:41:00] I didn’t read any of the tags before I started this and it’s got like a bit of a twist in the middle that I wasn’t expecting. And it was really good. It was like, wow, I was not expecting that, but it was great. So, okay. I mean,

MalMuses: Ooh, okay. I’m intrigued. I love a twist. So

Ellen: yeah. Yeah. And it’s really cute. Like he’s. It’s cuddling up with this cat and getting all happy, but it’s sort of tied to the fact that he doesn’t, it’s that feeling that Cas sort of gets towards the end of the thing where he feels like he’s not useful, like he, he needs, the only reason they want him around is because he’s useful to, you know… his powers are failing, he’s worried about not being useful anymore and that kind of thing.

So he doesn’t think that Dean feels the same way as he does. [00:42:00] So. It’s a little angsty but has a happy ending and it’s great. And, and one more

MalMuses: I’m looking forward to reading that now.

Ellen: Yeah. Yeah. It’s good. It’s really good. One more I will mention is actually a series. This one is called, the series is called, Am I the Asshole Natural. Have you heard, Have I told you about this one before?

MalMuses: You’ve not, but from the title, I’m already delighted and searching for it so I can add it to my list.

Ellen: Yes. Yes. So I, in, in getting the link and everything for this fic to add it to the notes here, I’ve discovered that there are actually 12 works in this series and I’ve only read the first like four or five of them, I didn’t realize there was so many parts to it.

But each of them is not very long. Like there are only a couple of thousand words, each kind of thing. But the interesting thing about them is that they’ve used a work skin that makes it look like Reddit, like the, am I the asshole subreddit.

MalMuses: Oh, that’s really cool. I always admire people who have the patience to do that kind of stuff.

Cause I do not, but I love it when I see like really cool skins on works that people have taken the time to put in there.

Ellen: [00:43:00] Adventures in formatting. That’s what I, that’s what I like. I like to see it. So basically what each of these fics is like a different like one of the, of Team Free Will basically is writing on Reddit to say, am I the asshole for telling my brother he has smelly farts and that’s why all his girlfriends are dead? for example, which is the name of the first one, I should probably mention that this is written by birdsofthesoul and PlaidIsTheBestPattern. Another one is called, is like, called Am I the Asshole for Ignoring Dean’s Calls for 12 Days. In that one, it’s Cas writing about how he, Dean’s been, like they had a fight and he’s been ignoring Dean’s calls for 12 days and then, it’s just, it’s so funny, like they… [00:44:00] all the different characters, like, get on and like tell, like work out that this basically, usually they’re working out that the original poster is like a serial killer or like a psychopath.

It’s just, I’m not explaining it very well, but it’s really fun. It is very funny.

MalMuses: Okay. I will be reading that one very soon as well. That’s just the kind of uplifting, slightly cracky, but not thing that I need in my life right now. So,

Ellen: yeah. Some of them are actually get kind of sad at the end, like, you know like if it’s Dean and Sam having a fight and one of them will come on and the other one will be like, “Oh, it’s because it’s only because I’m worried about you” or whatever, you know?

And you know, you get sort of that heartwarming like, Oh, the end, but most of the time they’re just funny.

MalMuses: Yeah. Brotherly love. Okay. Yeah. All right. That one sounds really good.

Ellen: Yeah, I didn’t realize there were actually 12 of them. I’m going to have to get back on that and have a read of some more of them.

MalMuses: [00:45:00] Awesome. Okay. Oh, my reading list is full again. Well, I mean, it’s still incredibly full because as, as, as I just mentioned, everything from like DCBB time last year is still on there as is everything I’ve added since then. So

Ellen: yeah.

MalMuses: Dedicated reading time must be had.

Ellen: I would apologize for filling up everyone’s tabs, but, you know, that’s what the podcast is for, so

MalMuses: That’s what we’re here for!

Ellen: You’re welcome! (laughs)

No, I mean, I haven’t, I haven’t been reading much. I got into like, this really full-on Minecraft addiction for a while there. So I was like building all these like castles and stuff in Minecraft. [00:46:00] And then just today, actually, when the United 24, the charity for Ukrainian relief that Misha was involved in has just released this Minecraft server with a little game in it where you go around this salt mine in Minecraft, which is based on a real place in Ukraine.

And you collect a bunch of stuff, collect salt crystals in the shortest time that you can. And you actually, like register your time basically as part of the thing. And if you are the winner, you win stuff but also they’re obviously they’re you know, raising money to rebuild a school that was destroyed in the, in the war. So yeah, good. cause and also good fun. I was just playing that earlier and the, the main thing that I was, I wanted to get in and have a look at apart from seeing… ’cause I love, like epic builds like this in Minecraft. I think they’re really amazing. But Misha is actually in the game. He’s, he’s got like a little avatar that is dressed as Cas.

MalMuses: [00:47:00] Oh, that’s awesome. Okay

Ellen: In the actual game. It’s so cool. So if you, the way that you get into it I, the, the website is like That’s the name of the, of the server. And you… in Minecraft Java, you connect to their server and it’s just, it tells you how to play it and everything once you get in there. But yeah, there’s instructions on the, on the United 24 website about it too. So I’ll put a link in the blog post.

And it’s only up for one month, I think. So if you’re listening to this after April, 2024, you’re out of luck.

MalMuses: Okay. I’m going to have to get on that quickly because you know, I’ve got to go on, I’ve got to go find the Cas that’s in there.

Ellen: Yeah. Well, the actual mine is really cool. Like if it’s, if it looks anything like the way that this Minecraft build looks, then it’s pretty, pretty amazing.

Like the, the inside of the mine is really cool. [00:48:00] So, yeah, that’s the other thing I’ve been up to.

MalMuses: Oh, that’s pretty cool. Okay. Yeah, other than fic reading, lots and lots of napping and spending time, you know, just healing, I’ve, I’ve really Not done a lot, it has to be said…

Ellen: And that is totally fine!

MalMuses: …but I, I’m getting there now. Yeah, I’m getting there.

I’m actually excited because I mentioned before not on the podcast, but just earlier on chatting in a group with Ellen that I actually have some time this weekend and maybe even some energy to attempt to get back to making some words again, which I’m so excited about, I have a lot of stuff to edit as well.

The editing is much more intimidating for some reason. Not sure why but the writing I’m going to ease in. And then I have a lot of editing to do because I do owe a couple of people out there, [00:49:00] some fics which are honestly mostly finished, but it’s that intimidating editing part. So I’m actually just really looking forward to posting again, to just actively doing fandom things again, I guess, if that makes any sense.

Ellen: Yeah. I am too,

MalMuses: I’m really looking forward to it.

Ellen: have a fic that’s almost entirely written that I completely missed the deadline for on a bang that I was modding for. Yeah. This is like, Oh, that’s completely my brain just switched off

MalMuses: Oh! Straight to jail. (laughs)

Ellen: No, I, I, I’m feeling very naughty at the moment about that still. But it’s nearly, it’s, it’s nearly complete, I just need to finish it and get it out there.

MalMuses: I’m sure anybody who reads your stuff would rather have a fic that you are happy with and that is complete than something that, you know, you rushed just for a deadline and maybe weren’t fully happy with, or at least as both a writer and a reader. I know that’s what I would prefer.

Ellen: Well, at the time I thought it was only going to be like 30,000 words and now it is. It’s like nearly 70, 000.

MalMuses: Ha! You fool. (laughs)

Ellen: Yes. What was I thinking? I don’t know. [00:50:00] It could end up being longer if I keep going. Anyway, I’m looking forward to hearing your, your new Mal words. It’s going to be great.

MalMuses: Oh, all right.

Well, it’s been lovely getting to chat to you again. I missed you and I’m super excited about upcoming episodes as well, because I’m going to reread some of those cowboy fics again, because we’ve read them before. I now have an excuse to reread them and then onto true form and reunions. Exciting.

Ellen: Yeah! So we, we did cover a lot of fics today but I’m going to put links to all of those on the website, and obviously all of our previous, um, episodes are there with all of their links too. Actually, I should give out, I might just stitch this in the front of the episode. I have to say a really big thank you to Kaede who has [00:51:00] helped me get a bunch of episode transcripts ready and published on the website as well.

So if there are some, if you are someone who likes to read transcripts with your podcast listening, so there are a bunch more episodes that now have transcripts available. So check it out. And thank you very much, Kaede, for your help.

MalMuses: Thank you, Kaede, for doing that for us. It’s amazing. It’s definitely kind of a goal to have all of our episodes have transcripts because from an accessibility point of view, the more people who have all of these fics shoved down their throats, the better, but yeah, it’s, it’s very exciting.

And I am one of those people who just likes to read along with something that I’m listening to sometimes. I’m not sure what that is, but it’s something that my brain seems to like doing. I’m that person that’s always got like the closed captions on their TV. So if I can read along with a podcast, that’s, that’s also good for me.

Ellen: [00:52:00] Yeah. Well, it’s a long process to get them all up there, but we’re, we’re getting there. Getting there with them. So you can get in touch with us. I’d love to do more of playing people’s recommendations. If you, if you have a fic that you’d really like to recommend and you are willing to send an audio clip or you can send us like just some text and we can read it out like we have done in this episode.

MalMuses: Yeah. It’s really fun when we get to hear from people. So,

Ellen: yeah. You can get, you can email it to us contact@mixtapebookclub dot com, or you can just us on any of the, actually, it’s probably better if you DM me because now, now I’m still not checking her social media quite yet. But yeah, I’m,

MalMuses: I’m trying, I miss the friends, but the social media itself and everything that goes on there, I’m actually really not missing much.

Ellen: [00:53:00] You’re not missing much on Twitter, honestly. I mean, we’re not supposed to call it Twitter anymore, but I do. Yeah, yeah. It’s like, it’s overwhelming at the best of times. That’s cool. But… [cat scratching closed door in the background] oh my God, cat, go away. Urgh. You can find us on Profound Bond discord server, or you can join us in our own discord.

And you get into that by being one of the lovely people who support us on Ko-fi. Thank you so much to all of you wonderful people who are still Ko-fi subscribers. We love you. Thank you. You can join our Ko fi by going to

So good to be back. Thank you very much for listening. And we will talk to you again soon.

MalMuses: And as always, remember that the story isn’t over until we say it is.

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