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Author Stories - Author Interviews, Writing Advice, Book Reviews
34 minutes | 2 days ago
Author Stories Podcast Episode 1089 | Alison Hammer Returns With Little Pieces of Me
My author interview guest today is Alison Hammer. Alison returns to the show to talk about her new book Little Pieces of Me. Following her acclaimed debut novel, You and Me and Us, Alison Hammer offers a deeply moving story of family and identity. When a DNA test reveals a long-buried secret, a woman must look to the past to understand her mother and herself. When Paige Meyer gets an email from a DNA testing website announcing that her father is a man she never met, she is convinced there must be a mistake. But as she digs deeper into her mother’s past and her own feelings of being the odd child out growing up, Paige begins to question everything she thought she knew. Could this be why Paige never felt like she fit in her family, and why her mother always seemed to keep her at an arm’s length? And what does it mean for Paige’s memories of her father, a man she idolized and whose death she is still grieving? Back in 1975, Betsy Kaplan, Paige’s mom, is a straightlaced sophomore at the University of Kansas. When her sweet but boring boyfriend disappoints her, Betsy decides she wants more out of life, and is tired of playing it safe. Enter Andy Abrams, the golden boy on campus with a potentially devastating secret. After their night together has unexpected consequences, Betsy is determined to bury the truth and rebuild a stable life for her unborn child, whatever the cost. When Paige can’t get answers from her mother, she goes looking for the only other person who was there that night. The more she learns about what happened, the more she sees her unflappable, distant mother as a real person faced with an impossible choice. But will it be enough to mend their broken relationship? Told in dual timelines, Little Pieces of Me examines identity and how the way we define ourselves changes (or not) through our life experiences. Founder of the Every Damn Day Writers online group, Alison Hammer has been spinning words to tell stories since she learned how to talk. A graduate of the University of Florida and the Creative Circus in Atlanta, she lived in nine cities before settling down in Chicago, where she works as a VP creative director at an advertising agency. You can follow Alison on Twitter (@ThisHammer) and Instagram (@ThisHammer), and learn more at www.alisonhammer.com.
43 minutes | 3 days ago
Author Stories Podcast Episode 1088 | Wendy Francis Interview
Today’s author interview guest is Wendy Francis, author of Summertime Guests. As featured in Bustle‘s “Best New Books of April” The Boston Globe Woman’s World Book Club “Compelling, surprising, and a wonderful summertime read.” –Nancy Thayer, New York Times bestselling author of Family Reunion THE SEAFARER IS THE PLACE TO SEE AND BE SEEN IN THE SUMMER… With its rich history and famous guests, the glamorous Boston hotel is no stranger to drama. But the bustle at the iconic property reaches new heights one weekend in mid-June when someone falls tragically to her death, the event rippling through the lives of four very different people. Bride-to-be Riley is at the hotel to plan her wedding. She would have preferred a smaller, more intimate celebration, but her bossy mother-in-law has taken charge and her fiancé hasn’t seemed to notice. Jean-Paul, the hotel’s manager, is struggling to keep his marriage and new family afloat, but now he must devote all his energy to this latest scandal at work. Claire, recently widowed, comes to town to connect with a long-lost love, but has too much changed in the last thirty years? And then there’s Jason, whose romantic getaway with his girlfriend has not exactly gone the way he’d hoped and instead has him facing questions he can’t bring himself to answer. Over three sun-drenched days, as the truth about the woman who died—and the secret she was hiding—is uncovered, these four strangers become linked in the most unexpected of ways. Together, they just might find the strength they need to turn their own lives around. “Riveting…A smart read with plenty of meat for book clubs.” –Barbara O’Neal, Washington Post bestselling author of When We Believed in Mermaids “In prose as glittering as the hotel in which the novel is set, Francis shines as a master storyteller. A must-read for anyone who could use an escape.” —Kristy Woodson Harvey, USA TODAY bestselling author of Feels Like Falling “Engaging…Add this to beach reads along with those by Elin Hilderbrand, Nancy Thayer, and Dorothea Benton Frank.” —Booklist “The best kind of page-turner… This seductive novel will draw you into the fascinating backstories of characters sipping cocktails poolside, and you won’t stop reading until you know what really happened.” —Brooke Lea Foster, author of Summer Darlings “At a glamorous hotel by the ocean, four people face up to truths that can no longer be hidden. Summertime Guests is compelling, surprising, and a wonderful summertime read.” —Nancy Thayer, New York Times bestselling author of Family Reunion “Wendy Francis delivers a smart, probing drama that skillfully unravels the complex emotional lives of an ensemble cast in Summertime Guests…a reflective, deeply engaging and suspenseful story with many threads sure to ensnare the attention of rapt readers.” —Shelf Awareness “Idyllic coastal settings, drama, dynamic characters…this story has it all!” —Woman’s World Wendy Francis is a former book editor and the author of five novels, including Best Behavior, The Summer Sail, and The Summer of Good Intentions. Her essays have appeared in Good Housekeeping, The Washington Post, Yahoo Parenting, The Huffington Post, and WBUR’s Cognoscenti. Born and raised in the Midwest, she now lives outside Boston with her husband and eleven-year-old son. Follow her on Twitter @wendyfrancis4, Instagram @wendyfrancisauthor, and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/wendyfrancisauthor.
36 minutes | 4 days ago
Author Stories Podcast Episode 1087 | Joshilyn Jackson Returns With Mother May I
Today I am happy to welcome back Joshilyn Jackson to talk about her new book Mother May I. “A finely paced, shrewdly observed, multi-tiered story . . . A thinking (and feeling) reader’s thriller.” –Wall Street Journal “Chilling, thought-provoking, and hauntingly written, Mother May I kept me on the edge of my seat with its breathless race against time.” — Megan Miranda, New York Times bestselling author of The Girl from Widow Hills Named a Best and Most Anticipated Book by Buzzfeed • Parade • Country Living • Atlanta Journal-Constitution • The Nerd Daily • She Reads • BookBub • and more! The New York Times bestselling author of the critically acclaimed Never Have I Ever returns with an even more addictive novel of domestic suspense in which a mother must decide how far she is willing to go to protect her child and the life she loves—an unforgettable tale of power, privilege, lies, revenge, and the choices we make, ones that transform our lives in unforeseen ways. Revenge doesn’t wait for permission. Growing up poor in rural Georgia, Bree Cabbat was warned that the world was a dark and scary place. Bree rejected that fearful outlook, and life has proved her right. Having married into a family with wealth, power, and connections, Bree now has all a woman could ever dream of. Until the day she awakens and sees someone peering into her bedroom window—an old gray-haired woman dressed all in black who vanishes as quickly as she appears. It must be a play of the early morning light or the remnant of a waking dream, Bree tells herself, shaking off the bad feeling that overcomes her. Later that day though, she spies the old woman again, in the parking lot of her daughters’ private school . . . just minutes before Bree’s infant son, asleep in his car seat only a few feet away, vanishes. It happened so quickly—Bree looked away only for a second. There is a note left in his place, warning her that she is being is being watched; if she wants her baby back, she must not call the police or deviate in any way from the instructions that will follow. The mysterious woman makes contact, and Bree learns she, too, is a mother. Why would another mother do this? What does she want? And why has she targeted Bree? Of course Bree will pay anything, do anything. It’s her child. To get her baby back, Bree must complete one small—but critical—task. It seems harmless enough, but her action comes with a devastating price. Bree will do whatever it takes to protect her family—but what if the cost tears their world apart? New York Times and USA Today bestselling novelist Joshilyn Jackson’s latest book, Mother May I, is available for pre-order now wherever books are sold. You can check out her previous nine novels and other writing here. Joshilyn’s books have been translated into a dozen languages, have won SIBA’s Novel of the Year award, have three times been the #1 Book Sense Pick, have twice won Georgia Author of the Year awards, have three times been shortlisted for the Townsend Prize for Fiction, and have been a finalist for the Willie Morris Award for Southern Fiction. A former actor, Jackson reads the audio versions of both her own novels and other writers’ books. Her work in this field has been nominated for the Audie Award, included on AudioFile Magazine’s best of the year list, won three Earphones Awards, made the 2012 Audible All-Star list for highest listener ranks/reviews, and garnered three Listen Up Awards from Publishers Weekly. She serves on the board of Reforming Arts, a nonprofit that runs education-in-prison and reentry programs. Reforming Arts fosters critical and creative thinking skills, encouraging students to build livable lives both during and post-incarceration. Through this organization, Joshilyn has taught creative writing, composition, and literature inside Georgia’s maximum security facility for women. Joshilyn lives in Decatur, Georgia, with her family, two entitled cats, and a modestly-sized dog.
37 minutes | 5 days ago
Author Stories Podcast Episode 1086 | Patry Francis Interview
Today’s author interview guest is Patry Francis, author of All the Children Are Home. A sweeping saga in the vein of Ask Again, Yes following a foster family through almost a decade of dazzling triumph and wrenching heartbreak – from the author of The Orphans at Race Point. Set in the late 1950s through 1960s in a small town in Massachusetts, All the Children Are Home follows the Moscatelli family – Dahlia and Louie, foster parents, and their long-term foster children Jimmy, Zaidie, and Jon – and the irrevocable changes in their lives when a six-year-old indigenous girl, Agnes, comes to live with them. When Dahlia decided to become a foster mother, she had a few caveats: no howling newborns, no delinquents, and above all, no girls. A harrowing incident years before left her a virtual prisoner in her own home, forever wary of the heartbreak and limitation of a girl’s life. Eleven years after they began fostering, Dahlia and Louie consider their family complete, but when the social worker begs them to take a young girl who has been horrifically abused and neglected, they can’t say no. Six-year-old Agnes Juniper arrives with no knowledge of her Native American heritage or herself beyond a box of trinkets given to her by her mother and dreamlike memories of her sister. As the years pass and outside forces threaten to tear them apart, the children, now young adults, must find the courage and resilience to save themselves and each other. Heartfelt and enthralling, All the Children Are Home is a moving testament to the enduring power of love in the face of devastating loss. Patry Francis is the author of The Liar’s Diary and the blog 100 Days of Discipline for Writers. Her poetry and short stories have appeared in the Tampa Review, Antioch Review, Colorado Review, Ontario Review, and American Poetry Review, among other publications. She is a three-time nominee for the Pushcart Prize and has twice been the recipient of the Massachusetts Cultural Council Grant. She lives in Massachusetts.
36 minutes | 8 days ago
Author Stories Podcast Episode 1085 | Brenda Novak Interview
Today’s author interview guest is Brenda Novak, author of The Bookstore On The Beach. “A page-turner with a deep heart.” (Nancy Thayer, New York Times best-selling author of Girls of Summer) How do you start a new chapter of your life when you haven’t closed the book on the previous one? Eighteen months ago, Autumn Divac’s husband went missing. Her desperate search has yielded no answers, and she can’t imagine moving forward without him. But for the sake of their two teenage children, she has to try. Autumn takes her kids home for the summer to the charming beachside town where she was raised. She seeks comfort working alongside her mother and aunt at their bookshop, only to learn that her daughter is facing a huge life change and her mother has been hiding a terrible secret for years. And when she runs into the boy who stole her heart in high school, old feelings start to bubble up again. Is she free to love him, or should she hold out hope for her husband’s return? She can only trust her heart…and hope it won’t lead her astray. “A heart-tugging romance. Readers are sure to be sucked in.” (Publishers Weekly, starred review) It was a shocking experience that jump-started Brenda Novak’s bestselling author career. “I caught my day-care provider drugging my children with cough syrup and Tylenol to get them to sleep while I was away,” Brenda says. “It was then that I decided I needed to do something from home.” However, writing was the last profession she expected to undertake. In fact, Brenda swears she didn’t have a creative bone in her body. In school, math and science were her best subjects, and when it came time to pick a major in college, she chose business. Abandoning her academic scholarship to Brigham Young University at the age of twenty in order to get married and start a family, Brenda dabbled in commercial real estate, then became a loan officer. “When I first got the idea to become a novelist, it took me five years to teach myself the craft and finish my first book,” Brenda admits. “I learned how to write by reading what others have written. The best advice for any would-be author: read, read, read….” Brenda sold her first book OF NOBLE BIRTH, and the rest is history. Many of her novels have won or placed in contests such as the Rita, the National Reader’s Choice and the Bookseller’s Best, and she now runs a warm and enthusiastic book group on Facebook with over 17,000 members. Brenda and her husband, Ted, live in Sacramento and are the proud parents of five children—three girls and two boys. When she’s not spending time with her family or writing, Brenda is usually raising money for diabetes research. Her youngest son, Thad, has diabetes, and Brenda is determined to help him and others like him. She also enjoys traveling, playing pickle ball, hiking and biking — she rides an amazing 20 miles several times a week!
34 minutes | 9 days ago
Author Stories Podcast Episode 1084 | Leslie A. Rasmussen Interview
Today’s author interview guest is Leslie A. Rasmussen, author of After Happily Ever After. Maggie Dolin is forty-five and isn’t dealing with getting older very well. Seventeen years ago, she gave up her job in publishing to raise her daughter, Gia—but now her only child is about to leave for college, and Maggie isn’t sure what her new purpose will be. She’s been the caretaker and nurturer for so long that she can’t even remember the last time someone took care of her. She wishes Jim, her husband of nineteen years, would take that role on—but he’s been distracted and disconnected, and she’s convinced he’s hiding something from her. Her self-involved, judgmental mother and resentful brother, meanwhile, are certainly no help, and her father—the only person in her life who’s always been there for her and asked nothing in return—is dealing with increasingly serious health issues, leaving Maggie without her rock. As all these stressors pile on, a chance meeting with a younger man causes Maggie to act in a way that is completely out of character for her. As she gets deeper in, she’s forced to make some big decisions about what she wants and deserves—decisions that could change her life forever. After Happily Ever After deals with love, marriage, family, the empty nest, aging parents and what happens when they all come crashing down at the same time. Leslie A. Rasmussen was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. She graduated with a bachelors from UCLA in Communications and went on to write television comedies for Gerald McRaney, Burt Reynolds, Roseanne Barr, Norm McDonald, Drew Carey, and Ralph Macchio as well as The Wild Thornberrys and Sweet Valley High. Later, she earned a master’s degree in nutrition and ran her own business for ten years. Most recently, Leslie has written personal essays for online magazines such as Huffington Post, Maria Shriver and Sheknows. Leslie loves dogs and besides having two adorable Labradors, she volunteers at The Burbank Animal Shelter, in Burbank, California. Leslie lives in Los Angeles and has two sons, and a husband she’s been with since college.
35 minutes | 10 days ago
Author Stories Podcast Episode 1083 | Kris Clink Interview
Today’s author interview guest is Kris Clink, author of Goodbye, Lark Lovejoy. Lark’s lost her husband, and the expiration date has come and gone on her fake-it-till-you-make-it “Happy Mommy Show”. Healing her broken family requires drastic measures – like returning to her hometown in the Texas Hill Country. She’s going to need more than clean air and a pastoral landscape to rebuild a life for her young sons. Her return home is met with reminders of the winemaking dream she jettisoned to attend law school. Lark surprises herself and calls her shot, investing her nest egg in a struggling vineyard. This young mother is determined to work through her grief. The last thing she expects is to fall in love with Wyatt Gifford, an injured army vet with a past of his own to conquer. Coming home may not be the reset Lark imagined, but it does take her on a journey filled with humor and reconciliation – one that prepares her for a courageous comeback. Kris Clink writes about relatable characters who rely on humor and tenderness to navigate their complicated relationships. Set in middle America, her novels are laced with love, heartbreak, and just enough snarky humor to rock the boat. Calling Texas home for most of her life, Kris now lives in Kansas. She and her husband have filled their empty nest with two spoiled-rotten pups. When not writing, Kris is searching for an open karaoke mic and an understanding audience. She welcomes the opportunity to appear at your book club.
41 minutes | 11 days ago
Author Stories Podcast Episode 1082 | Adele Parks Interview
Today’s author interview guest is Adele Parks, author of Just My Luck. Over four million Adele Parks books sold worldwide! “Utterly engrossing and brilliant.” (Lucy Foley New York Times best-selling author of The Guest List) It was supposed to be the lottery win they’d always dreamed of…. For 15 years, Lexi and Jake have played the same six numbers with their friends. Over drinks, dinner parties and summer barbecues, the three couples have discussed the important stuff – kids, marriages, careers – and they’ve laughed off their disappointment when they failed to win anything. But then the unthinkable happens. There’s a rift in the group. Someone is caught in a lie. And soon after, six numbers come up that change everything forever. Lexi and Jake have a ticket worth millions. And their friends are determined to claim a share. Number-one Sunday Times best-selling author Adele Parks returns with a riveting look at the dark side of wealth in this gripping tale of friendship, money, betrayal, and good luck gone bad…. About Adele Parks: I was born in Teesside, NE England. Since graduating from Leicester University, where I studied English Language and Literature, I’ve worked in advertising and as a management consultant. In 2010 I was proud to be awarded an honorary doctorate of Letters from Teesside University. I’ve always dreamed of being a writer and my first novel – Playing Away – was published in 2000; that year the Evening Standard identified me as one of London’s ‘Twenty Faces to Watch’, which was very nice of them! I like to keep busy and am pretty flattered when I’m described as one of the most-loved and biggest-selling women’s fiction writers in the UK, (who wouldn’t like that?!) 4 million copies of my UK editions have been sold and I’m translated into more than 30 different languages. I’ve published twenty bestselling novels in twenty years, including the number 1 bestsellers Lies Lies Lies and Just My Luck. I have written 18 contemporary novels and two historical ones, Spare Brides and If You Go Away, set during and after WW1. All my novels examines issues that are important to us all. I like to scrutinize our concepts of family, our theories on love, parenting and fidelity with (I hope) honesty and humour. Whatever period I set my novels I’m known for examining the thorny issues of the lives people lead with my trademark, up-front, tell-it-as-it-is style. I write numerous articles and short stories for national magazines and newspapers and often appear on radio and TV talking about my work and related matters. You know, basically a talking head. This works well for me as I’m very chatty and fairly opinionated. I think it’s true to say once I get going, it’s quite hard to shut me up. I passionately believe that reading is a basic right. I’m a proud Ambassador for the National Literacy Trust and The Reading Agency’s Six Book Challenge, a scheme that encourages emerging adult readers who are becoming passionate about books. In 2008 I wrote a Quick Read, Happy Families as part of the celebrations of World Book Day, which went on to win Quick Read Learners’ Favourite Award, as voted for by the public. I am a judge for the Costa Book Awards and The British Book Awards which is a great privilege and an amazing experience. During my career I’ve lived in Italy, Botswana and London. Now I live happily in Guildford, Surrey with my husband, teenage son and cat. I guess, that’s it, so far…
33 minutes | 12 days ago
Author Stories Podcast Episode 1081 | Judy Batalion Interview
Today’s author interview guest is Judy Batalion, author of The Light of Days: The Untold Story of Women Resistance Fighters in Hitler’s Ghettos. One of the most important stories of World War II, already optioned by Steven Spielberg for a major motion picture: a spectacular, searing history that brings to light the extraordinary accomplishments of brave Jewish women who became resistance fighters – a group of unknown heroes whose exploits have never been chronicled in full, until now. Witnesses to the brutal murder of their families and neighbors and the violent destruction of their communities, a cadre of Jewish women in Poland – some still in their teens – helped transform the Jewish youth groups into resistance cells to fight the Nazis. With courage, guile, and nerves of steel, these “ghetto girls” paid off Gestapo guards, hid revolvers in loaves of bread and jars of marmalade, and helped build systems of underground bunkers. They flirted with German soldiers, bribed them with wine, whiskey, and home cooking, used their Aryan looks to seduce them, and shot and killed them. They bombed German train lines and blew up a town’s water supply. They also nursed the sick and taught children. Yet the exploits of these courageous resistance fighters have remained virtually unknown. As propulsive and thrilling as Hidden Figures, In the Garden of Beasts, Band of Brothers, and A Train in Winter, The Light of Days at last tells the true story of these incredible women whose courageous yet little-known feats have been eclipsed by time. Judy Batalion – the granddaughter of Polish Holocaust survivors – takes us back to 1939 and introduces us to Renia Kukielka, a weapons smuggler and messenger who risked death traveling across occupied Poland on foot and by train. Joining Renia are other women who served as couriers, armed fighters, intelligence agents, and saboteurs, all who put their lives in mortal danger to carry out their missions. Batalion follows these women through the savage destruction of the ghettos, arrest, and internment in Gestapo prisons and concentration camps, and for a lucky few – like Renia, who orchestrated her own audacious escape from a brutal Nazi jail – into the late 20th century and beyond. Powerful and inspiring, The Light of Days is an unforgettable true tale of war, the fight for freedom, exceptional bravery, female friendship, and survival in the face of staggering odds. Judy Batalion was born and raised in Montreal, where she grew up speaking English, French, Yiddish and Hebrew, and trying to stay warm. She studied the history of science at Harvard then moved to London to pursue a PhD in art history. All the while, she worked as a curator, researcher, editor, lecturer, comic, MC, script-reader, dramaturge, performer, actor, producer, translator, mmmuffins server, and a temp – at a temp agency. Eventually, Judy transformed these experiences into material, and wrote essays and articles for the New York Times, the Washington Post, Vogue, the Forward, Salon, the Jerusalem Post and many other publications. Her stories about family relationships, the generational transmission of trauma, pathological hoarding and militant minimalism came together in her book White Walls: A Memoir About Motherhood, Daughterhood, and the Mess in Between (NAL/Penguin, 2016). White Walls was optioned by Warner Brothers for whom Judy is currently developing the TV series “Cluttered.” Back in 2007, during her phase of career promiscuity, Judy was doing research on strong Jewish women at the British Library when she happened to come across a dusty, old Yiddish book. Freuen in di Ghettos (Women in the Ghettos), a Yiddish thriller about “ghetto girls” who hid revolvers in teddy bears, bribed Nazis with whiskey and pastry, and blew up German supply trains, became the inspiration for The Light of Days: The Untold Story of Women Resistance Fighters in Hitler’s Ghettos (William Morrow/HarperCollins, 2021). The Light of Days will be published across Europe, and in Brazil and Israel, and was optioned by Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Partners, for whom Judy is co-writing the screenplay. (Gey veys… Who knew that Yiddish would become her cash cow?) Judy lives with her husband and three children in New York City.
38 minutes | 17 days ago
Author Stories Podcast Episode 1080 | Jane Healey Returns With The Secret Stealers
Today my author interview guest is Jane Healey, author of The Secret Stealers. A female American spy in Nazi-occupied France finds purpose behind enemy lines in a novel of unparalleled danger, love, and daring by the Amazon Charts bestselling author of The Beantown Girls. Anna Cavanaugh is a restless young widow and brilliant French teacher at a private school in Washington, DC. Everything changes when she’s recruited into the Office of Strategic Services by family friend and legendary WWI hero Major General William Donovan. Donovan has faith in her—and in all his “glorious amateurs” who are becoming Anna’s fast friends: Maggie, Anna’s down-to-earth mentor; Irene, who’s struggling to find support from her husband for her clandestine life; and Julia, a cheerful OSS liaison. But the more Anna learns about the organization’s secret missions, the more she longs to be stationed abroad. Then comes the opportunity: go undercover as a spy in the French Resistance to help steal critical intelligence that could ultimately turn the tide of the war. Dispatched behind enemy lines and in constant danger, Anna is filled with adrenaline, passion, and fear. She’s driven to make a difference—for her country and for herself. Whatever the risk, she’s willing to take it to help liberate France from the shadows of occupation and to free herself from the shadows of her former life. Jane Healey shares a home north of Boston with her husband, two daughters, and two cats. When she’s not writing historical fiction, she enjoys running, reading, cooking and going to the beach. For more information on the author, her upcoming events or to schedule a virtual book club visit: Website: www.janehealey.com. Facebook: facebook.com/JaneHealeyBooks/ Twitter and Instagram:@healeyjane YouTube: https://bit.ly/2O3c72b
38 minutes | 19 days ago
Author Stories Podcast Episode 1079 | RaeAnne Thayne Interview
Today’s author interview guest is RaeAnne Thayne, author of The Path to Sunshine Cove. With the emotional pull of Debbie Macomber, Barbara Delinsky and Susan Wiggs, RaeAnne Thayne brings readers an uplifting, brand new story told with her trademark charm and heart. She knows what’s best for everyone but herself… With a past like hers, Jessica Clayton feels safer in a life spent on the road. She’s made a career out of helping others downsize—because she’s learned the hard way that the less “stuff,” the better, a policy she applies equally to her relationships. But a new client is taking Jess back to Cape Sanctuary, a town she once called home…and that her little sister, Rachel, still does. The years apart haven’t made a dent in the guilt Jess still carries after a handgun took the lives of both their parents and changed everything between them. While Jess couldn’t wait to put the miles between her and Cape Sanctuary, Rachel put down roots, content for the world—and her sister—to think she has a picture-perfect life. But with the demands of her youngest child’s disability, Rachel’s marriage has begun to fray at the seams. She needs her sister now more than ever, yet she’s learned from painful experience that Jessica doesn’t do family, and she shouldn’t count on her now. Against her judgment, Jess finds herself becoming attached—to her sister and her family, even to her client’s interfering son, Nate—and it’s time to put everything on the line. Does she continue running from her painful past, or stay put and make room for the love and joy that come along with it? #1 Publishers Weekly, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author RaeAnne Thayne finds inspiration in the beautiful northern Utah mountains where she lives with her family. Her books have won numerous honors, including seven RITA Award nominations from Romance Writers of America and a Career Achievement Award from RT Book Reviews magazine. RaeAnne loves to hear from readers and can be reached through her website at www.raeannethayne.com.
45 minutes | a month ago
Author Stories Podcast Episode 1078 | Peter Swanson Returns With Every Vow You Break
Today’s author interview guest is Peter Swanson, author of Every Vow You Break. A bride’s dream honeymoon becomes a nightmare when a man with whom she’s had a regrettable one-night stand shows up in this electrifying psychological thriller from the acclaimed author of Eight Perfect Murders. Abigail Baskin never thought she’d fall in love with a millionaire. Then she met Bruce Lamb. He’s a good guy, stable, level-headed, kind – a refreshing twist from her previous relationships. But right before the wedding, Abigail has a drunken one-night stand on her bachelorette weekend. She puts the incident – and the sexy guy who wouldn’t give her his real name – out of her mind, and now believes she wants to be with Bruce for the rest of her life. Then the mysterious stranger suddenly appears – and Abigail’s future life and happiness are turned upside down. He insists that their passionate night was the beginning of something much, much more. Something special. Something real – and he’s tracked her down to prove it. Does she tell Bruce and ruin their idyllic honeymoon – and possibly their marriage? Or should she handle this psychopathic stalker on her own? To make the situation worse, strange things begin to happen. She sees a terrified woman in the night shadows, and no one at the resort seems to believe anything is amiss…including her perfect new husband. Peter Swanson is the Sunday Times and New York Times best selling author of seven novels, including The Kind Worth Killing, winner of the New England Society Book Award, and finalist for the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger, Her Every Fear, an NPR book of the year; and his most recent, Every Vow You Break. His books have been translated into over 30 languages, and his stories, poetry, and features have appeared in Asimov’s Science Fiction, The Atlantic Monthly, Measure, The Guardian, The Strand Magazine, and Yankee Magazine. A graduate of Trinity College, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and Emerson College, he lives on the North Shore of Massachusetts with his wife and cat.
41 minutes | a month ago
Author Stories Podcast Episode 1077 | Kate Quinn Returns With The Rose Code
On today’s episode Kate Quinn returns to talk about her new book The Rose Code. “The reigning queen of historical fiction” — Fiona Davis, New York Times bestselling author of The Lions of Fifth Avenue The New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Huntress and The Alice Network returns with another heart-stopping World War II story of three female code breakers at Bletchley Park and the spy they must root out after the war is over. As England prepares to fight the Nazis, three very different women answer the call to mysterious country estate Bletchley Park, where the best minds in Britain train to break German military codes. Vivacious debutante Osla is the girl who has everything—beauty, wealth, and the dashing Prince Philip of Greece sending her roses—but she burns to prove herself as more than a society girl, and puts her fluent German to use as a translator of decoded enemy secrets. Imperious self-made Mab, product of east-end London poverty, works the legendary codebreaking machines as she conceals old wounds and looks for a socially advantageous husband. Both Osla and Mab are quick to see the potential in local village spinster Beth, whose shyness conceals a brilliant facility with puzzles, and soon Beth spreads her wings as one of the Park’s few female cryptanalysts. But war, loss, and the impossible pressure of secrecy will tear the three apart. As the royal wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip whips post-war Britain into a fever, three friends-turned-enemies are reunited by a mysterious encrypted letter–the key to which lies buried in the long-ago betrayal that destroyed their friendship and left one of them confined to an asylum. A mysterious traitor has emerged from the shadows of their Bletchley Park past, and now Osla, Mab, and Beth must resurrect their old alliance and crack one last code together. But each petal they remove from the rose code brings danger–and their true enemy–closer… Kate Quinn is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of historical fiction. A native of southern California, she attended Boston University where she earned a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Classical Voice. She has written four novels in the Empress of Rome Saga, and two books in the Italian Renaissance, before turning to the 20th century with “The Alice Network”, “The Huntress,” and “The Rose Code.” All have been translated into multiple languages. Kate and her husband now live in San Diego with three rescue dogs.
38 minutes | a month ago
Author Stories Podcast Episode 1076 | Peter Robinson Returns With Not Dark Yet
Today Peter Robinson returns to the show to talk about his newest DCI Banks book Not Dark Yet. “Robinson is an author with amazing empathy, a snare-trap ear for dialogue, and a clear eye for the telling detail.”—Michael Connelly One of the world’s greatest suspense writers returns with the 27th novel featuring the legendary detective Alan Banks in the mystery series Stephen King calls “the best now on the market.” When property developer Connor Clive Blaydon is found dead, Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks and his Yorkshire team dive into the investigation. As luck would have it, someone had installed a cache of spy-cams all around his luxurious home. The team hope that they’ll find answers—and the culprit—among the video recordings. Instead of discovering Connor’s murderer, however, the grainy and blurred footage reveals another crime: a brutal rape. If they can discover the woman’s identity, it could lead to more than justice for the victim; it could change everything the police think they know about Connor and why anyone would want him dead. Meanwhile, tensions are rising between Banks and his friend, Zelda. A super recognizer—able to recognize faces significantly better than most people—Zelda is determined to bring the men who abused her to justice. But stirring up the murky waters of the past will put her in far greater danger than ever before, and Banks worries that he won’t be able to stop her from plunging too deep before it’s too late. Peter Robinson was born in Yorkshire. After getting his BA Honours Degree in English Literature at the University of Leeds, he came to Canada and took his MA in English and Creative Writing at the University of Windsor, with Joyce Carol Oates as his tutor, then a PhD in English at York University. He has taught at a number of Toronto community colleges and universities and served as Writer-in-Residence at the University of Windsor, 1992-93. His first novel, Gallows View (1987), introduced Detective Chief Inspector Alan Banks. It was short-listed for the John Creasey Award in the UK and the Crime Writers of Canada best first novel award. A Dedicated Man followed in 1988 and was short-listed for the CWC’s Arthur Ellis Award. A Necessary End and The Hanging Valley, both Inspector Banks novels, followed in 1989, and the latter was nominated for an Arthur. Both received starred reviews in Publishers Weekly in the US. Caedmon’s Song, the first departure from the series, was published in 1990 and was also nominated for an Arthur. (It was reissued in the UK by Macmillan in September, 2003, and was published for the first time in the US by Avon Dark Passage in September, 2004, as The First Cut.) The fifth Inspector Banks novel, Past Reason Hated, won the Arthur Ellis Award for Best Novel in 1992. The sixth, Wednesday’s Child, was nominated for an Edgar Award by the Mystery Writers of America. Final Account (UK: Dry Bones that Dream) appeared in 1994 and won an Author’s Award from the Foundation for the Advancement of Canadian Letters in 1995. The eighth Inspector Banks novel, Innocent Graves (1996) was picked as one of Publishers Weekly’s best mysteries of 1996 and selected as “page-turner of the week” by People magazine. Innocent Graves was also nominated for a Hammett Award for “literary excellence in the field of crime writing” by the International Association of Crime Writers, and won the author his second Arthur Ellis Award for best novel. In a Dry Season, the tenth in the series, won the Anthony and Barry awards for best novel and was nominated for the Edgar, Hammett, Macavity and Arthur Ellis Awards. In 2001, it also won France’s Grand Prix de Littérature Policière and Sweden’s Martin Beck Award. It was also a New York Times “notable book” of 1999. The next book Cold is the Grave, won the Arthur Ellis Award and was nominated for the Los Angeles Times Book Award. In 2006 it won the Danish Palle Rosenkrantz Award. Aftermath appeared in 2002 and made the top ten in both the UK and Canadian bestseller lists, where it reached number one. Aftermath was also the pilot in the DCI Banks TV series, which was produced by Left Bank and ran in ITV from 2011 to 2017, starring Stephen Tompkinson, Andrea Lowe, Caroline Catz, Lorraine Burroughs, Jack Deam and Keith Barron. In 2002, Robinson was awarded the “Dagger in the Library” by the CWA. The thirteenth Banks novel, The Summer that Never Was (US: Close to Home), appeared on the New York Times expanded bestseller list in February, 2003, and on both the UK and Canadian bestseller lists and was nominated for an Arthur Ellis and an Anthony award. Playing with Fire, published in January, 2004, was nominated for both the Arthur Ellis and Hammett awards. Strange Affair (January, 2005) was nominated for Arthur Ellis and a Macavity awards..The books have been translated into twenty languages. Piece of My Heart appeared in 2006, and in 2007, Friend of the Devil reached Number One in the Sunday Times hardcover bestseller list. There have been many number one bestsellers since then. In January, 2008, Robinson was presented with the Celebrates Reading Award by the Toronto Libraries. Both Before the Poison and Sleeping in the Ground were also Ellis Award winners in 2012 and 2018 respectively. Before the Poison also won the Golden Crowbar (formerly Martin Beck) Award from the Swedish Crime Writers and the Dilys Award in the USA. In 2014 and 2016 he also won awards in Finland and Poland. In 2006 he was invited to join The Detection Club. Robinson has also published many short stories. “Innocence” won the CWC Best Short Story Award, 1991. “The Two Ladies of Rose Cottage,” which appeared in Malice Domestic 6, edited by Anne Perry, in April 1997, won the Macavity Award and was nominated for both the Agatha and Arthur Ellis awards. It was also performed, with music and songs by Eliza Carthy, at the Beverley Folk Festival, Yorkshire, in 2006. He has also performed with Eliza on a number of other occasions, and with her father, Martin Carthy, most recently at the Richmond Walking and Books Festival in September 2018. His first collection of short stories, Not Safe After Dark and Other Stories, was published in 1998 by Crippen & Landru. An expanded version, including the Banks novella “Going Back”, was published by McClelland & Stewart in Canada and Macmillan in the UK in September, 2004. “Murder in Utopia” won Robinson his fifth Ellis Award in 2001, and the same year “Missing in Action” won the Edgar Award. In 2007, Robinson edited the The Penguin Book of Crime Stories, which was published to great critical acclaim. His second collection of short stories, The Price of Love, was published in 2009. Robinson now divides his time between Toronto and Richmond, North Yorkshire. He is presently working on a Banks trilogy, which began with Careless Love in 2018 and continues with Many Rivers to Cross in 2019. The final volume, as yet untitled, should appear in the autumn of 2020. Peter’s books have received the following awards: 1990 Arthur Ellis Award for Best Short Story – “Innocence” 1991 Arthur Ellis Award for Best Novel – Past Reason Hated 1994 TORGI Talking Book Award for Past Reason Hated 1995 Author’s Award, Foundation for the Advancement of Canadian Letters Final Account 1996 Arthur Ellis Award for Best Novel – Innocent Graves 1998 Macavity Award for Best Short Story – “The Two Ladies of Rose Cottage” 1999 Anthony Award for Best Novel – In a Dry Season 1999 Barry Award for Best Novel – In a Dry Season 2000 Arthur Ellis Award for Best Novel – Cold is the Grave 2000 Arthur Ellis Award for Best Short Story – “Murder in Utopia” 2000 Edgar Award for Best Short Story – “Missing in Action” 2001 Le Grand Prix de Littérature Policière (France) – In a Dry Season 2002 Martin Beck Award (Sweden) – In a Dry Season 2002 CWA Dagger in The Library Award 2003 Spoken Word Bronze Award for The Hanging Valley 2006 Palle Rosenkrantz Award (Denmark) for Cold is the Grave 2008 Toronto Public Library Celebrates Reading Award 2008 Best On-Going Series – Crimespree Magazine 2009 Grant Allen Award – pioneers and influential figures in Canadian crime writing 2009 Honorary Degree, Doctor of Letters – University of Leeds, UK 2010 Derrick Murdoch Award – Contributions to literature, Crime Writers of Canada 2010 Honorary Degree, Doctor of Laws – University of Windsor, Ontario 2010 Harbourfront Prize – “based on the merits of his own published work and the time he has invested in nurturing the next generation of literary talent.” 2011 Inducted into the International Hall of Fame, alongside P.D. James, Agatha Christie, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Colin Dexter, Lynda La Plante, Ian Rankin, George Pelecanos and others. 2012 Arthur Ellis Award for Best Novel – Before the Poison 2012 Martin Beck (Golden Crowbar) Award, for best translated crime novel, Before the Poison (Sweden) 2013 Dilys Award for Best Novel, Before the Poison, Independent Mystery Booksellers Association. 2013 International Guest of Honour at Malice Domestic 25, Bethesda, MD. 2013 Suspense Magazine. Watching the Dark Book of the Year. 2014 Finnish Crime Writers Award for body of work. 2016 Great Calibre Award for body of work. Portal Kryminalny. (Poland.) 2018 Arthur Ellis Award for Best novel- Sleeping in the Ground Nominations – CWC Arthur Ellis, MWA Edgar Best Novel (twice), Macavity, Hammett, Anthony, CWA John Creasey Dagger, Yorkshire Book of the Year (Fiction), W. H. Smith’s Thumping Good Read Award, CWA Short Story Dagger, Theakston’s Book of the Year Award, ITV3 People’s Bestseller Dagger.
50 minutes | a month ago
Author Stories Podcast Episode 1075 | Laurence Bergreen Interview
Today’s author interview guest is Laurence Bergreen, author of In Search of a Kingdom: Francis Drake, Elizabeth...
40 minutes | a month ago
Author Stories Podcast Episode 1074 | Nadine Matheson Interview
Today’s author interview guest is Nadine Matheson, author of The Jigsaw Man: A Novel (An Inspector Anjelica Henley Thriller). “A heart-pounding roller coaster ride.”—Tami Hoag, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Boy A Crime Reads Most Anticipated Book of 2021 A serial killer and his copycat are locked in a violent game of cat and mouse. Can DI Anjelica Henley stop them before it’s too late? On the day she returns to active duty with the Serial Crimes Unit, Detective Inspector Anjelica Henley is called to a crime scene. Dismembered body parts from two victims have been found by the river. The modus operandi bears a striking resemblance to Peter Olivier, the notorious Jigsaw Killer, who has spent the past two years behind bars. When he learns that someone is co-opting his grisly signature—the arrangement of victims’ limbs in puzzle-piece shapes—he decides to take matters into his own hands. As the body count rises, DI Anjelica Henley is faced with an unspeakable new threat. Can she apprehend the copycat killer before Olivier finds a way to get to him first? Or will she herself become the next victim? Drawing on her experience as a criminal attorney, debut novelist Nadine Matheson delivers the page-turning crime novel of the year. Taut, vivid and addictively sinister, The Jigsaw Man will leave you breathless until the very last page. Nadine Matheson was born and lives in London. She began her working life at the BBC and now practices as a criminal defence lawyer. In 2016, she won the City University Crime Writing Competition and completed the Creative Writing (Crime/Thriller Novels) MA at City University of London with Distinction in 2018.
37 minutes | a month ago
Author Stories Podcast Episode 1073 | Dr. Gabby Wild Interview
Today’s author interview guest is Dr. Gabby Wild, author of Wild Vet Adventures: Saving Animals Around the World With Dr. Gabby Wild. Wildlife veterinarian and super-fashionista Dr. Gabby Wild takes young readers on a journey around the world to discover amazing animals and how to care for them. Travel the continents to meet some of Earth’s most incredible critters through the eyes of a windblown, adventurous wildlife veterinarian. Join Dr. Gabby Wild as she performs dental work on a jaguar, teaches a baby bird to fend for itself, and gives a chimp a checkup. Learn about animal anatomy and behaviors, diets, families, and the dangers they face in the wild. Get up close–and we do mean CLOSE–to more than 80 animals that are both familiar and not so familiar, including regal lions, playful pandas, fearsome Gila monters, and creepy tarantulas. Examine world maps to learn about amphibians, wild cats, and primates across the globe. Read about some special human-animal relationships as well as challenges that arise when they share a habitat. Then learn how people are working to save and protect endangered species. And for your final thrill, find out how YOU can become a wildlife vet, too! Dr. Gabby Wild has traveled the world to save animals. From pioneering elephant acupuncture to treating Jane Goodall’s chimpanzees in Uganda. Kids often recognize Dr. Wild as the veterinarian from Animal Jam Classic (over 130 million registered users) where she has answered questions from children about wild animals. Some of her noted recent collaborations: World Wildlife Fund, National Geographic Society, Jane Goodall Institute, Harvard University, Oxford University, The American Museum of Natural History, The Bronx Zoo, Zoological Society of London, Natural History Museum ( London) , and Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle (Paris). American-born and raised shortly there after in France and later in Boca Raton, FL, when Dr. Wild is not traveling to save animals, she is an emergency room doctor and veterinary surgeon at The Animal Surgical Center on Long Island. She received her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Cornell University, Master’s of Public Heath from the University of Minnesota, and is also a published genetics researcher.
40 minutes | a month ago
Author Stories Podcast Episode 1072 | Tracy Wolff Returns With Covet
Tracy Wolff, author of the wildly popular Crave series returns to the show with her new release Covet. I may have reached my breaking point. As if trying to graduate from a school for supernaturals isn’t stressful enough, my relationship status has gone from complicated to a straight-up dumpster fire. Oh, and the Bloodletter has decided to drop a bomb of epic proportions on us all… Then again, when has anything at Katmere Academy not been intense? And the hits just keep coming. Jaxon’s turned colder than an Alaskan winter. The Circle is splintered over my upcoming coronation. As if things couldn’t get worse, now there’s an arrest warrant for Hudson’s and my supposed crimes—which apparently means a lifetime prison sentence with a deadly unbreakable curse. Choices will have to be made…and I fear not everyone will survive. The Crave series is best enjoyed in order. Reading Order: Book #1 Crave Book #2 Crush Book #3 Covet Book #4 Court Tracy Wolff is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over sixty novels that run the gamut from young adult action adventures to new adult romance and from women’s fiction to erotica. A long-time lover of vampires, dragons and all things that go bump in the night, Tracy loves nothing more than combining her affection for paranormal creatures with her love of writing tortured heroes and kick-butt heroines. When she’s not writing (which is a rare occurrence), she can be found trying out new recipes, offering make-up tips online, wandering comic book/gaming stores with her sons, and watching movies or plotting stories with her besties. A one time English professor, she now writes full-time from her home in Austin, Texas, which she shares with her family. Her most recent work, the young adult vampire novel, CRAVE, “is about to become fandom’s new favorite vampire romance obsession” (Hypable). Photos of Tracy were taken by Mayra K Calderón.
42 minutes | a month ago
Author Stories Podcast Episode 1071 | J. T. Ellison Returns With Her Dark Lies
Our friend J. T. Ellison returns to the show today to talk all about writing thrillers and what the craziness of 2020 has meant for her creative process. Be sure to check out J. T.’s new book Her Dark Lies. Fast-paced and brilliantly unpredictable, J.T. Ellison’s breathtaking new novel invites you to a wedding none will forget – and some won’t survive. Jutting from sparkling turquoise waters off the Italian coast, Isle Isola is an idyllic setting for a wedding. In the majestic cliff-top villa owned by the wealthy Compton family, up-and-coming artist Claire Hunter will marry handsome, charming Jack Compton, surrounded by close family, intimate friends…and a host of dark secrets. From the moment Claire sets foot on the island, something seems amiss. Skeletal remains have just been found. There are other, newer disturbances, too. Menacing texts. A ruined wedding dress. And one troubling shadow hanging over Claire’s otherwise blissful relationship – the strange mystery surrounding Jack’s first wife. Then a raging storm descends, the power goes out – and the real terror begins…. New York Times and USA Today bestselling author J.T. Ellison writes standalone domestic noir and psychological thriller series, the latter starring Nashville Homicide Lt. Taylor Jackson and medical examiner Dr. Samantha Owens, and co-authored the international thriller series “A Brit in the FBI” with #1 New York Times bestselling author Catherine Coulter. J.T. is also the EMMY® Award-winning co-host of the television series A Word on Words. With millions of books in print, J.T.’s work has been published in 27 countries and 15 languages. Her novel THE COLD ROOM won the ITW Thriller Award for Best Paperback Original. Her novels FIELD OF GRAVES and WHERE ALL THE DEAD LIE were each a RITA® nominee for Best Romantic Suspense. She is also the author of multiple short stories. Visit her on social media as @thrillerchick, or her website, www.jtellison.com, for more information.
141 minutes | a month ago
Author Stories Podcast Episode 1070 | Patti Callahan Interview
Today’s author interview guest is Patti Callahan, author of Surviving Savannah. It was called “The Titanic of the South.” The luxury steamship sank in 1838 with Savannah’s elite on board; through time, their fates were forgotten – until the wreck was found, and now their story is finally being told in this breathtaking novel from the New York Times best-selling author of Becoming Mrs. Lewis. When Savannah history professor Everly Winthrop is asked to guest-curate a new museum collection focusing on artifacts recovered from the steamship Pulaski, she’s shocked. The ship sank after a boiler explosion in 1838, and the wreckage was just discovered, 180 years later. Everly can’t resist the opportunity to try to solve some of the mysteries and myths surrounding the devastating night of its sinking. Everly’s research leads her to the astounding history of a family of eleven who boarded the Pulaski together, and the extraordinary stories of two women from this family: a known survivor, Augusta Longstreet, and her niece, Lilly Forsyth, who was never found, along with her child. These aristocratic women were part of Savannah’s society, but when the ship exploded, each was faced with difficult and heartbreaking decisions. This is a moving and powerful exploration of what women will do to endure in the face of tragedy, the role fate plays, and the myriad ways we survive the surviving. Patti Callahan Henry is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of fifteen novels, including the (Historical Fiction), BECOMING MRS. LEWIS—The Improbable Love Story of Joy Davidman and C.S. Lewis (writing as Patti Callahan). In addition, she is the recipient of The Christy Award—A 2019 Winner “Book of the Year.”; The Harper Lee Distinguished Writer of the Year for 2020, and the Alabama Library Association Book of the Year for 2019.
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