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Books

Fiction, History, Writers on Writing

May 05: NYT Bestselling Author Jenny Lecoat

Based on a true story of a courageous young Jewish woman trapped under Nazi occupation on the Isle of Jersey in WWII

Considering her background, fate may have decreed Jenny Lecoat’s first novel would spark a bidding war between two major publishers and become a New York Times Bestseller.

The Girl From the Channel Islands is based on the true story of Hedy Bercu. We discuss why Jenny told Bercu’s story via fiction versus nonfiction; where she took creative license and why. How Jenny’s background informed those decisions and shaped the story.  Jenny also shares some of the true anecdotes she encountered during her research. And what it took to go from successful screenplay writer to successful novelist.

About Jenny Lecoat

Born in the Channel Islands, Jenny Lecoat was raised among family who passed down their own stories of life in German occupied Jersey. Jenny dove into screenwriting following early career turns as a stand-up comic and writing features for periodicals.  Her feature film, Another Mother’s Son, was released in 2017.

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Journalism, Non Fiction, Social Issues

Apr 27: Why We Fall For Hype with Gabrielle Bluestone

How Con Artists, Grifters and Scammers are Taking Over the Internet – & Why We’re Following

Gabrielle Bluestone shares her insights into why scammers do what they do, and why – despite overwhelming evidence calling them out – we blindly believe what we’re told without researching the source.  She says we are at the natural end of a society primed to trust their own emotions over objective, verifiable facts.” 

From celebrities to politicians, to the little-known, we discuss why we get sucked into their spiel. Where social media and influencers factor in. The rise of cancel culture, where seemingly harmless messaging and soundbites create images that can make or break reputations and campaigns. Why Fyre was the greatest festival that never happened. Where greed plays a role. And why you shouldn’t trust cosmetic surgery photos because even they are often digitally altered.

About Gabrielle Bluestone

A journalist and licensed attorney from New York, Gabrielle Bluestone’s writing has appeared in the New York Times, Washington Post, New York Observer, Sunday Times Magazine, and more. She’s the Emmy-nominated producer of Netflix’s  documentary Fyre. And the associate producer of Different Flowers, winner of the 2017 Kansas City FilmFest Festival Prize.

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Fiction, Suspense, Writers on Writing

Mar 30: Heather Gudenkauf with Overnight Guest

“Fully realized, wholly absorbing & almost painfully suspenseful…” ~ The New York Times

Thrilled to talk again with Heather Gudenkauf about her latest page turner, The Overnight Guest.

Heather shares the true story that sparked an idea for The Overnight Guest. Why she chose a true-crime writer as her protagonist. How she managed different timelines and multiple points of view – and how she did all that while setting a pace that fully engages readers and brings the stories together. Heather also reveals how she takes an ugly first draft and polishes it to become a riveting story and New York Times bestseller.

About Heather Gudenkauf

Heather Gudenkauf is an Edgar Award nominated, New York Times & USA Today bestselling author, and The Overnight Guest is her ninth novel. Heather lives in Iowa and in her free time enjoys having fun with family, reading, swimming, and hiking (with her very spoiled German Shorthaired Pointer, Lolo).

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Fiction, Writers on Writing

Mar 16: Dinitia Smith with The Prince

A modern retelling of The Golden Bowl by Henry James

Inspired by Henry James’ story from 1904, England, The Prince is set in contemporary pre-pandemic times, from a grand mansion on the Upper East Side of Manhattan to a magical private island in Long Island Sound. Everything suggests that the wealthy Woodford family lives an idyllic life. But the reality is quite different.

How did author Dinitia Smith recreate James’ classic novel to make the story and characters her own? She shares what inspired her to reimagine The Golden Bowl, interesting facts  about the golden bowl itself; and why she writes about relationships.

About Dinitia Smith

For 11 years, Dinitia Smith was a reporter at the New York Times where she wrote on literary topics and intellectual trends. She is the author of four previous novels, including The Illusionist, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year.  Dinitia’s won  numerous awards for her writing, including fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts. She’s also written many short stories published in a wide range of magazines. Dinitia Smith’s Emmy Award winning film, Passing Quietly Through, was chosen for the New York Film Festival, and shown at the Whitney Museum and the Museum of Modern Art.

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Fiction, Thriller, Writers on Writing

Feb 09: Brad Taylor with End of Days

Book 16  in the NYT Bestselling Pike Logan Series

Listener favorite Brad Taylor returns with his latest Pike Logan thriller, End of Days. While working to solve a brutal murder, taskforce operators Pike Logan and Jennifer Cahill stumble upon the trail of a serial killer loose on the streets of Rome, and follow evidence leading to the exalted Knights of Malta.

We discuss Brad’s biggest challenge in writing End of Days. How – known for his active boots on the ground approach to research – Brad gathered details for End of Days during a pandemic. Why he included Covid. Where and why he took creative license. How Brad’s daughter inspired one of the scenes … and more.

About Brad Taylor

Brad Taylor retired as a Special Forces Lieutenant Colonel after serving 21 years, including including eight years in 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment – popularly known as Delta Force. He’s the author of 16 New York Times bestselling books including American Traitor, Hunter Killer, and his latest, End of Days.

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Fiction, Suspense, Writers on Writing

Dec 16: Last Girl Ghosted with NYT Bestselling Author Lisa Unger

Think Twice Before You Swipe

Whether or not you’ve already dated online, Lisa Unger‘s Last Girl Ghosted will definitely make you think twice before you swipe. As well as the dangers of online dating, this suspense story touches on mental health, family abuse, and a survivalist lifestyle.

Today we talk about why Lisa says love is not an algorithm. How she crafted her protagonist,  flaws and all. The most challenging parts of writing … or not.  What Lisa’s mom asked her to change in the book. And … did she change it?

About Lisa Unger

Lisa Unger is a New York Times and internationally bestselling author. With books published in 30 languages and millions of copies sold worldwide, she is widely regarded as a master of suspense. Her latest novel is LAST GIRL GHOSTED.

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History, Non Fiction, Travel & Adventure

DEC 01: Brad Ricca with True Raiders

The Untold Story of the 1909 Expedition to Find the Legendary Ark of the Covenant

When author Brad Ricca learned his favorite movie, Raiders of the Lost Ark, might have been based on a real life expedition, he felt as though his “… face was melting off.” So maybe it was inevitable that one day he’d dig deeper into the story and write his own book about the true archaeological exploration.

We discuss some of the real life characters from the 1909 event, and how Brad researched the facts (and maybe a few conspiracies). How he chooses what to include and discard when storytelling for nonfiction. And how he managed to climb into the mindset of each character to share their point of view.

About Brad Ricca

The author of the Edgar Award-nominated Mrs. Sherlock Holmes, Olive the Lionheart, and Super Boys, Brad Ricca is also the winner of the Ohioana Book Award for Nonfiction. He won the St Lawrence Book Award for American Mastodon. And his latest book is True Raiders: The Untold Story of the 1909 Expedition to Find the Legendary Ark of the Covenant.

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Fiction, Suspense, Thriller

NOV 10: Alice Henderson with A Blizzard of Polar Bears

Novel A Blizzard of Polar BearsAuthor of A Solitude of Wolverines

From writing official novels for TV shows Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Supernatural, to creating a strong female protagonist in wildlife biologist, Alex Carter.

Alice Henderson’s love of wilderness, wildlife, and science inspired the Alex Carter thriller series. Today we are transported to Churchill, Manitoba for her latest adventure.

We discuss how Alice’s diverse background led to her dynamic career as a wildlife researcher and novelist. How her character, Alex Carter, came to her. Alice’s favorite, and least favorite, scenes to write. Some of the research that went into developing A Blizzard of Polar Bears. And, yes, of course we talked about polar bears, climate change, and nature!

About Alice Henderson

The author of more than 13 books, Alice Henderson is a dedicated wildlife researcher. She uses a variety of methods, including bioacoustic studies, to identify species present on conservation lands. Using geographic information systems, she also designs wildlife corridors. Alice Henderson has surveyed for the presence of grizzlies, wolves, spotted owls, wolverines, jaguars, endangered bats, and more.

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Fiction, Writers on Writing

OCT 20: Juliette Fay with Catch Us When We Fall

Catch Us When We Fall delivers a character who seems beyond help — but is anybody ever beyond reach?

Her characters first appeared in a dream, and today we learn how Juliette Fay always knew she’d write a story about an alcoholic.

Juliette shares her research into AA, recovery, and the fears addicts often have about getting sober. How childhood trauma can shape our lives. The development of  protagonists, Cass and Scott. And what’s coming next for this bestselling author.

About Juliette Fay

Juliette Fay is the bestselling author of five previous novels including City of Flickering Light and The Tumbling Turner Sisters, a USA Today bestseller. Her book awards include: Library Journal’s Top 5 Best  Books of 2012-Women’s Fiction, a Massachusetts Book Award Must-Read Book, and Indie Next pick. Juliette is a graduate of  Harvard University.

 

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Health & Wellness, Non Fiction, Self-help

OCT 12: Becoming an Empowered Empath with Wendy de Rosa

Empaths often shelter from the world – but there’s a better way.

WENDY de ROSA offers practical wisdom and solutions to help empaths clear energy and set boundaries, so you learn to manage stressors, negativity, and sensory overload.

Wendy shares how to stop being a victim to other people’s energy and emotions, how “inherited” energy can shape or block you. How fear, trauma, and scarcity thinking impact your energy body. And, most importantly, how Becoming an Empowered Empath can change your life for the better, and put you in control.

About Wendy de Rosa

Wendy De Rosa is the author Becoming an Empowered Empath: How to Clear Energy, Set Boundaries, & Embody Your Intuition. She’s the founder of The School of Intuitive Studies and on the Shift Network faculty. For over 20 years, Wendy has helped empaths experience personal transformation, and learn to hone and trust their intuition.

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