Health & Wellness, Psychology, Science, Self-help

Feb 07: The Busy Brain Cure with Dr Romie Mushtaq

Stuck on the work, sleep, work cycle? Dr Romie’s 8 week plan to find focus, tame anxiety, & sleep again.

The Busy Brain Cure with author Dr. Romie Mushtaq

Many of us wear stress as a badge of honor, but the reality is that chronic stress kills. Just ask Dr. Romie Mushtaq who suffered major career burnout, while simultaneously undergoing life-saving surgery.

As a brain doctor, she says she should have known better. But her wake-up call set Dr. Romie on a global journey to research and heal the negative impacts of stress responses on our brains, bodies, and teams. The Busy Brain Cure: The Eight Week Plan to Find Focus, Tame Anxiety, & Sleep Again takes an integrated approach to reduce stress, avoid burnout, and live with zest.

Learn why you should ditch diets, forget cleanses, and occasionally embrace certain comfort foods to combat stress. We discuss how to overcome the stimulant-sedative cycle, reduce dependence on caffeine by day and sleep aids at night. And Dr. Romie shares how to heal the root cause of ADHD, anxiety, and insomnia without addictive medications.

About Dr. Romie Mushtaq

Dr. Romie is a board-certified physician, award-winning wellness speaker, and the founder of brainSHIFT. She combines over 20 years of authority in neurology, integrative medicine, and mindfulness to deliver programs and create cultural change. Dr. Romie currently speaks and consults for Fortune 500 companies, professional athletes, & global associations. She is also the Chief Wellness Officer (CWO) for Great Wolf Lodge. And was formerly the CWO for Evolution Hospitality, where she scaled a mindfulness & wellness program for over 7,000 employees. Her expertise is featured in the national media, such as NPR, NBC, TED talks, and Forbes. Find the cure for your busy brain at

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Memoir, Non Fiction, Self-help, Social Issues

Jan 31: You’re Doing Great (And Other Lies Alcohol Told Me) with Dustin Dunbar

From the pain of alcohol addiction to the joy of living

You’re Doing Great (And Other Lies Alcohol Told Me) with author Dustin Dunbar

Dustin Dunbar had it all. A beautiful wife, two adorable baby girls, a doctorate in psychology, and property around the world. He drank socially for 20 years, happily believing every lie alcohol advertisements tell us … how whisky beer and doing shots are an integral part of being a real man … how drink eases pain … makes you freer, more fun, more popular. But eventually, and despite of being a TV ‘shrink’ and ‘coach’ to others, he too became addicted to alcohol.

Today Dustin shares his journey, challenges, recovery, and most importantly, solutions to overcoming alcohol addiction for good, and living an empowered, fulfilling, joyous life.

About Dustin Dunbar

Dustin Dunbar overcame his addiction to alcohol at the age of 48 and has since been helping others overcome theirs. He is a coach at WeAretheAFR.org, a non-profit online community helping others with alcohol addiction and raising consciousness. Dunbar’s true passions are spending time with his two young daughters, writing, and sports. His new book is You’re Doing Great! (And Other Lies Alcohol Told Me)

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Children's Fiction, Fiction, Social Issues, Writers on Writing

Jan 24: Award Winning Author Veera Hiranandani with Amil & The After

Companion novel to Newbery Honor winning The Night Diary

Following the phenomenal success of The Night Diary, Veera Hiranandani returns to Conversations Live to discuss the much anticipated sequel, Amil and The After.

We discuss how Veera’s upbringing influences the kind of stories and subjects she chooses, and the multidimensional characters she writes about. She shares how she incorporates social issues like the partition of India, refugee life, loss of a parent, feelings of not belonging and seeking connection, relationships, and love into her storytelling. And we learn how she approaches the writing of such difficult topics to keep them accessible and entertaining for young readers. (8 – 12 years old)

Amil and the After with author Veera Hiranandani

About Veera Hiranandani

Veera Hiranandani is the award-winning author of several books for young people. Her most recent middle-grade novel, How to Find What You’re Not Looking For, received the 2022 Sydney Taylor Book Award, the 2022 Jane Addams Book Award, and was a finalist for the 2022 National Jewish Book Award. It was also named a Best Children’s Book of the Year by AmazonKirkus Reviews, Bank Street College, and Brightly. Veera’s Newbery Honor winning, The Night Diary, also received the 2019 Walter Dean Myers Honor Award, the 2018 Malka Penn Award for Human Rights in Children’s Literature, and several other honors and state reading list awards. The Night Diary was chosen as a 2018 Best Children’s Book of the Year by The New York Times, The Washington Post, NPR, Amazon, School Library Journal, and Kirkus Reviews.

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Health & Wellness, Inspirational, Memoir

Dec 20: Accepting Alzheimer’s Without Losing Yourself

Rebecca Chopp’s career was derailed but her life took on a new direction empowering others

Activist, Author, Scholar Rebecca Chopp on Alzheimer’s Disease

As chancellor at the University of Denver, Rebecca Chopp had no plans to retire. She still had many things she wanted to accomplish. But in 2019, a routine visit to her doctor derailed those plans when she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

Rebecca now spends her days empowering others through her work with Voices of Alzheimer’s. Today she shares how she coped with the devastating news. Why she kept her diagnosis private for several months. How and why she went public, and why she cofounded Voices of Alzheimer’s. And how she managed to write her upcoming book, Still Me.

Most importantly, Rebecca Chopp shares how she held on to her identity and finds ways to live well with friends and family.

About Rebecca Chopp

Rebecca Chopp, PhD, is an Alzheimer’s activist and educator. Chopp co-founded Voices of Alzheimer’s and serves as a member of the  Board of the National Alzheimer’s Association, and is a member of the board of the Colorado Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. She is a frequent speaker and writer on timely diagnosis, research for a cure, access and affordability of drugs, and lifestyle interventions for those with Alzheimer’s. Chopp’s book, Still Me, will be published in 2024. Before Chopp’s diagnosis with Mild Cognitive Impairment and Alzheimer’s in 2019, she was a widely published author, editor, and renowned academic in the fields of education, philosophy, religion, and feminism. 

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Health & Wellness, Memoir, Non Fiction

Roll Back The World: A Sister’s Memoir with Deborah Kasdan

A Family Living with an Eldest Child’s Mental Illness, Searching for Answers and Forgiveness

Roll Back the World with author Deborah Kasdan

When her eldest sister Rachel was hospitalized for the first time, young Deborah Kasdan had no idea what was happening. While her parents didn’t discuss Rachel’s problems, or why they occurred, Deborah certainly felt the stigma, shame, trauma, and depression around the diagnosis of schizophrenia.

Today Deborah Kasdan discusses her search for the truth, examining how each family member reacted and coped as family dynamics were impacted. What Deborah learned after Rachel died. Family dynamics and how her perspective on her own relationship with her mother changed while writing Roll Back The World. And what Deborah wishes she’d known when her sister was first “sent away”.

About Deborah Kasdan

Deborah Kasdan had a 35-year career writing about business and technology before retiring and joining Westport Writer’s Workshop to make her personal stories come alive. She served on the board of directors of Under One Roof, and the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) for Southwest CT.

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Essays, Non Fiction, Personal Development

What Can Dogs Teach Us? Plenty Says Hersch Wilson

Dog Lessons: Learning the Important Stuff from Our Best Friends

Podcast with Hersch Wilson author of Dog Lessons

Firefighter, writer, and speaker Hersh Wilson joins us today with his latest delight — Dog Lessons: Learning the Important Stuff from our Best Friends.

It’s not a training book for dogs; it’s about what we can learn from them. In fact, while researching Dog Lessons, Hersch found himself changing his mind on a couple of things he thought he already understood.

Part memoir, part humor, with a lot of love, Dog Lessons is packed full of insight into the powerful presence of dogs in our lives and the transformative lessons they can teach us about love, loyalty, zoomies, grief, and more.

Hersch Wilson

Hersch Wilsons diverse background includes paid jobs as a corn pollinator, a Ferris wheel operator, a short-order cook, ballet dancer, outdoor educator, soccer coach, leadership consultant, pilot, and writer. He says his job as a Ferris wheel operator was by far the strangest — lots of physics involved in that. Hersch was a volunteer firefighter-EMT for 33 years which culminated in the awarding winning book, Firefighter Zen, A Field Guide for Thriving in Tough Times. He sees his most important roles as that of partner/husband, father, and dog guardian. 

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Fiction, Suspense, Thriller, Writers on Writing

PJ McIlvaine Introduces The Good Man

New Psychological Mystery Thriller – He Wants to Remember, He’ll Wish He Could Forget

A Good Man with author PJ McIlvaine

PJ McIlvaine has successfully jumped genres more than once — from screenplay to children’s books, young adult, and now her debut thriller A Good Man.

How did this author do what many say you can’t or shouldn’t? Today we discuss her writing journey and PJ’s publishing experiences. She also shares personal details of how her brother’s death helped inspire her protagonist.

We discuss character development, some of PJ’s research. The types of scenes that thrill and challenge her as a writer. And how PJ juggles multiple projects, since she just had two books published within two months!

About PJ McIlvaine

PJ McILVAINE is the author of A GOOD MAN and THE CONUNDRUM OF CHARLEMAGNE CROSSE. Her Showtime original movie My Horrible Year was nominated for a Daytime Emmy. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, Newsday, and elsewhere. She lives on Eastern Long Island with her family and Luna, a pampered French Bulldog. Find PJ online at pjmacwriter.com.

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Fiction, Thriller, Writers on Writing

Aug 16: Ryan Steck On His Latest Matt Red Thriller, Lethal Range

“A terrific sense of place in Big Sky country and a hero to root for in Matthew Redd” – #1 NYT bestselling author C J Box

Podcast Lethal Range with author Ryan Steck

Lethal Range is the second novel in Ryan Steck‘s Matt Redd thriller series. Today he shares why he broke away from the stereotypical thriller protagonist by making Redd a family man who has to balance every day life with his former marine raider instincts.

We explore how Ryan – a busy father of six – made time to build a successful career as editor and author. How he learned to work with dyslexia. And, what Ryan learned from switching roles as editor-in-chief helping others write their books, to becoming an author himself.

About Ryan Steck

Ryan Steck is an editor, author, and founder and editor-in-chief of The Real Book Spy. Ryan has been named an “Online Influencer” by Amazon and is a regular columnist at CrimeReads. More about Ryan Steck at the TheRealBookSpy.com.

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Fiction, Writers on Writing

Jun 21: Welcome To Beach Town with Susan Wiggs

What Happens When You Dream One Thing & Something Different Comes Your Way?

Welcome to Beach Town with author Susan Wiggs

A longtime listener favorite returns to today with her latest summer release – Welcome to Beach Town. Bestselling author Susan Wiggs is known for exploring everyday dramas of ordinary people, facing extraordinary circumstances.

In Welcome to Beach Town, Susan dives deeply into timely, complex themes including the dark side of privilege and class, drug and alcohol abuse, grief, trauma, and women’s empowerment.

We discuss how the story behind real-life headlines inspired the concept for Welcome to Beach Town. How Susan developed her characters and the idyllic California beach town for the story’s key setting. Susan also shares some of the research she delved into. And what she attributes to the sustainability of a 30+ year career as a published author.

About Susan Wiggs

Susan Wiggs is the author of more than 50 novels, including the beloved Lakeshore Chronicles series and the recent New York Times bestsellers The Lost and Found Bookshop, The Oysterville Sewing Circle, and Family Tree. Her award-winning books have been translated into more than two dozen languages. She and her husband live on an island in Washington State’s Puget Sound area. More about Susan Wiggs.

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Fiction, Writers on Writing

Jun 21: The Little Italian Hotel with Phaedra Patrick

A Story of Love, Loss, Healing, & Second Chances

The Little Italian Hotel with author Phaedra Patrick

It’s that time of year when we start gathering books for lazy summer evenings, and The Little Italian Hotel is perfect for that. Phaedra Patrick describes her books as curiously charming fiction and you can tell by the title of her sixth novel, that most of the story takes place in Italy.

We discuss why Phaedra — like many people — buried her dream of becoming an author for so many years. She shares thoughts on character development, research, writing, and the route that led to Phaedra’s success as an accomplished full-time author.

About Phaedra Patrick

Phaedra Patrick is the bestselling author of six novels, including Rise and Shine, Benedict Stone, which was made into a Hallmark movie. An award winning short story writer, Phaedra previously studied art, and marketing, and has worked as a stained glass artist, film festival organizer, and communications manager. Her latest release, The Little Italian Hotel, is published by Park Row Books.

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