Beverly Bell – The Murder of Marion Miley
Fiction / March 22, 2021

   March 22, 2021 – If you don’t know the name Marion Miley, then prepare to meet someone you’ll never forget. The young golfer had it all: brains, power, beauty, and a winning personality. It seemed only a matter of time before this 27-year-old phenom earned immortality on the links with a national championship. But fate had other plans. Three burglars cut Marion’s life short in a botched robbery, just weeks before Pearl Harbor plunged the nation into war. With a war to fight and millions being killed, the death of even a beloved athlete quickly fell from the world’s thoughts. Beverly Bell returns Marion Miley to her rightful spot as an inspiration in her meticulously researched novel about the forgotten tragedy, The Murder of Marion Miley — a finalist for the 2020 U.S. Golf Association Herbert Warren Wind Book Award, the highest literary honor given by the USGA. It describes in vivid detail the young athlete who enchanted fans in Lexington, Kentucky, and the world over, who desperately needed some good news amid the troubles of the Great Depression. The book explores not just Marion’s death, but the manhunt and trial to bring her killers to justice. Beverly…

Miriam Udel – Honey on the Page: A Treasury of Yiddish Children’s Literature
Fiction / November 30, 2020

November 30, 2020 -What are your favorite stories from growing up? Well, make room on your bookshelf for the chickens who dreamed of speaking Yiddish. We dive into a treasure trove of children’s literature, brought together here for the first time by Miriam Udel. Her book is Honey on the Page: A Treasury of Yiddish Children’s Literature.  Perfect for anyone on your Hanukah or Christmas list. That’s right. Santa can clean out the bookshelves on this one — a great gift for any young person year ’round. Storytelling binds us all together, so you don’t have to be of the Jewish faith to enjoy these tales, although they’ll speak in a different way to those readers. Miriam Udel is associate professor of Yiddish language, literature, and culture at Emory University. She holds an AB in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations and a PhD in Comparative Literature, both from Harvard. In 2019, she was ordained a rabbi at Yeshivat Maharat. Her previous book is  Never Better! The Modern Jewish Picaresque, which earned the 2017 National Jewish Book Award in Modern Jewish Thought and Experience. For more, visit or Miriam Udel on Twitter and Instagram. Podcast: Download (Duration: 1:04:29 — 147.6MB)Subscribe:…

Tonya Mitchell – A Feigned Madness: A Novel
Fiction / October 19, 2020

October 19, 2020 – In 1887, the New York World newspaper laughed off 23-year-old Elizabeth Cochrane’s dreams of being a reporter. Today, she’s a New York City legend, known to history by the pen name Nellie Bly. But to sew up that dream job, Nellie had to go undercover in the closest thing Gilded Age Gotham had to hell: The asylums of Blackwell’s Island on the East River. Tonya Mitchell brings us a meticulously researched, fictionalized account of Nellie’s mission in her debut novel, A Feigned Madness. It follows Nellie’s quest to expose the corrupt officials running the asylum, and blow up the conventional wisdom that women just can’t hack it in a newsroom. You’ve seen Tonya Mitchell’s award-winning fiction in the Copperfield Review, Words Undone, the Front Porch Review, and various anthologies. She’s also earned a BA from Indiana University in the field Nellie Bly pioneered, journalism, and describes herself as obsessed with the Victorian Era, as we’ll see in the rich, transportive detail of her fiction. Visit her at or on , Facebook and Instagram. You can learn more about the fact behind the fiction of this episode, in our interview with Stacy Horn about her book,…

Ellen Marie Wiseman – The Orphan Collector: A Novel
Fiction / September 21, 2020

September 21, 2020 – The Great War is over, but the Spanish Influenza continues to deliver the butcher’s bill. Everywhere, children are dying. But in Philadelphia, they’re also disappearing — and they all have one thing in common: They’re immigrants. We dive into a riveting novel set 100 years ago that’s eerily familiar today with acclaimed novelist Ellen Marie Wiseman. She brings us The Orphan Collector, a Target Book Club Pick and an Editor’s Choice in Historical Novel Society magazine. Her 13-year-old heroine, Pia, and her mother care for twins, Ollie and Max, even as prejudice and the Purple Death beset them on all sides. Like so many German immigrants, her patriotism was immediately suspect, and her father — feeling the need to prove his loyalty — did so by enlisting to fight the Kaiser. With Armistice Day, they dare to hope for a return to normalcy. But when Pia leaves quarantine at home in a desperate search for food, she can’t imagine that she’ll return to find her brothers have evaporated into thin air. Ellen Marie Wiseman’s previous novels include best-sellers The Life She Was Given: A Moving and Emotional Saga of Family and Resilient Women, and, What She…

David O. Stewart – The Lincoln Deception (A Fraser and Cook Historical Mystery)
American Presidents , Fiction / May 4, 2020

May 4, 2020 – What if a former U.S. congressman told you he had a secret about the most infamous presidential assassination, but died before revealing it? It’s a turn-of-the-century whodunit, courtesy of historian David O. Stewart‘s novel, The Lincoln Deception (A Fraser and Cook Historical Mystery). His Holmes and Watson team features the white Dr. Jamie Fraser, and African-American former baseball player, Speedwell Cook. We previously chatted about his non-fiction books, American Emperor – Aaron Burr: The Man Who Shot Alexander Hamilton, and Madison’s Gift: Five Partnerships that Built America. Check out those interviews in our archives, visit our guest at, and find him on Facebook. You’ll also enjoy his post-Civil War non-fiction exploration of the man who found himself president after Lincoln’s murder: Impeached: The Trial of President Andrew Johnson and the Fight for Lincoln’s Legacy. On that topic, he was recently featured in the documentary, Going to the Devil: The Impeachment of 1868, presented by The Great Courses at Hunter College. You can enjoy the Film Screening & Discussion on YouTube. Look for the next books in the series — The Paris Deception and The Babe Ruth Deception — coming in the summer and autumn of…

Nancy Bilyeau – Dreamland
Fiction , New York / April 6, 2020

April 6, 2020 – Pack your full-body swimsuit, everybody. We’re headed for Coney Island in the summer of 1911, where we’ll meet a young heiress, Peggy Batternberg. Peggy falls in love, dives into the seedy world where the other half lives, and stumbles upon the mystery of young women found murdered under the boardwalk. Our time machine travels back to America’s Playground, Coney Island, Brooklyn, with “writer, editor, and lover of words” Nancy Bilyeau, who brings us Dreamland. It’s Nancy’s fifth novel, following The Crown, The Blue, The Chalice, and The Tapestry. She also published a novella, The Ghost of Madison Avenue. Nancy’s family tree traces back to a seed planted on Gotham’s shores in 1665, when French Huguenot Pierre Billiou put down roots in what was then New Amsterdam. Today, the stone house he built on Staten Island stands as the third oldest in New York State. For more on our guest, visit, follow her on Twitter and Instagram @TudorScribe, or toss her like at     Podcast: Download (Duration: 1:20:35 — 184.4MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | RSS | More

Jennifer Kincheloe – The Body in Griffith Park: An Anna Blanc Mystery
Fiction / August 26, 2019

August 26, 2019 – Women aren’t allowed to be police officers in 1908 Los Angeles, but that’s never stopped Anna Blanc from catching killers. Besides, it’s not her fault she keeps stumbling across corpses, or that she’s the keenest legal mind this side of Sherlock Holmes. Jennifer Kincheloe joins us to chat about her latest mystery staring her whiskey-sipping fallen socialite with her third novel: The Body in Griffith Park. You can catch our chat about her debut, The Secret Life of Anna Blanc, and follow-up, The Woman in the Camphor Trunk. Find our guest at, or on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Jennifer works at the consulting firm KicheloeHealth, and has been a policy researcher at UCLA.  Her books have earned the Colorado Gold Award for Mystery and the Mystery and Mayhem Award, as well as spots as a finalist for the MacAvirty Sue Feder Historical Mystery Award, the Left Coast Crime “Lefty” Award for Best Historical Mystery Novel, and the Colorado Author’s League Award for Genre Fiction. Podcast: Download (Duration: 43:16 — 99.0MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | RSS | More

Q&A with David Bruns and J. R. Olson – Rules of Engagement: A Novel
Crime , Fiction , Q&A / August 19, 2019

We welcome David Bruns and J.R. Olson to answer some questions about their novel, Rules of Engagement. The book deals with cyberwarfare, as the Internet Age offers a new front in global conflicts, one that is rewriting history as you’re reading this page. Think how the ironclads USS Monitor and CSS Virginia (Merrimack) clashing in the Civil War rendered wood-hulled ships obsolete, or how tanks rolling onto the Western Front transformed in the First World War and radar did the same in the Second. Winston Churchill said, “The empires of the future are the empires of the mind,” and that’s why co-authors David Bruns and J.R. Olson are here to imagine how World War III might unfold on these new frontiers where digital bullets fly across the world at the speed of thought. The co-authors are both graduates of the U.S. Naval Academy and creators of The WMD Files series of national security thrillers. David Bruns was an officer in the submarine force and J.R. Olson served more than 20 years in the U.S. Navy, retiring as a commander. He now teaches college courses in Intelligence and Counter-Terrorism. Both authors call Minnesota home. They have collaborated on previous works and…

Karen A. Chase – Carrying Independence: A Founding Documents Novel

July 1, 2019 – Our time machine travels back to the American Revolution, where we’ll meet Nathaniel Marten, a young Post Rider tasked with the solemn duty of gathering signatures for the Declaration of Independence. Our guide on this journey is Karen A. Chase, who brings us Carrying Independence: A Founding Documents Novel. Carrying Independence has already garnered accolades, securing second place in the William Faulkner-William Wisdom Unpublished Novel Competition, and rolled its way into the semis at the Screencraft Cinematic Book competition. Her first effort, Bonjour 40: A Paris Travel Log, also met with critical acclaim, earning seven independent publishing awards. Visit our guest at, or on social media via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.  Today, she lives in historic Virginia. But Karen A. Chase was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta, and has a couple of ancestors who fought in the War of Independence — which gained her membership in the National Society of that Daughters of the American Revolution.     Podcast: Download (Duration: 52:26 — 120.0MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | RSS | More

Shelley Wood – The Quintland Sisters: A Novel
Canada , Fiction / May 20, 2019

May 20, 2019 – Our time machine travels back to the Northern Ontario, Canada of 1934, to witness a unique and risky series of births. Through the eyes of fictional midwife Emma Trimpany, we’ll meet the Dionne family. They’re humble farmers eking a living out of the land, when they’re blessed with not one but five bundles of joy — the first identical quintuplets to survive birth. But the story turned dark when the Canadian government separated the infants from their parents and put them on display, as the center-ring act of a bizarre, moneymaking circus. Our guide on this journey is Shelley Wood, author of her debut novel, The Quintland Sisters. Shelley Wood’s work has appeared in The New Quarterly, Room, The Antigonish Review, Bath Flash Fiction, and The Globe and Mail. She earned the Frank McCourt prize for creative nonfiction, Freefall Magazine’s short prose contest and Causeway Lit’s creative nonfiction prize. Visit our guest at, follow her @ShelleyWood2 on Twitter, or toss her a like at   Podcast: Download (Duration: 57:17 — 131.1MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | RSS | More

Lynda Cohen Loigman – The Wartime Sisters: A Novel
Fiction , WWII / April 8, 2019

April 8, 2019 – Our time machine welcomes aboard book lovers live at the Meet the Author Series presented by Mayda Bosco at the Closter Public Library in New Jersey. Together, we travel back to the Brooklyn and Massachusetts of the pre- and post-World War 2 era, for a tale of sibling strife that’s as old as Cain and Abel. This is the engaging, absorbing story of two very different sisters, Ruth and Millie Kaplan. Raised in Brooklyn, each carries a hope chest full of hurt and secrets from their childhood. Although they try their best to escape it, they’re forced together again as adults at the Springfield Armory, where the Arsenal of Democracy gears up to support the war effort. Many years have passed, but marriages, husbands, and even kids of their own can’t stop them from sliding right back into the sandbox of roles forged in childhood. Weaving this tale of hurt feelings, estrangement, and siblings who are just running wildly different emotional operating systems, is Lynda Cohen Loigman, author of The Wartime Sisters: A Novel. It’s the sophomore offering after her critically acclaimed debut The Two-Family House, a 2016 nominee for the Goodreads Choice Awards in Historical…

Martin Fletcher – Promised Land: A Novel of Israel
Fiction / March 25, 2019

March 25, 2019 – In this episode, our time machine travels back to post-World War 2 Israel. When we arrive, we’ll follow its return to statehood — beset by enemies on three sides and their back against the sea on the fourth — through the eyes of two fictional brothers and the woman they love. Our guide on this journey is Martin Fletcher who brings us Promised Land: A Novel of Israel. In it, we meet characters shaped in very different ways by the darkness of the Holocaust. Peter protects Israel as an agent for the Mossad, his kid brother Arie builds it as a businessman — and then there’s Tamara, an alluring Jewish refugee from Egypt, seeking a new life in the reborn nation. The love triangle of these three vivid characters spans the first twenty years of Israel’s modern existence, as war, intrigues and jealousy threaten to tear their lives — and the struggling nation — apart. You’ve seen Martin Fletcher’s work as NBC News Bureau Chief in Tel Aviv and he’s earned recognition with the National Jewish Book Award, a Columbia University DuPont Award, several Overseas Press Club Awards, and five Emmys. His books include The War…

Jenni L. Walsh – Side by Side: A Novel of Bonnie and Clyde
Fiction / September 24, 2018

September 24, 2018 – Our time machine welcomes aboard infamous bank robbing-legends Bonnie and Clyde, as they tear a gash across 1930s America at the height of the Great Depression. Returning to ride shotgun with us on this crime spree is Jenni L. Walsh, who we chatted with about her debut novel, the stand-alone origin story Becoming Bonnie. Jenni’s sophomore book isn’t a sequel, but the edge-of-your-seat crime spree work of fiction Side by Side: A Novel of Bonnie and Clyde. In it, we meet a very different couple in a crippled America. Instead of basking in Bonnie’s love, snug in her arms, Clyde is suffering the abuse that helps harden his heart in a Texas prison. Visit our guest at and follow her @JenniLWalsh on Twitter.   Podcast: Download (Duration: 52:37 — 120.4MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | RSS | More

Amber Brock – Lady Be Good: A Novel
Fiction / June 18, 2018

June 18, 2018 – Our time machine travels back to the days of poodle skirts, I Like Ike and I Love Lucy. Once there, we’ll meet Kitty Tessler — a saucy, scheming socialite out to settle scores with snobs. Our guide on this whirlwind tour of Manhattan, Miami, and parts of Havana brewing with an anti-Batista revolution, is Amber Brock, author of Lady Be Good: A Novel. Amber Brock teaches British literature at an all-girls’ school in Atlanta, and Publishers Weekly described her debut novel, 2016’s A Fine Imitation, as “An absorbing tale of art, deception, romance, and forbidden desire.” She holds an MA from the University of Georgia and lives in Smyrna with her husband, also an English teacher, and their three rescue dogs. Visit her at or at AmBrockWrites on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Also referenced in this episode: This 2002 C-Span interview with Tom Clancy.     Podcast: Download (Duration: 51:28 — 117.8MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | RSS | More

Sheila Myers – The Night is Done: A Durant Family Saga
Fiction / April 9, 2018

April 9, 2018 – Our time machine travels back to 1931 to conclude the Durant Family Trilogy. Moving on from the Gilded Age, we’ll catch up with William and Ella, the adult children of Union Pacific Railroad tycoon Dr. Thomas C. Durant, in the final years of their complicated lives. Our guest, Sheila Myers, first introduced us to the family in her novel, Imaginary Brightness, as they had their comfortable lives in London shattered by an economic panic. Book 2, Castles in the Air, saw the William and Ella locking horns, as their father continued to exert influence on their lives from beyond the grave. In the conclusion, The Night Is Done, William and Ella cast their eyes back on their lives, and confront the stark truth about their legacy and long-gone fortune. Sheila Myers is an associate professor at Cayuga Community College, which feeds her passion for the Durant family in upstate New York’s Adirondack Mountains. You can follow her on Twitter @SheilaMMyers or visit her online at And you can listen to our previous interviews on both Imaginary Brightness and Castles in the Air in our archives at, or wherever you’re listening.     Podcast: Download…