By Theresa Bakken
DesideratumApr 23, 2021
Kantika by Elizabeth Graver, narrated by Gail Shalan
This is a story about a life - a beautiful life - lived across 4 countries, with multiple languages and loves. We’re talking about Elizabeth Graver’s new novel Kantika and we begin with home recordings she made decades ago with her grandmother Rebecca. You’ll also hear some of narrator Gail Shalan’s skillful and delightful narration. She is an incredible guide as the story takes us from Istanbul, to Barcelona, to Havana and New York. For her - Gail says - narrating Kantika was a meaningful act of generational healing and love. A special thank you to Kantika’s audiobook publisher and this episode’s sponsor - Dreamscape Media. Visit them at dreamscapepublishing.com for audiobook news, deals and updates on regular audiobook giveaways. You can see photos of the family members who inspired the characters in Kantika on Elizabeth's website elizabethgraver.com
The Good Time Girls, Wild-Willed Women of The West by KT Blakemore
This is a story set in the Wild West in the early 1900’s. The story centers around a woman named Ruby who is living a mostly quiet and mostly lawful life… when out of the blue her past comes hustling into town and takes her and us on a journey filled with missteps and mayhem. We’re talking about KT Blakemore’s Wild-Willed Women of the West series - book one is called The Good Time Girls. I hope you get on the road with The Good Time Girls and have as much fun as I did with dire circumstances, a mule named Theodore, and a bouquet of doubt named Verna. You can find them and all the other characters KT creates on her website. You might also know KT as Kim Taylor Blakemore. You can find all her storytelling at Kimtaylorblakemore.com A special thanks to our episode sponsor Dreamscape Media. Dreamscape audio productions are riveting and beautiful. They create accessible entertainment in a wide variety of genres. Please visit their website and connect to their newsletter for audiobook news and giveaways. And as always, thank you for listening. https://www.kimtaylorblakemore.com/ https://www.dreamscapepublishing.com/
The Confidante, The Untold Story of the Woman Who Helped Win WWII and Shape Modern America, by Christopher C. Gorham
We’re talking about the first biography written about the incredible Anna Marie Rosenberg (appropriately titled The Confidante) by teacher and debut author Christopher C. Gorham on this Desideratum.
Narrator Ann Richardson shines in non-fiction work like this. She’s won several Audiofile Earphone awards for her work.
I hope you enjoyed hearing Christopher talk about Anna Marie as much as I did.
You can hear the rest of the audiobook, narrated by Ann Richardson at Libro.fm . Following the Libro.fm affiliate link supports this podcast.
You can also use the podcast’s discount code DP20 to save 20 percent off your whole purchase on the publisher's website. I always learn something new from Kensington authors. Thanks to Ann Pryor at Kensington for connecting me to Christopher. Thanks to Tantor Audio for the moments from the audiobook. And, a special thank you to Pozotron for sponsoring this episode. Please reach out to me or visit the Pozotron website for more about how they help audio storytellers.
As always, thank you for listening.
affiliate link to Libro.fm
In the Time of Our History by Susanne Pari narrated by Mozhan Marnò
This is a story about a family. It is a close up look at a father and daughter, at two sisters, at a husband and wife. But, it’s also this huge story about tradition and patriarchy and freedom. It felt like poetry to me at times.. and this conversation about it was so rich. We’re talking about In the Time of our History with author Susanne Pari on this Desideratum.
The narrator Mozhan Marnò is an Iranian-American film and television actress and a playwright. She speaks English, French, German, Farsi, and Spanish. She is known for her roles in The Blacklist, House of Cards, and Fleishman is in Trouble. She is also the voice of Mirabelle and Namira in the video game Elder Scrolls- Skyrim. This audiobook scene you'll hear is from the beginning of In The Time of Our History, written by Susanne Pari, and produced by Highbridge, a division of Recorded Books.
I hope you enjoyed getting to know Susanne Pari as much as I did. You can hear the rest of the audiobook and support this podcast and a local book store of your choice by following this affiliate link to Libro.fm You can also use the podcast’s discount code DP20 on the publisher's website kensingtonbooks.com to save 20 percent on this book and the whole Kensington library. I always find entertaining and enlightening reads at Kensington, and I like that going into their 5th decade of publishing, they are still a multigenerational family led business. Thanks to Ann Pryor at Kensington for connecting me to Susanne, and thank you for listening.
Marriage : From the Feminine Perspective, Ten Classic Stories curated, annotated, and narrated by Christine Mascott
This is a collection of 10 classic short stories written over a hundred years ago, brought together in a carefully curated anthology. Each story gives a feminine perspective on marriage - its role in society and the personal beauty and pain that can be found within its bonds. We’re talking about Marriage from the Feminine Perspective annotated, published and narrated by Christine Mascott. The anthology earned Christine an Audiofile Earphones Award and a coveted Audie Finalist in the Short Stories and Collections category. Listen to what led her to these public domain, royalty free, stories from the past in the first place and find out why she thinks they still have something to say today.
Find the audiobook here: https://www.amazon.com/Marriage-Feminine-Perspective-Classic-Stories/dp/B09MRVDZJL/ref=tmm_aud_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=
Our sponsor for this episode is Pozotron - the audio proofing platform designed to help narrators, proofers, and publishers produce more accurate and efficient audiobooks. Find out more and sign up for a free demo here: https://www.pozotron.com/
The View From Half Dome by Jill Caugherty narrated by Theresa Bakken
This is a story about a girl growing up in San Francisco in the 1930’s - her family suffers one tragedy after another and she decides to escape the city and head to Yosemite…
Where she crosses paths with a real person in history - a Park Ranger named Enid Michael.
We’re talking about the historical fiction, The View From Half Dome, with author Jill Caugherty.
Jill shares how her storyline and characters evolved. It always fascinates me to hear how one idea built up from the last - how one thing leads to another. I also really liked hearing Jill explain contrast and its importance to this story.
The scene you’ll hear from the audiobook is young Izzy’s first real hike in Yosemite. She’s with Enid and Ansel and Virginia Adams. Thanks to the publisher Black Rose Writing for giving me the joy of narrating this story. And, thank you for listening. Remember when you enjoy a book in any format, please leave a review - reviews actively help with marketing and improve visibility and sales - plus it’s just nice.
Full Transcription with time stamps available here:
Red Clay Suzie by Jeffrey Dale Lofton narrated by Pete Cross
This is a story about a young boy named Philbet. He’s growing up in the deep south in the 1960’s and ‘70’s. He loves cars and his grandaddy’s garden and an older boy named Knox. In this story, you see how Philbet hides himself and then finds himself. We’re talking about Red Clay Suzie, a fictionalized memoir written by Jeffrey Dale Lofton. Lofton is a natural storyteller and not just on the page. His voice has a timbre and a rhythm and accent that draws you in, and I felt like instead of asking questions, I just kept saying some version of 'tell me a story' and he would. We begin with him telling the story behind the story of his debut novel. Another great voice connected to Red Clay Suzie is the audiobook narrator Pete Cross - who Jeffrey was a big fan of and was so excited when he auditioned. Pete’s work has been recognized with a SOVAS, an Odyssey Award and an Audie. He’s a talented storyteller and I’m so grateful to Blackstone Publishing for sharing this scene with us. I hope you enjoyed getting to know Jeffrey as much as I did. Thanks again to the sponsor for this episode - Pozotron - and of course thank you for being here thanks for listening. Sponsor: https://www.pozotron.com/ Narrator: https://petecrossvo.com/ Author: https://www.jeffreydlofton.com/
Red Clay Suzie Audiobook
Organizations mentioned by the author: https://www.thetrevorproject.org/strategic-plan/https://bornthisway.foundation/
Books mentioned by the author:
To Kill a Mockingbird https://www.audible.com/pd/To-Kill-a-Mockingbird-Audiobook/B00K1HQVOQ?action_code=ASSGB149080119000H&share_location=pdp
Call Me by Your Name https://www.audible.com/pd/Call-Me-by-Your-Name-Audiobook/B071H4FK2Y?action_code=ASSGB149080119000H&share_location=pdp
Episode transcript and timestamps: https://otter.ai/u/EKPT8WfipuqHekgveT7zKI1L7nE?utm_source=copy_url
The Perfect Neighborhood with Liz Alterman
This is a story set in what looks like a perfect neighborhood - rocking chairs on covered porches, manicured lawns and families looking out for each other. But in this story, the illusion of perfect families and close friendships fractures when a child goes missing. We’re talking about the novel The Perfect Neighborhood with author Liz Alterman. Liz made me laugh and think deeply. I loved her perspectives on rejection and serendipity. The scene you will hear from the audiobook is from one of my favorite narrators - Gail Shalan. The novel's suspense unfolds through five key perspectives, and the audiobook features five fantastic narrators. The audiobook was produced by Dreamscape.
I want to thank Dreamscape for sponsoring this episode. They are an independent, award winning audiobook publisher that produces a wide range of titles, including everything from motivational self-help to suspenseful mysteries like The Perfect Neighborhood. Their goal is to provide the best and most high-quality audiobooks to listeners everywhere. They would love to connect, so please visit them at dreamscapepublishing.com, where you can sign up for their weekly newsletter that has audiobook news, deals, and updates on their regular audiobook giveaways. You can also visit them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.
Find more of Liz Alterman's storytelling here: https://www.lizalterman.com/ And, for more from the audiobook publisher Dreamscape visit: Website: https://dreamscapepublishing.com/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DreamscapeAudio Twitter: https://twitter.com/Dreamscapeaudio Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dreamscape_media/ TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@dreamscape_media
Death by a Honeybee to Death by Greed, the Josiah Reynolds Series with author Abigail Keam
This is a story set firmly in Kentucky bluegrass - a story swirling around a retired history professor who finds herself in one murder mystery after another. We’re talking with the author of the Josiah Reynolds cozy mystery series Abigail Keam, and we begin our conversation with something she has in common with her main character… beekeeping.
While Death By Greed (Book 18 in the series) just released, you are going to hear the very beginning, the very first scene. We’re going back to book 1 page 1 - and there will be bees in this reading from Death by a Honeybee.
I hope you enjoy getting to know Abigail - hearing about her bees and her characters. You can find her active on all social media platforms as @abigailkeamauthor. I first met her through @wellreadmagazine. Thanks to Mandy Haynes for shining her light on new-to-me authors. And, as always, thank YOU for listening.
Code Gray narrated by Champ Westwood
This is a story about a string of murders - assassinations - of media pundits. They were extreme peddlers of their party's agendas, and their murders feel politically motivated. Assigned to the case is a group of grizzled and green FBI detectives. We're talking about the crime novel Code Gray with narrator Champ Westwood on this Desideratum.
Listen as Champ reveals what he appreciates about author Benny Sims intent. He loves how Sims grain of sand becomes a pearl as the story unfolds. Champ also explains his controversial process for prepping his audiobooks. And, you'll hear how his background in musical theater shapes his approach to the very intimate performance of audiobook narration.
I hope you have as much fun as I did getting to know Champ (he also narrates under the name Mike Eberhardt). Here's his website with all his narration and VO projects listed. https://www.superfunstudios.com/
As always, thanks for listening
Narrator by Landon Beach performed by Scott Brick
Narrator by Landon Beach is a mystery thriller that will have you asking - what just happened and whodunnit?! Listen as Landon describes how he got inside the head of this hot mess of a main character - an audiobook narrator. And, find out how Landon first met his real life narrator the legendary award winning Scott Brick. Congratulations to Scott on being an Audie 2023 Finalist for Best Male Narrator for this project. Visit www.landonbeachbooks.com for all his books and his newsletter.
Gradle Bird by J.C. Sasser
(00:00) Introduction with scratchy recording from a lone singer who inspired the novel Gradle Bird by JC Sasser
(02:52) Oral storytelling and walking around with a tape recorder gathering stories
(04:18) Setting in small town feels timeless
(05:35) Rooted in reality to distill the truth looking back on life experiences using fiction
(07:00) Abandoned structures sparked imagination starting in childhood with her father who was paralyzed taking her to a pig slaughterhouse
(09:34) Audiobook introduction of scene with a confrontation
(10:17) Audiobook excerpt from Gradle Bird by JC Sasser
(20:38) Human cruelty themes balanced with themes of love
(22:18) Siamese fighting fish as a betting game in the story the beauty of frailty and fierceness
(24:39) Moonflowers thrive in darkness but only live one day and they are deadly toxic to people which is a key to the story
(26:45) Ghost in the novel and from Sasser's childhood she loves to be haunted
(29:30) Musician in the novel based on a real person who struggled with mental illness who befriended the author when she was a young girl
(33:42) He was a real true friend who was taunted and ridiculed and harassed and she imagined in this fiction dire consequences that could have come from his mistreatment
(35:55) There's a quote from Corinthians scripture that underpins the whole novels message and how it looks at guilt and forgiveness
(39:20) Conclusion what is essential for JC Sasser
This is a story that begins with a lone singer recording original songs on cassette tapes for the author a long time ago. She remembers listening using the tape deck in her mama’s white Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme out at the edge of town where abandoned things and the music made her wonder. We’re talking with author J.C. Sasser (Jana) about her novel Gradle Bird on this Desideratum. Jana's southern tale has an incredible cast of characters .The title character is a 16 year old girl named Gradle being raised by her Grandpa. Then, there's a teenage boy named Sonny Joe who is a Siamese Fighting Fish aficionado. And there's Delvis Miles, a professional dumpster diver and a genius musician, whose mental health makes him both fragile and fierce. But we start our conversation with Jana herself, because she’s as intriguing as any of her characters. Throughout this novel there are three characters who commit serious crimes with dire consequences that haunt them. You’re going to hear a scene near the beginning of the book, that starts in a grocery store with a confrontation and gives you some history for one of the characters. Thank you to Jana for sharing her recording of the real Evans Miles singing When the Whippoorwills Holler at Night for this episode. Thank you to the Pat Conroy Literary Center for shining a light on Sasser's storytelling. And, as always, thank you for listening. Here are links to learn more about J.C. Sasser https://www.jcsasser.com/ and the Pat Conroy Literary Center https://patconroyliterarycenter.org/
Such A Pretty Girl with T. Greenwood
(00:00) Introduction this is Such A Pretty Girl by T Greenwood
(02:15) Words are powerful and 1970's advertising cringe
(04:52) Me too movement lens and two time lines give characters a reason to revisit their past
(06:42) Child narrator storytelling give out of the mouth of babes moments
(08:27) Desire for something right out of reach and key to all stories is
(10:51) Settings with danger children always need to be kept safe
(12:57) Anxiety and panic language and what soothes these feelings
(15:13) Photographers and taking or making an image
(17:12) Art has context and changes over time and characters with grounded moral compass are critical to this story
(18:15) Audiobook excerpt introduction about Mara Wilson
(19:15) Audiobook excerpt narrated by Mara Wilson
(24:44) Predatory paparazzi thievery of image is allegory for losing agency over our bodies
(27:04) Book is about complicity and women and betrayal
(29:52) Mother Daughter relationships
(31:43) French connection
(32:39) Westbeth artists residence in NYC and historical fiction research serendipity and magic
(38:09) Conclusion what is essential to Tammy Greenwood
This is a story set in NYC. It centers on a controversial photo taken of a young girl in 1977. Author Tammy (T) Greenwood tells the story through the eyes of this child model and actress who’s all grown up today with a daughter of her own. There is a striking generational mother daughter story here too, so that’s where we begin talking about the novel Such a Pretty Girl.
You'll hear an excerpt from the audiobook set in the Westbeth artist community in NY (which was a real place we’ll talk more about). In the section of the audiobook we are featuring, you’re with the main character Ryan when she’s a child. And, your guide is narrator Mara Wilson - who herself is known for film acting rolls from her childhood. She was Natalie in Mrs. Doubtfire in 1993, and she played the lead role in the film adaptation of Roald Dahl’s Matilda in 1996. Today she is a stage actress, a voice artist, a writer, and a playwright.
I hope you enjoyed meeting Tammy and talking about the '70's and motherhood and art as much as I did. I hope you got lost in Mara Wilson’s narration - that hearing a few minutes of the audiobook for Such a Pretty Girl produced by Tantor left you wanting more.
Thanks to Kensington Press for making this episode possible.
Kensington generously provides Desideratum listeners the discount code DP20 to save 20 percent across their incredible library - you just enter DP20 at checkout at Kensingtonbooks.com
Also, please check out Libro.fm to find Such A Pretty Girl narrated by Mara Wilson. Using this affiliate link to Libro.fm supports this podcast and a local book store of your choice.
You can find more about T. Greenwood’s other novels on her website: https://www.tgreenwood.com/
As always, thank you for listening.
Folly Park by Heidi Hackford E66
Folly Park is a story about history, race, identity, and friendship. At its heart is a woman named Temple Preston and her old, crumbling, ancestral plantation in Virginia. With the discovery of long hidden, disturbing family secrets, Temple gets wrapped up in exposing these family secrets as a way to save the ancestral home, until she begins to question whether it's really worth saving.
Author Heidi Hackford talks about the character she eventually grew to like, about the power of semantics, and about how her work at Monticello - and how people responded to it - helped shape this story.
My thanks to Folly Park’s publisher She Writes Press and author Heidi Hackford for sharing Temple and Vee and this story full of history and surprises with me. I would love to hear what you think about Folly Park, reach out anytime on social media or email at email@example.com
As always, thanks for being here.. And thanks for listening.
Beasts of the Earth by James Wade E65
This is a story about a quiet, thoughtful man named Harlan Leblanc. The story is about how and why Leblanc gets tangled up in a murder investigation. You'll hear from author James Wade about the action and the allegory he created, and about the ways he tried to mirror and balance the darkness and hope in this gritty tale. We talk about the humor he found in indecision and inflammation. And, how his young daughter is shifting his perspectives. You'll feel narrator Roger Clark walking in the shoes and looking out through the eyes of the characters in an excerpt from the audiobook. Roger has performed about a 100 audiobooks, worked in theater and film, and is best known for portraying Arthur Morgan in Rock Star games Red Dead Redemption. James thinks his reverence and grit are spot on for this story.
I want to thank Lauren Maturo at Blackstone Publishing for connecting me with James and his work. If you would like to hear more of Roger Clark performing Beasts of the Earth please check out Libro.fm. When you use my affiliate link to Libro.fm you support this podcast and with Libro.Fm you can choose a local book store in your neighborhood to support as well.
As always, thank you for being here and thanks for listening.
Double Exposure with Jeannée Sacken and Nicole Swanson - E64
We’re talking about the thrilling fiction created by author Jeannée Sacken called Double Exposure and we're doubly lucky because the narrator for this series is also joining us. Nicole Swanson describes how she prepared to be the voice of Annie. But first, we hear how Nicole's other profession feeds her acting skills and her humanity.
If you would like to hear more of Nicole's performance of Double Exposure's audiobook, please look for the title on Libro.fm . When you use this affiliate link to Libro.fm you support this podcast and when you purchase your audiobooks on Libro.fm you can also choose a local book store in your neighborhood to support. Special thanks to Jeannée’s publisher Ten 16, and to producer Craig Hart at the audiobook publisher Northern Lake Audio for connecting me to Nicole and providing the extended and excellent audiobook excerpt for this episode.
As always, thank you for being here and thanks for listening.
Improbably Yours by Kerry Anne King
Kerry's new novel IMPROBABLY YOURS is her 13th, and it does have some spooky elements. But, it's also an adventure complete with a real treasure map. It begins with a memory, a young girl sitting with her grandmother who speaks in fortune teller fashion about a prediction for the little girl's future. You'll hear that scene from the audiobook. And, you'll hear how Kerry plays with the idea of hidden treasure and what's hidden below the surface.
Brilliance audio produced IMPROBABLY YOURS in a dual narrator format. So, when you hear about Blythe it’s audiobook actress Terri Clark Linden - an earphones award winning narrator who’s performed some of Kerry’s other books. And, when you hear about the other main character - Flynn the Viking - the narrator is Aaron Shedlock who is a rising star in the world of audiobooks.
Thanks to Kerry for her openness and good humor. And to her publisher Lake Union and the audiobook publisher Brilliance Audio for the excerpt you hear in this episode.
Find out what other books these narrators perform (Teri Clark Linden , Aaron Shedlock ). And, check out the fun Kerry creates for her readers on her website. I’d love to know what you think about Improbably Yours. Reach out anytime!
Thanks for listening.
9 Days - A Dee Rommel Mystery by Jule Selbo
Her new crime mystery 9 Days got us talking about tarot card readings and wondering if how the stars aligned at the time of our birth could shape or guide us... That's because author Jule Selbo's new murder mystery 9 Days opens with a world famous astrologist confessing to murder. When the astrologist's 12 year old son doesn't believe his mother is guilty, he hires Private Investigator Dee Rommel to find the truth in just 9 Days. Listen as Jule explains why being underestimated can be a good thing, where a family heirloom of hers turned up in the book, and how a fascination with superheroes worked its way into this story.
Desideratum Podcast listeners save 15% on the Dee Rommel mystery series with the code DP15 on Pandamoon.com.
The Deception by Kim Taylor Blakemore
The Deception is about life and death and the delicate veil between the two. The story spirals around an Illusionist running from her past, and a Medium whose past fame and spirit guide have abandoned her. The pliable Maud (the Medium known as the Maid of Light) and the clever Clementine (a master of tricks and illusions) join forces to find fame and fortune, but at what cost… does the end justify the means?
Listen as author Kim Taylor Blakemore shares how she scoured history to find her own muses for this tale of authenticity and duplicity. We talk about how she delivers readers to an 1870’s New England that was romanced by spiritualism. We discuss her seductive and charming characters and rainy rainy setting with shades of gray ethics that will seep into your very bones.
Thanks to Kim’s publisher Lake Union Publishing and the audiobook publisher Brilliance Audio. You can find other hauntingly beautiful books by Kim Taylor Blakemore on her website here. You can find other stories narrated by Gail Shalen and Hope Newhouse on their websites. As always, thanks for being here - thanks for listening.
Slade by Robert Grindstaff, Ep60
Listen to the advice Robb got from music legend Art Garfunkel and find out how it made it into the story. And, hear narrator Timothy G Little’s big voice. His performance as SLADE is mesmerizing. And, he matches Robb in the fun facts category. Between his corporate jobs and his literary life Timothy has lived in Turkey, Greece, Costa Rica, Spain, and Italy. He’s narrated about 50 titles with his resonant tone.
You can find every novel Robb’s written on his website. Thanks to Robb and his publisher Evolved publishing, and as always thank you for listening.
The Lost Girls of Willowbrook - Ellen Marie Wiseman, Ep59
Ellen Marie Wiseman is drawn to the dark corners of history, where rumors and mystery shroud the truth. It's where she finds and develops characters who shine. Listen as she shares how her own history led her to write about hidden truths and social injustices. We're talking about her new novel, The Lost Girls of Willowbrook, which is set in a real state run institution exposed back in 1972 for its atrocious abuses. Ellen opens the novel with quotes from a real doctor who was there in 1972. Dr. William Bronston's physician activism helped bring an end to the institution. He is joining Ellen for some of her book launch events. You'll hear him describe how Ellen's storytelling takes him back in time, and you'll listen to a few minutes from the chapter of the audiobook that Dr. Bronston says affected him most profoundly.
Thanks to Vida at Kensington Books for connecting me to Ellen and Dr. Bronston. Kensington generously provides Desideratum listeners the discount code DP20 to save 20 percent across their incredible library. You just enter DP20 at checkout at Kensingtonbooks.com
Check out Libro.fm to find The Lost Girls of Willowbrook audiobook narrated by Morgan Hallett. Using the affiliate link to Libro.fm supports this podcast and a local book store of your choice.
You can find more about the heartbreak and hope in all of Ellen’s fictions on her website. https://ellenmariewiseman.com/
You can get a copy of Dr. William Bronston’s book Public Hostage Public Ransom on his website. https://www.publichostagepublicransom.org/
Orchid Blooming with Carol Van Den Hende - Episode 58
Author Carol Van Den Hende sought solace in writing and then committed to sharing what she learned about resilience with her readers. Her novels Goodbye Orchid and Orchid Blooming are about love, personal growth, and trauma recovery. Listen to how she drew inspiration from combat wounded veterans. Find out why her own personal love story (how she met her husband) influenced her characters' brushes with kismet. Hear an excerpt of Carol narrating Goodbye Orchid, and find out how she used her first novel's backstory to create her 2nd novel - Orchid Blooming - which launches this month.
Here's Carol's LinkTree which connects you to her book events, newsletter, social media presence, and website.
A special thank you to Kathy L. Murphy who shined her light on Carol so I could find her. Goodbye Orchid is the Pulpwood Queen's May 2022 Bonus Book of the Month.
As always, thank you for listening.
Hannah and Ariela by Johnnie Bernhard Ep57
With a cast of many characters, telling the story from more than a dozen vantage points - Johnnie Bernhard takes readers on a journey with a widow and a sojourner in her new novel Hannah and Ariela. Johnnie's connection to the land, the people, and the history of Texas shine through, but listen to how writing from all these different points of view challenged her and made her "put her ego in her back pocket". We talk about the layers of miracle and faith and we dig deeper into the real life tragedy of human trafficking at the heart of this harrowing fiction.
You can find Johnnie's other award-winning literary fiction novels and more about her - on her website - HERE. I’ve had the absolute honor of narrating her novels: Sisters of the Undertow, How We Came to Be, and A Good Girl.
Finally, you should know, a portion of the proceeds from Hannah and Ariela book sales will go to the aid of victims of human trafficking.
A special thank you to TCU Press, and as always, thank you for listening.
Brand Chaser by Randi Samuelson Brown, Ep56
She comes from a long line of resilient, resourceful, and quirky Colorado women, and she loves finding obscure historical facts to write about. But, while Randi Samuelson Brown's new novel is rooted in the past, it's action and suspense are current and contemporary. We're talking about book one in her new series featuring a Brand Inspector in Colorado cattle country. It's called Brand Chaser and it's layered with history, mystery, danger, suspense and even a little romance. We begin with what made Randi jump from writing about Colorado's colorful past to this modern take on the wild west.
Thanks to Randi Samuelson Brown for sharing her story and her history. And, thanks to her publisher Wolfpack publishing . You can find Brand Chaser everywhere you buy books.
Legends & Lattes by Travis Baldree Ep55
A Child Lost by Michelle Cox Ep54
Thanks to Brooke Warner at She Writes Press for connecting me to Michelle. If you’d like to hear more - please look for the audiobook of A child Lost on Libro.fm - I found all 5 of the Henrietta and Inspector Howard books in Libro.fm’s library - as well as more than 80 books narrated by Jayne Entwistle. Using this affiliate link supports the podcast and a local book store of your choice. Book 6 in the Henrietta and Inspector Howard series will be out this fall.
Check out Michelle's blog Novel Notes and Local Lore on her website.
Thanks for listening!
The Lost Book of Eleanor Dare by Kimberly Brock, Ep53
Congratulations to Kimberly on The Lost Book of Eleanor Dare making the Southern Indie Booksellers Alliance (SIBA) Bestseller List. You can select a local bookstore to support - and support this podcast - when you follow our affiliate link to Libro.fm to purchase the audiobook. Thank you to Margaret Kercher at Harper Muse Books for connecting me to Kimberly, and thank you for listening. #southernfiction #desideratumpodcast #harpermuse #librofm #audiobook
The River Between Hearts by Heather Mateus Sappenfield, Ep52
When was the last time you read a middle grade fiction? This week's featured author Heather Mateus Sappenfield will convince you it's time with her new novel The River Between Hearts. It’s an adventure with an almost-11 year old girl named Rill. It’s a story about friendship and compassion - and loss and longing. You'll spend a few minutes with her main character Rill and her friend Perla in a reading that hints at the loss they both are struggling with. We also chat about why Heather creates characters with dyslexia and we find out how a former student's real life experiences informed the character Perla.
Thanks to Heather’s publicist Jackie Karneth at BooksForward - a JKS Communications Company, and Heather's publisher Janie Royal at Fitzroy Books - an imprint of Regal House Publishing. You can find all of Heather's books on her website and learn more about having her visit you at your school or favorite book store. As always, thank you for listening.
No Names To Be Given with Julia Brewer Daily, Ep51
I want to thank The Kathy L. Murphy for introducing me to Julia when she chose No Names to be Given as one of her Pulpwood Queens and Timber Guys Book Club’s ‘Book of the Month’. Also a special thank you to Julia’s publisher Lara Bernhardt at Admission Press. Julia’s sophomore book called The 5th Daughter of Thorn Ranch will be out this August. You can find the trailer for Julia's new podcast Author’s Over 50 on her website. If you’d like to hear the rest of No Names to be Given’s audiobook narrated by Reagan Boggs, please use our affiliate link to Libro.fm When you purchase your audiobooks through the Desideratum Podcast Libro.fm partner link you support the podcast, and you can pick a local bookstore to support as well.
Forestborn by Elayne Audrey Becker Ep50
Welcome to Episode 50! We’re talking to author Elayne Audrey Becker about her novel Forestborn - a fantasy story about human frailty, self doubt, and the dangers of othering - all examined through a magical lens. We begin with Elayne sharing why she made her main character Rora a shapeshifter.
You will hear a scene from Chapter 1 when Rora is working as a spy for the king - tracking cases of a deadly disease. The scene takes place in a forest where you can hear the vivid nature Elayne creates. You’ll also hear the skill of the narrator - Sofia Zervudachi - who Audiofile Magazine says "strikes just the right tone as Rora - introspective but self assured".
I want to thank Drew Kilman at Macmillan Audio and Giselle Gonzalez at TorTeen for connecting me with Elayne and making this Desideratum Podcast episode on Forestborn possible. You can find more about Elayne - and get a sneak peak at Book 2’s cover and blurb on her website here. Book 2 is called Wildborn and will be released this August. If you want to hear the rest of the Forestborn audiobook - use this Libro.fm affiliate link to support the podcast and choose a local bookstore you want to benefit from every audiobook you buy. As always, thank you for listening!
The Emancipation of Evan Walls, Jeffrey Blount Ep49
In our conversation with Jeffrey Blount, we talk about foundations, race relations, thunderstorms, banana seat bicycles, and parenting. His novel The Emancipation of Evan Walls centers on the childhood of a boy in the late 1960’s who decides he wants to be somebody. Jeffrey's characters frustrate, illuminate, foster empathy and inspire. The novel is not an audiobook yet, so I asked my friend and fellow narrator Earl Sewell to read for us. Earl is an author, narrator, and audio drama podcaster - and as he does with every project - he brought a lot of heart to this reading.
Here is Jeffrey Blount's website and a link to Earl Sewell's latest audio drama podcast.
Enjoy and thanks for listening!
River Sing Out with James Wade Ep48
James Wade’s writing washed over me. I felt and heard the rhythm and tone he gave his novel River Sing Out. You’re going to hear some of the audiobook from his narrator Roger Clark - who has voiced about a hundred audiobooks, worked in theater and film, and is perhaps best known for portraying Arthur Morgan in Rock Star Games’ Red Dead Redemption. But first, listen to James explain why his characters have vivid dreams - why it’s so hard for him to give his characters names - and why he began this story with the origin of the Neches River.
I want to thank Lauren Maturo at Blackstone Publishing and Isabella Nugent at Blackstone Audio for connecting me with James and his work.
Here is a link to RIVER SING OUT on Blackstone Publishing's website book’s product page
And, a link to James' website - where you can find out about his next release BEASTS OF THE EARTH - coming out with Blackstone this fall.
This has been Episode 48 – As always - thanks for listening.
Bonus Behind the Scenes with James Wade and River Sing Out
James tells a tale steeped in nature and human nature - with violence and addiction creating a ripple effect in his character's lives. It is hard for me to articulate just how poetic his prose and his writing style is - how he conjures something musical in his writing. In this outtake we talk about the cycles where he found his rhythm and truth. Listen to the full episode this Friday. #desideratumpodcast #riversingout #cycleofviolence #texasfiction #blackstonepublishing #JamesWade
Red Burning Sky by Tom Young Ep47
Tom Young's novel Red Burning Sky is told through characters with a lot of heart. They don't accept impossible. This little known WWII story based on the daring Operation Halyard will have you holding your breath and hearing the music of the slipstream.
Tom's answer to the question 'what's most essential to you?' was one of my favorites. The excerpt you'll hear from the Red Burning Sky audiobook was produced by Recorded Books, and is performed by Pete Bradbury - an actor of stage and screen and an accomplished narrator.
Thanks to Ann Pryor at Kensington for introducing me to Tom. Kensington Books generously provides the discount code DP20 to Desideratum Listeners to save 20 percent across their incredible library - just enter DP20 at checkout at Kensingtonbooks
Also, please look for the Red Burning Sky audiobook on Libro.fm . Using this affiliate link supports the podcast and a local book store of your choice.
You can find more of Tom Young's exciting work on his website.
As always, thank you for listening.
Bonus Behind the Scenes with Tom Young - Red Burning Sky
What it feels like to be there - that's what Tom Young delivers in his historical fiction Red Burning Sky. It is a thrilling aviation rescue story - and so much more. In this sneak peak at this week's Desideratum Podcast episode, Tom shares how a scholar of Russian Literature worked his way into this story. Hear more about the impossible that became possible in the secretive and dangerous WWII mission called Operation Halyard. #redburningsky #DesideratumPodcast #WWII #OperationHalyard #RecordedBooks #audiobooks #aviationrescue
Blue Fire, The Victoria Emerson Thriller Series With John Gilstrap, Episode 46
Listen as thriller writer John Gilstrap tells us why his new heart pounding book Blue Fire has so much heart and why his storytelling often includes teenage characters. You'll hear a few minutes of the first chapter of Blue Fire's audiobook produced by Recorded Books and read by narrator Kate Forbes.
We begin with Blue Fire's real life jumping off point - the truth that there was a secure government location where our leaders would go if our country was ever in imminent danger.
Thanks to Ann at Kensington Books for introducing me to John. Kensington generously provides Desideratum listeners the discount code DP20 to save 20 percent across their incredible library - just enter DP20 at checkout at Kensingtonbooks.com
Also, please look for the audiobook on Libro.fm for Blue Fire - which is book 2 in John's Victoria Emerson Thriller series. You will also find John’s other successful novels - his first was Nathan’s Run - and of course his Jonathon Graves Series is in audiobook format too. Using this affiliate link to Libro.fm supports the podcast and a local book store of your choice. Find out about all the books John has written and more on his website. http://www.johngilstrap.com/
Bonus Behind the Scenes with John Gilstrap Victoria Emerson Series, Book 2 - Blue Fire
This week’s peak Behind the Scenes vodcast of the #DesideratumPodcast is ready…
John Gilstrap ‘s #BlueFire really got my heart racing! He puts his characters in imminent danger in a post nuclear war world he creates with gritty detail. But you should also know that this 2nd book in his #VictoriaEmersonThriller series is a story about how humanity needs civilization, community, and leadership focused on the common good.
Episode 46 is coming soon with more about the skills his characters need, the reason all his storytelling includes teenagers, and a heart pounding excerpt from the audiobook with narrator Kate Forbes Recorded Books Kensington Publishing Corp. #audiobooks #thrillerseries #podcastrecommendations
The Saints of Swallow Hill by Donna Everhart Ep45
Episode 45 of the #DesideratumPodcast features Donna Everhart and her new novel #TheSaintsOfSwallowHill The story takes us somewhere I'd never heard of - a Turpentine Camp. Donna's characters suffer - but that's the way she likes it - struggle provides a path to perseverance and growth. Listen as Donna shares how steeped in reality this story's suffering really is. The audiobook was produced by Tantor Audio a division of Recorded Books and narrated by Amy Melissa Bentley who has performed over 200 audiobooks. She has an Audiofile Earphones Award, and she has a real gift for dialects from Russian to New Yorker to the Southern American you hear in this performance.
Thanks to Vida at Kensington Books for connecting me to Donna. For Desideratum listeners, Kensington generously provides the discount code DP20 to save 20 percent across their incredible library.
Also, please look for The Saints of Swallow Hill on Libro.fm Using this affiliate link supports the podcast and a local book store of your choice at Libro.fm. As always, Thank you for listening.
Bonus Behind the Scenes for Donna Everhart - The Saints of Swallow Hill
Listen and look behind the scenes of this weeks Desideratum Podcast Episode with Donna Everhart. We are talking about her new novel #TheSaintsOfSwallowHill - set in the Depression Era with all its suffering and hardship. Donna’s main characters try to escape their troubles - but they end up going from the frying pan into the fire. There are some near death experiences that shape them. In this Bonus Behind the Scenes Donna shares a very personal moment from her own life that she drew on for this story of loss, suffering, love and safety. Kensington Publishing Corp. #southernfiction #northcarolinaauthor #audiobook #depressionerafiction
The Cicada Tree with Robert Gwaltney Ep44
This week's featured story is The Cicada Tree by Robert Gwaltney. It's a story about secrets and obsessions set in an oppressive southern summer. Our conversation with Robert touches on his fascination with (not fear of) the cicada emergence that inspired the title. And, we explore his love of music, fashion, architecture, and that mixture of joy and fright he's found experiencing firsts in the middle.
Below is a link to his website, the book trailer and the cocktail recipe inspired by the novel and created by his brilliant brother Chris. The book launches February 22, 2022.
Thanks to the Pulpwood Queen Kathy Murphy for first introducing me to Robert, thanks to Robert and Moonshine Cove Publishing, LLC, for the Advanced Reader Copy of The Cicada Tree, and as always thank you for listening!
Bonus - Behind the Scenes with Robert Gwaltney and his debut novel The Cicada Tree
Behind the scenes of this week’s episode with Robert Gwaltney talking about the way his childhood reaction to Cicadas made its way into his debut novel - The Cicada Tree - would you be afraid or fascinated? Oh - and we talk about secrets, self discovery, obsessions and disillusionment too - Hear his complete audio conversation and an excerpt from the book In the Desideratum Podcast Episode 44 #southerngothic #podcastrecommendation #thecicadatree #audiobook #AtlantaAuthor #LiteraryFiction
Sugar Baby And Other Stories by River Jordan Ep43
Instagram - RiverJordanInk
Facebook - RiverJordanInk
Survivor's Guilt by Robyn Gigl Ep42
Our featured story is from author, attorney and LGBTQ+ activist Robyn Gigl. We are talking about Survivor's Guilt, Book 2 in Robyn's Erin McCabe legal thriller series that launches this week. Part of Robyn's writing genius is how she quietly and skillfully introduces readers to things and people around them that they might not otherwise see or understand. You will also hear about: a real person she immortalized in the series, her mental health connection to sports, and why her main character wears lucky socks to court. This story is about the greedy and powerful coming up against the system we call Justice. It centers on how they are ultimately held accountable by and for those they have exploited.
Robyn's narrator for the series is Marguerite Gavin. She is a narrator with 20 years experience, numerous Audie nominations and Earphones awards, and a devoted fan following. Audiofile Magazine says Marguerite has "the coveted ability to disappear as the narrator - letting the story take the limelight it deserves".
I hope you will visit https://www.kensingtonbooks.com/ to save on Robyn’s books and their entire incredible library. Just use the Desideratum Podcast Code DP20 at checkout to save 20%. If listening to the excerpt hooks you on narrator Marguerite Gavin’s delivery, in a few weeks, you can purchase the complete audiobook at Libro.fm. Please use the Desideratum Podcast affiliate link with Libro.fm. Doing so supports the podcast and a local bookstore of your choice. https://www.awin1.com/cread.php?awinmid=25361&awinaffid=970873
Thanks to Vida at Kensington Books for introducing me to Robyn and as always thank you for listening!
A Day Like This by Kelley McNeil Ep41
In her debut novel A DAY LIKE THIS, author Kelley McNeil explores intuition, memory, motherhood, science, the mystery of creativity and the magic of place. Her main character Annie is an artist who is haunted by visions and memories of things she can not explain. The novel follows Annie far from home as she tries to reconcile her memories with her reality. Our conversation is full of wit and wisdom. Kelley's essential thing made me so happy. It's about belonging and family and home. Her narrator is one of my favorite voice actors. Amanda Leigh Cobb delivers this immersive story with just the right blend of urgency, skepticism and wonder. Thanks to Brilliance Audio for the audiobook excerpt. And, as always, thank you for listening.
Murder at Mallowan Hall by Colleen Cambridge Ep40
This week's Episode features author Colleen Cambridge aka Colleen Gleason. Her latest novel MURDER AT MALLOWAN HALL from Kensington Publishing Corp. is a gem for anyone who enjoys a good old fashioned English manor murder mystery. Her heroine Phyllida Bright is self assured, knows her worth, pays attention to detail, is friends with THE Agatha Christie, and becomes a smashing good amateur sleuth in this - Book 1 - of Colleen's new series. Listen to the multitalented audiobook narrator Jennifer Dixon perform Chapter 1 from MURDER AT MALLOWAN produced by Highbridge a division of Recorded Books. You can find Colleen's previous NY Times Bestselling series on her website https://www.colleengleason.com/ . I hope you will also visit https://www.kensingtonbooks.com/ to save on Colleen's books and their entire incredible library. Just use the Desideratum Podcast Code DP20 at checkout. Thanks to Sudden Fiction Books for hosting me in their stacks for my zoom chat with Colleen. You can choose Sudden Fiction as your bookstore to support when you buy your audiobooks on Libro.fm. Please use the Desideratum Podcast affiliate link with Libro.fm to buy your audiobooks. https://www.awin1.com/cread.php?awinmid=25361&awinaffid=970873
Thanks to Larissa at Kensington Books for introducing me to Colleen and thank you for listening!
The Spanish Daughter by Lorena Hughes Ep39
Twenty Years Later by Charlie Donlea, Episode 38
This week's featured novel is the latest thriller from the imagination of author Charlie Donlea. Twenty Years Later kept me puzzling and guessing until the very end. You will meet characters who work to uncover the truth behind a 20 year old murder case while they also confront and face things they are hiding from. It's a story about memory, betrayal and reinvention.
Listen to a scene from the audiobook performed by Vivienne Leheny. And, listen as Charlie shares: How the idea for this story came from a headline... What he uses as a beacon when he's writing... And why his essential thing is connected to rejection - lots and lots of rejection.
You can find out more about Charlie and his other novels on his website.
Visit the Kensington Books website to pre-order the book at 20% off. Just use the Desideratum Podcast DP20 listener code at checkout. Thank you Kensington Books for connecting me to great authors and sharing this discount with my listeners.
Visit Libro.fm to purchase the audiobook narrated by Vivienne Leheny and produced by Highbridge Audio a division of Recorded Books - available December 28th. When you follow this link, you support the Desideratum Podcast and you can choose a local bookstore to support as well. Thank you Libro.fm for the affiliate partnership.
Libro.fm has audiobook gift memberships available now - they come in 3 month- ($45), 6month- ($90), and 12-month ($180) durations. Follow this link to purchase a gift membership:
The Kimono Tattoo by Rebecca Copeland, Ep37
Author Rebecca Copeland understands the power of words - and the many meanings behind them. She explores the idea of home and identity while unwrapping a multilayered mystery in her debut novel The Kimono Tattoo. The character she has created to walk you through this story within a story is an American woman living in Japan and working as a translator. Listen to why Rebecca feels so connected to Japan, and hear the scene that reveals the title worthy tattoo. The Kimono Tattoo is this weeks featured novel, available from Brother Mockingbird Publishing. The audiobook is in production at Northern Lake Audio and will be available in early 2022. Thanks to Johnnie Bernhard for putting me on the path to meet Rebecca, and thank you for listening.
What happened After Alice Fell - by Kim Taylor Blakemore, Ep36
Our conversation with author Kim Taylor Blakemore begins and ends with how her stories come to her - sometimes it's dark. We talk about gothic tropes, Gettysburg Battlefield ghosts, and the drive to find the voice of a lost loved one. There are also some big ideas about sibling relationships and mercy. Kim uses mercy - both how we show it and how we deny it. What you will not find here are spoilers. This historical thriller (with gothic roots) delivers a delightfully uncertain and sometimes weird ride and we deliberately navigated away from ruining it for anyone getting on after us. Enjoy award winning narrator, producer and actress Amanda Leigh Cobb 's performance of the audiobook scene thanks to Brilliance Audio, Amazon Publishing.
Here is the website for the author Kim called the 'queen of gothic' - Laura Purcell. https://www.laurapurcell.com/
As well as Kim's https://www.kimtaylorblakemore.com/ and Amanda's websites https://www.amandaleighcobb.com/
Thanks to author Robert Gwaltney for encouraging me to reach out to Kim. You were right, she's talented AND fun!
Other People's Things by Kerry Anne King Ep35
Our featured story is author Kerry Anne King's new novel Other People's Things. We talk about how the main character Nickel sparks change and creates a ripple effect of consequences in her own life and in the lives of others with her unusual compulsion to move objects that don't belong to her (it sounds like stealing - but it's not that simple). The story plays with the concepts of fate and destiny, in an entertaining ride from lost to found. Kerry explains what makes her a catalyst, why she is an active pursuer of joy, and what she loves about the Robert Frost poem The Road not Taken.
Connect with Kerry Anne King (aka Kerry Schafer) and find all her books on her website. Learn more about her narrator Teri Clark Linden through her industry profile page with Audiofile Magazine. Thanks for listening!
The Rebellious Tide - Eddy Boudel Tan - Episode 34
You can connect with Eddy through his website: www.eddyboudeltan.com/
Thank you for listening.
Freedom Lessons from Eileen Sanchez, Episode 33
Runner by Tracy Clark Ep32
Tracy shares why this was a winter she didn't see coming - how a delightful little thief showed up and won't ever leave - and when and where she finds her essential things.
Thank you to Kensington Press for connecting me with Tracy and her books and thank you to Highbridge Audio , A Division of Recorded Books for the scene from her rich, resonant, and talented audiobook narrator Shari Peele. Thank you for listening.
Here's Tracy Clark's website to connect with her and learn more about all her books.
10 Days: A Dee Rommel Mystery by Jule Selbo, Ep31
10 Days : Dee Rommel Mystery #1 is just the beginning for novelist Jule Selbo. Her plans for Dee Rommel - the justice seeking cop who was injured on the job - include a countdown style series starting with 10 Days, then 9 Days, then 8 Days... each book's action set in that specific time frame. Jule has worn several career hats preparing her for this work - playwright, screenwriter, and professor. She shares WHY the mystery and crime genre was something she always wanted to write, and tells us HOW a middle school experience in Fargo, North Dakota was the first step in her journey to Hollywood screenwriter. Her essential thing will take you to 'plot and beyond'. And, as a bonus for Desideratum Podcast listeners, Pandamoon Publishing is offering a special 15% off discount code to purchase the ebook and print editions, including hardback. Just enter the discount code DP15 at checkout on the Pandamoon Publishing website. https://pandamoonpub.com/ to save 15% on 10 Days. Thank you to Allen and Zara Kramer at Pandamoon for their generosity and support. Here's Jule Selbo's website to stay in touch with her and get the latest on her exciting new crime series. https://www.juleselbo.com/
Thanks for listening.
A Bright Young Thing, by Brianne Moore Episode 30
Brianne Moore's Website
Desideratum Podcast Website
Support the Desideratum Podcast by becoming a Patreon
Podchaser - follow rate and review your favorite podcasts
Island Queen by Vanessa Riley Episode 29
Thanks to Danielle Bartlett at Harper Collins and Harper Audio and William Morrow.
Thanks to Angela Anderson who first sang the praises of Island Queen to me.
Thanks for listening.
Desideratum Podcast Trailer
Desideratum is a Latin word meaning 'things that are desired as essential'. The Desideratum Podcast celebrates storytelling as an essential thing - the art of telling and the journey of listening. I am Theresa Bakken - an audiobook narrator. Join me and my wordsmith friends for new episodes every Friday showcasing the talents of authors and narrators. Listen to conversations with writers and scenes from their audiobooks. I hope you’ll tune in to hear an artist you love or to find your new favorite storyteller. Thanks for listening.
The Second Mrs. Astor, A Novel of the Titanic, by Shana Abé Ep28
The real story of The Second Mrs. Astor is told with rich detail and a romantic's touch. When Madeleine Force fell in love she was a teenager. Who she fell in love with fascinated the press and the public. How the love ended is revealed on the very first page. But, then there is so much more to her story. New York Times, USA Today, Publishers Weekly & Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author Shana Abé shares how she envisioned this true story of opulence, scandal, a young woman's strength, and a love drenched in both devotion and loss.
We talk about the Titanic, the language of flowers, a beloved dog captured in historic photographs, the real Margaret Brown (yes the unsinkable one), and the strength of kindness (as an essential thing). Find out more about Shana and her novels on her website, and hear the rest of The Second Mrs. Astor's story in the audiobook narrated by the talented Lauren Ezzo. Thanks for listening. #kensingtonpress, #tantoraudio, #titanicstory, #audiobook, #authorinterview, #historicalfiction, #narrator
Follow your heart Behind the Lens, Episode 27 with Jeannee Sacken
Our featured story comes from freelance photographer and writer Jeannee Sacken. In her debut novel, Behind the Lens, Sacken honors strong women. She champions their education and freedom to follow their hearts and passions. Her characters are courageous and complicated. She takes us to a war zone with a photographer who focuses on truth and witnesses cruelty, love, cultural beauty and betrayal. It's a riveting, multifaceted story set in Afghanistan. You will hear a scene from the novel and find out why Sacken's own life trajectory changed - why she followed her heart and started sharing women's stories. You can find out more about Jeannee Sacken, connect with her on social media and buy her book in the links below. She has also shared the names of charities helping refugees from Afghanistan right now. Thanks for listening.
Links to Jeannee Sacken's work:
Link to Amazon to purchase Behind the Lens: https://amzn.to/3gNzfOo
Organizations accepting donations of new clothing, shoes, supplies, and money: Islamic Society of Milwaukee, Milwaukee Muslim Women's Coalition, Lutheran Social Services, International Institute of Wisconsin, Jewish Social Services (based in Madison)
Volunteering assistance: firstname.lastname@example.org (Catholic Charities of the Diocese of La Crosse), teamrubiconusa.org/resettlement, cclse.org/afghanistan-refugee-assistance
A journey of darkness and light - Luz by Debra Thomas, Episode 26
Our featured story is a harrowing tale, a heart wrenching story about a journey through compassion and cruelty. Author Debra Thomas spent years writing the novel Luz and more years finding just the right publisher for the story - She Writes Press. In our conversation, she shares personal insight into the life lessons about perseverance and living with regrets that she wove into the characters. She talks about real life experiences that gave the story its authenticity and explains why she thinks fiction is the best vehicle to move us towards empathy and truth. You can find a great book club study guide for the novel put together by author and Bookish Road Trip founder Mary Sheriff on Debra's website. https://debrathomasauthor.com/planning-the-perfect-book-club-with-luz/
Thank you to the International Pulpwood Queens and Timber Guys Book Club and Reading Nation Magazine for shining a light on Luz and leading me to it. And, thank you for listening.
The best person for the job, in When the Men Were Gone by Marjorie Herrera Lewis, Episode 25
Our featured story comes from Marjorie Herrera Lewis. Marjorie is a career sports writer covering football at all levels in Texas. In fact, she was the first female sports writer to cover the Dallas Cowboys. So when, through a happy set of coincidences, she found out about another female sports enthusiast who stepped up during WWII and coached high school football in Texas, she knew it was a story she had to tell. Tylene Wilson's story was lost to the dust bins of history before Marjorie wrote her novel When the Men Were Gone. Now, the book has made the Best Books lists in Sports Illustrated and Newsweek, is a Book Club selection of Readers Digest and the International Pulpwood Queens, and is now under a film contract. Listen to how Marjorie found Tylene's voice in late night writing sessions, and what Marjorie's big picture themes of the book are (hint: it's bigger than Texas football). Her audiobook narrator, Eva Kaminsky, is an accomplished television, film and broadway actor who has won multiple Earphones Awards for her narration work.
Find the rest of the story and more about Marjorie Herrera Lewis on her website https://marjorieherreralewis.com/ and see a picture of the real life Tylene Wilson posing with her football team on the Desideratum Podcast website. https://desideratumpodcast.com/ Thanks for listening.
Episode 24, author Claire Fullerton, Little Tea, and how the past is always with us
Our featured story is from Claire Fullerton, a storyteller who visits the past and studies how it shapes us over and over again in her writing. We talk about how being an outsider and an observer sparked her study and love for the south. She shares her unplanned writing style - you won't find it in any writing class. And, she describes her first trip to Como, Mississippi, where she set part of the novel Little Tea. You will hear a reading from Little Tea - a section from the beginning of the novel where you discover the title's significance.
You can find fantastic pictures of the ocean in her backyard and the shepherds in her life on her instagram feed @cffullerton And, you can find her novels and her engaging reviews of other author's novels on her website. https://www.clairefullerton.com/
I will put a little more of the Little Tea conversation on the Desideratum Podcast website - a lucky listener bonus about Claire's ancestral connection to and understanding of Ireland where her novel Dancing to an Irish Reel is set. https://desideratumpodcast.com/
Thanks for listening.
Discover dark secrets, inner demons, and fate Walking Among the Trees with Frank Oliva, Episode 23
Our featured story is from Frank Oliva's debut novel Walking Among the Trees. The Psychological Thriller is a journey through secrets and past sins. You will hear the beginning of the book as the two priests venture into the trees. And then, you will walk a little farther into the trees with the author to hear about: what he researched to get just right in the story; how the seed of the story was planted when he was a teenager working at a Catholic church; and how he found the time to create the novel's slow burn - with a couple jump scares along the way. Here's Frank's website to find out more about him and to order the book to find out the secrets it reveals for yourself. Thanks for listening.
The surprisingly timely historical fiction - The Second Life of Mirielle West by Amanda Skenandore, Episode 22
You can find The Second Life of Mirielle West and learn about Amanda's other successful novels on her website. www.amandaskenandore.com/.
Find out more about her narrator - the classically trained voice actor and Creative Changemaker Nicole Poole on her website. www.nicolepoole.com/.
Thanks for listening!
After Francesco - grief, hope and gallows humor with Brian Malloy, Episode 21
Our featured story comes from author Brian Malloy's new novel After Francesco. You will hear his talented and award winning narrator Michael Crouch read an excerpt from the audiobook - a scene where the main character Kevin measures his grief not by remembering what was, but by thinking about what will never be. You will also hear Brian explain - in his even and calming voice - how this emotional ride of a story is anchored in his personal experiences in many different ways. I love what his character Aunt Nora says about family. And, Brian's answer to the 'essential things' question caught me by surprise with its altruism. We begin by talking about when he was writing the 'author's note' during lock down - during the pandemic - a very different pandemic than the one he chronicles in the book - which honors those who fought a life and death battle against disease, hatred, indifference, and ignorance during the 1980's. You can find After Francesco and all of Brian's work through his website https://www.malloywriter.com/after_francesco_.htm. And, I'll put a picture of Brian with his Minnesota AIDS Project buds at the March on Washington in 1987 on the Desideratum Podcast website. https://desideratumpodcast.com/ When you want to hear more from narrator Michael Crouch, here is his website: http://www.michaellockwoodcrouch.com/
Thanks for listening.
Forever 51 it's not your daughter's vampire story, with Pamela Skjolsvik Episode 20
Our featured story comes from author Pamela Skjolsvik. She always considered herself a non-fiction writer, trained to tell the truth, but then one day she discovered she likes to make things up and she's good at it. She's written a vampire novel called Forever 51 that she says is not your daughter's vampire story. She's funnier than her last name and she's open and direct in surprising ways. I've been asking authors and everyone else about their COVID pandemic experiences - the silver linings and the losses. Her experience took my breath away. I'll put more about her and her picture on the Desideratum Podcast website. Below are links to her website, an article CNN published by her in 2020, and her social media pages. Thanks for listening.
Here is the link to her CNN article about her mother's last days:
and these are Pamela's social media pages links:
Episode 19 Hunting Teddy Roosevelt historical fiction with James A Ross
Today's featured story is an excerpt from the historical thriller Hunting Teddy Roosevelt. The story takes place during Roosevelt's well documented safari in Africa in 1909. Author James Ross places an assassin on the trip hired by forces who want to keep Roosevelt out of politics forever. And he creates a female journalist / explorer who travels with the safari and whose work shines a light on colonial atrocities in the Congo. The story has layers of excitement and personal discovery. You can find the book wherever books are sold and connect with James on his website and through his newsletter. On the Desideratum Podcast website you will find a link to his MOTH main stage storytelling - which gives you a taste of his next project. Thanks for listening.
Episode 18, When the Apricots Bloom with author Gina Wilkinson
You can find When the Apricots Bloom in all its formats here: When the Apricots Bloom on Amazon.
You can see a photo Gina took in Iraq that helped her develop her characters friendship on the Desideratum Website.
A special thanks to Vida Engstrand at Kensington Books for connecting me and Gina. And, thank you for listening.
The River Maiden Book 1 The Once and Future Series by Meredith Stoddard, Ep17
Our featured story is from author Meredith Stoddard who writes folklore inspired fiction. You will hear the beginning of her Book One, The River Maiden, in her Once and Future Series. There are five books in this contemporary fantasy series - so far. Meredith says she has more story to tell. 'These characters have mountains to climb, caves to feel their way through and emotional swamps to navigate.' Listen for how Meredith's characters are changed by betrayal and kindness. Hear what informs the choices they make and the way they see the world. There's an echo of this character development in Meredith's personal stories about her grandmother, Joyce. The lessons in life that Joyce gives Meredith draw from her nearly 104 years of experience. Meredith is the grateful granddaughter of a storyteller and a memory keeper. Read more of the Once and Future series as well as her short story bonus material on her website. http://www.meredithstoddard.com/ . And, here is a link to the author she mentions in the podcast - who she recommends to everyone - Steven Pressfield, https://stevenpressfield.com/books/the-war-of-art/ The featured picture for this episode is Joyce at 100. You can it on the Desideratum Podcast website and Desideratum Podcast Facebook page. https://desideratumpodcast.com/ , https://www.facebook.com/DesideratumPodcast/?ref=pages_you_manage Thanks for listening.
The Flying Cutterbucks with Kathleen Rodgers and Michelle Williams, Ep16
And, a link to all of Kathleen's books and more on her website.
Thanks for listening.
Spellbound Under the Spanish Moss by Kevin Garrett and Connor Judson Garrett Ep15
The Library of Lost Souls by Meghan Holloway Ep14
The Eves by Grace Sammon Ep13
Gawk by Dianne Bilyak Ep12
Mercy - Mystery Short Story in Peace Love and Crime Anthology by Joseph S. Walker, Ep11
Joseph S. Walker Crime Writer : jsw47408.wixsite.com/website
Peace, Love, and Crime (paperback) edited by Sandra Murphy : Untreed Reads Publishing
Border Song short story by Paranormal / Romance author Laura Kemp, Ep10
Garden Crow excerpt from The Cicada Tree by Southern Gothic author Robert Gwaltney, Ep9
Mommy Van Gogh from parenting with humor book I Love You More Than Coffee author Melissa Face, Ep8
You can find her book and her schedule of coffee and library talks on her website. She also shared a great picture of her and her kids that we will put on the Desideratum Facebook page. Thanks for listening.
The Hedonist short story from A proud Scot lass author Alison Ragsdale Ep7
Alison's latest novel Her Last Chance launched this month. You can find it and all her novels on her website. www.alisonragsdale.com/
I'll post a picture of Alison in Scotland on the Desideratum Podcast website. desideratumpodcast.com/ Thanks for listening.
Voices short story from Body Language by author Marylee Macdonald, narrated by Adam Barr Ep6
You can find her novels, her short story collections and the ways she helps other authors with their writing, publishing and marketing on her website.
You can find out more about narrator Adam Barr and connect to his extensive library of audiobooks on his website.
Ignorance or Innocence short story by upmarket Women’s fiction author Johnnie Bernhard, Ep5
After you listen... you can listen to her TEDTalk here, www.ted.com/talks/johnnie_bernhard_the_human_story
You can find links to purchase her novels and audiobook on her website. www.johnniebernhardauthor.com/
You can find her mentoring writers through Gemini Ink geminiink.org/
And, you can see a lovely picture she shared of her and her mom Loula Mae taken on Johnnie's wedding day. We will share it on the Desideratum FB page.
Thanks for listening.
Unexplained Aerial Phenomena short story by PEN/Faulkner Award Finalist Steve Wiegenstein, Ep4
Thirteen Seconds from Follow me to Alaska by Texas to Alaska author Ann Parker Ep3
Look for Ann on social media @annparkerfollowmetoalaska, and @realalaska2day. You can see some of her breathtaking videos on her YouTube channel (Follow Me to Alaska Ann Parker). Her book and audio book are on sale on her website followmetoalaska.com/ and on Amazon and Audible. We shared one of our favorite pictures of Ann on the Desideratum Facebook Page @desideratumpodcast.
Thanks for listening.
Aperture spoken word poetry written and performed by Irish novelist Daniel Wade, Ep2
You can hear more and read more of Daniel's storytelling on his website (www.danielwade.ie) . Follow him @danielwadeauthor or @wadeinthewate11 on FB, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, Spotify, Apple Music and SoundCloud. You can find the Baudelaire 200 Years Literary Festival on FB @Baudelaire200Years. And, on the Desideratum FB page @DesideratumPodcast, you can find a picture of Daniel's grandmother Phyllis on vacation a long time ago - on a boat in the NY harbor - surrounded by light. Thank you for listening.