All Episodes

Historical Fiction Historical Mystery

Bella Ellis - THE DIABOLICAL BONES

Bella and I discuss The Diabolical Bones, the Brontë novels that inspire the books in this series, the Brontë sister who influenced her pen name, the joy she feels writing these books, how she came up with the word detectors, and much mo

Mystery/Thriller

Sarah Pearse - THE SANATORIUM

Sarah and I discuss her debut The Sanatorium, having her novel chosen as a Reese’s Book Club selection, how she created such a strong sense of place, making the sanatorium a character in the novel, writing a closed circle mystery, her stunning book cover, and more.

Nonfiction

Zibby Owens - MOMS DON'T HAVE TIME TO

Zibby and I discuss her anthology Moms Don’t Have Time To, the genesis of the essays, how she pulled this project together so quickly, which genre is Zibby’s personal favorite, how she reads so many books, and what surprised her the most about compiling these essays into an anthology.

Contemporary Fiction

Madeleine Henry - THE LOVE PROOF

Madeleine and I discuss her latest novel The Love Proof, what inspired her to write this book, her love of yoga, her writing process, what she likes to do in her free time, and more.The Love Proof can be purchased at Murder by the Book.Madeleine’s 2 re...

Historical Fiction

Susan Meissner - THE NATURE OF FRAGILE THINGS

Susan and I discuss her latest novel The Nature of Fragile Things, the unexpected book that inspired her to write this story, her interest in the mail-order bride phenomenon, the fragility of San Francisco’s infrastructure prior to the 1906 earthquake, and more.

Historical Fiction

Erika Robuck - THE INVISIBLE WOMAN

Erika and I discuss her latest novel The Invisible Woman, bringing Virginia Hall to life, highlighting the everyday people who contributed to the French Resistance, touring the CIA Museum, how readers are looking for stories of redemption during the pandemic, and more.

Mystery/Thriller

Eliza Jane Brazier - IF I DISAPPEAR

Eliza and I discuss her adult debut If I Disappear, how she created her unique format, finding a place in today’s world, how grief can impact and infect everything else, the importance of focusing on mental health, the fabulous true crime community and more.

Nonfiction

Anna Malaika Tubbs - THE THREE MOTHERS

Anna and I discuss her new book The Three Mothers, the importance of black women and their stories and contributions, how she chose these three mothers, the direct connection between these women and the work their sons pursued, how we tell history and wh...

Contemporary Fiction

Te-Ping Chen - LAND OF BIG NUMBERS

Te-Ping and I discuss her short story collection Land of Big Numbers, how the people she met as a journalist in Beijing inspired some of these stories, what it is like for people who live in a society where many circumstances are outside their control, the universality of intergenerational family stories, and more.

Mystery/Thriller

Jane Harper - THE SURVIVORS

Jane and I discuss her latest book The Survivors, how setting and plot drive her stories, creating a strong sense of place, her thoughts on the motion picture adaptation of The Dry and Eric Bana as Aaron Falk, how her journalism training helps her write thrillers and more.

Contemporary Fiction

Nancy Johnson - THE KINDEST LIE

Nancy and I discuss her debut novel The Kindest Lie, the issue of identity in the United States today, her title’s dual meaning, how important it is for aspiring authors to write the story they want to write versus following publishing trends, her own publishing journey and more.

Nonfiction

Ty Seidule - ROBERT E. LEE AND ME

Ty and I discuss his new book Robert E. Lee and Me, the myth of the Lost Cause of the Confederacy and its creation and perpetuation, how telling his own personal story is more impactful than just sharing his views, reading recommendations and more.

Mystery/Thriller

Lisa Gardner - BEFORE SHE DISAPPEARED

Lisa and I discuss her new mystery Before She Disappeared, the complexity of plotting a person’s disappearance in 2021, walking the streets of Mattapan for research and the delicious food item that she discovered there, and the real-life inspiration for Frankie.

Contemporary Fiction

Liese O'Halloran Schwarz - WHAT COULD BE SAVED

Liese discusses her new book What Could Be Saved, writing about Bangkok in both the 1970s and present day, pulling from her experiences as an expat, how her writing process has evolved over time, pandemic reading recommendations, and much more.

Contemporary Fiction

Mateo Askaripour - BLACK BUCK

Mateo discusses Black Buck, using a creative format to tell the story, fiction’s incredible power to teach empathy and understanding, his unique (and very cool) cover and the story behind it, having his novel chosen for the Read with Jenna book club.

Contemporary Fiction

Julie Carrick Dalton - WAITING FOR THE NIGHT SONG

Julie discusses her debut Waiting for the Night Song, why she loosely based the plot line on a cherished children’s book, choosing New Hampshire for the book’s setting, the importance and urgency of climate fiction, and much more.

Mystery/Thriller

Nick Petrie - THE BREAKER

Nick discusses his latest mystery The Breaker, incorporating cutting edge technology into some of his stories, the long-range implications and societal changes resulting from new technology such as cell phones and social media, and writing about PTSD.

Historical Fiction

Julia Kelly - THE LAST GARDEN IN ENGLAND

Julia discusses her latest book The Last Garden in England, the pros and cons of choosing a popular topic like gardening to write about, the importance of creating a strong sense of place, and recruiting her father to help her research English gardens.