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Join us as we venture into the cobbled streets of Paris's Montmartre with Aimie Runyan, the creative force behind the novel "A Bakery in Paris." We journey through time, experiencing the Franco-Russian War and WWII through the eyes of Lisette and Michelin, connected across generations by family and the smell of fresh bread. We also dive deep into Aimie's storytelling choices, from the inclusion of traditional French recipes to the challenge of navigating multiple timelines. Hear how she crafts each character's story, blending historical facts with evocative narratives. Don't miss this engrossing exploration of French history, culture, and the unbreakable bonds of family. _ Produced by Podcast Studio X. Listen on YouTube. Find my book reviews on
Step into the pages of history that often escape the limelight. Join us as we explore Heather B. Moore's "Under the Java Moon," a compelling narrative that opens the curtains on Java's POW camps during WWII—a place where even whispers had eyes. Starting each chapter with real survivor accounts, this novel reveals how families, torn from their lives, faced unparalleled challenges. From Heather's transition from fashion merchandising to becoming a versatile author, to the riveting stories of men, women, and children caught in the war's merciless grip, we dig deep. We'll also explore how wartime fear wasn't confined to one part of the globe, drawing parallels between internment camps in Java and America. As a closing note, we shift from the weight of history to the lightness of tradition, introducing you to the charming Icelandic custom of Jolabokaflod, which turns book-giving into a festive affair. Don't miss this episode; it's a tapestry of forgotten history and a glimpse into cherished traditions. _ Produced by Podcast Studio X. Listen on YouTube. Find my book reviews on
Ali Bryan takes us on a riveting journey through the intricacies of human behavior, set against the unlikely but compelling stage of a karaoke championship and a prison break. Bryan, the mastermind behind the spellbinding "The Crow Valley Karaoke Championships," exposes us to characters wrestling with identity, second chances, and the perpetual struggle between expectations and reality. Switching gears, we raise our eyebrows at the alarming trends in tourist behavior worldwide. From defacing ancient landmarks to sheer disrespect for local culture, we explore the urgent need for ethical tourism. It's a ride through the beautiful, messy symphony that is human life—each of us a note, each story a melody, together composing the complex harmonies and dissonances that define us. _ Produced by Podcast Studio X. Find my book reviews on
Ever wondered why cheese is the most stolen food or how maple syrup can be a hotbed for criminal activity? In this riveting episode, we sit down with Chris Garcia, the mind behind the eye-opening book "Food and Crime," to explore these questions and more. We dive into the four major categories of food-related crimes: theft, fraud, organized crime, and even assault and murder. From the ancient history of food fraud to the modern-day artichoke mafia, we unravel the complex relationship between what we eat and the darker aspects of human behavior. We also touch on current events, like the tragic case of a young girl killed over McDonald's sauce packets, to illustrate the sometimes devastating intersections of food and crime. Don't miss this episode that serves up a full course of intrigue, history, and societal impact. _ Produced by Podcast Studio X. Find my book reviews on
In this episode, we sit down with Julia Bryan Thomas, the creative mind behind the evocative novel "The Radcliffe Ladies’ Reading Club: A Novel.” Journey with us as we explore the transformative years of the 1950s through the eyes of four first-year students at Radcliffe College. Julia shares her own literary journey, from a childhood filled with letters and poems to fulfilling her dream at the Yale Writers Workshop. We also discuss the shifting landscape of higher education and the diminishing role of liberal arts. Don't miss our conversation about Julia's upcoming espionage novel set in 1960s Paris and the challenges of writing in extreme weather conditions. Tune in for a rich narrative that transcends time, offering both a nostalgic look back and a critical eye on today's societal norms. As a bonus, listen to me touch on the recent wildfires in Maui, urging a nuanced understanding of their complex causes. _ Produced by Podcast Studio X. Find my book reviews on
Join us as we explore a summer's worth of reading – from a unique fictionalized take on Doc Holliday to the latest John Grisham's novel, and everything in between! Discover the gems and the disappointments, hear about upcoming author interviews, and get excited for a fall full of diverse reads. From historical fiction to crime and culinary tales, we've got a packed schedule ready for the booklover in you. We'll be journeying to places like Java, Paris, and Victorian London, tackling subjects like wartime England, airship adventures, and even karaoke championships. Tune in and find your next favorite book! _ Produced by Podcast Studio X. Find my book reviews on
Today I speak with author and animal welfare lawyer Fred M. Kray about his book on the death of the legendary racehorse Alydar. Kray shares the story of how he became interested in animal law and his journey investigating the suspicious circumstances surrounding Alydar's death in 1990. The conversation covers the financial pressures facing Alydar's owner, Calumet Farm, and the involvement of Lloyds of London in the investigation. Kray's book is organized like a trial, with the reader kept in suspense until the end. Tune in for an intriguing conversation about a mystery that remains unsolved to this day. Plus, I review "Oranges for Magellan" by Richard Martin, a quirky novel about Joe Magellan, a man with an obsession to climb… flagpoles! Enjoy today’s episode and share it with your friends. Buy "Broken" by Fred M. Kray: Buy "Oranges for Magellan" by Richard Martin: _ Produced by Podcast Studio X. Books & Looks is a project of Views on Books.
Join us as we saddle up with historian, author, and podcaster Chris Wimmer to explore the rich tapestry of the Old West in the summer of 1876. From the infamous Custer's Last Stand to the birth of professional baseball, Chris offers a glimpse into key events that shaped a nation. We'll also journey into the minds of Western legends like Wyatt Earp and Wild Bill Hickok, the chaotic Northfield Bank robbery, and the passion for Western fiction and culture. Tune in to discover how the American mythos was forged in the fiery crucible of the West, and catch a preview of exciting new projects that promise to breathe life into revolutionary tales. Buy 'The Summer of 1876' - _ Produced by Podcast Studio X. Find my book reviews on
Join us as we delve into the world of books and libraries with Peter Briscoe, author of the novels "The Bookseller," "The Best Read Men in France," and more. As a former head librarian, Peter brings a wealth of knowledge and insight on the current state of the industry and the impact of technology on reading and preservation. This episode is a must-listen for book lovers, librarians, and anyone interested in the future of books and literature. Join us as we explore the evolution of reading and the ongoing debate between print books and ebooks, with a unique perspective from an expert in the field. _ Produced by Podcast Studio X. Books & Looks is a project of Views on Books.
Today we sit down with accomplished author Colin Mustful to discuss his upcoming alternate history novel, "Reclaiming Mni Sota." As we dive into a conversation about the largely overlooked US-Dakota War of 1862, we explore the unique narrative styles used to bring to life two characters, Samuel and Waabi. Mustful enlightens us about his background, his experience with a vanity press, and his subsequent journey to launching History Through Fiction Publishing. Further, we explore the nuances of revisionist history and alternate history, breaking down the differences with Mustful's insights. He elaborates on the painstaking process of blending history and fiction to create a compelling narrative. Not only do we dive into the details of the book, but also discuss broader topics such as the treatment of Dakota and Ojibwe people. As we wind down, we shift gears to talk about the often overlooked topic of coffee pricing, ignited by a humorous incident involving Warren Buffet's wife. We also recommend a charming South Korean Netflix show "Would You Like A Cup of Coffee?" to our audience. Be sure to listen till the end for a teaser about our special guest in the next episode. Remember to pre-order Mustful's captivating novel, visit his website, and check out other books by History Through Fiction Publishing. Press play, and let's explore history together. _ Produced by Podcast Studio X. Find my book reviews on
Today we speak with William Maz, acclaimed author of "The Bucharest Legacy: The Rise of the Oligarchs," an intriguing tale set amidst the socio-political turmoil of 1990s Romania. Born in Romania to Greek parents, Maz brings a unique perspective to his writing, artfully blending personal experiences with a deft understanding of history and culture. In this episode, we navigate his journey from being a trained physician to becoming a respected author, the inspirations behind his characters, and how his diverse background contributes to the authenticity of his novels. From discussing Maz's fascinating protagonist, CIA analyst Bill Hefflin, to the riveting themes of power, corruption, and transition in post-communist Romania, we unpack the realism and depth that makes "The Bucharest Legacy" stand out. We also discuss Maz's admiration for authors John le Carré, Eric Ambler, and Olen Steinhauer, and how their works have shaped his own. Join us as we explore the depth of Romanian culture, history, and food, shedding light on the backdrop against which "The Bucharest Legacy" unfolds. Don't miss out on this unique blend of literary analysis and historical context. Whether you're a bookworm or a history enthusiast, this episode is one to bookmark! _ Produced by Podcast Studio X. Find my book reviews on
Today we're joined by Diane Bergner, a Florida-based author and Vice President of Development at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts. Bergner, a former attorney, shares the parallels between her career journey and the intriguing lead character of her book, "The Royal Coconut Beach Lunch Club." We explore the glamorous and gritty world of non-profit work, reflecting the layered narrative of Bergner's writing. She walks us through her transition from law to philanthropy, her engaging introduction to the world of writing, and the dynamic interactions with wealthy individuals that fuel her characters. Bergner's deep dive into the art of storytelling reveals the motivations behind her book, providing more than just a "beach read" experience. We also discuss the Kravis Center's future plans and Bergner's early-morning writing routine. I also offer my perspective on public transportation issues in Denver, CO and Greenville, SC. You won't want to miss this episode - it's a compelling blend of literary insight and real-world reflections. For a full review of Bergner's book, don't forget to visit our website after tuning in to this enlightening conversation. _ Produced by Podcast Studio X. Find my book reviews on
Today we welcome Justin Reash, the executive director of the International Churchill Society. Join us as we navigate the complex and fascinating life of Sir Winston Churchill - the celebrated British leader who authored over 40 million words and left an indelible impact on history. Justin shares intriguing insights about Churchill's writing process, character, and legacy, as well as fascinating tidbits about the International Churchill Society's mission and global presence. Plus, he recommends a couple of Churchill's works for those eager to explore his writings. Later in the episode, I switch gears to discuss the utility and health benefits of smartwatches, particularly the Apple Watch, juxtaposing its practicality against the appeal of classic timepieces. Tune in to this episode for an enlightening discussion on Churchill's life and the advancement of modern watches.  We hope this episode inspires you to think about history in new ways and maybe even swap your wristwatch for a healthier alternative. _ Produced by Podcast Studio X. Find my book reviews on
Travel back in time with esteemed author Craig Russell to explore the enthralling world of his latest novel, "The Devil's Playground." With a backdrop of 1920s Hollywood, Russell presents a riveting blend of historical fact and fiction that will capture the imagination of film buffs, history lovers, and avid readers alike. This episode dives into the book's compelling narrative, follows the mysterious journey of Mary Rourke, Hollywood's first "female fixer," and explores real-life characters and events that color the vivid canvas of this thrilling story. From the intriguing concept of a lost horror film to the uncharted territory of a female "fixer" in early Hollywood, and the fascinating rivalries that marked the era, Russell's rich insights bring this mesmerizing epoch to life. Listen in as Russell, joining us from Scotland, delves into his lifelong fascination with silent films, the emergence of the modern world, and the parallels he sees with the post-pandemic era. Moreover, enjoy his anecdotes about bizarre historical figures, iconic Hollywood locations, and rivalries that reflected the unique rules and morals of early Hollywood. Hear about his plans for future projects, including his interest in further exploring the character of Mary Rourke, and learn about lesser-known pioneers of the 1920s film industry. Lastly, I share some important advice about a new phone scam that everyone should be aware of. Press play to embark on this captivating journey into the past with Craig Russell – don't miss this cinematic adventure on "Books & Looks!"
Prepare for a journey to the heart of Hawaii as we discuss the engrossing Koa Kane mystery series and much more on this episode of "Books and Looks". Dive into "Retribution", the latest thrilling entry in the series, where the islands themselves become vivid characters under the pen of Robert McCaw, today’s guest and master storyteller. McCaw opens up about his fascinating journey from math scholar to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black's law clerk, a voyage which imprinted on him lessons on history, ethics, and leadership in America. Marvel at McCaw's dedication to research and his deep love for Hawaii's rich culture and history, palpable in every page of his novels. As an extra treat, McCaw shares insights into his writing routine and how his interest in puzzles influences his storytelling. A must-listen for all mystery enthusiasts and aspiring writers! Don't miss this captivating conversation and make sure to grab your free Kindle copy of "Death of a Messenger" on Amazon this June! After our chat with McCaw, we'll also venture to the historical Rubicon River in Italy, reflecting on its significance in the wake of Silvio Berlusconi's passing. Journey through the pages of history and thrilling mysteries with us! _ Produced by Podcast Studio X. Find my book reviews on
Today we have the pleasure of hosting award-winning author Will Thomas. We dive deep into his latest book, "Heart of the Nile," part of his captivating detective series set in the Victorian era. Will shares his unique writing process, his insights on the historical context of his series, and his future plans for his characters, Barker and Llewelyn. In the second half, I share my personal take on the current restaurant industry, discussing its resilience in the face of the pandemic and why I prefer home-cooked meals. Join us for a fascinating blend of literature, history, and food talk. Don't miss out! _ Produced by Podcast Studio X. Find my book reviews on
Today we welcome Claudia Gray, acclaimed YA author turned historical mystery novelist. We dive into her latest work, "The Late Mrs. Willoughby", a captivating merger of Jane Austen's nuanced world-building with Agatha Christie's intrigue. Experience a unique behind-the-scenes tour as Gray unpacks her career transition, the inspirations behind her new series, and her approach to appealing to both Austen aficionados and newcomers alike. Discover how Gray has beautifully breathed life into Austen's characters, crafting a narrative that's been warmly welcomed by fans across genres. Our conversation also navigates through the challenges of historical accuracy, Gray's future projects, and an insightful discussion on the often overlooked topic of neurodiversity. In the second half, brace for an exploration of contemporary issues, from the concerning state of horse racing to the troubling realities of urban Denver. Don't miss this episode – it's sure to charm the book lover in you while provoking thoughtful discourse on societal issues. Happy listening! _ Produced by Podcast Studio X. Find my book reviews on
I'm thrilled to bring you an engaging conversation with Brittany Butler, debut author of "The Syndicate Spy". Brittany, a former CIA tracker, draws from her real-life experiences to craft a gripping narrative set 30 years into the future. We discuss how her unique perspective informs the depiction of women in espionage, and the intricate dance between agencies like the FBI and CIA. We'll also touch on pressing global issues including energy conflicts and women's rights, plus a detour into the world of horse racing. Don't miss out on this exciting mix of spy thrills, literature, and current topics. Tune in, join the conversation, and remember, keep reading! _ Produced by Podcast Studio X. Find my book reviews on
Today we have a compelling conversation with debut author Mary Ann Miller. At 63, she has penned an enthralling murder mystery, "Bones Under the Ice", set in a small Indiana town. We'll delve into her late blooming writing career, her captivating novel's storyline, and the inspirations behind her lead character, Jhonni Laurent. We'll also discuss the thought-provoking issues her book brings to light, such as the impact of wind turbines on rural communities. As we journey through Miller's creative process and personal interests, we'll expand the conversation to broader societal implications, especially the environmental challenges of renewable energy. By the end, you'll not only get a sneak peek into Miller's intriguing mystery novel but also engage with critical dialogues on contemporary environmental issues. So grab your coffee, sit back, and enjoy the engaging blend of literary insights and societal discussion. _ Produced by Podcast Studio X. Find my book reviews on
Ever heard of Paul Runyan, the unassuming golf prodigy nicknamed "Little Poison"? Join author John Dechant as he unveils the secrets behind Runyan's extraordinary short game and lasting impact on the sport. In this captivating interview, Dechant delves into Runyan's unconventional journey from humble beginnings as an Arkansas farm boy to his triumphs against golf's greatest legends. Learn how Runyan harnessed science, diet, and fitness to remain competitive across multiple generations, becoming an unsung hero who defied expectations and transformed the face of golf forever. Don't miss this enthralling tale of a hidden icon and his enduring influence on the sport we love. Plus, my review of Nancy Burkhalter's intriguing historical fiction novel, "The Education of Delhomme," set amid the tumultuous French Revolution. Timestamps: "The Education of Delhomme" Book Review - 0:00 John Dechant Interview - 03:30 _ Produced by Podcast Studio X.
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