Daniel Silva – The Heist

Daniel Silva author of The HeistThe Heist by Daniel Silva coverA fallen British spy has been murdered in Lake Como, and Gabriel must cease his work repairing an altarpiece by Veronese and agree to hunt down the killers—and the world’s most iconic missing masterpiece: Caravaggio’s Nativity with St. Francis and St. Lawrence. The investigation will lead him and his remarkable team of operatives to a brave woman who survived one of the worst massacres of the twentieth century and give her a chance to strike a blow against the dynasty that destroyed her family.

From the shimmering boulevards of Paris and London, to the gritty criminal underworlds of Marseilles and Corsica, and finally to a small private bank in Austria where a dangerous man stands guard over the ill-gotten wealth of one of the world’s most brutal dictators, Gabriel’s search will take him on one of the most intricate and perilous missions of his long career and force him to confront a final, heart-stopping choice.

About the Author: Daniel Silva is the award-winning, number #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Unlikely Spy, The Mark of the Assassin, The Marching Season, The Kill Artist, The English Assassin, The Confessor, A Death in Vienna, Prince of Fire, The Messenger, The Secret Servant, Moscow Rules, The Defector, The Rembrandt Affair, Portrait of a Spy, The Fallen Angel, and The English Girl. He lives in Florida with his wife, Jamie Gangel, and their two children, Lily and Nicholas. In 2009 Silva was appointed to the United States Holocaust Memorial Council. Before becoming a writer Silva was the chief Middle East correspondent for UPI in Egypt and the Executive Producer of CNN’s Crossfire.

To hear our interview with Daniel Silva, click the grey podcast button below:

Edward Castronova: Wildcat Currency

castronova - headshotwildcat currency - jacket coverEdward Castronova is a professor of telecommunications and cognitive science at Indiana University. He is also a gamer, someone who actively plays and is familiar with the games of virtual reality. His interest, other than having a good time and  crushing his enemies and hearing the lamentations of their women, is in the virtual money used in these games. In fact, he’s interested in any type of nonstandard medium of exchange, and he has written a fascinating book about it, Wildcat Currency, subtitled, How the Virtual Money Revolution is Transforming the Economy Are frequent flier miles money? They can be. So were the old S&H Green Stamps in some senses. How virtual is virtual money. and what really counts as money? This book answers these and many more provocative questions in a clear, easy text, with fascinating examples. It’s a book about an aspect of economics that won’t cause your eyes to glaze over, and that is a rare event worth celebrating. Check out the interview by clicking on the grey podcast bar below. We were so intrigued, that we asked to schedule a follow-up interview in a couple of weeks.

Edgar Harrell with David Harrell: Out of the Depths

Out of the Depths cover 300

Edgar and David Harrell comboImagine being left in the Pacific Ocean, without food or water, surrounded by sharks, with friends suffering unimaginable injuries drifting beside you, many of whom would die over the course of five days of extremely adverse conditions. Your ship was just attacked by a Japanese torpedo and you’re left in darkness, with the risk of hypothermia, starvation and dehydration, and with the desperate fear of an enemy ship coming back to finish the job. Hundreds of your friends and fellow Marines are injured, dead or missing.

These are the unfathomable conditions that Edgar Harrell confronted when he served on the USS Indianapolis during World War II. He delivers a poignant story of courage and faith in his new book, Out of the Depths as he retells what happened during a historic and fatal mission, sharing a tale of inner strength and faith in God that stirs the reader like few war memoirs never have.

This is a read-it-in-one-sitting book, which is just what I did. This is the tale of the worst Navy disaster in the history of the United States. Some 879 Sailors and Marines died, more than two-thirds of them after the ship sank.  Harrell makes a case that much of that was caused by incompetence and and a cover-up by high-ranking Navy officials.

Harrell’s son, David Harrell, an ordained minister, helped with the book, but it certainly wasn’t because his farther was having any problems with mental acuity. Though the senior Harrell will be 90 this fall, his descriptions of these desperate events in our interview are strong and clear.

Click on the grey podcast button below for the interview that was so compelling our listeners requested that it be repeated.

Brad Meltzer – I Am Rosa Parks

Brad MeltzerI am Rosa Parks 300Three years ago, New York Times bestselling author Brad Meltzer was shopping for clothes for his daughter, and all he could find were shirts with princesses on them. Being surrounded by history all day as the host of the History Channel television show Decoded, Brad knew there were better role models and heroes for his children to want to emulate. He had a friend draw a picture of Amelia Earhart and on the back Brad wrote, “I know no bounds.” His daughter loved it, and Ordinary People Change the World was born. Ordinary People Change the World launched in January 2014 with I AM AMELIA EARHART and I AM ABRAHAM LINCOLN. Brad wanted children to see that real heroes – people like Abraham Lincoln, Amelia Earhart or Rosa Parks – were real people capable of extraordinary things. Once children hear about these ordinary people who have changed the world, they react the same way we all do. They’re inspired. They dream bigger. They work harder. BIO: Brad Meltzer is a #1 New York Times bestselling author of adult thrillers (including The Inner Circle and its recent sequel, The Fifth Assassin). His two nonfiction gift books, Heroes for My Son and Heroes for My Daughter were New York Times Bestsellers as well, and he has won the prestigious Eisner Award for his comic book work, Justice League of America. Brad is also the host of the History Channel TV show Brad Meltzer’s Decoded. He lives in Florida with his wife and their three children. To listen to our interview with Brad Meltzer, click on the grey podcast button below

Scott Bly – Smasher

SmasherScottBlyScott Bly has served up a mix of magic and science that ostensibly is aimed at middle-graders, but will delight adults as well. Smasher has a lot going for it, including a perfectly nasty villain, a young hero, a girl who is more than she appears, time travel and a race against the clock. You can hear our interview with him by clicking on the grey podcast bar at the bottom. Below is the bio from Amazon: Scott Bly has been a computer consultant in Los Angeles for over a decade. He has also taught computer classes and developed interactive educational games for elementary and middle school-aged children. Scott has collaborated and worked with a wide variety of computer specialists, from hackers and designers, to software developers and FBI Consultants. Scott’s debut Middle Grade novel, SMASHER, a fast-paced computer thriller, was published by Scholastic on March 25, 2014.

Scott moved to Los Angeles from Kansas City to study film at the University of Southern California. The City of Angels provided Scott opportunities he’d never considered back in his hometown, and he made movies, wrote screenplays, fell into a career in technology, played in bands (he warbles like a songbird, would you believe it?), and met his beautiful fiancée, Audrey. Life wasn’t bad. One fateful day, the vivid world of Scott’s imagination collided with reality when one of his new computer-repair clients turned out to be the Vice President of The Blue Sky Press (an imprint of Scholastic, Inc.). After speaking with him at length about his educational efforts and depth of computer and technology knowledge, she suggested he pen a kids’ book on the subject. The result is SMASHER, the first novel set in a world of magic and advanced technology. Scott’s multi-media and game design led to the classroom, where students get to immerse themselves in the story and game as a vehicle for computer education. Scott is excited about the school visits and live appearances where interactive experiences will serve as a continuation to the adventure begun within the pages of the novel.

Diane Gilbert Madsen – The Conan Doyle Notes: The Secret of Jack the Ripper

Diane Gilbert Madsen 3097Doyle final-jacket-coverBelow is the publicity material for Diane Gilbert Madsen’s “The Conan Doyle Notes: The Secret of Jack the Ripper.” It’s a very well-researched book with a convincing argument for the real identity of Jack The Ripper, wrapped in a page-turning adventure that will appeal both to hardcore Sherlock Holmes fans and casual mystery readers. The book has been receiving well-deserved praise, and you can hear our interview with Diane Gilbert Madsen by clicking on the grey podcast bar at the bottom of the page.

“Who was Jack the Ripper? Was Sir Arthur Conan Doyle protecting his identity? Conspiracies abound in this intelligent thriller that will make you think twice the next time you read a Sherlock Holmes’ mystery.” –Steve Alten, New York Times best-selling author of MEG and The Omega Project “Diane Gilbert Madsen’s ‘The Conan Doyle Notes: The Secret of Jack the Ripper’ was the best book I’ve read in a long, long time. I was hooked by page six and couldn’t stop reading. Spellbinding, intriguing and with a beguiling wit, Ms. Madsen delighted me to no end.” –Catherine Lanigan, New York Times Bestselling author, Romancing the Stone, The Jewel of the Nile and Love Shadows (2014 Harlequin Heartwarming)

Cape Haze, FL, - The Conan Doyle Notes: The Secret of Jack The Ripper revolves around a wealthy Chicago lumber baron’s diary which reveals that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle left some valuable handwritten notes during his 1894 visit to Chicago, and these notes contain vital information on the Jack the Ripper murders. When the diary is stolen, DD McGil, an academic turned insurance investigator, comes upon information that she believes confirms the identity of Jack the Ripper. Unfortunately for DD, she is not the only one looking for this priceless information, and she finds herself a target in a deadly game to locate a literary find that could rewrite history.

The DD McGil Literati Mystery series is the innovation of author Diane Gilbert Madsen.  A lover of the mystery classics since her youth, each book in the Literati Mystery series is inspired by the lives and works of some of literature’s greatest writers.  The series is set in Chicago, Illinois with heroine DD McGil, an English Professor turned Insurance Investigator.  The series gives readers an intriguing and fun blend of mystery and history.

In the first book, A Cadger’s Curse, DD McGil must authenticate a rare Robert Burns treasure that her eccentric Aunt Elizabeth has come upon. Her second book, Hunting for Hemingway, finds DD embroiled in a search for the original Hemingway manuscripts that went missing on the train when Hemingway’s wife was traveling with them.  These lost works by Hemingway have never surfaced — until now.

The Conan Doyle Notes: The Secret of Jack the Ripper was released in both the United States and the UK on May 22nd, 2014 - the 155th anniversary of Conan Doyle’s birthday.  The book will be released in hard cover and ebook formats by MX Publishing, a revered publisher of Sherlock Holmes and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle titles. Check out the book’s trailer on YouTube: http://bit.ly/1sdiQPx

About Diane Gilbert Madsen… Diane Gilbert Madsen grew up enjoying Sherlock Holmes, Agatha Christie, Dorothy Sayers, and John Dickson Carr. Born and raised in Chicago, Diane attended the University of Chicago and did post-graduate work at Roosevelt University. A political who’s who, Diane has worked in Illinois government as Director of Economic Development for the State of Illinois, running the Department of Tourism and the Illinois Film Office among others.  She has been cited in both the World Who’s Who of Women and the Who’s Who in Finance and Industry.  She and her husband Tom attend the Pleasant Places of Florida Sherlockian Society. They currently share their home in Cape Haze, Florida with Angel, their Japanese Chin dog. For more information about Diane Gilbert Madsen, check out her website, www.DianeGilbertMadsen.com Twitter: @DianeMadsen and Facebook: DianeGilbertMadsen

Libba Bray: on audio books, and general mayhem

Libba Bray Audiobook The DivinersLibba_Bray_by_David_ShankboneThis was supposed to be an interview about National Audiobook Month, as seen below, but instead it turned into one of the wildest, funniest interviews we have ever done. Check it out by clicking on the grey podcast bar below

Celebrate National Audiobook Month with NY Times Best-selling Author, Libba Bray

Do You Know?

·       Audiobooks are a $1.2 billion industry and showing steady growth.

·       Surveys show that audiobook listeners are avid readers.  People who listened to 4 or more audiobooks read about 15 books in the past year, compared to 6 books read by people who don’t listen to audiobooks.

·       Most listeners use audiobooks in the car (whether they are commuting or on driving vacations) but an increasing number of people also report using audiobooks while they are exercising, cooking, gardening — and even at work.

·       Audiobooks are great for family listening on the road this summer–nothing ends the “are we there yet?” blues like a great audiobook. Families can even knock out a few of the titles on a kid’s summer reading list on the way to vacation.

·       Audiobooks are a great tool for building literacy. Teachers and librarians report that listening to audiobooks helps children build better vocabularies and also helps them to read with better expression.

·      The total number of titles published in the audio format has doubled over the past seven years and publishers continue to increase their output to ensure that the most popular trade books are available in audio at the time the print book is released.

·      The rise of the digital download is no doubt the biggest contributing factor in the growth of sales and the declining rate of returns. The study shows that for audiobooks, the digital download format has eclipsed the CD format with slightly more than 60% of all audiobooks sold today being digital. Libba Bray is the New York Times bestselling author of the novels A Great and Terrible Beauty, Rebel Angels, and The Sweet Far Thing; the Michael L. Printz Award-winning Going Bovine; several short stories and five-and-a-half plays no one needs to read. Her satire, Beauty Queens, was a Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalist and winner of the 2012 Audie Award for Best Narration by the Author. She is currently at work on the second novel in The Diviners series, which has been optioned by Paramount Pictures and which Entertainment Weekly called “addictive and terrifying.” When not dodging deadlines, Libba is one-quarter of the world’s only all-YA author rock band, Tiger Beat. She makes her home in Brooklyn with her husband and teenaged son.