Books Connect Us

Books Connect Us

As we stay indoors during uncertain times, we’re staying connected with each other and the stories and authors who inspire us. BOOKS CONNECT US brings you brand new conversations with some of your favorite authors.

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    Karen McManus, author of THE COUSINS on the Read It Forward Book Club | Ep70

    Karen McManus is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of ONE OF US IS LYING, and its sequel ONE OF US IS NEXT. In her novel THE COUSINS, a rich and mysterious grandmother reveals a family's dark secrets. Now let's join Abbe Wright in conversation with author Karen McManus as part of the READ IT FORWARD BOOK CLUB.

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    Dr. Edward Hallowell author of DRIVEN TO DISTRACTION and ADHD2.0 | Ep69

    Dr. Edward Hallowell is a board-certified child and adult psychiatrist, a world-renowned keynote speaker, and the New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty books, including DRIVEN TO DISTRACTION, which sparked a revolution in our understanding of ADHD. he is now the co-author of the new book ADHD 2.0, which draws on the latest science to provide both parents and adults with ADHD a plan for minimizing the downside and maximizing the benefits of ADHD at any age. On this episode book editor Marnie Cochran talks to Dr. Hallowell about the book, and new strategies and lifestyle hacks for thriving with ADHD.

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    Catherine Cohen, comedian and author of GOD, I FEEL MODERN TONIGHT | Ep68

    Catherine Cohen is a comedy sensation who hosts the very popular podcast Seek Treatment. She has been featured in The New York Times and Vogue, and has appeared in the Netflix film The Lovebirds and HBO's High Maintenance. She is now the author of the comedic poetry collection GOD I FEEL MODERN TONIGHT. A Dorothy Parker for our time, a Starbucks philosopher with no primary-care doctor, Catherine will say all the outrageous things we think but never say out loud ourselves.

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    Mother-daughter authors Lisa Scottoline (ETERNAL) and Francesca Serritella (GHOSTS OF HARVARD) in conversation | Ep67

    Lisa Scottoline is the New York Times-bestselling author and Edgar Award-winning author of thirty-two novels. Her latest, ETERNAL, is a sweeping and shattering epic of historical fiction fueled by shocking true events— the tale of a love triangle that unfolds in the heart of Rome. Lisa has also co-authored nine best-selling essay collections with her daughter Francesca Serritella, who has just released her debut novel GHOSTS OF HARVARD, which has been described as part mystery, part ghost story, part psychological thriller. Today this mother-daughter author team have a fun discussion about their books and whether writing runs in the family.

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    Happy Holidays and talk to you in January!

    BOOKS CONNECT US is going on a little break. But we'll be back later in January with all new episodes. We're lining up lots of great authors for Season 2 of the podcast, and we look forward to connecting with you then. Take care, and we'll be back soon! Happy Holidays!

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    Stefanie Caponi, author of GUIDED TAROT | Ep66

    Stefanie Caponi (she/her) is an intuitive writer and illustrator. She has been reading tarot for more than 20 years and established her business as a professional tarot reader after creating her first tarot deck, The Moon Void Tarot. Her new book GUIDED TAROT is an essential guide to reading tarot cards seamlessly–with confidence and ease.

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    Alicia Garza, co-creator of #BlackLivesMatter and the Black Lives Matter Global Network, and author of THE PURPOSE OF POWER | Ep64

    Alicia Garza is an organizer, political strategist, and cheeseburger enthusiast. She is the principal at the Black Futures Lab, and co-creator of #BlackLivesMatter and the Black Lives Matter Global Network. Her book THE PURPOSE OF POWER is an essential guide to building transformative movements to address the challenges of our time. This is the story of one woman’s lessons through years of bringing people together to create change. Now let's join Taylor Noel in conversation with author Alicia Garza.

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    Vincent Toro, author of TERTULIA, in conversation with Willie Perdomo, author of THE CRAZY BUNCH | Ep63

    On today's show we have a conversation between authors Vincent Toro and Willie Perdomo. Vincent Toro’s new poetry collection TERTULIA examines immigration, economics, colonialism and race via the sublime imagery of music, visual art, and history. Willie Perdomo is a prize-winning poet, whose new collection THE CRAZY BUNCH chronicles a weekend in the life of a group of friends coming of age in East Harlem at the dawn of the hip-hop era.

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    Gabriela Herstik, author of INNER WITCH and BEWITCHING THE ELEMENTS, and her new inspirational spellbook EMBODY YOUR MAGICK

    Gabriela Herstik is the author of INNER WITCH and BEWITCHING THE ELEMENTS. In her new inspirational journal and spellbook EMBODY YOUR MAGICK will help readers embrace their inner witch, no matter where they are on their spiritual journey. The book offers up powerful meditations and rituals, space for notes and spells, and information on lunar practices, color magick, sacred herbs, tarot suits, and more.

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    Toni Jensen, author of CARRY, a powerful memoir about what it means to exist as an Indigenous woman in America | Ep61

    Toni Jensen teaches in the MFA programs at the University of Arkansas and the Institute of American Indian Arts, and she is a 2020 recipient of a Creative Writing Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. Her new book CARRY is a powerful, poetic memoir about what it means to exist as an Indigenous woman in America, told in snapshots of the author’s encounters with gun violence. In CARRY, Jensen maps her personal experience onto the historical, exploring how history is lived in the body and redefining the language we use to speak about violence in America.

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    Sophie Kinsella, author of SHOPAHOLIC and the new LOVE YOUR LIFE | Ep60

    Sophie Kinsella is the author of the bestselling SHOPAHOLIC series as well as the novels CAN YOU KEEP A SECRET, THE UNDOMESTIC GODDESS, and many more. Her latest is LOVE YOUR LIFE, an utterly delightful novel about a woman who ditches her dating app for a writer’s retreat in Italy—only to find that real love comes with its own filters.

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    Andrew Child, co-author of the new Jack Reacher novel THE SENTINEL | Ep59

    Andrew Child is the author of thrillers such as TOO CLOSE TO HOME and INVISIBLE. Andrew is now embarking on his highest profile work yet, teaming up with his brother Lee Child to co-write the newest entry in the incredibly popular Jack Reacher series, entitled THE SENTINEL. In THE SENTINEL, Jack Reacher finds himself battling bad guys in the murderous world of cybercrime.

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    Trung Le Nguyen, comic book artist, illustrator, and author of THE MAGIC FISH | Ep58

    Trung Le Nguyen, also known as Trungles, is a comic book artist and illustrator working out of Minnesota. He is particularly fond of fairy tales, kids’ cartoons, and rom-coms of all stripes. His debut graphic novel THE MAGIC FISH is a beautifully illustrated story that follows a young boy as he tries to navigate life through fairytales, and shows us how we are all connected.

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    Kali Fajardo-Anstine is a National Book Award Finalist and the author of SABRINA & CORINA | Ep57

    Kali Fajardo-Anstine is a National Book Award Finalist and the author of SABRINA & CORINA, a moving narrative of unrelenting feminine power and an exploration of the universal experiences of abandonment, heritage, and an eternal sense of home. This magnetic story collection breathes life into her Latina characters of indigenous ancestry and the land they inhabit in the American West.

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    Isabel Allende, author of bestselling and critically acclaimed books THE HOUSE OF THE SPIRITS and A LONG PETAL OF THE SEA | Ep56

    Born in Peru and raised in Chile, Isabel Allende is the author of a number of bestselling and critically acclaimed books, including THE HOUSE OF THE SPIRITS, OF LOVE AND SHADOWS, EVA LUNA, and IN THE MIDST OF WINTER. Her books have been translated into more than forty-two languages and have sold more than seventy-four million copies worldwide. Her latest is A LONG PETAL OF THE SEA, an epic novel spanning decades and crossing continents follows two young people as they flee the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War in search of a place to call home.

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    Natasha Diaz, author of COLOR ME IN, a powerful debut coming-of-age novel about the meaning of friendship | Ep55

    As a screenwriter, Natasha Diaz has been a quarterfinalist in the Austin Film Festival and a finalist for both the NALIP Diverse Women in Media Fellowship and the Sundance Episodic Story Lab. Her personal essays have been published in the Establishment and the Huffington Post. COLOR ME IN is her powerful debut coming-of-age novel about the meaning of friendship, the joyful beginnings of romance, and the racism and religious intolerance that can both strain a family to the breaking point and strengthen its bonds.

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    Jose Pimienta, author/illustrator of SUNCATCHER | Ep 54

    Jose Pimienta was raised in Mexicali, Baja California, and now resides in Los Angeles, CA where he works on comics and storyboards for animation and film. SUNCATCHER is his debut author/illustrator graphic novel. A story filled with music, passion, supernatural secrets, and family, SUNCATCHER brings to life a contemporary story of life in Mexicali with a supernatural twist and a lot of music.

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    Karen McManus, author of ONE OF US IS LYING, its sequel ONE OF US IS NEXT, TWO CAN KEEP A SECRET, and her new novel THE COUSINS

    Karen McManus is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of ONE OF US IS LYING, its sequel ONE OF US IS NEXT, and TWO CAN KEEP A SECRET. In her new novel THE COUSINS, estranged family members travel to an island to meet their rich and reclusive grandmother. The longer they stay, the more they realize how mysterious–and dark–their family’s past is.

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    Bishop Michael Curry, author of LOVE IS THE WAY | Ep52

    The Most Reverend Michael B. Curry is the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, and the first African-American to lead the denomination. A noted advocate for human rights and author of several books, Bishop Curry is recognized as one of the most popular preachers in the English language. In his latest book LOVE IS THE WAY, Bishop Curry leads readers to discover the gifts they need in order to live the way of love: deep reservoirs of hope and resilience, simple wisdom, the discipline of nonviolence, and unshakable regard for human dignity.

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    Ambi Kavanagh, author of CHAKRAS AND SELF-CARE and host of ALCHEMY WITH AMBI | Ep51

    Ambi Kavanagh is a Reiki master, astrologer, sound healer, life coach, and host of the podcast "Alchemy with Ambi." With a unique focus on using astrological cycles and the seasons as a form of coaching, she considers herself a modern-day alchemist who serves as a catalyst for positive change in people’s lives. Her book CHAKRAS AND SELF-CARE is an inspiring journey through the energetic centers of the body with meditation, rituals, and daily self-care.

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    Silvia Moreno-Garcia, author of Mexican Gothic | Ep50

    Silvia Moreno-Garcia is the New York Times bestselling author of the critically acclaimed speculative novels GODS OF JADE AND SHADOW, and the crime novel UNTAMED SHORE. Her new novel MEXICAN GOTHIC is a terrifying twist on classic gothic horror set in glamorous 1950s Mexico.

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    Brit Bennett, author of THE MOTHERS and THE VANISHING HALF | Ep49

    Brit Bennett is the author of the New York Times best seller THE MOTHERS. Her latest work is THE VANISHING HALF, a stunning new novel about twin sisters, inseparable as children, who ultimately choose to live in two very different worlds—one black and one white. Weaving together multiple strands and generations of this family, Brit Bennett produces a story that is at once riveting, emotional, and a brilliant exploration of the American history of passing.

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    Janice Kaplan, author of THE GRATITUDE DIARIES and her latest book THE GENIUS OF WOMEN | Ep48

    Janice Kaplan is the author or coauthor of fourteen books, including the New York Times bestsellers THE GRATITUDE DIARIES and I'LL SEE YOU AGAIN. In her latest book THE GENIUS OF WOMEN, Janice asks the question why do 90 percent of Americans believe that geniuses are almost always men? She explores the powerful forces that have rigged the system—and celebrates the women geniuses, past and present, who have triumphed anyway.

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    Wendy Benchley on the legacy of JAWS | Ep47

    Wendy Benchley is a marine and environmental conservation advocate, and former councilwoman from New Jersey. Her husband Peter Benchley was the famed author of JAWS, the classic suspense novel of shark versus man, which was made into the blockbuster Steven Spielberg movie.

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    Rory Power, author of WILDER GIRLS and BURN YOUR BODIES DOWN | Ep46

    Rory Power is the New York Times best-selling author of WILDER GIRLS. In her latest thriller BURN YOUR BODIES DOWN, a young woman is haunted by her family's past. The book has been called a deliriously creepy tale that will keep your nightmares up at night.

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    Kate Reed Petty, author of the thrilling TRUE STORY | Ep45

    Kate Reed Petty is an essayist, filmmaker, and co-author of the middle-grade graphic novel CHASMA KNIGHTS. Her debut novel TRUE STORY is part psychological thriller, part fever dream, and part timely comment on sexual assault, power, and the very nature of truth. Ingeniously constructed and full of twists and turns that will keep you guessing until the final pages, it marks the debut of a singular and daring new voice in fiction.

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    Dr. Gina Senarighi, author of LOVE MORE, FIGHT LESS | Ep44

    Dr. Gina Senarighi is an author, teacher, sexuality counselor, and certified relationship coach. She’s been supporting clean fights and dirty sex in happy, healthy relationships as an educator, coach, consultant, and couples therapist for over 10 years. In LOVE MORE, FIGHT LESS she has authored a relationship workbook for couples who want to learn new skills and build a solid foundation for working through conflicts, and move forward in ways that strengthen their bonds.

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    Ingrid Persaud, author of LOVE AFTER LOVE | Ep43 Books Connect Us

    Born in Trinidad, Ingrid Persaud won the Commonwealth Short Story Prize in 2017 and the BBC Short Story Award in 2018. Her new novel LOVE AFTER LOVE has been praised as a Best Book of the Summer by Time, The Guardian, Goop, and Lithub. In vibrant, addictive Trinidadian prose, LOVE AFTER LOVE questions who and how we love, the obligations of family, and the consequences of choices made in desperation.

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    Riley Sager, author of FINAL GIRLS and HOME BEFORE DARK | Ep42 BOOKS CONNECT US

    Riley Sager’s first novel, Final Girls, was a national and international bestseller that has been published in more than two dozen countries. In his latest novel HOME BEFORE DARK, a woman returns to the house made famous by her father’s bestselling horror memoir. Is the place really haunted by evil forces, as her father claimed? Or are there more earthbound—and dangerous—secrets hidden within its walls?

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    Rob Hart, author of THE WAREHOUSE, and Alex Segura | Ep41 BOOKS CONNECT US

    Rob Hart has worked as a book publisher, political reporter, and author of the ASH MCKENNA crime series. His acclaimed novel THE WAREHOUSE is a near-future thriller set in a giant tech company, and shows what happens when Big Brother meets Big Business–and who will pay the ultimate price. Today Rob is in conversation with fellow author Alex Segura, who wrote the new Star Wars book POE DAMERON: FREE FALL.

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    Kathleen Rooney, author of the novels LILLIAN BOXFISH TAKES A WALK and her latest CHER AMI AND MAJOR WHITTLESEY | Ep37 BOOKS CONNECT US

    Kathleen Rooney is the author of the novel LILLIAN BOXFISH TAKES A WALK, and is a founding editor of Rose Metal Press and a founding member of Poems While You Wait. Her latest novel CHER AMI AND MAJOR WHITTLESEY, which Booklist raves is "Imaginative and audacious. A celebration of animal intelligence, and tribute to altruism and courage."

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    Kim Johnson, author of THIS IS MY AMERICA | Ep35 BOOKS CONNECT US

    Kim Johnson is a college administrator who maintains civic engagement throughout the community while also mentoring Black student activists and leaders. Her debut novel THIS IS MY AMERICA explores racial injustice against innocent Black men who are criminally sentenced, and the families left behind to pick up the pieces.

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    Lindsey Daly, author of WOULD YOU RATHER? | Ep 34

    Lindsey Daly is a middle school social studies teacher and the author of WOULD YOU RATHER?, which is a book that allows children to confront philosophical questions such as "Would you rather kiss a fish swimming in a radioactive pond, or roll down a hill hugging a porcupine?"

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    Christine Feehan, author of the Carpathian and Ghostwalker series, and her latest DESOLATION ROAD and DARK SONG | Ep33

    Christine Feehan is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Carpathian series, the GhostWalker series, the Leopard series, the Shadow Riders series, and the Sea Haven novels. Her latest book DESOLATION ROAD is a thrilling romance novel set within a motorcycle club, and in her upcoming passionate novel DARK SONG two Carpathians find hope in the bond that ties their souls.

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    Wes Moore, the author of FIVE DAYS and CEO of the Robin Hood Foundation | Ep32 BOOKS CONNECT US

    Wes Moore is the CEO of the Robin Hood Foundation, one of the largest antipoverty organizations in the country. His latest book FIVE DAYS is an illuminating portrait of Baltimore in the aftermath of the death of Freddie Gray. This account of five days in the life of a city on the edge is told through eight characters on the front lines of the uprising that overtook Baltimore and riveted the world.

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    Josh Malerman, author of BIRDBOX and the sequel MALORIE | Ep30 BOOKS CONNECT US

    Josh Malerman is a New York Times bestselling author of BIRDBOX, which is the inspiration for the hit Netflix film starring Sandra Bullock. His latest MALORIE is a thrilling sequel to BIRDBOX, in which our hero has a harrowing choice to make: to live by the rules of survival that have served her so well, or to venture into the darkness and reach for hope once more.

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    Megha Majumdar author of A BURNING | Ep28 BOOKS CONNECT US

    Megha Majumdar is the debut novelist of A BURNING, in which she writes with dazzling assurance at a breakneck pace on complex themes such as class, fate, corruption, justice, and what it feels like to face profound obstacles and yet nurture big dreams in a country spinning toward extremism.

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    Lauren Ho, author of LAST TANG STANDING | Ep24 BOOKS CONNECT US

    Today's guest is Lauren Ho, author of the debut novel LAST TANG STANDING. This funny romance has been described as CRAZY RICH ASIANS meets BRIDGET JONES' DIARY, and is about the pursuit of happiness, surviving one’s thirties intact, and opening oneself up to love.

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    On today's show we have a conversation between Matthew Riemer and Leighton Brown, authors of WE ARE EVERYWHERE: PROTEST, POWER, AND PRIDE IN THE HISTORY OF QUEER LIBERATION. This book is a a rich and sweeping photographic history of the Queer Liberation Movement from the creators and curators of the massively popular Instagram account @lgbt_history.

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    Today's episode is a discussion between authors Abbi Waxman and Kristan Higgins. Abbi Waxman is the USA Today bestselling author of OTHER PEOPLE'S HOUSES, THE GARDEN OF SMALL BEGINNINGS, and her latest I WAS TOLD IT WOULD GET EASIER. Kristan Higgins is the New York Times bestselling author of nearly twenty novels, including LIFE AND OTHER INCONVENIENCES and her latest ALWAYS THE LAST TO KNOW.

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    Nic Stone, author of DEAR MARTIN and DEAR JUSTYCE | Ep12 BOOKS CONNECT US

    Nic Stone is the critically acclaimed and New York Times bestselling author of titles such as DEAR MARTIN, JACKPOT, CLEAN GETAWAY and her latest DEAR JUSTYCE. Angie Thomas, author of THE HATE U GIVE, called Dear Martin "a must-read", while THE FAULT IN OUR STARS author John Green described it as "Powerful and wrenching."

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    Kwana Jackson on her romance novel REAL MEN KNIT | Ep11 BOOKS CONNECT US

    Today's guest is USA Today bestselling author and native New Yorker Kwana Jackson. Her novel REAL MEN KNIT is a heartfelt romance that takes place in a beloved Harlem knitting shop, and Booklist raved that "“Jackson crafts a cute friends-to-lovers romance with a diverse cast of characters that emphasizes the importance of community and found family."

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    Erik Larson (THE SPLENDID AND THE VILE) on Winston Churchill, The Blitz, and society showing bravery in the face of great horrors | BOOKS CONNECT US Ep2

    Erik Larson— bestselling author of THE DEVIL IN THE WHITE CITY and DEAD WAKE— discusses his latest, THE SPLENDID AND THE VILE. The book covers a year in the life of Winston Churchill at the height of World War 2 . Erik talks about the leadership qualities of Churchill, how the citizens handled the bombing, whether bravery can be passed along, and how that period in history compares to what we are facing today.

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    Introducing BOOKS CONNECT US, a new podcast from Penguin Random House

    Welcome to Books Connect Us from Penguin Random House. This is a brand new podcast about staying connected with each other, and the stories and authors who inspire us. In these lively interviews your favorite authors will discuss their own books, provide recommendations for what they’re reading and watching, and help put into context some of the issues we are all currently facing.

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    The Windfall by Diksha Basu

    Read it Forward editors Abbe and Emma discuss going from no money to new money in THE WINDFALL by Diksha Basu and Abbe Wright interviews the author.

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    Long Black Veil by Jennifer Finney Boylan

    Abbe Wright interviews LGBTQ activist and author Jennifer Finney Boylan about her new novel, LONG BLACK VEIL, a thriller about the price of secrecy.

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