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By Theresa Bakken
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. Join me audiobook narrator Theresa Bakken 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. Tune in to hear an artist you love or to find your new favorite storyteller.
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Currently playing episode

The Flying Cutterbucks with Kathleen Rodgers and Michelle Williams, Ep16


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. 
September 30, 2022
Slade by Robert Grindstaff, Ep60
Imagine a character waking you up with his story… that’s how Robb Grindstaff describes writing his new novel SLADE. For me - talking to Robb about writing SLADE was a meta moment - interviewing an author about his life and his book that is about interviewing an author about his book and his life. Turns out interviewing skills are all over Robb’s resume. The newspaper biz took him from small town Wisconsin to Washington DC. He describes himself as a small town kid who’s as comfortable in Tokyo as he is in Tuna, TX. 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.
September 23, 2022
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 Check out to find The Lost Girls of Willowbrook audiobook narrated by Morgan Hallett. Using the affiliate link to 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.  You can get a copy of Dr. William Bronston’s book Public Hostage Public Ransom on his website.
September 17, 2022
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.
September 09, 2022
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.
August 12, 2022
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. 
July 22, 2022
Legends & Lattes by Travis Baldree Ep55
Author and narrator Travis Baldree has created an escapist fantasy that  - as the first line promises -  is "for anyone who wondered where the other road led."  It's the story of a fabled artifact (a stone that promises a ring of fortune) and an Orc named Viv who is ready to change her life - ready to leave mercenary work behind and open the first coffee shop in the city of Thune.  The shop, its regulars, its slowly developing menu, and sapphic love story have all struck a chord with legions of fans (fans from all genre camps). In response, after just a few months out on its own, Legends & Lattes was acquired by Pan MacMillan's Tor Publishing imprint with a contract for another stand alone fantasy.  You'll hear from Travis about how work on the 2nd book is going; how his sense of smell became a beloved character creating legendary cinnamon rolls;  how hundreds of hours of narration work steered his writing; and of course you'll hear a few minutes of Travis performing the transporting Legends & Lattes audiobook.   Thanks to Travis and to Tor Publishing for being part of the pod... to quote a chess playing gnome in the book, "Thank you for letting me sit in the shade of what you've grown!"  You can find his social links and follow Travis's work through his website  And, when you use this affiliate link to purchase the audiobook from , you support this humble pod and a local book store of your choosing.  Thanks for listening!
July 15, 2022
A Child Lost by Michelle Cox Ep54
Michelle Cox - the author of the Henrietta and Inspector Howard series - talks about how her spunky, sleuthing, sexy character Henrietta is based on a real woman. We’re talking about book 5 in the series - A Child Lost - where multiple story lines of crime and passion weave together. It’s easy to pick up the threads even if you’re new to Henrietta’s adventures. And, while there aren’t any cliff hanging loose ends, you will find clues to draw you to Book 6, which is coming out this fall.  You’ll hear us talk about the book’s theme of lost children and the way poetry worked its way into this 1930’s story.  You’ll also hear a few minutes from the audiobook narrated by Jayne Entwistle - an Audie Finalist -  A Voice Arts Award winner - known for her work on book series - who you might have also seen acting in television shows like The Good Place.   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 - I found all 5 of the Henrietta and Inspector Howard books in’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!
May 27, 2022
The Lost Book of Eleanor Dare by Kimberly Brock, Ep53
A real life, centuries old mystery surrounding the fate of Eleanor Dare and her carved stone whispered across time and gave wings to Kimberly Brock's storytelling imagination. Kimberly plants her story in 1945, and then carefully reveals its deep roots. It’s an exquisite story about being found and seen - about finding your way and feeling lost. And - wow - the truths Kimberly illuminates along the way about mothers and daughters! Find out what a marsh means to Kimberly and hear about a serendipity between the author and award winning narrator and voice actor Brittany Pressley. The Lost Book of Eleanor Dare is about family legacy and the timeless desire to be remembered. 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 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
April 29, 2022
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.
April 22, 2022
No Names To Be Given with Julia Brewer Daily, Ep51
This week's featured story is a Pandora's box of secrets.  We are talking to author Julia Brewer Daily about how secrets reverberate through her character's stories. Her debut novel - No Names to be Given - begins in a maternity hospital in New Orleans in the late 1960’s where three young women relinquish their babies for adoption on the same day.   It’s a fiction based on truth - the maternity hospital really existed and Julia herself was born there!  We begin by talking about how in her fiction she uses DNA testing to reveal long hidden truths and end with what Julia calls 'the sweetest third'. You will also hear a couple minutes from the audiobook's Prologue.  It's the day the three young women at the heart of the story - Sandy, Becca, and Faith - all deliver their babies.  The narrator, Reagan Boggs, is also a singer/songwriter in the Nashville area.  She really brings her lyricism to this story. 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  When you purchase your audiobooks through the Desideratum Podcast partner link you support the podcast, and you can pick a local bookstore to support as well.  
April 08, 2022
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 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!
April 01, 2022
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!
March 18, 2022
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.
March 11, 2022
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 
March 09, 2022
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 .  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.
March 04, 2022
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
March 04, 2022
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 Also, please look for the audiobook on 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 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.
February 25, 2022
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
February 22, 2022
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  Using this affiliate link supports the podcast and a local book store of your choice at As always, Thank you for listening.
February 18, 2022
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
February 17, 2022
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!
February 11, 2022
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
February 08, 2022
Sugar Baby And Other Stories by River Jordan Ep43
Today's episode features River Jordan's collection of short stories - 13 Southern tales gathered in a book she called Sugar Baby And Other Stories.  We talk about the Divine and it's connection to strangers. River reads for us, and tells us stories, and shares her essential truth.  You can hear more from her on the ClearStory Radio Show which she has hosted in Nashville for over 15 years.  Please visit her website to find her award winning work including Praying for Strangers, The Ancient Way, Confessions of a Christian Mystic, and her most recent - Sugar Baby And Other Stories - which the Pulpwood Queen Book Club named February’s bonus book selection.  Thank you to author Mandy Haynes for being my connection to River.   And, as always, thank you for listening. Instagram - RiverJordanInk Facebook - RiverJordanInk Twitter- RiverJordanInk
January 28, 2022
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 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 Please use the Desideratum Podcast affiliate link with Doing so supports the podcast and a local bookstore of your choice.  Thanks to Vida at Kensington Books for introducing me to Robyn and as always thank you for listening!  
January 21, 2022
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.
December 31, 2021
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  . I hope you will also visit 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 Please use the Desideratum Podcast affiliate link with to buy your audiobooks.  Thanks to Larissa at Kensington Books for introducing me to Colleen and thank you for listening! 
December 24, 2021
The Spanish Daughter by Lorena Hughes Ep39
You had me at chocolate... but then a crossdressing woman navigating a 1920's man's world... and a talking cockatoo who eats cacao seeds and gives clues... seriously this week's featured novel The Spanish Daughter by Lorena Hughes is just that rich! Listen as Lorena talks about strong women, wealth, family ties and a lush coastal town in her native Ecuador that really was known as the 'birthplace of cacao'.    Learn more about Lorena who was named one of 9 Rising Latina Authors You Don’t Want to Miss by HIP LATINA. Pre-order The Spanish Daughter using the code Kensington Books generously gives to Desideratum Podcast listeners.  Just enter DP20 at checkout on the Kensington books website. Listen to The Spanish Daughter audiobook narrated by the award winning Franki Corzo whose captivating work has earned her Audiofile Magazine’s Best Of audiobook awards in 2019 and 2020.  Please use the Desideratum Podcast affiliate link with to buy this audiobook.
December 17, 2021
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 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 for the affiliate partnership. 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:
December 10, 2021
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.
December 03, 2021
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.   As well as Kim's and Amanda's websites   Thanks to author Robert Gwaltney for encouraging me to reach out to Kim. You were right, she's talented AND fun! 
November 19, 2021
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! Teri Clark Linden - Audiofile Magazine industry profile
November 12, 2021
The Rebellious Tide - Eddy Boudel Tan - Episode 34
This week's featured story is The Rebellious Tide by Eddy Boudel Tan.  In our conversation with Eddy, we talk about: how a ship untethered from land became the perfect setting for this story, why he paid homage to Greek mythology’s Achilles and Patroclus in the story,  and what his main character Sebastian’s reasons were for stalking instead of confronting his father. I hope you’re curious about Eddy’s essential thing, and that you will want to take advantage of the discount code his publisher is offering to Desideratum listeners.  Dundurn Press says they publish books that reflect the world, satisfy curiosity, enlighten and entertain. They amplify and elevate exceptional Canadian voices to the world, particularly those who have been previously underrepresented in trade publishing.  Visit and use the Desideratum code DP15 for 15% off your purchase at checkout. You can connect with Eddy through his website: Thank you for listening.
November 05, 2021
Freedom Lessons from Eileen Sanchez, Episode 33
This week's featured story is Eileen Sanchez's novel Freedom Lessons.  Its timely themes of race, unity and education celebrate a 50 year anniversary this week. A US Supreme Court ruling on October 29, 1969, forced a change in the way public schools educated children. On that day, in Louisiana, as change led to conflict and upheaval, Eileen Sanchez was teaching 2nd graders in a segregated school. But, her personal experience is just part of the story.  Her novel Freedom Lessons brings multiple lenses to the Jim Crow South and invites you to see a history that still sparks conversation and feels relevant today.  Listen to a scene from the newly released audiobook with narrator April Doty. And, visit Eileen's website or find her in the Facebook Group Prose and the Pandemic to continue the conversation.  She's perennially ready to meet new people.
October 29, 2021
Runner by Tracy Clark Ep32
This week's featured author Tracy Clark delivered a story I shivered through, feeling the Chicago winter on every page. Runner is book 4 in her Cass Raines detective series and it centers on a runaway 15 year old and the race to find her. 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.
October 22, 2021
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. 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. Thanks for listening.
October 15, 2021
A Bright Young Thing, by Brianne Moore Episode 30
This week's featured story tugged at the author's imagination for 20 years.  Her character Astra Davies (Astra means star) is bright and witty, charming and unconventional.  Author Brianne Moore explains why she told this story about a young woman finding her way specifically in the 1930's, what her personal connection is to enchanting gardens, and how PBS shows shaped her as a storyteller.  You will hear an excerpt from the audiobook released today narrated skillfully by Shiromi Arserio (her performance as Astra is dazzling!). You can find Brianne's novels and audiobooks on her website.  Thank you to Alcove Press and Dreamscape Media.  If you would like to support the Desideratum Podcast, please take a look how you can help on our Patreon page.  If you enjoy listening, please subscribe and leave an honest review where you listen and on Podchaser.  Brianne Moore's Website  Desideratum Podcast Website Support the Desideratum Podcast by becoming a Patreon  Podchaser - follow rate and review your favorite podcasts
October 08, 2021
Island Queen by Vanessa Riley Episode 29
This weeks featured story is from author Vanessa Riley. Her novel Island Queen is an intricately woven tale of an 18th century woman's rise from slavery to autonomy. You will hear how narrator Adjoa Andoh's performance matches and elevates the rich tapestry of Vanessa's storytelling. In our conversation with Vanessa, she shares how her technical background gives her perspective and allows her to examine the historical record with an intense level of detail.  She also tells us the fascinating story behind her discovery of the real Dorothy Kirwan Thomas hiding in history. Dorothy's story from slavery to wealth and power is riveting and inspiring in Vanessa's skillful hands.   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.
October 01, 2021
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.
September 28, 2021
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
September 24, 2021
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: https://instagram/authorjeanneesacken Link to Amazon to purchase Behind the Lens: 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: (Catholic Charities of the Diocese of La Crosse),,
September 17, 2021
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.  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. 
September 10, 2021
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 and see a picture of the real life Tylene Wilson posing with her football team on the Desideratum Podcast website. Thanks for listening.
September 03, 2021
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. 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. Thanks for listening.
August 27, 2021
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.   Frank Oliva's Website 
August 20, 2021
The surprisingly timely historical fiction - The Second Life of Mirielle West by Amanda Skenandore, Episode 22
Inspired by a surprising find in a library, today's featured story is from author Amanda Skenandore. She is an award winning historical fiction writer and a registered nurse. Her latest novel The Second Life of Mirielle West is set one hundred years ago in America's only leper colony. We talk about The Carville Leper Home and how the patients quarantined there long ago gave Amanda perspective on the current health crisis.  Her essential thing is evident in her storytelling, and her ideas about what historical fiction writers might be exploring a hundred years from now intrigued and surprised me.  She shared a great picture of herself at Carville doing book research in 2019.  You can find it on the Desideratum Podcast website. You can find The Second Life of Mirielle West and learn about Amanda's other successful novels on her website. Find out more about her narrator - the classically trained voice actor and Creative Changemaker Nicole Poole on her website. Thanks for listening!
August 13, 2021
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  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. When you want to hear more from narrator Michael Crouch, here is his website:   Thanks for listening.
August 06, 2021
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:
July 30, 2021
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.
July 23, 2021
Episode 18, When the Apricots Bloom with author Gina Wilkinson
Our featured story comes from former foreign corespondent and award winning journalist Gina Wilkinson.  Her rich and suspenseful novel, When the Apricots Bloom, was inspired by her time in Bagdad twenty years ago. The story is told through the lens of three resilient women: an artist, a diplomat’s wife, and a secretary. Their complicated friendship and shared goal to protect their families is peppered with historical truths that transport you to their reality. My conversation with Gina explores the long standing idea that fiction is the lie that reveals the truth.  You will hear Chapter 1 of the book come to life through the voice of narrator Raghad Chaar.   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.
July 16, 2021
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. . And, here is a link to the author she mentions in the podcast - who she recommends to everyone - Steven Pressfield,  The featured picture for this episode is Joyce at 100.   You can it on the Desideratum Podcast website and Desideratum Podcast Facebook page. ,  Thanks for listening. 
July 09, 2021
The Flying Cutterbucks with Kathleen Rodgers and Michelle Williams, Ep16
As we head into the Independence Day holiday, on today's episode Kathleen Rodgers shares her impassioned convictions about democracy and talks about the stand she found the courage to take as an author. She invited her narrator and dear friend Michelle Williams to join the conversation. They dive into high school memories about CB radio handles and the eastern New Mexico sky.  Kathleen says she can feel the land and smell the wind in Michelle's narration of Kathleen's 4th novel, The Flying Cutterbucks.  Hear for yourself in our featured story, Chapter 1 of The Flying Cutterbucks, where the opening lines will take you back to a moment in October 2016.  When you want to listen to the rest of the story, here is a link to Kathleen Rodger's The Flying Cutterbucks audiobook on Audible. And, a link to all of Kathleen's books and more on her website. Thanks for listening.
July 02, 2021
Spellbound Under the Spanish Moss by Kevin Garrett and Connor Judson Garrett Ep15
This week's featured story is from a father and son writing team. You're going to hear Chapter 1 from their book Spellbound Under the Spanish Moss, A Tale of Southern Magic.  You will also hear why the 'why' is so important to them, how the magical world they've created has real world 'good truths', and what impact a real life car accident had on a fictional character.   When you are ready to hear the rest of the story, here is a link to the book and audiobook. Thanks for listening!
June 25, 2021
The Library of Lost Souls by Meghan Holloway Ep14
Today's featured story was inspired by a teller of tall tales - a lover of stories. As we head into Father’s Day weekend, listen to Meghan Holloway talk about the ways her grandfather enriched her life and her writing. Meghan Holloway wrote a successful WWII Historical Fiction published by Polis Books called Once More Unto the Breach as well as a trilogy in the Thriller Crime genre with Hunting Ground released last year, and Hiding Place out this August.  But, we are talking about something very different - a book she wrote that is set in the future.  At its heart, it is a love story about what it means to be human and the ways we grapple with loneliness and loss. Today we are talking about The Library of Lost Souls.
June 18, 2021
The Eves by Grace Sammon Ep13
Today's featured story is from Grace Sammon's novel The Eves. Grace describes The Eves as a multi-generational novel portraying lives lived well and lives in transition. It captures the conversations we wish we had had with our parents, if we had taken the opportunity, and the lessons we would want to impart to our children, if they were ready to listen. Told through the voice of the psychologically complex Jessica Barnet, this is her story. Listen to: why Grace struggled with her main character being called a liar, how Grace uses a nerdy explanation of Mitochrondrial DNA, and what Grace sees in those simple handprint paintings from childhood. Connect with Grace on social media and find her book through her website  Find a picture of Grace with a special handprint quilt her beta readers created for her on the Desideratum Podcast website.  Thanks for listening. 
June 11, 2021
Gawk by Dianne Bilyak Ep12
This weeks featured story is from author Dianne Bilyak. It's a vignette from her memoir Nothing Special: The Mostly True, Sometimes Funny, Tales of Two Sisters.  The title tells you a lot. This book with a long descriptive title took an unusual and interesting path to publication.  I am excited for you to hear about it.  I loved Dianne's dedication in the book "To my inimitable sister, Chris Bilyak, thanks for making my life fun, for always singing with me in the car, for 'liking me a lot', and teaching me that dancing can solve most problems." You can find the book through Dianne's website, and get a glimpse of the sister's relationship today on the Nothing Special Book Facebook Page.  Thanks for listening!
June 04, 2021
Mercy - Mystery Short Story in Peace Love and Crime Anthology by Joseph S. Walker, Ep11
Today's featured story is from Edgar Award Nominee Joseph S. Walker. The Edgar Allan Poe Awards are presented every year by the Mystery Writers of America. The short story Joe chose for the podcast is titled Mercy. It was inspired by the growled word 'mercy' in the the Roy Orbison song Pretty Woman. It's published in a clever anthology called Peace, Love and Crime where each story draws inspiration from a song of the '60s. Listen to why Joe enjoys contributing to anthologies and what essential thing he fights for everyday.  You can find all his published work through his website and find the anthology with Mercy in it at Untreed Reads Publishing.  Thanks for listening.  Joseph S. Walker Crime Writer : Peace, Love, and Crime (paperback) edited by Sandra Murphy : Untreed Reads Publishing
May 28, 2021
Border Song short story by Paranormal / Romance author Laura Kemp, Ep10
Our featured story this week is from Laura Kemp. Border Song is set in Oklahoma, a long way from Laura's Michigan based Yellow Wood series. She explains how she feels about nature - especially the wild places. And, she talks about being a spooky storyteller at heart.  You can find her books on her website and check out the world she has created at 'Kemp Camp' on FB.  Thanks for listening.
May 21, 2021
Garden Crow excerpt from The Cicada Tree by Southern Gothic author Robert Gwaltney, Ep9
Todays featured story is from Robert Gwaltney. It's a special excerpt from his debut novel The Cicada Tree.  Before the story, we talk about how powerful early childhood experiences can be, what advice his granny Louise gave him about where to sit, and what music influenced him while he was writing The Cicada Tree.  After the story, hearing about his essential things will make you want to reach out and be friends!  You can find him on Facebook, and I highly recommend you check out his website and blog.  The Cicada Tree will be released in January 2022.  Thanks for listening.
May 14, 2021
Mommy Van Gogh from parenting with humor book I Love You More Than Coffee author Melissa Face, Ep8
Today's featured story is from Melissa Face and her collection of parenting essays called I Love You More Than Coffee.  Her book celebrates early motherhood, but it's not just for new moms reaching for their coffee.  It's also for moms looking back and remembering. Melissa is quick to smile and laugh, a joy to talk to.  Listen to why she's glad she wrote these essays, how her daughter's confidence makes her say wow,  and when she felt the cosmic shift of motherhood - that moment of no longer feeling like the center of her own universe.  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.
May 07, 2021
The Hedonist short story from A proud Scot lass author Alison Ragsdale Ep7
Our featured story comes from Alison Ragsdale, a proud Scot lass, who writes emotionally charged novels that often require tissues.  I want you to listen to how her own personal resets - adapting to her life's unexpected events - shapes her characters and her storytelling. I love what she says about supporting characters grounding her stories and the gift her father gave her that shows up in her characters lives. She has lived a global life and walked a winding path...  Alison's latest novel Her Last Chance launched this month. You can find it and all her novels on her website. I'll post a picture of Alison in Scotland on the Desideratum Podcast website.  Thanks for listening.
April 30, 2021
Voices short story from Body Language by author Marylee Macdonald, narrated by Adam Barr Ep6
The featured story this week is from Marylee Macdonald's collection of short stories Body Language: Twelve unforgettable portraits of heartbreak and desire.  The story is brought to life by her talented audiobook narrator Adam Barr.  Marylee's work in this collection is about the solace of touch and it's connection to well being.  She also talks about place and how she uses it to put her characters in uncomfortable situations. Why she does this, turns out to be very personal for her. Her ideas about nature and nurture and love are rooted in her experiences with adoption. Listen for what she has to say about identity, motherhood and the physicality of creativity.  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.
April 23, 2021
Ignorance or Innocence short story by upmarket Women’s fiction author Johnnie Bernhard, Ep5
Our featured story Ignorance or Innocence is from Johnnie Bernhard.  It will be included in an anthology of short stories about home, in September, 2021. Johnnie wrote this story awhile ago, before her successful novels. Unlike her novels, this story is autobiographical, set in a small Texas town where she moved in 8th grade. It's kind of a story about being an outsider, but Johnnie has this way of seeing the 'Gift' in things, even hard things like loneliness.  You will hear why she starts every story with character and family and what part of writing she equates to a runner's high - it's fantastic.  She's fantastic and she's clearly doing what she was meant to do.  After you listen... you can listen to her TEDTalk here,  You can find links to purchase her novels and audiobook on her website.  You can find her mentoring writers through Gemini Ink  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. 
April 16, 2021
Unexplained Aerial Phenomena short story by PEN/Faulkner Award Finalist Steve Wiegenstein, Ep4
Our featured story comes from Steve Wiegenstein's twelve story collection Scattered Lights.  Like Steve, the characters in these stories are deeply rooted in the Ozarks. Yet through his storytelling, he unearths something more universal than regional in each human motivation and interaction.  In Unexplained Aerial Phenomena the character Janine says, "Every story fills a need." I hope after you listen, you feel the need to read all of Steve's stories from this collection and from his series of historical novels. You can find them on his website where you can also read 'whatever he feels like writing about' on his blog.   Congratulations to Steve on Scattered Lights being named a Finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction 2021. Thanks for listening. ,
April 09, 2021
Thirteen Seconds from Follow me to Alaska by Texas to Alaska author Ann Parker Ep3
In this season of rebirth and renewal, when new beginnings are announced by every budding leaf and celebrated by every spectacular bloom; it is the perfect time to meet Ann Parker and hear her perspective on seasons, bravery, truth and essential things. Her featured story is called Thirteen Seconds. It's about a plane crash. It is just one of many stories in Ann's practical and deeply personal book Follow Me to Alaska.   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 and on Amazon and Audible. We shared one of our favorite pictures of Ann on the Desideratum Facebook Page @desideratumpodcast.  Thanks for listening.
April 02, 2021
Aperture spoken word poetry written and performed by Irish novelist Daniel Wade, Ep2
A talk with Daniel Wade is a walk on a wandering path. Come along as he talks about the sea, about Ireland's long history of storytelling and about how we should all be looking for a lighthouse. The featured story is from Embers and Earth, Daniel's spoken word album.  Aperture is about Daniel's grandmother and darkness.  I am grateful to hear it in his own voice. Daniel is a poet, a playwright, a debut novelist and like all of us, he's hard to put in one category.  As he says, he's something in between.  You can hear more and read more of Daniel's storytelling on his website ( . 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. 
March 26, 2021
Something More short story by author of literary fiction with a Southern drawl Mandy Haynes, Ep1
Today you will get to know author Mandy Haynes and hear her story Something More about a little girl named Jewell who sees beauty in small things and who is truly more precious than diamonds and rubies.  Mandy Haynes is an author of literary fiction with a southern drawl.  Her official tag line is "Hell, we cain't all be saints." You can find her books Walking the Wrong Way Home and Sharp as a Serpent's Tooth: Eva and Other Stories wherever you buy your books and on her website  You can keep up with Mandy's latest projects on social media @mandywrites. And after you listen to the podcast, you might want to hear Miss Twiggley's Tree, Thank you for listening. 15OUqZZqVWdKY3jyXXEg
March 20, 2021