Author Archive

Independence Day Weekend PODCAST: Interviews with Authors Discussing Founding Fathers

July 6, 2014 Leave a comment

Several authors have discussed the founding fathers and the events leading up to our Declaration of Independence on KAZI Book Review. John Adams, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison are among those featured in these interviews. Take a walk through the history of our nation’s founding by listening to these interviews:

Danielle Allen, Our Declaration: A Reading of the Declaration of Independence in Defense of Equality 

Jeff Broadwater, James Madison: A Son of Virginia and a Founder of the Nation 

John Ferling, Jefferson and Hamilton: The Rivalry that Forged a Nation 

William Hogeland, Founding Finance: How Debt, Speculation, Foreclosures, Protests, and Crackdowns Made Us a Nation 

Kevin Phillips, 1775: A Good Year for Revolution 

PODCAST: Interview with Meg Gardiner, Author of Phantom Instinct

July 5, 2014 Leave a comment

Austin based thriller author Meg Gardiner was interviewed live on June 29 on KAZI Book Review by host Hopeton Hay, Sisters In Crime Heart of Texas chapter board member and writer Gale Albright, KAZI Book Review contributor Tim Chamberlain, and KAZI Book Review intern Zoe Young.  To listen to the podcast of the interview click here: 

L-R: Gale Albright, Meg Gardiner, Tim Chamberlain

L-R: Gale Albright, Meg Gardiner, Tim Chamberlain

Review of State of Infection by Michael J. Frey

June 28, 2014 Leave a comment

By Tim Chamberlain

Zombies, with a side of Civil War
Most zombie apocalypses come with pop culture references aplenty, and Michael J. Frey’s debut, State of Infection, is no different on that front. However, this trip into zombie-land comes with plausible medical explanations and a backstory that goes back to the Civil War, enough to distinguish Frey’s novel from its peers.

If you’re like me, you sometimes have trouble suspending all disbelief for a zombie novel–I always want to know how it was possible. Frey, a New York City physician, uses his medical background as inspiration and gives us a fairly reasonable explanation as to just how something like zombies (“Montoya’s encephalopathy”) might occur.

Our hero is Dr. Mike Calaf, a private practice doctor on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, that is one of relatively few survivors of the zombie outbreak in the city. The beginning of our story is a slow burn that is mostly spent in Mike’s apartment–interesting in that you tend to analyze whether you’d be doing the same as Mike in his place. However, once Mike is out of the building, the story gets to a more satisfying pace worthy of a zombie tale.
Frey’s novel veers into alternate history territory with his story of the Civil War-era origins of the present zombie situation. The backstory of Confederate intrigue that eventually causes the outbreak and the Second Civil War is not just tacked on, either–it figures fairly prominently in how everything ends up going to hell.

The fictional history is an interesting complement to the adventures of Dr. Calaf and his (of course) beautiful chance companion, the improbably-named Avalon Calendar. Avalon was a troubled youth turned successful local news reporter that was dating Calaf’s best friend before the zombies. She is, as described by Frey, nearly without flaw. Unsurprisingly, you get the feeling that Frey has merely inserted himself into the zombie apocalypse (or “ZA” as he terms it), but I’d imagine it’s hard not to put yourself at the center of your zombie fantasy. He does keep it entertaining, though.

State of Infection is a fairly quick read and is surprisingly light given the subject matter. It should be fairly satisfying for those looking for a quick zombie read this summer.


Podcast: Listen to Elizabeth Crook Discuss Her Novel Monday, Monday

June 11, 2014 Leave a comment
L-R Elizabeth Crook & KAZi Book Review Intern Zoe Young

L-R Elizabeth Crook & KAZI Book Review Intern Zoe Young

Austin, Texas author Elizabeth Crook discussed her novel Monday, Monday, live on KAZI Book Review on Sunday, June 8.  In the interview Crook discussed why she used the tragic shootings that killed 17 people at The University of Texas at Austin in 1966 as the basis of her novel.

Elizabeth has written for periodicals such as Texas Monthly and the Southwestern Historical Quarterly and has served on the council of the Texas Institute of Letters. She is a member of Western Writers of America and The Texas Philosophical Society, and was selected the honored writer for 2006 Texas Writers’ Month. Her first novel, The Raven’s Bride, was the 2006 Texas Reads: One Book One Texas selection. The Night Journal was awarded the 2007 Spur award for Best Long Novel of the West and the 2007 Willa Literary Award for Historical Fiction.  To listen to the interview click here:

Podcast: Authors Discuss Insight to Langston Hughes’s Work Revealed By Letters

June 10, 2014 Leave a comment

My Dear BoyThere is much to be learned about the art of Langston Hughes from reading  letters between Hughes and his mother revealed Carmaletta Williams and John Edgar Tidwell, authors of My Dear Boy: Carrie Hughes’s Letters to Langston Hughes, 1926–1938, on the June 9 edition of KAZI Book Review on KAZI 88.7 FM.

Williams and Tidwell explained that the more than 120 heretofore unexamined letters presented in their book are a veritable treasure trove of insights into the relationship between mother Carrie and her renowned son Langston. Until now, a scholarly consensus had begun to emerge, accepting the idea of their lives and his art as simple and transparent. But as Williams and Tidwell argue, this correspondence is precisely where scholars should start in order to understand the underlying complexity in Carrie and Langston’s relationship.

Carmaletta Williams, professor of English and African American studies at Johnson County Community College, is the author of Langston Hughes in the Classroom: “Do Nothin’ till You Hear from Me” and Of Two Spirits: American Indian and African American Oral Histories. John Edgar Tidwell is a professor of English at the University of Kansas. His previous books include Montage of a Dream: The Art and Life of Langston Hughes, After Winter: The Art and Life of Sterling A. Brown, and Writings of Frank Marshall Davis: A Voice of the Black Press.

To listen to the interview click here:

Mystery Writers of America Nominees for Best Novel on KAZI Book Review Today

April 27, 2014 Leave a comment

Interviews with four of the nominees for the MWA’s 2014 Edgar Award for Best Novel are featured today on KAZI Book Review, 12:30-1pm CST on KAZI 88.7 FM. Listen live online at or

The guests and their novels that were nominated are:

Thomas H. Cook, Sandrine’s Case (Grove Atlantic – The Mysterious Press)
William Kent Krueger, Ordinary Grace (Simon & Schuster – Atria Books)
Louise Penny, How the Light Gets In (Minotaur Books)
Lori Roy, Until She Comes Home (Penguin Group USA – Dutton Books)

Grandmaster Mystery Novelist Robert Crais on KAZI Book Review Today

April 20, 2014 Leave a comment

Tune in at 12:30 p.m. today to KAZI 88.7 FM for my interview with mystery writer Robert Crais who was bestowed the highest honor in mystery writing, being named a Grandmaster in 2014 along with Carolyn Hart by the Mystery Writers of America for lifetime achievement joining luminaries such as Agatha Christie, Alfred Hitchcok, John LeCarre, Sue Grafton, and James Lee Burke, among others,  with this recognition.

A native of Louisiana, Robert Crais is the author of 19 novels of which 15 are part of the Elvis Cole/Joe Pike series.  Prior to becoming a novelist, Crais was a television script writer working on such series as Hill Street Blues, Cagney and Lacey, and Miami Vice. His latest novel is Suspect.


Podcast: Akashic Books Author Eric Charles May Discusses Novel Bedrock Faith on KAZI Book Review

April 16, 2014 Leave a comment
Eric Charles May

Eric Charles May

Chicago native Eric Charles May recently discussed his debut novel, Bedrock Faith, on the March 24 edition of KAZI Book Review.  In the interview, May discussed how he crafted this novel in part from his experiences growing up in a black neighborhood in Chicago, the gossipy nature of the characters in his fictional middle class community, and  his long journey from journalist to novelist.  To listen to the interview click here: .

Schedule Change for KAZI Book Review Today

April 13, 2014 Leave a comment

Justin Go, author of a new novel, The Steady Running of the Hour, will be interviewed live today on KAZI Book Review at 12:45 p.m. CST.

At 12:30 p.m. We’ll air an interview with mystery novelist Tricia Fields, author of Wrecked.

The interview with Reza Zarghamee, author of Discovering Cyrus, will air Monday, April 14 at 8 a.m. CST and the interview with Joan DeJean, author of How Paris Became Paris will air Monday, April 21 at 8 a.m. CST.

Categories: Uncategorized

Persian Empire and Paris Focus of Upcoming Book Interviews

April 9, 2014 Leave a comment

Fans of ancient history and lovers of Paris, France should really enjoy the upcoming interviews this Sunday and Monday on KAZI Book Review:

Sunday, April 13, 2014, 12:30 p.m. – 1 p.m. CST
Reza Zarghamee, Discovering Cyrus: The Persian Conqueror Astride the Ancient World

Monday, April 14, 2014, 8 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. CST
Joan DeJean, How Paris Became Paris: The Invention of the Modern City




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