Sunday, August 25, 2019

8/26/19 @9:45am pst - Rea Frey spoke with host Janeane about her latest novel, Because You're Mine

LISTEN to today's conversation
with Rea Frey

An “insidious, suspenseful tale” (J.T. Ellison) with a “shocker of an ending you won’t see coming” (Michele Campbell), Because You're Mine by Rea Frey, the author who “brings to mind Jodi Picoult” (Booklist) and “will appeal to readers of Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen” (Sally Hepworth)is a novel about how the truth will set you free.

But it’s the lies that keep you safe.

Single mother Lee has the daily routine down to a science: shower in six minutes. Cut food into perfect squares. Never leave her on-the-spectrum son Mason in someone else’s care. She’ll do anything―anything―to keep his carefully constructed world from falling apart. Do anything to keep him safe.

But when her best friend Grace convinces her she needs a small break from motherhood to recharge her batteries, Lee gives in to a weekend trip. Surely a long weekend away from home won’t hurt?

Noah, Mason’s handsome, bright, charismatic tutor―the first man in ages Lee’s even noticed―is more than happy to stay with him.

Forty-eight hours later, someone is dead.

But not all is as it seems. Noah may be more than who he claims to be. Grace has a secret―one that will destroy Lee. Lee has secrets of her own that she will do anything to keep hidden. And what will happen to Mason, as the dominoes begin to fall and the past comes to light?

Perhaps it's no mystery someone is gone after all…

Because You're Mine is a breathtaking novel of domestic drama and suspense.

Prepare to stay up all night.

8/26 at 9:30am pst - Amanda Anderson joined Janeane to talk about her new book, All My Friends Have Issues: Building Remarkable Relationships with Imperfect People (Like Me)

LISTEN to today's featured
conversation with Amanda Anderson

Why is it so challenging to create and keep meaningful friendships?

Amanda Anderson provides the wise and witty answers, giving practical advice and sharing personal stories to guide us toward the kinds of friendships we long for. Blending faith-based insights and psychological truths, All My Friends Have Issues is a liberating guide to finding and becoming an authentic and encouraging friend.

“Anderson becomes the friend we’ve always needed and, in the process, helps us become a better friend.”

—Elisa Morgan, president emerita of MOPS International, speaker, and author of The Beauty of Broken

“Be ready to laugh and then to learn as Amanda shares her weaknesses and foibles in her relationships with herself and her friends.”

—David Stoop, PhD, clinical psychologist and author of You Are What You Think

“A captivating and often hilarious book.”

—Milan and Kay Yerkovich, authors of How We Love and How We Love Our Kids

“Fun and informative. . . . A book I highly recommend!”

—Debbie Alsdorf, speaker and author of It’s Momplicated and The Faith Dare

“Warm, funny, authentic, and relatable.”

—Vivian Mabuni, speaker and author of Open Hands, Willing Heart

About Amanda
I'm an author, speaker, blogger, freelance journalist and former editor at Coast and Coast Kids Magazine in Newport Beach, CA. I'm also a mother, wife, quilter, friend, and regular guest on New Life Live radio program. You can find my mission statement, abridged life story and speaking topics on

8/26/19 @ 9:15am pst - National Award-winning humorist and bestselling author Lori B. Duff, shares a new collection of laugh-out-loud stories

LISTEN to today's conversation with Lori B. Duff

Recently named Atlanta’s Funniest Lawyer in 2019, Lori’s humorous musings in “If You Did What I Asked in the First Place,” (Oct. 15, 2019, Deeds Publishing), run the gamut — from growing up an introvert in a loud Jewish family to the ups and downs of parenting (food babies included). And while she might not be an official superhero, Lori’s takes on the wonders of women are insightful and relatable observations of some of the biggest heroes life has to offer: mothers, career women, and all-around funny ladies.

LORI B. DUFF is a national award-winning humorist and bestselling author who also happens to have a law practice. On Thursdays, she’s a judge for the city of Loganville. In the spring, she spends her free time watching Duke basketball for fear the Alumni Association will take away her degree. As a writer, she is known for both her breezy, insightful wit and her boring, 30-page legal briefs that make Emory Law School proud. Lori was awarded the title of Atlanta’s Funniest Lawyer in 2018 by default when it was discovered the first-place winner wasn’t actually a lawyer. She is married to a retired police officer and has two teenage children and a hyperactive puppy. She can be found at and; on Twitter @loribduff; on Facebook/loribduffauthor; or on Instagram @loriduffwrites.

In an interview, Lori B. Duff can discuss:

How a lawyer (yes, a lawyer!) can find her niche in humor

Her writing process and how she navigates including her friends, family members, and colleagues in her stories

Turning a tough situation into a comical one

The power and influence of funny women

ATLANTA, Georgia – She’s not a superhero per se, but between running a law firm, raising a family, and battling the patriarchal expectations of women, award-winning humorist and bestselling author Lori B. Duff could give any Marvel character a run for their money in “If You Did What I Asked in the First Place,” (Oct. 15, 2019, Deeds Publishing).

Named Atlanta’s Funniest Lawyer in 2018, almost no topic is off limits in Lori’s newest book. Whether it be planning her own funeral, bringing up “Shrek” during her daughter’s bat mitzvah, or the criminal lack of pockets in women’s clothing, Lori’s knack for storytelling is in full force in this fantastically funny memoir.

And while she might not be an official superhero, Lori’s takes on the wonders of women are insightful and relatable observations of some of the biggest heroes life has to offer: mothers, career women, and all-around funny ladies.

8/26/19 9am pst - WHOLLY UNRAVELED A Memoir by Keele Burgin, an inspiring story of one child’s will to survive and one woman’s resilience

Sometimes all that it takes to start over is the courage to say you will.

In Kathleen’s home, red jeans were a sin. Parties were punishable with violence. Fear was part of the daily norm. Growing up in a Catholic cult, under the unforgiving eye of her abusive father, Kathleen knew from an early age that if she were to survive, she’d have to do it on her own.

But when the time came to escape, she found herself in a damaging spiral of self-destruction. At rock bottom, and with nowhere to go, Kathleen stepped off a bus in the last place she ever thought she’d find peace: a remote community in rural Canada. Spending a year in almost complete silence, Kathleen feared this experience would prove to be just another step in her unraveling. Instead, with her demons quieted, she emerged with a fresh understanding of self, an empowering new purpose, and a sense of worthiness that she would never let be challenged again.

Wholly Unraveled is Keele Burgin’s gripping and inspiring journey of self-discovery and of finally finding her voice against nearly insurmountable odds.

"This is my story of growing up in and escaping a cult, only to find myself chasing adrenaline and drugs in hopes of finding a shred of self-worth before finally landing in a remote community where I would live in silence, quiet the demons of my past, and find the courage to love myself."

Growing up, Kathleen never knew what would set her father off. It could be something as simple as wearing red jeans, or even a storm. And his punishments were equally unpredictable: forcing her on a horse that was not yet saddle broken; pointing a gun at her on a deserted island. But what she did know was that she would always look him in the eye when he hurt her, in an effort to keep her soul intact. In a raw and empowering memoir, WHOLLY UNRAVELED: A Memoir, Keele Burgin (Kathleen) tells a story that is at times inspiring, at times chilling, but always an intimate and vulnerable journey that all women have in common, a journey to womanhood.

As a child she didn’t realized that she was born into a cult. At The Disciples of Light, where her father was a leader, many prayed in tongues, arranged marriages were the norm, and women were denied the right to work outside the home, dress as they pleased, or wear make- up. The only women in her corner were Shirley, the housekeeper, and Helen Smith, her best friend’s mom and the only woman at church who would dare disobey the rules. Going to college was the only way that Kathleen could escape her family. But without her father to inflict pain and with no idea how to live in the real world, she filled the void with drama, drug use, an eating disorder, and a lost chance at love.

Then ironically, the religion that had broken her, ended up saving her. In a remote community, Kathleen disappeared from the modern world – no TV, radio, or phone, outhouses in negative 20 degree temperatures, root cellars for refrigeration, coffee only once a week, with nothing but a milk crate and 8 hangers for her belongings – forced to be alone with her thoughts. At first, her life didn’t make sense, not in the community, not before it, until the female leader stands up in anger and screams “I HATE GOD!” These three words begin to awaken Kathleen’s need to heal and her unique ability to rise above the shame, to create a powerful and authentic life. She is then left with one question: “Who is Kathleen?” She is in a secluded cabin, alone with two cigarettes, stale brown bread, and a stolen cookie to get her through a winter storm. She is beyond freezing, wanting to burn the only book within a five-mile radius, the Bible. Is it to spite her father and the Catholic Church? No. It is because, beyond anything else, it should provide warmth. In this unexpected place she finally accepts that her past is not her fault, finds her voice, and she falls in love with a little girl who always looked her fear straight in the eye. Keele Burgin is proof that by not allowing suffering to define you, by looking deep inside yourself, by talking about the things people don’t want you to talk about, you can heal and find love. In a world where women are often blamed and ignored for being damaged and told to keep quiet, it is time to let their voices be heard loud and clear. Tell your story. Your voice matters. And it is that hope, that confidence, that WHOLLY UNRAVELED inspires.

Keele Burgin is an entrepreneur, activist, mother of three, author, and filmmaker. Her story of survival and self-discovery has inspired a life dedicated to impacting tens of thousands of women across the globe. She has served in leadership roles on the boards of multiple non-profit organizations that empower women. Keele made her mark in the business world by co-founding two companies, taking her first one public. Keele is the founder of (B), a company that curates tribes of women that come together to rebuild their lives and relinquish the patterns of behavior that hold them back. It employs a course-correction curriculum for professional advancement, leadership, and personal growth.

WHOLLY UNRAVELED: A Memoir by Keele Burgin Little A ▪ 2019 ▪ Memoir ▪ 286pp Hardcover ▪ 978-1-54204-260-4

Sunday, August 18, 2019

8/19/19 @9:45am pst - Sarah Smith joins Janeane to talk about her book Marilou is Everywhere



“Hauntingly gorgeous... Smith... captures this unstable world with matter-of-fact poetry,
spare and sensual and surprisingly funny. Bleak and vivid; Smith's characters are as rich as her prose.”
—«KIRKUS, starred review «

“This is a mysterious and strangely exciting debut.  Smith is a poet, and writes in sensory-driven, soul-tapping prose.”—Booklist

“Sarah Elaine Smith weaves together an unsettling coming-of-age story…

Smith’s writing is feral. It’s alert, skittish, and hungry. Together, her words create
a distorted picture of desperation and absence and a poignant story of accountability.”—BUST

“Smith’s rural world is brought to life with precise and devastating descriptions of poverty and neglect. This is a promising debut.”—Publisher’s Weekly

A “Most Anticipated Book of Summer”—LOS ANGELES TIMES

A “Book You Need in Your Life this Summer”—COSMOPOLITAN

“Sarah Elaine Smith has one of the most likable and delightful writing voices I have encountered recently—funny, lyrical, sexy, sad, humane, and just a total pleasure to read.”
—Elif Batuman, author of The Idiot

“Page after page I was struck by lines so unbearably beautiful and wise. . . a writer I would follow anywhere.”
—Julie Buntin, author of Marlena

Sarah Elaine Smith is an incredible talent whose work stops readers in their tracks. Elif Batuman considers Smith “one of the most likable and delightful writing voices [she has] encountered,” and in this distinctly alluring voice, Smith tells a gripping, page-turning story in MARILOU IS EVERYWHERE (Riverhead Books; Publication Date: July 30, 2019), her thrilling debut novel about female adolescence, family, class and identity in rural America. Smith holds an MFA in fiction from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, as well as an MFA in poetry from the Michener Center for Writers. She is the recipient of a Rona Jaffe Wallace Fellowship and her prize-winning poetry and fiction has earned recognition from the MacDowell Colony and the Keene Prize for Literature, among others. Now, Smith exquisitely marries her lush, lyrical writing with a propulsive mystery that examines the magic of pretending and the perils of refusing to be who you are.

MARILOU IS EVERYWHERE takes the “missing girl in a small town” premise and turns it on its head, bringing depth and social nuance to the familiar trope. A fourteen-year-old girl lives with her two older brothers and absent mother in impoverished rural Pennsylvania. When a popular teenage girl from a more affluent home nearby goes missing, the young narrator escapes her family and slips into the missing teen’s life, hoarding the love of a confused and sick mother and seduced by the idea of living the life of someone else. Grappling with a complicated relationship to maternal love and an untenable web of lies, the vulnerable but fierce girl must confront her own self-hatred and its connection to greater pain within her family and community. Set in a class-divided Appalachia, Smith explores both the charming idiosyncrasies and the injustices of suffering small town America.

Packed with poignant, breath-taking sentences, MARILOU IS EVERYWHERE is a tantalizing mystery that is compulsively readable. It harkens the peculiar quirk of Twin Peaks and the hypnotic prose of Emma Cline’s Girls that brilliantly captures the ineffable strangeness of being a teenage girl in an often dangerous world. And yet, Sarah Elaine Smith occupies a space as a writer and storyteller that is all her own—weird and wonderful, darkly comic yet tender and soulful. MARILOU IS EVERYWHERE marks the arrival of a major new talent and profoundly special voice.

Riverhead Books • On-Sale July 30, 2019 • ISBN: 978-0-525-53524-9

Sarah Elaine Smith holds MFAs in fiction from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and poetry from the Michener Center for Writers. She is also a recipient of a Rona Jaffe Wallace fellowship.



8/19/19 @9:30am pst - Amanda Haas, author of The Vibrant Life: Eat Well, Be Well—and Love Your Midlife joined Janeane live on KUCI 88.9fm!

LISTEN to today's conversation with featured guest, Amanda Haas!

For the millions of women who want to enter or live their midlife with grace and good health comes this straight-talking and gorgeously photographed book packed with advice, resources, and practices that promote wellness, beauty, and longevity, alongside more than 70 delicious recipes. From the authority behind The Anti-Inflammation Cookbook and a line of Vibrant Life–branded food products at Whole Foods, these recipes are bookended by lifestyle primers—including information on holistic practices, hormones, and how to eat, all contributed or vetted by experts. Combining form and function, this book is both a resource and an inspiration. Fresh, approachable recipes for all occasions—including drinks, of course—deliver a number of benefits that boost immunity, strengthen memory, lift moods, support digestive health, and more!

Amanda Haas is a cookbook author, cooking instructor, and brand ambassador for companies including Traeger Grills and Whole Foods Market. After discovering certain foods like gluten were causing inflammation in her body, Amanda wrote The Anti-Inflammation Cookbook (Chronicle Books, 2015). Her goal? "To make real food taste so good, people don't miss the junk food!" In her newest cookbook, The Vibrant Life: Eat Well, Be Well, Amanda continues to create recipes that are nutrient-dense and delicious, along with exploring a dozen other topics on aging, including yoga, sex and relationships, meditation, time in nature, and the power of humor. Learn more about Amanda at and on Instagram @amandahaascooks.

Amanda is a graduate of Tante Marie's Cooking School and lives in the Bay Area with her two sons.

8/19/19 @9am pst - Mara Gordon, a cannabis advocate, entrepreneur, and researcher, joined Janeane on KUCI 88.9fm

LISTEN to today's conversation with featured guest, Mara Gordon.

Mara Gordon is a cannabis advocate, entrepreneur, and researcher. She has harnessed her background as a process engineer to create therapeutic dosing regimens for thousands of patients around the world, drastically improving their health, quality of life and longevity. Mara openly shares her knowledge about the therapeutic benefits of the cannabis plant – whether consulting with medical teams, through TEDx Talks or calling out hyperbole in the industry she cares so deeply about.

Mara rose to prominence through the company she co-founded, Aunt Zelda’s. Back in 2011, Aunt Zelda’s operated as a collective, bringing bespoke cannabis formulations to patients. As additional regulations were introduced in California, Mara standardized her most popular therapeutic oil blends, making them commercially available to patients through the respected Aunt Zelda’s brand.

With science as her North Star, Mara has pursued data-driven, plant-based medicine for numerous maladies. Seeking to engage a larger medical and patient community as well as to place the practice of medicine back into the hands of qualified medical practitioners, Mara launched Calla Spring Wellness, a telemedicine platform and clinical service utilized by physicians and nurses to guide them on incorporating cannabinoid-based medicines into their standard treatment plans. Calla Spring Wellness is fueled by her careful data collection through Aunt Zelda’s, along with years of research and development in consultation with knowledgeable physicians and world-renowned researchers.

Unlike other pharmaceutical drugs with recommended dosage protocols, formal clinical research on cannabis has been unavailable in the U.S. because of its classification as a Schedule I drug, resulting in more anecdotal than factual information. Unwilling to be stimied by federal laws, Mara co-founded Zelda Therapeutics in Australia. The company brings together some of the world’s leading researchers and clinicians active in the study and use of medicinal cannabis to treat a variety of ailments. Presently, Zelda is engaged in pre-clinical research for multiple forms of cancer and diabetes-related cognitive decline, as well as clinical trials for autism, chronic pain and insomnia.

As interest in cannabis spreads, Mara continues to be an outspoken leader in the medical cannabis space. She has appeared on stage in front of audiences nationally and internationally and was featured in the films The Medicine in Marijuana, Mary Janes: Women of Weed, and the award-winning documentary Weed the People.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

8/12/19 @9:45am pst - Janeane spoke with Jeff Karram and Millán Ludeña about their film, From Core to Sun




LISTEN to today's conversation with
Jeff Karram and 
Millán Ludeña

“When we break through our own limits, we reach the extraordinary.”

-- Millán Ludeña

Millán Ludeña, a normal guy with a big dream, embarks on an adventure to do something that no other human being on the planet has done and to register a Guinness World Record ®in its process.

We live each moment of Millán’s adventure starting from the intense logistical planning to the physical and mental challenges that he faces throughout this incredible journey of connecting the two most extreme points on the planet. He plans to do this by running a half marathon inside the deepest part of the world, the Mponeng Mine (3,563M below the earth’s surface) in South Africa and then traveling back to his home country to run a half marathon towards the closest point to the sun on the planet, the peak of Mt.Chimborazo (6,280M). The plan is to do all of this in less than 80 hours.

FROM CORE TO SUN is an inspirational story that shows us that when we defy our own limits and break through them, we achieve the most extraordinary things while chasing our dreams and never giving up.

This feature length documentary is directed by Oliver Lee Garland, written by Garland and Carolina Sosa and produced by Jeff Karram and Shanna Robalino, and is a Levector Films production, sponsored by Güitig. It has a running time of 97 minutes and will not be rated by the MPAA. Gravitas Ventures has released the film digitally worldwide.

Güitig is launching an exclusive trip giveaway with Metropolitan Touring to the Galapagos Islands and Ecuador for one week. The contest will be available for submissions until August. The trip includes a 5 day cruise in Galapagos, 3 nights in Quito, a day trip to Machachi - home to Güitig's volcanic water - and a visit to Mt. Cotopaxi. All of these experiences will be with film's star, Millán Ludeña. For more info, go to:

To view the trailer, go to:

For more info, go to:

8/12/19 @ 9:30am pst - Janeane spoke with author Lisa Braver Moss, a survivor of childhood domestic violence

LISTEN to today's conversation with featured guest Lisa Braver Moss

Lisa Braver Moss is a survivor of childhood domestic violence who lives in the Bay Area, is celebrating the release of her new book, “Shrug,” published on Aug. 13 by She Writes Press.

The novel follows a Vietnam War-era teen whose family life is just as chaotic as the anti-war protests filling the streets of her hometown. While writing the story, Lisa drew on her own experience as a survivor of domestic violence who came of age in Berkeley during the seismic ’60s to craft the novel’s lead, Martha, who develops a nervous tic (a shrug of the shoulder) while waging a private rebellion as her peers take part in a very public, nationwide movement.

Here are a few topics she will discuss:

  • Her experience as a survivor of childhood domestic abuse and how it informed her writing of “Shrug”
  • The question of whether, and to what extent, it is possible to break free of childhood abuse
  • Why so many survivors of childhood domestic violence blame themselves
  • How a difficult home situation, in a turbulent time and place, can affect reading and learning

It's Berkeley in the 1960s, and Martha Goldenthal's home life is a cauldron of kooky ideas, impossible demands, and explosive physical violence. Can she overcome her obstacles and make it to college? Shrug is the absorbing, harrowing, and ultimately uplifting story of one young woman’s journey toward independence.

“As persuasive as the memoirs Educated and The Glass Castle, Shrug yanks at the heartstrings . . . I felt white-knuckled empathy for the tough and fragile Martha.” — Carolyn McVickar Edwards, author of Return of the Lightand The Storyteller's Goddess

“A book that slowly creeps up on you before grabbing you by the throat and
demanding that you pay attention . . . I highly recommend this read.”

— Grant Leishman, Readers’ Favorite

"Gripping from beginning to end, this beautifully written work is impossible to put down.” — The BookLife Prize

8/12/19 at 9:15am pst - Debut novel from former officer, Mark Bergin, battles real world issue of police suicide

Bergin's nearly 30 year career in law enforcement brought him close to a difficult and often overlooked issue in American culture: police suicide. Currently, more police officers are lost to suicide than to conflicts in the line of duty. Bergin brings awareness to this issue in his debut work, “Apprehension” (Inkshares/Quill, July 30, 2019) and has plans to donate a portion of his sales directly to the National Police Suicide Foundation.

“Apprehension” follows the story of Detective John Kelly; he was a pro until his niece was murdered right before his eyes. His family says he failed her, but Kelly can’t share his one shocking, secret – and criminal – act of vengeance. Now, fellow detectives digging in another case can end Kelly’s career and send him to jail. Kelly must ignore this looming threat and focus on protecting a boy from his pedophile father in a slam-dunk trial. Except the hotshot defense attorney is his new girlfriend Rachel Cohen, who hides her duty to destroy him on the stand. While his friends work in secret to save him, Kelly is forced to the breaking point.

Kirkus Reviews calls Bergin “A gritty and authentic new voice in police fiction.”

In an interview, MARK BERGIN will discuss:
  • How his background in law enforcement shaped the novel’s plot
  • How his background as a crime reporter has influenced his writing style
  • The issue of police stress, depression, and suicide, why it’s so prevalent, and what can be done to help
  • Why he chose to give away a portion of the profits from book sales to the National Police Suicide Foundation
  • How we can better unite law enforcement and the community at large

MARK BERGIN: is a man of many hats who worked at separate times as both an award-winning crime reporter and police officer. When he worked for the Alexandria Gazette, he was awarded the Virginia Press Association First Place prize for general news reporting in 1985. As a law enforcement officer, he won the Alexandria Sunrise Optimist Club’s Police Officer of the Year award in 1988 and was named Alexandria Kiwanis Club’s Officer of the Year in 1997. Bergin’s diverse background with nearly 30 years spent in law enforcement affords him the “authentic voice” in police fiction that Kirkus Reviews and others are buzzing about. To learn more about Mark and his work visit

8/12/19 9am pst Leslie La Page, President and Director of the LA Femme Film Festival joined Janeane live on KUCI 88.9fm

LISTEN to today's conversation with 
featured guest Leslie La Page

For the past fifteen years Leslie La Page has produced, directed and line produced for Film, TV, Music Videos, commercials and Theatrical productions.

Ms. La Page has produced features nationally and internationally in both the independent and commercial markets.

Ms. La Page has over eight years of production background in independent films, and has served as producer, line producer and film production coordinator on numerous independent feature films for independent production companies as well as Black Entertainment Television Action Pay Per View (BET). While at BET she line produced their entire slate of original programs which aired on their network and received international and domestic video releases. She line produced commercials and promos for the HBO, Lifetime TV and BET, MTV and Nickelodeon.

Her production experience also involves her in the areas of marketing, developing scripts, creating promotional copy as well as promotional feature spots and trailers.

In 1997 Ms. La Page ran and operated TIGER’S EYE SOUND a dialogue editorial company, with her partner Bruce Murphy, editing and working with numerous awarding winning dialogue editors and editing over 20 independent feature films in the company’s first year. Ms. La Page and TIGER’S EYE SOUND dialogue edited such critically acclaimed films as: 1998 Academy Awards Nominee, Best Foreign Film – “Four Days in September”; 1998 Sundance Film Festival Audience Award for “Smoke Signals”; and the film “Dead Man’s Curve” was a Sundance Film Festival Invitee.

In 2003, her Partner Saul Stein, Co-Executive Producer of “The Holy Land” has formed BooYah! Films and have released through Cavu Pictures the critically acclaimed film “The Holy Land”, which opened domestically in July at the Angelica Theatre in New York City and will be rolling out to 45 cities across the nation. She still has her production company Infinity Films which is involved in feature film, music video, and commercial productions.

Ms. La Page also consults independent filmmakers for feature films, script analysis, budgets, independent marketing, and film festivals and currently teaches at the New York Film Academy as an adjunct professor.

She has been a Slamdance Film Festival Programmer for over five years and was the creator and Executive Producer for the Slamdance Filmmaker’s Bootcamp. Ms. LaPage held the position of Director of Programming for the New Orleans Media Experience Film Festival (NOME 2003) in Louisiana. She currently teaches and is the Founder/Director of the LA Femme International Film Festival. She teaches at Columbia College Hollywood as and adjunct professor classes in Film and Entertainment.

Ms. La Page holds a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre, Bachelor of Administration in certificates in Marketing, Accounting and a Master of Fine Arts in Film Directing from the California Institute of the Arts.

About the LA Femme International Film Festival

LA Femme International Film Festival is a premier festival, listed as one of the 10 best festivals to attend, which focuses on platforming women filmmakers “content by women for global audiences". Our Festival was created in 2005, when it became apparent that there was a need to enhance women behind the camera as Directors, Producers, and Writers.

As LA Femme moves into the it's fifteenth (15 ) year of programing, it plans to expand its platform so that more women in the industry and from around the world can have the benefit of taking their film to the next level through increased distribution outlets, more key positions in the entertainment industry and more recognition as artistic creators emerging as leaders in the industry.

Our goal is to remain a step ahead through exemplary programming, networking, and panel events. A classic professional atmosphere will create a sense of ‘opportunity’ for participants. LA Femme International Film Festival is “By Women for Everyone.”

Our categories include: features, documentaries, shorts, animation, music videos, commercials, web series, screenplays and tv pilot teleplays.

There is something for everyone.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

8/5/19 @9:30am pst - Peace Activist & Author of The Fox Hunt, Mohammed AL Samawi, joined Janeane on KUCI 88.9fm

LISTEN to today's conversation with
featured guest Mohammed AL Samawi

"A gripping account of terror and escape.” — New York Times Book Review

The Fox Hunt tells one young man’s unforgettable story of his harrowing escape from Yemen's brutal civial war with the help of a daring plan engineered on social media by a small group of interfaith activists in the West.


WATCH how Mohammed escaped death through the power of FACEBOOK.

Mohammed will speak about:

  • The Refugee Crisis Across the Middle East: How This Crisis Began, What Steps Can We Take
  • Building Bridges: Interfaith Dialogue Across the Islam, Jewish, and Christian Communities
  • Islamophobia and Antisemitism
  • Middle East Policy
  • Overcoming Disabilities
  • Youth Empowerment
  • Collaboration and Teamwork to Accomplish the Impossible
  • Mohammed AL Samawi
  • Peace Activist & Author of The Fox Hunt

Born in the Old City of Sana’a, Yemen, to a pair of middle-class doctors, Mohammed Al Samawi was a devout Muslim raised to think of Christians and Jews as his enemy. But when Mohammed was twenty-three, he secretly received a copy of the Bible, and what he read cast doubt on everything he’d previously believed. After connecting with Jews and Christians on social media, and at various international interfaith conferences, Mohammed became an activist, making it his mission to promote dialogue and cooperation in Yemen.

Then came the death threats: first on Facebook, then through terrifying anonymous phone calls. To protect himself and his family, Mohammed fled to the southern port city of Aden. He had no way of knowing that Aden was about to become the heart of a north-south civil war, and the battleground for a well-funded proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia. As gunfire and grenades exploded throughout the city, Mohammed hid in the bathroom of his apartment and desperately appealed to his contacts on Facebook.

Miraculously, a handful of people he barely knew responded. Over thirteen days, four ordinary young people with zero experience in diplomacy or military exfiltration worked across six technology platforms and ten time zones to save this innocent young man trapped between deadly forces— rebel fighters from the north and Al Qaeda operatives from the south.

The story of an improbable escape as riveting as the best page-turning thrillers, The Fox Hunt reminds us that goodness and decency can triumph in the darkest circumstances.Mohammed AL Samawi is an interfaith activist, a refugee from Yemen and author of The Fox Hunt: A Refugee’s Memoir of Coming to America (William Morrow), which shares the moving story of love, war, and hope in which he recounts his harrowing personal transformation from a traditionalist to an interfaith activist, and how he escaped the brutal civil war in Yemen with the help of a daring plan engineered on social media by a small group of Facebook friends in the West. The Fox Hunt is a 2019 Nautilus Book Awards winner and was a finalist for the National Jewish Book Awards.

Over thirteen days, four ordinary young people with zero experience in international diplomacy or military exfiltration worked across six technology platforms and ten time zones to save this innocent young man trapped between deadly forces—rebel fighters supported by Iran and AL Qaeda operatives supported by Saudi Arabia. The story of an improbable escape as riveting as the best page-turning thrillers, Fox Hunt is also an unforgettable story of compassion, friendship, faith and redemption. Like I Am Malala, A Long Walk Gone, and The Dressmaker of Khair Khana, it sheds light on events roiling the world, and offers hope and inspiration, reminding us that goodness and decency can triumph in the darkest circumstances.

“La La Land” producer Marc Platt and Josh Singer, who won an Academy Award for best original screenplay “Spotlight, are developing the movie “The Fox Hunt,” based on AL Samawi’s memoir.

Sharing his powerful story across the globe, AL Samawi has addressed audiences from religious organizations to schools and universities to humanitarian and global groups.

In 2019, AL Samawi launched the Abrahamic House, a multi-faith incubator for social change with a mission to build sustainable interfaith learning and action across Muslim, Jewish, Bahai and Christian communities in order to foster an environment of respect, justice, and social change. Previously AL Samawi worked for several NGOs, including Oxfam and World Relief; he also worked as a freelance researcher for Boehncke Information Technology GmbH for more than two years. In those capacities, he authored more than 30 studies and reports about Yemen, and reported extensively on Sudan, including Darfur.

Currently he resides in Florida.

Praise for Mohammed AL Samawi:

"Students were mesmerized and inspired by Mohammed’s story of escaping Al Qaeda and fleeing Yemen. Through his story, we learned about the history of Yemen, the complexity of interfaith issues, and the ongoing refugee crisis in the Middle East. Our series regularly features icons and changemakers in business, the arts, sports, and philanthropy. Mohammed is among the most compelling speakers we’ve hosted and the students loved him."
--David Belasco, Executive Director & Adjunct Professor, Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, University of Southern California

“Mohammed has led a remarkable life in which he himself has transformed into a global ambassador for peace. His ability to communicate his experience both inside and outside his home country of Yemen has been inspiring and enlightening for us all. We are fortunate that his enduring determination to help build peace in the Middle East is matched by his eloquence in sharing his personal story”
--Aileen Getty, Aileen Getty Foundation

“Despite my 25-plus years in international affairs, including substantial work on issues confronting the Middle East and North Africa, I have learned life-changing lessons from Mohamed Alsamawi. Mohamed Alsamawi can speak in concrete terms of both the best hopes and the worst inhumanities that plague the region and the roles -- both positive and negative -- of governments, civil society and of individuals who have the courage to question and learn. His deep humanity, generosity and ready humor will open eyes everywhere to what his own life reflects -- intolerance and fear of “others” debases and endangers us all, whereas recognizing and strengthening individual and community bonds across all borders (physical, cultural, social, ethnic and religious) makes life far better and more productive. Not only is it possible to radically change perspectives, but it is possible to develop trust and adopt inclusive, creative approaches that help solve the world’s most challenging problems.
--Anne Pence , Covington & Burling LLP

“Mohammed Al-Samawi gave a poignant, moving account of his escape from war-torn Yemen, during the NYC Muslim-Jewish Solidarity Committee’s 1st Annual Iftar in a Synagogue in 2015. The event was Mohammed’s first NYC speaking engagement and he captivated our community; many members still discuss his impact two years later. His story of how a global network of peace activists from different cultures and religions helped him escape death resonated deeply with all attendees. We are honored to work with Mohammed Al-Samawi and encourage all to listen to his story.”
--Michelle Koch and Zena Schulman, NYC Muslim-Jewish Solidarity Committee

“The Persian Gulf Institute (PGI) is grateful for the invaluable insights Mohammed Al Samawi has brought to the conversation on Yemen's current crisis and the affairs of the broader region. At PGI's recent panel discussion on Yemen, Mr. Al Samawi offered both an insightful geopolitical analysis of the current conflict and an important local perspective on the war's human toll. Mr. Al Samawi's remarkable personal experiences make him a unique expert on his home country.”
--Robert Bon, Persian Gulf Institute

“Mohammed's extraordinary story from Yemen to the U.S. captures not only the power of interfaith cooperation, but also the human condition at its finest. In his talks, Mohammed showcases the rare ability to sense where an audience is starting from, drawing them into an inspiring and fulfilling journey. Along the way, he mixes in his unique humor, charm and grace. If we are to build peace in the Middle East, we must listen to Mohammed's story.”
--Steven Olikara, Founder and President of Millennial Action Project

Coming up 7/17/24 9:00am - Janeane chats with Producer Jay Silverman about his latest film CAMERA, starring Beau Bridges

‘CAMERA’ starring Beau Bridges, centers around a young mute boy who uses an old film camera to express his point of view, with the help of ...