Author Archive

Insecure Writers…

It’s time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group!

Time to release our fears to the world – or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic. If you’d like to join us, click on the tab above and sign up. We post the first Wednesday of every month and encourage everyone to visit at least a dozen new blogs and leave a comment. No matter where you are in your writing career your words might be the encouragement someone needs.

I rarely miss an Insecure Writers Support Group posting.

Missing last month was awful. I have a doctor’s note though, I was in the hospital trying to kick a blood infection. It was the result of several kidney stones. I’m so crazy I laid there in so much pain thinking about the invaluable research I was getting. I’m already feeling empathy for the character that drinks too much sweet tea and unfortunately develops kidney stones.

Today’s optional question: Besides writing what other creative outlets do you have?

My first instinct is to say no, writing is the only creative thing I do. After thinking about it, I love doing crafty type things. The truth is I’m not that good at it. Every once in a while I surprise myself though. My husband and I were married on the beach at sunset. The most beautiful quarter moon and single star appeared. All these years, every month since then we go outside and look at that moon.

For our last anniversary I drew and painted a moon and star.

I added the text, When we have each other we have everything. It’s not great but he loves it so I’m kind of proud. lol I’ve always wanted to paint. My father was a talented artist. Growing up I always felt intimidated, like I would never be as good as him. He never made me feel that way, it was me feeling insecure. He loved teaching me what he knew and was always encouraging. I was a bit worried to tell him I wanted to write, not paint. He was thrilled for me and when my first book was released he was so proud.

He passed away 5-years ago. His birthday is Friday and the more time that goes by the more I want to paint. I do believe in natural God given talents but with all creative endeavors the more we learn and practice, the better we come. How about you? What creative outlets do you have?

Be sure to stop by and thank the awesome co-hosts: Raimey Gallant, Natalie Aguirre, CV Grehan, and Michelle Wallace!

Happy writing, Doreen I would love to connect with you here too:


The Monthly Meeting of The Insecure Writers Support Group

Welcome to the last 2018 posting of The Insecure Writers Support Group.

I can’t be the only one down on myself because I haven’t completed my 2018 writing goals. Am I? There are still a few weeks left so all isn’t lost.

The purpose of this group is to share and encourage or to receive inspiration. Writers can freely express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer others assistance and guidance. It’s a safe-haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

No matter where we are in our writing careers, insecurity will come and go.

Our family and friends don’t always understand our insecurities therefore they aren’t equipped to help us through them. Writers are the kindest most supportive people I have ever known. We’d love to have you join us.

Sign up here: 

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG.

Every month, we announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG post. Remember, the question is optional!

What are five objects we’d find in your writing space?

This question makes me want to clean my office because right now it’s a disaster. These are just excuses, but I recently finished my third book, finished a ghostwriting project and started a fourth book. This fourth book is my first fiction project, so I have notebooks full of research all over the place. Objects that you will always find in my writing space are photos of my family. They are my inspiration in person and in photos. There is always a collection of pens, pencils and markers just because I’m obsessed. I also have my first two published books displayed as a reminder that my writing time does eventually pay off. My father, an artist passed away nearly five-years ago and one of the last things he gave me was an unfinished painting that sit’s close by my desk. He was a huge supporter of my writing, so I feel like he is with me and is reminding me time is precious, so I need to finish writing all the stories I still must tell.

Please stop by the blogs of our awesome co-hosts for the December 5 posting of the #IWSG: J.H. Moncrieff, Tonja Drecker , Patsy Collins, and Chrys Fey

Best wishes everyone for a Merry Christmas and/or the brightest holiday season ever and omgoodness the next time we meet it will be 2019, YIKES!


What You Don’t Expect When You Are Expecting…

 I’m excited to introduce you to the coolest doctor I know and her book, What You Don’t Expect When Your Expecting.

This book is a must read if you are thinking of or are pregnant and will also be an appreciated gift for an expecting mom.

About the Author

Dr. Brandie Nemchenko is the owner of a large multi-doctor practice in southeastern Pennsylvania and is the Clinical Director of Bloom Holistic Care for Pregnancy. She has been certified by the ICPA in Webster Technique and with their Pregnancy and Pediatrics program since 2002.

A former college athlete herself, Dr.Brandie is also trained as a sports chiropractor.

After almost losing her daughter in 2007 and not being able to practice, she extrapolated the procedures and research to pregnancy in a safe way.

Dr. Brandie is a popular speaker having spoken at the Inspired Families conference at Temple University. She frequently lectures to physicians groups at hospitals and private practice as well as mother’s groups and aligned businesses.  As a paramedic she worked in emergency rooms for many years.

The mother of two gorgeous girls, and married to chiropractor, Dr. Arthur Nemchenko, Dr. Brandie lives in Valley Forge Park, Pennsylvania.

About the Book

What if your pregnancy isn’t the dream you always imagined and instead has into a living nightmare?

What if instead of your doctor telling you these aches and pains are normal and there’s nothing that can be done, you had a practitioner that not only listened to you but helped you?

It is possible.

Dr. Brandie Nemchenko, a pregnancy chiropractor with over a decade of experience has developed a self-help run-through that has helped thousands of patients in her private practice near Philadelphia.

In her “keeping it real” and humorous manner, Dr. Brandie not only gives you the tools and mechanics of what you can safely try, she also “gets it” and helps you find ways to cope and think differently in this “new but temporary normal.”

Breaking down the typical cases she sees in her office, she explains why these things happen and what you can STOP doing today to help you break the pain cycle so that you can do the things you need to do, even while pregnant.

You’ll also learn:

  • Your second pregnancy is often worse and comes with predictable pains and what you can do to ease the pain and better yet how to keep it from occurring.
  • How to think critically about the decisions you need to make for you and your unborn baby.
  • How you can ask and get the support you need.

With dozens of case studies and personal insight Dr. Brandie can help radically change your pregnancy from one that is painful to one that is enjoyed.  Pregnancy should be one of the most special times in your life and remembered for the joy not the pain.

The goal of this book is to guide you to the best support team and practices to ensure you have the pregnancy of your dreams.

This book will make an appreciated gift for anyone who is expecting or planning to have children.

The Book Trailer:

The Interview What has been your most challenging case as a chiropractor?

I think any case I’ve managed where the mama HAS to work and has a challenging physical health condition, either a herniated lower back disc and she can’t stand or groin pain and by all intents and purposes she cannot lose income to support her family but can barely work. That is challenging to navigate to make sure we get her issue under control the fastest and safest we can and to help her navigate and modify her job responsibilities to keep her at work but not hurting herself or that babe.

You are a successful entrepreneur, mother, wife, doctor with multiple practices and now you’ve added author to your list of accomplishments, how do you stay focused? How do you keep yourself motivated?

Focus is SO hard for me.  Motivation is not. I stay focused by trying to delegate all that I can have someone else do (which I typically enjoy more) and do what only I can do.  

My mission is motivating to me because I know there are so many mamas out there who are hurting that should be enjoying this time.  

Focus is important and as someone with Executive Function Disorder and ADD (which in a TED talk were cited as the “Entrepreneur’s Disease”), I can handle multiple things at once and switch between tasks.  Recently, I resigned from being a Board President of our local ambulance and resigned from reviewing other doctors to really focus on my practices and my book. I’m realizing to be more effective in my impact – I need to be a laser beam instead of a disco light.  🙂

One course I just took that I found immensely helpful was Life Hack Boot Camp with Demir and Carey Bentley.  It taught me to systematize my actions and line them up with my goals to make sure I’m not spinning my wheels and instead am pushing myself forward.  

As a doctor how do you keep yourself and your practice up to date on the latest treatments?

I attend a lot of continuing education classes and take a diversified approach to coursework because much of how I treat pregnant women is actually from my training and study with athletes.  I don’t know any population that needs help getting back into the game of life then pregnant women. So much is on the line!.

You work primarily with pregnant women. I’m guessing in most cases the first time you see them they are in pain and at their wits end. What if they saw you earlier in their pregnancy, why should a healthy pregnant woman seek chiropractic care?

If you get twinges, things could get out of hand quickly and it’s always good to get checked out and get a game plan to manage their pregnancy.  

You have so much going for you, why did you write this book?

Pregnancy is such a special time and it should be enjoyed.  I hear a lot of women struggling who are not local and wanted to get help and I wanted to extend my reach.

You and your husband (also a doctor) work together, have children and live together, how do you stay married?

Humor.  🙂

It isn’t uncommon for women to experience skeletal issues after delivering babies. What causes those issues and what can you do for them?


Carrying babies is so hard.  Even though they are tiny, it’s weight on muscles that aren’t used to holding that.  On top of it you aren’t sleeping and are doing postures that you aren’t used to – with more weight in the front sometimes if you breastfeed.  The most common issues AFTER birth is upper back pain, wrist pain, and headaches.

Authors often compare the writing of and the production process of a book to a long and difficult pregnancy. Now that your book baby is finally here, will there be siblings?

Ha!  I’ve already started my next two; one for husbands and one for chiropractors so you could say that I’m expecting twins!  

As a doctor and business owner how has networking helped you and do you have any tips for other women on making the most of networking opportunities.

 I don’t network in the traditional way of networking and in fact, it’s a huge joke at the Main Line Chamber that I can be found at a large event in the bathroom waiting for the speakers to start.  As an introvert, I much prefer one on one or small group chats. I see networking more as connections. I love connecting people to help them and have found my patient’s jobs, connected them to like minded groups and have even introduced them to people in the office and they became friends.  Life is about helping others and that’s what I see networking as.

What is your favorite go to local restaurant? What are you ordering?

Our new favorite is J. Alexander’s.  It’s gorgeous and has great food. I am partial to their steaks and their mac and cheese is out of this world.  

For more about Dr. Brandie visit her website.




Knight In Tarnished Armor…


Sadly I think we all know someone who is in or who has been in some sort of an abusive relationship or maybe you are in one ore where in one yourself.

I met Pam a few years ago and she is so inspiring and so dedicated to the domestic abuse cause.  With October being Domestic Violence Awareness Month, I thought it would be the perfect time to introduce you to her and to congratulate her on the release of Knight In Tarnished Armor. It’s a great book and a moving story.

The Author:

Pam Lambert is a speaker, writer, blogger and “comforter” of domestic violence victims. Whether it be on paper, on a stage or on the Internet, she’s an outspoken advocate for domestic violence awareness. As a survivor herself, she knows what it’s like to be under the control of an abusive partner and the hopelessness a victim feels being trapped, enduring emotional and physical abuse in silence. Pam works with victims and their families to help them escape abusive relationships, adjust to their new life while restoring their joy and hope for the future. Her goal is to help remove the stigma of domestic violence so that people will be willing to step in and stop abuse, bring justice to the victim and awareness to prevent it from happening in the first place. When she’s not advocating for victims, she enjoys hiking, walking, reading, traveling and spending time with her huge, crazy, supportive family.

The Book:

It was a fairytale courtship and, as in most cases of domestic abuse, Pam’s talented and kind husband didn’t show his darker side until they were married for a couple of years. He showered her with love and affection, making her feel like the luckiest girl on earth. In Knight in Tarnished Armor, Pam invites the reader behind closed doors and drawn curtains and into the broken heart of an abusive marriage. She’s honest in laying out the daily struggles of living with someone who used threats, physical harm and mind games to control and make her think she was going crazy. And then he would turn on the charm, act like nothing was wrong, and once again be the loving man she married. The abuse continued to escalate and there were many nights she was afraid to fall asleep, positive it would be the night he would kill her while she slept. After several years, she finally got a restraining order to have him removed from their property and filed for divorce. The whole process took years, working its way slowly through the legal system, but everything was finally settled, and she was free of her abuser and anxious to become a voice for other victims. Knight in Tarnished Armor is an honest, real life, inspiring account of one woman’s victorious escape from heartbreaking betrayal and out of the grip of her abusive husband. Included also is encouragement, guidance and a safety plan with a checklist of things to do if you think you may have to flee an abusive relationship. The freedom Pam felt upon learning her abuser was dead empowered her to dedicate her life to giving encouragement and hope to other victims. She also works with victims’ families and friends, to guide them in the most effective ways to help their loved ones. And she’s committed to educate and inform the public, to speak out whenever possible as a voice for victims of domestic abuse. This compelling story provides a window into the victim’s thoughts, experiences, and trauma within an abusive relationship. The dreams of what it should collide with the reality of what is, revealing the strength, courage, and faith it takes to respond God’s way. Practical ways to move forward through and beyond the experience stirs hope within the reader. The book provides a voice for individuals who suffer abuse from others. FOCUS Ministries will use this book as we minister to victims and families of domestic violence.

The Interview:

Working as a domestic violence advocate is serious business. How do you qualify?

On the job training! I’ve spoken with social workers and advocates who have chosen their profession, not because they were victims, but because they want to help. They have all told me that being a victim is a huge benefit when you are dealing with domestic violence situations. There’s also a bond between victims which is hard to explain, but when two victims meet, they aren’t strangers for long. In addition, I have taken, and continue to take, many on-line courses. In fact, I will be attending the PCADV conference in Lancaster PA in two weeks for training. And I took an extensive course in Chicago when I started working with victims. And I read constantly…anything I can get my hands on, about domestic violence. Plus, I have hours upon hours of working with victims and I learn so much from them.

Isn’t it difficult to stay detached from victims that you are advocating for?

At first it was terribly hard. My wounds were nowhere near healed and I kept tearing them open by listening to the stories of other victims. At one point, I was so invested with one of the victims, I woke up in the middle of the night because I thought I heard her calling my name. I was half way dressed before I realized how ridiculous it was. That’s when I realized I needed to step away for a while. At the time, I was writing my book, which was hard to do anyway, and then having the other victims leaning on me when I was barely strong enough to stand myself, I did have to take a break. It’s much easier now to detach. You must, or you are constantly torn up and not any good to anyone.

How do you do it? Well, I stopped putting myself in their place…which was what I was doing at the beginning. Now, I’m standing outside, seeing the big picture, which is something you can’t do as a victim because you so exhausted just trying to stay alive and sane. I also pray a lot! I know that for me to help them, I can’t think like a victim, I have to think like a survivor.

You volunteer to go into prisons to speak with abusers. Are they receptive to you?

Oh my! They are a captive audience! I love to speak in prisons. I especially like the question and answer sessions at the end. So many of them have been victims of child abuse, so they are no stranger to abusive situations, but they need to see the woman’s perspective. Several men have told me they were doing time for beating or killing their mother’s abuser. The best experience was when I went to the woman’s prison for an entire day of domestic violence awareness. There are so many women who are incarcerated because their abusers forced them to do something…carry drugs, drive the get-away car, whatever…that broke the law and they were caught and thrown in jail. But if they hadn’t done what the abuser made them do, they might be dead!

Do you think it makes a difference?

I sure hope it does! I have had inmates talk to me afterwards and tell me they had no idea that their behavior was abusive because they never physically hurt their partner. One man was crying when he told me he knew now why his wife left him. He said he never hit her or did any harm to her physically, but he did control her every move, how she dressed, who she was- allowed- to be friends with…he thought he was being protective, and he was smothering her spirit!

As a survivor of domestic abuse and looking back what were the earliest red flags, behaviors you missed that may have signaled what was to come?

I do a whole talk on the red flags. My husband asked me to marry him 10 days after we met…that’s a red flag. He wanted to spend all our time together…that’s a red flag. Our relationship was too good to be true, he was a perfect match for me…that’s a red flag. All those things seem romantic and lovely when you have been swept off your feet by the handsome, intelligent, funny man of your dreams. And all that made me over look the fact that there were inconsistencies in his story, he blamed everyone else for his problems and he was very vague about his past, other red flags that I should have seen, but was blinded by love.

What advice do you have for women living with an abuser, needing a plan to get out safely?

Prepare yourself for the day you will leave. Put money away, gather all your important papers and give them to someone to hold for you or open a safe deposit box and put them in there. Find a safety plan on line…there’s one in my book and on my website, Read over it and do as much as you can without him knowing. If you have a local shelter, visit it and ask them for advice. They are not just a place to stay, they are a treasure chest of information, helpful tips and good advice. Find someone you can trust, a family member, friend, co-worker and let them know what’s going on. Keep a journal…I can’t stress how important that is. Nothing emotional or elaborate, just a record of the abuse, the date, time, who was involved, what happened, and the injuries, if any.

How can someone help a loved one or a friend that is being abused?

Listen, don’t judge, don’t give advice, just be there for them. Don’t bad mouth the abuser. She’s fragile and exhausted in every way… physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually…she doesn’t need someone telling her what she did wrong or what to do now. She’s had years of someone telling her what to do. Just give her support and comfort. If she needs a place to stay and you can provide it, by all means, do that. If she has to go to a motel for a couple nights and can’t afford it, pay for it. If she needs a baby sitter while she goes to court, watch her kids. Just do whatever you can to make her life easier. It’s not forever, it’s just until she gets out, safe and back on her feet. Listen…I can’t stress how important it is for a victim to feel like someone is hearing them. Don’t listen with your eyes on the tv or looking at your phone, give her your 100% attention, even if you have heard it before and you’re tired of hearing it. She needs to get it out to heal.

You hold support group meetings in your home tell us about that.

I love Carefree Coloring! I noticed in dealing with victims that they don’t look at your when they talk. They are embarrassed, ashamed, confused, whatever, so they play with a napkin or pick at their fingernails. I had jumped on the adult coloring bandwagon and enjoyed it so much. It is so relaxing! I had an idea that perhaps I could combine a victim/survivor support group with a coloring party and it’s a huge success. To be truthful, I just supply the location and supplies. The ladies start chatting as soon as they come thru the door and they share stories and encourage one another and laugh and cry and it’s just wonderful. As they color, they are relaxing, they don’t have to be ashamed because everyone in the room knows exactly what they are have experienced. They give each other advice and they are even calling each other during the week. The other wonderful thing about it is, if they are still in an abusive situation, they can tell their abuser they are going to a coloring party (because they are!) and can even take- home proof. It has worked out beautifully!

Was writing the book therapeutic or empowering or both?

It was excruciating! It took me five years. I would type a bit and then get up and pace back and forth until my heart rate calmed down. I’d have to put it away for a while. I wrote the beginning easily, the good years. Then I wrote the end. But that middle part…to describe the abuse…it took all I had. And I left out so much, especially the sexual abuse. Once it was done, it was a huge relief. And then I started hearing people say that it helped them, that they bought it for their daughter/sister/aunt, that they couldn’t put it down once they started reading it, that they understand domestic violence so much better now…that’s when I realized how powerful words can be and how much it helped me to help others. Until then it seemed my experience had no purpose, but when I realized telling my story was helping other victims, that’s when it felt empowering. And it was therapeutic getting that all out. I didn’t realize it at the time because it was so painful, but I felt cleaned out when it was done.

Why did you decide to use your real name verses a pen name to share such a vulnerable painful time in your life?

I had originally written it under the pen name Erin Donovan because when it was published the first time, my husband was still alive. I knew that if he found out I wrote a book and revealed all his dirty secrets, he would kill me. Now that he’s dead, I WANT the world to know who I am, what I went through and how domestic violence can happen to anyone, even a middle class, white bread, preacher’s daughter. I don’t want to hide behind a pen name. When I gave my first speech after my husband died, I was introduced as Erin Donovan. At the end, I said, “I was introduced as Erin Donovan. However, that is not my real name, just one I’ve had to use because my ex-husband would kill me if he knew I wrote this book. On April 1, 2013, my husband committed suicide, so I’d like to introduce myself by my real name…Pam Lambert.” I got a standing ovation. That was one of the most liberating things I’ve ever said. No more hiding, no more looking over my shoulder, no more “burden of awareness”.

Are you planning to write another book?

As a matter of fact, yes! It will be a book of encouragement for victims and survivors. What is your favorite local restaurant, and what are you ordering? There’s an Italian restaurant that hangs off the side of the mountain and overlooks Johnstown and the whole front is glass. The food is fantastic! I always try something different, but the one thing I always get is the crab dip appetizer.


Read Pam’s book if you would like to learn more about my journey from loving wife to domestic violence victim, to survivor, to advocate. If you are searching for someone to speak at your next event, please contact her. Those of you who are looking for someone to talk to, visit my sit and sip page.


Gosnell the Movie…

Gosnell the Movie manages to be compelling without being gruesome. If you have a pulse, you’ll feel something powerful…

The Gosnell Movie is not about abortion nor is it religious or political. In fact the original criminal case against the doctor was focused on drugs. He was running a pill mill. While searching his office Philadelphia detectives along with the FBI discovered full-term dead babies in bags and baby body parts in jars and milk cartons. They also discovered a woman in distress.

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Major Life Events & Writing #IWSG

It’s time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! Time to release our fears to the world – or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic. If you’d like to join us, click on the tab above and sign up. We post the first Wednesday of every month. I encourage everyone to visit at least a dozen new blogs and leave a comment. Your words might be the encouragement someone needs.

Stop by and say hello to the awesome co-hosts for the October 3 posting:

Dolorah, Tanya Miranda, Chemist Ken, and Christopher D. Votey.

Optional Question this Month:

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I’m Sorry September…

Insecure Writers Support Group

Our Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer – aim for a dozen new people each time. Be sure to link to this page and display the badge in your post.

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

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Are You Guilty of Road Rage?

Are you guilty of Road Rage? Have you been a victim of Road Rage?

Road rage attacks seem to happen in multiples in my area. I can’t help but wonder why. Is it the weather, the time of year, the time of day, the position of the moon that causes this volatile behavior?

Whenever I hear or read the words road rage my body stiffens and my heart starts to race. My brother, musician David Albert was beaten to death in a road rage attack. His crime was stopping at every stop sign and looking both ways. It happened on a beautiful tree-lined street in the small town of Bristol Borough, Pennsylvania.

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Baby Carter

Happy Release Day Baby Carter

Dina is one of the first writers I connected with when I started blogging. That was 8oo+ posts ago. Since then we’ve actually met in real life and she is lovely.

I’m also a fan. I loved Baby Grand and Baby Bailino and have been anxiously awaiting the next book, Baby Carter. 

I highly recommend this series.

ABOUT the Author

Voted one of the best Long Island authors for two consecutive years, Dina Santorelli is the author of the Baby Grand Trilogy, a contemporary thriller series. She has been a freelance writer for 20 years and has written frequently about parenting, travel, entertainment, pop culture, and the military. Dina currently serves as the executive editor of Salute and Family magazines for which she has interviewed many celebrities, such as Kiefer Sutherland, Kate Mara, Michael Strahan, Norman Reedus, Vince Vaughn, James Gandolfini, Tim McGraw, Carrie Underwood, and Kevin Bacon. Since 2010, she has collaborated on a variety of nonfiction titles, and her book Daft Punk: A Trip Inside the Pyramid has been published in several languages. Dina also lectures for Hofstra University’s Continuing Education Department and is a SELF-e Ambassador for the Library Journal. For more information about Dina, visit her website.

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I’m wearing white every day…

Fall Reading

As of August 1st I’ve wanted to wear white every day, visit local parks, the beach and the hot dog and hamburger cravings are crazy. I’m such a summer person and I won’t give it up easily but I’m also a planner and it’s time to fill my fall book shelf. Normally I’m a scaredy cat but my #FallReading has to be scary or at least mysterious.

The first book in my #FallReading to be read pile is The Brown House. For me the title screams fall and scary and it’s based on a real house!

Meet the Author

Christy Sloat  is a California girl that resides in New Jersey with her husband, two young daughters and her Chihuahua, Sophie. She has embraced the love of reading and writing since her youth and was inspired by her grandmother’s loving support. Christy loves adventurous journeys with her friends and can be known to get lost inside a bookstore. She is the bestselling author of thirteen novels including, The Librarian, The Visitors Series, The Past Lives Series and the award-winning Slumber Duology.

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