Karen graduated from the University of Scranton, Georgetown University Law Center and in 2017, Trinity College with a graduate degree in American Studies. After practicing law for many years, she began writing. Her first young adult novel, The Weight of Zero, has been named to the New York Public Library's 50 Best Books for Teens 2016, selected as an honor book by the International Literacy Association, and featured in Seventeen Magazine. Her second young adult novel, The Arc of a Bullet, arrives in 2018, and a third novel will be published in 2019. In addition to writing, Karen works part time as a museum educator. She loves meeting readers and is available for book club discussions! Check out her website at karenfortunati.com or on Facebook at @AuthorKarenFortunati and Twitter @karenfortunati.
Sandra Long elevates LinkedIn, personal branding, networking, social selling, and social recruiting to an entirely new level for her audiences, clients, and readers. Sandra is the best-selling author of LinkedIn for Personal Branding: The Ultimate Guide. She speaks at corporations, universities, conferences, as well as for industry associations.
Sandra is the President of Post Road Consulting LLC in Westport and Stamford, CT. The company’s clients include sales teams, corporate C-Level executives, HR teams, Universities, and recruiters. Sandra is a graduate of the University of Rochester.
Janet E. Verney
As The Wellness Designer, Janet specializes in interior “health” makeovers. In her book, ROOTS2Wellness, she shares her journey from dis-ease to a life of vibrant wellness. Janet practices Collective Medicine utilizing her methodology “Unearth, Weed, Nourish, Bloom” to transform one life at a time.
Janet is a certified health coach from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and has served in various leadership roles in both education and biotechnology. She is an author, speaker, chef, founder of ROOTS2Wellness.com and co-founder of foodGEVITY.com, the exciting new online program that is igniting a Women’s Health Revolution across the globe.
Rosemary O’Brien has been a writer and published author for over 20 years writing everything from novels to magazine articles to online copy. Published novels include FIRST SATURDAY (2002) and SCRAPS (2013). Over the course of her writing career, she has published articles about health, technology, parenting and even a piece about carta vistas (postcards of dead relatives at their wake – really). During her first career as a professional actress in New York City, she discovered pocket parks which is the subject of her latest book, BEST POCKET PARKS OF NYC (Pocket Parks Publishing, 2014), and the foundation of her business, POCKET PARKS PUBLISHING.
O’Brien has a BA in English and Creative Writing from San Diego State University, is a former military spouse (husband retired in 2009), and is working on growing her NYC guide into a phone app.
L.M. Browning is an award-winning author of eleven books. In 2010, Browning debuted with a poetry series that received 3 pushcart-prize nominations, the Nautilus Gold Medal for Poetry, and Foreword Reviews’ Book of the Year Award. She has freelanced for several publications and has a biannual interview column in The Wayfarer.
Browning is a graduate of the University of London, and a Fellow with the International League of Conservation Writers. In 2011, she opened Home-bound Publications, an independent publishing house. She is working to complete a L.B.A. in Creative Writing at Harvard University’s Extension School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Visit her at www.lmbrowning.com
Tish Rabe is an award-winning, best -selling children's book author who has written over 170 books for Sesame Street, Disney, Blue's Clues, Curious George, Clifford, Huff and Puff and more. Following the death of Dr. Seuss, Tish was selected to create The Cat in the Hat's Learning Library, a series of science books for early readers. She is an Advisory Board Member of Reach Out and Read CT and an advocate for early childhood literacy and participates in School Author Visits.
Ms. Rabe lives in Mystic, CT and New York City and heads up her own band "Tish Rabe and Friends". She is also a proud mom, step-mom and grandmother.
Network of Executive Women
Cheryl Della Pietra
Cheryl Della Pietra is a longtime New York City magazine editor, writer, and copy editor. She has published numerous stories in such magazines as Marie Claire, Redbook, and POV Magazine. After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, she lived with Hunter S. Thompson in Woody Creek, Colorado, for several months in 1992, where she worked as his assistant. Her debut novel, Gonzo Girl, was inspired by this experience. She currently lives in Branford, Connecticut, with her husband and son.
Meet Our Girls Night Out Authors!
Kathryn Orzech is a seasoned world traveler writing mystery, suspense, and thrillers set in “New England and other exotic locations.” Her female protagonists fearlessly confront extraordinary situations, flirt with romance, and brush with the supernatural.
An avid film fan and self-proclaimed news nerd, other interests include history and geopolitics, society and culture; archaeology, psychology and science; and para-
psychology, leaving few subjects off her literary table.
Online since the 1990s, her website
DreamWatch.com features true paranormal experiences of everyday people. It has attracted visitors from every U.S. state and more than 50 countries, inspiring her novel Premonition of Terror when she wondered, What if…
Atessa Afshar is the best-selling author of historical and biblical novels. Her novel, Harvest of Gold won the 2014 Christy Award in Historical Romance and Harvest of Rubies was a finalist for the 2013 ECPA Book Award in fiction. Her first novel, Pearl in the Sand, won her “New Author of the Year” by the Family Fiction sponsored Reader’s Choice Awards 2011. Land of Silence was voted by Library Journal as one of five top Christian Fiction titles of 2016, and nominated for the 2016 Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award for best Inspirational Romance. Tessa was born in Iran and lived there till age 14. when she moved to England then on to USA permanently. Tessa holds an MDiv from Yale where she served as cochair of the Evangelical Fellowship at the Divinity School. Contact Tessa at tessaafshar.com
Cindy Eastman is an award-winning author who writes as an observer and as a participant in her life. With her dry sense of humor she addresses a variety of topics and delivers an insightful analysis that’s provocative and amusing.
Cindy’s first book, a collection of essays entitled, Flip-Flops After 50: And Other Thoughts On Aging I Remembered To Write Down was published by She Writes Press in April 2014. In it, she shares her observations and understanding about what it means to get older and enjoy it.
Raised in Louisville, Kentucky, Cindy attended undergraduate schools in Austin, Texas and graduate school in Springfield, Massachusetts and holds a Master’s degree in Education. She teaches writing to students from ages 5 to 85. She also works with families going through divorce as a mediator and parenting class instructor.
Check out her website.
Penny Goetjen is the author of murder mysteries where the milieu plays as prominent a role as the engaging characters. Her love of travel inspires her writing as evidenced by her current titles. Although Connecticut has been her home longer than anywhere else, she also has a deep-rooted fondness for the Caribbean; Charleston, South Carolina; and the tumultuous coast of Maine (especially in the warmer months). A self-proclaimed eccentric, she loves writing by candlelight, particularly on dark, gray days or in the late hours of the night. Fascinated with the paranormal, she often weaves a subtle, unexpected twist into her stories. When her husband is asked how he feels about his wife writing murder mysteries, he answers with a wink, “I sleep with one eye open.”