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Local Author Night: Reflection

R.J. Julia fully supports local and independent authors and takes pride in their success. For over 25 years we have presented high-caliber author events and currently hosts more than 300 events each year. It is our pleasure to dedicate this evening to four local authors, each unique in their writing styles and stories. Please support our local writing community and join us for a wonderful evening of story-telling and friendship.

Geraldine Brown Giomblanco, Geraldina & the Compass Rose: One Woman’s Faith-Filled Journey to Find Love

One woman's story of refusing to lose faith or settle for the wrong kind of love...and what a secret sorrow taught her.

Geraldine Brown Giomblanco's unusually strong intuition is propelling her up the ranks in fashion, retail, and marketing, and she's matching up girlfriends one by one with the guys they will marry.

She's smart, attractive, loving, and grounded in faith. So, why is she still single? In this dazzling memoir, Brown Giomblanco brings to life the devotion to God she learns from her beloved grandma Rosaria and lessons she gains from a gigolo, a psychic, guardian angels and saints, a US president, and a string of unsuitable boyfriends. From the Garment District to Venice to a yacht off sun-splashed Montauk, she hangs on to hope as she searches for her own Mr. Right.

Then, the incredible happens, and it utterly changes her life.  Can spirits of the departed really speak to us on Earth? Geraldina and the Compass Rose is an uplifting and empowering story about faith and maintaining hope, because prayers do get answered and miraculous things do happen to ordinary people.

Geraldine Brown Giomblanco is a captivating motivational speaker, author and  strategic mentor coach. A thirty-year veteran of marketing for high-profile shopping centers, she left the corporate world to help others find their "true north" paths in life and bring those dreams to fruition. Born and raised in Westchester County, New York, she now makes her home with her husband on the Connecticut shoreline. Geri is working on her next book. Learn more at


James M. Chesbro, A Lion in the Snow: Essays on a Father’s Journey Home

When his wife was pregnant, James M. Chesbro started having daydreams of seeing a lion in his street, padding toward his house through the snowflakes of a New England storm. He felt more like a son, still grieving over the early loss of his own father, rather than a prepared expectant-dad.

In these essays, Chesbro finds himself disoriented and bewildered by fatherhood again and again as he explores the maddening moments that provide occasions for new understandings about our children and us. A Lion in the Snow is a contemporary father’s field guide, a husband’s compendium and a wife’s glimpse into the turning mind of a spouse in the grounded prose of domestic conflict.

James M. Chesbro's work has appeared in The Washington Post, America, Child Magazine, The Writer's Chronicle, Brain, Essay Daily, and The Huffington Post. His essays, including chosen essays from A Lion in the Snow, are notable selections in The Best American Essays series 2012, 2014, 2015, 2017, and 2018, as well as The Best American Sports Writing 2014. He teaches at Fairfield College Preparatory School.


Amy Oestreicher, My Beautiful Detour: An Unthinkable Journey from Gutless to Grateful

3An estimated 70 percent of adults in the United States have experienced a traumatic event at least once in their lives and up to 20 percent of these people go on to develop posttraumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. An estimated 5 percent of Americans—more than 13 million people—have PTSD at any given time. Amy Oestreicher was one of them.

So, what happens when an ordinary teenager has to turn into a warrior just to survive? And can the journey through Post Traumatic Stress Disorder really become an “adventure?”  Amy had ambitious plans for college and a Broadway career, until her stomach exploded the week before her senior prom. Months later, she awoke from a coma to learn that she might never be able to eat or drink again. After years on IV nutrition, her first bite of food awakened her senses to life's ordinary miracles but also brought back memories of being sexually abused by a trusted mentor for months, just before the unexpected rush to the emergency room that fateful Passover night.

With determination, imagination, relentless resilience, and an inner “hunger” for life, Amy created a roadmap where none existed. Her journey through life's unthinkable detours is nothing short of miraculous, but the creative path to healing she forged is accessible to anyone. As a survivor—and “thriver”—of abuse and extensive medical trauma, Amy discovered sources of resilience she didn’t know she had but it turns out we all possess. In this book, she creates a tapestry made from each of each thread of her journey, empowering others to find gratitude in every setback and discover their own infinite inner strength. Amy’s search for “home” proves to be the greatest test of cultivating resilience after near-death, and reclaiming identity after both sexual assault and medical trauma. Amy’s journey is ultimately a celebration of ordinary and extraordinary challenges and miracles.

Amy Oestreicher is an Audie Award-nominated author, writer for The Huffington Post, speaker for TEDx and RAINN, health advocate, award-winning actress, mixed media artist, songwriter and playwright. As a survivor and “thriver” of multiple traumas, Amy eagerly shares the gifts of life’s “beautiful detours” and the tremendous gifts that can be reaped from adversity. She has headlined international conferences on leadership, entrepreneurship, women’s rights, mental health, disability, creativity, and domestic violence prevention.

She is a SheSource Expert, a “Top Mental Health” writer for Medium, and a regular lifestyle, wellness, and arts contributor for over 70 notable online and print publications, and and her story has appeared on NBC’s TODAY, CBS, Cosmopolitan, Seventeen Magazine, Washington Post, Good Housekeeping, MSNBC, among others. To celebrate her own “beautiful detour”, Amy created the #LoveMyDetour campaign, to help others cope in the face of unexpected events. Learn more at


Please register for this FREE event here.

Event Date: 
Wednesday, October 16, 2019 - 7:00pm EDT
Event address: 
RJ Julia Booksellers
768 Boston Post Road
Madison, CT 06443