BELMAR, NJ — The lives of two women with deep secrets — a “fake” psychic who believes she’s lost her unique gift and a desperate mother whose young daughter has a mysterious stomach illness — collide in the debut novel by Ellen LaCorte, who will be featured at 10 a.m. on Saturday, September 21 at the Belmar Public Library.

During the free “Breakfast with the Author” presentation, LaCorte will discuss “The Perfect Fraud,” offering a glimpse into the thriller, which delves into the world of the paranormal and medicine — and how two strong, yet extremely different women come together when a little girl’s life hangs in the balance.

Here is Ellen LaCorte in her own words about her debut novel, “The Perfect Fraud.”

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LaCorte’s own experience with a psychic inspired her to write her first novel, published in June by HarperCollins. About seven years ago, she visited a psychic who told her that her marriage was in trouble. “Seeing how upset I was by that, she told me not to worry … That for $450, she could be my ‘soul sister,’ help with my marriage and also guide me to a high plane of existence,” she recalled.

“Fortunately, I got myself out of there, but it really made me think about psychics and how some of the unscrupulous ones work,” she said, adding, “I have met many, many amazing ones.”

Before turning to a writing career, LaCorte spent 30 years in human resources, most recently as associate vice president of human resources at Villanova University in Pennsylvania. She also holds a doctorate in higher and adult education administration.

“But during the past 10 years of my career, it just felt like something was missing.  I was doing a lot of ‘extracurricular activities’ in my spare time, like singing, dancing and acting lessons, participating in community theater productions, some painting classes and a little bit of writing and I discovered I was never happier than when I was doing something in the arts,” she said.

After contemplating the career change for three years, she decided to make the swtich and start writing full time. "It’s been a scary and exhilarating journey, but there's something about starting over and learning something new,” said LaCorte, who has started writing her second book.

The free program, which includes breakfast, will be held at the library’s main building, located at 517 10th Avenue. For more information, call the Belmar Public Library at 732-681-0775 or visit to send a message.

For updates on the library’s various programs and services at both its main building and annex at 503 Seventh Avenue, visits its website or Facebook page.


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