Brainerd native Lissa (Waller) Carlino recently published her debut novel, "Woman Enough," and will hold a book signing at 1 p.m. Sunday, July 15, at Stonehouse Coffee in Nisswa.
Carlino is the daughter of Steve and Nancy Waller, of Breezy Point.
"Woman Enough" is an adult contemporary novel about an exotic dancer named Becca who faces down social stigma and struggles with addiction as she fights for her right to dignity in a world that would prefer she stay silent.
Carlino is a 1998 graduate of Brainerd High School and former Central Lakes College student and community actor, now married and living in New Zealand with two young sons. She began her career as an addictions treatment counselor after earning a psychology degree from Johnson State College in Vermont. Carlino has been a writer for years but only dreamed she would publish a novel.
"I began writing this book in 2015, and the timing just felt right to publish now," Carlino said. "I hope people can find strength within its pages."
Early reviews include several five-stars from the book-related website GoodReads, including "One need not share Becca's every experience to find the story relatable. 'Woman Enough' is a quick read with a solid story line that kept my attention to the end."
As a companion piece with the book, on the website lissacarlino.com, the author produced 12 illustrated profiles of women she admires, many of whom are from the Brainerd lakes area. Others are from various locations in the United States. Her latest high-profile interview is with Emily Lindin, author and documentary filmmaker of "The Unslut Project."
The 280-page novel is available as an eBook at various online retailers and in soft cover from Amazon.com. It is also available at select Minnesota locations.
Five books are for sale through the WeAre Clinic in Brainerd for its June 28 event at Madden's with all proceeds donated to the clinic.
Carlino is on Twitter @EWallerCarlino and Facebook under "Lissa Carlino-Author, Blogger."
For more information, visit her website.