Ellen LaCorte.

Hopewell Valley debut novelist Ellen LaCorte will be reading and signing copies of her new book The Perfect Fraud at several New Jersey locations in June and July.

The novel, published Tuesday, is a Publishers Weekly staff pick for Best Books of Summer.

Two strong heroines are at the core of LaCorte’s novel: two very different women, but two with powerful secrets who are thrown together by an unexpected meeting that plunges both of their lives into chaos. Medicine and the supernatural intertwine with dramatic consequences: Claire Hathaway comes from a family of professional psychics. But Claire doesn’t really have “the gift” like her mother and grandmother, and she fakes the readings she gives clients.

Her path soon collides with Rena Cole, a divorced mother and avid mommy blogger anxious to help her sick four-year-old daughter, Stephanie, who is plagued by a mysterious stomach ailment. When local doctors can’t seem to find what’s causing Stephanie’s distress, Rena packs up and moves across the country to consult a special doctor in Phoenix. A seat change on an airplane brings Rena and Claire together.

Neither of the two women think much of the other. But when Clair experiences real paranormal visions the two women become unlikely allies in a battle with evil that could determine young Stephanie’s fate.

Ellen LaCorte worked for many years as a human resources director, including stints at Villanova University and Rider University. Husband Michael is a consultant.

They have two grown sons, Nick and Chris, who both graduated from the Hopewell Valley Regional School system. She now writes full time from her home where she lives with her husband in Titusville.

LaCorte will be at the Barnes and Noble on U.S. 1 in Market Fair for a reading and book signing on June 27 at 7 p.m. She will also make appearances at Booktowne in Manasquan on July 16 at 6:30 p.m.; Inkwood Books in Haddonfield on July 23 at 7 p.m.; and at the Hunterdon County Library in Flemington on July 30 at 7 p.m.