Who is Crystal Sharpe? Is she real or imaginary?
Perhaps she's a little of both. Crystal Sharpe is the pen name created by series co-authors Virginia Cornue and Linda Lombri, both of whom exemplify the "What's Next?" generation.
Virginia and Linda’s literary and business partnership began in an unlikely way. They were introduced in the lobby of a Shanghai hotel in 2006 at the beginning of a tour designed for returning China daughters and their adoptive American parents. Although both were residents of Montclair, NJ, their paths had not crossed since their daughters attended different schools. Fast-forward five years, a dinner to discuss networking led to an idea to write a new mystery series based on their mutual early love for Nancy Drew.
Today, they are empty nesters since both of their daughters are well out of college and launched in their respective careers. Virginia’s Mei is a Special Education teacher in Boston, and Linda’s Anita is a financial analyst in Denver. It is the ideal time for the co-authors and friends to expand the scope of their publishing firm.
Virginia Cornue, PhD, is an author, award-winning women's rights activist, cultural anthropologist and adjunct professor at Bloomfield College in Bloomfield, NJ. She is the author of The Dragon’s Daughters Return (2007), which chronicled the experiences of middle-school age daughters and their adoptive families returning to visit China and Draw on Culture: China (2009), an educational activity book. She is the co-editor of So Much Blood: The Civil War Letters of CSA Private William Wallace Beard, 1861-1865 (2015). She is writing a memoir, (un)Muted; researching another Civil War era non-fiction book, A Secret Upcountry; and working on the final draft of a novel, Mama's Girl.
She and Linda Lombri are developing a middle grade mystery and history prequel to the Sandra Troux Mysteries featuring Sandy, Bobbi and Lizbet as 10-year-olds who form the Private Eyes Detective Club now in 1955.
Virginia earned her PhD in cultural anthropology from Rutgers University (2001). Her manuscript, based on her dissertation, was Sex, Tenderness and Discrimination: Chinese Women in the Great Global Market Revolution. She holds a BFA in Dramatic Arts from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and did masters work at the New School for Social Research.
Virginia co-founded and/or directed a number of non-profit organizations: The National Organization for Women (NYC chapter); the Service Fund of NOW; the Women's Funding Coalition-NYC; and Newark Emergency Services for Families.
She was the recipient of the 1989 Newark Humanitarian Services Award. In 1998, she was honored at NYC City Hall with the Susan B. Anthony Award for Service and Advocacy for Women. She received the Distinguished Leadership award from Newark Emergency Services for Families in 2006.
Linda Lombri is an author, marketing communications consultant, book designer, and home economist. In her freelance business - Lombri Writes! - she has served clients in the printing, PR and real estate markets as well as fellow authors.
She designed all of the STM novels for ebook and print formats, as well as the historic title So Much Blood: The Civil War Letters of CSA Private William H. Beard, 1861-1865 edited by Virginia Cornue, PhD and Roundabout, a romance novel by author Elaine Durbach.
Current writing projects include Book 4 Sandra Troux Mysteries Peril at the Pelato, a Spain and Ireland-based thriller, as well as two personal projects. Tapestry & Patchwork: A Family History Sampler is a collection of essays based on family immigration stories. Bernardina is a novel whose central character echoes the experiences and life of Linda’s Spanish/Basque grandmother.
Linda earned her MS degree in Design from Drexel University’s College of Media Arts & Design (1971) and a B.A. degree in Home Economics in Business from Queens College (CUNY) (1968).
In her varied career, she first worked as a test kitchen home economist for Standard Brands food company before switching to the fashion industry. She spent several years at Butterick/Vogue Fashion Marketing and Coats & Clark where she managed their educational & consumer publications. Segueing to the graphics & packaging
industry, she worked in marketing communications
management. At International Paper’s Shorewood Packaging business, Linda branded and developed their program, greenchoice™ Environmental Solutions for Packaging & POP Displays, winning the 2008 Sales & Marketing Excellence Team Award. In 2016, her work on client Earth Color Inc.’s 2015-2016 Sustainability Report: Protect, Partner, Promote won the 2015 PR Daily Award, for Corporate Social Responsibility and Best Green/Environmental Responsibility.