Surviving family horror is one thing. Having the courage and determination to reveal it is another.

She has the courage. She has the determination. She has friends covering her back. But when unearthing one secret leads to another and another and another... can she survive the fallout? Some family members are begging her to wait until they're dead. Has one of them gone too far in a misguided effort to protect someone - or something?

DJ Brava is a prolific and beloved writer of best-selling romance novels. Her memoir of child abuse and recovery, however, is another matter entirely. While the draft manuscript panics her editor, her family's response is to unravel, revealing long-held secrets.

Wait Until I'm Dead! is a uniquely structured novel celebrating one woman's tenacious recovery from childhood abuse. Formatted as a memoir within a novel, it speaks directly to the reality of women's lives and silencing of their determination to be heard.

Eleven chapters from DJ's autobiography, Peeling the Onion, provide backstory of her molestation, the factors essential to her survival, and the intimacies of therapy that contribute to her healing. As characters learn of the book, or read a chapter, their lives are deeply and often dangerously affected. And when the uncle with the most to lose is told, the pressure he exerts on both DJ and her editor to pull the book from publication shapes a mystery and propels the story to an unforeseen and liberating conclusion.

Wait Until I'm Dead! is filled with humor, intrigue, and engaging plot twists. Crisp dialogue and unforgettable characters move the reader beyond events and into the human connections required to prevail.

If you are looking for a read with the social consciousness of a Picoult, the resonance of Sue Miller, the wit and tongue of Evanovich, the popular appeal of Anna Quindlen, and the female bonding of Thelma and Louise (without the drive off the cliff), then this book is for you.

Reasons to Love This Book Professionally

This book is a page-turner of a great read for anyone who loves first-rate family drama full of secrets and intrigue. It's also perfect for book clubs, and you can find an extensive Discussion Guide on line or at the end of the book.

But there is much, much more to Wait Until I'm Dead! It is a book:

That both male and female survivors of child sexual abuse will hope their therapists have read.
That therapists could be urging their clients to read.
That best friends will want to give each other.
That parents will be grateful they found.
That women, young and old, can use to begin talking about their own lives.
That professional training programs for social workers, psychologists, educators, mental health workers, and social service providers could place on their required reading lists.
That should be a 'must read' for anyone working with child, adolescent, or adult survivors of childhood abuse.

Because... while this book is an entertaining page-turner, it also speaks to resiliency and healing, presents an inspiring example of courage and hope, demonstrates the supportive value of truly deep friendship, is a rubric on listening and responding to children in pain, celebrates the triumph of women and men who refuse to be marginalized and silenced, and reveals how to sit with patience as clients struggle to recover from trauma.

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Elda M. Dawber LICSW

Wait Until I'm Dead!