An author and public interest attorney with degrees from Penn State Dickinson School of Law and Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Justina always dreamed of being a writer and an artist.
Born in the coal region of Northeastern Pennsylvania, Justina grew up with a love of drawing, books, and animals. She was also no stranger to the struggles of life. Her mother juggled two, sometimes three nursing jobs at a time to support the family. Her father was a pioneer stay-at-home dad in the 1980’s and 90’s because he suffered from a serious illness, which the family hid until he passed away in 2002.
Justina’s parents taught her that the three most important things in life are God, family, and education. Though she wanted to make her loved ones proud by becoming the first lawyer in her family, she never forgot her creative side.
The Cerulean Locket is Justina’s debut novel, inspired by her connectedness to family, ethnic ancestry, love of travel and politics, and study of international law and human rights.
Justina is married to her first love. She splits her time between her home in the suburbs of Washington, DC and her historic hometown area of Lackawanna County, Pennsylvania. When she’s not writing or practicing law, she can be found trekking through the woods outside her family home where the Endless Mountains meet the Anthracite Valley or sipping coffee at a cute Korean bakery just down the street from her diverse Northern Virginia neighborhood. She loves to sing, draw, write pysanky, spend time with her little dog, Teddums, and cultivate hydrangeas and herbs. She is a longtime member of St. John the Baptist Russian Orthodox Cathedral in Mayfield, Pennsylvania and an active parishioner of Russian Orthodox Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Washington, DC.
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