RVAC is the premier multi-use facility for arts and community programs in the Hudson Valley.

Book Launch: Michelle Horton, DEAR SISTER: A Memoir of Secrets, Survival, and Unbreakable Bonds

thu01feb6:30 pmthu8:30 pmBook Launch: Michelle Horton, DEAR SISTER: A Memoir of Secrets, Survival, and Unbreakable Bonds


(Thursday) 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Event Details

Presented by Grand Central Publishing in partnership with the Nicole Addimando Community Defense Fund & Oblong Books. With support from River Valley Arts Center.

in conversation with Kellyann Kostyal-Larrier.

Books will be available for purchase at this event courtesy of Oblong Books. A percentage of the profits from ticket & book sales from the event will be donated by Oblong Books in support of the Nicole Addimando Community Defense Fund.  

Michelle Horton, author of Dear Sister

Michelle Kostyal-Larrier

In September 2017, a knock on the door upended Michelle Horton’s life forever: her sister had just shot her partner and was now in jail. During the investigation that follows, Michelle learns that Nikki had been hiding horrific abuse for years. Stunned to find herself in a situation she’d only ever encountered on television and true crime podcasts, Michelle rearranges her life to care for Nikki’s children and simultaneously launches a fight to bring Nikki home, squaring off against a criminal justice system seemingly designed to punish the entire family. In this exquisite memoir, Michelle retraces the sisters’ childhood and explores how so many people, including herself, could have been blind to the abuse.

$32 – includes a copy of DEAR SISTER by Michelle Horton.
or Registration Only – No book.


Michelle Horton is a writer and advocate living in New York’s Hudson Valley with her son, nephew, and niece. Through the Nicole Addimando Community Defense Committee, she continues to speak out her for sister and the countless other victims of domestic violence criminalized for their acts of survival.

The Nicole Addimando Community Defense Committee is a collective of women who have built a national grassroots movement working to reveal, end, and repair the harms of criminalizing domestic abuse survivors. In addition to tending to the needs of Nikki and her family, and fighting for her freedom, we seek systemic social change alongside the survivors, activists, organizations, and movements who paved the way for this work.

Kellyann Kostyal-Larrier has proudly served since 2010 as the Executive Director of Fearless! Hudson Valley, Inc. f/k/a Safe Homes of Orange County, where she works alongside an amazing team every day working towards building an informed, just, and accountable society so all people can experience supportive and safe relationships free from abuse, exploitation, and oppression.  They do this through education, prevention, advocacy, and providing comprehensive services, including shelter, to victims and survivors of interpersonal violence, human trafficking, sexual violence, and other types of crime victimization. Eliminating domestic violence, teen dating violence, and human trafficking through the provision of services, outreach, and education. Before Fearless!, Kellyann was the Project Coordinator for the Universal Response to Domestic Violence in Dutchess County, overseeing the County’s response to domestic violence.  She Coordinated five domestic abuse response teams and was responsible for the co-location of advocates within these five police agencies. She started her career as their Senior Victim Specialist in Warren County, NY, at the District Attorney’s Office.  Kellyann is committed to social justice and advocating for a place where all relationships are equitable and free from oppression and violence. Kellyann operates within her personal and professional life, challenging the continued objectification of women and girls and its long-term impact on society as a whole. She is a general topics instructor at the Orange County Police Academy, serves as an Expert Witness on Domestic Violence throughout NY,  and is an adjunct Professor within the Criminal Justice Department at Orange County Community College. Kellyann has been recognized for her work by the Dutchess County Coalition Against Domestic Violence; was a recipient of the 2016 Director’s Community Leadership Award from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, a 2016 Tribute to Women of Achievement honoree; and a 2019 Advocate for Justice Honoree from Legal Services of the Hudson Valley. She is a board member of the NYS Coalition Against Domestic Violence and a member of the NYS Citizens Review Panel for Child Protective Services. Kellyann resides with her husband and three children in Poughkeepsie, NY.