Sunday, January 23, 2011


Today it's my pleasure to interview Marianne Stephens, author of a compelling book, Guilty Survivor.  This is a must-read and I wish her the very best of luck with it.  Now, I'll let Marianne give you some background in her own words:

Where are you from?  Tell us a little about yourself.
I grew up on Long Island, New York and taught school for a number of years before I thought about writing. Married to a career military man, we moved 11 times in 20 years!  And, we moved another 4 times with a civilian job when he retired from the military. I’ve lived in NY, NJ, MD, VA, KS, and CA…sometimes more than once! I’ve published 6 romance books (2 erotic as April Ash) and 4 contemporary/paranormal (as Marianne Stephens).
What inspired you to write?
All four of my kids were teenagers for a three-year period…drove me nuts. I needed a sanity outlet and always thought about writing. It was the one thing I could do just for me.
Do you find that your muse takes over when you write?
When she appears! She’s been giving me a hard time lately…taking “vacations” while I sit in front of the computer and stare at the screen. I think she’s mad at me because I took some time off from romance writing to write a nonfiction book and didn’t need her for that!
Do you have any works in progress that you want to share?
I’m trying to get back on track with my romance writing. I have a short story in a Halloween Anthology ( and am waiting for a contract for a short story for a Christmas Anthology. And, I’m dragging my feet (minus my fickle muse) while I try to finish a romance book and change it from first-person to third-person.
What would be your advice to aspiring writers out there?
Don’t give up. Join critique groups. Join readers/writers groups and network. Tons of information is exchanged on loops!
What are your favorite books at the moment?
Reading: Rereading “Out of Her Dreams” by Fran Lee. Also reading some political books by Glen Beck and Bill O’Reilly.
What is your favorite word?  Least favorite?
Favorite word: Contract!
Least favorite word: Rejection!
About My Nonfiction Book:
Title: Guilty Survivor – Memoirs of Tamerla Kendall
Release Date: 1/26/11
Photos are included  in this book.
A Blurb:
Tamerla Kendall is the woman you see rooting for her son at sporting practice. You might meet her in a grocery story. Perhaps you’ll see her planting a garden behind her home. Or, talk to her at school or work. She’s a student, worker, wife and mother.
Surviving a dark past is hidden by her façade of an everyday, average life. Reading her memoirs will reveal her true struggle to survive in a war zone, and is a testament to her courage.
Bosnian Croat, Tamerla Kendall, lived through the carnage and chaos in Sarajevo during the Bosnian War (1992-1995). Hers is a story of courage, fear, ingenuity, and survival. Difficult choices she made then still disturb her peace of mind and life today.
She made a few trips out of Sarajevo, only to return to keep the family restaurant business operating. One carefully planned, secretive trip was made to remove her daughter from the dangers of fighting, but this created a heartbreaking rift in their relationship. For her second trip, Tamerla masqueraded as a United Nations Protection Forces soldier and rode in a tank. A uniform and travel assistance came from a Ukrainian general.
Her hopes for a return to normalcy at war’s end diminished as corruption and religious zealots took control. She married an American, and this marked her as an outcast by some she’d trusted. When her life was threatened at gunpoint, she faced a critical decision concerning her family’s safety in her beloved country.


  1. Marianne, you darling! I am so happy you liked Out of Her Dreams so much you are re-reading it. I have a couple of yours that I have read over again, too! I plan to buy Guilty Survivor. I am hearing great things about it!

  2. Another Long Island girl, here,now living in the south. I agree with your thoughts about never giving up. I am now published and loving every minute. Oops...back to writing!

  3. I would have died if I had to move all those times. You're a strong woman, Marianne.

  4. Thanks, Fran...I wanted a second "read" of your book!
    Nancy...good for you! Never giving up is the key.
    Sandy...loved moving! After 3 years somewhere, I still get the "itch" to move.

    Thanks for posting my interview today!

  5. It was my pleasure, Marianne. I think this book will send a powerful message to anyone reading it.

  6. you are brave enough to tell your story the best for you