Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Are You a Victorious Woman?

Today I have the pleasure of reviewing a book chock-full of inspirational stories about some very special ladies who faced incredible challenges and not only survived, but who learned how to rise above the difficulties and thrive.  Yes, this book is written toward an audience of women, but there are some gems here that even some men may find beneficial if they are facing life's uphill battle.  Take a moment and meet the ladies from Annmarie Kelly's "Victorious Woman!"

Book Summary:
Real Women – Real Stories – Real Challenges – Real Victories

What’s a woman to do? If she makes a bad choice or gets thrown one of life's curveballs, is she forever doomed?

Author Annmarie Kelly says "NO!" and proves it with compelling real life stories of women who faced and overcame seemingly overwhelming life challenges. This powerfully moving book overflows with intelligence, understanding, emotion and true grit.

Kelly explains victory as the stretch you make out of your comfort zone and into the greater, fuller expression of who you really are – your authentic self. She demonstrates victory by taking you inside the lives of nine distressed women and showing you how they became victorious. You are likely to recognize something of yourself woven in each of these stories; each one will inspire and encourage you to forge your own victory over whatever is challenging you right now. At the end of each woman’s chapter you’ll find soul-searching questions that you must ask yourself to insure your own victories.

Author Kelly concludes the stories with a "lessons learned" chapter. Gleaning the best from each Victorious Woman, from the many other women she interviewed and from her own intriguing life challenges, Kelly describes the FOUR LIFESTYLES that either support you in victory or sabotage you, and the SIX SKILLS every woman has to learn to be in control of her SELF. She also gives you, her readers, the Victorious Woman Model to help you figure out what you need at different stages of challenges. The result is a book that is part inspiration, part motivation and part skill building. Some have called Victorious Woman "a blueprint for life" and "a practical approach to taking control of your life."

Since its first publication, many women say that they keep Victorious Woman! on their book shelf for reference or on their nightstand for comfort at the end of a long day. This "celebration of life" is an encouraging and enlightening read for women who want to create their own personal and professional victories.

My Review:
In the first few pages, Annmarie introduces us to two women facing that dreaded battle with cancer.  Both eventually succumb to the disease, but only one did so as a victorious woman.  One gave up the war without entering the battle.  The other lived her life with gusto until the very end.  Even though both eventually passed, Annmarie wondered what it took for one to live victoriously until the last breath.  This was one catalyst that prompted her to begin the writer's journey that became "Victorious Woman!".

Each chapter contains the story of one woman, follows her through the choices she made that resulted in her particular trial, how she decided to face the trial, and then ultimately what it took to overcome that chain-reaction, downward spiral to become victorious.

It was hard for me to pick any favorites, but I'd have to say that I was struck most poignantly by Nancy's and Maureen's stories.  One left an abusive situation at a time when women just didn't typically leave their husbands, especially with children in tow.  The other was left suddenly for a secret lover, alone with five children and no means to survive.  Now that I think of it, I have to also mention Tekki, a woman suffering from dwarfism and how her body image infected her entire life until she decided to face it head-on.

Some stories may not resonate with you - that's okay, because the chapters focus on one individual and her particular situation.  If needed, you can always skip that person's story and move on to another.  But I have to say, I don't recommend it.  Several times a person's story took a turn I didn't expect and I would have missed out on the treasure their full story provided.

The end of each chapter offered an overview of the aforementioned individual, questions to get you thinking about how your situation might relate, and then what practical steps you could take to begin or continue your own victory journey.  I really liked this and thought it worked well for the individual reader to glean helpful information, to dig a little deeper into their own psyche, but it also would work well to utilize in a group setting to spur discussion.

The final chapter defined the different stages, or "stepping stones" of where you might be in your journey and then practical methods to move you from each step toward the "Victorious Woman!" model: the Victim, the Surviving, the Advancing, and then the Victorious.  The step reveals details defining each to help you determine where you may be at the present time, with suggestions to help you identify how to move forward.

If you're like me, you've struggled with what Annmarie describes as the "good girl" syndrome, doing what others expect of you, for their approval, and putting aside what you want and watching a part of you die inside.  Like Annmarie, maybe this will be the catalyst that helps break you from that desire to please everyone all the time and learn to be true to yourself.

So if you're in need of inspiration, or you feel stuck somewhere in your life goals or relationships, I can recommend "Victorious Woman!" to assist in propelling you forward.  Stay tuned tomorrow, where I have the pleasure of presenting Annmarie Kelly to you live, and in-person - well, at least via an interview for the blog. :-)

Annmarie Kelly's Bio:
Author Annmarie Kelly is a professional speaker, workshop leader and victory strategist, who has firsthand knowledge of the transformative power which determination and motivation, the stuff of victory, can have in a person’s life.

Growing up in her Italian-Catholic home, Kelly wasn’t a natural go getter but rather a shy and introverted girl – a “good girl” who felt invisible and insignificant and powerless to deal with family problems including alcoholism, sibling abuse and mental illness.

In her early twenties, a broken engagement and her father’s reaction to it, caused Annmarie to look at her life and where she was going. After a couple “dark” years, she realized she had a purpose but that she was following a path that would only give her more of what she already had: disappointments, regrets and lost opportunities. Annmarie understood that she needed to make a change; she decided to start on a new track.

Through the rest of her twenties and thirties, step-by-step, she changed the way she thought about herself and her future, set major goals, and let go of many of the limitations that were holding her back, from kicking the undesired habits of smoking cigarettes and being a couch potato to getting honest about her own sabotaging behaviors. She also let go of people and environments that became obstacles to her efforts.

While leaving the comfort of the familiar for something better was what she wanted, it wasn’t easy. But in time the effort paid off. The decisions Annmarie made then have enabled her to BE more and DO more than she ever thought she could and HAVE more of the kind of life that, on her old path, would only have been a dream.

Not content to keep that kind of empowerment and success to herself, Annmarie Kelly has made it her life’s mission to help other women find the same confidence, inner power, and most importantly the “feminine victory” within. Whatever she does, whether she’s speaking, teaching, writing, blogging or coaching, she shows women just how much power they have over their own lives, encourages them to LIVE VICTORIOUSLY - out loud and in living color – and shows them the skills they need to do it!

Annmarie Kelly owns and manages SkillBuilder Systems, a training and development firm specializing in management development and communication skills. She is also the founder of The Victorious Woman Project which focuses on the information, resources and skill building which help women empower themselves so they can live their best life.

Annmarie is a member of the National Speakers Association (NSA), the Greater Philadelphia chapter of the American Society for Training and Development (ASTDPhl), The Press Club PA and the National Association of Female Executives.

Her services include:

- Keynotes for Corporate Events and Association Conferences

- Training Workshops (SmartWoman@Work and New Beginnings)

- Retreats

- Seminars, Teleseminars, Webinars

- Individual coaching

- Group coaching (Victory Teams)

Annmarie Kelly is available for interviews in the Greater Philadelphia area, New York, Maryland, Delaware and Washington DC, and by phone anywhere.

Visit her website at:

To follow her Tribute Books blog tour, go to:

Purchase "Victorious Woman!" for $16.95 through Amazon, Barnes & Noble or her website at:


  1. D A, thanks for putting your heart and soul into every review that you write, and for introducing your blog followers to Annmarie's inspirational book :)

    1. This one has been a true pleasure. As always, thanks so much for allowing me to be a part of this tour!

  2. What a nice review! Thank you so much!! I'm totally tickled you liked Victorious Woman and am recommending it to your readers!
    Victory On!
    Annmarie Kelly

    1. I really enjoyed reading it and your responses to the interview questions. I even recommended the book to my mother. :-) Thank you for writing about your's and many others' victory journeys.