Mary Ann Bernal, Author Spotlight

Escape from Berlin
Mark Dresdner’s cover is blown, forcing him to flee East Germany, yet he refuses to leave the woman he loves. Finding the border crossing blocked, and the enemy closing in, will he evade capture or be forced to make the ultimate sacrifice?

Aelia gives herself completely to the man she loves, revealing a life-threatening secret, trusting her husband unconditionally, but is he deserving of her trust?

Deadly Secrets
Lysandra seeks a new life in America, hoping to forget her past, but an accidental meeting with a man who knows her true identity endangers her happiness. 

Murder in the First
As judge, jury, and executioner, Bethel decides the fate of the man responsible for her plight, but things go terribly wrong and the predator becomes the prey.

The Ritual
Devona’s initiation into a modern-day pagan sect on All Hallows’ Eve sends the terrified young woman fleeing for her life amidst a raging storm. Escaping the sacrificial altar, will she survive the tempest?

Hello book lovers! Today is a day where I will be writing another author spotlight for a well-accomplished author whose work I have loved. As you know book lovers I love learning about authors and the inspiration behind their work, it fascinates me and adds to the depth of the book because the reader will be able to better understand it. That is how the author spotlights were created because I soon discovered that you lovely readers ALSO love learning about author’s, so I am excited to tell you a little bit more about author Mary Ann Bernal whose books Planetary Wars and her two Scribbler Tales books thrilled and compelled me from beginning to end. I personally would recommend these books to all of those that love fantasy and science fiction as well as entertaining stories! but really the books can be read by anybody as they are flawlessly written and highly enjoyable. With today’s author spotlight, a biography of the author and an interview between me and Mary Ann Bernal will be shared, and I hope that you book lovers enjoy reading it! To kick this off here is an author bio about the wonderful Mary Ann Bernal!

Mary Ann Bernal attended Mercy College, Dobbs Ferry, NY, where she received a degree in Business Administration. Her literary aspirations were ultimately realized when the first book of The Briton and the Dane novels was published in 2009. In addition to writing historical fiction, Mary Ann has also authored a collection of contemporary short stories in the Scribbler Tales series. Her latest endeavor is a science fiction/fantasy novel entitled Planetary Wars: Rise of an Empire.

Mary Ann is also a passionate supporter of the United States military, having been involved with letter writing campaigns and other support programs since Operation Desert Storm. She has appeared on The Morning Blend television show hosted by KMTV, the CBS television affiliate in Omaha, and was interviewed by the Omaha World-Herald for her volunteer work. She has also been a featured author on various reader blogs and promotional sites. 

Mary Ann currently resides in Elkhorn, Nebraska.

Now, how wonderful does Mary Ann Bernal sound?! Mary Ann Bernal is a truly exceptional writer and I hope that you lovely readers have a read of the author’s work because you will not regret it! Please see below an interview between me and the author and I hope that you enjoy Mary Ann Bernal’s answers to my questions, they are incredible and provide some great advice too!

Thank you for joining us today at Red Headed Book Lover! Please tell us more about yourself

Thank you for having me, Aimee.

In addition to being an incurable romantic Anglophile history buff, I am also a science fiction fanatic, yes, I proudly admit to being a Trekkie.  I know, opposite sides of the pendulum. My son once told me I was born too late, having missed out living in ancient times. I quickly corrected his perception. The past is a great place to visit for a day using a time machine, of course, but, alas, I was born too soon. My profession of choice is a Starship Captain, and Captain Janeway paved the way.

My priorities are and always will be family first, supporting the children’s and grandchildren’s interests and pursuits. Throughout the years, this enthusiastic aficionado cheered everyone on to victory, or for playing a great game when defeated. From baseball to basketball, dance competitions to theatrical performances. Whatever the event would find me sitting in the audience.

Remembering that freedom is not free, I have been involved with military support programs since Operation Desert Storm. My work is dedicated to our fallen heroes, we must never forget their sacrifices. The next time you see a member of the Armed Forces, please thank them for their service.

Could you please tell us readers about your book and what inspired you to write your book?

Did you ever wonder why “good” girls stay with “bad” boys? Why did Eva Braun choose to become Adolf Hitler’s longtime companion, marrying him shortly before his suicide? Again, the pendulum swings. Why did Padmé Amidala refuse Anakin Skywalker’s offer to rule the galaxy together?

Anastasia Dennison, M.D. is swept off her feet by Jayden Henry Shaw, not realizing he is the terrifying dictator who rules the Empire. Once she learns the truth, there is a choice to be made, does she divorce her husband or ignore her conscience and enjoy the spoils of war? That, dear reader, is the dilemma. What would you do?

What would your advice be for aspiring writers?

To quote Commander Peter Quincy Taggart (Galaxy Quest), “Never give up, never surrender.” There will always be naysayers trying to dissuade a person to give up on a dream. It is up to you to ignore the negativity and the rejection. Do not quit. Be passionate about your work. Take classes and workshops. Learn your craft. Everyone has a book in him or her. Not everyone actually writes one. Don’t let that be you.

In your opinion, what is the most important thing about a book? 

Telling a good story that has the reader experiencing withdrawal symptoms upon finishing the book.

Also, accuracy is important. If unsure of a date or location, be vague with descriptions. And historical events should not overshadow the narrative.

What is your writing process like?

Before setting cursor to blank screen, I set up my characters, name other worlds and make notes for future reference. Next is finding a time to write daily. I have burned the midnight oil, writing as soon as I got home from work, but since my retirement, I chose a block of time that works with my schedule, which fluctuates because of various commitments.

What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

I am constantly researching material.  My file cabinet is filled with interesting facts on a plethora of topics ranging from ancient history to galaxy exploration. Unfortunately, no matter how prepared I am, there is always something that needs to be checked, at which point I can search the internet.  In the old days, I would have to stop at the library on the way home.

Do you have a set schedule for writing, or do you only write when you feel inspired?

Once I visualize the story in my mind’s eye, I start writing.  Sometimes, however, the characters take me where they want to go.  Sometimes they win, sometimes they grumble, but they never give up trying to push the envelope.  I love sparring with my characters. 

Do you read much and if so, who are your favorite authors?

Recently, I’ve been reading Michael Crichton, Scott Pratt, Steven Saylor, and J.B. Turner.

When can we readers expect to read more wonderful books from you?  

There will be another volume in the Planetary Wars series but will refrain using titles – no spoilers here.

Before we close, would you tell us what inspired your diverse writing genres, which range from historical romance novels to contemporary short stories?

Erik, the Viking, was “born” while I was still an impressionable teenager after having seen the period Hollywood blockbusters of the time.  A few examples are The Vikings, Knights of the Round Table, Prince Valiant, and The Black Shield of Falworth, to name but a few.

My female characters are strong women, following the example of Eleanor of Aquitaine who was a woman before her time.  When Eleanor was Queen of France, she participated in the Second Crusade, was a powerful Queen of England, and as Queen Dowager, was regent when Richard I was fighting in the Third Crusade.

With this background, my original The Briton and the Dane novel became a trilogy because my secondary characters demanded more exposure.  The Briton and the Dane: Birthright is the second installment followed by The Briton and the Dane: Legacy, where all is revealed.

The Briton and the Dane: Concordia, a character offshoot from the trilogy, is a coming of age story, and is the recipient of The Coffee Pot Book Club award.

The Briton and the Dane: Timeline, is a fantasy about an archeologist traveling back in time to meet Erik’s last descendant with whom Dr. Gwyneth Franger is obsessed, and has also received The Coffee Pot Book Club award.


Does anyone other than myself remember The Fireside Theater, which was the first successfully filmed anthology series (circa 1955) on American television?  There was a new story every week showcasing the writing talents of a few of my favorites, such as Rod Sterling (The Twilight Zone).

Yes, the impressionable kid never left! And the mature writer remembered, creating the Scribbler Tales short stories collection comprised of wide-ranging genres: Crime, Fantasy, Historical, Horror, Mystery, Occult, Romance, Spies & Espionage, and Thriller & Suspense.

Scribbler Tales Presents: Escape from Berlin, which features Betrayal, Deadly Secrets, Murder in the First and The Ritual. Compelling stories, different, yet so familiar, since mankind has yet to learn from its mistakes.

Its official book lovers, I am obsessed with Mary Ann Bernal! If you have liked what you have read about the author and are interested in learning more, then please do have a browse of the links below and be sure to have a read of the preview too! You will not regret it.

Goodbye for now book lovers,

Amazon U.S. – Amazon U.K. – Goodreads

Amazon U.S. – Amazon U.K. – Goodreads

Amazon U.S. – Amazon U.K. – Goodreads

Mary Ann Bernal: Website – Publisher– Blog – Twitter – Facebook – Pinterest – Instagram – LinkedIn– Goodreads Author Page – Book Trailer – Smashwords – Barnes & Noble – iBooks

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Christoph Fischer
Christoph Fischer

I had no idea you were so prolific beyond historical fiction, Mary Ann. Must check these out!

Mary Ann Bernal

Thanks for having me, Aimee. It was fun sharing my innermost thoughts.