Monday, December 6, 2021



Maria J. Andrade
 was born in Ecuador, South America, and raised in New York and California. She has a bachelor of arts degree in English literature and a master’s degree in Counseling Psychology. As a licensed therapist and writer, Maria has been diving into other people’s minds and her own, through dreams, poetry, and books for over three decades. She traveled with the Four Winds Society where she studied and was initiated into Andean shamanism in 1990.

Before Maria retired as a therapist, she specialized in women’s issues and founded the Wise Women’s Circle a ritualistic and transpersonal study group that continues today. The women support each other through life’s challenges and in the growth of mind, body, and spirit.

Maria Andrade’s books for children and adults is found in a variety of genres. This is an unforgettable first novel that reflects her imagination and creative storytelling.

Defiance and Redemption is her latest release.

Visit her website at or connect with her on FacebookTwitter and Goodreads.


Thank you for this interview!  I’d like to know more about you as a person first.  What do you do when you’re not writing?

I like to cook for family and friends or spend time alone in my garden. My husband and I enjoying doing activities together. We are involved in our community and support various organizations.

He and I shared a private practice as psychotherapists for many years. I founded the Wise Women’s Circle over fifteen years ago. It is a ritualistic and transpersonal study group that continues today. The women support each other through life’s challenges and in the growth of mind, body, and spirit. I am also part of the Global Sisterhood which meets monthly to share life experiences.

I love writing poetry and occasionally do readings. We have the CA Botanic Garden in our town, and they have had poetry recitals in the garden in which I have been invited to participate. There are also poetry readings in our town’s library.

When did you start writing?

     I started writing as an adolescent. My friend and I would write poems or plays that we put on for no one.

As a published author, what would you say was the most pivotal point of your writing life?

   I think this recent novel I have written has been pivotal. First because it honors my family, especially my parents and three special women I grew up with. Secondly, because I translated the novel into Spanish to celebrate my Latinx culture and hopefully to attract a greater readership.

If you could go anywhere in the world to start writing your next book, where would that be and why?

     I would probably go to Hawaii because my daughter lives there, but also because I will be writing a children’s book to be published in 2022 about Dreamland and that is a dream landscape to settle into!

If you had 4 hours of extra time today, what would you do?

     I would spend it doing something enjoyable with my husband. As a matter of fact, we had those four hours yesterday and we drove to the LA Arboretum. We love being in nature.

Where would you like to set a story that you haven’t done yet?

     Perhaps Ireland.  I find it a magical land and I think it would be a great back drop for a humorous and romantic story.

Back to your present book, Defiance and Redemption, A Lifetime of Unbroken Bonds, how did you publish it?

  I published it with a small press and with the support of Spiro Books.

In writing your book, did you travel anywhere for research?

I had traveled to my land of birth, Ecuador, South America years earlier.

Why was writing Defiance and Redemption, A Lifetime of Unbroken Bonds so important to you?

   It is based on the true story of my parent’s love affair, but the story is primarily about the bond between three women in my family that lasted over eighty years. These women lived into their late nineties, and they died a few years apart. Who they were and how they saw life helped shape the person I became.

The book focuses on the first third of their lives when they come together as young women. These women overcame the oppressive social, cultural, and religious environment of their day. They did so with courage, humor, at the price of their reputations, the loss of fortune, and their country. It was the early 20th Century. They confronted many of the oppressive perspectives towards women still prevalent in parts of the world today, misogyny, racism, social disparity, and elitism that forced women into a narrow way of life. I wanted to honor their story imbued with courage, humor, and the vision to find a new path for themselves.

Where do you get your best ideas and why do you think that is?

     The three main female characters are based on three women who were central in my life. It was an inspiration to learn about how they made their way as immigrants to this country. The challenges each of them faced were made more tolerable by their mutual support, their sense of humor, and their devotion determining their own lives. It is an inspiring story but more importantly, it has been defined as a “page-turner” by reviewers because of the events filled with a memorable cast of characters, drama, laughter, and a raucous multi-generational family.  

Any final words?

   I have written five books for adults and five books for children. This novel was the most challenging and also the most rewarding. I hope that readers will learn more about my work on:

 To find out what people are saying about my recently published work, Defiance and Redemption, A Lifetime of Unbroken Bonds please visit:  

I am excited that the Spanish version of the novel has recently been published and I hope Latinx readers will search for, Desafío y redención, Una vida de vínculos intactos

now available on Amazon.

Thank you for this opportunity to spend time with you! It has been a true pleasure.


Author: Maria J. Andrade
Publisher: Clara Publishing
Pages: 250
Genre: Women’s Fiction/Historical Fiction/Magical Realism


Based on a true story, Defiance and Redemption, A Lifetime of Unbroken Bonds, brings to life the joys, dramas, and triumphs of two sisters, Eva and Victoria Alisio and their loyal friend Marta. The sisters are raised by their atheist Grandfather Marcus and religious Grandmother Maria Luisa. Eva, a proud and strong-willed young woman defies her family, society, and culture, faces scandal and disgrace, for her forbidden love affair. Victoria finds herself in the center of a multigenerational conflict as her benefactor bestows a great inheritance on her excluding the rightful heirs. Marta, loyal to the childhood bond with the Alisio sisters, brings humor and support to their twists and turns of fortune. The young women’s bond of love, and perseverance, carries them through ordinary and extraordinary losses, triumphs, and ultimately to their destiny in the United States.

An important novel about 20th Century women, Defiance and Redemption, is an absorbing epic that moves through decades and destinies. It blends personal and historical events into a collective tale of self-determination, love, and sisterhood.


“This book is an engrossing page turner which will pull you in and keep you cheering for your favorite actors until the very end! Defiance and Redemption is a unique book that tells a story that is both particular to a given time in Ecuador, but also universal in its themes of love, betrayal and survival.” – Nancy Mintie, Founder of Uncommon Good

“Reading Defiance and Redemption reminded me of a distant time when I read Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel. Like these writers, Maria Andrade took me through a captivating journey of love and deep passion. Being gripped by the strong emotions that the characters possess and what they did in the end moved me profoundly.” – Maria Donovan, Retired Verizon Executive

“In Defiance and Redemption, Maria Andrade weaves together history, biography, and fiction into a romantic love and a story of three women that defy the ability of patriarchal culture to define them. We see the young women grow up to rise above the shame that tries to silence and limit them. They learn to find their voices and make sacrifices to be true to themselves as women. They leave behind all that they knew to make a better life for themselves and their daughters. This is a book to remind women of all ages where we came from, and what it took to break out and thrive nearly a century ago. Women like these paved the way for all who came after and have the rights we have today.” – Nancy Poitou, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist


Amazon: Defiance and Redemption: A Lifetime of Unbroken Bonds: Andrade, Maria J: 9781734290066: Books



Want a signed copy?


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  2. Maria J. Andrade’s journey from Ecuador to New York and California is truly inspiring. With her rich background in English literature and Counseling Psychology, she brings a unique perspective to her work as a therapist and writer. Her studies in Andean shamanism with the Four Winds Society add a profound depth to her understanding of the human psyche. For those looking for the best under eye filler Dubai, Maria's holistic approach could offer valuable insights into the mind-body connection.