Victorious Woman Month 2024 – 20th Anniversary

20th anniversary vw book

Greetings and Happy Victorious Woman Month!

Can it really be twenty years? YES!!

Victorious Woman turns twenty this year!! I’m excited and I thank you for being with me in this success!

BUT, do you know any of the backstory?

The idea to tell stories of women overcoming seemingly impossible odds came to me shortly after the horrible events of 9/11. In those first few weeks in 2001, when everything  – including my business – seemed to shut down. I prayed “Lord, tell me what to do and I’ll do it.”

It wasn’t long before I got the inspiration to write Victorious Woman. However, writing a book wasn’t what I expected, so I thought the Lord got confused. It took a few more nudges and a health challenge before I took the Lord’s direction seriously.

The First Interview

Jean Otte, Founder, WOMEN Unlimited, Inc. (PRNewsfoto/WOMEN Unlimited, Inc.)

In April 2002, I drove to Red Bank NJ to do my first interview with the amazing Jean Otte. Jean grew up going to school in British bomb shelters during WWII. She began her career Mad Men-style – when, during a job interview, employers would ask married women applicants what kind of birth control they were using.

Jean broke through multiple glass ceilings and into the executive suite. She then used what she learned to teach other women through her leadership organization, Women Unlimited. Jean was so kind to me and gave me the confidence to keep going.

Pretty soon I became unstoppable in finding and talking to other fabulous women who beat the odds. The more women I interviewed, the more amazed I was. I learned that every woman has a story and, very often, it’s a story of victory – though, at the beginning, I wasn’t sure exactly what victory was – but I figured it out (see below)

Stories and More Stories!

For about eighteen months, I talked with women whose stories grabbed me in some interesting way. The interviews always started with a “get to know you” phone call and, if I felt drawn to the story, I did a deep interview.

Of those deep interviews, I chose nine amazing stories of victory. Each was about a woman – like you or me – who was living her life when something bad or traumatic happened.

Jean Otte was one of them. So was Pattie, whose earlier life could have been victorious enough, but then she was diagnosed with multiple cancers. Getting through cancer once was big, but for a time, the hits kept coming. Still, Pattie pushed herself into one victory after another.

Now in her eighties, Pattie stays active with a singing group and a dance troupe. She even performed at The Kennedy Center in 2022.

One of my most touching interviews was with Nancy who, when we met, was dying and only had weeks to live. I knew about Nancy through one of her sons. I wasn’t overly interested at first because, I figured, every son wants to promote his mother. However, I was glad I did the interview.

Nancy grew up in the Deep South. She married a much older, abusive man. She took many risks when she left the marriage – secretly. I was fascinated by her path to victory. She lived, got educated, and eventually retired from a management position with three college-educated sons beaming with pride. What Nancy did, and how she did it, is a classic story of victory.

To this day I believe Nancy’s spirit sat on my shoulder – for three days – pushing me to finish while she was still here. Nancy lived just long enough to hear the finished story. When she died, her sons read Nancy’s story at her funeral service. I felt honored.

Each Victorious Woman story was like that – touching, meaningful, inspiring. Each woman shared a part of her heart and soul, and I know it wasn’t easy for most of them.

Lessons Learned

And, while I told nine “full” stories, I didn’t want the wisdom shared in other interviews to be wasted, so I created the “lessons learned” section of Victorious Woman. I’m glad I did.

The first time I heard “it’s a blueprint for life” I was a little stunned. But I kept hearing “blueprint’ and “roadmap” as well things like “every woman should read this” and “should be required reading for young women.”

In the twenty years since I wrote Victorious Woman, I’ve been thrilled by how it’s helped women. A doctor told me she kept the book on her nightstand for bedtime reading after a rough day. A Main Line matron used it to tell her daughter about the abuse in her first marriage – a conversation she wanted to have but couldn’t find a way. There have been so many stories like that.

In 2006, Victorious Woman Month became “a thing”. That is, it’s officially registered. In my world, that was the beginning of what has become the “Girlfriend Gala” which, for many years, donated its proceeds to places like Home of the Sparrow, Safe Harbor, and for the past several years, and The Victorious Woman Scholarship.

What Is Victory?

What do I know about victory that I can share with you?

Victory is the stretch you make out of your comfort zone to get from where you are to where you want to be – that fuller, richer, best expression of who you truly are. A Victory Stretch is never easy, because you love your comfort zones even when they don’t serve you. I do too. Yet they cheat you out of so much more life. So the stretch is worth the effort!


If you’ve not yet read Victorious Woman, I have a gift for you! Buy two copies of Victorious Woman! Shaping Life’s Challenges into Personal Victories at the discounted price of $20.00 (usually $17.95 each) and get FREE SHIPPING!!  Victorious Woman makes a great gift for moms, sisters, daughters, granddaughters, co-workers – any woman who can use a pick-me-up or some inspiration.
Here’s the discount link: Victorious Woman Anniversary Special

Happy Victorious Woman Month!! 
With love and in victory,

Congratulations Annmarie! It’s hard to believe 20 years have passed since Victorious Woman was born. So many women have been encouraged/helped by your writing and other endeavors. You are a true champion and I’m proud to know you.  
♥️ Joanne 

I remember you writing that book! 

Congratulations on 20 years! You are indeed a Victorious woman.
– Doreen

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What is the Five-Year Marriage®?

Created by Annmarie Kelly, the Five-Year Marriage® is a concept of restructuring marriage agreements every five years to take into consideration external and internal changes happening to each person in the relationship. This periodic assessment of each person’s happiness, fulfillment, obligations and goals creates a safe space for each person to grow and change, together. The result is a relationship that grows stronger and more intimate over time. This collection of articles is a dep dive into the  different concepts proposed in the book, The Five-Year Marriage® and deserve a space for additional exploration and discussion.

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Five Year Marriage

The Five-Year Marriage is a ground-breaking new concept for marriage. Every five year the couple spiritually ends one marriage and begins a new one - with new agreements and goals

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