Home Features Features Arizona Women Author Living Brave


Two local Arizona women, Mary Beth Stern and Hilda Villaverde, recently wrote a book, Living Brave that explores the interesting experiences that women at any age and stage of life may experience. This book brings these women’s voices to life and offers inspiration to those to keep living brave.

“We wanted to help other women by inspiring them through similar women’s stories,” says Stern.

In Living Brave, a diverse group of women’s lives are revealed by answering 15 introspective questions divided into three areas of life expression: physical strength, mental clarity, and spiritual courage. The shared stories and articles, featuring the voices of 39 women, delve into their inspirational lives and experiences.

“These are mothers, daughters, grandmothers,” says Stern. “These are the women next door and they all have experiences we can learn from.”


The 39 women featured in Living Brave are all local Arizona women. Villaverde owns a beauty salon and has clients that trust her with their stories, which led to the inspiration of writing this book.

“We were talking about our lives and the very stages of life and so we wanted to reach out and hear other women’s experiences with the same situations,” says Stern. “After our interviews, we came to the realization that we all have different stories but we hold on to what others have told us and taught us.”

Stern and Villaverde have been friends for around five years; both with successful careers and families of their own. They have lived a life and seen the struggles that must be overcome throughout each stage in life.

Every woman must understand that they all must be brave and it might just feel like a simple task but it took bravery to overcome that simple task, says Stern. Women learn from one another, says Stern. Living Brave gives a voice to those women to teach others that they may not know.

“I want every reader to put this book down feeling that joy will be derived from life at all stages,” says Stern. “Life is worth living, so walk through it bravely.” 

Living Brave is available for purchase on Amazon or can be found locally at Changing Hands Bookstore in Tempe. Villaverde and Stern will be speaking about the book at Changing Hands Bookstore on August 9, at 7 p.m.