Behind the Mask by Marianne Yvonne Petit and Chatting with the Author

Another intense story from WW2 but this time, is set in Paris. one more reason to read it!

The story is Behind the Mask by Marianne Yvonne Petit, a historical romance.

Author Marianne Petit mixes true life experiences with fiction to create a suspenseful tale of intrigue and romance set in the early days of war-torn France.

In 1940 Paris, both rich and poor are thrust together – a mixed society struggling to survive.

American born Yvette Matikunas, one of the privileged few, goes underground with a deathbed promise to her grandfather that has her roaming the streets of France with a dangerous message. She quickly learns that no one is who they seem to be and trust is a thing of her past.

Injure in battle while trying to save the life of one of his men, Colonial André Rinaldo is disillusioned by a shell-shocked country and a weak government.   Persuaded to go underground and unite his fellow compatriots by forming resistance groups, he meets the beautiful blonde, Yvette, whose determination to free France from foreign dictatorship is as strong as his.

In the middle of espionage and clandestine rendezvous, they form a partnership that deepens even under the ever-present threat of arrest.  But with America’s interest in the war building in the background all Americans are ordered to leave the country. Will Yvette return to the States, or will André persuade her to stay and fight for love?

Book Trailer Behind The Mask


The train slowed as it approached the station. On the platform, German soldiers stood at attention. As they boarded the train, people shuffled through their belongings for their documents. A hush settled over the compartment in anticipation.

Yvette’s proof of citizenship shook in her fingers. She took a deep breath to steady her nerves and dropped her hand in her lap.

Pierre, her canary, was quiet; thank the dear lord, for her nerves were taut enough without his high-pitched chirping. The last thing she needed was for him to draw attention. The last thing she needed was to have someone find Grandpère’s message hidden in the bottom of the cage. The words, written with a shaky hand, made no sense. The grapes are rotting on the vine. It’s time to bring them in. The wine is ripe. But her grandpère’s warning was embedded in her brain. Trust no one. Whatever cryptic message lay hidden under the paper, it put her in danger.

The compartment door slid open and Yvette’s heart skipped a beat.

Two soldiers stood in the corridor. One man, decorated with metals that would way down a rock, appeared to be the superior. He had a wide pronounced brow. His chin melted into his neck and his short-cropped silver hair seemed plastered to his head. A long gray mustache turned slightly down over a frown.

Yvette’s gaze slid past the elderly man to the light-haired soldier who studied her with intense blue eyes. Broad-shouldered, about six two, lean and muscular, he dominated the small doorway. His countenance rigid, like one accustomed to enduring the routine of war, he stood at attention, his eyes assessing everyone and everything.

His superior entered the compartment with an air of bitter disgust.

The routine common place everyone held out their traveling papers. Her heart pounding, Yvette waited and hoped her American papers would be of no interest to them.

The interrogation began in German and she didn’t respond, which brought a heated tone to the superior’s voice. He snapped something to the soldier who stood silently at the door. The younger man stepped forward, his gait like one of the wooden soldiers from the Laurel and Hardy movie Babes in Toyland.

“My commandant wants to know what kind of name Matikunas is,” he said in French.

Her father’s name was Lithuanian, a country annexed by Nazi Germany and placed under German civil administration. The Poles, especially the elite, became subject to mass murder. Was he fishing to see if she was Polish?

“I am an American,” Yvette insisted without further commentary.

Her remark brought a scowl to the commander’s face. He pointed to her birdcage and Yvette’s pulse leapt. 

Chatting with the Author

Marianne Petit is a past President of the Long Island Chapter of the Romance Writers of America. Her love of writing stems back to high school. She spent hours reading Nancy Drew, Alfred Hitchcock and historical romances. At the age of fifteen, she wrote a short story for children, as well as numerous works of poetry. 

Her love of history stems from her father, Roger, a Frenchman, whose love of American history greatly influenced her writing interests. A Native American time-travel was her first book, published in 2000. Marianne’s latest book, is also a Time-travel entitled “Timeless River.”

She is a past President of the Melville Lions club, a service organization that raises money for the less fortunate – especially the sight and hearing impaired and was the chair for their reading action program.

Newsday and several local newspapers have written articles on Ms. Petit and she was interviewed on TV for her time travel, A Find Through Time. 

Marianne lives on Long Island, NY and is happily married to the real hero in her life, her husband Steve.

She has two sons and four grandchildren.

Visit her website for extensive research links and excerpts of all her books.

If you wish to be on her email list and receive the prequel to her new Time-travel, “Timeless River”, email her at – subject – join email list and she will email you “The Beginning.”

Hi Marianne, and thank you for being here.

Can you tell us a bit more about yourself?

I am married for thirty-nine years. I have two sons and four grandchildren ages ten through seventeen months. I live on Long Island NY.

Tell us your latest news.

I just finished my second romantic time travel that goes back to the California Gold Rush of 1850. The title is Timeless River and with any luck, it will be available in January.

When and why did you begin writing?

I started writing in high school after I read numerous romance novels and thought, how hard can it be. Well, it’s a lot harder to write and finish a book than I thought!

What inspired you to write your first book?

I heard about a PBS documentary about the Battle of the Little Bighorn and started plotting away.

How did you come up with your titles?

For my first book, A Find Through Time, my heroine finds a skull and then is sent back in time. I always seem to have some sort of reference to my title in the plot. In my latest book the heroine refers to her timeless river. In my second book, there’s a ghost, in my third book they are looking for the amulet of darkness and in my fourth book everyone is hiding behind a mask.

Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?

No style. I think as the years go by, you learn, grow, and the writing changes.

I find writing a mystery challenging.

How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

Behind the Mask, my fourth romance book, is based on family and friends who lived in France during WWII. All my other books are purely fictional.

To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?

Before my second book, Rebecca’s Ghost I traveled to Williamsburg, VA to get a sense of the buildings and a feel for the time-period. My third book, Amulet of Darkness is a fantasy world based on Greek and Roman mythology, so unless I time traveled, LOL, no.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

In A Find Through Time I basically wrote about the plight of the Native Americans and how they struggled due to circumstances beyond their control.

In Amulet of Darkness, there are undertones of religious belief.

Behind the Mask’s message would be how hard war is and let’s not forget all the heroes who fought for their beliefs and who put their lives in danger saving others.

Rebecca’s Ghost is all about family.

In my new book, Timeless River, another time travel that will be out in the fall, my message is to love yourself and to stand up for your dreams. Sometimes what you wish for isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?  Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?

Wow, that’s hard to say as I have read so many great authors. I am partial to my old critique partner Mira Platt. I love her style of writing.

Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.

My husband is my biggest supporter…. technically, he’s not a family member so I hope that counts.

Do you see writing as a career?

I see writing as a part of my life I couldn’t do without.

If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?

Well, I don’t know many Native American actors, but I would definitely insist on one for A Find Through Time.  For Rebecca’s Ghost, I’d love to see Pierce Bronson as the dark brooding hero. For Amulet of Darkness, a nice muscled man like Chris Hemsworth would be awesome. For Behind the Mask, Tom Cruise and for Timeless River…Liam Hemsworth.

Any advice for other writers?

If you love writing don’t give up no matter the criticism, rejections and frustration. Finishing your manuscript, holding your book in your hand never gets tiring and is a thrill that makes everything you went through to get to that point worthwhile.

Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

Well, yes. If you like a book, please take the time to let the author know. Getting a nice email from someone who enjoyed your work can make all the difference in an author’s day. And please, please take the time to write a review, even a short one on Amazon. With so many author’s books, out on the internet a review is the only way to get an author recognized.

Favorite foods, colors,  music?

I’m really not a foodie, so not sure I have anything that I love. My favorite color is fuchsia and I love all kinds of music, especially soothing music like Yani

You only have 24 hours to live, how would you spend that time?

With my family having fun. I’d probably take them all on a trip together.

Thank you, Marianne. Keep in touch with her at:








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