CHAMPAIGN, Ill., June 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Many young Midwestern girls dream of fame, fortune and lives far away from the perceived doldrums of their daily lives, even if they come from privilege. The Countess and the Mob (published by iUniverse) by Maureen Hughes follows the fascinating tale of the Countess Marajen Stevick Chinigo as she goes from small town heiress to international jet setter and the dark secrets she acquires on the way.
Marajen Stevick was born to a Midwest family of means. Her father, David W. Stevick, was a newspaper mogul who founded a successful Illinois news agency. Marajen, however, was not content to remain simply a child of means and sought out fame, fortune and title in her own right. Marajen wanted the reality of her dreams to come quickly and easily. Smart and exotically beautiful, she felt fame and fortune would come naturally, if only she could meet the right people. Being the heiress to a successful and prominent newspaper family would set the stage and bankroll this search. So with that goal, she traveled to the American Mecca of fortune and notoriety: California.
In her travels to California she met and married a Chicago crime boss, Johnny Rosselli. She saw this as her first step to greater fame. However, when the fickle mafia lord grew tired of and divorced her, she married a B-movie star. This marriage was also short lived and she again sought a companion to help her achieve her goals. While vacationing in San Francisco she met and later married WWII American war hero Lt Col. William E. Dyess. After Dyess's death in 1943, she published his biography and gained even more notoriety as the hero's widow. Her quest finally led her to a relationship and eventual marriage to Albanian count Michael Chinigo, a reporter for the International News Service in Rome. Now a countess, Marajen had finally achieved the title and prestige she had aspired to her entire life. However, life as a countess was not all she had hoped and soon she was looking to her old friend and ex-husband Johnny Rosselli for help. What transpired next would be the source of rumors that would follow the countess for the rest of her life.
Maureen Hughes was born and raised in Champaign County, Illinois. After graduating from high school, she attended college on the East Coast. While she was initially interested in journalism, her interests turned to law enforcement and she earned degrees in criminal justice. During her tenure at the University of Illinois she continued to write. Hughes and her husband have several children and split their time between Illinois and Nevada. Ms. Hughes has also written Tiny Moccasins, An Angry Fire Still Burns, The Other Side, and The Indians General.
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