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Wednesday, December 23, 2009


On behalf of MARCUS BRYAN & ASSOCIATES INC.and MICHIGAN AVENUE MEDIA LLC. I would like to wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season. I also hope that next year will be a banner year for all of us that work so hard to get our books and screenplays noticed.

Keep writing because ... A GOOD STORY IS A GOOD STORY!



Monday, November 30, 2009


I have been a Literary Agent for many years and I have recently come across two women that are quite unique. They are Robin Surface from and April Robins from

I have been writing for years and regardless of all the rejection letters I received from traditional publishing companies I didn't stop writing.I refused to give up.

Finally,I made a call to Fideli Publishing and Robin and I talked for quite some time. One year later I have three children's books published, THE BUSY BUS, SNACK ATTACK and THE MAGICAL LEAPING LIZARD POTION, I have also published two novels,SALA,MORE THAN SURVIVOR and LOVE CHANGES. Robin has taken the time and energy to help me market my books and for the first time in all the years I have been writing I feel the light at the end of the tunnel is easy to view. I am now writing regularly and realize I actually have a good chance of success.

Robin convinced me to try all the opportunities out there and I am doing just that.That is how I came across April Robins from She is very supportive to new writers and actually want them to succeed. She has a website where she features writers and she had a blog talk radio show where she gives writers a chance to read sections of their books to the public. Now this is what I call terrific.

These two companies are what make me feel that for all the years and the tough times there is a chance for all of us as writers to succeed. Isn't that we all want.

So if you're reading this today keep writing and get your books edited and published knowing that you now have a really good chance at a writing career.

Marsha Casper Cook

Thursday, November 19, 2009


After reading a blog I responded. I have never done this before but I felt the need to respond:

The question being asked was... But where, in this wealth of storytelling, are the books for girls? What has happened to the books that explore friends and families, girls' lives and adventures? Are they not being published, are they not being written, or are they not being 'seen'? While teens are well provided for, girl readers aged eight to 11 or 12 years are not, and we should be asking, why?

My comment...

I have a book that young girls would love or should I say do love when they get the opportunity to read the book. Unfortunately, Sala, More Than A Survivor has been sold on a limited basis because the book has been self- published. Sala is a very inspiring speaker at the Holocaust Museum in Illinois.

Young girls are speechless after hearing her story, as well as the male teens. This true story has been written just as she told it told it to me and because she is still alive it makes this a wonderful experience for all the young students who are fortunate enough to hear her story. She doesn’t hold back when she speaks to the teens but she does it in a very positive way and when they leave the auditorium they are encouraged by her words. She always ends on a positive note.

I would hope the traditional publishers would take a second look at some of the really good stories they are missing, including Sala, More Than A Survivor. The book has been published by Fideli Publishing. It's time to make some changes. A good story is a good story...

Sala, More Than A Survivor: This is an inspirational true story of Sala Lewis, who at age 10 saw her family taken away by the Nazis. Her uncompromising determination led her to the same camp as her sister Dora, and together the two young sisters fought to keep themselves and their fellow prisoners alive. The book then follows Sala as she comes to America, marries and has a family.
20 Nov 09 04:07

Marsha Casper Cook

SALA,MORE THAN A SURVIVOR is available at and

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Light At The End Of The Tunnel

I watched the Oprah show tonight and I was so glad to see Stephanie Meyer's interview become a very positive training tool. Sucess stories like Stephanie Meyer's is the reason I keep repeating my message all the time. She wrote the Twilight Series.

I know Stephanie's story about how she came to write the book and have it published is what we all as writers work for. It's just like any of our stories... except she made it happen for herself. She could be any of you sitting out there ready to give up...DON'T! I believe her story can be your story. She kept trying even though she got rejected many times.

What an interview! It was so powerful and wonderful. She is all of us that keep writing day in and day out. It does happen. Listening to everything Stephanie said I knew that her story is a great one. Success can happen.

Sometimes when writers like myself sit in front of the computer or stare at a blank piece of paper we have to believe we can do this. Sometimes a pep talk to ourselves is the only way we can get the words on the page. I have faith that my work will not go unnoticed but if by some small chance I'm wrong about my work I am still very happy that I self - published my books. Somewhere,somehow I know it will happen. And just as I know that I also know all of you that are reading this will also have that chance at success.

When you have a chance go to Stephanie's website and read her story. Once you finish reading about her success you will feel like continuing on with your project.I know I did.

Sunday, November 1, 2009


What a fabulous experience this is. Bill Borine, the author of the book, DANCING WITH THE STARS, has introduced a line of Hollywood rings that are fabulous looking and each piece has a memory of a fashionable Hollywood Star. They are so glamorous and exciting and when you wear these rings you feel the memories behind the exceptional Hollywood women that wore them. . Find a ring and purchase it because when you wear it you will feel as elegant as the ladies that wore them.

These remarkable rings are great Holiday gifts. You can't go worng with these rings and you can't make a mistake in size because they are ajustable.

For more info go to or /

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Climbing Boy Is Magical

The book market seems to be over crowded by books that after the last page is read you forget the details of the book, who wrote it and pretty soon the entire memory of the book is gone. That is not the case with Mark Lichterman’s book, The Climbing Boy. We thank Metropolis Ink. for discovering the author, Mark Lichterman, a truly wonderful storyteller.

The story of The Climbing Boy takes place on December 24, 1843 the day before Christmas. The magical moments and the hope for a future of wonderful things to come are what makes this book an exceptional read. Metropolis Ink has truly found a treasure.

This year has been a very stressful one for most of us and that is why Michigan Avenue Media LLC. recommends this book for everyone. The magical feelings that evoke from this wonderful Christmas book are emotionally satisfying. The Climbing Boy has all the possibilities of becoming a classic and we know it will. When something this special comes along we can’t help but hope others feel as we do.

Here are some of the reviews from Amazon:

work of an artist, August 17, 2003
don davey (Carmel Ca) - See all my reviews
Loved it, best book I have read in years. A friend told me about it and loaned me a copy. Whatever I say would not begin to do it justice. Buy it or if necessary borrow it but read it and enjoy. Im sure you will as I did, want it in your permanent collection. Mark is a true artist and I look forward to his next work

New, exciting, upcoming Author, July 6, 2008
Bruce G. Berger (Westlake Villagel, CA) -
This 'feel good' tale by Mark Lichterman, a relatively unknown, but upcoming author, is way more than just another Christmas story. It is a classic description of the London chimney sweeping trade, brought to life by superb characterization of its main players. The reader immediately bonds with Zachariah, an eight year old child, who you want to bring home, bathe, feed, clothe and just cuddle. He will steal your heart while other feelings of anger, rage and resentment arise from the provocative personality of William Johnson, the boy's Master. Lichterman, in expert fashion, weaves a very twisted, intertwining yarn that has you holding your breath until the very end. This book is a must read and I can hardly wait to get a copy of the authors newest book, Becoming.

A great read, July 21, 2003
Carter Mc Intyre (Winnetka, Ca United States) - See all my reviews
It is a great read. I believe that it should be made into a movie by Disney.

Great Book
Carter Mc Intyre (Winnetka, Ca United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Climbing Boy (CD-ROM)
Mark Lichterman wrote an excellent book. I truly believe that Disney or Pixar studios should do an animation movie of the book. It would make a great film that would appeal to both adults and children. I hope he writes more books in the future.

Great book
Joseph C. (Chicago, Illinois) -
This review is from: The Climbing Boy (CD-ROM)
You can really feel like your part of the story. The people in the book are so real.
Also, it wasn't hard to use. I just clicked on a little icon after inserting the cd into my computer. I think this is a good e-book for people who are new to their computers.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Remember The Reader

I would hope even though it's hard to keep getting rejection notices that writers will keep writing. I have said before that I have never let that stop me from going on with my career. I know it might sound crazy to some but I refuse to give up.

For the last several weeks I have been trying to focus on what I can do to help new writers keep writing and what I have come up with is to show them how I continue on. I am writing a new book because it makes me happy. That is really what’s important.

Many people have asked me why I have self – published books. My answer is always the same. That wasn’t my original plan. I now feel so lucky that self- publishing has turned into a very impressive division of the writing world.

When my books are being read, the reader isn’t as interested in the publisher as they are in the author. They really don’t care who publishes the book, they are reading the story. If they like what they have read I have done my job. With all the talk about self publishing, the one thing that is hardly ever talked about is the reader. If the reader is happy I am happy. So, when you’re sitting at your computer wondering if what you are doing makes any sense at all try to remember, give your reader a good story and they will come back for more.


Sunday, October 11, 2009


We have all been touched by someone we know who has been diagnosed with Breast Cancer, may it be a relative, friend, neighbor or someone we work with. We can help those we know that have had breast cancer or for the thousands of patients that will be diagnosed with this disease in the near future. In the spirit of life and with the hope that someday we will find a cure, please help.

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month MICHIGAN AVENUE MEDIA / MARCUS BRYAN & ASSOCIATES INC. will donate 25% of net proceeds from all sales of Marsha Casper Cook’s books to the Lynn Sage Breast Cancer Foundation for the entire month of October.

The Lynn Sage Cancer Research Foundation
Dedicated to the courageous spirit of Lynn Sage, the Lynn Sage Cancer Research Foundation (LSCRF) affiliated with Northwestern Memorial in 1991 in a joint mission to advance the understanding, research and treatment of breast cancer. Since that time, LSCRF has contributed more than $20 million to support hospital programs, to fund numerous fellowships in breast cancer treatment and research and to create the Lynn Sage Comprehensive Breast Center. Located on the fourth floor of the new Prentice, the breast center provides a broad range of patient services including screening and diagnostic mammograms and breast cancer risk assessment to more than 60,000 patients a year.


Tuesday, October 6, 2009


Writers who become successful are the ones that don't give up. It's hard to keep yourself focused when you keep getting rejected and the cards are not falling into place the way you had imagined. Just focus and move on. Sounds good but sometimes it’s hard to push yourself. Today is a day I need a pep talk.

Most writers don't admit it but there are days when you ask yourself why I ever thought I could be successful at writing. What was I thinking? The answer is usually the same for me. I love writing and creating but marketing that’s another story. Marketing is what gets you where you need to go. And what does that mean? Why can’t I put myself on a few websites and bingo! I ‘m a success and everyone is buying my book.

I wish that were true. Every day I find another website that promises me great coverage and a chance to make my book a household name. There is one set back…it’s called free.

There are a lot of sites out there that claim to be free but then again do we really get anything for free? When a company charges a fee or wants to get reimbursed for expenses it doesn’t mean they are ripping you off. Have you considered maybe they know what they are doing? Stop for a minute and think about it. They have homes, children’s and bills just like you do.

When I created this blog I had no idea what it would turn out to be. I'm wondering if there are a lot of writers out there who might like to say something that would help another writer keep going. It’s time that we help each other.

Let me know what you think. Sometimes it's nice to know someone is in your corner. We all have friends who tell us what they think we should do but almost all writers know some of it sounds good but doesn't work. Get yourself a marketing campaign. You can probably do some of it yourself. Think of writing as a business and get a marketing plan that will help you get noticed.

If there’s a subject that interests you let me know.


Sunday, September 27, 2009


A new author to be on the look out for is Mark Lichterman. This is a new client that has been published by Metropolis Ink. Hopefully, we will find a production company to make this wonderful story into a movie. This book is a good fast read. Once you start to read it you won't want to put it down.

Marsha Cook
President Marcus Bryan & Associates Inc.

Review: The Climbing Boy by Mark Lichterman
September 26, 2009 by workinggirlreviews

The Climbing Boy

By Mark Lichterman

Metropolis Ink (c) 2003

Buy Link:

After reading the synopsis for Mark Lichterman’s THE CLIMBING BOY, I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I felt pretty certain the story would educate me on the dreadful working conditions of young orphan children sold into apprenticeship in the 1800s, but what I didn’t know was the depth of feelings this enchanting little story would evoke in me. At just 180 pages, THE CLIMBING BOY is a short novel that is anything but short on plot.

Orphaned at the age of four, Zachariah is sold into apprenticeship to a chimney sweep for the cost of back rent owed on his late mother’s flat: a sum of one pound. Thus begins his life as a climbing boy. The life of a climbing boy is grueling and perilous, not only in the immediate dangers of being suspended by a rope harness and lifted down into zigzagging, sometimes stories-high chimneys, but also in the long term ill effects of breathing in soot and chimney dust on a daily basis. Add to that Zachariah’s master’s cruelty and you will find a boy’s life that is much more an existence than a childhood. Even so, eight-going-on-nine-year-old Zachariah maintains a positive outlook on life and a sweet disposition that makes him a favorite with many of his customers.

Set in London, England in 1843, the bulk of the story takes place in the span of just one day — December 24, the day before Christmas. The tale begins with Zachariah awakening from a beautiful dream of his deceased mother’s love to enter into the reality of his now bleak and loveless existence. Throughout the day, the reader follows Zachariah and his master, Johnson, as they go about their work. Turning the pages, the reader feels a full spectrum of emotions (the terror of being suspended in a chimney that sways precariously in the wind, the heartbreak of a child being denied a gift he really wanted, and the joy of a stranger’s kindness to name but a few) as the story builds to a delightful, fairy tale ending.

I found myself drawn deeper and deeper into the life and heart of this wonderful character until he truly felt like someone I knew and loved. The cruel Johnson is equally well drawn, and though I hated him at times, I couldn’t help but feel sorry for him in the end. That’s how talented a storyteller Mark Lichterman is. His poignant fictional details blend with the hard truths of what, sadly, was reality for many children of that era, to create a beautiful story that, while being educational, is also sweeping and unforgettable. I highly recommend this heartwarming tale to anyone who enjoys seeing the good guy win. I know I certainly did.


Friday, September 25, 2009


Marcus Bryan & Associates is celebrating its 15th year as a literary agency. We are hoping for a banner year and we are always happy to take query letters from writers. We also pride ourselves on helping new writers as well as those of you who have been writing for years. So send us your queries and we will be happy to take a look at them. Check out our submission page.Watch for the new changes that we will be offering.

The first change is author management. This is one of the most exciting changes at Marcus Bryan. Over the years there have been many authors who have given up writing because they were rejected. There have been changes in the writing market but one thing that always remains the same is writers take their projects seriously.

We completely understand and that is why after many years in this business we realize that there is more to do for authors that just sending out their books and screenplays. With all the advantages of networking that the internet can provide we are going to put a series of programs together to enhance writers. These will be offered at affordable prices.

It's time to change and we will help. As President of Marcus Bryan and Associates Inc. I intend on doing what I had always planned to do which was helping new writers get their work noticed and help them create careers for themselves. So keep checking our website for all the changes that will be taking place. Join us because this is going to be a fun ride.


10024 Skokie Blvd. Skokie, IL 60077
PHONE 224-233-1018 FAX 224-233-1019

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


I had a great time writing these children's books, but up until I had them published by Fideli Publishing I never thought I would see them in print. I had actually stopped sending them out to publishers but when I found out there was a way to publish them I did.

I wanted to write about this today because I hope that if there are authors who have given up on getting their books published,especially children's books, there is a way. I have had them reviewed and was so happy that the reviewers liked them.I am now going to continue on writing children's books because I can. I don't have to keep my manuscripts in a drawer after I write them and neither do you.

If you need help please feel free to contact We can help you with your dream. My dream is now a reality.

Working Girl Reviews
Book Reviews For The Busy Woman
Review: Children’s Books By Marsha Casper Cook
July 25, 2009 by workinggirlreviews
I recently received three children’s books in the mail and although we’d never done this genre at WGR, I agreed to do these because I’m a mother and my kids have always been crazy for books. All three of these charming books were very well received by the children I tested them on. They all have subtle, but important social lessons presented in fun ways. Both the stories and reviews are short, so all three are posted here together.

The Busy Bus
By Marsha Casper Cook
Cronos Press, October 2008
Buy Link:
A wonderful little collection of rhyming poems with titles such as, Terrible Twos, Uncle Edward’s Pig, Tough Jake, Fair Weather Heather, and many more. The kids loved this book with its bright, cheerful pictures, perfect for younger children. They got the giggles when I read Whose Smelly Socks Are Those and I have to admit it, so did I. There are poems in this collection that are just for fun, but others teach social lessons in a subtle way, while keeping the children engaged and having a good time. Try this one on your kids, I think they’ll enjoy it and you’ll be introducing them to the world of poetry if you haven’t already.

The Magical Leaping Lizard Potion
By Marsha Casper Cook
Fideli Publishing Inc.; 1 edition (March 9, 2009)
Buy Link:
Isabella Pimpinella and her dog Milly Van Dilly are getting together with the other junior witches to make the legendary Magical Leaping Lizard Potion. If they do it correctly, they’ll be able to fly and become full-fledged witches. Something that all junior witches dream of.
I enjoyed the story and graphics in this little book very much. Then I passed it to an eight-year-old girl to read for feedback. Her mother said she’d read it over and over. When I asked the little girl if she’d enjoyed it, she said she loved it and wanted to know where she could get the next one. Obviously this would be a great series for younger girls.

Snack Attack
By Marsha Casper Cook
Fideli Publishing Inc.; 1st edition (January 1, 2009
Buy Link:
Addison Apple is a little boy who doesn’t like the oatmeal his mother makes him eat for breakfast. Liking cookies and candy much better, he secretly feeds the oatmeal to his dog, Sammy, and then sneaks into the cookie jar to fill his tummy.
The mother in this delightful story comes up with a unique way to deal with her son’s aversion to nutritious food. It’s not a remedy I’d recommend, but makes for a charming story. I read this book to a five-year-old and a three-year-old. With shouts of ‘again, again’!! I’d say it was a hit with both of them. It also teaches an important lesson in a fun way.

Friday, September 18, 2009


Famous Self-Published Authors FAMOUS SELF-PUBLISHED BOOKS:

Remembrance of things Past, by Marcel Proust

Ulysses, by James Joyce

The Adventures of Peter Rabbit, by Beatrix Potter

A Time to Kill, by John Grisham

The Wealthy Barber, by David Chilton

The Bridges of Madison County

What Color is Your Parachute

In Search of Excellence by Tom Peters

The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield

The Elements of Style by William Strunk, Jr. (and his student E. B. White)

The Joy of Cooking

When I Am an Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple

Life’s Little Instruction Book

Robert’s Rules of Order


Deepak Chopra
Gertrude Stein
Zane Grey
Upton Sinclair
Carl Sandburg
Ezra Pound
Mark Twain
Edgar Rice Burroughs
Stephen Crane
Bernard Shaw
Anais Nin
Thomas Paine
Virginia Wolff
e.e. Cummings
Edgar Allen Poe
Rudyard Kipling
Henry David Thoreau
Benjamin Franklin
Walt Whitman
Alexandre Dumas
William E.B. DuBois
Beatrix Potter

(Thanks to Dan Poynter's website for this info; see


Pearl S. Buck - The Good Earth - 14 times

Norman Mailer - The Naked and the Dead - 12 times

Patrick Dennis- Auntie Mame - 15 times

George Orwell - Animal Farm

Richard Bach - Jonathan Livingston Seagull - 20 times

Joseph Heller - Catch-22 - 22 times (!)

Mary Higgins Clark - first short story - 40 times

Alex Haley - before Roots - 200 rejections

Robert Persig - Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance - 121 times

John Grisham - A Time to Kill - 15 publishers and 30 agents (he ended up
publishing it himself)

Chicken Soup for the Soul - 33 times
Dr. Seuss - 24 times

Louis L'Amour - 200 rejections

Jack London - 600 before his first story

John Creasy - 774 rejections before selling his first story. He went on to
write 564 books, using fourteen names.

Jerzy Kosinski - 13 agents and 14 publishers rejected his best-selling novel
when he submitted it under a different name, including Random House, which had
originally published it.

Diary of Anne Frank

Stephen King’s first four novels were rejected. This guy from Maine sent in this
novel over the transom,said Bill Thompson, his former editor at Doubleday. Mr. Thompson, sensing something there, asked to see subsequent novels, but still rejected the next three. However, King withstood the rejection, and Mr. Thompson finally bought the fifth novel, despite his colleague’s lack of enthusiasm, for $2,500. It was called Carrie.During his entire lifetime.

Herman Melville's timeless classic, Moby Dick, sold only 3,715 copies.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


One of the nicest things that has happened to me that actually makes me feel like everything I have done so far has been well worth it was the book review I received from WORKING GIRL REVIEW. This is from my book LOVE CHANGES

Before I opened the first page of this book and even before I read the synopsis on the back cover I stopped to consider what the title of Marsha Casper Cook’s novel might mean. My first thought was that love is a vital part of life and every love must flow with changes to survive. As I glanced at the cover picture, I wondered if it was a picture of serenity or loneliness. Were the chairs empty in wait of a late night lover’s chat on the balcony or empty from missing love? The title along with the serene picture of two chairs sitting on a balcony with a pretty pot of flowers in the background intrigued me enough to open the cover and start reading. I’m glad I did. Love Changes is a good book.

Elaine Lewis is easy to dislike. First impressions are that she is selfish, unappreciative and unstable. Martin Lewis is easy to like. First impressions are that he is hardworking, loving and devoted to his wife. Elaine is a rich socialite who appears to flit from activity to activity simply to please herself. Martin is a well-respected doctor who overlooks much to honor his vow to love his wife no matter what. I refer to first impressions because as the story unfolds, readers get insight into Elaine’s past hurts and present pain. While the information doesn’t justify it, at least it shines light on Elaine’s actions.

Many readers will hate Elaine early in the book, however continued reading will allow some readers to move from dislike of, to sorrow for, to cheering the recovery of this wounded, fearful woman.
To friends and family members the Lewis’ appear to be a happy couple with everything going for them and indeed they are until the birth of Stevie, a son with a disability proves to be a life change Elaine is unwilling to bear. Readers will be appalled by Elaine’s decision to give away her disabled son and by her later claim to all that he died in childbirth. Although Martin is a wonderful husband and is secretly involved in Stevie’s life readers will question his steadfast willingness to do things Elaine’s way to the point of not raising his son in his own home. Not until much later in the book do we see that selfishness alone does not motivate Elaine’s decisions.

Painful memories of a devastating childhood loss and a misguided desire to protect her son from herself are what lead her to act as she does. Doing what she feels is best for Stevie leads to misery in all aspects of her future. Elaine’s perfect life is a veil over her lies and secrecy.

Love Changes confronts some serious issues such as gambling, adultery, mental illness, abortion, and self preservation. Rather than sharing her problems with her husband Elaine turns to the horse track where she gambles on a daily basis. She later turns to other men, but none of her relationships can fill the hole her son left in her heart. She must find a way to reconcile the past or she will not live to see the future. Can Martin’s love hold strong through affairs, lies and loss? You will have to read to find out.

The author presents vivid scene descriptions, honest dialogue and believable characters. She skillfully depicts emotions and the inner turmoil of a troubled lady. Although I found it a bit depressing, I nonetheless enjoyed Love Changes. The major characters were strongly defined and the minor characters were introduced in a natural progression allowing readers to get to know them and their role in Elaine’s life. Some of these individuals will be disliked by readers immediately; some will have redeeming qualities and others will be liked from the first. Readers will enjoy getting to know Stevie and cheer his ability to have a happy life despite his disability. His cheerful outlook on life comes in stark contrast to his mother’s gloomy view and made this reviewer wonder who had the true disability. Many characters play a role in Elaine’s life but none has a love as strong as her husband Martin. His is the love that can sustain Elaine Lewis.

The author had a good mix of dialogue and narration. The dialogue was mostly natural, but I felt it was slightly overdone in a few scenes.

While not a happy life I enjoyed my journey with Elaine through her ups and downs. It was satisfying to see how love impacted her life and made changes for the good and the bad. Love changes all of us and I enjoyed the journey into Elaine’s world to see just how love changed her.

I would recommend adding Love Changes to your future reading list, but don’t expect a light fluffy book solely written to entertain. It is too serious a story for that. It may leave you feeling down in sections, but the message to appreciate what you have, be honest with those you love and don’t let past hurts keep you from future happiness make it a worthy story. Elaine can’t truly love until she forgives herself. She finally gets her head on straight but is it too late? Oh how her life would have been enriched had she learned to love and be loved years earlier.

More reviews ... - reviews

Monday, September 14, 2009

I'll Get the Ball Rolling

To start this project off, I'm including an excerpt from my book "Love Changes." If you're interested, the book is available at Amazon, in paperback or Kindle.

Now it's your turn; please send me your work.


Chapter 5

After beauty came reality. Elaine came home to an empty house. Maggie had asked for the evening off and Martin was finishing up his office hours.

Once again, Elaine was alone. She hated silence, since she always felt it caused loneliness. So with only herself to please, she turned on some symphony music. Loudly, of course. There was no other way – powerful music was comfortable for her.

Elaine glanced at her dressing table and noticed a small, white envelope with her name on it. She quickly read on.

Dear Elaine,
Don’t forget our dinner date. The club at eight. Happy Anniversary.

Elaine started to get dressed. She glanced at herself in the mirror, then stood sideways, touching her flat stomach. Without thinking, she grabbed a pillow from her bed and stuffed it into her robe. Now she looked pregnant.

She closed her eyes and lifted her head back, almost trancelike. She looked into the mirror again, but this time she saw herself years before. She was just about ready to deliver. She reminded herself how fast those nine months really went by.

Elaine quickly pulled the pillow out from under her robe, wondering what the hell had gotten into her. Her decision to have the abortion would not be changed by her questionable feelings. Once again, she had proven to herself that making a decision and showing proper judgment were impossibilities. She often said one thing and did another.

She opened Martin’s dresser and yanked out the bottom drawer. She threw everything on the floor and pulled out several pictures of Martin and Stevie.

She held the pictures close to her heart with remarkable attachment. With smooth movements, Elaine’s fingers touched Stevie’s face. As she closed her eyes, she imagined herself holding her son. Only God and her knew how deeply she cared.

Regardless of the years that passed, Elaine unwillingly had vivid memories of the night before Stevie would be leaving her. Rarely a day passed when she hadn’t wished she could turn back the clock.

It was after ten. Stevie would be leaving the hospital in the morning. Not with his parents, but with a stranger Martin called Sophie.

Everyone on the maternity floor had gone to sleep, all except Elaine. She buzzed for the nurse.

When the night nurse entered the room, she turned on the nightlight over Elaine’s bed. “What can I do for you, Mrs. Lewis? I’ll be leaving soon and you need all the rest you can get. New mothers always need more sleep than they get.”

In embarrassment, the nurse stopped herself from continuing the conversation. She had forgotten Elaine would not be taking her baby home.

There was a brief pause before Elaine asked, “Do you think it would be possible if I could see my baby?”

At first the nurse didn’t respond. She had been confused by the question.

Elaine repeated herself. “Do you think I could see my baby?”

Finally, the nurse responded. “Are you sure about this?”

“Very sure. I just want to say goodbye.”

It hadn’t been more than five minutes when the nurse returned, holding the baby to her chest. She handed the baby over to Elaine, watching her reaction very closely.

At first, Elaine didn’t look at her son. She just held him toward her breast in a nurturing way, gently rocking him as he began to cry.

Elaine looked up at the nurse. “Do you think I could have a few minutes alone with my son?” she asked.

The nurse hesitated, but then she agreed. “I’ll be right outside if you need me. I’m not very sure this is such a good idea.”

As soon as the nurse left, Elaine opened the blanket and, for the very first time, she looked at her son. She leaned over and kissed his forehead. “You smell so sweet,” she said as she kissed his tiny hand.

Elaine held Stevie for quite some time before she spoke again. “I’m so very sorry for what I’ve done to you. This is all my fault. I love you and don’t ever let anyone tell you I didn’t. Have a good life, my baby. I love you.”

Tears fell from Elaine’s eyes as she handed Stevie to the nurse. “Could you please keep this visit between us?” she asked, confident that she would.

“If you wish.” The nurse didn’t look back as she left Elaine’s room. It was not her place to judge or discuss Elaine’s decision.

Elaine sat in the same chair until morning. When it was time for Stevie to leave, she watched from a distance, but she was there for the final goodbye.

An Interview With Me

I was recently interviewed about writing by Working Girl Press. Please check out the interview here.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Self- Published Authors Can Be Very Good Authors

Sometimes in life there are causes worth fighting for. I feel there are so many self-published authors that write wonderful books it seems totally unfair to classify every self published book as a book that isn't as good as a traditionally published book. There are traditionally published books that aren't great as well as self published books. Not every writer is a great writer, however if they keep writing they might become a very good writer. I would assume that most everyone has read a book that hasn't been the most fabulous story that they had ever read, but it was published.
As I was writing this blog I came up with what I think is a wonderful idea for all self published authors. I think the timing is just right. I would like anyone that has read this blog to please send me a couple pages of their book and I will choose several writers depending on how many authors send me their work to be part of my blog. The books have to be copyrighted and self published. I will bet some of these authors are going to shock you as to how good they really are.
I know this is going to be fun and very entertaining.
Please let me hear from you. We can make a difference....

Marsha Cook
Michigan Avenue Media LLC