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Book Excerpt: The Indelible Heart by Marianne K. Martin

Book Excerpt: The Indelible Heart by Marianne K. Martin

As part of our effort to profile more authors within the LGBT community, we present Marianne K. Martin. Here is an excerpt from her book The Indelible Heart:

As part of our effort to profile more authors within the LGBT community, we present Marianne K. Martin. A graduate of Eastern Michigan University, Ms. Martin taught in the Michigan public school system for twenty-five years, has worked as a photo-journalist, a photographer, and coached both high school and collegiate teams as well as amateur ASA teams. Her coaching career produced many Tri-County and MHSAA championship basketball and softball teams and championship ASA softball teams. She was founder of the Michigan Woman's Major Fastpitch Assoc. and was its president for ten years. In 1973 she won the precedent-setting case in a Michigan court establishing equal pay for women coaches.

Ms. Martin is the best-selling author of Legacy of Love, Love in the Balance, Never Ending, Dawn of the Dance, Dance in the Key of Love, The Indelible Heart, and three Lambda Literary Award finalists, Mirrors, Under the Witness Tree, and For Now, For Always.
She is co-owner of Bywater Books and currently splits her time between her publishing responsibilities and writing. Here is an excerpt from the first chapter of her bok The Indelible Heart, which is available from Amazon.

Chapter One:

“Over my fat, very dead carcass!”

The words sliced through settling drywall dust and blasted into the open house ahead of Sharon. “You can put that on my tombstone,” she continued at the top of her voice.

Kasey rushed into the room to another blustering rage. “What, Sharon? What is it now?”

“This!” she shouted, throwing a tightly folded newspaper to the floor. “I swear to God, Kasey . . .”

Kasey frowned and turned her face from the rising plume of displaced dust as she reached to pick up the paper.

“I will kill him this time, Kase. I swear to God I will.”

It took a moment to find it, but the small article at the bottom of the page was clearly the source of Sharon’s rage.


Despite objections from LGBT organizations, including the NCLR, Equality Michigan, and The Gay & Lesbian Task Force, Governor Holmes is contemplating the early release from prison of Charles Crawford.

Crawford was convicted in 1999 of murdering Evonne Pearlman and Donna Corbett, a lesbian couple who lived next door to him. The women were shot in their front yard. Crawford is currently serving two life sentences, but was hospitalized recently due to ill health. “He’s very sick,” said Jeremy Crawford, his son and spokesman for the family. “We just want him to be able to die at home surrounded by his family.”

“I don’t care if he has two breaths left, he can take them in prison. He sure as hell didn’t give Donna and Evonne any choice, did he? What’s his son gonna say next, that Donna and Evonne got to die at home, so why shouldn’t his father? How insane is that?”

“I can’t imagine that the governor would grant this, Sharon. It’s just the media not having anything else to talk about. It’s a slow news day, so they start speculating, that’s all.”

“Hell, Kasey, it’s been four weeks of his family, his illness, hisneed for mercy. I’m tired of it being about him. I’m tired of people pissin’ all over what’s right and fair.”

Kasey tossed the paper on the floor near the door and grabbed Sharon’s arm. “Come on, Sharon. There’s one thing I’ve learned over the past few years, and that’s that you can’t just spew anger out there into a headwind. Take a walk with me.”

Sharon turned obediently and with mission-like sharpness marched out the front door and down the sidewalk to the next driveway before Kasey caught up. One driveway passed, then the next, marking the boundaries between the wood-framed houses lining the street. A slideshow of sorts, passing by unnoticed, dotted with neatly groomed little yards, and foreclosure signs. Symbols in contradiction. One, a symbol of lives on track, modest and secure, the other of interrupted dreams and tough times, like the house the Hollander Davis Company was renovating.

“So are we marching our way to the governor’s house?” Kasey asked, matching Sharon’s hard, brisk pace as closely as she could.

“He’s evil,” Sharon said, her eyes set severely forward. “Pure evil. No righteous God would let him breathe even one more breath.”

They continued walking, as if time was of the essence, as if reaching some unknown destination would be just in time to set right the injustice. “I don’t like even the thought of the possibility, Sharon, any more than you do, but stressing like this isn’t a solution. The organizations have it. We’re not alone, it’s not like before. We have clout now in numbers . . .”

More on next page...



Sharon heard Kasey’s words, at least the sound of them, humming beside her like wide rubber tires on warm pavement—the meaning lost in a hypnotic cadence, but it didn’t matter. The words, the walk, the purpose, were all too familiar. The years had offered up too many reasons for them, too many times. The deaths—Evonne and Donna’s, her own brother Ronnie, and mother, Kasey’s mother; the loves lost; the depression. Always, though, there was Kasey, true and constant. Always there. Always.

Their pace had slowed, meaningful still, but no longer possessed of some great mission. Sharon tapped a basketball with the side of her foot and sent it rolling off the sidewalk and back into a small front yard.

It worked, this mutual reliance they shared, as well as any therapy ever had.

Sharon’s voice had tempered. “I didn’t think I’d ever have to waste another thought on that monster. But here he is again.”

“I’m sure no one else has given him much thought in years either.”

Sharon nodded, pulling a wallet from her jeans pocket and flipping it open. “But, there’s not a day that I don’t think of them.” The picture had been everyone’s favorite of the two women—heads pressed together with cheeky smiles and arms wrapped around one another—the same one used in the obituary. She’d kept it there, in the front right next to Laura’s. “I love these souls. Next to you and Laura . . .”

“I know, Sharon. I know how much they meant—to all of us. Please don’t go there.”

Sharon closed the wallet and shoved it back into her pocket. As the tears welled, she clenched the muscles of her jaw into rigid knots. “Mean, Kasey, how much they mean. Don’t drop them off into obscurity.” A quick swipe with the back of her hand eliminated a tear before it could make it to her cheek. “We can’t let them make this about him—”

“All right, all right, that’s not what I was saying. You know how I feel. I just don’t want you going down that emotional hole. Okay?”

Sharon turned to start back toward the house. A half a block later she said quietly, “We’re crawlin’, Kase. It’s been three months since the House vote. The Senate votes aren’t there to pass the Hate Crimes Bill. It’s gonna die again. All these years of letters and petitions and beatings and death, and where the hell are we?”

“It’s going to be all right, Sharon. It’s not like before, we’ve made tremendous progress. We have a political voice—strong organizations that have the media’s ear. Look at the connections and communications online—raising awareness, raising money. All of that has identified it, and named it. It’s a crime now, it’s a hate crime . . . It’ll be okay, Sharon.”

“It’ll never be okay.”

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Marianne Martin