When Marchel Denise lines up to read from and sign copies of her latest book, “Kissed by Madness,” the Lee’s Summit woman will do so to benefit a great cause.
Denise’s book launch Oct. 5 at Reader’s World will include the traditional question and answer with the author format, a standard reading of passages from the book and the requisite signing of autographs.
However, being that October is Domestic Awareness Month, Denise will also donate some of the proceeds that day to Hope House, a locally-based shelter for women who are the victims of domestic abuse. In addition, Reader’s World will also donate copies of the book to Hope House.
“I was married of 10 years and I went through (domestic abuse),” Denise said during a recent sit-down interview at an area restaurant. Denise, a mother of two, will debut the novel – her third – from 6-8 p.m. at Reader’s World, 983 N.E. Rice Road. She will be joined by Christine Urbanek, director of marketing for Hope House. “You can’t tell someone who is in that situation how to get out; they have to want to get out. It’s a whole different type of physiological thing. A woman has to be ready. I guess the only other thing I can say is love doesn’t hurt.”
Partnering with Hope House is just the start for Denise, a communications specialist at Unity Village by trade. Her story, although a fictional novel, is rooted in certain truths the public will soon find out about.
“It was not always my intention,” Denise said of her outreach efforts toward domestic abuse. “Due to my experiences – I am a domestic violence survivor – I discovered that as I talked about the subject people seemed to pipe up and share their stories. That’s when I decided to bring it to the forefront because I am not one to talk about myself.”
“Kiss by Madness” is described as the chronicles of the high cost of domestic violence. It is a contemporary story of three women in the Ellis family who face abuse. At the center of their struggles is Ranford “RJ” Ellis, Jr., who witnesses his mother, Carmen, shoot and kill his abusive father at age eleven. RJ overcomes the depths of poverty in the Wayne Miner projects of Kansas City, although the memory of that fateful day haunts him as he takes his anger out on those he loves the most.
“Even though it’s fictional, it’s difficult to tell the story,” Denise said. “But, if I’m helping someone then it’s worth it. I don’t think you ever entirely heal, but it was a process of self discovery. Even though the book wasn’t about me, it was and I can see myself in these characters. The whole reason that I’m here and doing what I’m doing is because of my kids., I don’t want them to ever be stuck in that situation.”
After choosing print on demand companies for the publication of her first two books, “Painted on Souls” and “Savor the Sweetness,” the latest book was published by Abner Publishing, a publishing company Denise started on her own.
“It took me four years to write this book,” Denise said. “Four years of sweat and tears.”
“Kissed by Madness” is available in paperback and e-book form on amazon.com. For more information about the book, Denise or the Oct. 5 signing, visit www.marchelalverson.we