Cover Reveal: Making Their Voices Heard: The Inspiring Friendship of Ella Fitzgerald and Marilyn Monroe

OH MY GOSH! A couple of days ago, I found out that my Ella Fitzgerald/Marilyn Monroe book had a definite launch date: January 14, 2020. So, I started thinking about who I should ask to do a cover reveal…I thought perhaps I should ask the editor if the cover image I had was the final one. And then, this morning, guess what I discovered?

MAKING THEIR VOICES HEARD: THE INSPIRING FRIENDSHIP OF ELLA FITZGERALD AND MARILYN MONROE is available for preorder on Amazon. With the most glorious cover image I’ve ever seen!!!

cover 2

This was a manuscript that was very close to my heart. I’m a long-time admirer of the velvety tones of Ella Fitzgerald…and I always believed Marilyn Monroe was so much more than she was given credit for. But it wasn’t until I came across a picture of them at a nightclub that the idea for this story came to me back in 2014.

ella and marilyn in nightclub


And the more I researched, the more I came to admire both of these women…trailblazers in the fight for equality! Did you know that Marilyn Monroe was the first movie star to own her own production company? Or that in 1956, Ella Fitzgerald won a lawsuit against Pan Am for racial discrimination?

A few years ago, Bonnie Greer wrote a play about the nightclub incident and it was performed in London.


I’m so grateful to Essie White, my incredible agent, who had faith in me and in this story. And to Little Bee editor, the fabulous Courtney Fahy, who fell in love with the manuscript and believed it should be a book. And to the talented Alleanna Harris whose illustrations have brought the story to life!

I am over the moon excited and just had to share with all of you, my dear friends! And to all my critique buddies whose feedback on dozens and dozens of revisions resulted in this stellar story – I thank you!!!



47 thoughts on “Cover Reveal: Making Their Voices Heard: The Inspiring Friendship of Ella Fitzgerald and Marilyn Monroe

    • Yes! Only 6 months…I can hardly believe it! Do you remember this story from back in 2015? It was in that 1st bunch of nonfiction pbs that I wrote…and Sweet Dreams, Sarah is out…and the Greyhound Bus story and the Hot Air Balloon story will be in the big compilation book that pubs in Fall 2020. I’m so glad I started writing nonfiction pbs…and so glad I have such great critique buddies like you who have helped me so much!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Then you were ahead of me…I checked Amazon on Monday and didn’t see it…but when I checked this morning, it was there…I remember I looked the other day because I saw that your wonderful LIZZIE DEMANDS HER SEAT had been listed on Amazon and I thought since ours have a similar pub date, I was hoping mine would be up soon. Hurray!!!


    • Yup…I came across the photo on the internet at the end of 2014 and read the little blurb and felt it was a story I had to tell in picture book form because friendship is such an important part of growing up and learning to be a good friend is a skill kids need to embrace. Thanks for the good wishes, Patricia.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Oh my dear Jeanine! Thank you so much…you know the story well because you saw it from the very beginning. It was at that first WOW conference that Ariel Richardson saw it…it was a rough draft still…and she loved it…but although it didn’t work out for her to buy it, I’m thrilled that Essie never gave up on it and kept submitting it.


  1. This is exciting to see. Congratulations, I feel your joy down the Eastern seaboard! Sending some up to you. You pick such inspirational people to write about, V. I feel like I am getting another level of education from kidlit. .. . so many good people who didn’t get the credit they were due, or the chance to inspire others. Glad history is filling itself in with diverse characters. I know you know how lucky you are to have been paired with Alleana Harris. I have her gorgeous framed Art hanging in our recording studio. It’s the first thing I see when I enter the studio and it makes me happy every single time and starts the session off with peace. I love when the literary match-makers get it right…..the magic of a storytelling joining illustration. The cover looks beautiful. This looks like an enjoyable project filled with interest and a little magic. 📘✨ Now we wait….

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m ready for the buzz, Patricia…and ready to shine the spotlight on these two women who, although they were both very famous in their own times, did not get credit for the depth of character they each possessed. It’s their time now and I’m happy to facilitate that.


  2. Vivian,

    I’m excited for you and wish you all the best. Your book sounds interesting. If you have a PR package with everything to use on my blog I’m happy to be included in your blog book tour. Just let me know. Again, congratulations!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Vivian! Applause and cheers for your upcoming nonfiction book spotlighting two talented “pioneers” for human rights equality. What a unique duo you’ve captured in your craft of storytelling! In this case, “a picture’s worth” 500 words of less. I’ve listened many hours to Ella’s golden jazz tones, trying to find my own groove as I sometimes get invited to sing with my husband’s jazz trio. I’ll be buying your book for sure and ordering more as gifts. I have many musician friends with families and know how much joy their little ones will find reading your book. Keep up the inspiration!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh how exciting! Your hubby has a jazz trio…and you get to sing with them sometimes!!! WOW!
    Do you blog, Marsha? It sounds like you’d be a perfect person to help spread the word about Making Their Voices Heard…would you like an early PDF so you could read it and review it on Goodreads now and on Amazon when it launches next year?


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