Marcia Rosen

GENRE:  Memoir


Happy Fathers Day.
Our history and experiences can define us, inspire our actions and as writers impact our words and stories.  Mine most definitely has. My father was a gangster. Really!

This is my story about my relationship with my father and how his profession affected me and my life, “He called me Sugar Plum. Both a blessing and a burden, I learned interesting lessons from my father: about generosity and determination, taking risks, and certainly finding the willingness to live life as an adventure.”

Enjoy an Excerpt:

There were mixed messages and expectations for my generation. My friends, mostly high school sorority sisters, fell in line. They married, had fancy weddings, and wore beautiful white wedding dresses. For me, they were the symbol of years of living an unwanted life. It was expected of them. They had dreamed of being a bride and about their wedding since playing dolls and dress-up as little girls. They lost themselves and who they could be, shoving aside what they were capable of being, to do what was expected. 

 One brilliant girl I knew wanted to be a doctor. Instead, she became an accountant. What a waste. Another wanted to be an actress, another a dancer, another a social worker. They found it best to leave those dreams tucked away so they would be approved of by their families. The sadness of not fulfilling their dreams caused them to feel an emptiness much of their lives.   I had many women tell me this when I toured the country with my first book, “The Woman’s Business Therapist.” One woman had told me her whole life she felt as if she could never fill the emptiness. Now a senior, she realizes why. She had abandoned her education for marriage. Why couldn’t she have had both? Men do.  


Throughout my life I felt as if I was being strangled by such demands. I did my best to untangle their grasp. The mixed messages for women amounted to being a good wife and mother. The man is the head of the household and breadwinner, meaning his needs and wants are more important than yours.

 Oh, oh. My mistake? I began making more money than my now ex- husband. 

 I was to have his dinner on the table when he came home from work. I often begrudgingly did.

 Oh, oh. I hate to cook. 


Never refuse to have sex with him. (Honestly, my father’s mother told me this when I first got married.) 


Oh. Oh. I failed again.

Really, I tried to do what was expected. All my friends were already married, what was I to do?

First, I married a hippie and had a baby. Oh, oh, the two-year marriage ended in divorce.

So, why not try again. Another marriage, another child. This time the disaster lasted twenty-one years. He was a cheat and a womanizer. No more oh, oh. Only good riddance!

 A couple years later in therapy, I commented, “He was lucky I didn’t kill him.”     

The voice of reason calmly asked, “What good would that have done?”   


I not so calmly shouted, “I could have hung his head on the wall, same as when someone shoots a deer and hangs it on their wall.”     

“You might need more therapy,” the therapist replied.      

Me: “No, I feel great about the idea!”

My parents had wanted me to marry a nice Jewish boy and live in a beautiful house in a beautiful neighborhood. At least my mother surely did. I hadn’t met her expectations. Neither did my father.

How is it possible to meet our parents’ expectations when our ambitions and interests are far different than theirs? My mother’s own disappointments created her dreams for what I might become, how I might live my adult life. I never felt my father had those same expectations. He was, however, disappointed with the two men I married. We both were.    

The thing is, we women had mixed messages and expectations in our heads, voices shouting at us, holding us back from stepping outside the box women were told they fit into. I often refused to listen to those voices. I didn’t make my life easy. 

I wanted to live a life beyond the ordinary. Have I paid a price for my wanting to live differently than what was expected of a woman of my generation? Probably so. Mostly, it’s been worth it to me. It would have been lovely to be married to the right man for me—one who would have been as supportive and proud of me as I would have been of him.

Constantly pushing myself to succeed. I found myself in situations where I was financially responsible for my sons, their education, and my own needs. But I did it. My dad’s voice was in my head. “Never be a quitter.” 

I’ve hardly ever told anyone about the time I was asked to run for Congress in NYC—a “no” I have regretted.

 Wow, my dad would have been thrilled.

About the Author:

Marcia Rosen is an award-winning author of twelve books including nine mysteries, the most recent is An Agatha, Raymond, Sherlock, and Me Mystery: Murder at the Zoo. She is also the author of The Senior Sleuths, the Dying to Be Beautiful Mystery Series, and The Gourmet Gangster: Mysteries and Menus (Menus by her son Jory Rosen). She wrote The Woman’s Business Therapist and My Memoir Workbook and has given Memoir Writing presentations and classes for close to twenty years. Her Memoir Blog can be found on her website. For twenty-five years she was owner of a successful national marketing and public relations agency. 

Marcia has frequently been a featured speaker at organization meetings, bookstores, libraries, and Zoom Programs presenting talks on Encouraging the Writer Within You, Marketing for Authors, Writing Mysteries…Not A Mystery and A Memoir Detective…Writing Your Life Story. She has also helped numerous writers develop and market their books.

She is a member of Sisters in Crime, Southwest Writers, New Mexico Book Association, Public Safety Writer’s Association, International Memoir Writer’s Association, Women’s National book Association and National Association of Independent Writers and Editors—for which she is also a board member.


Marcia Rosen will award a $25 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Thank you for featuring MY GANGSTER FATHER AND ME! today.

  2. I've been a fan of Marcia Rosen for quite some time.

  3. Definitely looking forward to reading this memoir.

  4. I can imagine that the lessons would be very interesting.

  5. Seems like this will be a classic book!

  6. This sounds like an interesting memoir. The over sets the stage for the book.

  7. Thank you all so much for wonderful comments, I loved and angst over writing it.


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