What The Heart Murmurs

What The Heart Murmurs

by Marion Cohen


Publisher CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Published in Romance/Contemporary, Literature & Fiction/Contemporary, Romance, Literature & Fiction

Are you an AUTHOR? Click here to include your books on

Book Description

Mara Berg’s choices might not have always made sense to the rest of the world, but she believes they’ve served her well. They’ve led her to a career she’s found fulfilling and worthwhile—and into the arms of the love of her life, Jack Holden.

The story of an intelligent, passionate, and sensitive woman and her quest to make peace with her life’s choices and the people involved in them, What the Heart Murmurs is a sophisticated look at modern understandings of love, marriage, and career.

Sample Chapter

Even though it was a bitter cold evening in mid-December, Mara‘s home was sparkling with a warm promise of romance. It always did when she was anticipating a visit from Jack. The fireplace was aglow and beautifully scented candles were lit in almost every room. Mara, wearing her favorite fuchsia satin nightshirt, was sitting on her sage green couch and was waiting. She was waiting for Jack. It seemed that she had spent a lifetime always waiting for her life to take flight, for there to be a true beginning. But instead as she sat curled up on one corner of the couch, she gave her mind permission to recollect the path her life had taken. It had been a succession of starts and stops, constant interruptions, circumstances always getting between Mara and what she envisioned for herself. Mara thought of her life as a series of beginnings and endings, always missing the middle part. It was her belief, that the middle parts were what everyone enjoyed the most. In the middle one could rest assured and bask in the comfort of feeling secure. In the last couple of years, Mara felt she was finally approaching a middle part, but something always abruptly emerged to change the direction and the course of her life. Maybe that happened to everyone. But from all appearances, her life seemed so drastically unconventional from most.

Mara always enjoyed creating a mood so that she and Jack could relax and respond to each other in a most loving manner. This is what Jack came to expect. Mara’s home was his secret hideaway from the world. He could lose himself there. The cares of the world disappeared whenever he sank back onto that soft suede couch in Mara’s living room. Mara knew that Jack felt totally at ease in her home. Jack could become a different person when he was with Mara. On occasion he could reveal parts of himself to her that he dared not share with anyone else. But on this night, he was not to feel the comfort or the consolation that was always afforded to him at his private hideaway. For on this particular night, Mara was about to shake up the world Jack had come to feel so secure in over their years together.

It was shortly after 7pm when the doorbell rang. Mara knew it was Jack. The distinct sound of his car was like a warning signal that in a matter of moments Mara would be content in Jack’s arms. Still, after so many years, her heart would feel like it skipped a beat. How fortunate Mara thought she was that the mere sound of Jack’s car could elicit such a response. When Mara opened the door, there he was, as always, looking at her, there with his magnificent smile. His was a powerful smile. It could transform any of Mara’s melancholy moods in a split second. His hug blanketed her and made Mara feel that the world and her world in particular, were as it should be. After they kissed at the door they spent a moment just reading each other’s faces. This was no ordinary love story.

Mara was impatient and did not want to spend their limited time speaking of mundane subjects. She had something on her mind and needed to quickly blurt it out. Mara took a deep breath and made her announcement to Jack. Mara, looking directly into Jack’s eyes, told him that she had been contemplating and was now ready to write a story about their inter-woven lives. The words were difficult for Mara to speak. Over the years she had grown accustomed to not revealing many of her feelings that she surmised Jack would have difficulty accepting. She filtered many of her thoughts as she instinctively recognized which feelings would cause Jack to become uncomfortable. At first he was quiet, pensive, and then slowly his face began to display an expression of utter fear. Jack was very happy with his secret life with Mara. He had always felt secure that she would never reveal to anyone the intricacy of how they managed to weave an intimate relationship over a lifetime, given that Jack, as he always claimed, was happily married.

Mara, who for nearly thirty years, managed to keep their secret most of the time, was weary and longed for those who passed in and out of her life, to know that she was in fact passionately connected to a loving man, more than anymore would ever have expected. Although Mara confided in her closest friends from time to time, she finally wanted out of the constraints of what had been so much more than an affair. Now, even at the risk of losing Jack, Mara had the need to finally reveal the path that she did choose for her life.

Jack sat next to Mara on the couch. Usually they chatted about the daily occurrences of their lives since they had last seen each other. Jack would bring Mara up to date on his sons’ lives. They were adults now and both married. When Mara and Jack began their dance, his sons were toddlers. In an odd way, Mara felt very proud of those two boys, Colin and Michael. It was as if she felt she had a role in their lives. Perhaps because Mara always believed that it was her willingness to keep the relationship with their father a secret that both boys grew up in what was for the world to view, a happy family. That sense of portraying a happy family to the world was of utmost importance to Jack. Early on, Jack always told Mara how critical his family’s happiness was to him and how he never wanted to hurt them or Mara. So during that early time of their alliance, Mara put the reality of Jack having a wife far away in the recesses of her brain and instead concentrated on how wonderful she felt looking into those intriguing blue-green eyes. She fell for Jack in a way she never had expected.

But now, Mara was determined to finally free herself of the layers of her life that she had been carrying seemingly alone for all these years. Maybe because she loved Jack so much and for so long, that she could no longer keep the world out. Mara wanted everyone to know, even those that certainly had suspected that she and Jack shared something so unusual, that it was able to sustain both of them for such a long time. After all, she in her late fifties now and he in his sixties still looked at each other like they did thirty years ago when both were so much younger. Their connection began with passion, grew with passion and Mara hoped at this point in time some of the passion had given way to a deep love that might help Jack understand Mara’s desire to finally tell the story of their time together.

So Mara took a leap of faith and continued her conversation with Jack and said,

“Jack, I want to write a story about our time together.”

Still looking directly into Jack’s eyes, she continued,

“I have loved you for so much of my life and I still love you at this very moment, and I must tell this story. I need to free myself from the silence of my life and if I can’t reveal our wondrous connection to those who stumble in and out in our lives face to face, then I can in a book.”

She waited for what seemed the longest moments of time for him to respond.


Excerpted from "What The Heart Murmurs" by Marion Cohen. Copyright © 2015 by Marion Cohen. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Thanks for reading!

Join BookDaily now and receive featured titles to sample for free by email.
Reading a book excerpt is the best way to evaluate it before you spend your time or money.

Just enter your email address and password below to get started:


Your email address is safe with us. Privacy policy
By clicking ”Get Started“ you agree to the Terms of Use. All fields are required

Instant Bonus: Get immediate access to a daily updated listing of free ebooks from Amazon when you confirm your account!

Author Profile

Marion Cohen

Marion Cohen

Marion Cohen was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. She attended Kean University, where she earned a BA in mathematics before receiving her M Ed from Rutgers University. She enjoyed a very gratifying career teaching mathematics for thirty-six years at the secondary level and at a community college.

View full Profile of Marion Cohen

Amazon Reviews