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A Tale of Two Sisters Blog

We support, celebrate, and teach writers.


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For Immediate Release 

April 18, 2018                                                                                                Contact:  Elizabeth Atkins



Former Chief Judge Marylin E. Atkins and daughters who founded Two Sisters Writing & Publishing company write books about race, religion, and family life in Okemos

OKEMOS — A family that once lived in Okemos will celebrate the Mother’s Day season with a triple book signing event featuring “A Mother and Two Daughters: A Family of Writers.”

The event will be at 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 10, 2018 at Schulers Bookstore, 1982 Grand River Avenue (in Meridian Mall), Okemos, MI 48864.  The event is free and open to the public.

Judge Marylin E. Atkins and her daughters, Elizabeth Ann Atkins and Catherine M. Atkins Greenspan, will autograph books that they each authored.  The books were published by Two Sisters Writing & Publishing, a company founded by Elizabeth and Catherine in 2016.

Their stories, both fiction and nonfiction, were partially inspired by the seven years that the family lived in Okemos, between 1980 and 1987.  The family moved there from Oak Park, Michigan when Marylin became a lawyer, working for the Legislative Service Bureau and the Attorney General, before being appointed by Governor James Blanchard as Chair of the Worker’s Compensation Appeal Board.  Her husband and the girls’ father, Thomas Lee Atkins, worked for the State of Michigan.

Here are the books that the Atkins women will speak about and sign during the event:

The Triumph of Rosemary by Judge Marylin E. Atkins. A mixed-race baby in Detroit rejected by her white relatives triumphs over abuse by her adoptive mother, as well as racism and scorn for marrying a Catholic priest who was white and 25 years older, then becomes an attorney, mother of two daughters, and the longest-serving Chief Judge in the history of Detroit’s 36th District Court. 

Veronica, I Heard Your Mom’s Black by Catherine M. Greenspan. A14-year-old biracial girl navigates the tough terrain of friends, boys, school, and family, illustrating the many identity issues that multiracial kids experience.  This is the first novel in The Veronica Series.

Veronica Talks to Boys by Catherine M. Greenspan. A 14-year-old biracial girl explores her identity in the context of confusing comments and behavior by the boy who takes her to the school dance.

Race Home, Veronica by Catherine M. Greenspan.  A 15-year-old biracial girl goes on summer vacation with her best friend, but feels trapped and scared when her friend’s family reveals its racist beliefs, bad language, and behavior.

Dark Secret by Elizabeth Ann Atkins. In this fast-paced, suspenseful novel, a beautiful biracial woman is passing for white and living the glamorous life in New York City, while engaged to the son of a rich Virginia senator; she ignores her sister’s pleas to save their black mother’s life in Detroit, sparking a national scandal of sex and race.

The Atkins women are unique because the company owned by the two daughters published the mother’s book (which she wrote herself), while all three of them are published authors.

“We grew up watching our father journal at the dining room table,” recalls Catherine, referencing their father, Thomas Lee Atkins, who died in 1990.  Both Catherine and Elizabeth earned bachelor of arts degrees in English Literature from the University of Michigan.  Catherine has a master’s in Writing from the University of San Francisco and Elizabeth has a master’s in Journalism from Columbia University.

After attending Saginaw Valley State University, their mother attended the University of Detroit School of Law, and became the longest-serving Chief Judge in the history of Detroit’s 36th District Court.

While living on Kingswood Drive in Okemos, Elizabeth and Catherine attended Okemos High School, where they were A students.   Their father was active with the Lansing Master’s Swim Club as well as the local Sons of the American Revolution chapter, for which he served as State Chaplain.  Marylin was an avid runner around the five-mile square bounded by Okemos Road, Kinawa Drive, Dobie Road, and Hamilton.

Elizabeth also co-hosts the award-winning MI Healthy Mind TV show, which airs every Sunday at 8:30 a.m. on Lansing’s Fox 47, exploring mental health and addiction.  She was a summer intern at The Lansing State Journal in 1989, and vividly remembers watching Tiananmen Square happen on a TV on her desk.

Judge Atkins, Elizabeth Ann Atkins, and Catherine M. Atkins Greenspan are available for media interviews, speaking engagements, and book signings.

You can also call Schuler Books at 517-349-8840 or visit SchulerBooksFamilyAffair.


Catherine Greenspan