Soul Survivor explores the depths of human emotions, both real and imagined. That any of us reach adulthood in one piece, emotionally or physically is a miracle of no small proportion. That any of us reach adulthood to contribute back to society and become highly respected in the community is truly a gift of time and place.

Soul Survivor is a true story of fortitude, an iron will and looking to the future in the hope that tomorrow will be better than today. Soul Survivor is nothing less than a story of triumph.  “Little Mary” spent her childhood living, playing, and working in a funeral home. Her mother “Big Mary” was co-owner of a well known and respected mortuary in the African-American community in Los Angeles, CA. Little Mary’s story tells what really happens behind the embalming room doors- the light and dark side of life. Soul Survivor is both humorous and mischievous, and talks of sex, murder, voodoo, phony preachers and deviate gravediggers.

Famous entertainers that passed through Little Mary’s life include Redd Foxx, Lou Rawls, Sam Cooke, Billy Preston and Johnnie Cochran.

Little Mary was born in Shreveport, LA and reared in Los Angeles, CA. Often disparagingly referred to as “high-yellow.” During the racial tensions of the ‘50s and ‘60s Little Mary found her hue to be a major issue but not her only problem.  Mary’s mother caused her to endure life threatening situations due to her drinking and wild ways. Little Mary’s childhood experiences, the mental and physical abuse faced each day, led her to believe that her only true friends were the dead people in the funeral home. Indeed, Little Mary received a BS degree (Be Smart) at an early age. It was the only way she knew to survive.

Little Mary’s story is an unlikely but revealing peek into the unexpected and in the end, truly a story of a Soul Survivor. 



Gripping, Compelling Story, Ending with a Twist.

From the author of Soul Survivor comes a riveting work of fiction that’s based on an actual event.  Author Mary Ross Smith invites readers to get to know the characters in the story for they may actually be individuals seen and met in some of the communities.  

SOS is not a cry for help, but rather a warning, a warning for all to open their eyes and really see the people they encounter everyday.

SOS introduces readers to an intriguing ensemble of characters that portray real people, immoral lifestyles, and seemingly fine individuals.  

This compelling story takes them to some incidents that would let them realize and experience the consequences of their actions.  In a story that unveils a life of deception and betrayal, change and conversion, and more, readers will meet Eva, Rev. Andrews, Mr. Charles, Pearl, Sergeant Houston, Fred, Flo, and others whose lives are entwined because of the circumstances and community they are in.

Reverend Andrews has his immoral ways; despite his being a Pastor, he gives little thought to the negative effect his lifestyle has on his followers.  

Mr. Charles, the embalmer of a well-known mortuary, finds that someone is coming into the embalming room after hours, and seeks help from Sergeant Houston.  Eva, owner of the mortuary and wife of Reverend Andrews, has her own deep dark secrets that threaten the life she has deftly created. 

Together with the other characters, they will witness a Pandora’s Box of lies, sex, greed, and deceit open before their very eyes.  

SOS is an intricately woven story that may present a common issue, but one that’s not readily spoken about.  

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Content copyright 2017.Mary Ross Smith
All rights reserved.




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Soul Survivor

P.O. Box 74484, Phoenix, AZ 85087, US