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A word from Alretha

A Penny For Her Heart

A Penny For Her Heart
  Well, I’ve done it again. I’ve given birth to another literary baby.  This one is called “A Penny For Her Heart.” She’s the third book in my standalone Detective Rachel Storme series.  She’ll be coming into the world July 2017. And I am her proud mother. For those of you who have actually conceived and given birth to flesh and blood babies, please know that I’m aware that giving birth to literature pales in comparison to giving birth to a human being. However, there are many similarities. Like a child, a novel starts as a little seed. For me, it’s a thought, an idea, a hunch. It starts deep within.  That’s how the idea for “A Penny For Her Heart,” began.  It’s the story about Penny and Vanessa, two best friends on the same career trajectory. They both want to be chief of staff for the POTUS, and they’re both working in City Hall in a small town, working their way up the political ladder. Unfortunately, Vanessa finds her best friend, Penny, murdered at work. Their dreams suddenly become nightmares. Like a child, the story slowly deve...
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2115 Hits

A Look Back At My Eighteen-Year Literary Journey

A Look Back At My Eighteen-Year Literary Journey
Eighteen years ago I wrote my first novel—a coming-of-age story loosely based on my childhood called Daughter Denied .  I had no idea what I was doing. What I did know is that this story had been bubbling up inside me for many years and that it was time to give birth to my first child. After completing numerous drafts, I believed that my novel was agent-worthy. With that in mind, I began submitting my book. Eighteen years ago agents only accepted hard copy submissions. I went through a lot of trees and postage. After a year of submitting, I acquired over a hundred rejection letters. The reasons varied from canned responses to specifics such as, “You have a great story idea, but you seem to be struggling with structure.” I was struggling with more than structure. I finally decided to stop submitting and to work on my craft. Penning a book is very different than writing news copy (I graduated from USC with a degree in journalism). With that said, I shelved my book while I learned the art of writing a novel. Nine years later, in 2008, I decided to self-publ...
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  2375 Hits
2375 Hits

Rebirth of Our Nation

Rebirth of Our Nation
Earlier in the week, I had decided today I would treat myself to the movies.  I’ve been like a mother hen all week, watching over the launch of my tenth baby, LOSING LAUREN.  The second novel in my Detective Rachel Storme series is now available on Amazon. In addition to the launch, I’ve been ensconced in myriad activities involving my budding acting career. In case you didn’t know, after retiring from Corporate America this past February, I made a foray into acting. Actually, I’ve returned to acting after being away for two decades. Okay, let me get back to the movies. It was a toss-up between The Girl on the Train and The Birth of a Nation. Like a true Libra, I vacillated more than what was necessary until I finally decided to see The Birth of a Nation.  Regarding The Girl on the Train, I read the novel, so that kind of killed it for me (no pun intended) when it comes to any onscreen suspense. I know who did it and why. Regarding The Birth of a Nation, like you, I’ve seen the countless interviews Nate Parker has endured regarding the rape cas...
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  2635 Hits
2635 Hits

Losing Lauren

Losing Lauren
  In less than two weeks, LOSING LAUREN, the second book in my Detective Rachel Storme Mystery Series will be available on Amazon.com. To say that I’m excited is a prodigious understatement. Justice for Jessica, the first book in the series, is doing well and has captured the imagination of fervid mystery readers around the world, many of whom have been clamoring for a second installment.  Well, the waiting will soon be over! LOSING LAUREN, like its predecessor, features the feisty, smart as a whip baby boomer Detective Rachel Storme, her supervisor Herb Jones, and her co-workers, Victor Sanchez and Carlos Ramirez.  However, there’s a new juicy mind-bending conundrum to solve with a new cast of possible suspects. Lauren Waters is an A-list award-winning actress who goes missing in the style of Gone Girl.  But is it Gone Girl? Is Lauren missing, dead, or has she run away? These are the questions that Detective Storme is determined to answer. In her quest to find the truth she takes no prisoners (no pun intended), including Lauren’s cousin, ...
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  2933 Hits
2933 Hits

Dare to Dream and Leap into the Life You Were Meant to Live

Dare to Dream and Leap into the Life You Were Meant to Live
  Six months ago I was spending the majority of my waking hours driving the freeways of Los Angeles. Actually, I did this for fourteen years while working on my last two day jobs that were both located in Century City. Monday through Friday at 4:50 a.m., I would awake to my ringing alarm and invariably I would turn over and hit the snooze button, not wanting to leave the comfort of my warm bed. I dreaded the inevitable two-hour drive west on the 10 freeway, not knowing what I might encounter on the way. Would I become the victim of road rage or some drunken driver? Thankfully, God spared me. Once I made it to the other side of town, I would spend eight hours each day, answering phones, setting up meetings, completing expense reports—honest, but mind-numbing work. The truth of the matter was is that while I roamed the halls of my corporate job, visions of writing my books full time and acting danced through my head. Don’t get me wrong, I was grateful to be employed, to have a job, but I had reached a point in my life that I wanted more than a job, I wante...
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  2895 Hits
2895 Hits

Deciding Who Did It

Deciding Who Did It
  Who Shot JR? If you were living on planet earth in 1980, that question will resonate with you. It’s the advertising catchphrase that CBS created to promote the TV series, Dallas. It refers to the mystery surrounding a murder attempt against the character J.R.  Ewing—one of television’s most despicable and hated characters on TV at that time. After eight months, CBS revealed the culprit and an unprecedented 83 million people, 76% of all U.S. viewers, tuned in to find out who shot JR. However, the Who Shot JR episode failed to eclipse the viewership of another epic U.S. mystery—Who murdered Nicole Simpson and Ron Goldman? Ninety-five million Americans watched live television news coverage of the low-speed chase involving O.J. Simpson. Everyone loves a good mystery, and a lot of mystery buffs pride themselves on being able to figure out who did it before the detective in the novel they’re reading does. As a mystery writer, I take great pains in keeping readers guessing until the very end. Invariably, when I’m a guest author at a book club meeting, I’...
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  3185 Hits
3185 Hits

The Quiet Before the Storme

The Quiet Before the Storme
    Thank you, but no, that’s not a typo. I meant Storme, as in Rachel Storme, the detective in my new mystery series. The first book in the series, Justice for Jessica, is now available on Amazon, and I’m pleased to say that the reviews are excellent.  One reviewer by the name of Dee said the following: You are taken through a whirlwind of possible suspects and grow increasingly fascinated as you get deeper into the story and realize Jessica may have had her own secrets that she was keeping. This story reminded me of another book I loved which was "The Girl on the Train" while keeping to a totally separate storyline altogether and that is how great Justice for Jessica is. I am so excited about getting this book out to readers. Justice for Jessica, like all my books, is my baby, and I have fallen in love with my two protagonists—Stacey Sullivan and Rachel Storme. The story is told in alternating voices from each of their points of view. Stacy Sullivan, Jessica’s BFF, is a millennial married to a jerk. She’s desperately trying to find her own vo...
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  2727 Hits
2727 Hits

Undecided

Undecided
  This year’s presidential race brings to mind Matthew 22:14: “For many are called, but few are chosen.”  According to Wikipedia, at the outset, there were twenty republican presidential candidates and fourteen democratic presidential candidates. That’s a total of thirty-four candidates. Add seventeen more, and you’d have fifty-one, a candidate for every state. The number is astounding and unprecedented. At present it’s dwindled down to six republican candidates and two democratic candidates. Many have fallen by the wayside due to a lack of support and or finances.  Remaining on the republican side are Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, John Kasich and Ben Carson. Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are the remaining democrats. I’m far from being a political junkie, but his year’s race that includes a billionaire business man with a penchant for speaking his mind, a neurosurgeon, another Bush, another Clinton and an unabashed socialist, has gotten my attention. The last time I found myself this engaged was during the 2008 presidentia...
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2614 Hits

Life Begins In Retirement

  I only have four more days to work before I retire from corporate America.   It’s not only a dream come true, but it’s a miracle. For the past thirty years I have suited up and shown up for my nine- to-five gigs. Over those three decades I have worked at five major corporations—the longest for twelve years. I often fantasized about being free do what I love—write books, direct and produce plays and act, but I never actually thought it would become a reality. I figured I’d have to hit the lottery for that to happen. Someone once said, “There is no one giant step that does it. It’s a lot of little steps.” So no, hitting the lottery didn’t afford me to retire, but stepping out of bed, out of the house, into the car, and into the office every day for 7,200 days, 57,600 hours, keeping my debt nominal, saving my money, and keeping the faith in my Creator, has resulted in me being able to leave the work force and enter the world of dreams. It’s interesting the responses you get when you tell people you’re going to retire. Immediately, eyes get wide, brow...
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  2632 Hits
2632 Hits

Giving Birth to My 9th Child

Giving Birth to My 9th Child
    I apologize for my absence, but I’ve been writing and editing for the past six months—consulting with my development editor and my beta readers. Finally, I’ve given birth to another literary baby. I’m so excited about this new work, and I can’t wait to introduce it to the world. However, depending on the outcome, it may be a while before I can do the latter. It’s my dream to land a traditional book deal for my baby and that’s more than a notion. It’s definitely a process.   At the present time, I’m seeking literary representation. In order to get the attention of the big publishing houses, I need an agent to advocate on my behalf. I need someone to fall in love with and believe in my baby. The search for an agent can be elusive at best and maddening at worst. Writing is so subjective, and one person’s literary masterpiece can be another person’s literary monstrosity. I’m hoping my work won’t fall in the latter category. So far I’ve sent out a handful of query letters, and I’m waiting to get responses. Agents sometimes respond with silence a...
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  2867 Hits
2867 Hits




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