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A word from Alretha

The Facebook Family That Votes Together Stays Together

The Facebook Family That Votes Together Stays Together
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This past Sunday I received an email from Author Shout, an online website that "Connects authors and readers around the world." In the email I was informed that my new novel, MARRIED IN THE NICK OF NINE, had been nominated for best book cover, along with four other novels. It went on to say that the winner’s book would be named Book of the Week, would get a feature listing on all of Author Shout’s site pages, would be shared across multiple social media platforms, and would be sent out in a spotlight in Author shout’s newsletter and more. Of course being the promotional addict that I am, I was thrilled thinking about possibly winning. I immediately logged onto the website and noticed that there was one book leading the pack. So I got busy and put the word out to my Facebook Family! Initially the votes began to trickle in and then more and more people got on board. By Sunday evening I was still trailing behind by twenty points. It seemed as if no matter what I did, I couldn’t close the gap. Monday I was still lagging. I wanted to give up, but my Facebook Famil...
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4737 Hits

God in the Midst of Garbage and Gore

God in the Midst of Garbage and Gore
Yesterday I downloaded a copy of Michelle Knight’s book, "Finding Me." It’s a harrowing account of the eleven years she, Amanda Berry, and Gina DeJesus were held captive by Ariel Castro. Although Amanda and Gina are mentioned, the story is Michelle’s story and told from her point of view. Like most Americans, I was riveted to the screen when news broke about the kidnappings and Amanda’s escape that led to Michelle and Gina being rescued. A resident of California, I had never heard of any of the three young women nor did I know they had been kidnapped. The tragic incident was something straight out of a horror movie. After a few months had passed, there was talk about the women writing a book about what they had gone through. Immediately I made a decision that I wouldn’t read any of their books. I just couldn’t bear to read –let alone imagine what had happened over the eleven-year period. However, while searching for my next read, I stumbled upon Michelle’s memoir. Something tugged at my heart, and I knew I had to read her story. From the first page I was hook...
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3057 Hits

My Angel (Maya Angelou)

My Angel (Maya Angelou)
The free bird leaps on the back of the wind and floats downstream Till the current ends and dips his wings in the orange sun rays And dares to claim the sky. T he aforementioned stanza from Maya Angelou’s acclaimed poem, I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings , came to mind when I heard about her passing this morning. As the news of her death echoed around the world, I imagined her spirit taking flight and soaring through the sky, daring to claim it as her own. A gifted author and poet, she was a national treasure, an icon, and an inspiration to countless people around the world. The first time I heard her speak, I was mesmerized by her melodious voice laced in wisdom and experience. I immediately sensed she was someone I not only wanted to listen to— but someone I needed to listen to. Her legendary poems still resonate with me today. As I grow older, I often reflect on her poem Phenomenal Woman . She reminds me in that poem that my beauty is not what I wear on my head or the makeup I paint on my face or the clothes I wear. It’s in the reach of my arms, The spa...
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3512 Hits

"I Shot My Wife"

"I Shot My Wife"
    According to media reports, those were the four words actor Michael Jace told an operator when he called 911 to report that he had shot his wife, April. Prior to the story breaking, I had never heard of Michael Jace. I watch very little episodic television, so I was unaware of his numerous television roles.   What gave me pause was the charge that he had allegedly shot his wife. In fact, anytime I hear of stories about domestic abuse, it gets my attention. The last thing you expect to hear from a husband is that he shot his wife. “I love my wife.” “My wife is pretty.” “My wife is everything.” Those are the kind of words you’d expect to hear from a husband--not, “I shot my wife.” Apparently, Michael had been experiencing financial woes and many speculate that the later was an impetus for his meltdown. Recently, reports of alleged prior acts of violence against his ex-wife have surfaced. What would cause a man to shoot his wife multiple times? Domestic violence is as old as time immemorial, and the devastating ripple effect it has on society ...
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3341 Hits

Billionaire Bigot

Billionaire Bigot
  While surfing the Internet last week I came across the TMZ story about Donald Sterling’s leaked conversation wherein he and his girlfriend are having a heated conversation about her posting photos of herself with Black people on Instagram.   I can’t say that I was shocked, because this isn’t the first time, nor will it be the last time some well-known person’s racist views are made public. It was just a day or so before Donald was outed, that Clive Bundy, the Nevada rancher, was headline news due to his racist rant. And then there was Paula Dean and the list goes on. But what puts Donald in a class of his own is the paradoxical nature of the situation at hand. Either he is schizophrenic or he has a serious case of cognitive dissonance.   1)       Donald’s girlfriend is Hispanic and Black. 2)       Donald is the owner of the Clippers, a Los Angeles basketball team that’s made up of predominately Black players. 3)       The coach of the Clippers is Black. 4)  &...
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3310 Hits

Everlasting Editing

Everlasting Editing
As some of you may know who follow my blog, this past January I landed a four-book deal with Soul   Mate Publishing for my Cass & Nick series. The first book in the series, “Married in the Nick of Nine,” will be released in early July. But before that happens, there’s work to be done. The first item on the to-do list is editing. Yes, Deborah Gilbert at Soul Mate Publishing was impressed with my writing and my story, but in the publishing world, a good editor will work with you to take your book to the next level. Sometimes this can entail some serious heavy lifting. It’s so heavy that the process is referred to as rounds. Round, 1, 2, 3, etc. When I received the redlined copy of my manuscript a couple of weeks ago, the subject line of the email said Round 1. That phrase conjured up images of a boxing match. Would the process involve my editor and me duking it out over manuscript changes? Did that mean that if I didn’t agree with a comment or change, I’d have to fight to get what I wanted? Leave it to the lush imagination of a writer. No, none of the ...
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  3692 Hits
3692 Hits

Sofa Wars

Sofa Wars
(The above is not our actual sofa) Eleven days ago Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared and has not been seen or heard of since, in spite of worldwide search efforts. Yesterday Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a treaty on Crimea joining the Russian Federation —an act the West has called a violation of international law. Yes, there’s much afoot in the world, so when I sat down at my computer this morning to write a blog about the painstaking process of buying a sofa, I felt my topic was insipid at best and, at worst, would receive a thousand thumb- downs. But in spite of my reluctance, I felt compelled to vent about my search for the ever- elusive sofa. The sofa we have now is over twenty years old. In fact, I bought it before I knew my husband even existed. Actually it’s not a sofa, it’s a loveseat.   We threw the sofa out going on a year ago. It was beyond worn-out and we had to make room for my husband’s baby grand piano. Now the loveseat is on its last leg and needs replacing. Every time I go to sit on it, I get a sinking feeling in my stom...
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3609 Hits

The Plane

The Plane
Anytime I hear “The Plane” uttered, I can’t help but think about the 70’s television series, “Fantasy Island.” The character Tattoo would shout, “The Plane” at the beginning of each episode to announce the arrival of a new set of guests. But today “The Plane” has taken on a whole new meaning—an ominous, mysterious meaning. The plane I speak of today is the one that’s being talked about around the world. Where is Malaysia Airlines Flight 370? As I’m sure you know by now, it disappeared five days ago and despite countless search efforts with state of the art technology, we are still clueless as to the whereabouts of it and the 239 people who are on board. Like me and the talking heads in the media, you probably have your own theories. I’ve bounced around a few ideas, and they’re all bone-chilling. Was the plane hijacked? Perhaps the hijackers have rerouted the plan to a deserted land mass and in a few days the authorities will be contacted and demands will be made. I’m not sure how the families would react to such news. However, knowing their love ones could po...
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  3511 Hits
3511 Hits

Saving Daylight

Saving Daylight
In case you haven’t heard, it’s time to move our clocks forward. An easy way to remember is we spring forward and fall backward. So this Sunday don’t forget to move your clocks ahead by an hour. I have to admit, I didn’t even know Daylight Saving Time was upon us. I just happened to notice a reminder sign in the store located in the building where I work. There are a lot of pros and cons to this tradition that was initially proposed by a man named George Vernon Hudson in 1895. Since that time, many countries have used it at various times, most consistently since the energy crises of the 1970s. In my humble opinion, if we did away with the practice, I don’t think it would be a deal breaker.   In fact, I’m not surprised we haven’t banned it all together. I’m sure the countless people who will show up late to church this Sunday and late to work on Monday, might be willing to sign a petition. On the other hand, I do like the idea of it being daylight when I get home. At present, when I leave the house a little after five in the morning, it’s still dark out, ...
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  3097 Hits
3097 Hits

When Giving Pays Big Dividends

When Giving Pays Big Dividends
Last week I received an email on Facebook from an author named Charles Burgess with a request to read his new novel titled “Balllin’ the Last Dribble.”   He’s still in the editing phase and asked that I review the book and provide him with a blurb for the cover.   His request gave me pause because at the present time my cup overfloweth with projects. I work a 9-5 job, I commute 370 miles a week, I just released my latest Indie novel “Four Ladies Only” and I am deeply engrossed in promotions. I just signed a four-book deal with Soul Mate Publishing for my Cass and Nick series which includes, “Married in the Nick of Nine,” coming this summer, “The Baby in the Window,” “One Harte, Two Loves” and “Renee’s Return.”   In a minute I’m going to be working with my new editor getting “Married in the Nick of Nine” ready for publication and then I’m going to be embarking upon an aggressive advertising campaign. Additionally, I am directing a play I wrote called “Sacrificing Simone.” It will be coming to a theater near you this summer as well. I also have a...
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  3314 Hits
3314 Hits




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