Journey's blog

What would I change differently?

 

 

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What would I change after losing my husband, Richie and my daughter, Lori, from their alcohol and drug abuse? I’ve been asked that question numerous times.

There will never be any doubt in my mind that Alcoholism is a family disease. We are all affected. I don’t believe in the programs for AA members to go in one room, Al-Anon family mates in another, and the teenagers with Alateen behind the third, closed door. 

Then I was told to let the alcoholic go their own way until they reach rock bottom, or come to their senses that they have a problem. Lori and Richie, along with any substance abuser, should never be left to reach rock bottom. My families rock bottom was their death.

We need to stop and listen to what each of us needs to recover. We can’t learn anything if we do all the talking. Is this easy? No, but it’s a start. Enabling, yelling, accusing, and doing nothing is unhealthy and our loved ones go deeper into their addiction.

It’s not a time to blame. I also feel if the substance abuser does not want help or make any changes, we have to try to mentally and physically take care of ourselves. Sounds easy. Yeah, try it. 

I believe in the power of prayer. Yes, no one could have said as many rosaries and novenas like I did for them, but God had other plans for them. I hate to admit the fact, the alcoholic has to do the work to recover. We can only love and support them. 

So, my advice is to try listening and talking. Don’t break communication or the demon will win.

My book What is and isn't Working for the Alcoholic and Addict is an educational book for family members of the substance abuser, doctors, counselors, and the public to learn what they feel they need from us to desire taking the steps to recover. The books can be purchased at www.amazon.com/author/albertasequeira

 

Alberta Sequeira

Review on What is and isn't Working for the Alcoholic and Addict

Official Review: What is and isn't Working for the Alcoholic and Addict...

Post Number:#1 by Moniquejm » 21 Jun 2017, 08:43 

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "What is and isn't Working for the Alcoholic and Addict" by Alberta Sequeira.]
 
Book Cover
4 out of 4 stars
Review by Moniquejm
Share This Review
11

What is and isn’t Working for the Alcoholic and Addict by Alberta Sequeira is a non-fiction book. The book has something to do with the life and personal experiences of the author when she lost her husband and daughter because of addiction. The major content of the book was a series of testimonies of different people who experienced and overcome addiction.

I admire the author and those who shared their lives for having the courage in sharing their sufferings and difficulties they went through while recovering. I am very thankful that I have read this book because it helps me understand many things about addiction. This book gave some answers why people involved with addiction. It also gave ideas on how relatives and friends should properly handle and help these addicts overcome their alcohol or drug addiction.

My best experience while reading the book was there were sharing and discussions with my family members and friends. I keep on sharing to them every time I saw a sentence or paragraph that was inspiring or educational for them to learn from this book. From this story, we realized that sometimes the treatment towards the person involved from addiction is not the proper way, sometimes it worsens their situation. I can say that I really have a wonderful time reading this book because there was so much information I gained and I shared to others.

I rate this book What is and isn’t Working for the Alcoholic and Addict 4 out of 4 stars. I highly recommend this book for everyone because the challenges mentioned and lessons from the story can be applied to any difficulties in life. To the family members of those people who are struggling with addiction, I encouraged you to read the book because you will surely learn a lot on how you will handle, understand and support your family member in his/her critical situation. Also, this book provides awareness on the available support systems and other programs that can be extended and applied to achieve faster and higher possibility of addiction recovery.

To those people who are experiencing addiction and those who are currently recovering, I request you to read this book because it will help you a lot. It will open your mind and you will realize many things that will inspire you more to turn your back from alcohol or drug addiction.

******
What is and isn't Working for the Alcoholic and Addict 
View: www.amazon.com/author/albertasequeira

 

 

Talking to men and women inmates at a jail

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I’m due for a second meeting with counselors at the Bristol County Jail in Dartmouth, Massachusetts to share my story of losing my husband, Richard, and my daughter, Lori from their alcohol and drug abuse to their inmates. It will be the first time a family member has ever spoken to them.

It’s a shame from the results of their substance abuse that they are behind bars. But, after losing two family members, I remember back fearing they would kill someone or cause an accident from drinking. More so, do crime to get money to keep their habit going.

If only the ones being helped could realize how lucky they are being there and not on the streets. It’s a time to realize that doctors and counselors want to help you. Millions all over the world may never have the opportunity to have professionals by their sides to recover.

How to achieve recovery? Want it from the heart, more than life itself. Forgive who hurt you and put it in God’s hands. Move on without them. Don’t let a person who caused you harm years back hold you from moving in a healthy direction with getting sober. 

Don’t blame others for where you are in your life with addiction. We all have choices. Don’t be in a program or jail waiting for your time to end to get people off your back with harping on you with using. Don’t look at it as no choice by a court ordering your stay. Don’t take the help only to win back your marriage.

Do it for YOU! If not, you will be back on the streets looking for the drug dealer, who doesn’t care if his pills or needles kill you or you will be in your car going to that party you know will get you on the road of death again. 

CHOICES! A word not to forget every time you are faced with a phone call or personal invite. Which answer will you give? What step will you take? It's easy to take the familiar road instead of struggling up a hill to recover.  CHOICES! They’re yours alone. The one you make will either give you back your pride, health, and happiness. The other will be a shovel digging your grave. 

Alberta Sequeira

My books are in paperback and Kindle at http://amazon.com/author/albertasequeira

Email me with questions at:
is [email protected]

I love receiving emails, and especially, getting a review on Amazon.

 

Addiction is Everywhere

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Al and I just returned from Santa Rosa, California. During that time, we met and spoke with many families and couples. It’s sad to hear how many have lost or are fighting to hold onto their family unit and the addicted member. 

I would love to hear or read that the amount of deaths from this horrible world-wide disease is going down but it seems to get larger in numbers.

In October, I will soon be speaking to the men and woman inmates at the Bristol County Jail in Dartmouth, Massachusetts. This will be my first experience entering a jail. Sad that substance abusers have to be behind bars for their addiction. 

jail cell

The reason for their arrests shows what addiction to alcohol or drugs too long can do to a person. I’ll list a few reasons a person high on either gets jailed: drunk driving, domestic abuse, killings, rape, child abuse, or from disturbing the peace. Many more reasons could be added to the list.

If only the addicted would look into their hearts and face the mirror and admit they have a problem and get help. The recovery steps sound so easy to the nonalcoholic. 

Getting off any habit that will kill is not easy, including throwing out the last cigarette forever. June 4, 2017, my twin brother, Albert, died from years of smoking. In 1990, he had been saved by a doctor from the Mass General Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts from his first lung cancer after they were ready to take his voice box out. The addiction, and his mindset, didn’t stop him from going right back to his habit until the cancer returned and twenty-seven years later, the smoking finally killed him. 

Addiction to any habit is not easy to overcome…but it can be depending on the will of the person addicted to get well and beat the system. Not many. 

With losing my husband, Richard, and my daughter, Lori, I truly believe the number one problem was not being able to admit to being an alcoholic. Second, they both would not talk to a counselor about their past and get what I call the garbage out of them. Third, their past hurts and abuse were kept deep within them and they had no strength or courage to talk about emotions.

To all substance abusers—–there is nothing wrong with you than having a disease or habit you can’t break. It takes more for a person to say they need help than the ones staying on the path of destruction. 

I am a heart patient with my third pacemaker and have diabetes. Sounds like noting to the addicted, but it is. I have to get enough sleep, keep the stress level down stay away from caffeine and get plenty of exercise for the heart. As for the diabetes, I can’t enjoy the pleasure of sweets, pray not to get an injury to my foot or leg, take Coumadin and have to watch for bleeding, I take medicine for both problems and watch which foods interact with the heart and diabetes. I want to live, and live healthy, so I try to stay aware of my actions. Honestly, it sucks!

Let me put it this way to an addict reading this: what if you were in a car accident, and the doctor said, “I’m sorry, but you will never be able to move anything below your neck, walk and will have to be feed and changed the rest or your life”…or, you have been suffering with pain and had to go through medical tests to only find out you are in stage 5 with cancer and have two months to live.

These people can’t do a thing to change their lives. YOU CAN! It takes guts, determination and hard work to reach recovery. Only you can do it. Going back to the same friends who use or meet that drug dealer around the corner is easier than fighting to get sober and clean. If I could have crawled into my daughter’s body to do the work, I would have, but it was all up to her to do the work.

Losing a loved one, or more, from alcohol or drug abuse is a loss a family member can’t explain, because in our eyes, we saw the light to recovery with professional help and family counseling, but the addicted fear the changes and lose faith in themselves. Making changes can be more painful to them and staying in the sick familiar life seems easier.

We HAVE to teach children from first grade up about addiction to over-eating, smoking, and alcohol and drug abuse. In my book What is and isn’t Working for the Alcoholic and Addict, all 34 contributors talk about their usage and damage it did before they recovered. Two women open up about being 5 and 7 years old starting with consuming alcohol watching their parents.

Our children are not ignorant to the bad habits I mentioned. We as parents and teachers should be making this an everyday topic at home and in class. THIS might be the miracle to stop this spread of death. 

Alberta Sequeira
Buy her books at www.amazon.com/author/albertasequeira

Time to Return to my Writing

We all need time to unwind and be away from responsibilities. That’s what Al and I did from September 3rd until the 26th. Off we went to San Diego, California to our exchange with a Time Resort to the Hilton Grand Vacations Club at MarBrisa in Carlsbad, CA. Before then, we never heard of Carlsbad. The resort was beautiful and allowed us to use the Sheraton next door with their pool and restaurants. 

Our next two weeks were spent with his sister in Santa Rosa and time in San Francisco. The weather was perfect with only a few days of high temperatures, which is rare. It’s always great to see the Palm trees and flowers in bloom no matter when you arrive in sunny California. 

Rusty Year Picture:Joe

Now, I’m back to reality and reading over my new Part I to The Rusty Years: The Remembrance of Being Young. Before we left, my editor sent all the corrections and now it’s time to read over the book 2-3 times for corrections and emotions. 

If I self-publish The Rusty Years, the above will be my book cover.

Part II and Part III are all in place with the same work as adding pages and deleting with pulling in the emotional parts. When done, it will be another section for my editor to correct.

Waiting to see if luck comes my way with an agent or publisher, who I contacted in August and September hoping they will contact me with interest to see the manuscript. If no replies by November, I will then publish with Create Space as I did my other five paperback and three handbooks. 

The Rusty Years is a mixture of romance, mystery, heartbreak, and the sadness of Jennie Rose looking back at her life turning ninety-two years old. Her younger days were spent during the 1930’s with the depression and finding her true love, Todd Costa. Her life changes when his old flame, Cathy Blackman, flows back into his life turning things upside down. 

There is a very shocking ending in Part III that pulls everything together that had happened behind the scenes causing Jennie to lose Todd’s love and give their child up for adoption. 

I hope you look forward to reading my first fictional The Rusty Years in the near future.

Alberta Sequeira

See all Alberta’s books at www.amazon.com/author/albertasequeira

The Silent Stages of Alcohol Abuse

The Beginning Signs:

Why do all of us look for excuses for someone’s bad behavior, especially is we are embarrassed by their actions?  When Richard and I had married, his drinking brought me into a world I had never entered.

There was never anyone in my family that overdrank.  My dad was a retired Brigadier General and my parents had their friends from the Army over many times to play cards, along with a few drinks to unwind at the end of the week. No one got out of hand, except sending loud laughter through our home from the group enjoying each other.  Their outburst actually gave me peace and security.

Someone Stop This Merry-Go-Round: An Alcoholic Family in Crisis is my story of how our family suffered from confusion, fright, insecurities, abuse and my winning an award for enabling, which I had no idea helped the alcoholic or drug user go deeper into their addiction.

This is a book of lessons more than reading a memoir.  I describe every detail on what I had put my two daughters, Debbie and Lori, through from not taking action and making demands.  Drinking becomes a problem, when it causes problems.  My poor children, from their young stages in life, had listened to our fights and lived in fear.  In 1985, Richard died at forty-five years of age at the VA Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island from his addiction.

Reviews from Someone Stop This Merry-Go-Round

I’m a recovering alcoholic with a couple decades of 24 hour periods strung together. It’s not often we alcoholics get to see the damage from the loved one’s position as I did in Someone Stop This Merry-Go-Round: An Alcoholic Family in Crisis. ~ John Castelot, WMS, Northeast Planning Associates, Inc.

My Master’s in Counseling Degree covered a huge portion on substance abuse counseling.  I found that I learned a great deal more by reading this story, than I did in reading textbooks.  Someone Stop This Merry-Go-Round: An Alcoholic Family in Crisis is a must read for counselors, alcoholics and family members of alcoholics. ~ Page Lovitt from Reader Views

The Denial:

Please God Not Two: This Killer Called Alcoholism is the sequel to Someone Stop This Merry-Go-Round.

This is a true story in raw form on how I had blinders on not realizing my daughter, Lori, was heading down the same path as her father.  I never believed in my heart that the possibility of losing a second family member from addiction would happen to us.

Yes, the alcoholic has to want help to recover, but tell that to a parent who looks back at the signs we could have seen to help our loved one.  There are too many maybe, if, could have or should have happened runs through our minds.

I wrote some of my talks behind closes doors to alcoholic and drug users in this book. Pages show the torment of watching Lori die in a hospital from the demon returning to get my daughter.  He was not happy with just my husband.

There are so many lessons in these two books for parents and the substance abuser themselves.  Feel the true emotions of alcoholism when it causing the death of our children and mates. This is a must book.

In 2006, Lori died at thirty-seven years old from alcohol abuse at the Charlton Memorial Hospital in Fall River, Massachusetts. 

Reviews from Please, God, Not Two: This Killer Called Alcoholism

Please, God, Not Two: This Killer Called Alcoholism works as a stand-alone, however I recommend you read it and the prequel together to obtain full effect of this poignant story in Someone Stop This Merry-Go-Round: An Alcoholic Family in Crisis.  This is a candid look into alcoholism.  Sequeira makes no excuses for herself or for her daughter.  She writes with the best of intentions—to help others struggling to save a family member caught in the relentless grip of this disease. The information is well presented and Sequeira’s experiences are described with a desperate honesty that will have you reaching for tissues in many scenes.  Highly recommended. ~ William R. Potter for Reader’s Choice Book Review

By Deborah L. Hatfield

Wow!!! This book was amazing!!! I could not put it down!  I loved it so much. I already have two friends who are going to be buying this because unfortunately, the subject matter is too close to home for too many. I am so sorry for all that you went through and how you have continued to move forward!

The Mindset of the Substance Abuser

Have you ever wanted to get into the mind of the substance abuser to see how they feel physically and mentally with this disease?  Here is the book.  I call What is and isn’t Working for the Alcoholic and Addict: In Their Own Words the conclusion of the two books above.

After the loss of Richard and Lori, I wanted to know what I missed; what could I have done better to have helped them. What were they thinking during their drinking stages and what did they want from family, counselors, doctor, society and within their recovery programs.  

This book is for ALL. Addicts sharing their experiences, strength and hope with others is something that only a recovering drug addict or alcoholic can do.  It’s a unique gift.  It’s written by 34 alcoholic and drug users from the USA and Canada telling us what they need.  They reach out to family members telling us what we need to do to help them want to go to professional help and what they believe is and isn’t working in their recovery programs.

Reviews of What is and isn’t Working for the Alcoholic and Addict

A Light in the Darkness!

By John R. Daubney

Rarely has any one book described a solution to such a devastating public and personal health issue, in such a variety of voices and pathways, as does Alberta Sequeira's "What is and isn''t Working for the Alcoholic."

In this era of ever-increasing addiction to all types of substances including drugs and the ever-ongoing problem of alcohol addiction and abuse, this book offers hope and enlightenment to the addict and to those who love them and to the general public. There are few people whose lives have not been touched in some way by this epidemic. Frustration, chronic fear, worry, helplessness, and hopelessness characterize those of us who attempt to help or even control the downward spiral we witness in those we care about who are addicted or effected by these diseases. Without help we stand little chance of breaking free from these chains.

This amazing book, however, offers hope and direction through the stories of those who have been there in the "trenches" - the addict and those who love them. This book identifies through the stories of those who have contributed that there are many "roads up the mountain" of freedom. It's up to each of us to choose which path we will take.

Thank you, Alberta, for your courage and for your passion for helping those effected by this illness and showing us that this illness is not hopeless, and can, in fact, through recovery be the doorway into a new life.

Richard and Lori are buried together at the St. Patrick Cemetery in Somerset, Massachusetts.

All books can be purchased at www.amazon.com/user/albertasequeira

PS. I LOVE reviews!

 

A Review on What is and isn't Working for the Alcoholic and Addict

What is and isn't Working

Available in Kindle/Free in Kindle Select
Purchase at www.amazon.com/author/albertasequeira

***Paperback being reprinted with adjustments

Post Number:#1 by Moniquejm » 21 Jun 2017, 08:43

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of “What is and isn’t Working for the Alcoholic and Addict” by Alberta Sequeira.]


4 out of 4 stars
Review by Moniquejm
Share This Review

What is and isn’t Working for the Alcoholic and Addict by Alberta Sequeira is a non-fiction book. The book has something to do with the life and personal experiences of the author when she lost her husband and daughter because of addiction. The major content of the book was a series of testimonies of different people who experienced and overcome addiction.

I admire the author and those who shared their lives for having the courage in sharing their sufferings and difficulties they went through while recovering. I am very thankful that I have read this book because it helps me understand many things about addiction. This book gave some answers why people involved with addiction. It also gave ideas on how relatives and friends should properly handle and help these addicts overcome their alcohol or drug addiction.

My best experience while reading the book was there were sharing and discussions with my family members and friends. I keep on sharing to them every time I saw a sentence or paragraph that was inspiring or educational for them to learn from this book. From this story, we realized that sometimes the treatment towards the person involved from addiction is not the proper way, sometimes it worsens their situation. I can say that I really have a wonderful time reading this book because there was so much information I gained and I shared to others.

I rate this book What is and isn’t Working for the Alcoholic and Addict 4 out of 4 stars. I highly recommend this book for everyone because the challenges mentioned and lessons from the story can be applied to any difficulties in life. To the family members of those people who are struggling with addiction, I encouraged you to read the book because you will surely learn a lot on how you will handle, understand and support your family member in his/her critical situation. Also, this book provides awareness on the available support systems and other programs that can be extended and applied to achieve faster and higher possibility of addiction recovery.

To those people who are experiencing addiction and those who are currently recovering, I request you to read this book because it will help you a lot. It will open your mind and you will realize many things that will inspire you more to turn your back from alcohol or drug addiction.

******
What is and isn’t Working for the Alcoholic and Addict
View: on Bookshelves

Half-drunk is just as dangerous as whole drunk!

drunk driver

Taken from the June issue, Vol. 21/No. 6: The South Coast Insider

WHEN YOU READ BETWEEN THE LINES, “demon rum” alcohol is a contributing factor n many cases of accidental injury and death, whether it’s when someone’s driving a car or a boat, smoking in bed, or just plain acting stupid. Like diving off a cliff because of a dare, setting off firecrackers in the garage, or climbing onto someone’s roof (or into someone’s bedroom) after a bout of group binge-drinking in the summertime. 

Here’s a sobering statistic: alcohol is involved in 50% of all male teenager drownings, never-mind car accidents.

A half-drunk person is just an accident looking for a place to happen, oftentimes with serious collateral damage. A tipsy person’s sense of balance is obviously shot. Their neural reaction time, social inhibitions, attention span, and critical judgment skills are seriously impaired, even if they’re not “legally drunk.” They’re not fit to look after themselves, never mind keep an eye on the kiddies.

Friends don’t let friends drive drunk, that’s true. But rely good friends don”t let half-drunk friends handle the matches and lighter fluid at the Fourth of July family BBQ, or oversee the children’s entertainment at the beachside clambake. Don’t just be the “designated driver” when your friend or spouse has a buzz on and wants to drive-be the ‘designated adult in the room” and keep an eye on them and out of harm’s way, just as you would with kids on a sugar high at a birthday party. 

cropped-alberta-at-tonys

Purchase Alberta’s books at  http://www.amazon.com/author/albertasequeira. I love reviews and emails.

Alberta Sequeira
Website: www.albertasequeira.wordpress.com

Email: [email protected]

A Spiritual Renewal Excerpt

 

And then it came into view.....Medjugorje. The chartered bus with thirty-five enthusiast pilgrims moved slowly down the narrow dirt road.  Multiple private stone homes bordered one another on the side streets. Contrary to what I expected, the village was silent and peaceful.  I thought the area would be noisy with crowds of pilgrims. 

From the right side of the bus, Cross Mountain, often called Krizevac, (which means Mount of the Cross) faced me. This wasn't any ordinary mountain.  The huge, sixteen ton concrete cross on its ridge was the famous landmark where so many miracles were said to have happened.

Cross Mountain tower is 520 meter-high above Medjugorje.  On March 15, 1934 local parishioners constructed the cross 8.56m (nearly 30 feet) high.  On the cross is written: To Jesus Christ, Redeemer of the Human Race, as a sign of their faith, love and hope, in remembrance of the 1900 years since the death of Jesus.

The location was supposed to be the highlight of my pilgrimage, along with a clim to the top before my trips was over. The peak seemed so far off, yet, the plateau stood out so magnificently.

It was May 1998, and I tried to grasp the reality of being here. Months ago, I never would have imagined that my own miracles at home would bring me to this tiny, remoter village in Bosnia.  I didn't suspect that my life would be changed forever after my own experience witnessing the visionaries having apparitions with Our Blessed Mother, Mary, Queen of Peace.

The book A Spiritual Renewal; A Journey to Medjugorje can be purchased at  http://www.amazon.com/author/albertasequeira  I love reviews.  They are such wonderful gifts. 

Alberta Sequeira
Email: [email protected]

Where are we heading?

 

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Where have people hidden their faith—or do they have any left? Do youremember who God is or Our Lady? It seems as if no one wants to even talk about Heaven, God, miracles, faith or belief. Our Churches are becoming empty with no children attending. 

It takes a tragedy or a life hanging on the line for some to look up to Heaven and pray to God. We want what we want NOW and in our time and way. When we don’t get our prays answered right away or our way, we think that there can’t be a God. He’s the one who answers in His time and way, not ours.

Yes, I was one of them, way back in 1998 taking my trip to Medjugorje in Bosnia with a stranger. I had walked away from the Church, when I had a small breakdown at a Mass. I went down the aisle for Communion and felt all sweaty, had weak and shaky knees, my hands shook, and my heart raced in my chest. I didn’t think I’d make it up to the priest to receive, but I did. After taking the Host, I ran back to my seat, got my two young daughters, and ran out of church. I didn’t go back until fifteen years late.

I blamed God for my breakdown that left me frightened to death to go into a closed area again after the episode. It took years to realize that I had pushed my mind and body beyond what it could take with trying to keep my marriage together and our family, putting up with an alcoholic husband’s behavior.

My enabling brought him deeper into his addiction going into blackouts. We lost Richard, and twenty years later, I watched one of my daughters die from the same disease of cirrhosis of the liver from drinking. They were buried together.

It wasn’t until my trip to Medjugorje in Bosnia, watching four out of six visionaries having apparitions with the Blessed Mother, and miracles she showed me with this pilgrimage, that I realized that it’s us that move away from God. He stays at our door waiting for us to unlock it, and allow him into our hearts. It’s God who waits for us to realize that He is all loving and merciful. He made each and everyone of us because He wanted to share His love with us. 

Why we lose loved ones, make the wrong mistakes, choose the wrong person, go with the wrong crowd, we will never know. Maybe when God calls us home, we will understand His actions. 

I wrote about my pain losing my father, Brigadier General, Albert L. Gramm, Sr., from cancer at eighty years old in A Spiritual Renewal; A Journey to Medjugorje. His death brought me back to God after seeing what my father believed in while dying. His faith reached my heart, and I unlocked the door.

I talk about the miracles that brought me to this holy land in my book. I call Medjugorje “A Sampler of Heaven.” God has a path for us to travel down, and if we do open our hearts, we let Him lead us there.

Our Lady says she calls each person to Medjugorje herself. She has a reason, which I didn’t come to know until years later. I became a speaker and author from my pain. That’s what Mary wanted me to do. I reach out to substance abusers, their families and the public to do God’s work to try and help the ones lost. I tell them what I had done wrong with trying to help my husband and daughter. All my actions brought them deeper into their habits. My books are more than memoirs. Their books of lessons. 

Read about our lives in all my books at www.amazon.com/author/albertasequeira. I love reviews and emails.

Alberta Sequeira
Website: http://www.albertasequeira.wordpress.com
Email: [email protected]

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