Journey's blog

How I Found an Agent

Never in my life did I believe that I’d be blessed to get an agent. I tried for fourteen years. That’s really hanging in with thinking positively. I want to share my journey with you with my different stages.

I’ve completed my first fictional The Rusty Years; The Remembrance of Being Young. It will have a sequel with Book Two being The Rusty Years; Secrets Revealed. It’s about a ninety-two-year-old woman who looks back on her younger years during the Great Depression. She wants answers on why she lost her true love and had to make a hard, painful decision to keep their baby or give it up for adoption. He had no idea of her pregnancy when she leaves Chatham, Massachusetts for Manhattan, NY. It was the 1930s and being pregnant and single during those years left a black mark on a woman. 

As we all know being authors, I did editing so many times until I was crossed-eyed.  I’m surprised my fingers still work. I decided it was time to end the book, and if it needed more editing, which I’m sure it would, I’d let an editor, an agent or publisher help me. I started to send queries to tons of publishers and agents. Yes, I too can wallpaper my room with the rejection letters. 

After six months or longer, I had an agency A.M. Heath from London request the whole manuscript. It’s been close to six weeks and no reply. Hopefully, no reply is better than a rejection. I’m used to their emails, “Great story but not for us. Don’t give up another publisher or agency may want it, etc.” I have to sit back and hold my breath for their decision. 

Meanwhile, I took two of my books offline to republish under a different title. I was scared to death to make the move and call Amazon to do so. Especially, What is and isn’t Working for the Alcoholic and Addict because I LOVED the book cover. This was my first Narrative Non-Fiction. 

We will never know if we don’t take a chance. One of the co-founders of our group Authors Without Borders always says when we meet, “You just never know.” That’s a true statement. I truly believed, and still do, doors open when you are in the right place, at the right time, with the right person. You can be book signing with five or fewer attendees and that one person can be at your event to get you where you need to be to help you.

In-between querying for my fictional, I searched agents and publishers to help me “republish” the addiction book to get into schools and educational programs. 

It’s written by thirty-four alcoholics and drug users from the USA and Canada telling their stories on what works and doesn’t for them in recovery. It needs a home with a publisher that will help me get it into the health system. I researched to find out why some substance abusers recover and put their lives together while others die from this horrible, worldwide problem. After losing my husband and daughter from their addictions, I wanted to know what I could have done differently. What are doctors, counselors, family members, and society doing wrong? What can we change? To get the answers, I had to go directly to the source; the substance abusers themselves. I needed to get into their mindset.

It’s not easy for publishers wanting to republish a book unless you’re selling tons. Agents are uncomfortable with being able to find someone wanting to take it over. I kept at it. Yes, it gets depressing. 

I wrote to agent, Nancy Rosenfeld, from AAABooks Unlimited of Illinois and got her attention. Hoping, and I mean hoping, to deliver a good hook, I started out giving my background and profile. I’m lucky through the years building my platform. When I got to all the information laid out for her, my first line was, “This may sound like a crazy request but do you republish book?” 

Signing a contract wasn’t something I jumped right into with excitement and with blinders on, which I would have done in my early years of writing. We had at least four months of talking and debating on services. Years ago, I never would have thought an author could disagree with an agent and keep their interest. She loved the topic and had checked my background online. I watched her website for growth all those months to make my mind us if she was the one. Remember one important thing if you are faced with deciding on an agent. “They work for you!?” I’m lucky, Nancy had been impressed. 

I will continue my story with my next blogging. 


*** How did I build my platform with one book? In 2006, I published my first A Healing Heart; A Spiritual Renewal, later republished with Riverhaven Books to A Spiritual Renewal: A Journey to Medjugorje. Around ten years later, I listened, and still do, to Steven Harrison, who gives talks and workshops by registering with him online. He got my attention by wanting to tell the listeners the difference with a poor and rich author.

Here’s what he said. “A poor author is someone who is content with just getting book signings, or with luck, getting the book on the shelves of bookstores. A rich author is one who says, ‘What else can I do with my talent?'” I started by a request of a library director, asking me to teach a workshop when my book got published on how I did it. I had twenty-eight attendees and my knees shook. I now teach three different workshops for writers. 

A year after Lori died, I went to Gosnold Rehabilitation Center where she had gone twice, and gave a talk about “The Effects of Alcoholism on the Whole Family.” I accomplished that after I had a breakdown crying in the counselor’s office from the emotions of being where Lori had been. I pushed myself after asking God to help me get through this engagement.

I joined three other authors and we co-founded Authors Without Borders ( I became a producer, director, and co-host to the NBTV-95 Cable TV show in New Bedford, MA. I’ve written for seven years for The Cape Cod Today Blog. I appear on cable shows, radio stations, blog radio, I write for newspapers. That’s a rich author. Find more ways to get noticed.

It took me 14 years with all this to hook an agent. I have no idea how this will turn out, but I truly want you to follow my steps and learn what I’m experiencing and if it was worth it. 


A Quote from Steven King

Balcoholic on the street

“Either get busy living or get busy dying.”

The statement made me sit up and think of addiction. Do the alcoholics or drug users realize that is just what they’re doing. They’re busy working toward dying; not purposely but they don’t realize that’s the action. 

My daughter, Lori Cahill, was told by her doctor, if she didn’t stop drinking, her liver would shut down in two years. I couldn’t understand how that fact didn’t scare her. I’m sure she was but like most of us, we don’t believe tragedy is going to strike us. 

Up until that time-frame, she continued drinking, hanging out with the friends who did, went to three rehabs because it was forced on her coming out to go down the same path. Lori feared dying like her father, Richard Lopes, at forty-five years old from alcoholism. She died in 2006 at thirty-seven years old. It’s something a parent never gets over with the empty seat, family gatherings, or the birth of their grandchild. People think you heal in time. No, we go on because that’s life. 

I know in my heart she wanted to live. She was a giving person who loved her two children and family. She loved life. 

That’s the disease. If you don’t get busy fighting to live as Steven King stated, it’s not that you may, would or could die….you will.

Family can only love and support you. You’re the only one who can get serious with wanting professional help. Only YOU! It’s easy for me to say and hard for you to do. I don’t know what pain and fear you experience with your habit. 

Try prayer. No, don’t laugh. You don’t need to say The Our Father, Hail Mary, or others. Praying is just talking to God as you do to any other person. He’s always waiting for you to come to Him. Because we’re weak humans, we want to see or feel to believe. It’s not seeing that is your faith.

Alberta Sequeira

A New Review

Reader's Favorite-5star-flat-hr

Review #1: Review by K.C. Finn

Reviewed By:

K.C. Finn

Review Rating:

5 Stars – Congratulations on your 5-star review!
Reviewed By K.C. Finn for Readers’ Favorite

What is and isn’t Working for the Alcoholic and Addict is a work of non-fiction presented by author and compiler Alberta Sequeira. Written ‘in their own words’, the volume covers the life stories and struggles of thirty-four different contributors, who each have an equally painful struggle with drug or alcohol addiction that they wish to convey, with the hope that it might help fellow addicts to turn their lives around. This is the case in many of the stories, and it also allows an insight into how the mind works differently during addiction, which may help friends and family to understand what’s going on.

Author and compiler Alberta Sequeira has taken on a big challenge to compile so many lives and so many twists and turns into one informative volume, but it has certainly paid off. I liked the organization of the work and the decisions made to tell the stories in a particular order, which gives great variety to the experiences and the types of people that we meet on the reading journey. The voices are distinct and not over-edited, so the work feels genuine and very helpful in its raw, unfiltered format. There are moments that are sure to bring a tear to some eyes, but there is also an overwhelming message of hope that such terrible addictions can and will be overcome. Overall, What is and isn’t Working for the Alcoholic and Addict is an important read for anyone touched by these issues.

Purchase at


Do you need editing for your writing?

Do you need editing?

#1 Bestselling Author, Steven Manchester, Editing Services

Steve Manchester

Professional editing is absolutely necessary toward getting published. The industry standard for a complete copy edit ranges from $3 – $5 per double-spaced page. Steven charges $3; this includes a meticulous line-by-line edit for grammar, spelling, and sentence structure. As a successful author, Steve will also address plotting, character development, scene setting, and dialogue. Steve requires half down and the remainder upon completion of the project. The work can be completed electronically or in hard copy. Turnaround time for most projects is 4 weeks.

Steven Manchester

#1 National Bestselling Author

(c) 617-862-8311

Book Signing

Steve invited you to Local author series – Steven Manchester
Let Steve know if you can make it.

Steve Manchester

Local author, Steven Manchester, will be in the Great Ponds Gallery at the Lakeville Public Library for a book talk and signing of his most recent novel, Bread Bags & Bullies: Surviving the 80s.

Thursday, February 6, 2020 at 6:30 PM
Lakeville Public Library
4 Precinct St, Lakeville, MA 02347
Phone: (508) 947-9028

Interview with Sheriff Thomas Hodgson

This is my interview with Sheriff Thomas Hodgson from The Bristol County Correctional office at 400 Faunce Corner, North Dartmouth, Massachusetts. The first half hour is about my life with the last half hour talking to the women inmates at the jail. 

I can be reached at: [email protected]
My website for the addicted with choices is:
For my writers and followers to become authors:

Purchase my books at

Podcast with Alberta Sequeira

I had a Podcast being interviewed by Joyce Walsh (one of the women in my author's group) in October and it came out November 1st.  Go to and key in or try clicking on the title below.  I was at the radio show Chart Productions in Braintree.  This show goes internationally.  
Go to and key in ...‎Mysteries, Myths & More on Apple Podcasts › podcast › mysteries-myths-more


Podcast with Alberta Sequeira

I had a Podcast being interviewed by Joyce Walsh (one of the women in my author's group) in October and it came out November 1st.  Go to and key in or try clicking on the title below.  I was at the radio show Chart Productions in Braintree.  This show goes internationally.  
Go to and key in ...‎Mysteries, Myths & More on Apple Podcasts › podcast › mysteries-myths-more


Excerpts from What is and isn't Working for the Alcoholic and Addict

Each week, I’m going to write parts of my book for readers to see if the interest is there in purchasing the book for a family member or themselves. Christmas would be a wonderful present. My Introduction to the book is about seven pages because it was what I saw and experienced losing both my husband, Richie, and my daughter, Lori. After the introduction, I will post some testimonies by the thirty-four contributors. 

PART I of the Introduction

When tragedy hits our family, many of us could tell our life stories. I wrote about the painful loss of my husband, Richard Lopes of North Dighton, Massachusetts, in Someone Stop This Merry-Go-Round; An Alcoholic Family in Crisis. Richard died February 10, 1985, at forty-five years of age at the VA Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island, after suffering from his alcohol addiction since his early teenage years, a family action that trickled down from one member to another. 

At the time, he left behind two beautiful daughters, Debbie, twenty-one years old, and her sister, Lori, seventeen. Richard died eleven years after we had divorced so I never saw the daily physical and emotional effects on him, except for the final year before he had been admitted two times and the last would be the last time to the VA Hospital. 

Tragedy struck again, when the demon, called alcoholism, returned and took my daughter, Lori. I published her story in the sequel Please, God, Not Two; This Killer Called Alcoholism. Lori died November 22, 2006, at the age of thirty-nine at the Charlton Memorial Hospital in Fall River, Massachusetts. She left behind a son, Joe Cahill, eighteen years old, and a daughter, Meagan Cahill, seventeen, of North Dighton, Massachusetts. My daughter Debbie and her husband Brian took Lori’s children into their home with their children, Michael and Kerri. 

There are no words to describe the pain a parent feels when losing a child no matter what the circumstances were that caused his or her death. Substance abuse seems like such a useless death, when a family member can see that there is hope if their child would only reach out to the alcoholic rehabilitation centers and family members who are offering to work with their loved one in a recovery program. 

The most devastating knowledge is realizing that no matter how much you love them, support them, pray for them, yell at them, threaten them or kick them out of the house, nothing will work until they want the help. It’s their battle.
What’s more shocking and fearful is the fact that if your loved one is over eighteen years of age and refuses to allow anyone to know what is going on behind closed doors in the recovery program there isn’t a thing you can do to get involved. You have no legal right to see health records, talk to a doctor about the treatment with the illness, or attend meetings with a counselor. 

In Massachusetts, with Lori’s death in 2006, the Patient Privacy Act allowed alcoholics, addicts, and mental health patients to shut parents and siblings out of their complete health updates as to what was being offered to them in the substance abuse rehabilitation center. Lori enforced this same act with her family, including her children. 

Our family didn’t have any knowledge that Lori had been an alcoholic or became bulimic until she was thirty-seven years old. When her declining health couldn’t be hidden any longer, Lori finally admitted that she had been told by her doctor that if she didn’t stop drinking, she’d be dead in two years or less because her liver would shut down. He wanted her to agree to be put on a liver transplant list as soon as possible. Again, she refused this action and forbade any of us to meet with her doctor to discuss this dangerous stage of her addiction. 

While Lori had been a patient at Butler Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island, her doctor and health insurance company had filed legal papers for her to be admitted into an alcohol rehabilitation center in Florida for a long-term stay of ninety days or longer. Lori informed us two months after the fact that she had declined the offer. Had they informed family members what the medical team was trying to do for her, our family would have given her the support to enter into the recovery program. During this process, we were not informed that the counselor had determined that she needed deeper therapy to recover. 

Lori hid many secrets, most notably her fears from the past, and refused to discuss them with her family or open up completely with her counselors. These were the reasons why I wanted to publish this book in order to learn what is and isn’t working for the alcoholic and addict in their recovery. Why do some alcoholics recover and others drink themselves to death? How can some give up their addiction without any treatment in a rehabilitation center and others need the help to survive? Because Lori wouldn’t talk to us, I wanted to know what the substance abusers felt. Could we have done something differently? 

I feel that Lori’s three ten-day stays in detox and rehabilitation centers only pacified her alcoholic condition. The reality is that health insurance companies, substance abuse rehabilitation centers, and hospitals all know that the percentage is extremely high that the patients will return needing treatment over and over again. No one can clean out their bodies from the years of using alcohol and drugs in that short a period of treatment and develop a clear mind to make healthy decisions. At least a six-month long-term stay is needed without being able to leave. Making the change can help patients work toward a beginning recovery stage by clearing their minds of alcohol or drugs and enabling them to make strong and sound decisions to recover. 

Part 2 to continue with the next writing.

Alberta Sequeira
[email protected]
Books at


Interview with Sheriff Thomas Hodgson first 1/2 hour is my interview with Sheriff Thomas Hodgson. The last 1/2 is taken live during my talk to the women inmates at the Bristol County Jail in Dartmouth, Massachusetts. It’s a very educational talk with the pain I went through as a mother losing my daughter, Lori, and my husband, Richard. 

I talk openly about what the substance abusers should look at honestly with continuing down the path of destruction or reaching out for help.

Alberta Sequeira
Email: [email protected]