I get asked ALL the time…

“Why do you use a pen name?”
Here is why I use a pan name.
My maternal grandmother, her middle name was, Opal. She dearly hated her middle name.
Alexandria, was my mama’s Saint name – she, was a devout Catholic.
Now I wanted it to be Alexandria Opal – BUT the way books are registered, edit said it would be best if it was, Opal Alexandria.

Shonda means stone in native teachings – Opal is a stone, a cursed stone at that. SO, Opal Alexandria – was born!

AND if I had to take a middle name to add to my pen name in my Bi-Polar state! It would be, Constance – after my Aunt Connie.

There is just not a day that goes by that I don’t carry these woman with me… every morning while I was sitting at my key-board, I felt like they were right with me – the whole way through.




Dear Reader,
Very probably you have never read anything like this book. But you just may know someone like this author. Could even be yourself, I don’t know.
What I do know is that we all have the same spirit in us. We all need love, kindness, compassion and a steady hand to guide us. Without those things in our lives, from the beginning, life is a very dangerous and scary place.
The author uses a pen name not because she is hiding, but because she is not. It is her tribute to the strong women who ultimately tethered her to a world of love and courage, one she can experience now more often than ever before. One that she doesn’t take for granted, not one single day. And because the road has been long, she’s written the book in a series. This is Book One–the beginning of the journey.
It is her fervent hope that her words will help a parent to recognize a child in distress, or a child to realize the path being contemplated is not a good one to take. She hopes to be an instrument of healing and hope, by exposing her own pain, struggles and hopelessness.
Yes, the story is told by an addict who was also once an active member of the drug trade. A junkie, she says. We have disagreed about her use of that word. She uses it because she won’t pretty up her mistakes and bad judgements; won’t hide from the implications of the word. It is what she was; someone hopelessly hooked on drugs that ran her life. But my argument is that she’s now a recovering addict. I know something about the world of addiction and alcoholism: I had to be “dried out” when I was born.
Addicts and alcoholics who cease using their drug are always in “recovery” but not “cured.” People in recovery address their lives every moment, without partaking of their poison. And people stay in recovery mode by sharing their journey and helping others along the way. So, that’s why I argue that the author is no longer a “junkie.” And she’s committed to not skating on the issue. And since she’s the author, she wins.
Please read these words with a generous spirit and let them work for you. Or, someone you know. She might educate you, scare you, comfort you or make you laugh. But I do know that her words will touch you and maybe even change you, too.
They sure did all those things for me.

The Editor

(Get your copy today!)

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