Serialization of Seeking Forgiveness 

   originally found at the Before Ferguson Beyond Ferguson racial equity storytelling project:  BFBF

   Listen to a short excerpt, as read by the author:  minifigure excerpt

** Seeking Forgiveness has been named a Foreword Indie Silver Book Award Winner!! **


Select Interviews/Articles/Guest Posts (for Seeking Forgiveness)

St. Louis Jewish Book Festival – Upcoming in November!

Seeking Forgiveness: The Unique Struggles of Interracial AdoptionSaint Louis In Tune

Interracial AdoptionThe Aloonae Show

St. Louis Author Lea Rachel Talks about Her New Book ‘Seeking Forgiveness’The Mike Wagner Show

St. Louis Mother Shares StoryNBC-Show Me St. Louis

“Celebrating ‘Gotcha Day’ Another Way”Riverfront Times

LIVE Author Chat: Lea RachelBook Chat with Debbie Monterrey

The Douglas Coleman Show VE with Lea RachelThe Douglas Coleman Show

Lea Rachel speaking about “Seeking Forgiveness”The Authors Show

Something Something about Lea RachelThe Something Something Podcast

Interview with Lea RachelLessons Learned About Life and Love podcast

White St. Louis mother writes heartfelt memoirSt. Louis Post Dispatch

Fiction, fact, biography, and semi-autobiography…Meet Lea RachelSheila’s Guests and Reviews

Book Corner: Mother addresses interracial adoption in narrative memoirThe Los Angeles Wave Newspaper

Social Impact Authors: How & Why Author Lea Rachel is Helping to Change Our World – Authority Magazine with Yitzi Weiner

KKNW 1150 AM Seattle Radio (9/23/22 at 12 noon PST) with Kevin McDonald

Interview with writer Lea Rachel about her memoir” – Lisa Haselton Book Reviews and Interviews

Semi-Autobiographical Writing with Author Lea Rachel” – Apostrophes – A Writers Series with Fredd Carroll

Interracial Adoption – One Woman’s Astonishing Journey” – The Advisor w/ Stacey Chillemi

Adoption Story – Seeking Forgiveness with Lea Rachel” – The Unfiltered Podcast by G’Ade

Episode 250: Lea Rachel – Author of “Seeking Forgiveness” – Positive Talk Radio

Interview with Lea Rachel” –

The Challenge of Race and Forgiveness” – Andy Charles@The Breakout Room Show

Exclusive Interview with Author Lea Rachel” – Writer’s Life Magazine

Professor Shares Experience with Interracial Adoption in Project with BFBF” – UMSL Daily

St. Louis Professor’s Novel Inspired by Real-Life Adoption Story” – Riverfront Times

The Challenge of Interracial Adoption: ‘Is he with you?’” – The St. Louis American

The Challenge of Interracial Adoption: ‘Is he with you?’” – STL Jewish Light

Early Reviews (for Seeking Forgiveness)

Rachel presents a searing, complex picture of adoption and the reality that love can only overcome so much…an engagingly written and well-structured book  — Kirkus Reviews

By blending autobiography with the drama of a novel revolving around an adoptive mother’s realizations about racial issues engrained in her life and America as a whole, readers receive an engrossing story that encourages thought and debate. Libraries looking for memorable accounts of biracial experience and issues will find Seeking Forgiveness a persuasive story that ideally will invite biracial debate on all kinds of issues, from parenting to justice and biracial relations in America  — Midwest Book Review

Seeking Forgiveness by Lea Rachel is a book that once started, you will find difficult to put down…Seeking Forgiveness is a five-star recommended reading.  — ManyBooks Editorial Review

A truly absorbing, enthralling, fictional tale that holds you on the edge of your seat, and that stays with the reader, long after the reading’s done. Seeking Forgiveness holds a mirror up to motherhood, society, and hope, all while telling a captivating tale with great characters, genuine feeling, and convincing voice. … I truly loved this book! Highly recommended.  — Sheila’s Guests and Reviews

LOVED IT! A powerful story about a white mother trying to save her Black son from racist accusations. The story is engagingly written and held my interest  — Reedsy Discovery

There is no question that this is a unique and original novel, with a singular and profound narration. The subject of the work is Miles, but the true, in-depth exploration is really of Rachel, his mother, who examines her role and responsibility as a white mother to a Black son. Powerful and enlightening, Seeking Forgiveness is a thought-provoking examination of an interracial mother/son relationship. Overall rating: 10/10  — BookLife Review

A thought-provoking and emotionally gripping 5-star read.  — Reader Views Book Reviews

Seeking Forgiveness

Download Chapter 1 of No Room of Her Own  Download Chapters 1-3 »

Seeking Forgiveness is a novel of autofiction based on my own experience as a white mother who adopted a Black son in St. Louis, Missouri. It opens when Rachel’s son Miles is arrested by the police in the middle of the night. For the next eight hours, as Rachel tries to get her son out of detention, she recounts the life they have led together that got them to this point. In the process Rachel wrestles with her competence as a mother, she questions the viability of inter-racial adoption, and she worries that her son will never forgive her for the many mistakes she made as his adoptive mother.

Further inquiries into this novel may be made here.

The Coloured Shakespeare

Download Chapter 1 of No Room of Her Own   Download Chapter 1 »

Continuing on the success of The Other Shakespeare, Lea Rachel has written a new novel, this time imagining the life of William Shakespeare had he been born with black skin.  Research has shown that there were over 360 individuals of African descent living in England and Scotland in the 16th century and working in a variety of capacities including beer brewer, needlemaker, and trumpeter in the royal household.  Slavery was not yet institutionalized and we know of black Londoners that owned property, married other English people, had children, and were baptized and accepted into parish communities.

In The Coloured Shakespeare one of these Londoners of African descent is born with as much talent, as much creativity, and as much love of the arts as the original William Shakespeare.  Initially, he is told he must follow his father’s path as a trumpeter and musician, but eventually William finds his true calling and tries to join the theatre.

Unfortunately, William (or Manu, his African moniker in the novel) doesn’t have it easy.  He is living in a time and in a society where he sticks out, and where he faces an uphill battle against misperceptions and prejudices about everything from his skin color to his history.  This 55,000-word genre-crossing new adult/historical fiction novel gives the reader an unparalleled tale of journey, injustice, and self-discovery.

Further inquiries into this novel may be made here.

Why I Am In Love With My Son

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Poetic posts on motherhood and the love of a child

Guest Blog Posts\Blog+ Interviews (for TOS)

Pretending You’re a Man” –

Laughter – But Is It Funny?” –

Traveling for your Writing” –

(Some of) The Women of Queen Elizabeth’s Court” –

Interview with Jodi Webb – Building Bookshelves

Interview with Cyrus Webb – #ConversationsLIVE

The Other Shakespeare

Download Chapter 1 of No Room of Her Own Download Chapter 1 »

Judith Shakespeare is the fictional sister of William Shakespeare that Virginia Woolf invented in her book A Room of One’s Own. In The Other Shakespeare, the character of Judith Shakespeare is brought to life.

Judith Shakespeare is the older sister of William Shakespeare and in the novel she is born with as much talent, as much creativity, and as much drive as her younger brother William. But in 16th century England, as a woman, Judith never has much of a chance to develop her talent. As Virginia Woolf imagines in her 1½ page sketch, Judith could have been as productive and famous as William, except for the fact that she is never sent to school, is pressured into marriage, and is consistently denied her independence and a room of her own. Her stifled literary talent, in such circumstances, becomes more of a burden than a gift as it drives Judith to run away from Stratford, get pregnant by an actor in London, and engage in extreme measures to have her talent recognized.

The novel is in the style of What Happened to Anna K., Ahab’s Wife, and Grendel; where a fictional character from one famous publication is brought to life in another.

Note that all the characters in the novel are real (except, of course, for Judith Shakespeare herself), including the entire Shakespeare family and the actors and writers in London.  In addition, every chapter in the book has at least one Shakespeare quote embedded in the text – some of them are easy to recognize, but some aren’t!

Links to some early reviews of the book:

I Promise

Download Chapter 1 of I Promise Download Chapter 1 »

The memoir, I Promise, is a story about survival. The main character, Lea, overcomes a string of formidable events including her own death sentence by a team of doctors, her father’s murder on the East side of Detroit, a psychotic stalker who follows her every move, and finally, a hit and run car accident on the dusty streets of Istanbul, just three days after lunching with the US president’s daughter. At the beginning of the story Lea is a shy, reclusive girl afraid for her health; by the end she is a persistent, determined woman tenaciously moving forward. Physically frail she’s mentally rugged and her story of survival, even growth, is inspirational even through the worst of circumstances.

Insidious Red Parasite

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5th place winner (out of over 18,000 entries) of the 72nd Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition

Small is Beautiful

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Essay on climate change, scarce natural resources, and the relative efficiency of being short

Please, Just Listen

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A Disability Op-ed, inspired by The New York Times disability column

Tigers vs. Cardinals World Series Playoff

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Sports Op-ed on the 2006 World Series playoff between the Detroit Tigers and the St. Louis Cardinals