Walking on Thin Ice, a memoir of love, hate, envy, and greed traces a young woman’s pursuit of stardom down a dangerous road that leads to shattered dreams and a harrowing fate.
Re’Gena Bell-Roberts found herself staring down the barrel of a revolver, and a wave of disbelief rippled through her. An explosion blasted her into a nightmare. The room swirled slowly. Click––click. The sound reverberated each time as the shooter pulled the trigger. She realized this woman was trying to kill her!
In Walking on Thin Ice, Re’Gena Bell-Roberts shares her riveting story against the backdrop of a childhood sexual molestation. She is one, among a few young girls from the small town of Pasco, Washington, who harbored dreams of fame, fortune, and a craving for the love of a powerful man.
After high school graduation, Re’Gena’s life transforms. Despite myriad warnings, she falls for the charming Max Clayton, a thirty-three year old streetwise hustler who entices her into a dark underworld of illicit sex and drugs.
When Max betrays her, their life takes a fateful turn. The gripping saga explodes in the Mount Baker area of Seattle, Washington; and depicts Re’Gena’s struggle to deal with a tragic life-changing event that threatens her very existence. But she fights back with unshakable strength, courage, and a will to survive.
5-STAR BOOK REVIEWS
By Brenda Bentley Parrrish
This book is an awesome read. The determination and persistence of a woman with the willpower to begin productive and purposeful living after bad decision making based upon her love for a man almost cost her, her life. The story paints a picture of a beautiful woman of inner strength with her children giving her courage to become a champion. Her love for her man Max, consumed her very existence: mind, body, heart, soul and spirit. Finally she realized that she was starring in a role that was intended to be her final curtain call. After a near death experience she triumphant and find that God will sometime take you down a long winding road when he is teaching you a lesson to get you where he ordained you to be in this life. The story has several valleys and peaks and even a cliff. I am looking forward to the sequel. Great job ReGena Bell Roberts. Your bravery, persistence and determination are a powerful testimony to many who have fallen head over heels in love. Thank you for sharing your story with the world.
By Lionel Mitchell
This was a story that I could not put down. Re’Gena is so courageous to write her story. I pray that some young women will read it , so that they may not go down the same road. The words on those pages were so descriptive. Drawing you in and making you feel all the life in the story. There is love, laughter, and pain. As a first time author this story should be a best seller.
By Verlean Gladney
This book made me laugh and cry. It made me happy, sad, angry and a host of other emotions. This book gave me strength and hope. Very well written and totally gripping. I could not put it down. A must read for all you ladies from any walk of life. This book could literally save your life. I thank the author for sharing her life with me. I can hardly wait for her next book!
The San Diego Union-Tribune Featured Story on Re’Gena Bell-Roberts
Re’Gena Bell-Roberts has a life story full of tragedy, pain and redemption. Confined to a wheelchair after she was shot at the age of 21 by a woman her fiance was seeing on the side, Roberts found a way to overcome her disability and, against considerable odds, create a nurturing and supportive environment in which to raise her triplets, who were just 2 years old at the time of the attack.
“You know, God gives you strength to do what you need to do,” Roberts said.
These days Roberts, who was an aspiring actress when she was shot, and managed to do some stage work even after she was confined to her wheelchair, is working on her autobiography and hopes to one-day see her story on the big screen.
In the meantime, she will get a little time on the small screen. Roberts will be featured Wednesday on the Steve Harvey Show in a segment called Harvey’s Heroes. Roberts’ daughter, LyNea Bell, one of the triplets, nominated her mother for the recognition.
Bell, 40, works as a talent agent for Media Artists Group in Los Angeles.
“We never had an excuse,” Bell said. “We couldn’t have an excuse because the example was right there. So it made it a lot tougher. You couldn’t cry, ‘No, I can’t.’ It was, ‘We have to.'”
The other triplets are Bell’s two brothers — McClain, an entrepreneur who lives not far from his mother in Southern California, and DeShae, who now lives in Seattle and is hoping to become a welder.
After she was shot in Seattle in 1974 while attending the University of Washington, Roberts briefly moved back home to Pasco, Wash., and in with her mother to rehabilitate from her injuries and get help with the children. But she quickly saw that was not going to be a long-term answer.
“My mother was working full-time and, you know, she’d (have to) get up all the time at night,” Roberts said. “And I saw this painful look in her eyes, like it was killing her. She was tired. And I made a decision that I was moving.”
Eventually, Roberts landed in Los Angeles, where her best friend from home, Cat Gibson, was living with one of Roberts’ sisters. Roberts was able to support herself financially on money she was eligible for through the Washington state crime victims compensation program.
Still, she had to cook, clean and manage the triplets, whom she called little rascals.
“They were a handful,” she said. “… plotting, doing what kids normally do.”
Roberts is a quadriplegic, but has limited use of her hands.
As the kids got older she enlisted their help, teaching them how to put the coins in the machines at the laundromat, and help her with the folding. After she arranged for an automobile with hand controls, a Chevrolet Monte Carlo, she trained the kids to collapse the chair and pack it in the trunk.
“We had a whole system,” Bell said.
Once the triplets got going in school, Roberts had more time on her hands and she went back to college, eventually graduating from UCLA with a history degree. Her mother came down from Washington to attend the ceremony.
“It was an accomplishment,” Roberts said. “My mom was very happy. She wore my cap and gown after I took it off. She didn’t graduate from high school. So she was very proud of me.”
Roberts was the first in the family to graduate.
The second act of her life, which followed, featured a move back to Washington where she jumped into producing, taking part in community theater and putting on gospel showcases. For a few years, she produced and directed the local Martin Luther King Day events.
She and Gibson formed their own production company. Everything was fine, as long as Roberts wasn’t part of a committee.
“I didn’t have the time to sit around in meetings,” she said.
But within a few years, that was exactly what she was doing. After moving the family to Seattle, she dove into government and politics, serving on the Governor’s Committee for Disability Issues and Employment, and later as a member of the Seattle Housing Authority Board of Commissioners.
For Roberts, acting and producing were replaced by organizing and advocating, although she still performs occasionally under the stage name Re’Gena Bell.
“What goes on behind the scenes in the city, that just mesmerized me,” she said.
She ran twice unsuccessfully for the Seattle City Council, on a platform of helping the disenfranchised.
Today, she sits in her comfortable, nicely appointed home in Murrieta, where she has lived with her husband since 2004, and muses about her bucket list. A hot air balloon ride is next up.
A new van would be nice, too. She lost her last one in an accident. The ever-resourceful Roberts is an entrant in an online contest to win just such a vehicle. Anyone interested in voting, can visit http://www.mobilityawarenessmonth.com.
Bell considers the full depth and breadth of her mother’s story, and marvels.
“This is why she’s my hero,” Bell said. “This is why I wrote in (to the Steve Harvey Show), because I look at all the things of this world, and I look at how much that she’s influenced our lives, and I am just so proud. And it’s right in front of me every single day.”
Photo credit: Regina Roberts of Murrieta was featured on the Steve Harvey Show in a segment called Harvey’s Heroes. Behind her are her children: DeShae Bell, LyNea Bell, Steve Harvey and McClain Bell. Courtesy photo — Steve Harvey ShowCourtesy photo
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Genre: True Story. Non-fiction. Memoir