Blog Tour: K My Name is Kendra

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kendra2017coverTitle: K My Name is Kendra

Author: Kamichi Jackson

Genre: Young Adult

Fifteen-year-old Kendra James’ life begins to spiral out of control with the return of her long-lost runaway sister Meisha, and the visit of a young celebrity uncle with questionable intentions. Things take a particular turn for the worse when that uncle exploits Kendra’s loneliness and untreated depression and makes a move on her that sends her world into a tailspin from which she’s not sure she’ll ever recover. Will she survive this tragedy…or will she hit rock-bottom before anyone even notices?

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Author Bio

In addition to K My Name Is Kendra, Kamichi Jackson is the author of an eBook entitled Where Present Meets Past (originally available as part of the now-defunct Amazon Shorts Program), the middle reader book You’re Too Much, Reggie Brown, a forthcoming adult novel entitled The Brownstone, two unproduced screenplays, and several short stories. KJ has made numerous appearances in support of her work, among them the Baltimore Book Festival. When not writing, Kamichi is likely off somewhere singing karaoke. The South Norwalk, Connecticut native currently resides in Northern Virginia with family.

* * BOOK EXCERPT * *

I think someone is stalking me.

I say this, not because I’m paranoid, but because I’ve been seeing the same strange car outside my house almost every other day for the past two weeks. I haven’t told anyone but Nita about it. She thinks I should call the police or something, but what are they going to do? Whoever is inside the car hasn’t done or said anything to me, so what would I be reporting?

Of course that could change. I realize that today when I step outside onto the front steps of my school. This could be the afternoon that changes everything.

“What’s wrong?” Nita asks as I stop dead in my tracks, almost tripping this kid walking on my heels.

There it is again. The same black car with the tinted windows. I recognize it right away because it has two small dents in the back door and a bright red ball on the tip of the antenna. I still can’t see who is inside, and I can’t tell if the person is even looking my way, but it’s definitely the same car.

“What’s wrong?” Nita asks again. She looks across the street. “Is that it?” she asks and I nod.

“I need to know,” I say as I step down off the curb. The car starts to move forward and I wave and scream for it to stop. It does, and I keep running towards it, even though I hear Nita yelling behind me that I shouldn’t go. She catches up to me and pulls on my sleeve, yanking me back before I reach the car.

“Even three-year-olds know not to talk to strangers, Kendra!” she warns. “Come on, girl. Let’s go.”

I know she’s right and I sigh, letting her lead me away. There’s a buzzing noise behind us as we’re walking, and I can tell the driver is opening the window now.

“Keep going!” Nita whispers, her grip on me getting tighter.

All of a sudden I hear my name called out from behind me. Nita and I both stop. She looks at me. We turn at the same time and step forward a little bit towards the car. I hear ding ding ding as the door opens, and a lady’s leg—rockin’ the fiercest thigh-high boot I think I’ve ever seen in my life—hits the pavement, and then the rest of the woman slides out from behind the wheel.

“Who are you?” Nita asks her, not letting go of my arm.

“My name is Meisha,” the young woman replies to Nita, but she’s not looking at her. She’s looking straight at me.

“She’s my sister,” I add, my voice so low I can barely hear myself saying the words.

PRAISE FOR KENDRA

“This emotionally powerful novel gets right to the essence of what a young adult novel should be, empathetically exploring the experience of a teenage girl. Kendra is dealing with depression, the social dynamics of the black community, family problems, and abuse, yet holding on to a core of optimism that will help her become a strong and successful adult. Kendra is the first member of her family to reconnect with her missing sister, Meisha, who ran away a decade earlier. Meisha’s return puts a strain on the family when the reason behind her departure is finally revealed. Kendra’s talent and strong desire to be a writer bring the attention of her English teacher, but this also leaves her vulnerable to her famous sports announcer uncle, CJ. Desperate for attention, Kendra ignores the warning signs; CJ gains her confidence and offers her a laptop to use in his apartment. The abuse that follows is not described in detail and is not the only defining point for the character. An excellent read for any girl who feels misunderstood, or for readers that remember what it felt like to be confused and hurt, but hopeful as they moved toward adulthood.”

–Publishers Weekly (as part of the 2011 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award competition)

This book is for 15 year olds, parents of 15 year olds, friends of 15 year olds and for those who know a 15 year old. It touches on very real issues that young adults encounter and the conflict that ensues. This book is captivating and meaty yet an easy read. This is not your average, predictable young adult novel but a layered, well executed story that illicit illumination through the heavy darkness felt by depression. Well done!

–S. Jones (Amazon.com Customer Review)

Links: Website | Goodreads | Amazon US | Amazon AU

 

 

 

I was Here by Gayle Forman

18879761Synopsis

Cody and Meg were inseparable.

Two peas in a pod.

Until . . . they weren’t anymore.

When her best friend Meg drinks a bottle of industrial-strength cleaner alone in a motel room, Cody is understandably shocked and devastated. She and Meg shared everything—so how was there no warning? But when Cody travels to Meg’s college town to pack up the belongings left behind, she discovers that there’s a lot that Meg never told her. About her old roommates, the sort of people Cody never would have met in her dead-end small town in Washington. About Ben McAllister, the boy with a guitar and a sneer, who broke Meg’s heart. And about an encrypted computer file that Cody can’t open—until she does, and suddenly everything Cody thought she knew about her best friend’s death gets thrown into question.

I Was Here is Gayle Forman at her finest, a taut, emotional, and ultimately redemptive story about redefining the meaning of family and finding a way to move forward even in the face of unspeakable loss.

My Thoughts

I will just say that Gayle Forman is a phenomenal writer; this story flowed beautifully and was extremely easy to read. I received this free advance reading copy of ‘I Was Here’ thanks to Simon & Schuster Australia, with its official release being the 1st February.

…he has this expression on his face –it’s the particular contortion when fury meets guilt. And I know that look. I see it every day in the mirror.

Throughout this book we see Cody struggling to come to terms with the sudden and surprising suicide of her life long best friend Meg –Meg who she’d always held up on a pedestal –and struggling to come to terms with being left behind. Cody’s pain is natural and it feels real. Cody is wracked with the “it’s my fault” syndrome and is desperate to find someone to blame. In her effort to deal, she digs deep into the life that Meg tried to hide, enlisting the friends she meets along the way and uncovering some very disturbing truths.

To start off with we see Cody push everyone away. She is weak, scared, and a pretty crappy friend. But slowly we see her step out of her comfort zone and come to life with the determination (as she sees it) to avenge her fallen friend. We see Cody finally come to terms with Meg’s death and finally have the courage to forgive Meg and exonerate herself.

The romance between Cody and Ben is very cliché and unnecessary, but Cody’s love for Meg and her growing friendships with the other characters are more than strong enough to pull the story along.

Lastly we see Cody move on with her life, taking the lessons learnt with her.

I give it **** Four Stars (It’s quite a hard book to review as it’s a hard topic to deal with – I really don’t think my review has done the book justice).

Goodreadsauthors website

Today is your birthday

Today is your birthday
And I hope you’re doing well
I contemplate sending you a message
But quickly realise it won’t reach you in your personal hell

Is it you that’s stuck
Or is it me that dwells
In a place of memories
And secrets not to tell

My knight in shining armour
You could never be
A drug to keep you high forever
Well that was never me

Will you always be with me
In that condemned place
Or as time consumes me
Will I forget it and your beautiful face

Today is your birthday
And I truly hope you are doing well
I wish for you a light to show you a path
Out of your personal hell

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Potions, Pills and Nightmare Chills OH MY!

  • I’ve been trying so hard to go pain killer free, but my body continues to argue with me about it. Pain radiates from my lower back into the base of my skull and I can’t handle it anymore. I’ve got an appointment with a Physio, so we’ll see what they say. I figured I should try and get back into yoga to stretch and strengthen my back. I had been going really well, off my Antidepressants and off painkillers, using only natural remedies. But earlier his week the darkness returned with the loss of our beloved Buster and set me back a bit. Interestingly enough the return of the darkness has coincided with my back flaring up again – hmmm linked much!

    On Monday I had a really bad day; I felt absolutely useless, was in physical pain and spent most of the day crying or screaming at my husband. I had a horrible nightmare about my son dying the night before and it just shut me down. I had never felt true fear until I became a mother! My f*#ked up brain always takes me ‘there’, when I get the slightest bit down and then I feel the need to smother Riley with kisses. But I love my brain anyway; I wouldn’t be me without it.

    I have been keeping up my essential oil routine of; Young Living “Joy” Essential Oil blend rubbed on my wrists in the morning and Young Living “Peace & Calming” Essential Oil blend rubbed on my writs at bed time along with Lavender on my temples and Progressence Phyto Plus on my feet.

    I’ve also been taking quality supplements; a Multi Vitamin, Zinc, B2 in the morning and Magnesium at night before bed. I’ve have been sleeping better than I can ever remember. I’ve felt more alert and clear headed than I ever did on antidepressants. It’s only been this week that things have taken a turn, but I’m positive I can get on track, fix the physical issues and continue on with my journey to good overall health.

    I recently read that Yoga means “Union” and as we all know it is supposed to bring the body, mind and spirit back into alignment. Sounds good huh? I’d love to get my shit together and be one with myself. I am definitely getting there; I’m much closer to feeling whole than I was a year and half ago, when I was at my worst. A Yoga Centre opened up a little while ago in the old library of my town. I was thinking it was a sign that I should get back into yoga (as well as my back being a little bitch). I haven’t been to a class or done any poses since before I was pregnant with Riley.

    So back to the Yoga Union thing: Well, I’ve always been down with My Spirit, I love that girl. My Mind and I have had a rough relationship. It took me 27 years to love her, she caused my all sorts of pain until I could except and love her for who she is. We’ve been sweet for the past six months and it’s been really nice. But My Body, that bitch is causing me all sorts of pain at the moment. From about the age of eight I’ve hated her. Having my son forced me to appreciate and respect her. I am thankful for and love the things she’s given me, but not her – but I am working on that.

    I have come to truly love the ‘me’ within and I am looking forward to the day I can love the outside ‘me’ and we can all salute the sun together.

Major Life Overhaul Pt.2

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Oils & Pain Relief: In my first Essential oils post on the 31st July I talked about starting my journey with oils to find natural remedies (focusing on Pain, Depression and Anxiety) and to create a happier and healthier home for myself and my family. I mentioned how I struggle with pain (headaches mostly) and at times find myself downing Panadeine Forte like tic tics.

I’m happy to say that over the month of August, my intake of painkillers has significantly decreased. There have only been a handful of nights when I haven’t been able to cope and have reached for the dreaded paracetamol or ibuprofen and only one night when I needed the Forte version. I’ve been rubbing young living’s Lavender oil (diluted) on my temples for the headaches as well as at night rubbing young living’s Peace & Calming oil blend behind my ears and on my wrists. On the really bad nights I’ve also been putting it on the souls of my feet and inhaling it from the open bottle for a few moments before laying down to sleep. Yesterday my young living home diffuser turned up so last night I only rubbed on the lavender, then defused the Peace & Calming through the air. It was extremely tranquil and I was having a lovely time drifting in and out of sleep at first, then my son decided he wanted to have a whinge and break the spell. Never the less my routine of young living’s Lavender and Peace & Calming has definitely had a positive impact of my night’s sleep. I’m falling asleep faster and staying asleep longer (unless my son has other plans).

Oils & Well-being: I’ve made the decision to go off my antidepressants, now this is not a decision I made lightly, my husband and I talked about it and he agreed. I’m rather fed up with the side effects and have lost faith in them. I’ve never really been keen on antidepressants as I fear putting such mind altering chemicals into my body, BUT there have been times in my life where I could not function without them. So I am in no way ‘anti’ antidepressants as we do what we have to do to survive this bat shit crazy world we call home. Over the years I’ve been on six different types and in the end I’ve gotten fed up with the side effects of all of them.

My last lot has been a twelve month block of them from suffering post-natal depression big time after my son was born. At the time I felt they helped, I mean Yes they did help as I was no longer was driving along imagining myself purposely swerving to hit an oncoming car or a passing street light. So yes they did their job and I felt ok again. BUT while those bad boys were making it so could function and even enjoy a relationship with my son, they were also making my brain fuzzy, wreaking havoc on my memory and killing my sex drive. It got to the point where I just wanted my husband to fuck off and not come near me at night because it wasn’t worth it. Fuck you antidepressants. I’ve had the same problem in various degrees with all the different types i’ve been on. Lack of the sexy time = number one killer of marriage and happiness, well I reckon as much.

It wasn’t until I stopped taking this last lot that I realised how much else of myself they had been blocking. I really feel that they were killing my creativity; I didn’t write nearly as much poetry or even that many blog posts (excluding book reviews) while I was on them and I didn’t do one single drawing or painting. Yeah fuck you antidepressants. Hey, if they work for you than that is great as I said – we do what we have to do to survive this bat shit crazy world we call home. So I’m running on empty at the moment and it’s not pretty, but I’m going to go back to the naturopath I saw when I was drug free and trying to fall pregnant with my son for help with a beneficial diet and herbal supplement regime to support my body and mental health. Also I will have to ramp up my physical activity to help combat the chemical loss. On the oil side I’m going to start using Young Living’s NingXia Red in the mornings & Progessence Phyto Plus before bed (Info & Links below) to help promote well-being and balance for my body. I’m going to cart around my bottle of young living’s Stress Relief essential oil blend to inhale (along with stopping and focusing on my breathing) to help calm me when I feel myself getting wound up (cause I go BANG like a firecracker when I’m unmediated, hell I can go BANG when I’m medicated to the max, I feisty).

So I’ll let you know how I’m going in a months’ time.

ningared

Product summary: NingXia Red combines the extraordinary wolfberry superfruit with 100 percent pure essential oils in a powerful, whole-body nutrient infusion. The benefits of the legendary Ningxia wolfberry have been sought after for centuries, and ongoing research continues to yield exciting, new health-supporting properties. Enjoy its naturally delicious flavour daily to sustain energy and to replenish key nutrients for long-lasting health and wellness support. — I was given samples of this when I signed up, not enough to judge the products benefits, but enough to know it’s tasty 🙂 —  http://www.youngliving.com/en_AU/products/wellness/antioxidant-support/new-ningxia-red

YLplus

Product summary: Progessence Phyto Plus is a USP-grade wild yam extract infused with vitex and essential oils to help women find balance the way nature intended. Specially formulated by Gary Young, ND, and Dan Purser, MD, this essential oil-infused product enhances moisture absorption through the skin and contains pure frankincense, bergamot, and peppermint essential oils. The product’s clear bottle showcases the purity of this unique serum formulation. http://www.youngliving.com/en_AU/products/essential-oils/blends/progessence-phyto-plus-15ml

Info on Peace & Calming Essential Oil: http://www.youngliving.com/en_AU/products/essential-oils/blends/peace-calming-essential-oil

 

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Why Won’t It Do

In this world I have everything

But it just won’t do

Always left wanting more

As desire tries to break down the door

I can be so materialistic at times

That it makes me sick

Actually sometimes it causes me to act like a dick

Always wanting

Only to want more

I get so cranky while waiting to score

I have everything I need

But it’s never enough

My life is filled with cuddles and love

But it always seems that it’s never enough

What on earth else is needed to fill the void?

I thought once my son was born it’d be destroyed

This hidden hungry monster that lives in my brain

Before she excited life was much simpler

And I was happy with plain

How do I satisfy her?

When she’s in a world with everything

But it won’t do

Fed up with myself!

Lately I have felt like bursting into tears for no reason. I am exhausted and racked with anxiety but cannot figure out exactly why.

I hate feeling like this. It just sneaks up from nowhere. I can have been having a couple of really good days or even weeks. I start to think I’m finally get on top of things and then bam I’m knocked over by this darkness that just makes me feel useless.

For the last month, I have had the plan to start a YouTube channel where I would record my Poems and some shorter observation Just A Thought /Random Rants type posts as it’s easier to get someone to watch a short video link then read a link to a FB Note or Blog Post. I would also share the link to the video on my Social Media and Blog for the people who do read me already. So I have attempted to do my first video post multiple times and I’m always finding something wrong and deleting it rather than uploading it.

The sort of things I say to myself in my head as I am watching the videos back: You’re a retard. Fuck you look fat. You sound like an idiot. You stumbled over that word. It sounds shit. What the fuck are you doing? Why the fuck did you do that. You ruined it. God that wok eye is ugly.

Truth is most of the attempts I have deleted because the camera angle gave me a double chin or while I was talking my eye turned out and made me look disgusting.

One of my eyes turns out and I hate it. I delete so many selfies with my son, even though he looks totally cute, because my stupid ugly eye goes off on its own adventure without the rest of me. I’m left eye dominate, so my right eye wanders – but my right eye, that my brain chooses not to use has the better vision LOL good work there Brain!!!

Anyway I totally went off topic didn’t EYE 😛 Really it’s ok, I’m alive and I can see and that is the main thing!!! Nevertheless, when I am down in the dumps all the little things like that really get at me.

Anyway, I am going to attempt to get over this and move on with my plans for the channel, hopefully!

Also for the last couple of weeks, I have been trying to format my second poetry eBooks for publication. I managed to do my first one, but kept stuffing up the second. It shattered me. In the end, I gave in and paid someone to do it for me. I failed and I HATE that. I am so mad at my stupid ass self for not being able to do it. I really think this is what brought on my current funk. I have gotten the formatted files back and have uploaded them and now have two published poetry works, but failing at the formatting has made it a bitter win. I had to give up. I got so upset I almost chucked in the towel completely. I SHOULD have been able to do it.

But I feel I have dealt with the issues / problems I stated above and I still feel at unease. I still feel blue. Down. Low. Unfocused. The Harry Potter marathon and all popcorn in my cupboard hasn’t helped. Snuggles with my Son hasn’t helped. I’m just so fed up with myself.

Cold, rain and depressed laziness has stopped me from going out lately, but I’m determined to go for a walk tomorrow morning rain or not, as I need to get some happy hormones flowing or something.

Thanks for taking the time to listen (or rather read) to me whinge 🙂 it is much appreciated!

Link for my YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxbj_XQuDb1VclqWh98g8cg/about

My Latest eBook The World Around Me; is a collection of poems in my randomly raw & unpolished poetry style about the things I See & Feel as I navigate this crazy thing called Life.

So grab a cuppa and take a look into my heart and mind if you dare >>

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/443439

 

Devils Juice

(No this poem is not about me, It’s merely an observation!)

Decided on drinking rum

For as long as the bottle lasts

Regretting the decision

Fills up the next day

Head aching so hard

That all other thoughts gone away

Replaying the night over

Fragments are missing

My memory betrays me

How did I get these cuts on my feet

Oh the back door is broken

And now there is blood on the sheets

My tongue feels like sandpaper

And there is vomit on my shirt

God I wish the room would stop spinning

And my head didn’t hurt

I swear I’ll never touch that devils juice again

Oh who am I kidding

I am lying

And I am ashamed

Tonight I will do it all again

The world is too dark

And I’m afraid

It is too dark to be sober

So I will stay drunk and brave

Cover Forest DKFeatured in my upcoming collection – The World Around Me

Out Now is >>>
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https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/423080

Be Free

She sits alone in the dark

Afraid to light her torch

For fear of what she might see

She can hear the creatures crawling

How close they must be

The darkness in her mind all consuming

The beasts won’t let her be reprieved

Then someone steps up with their torches blazing

Attempting to help her be free

The light from their glow is rather daunting

She’s not sure if she can leave

She sees her surroundings

The stranger’s presence commanding

As he turns and starts to lead

She follows faithfully

And they find a better and brighter way to be

The stranger a stranger no more

He helped her find the strength to leave

Cover Forest DK

 

 

This Poem is out of my in progress collection “The World Around Me” that will, fingers crossed, be published soon.

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My First Collection “My Mind The Menace” was published late last month. YAY! accomplished.

Check it out – If you Dare!

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/423080