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Cassandra C Carter

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Fast Life
by Cassandra C Carter   

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Books by Cassandra C Carter
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Category: 

Young Adult/Teen

Publisher:  Kimani Press ISBN-10:  0373830769 Type: 
Pages: 

304

Copyright:  July 1, 2007 ISBN-13:  9780373830763
Fiction

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Fast Life is a page-turner you'll never want to end. Enjoy a tale about young love, true friendship, trust, and betrayal. Kyra Jones is a spoiled city girl who is suddenly uprooted from Chicago by her mother to a Caribbean island. The change in pace slows her down but it's only a matter of time until her past begins to catch up with her. Kyra soon finds herself torn between a new start with Justin, the man she loves or a life with Makai the bad-boy ex that just can't seem to leave her alone...



Caught up in a world of easy money, designer labels and drug-dealing
boyfriends, sixteen-year-old Kyra Jones is living life on the fast track. But
when her single mom is offered a job that takes Kyra away from her old Chicago neighborhood, and the drugs and gang violence that go along with it, she finally realizes that there's more to life than Gucci, Prada and ghetto-fabulous bling. Starting over in a new place, with a new boyfriend, Justin, gives Kyra hope that life can be different. But sometimes the fast life catches up to you. And for Kyra, her only hope is to stay one step ahead of trouble.
 

Excerpt
CHAPTER 1

Five, four, three, two, one, brrring!

The bell sounded, signifying the end to another day at John Marshall Metropolitan High School. Kyra Jones snatched her black JanSport backpack off the floor and rushed out of the classroom into the overly crowded halls.

Finally, the day is over! Thank God! ’Cause I swear, if I had to walk to one more class in these shoes my feet would fall off. Damn Manolos! I knew I shouldn’t have worn these to school, let alone bought ’em period. But damn, they‘re settin’ off this new shearling my baby Kai picked up for me on his run to Detroit last weekend! Plus, they’re the real Manolos. None of that fake Steve Madden these broke-ass girls round here be rockin’-- as if nobody knows they ain’t real. But you say that, they swear otherwise. They be havin’ the nerve to try and stare me down, too, peepin’ all extra-close tryin’ to see if mines is real. But they already know the deal. They steady tryin’ to lessen my rep as the
hottest chick, even though this is only my second year here. But everyone knows that Makai and I are king and queen. We run this. I mean, Kai, for one, is geared and stays caked up. Not to mention he’s sexy as hell! He got that whole sexy-thug thing goin’ for
him. I know any chick in here would love to get their hands on what’s mine. Every chick want him and everybody else wanna be like him. But I don’t trip. He never cheated. Our
love is real. And as far as everybody else go, I don’t worry,’ cause I know Kai can handle his. Yeah, there are the little rumors and whatnot, but no one ever dares runnin’ up. No use. They would be laid back down
automatically.

But don’t get me wrong --not everyone stay hatin’. I got my two best friends: Natasha, who is cool as hell and been down with me since
Kindergarten, and Mercedes, who probably done hooked up with the whole varsity basketball team but is still cool. And well, Kai, he got his crew, Reggie and them. They’re ballers too. But none of them are anythin’ like my baby Kai.

As for all the haters, I justbrush ‘em off. A chick like me got moreimportant things to worry about. They’re just tryin’ to catch me slippin’, which even in these four-inch heels ain’t happenin’.

Kyra made her way through the crowd, holding in the urge to grimace from the pain in her feet and from the thought of the D minus on her biology test. She knew her mom would have plenty to say about that. She always did.

As she stood at her locker preparing to go home, a pair of big, warm hands slipped around her slim waist. They, accompanied by the scent of Curve for Men cologne meant only one thing: Makai.

“Damn, baby. That shearling is
bangin’,” he whispered into her ear from behind.

“Thanks. My man got it for me,” Kyra boasted with a smile.

“Who’s your man? Do I know ‘im?”

“Well...” She began her reply as she turned around to stare into his eyes.

“Everybody knows him. He’s about six feet, light skinned, hazel eyes, keeps his hair in braids, got a killa smile with some luscious lips. He stay fly, too. He’s sexy with his.”

“I’m sexy with mines, huh?” Kai smirked.

“Hell yeah.”

Makai leaned in and pushed Kyra up against her locker and kissed her.
Completely engrossed in each other, they were unfazed by passersby. That was until Natasha came and interrupted them.

“Ahem! Ahem! Excuse me!” Natasha loudly announced her presence while
tapping her friend’s shoulder to get her attention. “Sorry to interrupt your little make-out session you got goin’, but Kyra, are we still hittin’ up the mall or what? We need to get
those ‘fits for the Black and White Party.”

“Tasha, we got plenty of time! That party is on Friday and it’s only Monday. Damn. This better be the biggest party of the year like everybody been sayin’ for the past
three months.”

“I didn’t ask for all that mouth. You always wanna say everything but give me an answer. What’s it gon’ be?”

“We can go after school on Wednesday, okay? Is that okay, baby? ’Cause you
know I’m gonna need you to let me hold a stack,” Kyra said, her voice sounding innocent as she addressed her boyfriend.

“You know I gotta make sure my shorty is rollin’ fly through that party. Don’t I always take care of you?” He angled her chin as he spoke and addressed her while looking deep into her eyes. “You’re gonna be the sexiest girl in there.” He added, and followed with a peck on the lips.

“Second sexiest,” Natasha piped up.
“Whateva!”

“Anyways, I’m gonna leave out. Just do me a favor?”

“What, Tasha?” Kyra’s patience was wearing thin, and it was clear that she was annoyed by her friend’s interruption. She was more than eager to return to her previous activity.

“Get your grumpy ass some before we go, ’cause you’re not even rollin’ with me acting like this!” Her joke lingered as she hustled down the hall.

“Girl, shut your mouth!” Kyra half hollered, half laughed at her best friend. Natasha was known to be a trip sometimes.

“You ready to go yet, baby girl?” Makai had Kyra’s undivided attention with those simple words before they headed toward the nearest exit.

The chilling Chicago wind whipped at Kyra’s face and seeped through her
clothes, as she rushed to Makai’s new red Cadillac Escalade sitting in the parking lot.

Makai was on the come up, and his role in the game was becoming more evident
each day. He drove a car so expensive most people ten years his senior couldn’t afford the monthly payments, let alone buy one outright. Still, he didn’t even have his license.

Kyra settled into the smooth black leather interior and watched him navigate the Escalade. She studied him as he lit a Black and Mild cigar and leaned far back in his seat. His hat was so low she could hardly see his hazel eyes. Her gaze traveled down to his red T-shirt and his dark, baggy jeans all the way to his matching red Timbs. He was just so gangsta with his, and she loved it. She loved him.

As the car pressed on, Kyra was momentarily distracted when she saw a familiar-looking girl down the street. She was in the company of a tall, lanky boy. Kyra could see from a distance that he didn’t have heavy pockets. Not at all.

When Makai pulled closer, she put a name with the face of young woman. It was Mercedes, with a man by her side, as usual. It was rare to see her without one. Kyra rolled down her window and motioned for Makai to slow the car down.

“Mercedes! Call me later! I see you out here girl!”

She rolled the window back up and sat back in her seat, laughing
hysterically as they made their way farther down the street.

“Wasn’t that LaMonte walking witcha girl?” Makai asked, glancing over at his girlfriend, who continued to laugh.

“Yes! Ugh! What is she thinkin’? He is so ugly! And look! It’s freezin’ outside and her ass is walkin’ ’cause he’s too broke to go buy a whip.
Lookin’ like he got beat with the ugly stick like he stole somethin’.” Kyra was almost in tears from laughing so hard.

“You crazy as hell, I swear.” Makai said, now laughing a little himself.

“That girl keep her a man. Just last week she was wit’ Andre, and now she’s
messin’ with LaMonte already,” Kyra said. “The chick just be runnin’ through ’em.”

“You know my nigga Reggie hit that, too? Sorry to say, but your friend is a ho. Why do you still even hang with her?” Kai asked. “I don’t want you to get a bad rep ’cause of the nasty shit she be doing.”

“I mean, I’ma let her do her. Who am I to judge what she do? That’s my peoples. Whatever she does is her business, and she is gonna be my peoples regardless.” Kyra did her best to defend her friendship with her provocative friend until she was silenced by Makai nonchalantly turning up his stereo system. One simple action was all it took for him to end their conversation.

They continued to roll with the music blasting until they reached a red light. Makai calmly turned the small black knob, decreasing the volume from his custom-made speakers. Then he fell back, relaxing deep in his seat as he stared over at Kyra.

“What?” She let out a giggle in response. She knew what that look meant, but playing dumb made it all that much more exciting.

“You know what it is. Don’t play with me.” Makai’s tone was seductive as he
licked his lips. That was one thing he knew never failed to turn her on. Never being one to sugarcoat anything, Makai always kept things straight to the point.

“Let’s go to my crib. My mom won’t be home ‘til seven.”

Makai blew the gray smoke from his nostrils and extinguished the Black in the car ashtray as he pulled off from the light.


“Damn!” Kyra huffed in disappointment at the sight of her mother’s Jeep Cherokee in the driveway of her home. Their plans were ruined nearly as quickly as they’d been made.

“Chill, baby girl. Some other time.”

“But Kai, it’s been so long. I really want to,” she whined.

“Shit’s gonna be really hectic this week, but I’ll see what I can do.
Aight?”

“Yeah.” Kyra couldn’t hide her disappointment as he leaned in for another kiss.

“Love you.”

“I love you, too.”

After a few more quick pecks, Kyra grabbed her backpack and headed into the house. As soon as she set foot in the door, she slipped off her shoes and let her bag fall to the floor. She hadn’t even had a chance to sit down when her mother burst into the room
with a smile spread wide across her face.

“Hey, baby doll! I’ve been waiting for you to get home! I have some great news!”

“What happened?” Kyra asked, never one for guessing games. She never had the
time or the patience.

“I got the promotion!” Geneva Jones shrieked as she took a seat next to her daughter.

“Congratulations Mom,” Kyra said, her voice uncaring.

“Wait. That’s not all! Mr. Reynolds, the man who owns the Allerton Crowne
Plaza, wants me to be the head accountant at a new resort they opened on Providenciales! The company is even going to cover nearly all of our travel and moving expenses!”

She waited for her daughter to respond, but Kyra just looked confused. Geneva could feel things taking a turn for the worse.

“Hold up. Where is Provincies?”

“It’s Providenciales and it’s an island in the Caribbean! We’re going be living on an island! Can you believe it? We even have a house on Prince Paul Island just waiting for us, furnished and all!”

“But I thought you just said-”

“Oh, and Prince Paul! Let me tell you! It’s this cute little island where some people who work on Providenciales live. I even have some pictures, if you want to see.” She was rambling on as she shuffled the photographs in front of Kyra. “Isn’t it gorgeous?”

Kyra didn’t look at the pictures. She just sat completely still, unable to move. Her mother had to be joking. She couldn’t be serious. Before Kyra had a chance to speak, a screaming teakettle interrupted their conversation.

“Oh, let me get that.” Her mother disappeared into the kitchen. Within seconds, Kyra followed close on her heels, entering just in time to see her mother pour the steaming water into a mug and drop in a tea bag. Geneva began stirring the tea and gently blowing on it to cool, barely acknowledging her presence.

“So are you tellin’ me we’re movin’?” Kyra asked. She was emotionless as she stood in the kitchen doorway. Her feet refused to go any farther. As her mind began to race, she found it difficult to function.

“Yup!” The excitement still hadn’t left her mother’s voice.

“You’re jokin’, right?” Kyra managed a weak laugh, hoping her mother would say yes and burst into laughter. She just had to hear her say that they weren’t really moving, that it was all a joke. But that never happened.

“No, I’m not joking, silly! We have to be packed by Thursday and our flight is early Friday morning. It shouldn’t be so bad packing since we aren’t taking any furniture. This stuff is so old anyway.” Her mother took a moment to sip her tea.

“Man, what? Friday? You mean this Friday, as in the day of the Black and White Party?”

“Oh, I’m sorry, sweetheart! I forgot all about that. But just think, by Friday night you will be in the Caribbean! You won’t even think twice about that party. I know I can’t wait!” Her mother seemed unaware of the change in her emotions, but Kyra could no longer contain her feelings. Even if her mother was blind, she could still hear.

“It’s the biggest party of the year, Mom! I’ve been tellin’ you about it for the past, what, three months! I have to be there! And besides, what am I gonna do about my friends? Makai? School? What about Chi-Town, period!” Kyra panicked as her anger slowly grew.

“Everything will be okay. You can keep in touch. With all the stuff you kids have access to these days, I’m sure it will work out fine. Plus, it’s not like you won’t make new friends or even meet a new boy you could really like. I mean, it’s not like you and Kai are in love or anything.”

“Yes, we are. I do love Makai.”

“You don’t even know what love is. You’re only sixteen. That’s puppy love. You don’t know the first thing about real love.” Her mother laughed softly at Kyra’s teenage foolishness, then lifted her mug for another sip of tea.

“You don’t know what we have.” Kyra said, defending her relationship as she folded her arms across her chest and leaned against the laminate countertop.

“Like I was saying, it will be a good experience for you. This move will give you a chance to grow and mature. Give you a real opportunity to learn. I mean, think about it. It gives you a chance to see somewhere else in this world besides ‘Chi-town,’” Geneva
concluded before walking back into the living room and flicking on the television. She assumed she had put an end to the conversation, but Kyra had much more to discuss and followed close behind.

“What are you talkin’ about? I can do all that here! I grew up here all my life, and I don’t wanna leave. Especially not to go to some little-ass island in the damn Caribbean! I mean St. Louis or somethin’ would maybe be more acceptable, but now we’re talkin’ a whole other country!”

“Look, we’re going whether you like it or not, Kyra La’nae Jones. End of
discussion,” Her mother said adamantly.

“You’ve lost yo’ fuckin’ mind,” Kyra mumbled. Her mother was in her face in
a matter of seconds.

“No. The only person in here that lost their fucking mind is you, talking to me like that! I’m not one of your friends! I’ll slap the taste out your mouth, girl. You are not grown!” she scolded.

“You be out there running around with those hoochies and your little thug
boyfriend like your young ass is really something around here. Well, guess what? I can’t afford to pay the mortgage anymore. Bills are piling up, and I’m racking up debt like nobody’s business. So we are going somewhere better. Shit around here has been hard since your father died. He loved Chicago, too, Kyra. He loved the streets just like you do. Now look at him. He left me a widow and he’s six under. All because he got caught up in
that same shit Mickey-”

“Makai,” Kyra said, correcting her mother as she rolled her eyes.

“-Makai is in now. You need to be as far away from him as possible, if you ask me.”

“But I love him!”

“What do you want to do with yourself, Kyra? What? Become a hustler’s wife,
just like I did? You want to have a child to raise on your own and struggle to make it? That nigga don’t love you. You’ll see that. Someday it’ll hit you. I promise you that. The
sooner it does, the better-for your sake. He probably has hundreds of girls all over this city. I know the kind, Kyra. Hell, your father wasn’t faithful to me, and we were married!” her mother declared, rubbing the wedding band on her finger to make her
point. “I mean, Kyra, look, we can’t stay here. It’s not that I don’t want to. I grew up here too, you know. But I’m doing this for the both of us. I’m doing this in your best interest and I know you probably don’t see or
understand that now but...” She trailed off, her tone now soothing. But Kyra wasn’t buying it.

“Yes, we could! We could stay here. But no! Some rich, fat-ass white man
dangles a pretty island and some extra dollars in front of your face and you’re just ready to pick up and go! What would Daddy say?” She added in protest.

“He’s not here! What I say goes! It’s been that way for ten damn years, so I
would’ve hoped you were used to it by now. And don’t try that ‘What would daddy say?’ shit on me. Not everyone has a sugar daddy throwing money their way twenty-four/seven like you do. I have to work to get mine and I’m not going to let this opportunity slip away because you’re acting like a selfish brat. But you know what, nevermind. I’m not saying anything else. Deal with it.” Geneva’s eyes were cold as she and Kyra exchanged glares.

“Now go to your room. You done messed up my good mood,” she ordered as she upped the volume on the television.

Kyra rushed upstairs to her bedroom, slamming and locking the door before the tears forming in her eyes could fall. She wouldn’t let anyone see her that weak, not even her own flesh and blood.

As she held herself against her door, trying her best to make sense of what had just happened, a muffled, catchy jingle played from her coat pocket. Her cell phone was ringing. She immediately grabbed it and turned it off. She had no desire to speak to anyone after the news she had just heard. She didn’t want to do anything.

Kyra crawled into her comfortable bed. She’d been lying there only minutes when the distant sound of gunshots distracted her. Unlike some people, who become frightened or nervous, Kyra was familiar with the sounds of the streets and so continued to lie still.
She listened until, after five more gunshots in rapid succession, it was finally silent. She tried to gather her thoughts, but it seemed impossible. Her mind soon became overwhelmed with anger and confusion, and her body gave way as she fell into a deep sleep.












Professional Reviews

Too Fast for her own good! - November 15, 2007
Kyra Jones is sixteen and in love with her drug dealing boyfriend Makai, who keeps her fitted in the finest designer gear. Kyra is happy with life as she knows it in Chicago, but she gets a big surprise one day when she comes home from school.
Kyra's single mother Geneva is offered a job in the Caribbean on Prince Paul Island and Geneva has accepted and they will be moving. Of course Kyra thinks it's the end of the world and is not pleased that she has to leave her friends and boyfriend behind.
Once on the Island Kyra feels home sick as her mother is busy with her new job. Kyra meets Justine and falls in love, but all is not what it seems... Back in Chicago Kyra's old boyfriend has made it big in the drug trade and vows to bring Kyra back to Chicago...

Read on as Kyra's two worlds collide in one big explosion and she realizes that leaving the world of violence and drugs is just not that easy!

A good read by eighteen year old author Cassandra Carter, I love how she pointed out that sometimes it's not so easy to start over without paying a heavy price. And in this case Kyra was in way over her head.
I was disappointed with the mother Geneva's part in this story...she was sort of a grey area for me, she moves her child to a new environment and she wasn't really there for her. I couldn't really understand this mother and daughter relationship especially as Kyra was an only child.

This story has plenty of dramatic twists that will keep you turning the pages.

Locksie
ARC Book Club Inc.


A Great Read! - December 18, 2007
Fast Life by Cassandra Carter will take you down the road of a teenager who moves from the life of drugs, violence, thug love, and fashion savviness, to a life of true love, self-development, and growth. The author is an eighteen-year-old who targets the teenage audience. The main character, Kyra, was well-developed throughout the book. The author clearly showed how Kyra went from loving the thug life with her boyfriend, Makai to finding out the true meaning of love through life lessons with her boyfriend, Justin. Cassandra's writing style was clear and intriguing with a strong storyline.You'll be dying to know what happens next; once you start reading this book, you will not want to put it down. Fast Life will fill the reader with various emotions - happiness, sadness, excitement, and hope. As a young writer, Cassandra Carter exceeded my expectations with her creative storyline and characters' development. I am definitely looking forward to reading more books by her as she continues her promising career.

5 Pink Diamonds
Sistah Keyonna of the SistahFriend Book Club


From Nicole Boothe, Author of Novel - KEMEYA - July 26, 2007
Casandra Carter is a talented writer with a bright future. Her debut novel has everything drugs, sex, intrigue and her main character, Kyra Jones is not even out of high school. I enjoyed every minute of this dicey novel about a girl from Chicago that got caught up in the Fast Life!


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