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Still Candy Shopping

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Overview

Faith Simmons checks herself into a rehab only to check out a couple weeks later when she realizes that her ex-husband isn't going to reconcile their marriage nor will he allow her to see their daughter. Devastated, Faith returns to the streets and encounters a new breed of sharks. With no one to watch her back, she may meet her maker this time around.
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Still Candy Shopping

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Overview

Faith Simmons checks herself into a rehab only to check out a couple weeks later when she realizes that her ex-husband isn't going to reconcile their marriage nor will he allow her to see their daughter. Devastated, Faith returns to the streets and encounters a new breed of sharks. With no one to watch her back, she may meet her maker this time around.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
"Visiting the candy shop" means falling into the drug game. In Swinson's novella "The Candy Shop: Part 2," Faith Simmons, a former school principal and now addict, tries to get clean in rehab but bolts back to Norfolk's streets. After scoring heroin, she's picked up by Slim, an abusive psycho pimp who forces her into prostitution. Charging clients $50 for oral sex for her fix becomes Faith's ultra-grimy nightly task. Swinson's compact stunner is not for the squeamish. Amaleka McCall's "A Sucker 4 Candy" gives an insider's view of Brooklyn's drug game. Sixteen-year-old Ben Early is put on Deezo's payroll as a hustler. Ben slips up, and his baby brother, Keno, ingests pure heroin stashed in Ben's bedroom and dies from toxic shock. That's only the beginning of Ben's downward spiral. Dee vows never to have anyone cross him or bring attention from the police, and Ben becomes a marked young man.VERDICT Featuring powerful scenes about the drug game, abuse against women, and the viciousness of the streets, both stories skyrocket to stunning endings. Multiple copies will be required. —"The Word on Street Lit", Booksmack!, 12/16/10.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780758293770
  • Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corporation
  • Publication date: 2/4/2014
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 455,192
  • Product dimensions: 4.10 (w) x 6.70 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Kiki Swinson is the national best selling author of the highly acclaimed Wifey series. When she's not writing, she enjoys spending quality time with her family. Other titles to check out are: Cheaper to Keep Her parts 1 & 2, Wife Extraordinaire parts 1 & 2 and New York's Finest.
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Read an Excerpt

Still Candy Shopping


By Kiki Swinson, Amaleka McCall

KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP.

Copyright © 2010 Kiki Publications
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-7582-9377-0



CHAPTER 1

My Epiphany


I'd been out on these streets for two years now, and I realized that shit had only gotten worse for me. The money I got from my divorce settlement went up in smoke quicker than I could blink my eyes. And everybody I'd met on my journey had either gone back to prison or overdosed. I'd seen more body bags dragged out of shooting galleries and abandoned houses than I'd seen children playing on the streets. It was a whole new world out here. And every day it was changing for the worse.

I figured I could stay out here on these streets and die, or get myself some help so I could go back to living a normal life. Shit, there was not a day that went by that I didn't think about how happy my life would've been if I had not started getting high. I would've still had my family, my home, my career, and my sanity. Now I knew I couldn't harp on the what-ifs, but I could do something about my addiction this very day. Thank God for that cat named Seth. If it weren't for him dropping me off in front of this detox center, I would still be running the dope man down to get my next fix.

As I walked toward the brick building, I saw this short black guy force the glass door open with his red Adidas duffel bag thrown across his shoulder.

"You think I give a fuck!" I heard him yell. "I ain't wanna be in this motherfucking place anyway!"

I didn't know whom he was talking to until this tall Hispanic-looking guy walked up to the glass door and pulled it shut. He stood there for just a brief second and then he walked away. Shocked by the actions of this guy, I hesitated for a brief moment. I began to have second thoughts about whether to seek help from this place.

I turned toward the guy and said, "Hey, excuse me." And then I started walking in his direction. He stopped in his tracks and turned around. When I got within two feet of him I stopped and took a deep breath. "Excuse me, but can I ask you something?" I finally asked after I caught my breath.

"If it's about that place, you asking the wrong nigga," he didn't hesitate to say.

"Well, um," I said, and then I paused to gather my thoughts. And before I could utter another word, he beat me to the punch.

"Look, whatcha need? 'Cause I gotta go catch the bus uptown," he said, and then he swayed his body back and forth. I knew this movement as the sign of an impatient addict. And when he said he was going uptown, I knew that only meant he was trying to catch the dope man. I looked into his mouth and noticed how rotten his teeth were, which was a sure sign that he was a heavy crack user. His skin was ashy too.

"How long were you in the program?" I finally asked.

"A week. Why?"

"Because I'm trying to get clean, and I heard that this was the place to come."

The guy spit on the ground, and then wiped his mouth with the back of his hand. "That place ain't shit!" he said. "They just put me out 'cause I cursed out my counselor. They are crazy as a motherfucka! They don't let you do shit up in there. They talk shit to you like you a fucking kid or something. You'll see if you go up in there."

"I ain't got no choice. I'm trying to get off the street," I told him.

"A'ight. Well, that's on you," he replied, and then he turned and began to jog away. I watched him as he jogged up Virginia Beach Boulevard toward the Newtown Road bus stop.

Not knowing whether to follow him uptown or go inside this building to get the treatment I needed, I stood there and wondered what to do. It only took me about ten seconds to realize that I didn't have any other options, so I turned my butt back toward that brick building and took the first step forward. I couldn't tell you what that guy's problem was, but I knew what my problem was, and I needed a lot of help to fix it.

When I approached the front of the glass door, I pressed down on the gray button near the door handle. Immediately after the bell rang, a voice came through the intercom. "Can I help you?" a man's voice asked.

"I need to talk to someone because I'm trying to get clean," I got up the gumption to say.

"I'm sorry, ma'am, but you just can't walk into the center without making an appointment with the intake counselor," he replied.

"Can I make the appointment now?"

"I'm sorry, but she's seeing another client right now."

"Can I wait until she's done?"

"No, I'm sorry, ma'am. It doesn't work that way. You're going to have to call to speak with her, and then she'll schedule you an appointment to do a screening."

"Listen, sir, I know you guys have a protocol to follow. But I'm begging you to let me in," I said, my voice cracking as tears began to fall from my eyes. "I'm tired of getting high. And I want to get clean really bad, so if I walk away from this door right now, I may not make it back."

I stood there as the tears continued to fall down my face and waited for the man to respond, but he remained silent. He didn't utter another word through the intercom. Immediately my heart sank. All the hope I harbored on my way to this center dissipated instantly. I was doomed and I knew it.

I took a step backward to turn around and leave, but was stopped in my tracks by a voice coming through the intercom. "Ma'am, do you have a valid ID and your Social Security card on you?" the guy asked.

In that instant it felt like a load had been lifted off my heart. I could literally see a light at the end of my dark tunnel, and that alone made me hopeful again.

"I don't have my Social Security card, but I have my ID," I quickly responded.

"Do you know your social?"

"Yes, I know it."

"All right. Well I'm going to buzz you in. When you come in I want you to come up that first flight of steps and turn right, and I will meet you at the entryway."

I exhaled and smiled into the camera that hung over the door. A couple seconds later I heard the buzzing sound and immediately grabbed the door handle. Within ten seconds flat I was in the building and face to face with the man behind the voice from the intercom. He wasn't that easy on the eyes. But he had a warm spirit and that was all I needed. At first glance his one-hundred-thirty-pound, five-feet-four-inch frame didn't match his husky voice. If I hadn't spoken to him through the intercom system, I would've thought that he was one of the residents of this facility. To put it mildly, he definitely looked like a rehabilitated drug user.

He extended his hand and introduced himself. "Hi, I'm Frank Macer, and I am one of the floor monitors here at the center."

I shook his hand and introduced myself as well. "My name is Faith Simmons."

"Welcome to the Salvation Army Drug Rehabilitation Center."

"I am happy to be here," I told him.

"We're happy to have you," he said, and then he instructed me to follow him. We walked down a short hallway and entered a very small office. I knew this was his office space because it had two TV monitors where he could watch both the front and the back of the center. I took a seat in the chair that sat directly in front of his desk while he grabbed some paperwork from his filing cabinet.

"Here, fill out this paperwork, and while you're doing that, I'll make a copy of your ID," he said as he placed the form down on the desk in front of me. After I handed him my ID card, he made a copy of it and then handed it back to me.

While I filled out the paperwork, which was a basic orientation form, he briefed me about the rules of the program. "Now this is a twelve-step program. We deal with drug and alcohol abuse as a learned behavior. Our intake counselor is Pamela Williams. She will be the one who interviews you and processes you into the program. She will also go over all the rules of the program. I must also inform you that this is a co-ed facility. But the men and women have separate sleeping quarters. The women are on one side of the building and the men are on the other. We have video surveillance cameras on every hall so we can monitor everyone's movements. If at anytime I or any of the other floor monitors see you in an unauthorized area of the facility, you will be given a warning. But the second time around you will get kicked out. Now if we see you in a sexual act with any of the clients here, you will get kicked out of the program immediately. No questions asked."

Shocked by his forwardness, I said, "Wow! Really?"

"Those are the rules. Those who are serious about their recovery shouldn't have a problem adjusting."

After he laid down some more rules, he waited for me to sign the form. "Do you have any questions for me?" he asked as I handed him the completed form.

After telling him no, he asked me to follow him. I followed him back into the hallway and into a lounge area with a forty-two-inch TV that sat on a wooden stand. The lounge area was completely empty. There was no one in sight. "So where is everybody?" I asked.

"They're all in an NA meeting."

"So where are we going?" I asked as he walked from one side of the lounge area to the other to open a door that led to another hallway.

"I'm taking you to see Mrs. Williams so she can do your screening."

"Do you know how long that will take?"

"It shouldn't take more than thirty minutes. And once she's done, she's going to show you around the facility, and then she will show you to your living quarters."

After Mr. Macer gave me the rundown about what to expect, he took me around a corner and walked me straight into the intake counselor's office. She was in the middle of a phone conversation when we entered her office, so Mr. Macer instructed me to sit in the chair next to her desk. After I sat down, he placed my paperwork on her desk and exited the office.

I sat there patiently and watched her while she was on her call. She wasn't like anything I pictured her to be. She was very pretty. In fact, she looked like she could've been my younger sister. She and I had the same light complexion with an hourglass body. Her sense of fashion wasn't quite my taste, but if it worked for her, then I guess it was fine. Her hair was gelled back into a very neat ponytail. The actual ponytail itself hung past her shoulders, so it was a no brainer to determine that it was a hair extension. But I would say that her makeup was flawless. It was just the right amount of everything.

After I took inventory of her overall appearance, I tuned in to her conversation. It was obvious that she was talking about the guy who had just walked out of the program. "I can't tell you where he's on his way to. But I can tell you that he's out of this program for good," she said. "So what I need you to do is contact this PO and let her know exactly what happened. And also let her know that he was discharged at approximately four forty-five."

I couldn't hear what the other caller said, but I could tell by Mrs. Williams's actions that they shared the same sentiments. Thankfully, the conversation with that other caller didn't last long. After Mrs. Williams gave a few more instructions, she thanked the caller and said goodbye.

I smiled at her when she looked at me. She smiled and immediately got down to business. She picked up my paperwork and looked at it. She sifted through both pages and then she looked back at me. "It's Faith, right?"

I nodded. "Yes, ma'am."

"Well, Faith, I'm sure you were told that we don't normally take clients into the program straight off the street unless they go through a telephone screening first."

"Yes, ma'am, Mr. Macer told me. So I am very grateful. Because if he would've turned me away, I can't say whether I'd be alive to see tomorrow," I replied, and then my eyes became extremely watery. Before I could catch it, a single teardrop fell from my left eye. Mrs. Williams handed me a Kleenex from her tissue box. I thanked her and wiped my eyes.

"When was the last time you got high?" she asked.

"I had a pill of dope about two hours ago."

"You do know that you're going to go through the whole withdrawal thing, right?"

"Yes, I know. But don't you guys give out meth pills to help with the vomiting and the aches and pains?"

"No, I'm sorry. We are not a detox center. Every addict that comes through our doors has to go through the withdrawal process on their own."

Hearing Mrs. Williams tell me that they weren't going to give me any meth pills gave me a really bad taste in my mouth. I started to get up from that chair and get to stepping. I mean, to go through a withdrawal period was very painful. It was not a pretty sight. I sat there in silence for a brief moment and thought about whether I wanted to go through all that excruciating pain and the fucking vomiting. Trying to kick heroin wasn't a fucking joke.

Mrs. Williams looked into my eyes and said, "Are you having second thoughts?"

I hesitated for a second, and then I said, "No, I can do this."

"Good for you." She smiled and then she looked back down to my paperwork. "Oh, yeah, did Mr. Macer tell you that we take you through a twelve-step program?"

"Yes, he did."

"Did he tell you how it works?"

"No. He told me you were going to take me through that."

"OK, well I will explain it to you. But first I need to know if you are serious about getting treatment."

"Yes, I am."

"How serious are you?"

"Mrs. Williams, I used to be an assistant principal at the Performing Arts School in the city of Norfolk. I owned a two-story home in Virginia Beach and had purchased a brand new Jaguar off the showroom floor, and now all of those things are gone. I even had a good husband and a beautiful little girl who both walked away from me after I got hooked on heroin. So to answer your question, Mrs. Williams, I've been ready. I am so tired of the way my life is right now. And not only that, I want my family back. I swear I can't go another day knowing that those drugs are keeping me from being with my family. It's killing me. So I got to get clean," I explained to her as tears continued to fall down my face.

Mrs. Williams sat there and listened to me pour out my heart. When I was done she asked me a series of questions and then she asked me to sign a few documents indicating that she went over the rules and regulations of the program. Soon thereafter she welcomed me into the program and showed me around the facility.

After the tour of the facility was over, she showed me to my room. I noticed immediately that I had a roommate because of the other twin size bed that sat against the wall. Before I could make reference to it, Mrs. Williams said, "You will be room mating with Denise Adams. She's been in the program for a little over sixty days and she's doing great. I'm sure she will be instrumental during your treatment here."

"I'm sure she will too," I said, and then I took a seat on the edge of my bed. I looked at the clock on the wall and noticed that it was a quarter to six. My stomach was rumbling like crazy. "What time is dinner?" I wanted to know.

"Dinner is served in the dining hall every day at six thirty."

"Good, because I am starving."

Mrs. Williams smiled and patted me on the back. "You'll be fine," she told me and then she turned to leave. "See you in the morning."

"OK," I replied, and then I sat there and stared off into space. I started reflecting back on my life. I remembered the very first day I started snorting coke and how that opened the doors to my heroin addiction. I was just grateful that I didn't lose my life in the process like my friend Teresa did. Luckily, God had other plans for me.


The Battle Just Begun


Shortly after I ate dinner in the dining hall, I went back to my room, got undressed, and took a hot shower. I didn't have a change of clean clothes, so I had to put on my same dirty clothes. It was about ninety degrees outside, and since I had not had on any deodorant, my clothes were pretty smelly, especially underneath my armpits. I wanted to call my in-laws and tell them the good news about my road to recovery, and that I needed them to bring me some clothes, but I decided against it. I figured if I called them now, they wouldn't take me seriously. But if I waited to call them after going through two weeks of recovery, then they'd believe that I wanted to change my life.

As I lay on my bed staring at the ceiling, my roommate entered the room. This was the first time I had laid eyes on her. She said hello as soon as our eyes met.

"Hello," I replied.

She walked by my bed and sat on the edge of hers. I turned my head toward her. "So, you must be Faith," she said.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Still Candy Shopping by Kiki Swinson, Amaleka McCall. Copyright © 2010 Kiki Publications. Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 24 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 25 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 1, 2011

    Good read for 111 pages

    I really like Nikki Turner's writing but I was highly disappointed with the length of this book especially at the price she sold it for. I feel like she'll continue the series but she could have wrapped it up in this story and been done with it. She has too many series going on right now. On another note I enjoyed the story at the end by Amaleka McCall so I now have another author to be on the lookout for!!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2012

    Could of been better!!!!

    I actually liked the sequel, but the ending should been a little more detailed..

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 22, 2011

    Love to read

    The book was good reading, had me hook on the first couple of pages but way to short. And started on another stoiers. Very very disappointed. I think she should have finish the book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 15, 2011

    Good Read Soft Ending

    I enjoyed the book but it is a little misleading. Even though the book is 179 pages the story ends at 111. Wish the ending was better.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 14, 2011

    good but way to short

    i loved it all, but i was soooo upset that there was only about 111 pages to this story. i breezed through that in 2 days.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 28, 2014

    Loved this book

    I feel as though Ms. Swinson has done it again. She has me waiting for the sequel to this.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2012

    Nice

    I think it was very thrilling

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