Posted in Books & Stories

Free Audible.com Download Codes For Innermost

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Do you like audiobooks? Do you want a free one? You’ve come to the right place! While searching for a producer for my newest book I’ve come across long forgotten Audible.com download codes for my poetry book! I’m kind of embarrassed that I forgot about them for a total of almost six months but you’re lucky day hasn’t gone away!
I’m not interested in doing some big raffle for these codes since I’m slowly building a marketing campaign for “Don’t Let Me Go” that comes out on August 1st so if you want one of these just fill out the form on my website and I’ll forward you one straight to your email. You don’t owe me a single thing in return, through I would be extremely grateful for an honest review on Audible, Goodreads and whichever other platform of your choice. 🙂
These codes are sent out on a first come first serve basis so don’t delay if you want to get your hands on one! Below are instructions on how to redeem your free audiobook if you’re new at this.
1. Go to my book’s page on Audible.com.
2. Add the audiobook to your cart.
3. If you are prompted to sign in, please create a new Audible.com account or log in. Otherwise, proceed by clicking “Do you have a promotional code?” beneath the cover artwork of the audiobook.
4. Enter the promo code, and click “Apply Code.”
5. A credit for the audiobook will be added to your account. Click the box next to “1 Credit” and click the “Update” button to apply the credit to the purchase.
6. After you select “1 Credit” and click “Update” to modify your shopping cart, the price for the audiobook will change to $0.00. You may proceed through the checkout by clicking “Next Step” and “Complete Purchase” on the subsequent page.
Posted in Books & Stories, Personal & Opinion

My Author Interview In Book Reader Magazine

Book Reader Magazine recently published their ‘Featured Authors’ interview with, of course, me! You can read the original post (and get interviewed yourself) by clicking here or just read the copied text below. If you have any questions head over to my ‘Ask the Author’ page on Goodreads or email me for an interview!

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Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?
My name is Jamila Mikhail, I’m 21 years old and I’m a Canadian writer. I was born in British Columbia but lived here and there, even moving seven times in five years at one point! Finally, now that I’m an adult I came to settle in Ottawa, the capital and also the city of my dreams. We aren’t quite halfway through 2018 yet and I’ve already accomplished most of the dreams I’ve had for the last ten years! I share this dream with my cat Squeaker who has been my number one buddy for the last three years. She doesn’t meow, she literally squeaks the sissiest noise I’ve ever heard come out of a cat, and I’ve had cats my whole life.

I’m currently a student in law and human rights, which is my other passion aside from writing. The two merge more often than not though, because somewhere in my stories there will always be a character or situation that deals with real life contemporary social issues. Aside from this I’m a lover of snail mail letters, a postcard collector, a real foodie and a maker of toy soldiers. I’ve made myself a little army with old and recycled parts and they keep me in line in my writing!

At what age did you realize your fascination with books? When did you start writing?
I’ve loved books for as long as I can remember. Growing up I didn’t have cable TV or anything like that (I didn’t get my own until I was 19 years old actually) so books, and also the newspaper, were my connection to the rest of the world. Nowadays I love books both to escape reality for a little while, and to educate myself about pertinent and important topics in my society and the world at large. You can learn anything from a book, that I believe.

I’ve also loved writing for just as long. I first began steadily writing in 2004 (I was seven years old) and actually still have all the old notebooks with my scribbles and two-page stories in them. It wasn’t long before writing became my way to cope with life, but most importantly it was the only socially acceptable way to express myself and my grand ideas. I tend to be bold and writing enabled me to make that side of myself shine.

I began writing on a serious basis in 2011 on the advice of my therapist who was treating me for PTSD at the time, and my first completed manuscript “The Distant Factory” was born. It’s actually available for free on my website along with several other books. I didn’t publish anything until this year though, because it is no small task and I had to get my $#!& together before venturing out into that. It turned out to be one of the best things I’ve ever done.

Who are your favorite authors to read? What is your favorite genre to read. Who Inspires you in your writings?
This is probably the hardest question for me to answer because I literally drive all over the road here (and often drive all over the real road in my car too). I particularly love reading non-fiction about the Second World War and the Korean War since my own grandfather served in both of them and that’s also what inspired me to get into the human rights field. My favorites are definitely the autobiographies of the people who lived through the darkest days in humanity, these otherwise ordinary men and women are not only my favorite authors but also my heroes.

I also love reading true crime and psychological books that seek to explain why people turn into war criminals or serial killers and other things like that. I am fascinated by people and love being able to observe both the humanity in them and the horror in them.

My grandmother has inspired many of my writings through the years and was always pushing me to write some more. Sadly she passed away on March 11th of this year and writing is what has probably kept me alive since she’s been gone. Otherwise, my own life and the things I witness and hear about happening around me are generally what inspire me to write. That’s also what makes my stories easy to relate to.

Tell us a little about your latest book?
My latest book is called “Don’t Let Me Go” and it is young adult fiction, geared towards readers from age 13 to adults. It actually began as a short story writing prompt in 2014 and turned into a novel-length manuscript by 2015 (the original short story can be found on my website) but it didn’t go much further than that. It remained dormant on my computer until National Novel Writing Month last year. I knew that I wanted to revive it, but also rewrite it because it was pretty awful in the beginning. I won’t lie, I totally flunked out during NaNoWriMo after rewriting only about 10 000 words. The manuscript remained dormant again for several months until my grandmother’s passing.

After that it only took me about a week and a half to complete the final draft of 78 000 words. It wasn’t hard for me to sit in front of my computer and type thousands upon thousands of words during the worst time in my life because it made me feel better and gave me purpose. Getting the whole thing ‘publication pretty’ so to speak took another two months but I’m very satisfied with how everything turned out. I think my grandma would be very proud of me even though she wouldn’t be able to read the book either way because she only spoke French.

“Don’t Let Me Go” mixes contemporary issues and situations (in this case, a teenage girl named Joanie who is reeling from her parents’ bitter divorce and struggles with school) with a little bit of fantasy, history and science. Joanie decides to pass the time by making military action figures and much to her surprise, one of them comes to life! Adler is a soldier straight out of the Second World War (but Joanie is the only person who can see him) and helps Joanie navigate rough waters that include depression, domestic violence and bullying but what she doesn’t know is that Adler also hides a secret…

Posted in Books & Stories

Preorder “Don’t Let Me Go” For Only $0.99 (USD) Today!

Good news! You can now preorder the ebook version of Don’t Let Me Go for only $0.99 (UDS) for a limited time! Those of you who are on my email list have already gotten this announcement delivered straight to their inbox, but it’s time for me to share the good news with you guys as well!

Click here to preorder “Don’t Let Me Go” today for a special price!

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The regular list price for this title is $5.99 and this discount of $5 off will not last forever so if you’d like a Happy Meal on top of a book you might want to get this title right now. Preorders are currently available through Amazon Kindle, Smashwords, Apple iBooks, Kobo and Barnes & Noble. More retailers are currently being added too. This title officially comes out on August 1st in paperback, ebook and audiobook. Curious to read a preview or to give me some early feedback? You can read the first two chapters by clicking the button below! Please leave your comments in the form because I would definitely like to know what you guys are thinking so far!
I’m sure that you’ve already seen it on the homepage of my author website, but I’ve also already started my next project called After Anderson. I’ll post a formal announcement about it later because right now the spotlight is on my first young adult novel that is sure to be a great lighthearted read for both the young and old alike!
Posted in Books & Stories

New Project Announcement: Don’t Let Me Go

I’m happy to announce to you all that the first draft of my second book has officially been completed about two weeks ago and I’m working hard to get it published by August 1st. I’ve been slowed down without home internet and with my personal computer packed because I’ve been planning to move for the last four months and now it’s finally happening but it’s been a messy process with many hurdles, including the passing of my beloved grandmother whom I’ve lived with for many years.

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On top of battling the normal teenage angst that everyone goes through, Joanie is also reeling from her parents’ bitter divorce and having to cope with her mother’s new boyfriend and father’s new family. Alone in a new town and without friends, she turns to passing the time by indulging in her longtime hobby of making toy models of soldiers and is both amazed and shocked when one of them comes to life.

Despite her millions of unanswered questions and having to make sense of new mysteries every day Joanie comes to find a loyal and trustworthy companion in Adler, a lieutenant in the Wehrmacht and a member of the German Resistance during World War II who must also find a way to handle living in modern times on top of being invisible to most of the population.

The two of them will have to fight several battles on many fronts in both the physical world and unseen realms as they both try to comprehend Adler’s new existence and piece Joanie’s broken life back together.

Don’t Let Me Go is approximately 75000 words and 300 pages thus far but I expect that to change as I take it through several rounds of editing over the next couple of weeks and months. Stay tuned for more updates or visit my website http://www.jamilamikhail.com to stay up to date since I update that more than this when it comes to my writing.

Lastly, I also wish to thank all of those who have supported me with my first book, I’ve been selling more copies than I believed I would considering that poetry almost always gets the short end of the stick when it comes to books. I hope that you all will enjoy this upcoming book and don’t forget to stop by and snatch a couple of free books on my website! There will be more uploaded soon once I’m all settled in and I get my internet back. 🙂

Posted in Books & Stories

Free eBooks Incoming!

Hello fellow poets and readers! I’m very happy to tell you that Verses Undone, my free mini poetry book, is now available on several more platforms including iBooks, Kobo and more but no worries if these formats aren’t your fancy because you can still read it entirely online or download the PDF and convert it to another format of your choice.
Unfortunately it’s not on Amazon’s Kindle store because KDP does not let indie authors upload free books. The minimum price needs to be at least $0.99 through KDP and I refuse to accept a single dime for these free uploads, but nonetheless you can download a Kindle-compatible format from Smashwords which is of course free!
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In the upcoming weeks and months I’ll also be working on adding the rest of the free books to these platforms, as well as formatting and uploading the two that are currently missing from the Free Downloads page. These past few weeks I’ve been without home internet and without my computer so I’ve had many obstacles in my writing journey but I’ll get to that eventually so please be patient!
Until next time, I hope that you enjoy reading this book in various different formats and if you enjoy my free work I would like to humbly ask you to support my writing career by purchasing a paid book in either paperback, ebook or audiobook format.
Posted in Books & Stories

My Second 5 Star Review of “Innermost” by Realistic Poetry International

I’m proud to present you with my second book review from the team at Realistic Poetry International for my poetry book “Innermost” that is available in paperback, ebook and audiobook formats. Click here to read the original post on Realistic Poetry’s website or read the copied text below! Don’t forget to leave a comment as well!

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If there’s only two things I understand at a visceral level, those would be trauma and poetry.  Innermost by Jamila Mikhail encapsulates both with an astounding breadth, depth, and respect, displaying both the cause and effects of PTSD while somehow managing not to instantly set off my own post-traumatic triggers even once.  As a warning, if you do have PTSD, there’s an excellent chance that you will see at least one of your triggers in this book, and I strongly encourage any such reader to treat the foreword as a content warning for the entire volume.  Even so, I give this a 5-star rating, without any doubt or hesitation.

With each poem I read, I found fragments of myself throughout.  Even the first, “A Man Called Joachim”, reminded me of a man I had loved and lost, yet never had to begin with.  “Broken Glass” brought me back to my childhood, even though I’m fairly sure it was about domestic abuse, but that sort of behavior transcends a single scenario.  “Black Soul” perfectly records the self-delusions of depression and self-loathing, the relentless belief of one’s own worthlessness, even that one is an innate threat to others.  It quietly captures the occasional death wish, the urge to suffer, the need to make the pain stop, regardless of how.  Each poem is yet another window into the very nature of human suffering and the manifold ways in which it comes to linger as trauma and post-traumatic stress.

While it definitely shows a world of monsters and demons, Innermost never forgets its humanity or compassion, and I’d consider it a must-read for anyone trying to better understand their own past traumas.  Even if you don’t find answers, you’ll know you aren’t alone, that others have been where you are, and that death is not the only way out.

Posted in Books & Stories

My First 5 Star Review of “Innermost” by Realistic Poetry International

I am very happy to present you all a recent five-star review for my poetry book “Innermost” that I received from Realistic Poetry International’s Honest Book Reviews team. You can read the original post on their website or read the copied text below. I hope that this might motivate you to get your own copy if you’ve been thinking about it!

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Author Jamila Mikhail’s book “Innermost” is an emotional and mental poetry documentary that captures some of the author’s darkest hours and coldest moments of her life as she strives to fight against the devastation of depression, rejection, disappointment and a broken heart.

This book reverberates with a passionate, yet lethargic voice of pain that isn’t afraid to confront their imperfect reality, despite the heartache and mental anguish it may cause. The idea of true love is noticeable throughout the book with romantic poems that embody sentiment, compassion, empathy, desire and fantasy- others show us merely the fragments leftover after all has been shattered to pieces… just like broken glass.

Poems such as “Broken Glass” remind us of a classic Lifetime movie drama, using the similia “broken glass” to represent the significant damage that has occurred between two hearts and lives due to the grueling effects of alcoholism.

In this poem, as with several others, Mikhail’s words are evocative and feel real, exposing some of her inner weaknesses and vulnerability to life, as she’s out on a thin limb clinging to the past and dear memories of when she once recalls her house truly being a home.

Emotional-based, the author’s style of writing is like prose poetry and uses the literary elements of symbolism, metaphors, and situational irony to compare and depict real-life circumstances to figurative scenarios; an example of this is the depiction and comparison of her own internal battle to the idea of being lost at sea.

Mikhail uses the figurative depiction “lost at sea,” (also the title of a poem) to embellish and emphasize the stormy rapture of turmoil and turbulence impacting her relationship with her partner, in which she is quickly plummeting saying, “…I’m drowning in the waters I know.” We take this moment to truly imagine the depths of the author’s fear, lost without compass in a world that has the potential and power to swallow anyone and anything in its way, such as the mighty sea! The feeling is nothing less than devastating. And the fact that the author makes a point to use such a dramatic and intense illustration tells us she is more than overwhelmed, isolated and dubious- she is going under. Will she survive?

Living miserably in the gloomy shadows of her own self-loathing and contempt, the narrator struggles greatly with finding inner-peace and finds it nearly impossible to gain any sense of contentment, severely discouraged by the tempestuous winds of adversity. She furthermore accentuates this unforgiving reality when she openly defines the color of her spirit as, “black.”

Behind this thought is a poem entitled “Black Soul” that shares the author’s honest viewpoint on how she connects and relates to the color black while figuratively defining its emotional impact and obscurities. The poem is written as an extended metaphor and possesses an intriguing, cryptic vibe and is no coincidence, emotionally, as black as a day with no sun.

We must add that from a technical perspective, Mikhail really shows off the usefulness of metaphors in this piece by means of multiple detailed comparisons that stem from her own personal pain, sadness and depression. Each depiction is intimate, and just like the color black, “lack hue and brightness,” ultimately drawing a shadowy portrait of her distressed spirit and consciousness. The poem takes an ironic turn towards the end when she says “Black makes me feel alive. Black is the color of my soul,” attaching herself and her very existence to the bleak and mysterious nature of the darkness.

Author Jamlila Mikhail’s poetry can speak to so many broken spirits and suffering hearts and I can definitely recommend this book to others. More than a presentation of conflict, adversity and pain, this book reads as a poetic testimony of perseverance, heart, love, courage and transition in which the author digs deep down into her soul and embraces her hearts innermost.

Posted in Books & Stories

Free Book Reviews For Fellow Indie Authors

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Hello fellow writers! This post is for the thousands upon thousands of other independent authors like me on there fighting their way through oceans of new books every day and wanting readers to get their hands on their unique quality material. I know that the biggest struggle is probably getting book reviews and paying for a review is often overpriced and you’re not guaranteed a good one either.

I won’t promise you a good one but I can give you an honest one from the perspective of a fellow writer, just like you. I’m happy to officially roll out my free indie book review service for fellow writers! Click here to get started!

This service is extremely new hence I don’t have a big audience at the moment but every book blogger has to start somewhere. Reviews will be posted on Amazon (USA & Canada only), Twitter, Goodreads, and my book blogs on LiveJournal and Quora respectively. Particularly good books might get more exposure at my discretion and get posted on other of my many social media pages.

Posted in Books & Stories

My Author Interview On AwesomeGang.com

Hello everyone! I’m happy to announce that my author interview on AwesomeGang.com has officially gone up for all of you to read! Just click on the blue link or read the full text below to find out the story behind what inspired Innermost and find out what I’m up to next!

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Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
My name is Jamila Mikhail, I’m 21 years old and I am currently the author of one published book. It was always my lifelong dream to write and publish a book because I’ve been writing in several languages ever since I was old enough to hold a pen. I’m brand new to the indie author scene and so far I’ve been absolutely loving living the dream even if I’m mostly unknown in the business!

What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My most recent book is called “Innermost” and it’s a compilation of emotional poetry that I’ve written over a span of nearly half a decade, but mostly around the time of my PTSD diagnosis. It was actually my therapist who suggested that I begin to write seriously, and not just as a hobby, but it’s not until recently that I could build a proper platform to accomplish my dream. Innermost is really about all of the emotions known to the human heart, the good ones and the bad ones and whatever falls in between.

Do you have any unusual writing habits?
Indeed I do! Ironically I can only write when I’m doing something else at the same time. I know, I know, multitasking is said to be unproductive, but personally I’ve never been able to do otherwise. If I just sit there and force my head to come up with words and sentences and whatnot it feels like writing is a chore and not an escape from life. Inspiration usually just strikes me out of nowhere when I’m doing something else, so it’s while keeping busy that I’m usually the best at being a writer.

What authors, or books have influenced you?
This is a very hard question to answer because I’ve read so many books that have impacted in so many ways over the years. I have quite an obsession with clean romance novels, and anything related to the 20th century. I can easily say that the book that had the greatest impact on me was “Death Dealer” by Rudolf Hoess though, after reading it I finally understood what Mikhail Bakunin meant when he said “Real humanity presents a mixture of all that is most sublime and beautiful with all that is vilest and most monstrous in the world.”

What are you working on now?
I’m currently working on a youth novel called “Don’t Let Me Go” that is set to hit the marketplace on July 1st. It’s my way to tackle the epidemic of anxiety, depression and other mood disorders among teens and other young people. I’ve been there and reading something I could relate to was more often than not my escape. By writing and publishing this book it is my hope that I can pay it forward.

What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
Because I’m a poet I’ve found myself to be right at home on Realisticpoetry.com but I’ve also made great connections on Instagram. I’ve also done surprisingly well at doing good old fashioned promotion by hand with postcard-sized cards I had printed advertising my book. Even those who didn’t care for the actual book commented on how stunning the card was!

Do you have any advice for new authors?
Don’t get discouraged! There’s no one way to go about writing, publishing or marketing. Just because one method didn’t work for you it doesn’t mean that you are a failure. Other authors are so quick to tell you how it should be but the truth is that this industry is a trial and error process for success. It’s important to have a plan but ultimately you’ll have to craft your own that caters to your specific needs because no two books are the same!

What is the best advice you have ever heard?

“Don’t be afraid of what it might cost you.” This wasn’t so much about a financial cost, but more towards an emotional one. Battling PTSD has left me with a distorted self-image and I greatly lacked confidence in myself.

What are you reading now?
Unfortunately I can’t say that I’m reading much for leisure right now because I have about a dozen books about WWII and the Holocaust lined up for a university level correspondence class that I’m currently taking about the history of major global conflicts. I suppose that “The Psychology of Dictatorship” by G.M. Gilbert would still count in this case, no?

What’s next for you as a writer?

Next up I plan on entering my current published book and the upcoming one into several contests and once I have three or four books on the market I’d like to start doing festivals too. Hopefully along with that modest success will come next too!

If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?

I’d most likely bring books about spirituality and astronomy because they are really the only two topics that I know I can ponder endlessly and never reach a definite conclusion. Thinking about the past would drive me crazy because it would be out of my reach, and contemplating the future would be very painful knowing that I might never get there, but I can ponder the meaning of life and death, the afterlife and what’s hidden beyond the stars forever and each time it takes on a different form and I come to a different conclusion.

Posted in Books & Stories

The Distant Factory — All Parts

Visit my official website to download the free PDF version of this book as well as many others or scroll below to read the stories right here on WordPress. If you enjoy these free stories please consider supporting my writing career by buying one of my paid books. 😀

Three years after the murder of her brother by a corrupt politician, Anastasia Sims is hellbent on revenge no matter what the costs. She sets out on a rash of petty crimes by herself until she is recruited by a group of black market arms dealers for the purpose of money laundering. At a crossroads she must choose whether or not she’s going to turn the other cheek and redeem herself or do the unthinkable, but when she encounters Connor Patterson and Damian Welker it seems like the choice has already been made for her.

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Commentary

Although this story is a work of fiction, it highlights very real and very important social issues that plague our society. I will not write an essay about all of it because the lessons are there, we only need to pay attention. The first (and quite putrid) version of this story was originally written in 2011 on the advice of my therapist at the time to hopefully help me process my feelings about growing up in poverty, mostly on the streets of run down neighborhoods ridden with crime and other greatly unfavorable conditions. In 2014 I then decided to revive this project after actually being homeless for a few weeks, and living in a friend’s disarranged hunting trailer and it ended up more or less like this story you’ve just read, minus a few new edits.

Thankfully I never had to witness a murder, and much less committed one, but I’ve seen many things that left a scar on me to this day. By being the “bad guy” and having control over all events from behind my computer screen I could regain that control I never felt I had. Before, I was vulnerable but now I am victorious. If you enjoyed this story I kindly ask you to please consider supporting my writing career by purchasing one of my paid books.