Following the successful Nov. 5 release of her latest book ‘Suitcase of Dreams,’ Caribbean-American Mental Health Advocate, Hazell McKenzie has been impacting readers, been in high demand for speaking engagements & appearances and has gained fulfilment through the achievement of life and career goals.
‘Suitcase of Dreams’ explores Hazell’s transition to life in the US as an adolescent Caribbean immigrant and all the growing pains, trauma and subsequent battles with various mental health challenges that followed and led to her eventual path of triumph.
The success of the book has been a phenomenal and humbling experience for the author.
She shared, “Since its release the outpour of support for the book and for me has been amazing. I’ve received so much positive feedback from readers and even professional book reviewers.”
These sentiments include:-
“Suitcase of Dreams is an incredibly affecting, beautiful story of perseverance in the face of hardships and of overcoming obstacles that seemed insurmountable at the time. I think it will give hope and inspiration to anyone who reads it.”
“The characterization is good. I felt like I got a vivid picture of everyone, and I felt very emotionally invested in her story.”
“The character development is excellent. Changes in people that take place over long periods of time are portrayed well.”
“The depiction of Hazell and her family and their persistence and resilience despite the difficulties they face is the strongest part of the book. It’s the heart of the story, and it’s done incredibly well.”
“I liked the repetition of the “suitcase of dreams” motif throughout the book; it added to the sense of cohesion and the overall message. The chapters are well-paced, and are a good length.”
With its easy to read flow and diverse yet relatable topics ‘Suitcase of Dreams’ has intrigued readers globally, promoted a positive message about mental health and has become a useful tool in initiating conversation about this subject with individuals and within communities who would have otherwise been hesitant to speak about these very real struggles.
The book has also raised Hazell’s profile as an already in demand public speaker on mental health. She was recently selected as a panellist at the ‘Women On Fire Conference’ in Philadelphia and has been requested for some appearances at upcoming events.
Along with the book’s success, this year Hazell has also graduated Binghamton University, New York with a Master of Social Work and is working as a substance abuse therapist.
Additionally, she creating a prototype for the first ever social work smart doll called ‘AdamaDOLL’ which is geared to detect signs of sexual abuse in children.
As a proud Caribbean-American woman and author, Hazell is presently planning several book signing events and a 2020 book tour which will include stops in her native St. Vincent and in her adopted hometown of NYC.
As a speaker and advocate, her goal is to share her story via many different platforms, to build awareness, understanding and guidance re: mental health, and to dispel some of the myths about the various disorders and replace the shame and stigma with support and coping mechanisms for affected persons.
‘Suitcase of Dreams’ is released through GenZ Publishing and is available for purchase in paperback and on Amazon via: www.amazo