Thursday, January 31, 2019

Human Trafficking, Part IV: Resources

My final post for Human Trafficking Month provides you with a list of resources, should you decide to take action, whether as a reader, author, or citizen. This list is by no means exhaustive, however, I hope it gives you the opportunity to explore this issue in greater depth. SOME OTHER CHILD is a baby trafficking story, but as you've seen there are many facets to this terrifying issue.

Films  & Documentaries
·        Taken
·        Frozen River
·        Revenge
·        Human Trafficking
·        Slum Dog Millionaire
·        Trade
·        Sin Nombre (Without a Name)
·        Born into Brothels
·        Lilya 4-Ever
·        Selling of Innocents
·        National Geographic BORDER WARS (Cable)

A Small Sampling of Nonfiction Books
·        Disposable People: New Slavery in the Global Economy by Kevin Bales
·        Human Trafficking: A Global Perspective by Louise Shelley
·        The Slave Next Door: Human Trafficking and Slavery in America Today by Kevin Bales & Ron Soodalter
·        Not for Sale: The Return of the Global Slave Trade--and How We Can Fight It by David Batstone
·        Sex Trafficking: Inside the Business of Modern Slavery by Siddharth Kara
·        The Whistleblower: Sex Trafficking, Military Contractors, and One Woman's Fight for Justice by Kathryn Bolkovac

Online Resources
·        CIA World Fact Book
·        Health and Human Services
·        Polaris Project
·        FBI HumanTrafficking
·        FBI InnocenceLost Project
·        Bureau of Justice Statistics

Comment below with your thoughts about human trafficking for an opportunity to win an ecopy of SOME OTHER CHILD.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Human Trafficking, Part III: Why Romance?

If you're a romance reader or author, especially one who enjoys romantic suspense, human trafficking is not only a timely topic, but one that lends itself well to heart-stopping stories, like EYE OF THE EAGLE. Here's What's In It For Me (WIFM) as a writer and reader.

Victims: children, women, men, families
Perpetrators: fathers, mothers, families, women (madams were frequently trafficked themselves), organized crime, disorganized crime, corrupt politicians, police, border guards.
Heroes and Heroines: Governmental agents (FBI, ICE, DHHS); police; non-corrupt politicians, police border guards; Non-Governmental Agencies (NGOs) (religious organizations, not-for-profits)

1. Secret Baby (Adoption Trafficking)
2. Cinderella (rags to riches) (Madams; Organs)
3. Opposites Attract (FBI agent, Crime boss)
4. Bodyguard (Protecting rich woman, nearly dies)
5. Second chance/First love rekindled (Oryx & Crake; children/teens torn apart)
6. Reunion (Woman/child reunited w/family)
7. Stranded (Lost and Trafficked)
8. Love Triangle (Pimp/Prostitute/John)
9. Marriage of Convenience (Mail-order Brides)
10. Beauty and the Beast (Captor/captive or C/c
11. Sleeping Beauty/Ugly duckling (Drugged women/Awakened by Hero)
12. Amnesia (Head Injury & Trafficked)
13. Fish out of water (Abducted on vacation)
14. Blackmail/Revenge (Unfaithful lover)
15. Forbidden love (“Good”C/c)
16. Mentor/protégé (boss/employee)
17. Princess/Pauper; King/Beggar maid (Beggar children)
18. Bad boy/good girl; Bad girl/good boy (C/c)
19. Best Friends (One seeks trafficked friend)
20. The Road to Adventure (Boy soldiers/Captive “brides”)
Adapted from Jana Richards 20 Classic Romance Plots

What We Can Do As Readers and Citizens
Become informed and raise awareness;
Buy only Fair Trade goods (e.g., flowers, chocolate)
Demand that laws against human trafficking be created and enforced (only 5/31 Mexican states have anti-trafficking laws)
Reduce demand: John’s schools, corporate policies, zero tolerance in tourism, real estate,  advertising & related industries who benefit indirectly from human trafficking.

What We Can Do As Romance Writers
·        Romance writers have long tackled difficult women’s issues, such as domestic violence and addiction.
·        Romance writers can tell a fictional story that is less threatening to readers to expose the world of trafficking.
·        Romance writers can show readers what individuals can do.
·        Romance writers can make a difference.

On the last day of Human Trafficking month, I will provide a list of resources on Human Trafficking. Meantime, where do you think the best place is to find information on what to do about human trafficking as a reader, writer, and citizen? 

Comment below for an opportunity to be selected for an ecopy of EYE OF THE EAGLE.

Monday, January 28, 2019

New Release: An Earl Of Her Own Saints and Sinners series (Book 3) By Heather Boyd

An Earl Of Her Own
Saints and Sinners series (Book 3)
By Heather Boyd
Heather is giving away a print edition of The Duke and I and A Gentleman’s Vow during the tour. Please use the Rafflecopter below to enter. Remember there is a chance to enter everyday so be sure to follow the Blog Tour. You may find the tour schedule and locations here About An Earl Of Her Own:
Marriage is about finding that special someone you want to annoy for the rest of your life! Rebecca Warner’s devotion to her family is the perfect distraction from the loneliness of widowhood. Not that she’d ever admit a need for someone special in her life after her husband’s betrayal. With the responsibility of arranging her sister’s wedding falling into her lap, Rebecca has no time for a certain maddening earl bent on seducing her—until he proves her most ardent ally. For Adam Croft, Earl of Rafferty, what began as an amusing pursuit—shocking Rebecca Warner—becomes something deeper when he recognizes how perfect a wife and mother she would make. Adam’s keenly aware of his loneliness…and that his habit to curb it with drink lost him Becca’s respect. He’ll happily change his ways to win her approval, but what more can he do to win her love? Release Date: FEBRUARY 12, 2019 Length: approx. 300 pages Heat: steamy regency romance Digital ISBN: 978-1-925239-51-5 Print ISBN: 978-1-925239-52-2 ASIN: B07KGLD7RB AppleBooks ID: 1437218392 Book Links:
Excerpt: “You are hurt, worse than you want to say,” Rebecca Warner whispered. Her soft green eyes were filled with real concern, something Adam had never expected to see on her face. “Well, that is disappointing.” “Disappointing?” Rebecca immediately began searching through his hair for the wound, and he chose to imagine it a sensual caress until she spoke again. “You have a gash to your head that has bled. Dear God, you could have died.” “Always looking on the bright side,” he murmured, and then noticed how close the lady was to his body. He inhaled slowly, delighted in this unexpectedly rare treat. Mrs. Warner had never been the friendliest sort. “You smell nice.” “Really, Rafferty,” she chided. She suddenly slipped her hand inside his coat, rummaged in his pockets and began to dab at his head with the handkerchief she found there. “This is hardly the time to worry about my perfume.” “As you say, I could have been killed. Seems like an appropriate time for noticing the little things in life that please me.” He felt pain and hissed. Eager for a distraction, he dropped his gaze to her shoulder—now bare of the shawl, which had fallen away unnoticed by the lady. The respectable garment Rebecca had worn to church, so stylish and modest, was less so now thanks to the accident. The struggle out of the carriage seemed to have ripped the seam apart, and her pale skin looked very soft and inviting. He curled his fingers into the skirt of her gown and held it. “Lovely.” She drew back to peer into his eyes again, and then she glanced down at his fist. “What are you doing?” What was he doing? Adam had no idea, but he wasn’t of a mind to stop.
Saints and Sinners series: Book 1: The Duke and I (Nicolas and Gillian) - Book 2: A Gentleman’s Vow (Gideon and Jessica) - Book 3: An Earl of Her Own (Adam and Rebecca) -
About the Author:
Determined to escape the Aussie sun on a scorching camping holiday, Heather picked up a pen and notebook from a corner store and started writing her very first novel—Chills. Eight years later, she is the author of over thirty romances and publisher of several anthologies too. Addicted to all things tech (never again will Heather write a novel longhand) and fascinated by English society of the early 1800’s, Heather spends her days getting her characters in and out of trouble and into bed together (if they make it that far). She lives on the edge of beautiful Lake Macquarie, Australia with her trio of mischievous rogues (husband and two sons) along with one rescued cat whose only interest in her career is that it provides him with food on demand. You can find details of Heather's work at
Heather Boyd's Social Links:

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Human Trafficking, Part II: Why does it Exist?

Last week, I defined human trafficking and discussed where it's happening. This week we will talk about WHY human trafficking exists, some of which is revealed in LEGACY OF EVIL.
Push Factors of Human Trafficking
Poverty, low educational levels, patriarchy;
High birth rates ->Low value human life;
Street children unsupervised by parents
Destabilization of governments (esp. former Soviet Union, Latin America and Africa);
Rise of organized crime from former soldiers and enforcers (Russian mob, MS-13);
Wake of natural disasters leave women and children unprotected .

Pull Factors of Human Trafficking
Demand for sex in areas with large numbers of unmarried men (mining, agricultural);
Sex tourism, demand for children both male and female;
Demand for compliant soldiers (<age 12);
Demand for cheap labor (global competition), domestic servants, agricultural workers;
Criminal demand for children for begging;
Demand for babies and body parts.

Facilitating Factors
$32 Billion Industry: money is good and the consequences are minor.
Politicians, police  and security apparatus are corrupt and profit from trafficking.
Border patrols often complicit in crime.
Higher levels of poverty predict great levels of human trafficking.
Born into brothels, remain in brothels.

Why Does It Persist?
Patriarchy, lower education for women and lower status of women predicts greater levels of trafficking.
One exception—some clients want smart women with education so they can feel they have a “high class call girl.”
Value of trafficked person depends on part of the world, treatment of person is poor--most die within 5-7 years of being trafficked from violence or drug overdoses.
Higher mortality rate among trafficked women & children; survivors continue to have mental health issues.

In Your Back Yard
Many organized crime rings have diversified from drug and gun trafficking to human trafficking;
Can only sell a drug or gun once, but you can resell a human many times over.
The I-95 corridor from Florida to Boston is a main artery for trafficking; it is literally happening in our back yard.

You may be wondering why a ROMANCE author would be so interested in this dark topic. After all, aren't we supposed to be writing about hearts and flowers? This is the stuff of thrillers and mysteries, not romance. Or is it? Why do you think romance authors write about human trafficking? 

Put a comment below about why you think it's a topic for romance authors to be eligible for an ecopy of my award-winning romantic suspense novel, LEGACY OF EVIL.