Monday, February 27, 2012

Guest Author Post & Book Giveaway: Trafficked by Kim Purcell

Giveaway Has Now Ended as of 3/1/12

Modern day slavery is alive and well and often going on right in front of your eyes. When I was presented with the opportunity to read this book, I couldn't say no! Check out the description of Trafficked by Kim Purcell...

A gripping thriller, ripped from the headlines!

Hannah believes she's being brought from Moldova to Los Angeles to become a nanny for a Russian family. But her American dream quickly spirals into a nightmare. The Platonovs force Hannah to work sixteen-hour days, won't let her leave the house, and seem to have a lot of secrets - from Hannah and from each other. Stranded in a foreign land with false documents, no money, and nobody who can help her, Hannah must find a way to save herself from her new status as a modern-day slave or risk losing the one thing she has left: her life.

The author has personal experience in helping a victim of human slavery to escape. A tremendous amount of research went into creating this book and that's probably why it's so heart-poundingly awesome. Let Kim Purcell tell you about it in her own words:

Kim Purcell
If your main character comes from another place, I think you really have to go there in order to understand her fully. That’s why I traveled to Moldova to research my novel, TRAFFICKED, even though most of the story takes place in a house in West Hollywood. TRAFFICKED is about a girl who comes from Moldova to America to be a nanny and ends up a modern-day domestic slave.

I tried to research on the Internet and I asked my cousin, who was living there, endless questions, but it wasn’t enough. I decided to take the exact same journey, alone, that my character takes to get out of Moldova, by bus to Bucharest, Romania, where she takes her first taxi to the airport and her first plane to America. Much of what I experienced shows up throughout the novel.

One girl I met on this trip plays a pretty big role in the story. “Ina” is one of the traffickers whom Hannah thinks is just a friend. At the border between Romania and Moldova, all the passengers had to wait in a large warehouse type room with a small glass office in the middle for about two hours. “Ina” was standing next to me. She said they were taking a long time. I asked her what she thought was the problem. She said the agents were probably playing cards. She was a beautiful girl and she had more expensive clothes than most of the other Moldovans. I especially noted her jeans, which looked like they were out of an American department store, not too dark, and the right thickness of material. “Ina” also wore a fur vest, which she kept stroking as if it were a pet. These details made it into the finished book.

While “Ina” and I were talking, she showed me a picture of her boyfriend in Romania and the hotel where he worked. She suggested I go to the hotel when I returned to Romania. “It has a pool,” she said, pulling out a brochure to show me. Then, she showed me a photo of her boyfriend, a regular sort of Romanian guy. When we arrived at the bus stop in the capital city at 3 am, she asked me if wanted to come with her. I still don’t know why we didn’t go to the main bus terminal, but the bus stopped at the side of the road, where all these sketchy men were waiting. I considered her offer before a very large older man in a long black coat came up and stood a few feet away, waiting, possessively, I thought. He certainly wasn’t the same guy as she’d showed me in the photo. She asked the man for a paper and he handed it to her. She scribbled down her phone number, pressing the paper against his coat. Then, she handed it to me and sashayed off with him, linking her arm in his. It creeped me out. I sprinted for a hotel not far away. The man made it in the book too.

The beauty of traveling to another place to research a book is that you see it in a very unique way. The entire time I was there, I was always filing away stories or thoughts for my main character, Hannah. I was trying to see Moldova through the eyes of a Moldovan. I spent a lot of time in the open market and I watched the people working there and tried to imagine my character working there.

When I saw a man with no legs in a wheelchair scooting through traffic trying to get money near the chocolate factory, I came up with a name for him on the spot – Pedro – and imagined a friendship my main character might have had with him. The chocolate smell made it in the book. I saw a dead dog on the side of the road. Everyone was just ignoring it, walking past, and it made me feel terribly sad. I mixed that memory with the smell of chocolate and made a scene out of it.

The girls I met in the villages and in the classrooms of Chisinau helped me mold Hannah into the girl that she became in the story. Even though I’d met many Russians and a few Moldovans in America, after my trip, the story was so much easier to write. It was much more difficult later to cut the parts that weren’t completely relevant to the story. Sometimes I mourn these lost details, especially when I reread my notes, and I panic, oh no, we need to stick that back in. However, I’m sure I carried these memories with me as I wrote. Everything I saw in Moldova helped inform Hannah’s story and the way she responded to America. It was, really, the only way to write this book.

My thanks to Kim for giving us the inside scoop on such a riveting story!

I flew through reading Trafficked and I know you will too! If you'd like the opportunity to receive a copy, leave a comment that answers this question: would you have the confidence to contact authorities if you suspected someone was living in a situation against their will? Don't forget to include your email. That is all!

Giveaway is open to residents of the US only at publicists request. It ends Thursday, March 1, 2012.



  1. Wow! What a fascinating book and I loved hearing from the author. I think the research she did was incredible and I am sure it made her writing sound so much more authentic. I am very impressed by the author and the work she did on this novel.

    I would go to the authorities if I felt that someone was being held against their will. I know it can be scary and dangerous to speak out, but I would not be able to stop thinking about it if I didn't say something.

    I would love a chance to win this book! Thanks so much! email: haightjess at gmail dot com


  2. I think I would. I don't honk the hard part is calling. The hard part is caring enough to try to change someone's circumstances.

  3. I know it would DEFINITELY be a hard decision to make. After all, what if you ended up being wrong and causing all kind of problems? But at the same time, I think I would rather take that risk then chance leaving someone in such a bad situation and not help them. Chances are, if their living arrangements are bad enough to make me ask that question, some sort of help is needed there anyways.


  4. Oh my gosh, this book sounds great. I would definitely be scared to call but would find the courage. It's the right thing to do and I couldn't live with myself if I didn't.
    Kkrasowski at comcast dot net

  5. I would hope that I would be able to contact the authorities. It's so hard to know what you would do until you are in the situation.

    The book sounds like a big page turner! (new follower!)

  6. Would I go to the authorities? In a heartbeat. For one simple reason, I'm a survivor of abuse and would of welcomed a call, a kind face...Sometimes the victim can't escape or see a way out any other way.

    Different kind of scenario, still with either case - in the end someone is being forced to live a life they can't escape without intervention. I'd rather be wrong than take a chance on someone's life.

    I can't wait to get a chance to read Trafficked. (Hugs)Indigo

  7. Definitely. I'd rather risk having that person hate me for false accusations than sit back and watch and do nothing and have something horrible happen.


  8. We almost have no choice other than to do the right thing and tell someone...

  9. This book sounds amazing! Thanks for the interview. :) Also, I would be scared but I would carry on and call the authorities. Someone has to speak for the victim when they can not speak for themselves.
    prettyhaydengurl at yahoo dot com

  10. This sounds like something I'd like. Horrible, I know. But thanks for letting me know about it. :)


I enjoy reading what you have to say. Seriously!