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Stark Reality Merges with Caribbean Folklore

KRISTINE SIMELDA’S TWO NEW NOVELS, Rainforest Redemption, and Blessings on Blessings are set in Dominica and based on true-life kidnappings that occurred on the island in 2011 and 2022 respectively. The gala launch of these two eye-opening novels is scheduled for this Saturday, June 1st from 4 pm at Tropical Blendz Café upstairs at the Prevo Cinemall corner of Old St. and Kennedy Ave. Everyone is cordially invited to meet the author, enjoy refreshments, listen to live music by Jussi Paavola, join in the discussion about child abuse prevention, and purchase your signed copies of these timely novels suitable for young adults and mature readers. The books are sold separately at EC $40 & $45, or $75 for the set.

Rainforest Redemption: A Maxine Alexander Mystery, Book I. Feisty junior reporter Maxine Alexander is looking for the “scoop” that will boost her career and skyrocket her to journalistic fame. When her fourteen-year-old classmate Flora Durand goes missing from the sleepy Dominican village of Plaisance, she tackles the case. Seeking clues, she climbs up a set of mysterious stone steps and encounters Jacko, a sympathetic Rasta man, who helps search for the missing child. Good and evil clash during a duel between Jacko and the villain. Will Kenson pay for his crime according to conventional justice, or will Nature’s Ways prevail?

Blessings on Blessings: A Maxine Alexander Mystery, Book II. Investigative reporter Maxine Alexander, the heroine of Rainforest Redemption, returns to her Dominican village of Plaisance following a ten-year sojourn overseas. On a rainy night, she is involved in a minor accident in the same vicinity as the kidnapping of a twelve-year-old girl named Blessings. Maxi is keen to solve the mystery of the child’s abduction, but how and why did it happen?  She launches a call-in radio program called “Bring Blessings Home,” but the location of the girl remains unknown.

“As an author living in and writing in Dominica, I am proud to have used local talent in the production of all the books published by my imprint River Ridge Press. The cover art for both Rainforest Redemption and Blessings on Blessings was created by Aaron Hamilton, my book designer is Giselle Laurent and my editor was Lisa J. Latouche, a Dominican living in the U.S.”

BIO:  Born in the U.S., Kristine Simelda has lived in Dominica for the past 30 years. As a Caribbean-based author, her focus has been to honestly record the experiences of cross-cultural living through empathy, engagement, and respectful appropriation. Her short fiction has appeared in dozens of regional and international journals and anthologies. To date, Ms. Simelda’s imprint, River Ridge Press, Dominica, has published 3 adult novels and 3 novels for young adults. Rise Up, Sista, a 50-year saga of enduring female friendship, was released in November of 2021 by TouchPoint Press in the U.S. All books are available at Jays in Dominica, at the Roseau Public Library, and on Amazon in eBook and paperback after the Dominica launch. The author’s website is

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