Caribbean Tears is a story of displacement, abuse, pain, heartbreak, and hope.
It is the story of Sheila, a Trinidadian wife and mother, who is kidnapped and shipped to Venezuela where she is sold to a brothel. She is forced into prostitution and is tormented by a brutal man who is the brothel’s supervisor. Despite her daily tortures, she befriends the other women at the brothel, and keeps a positive outlook.
Meanwhile, back in Trinidad, a badly burned body of another woman is mistaken for Sheila. Believing she is dead, her husband eventually begins a relationship with another woman whose actions are partially responsible for the family’s pain and suffering.
The book’s blurb asks, “Will Sheila be able to escape her nightmare and get her life back?”
Caribbean Tears is the fourth book by the self-published author Emiliya Ahmadova and it highlights the plight of females who are trafficked.
“Reading in newspapers about trafficked women as well as watching the stories of trafficked victims on YouTube inspired me to cover this topic in order to cause an awareness. It is a big issue throughout the world. Not only females but children and males also become victims. Their rights for freedom, respect, dignity are broken. They are treated inhumanely. It is a heart aching to hear all of this in the news.”
She said the idea for the story came from a 2016 news report about a woman who was kidnapped and never found. She then did a lot of research about autopsies, criminology, funeral services, and human trafficking to make the story as realistic as possible.
Ahmadova said she was always interested in society’s social problems so while her books were fictional, the issues are real.
Published in 2017, her first book, Broken Chains highlights the struggle and hardship that single mothers face. It is a story about love, infidelity, pain, suffering and a victory.
She explained that broken chains symbolises freedom to be oneself. She said many people deal with fears, low self esteem, past hurts, and bad situations or relationships. They allow their fears to keep them back from achieving their dreams or living their lives to the fullest. She hopes the book inspires women to get out of negative situations and break the chains that drag them down.
Her second book, A Hell For All Seasons, was also published in 2017. It is a collection of seven short horror stories set on different continents. She said the stories show what happens to people when they make “wrong” choices. However, she said, there is always hope.
My Twin Sister and Me, Ahmadova's third book, was published in 2018. Unlike her other books, this one is for children. She recalled that when she was writing Broken Chains her children would read it over her shoulder as she was typing. Therefore, she decided to write something they could read.
It teaches children how to deal with bullying, manage anger, face one’s fears, and the importance of self-respect. It also teaches them values, morals, and faith as well as how to show kindness to each other and have fun.
Ahmadova was born and grew up in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan.
She met and married a Trinidadian. After they got married, the couple lived in Bahamas and Barbados before moving to TT where they have lived for about 13 years with their children.
For three years she volunteered as a scout leader and still volunteers at a senior citizens' home.
“It is amazing to see how a little kindness makes a big difference in the people's lives. So I enjoy helping people, guiding, motivating, coaching, and learning languages.”
She speaks Azeri, Russian and English, and knows some Turkish. She also has a BA in Human Resource Management.
She told WMN she has always enjoyed reading and Literature was her favourite subject. It was while reading books that she developed the desire to write her own, one that would have a positive impact on society. She said she started writing short stories and poems but in 2015 the idea for Broken Chains "popped into her head" and she decided it would be her first published work.
Her main challenge being an author, she said, was finding time to write and market her books between her full-time job as an HR and accounts assistant, and her responsibilities as a wife and mother.
Ahmadova described herself as compassionate, empathetic, and spiritual. She said people, even strangers, often talk to her about their lives and problems, which she appreciates because she always loves helping, inspiring and advising people. She said writing allows her to do that in a broader sense and it gives her joy to do something positive.
“I don’t just write to entertain people. I write to guide, teach, to highlight and to inspire people. So many people are suffering in this world. Women and even children get killed, raped, trafficked and even abused. People die from hunger, wars, or face many tribulations. Some are suffering in silence, afraid to raise their voices. Something has to be done to change this. With my books I give voice to those who do not have it. Because I can not see suffering and play blind.”
Ahmadova is hoping to start a masters in psychology soon. She said she would like to research and do a dissertation on the hypothesis that negative childhood experiences affect people’s decision-making as adults.
“I always wanted to do research on what affects people’s behaviour, personality and what pushes them to the life of crime. Is it because of poverty, bad influence, drugs or is there something else? Some say that at times people turn angry, become abusive or chose a path of crime because they have been hurt in the childhood or grew up with abusive parents.”
However, she said at the end of the day God gave people free will to choose right from wrong.
In the meantime she is currently working on her fifth book, tentatively called Behind the Horns. It is another piece of fiction based on a wealthy family in England. She said it shows how evil can enter people’s lives and influence them without them being aware of it.
Her works are not yet available at local book stores but can be purchased on Amazon. Interested persons can also visit her website at www.emiliyaahmadova.com.