Gathering the Indigo Maidens, a novel written for women, about women, to help women, sheds light on the little discussed, forbidden topic of human trafficking.
At the Gathering the Indigo Maidens September 21st book signing event, Lita Mercado, program director of the Victim Assistance Program in Orange County, hesitated to release the daunting number of referrals they receive each month from local law enforcement of girls picked up for prostitution, but was clear to say that a vast majority of the young girls that show up at their doorstep are victims of human trafficking.
Human trafficking affects 14,500 to 17,500 nationwide annually according to the U.S. Department of Justice. A portion of proceeds from all Gathering the Indigo Maidens book sales will support the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force.
The book signing was hosted by the Donna Karan Collection retail store in South Coast Plaza, Costa Mesa, Calif. and included a dessert and champagne reception. Supportive of the fight against human trafficking, Donna Karan donated ten percent of all retail sales that day to the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force. The signing was preceded by a private luncheon at Marche Moderne in South Coast Plaza.
In an unrelenting tale of three historical Latina figures, Gathering the Indigo Maidens, takes the reader on a journey that befalls the indigo gathering maiden in Quito, Ecuador in 1699, to the failed printing dynasty of Maria de Rivera Calderon y Benavides in Mexico City in 1754, to the indigo ink protest sign in 1889 that sentenced Modesta Avila of San Juan Capistrano to San Quentin prison, all while incorporating the modern day life and emotions of an esteemed art collector from Laguna Beach.
“My novel intertwines the mysterious history of a 17th century Spanish Colonial painting, the lives of three nearly forgotten historical women, and the grim, sadistic, modern-day world of human-trafficking for sexual exploitation,” says author Connie Spenuzza (pen name “Cecilia Velástegui”).
Spenuzza says her goal is to provide ongoing financial support to assist the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force in meeting their mission of providing services to victims of sex trafficking. In addition to providing an initial $2000 donation, she plans to donate a percentage of all books sales to this unique nonprofit collaboration which has helped Orange County victims of human trafficking over the past six years.
For more information about the author, future books signings or to purchase the book, visit www.gatheringtheindigomaidens.com.
About the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force
Founded in 2004, the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force (OCHTTF) is a collaboration of Law Enforcement, Non-Governmental Organizations, Faith Based Organizations and the community. The purpose of the OCHTTF is to work together to protect victims, prosecute offenders, and prevent further perpetration of this crime in Orange County, California.