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Guest blogger: Krystina Powells

30 August 2020

Dreamy beach weddings, spectacular honeymoon destinations, breezy tropical getaways. I guess you’re conjuring up images of the Caribbean, right? If so, you’re right … they all happen in the Caribbean—a breathtaking backdrop for romance.

In ‘Rockaway’, Beres Hammond, a famous reggae performer from Jamaica, sings of the days ‘when love used to reign’. Are you feeling nostalgic, hopeful, or hopelessly in love? Whatever the choice, I believe that true love should always prevail.

The Caribbean is my life. I grew up in a rural area of St Croix, US Virgin Islands. Some may argue that all areas on an island may be considered ‘rural’, but on most islands, there is a bustling town (or two) with surrounding laid-back country-sides. Raising animals, climbing trees to pick the sweetest fruit in season (like mangoes or genips), working in the yard, hanging out with cousins, and exciting trips to the beach were all part of my life.

"Colorful mango" by seriousbri is licensed under CC BY 2.0; “Genip” by Filo gèn' is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

The St Croix Vibe. Ripped away from Indian tribes that once inhabited it, the eighty-four-square-mile island endured seven flags staked into its soil—Spain, Holland, England, France, Knights of Malta, Denmark, and the United States of America. African slaves worked to enrich each nation that held the reins. In 1848, however, the slaves rebelled and emancipation followed.

A twenty-five-million-dollar price tag dangled on the Danish West Indies (St Croix, St Thomas and St John) and the United States acquired the islands from the Danes in 1917, mostly because it was a strategic military move. By travel, Point Udall, St Croix is the easternmost part of the United States of America. Now under the American flag, natives have the same rights as any US citizen (except voting for the president). The three islands are now called the US Virgin Islands or America’s Paradise.

Point Udall by www.islandguide.com Frederiksted St. Croix Cruise Ship Pier by Lovesphotoalbum.com

Arches of C’sted town by "Cooperstein_[8.16.13] St. Croix_128" by R.Cooperstein is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The 250-year Danish influence on these tiny islands is still so strong that even Danes are shocked to see the names of the towns and streets in their language, so far away from home. The capital of the US Virgin Islands, located in St Thomas, is Charlotte Amalie, named after the queen consort to King Christian V of Denmark-Norway. Signs for street names like Kongens Gade, Norre Gade, and Dronningens Gade will guide you as you walk through the streets of Charlotte Amalie on St Thomas where most of the names were never translated into English like they were on St Croix. The two towns on St Croix are Frederiksted and Christiansted, and the architecture screams Denmark.

History and storytelling is my passion. Mesmerised by colourful outdoor theatre performances and the antics of live storytellers, I was hooked at an early age. Listening to elderly family members, like my grandparents, and friends recount how life was in days gone by, inspire me to seize opportunities to ‘see’ a story unfold and tell it.

Trade Winds of the Heart is the first of many stories where I invite readers to travel with me beyond the beaches of the islands in the Caribbean.

‘A thoroughly enjoyable and heartwarming read! You will love the wonderful, often humorous glimpse into Crucian life, and come away more appreciative of the persistent challenges and troubles that exist today, even in paradise. Along the way, you will have the pleasure of meeting many colorful, memorable, and courageous characters!’—Editorial Review

So, what happens when Caribbean life becomes the setting for the ups and downs of falling in love? Suddenly, life on an island isn’t all sea, sun and sand. That is Kayla’s story. At twenty-four, she is finally manoeuvring her way through all of the bitter setbacks in her life, hoping to achieve her dreams. Just as Kayla is beginning to find focus, she meets Richard, an intriguing stranger who’s worlds apart from the life she knows.

Kayla and Richard have absolutely no reason to cross paths. Richard has moved from Davenport, Iowa, to the Caribbean expecting an uncomplicated life and has become a successful businessman with lots of friends in high places. All is going well with Richard until his heart lures him into the unknown, spinning him out of control.

Will this chance meeting stand in the way of Kayla’s moment of recognition and result in her losing what she’s worked so hard to regain?

Will Richard’s presumptions steer him away from the path of passion or will surrendering be exactly what’s needed to complete him?

St Croix, US Virgin Islands comes alive in Trade Winds of the Heart. It is a story that is as vibrant as the Caribbean itself and as unpredictable as the storms that torment its sandy shores. A fascinating multicultural, interracial love story of how two lives on clearly divergent paths eventually intersect.

Journey with Kayla and Richard as they navigate the turbulent twists and turns in life and steer their way through the prevailing cultural, racial, and socio-economic issues to discover true love.

Trade Winds of the Heart is available in print and Kindle Unlimited at Amazon.com. Print at Barnes and Noble and BookShop.

Krystina Powells was born in St Croix, US Virgin Islands. She is a wife and mother of a very energetic little girl who has a vivid and inexhaustible imagination. Krystina’s longtime love of history and knack for storytelling along with her experiences in the Caribbean inspire her to take readers on a journey that goes far beyond the beaches and straight into the hearts and homes of the local people. Through her stories, readers will experience life, love, and laughter in the islands from a genuinely unique perspective. Krystina Powells playfully addresses issues that some may shy away from, while focusing on the often-forgotten jewels of the sea that many call ‘home’.

You can find Krystina here: Website | Facebook | Instagram | YouTube

 

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