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  2. Returning Cubans boost island's real estate market
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It started with the best of intentions. When evidence emerged that monarch butterflies were losing the milkweed they depend on due to the spread of herbicide-resistant crops in the United States, people across the country took action, planting milkweed in their own gardens. Habitat loss in both the United States and Mexico has long been the main threat to the North American monarch population. But the loss of milkweed in the United States continues to be a major issue, scientists say. The plant, on which monarchs lay their eggs, used to spring up in between rows of corn, soybeans, and other commercial crops.

But today, many farmers plant herbicide-resistant versions of these crops, which allows them to spray their fields with powerful chemicals such as Roundup—killing milkweed in the process. Last year, the number of monarchs that migrated to Mexico was the lowest ever recorded, covering a mere 0. That's why many monarch buffs swung into action.

However, the only species of milkweed widely available in the United States is Asclepias curassavica , which is native to the tropics. Tropical milkweed is pretty, easy to grow, and monarchs love it. The problem is that tropical milkweed—at least when planted in warm environments like southern Texas and the U. But it turns out that year-round tropical milkweed presents an even more direct threat to the butterflies. Milkweed hosts a protozoan parasite called Ophryocystis elektroscirrha OE. As caterpillars, monarchs ingest the parasite along with their normal milkweed meals, and when they hatch from their chrysalises they are covered in spores.

In fact, if an OE-infected monarch tries to migrate, it will probably die long before it arrives in central Mexico, Satterfield says. But I never sat, never was still or never mindful long enough to bask in the butterflies of Amieira mountains. Now, I am ready. To watch as I would have as a child. My mind so much clearer, that I can sit and enjoy writing, sharing. I have so much more to explore with our theme of the week back in the studio: BACK TO YOUR ROOTS, and I am not surprised that this is already a theme woven into the week here…circles, journeys, four directions, memories and being children of the earth- feeling in the belly and coming out of our heads.

You know, the feeling of the belly where we feel butterflies. No rationalisation and judgements. Thank you for the space that is being held here. And right now, I can not think of a greater gift. Only as I put this onto the blog structure and upload my photos and scrolling through my recent pictures, does this fit absolutely perfectly into place….

Your email address will not be published. Carly on 24th May at pm. Love your blog!. View all 8 comments. This was a Traveling Sisters group read. Love the cover art! Title: Intriguing, fascinating, powerful and a wonderful representation to storyline. Absolutely loved the writing style! Plot: Intriguing, informative, fascinating, thought-provoking, fast-paced, atmospheric and entertaining.

Ending: A pat and happy ending that was very satisfying and pleasing. I have a fondness for Epilogues! Overall: A fun, tense and exciting read with fabulous characters filled with rich historical content. Would highly recommend! Favorite Quotes: War has a way of sanding down your virtue. I reenact my own Cinderella routine sans the discarded pump. The line between villain and hero is whisper thin, and, very frequently, a matter of perspective. Gray, Miss Perez. We operate in the gray. My Review: Favorite Quotes: War has a way of sanding down your virtue. My Review: I was completely sucked into Ms.

Her captivating storylines sparkled with intrigue, betrayals, passion, family drama, an epic love, patriotism, scandal, and tropical heat. The engaging plot was quickly paced and highly eventful while blending fact and fiction with stunning agility in an informative yet entertaining and evocative manner. And I am proud to exclaim I finally, yes finally, have a grasp on the atrocity of the Bay of Pigs and the disgraceful betrayals of the US government that caused such butchery, which is nothing new and probably even worse now, yet still, so disheartening. The 60s really were a mess!

View 2 comments. May 02, myra rated it liked it. When We Left Cuba was good but not as good is I expected it to be since this book got really good reviews. Apr 13, Bkwmlee rated it really liked it Shelves: penguin-first-to-read , favorites , fiction. Story-wise, there was a lot at play here —politics, history both Cuban history as well as American , romance, espionage, family, culture, etc. One of the biggest draws to this book for me was the character of Beatriz Perez herself — a wonderfully written character who was at once complex, intriguing, and absolutely unforgettable.

I loved her sassiness, her independent spirit, her boldness in following her heart and not caring what others thought of her or her actions, her open defiance of convention and refusal to conform to what society and her parents expected of her which was to marry someone rich and well-connected, have children, and fade into the role of demure housewife.

At the same time, she was also a woman who knew how to love passionately, fearlessly, boldly, devotedly, yet still be able to approach the same relationship with pragmatism and discernment. I enjoyed revisiting some of the characters from the previous story and also seeing how perfectly the timelines from both stories aligned. Historical fiction fans definitely should pick both of these novels up, especially those who are interested in better understanding Cuban history and its role on the world stage. The promise of Beatriz being a fantastic heroine was the proverbial dangling carrot and I was looking forward to reading her story.

Not gonna lie, cheating isn't something I'm comfortable with. It's not necessarily a deal breaker if I can make sense of it. Nick and Beatriz meet at his engagement party and a while after that they start an affair. In my opinion it was unnecessary to give their relationship an illicit character. When Nick mentioned earlier affairs I had a bit of a rough time to summon understanding.

So Beatriz was the last in a row of mistresses? At least that's what it felt like at first. Nick totally made up for it. I always felt that their love was never balanced, that Nick loved Beatriz more than she loved him, that he made sacrifices for her but she always put her country first. Maybe an admirable feat for a young woman but I'm a romantic at heart and Nick loved her beyond reason - I just wished that she had made sacrifices too.

Finally - Nick was 37 when they first met. So by the time Fidel died he was 93 and Beatriz Honestly, I wasn't very thrilled with their reunion at that point. That is not to say that it wasn't emotional and beautiful It wasn't necessary to make him this old when they met. One last niggle before I come to the good stuff: I loved the history in Next Year in Havana but this time there was a lot of excessive politics.

Yes, the history was fascinating but the political events in that depth really slowed the first half down. Now, I know this doesn't sound super promising but what you get in this book is a strong-willed, independent, charismatic, ambitious heroine who does everything for the country she loves and to avenge her brother's death.

I want them to be mine. She breaks with convention, however, she doesn't need a husband to validate her and it's what makes her stand out as a heroine. She's a truly emancipated young woman. Beatriz loves Nick undeniably and although I felt that he loved her more I still felt that her love for him was one for the ages. Nick turned out to be one of the typical Chanel Cleeton heroes: swoonworthy, sweet and completely devoted to Beatriz. His love had a desperation about it because he knew Beatriz loved her freedom above all else and who could blame her after what she and her family endured in Cuba?

What does your future look like? The timing for their relationship was just always off and their divergent ambitions in the way. I felt connected to Beatriz and Nick and felt the Zeitgeist of the era. It didn't leave me as satisfied as the first book but it still made for an intriguing read. If any of that sounds like something you enjoy, Chanel Cleeton is definitely a good choice. Mar 26, Tammy rated it it was amazing Shelves: read-in , netgalley-read , read-in-march Beatriz is a beautiful, strong woman trying to buck the societal norms for women of the time.

Beatriz is focused on avenging her twin brother's murder and she won't let anything or anyone stand in her way. Last year, I read Next Year in Havana and couldn't wait for this book. Chanel Cleeton has written an intriguing story with yet another memorable character. When We Left Cuba was one of my most anticipated reads of and it far surpassed my expectations!

View all 4 comments. Aug 23, Kate Quinn rated it it was amazing. Bold, unconventional Beatriz makes a heroine for the ages, burning to avenge her losses, aid her homeland, and carve out a more independent role for herself than the conventional marriage and motherhood expected by her family. A charismatic American senator offers Beatriz the chance of love in a new home, but a shadowy CIA spy holds out the possibility of molding Cuba's future, and Beatriz's choice will resound through the ages. A thrilling, thought-provoking read.

View all 5 comments. Nov 24, Cindy Burnett rated it really liked it.


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This book focuses on Beatriz Perez and her desire for revenge against Fidel Castro and his cronies who forced her family to leave Cuba. Cleeton continues to bring the Perez family to life and to focus on Cuba and the role other countries have played in its development. I look forward to her next book. My issues may not be yours. If you've been excited about reading this as I was, you could very easily disagree with me.

I was looking forward to Beatriz's story ever since meeting her in Next Year in Havana, and I thought her book was going to be surefir Title: When We Left Cuba Author: Chanel Cleeton Release date: April 9, Cliffhanger: No Genre: historical fiction, women's fiction Let me start out by saying that I see major love for this book, and I seem to be in the minority with my feelings.

I was looking forward to Beatriz's story ever since meeting her in Next Year in Havana, and I thought her book was going to be surefire, five star book. She was a little bit mysterious, bold, courageous, and honestly I was dying to learn everything there was to know about her. Unfortunately it didn't work out that way. I had a difficult time forcing myself to read all the way through until the end. If you read the previous book, you'll know that this takes place after the Cuban Revolution and picks up with Beatriz and her family as they are beginning to settle into their new lives in Florida.

Elisa is now married, and her mother is obsessed with finding husbands for her other daughters from a respectable family. Her father is focused on rebuilding his sugar empire on American land so that his family is provided for and safe. Though they found refuge there, they haven't been welcomed with open arms in the wealthy circles they were accustomed to in Cuba. There is frustration and bitterness over having their success stolen from them, losing their homeland, and most of all, the injustice of her brother Alejandro's murder.

The pain of everything she has survived gnaws at her until the only thought that brings her comfort is killing Fidel Castro and finally returning home to Cuba. Only a tyrant who aims to be king. Beatriz is watching cooly amused at her kneeling suitor as she receives her fifth marriage proposal. She's in independent woman for her time who wants to make her own way in the world. The last thing she's interested in is giving up her freedom for so-called domestic bliss and being her husband's shadow. Her number one focus is making contact with the CIA and using them to get everything she wants.

A sitting US Senator with aspirations to go all the way to the presidency. They share a dance, sparks fly, and then her attraction skids to a screeching halt when she realizes that Nick is now an engaged man. Professionally, I liked Nick. He was the type of politician that actually cared about making a difference. But when his attraction to Beatriz quickly becomes something of an obsession, that's where things go downhill for me. I didn't like Nick and Beatriz's relationship. At all. They start out by trying to stay away from each other, but it doesn't take long at all for them both to take what they want "temporarily" and move her into the position of his mistress.

I hate cheating and don't find anything remotely romantic about it. I'm all for a star-crossed romance, but it was very hard to root for them or feel any angst over the position they found themselves in. It would have been different if Beatriz knew before sleeping with him that his engagement was purely for political gain. But no. She chose to take what she wanted and in her words become "the villain" in the scenario. The other woman. And I understand that she had no interest in marrying anyone, but to sleep with a committed man simply because she temporarily wanted him?

He even tells her that he's had other affairs, and it doesn't bother her a bit. You believe in Cuba and the dreams you have for her future. When have you ever wanted something and not gotten your way? Everything she did was to further her own goals and she never once took his feelings into consideration. Love isn't selfish like that. You make compromises and shift your ambitions to make room for someone if you truly love them like they deserve.

Eventually Nick did these things. He proved by his actions that he was willing to make sacrifices for her, but it didn't go both ways. The only thing she wanted was an opportunity to assassinate Castro, and to return to Cuba. There were days, so many days, when that vow was all that kept me going. We were led steadily toward this opportunity that she was waiting for. She wanted to avenge her brother and free her country from this tyrant who had taken so much from so many.

And then we finally get to "the moment" and any expectation of an exciting confrontation is quickly deflated like a popped balloon. There was just no excitement for any aspect of the book for me. The spy sections were sporadic and failed to garner any suspense whatsoever. I was not invested in Beatriz and Nick's ill fated relationship, so I didn't feel a thing for them. But I left the book feeling more than a little disappointed at the supposed happy ending, because it just wasn't realistic. I they could have just left things as they were and NOT gone there. He'd had a long and happy marriage with another woman and became a widower 6 months prior.

It wasn't realistic to me that he would have any interest in running back to Beatriz the moment Castro dies at this point in his life. I wanted to love it so bad, but the more I think about the book, the more it frustrates me. I'm actually struggling to think of anything to mention that I liked. I will say that Cleeton did put a lot of detail into the historical side, expressing the threat of nuclear war and Kennedy's assassination very vividly.

Like I said, I see glowing reviews everywhere so don't let mine stop you if you're planning to read this. Some books aren't for your taste, and in my case, this happens to be one of them. They are all acclimating to their simple lifestyle after growing up with wealth and privilege. Her father suffered a big financial loss when his land was seized and is currently trying to rebuild his sugar empire.

Her missions are dangerous but Beatriz is willing to sacrifice anything to get her back to her beloved homeland.

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She meets an ambitious US Senator and romantic sparks fly. Their relationship is not beneficial to either of their careers and his pending marriage. Despite the obstacles, it's tough to avoid each other due to the chemistry that exists between them. This book can be read as a stand-alone but you would be missing out on a great story.

Returning Cubans boost island's real estate market

View all 3 comments. Apr 10, Carlene Inspired rated it it was amazing Shelves: ng-group-challenge , netgalley , historical-fiction , ngchallenge , women-s-fiction. Find this review and others at Carlene Inspired. Beatriz Perez, with her beauty and her paste jewelry, can work the Palm Beach social circuit with the best of them, but she can't pretend it's what she wants.

The fake smiles, the social status marriages the American dream, it doesn't mean as much to her as the future of Cuba does. While her family feels safe, despite the loss of their home and the family's successful sugar business, Beatriz burns with anger, with a desperate desire for revenge, wi Find this review and others at Carlene Inspired. While her family feels safe, despite the loss of their home and the family's successful sugar business, Beatriz burns with anger, with a desperate desire for revenge, with a sadness that penetrates even the happiest of moments.

As future Beatriz drinks a champagne of celebration and reflects on the past, young Beatriz makes the choice to risk it all, to join the CIA in the act of espionage. Blending fiction and facts, the romantic tale follows Beatriz as she gives up jewels and Palm Beach fame for the secretive life of a spy. And yet, Beatriz can't hide from love, the kind of love that's forbidden, that makes her question the politics at play, the kind that could ruin her revenge plan entirely. I love love loved Beatriz in Next Year in Havana, just the small glimpses of her that we were given told us she'd be a force to reckon with and in When We Left Cuba we see just that.

She's fierce, driven, beautiful beyond words, and yet she's weighed down by the loss of her home, of her life, of the future she dreamed of. Beatriz, the girl who once loved jewels and fancy dresses, now lives for revenge. Except Nicholas Randolph Preston III makes her believe in happiness, the kind she can escape to, but that she also knows she can't have, not when he's sitting in a senate seat and she is spying for a team not known for abiding by the rules.

I loved her perspective on her family's escape, of the experiences they had in Cuba, of the politics in America at the time. She is an independent, opinionated women at a time when that was frowned upon. Her passion overflows from the pages, filling me with the same desperate desire to right the wrongs in Cuba.

Chanel Cleeton weaves fact with fiction as strong-willed Beatriz Perez romances the Kennedy-connected elite and blends with the girls vying for the attention of a wild revolutionary. Chanel Cleeton has such an incredible, romantic way with words, I could feel the bubbles in my own throat as Beatriz sipped the finest champagne and the butterflies of fear that flapped their wings inside her as she traded in family and safety for secrets.

I was intrigued and entertained from the first page to the very last, Beatriz' voice becoming real in my mind as she narrated the dangerous world of espionage and told of the man who she nearly risked it all for. Suspenseful, poignant, and romantic, When We Left Cuba, and its beautiful heroine, is an instant favorite for me for I won't soon forget Beatriz Perez and her love of her home, Cuba. ARC provided. View all 7 comments. Apr 18, DeAnn rated it really liked it Shelves: She was the queen bee of society in Havana and is creating quite the stir in Palm Beach.

She has a string of marriage proposals and broken hearts to her name.

NPR Choice page

She is completely taken by surprise when she falls for a handsome politician 4. She is completely taken by surprise when she falls for a handsome politician and the two share a star-crossed romance. The timing and their backgrounds are not quite a fit for the times when all of that mattered so much. Cleeton does an outstanding job of writing so that you feel like you are in Florida and Cuba during this time period. There is some political intrigue with the CIA, plots to assassinate Castro, and the Kennedy era all intertwined to make this a fascinating story with history as a framework.

Beatriz is much more than a pretty face and this book completely drew me in to her character and made me root for her happiness.

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She is fueled by revenge, but that can be a detriment to happiness and fulfillment. I highly recommend this one to those that enjoy historical fiction, some suspense and romance all thrown in.