A Call For Help

Screen Shot 2016-03-16 at 10.53.16 PMOn Sunday, I received an email from Mark Coker, the founder of Smashwords, with a subject headline that caught my eye. It read, “Help End the Book Embargo Against Cuba” and it included a request to visit the following link https://petitions.whitehouse.gov//petition/end-book-embargo-against-cuba and consider signing his petition.

I’m asking you to do the same.

Why? If you care about people being oppressed and mistreated, here is a small step you can take to help in a big way. It won’t cost you anything except the few minutes of your time to click on the link, read the short petition, and sign your name. On March 21 and 22, President Obama will be taking a trip to Cuba, and shortly thereafter, his administration will announce modifications to the embargo that will likely loosen some of its restrictions. We want to encourage President Obama to lift the embargo against books and educational materials.

Here are some of the points Mark Coker makes:

“Cuba has an adult literacy rate of nearly 100%, about 20 points higher than the US.”

“Cuban publishers have difficulty acquiring even the basic raw materials of bookmaking like paper and ink.”

“Cuban readers don’t have easy access to books published by American authors and publishers.”

“Books promote greater cross-cultural understanding, economic development and free expression.”

For those of you who’ve read my book, Imbroglio, you know that I touch on some of the horrible living conditions of the Cuban people as a direct result of their government’s political regime and the effects of the U.S. government’s embargo. Without delving too deeply into the country’s politics, I’ll share just a bit about those conditions for those of you who may be unaware.

With their state-controlled agriculture, the country struggles to feed itself, forcing the government to import approximately 70 percent of the island’s food which, of course, amounts to higher costs. The government employs a ration system for Cubans to receive a portion of food and commodities which they can purchase at their local bodega at subsidized prices. However, these rations are often out of stock or frequently delayed, and since the average Cuban salary amounts to around $20 a month, be the person a janitor or a doctor, many local residents aren’t able to afford the higher marketplace prices. Consequently, many go without, typically consuming one meal a day. The country operates with two different currencies, where many establishments accept one type and not the other, resulting in the broadening of the haves and have-nots, and there is so much more. For those interested in reading further, I have included links at the bottom of this blog.

What you may be asking is, with the much bigger problems the Cubans face, how will ending the book embargo help? History has shown that when people are enslaved, oppressed and otherwise mistreated, knowledge, wisdom and information have been the keys to effecting positive change. With political relations warming up between our two countries, we are primed to do just that.

Please take a moment to join me in the opportunity and then share this with others you know. 100,000 signatures are needed by April, 8, 2016, so time is of the essence!

For more information about Cuban and U.S. relations and their economy, visit:

A Brief History Of U.S.-Cuba Relations

Amid Reforms, Cubans Fret Over Food Rations Fate

Cuba Looks To U.S. Farmers For Help With Food Crisis

Reform On The Range: Cubans Heed The Call To Farm

Ration Book in Cuba


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Meet the Author

Imbroglio is my exciting debut. Birthed as catharsis during a tumultuous time in my life, I penned this story for others like me in search of an undying love. I'm currently working on the next phase of this project to bring to fruition an audio book, a book trailer and, for those who want to watch it on the big screen, a feature film. What's after that? The sequel, of course!... I mean, perhaps... LEARN MORE >

The Story. Defined.

im·bro·glio / im-‘brōl-yō / n. (pl. -lios)
1) A perplexing and intricate state of affairs: Shannon Moore––professional, headstrong, and blazing her own path––starts doubting the solidity of her life and future when a charming encounter and a chain of perplexing events overtake her. Ensnared in love, lust, and a spiritual odyssey among unsavory dealings, she plunges into a heart-racing journey of intricate twists and turns, and her dangerous state of affairs provokes more questions than answers.
2) A complicated situation: She's plagued by the warnings: “Don't get involved in something you really don’t want to be a part of” and “Things aren't always what they seem...” Throughout the imbroglio, she clamors for freedom in the form of salvation and love, both of which have been strangers far too long. SEE MORE

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• Paperback: 192 pages

• Category: Romantic Suspense

• Book Dimensions: 5.5” x 8.5”

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