ULR Feature: Cuban Grit: A Modern Tale of Revolution by John Phillips



Cuban Grit uses a combination of suspense, action, and romance to tell a captivating story of a future revolution in Cuba, all the while diving into topics such as personal freedoms, the relationship between Cuba and the United States, and the power of the news media. When the oppressive ruler of Cuba stepped down in 2018, the Cuban people led by Javier Hernandez started a revolution to prevent another oppressive ruler from taking power. Javier’s beloved wife Vanessa Hernandez was publicly assassinated by an unidentified sniper while peacefully protesting in December 2018. Her death led to worldwide outrage and ultimately the United States backing the revolution. With the help of the United States military, the rebels were able to overthrow the oppressive government on June 26, 2019. The Cuban people were led to believe that the United States military would only occupy Cuba for a one year reconstruction period in order to maintain peace while a new democratic government was created. Several years have now passed, and the United States military presence has increased to the point of militant rule. It now appears that Cuba traded one oppressive ruler for another, and the Cuban people are growing restless for the freedom they believe they deserve. Meanwhile in the United States, first generation, Cuban-American, Chevita Diaz, is an American news reporter that begins to question the purpose of the United States military in Cuba, and what it may mean for the upcoming 2026 election. Chevita observes that the United States government is becoming more and more powerful, and she is concerned about the future of her country. If Chevita and Javier can keep from letting their feelings for each other stand in the way of their goals, they just may form the perfect partnership to change the world.


Book Review

What an interesting idea for a novel. After reading the description of this book, I decided that I would like to read it. I have always been interested in Cuba’s relationship with the United States. I liked how the author talks a lot about the future of the country and what can be done to stop the country from having another oppressive leader. The story focuses on a strong lead character, Javier Hernandez, who leads his people to find peace. Sadly his wife is assassinated while protesting peacefully. I loved how strong willed the characters were and the story was just fast paced and intense. Hope that the author will continue to write, this book was fantastic.

ULR Feature: What Grows in Heavy Rain: Winner of the 2015 Doris Lippman Prize in Creative Writing


Available now on Kindle

Two Americans, two Costa Ricans and two Nicaraguans struggle through the rainy season in a small gated community in La Garita, Costa Rica. Through the rain and budding fruit, they battle through terminal illness, poverty, boredom, ex-husbands, theft, and sexual assault. The Costa Rican air has a way of turning even the most logical mind wild with passion.

Available now on Kindle

Book Review

Richly developed and with an occasional sense of humor to temper the more serious parts, “What Grows in Heavy Rain” proved a lovely escape for an afternoon. Eliza’s small, quiet retreat provides the backdrop for a host of interesting characters, including Nicaraguan Luis who can fix anything and has bullet wound scars in his back, Americans Clara and Suzie who have their own reasons for escaping to Costa Rica, businessman Richard who probably should do some more walking, the amusingly named Sweater Vest, and more. Their stories intertwine and touch on all your emotions, from laughing as Esperanza discovers things she never knew existed in Richard’s room to sadness over Luis’s wife and his memories of his mother, to disgust at Richard’s reaction to pretty much everything. The writing just flows, sweeping you along as all these individual stories unfold. The characters are all so complex, and just when you think you have a handle on them they reveal something new that changes your perspective. Excellent story, brilliantly written and worth reading more than once.

Available now on Kindle


ULR Feature: Before We Say Goodbye by Juie Maclennan

beforewesaygoodbyeAvailable now on Kindle!

Four strangers are brought together on a train journey just before Christmas.

They come from very different backgrounds but they all share one thing in common – they have reached a pivotal moment in their lives and after this journey nothing will ever be the same again.

From the sorrow which follows joy, the love which turns to betrayal and the rejection which finally finds the door to acceptance, each will discover that the only journey which really matters is the one which leads to survival.

Available now on Kindle!

Book Review

“The characters, their lives, their story…. The emotions, the sadness, the lost of their spirits for Christmas… I can’t really put into words how each person made me feel. Each one of their lives affected me differently. The author did such an amazing job in making you connect with each characters as they live their journey. When reading the book it’s really as if you are them, you are living their life and feeling each and every thing they feel. This book will draw you in deep enough that you don’t sense the reality around you. A great job by this author! A fantastic book that I would recommend to everyone!” – Amazon Reviewer

ULR FREE ALERT: Every Word An Arrow by Leona Silberberg



Fast paced, powerful and one-of-a-kind, one reviewer calls Every Word an Arrow a “must-read book for anyone getting married or divorced.” For those of you who are already married, another reviewer says that this book will give you a “moment of dread” and send you to the home computer to check up on your finances.

Learn about the type of men whom divorce lawyers call ‘rat-bastards’ and why. Learn the dirty little secrets in the rat-bastard playbook. Learn about the racket known as custody evaluations and about the cronyism among the judges, lawyers and court experts who work in family court and often blur the lines between their professional and personal lives to the detriment of the unsuspecting public.

Follow the story of Josie Blume as she cuts short her overseas engineering career to get married and start a family when she thought she’d found the perfect man. Richard is ten years her senior, tall and athletic with thick black hair and piercing green eyes and the successful scion of a wealthy San Francisco family.

After a decade of marriage and two children, Josie finds herself alone in her suburban Bay Area house, her career gone and her husband using his family’s money to destroy her. She enters an alien world and is thrown into the ravenous jaws of the divorce industry. Shaken to the core by what she discovers on her sojourn through our family courts, she emerges as a resilient and resolute warrior for justice and finds friendship and humor along the way.

Experience the deeply spiritual visionary dreams that guide Josie through her ordeal and meet the colorful tribe of friends she finds when she returns to her hometown in Montana to begin a new life with her children. There’s Iggy the former pirate who lived a daring and dramatic life on his sailboat, Alice the world-weary and wise cracking middle school math teacher who grew up the daughter of an Admiral, and Francine the free-spirited fun-loving bohemian artist. You will be entertained and enlightened by this powerful, moving and profound new book!
Order your copy today!


Book Review

Anyone who has ever been caught up in the “divorce industry” will find this book hard to put down. While fiction, it captures very well the emotional and financial pain often inflicted by a legal system that too often has turned into an industry that spins pain into profit. The story draws you in immediately and the characters are very believable. I hope we hear more from Leona Silberberg!


About the Author

Leona Silberberg graduated from the merchant marine academy and traveled the world aboard U.S. merchant ships while she was in her twenties. After settling in the San Francisco Bay Area she married and had two children. While she was embroiled in several-years-long divorce, she earned a Master’s degree from the University of Montana and lectured in Art History. She will always love Montana but she currently lives in Northern California with her family. Leona is passionate about social justice, writing, art and of course her children. She wrote Every Word an Arrow after discovering the endemic corruption in family court and she now considers herself a visionary warrior for social justice for family court litigants.

ULR Feature: The Halo of Amaris by Jade Brieanne


Available Now On Kindle for $2.99!

Jade Brieanne delivers angels, reincarnation, murder, revenge and interracial romance in this urban fantasy that also steps into the suspense thriller arena…

Being in the Witness Protection Program is hard enough, even without the sense that your memories aren’t all your own. And when Jin Amaris narrowly avoids death—the third time is, apparently, the charm—she is handed the keys to the mystery of who she was…or is. The real question is whether she’ll unravel that mystery before death catches up with her again.

Available Now On Kindle for $2.99!

About the Author

The truly creative mind in any field is no more than this: A human creature born abnormally, inhumanly sensitive. To him… a touch is a blow, a sound is a noise, a misfortune is a tragedy, a joy is an ecstasy, a friend is a lover, a lover is a god, and failure is death. Add to this cruelly delicate organism the overpowering necessity to create, create, create — so that without the creating of music or poetry or books or buildings or something of meaning, his very breath is cut off from him. He must create, must pour out creation. By some strange, unknown, inward urgency he is not really alive unless he is creating.

Pearl S. Buck

At the not so tender age of eight, when I should have been immersing myself in the pleasure of learning what nine times something -supply your own number, they are all hard – I was busy hunched over a desk -with its own personal cubby hole because elementary school rocked – writing a story about a child who gets a surprise visit from a house eating robot.

It was also a story, that once discovered by my wonderful teacher forced me to read in front of everybody. That day thwarted my dreams of being a radio DJ or anything where I had to speak in front of people at length but it defined a truth within me – I love to write.

My love for writing only grew from that point and it was ugly. Plot bunnies,

little green ones with bucked teeth and wild eyes, attacked me at all times of the day and were relentless at night. It was an army of them, all equipped with fictional characters, situations that could not subsist in the realm of reality, and worlds that existed solely with the power of my fourth cup of coffee.

These plot bunnies -who get prettier every year – and I have called an armistice. We try to cultivate together rather than them trying to rip ideas out through my pores. It’s quite amicable and it only took twenty two years.

My name is Jade Brieanne. I am thirty years old with the wild imagination of a sugar addled twelve year old. I am from Fayetteville, North Carolina -don’t ask me where I live now, I like to wander – and I am the eldest daughter of four. I drive a rinky dink Honda Civic that groans when I turn the wheel too hard and I am addicted to anime, manga, K-dramas and KPop. Music really.

And I’m a writer.

Available Now On Kindle for $2.99!

Visit Her Website: http://www.jadebrieanne.com

ULR Feature: Rise by D. U. Okonkwo

A young artist paralyzed by past rejection
A life shackled by lies
A truth waiting to be discovered

In this thought-provoking debut, author D. U. Okonkwo weaves an emotionally intense tale of one young artist’s journey to overcome past rejection and discover the true source of self-esteem.


Available on Kindle and In Paperback!

At age eleven, Ria Ofor was caught in a fire that left her facially-scarred. Devastated by the apparent rejection by her father, Ria, now twenty-seven, is a gifted sculptress but lives a semi reclusive life. Avoiding art galleries and their consequent publicity, she sells her artwork online, scraping a living through online sales. But when she’s hit with a repossession notice on her home, it rocks the shaky foundations she’s been living on.

On borrowed time, Ria knows she must land a gallery contract in order to survive. That means stepping out of her comfort zone and coming face to face with what she’s spent the last sixteen years trying to avoid: rejection.But competition for lucrative gallery contracts is cut-throat, and Ria soon discovers that some artists will stop at nothing to keep the spoils of London’s glittering art world for themselves.Torn between the events of her past and the lies threatening to also destroy her future, Ria makes a decision that changes her life forever.

Provocative and inspirational, RISE is a story of scars, courage and enlightenment. It is also the story of a young woman forced to search inside herself to discover a truth that conquers all lies.

About the Author

Available on Kindle and In Paperback!


D. U. Okonkwo was born and raised in London, United kingdom. She writes contemporary fiction with strong spiritual (not religious but spiritual) elements.

An avid reader from childhood, she began writing her own stories at the age of ten. She holds a BSc (Hons) degree in Business with Spanish from Salford University.

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Available on Kindle and In Paperback!

ULR Feature: The Friendship Flame by Faye Paige

friendshipflameAvailable Now on Amazon!

Fiery, headstrong and spoilt, Kendal Waters has it all: the big house, the loving family, cool friends and all the admirers she could want. Her life is at the centre of the teenage dream. However, things are slowly beginning to change: Kendal’s parents are having issues and making life-changing decisions, leaving Kendal to face a tidal wave of grief and confusion, and when she turns to her friends for support, she starts seeing them in ways she never had before. Clinging to the shattered fragments of what was once her perfect life, Kendal comes to realise: nothing will ever be the same. It’s only when she meets Clare, the class ‘geek’, that Kendal begins to accept that she needs to change her world-and herself in it-before her mistakes devour her and ruin everything…

Available Now on Amazon!

About the Author

From a very early age, I knew I would always love books. I remember even from being about two years old how excited I would be when my mum would tell me we were going to the library: to me, there was nothing better than sitting down and being read a story; anything could happen as the pages turned.

Predictably, once I joined school, my love for books and, as a result, writing, grew. By the time I was six, I was flying through all of my Charlie and Lola books, so quickly that my mum was inspired to give me a beautiful book she had bought me years before and had intended to give to me when I was older; a thick book filled with classic fairytales, complete with stunning illustrations—and advanced writing. I adored that book, and I have treasured it ever since. I would say that was my first favourite book.

With my love of reading, encouraged further by my mum, who was willing to buy new books whenever I finished the ones I had and who suggested I try books with a more sophisticated style in order to enhance my vocabulary, I soon had a list of favourites that were aimed at older children, including The Naughtiest Girl in the School series by Enid Blyton, The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips by Michael Morpurgo, The Puppy series by Anna Wilson, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl, The Nine Lives of Montezuma by Michael Morpurgo, Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White, and Matilda by Roald Dahl. I also fell in love (and became completely obsessed) with Cathy Cassidy books; I adored the stories and I quickly developed emotional attachments with the characters. It was these stories, and Cathy’s writing style, that inspired me to first start writing.

In November 2011, when I was in Year 4 of primary school, I published my first book—a non-fiction teaching the principles of the worldwide craze that was the Moshi Monsters game. Whether you’re an eight year old (as I was as the time) or a fully grown adult, this kind of achievement is huge, and I remember the feeling of seeing my own words in print, and recognising the potential—and likelihood—for people to read (and hopefully enjoy!) what I had written.

After publishing my first book, writing became an addiction, and I knew I wanted to continue on with my career by authoring more books. When I was nine, I read my first adult book, Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver, which is still my favourite book to this day. Since that first experience with Lauren Oliver, I have adored reading her books, and I went on to read and love the Delirium series after that. Shortly after, I read Stolen by Lucy Christopher, which was breath-taking, and then I became immersed in the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer, with my mum then introducing me to Harlan Coben, an extremely talented thriller writer, who took me on many, many emotional rollercoaster rides as I sat devouring his work. Here are a few of my favourite books today:

  • Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
  • The Delirium series by Lauren Oliver
  • Panic by Lauren Oliver
  • Stolen by Lucy Christopher
  • The Sin Eater’s Daughter by Melinda Salisbury
  • Tell No One by Harlan Coben
  • No Second Chance by Harlan Coben
  • Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
  • Divergent series by Veronica Roth
  • Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer
  • The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins
  • One For My Baby by Tony Parsons
  • Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
  • If I Stay by Gayle Foreman
  • My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult
  • Salem Falls by Jodi Picoult
  • The Matched series by Ally Condie

All of these books are unforgettable, and I love them all in completely different ways: Harlan Coben’s books for when I am seeking an adrenaline-filled adventure; Thirteen Reasons Why for the twists and turns, and how the story unfolds; My Sister’s Keeper for the spectacular twist, and in appreciation of the time, effort and research that went into this story; Little Women for a number of reasons, including the fact it is so beautifully written and heart-achingly realistic. I could praise and write about these books all day, but it is enough to say all of these books, in different ways, have inspired me and given me amazing experiences as a reader.

My love of reading and the recognition that books take readers on an emotional journey have encouraged my desire to write books. At the present time, I am working on my first fiction series, Charm Bracelet Girls, with the first book, The Friendship Flame, set for publication very soon! My passion and drive keep me pushing forward in mind of achieving my writing goals, but I am also inspired by, and grateful to, a number of different people, all of whom have played, and continue to play, a key role in my aspirations:

My mum, Hayley Paige, who is also my editor, publisher, manager and advisor, my friend and shoulder to cry on; she is my rock, my absolute world, and I would be nowhere without her. She has started from nothing, working her way up without help or support, setting up editing businesses, and a publishing house, Notebook Publishing—all while being a single mummy. I am so grateful to have her. She is everything I need.

My little sister, Amelia, who always manages to make me laugh, and who, even for a little girl of such a young age, has such a caring and compassionate nature that always inspires me to take a step back and approach life with a more considerate heart. I am so proud to be able to watch her grow, and to be called her sister.

My best friend, Emma Johnson, who has put up with my tantrums and tears, and who has always encouraged me to aim for the stars, always giving me amazing, constructive feedback, and has held my hand whilst having my back through everything.

My two aunties, Laura and Samantha: both have listened to my worries and given me honest and genuine feedback, and never-wavering love.

Martyne, my second mum, who has always been of a huge support to me, and encouraged me to do what’s right.

Harlan Coben, Lauren Oliver and Cathy Cassidy, for inspiring me with their stories, giving me the drive to write.

And, of course, I could never forget my two cats, Ayla and Oliver, who are there for cuddles whenever I’ve felt down. They give me unconditional love and affection, and are a source of amusement and laughter at all times!

Now, more than ever before, I am determined to work towards achieving my dreams. Through watching my mum and seeing that dreams really can become reality, I have learnt that hard work pays off—and that success is measured by actually trying.

Enter the Giveaway Now On Goodreads!

The author’s website: www.fayepaige.co
The publisher’s website: www.notebookpublishing.co