Sons of Cuba Series

by Ellen W. Martin


GENRE:   Historical fiction




Relentless political turmoil streams through the veins of Cuba like lava coursing down the side of a volcano holding the Cuban people hostage to tyranny since Christopher Columbus discovered the Caribbean Island.  One wonders if the country’s destiny can ever change.

In BOOK I – SONS OF CUBA – PRELUDE TO REVOLUTION Felipe Cardena, the rebel, endures lost love, the exhilaration of victory, demoralizing disappoints, imprisonment, exile, and an assassination attempt.  Nothing will stop Felipe Cardena until he achieves his ultimate goal — free Cuba from tyranny.

In BOOK II – SONS OF CUBA – HOMECOMING after victory is declared by the Cuban rebels, the plot shifts away from the revolution and centers on Tangi Montolio, a fiery redheaded activist who once was one of the rebel leader’s most passionate supporters.  Tangi and her family become a victim and suffers under the hands of Felipe Cardena’s new leadership.  The rebel now turned dictator will discover that his brief interaction with Tangi will lead to the destruction of his legacy.




“FELIPE…  Felipe Cardena,” the old man whispered, shaking the young recruit.  “Wake up, you must hurry.”

“Wha… what is it?”

“El Presidente is sending the Cuban Navy to intercept this ship.  He canceled the invasion of Santo Domingo.”

Felipe yawned and rolled over “So what?  Maybe he changed his plans.”

The man dug his fingernails deep into Felipe’s shoulder.  “Yes, there’s been a change in plans.  A revolution may start any day and you’re on the wrong side.”

Felipe rolled over on the hard steel deck of the frigate’s makeshift dormitory, fought the sleepiness lingering in his head.  He grabbed his heavy boots and shoved them on his feet trying not to wake the nearby soldiers.

He looked over at the old man.  “Who the hell are you?” he whispered, fumbling with his laces.

“That’s not important.  What’s important is Salabarrìa’s police shot and killed Emilio Trò.  Fires are burning in the streets of Havana; mobs are overturning cars and buses.  The rumor is that the troops on this ship are heading back to Havana to overthrow the Cuban government instead of liberating Santo Domingo.  No one on this frigate is to be trusted.  That includes you, my young amígo.” Felipe rolled his sleeping bag, picked up his machine gun and backpack.  He waited a moment for his eyes to focus in the darkness.  Sounds of snoring and the odor of week-old sweat saturated the stale air in the lower deck.




     After reading as many books about Cuba as I could get my hands on, printed reams of paper with facts, had an outline of chronological events, I deemed myself ready to start the first draft of my historical fiction SONS OF CUBA.  First I needed a plot.  That was easy.  I planned to follow the important actual events that led up to, during, and after the Cuban rebels’ ousted dictator, Fulgencio Batista. 

The important thing I needed to remember was I wasn’t writing a history book.  My intentions were to write a historical fiction about an interesting, fascinating, charming, and charismatic character whose original ambitions for Cuba appeared to honorable.  Sadly, as far as I’m concerned, those virtuous objectives were lost somewhere along the way.  The character I wanted to write encompassed the man he wanted to be.  Not the man he became – both beloved and hated.

My main character needed a supporting fictional cast of characters that were believable and fit plausibly with him and in the actual events that the story would follow.

I created a best friend who keeps him focused, headed in the right direction, and never loses faith in him until the end.  I gave him a brother who worships him, but wasn’t trusted by his colleagues.  And then, I developed four women who, in their own unique way, played a critical role in the main characters life.  They will influence him as the college student, the rebel, and finally, the dictator.

And yet, I still wanted a twist in my main character’s life.  I wanted a character that would add mystery and intrigue to the story I was developing. 

How did I do that?

During my research I discovered that the “syncretic” religion Santería had been a part of Cuban culture since the 16th Century.  I didn’t know much about Santería, but since it was part of the Caribbean culture, I decided to take some time to learn more about it.  The more I read and understood about this religion that influenced Caribbean traditions, with its West Africa’s Yoruba spirituality, and elements of Catholicism, the more I got excited about developing a character that would play an integral part in both Book I and Book II of SONS OF CUBA.  Born from this additional research was Rafaella Zamá, Santería priestess (Oloricha). 

Without a doubt Rafaella was my favorite character in both books and most fun to write.  Her intermittent appearances added intrigue with a touch of mysticism.  This mysterious woman believes she was chosen by the Orishas (Santería gods), to guide and control the main character’s life — even though he isn’t a true believer. 

Rafaella pops in and out of Felipe’s life in an effort to control his destiny preordained by the Orishas.  Sometimes she warns him of impending dangers; sometimes she saves his life; sometimes she is just a thorn in his side.  For whatever reason she appears, it is never by invitation. 

Rafaella’s character bleeds into BOOK II SONS OF CUBA – HOMECOMING where she continues to force the issue that only she knows the predestined path for Cuba.  No one defies the Orishas.

Books I and Book II of SONS OF CUBA is a fictional account of actual events, using many creative liberties.

For more information about BOOKS I, BOOK II SONS OF CUBA, and my other books awaiting publication check out my website:

My INTO THE DEVIL’S DEN – SNARED BY THEIR OWN LIES a suspense/thriller should be released by the end of October 2020.

Take a look at The SONS OF CUBA book trailer now showing on Youtube.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

After a lifetime of personal adventures, travel and escapades (a lot of risky escapades), author Ellen Martin, is living her sunset years bouncing around a tennis court or clicking away on her keyboard.

Outrage at social injustices, the thrill for suspense, and unraveling a good mystery are triggers that motivate Ellen to write memorable stories and colorful characters.

Over 30 years as a military wife, she has resided both in the Orient and in Europe where she became no stranger to social injustice and poverty.  She and her family have lived in the Philippines, Japan, Italy, and the Netherlands — not to mention both U.S. coasts and Kansas in the winter.  She is fascinated by real-life, colorful personalities.

On a more personal note Ellen was a flight attendant for the Charter Airline Saturn in the 1960’s.  Her job was escorting United States troops in and out of Viet Nam.  Her adventures in the war zone continued until she was swept away by her fighter pilot husband.

After retirement the couple’s travels included Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Poland, Hungry, Spain, Scotland, and Ireland and topped off with a visit to Cuba.

God gifted Ellen with one “perfect” son and three grandchildren.

You wrap all this in a package and Ellen has been rewarded with an endless supply of fodder for her fiction.

In her historical fiction Book-I SONS OF CUBA–PRELUDE TO REVOLUTION she weaves an embellished tale of the most notorious and charismatic Cuban rebel in modern history.  There’s a chance you might find him charming, intriguing and actually root for him in his early endeavors to free his beloved Cuba from tyranny.

However, in Book II – SONS OF CUBA – HOMECOMING, the story takes the reader from the rebel’s exile in Mexico to preparation for the revolution from the Mountains of the Sierra Maestra.  This is where you will meet the fiery redheaded peasant girl, Tangi.  The narrative shifts its focus from the revolution and centers around the fictional character, Tangi, and her family’s struggles, fears and disappointments in the new regime.

How the story in real life ends is no secret.  But, in Book II – SONS OF CUBA – HOMECOMING, the characters and the author may just get the last word.

In 2020 Ellen’s new book INTO THE DEVIL’S DEN turns from historical events to present day reality – Terrorism — terrorism in our own backyard.

Check out her website for excerpts from her books:

Book Video:

Amazon buy links:

Prelude to Revolution



Ellen W. Martin will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

8 thoughts on “Sons of Cuba Series

  1. Good Morning
    Thank you Independent Authors for hosting my tour today.
    Thank you to all those that have already visited and taken a peek at my two book series.
    If anyone has any questions, I’ll be popping in and out today and will try to answer any questions you may have.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you Independent Authors for allowing your visitors to share some time with me today.
    Thank you to all those who stopped by and took a peek at my two book series. I hope you’ll take a chance with the books and will enjoy them. Our neighbor Cuba’s history truly is interesting.
    Good luck with the raffle to all of you.


    Liked by 1 person

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