Meet Chanel Cleeton, Author of “Next Year in Havana”

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Chanel Cleeton


Originally from Florida, Chanel Cleeton grew up on stories of her family’s exodus from Cuba following the events of the Cuban Revolution. Her passion for politics and history continued during her years spent studying in England where she earned a bachelor’s degree in International Relations from Richmond, The American International University in London and a master’s degree in Global Politics from the London School of Economics & Political Science. Chanel also received her Juris Doctor from the University of South Carolina School of Law. She loves to travel and has lived in the Caribbean, Europe, and Asia.

Chanel is represented by Kevan Lyon of Marsal Lyon Literary Agency. The author of ten books, her latest novel, NEXT YEAR IN HAVANA, will be published by Penguin/Berkley in February 2018.

 Next Year in Havana out February 6, 2018





After the death of her beloved grandmother, a Cuban-American woman travels to Havana, where she discovers the roots of her identity–and unearths a family secret hidden since the revolution…


Havana, 1958. The daughter of a sugar baron, nineteen-year-old Elisa Perez is part of Cuba’s high society, where she is largely sheltered from the country’s growing political unrest–until she embarks on a clandestine affair with a passionate revolutionary…


Miami, 2017. Freelance writer Marisol Ferrera grew up hearing romantic stories of Cuba from her late grandmother Elisa, who was forced to flee with her family during the revolution. Elisa’s last wish was for Marisol to scatter her ashes in the country of her birth.


Arriving in Havana, Marisol comes face-to-face with the contrast of Cuba’s tropical, timeless beauty and its perilous political climate. When more family history comes to light and Marisol finds herself attracted to a man with secrets of his own, she’ll need the lessons of her grandmother’s past to help her understand the true meaning of courage.

February 6, 2018





A vivid, transporting novel. Next Year in Havana is about journeys– into exile, into history, and into questions of home and identity. It’s an engrossing read.

– David Ebershoff, author of The Danish Girl and The 19th Wife



Chanel Cleeton’s Next Year In Havana is a flat-out stunner of a book, at once a dual-timeline mystery, a passionate romance, and paean to the tragedy and beauty of war-torn Cuba. The story of sugar heiress Elisa, watching Cuba fall into revolution as Castro rises, is intertwined with the modern-day tale of Elisa’s granddaughter Marisol as she returns to Cuba after Castro’s death. Both women fall for fire-brand revolutionaries, but Cuba itself emerges as their true love-interest, threatening to break both women’s hearts as Elisa and Marisol each grapple in their own way with what it is to be Cuban, what it is to be an exile, and how to love and live in a homeland riven by revolution. Simply wonderful!

– Kate Quinn, New York Times bestselling author of The Alice Network

Cleeton has penned an atmospheric, politically insightful, and highly hopeful homage to a lost world. Devour NEXT YEAR IN HAVANA and you, too, will smell the perfumed groves, taste the ropa vieja, and feel the sun on your face. Just a wonderful and educational book!

– Stephanie Dray, New York Times bestselling author of America’s First Daughter

An evocative, passionate story of family loyalty and forbidden love that moves seamlessly between the past and present of Cuba’s turbulent history— how one young woman’s sacrifice becomes the key to her granddaughter’s future—how culture and spirit survive against all odds. Next Year in Havana kept me enthralled and savoring every word.

Shelley NobleNew York Times bestselling author of Whisper Beach

In Next Year in Havana, Chanel Cleeton’s prose is as beautiful as Cuba itself, and the story she weaves–of exile and loss, memory and myth, forbidden love and enduring friendship–is at once sweeping and beautifully intimate. This a moving, heartfelt, and gorgeously realized story that will stay with you long after you turn the final page.

Jennifer Robson, USA Today bestselling author of Somewhere in France

An enticing and wonderful read for lovers of historical fiction and soul-searching journeys.

– Library JournalSTARRED Review

Chanel Cleeton’s lush, compelling historical novel weaves together two stories of love, revolution and family secrets in Cuba.

Shelf Awareness

Cleeton delivers the two women’s descents into dangerous romance with persuasive intensity…. A love story and an homage to the history of the Cuban people.

– Kirkus Reviews

With graceful prose, Cleeton evokes the former grandeur of 1950s Cuba, and contrasts it with modern day Miami in this sweeping family saga of loss and love. I fell into the transporting pages, and savored each scene, each word. Intimate, absorbing, and sensual, NEXT YEAR IN HAVANA begs the question all of us long to know:  who am I and where do I come from?

Heather Webb, author of Last Christmas in Paris


Told through the eyes of a Cuban sugar queen and a modern freelance writer, Cleeton has created a lush and sweeping romance that brings Havana to life in a riot of colors. This gritty tale pulls back the curtain on revolutionary and modern Cuba, allowing us a glimpse of the courage, heartache, and sacrifices of those who left their country in exile, and also those who stayed behind.

Stephanie Thornton, author of The Conqueror’s Wife

An undeniably personal and intimate look at Cuba then and now, wrapped around the gripping story of two women torn between love and country. Beautifully rendered, Cleeton has given us a big and important novel that will open your eyes to Cuba’s struggles and harsh realities. I haven’t been able to stop thinking and talking about this book.

Renee Rosen, author of Windy City Blues



Next Year in Havana is a ravishing jewel of romance, hope, family, and the history in Cuba. Poignant yet gratifying, the novel offers a rare glimpse of the country during the Cuban Revolution, the love that was found and lost, and the people whose lives were irrevocably changed. Skillfully weaving two storylines, Cleeton writes with passion, with authenticity, and with a tenderness that will surely melt your heart. I couldn’t put the book down!

– Weina Dai Randel, author of the 2017 RWA RITA® Award winner The Moon in the Palace

Chanel Cleeton delivers an amazing and captivating read! Loyalty, identity, and family are at the heart of this beautifully written story of two women’s struggle to find their place amid Cuba’s shifting political fortunes.

Alix Rickloff, author of Secrets of Nanreath Hall

A compelling, un-put-downable page-turner told from two equally powerful female narratives. Cleeton vividly recreates revolutionary Cuba while deftly weaving in the modern-day expatriate experience. Lush prose, star-crossed lovers and turbulent times make this a family saga to savor. A must read.

Lia Riley, author of It Happened on Love Street


Next Year in Havana is a riveting, moving novel that explores the ever-relevant themes of love and sacrifice, family and duty, patriotism and resistance. Cleeton describes Havana so vividly that I felt I was there. I could not put this book down!

Alyssa Palombo, author of The Most Beautiful Woman in Florence

In this intricate and nuanced portrayal of historic and contemporary Havana, Chanel Cleeton’s elegant prose deftly captures the sunshine – and shadows – of Cuba. Romance and revolution combine to create an emotional, thought-provoking read that will linger with readers long after they’ve turned the final page. Sweeping and beautiful, this evocative tale is not to be missed!

– Meghan Masterson, author of The Wardrobe Mistress

Throughout Next Year in Havana, Chanel Cleeton has a way with words, resulting in a novel lush with beautiful, atmospheric, and authentic writing.

Jenni L. Walsh, author of Becoming Bonnie

[Next Year in Havana] had me mesmerized from start to finish.

The Romance Reviews (Pip), Top Pick!

Next Year In Havana brings alive the beauty of Cuba with a wonderfully romantic and tragic story of fate and family.

– Good Book Fairy

[A] beautiful tribute to Cuba. Cleeton has blended historical facts with a compelling fictional story that is both atmospheric and evocative. This sweeping saga will engage readers with Cuban history, romance and a touch of suspense as it deals with issues of identity, family and sacrifice making it a perfect choice for fans of historical fiction.

 The Baking Bookworm







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