Guest Post: Wavehouse by Alice Kaltman


Hello lovelies!

Today we have a guest post by the author of Wavehouse, Alice Kaltman! Check below for a giveaway as well!

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Title: Wavehouse
Author: Alice Kaltman
Pub. Date: June 15, 2018
Publisher: Fitzroy Books
Formats: Hardcover, Paperback, eBook
Pages: 289
Find it: GoodreadsAmazonB&NTBD

Sixteen year-old Anna Dugan is a super surfer who feels most at home when taking off on a ten-foot wave. But surf culture bores Anna big time. While other surfers follow trends and speak the lingo, Anna harbors a secret desire to be an artist, drawing houses made of waves. It’s not the most practical dream for the daughter of a single mom living in Kendall’s Watch, a beach town where most kids are so surf-centric they think ‘Current Events’ have something to do with ocean tides.

Anna is not only the best surfer in Kendall’s, she’s also the shyest. When a surf scout comes to town to gage her talent, Anna freaks out and refuses to let him watch her. To protect herself from the pressure and the panic, Anna decides to only surf at her private break, Secretspot, for the rest of the summer. But Secretspot becomes treacherous in ways Anna never imagined, and the danger has nothing to do with waves. When a gorgeous stranger paddles out, smiling a bewitching smile and surfing like a god, their chemistry is impossible to ignore. A series of events are set in motion that will change Anna’s life forever; events that raise difficult questions about love, honesty, betrayal and family ties.

In the end, is it worth it? Dive in to Wavehouse, life-preserver recommended, and the decision is yours.

Guest Post:

The inspiration for Wavehouse comes from the beach towns on the East End of Long Island and the people who live in those towns. Anyone who has spent time “out east” knows it has a very particular vibe and natural beauty. The cliffs, the Atlantic Ocean, the dunes, the special kind of light that has inspired visual artists and writers for centuries. And then there are the people, a combination of crusty old salts and surfers, weekend warriors and trend-setting city transplants. It’s such an odd combination of types all in close proximity. Suffice to say, the social dynamics are ripe for fictionalizing!

I was also inspired by the ocean, which I consider my home away from home. I often say I’m most at home when upside down and underwater.

I wanted to write about a local girl who, while part of her small, everybody knows everybody town, feels mostly like an outsider. My main character Anna Dugan, is exceptional in so many ways, but the only gift she’s ever been recognized for—her surf prowess—is not something she particularly wants attention for. Until my book, Wavehouse begins. A few chapters into the book and everything changes for Anna, in ways she never expected.

Lastly I was inspired to write a book about surfing, because I love to surf! Sharing the stoke, writing about waves in a way that is accessible and interesting to surfers and non-surfers alike was a particular goal for me. I hope I did a good job at this. I guess you’ll have to read the book to find out!

Giveaway Details:

2 winners will receive a hardcover of WAVEHOUSE, US Only. Enter here.

alice_headshot_100-620x413About Alice:

As a young girl I longed to be a mermaid. My idol sat demurely on the Chicken of the Sea tuna fish cans. I peeled labels off to save her image. Every night before bedtime I squeezed both legs in to one side of my pajama bottoms and shuffled around the house pretending I was as beautiful as the tuna fish mermaid.

Real mermaid-hood proved elusive, so I became a modern dancer instead. For over twenty years I worked with brilliant choreographers and performed in amazing places. And while I’m still paid to do the occasional pirouette, I’m now mostly known as a Parenting Coach/Writer helping out moms and dads, and talking to kids also, about their (often annoying) parents.

But honestly? I’m most at home when upside down and underwater. I’ve been swimming my entire life, and surfing for the better part of adulthood. It’s no surprise my two novels are totally ocean-centric. Saving Grace is about a mermaid, and Wavehouse is about a surfer. And I guess they’re both about me, too.

My short fiction (for adults) takes place on land, sea, and air. I’m thrilled that Staggerwing, a collection of my favorites, is forthcoming from Tortoise Books in October, 2016.

These days I split my time between Brooklyn and Montauk, New York where I wear my pajamas regular style. But if too much time passes without a swim or a surf, I’m tempted to revisit my childhood shenanigans. Wouldn’t it be fun to flip-flop about like a fish out of water or a beached mermaid, restless and hungry for the incoming tide?

If you want to reach out about bookish stuff, send me an email via the cute little Contact pop-up, or via my literary agent, Zoe Sandler of ICM Partners.
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

WAVEHOUSE

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Review Rendezvous: 6/16/18


The Lost Heifetz and Other Stories by Michael Tabor
Book stats:
Genre(s): Contemporary
Medium: Print
Number of pages: 348
Publish date: February 15th, 2018
Purchase: Barnes & Noble

38636428A musician has a life-changing encounter in a New York record store with a mysterious old man who may have known a brilliant violinist who was presumed to have died in World War II…

The Picture of Dorian Gray is revealed to be a pure fiction by one of the characters from the novel who explains what really happened to the infamous portrait and its subject…

An aspiring writer receives a surreal and mind-bending lesson in creative writing from a pawnbroker who deals in narrative voices…

The well-ordered life of a widower in a peaceful English village is disturbed by the arrival of a wealthy new resident who needs to be taught a lesson in respect…

An art dealer and an artist meet on vacation and embark on an intense affair that is tested by their redacted lives…

These and other stories and satires, set in the US and Britain, explore the lives, relationships, and search for fulfillment of men and women from many walks of life.

I must admit, this was a bit of a new type of book for me to read. I haven’t really read any novellas or novella collections unless they were attached to a larger series that I have already read. But, I must admit that I was pleasantly surprised with the book. I don’t have any experience to compare this one too, so I kept my expectations to myself this time.

Some would say that writing a short story is actually harder than a novel, because you have less words to squeeze the same plot points and descriptions into that a full-length novel does. But Tabor is able to weave the individual stories excellently, and you care for the characters just as much as if you’d had a whole book to get to know them.

The range of stories that this collection touches on is quite large. There’s the story of an old man who may or may not be a long-thought-dead violinist, a professional house-sitter with a few quirks of her own, and many more.

This book is great for readers who may like taking fiction in with smaller chunks. It’s easy enough to read just one short story and come back to it a bit later, so if you don’t feel like diving all the way in, this book is for you. You’ll find yourself enraptured in the characters for sure!

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Rating:
HeartHeartHeartHeart


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Review Rendezvous: 6/9/18


XVI by Julia Karr
Book stats:
Genre(s): Young adult, science fiction, dystopia
Medium: Print
Number of pages: 325
Publish date: January 6th, 2011
Purchase: Amazon Book Depository

XVIEvery girl gets one.
An XVI tattoo on the wrist–sixteen.

Some girls can’t wait to be sixteen, to be legal. Nina is not one of them. Even though she has no choice in the matter, she knows that so long as her life continues as normal, everything will be okay.

Then, with one brutal strike, Nina’s normal is shattered; and she discovers that nothing that she believed about her life is true. But there’s one boy who can help–and he just may hold the key to her past.

But with the line between attraction and danger as thin as a whisper, one thing is for sure…

For Nina, turning sixteen promises to be anything but sweet.

This had a promising idea attached to it. I was interested in the idea of the tattoos and the social constructs surrounding them. But, after the first chapter or two, things began to go downhill. I didn’t particularly empathize with the character, which is a huge sign that the rest of the book won’t be too enthralling either.

I will admit, I finished the whole book for this one, which is an accomplishment. Normally if I end up disliking a book that quickly, I will just skim the rest to see what happens. Maybe it was my interest in the few mysteries that Karr brought up, or the fact that I had nothing else to do. Either way, the book isn’t particularly bad, it is just lackluster in my opinion.

Nine seems to follow the cookie-cutter dystopian teenager mold that I’ve seen many, many times. You can forgive the character the first time you read one like her. But the 20th? Not as easy. Granted that there are extenuating circumstances in the book, but Nina just seems to float through, responding to the situation rather than really acting. And then there is her reaction to events surrounding the end of the book, that I can’t disclose. If something like that happened to me, I feel like I’d have a much more emotional reaction. Just saying.

Overall, it’s meh if you have nothing else to do, but I’m not particularly motivated to read the second book.

Rating:
HeartHeartHeart


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Review Rendezvous: 6/2/18


The Hauntings of Cold Creek Hollow by Alexie Aaron
Book stats:
Genre(s): Paranormal, mystery, romance
Medium: Print
Number of pages: 342
Publish date: January 6th, 2012
Purchase: Amazon – Barnes & Noble

tHoCCHLittle Mia Cooper’s ability to see the dead made her an outcast in her hometown. Several years later, she has finally managed to blend in, but her hard-won peace is threatened by the arrival of a bumbling team of paranormal investigators. Mia is drawn in reluctantly as an advisor on what, at first, seems to be a fairly straightforward case, only to discover that the Hollow has much more in store for her. An ancient evil is rising in Cold Creek Hollow. What begins as a ghost hunt will become a fight for survival.

The premise of this particular novel is certainly intriguing. I’m all for the story of an unwilling former gifted child dragged into a paranormal investigation. There’s quite a bit of mystery and suspense involved, but on the flip side there was also some out of place moments.

First of all, this is the beginning book in a series that has stretched to 19 books already, so the premise definitely has promise. The thing that really bugged me though about this book was how much focus was put onto romance relationships. Sure, add in some romance now and then to hooks readers who look for the kind of thing, but the main focus should be the mystery. Better yet, develop the kind of relationship throughout the series that has everyone going “Just get together already!”.

There also happens to be quite a few characters. I would expect to collect a large group of characters throughout the series as a whole, not in the first book. It was a bit overwhelming to try and read them all.

In the end though, it was a fairly good read. I did enjoy the mystery aspects, I ust wish it had been a little easier to follow the plot. I suppose I could try out the next one in the series, as it has the potential to be better. Although, the covers could use a bit of work, none of the books in the series look like they belong together.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

Rating:
HeartHeartHeart


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Review Rendezvous: 5/26/18


The Ride Delegate: Memoir of a Walt Disney World VIP Tour Guide by Annie Salisbury
Book stats:
Genre(s): Nonfiction, memoir
Medium: Kindle
Number of pages: 170
Publish date: September 7th, 2014
Purchase: Amazon

Ride DelegateThe rich and famous experience Disney World differently from the rest of us: they’re escorted by VIP Tour Guides, elite Cast Members who truly do hold the keys to the kingdom. Annie Salisbury was one of these Cast Members, in charge of making the very best magic for those who could afford it. In The Ride Delegate, her memoir of life as a Disney World VIP tour guide, Annie shares some of her most memorable experiences:

  • The Middle Eastern royal family who needed a room at the Contemporary where all thirty-seven of them could pray, right now.
  • The wealthy woman who used cancer as an excuse for why her family should be able to ride It’s a Small World until they were ready to get off
  • The mysterious VIP (dubbed “Dr. No” by Annie) who arrived for his afternoon tour in a private plane at a private airport in the swamp
  • The famous football player who didn’t understand why he couldn’t ride Universal’s Incredible Hulk Coaster at EPCOT
  • Plus, you’ll learn about the perks and privileges of being a VIP Tour Guide, from corn dogs to illicit cash, and the lengths to which Disney will go to keep its VIP guests happy

Come get a taste of what Disney World is like for those with deep pockets—and personalities to match—and meet the eccentric, outrageous guests who turned Annie’s dream job into a reality show.

Now, this is waaaaaaay off the type of book I usually read. Well, I’ve actually read quite a few of this type, but that was back when I was preparing for my experience with the Disney College Program, which you can read about and watch videos on various platforms. So basically, before I go on, I will warn you that this review comes from someone who knows the situation all too well and has experienced the behind the scenes. It may “break the magic” for you, as some say, but I think it’s hilarious as all get out, so  the choice is up to you.

I love Annie’s voice and writing style. That’s one of the first things that stuck out to me. I opened this book kinda as a ‘meh’ read because it was on my suggestions for Kindle Unlimited, and boy did that suggestion work well. I blew through it in two hours (of course, I had to work when I was halfway through the book, which sucked, but I quickly got back to it after my shift).

She has so many anecdotes and hilarious stories, it is so worth the read. This book is memoir-style, so I can’t really critique plot or characters or anything since the whole thing is real. The fluidity between the chapters could be worked on a bit and there are a few minor spelling errors, but otherwise an all-around good read. If the “behind the scenes” of Walt Disney World has ever interested you, I think you’d enjoy this.

Rating:
HeartHeartHeartHeartHeart


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