Wavehouse Excerpt & Giveaway
My stomach seized and spasmed. Even watching other kids compete seemed to make me queasy. Sketching, I knew, would calm my nerves; I opened my sketchbook and looked through the quirky drawings—Wavehouses from my dreams.
The Wavehouse visions had started when I was six. First, I dreamed only of waves, but in later dreams, the waves became houses. I would wake up, immediately reaching for any scrap of paper I could find, desperate to scribble the Wavehouse before it was forgotten. Life with Sara was particularly unpredictable back in those days, so I suppose Wavehouses were, somehow, my way to control, to imagine, to feel empowered. They fueled me almost as much as surfing did.
Sara became annoyed when every unopened envelope or sales receipt was covered with my drawings, so she went out and bought me a sketchbook. I’d draw Wavehouses that formed on the crests of rolling waves or under green swells, hovering like bubbles beneath the surface of the sea; some were simple cottages tucked behind underwater rock formations and landscaped with eel grass and coral; others were massive mansions with plumes of water spewing from their roofs kept afloat by waves. My Wavehouses were inhabited by mermaids and flocks of seagulls. Fish gathered to form shimmering-scale pathways to underwater doors, or swam in and out of open water windows. Pelicans rested on floating roofs, sunning themselves as Wavehouses bobbed with the tides.
Usually, I never took my sketchbook out in public—no one besides Sara had ever seen my Wavehouses; but this felt like an emergency. My vision was starting to blur with nervous tears. With so much surf-centric activity around me, no one would notice the odd little girl scribbling in a book.
Sara lingered at the food table, laughing and tossing her long mane of jet-black hair while the surf dudes flipped burgers and chugged beers, which meant she wouldn’t bug me to hide my book or force me to talk to people. To echo my dark mood, I drew a spooky Wavehouse with a curling mass of foamy white water for a roof and spiky mussel shells for its walls. The windows were jagged and irregular, and the door was lined with shark teeth. I was putting the finishing touches on a slippery stone walkway when a squeaky voice over my shoulder said, “That’s really good.”
About the Book
Wavehouse by Alice KaltmanPublished by Fitzroy Books on June 15, 2018
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.
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.
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?
2 winners will receive a hardcover of WAVEHOUSE, US Only.
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