At least that’s the plan.
It all starts when his girlfriend dumps Rick on his sixteenth birthday for uploading cat videos from his bedroom when he should be out experiencing the real world. Known as “That Cat Guy” at school, Rick isn’t cool and he knows it. He realizes it’s time for a change.
Rick decides joining a salsa class is the answer . . . because of a girl, of course. Ana Cabrera is smart, friendly, and smooth on the dance floor. Rick might be half-Cuban, but he dances like a drunk hippo. Desperate to impress Ana, he invites her to spend the summer in Havana. The official reason: learning to dance. The hidden agenda: romance under the palm trees.
Except Cuba isn’t all sun, salsa, and music. There’s a darker side to the island. As Rick and Ana meet his family and investigate the reason why his mother left Cuba decades ago, they learn that politics isn’t just something that happens to other people. And when they find romance, it’s got sharp edges.
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At its core, The Cat King of Havana is a novel that follows a teenage boy who is discovering his heritage and his mother's past in Cuba. He just so happens to be a computer wizard that posts popular cat videos. The Cat King of Havana had so many layers to its story and I highly recommend reading it (You can enter to win a copy at the bottom of this post). Its inclusion of Cuban heritage and Cuba itself was extremely fascinating. In the United States we acknowledge Cuba; however, with our rocky relations, it seems rather taboo. This really opened my eyes to Cuba and its current state. You can read my full length review of The Cat King of Havana here.
For my contribution to The Cat King of Havana blog tour, I have created a cat video. By no means is my cat video the same quality or content as one featured in The Cat King of Havana; however, my household of seven cats inspired me to finally capture at least of one their odd habits on film. Featured in the video is my cat, Holly, playing fetch with her favorite toy in the world: a sugar packet. I know, she is a rather strange cat; however, as my favorite cat, (Shhh, do not tell my other cats that I said that...) I will defend her until the end. I hope you enjoy video and comment below if you have any cats and their weird habits. Also, do not forget to check out the other amazing posts that are a part of this blog tour! You can find the other tour stops listed at the end of this post.
3 Finished Copies of The Cat King of Havana (US Only)
Tom Crosshill's fiction has been nominated for the Nebula Award (thrice) as well as the Latvian Annual Literature Award. His stories have appeared in venues such as Clarkesworld, Beneath Ceaseless Skies and Lightspeed. In 2009, he won the Writers of the Future contest. After some years spent in Oregon and New York, he currently lives in his native Latvia. In the past, he has operated a nuclear reactor, translated books and worked in a zinc mine, among other things.
Tom's young adult novel "The Cat King of Havana" is forthcoming from Katherine Tegen Books (HarperCollins) in 2016.
8/30: Rebelle Reads - Review