Wednesday, February 27, 2013

LEAP into Books - Dented Cans by Heather Walsh

The end of February arrives sooner than I think it will every year. It's the perfect time to check out a book I almost missed seeing. My guess is... maybe someone else (almost) missed it, too. Please welcome Heather Walsh, author of this funny-but-deep book called Dented Cans...





Dented Cans
Dented Cans
by Heather Walsh
Kindle Edition, 150 pages
Published November 2nd 2012 by Amazon Digital Services

Premise:

A family secret is revealed during an ill-fated—yet hilarious—trip to Disney World.

Sixteen-year-old Hannah Sampson knows her family is not what you would call normal. Her father compulsively buys dented cans and has a particular fondness for cans without labels, which are extremely discounted because their contents are a mystery. Her mother takes countless pictures of her family and then glues them down into the pages of her scrapbooks, but does not allow anyone to look at them. Ryan, Hannah’s mischievous fourteen-year-old brother, is headed straight for the remedial track at the local community college, if he’s lucky. Ben, her eight-year-old brother, is a walking sound effects machine, who prefers to communicate with noises rather than words. While Hannah is focused on escaping her working-class Connecticut suburb, she also finds herself being tugged back home as she worries about her brother Ben.

Hannah’s parents inflict one last family vacation on the Sampson children, a trip that goes comically wrong almost from the get-go. Hannah is forced to confront her family’s past in Disney World, of all places, when an emotional argument prompts her parents to disclose a secret they have been keeping from the children for sixteen years. Ultimately, she must decide whether to leave her hometown and not look back, or to focus on helping her family.


Where did you get the idea for your story - can I ask?  So many of the family quirks sound too close to reality!!
I didn’t have a grand plan when I started writing Dented Cans. I sometimes start with a thought or character and see where it takes me. In this case, I came up with the idea of a teenage girl and a family trip to Disney, and eventually it led to Dented Cans.
While most of Dented Cans is fiction, a few things from the novel are plucked from real life. My dad really did buy dented cans—even unlabeled ones! My family went on a number of vacations to Disney World, although our trips tended to be a lot more successful than the Sampsons’. I have three younger brothers (Hannah has two), and I grew up in a suburb in Connecticut similar to the fictional North Prospect in the novel.
Do you have a favorite scene?
I have a soft spot for Chapter 6, where Hannah is studying her SAT words and incorporating them into her description of Disney. I especially like the scene in this chapter where they are on the Spaceship Earth ride and not exactly being model tourists.
Share something personal!
I am a foodie. I’ve lived in New York City and San Francisco, two of the best places for a foodie to live. We just moved to Brookline last year, so I have been exploring the food scene here. Each city has its strengths when it comes to food. I also have a terrible sweet tooth, and I am happy to report that all three locations have great desserts.
Website/Blog  *  Goodreads  *   Twitter


Giveaway:


1 Print Copy of Dented Cans for a winner in the USA & 1 eCopy of Dented Cans for an International winner provided by Heather Walsh. Must be 18 to enter. See all my applicable rules under the About tab.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sample from Dented Cans

Here is a brief sample, during the trip to Disney World. This is in the voice of Hannah, the narrator of the novel.


We did a few more rides, and then we went to the World Showcase, the section of EPCOT that consisted of pavilions “showcasing” various countries. In reality just a bunch of overpriced restaurants and gaudy gift shops “hawking” ethnic food and trinkets. Before we were allowed to eat lunch, we had to locate a restroom so we could rid our hands of the thousands of germs that only Dad had the ability to detect. Then we spread out across two benches in Italy right next to Alfredo’s Restaurant, where people who actually purchased their food went to eat. It was a good thing we’d brought our own peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. That and chicken fingers would have probably been a hard ethnic cuisine to place. Maybe the Nutritionally Defunct Pavilion?

Mom began passing out the sandwiches. I felt as if I shouldn’t eat mine, knowing the hard work that went into making it.

“This World Showcase is so boring,” Ryan said.

“This World Showcase is so stereotyped,” I said. “Who knew the only thing Italians do is listen to ‘O Solo Mio’ while they eat spaghetti and meatballs? And if you’re German, you obviously dance the polka. Half of it isn’t even true.”

“Yeah, I didn’t know that Mexicans just hit piƱatas all day. And you can buy your own to whack for just 19.99,” Ryan said.

“Hannah, stop questioning everything. Just try to enjoy it,” Dad said.

Stop questioning everything. I think Dad was just quoting Socrates there. Didn’t he say that? My fellow Greeks, stop questioning everything. Just enjoy. Enjoy EPCOT.

“OK, I won’t point out that Africa, the second largest continent on the planet, isn’t even represented here,” I said.

“We’ve heard enough of your opinion on the matter. Can you please just let your younger brother enjoy this?” Dad said.

Sure. I could keep the truth to myself. Socrates and I were kindred spirits. Perhaps Dad had some hemlock for me to drink?

“Did you bring any canned peaches for dessert?” Ryan said.

I laughed.

“OK, very funny,” Dad said.


42 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  2. Dented Cans The title alone is intriguing. Thanks for the opportunity.

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  3. I went on a cruise and got to swim with dolphines :D

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  4. Going on our first family vacation, we went to a zoo and got to pet all sorts of animals, then headed to the Mountains. Enjoyed every minute of it, even when my camera died and I lost all the pictures from the trip. It is something that I will never forget.

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  5. We had a good time to visit my mom in law in AL. It was wonderful. And I took a lot of pictures. Thank you for sharing.

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  6. Best vacation I can remember was to Miami Beach! Sun, Fun, Shopping, Drinks, Dancing and Waves..

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  7. This one sounds hilarious. :)
    Goodness, every vacation has been memorable. But I loved going to Yellowstone...even though I woke myself up puking one night, with a blocked intestine, and had to spend a night in the Urgent Care. Talk about memorable!

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  8. My husband the kids and I drove from Houston to Montana. It was beautiful!!!
    Lorayne Gothard

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  9. San Antonio. It was the very first vacation my husband and I took after 5 years of marriage that didn't involve visiting family.

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  10. Taking the kids to Disney for the first time was awesome.

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  11. Gosh, so many. One of my favorites, though, was four kids in the back seat on the way to the animal farm, taking turns just a little sharper than necessary, and all the screams of delight that followed.

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  12. Disney for a week last summer it's was hot but def memorable

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  13. I can't remember exactly how old I was, around 10 I think. Anyway, we were on vacation doing the Civil War route, it was around the time the Olympics were on TV. We had gotten a motel room in a place that didn't look the greatest, my mom kept saying "Time, I just know there are going to be mice or bugs in that room." Well, it just so happens that I had gotten a fake mouse made from rabbit fur and it was holding a piece of corn....looked very real. Anyway, my brother and I got into the room first and I stuck that mouse in between the pillows on the bed. Remember, the Olympics were on and I knew my mom would go prop up the pillows and relax watching them. I'm still not sure how I made it home when vacation was over. She screamed and yelled....OMG so loud. I know I got in trouble for that, but I never forgot that vacation.

    cmucha319@yahoo.com

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  14. My family went to San Diego when I was about seven or eight. It was the best. I've been in love with San Diego ever since. Thank you for the giveaway!

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  15. When I was in high school my family went to Yellowstone. It was so much fun, we walked around the park a bunch, went white water rafting, and toured other places (Like Custer State Park) along the way!

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  16. The best vacation I ever took was a trip to Europe with my best friend. We saved for over a year and then couchsurfed while we were there. It was incredible. Met so many amazing people!

    mestith at gmail dot com

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  17. The best vacation I ever took was my honeymoon (5 years ago this April). The most interesting was when my husbands entire family (14 of us total) went to Florida together and rented a house. Let's just say 14 people in one house and there is bound to be drama :)

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  18. When I go on Vacation I go to Oregon to visit my family. The last time I went to visit I have to say it was very memorable but in a sad way. My dad had just finished up his chemo. Before this recent visit my dad didn’t have cancer. So he looked like Dad. But when I went there just recently I was so shocked to see someone who wasn’t my dad that I knew. He didn’t look the same. It broke my heart to see him like that. Thank you for a chance to win and for being a part of this fun and awesome blog hop!!

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  19. The most memorable vacation I ever took was to Estes Park, Colorado. I won the trip in a raffle. We stayed in a little log cabin right next to the Rocky Mtn National Park. There were mule deer and elk everywhere!

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  20. This sounds like a great book!! I think the most memorable vacation would be when I was about 14. For some reason my dad stayed home, so it was my mom with us 4 kids and one of my friends went with us. We drove to California to have a family reunion on the beach. When we were almost there, the car broke down. We had to get it fixed so my mom borrowed some money from her brother. After it was fixed, we spent a glorious week camping on the beach! Oh, it was the same summer that the movie "Jaws" came out...

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  21. Had a great time in Hawaii years ago and would love to return!
    nicolesender(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  22. The most memorable were probably the most miserable ones. I blame the weather.

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  23. Our most memorable trip was Disneyworld

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  24. I travelled by myself to Cuba! It was a fantastic adventure, and I had the time of my life!!

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  25. This sounds like just my kind of book.

    I had a lot of fun on road trip from Calif to New Orleans with a friend, all her stuff, me and two cats packed in her tiny car :)

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  26. The Disney cruise my Dad took my son and I on. It was amazing. Castaway Cay is flawless, and Disney was a wonderful time. I thoroughly recommend saving up for it.

    misusedinnocence@aol.com

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  27. Best Vacation Was My 2009 New Years Trip To Half Moon Bay To Visit Old High School Friends

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  28. My husband and I went to Yellowstone National Park in 2005 before my oldest son was born and it was such a beautiful place. It was our last vacation without kids!

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  29. My last "vacation" was flying to Florida to bury my brother. We celebrated his life at the beach on the gulf and actually swam with stingrays.

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  30. Not really...loads of trips but nothing really stands out.

    lkish77123 at gmail dot com

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  31. I had the opportunity to carry the boys to Florida.

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  33. We took our first real family vacation the summer of 1991. My Dad was in the Navy, and in honor of the end of the Gulf War, all military families were able to get into various theme parks for free, so we drove from our home in Newport, RI to Orlando, FL for a week of Disney and other parks. Nothing crazy happened, it was just exciting to take a vacation. We moved to Kissimmee a year later so I have a bazillion Disney stories of my own though.

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  34. In junior high, my choir got to go to DisneyWorld. It was a week in a hotel and the park with all of my friends. It was definitely the best vacation I've ever been on.

    Thanks so much for the giveaway!

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  35. I think one of my most memorable vacations is when I went with my brother, his wife and our good friend to Washington state. We had a lot of fun and came back with several inside jokes and crazy stories.

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  36. When I was young my family went camping a lot, in a pull behind camper. One night we got to a campground after dark and my dad parked end of the camping spots, where he thought the water was. In the morning when we woke up and went outside, we saw that he had parked about a foot from the edge of a cliff. Glad no one decided to dance or jump up and down, we'd have gone over for sure!

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  37. Going to Pigeon Forge, TN. We went to Dollywood, stayed in an amazing cabin and went to the highest point in the smokey mountains! Then we went Chatanooga and stayed at that hotel with the traincars! and went to the aquarium. It was a blast!

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