Sunday, March 29, 2015

Book Spotlight: Guest Post and Giveaway for The Cake House by Latifah Salom

As some one who loves re-tellings of classics, I'm very happy and excited to be sharing this book with you all today.  It's a modern retelling of Hamlet.  How cool is that? There's a guest post from the author and a chance to win a copy of the book!


Part mystery, part compelling coming-of-age tale, The Cake House is a riveting debut novel that re-imagines the classic story of Hamlet amidst the hills of suburban Los Angeles. 
Rosaura Douglas's father shot himself when her mother left him . . . or at least that's the story everyone is telling. Now her mother has remarried and Rosie is trapped in a new home she calls "The Cake House," a garish pink edifice that's a far cry from the cramped apartment where she grew up. It's also the house where her father died—a fact that everyone else who lives there, including her mother, Dahlia, and her mysteriously wealthy stepfather, Claude, want to forget. 
Soon, however, her father's ghost begins to appear; first as a momentary reflection in a window, then in the dark of night, and finally, in the lush garden behind the house where Rosie spends most of her days. After he warns her that Claude is not to be trusted, Rosie begins to notice cracks in her new family's carefully constructed facade. Dahlia is clearly uncomfortable in her marriage; her stepbrother, Alex, is friendly one second, distant the next, and haunted by troubles of his own; and Claude's business is drawing questions from the police. And as the ghost becomes increasingly violent--and the secrets of The Cake House and her family’s past come to light--Rosie must finally face the truth behind the losses  and lies that have torn her life apart.

Guest Post by Latifah Salom

Motivation for THE CAKE HOUSE 

I grew up loving plays and acting and theatre. When I began looking for inspiration to write my first novel, I clung to those plays and characters I’d loved, and in particular I sought out the rich thematic abundance of Shakespeare’s HamletThere, I found betrayal and murder and love and friendship, so many great ideas to mull over and play mix and match with 

The more I thought about Hamlet, the more I found the motivation I needed for writing THE CAKE HOUSE. began by turning the story of Hamlet over and over again in my mind, like a three dimensional prism, and this was the thought I kept coming back to: What would it be like to live with my enemy? To share meals with him? What if I was unable to leave, and forced to show him respect? I found the idea intriguing and horrifying in equal measure.  

I was also drawn to the ambiguity of the ghost father. Was he real or imagined? Good or evil? Or a bit of both? The character of the ghost haunts and pushes and waits for his revenge, lurking in every scene. As I began writing THE CAKE HOUSEthe ghost went from being an observer to becoming an active part, weaving the story together. 

I wanted to explore these themes, but when I sat down to write I realized pretty quickly that my main character needed to be a teenager, and that she needed to be a girl. Mostly, I wanted to make the less obvious choice, but I also thought long and hard on what it means to be in transition – from child to adult, from girl to woman. Several of the characters in THE CAKE HOUSE are in transition in one way or another, but Rosaura, at the tender age of just-turned-fourteen, gives the story a unique perspective. Through her I could explorthe confusion of young love, the hint of madness that comes from sorrow and tragedy, and the tender yearnings of friendship. 

Writing THE CAKE HOUSE was a constant discovery. Every time I turned a corner I learned new things about the characters and the story. It made writing an adventuresome experience.  

Purchase Links:

About the Author
Latifah Salom was born in Hollywood, California to parents of Peruvian and Mexican descent. As a teenager she attended the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, and she holds degrees from Emerson College, Hunter College, and from the University of Southern California’s Masters of Professional Writing program. The Cake House is her first novel. She currently lives in Los Angeles.


I have a paperback copy to giveaway to a resident of the US.  Please leave a meaningful comment about your favorite classic retelling or a question for the author.  The winner will be chosen on 4/4/15 and will need to respond in 48 hours or another winner will be chosen.  Good luck!


  1. Wow, I don't think I've actually read any modern retellings of any classics! I've seen a couple of teen movies, that mimicked The Scarlet Letter and Wuthering Heights. But books? I can't think of any! But thanks for the chance. :)

    1. There have been numerous re-tellings of Romeo & Juliet, Pride & Prejudice, Alice in Wonderland, and many more. You probably just didn't recognize them.



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