Monday, May 6, 2019

Book Blitz and Giveaway: Runaways by Rachel Sawden

Title: Runaways
Author: Rachel Sawden
Publication Date: November 9th 2018
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Harper Rodrigues’ five-year plan was on track. She’d worked hard to secure her graduate marketing job, her boyfriend Adam was set to propose any day, and she was learning to process the death of her sister. She’d been through some dark times, but there was light at the end of the tunnel.

At least, that’s how it had seemed until the day she was fired in the morning and dumped by nightfall.

Now, with her life plans in ruins, Harper turns to her best friends who are going on the trip of a lifetime – five-months traveling across Asia and Oceania. Determined to see the silver lining in her unraveled plans, she decides to book a plane ticket to join them and resurrect her dreams of becoming a travel photographer.

But Harper’s travels aren’t all sunshine and cocktails. With Adam begging for her forgiveness and proposing on the eve of her departure, Harper knows she must be on her best behavior. But when she meets Xavier, an enigmatic poet on the beaches of Goa, that may just be easier said than done.

Runaways is the empowering and racy tale of one woman’s voyage of self-discovery. A must-read for fans of travelogues and romance alike.

The girls decided that food would do me good, so I pulled myself together and followed them through the field, across the bridge and back into town. The street lamps flickered as we wandered around wondering if we should go to the restaurant with the hung-over backpackers splayed out watching reruns of The Simpsons, or the restaurant with the hungover backpackers splayed out watching reruns of Family Guy when someone called out, “Hey, Canada!”

Turning back towards the river, we saw three guys who were part of our musical uprising on the bus from Chiang Mai to Chiang Khong. Lana called back, “Hawaii!”

Chad, Kelly and Felix were fresh off a bus from Luang Prabang and also in search of sustenance. As we stood debating food options, Chad’s brown eyes raked over Lana, who had taken the time to brush her hair and slap a bit of makeup on. “Lana, are you Lana Brooks, the TV weathergirl?”

“Former weathergirl,” she said, batting her thick eyelashes.

“I thought it was you!” he said, stepping closer. “Guys, remember when I showed you that Chive article of the world’s hottest weather girls? This is the one from Canada.”

I smiled as Lana basked in the attention the guys were giving her. Some people collected souvenirs along their travels, but Lana collected admirers. Felix’s green cat-like eyes glittered as he realized he was standing in the presence of a Chive-worthy hottie.

“Dude,” Kelly said, smoothing his shaggy, dirty-blond hair before shaking her hand. “It is a privilege and an honour to make your acquaintance.” “Alright, alright, can we please choose somewhere to eat, please?” Jade huffed crossing her arms.

And, with that the boys led us to a restaurant perched over the waters of the river that featured neither animated sitcoms nor hung-over backpackers and began our first night out in Vang Vieng.

Rachel Sawden was born and raised in Bermuda. As the daughter of a Jamaican father and English mother the former model earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from McGill University in Montreal Canada. Today Rachel is an author, producer, and content creator in her beautiful island of Bermuda. The certified scuba and free diver explored the Great Barrier Reef and underwater worlds in Cuba and Indonesia. She is the ultimate travel maven having journeyed to over 35 countries across 5 continents since graduating college.

Author Interview:
Q: You’re lucky enough to live on the beautiful island of Bermuda – how does your average day shape up?
I work for myself as a freelancer so my days are varied and my schedule is flexible. Right now I’m running a beautiful property called Sandymount that is a luxury vacation rental and events venue. I handle bookings and admin and also give tours to prospective clients. It has a rich history and one of the most beautiful views in Bermuda, so I love giving tours. I also am a style contributor for The Bermudian Magazine’s website – which was an opportunity that came up because of my Instagram. I recently published my first novel and am busy marketing it, along with writing my next book! I also do freelance modeling, writing, and on-camera presenting. Opportunities are always popping up for me and I often find myself running around to meetings or off to take photos if I have no work and the weather is good. I really am so very lucky.

Q: You recently published your first novel, Runaways. What’s the storyline about and what was your inspiration behind the book?
Runaways is the story of 25-year-old Harper who, after losing her job, boyfriend and apartment, books a plane ticket to join her best friends traveling around the world and chases her dream of becoming a travel photographer. I was inspired to write it after my first major trip nine years ago. I spent nearly eight months traveling around the world and had an amazing time creating characters and letting them loose in the world I had just come from. I had the time of my life and wanted to experience those places again so this was the way I could on an empty bank account!

Q: So much about the book and the characters feels familiar. How much of the book is autobiographical?
At 24 I took what I describe as the trip of a lifetime, I took money I had earned working as a personal assistant and spent eight months touring the world. “I rode camels in the Thar Desert in northern India, I went scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef off Australia and I explored the temples of Angkor in Cambodia”. I was hoping this trip around the world would give me a sign of what to do with my life. That sign never appeared. It turned out the entire trip was the sign. When I returned home to Bermuda, I began to write about the countries I traveled to. I was still obsessed with them and had run out of people to listen to me drone on about my trip.

Q. You recently traveled to Tulum Mexico. Tell us about that experience.
It was amazing, I've wanted to visit Tulum for years after seeing beautiful images on Instagram. With its rustic bohemian vibe, it felt like Tulum was the Bali of the Americas. I joined another content creator friend I had met last year in Bali and we chased the Insta-famous spots like the coco Tulum swings, the cenotes, the pyramid hammock at Nomade and the Tulum Ruins. It's a special place that has retained its authenticity as there are no big resorts there but things are changing so if you want to go, go to Tulum now!

Q: What do you want readers to take away from the book?
Travelling isn’t always about running away from things, sometimes it’s about running to what you truly want.
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  1. When life is falling apart, it helps to get out of your usual routine and try something new like a trip or a class. The story is about a trip like that and the way the senses can help one heal and grow.