Romance Novel Giveaways - Freebies and Giveaways of All Things Romance Romance Novel Giveaways: Runaways by Rachel Sawden 💕 Q&A, Book Blitz & Signed Book Giveaway 💕 (Contemporary Romance)

Friday, May 10, 2019

Runaways by Rachel Sawden 💕 Q&A, Book Blitz & Signed Book Giveaway 💕 (Contemporary 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.

Date: January 8, 2010
Toronto, Canada
Where would you go if you could run away? Trek the tangled jungles of Thailand? Camp under the constellations in the Australian outback? Or run wild with your lover on white sand beaches in the South Pacific?
“Nowhere,” I whispered. My heels clicked on the linoleum floor, punctuating the spiel from my presentation echoing in my head. “I am exactly where I am supposed to be.”
How could I not be positive? I was one of the lucky few to gain and maintain employment in the shadow of the Great Recession. Fresh out of university, I might add. Granted, my working unpaid for TMI Marketing during my summer years gave me a leg up on the competition. While my job consisted mainly of making coffee, filing papers, and having my ideas ignored, I worked my ass off for the past three years. And today was the day my hard work would pay off. It was the day it all would change. The career side of my five-year plan was on schedule.
A fresh wave of adrenaline pulsed through me as I made my way down the hallway of very unflattering lighting to my boss’s office to discuss the presentation I’d given that morning. A discussion that would hopefully lead to a new position in the company. One where I could take on actual responsibility and express my creativity. Perhaps be involved in art direction. A business card with a title: Harper Rodrigues, Marketing Executive.
I would actually manage my very own accounts.
We had secured a new client, a travel website, Madcap Travels, who was looking to reevaluate their social media marketing plan and contracted my company to manage it. Myself and a colleague had made competing presentations for the job. Only one of us could gain the account. Only one of us could be promoted. Only one of us could win today, and I wanted it to be me.
I had never been so excited about a project, and so damn scared about presenting.
Inspired by my friends’ upcoming “gap year” travels, I created the Run Away campaign harnessing the power of this growing thing called social media. When Facebook became a buzzword a few years back, my father said it was just a passing fad used by horny college students too lazy to go to the bar and talk to each other. He may have been right, but once it had been opened up to anyone with an email address there were millions of lazy, horny people of all ages across the world skulking around on confined areas of cyberspace. And that is gold to a marketer.
In a nutshell, the campaign would focus on incentivizing both amateur and professional photographers who were traveling the globe to connect and share their stories and photographs on social media platforms. Top entrants would not only gain recognition on the website but also chances to win prizes from partner sponsors such as airlines, tour companies, and hotels. I poured myself into this presentation. Putting myself in the shoes of one of the many runaways, I imagined my life living out of a backpack, seeing a new city every week, learning from other photographers, finding remote waterfalls and villages from the whispers of other vagabonds.
It was what I hoped to do had I not abandoned my plans to become a world-famous travel photographer.
It was what I could do if I abandoned my carefully crafted five-year plan and took off with Jade and Lana.
It was what I wanted to do with my sister, Audrey, since we were little girls. It was what we could have done if she were still alive.

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.


In overcoming her fears, the protagonist learned to live and not just exist. A great read for anyone who wants to change their life but is scared to step outside the norm. I would love a sequel! –Netgalley 5-star

If you enjoy books about self-exploration, summer love and some drama this would be a good book for you. –Goodreads 4-star review

This was a gripping read. I really felt like I was there experiencing different countries with the writer. A great combination of wanderlust, romance, friendship and life after loss. –Amazon 5-star review

This a heartwarming story about friends, romance and following your dreams. I enjoyed the debut novel of this author as the combination of the relationship of the three friends, the great locations that felt like you were travelling with them and the romances they experienced on their journey turned into an enjoyable story and I would definitely read her future books. –Amazon 4-star review

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.


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