ICYMI: We are helping Karina Halle count down the days until the release of her upcoming contemporary romance novel (via Atria), Where Sea Meets Sky! Each day until March 31st (release day), we will be hosting exclusive content from Karina Halle herself! These will include photos/images that inspired scenes from the book, teaser photos, excerpts, and GIVEAWAYS! Each day there will be a different giveaway that are ALL OPEN INTERNATIONAL! You can win signed books, swag, and HUNDREDS of dollars in gift cards!
Check out Karina’s post below, and don’t forget to enter the GIVEAWAY at the bottom! And, don’t forget to tell all your fellow book buddies!
New Zealand Travels: Art Imitates Life Part One
I first visited New Zealand when I was eighteen years old. For reasons I can’t really remember, I took a year off of school to “find myself” and picked New Zealand and Australia as the places to do it in. To be honest, New Zealand was a last minute addition. But my half-sister had married a Kiwi and I hadn’t seen her in a long time, nor her kids. So off to New Zealand I went, all by myself, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed (and bruised in the shoulders…I learned my first lesson of backpacking which was don’t pack so many damn boots!).
I didn’t expect much but I fell in love with the place. This was 1999, so the internet was a baby at the time and I relied a lot on my guidebooks plus the BBB Budget Backpackers pamphlet to tell me where to go and the best places to stay. After a week or two around the windy Wellington area with my family, I caught a backpacker bus around the South Island and it opened me up to a whole new world of travel, where every day was a new experience and I had a chance to become a new person. I was young but it was my first solo travel trip and it changed me forever.
I returned to New Zealand in 2003/2004 to attend university in Auckland. Yep, the country had its hooks in me. I was there for a year and a bit, totally immersed in the Kiwi culture and made friends who would last a lifetime.
In 2009 I returned for my best friend’s wedding and spent a month there, catching up on old times and exploring new places that I never got a chance to.
In October 2015, I’ll be heading to Melbourne (a city I LOVE) in Australia and there’s a chance I might stop by New Zealand on the way back.
In the meantime, there’s Where Sea Meets Sky. I wrote this book based on many of my own travel experiences (except I never got to fall in love with a sexy, dark, tattooed man named Josh) and over the next two weeks or so I hope to share with you all (whoever happens to read this) where I went and where the characters went.
I’ll start as if I am tracing Gemma and Josh’s journey through the country in the orange VW bus “Mr. Orange.”
One of the first places they stay at is a small seaside town called Paekakariki. It’s a mouthful, but when I first came to NZ, it’s where my sister lived, so it holds a special place in my heart. There’s nothing really to the town aside from the beach and the green hills that flank it. But it has an excellent backpackers I’ve stayed at a few times and one night (just as it happens in the book) I was treated to little blue penguins running underneath the house. Where else can something that magical happen?
New Zealand, of course.
WIN A WHERE SEA MEETS SKY EBOOK & TOTE!
–>Did you miss the FIRST giveaway? Click –>HERE<– to enter!