Kirsten Hubbard's novel Wanderlove hits the shelves today! I had the privilege of reading it while it was available on NetGalley. I adored this book, as you can tell by my review (to sum it up: "I want my life to reflect the outlook of this story’s true meaning"). Here's the synopsis (taken from Goodreads):
It all begins with a stupid question:
Are you a Global Vagabond?
No, but 18-year-old Bria Sandoval wants to be. In a quest for independence, her neglected art, and no-strings-attached hookups, she signs up for a guided tour of Central America—the wrong one. Middle-aged tourists with fanny packs are hardly the key to self-rediscovery. When Bria meets Rowan, devoted backpacker and dive instructor, and his outspokenly humanitarian sister Starling, she seizes the chance to ditch her group and join them off the beaten path.
Bria's a good girl trying to go bad. Rowan's a bad boy trying to stay good. As they travel across a panorama of Mayan villages, remote Belizean islands, and hostels plagued with jungle beasties, they discover what they've got in common: both seek to leave behind the old versions of themselves. And the secret to escaping the past, Rowan’s found, is to keep moving forward.
But Bria comes to realize she can't run forever, no matter what Rowan says. If she ever wants the courage to fall for someone worthwhile, she has to start looking back.
Kirsten Hubbard lends her artistry into this ultimate backpacker novel, weaving her drawings into the text. Her career as a travel writer and her experiences as a real-life vagabond backpacking Central America are deeply seeded in this inspiring story.
~ Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ The Book Depository ~
I sent her a message asking how I could help promote the wonderfulness of this novel. First off, one of the ways she's promoting Wanderlove is through a website dedicated to sharing the places we love. It's called, you guessed it, Wanderlove. The theme of the site, as it states under the title:
"...the places you get. the places that stick in your heart."
Kirsten explains it best: "In my time backpacking Central America, I've found that there are some places that hit you hard; places that grab hold of your heart and never let go. Sometimes they're an entire destination, and other times they're a specific spot, a corner of the beach or forest or a neighborhood nook you fall in love with. This site will be for celebrating these places – and for experiencing everyone else's."
Everyone has a place, one that they love, one close to their heart. And now you can share it with others, and discover all sorts of amazing places. Believe me, there are some stunning pictures on this site. It makes me itch to visit them! I haven't had the opportunity to travel much, but I have a place that is special to me. And for you, my lovely readers, here is a picture of mine:
|Grand Rapids, Ohio, USA|
It's near where my family used to live not long ago. It's so beautiful there, and in my mind there are so many memories (taking place over the course of many years) attached to that place that it makes it more beautiful. Now that spring is upon us here, I may be able to drive over there and take another walk by the canal real soon. You can see my picture on the site through this link. Want to submit one of your own? All you need to do is go to http://wanderlove.com/, click the submit button at the top of the page, and fill out the form. If you do, or already have submitted a picture, please share the link in the comments below. I would love to take a look!
Secondly, she has kindly offered me the opportunity to share something very special with you. It is a video of her reading from Wanderlove in Central America. Here is a description from Kirsten about the place and how it relates to the story:
I visited Lake Atitlan and the Chichicastenango Mayan marketplace on both my first and second backpacking trips to Central America. I loved them so much, I had to go back. Although certain villages around Lake Atitlan -- like Panajachel -- can be pretty busy, mostly the two places are total opposites. Chichicastenango is pure energy, a chaos of stalls, wares, Mayans and travelers, colors, sounds and scents. The lakeshore is total tranquility. Combined, the two destinations serve as the catapult for Bria's REAL journey... with the help of a certain backpacker boy.
Isn't it gorgeous? Thank you so much for letting me share this, Kirsten! <3 This is just a sampling of Bria's journey. You know you want to read more.
Where can you get your hands on Wanderlove?
Don't forget to add it to your shelf on Goodreads too!
Where can you find Kirsten Hubbard?
Now that it is March 13th, I can't wait until my copy arrives in the mail. My shelf is demanding it. And I think yours probably is too. So go check it out!