New Release, Guest Post & Giveaway: The Best Week that Never Happened by Dallas Woodburn
The Best Week that Never Happened by Dallas Woodburn just released yesterday and we are thrilled to help her celebrate her debut YA release with a guest post and an exclusive giveaway for our readers!
The Best Week that Never Happenedby Dallas Woodburn
Published by: Month9Books
on April 21, 2020
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance
IndieBound, iTunes, Amazon
For fans of Everything Everything and The Love That Split the World comes a breathtaking new love story about living each day as if it were your last…
After her parents’ bitter divorce, family vacations to the Big Island in Hawaii ceased. But across the miles, eighteen-year-old Tegan Rossi remains connected to local Kai Kapule, her best friend from childhood. Now, Tegan finds herself alone and confused about how she got to the Big Island. With no wallet, no cell phone, purse, or plane ticket, Tegan struggles to piece together what happened. She must have come to surprise-visit Kai. Right?
As the teens grow even closer, Tegan pushes aside her worries and gets swept away in the vacation of her dreams. But each morning, Tegan startles awake from nightmares that become more difficult to ignore. Something is eerily amiss. Why is there a strange gap in her memory? Why can’t she reach her parents or friends from home? And what’s with the mysterious hourglass tattoo over her heart?
promises to help Tegan figure out what is going on. But the answers they find only lead to more questions. As the week unfolds, Tegan will experience the magic of first love, the hope of second chances, and the bittersweet joy and grief of being human.
Going on Vacation in Your Own Home
You know that final-day-of-vacation feeling? Your trip is quickly coming to a close, and you are uncomfortably straddling two worlds: the magical, relaxing vacation one and the everyday-life one waiting for you on the other side of the calendar page. Soon, you’ll be heading to the airport. Soon, it will be back to reality. You try to soak up every last minute of vacation time, but it’s already tainted with the knowledge that it will be gone before you know it. Like the last dregs of Kona coffee—still there, in the bottom of your coffee cup, but it won’t be long before you swallow those final sips and the taste disappears from your tongue.
– from The Best Week That Never Happened
There is something so freeing about going on vacation. Even as a little girl, I remember taking day trips or weekend trips with my family—only driving a couple hours from my hometown—and feeling this sense of magic and wide-open possibility. What is it about traveling that makes the world, and ourselves, seem so wondrously limitless?
For me, I think a lot of the magic of vacation has to do with stepping outside the box of daily life. It is easy to live our lives on autopilot, going through the motions of our routines. And it is easy to begin to see ourselves a certain way, within the confines of others’ expectations. And maybe also our own expectations, too.
Traveling is an opportunity to try on new identities or dust off parts of ourselves that we haven’t connected with in a while. Growing up, I was always a bit shy. But when traveling with my family to a new place, where nobody knew me, I could practice being more outgoing and confident.
Still today, as an adult in my thirties, going on vacation allows me to stretch and breathe. I adore being a mom, but taking a trip—whether it’s a weekend away for my best friend’s wedding or just a train ride into San Francisco for an afternoon while my mother-in-law babysits—allows me to temporarily put down the label of MOM and reconnect with my inner self that is just ME.
Maybe because I was on vacation, far away from my normal life, I felt comfortable talking to him about things I would never have voiced to anyone back home.
– The Best Week That Never Happened
In my debut YA novel THE BEST WEEK THAT NEVER HAPPENED, my main character Tegan wakes up in the lava tubes on the Big Island of Hawaii with no memory of how she got there. Hawaii is a meaningful place for her; she vacationed on the Big Island with her parents in the past, and became best friends with local boy Kai Kapule, who she remained close with across the miles from Hawaii to Pennsylvania. During the week that unfolds, Tegan connects with Kai in person again and their friendship evolves into something more. Perhaps even more importantly, she connects with herself, facing the fear that prevented her from pursuing her deepest truths.
I didn’t consciously choose to write about a character going on vacation, but I think my creative subconscious put my character in this setting because I wanted to take her carefully constructed life, with her staunchly guarded protective barriers, and shake everything up. I wanted to push my character to grow, just as traveling has expanded my own internal horizons.
Writing this book was an escape for me as well during one of the most difficult periods of my life. I had suddenly lost a dear friend, and was overwhelmed by the sharp pain of grief. Traveling to Hawaii each day when I sat down to write was an immense gift. As I snorkeled and hiked Akaka Falls and danced on the beach and ate shave ice with my characters, I slowly began to wade through my grief, too.
Similarly, I think there is amazing possibility for growth and discovery in this “staycation” we are all taking together right now, stuck inside our separate homes. When we all emerge out of our hibernation like butterflies emerging from chrysalis, who do you want to be? What authentic parts of yourself can you bring into the world that perhaps you were hiding before? What do you want your new version of “normal” to feel like? These are some of the questions I am reflecting on these days.
And even though going on vacation is off-limits for all of us right now during the COVID-19 pandemic, the good news is that you can travel around the world—you can even become a time traveler or space traveler to other worlds—simply by opening up a book! If taking a vacation to the Big Island of Hawaii sounds fun, you can do so by reading my book. I hope that readers get swept away in Tegan and Kai’s romantic story—with a dash of mystery and magic—and that THE BEST WEEK THAT NEVER HAPPENED provides a few hours of comfort and escape from the anxiety and uncertainty of our current world.
My heart swells with excitement for the big wide-open future, for all the mysteries and magic waiting in store.
– The Best Week That Never Happened
Enter to win an ebook copy of THE BEST WEEK THAT NEVER HAPPENED!