“Life is made up of moments. Moments that define you, change you, and test you. You choose these moments. And I am choosing this moment to let go. Not to overcome my fear, but at least face it head on.”
Girl Off The Grid
Blurb & Info
From USA Today bestselling author, Jillian Dodd, and her daughter, Kenzie Harp, comes a travel romance that will take you on the adventure of a lifetime.
NYC fashion blogger, Camille Caldwell, gets offered a dream job by her favorite magazine. They’re going to send her on an all-expenses paid eco-trip to Costa Rica. She doesn’t know what that means, but she assumes she’ll wear fabulous clothes, sip Piña Coladas on the beach, and have her photo taken “out in nature.” Really, the hardest part of the assignment will be giving up social media while she’s gone.
Going off social media is no big deal for London-based wildlife photographer, Adam Lloyd. The only reason he even has an account is to share his photos with the world. He’s thrilled when an international publication wants to hire him, until he finds out it’s a fashion magazine. He decides to take the job anyway—after all, it will be great for his portfolio. But the minute he sees Camille, he knows it was a mistake. She has too much luggage, is too high maintenance, and way too pretty.
When they meet, their feelings are mutual—they hate each other. Can these two stop fighting long enough to complete their assignment? Will Camille give up and go home when she discovers there’s nowhere to plug in her hair straightener?
Or will they both realize that sometimes you have to go off the grid to find yourself?
Making a difference:
Part of our goal in writing this book is to make a difference. 10% of our profits (20% during release week) from this book will be donated to the Sea Turtle Conservatory. It is the oldest sea turtle research and conservation group. It was founded in 1959 by Dr. Archie Carr. Their headquarters are in Florida, but they have programs worldwide that work to conserve sea turtle populations through education, research, advocacy, and protection of natural habitats. They also have a research station in Tortuguero, Costa Rica, which was one of the places visited in the book. For more information on the Sea Turtle Conservatory, click here.
The sound of a door closing wakes me up. I watch Adam come out of his cabana, walk down the steps, and into the sand. He’s shirtless, wearing just a pair of shorts with a towel thrown over one shoulder. I consider saying something, but don’t. I’m too tired to hold a conversation.
As I lie my head back on the hammock, I notice out of the corner of my eye that Adam has walked down to the water.
I wonder what he’s doing when all of a sudden he starts stripping off his shorts.
Oh, my gosh!
Before I can look away, his shorts hit the sand, revealing his naked backside. I need to get out of here. If he sees me he’ll think I was spying on him, or worse—checking him out. But somehow I get tangled up in the stupid hammock and flip myself right into the sand, landing with a thud.
He turns toward the noise, but thankfully it is dark, and I don’t think he can see me.
Actually, I know he can’t see me, because if he did, he’d totally come up here and give me crap.
I flatten myself into the sand and don’t move. Adam finally turns back toward the ocean and dives out into the water. While he’s swimming, I army crawl as quickly and quietly as possible back to my cabana. When I get to the stairs, I stand up which causes them to creak. Crap! I drop to the ground again, squatting low and hiding behind the porch rail. Then I stand fully, dart inside, and move to the window. I slide the little curtain out of the way and peek through.
I can barely make out Adam’s form floating lazily in the dark water. And I can’t help but think about how he’s out there naked.
I throw myself dramatically on the bed, realizing too late that I’m covered in sand. I go into the bathroom, take off my clothes, shake them out, and then put on my pajamas.
I brush the sand off my sheets and try to go to sleep, but I can’t. So I grab my video camera and do my video blog for today.
“It’s day two in Costa Rica. Today was truly amazing, and I wish all my Effortless Girls were here experiencing it alongside me. Actually, that’s a lie. Honestly, I’m really homesick.” A tear escapes my eye. “And I don’t mean to sound crazy, but I have no one here to talk to and all I can think about is calling home. I know, pretty pathetic, right? It’s just hard when you feel out of place. I wish Adam, my photographer, who is pretty nice when he’s not annoying, wasn’t such a pain. He thinks he knows everything about everything. Well, he sort of does. I mean, I spent a lot of time doing research for this trip but nothing compares to the real thing. And Adam, yes, that’s his name, like from the bible. And it kind of fits, the apple didn’t fall far from the tree. Get it? Adam and Eve, the apple?” I let out a maniacal laugh. “It’s quite possible I am a little delirious from lack of sleep. What I mean is that Adam’s dad is a world-renowned photographer, and Adam is following in his footsteps. He’s actually lived a pretty interesting life. Much different than me growing up on the Upper West Side of New York. His mom is an anthropologist and Adam has lived with indigenous people before, so he was actually a good fit for this trip.
“And speaking of the do-gooder, this morning when I jumped into the shower I was shocked to discover there was no hot water. Of course, Adam ran into my room when I screamed. Thank goodness I was able to mostly cover myself up with a towel that was barely bigger than a hand towel. And guess what he’s out doing right now? He’s swimming naked in the ocean! And that’s really why I can’t sleep. Who could sleep with that going on?” I hear the sound of Adam softly whistling a tune from outside. “Crap. I have to go! He’s back and I don’t want him to know I know he was out there! Bye!”
“Life is made up of moments. Moments that define you, change you, and test you. You choose these moments. And I am choosing this moment to let go. Not to overcome my fear, but at least face it head on.””
We meet Camille our New York fashionista hired by a popular magazine to take an eco-tour to Costa Rica and Panama and to document her travels daily. Part of the assignment is to be cut off from social media and truly immerse herself in her travels. Along for the trip is up and coming photographer Adam. Like many 18 yr olds, Camille has no idea about life, struggles, and the world that exists outside her New York bubble. Camille is a city girl to the bone, and is thrown into a world where no AC and no hot water begins her spiral into the world she couldn’t possibly expect to fall in love with.
While our duo don’t exactly get along in the beginning. They come to appreciate the other’s differences. Camille’s young fresh spirit to Adams old soul outlook gives us a fun and playful romance as the two try to understand each other and the conflicting points of view the other has on life.
“Life’s about breaking through those barriers within ourselves”
While Adam can dish out some sound advice about taking a risk and encouraging Camille to step outside of her comfort zone, he soon realizes that while Camille needs to take the outward risks, he needs to risk the most important part of himself … his heart. I really loved seeing the romance blossomed between Camille and Adam. While told in dual POV I especially enjoyed Adam’s perspective, finding it refreshing, swoon-worthy and so romantic!
We all know that the reader can live a thousand lives through the pages of a book. This novel gives us, a beautiful sweet romance that’s also very informative. I could imagine this book being used in a classroom to share information with a younger crowd that I’m sure they would enjoy. While it is a romance it brings light to so much of the world outside our own that I know many have never even thought about. The Beauty of Costa Rica and Panama came to life. The adventures right outside our door even the not so pleasant part of Camille’s adventure seems like something the reader would gladly endure just for the taste of adventure Girl off the Grid provides.
The story about how this book came about is great and one that I think you should look into more but should be mentioned that because of the adventures of co author Kenzie Harp 20% of the profits during release week (and 10% thereafter) will be donated to The Sea Turtle Conservancy.
I love books for a cause and found this novel and easy read that many light-hearted individuals will enjoy. Pick up your copy below and let me know what you think!
Pick up your copy!
About the Authors
Jillian Dodd is a USA TODAY bestselling author who lives in a small Florida beach town, is married to her college sweetheart, has two grown children and two Labrador Retrievers. She is not quite as adventurous as her daughter, but loves to travel, shop, and paint.
Kenzie Harp recently graduated from the University of South Florida—St. Petersburg with a degree in Interdisciplinary Social Sciences: History and International Studies. She loves to travel and read, lives in Florida, and is currently planning her next travel adventure.