If you’re looking to escape the daily grind and relax on an exotic getaway, then you may not want to travel with Tamara Sheward. Her travelogue Bad Karma (Confessions of a Reckless Traveller in Southeast Asia) recounts her adventures with her best friend El. These two cocky anti-Birkenstockers manage to plant themselves into a variety of bizarre situations in every village and city they enter. Little to no traveling plans, shoddy tour guide books, and edgy attitudes may not provide for a relaxing vacation, but it sure makes for one heck of a fun read.

As Tamara and El ramble through Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, and Cambodia, readers will cringe as they foresee problems the travelers didn’t. Customs are accidentally stepped on (never leave your chopsticks standing straight up in your rice bowl) throughout the book. Tamara and El are well-seasoned backpackers, and while they’ve left their homeland of Australia on journeys many times before, they’ve never been to the foreign lands of Southeast Asia, and they find it’s a whole different world than what they’ve ever experienced before.

I love to travel, but I’m a serious researcher. I’ll read up on every little thing I can get my hands on (surprised?) before setting foot outside my country. That’s probably what made reading Bad Karma such an entertaining toe-curler. If I ever get the chance to travel to Southeast Asia, I’ll take this book along as a guide on how to avoid botched travel plans. It can double as an entertaining read when my Fodor’s just won’t do.

So if you’re ready to hop on a rickshaw and careen through the streets of Cambodia with Tamara and her friend El, I have an extra copy of Bad Karma to give away. You have until midnight May 12, 2008. Happy Trails!

3 Ways to Enter:

1.) Leave a comment telling me what interests you about the book. (Something more than “sounds good” is kindly suggested.) Or tell me YOUR travel horror story!

2.) Subscribers are automatically entered into this and all future giveaways. Just enter your email address in the little white box on the upper part of the right hand column. (Please make sure to verify your Feedburner subscription by responding to the email they send you. If you don’t receive it, check your junk mail.)

3.) Blog about this giveaway on your blog with a link back.

Do all three, and you’ve got three entries to win!


  1. I think this sounds like the perfect summer read and the perfect trip accompaniment. The best part is that no matter where they go they get into some bizarre predicament–that sounds like a hoot to read about.

  2. Ha! I always use the phrase “bad kharma!” like when my kids talk sass then go and stub their toe 😉 The book would be a great read, thanks!

  3. Carol Ezovski

    I love books about different cultures. I’ve been to Japan, and my husband has been all over the Far East when he was in the Military. I’d like to win this.

  4. I love reading!

  5. Kristi Blackstone

    this book looks awesome

  6. The book looks interesting and could teach me something… I like that it talks about different countries and cultures!


  7. Well, I haven’t been to Asia so I’m interested in reading about the culture there and whatever else the book has to say about travelling there! I subs to your feeds! :)

  8. My friend Chris took an extended trip to this part of our world; I would love to compare stories.

  9. I want to win

  10. tonya froemel

    like to win this

  11. I love traveling but haven’t done much lately and never to SE Asia so it’s great to hear about someone’s misadventures out there! I miss traveling! Wish I had done more when I was younger, of course didn’t how things in this world would change!

  12. This would be really cool to win.. please let me win it!

  13. I love bizarre.

  14. Samantha Pruitt

    i love reading stories that have to do with horrible situations that don’t involve me, haha!

  15. Sounds like a fun read. My husband doesn’t believe in karma. I’m on the fence…

  16. Delightful and lovely book which would make entertaining and fascinating reading.

  17. This is a life I wish I led. SInce I didn’t, I’ll have to settle for reading about it!

  18. I love the thrill of traveling and like to imagine myself in those places when I’m reading a book set in another country/state. Reading about travel misadventures are just hilarious. I always then hope they don’t happen to me. I read about your contests at Library Thing. I just started my blog and dont know how to do a linkback. Sorry

  19. Buddy Garrett

    The authors’ misadventures on vacation in Southeast Asia intrigues me. I am interested in customs in other cultures. I know this must be a fun read.

  20. Janice Wright

    I would love to hear about the travel adventures of other people since I have not had the oportunity to travel very much. This would be great.

  21. There is never anything better than a book to win. so many people get value from a book prize in our family

  22. I’ve experienced a little bad karma myself when I did some seat-of-the-pants traveling. This sounds like my kind of book.

  23. Bad Karma sounds like a very interesting read! One thing most people don’t think about is the little things can mean something different in an unfamilar culture.
    I was at dinner with some friends the other night and they had their relatives from England in town. We were talking about the differences of the two English Languages. They had mentioned that the English calls a fanny pack a bum pack. I didn’t thing anything about it until I started looking over a list of words/phrases I got off the interent.
    Much to my surprise, I discover the word “fanny” means a woman’s private part in England. Boy, I am glad I wasn’t in England using that word. 😀
    I would love to read a book highlighting the cultural differnces. What FUN!!

  24. Sylvia Porter

    i’m going to be traveling pretty soon, this would keep from saying and doing some stupid stuff

  25. Love the title. Love to travel. Travel is about experiencing the unknown. Love to read about the daring travels of two innocents abroad.

  26. yay, i love to read this book.

    love reading all travel stories.

  27. please enter me :)

  28. What an interesting title. All the places that are on my places to see wish list!

  29. looks like a good read

  30. Charlene Kuser

    This sounds like an exciting
    journey,to see what kind of
    trouble they get into.i love
    books about different cultures
    and lands.Since I have never
    been there it gives me insight
    on how they live and survive

  31. Sawadee Kha! I’m about to go to Bangkok and I’m very excited about my trip. Already got my flight to Suvamabhumi Airport and from there I’ll go explore around Koh Chang and of course stay a couple of nights in Bangkok, I saw your awesome blog on Msn and it seems that you know a lot about Bangkok. Would you please give me some advice where to stay in Bangkok City? I’ve heard there are some fantastic hotels in the main city and in the north… Thank you in advance!