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View from Dubrovnik city wall

Croatia: Getting around in Dubrovnik, Split and Hvar

So, if you're here, you're probably looking for information on travelling to and around Croatia? You're in luck' because I just got back. I can only ...

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Remembering Yemen...

I never did make it to Syria unfortunately, but I did visit Yemen in 2008, which I'm thinking about now in the midst of this ...

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Christmas in Prague...

I just got back from Prague - another new city for me. I love nothing more than heading off to a new place and just ...

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Tinder Diaries: Getting my Groupon...

Shamus's profile shots scrolled like some kind of Action Man calendar. In one photo the 39-year-old Irish-Canadian was hugging a goat on what looked like ...

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Tinder Diaries: Tempur-Pedic promises...

And another Tinder Diary for you, this one's also from last year in Vancouver.  Tempur-Pedic promises... 'I got you a drink!!!' the text message yelled at me. ...

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Tinder Diaries: The Burner In The Park

In trawling through folders on my laptop for some old work I've just come across some diaries I wrote about Tinder dating last year in ...

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I go to the gym a lot. And other things I never thought I'd say...

Once in Sydney I joined a yoga studio for $350 a year and went once. In New York I spent close to $600 and went to ...

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Things you should probably know before going to Burning Man

So, Burning Man. Hmm. How was it, you ask? Honestly. I can't even really tell you yet, and it's been three weeks. But I'll try. As a ...

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11 things you only ever say on WhatsApp when you're going to Burning Man...

I LEAVE TOMORROW!! Am I ready? Probably not.  I'm what's known as a Virgin, (this will be my first time at Burning Man) and in ...

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Thoughts about rainbows...

I cycled home tonight right under a rainbow - the kind of rainbow that smiles across the sky in every colour, and then more colours ...

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How to tell when you travel too much (and when you should stop)

Yup. That's how. That's a screenshot my friend just sent me, when I told her to add my new phone number in Amsterdam. "Another one?!" "Yeah, but I'm ...

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…Best Of...

It started with a boy called Matt: why I'm going to Burning Man (in 2 weeks!!!)

Going to Burning Man has been pretty high on the bucket list for years... ever since I started chatting to an American guy online back in 2003, who ...

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The Royal's idea of 'Indian street kids' is not quite right

I know I shouldn't read the Daily Mail because it always annoys me... but today THIS was ridiculous. Honestly. Been to India? Yeah, so have I. Met ...

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How to write a novel: 25 rules

This post is so inspiring, just had to share! Thanks to Matt Haig, who posted it originally. Sometimes us writers really need to read cool stuff ...

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Amsterdam, I love you! See you again soon.

I've decided to move to Amsterdam. Maybe not forever but definitely for a little bit, because, well.... this. And this: And this:  OK maybe not the last one... ...

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Free tsunami romance for Valentine's Day...

Winner of the TBC (The Book Club) award for best non-fiction, 2016.  Hey guys, I'm giving away The Day Of The Wave over Valentine's weekend in ...

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How to Create Titles to Hook Your Readers

This post is written BY JUDITH BRILES posted on February 10, 2016 on The Book Designer Are you sometimes stuck when it comes to adding a title to ...

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Yay, I won an award!

It's a super duper awesome start to the new year, because after a long hiatus during which I've been working reeeeeeally hard and not blogging ...

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Who's the Mills and Boon Man Of The Year 2016? Get your face on a book cover!

Here ye, all you amazing men - and women who know amazing men! Thought I'd spread the word about this. Mills & Boon are launching ...

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Pills that make you poop glitter...

Oh my! We should give these to ALL the pigeons in London until the whole city is a sparkly rainbow! Granted we'd be covered in shit, ...

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Know your strengths...

I'm sitting in the cafe. It's just me, two loud ladies who sound like they're from Essex, and a blonde with her boyfriend. An Essex ...

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Humans of Iceland...

This is Sverrir and the replica of his great grandfather, who was once the pastor of the pretty and remote herring fishing town, Siglufjörður. He was ...

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Adventures in Iceland (in brief because I'm VERY remote right now and WIFI is scarce)...

It started when we flew Fokker. Yes, Fokker. Oh come on, tell me I'm not the only child who finds this funny? It wasn't long before ...

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NOW FREE ON AMAZON: The Day Of The Wave

A moving, emotional romance based on real-life events. NOW FREE ON AMAZON! The Day Of The Wave follows Isla and Ben in the wake of surviving ...

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***FREELANCE PHOTO - POSTMEDIA NETWORK USE ONLY*** VANCOUVER, BC.:JUNE 24, 2014-- Pedestrian traffic in front of Canna Clinic on Commercial Drive, in Vancouver, BC, June 24, 2014.  Canna Clinic at 2223 Commercial Drive, has a doctor from 5 to 8 p.m. every day. Locals can get certified by an in-house  naturopath, and pick up some pot.  (PHOTOS by Don MacKinnon)

Comedy night at the Canna Clinic...

Today I learnt two things. The first is that penguins have knees inside their bodies. Yes. Knees. Inside. I'm not even kidding. The second is that ...

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Spalding School Reunion is Imminent...

I got a message today about a school reunion for the class of 96. My first thought was JEEEEESUS, did I really leave school 19 ...

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Best things to see on Commercial Drive in Vancouver. OK, maybe not the best...

I was just eating my sushi on a restaurant patio last night when a man seemingly dressed as a Mario Brother climbed a nearby tree ...

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Oh Canada, how I LOVE being in you...

And I think these photos prove why! I'm so inspired the more time I spend here, which is Vancouver right now, in case you were ...

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Fun on the Natchez Trace - recreating scenes from a novel in real life!

Yesterday a friend and I drove from Nashville, out past the famous Loveless Cafe (where we stopped to pick up some Peach Preserve) and onto ...

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Read and review 'Before He Was Gone' and get a FREE copy!

The New Adult Book Club on Goodreads are reading Before He Was Gone to review. Sign up if you want your free copy to review! "Sometimes, ...

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RIP Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran (an excerpt featuring their great work, from Balilicious)

How fuggin AWFUL to hear about the executions of these two men, and the others who were wiped out needlessly today in Indonesia. Don't people ...

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Boxing Day Tsunami book trailer (The Day of the Wave)

I made this today! One day I will give up trying to be a filmmaker (maybe), but it's SO satisfying when it uploads and I'm ...

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The Day of the Wave - Playlist

This is probably the most fun I’ve ever had putting a playlist together for a book. There were just so many great artists who inspired ...

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Aliens in the White House...

Just got a newsflash on my phone: 'Small one-person helicopter lands at White House West Lawn. Pilot in custody.' I know I should click on it ...

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Boxing Day Tsunami romance excerpt: (The Day of The Wave)

This is an excerpt from my latest new adult romance, coming May 2015. In brief... "Isla and Ben were just sixteen when the Boxing Day ...

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Uber in Nashville is interesting...

Me: 'So, what's the craziest thing that's happened to you since you started driving for Uber?' Him: 'Are you a shy girl?' Me: 'Er, I don't think ...

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Have I mentioned the Family Dollar Store yet?

Have I mentioned the Family Dollar store yet? It's my new favorite place here in Nashville. Contrary to the name, not everything inside costs a dollar, ...

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Lavenders, motorcycles and a feeling of deep uncool at Nashville's Barista Parlor...

There are some places in this world that will just serve to make you feel deeply uncool, no matter how young and awesome you previously ...

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Why Craigslist in Nashville is killing me...

Here's what this guy just wrote in reply to my post about looking for a room to rent in Nashville: "We are seeking a FEMALE caring nanny/care giver. ...

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Observation of the day...

Ubud cafes were full of middle aged women writing books on macs. Nashville cafes are full of cute young guys making music on macs. I know where ...

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Before He Was A Secret (Starstruck #3) Playlist...

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLmhXXflqDQPAxUHvBiWosmLHWTd6sBM4Z I can't write a word without being inspired by every sound in the air around me, and I turned to music more than ever with ...

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Musings on a Nashville snow day...

No one told me flying south for the winter would take me somewhere colder than England. Then again, there's something so peaceful about walking alone down ...

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Fight your way through! A message to writers like me…

Fight your way through! A message to writers like me...

...and other creative souls no doubt! Someone sent me this video today by the amazingly inspiring Ira Glass, which I found very interesting. I can relate ...

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The difference a motorised bike makes...

I miss my bike in Bali so much that today I actually hovered outside someone's house in South Harrow contemplating whether I could justify spending ...

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Proving my roots: The nonsense that is taking the IELTS test in London...

"PUT YOUR PENCILS DOWN! PENCILS DOWN, NOW!!!" Dumbledore boomed. I almost jumped out of my plastic chair, nerves shot to sh*t. I have a problem ...

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There's nothing more sexist than The Sun pulling Page 3 Girls...

Yes... SEXIST. If only for what's being said around the decision to drop this whole thing! "Instead of bare breasts, the pictures will now show scantily-clad ...

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I SURVIVED: The Freak British Tornado (and the suspect still running loose)

A mini-tornado hit north west London this afternoon - causing damage to homes and cars. I think I summoned it. I was thinking very dark ...

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It's cover reveal day for Before He Was A Secret. Exclusive excerpt here...

Today's the day, whoo hoooooo! I can finally reveal another amazing cover by designer Jeanine Henning, for the third standalone romance in my Starstruck Series, ...

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The night Emma Watson stole my toothbrush...

WARNING!!! I feel like I should say something. I've been quiet for way too long... almost an hour actually, but about an hour ago I ...

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Vaginal smoking and the benefits of yoni egg insertions (note: there are many)...

I have recently become quite fascinated with vaginal treatments. The fascination began when I saw this tempting advertisement on a board outside a spa in ...

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The truth about 'Ecstatic Dancing' at The Yoga Barn in Ubud, Bali... (warning, this post may smell)

Everyone in Ubud knows the Yoga Barn. It's a sort of second home for eager expats, all of whom are quite happy to spend an ...

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Go to Bali for less than a quid! Balilicious is 99p, starting today.

Becky Wicks lifted the burqa on Dubai In BURQALICIOUS. Now she turns her attention to Bali as she hilariously navigates life as an adopted Balinese ...

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How do you handle negative reviews for your book on Amazon and Goodreads? And are readers actively LOOKING for bad books?

What didn't make me smile throughout my recent and ultimately successful free book campaign on Amazon KDP (and I'll tell you this, seeing as we're ...

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Before He Was A Secret Blog tour sign ups are live. I'm looking for bloggers to join in (and get a free copy!)

Once again I'm having a blog tour with the amazing Xpresso Reads for the third in my Starstruck Series, which is coming out in March ...

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Before He Was Gone (Starstruck #2) Playlist…

While I was writing Before He Was Gone (Starstruck #2) I spent most of the time imagining I was on that island, but obviously certain songs would pop into my head during different scenes and I’d add them to Spotify. There are more to go with the book on my Spotify playlist, but here are a few of my faves on YouTube, and some little notes on why they go with my story! x

Labrinth feat. Emeli Sandé – Beneath Your Beautiful

I’m a big fan of this song. It reminds me of how Joshua’s hiding… how he’s convinced being alone is best and how Alyssa is convinced otherwise. “You let all the girls go. 
Makes you feel good, don’t it?
 Behind your Broadway show, 
I heard a boy say ‘please, don’t hurt me’. You’ve carried on so long. 
You couldn’t stop if you tried it
. You’ve built your wall so high that no one could climb it. But I’m gonna try.”

Gabrielle Aplin – Salvation

Joshua’s convinced he’s made a mistake in making Alyssa his salvation. She’s done the same with him, without even realising it. “You are the avalanche. One world away. My make believing while I’m wide awake. Just a trick of light. To bring me back around again. Those wild eyes. A psychedelic silhouette. I never meant to fall for you but I was buried underneath. And all that I could see was white. My salvation.”

Christina Perri – Sea of Lovers

There are moments when both Joshua and Alyssa are overwhelmed with the game they’re playing within a game. But both have come to trust the other. “In the sea of lovers without ships and lovers without signs. You’re the only way out of this sea of lovers losing time. And lovers losing hope. Will you let me follow you wherever you go. Bring me home.”

James Morrison – I Won’t Let You Go

I love how this song reminds me of the way Alyssa fights for Joshua, even when he tries to push her away. She knows he’s scared and she follows her heart till he lets her in. “And if you feel the fading of the light. And you’re too weak to carry on the fight. And all your friends that you count on have disappeared. I’ll be here, not gone, forever holding on. If there’s love just feel it. And if there’s life we’ll see it. This is no time to be alone, alone, yeah. I won’t let you go.”

Sam Tsui & Kina Grannis – Bring Me The Night

These two singers always make me feel happy! To me, this gorgeous song represents how Alyssa and Joshua wait for the nights, so they can be together where no one can see them. “Swear I don’t know if the days are as slow as they seem. Wondering when you’ll be with me again and this finally can be more than just a dream. But when I close my eyes I want only to stay, where the farthest you are is a heartbeat away. So bring me the night, send out the stars, ‘Cause when I’m dreaming we don’t seem so far. Darken the sky and light up the moon, so that somehow you’ll be here with me soon. Bring me the night. Bring me the night, that brings me to you.”

Sam Smith – Stay With Me

I kept playing this song while I was writing about Joshua’s struggle. He wants to tell Alyssa what’s wrong, but he feels like he can’t. He just wants to hold her anyway. “Why am I so emotional? No, it’s not a good look, gain some self-control. And deep down I know this never works. But you can lay with me so it doesn’t hurt. Oh, won’t you stay with me? ‘Cause you’re all I need. This ain’t love, it’s clear to see. But darling, stay with me.”

Sarah Bareilles – Brave

This one is Alyssa’s song. She’s a fighter, playing a game, and she needs to toughen up! “Nothing’s gonna hurt you the way that words do, when they settle ‘neath your skin. Kept on the inside and no sunlight. Sometimes a shadow wins. But I wonder what would happen if you say what you wanna say, and let the words fall out. Honestly, I wanna see you be brave.”

Ron Pope – A Drop in the Ocean

Love this guy’s voice. There’s something about this song that just gets to me! It represents the way Alyssa is becoming a necessity for Joshua on the island. “It’s just a drop in the ocean, a change in the weather. I was praying that you and me might end up together. It’s like wishing for rain as I stand in the desert, but I’m holding you closer than most ’cause you are my heaven. Heaven doesn’t seem far away anymore. No, no. Heaven doesn’t seem far away.”

The Killers – Be Still

A beautiful song by one of my favourite bands! This one is for both our leads, both of them fighting to stay strong, to keep pushing through on the island, and with each other. “Be still. Wild and young. Long may your innocence reign. Like shells on the shore. And may your limits be unknown. And may your efforts be your own. If you ever feel you can’t take it anymore. Don’t break character. You’ve got a lot of heart. Is this real or just a dream? Rise up like the sun. Labor till the work is done.”

Kris Allen – The Truth

Again, Joshua’s silent struggle with his secret… “Trying to be perfect. Trying not to let you down. Honesty is honestly the hardest thing for me right now. While the floors underneath our feet are crumbling, the walls we built together tumbling, I still stand here holding up the roof. Cause it’s easier than telling the truth”

Imagine Dragons – Demons

Oh yes… Joshua has demons, baby… “When you feel my heat. Look into my eyes. It’s where my demons hide. It’s where my demons hide. Don’t get too close. It’s dark inside. It’s where my demons hide. It’s where my demons hide.”

Lucie Silvas – Trying Not To Lose

This one’s for Alyssa, wondering what the hell she’s doing on the island when she first arrives, but realizing that actually, there’s nowhere else she’d rather be. “One day I’ll catch this big wave. And take it on, not be swept away. Sometimes my arms get so tired that when my turn comes it’s gone again. If I could only wake up not feeling so confused about what I got and what I’m trying not to lose. This love is like a changing wind. That passes by me, blows me away. And the only thing that’s certain is I’m here today. And I don’t think I could handle any other way.”

The Vamps – Somebody To You

Joshua’s a changed man, thanks to Alyssa and his time on the island. He didn’t want to be a part of anything. But that’s not exactly true anymore… “I used to ride around. I didn’t wanna settle down. But now I wake each day. Looking for a way that I can see your face (Yeah you!) I’ve got your photograph. But baby I need more than that. I need to know your lips. Nothing ever mattered to me more than this (Yeah you!). Look at me now, I’m falling. I can’t even talk, still stuttering. This ground of mine keeps shaking. All I wanna be, yeah all I ever wanna be, yeah, yeah… Is somebody to you.”

The Script – Six Degrees of Separation

This band always breaks my heart! I love this one, for when our leads spend time apart, both wondering about the other. “First, you think the worst is a broken heart. What’s gonna kill you is the second part. And the third is when your world splits down the middle. And fourth, you’re gonna think that you fixed yourself. Fifth, you see them out with someone else. And the sixth, is when you admit you may have fucked up a little.”

Katy Perry – Not Like The Movies

Oh, the Perry! This one is for Alyssa, realising that her old life wasn’t as wonderful as she tried to make herself think it was. “If stars don’t align. If it doesn’t stop time. If you can’t see the sign, wait for it. One hundred percent, worth every penny spent. He’ll be the one that finishes your sentences. If it’s not like the movies, that’s how it should be, yeah. When he’s the one, he’ll come undone, and my world will stop spinning, And that’s just the beginning, oh, yeah.”

Ingrid Michaelson – The Chain

I love the soaring, lyrical sweetness of this and to me it captures how Alyssa might feel when she finally leaves the island. “The sky looks pissed. The wind talks back. My bones are shifting in my skin. And you my love are gone.”

If you have an ARC right now, I hope you enjoy these too. Before He Was Gone will be out for everyone on August 25, 2014.

burn through me

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