Featured Articles

Why a staycation is better than going abroad (sometimes)

Deep in one of the world's most dangerous rainforests, I cast my eyes to the Colombian skies as my ass sagged into a river from ...

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A single girl's guide to Amsterdam's NEMO Science Museum

Check it out - a building that looks just like my love life. A giant, sinking ship. (Sigh). Yes, yes, the dating game's a drag ...

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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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Cover Reveal & Exclusive Excerpt: BEFORE HE WAS GONE (STARSTRUCK #2). Plus win an ARC and a $50 store card of your choice

kindle

Super excited today to finally share this awesome cover for the second book in the Starstruck series, designed by the fabulous Jeanine Henning.

Before He Was Gone follows some of the characters we met in Before He Was Famous, only this one takes us beyond the music industry and Noah Lockton’s overnight success, to a faraway island and a Survival style reality TV show called Deserted. Alyssa thinks this will be a great challenge, but she soon realises the one thing she’s really playing for isn’t the prize money at all. You can read the full blurb and mark it to read on Goodreads now, but here’s a sneaky excerpt:

‘So, you’re a chef?’ he asks.

‘Not officially. But I do love to cook.’ I want to thank him for sticking up for me back there with Jaxx tonight, but for some reason I know he’d just shrug it off. Joshua’s as fiery as me, I’ve noticed; as spontaneous with his words and actions. I wonder if they’ve ever gotten him into serious trouble.

‘You don’t want to make any movies, or albums? You don’t want to be famous? A famous chef, perhaps?’ he says.

‘Not particularly. What I knew of fame never did me any favors.’ I pause, feeling the beer still buzzing through me. ‘I don’t think most people would equate fame with a movie deal, or any kind of talent anymore anyway,’ I carry on. ‘This is a crowded planet – people craving fame just want other people to know who they are, right? And anyway, the more I think about it, the more I think fame is just an illusion. It’s a bunch of projections.’

‘Projections?’ he repeats with intrigue as I swig from the coconut and I nod, looking out over the ocean.

‘I think about that a lot here. What’s real, what isn’t? I imagine if it was just me here right now; just me and the sea and the sand and the birds, and this coconut.’ I hold it up between us. ‘Imagine if none of the paps or the stories about me and Sebastian ever affected me again. They could still talk about me, I guess, but if I didn’t know about it, would I still be a famous person? Or would I just be me again?’

‘What do you mean again? You’re already just you,’ he replies, a line appearing between his dark eyebrows. ‘Maybe through fame you’ve been defining yourself as something else without even realizing it, Alyssa, but you is all you can ever be.’ He takes the coconut. ‘You’re right about projections,’ he adds. ‘If you believe what other people say about you, good or bad, you stop believing in yourself, right?’

‘Right,’ I say, watching him swig it. ‘You self-destruct. You project other people’s crap onto yourself and you go off-track, spiritually, mentally, karmically…’

‘All of the above.You should never let those people get you down, or pigeonhole you. They don’t even know you.’

‘And you do?’ I laugh suddenly.

‘I thought I had you pretty figured out. But I was wrong.’

Joshua draws his eyes away, runs his finger round the rim of the coconut. ‘Some people are summer, and some people are winter,’ he says after a moment, but I’m just looking at the ocean now, trying not to fall. It could be the beers I guess, because as well as being blunt and infuriating and drop-dead gorgeous, Joshua is probably the most insightful person I’ve held a conversation with in months. ‘You’re summer, Alyssa,’ he tells me now, shaking his head and smiling for a second. ‘Did you love him?’

‘Sebastian? Yes, of course.’ I say it fast on autopilot, but the sparks igniting invisibly between us make me stop. ‘I don’t know,’ I admit, looking at my bare feet on the rocks. ‘It all seemed so great, you know? But maybe love was just part of the illusion.’

‘What do you mean?’

‘He was never really there, even when he was,’ I say. ‘He was always drifting someplace else; usually into his music.’ I cast my eyes to the glassy ocean, flash back over our relationship – from the first kiss, the first night to the last time; the conversations we used to have. He worshipped me and I reveled in his adoration. But did he ever set my mind on fire? Did he ever really scratch lines across my soul?

I squeeze my eyes shut for a second. I shouldn’t have drunk all these beers. Chloe says they make me emotional. ‘What about you?’ I say, forcing the lump from my throat away. ‘Any significant others?’

Joshua studies my face for a moment. ‘There was a girl,’ he answers.

Was?

‘English,’ he says with a slight smile. It disappears in a heartbeat. ‘She wanted more than I could give her.’

‘Why couldn’t you have given her more?’

‘It wouldn’t have been a good idea.’

‘Why?’

Joshua reaches out, runs a hot thumb over a coconut splash on my lips in a motion that sends my heart up to my throat. ‘Forget him,’ he says without answering me. ‘He wasn’t the one.’

 

If you’re a blogger and want a review copy, Before He Was Gone (Starstruck #2) will be on NetGalley from mid-July.

Release day on Amazon KDP is August 25.

Read Before He Was Famous first!

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