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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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A new, FREE short story to make you go awwww....

There's nothing like a freebie, so I wrote a little quickie (ahem) to melt your hearts. It's set in Alaska and it's only 6000 words, ...

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How would you like your eggs? (A reminder of why Ubud, Bali is awesome)

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

LOTUS TREATMENT
Lotus is a special treatment for women famous in Balinese tradition. For cleansing and health, herbs and spices using a ‘smoking’ method are directed into the woman’s area. 1 hour: Rp. 100,000

I started scouting around for similar treatments for the ‘area’ and found that vaginal smoking is actually a Javanese pre- wedding ritual intended to cleanse the area ready for … well … you know. Several spas here offer the treatment and I’ve since learned that it’s also becoming quite trendy in L.A. Allegedly, people will pay up to $50 over there to steam and smoke their vaginas, and even more interestingly, they’re all probably pretending to know why.

As if by magic — or quite naturally, this being Bali — shortly after beginning my research, my friend Bob pulled up beside me on his motorbike as I was walking down the street and handed me a card. ‘I thought you might be interested in this,’ he said.

The card was advertising Hanna’s services and read: ‘Vaginal Releasing — Intimate Acupressure for Women’. I called her at once.

Intimate acupressure, which leads to vaginal releasing, goes one step further than vaginal smoking. Literally. Hanna is in Bali to see how she can help women who may be experiencing blocks in their private areas; blocks that might be preventing them from living up to their full sexual potential. This is a skill she honed in Sweden while hanging out with various spiritual communities.

At the moment she works in a supermarket while she figures out how to go about implementing her methods on a more permanent basis here in Bali.
Shortly before the drug lord’s intervention, Hanna showed me her yoni eggs, the tools she uses for her vaginal releasing work. She unwrapped each one carefully from its little green mesh bag like a gypsy unveiling her crystal balls and worked the hard, shiny marble eggs around in her fingers. She explained how they’re inserted and ‘hugged’ in order to strengthen the muscles.

‘Why is one bigger than the other?’ I asked, noticing that they were different sizes.

‘Because sometimes if a lady has had a few children, the smaller one will just fall out,’ she said. She held them out to me.

I didn’t touch them.

Each egg has a hole drilled carefully through the top which Hanna threads with a piece of disposable dental floss at the start of each session. This then hangs from the vagina in case of the other scenario, which is of course the scenario in which the egg gets stuck. Hanna isn’t really offering her treatments here yet; she’s just testing the waters to see who might be interested. She said she’s had quite a lot of calls as a result of her business cards and in fact, since she’s been in Ubud she’s been getting invites to take her yoni eggs to a host of spiritual health conventions in different countries.

It’s easy to kick yourself, isn’t it? Why didn’t I think of this? They’re just little marble eggs of the sort you might find at an Easter market. Harmless, worthless little marble eggs that granny might put on the mantelpiece. Drill a couple of holes in them, however, pick up some dental floss and HOLY SHIT, you’re the only one in God’s given galaxy with a magical cure for sexual blocks and everyone wants to fly you across the world, for free.

Hanna is a genius. I told her so. And in honour of our new friendship we decided to go and get a Lotus Treatment together.

Turns out that a Lotus Treatment is a bit like sitting on the toilet without doing anything at all, for forty-five minutes. It’s not so much a toilet, though; it’s more a pretty wooden box with a padded hole in the top and some burning coals, herbs and incense underneath your ‘area’. But either way, it’s not a very eventful process. Naked but for matching brown sarongs we sat there on our little boxes, strangers being steamed. Occasionally droplets would form and free themselves, at which point the coals would sizzle, releasing even more steam and causing us to squeal, but the novelty soon wore off and we were just a bit bored really.

It was a strange experience that felt a bit like I’d imagine crouching naked over a campfire might feel once the flames have died and everyone else has gone to bed, in that you’re not really sure why you’re doing it but it doesn’t feel too bad, so you might as well carry on.

As we chatted and played with our phones and read magazines Hanna and I were allegedly getting purer, and purer, and purer by the second. When our time was up, we were instructed to climb into individual bathtubs filled with clumpy, boiled herbs and spices, poured in from giant cooking pots. These mixtures made the water turn the colour of fresh blood. Cheap curtains were drawn around the tubs and we were told to wash, which we thought was a bit weird because weren’t we supposed to be cleansed ‘down there’ already?

As we dressed and prepared to leave, however, the lovely Balinese lady who’d set up the Lotus Treatments threw in a surprise bonus: ‘You virgins again!’

What?

‘You beautiful virgins!’ she beamed.

The boiled clumps in the tub! They must have sealed us up again. Incredible. The promise of my restored virginity wasn’t on the board outside in the description but I assume they’ve just left this off because they don’t want everyone pouring in … you know … like what happened to Ketut after Eat, Pray, Love.

Hanna and I have promised not to tell anyone where this particular virginity-restoring spa is because we plan to enjoy being the purest girls in Ubud (for a while, at least). Anyway, you do make friends in the strangest ways in this town, but needless to say Hanna and her yoni eggs are both extraordinary and she and I have already made plans to have another Lotus Treatment together soon, just in case our virtue gets lost again.

**This is an excerpt from Balilicious – The Bali Diaries, which I thought was quite apt because I’m heading back to Ubud tomorrow and I am still very excited about being there again after all this time!

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