Related to: 'Hello Life!'

December Book of the Month

Nikki and Damien continue in Take Me

I awake to an empty bed and the smell of frying bacon. I roll over to find my phone on the bedside table, then glance at the time. Not yet six. I groan and fall back among the pillows, but I don't really want to go back to sleep. What I want is Damien. I slide out of bed, then grab the tank top and yoga pants I'd left draped across a nearby armchair. I head barefoot out of the bedroom and move the short distance down the hall to the third-floor kitchen. We're standing in Damien's Malibu house, and the wall of windows that faces the ocean is wide open, the glass panels having been thrust aside to let in the breeze. The smell of the ocean mingles with the scent of breakfast and I breathe deep, realizing that I am content. Whatever demons had poked at me during the night, Damien effectively banished them. I glance toward the windows and out at the darkened Pacific. Waves glow white in the fading moonlight as they break upon the shore. There is beauty there, and part of me wants to walk to the balcony and stare out at the roiling, frothing water. But the siren call of the ocean is nothing compared to my desire to see Damien, and so I turn away from the windows and head straight to the kitchen. It is larger than the one in the condo I used to share with my best friend, Jamie, and it is not even the primary kitchen for this house. That is on the first floor, and could easily service a one-hundred-table restaurant. But this - the "small" kitchen - was installed as an adjunct to the open area that serves as a venue for entertaining, and since it is just down the hall from our bedroom, Damien and I have gotten into the habit of cooking our meals and eating in this cozier, more informal area. Usually we're joined by Lady Meow-Meow, the fluffy white cat I took custody over when Jamie moved out. I know Lady M misses Jamie, but she's also enjoying having the run of this huge house, and Gregory - the valet, butler, and all around house-running guy - spoils her rotten. Now I lean against the half wall that marks the break from hallway to kitchen. Damien is standing at the stove cooking an omelette as if he were nothing more than an ordinary guy. Except there is nothing ordinary about Damien Stark. He is grace and power, beauty and heat. He is exceptional, and he has captured me completely. At the moment, he is shirtless, and I cannot help the way my breath stutters as my eyes skim over the defined muscles of his back and his taut, strong arms. Damien's first fortune came not form business, but from his original career as a champion tennis player. Even now, years later, he has both the look and the power of an elite athlete. I let my gaze drift down appreciatively. He is wearing simple gray sweatpants that sit low on his narrow hips and cling to the curves of his perfectly toned ass. Like me, he is barefoot. He looks young and sexy and completely delicious. Yet despite his casual appearance, I can still see the executive. The powerful businessman who harnessed the world, who shifted it to his own liking and made a fortune in the process. He is strength and control. And I am humbled by the knowledge that I am what he values most of all, and that I will spend the rest of my life at his side. "You're staring," he says, his eyes still on the stove. I grin happily, like a child. "I enjoy looking at pretty things." He turns now, and his eyes rake over me, starting at my toes. "So do I," he says when his gaze reaches my face, and there is so much heat in his voice that my legs go weak and my body quivers with want. His mouth curves into a slow, sexy smile, and I am absolutely certain in that moment that I am going to melt. "You spoiled my surprise," he says, then nods toward the breakfast table where a tray sits with a glass bud vase displaying a single, red rose. "Breakfast in bed."

Business Plus

Demand (India Only)

Adrian Slywotzky With Karl Web, Er
Authors:
Adrian Slywotzky With Karl Web, Er

Demand is one of the few economic terms almost everyone knows. Demand drives supply. When demand rises, growth happens - jobs are created, the economy flourishes and society thrives. So goes the theory.It sounds simple, yet almost no one really understands demand, including the business owners, company leaders and policy makers who try to stimulate and satisfy it. Aimed at a business and general non-fiction readership, DEMAND is a book which searches for clues as to where demand really comes from, and why, and how we might control it.

Brian Kimberling

Brian Kimberling is a native of Indiana and a graduate of Indiana University. In the mid-nineties he was a research assistant for a major study of Indiana songbirds, an experience central to his first book, SNAPPER. Since then he has lived and worked in the Czech Republic, Mexico, Turkey and England. He began writing SNAPPER on the Bath Spa Creative Writing MA in 2009, and was awarded the first annual Janklow & Nesbit Prize for the best manuscript to emerge from the course. He lives in Bath with his wife and son.

Charlotte Crosby

27 year old Charlotte Crosby is the nation's sweetheart. She was the star of MTV's Geordie Shore and is a regular fixture in gossip columns and tabloid headlines, but is also loved by her fans for being funny and down to earth. Winner of 2013's Celebrity Big Brother, she is also the creator of two hugely successful fitness DVDs and an ambassador of the Ectopic Pregnancy Trust.

Fleur De Force

Fleur De Force is one of the most successful beauty and fashion vloggers in the world. She started making videos on YouTube in September 2009, and has been building her global audience ever since. Her You Tube channel subscribers now stand at over 1.3 million bringing her into the top 1% Google approved YouTubers in the beauty sector. Her chatty, informative and accessible videos see her looking at her favourite beauty/fashion trends, products and advice and currently attract over 4 million views per month and some 180,000,000 views since she started.In addition to her You Tube channel, Fleur is an avid blogger - her blog attracts over 100,000 unique visitors per month.Fleur's first book The Glam Guide, published by Headline, shares all of her secrets and discoveries from makeup tips, wardrobe cheats, first-date points or healthy lifestyle motivation and it went straight to the top 5 of the Sunday Times bestsellers!She is a regular speaker at trade events including Beautycon and Vidcon and has been featured in Cosmopolitan, Miss Vogue, Company, Sunday Times Style and ITV This Morning.

Gemma Collins

Gemma Collins is one of the nation's most loved reality TV stars. She is currently one of the stars of ITVBe's The Only Way Is Essex and has also appeared on Loose Women, I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! and Celebrity Big Brother. She also runs Gemma Collins Boutique, her successful clothes and accessories shop for plus-sized women.

Grace Victory

Hailed as the "Internet's Big Sister", Grace Victory is an award-winning blogger and YouTuber with over 23 million total views to date. Grace is a BBC documentary presenter and Summer 2016 saw her debut the hit documentary 'Clean Eating's Dirty Secrets'. Additionally she is a dedicated body image campaigner, has exclusively presented London Fashion Week and has worked with brands including L'Oreal, Clinique, ASOS and New Look, to name but a few.

Hannah Doyle

Hannah Doyle likes to write so much that she went to university twice just so that she could call putting pen to paper (well...finger to keyboard) her profession. She started out at a press agency in Bristol before skipping off to London to be a celebrity journalist. During the five years she spent at Reveal magazine and, for reasons unknown, Hannah became the go-to girl for interviewing male stars during scantily clad photo shoots. She now lives with her husband in Yorkshire where she writes for women's magazines, runs a blog and faffs about on Instagram. THE YEAR OF SAYING YES is her debut novel. Join Hannah online!Twitter: @HannahShowbizInstagram: @byhannahdoyleFacebook: /byHannahDoyleBlog: www.thisishannah.co.uk

Hugh Dennis

Hugh Dennis is an award-winning writer, actor and comedian best known for weekly satirical panel showMock The Week, Radio 4's The Now Show and BBC sit-com Outnumbered. He lives in Sussex with his real wife and his real children. To their annoyance he is interested in almost everything. He reads, runs, cycles, and is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.

James Delingpole

James Delingpole was born in the Midlands, lives in London and rants on rock, politics, TV, books, food and culture for newspapers and magazines including the Spectator, the Sunday Telegraph and the Daily Mail. His main ambitions are to abolish windfarms, somehow find enough money to educate his children privately, bring about world peace, and go back in time and win a DSO commanding a battalion on D-Day.

Jim Smallman

Jim Smallman is a writer and award-winning stand-up comedian. Performing comedy around the world since 2005, he has established a loyal following amongst those who enjoy hearing his brand of silly storytelling and improvised idiocy.He has been published in The Guardian, The Mirror, FSM, The Leicester Mercury, Skin Deep and The Huffington Post.He is the co-owner of PROGRESS Wrestling in London, now one of the most successful independent wrestling promotions in the world.

Jo Brand

Jo Brand is a stand-up comic with many TV and radio shows to her name. She is married with two children and lives in south London.

Joe Weller

Joe Weller, a.k.a @JoeWeller, is a 22-year-old British vlogger with over 4.3 million subscribers. When he's not making hilarious videos, exploring haunted buildings or playing football with his good friends The Sidemen, he also has a successful side-career in music and, last year, his single 'Wanna Do' was a UK official charts Top 10 hit.

John Parker

John Parker, a journalist and former Fleet Street editor, has undertaken many investigative projects in his writing career with topics ranging from the Mafia to Northern Ireland. His numerous books include several military bestsellers including THE GURKHAS, DEATH OF A HERO and SBS: THE INSIDE STORY OF THE SPECIAL BOAT SERVICE.

Lauren Bacall

Lauren Bacall has been an icon for over six decades and has made over 50 films. Together with Humphrey Bogart she became Hollywood's most celebrated couple on and off screen. She has various lifetime achievement awards, two Tony awards, two Golden Globes and an Oscar nomination. She has three children and lives in New York City with her beloved partner Sophie, her dog.

Matt Coyne

MATT COYNE is a 42-year-old graphic designer from Sheffield. In September 2015, Matt's life was turned upside-down by the arrival of his first child, Charlie. After three months of fatherhood, he logged on to Facebook and wrote about his experience of having to live with 'a furious, sleep-murdering, unstable and incontinent, breasts-obsessed midget lodger'. Within days, his post about surviving the first few months of parenthood became a viral sensation and was shared all over the world. He continues to impart his parental triumphs and disasters on his blog, Man vs Baby.Facebook: /manversusbabyTwitter: @mattcoyneywww.man-vs-baby.co.uk

Matt Simon

Matt Simon is a journalist who writes Wired Science's 'Absurd Creature of the Week' column. He has also edited Wired's 'This Day in Tech blog', which was compiled into the book Mad Science, and writes a second column called 'Fantastically Wrong' that explores the strangest mistakes in folklore and science. He lives in San Francisco.

Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman is the author of over thirty acclaimed books and graphic novels for adults and children, including AMERICAN GODS, STARDUST, CORALINE and THE GRAVEYARD BOOK. His most recent novel for adults, THE OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE was highly acclaimed, appeared on the hardback and paperback Sunday Times bestseller lists and won several awards, including being voted Book of the Year in the National Book Awards 2013: 'Some books you read. Some books you enjoy. But some books just swallow you up, heart and soul' Joanne Harris. The recipient of numerous literary honours, Neil Gaiman's work has been adapted for film, television and radio. He has written scripts for Doctor Who, collaborated with authors and illustrators including Terry Pratchett, Dave McKean and Chris Riddell, and THE SANDMAN is established as one of the classic graphic novels. As George R R Martin says: 'There's no one quite like Neil Gaiman.'Originally from England, Neil Gaiman now lives in America.

Seth Casteel

Seth Casteel is an award-winning pet photographer with a passion for working with animals. His series of underwater dog photographs have brought him worldwide attention, entertaining and bewildering millions of animal lovers. He is based in Los Angeles and Chicago and is the proud 'dad' to two dogs, Nala the mini-labradoodle and Fritz, the Norwich Terrier.

Tom Phillips

Tom Phillips is a journalist and humour writer based in London. He was the editorial director of BuzzFeed UK, where he divided his time between very serious reporting on important issues, and making jokes. He studied Archaeology & Anthropology and the History and Philosophy of Science at Cambridge, and is pleasantly surprised to be working on a book that actually makes use of them. Over his career Tom has been a member of a very briefly acclaimed comedy group, worked in television and in Parliament, and once launched an unsuccessful newspaper

Tulisa Contostavlos

Tulisa Contostavlos is one of the most talented and high-profile recording artists working in the UK today. She has three platinum N-Dubz albums, four MOBO awards, a groundbreaking drama series, two documentaries, a MIND award and an X Factor judge's win under her belt. Not bad for a girl who's not yet twenty-five.But this is not just a tale of glittering successes. Tulisa grew up on a tough London estate and left school with no qualifications as she struggled to cope with deep-seated emotional problems while caring for her mother alone. She has seen first hand what drugs, alcohol, gang culture and violent relationships can do to young people, but she has come through it all to become the confident, inspiring artist she is today. After taking her little muffins Little Mix to the winning spot of the X Factor at the end of 2011, and with her long-awaited solo album being released later this year, the future is bright for Tulisa. Told in her own words, this is her story.