Related to: 'The Less-Stress Lifestyle'

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."

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Mad Girl

Bryony Gordon
Authors:
Bryony Gordon

THE NUMBER 1 SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER AND RICHARD & JUDY BOOK CLUB 2017 PICKA new Sunday Times bestseller from Bryony Gordon, Telegraph columnist and author of the bestselling The Wrong Knickers. For readers who enjoyed Matt Haig's Reasons to Stay Alive and Ruby Wax's Sane New World, Mad Girl is a shocking, funny, unpredictable, heart-wrenching, raw and jaw-droppingly truthful celebration of life with mental illness.'I loved it. A brilliant fast and funny and frank look at something that absolutely needs to be talked about in this way' Matt HaigBryony Gordon has OCD.It's the snake in her brain that has told her ever since she was a teenager that her world is about to come crashing down: that her family might die if she doesn't repeat a phrase 5 times, or that she might have murdered someone and forgotten about it. It's caused alopecia, bulimia, and drug dependency. And Bryony is sick of it. Keeping silent about her illness has given it a cachet it simply does not deserve, so here she shares her story with trademark wit and dazzling honesty.A hugely successful columnist for the Telegraph, a bestselling author, and a happily married mother of an adorable daughter, Bryony has managed to laugh and live well while simultaneously grappling with her illness. Now it's time for her to speak out. Writing with her characteristic warmth and dark humour, Bryony explores her relationship with her OCD and depression as only she can.Mad Girl is a shocking, funny, unpredictable, heart-wrenching, raw and jaw-droppingly truthful celebration of life with mental illness.

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When We Were the Kennedys

Monica Wood
Authors:
Monica Wood
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Anxiety Rebalance

Carl Vernon
Authors:
Carl Vernon

Anxiety Rebalance is Carl Vernon's personal experience of overcoming 15 years of crippling anxiety. In this online best-seller, Carl combines a compelling account of his experience with the answers he found, including the 10 key actions that helped him achieve balance. The response from his readers (of his original self-published edition) has been extraordinary, and his solutions will become as much as a life manual as Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway and Sane New World.'Throughout the fifteen years I battled with anxiety and depression I was constantly looking for a cure - until I realised I was looking for answers that didn't exist. Don't waste another minute.' Dealing with anxiety requires ONE thing: BALANCECarl's step-by-step guide teaches you: The truth about anxiety and depression - by exposing them for what they really are. How to instantly reduce your stress and anxiety, and feel immediate relief. How to control all anxiety-related symptoms and disorders including panic attacks, social anxiety, OCD and agoraphobia. Why BALANCE is the only real solution for overcoming anxiety and depression, Plus the 10 actions you need to take to achieve lifetime change.Where do you come on the ReBalance scale?

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The Naturalista

Xochi Balfour
Authors:
Xochi Balfour

Xochi Balfour changed her life from her little London kitchen and, as The Naturalista, has been blogging about her experience of balancing and simplifing her life in harmony with the natural world. Without recourse to expensive ingredients, all-consuming cleanses or dramatic diets, Xochi has taken the principles of naturopathy and created a way of life, from a gentler way of eating to simple beauty recipes as well as bringing relaxation and mindfulness into your everyday routine.Her food is gluten- and dairy-free and predominantly plant based, but straightforward and delicious, her skincare recipes can also be made from kitchen ingredients and her techniques for everyday mindfulness can be fitted into the busiest of lives. Her recipes include power balls and energy bars, raw chocolate, sea salt and pistachio fudge, cornershop turmeric and coconut dahl and beetroot falafel as well as a gluten-free carrot and flax bread. For your body, there is a rosewater facial spray, passionfruit and papaya face mask and lavender and shea butter body lotion, while for your home, Xochi will show you the benefits of barefoot earthing and how to make your own incense. This is truly a bright and beautiful guide to natural living in the modern age.

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10 Keys to Happier Living

Vanessa King
Authors:
Vanessa King
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Detox Your Ego

Steven Sylvester
Authors:
Steven Sylvester

What stops you performing at your best? Your ego.Your ego is your natural defence system, triggered when strong emotions such as anxiety and fear sweep through you. When you're doing something important - preparing for an exam, taking a driving test, speaking in public, making a business presentation, or striving to improve your performance in sport - your ego is sure to interfere. By enabling you to understand your underlying motivations and anxieties, DETOX YOUR EGO helps you improve the way you go about achieving those goals.DETOX YOUR EGO takes you on a journey of self-discovery, a process that enables youto master your own ego in order to increase your health, happiness and purpose. Psychologist Steven Sylvester's inspiring and ground-breaking approach focuses on a brand new approach to winning. In DETOX YOUR EGO, Sylvester shares for the very first time the seven easy steps to be freer, happier and more successful in your life. DETOX YOUR EGO liberates you to be the best that you can be.

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Parisian Street Style

Zoé de Las Cases
Authors:
Zoé de Las Cases

'For the colourer with contemporary tastes' Financial Times WeekendIn her stylish adult colouring book - Parisian Street Style - Zoé de Las Cases invites you to join her on a day trip around the streets of Paris. With a mix of full-page floral patterns, Paris cityscapes, picturesque streets and everyday fashion essentials, this sophisticated and intricate colouring book is the perfect gift for all your friends and for yourself.From floral headdresses and dungarees, to brogues and retro swimwear, there is something every girl will love and plenty of space to embellish with your own unique style.So pick up your favourite pencils and start colouring your way to a stress-free, Parisian-chic day.

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Mind Over Fatter: See Yourself Slim, Think Yourself Slim, Eat Yourself Slim

Anna Richardson
Authors:
Anna Richardson

'Are you tired of starving yourself silly to get that perfect summer bikini body, only to put a stone back on by Christmas? Fed up of starting the New Year with the latest diet 'craze' only to be back where you started - and more - by March? I was. Until I learned the secret every dieter needs to know - the power of hypnosis. In Mind Over Fatter I'll help to train your mind so you can break free of the diet cycle once and for all. Anna xx'Mind Over Fatter is Anna's three-step programme to long-term weight loss: use Anna's Free Online Hypnosis Sessions to teach your subconscious to see yourself slim; use Anna's scientifically proven Seven Secrets of Slim to think yourself slim; follow Anna's 14-day Healthy-Eating Plan, created from 60 delicious recipes, to eat yourself slim.

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7 Secrets of Confidence

Steve Miller
Authors:
Steve Miller

7 SECRETS OF CONFIDENCE is a no-nonsense, easy-to-use guide to overcoming your inner fears. Full of encouraging, step-by-step advice, this book is here to help you build your self-belief - learning to have confidence is at the heart of the Steve Miller brand. What sets Steve's book apart in this genre is that he has personally commissioned a survey to discover the top things people in the UK feel unconfident about. These form the structure of the book, and straight-talking Steve tells you what to DO about each one. Invaluable, informative, funny and life-changing, 7 SECRETS OF CONFIDENCE is the empowering new book from GMTV regular Steve Miller - it will bring out the successful and confident person in everyone.

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

Eat Well

Nell Nelson
Authors:
Nell Nelson

We all know we don't eat the right foods all the time but it's so easy to grab something pre-prepared or quick to fit in with our busy lives. But wouldn't you like more energy and a stronger immune system, wouldn't you like to get rid of that lingering cold or get more mobility in your joints, wouldn't you like to have better hair and skin, wouldn't you like to lose a teeny bit of weight and improve your mood? All without going through a whole lifestyle revamp? 'Course you would.EAT WELL provides you with plenty of recipes and ideas to combat the everyday health niggles we all have. And you don't even have to give up chocolate. Eat Well, Look Well, and Be Well.

Hachette Scotland

Eat Well with Nell

Nell Nelson
Authors:
Nell Nelson

We all know we probably don't eat the right foods all the time but it's so easy to grab something pre-prepared or quick to fit in with our busy lives. But wouldn't you like more energy and a stronger immune system, wouldn't you like to get rid of that lingering cold or get more mobility in your joints, wouldn't you like to have better hair and skin, wouldn't you like to lose a teeny bit of weight and improve your mood? All without going through a whole lifestyle revamp? 'Course you would. EAT WELL WITH NELL provides you with plenty of recipes and ideas to combat every health niggle you might have. And you don't even have to give up chocolate. Eat, enjoy and be well.

Bryony Gordon

In the 15 years that she has worked for The Telegraph, Bryony Gordon has become one of the paper's best loved writers. Her weekly column in the Sunday Telegraph has won her an army of fans who have followed her journey from single girl about town to - finally! - settled mum. Bryony is now 35 and lives in Nappy Valley (Clapham) with her baby daughter Edie and her husband, a financial journalist. The last sentence is one she never thought she would see written down on paper.

Carl Vernon

Carl Vernon is an entrepreneur, speaker and author renowned for his personal experience in overcoming anxiety after fifteen years. Since his transformation, Carl has been passionate about helping others overcome anxiety and achieve more than they thought possible by sharing life-changing habits and principles. Find more at www.carlvernon.com

Monica Wood

Monica Wood is an award-winning, bestselling novelist and memoirist. Born in Maine, New England, to an Irish Catholic family, she worked as a guidance counsellor and in a nursing home before becoming a full-time writer. She is also a singer, and travelled the New England circuit singing jazz, country, pop and gospel for many years. She lives in Maine with her husband.

Rhyannon Styles

Rhyannon Styles is a journalist, performance artist and musician. Her ground-breaking Elle column, 'The New Girl', charts her journey from male to female, where she bares all about her experience of transitioning. In her colourful life as a performer, career highlights include a show at the Guggenheim Museum NYC, dancing with Kylie Minogue on ITV and rollerskating naked at the Barbican art gallery. A star of the transgender community, Rhyannon was name-checked on Independent's Rainbow List as 'One to Watch'. Get up close and personal with Rhyannon online:Elle column: www.elleuk.com/tags/rhyannon-stylesWebsite: www.rhyannonstyles.comTwitter: @rhyannonstylesInstagram: @rhyannon_stylesYouTube: /RStyles

Zoé de Las Cases

Zoé de Las Cases is an illustrator and artistic director of a Parisian creative agency.She is the author of a number of colouring books including - Secret Paris: Colouring for mindfulness; Secret Japan: Colouring for mindfulness: Secret Paris: Colour Your Way to Calm. www.zoedelascases.comFollow on Twitter @zoedelascases

BACKTRACK author Jason Dean explains his research

Location scouting in the desert

So with BACKTRACK out in paperback, I figure now would a pretty good time to post about how I researched most of the Arizona-based locations in the book.

THE HEIST

Our ebook of the month is THE HEIST, the first adventure in an electrifying new series from Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg.

CHAPTER SAMPLER

eBook of Month

Evil will follow you… Wherever you go. Can you find a way to hide? If you like Karen Rose, Katia Lief or Mary Burton you’ll love Debra Webb’s bestselling Faces of Evil series. Click below to read the first chapter of the third instalment, POWER, published for the first time in the UK this month.