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Darkly funny and beautifully told, Sex, Drugs and Meditation is a tale for those of us who confuse being busy with being happy; the story of a woman who dared herself to stop talking and start living – and loving. 




Mary-Lou Stephens was lucky to make it into her forties. Therapy and 12 Step programs helped her recover from her upbringing in an evangelical household; her habit of shoplifting through drama school; her addictions to food, drugs and alcohol; a string of failed love affairs and the break up of the band she thought was really going to make it. 


Things are looking up when she finally lands her dream job in radio. Life is good. Until her dream job becomes a nightmare. Determined to avoid MORE therapy and desperate to cope with an increasingly toxic work environment, Mary-Lou signs up for a ten-day meditation retreat that requires total silence, endless hours of sitting cross-legged, and no dinner. 


For a woman who talks for a living, is rarely still and eats for comfort, this was never going to be an easy task. Sex, Drugs and Meditation is a tale of learning to sit still, shut up and gain wisdom. 


Mary-Lou must take the hardest path of all: to confront and overcome, once and for all, the darkness within.

About The Author

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Mary-Lou Stephens was born in Tasmania, studied acting at The Victorian College of the Arts and played in bands in Melbourne, Hobart and Sydney.  Eventually she got a proper job – in radio, where she was a presenter and music director, first with commercial radio and then with the ABC.  


She received great reviews for her memoir Sex, Drugs and Meditation (Pan Macmillan, 2013), the true story of how meditation changed her life, saved her job and helped her find a husband.   


Mary-Lou has worked and played all over Australia and now lives on the Sunshine Coast with her husband and a hive of killer native bees.  Her debut novel, The Last of the Apple Blossom, will be published by HarperCollins (Harlequin HQ) in 2021.

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