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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A is for Alphabetised CDs… (another online dating disaster)

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The date I had last night was an hour and a half of my life I will never get back. Seriously. I’m getting a bit sick of online dating now if I’m honest. When I first activated my profile, I thought the free site ‘Oasis Active’ was a gateway to all sorts of exciting adventures, a wonderland if you will, full of interesting men all dying to wine me, dine me and,… well, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. I couldn’t wait to get going… was practically chomping at the bit to have my pick of the crop, but what I’ve plucked from cyberspace so far can only be described as terrifying. Maybe it’s me? No, SURELY not?

Is it me?

Well, maybe a bit of it’s me. I do tend to scrutinise every man who sits before me like a mad professor prodding at a beetle under a microscope. I blame my Scorpio side. Sometimes, the guy won’t have even made it through the door and to my side before I’ve dismissed him for having awful hair or bad shoes. A little voice in my head shouts “NEXT” before he’s even bought me a drink and therein lies my problem. I’m too picky. I’ve been spoilt.

Sometimes I think I might have just dated way too many men from the Internet in the past, and now a little part of my brain sparks up in their actual presence and categorises them without me even asking it to, like a computer: Too short. Too fat. Older than he said he was. Libra. Taurus. Won’t sing karaoke with you. Warning Warning. Warning!

Back to last night. To be honest, before we met up, I just wanted to cancel. We’d spoken on the phone quite late the night before and he’d sounded a bit dull, but determined to silence that irritating voice in my head, which at the time was screaming: “He’s probably wearing stripy pyjamas and sipping hot chocolate, surrounded by his alphabetised CD collection!”, I agreed to meet him anyway. Even better, he said he really didn’t mind whizzing by my workplace once I’d finished for a quiet glass of wine round the corner, which meant I didn’t have to go to any effort at all to give him the chance he rightfully deserved. Perfect.

I finished work late and still I managed to arrive before he did. I had a bit of a flirty exchange with the cute barman in the pub, who knocked 50 cents off my glass of Merlot, and settled myself into a chair. I was texting Stacey when he turned up. Part of me wanted to run away. As he stood grinning like a full moon in front of me, the first thing that went through my head was: “Karaoke man”. He looked exactly like the kind of guy who might run a mobile karaoke business. Usually I love people like this – they’ve given me HOURS of pleasure – but not because I’ve dated them.

I realised I should probably get up and do the obligatory peck on the cheek thing, so I did, and it was then that I clocked the mass of wrinkles round his eyes and mouth. His profile said he was 34. He looked about 50. Holy shiz!!!

In all my years of online dating I have never, ever actually met someone who’s lied about their age on their profile. I mean, you hear about it happening all the time… maybe I’ve always been lucky in that respect, but this guy had clearly not only told one huuuge fat porker of a lie about his age, but he’d also uploaded a photo that didn’t look anything like him. The guy in the photo had been 20 years younger, tall, slim and very, very smooth.

Just when I was thinking it really couldn’t get much worse, I was struck by the fact that his head was massive and he actually had a pot belly. When he came back with another glass of wine, he sat down and grinned at me again, eyed my crossed legs in my new pink skirt and said absolutely nothing. I thought I’d initiate a conversation, which went something like this:

“So, how old are you?”
“I stopped counting at 36”
“So you’re older than 36?”
(more grinning)
“But your profile said you were 34”
“No it didn’t!”
“Yes, it did, because I don’t go out with guys who are older than 34”
“No, you must have read it wrong”
“I’m sure I didn’t. Anyway, how old are you really?”
“I told you, I stopped counting at 36”
“That’s nice, but mother nature didn’t. So how old are you really?”
“You’re not going to leave it, are you?”
“Well, I kind of want to know the person I’ve agreed to go out with isn’t lying about his age… I think that’s kind of creepy.”
“I stopped counting at 36”

At this point the voice in my head was screaming so loudly I thought I was going to pull my hair out, but I did a pretty good job of finishing my wine, listening to him talk about how much he loves to travel and how much he loves working from home (probably wearing pyjamas) without acting like a bitch. When we were done, he offered to drive me home. This would have been a nice gesture if he hadn’t shown up quite tipsy after being at a dinner with friends (or another bad date, probably) and then proceeded to drink even more.

I walked outside with him, told him I’d be fine in a cab, at which point he stopped outside a silver hybrid sports car that looked like a space pod and asked “Are you sure?” with another infuriating grin. He was clearly waiting for my jaw to drop open at the greatness of his awesome, zillion dollar vehicle, but I decided I wasn’t going to give him the satisfaction, so I acted like I hadn’t noticed.

He got out his keys, waved them about a bit, obviously disappointed he wouldn’t get to demonstrate a drunken wheelspin at the next set of lights and waiting for me to change my mind. He asked: “How much is a taxi home gonna cost you?”

“I’ll stop counting at 36” I replied, before walking off into the night. Honestly.

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Comments

  1. I hate to say it because you had to live through this..but these dates make the best stories!! xx