How To Do Everything And Be Happy

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Fabulous Last Minute Christmas Gifts

christmas-2016
I don’t know about you, but sometimes I find gift shopping can be something of a challenge.

It’s not the ‘buying’ of the gift that I find challenging, or the wrapping, or any of that malarky, it’s coming up with an idea in the first place. Just what do you buy your cousin Edwina, the woman who seems to have absolutely everything?? It’s the stuff of nightmares. Many sleepless nights. Perhaps both.

If you’re anything like me the days roll past and before you know it, you’re roaming the aisles of your local shopping centre, desperately hoping inspiration will jump out, shake you by the shoulders, and end it all.

Well relax. This year inspiration has chosen to send you an email. Or a tweet. Or however the heck you stumbled across this blog post. Consider the following…

Books make excellent gifts

You see! And I know what you’re thinking – it’s so obvious now I’ve come to mention it! And here’s something else, books signed by the author are even more special. Ha! No more crappy I-didn’t-know-what-to-get-you-so-I-got-you-this-voucher from you! You’ve just become a master of ‘thoughtful’ gifts.

Now where on earth can you lay your hands on a signed book or two?

Right here is where!

With just a click of your mouse, or a tap of your finger, any one of the six books I’ve penned could be winging their way to you with a personalised greeting inside, or a simple ‘Best Wishes’ if you want to keep your options open. Simply select the book, or books, of your choice, by clicking the links BELOW.

The Truth About This Charming ManTTATCM kindle

My second novel… yes SECOND! Where have you been. If your Aunt (Dad, Sister, Wife, Husband, Niece… delete where applicable) enjoys a good rom-com comedy with a bit of a heist thrown in, this could be their bag baby.
RRP £8.99

Buy it signed here £7.99 + £2.80 postage

Buy unsigned from amazon here

TGGGTGTG-drop-shadow

 

The Good Guy’s Guide To Getting The Girl

My debut novel… if your gift-recipient likes Chick Lit Rom Coms in the style of Nick Horny or Mike Gayle, this could well be right up their street.
RRP £8.99

Buy it signed here £7.99 + £2.80 postage

Buy unsigned from amazon here

cover with drop shadow

How to Do Everything and Be Happy

The book that started it all: ‘How To Do Everything and Be Happy’ is a book for ordinary people. With ordinary lives. It’s for people who have been ambling along and wondering why they’re not – well – just that little bit happier.
RRP £8.99

Buy it signed here £7.99 + £2.80 postage

Buy unsigned from amazon here

SDSW drop shadow colour small

How to Start Dating and Stop Waiting

If they need a real guide to getting the girl, or guy, this is it. Written for everyone who’s ever found dating a challenge, dating websites to be less than fulfilling, or ‘first dates’ terrifying… How To Start Dating And Stop Waiting will help them dodge the liars, & Lotharios, and have
them dating Mr or Ms Right in no time.
RRP £8.99

Buy it signed here £7.99 + £2.80 postage

Buy unsigned from amazon here

FITI kindle

From Invisible To Irresistible

The smaller, quirkier, companion guide to the previous title. Let me fix those underlying problems that make your otherwise attractive charming gift-recipient seemingly invisible to those they’d like to date.
RRP £8.99

Buy it signed here £7.99 + £2.80 postage

Buy unsigned from amazon here

 

ELSS-drop-shadow-colour

How to Eat Loads and Stay Slim

And finally.. How To Eat Loads and Stay Slim. It isn’t a diet book. Not in the traditional sense. It’s a book packed full of thought provoking, scientifically-provable, ideas and changes you can make to your life to increase your chances of being slim. Now that’s a gift that keeps on giving!
RRP £8.99

Buy it signed here £7.99 + £2.80 postage

Buy unsigned from amazon here


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10 Top #Dating #Tips

stop kissing frogs
Dating – not necessarily easy, but pretty straight forward, right? You probably think you know what these ten tips are going to be already! Well you might just be surprised; there’s more to successful dating than hairspray and perfume.

  1. Figure out what you want: Most people have a long list of things they DON’T want in a partner – you significantly increase your odds of finding someone by doing the exact opposite; decide what qualities you’d like.
  2. Re-evaluate your image: If you’ve had the same hair-do, same clothes, same anything, for a while – it’s probably time for a makeover.
  3. Go online: 50% of all modern relationships start on the internet. Get yourself on social media, start being social, and find a good dating website – you’ll more than double your chances of meeting someone than staying in the real-world.
  4. Say cheese! When it comes to profile photos you’re scientifically proven to be more attractive if you’re looking into the camera & smiling. Men should do the opposite.
  5. Action photo! Science says a photo of you doing something (playing an instrument, riding a horse) is better even than the smiley photo. Although photos of you drinking are an exception to this rule.
  6. Beware the pleasant message exchange: Endlessly pinging flirty messages back & forth with someone you’ve yet to meet is a bad idea no matter how much fun you’re having. If you’ve found someone nice online, you must arrange to meet as soon as possible.
  7. Don’t do first dates: First dates are scary & horrible. Skip ‘em. Meet for coffee first, and only for 15 minutes.
  8. To meet the one, you must first meet the many: You’ve heard it said that every journey starts with a single step, finding romance generally takes more than one date. Many more.
  9. Dating can be fun – if you’re not enjoying it, you’re not doing it right.
  10. Sex on the first date? Not if you ever want to see them again.

You can find the science behind these tips – and many more besides – in HOW TO START DATING AND STOP WAITING. Available in paperback, ebook & audio download.


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3 Reasons Why You Too Can Find #Love, #Lust or #Romance in #2015

 

stop waiting for your prince

It’s a funny thing about running Happiness Workshops, I’ve started to notice that the same ‘wishes’ – and therefore the same ‘goals’ – come up time and time again.

THE, number one goal – the one that perhaps half the attendees in any given workshop will share – is to lose weight. But in second place, the other goal that a sizeable chunk of my readers and clients want to nail, is the relationship goal – by which I mean find one.

However, unlike losing weight, most people I’ve met seem unwilling or unable to do anything about the state of their love life, or lack of. True, they might spend a good deal of time wishing that some handsome prince or princess will knock on their door. They might, in a flurry of madness, sign up to one of the larger dating websites and spend an evening with a bottle of chardonnay, sat in front of the computer, scanning pictures of other singletons wondering whether this could be the one. They might even throw caution to the wind and go on a date, only to return home several hours later humiliated and heartbroken and vowing never to do that ever again. But that’s as far as they’ll get. And they’ll stay single. Maybe, forever.

Now if any of that rings true I want you to imagine me sitting here, with my arms crossed, shaking my head slightly in dismay. Because it doesn’t have to be that way!

If you started 2015 hoping or promising yourself that it was going to be a good deal less solitary than last year, then let me be the first person to grab you by the shoulders and tell you it can. And here are three reasons why:

Reason number 1 – You’re not the only one reading this blog post!

If almost half the people in any given workshop are looking for romance, it stands to reason that there are, contrary to how it must seem, an awful lot of people out there looking for love! I use the word ‘looking’ in the loosest sense of course, because the truth is that’s the one thing they’re not doing. Not really. They’re waiting. Just like you. But that’s ok, because whilst they’re doing bugger all about their single status you don’t have to. All you have to do is find them, and fortunately for you, I know how you can do just that.

Reason number 2 – Dating can be fun!

Here’s an idea that I’d like you to wrap your head around; dating can  be enjoyable. And if you’re one of the many, many people who’ve found the reverse to be true then I’d like to wager that you’re doing it all wrong.

Dating, like a lot of things in life looks simple enough, but  there’s a right way of doing it, and about sixty zillion wrong ways. And whilst it would be nice if everyone was naturally good at dating, we’re not, just as not everyone is naturally good at dancing.

A good ‘date’ can be broken into seven distinct phases – each one can & should be exciting, and fun, and flirty, and lots of other adjectives that broadly speaking mean romantic. Want to know what they are?

Reason number 3 – I can help!

Hey you! Stop waiting!I’ve been where you are! Several times! I never found my wife until I did something about it, and when I lost her I had to start all over again. I think I’ve probably made every dating mistake there is to make, but the upside of all that heartbreak is that you don’t have to be single for a moment longer. Let me tell you what I’ve learnt.

How To Start Dating And Stop Waiting is available right now in paperback, audio, and for your kindle or free kindle reading app.

In fact, from Friday 9th January 2014, until Thursday 15th, the kindle version is a mere 99p (or local equivalent). That’s pocket change. You’d spend more on a cup of coffee, to drink on your own.


Read the opening chapter here.

Read more: How about 5 Top Dating Tips or The Nine Golden Rules of Dating


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#Five #Books That Make Excellent #Gifts

presents-port
I don’t know about you, but sometimes I find gift shopping can be something of a challenge.

It’s not the ‘buying’ of the gift that I find challenging, or the wrapping, or any of that malarky, it’s coming up with an idea in the first place. Just what do you buy your cousin Edwina, the woman who seems to have absolutely everything?? It’s the stuff of nightmares. Many sleepless nights. Perhaps both.

If you’re anything like me the days roll past and before you know it, you’re roaming the aisles of your local shopping centre, desperately hoping inspiration will jump out, shake you by the shoulders, and end it all.

Well relax. This year inspiration has chosen to send you an email. Or a tweet. Or however the heck you stumbled across this blog post. Consider the following…

Books make excellent gifts

You see! And I know what you’re thinking – it’s so obvious now I’ve come to mention it! And here’s something else, books signed by the author are even more special. Ha! No more crappy I-didn’t-know-what-to-get-you-so-I-got-you-this-voucher from you! You’ve just become a master of ‘thoughtful’ gifts.

Now where on earth can you lay your hands on a signed book or two?

Right here is where!

With just a click of your mouse, or a tap of your finger, any one of the five books I’ve penned could be winging their way to you with a personalised greeting inside, or a simple ‘Best Wishes’ if you want to keep your options open. Simply drop me a line via the Stay In Touch page, then select the book, or books, of your choice from the links BELOW.

The Good Guy’s Guide To Getting The Girl

TGGGTGTG - KINDLE artworkMy debut novel… if your gift-recipient likes chick lit Rom Coms in the style of Nick Horny or Mike Gayle, this could well be right up their street.
Buy it, signed, here

SDSW drop shadow colour smallHow to Start Dating and Stop Waiting

If they need a real guide to getting the girl, or guy, this is it. Written for everyone who’s ever found dating a challenge, dating websites to be less than fulfilling, or ‘first dates’ terrifying… How To Start Dating And Stop Waiting will help them dodge the liars, & Lotharios, and have them dating Mr or Ms Right in no time.
Buy it signed here

FITI kindle

From Invisible To Irresistible

The smaller, quirkier, companion guide to the previous title. Let me fix those underlying problems that make your otherwise attractive charming gift-recipient seemingly invisible to those they’d like to date.
Buy it signed here

HowToTakeControl

How to Do Everything and Be Happy

The book that started it all: ‘How To Do Everything and Be Happy’ is a book for ordinary people. With ordinary lives. It’s for people who have been ambling along and wondering why they’re not – well – just that little bit happier.
Buy it, signed, here

image005

How to Eat Loads and Stay Slim

And finally.. How To Eat Loads and Stay Slim. It isn’t a diet book. Not in the traditional sense. It’s a book packed full of thought provoking, scientifically-provable, ideas and changes you can make to your life to increase your chances of being slim. Now that’s a gift that keeps on giving!
Buy it signed, here


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50 per cent of all romances start on the internet

kissblow

Twenty years ago I worked in an office where people dictated letters and memos, and handed them to a secretary to type up. Our department was considered high tech; as well as a secretary, the five of us shared a PC. It wasn’t networked. The internet didn’t exist. I honestly have no idea how we got anything done.

Now the entire world is ‘online’. My ten-year-old niece and nephew send me poems they’ve written, pictures they’ve taken or songs they’ve created, electronically, from a variety of devices scattered around their house. They visit ‘virtual worlds’ where they create and take on the persona of ‘monsters’ and meet other children of the new millennium. And only occasionally does this hi-tech world fall short of their expectations. Like when my nephew recently expressed some frustration when he couldn’t connect to Nana’s WiFi.

“Nana doesn’t have WiFi,” said his dad.

“No WiFi!” replied my wide eyed nephew.

When it comes to finding love in the 21st Century, I’m a big believer in the Internet. In How To Start Dating And Stop Waiting I actually claim that 50% of all modern day romances probably started online. Now how on earth did I come up with that figure? Buckle up people. Prepare to be nerdified.

Let’s start by looking at Online Dating Websites, specifically how popular they are. Below is a list of the fifteen most popular websites, according to eBizMBA.com. This information is ‘correct’ (or so say eBizMBA) as of October 2014. And in case their website ever disappears off the face the www you can download a PDF of the page I’m looking at here.

  1. match – 35,000,000 unique visitors per month (31.9% of visitors to the top fifteen sites)
  2. pof – 23,000,000 unique visitors per month (21.0% of visitors to the top fifteen sites)
  3. zoosk – 11,500,000 unique visitors per month (10.5% of visitors to the top fifteen sites)
  4. okc 10,150,000 unique visitors per month (9.2% of visitors to the top fifteen sites)
  5. eharmony – 7,100,000 unique visitors per month (6.5%of visitors to the top fifteen sites)
  6. badoo – 6,000,000 unique visitors per month (5.5%of visitors to the top fifteen sites)
  7. christianmingle – 5,500,000 unique visitors per month (5.0%of visitors to the top fifteen sites)
  8. ourtime – 3,500,000 unique visitors per month (3.2%of visitors to the top fifteen sites)
  9. datehookup – 3,000,000 unique visitors per month (2.7% of visitors to the top fifteen sites)
  10. blackpeoplemeet – 1,200,000 unique visitors per month (1.1%of visitors to the top fifteen sites)
  11. howaboutwe – 1,000,000 unique visitors per month (0.9%of visitors to the top fifteen sites)
  12. seniorpeoplemeet – 900,000 unique visitors per month (0.8% of visitors to the top fifteen sites)
  13. speeddate – 850,000 unique visitors per month (0.8% of visitors to the top fifteen sites)
  14. chemistry – 550,000 unique visitors per month (0.5% of visitors to the top fifteen sites)
  15. jdate – 500,000 unique visitors per month (0.5% of visitors to the top fifteen sites)

Wowsers. That’s a lot of people.

eharmony claimPay close attention to number 5: eHarmony. As of today they claim they are responsible for almost 4% of all US marriages (This is based on a survey they commissioned in 2012).

Now, if we assume that eHarmony’s stats were correct in 2012, and are still correct today, and that all dating websites are equally effective (!!!), then mathematically the top fifteen websites are responsible for a whopping 61.8% of all US marriages!!

That seems… unlikely. Fortunately I can list the reasons why:

  1. eHarmony’s survey was possibly a little optimistic back in 2012 (given that they commissioned it)
  2. And it’s almost certainly out of date today (given that there are many new players in the online dating website community)
  3. Some dating websites are definitely better than others, whilst others are worse.

But if we adjust our numbers assuming that eharmony’s newley wed statistic is actually only a quarter as impressive, ie. that they’re only responsible for 1% of US marriages – and that whilst some websites are less effective than eharmony, some are also better – this still means the top fifteen websites could be responsible for, approximately, 15.5% of all US marriages.

So what if we take marriage out of the equation? Here’s an interesting statistic taken from the 2002 paper snappily entitled Cohabitation, Marriage, Divorce, and Remarriage in the United States published by the CDC: The percentage of US women, in co-habiting relationships, that turn to marriage within 5 years are 75% for white women, 61% for hispanic women, and 48% for black women.

Let’s pretend all American women are black for a moment, and that cohabiting couples that don’t tie the knot in five years go their separate ways, This means you can assume there’s one unmarried couple cohabiting for every two married couples, and that the top fifteen dating sites are therefore responsible for 23.1% of US people cohabiting and/or married. But this figure rises when you remember that there are white and hispanic women, and that some couples co-habit for longer than five years.

Add to that number those people who aren’t shacked up together, who are *just* dating (whatever that might mean), and that number might easily double again: 46.1%

And what about all the dating websites that didn’t make the top fifteen? Actually, forget dating sites, what about the likes of twitter, facebook and all the other social media sites that actually do a far better job of introducing people than the sites that are supposed to be about introducing people!? Suddenly that initial guesstimate that the internet is responsible for 50% of all relationships seems somewhat low!


Online Dating can seem daunting – but it needn’t be a nightmare. Get How To Start Dating And Stop Waiting today, follow the Action Points and you too can find someone special.


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Dave Monk (BBC Essex): How To Be Successful at Online Dating

 

Over the last few weeks I’ve been playing catch up with some of the radio interviews I’ve given over the past few months, and back in May of this year I was invited back onto the Dave Monk show on BBC Essex, to celebrate twenty five years of the internet and to talk specifically about the surge in online dating popularity.

You can listen to the whole interview by clicking the big play button in the image below, or here if you’re reading this in an email.

We talk about my own experiences as well as some scientifically proven tips and strategies to make your own dating efforts more successful, such as…

  1. Whether you should smile for the camera
  2. Just how much of your profile should be spent talking about yourself (vs the person you’re looking for), and
  3. What to say in that opening message

Want More Tips?

If you want to delve into the detail the tips above, pick my brain for more nuggets of dating gems, or need a little more hand holding, then I have some very good news. How To Start Dating And Stop Waitingmy third self-help book, is available in paperback and as an ebook. An audio version – which includes the companion guide From Invisible To Irresistible – is also available at audible (co.uk and com)

You don’t need a Kindle device to read a Kindle book. Download the FREE kindle app for your computer, smart phone or tablet from amazon (.co.uk | .com)


TGGGTGTG drop shadowIf you like a little romance in your fiction, particularly if you’re a fan of books like Bridget Jones’s Diary, or High Fidelity, or About a Boy, then you might be interested to know that  The Good Guy’s Guide To Getting The Girl, my debut novel, is finally available!

It’s available in paperback and ebook, and it can be yours in two clicks, for less than the price of a cup of coffee – click here now.


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Finding love on Twitter

twitter-love
I talk quite a bit about using facebook to find romance (in How To Start Dating And Stop Waiting) but does the same apply to that other social media giant? Is it possible to find love… on twitter? Writer Helen Hunt thinks so. It snuck up on her when she wasn’t even looking.

“I should probably start by saying that I wasn’t actually looking for love on Twitter. I’d been divorced for nearly ten years, I had my own house and four cats. Yes, four. Yes, I know … And I genuinely thought that was it; that was all that life had to offer.

As a writer, I mainly saw Twitter as a place to talk to other writers and gossip with my friends. I had no idea that it would spark a train of events that would lead to me swapping my single lifestyle for the life I have now, living with my partner and his three sons. (And still four cats.)

Back in November of 2011 I started chatting on Twitter to crime novelist Mike Walters. As with so many connections I’ve made on Twitter, I can’t exactly remember how it started. I suspect we were both chatting to other people in the writing world, and somehow our Twitter social circles and our conversations overlapped.

We started out by talking about writing. He was intrigued by my short story writing because it’s a form he’s never tried, and I was interested in his crime writing as that’s the genre I like to read. Then, as time went on, we started talking about more personal things and we realised we had a lot in common. We have similar political views and outlooks on life, and we realised that at various points in our lives we’d lived in the same places as each other.

I found out he was a widower and single parent to three kids. He found out I was single with four cats, but, amazingly, this didn’t put him off. Slowly the public timeline chatting drifted into private DM chatting and that’s when we decided to meet up.

When I mentioned that I had never been to Manchester, which is where one of Mike’s books is set, he offered to give me the official ‘Trust No One’ guided tour. I have to say, I’m still waiting for my guided tour, but we did meet up and we’ve never looked back since.

We first met ‘in real life’ in February of 2012. We took things fairly slowly at first, because of the children, but we moved in together in September 2013 and are now planning to get married.

It seems odd to talk about being attracted to someone on Twitter when you only have their words to go on, but for me I think it was the perfect way to start a relationship. After all, the way someone thinks about life and the words they use to communicate are so much more important than anything else about them.

I realised there was something special about Mike really early on in our Twitter communication, and everything else since then has just been a journey to prove that I was right.”

The moral of this story? Keep your eyes open because you never know where Mr or Ms Right might be lurking.


SDSW drop shadow colour smallHelen writes short stories and features for the likes of Woman’s Weekly, My Weekly, The Weekly News, Best, Yours, The People’s Friend, Prima,  This England… to name but a few. She tweets under the handle @hmhunt, and you can find out more about Helen on her website www.helenmhunt.co.uk

How To Start Dating And Stop Waiting is available from amazon or order it via your favourite bookstore.