Can You Spot Me a Fiver? by TB Markinson

I don’t know about you, but the world seems to be getting pretty (insert your favorite colorful word here) intense. While I like to stay informed, I also like to laugh to deal with stress. And, I need some chuckles these days.

Today, TB Markinson (pssst: I run I Heart Lesfic) is here to help us laugh with an embarrassing story. Also, Clare Lydon and TB are giving away Amazon Gift Cards and a signed copy of One Golden Summer. Below the guest post, you’ll find more details about the giveaway.

Can You Spot Me a Fiver?

Back in March of 2020, which seems like years and years ago, I traveled to London to stay with Clare Lydon and attend some book events (one of which ended up getting cancelled).

We also planned a few days in Whitstable to do some research for our cowrite: One Golden Summer.

Before we left London for the weekend stay, I asked Clare if I needed to grab some cash to have on hand. In my experience, some pubs in smaller towns either preferred or only accepted cash.

She waved me off, saying it wasn’t necessary.

For the most part, it was fine.

However, one night, we went to a pub, and when it was my turn to buy a round, I was relieved to see a credit card machine behind the bar. I not so confidently strode up to the bartender (ordering beer for Clare Lydon isn’t as easy as it sounds, but I’ll save that story for later), and before I requested the items we needed, I asked if I could pay with a card.

The answer was yes, but there was a 5-pound minimum.

Clare only wanted a half pint, and I already had a drink. So, I added two bags of crisps (potato chips for American readers) to get the total to the minimum.

The bartender filled the half pint and tossed the bags on the counter. I presented my card. He inserted it into the reader and waited.

And waited.

And waited some more.

As it turned out, the machine couldn’t get a connection.

I glanced over my shoulder at Clare, but she was staring at the wall. Not because she was drunk, but this particular pub had interesting artwork on the blood-red walls. If my memory serves, there was an end of the world vibe. Or demons. Is there a difference between the two?

Finally, I had to go ask Clare for cash.

Which she happily handed over, because she’s a good friend.

When I got back to the bartender, I was too embarrassed to say I didn’t want the crisps anymore because I’d only ordered them to meet the credit card purchase minimum. We’d both just had massive fish and chips, and I wasn’t hungry. Turned out, Clare wasn’t either.

The bags stayed in the Airbnb for the entire weekend, neither of us ripping one open. I ended up packing them in my backpack, and when I was on the plane home, about the second hour in, I became quite famished. While rummaging through my bag, since I was on an airline that doesn’t provide food, I found the crisps.

Given all the drama around getting back to the US during the pandemic, I don’t think I ever thanked Clare for the crisps. So, thanks, Clare. You kept me from starving on the six-hour flight.

And, even with all the extenuating circumstances, we actually got One Golden Summer written and published. There’s a scene in the story when my character doesn’t have cash and needs to ask Clare’s character for a fiver—not once but twice. At least my embarrassment paid off.


To celebrate the release of One Golden Summer, cowritten with Clare Lydon, we’ve put together a giveaway. The grand prize includes a signed copy of One Golden Summer and a $50 Amazon gift card. Two other winners will receive a $25 Amazon gift card. Click here to enter. 

One Golden Summer:

Would you trade fame for love?

Saffron Oliver is the golden girl. Golden hair. Golden skin. Golden movie career.

Only one problem: she hates it.

She flees to her sister’s seaside town – where she meets the confident & charming Kirsty McBride.

Kirsty is everything Saffron wants to be. Perhaps also, everything she wants.

But Saffron can’t have it all. So now, she has to decide: does she crave Kirsty enough to blow up her golden life?

Best-selling lesbian romance authors Clare Lydon & TB Markinson have written a sizzling lesbian love story about not being afraid and going after what you really want.



T.B. Markinson is an American writer based in Massachusetts, who has been lucky enough to live in Britain for six years and in Ireland for a year and a half. When she isn’t writing, she’s traveling the world, watching sports on the telly, visiting pubs in New England, or reading. Not necessarily in that order.

She runs the website I Heart Lesfic and cohosts the Lesbians Who Write podcast.

Click here for a longer version.



Twitter / Website  / Lesbians Who Write

Thanks so much for stopping by today.

About TBM

TB Markinson is an American who's recently returned to the US after a seven-year stint in the UK and Ireland. When she isn't writing, she's traveling the world, watching sports on the telly, visiting pubs in New England, or reading. Not necessarily in that order. Her novels have hit Amazon bestseller lists for lesbian fiction and lesbian romance. She cohosts the Lesbians Who Write Podcast ( with Clare Lydon. TB also runs I Heart Lesfic (, a place for authors and fans of lesfic to come together to celebrate lesbian fiction.
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