“Book” your getaway!

Picture of a red truck pulling a small camping trailer along a quiet road in the middle of a huge green forest. Last weekend as I drove to town to do errands, every tree and stretch of land beside the road was green, green, green. The air pouring through my car’s open window was sweet and warm, and the sun smiled down, kissing everything and everyone with heat and happiness. I’m not exaggerating! I know the other drivers felt spring’s invigorating cheeriness, too. Even folks at a notoriously treacherous four-way stop near where I live managed to take their turns properly and with minimal road rage.

What caught my attention most, however? The profusion of camper-laden trucks pulling boats, ambling RVs, and cars jampacked with tents, sleeping bags, coolers, and other miscellaneous gear.

After our long winter, it seemed like everyone and their dog (Seriously, there were a ton of pets grinning joyfully from passenger windows) was out and about, ready to explore.

All the smiles—and bags of fast food—I spotted through windshields brought back memories of the many, many road trips I enjoyed with my family as a kid. One of my favorite parts of those long and varied holidays was waking up in the gently swaying camper, already long in motion, miles from where we’d stopped for the night. (Remember when you could legally travel like that? I am old!)

I’d clear a peephole in one of the condensation-misted windows and stare out at the blur of highway and—to me, at least—“exotic” scenery. No matter how familiar our destination was, my grandparents’ farms, or down to Vancouver to shop and visit extended family, or off to a favorite remote lake or campsite, each trip was ripe with possibility and promise.

When I tired of gawking, I’d burrow back into my sleeping bag (I favored a chocolate brown one that was incredibly soft and had an orange, beige, and brown interior, sporting a wild forest scene, replete with huge moose) and commence my other favorite part of the trip—one that will come as no surprise to anyone: putting my nose in a book.

Picture of old blue suitcase crammed with books.My mom bought me an old, slightly battered train case at a church rummage sale when I was six,  and I treasured that thing until late into my teen years. It was perfect for book hauling!  Encyclopedia Brown, Nancy Drew, Harriet the Spy, Laura Ingalls, Mary Lennox, Anne Shirley, Bugs Potter . . . I’ve lost track of how many childhood friends I dragged with me in my early travels—a tradition I continued when I grew up, then passed on to my own kids and husband during road trips (especially via audio books).

In the same way that certain scents have a way of sending you back through time to places—and people—from your distant past, at specific scenic spots all along Hwy 16, I hear various characters and recall dramatic happenings. (Miss Marple haunts Terrace to Prince Rupert very spectacularly!)

I’ve always wondered if this duo love of mine for stories and road trips partially explains the inspiration behind my River’s Sigh B & B series. After all, each standalone novel is somebody’s road trip, his or her own personal story.

These days, thank you eReader, my luggage is a lot lighter when I travel, but whether it’s the beach, a campsite, the city, or the open road, you’ll still never find me without a book nearby.

And whether I’m literally traveling or not, I go on little escapades all the time. It’s the most wonderful part of being a reader: how there are no limits to the places you can visit, the time periods you can explore, the people you can meet, the adventures—sweet or terrifying!—you can find yourself in, the ways you can grow. . . .

I hope you and yours get to explore new-to-you terrain this spring or summer, by boat, plane or car—but even if you don’t (actually, especially if you don’t!), make sure you “book” other getaways and adventures.

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“’Book’ Your Getaway!” by me, Ev Bishop, was originally published in the Terrace Standard, June 21, 2018 as my monthly column “Just a Thought.”

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And hey . . . in case, you’re looking for your next audio gallivant, I’d be honored if you’d give WEDDING BANDS a try. 😊 Listen to a sample here and/or buy it today: 

Audible.com  ~ Audible.ca Amazon Nook 

Wedding Bands is also available on iTunes and from a huge variety of other vendors, so if you have a favorite spot to buy from that’s not listed here, please look it up. 

 

Ev Bishop lives and writes in a remote small town in wildly beautiful British Columbia, Canada—a place that inspires the setting for her cozy sweet romance series, RIVER’S SIGH B & B.

Book 1 in the series, WEDDING BANDS, is FREE right now, so go to your favorite eBook vendor and grab your copy today!

Ev also writes and publishes under the pen name Toni Sheridan.

In addition to writing novels—her favorite form of storytelling!—Ev is a long-time columnist with the Terrace Standard and a prolific scribbler of articles, essays, short stories and poems. To see her ever growing body of work, please visit her website.

When Ev’s nose isn’t in a book or her fingers aren’t on her keyboard, you’ll find her hanging out with her family and dogs, or playing outside with friends, usually at the lake or in some garden somewhere.

A Cruise around the British Isles by Mona Risk

In the summer of 2016, my husband and I took a fifteen-day cruise around the British Isles. Our first stop was in St. Peter Port, the capital of Guernsey Island, the largest of the Channels islands, located west of Normandy, France.

 

 

In the south, Guernsey rises in a plateau with ragged coastal cliffs. It descends in steps and is drained mainly by streams flowing northward in deeply incised valleys. Northern Guernsey is low-lying, with the soil on lower ground made of blown sand, raised beach deposits, and the fills of old lagoons.

The guide explained that the residents of Guernsey speak English and French, don’t pay taxes (or pay very low taxes) and enjoy free medical care for children under seven and seniors over seventy. The island originally belonged to the Duke of Normandy and then alternatively to England and France. Now it is part of the British Commonwealth. The ruler is a governor and the constitution states that in case of problems the island would revert to England.

St. Andrew Chapel built with ceramic pieces donnated by Wedgewood.

I loved the setting.

My muse immediately replaced the governor with a prince, just like the rulers of Monaco or Luxemburg, both in Europe, and my imagination changed their constitution–the heir to the throne must be married.

Gernsey Island became the Rensy Island of my new story.

 

 

The ruling prince is old and dying, and he worries about the future of his country. His fondest wish is to see his grandson married. But… 

The young prince, a handsome businessman and playboy, enjoys his freedom too much to be trapped into an arranged marriage.

 

All of this played in my head while I was in the bus touring the island and visiting the landmarks.

Imagine if Kate Middleton (Dr. Amy in my story) were an American doctor, dedicated to her career and her patients.

What if Prince William (Prince Paul in my story) wanted to make sure his future wife will love him for himself and not for his crown?

What if he decided to act as her driver and guide in Paris to get to know her better?

What if their attraction turns into passionate love?

What about her medical career and her patients?

And now what if Meghan Markle decides to work after marrying her prince?

What if the paparazzi haunt them at every turn? What if the tabloid magazines spoil everything? What if…what if…what if…

I wrote the first draft of A BRIDE FOR PRINCE PAUL during my cruise.

A Bride for Prince Paul (Modern Princes Series Book 1)

She can’t abandon her patients for his crown!   To please his dying grandfather and protect his country’s autonomy, Prince Paul of Rensy Island must marry an American doctor, descendant of a Rensian princess. Paul, a confirmed bachelor, agrees to meet Amy incognito during her vacation in Paris. Although her career and ex-boyfriend are major interferences, attraction sizzles between Amy and her ‘driver’, but the rumor of her engagement to ‘Prince’ Paul outrages her. Can he convince her that he loves her, in spite of his lies by omission?

Have you been inspired to write a book during a particular vacation?

 

Mona Risk

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author, Mona Risk, received an Outstanding Achiever Award from Affaire de Coeur Magazine. She’s a two time winner of Best Contemporary Romance of the Year from Readers Favorite; a winner of Best Romance Novel of the Year from Preditors & Editors Readers Poll; and an EPIC Award finalist.
Mona Risk’s name has often been posted on the Amazon.com 100 Most Popular Authors in Romance list, and her books have garnered: Top Pick, Outstanding Read, Sweetheart of the Week, and Best Book of the Week from various reviewers, and received two mentions in Publisher’s Weekly.
Mona lives in South Florida and has traveled to more than eighty countries on business or vacation. She writes contemporary romances, medical romance, romantic suspense, and paranormal fantasy. Sprinkled with a good dose of humor, her stories are set in the fascinating places she visited or more simply at home.
If you like to travel and love to read, come and enjoy her international romances. Meet the spirited heroines and special heroes who share irresistible chemistry in stories that simmer with emotion.
 View website

It’s Time For June Weddings!! #mgtab

 

 

 

 

 

Happy June Everyone!

I guess I’ve mentioned I’m a former horticulturist, but I was also a floral designer for many years, and began doing wedding flowers for several local florists while I was still in college. After graduating, I kept the business going for a very long time, even while I was working other full-time jobs.

So what finally stopped me??

Writing!!

We have some fantastic wedding anthologies coming out this month, and I’m proud to be included in two of them.

Also, Two Hearts Under Fire (Two Hearts Wounded Warrior Romance Book 8) will be included in Love Under Fire, releasing November. The details are down below if you’d like to join our reader group to meet the authors and win prizes and giveaways. I’ll be participating on June 9, but we’ll have something happening every day until the 21st.

Have a wonderful June and Happy Reading!!

Tammy

SWEET AND SASSY WEDDINGS – Happily Ever After Romance

With this ring I thee wed, says the groom, and the bride smiles, always beautiful, always dreaming of a happy future. Whether she is young or not that young, a hopeless romantic or an Ice Queen, a vocalist or an attorney, a mail-order bride or a poker-bet fiancée, a single mom or a stay home mother and widow, our bride dreams of love and passion, and a walk down the aisle.
Celebrate true love and commitment with SWEET and SASSY WEDDINGS, nine breathtaking stories from New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors, all award-winning authors.

A WEDDING SHE’LL REMEMBER

The dreams of every young woman in love lead to this one day of her life, the day she truly becomes a princess, that special day she will remember for the rest of her life: her wedding day.
EIGHT New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors bring you eight stories of memorable weddings, spilling over with nervous tingles and overwhelming moments. Experience the euphoria of wedding day bliss, cry a river of happiness and celebrate the joy over and over again with these happy ever after tales.

JOIN THE GROUP ONLINE NOW!

Where: https://www.facebook.com/groups/LoveUnderFireReadersGroup/

When: Friday, June 1st

Cover Reveal & Meet Authors Event Starts June 1st!

When finding love sparks danger…

Support Pets for Vets!

Twenty-one Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and bestselling authors bring you a heart-pounding collection of stories all in one amazing romantic suspense boxed set.

On the road to love lurks mystery, betrayal, greed, and death.

With every turn of the page, romance smolders and fiery suspense lights up the night. Feel love and pain as you fight alongside the tenacious heroes and heroines as they battle for their love and survival. They’ll put everything on the line to thwart the danger coming after them.

They want to trust in the power of love. But is it enough?

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

JUNE 1 -COVER REVEAL

Come join us to see the official cover for Love Under Fire, enter to win our first giveaway: Love Under Fire Survival Kit Tote filled with the tools you need to survive … (contents revealed on June 1st)

THEN STICK AROUND TO MEET THE AUTHORS!

Starting June 1st and running until June 21st you will meet the authors from this set! The authors will introduce themselves and interact with you every day! All authors will be having their own giveaways! So that means you have a chance  to win everyday!

Below is the author line up.

M. Hodge will kick off this event on June 1st

Uvi Poznansky June 2nd

Suzanne Jenkins June 3rd

Anna Celeste Burke June 4th

Fiona Quinn June 5th

Chris Patchell June 6th

Jinx Schwartz June 7th

Kathryn Knight June 8th

Tamara Ferguson June 9th

Aaron Paul Lazar June 10th

Judith Lucci June 11th

Margaret A. Daly June 12th

Pamela Fagan Hutchins June 13th

Casi McLean June 14th

S.R. Mallery (Sarah Mallery) June 15th

Stephanie Queen June 16th

Alyssa Richards June 17th

Linda Watkins June 18th

Inge-Lise Goss June 19th

Author Stephany Tullis June 20th

Valerie J. Clarizio – Romance Author June 21st

Tamara Ferguson

Writing steamy yet sweet compassionate stories of fate that are wonderfully romantic, Tamara Ferguson is the multi-award winning, #1 international bestselling author of the Tales of the Dragonfly romance suspense series, the Kissed By Fate new adult romance series, the Two Hearts Wounded Warrior Romance series and the Daydreams and Dragonflies sweet romance series.

Get outside, now!

When I was little, I was outside as much as humanly possible in the spring, summer and fall. Though it might not always have been my idea (I recall my slightly exasperated mother commanding my hyperactive brother and me to “take it outside” on a frequent basis), I’m so grateful for the experience.

A tree on Railway Ave. in my little hometown Smithers, BC was my first introduction to the extreme joy of playing outdoors. Close investigation revealed it was a series of trunks that grew up close together in a tight circle. A barely discernible gap let me slip into the cozy, hollowed out centre.

From inside my tree, I could see everything going on around me, and no one knew I was even there! A perfect climbing tree with nicely spaced, sturdy branches, it was playhouse, fort, jail, ranch, and office.

On office days, I climbed to a special spot where I had fashioned loose wire loops around a branch. I could work for hours, sitting on the lower “bench” branch and sliding the loops back and forth on the “typewriter” branch. The wire made a great sound too, kind of jingly and clackety all at once. It broke my heart (no, seriously) when we moved to Vancouver and deserted my tree.

But there were consolations. Taxi summer, for example. One year my dad towed the chassis of some old car into our backyard. The fact that it had no body was irrelevant. It had a steering column and steering wheel—the critical parts! I conjured images of a bright yellow taxi for my friends and siblings, and we took turns being the taxi driver stopping for a customer.

We all enjoyed being the cabbie (screeching around corners, slamming on brakes, honking)—but we adored making up people who were waiting for the taxi. Pregnant woman (played most hilariously by my brother). Snobby person. Dangerous criminal. Mean teacher. Person who thinks he’s really a dog. You name it. We were imaginative.

I also visited my grandparents’ massive farm in Hazelton often. If there was anyone who enjoyed playing outside as much as I did, it was my aunt/best friend.

She and I would filch paper lunch bags from the pantry and fill one with smoked Oolichans (Mmmm, so smoky and salty and chewy!), and one with crunchy pink and yellow crab apples.

Barefooted, we’d disappear for hours. Life was complex as Elven princesses. There were ongoing epic battles to be fought, evil rulers to flee, magic to be mastered. My little leather pouch of elf stones proved helpful, and we carried jackknives, of course, for when we needed to make spears or arrows or walking sticks.

When our stomachs sounded a dinner alarm, we headed for the castle or tavern to feast with assorted trolls and miscreants—then moved out again as soon as we could.

When the sky turned purple (and in the North, that’s delightfully late!), we knew it was time to retreat to the inn, filthy-footed and exhausted.

To this day, I don’t know if there’s anything better than having your bedtime snack when you can hardly keep your eyes open, then crawling into bed smelling like tree sap and fresh air and dirt, your limbs so tired they almost ache—and the soft, all is right in the world feeling of clean sheets and blankets wrapping you in a sleepy cloud. . . .

A lot of people hit adulthood and yard time suddenly becomes chore time. As I explained to one of my young nieces, however, though it’s kind of weird, some stuff you call work as a kid becomes fun, almost like playing, once you’re an adult (except for dishes. Dishes are always horrible).

So yes, you’ll find me weeding and watering. But you’ll also find me meandering about, staring into the sky daydreaming, and playing in the lake. My feet still need to be scrubbed before bed in the summer.

I hope you have your own fond memories of playing outside—and that you keep making them. Let me send you off with words from my mother that I could never hear enough: “Get outside and play. Now!”

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This essay was originally published April 2012 in the Terrace Standard newspaper as part of my regular column “Just a Thought,” but since some things never change—like my love of playing hooky outdoors and my immense delight and relief when spring finally arrives after a long winter—I wanted to share it with you. I hope you’re yelling, hear, hear!

P.S. If you, like me, adore listening to audio books when you’re driving or gardening, I’m ecstatic to share that my novel WEDDING BANDS is coming out across all vendors in just two weeks! Yay! I hope you’ll give it a listen, and until then, I have a sample for your listening pleasure! Enjoy. 🙂 WEDDING BANDS by Ev Bishop, read by Sarah Grant. 

Ev Bishop lives and writes in a remote small town in wildly beautiful British Columbia, Canada—a place that inspires the setting for her cozy sweet romance series, RIVER’S SIGH B & B.

Book 1 in the series, WEDDING BANDS, is FREE right now, so go to your favorite eBook vendor and grab your copy today!

Ev also writes and publishes under the pen name Toni Sheridan.

In addition to writing novels—her favorite form of storytelling!—Ev is a long-time columnist with the Terrace Standard and a prolific scribbler of articles, essays, short stories and poems. To see her ever growing body of work, please visit her website.

When Ev’s nose isn’t in a book or her fingers aren’t on her keyboard, you’ll find her hanging out with her family and dogs, or playing outside with friends, usually at the lake or in some garden somewhere.