Ev Bishop

About Ev Bishop

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. In addition to writing novels—her favorite form of storytelling!—Ev was a long-time columnist with the Terrace Standard and is 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 Note From Mark Twain #Mgtab

The other day, in a bit of a funk, I turned to my journal, figuring some random ranting might soothe my itchy impatience, unrest, and sluggishness. This annoying, conflicting state hits me every so often: I want something to happen, to be accomplished, to be different—but I feel too lazy to work or do much of anything.

Do you relate? Have goals and dreams that you don’t always work toward, that you beat yourself up for not accomplishing, even while you fritter time away time on stupid stuff that you don’t even really enjoy? (Facebook or online games, perhaps? Argh, the time suckage!)

Anyway, I opened my spiral bound notebook, a tattered, sadly neglected thing this year, and what had I scrawled as the last entry?

Not a flowing stream-of-consciousness ramble. Not a to-do list (one of my favourite past-times—creating, not necessarily fulfilling, to-do lists!). Not an idea for a story or an informal essay about something I was thinking on . . .

A quote. And what a quote! So weirdly timely, as if months and months ago, I knew I would be in need of something inspiring, encouraging, and motivating, thus penned myself a note:

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones that you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the wind in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. ~ Mark Twain

Now I’ve rewritten the words to myself (Ev, twenty years from now . . . ), signed the letter (From, Mark Twain), and stuck it on my wall above my computer monitor. Every time I read it, I smell salt water, feel a crisp, invigorating breeze—and think, Challenge accepted! 

I’m a bit of a psycho about things I’m passionate about, as you may or may not have deduced over the years, but passions go awry if you don’t put your time and heart into them. They don’t leave you altogether; they just nag at your subconscious, causing angst, making you restless until you get back to them.

Busy the past year (with things that, to be fair to myself, legitimately demanded time, burned physical and mental energy, and took an emotional toll), I let myself fall into the trap of putting off things that I know I need to do, desperately want to do, and derive a huge sense of satisfaction and well-being from.

And for a while that’s fine. Is understandable. Is life. But after a time . . . Well, the conviction I should be working on something but instead I’m playing Bubble Pop Battle ‘til my hand cramp up kind of drives me around the bend.

So what am I doing about Twain’s friendly warning? I’m remembering that twenty years will fly by—and that at sixty (and at seventy and at eighty—and today!) I want to be able to say that I gave my goals my best shot, that maybe my progress occurred in fits and spurts, but I was steady. I took risks. I tried.

Years ago, when my children were small, Thomas Moore’s famous line, “The best of all ways to lengthen our days is to steal a few hours from the night,” was my mantra. Later, when I was teaching, I wrote early mornings. And after that, for a few luxurious years, I wrote during regular workday hours.

And now? In light of my letter from Mark?  I’m back to early mornings. It’s not natural for me. At all. But I’m finding the quiet hours very lovely. And very productive. As with late nights, the world is different when everyone else is asleep. Dreams are closer to consciousness. More seems possible.

Perhaps pretending Mark Twain penned you a personal note isn’t something you’d find especially motivating, but his message is pertinent for us all.

Time moves quickly. What is it you should be doing now? What trips are you planning? What tasks need tackling, or classes should you register for? Or do you need to steer into something entirely new? So go on, do it. Sail away from safe harbour  . . . Explore. Dream. Discover. And don’t forget to share. I’d love to hear what passions are stirring within you, what adventures you can’t wait to have. . . .

Thanks so much for  stopping by our “billboard” and reading! Don’t forget to enter our March contest: https://authorsbillboard.com/

Four full-length novels, just .99 cents for a limited time!

☕📚😍 Click your favorite vendor below to find out more: 😍📚☕

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“Book” your getaway today! 

 

 

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“A Note From Mark Twain” by me, Ev Bishop, was originally published in the Terrace Standard, August 28, 2013 as my monthly column “Just a Thought.”

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One last thing and so important: Please be sure to check out our Authors’ Billboard Monthly Contests for free ebooks, gift cards, and paperbacks. March is going to offer another Rafflecopter, so don’t miss out!

Ah, February! #mgtab

February is a cruel month, and I won’t be sad to see it go. Hints of warm blue sky and balmy breezes whisper that spring’s just around the corner—then Slam! Arctic gales, dumps and dumps of snow, the heart of winter—Sploosh, slog, sleet and slop—buckets of rain that turn everything to slush again—repeat, repeat, repeat.

It’s a hard month to get out of bed in the morning during, let alone be cheery in—so much gray, so much cold, no festive events to look forward to except Valentine’s Day (which would be much more romantic if it were a civic holiday, LOL).

Yesterday, I admit the month tricked me. I saw the brilliant sun outside my window and recalled the lovely mild temperature of the previous day and headed out in flats without socks to rush the kids to school and get to an appointment. Imagine my poor feet’s surprise when they realized six inches or more of snow had fallen in the night!

The day only got better from there. As I was frantically clearing the car, having not allowed time in my schedule for doing so, my daughter, already feeling miserably sick, slipped on ice. Then she spilled tea across her lap just as we were pulling out of the driveway and had to go back to the house and change.

I followed her inside so I could call my appointment, tell them I was running late—and stepped in my dogs’ full water dish, tipping it over with a crashing splash. The dogs and cat, all convinced the noise was somehow connected to the beginning of a canine/feline apocalypse, took off in separate directions to the four corners of the house.

I tried to cajole the smallest dog—a Pomeranian I dog-sit regularly—back to the dog room. The blond beast took, “Heeeeeere Foxy, heeeere Foxy,” (or some such call) to mean: “Run, run! Go through her legs, jump up on the couch!”

As I lunged to grab the creature, apparently I frightened it again—or rather, scared the crap out of it.  Literally.

There’s nothing like cleaning up dog doo—no matter how little and deer-like the pellets—when you’re already late.

Back in the car, pulling out of the driveway, Take 2, I turned on the stereo—AND WAS HIT BY A HORRIFIC NOISE SO LOUD I ALMOST COULDN’T UNDERSTAND WHAT IT WAS. I slammed the off button as fast as I could, heart and ears bleeding. No one should have to listen to Kesha at the best of times. They should definitely not have to listen to her blasting, “D.I.N.O.YOU ARE a dinosaur,” at sonic-boom decibels before 9:00 in the morning.  At least my kids were cheered up by my trauma. They even laughed.

Not long after that I made the mistake of telling the kids the superstition that bad things happen in threes so we should be home free for the rest of the day. And in quick succession I: was stopped by the train, lost my keys in the office where I finally had my meeting (after going to the completely wrong building), and got my son to school almost a full-hour late.

Some of you are thinking it’s ridiculous to blame a month, especially a tiny, pathetic, no statutory holiday one, for my bad day—but others of you are wiser. You know full well that February is shorter than other months so that we have a better chance of surviving it. You know that bad days can hit anytime, but in February they are worse.

The end of the day came, finally, and the sky held no trace of the day’s foulness.  It was soft and inky black and clear.  The moon, full and round and benevolent, was a bright glowy white; the sympathetic shadows on its face clearly visible.  Saying so is a cliché, perhaps, but it was breathtaking. I’m sure it was the evening’s way of celebrating with me: Ah, February. One night closer to done for another full year!

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“Ah, February” was originally published in the Terrace Standard, February 2011, so it’s a little outdated now . . . but only regarding the age of my children and the number of dogs and cats in my house at any given time. The bad luck that seems to abound in the bleak of February, my general malaise, and my extreme eagerness for us to get into March continues!

In fact, there is only one thing February really has going for it . . . but it’s a fabulous thing: February is the perfect month for guilt-free burrowing on your couch with a blanket and a book! So on that note, see you in March and until then . . . very happy reading!

? Ev

P.S. If you’re looking for a cozy escape, I’d be honored if you “book” your getaway with me. River’s Sigh B & B Vol. 1 -4 is on sale for just .99 for the month of February only! (So I guess I accidentally lied. There are TWO fabulous things in February, LOL.)

Amazon.com – Amazon.ca – Amazon.co.ukAmazon.com.au

Kobo US – Kobo CA iBooks Google Play – Nook

P.P.S. I actually think Kesha’s song “Dinosaur” is awesome.

P.P.P.S. I’m really going to stop blabbing soon. I promise! I just wanted to remind you to make sure you enter our Authors Billboard February contest for a chance to win gift cards, print books, or free eBooks! To find out more details on this month’s contest, click here! https://authorsbillboard.com/

 

Happy – cough – New Year! Load your eReader and snuggle in. #mgtab

I was going to write a peppy post to celebrate 2019, something that started off with something like, Hey, we’re two weeks into our New Year, how’s it going? Fabulously, I hope!

And then I was going to share some of the dreams I’m dreaming for the next twelve months, some of the goals I’m aspiring to, some of hopes that I have (because I am one of those people—the list-making, journal-filling, overthinking types. ?)—but then I got sick.

No sympathy needed, as it was just a bad cold and I’m well on the mend now. However, it did remind me that sometimes, yes, you want to cheer and yell, “Go me!” and make copious plans on piles of bright colored sticky notes—but other times you want to burrow into the couch, wrapped in blankets, your well-stocked eReader on your lap, a furry friend snuggled close, and a mug of soup or tea in hand. ‘Tis definitely the season for that!

And on that note, especially since we’re going into a weekend, I thought I’d help you load your digital bookshelves, so you’ll be prepared for some lovely “shut in” nights—though hopefully without sniffles or a bad cough. ?

Read all the books? Challenge acceptedHere we go! As most of you know we Author’s Billboard authors have a treasure trove of box sets under our belts—with memes and themes and romance tropes to fit any mood. The wonderful Suzanne Jenkins has put them all in one place for your perusing and buying pleasure. They’re a great way to discover new-to-you authors and genres—but also just to stockpile the types of stories you already know you love. Have fun!

 

 

If you’re craving immersion in a whole new cozy world and longing for the fun of a connected series, I’d be honored if you give my just-released River’s Sigh B & B Vol. 1 – 4 collection a try. It contains the first 4 novels in the series (which are all full-length, standalone novels with HEAs) and offers all the fun of revisiting old characters you love (or hate, LOL) while you fall in love with new ones.

Amazon ~ iBooks ~ Nook ~ Kobo ~ Google 

 

Last but not least, for any of you kindred resolution-making, goal-oriented spirits who, while perhaps sympathizing that I was sick, were simultaneously disappointed that I didn’t share goals or resolutions in this post or provide an inspiring, motivating call-to-action, One to Keep will be right up your alley. Sophie always has lots of goals, too, and she’s especially full of determination and resolve this year, so much so that she has a special holiday planned to celebrate her newest resolution. A holiday for one, thank you very much.

 

 

Okay . . . that should keep you busy for a while. (I hope you stocked up on tea and easy snacks too!)

Wishing you a lovely, book-filled, germ-free weekend,

? Ev

Until next time . . .

River's Sigh B & B box set. Stay cozy!

Heartwarming Christmas romance with all the feels!

When I was a kid, my family didn’t watch a lot of TV. My parents were very firm about us: A) not “wasting our lives staring at the boob tube like zombies,” B) being productive, a.k.a. doing a lot of chores and doing well in school, and C) socializing as a family and playing outside.

They also had clear guidelines and notions about what constituted “acceptable and appropriate” viewing.

I’m making my parents sound very . . . un-fun. Really, nothing could be further from the truth. They were strict (sometimes, aggravatingly so), but they were also supportive of our hobbies and passions, read to us a lot, played with us a lot. And when we did watch television, it was an event. (Our weekly Disney-viewing tradition remains one of my treasured family memories.)

“Movie night” became a bi-monthly or so thing when I was nine or ten (when VCRs became popular—and most people just rented them because they were so expensive). After getting movie-pic feedback from my mom, my dad would go to the local video store and pick out a “kids’” movie (usually animated),  a “family” movie (often a Disney classic, like the original “Parent Trap,” or “Old Yeller,” and an “adult” movie (not that kind of adult, LOL. Get your minds out of gutter!) for him and my mom to watch after we went to bed.

My mom would make homemade pizza dough and put out every kind of topping you can imagine, and each of us kids would get to create a personal pizza with our own version of topping heaven. As they cooked and cooled, my dad would make huge stainless-steel bowls of popcorn—one each!—that he popped in a heavy-bottomed pot on the stove. Us kids would get our pajamas on and collect our stuffed animals and “snugglies”—quilts that zipped up like sleeping bags but that had holes for your face, hands, and feet.

Then pure imagination plus carb overload delight would reign! For an hour or three, we’d be caught up in the hilarity or heartbreak (or both) of whatever that evening’s viewing entailed.

One year, near Christmas, my dad came home with “A Charlie Brown Christmas”—and I, being a huge Peanuts™ freak, practically lost my mind with glee, doing my own ecstatic spinning version of Snoopy’s happy dance.

Sweet and sentimental, funny but also a little melancholy and blue initially, it captured the feeling of Christmas so well to me, even as a young child.

Earlier this year, when I received the exciting invitation to be part of this amazing box set of Christmas romance novels, Love, Christmas 2, where each story was to be somehow inspired by its author’s favorite Christmas movie, there was no question in my mind as to which movie my book would somehow incorporate: “A Charlie Brown Christmas” all the way!

And just as instantly, Sharla Brown—who’s really tired of the Charlie Brown jokes she’s endured all her life because of her name—sprang into my head. “A Charlie Brown Christmas” is her favorite Christmas movie for all the same reasons it’s mine. She and I hope you love her story—and all the rest of the merrily festive, heartwarming Christmas romances in Love, Christmas 2.

Wishing you a lovely fall and cozy winter, full of wonderful “small” things that really are huge: family, friends, pets, love, and laughter. (And, of course, good books!)

Ev

P.S. If you haven’t pre-ordered Love, Christmas 2 yet, do it quick! ?  I’d hate for you to miss out on the fabulous pre-order price! ?

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