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.

In the soup at River’s Sigh B & B

I’m a bit of a soup addict. Whenever I’m stressed or feeling blue about something, I make soup. Whenever I’m happy, expecting a crowd for dinner, or am feeling especially homemakery (That’s a newly invented word! Like it? 😁), I make soup. Chopping and grating, bringing to a boil, simmering . . . tasting. The steamy aromas of mingled garlic, onion, ginger . . . Mmmm!

There’s something Zen about cooking in general, and about making soup from scratch, especially. And like my aunt says, even if you can’t cook, it’s hard not to make great soup, so long as you use quality ingredients. It will sound corny, but I think she’s right only to a point. Something of yourself has to go into the pot too—your love, your affection, your hope, your well wishes . . .

My newest obsession is homemade wonton. (And yes, I make a whole ton of the little wrapped delights, freeze them on cookie trays, then dump them into freezer bags, so I can pull them out by the handful whenever I want that particular delight—ready in just ten minutes!) This is a wonderful site I’ve been using for inspiration: https://omnivorescookbook.com/recipes/wonton-soup (But I fold my wontons like Nagi describes on her fabulous website: https://www.recipetineats.com/wonton-soup/)

Another favorite is salmon chowder. Whenever I make it, I impress even myself, LOL. I use this recipe from Allrecipes.com, then modify it (as is my style) ‘til the concoction in my pot could never be recreated using the recipe card sitting on my counter.

As I cook (and taste!), my mind wanders all over the place, but generally settles on whatever novel I’m currently working on. Most of my main characters, in pretty much every one of my stories, at some point or another, make soup—yet my books aren’t the type that get marketed to foodies, with recipes in the back (though I do love those). In fact, the scenes are very brief. I don’t know if readers would even consciously remember them, but they are, I think, symbolic.

Soup is the epitome of comfort food, belonging and home. Every culture has its own variations of the dish, and while soup can be whimsical, there’s nothing trendy or passé about throwing things in a pot to simmer and blend all together into something, always a bit different, always good. Soup, regardless of its name, is as old as the human race.

And what do each of my main characters, despite how different from one another they initially appear, all have in common when you first meet them? In some way or another, they all yearn for and crave—but somehow lack: Family. A sense of belonging. A home.

Food of all kinds (not just soup!) has weighty (pun intended!) positive and negative connotations for us as individuals and within our relationships—and it does for my characters, too. What they eat or don’t eat, and the way they eat—standing over the kitchen sink, or with wine and candles even when alone—says a lot about their personality, their desires, their family background, their financial situation, and so much more.

Even if you’re not a fellow soup addict, LOL, I hope you’ll enjoy the sensory details in my stories, but even more so, I hope you’ll find my books food for your soul. A celebration of the simple good things in life and the power of finding, at last, that place you fit, with people who love you for you.  

Wishing you a lovely June, full of good eats and wonderful reads! 

😊 Ev

 

Spring is sprung!

Happy May!

Can I get a big, “Ahhhhhh, spring! It’s a lovely thing?!” 😍

It’s super gorgeous in my little green niche of the world right now, and I’m busy planting flower boxes, cleaning perennial beds, and getting my garden ready to plant. The weeding is unending, but I’m not complaining because A) I love it, and B) all the hard work is the perfect precursor to (justification of, LOL?!) evening treats of wine and reading.  

Also, I have no doubt much-needed rains will come soon (though it’s strange to say “much-needed” living where I live, where normally so much wet stuff falls), so I need to make hay while the sun shines, as the saying goes.

I hope this note finds you well and that you, like me, are enjoying maximum outdoor time. 

If, however (also like me!), you need a break from time to time (I mean that’s why you’re reading this right now, right?), I’d be honoured if you relax with one of my River’s Sigh B & B novels.

Until next time, wishing you much sunshine, peaceful shade, and great reads,

😊 Ev

P.S. Make sure you enter this month’s fabulous contest! Good luck!

AMAZON ~ KOBO ~ iBOOKS ~ NOOK ~ GOOGLE


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/