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.

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! ?

Amazon US  
Amazon UK 
B&N (Nook) 
iBooks 
Kobo 

The Sweet Dregs of Summer #mgtab

The last mouthful of a glass of iced tea is sweeter than the rest because the sugar settles to the bottom. Summer is like that too. The first weeks stretch, long and leisurely, full of lingering golden light. At the beginning of the season, eons of time seem to lie ahead.

Then August hits. Then the end of August. The light is still glorious, but it fades earlier and earlier each night. The air is still warm, even hot, in the afternoons, but a crispness beneath the heat whispers rumours of fall. The days are sweeter, more poignant because they’re the last sips of summer.

And just like I tend to slow down midway through a drink, not wanting to finish it before I absolutely have to, I find myself trying to fend off September, spending as much time as I can outside, and allowing myself more breaks to soak things in, knowing—hating—that the bright months will be over soon.

This year I had the treat of houseguests to help me squeeze extra juicy goodness from the month. They stayed a few weeks and while I worked every morning because hey, we gotta eat and pay the bills and all that, I took off big chunks of time, too. We went on more than one day trip and stopped to look at things that I’ve always meant to, but hadn’t got around to yet. (That’s why you should always invite summer guests. It forces you to stop taking the place you live for granted and to get out and play in your home terrain with new eyes.)

As ever, I marvelled at the things to see here. We drove the crazy-bumpy, jungle road down into the Kitimat River where an expanse of round white stones stretches along the brilliant blue-green river as far as the eye can see. I posed by a fallen tree whose roots alone made me look miniscule.

We went to the fish hatchery and saw a mind-boggling amount of chum—so many, so close together, that the aqua river looked black where they huddled and churned, fighting to get up a pipe so they could spawn.

I finally explored an ancient looking set of moss covered stone steps out near Alcan. Apparently they once led to some now-no-more Hudson Bay Company building. I prefer to think they mark the entrance to a long forgotten castle.

Me, the wood nymph! Photo credit: Vello Sork

We camped at Furlong Bay and if there’s a more beautiful campground anywhere, I don’t know where it is. The light playing through the dense, mossy trees was amber and magical. I saw a massive Great Horned owl. The beach was practically empty. Best of all, however, were the huge, rotted out tree stumps we discovered. They were like doorways into other worlds.

We meandered along the highway to Prince Rupert and got lost in the varying shades of blue, blue, blue—blue water, blue sky, blue mountain vistas. Then we were dizzied by all the greens. We daydreamed about the tiny islands. We oohed and ahhed over fresh halibut and salmon being cleaned on the dock and savoured the fishy-salt scent of the ocean.

And one evening, I came across this quote from Henry David Thoreau: I think that I cannot preserve my health and spirits, unless I spend four hours a day at least, and it is commonly more than that, sauntering through the woods and over the hills and fields, absolutely free from all worldly engagements.

I don’t usually get four hours outdoors per day—I wish—but I so relate to his sentiments. Even as I type, the sun’s dipping lower. And as you read this, the days are growing shorter once more. Quick! Pour one more iced tea and head outside. Drink up every last sweet dreg of our gorgeous summer.

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“The Sweet Dregs of Summer” by me, Ev Bishop, was originally published in the Terrace Standard, June 25, 2014 as my monthly column “Just a Thought.”