Behind the Willows

Cornfields and clouds.

The overpowering green, the heat and dripping humidity, the drone of the insects, the clouds’ promise of thunderstorms. – It’s not actually my favorite time of year. I prefer the cool changing colors of fall, the sharpness of winter’s cold and even the new surprises of spring. But, the sight of cornfield and clouds, is one of those images, smells, and sounds, or, in this case, all three that speak of home. Not “home” as in where I grew up or “home” as in where I live now but both and more. Even as I sweat, swat bugs and dream of the first snowfall, a view like this never fails to loosen a part of me.

A breath released that I didn’t know I was holding.

And I feel myself settle into my own skin just a bit further knowing that I am where I belong.

Sometimes…

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Shelley Wilson

I’ve met my next guest on a couple of occasions, once at the Book Connectors meet up in Birmingham, and then again in Leicester just before Christmas. She is always so supportive of others, a delight to chat with, and an inspiration to all writers’. I am, therefore, over the moon to invite the lovely Lizzie Lamb to join me today to talk about her route to publication. Over to Lizzie…

Work Desk My Work Desk

Many thanks to Shelley for inviting me onto her fabulous blog to talk about my route to publication. For those who don’t know me, I am in indie author and have just published my latest Scottish-themed contemporary romance, GIRL IN THE CASTLE. So, how did I manage to publish four novels in under five years and work collaboratively on two others? Read on –

My published novelsHere’s an extract from the end papers of Girl in the Castle

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Barb Taub

Are you sure I'm not your father?Nice cape. Are you sure I’m not your father?

10. Gift-Aversion: Some things in life are easy to do – gush over babies, write blogs, cure cancer. Some are harder – get a bikini-wax, reform the tax structure, buy my father a present. With ten kids, he got a LOT of birthday/Christmas/Father’s Day presents. It’s not that he didn’t appreciate what we gave him. “This (wallet/tie/shirt/belt) is just what I needed,” he would thank us. Then he’d repackage the wallet/tie/shirt/belt and put it away to marinate in his drawer for a few years. [Full disclosure: there may have been a few occasions when we re-wrapped the wallet/tie/shirt/belt offerings and re-gifted them. Luckily, each time they were just what he needed.]

Touchdown, Notre Dame! Touchdown, Notre Dame!

9. 40 Years of College Tuition: I’ve heard people ask, “How did your parents get all ten children to go to college?” The answer was simple:…

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Between the Lines ~ Books’n’Stuff

Renee at It’s Book Talk began this meme as a way to share old favourites, as well as books that were published over a year ago. Not to mention those that are languishing on the to be read pile for whatever reason.

I’d like to showcase The 20’s Girl, The Ghost and All That Jazz this week. It was written by June Kearns and published in 2013, the second book by the author, both of which I love.

1924. The English Shires, after the Great War. 
When her jazzing flapper of an aunt dies, Gerardina Mary Chiledexter inherits some silver-topped scent bottles, a wardrobe of love-affair clothes, and astonishingly, a half-share in a million-acre ranch in south-west Texas. 
Haunted by a psychic cat and the ghost voice of that aunt Leonie, Gerry feels driven to travel thousands of miles to see the ranch for herself. 
Against a background of big sky, cattle…

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Behind the Willows

A Friday ritual. 

A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. 

A simple, special, extraordinary moment.

A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

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Barb Taub

~WARNING: this blog post contains a really scary spider.~

DIY Penicillin“Tell me again why we need these?” We were surrounded by mountains of cardboard boxes, and the Hub was staring in disbelief at the one he’d just opened. The one containing (not one but three!) toilet roll holders, each with storage space for even more rolls. Then there was the copiously bubble-wrapped Taub Memorial Collection of Matching Liquid Handsoap Dispensers and Soap Dishes. He is completely mystified by my need to move perfectly accessible stashes of TP from where they belong—the floor next to the toilet (still in their original packaging, of course)—while at the same time decanting liquid soap from a perfectly usable plastic container into a different container. (And don’t even get him started on my compulsive need to run that dishwasher just because it’s full of dirty dishes when anyone can tell there is room to cram in at least…

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Barb Taub

The day I Killed Mom—a (mostly) true story

When she turned fifty, my mother took up a new career: dying. It was a family tradition, she explained. “People in my family don’t make it out of their fifties. So we have to be ready to go.”

Each Christmas, she announced, would probably be her last—no point in a real tree or all that decorating. Her grandchildren would nod, and go right on dragging in and decorating a huge tree, around which our even more huge family would celebrate as usual, with Mother baking, making up beds, passing around Baileys Irish Cream, and loving every second of the noise and mess and confusion.

After pursuing dying for a few decades, it was time for her to think about retiring. But since there were really only two ways (ruling out vampires and/or zombies) to move on from that career choice—a coffin, or…

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