Tag Archives: #BarbTaub

…Barb Taub… unplugged!… oh, and a wee bit about her book, ROUND TRIP FARE…

…pin back yer eyes, brains, and risible nerves for a terrific Guest Post from my great pal, Authoress Barb Taub

Barb oic

They say…

sicilian“You fell victim to one of the classic blunders. The most famous is never get involved in a land war in Asia. But only slightly less well known is this. Never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line.” [Image credit: The Princess Bride, 1987, Writer: William Goldman]

It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so. —Mark Twain

There are plenty of things our old friends, the Everyones, say:

  • Show, don’t tell.
  • Write what you know.
  • Don’t wear plaid.

And they’re right, of course. Except when they’re not. Sometimes a little tell gets you out of a painful lot of show. Sometimes what you know isn’t nearly as much fun as what you can make up. And sometimes, Scottish writers living in Abu Dhabi will totally rock the plaid.

The trick here is to take the things you do know, the things you do want to tell, and maybe even a bit of unapologetic plaid attitude, and sneak them in under the table where people won’t notice them. At least, not right away. In my new book, Round Trip Fare, for example, heroine Carey Parker is a young Warden working for the secretive Accords Agency. In writing about her office, I might not have firsthand knowledge of paranormal bounty hunters, and the accountants I’ve worked with were not (to the best of my knowledge) were-badgers. But after decades in the human resources trenches, I know some things about workplaces and bureaucracy.

No matter what happens to employees under the full moon, I know their offices will have scribbled threats against people who steal food from the staff fridge, and notices threatening those who take the last of the coffee without making another pot.

HR warning

There will be plenty of policies from Human Resources, most likely collected into a manual that nobody actually reads.


And of course, there will be those random memos from management (which will, for the most part, say exactly the wrong thing).

acciord agency


I also know what Carey’s coworkers will be like. In staffing the Accords offices, I’ve added a few that I’ve met personally over the years. They’re the ones who misunderstand directions, exchange endless emails—with half the company copied in—only to raise even more questions about each answer. Despite being completely contradictory themselves, they urge others to be “reasonable” and avoid haste which might result in embarrassments or difficulties later on. And of course, they have a particular gift for spreading disturbing rumors that sound like inside dope.

Sabotage manual

Sound familiar? Admit it—you’ve worked with them too. What you and I may not have realized, however, was that all of this might be deliberate.

Perhaps our guacamole-for-brains colleagues are actually spies working for the CIA. I know this is a possibility, because I’ve read a recently declassified CIA file which contains the training materials for simple workplace sabotage. Using these methods, employees following some easy steps can bring down even the largest organizations. And aren’t those steps eerily familiar?

sabotage text

Sounds like a normal day at the office, right? Well, maybe your coworkers are CIA spies. [image credit: “Simple Sabotage Field Manual: Strategic Services”, CIA, 17 January, 1944]

And by the way, writers—if you’ve already created a workplace that puts the fun back in dysfunctional, the CIA has yet another gift for you. For over twenty years beginning in the 1950s, Modern Art was a CIA weapon.


Jackson Pollock, artist
[image credit: public domain]

I could NOT make this stuff up. But I did make up Carey’s adventures in Round Trip Fare. I hope you’ll take a look.

Round trip fare

[click on image for preview and reviews from Amazon]


Warden Carey Parker’s to-do list is already long enough: find her brother and sister, rescue her roommate, save Null City, and castrate her ex-boyfriend. Preferably with a dull-edged garden tool. A rusty one. 

And then there is… him. For the past two months, a dark stranger has persistently edged his way onto the mental game board behind her eyelids. Well, whatever trouble he’s selling, Carey Parker is not buying.

Carey knows superpowers suck, her own included. From childhood she’s only had two options. She can take the Metro train to Null City and a normal life. After one day there, imps become baristas, and hellhounds become poodles. Demons settle down, join the PTA, and worry about their taxes. Or she can master the powers of her warrior gift and fight a war she can’t win, in a world where she never learned how to lose.

Emerald city

It just would have been nice if someone told her the angels were all on the other side.

  • TITLE:Round Trip Fare
  • Genre:Urban Fantasy (okay and there is humor, romance, a sentient train, a great dog, and bunch of other stuff—but Amazon only gives you a couple of words to pick genre, so…)
  • Series:Null City [NOTE: prequel One Way Fare is now available FREE from comBarnes & Noble and Kobo, and the Amazon UK kindle version directly from Barb) but this book works as standalone.
  • Release date:7 April, 2016

Contact & Buy Links

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Blog | Facebook | Twitter: @barbtaub | Goodreads

Barb Taub:

In halcyon days BC (before children), Barb wrote a humor column for several Midwest newspapers. With the arrival of Child #4, she veered toward the dark side and an HR career. Following a daring daytime escape to England, she’s lived in a medieval castle and a hobbit house with her prince-of-a-guy and the World’s Most Spoiled AussieDog. Now all her days are Saturdays, and she spends them traveling around the world, plus consulting with her daughter on Marvel heroes, Null City, and translating from British to American.

…there yeez have, it Lads and Lassies of Blog Land… go seek out ROUND TRIP FARE… a terrific offering from a terrific Authoress…

…thanks, m’Lady, Barb…



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The Violin Man’s Legacy—a great thriller and how NOT to read it

…another glorious wakening-up to a generous review from Authoress Barb Taub about my wee baby , THE VIOLIN MAN’S LEGACY… the title is currently under revamp with my recently-partnered publishers, Crooked Cat Publishing and will be available again in a few weeks… (no doubt I shall reblog this terrific review again, then… just an old MEDYA TART, me! …enjoy… cheers, and thanks again, m’Lady, Barb… mwaaah :):)


Barb Taub

profileMy guest today is the spectacularly talented and funny Seumas Gallacher.

Seumas escaped from the world of finance five years ago, after a career spanning three continents and five decades.

As the self-professed ‘oldest computer Jurassic on the planet’ his headlong immersion into the dizzy world of eBook publishing opened his eyes, mind, and pleasure to the joys of self-publishing. As a former businessman, he rapidly understood the concept of a writer’s need to ‘build the platform’, and from a standing start began to develop a social networking outreach, which now tops 18,000 direct contacts.

His first two crime-thrillers, THE VIOLIN MAN’S LEGACY and VENGEANCE WEARS BLACK blew his mind with more than 75,000 e-link downloads to date. The third in what has become the ‘Jack Calder’ series, SAVAGE PAYBACK, was launched late 2013.

He started a humorous, informative, self-publishers blog less than two years ago, never having heard of…

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…Barb Taub… an Authoress with a ton of heart…

…settle down, Lads and Lassies of Blog Land, and listen carefully… yes, that means the lot of yeez at the back there as well… my good pal, Authoress, Barb Taub carries a timely message for yeez here, and at the same time, lets yeez know about some of her terrific wee masterpieces… I’ll shut up, and let her tell yeez about it:

BArb and Peri


Christmas in Austria is not for the faint hearted. While a familiar St. Nicholas does make the rounds, in many Germanic traditions he’s accompanied by a terrifying beast called the Krampus whose job is to punish – and even take away – naughty children. With his curling horns, long red tongue, and tail, the Krampus is enough to chill any heart.


[Krampus and St. Nicholas visit a Viennese home in 1896 photo credit: public domain]

As the villain of Don’t Touch, the Krampus is a monster who literally feasts on the fear and terror he inspires in children. The demon who threatens Stefan and Lette is a cornered beast, an anachronism whose ever-diminishing influence only makes him more desperately dangerous.

The other inspiration for this story is the image of Rapunzel. But in Don’t Touch, Lette isn’t the helpless girl awaiting rescue by her prince. Instead, I go back to the origins of the folk story in sources such as Giambattista Basile’s Tale of Tales  from 1616, where she is actually the hero who rescues herself and her children, and then saves her lover. Like her earliest predecessors, Lette is a tough, self-reliant young woman who tells her would-be prince, “If I need rescuing, I’ll do it myself.”

Hope flares each morning in the tiny flash of a second before Lette touches that first thing. And destroys it. Her online journal spans a decade, beginning with the day a thirteen-year-old inherits an extreme form of the family “gift.” Every day whatever she touches converts into something new: bunnies, bubbles, bombs, and everything in between. Lette’s search for a cure leads her to Stefan, whose fairy-tale looks hide a monstrous legacy, and to Rag, an arrogant, crabby ex-angel with boundary issues. The three face an army led by St. Nicholas’ legendary dark shadow, the Krampus, who feeds on children’s fear. But it’s their own inner demons they must defeat first.

Don'T Touch


My final message in Don’t Touch is that we build our own towers. They can provide safety; they can even be gorgeous and appealing, but if they keep us from truly living our lives or cut us off from others, they are still our prisons. I think that’s one of the things I love the most about the holiday season. No matter how often we hear them, those messages of peace and goodwill just keep reminding us of our connections to each other. More sophisticated folk can turn up noses at the consumerism and the crowds, but I believe the reason we all come back for more every year is that basic gift of hope and belief.

It’s that belief that inspires my holiday appeal to you. In most of my stories, an animal companion plays a prominent role—from George, the grumpy cat in Don’t Touch to Bygul, the bitchy feline goddess of Payback is a Witch. My own life has been immeasurably enriched by my dog Peri who came from a shelter in eastern Washington State, and by the friends (feline, canine, and the occasional rodent) rescued by the dedicated members of many shelters.

In thanks, therefore, I will donate all royalties on sales between now and January 1, 2015 from Don’t Touch as well as the newly released set (Payback is a Witch and Just For The Spell Of It) to the following wonderful organizations:

  • USANo Kill Advocacy Center. Headed up by Nathan Winograd, the No Kill Advocacy Center movement is revolutionizing shelters across America.
  • United KingdomDogsTrust. Active since 1891, this no-kill shelter rehomed almost 15,000 dogs last year.


As a special incentive, both Don’t Touch and the brand new release set, Tales From Null City (containing Payback is a Witch and Just For The Spell Of It), will be listed at the sale price of $0.99 in the USA, and £0.77 in the UK.

Just for the spell of itPayback is a witch

Both make wonderful holiday reads, while at the same time supporting the work of the no-kill shelter movement. Please help ensure that animals are not left unsheltered during the very difficult winter months to come. To help, please order a book by selecting one of the following links:

Claire Danielsen is a young witch whose goddess is house cat of unusual size. Peter Oshiro is a Warden policing a delicate truce between those who are human and those who… aren’t. It just would have been nice if someone told them the angels were all on the other side.

Liam is an ungodly soccer-playing card sharp on a mission from God. Eirie is a beautiful punk fairy princess with her own daytime radio talk show. They’ve worked cases for the Accords Agency before, but with war between realms looming and her baby sister as the bargaining chip, partnering just got personal.

Contact Barb: blog | twitter | facebook

…many thanks to Barb, for her contribution…it’s always nice to see yet another one of our own quill-scrapers with a ton of heart… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!




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