…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…



Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

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

  1. Thanks so much, Seumas! I’m so thrilled and honored to be here.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on Barb Taub and commented:
    Do I get around or what? Today I’m visiting a certain Scot who is famous for spies and the way he rocks a kilt. (No, not Sean Connery, although I always get them mixed up too…)

    Take a (virtual) trip over to Abu Dhabi and join in the fun. Kilts optional…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks for the free book, Barb. I’ll have to read my way up to this book in the series. Thanks, Seumas for having Barb as your guest. 🙂 — Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Nice to read more about Barb. I have one of her books queued up in my Kindle but I think I’ll have to try and fit this one in too…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I have just started reading this book and I am finding it very difficult to put down! Oooh it is delicious!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The little-known corollary of Write what you know is Know more.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you, Barb! More terrific words to read!

    Liked by 1 person

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