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Saturday, December 20, 2014

Midwinter's Eve Giveaway Hop


Well, I think this is my last giveaway of the year. Thanks so much for visiting and/or following. Special thanks to the bloggers and followers everywhere who have become friends. I value you highly. I'll be sharing news on The Glister Journals soon, so stay close. I wish you all a peaceful, safe, and happy holiday season and for those who celebrate, a blessed Christmas.
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Reviews for The Glister Journals: Bronze
More Glister Journals info at the book's website here: theglisterjournals.com
The Glister Journals: Bronze can be purchased through any bookseller, or purchase now at Amazon.com
Note: All original text and materials by or commissioned by B. B. Shepherd are copyright 2012-2015 to China Blue Publishing.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Best of 2014 Giveaway Hop

Open to US/Canada residents, I am giving away a hardbound copy of your choice from The Grisha Trilogy: Shadow and Bone, Siege and Storm, or Ruin and Rising, to two winners. The Grisha Trilogy has become one of my favorite series ever - a unique story with memorable characters, excellently written.

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Sunday, December 7, 2014

Movies: Winter 2014

I don't get out to the movies that often for a variety of reasons, but there are quite a few I'm looking forward to this winter season. Top of the list is The Hunger Games: Mockingjay.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay

I have to admit I was disappointed when I learned Mockingjay was being made into two films. This seems to be the trend now. I thought the beginning of the book slow, spending too much time on Katniss' state of mind after her rescue from the dome and after learning of Peeta's capture. And that seems weird for me to say as I love the exploration of what makes people tick, but I wearied of it. So I'm a little worried they might have made Part 1 too drawn out and melodramatic. Still, I have to see it, of course. I'd love to hear your thoughts on it if you've seen it already (no spoilers for those who haven't read the book!) I'll probably see it within the next week or so.

And I guess the same could be said about The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. I had never read The Hobbit until last year and admit I am much more a fan of the movies than the book, iconic though it is. But that Jackson has padded the original story out (and added superfluous characters and romance) is undeniable. I've heard that he wanted to include some of the background material Tolkien included in the The Silmarillion (which I haven't read), but it still seems like it's being drawn out purely for commercial reasons. Oh well. I'll be going to see it anyway. I have a crush on Kili.

I became somewhat familiar with Into The Woods, the broadway show and its soundtrack, while I was studying vocal music in college. I never got to see it live and, while I'm not a huge Broadway fan, it's one of the shows I would love to see. So I'm looking forward to seeing the movie. The cast looks strong and the production good. Pluses: Johnny Depp and Chris Pine.

I've tried to see Big Hero 6 a couple of times but it didn't work out, so I hope to see it while it's still in theaters. If not I will definitely be buying it on DVD as soon as it comes out. Everyone I know who has seen it has loved it and it looks adorable.

And finally, I'd like to see Exodus: Gods and Kings. It appears that Scott has been more faithful and respectful to the epic story than Aronofsky was to Noah. Interestingly, according to Rotten Tomatoes, Noah had a critics rating of 77% with only a 43% rating from audiences. So far Exodus has only a 41% critics rating but 97% audience interest. From all I've seen, it looks like a bigger, more epic, and more CG and effects laden Ten Commandments. That's neither a positive nor a negative. So we shall see. I'm not sure I can believe Christian Bale as Moses - that just seems weird for a lot of reasons to me - but he's one of my favorites, so I'm willing to suspend belief just for him!

Have you seen any of these yet? If so, what did you think? Are there any others you recommend?



Reviews for The Glister Journals: Bronze

More Glister Journals info at the book's website here: theglisterjournals.com

The Glister Journals: Bronze can be purchased through any bookseller, or purchase now at Amazon.com

Note: All original text and materials by or commissioned by B. B. Shepherd are copyright 2012-2014 to China Blue Publishing.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Just In the Nick of Time Giveaway

Just in the Nick of Time
An Amazing Group of Authors & Bloggers have joined together to bring you 1 fabulous prize
1 lucky winner will receive $250 Cash!

Christmas Cash Sponsor List

I Am A Reader
Feed Your Reader
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A Tattered Copy
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Alex Siegel
Jennifer Faye, Romance Author
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Caroline Clemmons
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Giveaway Details

$250 Paypal Cash

Ends 12/22/14

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use money sent via Paypal. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author, bloggers and publishers on the sponsor list. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Sunday, November 30, 2014

Holiday Christmas Cash Giveaway

Holiday Cash Giveaway

An Amazing Group of Authors & Bloggers have come together to bring you 1 fabulous prize

1 lucky winner will receive $300 Cash!

 

Holiday Cash Giveaway Sponsors

I Am A Reader

FeedYourReader

eBooksforReview

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Margaret Anne @ Natural Chow

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Laurie Here - Cont Fiction and MORE

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MoreThanaReview

 

Giveaway Details

$300 Paypal Cash

Ends 12/21/14

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use money sent via Paypal. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author, bloggers and publishers on the sponsor list. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Reviews for The Glister Journals: Bronze

More Glister Journals info at the book's website here: theglisterjournals.com

The Glister Journals: Bronze can be purchased through any bookseller, or purchase now at Amazon.com

Note: All original text and materials by or commissioned by B. B. Shepherd are copyright 2012-2014 to China Blue Publishing.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving came early to my house this year. As both my daughters work in retail, getting the same day off is a miracle in itself. This year my older daughter, Elizabeth, was able to come and stay a couple of nights. She came on Sunday so we had our family dinner on Monday. Mary, my younger daughter who lives with me, had to work. Fortunately, she worked early so was able to be home for dinner. Unfortunately, she began feeling feverish Sunday night and by the time she got home from work on Monday, she didn't feel up to eating much.

I'd been cooking all day. I usually try to get some things prepared the day before, but what with one thing and another (cleaning!), I didn't. We stay pretty traditional with our holiday meals, but some of that tradition is very English. Dinner was roast turkey, stuffing with sausage (casserole), roast potatoes and parsnips (covered in butter/marmite), roast carrots and yams (in an herbed oil), cauliflower and broccoli, and home made apple sauce and gravy. Apple crumble and custard for dessert. Yum!

I was also supposed to skype with my son and his family (in Washington) but we didn't get to it. We keep saying we will do this skype thing, but it never happens. Either things get too busy on this end or his internet's down. So today, actual Thanksgiving Day, I hope the stars are aligned and I'm able to see and spend time with my son and his family.

Late on Monday we learned of the violence breaking out in Oakland, uncomfortably close to where Elizabeth lives and works. I have no opinion on the right or wrong of the actual incident - I am completely unqualified to judge the tragedy that incited the violence - but empathize with the feelings of outrage, oppression, helplessness. I don't empathize with the violence, property damage, and fear the "protestors" are subjecting innocent local people and businesses to. That's not the way to gather support for anything. You become the thing you hate and are despised and mistrusted in return. Where's the sense in that? I was glad that Elizabeth was right here with me, but I had to take her home, a small minority member in her neighborhood, while violence was still happening just streets away. I'm always praying for her safety, but have never had so much cause.

The shame is that the genuine protestors are probably not the ones doing the damage. Just like the ridiculous mobs and vandalism after the Giants won the World Series. It's doubtful the real fans were a big part of that. It's opportunists taking advantage of any excuse to damage and steal the property of others. It's nothing to brag about or be applauded for. It doesn't matter how unjust the issue is. You're just hurting more of the people you claim to be protesting for. The people in your own neighborhood. Your family.

Which leads me back to Thanksgiving.

I am most thankful for my family. My three children. Life isn't always easy - can be downright brutal at times - and I have lots of other reasons to be thankful, but they are the most precious to me. I'm thankful everyday for them. Twenty-four-seven. We've been through a lot together. I want to be here for them; they are always there for me.

I'm thankful that after years and years of very hard times, things are going pretty well for everybody. My son spends most of his time being a full time dad and working on music and online business. My grandson, Odin, will be two early next year and is adorable and healthy. So is his lovely mom. Both my daughters just transferred to brand new stores (different stores, same company) and are guaranteed full time - no mean feat in this economy. The oldest is now a supervisor but both hope to work into management. I hope that, regardless of how they all earn a paycheck, they are able to exercise their creativity. They're all extremely talented, but also probably all affected, to one degree or another, by autism.

It's challenging, but I'm not complaining. I'm extremely thankful.

I'm also extremely thankful for the people who have taken interest in my writing and befriended me online. I don't really know you, but your opinions and support are important and encouraging to me. Thank you! And yes, Book Two really is coming. I promise.

So whether you have religious or cultural reasons to celebrate today, or don't celebrate at all, I wish you a peaceful day and hope you can focus on the things you can be thankful for. And as is my Thanksgiving blog tradition, here's some Switchfoot. Happy Thanksgiving from California!



Reviews for The Glister Journals: Bronze

More Glister Journals info at the book's website here: theglisterjournals.com

The Glister Journals: Bronze can be purchased through any bookseller, or purchase now at Amazon.com

Note: All original text and materials by or commissioned by B. B. Shepherd are copyright 2012-2014 to China Blue Publishing.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Gratitude Giveaway Hop

Gratitude Giveaway 2014

This is a simple giveaway to say THANK YOU to you, readers and followers. All you have to do is leave a short comment here letting me know how you're following - Facebook, Twitter, Google, Goodreads, blog, etc. My giveaway is for a $15.00 gift card to the book store of your choice. Thanks so much! (And please, don't leave your e-mail in the comments!)

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Reviews for The Glister Journals: Bronze

More Glister Journals info at the book's website here: theglisterjournals.com

The Glister Journals: Bronze can be purchased through any bookseller, or purchase now at Amazon.com

Note: All original text and materials by or commissioned by B. B. Shepherd are copyright 2012-2014 to China Blue Publishing.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Review: Cinder

It's been a while since I read these books, but as I hope to read Cress (the third book in the series) soon, and Fairest (the fourth book) is out in about three months, I figured I should get to it! Marissa Meyer's Lunar Chronicles series is set in a futuristic/alternative reality earth. Although the books are re-imaginings and intertwinings of very familiar fairy tales and characters (Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, Sleeping Beauty--at least the evil queen!) the settings and story lines are firmly in science fiction territory and YA accessible. Which is all kinds of awesome. I love Marissa's writing (with one exception - see Scarlet), her characterizations, and stories.

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

I wasn't initially drawn to this book. Much as I adore science fiction movies and shows, I'm not crazy about robots/androids/cyborgs/etc., so the cover actually put me off. I didn't want to start a book I already had doubts about (as far as liking the main character). Silly me.

First of all, I need to talk about Marissa's world. That's what drew me in and changed my mind as soon as I began reading. Due to my uncertainty, I got it from the library first. I was immediately thrown into a busy futuristic marketplace with a fusion of high and low technology and predominantly Asian atmosphere a la Whedon's Firefly (not as dark and brooding as Blade Runner). By the time I was halfway through the book I was sold on Marissa's writing and the series and had to have my own copy.

Linh Cinder is a part human, part robotic teen girl who works in the marketplace of New Beijing. She is famous for her expertise in mechanics and does a good trade there, helping to augment her family's meager income. That family is, of course, a step mother and two step sisters. They and all the residents of New Beijing are struggling to function and make a living through a deadly plague of unknown origin with no known cure.

As the story opens, she is tending the stall in the marketplace and brooding about her foot. She has outgrown it. The accident that left her in need of robotic parts happened when she was a small girl and she hasn't been able to find - or afford - replacement parts to keep up with her physical growth.

Enter Prince Kai. He has come to the marketplace, undercover, seeking her renowned expertise to repair a family droid. His reasons for secrecy, beyond not wanting to get mobbed by his adoring subjects, remains obscure for a while but makes sense later on. Her reason for hiding her foot - and her cyborg physiology - is the crush she has on him, just like every other female subject including her adorable android sidekick.

Hanging over all is the threat of invasion by the mysterious Lunar queen and her forces if diplomacy fails. And diplomacy insists on marriage.

Although I found some of the plot and back story (not necessarily related to the original fairy tale) a little predictable, I enjoyed the read immensely and look forward to the rest of the series.


Currently writing: TGJ Book 2 Chapter 27.

Listening: All of the musics.

Reading (finishing): Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater

Watching: Downton Abbey



Reviews for The Glister Journals: Bronze

More Glister Journals info at the book's website here: theglisterjournals.com

The Glister Journals: Bronze can be purchased through any bookseller, or purchase now at Amazon.com

Note: All original text and materials by or commissioned by B. B. Shepherd are copyright 2012-2014 to China Blue Publishing.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Spooktacular Giveaway Hop

Spooktacular Giveaway Hop

Welcome to the 2014 Spooktacular Giveaway Hop, hosted by I am a Reader, Not a Writer. This year 250+ bloggers are each giving away a prize valued at $10 or more. You have 17 full days to enter all the giveaways!

My giveaway is a $15 gift card to the online bookstore of your choice.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Each of these bloggers is hosting a giveaway as part of this hop.



Reviews for The Glister Journals: Bronze

More Glister Journals info at the book's website here: theglisterjournals.com

The Glister Journals: Bronze can be purchased through any bookseller, or purchase now at Amazon.com

Note: All original text and materials by or commissioned by B. B. Shepherd are copyright 2012-2014 to China Blue Publishing.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

$229 Kindle Fire Giveaway

Facebook and Twitter Blast Kindle Fire  

Twitter/Facebook Blast $229 Giveaway

A fabulous group of bloggers & authors have joined together to offer you 1 fabulous prize valued at $229. The winner of this giveaway will receive their choice of a $229 Amazon Gift Card or $229 Paypal Cash!   For all those who hate the long rafflecopters you should appreciate the fact that this one is much shorter. Just liking on facebook, following on twitter, a free entry and 2 options to share the giveaway make this much faster to enter.  

Win a Kindle Fire HDX, Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash ($229 value)

The winner will have the option of receiving a 7" Kindle Fire HDX (US Only - $229 Value)
  Or $229 Amazon.com Gift Card (International)
  Or $229 in Paypal Cash (International)
Each of these bloggers/authors/publishers paid to help sponsor this giveaway.   Sponsor List

I Am A Reader

Feed Your Reader

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A & E KIRK, YA Paranormal Authors

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Leisure Reads

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Megan Thomason, author of the daynight series

A Book Lover's Retreat

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Author Christie Anderson

Sarah Ballance

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Kai Strand

Lori's Reading Corner

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My Nook, Books & More

Jeannie Moon

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Sharon Bayliss

MyLadyWeb: Women's History & Women Authors

Aubrey Wynne: Romance Through The Ages

Michael Allan Scott

  Sign up to sponsor the next Group Giveaway here: http://www.iamareader.com/category/kindle-giveaway-sign-ups   Giveaway Details 1 winner will receive their choice of an all new Kindle Fire 7" HDX (US Only - $229 value), $229 Amazon Gift Card or $229 in Paypal Cash (International). Ends 10/26/14 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the participating authors & bloggers. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Reviews for The Glister Journals: Bronze

More Glister Journals info at the book's website here: theglisterjournals.com

The Glister Journals: Bronze can be purchased through any bookseller, or purchase now at Amazon.com

Note: All original text and materials by or commissioned by B. B. Shepherd are copyright 2012-2014 to China Blue Publishing.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

No Transmission

image

Well, this is embarassing. I had such high hopes of getting caught up on blog posts this weekend, but I'm currently sitting in my car just outside Target so I can use their guest internet account. Thursday afternoon my internet exploded. Well, more like quietly disappeared (just doesn't sound as dramatic). Of course, I contacted my provider. They worked through troubleshooting with me only to come to the conclusion that I needed a new modem. They said the one I had was outdated anyway. (“They” makes them sound like a collective, like The Borg. I was already beginning to think they were.)

So Friday after work, I got a new modem and called to activate it. No luck. (Failure to be assimilated).

“It must be your 'wall',” they said. “A technician will need to come out to check it.”

“And you'll charge me for that. Right?” (Resistance is futile.)

"Well, yes," they said.

"But I do not own the wall," I said. "The wall is not my responsibility. I haven't been mistreating, abusing, or misusing the wall. I fact, I haven't even touched the wall."

Then I felt a little guilty. Perhaps I've been neglecting my wall.

Anyway, for the moment I have no internet unless I go to Starbucks or sit in my car outside Target using their guest accounts. I do get e-mail and Twitter on my phone, but that's all. So if you try to contact me, I'm not ignoring you! I was supposed to have a giveaway up this weekend, too, but couldn't get things up and running fast enough. There are others on the horizon.

I did want to tell you that I am thrilled to be done with extensive revisions to the first half of Bronze which will temporarily be known as Part One. For those who haven't read it yet, Bronze is a very long read. Though no one has complained, and some even said they wished it was longer, I know it's too big to carry around easily. But the first half of it is very suitable to being a book in itself. In fact, I had originally contemplated releasing it as two books but, as it is my first novel, I decided against it. For reasons of size (more portable) and cost (smaller will cost less to produce, cost less for readers), I'm now thinking it's a really good idea since there will be a new edition. I'd really appreciate your opinion on this, whether you've read Bronze or not.

For those who have read the whole book already, Part One is through chapter eighteen - just after Allison's dad finds out about Gold and goes to confront the Calderas. It's almost exactly half way through the book. I figure, at that point you're either hooked and want to know what happens next, or not. So those who aren't, don't have to buy the second part (Dave's reaction and everything that follows) and those who do, hopefully will! It'll probably have it's own subtitle, too, as "Part One" and "Part Two" are incredibly boring.

I'm not sure when the new edition will be released or the exact form it will take, but it is finished. That means I am getting back to the second Glister Journals book (almost finished) and will continue the new revisions on the second half of Bronze. The new edition will be released, one way or another, before the Bronze soundtrack countdown and release of the new Glister Journals book. I'll keep you updated on that.

In the meantime and in spite of internet weirdness, I'll try to get some music and book posts done. And there are several moregiveaways coming, so stay in touch! I haven't been terribly impressed with anything new on the radio lately so I don't have a new music video, but I sure am looking forward to cooler weather and, hopefully, lots of precipitation. So from crispy brown and extremely thirsty California, I leave you with wishful thinking:

Currently writing: TGJ Book 2 Chapter 27.

Listening: All of the musics.

Reading (finishing): Lab Rat One by Andrea Host

Watching: Once Upon A Time (2) and Doctor Who (3)



Reviews for The Glister Journals: Bronze

More Glister Journals info at the book's website here: theglisterjournals.com

The Glister Journals: Bronze can be purchased through any bookseller, or purchase now at Amazon.com

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Note: All original text and materials by or commissioned by B. B. Shepherd are copyright 2012-2014 to China Blue Publishing.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Surfers Healing and an update

Hi everyone! I realize I haven't posted for a while and figured I'd better post something to let you know I'm still here! The second Glister Journals book is still coming but has been temporarily derailed while I revise Bronze into a leaner, shorter edition. It may even be in two parts (at least the paperback version) which will allow it to be cheaper and more portable. At least, that's the plan. The kindle version is no longer available, but the print editions will be available until the situation changes. More about that in the future. So if you haven't read it yet, I suggest waiting until the new edition is published. The second full novel will follow as quickly as possible! If you've already read Bronze, don't worry, the story and characters are exactly the same. I've mainly cut unnecessary words and description. The dialogue and heart of the story are still there!

If you are interested in autism spectrum disorder, especially from a female perspective, you may be interested in the more personal blog that I recently started, Lost and Found. I hope it will serve as one more positive, encouraging, and validating place for girls/women on the spectrum, who are often overlooked and left doubting everything. Still under construction, it welcomes guest posts, shared content, art, music, etc. of a positive or "this is the way it is" nature. Strictly "G" rated.

Some of you may follow The Glister Journals on Facebook, but for those who don't, I'm going to repost today's post here as it touches on a subject close to my heart. The Facebook page most often covers short, infrequent, and non-spammy posts of an equine or extreme sports nature and are usually completely separate from my blog posts.

More regular and book related posts are coming, I promise! For now, here's the Facebook post:

"I hope everyone's having a great weekend! We were awoken about three this morning by a lengthy, rolling earthquake. I hope everyone involved closer to the epicenter are okay!

In case you've never heard of them, I'd like to introduce you to a couple of little-known charities I hope to be more involved with in the future. We'll start with an awesome video from Surfers Healing. I'll post about the other next weekend.

If you've read The Glister Journals: Bronze, you may (or may not) realize that the main character, Allison, is a little different from most other girls. That difference is autism spectrum disorder. For her, the traits are mild, easily overlooked unless you experience them yourself or know what to look for. For the bronc-riding, dirt-biking, skating, surfer brothers, Dave and Chris Caldera, the difference is much more profound in their littlest brother.

Surfers Healing is a non-profit founded by ex-pro surfer Izzy Paskowitz and his wife Danielle, that "seeks to enhance the lives of kids with special needs, specifically those with autism," that teaches them to surf. The video says it all.""



Reviews for The Glister Journals: Bronze

More Glister Journals info and excerpts at the book's website here: theglisterjournals.com

The Glister Journals: Bronze can be purchased through any bookseller, or purchase now at Amazon.com

Note: All original text and materials by or commissioned by B. B. Shepherd are copyright 2012-2014 to China Blue Publishing.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Review: The Raven Boys

Time to get caught up with some reviews!

image_5

This is a little old now as I read The Raven Boys last summer, but as we're only in the middle of the series (the third of four books comes out this year) I guess it's not too late.

The Raven Boys is the first title in the Raven cycle by Maggie Stiefvater and is definitely one of my favorite books of the past few years. I like books that are both well-written and don't explain too much at the beginning, just dropping information here and there to let you piece things together, and such a book is The Raven Boys.

In fact, the beginning is very vague: Blue Sargent and someone we understand to be her aunt are sitting in a graveyard in the middle of the night, waiting. Waiting for what, exactly, isn't clear, but we're told that every St. Mark's Eve, Blue and her clairvoyant mother wait in the graveyard for the soon-to-be-dead spirits to walk by and whisper their names. Blue can't see or hear them but functions as an amplifier. In fact she often acts as amplifier for her mother, aunt, and the other women living in her home. It's this paranormal vagueness, the relationship of the female characters living at 300 Fox Way, and the way the paranormal is no big deal, just a part of everyday life--exciting at times and a headache at others, but rarely causing anxiety or stress--that reminded me of one of my all time favorite books, A Wrinkle In Time. It also reminded me of the movie Practical Magic (which I also love) in the way the characters interact. Win-win.

Apart from being extremely well-written - Maggie turns some wonderful phrases - it is otherwise unlike anything else I've ever read. And that's always a good thing too.

Blue is initially extremely annoyed then befriended by four boys, ‘Raven Boys’ from the local prep school, and is roped into their adventures trying to find the final resting place of an ancient Welsh king. The reasons for this search are also very vague, but it seems like a worthy quest, at least from the boys’ point of view, and they are all invested in it. Magic is involved, of course, and the boys soon discover that Blue, with her amplifying power, is very handy to have along. Romance is obviously in the future with a foreboding black cloud already hanging over it in the form of Blue's curse--that she will be the cause of her true love's death. There's a triangular shaped thing already in place too, but that’s to be expected, I suppose, and didn’t detract one bit from the pleasure I got from the story.

I absolutely loved this book. The characterizations were clear and not too clichéd, I loved the boys (especially Noah) and loved the quirky women of Blue’s household too. There were a few parts that were too vague, not well described enough, which made it hard to imagine, but the characters, plot, and strength of writing more than made up for it. I will definitely be reading this book again and am in for the whole series.

Highly recommended! with reservations about the sequel. Stay tuned.

This song's a little old now too, but the first time I heard it, it made me think of this book. (No the video has nothing to do with the story.)

Currently writing: TGJ Book 2 Chapter 26 (Yes - still - but almost done). Revisions through chapter 15.

Listening: Foster the People (review coming)

Reading: Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

Watching: Gilmore Girls Season 7



Reviews for The Glister Journals: Bronze

More Glister Journals info and excerpts at the book's website here: theglisterjournals.com

The Glister Journals: Bronze can be purchased through any bookseller, or purchase now at Amazon.com

Note: All original text and materials by or commissioned by B. B. Shepherd are copyright 2012-2014 to China Blue Publishing.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Freedom to Read Giveaway Hop

I am currently on vacation and working very hard to finish up my current novel. So far, so good! For those of you who have read and loved Bronze, I hope you will love the second book even more. I can't wait to release it!

In the meantime, let's have another giveaway! This hop is hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and Bookhounds. I am giving away a $15 gift card to the book store of your choice, and a paperback copy of my novel Bronze (The Glister Journals #1).

I have tried to make this easy for people already following me or The Glister Journals series in various places. If you're already a follower, you shouldn't have to do much except enter on the rafflecopter. If your name is the same on each entry, just leave an e-mail on one of them. I will verify winning entries, so no need to add again on Goodreads, etc. If you have any insight on how I can make this even easier for current followers, please let me know! Follow the links below to the other participating blogs.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Reviews for The Glister Journals: Bronze

More Glister Journals info and excerpts at the book's website here: theglisterjournals.com

The Glister Journals: Bronze can be purchased through any bookseller, or purchase now at Amazon.com

Note: All original text and materials by or commissioned by B. B. Shepherd are copyright 2012-2014 to China Blue Publishing.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Midsummer's Eve Giveaway Hop

Welcome to the Midsummer Eve's Giveaway Hop! This hop is hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer. I am giving away a $15 gift card to the book store of your choice, and a paperback copy of my novel Bronze (The Glister Journals #1). Follow the links below to the other participating blogs.

Good luck!

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Reviews for The Glister Journals: Bronze

More Glister Journals info and excerpts at the book's website here: theglisterjournals.com

The Glister Journals: Bronze can be purchased through any bookseller, or purchase now at Amazon.com

Note: All original text and materials by or commissioned by B. B. Shepherd are copyright 2012-2014 to China Blue Publishing.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Review: Mockingjay

Mockingjay

Death. Destruction. Mayhem. Just another day in Panem.

The rebels have taken a stand in every district with the exception of District 2 and the Capital. Katniss is reunited with Gale and her mother and sister in the (literally) underground District 13, but Peeta was not rescued. He is now in the Capital, but he's not the same.

This is the first time in I can't remember how long I felt that I HAD to read the end of a book, just to make sure somebody was okay. And not just "okay" but that the book ended satisfactorily. Now, cheating and reading the end of a book is close to sacrilege to me, like sneaking peeks at presents days before Christmas (no, I never have). I had become so invested in one particular character, however, that if they didn't make it, and if there wasn't closure, I was going to throw the book away. Seriously.

I found Mockingjay much harder to read than the first two books. I believed The Hunger Games and Catching Fire. I had a much harder time suspending disbelief for Mockingjay, but I'm not sure why. It felt a little too slow at the beginning, but once Katniss and the others began their forays out into the other districts, it didn't stop. One of the things I found most difficult to read were the continuous deaths.

There was plenty of death in the first two books, of course, but that was mostly individuals during the games. This is brutal war and torture. There is a LOT of violence in this book. It's not that it's too graphic--I didn't find it any more graphic than the others--but it just seemed over the top to me, and at one point Ms. Collins was killing off so many characters that I had a suspicion that EVERYBODY was going to die. It seemed to be heading in that direction. Which is why I had to cheat.

If you loved the first two books (which I did), of course you must read this one. If you struggled through them because of the violence, this one's worse. Was it worth reading? Absolutely, and I'll read the trilogy again. But not for a while. And yes, I'm looking forward to the movie immensely!

I had been holding off writing this review hoping for a real movie trailer, but there is none yet. (I'll come back and add it later.) In the meantime, Radioactive by Imagine Dragons always reminds me of The Hunger Games in general (the lyrics, not the video) so I will leave you with that for now.

And now there's at least a teaser!



Reviews for The Glister Journals: Bronze

More Glister Journals info and excerpts at the book's website here: theglisterjournals.com

The Glister Journals: Bronze can be purchased through any bookseller, or purchase now at Amazon.com

Note: All original text and materials by or commissioned by B. B. Shepherd are copyright 2012-2014 to China Blue Publishing.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Children's Book Week Giveaway Hop

Children's Book Week Hop

Children's Book Week Giveaway Hop

May 12th – 18th

Hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer, YA Romantics, and Tressa’s Wishful Endings.

About Children's Book Week:

Children’s Book Week is the annual celebration of books for young people and the joy of reading. Established in 1919, Children’s Book Week is the longest-running national literacy initiative in the country. Every year, commemorative events are held nationwide at schools, libraries, bookstores, homes – wherever young readers and books connect!

For more information visit: http://www.bookweekonline.com/

My giveaway for Children's Book Week is a $15.00 gift card of your choice and a paperback copy of Bronze (The Glister Journals #1) US/CAN only.

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Reviews for The Glister Journals: Bronze

More Glister Journals info and excerpts at the book's website here: theglisterjournals.com

The Glister Journals: Bronze can be purchased through any bookseller, or purchase now at Amazon.com

Note: All original text and materials by or commissioned by B. B. Shepherd are copyright 2012-2014 to China Blue Publishing.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Looking ahead to summer . . . and a soundtrack clue

Salinas Rodeo Horses

Summer's just around the corner and it's a good thing! The Glister Journals Book 2 is coming along, but not fast enough for my liking. I'm a music educator and I absolutely love my job--music and kids, how awesome is that? But sometimes I can't help wishing I could just write full time. Then things would get done in a more reasonable amount of time! Many days I get no writing done at all. Sometimes I'm just too exhausted. Sometimes I'm too distracted. Book 2 chapters are now going out to critique partners and Betas, which is very exciting, but it's still going to be a while before the book is completely finished.

If you are actively trying to guess the songs, please let me know! It's difficult to tell if anyone's paying attention at all. The soundtrack page of the website gets plenty of traffic, but that's not necessarily people really interested in it. For that reason, I'm going to make this the last clue for a while. There's not much more I can say without just giving things away anyway, and where's the fun or challenge in that? When the book is ready to launch - cover and title revealed - I'll post at least one more clue before opening the contest for entries.

Things coming up in the summer months:

The California High School Rodeo State Finals are in June and I plan on going. It's a long way but I've never been to the finals before. I wish I could go to the nationals in Wyoming. Maybe another year! The Salinas Rodeo is in July and I may also go to that. The picture above was taken last year there. :)

Later in the summer I'll be heading north to Washington to visit family. This time I plan to take an extended trip and check out some areas I've wanted to explore, especially the Olympic Peninsula.

I'll probably also take a trip down to Hollywood to visit my aunt. I've been wanting to visit old neighborhoods and childhood haunts like Santa Monica Pier, Griffith Park, and Venice Beach too. I was hoping to take a riding trip this summer - Colorado perhaps - but will have to put it off for now.

I'll have posts on those trips and hopefully lots of pictures of horses, ocean, forests, etc. More music and book reviews on the way too.

So I plan to be busy. Very busy. But what else is new? In the meantime, here is May's clue:

    Clue 11. The first chapter's song is by my absolute favorite band (as of today and for about the past eight years).
    You'll find the band (not the song) mentioned here (somewhere) on my blog (use the search for "favorite band"--it'll narrow it down) and on Pinterest. The actual song fits Allison perfectly! If you understand autism at all, the title may jump out at you.

So what are your plans for the summer? Going anywhere special? Doing anything exciting? I'd love to hear about it!

Currently writing: TGJ Book 2 - Chapter 26

Listening to: Nickel Creek

Reading: The Moon Dwellers by David Estes

Watching: Gilmore Girls Season Six



Reviews for The Glister Journals: Bronze

More Glister Journals info and excerpts at the book's website here: theglisterjournals.com

The Glister Journals: Bronze can be purchased through any bookseller, or purchase now at Amazon.com

Note: All original text and materials by or commissioned by B. B. Shepherd are copyright 2012-2014 to China Blue Publishing.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Review: Catching Fire

Catching Fire

Katniss is back in District 12 and trying to settle into the Victor's Village. Although Peeta lives nearby, she never sees him, and her relationship with Gale has drastically changed. She's trying to figure out how to carry on when she becomes aware of the unrest growing among some, maybe all of the other districts. And she and Peeta are probably to blame. President Snow makes it very clear that, while on their upcoming Victory Tour, they will need to be convincingly in love. And not just convincing to the public; convincing to him.

The tour does not go as smoothly as planned and rumors of rebellion are growing. Soon it's time for the next Hunger Games, but this time it's special, a seventy-fifth anniversary: the Quarter Quell. Katniss and Peeta should only have to be sponsors, but all the old rules are off. This time, everyone is agreed; Peeta must survive.

At first I thought this was going to drag, the beginning, back in District 12, seemed to take time to get going. But it didn't. Especially once "The Tour" kicked in, it was non-stop drama (the good kind) and action. And this book completely sold me on Peeta. In the Hunger Games, I wasn't too attached to either guy, but I was in complete agreement that, if anyone was to survive, it had to be Peeta. Of course things couldn't be that simple and Peeta has his own ideas.

In Catching Fire we meet new characters and have to live through another arena spectacle. This one certainly has a twist though and will have you reaching for the next book. I'd have it on hand if I were you. I was stubbornly waiting for the paperback to come out.

As for the movie, I wondered how they were going to do some of it, how much would they have to change. There was so much in the book, they couldn't possibly fit it all in. But once again, I thought the movie was amazing. The only thing I was aware of missing was Peeta's paintings. For the tour, they're supposed to exhibit their "talents." Katniss doesn't have any beyond her hunting prowess and "borrows" from Cinna. But Peeta is an artist. I would have liked to see that explored a little. And I don't think there was anything in either movie about the Avoxes, but I guess they have to cut something. I'm not complaining.



Reviews for The Glister Journals: Bronze

More Glister Journals info and excerpts at the book's website here: theglisterjournals.com

The Glister Journals: Bronze can be purchased through any bookseller, or purchase now at Amazon.com

Note: All original text and materials by or commissioned by B. B. Shepherd are copyright 2012-2014 to China Blue Publishing.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Review: The Hunger Games

Hunger Games

Yes, I'm extremely late to the party, I know, but I'm going to weigh in on this series anyway. I'll just go ahead and credit this book with fueling my new interest in young adult literature and I don't mean that in a genre sense. I've tried reading some of the traditionally published 'genre,' and have been severely underwhelmed to the point that I can't bear to waste time finishing them. Nothing had really impressed me since Harry Potter. But this book--indeed, as I'm finished with the final book I can say the whole series--is so well written, well paced, and with such strong characters, I want to read anything Suzanne Collins has written no matter the genre or target age group. It is also the first book I've read in first-person present tense that I thoroughly enjoyed. I generally don't care for it as it's seldom well-done, but as I said, the writing is so strong, it could be in any voice and I'd love it. I also need to say that I have since found other authors/books in this category well worth reading, but I'll review them later.

I doubt if many people are ignorant of the premise for the story, but if you're here seeking out a review at this point, perhaps you are: In a brutal future United States where the privileged few live extravagantly and wastefully in the "Capitol," the average citizen lives in one of twelve districts. Each district has it's specialty--mining, cattle, agriculture, etc.--but most barely scratch out an existence while the best of everything is sent to the Capitol. Why don't they rebel? Well, once upon a time there were thirteen districts. 13 rebelled and 13 no longer exists--at least as far as anyone knows. To commemorate the occasion and remind the districts of what can happen again, each district gives up one boy and one girl each year to the Hunger Games, a brutal arena free-for-all where only one winner can survive. Katniss Everdeen, something of a tough loner who would do anything for her sister, becomes the girl for District 12.

The Hunger Games is certainly brutal and violent but not over the top. Some parts were unpleasant but never so graphic as to make me want to skip parts (I have my limits for blood and guts). The violence is a part of the story and propels it forward. Yes, there is certainly a love story, but it never becomes too sentimental or steamy. It's a very clean read in that perspective which I liked. The motives for everything, including the love interest, is what I found the most appealing.

And I'm glad that I read the book first, but the movie is truly excellent. Considering I had read it recently, I wasn't aware of anything important missing and felt myself right back in the story. That's pretty amazing. It sets just the right tone at the beginning, the rural and impoverished District 12 looking like something out of 1940s Appalachia. In contrast, the Capitol is all high tech, high fashion, and wanton wastefulness. Presiding over all, though not conspicuous is the president of Panem, Snow, well played by Donald Sutherland. I don't like Donald Sutherland, never have, but kudos to the casting directors. He's perfect. Actually that's one of the best things about the movie--its cast. They nailed it. Even Lenny Kravitz as Cinna is perfect. No, really! If they ever make a movie/movies out of my series, I want them to cast it. (I can dream!)

Ultimate verdict? Go see the movie, but read the book first!



Reviews for The Glister Journals: Bronze

More Glister Journals info and excerpts at the book's website here: theglisterjournals.com

The Glister Journals: Bronze can be purchased through any bookseller, or purchase now at Amazon.com

Note: All original text and materials by or commissioned by B. B. Shepherd are copyright 2012-2014 to China Blue Publishing.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Happy Birthday Buu (and April Soundtrack Clue)

Just a short post . . .

Almost five years ago (we think...time goes by so fast) we adopted a little white ball of fluff and named him Buu. We weren't sure of his actual birthday so decided April 1st was probably close enough. He's part Siamese part American shorthair, otherwise known as Colorpoint or Flame point. He's a real goof ball, very talkative, and a snuggle bunny...er, kitty. He gives kisses and high fives, plays dead, and lets us dress him up. Our lives have been so enriched by him. I promise not to post too much about him, but he might turn up here and there. Fair warning.

So, on to the April soundtrack clue. To narrow the possibilities down a little more:

    10. Eight of the songs were released before 2000. The oldest song is from 1976.
    Most of these are fairly well-known I think. Some are definitely classics.

How are you doing so far? I'm not trying to make this too hard, but I'm not completely giving it away either. Let me know if there's a certain kind of clue you'd like. I'll try to oblige!

Full soundtrack clues (so far) can be found on the Glister Journals soundtrack page

In case you missed the previous post, the Fool for Books giveaway is on until April 7.

Currently writing: TGJ Book 2--Chapter 1 and 25

Listening to: Tired Ponies

Reading: Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

Watching: Gilmore Girls Season Five; The 13th Warrior



Reviews for The Glister Journals: Bronze

More Glister Journals info and excerpts at the book's website here: theglisterjournals.com

The Glister Journals: Bronze can be purchased through any bookseller, or purchase now at Amazon.com

Note: All original text and materials by or commissioned by B. B. Shepherd are copyright 2012-2014 to China Blue Publishing.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Fool For Books Giveaway Hop

Fool-for-Books

Welcome to the Fool for Books Giveaway Hop hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer! I am celebrating Spring and life in general. No joke!

Book 2 of The Glister Journals is closer to being finished and the The Glister Journals website has a new look. I'd love for you to stop by and check it out. The button for the second book will begin working as soon as the title and cover are revealed. I still have things to add, but would appreciate any feedback. Is something missing? Was something not working? Is there something you'd like to see added? Please feel free to leave me a note here or on the website's contact page. Thanks!

For this giveaway I'm giving a $25 Amazon giftcard and a paperback copy of Bronze, first novel in my contemporary YA lit series. Good luck!

“We all make assumptions every day. Some more important than others. Some more damaging than others. And things, very often, are not at all what they seem.”

Allison Anderson is a normal but not exactly average fourteen year old girl. She knows she’s a little different, but it hadn’t bothered her too much—until now. Moving away from everything she has ever known to a new house, new neighborhood, and new school is bad enough but it’s her first year of high school too. She’s more aware of her social and physical limitations than ever before. And then there are the new people she meets: the tough-looking girl in her home room; the cute but dangerous-looking boy she first saw before school even started; the quiet, older girl who keeps to herself; the sullen-looking, seemingly isolated junior that doesn’t seem to trust or like her at all. Can they be friends? She’s been the victim of bullying in the past; can she trust them? While her peaceful new home only amplifies her doubts, she begins to learn that things are not always what they seem. Her world is turned upside-down by these and other new friends, two-legged and otherwise. Life soon becomes more complicated, and much more interesting!

*EDIT*

Wow you guys! Thanks for the great participation and for following me here, there, and everywhere! I'm so happy, I decided to spread the love around and give two prizes instead of one. I can't do it ALL the time, but you never know . . .

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Reviews for The Glister Journals: Bronze

More Glister Journals info and excerpts at the book's website here: theglisterjournals.com

The Glister Journals: Bronze can be purchased through any bookseller, or purchase now at Amazon.com

Note: All original text and materials by or commissioned by B. B. Shepherd are copyright 2012-2014 to China Blue Publishing.

Friday, March 7, 2014

March update . . .

Apologies for being late with this month's soundtrack clue. I'm having severe computer issues and unable to access the internet at the moment through my own computer. This makes online life pretty difficult! It looks like I'll have to buy a new one which I was really hoping I wouldn't have to do yet, but if it shuts down completely, I'm sunk! I haven't been online much anyway as I really am writing, transcribing, and revising like crazy! (Plus working, of course.) I've already gone past my original (self-imposed) deadline so am working extra hard to get everything done as quickly as possible. With lots of help from my most severe critic, of course....

Buu offering literary advice

The good news is, I am moving into beta-reader stage and will be sending first chapters out soon. Book cover should be coming along soon too. Yay!

So, on to this month's clue. Since the past couple have been a bit vague, I'll give you something more concrete this month.

    CLUE #9 Some of the artists represented in the soundtrack can be found on my Pinterest "Music" board.
    Not all the artists are there, but the board represents some of my favorite artists and the kinds of music I listen to most.

I hope that helps! Updates will be a bit slow until my computer issues are solved, but I still have book and music reviews to do so I'll try to post again soon!

Listening to:

Writing: The Glister Journals, Book 2: Chapter 24

Reading: Mockingjay

Watching: Gilmore Girls Season 4



Reviews for The Glister Journals: Bronze

More Glister Journals info and excerpts at the book's website here: theglisterjournals.com

The Glister Journals: Bronze can be purchased through any bookseller, or purchase now at Amazon.com

Note: All original text and materials by or commissioned by B. B. Shepherd are copyright 2012-2014 to China Blue Publishing.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Rodeo Girls and Reality

Barrel Racer

I took this picture at a high school rodeo several years ago. Unfortunately I don't know the name of the girl or the horse, but I love this photo; the giving on both sides of this partnership: the rider's touch, the horse's responsive attention and obvious effort yet calm expression.

I don't watch television anymore. I watch movies and series that I've bought or borrowed, but only what I really want. When we moved to our present location I decided to not hook up the cable even though we do actually pay for it. It was (and still is) a question of time management. It was too easy to just flip the thing on and veg. Now I have to consciously do it and decide what to watch. No more flipping. It was cheaper to pay for both TV and internet than internet alone (which is annoying). Most of the time the TV stays off and I get a lot more done! Most of my knowledge about what is current on the boob-tube comes from sources on the internet, so I was surprised (and then revolted) to hear about a show called Rodeo Girls.

Now you'd think, considering the themes of my novel series and the interests of the main characters, that I would have been overjoyed. A show highlighting rodeo, equestrian sport, barrel racing in particular? But A&E apparently thought (for some demented reason) that a show with Real Housewives type 'reality' on a rodeo circuit would be a good idea.

Gag.

I found out about it through an online horse magazine, Horse Nation, and you can read their article here.

It's so maddening. It bears no relation to the average horsewoman, barrel racer or otherwise, nor what the sport is really like and about. Barrel racing (like other equine sports) is about the connection and communication between horse and rider; it's about the partnership. And yes, it's also about competition. It's about courage and hard work. And, usually, it's about good horsemanship AND sportsmanship.

This is a show created by (and apparently specifically for) a woman with more money, hair, and botox than wit. I wouldn't bother posting about it at all except it struck a chord too close to my heart. If you are not rodeo, equestrian sport, or even just horse savvy, please ignore this show. It is NOT representative of anything realistic. At least, nothing I've seen, and I've lived quite a long time.

Much better (with no big hair and botox and MUCH more actual horse) is this adorable video created in response. So in case you don't know better, THIS is what it's really all about.

He he . . . this was this fastest post I've ever written. :)

Writing: The Glister Journals, Book 2: Chapter 23

Reading: The Iron King

Listening to: Walk Off the Earth

Watching: Buffy



Reviews for The Glister Journals: Bronze

More Glister Journals info and excerpts at the book's website here: theglisterjournals.com

The Glister Journals: Bronze can be purchased through any bookseller, or purchase now at Amazon.com

Note: All original text and materials by or commissioned by B. B. Shepherd are copyright 2012-2014 to China Blue Publishing.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Romance Is In the Air

Romance Is In the Air

This giveaway can be entered at my Wordpress blog!



Reviews for The Glister Journals: Bronze

More Glister Journals info and excerpts at the book's website here: theglisterjournals.com

The Glister Journals: Bronze can be purchased through any bookseller, or purchase now at Amazon.com

Note: All original text and materials by or commissioned by B. B. Shepherd are copyright 2012-2014 to China Blue Publishing.

Monday, February 3, 2014

February update...

Well, here's me falling down on the job again. I had meant to get a couple of posts out before the end of January, but I have been writing. In fact, besides actually working, all I've been doing is writing. I want to get this book (the second Glister Journals book) out as soon as I can. So, sorry I haven't been around much. I hope to still get some book and music reviews out soon and I've got a Retro Thursday lined up when I can get to it.

In the mean time, here's the Bronze Soundtrack clue for February:

    CLUE #8 There are no jazz, hip-hop, or rap songs.

Not a big clue, I know, but it might narrow it down for you. And I hope that doesn't disappoint too many people!

Next week I'll be posting a giveaway for Valentine's Day which happens to be the birthday, the first publication date, of Bronze and The Glister Journals series. I had originally hoped to have the second book published on Valentine's Day too, but that's obviously not going to happen and I don't want to wait until next year! I still can't give a firm date for release, but I'm hoping I can still get it out in the first half of this year. Thanks for hanging in there with me. I'm working hard!

The Glister Journals #2: Chapter 22. Word count: imposing.

Reading Scarlet

Listening to Bastille.



Reviews for The Glister Journals: Bronze

More Glister Journals info and excerpts at the book's website here: theglisterjournals.com

The Glister Journals: Bronze can be purchased through any bookseller, or purchase now at Amazon.com

Note: All original text and materials by or commissioned by B. B. Shepherd are copyright 2012-2014 to China Blue Publishing.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

No Strings Attached Giveaway Hop

Welcome to the No Strings Attached Giveaway Hop, hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer! As the name implies, you don't have to follow, tweet, or otherwise jump through hoops--just leave a comment with a way to contact you in case you're a winner. (Personal info and links won't be publicly posted.)

For this giveaway I'm giving away a $15 Amazon gift card (enough for at least one book of your choice!) and a paperback copy of my YA/Lit novel Bronze. This giveaway is open through January 21st. Good luck!

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