Glistering: B's Blog - The Glister Journals, outsights, and infrequent flashes of brilliance

Contests/Giveaways

November 14, 2014

Gratitude Giveaway Hop

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This is a simple giveaway to say THANK YOU to you, readers and followers. All you have to do is leave a short comment on my Blogspot blog 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!



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

Reviews for The Glister Journals: Bronze

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

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

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Reading,Recommendations

November 2, 2014

Review: Cinder

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It’s been a while since I read these books, but as I hope to read Cress (the third book in the series) when the paperback comes out, 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



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

Reviews for The Glister Journals: Bronze

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

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

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Contests/Giveaways

October 14, 2014

Spooktacular Giveaway Hop

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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. Enter on my Blogspot blog



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

Reviews for The Glister Journals: Bronze

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

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

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Contests/Giveaways,The Glister Journals

September 23, 2014

$229 Kindle Fire Giveaway

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Facebook and Twitter Blast Kindle Fire

This giveaway may be entered from my Glistering: B’s Blog over at Blogspot.

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!

 



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

Reviews for The Glister Journals: Bronze

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

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

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General Update,Reading,The Glister Journals,Writing

September 20, 2014

No Transmission

Well, this is embarrassing. 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 just disappeared (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 Star Trek’s 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?”

“Well, yes,” they said. (Resistance is futile.)

“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. In 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 of you 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)



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

Reviews for The Glister Journals: Bronze

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

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

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General Update,The Glister Journals,Worthy Causes,Writing

August 24, 2014

Surfers Healing and an update.

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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 in the morning by a lengthy earthquake. I hope everyone involved closer to the center 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.”



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

Reviews for The Glister Journals: Bronze

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

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

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Reading,Recommendations

July 16, 2014

Review: The Raven Boys

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Time to get caught up with some reviews!

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.

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



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

Reviews for The Glister Journals: Bronze

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

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

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Contests/Giveaways,Reading,The Glister Journals

July 2, 2014

Freedom to Read Giveaway

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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. Please enter and follow the linky on my blogger. 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. 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 (on my Blogger) to the other participating blogs.

Good luck!



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

Reviews for The Glister Journals: Bronze

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

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

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Contests/Giveaways,Reading,The Glister Journals,Writing

June 21, 2014

Midsummer’s Eve Giveaway Hop

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Welcome to the Midsummer Eve’s Giveaway Hop! This hop is hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and may be followed on my blogger. 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). Good luck!



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

Reviews for The Glister Journals: Bronze

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

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

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Reading,Recommendations

June 18, 2014

Review: Mockingjay

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Mockingjay

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

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!



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

Reviews for The Glister Journals: Bronze

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

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

Share