Unbranded

Soon after I turned thirteen, my dad and I moved to England. We had originally come from there but, apart from a visit when I was six years old, I’d grown up in California. My mother stayed in California to continue working until my dad found employment. In the meantime, we lived with my dad’s mom. But that’s another story. From the time I was thirteen until our return to California when I was eighteen, I was terribly homesick, in spite of the many cool things about living in England. As an undiagnosed autistic teen, it was probably even harder for me than it would have been for someone else, but I won’t go into that here. My point is that there were many things I did to alleviate my distress, one of them being to write (among other things, beginning the first incarnation of a certain story) and another was to plot a trip.

By the time I was fifteen I was planning all kinds of ways to get back to California, all of them completely impractical to impossible. But one idea kept me happy and busy – planning a horseback trip from New York to California. This was in the days Before The Internet (yes, such a time really existed) and all I had was a huge National Geographic United States state by state atlas (which I think I still have in storage somewhere) and a ton of imagination. I plotted a course, as much as I could, from somewhere in New York to just east of Los Angeles (where we had previously been living), avoiding all the big cities, and traveling between water sources.

Thursday night I got to go see the indie film Unbranded. I was very excited about this movie from the moment I heard about it for a lot of reasons.

Mustangs. I’ve always had an interest in Mustangs and follow the problems, events, and legislation that affect them.

Though I prefer fantasy/sci-fi now, growing up, my favorite movie/TV genre was Westerns, and I still have a very soft spot for them.

But the the idea of four guys, modern cowboys (recent Texas A&M grads), taking this journey from Mexico to Canada was thrilling. I had to see it.



This is a fabulous film. The photography is stunningly beautiful and is accompanied by a wonderful score. It’s worth the ticket just to go on this journey through Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming and Montana – some of the most gorgeous landscape in the world. Just watching it brought a lump to my throat and made me feel proud (even though I’m not technically American). There were also plenty of laughs, many gasps, some sadness, and a few hearty cheers.

But I really appreciated how they wove into the narrative facts from both sides of the Mustang story – both from the BLM’s and activists’ perspectives – and I hope more people will gain an understanding of the actual issues surrounding them. Should we protect them? Undoubtedly. Do they need management? Unquestionably. It’s finding the best way of doing it that poses problems for both sides. I sincerely hope this film and the interest it engenders spurs positive results, or at least a new perspective to work from.

Who would like this film? Anyone who loves adventure, gorgeous landscape, and/or anything to do with the American West. And, of course, horses. I’ve already ordered a DVD for myself. It’s definitely something I will watch many times.

Go see it!



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

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 2012-2015 B B Shepherd and China Blue Publishing.

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2015 – A Look Ahead

Happy New Year everyone! This is just a quick update and look forward to 2015.

First of all, I’ve been having issues with formatting and posts (and parts of posts) disappearing from this blog, so the first thing I’ll be doing is completely reloading and reformatting here. I’m not sure how long that takes, but should have things in order before the first giveaway of the year.

Which is the second thing, yes! I will be continuing with giveaways throughout 2015. There will be regular gift card and book giveaways, of course. I’ll have a music one coming up soon. I’ll also be giving away copies of the new edition of Bronze when it’s ready and, of course, TGJ Book 2 as soon as it’s released.

The last chapters of The Glister Journals 2 are taking me some time, though I’m not sure why. It should be completely finished in the first part of this year. I am looking into different publishing options, so I’m not sure exactly how that’s happening yet. These choices could affect the cover and title, so I’m still keeping those to myself. The picture above, by the way, gives some clues to Book 2. Any ideas?

Bronze has been getting an overhaul, editing for length (shorter) and I’m considering a different cover. Any thoughts about that?

The soundtrack contest is still on and waiting to be launched. The grand prize is at $200.00 right now, though I expect to add to that soon. It will be open for entries when Book 2 is ready to get sent out for early reviews, so if you’ve read Bronze and are figuring out the songs, stay close. I’ll publicize the starting date as widely and loudly as I can! If you aren’t aware of the contest, you can read about it and find the clues here.

I expect to begin writing in earnest on Book 3 by mid to late spring.

Personally, apart from finishing writing projects, I want nothing more than to try to get fit and begin riding again. After a very long time not riding, I had a horse a few years ago, but it didn’t work out – physically or financially. My heart and brain retain my love and knowledge, but my body has lost the strength, balance, and even some of the muscle memory required to ride the way I want to. So if I can get my body back in good enough shape, especially core and leg strength and flexibility, I’ll find someone to start training with and go from there. I may never be able to actually own my own horse again, but I’ll never completely give up on wanting to ride!

What are your plans for 2015?

Currently writing: TGJ Book 2 Chapter 28.

Listening: Foo Fighters – Sonic Highway

Reading: Caszandra by Andrea Host and Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Watching: Mockingjay Pt 1 and Harry Potter (all of them)



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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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.

http://youtu.be/0-xeNRwsnuc

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:

Watching: Buffy



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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The Bronze Tour…continued

bronze

The Bronze Kindle tour is underway and will be on until October 25th with a new $25.00 giveaway too. Thank you so much to everyone who has followed me on Twitter, Facebook, and added Bronze to your shelves on Goodreads. I really do appreciate it and hope you get a chance to read it. Check out the Spooktacular Blog Hop Giveaway too. I’m giving away a $25 Amazon gift card and a signed copy of Bronze.

Make sure to stop by the tour kick-off at Kathy’s site or The Glister Journals Website to learn about the Bronze soundtrack, a musical puzzle to solve. (And yes, there will be great prizes!) The following links will become active as the posts go live. I hope you’ll come along and appreciate my gracious hosts by following their blogs. And I’d love to hear from you!

October 14th

I Am A Reader, Not A Writer – Tour Kick-Off: The Bronze Soundtrack

Kelly’s Lucky You – Bronze Spotlight

Christy’s Cozy Corners – Bronze Review

October 15th

Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews – Excerpt (Snow Day) and Character Interview: Allison

fuonlyknew – Bronze Spotlight and Excerpt: First Encounters Part One

Bookmarks, Spoilers and Happily Ever After – Bronze Spotlight and Excerpt (Snow Day)

October 16th

Spellbindings – Guest Post: Assumptions, Titles, and Judging Books By Their Covers

My Devotional Thoughts – Guest Post: My Top Ten Re-watchable (PG-13 or under) Movies

From the Bootheel Cotton Patch – Bronze Spotlight

Sweeping Me – Bronze Spotlight

October 17th

The Write Game – Character Interview: Robin

Every Free Chance Book Reviews – Author Interview

Wondermom Wannabe – Bronze Review

A Blog Hop Place for Books – Bronze Spotlight

October 18th

Sarah’s Reviews – Guest Post: My Writing Journey

Pieces of Whimsy – Bronze Spotlight

Reviews by Karen – Bronze Spotlight

Gustosa Giveaways – Bronze Spotlight

October 19th

Victoria Simcox’s Blog – Bronze Spotlight

Mythical Books – Guest Post: The Difference

Cuzinlogic – Author Interview

October 20th

Books Are Love – Bronze Excerpts:

    Excerpts and Sketches: The Boys (Dave and Chris)

    Excerpts and Sketches: The Girls (Robin and Melanie)

    Excerpt: First Encounters Part Two (Gold)

October 21st

Books are Love – Bronze Review

Katie’s Clean Book Collection – Bronze Spotlight

3 Partner’s in Shopping – Bronze Spotlight

October 23rd

Simply Infatuated – Tens List: Riding Adventures

Peace from Pieces – Author Interview

Beck Valley Books – Bronze Spotlight

October 25th

Taking Time for Mommy – Author Interview

Rose & Beps Blog – Bronze Spotlight

Cici’s Theories – Bronze Spotlight



All original text and materials by or commissioned by B. B. Shepherd are copyright 2012-2013 to China Blue Publishing.

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

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Spooktacular Blog Hop

Spooktacular Hop 2013

Yes I know my book tour has just started, but this seemed like so much fun and I never get to do anything for Halloween! Since I doubt I will dress up and go out, I’ll give something away instead! A $15.00 Amazon gift card and a signed (and Personalized if you like) paperback copy of Bronze. This blog hop giveaway is open until October 31st.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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The Glister Journals: Bronze Tour

bronze

I’m so happy and excited to announce the start of the Bronze Kindle tour today. It will be on until October 25th with a new $25.00 giveaway too. Thank you so much to everyone who has followed me on Twitter, Facebook, and added Bronze to your shelves on Goodreads. I really do appreciate it and hope you get a chance to read it.

Make sure to stop by the tour kick-off at Kathy’s site to learn about the Bronze soundtrack, a musical puzzle to solve. (And yes, there are prizes.) The following links will become active as the posts go live. I hope you’ll come along and appreciate my gracious hosts by following their blogs. And I’d love to hear from you!

October 14th

I Am A Reader, Not A Writer – Tour Kick-Off: The Bronze Soundtrack

Kelly’s Lucky You – Bronze Spotlight

Christy’s Cozy Corners – Bronze Review

October 15th

Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews – Excerpt (Snow Day) and Character Interview: Allison

fuonlyknew – Bronze Spotlight and Excerpt: First Encounters Part One

Bookmarks, Spoilers and Happily Ever After – Bronze Spotlight and Excerpt (Snow Day)

Deal Sharing Aunt – Bronze Review

October 16th

Spellbindings – Guest Post: Assumptions, Titles, and Judging Books By Their Covers

My Devotional Thoughts – Guest Post: My Top Ten Re-watchable (PG-13 or under) Movies

From the Bootheel Cotton Patch – Bronze Spotlight

Sweeping Me – Bronze Spotlight

October 17th

The Write Game – Character Interview: Robin

Every Free Chance Book Reviews – Author Interview

Wondermom Wannabe – Bronze Review

A Blog Hop Place for Books – Bronze Spotlight

October 18th

Sarah’s Reviews – Guest Post: My Writing Journey

Pieces of Whimsy – Bronze Spotlight

Reviews by Karen – Bronze Spotlight

Gustosa Giveaways – Bronze Spotlight

October 19th

Victoria Simcox’s Blog – Bronze Spotlight

Mythical Books – Guest Post: The Difference

Cuzinlogic – Author Interview

October 21st

Books are Love – Bronze Review

Katie’s Clean Book Collection – Bronze Spotlight

3 Partner’s in Shopping – Bronze Spotlight

October 23rd

Simply Infatuated – Tens List: Riding Adventures

Peace from Pieces – Author Interview

Beck Valley Books – Bronze Spotlight

October 25th

Taking Time for Mommy – Author Interview

Rose & Beps Blog – Bronze Spotlight

Cici’s Theories – Bronze Spotlight



All original text and materials by or commissioned by B. B. Shepherd are copyright 2012-2013 to China Blue Publishing.

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 chapters at the book’s website here: theglisterjournals.com

The first chapters can also be read here at the top of my blog. (and also in a menu in the sidebar!)

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Added Bronze Chapters at The Glister Journals

EDIT:The Glister Journals website no longer has chapters, but the first chapters can be read through the “look inside” feature on Amazon.com. Other excerpts will be added to the book website shortly.


This is a very quick update to let you know that there are added chapters over at the main Glister Journals website. Chapters Five, Six, and the beginning of Seven of Bronze are added. They are also now in PDF format and downloadable to read at your convenience. I will probably get them posted here too, eventually. For now you can access them here: Bronze chapters.

I hope you enjoy them!



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

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 chapters at the book’s website here: theglisterjournals.com

The chapters can also be read here at the top of my blog. (and also in a menu in the sidebar!)

And please “Like” us on Facebook!

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Glister Journals Art

I’m VERY excited to be able to introduce you to artwork created in conjunction with my fiction series, The Glister Journals. If you’re like me, when you read a book, you imagine the characters very clearly. That’s the main reason I like to read a book before I see a movie made from it. I like to have my own mental picture of characters and places in my head before seeing someone elses. I have plans to get some of my own sketches out this summer too, but still haven’t had much time to concentrate on art. But I also love seeing what other people think characters look like, or think they might look like.

Which was my idea behind finding artists to help render my Glister Journals characters. I commissioned two amazing artists to do character sketches for me, a couple of which were actually finished a couple of years ago, but I have been waiting for the right time to share them. And that time is now!

For the next few weeks I’ll be posting one piece each weekend beginning with this lovely picture by Katelynn Chambers:

Allison and Gold from The Glister Journals
(c) 2012 Katelynn Chambers and China Blue Publishing

I love the sense of movement and the color palettes she uses in her pieces; they are all unique and wonderful. You can see more of her work at her portfolio site, Nettlebeast Studio.

I’d also like to show you the updated cover for the revised editions of Bronze. Both pictures make very nice wallpapers and you are very welcome to use them for personal use, but please respect the copyrights. 🙂


(c) 2012 B B Shepherd and China Blue Publishing

Click on the pictures to see them full size. All artwork can also be found at my new Tumbler account. And I’m going to throw a giveaway in here: the first person to comment on this post telling me the name of the horse on the cover of Bronze wins a free hardbound copy. I’ll even sign it if you like. More about giveaways and locations next week.

Now I think we need to finish with a little music, don’t you? I haven’t got back to finish my Cinco de Mayo post, so I’ll borrow some music I might otherwise have posted there (don’t worry, there’s plenty more for that post, and I will finish it!) This is “Fire Escape” from Civil Twilight, definitely one of my favorite bands right now, but I’ll get back to them on a previous post (Yes! Time travel!)



Have a great week!

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

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 chapters at the book’s website here: theglisterjournals.com

The chapters can also be read here at the top of my blog. (and also in a menu in the sidebar!)

And please “Like” us on Facebook!

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Cinco de Mayo, Fiesta, and…wait a minute…

Where the heck did May go? And I had such great plans for it!

This is just a quick update to let you know what’s been going on and what’s going to be going on in the near future.I will probably be posting again tomorrow; a post that was started some while ago. On to today’s subjects.

On Cinco de Mayo I spent a lovely day with a friend at the Fiesta of the Spanish Horse held at the Los Angeles Equestrian Center. It was not exactly what I had imagined, but it was a perfect day and so good to enjoy with a friend (thanks T!) I took some video which (yes, I’m sure you’re getting tired of hearing this) I hope to get edited, converted, and uploaded at some point. I have some vacation time coming up . . . we’ll see. I should at least get some nice pictures from it which I’ll add to this post. Anyway, details, pics, etc. will be added here or in a separate post later.

I’ve had many projects to finish at work which have kept me very busy and preoccupied, and I have just finished tweaking the cover of Bronze. All of which has left me with little time to blog.

More importantly, next Friday, June 1, 2012 marks the official release day of the hardbound edition of Bronze. The larger print paperback edition will be rereleased some time this week too. My publisher and I plan to host multiple giveaways, so keep checking back for the locations and sites for those. I’m sure that we’ll be giving several away through Goodreads, so if you’re a member there you can watch out for it.

I was so excited to find that Bronze was reviewed by Booklist Online. I thought the review reserved but accurate and very fair, and I feel honored to have gotten it at all! You can read it here: Booklist Online–Bronze by B B Shepherd

Another thing I’m immensely excited about is the release of some very special artwork I had commissioned. It will be released in several online locations. So I hope you’re hanging in there with me!

To celebrate these upcoming activities let’s have some music! How about some Maná? An older one, but one of my absolute favorites. (It’s even my phone ringtone :D)





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

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 chapters at the book’s website here: theglisterjournals.com

The chapters can also be read here at the top of my blog. (and also in a menu in the sidebar!)

And please “Like” us on Facebook!

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It’s been an Extreme week

Happy weekend everyone. This will be a short post just to say “Hi” and give you something to watch. I will have a more extensive post after next weekend. I’ll be headed to Los Angeles (road trip!) to meet up with a friend at a special horse event, and hopefully will have pictures to share when I get back. That’s the plan anyway. I also plan on getting some new music to listen to on the way there, so more music videos next week!

In the meantime, let me share a little of another very special event that happened this week. This was the Extreme Mustang Makeover Finals in Madison, Wisconsin.

What? I hear you ask. A car makeover? Pimping out classic Ford coupes?

No silly. REAL mustangs. Horses! The kind that still roam more-or-less wild and free (where they’re protected at least) in North America, and particularly in the western United States. I know some people who are very critical of them as a breed, and I know all the arguments, but no-one will ever change my opinion of their heart, intelligence, adaptability, and athleticism.

Extreme Mustang Makeover Challenges occur across the nation and provide many horses, that might otherwise become BLM statistics, with hope of a future home and meaningful life with owners who will love and appreciate them.

Would they be better left alone to live free on the land? Well, that depends on who you ask. Many people would love to see them annihilated completely, claiming they are nothing more than feral castoffs with questionable lineage and poor conformation that are habitat invaders of “native” wild species such as deer, antelope, and bison.

Others will tell you that they are a beautiful symbol of the old west, many of which still carry the DNA and traits of the horses originally brought to this country, the Iberian PRE horses. Has the mustang breed been diluted over the centuries by other, less exalted breeds? No doubt. But many still retain the undeniable qualities and even appearance of those PRE ancestors.

And even other people will point out the fact that horses roamed this continent way before people did. No, not this particular breed of course, but horses belong here.

I’ve loved mustangs ever since I first read Marguerite Henry’s “Mustang: Wild Spirit of the West” when I was about eight years old. As a teenager, I was fortunate to know of two mustangs who lived wild on the ranchland near where I lived and saw them a few times when I was out riding. I even have pictures somewhere. They disappeared eventually and someone told me that they had died during a drought. A shame, but that’s what happens to wild horses.

If you have read my novel, “Bronze,” you will know that several of the horse characters are at least half mustang. I love mustangs.

The Extreme Mustang Makeover program is rather grueling, and potential trainers must meet strict criteria in order to participate, but the results can be utterly amazing. From completely wild, never-touched-by-human-hand horses, to trusting, well-trained and adoptable equine partners. IN 90 DAYS! Anyone who has ever trained an unstarted horse will know this is impressive. And these horses aren’t just unstarted, they’re WILD!

Anyway, here’s a video of the winning entrants from this year’s finals at the Midwest Horse Fair in Madison. I’ll be back next week with news of my weekend and an update for my novel “Bronze.” Enjoy!



You can read more about the Extreme Mustang Makeover at their website Here: extrememustangmakeover.com

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

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 chapters at the book’s website here: theglisterjournals.com

The chapters can also be read here at the top of my blog. (and also in a menu in the sidebar!)

And please “Like” us on Facebook!

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