A Little Late but Still Thankful

This year Thanksgiving somehow snuck up on me. (Yes, snuck is a real word) I mean, I knew it was coming and everything, but one minute I had time to do things and then all of a sudden, I didn’t. And I forgot all about my Thanksgiving post!

To be honest, I’ve just had too many things on my mind. The biggest, most important of those things is that my oldest daughter is having surgery on Monday. It’s scary. Because of the physical limitations (pain, kidney damage, other things) the cause of the surgery placed on her, she was fired from her job. Now her employer isn’t cooperating with EDD and is likely to contest my daughter’s unemployment claim. She has no income right now, has not been able to look for a new job because of her physical condition and upcoming surgery, and will probably have at least two weeks of recovery before being able to look for work again. The whole situation is worrying, to say the least.

On a more positive note, the new paperback edition of Bronze in in final formatting mode and should be available soon with the e-book following right after. I’m excited to say that the e-book will have a brand new cover, possibly the paperback too. I’m keeping my hardback cover and will continue that theme through the series with the hardback releases, but will have alternate covers for at least the e-books. I can’t wait to see what my designer comes up with!

Copper is in good shape and I’m working on it every day, but I still can’t give a finish date. I refuse to rush it. All I can say is, it’s almost finished. Really. Please hang in there with me. And I promise the third book won’t take anywhere near as long to release.

I’m also going to be working on some Glister related short stories that I plan to offer as free downloads. If you’ve read Bronze, who would you like a story about?

So what am I thankful for this year? Everything!

I’m most thankful for my wonderful family: my son and daughters, my daughter-in-law and grandson and new granddaughter on the way (so exciting!), my oldest daughter’s boyfriend and his family, who have embraced her and by extension us as a part of their family.

I’m thankful for my eighty-year-young aunt, my only other relative in this country, healthy and still working in Hollywood.

I’m thankful for my incredible friends, a couple of whom I’ve known almost all my life. Thank you for ALWAYS being there!

I’m thankful for my job and my wonderful students. There are aspects of my work that have been extremely difficult this year, but for the most part I still get up on work days looking forward to seeing and working with my students and excited for what we can accomplish.

I’m thankful for my new apartment. I’ve been here almost a year now and it’s been the best place I’ve lived in a really long time. It’s small but reasonably priced (for the Bay Area), in a nice community (with security) and relatively quiet (which is a HUGE issue for me.)

I’m thankful to have lost some significant weight this past year, which I’ll probably write about in a post in the New Year. I’m feeling better and healthier than I have in many years.

I’m also thankful for this writing journey I’m on, and for all of you who are coming along with me. I get discouraged sometimes, doubtful of the value in what I’m doing, and wondering what the heck was I thinking when I started this. But all I have to do is think of some of you who have been so kind to me and my book, read over some of the reviews, and it pumps me up again.

So thank you! I hope to get to know more of you in the coming year.

It’s my Thanksgiving post tradition to include a Switchfoot video, so here you go. Have a great weekend!

Writing: Copper.

Listening: Need new music!

Reading: Crooked Kindom by Leigh Bardugo

Watching: Dr. Strange and Fantastic Beasts.



Visit theglisterjournals.com for news, excerpts, and more about The Glister Journals series.
Reviews for Bronze (The Glister Journals, Book 1)
Bronze can be purchased through any bookseller or purchase now at Amazon.com

All original text and materials by or commissioned by B. B. Shepherd are copyright 2012-2016 to B B Shepherd.

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Shiny New Format

If you’ve visited here before, you may notice some changes. I thought it was time for a fresh format. I’ll be tweaking things over the next few weeks. Let me know if something is out of place or doesn’t work! The Glister Journals website is getting a totally new look, so I hope to unveil that very soon.

I’ve been working through a very busy and stressful period at my job (teaching) and life in general and haven’t had much spare time or energy (and no spoons left over) to post here, but things are calming down (I think) and I hope to get back to at least one post per month, as well as book updates.

The new edition of Bronze is finished and being prepared for printing. It has a release date of April 13 so, if you haven’t already read Bronze but you plan on it, don’t buy the edition currently available. There’s nothing wrong with it, but I do think the new edition is a great improvement. I’m still considering making the paperback edition two books for several reasons, mostly to reach a wider audience and be more attractive for brick and mortar to stock (I can give them a bigger %) but that will require new covers which will take even longer. So I’m not completely decided about that. There will be an e-book edition soon, but I’m not sure exactly when that will be available. It might take the format of the paperback in two parts.

In the meantime, I’m slogging away at Book Two. I say slogging because these last few chapters are proving very difficult for me to write. They’re very personal in some ways, and not personal enough in others. There are things that need to happen and need to be said, but not a lot of time to do and say them. I’m trying to be concise without the ending feeling completely rushed. And I need to do some fact-checking, but finding the right people to do it with is very difficult.

Anyway, things are moving forward. Thank you for your patience!

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Blogoversary

Four years ago, I started my first blog when my first novel was published. To celebrate and thank my followers, I’m giving away $15 gift cards to the book store of your choice to two winners.

But I’d like your help too. There’s an easy entry for followers, and you can tweet about the giveaway, but I’d appreciate your opinions and feedback in a quick three question survey. It earns extra entries,too!

As I finish revisions for a new edition of Bronze and finish the second Glister Journals novel, I’m considering different options and would appreciate your feedback. Whether you have read Bronze or not, your opinions are very welcome! I don’t want to change for the sake of change, but I do want Bronze to reach the broadest audience possible. Answers to these questions will help me make choices that may affect the whole series.

Thanks for hanging in there with me!

a Rafflecopter giveaway



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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Valentine’s Day Giveaway and Sneak Peek

romance is in the air giveaway hop
There’s a Valentine’s Day giveaway over at my Blogspot blog. The giveaway is a $25 Gift Card to buy the romance(s) of your choice.

I thought I would have my new novel, the second in The Glister Journals series, ready for release by now, but it’s almost done. And yes, there is romance. Unfortunately, the new book’s not ready to give copies away yet, but I’ll share a teaser with you.

Here’s a tiny sneak peek – just a touch of romance for Valentine’s Day. 🙂

It was darker here, but there was enough light to plainly see his face. He was standing very close and still holding my wrist as if afraid to let go.

“This is the scary part,” he said softly, staring back at me.

I had a stab of fear, wondering what he’d say next. “I—”

There was no time to say anything more and even less to formulate theories on his behavior. His gaze dropped to my mouth for a heartbeat, then he planted his own lips firmly on mine.

Another moment later, he drew slowly away.

I was stunned.  My heart had leaped to my throat the moment we had reached our dubious destination, but I wasn’t expecting this. I couldn’t grasp the fact that he had literally dragged me outside to a forbidden and relatively isolated location to—what? Kiss me? He just kissed me?

My heart thumped and skipped crazily as the reality of that sank in to my poor befuddled brain. I was speechless. My assumptions about this evening were spinning in ever widening circles.

Currently writing: TGJ Book 2 Chapter 29. First third of manuscript going out to Betas

Listening: Alt J – This Is All Yours

Reading: Caszandra by Andrea Host

Watching: Doctor Who and The Prestige



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 2012-2015 B B Shepherd.

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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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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) 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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Review: The Raven Boys

Time to get caught up with some reviews!

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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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Freedom to Read Giveaway

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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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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Review: Mockingjay

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.

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