The Chronicles of Ethan Grimley: Path’s End

Path's End BookI’ve finally completed the rewrite for book three of The Chronicles of Ethan Grimley. It’s taken a bit longer than I wanted it to, but I’m glad it’s done. I believe the stories are stronger now, even if they aren’t quite as light-hearted as the originals. I’m hoping to have book three, Path’s End, released soon.

Check out this snippet and stay tuned for the release date.

The entire common room went silent when Mariostin Rocktosser entered the room. He was a tiny thing, just about the height of the tables, and his wheat blonde hair contrasted with his dusky skin. Freckles dotted his rosy cheeks, and his large lips were set in a frown. He froze at the silence, his eyes darting from table to table without stopping. He seemed to shrink into his cloak and become even smaller than he already was.

Faylen rose from her seat and wove through the tables to where Mariostin stood like a cornered coniklo. “Hello,” she said. “I’m Faylen Icebreeze. I’ll show you where to get lunch if you’d like.”

Mariostin gave her a tentative smile and followed her to the serving area. As if she’d lifted a ban, the rest of the students began talking again, and the room was soon filled with laughter and conversation.

“So, where are you from?” Faylen asked when Mariostin joined them at the table.

“Crowborough,” the Halfling replied. His voice was a quiet mutter, barely more than a whisper. He didn’t say any more.

“Well, I’m from E’ma Thalas,” Faylen replied.

“I’ve heard of that. My parents traveled there when they were young, before I was born. They talked about it a lot.” He took another bite. “They even talked about living there all the time.”

Mariostin fell silent then and seemed more concerned with eating his fist meal than with talking. He had chosen ham, and, true to form, Old Marshall had loaded both pieces of bread with meat and cheese before toasting it to a golden, yummy brown.

Ethan watched the Halfling shovel the food into his mouth and grimaced. Mariostin was super thin, but he didn’t look like he was starving. And, yes, Old Marshall made the best fist meals of all time, but that didn’t explain Mariostin’s gobbling the food up the way he was. Ethan wondered where he’d come from and what had happened to him for him to get the Hourglass of Saturn.

Kayne turned to Ethan with his rakish grin, interrupting his thoughts. “So, what are the girls like in Land’s End?”

Ethan shook his head. “Really, Kayne? I don’t know. Like they are everywhere else, I guess.”

“Well, what’s there to do?”

Ethan shrugged. “My friends and me spent a lot of time playing kickball in the park, and I made deliveries for my mom’s bakery.” He paused a moment. “It’s a small town. Nothing like Ymla.”

Mariostin looked up with a bit of bread hanging from the corner of his mouth. “Where’s all this?” he asked.

“Land’s End,” Ethan replied. “It’s where I’m from.” He waved his hand at the group around them. “We’re all going to my house for Yuletide.”

Mariostin’s shoulders drooped, and he laid the rest of his fist meal on his plate. Then his eyes lit up, and he said, “I’m going home, too. My parents have this awesome place in Crowborough, and they get the biggest tree they can find. We spend hours adding the lights and the ornaments to it.”

“I’ll bet it’s really pretty,” Faylen replied. She dropped her eyes for a moment. “In E’ma Thalas, we decorate the forest trees some. The birds and animals help.”

Electa sighed and played with a piece of cheese on her plate. “I don’t remember there being a lot done at my house. I think we had a tree and whatnot, but that’s all I remember.” Tears filled her eyes but didn’t fall.

Faylen placed her hand on Electa’s shoulder and gave it a squeeze, then she turned to Kayne. “What about you?”

Kayne shrugged. “Don’t know.” He turned to Ethan wearing a grin that didn’t reach his eyes. “What’s say we get some practice in before combat class this afternoon?”

Ethan nodded and rose to his feet. “It was nice to meet you, Mariostin,” he said as he picked up his tray. “Maybe we’ll see you later.” He glanced back over his shoulder at the Halfling. Something wasn’t right about Mariostin’s story. Ethan just didn’t know what it was.

 

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Starting Over

 

ethan-vintage-300I love Ethan Grimley.

I can’t say what drew me to him in the beginning, but he’s one who likes to speak. In looking back over his stories–The Chronicles of Ethan Grimley III–I’ve noticed that there’s much more to tell with Ethan. I think the three books in the series would work better as one story, so I’m working on rewriting the three books into one. At this point, there are already six additional chapters, and I haven’t gotten to the beginning of A Walker is Born yet. I think the end result will be a story that has much more depth and explores more of Ethan’s life, both in Land’s End and beyond.

Ethan isn’t the only reason to rewrite the story. The other characters, particularly Kayne and Faylen, both have their own stories, and I don’t think they work for a series centered primarily on Ethan. With that in mind, I’ve decided to rename and expand the series. (If anyone has a title suggestion, sing out.)

Life over the past few years has been a bit hectic, but things have settled down now. The kids are beginning their adult lives, and I finally have a set work schedule that allows more time other activities. On top of that, Grevared itself is coming to life and showing me more and more of her grandeur with each passing day. The little details, the things that make a world real, are becoming clearer, so I think now is a good time to revisit the existing books and see if I can improve upon them. Not only will this make those books better, but I believe it will improve future books as well. (And, let’s face it, who doesn’t like to play in their own world?)

So, onward and upward. I’ll keep progress posted, a maybe a few snippets of the new stuff here and there.

For those who’ve supported me to this point, thank you. It means a lot. I hope you’ll continue to come along on this journey.

Best wishes!

Lissa Dobbs

http://www.lissadobbs.com

http://www.hiddenhollowediting.com

 

 

Thank You!

3D Book no shadowThanks so much to the recent reviewer of The Chronicles of Ethan Grimley III: A Walker is Born. The review can be found on Amazon UK.

Lissa Dobbs has created a magickal world with a young boy at the centre of it… all the usual emotions, needs and wants of youth but with a tincture of the fantastical thrown in to the mix.

The book is an appropriate length for the intended audience but the prose is not dumbed down because of the expected age group – this gives younger readers the opportunity to reach up in their reading expectations but also allows adults the chance to become immersed in the world of Grevared.

That Lissa is a lover of medaeval literature is highly apparent through her use of character names and weaponry.

As an adult, I thoroughly look forward to reading the next book in the series but I shall also share my son’s enjoyment when he reads and becomes equally fascinated with the tale.

http://www.lissadobbs.com

http://www.hiddenhollowediting.com

 

New Stuff Coming Soon!

Sir Klaus CoverHowdy, All!

I’ve been playing around with book trailers and have redone the ones for Aradia’s Secret and The Chronicles of Ethan Grimley III: A Walker is Born. Check them out and tell me what you think. I’d like to hope my skills are improving somewhat.

In other news, I have a new book releasing November 21, 2017. It’s a children’s story, A Gift from Sir Klaus, but I’ve done it as a Draw Your Own Illustrations book. I was thinking about reading comprehension and ways I used to have my students practice. One thing we did was to draw scenes from the story. It’s the same principle. The text is at the top of the page, so budding artists have plenty of room to draw. Look for it on Amazon on Tuesday.

As always,

Best Wishes!

Update: A Gift from Sir Klaus was ready sooner than I thought it would be. It’s available on Amazon.

I also updated another trailer. This one is for Wolf in the Shadow.

Book Cover…Grrrrr.

K'duktil and Cavern CoverOne of the things I like best about self-publishing is being able to take control of the process myself. For me, it’s fun to play around with new ideas and try to learn new skills. The operative word here is ‘try’. Damn me for wanting to learn stuff.

While the other covers took me some time and effort to work out, I’ve had a difficult time getting a cover made for Jerrung and the Kwaad Cavern, a children’s book that will be out when I can figure out its wrapping. Nothing I do seems to work and capture the story, and I think I’ve made thirty or forty of them.

That being the case, I’ve narrowed it down to two possibilities, the best I can come up with for this particular story. I’ve added the two possibilities and the blurb. I’d appreciate any thoughts on the matter, positive or negative.

Yellow Ogre.jpgAs always, best wishes!

Lissa Dobbs

http://lissadobbs.com

Blurb:

At almost eight years old, Jerrung is sure he’s old enough to be a warrior, to have a real sword. His parents disagree. They think he’s just a child.

But when Jerrung’s sister is kidnapped by the Kwaad, Jerrung knows his time has come. Jerrung isn’t going to wait for the rest of the village to make their plans. He and his friends head into the mountains to rescue the prisoners.

Can the dwarves find their way through the tunnels and back out before the Kwaad find them?

 

Book Versus Movie-Coraline

Book vs MovieI’ve been a fan of the movie Coraline for years, but it was only recently that I came across the book, the glory of now living in a town with a bookstore. I have to say that I loved the book as much as the movie, though there are differences between the two.

In the movie, Coraline moves into an old house that has been divided into apartments. This is the same in the book. However, in the movie the house is owned by the grandmother of one Wybie, a strange little boy who gives Coraline a doll that looks just like her. In the book, Wybie and the doll don’t exist.

In both the book and the movie, Coraline’s parents are too busy to entertain her, so she’s forced to take care of herself. This leads to finding a small door with a brick wall behind it. Coraline’s mother tells her it’s there because the house was made into apartments.

In the book, the drawing room is described as a nice room where no one can sit on the furniture. In the movie, however, there’s little in there, and the room is depressing.

In the book, Coraline goes through the door and down a tunnel while her mother is at the store getting groceries. This isn’t the case in the movie. In the movie, Coraline first goes down the tunnel in a dream. Here she meets her ‘other mother’ and has a wonderful meal which seriously outshines her father’s cooking. In the book, she looks around the ‘other’ world and decides it’s too weird. After a brief first visit, she goes home. It is only when she gets bored waiting for her mother that she returns for the meal.

The interactions with the neighbors seem to follow pretty closely together for the book and movie. There are some minor detail differences but not many. It is only when Coraline returns to her world and discovers her parents aren’t home that the differences begin again.

In the book, Coraline does things like eat frozen pizza for dinner, watch TV, and take a bubble bath. When she wakes up in the middle of the night and sees the cat, she asks if it knows where her parents are. The cats only leads her to the hall mirror where her parents write ‘help us’ on the other side. They’re trapped in it. In the movie, there’s no sign of a TV, and there’s no food in the house. Coraline knows immediately that her parents have been taken, and she doesn’t call the police. Instead, she returns to the ‘other’ world.

There’s a good bit of similarity between the book and the movie during Coraline’s competition with the Beldam. In both, she spends time with the ‘other’ neighbors and seeks the souls of the trapped ghosts. The biggest difference here is that the souls are referred to as ‘eyes’ in the movie and ‘souls’ in the book.

Once Coraline has defeated the Beldam and rescued her parents, she must get rid of the Beldam’s hand, which follows her back to the real world. In the book, she has a tea party with her dolls, and the hand falls into the well. In the movie, Wybie helps her throw the hand down the well.

All in all, both the book and the movie are well done, and both are worth the experience.
 

Book vs. Movie – Bedknobs and Broomsticks

IMG_20170430_215322Contains spoilers!!!!!!!!!!!

 

The movie Bedknobs and Broomsticks starred Angela Lansbury. It was one of my favorites growing up and being able to get it on DVD was a highlight of my life. I love it! Then and now. I love the darkness and mystery and, of course, the magic. The search for the last spell so Miss Price can save England from the Nazis, the travel into the children’s story by riding a bed…there’s just something comforting, maybe a reminder of simpler times, about it. Granted, some of the songs are a little hokey, and, by today’s standards the effects are horrible. Still…

I finally got around to getting and reading the book, and I have to say that I love it, too, though it is almost nothing like the movie.

The book, written by Mary Norton, is actually two stories, The Magic Bedknob and Bonfires and Broomsticks.

In the first book, Carey, Charles, and Paul are staying with their Aunt Beatrice for summer vacation while their mother works. They meet Miss Price, who’s studying to become a wicked witch, and failing, and she gives them the bedknob. From there, they travel to a London police station and an island full of cannibals. At the end of the story, they return home for the school year.

The second book picks up two years later. Aunt Beatrice has died, and the mother is looking for someone to watch them for the summer. Miss Price has put an advertisement in the paper for children to watch, so they are reunited with their friend. Miss Price has given up magic, but the children convince her to use the bedknob anyway. They travel back in time where they meet Mr. Jones. He is a failed magician who returns to the present with them. After a few weeks, Mr. Jones returns home where he is almost burned at the stake.

In the movie, the story takes place during WWII, and the children are orphans who are evacuated and placed with Miss Price against any of their wills. They are somewhat rude children and not averse to blackmailing Miss Price to keep her secret. In the book, Carey, Charles, and Paul are simply being babysat for the summer, and they are much nicer all around. There is no mention of a war or a need to protect the children.

Their adventures are also much different. In the movie, they travel to London to locate Professor Emelius Brown, a charlatan who has a ‘college’ of witchcraft, to find the final piece of a spell Miss Price needs to protect England. From there, they go to a fictional island inhabited by animals then back to England to save their town from invasion. The only rescuing being done in the book is of Mr. Jones. After all, they can’t leave him to burn.

It’s hard to say which one is better. In many ways, it’s difficult to see the book and the movie as the same story. The bedknob is important, of course, and most of the characters are the same, but that’s where the similarity ends. It’s really easy to see them as completely distinct from each other. I think this is a good thing in a lot of ways, for it prevents the disappointment that comes from one being better than the other or key points being changed. (I’m sure we all have a list of movies a mile long to complain about.)

What do you think? Have you experienced both?

Lissa Dobbs

http://www.lissadobbs.com

 

The Super Secret Science Club – S.C. Davis

51dIJnE0YpL__SX322_BO1,204,203,200_Book One: I’ll never forget my science teacher’s words the day he recruited us as spies: “I’m a member of a secret organization called the Rosalind Group, whose original mission was to find and prevent cases of stolen scientific research. But one day, everything changed, and I didn’t understand why. Eventually, I figured it out…we weren’t the good guys anymore… …the Rosalind Group is no longer protecting scientists from having their research stolen. We’re now the ones who are stealing it.” Apparently research wasn’t all they were stealing; they were stealing the scientists themselves! I suppose “kidnapping” is the proper word. And that’s where we came in. Six science-savvy seventh graders. One missing scientist. And the need for some serious out-smarting. But there’s just one more mystery involved: how was I supposed to do this without lying to everyone I know? I was sworn to secrecy…but I ended up breaking my promise. “Case of the Disappearing Glass” is the first book in the Super-Secret Science Club series. Follow Jenna and her classmates as they unravel mysteries and tackle critical missions, all while trying to survive middle school!

 

51NUViuVCOL__SX322_BO1,204,203,200_Book Two: What’s worse than being in seventh grade, and trying to solve a kidnapping? Being in seventh grade, and trying to solve TWO kidnappings. Especially when one of those is your own teacher. The very same one who got you into this spy business in the first place. Lucky for me and the other five members of the Super-Secret Science Club (we call it the S3C for short), help arrived right when we needed it: the day we realized Mr. Gregory wasn’t just on vacation. Her name is Claire, and what she told us that day is what set everything in motion for the biggest stunt we’d ever pulled in our twelve years on this planet. There’s just one tiny problem: I sort of got myself kicked out of the S3C. Sure, I deserved it. But when the night of the Gala arrived—the night we were going to take down the Rosalind Group and rescue Dr. Wyatt and Mr. Gregory—I found something. I know they told me to stay away. But I couldn’t let my friends walk head first into danger. Not when the discovery I had just made was the only way to protect them. “The Secrets of Rosalind” is the second book in the Super-Secret Science Club series. Follow Jenna and her classmates as they unravel mysteries and tackle critical missions, all while trying to survive middle school!

 

Meet Electa Norris

electa-vintage
Electa Norris

Name: Electa Norris

 

Age: 13 winters

Appearance: Electa has blonde hair and blue eyes. She’s short and little stout.

Birthplace: Atada

Family: Electa was given to her grandparents as a baby, but once she received the Shield of Evalach, they sent her Corleon for fear of reprisals from the Arcana Maximus. Electa has no idea who or where her parents are, for her grandparents never told her.

Current Home: Ymla, Corleon

Weapon: Shield of Evalach – the shield carried by Joseph of Arimathea in the Arthurian legends. It allows Electa to project a shield around herself and others.

Pantheon: Arthurian

Other Info: Electa is extremely smart when it comes to books, but she’s terribly timid when it comes to her magic, so much so that Damion and others fear that she may be more harmful than helpful as a Shadow Walker. She is loyal to her friends, though she truly trusts no one.

Favorite Foods: Electa loves Old Marshall’s fist meals above all others, but she’s also a big fan of the jelly candy she gets in Ymla. She’s cautious about eating sweets and never overdoes it, but the jellies are her true weakness. She also enjoys fried eggs and oatmeal and doesn’t like meats for breakfast.

Fears: Electa fears her own insecurities. She knows she lacks when it comes to courage, and this frightens her. She tries to step up like the others do, but she often finds herself frozen. This only feeds her fear and increases her inability to act.

Favorite Teacher: Electa enjoys history class with Mr. Bickersteth. She finds his knowledge of the history of Grevared and the various races fascinating and does all she can to learn more.

Greatest Desire: Electa wants to know who her parents are and where they went.

 

Learn more about her world and read free stories for both children and adults at http://www.lissadobbs.com.