Author Spotlight-Kristen L. Jackson

DSC_3662Today, we’re welcoming Kristen L. Jackson for our Author Spotlight. Be sure to check out her work!

Author Bio:

Kristen L. Jackson lives in Reading, PA, with her husband, two grown sons, and three large-breed dogs. She has been a teacher for over 20 years, and writing for children of all ages is close to her heart. Her debut young adult sci-fi novel, KEEPER OF THE WATCH, is set to release on February 1st, 2018, and a children’s picture book, JOCELYN’S BOX OF SOCKS, will release in 2018/2019. She enjoys writing, reading, and spending time with her family at their cabin in the Pocono mountains of PA.



Untitled design-2Chase Walker is beginning to doubt his sanity. From the moment he turned eighteen, a strange paranoia has taken over his mind. It all started the moment he discovered his uncle’s old watch…

The watch calls to him. Though it beckons, he resists. His body strains toward it, blood pulsing, heart pounding in a mysterious and primitive need to connect with his uncle’s old beat up watch.

When sexy and mysterious Alyx saves his life, she promises answers. She talks of dimension travel, and wears a magical watch of her own…


Kristen L. Jackson, Author of KEEPER OF THE WATCH release date 2/1/18

 Available for Pre-order at:

Black Rose Writing


Barnes & Noble

Find Me On:

Facebook: @kristenjacksonauthor

 Amazon: Kristen L. Jackson

Twitter: @KLJacksonAuthor


Good Reads: Kristen L. Jackson


Instagram: @krisjack504



Keeper of the Watch full cover



Thank You! – New Review

Ebook Cover New1

Something is killing the folks indeed in Black Crystal. This is one of the best stories I have read over the course of this winter. Timothy Hawkins, Eleanor Hestenfield, and Justin Harper are Shadow Walkers who arrive in Black Crystal to deal with the deaths that have been occurring there. What they don’t know is that the secret awaiting them is one that will change their lives forever. I will give no spoilers, but when the truth is unveiled, it will blow your mind, as it did mine. When I found out the secret, I was so very surprised. I must admit, I never saw it coming. I loved the writing style of the author and the way she told the story pulled me in from the very start and held me on the edge of my seat to the very end. The story was paced great and the words flowed without a hiccup. The plot was well written. I love her vision and creation of the Shadow Walkers that molded the story and birthed into being a new idea of warriors. The ending couldn’t have been tied up better. You don’t want to miss this story! Lissa Dobbs is an outstanding author and I can’t wait to read her other works. I am a fan!


The Wizards of E’ma Thalas

Gwennyth Grimsbane


In the year 4214 AOP, one Revered Tatersdale Mackle became bishop of the Arcana Maximus. Reverend Mackle had a deep-seated hatred for all creatures born with magical blood and began a covert operation to have these beings removed from the Xaggarene Empire. It was at this time that the Examiners came into being, and the Arcana Maximus gained police power. Had Reverend Mackle been able to convince his childhood friend, the then Emperor Ashcroft Billinghurst, that his plan had warrant, the witches and wizards may have been expelled sooner. However, Emperor Ashcroft determined that these beings posed no threat. As a result of this argument, Bishop Mackle moved the home of the Arcana Maximus to a small island far to the west.


At this same time period, Samara Soulton spoke out against Bishop Mackle’s plan and gained a following of witches and wizards and others with non-human blood. However, when Samara Soulton disappeared, the movement ended. For years afterwards, many of the witches and wizards, as well as others possessing a magical heritage, lived in fear of the Examiners. Over time, however, life returned to normal.

In the year 4725 AOP, Emperor Lazarus Nicodemus is finally convinced to acquiesce to the Arcana’s desire to purge the empire of magical people. Emperor Lazarus signs the edict that allows the Examiners free reign to hunt and kill witches and wizards, as well as Shadow Walkers and others. Many take refuge in E’ma Thalas, the northern home of the elves, and the Shadow Walker headquarters moves to Corleon.

Ravyn Grimsbane was the leader of the witches and wizards at this time period. She was

E’ma Thalas and the Xaggarene Empire

pregnant with her oldest child, one Aramaya Grimsbane, when her mate was killed. She made her way north, across the Borderland Mountains, and begged Oberon, king of the elves, for asylum. He granted this and ceded the northernmost plot of land, now called Crowrest, to the witches and wizards with the understanding that they would guard E’ma Thalas against outside attacks from this quarter.


Since Ravyn first crossed the mountains, Crowrest Keep has become the home of the witches and wizards. It is ruled by a council of elders, though Ravyn still has final word in most major decisions. Children are educated in the ways of magic as well as combat and survival, and none are allowed to forget that the Xaggarene Empire once threw them out. Other wizarding towns have been established, the most notable being Ragekeep on the eastern edge of E’ma Thalas. The small village of Ashenthall is also primarily wizard.

The Xaggarene Empire has lifted the ban against those of magical blood, but there are many wizards who refuse to forgive. While Shadow Walkers are currently welcomed, wizards are still shunned, and many of those living in the empire are rogues cast out from E’ma Thalas. In spite of what appears to be progress towards tolerance, the Ibunana of Freywater is working ceaselessly to have the ban reinstated and all those of magical blood killed.

The Death of Ravyn Grimsbane

This is the first chapter of my current WIP The Diary of Gwennyth Grimsbane. Comments and opinions would be appreciated. Thanks.ebook-cover

Best wishes!

Lissa Dobbs


The Death of Ravyn Grimsbane



The day we were banished from the Xaggarene Empire is one that will live in the memory of the witches and wizards of Grevared forever; though, in retrospect, none of us would mourn the loss. We have our power, and we have our faith, and we have ourselves. Our home at Crowrest in the Kingdom of E’ma Thalas is a beautiful place where we can live in peace among the elves of that kingdom. We have been welcomed here and given the sacred duty to protect the northern borders of E’ma Thalas from all who would harm her.

When I was small I wondered what could possibly harm us, perched as we were on the edge of the land with nothing behind us but the vast emptiness of the void. It wasn’t until my fifty-sixth year that my question was answered in the form of a void serpent, a gigantic, legless creature with scales the size of shields and fangs the length of swords. Vicious and cruel, the beasts rode the currents of the void and attacked all who dared cross their paths. Not even the great scholar Mylar Massengill fully understood why these monsters behaved the way they did, but on the day the creature attacked, I learned just how powerful we of Crowrest really were. I’ll never forget the stench of the vile creature or the burn from where its blood splattered me.

The serpent arrived just as the light began to shine. A guard, I’ve forgotten his name, sounded the alarm just as Ravyn, Vonner, and I were sitting down to break our fast. We arced to the ramparts to join the guard, and my soul trembled at its appearance. Ravyn issued orders, a rapid fire of words that the body understood even if the mind failed to comprehend them, and we jumped to obey. Wizard fire lit the morning, and the void serpent was soon nothing more than charred bits raining down upon Crowrest Keep. I never again doubted our purpose or the elven king’s wisdom in assigning us this task.

My people call themselves the children of Aradia, goddess of magic; though the last of us to speak with her was my mother Ravyn Grimsbane. I found the following letter in my mother’s effects when she transposed forms at nearly 800 years of age.


ravyns-letterMy Dearest Gwennyth,

As you know, we witches and wizards claim to be the children of the goddess Aradia. This is true in essence; however, there is a secret known only to the Grimsbane family that can only be shared by Aradia herself. Seek her out, but look not in the places of the gods. Hurry, my child, for the fate of our power may rest in your discovery.

With love,



My mother often spoke like this and created mystery where there was none. I disregarded her message entirely, thinking it nothing more than her typical theatrics, then three days ago our world was shaken.

Ravyn transposed six weeks ago while searching the woods below Crowrest Keep for an herb she claimed only blooms once a year. She’d done this every year for as long as I could remember, more than a hundred winters, so I’d had no cause to be concerned at her absence. When I was small Mother would take me with her, and we would spend several days in the woods as I learned herb craft and animal lore. As I got older my interests took another direction, and I ceased to accompany her. On this day I regretted that choice.

Two wood elves, who had long been friends of Ravyn’s, discovered her body and returned it to us. Zaleria laid my mother’s body in the courtyard of Crowrest and stepped back with her head bowed. Long, mulberry hair wavered in the breeze and tears watered eyes the color of new leaves. Her wings fluttered once then drooped, and she looked at me as if begging me to explain this thing before her. Silence and stillness emanated from her in a way peculiar to the elven folk, and that stillness screamed her sorrow more than sobs ever could.

Calerel, too, kept silent. She shifted her quiver on her shoulder and pulled her emerald hair from her neck. She held her longbow loosely in her hand, and tears poured from her crimson eyes. Younger than Zaleria by more than a century, Calerel was still considered a child by her people. She and I had played together as babes, and I longed to reach for her now, though I knew it wasn’t the elven way.

“We found her below in the forest,” Zaleria whispered. “It looked as if no harm had come to her.”

I nodded, unable to speak. As immortal elves, they would have little knowledge of death from old age, though Mother appeared to be little older than me. It didn’t occur to me at the time to search for another cause of death. “Thank you for bringing her home.”

Zaleria nodded and rose silently into the gray sky. As always, I was amazed that such delicate wings could lift her. I watched the fairies fade into the distance, then I turned my attention to my mother. It was summer, long passed midsummer, so our mourning ritual would have to take place quickly. I needed to gather the witches, set the fires. My mother was our leader, so someone would have to take over the business of Crowrest. My siblings were older than me by several centuries, and all four had left Crowrest before I was born. I’d never even met the eldest, a sister. I thought of trying to contact them using the magic that surrounded me; but I dismissed the thought, for it could take weeks for them to arrive. Our magic wouldn’t transport us through the void, and I had no idea where my siblings resided.

There’s so much to do.

I slowed my rambling thoughts with deep breaths and the exercises my mother had taught me in my youth, then I entered the keep to get busy.


The fires ringing the courtyard had burned to embers that glowed like eyes in the darkness. The others had gone, leaving me to stand a solitary vigil until the last light extinguished. It was our way, and I knew this, but I longed for companionship – a soft touch, a kind word – but I was alone with the ashes of the only leader Crowrest had ever known. I was alone with nothing but the sturdy walls of the keep for comfort. The scent of smoke was heavy in the air, and I could hear the night creatures from the distant forest below. The keep itself was silent, as it was near morning, and I watched the embers with the same silence – not seeing, not feeling. I simply was.

The last fire died just as the faint light of day began to shine. There was a gradual lightening of the gray void that crowned our world, and I always thought of it more as an illumination of thought than a true break of day. I watched the nearly imperceptible expansion of light and pondered the world for just a moment. We’d been instructed in the nature of existence and how the multiple planes had become one. We’d been taught that a sun and moon once rose and set and that stars once twinkled overhead. I wasn’t sure I could conceive of a universe where gods and demons lived on their planes and elves were no more than legends, and I knew I couldn’t comprehend the event that had destroyed it all. All I knew was that the collapse of the universe was what made our magic work. The chaos of the void, the rampant energies that surrounded us, fueled our blood and charged our nerves. Thus I had been taught, and thus I believed.

I rose from the chill stones and said a silent good-bye to Ravyn Grimsbane. I thought about all she had accomplished since fleeing the Xaggarene Empire, then I turned into the shadows of the keep, anxious for bed. My muscles hurt from the long night of saying farewell, and I knew the coming days would entail sorting through my mother’s belongings. I had yet to shed a tear, but grief would come later. It was our way.

The corridor leading to my chambers was dark, almost sinister in this noiseless hour, so I raised my left hand and called forth the magic light I normally used. For a moment, a soft nimbus of pale purple surrounded my hand and lit the way forward, then it winked out, and I was in darkness.

Just tired, I thought as I opened the door to my chambers. I tossed my cloak on the floor and climbed into bed. A moment later the sweet oblivion of sleep overtook me.


Days passed into weeks, and I adjusted, though exhaustion was an ever-present reminder of my mother’s absence. How she’d managed to do all she had done without collapsing for all those years, I’d never know. She’d overseen everything in Crowrest Keep – the food stores, the maintenance, the cleaning – and she’d led the council and decided trade policy. Reward to punishment, Ravyn Grimsbane had done it all, and I was nothing more than a woefully inadequate replacement. Every sidelong glance, every condescending remark, every correction reminded me that I was not Ravyn Grimsbane and never would be.


I awoke one morning several weeks after Ravyn’s last rites to someone banging on my door. I cursed and untangled myself from the twisted blankets. Though I was annoyed, there was relief for being awakened from yet another dream of Ravyn. I tried to remember what she had been saying, but the pounding continued and destroyed my concentration. The images that had been crystal clear a moment before dissipated like the shredded fog that crept through the lower forest, and I was left with nothing more than the lingering sense that I had forgotten something of the utmost importance.

“I’m coming!” I called.

I stumbled on my clothing, left on the floor after another late night, and opened the door to see Vonner Calerook looking even more exhausted than I felt. His blonde hair stood in spikes from where he’d neglected to brush it, and dark circles lined marigold eyes. The clasp of his cloak lay on his shoulder instead of at his throat, and I was fairly certain he was bootless. His normally rosy cheeks were the pallid gray of bread dough, and he shifted from foot to foot. His mouth moved as if he were trying to speak, but no sound passed his lips.

“What is it, Vonner? We took care of trade with Bonetide yesterday.” I couldn’t keep the irritation out of my voice, and the comfort of my bed called from behind me. I glanced back over my shoulder to see nothing but blackness beyond my window and turned back to Vonner with a scowl.

Vonner held up his right hand, palm upward, and took a deep breath. “Watch,” he instructed.

I watched, though the flickering torchlight to my right made my head ache. His fingers were long and delicate, and his palms were calloused from his work in the stables. His hands trembled, but, other than that, I saw nothing of interest.

“What am I supposed to see?” I peered into the gloom of the hallway and almost wished someone would come to distract him so he would leave me alone.


I lifted an eyebrow in askance and rubbed my eyes beneath my spectacles. “Please, Vonner, I’m tired. What am I supposed to see?”


My breath caught, and I looked at my own hand, focusing my will with all my might. Nothing. I looked at Vonner, and he looked at me. Together we hastened to my mother’s chambers.

I grabbed the torch by her door and burst into the room. My heart hammered against my ribs with such force that it knocked my breath from my lungs. The torchlight danced in my trembling hands, and a knot of dread sank into my gut.

“The letter,” I breathed.

I rifled through the pages on her desk, scattering many like feathers onto the floor, until I found the letter I’d tossed aside several weeks before, the one I’d considered to be nothing more than melodrama. I passed it to Vonner, who scanned it before his mouth dropped open and his eyes widened.

“Our power?” he breathed.

“I’m not sure,” I replied. My mind whirled through possibilities. “Perhaps.”

Now, three days later, I’m prepared to begin my journey, the one my mother desired me to undertake. Vonner has said he’ll go with me, but I’m not sure how long he’ll last. At least I won’t be alone. For a while. May the gods guide my footsteps.


It’s Release Day!!!!

ebook-red-and-greenEthan has settled in to life as a Shadow Walker, but as Yuletide approaches, he’s anxious to get home for the holiday. And the best part? His friends are going with him.

But life as a Shadow Walker is full of unexpected surprises, and when a new student brings an enemy into their midst, Yuletide plans are put on hold. Ethan and his friends have to deal with the threat and protect Land’s End from the wrath of an angry god.


Ethan shrugged and ducked around Kayne. “Kayne, we just now met him. I haven’t had time to think about it yet. Now, can we just go see what Mr. Merriweather wants?”

Kayne laughed. “You’re afraid we’re in trouble, aren’t you?”

Ethan looked back over his shoulder. “Aren’t you? How many kids do you hear of going to his office?” Ethan stopped and looked at Kayne. “Remember last time?”

Last time they had been in serious trouble for sneaking out and looking for Cronus. Mr. Merriweather had made them tackle the cleanup of the lobby and had grounded them, but he had lifted the punishment when Ethan and Kayne had saved Faylen.barnabas-black-and-white-vintage

Kayne scratched the back of his neck and shook his head. “Well, I actually wind up there a lot, come to think of it.”

Ethan laughed. “That’s because you always do stupid stuff, then you’re shocked when you get caught.”

Kayne laughed along with him. “Okay. I’ll give you that.”

The boys stopped in front of Barnabas Merriweather’s door and knocked. They waited until they were called, then they entered.


Other books in the series: (available in eBook and paperback)

The Chronicles of Ethan Grimley III: A Walker is Born

The Chronicles of Ethan Grimley III: Cronus Attacks

Learn more about Ethan’s world, read free stories, and download printable coloring pages and word searches at

Meet Ethan Grimley III

Name: Ethan Grimley III

Ethan Grimley III

Age: 12 winters

Appearance: strawberry blonde hair, green eyes

Family: Ethan is the son of Gregory and Eva Grimley. He had an older sister, but she died when he was little.

Hometown: Land’s End, Moirena

Current Home: Ymla, Corleon

Favorite Subject: Combat

Friends: Kayne Soulton, Faylen Icebreeze, Electa Norris

Favorite Teacher: Damion Simmons

God/dess: Gaia

Pantheon: Greek

Weapon: Harpe

Weapon’s Features: The Harpe of Gaia gives Ethan strength and accuracy beyond his skill. It also glows and can provide light.

Favorite Activities: Ethan loves hanging out with his friends. He enjoys practicing his combat skills and playing kickball.

Favorite Foods: Ethan loves fist meals – meat, cheese, and veggies between two slices of bread. He also enjoys griddle cakes, candy, his mother’s bread and pastries, and warm soup on a cold day.

Fears: Ethan is afraid of not measuring up to others’ expectations of him. This causes him to charge into situations without thinking about dangers and consequences.

Greatest Desire: Ethan wishes more than anything to be the greatest Shadow Walker that ever lived. He wants to fight monsters and other creatures, and he wants to travel to all the lands of Grevared.


 Read more about Ethan and his adventures at

Fickle Mind

Well, I was going to move all this to my website blog, but I think I’d like to keep that one for author spotlights, book reviews and releases, and maybe book contest giveaways and such. Now that my feces are consolidated, maybe I can get the post I’ve been working on for this one done and up.

If there are any authors who would like to be featured, just let me know.

Best wishes!
Lissa Dobbs
The Shadow Walkers of Grevared

Shall We Play a Game?


It’s time for more questions! Be sure to answer before 10/20/2016 for your chance to win a set of ‘Ware the Dragon. Grab the dragon’s jewels before he grabs you!

In Sherri S. Tepper’s The End of the Game, what kind of animal is a fustigar?

Which classic character fell down a rabbit hole?

How was Narnia accessed before the wardrobe?

Upcoming Books

ebook-cover1Well, things are moving along nicely, I think.  The Chronicles of Ethan Grimley III: Revenge of Cronus will release at the end of October. For this one Ethan returns home to Land’s End for the Yuletide holiday. He’s looking forward to it but apprehensive all the same. His mother, after all, didn’t let him leave home willingly. She restrains herself, however, since Ethan’s friends have come with him. They don’t get a quiet Yuletide, however, as Cronus hasn’t finished with them yet. This time, though, Cronus has an ace that they don’t know about, and Ethan has to deal with the possibility of betrayal along with the angry god.


I’m also hoping to have another adult novella out by the end of December. This one will be titled River of Blood, but I haven’t gotten far enough alone to make a cover yet. River of Blood takes place in the Shizzuria Wasteland, and will feature Erastus Hallowell, a ranger with a secret.

There’s also a young adult novel in the works tentatively called Darkmoor Thunder. This one deals with Sophia Theodosia Snettisham, the spoiled daughter of the governor of Starspire. Her father wants her to marry Marcus Pickleberry, but Theo has other ideas. After all, who wants to marry someone named Marcus Pickleberry?

And, finally, after months of staring at it blankly, I’ve finally figured out the ‘book that never ends’. It will definitely be more than one, but, at this time, I’m not sure just how many.

I’m also working on the bestiary for Grevared and some fairy tales for the world. Each of these will, most likely be posted on the website for your viewing pleasure.

It looks like I’ve got my work cut out for me over the next year. At least I don’t have to worry about being bored. At all.

Best wishes!

Lissa Dobbs




The Shizzuria Wasteland – What the Heck is Gonna Live Here?

Riverland Pearlrest and Shizzuria WastelandThe Shizzuria Wasteland shares a continent with Riverland Pearlrest, a collection of rich communities made up of those who made their fortunes mining the precious minerals that are found in the mountains of the wasteland.

The Shizzuria Wasteland is a glacier several miles thick.  The climate is one of perpetual winter with year round snow storms and temperatures that rarely reach above freezing.  The only real resources in this area are the minerals that have been mined from the mountains, and most of the small towns in the Shizzuria Wasteland are mining towns.

Four small towns sit on the edge of the glacier: Grenvor, Whitedale, Pearlwater Sky, and Shizzuria Landing.  With the exception of Pearlwater Sky, which is the eastern port of the continent, these are rustic towns with only the most basic goods.  Newpost and Ofleim are larger towns with a little more to offer, though all are affected by the weather.

A railroad connects most of the towns in Riverland Pearlrest and the Shizzuria Wasteland; however, the tracks are impassable in the coldest months of the year, and freak snow storms in the warmer months can also render them useless.

Several ruins dot the wasteland, and these are sources of great interest to many of the Halfling communities in the area.  It is not uncommon to find groups of Halflings, as well as those from the academic institutions of other countries, travelling the wasteland in search of knowledge.  Some believe many of the ruins come from the time before The Catastrophe, while others work hard to prove that this isn’t the case.

A number of creatures populate the mountains and forests of the Shizzuria Wasteland.  One of these is the coniklo, a creature like a horned rabbit, that lives in the mountain region.  Another creature that inhabits the wasteland is the dajowjut.  This being is somewhat bearlike with a long snout and talons.  It can walk on either two feet or four feet, and it will search relentlessly for humanoids to eat.

Now, here’s where I start running into trouble.  I want there to be original creatures in the world of Grevared, especially since the world itself is an amalgamation of all thirteen planes of existence.  However, I think there should be wolves and reindeer as well, things that we all recognize as belonging in a frozen wasteland.

I’ve pretty much binge-watched most of the Wildest Arctic show on Netflix (I’m in love, by the way), and there are so many possibilities here.  The show covers the Arctic Sea, the Taiga forest, and tons of other areas I would absolutely love to see.  The beauty of these places is breath-taking, and there’s such a diverse animal population that it’s hard to decide just what to use to populate the land.  However, I’m thinking something like the North American Musk Oxen has got to be there.  This creature is just downright cool.  Their skulls are seventeen centimeters thick, which comes in handy since they don’t seem real bright.  Banging their heads together just for the right to mate with females?  Whatever.  I can just hear the sound echoing through the quiet of the wasteland, perhaps catching Erastus’s attention and pulling him off track.

The mountain regions of the Shizzuria Wasteland are rocky and steep.  There are cavesSnow Falling used by the Rangers all through them, but there really isn’t a long of greenery; the ice doesn’t melt enough to allow it.  What little forest exists on the wasteland is around the town of Whitedale, one of those just at the edge of the glacier.  This could create a problem for herbivore species unless they live primarily in Riverland Pearlrest and simply cross the Shizzuria Wasteland.  I suppose that’s a possibility, but Riverland Pearlrest is much more developed than the wasteland.  In fact, there’s even an amusement park in Riverland Pearlrest.  So, more creatures could live there, but the humanoids who have built manors there aren’t going to take too kindly to it.  Perhaps there needs to be a forest, at least a small one, among the mountains.  At least some way for creatures to eat.  On the other hand, if there isn’t, then that leaves lots of possibilities for animals and the like to invade the towns.  Hmmm…….

And what about the lights?  Grevared exists in a void space with its own rules of physics, so there’s a lot about our world that simply doesn’t work there.  However, the gods helped to fashion it, and there’s definitely an atmosphere.  It rains, it snows, but there’s never any real sunshine.  So, would lights of some kind work?  They obviously couldn’t be the Northern or Southern Lights, but could there be some kind of phenomena that only occurs over the Shizzuria Wasteland?  It’s something to consider.

This is where world building gets a little complicated.  There are so many possibilities and details to consider, especially since the story I’m currently working on is based here, that it can make one’s head spin.  Still, though, it also makes for hours of entertainment, and I never have a chance to get bored.

Best wishes!

Visit my website for information on books set in the world of Grevared.