I’m pleased to announce that Tainted Victory, book two in The Chronicles of Ethan Grimley, is now live. Need something for your middle grade student to read on that last summer vacation? Check out Ethan’s adventures. You can find out more about them at http://www.lissadobbs.com.
Coming from the small town of Land’s End at the southern tip of Moirena, Ethan has no idea what to make of the hustle and bustle of Ymla in Corleon. Narrow, crowded streets and horse-drawn trolleys are things he’s never seen before.
Then there’s the guild itself. A common room with billiards tables and Fizzy Drinks and the freedom to come and go as he pleases are things Ethan’s never experienced.
But his new life isn’t all fun and games.
On the day of Ethan’s arrival, the guild hall is attacked by harpies. No one knows who sent them or why, but the students are banned from investigating. A second attack, however, has his fellow Shadow Walkers wondering if Ethan is the target. Never one to ignore his curiosity, Ethan and his new friends take to the streets of Ymla to get to the bottom of the attacks, but when he finds out the truth, Ethan wishes he’d left it alone.
Thanks so much for the 5-star Amazon review for Wolf in the Shadow! It’s nice to hear when someone enjoys one of my books.
In other news, there’s a new Yuletide recipe on my website. This is a fun part of the world-building for me, and it helps me to get in the right head space to really work in the world. I think it adds something to the reality of a fictional world if there are everyday things, like recipes, to think about. None of mine are that complicated because I’m not a master chef; I just like to play in the kitchen. So, kick back with some rada’ke cakes and enjoy your Yuletide season.
In 5168 AOP, Steamreach Coal set up operations and brought humans to an area that had been sparsely inhabited by other creatures. The workers came from the Xaggarene Empire, Moirena, and Corleon, and the traditions that had always sustained them soon morphed into a culture all its own. Most people meet in taverns on the eve of Yuletide for community-wide parties that carry far into Yuletide morn. Gifts tend to be handmade or practical in nature and are exchanged among friends as much as family. There are few private celebrations of this holiday in the Shizzuria Wasteland, though there are those who prefer to be alone.
Rada’ke is a cheap Yuletide dessert popular in the mining towns of the Shizzuria Wasteland. Since many of the miners have little to spare, their holiday lacks the opulence seen in other parts of Grevared. The main Yuletide meal consists of game, preserved fruits and vegetables, and rough bread made from what little flour can be spared. As work tends to continue, regardless of the day, celebrations are short but intense.
Rada’ke is a chewy, cake-like treat topped with a piece of dried or candied fruit. The fruit varies depending on what is available.
1 ½ c premade, add water pancake mix
½ c dark brown sugar
½ – 1 c water
Candied fruit of your choice
1-2 teaspoons ginger paste
1-2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
¼ – ½ teaspoon ground cloves
1-2 teaspoons vanilla
¼ – ½ c self-rising flour
Preheat over to 350°.
Grease baking sheet.
Combine pancake mix, brown sugar, cinnamon, and cloves in a bowl. Add ginger paste and vanilla. (The amount of spices depends on taste.)
Add water a little at a time until you have a very soft dough. The consistency should be a touch softer than spritz cookie dough. If you add too much water, add flour until the dough is the right consistency. (I used flour in mine.)
Spoon or spritz dough onto greased baking sheet (the dough will not hold its shape well). Add a piece of dried or candied fruit to the top of each one.
Bake 10-15 minutes until the edges are a darker brown. Cake will be springy.
I’ve been thinking about what to do with my website in the new year. There’s a part of me that wants to make some changes on it, make it more ‘fun’, I guess. But there’s another part of me that likes it being more straight-forward, even if no one else likes the style of it.
This is where I get frustrated. It’d be cool if I could have it both ways, but I’m not sure I could pull that off. My web design skills are almost non-existent, and so are my graphics skills, but, still, it’s fun to play with it sometimes.
Here’s an idea of what I was thinking about going to. The idea is to label the doors with things like ‘student lounge’, ‘shadow walker lounge’, ‘library’, etc. and have them lead to a page with a similar layout that went to short stories, printable activities for kids, and links to the books.
As it stands right now, the background is simple parchment with pictures ‘taped’ to it. It’s labelled and obvious, but it’s not a lot of fun.
I’ve also been working on another design, one I’ve been playing with for several months. This one is just a scholar’s study area since scholars are so prominent in Grevared. Almost all the items on the page are clickable and lead to another page on the site. Not sure which way to go, but both of them will take time and effort.
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
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.