Character Thoughts – Justin Harper

Justin Harper VintageJustin Harper is best friends with Timothy Hawkins and appears in Wolf in the Shadow.

Justin and Timothy attended school together and were known for getting into mischief. They spent more time harassing the Sisters than they did studying. After school, they would play games in the streets of Freywater, and they spent many an evening at each other’s home.

As late teens, Justin and Timothy were both granted weapons of the gods. While Timothy received the Spear of Lugh, Justin received the Seal of Solomon. Unfortunately, the Seal required practice to master, something Justin had no desire to do. Still, carrying the weapon allowed him to become a Shadow Walker, and he threw himself into it with all his heart. He came to love the chase and the slaughter, and he became one of the best the Shadow Walkers had at disposing of dangerous creatures. He was often paired with Timothy, who was the one person who could curb Justin’s more reckless behavior.

Justin is in his early twenties in Wolf in the Shadow. At this time, Justin’s favorite pastime is downing Nutty Fluffies and bedding as many women as possible. To him, these women are nothing more than playthings, and the idea that they are people with emotions and dreams escapes him. In his own mind, what he’s doing can’t possibly hurt anyone, and he’s found himself on the business end of numerous pistols and swords. Only Timothy’s connection with the Enforcers keeps Justin out of trouble.

In his more serious moments, though these are rare, Justin considers his life in the far future. While he can’t picture himself with a wife and children, he does see himself in a position of authority, something that gets a lot of attention and admiration. By his own admission, he has no idea what this position might be. He’s actually extremely insecure and uses his flamboyant persona to validate his existence to himself. He constantly struggles with feelings of inadequacy, and he would most likely be able to conquer these if he would give them voice instead of hiding them.

Justin loves to eat out at restaurants, and his favorite place in Freywater is a diner near the University. They serve foods fried in oil, and Justin is particularly fond of fried root vegetables. He covers them in a variety of sauces and uses them as a ‘pick me up’ after too many Nutty Fluffies or a night spent with too much company. He also enjoys going to the theater, though he avoids the burlesque shows because he feels they are indecent.

When he’s alone, he enjoys reading, and the ha’coin books that have become the rage in the Xaggarene Empire are his favorites. Many of these deal with murder and depravity, and Justin finds satisfaction in reading about these topics. He doesn’t care much for actual book-learning, though, so many of the topics Timothy mentions are lost on him.

Justin is one of those characters who is both loveable and despicable. His willingness to protect the weak is a laudable trait, but his selfishness is loathsome. There are redeeming qualities to him, but they’re hard to see for those who aren’t looking. He can be fun to be around, but no one should ever count on him. He’s loyal to those who serve his purposes, but he will turn away if he thinks he has the slightest reason. His love of the chase is carefully balanced by the need of the Shadow Walkers, but I wonder just what it would take to shift him from state-sanctioned Shadow Walker to cold-blooded killer. I don’t think it would take too much, and it’s an idea I may explore at some point. I haven’t decided. I have to admit, though, that, while Justin is one of my favorites to write, I don’t particularly like him. He’s just too loud and obnoxious to be someone I would enjoy being around.

What are your thoughts on Justin Harper? Is he someone you would call a friend? Do you agree with his actions in Wolf in the Shadow?

http://www.lissadobbs.com

 

 

 

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Melon Peckers – Trial and Error

Kiwano FruitI’m a big one on world-building. It is, in fact, one of my favorite things to do. That being the case, I love to come up with recipes for foods and drinks mentioned in my books.

The Melon Peckers and Nutty Fluffies mentioned by Timothy and Justin in Wolf in the Shadow have given me particular issues. I just haven’t been able to come up with anything that seemed like it would work. After all, exotic and ‘not of this world’ or not, I still want them to be edible. Mostly.

I think I’ve finally come up with something that might work for the Melon Peckers.

Ingredients:

1 lb watermelon (seeds removed)

1 kiwano melon (seeds removed)

2 tsp lemon juice

1 c brown sugar

2 tsp cinnamon

1 c club soda

vodka (optional)

mint leaves for garnish

crushed ice

Puree the fruit until smooth. Add lemon juice, cinnamon, and sugar and blend. Add club soda and vodka. Pour over crushed ice and garnish with mint leaves.

This is still in the early phases of development. I’m trying to decide if I want to try it with dragon fruit or not. I think it would be interesting.

If you give it a try, let me know how it turns out.

Best wishes!

http://www.lissadobbs.com

 

 

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!

 

http://www.lissadobbs.com

 

Thoughts on the New Year

new-year-thoughts
New Thoughts for the New Year

The presents were opened, the ham eaten, and Santa came for the last time – my youngest graduates this year.

 

Christmas Day has always been one day I was free to write. Once Santa had come, the presents were opened, and the ham eaten, everyone else was always occupied with their new gifts, so I had a while to sit in peace. I’ve always used the time to reflect on the previous year and turn my thoughts to the year ahead. This year was no different, and I spent the day looking back over my writing and marketing plan and trying to figure out what I needed to do to be successful in 2017. Truth be told, I have absolutely no idea.

Well, that’s not entirely true. I know I let fear keep me from promoting my writing the way I should. I know that I let my work hours keep me from attending workshops and conferences that would help me improve my writing and make the connections I need to make. I realize that, and I think it’s time to do something about it. I also realized that I let myself become exhausted and discouraged and that it won’t work to let that continue.

ebook-coverI have several book ideas for this year. I’ve finished the first revision of The Journey of Gwennyth Grimsbane, and I’m working on completing a story that predates Wolf in the Shadow. At two o’clock Christmas morning, I got an idea for the fourth book of The Chronicles of Ethan Grimley III, so I’m hoping to get started on that one soon. I’ve also decided that I’ve made excuses for ‘the novel that never ends’ long enough, and I need to get on with getting it finished. Most of the book is written, but there are a few scenes that need to be added and a few more that need to be rewritten. Then, of course, there’s the revision and editing process. Regardless, this one needs to take priority this year.

IMG_20160901_161300I’d also like to redesign my website and make it look more like the Shadow Walker Guild Hall, at least as far as my meager skills can accomplish it. Feel free to chime in with opinions on that one. I’d also be interested in hearing your thoughts on what you’d like to see here.

So, plans made. I know what needs to be done. Now I just need to figure out how to get it all done in the time I have. But I can do this. I have my trusty planner and Galadriel, and the two of us will make it happen.

What are your goals for 2017? I’d love to hear from you.

Best wishes!

Lissa Dobbs