Who Is Mistral Dawn?

Mistral Dawn is a thirty-something gal who has lived on both coasts of the US but somehow never in the middle. She currently resides in the Southeast US with her kitty cats (please spay or neuter! :-)) where she works as a hospital drudge and attends graduate school. Taken By The Huntsman is her first effort at writing fiction and if it is well received she has ideas for several more novels and short-stories in this series. Please feel free to visit her on FaceBook or drop her a line at mistralkdawn@gmail.com

Friday, November 17, 2017

Santa's Little #Authors #Christmas #Giveaway! $160 #Cash #Grand #Prize! #Free To #Enter!

Hey Everyone!! :-)

There's a new giveaway for the holidays!  Please take a moment to check out the Santa's Little Authors Christmas Giveaway!!  There are lots of awesome books and prizes!! :-)  It's free to enter, there are over 50 prizes, and the grand prize is $160 cash payable through PayPal!! :-)  Now isn't that worth taking a few minutes to check out? ;-)   Here are all the details:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thank you so much for stopping by today!  And don't forget to check back tomorrow for the next installment of Mistral Dawn's Musings! :-)

Thursday, November 16, 2017

#APC #Spotlight: Storm Unleashed by Michael R Stern!

Hey Everyone!! :-)

I've got Michael Stern in my APC spotlight, today! Michael is an active and supportive member of the  Authors-Professional Co-op Facebook group and his time travel science fiction novel, Storm Unleashed, looks great! Here's the description:
A North Korean missile launch. A naval base attacked. Does the nation face a new menace? Or is an old one taking a treacherous turn? A plot to destroy any possibility for peace moves into high gear just as the president negotiates an end to war in the Middle East.
When Fritz returns from a trip through the portal, the world around him seems to have changed. His portal through space and time has proved a powerful tool. But entering it risks undeniable dangers. Even successful missions leave a trail of death. But despite the peril, he is resolved to use it to end the threat and capture the conspirators. But who are they? What do they want? Does a traitor stalk the president? Once again, Fritz Russell finds his life upended.
Bombs slam the White House and wreck the Oval Office. Suspicious killings continue. Information about a secretive cabal emerges. The portal might provide the only means of stopping resurgent violence in Manhattan, Washington, and around the world. Fritz, his wife Linda, and friends Ashley Gilbert and Major Jane Barclay confront great danger as a new storm of evil imperils the globe.
Determined to end the disruption to order, the men and women of Riverboro courageously use the portal to help the president bring light to the darkness of world politics.
But at what price?
If you think this sounds like something you might enjoy, go ahead and grab your copy here:

Thank you all so much for stopping by! Happy reading! :-)

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

#Agent Thoth's #Personal Log: Day 633

Hey Everyone! :-)

Agent Thoth discusses more of the trials and tribulations associated with living with hominids. Incidentally, if you've missed Agent Thoth's earlier entries, you can find them here: Thoth's Journal

Department for the Preservation and Confirmation of Intelligent Life (DPCIL)
Agent Thoth's Personal Log

Day Six-Hundred-Thirty-Three:
Tensions have settled down here, somewhat, though my hominid-servant never apologized, as she should have. Still, I have learned that it is often necessary to make allowances for the failings of hominids and have magnanimously decided to forgive her anyway. In this case, it was doubly necessary because I intend to continue my campaign to draw her away from her obsession with electronic devices.

Thus far, my efforts seem to be stalled. Every time I gently insinuate myself next to her while she engages with the devices, she allows herself to be temporarily distracted and will briefly pay proper homage to me. However, she rapidly returns her attention to its previous focus, and she is quite adept at ignoring my attempts to extend the amount of time she keeps it centered on my glorious self.

I have not yet exhausted all permutations of this experiment, but I am reaching a point where I must admit that this may not be a fruitful line to pursue. I will continue to provide updates and report immediately on any successes.

Poor Thoth! Hominids can be so frustrating. ;-) You may have noticed that Agent Thoth has a new look. I hope you like his new picture as much as I do, but I'd love to hear your thoughts, either way. Feel free to let me know what you think in the comments. ;-) Happy reading, everyone!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Getting The Dirty Laundry Clean

Hey Everyone! :-)

I've got a little more from Alyce's adventures to share with you, today. Enjoy! :-)

Excerpt from sci-fi satire novel:
I walked to the exhibit Squid-boy had indicated and, when I saw what it depicted, an involuntary laugh escaped my lips. It wasn't that it was funny. There surely wasn't any humor in it at all. It's just that, once again, it was so true…and yet completely inaccurate.

The scene depicted in the exhibit showed a crowded sidewalk and two police officers standing to the side. One of them was holding up a card with a gradient of various shades of brown and tan. The card was unlabeled, but the voiceover narration explained that the cop was using a color guide to help him determine which people to stop under suspicion of having committed crimes. The second officer was pointing at one of the darker shades on the card and to a person on the sidewalk whose skin tone was similar.

I took a deep breath to steady myself. That people from outside our society would make such an assumption…they couldn't have satirized the problem better if they tried. What made it scary was that they weren't trying to mock the problem; they were trying to describe it. And they had, sort of. Like a gory accident, the exhibit was disturbing on a visceral level, and I was having a hard time dragging my eyes away from it.

"There is something humorous about this exhibit, young human?" asked Squid-boy?

I shook my head. "No. It ain't funny. It ain't funny, at all. It's just that it's true, but it's not true, at the same time."

Squid-boy waved his tentacles around his head. "How can it be both accurate and inaccurate? It must be one or the other."

I forced myself to tear my eyes away from the scene and looked at the small alien. "It isn't true in that police don't actually have cards with colors on them that they use to choose people out of a crowd. But it's true in that people are treated differently based on their skin color."

"If there's no reference material, how are such decisions made?" asked Yax.

I rubbed the back of my neck. "Well, it isn't something that's official, or anything, it's just how things tend to work."

"I don't understand," said Yax.

Sighing, I closed my eyes to try to think of how to explain it. "It used to be more formal; there were laws that made it illegal for people with darker skin to do some things and for people with different skin colors to get married. Those laws were overturned, but the attitude that they came from still exists."

"So people with different skin colors aren't treated differently anymore? The problem is resolved?" asked Squid-boy.

I snorted and shook my head. "No, not at all. The problem is still there. In fact, it's everywhere; it's in almost all aspects of life. It's just that people like to pretend it doesn't exist because the laws have changed, so almost no one talks about it."

"That doesn't seem terribly productive," observed Squid-boy.

I sighed. "It isn't. It just makes it impossible to change."

"Our research indicates that decisions regarding what kind of crimes people will be prosecuted for, where people will be allowed to live, how much money the educational facilities in certain areas will be allotted, and even basic personal interactions are determined by the amount of melanin an individual produces. Is this true?"

I rubbed my temples. "Yes, and no." Waving my hands in the air, I tried to think of a way to explain. "It's all…so…amorphous. There are some people who believe that some races are superior to others. But more people, almost all people, have a more…subtle…bias that's ingrained in the way they view the world."

"It's subconscious?" asked Yax.

"It is and it isn't. Some people are very conscious of their prejudice. They revel in it. But they deny that it's prejudice. To them, thinking others are inferior is just the truth. Even though objectively it isn't, you'll never convince them of that. But most people just have a bunch of preconceived stereotypes that they use when they interact with the world. It's hard to nail down, because if you asked most people, they'll say that everyone should be treated equally. But their actions don't reflect that belief. And a lot of people get angry if anyone brings it up."

"Angry? Why?" asked Squid-boy.

I sighed. "Because it's…uncomfortable. Most people don't like to be forced to admit that they might be wrong sometimes."

"Is that why you seem distressed? Does the exhibit upset you?" asked Yax.

I winced. "Yeah, I guess so. I try not to get defensive, but it's hard. I know this," I waved at the exhibit, "is part of life in my country, but I don't like it. No one likes having their dirty laundry aired."

"But how else do you get it clean?" asked Squid-boy.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Something Worth Watching?

Hey Everyone!! :-)

I'm back today with another video I wanted to share. This story has kind of gotten buried, but that doesn't mean it isn't important. After all, without a free press, there is no democracy. The establishment powers may want us to forget that fact, but I think we're smarter than that.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Barley, Bean, And Tomato Soup #Crockpot #Recipe!

Hey Everyone! :-)

With the weather getting colder, I thought you might all enjoy this stick-to-your-ribs soup. Enjoy! :-)

4 cups water or vegetable stock
1 cup wine (white or red, your choice)
2 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp olive oil
1 cup uncooked barley
1 15oz can garbanzo beans drained
1 14oz can diced tomatoes
2 large carrots chopped
2 stalks celery chopped
1 zucchini chopped
1 onion chopped fine
5 cloves garlic minced
2 tsp ginger grated
1 tsp dried sage
1 tsp dried thyme
3 tsp oregano
3 bay leaves
3 tbsp hot sauce (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

In a crock-pot, put the water, soy sauce, barley, beans, tomatoes, bay leaves, salt and pepper, and hot sauce, cover and cook on high. Put the remaining vegetables in a skillet with the olive oil and saute until they soften and the onions start to caramelize. Add the garlic, ginger, and dry seasonings and stir to combine. Deglaze the skillet with the wine and simmer to reduce. Transfer the contents of the skillet to the crock-pot and continue to cook on high until barley is soft, approximately 4 hours. Serve hot with crusty bread.

Bon appetit!

Saturday, November 11, 2017

#Feature: The Lost #Angel By Adam C Mitchell!

Book Blub

Eddy Kovakx robs the Lost Angel, central city's newest night club, owned by Victor Renetti. Pulling off the job was the easy part. Now on the run with his partner's broad, the sultry Kimmie Saint Clair, he also has an unstoppable PI on his case. Jack Malone is in hot pursuit thanks to the sadistic mobster Victor, putting a price on his head. Can Eddy and Kimmie get away with the money and their life. Or will Jack Malone get his mark. Danger, mystery, and adventure in the noir thriller.

Amazon Buy Links
US http://a.co/6KX7uVu
UK http://amzn.eu/4MOMorj

Books2read buy link


I glanced around the bar, checking out the punters as the barman refilled my glass. Whiskey topped up, I focused on the man perched at the far end; fat, sweaty, early forties. His hair was dirty blond and thinning on top, his clothes expensive but unkempt. Fatso wore a dull blue striped number, crumpled shirt and scuffed leather shoes. He was spending money like it was going out of fashion. His drink of choice was Old Forester. He drank heavily, trying to buy friends in the process, showing off and bragging like he was lord of the keep.

After downing my drink, I moved towards him. He turned on his stool and gave me a toothy smile. “A drink, my friend?”

I pulled a handkerchief from my jacket pocket and wiped the man's spittle off my cheek. He spewed his words and drooled like a lout. He was ten sheets to the wind and getting more inebriated by the minute. He was a drunken big-spender and barfly at most of the clubs and betting establishments around the city.

We met for the first time a year back. He latched on to my doll, giving her a drunken advance and a below the belt grope. We fought. He got the doll and I got the heave hoe and a night in the cell.

Tony ordered a whiskey and pushed it in front of me. I didn’t want it, but played along. In truth, I was checking him out. His pockets were going to feel real light soon. The tarnished fob watch nestling in his loose, stained waistcoat might be worth something. It didn’t look like nothing special, but it’d be easy to fence or sell down the markets. They didn’t care where their stock came from so long as it sold.

He raised his glass to his lips, which is the exact moment the breath froze in my throat. There, beneath the loudmouth's jacket, hung a brown holster and a gun. I groaned. Trouble was the one thing I didn’t need. Not right now.

Downing the two fingers straight, Tony smacked his lips with a satisfied gasp and put his hand on my shoulder. “The name’s Tony Santeeni. I’m celebrating a new job, you know, working the door of the Lost Angel club,” he slurred. “I’m coming into money. A big deal. Then, pal, I’ll be on easy street.” He swayed in his seat and I caught sight of the brown paper parcel stuffed in his jacket pocket.

Without warning, he slugged me clean off the stool. I landed on the floor with a thud. He must have remembered my face from our last encounter and if he didn’t remember me, it was the demon drink talking through him as it often did, The drink making him forget everything and everyone he kn. Even his own name at times . For a long while after our last encounter, I made it my business to make sure every black-and-white in the area stopped by and gave him a little visit to make it hard for him to make book. If not that, maybe the occasional shake down from my former flame and her call girl pals, would hit him where it hurt, his wallet.

Tony drew the gun from its holster and waved it in my direction. “You’re trying to get me drunk and get in on my big score!” His arm swayed and the gun went off, blowing a hole in the floor by my head.

I pulled my gun out and fired back. Instinct, nothing more. I hated packing heat, but the club scene and the city made it a must. You either carried heat or died by it.