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, October 30, 2020

You Shouldn't Talk To Strangers... ;-)

Hey Everyone!! 😊

Today seemed like a good time to share a slightly spooky snippet and get your Halloween weekend off to a good start. Enjoy! 😉

Excerpt from Taken by the Huntsman:
It seemed like an unlikely place for a portal to Cassie, but she reminded herself that she didn’t think the Fae could lie, and Ithel had specifically said it was there. Besides, what did she know about portals? Maybe they always hung out inside old wells. She pulled herself up into the crack and had to squeeze to get through.

As she fell against the opposite wall, she heard a grinding behind her and turned to see the opening in the rock now sealed shut. A cold feeling passed through her gut as she ran her hand over the now smooth wall. Why would Ithel want to trick her into entering a well?

Smacking her hand against the wall, she called out. But there was no answer. She heard a trickling sound and looked around for its source. It wasn't long before water pooled around her feet.

Why would he want to trap her in a well, and then fill it with water from the bottom? It wouldn’t kill her; she’d just float to the top and then climb out. She could see that the top was open because there was light from it. If he dumped the water down on top of her from above, she might drown before she could float above the source, but not if it came from underneath.

Unless he meant to only fill the well partially and hope she would eventually tire and drown? But if that were the case, she thought the walls were close enough together that she could wedge her back against one side, and her feet against the other, and climb to the top. It would be difficult, and it would take some time, but she thought she could do it. So what could his motive be? And what about Fae not being able to lie? Was she somehow mistaken about that?

As the water rose to her ankles, Cassie called out again. It was getting too dark for her to see, and worry was starting to nibble at the edges of her mind. She wasn’t sure exactly why Ithel had trapped her in the well, but it was starting to look as if he had left her there. The more she thought about it, the more she realized he had never promised to send her home alive, or to open the portal as soon as she was close enough. All he had said was that he would open it when she was close enough, and that he would take her to it.

It was quite possible the portal was in the well, but that he wouldn’t open it until she had drowned. Maybe she wasn’t wrong about Fae not being able to lie, and maybe she was. But, either way, it seemed as if Ithel intended to kill her in this well. She still wasn’t certain why he didn’t think she’d be able to get out. But she was beginning to worry that he might be right, and something would prevent her from climbing out of the top.

With that in mind, she began feeling around the walls to see if she could find a way out. To her disappointment, the walls were smooth. The water continued to rise and was soon to her thighs. The water was cold and, in spite of how hot she had been in the forest, it chilled her. She tried to keep moving to keep from feeling the cold so acutely and continued to look for a way out.

No matter how loud, her calls for help went unanswered. And her search for an escape seemed to be futile. As time passed, the fear that there was no way out, and that her decision to trust the Elf might truly be the end of her, grew...

...Cassie continued to call out and move as much as she could, even though her feet had long since left the ground, and she was left floating in the darkness. The water was extremely cold and her teeth chattered. She had no idea how long she had been in the well, but it felt like an eternity. The top of the well was still out of sight. But she wasn’t sure if that was because it was too far above her, or because it had grown too dark for her to see it.

She kicked her legs and tried to rise above the water, while reaching her arms up as high as she could. All she felt above her was air, until finally, her fingers struck something hard. She kicked again and managed to grab onto what felt like a metal grate. Her heart sank as she explored the grate with her hands and it became obvious it covered the opening of the well.

Now she knew what Ithel’s plan had been. Once the water rose high enough, she would be trapped beneath the grate and would drown. The realization sent a surge of adrenaline through her that warmed her and gave her energy. She redoubled her cries for help and tried to find a weakness in the grate she could exploit.

It soon became clear that the grate was securely attached to the top of the well and would not be dislodged by any means she had at her disposal. It wasn’t long before she no longer had to stretch to reach the grate, and she began to panic. She screamed for help, but all she heard was her own voice echoed back to her by the forest.

In her despair, Cassie succumbed to the frigid temperature of the water. She felt sleepy and lethargic. Her arms and legs were heavy and difficult to move, and she found her face was sinking under the water more often. She no longer felt cold, and it seemed an awful lot of effort to continue to tread water and call for help. All of a sudden, a bright light appeared above her, and she felt another small thrill of terror. Cassie had heard of people seeing a bright light as they died, and she didn’t want to die. But, somehow, it was hard to find the strength to fight anymore.

Want to find out what happens to Cassie? Grab your copy at the link below! Happy reading and Happy Halloween!! 😊

Thursday, October 29, 2020

#APC #Spotlight: Antiques And Alibis (Cass Claymore Investigates Book 1) By Wendy H. Jones!

Hey Everyone!! :-)

I've got Wendy H. Jones in my APC spotlight, today! Wendy is an active and supportive member of the  Authors-Professional Co-op Facebook group and her women sleuths, cozy mystery, private detective, murder mystery novel, Antiques and Alibis, looks great! Here's the description:
Cass Claymore, a red headed, motorbike riding, ex-ballerina inherits a Detective Agency, and accidentally employs an ex-con dwarf and an octogenarian. Hired by a client who should know better, Cass has no leads, no clue and a complete inability to solve a case. Still a girl needs to eat and her highbred client’s offering good money. Join her as, with bungling incompetence, she follows a trail littered with missing antique teddies, hapless crooks, a misplaced Lord of the Realm and dead bodies. Will Cass, and Scotland, survive?
 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, October 28, 2020

#Agent Thoth's #Personal Log: Day 1203

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 Twelve-Hundred-Three:
My youthful compatriot has still not been returned to my domicile. I have repeatedly questioned my hominid-servant regarding his absence; however, she remains as obtuse as ever. What does concern me is that whenever I venture close enough to her for her to touch me, she lifts my person up and cradles me against her body while stroking my head and scratching my chin. This compulsive cuddling carries the flavor of a frightened animal seeking emotional comfort through physical bonding activities. My hominid-servant is usually much more respectful of personal boundaries, so this lapse on her part does not bode well for the future of my young companion.

It's never easy when loved ones are sick. 😢 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, October 27, 2020

All Hail The Mighty Hunter! ;-)

Hey Everyone,

This is something I posted on Facebook a few weeks ago, and with things so tense, right now, I figured we could all use a little comic relief. So, I hope this gives you a chuckle the way the incident did for me at the time. Peace!

A fly got inside, and the small took great offense to this fact. The fly lived up to its name, flying around from here to there. And the Small chased the fly around with great persistence, not allowing little obstacles like inconveniently placed furniture or knick-knacks get in his way. And his dedication to his cause was rewarded! The fly tired and landed, and the Small pounced. Success!

The Small caught the fly and celebrated by eating it. Because why not, right? He earned it. And he has now spent the last half hour wandering from room to room proclaiming his prowess as a hunter for all the world to hear. At the top of his lungs. 😑


Monday, October 26, 2020

Something Worth Watching?

Hey Everyone!! :-)

I'm back today with another video I wanted to share. This is just one more reminder of how badly regular people are being fucked over by the predatory class, and why healthcare is one industry where there is no room for the profit motive. Peace!

Sunday, October 25, 2020

#Spicy Peanut Soup In A #Crockpot #Recipe!

Hey Everyone!! :-)

This is an easy, delicious, hearty soup, perfect for those cool Autumn nights. Enjoy! :-)

8 cups vegetable stock
1 cup red wine
2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup chunky peanut butter
1/2 cup tomato paste
2 tbsp vegetarian Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp sriracha
2 tbsp harissa
8 cloves garlic minced fine
2 tbsp ginger grated
2 tomatoes chopped
2 onions chopped fine
4 potatoes scrubbed and diced
2 carrots chunked
6 cups collard or mustard greens chopped
1 cup peanuts chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

In a saute pan, add the olive oil and onion and cook until the onion becomes translucent. Add the garlic, ginger, tomatoes, and greens to the pan and cook until the greens wilt. Add the remaining ingredients except for the chopped peanuts, peanut butter, tomato paste, wine, and one cup of stock to the crockpot and turn on high. Add the contents of the saute pan to the crockpot and deglaze the pan with the reserved wine and stock. Simmer the wine and stock in the pan for a couple of minutes to allow the wine to reduce and add them to the crockpot. Cook the soup on high for 4 to 5 hours, or until it simmers.

Put the peanut butter and tomato paste in a microwave-safe bowl, cover with a paper towel, and heat in 30-second increments until the paste and peanut butter are soft enough to stir together. Add the paste and peanut butter to the crockpot and stir to combine. Taste the soup and adjust seasoning as necessary. Simmer for an additional 30 minute to an hour, garnish with chopped peanuts, and serve piping hot with a side of crusty bread or over cooked rice or quinoa.

Bon appetit!

Friday, October 23, 2020

The Cost Of Giving Up...

Hey Everyone!! 😊

With the election in less than two weeks, I thought this might be a good time to remind everyone of a couple things. Enjoy! 😉

Excerpt from Answers from Alyce:
"Because our courts have largely been taken over by religious fundamentalist extremists who don't consider women to be people worthy of the same rights as other people. It's hard to maintain a cheerful outlook when you know that any existing laws that protect the rights of women are likely to be struck down within the next few years."

"Can anything keep that from happening?"

I shrugged. "As always, maybe if there is enough public outcry. But I think the odds of that are low. People are just too busy trying to survive to constantly keep fighting against all the horrible things the people in power are trying to do to us. Eventually, most people reach a limit in their ability to continue to resist and they just give up."

"But the things they are fighting against don't go away."

"No. They don't. And the people who are doing those things are only emboldened when they get away with their evil and no one even protests. But, realistically, that's what often happens. There's only so much energy and attention most people can devote to fighting. Which is why the people in power have designed the system the way that they have."

I walked away from the exhibit and rubbed my neck. My head felt like someone had planted the brass section of a band inside it, and they were playing a marching tune. Sighing, I shook my head, trying to shake away the pressure. "Sorry, boys, it's just really hard not to take this matter personally."

Want to read more about Alyce's thoughts? Grab your copy at the link below! Happy reading and don't forget to vote! 😊