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, February 28, 2020

It's Gonna Take A Little Bit More Than That...

Hey Everyone!!

I posted this on my Facebook wall, a few weeks ago, but as I promised then, I'm posting it here, as well. Enjoy! ;-)

Soooo... I got an email that I'm going to respond to in a general, rather than specific, way. And I'm posting this response publicly for a few reasons. One, I want other women authors to be able to see it and know they're not alone the next time they get such an email. Two, because maybe, just maybe, someone, somewhere, at some time will read it and it will make a difference. And, three, because the email in question is honestly not worth giving the courtesy of a direct and private reply. But responding in this way gives me the opportunity to get something off my chest that I've been wanting to put to words for a while now.

Since I'm not responding directly, I'm doing the person who sent the email the favor of not identifying them personally and, instead, keeping this post directed to humanity in general. Of course, if the person in question finds his balls and wishes to out himself on my public social media wall -- and I'll also be posting this on my blog, at some point, if you prefer that venue -- by all means, feel free. I can generally be relied upon for a good spiderish mood when the circumstances call for it, so be welcome in my parlor, Mr. Fly, but expect the reception that you deserve.

Now, moving on from the general disclaimers. Because of the nature of some of the books I write, I periodically get vitriolic emails, mostly from men who haven't actually bothered to read any of my books, complaining about how I'm "defeminizing" the women and emasculating the men. I'm not going to bore you with the details, they're typically not worth repeating anyway, but what it boils down to seems to be men who are uncomfortable with the idea of women in an equal and equally powerful role as their male counterparts.

And, of course, I've encountered this same attitude in person. Honestly, I don't know any woman who hasn't. So, it's something I've thought about, and I think I may have figured out, at least in part, why some men are so threatened by such depictions of female empowerment, even in fiction. To put it bluntly, I think they realize they're not up to the challenge of gaining the regard of a woman on their own merits and long for the "good ol' days" when they had a built-in societal advantage.

It hasn't been that long since women were almost entirely financially dependent on the men in their lives. Hell, until the 1970s, women couldn't even get a credit card or a bank loan without a signature from their husband or father. And we're still fighting for wage parity and equal opportunities in many industries. But, at least in most developed nations, many women are now in a position where they no longer need a man in order to survive.

This means, in order to attract women, men need to put forth more effort and make us want them. And, no, I'm not saying that women don't also have to put forth effort to attract men. Of course we do. But we've been doing that since time immemorial, whereas men have largely been able to get away with not having to put forth that effort, in many circumstances. And, yes, I'm aware there are exceptions to every rule; I'm talking generally about societal norms.

But, now, finally, in the 21st century, a paycheck and a penis are not usually enough to attract a woman, anymore. At least, not for the long-term. Why? Well, my darlin' dears, because we can buy the penis. In whatever size, shape, color, and with whatever features we'd like it to have. And we've got our own paychecks, meager as they often are, now. So, if that's all a man is offering, we don't need him and have no reason to want him. Because, if he's not willing to put forth the effort to be more than just that, he's almost certainly more trouble than he's worth.

And, for anyone who's getting pissed off at my "man-bashing," that's not what I'm doing at all. I do not mean to say or imply that men aren't more than just sex and money; I'm saying that a certain, select minority of men choose not to be any more than that because they believe women should be satisfied with their non-existent efforts, and they get absurdly hostile when their little daydreams about what women "should be happy with" don't come true. And then they take out their ire, often violently but sometimes just through internet rudeness, on the objects -- and, yes, we are objects to them -- of their frustration.

Truth be told, I really enjoy the company of men who put forth the effort to become interesting and kind human beings. And, in my experience, men of that caliber generally appreciate women who have done the same. Because when you have mature adults forming relationships based on respect and admiration, rather than out of desperation and objectification, you have something that tends to be strong and resilient. And that's worth the work it takes to get it.

I mean, think about it for yourself. Wouldn't you rather know your significant other is with you because they want you rather than just because they need you? If the answer to that question isn't an unequivocal "yes!" then you're really not ready for adult relationships, yet. And you should seek professional advice to help you reach the level of self-confidence and self-respect that will allow you to form healthy, adult bonds with other people. And, until you've done that, stay the fuck out of my inbox!


Thursday, February 27, 2020

#APC #Spotlight: Hunting Vampires With Grandma By Ashley Uzzell!

Hey Everyone!! :-)

I've got Ashley Uzzell in my APC spotlight, today! Ashley is an active and supportive member of the  Authors-Professional Co-op Facebook group and her vampire, paranormal, humorous, fantasy, monster-hunting, short story, Hunting Vampires with Grandma, looks great! Here's the description:
Age is just a number when killing monsters is your specialty. 
When Markie is attacked by a vampire, she finds out that her lovable grandma is more than she appears. A retired vampire hunter, G is forced to get the old gang back together when the very monsters that the ladies thought they had hunted to extinction show up in their town again.
Between knitting needles and fanny packs, psoriasis and holy water, Markie will soon realize that age really is just a number and that a handful of cranky old women can be scarier than any vampire bite.
 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, February 26, 2020

#Agent Thoth's #Personal Log: Day 1087

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 One-Thousand-Seventy-Eight:
Once again, I find my hominid-servant’s lack of communication skills to be a source of frustration. For reasons that escape me, she has extreme difficulty in intuiting when her caresses are desired and when they are most expressly not desired. Sometimes caresses from hominids are soothing, sometimes they are upsetting, and it is the hominid’s responsibility to know the difference between those times.

I attempted to institute a rule regarding this; however, my hominid-servant’s obtuseness makes it quite difficult to enforce. If I attempt to use basic behavioral-response training techniques and enforce negative consequences for caresses that are not welcome, she reacts by withholding physical affection entirely and giving me disapproving looks. My explanations that it is her own lack of discernment that provokes my admonishments have fallen on deaf ears.

As a compromise, I proposed that my hominid-servant practice her ability to distinguish between welcome and unwelcome caresses on the juvenile felid and the canid so that her performance statistics can improve, and she will not receive as many rebukes from me. Unfortunately, she does not seem to have found this suggestion useful. At least, I have seen no evidence that she intends to adopt it. Alas, I may have no recourse in this situation, maddening as it may be.

Hominids are 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, February 25, 2020

Tough Love...

Hey Everyone!! :-)

Here's a little bit more of the third installment in the Petri Dish Chronicles! As always, the disclaimer is that this is a draft and, as such, it's unedited and likely full of errors and is subject to revision, revamping, and being completely scrapped and rewritten. But, with that in mind, I'm reasonably satisfied with the basics of it, at least at the moment, or I wouldn't have bothered posting it. Enjoy! :-)

Excerpt from the third Petri Dish book:
Chessie shrugged. “Well, hun, I don't agree with you. But we can argue about that until we both grow old and die. What’s not up for debate, though, is that what’s done is done, and now we need to figure out how to deal with the consequences. And you harping on the past and picking fights with Petri doesn’t help us do that, does it?”

“There is nothing to be done, now,” he sighed. “She has doomed us all with her reckless selfishness.”

Crossing her arms over her chest, Chessie said, “That’s quite an attitude for someone who professes to have a duty to protect the innocent. You’ll die to save others, but you won’t fight for them?”

Daji sprung to his feet, his fists clenched at his sides, and towered over Chessie. “How dare you?”

She just cocked an eyebrow at his display. “I dare because it’s the truth. You need to stop bitching because life hasn’t granted you the set of circumstances you wanted, and start dealing with reality as it is. I don’t know what we’re going to end up facing when we get where we’re going, but I would rather go in knowing that you’ve got your head screwed on straight and aren’t still nursing old grudges. Especially, when what you’re angry about wasn’t even Petri’s fault.”

“And what is it you think I’m angry about?” he asked through gritted teeth.

“You’re mad because the Arcanum make you feel helpless,” she answered, patting him on the arm. “You’re not able to protect others, or even yourself, from them, and that’s not a feeling you’re used to. And you don’t trust the only person who might be able to protect us, which makes it worse.”

“I don’t trust her because she thinks only of herself.”

Chessie shook her head sadly. “That’s not true, hun, and I think you know it.” She shrugged. “Even if you don’t, you’re smart enough to know you’ll have an easier time convincing her to listen to you if you aren’t constantly insulting and belittling her. You’re only hurting your own cause by continually attacking her.”

The energy went out of Daji, and he seemed to collapse into himself as he dropped back into his chair. Closing his eyes, he sighed. “In that, you are correct. I will attempt to contain my anger and modify my approach. Perhaps some meditation will help center my psyche.”

“Alright, then, I’ll wish you luck. Because if you two can’t even have a civil conversation with each other, this is going to be a long trip. No matter how short it is.

Monday, February 24, 2020

Something Worth Watching?

Hey Everyone!! :-)

I'm back today with another video I wanted to share. This is just a reminder of the type of man we have the opportunity to have leading our country if we work together and get Bernie elected. The mainstream media never discusses these accomplishments, so I think this is a good reminder of why our hard work is so vital to the future of this nation. Bernie is doing well, so far, but the race is far from over, and it's going to take all of us to make this dream a reality. #Bernie2020

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Melt-In-Your-Mouth Grilled Cheese #Recipe!

Hey Everyone!! :-)

Do you ever just want (or need) a quick meal that you can throw together in 10 minutes or less but will still warm you up and keep your tummy full? Well, I've found a grilled cheese sandwich is perfect for this, and this is one of my favorites. Enjoy!

2 thick slices of bread per sandwich (I've found multigrain or whole wheat works well)
2 thick slices of tomato per sandwich
3 thick slices of mozzarella cheese per sandwich
1 clove garlic sliced per sandwich
6 whole basil leaves per sandwich
2 tbsp butter per sandwich
1/4 tsp olive oil per sandwich (basically a drizzle)
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes per sandwich (optional)
Salt to taste (light amount)
Black pepper to taste (generous amount)

Butter both sides of each of the slices of bread with a quarter tablespoon of butter. Place the other tablespoon of butter in a skillet and melt it. Place one slice of bread in the melted butter and place one slice of mozzarella cheese on top. Add black pepper, don't be stingy. Drizzle with olive oil. Add half the slices of garlic and half the basil leaves on top. Add a slice of tomato and salt and pepper to taste. Add another slice of mozzarella and pepper it generously. Drizzle with olive oil. Add the rest of the garlic and basil and the pepper flakes (optional) and then the other slice of tomato. Salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle with olive oil. Add the final slice of mozzarella and pepper generously. Add the final slice of bread and place a heavy, heatproof object (like another skillet or a foil-wrapped brick) on top. Cook for five minutes in the butter, or until the bread is golden brown and the cheese is melted, remove the weights, and flip the sandwich over. Cook the sandwich on the other side for another five minutes or until the bread is golden brown. Remove the sandwich from the heat, cut it in half, and serve it by itself or with a side of tomato soup.

Bon Appetit!

Saturday, February 22, 2020

#StPats #Giveaway! $42 #Cash #Grand #Prize! #Free To #Enter!

Hey Everyone!! :-)

There's a new giveaway for St. Patrick's Day!  Please take a moment to check out the Lucky Readers St. Patrick's Day Giveaway!!  There are lots of awesome books and prizes!! :-)  It's free to enter, there are over 28 prizes, and the grand prize is $42 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! :-)