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

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

#Agent Thoth's #Personal Log: Day 768

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 Seven-Hundred-Sixty-Eight:
Though he refuses to communicate to me the specific cause(s) of his disturbance, the adolescent felid seems to have made a full recovery and is once again his usual, irritating self. After my previous entry, I kept a close watch on the small pest for several hours, though he did little but sleep during that time. I did notice an uncharacteristic urge on his part for close physical contact with my person. And, after several futile attempts to maintain some distance between us, I gave in to his inexplicable need wallow against me. Perhaps he was simply attempting to replace the stench of the healing facility with my own, clearly superior scent.

After his extended nap, during which time the effects of the drugs that had been administered to him apparently abated, my young compatriot indulged himself by meticulously bathing every last inch of his body. A measure I can only imagine was a further effort to divest himself of the reek of terror and disinfectants. The areas of his person where the fur had been removed to enable access to the wounds beneath seemed to be of particular concern to him. However, after a thorough inspection of the areas, he seemed to resign himself to the temporary disfigurement and regained his normal aplomb.

Once his grooming ritual was completed to his satisfaction, the annoying beast went to our food bowls where he proceeded to eat nearly half his weight in the dry pellets my hominid-servant leaves out for us. For her part, my hominid-servant merely looked at him as he ate and stated that she was gratified that he had recovered from his ordeal sufficiently to allow his appetite to surface. She did, however, assume a seated position so as to allow him to recline on her lap, which enabled him to add her scent to the layers of fragrances he was attempting to bury the odor the healing place under. But he soon settled down and since then has been the annoying creature I have become accustomed to.

All hail the recuperative powers of felids! ;-) 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, June 19, 2018

Can The Pressure From Below Overcome The Pressure From Above?

Hey Everyone!! :-)

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

Excerpt from sci-fi satire novel:
"So the pressure your people put on your government worked," observed Squid-boy.

I nodded. "And that's not the only recent example. There's also gun control."

"What's that?" asked Yax.

I sighed. "There are some people in our society who don't want there to be any restrictions on who is allowed to own guns or what types of guns civilians are allowed to own."

"That sounds unreasonable. Why would they make such an argument?"

"Because of a misinterpretation, which I often think is deliberate, of something written by the people who initially formed our government."

"I don't understand."

I felt a headache building again and rubbed the back of my neck. "When the United States was formed, the people who wrote our Constitution also wrote a list of amendments to our Constitution called the Bill of Rights. The second of those amendments was about the arming of militias."

"Militias?" said Squid-boy.

"Yes. At the time, my country was too new and poor to be able to afford to have a professional standing army. So, the way defense was organized was for individual states, and even local communities, to organize a way to call people to arms if they were needed to defend against a threat. And, so that those militias would have the necessary arms to call upon, the second amendment was written, which guarantees the right of people to have guns in order to serve as part of a well-regulated militia. To defend the country."

"But you do have a professional military."

I snorted. "Sugar, we have the largest professional military the planet Earth has ever seen in all of human history. A lot can change in more than 200 years. We even have a militia; it's called the National Guard."

"So then how does this amendment apply to guns in your current day society?" asked Yax.

"As I said, a misinterpretation."

"How is it being misinterpreted that would make some of your people think that there should be no rules about who can own weapons or what types of weapons non-military personnel should be allowed access to? That seems extreme, to say the least."

"Well, some people claim that the militias mentioned in the second amendment were intended by the people who wrote it to mean militias that would be available if our own government overstepped its authority and needed to be removed by force."

"Is that what it meant?" asked Squid-boy.

I shrugged. "Honestly? I don't know. It's possible. The amendment itself doesn't say anything about that, but there are other writings by the people who founded our government to suggest that at least some of them felt that way. Those writings aren't part of our legal code, but they do exist. And the people who wrote our Constitution and the Bill of Rights were revolutionaries who had fought a war to overthrow the government that had ruled over them, so it would be entirely within their character to worry about governmental excess. But, again, none of those writings were included in the legal code they wrote, only in their personal correspondence."

"But, if that's what they intended, even if they failed to explicitly state it, would that give credence to the argument being used by those in your society, now, who seek to keep your government from regulating weapons?"

I shook my head. "No. For a couple of reasons. First, even if that's what the founders meant, there's still the fact that they stipulated that guns be kept for the purpose of a well-regulated militia. Which means that being part of a militia is necessary, which most people who own guns aren't, and that the militia can and should be regulated. And part of regulation is defining who can safely be allowed access to guns and what guns are appropriate for non-military members."

"And, second, and most importantly, as I said before, a lot can change in more than 200 years. At the time the Bill of Rights was written, it was realistic to think that a citizens' militia possessing only small arms would have a chance to prevail over a professional army if the members of the militia were dedicated enough and had enough support from the populace. That's no longer the case. The advancements in weapons technology mean that, no matter how many guns regular people have or what kind of guns they are, they'll never be able to mount an effective defense against missiles launched from hundreds of miles away or bombs dropped from the sky by unmanned drones or poisonous chemicals deployed in clouds of gas or dozens of other weapons that a professional military run by a government has that a civilian militia will never have."

"So, these people you're talking about seek to rectify the problems in your society through armed insurrection?" asked Yax.

I sighed. "There are some crazies who think that way, yeah. Other people just think it's fun to play with guns. And there are other people who just want to bully people they don't like and think having guns will garner them respect they haven't earned."

"But there are people in your society who are seeking to ban guns?" asked Squid-boy.

I rolled my eyes. "No. And now you sound like the gun nuts."

"Then how does the recent increase in civil unrest apply to this issue?"

"Because there are people who are trying to get legislation passed that will regulate guns in sensible ways."

"Why not ban them, altogether?" asked Yax. "If they have caused enough trouble in your society that people feel the need to protest them, why have them at all?"

"Because the people who are protesting are generally reasonable people who just want to decrease the number of mass shootings that take place on a regular basis in public places in our country. And that can be achieved by regulating the types of guns that can be owned by civilians as well as doing a better job of making sure those who will use guns to harm others aren't able to get access to guns."

"But wouldn't it be simpler to get rid of guns completely?" asked Squid-boy.

"No. Because some people need guns to protect themselves and their livestock against predation by wild animals, or to hunt animals for food, or any number of other legitimate reasons a person might need a gun. And most of the people who have protested for better gun control laws are aware of those reasons."

"And their efforts have been successful?"

I wagged my hand back and forth. "A little. Remember when I compared our current situation to boiling water? Well, there's a lot of pressure being exerted by the corporations that manufacture guns to keep better laws from being passed. They don't seem to care how many people are murdered, so long as they keep making money. And they use quite a bit of that money so that their lobbyists can influence politicians through campaign donations."

"The corruption you talked about, before," murmured Yax.

"Yep. But the marches and other political pressure that the people who want better gun control legislation passed is starting to be strong enough to push back against the gun lobby. There have been some laws passed, at the state and local level, to try to help regulate guns more effectively. And even some politicians at the national level are starting to talk about it, which is more than they've done in the past."

"But will it work? In the final analysis, will these groups that are marching and advocating for change achieve their goals?"

I shrugged. "I don't know. What's happening now is just a start, not a finish. A lot can, and I'm sure will, happen before anything is really decided. Like I said before, we'll have to wait and see what happens."

Monday, June 18, 2018

#June2018 #IndieBooksBeSeen #Indie #Author #Books #Monthly #BookReview!

Hey Everyone!! :-)

It's the 18th again, so time for my #IndieBooksBeSeen monthly indie author book review!! Enjoy! :-)

The Watchmage of Old New York by C. A. Sanders: 

Nathaniel Hood is a good man who raised a good son, Jonas. Both men have dedicated their lives to protecting others, though their spheres of influence differ greatly. When a baby is kidnapped and Jonas is brutally attacked by the supernatural creatures Nathaniel is charged with controlling and disciplining, father and son find themselves working together to solve the crime.

As a former New Yorker, I loved this story. I found myself comparing my recollections of The City with the descriptions in the book and, at times, trying to decide if my memory was at fault or if the differences were due to the changes that have happened since the 19th century. Still, it was a fun mental exercise and an enjoyable trip down memory lane. The descriptions in the book were vivid; I could almost smell the tang in the air that is distinctly New York.

It's also clear that the author has done his research, both into the history of New York City and its neighborhoods and into the mythology he used to create his fantasy creatures. I'm not sure if this book should be classified as urban fantasy or steampunk or something in between, but whatever it is, it's a fantastic read and I'm really looking forward to the next book in the series!

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Savory #Crockpot Oatmeal #Recipe!

Hey Everyone!! :-)

This is a really easy recipe you can just throw into the crockpot before you leave for work in the morning and you'll have a hot meal ready for you when you get home. Enjoy! :-)

2 cups steel cut oats
6 cups water
2 cups milk
1 cup pecorino romano grated
2 cups sharp cheddar shredded
8 cloves garlic minced
1 cup fresh sage chopped
4 sprigs fresh rosemary
2 onions chopped fine
4 tbsp old bay seasoning
2 tbsp turmeric
1 tbsp red pepper flakes (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

Add all the ingredients except the cheddar cheese to the crock pot and stir to combine. Turn the crockpot on low and cook for 7-8 hours. Turn off the heat, remove the stems from the rosemary, and stir in the cheddar cheese. Serve straight from the crockpot or spoon some into a baking dish and brown under the broiler for a couple of minutes.

When adding salt, be careful because the cheese is salty and you don't want to over salt your oatmeal. You do, however, want to add a good amount of black pepper. Also, feel free to stir in any vegetables or meat you might like to add when you stir in the cheddar cheese. For an alternate version, add a can of crushed tomatoes to the crockpot in the morning, substituting it for 1-1.5 cup(s) of water.

Bon appetit!

Saturday, June 16, 2018

#Spring Into #Reading #Giveaway! $120 #Cash #Grand #Prize! #Free To #Enter!

Hey Everyone!! :-)

There's a new giveaway for Spring!  Please take a moment to check out the Spring Into Reading Giveaway!!  There are lots of awesome books and prizes!! :-)  It's free to enter, there are over 40 prizes, and the grand prize is $120 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! :-)

Friday, June 15, 2018

#NewRelease #Announcement: Stolen Gypsy By Elizabeth Horton-Newton!

Hey Everyone! :-)

My good friend, Elizabeth, is here to tell us about her new release novel, Stolen Gypsy. Elizabeth, take it away! :-)


Her parents are dead. The government has failed her. Now she doesn’t even know who she is. Terza Blackstone is rescued by handsome Irishman Tristan Devlin and that begins the search for her true identity. When everything you thought was yours has been stolen from you, there’s only one thing to do. Steal it all back. What do gypsies, the Witness Protection Program, a drug cartel, and a young girl running for her life have in common?

Advanced Reviews for Stolen Gypsy

“A real page-turner. I couldn’t put it down. Imagine waking up to find out you weren’t who you thought you were. ” Kathy Broggy

“Fascinating. Mind-blowing plot twists. I was up all night reading, unable to set the book down” Michelle Martin

“I learned so much about gypsies and their traditions. Best part was the action scenes and the Feds. The part when the drug cartel shows up was so well written I could smell the smoking guns.” Nick LeBlanc

“…it’s fantastic! I totally loved it! So much was stolen from her, but… she stole her life back again! Terza’s life starts to peel away, and an array of shattering truths rise up from a past, she hardly realised she’d had. With the help of a handsome Irish hunk Tristan, Terza faces off with ruthless drug cartels, mysterious Romany gypsy gangs, the local police and the FBI, all the time fighting to get back the life that was stolen from her. ” Michelle Medhat, Author Connected: The Calling and The Shift

Thursday, June 14, 2018

#APC #Spotlight: In Times Of Violence By Karina Kantas!

Hey Everyone!! :-)

I've got Karina Kantas in my APC spotlight, today! Karina is an active and supportive member of the Authors-Professional Co-op Facebook group and her young adult, motorcycle club, coming of age, romance novel, In Times of Violence, looks great! Here's the description:

Jade had been sheltered most of her life. Living in an isolated village with only sex and drugs to entertain. Her mother is an alcoholic and her father doesn't give a damn.
Her only way out is to beg her Aunt to allow her to stay as a guest in their London house.
Jade meets fate head-on in the form of Marcus, president of the Tyrants MC. She finally finds a family that loves and respects her and they are not BLOOD. Nothing comes easy to Jade and she is forced to fight to keep her title and status. Then just when life starts to go right, one-night changes everything.

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! :-)