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

Monday, June 17, 2019

Something Worth Watching?

Hey Everyone!! :-)

I'm back today with some more videos I wanted to share. These are about something that happened two weekends ago, but I definitely think it's something that everyone should know about. So, please take a few minutes to watch the videos, and then decide if you'd like to sign on. Peace!

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Keep The Kitchen Cool Panzanella Salad #Recipe!

Hey Everyone!! :-)

This is one of the easiest summertime recipes in my repertoire, and it's one of my favorites. Panzanella salad is almost like pizza, but without having to turn on the oven, which makes it perfect for summertime meals. ;-) Enjoy!

2 cups day-old bread torn into bite-sized chunks
1 cup grape tomatoes rinsed, drained, and halved
1 cup bite-sized balls of fresh mozzarella cheese
1 cup sliced button mushrooms
1/2 cup shredded fresh basil leaves
1 small red onion chopped fine
1.5 cups extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 cloves garlic grated
Salt and pepper to taste

Toss together the bread, tomatoes, mushrooms, cheese, basil, and onion in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss them together. Serve chilled and enjoy.

Buon Appetito!

Saturday, June 15, 2019

#Spring Into #Reading Authors & Bloggers #Giveaway! $72 #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 Authors & Bloggers Giveaway!!  There are lots of awesome books and prizes!! :-)  It's free to enter, there are over 40 prizes, and the grand prize is $72 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 14, 2019

Exciting #Opportunity! #Summer #Giveaway Signup!

Hey Everyone!! :-)

If you're a fellow author and/or blogger, and you'd like the opportunity to grow your social media following without spending a lot of $$$ on advertising, check out the details in the image above. If this sounds like something you'd be interested in, click the link below and answer the questions. Happy writing! :-)

Thursday, June 13, 2019

#APC #Spotlight: The Quantum Eavesdropper Volume 1 By Richard Gibney!

Hey Everyone!! :-)

I've got Richard Gibney in my APC spotlight, today! Richard is an active and supportive member of the  Authors-Professional Co-op Facebook group and his espionage, thriller, action/adventure, time-travel, science fiction novel, The Quantum Eavesdropper, looks great! Here's the description:
Keir Tremayne and Yadana Osai arrive unexpectedly in New York in 1979, in an advanced space-going vessel. They are assisted in their return to the year 2095 – using physics previously learned from the future Tremayne and his allies – by an MIT professor with whom Tremayne has apparently been in contact from his future...

In 2094, Detective Sergeant Keir Tremayne's wife is brutally murdered in Dublin, Ireland. In 2095, on the lip of a black hole, Keir finds himself in the most incomparable of circumstances: he can now communicate with those living throughout Earth's history—and finds he can right the wrongs in his own past.
On the first faster-than-light manned spaceflight to an alien world, Tremayne, hopelessly trapped on the edge of a black hole, finds himself once more forced into battle with the most formidable of nemeses.
Hidalgo Ingoldsby, a psychotic crime lord from Latin America, is keen to seize power in Ireland by exploiting the country’s Unionist and Nationalist divisions. Teaming up with Tremayne's arch rival, Zhinny Zhao, a Thailand-based, world-traveling terrorist with psionic links to alien life, Ingoldsby plans a mass alien invasion of Earth and the fall of most of human kind.
Zhinny Zhao’s estranged father is a retired US naval admiral with whom she reconciles and ultimately installs as US president. Zhao’s estranged daughter, Yadana, is a prodigious 22-year-old scientist. Like Tremayne, she finds herself a reluctant draftee into Earth’s first faster-than-light space program.
Will Tremayne alter history to save his wife at the possible expense of Earth’s future?
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, June 12, 2019

#Agent Thoth's #Personal Log: Day 955

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 Nine-Hundred-Fifty-Five:
My symptoms have abated, somewhat, but it seems my protégé has now contracted this infuriating infection. In fact, the unfortunate youth seems to be suffering even worse than I did. The reason why this would be the case is unclear to me, unless his system was so taxed by his existing injury that this additional stress was more than it could cope with. Regardless of the explanation, he seems exceedingly ill.

My hominid-servant seems deeply troubled by my companion’s symptoms and has indicated she is making arrangements to return him to the fixing place. While my suffering was severe, the portion of my respiratory tract affected was limited to my sinuses and nasal passages. Unfortunately for him, my compatriot’s illness seems to have advanced to the point where it’s possible his lungs may be involved. So, my hominid-servant is correct that skilled intervention is needed, but I still have reservations as to the advisability of exposing him to the trauma of such a trip when his system is already under such strain.

I must admit, my fondness for the small pest is a bit concerning to me. However, it is impossible for me to deny that I am experiencing anxiety over the little idiot’s fate. And the prospect of his being forced to revisit a place like the fixing place doesn’t help alleviate my disquiet. Hopefully, my hominid-servant will come up with a more palatable alternative that will still ensure my young cohort receives the care that he obviously requires.

Uh-oh. Time to get the doctor! 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 11, 2019

The Challenge Of Escaping One's Own Perspective...

Hey Everyone!

As those of you who follow my blog know, I recently published a new book. While I was working on the final polish before publishing, I read back through the dialogue to make sure each character's "voice" was distinct and unique to them. I think any author can identify with the struggle to "get into the heads" of characters; to make sure that everything they say and do in the story is consistent with who they are. The process reminded me of something I thought of several years ago when I received my first one-star review.

The review was on my first novel, and it's certainly not the only bad review I've received, but it was the first. Normally, I don't think too much about bad reviews, and I pretty much never comment on them, but this one stuck with me. And it wasn't just because it was my first or because it was critical.

As I said, it was my first novel, and that fact showed. I've already gone back and revised it once and probably will again, at some point. My writing has gotten cleaner with each successive book; it seems I learn something important during the creation process every time. And, amazingly enough, practice does seem to hone one's skill, even in writing. Who knew?

So some of the criticism was warranted. But there were two things that stuck with me about the review. One was simply a statement of fact, though why the reader considered that fact worthy of censure is something that escapes me. They declared that my book is "unrealistic." Well, considering it's a paranormal romance set mainly in Fairie, I would have thought that would be obvious. Why someone would choose a fantasy genre if they're looking for realism is a mystery to me. But, fair enough, they were correct. It is unrealistic.

But the other statement is the one that bugged me the most. Because even in that early example of my work, I strove to make sure my characters' thoughts, words, and actions were consistent with who they were. There's a point in the story when the heroine, after she has been taken to Fairie, observes one of the Fae making bread. And she thinks to herself about how she had never thought about what went into making bread because, in her experience, bread came in plastic bags at the grocery store. And the reviewer took issue with this scene, asserting that everyone knows how to make bread.

The heroine in that story was a woman in her late twenties who was orphaned as a baby. She was subsequently bounced from foster home to foster home until she aged out of the system and started working at a myriad of low-paying, dead-end jobs, always two or three at a time. As a child, she never had adults in her life who took an interest in teaching her to cook, and she never had time to teach herself as an adult. To her, food came in tin cans or cardboard boxes and was heated in a microwave. Which is a reality lived by many.

It took a while to figure out why this simple critique bothered me so much. I've received much harsher criticism that barely registered, so it was odd to me that this is what stuck in my mind. But I finally realized it was the obliviousness to the way others experience the world that was reflected in the assumption that, of course, everyone knows how to make bread was what was getting under my skin.

It wasn't just a book review, any more than the legend about Marie Antoinette advising the people to eat cake was just a menu suggestion. It was a reflection of a worldview that fails to take into account the challenges and obstacles that others have to overcome just to get where some of us are fortunate enough to start. A paradigm that centers around a lack of empathy.

Yes, I realize I'm reading too much into a single statement. Not being able to identify with a specific character doesn't say much about a person. Especially when the argument can certainly be made that it was my failure to craft a character who was real enough to be relatable that was the actual cause of the problem.

But regardless of whether it was true of the reviewer, it's certainly true of our society in general that there is often a lack of understanding for perspectives that don't match our own. Worse, there's a lack of willingness to even try to understand. Granted, it's not easy. One of the biggest challenges in writing is trying to see the world through the eyes of different characters.

But in life, as in writing, it's necessary to meet that challenge. If we don't, then our stories can only be two dimensional and boring, with none of the spice and variety that can only come from an appreciation for the breadth and depth of the span that makes up the human experience. And the way every individual's slice of that experience colors their behavior, including our own.