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

Saturday, October 31, 2015

#CoverReveal: #Captivated By The #Winter #King!!! :-)

Hey Everyone!! :-)

Guess what!!! We're only one month away from the release of Captivated By The Winter King!!! :-) Squee!! ;-)  This newest installment in the Spellbound Hearts series is due to be released on November 30, 2015.  To celebrate, I thought I'd share the fantabulous cover that the amazingly talented Erin Dameron-Hill has created!  Here's a little about the story:

Kate is a woman on the run. After years of being physically and emotionally abused by her fiance, she's finally had enough. But leaving might be even more dangerous than staying, so she needs to get as far away as she can as fast as possible. A late night, desperate drive through the pouring rain ends suddenly when a cat appears in the middle of the road. While trying to avoid the half-drowned creature, Kate loses control of her car and crashes through a portal to Fairie.
Ankou is a fallen God of Death and the king of the Winter Court of Fairie, and he's facing pressure from every direction. The magic of the Court is out of balance due to the centuries-long lack of a queen. He is harried constantly by the Court nobles who want him to either step down or take a mate. All the duties of a ruling pair rest squarely on his shoulders. And added to all this is a soul-crushing loneliness. His existence stretches back hundreds of millennia, and in all that time he has never found the one person who could warm his lonely heart. He is exhausted and discouraged, and the last thing he needs is to go tearing off into the night on a fool's errand. But one of his lingering god powers is the ability to sense the right course of action to follow, and his instincts are screaming at him to go to a particular place in the forest of the Winter kingdom and wait. Imagine his surprise when he finds the one he has been waiting for his whole life!
Using a careful blend of patience, seduction, and domination, the Winter king tries to win his soulmate's love. Feeling safe and valued for the first time in her memory, Kate explores her new freedom by agreeing to try the BDSM games her lover suggests. As she experiments with both domination and submission, she learns just how liberating surrender can be. Will Ankou be able to convince Kate that she can trust him with her feelings as well as her body? Will Kate find a way to overcome the trauma of her past and open up her heart to accept the love that is offered to her? Can these two broken people find a way to fit all their disparate pieces together into a stronger, united whole? You'll have to read to find out!

I'm also excited to share a sneak peek with you with this excerpt:

When he saw his Anamchara's nod of consent, Ankou released a breath he hadn't realized he'd been holding. The trust she was showing warmed him far more than any fire could. He was determined to prove himself worthy of that trust. Looking around at the gathering light, he realized the air was much too cold for what he had in mind. With a gesture, he cast a spell to raise the temperature of the area around them to something that approached a comfortable level.

Turning back to his mate, he said, "Come here." When she approached, he ordered, "Remove your clothing."

In spite of the warmer air, Kate shivered. There was something deliciously naughty about the idea of being naked outside. They were alone and the area was remote, but it was not a private space. Anyone might happen by.

Reaching behind her neck, she tugged at the closure that sealed the dress in back. It had been spelled to release when she pulled at it, and the bodice dropped away from her body. Sliding the sleeves down her arms, she allowed it to pool at her waist as she unfastened the top of the skirt. Once freed, she allowed the dress to fall to the ground and stepped out of it. Seeing that Ankou held his hand out for it, she picked it up and handed it to him.

Standing under the cloudless sky in nothing but her lacy underwear, she felt free. She looked at her mate, who just raised his eyebrows and said, "Those as well."

After sliding the bra straps down her arms, she reached behind herself to unhook it. The cool air caressed her skin and her nipples puckered. She shivered as she handed the bra to Ankou. Taking a deep breath, she removed her boots and stockings. The cold of the snow under her feet was noticeable, but not unbearable. She realized Ankou was using magic to protect her there as well and she smiled. Sliding her panties down her legs, she stepped out of them and handed them to her mate.

"Stay there," ordered Ankou, who took Kate's clothing and laid it on the platform they had slept on to keep it from getting wet in the snow. Walking around the small clearing, he looked for things he could use. He found the remnants of a tree that had broken and fell. Using magic, he smoothed and shaped the stump into a wooden platform. After making sure the surface was polished and free of any splinters or sharp edges, he ordered Kate to join him.

As she padded across the snow, Kate couldn't help but wonder what Ankou had planned. Looking at the stump he had prepared, she was confused. It looked sturdy and came up to her belly button, but she didn't see what it could be used for.

Walking a few feet away, Ankou selected a large stick from the pile of wood Kate had collected the night before. Using magic again, he shaped it into a long, thin, smooth cane. He used both hands to bend it, testing how much give was in the wood. Satisfied, he returned to where his Anamchara waited for him.

When Kate saw what Ankou had in his hand, her eyes widened. Did he intend to use that on her? Searching his face, she found no clues in his blank expression.

Standing in front of her, the Winter king saw the trepidation in his mate's eyes. Cupping his hand behind her head, he threaded his fingers through her hair and drew her body against his. He leaned down, claiming her lips in a possessive kiss. Skimming his lips along her cheek, he nipped at her ear and whispered, "Do you trust me?"

The warmth of her lover's body against Kate's front contrasted with the cool air that caressed her back. Ankou's shirt rasped against her taught nipples and made her shiver. There was a tension in the air, even more so than was usually present when they played these games, and she felt mesmerized by the intensity. As his words penetrated the fog that swirled through her mind, the anxiety left her. "Yes. I trust you."

Stepping back, Ankou smiled. "Good."

Oh my!! What's going to happen next? Want to find out?  You'll have to read the story!  Captivated By The Winter King is available for pre-order from most popular online merchants:

So feel free to reserve your copy now and get it the moment it's released!! :-)  Also, don't forget to enter my rafflecopter giveaway.  It ends at midnight tonight! :-)

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Thank you all so much for checking out my newest work, and I hope you all enjoy it.  Happy Reading!! :-)

Friday, October 30, 2015

#Awesome #Dark #Dreams #Halloween #Giveaway! $175 #Grand #Prize!

Hey Everyone!! :-)

Guess what?!?  I'm participating in an awesome Rafflecopter giveaway!! :-)  There are lots of amazing authors who are part of this giveaway, and you can find them through social media at the links provided in the Rafflecopter below! :-)  Each author is offering individual prizes, and there's also a $175 Paypal grand prize!!!!  So there are lots of chances to win, and you might just win big!!! :-)  The prizes I'm offering are Kindle copies of one of my stories (winners' choices) for three people!! Check out all the other cool loot being offered by the other authors by clicking through all of the pictures in the Rafflecopter, and then start liking and following for chances to win! :-)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, October 29, 2015

#Interview With Catherine Winters

Hey Everyone!! :-)

Catherine Winters has joined us today!! :-)  Catherine, will you please tell us about yourself and how many books you have written?

Catherine:  I'm a thirty-something author living in Denver, Colorado. I've been writing since I was 10, and I currently have four novels out, and one collection of short stories.

Me:  Wonderful! :-)  What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?

Catherine:  The last book I published is GOLD. It's the third in a series, and the final book to a smaller trilogy within the larger universe. It was really inspired most by the first two books - as series enders tend to be - but I also wanted to explore some of the big questions that a newly-made vampire might face. What is life, what is death, what does it mean to live forever, how can you keep yourself sane, how do you contribute to society when you're outside of it. That kind of stuff. I don't know that my character, Josephine, really got any answers, but I like to think she's still working on it.

Me:  Sounds like Josephine is as mixed up as most of us. :-)  What are you working on now?

Catherine:  My fourth Imperial Vampires book, which is a prequel, is in editing right now. I'm also pitching a women's fiction about a young widow with a stalker to some agents. And my fifth Imperial Vampires book is starting to take shape.

Me:  Terrific! Best of luck with your pitching. ;-)  What authors, or books, have influenced you?

Catherine:  Oh, man. Who hasn't? I've been a reader for longer than I can remember. But I go back to my favorites: Anne Rice, Stephen King, Laurell K. Hamilton, Charlaine Harris, MaryJanice Davidson. I'm also a Dean Koontz fan, and I love A. S. Byatt, Gillian Flynn, and Elizabeth Kostova when I'm feeling more literary.

Me:  Ha!  Several of my favorite authors are on that list. :-)   What are you reading now?

Catherine:  Right now I'm finishing the latest Anita Blake novel from Laurell K. Hamilton. And then I have some romances and some stuff from local Colorado authors on my TBR.

Me:  I read that one, it's really good! :-)  For those who might consider reading your book, what would you tell them to expect?

Catherine:  Like Lego Batman said, "DARKNESS. NO PARENTS."   But in seriousness, I do like to explore the not-so-nice sides of things through my characters, who really push the story along. My characters are not tortured so much as they realize the world can be an unforgiving place, and the people in it even moreso. They've seen some shit. There's always hope - because it's life, and there's always hope in life - but sometimes, it can seem very far away.  Basically, I write character-driven adult fiction for adults - with some fangs and some hot billionaires and some smart, ambitious women.

Me:  Sounds interesting!! :-  What is your favorite part of being an author?

Catherine:  Working in my pajamas. :)  Seriously, it's getting to live with my characters. That's also my least-favorite part, but, you know. Only when they don't want to do what I tell them.

Me:  I think most authors could sympathize with you there!  In my novella, Intrigue In The Summer Court, my characters wanted to debate Machiavelli when I wanted them to be getting it on!  Stubborn things! ;-)   Do you have a day job as well?

Catherine:  I have three, actually. I work two days a week as a receptionist for Intelligent Office; I work one day a week as a courier for a property management company; and I work weekends as the principal mezzo-soprano for the choir at the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Denver.

Me:  Busy lady!! What are the hardest and easiest parts about being a writer?

Catherine:  The hardest part is making a career out of writing. All the marketing and designing and pushing the books out there is something that's difficult to get right, and you have to just keep trying and trying again until you find something that works well for you and for your books. I'm still not sure what that is, but I'm trying!   The easiest part is listening to my characters. They tell me what they want me to know, what story they want told. I just have to sift through it and find the truth.

Me:  I think marketing is a challenge for many authors. :-)  What genre do you place your book in?

Catherine:  The Imperial Vampires books are Urban Fantasy. MADNESS, my other novel, is somewhere between commercial fiction and literary fiction.

Me:  I love Urban Fantasy!!! :-)  Anything else you'd like to tell your readers?

Catherine:  I love, love, LOVE talking with readers and fans - of me, sure, but fans of general vampire stuff and geekery, too. My Facebook page is a lot of grammar jokes and puns and Star Trek memes, and it absolutely thrills me to no end when I get a comment on things. Talking to people about stuff we have in common is just absolutely the best, IMO, and they should never be hesitant to reach out to me.  I'm also more than happy to help out fellow writers. I know a lot of readers are also writers, and I really believe in the power of the community to raise us all up. If people have links for me to share or stories they need beta read or edited, I am totally here for that. I believe in giving back to my community - and I'm lucky enough that my community is all over the world and doing amazing things with storycraft and publishing these days.

Me:  I couldn't agree more, there are so many "kindred spirits" (as one of my favorite literary characters might say) out there, and it's always a pleasure to talk with them about our mutual obsessions. ;-)  So all these fine folks can find your amazing stories, are there any links you'd like me to post?

Catherine:  I'd love it if you could post my general social media stuff:
writingwinters.com - My website

And the buy links:
BLACK (Josephine Book 1)

Me:  Perfect!!  Thank you for sharing your work with us today, Catherine, it was a lot of fun to learn more about your work.  Thank you everyone else for joining us, and don't forget to stay tuned for more of Mistral Dawn's Musings!! :-)

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

#Animal #Rescuer’s #Guide #Continued: #Resources

Hey Everyone!! :-)

Here's the next installment of  An Animal Rescuer’s Guide to Staying (Relatively) Sane.  Here I continue to talk about resources needed by those who do animal rescue.  Specifically, I discuss the indispensable veterinarian.
The kitty pictured above is Longstreet.  Yes, Longstreet, like the Civil War general.  When he adopted me I was living with my ex-boyfriend who was a Civil War buff.  Longstreet's three siblings were dubbed Grant, Sherman, and Lee.
Longstreet was one of the first kitties who found me as a young adult when I first moved out of my parents house.  He and his family appeared one day under the apartment I was living in.  It wasn't long before they got sick and I quickly learned that one of the most important resources one needs to rescue animals is a good veterinarian.  You can read more about my thoughts on veterinarians below.

Resources; Veterinarians:
Finding the right veterinarian is extremely important. As a rescuer, you will be spending a lot of time and money with this person; so being able to form a good working relationship is essential. Unfortunately, I have not been able to find any kind of centralized resource to find information about vets so finding a good vet will involve some leg-work. You will need to find someone who is not only technically competent, but who also understands what you are doing and respects your work. There are more than a few vets who do not like rescuers (don’t ask me why, I don’t know), or do not understand and respect the work that a rescuer does. You want to avoid these vets because they will not be willing to do what you need them to do. You need a vet who will explain illnesses and treatment options to you, and who will not condescend every time you ask for clarification of technical jargon (which you will learn in time and with experience). You need a vet who is willing to sell you the medications they prescribe in bulk, or who is willing to give you a written prescription that you can use to obtain the medications from a less expensive source. You need a vet that is willing to show you how to do simple things at home so that you do not have to bring your rescues to the vet as often. These things will vary depending on what type of animals you are rescuing, but will generally include giving vaccinations, administering sub-cutaneous fluid, administering injectable medications, restraint techniques, and general first aid. If the vet is not willing to instruct you in these methods, or they balk if you tell them you are already familiar with them, you need to find another vet. Animal rescue is hard enough without having to fight with a doctor every time you have a sick or injured animal. 

You also need to find someone who is willing to cut you a break in pricing every now and again, and not charge you for every tiny thing they can find. This is where finding an understanding vet becomes important. Unless you are Bill Gates, you won’t be able to continue rescuing for very long if your vet nickels and dimes you to death. A vet needs to charge for their services and supplies in order to stay in business, and it is important for you to be understanding of this, but some vets will understand that you are trying to do a good thing and will cut you a deal where possible. These are the vets you need to find.

When you find this vet make them your best friend. Send them cards on their birthdays and at Christmas (if they celebrate), give them thank you notes, thank them often and repeatedly and tell them how much you appreciate them. Vets are human, a little gratitude and appreciation goes a long way. Whatever you do, don't alienate these vets. Good vets are like gold, they are very rare and very precious. Do not give them bad checks, give them a hard time about paying what you owe, bad mouth other vets, blame them when they can’t save an animal (they’re doctors not gods, sometimes there is nothing that can be done), give them an attitude, or be rude to them in any other way. You will be shooting yourself in the foot and it is unlikely you will be able to get another decent vet to see you; they talk to each other, you know.

If you are rescuing large or exotic animals you will need to find more than one vet; if your vet goes on vacation or gets sick then finding an alternate vet in a pinch may not be easy. You need to have one on standby in case of an emergency. Also, if your vet does not provide after-hours services you need to find an emergency vet, regardless of the type of animals you are rescuing.  Animals are not always courteous enough to only get sick or injured between the hours of 9am-5pm, Monday through Friday. How do you go about finding these vets? The best way is through word of mouth. Ask your friends, neighbors, coworkers, etc. about their vets. If someone you trust recommends a vet then take one of your animals there for a well-visit (a routine checkup, or the like) and talk to the vet and see what you think. Another really great source for finding a vet brings us to your next important resource.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

#RRBC #Spotlight #Author TC Booth! :-)

Rave Reviews Book Club
Spotlight Author
TC Booth

Excerpt from To Be Honest:
Still fueled from the anger coursing in my veins, I marched up to Maggie. “May I borrow your blue lipstick?”

Maggie creased her eyebrows. “Okay.” She reached in her purse and handed me a black tube. I twisted it until a blue waxy tip appeared. I smeared a thick coat of blue over my lips and puckered. I looked at Rayne. “You challenged me to do this, okay?”

Rayne glanced at Maggie. She shrugged. Jake arched an eyebrow.

“Ooo-kay,” Rayne said.

I spun on my heel. My heart thudded loud in my ears as I marched toward the group of skateboarders and BMX guys that stood in a circle. I scanned over the faces of the circle until I found my target. After I sucked in a breath, I pushed my way past the curious faces of the boys, until I was face to face with Chase. The group fell silent. Chase tilted his head and quirked his eyebrow. I took another deep breath then placed my hands on Chase’s broad shoulders, rose on my tiptoes, and placed a blue kiss on his cheek. The boys erupted with laughter and whistles.

“Tell your girlfriend where that came from.” I tapped the blue mark left on his cheek. The shock on his face left, replaced with a half-twisted smile. That infuriating grin of his was back. I shouldered my way through the boys. Heads turned, tracking my movements. My friends gawked at me like I’d grown three heads. I slipped onto the seat at the table so my back was to Chase.

“Whoa, Emerson. You just rocked the challenge above all challenges, even though you didn’t really get challenged,” Rayne said. “That didn’t make any sense, did it?” He lifted one dark eyebrow.

Jake shook his head, still wide-eyed. “Not at all.”

To Be Honest Playlist:
Steal My Girl by One Direction
Don’t Stop Believin’ by Journey
Heroes by Alesso and Tove Lo
Fight Song by Rachel Platten

To learn more about TC Booth or to purchase her books, please visit:
Amazon Author Page: http://bit.ly/TCBooth
Website http://www.tcbooth.com
Twitter handle: @BoothTammi

Monday, October 26, 2015

#MondayMotivation #Excerpt!! :-)

Hey Everyone!! :-)

Here's a new excerpt for you.  Kate is getting more confident with her wardrobe choices here.  If you enjoy this little peek, you'll love what happens afterwards. ;-)

Captivated By The Winter King Excerpt:
When Ankou saw how his Anamchara was dressed he was stunned and all the blood in his head went straight to his groin. His jaw fell open and it was all he could do to keep from snatching her up and locking them both in their playroom for the rest of the night. She had always been stunning in his eyes, but the outfit she wore highlighted her physical perfection.

Delighted by his reaction, Kate grinned and twirled around. "What do you think?" she asked.

Swallowing, Ankou forced his dumbfounded brain to engage. His eyes traveled her entire length, from the toes of her spike-healed, black leather, thigh-high boots to the crown of black roses she wore in her scarlet hair. A narrow, ankle-length, black leather skirt covered her lower body, but tantalizing peeks of pale flesh flashed from behind a slit that ran from the bottom of the skirt up to the top of her left thigh. The skirt rode low on her hips, ending below her navel. For a bodice she wore a black leather corset. The top of the garment cupped and lifted her small breasts, presenting them perfectly with the leather rising just above her nipples. A strip of white skin at her waist was left exposed and seemed to be begging for him to run his fingers over it. As a final touch, she had added a floor-length leather cape to the ensemble. The collar of the cape rose high and framed her delicate features.

Studying her face, the Winter king realized she had also done something to make her eyes look bigger and her lips redder and fuller than usual. Stepping forward, he asked, "Are you wearing cosmetics?"

Her smile widening, Kate shook her head, "No. I plucked and shaped my eyebrows and put a little of one of your lubricants on my lips for a few minutes. I think the results are satisfactory."

A slow smile spread across his face and admiration shone from his eyes. Stepping forward, he claimed the lips in question with a passionate kiss. Pulling back, he looked down into her eyes and growled, "More than."

Sunday, October 25, 2015

#Resources: #Supplies

Hey Everyone!! :-)

Here's the third installment of An Animal Rescuer’s Guide to Staying (Relatively) Sane.  This is the part of the Resources category about supplies.  Also, here's Snuggly again.  This was just a couple of days before she went to her forever home.  As you can see, she's filled out quite a bit more and her fur had become soft and silky.  Don't let the resting-bitch-face fool you, she was a sweetie. :-)

An Animal Rescuer’s Guide to Staying (Relatively) Sane Resources: Supplies:
What you need here is going to vary a lot depending on what type(s) of animals you are rescuing. You will need to create a list of the basic needs of your charge(s). Food, cages/tanks/rooms/stalls/fields/fencing/kennels/other space or restraints/physical barriers, bedding, treats, water bottles, storage containers, toys, perches, waste containers/disposal methods, lights, bowls, troughs, leashes, harnesses, medications, de-wormers, parasite control measures, cleaning products, antiseptics that are safe for the species you are caring for, brushes, bandages, etc. In short, anything that you will need to have in order to provide for the basic needs of the animal(s) in your custody. You will need to be intimately familiar with the dietary, housing, medical, and other physical needs of the animals you are caring for. Even if you have cared for this type of animal for years, you are now expanding the scope of that care (after all, that’s what rescue is). You may end up with animals that are in bad physical shape (diseased, malnourished, or injured), you may end up with very old or very young animals, and you will probably end up with a greater number of animals than you are used to. You need to update and verify the accuracy of any information you may have, and you need to expand your knowledge base. You can get some of the information you need from books (and every rescuer should develop and maintain a library on the animals that they are caring for), but the best way to go about determining what these supplies will need to be is to talk to someone who is experienced in rescuing these types of animals, and to a veterinarian who is experienced in working with these types of animals. Which brings us to our next necessary resource.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

#Awesome #Dark #Dreams #Halloween #Giveaway! $175 #Grand #Prize!

Hey Everyone!! :-)

Guess what?!?  I'm participating in an awesome Rafflecopter giveaway!! :-)  There are lots of amazing authors who are part of this giveaway, and you can find them through social media at the links provided in the Rafflecopter below! :-)  Each author is offering individual prizes, and there's also a $175 Paypal grand prize!!!!  So there are lots of chances to win, and you might just win big!!! :-)  The prizes I'm offering are Kindle copies of one of my stories (winners' choices) for three people!! Check out all the other cool loot being offered by the other authors by clicking through all of the pictures in the Rafflecopter, and then start liking and following for chances to win! :-)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, October 23, 2015

#Animal #Rescuer's #Guide #Continued

Hey Everyone!! :-)

Here's the next bit of An Animal Rescuer’s Guide to Staying (Relatively) Sane.  This part is subtitled Resources and is further broken down into sections.  The part I'm posting today was my introduction to the Resources category.
Also, here's Snuggly again.  She's had a little more time to get well in this picture and is starting to fill out some more.  She really liked sleeping in the window and soaking up the sun. :-)

An Animal Rescuer’s Guide to Staying (Relatively) Sane Resources Introduction:
I cannot stress enough how important it is to have resources when you are in rescue. I have seen a lot of enthusiastic and well-meaning people jump into animal rescue with both feet only to sink like a stone because they did not have the proper preparation.

Successful animal rescuers are formidably organized. They make sure to have all of the resources they need (or might possibly need) before they start a project. These resources need to be both physical and emotional. Let me say that again: THESE RESOURCES ***NEED*** TO BE *BOTH* PHYSICAL AND EMOTIONAL. So many times have I seen a rescuer neglect their own needs in order to care for their charges. You cannot care properly for the animals in your custody if you do not also care for yourself. And this most definitely includes your emotional well-being. What follows will be a list of some of the resources that every animal rescuer needs to have. Like all lists that have to do with life-long works, this list is forever expanding, changing, and evolving. In spite of that caveat, I think this is a good place to start.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

#IABBAddict #BlogTour! :-)

Hey Everyone!! :-)

I'm being "toured" today by the #IABBAddict tour group.  As part of the tour, I'll be hosting a rafflecopter giveaway, which you can find below.  The rafflecopter will be open until October 31st, which is also when I'll be revealing the cover for Captivated By The Winter King. Feel free to enter as many times as you'd like! Below the rafflecopter will be links to some of the blogs that are featuring me today.  Please take a moment to visit them and give them some love. Thank you so much for all your love and support!!! :-)

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

A #TongueInCheek #Guide To #Animal #Rescue

Hey Everyone! :-)

I was going through some old files on my computer and I found a "manual" I wrote as a school assignment on how to do animal rescue.  It was titled An Animal Rescuer’s Guide to Staying (Relatively) Sane and I wrote it sort of tongue-in-cheek, but also sort of seriously.  Anyway, I thought some of you might find it interesting, so I decided to post bits of it in increments (it's kind of long) until all of it has been posted.  I thought these posts also might be a good opportunity to show you some pictures of some of the rescue babies who have impacted my life.  
The picture above is of Snuggly, a kitty who was found, starving, digging through a garbage can.  She was about seven years old, according to the vet, and had severe infections in her eyes and in her gums.  All of her teeth were rotten and ended up having to be removed.  As you can see from the picture, someone also removed her ears, but I don't know the circumstances surrounding how that happened.  
This picture was taken several weeks after Snuggly came to me; the infections in her eyes had cleared up and she'd had surgery on her mouth to remove the rotten teeth and she had put on some weight and was looking a little better.  Snuggly came by her name because, even though she was in a lot of pain, she was always the sweetest, most cuddly kitty you could ever meet.  Once she had fully recovered and was at a healthy weight, Snuggly went to her forever home with an older couple who had three other older cats and were looking for a "youngster" who could liven them up a bit but wasn't so young they'd wear them out.  Snuggly fit their family purrfectly. :-)

Introduction to An Animal Rescuer’s Guide to Staying (Relatively) Sane:
Animal rescue can be an extremely rewarding pursuit. Like children, animals are completely dependent upon their care-takers. Because of this, the potential for abuse and neglect is extreme.

As a rescuer you will witness appalling acts of cruelty and the hideous results of apathy and ignorance; in fact, it is at these times when your help will be needed the most. You will also experience indescribable examples of love, selflessness, and beauty. Events will occur that will both rend and warm your heart – sometimes simultaneously. Animal rescue is a calling that is fraught with emotional ups and downs. 

The very nature of animal rescue is unpredictability. Because of this, the uninitiated or inexperienced can be caught unawares and the results can be devastating. It is not possible to over-stress the importance of being prepared to deal with any possible eventuality, which sometimes means admitting that you are not able to deal with a situation by yourself.

It is for these reasons that I am writing this handbook. It is my hope that the advice contained in these pages will assist someone in their efforts to ease the suffering of animals and, perhaps, to ease their own pain as well.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

A #Perk! A #Perk! ;-)

Hey Everyone!! :-)

As you may have guessed from the picture, this post will be a review of some products.  First, some background.  As some of you may know, there is a website called "Klout" that tracks people's impact on social media and gives them a "score" based on that impact.  Sometimes, some companies will offer people "perks" based on their Klout score.  Perks can be lots of different things.  In my case, I qualified for a perk that consisted of a bunch of free stuff from http://befair.org/ .  The goodies I received are in the picture above. :-)

So, what did I think of them?  Well, frankly, they were awesome!!! :-)   The coconut treats and the chocolate bark were delicious!! :-)  The coffee is amazing, full-bodied and strong.  The sugar works perfectly in both baking and for sweetening drinks.  The turmeric is fresh and both the scent and the flavor are strong and season food beautifully.  I'm not much of a tea drinker, but the Honest cinnamon tea was pretty good.  The Kashi granola bars were a little dry, but they were good and not overly sweet.  So all-in-all, yay befair.org and thank you so much for sending me these products!! :-)

Monday, October 19, 2015

#BookGarden #BlogTour #Begins!! :-)

Hey Everyone!! :-)

I'm being "toured" from October 19th-October 23rd by the Book Garden tour group.  As part of the tour, I'll be hosting a rafflecopter giveaway, which you can find below.  The rafflecopter will be open until October 31st, which is also when I'll be revealing the cover for Captivated By The Winter King.  Feel free to enter as many times as you'd like!  Thank you so much for all your love and support!!! :-)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Here's a list of the blogs that are/will be featuring me.  Please do me a favor and give them some love!! :-)

Blog Name                                       Blog URL                                         

Monday, 10/19:
Books, Authors, Blogs                http://therightbook4u.blogspot.com     

Bella's Blog                               http://bellasblog56.weebly.com            

BeachBoundBooks                    http://www.beachboundbooks.com/blogging-about-books      

Coffee Books & Art                  http://sarityahalomi.blogspot.com/        

The Dichotomous Author         www.dichotomousauthor.wordpress.com 

After ThisPage Book Blog       http://afterthispagebookblog.com               

Digital Diary               https://adsunsri.wordpress.com/2015/06/10/the-egoistick-maniac/ 

Dichotomous Author             www.dichtomousauthor.wordpress.com   

Tuesday, 10/20:
Jen Winters Is An Indie Author   http://jenwintersne.wordpress.com        

Jessica Wren Fiction              http://Jessicawrenfiction.com                   

deal sharing aunt            http://www.dealsharingaunt.blogspot.com         

Fallen For Books                       Fallen for Books Facebook Page               

After ThisPage Book Blog      http://afterthispagebookblog.com                   

Wednesday, 10/21:
Tracey Quintin       https://facebook.com/LOVEBOOKSWITHROMANCE 

Between the Beats                 http://elizabethnnewton.com/                   

The Cheshire Cat's Looking Glass   http://cheshirecatlookingglass.com 

Alpha Loving Erotic Book Beauty   http://jodinay.blogspot.com             

Kim's Author Support Page           https://kimwrtr.wordpress.com                

Thursday, 10/22:
Valley Girl Gone Country          www.valleygirlgonecountry.com     

abibliophobia anon book reviews    http://abibliophobiaanonymous.blogspot.com/

deal sharing aunt                  http://www.dealsharingaunt.blogspot.com        

Friday, 10/23:
Nicole's Book Musings            http://nicolesbookmusings.blogspot.com/     

Just Books & Rainne's Ramblings      http://rainnes.blogspot.co.uk/             

Reveries From Barb                    http://reveriesfrombarb.blogspot.com/     

Cupcakes and Vodka Book Blog    http://cupcakesandvodkabookblog.blogspot.com

Julie Nicholls                                 http://julienicholls.com/                         

Sunday, October 18, 2015

#October #IndieBooksBeSeen #Indie #Authors #Book #Reviews!! :-)

Hey Everyone!! :-)

Yep!  It's the 18th again, so here are my indie book reviews for the month! :-)

Clan and Crown by Tracy St. John:

Clan and Crown is the story of how Clajak, Egilka, and Bevau found each other and became clanmates. It's a story I've been looking forward to for a long time, and it didn't disappoint in the least! Once again, Ms. St. John has woven an engaging tale full of plot twists and adventures, as well as both tender and spicy moments between the characters. The worlds she creates are vibrant and interesting to the point where readers can imagine themselves there. I love this series, and can't wait for the next installment!
One thing that readers should be aware of, is that this Clan Beginnings series is a spin-off from Ms. St. John's Clans of Kalquor series. The Clan Beginnings stories are prequels to the Clans of Kalquor stories, so it is okay to read them first, but just be aware that there is more to the stories of these clans. Also, these stories are meant for an 18 and older audience. The stories in this series are well-developed with engaging plots and interesting characters, however this is erotica. There are graphic sex scenes, alien sex, M/M/M sex, and overall erotic themes. If that's not your cup of tea, then you might not enjoy these books.

Dragan's Redemption Book One of the Manor At Echo Lake Trilogy by Kelly Illebode:

This is an interesting take on vampires with them being allowed to do and experience more then many stories allow. This leads to a more fully developed story and also to an ending which is both surprising and touching. Well edited, strong adult scenes that leave you with a better feel for the over all characters and also some romance so you feel you are seeing into the characters thoughts. A few secrets and some plot twists make this an unusual novel and worth reading.

Fury's Kiss by Nicola White:

Tara is a waitress who is working towards her dream of someday opening her own restaurant. Her life is pretty normal, so she never expected to meet a creature from mythology. In fact, she had never heard of furies before one popped into her head one night. Now Tara is fighting for her life against a mysterious person who is out to get her. The only people she can rely on are her two roommates, Alex and Rachel, a strangely perceptive little girl named Ruby and her mother, Nora, and Ruby's uncle, Jackson, who is a retired Navy Seal and a major pain in Tara's behind...even if he's considerably less painful to other parts of her anatomy. ;-)
I really enjoyed this story. The characters were well-developed and interesting, the plot was engaging and fast-paced, and the mythology and science aspects of it were well-researched. Definitely a five star read, and I'm looking forward to the second book! :-)

Immortal Pair: Touch Of The Irish Part 3 by Savannah Morgan:

What could be hotter than a beautiful, supernatural guy just waiting to fulfill your every erotic desire? How about two of them? In this third installment of Touch Of The Irish, Savannah Morgan really lets loose and gives us Kale, Guardian of the West, and Roarke, Leprechaun and Sylph. Both of these hotties are focused on convincing their destined mate, Marissa, that she's all that two immortal warriors could want and need. Will they win her love before they have to face down the legions of the Gods of the Fey? You'll have to read to find out! ;-)
I loved this conclusion to this trio of short stories and read it all in one sitting. Ms. Morgan's foray into the world of paranormal romance is a huge success, and I can't wait to see what she comes up with next! After all, can one ever get enough of funny pixies and nekkid dragons, wolves, leprechauns, and more? ;-)

Ascension Within by Julie Nicholls:

Wow! Talk about a match made in heaven! ;-) I honestly don't know how to describe this book without giving too much away. But I can say it's a really fun read and a great ending for Kai and Eloise's story. :-)

Halloween Trickery by Barbara Chioffi:

These stories are spooky and seductive!! Three fun, new, creepy tales to send chills up and down your spine. Definitely a must-read for Halloween! :-)

Love's Child by Lizzie Chantree:

This book was both quick moving and well edited. The characters are well enough developed that you feel as though you can somewhat predict their actions but are flexible enough to still allow for some surprise twists. It is not immediately apparent exactly what is going on, even with the "good guys" which makes it intriguing enough to keep reading. The subject matter is one that I am not that familiar with, but I felt that it was explained well enough that I could still enjoy the story. Over all I would recommend this to those that enjoy intrigue, some romance, and a few twists along the way.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Want To Give Me A #Hand? :-)

Hey Everyone!! :-)

I don't know how many of you know this, but October 31st is my birthday!!  So I figured that fact coupled with the fact that it's also Halloween would make it the perfect time to unveil the amazingly awesome cover that Erin Dameron-Hill was kind enough to create for Captivated By The Winter King!!  Naturally, I'll be posting it here on my blog, but I also am hoping to make it a big event and get as many other people as are willing to also post it for me.  If you have a blog or a Facebook page and would be willing to post my cover reveal for me on October 31st, please click on the link below for the Google form and enter your information.  I'll be creating the announcement, both in HTML and text formats, so all you'd have to do is post it on that day.  Thank you so much for thinking about it!! :-)

Friday, October 16, 2015

#Awesome #Dark #Dreams #Halloween #Giveaway! $175 #Grand #Prize!

Hey Everyone!! :-)

Guess what?!?  I'm participating in an awesome Rafflecopter giveaway!! :-)  There are lots of amazing authors who are part of this giveaway, and you can find them through social media at the links provided in the Rafflecopter below! :-)  Each author is offering individual prizes, and there's also a $175 Paypal grand prize!!!!  So there are lots of chances to win, and you might just win big!!! :-)  The prizes I'm offering are Kindle copies of one of my stories (winners' choices) for three people!! Check out all the other cool loot being offered by the other authors by clicking through all of the pictures in the Rafflecopter, and then start liking and following for chances to win! :-)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, October 15, 2015

#Interview With Denise Malone! :-)

Hi Everyone!! :-)

Denise Malone is joining us today.  Denise, will you please tell us about yourself and your books? :-)

Denise:  Hi, I'm Denise Malone. I live in Texas with my husband, kids, a demented Doberman, and a cat that thinks she's a vampire. I write romantic mysteries with a splash of humor and a dash of suspense. I've published 2 full length novels and 1 short story.

Me:  Ha! I have a cat like that. ;-)  What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?

Denise:  My latest book is Tender Loving Killer, and it's the second book in the Alison Brown mystery series behind The Bo(d)y Next Door.

Me:  Great! :-)  What are you working on now?

Denise:  I'm working on several short stories and a couple of novels, none of which are mysteries. I'm trying to flex my writing muscles in other areas. 

Me:  It's always exciting to try something new. :-)  What authors, or books, have influenced you?

Denise:  I love books that make me laugh. I was in the 4th grade when I decided that I wanted to be Judy Blume when I grew up, so I'd say she was probably my first influence. 

Me:  Gotta love those early reads! :-)    What are you reading now?

Denise:  Right now, I'm reading a biography about Sylvia Plath. I find her rather intriguing at the moment. I'm also reading 1984 and a WIP for a friend. 

Me:  1984 is one of my all-time favorites!  Orwell was amazingly perceptive, it's scary. For those who might consider reading your book, what would you tell them to expect?

Denise:  I hope that I can make people laugh when they read my books. I try to find humor in everyday situations, and I hope that comes through in my writing.

Me:  Sounds like they are fun reads. :-)  What is your favorite part of being an author?

Denise:  My favorite part about being an author is sharing my daydreams and "imaginary friends" for lack of a better term with other people. 

Me:  Ha! I think most authors enjoy that. :-)  Do you have a day job as well?

Denise:  I do have a day job. I've been a medical transcriptionist for the past 15 years, 13 of which I've worked from home.

Me:  Lucky lady! :-)  What are the hardest and easiest parts about being a writer?

Denise:  The hardest part of being a writer is letting it go. I'm my own worst critic, and I want to keep editing and correcting and polishing my books for eternity, so it's hard to let someone else read it because it's never ready and perfect as far as I'm concerned. I'm not sure what the easiest part of being a writer is, but I love every minute I put into writing. 

Me:  Ah, the dilemma of what is good enough.  Let me know if you ever figure it out. ;-)  What genre do you place your books in?

Denise:  I'd say my books are New Adult Romantic Mysteries, which is a mouthful. :) 

Me:  Wonderful!!  And so these fine folks can find you NARMs, are there any links you'd like me to post? ;-)

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1FCvzHk
B&N: http://bit.ly/1y00JoE
iBooks: http://bit.ly/14TyxGR
Paperback: https://www.createspace.com/4624663

Me:  Thank you so much for stopping by, Denise, and thank you everyone else for checking out this interview.  Don't forget to stay tuned for the next installment of Mistral Dawn's Musings! :-)

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

How Does This #Work?

Hey Everyone!! :-)

Today I'd like to talk about something that seems to be a matter of confusion for a lot of people: consent.  For some reason, many people don't seem to understand what it means and how it works, so I thought I'd share my thoughts about it.  It's something I've thought about quite a bit.  As I've shared more than once, the inspiration for Taken By The Huntsman came to me after a debate I had with an online friend about the nature of consent.  But, honestly, I began thinking about what it means long before that.

As many young women realize at some point during puberty, I became aware, as a young teenager, of the fact that to many people I had ceased to be a human being and had become a body.  You see, bodies don't have minds or feelings.  They exist simply for the gratification of others.  It is perfectly acceptable to make comments to bodies about actions you'd like to perform on them or improvements you'd like to see them make to themselves.  It's also permissible to touch the body in any way and at any time one wishes.  It doesn't matter whether or not the body wants to hear such comments or be subjected to such pawing, because bodies don't think or feel.  They are things.  And things exist to be used.

Except I'm not a body; I'm a person.  And I do think and feel in response to how other people treat me.  It's not the words or actions themselves that are the problem.  With the right person, at the right time, I enjoy such attention immensely...or at least it doesn't make me feel bad.  For instance, I certainly don't appreciate a random stranger approaching me on the street and making a comment about the size of my ass.  But if I go to my doctor and ask her questions about what I can do to improve my health, I don't get upset if she suggests that I need to lose some weight.

What's the difference between the two scenarios?  Consent.  By going to my doctor and soliciting her professional opinion about my health, I have invited her (read "given my consent" here) to offer suggestions that will help me improve my body.  Her motivation for making these suggestions is to give me information that will aid me in feeling better and, hopefully, living longer.  They are for my benefit and edification.  What's more, my doctor has completed many years of education and training and so has cultivated an expertise that would allow her to have an opinion based on something more than just aesthetic appeal.  Therefore, I respect her opinion, value her input, and ask her for her advice.  She has my consent to speak to me about my body.  The stranger on the street does not.

Likewise, when someone you have invited to touch you does so it's very different from being grabbed at by someone to whom you haven't given such permission.  Everyone has the right to determine who may and who may not touch them.  What's more, everyone has the right to change their mind about who falls into which category at any time and for any reason.

But the principle of consent goes beyond touching and even beyond personal comments.  Consent applies to anything that a person does or has done to them.  If you want to play a board game with your friend, you must first gain their consent.  If they agree to play the board game with you, they still have the option, at any time, to change their mind and decide they don't want to play anymore.  If you and they play a board game one day, you don't get to assume they will also agree to play the same game the next day.  You must ask them again and they must agree again in order for you to play the game with them again.  It doesn't seem complicated, does it?

How do you gain consent?  Well, how do you get someone to agree to play a board game with you?  In my experience, asking is usually the easiest way.  It's also the way that is least subject to misinterpretation.  You see, consent requires active participation.  It's not a matter of whether or not they've said "no."  What counts is whether or not they've said "yes."  To have consent, the person you want to do whatever it is you want to do with has to agree that they want to do it too, and there needs to be some indication that their agreement is ongoing.  For instance, if you're playing a board game and the person you're playing with falls asleep, you can consider their consent to play withdrawn.  Might they consent to continue the game when they wake up?  I don't know, you'll have to ask them.

Another point about which there seems to be confusion is justification for denial of consent.  This one is really easy: it doesn't matter.  It does not matter why a person declines to consent to your request.  They can have any reason or no reason.  It doesn't matter.  They do not have to justify their decision to you.  You may ask their reason if you wish, but they are under no obligation to explain themselves to you.  If they do choose to tell you their reason, it doesn't matter whether or not you agree with it or if you think it's a good reason.  Because your opinion on this issue is irrelevant.  Every person has the right to decide for themselves what they will and will not do and what they will and will not allow to be done to them.  Period.

If you are with someone who does not consent to what you want to do, you are free to go find someone who will consent to it or to pursue the activity on your own.  But you do not ever have the right to override their decision and force, coerce, trick, or harass them to do what you want.  Every individual has the right look for what they want and need in life, but other people have the same right.  When your goals don't line up with the goals of the people around you, it might be time to look for new people to be around.  It's a great, big, wide world out there.  I can almost guarantee, no matter what it is you want, someone, somewhere wants it too.  Go find them.

Now, I'm sure after reading this, someone will want to point out that there are exceptions.  Those who are incapable of giving consent, such as very young children and those who have been robbed of the ability by disease and/or injury, have others who are appointed to make decisions for them.  That's true, but there is an assumption that those who have been given such rights are making decisions based on what is best for the one for whom they are making decisions.  If that assumption is ever in doubt, those people can be stripped of their right to decide for their charge.  Also, those instances are very specific and narrowly defined, and it is only the designated person(s) who can make decisions for those individuals, not just any random person who encounters them.  There are also cases when a person might have their rights curtailed by the government under specific circumstances.  But those circumstances and the limits that representatives of the government must operate under are also specific and explicitly defined.

For most of us, most of the time, consent is pretty simple and straightforward.  It is active and requires clear agreement and a person is free to decline to give consent or to withdraw consent at any time for any reason or no reason.  That's it.  Other people might consent to do things that you would never consent to and they may decline to consent to things you would definitely consent to.  That's fine, different people are different and what works for one person may not work for another.

When do you need to gain consent?  When whatever it is you want to do impacts someone other than yourself.  You know the old saying: your right to swing your arm ends at my nose?  That about sums it up.  If what you want to do involves someone else, you need that person's consent to do it.

The people around you are not bodies, they are people.  No matter what society and the media have conditioned you to believe, every other person you encounter has the same right to their thoughts and feelings that you do.  They are not characters in the play that is your life, they exist independently of you and are not subject to your will.  As people, they have the same rights and privileges that you do and, just as you would want your own decisions respected, they have the right to have their choices respected.  The only consent your agreement matters to is your own and the only person for whom you may give consent is you.  Now see, isn't that simple? :-)

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

#Book #Narration By Karina Kantas! :-)

Hey Everyone! :-)

Karina Kantas is joining us today to talk about her book narration services.  Karina, take it away! :-)

Your book deserves more!

In order to make your work stand out from the every day humdrum, a voice recording has a far-reaching effect.
As authors we need to find new and different ways to promote our work. I believe this form of media needs to be utilized.
Audio and video narration is available for a scene or excerpt from your fiction or non fiction work.
To help you achieve your marketing goals, please have a listen to the samples and get in touch so we can chat about your requirements.

You can listen to samples of my audio work here:

Author of the OUTLAW series

Monday, October 12, 2015

#MondayMotivation!! ;-)

Hey Everyone!! :-)

I thought I'd give you another little peek at Captivated By The Winter King for some motivation on this lovely Monday! ;-)

Excerpt from Work In Progress Captivated By The Winter King (coming soon):
With her height, Kate hadn't found many people who towered over her, but Ankou made her feel tiny. It wasn't just his stature, she had stood close to him many times without feeling dwarfed, but something in his posture as well. There was a threatening vibe to his stance; an air of menace. Looking up at him, she was suddenly nervous.

"Stand up straight and still with your arms out to your sides," he growled.

Thrusting her shoulders back, Kate raised her arms and froze. She was confused at first, but then Ankou began undressing her. He treated her body as if she was prized livestock, running his hands possessively over her flesh as he uncovered it. But he was gentle.

When he pulled her sleeves down her arms, he was careful to make sure that her fingers didn't become tangled in the fabric or bent at a bad angle. He held the neck of the shirt out, so that it didn't abrade her face when he pulled it over her head. When he lifted her feet to pull her skirt from around her, he held her waist to help her maintain her balance. On the surface he behaved as though she were property, but his actions demonstrated that he cared for her well-being. She relaxed.

Rising from his crouch with his mate's skirt in his hands, Ankou hung it up and considered her underclothing. They were made of translucent dark green lace, and brought out the delicacy of her skin in an extraordinary fashion. He wouldn't blame her if she valued the attractive garments, but his plans would result in their destruction. "How attached are you to those items?"

Kate looked down at the bra and panties her lover had indicated. Confused, she said, "I like them."

"Would you be distressed if they were ruined?"

"Distressed?" she thought about that. The bra and panties were nice, but they were just clothes. And Elatha had been excited to try her hand at creating new lingerie for her queen. "No, I guess not."

"Are you sure?"


"Good," he grinned wickedly. Wrapping his hand around her upper arm, Ankou led his mate over to a metal frame. It looked like three sides of a rectangle, with two parallel upright poles that were about eight feet tall and a seven-foot long perpendicular horizontal pole connecting them at the top. The floor underneath it was covered in a padded leather mat. The vertical posts had wide leather cuffs that could be moved along their length and secured at various heights. Positioning Kate between the two upright poles, Ankou took her left hand and secured her wrist to the left pole at a height that was just a little above her shoulder. He did the same with the right wrist.

Walking over to the wall behind him, he retrieved a metal bar with padded leather cuffs on the end. He placed the bar between her feet and secured her ankles in the cuffs. The result was her feet were separated a little more than the width of her shoulders. He finished restraining her by attaching the ankle cuffs to the upright poles with lengths of chain.

Inspecting his work, he walked around her and checked to make sure her joints weren't stretched and the cuffs were not too tight. "Are you comfortable?"

"Yes," she looked at him, waiting.

"Nothing feels too tight? You don't feel any strain in your arms or legs?"

"No, nothing is tight. Nothing feels strained. I'm fine."

Nodding, he moved to stand in front of her and cupped both hands around her face. Tilting her head up, he leaned down and placed a gentle kiss on her lips. "Because you are new at this game, as we begin I will explain what I am doing and why. That way you will have the opportunity to become accustomed to how the game works. But as we progress, I will cease explaining myself and expect you to trust me if you wish to continue. Do you understand?"

She nodded, looking up at him.

"Do you remember your safeword?"

"Yes, it's 'stad.'"

"Correct. And you remember that you can use it anytime you need to stop, for any reason. Whatever your concern is, we will discuss it. I will not be angry, so if you wish to stop then say so."

She nodded, "I understand."

"During this game, you will address me as either 'Master' or 'Sir.' Unless you are using your safeword, you will only speak in direct response to a question and you will end your answer with 'Sir' or 'Master.' Do you understand?"


Reaching down, he slid his hand inside her bra cup and took her left nipple between his fingers, squeezing it. Raising an eyebrow, he asked, "Yes, what?"

Gasping, she arched into his grasp and moaned. "Yes, sir!"

He smiled and released her flesh. "Good."

Sunday, October 11, 2015

This #Moment...

Hey Everyone!

My friend, Kate, is back with us today.  She decided to share with you a bit about what her experiences have shown her about coping with hard times.  Kate, take it away!

He looked at me, his brown eyes infinitely expressive and reached out a hand that seemed to grow larger by the day. I reached back, my own hand nearly the same size as his fourteen year old palm and something in my eyes must have expressed concern because he said “I know, Kate. I know.”

Then he collapsed into a grand mal seizure in the Jr High Hallway and time stood still for us both. I dropped to my knees and grabbed the magnet that we used to help stop the seizures and keep him alive and started to count. Call his name, one two three...call his name, turn him over on his side, please dear god, please let him be breathing. I swipe the magnet, his body seizing upwards under my hands, his mouth open gasping for air before his body convulses in on itself. And I say “Come on buddy. Come on. We just gotta get through it.” A teacher rushes from their classroom asking if they can do anything and I just manage “Count. Count for me.” And the minutes count down with a swipe every thirty seconds as his body bends, convulses and looks as though it has turned to water from the waves of the seizure that blast through it. Every swipe I look down and even though I don't believe in god, I do in those moments. This child, this young man, this nearly impossible to deal with individual is not going to die with my hands on him. It will not happen today.

The teacher counts “Four minutes” and I manage “At five, we call an ambulance” as I swipe him again with the magnet, starting at his collar bone and going diagonally across his body. And suddenly, his body goes still. I am perfectly calm, my voice never raised, my breathing exactly the same as when he went down. I reach over and he is still breathing, I pick up the boy who now weighs nearly a hundred and fifty pounds and with a nod to the teacher I simply carry him back to the classroom. I lay him down on the sofa and cover him with the blue blanket that I brought him a few weeks back. He sleeps, looking more peaceful than he is when he is awake. After forty five minutes he opens his eyes and I hear a small, rather child like voice say “Kate?”

I walk across the room towards him, knowing he can't get up yet since his legs will literally not work for a while. I sit down by him, offering him my hand which he takes. I smile at him and quietly say “Hey dude. Welcome back.” He squeezes my hand and then says again “Kate?” And I respond “Yes?” Then, this boy, this young man that the school will eventually have to refuse to serve because of how violent he can become when angry, this “monster” looks at me and says in the smallest of voices “I love you, Kate.” And in that instant, I finally feel my body relax, the muscles letting loose in my shoulders. I know I strained my back and I know he will have injuries tomorrow from the carpet when he went down but we are on our way back, he and I.

I smile and reply “I know, buddy. I like you too.” And I do.

It seems as though professionals are constantly reminding us to make plans, create goals, talk about the future. These things are important and I do not want to discourage them, but sometimes, we make it through the moment. Sometimes we do not need to demand of people or ourselves that we make it through the next year or the next lifetime. Sometimes, we just need to take someone's hand and stand with them in one instant of time. The next time something seems impossibly overwhelming, just take the hand of someone you know and agree to make it through right now and let that be enough.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

#Awesome #Dark #Dreams #Halloween #Giveaway! $175 #Grand #Prize!

Hey Everyone!! :-)

Guess what?!?  I'm participating in an awesome Rafflecopter giveaway!! :-)  There are lots of amazing authors who are part of this giveaway, and you can find them through social media at the links provided in the Rafflecopter below! :-)  Each author is offering individual prizes, and there's also a $175 Paypal grand prize!!!!  So there are lots of chances to win, and you might just win big!!! :-)  The prizes I'm offering are Kindle copies of one of my stories (winners' choices) for three people!! Check out all the other cool loot being offered by the other authors by clicking through all of the pictures in the Rafflecopter, and then start liking and following for chances to win! :-)

a Rafflecopter giveaway