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

Sunday, January 31, 2016

#Blood #Ties by Julie Nicholls!

Hey Everyone! :-)

Julie Nicholls is here today to talk about her awesome new book, Blood Ties.  Julie, take it away! :-)

Thank you Mistral Dawn for allowing me to take over her blog for this post♥

Blood Ties is an urban fantasy paranormal romance and is the first in the Blood Trilogy by Julie Nicholls.

I’d like to introduce you to K 3 4 G E N and G H 0 5 C T. Two genetically enhanced humans who have spent the last few years of their lives hunting escapees from Solgen Laboratories. A company owned and run by Dr. Keller, a geneticist.

“There’s no termination gene, is there?” He glanced over his shoulders and silently counted his opposition. Three guards pointed their Berretta’s at his head. He had to be Houdini to get out of this one. Crossing his arms in front of his body while he waited for Dr. Keller to make his move, or give his order, he prayed Gabriel wasn’t sleeping on the job.
“I guess you will never know.” Keller smirked, and then looked past Keagen and beamed a wider grin. “I’d like you to meet someone.” Motioning with his hand, he beckoned the figure entering the room to come forward.
Every hair on the back of Keagen’s neck prickled. He knew this had to be his replacement. Despite his ever-cool demeanor, his heart raced to the point of bursting. For once, he had no words, no comeback. If nothing else, it would be an interesting fight, but he didn’t expect to live through it. Outnumbered and seemingly outmatched, his option was to wait and see what developed. Catching sight of a woman in his peripheral vision, Keagen slowly turned to see wild and excited eyes staring. He couldn’t help but look twice. The woman was young and petite. Platinum blonde hair, cut into a bob instantly caught his attention, together with dark, almost black, eyes. Dressed in a black, figure-hugging body suit, with an uncountable number of knives and pistols strapped to her body, she was a walking armory.
“Hi.” She greeted Keagen with a smile.
It was hard not to notice her beautiful features. Keagen always appreciated a good-looking woman, and this one was no exception, although he would die before he told her so. Silently weighing up his options, planning an escape route and wondering what the fuck Gabriel was doing, he stalled.
“Hey, yourself.” He flashed a wicked smile. “I expect you’ve been looking forward to this moment, right?” Keagen slowly folded his arms across his chest with the intention of holding both Glocks hidden beneath his jacket.
The woman smiled and nodded. Equally sly and calculating, she moved both hands to her hips to rest on the holstered side-arms.
Dr. Keller interrupted the pissing contest. “I would very much like to stay and watch what I expect is going to be a spectacular event, but alas, I have to leave.” He motioned to the armed guards behind Keagen and two of them left, leaving just one remaining. “I’ll leave a man for assistance.” He turned to the female, who shook her head.

“No, it’s not necessary, thank you. I can manage.”

Blood Ties is available at Amazon in eBookpaperback and is coming to Audio Book within the next few weeks.
Please drop by my official website JulieNicholls.com and check out my other books

And check out one of my favorite posts

Saturday, January 30, 2016

#LoveStruck #Authors #ValentinesDay #Giveaway! $150 #Grand #Prize!! :-)

Hey Everyone!! :-)

Guess what!! I have another exciting giveaway to to tell you about!! :-)  It's free to enter, there are over 90 prizes, and the grand prize is $150 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, January 29, 2016

#Blast From The #Past! ;-)

Hey Everyone!! :-)

What with Taken By The Huntsman winning the Paranormal Romance Guild's Reviewer's Choice Awards last weekend, I got to feeling nostalgic today, so I thought I'd share a short passage with you.  Hope you enjoy it! :-)

The Erlking debated not telling her, but he thought it better to be open with her now and not risk her accusing him of trying to deceive her later. “I have a power held in trust for my Anamchara, it is called 'the Scath.' Once bestowed on you, it will protect you from harm.”

“Will it make you weaker to give me this power?”

“No. This is not a power I can use; only one I can transfer to another. One other. You.”

“Then, why won’t it make me happy to hear about it?”

The Erlking sighed. “I believe you will accuse me of trying to trick you, but I swear to you I speak the absolute truth. The only way to transfer the Scath to you is during sex.”

Cassie studied Cadeyrn’s face. He was right, it did sound like a line to get her into bed. But she didn’t see any sign of deception in his eyes. Of course, that might just mean he was a terrific liar. After all, several hundred thousand years of practice was likely to give a person the opportunity to perfect all kinds of skills.

“So, in order to leave this castle, I have to sleep with you first?”

“Yes. That is the only way you will be safe.”

Thursday, January 28, 2016

#IABBAddict: Book Reviews: How to Get Them & What to Do with Them by Felita Daniels

Check out more information on #IABBAddicts here
Join us every Thursday for IABB #Confessions
Author: Felita Daniels

Title: Book Reviews: How to Get Them & What to Do with Them
Pages: 73

Genre: Non Fiction

Date publishedJanuary 26, 2016

Authors in today's environment are finding that they have to be their own marketing and public relations department. Many could use some guidance with these skills. This book grew out of a workshop I have done for local writer's groups. 
Inside you will find: 
* Tips on approaching blogs and reviewers 
* What not to do 
* Should you read your reviews? 
* Keeping out of Amazon 'jail' 
* Approaches to getting reviews- some common, some off the beaten path 
* Current Amazon review policies and what may be coming down the road 
Having a game plan to garner reviews will certainly get better results than doing nothing. This book will help you find some avenues you may not have thought of, or didn't know about.


Review Etiquette with Bloggers
You want to get this marketing stuff out of the way and get back to writing the next book. It is tempting to get an email list of book bloggers and blast to everyone you can. One email out to 30,000 bloggers and reporters and done in the time it takes to hit the send button.
I can tell you from being on the bloggers end opening the emails requesting a review, this is not an effective method. Bloggers consider their site unique and spend many hours on content, computer geekiness, and growing their traffic. It is their baby, just like your novel is a part of who you are.
Improve your response rate to your review requests by personalizing your emails to the writers of the blog. For a blogger, getting a pitch for an erotica novel, when their review policy clearly states they don’t cover that genre is the fastest way to put a bad taste in their mouth. Not only do you not get a review out of it, you come off as unprofessional. It’s easy to tell yourself you don’t need that blogger anyway if that’s the case. What if next year you decide to try your hand at contemporary romance? You have just shot that potential relationship opportunity.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

#Hints & #Clues! :-)

Hey Everyone!! :-)

It's Wednesday again, so I thought I'd give you another little peek into what I'm working on.  This excerpt might help you learn a little bit more about Petri herself. :-)

His smile fading, Daji nodded. "I see. Well, now that we have all eaten, perhaps you will be so kind as to keep your side of the bargain."

Nodding, Petri took a deep breath. "Honestly? I have no idea how I came to exist."

The Paka made a disgruntled noise, but she held up her hand and continued, "No, really. Chessie," she gestured at the larger woman, "found me when I was little. I was in an alley, but I have no idea how I got there or where I came from."

Sitting back, Daji crossed his arms over his chest and cocked his head, his steady gaze bore into her eyes.

Sadaka stared at Petri and asked, "Do you eat people?"

Grimacing, Petri turned her attention to the child and reached out to tickle her, "Yes! Especially silly, little girls!"

Giggling, Sadaka asked, "Then what do you eat?"

Gesturing at the remains of their meal, Petri answered, "Food."

"Truly?" asked Daji. "You have no other nutritional requirements beyond the same type of foods other species consume."

Slumping, Petri put her face in her hands and rubbed her eyes. "I also can absorb energy from strong emotions."

"Other people's emotions?"

She nodded.

"What kind of emotions?"

"All kinds, as long as they're strong."

"Do you kill when you feed this way?"

Raising her head from her hands, she glared at him. "Not usually."

"There is something you're not telling me. What is it?"

"Nothing of importance."

"I'll be the judge of that."

Hmmm...sounds like Petri might be as confused about herself as other people.  I wonder how she'll find answers to all those questions. ;-)  Thank you all so much for stopping by today, and don't forget to check back tomorrow for the next installment of Mistral Dawn's Musings! :-)

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

#Taken By The #Huntsman #Won #First #Place In The #PRG #Reviewer's #Choice #Awards! :-)

Hey Everyone!! :-)

Guess what!  We did it!  Whoo Hoo!!!! *happy dance* :-)  Thanks to all your support, Taken By The Huntsman won first place in the fantasy romance category of the 2015 Paranormal Romance Guild's Reviewer's Choice contest!!  You can see it here:

And if you'd like to read their review, you can find it here:

I really appreciate all your help with this!!  You're all awesome and I'm grateful to have met so many of you. :-) <3

Just in case anyone hasn't read Taken By The Huntsman yet, please consider giving it a look. ;-)  You can find it here:

And if you subscribe to Kindle Unlimited, it's free! :-)  Thank you all again, and don't forget to check back tomorrow for the next edition of Mistal Dawn's Musings! :-)

Monday, January 25, 2016

#RRBC #Spotlight: Gordon Bickerstaff!! :-)

Hey Everyone! :-)

Gordon Bickerstaff is here today with a Spotlight post from RRBC!  Gordon, take it away! :-)

Blog 2 Writing a trilogy – Foreshadowing

The next most important aspect for a trilogy, and one I also find enjoyable, is foreshadowing: building in to the first two books the signposts that allude to events that will occur in the third. This is fun because you can lead the reader in one direction and they will guess what is going to happen then twist the story so it goes elsewhere. I love doing that. You can, of course, do that within each book. For a trilogy, it is extra important.

“The trick is to make the foreshadowing an invisible part of the book story arc – not an add-on.”

There is brilliant foreshadowing in JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series; the horcrux is a brilliant example. In the first Star Wars movie, Obi-Wan knew that Vader was Luke’s father, so Obi-Wan’s dialogue reflects that knowledge. That writing was so good that, when it was finally revealed, it felt like confirmation of what was already suspected – that Vader was his father. In the Gavin Shawlens series, the foreshadowing starts in Bk1 in several story arcs, and the trick is to make the foreshadowing an invisible part of the book story arc – not an add-on.

I think Bk2 in a trilogy is pivotal for the foreshadowing to get serious. I decided the book story arc in my second book Everything To Lose was not simply a waiting platform for Bk3. So it has its own start, beginning and end. But if you know where you are going to end up in Bk3 then Bk2 is the place to rack up the tension, deepen the mystery. So, Everything To Lose foreshadows the nightmare that is set to run through The Black Fox.

After the book story arcs have been completed, the last couple of chapters in Bk2 develop the trilogy arc, started earlier in the book, and let the reader know exactly what is at stake and what the main protagonists are prepared to pay to get what they want. This racks up the tension – and pitches the wit of a single woman against the mighty US military and the CIA.

Buy Gordon Bickerstaff’s Books



Follow Gordon Bickerstaff here:

Website: http://goo.gl/2in8SX

Twitter handle: @ADPase

Sunday, January 24, 2016

#Meet Elizabeth Horton-Newton!! :-)

Hey Everyone!! :-)

Today, I want to introduce you to a fabulously talented author and an all-around terrific lady! :-)  Elizabeth Horton-Newton is the author of View From The Sixth Floor and Riddle.  I've just finished reading View From The Sixth Floor, and I have to say it's fantastic.  I'll post my review of it below, but in short, I definitely recommend you check it out! :-)  It's not my usual genre, but I was so hooked, I blew through it in just a couple days.  It's that good!

As for Elizabeth herself, she's an awesome person.  She's tremendously supportive in the indie community.  You may have seen her blog, Between The Beats, where she posts many reviews for other indie authors.  If not, please take a few minutes to check it out, it's worth a look:  http://elizabethnnewton.com/

You should also take a moment to check out her books.  You can find them on Amazon, along with an anthology she's a part of:

And you can find her at https://twitter.com/redqueenliz if you'd like to follow her.  Like I said, she's really great, and her tweets are definitely worth a look-see. :-)

At any rate, I hope you check out this wonderful author, especially if you're looking for a fun, new read! :-)

My Review of View From The Sixth Floor:
After losing her husband, Livvy is trying to find a way to fill her time and distract herself from her loss. A series of serendipitous events piques her curiosity and leads her to make a trip to Dallas. But even in her wildest imaginings, she never would have guessed what would happen there!

This is an interesting take on the assassination of JFK, and a great addition to the "What-If" collection of stories. I really enjoyed this book for a number of reasons. For one thing, there is a romance plotline that centers around people in their late 50s. This is a population that is often left out of romantic fiction, and I'm always glad to see diversity added to popular media. Also, I learned quite a few things about JFK's presidency and that time period in American history, and I'm always glad to find a painless way to educate myself. The story moved quickly and was quite suspenseful. I found myself flipping pages as fast as I could read them, just to find out what happened next! All-in-all, I would definitely recommend this book for anyone who enjoys well-developed tales full of complex characters. :-)

Thank you everyone for stopping by today, and don't forget to check back tomorrow for the latest installment of Mistral Dawn's Musings! :-)

Saturday, January 23, 2016

#LoveStruck #Authors #ValentinesDay #Giveaway! $150 #Grand #Prize!! :-)

Hey Everyone!! :-)

Guess what!! I have another exciting giveaway to to tell you about!! :-)  It's free to enter, there are over 90 prizes, and the grand prize is $150 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, January 22, 2016

#ParanormalRomance #Guild #Reviewer's #Choice #Awards!! :-)

Hey Everyone!! :-)

Guess what?  My first novel, Taken By The Huntsman, has been nominated for a Paranormal Romance Guild Reviewer's Choice award!! :-)  I'm really stoked, because I had no idea they had reviewed  my book, nevermind that they liked it so much! :-)  So, why am I telling you this?  Because I need your help again. ;-)

If you click on the link below, it will bring you to their voting page.  There's a box on the side with the list of nominees in different categories.  If you scroll down to the fantasy romance category, you'll find Taken By The Huntsman listed there.  All you do is click the bubble next to it, and then scroll down to the bottom, enter the "I'm not a robot" text, and click submit.  That's it! :-)

If you're on a mobile device, you'll need to click the link below, scroll down to the bottom of that page and click on the "fill out online form" link, and then it will bring you to the box with the nominees listed.  The rest is the same. :-)

It's completely free, and will only take a few minutes.  And you will really be helping me out.  Thank you all so much for your ongoing support and encouragement!!! :-) <3

Thank you all again, and don't forget to check back tomorrow for the next installment of Mistral Dawn's Musings! :-)

Thursday, January 21, 2016

#Interview With Ali Winters!

Hey Everyone!! :-)

Ali Winters is joining us today to talk about her fabulous stories! :-)  Ali, will you tell us a bit about yourself and how many books you have written?

Ali:  I've written one full-length novel, and a short story. I'm working on book two for The Hunted Series, and book one of the Force Of Gravity series.

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

Ali:  Star Dust. What inspired it was my strange fascination with space. (Even at my age, I get really excited over anything dealing with Space or dinosaurs. - There are no dinosaurs in this series though.)

Me:  SciFi is one of my absolute favorite genres. :-)  What are you working on now?

Ali:  Star Dust book one of the Force Of Gravity novels, and The Exodus, book 2 of The Hunted Series.

Me:  Great! :-)  What authors, or books, have influenced you?

Ali:  Piers Anthony and Douglas Adams Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy series. It blows my mind how few people have read that series. Because it's amazing.

Me:  I agree!  And thanks for all the cheese! ;-)  What are you reading now?

Ali:  I am reading 13 Reasons why. People tell me I will ugly cry. I've never ugly cried, so ... Challenge accepted.

Me:  Ha! Good luck! :-)  For those who might consider reading your book, what would you tell them to expect?

Ali:  A unique story about life and death. I think death is scary for a lot of people but I think this paints it in a different light. There is also a light underlying romance to the plot, that develops throughout the series rather than all in the first book.

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

Ali:  Holding my finished books in my hands. It feels so surreal.

Me:  I agree, it's a rush! :-)  Do you have a day job as well?

Ali:  I do, I am a part time photographer as well as a receptionist for a doctor.

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

Ali:  Everything. Whatever step you are on always feels so much harder than the other steps, once you move to the next, you think about how much easier that last step felt.

Me:  Yeah, there are a lot of challenges, but they're worth it. :-)  What genre do you place your book in?

Ali:  Fantasy/paranormal/Sci-fi though to be honest they are a little bit of everything.

Me:  I think you've covered all my favorites! :-)  Anything else you'd like to tell your readers?

Ali:  It doesn't matter what you read, as long as you read (my books) Kidding. ;)   I want to thank everyone who's given my books a chance. Writing can be lonely, but it's because of our readers and their messages that make it worth it. <3 We wouldn't be able to write if it wasn't for our amazing readers!

Me:  Absolutely!!  And so these amazing readers can find your books, are there any links you'd like me to post?

Me:  Awesome!  Thank you so much for dropping by today, Ali.  And thank you everyone else who joined us!  Don't forget to check back tomorrow for the next installment of Mistral Dawn's Musings!! :-)

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

#WorkInProgress #Wednesday! :-)

Hey Everyone!! :-)

It's Wednesday again, so time for another peek at what I'm working on. :-)  Today, I thought I'd share with you a glimpse at part of the world where Petri lives.

The hives were something of a curiosity. Those that had been abandoned were often used as tourist attractions by enterprising underworlders to entertain adventurous Upworld citizens who enjoyed the strange and macabre. But all sane individuals avoided hives that were active until the houses could organize a hive-burning.

The Janus wasps, also known as JWs, were a doomsday cult. The adherents of the cult were required to separate themselves from any non-believing family members and dedicate themselves to Janus. They marked themselves with unfashionably conservative grooming and clothing, but sometimes they still managed to blend into crowds long enough to ensnare the unwary.

The beliefs of the cult centered around Janus, the two-faced god of beginnings and endings, who they believed was on the cusp of bringing an end to human suffering and lifting his wasps up to paradise. But, in order to motivate their God to action, the JWs believed they needed to convince him that the world was sufficiently bad to require a new beginning. In order to prove that there was too much pain in the world for the faithful to endure, they placed human sacrifices on the altar of Janus and cut out their still-beating hearts. They hoped that the pain of their victims would attract the God's attention. Some of those who were sacrificed were volunteers from among the faithful, but many were people who blundered into the clutches of the cult.

The houses were pretty ruthless in their suppression of the wasps because their indiscriminate selection of victims was bad for business. But, somehow, they never quite managed to eradicate the cult entirely. Petri believed that might have something to do with the fact that JWs were happy to take commissions for who they should sacrifice, and, as paid assassins went, they were relatively inexpensive. Something the houses were not above taking advantage of when it suited their purposes. However, the containment efforts by the houses did force cult members to be somewhat circumspect in their activities.

Normally, once a hive became large enough to be noticed, the houses would organize a hive-burning. The purpose of these was to kill the cult members without damaging the structure that housed the hive or the furnishings within. The more authentic a hive was, the more the rubes would pay to tour it. Therefore, the "burning" of a hive was figurative.

House enforcers and, sometimes, freelance mercenaries were sent into the hive to kill or capture all the members of the cult. This was always done with as much secrecy as the houses could manage because the JWs had the tendency to set off explosives if given the opportunity. Even when the burning party was successful in preventing the wasps from obliterating their hive, they still defended themselves ferociously.

Any victims who had yet to be murdered would be sacrificed by the high priest on-the-spot, and the rest of the JWs would fight to their dying breath to protect the ritual from the burning party. Once all of the sacrifices were complete, the remaining wasps would commit suicide. There were rumors that the JWs even practiced for such eventualities, running drills among themselves on a regular basis.

Wasps who the burning party managed to take alive, and bodies that weren't too old or damaged, were generally turned over to the grinders for processing. However, occasionally, the houses would take a particularly attractive or distinctive individual to be used for other purposes. No one who had ever been a JW, or at least none who had ever been identified as a JW, would ever be allowed to assimilate back into society. They were considered too dangerous.

The Janus wasps only existed in Under City. The surveillance in Upworld was sufficient to detect any hint of the cult before they could establish themselves, and the Upworld government was much more thorough in their suppression of the wasps. However, occasionally, an Upworld citizen would be seduced into joining the cult. If they weren't killed in the raid, and if they didn't commit suicide, the houses would turn them over to the Upworld government to be dealt with. In such rare cases, unless the person's family was extraordinarily influential, they were just disposed of quietly.

Wow, sounds pretty extreme, doesn't it?  It's a good thing Petri is fast and clever.  I don't know about you, but I'm looking forward to finding out how she deals with dangers like this.   Thanks for stopping by today, and don't forget to drop by tomorrow for the latest in Mistral Dawn's Musings! :-)

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

#Spotlight For #Blood #Ties By Julie Nicholls!! :-)

Hey Everyone! :-)

The fabulously talented Julie Nicholls is joining us today to talk about her new release, Blood Ties!  Julie, take it away! :-)

Thank you, Mistral Dawn, for featuring Blood Ties today!  This is a new Urban Fantasy series, and the first book is titled Blood Ties.

Let me introduce you to K34GEN.
Genetically enhanced by Solgen Laboratories, he’s stronger than any man, but that’s because of the lycan DNA the infamous Dr. Keller gave him. His IQ is equal to that of the top minds in the world, courtesy of the labs. Keagen, as he calls himself, enjoys the title of top hunter and all the rewards that come with it. Life is good. Rephrase that... Life WAS good. He’s about to be retired, permanently.

His replacement is Solgen Laboratories latest model who is faster, stronger and wants Keagen’s title. He’s not too happy about it, and finds himself in a war. GH05CT, or Ghost, has a little extra in her genetic make-up, and Keagen is about to find out he’s outdated.
The hunter becomes the hunted. In a twist of fate, Keagen teams up with Gabriel, the lycan he has hunted for the last year, and who also is responsible for his lycan DNA. They form an unlikely alliance and set out to bring down the labs.

Blood Ties is available in eBook (Kindle unlimited), paperback, and is coming to audible at the end of January 2016.

You can listen to a sample on Soundcloud

BUY LINK  Amazon

Check out my official site www.julienicholls.com for more books in the fantasy romance paranormal genre.

Thank you Julie! :-)  And for anyone who's interested, here's my review of Blood Ties:

Kaegen is a genetically engineered superhuman.  Gabriel is a werewolf.  They both have been subjects in an illegal, undocumented laboratory and victims of the sadistic Dr. Keller.  Gabriel escaped at the first opportunity, but Kaegen was turned into a weapon by the evil scientist, and he was sent to find Gabriel and bring him back to a cage.  And that's just where the action starts! :-)
I read this book in one sitting!  Once I got started, the fast-paced action sucked me in and kept me on the edge of my seat.  The romance and sexual tension between the characters was great, and the sex scenes were super hot!   This story is just getting started, and I can't wait for the next book! :-)

It will also be included in my February installment of my #IndieBooksBeSeen monthly book reviews, but I thought I'd post it here too. :-)  Thank you all for stopping by, and don't forget to check back tomorrow for the latest installment of Mistral Dawn's Musings! :-)

Monday, January 18, 2016

#January 2016 #IndieBooksBeSeen #Monthly #Indie #Book #BookReviews!

Hey Everyone!! :-)

Yep, it's the 18th again, so time for my monthly #IndieBooksBeSeen indie book review!!  Thanks for checking in, and I hope you find your next favorite read! ;-)

Under A Bourbon Street Moon: Vampyr by KM McFarland:

The first book in this series was a sweet beginning and this one was an excellent follow-up.  There's a lot of family history that's hashed out in this installment, so the reader needs to pay close attention.  Overall, it was a sweet and spicy read that promises more to come!  I'm definitely looking forward to the third book in the series! :-)

The Ancients, Part I by JC Brennan:

The Crew do their best to protect others from the Damned, and they live in hope that nothing else will disturb their otherwise peaceful existence. But when ignorance and fear chase them from their home and force them to move, and one of them is brutally murdered in their new home, they're faced with the fact that more changes are in store for them. This is an interesting supernatural tale. I've never come across these myths approached in quite this way before, and the twists and turns kept me reading. All-in-all, a fun story with plenty of magic, mystery, and romance to keep readers engaged.

The Geek Club by Becky Reilly:

Speaking as a life-long geek and nerd, this story is incredibly sweet and relatable. I would highly recommend it for any child in the middle-school age group. :-)

Captured Lies by Maggie Thom:

This book was an interesting look into the activities of a wealthy family as they attempt to control who has access to the family inheritance. There is also some romance, fun adventures and pretty consistent action as the main characters try to stay one step ahead of each other. The characters have some very believable moments as they process some highly emotional issues and also some funny moments as they try to play the games better than everyone else. There is a clear sense of right and wrong and mostly, you know who the good guys are which makes for a fast-paced and complex plotline that keeps moving along at a brisk pace. Worth a read.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Who #Decided #ToGo For A #Swim?

Hey Everyone! :-)

I wanted to share a thought that occurred to me today.  I got out of the bath this morning and, like always, I flipped the lever on the drain to let the water out and went to get dressed.  My cats find the process of draining water to be fascinating, so they stayed behind to supervise.  Suddenly, I heard claws scrabbling on a hard surface, a splash, and a howl of protest, so I went to see what had happened.  One of my cats, Squeaky, had fallen into the bathtub.

Yes, that's him above, waving at you.  And before anyone sends me hateful emails, he's perfectly fine.  He only fell from the rim of the tub into the tub, and it's a standard bathtub, so it was a fall of about 4-5 inches.  Yes, I checked just to make sure, he's fine.  Though, he was a bit disgruntled...okay, a lot disgruntled.

Squeaky is no longer the svelte teenager you see in the picture above.  He's going to be twelve this year and is getting a little creaky along with being rather squeaky.  Aren't we all?  Poor baby, he's gotten a bit stout as well, and he no longer has the perfect balance and lightning reflexes of his youth.  Who among us does?  So, he lost his balance while playing with the water and fell in.  And he was not happy!

As you may have guessed, Squeaky came by his name honestly.  And he wasted no time in letting me know just how unsatisfactory the service is around here, even after I toweled him dry.  In fact, he was still expounding on his dissatisfaction half an hour later.  At that point, I had heard enough from the peanut gallery and I told him it was his own fault.  After all, I'm not the one who told him to go for a swim!

He grumbled a bit more at that, and then went off to sulk on the bed.  Because I obviously just don't understand the trials and tribulations of the kitty set.  And that's when it occurred to me to ask, how often do I do the same thing?  If you ask any of my friends, they could testify to the fact that I'm not one to let any upset or annoyance go without complaint.  In fact, even I feel like I should offer myself some cheese with my whine sometimes.  But how often do I bring my troubles on myself?

If I'm honest, I have to admit that it's pretty often.  I'd have to say that at least 70-75% of the time, my difficulties are of my own making.  And yet, then I waste even more time kvetching about them.  I think there's a lesson to be learned there, and I have my cat to thank for teaching it to me.  Wouldn't it be more productive to think things through better from the beginning?  After all, it's pretty silly to complain about being wet, when I'm the one who decided to go for a swim.  Isn't it?  Something to work on.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

#Free #Book #Marketing & #Promotion #Service!

Hey Everyone! :-)

This is just something for my author friends out there. :-)  As an indie author, I know how hard it can be to get the word out about your work.  There are a lot of promotion services out there, but most of them are pretty expensive, which makes it hard for a lot of struggling authors to afford them.  So recently, I came across this service.  And best of all, it's free!  Well, sort of. ;-)

First, let me say I haven't used it yet, so I don't know how effective it is.  But, for me at least, free is just about the right price to try a marketing tool.  So, here's how it works.  First, you can purchase their service.  Honestly, as far as book marketing and promotion goes, it's not that expensive.  Their least expensive service is $16.  But, as I said, you can get their service for free.

The way you do that is by earning points.  You can earn points by sharing and letting other people know about the service, and also if the people you share with sign up for it.  There are three tiers of service, the first requires 5 points, the second requires 10 points, and the third requires 20 points.  The more points you earn, the more promotion you can get for free.

Now, before you question my motives, yes, I shared and some others signed up.  But I've already earned the highest tier of service, so the only reason I have to share this now is to let others know about a potential marketing tool.  Those who follow my blog know I often post for and promote other authors, and that I believe in authors helping authors.  So that's what I'm trying to do.

At any rate, if you think this is something that might interest you, or if you want to learn more, here's the link:

If not, then thanks for stopping by, and I hope you'll find tomorrow's post more interesting. :-)

Friday, January 15, 2016

#Awesome #BookReview For #Captivated By The #Winter #King! :-)

Hey Everyone! :-)

The lovely and talented Elizabeth Horton-Newton was kind enough to read and review Captivated By The Winter King!! :-)  I'm honored that this amazing author took the time to check out my work, and I'd really appreciate it if you'd all take a moment and go see what she had to say about it:

Thank you all for dropping by today, and don't forget to check back tomorrow for the next installment of Mistral Dawn's Musings! :-)

Thursday, January 14, 2016

#Interview With Suanne Laqueur!! :-)

Hey Everyone!! :-)

Suanne Laqueur is joining us today to talk about her books!!  Suanne, can you please tell us about yourself and how many books you have written?

Suanne:  My name is Suanne Laqueur and I’m a writer from New York. I’m about to publish the third book of my Fish Tales series. This series follows the extraordinary romance of Erik Fiskare and Daisy Bianco. When they meet in college, she is an aspiring ballet dancer and he is learning the behind-the-scenes art of stagecraft. Quickly they are drawn into a romance both youthfully passionate and maturely soulful. Their love story thrives within a world of creativity and artistry until it is changed forever by a shocking act of violence on their campus.

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

Suanne:  Here to Stay is the third but possibly not the last book of the Fish Tales. It’s the continuing story of Erik and Daisy after they are reconciled and committed to building a new life together. When I published my first book, The Man I Love, I never intended it to become a series. But somehow the story begged to keep being written. So you could say Erik and Daisy themselves inspired me to write Here to Stay.

Me:  Yes, characters can definitely have minds of their own! ;-)  What are you working on now?

Suanne:  I have an idea for a fourth Fish book, but now it’s the time to put that world aside and do something that scares me. So I’ve been busy playing in my head with a few ideas and slowly things are starting to come together. So far it involves a town called Guelisten and a family called Lark. A drugstore soda fountain, dollhouses and treehouses. A dressmaker, a journalist and a massage therapist. A mail-order specialty pharmcy, a used bookstore, a tattoo parlor, slutty brownies and coffee. I really don’t know where I’m going with this. It’s the first book I’ll ever think up from nothing and not take 20 years to finish. So come back in a few months. Did I mention it’s time to do something that scares me?

Me:  Ha! Slutty brownies, I love it! ;-)  What authors, or books, have influenced you?

Suanne:  I can’t pick one favorite but I do have my gurus and certain books of theirs that are my bibles. I love Rumer Godden, in particular her novel In This House of Brede. That and Laurie Colwin’s book Family Happiness helped me discover what kind of writer I wanted to be. Stephen King’s Eyes of the Dragon taught me about storytelling. Catherynne M. Valente’s Fairyland series showed me how to make everything in a story come alive. I also love Philip Pullman, Neil Gaiman, Ann Patchett and Joanne Harris.

Me:  Those are definitely some great authors! :-)  What are you reading now?

Suanne:  I’m reading The Girl With No Name, which is the prequel to Iscah’s Seventh Night series. I totally stumbled over it—I’d never heard of the author nor the series. But it’s wonderful. I don’t read a tremendous amount of fantasy books, but every now and then I like a good straight-forward adventure fairytale. And this is it.

Me:  Wonderful! :-)  For those who might consider reading your book, what would you tell them to expect?

Suanne:  Emotionally intelligent romance. Expect a lot of raw, gritty feels. Expect not to be sheltered. Expect extremes: joy, passion and euphoria as well as sorrow and anguish. And expect to perhaps see yourself in the story.

Me:  Sounds like fun! :-)  What is your favorite part of being an author?

Suanne:  The absolute best thing is getting fan mail. When a reader reaches out to you to tell them what your words meant to them. When they say your book changed them. Or your book made them think differently. There is nothing like that high. Connecting with readers, bloggers and other writers is the best. But I also must say that when I used my royalties to buy a new garage door, it was pretty cool as well.

Me:  That is really cool!! Congratulations! :-)  Do you have a day job as well?

Suanne:  I do but I’d rather not talk about it. Not that I’m a spy or anything, it’s just a bore.

Me:  Ha! Okay, most jobs are. ;-)  What are the hardest and easiest parts about being a writer?

Suanne:  The easiest part is writing the book. The hardest part is writing the blurb!

Me:  Ugh! Blurbs!  The author's bane. ;-)  What genre do you place your book in?

Suanne:  Somewhere between contemporary fiction and contemporary romance. My books have been well-received in the New Adult genre as well, although I don’t market them that way.

Me:  Cool!  Is there anything else you'd like to tell your readers?

Suanne:  It’s never too late to follow a dream or reinvent yourself. You have everything to gain and nothing to lose by trying. Try something new.  As my friend Ami says, “Not everything has to be a thing.”

Me:  Amen!  And so these fine folks can find your work, are there any links you'd like me to post?

Me:  Perfect!  Thank you so much for joining us here today, Suanne.  And thank you to everyone else who popped in to see what we found to chat about!!  Don't forget to check back tomorrow for the next installment of Mistral Dawn's Musings!! :-)

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

#Explanations & #Details

Hey Everyone!! :-)

Today, I thought I'd give you a little peek into the world I'm creating for my new character, Petri Dish.  In the first chapter, posted here A First Look, you learned that she's part Arcanum.  But what are the Arcanum?  Well, that's a good question, and you can read a bit more about them here:

Arcanum (AKA: Mgeni): An extremely technologically advanced species of aliens. They are small, rarely more than four feet tall, with slender, sexless bodies and long, skinny limbs. Their heads are oversized and bulbous, with large, lidless eyes, lipless mouths, and no nose. Their coloring ranges from pasty white to corpse-gray. They rarely make contact with other species, but when they do the other species never come off well in the exchange. They feed on the biological energy generated by other species and there are rumors that they keep members of other species captive to feed on like livestock. Not much is known about them for certain. The remains of what have appeared to be horrific medical experiments they conducted on other species have been found, but no one knows the purpose of such experiments or why they were abandoned by the Arcanum. The Arcanum refuse to communicate with other species and their technology is advanced so far beyond what is known by any other space-traveling people that it's impossible to confront them in a way that will yield information. They are also rumored to have psychic powers, but the nature, limitations, and manifestation of those powers is unknown. Such powers, if they exist, may be the product of biology or technology, or some combination thereof. So far, no one has been able to induce the Arcanum to share their secrets. They are both feared and hated by the rest of the space-going races.

Sound interesting?  I hope so, because there are a lot more surprises in store for you in Petri's Story! :-)  Thank you all for checking in today, and don't forget to stop by tomorrow to see what's new in Mistral Dawn's Musings! :-)

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

#LoveStruck #Authors #ValentinesDay #Giveaway! $150 #Grand #Prize!! :-)

Hey Everyone!! :-)

Guess what!! I have another exciting giveaway to to tell you about!! :-)  It's free to enter, there are over 90 prizes, and the grand prize is $150 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! :-)

Monday, January 11, 2016

#MondayMotivation #WarmUp! :-)

Hey Everyone!! :-)

Here's a tiny peek at the goings on in the Summer Court to warm you up on this cold, winter morning! :-)

Excerpt from Intrigue In The Summer Court:
"Never," he grinned devilishly. "But I do want to discuss the idea of a spanking in greater detail," he teased.

Groaning, Cassie rolled her eyes. "Later, I'm too tired to think about it now."

"Tired! It's the middle of the day, there's a formal dinner for us to attend tonight."

Yawning, she moved off of his lap to crawl to the head of the bed. "I need a nap first." She paused, glanced over her shoulder at him, and threw him a flirtatious look. "Care to join me?"

His mouth went dry at the sight of his mate on her hands and knees, the evidence of his passion still wet on her thighs. Mesmerized, he followed her with his eyes as she clambered over the enormous mattress. At her words, his gaze flicked to meet hers and a slow smile spread over his face. "Always," he answered as he moved towards her.

Did that get your blood flowing?  I hope so!  If you'd like to read more, you can find this story here:

If you're a member of Kindle Unlimited, you can even read it for free! :-)  Thank you all for stopping by, and don't forget to check back tomorrow for the latest on Mistral Dawn's Musings!! :-)

Sunday, January 10, 2016

#Adventures In #Pet #Advice

Hey Everyone!! :-)

I'm back with another installment of my pet advice series.  Today's topic is what to do when a pet starts going to the bathroom in the house.  Below are a few questions to ask yourself when you first notice the problem.  Once again, I am not a veterinarian, so these are things to consider only after you have spoken with your vet.

So Your Pet Is Peeing In The House...
The first thing to ask yourself is, is your pet fixed?  If your pet is fixed, was it fixed young?  Did you just get your pet fixed?  If your pet is not fixed, get it fixed.  Intact animals often spray because their mating drive makes them territorial.  If your pet is fixed, but it was not fixed young it may have developed a habit of marking which you will have to work to correct.  There are many websites, vets, shelter volunteers, and animal behaviorists who will be able to give you advice on how to do that.  You may need to try several different methods before you find one that works.  If you just got your pet fixed, then give it some time.  Just because its gonads have been removed that doesn't mean all the hormones they have been producing for months/years magically disappear from the animal's system over night.  It might take a couple months before you notice a difference. 

If not being neutered isn't the problem, have you taken your pet to the vet? Your pet may be going to the bathroom in the house, number 1 and/or number 2, as a way of letting you know that they are in pain.  Take them to a vet.  A vet can do diagnostic tests, such as a urinalysis, to check for urinary tract infections, a CBC to check for other signs of infection and/or other blood abnormalities, a blood chemistry panel to check organ function, etc.  You may think that your pet is healthy, or that there is another explanation for the behavior, but you are not a vet.  Neither is your aunt Marge, or your friend's cousin's upstairs neighbor, or me.  Only a vet can properly diagnose and treat a problem with your pet's health. Even if you think there is another reason, that reason could have put stress on your pet and caused a health problem.  Your pet's health has to be checked before anything else can be done.  Yes, vets and tests are expensive.  But part of the responsibility of being a pet owner is taking your furbaby to the doctor when they are sick.  If you need help paying for the visit, contact your local animal shelter and ask about any financial assistance that may be available in your area.  There are some charities that will help people pay for vet visits, so see if there are any where you live.

If it's neither of the first two possibilities, and you don't know if it's the second one until you have taken your pet to a vet, have you just had a change in the household?  Is your pet dealing with a new person, pet, home, cat litter, food, routine, etc.?  If so, your pet may need time.  That probably means more than a couple of days, and it may mean several months.  During that time, you need to take steps to figure out what is triggering the behavior, and either remove the cause or help your pet cope with it.  That may mean creating a quiet place for your pet to be alone, with frequent visits from you. It may mean changing your pet's diet.  It may mean hiring a professional to help you understand and correct your pet's behavior, etc.  Many animal shelters have an animal behaviorist who you can speak with for free, but you may need to hire someone to come to your house.  There are also a lot of websites that have advice for correcting your pet's behavior.  Yes, this all means work and inconvenience for you but, just like all children, sometimes the furry people in our lives require a little extra attention.  Considering all that they give us, aren't they worth the trouble?

One additional possiblity, if your pet is a cat and you have declawed it, litterbox problems are an unfortunately common result of that decision. Inappropriate elimination, both #1 and #2, is common in cats that have been declawed. There are a variety of physical and psychological reasons that this occurs, which I have discussed in more detail in my Is Declawing A Good Idea post, and one or more of them may apply to your cat.  If your declawed cat starts going to the bathroom in the house the first thing to do is, of course, take it to a vet.  Some things you can also discuss with your vet are products like Feliway, Rescue Remedy, and Prozac.  You can ask your vet if they think any of these products might be beneficial for your kitty.

Something to keep in mind is, if your pet is having bathroom issues, it is highly unlikely that anyone will want to adopt it. You have, presumably, had your pet for some length of time and have formed an emotional connection with it.  If you aren't willing to take the time and trouble to help them when they need it, why would someone who doesn't even know your pet want to do so?  Please keep that reality in mind before deciding to take your pet to a shelter.  Loving an animal, just like loving a human, means taking the good with the bad and loving the whole package.  Remember, even if they are having trouble, your pet loves you too.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

A #Feature! #Captivated By The #Winter #King #Spotlight! :-)

Hey Everyone!! :-)

Captivated By The Winter King is being featured in the latest issue of Redhot Romance!!! You can check it out here! :-)

Or, if you're on a mobile device, the link to follow is here:

Anyway, I think it's pretty cool, and it would be great if you could all take a moment to check it out.  Thank you to everyone for stopping by today, and don't forget to check back tomorrow for the latest installment of Mistral Dawn's Musings!! :-)

Friday, January 8, 2016

#Authorsdb: For #Readers & #Authors! :-)

Hey Everyone!! :-)

Just a quick post today to let you know about a cool website.  Authorsdb is a free site where authors can list their books, connect with other authors, and find user -rated services.  Readers can discover new books, interact with their favorite authors, and participate in fun contests.  Overall, it's worth a look and, just to give you an idea of what it's like, you can find my profile on the site here:

One thing that Authrosdb is known for is their yearly cover contest.  Last year, the cover for Taken By The Huntsman, which was created by the amazing Erin Dameron-Hill, was a semi-finalist in the contest.  In case you don't remember which cover I'm talking about, here it is:

I think it's pretty awesome, even if I do say so myself. ;-)  And others must have thought so too, because here's the cool badge it won! :-)

Anyway, take a few minutes and check it out.  Look around and maybe list your books, vote for this year's contestants in the cover contest, and just have fun.!  Thank you all for stopping by today, and don't forget to check back tomorrow for more of Mistral Dawn's Musings!! :-)

Thursday, January 7, 2016

#NewRelease #Announcement! #Sweet #Temptation by Lizabeth Scott!

Hey Everyone!! :-)

Lizabeth Scott is here today to talk about her new story, Sweet Temptation.  Lizabeth, take it away! :-)


Sweet Temptation Blurb

Sweet Temptation is the fifth installment in Lizabeth Scott’s Royal Vow Series.

Giving in to one simply divine temptation changed the course of her life forever. Chellie’s world spiraled out of control, and she had no one to blame, but the one man who lied and betrayed her. Her one night of unrivaled passion became the worst and most cherished moment of her life.

Prince Siran SuMartra stood fourth in line for the throne. Nothing was expected of him, and that’s exactly what he delivered. The image he put forth to the public was becoming tiresome to maintain. When he woke disorientated in yet another strange bed, with a woman he couldn’t remember, he knew it was time to change and take his place beside his brothers.

Years later, two very different people come together and discover they’re bound through a common bond. Prince Siran sets out to make amends. Chellie knows putting her trust in him again would only lead to another sweet temptation.

Find Sweet Temptation at these merchant sites:
Amazon – http://amzn.to/1QT2L2p
Kobo – http://bit.ly/1IDVGjD
Google Play - http://bit.ly/1OxG7fE

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

I'm #Honored!! :-)

Hey Everyone!!! :-)

Well, the results of the Bottles & Books Reviews' 1st Annual Reader's Choice Awards are in, and thanks to all of you, Captivated By The Winter King and I did really well!! :-)

First, the categories I or it won in:






And the other categories I or it placed in! :-)





I can't thank you all enough for all your support with this.  It's you amazing people who made this happen, and I'm very grateful and honored! :-)  If you would like to take a look at the rest of the winners, you can do so here:

And I would definitely suggest you take a moment to scan through them.  There are some truly amazing and talented authors on the winners list, and I'm humbled and honored to be listed among them.  Thank you all again so much, and I'll definitely be sure to let you all know when to look for the feature in the Lust Bites digital magazine.  So be sure to check back often for the latest installment of Mistral Dawn's Musings! :-)

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

#Important #Announcement! :-)

Hey Everyone!! :-)

Just a quick announcement today, but it's an important one.  As some of you may know, in order to enroll a book in Amazon's Kindle Unlimited program, Amazon requires that it not be listed on any other merchant site.  At the end of this month, I'll be enrolling Captivated By The Winter King in the Kindle Unlimited program, so that means I'll have to withdraw it from all other merchants.

What does that mean for you?  Well, nothing, as long as you've already purchased your copy by then.  Any copy that has already been purchased will still be valid and accessible.  You'll still be able to access it from your devices and read it.  The only thing that changes is that you won't be able to purchase a new copy from anyone other than Amazon.  I'm sorry about any inconvenience this may cause, but that's why I'm letting you know now.  So you still have almost a whole month to get your copy if you prefer a merchant other than Amazon.

Where is it available right now?  I'm glad you asked!  You can purchase Captivated By The Winter King from any of the following merchants:

B&N    Smashwords    iTunes    Kobo    Amazon

And it will remain available at from all of these merchants until the end of this month.  After that, it will only be available from Amazon.

Thanks for stopping by today, and please remember to check back tomorrow for the next installment of Mistral Dawn's Musings! :-)

Monday, January 4, 2016

#Blood #Ties By Julie Nicholls #Now #Out In #Paperback! :-)

Hey Everyone!! :-)

The awesome, fabulous, and talented Julie Nicholls has a new book out!!  See what she has to say about her latest masterpiece! Julie, take it away! :-)


Hey peeps! Today is the official release day for Blood Ties! In case you need another sneaky peek to whet your appetite, here's a little more from the book. This is a paranormal, shifter, werewolf, romance, and it's currently available on Amazon.com & Amazon.co.uk

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000026_00018]

I've spent some time making the paperback quite special, and if you're a collector of 'real' books, I hope you'll consider adding Blood Ties to your collection. 

The first letter of each chapter has a wolf motif which I've created in photoshop and adobe illustrator.

I hope you like the design and for the readers who like to hold a book, this is a perfect gift. The paperback is available from:
Createspace: Buy Link     or via Amazon: Buy Link


The morning looked promising. Keagen was on the road, traveling to a small town he’d never heard of. Filled with elation, thoughts of catching his prey made him smile. There was no need to rush. Despite his need to snag the escapee, he took a leisurely drive. Intel he received advised of a stranger who'd set up house in Dewburn Falls, and was deemed a ‘badass.’

Keagen smirked.  There’s a new player coming to town. Move over badass.

Relaxing into the soft leather seat of the BMW 328i, one of Keagen’s favorite rides, he took in the scenery and thought about his plan of action. Meticulously organized, he always had a fallback plan. He wasn’t at home being Mr. Cock-up, and hated if someone fucked up, which wasn’t too often as he mostly worked alone. Forced to team up on one occasion, it didn’t go well, resulting in a few deaths. Kicking off, Keagen said it was either his way, or he was retiring, which was funny considering they owned him; despite his reluctance to admit it. While he was comfortable, he’d put up with their shit and continued along his merry way. Doing their dirty work. With access to fast cars, the best weaponry, some not even on the market officially, and recreation time to fuck, life was good. He wanted it to continue.

His mind took him back to when it wasn’t so pleasurable, and his hands tightened around the steering wheel as he growled. While he didn’t have many memories remaining, he knew it wasn’t good. Faded scars on his body were the only reminders of his childhood, since Solgen wiped his memory. It was the standard protocol to start with a clean mind, and easier. Still perfecting the procedure, the scientists had made a few errors, but Keagen was their most successful guinea pig. Receiving top marks in all the tests, he confirmed loyalty to the company and, therefore, was allowed to leave the compound. At first, he was under supervision, but that had soon changed. After excelling in each mission within a few months, his reputation soared. Managing a hundred percent retrieval rate, with a required eighty percent coming in alive, he was the top dog. The twenty percent died because they resisted capture and return back to the labs. Keagen was strong. At the start of his hunting career, he didn’t know his own strength. Rarely bringing home a dead one these days, he’d learned to master his body and the enhancements.


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