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

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

#Ripples & #Consequences

Hey Everyone!

The other day, I started a conversation on Facebook with the question, "If Bernie Sanders were a Vulcan and Hillary Clinton a Ferengi, what would Donald Trump be?"  As you might imagine, the answers were quite amusing. ;-)

But why would such a comparison even occur to me? Well, because art does reflect reality.  Anyone who has watched Star Trek knows that the various alien species often personify a specific aspect of humanity. The Vulcans of course represent logic, reason, and rational behavior.  The Klingons represent competitiveness, aggression, and honor.  The Ferengi represent greed, acquisitiveness, and cowardice. And on, and on.

The same is true of any fictional character, though the symbolism isn't always quite as stark. When writing a character with specific personality traits, what author doesn't try to imagine someone they know, or know of, who possesses those traits?  By visualizing how that person might act in a given situation, it's easier to determine how the character will act.

And fiction doesn't spring from a vacuum, either.  Historical events, current events, politics, society, culture, personal experiences, etc, all influence and inform art.  One of the most popular questions that I've found in author interviews is, "Where do your ideas come from?"  Next time you read one of those interviews, pay attention to the answer. You might be amazed.

What's even crazier in some ways is that fiction also influences reality.  This isn't my opinion; this is actual verifiable fact.  For some examples of this, check out the Smithsonian Magazine's article on Ten Inventions Inspired By Science Fiction.  Everything from submarines to cell phones started out as speculative fiction. Of course, these are just a few examples. And it's not just technology that can be influenced by fiction.

Right here in the Good Ol' US of A, there are a couple of dramatic examples of fiction influencing political events.  Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin is widely credited with hardening popular resolve against slavery, just in time for that moral outrage to be used to help generate the energy needed to propel the American Civil War forward. Upton Sinclair's depiction of the meat packing industry in his novel The Jungle helped lead to the Meat Inspection Act and the Pure Food and Drug Act.

Now, the accuracy of Ms. Stowe's descriptions of slavery in the American south have certainly been challenged.  And Mr. Sinclair's actual intention was to incite people's indignation against the deplorable working conditions employees of the meat packing industry were forced to endure, not towards the state of the food product.  But the influence was real, regardless of the accuracy of the story or intentions of the author.

So, why is it that society can be so heavily influenced by what are, after all, only stories?   Well, part of it is undoubtedly a receptive environment. The stories were told at the right time and place for them to resonate with the populace.  But part of it is also that resonance.  If a fictional character is well crafted, they seem "real" enough for us to identify with them.  Then, all that's left is for the story to be engaging enough that we "live" through the same trials and challenges as the protagonist.  We experience their dilemmas, feel their pain, and share their anger in a way we rarely do with real, live people we don't know personally and intimately.

Does that make us more empathetic towards fictional characters than human beings? Maybe. Or maybe it's just that we rarely slow down and listen to other people in the way that we'll give our attention to a story.  Whatever the reason, the phenomenon is real.

And it's not limited to just positive change.  The Protocols of the Elders of Zion is thought to have helped prime the populace of much of Europe for the anti-Semitism of the Nazi party to find fertile ground. Was anti-Semitism already a problem in that population?  Almost certainly.  But again, right time/right place.  And as the experience of Mr. Sinclair with The Jungle illustrates, what people will take away from a story isn't always predictable.

So, why consider all this?  Well, it seems that we may be at another crossroads in history.  A lot of changes are taking place.  And a lot of people seem to be pretty angry, at least here in the US.  What changes will take hold and by what method remains to be seen.  But I certainly think we might want to consider both how our leaders, and prospective leaders, are portrayed in art and what, if any, fictional characters they resemble.  It's worth a thought, anyway.

So...what Star Trek character did we settle on for Donald Trump?  Well, we didn't.  It seems that Star Trek villains are all either too intelligent, too honorable, or not vicious enough for them to represent Trump.  However, we did agree that The Beast Rabban from Frank Herbert's Dune is a good likeness. ;-)

Monday, May 30, 2016

#NewRelease #Announcement: #Gems Of #Strength #Anthology!

Hey Everyone!! :-)

The Gems Of Strength Anthology is now available!!! :-)  You may remember, a while back I shared an excerpt from a short story, Childish Things, which is part of the Petri Dish Chronicles.  Childish Things is one of the stories that's in Gems Of Sisterhood, so those of you who have read Rainbow Dreams now have the opportunity to learn a little bit more about Chessie's past.  Just in case you missed the excerpt, I'll post it again below.

Excerpt from Childish Things:
"Alright, hun. Whatcha wanna talk about?"

"I want you to tell me why you avoid me. Why do you only come around for business?" He reached out to take one of her hands, which were lying on the table. "I want to be your friend, Chessie. Why won't you be my friend?"

Squeezing his hand, Chessie answered. "We are friends, Nicky. You know that."

Shaking his head, Nax said, "No, you only come around when I have a job for you or to deliver something for me. Or, like now, when you need a favor. Why don't you ever come by just to chill?" He slid his hand up her arm to caress her shoulder. "You know I like you. You think I'm ugly?"

Chessie smiled and shook her head. "Nah, hun. You're cute enough. When you shower."

He blushed.

Taking a breath, Chessie closed her eyes and massaged her temples. "I just…"

"You come by when you've had a TGRP," he husked as he gazed at her with heavily lidded eyes.

It was Chessie's turn to blush. "It's different then."

"You know I like you either way. It's not what's under your clothes that I like, it's you."

Sighing, Chessie raised his hand to her lips and laid a kiss on his knuckles. "I know, hun. It's just…hard for me."

Nax caught her eyes and held them, his gaze intense. "Chess, you gotta make peace with this. Not for me, but for you. It's not healthy to be so down on yourself." He gestured around at his home. "Just let go and enjoy. There's no right or wrong when it comes to a good time, so just relax."

"I know, love. But it's easier said than done."

He snorted. "You're giving me the 'it's not you, it's me' speech, aren't you?"


He waved her objection away. "I know; I believe you." Running a hand through his still wet hair, he grimaced. "It's just my fucking luck to like someone with as many issues as me," he sighed.

Gems Of Strength is the first in the Gems Of Sisterhood, a series of anthologies.  And there are lots of other stories by lots of other talented authors in it as well! :-)  If you'd like a copy, you can find it here:

Thank you all for checking out the first anthology I've been privileged enough to be a part of, and I hope you'll come back tomorrow to see what else is new! :-)

Sunday, May 29, 2016

All The #Heat You Can Handle! ;-)

Hey Everyone!!

I wanted to let you know that for the entire long, holiday weekend, a blowout event will be happening on Facebook and you're all invited!!  One hundred talented raconteurs of romance will be gathered together to show you their wares! Talk about HOT! :-)

If you love romance, erotica, and all that smut (like I do! ;-) ), then this is the event for you!  There will be games, fun, and LOTS of heat! This is also the perfect opportunity to engage with your favorite authors.  So please join us and see what surprises lay in wait for you...

Saturday, May 28, 2016

#JoinUs For An #Awesome #Party! :-)

Hey Everyone!! :-)

I'll be guest-hosting at Karina Kantas's Facebook launch party for The Secret King today at about 1:30pm EDT.  There will be a lot of awesome authors there today to help Karina kick off her awesome new audio book, and I hope you all will take a moment to pop over and see what we find to chat about! :-)  The link for the party is:

And it kicks off with yours truly at 1:30pm EDT.  Thank you all for stopping by, and don't forget to check back tomorrow for the next installment of Mistral Dawn's Musings!! :-)

Friday, May 27, 2016

#Spring Into #Reading $180 #Cash #Grand #Prize #Giveaway!! :-)

Hey Everyone!! :-)

Guess what!! I have another exciting giveaway to tell you about!! :-)  It's free to enter, there are over 100 prizes, and the grand prize is $180 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! :-)

Thursday, May 26, 2016

#APC #Spotlight: The #Exiled By Scott Borgman

Hey Everyone!! :-)

Today I'm featuring Scott Borgman's The Exiled in my spotlight. ;-)  Scott is a wonderfully supportive member of the Authors-Professional Co-op Facebook group and a fantastic author too!  Check out the description of The Exiled below:

David doesn’t believe in angels. He doesn’t believe in the devil. What better place for the key to Lucifer’s prison to hide than in someone who doesn’t believe in any of that?

When Lucifer discovers where the key to his prison is located, he sets out to claim it. The only thing standing in his way: the Exiled. For ages, they’ve fought to keep Lucifer and those who stand beside him contained within the prison. It’s a war between angels and fallen angels. Between Exiled and Imprisoned. Between brothers and sisters. And the Exiled are losing.

By a stroke of luck (or is it Fate?), Celeste and David cross paths, and the ongoing struggle to contain Lucifer takes a new turn as David discovers the world he has always known is not what it seems, that angels don’t wear halos, and his lack of belief doesn’t matter. Lucifer wants the key to his prison – and he’ll stop at nothing to get it.

Celeste may be Exiled, but she’s still an angel… still sworn to protect humanity – and that includes David. Protecting him from her Imprisoned brothers and sisters isn’t her only problem, though. She’s attracted to David like a moth to a flame, but angel Law strictly forbids any kind of intimate relationships with humans. Not even a single kiss is allowed. She knows why it’s forbidden, but that’s just a rumor…

'The Exiled' is the first book in a trilogy of Paranormal Romance novels and is intended for mature audiences.

Sound intriguing?  Excellent!  You can grab your copy of The Exiled here:

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

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

#Agent Thoth's #Personal Log: Day Two

Hey Everyone!! :-)

Agent Thoth is back today and he's got a little more to report than last time. ;-)

Department for the Preservation and Confirmation of Intelligent Life (DPCIL)
Agent Thoth's Personal Log

Day Two:
It has become apparent that my initial impressions were erroneous.  The hominids are indeed difficult to deal with, and the canids even more so.  Soon after I filed my last log entry, I discovered that the doors on this planet are all defective.  No matter how hard I stare at them, the doors refuse to open.

When I the hominid-servant who was issued to me showed me to my new quarters, I naturally assumed that the door would open when I wished to exit.  I was wrong in that assumption.  The door refused to open and I was forced to yell for assistance.  A horribly undignified position for me to be put into, but I endured.  But then the hominid-servant had the nerve to be annoyed!  As if she was the one who had received poor service!

The scale of my quarters is not at all appropriate to one of my stature.  Considering how clever the hominids are in some respects at building things, it surprises me that they did not anticipate the difficulty this scale issue would cause.  As if that was not enough of an obstacle, the doors in the quarters my hominid-servant prepared for me all seem to be operated through the manipulation of a round lever.  Wholly unsuitable for the convenient use of any DPCIL agent.

I attempted to explain the problem to my hominid-servant, but she does not seem to have been properly briefed on normal modes of communication.  I was reduced to using body language and position to get my point across, but she did not seem capable of grasping what I was telling her.  However, I cannot help but wonder if her lack of comprehension was at least somewhat feigned.

The end result of the encounter was that I remained locked in one room of my new quarters for an entire planetary rotation cycle.  It's true that my hominid-servant did ensure that I had water and sanitary facilities, but that does not make it any less unacceptable.  Fortunately, I was released from what had, in effect, become my prison at the beginning of the current planetary rotation cycle, so I will now be able to begin recording my observations.  I will report said observations in my next entry.

My report on the canids will be included in that entry. So far, I have been unimpressed with them, but I want more time to collect data before making a formal report.  It's possible they function at a higher level than previously suspected.  Nothing on this planet has impressed me much thus far, but perhaps I just need more time to learn how to relate to the local life forms.  Still, if it weren't for the fact that there are several potentially intelligent species here, my preliminary suggestion would be that further research was a waste of time.

Hmm...I wonder what the canids are up to?  I guess we'll have to wait until next week to find out! ;-)  Thanks for checking in with Agent Thoth and me today, and don't forget to return tomorrow to see what other trouble I might get into! :-)

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

#Free!! #Atlantis #After #Midnite By Lisa Kulow!

Hey Everyone!!

Lisa Kulow is making her fabulous novel, Atlantis After Midnite, free, but only for a couple days!!  So if you haven't already, here's your chance to grab a copy of her book and see for yourself what an awesome read it is! :-)

Atlantis After Midnite

The world is being torn apart for the people of Atlantis. Although this isn't the tale your use to hearing. The royal family including Crown Prince Kyrian are unable to comprehend the destruction that is happening all around them. In the midst of a plague. A lovely young Lady named Yew'll who is immune to the plague is brought before King Urian, and Prince Kyrian.
Upon seeing her the Prince was immediately enraptured by her beauty. He asks his father to let him have Yew'll as his personal servant. Sparks fly between the Prince and Yew'll. As catastrophe around them worsens, they end up deliciously enraptured with each other.
King Urian is making final preparations for his people safety and his family.
Prince Urian is to come to him in a secret room in the palace before Midnite.
With the most important thing to him.
As the Gods fury rains down on them, the people of Atlantis move about with purpose.
Prince Kyrian and Yew'll among them.
Strange things are happening, And the room makes strange surreal.
What could have happened? This is not your average tale of Atlantis.
Perhaps, The Royal Family are more than they seem? Did Atlantis really disappear forever? Or maybe there was another place to go..

Want to get to know Lisa better?  Check out her blog here:

Monday, May 23, 2016

#Fantasy #Worlds #eMag #June2016 #Issue #Free! :-)

Hey Everyone!!

Fantasy Worlds eMag is back for June, and they have some outstanding offerings in this issue!!  And get a load of who's featured on the cover this month! Whoot! Whoot!! ;-)

If you take a peek inside, you'll find articles, stories, reviews, features, and more!!  Not to mention the amazing art created by the one and only Julie Nicholls!! :-)  So please take a few moments and flip through.  You never know what kind of worlds you might find...

Or you can download it as a PDF file here:

Sunday, May 22, 2016

#SneakPeek #Sunday!

Hey Everyone! :-)

Today, I thought I'd give you a little peek at the trouble Petri got into in Rainbow Dreams.

The moment the guard had found her, her fate had been sealed. There was no way she could have outrun it, and committing any violent act against a guard was an instant death sentence. Even if she had managed to incapacitate this one, the rest of the ghouls in Upworld would have hunted her down and ripped her apart.

Racking her brain, she tried to come up with a plan, but nothing occurred to her. She had her power back, but she couldn't see any way to use it against the guard. The electrical energy it ran on registered in her mind, but it was too different from the biological energy she fed on for her to do anything with it. The machines were much stronger than humans, and stronger than she was as well. Plus, she was trapped in the back seat of the hover car with a laser-proof partition between her and the front seat.

Sighing, she settled back and closed her eyes. The energy high she had gotten from consuming Rodney was fading. Rubbing her wrist, she remembered how it felt when he had peeled the skin from it. She shuddered. This wasn't the first time her power had healed a wound for her, but it had never healed such a large wound so quickly before. Maybe that had something to do with the amount of energy she'd had available to use and why she felt so tired now.

Even feeding from ten or eleven people in a night didn't give her the same kind of energy boost that the massive feed from Rodney had. She knew she needed to feed more anytime she was sick or injured. Maybe she had been able to heal so fast from the wounds he had inflicted because she'd had the energy to burn.

Whatever the reason, she was grateful. But she wished she could feed again now. Remembering the food she had stuffed in her pockets, she grimaced. The thought of eating turned her stomach, but she needed her energy in case an opportunity for escape presented itself. Besides, who wanted to die with an empty belly? If they were going to kill her, the least she could do was make them clean up her shit.

Uh oh! Sounds like Petri has got herself into a bind. Want to know if she manages to get herself out of it?  You can get your copy of Rainbow Dreams here:

Thank you so much for dropping by today, and don't forget to check back tomorrow to see what's new in Mistral Dawn's Musings! :-)

Saturday, May 21, 2016

#Spring Into #Reading $180 #Cash #Grand #Prize #Giveaway!! :-)

Hey Everyone!! :-)

Guess what!! I have another exciting giveaway to tell you about!! :-)  It's free to enter, there are over 100 prizes, and the grand prize is $180 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, May 20, 2016

#Agent Thoth's #Personal Log: Day One

Hey Everyone!! :-)

Something a bit different for you today! :-) I've decided to start a new project that I hope you all will like. Thoth's Journal is a blog series that I've begun writing, and I'm hoping it will be a hit. I'll try to post at least once a week, and you'll be able to follow Agent Thoth as he learns about his new assignment and the creatures he finds there.  At some point, if there's enough interest, I also want to do a poll on what Agent Thoth should look like.  But until then, Shubert has consented to be his stand-in. ;-)

Department for the Preservation and Confirmation of Intelligent Life (DPCIL)
Agent Thoth's Personal Log

Day One:
I arrived at my new station on the third planet from the star colloquially known as Sol without incident, which surprised me.  As a new agent, for many cycles now, my more experienced colleagues have regaled me with tales of horror about the tribulations inherent in dealing with the hominids.  Fortunately, my arrival was uneventful and my new quarters seem satisfactory, even if the scale of them is a bit odd.  My initial impression is that this posting will prove less of a trial than I had expected, but it's too early to know for certain.  I will continue this report once I have gathered more data.

Intrigued?  Stay tuned for more... ;-)

Thursday, May 19, 2016

#APC Spotlight: #Touch Of The #Irish By Savannah Morgan!!

Hey Everyone!!! :-)

Today, I thought I'd spotlight one of my favorite authors, and an all-around fantastic lady, Savannah Morgan!! :-)  Savannah is a member of the wonderfully supportive Authors Professional Co-op group on Facebook and the founder of the equally spectacular Authors-4-Authors Facebook group.  And, most importantly, her Touch of the Irish collection of erotic short stories is hot, hot hot!! :-)

Eros has done it now.
After a fight with Psyche, Eros went on a drunken rampage shooting his leaden arrows at perspective lovers. On Valentine's Day, no less! Now that he and Psyche have made up, Eros is scrambling to find some way to save his victims.
Where does cupid turn for help?
None other than his ex-flame Aine, Goddess of the Faeries. Aine has things well under control until she realizes three names were left off her list of victims. What is a Goddess to do when all her best-trained fey are already helping others?
She calls on her faeries in training. Three unsuspecting fey get the chance to make a god’s mistake right when they are sent in to help the last three victims of Eros. Dragons, Wolves, and Majickal Beings are all fair game in this race against the clock and finding the happily ever after for three lucky ladies.

Sound good?  You can get your very own copy of this boxed set for only 99 cents!  So, pop on over to Amazon and grab it now!

Thanks so much for stopping by today, and don't forget to check back tomorrow for the latest in Mistral Dawn's Musings! :-)

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

#IndieBooksBeSeen #May2016 #Indie #Books #BookReviews!

Hey Everyone!! :-)

Happy Hump Day!!  It's the 18th again, so you know what that means... ;-)

Eternal Bloodlines by JC Brennan:

This was a complex and intriguing story. It had some elements of the more classical vampire myths with some unique additions that are the author's own conceptualization of this very old mythology. The characters are individual and have a depth that is sometimes missing in "monster" stories. The plot moves quickly enough you don't get bored but still feels like you've read a book and not just a quick short story. Overall, definitely worth a read!

Tiger House: The First Chronicles of Jairus Tanner by Wendy Scott:

This is the intriguing beginning to what is clearly meant to be a series. The story that's contained in this book is a whole story, but it's part of a larger story that is only hinted at here.  Jairus's story starts when he's kidnapped by Tekagi, daughter of the late Tiger Emperor, and forced to participate in a variety of lethal challenges.  It's a series of obstacles that is used to choose the next Emperor and Jairus is Tekagi's unwilling champion.
All-in-all, this is an exciting fantasy action/adventure, and I think I may be hooked.  I'll have to see if the second book looks as interesting as this one when it comes out.  On a side note, I don't know much about Asian mythology, but the fact that this story is listed under the Asian Myths & Legends category on Amazon makes me want to find out more about the stories it's based on.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

#Demon #Within By Julie Nicholls On #Sale For Only #99Cents!

Hey Everyone!!

The amazing and talented Julie Nicholls has an announcement for you all.  Julie, take it away! :-)

Demon Within is currently on sale for just 99C until midnight 19th

it’s also available in paperback and audio book!

Here’s a sneaky peek….

Pushing negative thoughts away, my concentration returns to the present. I relish his attention to detail with each caress of his hands across my waist, cradling my back. He brushes his thumb across the sensitive skin under my breasts. I gasp, shuddering beneath him. He breaks the kiss, and his lips rake down my neck to swollen breasts, my nipples rising to his touch. Wet lips and a flash of his tongue bring my back into an arch. Awash in a sensual frenzy, I run my hands through his soft hair, tugging at their roots. I enjoy the low growl escaping his mouth while he teases my body mercilessly, his hands increasing the pressure. I want time to stand still, or for it to move more slowly when we’re together. However, I ask the impossible. Unappreciative my lover is an angel, I’m greedy, selfish, and want more. If he were mine to keep, I’d be content with life; dying happy at the end, I will reflect how joyous my existence had been.

He senses my distraction, and moves to fill my mind with more pleasurable thoughts. He slides his legs between mine and, spreading my thighs wider, his body settles. Feeling the weight of his thick cock resting against my heated sex sends a shiver through my body. I’m excited and dripping wet, glowing with the promise of vigorous love play that will exhaust me and bring about a deep sleep. At that moment, I hope he chooses to leave while I slumber, so I won’t have to face the painful good-byes.

Angel Within and Ascension Within are also available in Audio and paperback. Visit my Amazon Author Page for details of other works by me!

Monday, May 16, 2016

#MondayMotivation! ;-)

Hey Everyone!! :-)

I thought I'd spice up your Monday a little bit with an excerpt from Intrigue In The Summer Court.  Enjoy! ;-)

Looking down at the male who was stretched out for her pleasure, her breath hitched in her throat. His body was masculine perfection, with muscles outlined in chiseled definition and skin so pale it seemed luminescent. The yellow hair on his head contrasted nicely with the dark gold curls at the apex of his thighs. The part of him that was visibly eager for her jutted proudly out from his body before curling back towards his abdomen. The flickering candles cast wavy shadows over the peaks and valleys of his frame, lending his complexion a rosy quality.

The first item she picked up was a riding crop with a flap of soft leather at the end. She ran her gloved hand over the short crop, displaying it to her Anamchara, and saw his cock jerk against his belly. Tickling his chest with the end of the flap, she waited until his eyes closed in pleasure and then brought it down sharply just underneath his nipple.

Uaine groaned at the sharp sting of the small whip and pre-cum oozed from the tip of his penis. He nearly came off of the bed as his lover bent down to trace the faint, red welt on his chest with the tip of her tongue and then grinned up at him. "More!" he begged. "Please, mistress, more!"

Narrowing her eyes, Roni glared at him. "Did I give you permission to speak, slave? Did I?" she demanded.

Moaning with frustration Uaine answered, "No, mistress, apologies."

"That's not good enough, slave. I'll have to discipline you."

She crossed her arms over her chest and tapped her chin with one finger, pretending to consider. "Hmmmm….now what punishment might be appropriate for an unruly slave?" she asked rhetorically. Considering the items she had laid out on the bed, she picked each one up so that he could see it and watched his expression.

The prince's eyes narrowed when he saw the nipple clamps and the cock ring his mate had found. Flicking his eyes to her face, he immediately realized his mistake and suppressed a groan. Depending on how deep his lover's sadistic streak ran, this might be a very long night.

I guess the Summer Prince might have gotten in over his head, huh? ;-)  If you'd like to read more, you can find Intrigue In The Summer Court here:

Thank you all for stopping in today, and I hope you have a fantastic week! :-)

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Have We All #Lost Our #Damn #Minds? Part 2

Hey Everyone!!!

Back in March, I wrote a rather long-winded post about the primary elections that are going on right now in the US for the next presidential election that will happen in November 2016.  In that post I explained a bit about the political process in the US (for those of you who don't live in the US) and the candidates in this election.  If you haven't read that post and you'd like to, you can find it here:

This post will be a bit of a long-winded update to that one. ;-)  It's been almost two months since I wrote that post, and a few things have changed.  First, there is now only one candidate running in the Republican primaries, and he is Donald Trump.  Ted Cruz dropped out a couple weeks ago because it had become mathematically impossible for him to win, even if he had won 100% of the votes going forward.  Which tells you just how hard Trump is crushing it in the primaries.

That being said, when there were other Republican candidates in the race (Cruz and Kasich most recently), Trump did not win a majority of the votes.  In other words, he did not win in excess of 50% of the votes.  He did win a strong plurality of the votes, and now he's winning the majority because he's the only candidate running, but he didn't before in most states.  So, even though there are a lot of people voting for that nut job, there are also a lot of people who aren't voting for him.  Also, keep in mind, these are only the Republican votes.  The primaries don't represent the opinions of the entire country, that's what the general election, which happens in November, is for.

Then there are the Democratic candidates, who are still Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.  At the moment, Clinton is winning.  However, it's still not impossible that Sanders could overtake her lead.  It would be difficult, very difficult, but not impossible.  If Sanders wins in excess of 65% of the vote going forward, he'll win the Democratic nomination outright.  That's not terribly likely to happen for several reasons, but it is possible.

The first reason that's not likely to happen is that no one in power wants him to win.  The establishment of the Democratic party is fiercely against him.  He won't pander to their corporate donors, he doesn't keep his mouth shut in the name of party solidarity when they screw over the American public, and he wants to get corporate money and special interests out of politics.  He seems to have this outlandish notion that elected representatives should represent the interests of those who elected them.  Radical, I know.

The corporations (who own the media) don't want him.  He wants to wrest control of the country away from them and give it back to the American people.  That's the last thing Corporate America wants.  If he manages to do that, they might actually be held accountable when they do things like commit crimes that crash the national economy or poison the public water supply.  Perish the thought.

Since their corporate overlords don't want Bernie, the mainstream media has been doing its level best to try to convince everyone that he has no chance left.  Several members of the media have called for him to withdraw from the race.  But Bernie still has a race to run.  He could still win!

As I said, he could win outright by winning more than 65% of the vote going forward.  That's not terribly likely, but it is possible.  Last week, he won in West Virginia.  There are two primaries this coming Tuesday that are important, Kentucky and Oregon.  Bernie has a decent shot of winning in both states, and if he does it will definitely help bolster his campaign.  So if you're in Kentucky or Oregon, don't forget to vote on Tuesday! :-)

After Tuesday, the next batch of primary elections are on June 7th.  There are six states that are holding their primaries that day and Bernie is ahead in the polls in several of them.  But the states with the largest number of delegates are New Jersey and California.  If he wins those by a decent margin, he's pretty much won the nomination.

However, most states only allow people who are registered for a party to vote in the primaries.  So if you're in Kentucky, Oregon, New Jersey, California, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, or South Dakota, check your state's rules.  If your state has closed primaries, make sure you're registered as a Democrat if you want to vote for Bernie.

But even if he doesn't win outright, it's still possible for him to get the nomination.  You see, Hillary Clinton is under investigation by the FBI for some emails they think may have contained classified information.  Whether or not that's true, I have no idea.  That's what investigations and trials are for.  However, there are some rumors that she may be indicted.

If she's indicted, it would almost guarantee that she'd lose the election.  So if she's indicted, or there's a strong indication that she will be, the Democratic superdelegates may lend their support to Bernie and give him the nomination.  That's not likely.  Most of the superdelegates are part of the party establishment and so hate Bernie and everything he stands for.  But if their choice is to support Bernie or hand the election to the Republicans, they may choose support him.

So, that's how Bernie could still win the Democratic nomination.  If Bernie becomes the Democratic candidate in the national election, most polls currently have him winning over Trump by a rather large margin.  Huffington Post has collected data from many polls and posted it here: Huffington Post's Analysis of Sanders Vs. Trump.  Can that change between now and November?  Obviously it can.  But it is telling, espcially when you compare it with the Clinton Vs. Trump numbers here: Huffington Post's Analysis of Clinton Vs. Trump.

As you can see, in almost all polls, Sanders leads Trump by a significant margin.  The same cannot be said for Clinton.  Also, maybe even more telling are the trendlines.  As you may have noticed, in the chart of Sanders vs. Trump, the lines are diverging, with Sanders becoming more popular over time in comparison to Trump and Trump becoming less popular over time in comparison to Sanders.  If you look at the trendlines of Clinton vs. Trump, the opposite is true.  The lines are converging, which begs the question: will they cross between now and November?  Scary thought.

Why, if Bernie is so much more popular than Hillary, is he losing to her in the primaries?  That's a good question, and I'm glad you asked! ;-)  The reason is simple and I mentioned it before: only registered Democrats can vote in primary elections in most states.  Which means the droves of Independent voters who want to vote for him are barred from voting for him in the primaries.  They could vote for him in the general election, though!  And that's what those polls are trying to predict, the general election results.  But all those people who want Bernie only get to vote for him if he runs as a general election candidate.

So, are we doomed?  Well, not yet.  As I said, it's still possible for Bernie to win the Democratic nomination.  It's also possible the Republicans may play some dirty tricks at the convention and manage to deny Trump the Republican nomination.  That's looking less and less likely, and it's doubtful whoever they'd replace him with would be much better, but it's still possible.  The establishment Republicans hate Trump as much as the establishment Democrats hate Bernie, just for very different reasons.

If Trump does get the Republican nomination, which he probably will, it's possible some Republicans will put forth a different candidate to run as a third-party candidate.  Which is perfectly legal and fair in American politics, it's just not generally effective.  Most of the time, if there's a third-party candidate in a national election in the US, they split the vote for one of the major-party candidates and hand the election to the opposition party.  So, if Trump is the Republican candidate and the Republicans run a third-party candidate, it will probably result in the Democrats winning the election.  Which, if Bernie is the Democratic candidate, is great news.  If Hillary is the Democratic candidate, it's meh news, but at least she probably won't start WWIII.

Unless...if Trump runs as the Republican candidate and the Republicans run a third-party candidate, or if the Republicans steal the nomination from Trump and Trump runs as a third-party candidate (also possible), and Hillary is the Democratic candidate, then Bernie could, possibly run as a third-party candidate as well.  That would be awesome!

Now, let's be clear, Bernie Sanders has not said he would run as an Independent.  In fact, he has actually said the opposite and promised to stand behind the Democratic nominee, whoever that might be.  And unlike most politicians, historically Bernie Sanders has kept his promises.  However, there has been enough chincanery and flat-out illegal trick-playing in the Democratic primaries, that maybe, just possibly, he won't feel bound by his word under the circumstances.  Especially, if there's the possibility of having four candidates running in a US presidential election, something that I don't think has happened since 1912!  I'm not a political guru or historical expert, so if someone wants to correct me on this point, feel free to leave the correction in the comments.

At any rate, a four-way race is something I would love to see.  First, because I believe it would give Bernie a very good chance of winning.  And, as I made clear in my last post and probably this one too, he's the candidate I'm supporting. ;-)  But also because it might, finally, be an indication that the two-party system is losing it's grip on US politics.  Which means all kinds of possiblities might open up in the future.

One thing I think it's safe to say, whatever happens, the next few months will be an interesting time in US politics. And it will be fascinating to watch.  Bring on the bread! We've got the circuses covered. ;-)

Saturday, May 14, 2016

#RRBC #Spotlight for Lizzie Chantree!!

Writing and nature
By author Lizzie Chantree

Artists and writers have been inspired by nature for as long as I can remember and I often photograph, paint or write about a particular view that sparks my imagination. I paint huge landscapes, which I hope engage conversation between friends and family of the homes they now adorn. My latest novel, Finding Gina a set in a field of bluebells next to a winding river, overlooked by a majestic manor house. The field is based on a place I often go to write, which has beautiful scenery for miles around. There is a tree there, right in the centre of my field, where I can sit and enjoy the view. I have built a bench in a circle around the base of the tree and I call it my thinking tree!

Finding somewhere that helps the flow of ideas is so important to the creative industry. Many businesses with design teams build a natural environment for their staff to work in that sparks inventiveness and increases productivity. Plants around the office or home can have a similar effect as they put more oxygen into the room and keep you more alert, unless of course you are tired from a long day building your story and require a few hours of soundless sleep!

Finding Gina: Excerpt:

Lewis decided he needed to finish the article in hand. It was, after all, what kept the roof over his head and the new mortgage he had taken out to cover the building work, paid. He was sure that most people were surprised to see a man like him coming out of a picture perfect cottage like this, with his messy hair and lopsided spectacles. He really should get them fixed as he was sure he was walking round with his head to one side most of the time to stop them falling off!
He would have to sell his next article to pay for new glasses; the rest of his money went on the restoration of Aunt Honey’s cottage. The cottage was nestled deep into a field on the edge of a river, which eventually wound its way out to sea. There were a few other houses dotted along the riverbank, but none as pretty as Honey’s. She had planted Honeysuckle all around the base of the house and it sent you a fragrant welcome as you opened the door. In the field beyond, true to their love of plants, Lewis’s grandparents had planted waves of bluebells and wild poppies, all the way to the water. It was like a painting and a feast for the eyes. He had spent hours laying amongst them as a child, writing in his notebook, and then letting the sun’s golden rays wash over his body.

Follow Lizzie Chantree on Social Media:
Twitter handle: @Lizzie_Chantree
Any additional means of contact: Blog: https://www.lizziechantree.com

Friday, May 13, 2016

#Spring Into #Reading $180 #Cash #Grand #Prize #Giveaway!! :-)

Hey Everyone!! :-)

Guess what!! I have another exciting giveaway to tell you about!! :-)  It's free to enter, there are over 100 prizes, and the grand prize is $180 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! :-)

Thursday, May 12, 2016

#APC #Spotlight: #Jade By Rose Montague!!

Hey Everyone!!

Today I'd like to let you all know that the lovely and talented Rose Montague has re-released her books Jade and Jane!!  They have new covers and she's ready to show them off to the world! :-)  What are they about?  Well, I'm glad you asked! :-)

Meet Jade Smith, a magical mutt with a mission. A detective partnered with a shifter named Rolfe, she’s on the case to solve a slew of murders: Vamps are killing humans, and nobody knows why. When London Jane, the most powerful vamp in town, is implicated in the murders, Jade knows something isn’t right. Together with Jill, the Winter Queen of Faerie, Jade and Jane take their investigation underground. On the run, with nowhere to hide, they uncover a secret that could destroy Faerie, as well as the human realm. Will Jade stop the killer in time? Or will she be the next victim? Magic, mayhem, and mystery abound, and the odds are stacked against them; it’s three against three hundred.
Jane & Jade are chasing the Devil around the world. That's probably not the smartest thing to do and when the hunters become the hunted, the action really gets rocking, leading to a non-stop thrill ride of a road trip. Vampires and Shifters, Angels and Demons, throw in a giant troll and some witches and you've got a paranormal war. That doesn't leave much time for romance but there is a wedding, and a funeral, and both are ones you don't want to miss. Take a ride with Jane & Jade!

You can find both of these fantastic books, along with Rose's other work, on her Amazon Page here:

So if you think you'd like a little bit of supernatural excitement, head on over and get your copies now! :-)

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

#CheckOut Who's #Visiting #Today! :-)

Hey Everyone!! :-)

The phenomenol Julie Nicholls has done it again!!  She used her magic and made Daji come to life!!  What do you guys think? I think she did pretty darn amazing!  Can't remember what he looked like in the book?  Here's a refresher! ;-)

Excerpt from Rainbow Dreams:
The Paka turned toward her and now that she was closer, she got a better look at him. Like most members of his species, he was extremely attractive. He was tall, with broad shoulders and a trim waist. His body was covered with short, gray fur that was patterned with black stripes and swirls.

Paka didn't wear clothing for protection the way humans did; their fur kept them warm enough in most environments. This Paka had a thick leather belt around his waist and a leather bandolier with pouches on it running from his left shoulder to his right hip. The belt at his waist had loops and pouches on it as well. However, whatever equipment he normally carried with him was missing.

From the belt hung a dark blue breechclout, which concealed his genitals. That was the only obstruction to her view of his magnificent body. Muscles stood out sharply through the fur on his chest, arms, and legs, and she could even make out the ripple of his abs. When her gaze reached his face, she was drawn in even more.

The cat-like aspect to his features didn't detract from his attractiveness at all. If anything, the structure of his facial bones highlighted his startling blue eyes. A silver stripe of fur ran from the pointed right ear at the top of his head over his nose, which emphasized the sapphire color of his irises even more.

He also wore leather boots, so Petri couldn't see his toes, but the retractable claws in his fingertips were fully extended. She could see they were razor-sharp, and his fingers flexed when she spoke. The Paka bared his pointed teeth and growled at her in warning. Even that threat didn't do much to dampen Petri's sudden desire, and she had to force herself to focus.

Holding her empty hands out to her sides, she said, "Look, I don't want any trouble, but you can't have my sister."

She did a pretty awesome job, didn't she? :-)  If you haven't read Rainbow Dreams yet, you can get your copy here:

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

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

It's A #Winner!!! :-)

Hey Everyone!! :-)

As you may have guessed from the picture above, Captivated By The Winter King won first place in the Erotic Fantasy Romance category of the Romance Reviews' Readers' Choice Awards!!!  As you might imagine, I'm pretty excited about this!  Thank you all so much for your support, I know I couldn't have done it without you. :-)  If you'd like a little peek at this prize-winning story, take a gander below. ;-)

Excerpt from Captivated By The Winter King:
Having no choice, Kate surrendered to the sensations that bombarded her. She lost track of where she ended and her lover began and instead existed in a state where everything was floating in a cloud of ecstasy. Distantly, she was aware that Ankou pulled her body up and that he held her in his arms.

He kept his pace steady as he tilted her head to the side and lowered his mouth to her neck. Sucking and nibbling over the delicate skin of her throat, he waited until the waves of her passion crested again before sinking his elongated fangs into her neck.

Screaming, Kate struggled in Ankou's arms, but he held her fast. Keeping her body still, he sucked from her neck. For every draw of blood he took, there was an answering pull of pleasure from her groin. It felt as though he were drinking from her clitoris instead of her throat.

Not wanting to weaken his mate, the Winter king allowed himself only a few swallows of her sweet blood. Withdrawing his fangs, he licked the last few drops from her skin and closed the twin wounds with his magic. With a shudder, he released the hold he had been keeping on his body and allowed his climax to wash over him. Completely spent, Kate was only dimly aware when her mate laid her body gently on the bed and drew the covers over them both. Snuggling into his warmth, she drifted in the sea of bliss he had created within her. As she slowly settled back into reality, she cracked her eyes open and looked up at him.

Concerned about his Anamchara's reaction to being fed upon, Ankou watched her every move. His own body felt electrified, like nothing he had felt since he had fallen from godhood. The rush her blood gave him made him feel more energized than he ever had as a mortal Fae. But at what cost to his mate? When he saw her peek at him from between her eyelashes, he held his breath to see if she would speak.

"Ankou?" she croaked.

"Yes, my love, I'm here. Do you want some water?"

Licking her lips, she shook her head weakly. "No. I want you to promise me something."

"Anything, darling."

Her eyes flashed as she stared up at him. "Promise me that we'll do that again. Soon."

Well, I did say it was erotic fantasy romance, didn't I? ;-)  I hope you enjoyed that little tease, and if you'd like to read more you can find Captivated By The Winter King here:

You can even read it for free if you subscribe to Kindle Unlimited! :-)  You all have a fabulous rest of the day, and don't forget to check back tomorrow for the latest in Mistral Dawn's Musings! :-)

Monday, May 9, 2016

#Wisdom From The #Bard?

Hey Everyone!!

Have you ever heard the phrase, "Methinks the lady doth protest too much?"  It actually comes from William Shakespeare's Hamlet, Act III, Scene II.  I've included part of the scene below so you can see the context.

I'm not going to tell you the story of Hamlet, if you want to know what it's about you can download the text for free and read it.  But the scene in question is about a play within the play where one character in the play is insisting that she'll never marry again if her husband dies.  It's a longish speech and I've only posted the end of it below.  So go ahead and read it, and then I'll tell you where I'm going with this. ;-)

Excerpt from Hamlet:
Player Queen: Nor earth to me give food, nor heaven light!
Sport and repose lock from me day and night!
To desperation turn my trust and hope!
An anchor’s cheer in prison be my scope!
Each opposite that blanks the face of joy
Meet what I would have well, and it destroy!
Both here and hence pursue me lasting strife,
If, once a widow, ever I be wife!

Hamlet: If she should break it now!

Player King: ’Tis deeply sworn. Sweet, leave me here awhile;
My spirits grow dull, and fain I would beguile
The tedious day with sleep. [Sleeps.]

Player Queen: Sleep rock thy brain;
And never come mischance between us twain! [Exit]

Hamlet:  Madam, how like you this play? 

Queen Gertrude: The lady doth protest too much, methinks.

So, as you can see, the implication is that the character is not believable because her declaration is too over-the-top.  That only someone who was lying would go to such trouble to convince someone of something.  And if you think about it, that does seem to hold true.  Think about the last time someone was ferociously adamant in denying or asserting something.  Were they telling the truth?

Now, I'd like to direct your attention towards the current debate over rights for the LGBTQ+ community.  I'll admit that emotions run high on both sides of the debate, but I don't think the explanation for that is the same on both sides.

For people who are a part of the LGBTQ+ community and allies of the community, it's a matter of human rights and people being treated fairly and being granted the same opportunities as anyone else.  Those are high ideals and this is certainly not the first time they have provoked people to extreme emotion and determination.  To quote Patrick Henry, "Give me liberty, or give me death!"  Hyperbole? Maybe for some, but it does resonate and it does ring true.

How about the other side?  Why are people so passionate about denying rights to others?  What do they gain from it?  If two other people who are not you, and are not connected to you in any way, get married to each other, how does that affect you?  It doesn't, does it?  Unless you've been suppressing your own desires for a long time, and you resent that other people are being allowed to do what you wish you had done.  To paraphrase Shakespeare again, when the green-eyed monster rears it's ugly head, look out!

So is that the problem?  Honestly?  Probably not in all cases.  In some cases it's probably a fear of those who are different that's so extreme that those who suffer from it should really seek professional help.  But in some cases, I really do think it may be a case of some people protesting just a bit too much.  That they're just so jealous of others who are living their lives in a way that makes them happy that they just can't contain their anger.  

That's really sad.  The idea that people have denied their own needs on such a fundamental level that the thought of others having the freedom to have their needs met enrages them.  It's a tragedy for all involved, and I think there's a lesson for everyone in it.  When making choices for ourselves, we should all take Polonius's advice to Hamlet, "This above all: to thine ownself be true."  If we do that, hopefully we'll find it in our hearts to let others do the same.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

#NewRelease & #Facebook #Party by Natasha Blackthorne!

New Release: A Most Demanding Mistress: The Fashionably Impure Series Book 2, On Sale For .99

Available to read for free with Kindle Unlimited.
Erotic Historical Romance 

Facebook Party:  I'll be hosting a Facebook Party for this new release but unfortunately I've had to delay it due to moving and also being sick on and off several times since January. The party is scheduled for May 7-8 and if you'd like to attend, please Direct Message me on Facebook and I'll send you an invite. The party is private and you'll need the invite to join: https://www.facebook.com/natasha.blackthorne

A Most Demanding Mistress
Fashionably Impure, Book Two
Approximately 163 pages
Available to purchase now for .99
Will release April 22, 2016
Available on Kindle Unlimited after release.
A Most Demanding Mistress is part of the Fashionably Impure Series and is best read after Miranda's Dilemma.

Reader Advisory: A Most Demanding Mistress is part of a series and is a direct sequel to Miranda's Dilemma and these stories are best read together:

Miranda’s Dilemma
 Fashionably Impure, Book One
Available to read for free with Kindle Unlimited.


Blurb For Miranda’s Dilemma
Erotic Historical Romance ~
Courtesan/Non-virginal Heroine

Poised to become Mayfair’s most expensive and exclusive courtesan, Miss Miranda Jones finds her
rise inexplicably blocked by a socially powerful nobleman. Scorned by her ducal father and determined to attain everything that life has denied her due to an accident of birth, she’s not about to let this arrogant earl stop her.

Adrian Sutherland, the Earl of Danvers, saw his father destroyed by a heartless, predatory courtesan. He has no time or patience for such exotic, expensive ladybirds. He’s far too busy restoring his family’s wealth and reputation whilst doing what he can to protect his friends from the clutches of all the scheming courtesans of London.

Then a moment of compassion turns intense dislike to breathless passion, and
these two strong-willed, fiercely proud people are compelled to
indulge in a brief affair. Each is convinced that they can satisfy
their craving for the other without emotional risk.

But neither realizes that a little dalliance can be a dangerous thing.

Reader Advisory: This is an erotic historical romance and it
contains frank, frequent love scenes, sexual slang and descriptions
and general bedchamber naughtiness. The characters discuss abuse
issues from their backstories during the course of their developing

Blurb for A Most Demanding Mistress:

Miss Miranda Jones is indisputably the most beautiful, elegant and sought after courtesan in all of London. She hides a past full of pain and rejection beneath an exterior of
pride. She knows that noblemen put their own fickle interests first
and cannot be trusted. Scorned by ducal father, she never needed or
expected anything from a man, except his financial support. Luxurious
living makes a soothing balm against the sting of the ultimate rejection.

Now she’s madly in love with a nobleman who cannot
afford to keep her in such extravagant style. And she wonders if a
courtesan can ever afford to indulge her own passions? Can she really
gamble so capriciously on her own future and put the happiness of the
moment above future security? Will her gentleman prove himself no
better than any other nobleman that she has known?

Adrian Sutherland, the Earl of Danvers, has seen the men of his family
destroyed through their obsessive need to possess beautiful women.
He’d always thought himself immune to such unworthy drives. Now he’s
fallen under the spell of Miss Miranda Jones.

Miss Jones’ high standards and past reputation foretells that she’ll be a most
demanding mistress. Despite his relative lack of funds, Adrian is
determined to work hard to protect and provide for her. Passion led
this skeptical gentleman to declare himself in love. Yet as they
enter a protector and mistress relationship, Adrian finds himself
consumed with possessiveness. And he can’t help but wonder if is it
true love that motivates him? Or is it the need to own her stunning
beauty? He must find the answer before their tempestuous romance
breaks both of their hearts.

A Most Demanding Mistress is part of the Fashionably Impure Series and is best read after Miranda’s Dilemma.

Reader advisory: This story contains frank sexual language and general bedchamber naughtiness. Abuse issues are alluded to in the backstory.

About Natasha Blackthorne's Writing
Escape into the past with intensely erotic, emotionally driven love stories. Natasha Blackthorne writes character-focused historical erotica romance featuring strong internal conflicts played out in non-traditional and unconventional situations. Her stories are most frequently about the intimate journey of the characters as they learn to open their hearts to love.

Her heroines are not perfect ladies. They are wildflowers and wallflowers who enjoy flirting with the forbidden. Whether they are bold or shy, her heroines' strong desires and deep emotions drive the plot and drive their heroes to the point of no return. 
Follow Natasha Blackthorne Online:

Facebook Profile: https://www.facebook.com/natasha.blackthorne
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/Author-Natasha-Blackthorne-217388964952800/
Promotion & Giveaways Blog: http://natashablackthorneblog.blogspot.com/
New Releases Only Blog: http://authornatashablackthorne.blogspot.com/
Facebook Readers' Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/NatashaBlackthorne/
Twitter: Nblackthorne

Thank you for checking out my post. :)