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, June 14, 2016

#Gems Of #Strength #Anthology: #Combustion By Thanna Setliff!

Hey Everyone!! :-)

I've introduced you to Vanquish and Childish Things in  Gems of Strength, now here's a peek at Combustion!  And who better to tell you about it than the author, the fabulous Thanna Setliff!  So Thanna, take it away and tell us about your contribution to the Gems of Strength anthology.  :-)


A serial killer is hunting undetected in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. The arsonist could be anyone. The target is a woman alone and asleep.

Short excerpt:

Fire leapt in dancing swirls, seemingly alive as it consumed all in its path. A secluded log cabin in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia was engulfed from the basement to the second floor. The sole occupant, a woman whose live-in boyfriend and small infant were away visiting, was oblivious due to the strength of cold medicine she had taken.

A figure in the woods watched gleefully as their carefully orchestrated handiwork spread rapidly. It would be ruled murder, given the method--saturation with gasoline through-out the home--but the killer was not worried about that. No clues would be found. The arsonist was too careful. There was nothing to connect the figure to the prior three fires either. The killer was smart enough to spread the killings out over the entire mountain range and vary the method of starting the fires. Electrical short in a power outlet. Lit cigarette in a bed. The last time with cut wiring, also obviously murder, but with no suspects. No, the similarities were few. Fire, of course. Secluded homes. Somnolence owing to outside sources: liquor, sleeping pills and the like. Females by themselves. The killer was not too picky as long as the victims met one of the criteria on a list of many sins. The shadow was working up to the important death. The one victim that must die.
No, what the murderer worried about was that help would arrive too soon.
It had already been five minutes. Five more passed, making ten. Fifteen. Twenty.


The arsonist sank deeper into the woods, watching, and enthralled by the blaze. Elated by the success; it was far too late to save the woman. Firefighters dashed madly about, at this point merely trying to keep the woods from catching fire. Knowing time was of the essence, the killer forced a retreat while the ruins were still being doused with water. Once arson was known, they would be looking for a watcher. Pyromaniacs were known for hanging around to watch their handiwork. The shadow would not allow such a self-indulgence again.

Cutting through the trees, the figure crossed a half mile. Removing the camouflaged covering from the hidden, nondescript vehicle, the killer then got in the car and drove away at a calm, steady speed.

Short Bio:
Thanna A. Setliff has known she wanted to write since she was in fourth grade. She has an active and vivid imagination and loves to share it with people. She enjoys reading books of all genres and would like to branch out into several herself.

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