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

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

#Agent Thoth's #Personal Log: Day 265

Hey Everyone! :-)

Agent Thoth has some thoughts to share about the odd customs and social mores of the hominids, today. Incidentally, if you've missed Agent Thoth's earlier entries, you can find them here: Thoth's Journal

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

Day Two-Hundred-Sixty-Five:
It has come to my attention that, on occasion, some of the arthropods I found so fascinating in the environment surrounding my domicile make their way inside. The different environment does nothing to diminish their flavor and, when I find them, they make a tasty treat. I attempted to share this discovery with my hominid-servant in an effort to persuade her to be more generous with her own food. But my gift was not greeted with the gratitude it deserved.

Though I have observed my hominid-servant consume arthropods from time to time, apparently hominids are quite selective as to the type of arthropod they consider worthy of consumption. This pickiness seems to be completely arbitrary, as my instruments indicate the arthropod I presented to my hominid-servant would be just as compatible with her digestive system as the ones she eats. However, given the violence of her reaction, I have to assume there are some very strong cultural taboos involved.

Those wacky hominids, huh?;-)  Now that you've all gotten to know him a bit, I was wondering what your opinions might be as to how he looks?  Is he long-haired? Short-haired? Somewhere in the middle?  Is he a particular breed of kitty or is he a moggy?  What color is he?  I'll be putting up polls on the side of this blog to pick various aspects of his appearance and I hope you'll all weigh in. Once we've got the particulars settled, I look for a picture to match. :-)

To vote in a poll, either vote directly or comment with your vote on any Agent Thoth post with your choice of the trait being voted on at that time. :-)  Happy reading!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

What Makes A #Classic?

Hey Everyone!! :-)

I have some thoughts I'd like to share with you today, and for once they aren't about the upcoming election. Hopefully, this will a nice break for everyone. ;-)  No, today, I'd like to talk about reading and writing, or rather about how the former influences the latter.

Recently, I started reading back through some of the classics. I've reread some of the original Grimms Brothers fairy tales, Dante Alighieri's The Inferno, and next I'm going to reread Milton's Paradise Lost.  Why am I on this classics kick? Well, several reasons.

First, classics don't become classics without a reason. For a story to withstand the test of time, it has to speak to something fundamental in human nature.  What that appeal is depends on the story, but there has to be something that people can connect with over and over again throughout the centuries, or the story would have faded into obscurity.  And that's helpful to writers on several levels.

Just like any other skill, writing can benefit from studying what those who have come before you did right and avoiding what they did wrong. If a work has become a classic, chances are there is more that is right with it than wrong, but nothing is perfect. There's a lot to learn about the craft of writing by looking at what those who were successful have done well and doing your best to adapt those techniques to your own work. And it helps to sharpen your ability to critically evaluate your own writing if you can look at something that's outstanding and still find a couple of things that might have benefited from some tweaking.  It never hurts to sit at the feet of a master and watch them work...and then try to improve on their efforts.

Then there's also the fact that you can get ideas from classic stories. No, I'm not talking about plagiarism. I would never advocate or condone stealing another person's work and passing it off as your own. I'm talking about general themes.  Every romance novel that uses the theme of two people facing enormous obstacles that have to be overcome before they can be together is not just a plagiarized version of Romeo and Juliet.  The overarching theme might be shared, but the stories can be quite different.

As I said, if a work has become a classic, there has to be something about it that transcends the time and place where it was written.  Human nature doesn't change and somethings will always appeal to an essential part of our makeup. Things that are universal to the human experience.  Identifying those themes and adapting them to your own story might help make your writing be more appealing to a wider audience.  At least, I hope it might do that for my writing. ;-)

I actually did notice aspects of both the Grimm fairy tales and The Inferno that I suspect more modern authors of popular fiction have either used or stumbled upon on their own due to the ubiquitous nature of the themes. Again, I'm not suggesting that these authors plagiarized, not in any way, just that their work shares some similarity in the broader ideas with older works. Which makes sense, since even classics take many of their themes from even older works of fiction.

"Fairy Tales" are fairy tales because many of them stem from stories about fairies. Stories about fairies are based on several mythologies from multiple societies and religions that, probably, originated as attempts to explain natural phenomena.  After all, very little about storytelling is truly new. Ideas are reshaped, reformed, and recycled from generation to generation. Stories incorporate pieces of history, older stories, imagination, current events, etc, and it all gets reshuffled into something that's "new" and exciting, but is almost always just a new version of an older theme with some new twists and details.

Reading classic stories can be eye opening in that it highlights both how society has changed and how people haven't changed at all.  It's interesting as well as educational, and often a lot of fun as well.  Something else to keep in mind is that many classics can be read for free. A lot of older works are now part of the public domain, which means you can download the text and it isn't piracy. It also means that oftentimes digital copies can be obtained from sites like Amazon Kindle store free of charge, and it's completely legal and ethical to read these copies. If you prefer your books in hard copy, many of them can be found at most public libraries. And, since by definition a classic is a work that has been around for a while, they tend to have shorter waiting lists than more current works of fiction.

So, I hope I've made the case for going back through those classics your high school English teachers forced you to wade through. Only, this time, give them a chance and think about why they might have become classics. What about them makes them appeal to people hundreds of years after they were written?  If you can answer that question, your books might be the next classics.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Do You Like #Free #Books? ;-)

Hey Everyone!! :-)

Do you like free books? ;-)  Here's your opportunity to get a great one and all it will take is a couple of seconds!  The fabulous and talented Julie Nicholls has submitted her new young adult novel, Dragon Moon, to the Kindle Scout program.  If you vote for her book and it's accepted, you'll get a free copy when it's published!  The best part?  It's completely free to vote and just takes a couple of seconds! I'll let Julie take over from here and tell you all about it. :-)

As an indie author, I can tell you it’s hard work trying to get noticed. Between spending hours on social media and paying for advertisements, it can be time consuming and costly. So you can image how excited I am that my latest Young Adult Fantasy, Dragon Moon, has been admitted into Amazon’s fabulous program, Kindle Scout. I can hear you asking…what’s that?

How It Works:
Kindle Scout is reader-powered publishing for new, never-before-published books. It’s a place where readers help decide if a book gets published. Selected books will be published by Kindle Press and receive 5-year renewable terms, a $1,500 advance, 50% eBook royalty rate, easy rights reversions and featured Amazon marketing.
Browse new, never-before-published books.
Every book has 30 days to earn your nomination. Authors are submitting new books all the time so check back often.
Nominate your favorites.
When you discover a book that you think is great, nominate it and the book will be added to Your Nominations panel. Keep up to three books nominated at a time, and update your nominations whenever you want
When a book’s 30-day campaign ends while in Your Nominations panel, your nomination is tallied and removed from your panel - freeing up that nomination for another book. You will receive an email to let you know whether your book has been selected for publication.
Enjoy free books.
As a thank you from us and the authors you support, you will receive an early, free copy of all the Kindle Scout books you nominated that are published. Continue to champion the books and authors you helped bring to life by leaving reviews and sharing with friends.
So this is where you can really make a difference to an indie author…by nominating their book.
Click the link to Dragon Moon on kindle scout…read the first 5k… and if you think this is a boo you’d like to read in full… click nominate. EASY PEASY LEMON SQUEEZY!
In case you need a little encouragement to click the link…here are some details about Dragon Moon

DRAGON MOON – Young Adult Fantasy
I’m nineteen and wish I had a clue about my future. Instead of my own bed, this morning I woke in the strange land of Lur Neval. My name is Scarlett, but the Nevalese call me Dragon Mage. Seems it’s my job to preserve the all-important dragons and oh, while I’m here, bring peace to the warring clans. Piece of cake if I can outwit Madoc, the manipulative, evil seer who wants every dragon destroyed. Whatever it takes, I’m here to fulfill my destiny under the light of the Dragon Moon.
Thank you so much for your time

Sunday, August 28, 2016

#Gems Of #Strength #Anthology: Hidden Identities By Jennifer L. Roche!

Hey Everyone!! :-)

Please welcome Jennifer L. Roche today.  Jennifer has joined us to tell us about her story Hidden Identities, which is in the Gems of Strength anthology, along with Any Kind Of VelvetBettina, Angel Strong, Deep In The ValleyFocal PointThe Road To HappinessA Mother's HeartCombustionVanquish, Undeniable Love, Childish Things, Fox, and Burned Toast.  I'll let Jennifer tell you about herself and her story. :-)


Saturday, August 27, 2016

#RedHot #Summer #Giveaway! $150 #Cash #Grand #Prize! #Free To #Enter!

Hey Everyone!! :-)

There's a new giveaway for you to enter with lots of awesome prizes!! :-)  It's free to enter, there are over 100 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, August 26, 2016

A Little #Summer's #Heat For The #Weekend!

Hey Everyone!! :-)

Given the season, at least here in the Northern Hemisphere, I just thought I'd share a peek at Roni and Uaine's adventures in the Summer Court of Fairie with you today. Enjoy! ;-)

Excerpt from Intrigue In The Summer Court:
As they strolled arm-in-arm through the forest, he reflected, with amusement, on his Anamchara's protests when he had asked her to change into comfortable clothing and walking shoes without telling her the reason. She was still shooting him suspicious glances out of the corner of her eye. He suppressed a chuckle; his lady definitely preferred being in control at all times…except in bed.

The prince's loins tightened as he thought about what he had planned for the rest of the evening. The thought of his mate tied up and spread out for his pleasure made him want to take her hand and run to the cabin that awaited them. Even when she agreed to submit to him, she always made it a battle of wills. Dominating her was an exciting challenge, made all the more so by the knowledge that he only succeeded because she chose to allow it.

In all his millennia, Uaine had seldom met anyone who could match his princess when it came to tenacity. She could be stubborn, prickly, and demanding, but she also had a good heart and compassionate nature. Not that she would admit to the latter.

At times, her behavior could be maddening! Even now she was refusing to speak to him because he wouldn't reveal the nature of the surprise that awaited her. It took a secure male to deal with such a complicated female. But it was that very strength of will that made her surrender, when it finally came, all the sweeter. Because he knew it was for him, and for him only.

As the two of them walked in companionable silence, each lost in their own thoughts, a cabin slowly came into view. At first, it appeared to be an unprepossessing structure, sitting beneath an overhanging tree and seemingly half-buried in the side of a hill. It was only on closer inspection that it became apparent that the home had been built into the hillside, not buried by it, and that it was larger than it first appeared.

From a distance, the front wall seemed to have been painted green, but when Roni approached she saw that it was actually covered in vines. She would have been amazed to know that the wall itself was comprised of those vines, and that the builder of the cabin had created the entire structure out of living vegetation and earthen walls. The part of the roof that emerged from the earth was made from mushrooms that fed on the vine stalks in the walls. The mushrooms grew in a shelf-like pattern and spread out to cover the top of the cabin.

The entire dwelling was enshrouded in magic and no one knew when it had been built or who built it. As far back as anyone could remember the cabin had been exactly where it was, and had served as a retreat for the Summer royals when they wished a break from their duties. Even Roni, who lacked the Fae sensitivity to magic, could feel the aura of time that emanated from the dwelling.

She reached out and stroked the leaves that surrounded the door. The door appeared to be made of stone, but in actuality it was the outer shell of the vine's seeds. Harder than any known metal, the shell surrounding the nut was nearly impenetrable. Inside the shell, the contents were under pressure and the seeds themselves were hard spheres suspended in an acidic gel. If anyone attempted to force their way past the barrier, and succeeded in penetrating the outer shell, they would find themselves bathed in an explosion of acid and hard projectiles.

The moment Roni's fingers touched the foliage, the heavy door swung inward, causing Roni to jump in surprise. She looked at her Anamchara in question.

"It opens to the royal family," he explained. "It recognizes you as the princess, and so it responds to your touch."

"How?" she asked.

Uaine shrugged. "No one knows. It just always has."

Sighing at an answer she was beginning to realize was quite common in Fairie, Roni stepped through the entrance to look at the inside of the home. As she entered, a candle in a sconce by the door flickered to life, and soon several more candles scattered around the room were also lit. The rising light revealed a cozy living room and kitchen.

In the living room, a love seat and two chairs were arranged around a small fireplace. They looked as though they had been well-stuffed, and the upholstery appeared soft and light. Overall, they looked quite comfortable; as though one could easily sink into their cushions and drift to sleep. The fireplace and its surround was made of gray stone, and a stone mantle hung over it.

On the wall adjacent to the fireplace was a window that was covered with a transparent membrane. Roni could tell there was no glass in the window, but she didn't know what the membrane was. Noticing her interest, Uaine said, "It's from the vines that make the walls. They grow in thick groves in the wild, and they need to let air circulate around them but block insects and other parasites. The membrane lets air through, but nothing else, and is much stronger than it looks."

"Amazing!" she exclaimed, and continued her inspection. The kitchen was small, but contained a stove and oven, a sink with running water, and a surprising amount of counter space. The counters, cabinets, and other fixtures were all made of white stone and were cool to the touch when she ran her fingers over them. Turning the faucet on the sink, she was happy to find that both hot and cold water ran from the tap. "What powers the oven and stove?" she asked as she turned the knob on the stove to see the burner flame to life.

"What powers the lights?" he asked teasingly. "Magic."

She smiled. "Yes, this whole place is magic. What's in there?" she asked, pointing to a door at the back of the room.

The prince smiled wickedly and picked her up in his arms. "Let me show you."

Intrigued? ;-) Great! Get your copy now, so you can read on! It's even free if you subscribe to Kindle Unlimited. :-)

Thursday, August 25, 2016

#APC #Spotlight: Subnormal By Stuart Kenyon!

Hey Everyone!! :-)

My APC spotlight is back to its usual day and today I'm highlighting Stuart Kenyon and his post-apocalyptic, dystopian novel, Subnormal! Stuart is a new member of the  Authors-Professional Co-op Facebook group, and I thought this might be a nice welcome. Here's the description for Subnormal:
Imagine a utopia where every person has a purpose and not a single life is wasted.
Britain has become a hive-like world, with even the weakest and most vulnerable playing their part in the nation's transformation. Crime is low, employment high.

But all is not quite as it seems. Though the revolution was quiet and bloodless, countless lives have been torn apart before our very eyes. Whilst the silent majority are mysteriously duped into collaboration, dissenters are ignored or punished. Democracy, civil liberties and equality are replaced by corruption, discrimination and segregation.

Paul, who has Asperger's Syndrome, knows slavery in the Zone is intrinsically unnatural. His first personal rebellion at Industrial Zone Four is crushed and he is forced to suffer alone for years in silence. Until his younger brother, Tommy, is also declared "subnormal" and sent to the Zone following an accident.

Allied with a handful of fellow Zoners and free-thinkers from the outside world, the brothers defy the powers-that-be. Can they beat the odds and restore to the British people a freedom few can remember?
Sound good? Awesome! As a side note, the author of this book has promised to donate a portion of his proceeds to a special needs children's charity, so if you purchase this book you'll be helping out some kids too! If you'd like, you can grab your copy here:

Thank you all so much for stopping by! Happy reading! :-)

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

#Agent Thoth's #Personal Log: Day 214

Hey Everyone! :-)

The day has come! Agent Thoth is about to find out what being "fixed" is all about, and he has a few other observations to share as well. Incidentally, if you've missed Agent Thoth's earlier entries, you can find them here: Thoth's Journal

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

Day Two-Hundred-Fourteen:
This entry is being made because it's imperative that DPCIL be made aware of the horrors that the hominids are capable of. I believe my hominid-servant does not have any ill intentions towards me, and may in fact be ignorant of the full atrocities committed at the medical facility she took me to, but just in case I wanted to make sure my experience was on record. I know understand the full implications of the term "fixed."

In all honesty the procedure I was personally subjected to, that of being "fixed," was not terribly traumatic. In fact, I recovered within a couple of hours and I now feel much better without all the conflicting emotions and base urges that had been rising within the body I am using for this mission. I would strongly suggest that all DPCIL agents seek out this treatment, as it will remove many unnecessary distractions. However, I observed many others who were not as fortunate as me.

As it was a medical facility, there were, of course, many individuals there who were suffering from various ailments and injuries. Their suffering was unfortunate, but not the fault of the hominids who were only doing their best to aid the afflicted. But what appalled me was that those same hominids, who seemed so compassionate most of the time, also engage in gratuitous torture and mutilation of some of the patients in their care.

It wasn't clear to me how they selected their victims, but some of the creatures who were otherwise healthy were selected to have body parts surgically altered or removed for no apparent reason. The body parts in question were not diseased or malfunctioning. Unlike the "fixing" procedure I underwent, the mutilations weren't performed for the benefit of the patient. They seemed to be completely arbitrary and done with the sole purpose of causing pain.

For instance, I saw one DPCIL agent and several of the felid creatures the forms we use on this planet resemble have the first knuckle of all of their digits amputated! For no reason! As you know, due to the structure of these bodys' legs, anyone assuming this form is forced to walk on their digits. Imagine the pain that someone who has lost a key part of that small structure will experience, not just from the original wound, but for years due to the weight distribution that is now focused on an even smaller surface area. And the strain on the joints in the entire body resulting from the changes in how the individual would be forced to stand and walk.

And it wasn't just DPCIL agents and felids who were subjected to such torment. Several canids had part of the pinnae of their ears removed, which will inevitably result in circulation problems in the remaining flesh. Even infants weren't spared, as several infant canids had part of their tails cut off. I knew the hominids were backwards in many ways, but I hadn't realized quite how barbaric they could be.

Wow! What an ordeal. I'm glad that Agent Thoth wasn't forced to undergo any mutilation, but I certainly feel sorry for those other animals.

Now that you've all gotten to know Agent Thoth a bit, I was wondering what your opinions might be as to how he looks?  Is he long-haired? Short-haired? Somewhere in the middle?  Is he a particular breed of kitty or is he a moggy?  What color is he?  I'll be putting up polls on the side of this blog to pick various aspects of his appearance and I hope you'll all weigh in. Once we've got the particulars settled, I look for a picture to match. :-)

To vote in a poll, either vote directly or comment with your vote on any Agent Thoth post with your choice of the trait being voted on at that time. :-)  Happy reading!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

A Good #Friend Is A #Treasure

Hey Everyone!!! :-)

I've got another snippet from my work in progress to share with you today! :-)  It looks like Petri is feeling a bit down, good thing Chessie is around to cheer her up. Do you have any friends you rely on to make you laugh when you're not feeling well? I do and I treasure them. Honestly, having the privilege of knowing awesome people like that are a big part of what makes life worth living. :-)

Excerpt from book two in the Petri Dish Chronicles:
After cleaning up, Petri emerged from the refresher unit to find Chessie waiting for her. Scowling, she asked, "Are you going to lecture me?"

"No, hun." Chessie grimaced. "I think you've had enough of that for now."

"At least one of you does."

"We're not your enemy, hun."

After slipping into the shapeless ship's coverall that she usually wore on board the Ruba, Petri hugged her friend. "I know you aren't. I'm not so sure about him."

"Come on," Chessie chided. "You know better. If he wanted to hurt us, he could easily have done so. You two are just too much alike. You clash."

Rolling her eyes, Petri said, "Whatever. Is Sadaka up yet?"

"I was going to check on her next. Daji said we'll be lifting off soon, and she likes to watch liftoffs from the lounge window. I wanted to make sure she was awake to see it."

"I'll take care of it, and I'll make sure she gets her breakfast. Why don't you go up front and see if Captain Grumpy needs any help."

"Alright." She kissed Petri's cheek. "But he's not the only one who's grumpy around here."

Snorting, Petri just shook her head.

Squeezing Petri's hand, Chessie moved towards the door and then stopped. Turning back, she asked, "By the way, were you able to feed enough? How's your energy level?"

"I was. I should be okay for a day or two, why?"

"I was just wondering if it would be okay for me to steal Daji from you tonight."

Grinning, Petri gave her friend an arch look. "Had fun, did you?"

Chessie grinned back. "Lots."

Petri laughed, "He's all yours."

"Good! Maybe it will give the two of you a chance to cool off, too." Chessie winked at Petri as she left the room.

Chuckling, Petri shook her head. She didn't know what she'd do without Chessie. Her friend could always cheer her up when she was upset; the woman was a lifesaver.

Monday, August 22, 2016

#CoverReveal: #Dragon #Moon By Julie Nicholls!!

Hey Everyone!!

Julie Nicholls is joining us today to show off the beautiful cover for her upcoming novel, Dragon Moon! Julie, take it away! :-)


Thank you very much for letting me take over your blog today to reveal the cover for my latest novel: 
Dragon Moon. 

This is a Teen & Young Adult Fantasy, and I hope to publish with Amazon’s Kindle Scout program.

The story concerns Scarlett, an almost nineteen-year-old who is undecided about her future. Throughout her school life she has been the subject of ridicule and bullying because of her flame, red hair. While college was easier, because she stood up for herself, she can’t make up her mind if University is the place she wants to be, and is taking some time out from studying to decide. She visits the Nottingham Goose Fair, and meets Dizelli, a psychic, who gives her a gold pendant and instructs her to wear it to bed. Scarlett wakes up the next morning but she’s not in her bed, or her home. She’s in a field. In her pajama’s. Her adventure begins and she’s thrown into a world of dragons and magic. She’s the Dragon Mage, and it’s her responsibility to save the dragons from slaughter, and also bring two warring tribes together. There are just a few days left before the Dragon Moon arrives. All the dragons currently asleep, protecting their eggs could die unless Scarlett finds a way to unite the silver haired, and black haired races together and to stop Lord Ithel from killing the elder dragon who knows the secret location of the dragon eggs.

Here’s a sneaky peek!

No matter what Elyan’s surprise is, at least it’s another lovely day out. The sun is shining and despite the cool breeze, it’s perfect for riding. We set off at a walk but once outside the city walls, Elyan kicks his horse and he’s off. I have a hard time keeping up on Sootli; bless her. Once he reaches the foothills, he slows and when I catch up to him, he pulls off to the left instead of the path through the mountain.

“Where are you going?” I ask.
He doesn’t answer and just waves at me as he trots ahead. He’s in charge again; he can’t help it.
We ride for only a little way, and then the smell hits me.
Soon we’re looking at a blanket of white flowers. They stretch along the side of the track as far as the eye can see, and the smell is amazing. Elyan dismounts and wraps the reins around a fallen tree. He helps me down and leads me to the huge log where we both sit.
I can’t stop sniffing the air and notice he’s staring. “What?”
He smiles and I notice for the first time how charming he looks when he’s not scowling.
“I know how much you like Vanillium and thought you would like to see where it grows. Am I right?”
“Yes! Thanks.”
I’m smiling as I look at him and see him in a different light. He can be thoughtful when he puts his mind to it. He stares at me for several moments, his gaze unfathomable. Do I want to know what he’s thinking?
“I am sorry for my behavior yesterday with Mostyn,” he says.
Wow! Didn’t see that coming.
“I expect learning he and your sister were an item was a bit of a shock.”
“I learned something else too. From my father.”
“What was it?” I ask as if I don’t know.
“That there was someone else he loved before mother. I am not angry about that. He expected me to be, though. I have a reputation, it seems.”
I can see a hint of a grin forming.
“My father relies on me to protect the town. While I have my warriors to aid, I am constantly on my guard. My responsibility to our people is foremost on my mind.”
“That’s why you’re so wound up, Elyan. You’re stressed out.”
I know how he feels. In my last year of college I was worrying over my exams, the bullying, and concerns about my life after college. My dad said when someone is stressed, they are short-tempered, have trouble sleeping and are unable to see the positive side of things. Elyan ticks all of the above. People don’t realize they are stressed, but once it’s pointed out to them, it becomes clearer.
“What am I to do? This is my life. I am responsible for our people.”
“I understand you have an important role, but you don’t have to do it on your own. You have warriors who follow your lead. They are just as capable as you are. Let them take some of the pressure.”
Elyan narrows his eyes as he looks at me. He’s listening to what I’m saying rather than spouting off. That’s a good sign.
“But will they then act as I do? Become ‘snippety’ as you say?” He grins.
“No, I don’t believe they will. If you divide the tasks between yourselves, it will be less of a burden. Do you see that?”
“Yes, I do.”
It could be my imagination, but I swear he looks less stressed already. He’s a smart cookie and I know I whined about him plenty of times, but he isn’t a bad person. Actually, as he is now--calm and thoughtful--he’s very attractive. He was already ranking high on my “hot men” chart, but it was his attitude that stopped him reaching a higher position.
Oh, I know you think I’m mean, but I bet I’m not the only one who has a score card.
“When we return home after the meeting today, you can gather your warriors and delegate your duties. Start enjoying your life, Elyan.”
“I like the way you think. You are as smart as my father said.”
“Did he say that?”
“Yes, last night after you left. I spoke with him for a while, and he believes you are too wise for your age.” He chuckles.
Ha! I think what the Earl said probably went something along the lines of “she’s too big for her boots.” But I’ll accept it as a compliment anyway.
Elyan is looking at me again. Not quite a stare but his gaze is lingering and I know I’m blushing. My cheeks are on fire. I’d like to know what he’s thinking. Wait...maybe that’s not a good idea. There’s a glint in his eye, which isn’t a bad thing, but I’ve got too much to think about at the moment.
Extremely bad timing.
“Are all the women in your town like you?” he asks.
“No. They are much nicer.” I laugh. “Women are equal to men, though. They share responsibility, work and some earn such a good wage that the man plays househusband and takes care of the children.”
“That is a story you have made up.” He laughs. “It is a woman’s responsibility to tend the children.”
I’m surprisingly calm after that misogynistic statement. In all fairness, he lives in a world where men are chivalrous and women are skivvies, and that’s not entirely his fault. However, I will nevertheless attempt to enlighten him of why a role doesn’t need to be filled by only one sex.
Here goes.
“Elyan, I’m going to explain something to you which you may find surprising. Women are quite capable of fulfilling any job a man is tasked with. The only difference is that some women might struggle depending on the physical strength required, but that does not mean that some women are not a strong as some men. There are some who are stronger.”
He’s shaking his head, so I continue.
“Women are in the Army, Navy, and Air Force. Where I’m from, we are ruled by a Queen, as are many other countries. So you see... there’s nothing a man can do that a woman cannot. As for taking care of children, why shouldn’t a man look after his child? There’s no rule that says a woman should be the only person to wipe a baby’s bottom!”
He laughs and shakes his head. “You are making this up, surely?”
“No, I’m not.” 
I look at him and wonder how he would cope if he were to visit my world. Not only because of the women’s issue but all the technology we have as well. I don’t think he could take it all in, although he might have fun playing my X box.
“I should like to see this for myself. Your world sounds interesting. Do you think I would like it?”
“There are some wonders that would impress you, Elyan, but just as you have problems here, we also have them. Countries fight one another and man has built horrendous machines and created poisons that could kill us all. People starving to death live side by side with people who are so rich, they will never be able to spend their money before they die.”
He’s listening closely.
“Our world is full of different races and we are not all the same color. Whole nations have been targeted because of the color of their skin or religious beliefs. So you see it’s important that we try and resolve the issues here before they escalate.”
Elyan narrows his eyes. He’s thinking hard, I can see from his expression. He will be the Earl once his father passes and he could help implement changes now that would stop future warring.
“This makes you sad, does it not?”
“Yes, very much.”
“We are from different worlds and yet, we are not so different.”
He takes my hand in his and smiles softly. He’s capable of becoming a great leader, I feel it. He has already made changes to the way he acts based on information he’s acquired. He is a smart cookie.
“We have a saying—‘there’s nothing new under the sun’--and this is so true. Wherever we are in the world, whether we’re black-skinned or white, if we have black or white hair, or we worship the sun or the moon, we are all human beings and we have a right to be free and to live.”
“We shall have that here, Scarlett. I promise. I will do everything within my power to make Lord Ithel understand we must live together in peace.”
Elyan pushes up and pulls me with him. “You will show us how to make a start. Will you not?”

Thank you for taking the time to read the sneaky peek... you can read another on my official website www.julienicholls.com to the page, Dragon Moon where a link will be added once the book is available for purchase.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

#Gems Of #Strength #Anthology: Any Kind Of Velvet By LG Surgeson!

Hey Everyone!! :-)

Today, LG Surgeson is here to tell us about Any Kind Of Velvet, her contribution to the Gems of Strength anthology, which also includes Bettina, Angel Strong, Deep In The ValleyFocal PointThe Road To HappinessA Mother's HeartCombustionVanquish, Undeniable Love, Childish Things, Fox, and Burned Toast.  I'll let LG, herself, tell you about herself and her story. :-)

As he questioned me, and I failed to give him any of the answers he was hoping for, the whole saga began to unfold in front of me. In the ten years I had spent with her, it had never ever occurred to me that her birth certificate wouldn’t say Myrtle. It had never come up, it’s not something you would normally mention: excuse me pumpkin, but just in case you kill yourself, do you have any proof of your identity? No wonder the police were confused, they had the body of a woman who technically didn’t exist. I would have laughed had I not been hurting so much.

LG Surgeson is an author and teacher who lives in a cottage by a river in Mid Wales with her long-suffering partner and their two cats. She writes fantasy and fiction novels and blog articles about education, mental health and whatever else has got under skin this week. She has completed five novels in the Black River Chronicle, her fantasy adventure series that follows a rag-tag band of mercenaries, do-gooders and slightly bemused wizards as they try and save the world, repeatedly. She is also working on several books about her experiences as a teacher.

She writes in the spare time she creates by avoiding the outside world and ignoring the housework. The cats like to help. They aren't good at it.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

#RedHot #Summer #Giveaway! $150 #Cash #Grand #Prize! #Free To #Enter!

Hey Everyone!! :-)

There's a new giveaway for you to enter with lots of awesome prizes!! :-)  It's free to enter, there are over 100 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, August 19, 2016

#NewRelease: Lament Of The #Fallen By Andy Peloquin!

Hey Everyone!! :-)

Andy Peloquin is back today to tell us about his new release, Lament of the Fallen.  Andy, take it away! :-)

Tagline: A faceless, nameless assassin. A forgotten past. The Hunter of Voramis--a killer devoid of morals, or something else altogether? (The Last Bucelarii--dark fantasy with a look at the underside of human nature)

Book Blurb:

The Last Bucelarii (Book 2): Lament of the Fallen

The Hunter of Voramis is no more.

Alone with the bloodthirsty voices in his head, fleeing the pain of loss, he has one objective: travel north to find Her, the mystery woman who plagues his dreams and haunts his memories.

When he stumbles upon a bandit attack, something within urges him to help. His actions set him at odds with the warrior priests commanded to hunt down the Bucelarii.

Left for dead, the Hunter must travel to Malandria to recover his stolen birthright. There, he is inexorably drawn into direct conflict with the Order of Midas, the faceless, nameless group of magicians that holds the city in a grip of terror. All while struggling to silence the ever-louder voice in his mind that drives him to kill.

From feared assassin to wretched outcast, the Hunter's journey leads him to truths about his forgotten past and the Abiarazi he has pledged to hunt. His discoveries will shed light on who he really is…what he really is.

Fans of Joe Abercrombie, Brandon Sanderson, and Brent Weeks will love the Hunter…

Buy Links:

Amazon Kindle: The Last Bucelarii Book 2: Lament of the Fallen

Amazon Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/Last-Bucelarii-Book-Lament-Fallen/dp/1535388668/

Amazon Canada: https://www.amazon.ca/Last-Bucelarii-Book-Lament-Fallen/dp/1535388668/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30973111-lament-of-the-fallen

Book Launch Event:


Join my Thunderclap: https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/44830-the-hunter-rides-again


Andy Peloquin: Lover of All Things Dark and Mysterious

Andy Peloquin--a third culture kid to the core--has loved to read since before he could remember. Sherlock Holmes, the Phantom of the Opera, and Father Brown are just a few of the books that ensnared his imagination as a child.
When he discovered science fiction and fantasy through the pages of writers like Edgar Rice Burroughs, J.R.R Tolkien, and Orson Scott Card, he was immediately hooked and hasn't looked back since.
Andy's first attempt at writing produced In the Days: A Tale of the Forgotten Continent. He has learned from the mistakes he made and used the experience to produce Blade of the Destroyer, a book of which he is very proud.
Reading—and now writing—is his favorite escape, and it provides him an outlet for his innate creativity. He is an artist; words are his palette.
His website (http://www.andypeloquin.com) is a second home for him, a place where he can post his thoughts and feelings--along with reviews of books he finds laying around the internet.
He can also be found on his social media pages, such as:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AndyPeloquin

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/andyqpeloquin





10 Things You Need to Know About Me

1. Hot wings, ALWAYS!

2. I never forget a face, but rarely remember a name.

3. I'm a head taller than the average person (I'm 6' 6")

4. Marvel > DC

5. I was born in Japan, and lived there until the age of 14.

6. Selena Gomez, Skrillex, Simon & Garfunkel, Celine Dion, and Five Finger Death Punch are all in my writing playlist.

7. Aliens are real, but it's self-centered of us to believe that they would come to visit Earth.

8. Watching sports: suck. Playing sports: EPIC!

9. I earned a purple belt in Karate/Hapkido/Taekwondo.

10. I dislike most Christmas music, aside from Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

A Few of My Favorite Things

Favorite Books: The Gentlemen Bastards by Scott Lynch, The Stormlight Archives by Brandon Sanderson, Sherlock Holmes by A.C. Doyle, Warlord of Mars by E.R. Burroughs

Favorite Songs: Wrong Side of Heaven by Five Finger Death Punch, Prayer by Disturbed, I'm an Albatraoz by AronChupa, Look Down from Les Miserables, Shatter Me by Lindsay Sterling and Lizzi Hale

Favorite Movies: 300, Red Cliff, Shoot Em Up, Love Actually, Princess Bride

Favorite Comics: Anything with Deadpool, Wolverine or Doop in it

Favorite Foods: Hot Wings, Meat-Lover's Salad, A good sandwich (made by me), Yaki Soba, Sushi

Favorite TV Shows: The Flash, Daredevil, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Hawaii Five-0, Brooklyn 99, Firefly (too soon!), The Last Ship, The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones


"Creative, gritty, and beautifully dark...fantasy addicts will love it!" -- Peter Story, author of Things Grak Hates -- http://peterjstory.com/

"The fantasy world has a compelling new antihero…the Hunter will terrify and captivate you." - Eve A Floriste, author of Fresh Cut

"From the first words on the page this fantasy holds the reader spellbound even after the book is finished…his character is very well-defined even if his past is a mystery. Root for an assassin? Oh, yes, one must!" -- Carol Conley, for InDTale Magazine

"Oh the carnage! Fantastic bloodthirsty carnage! The fight scenes in this book were fast-paced, detailed and thrilling. I love a good sword fight and there is plenty of that here." -- Ami L. Hart

"One could get lost in this novel for its twisting plots, seemingly endless imagination, dark yet irresistible characters, or the mind-numbing paradox of its simultaneously dark and romantic world. One could follow the long and winding road of the dusky, fierce protagonist and fight tooth and nail not to sympathize with him. One could dance in the dizzying, intricate circles of Peloquin's neo-mythology, or even basque in the black sunlight of a well-crafted gothic novel that both entertains and enlightens." -- Jesse G. Christiansen

Thursday, August 18, 2016

#August2016 #IndieBooksBeSeen #Indie #Author #Books #Monthly #BookReview!

Hey Everyone!! :-)

That's right! It's the eighteenth again, so I'm back with my #IndieBooksBeSeen monthly book review! :-) Enjoy!

The Bow of Destiny by P.H. Solomon:

Trolls, goblins, wizards, elves, giants, and dragons, oh my! The Bow of Destiny is a classic fantasy story full of fantastical creatures, magic, quests, and adventure...and just a smattering of romance. If you enjoy Tolkien, you'll enjoy this novel. That being said, this is only the first book in the series, so be prepared for some threads to be left hanging. If you're someone who wants to read the whole story in one go, you might want to wait for the series to be finished before starting this book. Overall, however, it was a fun read that moved fast enough to keep me engaged but had enough depth that I cared about the characters. Five stars.

The Exiled by Scott Borgman:

An atheist and an angel, could there be an odder pairing? That's a question that Celeste and David have to answer as they battle demons, rebel against ancient laws, and struggle to unlock the one power that can save humanity. Talk about a busy day, huh?
I enjoyed this book quite a bit. Scott Borgman explores deep philosophical questions about religion, belief, and morality, all while telling and interesting story and keeping the reader engaged. The Exiled is the first book in The Exiled trilogy, but it is a complete story and doesn't end in a cliffhanger, which is wonderful as far as I'm concerned. I'm definitely looking forward to the next book in the series, which focuses on the daughter of the main characters in this book.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

#Agent Thoth's #Personal Log: Day 193

Hey Everyone! :-)

Agent Thoth is growing up and would like to share his thoughts about that with you, today. Incidentally, if you've missed Agent Thoth's earlier entries, you can find them here: Thoth's Journal

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

Day One-Hundred-Ninety-Three:
The corporeal form I was provided with has been maturing, which is a positive development in many ways. Though this body, even in its final version, will never grow large enough to effectively interact with the domicile that fits the scale of my hominid-servant much better, there are still advantages to my advancing physical maturity.

For one thing, I am less plagued with restlessness and a need to attack random moving objects. As my hominid-servant has made it quite clear that she does not appreciate the lacerations to her lower limbs, I think the decline of this compulsion may improve our working relationship. Also, I am gaining more control over my sleeping cycles, experiencing fewer energy crashes and more predictable rest periods.

However, I have noticed an increasing urge to mark my domicile as my own by leaving my scent on various objects within it. This practice is strongly disapproved by my hominid-servant, perhaps even more than the sneak attacks on her person. She, apparently, believes it is a defect that needs to be corrected, as I heard her speaking to another hominid about having me "fixed." I will need to discover what this "fixing" is and if it is really necessary before submitting myself to it.

Uh oh! Sounds like Agent Thoth is in for a change! ;-)  Now that you've all gotten to know him a bit, I was wondering what your opinions might be as to how he looks?  Is he long-haired? Short-haired? Somewhere in the middle?  Is he a particular breed of kitty or is he a moggy?  What color is he?  I'll be putting up polls on the side of this blog to pick various aspects of his appearance and I hope you'll all weigh in. Once we've got the particulars settled, I look for a picture to match. :-)

To vote in a poll, either vote directly or comment with your vote on any Agent Thoth post with your choice of the trait being voted on at that time. :-)  Happy reading!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Just How #Scary Is The #TPP?

Hey Everyone!! :-)

I'm back with another political post today. See, told you I'd warn you upfront. ;-)  I'm going to walk you through a possible scenario whereby the TPP results in relegalization of slavery in the United States.  Sound far-fetched?  Well, maybe, but maybe not. If you'd like to know my reasoning, read on.

If you've read any of my rants about Hillary Clinton and the Democratic establishment, you've heard me mention the TPP before and you know that I'm strenuously against it being adopted by the United States. But why?  What is it and why do I think it's so horrible. I'm glad you asked! :-)

First, what is it?  TPP stands for Trans-Pacific Partnership and it's an international trade agreement with 12 signatory countries, Australia, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, the United States, Vietnam, Chile, Brunei, Singapore, and New Zeland.(1)  So, already it's a problem. Remember NAFTA? Remember what it did to the American manufacturing industry?  The TPP is NAFTA on steroids.  But the problems with the TPP go much deeper.

At the heart of the biggest issues with the TPP is the clause -- the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) -- in it that allows corporations that feel that a signatory country's laws interfere with its profits in some way to take the matter to an international panel of arbitrators.(2)  The rulings of these tribunals cannot be challenged in the courts of the signatory countries.(2) The arbitrators would be corporate lawyers, who are people who have a vested financial interest in maximizing corporate profits and in keeping the corporations happy so that the corporations might hire them for other things in the future.(2) So, they're not exactly unbiased.

Now, the worries about the ISDS clause often center around environmental issues, for good reason. If a corporation doesn't like an environmental regulation of a signatory country, the corporation can challenge the regulation under the ISDS clause and there's a very good possibility they'd win.  Which means that the government of that country would then either have to pay the corporation a penalty or repeal the law. So, all those laws that prohibit corporations from dumping toxic waste in your backyard or poisoning the public water supplies? Gone.  Yep, bye-bye to regulations that protect people from unsafe corporate practices. Either that or bye-bye to large amounts of tax-payer money to pay fines to allow countries to have laws that corporations don't like.  Sounds like a problem to me, but it gets worse.

Malaysia, one of the signatory countries, has a horrible human rights track record.(3) Both sex slavery and forced labor are serious problems in Malaysia.(3) There are laws against human trafficking, but those laws are largely ignored and generally go unenforced.(3) So, let's say there's a Malaysian corporation that relies on slave labor and wants to expand its operations to the US. It isn't allowed to import slave laborers to the US because, under the 13th amendment, slavery is illegal in the US. But under the ISDS clause, the corporation could plead its case to an international tribunal of corporate lawyers who will likely be hoping to be hired by that corporation at some point. Are you scared yet? I am.

But that's too extreme, you say. Public outcry would never allow such a thing. That's possible. The US Government page on the TPP(1) does state under the "Get the Facts" tab under the "Dispute Settlement" subsection that the TPP guarantees that dispute hearings will be open to the public.  So, it is possible that public opinion would be enough to ensure that a corporation wouldn't win in such a case. Of course, a country with a human rights record as dismal as Malaysia's shouldn't technically be eligible to be a signatory to the TPP, and Malaysia was only allowed to sign on because the State Department arbitrarily, and in spite of Malaysia's failure to make any improvement in their enforcement of human rights protections, upgraded Malaysia's status on human rights just so they could be a signatory of the TPP.(3)  And, of course, there's also the little matter of Brunei, another signatory country, having adopted Sharia law, with all its inherent human rights violations, in 2014,(4) and yet still being allowed to sign on to the TPP.(1)  So, frankly, I don't think that human rights are a big concern of those promoting the TPP and I'm a bit skeptical of the US government's reassurances about the protections of said rights in the TPP.

Even if the TPP doesn't lead to slavery being legalized in the US again, and I do consider that a big if, it still results in domestic US corporations being forced to compete with international corporations that might be benefiting from the forced labor of a slave workforce.  Is that something we, as a society, want?  I know it's not something that I want.

Yes, I know both major party candidates say they're against the TPP.  But given their histories, do you believe them? Let's take a look.

Hillary Clinton pushed for the TPP 45 times before she stated that she opposes it.(5) And she only stated that she opposes the TPP after Bernie Sanders and his supporters repeatedly confronted her over it.(6)  And yet, Hillary Clinton's delegates wouldn't allow anti-TPP language to be included in the Democratic Party platform, in spite of Bernie Sanders's delegates pushing for such language.(7) And her VP pick, Tim Kaine, was on the record as being in favor of the TPP just one day before Hillary Clinton announced him as her running mate.(8)  So, again, forgive my skepticism, but it seems as if Clinton may not have been entirely honest about her true intentions on the matter.

As I've said multiple times in the past, her stance on the TPP is only one of the many issues that keep me from voting for Hillary Clinton as president, and maybe now you understand why I consider it such a big deal.  But looking at Trump, is he any better? Even on this one issue?

Donald Trump has repeatedly said that he's against trade deals.  And yet...most of the products made by his companies are made in countries other than the US.(9)  There are some exceptions, but if he's truly as against these trade deals as he claims he is, why doesn't he make all of his products in the US?  There's no law that requires him to take advantage of the trade deals and export his labor, so why does he do it if he thinks it's so damaging to this country?  Or maybe he's more concerned with his bottom line than he is with the wellbeing of the American public?  And if that's the case, would he really do anything that might decrease his profit margins?  Sorry, folks, I ain't buying today. I think he's just blowing smoke up your asses.

But, please, don't take my word for it, do your own research. Read up on all the arguments about the TPP, both for and against, and on the candidates and their histories, and make your own judgment. And remember, there are more than just the two candidates for you to look into.  Gary Johnson and Dr. Jill Stein have both stated their positions on the TPP multiple times, so don't forget to find out what they think too. It's important to understand who and what we're voting for when we walk into the polling places, and I hope you'll all join me in becoming better informed about the issues.



Monday, August 15, 2016

#APC #Spotlight: On A Red Horse By Monica Corwin!

Hey Everyone!! :-)

I've got my APC spotlight shining on an unusual day this week because Thursday is the 18th and that's my #IndieBooksBeSeen monthly book review day.  Today, Monica Corwin is in the hot seat! Monica is a new member of the  Authors-Professional Co-op Facebook group, and this feature is on her paranormal romance novel, On A Red Horse! Here's the description:
Scarlet needs a new job, but Horseman of the Apocalypse doesn’t sound good on a resume. Three years ago she followed her companions to Earth in an effort to live human lives. But the moment she left her husband Tyr she knew life wouldn’t be worth living. Lonely and longing for her husband, Scarlet is on a path of destruction that could endanger all the riders.

Tyr, god of justice, hunts his wife across the realms. From Hell to the Golden Throne, he travels until he finds her working as a phone operator. Scarlet is no longer the woman he fell in love with, and he is determined to bring that woman back to him if it takes the rest of eternity.

Even though the Horsemen live on Earth, they are still responsible for guarding four seals that can unleash the Apocalypse. When a prophecy is awoken by a deity who only has her own interests at heart, they must go on the defensive to keep their homes on Earth and protect the seals. If even one seal opens, it will start a chain reaction that will force the Horsemen to take up their mantles and destroy the new lives they’ve worked so hard to build.
Interested? I am! For only 99 cents, I think this one is definitely worth a look/see! Grab your copy here:

Thank you all so much for stopping by! Happy reading! :-)

Sunday, August 14, 2016

#Gems Of #Strength #Anthology: Bettina By Chrissy Moon!

Hey Everyone!! :-)

Today, Chrissy Moon is here to tell us about her Bettina. Bettina is the next story in my series of features on the Gems Of Strength anthology, and joins Angel Strong, Deep In The ValleyFocal PointThe Road To HappinessA Mother's HeartCombustionVanquish, Undeniable Love, Childish Things, Fox, and Burned Toast on my list of awesome sisterhood stories.  I'll let Chrissy tell you about herself and her story. :-)

Excerpt from Bettina:

“It means,” he responds after a minute of silence, “That my feelings for you have no expectation. I don’t demand your presence. I don’t demand anything except for the permission to dream of you now and have my heart linger next to yours for as long as I exist. Forever.”
I heave and brush some newly-falling rain off my chin. I realize that it is not rain but my tears. I don’t understand this. The realness of one man’s love, the notion that he would love me just to love me and nothing further…

Short author bio:
California native Chrissy Moon has been a poet since age 7, and has been a published author since 2013.

Her works include paranormal romance novels for both teens and adults, horror short stories, and more. During her downtime, she is a great lover of coffee and popcorn, in that order.

Learn more about Chrissy at www.chrissymoon.com.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

#RedHot #Summer #Giveaway! $150 #Cash #Grand #Prize! #Free To #Enter!

Hey Everyone!! :-)

There's a new giveaway for you to enter with lots of awesome prizes!! :-)  It's free to enter, there are over 100 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, August 12, 2016

#Animal #Rescuer's #Guide To #Staying ( #Relatively ) #Sane! #Free! :-)

Hey Everyone!! :-)

Just a reminder, for those who haven't checked it out yet, I've collected all my animal rescue/care posts together and published them as a small book.  If you'd like, you can download the book for free from Amazon, Smashwords, B&N, Kobo, and iTunes.

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

Thursday, August 11, 2016

#APC #Spotlight: Souls Of The Reaper By Markie Madden!

Hey Everyone!! :-)

I've got the fabulous Markie Madden and her paranormal mystery novel, Souls Of The Reaper, in my APC spotlight today! Markie is an active and supportive member of the  Authors-Professional Co-op Facebook group, and Souls Of The Reaper is the second book in her Undead Unit series. Here's the description:
The Undead Unit Series: A hundred years in the future, it’s a world where supernatural beings live among humans. Of course, they’re forced to take the Undead Oath; they must not prey on humans for food. Just as with other minorities, they battle prejudice and must struggle to prove themselves. Alongside the humans’ bigotry is a criminal element, as seen in any group in society. The Dallas Police Department sets up an elite new squad of Immortal detectives and officers, dedicated to solving crimes among the Undead. Headed by veteran Lacey Anderson, can the Undead Unit overcome its obstacles, or is it doomed to failure?
A rogue Reaper is on the loose in the city of Dallas. Su Xiong is a sociopath with no care for human life. He steals souls whose numbers are not yet up in order to become a more powerful Immortal.

While he's on the prowl to gain power, his soulless victims roam the streets without morals, without inhibitions, without any code of conduct or social mores. Crime has risen tenfold: petty crime, road rage, prostitution, drinking, and gambling. But for each soul that he captures and keeps, his own mental stability behind to degrade, a fact that Xiong is dangerously blind to.

Can Lacey and Colton, along with Doctors Matthews and Dilorenzo, find him, and stop him, before the insanity inside spoils the souls he holds within?
Sound good? Excellent! Grab your copy here:

Thank you all so much for stopping by! Happy reading! :-)

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

#Agent Thoth's #Personal Log: Day 178

Hey Everyone! :-)

Today, Agent Thoth has some thoughts regarding hominid/DIPCIL relations. Incidentally, if you've missed Agent Thoth's earlier entries, you can find them here: Thoth's Journal

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

Day One-Hundred-Seventy-Eight:
Recently, my hominid-servant became ill. Fortunately, it seems to have been a fleeting sickness, as she is now much recovered. However, while she was indisposed, she spent quite a bit of time on her sleeping platform.

This was pleasant in one respect, as her extended inactivity made it much easier for me to record her vitals at consistent intervals and also to study her physiology. However, her reluctance to move also resulted in her being much less responsive to my needs. I know this will astonish you, but she actually allowed the level of food in my bowl to get low enough for me to see the bottom! I nearly perished from starvation.

As I said, she has now recovered and this lapse in service has been rectified. As a side note, I would like to make the DPCIL leadership aware of the fact that the soothing effect of the P.U.R.R. seems to have healing properties. Every time I commiserated with my hominid-servant's indisposition by granting her access to my person and utilized the P.U.R.R. to still her restlessness, her vital signs evened out and her labored respiration calmed. I believe this is something that bears further investigation, as it may aid in furthering amiable relations if the hominids are ever determined to be eligible for inclusion into DPCIL.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Another #SneakPeek! :-)

Hey Everyone!! :-)

I've got another little snippet from the second book in the Petri Dish Chronicles to share with you today. :-)  It seems Chessie has found a friend in Daji too....

Excerpt from Untitled Second Book in the Petri Dish Chronicles:
Chessie looked up into Daji's crystal blue eyes and smiled. Eyes like that should look cold, but all she saw in them as she raised her hand to cup his cheek was incredible heat. His gaze seared her and she shivered.

"Good morning."

"Good morning," he answered as he leaned down to kiss her.

Her arms circled his neck, pulling him closer, as she arched her back to press her chest against his. He groaned into her mouth and tangled his tongue with hers. But just as she was disentangling her legs from the covers to wrap them around his hips, he froze and then pulled away, his ears flicking back and forth in different directions.

Chessie looked up at him, cocking an eyebrow.

When Daji's attention returned to her and he saw the question in her face, he grimaced and sat back on his haunches. "The airlock opened."

Sitting up, she moved to the edge of the bed, looking for her clothing. "Petri must be back."

Sighing, he nodded. "Yes. Or Sadaka has gotten tired of the lounge. Either way, we must investigate.

As he moved past her, Chessie touched his arm. He looked at her and she said, "I know you're frustrated, but please be patient. She's struggling too."

Hmmm...the personal dynamics seem to be getting complicated. I wonder what will happen next. ;-)  Thank you all for stopping by today, and please remember to check back tomorrow for the next installment in Mistral Dawn's Musings! :-)

Monday, August 8, 2016

#Fantasy #Worlds #eMag July/August 2016!

Hey Everyone!!

Just a reminder that Fantasy Worlds eMag has a combined issue for July and August, so if you haven't checked it out already, here's your chance! :-)

Some of Agent Thoth's thoughts made it into this issue and there's also lots of other 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: