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

Monday, February 29, 2016

#Interview With Neil & Elizabeth Newton!

Hey Everyone!! :-)

We're going to switch things up a bit today with an interview of not just a couple of writers, but of two writers who are a couple! ;-)  Elizabeth Horton-Newton and Neil Douglas Newton are joining us today!  Elizabeth, Neil, can you tell us about yourselves?

Neil:  I grew up in New York City with a bunch of over-educated New Yorkers. My parents were both teachers, my father a university professor and my mother a high school teacher. There was also a lot of music; my mother was a first-rate soprano and I have been singing and playing the guitar for many years and a few of my friends were also musicians. I’ve been writing since I was a child but only published my first book in 2012. I have a few short stories in addition in some anthologies.

Elizabeth:  Although I’ve been writing since I was a child, I didn’t publish my first book until I retired a couple of years ago. I have two full-length books out right now and am working on my third book. In addition, I have short stories in two anthologies with two more due out this spring in different anthologies. Although my books are romantic thrillers that tend to touch on social issues, my short stories are horror stories.

Me:  Sounds like you've both been involved with the arts for quite some time! :-)  What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?

Neil:  The book is called The Railroad. Just before I left New York I made an unwise decision. The day was September 11, 2001 and I saw the north tower burning. There is an old story about a B-52 that actually crashed into the Empire State Building in the fifties. I figured that, statistically, it was reasonable that a plane would hit a skyscraper every fifty years or so.
Flash forward: I am in a subway that I don’t want to be in to help a frightened co-worker get home. Just as we come south of Fulton Street, which is where the twin towers were, the train lurches to a stop. I was in the subway, not moving, for about half an hour. People were praying, talking about God and just about anything you can think of. Finally, we actually ended up backing up into the previous station, Wall Street. After a few minutes in the false night of 911 all of us who’d come up to the street were called by a custodian in one of the buildings to come inside.
What happened to New York after that is a whole story in itself and is documented in The Railroad in semi-fictional form. Those few weeks inspired The Railroad, creating a foundation for change and transformation that are the basis of the book.

Elizabeth:  My most recent release is Riddle, the story of a young Native man, Kort Eriksen, who was imprisoned for the murder of his high school girlfriend. When he is released from prison he returns to his hometown where some believe he was unjustly convicted and others don’t think he was punished severely enough. Kort was actually kidnapped as an infant and raised by an abusive white family in the town of Riddle. Meanwhile a young woman, Grace Donahue, is stranded in Riddle when her car breaks down. Fleeing an abusive ex-fiance she develops a relationship with Kort. This is a story of people trapped by their pasts, surviving abuse, and dealing with uncertain futures. The story was actually inspired by the early life of actor/artist/activist Eric Schweig who I had the pleasure of getting to know several years ago. He was adopted as an infant by an abusive white family against his mother’s will.

Me:  Wow! Neil, as you know, I've read your book, and I thought that part of it seemed exceptionally detailed.  I think most of us have our 9/11 memories, but that one's a doozy.  Elizabeth, I've read your book too, and I really liked how "real" Kort seemed.  Basing him on an actual person worked! :-)  What are you two working on now?

Neil:  It’s a book that takes place in modern times on a tropical island. Greedy developers are gouging low-income inhabitants of the island for electric power. A physics genius from New York (yes always New York ) fights back by bringing updated versions of the wireless technology of Nikola Tesla to provide free power. There, is of course, a conflict between the powers that be on the island the scientist. It’s about justice but also a cautionary tale about power.

Elizabeth:  I’m currently completing work on my third full-length book, Stolen. This story is about a young girl who learns the people who raised her were not her parents. She soon finds out her real parents were Gypsies and she was under the protection of The Witness Protection Program when her mother was murdered and she was essentially lost. Now someone is trying to kill her. Befriended by a local man she struggles to come to grips with the realities of her life while developing romantic feelings for her rescuer. It’s a story about American Gypsies, the American justice system, drug cartels, and enough romance to warm things up.

Me:  Both those sound really exciting! :-)  What authors, or books, have influenced you?

Neil:  Jack Vance, who is a little known but amazing science fiction author. He invents cultures with amazing skill.  Jean Shepard who is best known for the movie A Christmas Story, which is an amalgam of two of his books. His humor seems to come out in my writing.

Elizabeth:  My short horror stories are definitely influenced by Stephen King who I think is a master short story teller. My full-length books have probably been influenced by writers like Linda Fairstein, Greg Olsen, and James Patterson. These are writer’s who can combine good mysteries, some romance, and contemporary situations in their books.

Me:  There are some amazing talents in those lists! :-)  What are you guys reading now?

Neil:  Well this is convenient. I'm reading your book Captivated By The Winter King and am enjoying it. I’m also trying to fit in some reading about Nikola Tesla at lunch at work as research for the book I’m currently writing.

Elizabeth:  I just finished a book by Indie author Paul White, The Abduction of Rupert DeVille. I’ve just started Daddy’s Girl: The Campbell Murder Case: A Saga of Texas Justice by Clifford Irving. This is a true crime/legal thriller.

Me:  Aw, thank you, Neil!  I'm glad you're enjoying it! :-)  Elizabeth, those sound awesome! I'll have to check them out. :-)  For those who might consider reading your book, what would you tell them to expect?

Elizabeth:  Readers of Riddle will find a story about two young people that fate has brought together. They develop a somewhat unlikely relationship. It also speaks of the trauma of abuse, insanity, and injustice.

Neil:  I’ve had to address this several times recently. The book is not graphic or sensational in any way. However it does involve 911, child abuse, and PTSD topics that, in my experience, cause people’s eyes to glaze over. It is a mystery and can be seen as entertaining but it also deals with some upsetting issues. It leans more towards the serious than the purely entertaining.

Me:  I've read both your books, and I have to say I thought they were fantastic! :-)  What are your favorite parts of being an author?

Elizabeth:  I love writing because I have so many stories in my head. I like to share those stories with others. Hearing from readers who have enjoyed my books is extremely rewarding. It also gives me the opportunity to address real life issues in fictional situations.

Neil:  I think we all have conflicts in our minds that we try to resolve. Being an author allows you to exercise those demons by creating metaphors for the situations and people that bother you. You can set up a “fairytale” version of your demons and resolve them. It’s cathartic. At least for me.

Me:  I agree with both of you! :-)  Do you have day jobs as well?

Elizabeth:  I actually took early retirement in 2014. Up until then I was a social worker/counselor working closely with individuals who were trying to get their lives together.

Neil:  I do. I’ve been a computer programmer for a long time. The current term for the job is “Developer”. So I develop. It has its good points: it can be very creative and appeals to those who like to puzzle through things. On the other hand, because IT is so high profile and high dollar, there is a lot of politics involved, mostly from the people who are not technical.

Me:  Elizabeth, that sounds like a hard job! I hope you're enjoying your well-earned retirement. :-)  Neil, it sounds like your job is tough too!  Good luck navigating the political rapids! ;-) What are the hardest and easiest parts about being a writer?

Elizabeth:  The easiest part of being a writer is having a story to tell. The hardest part is sitting down to put them on paper and then the dreaded editing process.

Neil:  What I’ve found most difficult is coming up with an overview of the story before you start and quickly finding that the overview, which seems complete, breaks down and you hit obstructions. In many ways the book writes itself as you go along. At that point, you are in uncharted territory and have to ride the rollercoaster as you write the story and it changes before your eyes.  The easiest part of writing is when the book is fully edited and up on the sales site and you can market it. Of course marketing is isn’t that easy either.

Me:  Ha!  Yeah, sometimes stories just won't cooperate, no matter what you do! What genres do you place your books in?

Elizabeth:  My full-length books are definitely romantic thrillers. However, my short stories are undeniably horror stories. Someday I may write a full-length horror book.

Neil:  It would best be described as a Romantic Thriller.

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

Elizabeth:  My husband, Neil Douglas Newton, is also a writer. We are currently working on a romantic mystery that we hope will be the first in a series. In addition, we are compiling several of our short stories into an anthology.

Neil:  I would like to thank all the people who’ve supported me, especially the incredibly supportive indie writer movement. I’ll also mention that indie writers live by their reviews; if you read a book and can find time to put a review on Amazon and Goodreads, it would be greatly appreciated.

Me:   Elizabeth, those sound like awesome projects! :-)  Neil, amen!  Keep those reviews coming! :-)  Are there any links you'd like me to post?

Author Website: http://www.elizabethhorton-newtonauthor.com/
Twitter: @redqueenliz
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Elizabeth-Horton-Newton/368956446609506
View: https://www.facebook.com/LeeOswaldView
Riddle: https://www.facebook.com/Riddlenovel
Tumblr: https://www.tumblr.com/blog/authornewliz
Stumble Upon: http://www.stumbleupon.com/stumbler/newliz0201/likes
Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/pub/elizabeth-newton/8/105/766
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHBFtuhuqUw
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xi78rbM_Tlg
Amazon Author: http://www.amazon.com/Elizabeth-Horton-Newton/e/B00NSET8JY/
Amazon Books: http://www.amazon.com/View-Sixth-Floor-Oswald-Tale-ebook/dp/B0196XBMA8/
CreateSpace: https://www.createspace.com/5010415
Stolen: https://www.facebook.com/Stolen-1411175705857509/timeline/


Me:  Wonderful!!  Thank you both so much for stopping by!  If anyone would like to read my reviews of these wonderful stories, you can find them here:

View From The Sixth Floor:  http://www.amazon.com/review/R32UYI5OXJOS7P/
Riddle:  http://www.amazon.com/review/R2C57BOWKGU5A4/
The Railroad: http://www.amazon.com/review/R3RHQUYIV1YLWP/

Thank you to everyone who joined us today, and don't forget to check back tomorrow for the next installment of Mistral Dawn's Musings! :-)

Sunday, February 28, 2016

#Luck O' The #Authors #SaintPatricksDay $120 #Cash #Giveaway!! :-)

Hey Everyone!! :-)

Guess what!! I have another exciting giveaway to tell you about!! :-)  It's free to enter, there are over 80 prizes, and the grand prize is $120 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! :-)

Saturday, February 27, 2016

#RRBC's #Spotlight #Author Mark Aberdeen!!

Humor in Storytelling
By Mark Aberdeen

Slightly over two years ago on a January 4th morning I received a call from a police officer and he told me my father had died overnight of natural causes. He was 67. I didn’t know what to do. I was distraught and emotions flooded over me in horrendous waves. They asked if could come down to the morgue and identify him. I had some decisions to make since I was listed as his emergency contact. On the trip to the other side of Atlanta, I had to go through everything again and again as I told my sister and two brothers. Then my father’s two sisters. I cut off a woman in an SUV a Chick-Fil-A in the drive thru. It was inadvertent. I was focused on the need for coffee and something to eat and I didn’t care if I hurt someone’s feelings as I did it.

She let me know in a very animated hissy-fit what she thought about me and my lack of consideration. In the middle of her stressed out rage, I started laughing. I laughed like a maniac. It was the single funniest thing I ever saw. It made her madder and I laughed harder and by the time I pulled to my stolen place in line my laughter and tears were interchangeable. I bought the woman’s breakfast as an apology and I hoped she would come to forgive my transgression in time. Each time I thought about her waving her arms and screaming at me, calling me names, while talking on cell phone and a car full of kids over something so silly, it just made me laugh all over again. I mean I made this woman’s happiness end because she could choose which lane to pull up to in the drive-thru and I made that choice for her. I promise I’m not a sociopath and I don’t revel in the pain of others, but the situation was very funny to me and especially at that moment and my guess is only that moment. It was one of the darkest moments in my life and I needed something to make me laugh. I’m not proud, but it was a very human moment for me.

I thought about it one day and I looked back on my life’s more tragic moments and I saw that humor was the thing that allowed me to cope with those situations. It’s a coping mechanism and an important one. Later at my Dad’s memorial service there were more laughs than tears. It’s something I realized when I wrote, when my characters were in their most dire circumstances, they had the same ability to cope with humor. Seems obvious to me now, but when my unit was activated for Desert Storm, that’s how we dealt with being scared. When I was in a head-on collision, we laughed about how my head cracked the windshield but I came through just fine. Hurricanes and floods racked our homes over the years in southeastern Connecticut while growing up, it was humor that came through the tragedy. Humans find humor. To find the humor in something dark is very relatable and a crucial storytelling tool.

Knight and Dex

Snow settled over New London and covered the alley with a chilly blanket, which normally gave me a moment’s pause to reflect. I might have thought about tranquility, but there was nothing tranquil in the roundhouse kick I took to the face. Steam rose from crimson splatter as my blood hit the freshly fallen snow.

Minx’s claws flashed. I jumped back and narrowly avoided being torn open at the belly.

It was difficult to wax poetic while someone was doing their best to kill me.

Welcome to my life.

I swung my left fist. My intention wasn’t to connect with Minx’s jaw but to buy a precious second. The parry worked well enough and gave me the moment I needed to draw the pulse pistol from under my coat. I bellowed a triumphant, “Ha!”

My moment of glory was short-lived. Another kick connected with my right hand. The blow jarred the weapon loose and it sailed into a snow bank. Powdery snow swallowed it whole. The thing about being unarmed, it felt a bit like being naked in a crowd. No way to cover my ass.

I gripped my stinging hand. “Shit.”

A powerful arm, furry and itchy and stiff as a crowbar, hooked me around the neck. Minx had gotten behind me, and the momentum of her attack tore my feet from the ground. I cartwheeled, forcing her to detach and spring back, but I landed face-down in a heap. The snow with all its apparent fluffiness did nothing to cushion my fall. The impact rattled my bones and lights danced across my vision, swirling in loopy rings.

All I needed was another concussion.

Strong hands grabbed me by the collar and belt. My stomach lurched as I was torn from the relative comfort of the ground and flipped onto my back like a flapjack. Minx pounced on top of me and pinned my arms to my sides with her powerful thighs. Normally, I approved of such positions, but she wasn’t Pink Panther and this wasn’t foreplay. I feared she would crunch me like a walnut in a nutcracker. I gasped for precious air.

To any observer it would appear as if I were unprepared for this fight. That observer would have been correct. I’d seen her running down the sidewalk and duck into this alley. She was up to something and I’d interrupted her. Evidence suggested it was something she didn’t want the cops to know about. While my intent was to have a friendly chat with her, she’d decided to take our exchange in a different direction.

Minx had a reputation in underworld circles as an effective messenger. Our not-so-cozy encounter fell within the realm of her typical delivery method. While I didn’t feel like she took sadistic glee in her work, I thought she took pride in a job well done. I, on the other hand, found the work environment hostile, and already I was drawing up a complaint to her HR department.

Purchase Mark Aberdeen’s
 Knight and Dex  (The Dex Territory Series Book 2) here:

Follow Mark Aberdeen
Twitter handle: @Mark_Aberdeen

Friday, February 26, 2016

#NewRelease #Announcement: A Merchant's Tale by Michael E. Dellert!

A Merchant’s Tale: The Second Tale in the Matter of Manred


Michael E. Dellert

Available for Pre-Order TODAY!

Corentin, a young foreign trader of the House Pelan arrives in the uncertain lands of Droma, tasked to deliver a mysterious chest to a far-away sage in a remote corner of the kingdom. Accompanied by his mercenary bodyguard, a young local priest, and their native scout, Corentin sets out on a journey that will change his life forever.

A Merchant's Tale is the second installment in The Matter of Manred Saga, a new cycle of medieval romances, action adventures, heroic fantasies, mysterious priests, and their dark and forgetful gods, brought to you from the fiction workshop of Michael E. Dellert.

This is no shiny happy fantasy of noble knights
on noble steeds
acting nobly.

“The land and every man who steps foot onto it are in a fight for existence; no efforts will be spared to ensure survival. But, of course, not all can survive. Brutal and realistic, Dellert writes with uncompromising elegance.” – Astacia C.

From the Prologue:

"Now," said their host, "Merchant, as the Gods may you bless, since you know so much of that land of Iathrann, full heartily I pray you tell us part."
"Gladly," said he.
"Eowain son of Findtan, Chief of the Donnghaile, King of the Droma, reigned over those lands. His armies raged across the High-King’s Road, annihilating every holdout in their path.
"Except one.
"His cousin had raised a legal challenge to the right of King Eowain to succeed to the throne of Droma, and was sharking up an army of lawless, dispossessed resolutes from the hinterlands of the kingdom to decide the matter by force of arms and terror.
"On the fifteenth day of the month of Fearn, Teilmon being the day of the week, under the dark of the moon, the caravan of House Pelan, honest merchants from Aukriath, ventured into the heart of the great Eowain’s war-torn kingdom."

What People Are Saying about A Merchant’s Tale

“There is no sense of creation behind A Merchant’s Tale; it is a document of pure reality, capturing the subtle beauty of a world that I am only beginning to understand and can’t wait to return to. Even the most casual moments in this second entry in the Matter of Manred resonate with a deep and cryptic history; whatever Michael Dellert is hiding behind this tapestry of shadows, his patience in revealing it sets a mood quite unlike other fantasy tales.”
— Christopher Schlerf, Lead Writer, Halo 4

“Dellert deftly uses an outsider's narrative to add yet another facet to an already all-encompassing tale, giving the readers a more comprehensive understanding of the world he has created. I loved the originality of using a merchant's perspective in the second tale as opposed to the much more personal narrative of Eowain in Hedge King in Winter, idealism and superstition vs. cold pragmatism and profit.  Made for a great read!”
– Jenn M.

“This novella is so different than Hedge King in Winter, but complements it so well with its narrative style. The reader is able to see the heroic and stalwart Hedge King with an outsider’s eye, something I appreciated after suffering through his battles with him. The merchant's son, while not easy to like himself, tells his story unapologetically with laughable brashness and high-handedness—I loved to hate him!”
– Stacey C.

“I love the detail in this series! From each clan tartan, to the unforgiving landscape, Dellert paints the picture beautifully, with no detail left unattended.  Can't wait to see what happens next!”
– Jennifer D.

“I was sorry to part ways with the unexpected heroes of this tale and was reminded of the power, fury and tenacity of a girl and her dog. Michael Dellert has once again captured every ounce of my attention with his magical and harrowing depictions of every day life in Droma and I am beating my fists on the table in anticipation of the next tale!”
– Astacia C.

Join the Merchant’s Tale Goodreads Giveaway

Sign up for the Goodreads Giveaway of A Merchant's Tale by 5 March and you'll be eligible to win one of just 20 signed author's copies of A Merchant's Tale as well as a free signed author's copy of Hedge King in Winter. Winners to be announced by 11 March 2016.

Enter TODAY for your chance to win!

About the Author

Michael Dellert is an award-winning writer, editor, publishing consultant, and writing coach with a publishing career spanning 18 years. His poetry and short fiction have appeared in literary journals such as The Backporch Review, The Harbinger, Idiom, and Venture. His poetry has also appeared in the anthologies The Golden Treasury of Great Poems and Dance on the Horizon, and he is a two-time winner of the Golden Poet Award from World of Poetry Press.

He is the owner, writer, and publisher of the creative writing and self-publishing blog, MDellertDotCom: Adventures in Indie Publishing.

He is the author of Hedge King in Winter: First Tale in the Matter of Manred and his soon-to-be-released A Merchant’s Tale: The Second Tale in the Matter of Manred.

He currently lives and works in the Greater New York City area as a freelance writer, editor, and publishing consultant.

For More Information:

MDellertDotCom: Adventures in Indie Publishing (Blog): http://www.mdellert.com/

Thursday, February 25, 2016

#Interview With Jennifer Ortiz

Hey Everyone!! :-)

Jennifer Ortiz is joining us today!  Jennifer, can you please tell us about yourself and how many books you have written?

Jennifer:  I have three kids, a husband (so four kids, really), and a pug (ok, so five kids). I am 36 but my kids think I'm 29. Because I am.  Also, I just want to see how long they believe I'm 29.  I live in Pennsylvania and regret that every winter because I hate snow. I've released one book and have approximately 80,000 WIPs. Give or take.

Me:  Ha! I'm 29 with experience.  That's my story, and I'm sticking to it! ;-)  What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?

Jennifer:  My book is called Chosen. One day, I was thinking about what would happen if Buffy had been a dude. And I started writing. And 90k words later, there was my boy, Cal.

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

Jennifer:  My current WIP is a contemporary romantic comedy and is best described as this:  She's a 38-year old comedienne/actress who finally made it after years of trying.  He's a 23-year old singer/songwriter/actor who was an overnight success after winning a popular TV talent show.  She's been burned before and has sworn off relationships.  His personal life is complicated but he's willing to take the risk.  She thinks they're too different.  He thinks opposites attract.  But the world is watching (and judging) their every move.  In Hollywood, appearances are more important than the reality. And everyone has a hidden agenda.  Can the Funny Girl and It Boy combine their star power and live happily ever after?  Or will the bright lights of Tinseltown blind them to what's right in front of them?

Me:  Sounds interesting!  What authors, or books, have influenced you?

Jennifer:  I was incredibly inspired to self-publish after reading Slammed by Colleen Hoover. I write nothing like her, but it was after I read her book that I realized that self-pubbing was a THING and I could do it.

Me:  I remember the moment I realized self-publishing was a thing too! Life changing. :-)  What are you reading now?

Jennifer:  Currently, I'm reading City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare (YES, I know I'm super behind the times with this series - I do what I want.)

Me:  And that's the best way to live. ;-)  For those who might consider reading your book, what would you tell them to expect?

Jennifer:  I'm hesitant to compare my book to anything BUT I would say if you like the idea of a Buffy/Supernatural-type mash-up, you will probably like Chosen. Cal has a Dean Winchester-ish flavor, which is funny because I wrote the book before I even ever saw the show. There is some adult language and some sexy-ness. There's also awkwardness and some funny things. This story is the beginning of Cal's journey - he's got a lot of growing up to do.

Me:  Don't we all? ;-)  What is your favorite part of being an author?

Jennifer:  My favorite part of being an author is having this spark of an idea, literally just a "Oh, wouldn't it be fun if....", and then that idea coming to life with my words. I write what I want to read.

Me:  Which is how you get books worth reading.  Do you have a day job as well?

Jennifer:  Oh, yes (*loud dramatic sigh*)

Me:  Well, many of us do. ;-)  What are the hardest and easiest parts about being a writer?

Jennifer:  Hardest: FINISHING THE DANG BOOK. Seriously, I get about 20-25k words in and then I'm all "Wut r wurds?" So frustrating. I'm not a plotter so I let the story tell itself and sometimes the story forgets what it's doing. Best: That moment when you're writing and you are feeling all the feelings of what you are writing - all the funny, all the swoony, all the drama, all of it. 

Me:  Ha! I think we all have those moments.  What genre do you place your book in?

Jennifer:  New Adult Paranormal with romantic elements

Me:  One of my favs! :-)  Is there anything else you'd like to tell your readers?

Jennifer:  I'm awkward. Sorry for that. But I'd love for you to stalk me...in the non-illegal way, of course.

Me:  Yes, non-illegal stalking is always encouraged.  Are there any links you'd like me to post?


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

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

#Childish #Things...

Hey Everyone!! :-)

Today, I thought I'd share a little peek at another project I've been working on.  It's a companion short story to Rainbow Dreams and it will be initially released as part of an anthology! :-)  I'll tell you more about that later, but for now, take a look at what Chessie's up to in 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.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

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

Hey Everyone!! :-)

Remember all those posts about animal rescue and animal advice?  Well, I've collected them all 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! :-)

Monday, February 22, 2016

#Introducing #Fantasy #Worlds #eMag!! It's #Free! :-)

Fantasy Worlds is a hot new eMag that has just been released!!! They specialize in fantasy and paranormal romance, and yours truly is featured in their very first issue! :-) I hope you'll all take a moment to like their Facebook page and maybe leave a comment.  I know they'll be looking for more authors to feature very soon! :-) Best part? It's free!  Also, don't forget to check out the magazine itself! ;-)

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

Sunday, February 21, 2016

A #Peek & A #Tweak! :-)

Hey Everyone!! :-)

Just a quick announcement today.  I have both a series title and a book title for my WIP!!  I know, maybe not as exciting as you'd hoped, but the next step is getting a cover, and that's exciting, right? :-)  Okay, so from now on, it's no longer Petri's Story.  The title for the book is Rainbow Dreams, and it's book one in the Petri Dish Chronicles.  Now, I bet you're wondering where the title Rainbow Dreams came from, aren't you? ;-)  Well, take a look...

Opening her eyes, Petri looked around and realized the strange people were back. They often seemed to visit her dreams when she was at her lowest. As a whole, they seemed to exist as an intertwining fog of rainbows, impossible to separate out from one another. But some of them, two or three, stood out as distinct personalities.

It was these who reached out to Petri. She still couldn't hear their whispers, but as she got older they seemed to get closer. She thought that maybe, one day, she would be able to communicate with them. Still, she could tell they wanted to help her. Several times a wisp of fog seemed to drift near and offer itself to her. When she breathed it in, a warm, happy feeling suffused her.

Being with the dream people was like snuggling into one of Chessie's hugs; only it went deeper and lasted longer. Petri had never known a contentment in the waking world like what she found in these dreams. It made her want to stay forever.

The rainbows swirled around her, enveloping her in their embrace, as the voices whispered soothing sounds in her ears. After a while, she found she didn't have to passively accept the warmth from the cloud, she could pull it into herself as she wanted it. The whispers seemed to approve.

Hmmm....I wonder what that's about. ;-)  I guess you'll all have to read the book to find out!  Thanks, everyone, for stopping by today.  And don't forget to check back tomorrow for the next installment in Mistral Dawn's Musings! :-)

Saturday, February 20, 2016

#Luck O' The #Authors #Saint #Patrick's $120 #Cash #Giveaway!! :-)

Hey Everyone!! :-)

Guess what!! I have another exciting giveaway to tell you about!! :-)  It's free to enter, there are over 80 prizes, and the grand prize is $120 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, February 19, 2016

#Interview With Sadie Grubor!

Hey Everyone!! :-)

Today Sadie Grubor is joining us to talk about her Falling Stars series.  Sadie, can you please tell us about yourself and how many books you have written?

Sadie:  Hello there! Foul mouthed, trashy, book nerd, Sadie Grubor here. I embrace my inappropriate and immature side, and it often finds its way into my books. I'm currently working on my next full length book in The Falling Stars Series, with some ideas for future books to come as well.  I mostly write contemporary romance. I have a trilogy & outtake novella. Three full length standalone romances, two full length books and two novellas in my rock star series. I also have one Y/A Dystopian book published.

Me:  Ha! Inappropriate and immature?  Sounds like fun to me! :-)  What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?

Sadie:  Stellar Collision is my most recent release. This is a novella for The Falling Stars series and it was truly written for the fans of the series. They had been asking (some demanding) this story, so I sat down and fleshed it out.  Okay, so maybe part of it was for me too.  I enjoy going back and bringing all the characters together again.

Me:  HA! Well, fans that are that into your work definitely need to be satisfied. ;-)  What are you working on now?

Sadie:  My next release – titled SNARE - will be this March and it is the next full length book in The Falling Stars Series.

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

Sadie:  I'm a huge Kristen Ashley, Penny Reid, TM Frazier, and Penelope Douglas fangirl. I adore these women – all for different reasons. I truly believe that just reading their books inspires me to keep writing mine.

Me:  Yes, I think most writers are readers too. :-)  What are you reading now?

Sadie:  I'm writing more than reading at the moment, but Club Whore and Big Rock are waiting impatiently in my Kindle. I've also been tempted to one-click Reign.

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

Sadie:  Expect some slow burn love, immature humor, and way inappropriate characters. I like to laugh. I enjoy sexy times. I prefer my characters don't fall into insta-love, well at least not in every book I write. My rock stars have filthy mouths and are completely inappropriate (especially the girls/women), my 'upper class' characters know how to keep it dirty, and my heroine's often go one of two ways – you like them or you don't like them.  Basically, don't take it all too serious and just enjoy the ride with my characters.

Me:  Sounds like you have fun with your characters. ;-)  What is your favorite part of being an author?

Sadie:  Is it wrong to say the ARCs I get from other authors? Probably is huh? Okay… forget I said that.   I've met amazing people – readers, bloggers, authors, event coordinators, etc. Each one of those people make this author journey a ton of fun, emotional, and fulfilling.

Me:  I agree, the writing community is awesome! :-)  Do you have a day job as well?

Sadie:  Ugh…. (Yes, I'm slouching down in my chair as I type that too) The dreaded day job. While I'm grateful to have a job and a steady income, the dream of writing full time lives on. No matter the probability is that I will always work a day job along with this author gig.

Me:  I hear you.  Here's to big dreams! ;-)  What are the hardest and easiest parts about being a writer?

Sadie:  Easiest – Ideas. For me, there are limitless ideas and inspiration.  Hardest – Ideas. Good God, just because I get them doesn't mean they are all good. Plus, they come when I'm trying to sleep, focus on a day job project, writing a different story… You see where I'm going. It's so hard to keep focused sometimes that I surrender and write short outlines for stories that will probably never come to fruition. And honestly, some of them probably should stay in the notebook buried beneath post it notes.

Me:  Ha! The writer's dilemma. ;-)  What genre do you place your book in?

Sadie:  My current focus is the rockers.  So, I'd put them in steamy hot contemporary rock star romance.  My boys like to get naked.

Me:  And don't we all appreciate the gentlemen who are comfortable with their bodies. ;-)  Is there anything else you'd like to tell your readers?

Sadie:  Just THANK YOU.  Without all of you, Sadie would just be my family's nickname for me and Grubor would still be my husband's last name that I didn't take when we got married.  J  (He's still mine! So back off Mr. Grubor!) J

Me:   HA! Are there any links you'd like me to post?

Sadie: I encourage stalking. So, Stalk me. Stalk me real hard.

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

Thursday, February 18, 2016

#February2016 #IndieBooksBeSeen #Indie #Books #BookReviews!

Hey Everyone!! :-)

It's February 18th, so time for my #IndieBooksBeSeen monthly book reviews! :-)

Blood Ties by Julie Nicholls:

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

View From The Sixth Floor by Elizabeth Horton-Newton:

After losing her husband, Livvy is trying to find a way to fill her time and distract herself from her loss. A series of serendipitous events piques her curiosity and leads her to make a trip to Dallas. But even in her wildest imaginings, she never would have guessed what would happen there!
This is an interesting take on the assassination of JFK, and a great addition to the "What-If" collection of stories. I really enjoyed this book for a number of reasons. For one thing, there is a romance plotline that centers around people in their late 50s. This is a population that is often left out of romantic fiction, and I'm always glad to see diversity added to popular media. Also, I learned quite a few things about JFK's presidency and that time period in American history, and I'm always glad to find a painless way to educate myself. The story moved quickly and was quite suspenseful. I found myself flipping pages as fast as I could read them, just to find out what happened next! All-in-all, I would definitely recommend this book for anyone who enjoys well-developed tales full of complex characters. :-)

Riddle by Elizabeth Horton-Newton:

Riddle is a story based in a small town and the author does an excellent job of adjusting her characters to this setting without making them stereotypical. Although there are difficult subjects such as racism that are dealt with throughout the book, this is overall not a book that is meant to deal with those topics and that are woven into the background more than the forefront of the story. This is most certainly a mystery with some romance and a few adult scenes and the twists the story takes are both enjoyable and slightly scary at the same time. A book worth a read if you're into mystery and suspense with a bit of flash.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

#ToughLife Or #Bad #Night?

Hey Everyone!! :-)

It's Wednesday again, Happy Hump Day!! :-)  To celebrate the week being half over, I thought I'd give you another little peek at the kind of week Petri is dealing with. :-)

But she didn't run. Running in Under City was never a good idea. Running meant trouble and attracted attention. Predators chased those who ran, and Under City was full of predators.

Neon signs glittered in the night, advertising the wares to be found in the many businesses in this central part of Southern sector. Outlines of naked men and women, frothing drinks and steaming food, new hairstyles, and more had been recreated out of glowing lights and buzzing bulbs. Abracadabra wasn't the only purveyor of pleasures in the area; there were others, though each was smaller and had a narrower focus than the popular club. Brothels, restaurants, bars, dust dens, casinos, gaming establishments, salons, and chop shops abounded. This part of Under City existed to cater to the whims of the rich, and there was nothing subtle about the offerings that were available to those with money.

Shops of all kinds welcomed customer from Upworld with open arms. Clothing, children's toys, vehicles, sex aids, personal electronics, game programs, jewelry, and domicile furnishings could be purchased right next to each other at any time of the day or night. "Come In!" flashed their advertisements. "Good Deals!" "Low Prices!" "Rare Merchandise!" A constant siren song of the consumerism that ruled the underworld.

There were also businesses with darker, less obvious entryways. The snuff industry was alive and well in Under City. Upworld citizens who had the creds could indulge their most twisted and violent fantasies, and there were snuff houses that specialized in providing those services. Fights, snuff porn, torture, cannibalism, it was all available for the asking. And no matter if a citizen wanted to watch, participate, or direct, their most hidden desires could be satisfied by the snuff houses. Customers were only limited by their bank accounts, and the grinders waited to clean up the mess afterwards.

Petri ignored all the enticements and offerings and tried to keep her mind away from where she might end up if she failed in her escape attempt. A short, brisk walk brought her to the transit station just as a train pulled up to the stop. It wasn't a perfect solution, it wasn't even a good solution, but at least it was a stopgap that might give her the time she needed to formulate a plan. Being a moving target was better than being a stationary one.

She hopped on the train and found an empty car. As she dropped into a seat at the back of the car, she sighed. It had started out as such a good night.

Wow! What a world, huh?  I hope she's able to extricate herself from her current predicament without falling prey to those dangers. ;-)  Anyhow, hope you're all having a better day than Petri, and don't forget to check back tomorrow for the next installment of Mistral Dawn's Musings! :-)

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

#WarmUp With A #TuesdayTreat! :-)

Hey Everyone!! :-)

I don't know about all of you, but where I am, winter has finally arrived and it is a chilly, snowy morning outside! ;-)  To celebrate the season, I thought I'd share with you a little peek at how Kate and Ankou like to keep warm.

Excerpt from Captivated By The Winter King:
Turning back to his mate, he said, "Come here." When she approached, he ordered, "Remove your clothing."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Whoo! Well, I'm warm now.  I hope you all enjoyed that, and if you haven't already read it and want to know what happens next, head on over to Amazon to get your copy now! ;-)  And don't forget to check back tomorrow to find out what happens next on Mistral Dawn's Musings!

Monday, February 15, 2016

The #Good, The #Bad, & The #Romance! ;-)

Hey Everyone!! :-)

I've got a random musing for you today.  Specifically, I've been thinking about why science fiction/fantasy/paranormal stories and the romances that fit within those genres seem to be so popular.  First, I decided to see if they really were as popular as they seemed to me, and the information I found bore out my assumption.  According to the Business of Consumer Publishing 2006, the science fiction/fantasy genre accounted for $495 million out of the $6.31 billion in book sales in the US that year and romance accounted for $1.37 billion in book sales.  So, clearly people are spending some serious cash on both romance and sci-fi/fantasy stories!

I guess it's not really surprising.  Human beings have been spinning yarns about the supernatural, mythical, and speculative for thousands of years.  Just look at all the god/goddess/fairy/monster/etc legends there are in circulation!  Every culture has its own version of those familiar themes, and the stories have survived the test of time to be passed down through generations so that now they can be made into movies starting Hugh Jackman, Vin Diesel, Chris Hemsworth, and Sean Bean. ;-)

And as for romance, well, have you ever read some of the old Greek and Roman mythology?  Whoo! *fans self*  Steamy stuff there! ;-)  And considering that "Greek God" has become synonymous with the perfect male body, who can blame those people for fantasizing? ;-)

But none of that answers the question of why it's so popular now.  Okay, some of it has to be that these are clearly themes that have an almost universal appeal and are prone to capture the imaginations of a wide variety of people.  Why else would they have lasted so long?  But that doesn't explain what about them is so alluring.

Well, as you might have guessed, I have an opinion about that.  And that's all it is, just my opinion, I don't have any statistics or research to back it up.  But you can decide if you think I might be on the right track or not.  Personally, I think it's because it allows us to explore the extremes of human nature in a safe way.

Think about it, in a lot of sci-fi/fantasy/paranormal tales, there are clear and well-defined delineations between "good" and "bad."  Yes, some stories also have shades of gray in them, and they are often fantastic, but one of the things that defines these genres is having a "good guy" and a "bad guy."  That leaves readers with the option to put themselves in either role and exploring either their light side or their dark side.  So much fun to be had!

Add to that the fact that the characters in these stories often have superhuman powers, intelligence, technology, etc, and you not only have the opportunity to be a hero or antihero, you can be an ultra, super, mega hero or antihero!  Talk about getting a lot of bang for your buck! ;-)  Who wouldn't want to go on those kinds of adventures?  And when you're reading about the exciting exploits of your favorite characters, you're probably not thinking about the shopping or the laundry or your asshole of a boss, am I right?  It's escapism, and everyone needs to escape now and again, even if it's just between their ears.

Then, there's the romance.  Okay, be honest, who doesn't enjoy a good love story?  Huh?  There's another universal theme for you.  Either you identify with the rush of passion, think of it with nostalgia, or wistfully dream of the day you might experience it, right?  And then add the superpowers, supernatural good looks, and element of mystery that many characters in the paranormal/fantasy/sci-fi romance genre possess, and you have the perfect recipe for some good, old-fashioned lust.  After all, who wouldn't want to be swept off their feet by a hottie with mysterious powers and lots of experience? ;-)

The best thing about characters in the paranormal/fantasy/sci-fi romance genre, in my opinion, is that they're almost never perfect.  Generally speaking, the authors in this genre build complex, imaginative worlds for their characters to contend with, and the way all the moving parts come together leaves a lot of room for the kind of quirks, foibles, and imperfections that make characters "real."  The "good guys," while clearly good, have their faults.  And the "bad guys," while clearly bad, have their virtues.  Which makes the ride through the story all the more fun!  Escapism at it's best.

So, there you have it, folks.  My take on why the sci-fi/paranormal/fantasy genre, and the romance subgenre, is so popular.  It provides wonderful opportunities for escapism, vicarious wish fulfillment, topics to tease readers' imaginations, and themes that appeal to almost everyone.  Now pardon me while I find a vampire, shape-shifter, hot fairy, hunky alien, or sexy god to read about. ;-)

Sunday, February 14, 2016

#ValentinesDay #Sale! :-)

Hey Everyone!! :-)

Happy Valentines Day!!!! :-)  In celebration of the holiday dedicated to love and romance, I've discounted one of my favorite love stories, Taken By The Huntsman, to only 99 cents! :-)  So if you haven't already read it, hurry and get it now!  The sale is only good for today. ;-)  Don't know where to find it?  No problem!  You can get your copy here:

Now, just to whet your appetite and give you a taste of the romance that's in store, here's a little peek:

Cassie smiled and ran her fingers gently over his cheek and into his hair. Cadeyrn pulled her closer, and she felt the hardness of his body against hers. Leaning down, he kissed her with a passion that left her breathless. His lips were soft and gentle against hers, almost chaste. Until he pulled her closer and deepened the kiss, tracing his tongue along her lips until she opened to him, tasting her mouth thoroughly.

She moaned into his mouth and ran her hands over his broad shoulders and swollen biceps. Grabbing his bulging muscles, she used the leverage to try to pull herself closer still.

Cadeyrn groaned and pulled back. He looked down into the liquid blue eyes of his Anamchara and saw the passion and desire of a woman who knew exactly what she wanted.

“Cassie, tell me simply. Will you allow me to take you to bed this night? Yes or no?”

Holding his breath, he waited for the answer. He would abide by her decision regardless of what it was. Though, he was pretty sure she was as ready to take their relationship to the physical level as he was, he didn't want to rush or pressure her. But he was desperate for her to say yes.

Looking up at him with a teasing smile, she answered, "Oh, yes. I want you to take me to bed and show me what kind of skills a male can acquire with hundreds of millennia of practice.”

Cadeyrn growled deep in his throat. His eyes were glowing, and he felt his canines lengthen in his mouth. “Female,” he said, in a voice that had gone rough and gravely. “You know not what you ask for. But I will give it to you anyway!”

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