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, October 18, 2017

#October2017 #IndieBooksBeSeen #Indie #Author #Books #Monthly #BookReview!



Hey Everyone!! :-)

It's the 18th again, so I'm back with my monthly #IndieBooksBeSeen indie author books book review. Enjoy! :-)

Legend of the Walking Dead byJoy Nwosu Lo-Bamijoko:

Time-travelers? Walking dead? Alternate but parallel worlds? Sometimes it's hard to keep track of where the folklore ends and the theoretical physics begins. This novel seems to blend them seamlessly, and in doing so weaves a riveting story about a boy and his mother and their journey through time and space...without ever leaving their small village. I wasn't at all familiar with Nigerian folklore before reading this book, but now I want to know more. Five stars and I hope the author writes more stories like this.




Tuesday, October 17, 2017

#Agent Thoth's #Personal Log: Day 623


Hey Everyone! :-)

Agent Thoth discusses more of the trials and tribulations associated with living with hominids. 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 Six-Hundred-Twenty-Three:
I have once again turned my attention to an effort to train my hominid-servant in how to give proper homage to her DPCIL overseer. This time, instead of attempting to fight her natural inclinations towards her electronic devices, I have decided to attempt to incorporate my presence into her usual routine. This tactic has been surprisingly effective.

I have found that if, instead of trying to disrupt her ability to use the devices, I instead insinuate myself next to her while she uses them, it is quite likely that she will divert her attention, at least briefly, to give me the acknowledgement and appreciation I deserve. Though, she quickly returns to her devices, I am hopeful that with persistence I will be able to expand the amount of time she spends focused on me instead of them. Eventually, I believe I will be able to coax her into abandoning the devices entirely.

Towards this end, I reward my hominid-servant for responding to my overtures by liberally engaging the P.U.R.R. and also with the slow-blink code of satisfaction that she seems to at least marginally comprehend. Since efforts to forcefully redirect my hominid-servant's attention proved to be an unmitigated failure, I will report back often on the efficacy of this gentler method of persuasion. Perhaps, this will be the key to allow DPCIL agents everywhere to better control their hominid-servants.


Awww! Maybe hominids are trainable. ;-) You may have noticed that Agent Thoth has a new look. I hope you like his new picture as much as I do, but I'd love to hear your thoughts, either way. Feel free to let me know what you think in the comments. ;-) Happy reading, everyone!


Monday, October 16, 2017

Something Worth Watching?


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I'm back today with another video I wanted to share. This is a rather disgusting bit of hypocrisy that the mainstream media has largely ignored. So, I hope you'll take a few minutes to watch it and think about it next time you hear a politician claim the US needs to invade a new country because the government there has horrible policies.




Sunday, October 15, 2017

Lentil Soup In A #Crockpot #Recipe!


Hey Everyone!

Today, I've got a recipe to help warm you up on those cool Autumn nights. :-)

Ingredients:
8 cups water
2 cups dry lentils
2 onions chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
2 carrots diced
2 stalks celery chopped
1/2 cup spinach rinsed and thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic minced
2 tsp dried oregano
1 bay leaf
1 tsp dried basil
1 14 oz can crushed tomatoes
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

Put the olive oil, onions, carrots, and celery in a skillet and saute until the vegetables get soft and the onions start to caramelize. Add the garlic and stir to distribute it, and then transfer the vegetables to a crock-pot and add the rest of the ingredients. Cook on high for 4-5 hours or until the lentils are soft. Remove bay leaf and serve the soup hot with crusty bread.

Bon Appetit!









Saturday, October 14, 2017

Spooktacular #Author #Giveaway! $150 #Cash #Grand #Prize! #Free To #Enter!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

There's a new giveaway for Halloween!  Please take a moment to check out the Spooktacular Author Giveaway!!  There are lots of awesome books and 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, October 13, 2017

#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, October 12, 2017

#APC #Spotlight: Legend Of The Boy In The Window by Toi Thomas!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I've got Toinette Thomas in my APC spotlight, today! Toinette is an active and supportive member of the  Authors-Professional Co-op Facebook group and her science fiction short story collection, Legend of the Boy in the Window and Other Short Stories, looks great! Here's the description:
It’s all about the boy…
The boy who must destroy the world so he can save humanity.
The boy who sweeps the girl off her feet.
The boy who brings two lovers together.
The boy who grows into a bad man and changes a woman’s life.
The boy who won’t let death stop him from getting what he wants.
Everything spanning from science fiction, paranormal, romance, and psychological thriller is here within the pages of this book.
Which of these boys will capture your sense of wonder, rage, romance, or perhaps even fear?
You decide.
If you think this sounds like something you might enjoy, go ahead and grab your copy here:


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



Wednesday, October 11, 2017

#Agent Thoth's #Personal Log: Day 619


Hey Everyone! :-)

Agent Thoth discusses more of the trials and tribulations associated with living with hominids. 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 Six-Hundred-Nineteen:
Tranquility has finally returned to my domicile, as my hominid-servant's obsession with moving things has finally calmed, once again. Unfortunately, the juvenile felid has decided to take this opportunity to create mayhem of his own. Apparently, no one in the domicile is capable of grasping the importance of my research!

The small irritation has taken to racing through my domicile at random times, running over anyone who happens to be in his path and pouncing on anything that moves. This is most distracting when I am attempting to concentrate on my studies. Especially, since his activities often have the effect of frightening off the subjects I am attempting to observe.

Just this morning, I was recording a fascinating courtship ritual of the small avians that frequent the area immediately outside my domicile. Two of the strange creatures were engaged in a breathtaking display of aerial acrobatics, which culminated in the male of the pair cornering the female in a tree. He seemed determined to initiate copulation, but she steadfastly refused and eventually escaped his attentions.

But just as it appeared the male might renew his pursuit, the tiny pest ran head first into the glass of the portal, causing a loud thwacking noise to echo across the area outside my domicile, and frightening the avians away.

I attempted to reprimand my young companion on showing the proper respect for scientific inquiry, but I'm afraid my words fell on deaf ears. No sooner had he recovered from having stunned himself with the impact of his head against the glass, then he was once again racing through my domicile. I can't help but wonder if other DPCIL agents are forced to work among such philistines.


Does no one respect science anymore? ;-) You may have noticed that Agent Thoth has a new look. I hope you like his new picture as much as I do, but I'd love to hear your thoughts, either way. Feel free to let me know what you think in the comments. ;-) Happy reading, everyone!


Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Getting What We Need


Hey Everyone! :-)

The other day, I spent a morning calling around to doctors' offices, trying to find a new doctor. And would anyone like to guess what the first question from every single receptionist I spoke to was? I bet you don't even need three guesses; I bet everyone reading this can get it right on one try: What insurance do you have?

Yep, that's right. They didn't ask about the reason I wanted an appointment, when was the last time I saw a doctor, what time of day or day of the week might be convenient, or even my name. Nope. The one and only thing they wanted to know was what kind of insurance I have.

And you know what? I don't even blame those receptionists. Not one little bit. For one thing, if they make an appointment for someone who doesn't have insurance or who has insurance that doesn't have a contract with their practice, they're the person the patient will be screaming at when they get their bill.

Plus, I have no doubt, whatsoever, that the doctors they work for all require that they ask that question first. And I don't blame the doctors for that, either. I'm sure the vast majority of them are up to their eyeballs in student loans, and they need to get paid. And, even if they aren't underwater on loans, I don't begrudge someone who spent the better part of two decades learning their profession getting paid for their work. That's only fair.

Now, I am so, so, so fortunate, privileged, blessed, whatever you want to call it, and I actually do have insurance. It's really shitty insurance that hardly covers anything but costs an arm and a leg, and I can't really afford it. But I do have it. And just having it is enough.

It was like magic. I could almost hear them straightening in their chairs and focusing their attention the moment they heard the name of my insurance. The fact that I could give them a policy number was like a golden ticket that changed me from a problem to a person.

Again, I don't blame them. They didn't create this shitty system, and I shudder to think how many times they've been yelled at by people who were desperate for medical care that they were unable to access. It isn't easy to be blamed for things that aren't your fault and that you have no control over, day in and day out. I've worked in enough customer service jobs to know what that feels like. Hell, if I had to guess, I'd say the majority of the people I spoke to would welcome a change in our healthcare system that would allow them to stop asking that question.

No, I don't blame them at all. The people I blame are the people who oppose the change we need to ensure every US citizen can receive the healthcare they need, namely moving to a single-payer system. I blame the people who selfishly say, "I've got mine, so fuck everyone else." I blame the politicians who are more concerned with serving the insurance and pharmaceutical companies that gave them money than they are with doing what's best for the American people.

This country needs a single-payer healthcare system, and we need it now. If everyone has the same healthcare coverage, then doctors will finally be able to prioritize based on patients' medical needs instead of the size of their wallets. And if our elected representatives won't give us what we need, then it's time to replace them with some who will.

Peace!

#SinglePayerNow #MedicareForAll #EveryYearIsAnElectionYear #VoteLocal #VoteState #BrandNewCongress #GrassrootsRising


Monday, October 9, 2017

Something Worth Watching?


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I'm back today with another video I wanted to share. There's actually a couple of videos I think are really important for everyone to know about. They both have to do with the ongoing debacle in St. Lois, which unless you watch or read online news sources, you probably know nothing about. It borders on criminal the way the mainstream media hides important stories from us, and the fact that police are now arresting online journalists with impunity doesn't bode well for the future of our democracy. Anyway, these videos are a little bit long, but they're worth the time, so please consider taking a few minutes to watch them all the way through. Peace!






Sunday, October 8, 2017

Button Soup #Recipe! ;-)


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I've got another recipe for you, today...sort of. ;-)  First, a story. This one isn't one of my stories. This is an old story; an old folk tale. I don't know who originally came up with it, but I've heard several versions. The title I first heard it called was Button Soup, but I've heard it called Stone Soup and a couple of other titles, too.

It's about a town miser, an Ebeneezer Scrooge-type character, who lives in a town where a lot of people are starving. He's the only one who has money, so the rest of the town comes to beg for food, but he claims he doesn't have any. So, they write to his niece (or sister or other close relative, depending on the version) who comes for a visit. He's inhospitable and tells her she should leave because he has nothing to feed her. She tells him all she needs is a single button (or pebble or ax head, depending on the version) and she can make a delicious, filling soup.

Intrigued, the miser gives her a button, which she puts in a great big soup pot with a lot of water. He's fascinated to find out how this is going to turn into soup, so he stays with her as she stirs the pot. She makes small talk and eventually mentions that while the soup will be fine as it is, it would be an awful lot better if she just had a little salt. He thinks that over and then allows how while he doesn't have any food, he does have a bit of salt put aside. So he brings it to her and she adds it to the pot and keeps stirring.

This goes on for a while, and every now and again she mentions that if she just had one thing - an onion, a potato, a ham bone, a carrot, and on and on - the soup would be just that much better. And each time he claims he has no food, but he might have a little of that one thing put aside. Eventually, she has a ginormous pot of soup.

Then, she tells him the only thing the soup needs is some friends to share it with. So, they invite the whole town, and all the starving people get to eat. The end.

Anyway, Button Soup is what I call it when I have a bunch of bits and bobs left over and I throw them all together into a single dish to make something. Because anything can go into button soup, it just depends what you happen to have on hand.

So, that's my recipe for you, today. Take a look in your fridge, freezer, and pantry and see what you have that needs to be used up.  Then, use a little imagination and create something yummy. It doesn't have to be soup, though soup is a good vehicle for such a recipe, it can be a casserole, a stir fry, a hash, or whatever will fit your leftovers. And, to finish it off, why not invite a friend over and share? Bon Appetit! :-)


Saturday, October 7, 2017

Spooktacular #Author #Giveaway! $150 #Cash #Grand #Prize! #Free To #Enter!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

There's a new giveaway for Halloween!  Please take a moment to check out the Spooktacular Author Giveaway!!  There are lots of awesome books and 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, October 6, 2017

#APC #Spotlight: Dragon Dreamer by J. S. Burke!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I've got Jenny Burke in my APC spotlight, today! Jenny is an active and supportive member of the  Authors-Professional Co-op Facebook group and her science fantasy novel, Dragon Dreamer, looks great! Here's the description:
Arak is a misfit dragon called "Dreamer". Determined to prove himself he leaves on a dangerous quest, is caught in a fierce sea-storm, and crashes on ice. Wounded and alone he faces death. Then a fearless undersea shape-shifter named Scree heals him and an unlikely friendship begins. When an undersea volcano erupts it triggers a towering tsunami and a deadly chain of events. Can Arak use his unique talents to save the dragons?
Sound good?  If you think you might enjoy this, go ahead and grab your copy here:


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



Thursday, October 5, 2017

#NewRelease #Announcement: Thursday's Child By Jolie Mason With #Bonus #Recipe!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

My friend, Jolie Mason, is releasing a new book this week and she wanted to share a little treat with you that was inspired by her book. Jolie, take it away! :-)

Jolie:
Met Cuisine


Hello, everyone! I’m Char Hamilton, and this is Met Cuisine. Today, we’re preparing a manly favorite, Cheeseburger Quiche, and here to help me is my guest, the hero of the Met this morning, Detective Hayden Thursday. Thank you so much for appearing on the show today.

Thursday: Thank you for having me on.

Hamilton: And you dress so practically. I love it, darling. Now, let’s get right to it, shall we? For the audience at home, here’s our recipe.


1lb Ground Beef
1/3 cup chopped onion
4 eggs
½ cup mayo
½ cup skim milk
2 tbsp of flour
¼ tsp dried oregano
½ tsp salt.
¼ tsp pepper
6 oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded and divided.
deep dish pie shell (9 inch)

Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. In a skillet, brown ground beef and onion; drain and set aside.
3. In a bowl, beat the eggs, then whisk in the mayo, milk, flour, oregano, salt and pepper.
4. Stir in beef mixture and 1 cup cheese.
5. Pour mixture into pie shell.
6. Bake for 40-45 minutes until eggs are firm.

Hamilton: As you can see, this is simple, so simple. Detective, if you could preheat our oven for us. Thank you, darling. So, you don’t have an easy job, I know. How do you cope with the pressure of home/work balance?

Thursday: Well, I suppose I’m not very good at it. I work a lot. I have two fish, though. Paisley and Delilah. They’re really big fish, so it’s kind of like having a dog… sort of.

(Hamilton continues browning her beef)

Thursday: My partner is like my family. He and his wife are the best. I eat there a lot.

Hamilton: Now, we whisk together the egg mixture until it’s nicely blended. You eat at your partner’s house all the time, dear? Do you cook at all?

Thursday (blushing): Not really. I make sandwiches. I make great sandwiches. (laughter)

Hamilton: (looks at the camera) Well, even the detective can make this dish. (Hands Thursday the bowl and whisk)

Thursday: Oh, I wouldn’t be too sure about that.

Hamilton: (prepares the pie crust and pours the ground beef into it) Now we’re going to evenly layer this beautiful cheese throughout the quiche. Keep it even. Detective pour in our quiche.

Thursday: Are you sure you want me to do it?

Hamilton: Of course, darling. It’s not quantum physics.

(Thursday moves closer to pie pan and trips on wires) (more laughter)

Hamilton: Oh, dear. Well, she tried to warn me. Almost anyone can make this Cheeseburger Quiche. Thank you for being here, Detective. It was a good effort. (awkwardly pats Thursday on shoulder)

Thursday: No, thank you. Do you have somewhere I can change?



Wednesday, October 4, 2017

#Agent Thoth's #Personal Log: Day 614


Hey Everyone! :-)

Agent Thoth discusses more of the trials and tribulations associated with living with hominids. 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 Six-Hundred-Fourteen:
Once again, my hominid-servant is bent on disturbing the tranquility of my domicile. I don't understand what drives her, but it must be a powerful instinct as she seems to have these urges cyclically. And I don't know how, or even if it is possible, to dissuade her.

At least twice during each revolution of this planet around its star, she finds it necessary to move all the furniture and either rearrange it or remove any detritus that has gathered beneath it before returning the furniture to its place. She also compulsively sorts through the contents of my domicile and randomly targets specific items for elimination. Which is disconcerting, to say the least.

Currently, she is focused on her sleeping room. It has been impossible for me to either rest or concentrate on my research for the past several days, which is most distressing. If I could isolate the factors that trigger such behavior in hominids, I would eliminate them from my servant's environment so that I could have some peace! Hopefully, this mania of hers will pass soon.


Ah! Those crazy hominids! ;-) You may have noticed that Agent Thoth has a new look. I hope you like his new picture as much as I do, but I'd love to hear your thoughts, either way. Feel free to let me know what you think in the comments. ;-) Happy reading, everyone!


Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Aliens Among Us!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I'm back with another glimpse at Alyce's adventures. Enjoy! :-)

Excerpt from sci-fi satire novel:
He gargled at me and then tucked his clipboard under one of his tentacles. "Apologies, young human. I have been responding to the multiple queries that my updates to the records concerning your planet have prompted. But, you're correct, such things can wait." He stretched his tentacles, craning his head to look over the exhibits. "Right now all we need is… Ah! There he is."

At Squid-boy's exclamation, I turned to see what he was talking about and gasped. Coming towards us was what looked like the embodiment of the classic description for Satan. The alien towered above me, at least nine feet of hard muscle and gleaming red skin, and I couldn't help it; I gaped at him. My eyes kept running from the hooves that looked like they belonged on a goat, up those backwards-turned legs, to the thick-muscled thighs that were covered in black shorts, to the washboard abs, sculpted chest and broad shoulders, to the pointed cleft chin, past the full lips and straight, pointed nose right above them, up to the wide, tilted, blood-red eyes that were framed by the black, glittering ram's horns that curled out from the top of his head, and back again. Even for an atheist like me, the sight of such a creature was…startling.

It took me a minute, but I realized Squid-boy was talking to the Devil incarnate as if he was just another person. "Greeting, Yaxurg, this is the human that was brought to help with some of the exhibits. Are you ready to begin?"

Satan turned to look at me, his gaze showing interest and curiosity. His perusal made me feel like a roast he was considering having for dinner. My eyes widened even more and my heart stuttered in my chest as a forked tongue flickered out past his lips towards me.

"A human female, Paxtiguantialablingondintalblinganham? I've heard of such creatures before. According to rumor, they can be quite…friendly." His voice was a bass rumble that raised the hair on the back of my neck.

Gazing down at me, he grinned, showing a row of pointed, black teeth, and crossed his arms over his chest. I just continued to gape as his biceps bulged and shifted. When I tore my eyes away from his chest and focused on his face again, he winked at me.

Which was like a bucket of cold water over my head. I might not know why the personification of evil was standing in front of me, but I knew I was being rude. And my mamma raised me better than that.



Hmmm....I wonder what this is all about? ;-)  Thank you all for stopping by today. And don't forget to check back tomorrow for the latest in Mistral Dawn's Musings! :-)




Monday, October 2, 2017

Something Worth Watching?


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I'm back today with another video I wanted to share. I think this is a really good analysis of the gimme deal for the rich that the Republicans will most likely succeed in shoving through. It's a little long, but please consider watching all the way through.




Sunday, October 1, 2017

Yummy Spinach Manicotti #Recipe!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

Ingredients:
1 package manicotti shells
1 15oz container ricotta cheese
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated pecorino Romano cheese
1 10oz package frozen spinach thawed and squeezed dry
2 onions minced fine
4 cloves garlic minced fine
4 tsp fresh parsley chopped
2 tsp fresh basil chopped
2 tsp fresh oregano chopped
1 egg
4 cups tomato sauce (Recipe Here)
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large bowl, mix ricotta, 1 cup of the mozzarella, 1/4 cup of the Romano, spinach, onion, garlic, basil, oregano, 2 teaspoons of the parsley, salt and pepper, and egg. Spread 1 cup of the tomato sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish. Stuff the uncooked manicotti shells with the ricotta mixture, and arrange in a single layer in the dish. Cover with the rest of the tomato sauce and sprinkle with the remaining parsley, mozzarella, and Romano. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 to 55 minutes, or until cheese is browned and manicotti shells are soft.

Buon Appetito!


Saturday, September 30, 2017

Spooktacular #Author #Giveaway! $150 #Cash #Grand #Prize! #Free To #Enter!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

There's a new giveaway for Halloween!  Please take a moment to check out the Spooktacular Author Giveaway!!  There are lots of awesome books and 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, September 29, 2017

#Interview With Gus Kenney!



Hey Everyone!! :-)

Gus Kenney is joining us today. Gus, can you tell us a bit about yourself and how many books you have written?

Gus:  I have written 3 books as part of a YA fantasy series that I call the Complications of Being Lucy. It contains the titles, starting with the first, The Changeling and The Cupboard, The Changeling and The Borrowed Family, and Traitor's Niece. I live in western New York with my wonderful wife and our 3 puppy dogs.

Me: Ah! A fellow New Yorker! ;-) What's the name of your latest book and what inspired it?

Gus: Traitor's Niece is the latest installment in the Complications of Being Lucy and it continues the adventures of the main character Lucy Bison as she deals with a significant loss in her life. I wasn't originally inspired by anything other than continuing the series as intended, but it became more of a vehicle to deal with the losses in my own life that occurred during the year that I was writing it.

Me: I'm very sorry to hear you've been dealing with losses, I hope things get better for you. What are you working on now?

Gus: Presently I'm working on the next book in the series titled Daughter of Ash. I'm also trying to get another series started up but keep losing traction as soon as someone asks me about Lucy.

Me: Juggling multiple series can definitely be a challenge. What authors, or books, have influenced you?

Gus: House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski and The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls by Emilie Autumn have been very influential as they showed me alternative ways to present a narrative to a story. Ways I had never considered before from reading fantasy growing up. The visual additives were also an interesting feature, just nothing I would ever have the talent to incorporate.

Me: I agree, reading other people's work can definitely help you find your own voice in writing. What are you reading now?

Gus: A girl (and I only call her that because she looks so damn young) that I met through the wonderful whirlwind that has been marketing my books, has recently completed her first book and I offered to give it a look over. So far it looks great and I hope it does well for her when it comes time for her to share it with the world.

Me: That's wonderful! :-) Always good to hear more great stories are in the works.  For those who might consider reading your book, what would you tell them to expect?

Gus: The Unexpected! The characters and archetypes in the books are not your typical personifications. Creatures often depicted as monsters are now the heroes. It is an adventure story that ultimately has much to do with family.

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

Gus: Writing. The power to create something from words is euphoric. Spinning stories from my mind is the best part of being an author.

Me: Yes, there's nothing quite like the feeling when the muse is whispering in your ear and your fingers fly over the keyboard to bring the story to life. :-) Do you have a day job as well?

Gus: Unfortunately. Four days a week I get to bury myself up to my elbows, or deeper depending on the task, into a grease pit that is supposed to be a locomotive and try to bring it to life.

Me: Ha! Well, many of us have to bring a little elbow grease to make a living. ;-) What are the hardest and easiest parts of being a writer?

Gus: Coming up with ideas is the easiest part–sometimes too easy. The hardest part is sharing the stories with the world once they are ready, because they never feel ready (or that just may be me). There always feels like one more tweek would make it perfect. Maybe just changing one little thing and it would be flawless. And you want them to be flawless because, like children, you want them to be accepted and not bullied.

Me: Amen! :-) What genre do you place your books in?

Gus: They are YA fantasy, though the YA part is slightly misleading. They are safe for young ones is all that really means. I didn't write the book to appeal to a specific demographic and have since found out that people of many ages have enjoyed it. The fantasy part is legit. Witches, elves, all that are in there.

Me: That's awesome! :-) Is there anything else you'd like to tell your readers?

Gus: Sorry for the delay on Traitor's Niece. I'd say it won't happen again but that would be a huge lie. I'm terrible with keeping deadlines. So expect Daughter of Ash sometime after the day you read this. That is as much as I can say for a time. And of course thank you all for the wonderful support. It has meant so much to me!

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

Gus:
Buy Link: http://smarturl.it/traitorsNieceb3
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gus.kenney
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/LucyBison
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lucybison/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13628983.Gus_Kenney
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Gus-Kenney/e/B00UPGZ7SY/
Website: https://www.guskenney.com/
Email: guskenney@yahoo.com

Me: Perfect! That's so much for being here today, Gus. And thank you to the rest of you who dropped by as well. Don't forget to check back tomorrow for the latest in Mistral Dawn's Musings! :-)




Thursday, September 28, 2017

#APC #Spotlight: Starstruck By S.E. Anderson!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I've got Sarah Anderson in my APC spotlight, today! Sarah is an active and supportive member of the  Authors-Professional Co-op Facebook group and her science fiction adventure novel, Starstruck, looks great! Here's the description:
After an incident with a hot-air balloon causes college-dropout Sally Webber to lose her job, she sets off to find direction in her life. Crashing into a teleporting alien, however, is not on her to-do list.

Now she’s on the run from TV-drama-loving aliens, and things are just getting started. Zander won’t stop reeling her into life-or-death situations to save her planet, as he waits for his laser-wielding sister to search the universe for him. Though Sally isn’t quite sure if he wants to save Earth from annihilation, or just quell his curiosity of all things human.
Now she’s got to find lost alien emissaries, as well as a job, and stop the planet from getting incinerated in the process. But with Zander as her roommate, what could possibly go wrong?
If you think this sounds like something you might enjoy, go ahead and grab your copy here:


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



Wednesday, September 27, 2017

#Agent Thoth's #Personal Log: Day 611


Hey Everyone! :-)

Agent Thoth discusses more of the trials and tribulations associated with living with hominids. 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 Six-Hundred-Eleven:
It recently occurred to me that there is much to be said for an extended nap enjoyed within the warmth of a sunbeam. The portals in my domicile allow sunbeams to form on the floors in predictable patterns and at predictable times. I have found these sunbeams to be ideal locations for meditation and relaxation.

Unfortunately, the sunbeams are fleeting and can even be prematurely disrupted if excessive atmospheric moisture is allowed to coagulate into clouds. Yesterday, I was enjoying a particularly nice sunbeam when my pleasure was cut short by a gathering rainstorm. This was quite distressing, and I attempted to convince my hominid-servant to take action.

I explained to her the importance of sunbeam bathing to the psychological well-being of DPCIL agents, but once again she remained frustratingly obtuse. I entreated her to engage the atmospheric controls to bring back my sunbeam, but my pleas were in vain. To add insult to injury, she didn't even stay until I had finished making my case, and instead left to return to her electronic devices. I was left to mourn the untimely passing of my sunbeam in isolation.


Oh, no! Not the sunbeams! ;-) You may have noticed that Agent Thoth has a new look. I hope you like his new picture as much as I do, but I'd love to hear your thoughts, either way. Feel free to let me know what you think in the comments. ;-) Happy reading, everyone!


Tuesday, September 26, 2017

#Announcement: Newland Moon #Feature And #SneakPeek!



Hey Everyone! :-)

My friend, Karina Kantas, would like to tell you about one of her favorite authors, today. Karina, take it away! :-)

Karina:
Aaron-Michael Hall
Aaron-Michael Hall is a Speculative Fiction author (Epic Fantasy and Science Fantasy with an EDGE) originally from southern Illinois. Since August 2015, she has written eight full-length novels and published four. Her first novel, The Rise of Nazil has won numerous reader awards.


Now, when she is not interviewing indie authors on her Desu Beast Blog, being super mom, wrangling stampeding miniature dachshunds, or managing her 9 to 5, she is interweaving genres, creating languages, and adding just the right edge to keep you turning pages.

Aaron-Michael created the Mehlonii language for her diverse Epic Fantasy series. Along with intriguing characters, multilayered plots, new species, deities, and creatures, the Mehlonii language adds that fantastical element missing from most modern Epic/High fantasy. You can listen to samples of the spoken Mehlonii language on her website’s Mehlonii page.

When asked why she wrote this series, Aaron-Michael simply said, “It needed to be written.”

It is her hope that the readers enjoy the wonders of Faélondul and Ahmezurhran even more than she enjoyed writing about them.
Website: http://aaronmichaelhall.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Aaron.Michael.Hall.Author
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TheRiseofNazil
Mailing list http://theriseofnazil.us11.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=6b56f127540fa86812db8fc01&id=2d8cf30afe
YouTube https://www.youtube.com/c/AaronMichaelHall


Science Fantasy Romance Duology by: Newland Moon 
Rites of Heirdron: book I

🔗 https://goo.gl/h63DWf

They poisoned his planet, massacred his people, and violated his mother.
Now, they’re coming for him.
A bastard prince, born to a dishonored queen, Zrahnz is the last hope of a dying world. As he struggles to reclaim his legitimacy as a ruler and protect his planet, a debilitating illness threatens his sanity and his life. If he cannot save himself, his planet will succumb to the corrupt intergalactic alliances aligned against them.

The irrepressible allure he feels for an Earth-born visitor, Itanya, nearly overwhelms him, yet through her, Zrahnz discovers the secret that can ease the devastating agony of his illness. Could she be the key to his survival and the future of Triaxeyn?

With Q-1 Raydren at his side, and the Oracles’ influence, he uncovers corrupted histories and unscrupulous enemies. If he fails to make a crucial decision, his people and everyone he loves will be destroyed.

Zrahnz is denied his rule, denied his birthright, and denied the one truth that will save his life.

He wasn’t supposed to survive, he wasn’t supposed to fight, and he wasn’t supposed to receive, the RITES OF HEIRDRON

~D. Donovan, Midwest Book Review "Rites of Heirdron is a powerful fantasy telling. Its dual focus on changing worlds and hearts moves deftly from personal to political realms. It's a recommended pick for readers who like their sci-fi spiced with more than light romance, but who want that romance wrapped in the heavier cloak of sacrifice, duty, and life-changing decisions."

~Romuald Dzemo for Readers' Favorite "Newland Moon has the gift of integrating strong themes like love, friendship, loyalty, faith, and redemption into a beautiful story in a seamless manner. The writing is flawless, crisp, and tight, with vivid descriptions that capture the intense action excellently.”
Rites of Heirdron Excerpt
Agonized Reality

Zrahnz dove forward and then rolled to the side. His head came up in a flash and lowered again. Clutching the ionic-tazer, he initiated a backward roll and took position behind a rock formation. He had lost track of his partner. After taking a deep breath, he eased around the side of the boulder, noticing movement to his left.

Instinctively, he dropped into a defensive crouch, sending four ionic blasts toward the enemies. He did not wait to check the accuracy of his shots, running to his right and diving behind their damaged shuttle. His breathing was labored as he tried to steady himself.

He noticed more enemies still advancing as he changed position. When he checked the energy level of his ionic-tazer, he had enough power left for only four blasts. He searched for his partner again, tapping the com-tag nestled in his ear. Nothing. How did they become separated? He had trained for this and now he might have gotten his partner either captured or killed.

He ground his teeth at that thought. After taking another deep breath, he counted. Zrahnz eased around and noticed the position of three enemies. He offered a prayer, wiping the forming sweat off his hands onto his uniform. When his count reached ten, he leveled his ionic-tazer, and leapt from his position, shooting.

One and then another enemy dematerialized as his well-aimed shots hit them squarely. His movement never ceased as he concealed himself again.

Zrahnz checked his surroundings and then rested a hand on the three chazrens on his belt. Those he would use only if he had to. The handheld grenades were more effective if an enemy was within twenty meters. It was his hope that his partner was alive, and that together, they could end this.

When he leveled his weapon again, the tremble in his hands was worse than before. He blinked, trying to clear the haze from his mind. Focus, he thought, willing his mind to follow his commands. Please, focus.

His surroundings became a blur as a pain erupted in his abdomen. He clenched his eyes shut, doubling over with the excruciating waves of heat. It felt as tiny molten blades jabbed at his insides. No, please, no.

He heard the blasts echo in his mind and the screeches that accompanied them. He could do nothing; there was only the pain, the confusion, the helplessness.

He screamed, despite his best efforts to remain quiet. He could taste the blood in his mouth from biting through his lip. Another scream escaped him, louder than the last, and then, nothing but white.



Zrahnz gasped, springing up and reaching for his weapon. His surroundings were still a blur as he tried to scramble to his feet.

“Easy, my Prince, easy,” Raydren said, attempting to lower him again to the ground.

Zrahnz grasped his arm with one hand and delivered a side-chop with the other. When Raydren ducked the chop, he rolled to the side and leapt to his feet, grabbing a chazren from his belt as he did so.

Raydren’s eyes widened. “Training exercise complete. Terminate!” he shouted, diving toward the Prince.

Everything in the dream room faded as Zrahnz thrashed, trying to break free from his tight hold. The chazren he had been clutching disappeared with the rest of the items in the training program.

“My Prince, please, the exercise is over. The pain is over, you’re here with me. It’s only us, Zrahnz, can you hear me? Follow my sound and come back to me, please, come back to me.”

Raydren bit back his emotion, cradling the prince in his arms. His episodes were coming more often and the level of pain was increasing.

“Zrahnz,” he said again. “I’m here with you, I’m here.”

His motion calmed when he heard Raydren’s soothing voice repeat his name. Zrahnz blinked his eyes open, trying to clear the fog from his mind.

Raydren kept one arm wrapped tightly around him and with the other, pulled a subdermal-injector from his belt. He placed it against Zrahnz’s chest, emptying the remaining medicine into his bloodstream.

Zrahnz’s body tensed with the injection and then went limp as the medicine eased the pain and lifted some of the haze filling his mind.

“Ray—Raydren.” The pain and suffering etched the word. “Raydren…help me…please, help me.”

“I’m here with you, my Prince. We’ll find a way, I promise you. We’ll find a way. I’ll never leave you. I’m here.”


Orbs of Trenihgea: book II

🔗 https://goo.gl/Lsv1X6

They poisoned his planet, massacred his people, and violated his mother.

Then, they came for him.

After an interplanetary betrayal decimated his world, Zrahnz struggled to protect his people and reclaim his legitimacy as their ruler.
Now, he has received the Rites of Heirdron and vows to defend the Triax planets torn asunder by a corrupt galactic council, and the “shadow whisperers” who have manipulated them all.

With the aid of First Commander Lezayen and his QuNytwanian fleet, Zrahnz must unite the factions that deceived them in the past. The ensuing battle is for more than the survival of Triaxeyn, it’s for the liberation of the galaxy. 

Orbs of Trenihgea Excerpt
Space Station E-Alpha-1

The tufted chair collided against the wall as Gil pushed back from the table. “What the hell do you mean, quarantine? I’m not staying on this damn station!” He pointed an unsteady finger toward Malon, wiping the frothy drool from the corner of his mouth. “That montahn is going to provide the antidote now, or I’ll blast him back to that pungent, black rock he calls a planet.”

When he reached for his weapon, Strand pounded a drab stone on the table, pushing up on wobbly knees. “All of you shut up and sit down! Gil, remove your hand from that weapon and think. We can’t return to Earth; not like this. We need Malon’s people to deliver more of the medicine.”

“What do you propose we do, Strand?” K’aht asked. “Are we to sit here and deteriorate while those weishints roam free? I want them dead!”

“Who?” Tryndr asked, his light voice adding calm to the intensity in the room. “Who do you want dead? No one launched an attack against us. It was our own impetuosity and greed that caused this.”

Gil scoffed. “Name it what you will. This was no accident. That shipment was sabotaged.”

“How? That case never left Malon’s possession. Who in elorac do you think would’ve known it contained the means to annihilate and entire planet? Who?” Tryndr said.

Malon sighed, meeting the eyes of everyone in the council chamber. “He’s right. I didn’t tell anyone what I carried. Only two others from my planet knew I had synthesized the enhanced toxin. You were the only ones, other than our allies on Triaxeyn that were aware. Even SO-12 Sydric was only told to rendezvous with us to retrieve more of it.”

“How then? How?”

“I don’t know how.” Malon ran his webbed fingers over the ridges on his skull. “You all witnessed what took place. The vials imploded and released the toxin. Not one vial, all of them, simultaneously. Not even with the most incompetent design should that have been possible. There’s something we’re missing. And if we want to survive this, we’ll stop fighting amongst ourselves and figure it out.”

The room fell silent with only the ragged breathing of each occupant sounding in their ears.

“Brenz.” Gil gasped, pushing back from the table. His eyes darted frantically, back and forth, organizing the assailing thoughts in his mind. “Brenz. His—his com-tag…it malfunctioned toward the end of the meeting and he left.”

Strand nodded. “Yes…yes. Shortly after he left, the vials malfunctioned and released the toxin. Have any of you received a message from him? He should’ve returned the following cycle.”

Viszain’s copper eyes flared. “He hasn’t returned to the station or sent a message.”

“Is his shuttle still in the docking bay?” Strand asked.

“It’s doubtful.” Gil’s said. “I have an associate at the academy on Charznaeyah. I’ll send him a message and inquire about our missing councilmember. If he’s fled the system, we’ll know exactly where to look.”

“Do you think he’d betray us?” Ahorid asked.

“What I know is that he’s the only one of us that didn’t ingest the toxin. When have you ever known him to miss our mandatory meetings?”

“Never.”

“Once I’ve spoken with my associate, I’ll contact the Star Guild and the Order. They’ve taken significant losses. If Brenz has sided with the Triaxeynians, his fate will be as theirs, only worse.”

     
  







Monday, September 25, 2017

Something Worth Watching?


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I'm back today with another video I wanted to share. With all the insanity that is the News every single day under the Orange Madness, I think this story is something that has gotten lost in the noise. Which is a shame, because it's something that deserves our attention. Don't get me wrong, I don't mean to suggest that what's going on with healthcare shouldn't be discussed -- Call Your Senators!! -- or that the fact that 45 is trying to start WWIII with North Korea isn't important, but those aren't the only things going on. Anyway, please take a few minutes to watch this video and keep it in mind the next time a politician tells you that a program that would benefit American citizens is "too expensive."



Sunday, September 24, 2017

Buttery Pumpkin Pasta #Recipe!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

Ingredients:
1 lb pasta (your favorite kind)
5 tbsp butter
1 large red onion thinly sliced
1 cup spinach chopped fine
1 small pumpkin seeded, roasted, and chunked
2 tbsp thyme leaves
2 cloves garlic minced fine
2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup grated pecorino romano
1/2 cup white wine (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook the pasta according to the package directions, and save 1 cup of the cooking water. Drain the pasta and set it aside. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter with the olive oil in a deep-sided skillet. Add the onion, garlic, thyme and salt and pepper and cook until translucent. Add the wine and simmer until reduced (optional step). Add the pumpkin, spinach, cheese, and the remaining butter to the skillet, stirring to combine. Add the cooked pasta and saved water to the skillet and toss together. Garnish with more cheese and parsley, if desired. Serve hot.

Buon Appetito!


Saturday, September 23, 2017

Spooktacular #Author #Giveaway! $150 #Cash #Grand #Prize! #Free To #Enter!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

There's a new giveaway for Halloween!  Please take a moment to check out the Spooktacular Author Giveaway!!  There are lots of awesome books and 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, September 22, 2017

Who Knows What Oddness Lies Beyond The Stars? ;-)


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I'm back with another little glimpse at Alyce's adventures. Enjoy! :-)

Excerpt from sci-fi satire novel:
"Through there?"

Squid-boy tucked his clipboard under one of his tentacles and bent forward slightly, which I interpreted as a nod. "Yes, the exhibits, such as they are, are in the room beyond." He stepped off the walkway and headed towards the door. "Come this way, please."

I followed Squid-boy into another room full of life-size dioramas and mechanized manikins, which were all going through a series of seemingly random jerk motions. After watching them for a few minutes, I realized it looked like they were trying to contort themselves into some standard yoga poses.

"What in the pink and purple heck do you have your dummies doing, Squid-boy?"

He glanced up from his clipboard to see what I was talking about and then turned back to what he was typing. "The androids require fine-tune programming to refine their movement subroutines. For 'droids constructed to mimic the physical form of your species, this series of movements has been found to be the most efficient for facilitating such adjustments."

"Intergalactic yoga robots. Who knew?"


Thursday, September 21, 2017

#APC #Spotlight: In Times Of Violence By Karina Kantas!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I've got Karina Kantas in my APC spotlight, today! Karina is an active and supportive member of the  Authors-Professional Co-op Facebook group and her motorcycle women's fiction novel, In Times of Violence, looks great! Here's the description:
Have you ever felt like an outcast? That you didn't belong and that somewhere, someone was waiting for you?
Jade had been sheltered most of her life. Living in an isolated village with only sex and drugs to entertain. Her mother is an alcoholic and her father doesn't give a damn.
Her only way out is to beg her Aunt to allow her to stay as a guest in their London house.
Jade meets fate head on. She finally finds a family that love and respect her and are not BLOOD.
A raw emotional story about love, betrayal and sacrifice.
Sound good?  If you think you might enjoy this, go ahead and grab your copy here:


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