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

Friday, December 15, 2017

The Usual Suspects





Hey Everyone!! :-)

I thought about doing another political rant, today. There's certainly enough going on in the country right now that's rant-worthy. But, I decided I needed a laugh and thought maybe all of you could use one as well. Ergo, here's a little bit of inside baseball about my furry brigade. ;-)


A Bouquet of Furry Personalities:


My oldest cat, aka The Squeak, is a charmer. When I yell at him for doing something he knows he's not supposed to do, he'll purr and give me "I love you eyes" and roll onto his back and wave his paws in the air until I forget what I'm scolding him for.



My second oldest cat, aka The Original Sin, is a Diva with a capital D. She does things she knows she's not supposed to do right in front of me, daring me to object. When I yell at her, she yells back at me for yelling at her.



My second youngest cat, aka The Small, has a perpetually guilty conscience. He flees from the mom-monster at the slightest provocation, bleating in terror. Even when he's not doing anything wrong and I'm yelling at someone else.




My youngest cat, aka The Homicidal Muffin With Legs or The Muffin for short, just squints at me suspiciously when I yell at him and asks, "What are these 'rules' of which you speak?"




Thursday, December 14, 2017

#APC #Spotlight: The 11th Percent By TH Morris!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I've got Terrick Heckstall in my APC spotlight, today! Terrick is an active and supportive member of the  Authors-Professional Co-op Facebook group and his paranormal fantasy novel, The 11th Percent, looks great! Here's the description:
Jonah Rowe, a bored accountant and aspiring novelist, is sick and tired of his job as an accountant. He is burnt out from all the office gossip, politics, and double talk, and he longs for his life to matter. Truth be told, Jonah wants anything besides the lame routine of coasting through his workday....only to psych himself up enough to do it all over again the next day. He only wishes that his life had some meaning.
Amidst the combination of writer's block and society's expectations to have a "real" 9-5 job, Jonah gets his wish.
His world is turned completely upside down one evening when his vision inexplicably turns blue for several moments. He then receives a warning from a spectral visitor that not only is he in danger, but everything in his life is about to change.
Overnight, Jonah transforms from an overworked, underpaid accountant to the centerpiece of a spectral battle. Will he rise to the occasion? Can he accept that everything he knows about life and death is completely wrong? And, most importantly, will he be able to comprehend and harness the power of the mysterious 11th Percent?
Follow Jonah's journey in this new breed of ghost story!
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, December 13, 2017

#Agent Thoth's #Personal Log: Day 652


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-Fifty-Two:
They twinkle. They sparkle. Oh, those damnable, dancing danglers are calling my name! A siren's song of temptation and danger. I had forgotten how enticing my hominid-servant's tree decorations are.

She is torturing us; both myself and my young companion. Her water trap remains active, but now she has increased the attraction of the tree by hanging flashing, glittering lures from its branches. Even my memories of her previous violent reaction to having her decorations disturbed barely curb my desire to pounce and scatter the delectable, shiny things.

The juvenile felid seems to be having even more trouble controlling himself than I am. On several occasions, he has run afoul of the vile water contraption. And to add insult to injury, whenever my hominid-servant discovers the evidence that her torture device has been activated, she scolds both of us!

I'm not sure if her goal is to drive us both mad or if there's another, possibly more sinister, endgame she is playing. I will continue to report on her actions and make note of any further twisted measures she might put into place. But, in the meantime, sigh… They twinkle and sparkle…



Poor Thoth! Hominids are so unreasonable! ;-) 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, December 12, 2017

Legacy Chains And Subtle Barriers


Hey Everyone! :-)

I've got a little more from Alyce's adventures to share with you, today. Enjoy! :-)

Excerpt from sci-fi satire novel:
"First you have to register to vote, which is one place that those in power can put up obstacles. In the past they've had 'poll taxes,' which were fees you had to pay in order to register to vote. Now, that's illegal, but they have other tricks. Part of the Jim Crow laws I was telling you about earlier were things like 'reading tests' and 'civics tests' that people had to pass in order to vote. People would have to either read a passage or answer some basic questions about our government. It sounds good in theory, but the people who ran the registration offices would cheat to allow only the people they wanted to vote to register."

"People with lighter skin would be given simple, basic sentences to read or asked questions that were common knowledge, like who was the first President of our country. But people with darker colored skin would be given long, complicated things to read that were often in languages other than English. Or they'd be asked much harder, esoteric questions, like what do articles III and V of the Constitution of the United States establish? There's an answer, but unless someone is a Constitutional scholar, they probably won't know what that answer is. It was a sneaky way to prevent people with darker skin from being able to vote."

"Is this still going on?" asked Yax.

I wagged my hand back and forth. "Yes and no. It's not going on in that form, anymore, because those kinds of things have been made illegal. But there are other things that are happening that are done for the same reason and have the same effect. They're a bit more subtle, though."

"What things?" asked Squid-boy.

"Well, for one thing, there're voter ID laws. It varies from place to place, but some of the laws are just blatant attempts to keep people who are poor, who are often also people with darker skin, from voting."

"These laws require one to have identification in order to vote?" asked Squid-boy.

I nodded. "Yep. Sounds reasonable, doesn't it?"

He blinked at me. "It does. But I have the feeling that something about these laws is not what it seems at first glance."

"Yep, you got that right, Squid-boy. First, the laws generally specify only certain IDs that will be accepted. Usually, they are things like a driver's license that most upper and middle-income people have. But people who are poor, especially if they live in an urban area with mass transportation systems, might not have that type of ID. Add to that the fact that the IDs are often expensive and can only be obtained at certain designated facilities, which are often not located in or near neighborhoods where poor people live, and you have a real barrier for people who don't have a lot of money. Also, the facilities where these IDs can be obtained are only open during the hours that most people work, so if someone needs one they generally have to take time away from their job to get it."

"Which means if a poor person from one of these neighborhoods wants to vote, they have to take time off work ̶ which might get them fired, travel on mass transit ̶ possibly for hours, stand in line ̶ possibly for hours, pay more money than they likely have, and then travel all the way back to their home. So, it's not really surprising that many of these people decide it's just easier not to vote, is it?"

Yax shook his head. "No, that's not surprising, at all. Inevitable, really."


Monday, December 11, 2017

Something Worth Watching?


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I'm back today with another video I wanted to share. I just wanted to remind everyone about the Net Neutrality vote that's coming up at the end of this week. It really is vital that you contact your elected representatives now and voice your opposition to this creeping fascism. In the meantime, here's a video that uses humor help us cope with this brave new world we find ourselves in. Plus, it gives some useful information about other steps we can take to try to prevent this travesty. Peace!





Sunday, December 10, 2017

Warm-You-Up #Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie #Recipe!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I don't know about you, but for me this is the time of year I love to make those stick-to-your-ribs, warm you up no matter what the thermometer outside says, delicious like mom used to make recipes. But, as always, my version has a little twist. In this case, a scrumptious shepherd's pie with no meat. I hope you like it as much as I do. :-)

Ingredients:
3 cups vegetable stock
1.5 cups uncooked lentils rinsed and drained
4 lbs potatoes peeled and chunked
1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese shredded (optional)
1 12 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 onion diced
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup frozen carrots
1/2 cup frozen corn
4 cloves garlic minced
2 tsp fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried thyme
3 tbsp vegetarian Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp hot sauce (optional)
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 stick butter (or more if you like)
1/2 cup milk
2 tbsp cornstarch
2 tbsp water
Salt and pepper to taste

Boil the potatoes in salted water until they're fork-tender. Drain the potatoes and return them to the pot to allow remaining moisture to evaporate. Set them aside.

In another pot, add the olive oil and onion and saute until the onion caramelizes. Add the garlic and stir to combine. Add the Worcestershire sauce, thyme, and hot sauce (optional), and stir to combine. Add the tomatoes and lentils and stir to combine. Add the vegetable stock and salt and pepper to taste and stir to mix together. Reduce to medium heat and cover, stirring occasionally, until lentils are soft.

Add the butter, milk, and a good amount of black pepper to the potatoes and mash them until they're smooth. Taste them and adjust salt and pepper as needed. Set them aside.

When the lentils are soft, add the remaining vegetables to the pot, stir to mix, and continue to cook for about 10-15 minutes. Make a slurry of the water and cornstarch and add it to the pot. Stir and taste the mixture and adjust salt and pepper as needed.

Put the lentil mix in a buttered baking dish and then spread the mashed potatoes over the top of it. Use a spoon to swirl the potatoes and pull them into small peaks throughout the dish. Sprinkle small pieces of butter and/or shredded cheddar cheese between the peaks for additional richness. Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 20-25 minutes, or until the potatoes are golden brown. Serve hot with a side of crusty bread.

Bon appetit!



Saturday, December 9, 2017

Santa's Little #Authors #Christmas #Giveaway! $160 #Cash #Grand #Prize! #Free To #Enter!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

There's a new giveaway for the holidays!  Please take a moment to check out the Santa's Little Authors Christmas Giveaway!!  There are lots of awesome books and prizes!! :-)  It's free to enter, there are over 50 prizes, and the grand prize is $160 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, December 8, 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, December 7, 2017

#APC #Spotlight: Valkyrie On Planet Fury by Lynne Murray!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I've got Lynne Murray in my APC spotlight, today! Lynne is an active and supportive member of the  Authors-Professional Co-op Facebook group and her science fiction fantasy novel, Valkyrie on Planet Fury, looks great! Here's the description:
At the mercy of the Furies on a planet where assassination is a popular pastime, Sybil must complete an impossible mission or die trying.
An impossible mission. A planet where death lurks at every turn.
Sybil of Planet Valkyrie can’t go home until she confronts the rulers of Planet Fury, where assassination is a popular pastime. The Furies demand that Sybil tap the powers of her familiar demons to find an answer that may not exist—or die trying.
 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, December 6, 2017

#Agent Thoth's #Personal Log: Day 647


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-Forty-Seven:
My hominid-servant has still not begun to decorate her dead tree; however, she has begun an intensive aversion conditioning campaign when it comes to anyone approaching the tree. Anytime the juvenile felid or I walk anywhere in the immediate vicinity of the tree, an explosion of water results, soaking us and everything around us. Which is most disconcerting.

At first, I was puzzled as to how she achieved it because she didn't appear to be present during many of these attacks. But I soon located the automated water dispersal system she set up, which seems to be motion activated. It's most distressing because the only way to evade a soaking is to either refrain from approaching the tree or to disable the entire water delivery mechanism, which my hominid-servant could not fail to notice.

My only consolation is that every time a water attack is triggered, my hominid-servant is forced to then clean up the excess water from where it spatters on the walls and floor. Unfortunately, this inconvenience doesn't show any signs of affecting her resolve in this matter. It seems I may have to resign myself to keeping a certain distance from the tree, which means I will lose out on any opportunities it may present to study the local flora. A true pity considering how limited my chances for such examinations are.

But, considering the violence of her reaction to having her dead tree decorations disturbed, and how irresistible both my young companion and I would be likely to find such investigations, perhaps my hominid-servant's precautions are for the best. Still, I will be sure to spend several planetary rotations giving her reproachful looks and withholding from her the pleasure of my company so that she won't begin assuming that denying me access to any part of my domicile is acceptable.


Poor Thoth! Sneaky hominids with their water attacks. ;-) 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, December 5, 2017

#Interview With Vanessa Ravel!



Hey Everyone!! :-)

Vanessa Ravel is with us, today. Vanessa, can you please tell us about yourself and how many books you have written?

Vanessa: I’m an epidemiologist by trade and training but a fiction writer at heart. Recently I’ve chosen to focus more on my writing, which I have unfortunately up to now neglected in favor of more traditional career choices. Truth be told, I’ve been a storyteller as long as I can remember (scientist, not so much). Before I could hold a pencil straight, I used to write and draw story “books” bound with staples and scotch tape. While I don’t write about about Disneyland and dog picnics anymore (my subject material is a bit heavier nowadays), I do still enjoy the odd trip to Disneyland as I live in Los Angeles, and dog picnics are always on the to-do list with my veritable zoo of domestic (albeit hardly domesticated!) animals. I have only written one novel but I am in the process of writing my second.

Me: Wow! Sounds like you've been busy. :-) What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?

Vanessa: I wrote Four o’Clock Alice as a reaction to a personal tragedy, and that gave me the perspective to ‘write what I know,’ not in a sense of ever having been in any of the characters’ situations per se, but nonetheless being newly able to empathize with those situations. My writing tends to plumb the depths of the human condition, sometimes only scraping up black sludge but other times hooking the occasional abyss-dwelling leviathan and casting it to the surface. I make sure to leave a light on for the reader somewhere, though, because even the darkest dark fantasy fan scrambles for the night light when the nightmare is too real.

Me: Sometimes banishing the nightmares to the page is the only way to get them to give us peace. What are you working on now?

Vanessa: For the last few months I’ve been in short story mode, submitting to anthologies and competitions. In December, I’ll be able to focus more on fleshing out my second novel, a dark fantasy about little girl struggling to fit in at new school, in a new town and biting off more than she can chew when she decides to run away. YA it's decidedly not, but a coming of age will definitely ensue (think more Carrie than To Kill a Mockingbird).

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

Vanessa: People are going to want to shoot me, but I’m not a big reader. There, I said it. It’s not that I’d rather watch a movie than read a book (I watch very little television), but I just was never that much into reading. When they had “turn off the TV week” at school, I turned off the TV and wrote stories. I guess I didn’t get the fact that I was supposed to read instead. I am a big Stephen King fan, however (who isn’t?), not just for his storytelling talent, but for his unbelievable characters. King is the only author who has ever gotten me to want to read.

Me: I think a lot of people feel that way about Stephen King. :-)  What are you reading now?

Vanessa: The Spring 2012, Issue 82 Glimmer Train literary journal. A bit outside my preferred genre, but I’m learning to try new things.

Me: It's always good to expand our horizons. ;-) For those who might consider reading your book, what would you tell them to expect?

Vanessa: It’s a unique story that’s quite dark at times and takes some pretty unexpected turns.

Me: Cool! What is your favorite part of being an author?

Vanessa: Working at home! ;-) I love that I get to put my soul on paper. As scary as that is, baring everything to everyone, it’s cathartic, too. It’s the best therapy.

Me: I agree, writing can often be the very best therapy. Do you have a day job as well?

Vanessa: I’m currently a medical writer/epidemiologist and that takes quite a bit of time from my creative goals. Such is life!

Me: Ah, well, earning a living is important, too. ;-) What are the hardest and easiest parts about being a writer?

Vanessa: We don’t write because we enjoy the crushing self-doubt (well, some of use might). And I don’t believe it gets much easier. I haven’t met any writers that are not at least somewhat introverted, so I think that self-deprecation is an occupational hazard. So for me, the easiest part is the ability to come up with the story. The hardest part is convincing myself it’s good enough for anyone’s eyes but my own.

Me: Yeah, I think most writers get attacks of perfectionism that need to be overcome before we can share our "babies." What genre do you place your book in?

Vanessa: Four o’Clock Alice is a gothic dark fantasy.

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

Vanessa: I may be an introvert, but I love to keep in touch with my readers! If you’ve read my book, let me know if you liked it so I can write another one you’ll like too!
Me: Amen! And so these fine folks can find you, are there any links you'd like me to post?

Vanessa:
Individual Book Links:
https://www.amazon.com/Four-oClock-Alice-Vanessa-Ravel-ebook/dp/B01HECBF8W
http://vanessaravel.com/
https://www.facebook.com/plumbthedepths/
https://www.amazon.com/author/vanessaravel
Twitter handle: @vanessaravel
Instagram handle: @vanessaravel

Me: Perfect! Thank you so much for joining me here today, Vanessa. And thank you everyone else who stopped by, as well. Don't forget to check back tomorrow for the latest in Mistral Dawn's Musings! :-)


Monday, December 4, 2017

Something Worth Watching?


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I'm back today with another video I wanted to share. Actually, I've got two videos that kind of go hand-in-hand. They aren't directly related, but when you think about it the connection is clear. The first is about a particularly disturbing example of the corporate takeover of America and the second is about income inequality. I don't want to say too much because I want the videos to speak for themselves, so please take a few minutes and watch them. If you'd like to share your thoughts afterward, I'd love to hear from you in the comments. Peace!









Sunday, December 3, 2017

#Quick Roasted Veggie Pasta #Recipe!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

With the holidays coming up, everyone seems to be busy, busy, busy. So, I thought I'd share a hearty pasta recipe that can be whipped up in just a few minutes and never fails to hit the spot. :-)

Ingredients:
2 lbs pasta cooked al dente (your favorite shape)
2 cups broccoli chopped
1 cup Brussels sprouts halved
2 large carrots chunked
1 16oz can chick peas
1 cup milk
1 cup white wine
1/2 cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic chopped
2 tbsp rosemary
2 tbsp thyme
2 tbsp sage
2 tbsp red pepper flakes (optional)
1/2 cup Pecorino Romano grated
Salt and pepper to taste

Spread the vegetables on a baking sheet, toss them with olive oil, salt, pepper, and half the herbs. Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit until roasted. Transfer roasted veggies to a large skillet. Add the chickpeas, the remaining herbs, garlic, red pepper flakes (optional), and wine. Reduce the wine and then stir in milk and cheese. Taste and adjust salt and pepper to your taste. Stir in the pasta and serve warm with a side of garlic bread.

Buon Appetito!



Saturday, December 2, 2017

Santa's Little #Authors #Christmas #Giveaway! $160 #Cash #Grand #Prize! #Free To #Enter!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

There's a new giveaway for the holidays!  Please take a moment to check out the Santa's Little Authors Christmas Giveaway!!  There are lots of awesome books and prizes!! :-)  It's free to enter, there are over 50 prizes, and the grand prize is $160 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, December 1, 2017

#APC #Spotlight: Anatomy Of A #Darkened #Heart by Christie Stratos!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I've got Christie Stratos in my APC spotlight, today! Christie is an active and supportive member of the  Authors-Professional Co-op Facebook group and her gothic psychological mystery suspense thriller, Anatomy of a Darkened Heart, looks great! Here's the description:
A pair of eyes underlined in weary darkness and punctuated with a knowing stare. These are not the normal eyes of a newborn baby. Abigail Delilah is the firstborn of three Whitestone children – and she is the most regretted.

But is it really her fault?

She can’t help that the revelation of Father’s wretched secret coincides with her birth. She can’t help the fear she feels during Mother’s psychological – and physical – assaults. As the shadows grow stronger over her soul and the noose of pain tightens around her neck, Abigail will find out which is stronger: her family’s wicked assumptions about her or her true self.

Take your first step into the Dark Victoriana Collection with ANATOMY OF A DARKENED HEART.

Multi-layered with motifs, symbolism, and psychological depth, this tale of dark Victoriana will appeal to the literary reader and the leisure reader alike, combining key facets of several popular genres. And don’t be afraid to get addicted – the collection continues exploring the intertwining threads that weave together the complex tapestry of the Whitestone legacy.
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! :-)



Thursday, November 30, 2017

#NewRelease #Announcement: #Winter #Wishes Of The #Heart By Ashley Uzzell!!



Blurb:
Presenting four short stories to curl up with for the holidays.
Whether it is a teen discovering love, a boy enjoying a winter tradition with his brother, or a young man finding a friend in his time of need, these stories will melt your heart and keep you warm and fuzzy despite the cold.

Goodreads -
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36522437-winter-wishes-of-the-heart
Books2read– https://www.books2read.com/u/bzaKwq







Wednesday, November 29, 2017

#Agent Thoth's #Personal Log: Day 643


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-Forty-Three:
My hominid-servant has once again brought a dead tree into my domicile. She has yet to hang the decorative objects she favors on its limbs, however given the extreme curiosity the juvenile felid has thus far directed towards the tree, I cannot help but think that the hanging of the objects will be an invitation for disaster. I have not forgotten my hominid-servant's ferocity when I attempted to use the destruction of the objects to communicate my dissatisfaction to her in the past.

I must admit, even now the intensity of her reaction causes me to regard the tree with a certain amount of anxiety. It concerns me that, should the tiny beast decide to expend his not inconsiderable energies upon her tree decorations that she might, given my history with said decorations, jump to the conclusion that it was I. Therefore, I have resolved that if the objects are forthcoming, and if the small pest shows any inclination towards their destruction, I will take great pains to absent myself from the vicinity.


Oh, my! It looks like a cat-astrophy might be in the making! ;-) 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, November 28, 2017

Maintaining The Status Quo


Hey Everyone! :-)

I've got a little more from Alyce's adventures to share with you, today. Enjoy! :-)

Excerpt from sci-fi satire novel:
Squid-boy and Yax looked at each other with almost identical expressions of confusion. "Was this a deliberate effort to exterminate people with darker skin?" asked Squid-boy.

I shook my head. "No. It was a deliberate effort to keep people with darker skin poor and powerless."

"Why?" asked Yax.

"It goes back to what I was telling y'all about keeping the majority of the people divided. There are a lot more poor people than there are rich people. And if the poor people ever figure out how to work together, the rich might be forced to share some of what they have. So, the rich people work really hard to make sure that never happens."

Squid-boy waved his arms around his head. "Yes, I understand that. But I fail to see why such a random factor as the color of a person's skin would be the basis of such a division. Especially if, as you say, there is no official palette of skin tones to compare to people's skin. How do you know if a person qualifies as darker skinned? Where's the cutoff point between light skin and dark?"

Sighing, I answered, "It's complicated. It's more about where a person's ancestors were born than just about the color of their skin, though that's part of it. And, as you point out, a person's ancestry isn't always obvious just by looking at them. All of which just underscores how absurd racial prejudice is." I looked at him, catching his gaze and holding it. "But that doesn't mean it isn't real or that it doesn't hurt people. Because it absolutely does."

Lowering his arms, Squid-boy spun in place and made a raspberry sounding noise. "I still do not see how this makes sense, but I will take your word for it. Please continue."

I shrugged. "That's basically how it works. The rich and powerful play the poor and powerless against each other. As long as poor people with light skin can console themselves with the idea that they're somehow 'better' than people with darker skin, the poor lighter skinned people aren't as anxious to work together with the poor darker skinned people to improve all of their situations. Also, their energies are focused on keeping the darker skinned people from being treated better rather than on making the rich and powerful play fairly. Which is exactly what the rich and powerful want."

"And no one ever figures this out?" asked Yax. "It seems like this wouldn't be a strategy that would work for very long."

"Oh, some people figure out. Sometimes they can even get other people to listen to them and things get better for a little while. But the people in power aren't stupid; they shake things up every now and again, change up their tactics and try new approaches. Plus, when people are looking for others to blame for their problems, it's always safer to blame people who are less powerful than them. If they try to blame the people who are actually responsible, those who are in power, then they might end up in prison. Or worse."

"But you have a democratic form of government. Why don't people just vote out those who oppress them?"

"Oh, sugar, did you ever hit the nail on the head."

"What?" asked Squid-boy.

I waved it away. "Nothing. It's just an expression. I mean, you asked the right question. And the answer is tied up in why the rich want to keep the poor divided. That's why. Because if they united and voted together as a block, they could get the corrupt politicians out of office and replace them with some who would represent the interests of the majority. But by stirring up all the little conflicts that divide people, the rich keep that from happening."

Monday, November 27, 2017

Something Worth Watching?


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I'm back today with another video I wanted to share. I'm sure at least some of you have heard about the effort to end Net Neutrality and ruin the internet for all of us. Frankly, I think this may be the biggest blow Trump and his corporate cronies may be able to deliver to our Free Speech rights. But, in case some of you haven't heard about it, here's a video that helps explain what's going on. And, as you may have noticed, I also included a pop-up that allows you to enter your phone number and be connected to your Congresspeople to let them know you want them to protect Net Neutrality. In case the pop-up doesn't work on your device, you can click on this link here for more information about how to fight back against this attack on freedom: https://www.battleforthenet.com/ . Once again, it's up to us, my friends. If you don't want Comcast or Verizon telling you what you may and may not view and say on the internet, the time to speak up is now. Peace!



Sunday, November 26, 2017

A Leftover Mashed Potato Pancake #Recipe!


Hey Everyone! :-)

I figure that some of you, especially those of you in the US, probably have some left over mashed potatoes right about now. So, I figured this would be a good time to share my recipe for mashed potato pancakes. Enjoy! :-)

Ingredients:
2 cups cold mashed potatoes
2 eggs
2 oz cheddar cheese shredded
3 tbsp green onions chopped
6 tbsp flour
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp sriracha (optional)

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl until completely combined. Form into 2 inch diameter balls and place in a skillet that has an inch of vegetable oil in it that has been preheated. You want the oil to start sizzling immediately when you put the potato balls in it or your pancakes will be greasy. Be careful not to overcrowd the pan; it may be necessary to cook your pancakes in batches. Use a spatula to flatten the balls and flip them over when the first side is golden brown. Continue cooking until the second side is golden brown and then remove them from the pan and place them in a single layer on a paper towel lined plate. Serve warm with a side of sour cream, if desired.

Bon Appetit and Happy Holidays! :-)



Saturday, November 25, 2017

Santa's Little #Authors #Christmas #Giveaway! $160 #Cash #Grand #Prize! #Free To #Enter!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

There's a new giveaway for the holidays!  Please take a moment to check out the Santa's Little Authors Christmas Giveaway!!  There are lots of awesome books and prizes!! :-)  It's free to enter, there are over 50 prizes, and the grand prize is $160 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, November 24, 2017

Celebrating, #Fairy-Style... ;-)


Hey Everyone!! :-)

For those of you who, like me, live in the US, I thought I'd help spice up your Thanksgiving holiday with a little reminder of how the Fae celebrate. And for those of you who live outside the US, well, I think you'll enjoy it too. ;-)

Excerpt from Taken By The Huntsman:
“Damn it, Cadeyrn! No more teasing!”

He laughed and lazily licked his way back down her body, swirling his tongue through the curls that protected her most intimate places. He slid down between her legs and slipped his hands under her thighs, tilting her body and giving himself the access he needed.

The feel of her lover’s breath on her sex, his hands spreading her wide, made Cassie gasp and moan. When she finally felt his tongue lap gently at her nether lips, her entire body spasmed. If she hadn’t been tied down, she would have jumped off the bed. She yelped at the sensation and tried to spread her legs wider.

His lover’s wiggling made Cadeyrn growl and grasp her tighter, holding her still and open for his ministrations. He flickered his tongue quickly up and down the length of her, gathering up the dew that had collected there, and plunged his tongue deep inside her, making her gasp and jerk against his hold. He moved one hand from her thigh and used it to plunge three fingers into her sheath without warning, smiling as she screamed her pleasure and the muscles inside her spasmed. As he worked his fingers in and out of her, he swirled his tongue around her clitoris and sucked the tiny nub between his lips.

The feeling of her mate’s fingers pounding inside of her, coupled with the way he flicked his tongue against her pleasure nubbin, drove the breath from Cassie’s lungs as she soared up into a whirlwind of pleasure. As much as her restraints allowed, she worked her hips frantically against Cadeyrn’s mouth and hands. Her pleasure quickly spiraled up and, as her climax washed over her, the world exploded into color and light and heat.



If you haven't read Taken By The Huntsman, yet, and want to know what they're celebrating, go ahead and grab your copy here:



Happy Thanksgiving! :-)


Thursday, November 23, 2017

#APC #Spotlight: #Winter Wishes Of The #Heart by Ashley Marie Uzzell!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I've got Ashley Uzzell in my APC spotlight, today! Ashley is an active and supportive member of the  Authors-Professional Co-op Facebook group and her holiday short story collection, Winter Wishes of the Heart, looks great! Here's the description:
Presenting four short stories to curl up with for the holidays.
Whether it is a teen discovering love, a boy enjoying a winter tradition with his brother, or a young man finding a friend in his time of need, these stories will melt your heart and keep you warm and fuzzy despite the cold.
 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, November 22, 2017

#Agent Thoth's #Personal Log: Day 639


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-Thirty-Nine:
The juvenile felid is apparently testing out a new method for motivating my hominid-servant to be punctual in rising for the day so that she will not be tardy in filling our food bowl. Since he is the one who has been consuming the majority of the food she gives us, it is only reasonable that he should be the one to put forth the energy to ensure the food supply does not dwindle. Still, I find his tactics to be interesting.

The small pest begins by climbing onto my hominid-servant's sleeping platform and curling up next to her. She usually responds to this by shifting closer to him, sometimes actually initiating contact. The tiny beast then engages the P.U.R.R., which occasionally rouses her but usually just results in her laying one of her limbs on top of him. Since this is obviously not the response he is looking for, never mind the discomfort of being squashed under part of a hominid, the irritating youngling generally escalates his campaign at this point.

After dragging himself out from under my hominid-servant's restraining appendage, the young annoyance will climb atop her body and walk back and forth over her vocalizing his discontent. If she persists in ignoring him, he then perches on her head, which usually has the effect of pressing her face into her sleeping cushion and restricting her breathing. I have not yet observed an instance where this maneuver failed to rouse her, however it generally results in her becoming irate, and so not inclined to immediately replenish the food in our bowl. Thus, I can only conclude that motivating hominids through attempted smothering results in a mixed outcome, at best.


Well, whatever works, right? ;-) 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, November 21, 2017

The Devil's In The #Details...


Hey Everyone!!

Just a quick post today with something I think is worth considering. :-)

The Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

So, a couple quick points. First, you'll notice that bit about a "well-regulated Militia?" I know gun advocates love to ignore that part, but it's in there for a reason. There's nothing indicating that the Founding Fathers intended that anyone, anywhere, at any time, for any reason - including mowing down hundreds of people at a musical concert - should be able to get a gun. I know that's how some people like to read the Second Amendment, but that's not actually what it says.

But we'll leave that bit about the Militia alone for a moment, just for the sake of argument, and instead look at the word "arms." Arms can mean guns. But it can also mean knives, clubs, cannons, missiles, biological agents, nukes, etc. The Second Amendment doesn't actually say anything about guns, in particular. That's just how some people choose to read it.

So, for those reading this who object to the idea of gun control laws because they "violate the Second Amendment" - debatable on many levels, but I digress - ask yourselves if you think it's okay for anyone to buy a nuclear bomb or weaponized smallpox virus. If the answer is no, then you already agree there are limits on what "arms" civilians have a "right to bear." The rest is just negotiation on where the line should be drawn.



Monday, November 20, 2017

Something Worth Watching?


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I'm back today with another video I wanted to share. One more time, it's time to call your Senators and tell them what you think. If we don't want to live in a corporatocracy, now is the time for us to fight.




Sunday, November 19, 2017

Spicy Vegetarian Curry #Recipe!


Hey Everyone! :-)

I've got another warm-you-up treat for you, today. Enjoy! :-)

Ingredients:
2 cups vegetable stock
1 14 oz can coconut milk
1 14 oz can chickpeas
1 6 oz can water chestnuts
2 cups broccoli chopped
1 large onion chopped fine
1 18 oz package sliced button mushrooms
1 12 oz package sliced shiitake mushrooms
3 large carrots peeled and chunked
4 large potatoes chopped and parboiled
1/2 cup basil chopped
5 cloves garlic minced
4 tbsp curry paste (your favorite kind)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp peanut butter
2 bay leaves
1 tsp chili oil (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

Put the olive oil and onion in a deep-sided frying pan and saute until onion starts to soften. Add the water chestnuts, mushrooms, and garlic and saute until the mushrooms wilt. Add the curry paste and salt and pepper and stir to distribute. Add the carrots, potatoes, and chickpeas and stir to combine. Add the vegetable stock and bay leaves and stir while scraping the pan to deglaze. Simmer until potatoes are fork tender. Add the broccoli, basil, chili oil (optional), peanut butter, and coconut milk and stir to combine. Simmer until the broccoli starts to soften. Remove the bay leaves and serve over rice or quinoa.

Bon appetit!








Saturday, November 18, 2017

#November2017 #IndieBooksBeSeen #Indie #Author #Books #Monthly #BookReview!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

It's the 18th again, so time for my #IndieBooksBeSeen monthly indie author book review!! Enjoy! :-)

Genesis: The Awakening by AC Greenlee:

Victoria is a genius whose gifts are wasted at the podunk University she's enrolled at, but it's all she can afford. Add her financial difficulties to her struggles with her deteriorating eyesight and her relationship that isn't a relationship with Kaizer, and you have a truly relatable heroine whose kick-ass fighting skills just make her awesome. And when she finds out that there are forces she hadn't considered trying to manipulate her destiny, those fighting skills manifest in some exciting battles.

I enjoyed this story. Victoria and Kaizer have a really entertaining "come here/go away" dynamic between them that makes for some funny dialog. And the fact that both of them are just sort of bumbling through the challenges that are thrown at them, trying to figure out what's right, and fighting against their own baser impulses is endearing. It just makes them seem more like real people...in spite of their supernatural backgrounds. Also, though this doesn't have any impact on the story, I have to say that I love the cover art for this book. Five stars; I definitely recommend this one.






Friday, November 17, 2017

Santa's Little #Authors #Christmas #Giveaway! $160 #Cash #Grand #Prize! #Free To #Enter!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

There's a new giveaway for the holidays!  Please take a moment to check out the Santa's Little Authors Christmas Giveaway!!  There are lots of awesome books and prizes!! :-)  It's free to enter, there are over 50 prizes, and the grand prize is $160 cash payable through PayPal!! :-)  Now isn't that worth taking a few minutes to check out? ;-)   Here are all the details:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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




Thursday, November 16, 2017

#APC #Spotlight: Storm Unleashed by Michael R Stern!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I've got Michael Stern in my APC spotlight, today! Michael is an active and supportive member of the  Authors-Professional Co-op Facebook group and his time travel science fiction novel, Storm Unleashed, looks great! Here's the description:
A North Korean missile launch. A naval base attacked. Does the nation face a new menace? Or is an old one taking a treacherous turn? A plot to destroy any possibility for peace moves into high gear just as the president negotiates an end to war in the Middle East.
When Fritz returns from a trip through the portal, the world around him seems to have changed. His portal through space and time has proved a powerful tool. But entering it risks undeniable dangers. Even successful missions leave a trail of death. But despite the peril, he is resolved to use it to end the threat and capture the conspirators. But who are they? What do they want? Does a traitor stalk the president? Once again, Fritz Russell finds his life upended.
Bombs slam the White House and wreck the Oval Office. Suspicious killings continue. Information about a secretive cabal emerges. The portal might provide the only means of stopping resurgent violence in Manhattan, Washington, and around the world. Fritz, his wife Linda, and friends Ashley Gilbert and Major Jane Barclay confront great danger as a new storm of evil imperils the globe.
Determined to end the disruption to order, the men and women of Riverboro courageously use the portal to help the president bring light to the darkness of world politics.
But at what price?
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! :-)