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, March 31, 2017

Hmmm...This Sounds Rather #Familiar, Doesn't It?

Hey Everyone!! :-)

I wanted to share an excerpt from Rainbow Dreams that seems particularly relevant, of late. Enjoy! :-)

Excerpt from Rainbow Dreams:
The companies that ran the Upworld government made sure to keep the majority of the populace on the margins of survival. They needed a small, relatively stable, and educated pool from which to draw employees who they could work to death, but they also needed to maintain control. Making sure that most people were entirely occupied with making ends meet was the easiest way to keep them from pursuing a more equitable distribution of power. Any remaining energy the drones might have, the companies strove to get them to focus on investing in the belief that they were better off than the underworlders. If any citizen did have the temerity to show the slightest hint of disloyalty to or rebellion from the companies, that person would immediately be banished from Upworld and relegated to the slums of Under City.

This culture of conformity and fanatical devotion to the companies resulted in a tendency among the rank and file of Upworld to resent any effort from the underworlders to improve their situation. After all, their one comfort in life came from the fact that there was someone else who was worse off than them. Without that, it was hard for many of them to face the emptiness of their existence. So they clung to their perceived superiority fiercely, and did everything in their power to protect it.

Now, doesn't that sound disturbingly familiar?  If you'd like to read more, grab your copy of Rainbow Dreams here:

Happy Reading! :-)

Thursday, March 30, 2017

#APC #Spotlight: #Surreal #Enemies: #Angel City By Chrissy Moon!

Hey Everyone!! :-)

Today, I've got Chrissy Moon in my APC spotlight!  Chrissy is an active and supportive member of  the  Authors-Professional Co-op Facebook group and her paranormal, fantasy novel, Surreal Enemies: Angel City, sounds like a fun read! Here's the description:
Someone’s been killing Slates and freeing the Melted from their ice prisons in the Heaven embassy.
The God Generation consists of supernatural entities – angels (the Worthy), demons (the Melted), and archaic gods & goddesses (the Slates), born into human flesh and living among the rest of us.
Morgan Constantina is an abuse survivor and a recovering ecstasy addict. She’s been working hard to learn how to be tough and never be anyone’s victim again.

Her new life with her loving, supportive, semi-famous boyfriend – who happens to be her former Living Guardian Angel – grows to include an addition to the family, moving to Los Angeles, meeting his gigantic family, and reluctantly co-starring in their new restaurant-based reality TV show.

Morgan learns there are Worthy authorities who keep a judgmental eye on mundane humans. One of them is quite helpful, but another has a personal agenda that could cause trouble for her.
And as she’s meeting new people, she’s also gaining some enemies.
High on the list of foes is an old family friend who’s made threats to kill her, her own mother who thinks she’s immoral and soulless, and her boyfriend’s former flame – a woman Morgan’s already met!
SURREAL ENEMIES: ANGEL CITY is a story about the war of good and evil inside all of us, and the powerful, unforgettable force of parental love.
If you think it sounds as good as I do, you can grab your copy here:

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

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

#Agent Thoth's #Personal Log: Day 519

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 Five-Hundred-Nineteen:
The infant felid seems to have developed a penchant for gathering the ceremonial objects that my hominid-servant periodically presents to me and placing them underneath and behind various pieces of furniture. I'm not entirely certain what his motivation is for engaging in such behavior. At first, I thought he might be attempting to train my hominid-servant to retrieve the objects upon command. I could have told him that such an endeavor was pointless. My hominid-servant is rather stubborn when it comes to such training, and will only deign to comply sporadically.

However, even after the tiny beast seemed to realize that, when it comes to my hominid-servant, training efforts are best reserved for matters of true importance, such as food, he continued his ceremonial object-hiding efforts. Perhaps he believes that someone may attempt to abscond with the objects? Since the value of the objects remains unclear to me, I am not certain why anyone would wish to pilfer them. I will continue to observe and see if I can better discern the reason for the creature's actions.

Hmmm.. Infant felids can certainly engage in pretty bizarre behavior, at times. Perhaps, Agent Thoth will be able to solve the mystery. ;-) 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, March 28, 2017

Stay On Target!

Hey Everyone! :-)

Remember that line from the first Star Wars movie? It was at the end when the Rebels were fighting the Death Star. One of the pilots was concerned because Imperial fighters were chasing them, but the squadron leader urged them all to, "Stay on target. Stay on target!"  That admonition resulted in the death of the pilot who tried to give warning, but it ultimately led to the Rebels winning a victory.  In other words, remaining focused on the goal of the mission allowed the Rebel Alliance to survive.  If the x-wing pilots had abandoned their objective and run from the Imperial fighters, they might have lived. But the Rebel Alliance, and the last hope for the galaxy, would have been exterminated that day.

So, what's up with the Star Wars analysis?  Well, it seems to me that it makes an excellent metaphor for the Democratic Party, right now.  Progressives are the Rebels and the establishment Democrats are the evil, Imperial forces who are trying to silence us.  If we're going to prevail against our enemy, we need to keep the things that matter in our sights and not allow ourselves to be distracted by less urgent issues.

That's a challenge, I know. The Democratic establishment is so good at creating distractions, after all. Just look at Hillary Clinton's campaign. According to a study that was recently published in The Forum, A Journal of Applied Research in Contemporary Politics, only 25% of her campaign ads focused on policy issues.(1)  The rest were character attacks against Trump and empty platitudes.  And losing the election, apparently, hasn't taught the Democrats anything. Rather than refocusing on the things American citizens care about -- healthcare, income inequality, infrastructure, etc -- they have decided to focus all their efforts on Russia, Russia, Russia.

Why would they do that when such tactics lost them the election? Because establishment Democrats are far more afraid of losing control of the party to Progressives than they are of losing control of the country to Republicans. Why? Because many of the establishment Democrats have financial ties to the lobbyist groups and campaign consulting corporations that profit off the Democratic Party.  If Progressives gain control of the party, they will be out of a job. But if they just lose elections to Republicans, they get to keep sucking on that sweet, sweet corporate tit.

See, that's what they're trying to distract us from. When the DNC elected a new chair, they chose Tom Perez, an establishment pick with ties to corporate lobbying firms. They also voted against banning corporate lobbyist donations and even struck down the limited ban that Obama had instituted.  Since then, Perez has created a transition team that consists almost exclusively of establishment Democrats with ties to lobbyist and consulting firms.  Not exactly the actions of a party interested in learning from past mistakes, are they?

Of course, these establishment Democrats can't afford to have people pay too much attention to their blatant corruption, so they needed to come up with something to keep us occupied. Trump's supposed connections with the Russians are what they chose. Because if they can keep us all focused on the big, talking head, maybe we won't pay any attention to the man behind the curtain.

Are their accusations regarding Trump and the Russians true? I don't know. As I've said in previous posts, that's something that needs to be investigated. But, in some ways, it doesn't matter if the connection between Trump and Russia is real or not. The Imperial fighters were real, but they weren't the biggest threat at that time. The larger issue, the issue that the Rebel pilots needed to focus on, was the Death Star.  And the biggest threat to Americans at this time isn't whether Trump has connections to Russia, it's whether or not there are any viable alternatives to Trump during the next election.

Because, like it or not, the American people will not vote for an establishment Democrat in numbers large enough to defeat Trump. Don't believe me? Just look at the most recent poll on the relative popularity of Trump vs. the Democratic Party. Right now, Trump has a 45% favorable rating and a 47% unfavorable rating.(2)  Pretty bad for a President who just took office, right?  Well, compare those numbers to the numbers for the Democratic party. According to the same poll, the Democratic Party has a 36% favorable and a 52% unfavorable rating.(2) Scared yet? I am, and it's not of the Russians.

But that isn't to say that Americans aren't in favor of Progressive values.  According to an aggregate of polls, Bernie Sanders has a 56.1% favorable rating and a 31.7% unfavorable rating, at the time I'm writing this.(3)  Think about that. Bernie Sanders is 20% more popular and 20% less unpopular than the Democratic Party. Why?  Because, for the last forty years, Bernie Sanders has done nothing except advocate for income equality, an end to foreign wars, workers' rights, civil rights, universal healthcare, and freedom and fairness for regular Americans. And, for some reason, regular Americans respond to that message.

So, what does this mean? It means we need to "stay on target" and not let ourselves be distracted by the establishment's slight-of-hand. It means we need to focus on the things that really matter, not the distractions that those in power want us to attend to. It means we acknowledge that, yeah, the Russians might be a problem. But they aren't the biggest or most urgent problem. And, yes, I know, the Democrats are hardly the only ones who use such tactics. When Trump wants to distract us from the fact that he's defunding Meals on Wheels and Sesame Street, he sends an asinine tweet to Snoop Dogg.

But that's exactly the kind of thing I'm talking about. We need to ignore that tweet, as obnoxious as it may be, and focus on the issues that matter. We need to hold Trump accountable for defunding safety net programs. But, more importantly even then taking Trump to task, we need to force the Democrats to present a viable alternative. Because, as has already been proven, Americans aren't going to vote for "not Trump" or "not Republican."

We need to have something to vote for, not against.  Rather than candidates who yell, "Squirrel!" and point at Russia, we need candidates like Bernie Sanders, who will fight for a living minimum wage, Medicare for all, sensible regulations on industry and Wall Street, a tax structure that makes corporations pay their fair share, an end to the military/industrial complex's control of the US government, public funding of higher education, protection of unions and workers' rights, getting corporate money out of politics, the fair and equal treatment of all US citizens, regardless of their race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, etc, and all the other real issues that real people care about because their lives are directly affected by them. The numbers are in and these are issues that American citizens will fight for and will vote for. We just need political candidates who will do the same, which means we need to put an end to establishment control of the Democratic Party.

It's time to shut down the giant, talking head, yank back the curtain, and tell that man he's out of a job. Otherwise, come 2018 and 2020, the American voters aren't going to find anything but the same smoke and mirrors they rejected before. If the Democrats won't offer them something real, who do you think they'll vote for?  I don't know about you, but I find that prospect much more frightening than the Russians.


1. https://www.degruyter.com/view/j/for.2016.14.issue-4/for-2016-0040/for-2016-0040.xml?format=INT

2. http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/king-democratic-party-doesn-unpopular-article-1.2993659

3. http://elections.huffingtonpost.com/pollster/bernie-sanders-favorable-rating

Monday, March 27, 2017

Something Worth Watching?

Hey Everyone!! :-)

I'm back today with another video I wanted to share.  With all the hoopla in recent weeks, a lot of things seems to fall through the cracks. I wanted to share this video about something you might have missed, but I think is pretty important.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

#NewRelease #Announcement: The Rite Of Wands By #Debut #Author Mackenzie Flohr!

Genre: YA magical fantasy

Book Description: THE RITE OF WANDS by Mackenzie Flohr

One boy…one Rite… And a world of deadly secrets that could change the course of history—forever

And so begins the tale of Mierta McKinnon. When a horrible fate reveals itself during his Rite of Wands ceremony, he must find a way to change not only his destiny but also the land of Iverna’s.

Forbidden from revealing the future he foresees to anyone, he is granted a wand and his magical powers, but still must master the realm of magic in order to save himself and those he loves.

But Mierta is not the only one with secrets…especially when it’s impossible to know who to trust.

“Mierta!” Mortain shouted at the top of the stairs, hearing nothing but his own voice echo. Watching smoke drifting out of the open doorway, Mortain took in a deep breath and tried to slow down his heart. The aroma of acrid chemicals and burning flesh filled his nose.

“Mierta!” he shouted again. “Son, you all right?” He listened, hearing nothing more than what sounded like gasping breaths.

“Father,” Mierta mouthed in response to Mortain’s calls, unable to produce any sounds as he dropped to one knee. His heart was pounding. Each pulse matched the ache he felt in his temples. A deep burning pain seared through his chest every time he took a breath. It was like he was slowly being strangled and there was nothing he could do to stop it. The inside of his nose felt charred and his throat felt like he was swallowing tacks. He blinked, his eyesight blurring, the pain beginning to overwhelm him. Nausea built in his throat and droplets of sweat slid down the side of his face. He wished he could do anything to end the torture. He could not imagine dying would be much worse.

Mierta attempted to stand and tried to get away from the workbench. He managed a few staggering steps before his body was drained of all energy. He watched puffy white circling clouds fill his vision before everything was replaced by darkness.

Mortain felt his stomach drop at the sound of something breaking. “Mierta!” he screamed, racing down the stairs. “Mierta, answer me!”

When he reached the bottom, Mortain abruptly stopped, taking in the horrific scene before him. His son was unconscious; lying sprawled out on his back. What remained of a small culture tube lay shattered next to him, and chemicals dripping from a workbench bubbled and fizzled as they made contact with the hardwood floor.

Acidum salis, he thought, his eyes widening.

Mortain raised his arm to his mouth, careful to not inhale any of the smoke that was filling the room. He trembled as he came closer, observing the damage that had been done to the left side of his son’s face.

The skin was mostly raw red with patches of peeling burned black skin hanging off his face. Blood was seeping from some of the deep crevasses caused by the acid. Most of the damage was confined to the cheek and jaw area. His eye was spared any damage.

“Oh, my dear Lord,” he uttered, fear filling his heart. “My poor boy! What have I done?”

About the Author

Mackenzie Flohr grew up in the heartland of America, chasing leprechauns and rainbows and dreaming of angels. Her parents nurtured a love of fantasy and make-believe by introducing her at a very young age to the artistic and cultural opportunities that the city of Cleveland had to offer.

From the time she could hold a pencil, Mackenzie was already creating pictorial interpretations of classic stories, and by the age of nine, she and a childhood friend were authors and reviewers of their own picture books.

While following her love of adventure, Mackenzie found a second home, the Beck Center for the Arts Children's and Teen Theater School. It was there that a world of wonder was only a script and a performance away.

Yet it wasn't until she was on a trip to Indiana, viewing a Lord of the Rings exhibit, that the innermost desire of her heart became clear to her. She wanted to write a fantasy of her own, one that could inspire imagination in others and lead them into a magical world of their own making. She hopes The Rite Of Wands will do just that.

How to find Mackenzie Flohr

Email - mackenzie@mackenzieflohr.com

Author page at publisher -http://www.bhcauthors.com/Books_Flohr_Rite_of_Wands.html

FaceBook – https://www.facebook.com/MackenzieFlohrAuthor

Twitter - https://www.twitter.com/mackenzieflohr

Website – http://www.mackenzieflohr.com/

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Something #Wicked This Way Comes...

Hey Everyone!! :-)

As I've said in the past, I intend to make my Spellbound Hearts series available in both print and audio book formats, but I want to polish them up first. This is something I've been working on, slowly, and the other day I was going back through Taken By The Huntsman. As I was rereading part of it, I thought it might be fun to remind everyone just why the Wild Hunt is considered so fearsome by the Fae. Take a peek at Jillian's thoughts as she waits to meet the Erlking for the first time. ;-)

Excerpt from Taken By The Huntsman:
Jillian knew that the Hunt counted among its members some of the most violent Fae, such as the Harpies, and some ancient, faded deities, such as the Morrigan. But she also knew that there were other horrors within the Hunt. There was Ionhar, the Erlking’s second in command and a member of the fearsome race of Spriggans, who were a plague upon the roads of Fairie.

Ionhar was known to have been forced into becoming part of the Hunt after interfering when the Erlking slew his band of highwaymen. Because his service to the Hunt was not voluntary, any failure on his part to follow the Erlking’s instructions would result in a long and painful punishment. With that in mind, Ionhar was always extremely careful to be thorough in carrying out his duties. Which boded ill for anyone whom the Erlking had a reason to dislike.

The odd female Fae who had once been known as Jenny Green-Teeth was also a part of the Hunt. She had always been a lone Fae, and at one time she lured thirsty travelers to their deaths by promising them a drink of water and then drowning them in the water source she brought them to. Jillian didn’t know how such a Fae could fit into the goddess’s plan. But, apparently, she had somehow pleased the goddess, because she had later been granted additional powers. Before Jillian had been born, Jenny Green-Teeth had gained the ability to cause and control storms and had been renamed the Storm Hag. All of Fairie knew the story of the drowning Fae’s elevation, but no one was quite sure how she had become part of the Wild Hunt. One thing was certain, though, she served the Erlking loyally.

There were also the Fachan. Those Fae were actually members of the Winter Court, but several individuals had made themselves famous by joining the Hunt. They were horribly ugly Fae, whose looks were said to be enough to cause a grown male’s heart to freeze in his chest. Their entire bodies were covered in fur, and they had only one eye, one arm and hand, and one leg and foot arranged along the center of their bodies. They had large, bat-like wings on their backs, which were their only method of locomotion. The tops of their heads were one enormous mouth, which was filled with venomous fangs and a razor sharp tongue.

All of these terrifying creatures, and so many more, answered to the Erlking. He also had the Jacks-In-Irons guarding his walls, and the Virikas to give his enemies to. If Ithel’s actions should bring the Erlking’s wrath down on the Summer Court, Jillian's people would be lost. She knew it was imperative that she do everything in her power to make it clear that the fault lay with only one Fae, and not the whole kingdom. Her mistress, Briallen, loved Ithel dearly, and for her sake Jillian would try to make some attempt to gain mercy for the Summer king. But, in the final analysis, the fate of that male was of small concern when weighed against the welfare of the rest of the kingdom. Jillian hoped the Erlking would see her soon, before her imagination sapped all of her courage.

If you haven't read Taken By The Huntsman, and you'd like to get to know all these Fae a little better, why not grab your copy now? After all, who doesn't love a fairy tale? ;-)

Friday, March 24, 2017

#March2017 #IndieBooksBeSeen #Indie #Author #Books #Monthly #BookReview!

Hey Everyone!! :-)

I know I'm about a week late, sorry about that, but I've got my monthly #IndieBooksBeSeen indie author book review for you today! Enjoy! :-)

Carved Wooden Heart by Elizabeth Horton-Newton:

Daniella is a young woman just beginning to find her way in life. Jesse is an artist haunted by personal demons. When Dani's work brings them together, a brief interval of passion leads to feelings deep enough to last a lifetime. But fate is a fickle thing, and a series of chance events soon forces them apart. But, sometimes, seemingly harmless actions can have lasting consequences, and life doesn't always lead us along the road we thought it would.
I enjoyed this book. It's a contemporary romance that reminded me of the style of an Olivia Goldsmith novel. As a transplanted New Yorker, myself, I found the Manhattan setting nostalgic. The description of the scenes was detailed enough that I could almost smell the street-cart food and hear the taxi horns blaring. The characters are interesting and complex enough to keep you interested in their stories. And the love scenes are hot enough to keep romance fans happy. All-in-all, a fun story. Five stars.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

#APC #Spotlight: Pleasantwick By M.L. Stoughton!

Hey Everyone!! :-)

I've got M.L. Stoughton in my APC spotlight, today!  M.L. is an active and supportive member of  the  Authors-Professional Co-op Facebook group and her coming of age, sci-fi, fantasy novel, Pleasantwick, looks like a fun read. Here's the description:
When her father begins restoring an enormous, ancient run-down house in the middle of the California woods, Melinda Richards is instantly captivated. Steeped in mystery, the grand old structure, dubbed Sotheby House, boasts a history — and power — that Melinda would never guess. She’s lured back time and again, especially after meeting a handsome stranger in the nearby woods. Strong, soothing, charming … Luke makes her feel calm and excited all at once, and it’s not long before Melinda is spending every spare moment with the mysterious young man.
Luke Sotheby is in trouble — in more ways than one. Not only is his magical world, Pleasantwick, under attack by dark witches, but his ancestral home, the very portal to that world, has been bought by a commoner. And worse … he’s falling for the commoner’s daughter. Melinda is smart, sweet, brave. She makes him feel things he’s never experienced — and for an empath, that’s really saying something. At a time when all his energy should be focused on the preservation of his home and the safety of his people, Luke is drawn to Melinda on a soul-deep level that’s impossible to ignore.
As the magical battle spills over into the common world, the young couple begins to face dangers the likes of which neither has ever known. Lives will be lost, secrets revealed, and if Pleasantwick falls, Melinda and Luke could be separated — forever.
If you think this sounds like a story you'd enjoy, go ahead and grab your copy here:

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

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

#Agent Thoth's #Personal Log: Day 511

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 Five-Hundred-Eleven:
It has come to my attention that I am not the only one the infant felid deprives of needed rest. He also disrupts the sleep of my hominid-servant. What's more, he seems determined to injure her, which concerns me greatly. If she is injured, who will care for my needs and maintain my domicile?

My hominid-servant maintains the fur that grows out of the top of her head in a state of exaggerated length. When she stands on her two hind feet, as is common for hominids, this fur dangles along the posterior surface of her body nearly to her coccyx. I have often wondered if this grooming choice is her attempt to compensate for her lack of a proper tail.

Regardless of her reasons, these long strands present a pouncing temptation as they sway and dance behind her as she moves. However, her extreme height is an effective deterrent for such activities, as she tends to react with hostility if claws are used to scale her lower body and bring the dangling fur within reach. The strategy adopted by the infant felid effectively neutralizes this obstacle, but I am not sure the result is worth it.

When she sleeps, my hominid-servant's elongated fur often hangs over the side of her sleeping platform. This places the strands well within reach, which makes for convenient pouncing. In the past, I did consider taking advantage of this opportunity. However, the noises that my hominid-servant makes when her rest is disturbed deterred me.

The tiny felid, however, does not seem to share my distaste for hominid howling, and he pursues the dangling fur with enthusiasm. On several occasions, he has pounced with such abandon, that I feared he might fracture the cervical vertebrae in my hominid-servant's spine. This would, of course, severely limit her mobility and adversely affect her ability to care for my needs. What's worse, given the primitive nature of this planet's medical science, the damage to my hominid-servant might prove to be permanent in nature.

Thus far, the worst damage the small beast seems to have been able to inflict has been some minor trauma to the musculature that supports my hominid-servant's head. This has resulted in her being more irritable than usual, but she has still been competent to fulfill her primary function. However, as the creature grows, I fear that his increasing weight will escalate the chances of my hominid-servant sustaining serious injury. I will attempt to reason with the diminutive pest and explain the advantages of having a servant who retains full functionality.

My, oh, my. That infant felid sure cause a lot of mischief, doesn't he? ;-) 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, March 21, 2017

Okay, What's Next? ;-)

Hey Everyone!!

Guess what? I've finished the first draft of the second book in the Petri Dish Chronicles! :-)  I've also got a title to share with you, and it is... Duhn, Duhn, Duhn!... Intrinsic Connections!  I also have a cover that I'll be sharing with you soon, so stay tuned. ;-)

What does all this mean? Well, it means I have to go back through the book and edit it, and then send it off to an editor to edit, and then go back through again and make those changes, and then send it to my beta readers to polish it up, and then make those changes. So...it will probably be at least another month, maybe two, before I let the rest of you see it. But, in the meantime, I'll be sharing little peeks. ;-)

Excerpt from Intrinsic Connections, book two in the Petri Dish Chronicles:
Daji glared at her for several more heartbeats. Finally, he turned back to the control panel. "If you have access to the resources that you claim, I cannot stop you. But I will not be a party to potentially starting a pandemic. You may depart at our next port of call; what you do after that is your own affair. I wash my hands of you."

Sighing, Petri closed her eyes. It wasn't the resolution that she wanted, but it was a resolution. She felt Chessie squeeze her hand again, and she opened her eyes and smiled at her friend, squeezing back.

Knowing that Chessie would be with her gave Petri the strength to straighten her spine and sit up in her chair. Daji may have gotten her off Upworld, but that long ago day in an underworld alley had been her real salvation.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Something Worth Watching?

Hey Everyone!! :-)

I'm back today with another video I wanted to share. This is a music video about what's been going on in Standing Rock, and I thought it was worth sharing.  Enjoy! :-)

Sunday, March 19, 2017

The Russians Are Coming! The #Russians Are Coming!

Hey Everyone!

Did you ever see that '60s movie staring Alan Arkin and Carl Reiner?  It's one of my favorites, it makes you think and at the same time is hysterically funny.  Recently, reading the news, I've been wondering if I'm watching a remake of it.  The majority of the media seems obsessed with Trump and his cabinet's connections to Russia.  While I agree that there are indications that wrongdoing may have taken place and could even be serious, and that this warrants an investigation into the matter, I think the constant harping on the issue is not only useless, it's counterproductive.

As far as Flynn's actions go, while I think there are probably grounds for an indictment and prosecution, he has already stepped down from his position. So, as far as national interests go, his ties to Russia are no longer of concern.  When it comes to Jeff Sessions, it's quite clear that he perjured himself. Perjury is a crime, so he should be fired and prosecuted. But why not let the man speak for himself on the issue?

So, since honest testimony is so "essential for justice in America," obviously the man needs to go. He said so himself.  And, yes, I know there are plenty of others in the Trump administration, Rex Tillerson, for instance, whose connections to Russia are also of serious concern. So, yes, a thorough investigation is needed. Trump's financial information, including his tax returns, needs to be made public, and the entire mess needs to be untangled. That's what investigations are for.

But none of that means that the press needs to focus on the Russians 24/7.  Yes, there's smoke there, which means there may also be fire. But there also may not be. And, in the meantime, there are a lot of other things going on that are more urgently important.

Such as the fact that Scott Pruitt, a man with known ties to the oil and gas industries, has been confirmed as head of the EPA. During his tenure as Oklahoma's Attorney General, he exchanged thousands of emails with leaders in the fossil fuel industry regarding what they wanted him to do for them.(1)  At one point, he even copy and pasted a letter written by Devon Energy's attorneys and sent it to the EPA as if it had been written by himself.(1) When asked about this outrage, Pruitt called it "representative government."(1) This is bald-faced corruption, and yet the media has been largely silent about it.

Then, there's Rick Perry, who is now in charge of our nuclear arsenal but who doesn't even know the name of the department he's supposed to lead.(2)  And Ben Carson, confirmed as Secretary of HUD, who, when asked if he would make sure that Trump -- who is heavily invested in real estate -- didn't benefit from the policies Dr. Carson will institute in his position as Secretary, famously responded that, "It will not be my intention to do anything to benefit any American," but he refused to state that he would keep his department free of corruption or ensure that Trump doesn't benefit financially from his appointment.(3)  Again, mainly crickets from the press.

Also, there's the raid in Yemen which resulted in the deaths of over 30 civilians, including an 8-year-old American citizen, and a US Navy Seal, but which failed to accomplish any appreciable goal.(4) This was Trump's first military operation as President and Commander in Chief, and yet he couldn't even be bothered to oversee it personally.(4)  When he was running for President, Trump said one of his strategies to combat ISIS would be to "take out their families."(5)  Is that why so many civilians died during this raid?  Did he do it on purpose? Was his absence from the situation room a ploy to create plausible deniability? Is our President a war criminal? Shouldn't this be investigated too?  Why isn't this story all over the news?

And don't forget Trump's insistence on ramming through approvals for oil and gas pipelines, despite the fact that proper environmental impact studies have yet to be completed.(6)  Could this possibly be because Trump, himself, owns stock in the pipeline companies?(7)  Yeah, he claims to have sold that stock, but where's the proof of that claim?  Why isn't the media screaming about the blatant corruption here?

There are an awful lot of newsworthy issues surrounding the Trump administration, and yet the media continues to focus on Russia, Russia, Russia. To what purpose?  Yeah, Putin is horrible, probably worse than even Trump, but should he be our main concern?  Does anyone honestly believe that Russia is about to invade Montana?  Even if an investigation uncovers evidence of the absolute worst-case scenario, that Russia directly altered the outcome of the 2016 Presidential election -- IE: that the Russians hacked the voting machines and actually changed the results -- a scenario for which there has been no evidence presented, what would that mean?

Does anyone actually want war with Russia?  I certainly hope not. No sane individual, be they American, Russian, or any other nationality, wants to see two nuclear superpowers in armed conflict with each other. I'm pretty sure even Putin doesn't want that, and he's not exactly what I would consider sane. Nuclear war is not something that turns out well for anybody. So what that kind of evidence would mean, practically speaking, would be increasing our computer security, something that we should probably do anyway and we don't need to wait to see if Russian hackers interfered in our election to do it, and probably an increase in economic and trade sanctions against Russia and a break down in diplomatic relations. Basically, we're back to fighting the cold war. Anyone cheering over that prospect? I'm not.

So, maybe, instead of focusing on Russia and its alleged sins, we should focus on the problems we have here at home?  Does that mean we ignore flaws in our security? No, obviously not, I've already stated that any issues with our security systems need to be fixed. But it does mean that we start focusing on the problems that matter and that we can do something about; the dangers that threaten us from within.

Because that's where the real threats to America and Americans lie. We already know to be wary of foreign powers, and our military is more than adequate to the task of protecting us from such threats, that's not what we need to worry about. It isn't the enemy you see coming who will kill you, it's the one who lives in your home and eats at your table, who you've yet to identify, that you need to worry about.

The fact that Wikileaks released emails from the DNC, whether those emails were provided to Wikileaks by Russia or someone else, isn't what's important. If those emails hadn't contained politically damaging material, it wouldn't have mattered that they were released. And the only reason those emails contained politically damaging material was because the leaders of the DNC were engaged in dishonest and fraudulent behavior.

Since they are public servants, it's perfectly fair for the public to scrutinize the conduct of the leaders of the Democratic Party.  This isn't a matter of personal privacy being invaded because they were not acting as private citizens. These are people who represent us, and as such we have the right to know what they are doing.  If they didn't want to be caught committing crimes, they shouldn't have engaged in criminal behavior to begin with. Regardless of who brought the behavior to light.

Which isn't to say that the GOP is innocent. Obviously, they are not. Which is why they should also be investigated. But let's focus those investigations on our own people and hold them accountable, instead of pointing fingers at foreign powers that may or may not have been involved. If Trump is guilty of a crime, let him be tried, convicted, and imprisoned. The same for Pence, Ryan, Shumer, or any other political leader who is or has been involved in criminal conduct. If we're going to clean house, people, we need to start at home.


1. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2017/02/22/oklahoma-attorney-generals-office-releases-7500-pages-of-emails-between-scott-pruitt-and-fossil-fuel-industry/?utm_term=.cb794bbbf311

2. http://www.businessinsider.com/rick-perry-oops-energy-department-2016-12

3. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/ben-carson-warren-hud-money-trump_us_5877b575e4b06df924cb32e7

4. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/donald-trump-not-in-situation-room-yemen-raid-30-civilians-killed-us-navy-seal-dead-first-military-a7561596.html

5.  http://www.cnn.com/2015/12/02/politics/donald-trump-terrorists-families/

6.  http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/02/07/513951600/army-approves-dakota-access-pipeline-route-paving-way-for-the-projects-completio

7.  https://www.forbes.com/sites/timdaiss/2016/11/26/trump-owns-stake-in-hotly-disputed-3-8-billion-oil-pipeline-conflict-of-interest-looms/#6059ad715d00

Saturday, March 18, 2017

#Luck O' The #Readers #Giveaway! $100 #Cash #Grand #Prize! #Free To #Enter!

Hey Everyone!! :-)

There's a new Saint Patrick's Day giveaway!  Please take a moment to check out the Luck O' The Readers Giveaway!!  There are lots of awesome books and prizes!! :-)  It's free to enter, there are over 60 prizes, and the grand prize is $100 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, March 17, 2017

A #Digital Man Of #Mystery

Hey Everyone! :-)

I thought I'd give you a little blast from the past today and post an excerpt from Rainbow Dreams.  I thought it would be appropriate since I hope to have the sequel out to you soon. :-)  Happy Friday!

Excerpt from Rainbow Dreams:
I would like to know who this 'Impaler' is."

Sighing, Petri closed her eyes and massaged her temples. "No one really knows for sure. There have been stories about him for a long time, but no one knows exactly how long. No one even knows if he really exists, or if it's just a bunch of different swingers who use the avatar."

Picking up her fork, she scooped some of the food into her mouth and chewed. As the flavor penetrated her senses, she smiled. "This is good."

Daji smiled back. "I'm glad it is to your taste. Assuming that this person does exist, and isn't just a front for those who want the protection of a dangerous reputation they haven't earned, who is he? Does anyone have any ideas about the matter?"

She quirked a half smile at him. "Oh, there are lots of ideas. It's just that no one knows if any of them are right."

"What do the rumors say?"

"Some say that he's the result of a new technology created by a mad diddler. They say that he invented tech to make it possible for a person to upload their entire consciousness and personality into the rainbow and for them to remain there permanently."

"Why can people not remain there permanently now?"

"Well, aside from the fact that people can't live without their bodies, and bodies need food and stuff, there's a problem with thought patterns degrading over time."

"I don't understand."

She wagged her hand. "I don't understand it all either, but basically, if someone's consciousness spends too much time away from their brain, the signal breaks down. Eventually, it disappears altogether and the person ceases to exist."


She shrugged.

"So this Impaler has solved this problem?"

Another shrug. "That's one of the rumors. Government scientists have been trying to perfect that kind of tech for centuries, but the rumor says that Vlad cracked the secret and gave himself immortality among the data streams."

He nodded. "What are the other rumors?"

Taking a drink, she gathered her thoughts. "Well, there's another rumor that says he's an AI that somehow gained consciousness. But again, no one knows for sure."

"What is known for sure about this creature?"

"Well, whoever or whatever Vlad is, he is or they are the absolute top of the food chain in Upworld's rainbow. His reach and eyes go everywhere, and nothing happens in the rainbow without the Impaler's blessing."

"I'm surprised a government like the one on this world tolerates the existence of such a being."

She laughed. "They don't have much choice. He doesn't ask their permission."

"But could they not purge the planetary network?"

Nodding, she answered, "The government, the companies, and even the houses have tried everything they could to get rid of him, or at least keep him out of their systems. None of what they tried has worked. The government even shuts down and replaces the central computer core, periodically. But once they reboot the system, there he is."

He goggled at her. "They take the entire planetary rainbow offline to combat this entity?"

"They don't say that's the reason, but it's what everyone thinks."

Shaking his head in disbelief, Daji asked, "So he does have the power to fulfill his promise? He is able to get my ship released?"

She nodded. "Yep. If it exists in the rainbow, he has control of it."

"Will he keep his word?"

She shrugged and met his eyes. "No idea."

Thursday, March 16, 2017

#APC #Spotlight: The Case Of The #Bear Cubs Loss By Luciana Correa!

Hey Everyone!! :-)

Today, I've got Luciana Correa in my APC spotlight!  Luciana is an active and supportive member of  the  Authors-Professional Co-op Facebook group and her young adult, mystery sci-fi novel, The Case Of The Bear Cubs Loss, sounds like a fun read! Here's the description:
Liam, Noah, Emma and Olivia are quite happy. They were invited to visit British Columbia bear Park! They are going together with their father who is studying the Bear population. The famous geneticist is involved in the protection of the furry beasts. It's when they face an unexpected situation. All the momma bear accounted for the project have lost her cubs! The twins can't accept that! How can eight-pound babies disappear? How is it possible if anyone with a brain knows that momma bears are not fun to deal with when their cubs are involved? They know they will solve the mystery. We know it'll be thrilling!
If you think it sounds as good as I do, you can grab your copy here:

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

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

#Agent Thoth's #Personal Log: Day 504

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 Five-Hundred-Four:
Since he has become a central fixture in my domicile, which makes for convenient study, I have decided to observe the behavior of this planet's representative of felid life. I realize a sample size of one is hardly representative, but it is what I have to work with at the moment, so I will do my best. In all honesty, I believe objectivity may be a greater challenge than sample size in this case. Because I seem to spend a large part of my time vacillating between wanting to train the small beast in proper manners and behavior and a strong desire to beat the tiny pest into submission.

Thus far, I have managed to restrain myself and have only demonstrated some basic hygiene routines for the creature. I am aware that such instruction will affect the validity of my observations, however they were necessary for the maintenance of my sanity. Though, the felid's natural inquisitiveness and talent for mimicry are legitimate aspects of his normal behavior, and so worthy of study. Perhaps my training efforts could be considered experiments, of a sort? Or perhaps the beast's penchant for disturbing my rest-cycles has led to a sleep-deprivation-fueled clouding of my judgment.

Ugh! Lack of sleep can get the better of us all! ;-) 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, March 14, 2017

#Progress, With Them Or In Spite Of Them

Hey Everyone,

Recently, the Democratic National Committee, the DNC, proved beyond any possible doubt that the leaders of the Democratic Party are bound and determined to learn nothing from the 2016 election. Apparently, the Democratic leadership enjoys losing, because they continue to do everything in their power to ensure that they will continue to lose. Basically, the reality in this country now, and what the Democrats should have learned from the 2016 election, is that there are two basic facts about politics in America today that need to be acknowledged and addressed. First, Democratic candidates don't win elections without Progressive voters. And, second, Progressive voters will not vote for establishment Democrats. Point blank and period, like it or lump it, that's where the country stands.

With the election of corporatist, Tom Perez, as the Chair of the DNC, the Democratic Party leadership has provided clear evidence that they have failed to grasp these facts.  With this single action, the DNC leadership has ensured that they will not have the support of Progressives and their candidates will lose. What's more, they have further alienated the youngest generation of voters and put the future of the Democratic Party in serious jeopardy. Political parties have failed and ceased to exist in American politics before and, from all available evidence, it seems that the Democratic Party leadership wants to make sure that their party is next on the extinction list.

This doesn't bode well for the 2018 or 2020 elections and may just mean that we have 8 years of Trump instead of 4 and who knows how many years of a Republican controlled Congress instead of 2.  I don't know about you, but that reality depresses me in the extreme. But, I'm not willing to surrender and allow the stupidity and greed of the DNC leadership to destroy my country. So, what to do? Well, I'm glad you asked. ;-)

First, I think it's important to clarify something. With this move, the DNC has made it impossible for the "unity" they say they want in the party. There can be no "unifying" with corporatist elites if we want there to be any hope of Democratic victories in 2018 and 2020. Frankly, if the US political system wasn't so rigged against third parties, I'd say let the Democrats go the way of the Whigs and fuck them very much.  But, since we are dealing with reality and not what we wish reality was, we have to acknowledge that, for the moment, the system is what it is.

It would take years for a third party to gain enough momentum to have a chance of putting forth candidates who could be serious contenders in national elections.  I don't like that fact, and I want to change the system to make it easier for third parties to compete, but as of right now, that is the reality we are facing. And I'm not willing to concede control of the Federal government to Republicans for the years it would take to build the Green Party or the Democratic Socialist Party into the juggernauts I think they have the potential, with time and effort, to become. I just don't think we would have a country left by then.

Therefore, what we need is a hostile takeover of the Democratic Party, which means the leadership is the enemy.  Yep, that's right, I said it. The leadership of the Democratic Party is just as much our enemy as the Republicans. And so are any and all establishment candidates. Oh, I know, some of the people reading this will be seriously pissed off by that statement. My response? Tough. This is my post, I'll speak my mind. Don't like it? Feel free to say so in the comments. But, be warned, I'll happily take up any gauntlet you throw down.

So, what does it mean that Democratic leadership and establishment Democratic candidates are the enemy?  It means we show them no mercy. Oh, don't misunderstand, I'm not talking about violence. I do not condone or promote violent action against anyone. What I'm talking about is politics. We show the Democratic leadership and establishment Democrats the same resistance, obstruction, and vociferous protest we show to Trump and the Republicans.

What does that entail? Well, first, we expand the current trend of showing up at Town Hall meetings and making our voices heard. Documentarian, Michael Moore, has been kind enough to provide a "Resistance Calendar," which you can find here: https://www.resistancecalendar.org/.  Just type your state into the "search" box to bring up information on events near you. You can also check your Senators' and Representatives' (state and federal) websites to find out when they may be having a public event. For your federal Senators and Representative, you can go to these websites, https://www.senate.gov/senators/contact/ and http://www.house.gov/.

For the Senate website, choose your state from the drop-down list and click on the names of the two Senators for your state to be taken to their site. Look around to see if an events calendar is listed or use the phone number posted there to call their office and ask when they will be hosting an event near you.  For your Representative, input your zip code in the box at the top of the page and then click on the name of the Representative to be taken to their page. From there, the instructions are the same as for your Senator. For your state Senators and Representative, Google "[your state] legislature" and click on the .gov result. Look around for information how to find the names of the people who represent you and how to contact them and then find out when they'll be in your neck of the woods.

It doesn't matter if your elected officials are Democrats, Republicans, or one of the rare Independents or third-party members. Whoever and whatever they are, show up and be loud. Make your voice and your opinions heard. We pay these people to represent us, it is well within our rights to let them know if we think they are doing a good job.  Research their voting record and challenge them on it if you think they were wrong. If you think they were right, tell them so and why and ask them to continue voting in the same way.

The next step is, of course, primary elections and replacing establishment candidates with Progressives. Yeah, yeah, I've heard all the arguments. What they boil down to is that if Democratic incumbents are primaried the Democratic Party will lose seats, blah, blah, blah. My response? Maybe, maybe not, but if so, so what?  Remember point number one, establishment Democrats are our enemy too. What's the good of having Heidi Heitkamp, Joe Manchin, or Claire McCaskill take up space in the Senate when all they do is vote with Republicans and obstruct Progressive Democrats?

Even if they lost their seats to Republicans, I doubt there would be much difference in the end result. The only material difference would be that the opposition to their replacements wouldn't be split. Democrats would be against them either because they're Republicans or out of genuine disagreement with their policy positions. Until we can vote all of the establishment representatives out of office, I'll settle for them voting against Republican legislation just because it was proposed by Republicans. Naturally, I'd rather have truly principled representatives in office, but that will take time. Until then, I'll take what I can get. And if that means arm-twisting -- metaphorically speaking -- Democrats into voting with Progressives by showing them that if they don't they'll lose their jobs, I'm fine with that.

There are groups out there who are poised to use just that strategy and they're already gearing up for the 2018 primaries. The group I'm most familiar with is Justice Democrats, which you can find here: https://justicedemocrats.com/. But there are other groups, so feel free to look around and see what you can find. There are lots of ways to get involved with these groups, anything from running for office yourself, campaigning for Progressive candidates, donating money, or even just signing your name in support of their efforts. So, please do consider looking into this.

In the meantime, the resistance continues. Those representatives I listed instructions on how to find? Keep those instructions handy. Because every time a piece of legislation comes up that touches on an issue you care about, you need to call, write, and/or visit those people and let them know what you think about it. And, yes, you absolutely do have the right to do these things. You can even show up at their local and/or state/federal capitol offices in person with or without an appointment and ask to speak with someone. If you don't have an appointment, you may not be able to speak with the representative themself, but you can speak with one of their aides and let them know what you want their boss to do.  Again, it doesn't matter what party the representative belongs to, they all get held to the same standards.

Will all this be easy? No. It will be incredibly difficult. It's going to take an awful lot of work by an awful lot of people to turn this Titanic around before it crashes into the iceberg and sinks. But the future of our country is what we're fighting for, so I think the stakes are high enough to warrant putting in the effort. Polls indicate that there are enough people in this country who hold Progressive values (among Democrats, Independents, and third parties) that we have the numbers necessary to beat -- metaphorically speaking -- the establishment into submission.  The only question that remains is, do we have the will to do so?  Only time will tell.


Monday, March 13, 2017

Something Worth Watching?

Hey Everyone!! :-)

I'm back today with another video I wanted to share.  I know that so much is going on right now that it's really hard to keep up with everything. But this story really hasn't gotten the attention it deserves. Frankly, the ramifications from the information contained in these documents go much deeper than anything having to do with Trump or the 2016 Presidential election. Which is massive.  Please take a few minutes to watch this video and make a note to keep up with this story as more details are made available. Remember, it's extremely unlikely you'll hear much about this in the mainstream media, so you'll need to make an effort to search out reliable independent media sources online that are covering it.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

#Quick Red Beans And Rice Recipe

Hey Everyone!! :-)

Today, I'd like to share one of my favorite, last minute dinner recipes with you. Enjoy! :-)

1 cup uncooked rice (your choice as to kind)
3 cups water or stock
2 tsp soy sauce
4 tbsp canola or olive oil
2 tsp oregano
4 tbsp cumin
1 tsp cayenne powder
2 tbsp paprika
2 tbsp vegetarian Worcestershire sauce
2 large tomatoes diced or 1 24 oz can diced tomatoes
1 large onion chopped
2 chili peppers chopped fine
1 bell pepper chopped
1 cup chopped cilantro
2 16 oz cans kidney beans
1 16 oz can corn
5 cloves of garlic minced fine
2 tbsp corn starch
Salt and pepper to taste

Put rice and two cups of water or stock into microwave-safe, covered bowl and nuke on high for 20-30 minutes until cooked.  Put oil and onion into a skillet and heat until onion is translucent. Add garlic, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and peppers and cook until peppers start to soften. Add beans, corn, tomatoes, remaining dried seasonings, and remaining cup of water and cook until liquid starts to bubble. Taste and adjust salt and seasonings as needed. Add corn starch and heat until the liquid thickens. Stir in cilantro. Remove from heat and mix with cooked rice.

As always, feel free to add and/or substitute whatever vegetables you'd like. Carrots add a nice sweetness and broccoli can add some richness. Also, as you probably know by now, I prefer my red beans and rice without meat. But if you want to add meat, you can brown some ground beef and/or sausage in the skillet when you add the onion and oil. Just make sure it's completely cooked before you add the rest of the ingredients because food poisoning sucks.

Bon Appetite!

Saturday, March 11, 2017

#Luck O' The #Readers #Giveaway! $100 #Cash #Grand #Prize! #Free To #Enter!

Hey Everyone!! :-)

There's a new Saint Patrick's Day giveaway!  Please take a moment to check out the Luck O' The Readers Giveaway!!  There are lots of awesome books and prizes!! :-)  It's free to enter, there are over 60 prizes, and the grand prize is $100 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, March 10, 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, March 9, 2017

#APC #Spotlight: #Convergence By Patrick Null!

Hey Everyone!! :-)

I've got Patrick Null in my APC spotlight, today!  Patrick is an active and supportive member of  the  Authors-Professional Co-op Facebook group and his updated version of the biblical Job parable, Convergence, looks interesting. Here's the description:
Three years after a tragic house fire, a youth pastor is still seeking forgiveness for himself and reconciliation with his son. Still running from the past that mercilessly haunts his dreams, Evan Foster tries to make up for his mistakes by attempting to reach a couple of troubled teens for Christ in Chicago. He faces opposition at home and from church leadership, and, mirroring the book of Job, everything he loves is taken from him.
Through sorrow and loss, he must find the strength in God to continue, especially when he learns the person he respected most is leading a double life. Within this swirling, chaotic maelstrom, can blessings be found and lessons be learned?
In this Christian modern novel, Convergence will take you on an emotional journey of right and wrong, interlaced with a web of truth and lies, and a man’s courage needed to overcome his emotional hurdles.
If you think this sounds like a story you'd enjoy, go ahead and grab your copy here:

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

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

#Agent Thoth's #Personal Log: Day 497

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 Four-Hundred-Ninety-Seven:
I must admit, since I decided to accept the presence of the infant felid in my domicile, relations between myself and my hominid-servant have been much more cordial. The small pest still irritates me at times, but it is worth it to me to put up with such aggravations in order to maintain a state of domestic peace, which is what I require to continue my observations and experiments. As for the felid himself, he seems willing to accommodate my wishes in most things, though his youthful exuberance does get the better of him at times and can be wearing. Still, I remain hopeful that I will now be able to complete my mission.

Ha! I agree with Agent Thoth, the enthusiasm most kittens seem to have for all aspects of life can, at times, be exhausting. ;-)  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, March 7, 2017

#Endings And #Beginnings

Hey Everyone!! :-)

Today, I've got another peek at what Petri has been up to.  Take a look...

Excerpt from book two of the Petri Dish Chronicles:
The alien nodded to her. "Your part of the bargain has been fulfilled, you and your pets are free to go."

Suddenly, Petri felt awkward. This was what she had wanted, but part of her was drawn to the Arcanum. As strange as they were to her, part of her also felt at home with them.

Waves of fondness emanated from the lead Arcanum, mixed with something she had trouble identifying. Perhaps, regret? She wasn't sure.

"Ah, child, training you has been an interesting experience. It saddens me that events transpired as they have. The Collective has decided that you will not be welcome among us until such a time as you prove yourself to not be a threat to us. However, it has also been determined that errors on our part have led to you being exposed to unacceptable levels of danger before you gained the maturity necessary to deal with such extreme circumstances.

The past cannot be altered, however as reparation we will gift you with resources that will allow you to maintain a more secure existence among the lesser beings. It is hoped that a reduction in the stress of your daily environment will allow you to learn how to better moderate your threat-response reflexes. There is still much for you to learn. Your control over your abilities has improved, but it is not yet perfected. Unfortunately, I will no longer be able to guide you in your journey. But I do wish you success. Perhaps, in time, it will be possible for us to welcome you back into the Collective."

Petri didn't know how to respond to that except to say. "Thank you. I'll miss you too." It was the truth. Her feelings about the Arcanum were mixed, but there was definitely a part of her that would miss them.

Before it dematerialized, the lead Arcanum sent a burst of information into her mind too fast for her to make sense of or even try to block it. A wave of dizziness washed over her and she sat down hard in the copilot's seat, closing her eyes. By the time her equilibrium was restored and she opened her eyes again, the alien was gone.

It seems like Petri is a bit conflicted. It's funny how family can do that to a person, isn't it?  Thank you all for stopping by today, and don't forget to check back tomorrow for the next installment of Mistral Dawn's Musings! :-)