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

Thursday, August 17, 2017

#APC #Spotlight: The Return By William Frisbee!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I've got Bill Frisbee in my APC spotlight, today!  Bill is an active and supportive member of the  Authors-Professional Co-op Facebook group and his space opera, military science fiction novel, The Return, looks great! Here's the description:
Luke Kishi held the line against crushing odds, but shattering the enemy fleet cost him his wife. Before she died she made him promise to live, and he would keep that promise.
Saved, the colony of New Alamo escaped only to find itself in a stagnating alien empire called the Conglomerate, a harsh and unforgiving society ruled by the Topa. To survive and keep New Alamo safe, Luke became a mercenary, wishing for death, but honor bound to live.

Then Luke receives a mission that sends him to a distant corner of the Conglomerate. The Topa have plans within plans, and Luke has to find something worth living for besides honor or humanity will executed.
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, August 16, 2017

#Agent Thoth's #Personal Log: Day 594


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-Ninety-Four:
As I've mentioned in the past, my hominid-servant often consumes delicacies that I believe would be perfectly compatible with a DPCIL agent's digestive system, however she is stubbornly reluctant to share her bounty with myself or the juvenile felid. Therefore, it was with some amusement that I observed recently the young creature making a study of practicing his stalking skills on my hominid-servant's plate.

I must admit, what the small nuisance lacked in skill and finesse, he more than made up for in determination. My hominid-servant repeatedly rebuffed his advances, but he gave her no peace, making it impossible for her to consume the food she had assembled for herself. Every time she tried to eat, there he was, trying to stick a paw or a nose into her meal.

Eventually, my hominid-servant's vigilance flagged, and the tiny terror was able to snag a piece of her victuals and abscond with it. My hominid-servant's reaction was both immediate and violent. She leapt from her seat and chased the juvenile felid from one end of my domicile to the other, gesticulating wildly and vocalizing her discontent at high decibel levels, but he tenaciously clung to his prize.

Finally, he retreated under my hominid-servant's sleeping platform. After much growling, snarling, and threatening with the C.L.A.W.S., he was able to dissuade her from her pursuit. She abandoned her quest, though she continued to mutter dire imprecations and made several references to replacing us both with stuffed toys, and my young companion was left to enjoy the fruits of his labor.

Unfortunately for him, it turned out that he had snared a sample of the local vegetation that my hominid-servant is prone to ingesting. Frankly, I don't see how she could possibly enjoy the things, but she does make a habit consuming them, so there must be some benefit to them that I've been unable to detect. At any rate, I believe the situation was summed up well by the statement my hominid-servant vindictively tossed at us both when she snatched the bedraggled edible off the floor of my domicile after the juvenile felid discovered for himself just how noxious the thing was, "Cats don't like carrots."


Drat! Foiled again! ;-) 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, August 15, 2017

#Interview With Tory Gates!


Hey Everyone! :-)

Author and radio star, Tory Gates, is joining us here today! Tory, can you tell me about yourself and how many books you've written?

Tory: I am a broadcaster with more than three decades’ experience. Currently I am the Morning Desk Anchor for the Radio Pennsylvania Network, based in Harrisburg. We provide news, public service and sports programming to more than sixty stations statewide. I’m also known as DJ`Riff, host of The Music Club, on Wednesdays for the London-based Radio-Airwaves Station. The program is mostly blues, new music and stuff that makes sense.

Me: Wow! A real, live star here on my blog! :-) What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?

Tory: Live from the Cafe is my latest book. It is my third, and the second with Sunbury Press Books. Like a lot of my stories, they are comprised of a bunch of threads that somehow braid themselves together. It’s about a small town, Harlandsville, Quebec, where all the life seems to revolve around this odd coffee shop, the people who work and hang out there, plus the mysterious (and famous?) folks who show up for good coffee and to play music.

Me: Sounds like a fun read. :-) What are you working on now?

Tory: My future release for Sunbury is expected to be the first of a Young Adult/Crossover Fiction series, to be known as the Sweet Dreams Series. The first book, Sweet Dreams: Searching for Roy Buchanan introduces us to Aki Sato, a Japanese girl gifted (or cursed) with the ability to time travel. A chance meeting with a retired blues musician opens Aki and her brothers to time, the music, and especially the latter’s power to heal. I’ve been working on this series for more than a decade, and Aki’s travels are not just through time and space, but real life. 

Me: That's awesome! It always feels great when a long-term project bears fruit. What authors, or books, have influenced you?

Tory: There are so many...if I had to list a few, I’d start with J.R.R. Tolkien; I was infused with The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings while quite young, and that showed me there were no limits to storytelling or the imagination. Authors that have inspired me over the years include Haruki Murakami, whose work was reference in my 2016 book, A Moment in the Sun. Gabriel Garcia-Marquez, like Murakami has an incredible ability to paint pictures with words and put you right in the spot you’re supposed to be. Douglas Reeman wrote a long string of war novels, including The Destroyers, The Pride and the Anguish, and Torpedo Run, which told the tales of average sailors who fought on clapped out boats, but who were heroes in their own right. Others who have told stories, both entertaining and thoughtful that have stayed with me include Moyoco Anno, Zora Neale Hurston, P.G. Wodehouse, Oscar Wilde...the list goes on, and I like to think I can find something good from any author.

Me: Sounds like you have a wide-ranging taste in literature. :-) What are you reading now?

Tory: I have a stack of books on my night table right now! The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson, My Experience with Lesbian Loneliness by Kabi Nagata, Bloom into You, Vol. 2 by Nakatani Nio, Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino and Edificio Sayonara by John Yau.

Me: So many books; so little time. ;-) For those who might consider reading your book, what would you tell them to expect?

Tory: Expect to be taken back home, perhaps to your hometown. I drew on my growing up in northern Vermont, near the Quebec border for this story. I saw my little hometown, remembered what it was like to be a kid, but also realized some of my youth is still missing. I think the reader will see a reflection of small-town life, how people deal with changing times, those around them, and how no matter what, people still retain that sense of who they are, and where they came from. “What did you dream today?” is the question a mysterious (famous?) stranger asks when he drops into the cafe, which is the focal point, heart, and soul of this town. Those who pass through to play music or just hang out for good coffee are there to offer life lessons, and a reminder of what your home is about.

Me: Gotta love the nostalgic reads! :-) What is your favorite part of being an author?

Tory: Knowing that I’ve come through years of hard work to finally craft something I’m proud of, and happy with is accepted as good work. Even better, to see others be entertained, even inspired by what I do.

Me: I agree. Seeing others enjoy your work is epic. Do you have a day job as well?

Tory: Job? I often say being in broadcasting, “Beats working.” And it does. I’ve been fortunate, at times lucky to have spent most of my life in fields that I’ve wanted to work in. You cannot beat knowing that each day you get a different challenge, but you know you can handle it, and make a difference, even in a small way.

Me: That is lucky! :-) What are the hardest and easiest parts about being a writer?

Tory: Easiest: the ideas! They come fast! Hardest: being able to focus when you don’t really want to, overcoming your own fear that what you’re working on will amount to nothing (it does, just don’t gauge it by sales), and also this: A pet peeve I have is when someone tells me, “Oh, I have this great idea for a book...” They’ll tell you about it, then two years later, they’re still just talking about it. A good friend, artist and photographer Sung-Hee Chung told me years ago when I had doubt: “Do it!” She was right.

Me: Yes, she was. Writing is a labor of love, but emphasis on the labor. ;-) What genre do you place your book in?

Tory: Live from the Cafe would be Young Adult/Crossover Fiction. The characters are of varied ages, with the leads Luc and Emily in their mid-twenties. There is a lean toward younger characters, but there is something in this story that folks of any age will get, and there will be someone they identify with.

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

Tory: I hope they find that my books at least entertain them. I also hope that what I do gives them a chance to think about what they are capable of. They may find a character they recognize, see themselves in. I put my people through a lot! When you see that, and view how they handle life, perhaps they find there is more they can accomplish. 

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


Me: Perfect! Thank you so much for stopping by, today, Tory. And thank you everyone else for joining us. Don't forget to check out Tory's latest book, Live From The Cafe, at the link below. Happy reading! :-)



Monday, August 14, 2017

Something Worth Watching?


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I'm back today with another video I wanted to share. This is a response to a comment our Disaster in Chief made that many people want to dismiss as a "joke." I think this video does a good job of explaining why it's not funny.



Sunday, August 13, 2017

#Summertime #Smoothie #Recipe!


Hey Everyone!

Today, I thought I'd share one of my favorite summertime breakfasts.

Ingredients:
2 cups unflavored Greek yogurt
2 tbsp honey
1/2 banana sliced and frozen
1.5 cups frozen mixed berries (your choice of berries)
1/8 tsp salt

Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. If it's too thick, add a splash of orange juice to thin it out. Serve in a tall glass and refrigerate any leftovers. If you'd like to turn this into an after-dinner, adult beverage, add 1/2 cup of your favorite liqueur. Cointreau works wells, as does limoncello.

Bon Appetit!


Saturday, August 12, 2017

Better Than The #Beach #Summer #Giveaway! $130 #Cash #Grand #Prize! #Free To #Enter!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

There's a new giveaway for spring!  Please take a moment to check out the Better Than The Beach Summer Giveaway!!  There are lots of awesome books and prizes!! :-)  It's free to enter, there are over 100 prizes, and the grand prize is $130 cash payable through PayPal!! :-)  Now isn't that worth taking a few minutes to check out? ;-)   Here are all the details:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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




Friday, August 11, 2017

#Journal Of #Sins And #Secrets


Hey Everyone!! :-)

The second volume of the Journal of Sins and Secrets is out, and it features a short story by yours truly!! Enjoy! ;-)




Thursday, August 10, 2017

#APC #Spotlight: The Lost Soul By K.S. Marsden!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I've got Kelly S. Marsden in my APC spotlight, today! Kelly is an active and supportive member of the  Authors-Professional Co-op Facebook group and her epic, young adult fantasy, The Lost Soul, looks great! Here's the description:
Enchena's history is written by the victorious. Through war and betrayal, King Hrafn's reign has spread across the land. The rebellion is stirring again...
In a world where the evil nature of humans has infected the very forests and animals surrounding them, they are crying out for a new hope; a new hero. Natural enemies must come together, to overcome the curse.
Two innocent people must be brought from another world. One will bring the rebellion the way to succeed; the other will be their destruction.
Sound good?  If you think you'd like to give it a try, go ahead and grab your copy here:


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



Wednesday, August 9, 2017

#Agent Thoth's #Personal Log: Day 590


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-Ninety:
The explosions have subsided somewhat, though there's still the occasional pop or bang of detonation. I'm at a loss as to what caused the local hominids to behave in such a way. I surveiled the area outside my domicile for hours, barely breaking for any naps at all, and yet I failed to detect any rational reason for such conduct.

Considering the risk associated with setting off bombs, no matter how small, especially considering the dearth of rainfall in this locality lately, I would have expected some kind of imminent threat to have been the instigation for such a step. But, by all appearances, the hominids seem to have risked themselves in such a way for nothing more than idle amusement!

I will continue to observe and report on any further findings. However, if no better explanations present themselves, we may need to consider if the hominids are psychologically stable enough to be offered membership in DPCIL, even if their intelligence can be verified.


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


Tuesday, August 8, 2017

A Walrus And A Movie Star?


Hey Everyone!! :-)

It seems Alyce is finally getting some answers and I thought I'd share them with you. Enjoy! ;-)

Excerpt from sci-fi satire novel:
I looked at the wall, and changed to a glowing gray panel. From the panel, eight beams of light emerged, one from each corner and one from the center of each side, and angled themselves to intersect about two feet out from the wall. Where they met, a face appeared, followed by the rest of the head. But not like any head or face I'd ever seen before.

More than anything else, it looked like a cross between a walrus and a praying mantis. It had two long tusks hanging down from its mouth with a dense, bristly mustache hiding their base. Its nose was just two slits above that mustache, but its bright orange eyes were out to the sides with a thick ridge of bone running between them. To cap it all off, the whole face was colored in various shades of pink and rose. I'd never seen anything more ridiculous looking.

"Talk about a face that only a mother could love," I murmured under my breath.

But Squid-boy heard me anyway and responded. "As your people say, 'beauty is in the eye of the beholder'. Replexal is considered exceptionally attractive for her species; that's how she was chosen to make these recordings. In terms you're familiar with, she's a movie star."

"A movie star?" I looked at the creature again. "Well, I guess everyone's got their own taste." Since I was trying to get past the notion that anyone found the weird-looking alien beautiful, it took me a minute to register the other part of what Squid-boy had said. "Wait a minute," I pointed at the head that was beginning to speak. "That's just a recording?"

As if to confirm my suspicions, the disembodied head continued on as if I hadn't interrupted. Her voice was smooth, of medium pitch, and easy to listen to, sort of like an anchor on the news. "Greetings, sentient. And welcome to the very first Museum of Galactic Oddities. We hope you find your stay here enjoyable. What we've done is reproduce some of the galaxy's most outlandish and bizarre rituals, customs, and policies for your education and entertainment. Please keep in mind that the species who engage in the behaviors replicated here consider them normal and common-place, making them all the more peculiar. Feel free to explore and engage with the interactive exhibits, and never forget the eternal truth: the galaxy is a remarkably strange place." The creature paused and its eyes took on a glowing, iridescent quality that came through even though the hologram. "May you always find peace and happiness on your journeys." With that, the image faded.


Monday, August 7, 2017

Something Worth Watching?


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I'm back today with another video I wanted to share. Actually, there are four short videos. They deal with some of the issues I've talked about on this blog in the past and help explain why the American voting system is as screwed up as it is and what we can do about it. So, please take a few minutes to watch these videos; they're definitely food for thought.









Sunday, August 6, 2017

That's A #Wrap! #RecipeSharing


Hey Everyone!!

Today, I thought I'd share an easy, tasty wrap idea.

Ingredients:
8 corn or flour tortillas
1 cup shredded carrots
2 cups broccoli florets
1 20 oz package sliced button mushrooms
1 bell pepper seeded and chopped
1 jalapeno pepper seeded and chopped
1 cup cabbage chopped
2 onions chopped fine
1 brick extra firm tofu cubed
2 ears of corn
6 cloves garlic minced
1/2 cup adobo sauce
2 tsp paprika
1 tbsp cumin
2 cups unflavored hummus
1/2 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Grill or broil the corn until slightly blackened. Cool and then cut kernels off of ears. Set corn aside. Brush both sides of each tortilla with olive oil and heat on grill or in skillet until toasted. Cool and spread one side of each tortilla liberally with hummus. Set aside

Put onions in a skillet with remaining olive oil and cook until translucent. Add mushrooms and garlic and cook until mushrooms wilt. Add remaining vegetables, tofu, sauce, and seasonings and cook until vegetables start to soften, stirring often. Add corn and remove from heat.

Spoon vegetable mix into tortillas and fold tortillas into wraps. Serve warm or chilled. You can grill the bell peppers before adding them to the skillet to give your wraps a bit more of a charred flavor. Also, you can obviously replace any of the vegetables with others that you prefer. As always, I prefer my wraps without meat. But you can add cooked strips of steak or chicken to your wraps, if you'd like. If you do, please make sure the meat is cooked thoroughly because food poisoning sucks.

Bon Appetit!


Saturday, August 5, 2017

Better Than The #Beach #Summer #Giveaway! $130 #Cash #Grand #Prize! #Free To #Enter!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

There's a new giveaway for spring!  Please take a moment to check out the Better Than The Beach Summer Giveaway!!  There are lots of awesome books and prizes!! :-)  It's free to enter, there are over 100 prizes, and the grand prize is $130 cash payable through PayPal!! :-)  Now isn't that worth taking a few minutes to check out? ;-)   Here are all the details:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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




Friday, August 4, 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, August 3, 2017

#APC #Spotlight: Planet Woman By Judith Rook!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I've got Judith Rook in my APC spotlight, today!  Judith is an active and supportive member of the  Authors-Professional Co-op Facebook group and her science fiction romance novel, Planet Woman, looks great! Here's the description:
Circe is one of the sentient planets in the system; she can think, and the humans who live with her are slightly different from the humans on other planets. However, they keep themselves to themselves and do not make contact with non-thinking planets. But now Circe is reaching out to First Home, the technological giant, the strongest world of the solar system, because she has sensed a great danger approaching from far off in the galaxy, and she is making plans to deal with it.
Tethyn must escort the envoy and his entourage on an expedition to her hidden family home where he will encounter the planet herself, see some of her powers and learn about her past. The envoy is deeply affected by the experience. During the excursion Tethyn admits to herself that she has come to love Lewis although in return she cannot hope for anything other than his desire. But desire is not enough, and when Lewis wants to take Tethyn to First Home, she refuses him.
Then personal danger for Lewis arrives. An enemy has followed him from First Home, and lives begin to alter.
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, August 2, 2017

#Agent Thoth's #Personal Log: Day 589


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-Eighty-Nine:
Explosions are being set off outside my domicile! I don't know what the threat is, but there are groups of hominids standing around outside my domicile, burning gunpowder mixed with various substances to turn it different colors and shooting rockets bearing small bombs into the sky. I haven't entirely deciphered the point of this, but I believe it may be an esoteric means of communication. However, given the dramatic effect, I would think it would be reserved for extreme circumstances. The possible nature of which concerns me.

The noise is deafening, and the juvenile felid has long since fled to hide under my hominid-servant's sleeping platform. I would have joined him, but I wanted to monitor the situation to determine if this is a true emergency or just the unbalanced behavior of a few unhinged hominids.

Thus far, I cannot see any rational explanation for such conduct. My hominid-servant does not seem alarmed by the explosions, which is somewhat reassuring, but her judgment has been questionable before, so I cannot completely relax my vigilance. I will continue to observe and report back any information I may glean about impending perils as soon as possible.


Oh, my! The hominids are unhinged! ;-) 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, August 1, 2017

Why There's No Trickle in #TrickleDown


Hey Everyone!! :-)

Today, I'd like to talk about one of the favorite talking points of Republicans, trickle-down economics. This is the idea that if you cut taxes on the wealthy and on corporations, they'll take that savings and reinvest it into creating jobs and the economy will flourish. Of course, we've spent the last forty years, or so, proving that's complete and utter bullshit, but they still love to talk about it as if it were real. So, I thought maybe it would help if I explained why it doesn't work.

First, you have to think about why jobs are created. Jobs are created because there's work that needs to be done. That's it. It's that simple. If a company has work that needs to be done, and they don't have anyone to do it, a job is created and someone is hired to fill that void. Pretty simple, right?

Well, you'd think so. Except the politicians in this country have been adhering to a narrative that completely ignores the fundamental principle underlying all economic growth. Demand. No matter what system you come up with to meet demand or how you implement that system, without demand you have nothing. Without demand, there's no commerce. Not barter-based. Not currency-based. Nothing. Nada. No trade. No deals. Demand is everything.

So, when politicians insist that the rich and corporations will create jobs if they have more money, they are ignoring the fact that no one has ever, anywhere "created a job." That's just not something that happens. Ever. Politicians like to talk about corporations and other employers as "job creators," but they aren't. In actuality, what employers are is labor consumers.

Because the only time anyone employs someone else is when they have work that needs to be done. They don't "create a job" just because they want to employ someone; they employ someone because they have a job that needs to be done. Just like you don't "create food consumption." You consume food because you're hungry. You have a need to fill, and so you act to fill it. Employers consume labor because they have a need to fill. They don't hire people just because; they hire them because there's something that needs to get done, and they need someone to do it. And that only happens when demand is high.

So, just giving employers more money isn't an incentive for job growth. After all, unless there's demand that needs to be met, there's no need to hire anyone to meet it.  Unless you increase the amount of work to be done, employers are much better off just sticking that extra money in their pockets and leaving it there. Which is pretty much what they've been doing for the last forty years.

You'd think this would all be pretty obvious, but apparently it isn't. And what's worse, people don't seem to understand that by redistributing the wealth upwards, you're pretty much guaranteeing that demand for everything will go down, and so not only will more jobs not be created, jobs that already exist will be lost.

Why? Well, because demand requires two things. First, it requires a need, real or perceived, that can be filled. And, second, it requires capital; something to trade or exchange in return for goods or services.

Now, the wealthy don't have a lot of needs because most of them have already been met. So, you aren't likely to get a whole lot of demand from them. And the poor, well, they've got all kinds of needs, but they don't have any capital. So, you don't get a whole lot of demand from them, either. In order to have a booming economy, it's necessary to have a thriving middle class. People who haven't had their every need and want met already, and who have the capital to use to rectify that deficiency.

When you have a healthy middle class, demand goes up and so does job growth. But trickle-down economics creates the exact opposite situation. It concentrates wealth at the very top, creating a few ultra-wealthy individuals, a large number of very poor people, and very few -- if any-- people in the middle.

And that's where we are now. Of course, if Trump and the Republicans get their way on taxes, that problem will just get worse. But it's pretty bad right now. Personally, I think it's time to change things so as to give a larger share of the wealth to the poor and middle class by lowering their taxes and raising their wages, and force the wealthy and corporations to reinvest in the society that has benefited them so much by taxing them in proportion to that benefit. That way, we'll increase demand and so grow the economy and job numbers. What do you think?