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

Saturday, September 30, 2017

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


Hey Everyone!! :-)

There's a new giveaway for Halloween!  Please take a moment to check out the Spooktacular Author Giveaway!!  There are lots of awesome books and prizes!! :-)  It's free to enter, there are over 100 prizes, and the grand prize is $150 cash payable through PayPal!! :-)  Now isn't that worth taking a few minutes to check out? ;-)   Here are all the details:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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




Friday, September 29, 2017

#Interview With Gus Kenney!



Hey Everyone!! :-)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




Thursday, September 28, 2017

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


Hey Everyone!! :-)

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

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


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



Wednesday, September 27, 2017

#Agent Thoth's #Personal Log: Day 611


Hey Everyone! :-)

Agent Thoth discusses more of the trials and tribulations associated with living with hominids. Incidentally, if you've missed Agent Thoth's earlier entries, you can find them here: Thoth's Journal


Department for the Preservation and Confirmation of Intelligent Life (DPCIL)
Agent Thoth's Personal Log

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

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

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


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


Tuesday, September 26, 2017

#Announcement: Newland Moon #Feature And #SneakPeek!



Hey Everyone! :-)

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

🔗 https://goo.gl/h63DWf

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Orbs of Trenihgea: book II

🔗 https://goo.gl/Lsv1X6

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

Then, they came for him.

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

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

Orbs of Trenihgea Excerpt
Space Station E-Alpha-1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“How then? How?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Never.”

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

     
  







Monday, September 25, 2017

Something Worth Watching?


Hey Everyone!! :-)

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



Sunday, September 24, 2017

Buttery Pumpkin Pasta #Recipe!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

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

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

Buon Appetito!


Saturday, September 23, 2017

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


Hey Everyone!! :-)

There's a new giveaway for Halloween!  Please take a moment to check out the Spooktacular Author Giveaway!!  There are lots of awesome books and prizes!! :-)  It's free to enter, there are over 100 prizes, and the grand prize is $150 cash payable through PayPal!! :-)  Now isn't that worth taking a few minutes to check out? ;-)   Here are all the details:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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




Friday, September 22, 2017

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


Hey Everyone!! :-)

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Intergalactic yoga robots. Who knew?"


Thursday, September 21, 2017

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


Hey Everyone!! :-)

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


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



Wednesday, September 20, 2017

#Agent Thoth's #Personal Log: Day 607


Hey Everyone! :-)

Agent Thoth discusses more of the trials and tribulations associated with living with hominids. Incidentally, if you've missed Agent Thoth's earlier entries, you can find them here: Thoth's Journal


Department for the Preservation and Confirmation of Intelligent Life (DPCIL)
Agent Thoth's Personal Log

Day Six-Hundred-Seven:
Earlier today, the adolescent felid spent an extended period of time engaging with the canid. I remain unsure of the purpose of this interaction, so I will content myself with simply describing what took place. Though, for the record, I must note that I am beginning to wonder if there is any form of sane intelligence on this planet.

At first, I thought the small pest merely wished to amuse himself by tormenting the canid. He carefully stalked the dumb beast to where it slept on the floor of my hominid-servant's sleeping room, and then watched it from concealment until it was clear that the canid was sound asleep. Once he was certain that his approach had not been noticed, the young irritation leapt onto the sleeping animal's back. For reasons that are still not clear, since there was no threat apparent, the adolescent felid felt the need to deploy the C.L.A.W.S. from all four of his feet.

Understandably, the canid was both startled and perturbed by such an abrupt and violent interruption to his slumber, and in his confusion he rolled over onto his back to dislodge his attacker. The irritating juvenile yowled quite loudly at this, though he must have known it would happen, and sprung from the canid's back onto his chest, slashing at the confused creature's nose and biting his ear. The canid, in turn, flailed his limbs at his small attacker and whimpered pitifully.

Naturally, all this noise drew the attention of my hominid-servant, who is surprisingly protective of her canid companion, and she reacted to this attack on him with extreme displeasure. Once again, she deployed her stream of liquid H2O, this time against the adolescent felid. He displayed astonishment at her actions; though, again, he must have known his behavior would bring retaliation of some sort. And, after directing a look of extreme disgust towards my hominid-servant, he fled to hide under her sleeping platform.

For her part, my hominid-servant turned her attention to the canid and, after assessing his condition and ascertaining he was not seriously injured, called him to accompany her into the room in which she prefers to play with her electronic gadgets. The adolescent felid, on the other paw, remained under my hominid-servant's sleeping platform glaring balefully at the world beyond.

Despite my repeated efforts to coax an explanation from him, the young pest refused to enlighten me as to the motivation behind his behavior. Thus, as I have already stated, I am relegated to merely recording the sequence of events as they occurred. I will continue to observe and report back if tensions between the adolescent felid and the canid continue to escalate.


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


Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Something Worth Watching?


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I'm back today with another video I wanted to share. I just thought this video did a good job of refuting the idiotic notion that anyone was responsible for Hillary Clinton's loss of the 2016 Presidential race other than Hillary Clinton. We just can't afford for this nonsense to become accepted if we want to have any chance in the 2018 midterms.




Monday, September 18, 2017

#September2017 #IndieBooksBeSeen #Indie #Author #Books #Monthly #BookReview!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

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

Simon's Song by C.A Sanders:

From the wilds of suburban Westchester County, NY to the magical land of Algavar, Simon Kale's journey from adolescent to man is both strange and thought-provoking. Young Simon is ripped from the world he knows and cast into a war he doesn't understand. The world he finds himself in is full of strange magic and gods, both old and new.

Simon is surrounded by strange people with strange customs and is forced to prove himself to them, and to himself. Just 16 years old, he's faced with questions that mankind has struggled with since the dawn of time. When is one justified in taking a life? What is the cost of such an action to one's soul? What does it mean to have honor? And, perhaps most important, how does one know where the line between right and wrong lies?

I enjoyed this book. First, because as a native New Yorker, I felt a certain connection with young Simon. But beyond that, in spite of the heavy subject matter that often focused around duty and sacrifice, I found this story charming. Whether it's the odd Super Mario Bothers reference, the survey of folk music, or the surprisingly detailed swordplay, I think this book probably has a little something for everybody. And, just like with the gods, you never quite know when it will strike out violently, or offer a helping hand in the most unexpected ways just when it's needed most.

When I finished this book, I felt sort of like I felt when I read The Hobbit for the first time; there was no cliffhanger, the story ended and all the loose ends were tied up, and yet I can tell there's going to be more. It's a good note to leave a book on, satisfied but also ready for more. Five stars, and I'm looking forward to reading more about Simon's adventures.





Sunday, September 17, 2017

Keep You Going On The Go #Recipe!


Hey Everyone! :-)

This is a really simple recipe for those days when you just don't have two minutes to rub together. It's quick and easy with almost no clean up. And it's delicious! :-)

Ingredients:
1 English muffin or 2 slices of bread
1/2 cup hummus (your favorite flavor)
1 carrot
1 apple
1 zucchini
2 tbsp toasted pine nuts or sesame seeds

Toast the muffin or bread and spread the hummus over it while still warm. Use a vegetable peeler to peel off a strip or two from the carrot, apple, and zucchini and lay the strips on top of the hummus. Sprinkle nuts or seeds over the top. Eat immediately or wrap up to take with you and eat on the go. Wrap the unused portions of the carrot, apple, and zucchini tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate to use in other recipes or to eat later as snacks.

Bon Appetit!








Saturday, September 16, 2017

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


Hey Everyone!! :-)

There's a new giveaway for Halloween!  Please take a moment to check out the Spooktacular Author Giveaway!!  There are lots of awesome books and prizes!! :-)  It's free to enter, there are over 100 prizes, and the grand prize is $150 cash payable through PayPal!! :-)  Now isn't that worth taking a few minutes to check out? ;-)   Here are all the details:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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




Friday, September 15, 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, September 14, 2017

#APC #Spotlight: Tissue Of Lies By Carole Parkes!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I've got Carole Parkes in my APC spotlight, today! Carole is an active and supportive member of the  Authors-Professional Co-op Facebook group and her psychological suspense thriller, Tissue of Lies, looks great! Here's the description:

Julie Simpson has the perfect life; a loving husband, beautiful twin daughters, and the kind of loving parents others can only dream about. Yet, it's true; she sometimes has a niggling suspicion that her mum and dad might not be her real parents. To her amazement and horror, Julie discovers her fears are well-founded; they are not her birth parents. Even worse, she learns they’d played a part in her abduction when she was just a baby.
Julie longs for the truth, but she’s reluctant to start anything which might result in her mum and dad being prosecuted for her abduction. Despite what they may have done, she can’t help remembering her wonderful, happy childhood. She still loves them and wants to protect them but, ultimately, the overpowering need to know her roots wins. Secretly, she searches for her birth parents, but digging in the past brings her unexpected danger; a real threat of harm. Will she find that out before it's too late?

If you think this sounds like something you might enjoy, go ahead and grab your copy here:


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



Wednesday, September 13, 2017

#Agent Thoth's #Personal Log: Day 602


Hey Everyone! :-)

Agent Thoth discusses more of the trials and tribulations associated with living with hominids. Incidentally, if you've missed Agent Thoth's earlier entries, you can find them here: Thoth's Journal


Department for the Preservation and Confirmation of Intelligent Life (DPCIL)
Agent Thoth's Personal Log

Day Six-Hundred-Two:
Today, I tried a new tactic intended to modify my hominid-servant's behavior, and I have come to the conclusion that she may possibly be untrainable. Since my previous attempts to engage her attention resulted in undesirable consequences, I decided to use persistence instead of dramatic gestures. The results were not encouraging.

I stood in front of her and explained, at length, why her behavior is problematic and how I expect her to change. But she largely ignored me, preferring to focus on her electronic devices. So, I proceeded to wander from room to room in my domicile, expounding on the problem and my proposed solution to it, progressively increasing the volume of my dissertation.

I thought she was continuing to ignore me, so I returned to the room in which she sat with her electronic devices, intending to drive home my point through proximity and decibel level. Unfortunately, I had miscalculated her response, and she was ready and waiting for me.

As soon as I entered the room, she accosted me with a stream of liquid H2O. It didn't truly harm me, but it was most disturbing to be suddenly drenched in such a disagreeable way. Especially, since she refused to cease and desist, following me from room to room until I finally resorted to hiding under her sleeping platform.

When I emerged, much later, after having recovered from such an unexpected and unprovoked attack, I sought her out for an explanation. By that time, she had finished playing with her electronic devices, and was willing to accept my presence on her lap. She stroked my fur in the way I find soothing, and proceeded to explain that I need to learn to behave. Me! I'm the one who needs to learn to behave?

It is clear that my efforts to modify my hominid-servants behavior are having the opposite of their intended effect. For now, I will forgo any further attempts and devote my efforts to better understanding the way hominids think. Because it is clear that hominids are congenitally insane, and the only way to deal with them will be to take into account and compensate for their madness.


Oh, my! Agent Thoth seems to be having a little difficulty in dealing with the troublesome 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, September 12, 2017

Is That A Right?



Hey Everyone!

I want to share a couple thoughts on the events in Charlottesville, VA and the terrorist attack that occurred there, which resulted in the death of Heather Heyer, a 32-year-old paralegal who was peacefully expressing her stance against fascism. Once again, I find that I'm hearing an awful lot of people yelling about their rights, and that many of those people seem to have little to no understanding of what those rights are or what they mean. So, I thought it might be helpful to state those rights explicitly and then discuss what they mean and how they do and do not apply to what took place in Charlottesville.

First, to be clear, the rights everyone is talking about are those that are guaranteed to every US citizen by the First and Second Amendments to the US Constitution. So, let's take a look at those amendments, shall we?

Constitution of the United States of America, First Amendment:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Constitution of the United States of America, Second Amendment:
A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

Okay, there they are; that's what they say. Now, what does that mean and how do they apply to what happened in Charlottesville?

Well, the first rights that clearly apply are the "right of the people peaceably to assemble" and the "freedom of speech."  Now, these rights belong to all citizens of the United States.  All of them. Which means that, as disgusting and abhorrent as their message is, the Nazis had the right to assemble and to speak their minds. I don't agree with them; I think they're despicable and that they're exceedingly unAmerican in their viewpoint. But none of that changes the fact that they had the right to assemble peacefully and to spew their nonsense, as hateful and disturbing as it is, to their hearts' content.

But, again, those rights apply to all citizens. So, for those of you who are trying to blame what happened on the anti-fascist protesters, you're wrong. Point blank and period. You. Are. Wrong. The anti-fascist protesters had just as much right to assemble and speak as the Nazis did. The fact that they chose to march and sing and speak their minds on the same day and in the same city as those who were defending fascism and hate in no way excuses the violence that was committed against them. In other words, Heather Heyer's actions, and the actions of those who were injured in the same terrorist attack, were protected by her rights under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. The actions of the terrorist who murdered her were not.

But, frankly, it's my opinion that the Nazis overstepped the bounds of their rights before one of them drove a car into a crowd of peaceful marchers. To be honest, I think the police should have disbanded at least part of the Nazi rally before that act of violence was committed. Why? Well, it comes down to the other Amendment they were hiding behind. The Second Amendment.

To be fair, this doesn't apply to all of the Nazis who were in Charlottesville. But some of them were walking around in fatigues and carrying assault rifles. They claim they were exercising their Second Amendment right to bear arms, but were they? Is that what the Second Amendment says? Well, look at it. It says that the people's right to "keep and bear arms shall not be infringed" because a "well regulated militia" is necessary for the "security of a free state."

They may have been wearing fatigues, but were the Nazis acting as a well regulated militia?  Well, by definition, a militia is supposed to be a military force that is raised from a civilian population to supplement a professional army in times of emergency. So, they're supposed to be an additional fighting force to help defend the populace when the regular military needs reinforcements. Which implies that a militia is to act under the direction of the same authority that controls the regular military.

Which is clearly not what the Nazis were doing. On the contrary, so far were they from cooperating with the government authority in Charlottesville and protecting the civilian populace, the Nazis broke the law and murdered an unarmed, peaceful US citizen who was doing absolutely nothing wrong. So, what do we call a group of insurrectionists who take up arms against a lawfully instituted government and commit acts of violence against a civilian population to make a political point? Ummm....hmmm...let me think... Oh, that's right! Terrorists.

And, for those who insist that the actions of the Nazis are protected by the First Amendment. Um, nope, you're wrong there, too. The First Amendment specifies that peaceable assembly is protected. Peaceable being the operative word. Armed thugs waving assault rifles around in an effort to intimidate those who disagree with them politically and so stifle dissent is the exact opposite of peaceable. In short, if your intent is to be peaceable, there's no need for you to carry a gun to a political rally.

Is the fact that the murder of Heather Heyer was committed with a car and not a gun therefore somewhat ironic? Yes. But the point stands. If you want to be able to claim First Amendment protections, you cannot present yourself as an armed terrorist group and threaten your political opponents with violence. Your right to speak your mind is protected, not your right to silence others.

What happened in Charlottesville is a tragedy on multiple levels. Because of the violence and loss of life, yes, but also because it has made clear how many people in this country have completely missed the point of what this country stands for and of the principles on which it was founded. To sum up, Heather Heyer was right. "If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention."

Peace!





Monday, September 11, 2017

Something Worth Watching?


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I'm back today with another video I wanted to share. This is another issue I don't think is getting enough attention in the press. So far, these bills have been defeated, but they keep getting proposed in different places. There's no excuse for this kind of legislation; its only purpose is to suppress political dissent, which is an anathema to democracy. So, I think this video is worth a watch, and if one of these bills is proposed where you live, you might want to think about calling your elected representatives and giving them your opinion on the matter.





Sunday, September 10, 2017

With The Grain Fall Salad #Recipe!


Hey Everyone! :-)

Since we're starting to get close to Fall, I've got a delicious salad recipe that incorporates some of those Autumn flavors for you. :-)

Ingredients:
2 cups uncooked quinoa
3 cups vegetable stock
1 cup pureed tomatoes
1 20oz can chick peas drained
2 ears corn broiled or grilled and removed from cobs
2 roasted bell peppers any color chopped
1 small pumpkin
2 onions chopped
1 cup golden raisins
1 cup pine nuts
2 cloves garlic minced
1/2 cup white wine
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup olive oil plus some to drizzle


Combine the quinoa, stock, and tomatoes and cook as you would normally cook quinoa. Set aside to cool. Cut the pumpkin in half and remove the "guts." Then cut the two halves into "smiles" and place on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Broil until fork tender. Cool and remove from rinds. Cut pumpkin meat into small chunks.

In a saute pan, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and onions. Cook until onions start to caramelize. Add the garlic, pine nuts, and raisins. Cook until pine nuts start to toast and then deglaze pan with wine. Simmer wine for a couple of minutes and then remove pan from heat and cool the onion mixture.

In a bowl, combine cooked quinoa, pumpkin, corn, chickpeas, onion mix, and peppers. In a separate bowl whisk together remaining olive oil and vinegar. Stir into quinoa mixture. Serve chilled.

Bon Appetit!



Saturday, September 9, 2017

Revelations And Realizations



Hey Everyone!! :-)

I thought I'd share a little peek at Petri's adventures, today. Enjoy! :-)

Excerpt from Intrinsic Connections:
When Chessie fell to her knees and slumped over onto her side on the floor, the power that had been collecting within Petri came to a head and energy suffused every cell of her being. Time slowed and every barrier in and around her seemed as flimsy as tissue paper. Effortlessly, Petri stepped away from the Arcanum who had been holding her and held up her hand.

"Stop!" she ordered, her voice reverberating through the room and the minds of everyone in it as she snapped the connection between Chessie and the Arcanum who had been slowly killing her.

In that moment, the remnants of the barriers fell, and Petri thought she could see all the way to the end of the universe. The separations she had always felt between herself and others were gone. Chessie's mind was open to her in a way it had never been before, and it took quite a bit of effort for her to stop herself from invading her friend's most intimate thoughts.

Likewise, the Arcanum were open to her. Not just the two in front of her, but every Arcanum in existence. She saw all the way into the heart of the Collective and out the other side, and it was clear to her that the Arcanum were far more numerous than she had suspected. Everything about them was on display. All their thoughts, their plans, their desires, and their fears were hers for the taking. None of their shields mattered any more; Petri could see straight through them all. And it had never been clearer to her just how alien they really were. Because, while she could see everything contained in the Collective and the individual minds of the Arcanum, she understood very little of what she saw.

And it wasn't just the minds and their contents that were open to her, it was also the connections between them and the fabric of the Collective that was clear to her. She could see how all the minds wove together and why it felt so good to be a part of it. The Arcanum, as asexual beings, never experienced the endorphin cascade associated with sex that was such a strong drive in most species. Instead, they had apparently sublimated the drive into the Collective.

Petri didn't know if they did it deliberately or if it was an evolutionary mechanism that ensured the Arcanum wouldn't war with each other. But whatever its origins, when the Arcanum joined their minds together, they experienced a biological reward on par with what other species experienced when they joined their bodies together. But in the case of the Arcanum, that sensation was magnified and reflected hundreds of thousands of times through all the minds that had joined together. No wonder it was such an addictive feeling.



Friday, September 8, 2017

#NewRelease #Announcement: Lost & Found By Julia Blake!



Arianna Santorini has had a hard life. Abandoned by her husband, left alone to raise their child for six long years, she’s made the best of things. Then, she meets Luke Blackwood. Initially, he seems perfect, strong, kind, understanding and loving, everything she could possibly want. But, Luke has a secret, he’s rich, very rich, and Arianna has a deep-seated prejudice against wealthy men, believing it turns them into men like her husband, manipulative, arrogant, bullies.

When she finds out the truth about Luke, her first response is to send him away, harden her heart to what might have been. Then the worst thing that can happen to a parent, happens to Arianna, and the one person who can help her, is the one she’s vowed never to see again.

Sometimes, you have to lose everything, to find what’s really important…

A fast-paced, punchy, rollercoaster of a read, Lost & Found is one story you won’t forget in a hurry



Thursday, September 7, 2017

#APC #Spotlight: Fire In The Dawn By Justin Fike!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I've got Justin Fike in my APC spotlight, today! Justin is an active and supportive member of the  Authors-Professional Co-op Facebook group and his fantasy adventure novel, Fire In The Dawn, looks great! Here's the description:
A prince in hiding. An empire in turmoil. A gathering storm.
Kyren e'Cania is the last son of a fallen House, raised in secret in the shadows of the city his family once ruled.
Trained by his father in the ways of his people, Kyren has avoided the notice of the tyrant who murdered his family by never giving anyone reason to suspect he is anything more than a nameless peasant.
But when an ambitious noble sets dangerous events in motion, Kyren must find a way to reclaim his heritage and unite his people, before everything he loves is swallowed by fire and sword once again.
Sound good?  If you think you might enjoy this, go ahead and grab your copy here:


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



Wednesday, September 6, 2017

#Agent Thoth's #Personal Log: Day 601


Hey Everyone! :-)

Agent Thoth discusses more of the trials and tribulations associated with living with hominids. Incidentally, if you've missed Agent Thoth's earlier entries, you can find them here: Thoth's Journal


Department for the Preservation and Confirmation of Intelligent Life (DPCIL)
Agent Thoth's Personal Log

Day Six-Hundred-One:
I began my experiment in hominid behavior modification techniques a couple of days ago, and so far I can only report what does not work. My first attempt involved extreme measures to focus my hominid-servant's attention on me. I inserted myself between her and the electronic device she was focused on, but she just shooed me away and then physically picked me up and put me on the floor.

Since it was clear she was not amenable to responding to direct requests for attention, I proceeded with the next stage in my experiment. I jumped onto the horizontal platforms she has made it clear she does not wish me to perch on and knocked off many of the items she had placed on the platforms, breaking some of them in the process. While this method did succeed in focusing her attention on me, it was not in a way that could be considered productive.

When the first of the items she had placed on a platform hit the floor and shattered, she jumped up from her chair with an expression on her face that I have come to understand represents extreme emotional perturbation. She came towards me, but her movements were stiff and jerky. It has been my experience that allowing her to lay her hands on me when she is in such frame of mind rarely works out well for me, so I ran.

Unfortunately, it is hard to evade a determined hominid in a restricted environment, such as my domicile, and it wasn't long before she cornered me. I am fond of my hominid-servant and don't wish to harm her. Besides which, she has never truly injured me, no matter how wild her emotional response, so I resisted deploying the C.L.A.W.S. and instead registered my objection verbally. It was to no avail, however, as I soon found myself contained within the box she uses to express extreme displeasure with my actions.

Obviously, she did release me from the box, after she had cleaned up the broken pieces of the items I had displaced from the platforms, but she remained cool in her treatment of me for an extended period of time. I can only conclude that this is not an effective means for modifying her behavior. I will continue to test other behavioral modification techniques and report back on my findings.


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