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

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Is #Respect #Earned Or #Given?


Hey Everyone!! :-)

As you may have guessed from the title, today I'd like to talk about a topic that seems to be coming up more and more, respect. Or, more specifically, what respect means and whether we owe it or others need to earn it. I'm sure there are plenty of people who will disagree with me about some of what I say in this post, but I'm going to give you my two-cents worth, anyway.

My opinion on this is mixed. You see, I do believe that a certain minimal amount of respect is due to all human beings simply by virtue of the fact that they are fellow human beings.  I think it's incumbent upon everyone to show respect for the lives, safety, and physical well-being of everyone else. In other words, no one gets to threaten or jeopardize the lives or safety of others without their consent, no matter who those others may be.

Are there exceptions? Yes, as with most "rules" absolutes don't really work when it comes to respect. For instance, if someone is trying to kill you, you are not required to respect their life so much that you won't defend your own. But, for the most part, that basic respect is owed to everyone.

Also, there is the respect due to the rights that are shared by everyone. If you live in the US, like me, those rights are defined in the Constitution and Bill of Rights, but I'd argue that most, if not all, of those rights really are human rights. Though, there are plenty of humans on this planet whose rights are not respected by those in power. Which is an enormous problem, but not one I'm going to address in this post.

But, in my opinion, that's where respect that is owed ends. From there on, I believe respect needs to be earned. What do I mean by that? Well, for instance, I hear pretty often that "we have to respect other people's opinions." Really? Why?  I mean, I agree that we have to respect other people's rights to have opinions that we disagree with insofar as we don't imprison or assault them for holding those opinions. But that doesn't mean we have to respect the opinions themselves, nor does it mean we have to remain silent and refrain from criticizing those opinions.

If someone is a bigot, their bigotry doesn't give anyone the right to physically attack them. And they can't be arrested simply for expressing a bigoted opinion. But others are certainly free to dispute those opinions and to speak out against bigotry. There is no respect due to the idea that some people are somehow inherently superior to other people.

Likewise, when it comes to a position or title a person may hold. Once again, the basic human rights of the person always need to be respected. But they are not due any additional respect just because of a label they claim or job they occupy. Such things aren't suits of armor to be put on to protect someone who has not earned the respect of others from criticism or ridicule.

For instance, I'm repeatedly informed that I "must" respect Donald Trump because he's the President. Oh, I must, must I? And why is that, pray tell? What, precisely, has he done to earn my respect?  Because, generally speaking, I'm not inclined to respect narrow-minded, thoughtless, immature, dangerously and willfully ignorant, bigoted man-children, no matter how many exulted positions they are unqualified for that they have managed to con their way into.

Does that mean that I would condone violence against Trump? Of course not, that would violate the basic respect due to him because of our shared, no matter how tenuous the connection is, humanity. But the fact that I'm against murdering people doesn't mean that Trump is somehow exempt from criticism. On the contrary, now that he has managed to fool enough people to get into the White House, he's the employee of the American public. And just like any employee, he's subject to being reviewed by his employer. And that would be me and thee, my friends.

If a person wants respect for their opinions or their position, I believe that they need to say or do something to earn that respect. If they fail to do so, then no respect is owed. In fact, I would argue that offering respect to those who don't deserve it helps to normalize behavior and attitudes that should be considered extreme and repulsive. And that's something I'm not willing to do.

So, is respect earned or given? My opinion is yes to both and no to both, which I know is hard for many to swallow when so many people seem determined to out extreme each other, but there it is. That's my answer, and I'm sticking to it. ;-)

Peace!


Monday, January 30, 2017

#NewRelease #Announcement: Swiftly Sharpens The Fang By Stuart Kenyon!



New release! Swiftly Sharpens the Fang, the new dystopian novel by Stuart Kenyon - author of the acclaimed SUBNORMAL series - is now available to purchase. For the first fortnight, it will be at a discounted price of 99c/99p. Grab your copy before the price goes up!

Excerpt:
Glancing around the room, Joe noticed no grime or untidiness, and the only smell was that of lemon-infused bleach.
Asim said nothing, preferring to stare at a rack of knives above one of the worktops.

'You know why I'm here,' Steve stated, opening the can of cola he'd taken from the fridge.

'Well, I may have an inkling —'
'It wasn't a question, Asim. For my young apprentice's benefit, I'm here because you've been breaking the rules. Disrespecting my code.' Steve turned to his nephew. 'Asim, here, has been selling class As to minors. Remember what I said about keeping crime amongst the criminal? Well, in my humble opinion, a minor doesn't have the maturity to choose a life on the wrong side of the law, and can't really be classed as a criminal.'
Joe regarded the frightened entrepreneur with distaste.

'And last week, a fourteen year-old kid who lives five minutes from here was run over and killed on the High Street. Remember?'
'Yeah,' Joe confirmed. 'Wasn't he running from the cops?'
'He was. After pinching some toiletries from Easy Save to pay for his habit.' Steve looked at Asim, his eyes cold. 'If you'd have followed the rules, Asim, young Archie would still be alive.'

'I... I...' The accused was shaking. 'He looked older than he was! He told me he was eighteen.'
Ignoring Asim's pleas, Steve turned to Joe. 'What do you think?'

The younger man hid his consternation with a sneer. He was expected to attack Asim, which was no more than the man deserved, but what gave him the right to be judge, jury and executioner? Unable to meet his uncle's stare, he focussed on the pathetic figure in their company, feeling the pressure grow with every passing second. Just as his uncle was about to speak again, Joe stepped forwards and felled Asim with a single punch.

The proprietor hit his head on an oven door's handle as he slumped, and he lay still.

'Fucking nice shot!' Steve applauded, squatting beside Asim. 'Jesus, you've not killed another, have you?'

Blanching, Joe had to steady himself by leaning on a grill. 'Fuck off...'
'Nah, he'll live. Still breathing, pulse strong. Good job really, he's a nice little earner.'
Joe breathed again.

'Now,' Steve began. 'Unfortunately for our little Pablo Escobar wannabe, the punishment doesn't fit the crime. Yet. You can't send a schoolboy to his grave and get away with a slap around the chops.'
'Okay,' Joe said guardedly. They weren't going to execute Asim - if they were, Steve wouldn't have been relieved that Joe's punch was non-lethal. So how did his uncle plan to castigate his errant business associate?

'What do you reckon, Joe? A life for a life?'
'No.' Joe said quickly. 'Make him live with his crime.'
'Good thinking.' Steve looked around the kitchen until his eyes found the knife rack, from which he took the largest tool, a cleaver. 'What's a little council estate scally's life worth? His bollocks? An eye?'
'Ah... I don't know. You're the expert, Steve.' Joe was beginning to feel queasy.

'I'm not really, but don't tell anyone I said that.'
When Steve winked, Joe scented the unmistakable odour of faeces.
'Just for a bit of symbolism, I'm going to go for his hand. He dealt the drugs with his hand, it was his greedy, nature which led him to commit this crime. Poetic, almost. Right. Lie him flat.'
With leaden arms and a churning gut, Joe dropped to all fours and did as instructed.

Asim groaned; he was on the brink of regaining consciousness.
Please God, don't let him wake before the deed is done, Joe prayed.

'Hold his arm straight,' Steve said, the urgency obvious in his tone. 'Jesus, he's a slovenly bastard, this knife couldn't slice through hot butter.' There was the sound of metal scraping.
For some reason, the idea of watching Steve sharpen the blade was almost as horrific as the butchery that was to follow. Joe kept his eyes on Asim.

'Right,' Steve said. 'We ready?'
Joe gulped.

'Hold his arm very still.'
The younger man felt tears come to his closed eyes. 'Are you sure we need to do this, Steve? I mean, can we not just —'

A whistle, a thud, and the spatter of warm fluid on Joe's arms and face cut him short.

Roaring in agony and strengthened by panic, their victim broke free of the hands that restrained him and rolled away.
'You've just had a little accident in the kitchen, Farooq,' Steve said loudly, as if to an elderly person. 'Occupational hazard. That's what you'll tell the hospital. Okay?'

Sobbing, the takeaway owner confirmed his understanding.

After steeling himself, Joe opened his eyes, and his attention was immediately seized by the detached, bleeding finger on the floor: it looked like a slug that had slivered through ketchup. He wiped blood off his face and turned to his uncle, his mouth opening to speak before closing again.

My Review of Swiftly Sharpens The Fang by Stuart Kenyon:
Joseph Travis seems like a regular guy. He has friends he likes to hang out with, an intelligent, beautiful girlfriend he loves, and he enjoys living it up on the weekends. His job is soul-killing, but that's not anything that most of us can't identify with. And the hobby he enjoys the most is boxing, a little violent, but he's a healthy young man with a frustrating and sedentary job, and he needs an outlet for his energy and aggression.  All-in-all, he seems like a regular Joe (pun intended) with just enough of an edge to make him interesting.

Joseph is even rather liberal and enlightened in his outlook and attitudes. In a world where bigotry and intolerance are becoming more and more blatant and accepted, he maintains an open-minded position, willing to listen and educate himself about the various viewpoints. But, overall, he isn't inclined to hate anyone or blame entire segments of the population for the problems created by a few. That is, until things start to change.

It's subtle at first, but through a series of unfortunate events, some of them at least partially his fault, Joseph's worldview starts to change. He begins to see malicious intentions where none exist and to ascribe malevolent characteristics to groups of people after observing them in only one or two individuals. In short, his open, tolerant nature changes to one of bigotry and hate. And it's frightening how easily and naturally the devolution of his attitudes occurs.

The thing I liked most about this story is that it illustrates how easily a person's point of view can be shaped by the people and society around them. Most people look with askance at those who subscribe to violent, extremist ideologies. After all, it's hard to imagine how anyone could come to hate others so much that they would be willing to commit murder over a political or religious philosophical difference.  And yet, terrorism is becoming increasingly common, so something must be radicalizing people. Because no terrorist ever sprung up out of a vacuum. Something must happen to turn "normal" people into terrorists, but what?

That's a question that Swiftly Sharpens The Fang attempts to answer, and the method for such a conversion that Stuart Kenyon illustrates in this novel is both surprising and frightening. Because Joseph Travis really is just a normal guy. He has had a couple of severe traumas in his life but overall he's just like most of us, he works, plays when he can, and tries to make connections with other people so he can figure out where he fits into society. There is no burning passion in him; no dominating ideology, extreme or otherwise. He's just a guy living his life and the process by which he comes to adopt extreme philosophies is terrifying because of its very banality and insidiousness.

Joseph isn't a deeply thoughtful or reflective person. He isn't stupid, but he doesn't take a lot of time to analyze the people around him. Like many of us, he's too caught up in his own life and concerns to take much time to research the things he reads in the media or hears from his friends, so he tends to take them at face value. The few times he does take the trouble to fact-check something, he finds that what he had heard or read either wasn't entirely true or wasn't the whole picture. But he fails to keep that in mind when the next heavily biased article or self-interested "friend" presents him with an inflammatory story or statistic.

As his attitudes and actions become more extreme, Joseph loses more and more of the moderating influences in his life. He gives up the job he hates to immerse himself more in the new society he has discovered. Friends who share his previous, more open-minded outlook either avoid him because they disapprove of his behavior, or he avoids them because they now make him uncomfortable. And, instead of viewing that discomfort as the warning that it is, Joseph instead gets closer to his new "friends." Because doing so is easier and it feels better, which is the same reaction that most of us would have, if we're honest.

As his new "friends" become more central to his world, Joseph works harder and harder to earn their approval. After all, it's just human nature to want to be liked by those around us. And he ignores anything that might contradict what his "friends" tell him.  Even his own experiences aren't enough to cut through the fog of disinformation that surrounds Joseph. When something happens that proves the lies that his "friends" are telling him, he rationalizes or dismisses it as a fluke.  How many of us have made excuses for the people we like or admire, even when, if we are honest, we know they are wrong?

Overall, this novel paints a detailed picture of how easily and quickly people can slide into extremism and violence. Mr. Kenyon does a fantastic job of illustrating the dangers inherent in existing in an echo chamber and allowing emotion rather than logic to rule our actions. Simply by failing to verify the accuracy of the information we consume, refusing to entertain the thoughts put forward by opposing voices, and by allowing ourselves to be loyal to personalities rather than principles, any one of us might follow in Joseph Travis's footsteps.  In a world that is becoming more and more polarized, Swiftly Sharpens The Fang is a timely reminder that we need to be careful how partisan we allow ourselves to become. Objective truths do still exist and they do still matter, and it's up to every one of us to seek them out and not allow ourselves to be deceived by those with ulterior motives.

Like Mr. Kenyon's other book, Subnormal, I gave this book five stars and, once again, I'd like to give it more if I could. There are adult themes and situations in this novel that wouldn't be appropriate for children, but I think everyone from juniors and seniors in high school and older should read this story. I think we could all do with the reminders that it offers.





Sunday, January 29, 2017

#NewRelease #Announcement: #Borderlines By L E Fitzpatrick!


Genre: Dystopian paranormal thriller

Book Description: BORDER LINES.

When the perfect job comes up, Charlie doesn't think twice about taking it. This is the break he's been looking for and nobody, not even the rest of his team, can persuade him otherwise.

The job means working for an old enemy and crossing the border into London. Both are risky, but Charlie has no idea how high the stakes really are. The team will have to confront their past, each other and a killer who is closer than they realize. But can they all make it out of the city alive?

"We all remember that kid in Piccadilly. That determined look he had on his face as he willed all those people to him. Just using his mind, he pulled them close then blew them all to pieces. It could be anyone. Your neighbour, your friend, your lover. Remain vigilant. Reachers are everywhere."

Border Lines is the second book in L.E. Fitzpatrick's Reachers series.


Excerpt

He switched off the engine anyway and an uncertain lull settled in the car. If John wasn't going in it meant that Rachel didn't have to go either. She couldn't help being tempted, it would be a lot easier than confronting Darcy.

"You can stay if you want Rach," Charlie offered.

She shook her head, being part of the family meant taking the good and the bad. For everything good she would have to overcome something bad. She had her new shoes, it was time now to confront Darcy.

"What are we waiting for?"

Charlie's mobility was improving by the day. The damage from the stab wounds in his back was never going to completely heal, but he was coping with the residual pain now and learning how to use his body again. Using his crutch, he made every move look effortless. He pivoted himself out of the car and swung around to open the door for Rachel.

The rain fell in heavy sheets. They were soaked before they even reached the porch. There was a makeshift door left ajar and, inside, the remains of the old chapel battled against the elements leaking through the holes in the roof. Decaying pews were haphazardly scattered as though someone had tried to shield them from the water, but the roof was in such a state now it poured just as heavily inside as it did out.

The windows on the left side of the building had survived. Their modest stained glass darkened by the absence of the sun. The right side were long gone, unable to stand the decades of storms battering the country.

It was a chapel once belonging to the Church of England and now occupied by Catholics. The effect was a strange one. The statue of the virgin and a few indistinguishable saints were perched on nearby pews, as out of place as an atheist in the house of God. Rachel inspected them with a slight fondness. She wasn't particularly religious, but these were symbols from her childhood.

Charlie walked passed the statues. He headed into the vestry calling Darcy's name while Rachel walked around the dark nave trying to make out the stone saints. A large, crucified Christ hung over the altar. It was too big for the size of the church, looming over the nave and scrutinising parishioners. Rachel remembered a similar icon from her childhood, and how the nuns had got so angry with her when she happened to query Jesus' apparent Aryan ethnicity. A smile touched her lips at the memory. She glanced up at this Jesus and was surprised to see his bare black feet. Then frowned when she noticed the cuffs of his jeans. Her eyes widened as she saw a face she hadn't seen since she was a little girl.

"Charlie!" she screamed.

Darcy was stripped at the waist. His ribs poked out of his leathery skin, an omen of malnutrition. His arms had been tied with bloody ropes to a crude cross constructed from a broken pew. There had been no rope left for his feet so instead a belt held the eighty-year-old's legs in place. There were other marks too – burns on his chest and face, dried blood on his bruised body. How long had he been up there?

"Get John!" Charlie said.


About the Author

L E Fitzpatrick is a writer of dark adventure stories and thrillers. Under the watchful eye of her beloved rescue Staffordshire Bull Terrier, she leaps from trains and climbs down buildings, all from the front room of a tiny cottage in the middle of the Welsh countryside.

Inspired by cult film and TV, L E Fitzpatrick’s fiction is a collection of twisted worlds and realities, broken characters, and high action. She enjoys pushing the boundaries of her imagination and creating hugely entertaining stories.

THE RUNNING GAME, is the first in her paranormal thriller series, set in dystopia London under the Creativia label and now BORDER LINES is the second instalment of the Reachers series.



Books by L.E.Fritzpatrick
Running Game
Dark Waters
Anthology Dark
Safe Haven
Family
The lost Sheppard
Traitors Day
Harvest
Flames and Blood



How to find L.E.FritzPatrick

Author page at publisher - http://www.creativia.org/scifi-thrillers-dark-adventures-le-fitzpatrick.html
Face book fan page - https://www.facebook.com/lefitzpatrickbooks/
Amazon - https://www.amazon.com/L-E-Fitzpatrick/e/B005DD5CE8
Twitter - https://twitter.com/L_E_Fitzpatrick
Website – www.lefitzpatrick.com



Saturday, January 28, 2017

For The #Love Of #Books #Valentine #Giveaway! $135 #Cash #Grand #Prize! #Free To #Enter!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

There's a new Valentine giveaway!  Please take a moment to check out the Love Of Books Valentine Giveaway!!  There are lots of awesome books and prizes!! :-)  It's free to enter, there are over 100 prizes, and the grand prize is $135 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, January 27, 2017

#NewAndImproved Rarity From The #Hollow By Robert Eggleton!


Hey Everyone!!

Those of you who follow this blog may remember Robert Eggleton and his special book, Rarity from the Hollow, from the interview I did with him a while back. If not, you can find that interview here: Interview With Robert Eggleton.  Well, I said at the time his book sounded interesting, but he contacted me recently to let me know he has made it even more so!  I'll let him tell you about the changes himself.

Robert Eggleton:
The book cover was changed to emphasize that it is a children's story for adults with a science fiction backdrop. A new blurb was written. Some of the stronger language was toned down, the political allegory was strengthened, and a formatting error which affected the internal dialogue in the first edition was fixed. It reads much more smoothly. As you are aware, author proceeds support the prevention of child abuse and there will always be kids in need, so if and whenever you have time to check it out would be fine. Anything that you can do to help get the word out would be appreciated. Given the recent presidential elections, I thought that you may also be interested in the Political Allegory section below.

Blurb:
Lacy Dawn's father relives the Gulf War, her mother's teeth are rotting out, and her best friend is murdered by the meanest daddy on Earth. Life in the hollow is hard. She has one advantage -- an android was inserted into her life and is working with her to cure her parents. But, he wants something in exchange. It's up to her to save the Universe. Lacy Dawn doesn't mind saving the universe, but her family and friends come first.

Rarity from the Hollow is adult literary science fiction filled with tragedy, comedy and satire.



Political Allegory:
You may be interested in this press release: http://www.pr4us.com/pr-2618-trump-presidency-predicted-in.html. The original © was 2006. You would have to read the novel to find out how Lacy Dawn, the protagonist, convinced Mr. Rump (Bernie Sanders) to help talk Mr. Prump (Donald Trump) into saving the universe. The political allegory includes pressing issues that America is fighting about today, including illegal immigration and the refugee crisis, extreme capitalism / consumerism…. Mr. Prump was a projection of Donald Trump based on the TV show, The Apprentice. Part of the negotiations in the story occur in the only high rise on planet Shptiludrp (Shop Until You Drop), a giant shopping mall and the center of economic governance, now more easily identifiable as Trump Tower. There is no political advocacy in the story, other than sensitizing readers to the huge social problem of child maltreatment, but the allegory is much more obvious now that Donald Trump is a household name. A similar press release: http://www.pr.com/press-release/695122 .


Social Commentary:
My work utilizes SF/F cross-genre as a backdrop. It is not hard science fiction and includes elements of fantasy, everyday horror, a ghost -- so it's a little paranormal, true-love type romance, mystery, and adventure. The content addresses social issues: poverty, domestic violence, child maltreatment, local and intergalactic economics, mental health concerns – including PTSD experienced by Veterans and the medicinal use of marijuana for treatment of Bipolar Disorder, Capitalism, and touches on the role of Jesus: “Jesus is everybody’s friend, not just humans.”


About the Author:
I recently retired after 52 years of contributions into the U.S. Social Security fund so that I could write and promote my fiction. I’m a former mental health psychotherapist in West Virginia. But, after coming home drained from working with child abuse victims, I didn't have the energy left to begin its self-promotion. Author proceeds have been donated to a child abuse prevention program in my home state. http://www.childhswv.org/ A listing of services that are supported can be found here: http://mountainrhinestones.blogspot.com/2015/06/review-giveaway-rarity-from-hollow-by.html.


The Press:

Thursday, January 26, 2017

#APC #Spotlight: The #Running #Game By L E Fitzpatrick!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I've got L E Fitzpatrick in my APC spotlight, today!  L E is an active and supportive member of  the  Authors-Professional Co-op Facebook group and her cyberpunk sci-fi thriller novel, The Running Game, looks really interesting. Here's the description:
Rachel’s father called it the running game. Count the exits, calculate the routes, and always be ready to run.
On the surface, Rachel is just an ordinary doctor, but she has a secret. Rachel is a Reacher, wanted by the government and the criminal underworld for her telekinetic powers.
Charlie and his brother John have a reputation for doing the impossible. But after losing his family, Charlie is a broken mess and John is barely keeping him afloat. In desperation, they take a job from a ruthless crime lord, only to discover the girl they are hunting is a Reacher... one of their own kind.
With the help of dangerous and dubious allies, can Rachel turn the game around and save herself?
Sounds pretty good, huh? :-) If you agree, go ahead and grab your copy here:


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



Wednesday, January 25, 2017

#Agent Thoth's #Personal Log: Day 464


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-Sixty-Four:
I have spent the past two planetary rotations alternately attempting to avoid the infant felid and convince my hominid-servant that the creature is both unnecessary and a disruption to my work. Unfortunately, I have failed on both fronts. My hominid-servant seems to grow more and more enamored with the small irritant and the infant seems determined to shadow my every move!

The creature is orange. Orange! I ask you, could there be a more obnoxious color? And it makes high-pitched mewing sounds that set my teeth on edge. What possessed my hominid-servant to acquire such a pernicious pest, I will never understand. But she absolutely dotes on it!

My fur has started to come out with increasing frequency, and I believe it must be an effect of the stress. I will end this entry so that I can retreat to one of the few places in my domicile that the miniscule felid is unable to reach. And my hominid-servant can be damned with her screeching and arm flapping over sitting on the horizontal platforms!


Poor Thoth! It's hard when those around us refuse to recognize our needs. 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, January 24, 2017

How About A Little #TuesdayMotivation? ;-)



Hey Everyone!

I'm back with another glimpse into Petri's world, and it looks like she may be having a little more fun than is her usual lately. Check it out... ;-)

Excerpt from book two of the Petri Dish Chronicles:
"Fuck me," she demanded.

It was Daji's turn to blink. "What?"

"Fuck me! Now!" Leaning forward against his hold, she kissed him hard. Crushing his lips back against his teeth.

Jerking his head back, he glared at her in astonishment. He clenched his jaw and shook her a little. "I am in no mood to be gentle or submit to you."

She laughed and yanked at her wrists, twisting in his grip. "I didn't fucking ask you to! Just fuck me, already!" Using the leverage her legs gave her, Petri ground her core against the front of his body.

Growling, he leaned in close to her and bared his fangs. "Do you remember the safeword?"

Petri nodded. "Kuacha."

Closing his eyes, he let out a breath and paused.

Petri waited silently, watching him.

When he opened his eyes, his expression sharpened. "I will try not to hurt you."

Tightening her thighs around his waist, Petri drew him closer and gave him a hard smile. "Do your worst. I will," she whispered.

Daji's eyes widened for a moment, then narrowed. Growling, he tightened his hold on her wrists, grinding them together. He grabbed her hair with his other hand and tilted her head to the side so that he could trail his fangs down her throat. A sharp sting came when he nipped her where her neck met her shoulder, and Petri felt a warm trickle against her skin that told her he had drawn blood.

Pulling back a little, Daji held her eyes as he pointedly licked her blood from his lips. He cocked an eyebrow at her, and she laughed. Using her power, she healed the tiny wound he had made, and said, "Come on, you can do better than that."

With a wicked grin, Daji released her and spun her around with one movement. He tore the overall she wore down the back and pushed the shredded material from her body. Picking her up out of the pool the ruined garment made at her feet, he pushed her face down over the table.


Monday, January 23, 2017

Something Worth Watching?


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I'm back today with another video I wanted to share.  This is from The Young Turks's TYTInterviews channel on YouTube. It's an interview about communication styles and one theory about why Trump's "message" resonated with so many people despite the fact that it lacked any substance and the man himself is full of more bullshit than your average cow field.  I found it interesting, though frustrating, and I'd love to hear what all of you think. :-)




Sunday, January 22, 2017

Lovin' That #Lasagna


Hey Everyone!

With winter in full swing, I thought it was time for some stick-to-your-ribs recipes. So, today, I'm sharing my lasagna recipe. I hope you like it! :-)

Ingredients:
1 2 lb container of ricotta cheese
3 lbs mozzarella cheese shredded
1 egg
1 lb spinach uncooked
15 cloves garlic minced
2 cups oregano chopped (or 1/2 cup dried)
1 cup parsley chopped (or 1/4 cup dried)
2 tbsp lemon zest
1 tbsp red pepper flakes or 1 chili pepper chopped (optional)
1 9oz box lasagna noodles
4 cups tomato sauce
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook the lasagna noodles in salted boiling water until nearly done. Drain the pasta and place in a bowl of cold water.  In spoon 2 tbs tomato sauce into a 9x13 baking dish and spread over the bottom of the dish. Pull a noodle through two fingers to remove the water, but be careful not to break it, and place it in the bottom of the baking dish. Repeat until there is a layer of cooked noodles in the bottom of the dish.

Mix all the ingredients except the noodles, spinach, tomato sauce, and 1 lb mozzarella cheese together in a bowl. Make sure the ingredients are well combined. Spread a layer of sauce over the noodles in the baking dish until all the noodles are completely covered. Spread a layer of the cheese mixture over the sauce in the baking dish until no sauce is visible. Place spinach leaves over the cheese layer until all the cheese is covered. Repeat layers until all noodles are used. Sprinkle remaining mozzarella cheese over the top of the lasagna. Cover lasagna with aluminum foil.

The assembled lasagna can be placed in the refrigerator over night or baked immediately at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 40 minutes or until edges are bubbling. Remove foil cover, run a knife around the edges of the lasagna, and return to oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for an additional 20-25 minutes or until top is browned.

You can also add pecorino ramano or parmesan cheese to both the cheese mixture and/or the top of the lasagna, if you like. Some other things I like to add sometimes are roasted slices of zuchinni, broccoli florets, and slices of cauliflower. As with other things, I prefer my lasagna without meat, but you can easily add ground beef, Italian sausage, or sliced meatballs to yours just by putting them in another layer. If you use meat, please make sure it is completely cooked before putting it in the lasagna because food poisoning sucks.  You can use any tomato sauce you like, but I'll put the link to my tomato sauce recipe below.

Buon Appetito!




Saturday, January 21, 2017

For The #Love Of #Books #Valentine #Giveaway! $135 #Cash #Grand #Prize! #Free To #Enter!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

There's a new Valentine giveaway!  Please take a moment to check out the Love Of Books Valentine Giveaway!!  There are lots of awesome books and prizes!! :-)  It's free to enter, there are over 100 prizes, and the grand prize is $135 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, January 20, 2017

#Spotlight For An #Enlightening Quiche by Eva Pasco!




BOOK TEASER for AN ENLIGHTENING QUICHE (An heirloom quiche recipe and baking rivalry turn up the heat in a small town during the aftermath of a tragedy).


An Excerpt from Chapter 10:

Augusta: “I wish you’d find a good man to settle down with by the time your next one comes around!” The crux of Oncle Emil’s “flirty in your thirties; finished at forty” pronouncement at last year’s milestone birthday fĂȘte hit my psyche with the displacement of an earthquake’s aftershock when the forty-first made landfall. Settling down with any one of the misfits I found myself attracted to, while shunning decent enough men like Ray Provost, a ticking time bomb by profession, unsettled those who positioned themselves along the periphery of a gladiatorial arena, helpless to shield me from deep wounds self-inflicted by engaging in morally destructive behavior. Hooking up is one thing. Falling in love with any of the riffraff I bedded, a dim prospect aligned with descending the rungs of a ladder into an abysmal abyss. Stuck in a holding pattern, I didn’t want to fall in love only to have my heart broken into irretrievable pieces.

Before the spectacle of the upcoming candle blowout took place, during one and the same period of grace leading up to Thanksgiving, a stranger’s downward climb precipitated even more disgraceful conduct which eventually put me in the bad graces of those detrimentally affected by my actions. On my own collision course with destiny, hitting Blackstone’s rock bottom seemed the only way I could ever gain enough insight to navigate through dire straits and orient my moral compass toward beau chemins.




Thursday, January 19, 2017

#APC #Spotlight: #Touch Of The #Irish By Savannah Morgan!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

Today, I've got Savannah Morgan in my APC spotlight!  Savannah is an active and supportive member of  the  Authors-Professional Co-op Facebook group and her erotic fantasy romance short story collection, Touch of the Irish, is one of my favorites! Here's the description:
Touch of the Irish: A Collection of Short Erotic Fantasies
Eros has done it now.
After a fight with Psyche, Eros went on a drunken rampage shooting his leaden arrows at perspective lovers. On Valentine's Day, no less! Now that he and Psyche have made up, Eros is scrambling to find some way to save his victims.
Where does cupid turn for help?
None other than his ex-flame Aine, Goddess of the Faeries. Aine has things well under control until she realizes three names were left off her list of victims. What is a Goddess to do when all her best-trained fey are already helping others?
She calls on her faeries in training. Three unsuspecting fey get the chance to make a god’s mistake right when they are sent in to help the last three victims of Eros. Dragons, Wolves, and Majickal Beings are all fair game in this race against the clock and finding the happily ever after for three lucky ladies.
All 3 stories in one complete box set.
Book 1: Dragon's Lair
Book 2: Wolfe's Heart
Book 3: Immortal Pair
Intended for audiences 18 and over. Strong sexual content. Violence. Language. M/F/M
As I said, I've read this one and I think it's really great. If you want to give it a try, you can grab your copy here:


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



Wednesday, January 18, 2017

#January2017 #IndieBooksBeSeen #Indie #Author #Books #Monthly #BookReview!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

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

Supernormal by Stuart Kenyon:

After the events of Subnormal, Paul Kelly and his brother's widow, Jenni, are trying to raise her non-verbal, autistic son in post-war England. The country is reeling after their civil war and the bombing by Russia, and times are tough. The public's memories of the horrors of life under the Unity party and the dictator, Alison Latham, are fading, and people are looking for someone to blame for their current troubles. Will that scapegoat turn out to be the very people who rescued them from slavery?

What do you do if you're accused of a crime that you're innocent of, but the entire media seems bent on spreading a false narrative in which you're guilty? What happens when facts cease to matter and no one bothers to consider the evidence? How do you convince people of the truth when you aren't allowed to have a voice?  These are just some of the questions that Supernormal seeks to explore.

Once again, Stuart Kenyon explores some of the most frighteningly relevant themes in our current political climate. The effect of a corporate media beholden to the government is examined. When those in power have a stranglehold on information, what happens when they lie to the people?  And how long does it take before an oft-repeated lie is widely accepted as the truth?

Mr. Stuart also uses Supernormal to explore one of the ugliest parts of human nature. Namely, the inevitable search for a scapegoat during difficult times and how that tendency can be used by those who seek to control and manipulate others for their own ends. And how easily people allow themselves to be deceived this way simply through complacency and a lack of healthy skepticism towards claims made by those in power.

This book repeatedly brought to mind parallels in current events.  The way Noam Chomsky's Manufacturing Consent seemed to play out with terrifying accuracy during this last election was something that I thought of often while reading Supernormal. The way the media manipulated voters and how evidence and facts were rarely asked for or offered.

But the scariest thing, to me, were the similarities I saw between how those classified as Subnormal were talked about and treated in this story and how certain minority groups are being treated and spoken of now. Because Mr. Kenyon is correct. When people are in hard times, they do look for someone to blame. And someone with bad intentions can use that to cause a lot of harm. Hitler did it with the Jews in Nazi Germany. And, from his rhetoric, I fear that Donald Trump is trying to do it now with Muslims and Mexicans.

The problem is, as Mr. Kenyon's story illustrates, it isn't those in worse circumstances who cause the trouble. It's those who benefit from that trouble, those in power, who cause it. And all scapegoating innocent minorities does is allow those who would fleece a populace for their own ends to continue doing so without interference or being held responsible for their actions.

As is also demonstrated in Supernormal, those who speak the truth under such circumstances are rarely thanked. In fact, people tend to resent them for making them feel uncomfortable. But facts don't depend on popularity, they are what they are. And Mr. Kenyon did a fabulous job of underscoring that conundrum.

Once again, this was a riveting, thought-provoking story that I thoroughly enjoyed. The action was a little slower to build in this book than it was in Subnormal, but it's definitely worth the wait. If I had one criticism, it would be that I don't think Mr. Kenyon's portrayal of a post-nuclear attack is terribly realistic. If Russia truly nuked England, I doubt very much anyone would be able to live there afterwards, or anywhere else in Western Europe, for that matter. And that's if it was a relatively restrained attack.  But this is fiction, so that's probably a minor detail.  Overall, this is definitely another five star read by Mr. Kenyon, and I can't wait to see how this series ends!



Tuesday, January 17, 2017

#Agent Thoth's #Personal Log: Day 462


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-Sixty-Two:
My hominid-servant has introduced into my domicile one of the felid creatures that resemble the form DPCIL agents utilize for missions on this planet. This particular felid is an infant of its kind and not yet trained in even the basic courtesies these less advanced creatures generally subscribe to. To compound the injury, my hominid-servant failed to even consult me before acquiring the creature! I am too distressed by this development to give a full report at this time. When I have restored my internal equilibrium, I will provide more details regarding this travesty.


What a nightmare!! Poor Thoth! I wonder if our intrepid DPCIL agent will be able to recover from this latest insult. You may have noticed that Agent Thoth has a new look. I hope you like his new picture as much as I do, but I'd love to hear your thoughts, either way. Feel free to let me know what you think in the comments. ;-)  Happy reading, everyone!


Monday, January 16, 2017

Something Worth Watching?


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I'm back with more videos I thought it was important to share. Actually, what I've got for you today are two playlists from TYT Politic's YouTube channel. Both playlists have to do with the poisoning of American citizens by our government. One playlist focuses on the water crisis in Indiana and the other focuses on the water crisis in Flint, Michigan. They are a series of interviews with scientists, lawyers, activists, and regular people who are being forced to live with these poisons and are suffering the consequences. Once again, Jordan Chariton has done an outstanding job of investigating and reporting on these situations, and hopefully if we all help to spread the truth something will be done to help these people. So click on the links below and get watching. ;-)





Sunday, January 15, 2017

A #Saucy #Sauce Can Make The #Difference!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

Today, I thought I'd share my recipe for tomato sauce with you. There are so many dishes that call for either a lot or a little tomato sauce, and the quality of the sauce can make or break those meals. Hopefully, you'll think this sauce is as good as I do. :-)

Ingredients:
8 large tomatoes or two large cans of tomatoes
1 large onion finely chopped
10 cloves of garlic minced
1/2 cup chopped basil (fresh is best but dried will do in a pinch)
4 tbsp chopped or dried oregano
2 tbsp chopped or dried parsley
2 tbsp fennel seeds
4 tsp vegetarian Worcestershire sauce
1 cup red wine (Burgundy or Merlot work well) or 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup Pecorino Romano cheese grated
1 chili pepper deseeded and chopped or 1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
Salt and Pepper to taste

Put the olive oil, garlic, onion, fennel seeds, the pepper if you are using it, and any dried herbs you are using in your sauce pot and heat on low until the oil begins to sizzle. Stir the contents of the pot over low heat and allow the seasonings to infuse into the oil a bit, and then add the wine or wine vinegar, salt and pepper, and Worcestershire sauce continue stirring.

The tomatoes can be added either whole or as a puree, depending on how chunky you like your sauce. If you are using canned tomatoes, you can just add them directly from the can or put them in a blender and puree them and then add them. Canned tomatoes usually need to be cooked a bit longer so that the metallic taste disappears. If you add the tomatoes whole, you can use a potato masher to mush them up in the sauce pot so that they'll cook down into a sauce. If you are using fresh tomatoes, you can add them with or without the skins. If you like the skins, either add them whole or puree them in a blender and add them. If you want the skins removed, place the tomatoes in boiling water for a couple of seconds and then shock them in ice water. The skins should rub right off with a paper towel. Again, mush them up so that they'll cook down if you add them whole.

Slowly stir in the tomatoes or tomato puree and fresh herbs, but reserve half the parsley and half the basil. Bring the sauce to a boil, stirring continuously, and then reduce the heat and allow the sauce to simmer for an hour or two, stirring occasionally. Stir in the grated cheese and the reserved herbs and taste the sauce. Adjust the salt and seasonings to suit your taste and allow the sauce to cool. The sauce is better the second day, so allowing it to sit in the fridge overnight is a good idea.

If you'd like a slightly chunkier sauce, you can also add mushrooms at the beginning when you cook the onions. A teaspoon of harissa paste instead of a chili pepper adds a slightly sweeter spice to the sauce. A cup of milk or half a cup of cream stirred in at the end makes the sauce creamier.

As with other things, I prefer my tomato sauce without meat. But if you want to add meat, you can add Italian sausage or ground beef to the pot before adding the garlic and other ingredients. Just make sure you cook the meat completely before adding anything else because food poisoning sucks. You can also add pre-cooked meat or meatballs to the sauce when you add the olive oil and other ingredients.

Buon Appetito!


Saturday, January 14, 2017

For The #Love Of #Books #Valentine #Giveaway! $135 #Cash #Grand #Prize! #Free To #Enter!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

There's a new Valentine giveaway!  Please take a moment to check out the Love Of Books Valentine Giveaway!!  There are lots of awesome books and prizes!! :-)  It's free to enter, there are over 100 prizes, and the grand prize is $135 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, January 13, 2017

#Interview With Eva Pasco


Hey Everyone! :-)

Today Eva Pasco is joining us to talk about herself and her writing. Eva, will you tell us about yourself and how many books you have written?

Eva: At the age of twelve, I pounded the keys on my girly-pink Tom Thumb typewriter to compose several mysteries and serial spy thrillers. In high school, I wrote a romance novella which earned its place on a library shelf. A Jill-of-all-Trades in the progression of life—a factory fatale gluing eyes on pairs of lion slippers at Capitol Heel Lining; collating booklets at Sidney-Higgins Bookbinding; contending with all the sordid details at H & H Screw Products; teaching in the third-grade classroom trenches. Midlife restlessness revived my flair for writing. A lifelong Rhode Islander, I incorporate geographic entities, historic references, and regional culture in my novels.  I’ve written two books in the genre of Contemporary Women’s Fiction. My debut novel, UNDERLYING NOTES (2008) was autobiographically motivated by my ongoing fragrance obsession and knowledge of perfume, as attested by the opening line in its synopsis: Carla Matteo copes with life by "taking to the bottle"— glass goddesses funneling perfume! During a mid-life renaissance the juice provides incentive for Carla to find her own niche.

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

Eva: My second novel and latest launch is AN ENLIGHTENING QUICHE (September 20, 2016). Set in the fictitious, French-Canadian mill town of Beauchemins, the book was autobiographically inspired by the beloved, close-knit community of Manville in the town of Lincoln, Rhode Island, where I taught elementary school for 29 years. Another inspiration behind the storytelling stemmed from wanting to preserve my own history by resurrecting the antiquated, labor-intensive jobs I performed working at Sidney-Higgins Bookbinding Co. for two summers during college vacation: collating, hole-punching, feeding the saddle-stitcher, and combing.

Me: It's aways a great feeling when we can put a little of ourselves in our stories. :-)  What are you working on now?

Eva: While my primary focus is that of marketing and promoting my second novel, I continue adding to my repertoire of 115 Memoirs published at Authors Den. I also write a weekly Blog which reflects my musings as an Indie author, having composed 88 thus far.

Me: I agree, promotion and marketing take a lot of time. But blogging is a blast and indie author blogs are awesome. ;-)  What authors, or books, have influenced you?

Eva:  One of my favorite authors who has influenced me is Anne Lamott. In her own words, “I try to write the books I would love to come upon, that are honest, concerned with real lives, human hearts, spiritual transformation, families, secrets, wonder, craziness—and that can make me laugh.”  Consequently, I compose fiction that taps into significant issues affecting the lives of ordinary/ extraordinary, flawed women who grapple with, confront, and overcome their personal dilemmas to become empowered in making profound life changes for the better. Secrets, idiosyncrasies, and sardonic humor abound in my writing.

Me: Sounds like you've found your niche. :-)  What are you reading now?

Eva:  I’m just about finished reading THE RAINBOW SERPENT by Lyra Shanti, a kindred Indie author and dear friend.

Me: I love indie books! :-)  For those who might consider reading your book, what would you tell them to expect?

Eva:  For those who consider reading my book, I hope you will take that leap of faith to journey alongside unpretentious French-Canadians in northern Rhode Island’s fictitious mill town of Beauhemins. You can expect the unexpected through plot twists and turns. As one reviewer put it, “The revelation of personal burdens and family crosses that have been borne—ranging from alcoholism to common theft to adultery to hidden birth defects—rents apart the very fabric of Beauchemins, but speaks volumes about the author’s ability to completely disarm her reader with the pleasures and comforts of home just before the bomb planted underfoot explodes!”

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

Eva:  My favorite part of being an author is the freedom to say and do as I please through character dialogue and action. And—getting away with murder, should I feel so inclined!

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

Eva:  For me, there is nothing easy about being a writer! The art of storytelling is blissful anguish throughout the struggle of nailing every story element with precision and style to penetrate the reader’s psyche. Joel R. Dennstedt, a reviewer for ‘Readers' Favorite,’ eloquently summarized my painful writing process at the forefront of his review—“AN ENLIGHTENING QUICHE by Eva Pasco is, to shamelessly promote a theme, superbly rich and delicious. One cannot know if such writing comes naturally to the author, or if she suffers from the agony of meticulousness required to produce such an exquisite work. The end result hearkens to the classics for its resemblance to such deeply thoughtful plotting, characterization, and the gorgeous prose used in its exposition.”

Me: Wow! Congratulations on earning such high praise! :-)  Is there anything else you'd like to tell your readers?

Eva:  Since I officially launched AN ENLIGHTENING QUICHE in late September, I’m proud to share my novel’s recent achievements:

Recipient of Readers’ Favorite 5-Star Seal

Underground Book Reviews “Perfect Pitch Pick” (October, 2016)

1st out of 70 books in the category “Books Set in Rhode Island” (Goodreads)

1st out of 14 books in the category “Must Reads by New Authors” (Goodreads)

Me: Congratulations again! :-)  And so these wonderful readers can find your amazing work, are there any links you'd like me to post?

Eva: All literary works (Memoirs, Retro 60s Flashbacks, Rhode Reads, Blogs) may be accessed from my web page at AUTHORS DEN where a signed copy of the Paperback may be acquired for $19.95 + $3.50 s/h: http://www.authorsden.com/evapasco

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/evapasco

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/EvaPasco

Me:  Perfect! Thank you so much for joining me here today, Eva. And thank you to everyone else who stopped by to see what we found to chat about. Happy reading, everyone! :-)



Thursday, January 12, 2017

Only #99Cents For 5 #Days Only: #Demon #Within By Julie Nicholls!!



A former slave who is now a feared warlord, a princess, a king, angels and fallen-angels make this an epic romance you will love from the start.
When the Seraphim ruled the heavens, a vain angel dared to risk everything for the love of a human and paid the price of eternal damnation.
Sold into slavery when he was six years old, Kai has never known love. As a grown man, he rebels and becomes the ruler of Blackhill where he rules with a firm hand. Now he needs alliances and a wife.
King Garlan from Brightstone sends his envoy to request an alliance with the infamous warrior. The agreement is to offer his daughter's hand in marriage, Princess Eloise, in exchange for Kai’s support. Kai instantly falls for the beautiful princess and soon discovers he’s not the only one with a secret.
The princess holds a power gifted to females on her mother’s side by the seraphim.
Can Eloise save Kai and the town of Blackhill from the destruction of the fallen angel who is attacking the towns looking for revenge? What does the future hold for them?
Join Kai and his friends on an epic journey which takes you in to a world of angels and demons by reading Demon within, an angel fantasy romance by Julie Nicholls.



#APC #Spotlight: #Valkyrie: #Darkness Awaits By Mark McQuillen!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I've got Mark McQuillen in my APC spotlight, today!  Mark is an active and supportive member of  the  Authors-Professional Co-op Facebook group and his sci-fi/fantasy horror novel, Valkyrie: Darkness Awaits, looks interesting. Here's the description:
Gil Swanson has been struggling with PTSD for years after the death of his comrades.
When a mysterious woman from his past appears pleading for his help he jumps to her aid. Suddenly he finds himself in a epic battle between light and darkness.
Sounds pretty good, huh? :-) If you agree, go ahead and grab your copy here:


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



Wednesday, January 11, 2017

#Agent Thoth's #Personal Log: Day 456


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-Fifty-Six:
The dead tree has been removed from my domicile. I'm not certain what instigated its removal, but I am relieved that it is gone. The temptation to hunt the decorations and climb the tree is no longer an issue, and I am my confidence in my ability to continue to manage the behavior of my hominid-servant has been restored.

On a related note, the elaborate presentation ceremony has not been repeated. Though, my hominid-servant has allowed me to sample several more of the eatables that were in the second box and I have enjoyed them all. Fortunately, there have not been any more drugging incidents, though she does maintain a supply of the herb as I can detect its siren's scent through the container she keeps it in. I will maintain vigilance and try to forestall any further attempts to compromise my faculties by removing myself from the vicinity should she attempt to tempt me with the intoxicant again.


Whew! What a relief! Being tested by temptation is never fun. 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, January 10, 2017

#Friends #Forever, Right?


Hey Everyone!!

I'm back with another peek at what Petri is up to. Enjoy! :-)

Excerpt from book two of the Petri Dish Chronicles:
Swallowing against the over-stuffed feeling, Petri nodded. "I think so." She looked around at the room again. The two Arcanum were unconscious on the floor, but she could tell that they both still lived. Reaching out with her mind, she found the Collective still intact, though they recoiled when they felt her presence. Swallowing, Petri gave her friend a sheepish look. "I think I got carried away."

Chessie gave a startled laugh. "Yeah, I think so, hun. What will they do to you?"

Shaking her head, Petri said, "I don't know. I think I scared them."

With a wry smile, Chessie gave her shoulders another squeeze as she looked around. "I can understand why."

Hesitantly, Petri met her friend's eyes. "Are you afraid of me, now?"

Her eyes rolling, Chessie leaned down and kissed the top of Petri's head. "Nah, hun, you don't scare me. Friends forever, right?"

Relieved, Petri smiled and hugged the older woman back. "Friends, forever and always."

"Can we go back to the ship now?"

Stepping closer to her friend and wrapping both of her arms tight around the other woman, Petri nodded. "Yes."


I love the way Chessie and Petri are so loyal to each other. No matter what the universe throws at them, they've always got each other's backs. Friendship like that is rare.  Thanks for stopping by, everyone, and I hope you all have a fantastic week. And don't forget to hug your friends! ;-)  

Monday, January 9, 2017

Something Worth Watching?


Hey Everyone!

I'm back with another video that I think it's important to share. This is from Lee Camp's Redacted Tonight show and it discusses something that almost no one is talking about. If you've followed my blog for a while, you may remember a post I did several months ago, Shades Of 1984?  Well, now it's no longer a possibility. Thanks to our elected leaders, including President Obama, it has now become fact. And I don't know about you, but I think it's scary as fuck. Granted, Lee Camp is a satirist, and a gifted one, but even though his show is a comedy show, he still discusses real news topics. Take a look at the video and see if you agree that this does not bode well for the future of the First Amendment.



Sunday, January 8, 2017

#NewRelease #Announcement: #Sex, #Blood, Rock ‘N’ Roll, and Vampyr By KM McFarland!


It’s finally here. Today is release day for Sex, Blood, Rock ‘N’ Roll, and Vampyr (Book 1 of The Bloodline Trilogy). The book is now available in digital and paperback.


About the Book:

West Side’s front man and lead singer, Quinn Forrester, and the band’s lead guitarist, Jeff West, were like brothers, so when Quinn mysteriously disappeared in 1989, Jeff suspected foul play. With no evidence to back up his suspicions, Jeff was not able to convince the authorities. The truth is, Quinn was turned into a vampire that night and lives in secret in the dark shadows of New Orleans.

Years later when Quinn and his daughter, Nadia, formed a night club act, Quinn stepped back into the local spotlight. Vampires don’t age as mortals do, so in an effort to explain that, Quinn reinvented himself as his son.

Twenty-five years after Quinn’s sudden unexplained departure from the band, the opening of an art gallery brings Jeff West to New Orleans. A beautiful artist, Quinn’s lookalike son, a vampire tour and a series of events send Jeff on the path to finally discovering the shocking truth about what happened to Quinn. 


Here’s a Look Inside the Book:

Randi and Quinn looked at each other recalling their earlier discussion about adding a little spice to their hunt.
“Did you hear that?” she asked.
“I did,” he said, wondering what was going on in his wife’s mind.
“What do you think? She’s obviously vampire friendly,” said Randi playing with her hair.
Quinn noticed her pretty face, long silky red hair, perfect breasts, and drop-dead body. He raised his brows and said, “She’s hot, babe. Honey, are you sure you want to do this? We don’t have to. It’s your call.”
The corners of her lips turned up. “Yes.”
He placed his hand over hers and said, “I love you. I don’t want you to do this because you think it’s what I want. I only want you to do it if it’s what you want. It doesn’t matter to me either way.”
She smiled and rested her other hand on his. “It is what I want. I want to experience this with you.”
He shook his head and smiled at her. “Then go for it.”
She winked at Quinn as she got up from the table and stepped behind the bar. Quinn got up and took a seat at the bar three stools down from the stunning redhead. The girl noticed him and looked his way flashing him a flirty smile. She was aware of his bedroom eyes grazing over her.
Randi eased her way over to her and said, “Hi, I’m Randi.”
The girl sipped her drink. Her smoky green eyes looked up, and she smiled. “Hello, Randi, I’m Riley.”
“Local or tourist?” asked Randi.
“Business. I’m an artist, and I’m here for the unveiling of a painting.” Riley glanced over at Quinn subtly licking her full glossed lips. She turned back to Randi and motioned to Quinn. “What a hottie.”
“Yes, he is,” said Randi with a smile. “That’s one of the many reasons I married him.”
Shit, thought Riley biting her lower lip. She shrugged her shoulders and attempted to laugh. “Oh, no. I’m sorry. Isn’t that always the way. The hot ones are always taken or gay.”
Randi laughed and said, “His name’s Quinn. He owns the place. Since you can’t have my man, how about another drink? It’s on the house.”
“Sure. Thanks, Randi.”
Randi made her a fresh vodka martini and set it in front of her.
Riley sipped and raised her glass with a smile. “This is great, Randi. You’re quite a mixologist.”
“Thank you.” Randi leaned in close to Riley and whispered, “Are you planning to scout the alley tonight for a vampire to feast on your blood?”
Riley looked at her wondering why she would ask such a question. Unaware Randi was using her preternatural power of hypnosis on her to get the truth; she said, “If I thought those rumors were true, I probably would.”
Her words were music to Randi’s ears. She reached out and touched Riley’s hand. Her bright blue eyes sparkled as she said, “You know they’re true, don’t you?”
Riley realized Randi’s body temperature was way below normal for a human, and her mind began to make a connection. She looked into her eyes and asked, “Is your husband as cold as you are?”
“Even colder,” said Randi moving in closer. “You know what warms us. If you’re interested in making a donation, I don’t mind sharing my hot husband, but it’s a one-time thing, and I have to be there. It’s our rules.”


Buy Links:

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Amazon CA

Amazon AU