Who Is Mistral Dawn?

Mistral Dawn is a thirty-something gal who has lived on both coasts of the US but somehow never in the middle. She currently resides in the Southeast US with her kitty cats (please spay or neuter! :-)) where she works as a hospital drudge and attends graduate school. Taken By The Huntsman is her first effort at writing fiction and if it is well received she has ideas for several more novels and short-stories in this series. Please feel free to visit her on FaceBook or drop her a line at mistralkdawn@gmail.com

Friday, November 30, 2018

Asked And Answered... ;-)


Hey Everyone!! :-)

Since the holiday season is upon us, I thought I'd give everyone a tiny reminder of how the Winter Fae celebrate to help get your weekend started off right! Enjoy! ;-)

Excerpt from Captivated by the Winter King:
"Are you interested?"

Barking a laugh, he rose and extended a hand towards her. When she gave him her hand, he pulled her to her feet and against his body. He used one hand to hold her hard against himself while he threaded the fingers of the other hand through her short, red hair. Capturing her head, he held it angled to the side and skimmed his lips up the milky-white column of her throat.

When he reached her lips he hovered above them with his own and looked into her eyes. She wore a soft, dazed expression, and her body was pliant in his arms. Lowering his mouth, he claimed her with a deep, passionate kiss. She opened to him, denying him nothing as he explored every inch of her mouth with his tongue and lips. Her surrender brought him to the edge of forgetting himself, and it was only with great difficulty that he broke their kiss.

Looking at her, he saw her eyes were closed and her skin was flushed. Her lips were swollen and, when she cracked her eyelids to look at him, they curved into a satisfied smile. He smiled back. "It would be my pleasure," he answered.



Want to find out what happens next? Grab your copy at the link below. Happy reading and enjoy your holiday! :-)






Thursday, November 29, 2018

#APC #Spotlight: Sharliss: A Word From A Doormat By Chrissy Moon!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I've got Chrissy Moon in my APC spotlight, today! Chrissy is an active and supportive member of the  Authors-Professional Co-op Facebook group and her humorous, reflective, personal journey, contemporary women's fiction short story, Sharliss: A Word From A Doormat, looks great! Here's the description:
Tonight's the night.
Sharliss—an accountant who's been a pushover for pretty much all of her thirty-eight years—has had it.
She doesn't want her date to paw at her. She doesn't want people to talk rudely to her or for her bossy cousin to control her personal life.
Will she have the courage to speak up and finally put a stop to it all?
If you think this sounds like something you might enjoy, go ahead and grab your copy here:


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



Wednesday, November 28, 2018

#Agent Thoth's #Personal Log: Day 873


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 Eight-Hundred-Seventy-Three:
Today, my hominid-servant decorated her dead tree. At least, she partially decorated it. I couldn't help but note when she had finished that there were substantially fewer decorations dangling from the tree than there have been in previous iterations of this ritual. I'm uncertain if she has decided to reduce the number of decorations this time for some ill-defined reason, or if she intends to hang more decorations at a later time. And, if it's the latter possibility, I'm uncertain why she decided to complete this task in two or more separate installments.

Regardless of her reasoning or motivations, my hominid-servant has suspended a number of intriguing baubles from the limbs of the tree. She prefaced this act by spending several minutes hurling severe imprecations at myself and the adolescent felid regarding the consequences she intends to visit upon us if we disturb the dancing trinkets she has tempted us with. Again, I'm unclear on her intentions with this warning, as she has to know by now that there is no chance at all that we will heed it. I can only surmise it makes her feel better by giving her a delusory sense of control over our behavior. Once again, I must conclude that hominids are simply not terribly bright.


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




Tuesday, November 27, 2018

#NewRelease #Announcement:The Vampire King's Mate By C.A. Worley!



Hey Everyone! :-)

My friend, C.A. Worley, wants to tell you about her new book, The Vampire King's Mate. C.A., take it away! :-)

C.A.Worley:

The Vampire King's Mate Description:
For five long years, Viktor, The Heartless King of Prajna, has ignored the cicatrice on his palm. The birthmark, which awakens only when a vampire’s fated mate is soon to cross his path, is a complication he does not need. A chance encounter with his true mate unexpectedly rocks him to the core. Unwilling to deny the pull of her soul to his, he bonds with the female, believing he can handle the one major obstacle standing in his way of happiness.

When Eden’s betrothal to the Wolf King of the North falls through, she rejoices. For the first time in her life, she believes her fate is her own. She later finds out how very wrong she was, and runs headfirst into the arms of a vampire. Soon, nefarious forces work against the pair. While Viktor tries to protect his mate, Eden learns the consequences of falling for a king who has no heart.

***The Vampire King's Mate is the second book in the Fate of Imperium Series. Each book is the story of a different king and his fated mate. While the three books do not have to be read in order, it is highly recommended.




Links:
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07HGNC9PS
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/896441
Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-vampire-kings-mate-ca-worley/1129592877?ean=2940155816492
iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-vampire-kings-mate/id1436748399
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-vampire-king-s-mate-1






Monday, November 26, 2018

Something Worth Watching?


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I'm back today with another video I wanted to share. This one talks a little bit about how the inner machinations of the upcoming Speaker of the House vote will go and how the ultimate decisions will be arrived at. The reality is frustrating, but I think it's important to understand how everything is working so that we'll better be able to judge whether the people we all worked so hard to get there are keeping true to their promises to us. Anyway, please take a few minutes to watch the video, and then you can reach your own conclusions. Peace!






Sunday, November 25, 2018

Easy Mashed Potato #Casserole #Recipe!



Hey Everyone!! :-)

This is an easy casserole you can usually throw together with leftovers. Enjoy! :-)

Ingredients:
4-6 cups leftover mashed potatoes
2 eggs
1 carrot shredded or chopped small
1 cup frozen or leftover peas
1 cup frozen or leftover broccoli
1 cup mushrooms chopped
2 onions chopped fine
4 cloves garlic minced fine
1 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp turmeric
2 tsp chili pepper flakes
1 cup white wine (your choice)
1/2 cup melted butter
1 cup mozzarella or cheddar cheese shredded
Salt and pepper to taste (you'll want to use a fair amount of pepper)

Put the potatoes, carrots, peas, broccoli, dry seasonings, and eggs in a large bowl and mix together. In a skillet, add the butter and onions and cook until the onions start to caramelize. Add the mushrooms, garlic, and wine and cook until the wine reduces. Remove the pan from the heat and add the contents to the bowl. Mix until everything is combined evenly. Transfer the contents of the bowl to a buttered baking dish. Put the dish into the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit and cook until the top starts to brown. Sprinkle the cheese over the top and return the dish to the oven. Finish cooking until the cheese melts and browns. Serve piping hot.

Bon appetit!



Saturday, November 24, 2018

#Winter #Wonderland Of #Reading #Christmas #Giveaway! $120 #Cash #Grand #Prize! #Free To #Enter!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

There's a new giveaway for Christmas!  Please take a moment to check out the Winter Wonderland of Reading Authors & Bloggers Christmas Giveaway!!  There are lots of awesome books and prizes!! :-)  It's free to enter, there are over 160 prizes, and the grand prize is $120 cash payable through PayPal!! :-)  Now isn't that worth taking a few minutes to check out? ;-)   Here are all the details:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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





Friday, November 23, 2018

Cover And Title #Reveal #Announcement! :-)



Hey Everyone!! :-)

Happy day after Thanksgiving to all my fellow Americans. And since this is a holiday weekend, I've decided to give you all some exciting news!! I've finished the first draft of Alyce's story and, as you can see, the cover is ready too! :-) Right now, I'm working on editing and I hope, but can't promise, that I'll be able to release it before the end of the year. But, never fear, I'll definitely make sure to let you all know the release date just as soon as I have won. ;-)  In the meantime, here's a peek at the revised beginning. Happy reading! :-)

Excerpt from Answers From Alyce:

Prologue

"You want to do what, now?"

The short guy with the clipboard looked up from what he was writing. "I need to inspect your genitals."

"Are you out of your ever-lovin' mind?"

The guy cocked his head at me, quite a feat since he didn't have much of a neck to speak of. "You know, these are your species' rules. If you want to use a public lavatory, you must submit to having your genitals inspected first. How else can we be sure that you are entering the correct facility for your gender?"

"You're delusional; there's no way this side of eternity that you are gonna go 'inspectin' my genitals'. I'd rather pee my pants."

The guy made a notation on his clipboard. Actually, it wasn't a clipboard, it was some kind of high-tech tablet kind of thing. But it looked like a clipboard, so that's what I called it.

"Interesting. We didn't think you'd object. Based on the vociferosity of those promoting such regulations, we thought they must have near universal support."

I gaped at him. "Lookyhere, sugar, almost no one likes those rules. It's basically just a handful of religious, nutjob zealots who have taken control of our government by doing the biddin' of the wealthy who think that those rules are a good idea."

"You truly have an odd form of leadership. Very well, if you have need of the facilities, please use them. We have much to cover today."

I rolled my eyes. "Thank you. I'm pleased as punch we've managed to move past your desire to see me in my altogether."

As I walked past him towards the door to the bathroom, I heard him mumble, "As if I actually had any wish to view the vulva of an over-evolved ape."

I think he might even have shuddered, but it was hard to tell since he lacked any kind of skeleton. It might have just been a breeze moving through the room. I rolled my eyes again anyway. Apparently, no one had ever told him that the proper place for squid is dusted in seasoned flour, deep fried, and served over spaghetti.

But maybe I'm getting ahead of myself. Hi. My name is Alyce, and boy did I ever end up on the other side of the looking glass. It's quite a story, so let me start at the beginning.



Coming Soon...



Thursday, November 22, 2018

#APC #Spotlight: Working With It (The Persimmon Series Book 3) By Cass Alexander!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

Happy Thanksgiving to those of you in the good ol' US of A. Today, I've got Cass Alexander in my APC spotlight! Cass is an active and supportive member of the  Authors-Professional Co-op Facebook group and her contemporary romance, new adult, college romance, romantic comedy, Working With It, looks great! Here's the description:
Morgan Pottinger is counting the days until graduation. Her plans are to leave small town Kentucky and never look back. As she starts her senior year at Persimmon College, she finds herself the object of Nate Stevenson’s affections. Despite her spaz-like tendencies, Nate makes it clear he wants her. Morgan cannot resist the sexy, intelligent guy that keeps her on her toes and ties her up in knots.
There’s just one problem. Morgan needs to break up with her hometown boyfriend before pursuing anything with Nate. A series of catastrophes back home continuously interfere with her attempts to end the relationship. At this rate, she’ll be married to the loser by March and Nate will be just another casualty in the disaster that is her life. Lucky for Morgan, Nate’s much smarter than she is.
Working With It is Book 3 of The Persimmon Series. Each book can be read as a standalone.
 If you think this sounds like something you might enjoy, go ahead and grab your copy here:


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



Wednesday, November 21, 2018

#Agent Thoth's #Personal Log: Day 668


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 Eight-Hundred-Sixty-Eight:
My hominid-servant has once again brought a dead tree into my domicile. She has yet to hang her decorations from it, however the juvenile felid has already drawn her ire several times through his forays into the branches. Though, why his actions should come as a surprise to her is beyond me. It never ceases to amaze me how easily hominids seem to forget the consequences of their actions.

For my part, I have determined that the best way to conduct my investigation of the tree without interruption is to wait until my hominid-servant retires to her sleeping platform. As long as my investigations do not make enough noise to rouse her, I am able to work in peace. And if, by chance, she does awaken, it is not difficult to maneuver the canid into a position close enough to the tree that he will take the blame for the disturbance.


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




Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Terrifying Shades Of Past Sins...


Hey Everyone!! :-)

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

Excerpt from sci-fi satire novel:
We moved off down the hallway and the exhibit changed. What looked like color-coded boxes were lined up in rows of green, purple, blue, yellow, and red. Some of the boxes had robots in them but others were empty. It appeared as if the tallest robots were in the green and purple boxes and the smallest robots were in the blue boxes, with the red and yellow boxes containing robots of intermediate sizes. As I watched, two uniformed robots carried a child-sized robot over to a large ruler that was set into the floor. After comparing the small robot's height to the ruler, they put it in one of the blue boxes.

"What in the pink and purple heck…?"

"It was unclear to us the criteria that was being used to separate these people," said Squid-boy. "The only thing we were able to determine for certain is that size and gender seemed to be factors. Therefore, what we're showing here is people being categorized by height and then by gender, though perhaps the order of those should be reversed?"

As he talked, I felt my jaw falling open, but I couldn't seem to pick it back up again. If I'd have been home, I'd have caught a dozen flies. Finally, his question registered in my brain and I nearly choked to keep from laughing. The subject we were discussing wasn't funny at all, and even in my shock I knew how inappropriate it would be to start giggling, but the way these aliens' minds worked sometimes, well, it just tickled my funny bone.

I must have made some strange noises because Yax came over and peered down at me with a serious look of concern on his face, and that about did me in. One look at the frown on that devil's face and I'm sure I turned near purple trying not to bust a gut. I had to excuse myself and walk away before I started hee-hawing at a time and place where it would have been in the poorest taste and made my mamma roll over in her grave.

When I finally had control of myself, I went back, but the confusion on both their faces nearly set me off again. Squid-boy opened his beak to speak, but I held up my hand and said, "Don't. Just don't say anything." They looked at each other and then back at me, and I had to look away from them before I lost it. Closing my eyes, I took a deep breath. "Let me see if I've got this right, you think that the people here," I waved at the exhibit, "were separated based on their height and their gender?" My voice squealed at bit at the end, and I had to clear my throat to maintain control.

"Yes. Why does this disturb you?"

I shook my head and squeezed my eyes shut, breathing deeply. "Okay, you got part of what was going on here, but you mixed up the details, a bit." A strangled chuckle snuck out before I could stop it.

"And the way we've misinterpreted these events upsets you?" asked Yax.

A glance at the worry on his face and a half-formed snicker got past my lips. I had to look away and wipe the tears that were leaking from the corners of my eyes. Taking another deep breath, I looked up at the ceiling. "Umm… No. Not exactly."

My hosts looked at each other, again, and Yax moved closer to his colleague. "Do you think this is a manifestation of emotional shock?" asked the taller alien.

That was it; I couldn't take it anymore. A whoop of laughter escaped and echoed through the halls before I could stop it. Squid-boy narrowed his eyes at me and clicked his beak. "No. I do not believe it is distress that has resulted in this reaction."

Seeing the irritation on the faces of my hosts when they realized I was trying not to laugh at them nearly sent me completely over the edge. But then I looked back at the robots who were being "arrested" and the tears on the faces of the smaller robots, and thinking about how that was happening for real, to actual children, was enough to sober me instantly. Turning back towards the part of the exhibit where the sorting was being done, I remembered that while the criteria being used was different, people were actually being separated from their families and sent to different places.

When I thought about it a little more, I realized that words like "infestation," "diseased," and "animals" were already being used by elected officials at the highest levels of our government. How long would it be until terms like "liquidation," "final solution," and "special treatment" entered the conversation? With that in mind, all feelings of frivolity fled my thoughts.


Now Out:
Amazon Kindle: https://amzn.to/2J40wLq
Amazon Paperback: https://amzn.to/2UODFWv


Monday, November 19, 2018

Something Worth Watching?


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I'm back today with another video I wanted to share. This is a thought-provoking video that I want to share with you all to consider. But I'll let the video speak for itself. Peace!



Sunday, November 18, 2018

#November2018 #IndieBooksBeSeen #Indie #Author #Books #Monthly #BookReview!



Hey Everyone!! :-)

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


Tails by WJ Scott:

Kywah lost his tail to a hunter, and now the hunters are back to get the rest of his pack members' tails. Since Kywah has already lost the only thing that would interest the hunters, it's up to him to make his way through the gauntlet and find the Wise One so that he can get the Deep Magic that will save his people.

This was a really cute story. It has several messages that I think are important for children to hear. First, that sometimes you have to do something that scares you because other people are depending on you. That just because something bad happens to you, it doesn't mean that you can't find a way to keep going and do important things. And also the harm that can be caused by mindlessly following the crowd. Plus, it's just a really cute and fun adventure story. Overall, five stars and I look forward to the rest of the series.





Saturday, November 17, 2018

Don't Wait Until It's Too Late...



Hey Everyone!! :-)

Today, I just wanted to give you all a quick reminder to hurry up and enroll for 2019 if you get your health insurance through the healthcare exchange (https://www.healthcare.gov/). Since Trump and the Republicans don't want regular people to have healthcare, the window to enroll closes on December 15th. And they've promised to play games with taking the website down during the weekends when most people will have the time to sign up, so don't wait until the last minute or you might find you can't log into the site. Hopefully, we'll get actual progressives in government in the not too distant future, and we'll be able to get Medicare For All. But, until then, the exchange is better than the alternative, unless you're fortunate enough to have an employer that provides health insurance. So, sign up now and you won't have to worry about it later. ;-) Happy Holidays!






Friday, November 16, 2018

Black Bean #Soup In A #Crockpot #Recipe!



Hey Everyone!! :-)

Here's another stick-to-your-ribs soup recipe to keep you warm this Winter. Enjoy! :-)

Ingredients:
3 12oz cans black beans drained and rinsed
6 cups water or vegetable stock
1 cup red wine (your favorite kind)
1 12 oz can corn
3 potatoes cut into bite-sized pieces
1 carrot chopped
4 onions chopped fine
2 chili peppers chopped (and seeded if you want mild chili)
1 bell pepper chopped
10 cloves garlic minced fine
1 10oz can crushed tomatoes
4 tbsp cumin
2 tbsp turmeric
1/2 tbsp chili powder
2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tbsp oregano
2 tsp basil
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
Salt and pepper to taste

Add the beans, carrot, potatoes, and water or stock to the crockpot, set to high, and cover. Put the olive oil, butter, onions, and peppers in a saute pan and cook until the onions are translucent and soft. Add the garlic to the saute pan and cook until the onions start to caramelize. Transfer the vegetables to the crockpot and deglaze the saute pan with the wine. Simmer for a couple of minutes to allow the wine to reduce and transfer the contents of the saute pan to the crockpot. Add the tomatoes, corn, herbs, and spices to the crockpot and stir to combine. Cover the crockpot and cook on high for 2-3 hours. Stir the soup, taste it for seasoning, and make adjustments as necessary. Add more water if it's needed. Cover the crockpot and cook for an additional 2-3 hours or until the potatoes are tender. Serve piping hot with a side of crusty bread.

Bon appetit!



Thursday, November 15, 2018

#APC #Spotlight: Beauty Is The Beast: Beasts Among Us - Book 1 by Jennifer Zamboni!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I've got Jennifer Zamboni in my APC spotlight, today! Jennifer is an active and supportive member of the  Authors-Professional Co-op Facebook group and her new release, paranormal, urban fantasy, fairy tale novel, Beauty is the Beast, looks great! Here's the description:
Gretchen is a 24-year-old-hairstylist with secrets: She likes to chase squirrels and howl at the moon. She’s also not really 24.
When one of her coworkers turns up dead in the salon, she suspects that the murderer isn’t entirely human. When another stylist is murdered, and then another, she goes on the prowl. A circus with a secret side show catches her attention, as does her former pack, and a group of visiting vampires.
Her only outlet is her music, but that will only keep her wolf on a leash for so long with a killer on the loose.
If you think this sounds like something you might enjoy, go ahead and grab your copy here:


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



Wednesday, November 14, 2018

#Agent Thoth's #Personal Log: Day 863


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 Eight-Hundred-Sixty-Three:
Once again, my hominid-servant has allowed my domicile to be invaded by strange hominids! This time, three of the clumsy creatures stepped on my precious tail before I was able to make my escape to beneath my hominid-servant's sleeping platform. Even then, one of the culprits pursued me, even going so far as to reach its arm out to try to drag me from my safe observation space!

Unfortunately for the presumptuous beast, I do not hold the same affection for it that I hold for my hominid-servant, nor do I trust it to have benign intentions the way I have learned to trust her. Therefore, I had no compunctions about deploying the C.L.A.W.S. and quickly carving the depth of my dissatisfaction into the brute's flesh. Naturally, this prompted excessively loud vocalizations accompanied by wild gesticulations, which only served to cement my determination to remain out of reach of any of the invading hominids.

My hominid-servant, partially restoring my faith in her, heard the commotion and scolded the insolent cretin for presuming to attempt to trespass upon my person without permission. The brainless fool continued its complaints, but my hominid-servant was able to steer it away from my sanctuary and back to the where the rest of the interlopers were gathered.

For his part, the juvenile felid seemed to agree with me, as he soon after joined me in my retreat. Fortunately, the unfamiliar hominids did not stay long, and we were both able to emerge from concealment. I attempted to express my dissatisfaction to my hominid-servant but, in her usual clueless fashion, she just patted my head and told me that I'm a "good kitty." The indignity of which continues to sting.


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




Tuesday, November 13, 2018

This Shouldn't Need To Be Said, But...


Hey Everyone!

Today's post is something that I really don't know why it needs to be said, but apparently it does. So, here it goes. ;-)

I think there may be some confusion among some people about why other people consider them bigots. I'm not sure why they would be confused, but they keep denying the charge in one breath and in the next breath expressing bigotry. So, in the interests of clearing things up, here's an explanation that really shouldn't be needed.

If you believe that a minority group doesn't deserve equal rights with the majority group, you are a bigot. This can take many forms. For instance, if you don't believe gay people deserve the same right to marry that straight people have, you are a bigot. If you believe that people of color don't deserve to have the same right to exist in public without being threatened by the police that white people have, you are a bigot. If you believe women don't deserve the same bodily autonomy that men have, you are a bigot. Etc.

You can get as angry with me for saying this as you want, but it won't change the facts. Neither will denying the charge of bigotry if you continue to hold bigoted opinions. And who you vote for and support politically is a good indication of what opinions you hold.

Also, trying to excuse your bigotry by hiding behind religion doesn't change the fact that you are a bigot. All it means is that you think the religion you subscribe to promotes bigotry. So, it's up to you if you want to make that statement about your religion. Because I guarantee, no matter which religion it is, there are other people who claim it who don't subscribe to the same bigotry that you do.

So, to recap, if you think other people deserve fewer rights because they belong to a minority group, you are a bigot. Being upset or offended by people pointing that fact out to you won't change it. And facts don't actually require your approval to be true.

Peace!



Monday, November 12, 2018

Something Worth Watching?


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I'm back today with another video I wanted to share. This video gives a good breakdown of last week's election. It's a little long, but I think it's worth a listen. Once we understand where we stand, it will be easier to move forward and get where we want to go. Peace!






Sunday, November 11, 2018

Easy, Inexpensive Vegetarian Chili In A #Crockpot #Recipe!



Hey Everyone!! :-)

This is one of those recipes I keep in reserve for when I need to save a little extra money...like around Christmas time. But even though it doesn't cost a lot to make, it's still delicious and filling enough to warm you up on a chilly Autumn evening. Enjoy! :-)

Ingredients:
1 cup brown rice
1 cup lentils (any color)
4 cups water or vegetable stock
1 cup beer (your favorite kind)
2 12 oz cans kidney beans drained and rinsed
1 12 oz can pinto beans drained and rinsed
4 onions chopped fine
2 chili peppers chopped (and seeded if you want mild chili)
1 bell pepper chopped
10 cloves garlic minced fine
1 40oz can crushed tomatoes
4 tbsp cumin
2 tbsp turmeric
1/2 tbsp chili powder
2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tbsp oregano
2 tsp basil
1 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tbsp paprika
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
Salt and pepper to taste

Add the rice, lentils, and water or stock to the crockpot, set to high, and cover. Put the olive oil, butter, onions, and peppers in a saute pan and cook until the onions are translucent and soft. Add the garlic to the saute pan and cook until the onions start to caramelize. Transfer the vegetables to the crockpot and deglaze the saute pan with the beer. Simmer for a couple of minutes to allow the beer to reduce and transfer the contents of the saute pan to the crockpot. Add the tomatoes, canned beans, herbs, and spices to the crockpot and stir to combine. Cover the crockpot and cook on high for 2-3 hours. Stir the chili, taste it for seasoning, and make adjustments as necessary. Add more water if it's needed. Cover the crockpot and cook for an additional 2-3 hours or until the rice is cooked and the lentils are tender. Serve piping hot with a side of crusty bread.

Bon appetit!



Saturday, November 10, 2018

Truth In Fiction...


Hey Everyone!

With some of the rhetoric that keeps getting bandied about by some of our elected representatives, I thought this excerpt from Rainbow Dreams was something that bore repeating. Because the only people who win when regular people fight among themselves are those who are members of the established power structure. And if we want change, we really need to stop dancing to the tune that they call. Peace!

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

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



If you'd like to read more about Upworld and the underworlders, you can get your copy of Rainbow Dreams at the link below. Have a great weekend! :-)






Friday, November 9, 2018

#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, November 8, 2018

#APC #Spotlight: Bears And Eagles By R.P. Wollbaum!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I've got Richard Wollbaum in my APC spotlight, today! Richard is an active and supportive member of the  Authors-Professional Co-op Facebook group and his historical fiction, cultural heritage, personal journey, romance, adventure novel, Bears and Eagles, looks great! Here's the description:
The British and Russian empires are at their apex. Germany has just formed her confederation and is vying for prominence.
America has recovered from her civil war and is expanding her reach.
A younger son of a minor landholder is allowed to join his Cossack band for the first time and is just hoping to survive the campaign, return home, buy a farm and start a family.
Fate has other ideas and he soon finds himself thrust into world events he never knew existed. Bartered from one sovereign to another for a favour and thrust into a life he never had never dreamed of.
A chance meeting on a lonely back country road, propels him on a life's journey, meeting the love of his life and finding out that little is as it seems.
 If you think this sounds like something you might enjoy, go ahead and grab your copy here:


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



Wednesday, November 7, 2018

#Agent Thoth's #Personal Log: Day 860


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 Eight-Hundred-Sixty:
My hominid-servant has spent quite a bit more time, recently, engaged in her food preparation rituals. Normally, I would find this change interesting and worthy of study, however, whatever has led to this alteration in her behavior has also prompted her to also increase her domicile-maintenance activities. The disruption caused by which, of course, eliminates any possibility of my being able to achieve the concentration I need to properly conduct research.

The one upside of this flurry of activity is that, at least when it comes to the food preparation, my hominid-servant seems inclined to be more generous than is her usual habit. On several occasions, lately, she has tempted me with exotic edibles that I am not normally allowed access to. Of course, I am obliged to tolerate the excessive demonstrations of affection that inevitably accompany these offerings, but the flavors are enticing enough to make the price worth it. For his part, the small pest seems to agree, and has even taken to humiliating exhibitions in order to solicit additional treats.

The one thing that worries me is that I am not certain what has prompted these changes in my hominid-servant's behavior. Naturally, I will continue to observe and report back on any additional developments. Fortunately, as dumb as she sometimes is, my hominid-servant does not seem to harbor any malicious inclinations, so I am at least comforted that it is unlikely that her intentions are nefarious.


Treats! Maybe hominids aren't so bad, after all. ;-) You may have noticed that Agent Thoth has a new look. I hope you like his new picture as much as I do, but I'd love to hear your thoughts, either way. Feel free to let me know what you think in the comments. ;-) Happy reading, everyone!




Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Electing Monsters Results In Monstrous Policies...


Hey Everyone!! :-)

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

Excerpt from sci-fi satire novel:
As I stepped around the corner, I understood what he meant. This was certainly not something that could ever be considered appropriate for a collection of the wacky but harmless customs of Earth. Looking at it, I felt an odd sense of both strangeness and familiarity.

It wasn't that they had done a bad job of depicting the issue. They hadn't. It was just that I felt like I was seeing something out of history books recreated in modern-day America. It was disturbing on several levels, but most of all because I knew that it was something that was happening right then in a country I had thought was better than that.

I swallowed hard against the knot of tears and frustration the scene before me inspired. "No." I whispered, the words catching in my throat. "You didn't misunderstand."

Before me, I saw the smallest robot I had seen yet. It was the perfect size to represent the child it resembled. A child who was crying hysterically as two larger robots in uniforms put a robot that looked like a young woman in handcuffs and led her away. The sound in the exhibit was turned off, but the tears that rolled down the tiny face looked as real as the tears I had dried on the faces of my own younger siblings when we were kids. It would be a much harder heart than mine who could look at the face of that crying baby and not feel itself breaking. At least, that's how I remembered feeling when I saw the same images on the news.

"So, this really is just another example of how your society treats people who can't defend themselves?"

I nodded. What else could I do? The facts condemned us; the evidence was standing there before my very eyes.

"If so many people in your society are so concerned about the safety of children that they would seek to deny basic rights to half your population in order to protect them, I'm surprised that there isn't more of an outcry over this," said Yax.

I laughed bitterly and wiped at the moisture that had somehow appeared on my cheeks. "Ya know, sugar, I would be, too, if those self-same people weren't the ones who had voted the monsters who ordered this into power. But they're all too busy trying to defend the indefensible to concern themselves over some poor kids. Especially, when those kids don't even look like them."

"So this is another example of the racial bias that exists in your society?"

I nodded. "That and xenophobia."

"Your people believe these young-ones are from beyond your planet?" squeaked Squid-boy. I looked at the bewildered expression on his strange face. If ever anyone looked like an alien… A half-smile tugged at my mouth as I answered, "No, they know they're human. They simply refuse to treat them that way. There are a lot of ignorant, backward-thinking people in my country who call people from other countries 'aliens' in order to justify treating them as less than human. It's a sick, twisted mentality that is unfortunately all too common."



Monday, November 5, 2018

Something Worth Watching?


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I'm back today with another video I wanted to share. With Election Day tomorrow, I wanted to share something to remind people that there are actually candidates out there who are worth fighting to get. And, fortunately for us, that fight doesn't have to go any further than getting our asses off our sofas and into voting booths. So, please take few minutes to watch this video and then do a Google search to see who your candidates are and which of them might be your Richard Ojeda. And then go vote for them! Because if we abdicate this civic responsibility to the donor class and right-wing nutjobs, we'll get exactly the government we deserve. Go Vote!







Sunday, November 4, 2018

Roasted Veggies And Rice #Recipe!



Hey Everyone!! :-)

Ingredients:
4 cups cooked rice (your favorite variety)
2 cups brussel sprouts halved
1 butternut squash cleaned, peeled and chunked
2 cups broccoli florets
2 onions chopped
1 cup sliced almonds
4 cloves garlic grated
2 tbsp oregano
2 tbsp basil
2 tbsp paprika
2 tbsp cumin
2 tbsp turmeric
1 tbsp red pepper flakes (optional)
2 tbsp spicy brown mustard
4 tbsp sesame seeds
1/4 cup vegetarian Worchester sauce
1 cup balsamic vinegar
1 cup olive oil
1 cups vegetable stock
1/2 stick butter
Salt and pepper to taste

Put the cut vegetables on a foil-lined baking tray. Brush them with the balsamic vinegar and sprinkle them with olive oil. Bake them at 400 degrees Fahrenheit until they soften and start to brown. Remove them from the oven and set them aside.

Add the remaining olive oil and vinegar along with the rest of the ingredients, except for half a cup of the almonds and the cooked rice, to a saucepan and heat until they simmer. Simmer them over low heat for about five minutes. Put the roasted vegetables and rice in a baking dish and mix them together. Pour the contents of the saucepan over the rice and vegetables and stir them until everything is evenly distributed. Sprinkle the remaining almonds over the top and bake the dish at 400 degrees Fahrenheit until the almonds are toasted. Remove from the oven and serve warm with a side of crusty bread.

Bon appetit!



Saturday, November 3, 2018

This Shouldn't Need To Be Said, But...


Hey Everyone!

Today's post will be short and to the point and, as the title indicates, this is something that really should go without saying. But, since it's an issue that keeps coming up again and again, and especially with the holidays coming up soon, I'm going to try to break this concept down so that even the dimmest misogynist can understand. Okay? Here we go.

If you're my friend and you come to me and tell me you drank a lot last night and you have a terrible headache and feel sick to your stomach, I'm going to hand you an antacid, a couple of aspirin, and a glass of water or mug of coffee and tell you not to drink so much if you don't want to get sick. Why? Because getting a hangover is a normal, predictable, and generally unavoidable consequence of consuming enough ethanol to be toxic to your system. You're an adult, you made a choice to drink, and you're suffering the results of your choice. If you don't like those results, make different choices.

But if you come to me and tell me you were drinking and someone assaulted you, sexually or otherwise, my response isn't going to have anything to do with whether or how much alcohol you consumed. Why? Because being assaulted is not a natural consequence of ethanol poisoning. Being assaulted is the result of a criminal act on the part of someone else, and you aren't responsible for other people's behavior.

Okay? Everyone got it, now? This really isn't complicated, people. Peace!

#WhatTheFuckIsWrongWithPeople?





Friday, November 2, 2018

In The Beginning.... ;-)


Hey Everyone! :-)

Since I know it's been a while, I just thought I'd remind you all how Petri's adventure started. Enjoy! :-)

Excerpt from Rainbow Dreams:
Lightning bolts of fire and ice shot up and down Petri's spine as she moved over the human man on the bed. Her short, slender body bowed with the sensations that washed over her. His lust was like a fountain of cold water on a hot day, and she was parched. It had been too long; she needed this. Desperately.

Looking down at him as she slid her body onto his straining cock, she smiled. This client had wanted to be blindfolded; he said he enjoyed the mystery. There was more mystery in Petri than most humans would know what to do with, so that was fine with her. With him blindfolded, she didn't need to be careful to keep her own eyes shut. This was going to be a good feed, and there was no way she could have kept her eyes from glowing.

The man moaned in pleasure. Being fed upon felt as good for humans as feeding did for Petri. None of her clients knew she sipped from their energy, their life force, when she fucked them. All they knew was that she was one hell of a talented dolly. A win-win for all involved.

This client was a regular; Petri had shown him many times how good it could be with her. Some of her regulars came to crave her, almost like the dream dust that was sold in the club below. They were guaranteed repeat business, and she always made sure to show them a good time. After all, that was her job.

The energy of the man's lust filled Petri as she glided up and down on top of him. She shivered. It was renewing, rejuvenating. She couldn't get enough. A few grains of dust remained on his upper lip as evidence of his earlier indulgence in some of the chemical delights that were available at Abracadabra.

It was clear her client was high long before Petri started feeding. Before she blindfolded him, she had noted the man's dilated pupils and the flush of pleasure on his face. She had no doubt the management of Abracadabra would go to great lengths to make sure he received the maximum enjoyment possible during his visit. There was a reason it was the hottest nightclub in this part of Under City.

The club specialized in hedonism in all its forms. Drugs of every description, games, gambling, and other, darker pleasures could be found within its walls. House dollies, little more than sex slaves, waited to fulfill the customers' every desire. Freelance dollies, like Petri, rented space to ply their trade as well. The house allowed it because the dollies offered the club's clientele more variety and were motivated to attract business. Once a patron had satisfied their lust, they often wandered downstairs in search of other entertainments.

Leaning down, Petri pressed her cat-like mouth to her client's lips in a sizzling kiss. Their tongues tangled as he responded, and she undulated her hips against his, faster and faster. The drugs he had consumed tainted his energy, giving Petri a pleasant buzz. She never took dust herself since it interfered with her ability to control her power, but she enjoyed the effect when one of her johns indulged. As their sex intensified, Petri drank deeper, swallowing down the man's whimpers and sighs of ecstasy as she swallowed his desire.

Lost in the haze of feeding for the first time in days, Petri didn't realize it at first when the man suddenly went still underneath her. His penis remained stiff and eager inside her, and she continued to ride it, draining his energy. It was only when the cold, clamminess of his skin penetrated the pleasurable trance she often sank into when feeding that she realized that she had gone too far. Her heart skipped a beat.

Swinging her leg over him, she clambered off his body and knelt beside him on the bed. She grabbed his shoulder, shaking him, but there was no response. He was as still and cold as death.

Petri's breath froze in her chest as she tried to suppress her rising panic. She slapped him, hard, across his face, trying to provoke a response. There was nothing. Leaning down, she put her ear against his chest, listening for something, anything. Any sign that a spark of life remained in the man. She wasn't sure, but she thought she might have heard a faint fluttering within.

Taking a deep breath, she closed her eyes and put her hands on his chest, fingers splayed. She had never done this before, but her instincts said it might work. The process of drawing energy from others had come automatically when she reached physical maturity. It was as natural as breathing to her. But reversing the flow of energy… That was something else altogether. She forced herself to focus; all she could do was try.

Reaching down into the well of energy within her, Petri tried to snag a wisp of it. It was like trying to catch fog. Gritting her teeth, she concentrated and managed to grab a small piece of the mist and tease it up, out of herself and back into the man. It flowed at a slow trickle, but it did flow. The man took a deep breath and Petri slumped in relief.

Before she could stop him, or even turn away, the man reached up and snatched the blindfold from his face. When he saw her glowing eyes, he shrieked, "Mgeni!"

Petri swore. She knew she didn't have much time. Sitting up, she sucker-punched her client hard in his stomach. The man folded over, clutching his gut, just like she knew he would. As her former client coughed and wheezed, Petri scrambled into her tight, red mini-dress and stiletto pumps and clambered out the window. She couldn't risk trying to make it through the crowded club below; she needed to be gone before the man recovered enough to sound the alarm.

As she scurried down the fire escape, Petri cursed herself. She should have known she needed to be more careful. After having gone without feeding for several days, she shouldn't have broken her fast in such a public place. At least he wasn't dead. That was the one thing that might save her. If she had killed an Upworld client in Under City, the houses would have banded together and hunted her no matter where she went.

The funny thing about Under City was it could be a wild, crazy place, but only within certain parameters. In some ways, it was as restrictive as the world above. Upworld citizens were fair game for cons, beatings, muggings, pick-pocketing, and many other crimes. As long as the citizens left Under City breathing, the houses would look the other way. After all, most people from Upworld came to Under City for the thrill of danger, so, in many ways, the underworlders were just giving them what they paid for.

But too many deaths were bad for business and that the houses would not allow. The only reason an Upworld citizen could be killed in Under City with the blessing of the houses was if the citizen killed an underworlder without paying for it first. Life was cheap in Under City, but it wasn't free. And no one left Under City without paying their bill. No one.

Even though the man was alive, Petri's life was still in danger. She had survived thus far in Under City because everyone thought she was a Human/Paka hybrid. Half-breeds weren't especially loved, even among the generally open-minded underworlders, but they were tolerated. Arcanum, on the other hand, were universally despised, and the glowing eyes and energy draining power were unmistakable. Petri was now a marked woman, and it wouldn't be long before half the underworlders in the Southern sector were howling for her blood. She needed to get away.

The problem was where could she go? Each sector of Under City was isolated from the other sectors, and the only way to get from one sector to another was to travel through Upworld. And the only way underworlders were allowed into Upworld was if they had a pass. Even if she did manage to get to another sector, that would only be a temporary reprieve. Word would travel and her appearance was too distinctive for her to be able to disappear into a crowd of strangers.

No, the only possible way for her to survive was for her to find passage off-world. Petri grimaced. She might as well wish for the planetary presidency.

The moment she reached the ground, Petri looked both ways down the alleyway she was in. Everything seemed normal. The bass from club Abracadabra throbbed through the street, lending the night a syncopated heartbeat. The fast food dollies who worked the crowd outside the club seemed to be doing a brisk business. The groans and gasps of pleasure from their johns blended with the music.

Other than the regular street activity, nothing was happening. Maybe the hottest club in the sector wasn't the worst place this could have happened. At least, she was central. It wouldn't be hard to get anywhere in the sector from here; if she could only decide where it was she should go.

Hiding and lying low were out of the question. There were too many people in Under City who would be thrilled to earn a couple of easy creds by informing on her. Which also made going home impossible; that was the first place they would look for her. The distant rumble of a subway broke through her temporary paralysis and got Petri moving.

But she didn't run. Running in Under City was never a good idea. Running meant trouble and attracted attention. Predators chased those who ran, and Under City was full of predators.

Neon signs glittered in the night, advertising the wares to be found in the many businesses in this central part of Southern sector. Outlines of naked men and women, frothing drinks and steaming food, new hairstyles, and more had been recreated out of glowing lights and buzzing bulbs. Abracadabra wasn't the only purveyor of pleasures in the area; there were others, though each was smaller and had a narrower focus than the popular club. Brothels, restaurants, bars, dust dens, casinos, gaming establishments, salons, and chop shops abounded. This part of Under City existed to cater to the whims of the rich, and there was nothing subtle about the offerings that were available to those with money.

Shops of all kinds welcomed customers from Upworld with open arms. Clothing, children's toys, vehicles, sex aids, personal electronics, game programs, jewelry, and domicile furnishings could be purchased right next to each other at any time of the day or night. "Come In!" flashed their advertisements. "Good Deals!" "Low Prices!" "Rare Merchandise!" A constant siren song of the consumerism that ruled the underworld.

There were also businesses with darker, less obvious entryways. The snuff industry was alive and well in Under City. Upworld citizens who had the creds could indulge their most twisted and violent fantasies, and there were snuff houses that specialized in providing those services. Fights, snuff porn, torture, cannibalism—it was all available for the asking. And no matter if a citizen wanted to watch, participate, or direct, their most hidden desires could be satisfied by the snuff houses. Customers were only limited by their bank accounts, and the grinders waited to clean up the mess afterwards.

Petri ignored all the enticements and offerings and tried to keep her mind away from where she might end up if she failed in her escape attempt. A short, brisk walk brought her to the transit station just as a train pulled up to the stop. It wasn't a perfect solution, it wasn't even a good solution, but at least it was a stopgap that might give her the time she needed to formulate a plan. Being a moving target was better than being a stationary one.

She hopped on the train and found an empty car. As she dropped into a seat at the back of the car, she sighed. It had started out as such a good night.


Want to find out what happens next? Grab your copy at the link below. Happy reading! :-)