Who Is Mistral Dawn?

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

Friday, March 22, 2019

#Interview With John Searancke!


Hey Everyone!!

John Searancke is here with us, today. John, will you tell us about yourself and how many books you have written?

John: My name is John Searancke, and I am aged 75. I am married and I have written three books, all of which have been published by the same publishing house.

Me: Wow! Congratulations! :-) What's the name of your latest book and what inspired it?

John: My latest book, which has only just been published this month, is entitled The Reluctant Hotelkeeper. It is a prequel to my first book, and tells the story of my life as a hotelier from my early twenties onwards, turning an old ruin into a well thought of country house hotel.

Me: Sounds interesting. What are you working on now?

John: Having just finished that book, I am having a breather and fortunately Christmas came along just at the right time. Now that's done, I shall be concentrating on concluding my family tree, now over 300 entries and going back nearly 400 years. After that…

Me: Fun! What authors, or books, have influenced you?

John: I have always been an avid reader of books, so nobody especially has influenced me. My reading covers a very broad spectrum.

Me: That's a great way to learn to appreciate a variety of viewpoints. :-) What are you reading now?

John: I am currently enthralled by Manda Scott and her historical novel about Joan of Arc.

Me: Cool! For those who might consider reading your book, what would you tell them to expect?

John: That rather depends on which book you read! My personal favourite is Prunes for Breakfast, which tells the intimate story of my father during WW2, from his enlistment right through his time in Normandy and later incarceration in a German prisoner of war camp. Parts of it are a bit harrowing, and required significant research, including to the actual battlefields where my father fought. But judge it for yourself.

Me: Sounds like your father lived an eventful life! What is your favorite part of being an author?

John: I really enjoy the actual writing process and seeing a story develop into printed words as I create them. There is something very satisfying about that.

Me: Yes, the act of creating is definitely a rush. :-) Do you have a day job as well?

John: No, too old to employ, and probably too curmudgeonly (says my wife).

Me: Ha! What would you say are the hardest, and easiest, parts about being a writer?

John: Writing is not difficult. The difficult part is turning your writing into something worthwhile. For that you need the best editor that you can get. I was lucky to have the same editor for all three of my books.

Me: Oh, I agree, good editors are definitely worth their weight in gold! What genre do you place your book in?

John: All three books fall into the memoir category.

Me: Nice! Anything else you'd like to tell your readers?

John: Keep reading and keep reviewing! Authors such as myself need you.

Me: Amen! And so these fine folks can do just that, are there any links you'd like me to post?

John: Here they are:

www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07LB7WLZM
www.amazon.com/dp/B07LB7WLZM

Website: www.johnsearancke.com
John Searancke Pinterest profile page: https://www.pinterest.com/johnsearancke/author-john-searancke/
John Searancke Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/john.searancke.1
Twitter: https://twitter.com/johnsearancke

Me: Awesome! Thank you so much for stopping by, today, John. And thank you also to the rest of you who joined us. Don't forget to check back tomorrow for the latest in Mistral Dawn's Musings! :-)










Thursday, March 21, 2019

#APC #Spotlight: The Journey Of The Marked (The Miyran Heir Book 1) By Rebecca McCray!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I've got Rebecca McCray in my APC spotlight, today! Rebecca is an active and supportive member of the  Authors-Professional Co-op Facebook group and her young adult, action/adventure, futuristic, alien world, sci-fi novel, The Journey of the Marked, looks great! Here's the description:
Marked at age 16.
Forced to leave home.
You become the hunted.
Could you survive?

The mark means honor. The mark invites death.
On a distant planet, Eros thrives in the Human settlement he calls home. Raised to follow his grandfather's noble footsteps, he studies the details of each species that co-exist here. But when the mark appears, he's called to fight, which changes his life forever.
Forced to abandon his home, the mark makes him the hunted. He's attacked the night he arrives in the city. A tough, street fighter named Kenrya saves his life. When they join others on the same journey, her cynical attitude drives a wedge between the group.
Given the perils facing them, can they put aside their differences and trust each other long enough to survive?
Discover this epic adventure where an individual's unique abilities can change the course of the future.
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, March 20, 2019

#Agent Thoth's #Personal Log: Day 929


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 Nine-Hundred-Twenty-Nine:
When the bushy-tailed rodent made its appearance today, my hominid-servant happened to, coincidentally, be in the process of bringing inside some packages that had been left outside the door to my domicile. The juvenile felid, of course, took advantage of the open door and launched himself past my hominid-servant's attempt to grab him. His mad bid for freedom alarmed the subject of his interest, which promptly scurried up into the topmost branches of the nearest tree.

My young protégé, closely pursued by my apoplectic hominid-servant, chased the small creature and began climbing the tree in an effort to attain his dream of capturing the busy-tailed rodent. Though, what he would do with it if he did catch it is something I have no clear understanding of. But before he could climb higher than she could reach, my hominid-servant plucked him off the side of the tree and transported him back inside my domicile.

Naturally, my youthful companion was not at all pleased with this treatment, and he voiced his displeasure at the top of his lungs. My hominid-servant responded by giving him her hardest stare  ̶  something I have to admit is rather intimidating coming from such a large creature, even knowing she would never harm myself or any other occupant of my domicile  ̶  which inevitably resulted in his surrender, albeit a sulky one, and retreat to his lair beneath her sleeping platform.

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




Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Something Worth Watching?


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I'm back today with another video I wanted to share. This one is about an issue that I don't think is getting nearly enough attention, certainly not from the mainstream media. But I think the video explains the problem well, so I'll let it speak for itself. Peace!




Monday, March 18, 2019

#March2018 #IndieBooksBeSeen #Indie #Author #Books #Monthly #BookReview!



Hey Everyone!! :-)

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

Birth of a Vixen by Colleen Tews:

Angela Vista is a young vampire who has spent most of her life being manipulated. When she's sent into danger and is rescued by the man who is supposed to be her enemy, she finds herself falling in love with someone with enough charisma to lead a revolution. But when she tries to help her new cause by working against her former family, things get...confusing. And it becomes a question not only of which side should she choose, but who, exactly, does she want to be?

I really enjoyed this book. It was an interesting blend of spy novel, romance, and vampire fiction. The genre-blending made it impossible to predict and the characters were interesting and fun to get to know. I definitely recommend this book, five stars!




Sunday, March 17, 2019

Chickenless Broth #Recipe!



Hey Everyone!! :-)

This is an easy fake-out broth that I like to keep on hand for use in making soups or just to sip if I start to feel under the weather. Enjoy! :-)

Ingredients:
12 cups water
8 onions
6 carrots scrubbed well or peeled
6 stalks celery washed
1 head kale or broccoli
4 bulbs garlic
1/4 cup ground turmeric
1/4 cup dried oregano
1/4 cup dried basil
1/8 cup dried rosemary
1/4 cup vegetarian Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 stick butter (optional)
3 inches ginger root (optional)
1/8 cup soy sauce (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste (be generous with both but especially the salt)

Put the olive oil and butter (optional) and the dried seasonings in a large stock pot and heat gently. Add the water and the rest of the ingredients. You don't need to worry about chopping or peeling any of the vegetables, just make sure they're clean and cut them in half. Bring the water to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer the stock for 2-3 hours, stirring periodically. Taste occasionally and adjust the seasonings to suit your taste. Once the liquid has reduced and the vegetables are mush, remove the stock from the heat and cool. Pour the cooled broth through cheesecloth to remove all the solids and the liquid you have left is your chickenless broth. It can be used immediately, though it's best to let it sit overnight in the fridge, or frozen.

Bon appetit!






Saturday, March 16, 2019

#StPats Authors & Bloggers #Giveaway! $114 #Cash #Grand #Prize! #Free To #Enter!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

There's a new giveaway for Saint Patrick's Day!  Please take a moment to check out the St. Pat's Authors & Bloggers Giveaway!!  There are lots of awesome books and prizes!! :-)  It's free to enter, there are over 75 prizes, and the grand prize is $114 cash payable through PayPal!! :-)  Now isn't that worth taking a few minutes to check out? ;-)   Here are all the details:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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





Friday, March 15, 2019

The Force Was Weak With This One


Hey Everyone!! :-)

So...I finally got around to watching Rogue One and thought I'd share my review. I don't usually do movie reviews, but I've been a Star Wars fan since I was a kid, and this one got so much social media attention, I thought, why not? So, if this isn't your thing, I understand. And hopefully you'll stop back tomorrow to see what else is new. ;-)

Now, all that being said, the movie was somewhat disappointing, but not to the point it would justify all the death and rape threats. Not that I can envision any movie that would justify death or rape threats. I mean, even an actual snuff film, which obviously this being a Disney production was not that, would only justify threats to bring the perpetrators to justice. Other than that, if you dislike a movie to that extent just...don't watch it. A complicated concept, apparently.

But I digress. It was a bit disappointing because it was way too rushed in several places. It's like they needed another 2 to 3 hours to tell the story. But rather than either making two movies, or one really long movie, they just rushed it along. And it was painfully obvious.

Also, the acting was sub-par, at times. Not by any of the main characters, but by some of the supporting cast. And it had a sad ending, which is just not what one wants from a Star Wars movie. Though, given the timing of the film and the fact that the characters weren't part of subsequent storylines, the argument could certainly be made that there was no other viable choice.

Darth Vader's voice also didn't sound right. I'm not sure if they tried to use recordings and computer manipulations instead of hiring James Earl Jones to read the lines, or if he's just getting older and his voice has lost some of its resonance. Regardless of why, Darth Vader's voice was just...off, somehow.

It was also pretty dark for a Star Wars film, and unlike in the original trilogy, watchers were made to feel the darkness of it. I think the original trilogy had a kind of tongue-in-cheek, campy quality that made even the dark parts less...dark.

And, overall, it lacked the magical quality of the original trilogy that just made those movies work in a way that none of the subsequent Star Wars movies have worked. But, if you're looking for a relatively harmless way to kill a couple of hours and haven't seen it yet, it's okay.







Thursday, March 14, 2019

#APC #Spotlight: Bound To Blackwood: House Blackwood Book One By Sharon Lipman!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I've got Sharon Lipman in my APC spotlight, today! Sharon is an active and supportive member of the  Authors-Professional Co-op Facebook group and her fantasy, adult fairytale, paranormal, vampire romance novel, Bound to Blackwood, looks great! Here's the description:
Would you surrender your soul for the love of the King? 
Lena, a vampire and a Guardian of the Order, has been honour-bound to protect human souls all her life. Acting first and thinking second is what's saved her skin time and again in the war against the Fallen, but her disregard for orders soon catches up with her when her boss is seriously injured. Forced to take responsibility for her actions, Lena is thrust into the path of her very own kryptonite; Thorn. The raw power of his soul calls to her and his mere presence lights a fire within her that she cannot contain.

With Vampire magic waning and the race in crisis, can either of them afford to ignore Nature's call? If they do, the future of the race is in jeopardy. If they don't, they will both lose the most precious part of themselves. Their souls
 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, March 13, 2019

#Agent Thoth's #Personal Log: Day 927


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 Nine-Hundred-Twenty-Seven:
Today, when the bushy-tailed rodent made its appearance, the juvenile felid settled on attempting to dig his way through the glass in the portal with his paws as the best way to gain access to the hapless creature. Naturally, this proved ineffective. But his frantic movement did attract the rodent's attention, and it hopped up onto the ledge on the other side of the portal to observe my young companion's efforts.

It took the little idiot quite some time to notice the proximity of his quarry. But once he did, he pressed his face against the portal and made chittering sounds that I believe were meant to be enticing. For its part, the rodent soon grew bored and returned to its foraging among the ground-cover vegetation that my hominid-servant maintains in the area outside my domicile. My youthful protégé seemed to find this lack of interest disheartening, and he soon slinked back to his lair beneath my hominid-servant's sleeping platform.


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




Tuesday, March 12, 2019

The Rewards Of Corruption...


Hey Everyone!! :-)

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

Excerpt from Answers From Alyce:
"If I remember correctly, this particular bit of distracting nonsense," I gestured towards the podium where the cookie elf robot was still yapping away. "came not long after it became clear that our current President would be appointing the judge who will likely be the deciding vote on whether or not the President can be tried for the crimes he has apparently committed, or even if the investigation into them should continue."

Squid-boy made a loud honking noise followed by a buzzing squeal. "Excuse me?"

"Yep. The part of our government you left out of your 'Committee For Assigning Blame' is the judicial branch. The head of the judicial branch of our government is our Supreme Court. It's the highest court in the land and makes rulings on what laws are in line with our Constitution and what laws can't be enforced because they violate our Constitution. It's part of the system of checks and balances the people who set up our government came up with to keep any one branch of government from becoming too powerful. Unfortunately, in spite of their best efforts, we've managed to do a pretty good job of mucking it up."

"Is that why your President was allowed to choose who will judge his crimes?" asked Yax.

Shrugging, I said, "The President always nominates Supreme Court Justices and the Senate always confirms or doesn't confirm those nominations. If the Senate confirms the President's nomination, the judge is appointed to the Supreme Court. Currently, there are nine seats on the Supreme Court, but that's a number that can change. There have been fewer seats on the Supreme Court in the past, and Congress can change the number, if they want to. Our current President is under investigation for multiple criminal offenses, some of which even include treason against our country. But the Senate allowed him to nominate, and then confirmed the nomination, of a judge, who has now been appointed to the Supreme Court, who stated in the past that his opinion is that a President can't be indicted and shouldn't be investigated while in office. And when some Senators attempted to question him about whether he thought a President could pardon himself for a crime he was convicted of or if a President could pardon someone else who had been convicted of a crime to keep that person from testifying against the President or otherwise cooperating with an investigation against the President, the judge refused to answer the questions."

The tall alien's jaw fell open and he stared at me, while his shorter companion went into a buzzing, clicking jig. When he had recovered himself, Squid-boy exclaimed, "This is what your people consider 'checks and balances'?"

I sighed. "No. It's not. And this is why principled journalists are so vital to society and why it's so frustrating that our media isn't doing the job it's supposed to do. If they were, they would talk about this kind of blatant corruption in our government non-stop. But, instead, some of them don't talk about it at all, and those that do just mention it in passing and then move on to other news. There's no real focus on it, no in-depth explanation or analysis of what this means for the country, or what regular citizens can and should do to keep such corruption from being rewarded."


Coming Soon...


Monday, March 11, 2019

Something Worth Watching?


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I'm back today with another video I wanted to share. This is Bernie's launch speech that he gave at Brooklyn College. It's a great speech and well worth the 40, or so, minutes of your time. But I'll let the man who sums up his vision for a brighter future as "Not me. Us." speak for himself. Peace!







Sunday, March 10, 2019

Garlic Olive Oil Potatoes Side Dish #Recipe!



Hey Everyone!! :-)

I'm back with one of my favorite side dish recipes for you today.  It takes about five minutes to throw together and is a definite crowd-pleaser. :-)

Ingredients:
3 Large Baking Potatoes
3 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tbsp Butter
6 Cloves Garlic Grated
Salt and pepper to taste

Wash the potatoes and cut them in half length-wise. Mix the olive oil with the garlic and pour two tablespoons of the mixture into the bottom of a 9x9 baking dish. Cut the butter into six pieces and place the pieces in the bottom of the baking dish. Sprinkle salt and pepper into the oil mixture and place potatoes cut-side down into the mixture placing each potato half on top of a piece of butter. Use a fork to puncture the top of each potato half. Brush the remaining olive oil and garlic over the tops of the potatoes and salt and pepper to taste. Bake the potatoes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 20-25 minutes until potatoes are fork tender.

This recipe also works with sweet potatoes if you're trying to cut white potatoes out of your diet. If you'd like, you can add grated parmesan cheese to the olive oil at the bottom of the baking dish. It makes a crunchy, salty crust on the bottom of the potatoes. Or you can add a quarter of a cup of white wine to the olive oil mixture, which adds a bit of tang to the dish. You can also cut the potatoes into chunks, instead of halves, and toss them in the garlic and olive oil and bake them that way. If you do the chunk method, it's easy enough to also add chunks of other vegetables -- mushrooms, onions, peppers, etc. -- to the mix and make it a roasted vegetable dish.

Bon appetit!



Saturday, March 9, 2019

#StPats Authors & Bloggers #Giveaway! $114 #Cash #Grand #Prize! #Free To #Enter!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

There's a new giveaway for Saint Patrick's Day!  Please take a moment to check out the St. Pat's Authors & Bloggers Giveaway!!  There are lots of awesome books and prizes!! :-)  It's free to enter, there are over 75 prizes, and the grand prize is $114 cash payable through PayPal!! :-)  Now isn't that worth taking a few minutes to check out? ;-)   Here are all the details:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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





Friday, March 8, 2019

#Animal #Rescuer's #Guide To #Staying ( #Relatively ) #Sane! #Free! :-)



Hey Everyone!! :-)

Just a reminder, for those who haven't checked it out yet, I've collected all my animal rescue/care posts together and published them as a small book.  If you'd like, you can download the book for free from Amazon, Smashwords, B&N, Kobo, and iTunes.



Thanks for stopping in today, and don't forget to check back tomorrow for the next installment of Mistral Dawn's Musings! :-)


Thursday, March 7, 2019

#APC #Spotlight: Playing With Fire By Clare & Cris Meyers!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I've got Clare Meyers in my APC spotlight, today! Clare is an active and supportive member of the  Authors-Professional Co-op Facebook group and her supernatural, psychic, werewolf, suspense, mystery, crime novel, Playing With Fire, looks great! Here's the description:
The rules are simple: Get in. Get out. Get paid.
Loner Renee Devereaux is a thief with a lot to hide, and trust is a risk she rarely takes. Stone Anders is a mercenary and hitman, but being a hired killer isn't fitting like it used to. But while they are criminals, they are anything but common. Renee and Stone are Talents, and their supernatural powers give them an edge in a high stakes business where one wrong move could be their last.
It's always just one job, and everyone scatters. For Renee and Stone, that's business as usual. But things change.
A chance at revenge draws Renee and Stone into a job they know they shouldn't take. The job: Steal a dangerous magical artifact before it can be used. Along with the deadline, they'll have to deal with a loudmouth hacker with problematic connections, a rookie who still believes in 'right' and 'wrong,' and a professional liar with a cat's curiosity.
Worse, something just doesn't feel right.
But this is their job. They have a reputation to maintain, a paycheck to earn, and a score to settle...
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, March 6, 2019

#Agent Thoth's #Personal Log: Day 926


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 Nine-Hundred-Twenty-Six:
Today, the juvenile felid altered his strategy in his quest to make closer acquaintance with the bushy-tailed rodent…or to eat it. Instead of trying, and failing, to teleport himself through glass, he apparently decided to charm the small creature into coming to him. Though, how he thought the animal would manage to get through the portal when he could not escapes me.

Unfortunately for him, the method he settled on to accomplish this feat was to serenade the small mammal at the top volume his vocal cords were capable of achieving. Naturally, the noise drew the attention of my hominid-servant, who did not seem to find the racket charming at all. She resorted to utilizing her liquid H2O dispenser to dissuade the little idiot, which startled him to the point where he retreated to beneath her sleeping platform in terror. Which, at this point, is where he remains.


Well, there's no accounting for taste. ;-) You may have noticed that Agent Thoth has a new look. I hope you like his new picture as much as I do, but I'd love to hear your thoughts, either way. Feel free to let me know what you think in the comments. ;-) Happy reading, everyone!




Tuesday, March 5, 2019

#Interview With R. Read!




Hey Everyone!! :-)

R. Read is here with us, today. R., can you please tell us about yourself and how many books you have written?

R: Twenty-five years of writing copy for other folks’ marketing plans & strategy I finally took a class in Dec 2016 called Write or Die. Opened the floodgates and have been self-publishing so far. She Too. 2017. Describing Water in 2018. And most recent Energy Fix late 2018. All are on free library app Overdrive and available through Kindle and Amazon. 

Me: Sounds like you had a calling! :-) What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?

R: Energy Fix was inspired by a job I had ten years ago. I was the recipient of a piece of hate mail, recognized the corruption at levels that were dangerous and wrote a fiction novel based on the actual words in the letter, warning me to get out!

Me: Wow, sounds like a job best left behind. Glad you found some good in the experience by taking that inspiration to write a novel. What are you working on now?

R: I am writing another “based on real life” story of a third-year student killed randomly in his dorm...my hubby was a polygraph examiner on the case. Its ending or resolution is so crazy (stranger than fiction) so I am using much of what I learned about how they found the killer(s)

Me: Sounds interesting! :-) What authors, or books, have influenced you?

R: Jess Walter’s Beautiful Ruins got me thinking about fiction based loosely on IRL. Love Diana Gabaldon but newly addicted to thrillers by Linwood Barclay. I too am Canadian. His stuff is SO Good! 

Me: Cool! What are you reading now?

R: I am reading all of Linwood Barclay and just started All the Light We Cannot See...but my favorite of late was On Writing by Stephen King. 

Me: I agree, Stephen King has a lot of great work out there. For those who might consider reading your book, what would you tell them to expect?

R: She Too is dark and choppy, but VERY BENEFICIAL to anyone headed to college/their families. One detective who read it said “it should be required reading,” which I totally agree with. Hazing and assault on campus are at epidemic proportions of late - I wish I had known before my daughters were off. Also, Energy Fix will get people talking about how PGE should be held responsible for their actions IMHO. 

Me: Awesome! Thought-provoking books are always a good thing. :-) What's your favorite part of being an author?

R: Getting messages off my chest. Gifting books to willing readers. Hearing back “their stories” once they have read mine. EVERYONE has a story in them!

Me: True! And sometimes they write them down for the rest of us to enjoy. ;-) Do you have a day job as well?

R: Yes, I still create marketing strategies, logos, book covers now :)

Me: Busy, busy, busy. What are the hardest and easiest parts about being a writer?

R: Its hard knowing who to trust. Got duped by a supposed editor :(

Me: That's true, unfortunately. You might want to try joining a supportive author group, like the Authors-Professionals Co-op Facebook group, so that you can ask around and get recommendations for things like that. What genre do you place your book in?

R: My books so far are fiction based on true crimes. The mini-memoir mainly helped me to know what from my past I wanted to write about. 

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

R: Please hit me up for free books!! I love hearing feedback 

Me: And so these fine folks can do just that, are there any links you'd like me to post?

R: I have good reads page, https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18090861.R_Read, FB, https://www.facebook.com/rkcmktg/, and Amazon, http://www.amazon.com/author/rread. Or email me at shetoobook@gmail.com

Me: Wonderful! Thank you so much for stopping by, today, R. And thank you, also, to the rest of you who joined us. Don't forget to check back tomorrow for the latest in Mistral Dawn's Musings! :-)





Monday, March 4, 2019

Something Worth Watching?


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I'm back today with another video I wanted to share. Yeah, I'm sharing more Bernie stuff, and you can all bet your asses I'll keep it up. Bernie Sanders is our best hope for getting this country back on track and creating a future for ourselves, so don't expect me to shut up anytime soon. You might think songs like this are corny, but they're a manifestation of the kind of sincere popular support Bernie has, so I hope you'll join those of us who want a People's President and help change politics in this country $27 dollars at a time. Peace! #FeelTheBern #Bernie2020





Sunday, March 3, 2019

Meatless "Beef" And Potatoes Soup #Recipe!



Hey Everyone!! :-)

Today, I thought I'd share one of my favorite soup recipes with you. It's low fat -- it's even vegan if you leave out the butter -- but very filling. I hope you find it as delicious and warming as I do. :-)

Ingredients:
4 large potatoes cubed
3 large onions chopped
2 large portabello mushrooms, stems and caps, sliced
1 14oz container of sliced button mushrooms
2 large carrots chopped
1 bell pepper chopped
3 cups of raw kale chopped
4 cloves of garlic chopped
1 tbsp tomato paste
4 cups water or vegetable stock
1 cup red wine (Merlot or Burgandy work well)
2 tbsps olive oil
1 tbsp butter
Salt and pepper to taste

Sautee the onions in the olive oil and butter in a stock pot until they are well caramelized. Add the carrots and pepper and continue to cook to until they soften. Add the mushrooms and garlic and cook until the mushrooms soften. Stir in the tomato paste and deglaze the pot with the wine.  Add the water or stock, salt and pepper, and potatoes. Bring the soup to a boil and then lower the heat to a simmer. Allow it to simmer for half an hour and stir. Allow to simmer for another 20 minutes to half an hour and stir.  Check to make sure the potatoes are soft and add the kale. Simmer for another 5 to 10 minutes, until the kale wilts, and serve.

If you'd like, once the vegetables are softened you can transfer them to a crockpot and complete the soup there. Still deglaze the pot or pan with the wine and pour that into the crockpot as well. If you don't like wine, or don't keep alcohol in the house, you can use 1/4 cup red wine vinegar and 3/4 cups water or stock to deglaze the pot or pan.  If you don't like button mushrooms, you can use any kind of mushroom you like. If possible, you should use the portabello mushrooms as they add a "meaty" texture and richness to the soup.

You can thicken the broth by mixing 1/4 cornstarch with cold water to make a slurry and adding it to the soup at the end. You can also add any other vegetables you like in your soup. I've made the soup with sweet potatoes instead of potatoes. You can also replace the potatoes with barley or rice. If you like your soup spicy, you can add a couple of chili peppers or some curry paste to the soup. Basically, this is a good basic soup that can be taken in a lot of directions, so don't be afraid to experiment.

Bon appetit!


Saturday, March 2, 2019

So...What Happened?


Hey Everyone!!

Today's post is just a quick update about what's going on with Answers From Alyce and why it's taking so long for me to publish. The short answer? I fucked up. The longer answer is that I had just finished the edits (literally an hour earlier) and was getting ready to send it back to my editor for a final proof-reading when my computer shit the bed and I lost all my edits.

I took my computer to some computer experts to try to recover my data, but it turned out my hard drive was corrupted and nothing was recoverable. I had thought I had been backing up to a cloud account, my computer was set up to log into the account and update on startup, but it apparently stopped doing that in December. Unfortunately, I didn't realize that until after the crash, so I lost everything since mid-December. Which, as I said, translates into all of my editing on Answers From Alyce. Though, fortunately, I did still have the unedited file.

So what does this woeful tale mean? It means I've had to start over from the beginning with editing, which has put me even farther behind than I already was. I don't know what to tell you all about that except I'm sorry. I'll redo the edits as quickly as I can and get it formatted, uploaded, and published ASAP. Hopefully, fingers crossed, that will be before May. I know, I suck, I'm sorry.

At any rate, I hope you all have an awesome weekend. And, if you'll excuse me, I have some editing to do. Peace!








Friday, March 1, 2019

They've Got It All Backwards!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

Today's post is something I almost feel silly for writing because it seems like it should be obvious. But with all the nonsense being spewed on corporate media about Democrats needing to be conservative in conservative parts of the country, I thought I should go ahead and say this.

The parts of this country that are conservative are, for the most part, only socially conservative. Most of the people who live in those parts of the country are rather poor, so they are not, generally speaking, economically conservative. What does that mean? It means they want to keep women as voiceless chattel with no say over what happens to their own bodies. And they want to pretend that people in the LGBTQ+ community are either mentally ill or evil, even though that's patently absurd and everyone, including the people in conservative parts of the country, know it. And they are afraid that people of color might infect them with cooties if they're given equal rights.

Does all of that make those people assholes? Yep, it sure does. But they're assholes who vote. And, as I said, they're also generally poor assholes. So, they also would like to tax the rich at higher rates so that their kids can go to schools that don't have leaky roofs and do have up-to-date textbooks. And they would like healthcare that won't bankrupt them that will provide the care they and their families need. And they would like the air they and their kids breathe and the water they drink not to be polluted with poisons from unregulated industry. And they would like to earn a wage they can support their families on. Because while they may be assholes, they aren't, for the most part, masochistic assholes.

So, what does all this mean? It means if you give them two parties that both want to let Wall Street fuck over the rest of the country and allow corporations to be unregulated and allow insurance companies to bleed people dry and then kill them anyway, but one of those parties will deny basic human rights to women, members of the LGBTQ+ community, and people of color, then they're going to go with the party that hates who they hate. Obviously.

But if you give them one party that doesn't hate who they hate, and won't enforce bigotted policies, but will ensure they have good schools by taxing the wealthy at a fair rate, and will ensure they have affordable healthcare by instituting a Medicare for All system, and will make sure the land they own and live on remains safe for human habitation through strict regulation of industry, and will make employers pay a living wage, well, then they might just vote for that party in spite of their disagreement on social issues. Because, for a lot of people, loyalty to their wallets comes first.

Does that mean that everyone will vote in their own financial best interests when it means they don't get to legislate their bigotry? Nope. Some of them will still bite off their noses to spite their faces. But we don't need all of them, we just need enough of them to win elections. And, yes, I realize even conservative, corporate Democrats aren't usually as bad on economic issues as Republicans. But they're still bad. And if they were actually good on economic issues, instead of being less bad, then they'd have a better chance of using enlightened self-interest to win over people who disagree with them on social issues.

And, yes, obviously not everyone who lives in a conservative part of the country thinks this way. Hell, not everyone who lives in a conservative part of the country is even conservative. I'm talking about broad generalities, here. But enough of them think this way to have kept this country in the dark ages for the last forty years. I'm thinking it's time for a new strategy.

Peace!




Thursday, February 28, 2019

#APC #Spotlight: Wicked Heart By Niki Livingston!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I've got Niki Livingston in my APC spotlight, today! Niki is an active and supportive member of the  Authors-Professional Co-op Facebook group and her new release, romantic suspense, magical mystery, paranormal romance novel, Wicked Hearts, looks great! Here's the description:
Sometimes love arrives too late.
She was just a young girl. Innocent. Naïve.
But now Sami’s been forced into a torturous solitude, with only her thoughts to amuse and consume her. Will love, once again, be allowed into her darkened heart or will the heartbreak of her past keep her its prisoner until her last breath?
 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, February 27, 2019

#Agent Thoth's #Personal Log: Day 925


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 Nine-Hundred-Twenty-Five:
The bushy-tailed rodent returned, today, as is its habit, and the juvenile felid was waiting for it. The moment the creature made its appearance, the little idiot launched himself at it. Forgetting, apparently, the pane of glass that separated them.

The loud thunk my foolish companion made when he bashed his skull against the portal alarmed me, at first. I truly thought he had done himself injury. But, since it was only his head that was affected, it seems that nothing of any great value was damaged. I will continue to monitor the situation and, as always, report back on any further developments.


Ha! Well, it sounds like Agent Thoth has a new hobby. ;-) 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, February 26, 2019

Distraction Through Division...


Hey Everyone!! :-)

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

Excerpt from Answers From Alyce:
"He wants to use the government to protect people who discriminate against people who practice other religions, or who love people who are the same gender as them, or whose gender isn't the same as what their genitals would seem to indicate, or women who make choices for themselves that he disagrees with, or women who need medical care that he doesn't think they should get, or any number of things that people who don't hold the same religious beliefs he does might do or be. He wants to use the government to make sure if these people are denied medical care, or housing, or services at a business, or a job, or are discriminated against in any other way, the bigots who discriminate against them are protected by the government."

"But that's…"

"Barbaric? Yeah, I agree. But it's what he wants."

"But isn't he one of the top officials in your government?" asked Yax. "Why would someone charged with keeping the peace wish to introduce such a divisive policy? It's bound to cause bad feelings and civil discord."

I shrugged. "Of course it will. But it also creates more divisions among regular people and gives them convenient scapegoats for their problems. Instead of focusing on the real problem in our society, that most of the wealth and power are concentrated in the hands of very few people who use them to the detriment of everyone else, things like this make people start to think that other regular people who just happen to have different religious beliefs from them are the cause of their problems."

"I know we've discussed that tactic, before," said Squid-boy, "but this seems a particularly clumsy example of it."

"It is and it isn't. There's quite a bit of religious tension in our country because some people who belong to the dominant religion think they have a God-given right to dictate to other people how to live their lives, and many politicians find these people to be convenient dupes to use as a weapon against their political enemies. And so they empower them far beyond what their numbers would justify. Which, of course, only encourages them to become even more obnoxious than they already were."

"Which, in turn, focuses even more attention on them and distracts it from the corruption and misdeeds of your politicians," observed Yax.

Coming Soon...




Monday, February 25, 2019

Something Worth Watching?


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I'm back today with another video I wanted to share. This one is about what is probably the most important event that will affect the 2020 Presidential election, Bernie Sanders has officially joined the race. But I'll let the man speak for himself. So, please take a few minutes to watch this video where Bernie lays out his vision for the direction this country needs to take going forward and decide for yourselves if it's something that you'd like to see become a reality. Peace!






Sunday, February 24, 2019

Easy Veggie Frittata #Recipe!



Hey Everyone!! :-)

I'm back with another recipe today.  I decided to experiment with a riff on a frittata and I think it worked out pretty well. Enjoy! :-)

Ingredients:
6 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
2 large or 3 medium sized potatoes cubed and boiled
1 12 oz container of sliced button mushrooms
1 medium onion chopped
1 bell pepper chopped
1 cup chopped broccoli
1 cup whole grape tomatoes
3 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Saute the mushrooms, onion, pepper, and broccoli in two tablespoons of olive oil until soft. Coat the inside of a 9x9 baking dish with the remaining olive oil.  Put the sauteed vegetables in the baking dish with the boiled potatoes and the tomatoes. Stir the vegetables around until they are well distributed and even in the dish. Crack the eggs into a bowl, add the milk and salt and pepper, and whisk until they are homogeneous. Pour the egg mixture into the dish evenly until just the tops of the vegetables are visible. Bake uncovered at 325 degrees Fahrenheit until the top is golden brown, about 40-45 minutes. Cut into equal squares and serve with toast or by itself.

Okay, a few variations. First, of course, you can use whatever kind of mushrooms you like, even canned mushrooms if that's what you have. The basic recipe doesn't have garlic in it, but I've made it with garlic and it came out pretty well. One or two cloves chopped fine and mixed with the sauteed vegetables right before you take them off the heat works well. You can also use frozen broccoli and/or frozen onions, if that's what you have on hand. You can omit or add any kind of vegetables you like. I've also made this with cauliflower and spinach, and it came out well.  I also like to slice the squares in half height-wise and put them on toast with mayonnaise.

I don't like cheese with my eggs, but if you do you can add any kind of cheese that you like. It would probably work best if it was shredded and added to the egg mixture or sprinkled over the top about halfway through the cooking process.

As with other dishes, I prefer my frittata without meat. But if you like meat you could easily add ham, sausage, and/or bacon to this dish. Again, either mix it in or sprinkle it over the top halfway through the cooking process. One caveat: make sure the meat is completely cooked before you add it to the frittata. Food poisoning sucks. ;-)

Which is also why you want to make sure the eggs are cooked all the way through before serving. I had no problem just by cooking it low and slow at 325 degrees Fahrenheit and taking it out when the top was golden brown all over.  But, since ovens can vary, you should definitely stick a fork or toothpick in the center to confirm that it's cooked before serving it.




Saturday, February 23, 2019

#NewRelease #Announcement: The Quest (Illusional Reality) By Karina Kantas!


Hey Everyone! :-)

My good friend, Karina Kantas, is here to tell us all about her newest release, today. Karina, take it away! :-)

Karina:

The Quest 

Book 2 of 

Illusional Reality duology.


YA romantic fantasy the exciting concluding part of Illusional Reality.

Published by Asteri press
https://amzn.to/2SNmHaQ - The Quest Amazon.com - Paperback
http://bit.ly/pptquk - The Quest Amazon.UK – Paperback


Karina is a prolific writer and has had 8 books published in various genres. It was her love of Tolkien and Pullman that Karina wrote her romantic fantasy, Illusional Reality, which has turned out to be her bestseller. Readers have taken Thya and Alkazar into their hearts.

THE QUEST FOR THE TRUTH BEGINS

When Hati, notices a Tsinian crystal glowing, she knows she must stick to her word and return to her homeland as Thya. Knowing her kinsmen needed her, there was no hesitation. Even though there was more to lose than just her life.

Once more a prophesy was given that informed the reader of oracles, that only Thya could stop the war and save not just her people, but the rest of Enumac from Kovon’s psychotic future plans.

Along with three other companions, Thya is sent on a perilous quest to locate a dark crystal which holds evil known as the Dark Force. The group are tried and tested throughout their journey by monsters, death and courage. New friendships will be formed and other lost. Thya’s power becomes stronger and a second will threatens to take over her mind body and soul.

A terrifying surprise waits for them in the city of Helkon.
Will they survive.
Will Thya return to Tsinia and for the final showdown with Kovon.

Find out by reading the thrilling concluding part of Illusional Reality.


The only film that grabbed my attention and held me there with an open mouth, was the amazing Lord of the Rings trilogy.

They said that whoever took that 3-book fantasy on, had to be crazy. Peter Jackson wasn't crazy, but he was a hobbit in his heart.

His vision and attention to detail just made this magical film pop.
It was after watching the first film, Fellowship of the Ring, that the story of Becky and her magical adventure took place in my mind, heart and soul.
By the time the 1hr journey from the cinema had ended I had the names, plot, conflicts, storyline, everything written in my head. and then as most writers know, once you're in the "zone" there is no stopping you. By the time the second film, Two Towers, book two, The Quest was again plotted in my mind and it didn’t take long to get the first draft on paper.


“The Quest by Karina Kantas is the sequel to her book Illusional Reality. Becky is once again pulled from England back to the world of Tsinia where she is The Princess. Thya is Becky’s name in this astonishing fantasy world. Thya is the only one who can save her people and their land. They have been forced to leave their magical land and live in caves to survive. The world along with the characters are fleshed out even more with the addition of more monsters and characters and magic. You travel with Thya and a couple others through trials and tribulations which are expertly created to make their Quest either successful or a failure. Her magic becomes even stronger but alas there is a dark side to it that she has trouble controlling. This is a definite page-turner. You will become completely invested in Thya and her companions surviving and making it back to Tsinia. The action is nonstop as Thya and her companions run into many intriguing problems. I loved both books. If you like fantasy worlds that take you away these are just the books you need.”



Karina Kantas is the author of the popular OUTLAW series.
Thrillers involving outlaw motorcycle clubs and the highly rated romantic fantasy ILLUSIONAL REALITY

She also writes short stories and when her imagination is working over time, she writes thought provoking dark flash fiction.

There are many layers to Karina's writing style and talent. As is displayed in her flash fiction collection, Heads & Takes. And in UNDRESSED she opens up more to her fans. Giving them another glimpse of her warped mind.

When Karina isn't busy working on her next best seller, she's runs affordable indie author services. KKantas AuthorAssist. Social Media Consultant, Book Trailer designer, Narration, Branding and Logo design, Marketing and Promotion Manager, design and VA.

Karina writes in the genres of fantasy, romance, sci-fi, horror, thrillers and comedy.

Her inspirations are the author S.E.Hinton and the rock band Iron Maiden.
You can find her on Facebook and Twitter, where she loves hanging out with her readers.

Titles to date:

***The OUTLAW series***
In Times of Violence Urban thriller
Huntress MC thriller/romance
Lawless Justice Vigilante MC thriller
Road Rage MC thriller

***Collections***
Heads & Tales 28 short and flash fiction in all genres
UNDRESSED Collection of poetry, prose and flash fiction

Stone Cold YA Supernatural thriller
Illusional Reality Romantic fantasy

***Coming soon*** (maybe)
Broken Chains (MI5 thriller)
Predator (erotic horror)

http://bit.ly/FBFPKK FB fanpage
http://bit.ly/INSTKK INSTAGRAM
http://bit.ly/TwittKK TWITTER
http://bit.ly/BLOGKK BLOG
http://bit.ly/KKGRE Goodreads
http://bit.ly/KarinaKantas Amazon author page
http://bit.ly/IRFBPAGE FB Illusional Reality book page

Join Karina’s mailing list where you will receive a monthly newsletter with offers, latest news and more. All new subscribers receive a complimentary gift. http://eepurl.com/daKief


Buy The Quest in paperback and get the eBook of book one of Illusional Reality for free.
http://bit.ly/TQPPAM
Please send proof of purchase to receive your free eBook.
https://www.facebook.com/bolidepublishing.




EXCERPT

City of Helkon


The door to the cell unlocked and Thya stood up. King Theon slowly entered. Almost cautiously. With his hands on his hips, he tilted his head and his eyebrows creased. The king pointed to her and then to a bowl that his servant held out. Thya peered into it and saw the same glittery substance that she had used in the throne room. It seemed stupid to refuse him. She did as she was told and, once the spell touched her lips, Theon’s words became clear.
“Rotate,” he commanded.
She turned around as instructed. A Rant pushed her hair aside, exposing her bare back and neck.
“Tis so then,” Theon exclaimed.
Thya turned around to face him. “What is so?”
He bent his head to the side, and his eyes widened. “You are not aware?” He stepped back. “Yet you possess the ancient emblem.”
“What ancient emblem? Will you not reveal the significance?” She would not beg even though she needed answers.
Theon’s sudden change of behaviour concerned her. His stance and facial expressions went from awe to surprise, then almost to fear. His head tilted again, and his hand rested on his chin as he walked around her.
“Do you not comprehend your greatness? Do you not realize who you are?”
“Of course, I am Queen Thya of Tsinia, Guardian of the Changlins.”
“Have you not marvelled at the difference with yourself and that of other Ganties? Surely you have experienced strength and a will that cannot be bested?”
“With certainty.”
“You possess the emblem.”
“What emblem?”
“Upon your back.”
“Tis naught but a birthmark.”
“Nay, Queen. You are mistaken. The mark as you name it, is an emblem of exceptional greatness. I understand now why your thoughts were blocked from me. Immortality appears with a value. I wonder what you would bestow for the quest of eternal youth?”
Nothing he said made sense to her but, before she could demand answers, the King jumped up and down and rubbed his hands like an excited young boy. “I will present you to the Bustak, as homage,” he said, rubbing his hands together as a huge smile etched on his face.
His next words were foreign to her. The magic of the spell had worn off, so she just stood and watched the Rant and the king communicate, hoping to get an idea of what was going to happen next.
Theon grinned and patted the guard’s back. They spoke briefly and nodded their heads as they continued to stare at her. She wished she understood. Who or what was the Bustak? The name raised goose pimples on her arms, and the belief that this was, again, the end of the road for her returned.
The guard led her from the cell and back into the palace. There were no shackles, no Rant gripping her arms. They walked beside her but kept glancing at her. She ignored them and concentrated on calling out with her mind. Alkazar, my love, where are you? She repeated it over and over, with no knowledge of whether he could hear her but, if he had, there was no answer.


http://bit.ly/TQPPAM - The Quest Amazon.com - Paperback
http://bit.ly/pptquk - The Quest Amazon.UK – Paperback