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

Monday, June 17, 2019

Something Worth Watching?


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I'm back today with some more videos I wanted to share. These are about something that happened two weekends ago, but I definitely think it's something that everyone should know about. So, please take a few minutes to watch the videos, and then decide if you'd like to sign on. Peace!









Sunday, June 16, 2019

Keep The Kitchen Cool Panzanella Salad #Recipe!



Hey Everyone!! :-)

This is one of the easiest summertime recipes in my repertoire, and it's one of my favorites. Panzanella salad is almost like pizza, but without having to turn on the oven, which makes it perfect for summertime meals. ;-) Enjoy!

Ingredients:
2 cups day-old bread torn into bite-sized chunks
1 cup grape tomatoes rinsed, drained, and halved
1 cup bite-sized balls of fresh mozzarella cheese
1 cup sliced button mushrooms
1/2 cup shredded fresh basil leaves
1 small red onion chopped fine
1.5 cups extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 cloves garlic grated
Salt and pepper to taste

Toss together the bread, tomatoes, mushrooms, cheese, basil, and onion in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss them together. Serve chilled and enjoy.

Buon Appetito!




Saturday, June 15, 2019

#Spring Into #Reading Authors & Bloggers #Giveaway! $72 #Cash #Grand #Prize! #Free To #Enter!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

There's a new giveaway for Spring!  Please take a moment to check out the Spring Into Reading Authors & Bloggers Giveaway!!  There are lots of awesome books and prizes!! :-)  It's free to enter, there are over 40 prizes, and the grand prize is $72 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, June 14, 2019

Exciting #Opportunity! #Summer #Giveaway Signup!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

If you're a fellow author and/or blogger, and you'd like the opportunity to grow your social media following without spending a lot of $$$ on advertising, check out the details in the image above. If this sounds like something you'd be interested in, click the link below and answer the questions. Happy writing! :-)

Thursday, June 13, 2019

#APC #Spotlight: The Quantum Eavesdropper Volume 1 By Richard Gibney!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I've got Richard Gibney in my APC spotlight, today! Richard is an active and supportive member of the  Authors-Professional Co-op Facebook group and his espionage, thriller, action/adventure, time-travel, science fiction novel, The Quantum Eavesdropper, looks great! Here's the description:
Keir Tremayne and Yadana Osai arrive unexpectedly in New York in 1979, in an advanced space-going vessel. They are assisted in their return to the year 2095 – using physics previously learned from the future Tremayne and his allies – by an MIT professor with whom Tremayne has apparently been in contact from his future...

In 2094, Detective Sergeant Keir Tremayne's wife is brutally murdered in Dublin, Ireland. In 2095, on the lip of a black hole, Keir finds himself in the most incomparable of circumstances: he can now communicate with those living throughout Earth's history—and finds he can right the wrongs in his own past.
On the first faster-than-light manned spaceflight to an alien world, Tremayne, hopelessly trapped on the edge of a black hole, finds himself once more forced into battle with the most formidable of nemeses.
Hidalgo Ingoldsby, a psychotic crime lord from Latin America, is keen to seize power in Ireland by exploiting the country’s Unionist and Nationalist divisions. Teaming up with Tremayne's arch rival, Zhinny Zhao, a Thailand-based, world-traveling terrorist with psionic links to alien life, Ingoldsby plans a mass alien invasion of Earth and the fall of most of human kind.
Zhinny Zhao’s estranged father is a retired US naval admiral with whom she reconciles and ultimately installs as US president. Zhao’s estranged daughter, Yadana, is a prodigious 22-year-old scientist. Like Tremayne, she finds herself a reluctant draftee into Earth’s first faster-than-light space program.
Will Tremayne alter history to save his wife at the possible expense of Earth’s 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, June 12, 2019

#Agent Thoth's #Personal Log: Day 955


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-Fifty-Five:
My symptoms have abated, somewhat, but it seems my protégé has now contracted this infuriating infection. In fact, the unfortunate youth seems to be suffering even worse than I did. The reason why this would be the case is unclear to me, unless his system was so taxed by his existing injury that this additional stress was more than it could cope with. Regardless of the explanation, he seems exceedingly ill.

My hominid-servant seems deeply troubled by my companion’s symptoms and has indicated she is making arrangements to return him to the fixing place. While my suffering was severe, the portion of my respiratory tract affected was limited to my sinuses and nasal passages. Unfortunately for him, my compatriot’s illness seems to have advanced to the point where it’s possible his lungs may be involved. So, my hominid-servant is correct that skilled intervention is needed, but I still have reservations as to the advisability of exposing him to the trauma of such a trip when his system is already under such strain.

I must admit, my fondness for the small pest is a bit concerning to me. However, it is impossible for me to deny that I am experiencing anxiety over the little idiot’s fate. And the prospect of his being forced to revisit a place like the fixing place doesn’t help alleviate my disquiet. Hopefully, my hominid-servant will come up with a more palatable alternative that will still ensure my young cohort receives the care that he obviously requires.

Uh-oh. Time to get the doctor! 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, June 11, 2019

The Challenge Of Escaping One's Own Perspective...


Hey Everyone!

As those of you who follow my blog know, I recently published a new book. While I was working on the final polish before publishing, I read back through the dialogue to make sure each character's "voice" was distinct and unique to them. I think any author can identify with the struggle to "get into the heads" of characters; to make sure that everything they say and do in the story is consistent with who they are. The process reminded me of something I thought of several years ago when I received my first one-star review.

The review was on my first novel, and it's certainly not the only bad review I've received, but it was the first. Normally, I don't think too much about bad reviews, and I pretty much never comment on them, but this one stuck with me. And it wasn't just because it was my first or because it was critical.

As I said, it was my first novel, and that fact showed. I've already gone back and revised it once and probably will again, at some point. My writing has gotten cleaner with each successive book; it seems I learn something important during the creation process every time. And, amazingly enough, practice does seem to hone one's skill, even in writing. Who knew?

So some of the criticism was warranted. But there were two things that stuck with me about the review. One was simply a statement of fact, though why the reader considered that fact worthy of censure is something that escapes me. They declared that my book is "unrealistic." Well, considering it's a paranormal romance set mainly in Fairie, I would have thought that would be obvious. Why someone would choose a fantasy genre if they're looking for realism is a mystery to me. But, fair enough, they were correct. It is unrealistic.

But the other statement is the one that bugged me the most. Because even in that early example of my work, I strove to make sure my characters' thoughts, words, and actions were consistent with who they were. There's a point in the story when the heroine, after she has been taken to Fairie, observes one of the Fae making bread. And she thinks to herself about how she had never thought about what went into making bread because, in her experience, bread came in plastic bags at the grocery store. And the reviewer took issue with this scene, asserting that everyone knows how to make bread.

The heroine in that story was a woman in her late twenties who was orphaned as a baby. She was subsequently bounced from foster home to foster home until she aged out of the system and started working at a myriad of low-paying, dead-end jobs, always two or three at a time. As a child, she never had adults in her life who took an interest in teaching her to cook, and she never had time to teach herself as an adult. To her, food came in tin cans or cardboard boxes and was heated in a microwave. Which is a reality lived by many.

It took a while to figure out why this simple critique bothered me so much. I've received much harsher criticism that barely registered, so it was odd to me that this is what stuck in my mind. But I finally realized it was the obliviousness to the way others experience the world that was reflected in the assumption that, of course, everyone knows how to make bread was what was getting under my skin.

It wasn't just a book review, any more than the legend about Marie Antoinette advising the people to eat cake was just a menu suggestion. It was a reflection of a worldview that fails to take into account the challenges and obstacles that others have to overcome just to get where some of us are fortunate enough to start. A paradigm that centers around a lack of empathy.

Yes, I realize I'm reading too much into a single statement. Not being able to identify with a specific character doesn't say much about a person. Especially when the argument can certainly be made that it was my failure to craft a character who was real enough to be relatable that was the actual cause of the problem.

But regardless of whether it was true of the reviewer, it's certainly true of our society in general that there is often a lack of understanding for perspectives that don't match our own. Worse, there's a lack of willingness to even try to understand. Granted, it's not easy. One of the biggest challenges in writing is trying to see the world through the eyes of different characters.

But in life, as in writing, it's necessary to meet that challenge. If we don't, then our stories can only be two dimensional and boring, with none of the spice and variety that can only come from an appreciation for the breadth and depth of the span that makes up the human experience. And the way every individual's slice of that experience colors their behavior, including our own.

Peace!




Monday, June 10, 2019

Something Worth Watching?


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I'm back today with another video I wanted to share. It's about Bernie's speech at the California Democratic Party Conference where he explained his position on a "middle ground" approach to solving this country's problems. But I'll let the man speak for himself. Peace!

#NoMiddleGround






Sunday, June 9, 2019

Easy Pasta Primavera #Recipe!



Hey Everyone!! :-)

With the warm weather here, I thought I'd share one of my favorite spring and summertime recipes with you. Enjoy! :-)

Ingredients:
2 cups frozen peas
2 cups chopped broccoli
2 large tomatoes chopped
1 zucchini or yellow summer squash sliced
1 red bell pepper chopped
1 16oz package sliced button mushrooms
1 small onion chopped
1/4 cup oregano chopped fine
1/2 cup basil chopped fine
6 cloves garlic minced
1 bag bow-tie pasta (or whatever shape of pasta you like)
1/2 cup vegetable stock
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp butter
3 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Boil water in a stock pot and add salt. When the water is boiling, add the pasta and cook until it's al dente. Remove the pasta from the water, drain it, toss it with some olive oil, and set it aside.

Put the butter and olive oil into a skillet and heat it until butter the melts. Add the onion and cook it until it starts to caramelize. Add the garlic, bell pepper, mushrooms, and zucchini and cook them until they soften. Add the broccoli, oregano, and tomato and stir the contents of the skillet together. Add the vegetable stock and stir to combine. Add the frozen peas and stir in the cream. Stir in the cheese and taste. Adjust the salt and pepper as necessary. Continue cooking until the sauce starts to bubble, stirring continuously. Remove the skillet from the heat, stir in the cooked pasta and basil, and serve piping hot.

Buon Appetito! :-)




Saturday, June 8, 2019

#Spring Into #Reading Authors & Bloggers #Giveaway! $72 #Cash #Grand #Prize! #Free To #Enter!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

There's a new giveaway for Spring!  Please take a moment to check out the Spring Into Reading Authors & Bloggers Giveaway!!  There are lots of awesome books and prizes!! :-)  It's free to enter, there are over 40 prizes, and the grand prize is $72 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, June 7, 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, June 6, 2019

#APC #Spotlight: Summer Of Fire By L.G. Surgeson!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I've got L.G. Surgeson in my APC spotlight, today! L.G. is an active and supportive member of the  Authors-Professional Co-op Facebook group and her sword and sorcery, mystery, action/adventure, fantasy novel, Summer of Fire, looks great! Here's the description:
It is a Time of Legends,
It is a Time for Heroes,
It is Time for Last Stands

To speak of a time before the Summer of Fire, a time truly before the cacophony of events that chose to confluence in those short months, is to speak of a time more than four hundred years gone by.

Very few have a genuine understanding of what lead to the time known as the Summer of Fire, of the rising powers that had grown with the patience of mountains, over centuries. Only in looking back could scholars completely understand the full scale of events that preceded it.

It is particularly difficult to distinguish what came 'before', as this is a relative term. Each individual will have a point in time that they consider to be the time 'before', after which their life will have irrevocably changed. General consensus suggests that by 1099 AC it was already too late.

But for some, it started long before that. For some of them will live, some of them will die, and some of them will last forever.
 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, June 5, 2019

#Agent Thoth's #Personal Log: Day 953


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-Fifty-Three:
Alas, my craving for normalcy is not to be answered. At least, not in the immediate future. When I awoke, yesterday, I found myself experiencing the most uncomfortable upper respiratory congestion. My sinuses and nasal passages were so inflamed that I could barely breathe, and my body’s ability to generate mucus seemed inexhaustible. To add insult to injury, these symptoms were accompanied by a debilitating lethargy and a general malaise that left me wanting to do nothing more than sleep.

Today has seen little improvement in my condition. Even now, it is taking all my energy just to record this entry. I believe I am the victim of a viral infection. I would like to blame the juvenile felid -- as the fixing place is populated by creatures in all manner of states of ill health, it seems logical that would be the origin of this infection -- however, as of this moment, he seems unaffected by this plague.

I will continue to monitor my own and my compatriot’s situations and report back on any further developments. In the meantime, I will seek out my hominid-servant’s lap and attempt to maintain a state of unconsciousness surrounded by the warmth of the waste heat generated by her body until this pestilence passes.


Oh, no! It's the plague! ;-) 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, June 4, 2019

Or The End Of The Beginning?


Hey Everyone!! :-)

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

Excerpt from Answers From Alyce:
Looking around, I saw the light was fading faster than I'd realized. I'd walked these woods in the dark plenty of times, but I didn't think risking tripping on branches I couldn't see would be the smartest thing I could do at that moment. Getting my legs underneath me, I slowly got to my feet. And, to my relief, the ground and scenery stayed put. There were no signs of glowing lights or strange-looking people, either, though I did look around to make sure.

My alien-inspection complete and yielding a definite negative, I returned my attention to the rabbit, who hadn't moved and was still enjoying his snack. "You know, if you stay out here, the coyotes or an owl will get you. That white fur of yours? It'll stand out like a neon sign in the dark." I squatted down and held my hand out to the little creature. "Why don't you come with me and I'll see if I can find you some nice, warm hay to make a nest out of?"

The rabbit continued to chew, but it looked like it was considering my offer. I glanced at the darkening sky, again, and said, "I ain't gonna stay out here all night while you decide, sugar." I wiggled my fingers at it. "You want to come with me?"

The little critter wiggled its nose at me, and then took a small hop in my direction.

"Well? Come on."

It took another hop towards me, and I was able to stretch and smooth my fingers over the top of its head. I grabbed its scruff and slid it close enough that I could get my other hand under its rump. Standing, I picked the mite up and cuddled it against my chest. It seemed content and snuggled into my arms and settled down.

It was almost full dark, by then, and I carefully picked my way over the uneven ground back towards my home. The small animal in my arms was warm, and the little noises it made were soothing. I stroked its soft fur and said, "I guess you turning up in my vegetables wasn't such a horrible thing, after all. But I'd still like to get my hands on the person who turned you loose out here. Some people don't have a lick ‘a sense, lettin’ a pet rabbit out to get eaten by wild animals."

The rabbit sighed and I chuckled and then sighed with it. "Yeah, you're right; I guess there are bigger things to worry about than things that end up alright. I wonder if them fracking boys'll be back tomorrow. I guess I'd better call a lawyer, since I doubt I'll be able to run 'em off by puttin' a shot of rock salt in their backsides."

By the time I made it to my porch, the sun had truly set. As the stars started winking into existence in the night sky, I looked at them and again thought about my strange dream and the people I had met wandering through my twisted imagination. Leave it to me to conjure up extraterrestrials wanting social commentary¾from li’l ole me, of all people¾on life in modern America. Snorting, I thought about how the last time anyone asked my opinion on anything, it was at a restaurant and the waitress just wanted to know if I wanted a baked potato or fries. Shaking my head at my own foolishness, I opened the door and flicked on the switch beside it. When I turned to make sure the door closed and latched, I caught sight of something in the window of the storm door.

The light in the house and the darkness outside had turned the glass into a mirror, and I could see there was something stuck to the back of my shoulder. Shifting the rabbit to one arm, I reached around with my other hand and peeled the thing off of me. When I brought it around, I saw it was a square of fabric, and I remembered alien hands laying something suspiciously like it on my back not that long ago.

But that was just a dream, wasn't it?





Monday, June 3, 2019

Something Worth Watching?


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I'm back today with another video I wanted to share. Once again, our man, Bernie, has our backs with some excellent proposed legislation. This is the type of thing we can have in this country if we just work together to put people in our government who will fight for these policies. So, please take a few minutes to watch the video, and maybe make some notes so you'll be prepared to cast your vote in the primary next year. Peace!

#StillSanders #Bernie2020






Sunday, June 2, 2019

Strawberry Jam In A #Crockpot #Recipe!



Hey Everyone!! :-)

Since it's springtime and the strawberries are ripening, I thought I'd share my easy, crock-pot strawberry jam recipe. Enjoy! :-)

Ingredients:
4 lbs fresh strawberries
3 tbsp fruit pectin
1.5 cups sugar
1/3 cup lemon juice

Wash the strawberries, remove their stems, and cut them in half. Place the cleaned and halved strawberries and the rest of the ingredients in your crock-pot and stir them all together. Turn the crockpot on high and cook the jam for three hours. Use a potato masher to mash up the strawberries and transfer the jam into the container, or containers, you want to store it in. Place the containers, uncovered, in the refrigerator to cool. Cover and store in the refrigerator or freezer to avoid spoilage.

Bon Appetit!




Saturday, June 1, 2019

#Spring Into #Reading Authors & Bloggers #Giveaway! $72 #Cash #Grand #Prize! #Free To #Enter!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

There's a new giveaway for Spring!  Please take a moment to check out the Spring Into Reading Authors & Bloggers Giveaway!!  There are lots of awesome books and prizes!! :-)  It's free to enter, there are over 40 prizes, and the grand prize is $72 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, May 31, 2019

Rub-A-Dub-Dub, Fun In The Tub... ;-)


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I just thought I'd share something to help you get your weekend off to a good start. Enjoy! :-)

Excerpt from Bound by the Summer Prince:
Sauntering over to the bath that was big enough for an entire football team, Roni watched her Anamchara watching her. His eyes darkened with lust as she slid into the warm water with him, and he reached for her. She splashed him and floated away from him with a laugh, all the while challenging him with her eyes to come get her.

The prince wiped the water from his face with his hand, and then gave his mate a dangerous look. He lunged for her, growling, and grabbed her, dragging her back against his body.

Before she knew what was happening, Roni found herself spun around and laid over the side of the tub, with her ass in the air. Her lover’s hand at the small of her back held her down. “Hey!” she said, kicking out with her feet and splashing the water.

Uaine’s hand descended on his Anamchara’s generous behind, and the sound echoed through the room. Again and again, his hand landed, until her skin had taken on a rosy hue. “You must learn to behave. How can you, the future queen of the Summer Court, justify acting like an unruly child?”

“Ooohhhh.” Roni moaned and squirmed against the slick stone. “I don’t know,” she gasped. “I can’t think.”

Smiling, the prince said; “Then I guess I shall have to help you learn how to behave properly.” He ran his hand over her glowing flesh, and lightly massaged it.

Roni found herself relaxing into her lover’s ministrations, and collapsed limp against the side of the tub. When Uaine pulled her back into the water and sat her on the ledge, she simply allowed him to move her.

He picked up her hand and massaged her fingers. Moving up her arm, he thoroughly kneaded her tired muscles. By the time he made it to her back, her head had fallen forward onto her chest and her eyes were closed. After he had given her back, arms, and neck a complete rub down, Uaine gathered his mate into his arms.

“Mmmmmm….” She moaned. “That was wonderful.”

“I’m glad you enjoyed it.”

“Much more and you’ll end our fun too soon. I’ll fall asleep.”

Uaine smiled. “I believe I can think of ways to keep your attention.”


Want to find out how he intends to do that? Go ahead and grab your copy at the link below. Happy reading! :-)








Thursday, May 30, 2019

#APC #Spotlight: The Dragon Dreamer By Jenny Burke!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I've got Jenny Burke in my APC spotlight, today! Jenny is an active and supportive member of the  Authors-Professional Co-op Facebook group and her young adult, fantasy, action/adventure, marine ecology, first contact novel, The Dragon Dreamer, looks great! Here's the description:
A dying dragon and an undersea misfit.
Bullied as a worthless dreamer, Arak flies away on a dangerous quest and crashes at sea. A fearless, shapeshifter octopus named Scree heals the young dragon, and a great friendship begins. But a terrible illness strikes the dragon clan. Then an undersea volcano erupts, which triggers a towering tsunami and a deadly chain of events! How can two unlikely friends combine their unique talents to save the dragons? 
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, May 29, 2019

#Agent Thoth's #Personal Log: Day 951


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-Fifty-One:
The bandage was removed from my young companion’s eye, today. He and my hominid-servant have been battling over it since he returned to my domicile, to the point where she finally placed him in a contraption that made it impossible for him to reach any part of his head with his paws. Naturally, the small pest bore this indignity with poor grace, and spent an inordinate amount of time expounding to the world about his woes. At the highest decibel level he was capable of producing.

But now the point of contention has been removed, and I am pleased to say that my protégé retains his eye and it appears to be functional. Though, the flesh surrounding it still appears raw and swollen. I attempted to aid my youthful compatriot in healing by applying my tongue to the affected area in order to promote circulation and remove loose particles of tissue. But the little idiot hissed and swatted at me; a wholly inappropriate response to my gesture of friendship and goodwill.

I can only surmise that my ministrations, though correct and well meant, were painful to the diminutive nincompoop. The tiny twit has been equally resistant to my hominid-servant’s efforts to provide wound care, but her opposable thumbs and superior size give her an advantage, and thus far she has emerged victorious from those struggles. Hopefully, the wound will heal in spite of my foolish associate’s reluctance to accept help when it’s offered, and life can return to normal in my domicile.


Oh, my! A battle of wills! ;-) 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, May 28, 2019

Pointing Out The Obvious...


Hey Everyone!!

I'm back with another long rant that the tl/dr is: Centrism gave us Trump; more centrism will give us more Trumps. If you'd like to know what I'm talking about, read on. ;-)

I debated whether or not to post this because I know it will hurt some feelings, but I really think it needs to be said. There is a deep schism in the Democratic Party, and pretending it isn't there won't make it go away. The divide is between progressives and centrists/moderates and is the result of 40+ years of voting for the "lesser of two evils." Yeah, I know, thems fightin' words! Don't worry, I'm about to step on even more toes, so hold tight before you blast me.

Constantly voting for bad candidates whose only accomplishment is being slightly better than the opposition has created two camps in the Democratic Party. Progressives who actually want to solve the problems real Americans are facing on a day-to-day basis, and centrists/moderates who range from being comfortable enough and not caring about anyone else to actively working to undermine policies that would help regular people. Yep, there it is. Go ahead and yell at me; it won't change anything.

Yeah, I know, I know it isn't "fair" to say centrists/moderates don't care about anyone but themselves. But you know what else isn't "fair?" Telling millions of Americans who have to choose between keeping a roof over their heads or getting their prescription medications that they have to wait for solutions. It's not "fair" to tell people whose kids are dying of treatable illnesses that they should be patient because we have to talk a while longer about whether or not their kids deserve to live before we can decide that they should have healthcare coverage. It's wildly "unfair" to tell people that it's okay they're having to work 100 hours a week at three different jobs for slave wages just to put food on their family's table because at least the people we elected don't want to commit genocide against gay people or force everyone to live under the rule of the Christian Taliban.

I mean, yes, of course we should expect that our elected representatives support policies that protect civil rights for all Americans and not vote for legislation that codifies discrimination against large swaths of the population, but that's a low, low, low bar you're talking about. Somehow, I think we can do better. And the fact that change makes some people uncomfortable isn't a good enough reason not to vote for those candidates who are better and who will work to fix the problems we're facing.

"But we've got to defeat the orange toddler who's holding our country hostage!" comes the establishment chorus. Yeah, I know, we absolutely do have to defeat our current Disaster in Chief. But he didn't spring from a vacuum. For all the calls for unity I keep seeing -- and isn't it funny how those calls always seem to come from people who want progressives to unite behind their do-nothing candidates, but who scoff at the idea that they should unite behind progressive candidates? -- if we don't put people in office who will actually work to make the lives of regular Americans better then we can expect more Trumps in the future, even if we manage through some miracle to snooker enough people into voting for another centrist catastrophe now.

Because the political climate that fostered the rise of our tangerine study in moral turpitude won't change under anyone who's hell-bent on maintaining the status quo. Why did people vote for Trump? Because they're racist, xenophobic, misogynistic bigots, sure. Some of them are definitely that. But some people voted for him because they're desperate for change. They're drowning and he promised to throw them a life-line. He was lying, but they hoped he was telling the truth. Hillary promised to stand on the shore and do nothing more than offer some advice while they went under, and they believed her too.

The current crop of centrist candidates are at least a little smarter than Hillary was. Some of them, anyway. They're promising to change things; their past records suggest that they're lying, but they have the sense to at least ape progressive rhetoric. Unfortunately, Obama talked a good game, too, but when it came to action he was a dud. And 8 years of his failure to enact actual progressive policies is what gave us Trump.

OMG! She just had the gall to criticize Saint Obama! Yep, I sure did. I know the man dealt with a lot of racist attacks, but there are plenty of reasons to disapprove of his performance as president that have nothing to do with his skin color or the fact that he was born in Hawaii.

He had two years of having a super majority in Congress and he squandered it on a right-wing, heritage foundation scheme that was introduced by Mitt Romney in Massachusetts years before it became Obamacare. It left millions of Americans without health coverage and millions more with such lousy coverage that they might as well have no coverage...and paying through the nose for the privilege. And we're supposed to applaud him for this? Yeah, I'll grant you that it's better than the anarcho-capitalist system that existed before, but that ain't sayin' much. He had the opportunity to do so much more and he squandered it. Hell, he didn't even fight for a public option, but instead he threatened progressive Democrats who did fight for it.

Obama also refused to prosecute the Wall Street fraudsters who crashed the economy for their fraud; instead he put them in his cabinet. He increased the number of interventionist wars we're involved in, and the money we're wasting on them, failed to do anything to address the infrastructure collapse that's causing problems like what's happening in Flint, MI, allowed fossil fuel companies to run roughshod over citizens' rights, like what happened in Standing Rock, tried to make a deal with Republicans to cut Social Security, celebrated low unemployment numbers while ignoring the fact that the wages those jobs pay are often slave wages, and generally served the rich donors while largely ignoring the needs of regular Americans.

Yes, Obama inherited a mess from W. An economy in free-fall isn't an easy thing to deal with, but he knew what he was getting into when he ran for POTUS. And while he did a bang-up job of making things better for the wealthy and for corporations, he left the majority of Americans in economic despair. And that's what gave a con artist like Trump the opportunity to fool people into voting for him. Because people who are drowning often don't have the wherewithal to thoroughly analyze the hand that's being offered to them. They tend to just take it and don't find out about the venomous serpent that hides behind it until they're bitten.

I apologize for the long post, if anyone has actually bothered to read this far, but I felt that this was something that had to be said. If we force people into another Scylla or Charybdis choice, then we're fostering an environment that will inevitably lead us back to another Trump. And the next Trump might actually be intelligent enough to compose an agenda and implement it in a systematic manner. This Trump has caused enough damage through blind blundering and empty bluster. I'd hate to see what kind of destruction a competent Trump could manage.

So, no, I will not stop pointing out the flaws of candidates who I don't think will fight for the interests of regular Americans. I will continue to promote actual progressives and to discuss the relative merits and failings of the policies supported by the different candidates. I'm sorry if this makes anyone uncomfortable, but keeping a select, privileged group of people comfortable isn't my priority. Helping to effect change so that everyone can be at least comfortable is what I hope to do.

Peace!



Monday, May 27, 2019

Something Worth Watching?


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I'm back today with another video I wanted to share. This is something that I think we should all keep in mind over the coming weeks and months. Whatever the "weapons of mass destruction" ends up being this time, we need to make sure we aren't buying into another illegal war for no reason.





Sunday, May 26, 2019

Easy #Crockpot Taco Filling #Recipe!



Hey Everyone!! :-)

With warmer weather here, I tend to like slightly lighter meals. This is one of my favorite spring-time recipes. :-)

Ingredients:

1/2 cup dried lentils
1/4 cup uncooked quinoa or rice
1/4 cup frozen corn
2 cups water or vegetable stock
1 small tomato diced
5 cloves garlic minced
1 tsp chili powder
1 tbsp cumin
1/2 tsp paprika
1 bay leaf
1 drop liquid smoke (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

Place all of the ingredients in a crockpot and cook them on low for about 7 hours. Check to see if the liquid has been absorbed and the beans and grain are soft. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary. If the beans and grain aren't completely soft but the liquid is gone, add some more liquid and cook on high for another half an hour to an hour. If the liquid isn't absorbed, turn the heat up to high and cook for an additional half an hour to an hour. When the beans and grain are soft and the liquid absorbed, remove the bay leaf and spoon the filling into your favorite taco shells. Top your tacos with your favorite salsa, guacamole, cheese, and other taco toppings.

Buen Provecho!


Saturday, May 25, 2019

#Spring Into #Reading Authors & Bloggers #Giveaway! $72 #Cash #Grand #Prize! #Free To #Enter!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

There's a new giveaway for Spring!  Please take a moment to check out the Spring Into Reading Authors & Bloggers Giveaway!!  There are lots of awesome books and prizes!! :-)  It's free to enter, there are over 40 prizes, and the grand prize is $72 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, May 24, 2019

#NewRelease #Announcement: Toxic By Karina Kantas & Karen J. Mossman!

Two hearts fighting for survival 

Two authors, two versions of the same book in two exciting genres of fiction. Karen J Mossman and Karina Kantas present, Toxic.


Blurb

Lexi isn't your normal Malok. She craves adventure and freedom from the mundane life forced upon her. 100 years ago, the first drop of acid rain fell. Maloks fled to the mountains, building a new way of life—a desolate life—a life Lexi knows all too well. Lexi has a plan, her ticket out of this miserable existence, becoming a ranger. Aron, her partner, believes she’s not strong enough to fight alongside him. Lexi will stop at nothing, no matter what the danger, to achieve her independence, even if that means defying him. Amidst everything, Marcus, Lexi’s childhood best friend makes a sudden return. Before she can rejoice in a reunion, her happiness is crushed when she sees Mae, the bully that had terrorized her in her teens. Marcus was aware of the mental abuse Lexi had suffered and yet the person she loved and the person she hated the most, stand before her, together. “A powerful dystopian thriller that captures the heart and imagination”.
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“I was fascinated by Stephanie Meyer’s book The Host, where people lived in mountains. This was a world I wanted to explore as a setting for Toxic. Living in a close environment as this, there has to be rules. Those rules don’t always have to be fair. This gave me scope to add intrigue and animosity between my characters.” Karen J Mossman


Toxic media

Karen J Mossman.

Karen J Mossman comes from a family of journalists with her grandfather and uncle having been newspaper editors. Further back a 2x grandfather wrote for his local paper and also published a book based on those articles. Karen is the only one to go into fiction. All Karen's books are in collections - The Decade Series, Electric Eclectic and Just Stories.' She is also a founder member of Electric Eclectic books and now has six in that collection. Karen is also an avid blogger and book reviewer, "It's especially important to me to have feedback from my readers, so please leave a review when you have read one of my books." Karen lives on the beautiful Isle of Anglesey off the North Wales coast with her husband and two dogs. She has two grown up children, who were both born on the same day, two years apart.

https://www.facebook.com/karensmagicofstories/ https://www.amazon.com/Karen-J-Mossman/e/B00JJY69OO https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9814921.Karen_J_Mossman https://twitter.com/KarenJMoss https://magicofstories.net/ http://www.instagram.com/kazz_magic_of_stories

Karina Kantas

Karina Kantas is the author of the popular MC thriller series, OUTLAW and the loved romantic fantasy duology, Illusional Reality. She also writes short stories and when her imagination is working overtime, she writes thought-provoking dark flash fiction. There are many layers to Karina's writing style and voice, as you will see in her flash fiction collection, Heads & Tales and in UNDRESSED she opens up more to her fans, giving them another glimpse into her warped mind. When Karina isn't busy working on her next bestseller, she's a publicist, author manager and VA. She's also the host of the popular radio show, Author Assist on the Artist First Radio Network. http://bit.ly/FBFPKK - FB fan page http://bit.ly/INSTKK - Instagram http://bit.ly/TwittKK - Twitter http://bit.ly/BLOGKK - Website http://bit.ly/KKGRE - Goodreads

toxic

“A sensual, erotic read…Karina dares to figure out the nature of passion…thoughtful and thought-provoking.”

"It was a pleasure to read an erotic story that had an actual plot. The genre itself is probably the most misunderstood. The plot drives an erotic story and the sex just adds to the enticing nature of it. You've done a great job building a world for your reader.

DOUBLE TROUBLE 

“Toxic is based in a future world where acid rain forces the people, the Maloks to build their cities inside mountains for protection. What is also amazing is this book has two versions, the romantic and the erotic. In both books the story focuses on a female Malok called Lexi, who is determined to become a Ranger and help society guard against the Outcasts. Only Lexi has little support, even from her own boyfriend, Aron. Mix in a childhood sweetheart, in the shape of Marcus, and the unexpected arrival of Mae, Lexi's childhood bully and things begin to get interesting. Toxic is the story of Lexi's determination to satisfy her ambitions, both professionally and personally. The Erotic Toxic tells the same story but delves deeper into Lexi's sexuality and passions. Whichever Toxic you chose, you find yourself living the fantasy.”

Download Toxic Adult Edition here

Download Toxic here


Excerpt

“Lexi,” greeted the young medic. “Hey, Sha.” Lexi smiled. She walked past Sha and sat down on a stool, took a sterile cloth, and wiped away the dead skin, causing her to take an intake of breath. No matter how many times she had been burnt there was no way to get used to that kind of pain. As she reached for a jar of Dozax paste, Sha spoke. “You’ve been outside again, haven’t you?” Lexi didn’t answer at first, as she felt the wonderful relief as the paste went to work, taking away the pain and healing the burn. The skin immediately started to regenerate and within moments all that was left on her hand was a green coloured dye, which would eventually fade. Still, Lexi needed to wear a patch that had a tiny spot of Dozax cream to complete the treatment. It was dangerous for any Malok to use Dozax in its pure form. Everything had to be diluted. “You are such a strange Malok,” Sha said, shaking her head. Lexi smiled. “I can’t help it. I’d go crazy if I was cooped up here forever.” “Has your ranger training started?” Sha asked. Lexi’s grin was wide. “Not yet. At the end of the week,” she answered, still not believing she had been accepted into the academy. “Okay, I’m done," she said and then jumped off the stool. “See you tomorrow.” “Oh wait. You have four inoculations to do tomorrow.” “Four?” Lexi questioned. “Yes, some Maloks arrived last night with the new commander.” “Oh, yes I forgot about Jow. So sad. He was nice as a commander, and so approachable and happy all the time, you know?” “Yeah,” Sha agreed and then giggled. “Remember when he came and said he wanted to learn basic aid? Oh my, he was so funny.” Lexi laughed as she remembered that day and how he always made her smile. “See even now, just thinking of the late commander makes us happy. He left a great legacy behind.” “He sure did. Let’s just hope the new one can live up to that.” “Okay, I’m off. See you tomorrow, Sha.” “I will have the Dozax jabs ready for you in the incubator," Sha called. “Super! Thanks,” Lexi mumbled. Lexi still couldn’t get that sad day out of her mind. She even had to visit the Charmer to talk and get closure. The loss of Commander Jow was hard for everyone. A party of fifteen went out that day and only two returned. Lexi wished for peace every day, but the only way that would happen was if the Outcasts and the Maloks agreed to share. She shook her head. Of course, that would never happen, she was kidding herself. Outcasts needed the Terra leaves to feed their addiction. Never mind that this amazing plant could cure pain, protect the body from germs, Illness and normal medical problems that come from age and a weary body. She couldn’t imagine how life used to be when young people would die, because they didn’t know the secret of the plant and the properties it possessed. So, sad, she thought, as she quickly made her way back to the residence she shared with Aron. Everyone assumed that Lexi and Aron would marry and settle down. Her friends certainly thought so, and at the start, so did Lexi. Only now she had woken up, and the adventurous Lexi wanted so much more from life and becoming a ranger was a step in the right direction. Karina and Karen and proud to associate Toxic with Electric, Eclectic books. Electric Eclectic is a global marketing brand 53900773_2278764845777744_8192534681283985408_n Hosted by Author Assist 56759199_600904043654236_4478603823945875456_n




Thursday, May 23, 2019

#APC #Spotlight: First Steps For A Hero By Judith Rook!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I've got Judith Rook in my APC spotlight, today! Judith is an active and supportive member of the  Authors-Professional Co-op Facebook group and her first contact, science fiction, action, adventure novella, First Steps for a Hero, looks great! Here's the description:
Living on a farm in the north country of England in 1969, David Eldwick has finished high school and is looking forward to his new adult life. His enemy, Martin, lives on the farm next door. He is jealous of David and has made his life at school as unpleasant as possible.
Soon, Martin and his father will try to seize ownership of the Eldwick land by forcing David’s sister into a marriage with Martin. David warns Martin off, but Martin wants Jenevieve and goes ahead with his plans.
Although he is determined to protect his sister, David avoids confronting Martin. Then a stranger comes to work on the Eldwick farm, and things begin to change.
The enigmatic stranger, the Captain, comes from Arrath, an Earth-like world, existing in a parallel universe. He teaches David the Arrathan way of self-defence, and David begins to develop in skill and character.
At the end-of-summer ball, Martin kidnaps Jenevieve. Knowing he will have to fight, David faces his adversary. He saves Jenevieve, and the captain invites him to visit Arrath.
David learns malevolent alien beings have also found their way to Earth, intending to infect it with evil. Helping to deal with the dark invaders, he meets the greatest danger of his life, but he must overcome his fear and protect both Arrath and Earth.
What will be David’s path into his future? Does he truly believe the other universe exists and can affect the lives of people on Earth? Will he become a farmer or a warder of Arrath?
 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! :-)