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

Thursday, January 31, 2019

#APC #Spotlight: Oceanus: Living In Isolation By JM McAlpine!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I've got Joanne McAlpine in my APC spotlight, today! Joanne is an active and supportive member of the  Authors-Professional Co-op Facebook group and her speculative, near future, action, adventure, science fiction novel, Oceanus, looks great! Here's the description:
At the dawn of colonizing planets, humanity supports a bold new experiment on Earth to create three self-sustaining habitats, one underground, one above, and one under the sea. With dreams of colonization, they test human capacity by isolating the inhabitants from the outside world for a year.
Telsa and Simon join the first inhabitants on Oceanus, the undersea habitat. Simon leaves his youngest, Rosie, with her grandmother. It would only be a year, what could go wrong?
 If you think this sounds like something you might enjoy, go ahead and grab your copy here:


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



Wednesday, January 30, 2019

#Agent Thoth's #Personal Log: Day 912


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-Twelve:
A quasi-sense of normalcy has been restored to my domicile. The young felid has reconciled himself to the fact that he will not be allowed to horde baubles that have been offered to others. My hominid-servant managed to rediscover the baubles I had hidden from my juvenile companion in the midst of her efforts to return my domicile to its previous comfortable state, and so they have been returned to me. Which means I am now free to ignore them, but I know that they haven't been appropriated by anyone else. And, overall, I just feel a sense of peace and tranquility returning to my environment. It's quite agreeable, I must say.


Aww! It's nice when things settle down after a period of excitement. ;-) You may have noticed that Agent Thoth has a new look. I hope you like his new picture as much as I do, but I'd love to hear your thoughts, either way. Feel free to let me know what you think in the comments. ;-) Happy reading, everyone!




Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Reality A La Carte...


Hey Everyone!! :-)

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

Excerpt from Answers From Alyce:
"Aren't there any honest actors in your media?"

I nodded. "Of course there are. One of the things the First Amendment to our Constitution guarantees is a free press, so our government and the corporations that back it haven't quite managed to silence all dissenting voices. There are some real journalists out there who are still trying to uphold the ideal of an adversarial relationship between power and press and to seek out and tell the truth, whatever it may be. But they aren't the members of the media who have a lot of money backing them, so it's hard for them to make their voices heard. That's one of the reasons losing Net Neutrality is so bad for our country. One of the main ways independent journalists report what they find is via the internet. And if corporations are allowed to shut down traffic to websites that report things they don't like, such as sites that expose the terrible things those corporations have done, then it becomes much harder for media that isn't owned by large corporations to be heard. But, honestly, even when independent media does manage to make themselves heard, people in power usually try to discredit them by claiming that what they report isn't legitimate news."

"But don't your people realize that's simply a tactic to keep the truth from becoming known?"

I shrugged. "Sure, some people realize that. But, since most people don't have an objective standard to compare what they hear against, they just pick what they most agree with to believe. If they agree with the people in control of our government, they'll choose to believe them. If they disagree with the people in control of our government, they'll choose to believe whoever criticizes them, whether that's their political opponents or the media."

"But if the members of the media you're talking about, those who are honest and are truly trying to inform the public, present evidence to support what they report, why don't your people know that they are telling the truth?"

"Because most people aren't used to evaluating evidence and determining if it can be relied upon. Lots of people claim to have 'evidence', and most people have a hard time figuring out what 'evidence' comes from reliable sources and is real and what 'evidence' is made up by other dishonest or misguided people. And even people who do know how, often don't have the time to devote to doing that kind of research. We live under a constant bombardment of information, and because the pre-vetted sources in the mainstream media aren't doing their job, it's hard to know what part of that information can be trusted."

"And your government is no help because they are focused on assigning blame, not on telling the truth."

I snorted. "The current administration calls anything that makes it look bad or that it doesn't agree with 'Fake News', regardless of how much evidence there is or how reliable that evidence is. So, no, the government is no help at all in sorting fact from fiction. And, frankly, it shouldn't be. The purpose of a free press is to speak truth to power and hold power accountable, and power rarely likes to hear the truth or be held accountable. So, at its roots, it's meant to be an adversarial relationship, which means the government shouldn't be involved in vetting the reliability of the fourth estate. Journalists, themselves, should do a better job of keeping each other honest, but it's hard to get people to do something that they're being paid by multi-billion dollar corporations not to do."





Monday, January 28, 2019

Something Worth Watching?


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I'm back today with another video I wanted to share. This one gives a little bit of good news, as well as some context to help explain the motivation of the different factions involved. Still, good news is definitely welcome, so I thought I'd share it. Besides, it's a good idea to know what's going on because if we want these representatives to live up to the expectations we have for them, we need to understand the challenges they're facing so we can speak up to support them if they need us to. Peace!






Sunday, January 27, 2019

Garlic And Olive Oil Mushroom Pasta #Recipe!



Hey Everyone!! :-)

This is a quick and easy recipe, perfect for a busy work night. Enjoy! :-)

Ingredients:
1 lb pasta (whatever shape you like)
2 cups white wine (whatever you like to drink)
2 cups extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp red pepper flakes (optional)
10 cloves garlic minced fine
1/2 cup basil chopped
1/2 cup parsley chopped
1 15oz container button mushrooms sliced
1 15oz container baby bellas sliced
1 15oz contain shitake mushrooms sliced
1 large onion chopped fine
Salt and pepper to taste

Boil the pasta in salted water until extremely al dente, drain it, toss it with a tablespoon of olive oil, and set it aside. In a large skillet, add the onion, butter, and half the remaining olive oil and saute it until the onion becomes translucent. Add the mushrooms, garlic, wine, pepper flakes (optional), and salt and pepper and continue to saute until the mushrooms wilt and the onion starts to caramelize. Add the basil and half the parsley and stir in the cooked pasta. Drizzle the remaining olive oil over the contents of the pan, stirring continuously. Sprinkle the rest of the parsley over the top and remove the pan from the heat. Serve piping hot with a side of crusty bread.

Buon appetito!







Saturday, January 26, 2019

#BookLovers Authors & Bloggers #ValentinesDay #Giveaway! $135 #Cash #Grand #Prize! #Free To #Enter!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

There's a new giveaway for Valentine's Day!  Please take a moment to check out the Book Lovers Authors & Bloggers Valentine's Day Giveaway!!  There are lots of awesome books and prizes!! :-)  It's free to enter, there are over 90 prizes, and the grand prize is $135 cash payable through PayPal!! :-)  Now isn't that worth taking a few minutes to check out? ;-)   Here are all the details:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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





Friday, January 25, 2019

An Early #Weekend #Treat! :-)


Hey Everyone!! :-)

Since it's Friday, I thought I'd help you get the weekend started off right with a little Fairy-style romance. Enjoy! :-)


Excerpt from Taken By The Huntsman:
The look he gave her scorched her from the tips of her toes to the ends of her hair. Cassie had never had a male look at her with such heat. She found her mouth suddenly dry, but she nodded and reached out to cup the side of his face in her hand.

Turning his face into her hand, he placed a soft kiss on her palm. “Cassie, tell me truly, are you ready to consummate our relationship? I beg you, do not toy with me. I am desperate for you, and I do not know how far my control will hold.”

She swallowed against her dry throat and said, “I’m ready to try for a relationship with you. But that’s all I can promise. I’m willing to see where things between us go and if they can work out. Can you be satisfied with that?”

“Satisfied? No. Never satisfied. But I’m willing to accept it, for now, and work to earn your love and your trust.”

Cassie smiled and ran her fingers gently over his cheek and into his hair. Cadeyrn pulled her closer, and she felt the hardness of his body against hers. Leaning down, he kissed her with a passion that left her breathless. His lips were soft and gentle against hers, almost chaste. Until he pulled her closer and deepened the kiss, tracing his tongue along her lips until she opened to him, tasting her mouth thoroughly.

She moaned into his mouth and ran her hands over his broad shoulders and swollen biceps. Grabbing his bulging muscles, she used the leverage to try to pull herself closer still.

Cadeyrn groaned and pulled back. He looked down into the liquid blue eyes of his Anamchara and saw the passion and desire of a woman who knew exactly what she wanted.

“Cassie, tell me simply. Will you allow me to take you to bed this night? Yes or no?”

Looking up at him with a teasing smile, she answered, "Oh, yes. I want you to take me to bed and show me what kind of skills a male can acquire with hundreds of millennia of practice.”

Cadeyrn growled deep in his throat. His eyes were glowing, and he felt his canines lengthen in his mouth. “Female,” he said, in a voice that had gone rough and gravelly. “You know not what you ask for. But I will give it to you anyway.”


If you want to find out what happens next, you can grab your copy of Taken By The Huntsman at the link below. Happy Reading! :-)






Thursday, January 24, 2019

#APC #Spotlight: Sigrun (Bandamann Saga Book 1) By Deidre Mapstone!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I've got Deidre Mapstone in my APC spotlight, today! Deidre is an active and supportive member of the  Authors-Professional Co-op Facebook group and her paranormal, family secret, magical fantasy novel, Sigrun, looks great! Here's the description:
The Lundgrens own and operate Sigrun: A family restaurant on the shores of Mount Desert Island, Maine. They are a hard working, every day, American family. But like every family, they have their secrets, some stranger than others. The way these secrets unfold may surprise you.
Their tale begins with a familial ease considered unique to most, but their seemingly perfect relationships are ordinary compared to what hides beneath the surface.
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, January 23, 2019

#Agent Thoth's #Personal Log: Day 907


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-Seven:
Success! I have managed to retrieve at least some of my bauble offerings from the juvenile felid's hoard. His undoing was his greed, as in addition to my bauble offerings, he attempted to make off with the canid's offerings, as well. The canid, dumb beast that it is, naturally took the most direct route to retrieve its property and dove headfirst beneath my hominid-servant's sleeping platform.

Naturally, the canid did not fit beneath the sleeping platform, but that did not stop it from pursuing its reclamation efforts. The tiny irritant objected to this course of action vociferously, which coupled with the noise from the sleeping platform being shoved around, brought the attention of my hominid-servant. She added her own castigations to the cacophony, and she also used her sweeping implement to scatter all the baubles from beneath the sleeping platform to the four corners of my domicile.

The resultant uproar from that conflict created sufficient confusion among the other residents in my domicile that I was able to use it as cover to make off with several of my bauble offerings and secret them away in various spots within my domicile. The young annoyance has maintained a steadfast effort to reclaim the lost baubles, even going so far as to disturb my rest periods with his haranguing, but so far I have remained resolved in my refusal to give them up. Aside from the principle involved, I'm not certain I could locate them all again. Regardless, if he persists, I have decided I will stage a raid on his remaining collection and deprive him of even more of the baubles.

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




Tuesday, January 22, 2019

It's Not Wise To Upset A Wookie...


Hey Everyone!!

A few weeks ago, I shared a video where someone in progressive media had asked someone in mainstream media why they're always so quick to kowtow to the right in terms of the way they frame the stories they report on, and even which stories they choose to report on at all. And the answer was, perhaps unsurprisingly, because the rightwing is full of a bunch of snowflakes who meltdown at the slightest hint of anything that hurts their feelings. And they make their displeasure known by voicing their complaints.

The story reminded me of a scene from Star Wars: A New Hope where Chewie and R2D2 are playing chess and R2D2 makes a move that Chewie doesn't like. Han advises R2D2 to appease Chewie even though he's in the wrong with regards to the rules of the game because "it's not wise to upset a wookie." C3PO objects and observes that "nobody worries about upsetting a droid." And Han's reply is, of course, the crux of the matter, "That’s 'cause a droid don’t pull people’s arms out of their sockets when they lose. Wookiees are known to do that."

Republicans have made themselves the wookies of the American political system, so everyone, from the media to our elected representatives, is afraid of offending them. And we logical, open-minded progressives have made ourselves the droids. Nobody worries about upsetting us. But there's nothing stopping us from changing that.

Not literally, of course. Please, for heaven's sake, no pulling any arms out of sockets or any other kind of physical violence. But we can make our displeasure known in other, non-violent ways that will still garner attention and make people think twice before crossing us. Does that mean mass protests that shut down roadways and make it impossible for businesses to function? Sure, why not? As long as those protests remain non-violent, that sounds like a great idea to me. After all, it worked for people in France.

Or how about mass campaigns of calling and writing to the offices of elected representatives every time they vote or say they will vote in a way we don't like? Better yet, how about if we show up en masse and voice our displeasure in person? And I know a lot of people find it distasteful when elected representatives are confronted and criticized in public venues, but as long as those confrontations remain non-violent, I see no problem with them.

The point is, we can make life very uncomfortable for anyone who holds public office but doesn't represent our political agenda. And we can certainly make our displeasure known to mainstream media outlets that bias their reporting towards the rightwing simply by calling their offices and calling them out on their bullshit. And if that doesn't work, we can boycott their advertisers and call those companies and tell them why.

Yes, it takes a bit of work to be a wookie, but our numbers are large enough that we can use them to force the oligarchs to listen to us. And if we're loud enough and disruptive enough and persistent enough, we can force them to the same conclusion C3PO reached, "Let the wookie win."

Peace!


Monday, January 21, 2019

Something Worth Watching?


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I'm back today with another video I wanted to share. Once again, there's an important labor strike that I don't think is getting the coverage it deserves by mainstream media. Yeah, I know, there's a government shut down and 45's latest tantrum tweet to cover, but this is something that people need to know about. Because it's strikes and protests like this that will change the way the labor pool is treated in this country, so we need good examples of what we all should be doing to force the elite to share the pie. Peace!




Sunday, January 20, 2019

Easy Lentil Stew In A #Crockpot #Recipe!



Hey Everyone!! :-)

This is a hearty, but low-fat, stew that's perfect for a cold winter night. Enjoy! :-)

Ingredients:
2 cups lentils washed and sorted (any variety)
6 cups water
1 onion chopped fine or grated
2 sweet potatoes washed and cut into small chunks
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup cilantro chopped
4 tbsp cumin
2 tbsp coriander
2 tbsp turmeric
2 tbsp garam masala
12 cloves garlic minced or grated
4 tbsp ginger grated
2 tsp cayenne powder
2 tsp chili powder
1 15oz can coconut milk
1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
Salt and pepper to taste


Put all the ingredients except the coconut milk in a crockpot and set to high. Cook for 5-6 hours, or until the lentils and sweet potatoes are completely soft, stirring occasionally and adding water if necessary. Once the lentils and sweet potatoes are soft, taste the stew for seasoning and adjust as needed. Stir in the coconut milk and cook for an additional hour on low heat. Serve the stew piping hot with a side of crusty bread.

Bon appetit!



Saturday, January 19, 2019

#BookLovers Authors & Bloggers #ValentinesDay #Giveaway! $135 #Cash #Grand #Prize! #Free To #Enter!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

There's a new giveaway for Valentine's Day!  Please take a moment to check out the Book Lovers Authors & Bloggers Valentine's Day Giveaway!!  There are lots of awesome books and prizes!! :-)  It's free to enter, there are over 90 prizes, and the grand prize is $135 cash payable through PayPal!! :-)  Now isn't that worth taking a few minutes to check out? ;-)   Here are all the details:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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





Friday, January 18, 2019

#January2018 #IndieBooksBeSeen #Indie #Author #Books #Monthly #BookReview!



Hey Everyone!! :-)

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

Noemie's Journey by Victoria Saccenti:


Noemie is a biracial woman living in 1968 North Carolina and facing all the racism and bigotry that we like to pretend ended with the era but really still exists to this day. Richard is a man with a past who's looking for a new start. He finds himself in Summitville, NC and, despite his best intentions, is drawn to the beautiful woman with haunting green eyes. Will love be strong enough to conquer hate in sleepy, small-town America? You'll have to read to find out!

I enjoyed this book. It was hard to read, at times, because the bigotry and mistreatment Noemie faces are presented to the reader in all their raw ugliness. But that kind of honesty is important when dealing with topics like racism. If we don't look the monster in the face and call it what it is, we'll never defeat it. The characters are well-developed and the plot moves along at a good pace, never bogging down or getting lost in tangents. Overall, five stars and I look forward to reading more by this author.






Thursday, January 17, 2019

#APC #Spotlight: The Blue Virgin (The Nora Tierney Mysteries Book 1) By M. K. Graff!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I've got Marni Graff in my APC spotlight, today! Marni is an active and supportive member of the  Authors-Professional Co-op Facebook group and her mystery, suspense, thriller, women's fiction, detective, who-done-it novel, The Blue Virgin, looks great! Here's the description:
Despite a planned move, the mysterious death of photographer Bryn Wallace keeps American writer Nora Tierney glued to Oxford in order to clear her close friend, artist Val Rogan, who has been wrongfully accused of Bryn's murder. Or has she? Nora quickly becomes embroiled in the murder investigation, much to the dismay of two men: Detective Inspector Declan Barnes, the senior on the case; and Simon Ramsey, the illustrator of Nora's children's book. Simon's efforts to save Nora from herself become increasingly frantic as Nora is forced to push her way into Declan's case, using her wits and her wiles to prove Val's innocence.
The first in a series of Nora Tierney mysteries based in the UK, The Blue Virgin is a compelling story of love and intrigue. Nothing, Nora learns, is what it seems, and even the most innocent of choices can lead to murder and revenge. Set in the ancient city of golden spires, the setting lends itself to mystery, as any Inspector Morse fan will agree. The novel is written in classic English style, complete with a Cast of Characters and chapter epigraphs which add to its literary feel.
 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, January 16, 2019

#Agent Thoth's #Personal Log: Day 905


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-Five:
The juvenile felid has caved to the pressure from my hominid-servant to engage with the bauble offerings she presented to us. He has absconded not only with the offerings presented to him, but also with the offerings presented to me, and has added them to his collection of baubles that he stores beneath my hominid-servant's sleeping platform.

I offered a token protest when he began the process of transferring my bauble offerings to his hoard but, in truth, I have little interest in them and did not think much about it. Besides, I intended to retrieve them from his cache when he wasn't looking. But, to my surprise, he has maintained a determined watch over the baubles, and so I have had no opportunity to execute my plan.

I am not certain if his vigilance is due to a concern that my hominid-servant might take up her previous habit of tormenting him by stealing and scattering his baubles, or if he somehow divined my intention to reclaim my baubles. Either way, I find it surprisingly disagreeable to be deprived of my offerings in this way, though I had no previous desire for them. It's a strange feeling, this longing for something I had heretofore not valued.



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




Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Professionals Playing The Blame Game


Hey Everyone!! :-)

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

Excerpt from Answers From Alyce:
"Well, to understand you first need to realize that the people you're talking about are the most powerful individuals in our country. They've been elected or appointed to positions in the highest levels of our government and most of them are also extremely rich, which is another and often more potent form of power than what they gain through their governmental offices. They've gotten to where they are through our current system. The system we have now, as unjust and corrupt as it is, is what has allowed them to attain their current lofty positions. So, why would they want to change it?"

"Logically, there would seem little reason for them to want change," agreed Squid-boy. "But why do they not just say so, rather than engaging in all this senseless noise?" He waved at the now muted display with his tentacles.

"Because, though these are the most powerful individuals in our society, they aren't as powerful as regular people when all those people unite behind a common purpose. The last thing the people running our government want is for regular people to start working together to effect real change. So, this noise," I gestured at the display, "is an effort to misdirect, distract, mislead, and sow enough dissention to keep regular people from working together to change things. Because, if We, The People, ever do get our act together and unite in organized, non-violent civil disobedience to achieve the changes we need, no collection of politicians and billionaires will be able to stand against us. And they'll," I waved at the furiously shouting miniatures, "do everything they can think of to keep that from happening."

"But you have elections!" Squid-boy exclaimed. "You choose the people you put into these positions."

I shrugged. "We've been over this, sugar. Yes, we have elections. But there are so many corrupting influences in those elections, the people who might actually work to change things rarely stand much of a chance of winning."

"And your media really just stands by and allows this," Yax pointed at the controlled chaos they were using to represent our government, "to continue without informing your people of the confidence game being played on them?"

"Well, you have to remember, sugar, the biggest media companies are owned by the same millionaires and billionaires who pay off our politicians. So, why would they want to expose their own scam? And the people they hire to report the news are also quite wealthy…"

"And so also invested in maintaining the status quo."

"Yep. Generally, the largest media corporations try very hard to focus on form over substance and to sidetrack people's attention with irrelevancies, rumors, and sensational nonsense. That way, most people are kept too distracted to pay attention to the fact that most of the people running our government are screwing them over."

"But, at some point, the effects of such corruption must be felt by regular people. Why don't they act then?"

I pointed back at the exhibit. "That's what the blame game is for. So, when people get angry that they're being treated unfairly, instead of working together to change things, they'll fight over who is to blame. The politicians blame their political opponents or make scapegoats out of powerless minority groups, and regular people pick sides rather than uniting. And the large media corporations, rather than providing people with facts and evidence so that they can determine who is telling the truth, for the most part just repeat what each side has said and calls it even."

"But that makes no sense when what people on different sides of an issue say contradict each other," observed Squid-boy. "They can't both be telling the truth. You're people have to know that."

I nodded. "Of course. But which side is right, or are all sides wrong? Is one side telling the truth and the other side lying or are they both lying and the truth is something else? What does the evidence support? What are the facts of the matter? What kind of back-story is involved in the situation? The large media corporations are strangely reluctant to provide that information. And if all most of the media does is repeat what each side says, or at most report what each side says and imply that the truth is somewhere in the middle without any providing any evidence to support that conclusion, what are people supposed to believe? When most of the media is either hopelessly biased in favor of maintaining the power structure or more concerned with being neutral than objective, it's hard for people to find out what's true unless they have the time and energy to do a lot of research for themselves. And, as we've already discussed, an abundance of excess time and energy are luxuries that most regular Americans don't own."

"And so the deception works," said Yax.

I shrugged. "I honestly don't think most people are deceived, but they are definitely distracted. Absent facts and evidence, people tend to pick the side that fits the best with their preconceived ideas and personal biases. Which means instead of uniting to fight for the changes we all need, people argue and fight with each other."

"And nothing changes," observed Squid-boy.


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




Monday, January 14, 2019

Something Worth Watching?


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I'm back today with another video I wanted to share. I've shared this video before, more than once, but given everything that's going on, I thought it bore sharing again. Peace!



Sunday, January 13, 2019

Everything But The Kitchen Sink Soup #Recipe!



Hey Everyone!! :-)

This is a versatile soup recipe that's delicious but also a convenient way to use up whatever you have in your refrigerator.


Ingredients:
6 cups water or vegetable stock
4 large potatoes washed and cubed
1 12oz can kidney beans
1 12oz can crushed tomatoes
1 12oz can corn
1 cup frozen or leftover peas
1 carrot chopped
1 onion chopped
1 cup spinach chopped or 1 cup kale chopped or 1 cup broccoli chopped
1-2 cups leftover or frozen vegetables chopped (your choice/whatever you have)
5 cloves garlic minced fine
1 tbsp red pepper flakes
1 tbsp cumin
3 tsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp dried oregano
2 bay leaves
2 tbsp vegetarian Worcestershire sauce
1 cup white wine (your choice)
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup cheese grated (your choice of kind and optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

Add the olive oil and onion to a large stock pot and cook until onion becomes translucent. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, cumin, paprika, oregano, and salt and pepper and cook until onions start to caramelize. Deglaze the pot with the wine and then add the water or stock, bay leaves, potatoes, beans, tomatoes, corn, peas, carrot, Worcestershire sauce, and leftover or frozen vegetables to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer the soup until the potatoes soften, stirring occasionally. Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning as necessary. Add the spinach, kale, or broccoli and cook until they start to wilt. Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning as necessary. Remove the bay leaves. Stir in the cream and cheese (optional) and remove the soup from the heat. Serve piping hot with a side of crusty bread.

Bon appetit!



Saturday, January 12, 2019

#BookLovers Authors & Bloggers #ValentinesDay #Giveaway! $135 #Cash #Grand #Prize! #Free To #Enter!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

There's a new giveaway for Valentine's Day!  Please take a moment to check out the Book Lovers Authors & Bloggers Valentine's Day Giveaway!!  There are lots of awesome books and prizes!! :-)  It's free to enter, there are over 90 prizes, and the grand prize is $135 cash payable through PayPal!! :-)  Now isn't that worth taking a few minutes to check out? ;-)   Here are all the details:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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





Friday, January 11, 2019

#Interview With Samantha Bryant!

Hey Everyone!! :-)

Samantha Bryant is visiting with us, today. Samantha, can you please tell us about yourself and how many books you have written?

Samantha: I’m Samantha Bryant and I’m an author. The first step to healing is to admit you have a problem, right? Of course, writing is not something I intend to recover from. In fact, it helps me recover from all the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. Writing has always been my best escape and method of processing worries and other strong feelings. Cheaper than therapy, and for me, at least, more effective. I’ve written three published novels, and three and three-quarters unpublished ones as well as a bunch of short stories and novellas. My published novels are part of a series, The Menopausal Superhero series. The others, which I intend to revise and bring to publishing-ready levels in the future include the first in a historical fiction trilogy, a middle grades book that might also be a series, a women’s fiction issues novel, and a young adult dystopian romance. 

Me: I agree, writing can be extremely therapeutic. Good for you for making yours so productive! :-) What's the name of your latest book and what inspired it?

Samantha: My most recent publication was a short story in a multi-author anthology. Beyond the Pane is a collection of short stories all beginning with the same first line: There was something not quite right about the window. I really enjoy prompt writing, as it takes my imagination in unexpected directions. My story, Ashes, is a bit of Southern gothic involving a young woman with an ancestral farm and an ex boyfriend who may not be entirely human. That anthology came out in October 2018, as did Off the Beaten Path 3, a collection of ghost stories. My story for that one is The Girl in the Pool, a daylight ghost story inspired by my across the street neighbor’s swimming pool. 

Me: Sounds spooky! What are you working on now?

Samantha: I’m writing a dystopian young adult romance right now, with a working title of Thursday’s Children. I started it about a year ago, when I was invited to be a part of a book bundle. It was supposed to be a novella, and ready by summer 2018. It refused to be either. In fact, this book and I are arguing right now about whether it is a stand-alone or the first in a series. I love writing in new genres, and since I’d never written dystopian, young adult, or romance, this was an exciting challenge. I’m loving writing it. It takes place in a near future in which a shadowy governmental agency called the EBC (Ethical Behavior Committee) has been making “troublemakers” disappear and taking the affected children into educational centers. When sixteen-year-old track star Kye’luh Wade and her cousins escape the system and run off to their survivalist grandfather’s mountain hideaway, they must decide whether to cower and survive or take on the system and make a difference. 

Me: Exciting! Well, I guess the upside of the mess we call a government, now, is that there's lots of inspiration for dystopian writing. ;-) What authors, or books, have influenced you?

Samantha: I’ve always been a voracious reader. The authors I read in childhood that stick with me are Louisa May Alcott and Madeleine L’Engle. As a teenager, I found Shirley Jackson, Daphne duMaurier, and Stephen King. I’ve also been a lifelong fan of comic books and graphic novels. As an adult, I read a little of everything. I’m part of a classics book club at my library and a neighborhood book club. The two of those bring a variety of types of books into my life and my imagination. The authors I automatically throw money at when they publish something are Neil Gaiman and Margaret Atwood. I like to think that my own work, like those of the authors listed above, is filled with memorable heroines with stubborn souls, tense situations, and a bit of whimsy. 

Me: There are some amazing authors on that list. :-) What are you reading now?

Samantha: I do a lot of my reading in audiobook form, since it lets me fit more books into my busy life. Right now, I’m listening to an Audible adaptation of Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen and really enjoying it. I just finished The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson as read by Richard Armitage, which was a beautiful marriage of narrator and text. On Kindle, I’m reading Hero Status by Kristen Brand, a fellow superhero writer I’ve recently discovered and befriended. In paper, I’m re-reading Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House in the Big Woods with my youngest daughter. Reading three things at the same time in these various formats is par for the course for me. I can’t get enough story in my life. 

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

Samantha: My Menopausal Superhero series is part madcap superhero adventure and part thoughtful women’s fiction about aging. I put my heroines in unrealistic situations, but treat them realistically, imagining how suddenly developing an unusual ability would impact the life you’ve built for yourself, your family, your friends, your career. The emotions of the book range from excitement to sadness, with a healthy dose of humor in the mix. 

Me: Sounds like fun! What's your favorite part of being an author?

Samantha: When other people read my work and “get” it! I’ve been fortunate to have a few reviewers who clearly understood what I was going for and appreciated it. That feeling of having connected with an audience is a total rush. 

Me: That's definitely an amazing feeling. Do you have a day job as well?

Samantha: Yes. Currently, I teach middle school Spanish. I’ve been a teacher for twenty-three years, in a range of places from Alaska to North Carolina; a variety of age groups including middle school, high school, and college; and a variety of subjects mostly connecting to English/Language Arts and Spanish, though there was that one time I taught music and computers, too. I love teaching, and my middle schoolers and hilarious, wonderful, and inspiring. It can be difficult balancing a writing life, a family life, and a teaching life, but I’m greedy. I want it all. So, I make it work. At least most of the time. 

Me: Wow! I'm in awe of your accomplishments. My hat's off to you for being a teacher. That's a really hard job, but so important. :-) What are the hardest and easiest parts about being a writer?

Samantha: Working fast enough is my biggest struggle. Building a career as a writer requires regular output, and I struggle to create fast enough to keep up a presence, especially while balancing a demanding day job and a busy family. Since I’m in it for the long haul, I try not to worry too much about whether I’m bringing out a book as often as some of my colleagues, but I keep steady pressure on myself to produce regularly and to submit my work for publication. No one can read it if it just sits on my hard drive! The easiest part for me is coming up with ideas. I can’t seem to walk from my sofa to the bathroom without having a new idea for a story. The time to develop them is a completely different situation, of course. But, I never struggle to have something to write about. 

Me: I think most of us who have day jobs can sympathize with you about the pressure to produce enough. What genre do you place your book in?

Samantha: Going Through the Change, Change of Life, and Face the Change, the three books that currently comprise the Menopausal Superhero series are cross-genre: superhero and women’s fiction. 

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

Samantha: Um, buy my books? 

Me: Ha! Yeah, that is definitely an important message. :-) And so these fine folks can do just that, are there any links you'd like me to post? 

Samantha: I probably spend too much time on social media, but the good news is that you can likely find me on one of your favorites. Here’s my links: 

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




Thursday, January 10, 2019

#APC #Spotlight: Joanna's Destiny (The Decade Series Book 3) By Karen J. Mossman!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I've got Karen Mossman in my APC spotlight, today! Karen is an active and supportive member of the  Authors-Professional Co-op Facebook group and her coming of age, contemporary fiction, rockstar, romance novel, Joanna's Destiny, looks great! Here's the description:
Struggling with the past, Joanna can’t forget the love she lost and the man who broke her heart. During the summer at a rock festival, Joanna meets him again. Niko is now an international rock star. Can they put the past behind them and rekindle the love they once had?
Mike stood by her when no one else did, but Niko still wants her. Joanna becomes entangled in a web of lies and deceit. Niko is the love of her life, but she cannot leave Mike in confusion and betrayal.
In Joanna’s Destiny, she has some fun times in France and mingles with the stars in Montreux. With a backdrop of music and fashion, emotions and friendships are tested. But her love for Niko never falters, showing that love can conquer all, but at what cost?
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, January 9, 2019

#Agent Thoth's #Personal Log: Day 902


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-Two:
My hominid-servant has gone into a flurry of activity surrounding removing the baubles from the dead tree and the dead tree from my living room. This also seems to require that she deprive the juvenile felid, the canid, and myself of the wrappings and containers we have been amusing ourselves with. I do have to admit that it is nice to have fewer dead tree needles being tracked around my domicile. They tend to find their way into the most inconvenient places. Like my water bowl.

On the other paw, my hominid-servant has left the baubles she gifted us with. Which causes me to wonder if this is an oversight and they will soon disappear as well, or if she is attempting to coerce us into interacting with the baubles by leaving us no alternative. If so, in the case of the canid, this strategy has worked. The dumb beast has taken an interest in several of the items she gifted him with and has transported them to his nesting cushion. For our part, the juvenile felid and I have decided to remain aloof, for the moment, in the hope that our apparent apathy will cause a re-emergence of the wrappings and containers.


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




Tuesday, January 8, 2019

#NewRelease #Announcement: Alpha Tales 2044: Beta-Earth Chronicles By Wesley Britton!


Hey Everyone! :-)

My friend, Karina Kantas, is here, today, to tell us all about a new release from a friend of hers. Karina, take it away! :-)

Karina: 

Alien Vision presents a collection of short stories and sketches from the Beta-Earth Chronicles by Wesley Britton.




Alpha Tales 2044, opens on Beta-Earth when two genetically-enhanced mutants are forced to recover a stolen secret, the cure to the ancient Plague-With-No-Name that defined a planet for millennia.
Then we jump across the multi-verse to our earth, Alpha-Earth, where police Captain Mary Carpenter infiltrates a gang of White Supremacists who want to purify Texas after decades of climate change and weaponized plagues.

Still on Alpha, we leap ahead in time to 40 years in the future where Mary Carpenter joins up with four aliens, two from Beta-Earth, two from Serapin-Earth. All four share the same father, The Blind Alien from Alpha-Earth. They’ve traveled across the multi-verse to tell us about their worlds.

But Alphans, scarred by the devastations to our world, are unhappy about learning about very different cultures from anything we’ve ever known and especially hearing about multiple deities. So the alien band are forced to go on the run and take sanctuary in a First Nation domed city in British Columbia.

But their sanctuary doesn’t last long. Forced to travel further into the Canadian wilderness, the family encounters a pair of Sasquatch who change everything for them. They learn about the many definitions of what it means to be human.

Alpha Tales 2044, is a collection of stories that are part sci-fi, part murder mysteries, part horror, and part social commentary. But completely full of the unexpected, surprises, and tales, unlike anything you’ve experienced before.


Official Released 12/8 price $0.99
iBook, Nook and Kobo: https://www.draft2digital.com/book/392281
Where to buy Amazon: https://amzn.to/2Psedn2


About the Author:
Immerse yourself in an extraordinary universe revealed by the most original storytelling you’ll ever experience. “Science fiction yes, but so much more.”

Besides his 33 years in the classroom, Dr. Wesley Britton considers his Beta-Earth Chronicles the most important work he’s ever done. “I suppose an author profile is intended to be a good little biography,” Britton says, “but the best way to know who I am is to read my novels.”

Still, a few things you might like to know about Wes include the fact he’s the author of four non-fiction books on espionage in the media, most notably The Encyclopedia of TV Spies (2009). Beginning in 1983, he was a widely published poet, article writer for a number of encyclopedias, and was a noted scholar of American literature. Since those days, for sites like BlogCritics.org and BookPleasures.com, Britton wrote over 500 music, book, and movie reviews. For seven years, he was co-host of online radio's Dave White Presents for which he contributed celebrity interviews with musicians, authors, actors, and entertainment insiders.

Starting in fall 2015, his science fiction series, The Beta-Earth Chronicles, debuted with The Blind Alien. Throughout 2016, four sequels followed including The Blood of Balnakin, When War Returns, A Throne for an Alien, and The Third Earth. Return to Alpha was the sixth volume of this multi-planetary epic.

Britton earned his doctorate in American Literature at the University of North Texas in 1990. He taught English at Harrisburg Area Community College until his retirement in 2016. He serves on the Board of Directors for Vision Resources of Central Pennsylvania.



Where to find Wesley online:
Website: https://drwesleybritton.com/books/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BetaEarthChronicles/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/wesley_britton
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Wesley-Britton/e/B001HD455U
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/295635.Wesley_Britton
Mailing list sign up: http://eepurl.com/dwvfQr


EXCERPT: From Last Night Of The Collective:

I vividly remember the afternoon when Jrin Rol, the second-in-command of our security unit, and I stepped onto the ground floor of the Hotel Domino in the new city called Monte Carlo. The hotel was an entertainment center named after yet another Alpha game Malcolm Renbourn had brought to our planet. It should have been named Hotel Backgammon for all the pointed spikes of alternating colors on the floors and walls.

On this day, I was listening to Jrin's wistful hopes for an extended leave from service so she could deepen her studies in linguistic morphologies, geographic spatial patterns, and other analytical investigative techniques that would make her far more than a skilled expert in stealth and counter-espionage operations. I was becoming more and more impressed with what I heard as we walked into the dining hall.

Then, my blood chilled. In one moment, I felt as if I'd drank a bath shell-sized cocktail of adrenaline and dread. Sitting alone at a table in the corner was First Helprim Kiem Holenris from ital, the supreme head of the Munchen Collective. The last I'd seen of this seeming old crone had been in my offices in Bercumel. On that day, Holendris had let me know my life was on the line if I continued my then-pointless, personal war with my bond-family. For, like her, my genetically-enhanced mutations had come at a cost. The little pills the Collective now provided me slowed the metabolic rushing of time that aged such as us much faster than our years. If I wanted to live a healthy and beautiful life and for a good long time, I needed the pills only the Collective could provide me.

Holendris looked like a woman who'd seen four generations of descendants from her womb. But she was merely the age of my own mother. Like me, her appearance concealed a body of extraordinary gifts. Unlike me, she had started her pill regimen much later in her life than I had, hence her aged face and deceptively marked skin. On this day, while her lips were twisted in an almost skullish smile, her eyes sent a clear message to me across the wide hall of tables and happy noises.

"Child," they wordlessly told me, "bring your sun-drenched bronze skin and bright, blonde hair over here to me. You must come to me now. A matter of dire importance awaits you. Awaits us."

I looked to Jrin, who understood my own silent signal. We slowly made our way to the Helprim's round, polished white table where Kiem studied our movements with practiced eyes. She nodded as we came close and indicated two chairs.

"Sit, little kitty," she cooed. "Sit, Jrin Rol of the Mask-Painters."

Wordlessly, we took our places as serving hands quickly brought us trays of beverages. Kiem waited until the hands departed and took a sip of her own red pravine, then said softly, "Thank you for your quick compliance, as what I am here to discuss requires some delicacy."