Who Is Mistral Dawn?

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

Friday, 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.

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.

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! :-)


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."

Monday, January 7, 2019

Something Worth Watching?

Hey Everyone!! :-)

I'm back today with another video I want to share. This vote has already happened, and this terrible rule has already passed, but I thought it was important to point out exactly why it matters which Democrats we vote for and why "any old Blue won't do." Neolibs like Pelosi are going to kill the Democratic party.

Also, even though this vote has happened, you can still contact your elected representatives and tell them what you think about stunts like this. And you can also tell them you want them to have another vote and change it. Because that is possible.

Democrats in Congress need to know that we're watching if we want to keep them honest. Yeah, I know it's annoying that we can't depend on Democrats to do the right thing without constant pressure from the electorate, but that's the reality. Time to roll up our sleeves, again, my friends, and wade into the fray. It's going to be a long, hard fight to get the progressive policies this country needs, but it's one we can win if we work hard enough. And we need to let our elected representatives know we aren't going away and we will hold them accountable. Peace!

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Easy Lentil Soup In A #Crockpot #Recipe!

Hey Everyone!! :-)

This soup recipe is delicious and easy to make, but also healthy and low-fat. Perfect for a cold, winter night, but also easy on the waistline. ;-)

2 cups dried lentils sorted and rinsed
8 cups water
2 carrots peeled and chopped
2 stalks of celery cleaned and chopped
2 onions chopped
1 cup spinach chopped
2 tbsp dried oregano
2 tbsp dried basil
4 cloves garlic minced fine
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 bay leaf
2 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup red wine (your choice)
Salt and pepper to taste

Put the water, salt, pepper, tomato paste, bay leaf, and lentils in the crockpot and set the temperature to high. Put the carrots, onions, celery, and olive oil in a saute pan and cook until the vegetables wilt. Add the garlic, dried herbs, and spinach to the pan and cook until the vegetables start to caramelize. Transfer the contents of the pan to the crockpot and deglaze the pan with the wine. Allow the wine to simmer until it reduces and add it to the crockpot. Stir, taste and adjust seasonings as necessary. Cook the soup on high until the lentils are completely soft, tasting occasionally for seasoning. Serve piping hot with a side of crusty bread.

Bon appetit!

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Truth In Concept

Hey Everyone!! :-)

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

Excerpt from Answers From Alyce:
"They all do little besides seek to blame others for the failings of your society and avoid being stuck with any blame themselves. Just listen to them speak! In fact, between those of us who have been working on this project, we've termed this the Committee For Assigning Blame, for that is all they seem to do. When do any of them ever say anything that might result in any meaningful change or productive solutions?"

I stared at him for a few heartbeats, and then what he said hit me and I snorted. That snort led to a guffaw, which just opened the dam and the giggles poured forth. I laughed so hard my sides started to hurt bad enough to rival my head and tears flowed from my eyes. When my hilarity subsided, I wiped my eyes and said, "'Committee For Assigning Blame!' Well now, sugar, that is certainly the God's honest truth, there, isn't it?"

Squid-boy's arms settled back around him and he said, "I believe so. Though, what a divine being has to do with it escapes me."

I waved it away, still wiping my face. "It's just an expression." I looked at the representation of our government again ̶ the apoplectic expressions on those small faces, the pointing fingers and angry voices, those tiny, orange hands still gesticulating wildly ̶ and snickered. "'Committee For Assigning Blame', I don't think I've ever heard anything so appropriately named."

Yax stepped up and put a hand on where the shorter alien's shoulder would be if he were human. "We did ask her to critique our work for accuracy. Just because you, personally, find this tendency of her species to be more irritating than their other foibles, that's no reason not to listen to the feedback Alyce is kind enough to provide to us."

Squid-boy let out a gurgling squawk and then turned and bowed to me. "My esteemed colleague is correct. I have been irrational and discourteous; I beg your pardon."

I shrugged. "No problem, sugar. I guess I've been rude a time or two since you brought me here, too."

Yax smiled. "Then, perhaps we can all try to resolve to be more temperate in our words. Alyce, will you, please, try to explain why it seems that your elected representatives spend so much time trying to apportion guilt rather than trying to fix problems?"

"Because almost none of them are worth as much as a three dollar bill?"

The tall alien blinked at me. "I beg your pardon?"

I waved it away. "Nothing, just an expression. There's no such thing as a three dollar bill in our currency, so any that exist aren't real money."

"And so they're worthless."

I nodded. "Just like most of our politicians."

Friday, January 4, 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, January 3, 2019

#APC #Spotlight: The Rite of Wands By Mackenzie Flohr!

Hey Everyone!! :-)

I've got Mackenzie Flohr (Ami Lutkus-Phillips) in my APC spotlight, today! Mackenzie is an active and supportive member of the  Authors-Professional Co-op Facebook group and her coming of age, young adult, action-adventure, fantasy novel, The Rite of Wands, looks great! Here's the description:
One boy…one Rite… And a world of deadly secrets that could change the course of history—forever
And so begins the tale of Mierta McKinnon. When a horrible fate reveals itself during his Rite of Wands ceremony, he must find a way to change not only his destiny but also the land of Iverna’s.

Forbidden from revealing the future he foresees to anyone, he is granted a wand and his magical powers, but still must master the realm of magic in order to save himself and those he loves.

But Mierta is not the only one with secrets…especially when it’s impossible to know who to trust.
 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 2, 2019

#Agent Thoth's #Personal Log: Day 897

Hey Everyone! :-)

Agent Thoth discusses more of the trials and tribulations associated with living with hominids. Incidentally, if you've missed Agent Thoth's earlier entries, you can find them here: Thoth's Journal

Department for the Preservation and Confirmation of Intelligent Life (DPCIL)
Agent Thoth's Personal Log

Day Eight-Hundred-Ninety-Seven:
The night before last, the nearby hominids set off the gunpowder explosives they're so fond of. My hominid-servant informed me that it was because it's a "new year," but why that should necessitate a bombing festival is beyond my comprehension. In spite of the racket created by the unhinged hominids, it was an otherwise pleasant evening.

My hominid-servant consumed copious amounts of the sharp-smelling beverage she occasionally indulges in, which affects her behavior in much the same way the pernicious herb affects my own. It makes for an amusing interlude when she consumes enough of the beverage to put on music and accompany it with slightly spastic motions. Though, her attempts to vocalize in harmony, a term I use loosely, to the music are less pleasing.

But, once the beverage fully takes effect, she usually will settle down and allow the juvenile felid and myself to recline on her lap. For some reason, the beverage seems to cause her to emit even more waste heat from her body than usual, so the opportunity to bask in the warmth is even more appreciated. And the after effects of the beverage tend to make her drowsy and lethargic, so she is less inclined to disturb us by moving about. Overall, I believe it is a fair tradeoff for the noise the beverage tends to inspire initially.

Aww! Hominids can be so cute when they're drunk. ;-) 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 1, 2019

#HappyNewYear!! :-)

Hey Everyone!! :-)

Happy New Years! :-)  It's that time again, which means it's time for another one of my status check-ins. ;-) First of all, congratulations to everyone, if you're reading this it means you survived another trip around the sun. And considering what's been happening, that's no small achievement! Now, down to business.

I wish I could say that this past year was all sweetness and light, but that would be a lie. There were some good elements, no question. The Democrats took back the House and they'll all be taking their seats later this month, which means there will at least be a brake on the worst impulses of our Tangerine Study in Moral Turpitude. But, unfortunately, the Democrats lost seats in the Senate, which means the Republicans will continue to do their best to dismantle the judiciary and turn the Judicial branch of the government into a flawless representation of the corporately-owned Christian Taliban. So, some battles won, some lost, and many more left to fight. But, on the list of positives, a significant list of strong progressive candidates will be taking their seats in the House later this month, so hopefully we'll see some noteworthy shaking up of the establishment there.

And another thing this year proved is that the progressive base is fired up and ready for action. So, hopefully, with the leadership of those progressives we elected, we'll be able to keep that momentum going and take to the streets in grassroots support of progressive legislation. Because without that pressure from below, no matter how hard those representatives fight, they won't be able to dent the wall of establishment obstruction they'll be up against. But, together, we can knock that wall down and bring those establishment sell-outs to heel. Because it's long past time our government started working for the interests of The People, rather than the interests of the oligarchs.

So, towards that end, I sincerely hope we will all stay strong, defiant, and determined, and that we'll all be around to toast each others' triumphs this time next year. To another year of overcoming adversity, progress, and positive change, and may we all have the strength and wisdom to stand against the storm of whatever life throws our way and emerge victorious on the other side. And, as always, remember, non illegitimi carborundum! ;-)