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, February 28, 2019

#APC #Spotlight: Wicked Heart By Niki Livingston!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

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


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



Wednesday, February 27, 2019

#Agent Thoth's #Personal Log: Day 925


Hey Everyone! :-)

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


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

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

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


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




Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Distraction Through Division...


Hey Everyone!! :-)

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

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

"But that's…"

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, February 25, 2019

Something Worth Watching?


Hey Everyone!! :-)

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






Sunday, February 24, 2019

Easy Veggie Frittata #Recipe!



Hey Everyone!! :-)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




Saturday, February 23, 2019

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


Hey Everyone! :-)

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

Karina:

The Quest 

Book 2 of 

Illusional Reality duology.


YA romantic fantasy the exciting concluding part of Illusional Reality.

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


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

THE QUEST FOR THE TRUTH BEGINS

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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



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

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

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

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

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

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

Titles to date:

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

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

Stone Cold YA Supernatural thriller
Illusional Reality Romantic fantasy

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

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

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


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




EXCERPT

City of Helkon


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


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







Friday, February 22, 2019

#FirstWorldProblems ;-)


Hey Everyone!! :-)

With all the truly terrible things going on in the world, I just thought I'd share a little bit of silly nonsense. If nothing else, it might lighten up my blog, a bit. So, I hope that this recounting of a most first world-esque of problems gives you a chuckle. ;-)

Is it just me, or have other people found that some of those "buy this movie disk and get a free digital copy" are more a test of your resolve and puzzle-solving skills than a real freebie? I mean, some of them, they just give you a website and a code and you go to the website and enter the code and you get your movie and it takes 30 seconds and you're happy. But some of them, you not only have to gather all the pieces together, you also have to figure out what they are and how they go together and in what order.

For instance, I tried to redeem a code today but when I went to the website the little insert had, it told me I had to insert this extra disk that was at the back of the case. Well, okay, a bit strange, but easy enough. Insert the disk, enter the code, another error message with no actual explanation of why or suggestions of how to fix it this time. Go to the website's FAQs and after reading to nearly the bottom find out that I have to be subscribed to a specific retailer's service and download their software.

Of course, no mention of this is made anywhere on the disk or the software it runs or on the little insert with the code. And the retailer isn't the same retailer where I bought the disk or owned by the movie studio that produced the movie. But, okay, whatever. If that's what I need to do, I can do that. It doesn't cost anything but a few minutes.

So, download the software only to find out when I go to install it that it's already installed. My guess is that it's from some time in the past when I had to do this for another movie, but I've forgotten about it because I never use this retailer. But, okay, good, it's already installed. Except I can't start it because it's out of date. Would I like to update it, it asks me. No, not really, it's a pain in the ass and a waste of time. But, since I can't start the software without updating it, and I apparently can't get my movie without the software, sure.

So, update downloaded and installed, time for a restart of the computer. But that update only got it updated enough for the next update - I said I never use this retailer, right? - so next update downloaded and installed, and another restart. But, no, still not updated enough, we need to do this one more time for good measure. And, at this point, I'm asking myself how bad do I really want that digital copy?

But, I've come this far, so one more restart and eureka! The software opens. Now I have to log in. But, of course, I haven't the faintest notion what my login or password is. So, I enter my email and it helpfully sends me a temporary password. But, of course, it's only temporary, so I have to immediately go to the retailer's website, not the software, and create a new password. But the first password won't work. Does it tell me why or what the password has to include? Nope! Why would it do something that simple? That would defeat the purpose of the challenge.

So, two more passwords rejected, and I decide to throw everything and the kitchen sink at it. And summon a demon, for good measure. And that does the trick! Or maybe it was the demon, I'm not sure. But I've got a password, now, and can log into the software. But I don't just have to log into the software; I have to log in, enter the code, and log in again to confirm I want to redeem the code.

But I do all that and... Nothing happens. I mean, literally nothing. It just sits there totally ignoring my frantic clicking on the "redeem" button. So, I seriously consider just saying "fuck it," at this point. But, damn it, no, I'm not going to be outsmarted by a movie code!

So, I take the disk out and blow on it, highly technical manipulations here, and put it back in. And nothing. So I start reading through the menus on the software and find something that says "authorize on this device." You mean this device? The device I just spent an hour downloading, updating, and logging in on? Is that the device we're talking about? Because, I'd have thought that concept had been sufficiently communicated by now.

But, nope, apparently not. So, I authorized the device, which required another entering of the password. And I've got a whole flock of demons sitting on the back of my chair, by this point. And enter the code and click redeem, and... Another fucking error message!

It wants me to insert the disk. The disk was inserted, but apparently it wasn't inserted in the right order. So, I closed the software and removed the disk. Then I opened the software and logged in - again! - made sure it was authorized for this device - it was, thank heavens - inserted the disk, entered the code, logged in again to redeem - those demons were really having a party by then - clicked redeem, and GOT MY FUCKING MOVIE!!!

And, afterwards, after I scared all the demons away, I thought about this. And I can't help but wonder if the movie company hired a video game designer to write their digital movie codes. Because, seriously, what the actual fuck? 😑



Thursday, February 21, 2019

#APC #Spotlight: A Moment In The Sun By Tory Gates!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I've got Tory Gates in my APC spotlight, today! Tory is an active and supportive member of the  Authors-Professional Co-op Facebook group and his edgy, contemporary fiction, young adult, counter-culture, coming-of-age, personal growth novel, A Moment in the Sun, looks great! Here's the description:
Sixteen-year-old Rei Murata appears to have everything: good looks, brains, artistic skill and admiring friends. But Rei is a survivor—of loss, neglect and of self-isolation. Locked away from a world where she felt unwanted, Rei was one of the millions known as the hikikomori.
A chance meeting leads Rei to discover the online world of the Dwellers. Astonished to find her former classmate Sho among their number, Rei is determined to rescue him. Rei learns she must come to terms with her past before she can face her future. For her peers, the barriers of class and society must fall, so they too can move forward.
No one is ever lost, Rei believes. She hopes to lead Sho, and the rest to their moment in the sun.
If you think this sounds like something you might enjoy, go ahead and grab your copy here:


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



Wednesday, February 20, 2019

#Agent Thoth's #Personal Log: Day 923


Hey Everyone! :-)

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


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

Day Nine-Hundred-Twenty-Three:
There is a small, bushy-tailed rodent who frequents the area immediately outside my domicile. This has been going on for quite some time, but the juvenile felid only noticed the presence of this creature recently. Since the small mammal came to his attention, my young companion has made a habit of lingering on the ledge of one of the glass portals in the walls of my domicile and waiting for its appearance. I'm uncertain what the ultimate outcome of this practice will be, but I am willing to wager it will be entertaining.

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




Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Something Worth Watching?


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I'm back today with another video I wanted to share. You've probably already seen this one, it went viral, after all. But I don't think it can be shared enough. Because this is exactly what's wrong with politics in this country and why our system is broken, and I don't think I've ever seen it explained so clearly or pointedly before. Peace!






Monday, February 18, 2019

#February2018 #IndieBooksBeSeen #Indie #Author #Books #Monthly #BookReview!



Hey Everyone!! :-)

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

Lullaby of the Dead by Lynn Lamb:

A shark swimming in a sea of sharks, Landry Sinclair's career seems to be right on track. With a ruthlessness that inspires hatred and fear in those around her, she's just what the management of the cut-throat company she works for wants. That is, until a serial killer gets her in his sites and she's brutally tortured and murdered. When she wakes up in a bizarre afterlife, that's when Landry's story really gets interesting. Will she be strong enough to win in death?

I loved this story. The theme that getting to know and accept oneself is a source of immeasurable strength and peace is a message I think we all need to hear a little more often. Following Landry through her journey from a heartless corporate drone to a wise and compassionate friend was definitely enjoyable. The writing was excellent, the story didn't bog down or drift, and the supporting characters were interesting to get to know. The horror element, which was strong, was definitely spine-chilling but necessary to the story. And the romantic parts were a fun and welcome relief. Overall, I definitely recommend this book. Five stars!




Sunday, February 17, 2019

A Twist On A Classic #Recipe For The #Crockpot!



Hey Everyone!! :-)

I'm back today with my take on a yummy, classic dish.  I don't know about you, but one of my favorite things in the world is gravy.  Now, like other dishes, I prefer my gravy without meat. So, I played around a bit and found a way to make stroganoff, one of my favorite gravies, without beef! :-) Take a look and see what you think of this mushroom stroganoff recipe.

Ingredients:
1-2 14oz package(s) white button (whole or sliced) mushrooms cleaned
1 14oz package of baby bellas cleaned
1 14oz package of shitake mushrooms cleaned
2 medium onions chopped
2 cups vegetable stock
1/2 cup white wine
1 teaspoon rosemary
1/4 cup vegetarian worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon soy sauce (optional)
2 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
4-5 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon butter
2-3 tablespoons of sour cream
Salt, pepper, and parsley to taste

Put all the ingredients except the sour cream and parsley in a crockpot. Turn the crockpot on high for 5-6 hours. Stir in the sour cream and parsley. Serve over egg noodles, potatoes, rice, or any other starch you enjoy.


Yep, that's it!  Another lazy cook's dream. Like most of my recipes, to be honest. If you don't have or don't like any of the types of mushrooms I listed, you can change up the mushrooms to whatever you prefer. You can also use canned mushrooms if that's what you have on hand.  Also, you can get chopped, frozen onions from a lot of grocery stores, so that might be another time saver if you don't like to chop onions.

The flavor of the frozen onions isn't quite as strong as fresh onions, and they are mushy even before cooking, but if you're in a time pinch or don't have any onions in the house they might be an option for you.  If you have the time, and you use fresh onions, you can caramelize the onions in a skillet before putting them in the crockpot. This will add more flavor and deepen the color of the stroganoff. Just put them in a skillet with the butter and olive oil and cook them until they caramelize. If you add the paprika to the onions in the skillet, it will help develop the flavor of the spice a bit. Add the garlic when the onions are almost done and then put the contents of the skillet in the crockpot and deglaze the skillet with the wine.

If you don't like alcohol or don't have any wine in the house, you can use 1/4 cup red wine vinegar instead. There are also things you can add to this stroganoff to make it richer or to get more vegetables in your diet.  I've found green, leafy vegetables tend to make broths richer, so you can add spinach, kale, or even broccoli if you'd like.  You can also add carrots for some sweetness and/or peas for color. If your stroganoff is a little runny, you can make a slurry by mixing a little cornstarch with cold water and stir that in to thicken it up.

Bon appetit! :-)


Saturday, February 16, 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, February 15, 2019

Love Me I'm A Neolib...



Hey Everyone!

As some of you may know, a political activist and folk singer named Phil Ochs wrote a song he titled Love Me, I'm A Liberal in the 1960s. The song discussed the hypocrisy and selfishness of the so-called liberals of the time. He often opened the song by declaring that "one of the shadiest of these [political opinions] is the liberals." He went on to explain that their political standing lay "ten degrees to the left of center at the best of times" and "ten degrees to the right of center when it affects them personally."

Human nature being what it is, nothing has really changed except some of the details and the labels. So, I decided to take a stab at updating the lyrics for today's politics. I'm no poet, so I'm sure these won't be up to Mr. Ochs' standards. But, hopefully, they'll give you a chuckle...and maybe some incentive to think about how you can get more involved in making life better not only for yourself, but for other people who might need some empathy or a helping hand, as well. Peace!

Love Me, I'm a Neolib

I cried when they killed little Jakelin
Tears ran down my face
And I cried when young Felipe's life was snuffed out
It's as if there's no accountability for ICE
But Sandra Bland got what she asked for
You can't disrespect the police!
So, love me, love me, love me, I'm a Neolib

I go to anti-Trump protests
And I put on my pink pussy hat
I love Emma and David and Cameron
Those kids really know what's what
But don't talk about Black Lives Matter
Those rabble-rousers just block my commute
So love me, love me, love me, I'm a Neolib

I cheered when Obama was chosen
It's way past time for racism to go
And I loved when Hillary got the nomination
If only Russians and misogynists hadn't put on such a show
But don't talk about why you didn't like her policies
Because I really just don't want to know
So, love me, love me, love me, I'm a Neolib

The dummies who voted for 45
Should all admit it came down to hate
I can't understand how their minds work
What's the matter don't they watch Last Week Tonight?
But if you want Medicare For All
I'll tell you to give me a break
So, love me, love me, love me, I'm a Neolib

I watch Chuck Todd and Maddow
I want to make sure I'm informed
And I read the Times and WaPo
They always leave me forewarned
But when it comes to independent journalists
They all deserved to be scorned
So, love me, love me, love me, I'm a Neolib

I give to conservationist charities
We all upon the Earth must dwell.
And I'll sign a petition to address climate change
Those environmental groups sure are swell
But don't you dare protest any pipelines.
I need my fossil fuel stocks to do well.
So love me, love me, love me, I'm a Neolib.

I love all the immigrants and refugees.
The US is the shining city on a hill.
And, I'll lift my lamp beside the golden door for them.
Just as long as they'll bend to our will.
But don't criticize our war machine.
Those military contractors are paying our bills.
So love me, love me, love me, I'm a Neolib.

I vote for the Democratic Party.
They let the women-folk be stars.
I love donating to those good ol' centrists.
They make sure things stay on par.
But don't talk about revolution.
That's going a little bit too far.
So love me, love me, love me, I'm a Neolib


And just in case you'd like to hear the original, which I'd recommend, I've posted a link below. Peace!






Thursday, February 14, 2019

#APC #Spotlight: The Sentient Collector (The Sentient Trilogy Book 1) By Ian Williams!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I've got Ian Williams in my APC spotlight, today! Ian is an active and supportive member of the  Authors-Professional Co-op Facebook group and his near-future, cyberpunk, action, adventure, sci-fi novel, The Sentient Collector, looks great! Here's the description:
In 2058 everything and everyone is connected to the Simova network. 24 hours a day, this super intelligent system keeps a watchful eye on those it dutifully serves and provides for. But few know of its fundamental flaw. It is plagued by tiny corruptions, called Malicious Awareness and Resurgent Corruptions, that play havoc with any nearby devices. Find one of these in your home and you will soon know of their destructive nature.
For Graham, dealing with MARCs is just one part of his job as a Simova technician. He is the person you call when you face such a problem and want it removed. And yet even he does not know the truth. Unfortunately for him that is about to change.
Follow Graham, Phoenix and Kristof as they are dragged into a plot that threatens their entire city. Three characters from very different walks of life are brought crashing together in a thrilling battle of will against a seemingly insurmountable enemy.
 If you think this sounds like something you might enjoy, go ahead and grab your copy here:


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



Wednesday, February 13, 2019

#Agent Thoth's #Personal Log: Day 918


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-Eighteen:
My hominid-servant has finally desisted in her efforts to smother me with toxic fumes. Though my efforts to dissuade her proved ineffective, the juvenile felid and the canid's combined tactics proved to be more successful.

My young companion devised a way to knock the wax towers from their perches through the simple expedient of flinging himself through space from the nearest access point and colliding with the cylinders on their perches. This resulted in the little idiot bashing himself repeatedly against the walls of my domicile, however it also served to snuff the noxious smells as the wax smothered the wicks when the cylinders fell from their pedestals.

Despite the fact that the fire was invariably snuffed before the cylinders reached the floor, my hominid-servant couldn't resist a display of histrionics over the possibility that my young compatriot's actions might have resulted in a conflagration within my domicile. Though, to be fair, hominids are often given to behaving in overly dramatic ways, so this was to be expected.

The canid's tactics were even more effective, though less direct. He simply placed himself below one of the lit towers and produced excessively loud vocalizations until my hominid-servant gave in and doused the evil vapors in order to restore peace. Of course, this resulted in my own ears being temporarily assaulted, but I can't argue with the results. And a brief auditory disturbance is far preferable to a slow death from asphyxiation. Considering the efficacy of combining the ingenuity of the two other non-hominid occupants of my domicile, in the future I will have to consider engaging their interests in other challenges I encounter.


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




Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Doublespeak At Its Finest


Hey Everyone!! :-)

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

Excerpt from Answers From Alyce:
"Given what we've just been discussing, this next exhibit may no longer need explaining, but I'd like to hear what you have to say about it, anyway," said Squid-boy

I shrugged. "It's your circus, sugar, I'm just one of the monkeys."

The small alien blinked at me. "It's refreshing to hear that you acknowledge your primate ancestry, but I would still like your perspective on the next exhibit. Also, this is a museum, not a circus."

I snickered and gestured at the hallway. "Lead on, Macduff."

"What…?" Squid-boy waved his tentacles around his head. "Never mind." He squinted at me. "I often believe you are deliberately attempting to be confusing in your communication."

I widened my eyes and put a hand to my chest. "Me?"

Yax snorted and the shorter alien turned his glare on his colleague who grinned back unapologetically. Making a gurgling sound in the back of his throat, Squid-boy turned and waddled off down the hallway without another word. Yax and I grinned at each other and followed.

It wasn't long before we came upon the next exhibit and I paused to stare at it. A cookie elf was standing at a podium making a speech, and after a few words I knew exactly what this one was about. Groaning, I rolled my eyes and looked at the shorter of my hosts. "Really?"

"At first we barely noticed when this transmission was aired. But, on closer examination, it seemed as if it would be perfect for our museum because, from what we could tell, this individual," Squid-boy waved a tentacle at the robot they had representing the sick joke of a human being standing at the podium, "is attempting to communicate the exact opposite of what his words would seem to mean. It was a paradox that, at least, bore explaining."

I snorted. "No, sugar, it sounds like you understood it just fine."

"I don't understand," said Yax. "It seems as though he is saying that a religious group will be allowed to defend itself by attacking others."

"Yep, that's pretty much what he's saying. The 'Religious Liberty Task Force' he is talking about is intended to make sure that the dominant religion is free to obstruct everyone else's liberty without interference."

The tall alien just blinked at me, so I continued. "Another of the things the First Amendment to our Constitution guarantees is freedom of religion. It also stipulates that the government cannot establish a state religion, which also prohibits the government from favoring one religion over any other religion. In spite of that, some people who belong to the dominant religion continuously try to force their religious views on everyone else using the government." I gestured at the podium. "This guy is one of those people."

"Let me see if I understand," said Squid-boy. "This human," he waved his tentacles at the cookie elf in question, "wishes to use the authority of your government to restrict the freedoms of people who hold religious beliefs that are different from his?"

I nodded. "Yep, you got it."






Monday, February 11, 2019

Something Worth Watching?


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I'm back today with another video I wanted to share. This is Bernie's response to the State of the Union speech the Toddler in Chief gave last week, and I just thought I'd share it so we can all remember what actual leadership looks like. But I'll just let you all watch the video so Bernie can speak for himself. Peace!





Sunday, February 10, 2019

Pasta Fagioli Soup #Recipe!



Hey Everyone!! :-)

This is one of my favorite soups. It seems like it would be really light, but because the cheese is so rich, it's actually very hearty and filling. Enjoy! :-)


Ingredients:
4 cups vegetable stock or water
2 cups ditalini pasta
1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
2 12oz cans white beans
3 onions diced
6 cloves garlic minced
3 cups fresh basil chopped
1 cup fresh oregano chopped
1 cup pecorino romano shredded
3 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

In a stock pot, add the onions and olive oil and saute until the onions start to caramelize. Add the garlic, oregano, and half the basil and stir until the herbs wilt. Add the tomatoes, salt and pepper, and stock or water and stir to combine. Add the beans and stir to combine. Bring the soup to a boil and then reduce the heat and simmer for an hour or two, stirring occasionally. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary. Add the pasta and continue simmering until the pasta is almost cooked. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese and the rest of the basil. Serve hot with a side of crusty bread.

Buon Appetito!



Saturday, February 9, 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, February 8, 2019

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



Hey Everyone!! :-)

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



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


Thursday, February 7, 2019

#APC #Spotlight: The Chocolatier's Wife By Cindy Lynn Speer!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I've got Cindy Lynn Speer in my APC spotlight, today! Cindy is an active and supportive member of the  Authors-Professional Co-op Facebook group and her historical, magical, fantasy, romance novel, The Chocolatier's Wife, looks great! Here's the description:
ROMANCE, MAGIC, MYSTERY…. AND CHOCOLATE
When Tasmin’s bethrothed, William, is accused of murder, she gathers her wind sprites and rushes to his home town to investigate. She doesn’t have a shred of doubt about his innocence. But as she settles in his chocolate shop, she finds more in store than she bargained for. Facing suspicious townsfolk, gossiping neighbors, and William’s own family, who all resent her kind – the sorcerer folk from the North -- she must also learn to tell friend from foe, and fast. For the real killer is still on the loose – and he is intent on ruining William’s family at all cost.
The Chocolatier’s Wife is a truly original, spellbinding love story, featuring vivid characters in a highly realistic historical setting.
If you think this sounds like something you might enjoy, go ahead and grab your copy here:


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



Wednesday, February 6, 2019

#Agent Thoth's #Personal Log: Day 915


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-Fifteen:
My hominid-servant has taken to setting fire to wicks that have been submerged in foul-smelling wax and the wax allowed to harden. The result is that when the wicks burn down low enough to remelt the wax, the scents that have been infused into it are released into the air. Which makes the atmosphere within my domicile nearly unbreathable.

I have attempted to dissuade my hominid-servant from this enterprise both by reasoning with her and by attempting to knock the cylinders of stench from the pedestals she installs them upon. But my entreaties have, once again, fallen on deaf ears. And after one incident during which my domicile was nearly set ablaze, something that I can hardly be held responsible for given the provocation, she has removed her wax cylinders to isolated perches that are impossible for me to reach. But only after much scolding and haranguing for my attempt to snuff the noxious fumes.

At this point, I am reduced to retreating to beneath my hominid-servant's sleeping platform. This locale is remote enough from the lethal towers of wax that the air remains untainted. I am uncertain how long she will persist in this new obsession of hers, but I despair of ever getting any research done if it goes on much longer.


Poor Thoth, he never gets any respect. ;-) 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!