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

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Delicious Bean Salad #Recipe!



Hey Everyone!! :-)

I'm back with another one of my favorite warm-weather recipes! Enjoy! :-)

Ingredients:
1 12oz can light red kidney beans
1 12oz can dark red kidney beans
1 12oz can black beans
1 12oz can pinto beans
1 12oz can chickpeas
3 cups raw kale
1 jalapeno or chili pepper chopped fine
1 onion chopped fine
2 cups cooked quinoa
1 cup and 2 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup red wine (or balsamic) vinegar
5 cloves garlic minced fine
Salt and pepper to taste


Pour all the cans of beans into a colander, rinse thoroughly, and set aside to drain. In a skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 cloves of garlic, the kale, the onion, and the pepper until the kale wilts. Mix the cooked kale and pepper with the beans and the cooked quinoa. In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining olive oil, garlic, vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste. Toss the dressing with the kale, pepper, beans, and quinoa. Serve chilled as a salad.

A shredded carrot is also good in this salad. If spice isn't your thing, just leave out the pepper or replace it with a sweet bell pepper. Also, any of the beans can be replaced with your favorite beans.

Bon Appetit!




Saturday, June 29, 2019

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


Hey Everyone!! :-)

There's a new giveaway for Spring!  Please take a moment to check out the Spring Into Reading Authors & Bloggers Giveaway!!  There are lots of awesome books and prizes!! :-)  It's free to enter, there are over 40 prizes, and the grand prize is $72 cash payable through PayPal!! :-)  Now isn't that worth taking a few minutes to check out? ;-)   Here are all the details:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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





Friday, June 28, 2019

#Interview With Nathalie Romer!


Hey Everyone!!

Please welcome Nathalie Romer, who is here with us, today. Nathalie, will you please tell us about yourself and how many books you've written?

Nathalie: Hi, my name is Nathalie and I'm an English-speaking author who lives in Sweden with her partner Anders. I've been writing since November 2014 and decided to try my hand at writing after writing a 1,400-word story that later has become one of the chapters of Book One of my book series called The Wolf Riders of Keldarra. I have written ten books to date but I decided to work on improving my craft so I'm in the process of re-releasing all my existing books while I'm also writing new books. Currently, I have the re-release out of Book One of the aforementioned book, I'm rewriting Books Two and Three, as well as working on the first draft of Book 4. My writing journey was stalling once, but then I received encouragement from author and friend Orna Ross, who got me back on track with the wisest words I've heard ever in this industry: "The more you write the better you get at it." (Psst, they are true, so never ever give up on your dream of writing). I'll add the advice my father gave in addition: "Always write for yourself and not to prove something to others." These two pieces of advice have helped me learn something important about myself: NEVER give up!

Me: That's definitely an important lesson for any author. :-) What's the name of your latest book and what inspired it?

Nathalie: If I may I'll tell a bit about the two books out now, as well as my story in the anthology I participated. I'll start with Hidden which came about when I spotted an interesting writing project where authors all publish books with the same title but they choose the theme, genre, trope etc. of the book. I decided to tackle a topic close to my heart with my book. The book is about two friends who are having a heart to heart day of reconnecting after a time apart. In doing so they discover each has personal issues they're dealing with. The parts in the book about depression and anxiety are directly a reflection of my own life and how I felt going through days and weeks of living with it. Oftentimes it's almost taboo to discuss that you have a mental health issue but this book demonstrates (I hope) that it's okay to talk about it. My second book currently out is the first book in The Wolf Riders of Keldarra called Tainted Truth. The name was rebranded from the original title (The Stone of Truth) to better reflect the theme of the story. The book series is epic fantasy but it doesn't have magic in it. Instead, I gave the citizens of Keldarra several abilities. The first ability is to see past events or future events (and not as predictions) and those with this skill are trained in the Order of Truth. Also, I made it a physical ability instead of a mental one. The second ability that exists relates to the title of the series: there are people with the skill to call a wolf to themselves and bond mentally with the animal and ride them. They are the Wolf Riders, but their skill wasn't theirs in the first place, and they're the bag guys in this world. Readers can start to read what links the Order of Truth to the Wolf Riders and as the 9-book series progresses they'll find out why the world is as it is... (As Doctor River Song would say: "Spoilers!") My story Chase The Dream was published in the anthology Rags to Riches: Cinderella Love Stories which has several interesting stories of the classic Cinderella story in it with a whole different spin to it.

Me: Sounds like you have a prolific imagination. ;-) What are you working on now?

Nathalie: Right now, I'm finalizing Book Four of The Wolf Riders of Keldarra, and then I'm working on another anthology story.

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

Nathalie: I grew up reading Isaac Asimov and Tolkien, and literally devoured the contents of the adult section of my local library as a kid. I started on a "diet" of ten books a day which I read in an evening (don't ask me how I did it but somehow I did), then the next day would return the books and go for more. After a time the librarians knew the sort of books I loved, so had a "first refusal" pile of books waiting for me to see before I'd borrow my new stack of books. After a time they gave me an adult library card because I read so much. I think that the influence of all the authors I read was locked in my mind and waiting to be "let out." The other influence on me is from playing World of Warcraft which has a wealth of lore behind the game (I was into the lore long before I played the game). I decided that the game gave me permission to come up with my own "big world" that is Keldarra.

Me: Classic stories are a great way to feed an imagination. What are you reading now?

Nathalie: I've recently started to read The Settlers by Jason Gurley. So far, a rather compelling story. I'll likely finish most of it during the summer as I'm too busy with my writing right now.

Me: Ha! I think that's something most authors can relate to. For those who might consider reading your book, what would you tell them to expect?

Nathalie: Don't assume that this is going to be a familiar story because it contains a lot of layers. Nothing is ever as it seems, and everyone has a purpose. And...skip a page at your peril because you might miss a clue that helps you solve the mysteries as a reader. I know readers are smart people and like Marrida says: "There are never any coincidences."

Me: Sounds intriguing! :-) What's your favorite part of being an author?

Nathalie: Being able to put on paper my imagination. I love writing (look at the length of these interview questions as proof). I have a huge stack of story ideas I work on all the time so each story is delivered in an as compelling way possible (one of the other reasons I wanted to re-release my existing books - I decided they weren't as compelling as they should be).

Me: I agree, the creation process is definitely fulfilling. Do you have a day job as well?

Nathalie: Being an author is my day job. I have chronic back pain so commuting to a job every day would leave me in pain, and that would leave me less capable to sit for writing sprints.

Me: Sorry to hear about your health issues, but it's good you're still able to write. What would you say are the hardest and easiest parts about being a writer?

Nathalie: The hardest part is that it can be hard to figure out every nuance of what it means to be an author. Like I said in a recent tweet, writing is so much more than just writing. It's about the research, plotting, planning, editing, revising, re-reading, etc. The easiest part about being an author for me at least is the enjoyment it can bring. If you love what you do as a job it's always easier or easiest.

Me: Amen! What genre do you place your book in?

Nathalie: The Wolf Riders of Keldarra is an epic fantasy with an eclectic assortment of tropes and influences from other genres. It's a story about war and conflict, it's a love story, it has a mythical feel to it (mostly the timespan that it covers as a backstory), it's an adventure, it's a mystery, and there are even parts in it that make Marrida and Alagur Keldarra's version of sleuths. Life would be boring if everything was the same, so I apply this to my writing as well.

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

Nathalie: That my last name has an Umlaut in it, i.e. an "O" with two dots. And no, I'm not German. I was born in the Netherlands and lived for slightly more than the first decade of my life in Amsterdam. But I can be found without the dots too... :-)

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

Nathalie:
Official website: http://www.nathaliemlromer.com
Official Facebook Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/nathaliemlromer (it also functions as my newsletter page!)
Official Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/nmlromer
Instagram (for cover images): http://www.instagram.com/nathaliemlromer

A full list of all my social media links and other assorted information and links can be found in Notes on my Facebook Author Page.

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







Thursday, June 27, 2019

#APC #Spotlight: Forever Desired (Vampire Brides) By Ariel Marie!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I've got Ariel Marie in my APC spotlight, today! Ariel is an active and supportive member of the  Authors-Professional Co-op Facebook group and her vampire, fantasy, interracial, paranormal romance novella, Forever Desired, looks great! Here's the description:
He'd waited an eternity to find her.

Athena captivated her audience every night. Her husky voice, sensual moves and megawatt smile, packed the nightclub where she sang. It was her name on the lips of her audience. Everyone wanted a piece of her—even him.

One song and Sorin was enthralled by the beauty on the stage. Her voice awoke a part of him he had thought to be dead long ago. She had no idea of the power she wielded over him with one glance, one smile and one kiss. Never one to pursue a human before, he couldn’t ignore the hunger that burned for her. Only she can satisfy him, but he will first need to protect her from the ones who want him dead.
If you think this sounds like something you might enjoy, go ahead and grab your copy here:


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



Wednesday, June 26, 2019

#Agent Thoth's #Personal Log: Day 957


Hey Everyone! :-)

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


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

Day Nine-Hundred-Fifty-Seven:
The juvenile felid’s health seems much improved already. After a mere two planetary rotations, he is nearly back to his normal, irritating self. And I can only attribute this state of affairs to the unexpected display of good sense by my hominid-servant.

As I mentioned before, she arranged for a visit by a felid health specialist. This person was able to quickly determine, via the method of a physical examination and several simple diagnostic tests that she was able to run on-site, that my young companion suffered from a viral infection. It's a common malady among felids but, as I suspected, the little idiot’s already stressed system was unable to fight it off.

The hominid healer was able to provide several potions, which I have thus far been unable to sample and test, that have proved most effective in aiding my youthful compatriot’s immune system in eradicating the infection. As I indicated earlier, his return to full health seems to be imminent, at this point. I will continue to endeavor to acquire a specimen of the medications so that they can be properly investigated and cataloged. As always, I will report back with any additional findings.


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




Tuesday, June 25, 2019

A Lesson In Our History...


Hey Everyone!!

Today, I'd just like to share some musings I've been musing on. ;-) The more I read about the labor movement of the early 20th century, the more I realize we're living in the 21st-century version of those times. Hell, we've even got our own Franklin Delano Sanders, if we can just keep the modern day robber-barons from sabotaging his campaign again long enough to get him into the White House.

It's a shame and crime this topic gets no more than a passing mention in school history classes. There was so much real-life heroism in those labor leaders, I see it reflected in some of the voices that have captured national attention in recent years. Looking back through the lens of history, it seems like a lot of the victories happened because someone had enough and convinced enough others who'd had enough to stand with them against the power structure. And then they all just put one foot in front of the other and kept doing that -- refusing to give up or give in, no matter how hard the powers that be tried to get them to knuckle under -- until they got what they needed.

But, then, isn't that the story of the quintessential American hero? Hell, I've seen metaphorical versions of similar stories made into superhero movies. Only the people who led the labor movement weren't superheroes; they were just regular people, no different from thee and me. The fact that they won is a testament to how powerful a people united who declare that they Will. Not. Obey. can be.

Which begs the question, how bad does it have to get, now? At what point will enough people say enough and draw their line in the sand? When will we all find the spines our grandparents and great grandparents found and say, "No more!" And how bad will it be before we get to that point?

Peace!



Monday, June 24, 2019

Something Worth Watching?


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I'm back today with another video I wanted to share. Hopefully by the time this post is live it won't be too late, and we won't be in the middle of our latest Wag the Dog moment, but this is something that affects us all and will continue to affect us for decades to come, so we really should be paying more attention than we are currently. And, as always, it's something that the mainstream media isn't covering nearly enough or in the right way. So, please take a few minutes to watch this video, and then consider contacting your elected representatives to tell them what you think. Peace!




Sunday, June 23, 2019

Yummy Potato Salad #Recipe!



Hey Everyone!! :-)

Since cook-out and picnic weather has arrived, I thought I'd share one of my favorite potato salad recipes. Enjoy! :-)

Ingredients:
4-6 potatoes cubed
2 large eggs
2 kosher dill pickles chopped fine and drained
1 tomato diced and drained
1 12oz can sliced black olives drained
2 cups mayonnaise
Salt and pepper to taste

Place the cubed potatoes in a pot of cold, salted water and boil until fork-tender. Drain the potatoes and set aside to cool.

Place the eggs in a different pot of cold water, bring to a boil, cover, remove from the heat, and let sit for 20-25 minutes. Drain the water but leave the eggs in the pot. Shake the pot to crack the eggs and run them under cold water. Remove and discard the shells and rinse the eggs under cold water until they are cool.

Place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix them together with a fork, taking care to break up the eggs. Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary. Serve or refrigerate.

Celery and bell peppers, diced, can also be added to this salad, if you like a little extra crunch. Shredded or diced carrots add a nice sweetness.  You can also make this salad with sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes, but you might want to leave out the pickles if you make that substitution.

Bon appetit!



Saturday, June 22, 2019

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


Hey Everyone!! :-)

There's a new giveaway for Spring!  Please take a moment to check out the Spring Into Reading Authors & Bloggers Giveaway!!  There are lots of awesome books and prizes!! :-)  It's free to enter, there are over 40 prizes, and the grand prize is $72 cash payable through PayPal!! :-)  Now isn't that worth taking a few minutes to check out? ;-)   Here are all the details:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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





Friday, June 21, 2019

We've Got To Do Better, America


Hey Everyone!

A few weeks ago, I had a bit of a sinus infection and went to pick up a prescription for some antibiotics. I was angry because I pay through the nose for insurance each month, but since I have a deductible, which I'll probably never meet, I had to pay for the doctor's visit and the prescription completely out-of-pocket. It irks me to no end that our healthcare system is such a scam.

When I got to the pharmacy, there was an elderly lady in front of me who was counting coins on the counter trying to find enough to pay for her insulin. She ended up being $12 and change short. I'm not rich, but I've got $13, so I paid the difference for her. She hugged me and cried.

I had intended to reward myself with Starbucks for getting up early and running all my errands, but I decided to save the money instead. When I got back to my car, I cried. Not because I didn't get my overpriced coffee; I could have gotten it if I'd really wanted it. But because an old woman, a person, in my community was reduced to tears in the arms of a stranger in the middle of a grocery store because the pharmaceutical companies are holding hostage the medication she needs to survive.

I don't begrudge her the momentary breakdown, if it were me I'd already be worried about paying for it next time, I'm just furious that this state of affairs exists. Here. In the wealthiest country in the world.

As a relatively healthy person, I'm rarely personally affected by the organized criminal syndicates we call the insurance and pharmaceutical industries. And when I am, the financial hit only means that I cut back on entertainment expenses; I'm privileged enough that going hungry or losing my home to pay for needed medical treatments isn't a choice I have to face. But it is a decision that millions of Americans -- people all around us in our towns and cities, people we know and people we don't know -- have to make every day. Not because we lack the ability to assure that the basic needs of all our citizens are met, but because we choose not to. We've got to do better, America.

Peace!


Thursday, June 20, 2019

#APC #Spotlight: A Web Through Time 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 young adult, science fiction, time travel, action, adventure novella, A Web Through Time, looks great! Here's the description:
Meet Alex. Ordinary. Quiet. And she plays by the rules.

However, her entire life shifts in an instant, when a blue-eyed man walks into her place of work and discloses a ludicrous story to explain the mystery of her forgotten past. Despite her resistance and demands to be left alone, she’s forced into a world where her future becomes her past and the governments of Earth are searching for her execution.

Will she embrace her true nature or succumb to the threats of her parents’ enemies?

The tumble through the webs of time has just begun.
 If you think this sounds like something you might enjoy, go ahead and grab your copy here:


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



Wednesday, June 19, 2019

#Agent Thoth's #Personal Log: Day 956


Hey Everyone! :-)

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


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

Day Nine-Hundred-Fifty-Six:
Occasionally, the resourcefulness demonstrated by hominids takes me by surprise. My hominid-servant did, indeed, find a solution to the juvenile felid’s health problems that I had not considered. And it was one that proved surprisingly effective while still prioritizing my young companion’s comfort. She arranged for a medical professional who specializes in the healing of felids to come to my domicile.

At first, I was skeptical that such a set up would allow for efficient treatment. However, it soon became clear that my hominid-servant had made a shockingly shrewd choice. But I will have to provide details at a later time. Currently, I am using the waste heat from the body I occupy on this planet to help speed my protégé’s return to good health and the recording process is disturbing his rest. You may rest assured, however, that further data will be forthcoming.


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




Tuesday, June 18, 2019

#June2019 #IndieBooksBeSeen #Indie #Author #Books #Monthly #BookReview!



Hey Everyone!! :-)

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

Vanished by Mark Bierman:

With all the thousands of children who go missing every year, what would it take to find and rescue a single, specific child? That's a question that the novel Vanished attempts to explore, at times in a heart-wrenching fashion while simultaneously keeping readers entertained with fast-paced action and intrigue. This isn't an easy story to read, but it is fascinating and touches on something that our society really should be paying more attention to. Overall, it's a plot-driven book, with the character development lacking at times, but definitely worth reading. Four stars.







Monday, June 17, 2019

Something Worth Watching?


Hey Everyone!! :-)

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









Sunday, June 16, 2019

Keep The Kitchen Cool Panzanella Salad #Recipe!



Hey Everyone!! :-)

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

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

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

Buon Appetito!




Saturday, June 15, 2019

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


Hey Everyone!! :-)

There's a new giveaway for Spring!  Please take a moment to check out the Spring Into Reading Authors & Bloggers Giveaway!!  There are lots of awesome books and prizes!! :-)  It's free to enter, there are over 40 prizes, and the grand prize is $72 cash payable through PayPal!! :-)  Now isn't that worth taking a few minutes to check out? ;-)   Here are all the details:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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





Friday, June 14, 2019

Exciting #Opportunity! #Summer #Giveaway Signup!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

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

Thursday, June 13, 2019

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


Hey Everyone!! :-)

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

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


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



Wednesday, June 12, 2019

#Agent Thoth's #Personal Log: Day 955


Hey Everyone! :-)

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


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

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

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

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

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




Tuesday, June 11, 2019

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


Hey Everyone!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Peace!




Monday, June 10, 2019

Something Worth Watching?


Hey Everyone!! :-)

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

#NoMiddleGround






Sunday, June 9, 2019

Easy Pasta Primavera #Recipe!



Hey Everyone!! :-)

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

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

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

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

Buon Appetito! :-)




Saturday, June 8, 2019

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


Hey Everyone!! :-)

There's a new giveaway for Spring!  Please take a moment to check out the Spring Into Reading Authors & Bloggers Giveaway!!  There are lots of awesome books and prizes!! :-)  It's free to enter, there are over 40 prizes, and the grand prize is $72 cash payable through PayPal!! :-)  Now isn't that worth taking a few minutes to check out? ;-)   Here are all the details:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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





Friday, June 7, 2019

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



Hey Everyone!! :-)

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



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


Thursday, June 6, 2019

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


Hey Everyone!! :-)

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

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

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

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

But for some, it started long before that. For some of them will live, some of them will die, and some of them will last forever.
 If you think this sounds like something you might enjoy, go ahead and grab your copy here:


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



Wednesday, June 5, 2019

#Agent Thoth's #Personal Log: Day 953


Hey Everyone! :-)

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


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

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

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

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


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




Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Or The End Of The Beginning?


Hey Everyone!! :-)

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

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

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

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

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

"Well? Come on."

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

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

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

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

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

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