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

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

#Agent Thoth's #Personal Log: Day 972


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-Seventy-Two:
With her customary, but seemingly unconscious, contrariness, my hominid-servant has refused to converse further on the subject of anthropogenic climate change. Since she remains unable to comprehend intelligent speech, I have been reduced to attempting to bring up the topic through the use of gestures and body language. It seems I have been less than successful in this endeavor, unless she is being deliberately obtuse. But I do not believe that to be the case. I believe she truly has no idea what I have been attempting to communicate.

I base this belief on the fact that she has repeatedly referred to my frantic displays as “the kitty crazies” and threatened to confine me to the box she uses for punishment. I admit the threat has been effective from her perspective, as it has caused me to force myself to regain my composure each time. I am uncertain why she finds my attempts to communicate to be so problematic, but having her not only misconstrue my intentions, but go so far as to use intimidation tactics to derail my efforts is frustrating in the extreme. I will continue to try to achieve communication with regards to this issue, as I believe it may be a cornerstone to completing my mission. However, I cannot at this time claim any optimism towards the subject.


Drat! Foiled again. ;-) 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, July 30, 2019

Sunlight And Growing Things...


Hey Everyone!! :-)

Here's a little bit more of the third installment in the Petri Dish Chronicles! As always, the disclaimer is that this is a draft and, as such, it's unedited and likely full of errors and is subject to revision, revamping, and being completely scrapped and rewritten. But, with that in mind, I'm reasonably satisfied with the basics of it, at least at the moment, or I wouldn't have bothered posting it. Enjoy! :-)

Excerpt from the third Petri Dish book:
Sighing, Petri rolled onto her back and studied the ceiling. It was different from most of the ceilings on Zanzibar, which tended towards plain white and industrial, Wema had seen to that; with long, twisting vines writhing across it, suspended here and there from bright, colorful hooks. The peeks of rainbow through the riot of greenery reminded Petri, somehow, of the dreams she used to have. Dreams that contained warmth and safety; dreams she missed even though her waking circumstances had greatly improved.

Petri craned her neck to look around the room. It was early morning, and the star Zanzibar orbited was starting to show over the horizon. The soft rays painted the small room in stripes of light and shadow. Natural light was still a novelty for Petri, and she couldn’t help but smile when she raised her hand and allowed a sunbeam to play across her fingers. She marveled at the gentle heat in it, different from the heat her lover’s sleeping body was generating next to her, but pleasant and reassuring in some vague, indefinable way. Snorting softly at herself, she rolled her eyes. However much of her was human, it seemed there was enough that she was still subject to her ancestral race’s affinity for sunlight. Psychology or physiology; the line was often far more blurred than people liked to admit.

She allowed her hand to fall to her nearly flat chest and breathed deeply. Wema’s love of plants ensured that the air in her apartment was always fresh, if a bit humid and tainted with a slight scent of mildew. Petri supposed there were tradeoffs for everything, and a bit of mustiness was worth it if it meant she got to enjoy Wema’s cheerful, little slice of jungle. After all, it was certainly a much less offensive smell than the pervasive stench of decay and desperation that was Under City’s perfume.


Yep, sorry, that's it for today. But I'm almost done with the first chapter, so I'll post it in its entirety in a couple of weeks. In the meantime, thanks for stopping by and don't forget to check back tomorrow for the latest in Mistral Dawn's Musings. Happy Reading! :-)






Monday, July 29, 2019

Something Worth Watching?


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I'm back today with another video I wanted to share. I debated whether to share this video or one about our tangerine study in moral turpitude cutting food stamps for poor people to pay for his tax cuts for the super wealthy. This one won out because I'm sure it won't get the coverage it deserves in the mainstream media, so I wanted to make sure you all heard about it. But I'd strongly recommend you check out the other story as well. Fuck ups and fuckery everywhere; just another week in the United States, 2019. Peace!





Sunday, July 28, 2019

Quick And Easy Pasta Salad #Recipe!



Hey Everyone!! :-)

Today, I thought I'd share one of my favorite pasta salad recipes with you. Enjoy! :-)

Ingredients:
4 cups cooked and cooled bow-tie (or your favorite shape) pasta
2-3 tomatoes chopped
1 zucchini chopped
1 20oz can sliced black olives drained
1-2 bell peppers (any color) seeded and chopped
1 chili pepper seeded and chopped (optional)
1 cucumber chopped
1 cup chopped spinach or kale
1 cup shredded carrots
1 20oz can kidney beans drained
1/2 cup chopped or shredded fresh basil
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic or red wine vinegar
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried parsley
5 cloves minced garlic
Salt and pepper to taste

Put the pasta, vegetables, and beans in a large bowl and toss them to distribute evenly. In a separate bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, dried herbs, salt and pepper, and garlic. Pour the dressing over the pasta and vegetables and toss them until evenly coated. Serve chilled.

If you're in a hurry, you can use bottled Italian dressing instead of making your own, but it tends to be a bit salty. Also, obviously, you can eliminate or substitute any of the vegetables with whichever vegetables you prefer.

Bon Appetit!





Saturday, July 27, 2019

Scorching #Reads #Summer #Giveaway! $100 #Cash #Grand #Prize! #Free To #Enter!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

There's a new giveaway for Summer!  Please take a moment to check out the Scorching Reads Summer Giveaway!!  There are lots of awesome books and prizes!! :-)  It's free to enter, there are over 66 prizes, and the grand prize is $100 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, July 26, 2019

First, Dig Two Graves...


Hey Everyone!! :-)

With Summer in full swing, and tempers heating up along with the weather, I thought I'd post a little reminder about what can happen when anger gets out of hand. Plus, what better way to start the weekend than with a little magical grudge match? ;-) Enjoy!

Excerpt from Bound By The Summer Prince:
Deirdra stood up straight as a board, nearly shaking with her rage. Her face had gone white with anger, and magic seemed to glitter and seethe around her. She raised her hand to point at Roni. “I challenge this human to a duel! She is not fit to rule a Court of Fairie!”

Briallen stepped forward. “You get ahead of yourself, Deirdra,” she said calmly. “Veronica is not yet queen, and so cannot yet be challenged under the rules of dueling. If you wish to duel for leadership of the Court, it is I you must challenge.”

The air around the queen started shimmering, and waves of heat emanated from her. The stone beneath her feet puddled and ran, and purple flames flickered in her eyes. Roni and Uaine were forced to shy back and avert their eyes from the angry monarch, as a glow like the sun built in her hands and face. Briallen’s scarlet hair stood on end in a halo around her, and each strand seemed to be lit from within by its own fire. Slowly, the air in the throne room began to churn, and as the vortex built the assembled people scattered. But Deirdra stood fast.

When Briallen spoke, her voice rang out like a clarion bell and echoed through the room. “Do you wish to challenge me to a duel, Deirdra? I will meet you.”

For a moment, it seemed as though Deirdra would challenge the Summer queen, but she gained control of herself and said, “No your majesty.” she curtseyed. “I am your loyal subject.”

The queen continued to hold her magic for a few heartbeats as she stared at the other Elf female, but finally she relaxed her grip. The glow faded from her skin, and the stone of the floor reshaped itself and solidified. The air stilled, and the nobles began to return to their places.

Just as the tension seemed to be leaving the throne room, Deirdra screamed wordlessly and hisse, “But I will never be hers!” With that, she hurled a spell of unmaking at Roni. “You don’t have your cold iron to protect you now, bitch!”

For an endless moment, Roni watched the bit of magic speed towards her, too fast for anyone to try to stop it. At the last second, just before the magic connected with her body, the tattoo around her wrist flashed with a green light, and the spell was reflected back to its source.

Deirdra’s agonized screaming pierced the silence from the rest of the assembly. As her body slowly came apart and returned to its constituent elements, her shrieks built and stretched until finally fading into a wet gurgle. At last there was silence, when what had been the Elf female was only a pile of multicolored dust and a puddle of water.

The assembled nobles gaped at what had once been one of their own, and then almost as one, they turned to stare at Roni. Roni felt her heart racing in her chest, but she forced herself to present a calm face as she gazed back at them.


Wow! It seems like there might be consequences for taking a grudge too far. ;-)  If you want to find out what happens next, grab your copy of Bound by the Summer Prince at the link below. Happy reading! :-)







Thursday, July 25, 2019

#APC #Spotlight: Nite Fire: Smoke & Mirrors By C. L .Schneider!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I've got C. L. Schneider in my APC spotlight, today! C. L. is an active and supportive member of the  Authors-Professional Co-op Facebook group and her supernatural, suspense, paranormal, thriller, urban fantasy novel, Nite Fire: Smoke & Mirrors, looks great! Here's the description:
Secrets are a dragon’s best friend. Deception is a close second. Both provide a sturdy armor, allowing half-dragon shapeshifter, Dahlia Nite, to live undetected among the humans. Walking in two worlds, belonging in neither, she wraps herself in a shroud of lies to hide in plain sight. But nothing stays hidden forever.

When dismembered bodies of multiple species are dumped on the riverbank, the case falls to Dahlia and Detective Alex Creed. Backed by Sentinel City’s new task force, the pair find themselves urged along by clues that seem too good to be true. Bouncing from one crime scene to the next, they hunt for a clear motive in a murky sea of conflicting evidence. Already on edge from the recent string of unexplained crimes, the city begins to unravel.

Drowning in missing creatures, slaughtered remains, masked men—and the search for her sidekick’s missing sister—Dahlia burns the candle at both ends. Seeking answers, she employs her empathic abilities, and uncovers something deeper and more sinister than a simple serial killer’s web. As the dots connect, and worlds collide, she struggles to shields her friends from the truth. But secrets can be deadly. And Dahlia’s not the only one who keeps them.
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, July 24, 2019

#Agent Thoth's #Personal Log: Day 970


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-Seventy:
The local weather has been rather volatile, of late. Extreme heat, even early in the morning and late at night, with violent storms in the afternoons and evenings of almost every planetary rotation. My hominid-servant has repeatedly informed me that this is common for this point in this planet’s revolution around the local star, but the severity of the storms and the unrelenting nature and intensity of the high temperatures are unusual and likely due to the actions of hominids that have caused an overall increase in the average temperature of this planet.

Of course, I was aware of the process of anthropogenic climate change that this planet has been, and continues to be, subject to when I was assigned here. It’s one of the main reasons that DPCIL has cause to question the intelligence of the hominids who are the dominant species on this planet. After all, it’s difficult to imagine any intelligent people deliberately and systematically changing the planet on which they live in ways that will make it unable to support the existence of successive generations of their own species.

The fact that even hominids who are not involved in planetary leadership roles, like my hominid-servant, are aware of the damage they are doing just makes the continued apparent determination to make no changes in their behavior all the more bizarre. Perhaps, if I can induce my hominid-servant to continue to expound on this subject, I will finally be able to make a definitive determination as to whether or not the hominids on this planet can be considered intelligent. As always, I will continue to report back on any further developments.


Hominids truly defy understanding at times.  ;-) 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, July 23, 2019

"Bipartisanship" Is Not The Recommendation They Think It Is...


Hey Everyone,

I don't know about anyone else, but every time I hear a Democratic candidate talk about "bipartisanship" and "reaching across the aisle," all I hear is "I'll try to work with Republicans to sell out as much as possible to the multinational corporations and billionaire donors who have bought almost all the politicians in both parties." This is not the time for "working together" with people who think rape is consensual, that brown children belong in concentration camps where they die of neglect, and that working Americans should be required to die because their employers say so. This is the time to fight for civil rights, labor rights, and human rights for everyone.

We need Democrats who will stand firm against the tide of fascism from the right, and who will stand up for regular Americans instead of the donor class. The truth does not cease being the truth because someone tells a lie that is diametrically opposed to the truth, and halfway between the two is still a lie. The candidates we need are candidates who have the courage of their convictions; candidates who will adhere to an ethical code that requires respect and concern for the welfare of the people they represent against any challenge or pressure from those who seek to advance their own interests at the expense of the country. Now, if Republicans want to work together on those terms, then I see no problem with Democrats, cautiously and vigilantly, taking yes for an answer. As long as it is an agenda that's in the best interests of regular Americans that is being advanced, without any sneaky codicils, deceptive caveats, or any other chicanery. But what we absolutely do not need, and cannot afford, are candidates who will bend with the winds of the politically expedient just so they can claim to be "bipartisan."

Peace!



Monday, July 22, 2019

Something Worth Watching?


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I'm back today with another video I wanted to share. This is testimony from a woman who has been attacked both by Republicans and establishment Democrats as "unpatriotic." This is one of the Congresswomen our tangerine study in moral turpitude told to "go back" where she came from, despite the fact that she was born in New York. Frankly, of all the people who have spoken of the atrocities that are taking place in the concentration camps at the border, I think Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's words here best represent how incompatible this situation is with American values, and how unpatriotic anyone who supports them is. The deep respect and reverence she clearly demonstrates for our flag here, and the pain the betrayal that is being committed against the principles on which it stands so obviously is causing her, marks her as one of the most patriotic Americans this country has ever produced. Peace!







Sunday, July 21, 2019

It's The Season To #CookOut #Recipe!



Hey Everyone!! :-)

Today, I wanted to share one of my favorite cookout recipes. Enjoy! :-)

Ingredients:
1 per burger portabello mushroom cap
1 per burger hamburger bun (your favorite kind)
10 bell peppers (can be one color or a mix of colors)
3 onions chopped
4 large cloves of garlic rough chopped
2 1/2 cups distilled white vinegar
3 cups water
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup salt

Put the peppers on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 minutes. Turn the peppers over halfway through baking. Remove the peppers from the oven and immediately place them in a ziplock bag. Let them sit for 15 minutes. The skins should be easy to pull off at this point. Remove the skins and seeds and chop the peppers.

Put the chopped peppers, onions, and garlic in a large bowl. Set them aside. In a saucepan, combine the water, vinegar, sugar, and salt. Bring them to a boil. Stir them until the salt and sugar are completely dissolved. Remove from the heat and pour the hot liquid over the peppers, onions, and garlic. Allow the mixture to cool and then cover it. Refrigerate it overnight (or longer). When ready for your cookout, drain the pepper mixture. Pulse the mixture in a food processor a couple of time and serve it chilled as a relish.

Lay your mushroom caps out on a tray. Sprinkle each side with salt and pepper (to taste) and brush or drizzle each side with olive oil. Cook on a grill or in a buttered skillet for 2-3 minutes per side, or until the surface starts to brown and the edges start to soften. Grill or toast the buns and spread them with butter or mayonnaise. Place the mushroom caps on the prepared buns and serve topped with pepper relish.

Bon Appetit! :-)





Saturday, July 20, 2019

Scorching #Reads #Summer #Giveaway! $100 #Cash #Grand #Prize! #Free To #Enter!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

There's a new giveaway for Summer!  Please take a moment to check out the Scorching Reads Summer Giveaway!!  There are lots of awesome books and prizes!! :-)  It's free to enter, there are over 66 prizes, and the grand prize is $100 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, July 19, 2019

#APC #Spotlight: The Ritual (Tales of Mentara Book 2) By Ashley Uzzell!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I've got Ashley Uzzell in my APC spotlight, today! Ashley is an active and supportive member of the  Authors-Professional Co-op Facebook group and her young adult, magical, sword and sorcery, fantasy, adventure novel, The Ritual, looks great! Here's the description:
Five children stranded in a strange world continue their adventures in the land known as Mentara. Twelve-year-old Charlotte feels the weight of her mistake in bringing her friends here. The local tribe of children who call themselves The Orphans are in a constantly warring state with a neighboring tribe, The Bomen. Drawn into this fight because of her magical abilities, Charlotte struggles to keep her friends safe while defending a group of strangers she is starting to see as family.

Tomas, the leader of The Orphans, is drawn to the kind and motherly Lena, impressed by the strong and intelligent Fred, and bewildered by the ever-moody Charlotte. He has his own personal issues to deal with while he prepares for a ritual that will change his status in the eyes of his people forever. But is this path he has chosen, this future he has worked and planned for what he really wants? Is it too late to change his mind and explore these newfound feelings of wanderlust?
 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! :-)



Thursday, July 18, 2019

#July2019 #IndieBooksBeSeen #Indie #Author #Books #Monthly #BookReview!



Hey Everyone!! :-)

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

The Rise of the Haliorunnae by Vanda Denton:

You know, this was a really good read, but I'm struggling to figure out how to summarize it without giving away major spoilers. Suffice it to say, the themes of people hating without knowing who, what, or why they're hating, doing things because they've always been done, and the rapid approach of an existential threat that's largely being ignored by society are so disturbingly familiar that in spite of the sci-fi elements I felt like I could be reading a commentary on modern society at times. Bottom line, I couldn't put it down, so five stars; this is one I would definitely recommend.





Wednesday, July 17, 2019

#Agent Thoth's #Personal Log: Day 967


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-Sixty-Seven:
Peace has finally been restored…at least temporarily. The hominids have ceased their incessant racket; I’m as uncertain as to why they’ve stopped as I am as to why they began. Perhaps they have run out of explosive material and must produce more before they can continue. It’s possible this is the reason for the intermittent nature of their obsession with blowing things up. Though, what that might indicate about their debatable intelligence I cannot decipher. Still, I am grateful for the reprieve, however long it lasts, the silence is most welcome after several planetary rotations of unrelenting noise. Truly, we DPCIL agents should receive additional compensation for enduring hazardous conditions when stationed on this planet.


Ahhh...sweet serenity. ;-) 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, July 16, 2019

Yep, It's Started...


Hey Everyone!! :-)

Yep, it's true, I've finally started it! The third installment in the Petri Dish Chronicles is now being written. When will it be done? I haven't the foggiest notion. All I can do is promise that I will work on it as often and as much as I'm able. If I had to guess, I'd say I might finish it sometime next year. But that's just a guess. In the meantime, here's a little sneak peek at how it starts. As always, the disclaimer is that this is a draft and, as such, it's unedited and likely full of errors and is subject to revision, revamping, and being completely scrapped and rewritten. But, with that in mind, I'm reasonably satisfied with the basics of it, at least at the moment, or I wouldn't have bothered posting it. Enjoy! :-)

Excerpt from the third Petri Dish book:
Consciousness returned slowly as Petri realized she had been staring blankly at the ceiling for quite some time. Sleep was always a challenge, lately, between the lingering nightmares and the constant background “noise” of other people's thoughts that her increase in powers made difficult to shut out. Sighing, she turned over and looked at the human woman sleeping beside her.

Despite Petri’s efforts to put the experience of her rape behind her, and Chessie’s constant comfort and reassurance, Rodney’s ghost still haunted her. She had taken men to bed since their arrival on Zanzibar but, even though none of them had been anything less than respectful and accommodating, there was always an edge of anxiety to those encounters. Petri had always been flexible in her sexual appetites, but before Rodney her preference had generally been for men. It bothered her that she was now more comfortable sleeping with women; it seemed almost like she had surrendered part of herself to her rapist. The fighter in Petri balked at that notion, and so her inability to truly relax around men ate at her.

But Wema was a special case. There was no conflict in Petri’s feelings about enjoying Wema’s company because it was impossible for anyone to be in Wema’s company and not enjoy it. The woman was several years Petri’s senior, but she had a joie de vivre that made her seem young and vibrant. Petri was so used to a constant struggle just to survive that Wema's ability to simply take in and appreciate all of life's experiences was something of a revelation. There was no calculation in Wema, no working of angles or searching for an advantage. There wasn’t even any expectation. Wema took people as she found them, and accepted everyone for who they were. Being with Wema was like putting down a burden Petri hadn’t even realized she'd been carrying.

Petri gazed at her lover, studying her features. In her sleep, Wema lay on her side, facing Petri, and her face was slack, lacking the glow and vibrancy of her personality. Things that one never saw when her sweet exuberance radiated from within became apparent. Her nose was long and a bit crooked, her cheeks wide and heavy of bone, there were fine wrinkles at the corners of her eyes and mouth, her lips were thin and pale, and her jowls had begun to soften and sag. As someone who, out of necessity, had made a study of how society viewed beauty, and the consequences one was likely to face for failing to meet those standards, Petri couldn’t help but note such details.

However, like Petri's own magnetism, Wema’s charm wasn’t tied to simply being the sum of her parts. When she had worked as a dolly, Petri had made an art of being exotic. She played the siren and lured clients in with the promise of something new and exciting. That persona gave Petri the ability to pass her non-standard features off as something different and interesting, rather than just flawed and unattractive. But Wema’s appeal wasn’t a façade the way Petri’s had been. If it were, it never would have worked; no one was that talented an actor. Wema's magic lay in the fact that she was genuinely thrilled by each new experience and person life sent her way. It was the unstudied nature of her enthusiasm that made it work for her; that drew people in. Wema actually liked everyone she met, and so everyone she met tended to like her.


Yeah, that's it for now. I'll post the whole first chapter when it's done, but I thought I'd at least give you a taste. If you haven't already read the first two books in Petri's story, what are you waiting for? ;-) You can grab your copy of the first book, Rainbow Dreams, at the link below. Happy reading!






Monday, July 15, 2019

Something Worth Watching?


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I'm back today with another couple of videoes I wanted to share. Watching these two videoes together makes for a stark contrast between two 2020 presidential candidates; one of whom is reliably always on the correct side of issues, and the other of whom is reliably...not.  But I'll let the videoes speak for themselves. Peace!







Sunday, July 14, 2019

Yummy Sweet Lemon Rice Salad #Recipe!



Hey Everyone!! :-)

Here's the sweet version of the rice salad I promised you. Enjoy! ;-)

Ingredients:
2 cups rice (your favorite variety)
4 cups water (adjust amount according to directions for variety of rice)
1 cup cooked orzo pasta (optional)
4 lemons zested and juiced
2 cups milk
2 tbsps honey
2 apples chopped
1 cup strawberries diced
1 cup carrot shreds (optional)
1 cup fresh basil leaves or mint leaves chopped or torn
1 orange peeled and chopped
1/2 cup fresh fennel fronds chopped
2 tbsps cornstarch
1/2 tsp salt

Add the lemon zest to the water and prepare your favorite variety of rice according to the directions for that type of rice. Cool completely, preferably overnight. Mix the rice with the pasta (optional) and fruit and herbs until the ingredients are evenly distributed.

Pour the milk into a separate, microwave-safe bowl and heat in the microwave on high for 30 seconds. Remove from the microwave and add the honey, salt, and cornstarch and whisk together. Allow mixture to cool and add the lemon juice, whisking to combine. Pour the milk mixture over the rice and vegetables and stir to evenly distribute. Serve chilled.

This is a nice, refreshing salad that is delicious on a hot summer evening. Obviously, you can replace any of the fruit with others that you prefer. Also, adding some chopped, toasted pine nuts or pecans gives the salad a nice crunch.

Bon Appetit! :-)




Saturday, July 13, 2019

Keeping Them Honest...



Hey Everyone!!

Today, I just wanted to give a quick synopsis of what happened, in case anyone is confused about why Nancy Pelosi is acting like the evil queen from Snow White bitching because she suddenly looked around and realized that AOC is strong, has better ideas, and has the attention of the American public. Yeah, yeah, I know, a Latina Snow White, the world as we know it may end.

Back on topic, AOC and several other members of the House refused to vote in favor of funding for the concentration camps because neither version of the bill had any provision to force Trump to use the money to improve conditions for the people being held in the camps. One bill had no conditions, the one that passed, and the other bill had theoretical conditions, but only if you're willing to trust the Trump administration to behave ethically. Which, of course, nobody who has any sense does.

AOC, not being an idiot, does not trust the Trump administration, so she, and those who joined her, wanted a bill that would have conditions in it that would force Trump to use the money to improve conditions for the people in the concentration camps. Pelosi, being the enabler that she is, forced through the bill with no conditions and essentially handed Trump billions of dollars for the hate monument he wants to build at the border. Because only a fool would think he'll do anything else with the money.

Pelosi then gave an interview to the New York Times in which she repeatedly criticized AOC and those who voted with her for standing by their principles and actually trying to help people. AOC responded to the interview on Twitter explaining why Pelosi is wrong, because AOC knows that many people in America don't follow the details of legislation closely. As she has done since she took office, AOC brought a little transparency to our government so regular people will understand what's going on.

Pelosi responded by losing her shit and scolding the Congresspeople who voted against giving Trump a blank check for his stupid wall. And her lecture got leaked to the press. Pelosi is upset that people now have a better understanding of how bad she is at her job and, instead of trying to do better, she's pissed at AOC for speaking the truth to the American people. I just wanted to make sure we're all clear on what's actually going on, so that Pelosi's attempt to muddy the water won't be successful. Hopefully, when Pelosi realizes she's not fooling anyone, she won't send anyone to cut AOC's heart out and bring it to her in a box.  But given the state of politics in this country lately, not much would surprise me. For AOC's part, I fervently hope she continues to keep us all in the loop and so helps keep the corrupt establishment as honest as it's possible to make them.

Peace!





Friday, July 12, 2019

Them's Fightin' Words!


Hey Everyone,

Today's post is more in what I'm sure will be an ongoing diatribe about the anti-women movement in this country. I've got a few more thoughts to share on the subject, so get ready because I'm not pulling any punches.

First, I'd just like to point out something that should be obvious about all the anti-women legislation being pushed by the Christian Taliban, right now. We do not allow government co-option of people's bodies for the benefit of others except in the case of pregnancy. A healthy adult donor can donate enough blood to potentially save the life of someone suffering from blood loss in a single donation. The blood they donate will be replaced in its entirety by their body within a few weeks with no lingering deficit. There is minimal discomfort and almost no risk of serious adverse effects. And yet we do not allow the government to mandate blood donation under any circumstances. If someone requires a donor organ or bone marrow transplant, a compatible match is often found among family members. But we do not allow the government to force people even to be tested for a match, never mind to actually give up their organs, even if they can live a normal life after donation. Not even when the person needing the donor organ is the potential match's child and will die without the donor organ.

These are questions of medical ethics that are on par with forcing someone to give up bodily autonomy for 9 months against their will, but the very notion that we might consider allowing the government to mandate such things is laughable. The only time we allow the government to hijack the use of a person's body for the good of another is pregnancy. A medical state that carries far more risk of serious complications and long-term adverse health effects than, say, blood donation. Which, to me, means the problem really lies in the fact that our society still regards women's bodies as commodities. We're not people; we're things to be used for the convenience of others. And the people who vote for anyone who supports such legislation are malignant misogynists, and they should be forced to own that.

And just for the record, me being pro-choice doesn't just mean that I am opposed to the government telling me that I have to be an incubator. It also means that I'm against the government, or anyone else, telling anyone who has a uterus that they may not become pregnant or carry a pregnancy to term. Which is another form of state-sponsored violence against women that has been common in this country for hundreds of years. I'm just as against forced-abortion and forced-sterilization as I am forced-birth. In other words, I'm in favor of every individual having agency over their own body and the government, and everyone else, minding their own damn business!

I also find it rather funny that the same people who keep telling me I'm a "communist" because I don't think we should allow children to starve are now telling me that my body effectively belongs to the government to decide what to do with. Promoting governmental ownership of people's bodies seems far more "communist" to me than the belief that rich people should pay taxes, wouldn't you think? 🤔🤷‍♀️

So, basically, what I'm saying is that pregnancy, like any other medical condition, is the business of the person who is pregnant. And no one else's. The government and the Christian Taliban should sit the fuck down and shut the fuck up, and I don't give a flying fuck how pissed off anyone is to hear that. As I said at the beginning of this post, this will be a running theme on my blog. I will not be silent on this issue that affects so many people so profoundly. I'm going to say exactly what I think, and I'm not going to care about whose toes I might be stepping on. So if you don't like it, this may not be the blog for you.

Peace!





Thursday, July 11, 2019

#APC #Spotlight: Death In Vermilion (The Cape Mysteries) By Barbara Elle!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I've got Barbara Elle in my APC spotlight, today! Barbara is an active and supportive member of the  Authors-Professional Co-op Facebook group and her humorous, suspense, thriller, murder mystery, novel, Death in Vermillion, looks great! Here's the description:
A psychological thriller about murder among friends and enemies. 

Who can you trust?

Leila Goodfriend is laying down the bones of a painting. When interrupted by Iris, the noisy, unlikeable artist in the studio upstairs, Leila is distracted and annoyed.

When she discovers the racket was actually Iris' dead body hitting the floor, Leila becomes obsessed: Who murdered Iris?

The other Red Barn Cooperative artists — competitive, jealous and hypocritical — are prime suspects. They all hated Iris. “An artist owes his life to his art,” Iris said.

Iris was good for a laugh. But no one is laughing now.

In this gripping mystery, new author Barbara Elle paints a clever and twisted picture of women and sisters, whose lives are entwined by a brutal murder in a charming Cape Cod town.

Alibis fall apart. Plot twists multiply. And Leila comes to a dangerous conclusion.
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, July 10, 2019

#Agent Thoth's #Personal Log: Day 960


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-Sixty:
The hominids’ preoccupation with gratuitous explosions continues, the noise from which has made it impossible for me to continue my research. I am uncertain where the ubiquitous disrespect for the scientific method on this planet originates, but it has made pursuing the goals of my mission nearly impossible. While I am able to unequivocally opine that hominids are sometimes clever, occasionally endearing, and often amusing, I remain unable to definitively conclude that hominids are possessed of what could legitimately be considered intelligence.

And the most maddening reason for my continued uncertainty is the behavior of the hominids themselves! Are they an intelligent race cursed with perpetual and pervasive insanity? Or do they truly lack the capacity to comprehend the consequences of their actions, and so should be considered unintelligent? I am unsure! And the indecision is frustrating in the extreme, especially because if the creatures in question would, if only for a brief period of time, cease their thus far uninterrupted lunacy, I might be able to collect enough reliable evidence to reach a conclusion. Of course, it also wouldn’t hurt if they would cease their appalling racket and allow me to concentrate!


Argh! The hominids strike again! ;-) 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, July 9, 2019

The Monster Has A Mind Of Her Own...


Hey Everyone!!

I thought I'd share a little snippet from Petri's story to help move your week along. Enjoy! :-)


Excerpt from Intrinsic Connections:
For a moment, Petri hesitated, not knowing where to start.

Chessie broke the silence. "What's up, hun?"

Taking a deep breath, Petri looked her friend in the eyes and said, "You know when the Arcanum were trying to hurt you, I went a little crazy, right?"

Her lips twitching, Chessie nodded. "Yeah, I kind of got that, considering you almost blew the room apart. I wasn't sure how much in control of your power you were."

Grimacing, Petri nodded. "I wasn't in control. I didn't so much as almost blow it apart as almost disintegrate it. It's sort of like what I did to get us back here, but bigger. And I don't think I would have been able to put it back together again."

"Your power has grown, then?" asked Daji.

Petri shrugged. "I'm not sure if it has grown or if I've just learned how to use it better. The Arcanum have taught me a lot."

He nodded. "But that's not what you wanted to discuss with us."

"No. I didn't just lose control of my power with the room, I also kind of…attacked…the Arcanum Collective."

Daji's eyes widened and he spewed his drink out through his nose. Still choking, he gasped, "You attacked all of the Arcanum? Why are you still alive?"

Sighing, Petri nodded. "Or, at least all of them that were bound together, which is most of them. I'm alive because I scared them. I couldn't control myself, but they couldn't control me either. They aren't quite sure what they created, and they don't know what to do with me."

"They thought they were going to be God, but instead learned that they're only Dr. Frankenstein," mused Chessie.

Petri gave her friend a blank look. "What?"

Shaking herself from her reverie, Chessie smiled. "Nothing, hun, just a really old human literary reference. An ancient story about a man who wanted to conquer death but hastened his own instead."


Want to know what happens next? Grab your copy at the link below. Happy reading! :-)







Monday, July 8, 2019

Something Worth Watching?


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I'm back today with another video I wanted to share. This poll is good news and a sign that people are finally listening to the establishment propaganda less often than they did in the past. Hopefully, if we all keep the pressure on, we can make this happen.




Sunday, July 7, 2019

Yummy Savory Lemon Rice Salad #Recipe!



Hey Everyone!! :-)

Today I'm going to share a recipe for a savory lemon rice salad, and next week I'll share the sweet version with you. Enjoy! ;-)

Ingredients:
2 cups rice (your favorite variety)
4 cups water or vegetable stock (adjust amount according to directions for variety of rice)
1 cup cooked orzo pasta (optional)
4 lemons zested and juiced
2 cups milk
1 tbsp sriracha
1 bell pepper seeded and chopped
1 zucchini or yellow summer squash diced
1 cup carrot shreds
1 cup fresh basil leaves chopped or torn
1/2 cup fresh parsley chopped
2 tbsps cornstarch
Salt and pepper to taste

Add the lemon zest to the water or stock and prepare your favorite variety of rice according to the directions for that type of rice. Cool completely, preferably overnight. Mix the rice with the pasta (optional) and vegetables and herbs until the ingredients are evenly distributed.

Pour the milk into a separate, microwave-safe bowl and heat in the microwave on high for 30 seconds. Remove from microwave and add the sriracha, salt and pepper, and cornstarch and whisk together. Allow mixture to cool and add the lemon juice, whisking to combine. Pour over the rice and vegetables and stir to evenly distribute. Serve chilled.

This is a nice, refreshing salad that is delicious on a hot summer evening. Obviously, you can replace any of the vegetables with others that you prefer. Also, adding some chopped, toasted pine nuts or pecans gives the salad a nice crunch.

Bon Appetit! :-)



Saturday, July 6, 2019

#Interview With Bambi Sommers!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

Bambi Sommers is here with us today, and she'd like you all to know that she now taking submissions for copy/line editing.  Pricing and other information can be found on her website at www.bambisommers.com. Now on to the interview questions. Bambi, can you please tell us about yourself and how many books you've written?

Bambi: My name is Bambi Sommers and I write romance thrillers. I have written a trilogy, a duo, and just finished book 3 of my new series. This brings my total to 8 books. I haven’t published the last one yet because I am in the editing stage. I intend for my current work-in-progress to be a series of 4-5, but don’t hold me to that!

Me: Busy, busy, busy! :-) What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?

Bambi: My latest WIP is Gabe, book 3 of Hart Investigations Romance.  Gabe and his brothers, Diesel (book 1) and Cody (book 2) were undercover agents with the DEA, but they tired of the travel so when Diesel met the woman he wanted to marry, he and his brothers settled down in the small town where she lived and opened their own PI business. The books have romance, villains, suspense and adventure!

Me: Sounds like a fun read! What are you working on now?

Bambi: What inspired me to write?  During the Thanksgiving weekend of 2017, I received an email from Simon & Schuster asking if I would like to enter a romance writers contest.  I had been reading romance novels for the past year or so, so I thought, why not?  I busied myself with writing Justice Prevails, book 1 of the IMPS trilogy during the month of December and submitted it mid-January of 2018.  The contest winner was to be drawn on Valentine’s day.  I had no thought of winning, but I found as I wrote that I loved it and wanted to continue.  By the time Valentine’s day rolled around, I had researched everything I could to learn the differences between traditional and self-publishing.  I decided to self-publish after the announcement of the winner.  Plus, I had written Phantom Rising, book 2 of the IMPS trilogy immediately after.  So, in February, I self-published (through Amazon) my first 2 books, one week apart.  I thought marketing would be a breeze because I had worked as promotions director for a major radio station for years.  However, those years were prior to the explosion of social media and marketing is not the same game as it used to be.  So, I dove in and learned everything I could and between writing and marketing, it has kept me busy up to now.

Me: It's really cool that you persisted even though you didn't win the contest. Being an indie author is a lot of work, as I'm sure you've learned, but it's great that you persisted. :-) What authors, or books, have influenced you?

Bambi: I love to read and I can devour 3-5 books per week, depending on where I am in my own writing, so it’s hard to name just one author or book that has had any real influence, but I’ll try.  Favorite authors would include Darynda Jones, Lauren Layne, Marie Force plus there are thousands of wonderful indie authors like J.C. Paulson, Sean Erik, Trey Stone, Jason Stokes.  I’m glossing over these lists because there are just so many!  As for books?  I can’t tell you which books made me feel like I could do this because I read A LOT before I decided to write.  I am a fan of Harry Potter and even Dr. Seuss!

Me: Cool! I'm a Harry Potter fan too. What are you reading now?

Bambi: Right now, I’m reading the first in the series by J.C. Paulson, Adam’s Witness, and I have already bought the 2nd one in the series so that will be next.  I went on a little buying spree from indie writers in April and have read many that I’ve loved.  And, my to be read pile is growing!  These have included Watcher by Jason Stokes, No One Dies in the Garden of Syn by Michael Seidelman, Brick by Jen Davis, Girl, Repurposed by Meaghan Curley, No Soul No Service by Sean Erik, The Consequence of Loyalty by Trey Stone.  I hope I haven’t left anyone out.  These are some great authors and there are so many more of us out there!

Me: There definitely are! For those who might consider reading your book, what would you tell them to expect?

Bambi: My books are definitely for adults.  They are books about love and hope.  Sounds mushy, but they’re not.  In each book, there is a problem to be solved, such as someone might get kidnapped, shot or worse.  My trilogy involves three men who were spec-ops.  When they “retired”, two go in together as co-owners of a local pub and the other manages a rock band.  These may be thrillers so to speak, but I hope you find the everyday living and sense of humor I try to bring to the table.  My duo is Firebird (1&2).  This is the rock band you’ll meet in the trilogy.  And I’ve already explained my newest series above.  A reader once told me how much she liked the strength I give the women in my books.  This made me laugh, because I didn’t know that I did.  It’s just the way my brain works.

Me: Strong female protagonists are something I look for in books too. :-) What's your favorite part of being an author?

Bambi: My favorite part of being an author is that I get to tell you a story.  A story where I get to make up the people and places.  I also enjoy working on my own and from anywhere I choose.  So many times, while driving somewhere, I’m working, thinking a certain scenario out in my brain, “percolating” my next idea.

Me: Story-telling is definitely fun. Do you have a day job as well?

Bambi: I do have a day job.  I didn’t start writing until I had “semi-retired” from my full-time job and taken a part-time one.  I worked in management most of my adult life and so I wanted a nice receptionist position where I didn’t have to be the “boss” anymore.  I work approx. 15 hours a week, leaving me with plenty of time for writing.

Me: Lucky you! :-) What are the hardest and easiest parts about being a writer?

Bambi:  I have been very fortunate not to have suffered from writer’s block, yet. I still have ideas and storylines waiting for me in my head. I still have characters waiting for their turn to speak. I believe the hardest part of being a writer is marketing. If you listen to everything that’s out there on this subject, you will be paralyzed and do nothing. I’ve found it easier to concentrate on one thing until you learn it fairly well (like amazon ads) then move on and add one more, etc. With the popularity of self-publishing, there are hundreds of us pouring literally thousands of new books into the system each day. It’s hard to get your voice heard above the din of noise. If you follow a book “guru” and do what they tell you, soon that’s what everyone else is doing, too. So once again, you don’t stand out.

Me: That's good advice. And I think most indie authors would agree with you about marketing. What genre do you place your book in?

Bambi: I write what I’ve always called romance thrillers. Romantic suspense would also work. But it seems the more I write, the more the romance part has taken a back seat. It’s not that there isn’t romance, but I don’t seem to write the sex parts as often and the thriller part, or the villain part, is getting more attention from me. Perhaps, at some point, I may just write thrillers. But please, don’t hold me to that, either!

Me: Well, the more hooks in your stories, the more likely you'll capture the interest of different readers. Speaking of reaching out to new audiences, is there anything else you'd like to tell people?

Bambi: I have recently branched out into editing. When I first published my IMPS trilogy, I found, especially in my first book, more mistakes than I was willing to put out there. So, I learned to edit and got good at it. Then I re-edited my first book, changed the covers on the entire trilogy, made the font bigger and re-published.  (The reason for the cover change was because I needed readers to be able to recognize the genre by just looking at the cover. And now, they sure can!  The font change was because there are a lot of tired eyes out there, and it’s easier to read with a larger print!)  I feel that indie authors usually are people like me who are writing on the side and can’t afford to spend big bucks on getting their book or blog ready to publish. In fact, I was really disgusted one day when I saw an editor on Twitter tell a writer to take out a loan for editing. What???  So, I looked around at prices and what you get for it, and posted what I believe is a very reasonable price along with the other information on my website at bambisommers.com. I’m hoping to be able to help other authors have pride in what they publish.

Me: Awesome! And so these fine folks can check out your work, are there any links you'd like me to post?

Bambi:
Website:  www.bambisommers.com
Amazon:  https://amazon.com/author/bambisommers
Twitter: https://twitter.com/BambiSommers1
Facebook:  www.facebook.com/bambisommersauthor

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