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

Monday, September 30, 2019

Something Worth Watching?


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I'm back today with another video I wanted to share. This one is interviews with two outstanding candidates running for the House, either of whom we'd be lucky to have in Congress. So, please take a few minutes to watch these interviews, and consider whether you think you'd like to lend your support. Peace!




Sunday, September 29, 2019

A Quick Meal For Days On The Go #Recipe!



Hey Everyone!! :-)

This is a really simple recipe for those days when you just don't have two minutes to rub together. It's quick and easy with almost no clean up. And it's delicious! :-)

Ingredients:
1 English muffin or 2 slices of bread
1/2 cup hummus (your favorite flavor)
1 carrot
1 apple
1 zucchini
2 tbsp toasted pine nuts or sesame seeds

Toast the muffin or bread and spread the hummus over it while it's still warm. Use a vegetable peeler to peel off a strip or two from the carrot, apple, and zucchini and lay the strips on top of the hummus. Sprinkle the nuts or seeds over the top. Eat immediately or wrap up to take with you and eat on the go. Wrap the unused portions of the carrot, apple, and zucchini tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate to use in other recipes or to eat later as snacks.

Bon Appetit!



Saturday, September 28, 2019

Ghoulishly Great #Reads #Halloween #Giveaway! $66 #Cash #Grand #Prize! #Free To #Enter!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

There's a new giveaway for Halloween!  Please take a moment to check out the Ghoulishly Great Reads Halloween Giveaway!!  There are lots of awesome books and prizes!! :-)  It's free to enter, there are over 44 prizes, and the grand prize is $66 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, September 27, 2019

The Devil Is In The Details...


Hey Everyone!!

Here's another little snippet to help you start your weekend off right. Enjoy! :-)

Excerpt from Rainbow Dreams:
The captain's cabin was sparsely furnished, which Petri guessed was consistent with what she knew about him. However, the things he did have were of the best quality and meticulously maintained. On the far side of the room, next to a porthole window, were a low bookcase, a chair, and a small table. They all appeared to have been made from wood. When she moved closer, she discovered the staining on them was uneven, and she thought she could see faint tool marks on them. Had they actually been hand carved? How would one even find handmade furniture?

The only other furnishings in the room were the wide bed in the center of the room, and another small, wooden table next to it. The bed was low to the ground and looked firm, but it had no frame. She wondered if Daji preferred not to be restrained or if there was another means for doing so that she didn't see.

Shrugging the question away as one that would be answered soon enough, she turned her attention to the top of the room. Along the ceiling, planters had been hung at intervals and various types of plants dangled from them. Above the window, real flowers created a colorful display. When the ship was in space, they would frame a field of stars.

Petri wondered at the simplistic luxury in the room. Most of the people she knew who had money liked to flaunt it. Those who rose within the houses wore flashy clothes and jewelry. The personal tech they used was always decorated to make it stand out. When she had been invited into homes or rooms owned by such people, she had found them stuffed close to the bursting point with ostentatious, automated furniture and entertainment devices.

The Upworld citizens who slummed with underworlders gloried in showing off their wealth and importance. She had never known any of them to not take every opportunity to display their advantages. Their clothes were always custom-fitted; their mobile com units always close by, and any calls or messages they received were conspicuously attended to.

Even the aliens she had serviced had spun tales for her about the exotic, exciting worlds they had visited, the ships they had traveled on, and the opulence they had experienced. If she had believed half of what they told her, Petri would have been desperate to leave Upworld long before the exposure of her Arcanum heritage made it necessary.

Then there was Daji. Ever since she met him, he had calmly and competently dealt with every situation that had been thrown at him. There had been no display from him, no looking over his shoulder to make sure she was watching and appreciating his magnificence. He had just done what needed to be done and kept going.

He had readily embraced responsibility for Sadaka and respected the fact that Petri was determined to protect the child. Petri's revelations about her genetics and her needs hadn't given him pause. And now that Chessie was being held hostage, which jeopardized his best hope of freeing his ship, he still kept his cool and analyzed the situation logically. He had recovered from the shock of her friend's capture before she did and had looked out not just for his own interests, but for hers as well. Now, he was willing to make himself vulnerable to her and trust her not to abuse that vulnerability, so that she might be more comfortable.

In seeing his private room, she realized it was a lot like him—deceptively simple but high-class and of the best possible quality. Looking at him, she realized she felt something for him and tried to figure out what it was. She wasn't naive enough to think she was in love with Daji. Petri wasn't even sure she believed in that kind of love. As she thought about it, she finally figured out that what she was feeling was respect. She respected the man, both as a person and as someone who knew how to protect himself and others.

The respect she felt for Daji also translated into a measure of trust, which was a startling realization for Petri. The only person she had ever known in her whole life who she could trust was Chessie. Now, after just a few hours of knowing him, she found that she trusted the captain as well…at least to a point. Even that was enough to make her wonder if she was going soft or crazy.

Shaking her head, she pushed those thoughts away. Letting herself care for the Paka would lead to nowhere good, and she didn't have time for it, anyway. Their relationship was a business arrangement. She and Chessie would help him get his ship free, and he would get them off the planet. And that's where it needed to end. Everything else was just details.


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




Thursday, September 26, 2019

#APC #Spotlight: The Queen and The Viper: Revised Edition By Adam C. Mitchell!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I've got Adam Mitchell in my APC spotlight, today! Adam is an active and supportive member of the  Authors-Professional Co-op Facebook group and his crime fiction, hard-boiled mystery, vigilante hero, action/adventure novel, The Queen and the Viper, looks great! Here's the description:
Policewoman Peggy Ellen has secret - by night, she's a caped vigilante, known as The Queen of Spades. Her city is crippled with crime, thanks to the notorious gang, The House of Games.
When police Lieutenant Jack Malone, who's also Peggy's lover, gets too close to uncovering the truth behind this band of criminals, it's up to The Queen of Spades to rescue him. 
Can she save him in time, or will her rescue plans fold like a house of cards?
 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, September 25, 2019

#Agent Thoth's #Personal Log: Day 1010


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 One-Thousand-Ten:
The tiny terror continues his campaign to assert dominance over the hapless canid. Since the clueless animal does not resist his demands, he has begun physically abusing the poor creature. It has escalated to the point where the canid seeks refuge from the minuscule monster’s attacks by hiding behind my hominid-servant’s legs.

This strategy, though I hesitate to call it such since I do not believe it was deliberate, has caused my hominid-servant to take notice of the violence the young mischief-maker has been committing, chiefly because her own legs have repeatedly become collateral damage. As a result, she has become vigilant against these outbursts and takes swift action to confine my idiot companion to the punishment box at the first sign of agitation.

It took several repeats of this pattern before my youthful compatriot appeared to realize there would be consequences for his actions, however the message does seem to have finally penetrated the murky depths of his consciousness. The last time he was confined, it took far less time for him to calm himself, and there has been a longer than usual reprieve for the canid since. Perhaps, though I cannot yet be certain, he will modify his tactics to a less disruptive means of asserting his will. At any rate, the canid, at least, has finally been allowed to rest undisturbed.

Oh, my! Collateral damage can be problematic. ;-) 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, September 24, 2019

Hey, If It Works, It Works...


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:
The front of the store was cheerful and inviting. It was a solid glass wall with fantasy landscapes painted in pastels at the four corners. When Petri pulled open the glass door, a bell let out a merry little jingle and the scent of cinnamon and chocolate wafted over her.

“Hello!” cried the portly proprietor. He was a male Kubeba, an ursine-like species that only traveled off their home world if they had formed a mating bond that included all three of their genders. Petri only saw the male, but she knew that somewhere in the store his female mate and his chatatu mate.

The chatatu gender was something Petri had a hard time wrapping her mind around. From what she had been able to gather, it was a gender that had aspects of both the male and female genders of the Kubeba species, but was also more and different. Trying to figure it out left her a little dizzy, but it worked for them, so she guessed that was all that mattered. What interested her most about them was their reputation for being excellent chefs and confectioners.

The Kubeba had the ability to distinguish twenty additional flavors beyond the salty, sweet, bitter, sour, and umami that most species were limited to, and that talent made them unparalleled gastronomers. Since no one else had the ability to prepare food up to their standards, many of the Kubeba had gone into professional food services. As one of them had told Petri, it was the only way for them to get a meal worth eating.


Monday, September 23, 2019

Something Worth Watching?


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I'm back today with another video I wanted to share. This one is about one of the Democratic candidates in the 2020 race and, as always, I don't think it's getting nearly enough attention in the mainstream media. But you can watch the video and judge for yourselves. Peace!




Sunday, September 22, 2019

Autumn Grain Salad #Recipe!



Hey Everyone!! :-)

Since we're starting to get close to Fall, I've got a delicious salad recipe that incorporates some of those Autumn flavors for you. :-)

Ingredients:
2 cups uncooked quinoa
3 cups vegetable stock
1 cup pureed tomatoes
1 20oz can chickpeas drained
2 ears corn broiled or grilled and removed from cobs
2 roasted bell peppers any color chopped
1 small pumpkin
2 onions chopped
1 cup golden raisins
1 cup pine nuts
2 cloves garlic minced
1/2 cup white wine
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup olive oil plus some to drizzle


Combine the quinoa, stock, and tomatoes and cook as you would normally cook quinoa. Set aside to cool. Cut the pumpkin in half and remove the "guts." Then cut the two halves into "smiles" and place them on a baking sheet. Drizzle the smiles with olive oil and sprinkle them with salt and pepper. Broil them until the pumpkin meat is fork-tender. Cool and remove the meat from the rinds. Cut the pumpkin meat into small chunks.

In a saute pan, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the onions. Cook until the onions start to caramelize. Add the garlic, pine nuts, and raisins. Cook until the pine nuts start to toast and then deglaze the pan with the wine. Simmer the wine for a couple of minutes and then remove the pan from the heat and cool the onion mixture.

In a bowl, combine the cooked quinoa, pumpkin, corn, chickpeas, onion mix, and peppers. In a separate bowl whisk together the remaining olive oil and vinegar. Stir the dressing into the quinoa mixture. Serve chilled.

Bon Appetit!



Saturday, September 21, 2019

Ghoulishly Great #Reads #Halloween #Giveaway! $66 #Cash #Grand #Prize! #Free To #Enter!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

There's a new giveaway for Halloween!  Please take a moment to check out the Ghoulishly Great Reads Halloween Giveaway!!  There are lots of awesome books and prizes!! :-)  It's free to enter, there are over 44 prizes, and the grand prize is $66 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, September 20, 2019

Review Of Control Alt Delete


Hey Everyone!!

Today, I'm doing something a little different than I normally do. I'm going to review a show I heard about in an interview conducted on The Young Turks channel called Control Alt Delete. It's a show, a sitcom really, set in an abortion clinic, and it's absolutely hilarious. The link to watch the show online, which I'll post again below is: Control Alt Delete Link. It's on Vimeo, and it's definitely worth a watch. Just a note, if you want to start from the beginning, you have to go to the third page to find the first episode of the first season.

Control Alt Delete Review:
Control Alt Delete seeks to tackle a serious, sometimes heartbreaking, and often controversial topic using funny situations and witty dialogue while still presenting a realistic view of how this medical procedure is decided upon and approached by different people. And they succeed marvelously. The delicate way they navigate the emotion and politics that surround abortion while still putting a human face on the issue and delivering it all with humor and grace is nothing short of genius. It's clear the creators of this show have a well-developed appreciation for the ridiculous, but their sense of fun never crosses the line into disrespect or a lack of realism. Honestly, I wish there were far more than the two short seasons that are currently available, and I'll be keeping my eye out for more. Do yourselves a favor and watch this show; I can almost guarantee you won't be disappointed.












Thursday, September 19, 2019

#APC #Spotlight: The Railroad By Neil Newton!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I've got Neil Douglas Newton in my APC spotlight, today! Neil is an active and supportive member of the  Authors-Professional Co-op Facebook group and his action/adventure, thriller, child abuse survivor, mystery, suspense novel, The Railroad, looks great! Here's the description:
On Sept. 11, 2001 Mike Dobbs' life was forever changed. Reeling from his nightmare experience in New York's subway as the twin towers collapsed he retreats from his high power Wall Street life to his run down country house. Soon he is embroiled in the life of Eileen Benoit and her 7-year old daughter Megan as they flee Eileen's abusive ex-husband. Suddenly Mike is thrown into a world he knows nothing about and he is forced to answer the question, how far would you go for someone you love?
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, September 18, 2019

#September2019 #IndieBooksBeSeen #Indie #Author #Books #Monthly #BookReview!



Hey Everyone!! :-)

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

Dead or Buried: Augmented Book 2 by Stuart Kenyon:

This second installment in the Augmented series starts out at a break-neck pace that it maintains throughout. John and his friends find themselves in an underground facility that's serving as a refuge for survivors of the zombie apocalypse. But all isn't as it seems, and our intrepid heroes soon find themselves embroiled in political rivalries when they haven't even had time to find out who all the players are yet. Unable to escape a deadly game of catch-up, the question becomes will they be the cats or the catspaws. You'll have to read to find out!

Once again, Stuart Kenyon has found a way to balance realism and drama in a way that paints people and scenarios that are so life-like that readers could be forgiven for momentarily forgetting that what they're reading is fiction. Reading this story is almost like reading a newspaper -- with politicians more concerned about protecting their fiefdoms than serving the public, narcissists and lunatics who have fallen for their own con games in positions of power, and existential threats to the survival of the human race being ignored in favor of petty power plays. It would be easy to laugh at such absurdities if they didn't hit so close to home.

The underlying themes of this story are applicable to so many of the issues facing our society. Anything from climate change, to jobs lost to technological advances, to the relentless creep of technology invading our personal lives, to privacy and data security concerns can be found lurking in the shadows behind this book. Mr. Kenyon's ability to skillfully weave thought-provoking messages into stories that also thrill and entertain never ceases to amaze. In short, I'm happy to give this book five stars, and I can't wait for the next installment.






Tuesday, September 17, 2019

#Agent Thoth's #Personal Log: Day 1008


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 One-Thousand-Eight:
I believe I have identified a pattern in the canid's response to my moronic companion’s campaign to assert dominance over it. It will accede to all the demands the little idiot makes and go along with whatever course of action he pushes it towards, albeit with limited competence and no discernible grace, until it becomes fatigued. It is at the point of exhaustion that it acts to arrest the persistence of the tiny terror by pinning him down and washing him with its tongue.

What I find ironic is that by the act of bathing the small menace, the canid is inadvertently asserting its own dominance. Since this is something that generally only mothers do to their very young offspring, the canid is, in effect, saying that it regards my youthful compatriot as an infant. Which is not something the canid ever did before the miniature monster began plaguing it without mercy. Thus, the diminutive dunce has managed to lower his place in the dominance hierarchy by being so determinedly unreasonable. I’m sure there is a lesson in this paradox.


Oh, my! It seems small felids have no luck at all! ;-) 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!




Monday, September 16, 2019

Something Worth Watching?


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I'm back today with another video I wanted to share. It's important to keep in mind why our government is the way it is, and this is a prime example. Politicians who take money from corporate interests are owned by those corporate interests. Despite the pretty lies and fairy tales they like to tell about their legalized bribes. I know it, you know it, and everyone who isn't part of the DC swamp knows it. So, please take a few minutes to watch this video, and then you might want to think about looking into who your candidates have taken money from. Peace!





Sunday, September 15, 2019

A Fritter For All Ages #Recipe!



Hey Everyone!! :-)

I'm back with another summertime recipe for you! Enjoy! :-)

Ingredients:
1/4 cup flour
1 large or 2 small zucchini grated
3 large carrots grated
4 tbsp chives chopped fine
1 tsp cumin
1 egg
1/2 tsp salt
1.5 tsp sugar
1 tbsp cornstarch
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper to taste

Toss the shredded zucchini and carrots with half a teaspoon of salt and let stand 10 minutes. Wring the veggies dry in a clean kitchen towel and then put them in a large bowl and mix in the egg, flour, chives, cumin, and cornstarch. Season the batter with salt and pepper to your taste.

Heat the oil in a large skillet. Drop 1/4 cupfuls of the veggie mixture into the skillet. Press down with a spatula to flatten a bit.  Cook until golden and crisp and turn over and cook the other side to the same doneness. Put the fritters on a paper towel–lined plate and season with salt and pepper to your taste. Serve warm.

In a separate bowl, mix the vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, and red pepper flakes until the sugar is dissolved. Serve as a dip for the veggie fritters.

You can add some frozen spinach that has been thawed and drained and/or some finely chopped onion to the fritters, but you'll need to adjust the amount of flour and egg to fit the additional vegetables. Also, you can add some sriracha to the batter, if you'd like to add a little kick to it.

Bon Appetit!



Saturday, September 14, 2019

The Price Of Liberty...


Hey Everyone,

I just thought I'd share some food for thought for the weekend. Enjoy! ;-)

Excerpt from Answers from Alyce:
I did as he asked. The setting was a city street. The robots closest to me were, as I said, holding signs. They were dressed like regular civilians you might find anywhere in modern America. Farther down the street there were more robots, but they were dressed like police and carrying plastic shields and dangerous-looking batons. I knew what this was supposed to be.

Sighing, I nodded and said, "Yes, this ties into it, but it's a bit of a long story to get there."

"In what way?" asked Yax.

"Well, people aren't marching just because of the laws that make it difficult for them to vote. It's more of a 'one thing leads to another' situation."

"Being denied the ability to help choose one's government isn't sufficient reason to protest for your people?" asked Squid-boy.

I rubbed my temples. "It is. But it also isn't. Like I said, it's a long story. You have to understand everything in its historical context. The anger and resentment that are coming to a head now have been building for centuries."

"Centuries!" exclaimed Squid-boy. "Why has it taken so long for people to take action?"

I rolled my eyes. "It hasn't. Haven't y'all been listening to what I've been sayin'? This is part of an ongoing struggle. People have been fighting this fight for generations. There have been changes, victories, but there has also been regression. Every time people start to think that maybe the fight is over, that, just maybe, true equality is within sight, other people with their own agendas organize and push back against the progress that has been made. The details are always slightly different, voter ID laws instead of poll taxes and the like, but the results are ultimately the same. And those who want justice are forced to fight for it again. It's a cycle."

"Why is it a cycle?" asked Yax. "What motivates some of your people to seek to disenfranchise others?"

I threw my hands up in the air. "Y'all really need to start listenin', ya know? It's always the same thing. The rallying cry might be different, but it's always the same thing. The people in power, those who have a lot of money, find ways to divide everyone else so we won't unite and force them to share their power and their money. It always boils down to that. Whether the powerful are yelling 'States' Rights!' or 'Anti-American!' or 'National Security!', it's always the same thing¾money and power and how to get away with hoarding them both."

"I understand that. What I find hard to believe is that so many of your people keep falling for it."

I shrugged. "Why? What could be easier? All they have to do is create privation and then tell those who are suffering that some other group of people who are suffering just as much, or more, is the cause of the suffering. Nothing could be simpler. People who are struggling are always going to be looking for someone to blame for their troubles. All those in power have to do is pick a convenient scapegoat and let nature take its course."

"It's that easy?" asked Squid-boy.

"Pretty much. Like I said, they've already got centuries' worth of resentments that have been simmering just under the surface to work with. All they have to do is stir the pot a bit, maybe turn up the heat, and bingo! Instant division."

"And it just keeps working? No one ever catches on?"

I glared at him. "You're repeating yourself, Squid-boy. Like I said, some people catch on. But they're usually not the ones who are shouting the loudest." I pointed at the exhibit of people marching. "This, here? This is where those in power start losing control of the fire they started."

"What do you mean?" asked Yax.

"Like I said, those in power want to keep the majority of the populace divided. They want us to not trust each other so that we won't work together against them. But they don't want civil unrest. Instability isn't good for business. If the people in power had their way, people would stay angry, resentful, and distrustful of others, but they would stay quiet about it. The people in power want the problems to stay in the shadows where no one talks about them. Because if everyone pretends they don't exist, then no one tries to solve them. And people just keep not trusting each other and the rich and powerful get to stay rich and powerful."

Squid-boy gestured at the display. "And this brings the problems into the open."

I nodded. "Exactly. This gets people talking about why folks are so upset they're marching in the street. It forces those in power to acknowledge there is a problem, though they generally try to pretend that what's wrong is something other than what's actually wrong, and at least pretend to try to fix it. If people keep marching and enough people start talking to each other and realizing we're all fighting the same fight, that's how alliances are made and coalitions are formed. And that's how real, meaningful change happens. But not without a lot of blood, sweat, and tears from the people who are marching."


Want to know what other answers Alyce has? Grab your copy at the link below! Happy reading! :-)





Friday, September 13, 2019

A Light In The Darkness...


Hey Everyone!!

I just thought I'd post something to help get your weekend off to a good start. Enjoy! :-)

Excerpt from Taken By The Huntsman:
Cassie continued to call out and move as much as she could, even though her feet had long since left the ground, and she was left floating in the darkness. The water was extremely cold and her teeth chattered. She had no idea how long she had been in the well, but it felt like an eternity. The top of the well was still out of sight. But she wasn’t sure if that was because it was too far above her, or because it had grown too dark for her to see it.

She kicked her legs and tried to rise above the water, while reaching her arms up as high as she could. All she felt above her was air, until finally, her fingers struck something hard. She kicked again and managed to grab onto what felt like a metal grate. Her heart sank as she explored the grate with her hands and it became obvious it covered the opening of the well.

Now she knew what Ithel’s plan had been. Once the water rose high enough, she would be trapped beneath the grate and would drown. The realization sent a surge of adrenaline through her that warmed her and gave her energy. She redoubled her cries for help and tried to find a weakness in the grate she could exploit.

It soon became clear that the grate was securely attached to the top of the well and would not be dislodged by any means she had at her disposal. It wasn’t long before she no longer had to stretch to reach the grate, and she began to panic. She screamed for help, but all she heard was her own voice echoed back to her by the forest.

In her despair, Cassie succumbed to the frigid temperature of the water. She felt sleepy and lethargic. Her arms and legs were heavy and difficult to move, and she found her face was sinking under the water more often. She no longer felt cold, and it seemed an awful lot of effort to continue to tread water and call for help.

All of a sudden, a bright light appeared above her, and she felt another small thrill of terror. Cassie had heard of people seeing a bright light as they died, and she didn’t want to die. But, somehow, it was hard to find the strength to fight anymore.

The outline of a woman appeared in the light. Was someone coming to meet her and guide her as she died? She had heard of such things. Would she finally meet the mother and father who had left her when she was just a baby? She had never been able to learn their fate, or why she ended up as an orphan. Maybe, they had died and that was why they hadn’t been able to raise her. It was comforting to think people who wanted her might greet her at the moment of her death. Especially since, she had never found any of those people during her life.

Cassie used the last of her strength to reach her hand up towards the silhouette, and the shadow woman reached down to meet her. The woman’s hand was warm and soft, just as she had always imagined a mother’s hand to be. But Cassie couldn't see where their hands joined; they seemed to have disappeared into the shadow of the long sleeve that hung down over the other woman's hand.


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







Thursday, September 12, 2019

#APC #Spotlight: Surreal Enemies: Angel City (God Generation Book 2) By Chrissy Moon!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I've got Chrissy Moon in my APC spotlight, today! Chrissy is an active and supportive member of the  Authors-Professional Co-op Facebook group and her mythological, angel/devil, good and evil, personal growth, paranormal romance novel, Angel City, looks great! Here's the description:
Someone's been killing Slates and freeing the Melted from their ice prisons in the Heaven embassy. The God Generation consists of supernatural entities – angels (the Worthy), demons (the Melted), and archaic gods & goddesses (the Slates), born into human flesh and living among the rest of us.

Morgan Constantina is an abuse survivor and a recovering ecstasy addict. She's been working hard to learn how to be tough and never be anyone's victim again. Her new life with her loving, supportive, semi-famous boyfriend – who happens to be her former Living Guardian Angel – grows to include an addition to the family, moving to Los Angeles, meeting his gigantic family, and reluctantly co-starring in their new restaurant-based reality TV show. Morgan learns there are Worthy authorities who keep a judgmental eye on mundane humans. One of them is quite helpful, but another has a personal agenda that could cause trouble for her.

And as she's meeting new people, she's also gaining some enemies. High on the list of foes is an old family friend who's made threats to kill her, her own mother who thinks she's immoral and soulless, and her boyfriend's former flame – a woman Morgan's already met!

Surreal Enemies: Angel City is a story about the war of good and evil inside all of us, and the powerful, unforgettable force of parental love.
 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, September 11, 2019

#Agent Thoth's #Personal Log: Day 1005


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 One-Thousand-Five:
The juvenile felid appears to have altered his strategy in his campaign to assert his dominance among the residents of my domicile. Specifically, he now seems to have made the canid the focus of his attacks. The poor, dumb creature is nearly always agreeable, so it is amusing to observe how the little idiot attempts to provoke it so that a contest for dominance may ensue. Thus far, other than utter bafflement, the only response my foolish compatriot has been able to elicit from the canid is for it to pin him down and wash him with its tongue.

Since the canid is by far the most physically imposing resident of my domicile, I’m uncertain how the tiny nuisance imagined he would emerge the victor from any physical confrontations with it. Fortunately for the small menace, the canid is perfectly willing to share its food and sleeping area, and so does not react when he usurps these from it. I have long since taught the canid that such generosity will not be reciprocated, and despite its limited intellect it can learn to respect boundaries, so my protégé has been denied any opportunity that might arise from canid encroachment upon our food bowl.

To be perfectly honest, the canid does not seem to comprehend the dominance hierarchy beyond the slavish form of submission it displays towards my hominid-servant. Thus, the canid can generally be counted upon to regard all interactions as gestures of friendship and to respond accordingly, with goodwill and a cooperative spirit. I look forward to discovering how my misguided companion intends to pursue a conflict where the other party is not even aware that he wishes to fight.


Ha! The poor little frustrated felid! ;-) 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, September 10, 2019

The Benefits Of Social Responsibility


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:
If she had thought about it before coming to Zanzibar, Petri would have guessed that having such a soft environment would make people lazy and complacent. But now that she had lived in such a place for a little while, she was coming to realize how wrong she would have been. Since the people on Zanzibar had created a system where society, as a whole, absorbed some of the risk of any venture members of that society decided to attempt, people were far more apt to take those risks than the people in Under City were. The result was a startling amount of innovation that only served to further enrich the planet’s entire population.

The money Petri had received from the Arcanum had made it unnecessary for her or Chessie to work. Her friend had been occupying herself by following Zanzibar’s medical and psychological protocol to prepare to undergo her PGRP. Chessie’s diddling skills were sufficient that she could have chosen to circumvent those protocols if she'd wanted to, but her friend seemed happy and hadn’t succumbed to one of her periodic bouts of depression since they had arrived on this planet, so Petri figured she was doing what was right for her. But that still left Petri at loose ends. She’d been forced to hustle just to survive for her entire life; she didn’t know what to do with all the free time she now had on her hands.

Chessie had suggested Petri use her newfound freedom to broaden her education, since what she’d had access to on Upworld had been so limited. But Petri still didn’t find standard educational programs easy to use. Besides, if what she was learning about was too abstract, she had a hard time forcing herself to pay attention. But money was something Petri understood. She had lived and breathed the pursuit of money since her childhood, and she was acutely aware of the pain of not having enough. Even though she understood that on Zanzibar she, Chessie, and Sadaka would never face the type of poverty that had defined their existence in Under City, she still couldn’t quite rid herself of the occasional moments of panic at the thought of losing what they now had.

With all the innovative advances on this planet, Petri’s drive to increase her wealth had found a natural focus. She had taken to visiting the science and technology expos the city regularly hosted, and she had found several small, start-up companies with products and ideas she thought were solid enough to invest in. The research she had done on both the companies and the concepts they were working with had the side benefit of forcing her to surf the rainbow, and as a result she was slightly more comfortable in that environment than she had been. Though, she doubted she would ever attain Chessie’s level of expertise. But it was an unusual twist in the social contract people on Zanzibar had created for themselves that had ultimately led her to her new hobby.

Residents of Zanzibar were expected to pay back into society in proportion to their success. The tax code for the planet was structured to reflect that, with those at the highest levels of income paying proportionally high marginal rates in taxes. But there was also a social aspect to the expectation. Casual conversation at clubs and parties often centered around what type of work a person was volunteering in support of, what form of political advocacy they engaged in, and what type of investments they had made in what new companies. Petri had run into the game of one-upmanship previously, on Upworld it took the form of “whoever has the most toys wins,” but she had never before encountered such a socially conscious form of it. And she had discovered that people who declined to fulfill society’s expectations in this regard became pariahs.

Though Petri no longer needed to worry about absorbing the emotions of her prey, along with their energy, when she fed, it was still easiest to feed when she was in close physical proximity to the people she drew energy from. And, because she wanted to make sure she didn’t harm anyone by taking too much from any one person, she made it a practice to feed from people in large groups. She had to be careful to hide her eyes since they glowed with her power when she fed, but that had been surprisingly easy for her to manage. No one expected to see an Arcanum at the local club, so no one was looking for one. And the social atmosphere, and consumption of spirits and other party drugs, helped disguise the slight buzz that people experienced when she fed on them.

What Petri had more difficulty doing is acclimating to the culture on Zanzibar, so as to continue to be welcome in places where she was able to feed so easily. The concept of voluntarily giving away some of her money had been so foreign to Petri that, at first, she had been resistant to it. When it became clear that invitations to parties would not be forthcoming, and that even many of the clubs would mysteriously be “at capacity" whenever she sought entry, if she did not participate in the local tradition of giving back, she had discussed the phenomenon with Chessie. Her friend had opined that it was an idiosyncratic form of patriotism, and that Petri would likely have to find some way to accommodate it if she wanted to blend in. Since it was in all of their best interests to avoid excessive scrutiny, Petri decided she would have to find a way to satisfy society’s expectations.

But, though Petri preferred Zanzibar’s relatively gentle method of expressing disapproval to Under City’s lynch mobs, being forced into doing something still rankled. However, when she discovered that she could turn a, small but tidy, profit by investing in small businesses and research projects, and therefore fulfill her obligation, the sting quickly faded, and she found herself warming towards Zanzibar’s quirky penchant for social engagement.








Monday, September 9, 2019

Something Worth Watching?


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I'm back today with another video I wanted to share. This one is about something that causes almost as much controversy as the abortion debate: gun violence. Specifically, it's a report about one of the mass shootings in Texas. I say "one of" because there have been several and will likely be more. Hell, by the time this post is live, another weekend will have passed, and we seem to be getting about one mass shooting big enough to make national news per weekend, lately. So, there's a very real possibility there will be a different mass shooting that everyone is talking about by the time you see this post. And talk they will...for a few days. And then everyone will forget about it. Until the next mass shooting. And the next. And the next. And the next...





Sunday, September 8, 2019

Easy Spring Roll #Recipe!



Hey Everyone!! :-)

This recipe is perfect for those late summer days when it's just too hot to think about eating anything warm. Enjoy! :-)

Ingredients:
8  rice paper sheets (spring roll wraps)
1.5 oz uncooked rice vermicelli noodles
8 oz extra-firm tofu drained
1 cup Chinese cabbage thinly sliced
3/4 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup shiitake mushroom caps sliced
2 tbsp mint leaves chopped
1/2 cup basil leaves shredded
4 green onions sliced thin
5 tsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp dark sesame oil
1.5 tbsp hoisin sauce
2 tsp chili paste (optional)
1.5 tbsp chunky peanut butter
1 tbsp water
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook the noodles according to the package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water. Drain and set aside.

Cut the tofu crosswise into 4 slices. Put the slices between several layers of paper towels. Put a sheet pan or something heavy-ish on top of the paper towels. Let it stand for about ten minutes. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper on the tofu and cut it into cubes.

Whisk together one tablespoon vinegar, one tablespoon soy sauce, the sesame oil, one and a half teaspoons hoisin sauce, and the chili paste in a bowl. Add the cabbage, carrots, mushrooms, and mint leaves. Toss the ingredients together to coat.

Prepare the rice paper sheets according to the directions on the package. Sprinkle some of the basil leaves on the bottom third of each sheet. Add a couple of the tofu cubes and about 3 tablespoons of the cabbage mixture. Top with about two tablespoons of the noodles and an onion slice. Fold the bottom of each sheet over the filling. Then, fold the sides of each sheet over the filling. Starting with the filled side, roll the sheets into spring rolls and gently press the seams to seal.

Place the rolls, seam side down, on a serving platter and cover them to keep them from drying out. Serve chilled.

For a dipping sauce, whisk together the rest of the vinegar, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, the peanut butter, and the water in a separate bowl. Serve the sauce chilled in a  small dish or bowl wide enough for dipping.

Bon appetit!




Saturday, September 7, 2019

Beneath The American Flag


Hey Everyone!

Today, I have something I wrote a while back. It's a bit rough, I'm not much of a poet, but I felt I needed to say something and this is the way it came out. Hopefully, you'll like it. Peace!

Beneath The American Flag

We fought the King and broke the chains of monarchy, beneath the American flag. A banner for a brave, new world planted on land stolen from those already here; a symbol of freedom and equality made from cotton picked by the hands of those in bondage. Hope for a brighter future; old sins atoned and old mistakes corrected.

We formed a nation in truth, no longer merely a beautiful dream. Land of the free and home of the brave; borne on the backs of slaves and risen from the ashes of genocide. Ends justify means beneath the American flag.

We preserved our union; freed the slaves, but denied them the vote. Liberty was said to reign while Jim Crow flourished, beneath the American flag.

We sent forth a cry to the world: "Send us your tired and poor!" But forgot to mention we'd prefer that they look, talk, and think like us. The burden of diversity too much to bear beneath the American flag.

We gave women the vote; a voice for the voiceless. Then crafted laws that made them chattel; the tears of those denied control of their own bodies concealed beneath the American flag.

We stormed the beaches; defeated the Nazis on foreign soil, but fostered them at home. Hate hides so easily when cloaked beneath the American flag.

We brought freedom and democracy to countries around the world, our stars and stripes proudly declaring peaceful intentions. Objections were silenced with napalm and gunfire; hands stained with blood hidden beneath the American flag.

We locked the children up in cages and justified our tyranny with hateful lies and bigotry. ICEstapo's persecution of poor, brown people dissembled into false patriotism, beneath the American flag.

We deadened our conscience at every test and trial. Until, at last, a final nail in the coffin of our broken promises; a blood-soaked vessel filled with egalitarian dreams shattered and turned to dust. Tatters of Old Glory waving in the wind; a melancholy tribute to the American ideal that died, betrayed, beneath the American flag.




Friday, September 6, 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, September 5, 2019

#APC #Spotlight: Tissue Of Lies By Carole Parkes!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I've got Carole Parkes in my APC spotlight, today! Carole is an active and supportive member of the  Authors-Professional Co-op Facebook group and her family history, psychological, suspense, mystery, thriller novel, Tissue of Lies, looks great! Here's the description:
Julie Simpson has the perfect life; a loving husband, beautiful twin daughters, and the kind of loving parents others can only dream about. Yet, it's true; she sometimes has a niggling suspicion that her mum and dad might not be her real parents. To her amazement and horror, Julie discovers her fears are well-founded; they are not her birth parents. Even worse, she learns they’d played a part in her abduction when she was just a baby.
Julie longs for the truth, but she’s reluctant to start anything which might result in her mum and dad being prosecuted for her abduction. Despite what they may have done, she can’t help remembering her wonderful, happy childhood. She still loves them and wants to protect them but, ultimately, the overpowering need to know her roots wins. Secretly, she searches for her birth parents, but digging in the past brings her unexpected danger; a real threat of harm. Will she find that out before it's too late?
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! :-)