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

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Stuff Your Stocking Author/Blogger #Giveaway! $72 #Cash #Grand #Prize! #Free To #Enter!

Hey Everyone!! :-)

There's a new giveaway for Christmas!  Please take a moment to check out the Stuff Your Stocking Author/Blogger Giveaway!!  There are lots of awesome books and prizes!! :-)  It's free to enter, there are over 42 prizes, and the grand prize is $72 cash payable through PayPal!! :-)  Now isn't that worth taking a few minutes to check out? ;-)   Here are all the details:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

Friday, November 29, 2019

A Little Fun For The Holiday... ;-)

Hey Everyone!! :-)

Happy Holidays!! And if, like me, you're in the US, happy day after Thanksgiving! :-)  Since it's the holiday season, I thought it might be fun to celebrate with the Winter Court of Fairie. Enjoy! :-)

Excerpt from Captivated by the Winter King:
His eyes heated. "Are you still in the mood for sex?"

Blinking, she giggled. "You're exceedingly direct sometimes."

Nodding, he said, "I feel it is always important to be clear."

Heat rose in her cheeks, but she nodded. "Yes, I would like to have sex with you tonight. I would like you to dominate me this time." She shivered. "I want to know what it's like."

Smiling, he replied, "That is quite clear, thank you. It would be my pleasure to dominate you, but first I have some questions."

"What questions?"

"Let's get comfortable, this may be a lengthy conversation."

They moved to the couch, and sat on opposite ends, facing each other and holding hands.

"You've had a little time to think about what happened last night, do you have any thoughts you'd like to share? Any concerns?"

Considering, she said, "No, I don't think so. I don't think I will like pain as much as you do, but I trust you."

"I'm glad," he smiled. "Can you think of anything specific that you are certain you don't want me to do to you?"

She thought about it, but nothing came to her right away. Then, as she was thinking, an image of Erik's fist descending towards her filled her mind. Gasping, she snatched her hand away from Ankou and wrapped her arms around herself. Her face turned white, and her breaths came in quick pants.

Realizing that his Anamchara wasn't reacting to him, but instead to something in her mind, Ankou froze. Careful not to touch her or make any sudden movements, he kept his voice calm and even. "Kate?" he called. When he didn't get a response, he tried again in the same gentle tone, "Kate?"

She looked up, but her eyes were wide and her pupils dilated. "Don't hit me!" she gasped.

He knew she wasn't seeing him. Remaining still and keeping an even tone, he asked, "Kate, where have you gone?"

She blinked and seemed to focus her eyes. "What?" Her voice was hollow.

"Are you with me, Kate?"

Blinking some more, the tension seemed to drain out of her. Clearing her throat, she looked at him and her cheeks turned scarlet. "I'm sorry, I don't know what happened."

"I do. You were thinking about things that would upset you too much to do, and you thought of something."

Rubbing a hand over her eyes, she mumbled, "Yes. I don't want to be hit."

"Do you wish to continue this conversation? We do not need to do this. Not tonight. Not ever, unless you wish it. Please do not feel as if you have to do this."

Looking up, her jaw set and she said, "No! I will not let him take this from me! I want to do this. This is important to me."

Ankou nodded, "Then we will do it, but it does not have to be tonight if you are not ready."

Reaching out her hand, she waited for Ankou to take it. Holding his hand in both of hers, she said, "I want to do this tonight. I'm ready and I trust you."

"You're sure?"

She nodded.

He smiled, "Then we will proceed. Just remember we can stop whenever you wish."

Nodding again, she smiled back.

"You said you do not wish to be 'hit' and I will abide by that, but I need to know what you mean. Do you not wish to be struck at all? By anything? Would using the floggers or a cane or paddle upset you? Or do you mean you do not wish to be struck by my hand? Please define your limits for me."

Taking a deep breath, she tried to compose her jumbled thoughts. "I don't what you to hit me in the face or on the head with your hand."

"Will you stand and demonstrate for me what you do not want?"

Nodding, she stood and moved in front of him. Raising her hand over her shoulder and clenching her hand into a fist, she brought it down as though she was going to punch him in the eye. Stopping just short of connecting, she said, "I don't want you to do this." Changing the position of her arm and opening her hand, she moved as if she was going to backhand him across the cheek. But again stopped before making contact. "Or this. Don't do either of those things." She sat back down on the couch.

Ankou nodded. "I will not strike you in either of those ways. Is there anything else you don't want me to do? What about spanking?"

She considered that. "I've never been spanked. I'm not sure how I'll feel about it."

"Then we will have to wait and see. Do you remember the safeword I gave you last night?"

"Yes, it was 'stad.'"

"Yes. Would the same word work for you?"

After thinking about it, she said, "Yes. I'll remember it."

Nodding, he asked, "Do you have any other concerns? Anything else you'd like to ask me or tell me?"

Shaking her head, she said, "No, I don't think so. Not right now."

"Okay. Remember, if there is anything you do not want to do, or you do not want done to you, use your safeword. Also, use it if there is anything you feel you need to talk about or are unsure of. In all cases, we will stop and discuss what is bothering you and decide how or if to proceed." He took her hand in his and raised it to his lips. "You will be safe, Kate. I will always keep you safe. But I will also push your boundaries. That is part of the game. I will not do anything you have said you don't want, but I will test your limits. Always remember, you can make it stop whenever you want. You are in control."

She thought about that. "I thought the person who dominates is in control?"

Leaning back, he smiled. "When you were dominating me last night, what would you have done if I had said the safeword?"

"I would have stopped."

"What if I had seemed to be in distress, and you weren't sure I was able to vocalize my wishes?"

"I would have stopped and checked with you."


"Because I wouldn't want to hurt you, not in a way you didn't want."


She mulled that over. "So because you could say what was okay and what wasn't, that meant you were in control?"

"Yes. The Dom directs the game, steers it, but the sub controls the brakes. I would never want to do anything to harm you or scare you more than you wanted. So you will always be in control when you submit to me."

"So it's more like you will make suggestions?"

"They will not be presented as suggestions. I will order you to do things or not do things, as you did to me last night, but that is part of the game."

"I understand," she smiled.

"Good. I need you to also understand that it's not unusual for people to get wrapped up in the game, and that's okay. The whole point is to immerse yourself and let go. So feel free to do that, I will be there to catch you."

She nodded.

Smiling, he rose and held out his hand towards her. "Shall we?"

Giving him her hand, she gasped and then giggled as he pulled her up and into his arms.

As he carried her towards his dungeon, her heart raced with excitement.

Woo! If you're as anxious to follow them into that dungeon as I am, you can grab your copy of Captivated by the Winter King at the link below. Thanks so much for stopping by today, and don't forget to check back tomorrow for the latest in Mistral Dawn's Musings. Happy reading! :-)

Thursday, November 28, 2019

#APC #Spotlight: The Maid Of The Mist By Melissa Franckowiak!

Hey Everyone!! :-)

I've got Melissa Frank in my APC spotlight, today! Melissa is an active and supportive member of the  Authors-Professional Co-op Facebook group and her myth and folk tale children's book, The Maid of the Mist, looks great! Here's the description:
Courageous Lelewala is a young girl living along what is now the Niagara River. When she loses her mother suddenly, she decides that carrying on the oral tradition of storytelling is her calling. She weaves fantastic tales that capture the attention of the villagers in her tribe. But as the children living along the Niagara come of age, a sudden tragedy befalls them, and Lelewala blames herself. After exiling herself from the village, a mysterious creature convinces her to live out her story in another, more dangerous way. She braves the rapids of Niagara Falls, setting into motion a chain of events that will change the lives of her people forever. Both she and her tribe have a powerful enemy that soon makes its presence known. As Lelewala moves closer to her destiny as the maid of the mist, she will have to rely on her own skills to save her village from the mortal danger it faces.
If you think this sounds like something you, or a munchkin in your life, might enjoy, go ahead and grab your copy here:

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

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

#Agent Thoth's #Personal Log: Day 1039

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-Thirty-Nine:
I have all but abandoned my efforts to obtain an uncontaminated sample from the bottles my hominid-servant stores in her bathing chamber. I have sampled traces of all of them from her skin and from the bottom of the bathing chamber once she has exited, but my results are inconclusive due to the samples not being pure and being of such small quantities. At this point, I believe my best alternative is to refocus my efforts towards other aspects of my research, and my main objective of determining if there is intelligent life on this planet, and put this project on hold until an opportunity presents itself for me to be able to obtain pure samples.

As for my hominid-servant, her behavior is irrational, but so far harmless. The excessive contact with liquid H2O does not seem to be interfering with her ability to function. The question remains if the level of that function might be enhanced were she not subject to contact with toxic and/or psychoactive substances but, as I said, my ability to answer that question remains stymied. Therefore, I will adopt an “observe and document" approach and hope that further elucidation presents itself.

Poor Thoth. It seems the universe conspires against him, despite his best efforts, sometimes. ;-) 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, November 26, 2019

Exciting #Opportunity! #ValentinesDay #Giveaway Signup!

Hey Everyone!! :-)

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

Monday, November 25, 2019

Something Worth Watching?

Hey Everyone!! :-)

I'm back today with another video I wanted to share. I was honestly torn about which video I wanted to share with you this week, since there were so many stories worth promoting. Of course, there's the ongoing three-ring circus in the House of Representatives, right now, and all the clowns and jokers that go along with it. And there was the story about how MSNBC's coverage of Bernie has been almost entirely negative...when they bother to cover him at all. Which you can be sure won't be something discussed by any mainstream media outlet. But, considering how the official narrative regarding Mayor Pete has been going, I thought it best to inject a dose of reality. So, without further ado, have a listen. Peace!

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Barley, Bean, And Tomato Soup #Crockpot #Recipe!

Hey Everyone!! :-)

With the weather getting colder, I thought you might all enjoy this stick-to-your-ribs soup. Enjoy! :-)

4 cups water or vegetable stock
1 cup wine (white or red, your choice)
2 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp olive oil
1 cup uncooked barley
1 15oz can garbanzo beans drained
1 14oz can diced tomatoes
2 large carrots chopped
2 stalks celery chopped
1 zucchini chopped
1 onion chopped fine
5 cloves garlic minced
2 tsp ginger grated
1 tsp dried sage
1 tsp dried thyme
3 tsp oregano
3 bay leaves
3 tbsp hot sauce (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

In a crock-pot, put the water, soy sauce, barley, beans, tomatoes, bay leaves, salt and pepper, and hot sauce, cover and cook on high. Put the remaining vegetables in a skillet with the olive oil and saute until they soften and the onions start to caramelize. Add the garlic, ginger, and dry seasonings and stir to combine. Deglaze the skillet with the wine and simmer to reduce. Transfer the contents of the skillet to the crock-pot and continue to cook on high until the barley is soft, approximately 4 hours. Serve hot with crusty bread.

Bon appetit!

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Stuff Your Stocking Author/Blogger #Giveaway! $72 #Cash #Grand #Prize! #Free To #Enter!

Hey Everyone!! :-)

There's a new giveaway for Christmas!  Please take a moment to check out the Stuff Your Stocking Author/Blogger Giveaway!!  There are lots of awesome books and prizes!! :-)  It's free to enter, there are over 42 prizes, and the grand prize is $72 cash payable through PayPal!! :-)  Now isn't that worth taking a few minutes to check out? ;-)   Here are all the details:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

Friday, November 22, 2019

Something Worth Watching?

Hey Everyone!! :-)

I'm back today with another video I wanted to share. This is another one that you can be sure won't get much attention from the corporate media, so I thought I'd share. The 2020 election cycle is certainly going to be interesting. Peace!

Thursday, November 21, 2019

#APC #Spotlight: The Zebra Affaire By Mark Fine!

Hey Everyone!! :-)

I've got Mark Fine in my APC spotlight, today! Mark is an active and supportive member of the  Authors-Professional Co-op Facebook group and his South African, historical fiction, political drama, romance novel, The Zebra Affaire, looks great! Here's the description:
When affairs of State battle affairs of the heart, ordinary people become heroes!
The critically acclaimed novel set in 1976 apartheid South Africa. It tells of the courage of love across the color divide – especially in the face of an unyielding racist police state, and the extreme lengths a man and a woman must go to remain together.

When Stanwell Marunda, a proud descendant of the Zulu, meets the beautiful Elsa, the daughter of a white farmer, he is certain his bad luck has just begun. She has just rescued him, bloodied and hurt, from a car wreck.

As the two of them recklessly begin an intense affair, Stanwell hopes his deepest fears are not realized. First, he must recover from his injuries. This forces him to depend on her. Then he gets a surprise visit from the state’s security branch, the obsessive and brutal Malan Zander. Secrets and suspicion begin to follow him. As intimidation and adversity strike his friends and loved one, Stanwell is forced to confront the frightening truth…

Is Elsa really the girl of his dreams – or could their forbidden affair be fatal?

The Zebra Affaire is a cautionary tale, a gripping story of a forbidden romance that shocked a nation – and the cruel powers used by an intolerant regime determined to stop it.
 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, November 20, 2019

#Agent Thoth's #Personal Log: Day 1035

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-Thirty-Five:
My hominid-servant has been her usual, obtuse self and refused to acknowledge my entreaties that she provide a sample of the contents of each of the bottles she stores within her bathing chamber. My efforts to obtain samples without her assistance have been stymied by the fact that the bottles themselves are designed to require the use of opposable thumbs to manipulate. However, the proximity required for me to reach the conclusion has led me to an alternate hypothesis: it is entirely possible that my hominid-servant’s addiction is not to the liquid H2O, but to the substances within the bottles. And it is the close contact with these substances that drives her to immerse herself in liquid H2O in order to rid herself of the overwhelming stench that contact with these substances results in. I confess, I found myself having difficulty breathing, at times, when near one of these open bottles.

Uh-oh! It seems the differences between human and felid senses may be causing some confusion. ;-) 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, November 19, 2019

Friends Taking Care Of Friends

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:
“How’re your preparations for the PGRP going? Any progress?"

Chessie smiled. “They're going great! I'm set up to meet one-on-one with a counselor next week, and then I’ll be assigned to a group for ongoing group therapy where I'll get to talk with other people who are planning a PGRP and some who have completed it and are in the adjustment phase. The idea is that we’ll all be able to support each other, and those of us who haven’t had the procedure yet will have a better idea of what to expect.”

“But you’ve already had TGRPs in the past; don’t you already know what to expect?"

Shaking her head, Chessie answered, “No, hun. It's different. You have to trust me on this. The preparatory course they have set up on this planet is the best in the galaxy for people like me. Almost no one who has a PGRP on this planet ever tries to harm themselves later, which is something that happens pretty often on other worlds. I need this. I need to do it right so that I get what's in my head correct as thoroughly as I’ll get my body correct.”

Thinking back on all the times she had come home to find her friend covered in her own blood after hurting herself, Petri shuddered and wrapped her arms around the older woman. “Of course you should do whatever is right for you, Chess. Whatever it takes, you need to take care of yourself and make sure you feel good about your decisions."

Chessie hugged her back. “Thanks, hun. I appreciate the support.”

Petri grinned and looked up at her. “Friends forever, right?”

Chessie grinned back. “Friends, forever and always.”

Monday, November 18, 2019

#November2019 #IndieBooksBeSeen #Indie #Author #Books #Monthly #BookReview!

Hey Everyone!! :-)

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

Vasilisa the Terrible: A Baba Yaga Story by April A. Taylor:

Have you ever been fooled by a pretty face? Baba Yaga isn't so easily taken in. If you've ever wondered how you ever thought someone who is terrible was great, you might enjoy reading this retelling of a classic fairy tale. Just be prepared for some dark twists and just desserts.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Spicy Lentil And Potato #Crockpot Stew #Recipe!

Hey Everyone!! :-)

Today, I've got a little bit of spice to warm you up. Enjoy! :-)

4 cups water or vegetable stock
1 pound brown lentils rinsed and cleaned
4-6 potatoes peeled and chunked
2 onions chopped fine
1 14oz can diced tomatoes
2 bell peppers seeded and chopped
1 chili pepper chopped fine
3 cloves garlic minced
3/4 cup toasted slivered almonds
1/2 cup cilantro leaves chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala seasoning
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Put the potatoes, lentils, tomatoes, and water in a crock-pot, cover and set to high. In a skillet, saute the onions and peppers in the olive oil until the peppers are soft and the onions start to caramelize. Add the almonds and stir until they start to toast. Add the garlic and seasonings and stir until thoroughly combined. Transfer the contents of the skillet to the crock-pot, stir together, and continue to cook on high until the potatoes and lentils are soft, approximately 5 hours. Stir in the cilantro. Serve hot in a bowl or over rice or quinoa.

Bon appetit!

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Walking In A Winter Wonderland...

Hey Everyone!!

We got some snow here this week, and it put me in mind of Kate's reaction to this winter scene. I find snow beautiful to look at, but the thought of going out in it always makes me a little queasy. Enjoy! :-)

Excerpt from Captivated by the Winter King:
Kate knew they were approaching the end of the tunnels because light filtered in from the opening. After so much time in the dark, her eyes were sensitive enough to pick up the slightest increase in illumination. As they emerged from the cave, she looked around and her breath caught in her throat.

The world around her had been transformed into a fairytale winter wonderland, and it was dazzling. They were in a forest, and the trees rose around them like majestic pillars. Ice coated their limbs and trunks and reflected the sunlight in a thousand dancing rainbows. Snow covered the ground like a soft, white blanket and completed the charming image. It was the kind of picturesque spot where she thought she might meet Santa and Frosty.

When talking snowmen and reindeer failed to appear, she turned her attention to studying the forest. Laughing to herself, she realized she already had the Elves, but they were far from jolly. As she looked around at the sparkling vista, another effect of the reflective quality of her surroundings became clear to her. All the extra light hurt her eyes. After a while, the combination of the blinding sunshine and the dizzying speed at which her captors moved made her nauseous.

In the dark of the cave, the visual impact of the motion had been muted. But now, in the brilliant daylight, it hit her full force. She thought she might throw up and wondered how they would react if she did. Closing her eyes, she rested her head against Gormal's shoulder. After a while, the queasiness passed. But she was afraid to open her eyes. Realizing she might as well get some rest, she slept.

Buuurrrr!!! If you want to find out what happens next, grab your copy at the link below. Happy reading! :-)

Friday, November 15, 2019

#Feature: Ice: The Ninth Novel In The Pseudoverse Series By CG Blade!

Hey Everyone!!

My friend, Karen Mossman, would like to tell you about a book she's really excited about. Karen, take it away! :-)

Name of Author: CG Blade
Name of Book: Ice: The Ninth Novel In The Pseudoverse Series
Thirty years after Pseudosynths were produced as robot slaves, they are now revered by the human race as heroes. Humanity is living a dream existence side-by-side their new artificial intelligence counterparts, Robokopias, which look, act, and talk like anyone or anybody you choose. Only the Pseudosynths remember the time shift to set the planet on the correct course in 2075 and the warning that went along with it before the Robokopias were produced. Why is this warning so important?

In Ice, if you or one of your family members die, it is your choice is to have your thoughts and memories transferred into one of these ‘Robokopias’ so you can continue to live. Almost a billion Robokopias live, work, and play next to humans around the planet with the ‘Ten Commandments of Robotics’ keeping them in line. These commandments cannot be modified, erased, or overridden. Nothing can go wrong, ever.

In the wildest artificial intelligence story that is not too far away according to experts, America finds itself wishing that they had never heard of the word “robot” as millions of Robokopias are purposely turned against their owners by a strange pyramid that may not be of this world.

Join Jaesa, Ray Nelson, General Cooper, Athana, the Xanthes, and some surprise artificial intelligence characters with a brand new cast of unique Robokopia characters who will join the fight in the most chilling and icy Pseudoverse novel. This is a novel filled with fantastic technology. Harmony’s stolen MOTT time transference plans and new pair of glasses called “Looking Glass” that allows you to look one hour into the future are used against the human race. Could this new technology eventually be used to right the wrongs done to the American people?

If you loved the Pseudoverse Series novels, which pit humans against robotics and artificial intelligence, you will love Ice and the follow-up novel, Fire. Once this ride starts, it does not stop, and we guarantee you will not be able to put it down. This “coming to a life near you soon” saga, which is positively and negatively prophesied by hundreds of scientists, transhumanists, scholars, theologians, and robotic engineers, is a chilling reminder of the upcoming “Singularity.” Which side will you be on once the war starts?


“A toast to a brave new world and the future it brings,” Hollyann smiled, raising her glass up as three of the four scientists’ clanked glasses with her.

“Ah, the ever indelible and misunderstood, Adelous Huxley,” Chilton said, staring into Hollyann’s eyes, “are we the Alphas?”

“Yes, outstanding Mr. Blaze. You are schooled in the ways of the literary world very well.” Hollyann told him, wrapping her tongue around the rim of her wine glass.

“I don’t give a fuck about Huxley!” M.J. blurted out at the top of his lungs, “I must admit you are one gorgeous whore, but I don’t do work for Russian assholes who kidnap me. Where is my wife by the way?” M.J. gave her an evil stare huffing and puffing, refusing to acknowledge her toast looking away from her.

“She is at home safe with you,” Hollyann told him, smiling. The bartender poured her another glass of wine.

“You replaced me, didn’t you, bitch?” M.J. was red-faced and angrier than a nest full of whacked hornets on a hot Georgia day. “I don’t work for your dumbass, you cunt, and I am not about to start for some artificial intelligence you bow down to. I am a teacher, and I will be dammed if I start lying in bed with dogs who assisted the very assholes responsible for the global massacre thirty years ago. They will find out that is not me in Georgia and the cops will begin a massive manhunt. You and your people are nothing but primates and animals, and I hope they put a bullet between those baby blues of yours. Better yet maybe they’ll take your head off and put it on ice for a while.” Taking a huge swig of beer M.J. was sweating. He was waiting for a response from Hollyann, but none came his way.

“Thanks to Professor Chilton Blaze no one is searching or looking for anyone in this tower or this compound including the several thousand technicians, engineers, and rocket scientists working here except Miss Reynedropolous, who cannot be imitated precisely or replaced due to the hundreds of Transhuman circuits running through her incredible body. Professor Blaze knows how easy these replacements can be duplicated and put into place over six weeks, or perhaps four weeks, don’t you?”

Why are rocket scientists here in Madagascar? Reyne thought hard about those words.

“Yes, she is correct,” Chilton, replied as the three scientists stared at him for answers. “I had no knowledge of any of this, but due to Robotica’s NDA, I currently cannot share with you what I know about the Robokopias. I am bound by Robotica’s legal obligations.”

“He is telling the truth. Now, I would like to share something with all of you,” Hollyann told them pulling a modified non-standard Vidset out of a pocket from her dress. “This is something that the Russian scientists came up with from their MKUltra trials during the 60s and 70s.” Swiping a couple of screens, her fingers were dialing a circular icon on her home page. She did not attempt to hide the Vidset from any of them as M.J. dropped his beer on the floor. It smashed on the tile in pieces. Cold-brew flew in all directions, including Reyne’s dress and Chilton’s pants. All of them backed up as M.J. became stiff as a board. Blood dripped from his nostrils. Trying to wipe the blood off his face, his hands were suddenly paralyzed as if he were in the middle of a stroke. He pissed down his own leg creating a yellow puddle on the white tile floor around his shoes.

Doctor Suleka Matthew screamed aloud. “Stop it!” She held her face in shock, not knowing what to do.

Author Bio
Author, creative writer, Transhumanist, Pseudosynth, and former robotic engineer and programmer, CG is an avid science fiction reader and lover of twisting, ever-turning plots. Taking the reader down many thrilling cyber roads and mysterious paths, his narratives rely heavily on past and present scientific, historical research, and the human condition. Melding the past, present, and future, these stories are carefully mixed and stirred with music lyrics, real people, historical fiction, and the potential of artificial intelligence run amok. Fused with satirical commentary and the first musical “Grindhouse” intermissions in novels (Including poetry), he continues his fiction writing with Amaranth, Gold, Amber, Copper, Radium, and Turquoise, and Granite. He currently lives in Ohio with his wife Jackie, and their two rambunctious but lovable cats, Jeri Boo, and Bullet.

Social Media Links
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/CGBladeSciFiHorrorAuthor/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/pseudosynthpres
Website: https://www.pseudosynthpress.com/cgblade
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cg_blade/
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/CG-Blade/e/B0195SESHS

Other Books by Author CG Blade
The Pseudoverse Series Novels

Website https://www.pseudosynthpress.com/?fbclid=IwAR1bsK90bKMN8OrlWpJP0Wt3gFinHc5hF8UteZbiAe6-Gg7AqH7zVas8zSA

Cobalt: The First Novel In The Pseudoverse
Crimson: The Second Novel In The Pseudoverse
Emerald: The Third Novel In The Pseudoverse
Onyx: The Fourth Novel In The Pseudoverse
Heliotrope: The Fifth Novel In The Pseudoverse
Chrome: The Sixth Novel In The Pseudoverse
Indigo: The Seventh Novel In The Pseudoverse
Ash: The Eighth Novel In The Pseudoverse

Heart Of A Robot A short Children’s Story
In The Path Of The Beast An Old Greek Love Story Passed Down Through The Centuries

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Thursday, November 14, 2019

#APC #Spotlight: Shattered Glass By Richard White!

Hey Everyone!! :-)

I've got Richard White in my APC spotlight, today! Richard is an active and supportive member of the  Authors-Professional Co-op Facebook group and his mental-health themed, celebration of life and those who succeed in struggle to cope with it, book of poetry, Shattered Glass, looks great! Here's the description:
Shattered Glass is a book of dark poetry in memory of students author Richard White went to school with, that lost their fight with depression, or their fight with drug abuse. Shattered Glass explores themes of mental health, depression, anxiety, PTSD, drug addiction, and suicide. It is a documentation of struggle and triumph, a celebration of life and of living. White's wit, empathy, and passion for poetry produce a work of endless wonder.
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, November 13, 2019

#Agent Thoth's #Personal Log: Day 1030

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-Thirty:
I have managed to regain my sense of detached objectivity through meditation and rest, and I have resumed my efforts to collect a fresh sample of my hominid-servant's bathing liquid. Thus far, I have been unsuccessful. Or, at least, none of the samples I have collected have contained any substances of note. But my observations of her behavior within the chamber she uses for her daily ablutions have been close enough that I was able to record her also applying several unknown substances from bottles she stores within the chamber to her body and the fur on the top of her head.

She spends an extended amount of time rubbing these potions into her skin and fur, despite the fact that they all have a sharp, chemical scent to them. I have yet to secure an uncontaminated sample of any of these substances, but it has occurred to me that these may be the source of my hominid-servant’s strange desire to regularly utilize large quantities of liquid H2O to cleanse herself. I will attempt to sample the contents of these bottles and determine what, if any, role they play in my hominid-servant's deviant behavior.

Agent Thoth is on the hunt! ;-) 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, November 12, 2019

It's The Economy, Stupid

Hey Everyone!! :-)

Fair warning, this will be a long one, but it's been building for a while and I want to get it out. I keep hearing the narrative repeated that the people who support Trump are racist and that economic hardship doesn't have anything to do with it. I wanted to discuss that claim because I think it demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of the dynamic between bigotry and poverty.

Because, yes, at this point, if someone still supports Trump or the Republican Party, in general, they have to be racist to some extent. But that doesn't mean they're all card-carrying Klanners or members of the White Nationalist Party. Like most things, racism is a spectrum, and in many cases the more subtle the racism the harder it is to combat. That's the bad news. The good news is that for those who aren't at the most extreme end of the spectrum, it's often possible to alter their behavior by making small changes to their environment. To be clear, this isn't a discussion about the morality of racism. All racism, or any form of bigotry, of any amount is wrong and should be fought. But as a practical matter, changing minds takes time, often a lot of time, but changing behavior that affects the day-to-day lives of others can happen far more quickly.

The amount of bigoted hysteria we're seeing in the US, and all over the world, is a direct result of the economic hardship caused by the 2008 financial crash and exacerbated by neo-liberal austerity measures. That's painfully obvious to anyone who hasn't had their head buried in the establishment sand for the last ten years. And it's not like this is a new phenomenon, either. Hitler didn't rise from a vacuum. He was born out of the economic desperation that the punitive measures that were taken against Germany post WWI caused. Yes, he tapped into, and capitalized on, a widespread pre-existing antisemitism, but he never would have been able to do that if not for the economic conditions that had people ready to pounce on the nearest convenient scapegoats. Trump and his ilk have done the same thing. Yes, the bigotry was already there, but active hate takes energy. And most people won't bother to expend that energy unless something has happened to makes them feel forced to take action. If things are good, people might still hate passively, but they won't take time from their families and daily lives to do anything about it. There's simply too much effort required for such activities, and people who aren't hurting most likely won't find the motivation to put forth that effort.

However, when people feel like they're constantly on the verge of disaster, it tends to make them more insular and protective of their "turf." Yes, there are exceptions but, for the most part, when people have barely enough to survive, it causes them to constantly be on guard against anyone who might potentially try to take some of what little they have. Which means their tendency to put people into "The Other" category is heightened. So any tiny difference between them and someone else gets magnified in their minds. Race, religion, national origin, etc are all convenient and obvious excuses to force people out of the "Us" group. And, of course, once a group of people is a "Them," they have to be dehumanized so that the "Us" doesn't have to feel bad about hating "Them." And, of course, existing bigotries make this even easier because half the psychological framework is already set up. When someone is predisposed to consider another group as "Less Than," it's not far to go to get to "Less Than Human." And that's when things get really, really ugly.

But up to this point, we've just been talking about generalities. Human nature and the predictable behavior patterns that result from it. So let's take a look at some of the specifics regarding how this all applies to Trump's base of support.

I think there are several factors at play. First, as I've already pointed out, there's the fact that economic injustice and racism are not as separate as most people, particularly Democrats, like to pretend they are. The economic landscape has been really bleak for most Americans for a really long time. It got even worse in 2008 when Bush tanked the economy, but it wasn't that great even before that. And it never really recovered for anyone except the wealthy. Regular people are, and have been, hurting, and the way things have been going there has been little hope for any help from our elected representatives. So, when Trump points at Muslims and Mexicans and tells his follower's they're to blame for all life's problems, it's not difficult for him to sell them on the idea. The prejudice against racial and religious minorities already existed, as did resentment against the idea that anyone "new" might be coming into the country and "taking" from the people who are already here. 

Again, I'm not suggesting this argument has any basis in reality, just that by making it Trump was able to tap into the unfortunate human tendency to otherize and look for easy scapegoats. Because if there's a "Them" to blame, then solving the problem isn't complicated. Just get rid of "Them." And, generally speaking, human beings prefer simple solutions to complex solutions. All many people need is a leader with even the slightest veneer of legitimacy -- for instance, someone running to become President of the United States of America -- to identify a "Them" who is palatable enough for the majority group to accept and blame, and they have their nice, simple answer. Which makes them feel good.

And that brings us to the next Joker in the Trump house of cards. Humans don't like uncertainty. We like to know. And in the absence of the ability to know, we make up stories so we can pretend to know because that makes us feel safer and more at ease. Don't believe me? What else do you think religion is?

There are a lot of problems in the 21st Century United States. Real problems that actually exist. And most of them are complex, multifaceted, and difficult to fix or even completely understand. The economic devastation of a large percentage of the population is one of those problems. And even people who don't suffer directly as a result of these problems don't like the uncertainty they introduce into society. Some people cope with this by pretending the problems don't exist and the people who suffer from them are just lazy whiners or weaklings who don't want to help themselves. That's what the old GOP largely was. And other people cope with the uncertainty by identifying a "Them" and deciding they're to blame for the problems and getting rid of them will solve the problems. 

And, again, this isn't unique to the US. I mentioned before a similar dynamic in 1930s Germany, but it also happened a lot during the 1340s with the epidemic of plague in Europe. Jews, women, "heretics," the disabled, and other marginalized groups were common targets. I bring this up to point out the fact that people who do this almost always pick a "Them" with very little power in society. Because what they're really looking for is an easy answer. So they can feel better. And it's always much easier to attack the poor and powerless than it is to attack the rich and powerful. To be honest, I've always thought of this as the coward's way of dealing with problems, but that's just my opinion.

There's also a segment of Trump's base who have built their identities and sense of self worth around the idea of, "At least I'm better than X." X, of course, can be any number of "Thems." Black people, women, non-Christians, Catholics, non-Catholics, Irish people, Muslims, Italians, Latinos, Jews, etc. They've all had their turns at being X at various times and places throughout history. People who are determined to remain better than X are usually people who don't have much and who aren't well-regarded in society. Also, the definition of "better than" can vary, but it usually involves more rights, privileges, entitlements, and/or access of some kind. And since these people have equated themselves with whatever aspect of their makeup that society has assured them makes them "better than," they feel personally attacked if anyone who doesn't have that quality or aspect is allowed to receive whatever their "better" is. Which is also what a lot of the old GOP was.

In the US, these tend to be white, straight, Christian men. Though, it's certainly common for white, straight, Christian women to also support this power structure. And before anyone starts whining about how I've hurt their feelings, no, I'm not suggesting that there's anything wrong with being any or all of these things. And that's the point. Mentioning the fact that a personal characteristic allows an individual a certain advantage in society is not an attack against that characteristic. It's simply a statement of fact. But once people start acknowledging that the advantage exists, they might decide to do something to change it. Because it's inherently unfair and, theoretically, this country was supposed to be based on the idea that everyone, no matter who or what they are, should have an equal chance at success. And people who have traditionally benefited from those advantages are often loath to give them up. A tendency that is only exacerbated when those individuals are already on the brink of economic disaster.

These aren't the only possibilities, but most Trump supporters I've spoken to fall into one or more of these categories. And having a leader who tells them they're right, and the people who have been telling them they're wrong are just out-of-touch elites who want to take what little they have and give it to the undeserving, is the perfect recipe to make them follow him. Because he's telling them they're right, which is what everyone wants to hear. Human beings don't like listening to people who tell them they're wrong. And he's telling them their problems aren't their fault and aren't because of their mistakes or bad choices, but that there's someone else to blame. 

Which is partly true. Most people's problems largely aren't their fault, but are just due to their circumstances and chance, or are systemic problems with no, one source. But the way he sets it up, they don't have to do anything to fix the problems, either. His answer is that it's the "Them," so we just let the government get rid of the "Them" and everything will be good. No effort required from most people. Which is a much more pleasant thing to hear than that we all have a whole lot of work to do to fix the system that's causing the problems. So he's tickling their ears and making them feel good. And he's telling them they're good people who are on the path to righteousness. Because anyone who doesn't agree with and support him is evil.

So, like all cult leaders, Trump's appeal is a combination of telling people what they want to hear; building up the sense of worth of people who secretly feel bad about themselves, while simultaneously tying that worth to their allegiance to the leader; giving people who feel directionless and/or powerless a sense of control over their lives; and constantly reinforcing the message by making them feel good with praise and false reports of success. And telling them that anyone or thing that contradicts that message is lying and evil. It's a pretty standard operating procedure for cults. 

But it's also a con job that people are more likely to be susceptible to falling for when they are already feeling uncertain and afraid, which is how pervasive, unrelenting poverty leaves the majority of the population feeling. If people weren't constantly worried they were one paycheck away from losing their house, one medical emergency away from losing their job, one unexpected car repair away from not having food on the table, then they'd be a lot less likely to fall for this kind of bullshit. Or, even if they did believe some of it, to act on it. Again, think about it, who's easier to con into buying a "miracle cure?" Someone who is healthy or someone who is sick?

So, what do we do about it? Well, in the short term, we put the right people into elected office to take some of the economic pressure off regular Americans. In terms of the 2020 presidential race, Bernie and Warren are our best bet to combat Trump. Because they're the only candidates who will really do anything to shake up the system and make things better for regular people. Biden would be a disastrous nominee, as would any of the other neoliberals. Telling people that all we're going to do is put things back the way they were is the absolute last thing we should do. If people had liked things the way they were, Trump never would have been elected in the first place. To paraphrase Naomi Klein, if we just get rid of Trump, we'll be back to a situation that was so bad it created Trump.

To be clear, changing the economic situation for most people in the US won't do anything to solve the underlying problem of bigotry. A lot of Americans, far too many, will still be racist, xenophobic, islamophobic, misogynists. Fixing the economy won't fix that. But fixing the economy will make fewer people willing to put forth the effort to act on those underlying prejudices. Will there always be some? Sure. Because racism, like most things, is a spectrum, and those at the most extreme end will always be driven by their hate. But not the kind of numbers that made a Trump presidency possible. Which means the people who are suffering as a result of bigoted laws and policies will get some relief. And it will give the rest of us the time and opportunity to change the laws to extend more protections to vulnerable segments of the population. Because most people will go back to their regular lives and so there won't be as much push-back against the necessary changes. And, over time, as the changes in law become the new norm, fewer and fewer people will question them. 

As I warned at the beginning of this post, this is a practical solution for the short term, not a guide for changing hearts. Will bigotry ever go completely away? Nope. I really don't think it will. I think the tendency to otherize is too deeply ingrained in human nature. The specific group that's singled out may change, but I doubt there will be a time in the foreseeable future where people don't look down on some group. We can't legislate morality and people are going to think what they want to think. But we can defang and declaw bigotry, and confine it to a cage by making sure everyone has the same legal protections. And we can make people less likely to push against that confinement by making sure everyone has enough to feel safe and to feel that their families are secure and taken care of. Which brings us back to that classic observation, for practical purposes at least, "It's the economy, stupid."


Monday, November 11, 2019

Something Worth Watching?

Hey Everyone!! :-)

I'm back today with another video I wanted to share. As most of you probably know, Senator Elizabeth Warren released a detailed proposal for how she would implement a Medicare For All program. I think this video does a good job of breaking down the pros and cons of her plan, so I thought I'd share. Enjoy! :-)

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Easy #Cheesy Potato Casserole #Recipe!

Hey Everyone!! :-)

Today, I'd like to share one of my favorite cheesy potato recipes with you. Enjoy! :-)

10 baking potatoes peeled and sliced thin
3 large tomatoes sliced
2 onions sliced thin
2 cups mozzarella and cheddar cheese mix shredded (or your favorite melty cheese combo)
1 4 oz package garlic herb cream cheese spread
1/4 cup Pecorino Ramano cheese grated
2 cups milk
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
4 tbsp butter
Salt and pepper to taste

In a pot, melt three tablespoons of butter and add the onions. Sautee until the onions caramelize. Remove the onions and set aside. Add the remaining tablespoon of butter and the flour and stir together continuously until the flour browns. Add milk, salt, and a good amount of black pepper, and whisk until smooth. Add shredded cheese mix a handful at a time, stirring continuously, until all of it is melted and the sauce is smooth.

In a buttered baking dish, spread a layer of the sliced potatoes. Spread with herb cheese spread and sprinkle with black pepper. Add a layer of sliced tomatoes and sprinkle with Pecorino Ramano. Ladle a little of the sauce over it. Repeat for as many layers as you have ingredients for, ending with a layer of potatoes. Pour the remaining sauce over the top and sprinkle with the last of the Pecorino Ramano.

Bake the casserole for 40-45 minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit or until the top is golden brown, the potatoes are soft, and the center is bubbly. Allow to cool for 15-20 minutes before serving.

Bon appetit!

Saturday, November 9, 2019

A Spooky #WeekendTreat!

Hey Everyone!! :-)

With Halloween not long past and winter fast approaching, I thought it would be appropriate to share a slightly spooky snippet to help get your weekend off to a fun start. Enjoy! :-)

Excerpt from Captivated By The Winter King:
In addition to the Genii Cucullati, he also had the ability to call forth shades.

Shades were different from the hooded spirits, in many ways. Whenever any sapient being experienced a strong emotion, an echo of that feeling was left behind. Those echoes had no physical form, but they could build upon one another and have a cumulative effect. This phenomenon was why certain places where many people had experienced strong feelings could take on an aura that those who later visited the site could sense. A place where many had died might feel frightening, sad, or angry. A place where many had rejoiced might have a happy or cheerful quality to it.

Ankou had the ability to call forth shades with a specific nature and grant them semi-corporeal form. Unlike the hooded spirits, they did not act. They could only react. Also, their nature was such that he had to be careful to conjure exactly the type of shade that was needed. Shades reflected the precise type of emotion that had left the echo; no more, no less. What he needed was for Kate to be protected, so a shade created of the echo of a protective feeling was required. He needed to be certain that was what he called forth. If he allowed his fear for his Anamchara's safety to taint the call, the shade that resulted might be more one of vengeance or aggression. Neither sentiment would allow him to achieve his goal.

Taking a deep breath, he centered himself and loosed his power. A shadowy form came into being. It had the outline of a large male but was indistinct and ephemeral. The Winter king concentrated on what he needed from the shade, and the figure moved towards Kate.

At first, Kate didn't notice the diaphanous shape that had come into being, but when it moved she saw that something was there. Confused, she reached out to try to touch it.


She froze and looked at Ankou.

Want to find out just how Ankou intends to protect Kate? Grab your copy of Captivated By The Winter King at the link below. Happy reading!! :-)