Who Is Mistral Dawn?

Mistral Dawn is a thirty-something gal who has lived on both coasts of the US but somehow never in the middle. She currently resides in the Southeast US with her kitty cats (please spay or neuter! :-)) where she works as a hospital drudge and attends graduate school. Taken By The Huntsman is her first effort at writing fiction and if it is well received she has ideas for several more novels and short-stories in this series. Please feel free to visit her on FaceBook or drop her a line at mistralkdawn@gmail.com

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Spicy Vegetarian Curry #Recipe!

Hey Everyone! :-)

I've got another warm-you-up treat for you, today. Enjoy! :-)

2 cups vegetable stock
1 14 oz can coconut milk
1 14 oz can chickpeas
1 6 oz can water chestnuts
2 cups broccoli chopped
1 large onion chopped fine
1 18 oz package sliced button mushrooms
1 12 oz package sliced shiitake mushrooms
3 large carrots peeled and chunked
4 large potatoes chopped and parboiled
1/2 cup basil chopped
5 cloves garlic minced
4 tbsp curry paste (your favorite kind)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp peanut butter
2 bay leaves
1 tsp chili oil (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

Put the olive oil and onion in a deep-sided frying pan and saute until onion starts to soften. Add the water chestnuts, mushrooms, and garlic and saute until the mushrooms wilt. Add the curry paste and salt and pepper and stir to distribute. Add the carrots, potatoes, and chickpeas and stir to combine. Add the vegetable stock and bay leaves and stir while scraping the pan to deglaze. Simmer until potatoes are fork tender. Add the broccoli, basil, chili oil (optional), peanut butter, and coconut milk and stir to combine. Simmer until the broccoli starts to soften. Remove the bay leaves and serve over rice or quinoa.

Bon appetit!

Saturday, November 18, 2017

#November2017 #IndieBooksBeSeen #Indie #Author #Books #Monthly #BookReview!

Hey Everyone!! :-)

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

Genesis: The Awakening by AC Greenlee:

Victoria is a genius whose gifts are wasted at the podunk University she's enrolled at, but it's all she can afford. Add her financial difficulties to her struggles with her deteriorating eyesight and her relationship that isn't a relationship with Kaizer, and you have a truly relatable heroine whose kick-ass fighting skills just make her awesome. And when she finds out that there are forces she hadn't considered trying to manipulate her destiny, those fighting skills manifest in some exciting battles.

I enjoyed this story. Victoria and Kaizer have a really entertaining "come here/go away" dynamic between them that makes for some funny dialog. And the fact that both of them are just sort of bumbling through the challenges that are thrown at them, trying to figure out what's right, and fighting against their own baser impulses is endearing. It just makes them seem more like real people...in spite of their supernatural backgrounds. Also, though this doesn't have any impact on the story, I have to say that I love the cover art for this book. Five stars; I definitely recommend this one.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Santa's Little #Authors #Christmas #Giveaway! $160 #Cash #Grand #Prize! #Free To #Enter!

Hey Everyone!! :-)

There's a new giveaway for the holidays!  Please take a moment to check out the Santa's Little Authors Christmas Giveaway!!  There are lots of awesome books and prizes!! :-)  It's free to enter, there are over 50 prizes, and the grand prize is $160 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! :-)

Thursday, November 16, 2017

#APC #Spotlight: Storm Unleashed by Michael R Stern!

Hey Everyone!! :-)

I've got Michael Stern in my APC spotlight, today! Michael is an active and supportive member of the  Authors-Professional Co-op Facebook group and his time travel science fiction novel, Storm Unleashed, looks great! Here's the description:
A North Korean missile launch. A naval base attacked. Does the nation face a new menace? Or is an old one taking a treacherous turn? A plot to destroy any possibility for peace moves into high gear just as the president negotiates an end to war in the Middle East.
When Fritz returns from a trip through the portal, the world around him seems to have changed. His portal through space and time has proved a powerful tool. But entering it risks undeniable dangers. Even successful missions leave a trail of death. But despite the peril, he is resolved to use it to end the threat and capture the conspirators. But who are they? What do they want? Does a traitor stalk the president? Once again, Fritz Russell finds his life upended.
Bombs slam the White House and wreck the Oval Office. Suspicious killings continue. Information about a secretive cabal emerges. The portal might provide the only means of stopping resurgent violence in Manhattan, Washington, and around the world. Fritz, his wife Linda, and friends Ashley Gilbert and Major Jane Barclay confront great danger as a new storm of evil imperils the globe.
Determined to end the disruption to order, the men and women of Riverboro courageously use the portal to help the president bring light to the darkness of world politics.
But at what price?
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 15, 2017

#Agent Thoth's #Personal Log: Day 633

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 Six-Hundred-Thirty-Three:
Tensions have settled down here, somewhat, though my hominid-servant never apologized, as she should have. Still, I have learned that it is often necessary to make allowances for the failings of hominids and have magnanimously decided to forgive her anyway. In this case, it was doubly necessary because I intend to continue my campaign to draw her away from her obsession with electronic devices.

Thus far, my efforts seem to be stalled. Every time I gently insinuate myself next to her while she engages with the devices, she allows herself to be temporarily distracted and will briefly pay proper homage to me. However, she rapidly returns her attention to its previous focus, and she is quite adept at ignoring my attempts to extend the amount of time she keeps it centered on my glorious self.

I have not yet exhausted all permutations of this experiment, but I am reaching a point where I must admit that this may not be a fruitful line to pursue. I will continue to provide updates and report immediately on any successes.

Poor Thoth! Hominids can be so frustrating. ;-) 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 14, 2017

Getting The Dirty Laundry Clean

Hey Everyone! :-)

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

Excerpt from sci-fi satire novel:
I walked to the exhibit Squid-boy had indicated and, when I saw what it depicted, an involuntary laugh escaped my lips. It wasn't that it was funny. There surely wasn't any humor in it at all. It's just that, once again, it was so true…and yet completely inaccurate.

The scene depicted in the exhibit showed a crowded sidewalk and two police officers standing to the side. One of them was holding up a card with a gradient of various shades of brown and tan. The card was unlabeled, but the voiceover narration explained that the cop was using a color guide to help him determine which people to stop under suspicion of having committed crimes. The second officer was pointing at one of the darker shades on the card and to a person on the sidewalk whose skin tone was similar.

I took a deep breath to steady myself. That people from outside our society would make such an assumption…they couldn't have satirized the problem better if they tried. What made it scary was that they weren't trying to mock the problem; they were trying to describe it. And they had, sort of. Like a gory accident, the exhibit was disturbing on a visceral level, and I was having a hard time dragging my eyes away from it.

"There is something humorous about this exhibit, young human?" asked Squid-boy?

I shook my head. "No. It ain't funny. It ain't funny, at all. It's just that it's true, but it's not true, at the same time."

Squid-boy waved his tentacles around his head. "How can it be both accurate and inaccurate? It must be one or the other."

I forced myself to tear my eyes away from the scene and looked at the small alien. "It isn't true in that police don't actually have cards with colors on them that they use to choose people out of a crowd. But it's true in that people are treated differently based on their skin color."

"If there's no reference material, how are such decisions made?" asked Yax.

I rubbed the back of my neck. "Well, it isn't something that's official, or anything, it's just how things tend to work."

"I don't understand," said Yax.

Sighing, I closed my eyes to try to think of how to explain it. "It used to be more formal; there were laws that made it illegal for people with darker skin to do some things and for people with different skin colors to get married. Those laws were overturned, but the attitude that they came from still exists."

"So people with different skin colors aren't treated differently anymore? The problem is resolved?" asked Squid-boy.

I snorted and shook my head. "No, not at all. The problem is still there. In fact, it's everywhere; it's in almost all aspects of life. It's just that people like to pretend it doesn't exist because the laws have changed, so almost no one talks about it."

"That doesn't seem terribly productive," observed Squid-boy.

I sighed. "It isn't. It just makes it impossible to change."

"Our research indicates that decisions regarding what kind of crimes people will be prosecuted for, where people will be allowed to live, how much money the educational facilities in certain areas will be allotted, and even basic personal interactions are determined by the amount of melanin an individual produces. Is this true?"

I rubbed my temples. "Yes, and no." Waving my hands in the air, I tried to think of a way to explain. "It's all…so…amorphous. There are some people who believe that some races are superior to others. But more people, almost all people, have a more…subtle…bias that's ingrained in the way they view the world."

"It's subconscious?" asked Yax.

"It is and it isn't. Some people are very conscious of their prejudice. They revel in it. But they deny that it's prejudice. To them, thinking others are inferior is just the truth. Even though objectively it isn't, you'll never convince them of that. But most people just have a bunch of preconceived stereotypes that they use when they interact with the world. It's hard to nail down, because if you asked most people, they'll say that everyone should be treated equally. But their actions don't reflect that belief. And a lot of people get angry if anyone brings it up."

"Angry? Why?" asked Squid-boy.

I sighed. "Because it's…uncomfortable. Most people don't like to be forced to admit that they might be wrong sometimes."

"Is that why you seem distressed? Does the exhibit upset you?" asked Yax.

I winced. "Yeah, I guess so. I try not to get defensive, but it's hard. I know this," I waved at the exhibit, "is part of life in my country, but I don't like it. No one likes having their dirty laundry aired."

"But how else do you get it clean?" asked Squid-boy.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Something Worth Watching?

Hey Everyone!! :-)

I'm back today with another video I wanted to share. This story has kind of gotten buried, but that doesn't mean it isn't important. After all, without a free press, there is no democracy. The establishment powers may want us to forget that fact, but I think we're smarter than that.