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

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! :-)

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! :-)