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, November 30, 2017

#NewRelease #Announcement: #Winter #Wishes Of The #Heart By Ashley Uzzell!!



Blurb:
Presenting four short stories to curl up with for the holidays.
Whether it is a teen discovering love, a boy enjoying a winter tradition with his brother, or a young man finding a friend in his time of need, these stories will melt your heart and keep you warm and fuzzy despite the cold.

Goodreads -
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36522437-winter-wishes-of-the-heart
Books2read– https://www.books2read.com/u/bzaKwq







Wednesday, November 29, 2017

#Agent Thoth's #Personal Log: Day 643


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-Forty-Three:
My hominid-servant has once again brought a dead tree into my domicile. She has yet to hang the decorative objects she favors on its limbs, however given the extreme curiosity the juvenile felid has thus far directed towards the tree, I cannot help but think that the hanging of the objects will be an invitation for disaster. I have not forgotten my hominid-servant's ferocity when I attempted to use the destruction of the objects to communicate my dissatisfaction to her in the past.

I must admit, even now the intensity of her reaction causes me to regard the tree with a certain amount of anxiety. It concerns me that, should the tiny beast decide to expend his not inconsiderable energies upon her tree decorations that she might, given my history with said decorations, jump to the conclusion that it was I. Therefore, I have resolved that if the objects are forthcoming, and if the small pest shows any inclination towards their destruction, I will take great pains to absent myself from the vicinity.


Oh, my! It looks like a cat-astrophy might be in the making! ;-) 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 28, 2017

Maintaining The Status Quo


Hey Everyone! :-)

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

Excerpt from sci-fi satire novel:
Squid-boy and Yax looked at each other with almost identical expressions of confusion. "Was this a deliberate effort to exterminate people with darker skin?" asked Squid-boy.

I shook my head. "No. It was a deliberate effort to keep people with darker skin poor and powerless."

"Why?" asked Yax.

"It goes back to what I was telling y'all about keeping the majority of the people divided. There are a lot more poor people than there are rich people. And if the poor people ever figure out how to work together, the rich might be forced to share some of what they have. So, the rich people work really hard to make sure that never happens."

Squid-boy waved his arms around his head. "Yes, I understand that. But I fail to see why such a random factor as the color of a person's skin would be the basis of such a division. Especially if, as you say, there is no official palette of skin tones to compare to people's skin. How do you know if a person qualifies as darker skinned? Where's the cutoff point between light skin and dark?"

Sighing, I answered, "It's complicated. It's more about where a person's ancestors were born than just about the color of their skin, though that's part of it. And, as you point out, a person's ancestry isn't always obvious just by looking at them. All of which just underscores how absurd racial prejudice is." I looked at him, catching his gaze and holding it. "But that doesn't mean it isn't real or that it doesn't hurt people. Because it absolutely does."

Lowering his arms, Squid-boy spun in place and made a raspberry sounding noise. "I still do not see how this makes sense, but I will take your word for it. Please continue."

I shrugged. "That's basically how it works. The rich and powerful play the poor and powerless against each other. As long as poor people with light skin can console themselves with the idea that they're somehow 'better' than people with darker skin, the poor lighter skinned people aren't as anxious to work together with the poor darker skinned people to improve all of their situations. Also, their energies are focused on keeping the darker skinned people from being treated better rather than on making the rich and powerful play fairly. Which is exactly what the rich and powerful want."

"And no one ever figures this out?" asked Yax. "It seems like this wouldn't be a strategy that would work for very long."

"Oh, some people figure out. Sometimes they can even get other people to listen to them and things get better for a little while. But the people in power aren't stupid; they shake things up every now and again, change up their tactics and try new approaches. Plus, when people are looking for others to blame for their problems, it's always safer to blame people who are less powerful than them. If they try to blame the people who are actually responsible, those who are in power, then they might end up in prison. Or worse."

"But you have a democratic form of government. Why don't people just vote out those who oppress them?"

"Oh, sugar, did you ever hit the nail on the head."

"What?" asked Squid-boy.

I waved it away. "Nothing. It's just an expression. I mean, you asked the right question. And the answer is tied up in why the rich want to keep the poor divided. That's why. Because if they united and voted together as a block, they could get the corrupt politicians out of office and replace them with some who would represent the interests of the majority. But by stirring up all the little conflicts that divide people, the rich keep that from happening."

Monday, November 27, 2017

Something Worth Watching?


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I'm back today with another video I wanted to share. I'm sure at least some of you have heard about the effort to end Net Neutrality and ruin the internet for all of us. Frankly, I think this may be the biggest blow Trump and his corporate cronies may be able to deliver to our Free Speech rights. But, in case some of you haven't heard about it, here's a video that helps explain what's going on. And, as you may have noticed, I also included a pop-up that allows you to enter your phone number and be connected to your Congresspeople to let them know you want them to protect Net Neutrality. In case the pop-up doesn't work on your device, you can click on this link here for more information about how to fight back against this attack on freedom: https://www.battleforthenet.com/ . Once again, it's up to us, my friends. If you don't want Comcast or Verizon telling you what you may and may not view and say on the internet, the time to speak up is now. Peace!



Sunday, November 26, 2017

A Leftover Mashed Potato Pancake #Recipe!


Hey Everyone! :-)

I figure that some of you, especially those of you in the US, probably have some left over mashed potatoes right about now. So, I figured this would be a good time to share my recipe for mashed potato pancakes. Enjoy! :-)

Ingredients:
2 cups cold mashed potatoes
2 eggs
2 oz cheddar cheese shredded
3 tbsp green onions chopped
6 tbsp flour
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp sriracha (optional)

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl until completely combined. Form into 2 inch diameter balls and place in a skillet that has an inch of vegetable oil in it that has been preheated. You want the oil to start sizzling immediately when you put the potato balls in it or your pancakes will be greasy. Be careful not to overcrowd the pan; it may be necessary to cook your pancakes in batches. Use a spatula to flatten the balls and flip them over when the first side is golden brown. Continue cooking until the second side is golden brown and then remove them from the pan and place them in a single layer on a paper towel lined plate. Serve warm with a side of sour cream, if desired.

Bon Appetit and Happy Holidays! :-)



Saturday, November 25, 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! :-)




Friday, November 24, 2017

Celebrating, #Fairy-Style... ;-)


Hey Everyone!! :-)

For those of you who, like me, live in the US, I thought I'd help spice up your Thanksgiving holiday with a little reminder of how the Fae celebrate. And for those of you who live outside the US, well, I think you'll enjoy it too. ;-)

Excerpt from Taken By The Huntsman:
“Damn it, Cadeyrn! No more teasing!”

He laughed and lazily licked his way back down her body, swirling his tongue through the curls that protected her most intimate places. He slid down between her legs and slipped his hands under her thighs, tilting her body and giving himself the access he needed.

The feel of her lover’s breath on her sex, his hands spreading her wide, made Cassie gasp and moan. When she finally felt his tongue lap gently at her nether lips, her entire body spasmed. If she hadn’t been tied down, she would have jumped off the bed. She yelped at the sensation and tried to spread her legs wider.

His lover’s wiggling made Cadeyrn growl and grasp her tighter, holding her still and open for his ministrations. He flickered his tongue quickly up and down the length of her, gathering up the dew that had collected there, and plunged his tongue deep inside her, making her gasp and jerk against his hold. He moved one hand from her thigh and used it to plunge three fingers into her sheath without warning, smiling as she screamed her pleasure and the muscles inside her spasmed. As he worked his fingers in and out of her, he swirled his tongue around her clitoris and sucked the tiny nub between his lips.

The feeling of her mate’s fingers pounding inside of her, coupled with the way he flicked his tongue against her pleasure nubbin, drove the breath from Cassie’s lungs as she soared up into a whirlwind of pleasure. As much as her restraints allowed, she worked her hips frantically against Cadeyrn’s mouth and hands. Her pleasure quickly spiraled up and, as her climax washed over her, the world exploded into color and light and heat.



If you haven't read Taken By The Huntsman, yet, and want to know what they're celebrating, go ahead and grab your copy here:



Happy Thanksgiving! :-)


Thursday, November 23, 2017

#APC #Spotlight: #Winter Wishes Of The #Heart by Ashley Marie Uzzell!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I've got Ashley Uzzell in my APC spotlight, today! Ashley is an active and supportive member of the  Authors-Professional Co-op Facebook group and her holiday short story collection, Winter Wishes of the Heart, looks great! Here's the description:
Presenting four short stories to curl up with for the holidays.
Whether it is a teen discovering love, a boy enjoying a winter tradition with his brother, or a young man finding a friend in his time of need, these stories will melt your heart and keep you warm and fuzzy despite the cold.
 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 22, 2017

#Agent Thoth's #Personal Log: Day 639


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-Nine:
The juvenile felid is apparently testing out a new method for motivating my hominid-servant to be punctual in rising for the day so that she will not be tardy in filling our food bowl. Since he is the one who has been consuming the majority of the food she gives us, it is only reasonable that he should be the one to put forth the energy to ensure the food supply does not dwindle. Still, I find his tactics to be interesting.

The small pest begins by climbing onto my hominid-servant's sleeping platform and curling up next to her. She usually responds to this by shifting closer to him, sometimes actually initiating contact. The tiny beast then engages the P.U.R.R., which occasionally rouses her but usually just results in her laying one of her limbs on top of him. Since this is obviously not the response he is looking for, never mind the discomfort of being squashed under part of a hominid, the irritating youngling generally escalates his campaign at this point.

After dragging himself out from under my hominid-servant's restraining appendage, the young annoyance will climb atop her body and walk back and forth over her vocalizing his discontent. If she persists in ignoring him, he then perches on her head, which usually has the effect of pressing her face into her sleeping cushion and restricting her breathing. I have not yet observed an instance where this maneuver failed to rouse her, however it generally results in her becoming irate, and so not inclined to immediately replenish the food in our bowl. Thus, I can only conclude that motivating hominids through attempted smothering results in a mixed outcome, at best.


Well, whatever works, right? ;-) 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 21, 2017

The Devil's In The #Details...


Hey Everyone!!

Just a quick post today with something I think is worth considering. :-)

The Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

So, a couple quick points. First, you'll notice that bit about a "well-regulated Militia?" I know gun advocates love to ignore that part, but it's in there for a reason. There's nothing indicating that the Founding Fathers intended that anyone, anywhere, at any time, for any reason - including mowing down hundreds of people at a musical concert - should be able to get a gun. I know that's how some people like to read the Second Amendment, but that's not actually what it says.

But we'll leave that bit about the Militia alone for a moment, just for the sake of argument, and instead look at the word "arms." Arms can mean guns. But it can also mean knives, clubs, cannons, missiles, biological agents, nukes, etc. The Second Amendment doesn't actually say anything about guns, in particular. That's just how some people choose to read it.

So, for those reading this who object to the idea of gun control laws because they "violate the Second Amendment" - debatable on many levels, but I digress - ask yourselves if you think it's okay for anyone to buy a nuclear bomb or weaponized smallpox virus. If the answer is no, then you already agree there are limits on what "arms" civilians have a "right to bear." The rest is just negotiation on where the line should be drawn.



Monday, November 20, 2017

Something Worth Watching?


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I'm back today with another video I wanted to share. One more time, it's time to call your Senators and tell them what you think. If we don't want to live in a corporatocracy, now is the time for us to fight.




Sunday, November 19, 2017

Spicy Vegetarian Curry #Recipe!


Hey Everyone! :-)

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

Ingredients:
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.



Sunday, November 12, 2017

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! :-)

Ingredients:
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 barley is soft, approximately 4 hours. Serve hot with crusty bread.

Bon appetit!


Saturday, November 11, 2017

#Feature: The Lost #Angel By Adam C Mitchell!



Book Blub

Eddy Kovakx robs the Lost Angel, central city's newest night club, owned by Victor Renetti. Pulling off the job was the easy part. Now on the run with his partner's broad, the sultry Kimmie Saint Clair, he also has an unstoppable PI on his case. Jack Malone is in hot pursuit thanks to the sadistic mobster Victor, putting a price on his head. Can Eddy and Kimmie get away with the money and their life. Or will Jack Malone get his mark. Danger, mystery, and adventure in the noir thriller.


Amazon Buy Links
US http://a.co/6KX7uVu
UK http://amzn.eu/4MOMorj


Books2read buy link
https://www.books2read.com/u/broeqA


Extract:

I glanced around the bar, checking out the punters as the barman refilled my glass. Whiskey topped up, I focused on the man perched at the far end; fat, sweaty, early forties. His hair was dirty blond and thinning on top, his clothes expensive but unkempt. Fatso wore a dull blue striped number, crumpled shirt and scuffed leather shoes. He was spending money like it was going out of fashion. His drink of choice was Old Forester. He drank heavily, trying to buy friends in the process, showing off and bragging like he was lord of the keep.

After downing my drink, I moved towards him. He turned on his stool and gave me a toothy smile. “A drink, my friend?”

I pulled a handkerchief from my jacket pocket and wiped the man's spittle off my cheek. He spewed his words and drooled like a lout. He was ten sheets to the wind and getting more inebriated by the minute. He was a drunken big-spender and barfly at most of the clubs and betting establishments around the city.

We met for the first time a year back. He latched on to my doll, giving her a drunken advance and a below the belt grope. We fought. He got the doll and I got the heave hoe and a night in the cell.

Tony ordered a whiskey and pushed it in front of me. I didn’t want it, but played along. In truth, I was checking him out. His pockets were going to feel real light soon. The tarnished fob watch nestling in his loose, stained waistcoat might be worth something. It didn’t look like nothing special, but it’d be easy to fence or sell down the markets. They didn’t care where their stock came from so long as it sold.

He raised his glass to his lips, which is the exact moment the breath froze in my throat. There, beneath the loudmouth's jacket, hung a brown holster and a gun. I groaned. Trouble was the one thing I didn’t need. Not right now.

Downing the two fingers straight, Tony smacked his lips with a satisfied gasp and put his hand on my shoulder. “The name’s Tony Santeeni. I’m celebrating a new job, you know, working the door of the Lost Angel club,” he slurred. “I’m coming into money. A big deal. Then, pal, I’ll be on easy street.” He swayed in his seat and I caught sight of the brown paper parcel stuffed in his jacket pocket.

Without warning, he slugged me clean off the stool. I landed on the floor with a thud. He must have remembered my face from our last encounter and if he didn’t remember me, it was the demon drink talking through him as it often did, The drink making him forget everything and everyone he kn. Even his own name at times . For a long while after our last encounter, I made it my business to make sure every black-and-white in the area stopped by and gave him a little visit to make it hard for him to make book. If not that, maybe the occasional shake down from my former flame and her call girl pals, would hit him where it hurt, his wallet.

Tony drew the gun from its holster and waved it in my direction. “You’re trying to get me drunk and get in on my big score!” His arm swayed and the gun went off, blowing a hole in the floor by my head.

I pulled my gun out and fired back. Instinct, nothing more. I hated packing heat, but the club scene and the city made it a must. You either carried heat or died by it.



 

Friday, November 10, 2017

#Interview With Khaled Talib!



Hey Everyone!! :-)

Khaled Talib is joining us today. Khaled, cand you us about yourself and how many books you have written?

Khaled: I was born and raised in Singapore. I began my career as a magazine journalist before switching to public relations. However, I’ve always wanted to write novels, which is truly my first interest. I’ve written three novels so far, all thrillers. 

Me: That's awesome that you're getting to explore your passion! :-) What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?

Khaled: Gun Kiss was inspired by many themes, including the Hollywood scene, racism and political relations between countries. The novel tells the story of the Deringer that shot Abraham Lincoln being stolen at the Ford’s Museum in Washington D.C. Later, a blonde Hollywood actress gets kidnapped by a Mexican drug lord. The plot connects to the story, and has been described as “whip smart thriller” by Jon Land, USA bestselling author of The Rising. In fact, Gun Kiss even received blurbs from Gayle Lynd’s, New York Times bestselling author of The Assassins and K.J. Howe, author of The Freedom Broker.  With a dash of romance, Gun Kiss will be released by Imajin Books shortly.

Me: Congrats on all the endorsements! :-)  What are you working on now?

Khaled: I’m presently working on a bio-tech thriller set in South Australia, which primarily takes place at a vineyard. I used to manage the South Australian tourism public relations account, and part of my job required me to accompany journalists to the State on a familiarization trip. As such, I’m familiar with the region.

Me: Wonderful! It's always handy when real life experience can be used in our creative works. :-) What authors, or books, have influenced you?

Khaled: Oh, too many. I read all kinds of books from classics to crime to thrillers. If I were to list down every author and book, it’d be longer than the Mahabharata. But let us start with a few — Robert Ludlum, Dan Brown, John Grisham, Jon McGoran, Keith Thomson, Lisa Scottoline, Ruth Harris, Paulo Coelho. I could go on.

Me: Some great authors there. What are you reading now?

Khaled: I have loads of new books on my Kindle, but I haven’t gotten around to read any yet. Goodreads keeps reminding me that I must complete my book challenge in a year.

Me: I can sympathize with the never-ending To Be Read pile. ;-) For those who might consider reading your book, what would you tell them to expect?

Khaled: Readers can expect to feel like they’re in a theater, at least that’s what I’ve been told about the way I write. It has that 3-D effect or best described as being vivid. I don’t drag the pages, so it’s intense and fast with lots of twist.

Me: Sounds like fun! What is your favorite part of being an author?

Khaled: The part when someone leaves a nice review or sends me an email saying how much they enjoyed reading the story.

Me: I agree, that's a great feeling. :-) Do you have a day job as well?

Khaled: I run my own public relations agency.

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

Khaled: When you reach the final page and type “The End” that’s not really the end of it, but the beginning for the writer to rework the entire manuscript. You do it over and over until it’s ready to go. You may not see your mistake, so you’ll have to work with editor. Hopefully your mistakes are minimal, but if the editor thinks some things cannot work, expect to spend more time restructuring the story. It can get boring reading the manuscript repeatedly. But you don’t have a choice. And then there’s the part trying to get it published. Trying to find a publisher isn’t easy. Even if you choose to self-publish, it’s not going to be an easy road; you must market the book yourself, and it takes time and effort. Writing pitch emails to reviewers and bloggers is a non-stop affair.

Me: Amen, my brother! What genre do you place your book in?

Khaled: I write thrillers and suspense. All that adrenaline gets me going! But who knows? I might dabble in other areas in future. Never say never, right?

Me: Absolutely! :-) Is there anything else you'd like to tell your readers?

Khaled: Happy reading.

Me: Definitely! For us all. ;-) And so these fine folks can find your work, are there any links you'd like me to post?

Khaled:


Me: Perfect! Thank you so much for being here, today, Khaled. And thank you to the rest of you for stopping by, as well. Don't forget to check back tomorrow for the latest in Mistral Dawn's Musings! :-)



Thursday, November 9, 2017

#APC #Spotlight: Surreal Enemies 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 paranormal urban fantasy novel, Surreal Enemies, 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!
 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 8, 2017

#Agent Thoth's #Personal Log: Day 630


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:
I despair of ever comprehending the hominid mind! Today, the supply of food in my bowl was almost completely depleted. I had resorted eating the few remaining crumbs to stave of starvation, when the juvenile felid approached my hominid-servant and jumped into her lap. I, of course, was still not speaking to her at this point.

The small pest flopped over onto his back and waved his paws in the air. When my hominid-servant cooed at him, like an idiot, he deployed the P.U.R.R. to maximum effect, utterly sublimating her will to his own. Once she was in his thrall, he led her to the food bowl and alternated staring at it and her.

To my complete astonishment, my hominid-servant knelt down and stroked the tiny irritant and asked him if he were a "hungry kitty!" And then, against all reason, she finally filled the bowl to the brim! I didn't know whether to be grateful or furious.

Immediately, the young annoyance set about emptying the bowl with impressive alacrity. Almost before I knew it, he had once again emptied half the contents of the bowl. Naturally, he followed this by staggering away and collapsing into unconsciousness in order to digest such a feast.

The whole affair made me realize that the two of them have probably been engaging in this ritual for some time. Where I had thought my hominid-servant had ceased to maintain proper vigilance over my food bowl, it seems instead that she has been filling it faithfully and it is only the gluttony of the under-sized beast that has made it seem as though the bowl was never filled.

At this point, I can't help but wonder if the juvenile felid has been conspiring with my hominid-servant to drive me to desperation, though I can't think what the purpose of such subterfuge would be. I will remain vigilant and report back with any further evidence I manage to find for such a plot.


Oh, no! They're trying to drive him crazy! ;-) 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 7, 2017

Journal Of #Sins And #Secrets, Issue 3!

Hey Everyone!! :-)

The amazing Claire Plaisted has put out another awesome and titillating issue of her emag, Journal of Sins and Secrets!  Enjoy! :-)



Monday, November 6, 2017

Something Worth Watching?


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I'm back today with another video I wanted to share.  I debated whether to feature this story or the story about Donna Brazile revealing how the DNC stole the Democratic Presidential Candidate nomination from Bernie Sanders, but it seemed like this was something that was more urgent. I'd still recommend you watch/read about what the DNC did because it's, quite frankly, such brazen fraud that it surprised even me. And I was already convinced of the DNC's duplicity. If, by some miracle, we ever have a slow news week, I may still feature those videos in the future, because it's a story that everyone should know about and be outraged by. The Democratic Party establishment needs to be ousted, and the only way that happens is if enough people know the truth about how they've been perverting the democratic process in our elections.

However, I decided to feature this story, instead, because there's still time for us to do something about it. This video details exactly which taxes will be getting cut and which taxes will be getting raised by Trump's tax plan. If you live in the US, unless you're a millionaire or billionaire, you'll be getting hosed by this plan. As the video explains, all the cuts will be going to the rich. Naturally, that means that the middle class and poor will be paying higher taxes to compensate. So, if you don't want that to happen, it's time to call/write your Congressperson and Senators and tell them not just no, but fuck no. Peace!




Sunday, November 5, 2017

Spicy Lentil And Potato #Crockpot Stew #Recipe!


Hey Everyone! :-)

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

Ingredients:
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 vegetables are soft and 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 potatoes and lentils are soft, approximately 5 hours. Stir in cilantro. Serve hot in a bowl or over rice or quinoa.

Bon appetit!



Saturday, November 4, 2017

#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! :-)


Friday, November 3, 2017

#November2017 Issue Of CQ International Magazine!


Hey Everyone! :-)

My Friend Paul White would like to tell you a bit about his eMag. Also, don't forget to click the link at the bottom to check out this awesome magazine for yourselves! :-) Paul, take it away!

Paul:
CQ International Magazine is dedicated to promoting indie authors and artists to the world. With over 50,000 readers in 88 countries it is the magazine you 'need to be seen to be in' and to read. Each quarter CQ Magazine runs a 'Themed' edition, the current edition, November 2017, is the 'Sci-Fi Season' special. Read how scientist have created the first wormhole and how Arthur C. Clarke invented the iPad. What is Project Bodi and what is Asimov's 500? Find amazing books and a bunch of gifts writers and readers would love to receive this Christmas.

Oh, heads up all you Romance fans, the February 2018 issue of CQ International Magazine is the 'New Year of Romance' special. Submissions will be open soon.






Thursday, November 2, 2017

#APC #Spotlight: The #Secret by Karen J Mossman!


Hey Everyone!! :-)

I've got Karen J Mossman in my APC spotlight, today! Karen is an active and supportive member of the  Authors-Professional Co-op Facebook group and her new adult romantic suspense novel, The Secret, looks great! Here's the description:
Dear Diary
Kerry O’Brien has a hot new boyfriend! Yay!
His name is Tommy. He’s a biker and he’s gorgeous. He seems to like me too. He makes me feel good about myself and it’s been a long time since anyone has paid me that much attention. I also have a monster for a stepfather.
But I’m scared. I'm scared Bill will find out about Tommy and scared Tommy will find out about Bill. Tommy has a temper and he’s very protective of me. If he ever found out my secret, I think he would kill Bill.
He started again last night. Jodie and I hid under the bed. I don’t want him to ever touch her. Secrets like mine are only whispered about. But the bruises are getting harder to cover and I know once Tommy finds out the truth, I'll lose him. I just can’t let that happen.
Sound good?  If you think you might enjoy this, go ahead and grab your copy here:


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



Wednesday, November 1, 2017

#Agent Thoth's #Personal Log: Day 629


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-Twenty-Nine:
Today, the level of food in my bowl dropped so low that I was actually able to see the bottom! All my non-violent efforts to draw attention to this travesty were met with scorn or incomprehension, so I resorted to using my teeth! Horribly uncivilized, I know, but how else was I to command my hominid-servant's attention when she seemed so determined to ignore my pleas?

I had no desire to cause actual harm to my hominid-servant, so I nipped her gently on her lower leg just to attract her notice. Unfortunately, I miscalculated slightly on the amount of force needed and pierced a small hole in her epidermis drawing a minor amount of blood. Predictably, her reaction was all out of proportion to the severity of the injury.

In spite of the fact that the wound was miniscule, ceasing to bleed almost as soon as it had begun, my hominid-servant behaved as though I had amputated her limb. She jumped away from me, screeching at the top of her lungs. Naturally, at this point, I determined that discretion was the better part of valor and I attempted to flee, but she chased me and grabbed me by the lose skin at the base of my skull, lifting me into the air.

I must state for the record that being hoisted in such a manner hurt! However, it was the wound to my dignity that was the most painful. To add insult to injury, she shook her finger in my face repeatedly while lecturing me about the unacceptability of my behavior! Then, she stuffed me in the punishment box and stalked away muttering to herself about "bad cats."

Eventually, she did free me from my prison, but by then I had decided that I would treat her with the coldness she deserves until she apologizes. It seems she may have made a similar, though completely unjustified, resolution towards me, which has resulted in us both ignoring the other. And my food bowl has still not been filled!


Hominids are so unreasonable! ;-) 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!